Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Laufey's Treasure - Chapter 21

He had lied.

There was gold in the compound. He had known all along. There was a large cache of it deep inside the compound. According to the records of the map, it was used to synthesize wire filaments for better conductivity. Rather than order it en mass, whoever ran the facility so long ago kept large quantities in reserve for fabrication. What the creature wanted, what he assumed to be the bargaining chip, was far easier to find. According to his map, it was down the hall, to the left. Simple. 

The others waited for his answer, a chance to clarify. Their expectant gazes locked on him.

"And what does he want," Geira began, looking between Anke and Ragna nervously. 

Laufey wiped away the lingering blood on his face and tapped the construct map, expanding the development hall. In the corner of the grid he tapped an object that expanded further. He couldn't make out what it was, the image stretched and distorted. Laufey was certain that was it. 

"I think this creature is after a tonic synthesizer."

Ragna shook her head confused, leaning forward to tap the screen.

"Tonic synthesizer? For gene therapy? Why would a daemon need a machine like that?"

"If, it's a daemon..." Laufey said. "I think we've been tricked by an abomination."

"Abominations?" Anke said incredulously. "Old world science experiments? That's a lame excuse..."

"The creature from Lus..." Laufey said quietly, eyeing his sister cautiously. "That thing dad told us about, that is a daemon. This thing pulled the wool over our eyes. 

Kaun cracked his knuckles expectantly. 

"So then let's go in and grab it," he said. 

Laufey heaved a weary sigh and picked himself up. He raised his finger, pointing down the dark, sterile hall, and looked down at the construct once more. 

"200 meters that way," he said mechanically. "Take a left. It should be in that room."

So they each collected their things. Ragna reached down to pick up Laufey, wrapping her arms around him apologetically. Laufey saw Geira watching him from the corner of his eye, as Anke and the triplets passed between them. He tried to think of Amma, about how it was all his fault. Her father would kill him if he found out what had happened. Tapping his wrist construct, he released two small orbs of light into the air to light their pathway. Likewise, the triplets lit up their clothing, bouncing along harmlessly down the metal corridor.

"What is a tonic synthesizer?" Kaupi asked aloud. It was to no one in particular.

"Maybe it synthesizes tonics," Keli volunteered facetiously. 

"It's for making gene boosters," Laufey replied unamused, in an even monotone voice. "What else for?"

"I thought maybe we could make a tonic for ourselves." Keli said wistfully.  "I've always wanted a tail."

"I would want wings," Kaupi added.

"Oh! Good one!"

Kaun turned to his brothers and struck them upside the head.

"Keep it down!" he scolded them. "We don't know if there is anything skulking around in there."

"He's right," Ragna said, glancing around the walkway. "We don't want to lose another person."

Out in front Geira and Anke walked close together, Anke mostly behind Geira. Up ahead they stopped and perched themselves behind a large door, peeking their heads inside. Looking back, Geira waved the rest of them to hurry over. Laufey arrived first, making certain to keep the two in front out of sight. 

"Any luck getting the lights to turn on in here?" Laufey asked. Geira shook her head.

"Nope," she answered looking at her own construct panel. "There's no signal or anything."

Laufey cringed. Holding in his hand he carried two more orbs. He had tried not to resort to this, but he had no choice.

"Looks like I will have to light up the corridor," he said begrudgingly.

"Won't that give away our position?" Ragna said concerned. 

"Get ready," he said, ignoring the question. "It's time to go in there and see what all the fuss is about." 

All of them, hesitant to argue, pulled out their weapons and meekly held them to their chests. Laufey held the lumination orbs pensively, regretfully. Taking a deep breath he made certain in his mind that what we has about to do was the right thing. When he did, he took the balls and tossed them in, and closed his eyes. 

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