They are taking out the cameras at a rapid rate. Overview of the station is being lost at an unprecedented speed. Expect no further assistance within thirty seconds,’ was heard in Troy’s ears, the sudden sound making him flinch in his fingers. The sudden motion made his efforts in the last minute in vain, the key-opener breaking in two. The young man had to sigh as he brought out the third pair. It would have to work soon, or he would be out of more. They were already beside the room. They had already made a worthy distraction. They couldn't lose now of all times.


“Your sighs are not music to my ears, Troy,” Charlie said without looking over, the man ready to fire at anybody who would come down the hall. Not that the man had a gun or anything, instead of being fashioned with something akin to a homemade tranquillizer. It wasn't nearly as effective, but the bullets were able to cause some minor inconvenience. And with enough of them, nobody would be able to stand them. “What is happening?”


“The cops finally understood the camera-trick,” Troy reported, sticking in the new set of lock-openers. For whatever reason, the police force was still dependent on physical-based locks with only minor electronic parts. Adam was unable to open them from a distance, forcing them to use less effective methods. If only any of them could actually use those things well. Troy still thought Charlie should have done it. Yet, he knew why the man couldn't do it, the inability to not shake their fingers from the previous fight that same day stopping anything that could be called delicate work. “They’re destroying every camera they’re coming across, so we aren't able to see where they are.”


“So we’re sitting ducks out here,” Charlie surmised, not sounding happy about it. He didn't sound happy nowadays at all, however, so Troy wasn't really that surprised. The young man just continued moving his hands carefully, slowly moving the pins around on the inside of the door. Adam had spent so long instructing him on the task that he could do it blindfolded at that point. However, it all required patience, a steady hand, and no room left for pausing. If anything was not done as it was supposed to, he would be left at square one yet again. And with how things were beginning to look.


“Any clues to where they are running, Adam?” Troy mumbled quietly, doing his best on the first row. There were seven in total, each on its own dimensional axis. With the size of the tool, the young man had to be careful to not budge any of the edges, lest it all would activate with the wrong timing. The young man could only wonder how the locks for such a thing would look.


They are systematically going through the edges of the station. I believe they already know where we are and are simply making sure we won’t have the ability to see anything but our own image in the cameras,’ Adam replied. Troy slightly rested his hand, reaching a part where he could stop moving for a second or two. The tensed muscles in his forearm truly thanked him for it, as the grip on the tool was more intense than most.


He spent those rare seconds of reprieve staring at the dumb wire he had been connected to. It was a small one they had grabbed back during their time at the broken cabin. It had been slightly damaged, but the tape made sure to fix that cleanly. And, it helped that its usefulness was more than worth it. With the length, Charlie had been able to strap it onto Troy’s gloves and one of the nearby cameras, allowing Adam to look through the site’s network while he worked. It wouldn't be easy to detach again, likely surmounting to them just cutting the wire in favour of ripping it out of the glove, but it was the best set-up they could work with. They needed somebody to know the cops' whereabouts, and it wasn't like they could leave Adam in Dr Hale’s hands.


With a lasting thought to the woman's health, Troy began once again. The first row was the hardest part, the second, third, and so forth mainly being a minor security attachment. They made it impossible to copy the key outright, yet it wasn't like Troy had done anything close to that. He was making a key on the spot without ever having looked at the real thing.


It wasn’t pretty, and there was a part where the man had to fear about starting over, but Troy did successfully go through the first four rows of codes. The small bumps on the last three were hard to replicate to the required degree, yet hard work and dedication showed their result one final time.


When the young man thought himself done, he pressed the created key into the last bit of the lock, twisting it like he would at any other unlocking mechanism. It was done more gently than he had ever done before, yet Troy still imagined it breaking due to the sudden pressure. But… it opened up easily, the well-oiled sides allowing no sound to be broken.


“We can enter,” Troy got out, barely louder than a whisper. The man couldn't force more air out of his lungs, the last thirty seconds having been spent without any motion in his lungs, as the act of breathing had been too large a risk for failing the act. Yet Charlie clearly had no worries about this apparent quietness, the man moving from his defensive position in an instant and moving right into the storage room. Troy was left outside, his hand still being connected to the camera in the hallway. Bringing out a wire-cutter, Troy made one final comment. “Adam, are all the cameras destroyed?”


Every camera except the one you are currently at has been damaged to the point of being useless, yes,’ the AI confirmed instantly. The young man cut the wires because of it, moving into the storage room with Charlie at the same speed witnessed a moment before.


The storage room they had sought for so long was the one in the middle of the station. It was the one protected by the most defences, defended with concrete walls and electrical systems meant to harm intruders. One of those aspects had been disabled by the AI with the other being the hard part of the plan. However, they were already inside and would have no trouble with the actual attainment.


Charlie had already moved through the pile of items swiftly, moving further and further into the large room. The man needed no help in finding the item sought, the large quantity of them being quite the indicator. The first box was grabbed, no real thoughts were put into everything else being shown off. Troy could see rifles, armour, explosive equipment, and so much more. Everything was ignored in favour of the one thing they truly needed, the extra weight being without purpose.


“We need to move,” the man said, already ready to head out the door. So was Troy, until the moment that the steps started to rain on from outside. The steps heard weren't anybody the young man could recognize, and neither would he had any reason to recognize them. It wasn't as if there were any people in the station the man would be happy about the meeting.


“That might be more difficult than you think,” Troy commenced in a hushed voice. The young man wasn't too sure what he was supposed to do, eyes flicking around the room. The man supposed he could close the door. It would protect them from the officers for a few minutes, while they went back to grab one of the actual keys, but it would likewise stop them from escaping.


That wasn't something that would ever turn out successful. The man knew that to be true, already having disregarded the notion in his mind. Instead, other objects in the room started putting themselves out. Those weapons from before seemed so much more interesting to him, no matter what had been thought before. They weren't tools of mass destruction but rather the tools that could help with letting them live another day.


Charlie clearly thought so as well, going back towards the shelves filled with gear. The man’s hand stretched out towards one of the large rifles, before… shoving it away and taking a small tube that had been just beside it. A small tube with an even smaller red button on top of it. Troy had never really seen something like it before, not able to truly guess what it could be.


After giving the youngest one a look of caution, the larger man in the room stepped slightly out the door. Just before the first step, however, the small button on the tube was pressed. Smoke started funnelling out before it was even thrown, filling a meter or two of the stuff. However, it got so much worse moments after, Troy was only happy that the object had been thrown before the true effects showed themselves.


Charlie ducked back into the room, small needles hitting where the man had been a moment before. Troy could only imagine that the man had only been saved from being hit due to the officers not expecting anybody to come forth with such vigour. Yet, that likewise showed just what they were up against. Those needles seeped small droplets on the floor, Troy not having to imagine what the things truly were. A single grace on the skin would be more than enough to make an elephant fall in its tracks.


“Stay back,” Charlie muttered, the man going out again as soon as the wisps of smoke started reaching their viewpoint from inside the room. Whatever the tubes were, they were powerful, Troy still able to hear it hissing out smoke. Not that he heard any coughing because of it, however. The man wondered if that was due to the smoke or due to who was inside it. Cops were dangerous entities, after all.


The larger man pulled out a small pellet, throwing it out against the smoke, just where the police officers were meant to have been. In response, the two heard a large jet of water hitting the wall and a small shout of surprise. The sound made Charlie curse, though the man’s face lightened up a small bit when a wall of opaque glass started to be visible. It covered most of the hallway down where the cops were, though there was a small gap in the left corner on top. Enough to make a sound pass through, at least.


“Did you hit them?” Troy asked in a hushed voice, still not sure of how safe they were. The young man had seen the small pellets used before during a rather large emergency a few weeks ago. They had nearly been caught until Charlie had been able to encapsulate them in such a bubble of glass. It might only have lasted a few minutes, but it had been more than enough for them to get away. Legs could carry one far at such levels.


“Nope,” Charlie answered bluntly, starting down the hallway the opposite way of where the pellet had been thrown. “But I did shut off one of the ways they could reach us. They’ll be on us in a minute or two so let’s get out of here.”


The two ran like the dead was chasing them. Troy actually smiled a small bit at that analogy, the metaphor almost fitting right in place.

A note from DrBuller

Hope you enjoyed it!

I have always wondered why David never showed the winners driving the car.


Support "Artificial Mind"

About the author


Bio: Is the prominent holder of duck-pictures. Also a Gallophobe

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Insanja ago

First again, it's getting too easy
Thanks for the chapter!

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