I reached out from the sheets, my eyes screwed shut against the assault of the alarm. My hand knew the way from long practice, and slapped the "Alarm OFF" button out of habit. I had raged on with a vengeance last night, and my head didn’t waste any time at all reminding me of the fact.
I didn’t look at the clock, knowing it would just show me 5 AM, accusingly. I stumbled out of the bedroom and headed for the shower, letting the hot water wash away the last bit of sleep, hoping it would put a dent in my headache. It didn’t.
I hit the kitchen for some brekkie, nuking a sandwich and popping a few Tylenol to calm my skull down. I downed some OJ and out the door I went.
At the base of the stairs, I zipped up my coat against winter’s chill breath, and let my legs take me out to the street. I made sure my pistol was snug against my side in its holster, stretched a bit, and finally got started on my day. It only took a few blocks to get my legs to cooperate, and by the first mile I’d actually hit my stride. By the second mile, my head had gotten less foggy, and I was actually enjoying the bite of the cold air in my lungs.
It was only a 5 mile run to the office, and I’d made it a habit to start my daily workout by running in. Once I got to the Genesys offices, I’d hit the gym, then the showers. Such was my routine. I had no idea how different this day would be, just how far out of the routine I was going to go.
I spent that day as I spent most days: training the newbies, going over security reports, and generally making myself a pain in the ass. It’s all part of being lead security consultant for a multi-billion dollar genetics corporation. Sometimes, though, the job makes itself a pain in my ass.
By evening, I had done a good deal of work, and also a good deal of not work. Security can be boring when it’s done right. I had just opened up the mini fridge next to my desk and reached in for a Sam Adams White Ale when my red phone rang. I let out an impatient sigh, and tapped my headset to answer the call.
“Corwin here” I said.
“Sir, it’s Johnson down in the labs. We have an incident, sir. One of the subjects is loose.”
“Lock down the building and set perimeter, I’m on my way.” I keyed my headset from office phone to securenet, checked my gun, and headed out the door at a trot.
In a multi-billion dollar genetics corporation, and especially one that works on genetically engineered super soldiers for the government, you’ve got to be ready for just about anything. The last time a subject had gone bonkers, Genesys had to pay for rebuilding three block’s worth of damage. That’s why they’d brought me on, and now it was time to test my work. I should have studied harder for this one.
I took the stairs down to the lab level, dropping down two at a time. I paused only briefly when I got to the doorway, swiping my card to unlock it, and then pushed through, pistol leading. I’d actually inserted myself inside the perimeter my boys had created by doing so, and I was eager to see how they’d perform.
I rounded the corner to the main lab to see a hominid form based on a German Shepherd, looking wildly about. He stood there on two legs, his hands out in front of him. To my surprise, I also saw a man in a suit, faced off against it. They were in mid tussle, and I shouted out my best Hawaii Five O “Freeze!” It didn’t do much, and they ignored me.
I watched as the military-looking bloke took a shot at the self-walking dog, and my jaw dropped a bit as I realized the bullet had hit him, but seemed to frag off of his fur somehow. Damn, those lab rats had really been working hard on this one, and I wondered what had sent him over the edge.
As I kept a sight picture and yelled again, the dog bit down on the man’s gun-hand, letting go immediately and trying to disengage. My finger tightened on the trigger, and the dog yelped as I hit it in the leg, trying to take him down with minimal damage.
That got both of their attention, and the dog-man rushed me, incredibly quick, using all four limbs. I tried to wrestle him down, pulling his head down in a Muay Thai clinch, but he managed to sink his teeth into my thigh. It was my turn to yelp a bit, and I brought the gun barrel down on his head. He seemed not to notice, and sprang away from me. In a few blinks and another shot that I’m not sure if I missed or hit, the test subject made it around the corner and out of my sight. I keyed my mic.
“Subject is hominid dog, heading for perimeter. Be aware there’s another bloke loose in here, dressed like an exec.” I looked around for the intruder, but couldn’t find him. I ran down the hall with a pronounced limp, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mystery man.
Minutes ticked by, and the watch captain called me up, not on the net, but on my cell. Great, I thought, he’s embarrassed. This can’t be good.
“Corwin, go.” I said.
“Ian, I have bad news” he said. “The test subject got clear of us; we’re going to have a long night. He broke through the perimeter, there’s a team of 3 in medical now.”
“Shit” I breathed. “What about the other bloke?”
“Cameras caught him making an exit, sir. I’m sorry, but we’re batting a big fat zero tonight.”
“Well, some days the dingo gets the baby” I joked. It was a running gag the troops had with me, given that I’d come from the land down under. Then I looked at my thigh. Maybe the joke wasn’t funny today.
“Get a team together and track the test subject down, we have to get him back. Keep me posted, I’ll be in my office.”
Bill said he’d get on it, and hung up. I went to my office to check video footage, and to wrap a bandage on my bite. I figured I’d have a medic look at it later, which would turn out to be my worst choice of the night, and there had been plenty of bad ones to choose from.