HOLOGRAM HELL: A Novelette: SEVEN

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Newlyweds, Lorrie and David, both ex-spec ops, are on their first industrial espionage mission.
Armed patrols, Great Whites, ex-military opponents, boreal forest---and holograms are a few of the obstacles to a successful result.

Submitted: September 14, 2016

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Submitted: September 14, 2016

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 HOLOGRAM HELL

 A Novelette

 Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Seven

 

Lorrie saw their fins first and warned David. He pulled out his loaded Glock 35, attached a suppressor and fired five shots into the eyes of the first shark and then emptied the clip into the fish’s gill plates.

Lorrie did the same with the other.

Immediately the water was blood as both mammoth sharks thrashed but continued toward Lorrie and David, biting at their arms and legs while they slowly died.

Titanium won.

The two gigantic fish continued to flap while both David and Lorrie slammed in another clip and began firing into the obvious creases that marked the dimensions of the steel bottom plate, being very careful not to fire at angles where ricochets would hit one of them.

In seconds, one corner and part of an edge sagged. David grabbed it and pulled. Over half the bottom plate soon hung at an angle toward them. David quickly boosted Lorrie into the shaft. 

Almost immediately she found a light switch and turned to pull up David out of the now glistening bloody water that held the still-thrashing corpses of the two Great Whites.

“Thanks hon, let’s see if there’s a switch to lock that trap door up there.”

Lorrie found it and sprung the lock.

While they both teetered on the barely stable remainder of the steel foot-plate, David found the switch for a dry entry and pushed it down. A side of the shaft opened to a size that would allow seven-footers to easily pass through. David wondered if they had any seven-footers and pictures of Jaws flashed across his inner eye.

The side of the shaft had moved with only a whisper upon opening. Directly in front of them was a slanted runway like the jet bridge leading to the door of a plane you’re boarding.

Neither David nor Lorrie saw any suspicious movement—and no sign of security cameras.

Once David’s brain absorbed the absence of security cameras, he dropped to a crouch.

“Hon; there should be cameras or a beam—something to protect the C&C center.”

Lorrie stepped back and crouched beside him.

“Those spooks don’t give us much time here. Any ideas?”

David reloaded immediately. “We could try going back but there is so little space to maneuver; and one of the spooks could drop a grenade down and that would be it. I think we should go up to that door ahead and try to open it. If they have cameras on this stretch they’ve already seen us and so our only ally is speed and surprise, Okay?”

“Great, Sweets. Here we go.”

She sprang forward, up, and ran the thirty feet flat out. David was right behind her and they took up positions on either side of the wooden door. Unlike the use of steel in the shaft, they had done most of the construction using the surrounding forest for material. This door was wooden, but when both Lorrie and David pushed against it, they quickly knew that although the door was simply wood, it felt about five feet thick.

They both remembered seeing several trees in the boreal forest that had trunks about that diameter.

David spied a button on Lorrie’s side of the door and pointed it out to her. 

Before she pushed it, they grasped their Glocks tightly with one hand and pulled down their titanium face veil with the other.

She pushed and they both stepped back as the enormous door quickly opened.

Gunshots erupted as soon as the massive portal had come to rest.

With no need to whisper any longer, David shouted over the rattle of the continuous firing.

“Let’s grenade them. We plan to trash the place anyway.”

 “Great, Sweets; let’s each toss just one and see what happens.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

In seconds they each held a live grenade and, per training,David did not roll the explosive but waited until there were about four seconds before detonation, and threw it.

Lorrie threw hers seconds later.

Two enormous explosions ripped holes in the sides of the corridor facing them. Screams of pain filtered through the smoke while David launched a second grenade.

“Let’s go, hon.”

Lorrie threw another grenade and quickly separated from David to move along the opposite wall of the corridor. Lorrie and David crept along the walls through the smoke with Glocks at the ready.

Suddenly more gunfire came their way, several rounds striking various areas of their titanium while others flew past them down the smokey corridor toward the massive wooden door.

Lorrie tossed her third grenade. This time the explosions were deafening and followed by several screams of the dying and mortally wounded.

Lorrie and David rushed ahead, still crouching against either wall.

The edge of the swirling smoke abruptly ended and bodies and blood were clinging to pieces of the door that revealed the inner rooms of the Command of Control Center of their client’s competition.

 Lorrie counted four bodies.

“I think there are two more, Sweets. Let’s go.”

David had been examining the overall presentation of the C&C center. Computers and monitors were dotted about the large room facing them. Three doors led out of the main room, two toward the rear of the room and one on the left side. Overhead, fluorescent lights were flickering and some looked like the grenades had knocked them out. A hum of computer equipment as well as the muted whine of machines drifted toward the newlyweds.

Chairs had been abandoned. A sideboard on the right of the room held a coffee machine along with plates, which were empty. On the left were bookcases holding Manuals and thick instruction books on three-ring binders.

The smell of the exploded grenades was everywhere. Odors of vomit, dung, and death hung in the acrid air.

Partitioned office cubicles were empty.

There were no heads visible. 

Every aspect of a humming office machine of industry and research was present including copiers, paper cutters, and a few other retro office items.

“They’ve followed our predictions, Sweets; and taken the entire office staff with them.”

David was silent.

Lorrie began to step into the main room. David threw out his right arm and knocked her back into the blood and body-part spattered corridor.

“Hit the deck!” David was moving backward in a controlled fall and  dragging Lorrie behind the remains of the metal door. He pulled the closest corpse up in front of the door pieces and ducked. All these maneuvers occurred in less than three seconds. 

David and Lorrie crouched

A deathly silence sat solidly for only a second.

“What is it, Sweets?” Lorrie whispered in a tone of bafflement.

Then the barrage of gunfire started.

Lorrie peeked around wrecked door and the corpse to see---only an empty floor. The gunfire was coming from areas to the left and right back areas where there used to be a ceiling with lights, four walls; the back wall with two doors; the right wall with one.

Now there was nothing. Only a flat bare piece of wood—and the forest.

Where, a minute before, there had been a fully functioning research office there was now a blank space.

The shooters were behind dirt bunkers.

Lorrie wheezed. “Sweets! Thank you. Wah! ;another hologram; what told you?”

“None of the glass in the cubicles had even cracked; or any of the monitors. Once our first grenades blew the door, our second ones should have shattered some glass.”

By now the firing had stopped.

“I think they’re making a retreat. I hate to roll grenades but lets roll a couple toward those bunkers, just to be sure.”

Now with the walls gone, the forest reappeared as well as some very dim light from the lowering sky.

They each rolled a grenade toward the bunkers at a speed that would insure they could not be grabbed safely and lobbed back.

Once again, the explosions were extremely loud; and very destructive.

Suddenly they heard shouts from behind them. Yells were echoing around the shaft they had left. The returning spooks were shouting orders to open the trap door.

“I figure we have about a minute at most, hon, before they blow the door and slide down the ladder to pop up behind us.”

“I have an idea, Sweets.”

End of Chapter Seven


© Copyright 2017 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

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