Beyond the Darkside: 30-17 through 20


A staccato burst of cobalt bolts flew down the aisle with a high pitched whine. They struck a car sized container at the end of the rack, evaporated the steel exterior and struck the contents with the force of speeding tank concentrated into the head of a pin. The jellied fuel inside the container reacted to the sudden intrusion with violence. The normally stable and inert fuel reacted with the bolts and exploded. The container contained the blast for less than a fraction of a second. Fire and steel erupted outward bathing the racks in destruction and killing the security guards in before they even understood the danger they were in.

“Oh yeah!” Hanse shouted as he lifted the rifle up and rested the barrel on his shoulder. “I love this thing.”

“Oh my God.” Evan stared into the conflagration with his mouth agape. He could not see then dead men, but he knew they were there. “You killed them.”

“Fuck yeah I did,” said Hanse. “Corporate stooges would have done the same to us, but slower. This is way better than they deserved.”

Another alarm started screeching and woman’s voice announced, “Warning. Evacuate the area immediately. Halon fire suppression system activating in three…two…one.” Starting above the fire and spiraling outward, a series of nozzles opened up and a thick white fog fell from them.

“Shit. Time to go, wonder boy,” Hanse said as he grabbed Evan by the shirtsleeve and dragged him toward the tunnel. Evan followed Hanse through the maze of racks. The white cloud followed close behind with more and more nozzles releasing the halon gas into the warehouse.

They rounded the corner of another rack and saw the closed hatch. “Damnit.” Hanse grabbed the handle and yanked on it, but it remained sealed. “I can’t believe they locked us in here.”

“You told them to,” yelled Evan.

“Well I didn’t think they’d actually do it.” Hanse released the handle and looked around.

“What now?” Evan stared at the fog of rapidly approaching gas and took an involuntary step back.

“I guess we head for an airlock,” Hanse said.

“Then what?” Evan looked around before following Hanse toward the emergency exit.

“We hope someone finds us before we run of air or Darkside security catches us.”


“Welcome to the resistance, wonder boy,” Hanse said as he opened the door to the emergency stairs. “It’s all downhill from here.”

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