As the prison gates shut behind him, the inmate realized that a man in a black suit and purple tie was standing by a black car. “You must be Mr. Beacan O’Carroll. Correct?” He considered the question.
The man obviously knew who he was. And judging by the sweat on his brow he had obviously been out here quite a while. Black is not a good color to wear in southeastern Mexico. And his accent was American, New york most likely.
“Who are you.” Beacan asks.
“I am Agent Walker, FBI.” He showed Beacan his badge. Obviously, Beacan thought, this man wants me to trust him. I suppose if he is willing to extract me from this place, I may as well play along.
“I guess you are here to take me out of this crap hole?” He was actually enjoying prison. He didn’t have to work for his food, the guards and inmates alike treated him with respect, and there was a daily crossword puzzle for him to do. He didn’t want to show him that of course.
“Yep. I drove all the way down from friggin Harlem to get here just because the government wants you and apparently the mexican government doesn’t care if we take you early.”
“I suppose you have some grand mystery that needs unravelling.” Beacan said as he got into Agent walkers Black Ford Fusion.
“I guess you could say that.” Agent Walker replied.
“Well good.” Beacan said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do after they let me out any way. There isn’t anything for kilometers.”
The drive to the nearest air port in Pueblo was quiet. Walker didn’t know about the case himself and seemed angry about it. He’s used to big crimes, probably the top dog on his side of Harlem. Used to being the one to hold out on people about secrets, not the other way around. Beacan thought to himself.
When they got to the airport, they were greeted by security agents and escorted to a private jet, going straight to New Mexico.
“New Mexico?” Beacan asked Walker. “I figured this would be something in New York considering that’s where you work.”
“Funny, I thought that was where it was too.”
On the way to New Mexico, Beacan asked Agent Walker about his family and such.
He found out that his first name was Jerry, and he had a wife and two kids. A 14 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. He worries about them all the time because the neighborhood they live in has a history of gang violence and he worries especially about his son, Jax, because his son hangs out with some of those kids.
“I just don’t want him to get sucked into that world.” He says softly.
They arrived at Air Force Base 219 at six thirty in the morning. They were greeted by a small, weasel-like man in his early thirties.
“Good morning Agent Walker, Detective O’Carroll!” He said nodding and shaking hands with each of them.
“I am Captain Rexford.”
Beacan looked around, gathering his surroundings. “Where are we exactly.”
“Airforce base 219. Southern New Mexico.”
That surprised Beacan because he hadn’t expected to get a straight answer from the fellow.
“Follow me,” Captain Rexford said, spinning on his heel down a long hallway.
“You know, this base is actually more secret than Area 51. I was surprised that they even let you enter the base without blindfolding you on the way here.” the Captain said.
“If this base is as secret as you say, then I’m surprised they allow a mere Captain inside the base.” Rexford managed a small smile as he continued down the hallway. Then, he ducked into a door on the right of the hallway. The pair followed him into the door and saw a short blonde girl in her late twenties.
She turned around and said, “Beacan? Is that you?”
“Layla?” he said confused, as she hugged him. “I thought you were stationed in Iraq?”
“And I thought you were in some Mexican prison for the next thirty years.”
“Well, this bloke here brought me to this base for an important case apparently.”
He looked around and saw the nameplate on the door saying Layla Rodes, Chief Forensic
Layla was Beacon’s Ex-assistant.
“So you have a pretty important job here don’t you?” Beacan said.
“Yes I do, actually,”
“Sorry to interrupt your little reunion, but we have some more pressing matters to attend to.” Rexford said, gesturing to the board on his left. It was a map of an underground tunnel system.
“Yeah, I would like to know what is going on here,” Walker stated.
“This is what is going on.”
He pulled up a video on his board, appearing to be an underground tunnel from the perspective of a drone.
At first it looked into an old mineshaft, but then, the drone went into a tunnel dug into the side, looking almost freshly dug. It kept going for a long while until it stopped. A scuttering noise appeared in the background. The drone turned slowly. Then, a dark form lept on the drone, cutting its feed. Rexford rewound the video a little bit to when the creature was in the air.
“What the blazes is that?” Walker exclaimed.
“That, we don’t know. That’s why you’re here. Us four are going down there under surveillance of the teams up here to gather intel. Then, we are to find a possible nest or whatever the heck these things call home to gather as much info as possible. And try to capture one live.”
“Why did you take me then?” Beacan asked.
“Because if somehow our info gets wrecked, then we need to be able to back it up with your photographic memory. That and we know for the most part that you will keep your head in a scary situation.”
“I also understand that I am considered expendable.” Beacan said flatly.
“Hey listen here,” Layla said stepping in. “He is not expendable, Derick!”
So she knows him by his first name. Beacan thought.
“Listen Layla, all that means is that if there happens to be a situation where we need someone to stay back or do something dangerous, then Detective O’Carroll will be the first choice.”
Layla wasn’t liking her lifelong friend being called “expendable”
“If Beacan is harmed severely on this expedition, I am quitting my post here.”
Rexford seemed to consider this for a second. Beacan knew he was trying to look considerate to calm down Layla.
“Fine. He isn’t expendable.” Rexford said.
“Hey,” Walker said, trying to get everyone's attention. “Can we just get this wild creature chase started so I can get back to Harlem?”
“Yes, that would be preferable.” Beacan agreed.
So they put on dark brown camo outfits and army boots. Each person carrying a 45 caliber pistol, a tactical flashlight, and a survival knife. Agent Walker also carried a Mossberg Tactical shotgun. They rode in a black suv all the way to what looked like a small abandoned mine. Looks can be deceiving. As they got out of the car, Rexford told them all an extra bit of info.
“Try not to kill any of the creatures unless you're being fully attacked. And if you are attacked, our scientists say that they are most likely vulnerable to light. So your tactical flashlight should prove useful.”
So they went to the lift and stepped on the platform. It creaked ominously under their boots. Beacan flipped a rusted lever and they jolted down a couple feet. Then they steadily went down the mineshaft.
“Watch it O’Carroll!” Walker scolded.
When they made it to the bottom of the mine shaft, they all turned on their flashlights and huddled together.
“The last thing we want to do is split up. Okay?” Layla said plainly.
“Then it would be much easier to flank us or get us from the behind.”
Then they let Rexford lead the way down the narrow dirt hallway, with Walker watching the back. They went on for a while in the mineshaft. The silence piercing through them like an arrow through the chest. Eventually they turned onto a tunnel that didn’t look so manmade. Rexford broke the silence, “This is where the first drone got attacked. Watch for tunnels to our flanks when we go in. They seem to be hostile.
A sound made Beacan jump. He realized that it was just the scientists on the other end of his earpiece.
“We are seeing lots of movement around your area. Stay vigilant.” Then he cut out.
They kept walking down the tunnel for a while until they heard a noise coming from one of the tunnels to their sides.
Walker shined his flashlight down and didn’t see anything.
He mumbled to himself, “That scared me. Nothing to see he-” He was cut off by large, reptilian creature that jumped from the ceiling of the tunnel.
“Ahh!” He screamed, blasting everything down the hallway with his shotgun. The creature crumpled to the ground. Not moving.
“You could of got it with the flashlight!” Layla exclaimed.
“Well i’m sorry!” Walker said. “I’ve never been attacked by a friggin walking alligator before!”
As they were arguing, three more creatures came from the hallway and grabbed him. They sprinted away with their new prize. Tearing into him with their dagger-like claws. Beacan grabbed the shotgun and sprinted along the main tunnel, going deeper into the system with Layla and Rexford on his tail. They saw light at the end. Maybe we are going out through a mountain. Beacan thought hopefully. Then, when they got there, they found it opened up into a huge cavern. Lit by torches.
“What the,” Rexford stammered
Behind them, creatures were blocking their exit. But not attacking. The cavern was filled with the creatures. Some much smaller than the others. At the end of the cavern, on a pile of rocks, sat a huge creature with a makeshift crown on his head. Murmuring went through the crowd of people.
“SILENCE!” The creature on the throne rumbled. And the whispering stopped.
“The bloody things can talk?” Beacan whispered.
“Surround them!” The creature commanded.
Some of the bigger creature slowly surrounded the trio. Beacan had enough of this.
“How do you know our language?”
“We learned from the human diggers of old. They showed us how to speak your language, and how to rule like one of you. We are tired sitting in the dark. We are coming to the surface. Whether you like it or not.”
“They won’t last a week above land.” Rexford stated quietly.
“I’ve had enough. Kill them!” The leader said.
As the creatures around them fell in slowly, ready to kill, the trio brandished their weapons.
“This is a slight predicament.” Beacan