From my Flash Fiction collection
The HQ of Deeply Underground Subversive Comics was under attack. Bullets sprayed across the hillside from a jet fighter. Moments later a nearby explosion rocked the desk where Mick was working.
“Dammit, we’re going to have to move out!” He yelled at Simone, who was steadying her laptop with one hand while furiously typing lines of complex coding with the other.
“Can you reconfigure the IP address before we go?” she yelled back.
“Sure, I’m on it.” Mick flung himself down at the adjacent desk and pulled the keyboard onto his lap. “What were you working on anyway?”
“Just some research for ‘Jasmine’s Day’.”
“Not on Google?”
“It was only innocent stuff,” replied Simone, emptying her desk drawer into a large canvas satchel.
“Huh, like last time.” Mick’s fingers danced over the keyboard. “Why can’t you just stay in the Deep Web?”
The flames outside were dying down. Suddenly the viewing screen was filled with what looked like giant flying insects. “Drones incoming!” Simone shouted as she crouched behind the main console and started to rummage about in a cupboard.
“Deploy ‘Flame Kitten’,” Mick turned to give the order to Jonesy.
“No can do boss, she’s busy in Syria.”
“Who else we got?” Mick finished typing and slung the keyboard back on the desk.
“‘Silver Sparrow’s in South Sudan and ‘Galactic Gecko’s in…”
“Dammit! What’s the point in us creating these superheroes if they’re not here for us when we need them?” Mick hammered his fist on the arm of his chair.
“Prime directive boss,” Jonesy shut down his screen with a click and tucked the tablet into his overalls.
There was another explosion and an ominous crack appeared in the ceiling. Simone looked up. “C’mon guys, we’ve got to get out! To the escape corridor!” She slung the satchel over her shoulder and pulled out her cell-phone. “There’s nothing for it,” she tapped the screen rapidly; “I’m messaging ‘Grand Trope Central’.”
“You’re doing what?!” Mick grabbed his rucksack from under the desk.
“We’re going to need something good if we’re going to get out of this.”
Mick, Simone and Jonesy reached the corridor just as the ceiling collapsed and the roof caved in. Flames shot across the room.
“Sealing hatch!” Simone announced as she hit a large red button mounted on the wall. A metal shutter slid into place closing off the corridor. “C’mon, run! It won’t hold for long.”
As they jogged along, their progress was hampered by a series of thick cords which crisscrossed the brightly lit passage. Mick grunted as he clambered through the knotted strands. “What the hell are these, anyway?”
“Twisted plotlines,” replied Simone. “Try to bend them rather than break them; they might be important.”
Simone’s cell-phone beeped, signalling an incoming message. At the same moment the corridor lights failed, plunging them into darkness. The only illumination was from the phone; the message read: ‘look ahead’. Simone looked up from her phone; a large wooden door had appeared from nowhere right in front of them, seemingly hanging in limbo. Golden light leaked around the edges of the door. A red neon sign flashed. ‘Enter,’ it commanded. Simone glanced at her two companions.
“What the f…” Mick took a step towards the door, as the excruciating sound of shearing metal echoed down the passage. They heard a drone whirring towards them.
“C’mon,” Simone tugged at the sleeve of Jonesy’s overalls, “we’ve no alternative.”
Mick touched the door which swung inwards, bathing them in the bright golden light. Blindly they rushed through; the door slammed shut behind them. Slowly their eyes adjusted. They looked around, confused. They were back in the room from where they’d just made their escape, but it was undamaged. Good as new.
The viewing screen over the main console flickered on to reveal a figure, features obscured by the bright back lighting.
“Sit down,” commanded the voice from the screen. Obediently Simone, Mick and Jonesy seated themselves at their workstations. “You have done well,” the voice continued, “but now you must move to the next level.” The walls around them began to shimmer. “Write yourselves out of this!” The screen dissolved. There was a loud pop and a flash of light.
“Whoa, what’s happening?” Mick‘s words were barely audible above the sound of rushing wind. Suddenly the noise stopped. They looked up at the viewing screen. Outside the view was as green and tranquil as before the recent attack.
Mick shrugged. “No immediate threat then?”
“Maybe not.” As Simone took out her laptop the sky darkened. On the viewing screen they saw a huge metal disc hovering over the mountain. It didn’t look friendly.
“Here we go again!” Mick said, snatching his keyboard from the desk.
©2018 Chris Hall