I've been dreaming of this scene since the inception of this story, or nearly so... let's see how I do it. Get ready for the turning point. [Edit: that scene will have to happen next post... since this one went long]
There it was. Dr. Smyrna had been so close. So close indeed. All he needed was a few extra atoms there, a few neurons there, and the old Christian would have invented the most deadly weapon of all time.
But now Nic had done it. Red Rain.
The alarm clock went off just as it did every day. Nic awoke and listened for a moment, as he had every morning since he was in high school. Both the Christians still snoring. Time to get to work.
"The scientist welcomes you to the indestructible carrot project."
That would need to change.
Nic went to the explosives room and made several more of his exploding magnesium concoctions. In a fit of anxiety he checked his lab coat chest pocket. The microchip was still there. Into the side pockets he stuffed the little flasks of explosives. Lab coat would be the best camouflage in the building, no matter their route. Underneath he wore the standard drab grey garments the United gave all their prisoners on work leave.
Nic turned toward the apartment and jumped as he saw Ephesus was awake.
"Good morning, doctor," the young man said. "Think my dad and I can borrow a few of those?"
"If we get a gun you can have most of them."
"Are you a crack shot?" Ephesus asked with amusement.
"You'd better hope I am. Unless I miss my guess none of you have ever held a gun."
"I did once. Ambrose let me hold his gun just so I could know how weak I was because I didn't have one. He used to be more into his mind games."
Nic laughed. "He hasn't changed. He has just met his match in us."
Dr. Smyrna emerged from the apartment carrying one of his tighter shirts. "Nic, you might want this if we get out of the building. Drab grey will have you spotted in an instant. Civilian clothes is better for camouflage."
"Right you are." Nic took the shirt and folded it, stuffing it into a pocket. "You two know the plan?"
Both of the others nodded. Nic sniffed, an expression of derisive contentment. He went on, "Just keep close watch on whatever cameras you can hack, Ephesus."
Ephesus sat at the computer all morning. Nic nervously amassed exploding flasks until all his pockets were fairly bursting. He continued to give harried advice, "Just remember. Stealth is the key."
Smyrna continued scratching away at decay chains and reactions. He explained, "It will be best if they think we worked until the bitter end."'
Nic snapped, "There will be no bitter end. Now I will go set up the last straw. If he arrives let me know."
Ephesus had hacked his way into their security mainframe. He watched on a few small windows some key cameras, and on the other half of the screen he worked on their settings. He motioned his dad over. "Go tell Nic, quietly, that I have found the switch for unlocking all the doors at once. This could make all our plans more viable. It's the switch for when there is a fire or something."
Smyrna nodded. "We will add that to the plan."
Smyrna went to the door into the apartment. He found it open and Dr. Nic sitting on the floor working on the door mainframe.
"What's going on, Nic?"
Nic turned one more screw and re-affixed the plate that hid the control panel. "You'll find out. Just go make things look normal out there."