Updates: My vacation went awry and it is over already, so I am back to posting. The Four Golems one last weeks poll, so some day soon we will start seeing posts from there, after I outline the basics of a plot. The current poll is seeing nice participation. It is a more fun one than many of my previous, so pick at will; you are allowed to choose multiple options. And, finally, we are returning to a neglected plot line. How Crook Q himself attempts to escape Paradise Come Labs. (Tell me someone noticed the play on "Paradise Lost.")
A tall building of shining silver, steel, and glass, it really did bespeak power and grandeur. At the top was what appeared to be a massive telescope. Engraved on a stone at the door into the building were the words, "A Tower into Heaven." Ephesus looked closer at the stone and saw under it these words etched, "If any god should be offended by this tower, let it come and prove itself. We are the United, and cannot be divided."
Ephesus only wished and prayed that He would come.
Ephesus calm and small voice barely fell into the elevator. "Dad, get inside."
"No son. Let me do it. They can't do anything to me worse than they've done before."
Ephesus took one step toward the hatch into the elevator, then grabbed his dad and tripped him headfirst into the hole. Nic caught him on his way down and restrained him.
Now Ephesus was yelling, "The magnetic repulsion brakes will catch you softly at the bottom. Just hold onto the walls and keep your head tucked in."
Then he jumped over to the roof of the elevator, drawing one of his explosive tubes out of his coat.
"Ephesus!" Smyrna barked up from his awkward position in Nic's arms.
"Shut up old man!" Nic insisted. "Last thing we need is to be screaming each others names." Nic tossed him off into the corner of the elevator, then squatted down against the bottom of the elevator himself, bracing his hands against the railing.
Smyrna just lay there, somewhere between anger and sobbing.
One loud blast didn't even shake the elevator. Nic looked up the hatch and saw the first flash, feeling the elevator quiver ever so slightly. He wasn't sure Ephesus had a very good idea.
Then the last one got it. Gravity edged away as the elevator free fell for a few seconds. Nic reached into his chest pocket and clasped the micro chip, just to assure himself that it was still there. Once he was out, it was all he needed.
Then gravity came back, very suddenly at first, crushing Nic's hand into his chest, then softly and the elevator stopped. Doctor Smyrna had sat up, but remained in shock and fury in the corner.
"Come on, old Christian, help an unbeliever open these doors. Unless you're praying, in which case don't let me stop you. At this rate, your petitions may be all we can hope for."
"All we can hope for is what He would give us, Nic."
"Then let's both hope that He would let us through the door, because otherwise, your son has managed to stick us in quite a spot." Nic was busy trying to wedge the barrel of his gun between the doors. Smyrna saw all the lights on the control panel flash. He pressed the "open door" button.
Nic flashed his gun back into hiding as the doors opened with a happy chirp. He took one astounded glance at Symrna before proceeding out the door into the crowded lobby as though nothing were happening. Smyrna crept up behind him and whispered, "Thank God we got out of there, literally. And that is an imperative."
"Aww, shut up."
Smyrna smiled, probably the first time that had been his reaction to that phrase.
The two scientists walked out of the doors without being accosted, as streams of other scientists exited. They stood on the corner, wondering how they should get out. A bus was approaching from one side. Nic whispered, "I do not think mass transit is our best chance at escaping long term."
"No. We are supposed to meet at the tallest building in sight, remember?"
"Yes," said Nic.
The two stepped forward, trying not to appear as though they were seeking out a specific building. If they appeared to be unfamiliar with the city, that alone might get them caught. Smyrna half-whispered, "Down there, to the right."
Nic looked, and his eyes went wide as a series of crashed and flashes and bangs erupted out of the side of the building.
Smyrna turned and watched as a young man in his son's old coat from home jumped out of a second story window. In the confusion of the startled and mad evacuation, the tumult was barely noticed, much less the young man as he slipped into the milling crowed of upset scientists.
Nic and Smyrna jockeyed there way through the crowd towards where they had seen Ephesus, because Nic knew he had the cell phone. They had agreed for Nic to carry the microchip because Nic insisted that they didn't need both of the precious pieces of technology on one person, and Ephesus couldn't let Nic carry an underground cell phone.
The doors on the bus hissed shut, just slow enough for Smyrna to see his son take a seat as the bus began rolling away. They stared after the bus and read the digital sign on the back, "Street 92 & Delta."
More of Nic and Smyrna's adventure has been published!