Written in 365 Parts: 142: The Corridor

Drick slowly inserted a pneumatically-powered fast expander into the slight gap between the elevator doors and set it to immediate open. There was an acknowledgement from Marsh that he had moved into a safe position. Marsh was currently using the molecular adhesion bonds on his suit’s feet and elbows to stick on the vertical wall of the lift shaft, ready to cover the corridor beyond.

The computer monitoring system used by security was still resetting after the electro-magnetic pulse. There was a flashing counter in Drick’s view that gave the most conservative estimates of how long each system, or organic, would take to recover.

Drick activated the expander and with a snap it pushed the doors apart revealing the corridor beyond. It would have been glorious if the corridor had been empty, but they didn’t expect it to be. They were mildly surprised at just how full it was.

Drick figured there must have been a meeting on this floor as there were at least thirty organics strewn in the small foyer in front of the elevators. For the most part they were dressed in business cut clothes, though still displaying the military black and grey favoured by Volstron Services. They were all in various stages of disarray. Many were drooling or clutching their heads in pain, or confusion. Some were semi-conscious and others lay twitching, unresponsive to outside stimuli.

Among them were at least fifteen security guards. These had favoured better than the administrative organics. Their implants would be shielded and resistant to electromagnetics. Most of the guards were already bringing themselves back onto their feet and looked up in confused surprise as the elevator doors sprang apart.

Drick used the few seconds of confusion to act. With a thought the instruction was sent to Marsh to spray the entire area with darts. The tiny needles were loaded with a paralysis drug that would incapacitate the organics and disrupt mental processes. This effect of the paralysis was enough to cause a lack of communication skill, without triggering emergency medical measures.

At the same moment Drick launched out of the elevator, using arms to pull hard against the sill, and flip upwards. Drick has set the gravity adjustment to its maximum, lessening greatly the effect of the planet’s gravity. Drick flew towards the ceiling and as they did activated the adhesion pads on the suit. The plans had revealed that this section had no false drop ceilings. It was solid panels, eight millimetre thick tungsten carbide, layered over carbon fibre composites, attached to shock absorption panels. This section was designed to resist external attack but maintain some flexibility. The designers did not contemplate the attack happening internal to the building.

As Drick attached to the ceiling the view on the battle monitor inside their mind showed the tracers of the darts. This information was pulled directly from the targeting and monitoring system attached to Marsh’s dart ejector. Drick would have smiled if this was a casual observation. Marsh was precise, there was no random spraying of an area. Controlled bursts in tight patterns. Exactly the way that Drick would have done.

Drick drew four globes from a pouch and activated the trigger to mix the liquids inside. These were expanding epoxy grenades. Or as many people called them, stick bombs. With a carefully controlled flick of the wrist Drick launched them into the air, and then used the internal micro-motors to guide them to their exact destinations. There was no flash as these grenades used an expanding compound that reacted violently, but with no kinetic impact, with the air. They quickly saturated the area with a liquid, that expanded to a foam, that soon hardened to a porous block.

Drick dropped onto the top of the mass of forms that contained all but one of the security guards. Casually Drick walked to the edge and viewed the half free guard who was now hacking at the epoxy foam which covered, and held, their head. Drick shot them with a taser set to maximum charge and calmly waited for it to override their defensive countermeasures in their suit and stun them. After a few moments Drick signalled the all clear to Marsh and waited for him to join them.

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