The huge steel door closed with a dull boom behind Harold and India and they found themselves in a large, well-lit area. Workbenches and complicated-looking equipment practically filled the place and navigation was only possible through a maze of aisles marked off with red and yellow floor tape. Down the sides and at the far end of the room, they could see doors leading off to other spaces, offices, storerooms and so on. The place seemed to be deserted. Under the shriek of the fire alarms, the air was filled with the hum of equipments fans.
“We haven’t got much time,” said India. “You take the left side and I’ll take the right,”
“Alright,” replied Harold. He reached up under his chin and partly unzipped the front of his ‘invisibility’ suit.
“What on earth are you doing?” demanded India, “You’ll set off their sensors. Are you mad?”
“If two can cover more ground than one, then three can cover more than two,” Harold replied. As he pulled the zipper down, a small grey head appeared and Teatime quickly squirmed his way out onto Harold’s shoulder before jumping down onto a nearby bench. Harold quickly zipped up again.
“About time, old biscuit!” grumbled the small simian, “Another few minutes in there and I should have suffocated.” He glanced around, frowning, “Ah, of course! You’re invisible. Right, let’s get to it, then. I’ll get up there and do a spot of aerial reconnaissance, meet back by the door here!” With that, he scampered up a nearby shelf unit and began making his way down the room by dint of a series of bounds from one tall unit to the next.
Harold and India, constrained by having to follow the marked-out aisles at ground level split up and began to make their own slower way into the room.
A guard stuck his head round the door to Moon’s office. “We have to leave, sir,” he said loudly over the din of the fire alarm.
“Be right there,” Moon replied in kind. The guard’s head disappeared and Moon stood up. He was about to walk out when something on his computer screen flickered briefly. He leant over to take a closer look. The screen was showing the feed from the c-sensors inside the building, but there was nothing there now. He flicked over to a visual feed but the cameras revealed nothing. Moon pursed his lips, maybe it had just been a blip, a bit of electronic noise. Yeah, he said to himself and that fire alarm is just a coincidence, yeah right!
Moon slid open his desk drawer, withdrew his gun and, after a moment’s consideration, his taser. He stuffed them into his pocket, walked over to the door and pulled it open a crack. He waited until he was sure the corridor outside was empty of people and then strode purposefully towards the nearest stairs leading down.
Harold, India and Teatime arrived at the far end of the large room, having found nothing to point to the whereabouts of Agents Mercury, Othello and Prada. Ahead of them was one final set of doors, large double ones, not dissimilar to the ones by which they had entered the room. They were closed, but not – as Harold discovered by giving them a hefty shove – locked.
They swung open to reveal another large space. Two rows of what looked like large chemical storage tanks marched away towards the far end of the chamber. A tangle of pipes crawled over each tank like some shiny metal parasite and on the front of each was a monitor screen, presumably showing the status of the tank’s contents.
The fire alarm ceased all of a sudden.
“We better hurry, they’ll be coming back in soon,” said India.
“I can’t imagine that the other agents will be anywhere in here,” said Harold, doubtfully.
“I say, come and look at this!” cried Teatime, who’d climbed up the pipework on the nearest tank to peer at the adjacent monitor screen.
India and Harold crowded up to the screen. It was displaying a few graphs and several sets of numbers which changed every so often.
“Top left corner,” prompted Teatime.
“Susan,” breathed India in wonder. Harold ran to the next monitor.
“This one says ‘Crippled Tom!’” he cried.
“And this one is ‘Territhiel’” said Teatime, who’d hopped over to another tank.
“Looks like we’ve found our missing angels and Fallen,” said India.