Scene 1.12 - Errol Returns Home
Anaak Underground City:
Errol shut the door to his apartment with weary sigh. Truthfully, he couldn't wait to escape the lab this evening. The presence of the Greys was unnerving as they hovered around the facility, holding a silent vigil as they examined every inch of the experiments being conducted. He'd been all too eager to finally leave the place for once.
He stopped just inside the door, closing it cautiously behind himself. The house was lit up, yet it was unusually quiet. With a frown, he crossed the room to lift a note from the table. It was from his son.
"The blackout has people really freaked out. I'm heading over to stay with Trey. Later, Derek."
Dropping it, he walked over to the window and looked down at the bustling cityscape outside the apartment. If the Anaak citizens had any idea what had caused that power drain, they'd be more than just freaked out right now.
All the more reason he needed to continue his work, he supposed—even if that meant inviting the enemy right inside the front door… The Greys may be creepy and even dangerous, but their assistance was necessary.
Speaking of creepy… Errol swiveled his head when he sensed he was being watched. His eyes scanned the bright lights of the city, doubtful he'd be able to see anything out there even if someone was watching him. His hand reached at once to push the button to darken the glass.
Even closed off from prying eyes, he couldn't help the feeling of trepidation that washed over him. Something was amiss in the apartment. That was when he realized the door to his office stood slightly ajar—a room that was normally shut and locked. For the barest moment, he considered leaving the apartment, but then he noticed his son's backpack sitting in the alcove by the front door. That was highly unusual.
Crossing the room to lift it, he unzipped it and found a change of clothing, Derek's wallet and his phone resting inside. Where had he said he was going? His friend Trey's? Without his stuff?
At once on high alert, he reached into his jacket to pull out his phone along with the gun he kept holstered at his side. What else looked out of place here? With unconscious movement, he lifted the phone to his ear and dialed the number to the facility. It connected on the first ring.
"Security," a male voice answered without preamble.
"This is Errol. I need my son tracked down." Even as he gave the order, he was moving further into the apartment. Having a voice on the other end of the line helped bolster his nerve, if only a little. He moved cautiously toward the door to his office as his blood-pressure rose a few degrees.
"Is something wrong, Sir?"
"I'm not sure," he shook his head. His foot nudged the door open halfway and he raised the gun. Peering around behind the door, he was relieved to see no one standing there. Still, he could see his desk was not as he'd left it. Someone had been in here.
The monitors were turned on, although the screens sat darkened in sleep. One touch of the keyboard lit them all up and what he saw made his jaw drop open. The security cameras of the lab! They were displayed across the width of each screen in live-action mode.
"What the hell!"
"Sir," the man on the other end of the line asked with growing concern.
"Just wait," he bit out tersely. His eyes dropped to the desk drawer and he felt his skin crawling with dread. Someone had left in too much of a hurry to close it. Shit! "I need my son located now. I don't know where he is, but someone has broken into my home. Hang on…"
Unwilling to drop the line until he was safely back inside his car, he worked to quickly power down the computer. As the screens darkened, he clawed at the sheet of paper taped to the bottom of the drawer and crumpled it vengefully. Why had he kept the codes to the facility's security system right there for anyone to find? What an idiot he was!
"I need a team over here at my house to sweep the place and clear out my office. This is a priority!"
Wanting to shoot himself for his stupidity, he strode to the door and booked it out into the hall. There was no telling who had been in there. He certainly wasn't sticking around to find out. Let the security team put their asses on the line to figure it out and clear up the mess.
"I'll get you the address of my son's friend, but I don't think you'll find him there," he cursed as he slammed the front door shut. "Someone might have scared him off, but—"
Standing within the apartment, Derek listened as his father's voice lowered to a faint echo in the distance. He didn't even dare to wipe the sweat from his brow for fear of moving yet. The slight rumble of the elevator down the hall began whirring and that was when he decided to move.
Pushing the closet door open, he moved from his semi-crouched position within the mass of hanging clothes. That had been far too close for comfort. When his father figured this out, he was going to kill him. Literally!
Unwilling to waste another second thinking about what he was planning, he headed for the door and grabbed his pack from the floor to hoist over his shoulder. There were cameras everywhere out there, he knew. It simply didn't matter. He wasn't sticking around this place a second longer. There was some twisted shit going on at that facility and his own father was one of the head psychos running the place.
The things he had seen! Holy fuck! It made him break out in a full body shudder just remembering it. He'd been hiding what he was from the world for over twenty-four years—and that was before he'd even seen the sick things the Anaak were doing. This underground world was no longer safe for any like him.
Opening the front door, he peeked out to be sure the area was clear before heading for the stairs. There were tunnels on the edge of the city that he could travel to on foot. If he could reach them, he might find access to the outside world. Living with the humans had to be safer than this. It had to be!
After what he'd seen? Sooner or later, his own father was going to try and kill him—and it wouldn't be quick or painless. It would be a slow and torturous death. He'd seen it happen with his very own eyes. His father was a depraved butcher! He'd watched it all for quite some time, but now? Now, they were conspiring with those hideous beings?
Fighting back the fear in his heart, he descended the stairs two at a time. His form was already beginning to alter as he moved. He had to hide! A new face would be his only defense.
Before he reached the ground floor, his appearance had morphed into the image of a man closer to fifty. If they couldn't recognize him, they wouldn't be able to stop him—and he certainly didn't intend to stop. Not ever! He was leaving the underground city behind him and after what he'd seen, he was never setting foot inside it again…