Originally this was a small, almost throw away ending to their exploration of Tumbledown. Now, this scene wraps up Tumbledown in a better fashion, setting up further story elements, giving them a clearer reason to continue following the case, gives a sense of scale to Tumbledown or at least one corner. I can tell you this scene will be revisited again to make things clearer, but for now enjoy. 🙂
Back to the Present…
“I wish these alarms would shut off,” Whiskers said louder than he would have liked.
“They know we are here.”
“Not that they are reacting like it,” Whiskers gestured to graffiti and garbage covered tunnel.
“Fine by me,” Puddles responded.
Alarms blaring, they moved cautiously through the several tunnels and rooms, all empty. Standing in the middle of the third graffiti covered room, Whiskers looked at his skin watch; two hours since they started this search. Puddles kicked over a table, scattering empty cans and vape inhalers. Her physical expression of frustration mirroring his internal frustration.
Walking over to Puddles he shouted, “They are not here. If they ever were. It looks like whoever was hear left in a hurry.”
“I know. I want to know for sure,” gesturing at lopsided doorway, “let’s finish this up. Maybe we will get some answers.”
“If nothing else find the alarm controls.”
Puddles smirked before heading out the doorway. Whiskers nearly stumbled over Puddles peeking around a corner held up a paw, something ahead. Stepping aside, Puddles gave Whiskers room to look; at the end of the tunnel a reinforced metal door, ajar. Bright light shone through the gap between the door and doorway.
“No need to be quiet,” Puddles said.
Hefting her frying pan, she strode to the door and waited for Whiskers to catch up.
“Yes,” he said drawing his katana and stepping through the door into the brightest room in the last two hours.
Puddles followed him in, frying pan and pistol ready, “Shit these lights are bright,” she exclaimed.
“The room is clear,” Whiskers announced. He moved back to the entrance, “Looks like we moved through a changing room in our haste.”
Between the ajar door and the room they stood in, a smaller closet space with three white sealed suits hanging on pegs next to the wide open door to this room. Every surface white, made brighter by the ceiling lights. The alarms shut off as suddenly as they had turned on.
“Found the alarm controls,” Puddles announced from the other side of the room, “Everything else on this terminal has been wiped. Same with whatever they were working on at the tables.”
“Record what you find,” Whiskers ordered as he pulled out his phone, “hopefully someone can tell us what all of this was for.”
A half-hour recording holo-vid of the room and an adjacent room; every surface white and only piles of ash remaining on tables, in cabinets, and where something had been. While searching and recording a connected room, Whiskers found an exit. Following the exit tunnel to a hidden landing pad took another half-hour.
“This was unexpected,” Whiskers said.
“Feels like a set-up to me,” Puddles replied.
“Who and why?”
“Good questions. Let’s get out of here before someone comes back.”