Nigel Watts knew he shouldn't be there. He shouldn't be anywhere near there. He in fact, should not even have been involved in any way at all. Why the Agency had sent him into the field was anyone's guess. He had tried to obey his orders and maintain his vigil just outside the complex Agent Fancy had vanished into only hours before but someone had taken a much too good a look at Watts carefully forged digital passcard and freshly decaled corporate vehicle.
So, in his best judgment, Watts had slipped away and entered the complex. After wandering around in the dark maze of the place he was found by the agent he was supposed to be waiting for first instead of any security. After the exciting few moments in which Watts did not yet know the owner of the pistol pressed to his temple, he started to breathe once again. Kit Fancy was less than pleased as he looked him up and down as though he had spotted an elephant at a garden party.
"Well, you see, I eluded capture?" Watts began to explain apologetically. "It was only a matter of time before they would have found the concealed compartment and oh yes I know you told me to wait but I-well, it was frightfully impossible you see-"
Agent Fancy silenced him by holding up his primed and ready pistol with the grip flat to Watts face, but his eyes were trained down the dim length of hall towards a large and impressively solid metal security door. He appeared to be listening to something.
Watts looked around anxiously trying not to breathe so he could identify what the Agent was on intent on hearing. He couldn't discern a thing besides the low hum of the light grid above and his own pounding heartbeat.
Agent Fancy nodded to himself as he quite calmly sheathed both of his weapons and then removed what Watts knew was a small hand held gas mask. Compact, light and a lovely shade of lavender, it fit snugly over the nose and mouth with the aid of a chemical seal adhesive. Watts smiled a little with pride when he saw it. He had been on the R&D team that made it but it was Watts suggestion that it be modified by the field agents themselves. In fact, Agent Fancy had selected its color.
His smile flickered when he saw Agent Fancy was arming it.
"Er, sir? Are we expecting a-"
As Watts floundered on how to respond to being told not to respond, the most extraordinary thing began to happen all around them. With a series of sharp clicks, the walls opened up in countless small holes and then, much to Watt's alarm, suddenly extruded metal nozzles. With that, Agent Fancy pressed the mask over Watts mouth and held it there.
"Yes-yes sir?" Watts shifted uncomfortably, his voice suddenly electric as it was picked up on the mask's internal mouthpiece.
"Er, um, It lasts for up to 1 hour before you must replace the filter but it only provides 10 minutes worth of oxygen if that happened to be your predicament." Nigel considered for a moment. "Perhaps 5 to 6 minutes if the subject is vocally active-"
"Then perhaps you should be quiet Nigel." Agent Fancy suggested.
Behind them, a steel plated door slid down and met the floor with a jarring CLANG effectively cutting off any escape. Watts looked at them round eyed as a noxious looking yellow gas began to loudly hiss from the shiny nozzles and rapidly fill the corridor. Frozen in place, Watts could not help but notice that Agent Fancy did not have another mask and was trying his very best not to cough.
"Pardon me, sir but erm, is it poisonous?"
Agent Fancy swayed, his grip that held the mask firmly to Watt's face slipping. He blinked slowly behind his augmented Gucci shades. "U-unknown."
Nigel's eyebrows went up when Agent Fancy, in an unusual and unexpected yet graceful manner, crumpled heavily to the metal grill of the hall floor.
"Oh." Watts looked down at the comatose agent with a small worried frown. "Oh dear."
Nigel squeezed his eyes shut waiting for the next barrage of the defense system but instead of more of the gas, a whirring replaced the loud hiss that he recognized as a ventilation system began clearing the passage of the fumes. Gripping the small face mask with white knuckles he tentatively removed it when air appeared clear. The trap was set off and surely someone was on their way to see by exactly what.
"Agent Fancy?" Two fingers pressed to the Agent's neck gave Watts a great deep sigh of relief but the relief did not last long.
A small tinny burst of static and a series of beeps almost shattered the already frayed set which were Nigel Watts nerves. Then he heard a small crisp voice.
"Agent Fancy- Stand by."
Nigel fumbled for the small transmitter on Agent Fancy's belt. The ear piece that kept it silent had been knocked loose. Nigel desperately found the talk back. "Wh-what's that? Err, say again, control?"
"Corridor clear- proceed with extreme caution. Target acquisition in 2 minutes 34 seconds. Control out."
"Target??" Nigel hissed in an effort to be quiet. "Control?" He whispered forlornly. The transmitter was silent.
Suddenly, two dark blue rotating warning lights came to life on either side of the massive vault door swinging their glare crazily against the walls. A heavy mechanism somewhere in the walls boomed and the steely gray door began to grind open.
Watts realized his mouth was hanging open so he shut it.
"Oh.....well, oh my."
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