Site 27: Part Two (Vote Your Adventure)


This is the second part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. Read part one.

You decide the team should enter through the hatch in front of you. You give the metal slab at your feet a decisive nod and back away.

Your team’s tech specialist steps forward, drops his black duffel bag on the grass, and examines the hatch. On its surface are two uneven square panels. He slides both of them back, revealing a release wheel and a numeric keypad. The green and yellow lights you’re accustomed to seeing on a keypad entry are off and the red light is on.

The site is in a state of emergency lock down.

The tech specialist works quickly, pulling various electronic components from his bag. After removing the keypad, wires are cut and reattached to his gadgets. And then you wait.

This is taking longer than usual. The team is getting restless. The sounds of shifting rifles and boots are more frequent. Even your team leader won’t stop fiddling with the black bandanna on his head.

Another minute passes and green text flickers across the screen. The tech pulls another box from his bag, this one with an elaborate keypad. He types in a sequence and pauses. The screen flickers again with more green text.

The red light is replaced by a solid yellow light. You hear a loud click but the hatch doesn’t open. The tech straddles the hatch and twists the release wheel. A whoosh of air is heard as if the underground facility is decompressing. The tech tosses his gadgets back into his bag, steps across the hatch, and grabs the release wheel.

You grab your rifle and get into position with the rest of your team. Your team leader gives the group a cursory inspection and nods.

The tech heaves up on the hatch. Hot air blasts through the opening, carrying the scents of pepper and char.

A steep metal stair leads down into a shelter encased in steel and cement. From where you stand, your view is limited. The only light in the shelter comes from a flashing red emergency light.

Your team leader points at you and you sling your rifle onto your back. You grab the black box from your belt and lower it through the hatch. One moment the signal is as strong as if the hordes of hell were standing on top of you, and the next moment, nothing.

You look up at your team leader, palms up, and shake your head in frustration. You have no idea what’s going on. Maybe your equipment needs a tune-up.

Your team leader glares at you again and you know you’ll be assigned all of the crappy shifts tonight. He gestures to your teammates and they dart down the stairs in single file. You grab your rifle and follow them. As soon as you reach the bottom you get into formation.

The hall is long and narrow. There isn’t enough space to stand two abreast, so your formation is staggered. Two of your team members kneel in front. You stand behind them against the left wall, staring hard into the darkness ahead.

On the wall above your head, a red bulb flashes slowly, pulsing like a weak heartbeat. Its light doesn’t permeate the end of the hall. Beneath the bulb is a diagram showing emergency exits. According to the map, the complex is large and winding, and the hatch you’re under is one of two exits. The other hatch you saw is the second exit. A few feet ahead on the right is a small control room. The computers inside are all off. The desk chair has been rolled back to the opposite side of the room, as if its last occupant had jumped up and left in a hurry. The complex feels empty and the heavy silence makes your ears ring.

You check the black box on your belt. No signal. You glance back at your team leader and shake your head, letting him know there’s nothing to report.

He steps through your team and slips into the control room. His attention is drawn to a small object lying on the desk. You can’t tell what it is. It’s shiny and flat like an obsidian shard.

There’s a movement on your belt. All of the tabs around the metal ring point toward the room and needles on the black box are going wild. As your team leader reaches for the shard, the needles’ movements become more frantic.

You yell but he doesn’t seem to notice; his eyes are fixed on the shard.

As his fingers touch the shard, the red bulb winks out. You turn toward the staircase as the hatch above slams shut, encasing you in darkness. The locking mechanism in the hatch clicks. Your team leader shrieks, then all is silent.

The light returns. The side room is empty and your team leader is nowhere to be seen. All that’s left of him is his black bandanna lying crumpled on the floor. There are no other exits from the room. The tracker runs inside and looks around. She throws up her hands.

“What the hell?”

The tech sprints up the staircase. After a few minutes, he returns.

“Won’t budge. We have to find another way out.” He gives the hallway another wary look and mutters, “Routine rescue mission, my ass.”

You pull the emergency exit diagram from its frame. After studying it, you decide there are two options. You could continue the mission and head to the mainframe, hoping to shed some light on what’s happened here, or you could clear the way to the second hatch to ensure you have an escape route.

What do you do?

A: Head to the mainframe
B: Secure your escape route

Vote in the comments or on Twitter at #site27. Voting ends Tuesday night. The highest vote will be the next step in the story, posted on Fridays.

Image courtesy of army.arch

UPDATE: Voting is now closed. This Friday, you will head to the mainframe. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Published by Jen Kirchner

I write funny things.

30 thoughts on “Site 27: Part Two (Vote Your Adventure)

  1. Well, that’s one way to get out of the crappy shifts. I’ll have to find some shards like that and leave them around my boss’ office.

    Wow, this one is really tough for me. Finding out what happened would be nice. Securing the escape route would be better. However, finding out that the other hatch is also impossible to breach and realizing all of us are stuck there until we die would be bad for esprit de corps, so I’ll delay that as long as possible.

    I vote A.


  2. To the mainframe! ‘Cause I’m pretty sure that foot is still outside hatch two. Also, I’m hoping that maybe there’s Pong or something on the mainframe. If I’m trapped, I may as well play some games.

    (and you thought you were through with that)


  3. What is THE MATTER with you people!?!? A good soldier is still a dead soldier if he doesn’t have a way to escape with the people he’s rescuing! Right?

    Hells-to-the-no we ain’t going to the mainframe – thar be evil there, and probably a giant MCP a’la Ed Dillinger. You guys can be forced to race in neon suits for the rest of your lives but not me. I’m voting for option B – secure the escape route and THEN we’ll check out the mainframe.

    Besides, I’m too curvy for those leather body suits. And by curvy I mean….


  4. Pffttt – escape… I’m a soldier not a (insert cat reference here)! Eff that noise! Let’s do this thing!


    *yes, I’m in a weird mood


  5. I’m thinking ‘B’. Even if the other hatch is locked, which I agree it might be, we should make sure we have a potential way out. Plus, it doesn’t mean that in the process of the adventure, we won’t find another way out.


  6. I’d pick both, split the team up so half go to the mainframe and the other half ensure the escape route. And I’d be with the group that goes to the mainframe, so I guess that means I vote “A” since my choice isn’t an option. 😛


  7. Well, here we are, below terra firma. We have witnessed several highly irregular events, from the jamming and inability to read our equipment, to seeing a unit leader seemingly vanish before our eyes… two options proffered:

    1/A) Onward toward the mainframe area, presumptively to engage “whatever” is there; glean information

    2/B) A reversal to the hatch(es); shore-up additional escape avenues

    To majority disbelief, there are myriad more ‘alternative’ units within the military community than would – at first blush – appear believable; think The Philadelphia Experiment, Area 51 secrecy, the movies Jacob’s Ladder / The Men Who Stare at Goats; published studies regarding charms, potions, amulets, etc… documented and verifiable.

    A unit on a mission such as this would be equal to, if not more, adept in the fields of witchcraft, sorcery, magic and super-natural phenomena as it would be regarding insurgent / counter-insurgent tactical schematics. Concordantly, counter-intuitive measures would be second nature. Neuro-science placing logic over instinct; risk-analysis over evolution; accepting our limitations over self deluding with species specific hubris.

    Yes, we descended to evolve, to expand our knowledge base… though if our feeble gear are so easily beguiled, coupled with our hidebound, panic inducing instinct being so ill suited for the environs – sprinting into the belly of the beast (the mainframe) is a bit fool-hearty at this juncture; no way to deduce an iotas degree of sense from what awaits / with a very high probability to certainty we would be slaughtered in the endeavor.

    Lets retrace our steps, all the while, “hoping” to encounter an inhabitant / interloper along the way. Lets use our aggregate knowledge of logic, risk-analysis and limitations – in conjunction with our – be it vast or a mere pittance – abilities pertaining to the arts… the dark arts… and hope to merge, on a ‘higher order’, with our adversary. If that proves a success, check-mate in the near term.

    —–Option ‘B’, for moi’…


    If Jen’s fertile mind is set on my becoming cannon fodder, at best, something a la carte, at worst, during the next week: I’ll see you fine folks in Hell. If all goes swimmingly, relatively speaking, as the subsequent days elapse – see ‘ya next Friday / 22nd.


  8. Going with A.

    Down the hatch… onward to the mainframe… If I see anyone keying the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42… I will shoot them.


  9. A. We already had an escape route close on us, so even if we secure the other one, there’s no guarantee it’ll stay open once we get back from the mainframe, if we get it open at all. We need some mad xp’s and magic level ups to make it out of here. To the mainframe!


  10. B. I’m assuming the network link is down, so if we can’t get out, there’s no point in finding anything at the mainframe.


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