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Labyrinth Super Max Facility, Living Fortress, Seattle
Peter Hunter stood quietly waiting in the large white foyer of one of the most sophisticated prisons on the planet. Members of Matlock Military Solutions eyed him warily and the shift commander looked over his i.d again and again.
“Yes,” Peter replied “Is that a problem?”
The guard looked him up and down “What does M.I-13 stand for?”
“Military Intelligence Section Thirteen.”
“Hmm,” The guard looked again at the i.d and again at Peter.
“Is there someone sensible I could speak to?” Peter asked. The guard screwed his face up and tossed the i.d back at him roughly.
“Watch it limey!” The guard stood up and clicked his fingers, four guards with submachine guns surrounded Peter.
“Is something wrong?” Peter asked as he slowly raised his hands.
“Standard weapons search your majesty.” The four men roughly grabbed Peter and patted him down from head to toe. “Open your mouth and then do a squat for me.”
Peter sighed and complied. After several minutes of more pat downs, dumb questions and a walk through an X-Ray machine he was allowed into the next room. It was a calm green coloured room with a giant hole in the grass floor.
“Welcome,” said a voice that seemed to come from all around.
“Hi,” Peter looked around but couldn't spot any cameras.
“My name is Blackheath. I’m, for want of a better word, the warden of this facility.”
“I’m here to question a prisoner you have.”
“If it’s Bullseye, he’s in comp…”
“Ah no,” Peter looked around for someone but it was just him and a giant hole, “Dredmund Druid.”
A grinding, clunking sound came from the hole. “The lift will be with you shortly.”
“Where are you?” Peter asked “Unless of course that’s a secret.”
“Everywhere. I'm part of the grass; I’m the tap roots that connect the prisoners to the cells. I am the green.”
“Okay,” Peter said uneasily as the lift clicked into place. He stepped forward onto the platform and it slowly began to descent. He noticed the smooth walls as they went lower and lower into the earth. “How deep are we?”
“It’s a kilometre below the surface,” replied Blackheath in his slightly eerie omnipresent voice “And then the cells branch off from there.”
Peter nodded “We should get something like this in the UK.”
The twelve minute ride had passed uneventfully, small talk was made. Blackheath illuminated some lichen down the taproot line to where Dredmund’s cell was.
“I've eased off on the sedatives, so he should be coming round shortly. Any problems just yank any of the roots and I’ll shut him down.”
“Thanks,” said Peter as he headed down the twisting corridor that more resembled a rabbit warren than a high tech jail. He passed several ‘cells’ which resembled cocoons where prisoners lay unconscious similar to peas in pods. It didn't look to legal but it wasn't his place to say. Peter came to a stop where the lichen was pointing. Slowly standing up was a man with dark hair, his skin wrinkly from the cocooning process.
“Who wants to know?” he coughed hoarsely.
Peter smiled and stuck two fingers down his throat and vomited onto the floor. He wiped his hand on his jacket and exhaled.
“What are you talking about?” growled Dredmund.
From seemingly nowhere two figures expanded to human size; Shift and Micromax. Shift pounced and slammed the groggy villain into the floor. With a wave of his hand he pulled a gun out of extradimensional space and jammed it into Dredmund’s mouth.
“Not a sound!” he growled. Dredmund whimpered in compliance.
“Good job Micromax,” said Peter “You okay?”
“Just a bit woozy.” Scott held his head “Never used Pym Particles before.”
“Well we needed you smaller than half an inch for this to work. Now, you’re on look out. Don't touch any of the green things coz they're all tapped into Blackheath,” said Peter as his hand ignited “Time check in sixty.”
Micromax nodded as his two teammates went to work on the mystical villain.
“Forty!” said Micromax
Shift smashed Dredmund in the kidney again “I can make seconds seem like an eternity. Now tell us!”
Peter held his ignite hand close to Dredmund’s eye “Give us the codes.”
“Go to hell,” wheezed Dredmund through his broken nose. “I ain’t…”
Shift smashed him in the throat, grabbed his head and cracked it against the wall before hauling him to his feet “Codes!”
“Fifty!” said Micromax as he watched the torture, his stomach uneasy from what was happening plus the effects of the Pym Particles.
“Last chance,” said Peter.
Dredmund sneered in defiance. Shift put his hand into the extradimensional space and pulled out a pair of bolt cutters, the sneer left Dredmund’s face. “Okay, okay.”
“Too late.” Shift thumped him across the throat with the arm of the cutters as Peter put him in a sleeper hold. Shift grabbed Dredmund’s flailing arm and pinned it.
Shift put a finger between the blades, Dredmund gasping for air. Micromax watched in horror.
“I don’t think…”
“Shut up!” scolded Shift as the crunching sound of steel on bone echoed faintly around the cell. Dredmund tried screaming but couldn't as he was rapidly turning several shades as oxygen left him.
“Codes,” whispered Peter into his ear.
“Is everything alright in there?” asked Blackheath “I picked up a chemical anomaly.”
“All good thanks,” said Peter nodded at his team. Shift froze and Micromax dropped down to about action figure size. “Dredmund and I will be done shortly.”
It went quiet.
“Something doesn't seem right?”
“I said I’m fine!” snapped Peter as he choked Dredmund into unconsciousness “Could I have a little privacy though?”
It went eerily quiet again. Peter waited for several long moments before moving. “Okay, we're out. Shift get an eye, Micromax get ready for our exit plan.”
“You're going to blind him?” asked Scott as he expanded to human size.
“Dredmund has several ships called Satan Eggs. We asked for the codes which would make entering them and flying them easy for all concerned. The ship also responds to his retina and fingerprints. He doesn't want to cooperate and give us the codes.” Peter said bluntly.
“You can’t just blind him!” said Scott.
Shift looked up, knife in hand delicately resting just under Dredmund’s eye “Just keep a look out Micro Man.”
“You move,” Scott raised his hand tauntingly over a root that hung from the roof “And I’ll blow this operation sky high?”
“Don’t be an idiot, Micromax.” Peter’s hand burnt out as he made passive gestures “We're doing this for the good of the nation.”
“Well, it’s wrong!”
“We've got about another thirty seconds if we're lucky before the tree people work out something’s really up,” Shift growled as the greenery about the place started to twitch. “Your call Albion?”
Peter looked at Micromax “Last chance Scott?”
“You want to blind a guy so you can use his stuff!?” stated Micromax “Seriously!”
"I'm genuinely sorry," Peter said.
To be continued...