Enigma followed her toward the shield. It was a bit disorienting when the landscape changed to reveal a white building, similar to the older but larger in size. There were two guards at the door. Their black laser pistols were a stark contrast to their white uniforms.
"Dr. Long, we were not expecting you," one of them said.
"I know, Jim. I was told to transfer this test subject."
"This is just a formality, but may we see your clearance?" the guard inquired.
She nodded. Slowly, she approached and pressed her thumb onto a scanner near the door.
"Authorization accepted. Hello, Dr. Long," a female computer voice said.
"You may pass," the other guard said.
"Thank you," she replied.
Enigma followed her into the building. Hopefully, they weren't too late to save Lily.
The laboratory that Enigma and Dr. Long had entered almost the same as the other one. It had identical ceramic white floor tile and white walls, and was just as perfectly clean as the other lab.
"Where are we going?" Enigma asked.
"To one of the rooms downstairs," Dr. Long said. "That is the most likely place your friend will be."
He nodded. "She'd better be all right when we find her."
"Hopefully they have not given her the NanoMed yet," Dr. Long said. "If they have, it will be too late. There is approximately a 50% chance that the experiment will be successful, which is the best odds we've had so far."
Enigma looked at her. "What were my odds?"
"Approximately 44%," she answered. "You were one of the lucky ones."
He shivered as a chill ran down his spine. "I could have been killed!"
"Yes, but you were not," she replied.
"We'd better hurry," he said.
The took a stairway at the end of the main corridor. It led deeper into the bowels of the secret lab. With every step they took, the air grew colder and the light grew dimmer. There were signs that the cleaning was ignored at the lower levels. Dust covered the floor and cobwebs could be seen in corners, providing an eerie ambiance. The air smelled stale.
Enigma worried about Lily and what was happening to her. Had the scientists injected her with the NanoMed yet? If not, what else were they doing to her? His mind raced along as he made his way down the stairs and dark hallways for what seemed like hours. He wished he could use his power to run faster, but he still needed Dr. Long. She was the only one who could get open the door to where Lily was being held.
"How much further?" he asked.
"We're almost there," she said.
"Good," he replied.
He hoped that Lily was okay. What if they got to the end of the search and she wasn't there again? Dr. Long would have some serious explaining to do then.
Finally, they reached a door much like the one in the other lab. It was steel with a biometric interface. "Requesting security clearance," a genderless computerized voice said. "A retinal scan is required."
Dr Long leaned over into the scanner. There was a high-pitched beep. "Good evening, Dr. Long. Please stand back."
She took a step back. The door opened slowly. Enigma saw Lily strapped to a metal table. Electrodes protruded from her body. They had stripped her clothes, leaving only the underwear. Her eyes were closed. Her long, black hair spilled across the table. Was she conscious? Was she alive? He couldn't tell what the medical readouts on the nearby screens said.
"How is she?" he asked.
Dr. Long glanced at the computer screens. "She's alive, but barely. They must have just given her the shot."
"We have to get her out of here," he exclaimed.
She nodded. "Allow me to disconnect the electrodes."
Suddenly, the doctor Enigma recognized from the video and two others entered from another doorway at the opposite end of the room. "You!" Dr. Mason gasped. "Jade, what are you doing here with him? He is a threat!"
"No, you are the real threat," she protested.
The head doctor growled. "Get them," he ordered.
The other two doctors glanced at each other, and then headed straight for them. Moving in a blur, Enigma pulled out the stun gun and fired. The acrid stench of ozone filled his nostrils as dazzling blue electricity leapt through the air. The doctors collapsed and hit the ground.
Dr. Mason grabbed a needle and ran towards Dr. Long, who planted a kick in his groin. His jaw dropped right before he stumbled backwards into the table which Lily was on. At that moment, Lily's eyes flew open. She gasped. Then her eyes met Dr. Mason's. He suddenly found himself hovering in the air with his back pressed firmly against the ceiling, as he glared at him.
"I should just let you fall and break your neck," Lily said vehemently.
"Wait," Enigma said. "We need him alive."
"Why? That bastard doesn't deserve to live," she remarked.
"We need him to testify against the President," he said.
"No," Dr. Mason shouted. "I'll never do it. Never! You might as well kill me!"
Dr. Long glared at him. "Someone has to put that tyrant in his place."
"You won't succeed," Dr. Mason declared. "You'll all be killed first."
"Oh, I don't know about that," Enigma replied. "We have an advantage against those the President would send to kill us."
"Like test subject Alpha?" Dr. Mason sneered as a lumbering figure entered the room from the regular corridor. A large black shadow loomed against the wall. Lily screamed and lost her concentration. Dr. Mason began to plummet, but suddenly stopped failing just before he hit the ground as she used her new gift to catch him. As his feet slowly touched the floor, he recovered his balance. He attempted to run, but Enigma stunned him.
The tall, hulking figure laughed. "This is going to be fun," he announced.
Test subject Alpha lumbered towards Enigma and Dr. Long. The unconscious Dr. Mason slumped onto the floor along with his two lackeys, having just been stunned by Enigma. Alpha held up an energy weapon. It resembled the Inspector's laser pistol, but was several inches longer and black. Several red indicator lights glowed on the side.
Enigma used his power to move quickly, but Alpha did the same. The two moving blurs fired their energy weapons at exactly the same time. The stench of ozone filled the air as a red laser blast met a brilliant blue lightning bolt. The air crackled with energy.
Dr. Long dove for cover under the table just before the energy exploded. Enigma dodged most of the blast, but his face was slightly burnt on the right side as a result. He grimaced in pain. Alpha seemed to have avoided the explosion entirely, or at least, being wounded by it. Lily was unharmed since she had been out of range. Dr. Long got up and began to unfasten the electrodes that still were attached to Lily.
Enigma's enhanced healing kicked in as his scarred skin began to repair itself. Alpha fired his laser at him again, taking advantage of his current weakness. As a red laser blast shot through the air, Enigma ducked at lightning speed. The laser hit the wall behind him and left a perfectly round, tiny hole in it.
Moving in a blur, Enigma raised the stun gun and fired it. Lightning crackled as it hit Alpha in the torso. As he began to collapse, Alpha shot off one final laser beam. Enigma quickly darted out of the way. The beam left another hole in the opposite wall.
"We need to get out of here," he said after slowing to normal speed.
"One more electrode left…there," Dr. Long said as she removed it. She helped Lily climb off the table. "There is a back door out of here that is similar to the one you used at the other lab."
Enigma nodded. He remembered her dark blue eyes from when they had first met, but now they seemed troubled. "Are you all right?" he asked Lily.
"I feel so strange," she answered. "So different. Is this what you feel like all the time?"
He shook his head. "I remember feeling that way at first now, but it went away after a while. Come on," he said.
The three of them headed through the dark hallway and up the stairs, but they took a different turn at the second level below ground. This corridor was sparkling clean and white. There were doors on either side. Dr. Long led them to the last one on the left and opened it.
Silver moonlight spilled onto the ground, illuminating the shadows. Dr. Long took a small device that Enigma now recognized as a phone and spoke into it. "Pick me up at the rear of the building."
Enigma and Lily exchanged glances. In the distance, they heard a car's engine start. A minute later, they saw Dr. Long's 2115 cherry red Honda hovering towards them. It stopped when it was several feet away. The doors automatically opened. There was no one in the car. Lily had clearly not been expecting anyone, since she didn't look shocked. Enigma looked surprised.
"It can drive itself?" he asked.
"That's a standard feature these days," Dr. Long said. "Where do you want to go?"
"I'll tell you when we get into the car," Lily said.
They got in and shut the doors. Lily gave Dr. Long her mother's address. "I think she is very worried about me," she said.
"You're right about that," Enigma answered. "We thought you were dead at first."
"Really?" she asked as the car turned around.
"Yes. They were going to frame me for your murder."
Lily looked shocked. "No way. I can't imagine you doing anything like that."
"Well, I guess the authorities here have a much larger imagination," he replied.
"Did you ever find out your real name?" she asked curiously, as the car drove towards their destination.
He nodded. "Richard."
"Richard," Lily said. "I like that. You need to start using it."
"It takes a little getting used to," he admitted. "I guess I keep thinking of myself as a mystery. Maybe it's because I don't really know who I am. I have a name now, but that's different from having a past to remember."
"Well, you're just going to have to get to know yourself more," Lily answered. "Maybe I can help you with that."
"Maybe," he replied, thinking that wouldn't be such a bad idea.
"I will give you all the records the lab has on you," Dr. Long said.
"That would be very helpful," he said. "Thanks."
Twelve minutes later, Lily pressed her finger to a small scanner on her mother's door. It was an electronic sensor that identified the person who was there by fingerprint. That let whoever was inside the house know who was there. A flurry of footsteps could be heard. Then Mary flung the door open.
"Lily! You're all right!"
"Yes," she said.
Mother and daughter hugged each other tightly. Both had tears in their eyes. "I am so happy to see you," Mary gushed.
"Same here," Lily replied.
The two women separated from their hug. "Thank you so much," Mary told Enigma. "This means everything to me."
He nodded. "Mary, this is Dr. Long. She helped us escape."
Mary smiled. "Thank you," she said. "Having my daughter alive means so much."
Dr. Long nodded. "It is my pleasure."
"Why don't you come in?" Mary asked. So they did.