There's a lot to tell...

“Rachel and I are leaving,” she said.

Whatever it was she was holding, Samson respected it. He had his hands up and was backing away. Doc whirled and clicked around me and was lighting up and beeping, too. He was more agitated than I’d seen him in a long time.

“Don’t do anything crazy,” Samson said. He did not move, beyond that.

“Don’t you,” Brigitte said.

A movement off to the side caught my eye. I looked at the screen and saw the manicured woman doing something,

“Brigitte,” I said, not sure what was going on but sticking with her. “That lady’s up to something.”

Brigitte looked over at the screen and said “What are you … no. Wait.” The woman reached, though, and Brigitte took the little device she had and pointed it towards the screen. I saw her thumb something and Samson yelled.

An arc of some kind of current or power or something went from the little thing that Brigitte held to the screen, It also shot up a little ways on Brigitte’s arm. It was red, so it looked like her arm was glowing red a little, crackling, and then the power went to the screen where the screen went red.

On the picture I could see the woman; her head turned red, too, with the crackling-power, and she snapped back and rigid like she’d been paralyzed. Her eyes fluttered and flickered and she slumped down.

As that happened, though, Samson dove at us, and he timed it just right that as Brigitte’s red-flare thing died out, Samson dove through the gap left there. I yelled Brigitte’s name but he wasn’t heading for Brigitte, he was heading for me, and he tackled me, hard, and I fell over on the ground, hitting my head against the floor. A door opened and Naked Girl was standing there. It wasn’t the same door that had opened before, either. So I had been right that there was more than one door here.

Naked Girl stood there until Samson said “Take her down,” and then Naked Girl grabbed me and dragged me through the door. Samson scrambled after me and the door slid shut. I heard Brigitte pounding on it.

“When this thing reloads, you’re in trouble, Samson,” she said. “I can’t believe you did this!”

Naked Girl was dragging me down a hallway that was only dimly lit by floor panels glowing below us. Samson stood near the door and listened. I heard that same sonic boom sound again that the jets had made before, and I knew what was happening. All those sounds started up again and I suddenly realized what the lady on the screen had been doing – she’d sent back the drones, sent them back to attack Brigitte.

“No!” I yelled, and started struggling, but Naked Girl was strong, and I couldn’t get free of her grip. She was pulling me further away. We were already about 100 feet down the hall and I was dizzy from hitting my head but I pulled and pulled and then realized she does what I say, so I said “Let go!”

And she did.

“Go get Brigitte,” I told her. “Keep her safe and bring her here.”

“Stop that!” Samson yelled, running towards us. He had his ray gun out again. “Don’t fight me on this, Rachel. You don’t understand.”

“I understand that you’re going to kill Brigitte,” I said, “And I’m not letting you.”

Naked Girl and Samson met in the hall, each running towards the other. Naked Girl grabbed Samson and threw her to the side. Man, she was strong. She got to the door as he sat up and pointed the ray gun at her and I yelled “Don’t you DARE!” and ran towards him as fast as I could.

Naked Girl did something that opened the door and Samson shot her just after that and I got to Samson just after that. I jumped on him and so I didn’t see what happened up front. But there was that sound like when the giant hand was attacked and there was that electric-static sound and there was a rush of air and heat and light, and Samson was rolling around, and I heard the gun clatter away, and I heard footsteps and the door sliding shut, and I got a wave of jarring, stinging feeling that I guessed later was that electrical stuff that had melted or baked the giant hand, and Samson punched me in the stomach and I rolled off of him, panting and gasping for breath and sucking wind and leaned against the wall as he got to his knees and then there was a red flash and he dropped, too, eyes shutting and body twitching and then I threw up from being hit in the stomach.

Brigitte was kneeling in front of me.

“Are you okay?” She asked. She put her hands, her soft lovely hands (that smelled a little like me) on either side of my face and stared into my eyes from a few inches away. She leaned forward and touched her head to mine. “I wish you could share,” she said, and pulled back.

I swallowed and rasped out. “I’m all right, I think. I think I’m okay.”

I started to stand but she held me down. “Breathe,” she said, and sat down next to me, holding my hand. Samson lay a little in front of us and off to the side, twitching and slightly red-tinged. I tried to get some air into me and settle down.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Breathe,” Brigitte said. Doc hovered over to us. “Doc?” She asked. He beeped. “Status report.” Doc whirred and glowed brighter, a little.

Drones have left, he said.

“Directions?” Brigitte asked.

Doc spun and two tentacles lifted up. One got a red glow at the end. Then they drooped back down and he raised a little.

This way, Doc said, and scooted down a little to my left, the direction that Naked Girl had been taking me. That made sense, I supposed.

“Can you walk?” Brigitte asked.

“Yeah,” I said, and stood up. I looked at her and wondered how she was doing all of this. She’d been so… helpless seeming in Hell.

“Brigitte?” I asked.


“Who are you?” I asked.

She put her arms around me. “I’m the girl that loves you and is going to have your baby,” she said.

Her hands were shaking, just a bit. I pulled back and looked at her.

“You’re scared, aren’t you?” I asked her.

She nodded.

“So all this…” I didn’t finish. I waved my hand in what I figured was the general direction of Samson, and the drones, and Naked Girl, and all this, and she bit her lip.

“I’m scared, Rachel, but I love you. So I do what I have to do.” She hugged me and pressed her head into my shoulder blade.

“But in Hell…”

“Hell was different. I was never there. This,” she pointed to Samson. “This I was prepared for?”

“Prepared for?”
Doc came back and said

Communications intercept. Playing and then a new voice broke in, through his speakers, saying “Drone attack successful but communications with HQ Down. Static attack on Dispatch successful. Sending personnel in.

“What does all that mean?” I asked Doc.

Brigitte still was hugging me and I felt her trembling stop a little.

Additional men are coming. We must depart.

“Do you know the way, Doc?” I asked.


“Should we bring Naked Girl?” I asked him.

Yes, Doc said.

“Yes,” Brigitte said at the same time.

I looked at her again. She was looking up at me. “You want to bring her, too?” I asked.

“It’s what I was told to do,” she said.

“Told?” I asked. “By who?”

“By my dad,” Brigitte said. “There’s a lot I need to tell you, Rachel.”

“Yes, there is,” said Samson, and we both pulled back and looked at him. He was sitting up and had the ray gun in his hand and was pointing it at us. He still glowed a little red, and his movements were all herky-jerky and he crackled whenever he moved, but he was looking at us and pointing the gun at us. Samson went on:

“Start with how you were told to make Rachel fall in love with you.”

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