Evan fidgeted with the strap designed to hold his pepper spray in its holster, clicking it off and on as he stared into the poorly-lit tunnel in front of him. The heat and humidity made his skin feel sticky, one more reason to resent the hell out of his boss and most of his coworkers. They'd left him here at Security Door Eight to make sure the conman locked up in the cells didn't escape. Aside from a quick glance at the guy, he'd been given bare scraps of rumor with his orders. He tried to distract himself from the great discomfort of his situation by imagining who the guy was and why it was so important they keep him locked up.
The immediate problem with this was that the man in the cell didn't look like anything much. Short, long hair, kind of a bulky dude, dressed in jeans, boots and plaid. He'd reminded Evan of his fellow members of the wrestling team in high school. The guy definitely didn't look like a conman. On the other hand, if he really had been on the executive floor of Granite Peak Headquarters, as the Chief of Security had suggested, he definitely wasn't the two-bit hick he appeared to be.
Something moved, off in the dark and the mist.
This had always been his least favorite ride, even as a child. Jumpin' Jehosephat's Jungle wasn't just physically uncomfortable, it was also creepy. During the daytime the building relied on natural sunlight streaming in through the windows to provide light. At night, improper venting and a regular malfunction in the smoke machine made it the muggy mess he was currently standing in. The poorly maintained facility was a font of unrecognizable sounds, mostly the sort of thing that could be attributed to faulty mechanics when the imagination wasn't running wild. The air conditioning never worked, leaving whoever had to actually stay inside of the building trapped in a steaming hothouse that smelled like rubber, chalk, bleach and the remains of the cloying 'all natural scents' they piped in during the day. He'd assumed it was plagued by rats and other vermin, but whatever had shifted out there in the dank was no rodent.
His thumb clicked away the strap and he rested one hand on the cap of the pepper spray. His other hand found his radio mike. He was in the middle of turning up the volume to get some information when all at once, the fire suppression system in the tunnel in front of him activated. Water hissed from concealed sprinkler heads, turning what little he could see (or thought he saw) into a sheet of moisture. It took Evan a moment to push past a shock of fright and remind himself of where he was and what he was doing.
Bringing the microphone up to his mouth, he pressed the button. “I need backup,” he squeaked, reddening at the tight sound of his voice. “Backup,” he repeated, trying to force his tone deeper. It didn't work as well as he'd hoped. “I need backup.”
“Copy, Thomson, advise?” came the tinny response. Evan stared at the water, seeing that movement again. Something at the other end of the tunnel was...parting the stream? He stepped forward, into the edge of the spray, and shielded his eyes with one hand. There was definitely a void in the water, one that was advancing steadily towards him.
“There's someone in the Jungle,” Evan repeated, feeling a drip of water slip down his spine and nearly squeaking with fear again. He stepped back into the alcove, feeling the knob on the security door dig into his back. Swallowing hard, he stared at the approaching empty space, willing dispatch to get back to him with the news that backup was on its way. In the misty dark, something clicked and he grabbed the pepper spray so quickly he nearly shot himself in the face.
“WHO'S THERE?” he shouted, yanking on the weapon as he tried to pull it out of the holster.
“I've come to retrieve my friend,” came the unexpected response. The voice was warm, accented and feminine, which somehow made its presence worse. “It would be easier for both of us if you just...turned about and opened the door.”
His mouth hung open as the void in the water finally resolved itself into the figure of a woman holding a black umbrella, walking slowly towards him through the shower. The security guard's fear had driven all thoughts of the hick in the back rooms out of his mind, replacing them with the shadowed lady approaching him now. “Who...who ARE you?” he stammered, pressing his back to the door. A dash of moonlight revealed her dark, wide eyes boring straight into him. “Oh god...WHO ARE YOU?”
She tsked, not slowing one bit. “Are you going to open it then, or do you need to be persuaded?”
Gulping air, he shook his head. “Don't...don't come any closer!”
Heaving a short sigh, Sophie Devereaux finally came to a halt at the edge of the spray. She paused, looking him over with an expression that struck the balance between furious and exasperated. “You leave me no choice,” she said a moment before lunging to close the gap.