"Move!" The soldiers behind us yelled forcing us forward towards the lounge area. I didn't know what was going on, and the situation was very tense and confusing. From the whispers among my co-workers, they were in the same boat as me. No one knew what was going on or why the military had suddenly shown up. No one knew why everyone was suddenly being escorted to the lounge.
Once in the lounge I looked around for my research partner, hoping he'd have some insight as to what was going on. Scanning the crowd I finally saw my blue haired friend and hurried over to him. He saw me and was quick to motion me closer.
"Rane! We've got to get you out of here!" Ruben whisper yelled as I came to stand beside him.
"What? Why? What's going on?" I asked very confused over the events that were happening in rapid succession. Seeing all these military personnel here was rather unnerving, what were they even doing here?
"I'm not 100% sure on anything but I know that you can't stay here. They're here for you," Ruben whispered as he took a hold of my hand, holding it tightly while glancing around trying to find a way to escape without being noticed, presumably.
"What do you mean 'for me'? What have I done to warrant the military coming here?!" I asked panic overtaking me. Was I in trouble with the law? What had I even done to be in such trouble?!
"It's not what you've done so much as what others think you've done," Ruben replied as he began pulling me with him towards the back and through the crowd of people that made up the staff of our huge research facility.
"Ruben please just explain?" I requested as I followed along quietly.
"Look I don't know how, but I think someone figured out what you're latest research project was and they know the results... I think word got out and now the government probably wants your findings," Ruben explained quietly as they neared the door that led to the hallway connecting the main building to the labs.
"What?! But I was so careful not to let anyone know! How could someone have found out? And why go to someone involved in the government? This isn't good..." I whispered as another wave of panic overtook me. The things I'd discovered in the last month were things I didn't want anyone getting their hands on, the implications of it all were momentous. It could be used to help a lot of people or hurt a lot of people depending on who was privy to all the things I'd learned. And I definitely didn't trust those in the government with my information, not with how our current president was running things. I had no doubt in my mind that he'd use my discovery for unspeakable things.
"No, it isn't, especially if the government gets a hold of what you've learned. That's why we need to get you out of here," Ruben agreed as we slipped through the door and into the deserted hallway.
"We've got to get the data from my lab first! Even if I'm not here, I'm sure that some of the others could interpret the data there!" I said rushing forwards towards my lab. Ruben followed close behind me.
"Do you know where Maria and Ryo are?" I asked as we turned to the corner.
"No, I didn't see them in the lounge," Ruben replied.
"Shouldn't we find them before leaving?" I asked.
"I don't think we should risk it," Ruben decided.
"But the military might target them as well!" I protested. While Ryo and Maria didn't know enough to divulge anything important they were still in the know of what I'd been doing as they'd been helping me out for parts of it.
"Even so, they don't know enough, so they won't be useful to the military. They'll leave them alone when they realize that," Ruben insisted as he motioned towards my lab and told me to hurry and open it.
Frowning I pulled out my badge and scanned it before inputting my pin into the keypad. The door unlocked and I opened it just as we heard a shout from behind us.
"Hey! You two! Stop!" A loud voice yelled at us. I glanced back but wasn't able to see much beyond the soldier now running towards us before I was pushed inside and the door was slammed shut.
"We need to hurry!" Ruben yelled as a series of pounding hands were heard at the door, the soldier outside yelling at us to open the door. I nodded and hurried towards my laptop grabbing it and stuffing it into my shoulder bag which was on the floor nearby. I grabbed the papers from the cabinet above my desk and stuffed them into a folder before also adding that to my bag.
"Don't forget anything that could be important!" Ruben yelled at me as he went through the cabinets above my workstation searching for chemicals.
"What are you looking for?" I asked him as I began gathering more spreadsheets and documents I didn't want to be found.
"Potassium nitrate, aluminum, perchlorate, ammonium, and oxygen gas if you have it," Ruben listed off and I paused to stare at him wide-eyed.
"What are you going to do with all that?!" I asked terrified by the things he was asking for. It sounded like he was going to make an explosion.
"I think you know Rane. Now hurry up, where do you keep your ammonium? I've found everything else."
"The second shelf to your left," I answered deciding to trust him. Shoving the last of my research papers into my bag and grabbing my flash drive I shoulder my bag and went towards him.
"Hey, quick question do none of them recognize me?" I asked thinking about how it was strange they were gathering everyone in the lounge.
"Like I said I don't know all the details... I'm guessing they don't though," Ruben replied with a shrug.
"So what's the plan exactly?" I asked as I watched him begin to mix the chemicals.
"Pack those chemicals on the table into that bag, then pour ethanol all over the floor please," Ruben instructed.
"Wait, you're not setting my lab in flames, are you?" I asked but when he nodded I realized that it was necessary. Just because I was sentimental about this place didn't mean I should protest. Anything found here could help them understand what I'd done and replicate it. Quickly doing as instructed, I packed the chemicals and then began pouring ethanol all over the floor.
"Rane Nasrin?! This is Lieutenant Kolfer speaking! I instruct you to open this door immediately or I will be forced to open it forcefully, I'm giving you to the count of five!" the two heard a loud voice shout from outside the door.
I bit my lip as I looked around my lab and then at Ruben silently asking if he was ready to which he nodded and pointed towards a section of the wall with no obstacles. The lieutenant began counting as Ruben got ready by the wall and motioned for me to stand back. I stood back and watched as Ruben splashed the corrosive chemicals onto the wall. It only took a minute for the area to begin decaying away exposing the lab to the grassy field outside.
"Throw the match near the door and let's go," Ruben said as he crawled out of the hole and waited for me. The lieutenant had just finished counting and I could hear him shouting at his subordinate to get ready to blow the door open. Steadying myself I threw the match towards the door and immediately the floor caught in flames and began erupting through the entire lab. I quickly climbed out of the hole and as soon as I was out Ruben threw something else into the lab and a loud explosion was heard along with the flames roaring to life at a faster rate.
"I'm never going to be employed again am I?" I asked as I stared at the damage we were sure to cause as it was clear that not only my lab but the surrounding labs would burn.
"I think that's the least of your worries at the moment," Ruben said grabbing my arm and leading me away from the flames. We discreetly moved across the terrain while nearing the main gate.
"How are we going to get past the main gate?" I asked noticing all the military personnel surrounding the gates at different sections.
"We're not. We're going to have to make an exit somewhere more discreet," Ruben said while glancing around.
"Why do I get the feeling you've prepared for all this?" I asked as I pulled out the chemicals we'd need to create an opening in the gates.
"I kind of did. Ever since you told me what you'd discovered I feared someone would find out and I took measures to prepare for it, but it's not like I didn't already have an extensive knowledge of how to use chemicals like this," Ruben answered with a small smile which made me shake my head at him. This is what the facility got for hiring a chemist who'd been known to dabble in crime as a teen.
"I always question how you got a job here considering your history," I dully remarked.
"Oh please Rane, don't be so mean," Ruben said laughing lightly as he found the perfect place to make their escape.
"Fine, but tell me what do you have planned for after this?" I asked suddenly wondering what was going to happen after we managed to get away.
"Not sure, that's a problem for future Ruben and Rane, not the current ones," was all Ruben said in reply as he got to work splashing the corrosive mixture onto the metal gate and watching it erode away.
"Let's go then," I whispered once the eroded parts were high enough for us to get through without touching them. The two of us quickly made our way out into the surrounding trees and hiked our way down towards the main road.
"We really do need a plan though, I don't know if they'll come looking for us but they might... if they really want this information that is...should I have burned this too?" I asked aloud.
Ruben eyed the bag I had and pursed his lips together. "I don't know Rane, all I know is now that more people know what you were doing and what possibilities the results pose the more danger you'll be in."
I looked up at him and I knew he was right. Whether I got rid of this information or not, I'd always be in danger. After all unlocking the secrets to the human genetic code was something no thought would ever be possible, and yet here I was having done just that. I now had the knowledge to either cause someone to develop schizophrenia or cure someone destined to have Alzheimer's to no longer have it.
The possibilities of my discoveries were endless, both on the side to help and the side to harm others.
"Do you even know what you'll do with that information?" Ruben asked and I shook my head.
"Not the slightest clue..." I answered.