Upon arriving in Canada, the trio was met by the U.S. ambassador and the platoon of soldiers escorting him. The ambassador told them how “Fear Mongers” came out of nowhere and started shooting at the guards. Some rounds exploded on contact, others barely penetrated them and must’ve released some kind of toxin into their bodies. They killed the last security guard with a rocket launcher. Lastly, they shot out the security cameras.
The ambassador then directed the trio to a line of blacked out SUVs surrounded by police and military escorts. He wished them luck and was off to a press conference to assure the people that everything was fine. The three got into their respective cars and drove off to the storage facility. When they got there, they exited their cars and walked into the facility. The head of security and the storage owner met them to explain what they knew so far.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Segal.” General Walker greeted.
“No, we’re not married.” They said in unison.
“We get it all the time.” They said in unison again.
“For people who aren’t married but have the same last name who work together, you two seem to be in sync.” Angelica said.
“Not really.” They said in unison once more. “We only say this and the previous statements so often, we figure this would be the best way to get through this awkward situation. And the funniest.” Helen and Angelica laughed at the Segal’s little skit. General Walker looked at them and they stopped.
“So what can you tell us about the assault that the video couldn’t?” asked Walker.
“All we could gather was that they knew where the formula was and how many guards were guarding it.” Mr. Segal said.
“If you want to know any more than that, you’ll have to talk to those folks from “CSI” over there.” Ms. Segal said.
“Thank you both and please be on standby in case we need to ask you any more questions.” Walker instructed.
“Will do. Happy to help.” They said in unison, and then walked away. Walker looked confused and started over to the forensic specialists. As they got closer, Walker noticed that she knew one of them.
“Wilma?” General Walker asked.
“Texas Ranger?” Wilma replied. They embraced as if it had been years and years since they last saw each other.
“It’s been years and years since we last saw each other.”
“Been too long if you ask me, Texas Ranger.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt this little reunion, but who are you?” Angelica asked.
“Oh, Wilma and I go way back. All the way back to Elementary school. We met in the second grade.”
“Yeah, this one here kept teasing me. Until one day, she was crying and I comforted her. Been friends for life since then. Of course, we usually only keep in touch on social media these days.” said Wilma.
“They must go WAY back if they say social media.” Angelica whispered to Helen.
“Old Walker Texas Ranger is still trying to get the hang of it.” Wilma said with one hand blocking her mouth from Walker’s view.
“That may be, but I certainly know how to eliminate a threat. Now then, anything you can tell us about the assault on this facility, Wilma?”
“You got it, Walker.” Wilma motioned for them to follow her. “Over here, you can see where they shot the first few security guards. These bodies laying before us died from some usual rounds.” She kneeled down to lift up the tarp covering the bodies from sight. “As you can see, the chest appears to be blown open. My guess is that the bullets were made to explode upon contact with the first thing it hit.”
“Were they killed instantly?” Helen asked.
“I’m not sure. The coroner seems to think so. The explosion must have damaged the heart pretty badly. She wants to do an autopsy just to double check. Already told her this is to be our number one priority as of now. If you will be so kind as to follow me over to the other group of bodies over there.
These guards were shot with even more unusual bullets than the others.” Wilma lifted up the tarp. “You can see the bullet wound in the neck, but no bullet. Based on the video, I would have to say that the bullet went far enough into the skin where it could dissolve into the bloodstream and deliver whatever kind of poison it was made of.”
“If it wasn’t for the fact that they killed, I would call them brilliant.” Angelica whispered to herself.
“And over in that … general … area,” Wilma gestured to a wide area with blood and guts splattered about, “That is where they killed the last security guard with a (ahem) rocket launcher. That was a very instantaneous death. Don’t really need to read that report. She was the strongest among them. I can see that she might have needed more firepower to be killed, but they didn’t have to use that much more firepower. Two of those explosive slugs would have done the job.”
“Indeed it would have.” General Walker somberly said. “This was about much more than merely stealing the formula. No, this was something more. They were trying to send a message.” General Walker’s tone turned from somber to something more inspiring. “Message received. Time to deliver them a message of our own.” Suddenly, everyone in the storage facility stopped what they were doing and listened to the general.
“That message is one of hope, courage, and perseverance in the face of despair, cowardice, and evil. We will stand side by side with the fallen, and rise up to the challenges that evil presents to us and we will rise – no, soar – far above them with our heads held high! We shall not shrink from conflict; we will not be disappointed by anything that happens. We will clear any roadblocks that come our way; we will go far beyond any reproach and make sure that these punks, these jerks … these assholes will see the inside of a maximum security prison cell and wish that their cells were that nice!” Cheers erupted from the crowd. “So how’s about we go out there and find these sons of bitches and bring their sorry asses to justice!?!? Huh!? How about it!?!” More cheers erupted.
Some were so impassioned, that they started yelling and ran around looking for more clues. Angelica became so passionate that she too ran around screaming. She did not get very far, for she tripped and fell into some steel rods. As she fell, she grabbed onto one of the rods. When she did, a panel of the floor opened up, revealing a secret tunnel. Everybody stopped and looked at Angelica in amazement.
“I don’t think that was part of the original floor plan.” General Walker stated.
“No, it wasn’t.” Miss and Mr. Segal said in unison.
General Walker, Helen, Angelica, and a few of the forensic specialists gathered around the tunnel and started looking for clues inside. The specialists had some cool science-y tools and the trio only had flashlights. Helen shined her light a little further down the tunnel and a glimpse of light caught her eye. “What’s that over there?” she pointed to the area with the object.
They immediately ran towards the object. When they found it, the forensic specialists picked it up and examined it.
“It seems to be a silver flash drive. We’ll have to open it up inside a Faraday Cage.” one specialist said.
“What’s a Faraday Cage?” asked Angelica.
“A Faraday Cage is a grounded metal screen surrounding a piece of equipment to exclude electrostatic and electromagnetic influences.” another specialist explained scientifically.
“And what does it mean in English?” Angelica asked.
“It means that they’re going to open it in an enclosed space where the flash drive can’t connect to the outside world and the outside world can’t connect to the flash drive. It’s like the flash drive is being opened in solitary confinement or on a planet with no one for it to communicate with.” Helen explained in English.
“Oh. Thanks.” Angelica said. With that, they explored the rest of the tunnel. After a few minutes, they reached a door. After prying it open, they saw that they were far away from the facility and in a secluded area that wasn’t close enough for any humans to hear them plotting or digging the tunnel.
“So that’s how they did it.” General Walker started. “They dug this tunnel starting here knowing that there was no one to hear it or check up on them unexpectedly. If anyone did, they could have shot them and no one would know because anyone in this area would have been a drifter. You can tell because there are a few makeshift living quarters scattered about.
It must have taken them a while based on the length of the tunnel. Even with a digging machine, it would have taken at least a couple of weeks. Given the tracks in the dirt, I’d say they used a digging machine for some of this.”
“Anyone else feel like this is taking a “Sherlock” turn here?”Helen asked.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s head back and open the flash drive.” Walker agreed.
When they got back to the storage facility, they constructed a Faraday Cage and popped the flash drive into a laptop. The technician quickly went to work and found some interesting clues. After a few minutes, the technician was ready to show them what was found.
“So the flash drive itself is not malicious. It’s only when you try to open the only file on it is when it becomes malicious. If I tried to open this outside the cage, then it would have connected to the internet to try to download a virus. Being inside the cage, it obviously couldn’t connect to the internet so we have that on our side. It has a password prompt that we were able to crack and the download attempt stopped once the password was entered. It was a few weeks before the date of the first injection.
As for the contents of the file on the flash drive, they will be very helpful for the investigation. They are the plans for the assault on the storage facility. It lays out a 3-d step-by-step plan for how the assault was supposed to happen. Watch.” The technician pressed a button and the video started playing. The video showed exactly what happened on the security tapes. It even showed the plan from the angles that the security cameras showed.
“Horrible. Just horrible.” Helen remarked.
“How did they know the angles of the security cameras?” Angelica asked.
“I’m not sure. But I bet you they had somebody on the inside.” General Walker answered.
“If they did, then where’s the person on the inside now?” Angelica asked.
“Not sure. They might have been one of the security guards, taking care of loose ends and making it look real at the same time.” answered the General. “For the moment, the insider is a dead end. See if there’s anything in the code that can tell us anything unusual.”
“Will do.” responded the technician. The technician started typing.
“What we need to do is think about why “Fear Mongers” wanted to steal the “Supergirl serum” in the first place.” Angelica said.
“The formula is specific to women only. They might be women.” Walker said.
“Or they might try to change the formula to make it gender specific to men. If they had the right scientists or enough of them, it might be possible. Technology these days could help them change it.” Helen suggested.
“Well have there been any reports of famous scientists being kidnapped recently?” asked Angelica.
“No. Not recently.” Walker answered. “Although, 10 months ago, some of the world’s best scientists died mysteriously. And about a year ago, the world’s foremost scientists on DNA were abducted from a DNA conference in Switzerland. Put that together and you got your possibility.”
“You don’t consider 10 months as recent?” Helen asked Walker.
“Not really. You do?”
“Yeah. A year isn’t recent, however.”
“Yeah, but neither is 10 months.”
“I hate to interrupt you two, but I found something you might find interesting.” interrupted the technician. The trio walked over to the technician. “I started looking through the code like you said and then I came across a geographic location. Kind of like when you take a picture and immediately post it on a website. If you have the location setting on when you post it, then people can see where you are. Same thing happened here every time they worked on the file.
Every time they made changes or opened the file, I can see the location. It was the same location every time. It gives me some coordinates and when I punch them in on this map, we get this place.” The technician typed in the coordinates as the technician was talking to them. Then the map showed an address.
“That appears to be an old factory. Looks like we know where we’re going next.” Helen said. They got into their blacked out SUV’s and drove to the address. They arrived and the forensic specialists were already there, inspecting the outside. The three of them went inside and started their own inspecting. They saw some boxes, conveyor belts, machinery. Nothing out of the ordinary for a factory.
After being inside the factory for a few minutes, the doors closed automatically. The doors locked, bars came down over the windows and were blacked out, and the lights turned off. From around a corner, a red light came on. The trio came closer to the light and turned around a corner and came face to face with a box that was glowing red. They opened the box and inside it was a timer. The timer was set for 8 minutes and 49 seconds when they found it. Then it started counting down. It made a beep every time it counted down.
“Anyone in a situation like this knows that we’re in trouble. We do NOT want to be here when that timer reaches zero.” Walker said.
“We have to get out of here and fast!” Helen screamed. General Walker slapped her. “Ow! What was that for?!”
“That was to get you to calm down, Helen. We need someone smart like you to stay calm in this kind of a situation.”
“Right. Right. Okay, what do we know?”
“We know we’re in the dark, all exits are sealed off, and we have about 7 minutes to get out of here before something bad happens.”
“Okay. And what is it that we have to do before then?”
“We have to leave here.” Angelica answered.
“Good. Now, how do we get out of here?”
“We could try punching our way through the doors?” General Walker suggested.
“Good thinking, General. I’m gonna need your help.” Helen and General Walker grabbed the timer and used it to light their way. Angelica followed behind them, tripping over some things along the way. Once they reached the door, they yelled and pounded on the doors to see if anyone could hear them. Someone pounded on the other side of the door and asked what was going on inside there.
“We’re trapped inside. This timer says we have less than 3 and a half minutes to escape or something bad happens.” explained Helen.
“What will happen?” asked a forensic specialist.
“Does a timer with blood red numbers mean anything good to you?” Helen sarcastically asked.
“We only need 5 minutes. Let’s hope you three have more time than the timer says.”
“No! Listen to me! We have a plan. We need all the women to hit the doors. Eventually, the doors will break and we can all get to safety.”
“You heard the woman! Punch the door like it’s your worst enemy!” the specialist yelled.
“But I wouldn’t want to hit my worst enemy.” another specialist timidly responded.
“Belay that. Punch the damn door!” the first specialist ordered. All the women started punching the doors from the outside. Helen and General Walker started punching the doors from the inside. The punches were thunderous and fast as lightning. As powerful as they were, the doors had no dents, no scratches, no sign that anything had happened.
But the women would not give up. They kept punching, kept looking for a weak spot. Any spot the doors looked like they could be broken. Angelica checked the timer and knew that something had to be done soon. She shined the light of the timer at the doors to see if she might have better luck finding a weak spot. Then she got an idea.
“Everyone stop! I have an idea. Aim at the hinges of the doors. The doors are kind of tall so just hit the ones you can.” Once they started hitting the hinges, then the doors started to weaken. The hinges broke and the women started bending the doors from the bottom. The trio escaped and ran for cover. Once far enough, they lunged forward, falling on the gravel, laying there waiting for the explosion. But the explosion didn’t happen.
Everybody looked back and saw the timer through the right bent corner. It showed 1:00. They looked at each other and agreed that they should all drive as far away from there as possible. After a few minutes, they all went back expecting to find a pile of rubble. But, to everyone’s shock, they found that the building was still intact. No big explosion. Just the factory with bent doors.
To make sure there were no explosives in or around the building, the bomb squad was called in. The inspection took a couple of hours but no explosives were found. Everyone was happy. Although they were variably shook up about the scare, they went about searching for clues like nothing happened.