Derek pulled off the main road and drove down an unpaved side street. While he was doing that he kept his eyes moving around; making sure that he wasn’t being followed.
There was a concrete building at the end of the road. It was low to the ground and incredibly ugly; but it looked strong too. Laurie had told him that a heavy machinery-driving mob had once come to tear it down; as he got closer Derek thought he could see the scratches on the outside.
There was a small forest planted all around it now; and the bunker wasn’t visible at all until you were right on top of it; it was a perfect place to hide.
Derek got out of the car and a walked towards it. He scanned the trees around it; but didn’t see anything. He looked back at his family and found Christine easing Jade out of the car with the kind of tones that one uses when trying to convince a patient that it wouldn’t hurt a bit.
Derek turned back to the door. The countryside was really peaceful after the constant hum of the city; and it was really starting to unnerve him. He tapped the code that Laurie had given him into the panel next to the door and stood back as the huge slab of concrete swung open.
There was darkness inside the building; darkness and a staircase that went down into it. Derek squinted into the darkness; but it was the ‘No lights at all’ kind of dark and Derek couldn’t see through it.
Derek hesitated at the top of the stairs; he was not used to going somewhere without having a good idea of what might be waiting for him there; and darkness could conceal a multitude of sins. In the end he waited too long; he was just wondering if Team Three’s sedan had a torch in the glove compartment when he realized with a shock that Christine had started floating down the stairs.
Jade looked up at him from behind his legs with a questioning look in her eyes. “I suppose we’re going in” Derek conceded, and the two of them started making their way down the stairs too.
They walked down. Then they walked further down, and further down still. Derek looked back; the entrance was now nothing more than a pin prick of light at the other end of the endless staircase. This was completely insane, Derek decided, they were already deep enough to withstand any atomic bomb.
They staircase went on; but then, just as Derek had started thinking about going back up and seeing if there had been any signs next to the bunker to the effect of ‘Bottomless pit’. They reached a door.
It was a solid looking door. It was a very solid looking door. It looked like it belonged to a small castle. It actually looked like in was designed to withstand someone hurling a battering ram down the bottomless pit and into the door.
Derek turned the handle and put his full body weight on the door; it didn’t budge. He propped his feet against the last steps and pushed on the door with all his strength. The door remained shut. He gave the door a good hard kick; it didn’t help but he hadn’t expected it to.
Vaguely aware that the door was making a fool of him in front of his family; Derek tried to think of what to do.
“Oh, dear Derek” said Christine, “I do wish you would start coming with me to my ocular massage classes; they might improve your vision”
“My vision’s fine” said Derek; who was lost in thought, “I work in darkness all night long and I can see just fine.”
Christine moved forward a couple steps and ran her hand over the panel set into the wall next to the door. She didn’t say anything and neither did Derek as he walked over to the panel and entered the code; glad that no one could see him blushing as he did it.
He got back in front of the door, turned the handle, and leaned on the door again. This time the door opened with barely a whisper and sent him sprawling to the ground.
He fell out into a handsome house decorated in the 1970’s style. It was sunset and golden tropical light streamed through the windows. He blinked; there didn’t seem to be anything through the windows other than light.
He got to his feet and looked around; two young women who he didn’t recognize came into the room to investigate the noise he had made on entering.
They looked at him with surprise; they were identical twins, he saw. Then the two of them looked down and saw Jade. Their eyes grew wide, “Awwwwww” they said together, “She’s so cute!”
They rushed towards her while jabbering in high pitched voices. Derek felt Jade take refuge behind his legs and tried to raise himself about the noise and movement. He saw Emma emerge from the door that the twins had come from, “Hey Derek,” she said, “I found Laurie’s mates. You want an aspirin?”
“No” said Derek, raising his voice a little to be heard over the two girls trying to coax Jade out from behind his legs.
Emma nodded, “Yeah well” she said as she walked away, “Give it time.”