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Chapter 7: He laughed, and began.

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The very air was different here, more rarified, more pure.  It was Her presence, he knew it.  To think, She might have put Her foot here!  Her hand might have touched this doorknob!  He was almost giddy with Her nearness.  But he had to keep focused.  It was time.  If everything went as planned, he would have Her tonight.

Two Maganacs down, 28 more, plus 6 Preventers, to go.

He laughed, and began.

~!~

Trowa and Quatre pounded on the fire door, but it was no use.  Quatre sighed and leaned his back against it.  "This is terrible" he sighed.  "I don't know why it's malfunctioning."

Trowa leaned next to him and folded his arms.  "How do these systems work?"

Quatre frowned.  "I don't use this place much" he admitted.  "But I think they're pretty standard fire-suppression systems.  When the alarm is triggered, a claxon sounds, and water or foam, depending on the room, is released from the ceiling.  After 15 minutes, the fire doors slam down to prevent the further spread of the fire."

"But there was no alarm, no water, and I'd bet there's no fire" Trowa concluded.  "Someone must have hacked into the fire door system separately.  And cut the power."

"But who would do such a thing?" Quatre cried.  He fell silent, though, since it was apparent to both of them who would do this.  Relena's stalker.

"Heero couldn't have reached her in time" Trowa said after a moment.

"We've got to get out of here" Quatre moaned.

~!~

"Wufei?"

"Woman?"

Sally was relieved when Wufei sounded as uncertain as she felt.  Before she could think of something else to say, there was a breeze and a whooshing sound.  Sally jumped back from the wall, and heavy thuds rattled the floor at various places around the hallway.

"Woman?" Sally was pleased by the concern in his voice.

"I'm all right, Wufei, how about you?"

"I am fine."

"What was that?" she asked.

"There are steel doors over the doorways" Wufei reported, his voice moving closer.

Sally took several hesitant steps toward him.  "Where did those doors come from?"

"I think--" Wufei was interrupted when something grabbed Sally's arm and she shrieked.  Her arm was released, and she jumped back, grabbing in front of her.  She grabbed a fistful of cloth.

"Sally?"

"Wufei?"

They laughed nervously, and Sally quickly let him go.

"What were you saying?" she asked, after a moment.

"Ah--" he paused, trying to collect his thoughts.  "Yes.  I think it's part of the fire suppression system.  But I don't know why only the doors went off.  Or why the power went off, for that matter."

They both sighed, and sank down to the floor, sitting close, but not touching.

~!~

Relena was sitting on her bed, trying not to fall asleep after the large meal.  She tried to open her eyes, but they wouldn't open.  It took her a moment to realize the power was out.  A dull thud sounded from outside her door.

"Heero?" she called uncertainly.

It was dark in her room, and there wasn't much light coming in from the window, since it was a new moon.  Her eyes were starting to adjust, however, and Relena moved slowly across the room to open the door.  The faint starlight caught a glistening where the hallway should be, and when she reached out her hand she touched cold metal.

"What the..." The metal went all the way to the floor, and was impossible to move.  Relena tried banging her hand on the door and screaming, but all it got her was a sore hand.

With a sigh, and cradling her bruised hand, she sat back down on the bed to wait.

~!~

Heero was furious.  He paced back and forth in the small hallway between Quatre's study and the intersection with the main hallway.  This stalker, who ever he was, had obviously infiltrated security.  Relena was all alone and defenseless-- Heero had the only gun with him.  He had to get to Relena.  He began casting around for a way out.

  

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