Chapter 15: Atomic
Copyright© 2011 by Wandering Lanes
So here I was, trapped inside or rather above a nuclear reactor, with the remains of several victims of Marcus Anderson, it seems that this was his dumping ground for those who displeased him.
Thanks to Aristotle who completely ignored my warning about future knowledge I had managed to help Sally Randall who had been used as bait to get me to follow her into this place.
She was now ... well she was safe if where I sent her to was ready for her, anyway I had more important things to sort out, the first was I needed more power, the radiation in here was ... I'm being stupid!
Radiation, in whatever form it may be, is a source of power. I needed power and here it was right under my feet!
I had the spell for such heavy power in my mind, again thanks to Aristotle's meddling. And I muttered the phrase, and then I was feeling the raw energy coursing through me. I first of all sent some power to my mind, filling it with much needed energy.
Then I worked on my body – the brief time I'd spent in the chamber without the body modifications had caused damage. These I fixed by using small healing spells which I called Aceso and her sister Panacea.
They were named after the daughters of the Greek god of medicine and healing – Asclepius. The Aceso spell did most of the healing spell while Panacea worked on the Universal Remedy to promote the changes to the damaged cells and replace them with new, working cells.
These I had found in the book, that thrice accursed book, written by my dead hand apparently. But I knew that since I was aware of them then Sally would be well looked after.
I could feel that the power I had pulled to cast these spells had drained the radiation from the room and also it had drawn most of the fissionable material from the pile below, faintly I could hear alarms ringing and so I followed the noise to where it was loudest and I found a doorway, there was no handle on this side and I knew it was locked.
I muttered a spell and pushed gently on the barely visible door, it opened and I could hear the alarms now, unmuted by the layers of lead and concrete that comprised the room. I ensured that any radiation stayed in the room and then closed the door behind me.
I must admit the manager of the plant – Clive Mountjoy - once he got over his shock of finding a man standing by the outer containment block of his nuclear reactor, was very accommodating – especially since Colonel Marlow convinced him that I was a Major in the Army and had full security clearance.
"That's all very well and good sir, but how did he get into that room without passing security? And how did he manage to affect the reactor as he did" The manager asked.
"He's well trained in covert action, he was testing out your security, to allow him to get as close as he did to your containment chamber shows that you need to improve in these areas, the rest is subject to the Official Secrets Act. Now can you put my man on the phone, please?" Colonel Marlow was speaking on a speaker-phone.
I smiled at him, "I'm sorry sir, but you'll have to leave, I have to inform the Colonel on the exact method I used, and I don't want anyone else to hear this." I said with a smile.
He wasn't happy but went through the door; I noticed that it wasn't closed securely. I got up from my chair and closed it, muttering a mute spell over the doorway, anything said wouldn't be heard from outside
I conjured a Nemesis unit and a screen, making visual contact with Colonel Marlow. "Beaker just what are you doing there? How did you get there anyway?"
I shrugged, "Believe me Colonel, I didn't want to but I had to save Sally Randall and so I followed her here." I said knowing it wasn't an explanation but it was the best I could do.
Marlow looked around the room from his screen, "You followed her! So where is she? I can't see her there and Mountjoy didn't mention anyone else being with you." He said.
"They haven't entered the chamber yet, if they do then they're going to find several bodies inside it, all killed by Marcus Anderson, he's the one who sent them in there to get rid of them, that's where Perkins ended up." I said.
He stared at me, "You're sure of this?" he asked incredulous and then his tone changed, "You are sure of this. I'm going to be sending out a team to clear that room, is there anything you can do for them?" He asked.
"The only thing I can do is to pull the bodies away from the chamber to a holding area and your men can carry on from there. But the whole place should be cleared before I can do that, we have high levels of radiation to deal with and at the moment I'm the only one able to do that." I said making plans.
Marlow nodded, "Right, but what do we do about Marcus Anderson then? Do we rush him and arrest him?" He asked.
I shook my head, "No Colonel, you've no idea what he's capable of, I do have a recording of his actions though, it may be enough to get the powers that be to remove the controls that he has, you'll also have to use the Odin units to protect the systems." I said
Marlow nodded again, "Fine, send the recording and I'll be sending out the men to clear the bodies, they will have containment suits and lead-lined body bags for them, but how we're going to see who they are..." He started to say.
"There's nothing to identify them Colonel, the bodies are burnt beyond recognition, it was only the state of his clothes that told me who Perkins was, only one person can name all of them ... the one who sent them in there." I told him.
Marlow pressed some buttons below my screen, "Emergency action, medical team for nuclear power station, radiation suits and..." he glanced at me and mouthed 'ten?' I nodded, " ... ten sealed body bags, radiation hazard routines to be followed, and Major Beaker will be on site to give advice." He said and then stood up.
"Major, go ahead with your preparations, the team will be with you in about forty-five minutes." He said to me.
I didn't give a salute as I was still in civilian clothing. "I'll get on with that Colonel, here's the file and if you're going to let others have it I suggest you only use the sound, not the visual as nobody will believe it." I said passing a command to the Nemesis unit to pass on the scene in Anderson's office.
I closed down the link and removed the screen before taking off the mute spell from the door and opening it. "Mr. Mountjoy, I will need a secure radiation proof area by that containment room I was near." I said
He looked confused, "Well we have a lead-lined container that can be lowered there, but can I ask why?" He asked me.
I shook my head, "I'm sorry sir, but I can't tell you, and believe me you don't want to know. I'll be going back into that containment room and I can't let anyone else come with me, Colonel Marlow is sending in a team, if you can ensure they'll meet me there I would appreciate it." I said and I'm sure my eyes showed my feelings at that point.
"Very well, since you are working for Colonel Marlow I'll have to do what you say." He said and picked up a phone and gave the necessary orders. He then looked at me. "You still haven't told me how you depleted the core material?"
I walked to the door and opened it; I turned before leaving him and smiled. "You're right, I didn't." I said and carried on out of the door.
Mountjoy's people had positioned a large container just by the door to the containment chamber. A few people in radiation gear were standing by. I grabbed a spare suit and put it on, the breathing apparatus was just like SCUBA, except it was called SCBA – no need for the Underwater part – and I had enough air for one hour, any longer and I would have to return – Health and Safety requirements.
I cheated; after I put on the suit I changed my body to absorb any radiation and to convert it to energy. After that I started the work of moving out the burnt bodies.
It wasn't as hard as it sounds, since I was taking no chances and I used a shield to come up from beneath the bodies from the ground, then wrapping it around the forms I used the rigid shield to lift and move them out of the chamber and into the container.
I was able to move all the bodies out of the chamber in this manner and then I regarded the chamber as a whole, I didn't want Anderson to use the same method here and so I created a magic shield which would cause any spells and magic doorways to be diverted, I wasn't sure where to send them and so used my old cell in Bath, Cell number 9.
A part of my mind made a note to contact Colonel Marlow again and get him to reserve that cell just in case. It made me smile to think of more people appearing there and the police being unable to explain them
A group of people then arrived; they were dressed in Army issue decontamination suits. They carried Geiger-counters and were checking out the levels in the building. One walked up to me.
"Major Beaker? I'm Captain Conrad, I understand you have some casualties for removal, can I ask where they are?" The woman said - I only knew she was female from her voice, the suits hide so much.
"Thank you for your quick arrival Captain; I've transferred the bodies into that container. I will warn you that they have been trapped in the containment chamber some for several years, they are fragile." I said.
She gave a look which I could just see inside her face-mask, "If they're so fragile then how could you move them on your own?" She asked, not unreasonably I suppose.
I sighed, "I created a force screen around then which held them in place and used that to lift them into the container." I said
"A simple 'I can't tell you' would suffice sir." She said witheringly.
I gave a laugh, "Captain you wouldn't believe the truth if you hear it, just ensure that your people are careful." I said.
They entered the container and the Geiger-counters started to go mad with their clicking. "Bloody hell, they're soaked in radiation Sir." One man said, his voice being transmitted by a radio, one that I had generated for myself.
Conrad waved her hands, "So we have to work quickly, get them bagged and tagged and then we get out of here."
On lifting one of the bodies the arms came away from the torso, "Shit, these are burnt dry, they're nearly all ashes. Just how the hell did he move them?" A voice asked.
"I did tell your Captain, but she didn't believe me, now please use more care, these were once human being you know." I said over the link.
"Sorry Sir didn't know you were in the circuit." The man said but the rest of them started lifting bodies as a team now, opening the body bags and then lowering the remains into them.
The task was soon completed and the bags were removed and taken to a heavy built armour transport, we all went through the decontamination routine, which mainly involved the suits being washed down with soapy water, then a radiation check and another wash down until there was little, if any, radiation left.
Then the wearer would also go through a shower, washing off any possible radiation. The only problem they encountered was with me, for some reason I showed no radiation at all! They wanted to do a deeper scan but I protested and pulled rank and so I was released.
I met with the team who had done the work and I shook their hands, "Thank you guys for doing this, I'm even sorrier that it had to be done in the first place." I said as we sat down in the company canteen.
"Just out of interest Major, how did they end up in there? Didn't the place's security notice them?" One man asked.
I looked at the Captain who was now regarding me closely, "they didn't come through the front gate, and they didn't enter the chamber through the door." I said.
"So where did they get in Sir? Did they fly in through the air?" Another one asked. I didn't answer but just looked at him as I sipped my tea. "Bloody hell, can you just picture what would happen if people learnt this?" He added.
"Soldier, you have signed the Official Secrets Act?" I asked him.
He looked affronted, "Of course I have Sir, it was the first thing they make you do when you join." He said.
I nodded, "I have as well. Now what would happen if it was known that people have been found, dead inside a containment chamber? How many would demand to know if their missing son, daughter or husband was one of them? Would you be able to tell them that the bodies can't be identified? Nor can you say how they got there?" I asked him.
He shook his head, "No sir, I wouldn't." He admitted.
"Neither would I, this has to remain top secret." I said. But I made a mental note that he wouldn't be allowed out on a mission like this again – boy, I was really getting into this military thing
The captain was now interested in the conversation, "But how did they get into that place, there's no other way in that I could see." She said.
"Conrad I gave you an answer to that question when you first asked it, you didn't believe me." I gestured and created a fireball that I made fly into the air, "If you were to ask me how I did that, I couldn't give you an answer that you'd understand." I extinguished the fireball and finished my tea.
"Now you have your orders with regards to those bodies, please carry them out." I said standing up.
Captain Conrad also stood, "Colonel Marlow requested that you come with us back to base, he wants to have words with you Sir." She said.
"I can make my own way there Captain." I said gently.
"So the Colonel said sir, but he wanted me to ensure that you arrived securely. Please sir, he made me promise that you would come with us." She said.
I sighed, "Very well Captain I don't want to put you in the position of breaking your word. I was going to find my own way back to my base, but Colonel Marlow does have priority." I said and sat back down.
I joined in their conversation where I could but I would never talk about the magic or how the bodies got into the chamber.
During the trip back I was so tired that all I did on the truck was to sleep, I never did get to check the 'thing' in the library.
Back at Head Quarters I was told that Colonel Marlow was out but there was somebody waiting for me in his office.
When I got there, and knocked on the door, I don't know what I was expecting – possibly Anderson had managed to get here, I prepared some spells just in case.
"Come in." Well the voice wasn't his, but this one had a hint of authority in its tone.
I entered the room; behind Marlow's desk was a gentleman I'd never seen before, the spell sense I had cast showed that there was no magic being used at the time, so it had to be his real face
The man was clean shaven and wore a suit, of a dark colour, a plain white shirt and a 'school' tie, he also had a carnation in his buttonhole – somehow he reminded me of John Steed of the Avengers. He looked up and studied me.
"Ah, so you're Chris Beaker." He said as he rose up from his position and held out his hand.
I shook it, "I am, and you are?..." I asked.
"Special Envoy Henry James Constantine, Call me Henry. I'm here to check on a few things that have come to my notice." He said and then he took in my puzzled look.
"Your name arose at a meeting I had with ... let's say somebody. It seems that several of their children have been having strange dreams, on their own these would have just been ignored, but when three of them speak of the same thing ... well then, we get interested." He looked at me.
I shook my head, "I'm sorry Mr. Constantine ... Henry, but I'm still not sure what you're going on about, I'm afraid I'm still suffering the after effects of the last incident. So is it possible you can break this down a little.
He blinked, "Oh yes, I've seen the reports, most distressing, most distressing. And it's still not known how the bodies got there. What do you know about Caspers?" He asked quickly.
I paused and then answered, "Well ... there's the cartoon character, Casper the Friendly Ghost, who is a young ghost who seeks company..." I paused again before carrying on, and then there's the Caspers who have been sent out to find those people with possible magic ability, they introduce those they find to their own libraries and help them start to learn how to use their powers." I finished and noticed that Henry was nodding at my last few words.
"These Caspers, are they harmful? By that I mean can they cause harm to those they find."
I shook my head, "Of course not! They are only there to guide those they find, the books in their libraries and the power that they possess will define how they use their gift. But the Caspers will never directly harm anyone." I said feeling protective for my creations.
"And what are these books that you refer to? Can you show me?" Henry asked.