Part Two: Disconnected
I have never had a single gun pointed directly at me before – let alone three – and it’s not something that I’d recommend. On TV, people wave guns around as if they’re toys. Right now, it’s pretty terrifying having these three red dots directly above my eyes and knowing that at any second – should a trigger be pulled – it’s all over for me. These aren’t regular guns though, they’re certainly weapons and they’re definitely modelled on guns. They belong to a science fiction world rather than the twenty-first century.
It doesn’t help that these guys are dressed in virus suits. I’m no expert, but I know that can’t be a good thing for me. They’re completely sealed off in these suits from head to toe. The suits are bright yellow, there’s no missing them, that’s for sure. As the three figures get closer I can see that I’m being approached by two women and a man, each looking deadly serious, intent but concerned. That’s a considerable improvement on hostile, but I’d still rather those laser dots were not trained directly on me. And what’s happened to this corridor?
Before the doors closed and the lights went out, this was just a gloomy, concrete-lined passageway. Was I unconscious for a while? Did I fall asleep? Did somebody move me? No, I can tell that this is the same place, the same long corridor, but before the lights went on, it completely changed. It’s as if a team from one of those TV decorating programmes popped in while the lights were off and gave the corridor a total makeover. Only this looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Let’s put it this way, it belongs more to the realms of imagination and fantasy than a Cold War bunker in Southern Scotland.
Either I passed out for a while, or this is what I thought was the vibration of the power coming back on. What I believed to be movement in the building must have been this internal transformation taking place. It’s quite incredible. Gone are the grubby, cold, concrete walls; they’ve now been replaced by some light, plastic or metallic, substance. If I had to describe it, I’d say it looked just like the interior of a space station. Not that I’ve ever seen one, mind you, but it’s what I’d imagine one would look like.
I should have concentrated on the three figures approaching me. One of the women has pressed the trigger on her weapon, a ray of some kind strikes my head and my thoughts stop dead.
The Missing Host
Needless to say, the Tracy family visit to the bunker was a huge success. I’ve seen it on adverts many times, but in this case the slogan was true. There really was ‘something for everyone’ here.
The scale of the bunker was astonishing. Rooms and corridors the size of a football pitch over two levels is quite some feat. When you’re walking along that rabbit warren of passageways – with no natural light – you understand what an amazing structure this is. And how much concrete they must have used. They certainly won’t have mixed that all by hand.
Had there been a nuclear attack, life could have continued here virtually as normal. Everybody would have had a job, of course, and the Control Room was where all activity would have been focused. We had a good hour looking around until Mum reminded us that we were due to meet our hosts in the café area on the top level. We’d been shushed quite a lot as we walked around the bunker.
Harriet and David loved the lengths of the corridors, and had used that as an opportunity to go running off into the distance, then charging back at Mum and Dad. I couldn’t be completely certain about this, but I’m pretty sure that I sensed a hostility from the other adults who were in the building. I didn’t know why, as this was a tourist attraction, it’s not as if we were in a church or someone’s office or anything like that. But I did wonder why were there no other children there except for us.
The Jigsaw Puzzle
The black car had been driving directly at us. There’s no mistaking something like that. I was equally sure that I had seen Nat moving. And I knew that Mum had been distracted by that man, the one who went to help Nat. Was he helping Nat? The ambulance workers accepted his authority, they knew exactly who he was. Or maybe they didn’t know him, but they understood and acknowledged his position. There was no challenge or argument from them, no resistance at all.
Three parts of a jigsaw puzzle that didn’t quite fit. As if they belonged somewhere else, pieces of another puzzle. I’d been troubled by this for three years now. But when you know that your twin is dead, when you’ve learned to accept that, because all the evidence confirms it, there’s not much that you can do about it.
Unresolved issues never go away. As humans, we need closure, we can’t just forget things. Life would be much easier if we could, and just delete a section of our memory that is no longer required or wanted. So although I couldn’t do anything about them, these memories troubled me.
But in the events that followed in the Secret Bunker, I was going to get all the answers I needed.