THE STATION: EPILOGUE

With all mechanisms in their correct order, there was a satisfying “Click” that came from the box and a small button lit up on the key panel. Before anyone could do the honors of pressing it, voices bouncing off the corridor walls revealed that they were no longer alone in the Station. For the first time since her confident appearance outside the building, The Stranger paused, exposing the fact that this was something she hadn’t planned on.

Charlie spotted the hesitation and immediately took charge. “That panel over there is connected to the main steam line and boilers. Flip the right switch to turn on the emergency venting. Scalding steam should slow them down a bit,” she said with a satisfied smile. She was just getting started. “I assume we will want another route for our escape, and preferably one that puts us on the other side of the station,” she assessed while running her hand along a reddish pipe that looked much newer than the others. “This was installed just last year. There’s bound to be temporary wooden stairways running alongside at least till it reaches Rail 3, then we have some options. I’d recommend continuing upward and leaving through the coal shoot doors.”

As she looked back at the room, Charlie realized everyone, including The Stranger, was staring at her. She’d been fairly quiet up to this point so no one knew this was her stomping grounds. Any favor she could garner with this group might turn into support for her revolution when all this was over, so she kept it friendly. “Stick close, I know things,” she said playfully as she gave a little curtsy to the group.

As if on cue, the box gave a loud electrical POP! that sent sparks in all directions. Everyone hit the floor with heads covered. Before questions could form on people’s lips, The Stranger was back in action as if no pause had even taken place. Casually walking up to the box, she pressed the blinking button.

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