With a crack of the shotgun the deadbolt lock snaps open; the double doors ominously swing outward. Behind the entryway is a darkened set of cement stairs leading into the bowels of the facility, flanked by two steel doors that lead up. Seriously doubting that any real weaponry is above ground, I descend.
The cement walls might as well be dripping with the humidity that makes my shirt stick to my back and begins to itch. Cleaver’s ears twist towards the ground as we proceed into the shadows. The clap of each of my footsteps bounces off every surface like a rubber ball, uncomfortably shaking the stillness. The darkness of the basement is punctuated with small windows squished between the wall and the ceiling.
Mid-step my boot stumbles as it meets resistance. Leaning down I feel paper covering the metal casing of an emergency flare. Grabbing one and gently pulling it into what I believe is empty space I snap off the plastic cap and hissing red light engulfs the room.
Above me are long halogen bulbs that stretch into the unseen corners of the room. To my left and right are huge equipment storage shelves, black and glistening, covered in neat rows of weaponry. Without knowing the names I can see pistols, assault rifles and missile launchers just within my reach. I almost stab myself with the flare, jerking it away from the shelves too quickly. In the back there seems to be another row of shelves, fenced in yet again, this time with a matching black chain link fence. As I walk to it I can see plastic explosives against the wall, lining the concrete from floor to ceiling, and hand grenades off to the side of those.
“Why would they need all this stuff in Danton?” I wonder aloud to myself in general and to Cleaver in particular.
Before I make my way to the back we trek back upstairs, to the administrative offices of which there are few. We pass a large switchboard hidden behind another locked fence at which all the levers have been lifted up.
“I’ll bet the fences were electrified. I’ll bet you a Beggin’ Strip.”
Cleaver licks a mysterious sticky substance on the floor.
I sit behind the receiving desk and lift my boots to the top, grabbing the guest registry.
“Wow, how medieval…” all the entries are handwritten in pen. Only a few names in the week before… all this. No one I would recognize. No rank that I could attach special significance to. Although unless it’s a General, I’m really not of much help.
Looking around this room, there are a few more desks littered about the hardwood floor, and a heavy metal door at the back. The huge warehouse windows on either side have turned this space into an oven of sorts. That, coupled with my recent inebriation has made me thirsty. I go to exit through the back door which is locked on the outside.
“Well,” I say to the dog looking up at me, “let’s take a quick trip downstairs and go home. I can think of at least one thing we need. And I’m not leaving all those goodies down there without taking some home.”