They stepped into the lobby, looking at the room within the eerily narrow beams their headlamps provided.
"We should find the power," Michael suggested.
“We don't have enough time. Let's just make sure everything's still intact. You lead since you've been here before.”
“Alright, let's go to the sphere first then,” said Michael just before he stepped off to the right.
The two traveled down dark corridors. They passed doors left ajar, a reminder that the occupants had evacuated in a hurry. Suddenly Michael stopped dead as John came up to his side, his weapon at the ready.
“What is it?” he asked, his answer being the skeletal remains in the corridor up ahead.
“I guess they didn't all make it out,” Michael said.
John's brow wrinkled as the gears of his mind began spinning. “There's no reason they should have left anyone behind,” John said, walking up to the decayed corpse. He looked it over, and felt the cold grip of despair around his heart when he noticed the hole in the skull, the edges of the bone sharply fractured.
“Is that a skirt?” Michael asked.
“Yes, this was a woman and she didn't die of natural causes. Someone beat her over the head until her skull collapsed.”
“I don't know Michael, but I would love to find out. Right now though, I have living people to worry about. We need to keep moving.”
Michael agreed by walking past him and continuing down the corridor. He stopped again when his memory jarred him. He looked through an open door to see the gurney he'd known all too well. He wondered if anyone else ever suffered in its grip, then shoved the thought deep into his mind and continued forward.
The two traveled through snaking corridors and eventually emerged into a large circular room. Above, on a second level there was an observation lounge, reminding Michael how much of a guinea pig he had truly been. He wondered what they thought, watching the shell of a man, barely able to remember his own name, stumble into their multimillion dollar investment to disappear.
What a parlor trick it must have been.
“Michael, is this it?”
Michael focused on the bowl at the center of the room, its familiar hexagonal shapes as the building blocks of its form. “Yeah, this is it.”
“Jesus, what happened here?” John asked, looking at the skeletons that were strewn about the room with no rhyme or reason.
A sudden vibration caused both of them to glare upward into dust falling from the ceiling. They stood there looking up as if they could see through the hundreds of meters of dirt to the surface. Another thud reverberated through the room and without speaking a word they both sprinted in the direction they had come, clamoring over railings and stumbling over the bones of the dead.