24th October 2008, 1830 hours
Professor Ralston rushed up the corridor towards the lift and hammered the button frantically.
“Come on...Come on!” She murmured impatiently. After trying in vain for a few moments more, she turned on her heels and sped towards the stairwell, throwing open the doors and racing up the steps; two at a time. Apart from the echoes of her feet pounding the metal stairs, the complex was still in a sense of complete silence. As she cleared the stairs in group, Ralston made sure to keep a tight hold of the important folder in her arms. Finally reaching the directors floor, she burst through the doors and ran down the corridor. After what seemed like an eternity, she skidded to a halt outside his office. Composing herself, Rachel knocked on the door.
He was probably busy... Tough. He’d have to be dead for him not to hear her out. She entered the room. Granger was facing the window; his crop of grey hair just about visible above the leather chair.
“Director!..I...heh...” She spluttered, somewhere between speaking and gasping for breath, as she walked over to his desk.
“I...have...a report...that may...be crucial...to...the company...Director!...”
Granger didn’t turn around. The office was silent. Ralston straightened up and surveyed the room, realising for the first time just how dark it was. On the table in front of her lay an open file. It was empty.
“Richard..?” A sudden feeling of unease overcame her. The deafening silence of the office began to send chills down her spine. Something didn’t feel right. Why wasn’t he answering? Tentatively, she placed a hand on the corner of the executive’s chair. Exhaling slowly, Ralston turned the chair.
Her eyes grew wide in horror. Her body convulsed. Her stomach muscles tightened and she began to wretch violently, rebelling against what was now sitting in the chair. ‘Oh god...oh god...’
The putrid stench of charred flesh burned her nostrils, sending fresh waves of nausea through her body. Her head was spinning wildly but her eyes could not escape the mangled, mutilated mess. Thick droplets of crimson dripped from a crystal decanter like a spilt drink. The last thing she saw before the darkness overpowered her were Granger’s cold, greying eyes; floating like ice cubes; staring back at her from the crystalline glass.