Short Story: Lights Out Part 3

Security Chief Mike Pendegrass spent his younger days working as a beat cop in Saint Paul; turfing drunks from bars and keeping the peace when local kids got out of hand.  He never made it beyond Sergeant and didn’t aspire to anything except an easy retirement.  When his Captain had decided to “clean up” his department, Mike Pendegrass had been caught up in an Internal Affairs shakedown that took out 30 police, all marked as “Dirty” and summarily dismissed from the force.  5 Years later, Mike Pendegrass was exonerated on all charges but left out of work and without his pension.  Mike Pendegrass took his 20 years of beat cop and turned it into 15 more years of Security Guard at Melberton and Furlinger building Security Limited.

At 56, Mike was not a spring chicken anymore, but he was the Boss, and had a cushy desk job that paid better than any beat copy could have aspired to.  Most days he came into the office, sat at his desk and confirmed and signed reports from the day before, sometimes checking security footage to confirm the the accounts of his officers.  The rest of the day he could watch some TV, surf on the Internet and chat on the phone, a cushy well-paid job for the increasingly paunchy Top Security Guard at the Feldex building.

The odd crises that cropped up around large buildings tended towards power outs, fires and the odd bomb threat.  Mike’s job was to coordinate the response of the Security Team with building Relations and make sure that while secure, the building’s tenants were not overly inconvenienced by any of the actions of the Security Team.  This morning, there was a report of an alarm from the roof, someone had opened one of the roof access doors near the elevator engine room and left it unlocked.

“Boss, there’s a problem up on twenty-five” the radio bleated the voice of Ralph Furlinger, nephew to one of the Execs at M and F.  “There’s blood all over the stairs going to the roof, man”

“Say again, roof”  Mike sat up straight and tabbed through the cameras on 25 looking for the stairs.  Sure enough, in technicolor there was a bloody mess all over the stairs.  “Ralph, back away from the scene and close off the area.  Don’t let anyone near the stairs.  I’ll call the Police and get someone up ASAP.”

“Roger that” Mike watch Ralph cordon off the area with Caution signs and take up watch while Mike called the police.

“Hey, this is Security Chief M. Pendegrass over at the Feldex Building on East 7th, yeah, near the Wells Building.  We’ve had some sort of incident on the 25th, there’s blood all over the place.  We need someone to come check this out. We’ve secured the area, but it’s visible to the tenants. Thanks, I’ll meet your guys at the front Entrance”

Five Minutes later, two police in street uniforms arrived to accompany Mike to the 25th floor.  They rode in the elevator, not speaking beyond introductions and getting basic information.  They were barely beyond rookies and Mike knew that they were just there to make sure that it wasn’t some sort of prank.

When  they got to the 25th Ralph stood aside while Mike and the Two officers walked over to the Roof Access stairs and got a look at the Situation.  The Police asked for the lights to be dimmed, Mike radioed to the Security desk to ask for the lights in that section to be halved, in the gloom the police sprayed a small patch of the red fluid with what Mike guessed to be Luminol and passed a small black light over it, confirming that they had bodily fluids when it lit up.

Mike Radioed for the lights to come back up.

Then everything went Dark, then Blue.  The Emergency lights had come on.

“What the hell is going on?” Mike asked sternly into his radio, “did you kill the lights”

“No Chief, the whole building just went red”

“Okay, Patch me into the PA and I’ll make sure that we cover ourselves…Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Security Chief Mike Pendegrass, please remain in your offices and keep the stairs clear at this time.  I repeat please keep the stairs clear at this time.”  He clicked off his radio and turned to the Police.

“Fellas, it looks like we have to problems on our Hands.  I’ll leave Ralph here to help you guys out, I’ll meet anyone else you call in at the front, just have Ralph Page me.  If you’ll excuse me” The police turned and began to scan the area with small hand-held maglites they pulled from their belts.  The younger of the two began to talk into his radio, which suddenly burst to life with screams and wails.

“…SSQQQUEEEEEE… Holy Shit! Holy Shit… Do you see that in the Sky?….SSSHhhhhSSSSSSQUAAAAAaA  Officer Down at 7th and Marquette, Officer Down at Aaarrrrrrgh!….SSSShhhhhh Numer 242 requesting Backup…..”  The Two young officers stiffened and looked to Mike for his leave.

“I’ll call up some of my guys to lock this area down, but it sounds like there is a real crisis going on out there.  Tell you what, set up shop downstairs in my Security Office and call in from there”

Mike summoned some guards from the outdoor patrol and called for all but the emergency Exits to be locked down securely.  “Now Here this, this building is to be locked down, no one goes anywhere, all exits are to be monitored, all entrances are to be locked and guarded.  I don’t want anyone getting in or out without our knowledge.”  Mike clipped his radio to his belt as a chorus of affirmations came through the speaker.

The two beat cops beat it down the stairs leaving Mike and Ralph to look at the bloody mess; Mike found a chair in an empty office and sat down.  He pulled out his cell phone and tried to call his wife, no signal.  Ralph made a noise behind him.

“Chief, you gotta look out there” He pointed into the office that Mike had pulled the chair out of, “there’s something wrong with the sky”

Mike Pendegrass, Security Chief of the Feldex building stared out of a window on the 25th floor and straight into the twin setting suns in the yellow sky outside.  Suddenly, not getting a signal on his cell phone was the least of his worries.