8.8 Silent Doors

by Matt P.

“They must be meeting in the Stargate room.” Morgan commented as they began to climb up the stairs toward the top of the building. Walter didn’t give her a side-eye because she did it so quietly that it didn’t bother him; he gave her a side eye because the sentence didn’t make any sense to him.

“Stargate?” He murmured as they carefully made their way up, and up, and up. “The movie and TV show with Alan Shore and MacGuyver?”

“Ok…” Morgan murmured. “You’re not allowed to look at me like I’m a nerd, and then name two different actors from the show. There are a series of rooms in the attic of the school that happens to contain some of the HVAC and pump equipment. When they turn on it makes some unusual noises that students decided was a Stargate when the movie came out. Before that they had decided it was a movie theater.”

“So what’s actually in this room specifically?” Walter asked.

“Just loose storage and a big brick wall.” Morgan answered softly.

“She gets to talk all she wants, but we talk about fashion for two steps and I get yelled at?” Tania pointed out from the rear as they came up to the final flight of stairs. “Discrimination.” She muttered, before she grew quiet as they came up to the door that some enterprising student had recently graffiti’d with something unflattering and anatomical.

“Charming.” Tania murmured as they knelt next to the door. It had been left open just a crack, and they got quietly up to it. Walter leaned in and heard the murmuring of people speaking beyond, too blocked by the door to make anything out. He took the handle carefully in his hand and lifted the door up and toward the hinges gently so it wouldn’t squeak before he began to slowly push it in.

Through the slowly growing crack Walter, Morgan, and Tania could see in to the dimly lit storage room. At first Walter thought that it was illuminated by candles or some other natural lighting before he realized that it was blue. And that was probably not an actual candle, although he had seen Siobhan buy some pretty weird stuff in her time.

As the door slid open Walter saw a relatively convenient pile of what looked to be discarded overhead projectors, likely the technological detritus of some new grant program that made them obsolete. He tapped Morgan and then Tania on the shoulder, and pointed to himself. He then pointed to the pile, and they both nodded.

As he was carefully crouch-walking the short distance to the cover, he began to hear the voices more clearly. He didn’t recognize either one of them, but he started making out the words as if they were also moving closer to him.

“I’m telling you I looked again, and none of them are the ones we’re interested in.” A guttural voice said in anger.

“And I’m telling you we had people who saw them come.” Another man, his voice a smoother and more cultured sounding tenor, responded. “Did you check perhaps outside, or deem it sufficient to rifle through children’s wallets for identification?”

The silence that followed was somewhat telling, as was the quiet sound of a boot scuffing on the floor. A third voice let out a harsh snort. “Jesus, this is just one more reason why we shouldn’t be doing it this way.” While the voice hadn’t been quite so disaffected last time, Walter recognized it immediately. “What a cluster this has turned out to be. Again.”

Apparently so did Morgan and Tania, as all three of them met eyes for a quick moment and mouthed his name. “Tennyson.” Walter noticed that Tania looked angry, but Morgan mirrored the growing smirk on his own face at the thought that the man was not particularly happy with his current situation.

“You didn’t want to use the dogs either.” The rough voice accused, as Walter started to slowly crouch-walk his way to the next bit of cover, looking for a good angle to see the people speaking in the room.

“Yeah, I didn’t. And what did it do?” Tennyson challenged. Walter came around and found himself looking at the backs of the three men as they stared at something. Walter was going to look more at the two men he hadn’t met, but then he saw what was between them.

On the wall beyond them was a circle of white paint with strange symbols surrounding it. Small tings had apparently been set in to the bricks of the wall, and they glowed with a milky white-blue light. The inside of the circle was filled with what Walter would have, in all honesty, called a Stargate. It seemed to glow and ripple with the same light as the things put in to the bricks, and for brief moments Walter could see a snowy landscape through it. He almost stumbled before he caught himself and his composure kept him from knocking everything over.

Even Tania and Morgan seemed like they were surprised to see it, although they obviously recognized what it was. They looked around the symbols and more recognition dawned in their eyes, before they shared a quick look.

“We need to keep them from closing the doorway.” Morgan said, gesturing to the Stargate. “It’s probably important.” Walter nodded, looking around the room to see what he could use to get closer.

“Well fine. The time for arguing any of this has past. Was there any sign of the police?” The cultured voice asked.

“No, sir.” The rough voice responded. “The man, Walter, is probably in the building. But he hasn’t tripped any of our alarms yet.” Cultured man sighed, while Walter looked to the two sisters at the word ‘alarms’. They both smirked in satisfaction, and Walter gave them a grin.

“Very well. Go pick some of the children and kill them. That should draw them out.” Cultured man said.

“WHAT?” Tennyson shouted, at the same time the smirks and grin fled from the features of their quiet watchers.