Trigger burst in through the doors. He staggered a few paces, trying to catch his breath. Why had he run to the scene? What was the use of him coming? He knew he was too late, but something, maybe just his stubbornness, had driven him all the way to MoJo’s lair.
It was in ruins. He had gotten in easily; the gate was no longer guarded by the creatures of a nightmare. The only reason they had ever been there had been drug to the pits of hell by his own fault and there was no one there to worry about someone breaking in. Everything of any value had been taken by the Irkens who had first discovered MoJo’s death, including what Trigger had come for.
He’d gotten a lead from a friend who had heard from her friend who had been in the raid that had broken into MoJo’s base. He claimed that one of the slaves looked very similar to the kid who used to always be with Trigger. Now that was the only thing Trigger had to hold onto. With no information on where the surviving slaves had been taken, Trigger had just taken off to MoJo’s base. First of all, he had to verify for himself that O’Keelan, the one he was looking for, was not among the dead. Second, he had nowhere else to start.
Hesitantly, for fear of what he might find, he took a deep breath and started to make his way through the ravaged building. He took in everything as he walked. The main rooms were well furnished, with polished floors, cabinets and shelves and odd looking lights hanging from the roof, giving off an eerie blue glow. Of course, the shelves were pretty much empty now; books were strewn across the floor and cabinet doors swung open. Trigger tried to imagine how it would have looked while MoJo and the other unfortunate residents still occupied it. A huge winding staircase led both up and down. Trigger went down; figuring what he was looking for would be below. The steps creaked ominously in the silence as he made his way.
The first room he came to was MoJo’s study, which was not very different. Same blue glow, same polished floors, shelves and cabinets, just on a much smaller scale with a desk and swivel chair in the center of it. Pinned up on the walls and on his desk were an assortment of papers. Some of them looked to be blood stained. As he looked over them, he caught sight of one he wished he had not. Looking at the words and numbers on it, and the bloody finger prints in the corner, he decided it was a file over one of MoJo’s experiments. At the top was a name he knew all too well. He knew what had become of him, but it nearly killed him to see the only paper that would ever be written about him, after he had tried so hard to make himself known. He read a few lines then turned away, unable to bear the gory details of his last hours.
Quickly he left the room, taking with him a feeling of unease and evil. He explored a few more of the rooms on the level, but they all just looked to be storage rooms, all of which had been ransacked. He went back to the stairs and continued his descent down into darkness. The stairs finally came to a stop and he figured he had reached the very bottom level of MoJo’s base. The only light came from a few of the blue lamps on the walls, but they were very dim and Trigger had to strain his eyes to see. He switched his mechanical eye to night vision mode, and he was able to see for the most part. He was standing in a long hallway. The floor, walls, and doors were all made of metal, and blood, at least he thought it was blood, was smeared everywhere. A queasy feeling crept into his gut, but he forced himself to keep moving.
The first few doors all had large black numbers painted on them and underneath them, the word, “lab.” Knowing what went on in those rooms, he kept moving. Finally, he came to a door with no words painted on. It had a small barred window at the top and that was it. He opened it and slowly moved in. The most unpleasant stench he had ever smelt hit him the moment he opened the door. Rotting flesh. It was one of MoJo’s prisoner and slave cell rooms. Unfortunately, if he wanted to make sure that O’Keelan was still alive, he would to go through. There were at least ten cells inside. Trigger didn’t keep count. A few of them were empty, but occupying most of them were dead bodies. If MoJo’s death had been discovered sooner, many of those there would not be dead. Trigger sighed, half with pity, and half with relief. O’Keelan was not in that room. He checked the other five cell rooms, but didn’t find him.
Then it struck him. His friend had told him that her source had seen the slave in a separate room. He had been with the two dead bodies that had been first discovered, in a cell apart from the rest. Once Trigger had made sure that he checked every room (apart from the labs) on that level, he made his way back up the stairs, past the floor level and to the one above it. Once again, he came to another hallway; this one, better lit. After four rooms, he finally found the one he had been looking for. The feeling of dark and evil almost overwhelmed him as he stepped inside. It was a relatively small room. There was a table in the corner, and a cell in the corner opposite to it. The door to it had been pried open and it was empty. At that moment, Trigger was sure that O’Keelan had been there, that he was still alive and that there was still hope. His eyes shifted downward, to the center of the room. Two bodies, just like it had been said. They had been left untouched, for fear of a curse of a necromancer.
He recognized the one directly in front of the cell as MoJo. He was lying on his back, jaw slightly ajar. His one good eye was still open, bright and blue as ever. In his chest was a bullet hole, then a second in his forehead.
The other body was a female. Judging by her slightly tattered cloths and frail, dirty appearance, Trigger figured she was a slave. He knelt down beside her and looked her over more closely. Her neck was bruised and discolored, showing that she had been strangled just like it had been said. Trigger sighed in pity. She looked somewhat young and was rather pretty, probably not deserving of such a violent death. Her antennas looked slightly familiar to him, but he brushed it off. He had another thing on his mind.
He had spotted the gun used to shoot MoJo lying off to the side. From his experience, he knew it only had two shots, which had all been emptied on MoJo. Everything seemed to match up to what had been reported. Except one thing. Trigger got to his feet and walked back over to MoJo’s body. Squatting down, he studied the bullet holes a little more closely. Judging from the type of gun and wounds, he would have to have been shot at a bit of a distance. If the female had shot him like it had been said, she would have had to do so before he got close enough to strangle her; but with wounds like those, he wouldn’t have been able to kill her. She could have shot him while he was chocking her, but then the wounds would have looked different, as she would have been close to him. He could have come up with a few other wild suggestions, but the placement of the bodies and the gun cancelled out all of that. In fact, where the gun was suggested that the female had not shot him at all. If she hadn’t, who had?
Tired of worrying himself over things that didn’t really matter to him, he stood up and walked back out the door, casting one last glace at the empty cell and the two dead bodies. Why had O’Keelan not been killed as well? If an assassin had been the killer, why kill two, then leave the other to die? A strange, horrid idea popped into Trigger’s mind, but he quickly shook it out. There was no way that had happened. Muttering to himself, he walked out the door and left the building and its dark secrets behind him.