The water in the room was so thick with stirred up dust and detritus that visibility was highly limited. Vince overlaid his 3D map over the real surroundings so the outlines of everything seemed to glow brightly. He saw Elvis moving right toward a wall. He paddled over and steered him correct by the elbow.
They slid open a panel and keyed it open. A long panel slid upward and there were hundreds of rows of long thin drawers with glowing blue stripes running across each one. The labels were in some script Vince didn’t recognize, but his gun translated for him. It was still indecipherable to him though. Just a series of alphanumeric classification codes. According to the files Kay got from The Custodian, the birds should be under Header G9. Sub-headers LL.2 – LH.27. He scanned along the drawers until he found the groups. The codes in questions were contained within seven drawers. Each one about half a meter long, 15 centimeters high, and 25 centimeters back. He stacked the seven drawers in Elvis’s arms. Luckily, the removable drawers were airtight and sealed, so that they could be taken away and opened later. Once Elvis had all seven drawers, Vince activated a card that turned into a plastic fabric case to keep them all together.
They returned to the hatch. There was no more thumping, but they were hesitant to re-open that can of worms. So to speak. Vince sent a UNO to Kay to let her know where they were in the planned sequence of events. She INO’d him back. They were ready, just outside the zoo. The INO included an image of Lisa striking a suggestive pose and making a face like a model or something. Venting girls.
Elvis’s voice came over his phones.
“Let’s get this over with. I’m going to put these right here so I won’t be encumbered. Re-cut this hatch and let’s see what’s out there. Be on guard.”
Vince cut through the welds and pulled the hatch toward him slowly. No movement of water this time. The water was all stirred up. Pieces of meat and gore still floated all around. The Earth in the background looked like just one more piece of shredded flesh, rotting away.
They didn’t see any movement so they collected the drawers and swam to the airlock. Once they were back in the maintenance room, they keyed off their suits and re-keyed their disguises. Elvis strapped four drawers to his back and Vince took the other three.
They made their way carefull back through the R’lyeh exhibit. Peeking around corners like they saw science hero detectives do on the blackwall shows. One cleaning robot scanned them, but they hurried on past like they were supposed to be there.
The front of the zoo was closed and locked, but it was all old school iron bars, and it was easy to climb over. The electric eyes surely filmed them, but they looked like two teenage girls out for kicks. They hoped.
They hit the ground running through the dim station night. There were many people still in this part of the station, but no one paid much attention to them. They came to the intersection where Kick had parked the mag cart. They sat down heavily on one of it’s skids.
Lisa did a little jump and clapped her hands.
“You made it! Something went right for once!”
Elvis sighed, “Yeah. For once.”
Kay put her hand on his head, “Yeah but we better…”
A booming voice interrupted and a bright light lit them and their cart up.
“Fugitives! Lie prone on the ground with your hands in plain sight! Do not attempt to send any signals or transmissions!”
Vince squinted to try to see who was spotlighting them. Before his tech could compensate, Elvis said, “I know that venting voice!”
The Comptroller lowered the lights to their feet. His voice came again, this time un-amplified.
“So wonderful to see you all again.”