His bright yellow hair partially hidden by a hat, a lone figure in a white lab coat strode purposefully down the brightly lit, but much less crowded corridors of the Keystone arena.
“Stay calm, look like you belong. Look like you belong.” muttered Koa to himself as he strode past two guards while nodding cordially to them. The guards merely grunted in response, barely giving Koa a second look. This was a new lab after all, with hundreds of scientists in similar coats entering and exiting throughout the day.
Koa, Eva and Kyros had just arrived at the newly popular Keystone Arena. Kyros quickly took off to sort out his registration while Eva mentioned something about meeting an old friend, which left Koa all by himself. Not one to waste any time, Koa set out to see if there was any way he’d be able to find clues as to why a Keystone truck would be at the lab the night of the fire.
It didn’t take long to realize there was a separate area cordoned off solely for member of the Keystone Group. Fortunately for Koa, scientists in white lab coats were constantly scurrying in and out of the entrance, which was how Koa found himself in his current situation.
Fortune must favor the brave, as Koa quickly located a door with the words “Records Room” printed in large bold letters. If there was going to be anywhere that had information on Embie’s whereabout, this was it. Everything else could wait, the mission was, and always has been about finding Embie.
Slipping in was a piece of cake, solely because of the fact that the door wasn’t locked. Perhaps security never expected that anyone would be able to get this far into the restricted area without being caught. However, what Koa saw immediately afterwards astounded him.
It wasn’t the sheer volume of information contained within this room, nor was it the even fact that the room that potentially contained the results of all Keystone’s secret research was left completely unguarded. Instead, it was the rows and rows of metal cabinets packed to the brim with handwritten files that had Koa staring on in disbelief.
Keystone, the largest conglomerate in the world that didn’t so much as bat an eye when forking out ridiculous sums to have this arena built still relied on a manual filing system?
“You’ve got to be kidding me. What is this, the 90s?” muttered Koa as he wandered helplessly through the rows of cabinets. “What happened to Google Drive? Or Sharepoint? How in the world does anyone find anything in this chaos?”
At a loss as to how he’d begin to locate find the information he needed, Koa pulled open several cabinets at random but was quickly left dismayed at the sheer impossibility of the task.
“… telling you, gotta be in there somewhere”. Voices drifted closer, startling Koa and giving him but a few seconds to slip around a metal cabinet to avoid being spotted.
“I’ve seen that brat skulking about here like a little rat. Think he’s better than us just because daddy’s money is all that.” a man in the typical Keystone guard uniform said as he entered the room.
“He’s a pain, but how does that help us in finding Jesus?” his partner replied. “I doubt Pound would have told Elias anything about us. To him we’re just another employee, another small cog in the Keystone wheel.”
“Everything that goes on in Keystone is right here in these files. They moved the storage over to the arena since the main building was getting hit with audits left and right” replied the man. “If there’s any record of where Charles is hiding him, it’ll be here.”
His heart beating furiously in his chest, Koa moved as quietly as he possible could to circle the guards as they wandered amongst the aisles just as he had earlier. He could not afford to be caught, and thankfully the room was both large and dark enough that he’d remain hidden as long as was careful.
15 minutes pass and to Koa’s dismay, another guard popped his head into the room. Dodging two guards was hard enough but any more and there wouldn’t be anywhere left to hide!
“Carmen! Javier! Lunch break is over, Mr Pound is asking for the two of you” shouted the guard. “What the hell did you two do to get him to request for you specifically?”
“Damn it…” Koa heard the female guard mutter as they rushed out of the room, finally leaving Koa alone in the dark room.
“Never again, I’m way too old for all this sneaking around” muttered Koa some time later as he strode out of the restricted area, his face once again partially covered by the hat.
“Next time Eva can do it. Or maybe Lise. Can finally do something useful for once instead of spending all her time in the lab filming for that stupid Instagram account of hers.”