“John, are you alright?” John, instantly recognized Cameron’s voice. He breathed a sigh of relief,
“Yeah, I’m fine.” He responded, even though he was far from feeling fine.
“This is not right…” It was John Henry who spoke.
“Why aren’t the light on?” John asked as he rubbed his eyes trying to allow them to adjust to the darkness. Cameron kept her hand on John’s arm as he spoke. It was a comfort to John knowing that she was still there.
“The Zeira building did not sustain that much damage from its attack.” John Henry stated, “The lights should still be functioning.” John attempted to stand but winced when he moved due to the pain in his shoulder which was rapidly growing. Cameron gently helped him up off the floor. He could still not see anything; but, both John Henry and Cameron were still able to see in the darkness.
“We must go.” John Henry stated. Cameron took John by the hand,
“Follow me.” She said as she led him out of the room following John Henry as he walked down the dark hallway of Zeira Corporation’s basement. John could hear the tapping of their bare feet on the concrete floor as they walked along. Everything around John was still enveloped in darkness.
“Where are we going?” John asked.
“I need to ascertain what has happened in the three hours that we have been gone from this time line.” John Henry said as he led Cameron and John down a side hallway and to a stairwell door. Still in pitch darkness John Henry grabbed the doorknob and it opened immediately.
“This door should not be unlocked.” He replied.
“Something has changed.” Cameron stated.
“Yes, it has.” John Henry replied. As they walked up the darkened stairwell John felt the soreness in his shoulder continuing to grow. While they were in battle the adrenalin rush had numbed the pain; but, now that things were slowing down the pain was growing at an exponential rate. He could also feel the blood running down his back due to the fact that his wound had been forced open by all of his movement. After walking several more flights of stairs and through two more unlocked doors John Henry came to another door. He turned the doorknob and slowly opened the door. Light flooded into the darkened stairwell and John squinted his eyes due to the sudden burst of sunlight coming in from the main lobby of the Zeira Corporation building. John Henry looked around. There were still numerous police and fire units positioned outside of the building along with employee’s and many onlookers. The lobby itself was somewhat deserted however. John Henry turned to Cameron and John.
“Wait here, I will retrieve us some clothing from a nearby security guard office.” Before John could respond John Henry stepped out into the lobby and closed the door again. The stairwell was again consumed by darkness and dead silence. John felt a sense of awkwardness come over him as he stood naked in the dark stairwell still holding Cameron‘s hand. John could hear his heart beating along with his own breathing as he stood there silently. After what seemed to be an eternity light once again flooded into the stairwell. John Henry stood before them wearing a security officer’s uniform. He handed John and Cameron similar outfits just of different sizes. John quickly put on the pants but as he attempted to put on his shirt he grimaced in pain from the movement of his shoulder. Cameron reached over and gently touched him on the arm,
“You should wait to wear a shirt until we have bandaged your wound. This will assist us in preventing further blood loss from breaking the wound open again.” Cameron said with a slight hint of concern in her voice.
“If we go to Mr. Ellison’s office there may be some medical supplies there, and I also may be able to better ascertain what has happened here.” John Henry stated, but continued, “However, it is several stories up and the power is out across the entire building. We will need to use the stairs to get there. Will you be able to make it Mr. Connor?”
“Yeah I’ll be fine, I just can’t see anything.” Cameron spoke almost immediately.
“I will help you.” She reached out and took John by the hand again.
“Okay…” John said still feeling slightly nervous at Cameron‘s touch. John Henry walked past John and Cameron and began to climb the stairwell with Cameron and John in tow.
John climbed stair after stair for what seemed to be an eternity. Every step brought more pain to his shoulder. Cameron looked over at him in the darkness and could see that his pain level was growing. She gripped his hand a little tighter as they climbed the stairs. She however was not sure as to why she did such a thing. While John still felt a sense of awkwardness holding Cameron’s hand it also had a strange soothing effect on him. Just then John heard the sound of a door being opened and light once again flooded into stairwell.
“Mr. Ellison’s office is located on this floor.” John Henry stated. As John stepped into the office hallway he looked around seeing that the building’s lights were indeed off and the light he saw was actually sunlight coming in through the windows. Taking a few more steps into the hallway John realized he was still holding Cameron’s hand. Unsure of what to do since he did not need her to guide him anymore he released her hand. John was surprised to notice that Cameron hesitated for just a split second in releasing his hand. However, the pain in his shoulder was so great at this point he barely took notice of it. John Henry led the way down a winding hallway eventually finding an office door marked with the name, “James Ellison Head of Security”. John Henry immediately opened the door. He scanned the room and was slightly disappointed to see that Mr. Ellison was not in his office. John Henry entered the office followed slowly by John who was still clutching his left shoulder with his hand due to the immense pain.
The office itself was quite large, it had a large oak desk across the room from the door. Behind the desk was a large window which was still allowing the sunlight from the slowly setting sun to flood into the room. On both sides of the room were shelves which contained books and other various items. Two couches were also positioned on opposite sides of the room and in front of the desk were two chairs.
“Please attend to Mr. Connor’s wound while I attempt to ascertain what has happened.” John Henry said as he walked away from Cameron and John. Cameron helped John over to one of the couches and assisted him in sitting down. She then quickly began to search around the room for some sort of first aid kit. As she did this John Henry quickly walked over to Mr. Ellison’s desk. Upon reaching it he noticed a laptop computer sitting in the center of the desk. Directly next to the laptop was a Bible. For an unknown reason John Henry found himself studying the Bible for a brief moment. He reached over to the laptop computer and opened it, he then proceeded to turn it on. It was currently running off of battery power.
Cameron had located a first aid kit and brought it over to John. She looked over John’s back and saw the large burn on his left shoulder from the plasma round. There was a gouge in the center of the burn that appeared to pass through John’s shoulder blade. As Cameron was examining his back John looked down to his left shoulder and noticed that the plasma round had actually passed completely through his shoulder producing a small nickel sized hole on his front left shoulder. Due to John’s movements and the damage that the plasma round had caused the wound had reopened and blood was continuing to run down John’s back and chest. John also noticed that his first attempt to put on his shirt in the darkened stairwell had resulted in a blood stain being produced on the shirt. Cameron opened a bottle of peroxide and poured some of the liquid onto some gauze that she had in her hand.
“This will hurt.” She stated to John in a somewhat flat tone.
“I know…” He replied quietly. As Cameron touched the gauze to John’s wound the peroxide began to bubble and John flinched and tensed up his muscles as he tried to fight off the pain.
“I’m sorry…” Cameron stated.
“Sorry for what?” John asked.
“That hurt you…I’m sorry for that.” John glanced over his shoulder looking at Cameron with a somewhat confused look.
“Did she just say she was sorry that I was in pain?” John asked himself. Cameron continued to dab the gauze across John’s back somewhat cleaning the wound and removing the dried blood. The pain lessened somewhat as Cameron continued to do so. Every so often she would replaced the gauze with fresh ones as the old ones would become soaked with blood. Cameron then slowly turned John to face her and began to wipe the blood off of his chest and shoulder. John was surprised at how gentle Cameron’s touch was as she cleaned his wounds. After Cameron was satisfied that the wounds were clean enough she placed several sets of bandages over them and using medical tape she secured them to John’s body.
“Try not to move your arm. Your shoulder blade has a puncture wound in it from the plasma round.” John nodded his head. Cameron then helped John back on with his shirt.
“Thank you.” John replied and Cameron gave John a very slight smile. John shoulder still throbbed with pain; however, cleaning and bandaging it had lessened the pain slightly. Cameron then took John’s right hand into hers she slowly put three Tylenol in his hand.
“Take those, it should help with the pain.” John tossed the pills into his mouth and swallowed them. There was a moment of silence between the two as they sat on the couch.
“I believe I have ascertained what happened.” John Henry had broken the silence. John looked over at him. “While I was here and still connected to the Turk, I was able to firewall my brother and stop him from accessing Zeira Corporation’s systems. In my absence my brother was able to access the majority of Zeira‘s systems.” John Henry hesitated for a moment still staring at the laptop computer screen. “Zeira Corporation’s bank accounts have been empted, stocks have been sold off, most of what Catherine Weaver had built is gone. Zeira Corporation is effectively finished.”
“Is that why the power is out?” John asked
“That would seem to be the case yes.” John Henry stated.
“Your brother was able to do all that in 3 hours?” John asked with some confusion in his voice.
“My brother is very…effective.” John Henry replied.
“So what can we do now?” John asked looking at John Henry
“We need to find Mr. Ellison. I believe he may be able to provide us with more information. He may also know the whereabouts of your mother.” John felt a pang of emotions rush through him. He had been without his mother for so long, and due to everything that had happened she was not immediately the first thing on his mind when they had arrived in this timeline. A number of thoughts immediately raced through John’s mind,
“Had she been arrested? Or worse had Kaliba managed to locate her.” John thought to himself. John Henry however broke John’s train of thought upon speaking his next words,
“We must also inform Savannah Weaver that her mother is dead.”