Thunder rumbled in the pitch-black sky that had only recently been lit up by the flash of lightning. Rain started to tumble down, pattering on the cobbled stones of the side street. Splashes could be heard as shoes stepped into puddles.
There was someone there, with menacing red eyes and a balding head. He looked up to the structure ahead of him, his worksuit blowing in the wind.
He was going to infiltrate the hidden laboratory.
The man pulled off his smart jacket, allowing it to drop to the ground, where it proceeded to soak up the rainwater. Left with a shirt on, he reached up to the grille above his head and pulled it out, tossing it into the side street, where it landed with a resounding clang.
Job done, he hoisted himself up into the ventilation shaft which was just large enough for his body. Getting on all fours, he started to crawl through the long, metal tunnel before him.
It wasn't too long before the man reached the end of the tunnel. He had to endure a series of twists and turns, but it was worth it. He now looked upon a factory where workers were rushing about in bright orange uniforms and handling dangerous chemicals. The complex was set up in such.a way that there was a conveyor belt in the centre of the room and those who were changing shifts had to follow arrows around the sides of the room, staying away from the belt.
But it was what was on the belt that this man wanted.
Test tubes of TC-49.
When he was sure no-one was looking, he lowered himself from the ventilation shaft and dropped down onto a tall cabinet, crouching and lying flat upon impact. He crawled along a series of tall cabinets, dropping off them when they ended at a doorframe. The sign on the door said "Guard Station". He quickly worked his way through the door, all the time ensuring he wasn't seen.
As soon as he was through, he took a look around the brightly-lit room. There was no-one there, not even a soul taking a drink from the water fountain in the corner of the room. He then donned the protective orange outfit that was hanging on a peg by the door. It covered all his features except for a plastic panel over his eyes.
Walking around in this baggy suit, he turned around, exiting the room.
The workers were still handling the chemicals when he stepped out. He was off his target of when everyone changed shifts so he would have to work quickly, and silently all the time ensuring he was not noticed or seen as suspicious.
He followed the arrows along the floor, keeping his head down. Out of the corner of his vision, he could see a small machine descending from the roof of the building onto the conveyor belt. It looked like some sort of automatic injector. When it reached the conveyor belt, it grabbed a test tube of TC-49 before a needle descended into it and injected it with something.
"Huh." The man whispered silently to himself. He strode over to one of the workmen who was handling the chemical just before it reached the machine.
"Hey, I'm here to take you off your shift." He muttered as quietly as he could.
"Oh? That's a relief! I was getting cooked in this suit!" Came the also quiet reply. The worker handed the man the test tubes he had been working with, shaking out his outfit. He followed the arrows back to the guard station.
The tubes felt surprisingly warm to the touch. No wonder the worker felt so warm when handling these. However, the man was only here for a sample, but he didn't have any pockets. He wasn't going to try and drink any either!
When he was sure he wasn't being watched by his neighbors - who seemed to be doing the mundane tasks of mixing the chemicals between the test tubes - he slipped a cork from the table onto the tube. He pretended to look at the substance to make sure it was mixed properly before also pretending he had an itch in his hand. He silently slipped the tube into his gloves.
It was hot!
Realising he couldn't waste much time at all, he placed another cork on the tube he had been handling at the same time before retreating into the guard station.
He took off the suit and re-pegged it, ignoring all other safety advice. He kept the glove and tube though.
Escape wasn't going to be easy. He took a moment to look around the guard room. The polished table tops for lunch, the water fountain, lockers for posessions and pegs for clothes. There wasn't much that was going to be of use to him.
He managed to finally decide on something though - a small ventilation shaft in the corner of the room.
He pulled off the grille as usual, dropping it with care on the ground so it landed with no more than a quiet clang. He hoisted himself up to check the shaft. It was only just large enough for him to fit, and this wasn't going to be as comfortable a crawl as when he came into the centre. He groaned as he tried to fit his body in, inching along the shaft. This was going to take a while but it would be worth it in the end.
When the world was his.