Alarms are blaring. Stone looks at a monitor:
ESCAPED ANIMAL IN CENTRAL CORE
Inside the Central Core, Hall looks up. It’s a five-story shaft with a ladder connecting different landings.
“That’s the ladder across from you,” says Stone over the intercom. “Go, man, before the gas starts!”
Hall runs to the other side of the shaft and looks down. Two lasers begin to aim toward him.
“THERE ARE NOW THREE MINUTES AND THIRTY SECONDS TO SELF-DESTRUCT,” says an announcement.
White plumes apart below Hall’s level.
“That’s the gas,” says Stone. “Keep going!”
A blocky image of a climbing man appears on Stone’s monitor, with crosshairs swinging closer to the man.
“The sensors have picked you up,” says Stone. “Keep moving!”
Hall picks up speed on the ladder.
“Duck!” yells Stone. Hall ducks.
A laser fires, missing Hall by inches.
“Keep going!” says Stone. Hall climbs some more.
“Duck!” yells Stone. Again, Hall twists and ducks.
“Keep going!” repeats Stone. Hall climbs some more.
“Duck!” says Stone. A green blast of laser light hits the side of the ladder.
“THERE ARE NOW THREE MINUTES TO SELF-DESTRUCT,” says an announcement.
Hall climbs onto the Level Four landing, and runs for the entryway. He tries to turn the airlock wheel but there’s a red flashing bar above the doorway.