“SYSTEM INTERUPTION! SYSTEM INTERUPTION! SYSTEM INTERUPTION!” JACOB’s warnings echoed loudly within the underground bunker’s walls! “We’re loosing power!” Dr. Pearson Oldham cried out! “Increase power levels!” Bentley Linus ordered. “Increasing power beyond the limit will fry the remaining logic circuits!” Oldham replied, “we need to shut down now!” Oldham started to reverse the power levels when suddenly Bentley knocked him back into the wall and pushed the levers as far forward as he could! “No one's stopping this project!” he warned! Suddenly, the entire bunker began to shake violently! “Linus!” Oldham yelled, “you’re going to destroy this entire operation!” Bentley ignored the warning and continued to push the levers!

Meanwhile, Thomas Rom weaved his way back to the memory columns, where Aaron Littleton and Skate Austen were waiting. “I assume the operation is a success!” Aaron asked. “Yes,” Rom replied, “the patient is terminal! Right where we want it to be! Now lets get!” Skate started to back into the vent when suddenly shots rang out! “There! Behind those columns!” one of the Dharma guards called out! Aaron immediately returned fire! The first guard dove behind a console but the second guard's arm and leg was neatly sliced off by the steel needles from the Spitter! Skate opened fire! Bullets ricocheted off the bunker walls! “Move!” Aaron yelled, “I’ll cover!” The first guard took another shot but Skate fired a quick burst, decapitating him! His headless body falling then flailing upon the floor!

Aaron and Skate moved towards the vent! Rom quickly followed but another shot rang out! He suddenly stumbled and slumped! “THOMAS!” Skate screamed, as she quickly crawled to him! Aaron glanced up to see Bentley Linus holding a rifle! A crooked smile crossed his face! Aaron fired a burst from the Spitter, which sent Bentley diving behind the console! Aaron quickly moved to where Rom, in an ever widening pool of blood, now lay! Skate was bent over him! “Thomas!” she cried, “try and put your arm over my shoulder! I’m getting you out of here!” Rom tilted his head towards her. “Skate,” he weakly whispered, “its over for me! I’ve fulfilled my destiny! Yours lies elsewhere! Go! Please!” “Come on, Skate!” Aaron said, “there’s nothing we can do for him! Let’s go!” Rom then nodded to Skate, closed his eyes and died! Next: Chap. 38 “Implosion”

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