Charlie Hume, Liam Pace, Megan Pace, and Pavlov Florensky, stood silently still, as they peered up at the gun barrel sticking out from an air vent up on the elevator’s ceiling.

Suddenly, the face of a young, pretty girl, with long red hair, looked out the vent and smiled.

“Megan!!! Charlie!!! Uncle Liam!! What are you guys doing here???!!!” Charlene Collins cried out.

“Uh, rescuing you!!” Megan replied laughing.

Charlene jumped down and embraced them all!

“What were you doing up there, Char?!” Charlie asked.

“It’s a long story,” Charlene answered, “but lets just say I was kinda trapped, fighting off a bunch of creepoids, and I used a couple of smoke thingies to cause a distraction, while I crawled up through the vent and hid. Then I heard your voices! By the way, what in the hell is all this about?!”

“Thats also a long story, Char,” Charlie replied, “we’ll tell you all about it later. Right now, this whole place is about to implode and we’ve got only minutes to get out!”

“Yeah, I was wondering what all this shakin’ was about!!” Charlene replied.

The elevator finally came to a stop on the ground floor. The hallway outside was crowded with multitudes of Apollo Candy Company employees, as they ran to the exits, in an effort to escape the uncontrolled chaos.

Charlie, Megan, Charlene, Liam, and Pavlov, moved quickly out of the elevator and immediately became swept up in the mad rush.

Liam grabbed a hold of Megan’s hand, as Charlie did with Charlene, to prevent being split apart and swept away within the mass exodus. However, Pavlov did get caught up and was quickly swept away!

Charlie noticed a fire exit ahead.

“Liam!! Megan!!!” Charlie called back, “exit!!”

Liam and Megan nodded.

As they neared the exit, they managed to work through the crowd, then out through the doors, finding themselves on the facilities grounds, just outside the main building.

“Where’s Pavlov?!” Charlie asked.

“He was right behind us!” Liam answered.

“We’ve got to go back!!!” Megan stated.

“Well, well, well," a female voice suddenly asked, in a sing song fashion, "now where do all of you think you're going?!"

They immediately turned around to see a very pretty girl, with long purple and green streaked hair, with a tranquilizer gun in her hand and a crazy look in her eyes!

“Lysergic!!!” Megan cried out.

“You know her?!” Charlie asked.

“Yes, unfortunately!” Megan answered.

“Lysergic!” Charlene sternly said, “didn't I lock you up in your room?! Look, we don’t have time for any more of your insanity!!”

“This whole building is going to implode in a matter of minutes!” Charlie explained, “We’ve ALL got to get out of here, NOW!!”

“Implode??!!” Lysergic excitedly replied, “that would be kinda cool!!”

“Well, you can go ahead and stay for the show, little girl!” Liam said, “but we’re getting the hell out of here!!”

As Liam turned, he felt a sudden stinging pain in his neck! He reached up and pulled out a dart!

“I’M NOT A LITTLE GIRL!!!” Lysergic angrily yelled, after she had shot him!

“YOU BITCH!!!” Megan cried out, “I’M GONNA KILL YOU!!!”

Lysergic coolly pointed the tranquilizer gun at Megan, then psychotically smiled.

“BRING IT ON, SLUT!!!” Lysergic taunted, but before she could get another shot off, she found herself in a headlock!

Pavlov Florensky had caught up to the group and had grabbed Lysergic from behind.

Megan rushed up and knocked the gun out of Lysergic’s hand.

“OWWW!! YOU’RE HURTING ME, YOU BULLY!!!” Lysergic cried out, as she struggled to slip out of Pavlov’s grip.

“You’re a feisty one aren’t you, little girl??!!” Pavlov laughed.

“FOR THE LAST TIME….I’M NOT A LITTLE GIRL!!!” Lysergic screamed, “I’M ALL GROWN UP!!!”

Lysergic then simultaneously kicked Pavlov in the shin, while biting his arm.

As Pavlov involuntarily released his grip, Lysergic escaped across the facilities grounds, disappearing into the fleeing crowd.

“Dad!!” Megan turned to Liam, “you okay?!”

Liam pulled the dart out of his neck and examined it.

“I’m okay, babe,” Liam laughed “I've become immune to all this stuff by now!”

“Pavlov!!” Charlene urgently noted, “If we get out of here, the first thing you need to do, after being bitten by that mad wench, is get tested for rabies!!”

Pavlov nodded and laughed.

Suddenly, the main building started to crumble, as it began to implode!

Charlie yelled, “Pav, time to call Frank!!”

Pavlov took the radio and tried to contact Frank Lapidus.

Only static!

“Magnetic field is wrecking havoc with the transmission!” Pavlov reported, “I’ll have to use the flare!!!”

Pavlov took out the flare gun and fired. The flare streaked up in a blinding bright curve, lighting up the entire area.

Suddenly, a black trapezoidal shaped helicopter came scurrying over a pylon.

The copter was dropping flash grenades and smoke bombs, sending the escaping crowd and any security personnel still left, scurrying for cover!

The copter gently set down less than twenty feet away, as Charlie, Liam, Megan, Charlene, and Pavlov, made a beeline for the chopper’s open doors.

“You called?!” Frank yelled out, laughing!

“You bet!!" Charlie smiled, as they all jumped on board.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Frank announced, “please buckle up and keep all hands and feet within the confines of the aircraft. And, as we depart, I want to thank you for flying Desert Rat Charter!”

As Frank powered up, the copter quickly lifted off the ground and shot back over the pylon fence, speeding away from the Apollo Candy Company grounds.

After a few minutes, they all breathed a sigh of relief, as the copter gently descended, touching down by the sand dunes, where Pavlov had parked his car.

They hopped out of the copter and glanced down the ridge, overlooking the Apollo Candy facilities, just in time to see the black monolithic building twist and tear into itself, until it finally disappeared into an implosion of dark desert dust!

Next: Chap. Forty-Five “Epilogue”

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