The elevator halted at floor 23. The door opened slowly. Another creepy guy peered in! Charlene Collins quickly brought him down with another dart!

Creepy Guy Two now lay across the elevator threshold, preventing the door from closing. Charlene remained in the elevator, wary of any other creeps, who might be lurking about.

With the tranquilizer gun at the ready, she slowly poked her head out the door and checked up and down the hallways. Nothing!

As she stepped forward, however, a dart narrowly missed her head! She quickly glanced around and saw Creepy Guy Three and Four taking refuge behind a couple of plastic plants further down the hall.

Charlene returned fire. One dart penetrated a plastic leaf and made contact with Creepy Guy Three’s arm. He slumped over.

‘Hey, I’m not bad at this dart gun thing!’ Charlene thought.

She heard Creepy Guy Four make a call over a two way radio.

“Need backup to the 23rd floor, immediately! We have a breach!”

In a manner of minutes, two uniformed security guards came around the corner. Charlene opened fire with a barrage of darts, which sent the guards quickly scrambling for cover.

“Throw down your weapon!” Charlene heard someone call out, “come out slowly with your hands up!”

A weapon was immediately thrown from the elevator onto the hallway floor.

Two security personnel approached and kicked the weapon away. They moved cautiously in front of the elevator, only to be brought down by another barrage of darts. Charlene had used Creepy Guy Two’s weapon as a decoy, while holding on to her own.

“Can’t believe they fell for that old trick!” she said to herself. But she knew this wouldn’t last forever. The tranquilizer gun was bound to run out of darts sooner or later. She had to find Megan and time was not on her side!

Charlene heard more footsteps out in the hallway. She figured more security had just arrived. She reached down to Creepy Guy Two and checked his pockets for any thing she might be able to use.

Suddenly, Creepy Guy Two reached up and took a hold of Charlene’s throat! She tried to scream but could only gasp! She dropped the tranquilizer gun, as she began to loose consciousness!

As Creepy continued to choke her, Charlene mustered all the strength she could and managed to reach into her back pocket for the Zap gun. She weakly took the gun and, using its prods, stabbed Creepy Guy in the eye. His eye exploded like a coffee cream packet punctured with a fork!

Creepy let out an ear splitting scream, as he immediately released his grip around Charlene’s throat! At that exact moment, Charlene re-stabbed Creepy’s other eye, but this time she pulled the Zap gun’s trigger! He fell back down onto the elevator threshold, now blinded and unconscious.

Charlene caught her breath before retrieving the tranquilizer gun. She decided to try one more time to see if Creepy Guy had anything that could be of any help.

One ballpoint pen, two handkerchiefs, and one wallet later, she found two small cylindrical containers, each with a pull pin. On each container’s side it read: SMOKE GRENADE.

Charlene suddenly thought of a way to escape.

She immediately pulled the pins and tossed both grenades into the hallway, then held her breath!

Next: Chap. Forty-Three “Torn to Shreds”

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