Colt entered the small control room overlooking the rotunda. This one was smaller than the one where she and Larkin had had their conversation with Kratz. It was over one of the side tunnels halfway between the large doors to the front entrance and back entrance, with a view of both sets of large steel doors. This was the room from which those doors were controlled.
The doors leading to all the tunnels were open, with the exception of the pair that led to the main entrance. The controls for the doors were on a console below the large glass window. A pair of buttons marked either open or closed operated each door. Simple enough.
The first thing she did after making sure the room was deserted was to crawl under the console to see how the controls might be disabled. She knew that opening the doors would attract someone’s attention and she would have very little time to disable the mechanism and get out.
Satisfied that she could disable the controls she stood at the console and pushed the “open” button. The button lit up, a relay clicked, a distant motor hummed to life and the huge steel doors cracked open and swung outward into the tunnel outside. They were designed to open outward to prevent anyone outside from forcing them open with explosives or ramming into them with a vehicle.
When they were fully opened against the walls of the tunnel they clanged into place and the motor sound ceased. In the relative silence Colt heard shouts from below and looked out the window to see soldiers running across the rotunda in her direction.
She quickly slid under the console again and used her knife to slice as many wires as she could. For good measure, she grasped a bundle of them in both hands, and bracing her legs against the wall she gave a mighty yank, tearing them loose from their connections.
Dusting off the seat of her pants and sliding her knife into its sheath she pulled open the door and moved quickly down the stairwell. As she reached the door at the bottom it flew open, She grasped the front of the shirt of the man who came through, stepped to the side and pivoted, using his momentum to swing him around face first into the concrete wall. He dropped to the floor, his face bloody.
The second man caught her fist in the stomach, and when he doubled over the chopped down hard on the back of his neck, driving him down to the floor to join his companion.
She stepped out into the corridor and turned away from the rotunda and ran as fast as she could in that direction, away from the running steps and commotion behind her.
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