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Mortal Gods: “HVT” – Chapter 1

Mortal Gods: “HVT” Cover Art.
© Paul Hair, 2017.
Mortal Gods: “HVT” is an original story set in the universe of Mortal Gods. I am publishing this short story serially here at Liberate Liberty and simultaneously at Liberty Island Magazine. I will publish a new chapter each week (normally Mondays) until I complete the story.

Foreword:

Note: This story takes place after the events of, “Like Hail and Fire, Mixed with Blood,” in the book, Mortal Gods: Ignition.

Chapter 1:

Adam walked down the long hallway. He had one more exam to get through before he was to go to the briefing that would tell him what his first mission would be.

The hallway was clean and modern, with a shiny black floor, navy blue metallic walls, and covered fluorescent lights overhead that were spaced evenly between the white ceiling tiles. He passed many identical doors to rooms that contained offices, laboratories, and who knows what else. Each one had a plaque on the wall next to it. The plaque contained the room number and the name of the group currently assigned to that office, along with the name of the person heading that particular activity.

But Adam didn’t bother to give any of them any more than a cursory glance. He saw the room number of an office a few doors back and he knew he had a ways to go to find the one he wanted.

There were no windows. The building was, after all, an underground facility.

His government-issued athletic shoes—cross-trainers to be exact—made just a little sound on the hard surface underneath him as he walked. They also were navy blue and had some black designs and highlights on them. The color matched the physical fitness uniform jacket and pants he wore over the matching trunks and t-shirt. The material rubbing against itself was louder than the sound his shoes made on the floor.

A woman turned the corner of an intersecting hallway just a few yards ahead of Adam. She was the first person he saw since leaving his quarters. She was dressed as everyone was here: boardroom attire. She wore a black skirt and jacket over her fit form; black, closed-toe heels on her feet. Her blouse was white and she wore flesh-colored nylons. As soon as she saw Adam her eyes became wide.

She tried to hide it but quickly realized it was too late. As she passed Adam she nearly pressed up against the far wall and started walking faster. Adam smiled and nodded at her but never broke stride.

He walked a few hundred more feet—and still couldn’t see the end of the hallway—until he reached his destination. He wore a colored ID badge on a lanyard around his neck. Everyone wore on badge on a lanyard (except for the few who clipped it directly to their suit). And everyone’s was colored blue—except for Adam’s. His was purple. He asked the security officer who issued it to him what the purple color meant. “It means you’re unique,” the officer told him. He shrugged at that answer. All he knew was that it clearly identified who he was and controlled where he was allowed to go in this facility. He was allowed to move around without an escort in this section of it.

Adam waved the badge in front of a proximity reader that was above the lever door handle. Then he punched in a four-digit code. The lock on the door clicked. He grabbed the lever and walked into a room with the same black floor and blue walls décor.

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** “The Army Just Started Producing Its Brand New Ballistics Helmet” (Task & Purpose, March 23, 2017)
** “Air Force’s Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Breaks Orbital Record” (Space.com, March 25, 2017)
** “JNIM claims number of attacks across Mali” (The Long War Journal, April 18, 2017)