Static crackled. Emery held her breath.
Then a sharp voice demanded through the speaker, "Who's there!"
Tears sprang to Emery's eyes. Tears of relief. "Emery! It's Emery!" She choked back a sob. "Please get me out of here."
"Emery Who?" the voice wanted to know.
"Emery Clayton. I work here." Emery's voice squeaked as she tried to control her emotions. But the thought of competent people now working on her rescue was overwhelming and beautiful.
"Good ----! There are survivors!" another voice exclaimed.
"How do we know Beastly isn't voice-shifting again? I say we blow the whole building now. Get rid of the monster once and for all!" The first voice was angry and impatient.
Emery gasped. "Oh, please, no! You have to believe me! I have a mother, and...and...my sisters' names are Evelyn, Estella, and Edwina...and my brothers' names are Alfred and Johnny. No one else here knows that. You can ask my mother. She will know me!" Panic rose in Emery's throat.
"Hang in there, sweetheart," a third voice came clearly across the intercom. "No one is going to blow the building. We are putting together a top tactical team now. They have orders to shoot the lunatic on sight, and we'll get you out safely. Don't worry."
"Shoot the...You're going to kill Beastly?" Emery's heart froze and she took a step back from the intercom.
"From what I understand, this should have been done years ago. Now, Miss Clayton," the voice grew even more serious, "listen very carefully. We are going to need your help in order to complete our mission. Here's what you need to do..."
Emery took another step back. This was not what she had signed up to do.
From somewhere down the hall, she heard a shout. Then a cat scream. Then a woman shrieked, and a man shouted, "Oh, ---! It's going to kill us!" The cat screamed again.
"Miss Clayton?" the intercom crackled.
And then Emery heard Beastly calling her name in terror.
"Emery! Emery! Eeeemmmmerrrrrryyyyyyy!"