Eleanor Chamberlain frantically deleted all the computer files and tossed any important research notes and documents into the garbage can, soaked them with chemicals from the lab and set them alight. The fire spread quickly. She prayed that the flames wouldn’t trigger any alarms, and regretfully watched as all her research turned into ashes.
All that remained was the camera itself.
As she studied the device, Eleanor marvelled that something so unassuming could possess such extraordinary power. The camera was an incredible discovery, but Eleanor knew that it was far too dangerous to fall into the wrong hands. She knew what she had to do.
All the designs and blueprints had been burned beyond recognition, and Eleanor prepared to drop the camera itself into the fire.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Eleanor spun around to see her research partner, Magnus Sinclair, standing in the doorway less than twenty feet away.
“I already told you, Magnus,” Eleanor replied, maintaining a firm grip on the camera, “this project is too dangerous.”
“What are you talking about?” he asked, edging toward her.
“You know what I mean, Magnus,” she said sternly. “You said as much yourself.”
“But think of the possibilities, Eleanor! We could both be rich beyond our wildest dreams. You know as well as I do, this isn’t about the past. It’s about the future. About the technology and all the inventions still to be discovered. It could all belong to us.”
“It’s still theft, no matter how you look at it.”
“But no one would ever know,” Magnus retorted. “How could they?”
“I can’t allow it,” insisted Eleanor, shaking her head. “I already burnt all the research notes and deleted all the computer files. We need to end this – right now.”
She turned to drop the camera into the flames still burning in the garbage can, but Magnus lunged at her. In the struggle, Eleanor’s elbow knocked over the chemicals by the computer, spilling them onto the fire, which erupted in a tower of flame.
In the confusion, Magnus grabbed the camera, seconds before an explosion ripped through the lab. When the smoke cleared, he could see Eleanor trapped under a heavy steel filing cabinet.
“Magnus!” she cried. “Magnus, help me, I can’t move my legs!”
But he put the camera into his pocket and backed away toward the door.
“Magnus!” she screamed. “Don’t leave me!”
Suddenly there was a second larger explosion. Magnus was thrown through the laboratory doorway and landed in the hallway. He struggled to his feet, stumbled into the shattered lobby and rushed outside to safety.