The lobby was sprawled with the wounded and sirens were blaring. The end of the corridor collapsed and was engulfed in flames that were slowly creeping towards the generator room. Another explosion rocked the building as grenades went off.
"Head for the tunnels!" shouted Green. Suresh helped a wounded guard into the elevator. He eased a pistol out of his bloodied hands and kept it in his back pocket under his lab coat. Another set of elevators took them up a control tower.
"Tenth floor - control room." The voice from the elevator was the only thing calm about the situation. Out of the window was a different world: smoke plumes danced in the wind as mercenary forces traded fire with the guards. Warehouses stood in flames, out in the vast expanse of bamboo.
Suresh scanned his ID card and his eyes on the console and the thick doors of the control room flung open. Far upwind, cirrocumulus clouds displaced the blue skies. Precipitation now would mean success, more funding and global recognition, given that the facility still stood after tomorrow.
"Sir, the National Guard will be here any moment!" reported a voice from Green's two-way radio.
A 10-tonne solid steel fail-safe was built to seal the opening to the biggest man-made pocket of methane. "This should protect the facility." Suresh reached for the big red button on the console.
Suddenly, cold steel pressed hard against his back. "Well done, Suresh. Now hands off and back up." Green gave a devilish grin, gun in his hand.
"NO! THAT WILL FILL THIS WHOLE BUILDING WITH METHANE!"
Green pulled the lever - "Gas Release"- an intense hiss echoed across the room. Gas began filling the engine room. Only time stood between critical concentration and the biggest methane fireball in the world.
"You traitor! How much did they pay you to betray your own kin!" Suresh furiously demanded, raising both hands in the air. "Handsomely… and I have you to thank for giving me access to the control room. Looks like rain." The afternoon sky was unusually dark. "You were almost there my friend, but that is as far as you go. Now if you would excuse me, I've got things to blow up before the National Guard arrives. It was nice knowing you."
Time seemed to stop. Suresh felt a sharp pain on his chest. The bullet hole in his coat soaked with blood. His vision tunneled and his breathing stopped. Suresh fell onto his knees and collapsed. Visions of his time planning his brainchild flashed across his mind. Years seem to pass with every remaining heartbeat. A small voice resounded, "You promised, Papa, you promised!"
"Am I dreaming?" Suresh regained consciousness. The bullet had hit and broke the bamboo specimen in his pocket and left just a minor gash on his chest. He picked up his remaining strength and with the bloodied gun from his pocket, he aimed it at Green, now walking out the control room doors. Suresh squeezed the trigger.
His mind came back to the present. Cumulonimbus clouds veiled the sunlight. Suresh looked up into the sky. He had kept his promise. The first pearls from heaven fell from the sky.
End of story