Tom pressed the Talk button "We can talk in private now."
"Good. I have to explain some things to clear up any confusion before anyone else arrives."
"Go ahead." Tom said.
"This was all a test. We had to see how you would respond to a real situation. This base, some science gets done here, but it's mostly rented out for various groups to do emergency drills. We just squeezed you in before it closed for the year for maintenance."
Tom didn't like where this was going. "But the flooding of the control room?"
"Oh, that's the scenario they picked out for you. The base is designed to withstand flooding a lot worse than what you saw. There's at least two layers between anything you could mess with and anything actually important."
"There was a guy here though."
"Oh, if you saw anyone, he's an actor. A stunt diver, so he knows how to handle a real emergency if anything were to happen. Don't worry, he's under an NDA."
Tom started feeling sick to his stomach.
"But you gave me a gun; I could've shot him."
"It's a fake. Look inside."
Tom looked at his gun. It was a prop. On closer inspection, not even the bullets looked real. "But but but, the distress call."
"There was no distress call. A duress code on a civilian lab. That's the most unbelievable part. They just call me on my phone when they're ready."
Tom felt weak in the knees.
"When the technicians arrive, they already know it's a scenario. They set it up after all. They'll pack everything away for the season, and we're all going back to the hotel. This was your final exam for the season. I'm feeling confident you passed. Just volunteering to go down counts a lot toward your mark."
Tom felt he knew where this was going. "How else do they determine my mark?"
"There's about 16 hidden cameras around the base. The technicians will download the recordings, and the logs from the station's instruments, and you'll be evaluated on that."
Tom started feeling dizzy.
"The technicians will look at the video!?"
"No, they're not authorized to look at the video. Me and my superiors will look at the video back at the hotel."
The dizziness caught up to him, and Tom passed out.
--End of Part 5--