Hannah checked that the guards wouldn’t be able to break through her wall of rock any time soon before going to help the others.
As she picked up one of the girls â€“ the one who she recognised from the news as having burned down her suburb â€“ she noticed Lydia standing in the middle of the corridor between two of the transparent cells which now contained the scientists rather than prisoners. She was scowling and her fiery wings were twitching.
What’s wrong? Hannah asked.
Something isn’t right here, Lydia said. It shouldn’t have been this easy. Only that one woman fought back.
Well, we surprised them, Hannah said.
Yes, we did, she said. But still…
You’re right, Lyd, Karen came up behind Hannah. This is off. She pulled a face. Time to do something unethical. She stomped into one of the cells and grabbed one of the scientists, holding him by the shoulders and staring into his eyes. After a moment, he gave a groan. Karen growled and pushed him away before stomping back into the corridor. The kids are tagged with trackers. They were expecting a rescue. Obviously they don’t realise that’s why we are here due to our disguises but they are thinking the tags might lead them to the ‘aliens’.
An understandable assumption, Julie said. I’ll warn my family to find and disable the trackers. She headed for the portal, pausing to look back just before she entered. That was well thought of. I hadn’t even realised there might be a problem. I should have.
How many kids are left? Matthias asked. The door will hold but I’m sure they’re trying to get in some other way and I’d kind of like to be out of them when they do.
Just three or four, Fellaria replied. Do you want me to check what the guards are doing?
Yes, please, he replied.
Okay. She closed her eyes for a moment before snorting. Well, that’s cliche. They’re trying to come through the air ducts, but they’re being cautious because they’re worried that they won’t take a person’s weight. We’ve probably got about two minutes.
That should be enough, he said. Let’s grab that machine as well. I’d like to look at it more closely.
As Lyrrekka and Karen carried the last two kids towards the portal he grabbed the machine and hurried into the small room where they’d arrived as well.
Tarian, you and I are watching everyone’s backs, Lyrrekka said.
Of course, he said. But, Lyr, we should hurry. I’m getting a very anxious feeling that means trouble.
We are, she said as Lydia took the girl she was carrying off her and headed through the portal.
Soon it was only Hannah, Lyrrekka and Tarian left.
Go on, Lyrrekka said. I’ll come through las–
Soldiers burst through the ceiling at several points around the main room, spotted them and started shooting in their direction.
Hannah threw up a shield of rock but it was a moment too late and a bullet struck Tarian in the shoulder. As he shrieked, Lyrrekka grabbed him and pushed him through the portal ahead of her. Hannah dived through as well and the portal closed snapped shut behind them.
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