Chapter 25, Part 2
Mariah lay in the dark, staring up at the glass ceiling faintly illuminated by the fluorescent glow coming from the observation room above the outer door. Lights out had been almost two hours ago, but she hadn’t really gone to bed at 9 P.M. for a long time. Her books had been delivered to their new prison, but the flashlight had been confiscated until further notice. She didn’t really see why. It wasn’t like she could use it to break out of the maximum security box that was their new home.
Kyle shifted in his bunk across the room with a muted rustle of blankets. She didn’t think he was asleep either. It had been an interesting day to say the least. They hadn’t really talked much since seeing Mason as lunch. But then, every word was listened to and every action observed. She crossed her arms over her stomach, trying not to get irritated by the scratchy blanket. If she ever got out of there, she was going to release every caged animal she could find. And since she could walk through walls, she could probably find quite a few.
Abby had always wanted a hamster though. So she might make an exception, but only if the hamster could roam free. Maybe get it a little leash or something. A smile teased her face as she imagined the little girl walking a rotund hamster. There was every guarantee that Abby was going to overfeed it and end up with a chubby hamster. Her smile was just as quickly replaced with a sigh as she thought about her adopted siblings. Abby probably hadn’t stopped freaking out. Mariah wondered what the probability was of her ever getting out of Amelli’s clutches.
She began to notice that the pale white light of the guard room had at some point switched to a flashing red. She propped up on her elbows and stared up.
“Yeah, I see it.” He sat up and pushed his blanket back.
She stood up. “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know.”
They stood in silence for a few moments, contemplating the light and wondering where the shapes of the guards were.
“Hey!” The sudden voice booming over the speakers drew startled yells from both of them. “Sorry, it’s me, Mason.”
Mariah could just make out his shadow against the flashing light.
“What’s going on?” Kyle asked.
“We’re under attack.”
“Do what?” Mariah asked.
“Yeah, I think whoever it is has come for you guys. Who else knows what this place does?” Mason said.
“You think it’s Cassie and her friends?” Mariah turned to Kyle.
“I don’t know, but this might be our chance to make a break for it. Let us out, Mason,” Kyle said.
“Can’t,” came the reply. “I don’t know the code to shut off the electrical field. It’s kind of a miracle I made it in here anyway.”
Mariah spun in a circle as if that would help figure something out.
“I have an idea that might work. Maybe,” Kyle said.
“What?” Mariah and Mason demanded in stereo.
“Just stand back,” Kyle warned and went to the wall directly opposite the door. He placed a hand flat against the glass and took up a stance as he took several deep breaths. Mariah obediently stood back against the wall by her bed, thinking she knew what he was going to try and praying it would work.
Kyle’s eyes began to glow orange in the darkness, terrifying if she didn’t know him now. He grunted with effort and raised his free hand, palm facing toward the door.
“Come on, come on,” Mariah whispered.
Sparks began to fly along his arms, crackling and snapping through the air. Mariah’s hair began to float in individual strands. She didn’t think Kyle was going to be able to hold it. Even in the faint light she could see his body shaking with effort. Then with a loud cry, a bolt of energy flew from his hand and obliterated the door. The current from the glass cage continued to run through him until it was exhausted. He slumped to the ground, smoke curling from his body.
“Kyle!” Mariah shrieked and dashed to his side.
“I’m okay,” he mumbled and tried to stand. She caught his hand and pulled him up, steadying him as he wobbled on his feet.
“I don’t think you are, but you definitely opened the door.” She glanced to where the glass door used to be along with half the wall. A sizeable dent had been put in the outer door as well. “Guess that’s where I come in.”
She shoved her boots on, not even bothering to change out of the sweats issued for her to sleep in. Kyle followed more slowly and she lent him her shoulder to walk out.
“This one won’t zap us, right?” she touched a finger to the steel bar reinforced door – the first obstacle to their freedom.
“Don’t think so. Hope not. Don’t think I can do that again,” Kyle said.
She reached up to her shoulder and patted his hand. “Yeah, I think you’re done for this escape attempt. Hang on.” She shoved a foot through the door and pulled them through. They were joined by Mason seconds later.
“You guys okay?” he asked, breathless from his run down.
“Yeah. You?” Mariah asked.
“Let’s get you two out of here and then I’ll answer that,” he replied.
The three of them set off down the hall, stepping cautiously in case they should run into either Amelli’s guards or the mysterious attackers. Mason guided them, peering around corners and motioning them on. Mariah checked her mental layout of the compound to chart their progress and noted that Mason was leading them to the east side of the building, where there just so happened to be a door.
Kyle got his feet back under him and took most of his weight from her shoulder. They reached the main floor and were greeted by the rapid sounds of gunfire. Mariah’s breath caught in her throat as if she just now realized what the whole “under attack” thing meant. Shouts echoed down the corridor accompanied by the heavy thud of boots. They ducked back into the stairwell to let the guards past. They waited long seconds before slipping out again.
“They’ve got some of those freaks with them!” A shout carried back down the hall. Mariah twisted as if she could see who they were talking about.
“Hurry!” she whispered. Cassie and Sam could be out there right now.
“Hey!” a guard shouted as he and a companion came around the corner ahead of them. Mariah saw too late that they had guns and were too high strung to think. Kyle shoved her to the side as shots rang out. She screamed and ducked against the wall. He and Mason dodged to the other side of the hallway. An orange light leaped from his hand and the two guards fell with a sharp cry.
“Kyle!” She crawled over.
“They’ll just be unconscious for a few minutes. I think,” he said. But something wasn’t quite right. He hunched to the side and gasped as Mason pushed him upright. Mariah pressed a hand to her mouth as she saw the blood staining Kyle’s shirt in the lower quarter of his stomach. Another pained inhale urged her hands into action. She tugged at his shirt.
“That looks bad,” she whispered.
“Thanks, I didn’t…know that,” he said.
“Shut up. Mason?”
Mason was pulling off his outer uniform shirt, wadding the cloth together and pressing it against the wound.
“I’m not sure what else to do,” he said.
“Can we get outside? Maybe they’ll help,” Mariah said.
“We don’t even know who “they” are,” Mason argued.
“I think it might be Cassie. Kyle led them right to us,” Mariah said.
“Hey, can we just go outside? If I die, I really don’t want to die in here,” Kyle put in. His face was rapidly paling and his voice shook on the last words.
“Hey, I haven’t put up with you for these past few months to let you die now.” Mariah put as much force into her words as she could. “Come on, Mason. Let’s go.”
They hauled Kyle up between them, Mariah thankful yet again for the grueling training Kyle had put her though. They shuffled to the door and Mariah attempted to take most of Kyle’s dead weight as Mason swiped his access card across the reader and opened the door.