The Power of the Exiled – Ch 6 Pt 3

This is probably going to be the last I post for a few weeks. I have finals that need to be taken care of, and this is where I ran out of gas two weeks ago. What follows after this isn’t good enough to post (and it is mainly from Andrew’s Journal so I would have to update what I posted so far)

There isn’t any jump between part 2 and 3.

They walked down the hallway leading toward the center of the building. Andrew was glad the bell for lunch hadn’t rung yet, normally the main stairway was thronged with all the students heading to the cafeteria. But before they left the building, Andrew had an idea. “Can I go to the bathroom before we leave? I haven’t been feeling well lately and really gotta go.”

The man stopped walking but still held onto Andrew. He looked around the first floor hallway and spotted a men’s room near the front door. “Go. Five minutes.” Andrew dashed into the bathroom. He felt sick again. He ran into one of the stalls, only to dry heave. He hadn’t had lunch so there was nothing left to throw up. He spotted the cellar style window up high. usually it was locked. But there was a chance it was unlocked. Andrew went into the small janitor’s closet and found a step stool. Putting it right up against the wall, he was just able to reach the window. It was unlocked! Andrew tried to prop it but it wouldn’t stay open. It was going to be awkward for him to climb up and out while holding it open at the same time. He hoisted himself up half way and pushed the window open again. Then he started shimmying so he hopefully wouldn’t fall.

Then the door opened. “Your five minutes is up, kid.” Andrew was far enough out that he couldn’t turn around and see the man. He felt a tight grip on his ankle and the man started to pull him back inside. Andrew started to kick wildly, hoping that he could break free. The man swore and let go. Andrew half rolled half fell to the ground, his arms out to try to protect him. It was almost an eight foot drop. “Ow!”

He got up relatively intact. Thankfully his legs were fine, only the ankle that was grabbed was a little sore. He cut up one of his arms in the fall though. He could already see some dark splotches of blood through his shirt. Andrew knew they would be after him now. He had to run to the forest… but they would search for him there. He needed to warn Miles. He would know what to do. Andrew bolted for the forest before any of the agents could spot him.

Andrew could barely breathe by the time he dashed into the clearing where he met Miles and everyone else. He collapsed onto the picnic table. “Miles!” he yelled. He didn’t care if anyone heard him. It didn’t matter anymore. “Miles!” Andrew’s voice was hoarse after all that running. He spun around while sitting at the table, looking for the leader.

“Lunch time already?” Miles and the others emerged from different directions.

“No… they’re… after me.”

“How did they find out?” Ryan asked.

“I looked you… guys up on… the net.”

Miles looked at Leon and James. “They shouldn’t have found you so soon.”

“Do you know who my dad works for!”

“Okay point taken. You need to avoid  getting caught at all costs”

“But where should I hide? They’re looking all over for me!” Andrew was looking frantically  around the clearing. He was nervous that someone would pop out at any minute and grab him.

“You should hide where they least expect you to be…” Leon mused.

“What about the government building?” James suggested.

“Good idea!” Miles turned to Ryan. “Think you can get him there?”

Ryan didn’t answer right away, which made Andrew very nervous. Finally Ryan nodded. “He’ll

have to keep up with me.” He ran in the direction of the government’s headquarters. Andrew was quite confused.

“Follow him!” Miles urged.

If Andrew was honest with himself, he didn’t quite trust Ryan. As Miles told him yesterday, Ryan was the newest member of only about a year and he had worked for the Government before. He was also the only one who seemed to not like Andrew. But Andrew dindn’t really have a choice.

He strained his hears and thought he heard a helicopter; they were after him for sure. “You’ll be okay?”

“Don’t worry about us, Andrew, we’ll be fine. Now go!” Rose said.

Andrew ran after Ryan, trying to stay low for fear of the helicopter which no doubt had an infrared camera. But it was difficult once he had to run through all the forest overgrowth. He also tried to stay silent, but couldn’t see Ryan anywhere. “Ryan!” he hissed, “Where are you!”

“Here! Keep up and shut up!”

Andrew could barely see Ryan. He didnt know whether it was because he was so far away or because he was so faint that Andrew saw the trees through him. It looked like Ryan was crouched down low against one of the larger trees. As Andrew got closer he motioned to him to get down as well and stay silent. Andrew crept as quietly as he could until he was right next to Ryan.

On the other side of the tree two men were talking. Well, one  was yelling and the other was nearly groveling.

“What do you mean you can’t guarantee the analyzers will work? Never mind that. Oh Alvis, you really messed up this time. Why shouldn’t I just have you sent back to the office and you can join Entscheid? Maybe then you won’t screw up so badly…”

“my lord, if you recall I warned that they wouldn’t work as well in the sunlight. It’s just been unusually sunny for this time of year.”
“Not good enough Alvis! I can’t have you making excuses just because of some weather. Go back and join Entscheid.”

Andrew heard the second man trudge in the direction he knew they needed to go. They waited for the first man to leave to make sure they weren’t discovered.

That name, Alvis sounded familiar to Andrew but it took him a minute to place where he had heard it before because of all the running around he had down recently. When he thought it was safe to speak, he asked Ryan, “That was Lord Duffy, wasn’t it?”

Ryan just nodded. He got up from his hiding spot and ran in the same direction that Alvis took. Andrew got up, but not as quietly as he could. His arm muscles were sore after being crouched down so tight. A groan escaped from his mouth. Ryan spun around as Andrew froze. They heard someone turn around and walk back to the tree that they were hiding behind. Ryan motioned for Andrew to be silent but he didn’t need to be reminded. He stood stock still as he just knew that it was Lord Duffy who was on the other side of the tree and he was going to get him. It seemed like they stood there for hours before Lord Duffy or who ever it was finally walked away. Ryan finally let out a breath. This time, he didn’t run, but walked as silent as he could through the forest.

Even that wasn’t enough though. Andrew caught glimpses of an Agent through the trees who was looking for someone. That someone was him. As he and Ryan crouched through the forest, he tripped on a root of one of the large trees. He grunted as he hit the floor. This time he was louder. Ryan inhaled sharply as they heard the agent “Over here! I heard something.” Ryan tried to grab Andrew and haul him upright, but somehow he had difficulty grabbing hold of Andrew’s sore shoulder. “Ow!”

“Never mind that! Just run!” Somehow Andrew managed to get up and run along with Ryan. He noticed the trees were thinning through the corner of his eye. They were getting near the place where the building was.  They were so close. But he didn’t need to turn around and look behind them to see the Governmental people were right on their tail. Andrew could feel his sides burning, but he had to keep up with Ryan.

They sprinted clear of the forest and into the massive parking lot that surrounded the place where his dad worked. They darted up one lane of the parking lot, the agents were right after them. Ryan turned sharply and squeezed in between two cars. Andrew didn’t turn fast enough and nearly ran into the car. He quickly side stepped and squeezed in between the next car. Ryan’s plan had worked though, as the Agents weren’t nearly as fit as either Andrew or Ryan. They had to slow down down in order to get in between the cars and into the next row. Andrew found his second wind and caught up with Ryan, while the Agents seemed to be slowing down.

Ryan took Andrew to the back of the building, a side that Andrew never saw. When he was a little younger he had visited his father at work. He remembered being very impressed with the lobby and the cafeteria.  But the back was like any other industrial/cooperate building. Ryan opened one of the back doors and Andrew ducked in after him. “close the door!” Ryan said. Andrew pulled the door shut and leaned against it. He was so out of breath, he thought his heart was going to explode. He had no idea how Ryan could breathing with no problem.

“Do you… think… we made it?” Andrew asked in between gasps. Ryan shrugged.

Underneath Andrew, he felt the door shudder, “WOAH!” he screamed in surprise. “What do I do?”

Ryan leaned against the door with Andrew, but even together, they could barely keep it closed. “We need to jam the door!”

Did they have anything to stick in the door jamb and prevent the agents from opening it? Andrew couldn’t see anything near them. Then he had an idea. “Ryan, I know this sounds weird, but I got a bunch of gum and candy like Tootsie rolls in my pockets. If you reach in and get them, we can chew a bunch of them and stick them to the door. It might just –” Ryan reached across Andrew and shoved his hand into both of his pockets. Then he jammed some candy into both his and Andrew’s mouths. They chewed furiously as the door kept shuddering underneath them. Andrew took the wad of candy-gum hybrid and wedged it in between the door at the bottom. Then he took Ryan’s wad and did the same at the top. The door stopped moving. They didn’t stay there to see if it suddenly gave way and the Agents burst through. Ryan led Andrew through a dizzying combination of rights and lefts. They went up a flight of stairs and skidded to a stop in front of a door. “Get in,” Ryan said as he opened the door.

It was an old office. There was a desk with a computer terminal and a chair that were both draped in dust cloths. Ryan ripped the dust cloth off the desk and jumped over it. He turned the computer on and motioned for Andrew to come over. “But keep the light off. We don’t want anyone finding us by seeing a crack of light under the door.”

“What are you doing?”

“This was my old office. Before I left, I laid a back door onto their network. Hopefully they haven’t found it yet and closed it.” Ryan was busy typing and clicking on various things. Finally a window popped up asking for a username ans password. He entered the required info. “Tada. Now, I need to find something… Ah! Here it is. Take a look.” He manipulated the monitor so Andrew could read even with the lights off.  A search result popped up. Andrew read it and couldn’t believe what he found. “ ‘Andrew Entschied. Son of Patrick Entschied, Investigator. Aged: 17 years and 3.5 months. Address: 16 Cedar Avenue…’ ” all his information was up there. “How did they find this out? I mean, the part about my diet, and my likes and dislikes?”

“They know everything. It is their job.” Ryan paused. “You’re dad’s an investigator? He might have been spying on you and reporting to Lord Duffy… why? Because it’s his job!?”

Andrew shook his head. “No. That’s not possible. There’s no way that my father would spy on us.” But Andrew couldn’t deny that his father might have been asked to spy on someone else while he worked as an Investigator. No one really talked about it, but everyone knew that Investigators, when given permission by their bosses, and in some cases, The Leader, could spy on people that the Liberty Government wanted to keep and eye on. It was impossible to know how long they took to gather this info about him. What if it was only in the 24 short hours since he assessed the Voices of the Right information on the net? Who would have so readily divulged so much information about Andrew?

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