32 GETTING OUT
No longer could they hear Paulton’s footfalls. “Marney!” Ian whispered. “Let’s go!” He said as he once again grabbed her hand and together they stealthily made their way out of Paulton’s office, down the hallway and away from the stairs.
“Okay, in here!” Ian said as he ushered Marney through the door of the last office at the end of the hallway. “The windows in here should lead to the first floor roof, if I remember the layout correctly.”
This new office was similar to Paulton’s office in that it offered simple, dated furniture with a cold and static feel, except in this office there were pictures of a family on the walls and desk.
“Over here. Look!” Marney said, getting to the window first. “We can hop out onto the roof. Ian, you’re a genius!”
“Well, that is true…” Ian joked for a moment. “Now, let’s go!”
Ian searched the window for a sign of an alarm and when satisfied that there wasn’t one, he unlocked the latch and pushed the window up. After Marney quickly made her way through the window, Ian’s feet landed on the roofing shingles of the old building. He closed the window and they crouched beneath it.
“Let’s go to that end of the roof,” Ian said pointing after a quick scan of their options. Just then, his phone rang. Marney and Ian looked at each: Teplan and Terah!
“Hey!” Ian said, “We tried to call you at the truck a little while ago, you two okay?”
“We escaped!” Teplan whispered on the other end. “But we’re in the woods! What should we do?”
“Okay. Good. Are you safe? Can they find you where you are now?” Ian replied quickly as Marney held the phone between them.
“Uhmm, no — I don’t think so. I think we are far enough into the forest.”
“Okay. Stay put. We’re coming to you. I’ll track you on the GPS on the radiophone. Don’t move. Don’t attract attention either?”
“Check. We’ll wait here. We’re beside a big tree if that helps!” Teplan said realizing that that likely would not help at all since they were in a forest.
“Over and out,” Ian said before hanging up. “Marney, let’s go.” Ian checked his GPS and without speaking, motioned the direction to Marney. Both skittered across the roof, hopped down to the ground and made haste into the woods. Ian tracked the radiophone using his GPS. Within minutes, they found Teplan and Terah lying on the ground amidst small plants and behind a big tree. “You found us!” Terah cried, “Let’s go home!”
“Yes! Let’s,” Ian said. “First thing I need to do is get my truck back.”
“How are we going to do that?” Teplan asked. “There were two guys literally trying to pry it open when we left!”
“No problem! I have just the thing,” Ian said with smirk. “Follow me, and stay low.” He led the way through the dark woods and back toward the main highway.
What is his plan? Teplan wondered, following right behind him.
“Ian,” Teplan whispered loudly. “You do know that your truck is not in this direction, right?”
Ian smirked again. “Good job knowing your directions… fortunately my truck has a pretty cool feature that is perfect for a situation like this.”
Teplan, Terah and Marney kept even foot-speed with Ian, but none spoke another word.
“Remote control,” Ian said, grinning. “I can start my truck and using the on-board cameras, I can drive it to us, all through my little device here,” Ian proudly held up his cellular phone. “Watch this,” he said as they approached the road. Ian pressed the screen of his phone a few times and a very dimly lit image appeared. Then the sound of the engine flooded the little phone’s speaker. Instantaneously, the same two guys at the truck jumped off the rear of the truck and landed on the ground, startled.
“Pretty cool, eh?”
“Totally cool!” Teplan said, wondering if he would get a chance to try it some time.
“Now watch this.” Ian held up the phone as if it was a steering wheel and pressed on the screen. The truck jolted into gear, reversed a few feet and stopped just in front of the two guys who were still laying in shock. Then the truck spun its tires, kicked up dirt and surrounded the guys in dust before peeling out of the parking space. The truck barreled down the little side road, passenger-less.
“That is the coolest thing ever!” Teplan exclaimed.
Terah looked at him as if she was going to puke. “This whole thing is freaking me out!”
Teplan, Terah and Marney continued to watch as he carefully drove the truck onto the main road where the headlights became visible to them.
“Alright everyone!” Ian rallied, “Let’s go!” And once again, without hesitation, he headed through the rest of the woods with Teplan, Terah and Marney in tow. As they arrived at the road, Ian had the truck come to a stop immediately in front of them. “Hop in everybody and let’s get out of here!”
“Uhhh…” Teplan muttered as the four of them stood in front of the stopped truck. “I have to climb back in underneath. Before we left the truck out the trapdoor, we tied the lid down with our seatbelts when those two guys were trying to get in,” he said as he dropped to the ground.
“Good thinking, you guys! Good thinking,” Ian said.