"Wait. Get me out of this prison!"
"I can't." Rachel felt guilt pester her conscience, but she knew she had more pressing things to worry about. "I'll get you out later. I'm sorry." She ran towards the dissipating smoke.
"Where were you?" Amy asked.
"I was talking to Aris."
Amy glared at her. "You were off talking to your boyfriend while you could have helped us salvage at least a few of the Maps?"
"Slim it, Amy." Nia told Amy.
"What happened?" Rachel asked. Her Keeper heaved an exasperated sigh, then opened her mouth to speak.
"Someone attacked Michelle last night. While she was guarding the Map Room. Banged her head on the table." She nodded to wear some Med-jacks were clustered on the ground. "Makes my head look perfect," She said, indicated the bloody bandage on her head.
"Who do you think did it?"
"Maybe Beth. But who knows, and who cares. It doesn't matter anyway."
"So you're giving up?"
Amy's eyes flashed, but she calmed down quickly. "That's not what I meant, slinthead."
"Shhhh." Her grey eyes slid from side to side sneakily. "You'll find out, Greenie."
"Stop calling me Greenie."
Amy smirked a little. "Gotten pretty brave overnight, haven't you, Greenie? Come here with me and Nia. We'll talk at the Slammer."
"Let him out. Aris. Then I'll talk," Rachel said.
"I don't have to tell you anything, do I, Greenie? But I can't do that. Everyone's out to kill him, and he said it himself, he triggered all of this."
"Come on. What's he gonna do? Make everyone spontaneously combust with his mind?"
"He might. But fine. I'll let the stupid guy out."
"I can hear you, you know. I'm not stupid," Aris growled at Amy. Amy threw a sideways smirk at Rachel as she unlocked the bars.
"Real nice guy you have here, Rachel."
Aris climbed out of the Slammer, and stood next to Rachel, facing Amy and Nia. Rachel found herself having difficulty finding words to explain their plan, so she looked at Aris for help.
"Don't look at me, Rachel. You might spontaneously combust."
A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth, but she kept herself composed.
"Talk, Greenie. We don't have all day-we need to be preparing for tonight's attack," Amelia said, rolling her eyes.
"Okay. When Aris coming out of his coma, he had memories-images-flashing in his mind. He told me that she remembered that the Maze is a code, and instead of giving us an exit, it's giving us a way to the exit.
"A code?" Nia asked skeptically. "How is it a code?"
"I don't know. But since you guys have been running the Maze since this all began, I was hoping that since the Maps are all gone, you'd remember them."
Nia and Amy exchanged a look, and Rachel got the feeling that they were hiding something.
"What are you hiding?" Rachel asked them suspiciously. "You two are both acting weird."
Both of the senior Runners both smirked at her a little. "We hid those Maps, every single one. They're in the Homestead with the weapons. You didn't think we'd take any risks when Michelle warned us about it after the Changing?"
The realization struck Rachel like a punch. She should have known they'd be careful with the Maps.
"If you have a theory, you'd better start talking. The sooner we get out of here, the better." Amy squinted at her critically.
"Then let's go."