Chapter Five Escape and More Escape
“We follow this corridor until it makes a left turn,” Bane explained. “As soon as we round the corner, we make a right into a doorway. The third door on the left is stairs leading down through the mountain. We need to go all the way down. Once at the bottom, we take the first door on the left. That will be where the glop machine is.”
“I hope you can remember all that,” Jason said, “Because I have already forgotten the first part.”
“Just follow me and be quiet,” Bane said.
They eased down the corridor, listening for any sign of the enemy. Just as they reached the corner, they heard a couple of Snarflinches heading their way.
“Run for the stairs,” Jason ordered.
They made a dash for the stairs. Once through the door, they stopped to listen. The guards were yelling at someone. Then they realized that not everyone had made it to the door.
“They have Kelly, Brea, and Poe,” Daniel whined. “What do we do now?”
“It’s not safe in this stairwell,” Jason said. “Let’s find a better place to talk.”
“If we go up one floor,” Bane said, “There is a supply closet we could use.”
They all nodded and headed upstairs. Once in the closet, they sat on the floor and started planning.
“Bane,” Jason asked, “Where would the prisoners be held? Is there a dungeon or prison on the map?”
“There is a Tower Prison on the top floor,” Bane read from the map. “I think that would be what you’re looking for. You just go back to the stairs and keep going up. This is a back stairway, so they were probably taken by a different route.”
“What are you waiting for,” Jill exclaimed. “Let’s go get them!”
“No,” Jason said calmly,” We have to complete our mission. We can not all go running off to save them. We have to save Luralye, or more than three lives will be lost.”
“You can’t just leave them,” Daniel protested.
“I’m not, you are,” Jason said. “You, bane, Jill, and Jaffy will continue on with the mission. When your mission is complete, go to the place where we met the Makils in the foothills. That’s where everyone will meet up. I will take Kye and Tye with me. We will go to the prison to rescue our friends. All of the Hargins will slip back outside and meet me at the upper exit.”
The prison was full of Necrions, and many were sick. Poe immediately started healing them, going from bed to bed. He bowed his head and concentrated. His hands started glowing, and as he passed them over the sick, they were instantly healed. “I’m glad we were brought here,” Poe said solemnly. “Many of the sick would not have lasted long if we hadn’t arrived.”
Brea went about making food for them. “They don’t have a cook,” Brea said, “so they haven’t had much to eat. Only cooks can make food from nothing.” Soon the air was filled with delicious smells. On the floor in the middle of the room appeared a banquet.
“I don’t think the Snarflinches mean to keep them alive long,” Kelly said. “They probably killed the cooks and healers first.” This made them both shiver.
“Thank you for all your help,” a short, pink Necrion said to Kelly. “Are you here to save us?”
“I didn’t know you were here,” Kelly confessed. “My friends and I came to stop the Snarflinches from destroying Luralye. My friends will come to rescue me, I am sure. When they do, we will all escape together.”
“Luralye,” said a little blue Necrion dreamily. “I have heard it is wonderful.”
“Haven’t you ever seen it?” Brea asked.
“I was born here,” the blue Necrion said, “On a breeding farm. I have heard some of the old ones talk about Luralye though.”
Kelly gasped, “Are there many breeding farms?”
“I have heard there are twelve,” a black Necrion answered, “But only four are operational. A guard said the others would be stocked after ‘The Glop Project’ was completed.”
“We will have to shut them down,” Kelly fumed. “When Lord Bardwin hears about this, he will surely send an army to rescue the poor Necrions.”
Daniel’s group headed down the stairs. Although it was a long way down, it was pretty uneventful. Bane was right about the stairs being seldom used.
When they got to the machine, they were pleased to find the room empty. Jill stood guard while Daniel and Bane worked on the machine.
“Ah oh,” Daniel looked worried. “The pipes are not accessible here. The machine goes from floor to ceiling.”
“What do we do?” Bane asked. “Can you do something else to it?”
“No,” said Daniel. “I need to get to the pipes under the floor. Is there a room or tunnel we can get to under there?”
“There is a maintenance tunnel under there,” Bane said. “But we can’t get there from here. There’s a hatch that leads down into it somewhere in the foothills, but it’s not clear exactly where it is.”
“Hey guys,” Jill shouted. “I just found a door that leads outside. Let’s go find that hatch.”
Jason and the twins went upstairs. They didn’t have far to go to reach the prison. They stopped on the stairs, their heads just high enough to look around. There was a long room with more stairs across from them. In the center of the wall to their right was a big, metal door. There were two guards in front of it.
Jason quickly formed a plan. Kye and Tye ran up to the guards, shook their tails teasingly, and then headed for the stairs across the room.
“How did you get out,” one of the guards said as they took off after the twins. Jason quietly eased up behind the guards and conked them on the head.
Once the guards were tied securely, Jason unlocked the door. “Jason,” Kelly squealed. “I thought you would never make it.”
“The Hargins are waiting outside,” Jason told her. “We have to find some way out.”
“There are windows lining the back of the cell,” Kelly said. “It’s a straight drop, so I guess they didn’t worry about escapes.”
Jason and Kelly loaded all the Necrions onto the Hargins. It took three trips to get them all. Once everyone was safely on the ground, they all headed to the meeting spot. Daniel’s party had just arrived when they got there.
“Is the mission complete?” Jason asked.
“I wish,” Daniel replied. He told them of the problem, and looking for the hatch.
The Makil they had spoken with earlier suddenly popped up on a rock beside them. “I know that hatch you’re talking about. I can show you where it is,” he said, and then scurried off. The others ran to keep up with him.
“Here it is,” the Makil said.
“I don’t see anything,” Daniel complained.
“Right there,” the Makil said, pointing to the ground beside a large stone. “You have to dig for it. Brush off the top dirt. You don’t expect it to be out in the open do you?”
Daniel and Jason fell to their knees and started digging with their hands. Soon they had the hatch uncovered. They pried it open and peered in.
“At least it’s not flooded with glop,” Daniel said. “I was afraid it might be.”
They climbed down the ladder and into the service tunnel. It was small, but stretched in both directions a fair distance. There was a large pipe running down the middle.
“This way,” Bane said, reading the map. They faced right of the ladder. “It’s a good piece. We had better hurry.”
They ran down the tunnel as fast as they could. After what seemed forever, the tunnel opened into a large room. The pipe they had been following made a right angle and disappeared into the ceiling. Further back, another pipe came out of the floor and into the ceiling.
“That’s the one we need,” Daniel stated. “Now we have to find a way to open it so we can clog it.”
The twins nodded to each other and stepped up to the pipe. They used fire magic to cut a hole in the side of the pipe.
“Great work guys,” Jason said as he pulled out the pouch that Magorina had given them. He opened it and dumped the contents down the pipe. There was a rumble, and then White foam appeared inside the hole.
“How is that going to work,” Daniel said as he reached to touch the foam. “It’s as solid as a stone. I have to get the recipe for this.”
They heard the machine start up over their heads. Jason said, “We had better get out of here. They are bound to come down here to see what is wrong as soon as they realize the machine’s not pumping anything.
They headed back the way they came. Just as they reached the hatch, they heard voices above them.
“I don’t know what happened,” a Snarflinch worker said. “I am telling you, when I left last night the pipes were fine.”
The group ran down the other side, hoping to get out of site before the workers spotted them.
“What now?” Bane asked. “Do we hide down here until they leave?”
“They will know it’s sabotage,” Jason answered. “They will probably do a search for us. Maybe if we follow the pipes, they will lead us out.”
They came to a room where the pipe branched out into several smaller ones.
“Of course,” Daniel said, “This is the junction on the plans. We just have to pick one and follow it all the way to Luralye.”
He checked the plans carefully. “The second on the right will lead straight to the Peppermint Forest,” Daniel said. “We will have to do some serious climbing when we reach the gorge. It looks like it goes straight down, under the swamp, then straight up.”
“We could always dig our way out,” Jill suggested. “We didn’t go that deep. We would have to hit air eventually.”
“I don’t think we have time to dig,” Jason responded. “For now why not just follow the pipe. The climb may be rough, but we would avoid any more confrontations with the Boggers. Bane, search the map for possible hatches as we go.”
They started moving as quickly and quietly as they could along the pipe. They listened closely for approaching Snarflinches. The tunnel seemed to go on for eternity. The only light was what little glow the Necrions could muster.
Eventually, they came to the drop leading under the gorge. The ladder running beside the pipe seemed strong. The climb was frightening.
“Wow,” bane said. “It didn’t look that far on the map. Just this big,” he held his finger and thumb an inch apart.
“How are we going to do that?” Kelly worried. “The Necrions may not be able to reach the rungs. What about the Hargins? They can’t climb down a ladder with their hooves. What are we going to do?” She wrung her hands with worry.
“I may have found a solution,” Jason smiled. He walked over to the wall and began brushing away the dirt. “Look, I found another hatch.”
When they opened it, there were stairs leading up to a door. They hurried through. It led out of a large stone beside the cliff. As they were enjoying their good fortune, they heard shouts.
The Snarflinches had found them.