Sunday, February 23, 2014

TRAPPED Sunday Serial Part Twelve

Part Twelve
“It's perfect,” I tell them, munching on my pepperoni-and-mushroom pizza. “We fight.”
“” Kenneth gestures at the Kennedys, then at himself, then at me. “Face it, Emily, you're totally bogus in the fighting area. We have four people who can fight. That's nothing against their two thousand.”
“Their two thousand who have nothing to do,” I point out. “The Kennedys—I forget who—said something about Amber being the brains of the operation. Mrs. Kennedy has Amber—the brains—trapped somewhere. I'll be the brains if I'm not the brawn. But look at me. Do I look trapped to you?”
All four of them size me up. I can feel the weight of their eyes traveling up and down all five feet of my narrow frame.
Kenneth shrugs. “Maybe not anymore.”
I give him a Glare Stare. “What do you mean, not anymore?”
“You were kinda out of it in the beginning.” He plays with a piece of pepperoni. “All defensive and stuff. I had a ton of fun getting a rise out of you. But're actually doing something to help. And we're not arguing as much anymore.”
I open my mouth to say something scathing, then realize he might actually be right. Oh. Um.
“Okay, you're right,” I admit truthfully. “But my plan isn't simple.”
“We're listening,” Mrs. Kennedy says.
I take a deep breath. It feels weird, directing all of them. But I'd better get used to it. It's not like I can do anything else. “We take Amber, we disable all of them. We've disabled all of them so far. But not for long. We have to keep moving Amber. Either that, or get her to talk. And also, we have her.”
Kenneth blinks at me. “So?”
Soooo,” I drag the word out, “we can blackmail them.”
They just stare at me, their jaws dropping.

“Isn't that against the law?” Slick pipes up.
“No. They're the ones doing the bad things. We have to do whatever it takes to stop them. And besides.” I roll my eyes. “We're not going to, like, threaten to kill Amber. We can bargain for something simple but deadly for their freaky plan. An hour of inactivity.”
“An hour of inactivity?” Kenneth shakes his head. “Where did that come from?”
“We get them to promise that they won't budge an inch for an hour. Then we'll let them find Amber, we'll evacuate the place, and escape. Done deal.” It seems so easy.
Mr. Kennedy is crunching on pizza. “Well, that certainly sounds easy,” he begins, “but how many people are in the place?”
I shift from one foot to the other. “I'm not quite sure.”
“We should be able to cram everybody in an hour's time,” Kenneth says. He glances sideways at me. “According to Echo here, PFP isn't a very attractive amusement park.”
“I hate it,” I admit. “My family has been associated with this place since my dad was a baby.”
Mrs. Kennedy raises her eyebrows. “Then you should know it really well.”
“Well.” I think about it. I'm guessing nobody knows about the secret hallway between the girls' restroom and the middle of the catwalk at Phantom FunCoaster. Or the hidden doorway right by the Haunted House. “Yeah, I guess.”
“So we're in good hands,” Mrs. Kennedy presses.
I nod. “You can trust my instincts.” My voice doesn't quaver, despite the fact that my insides feel like jelly.
She claps her hands. “Good. Let's do this.”
Then we begin to flesh out our plan.

By the time I'm crouching in the dark by Mrs. Kennedy, my heart is racing and sweat is starting to dribble down the side of my forehead. What if it doesn't work out? What if we all die? Or go live in a colony?
This is terrible.
I shake the thoughts from my head and crouch by her. My Converse crunch gravel, and a sharp pain jabs up my leg.
I forgot about that. The roller coaster injuring me seems so long ago. Ages ago.

The plan is simple. Mrs. Kennedy and I are going to go guard and interrogate Amber. The boys are going to go scout out what's happening everywhere—how the conspiracy's defenses are set up, what the two thousand conspiracy men are doing.
This time, though, Mrs. Kennedy dug out her CommChips, little computer chips you insert in your ear that allows you to communicate with everyone else. It's a sweet device, and I hear Slick, Kenneth, and Mr. Kennedy conferring in my ear.
“Echo, we'll be running for a while,” she says to me, “so I thought I'd bring a friend along to chaffeur us to the location.” I catch a glimpse of gleaming white teeth.
I gulp. A friend? I've met more people today than I've ever met in my life.
She must have eagle eyes to see the expression on my face in the darkness. “Don't worry. This one can't talk too well.” With a swift motion, she puts her index finger and thumb in her mouth and releases a shrill whistle that just about pierces my eardrums.
I strain my ears, waiting.
Then, in the distance, a thump thump thump thump starts up, and it grows louder and louder until I see--

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