2.22 – How Fast Can You Run?
It took me a while to transfer everything, but I did it. I drained the entire account. I put a tag on it and set it adrift in my personal pocket of cyber space. That was a trick I’d picked up a few years ago. Most companies never noticed pennies missing, but if you wanted to take more you had to be sneaky. Transferring money was always sketchy at best and stupid at worst. The best thing to do was let everyone think it had simply vanished. It was how I’d paid for Mom’s funeral.
I stared at my holographic screen. A grin slowly spread across my face. I did it!
“I did it!” Donovan called from behind me. “It’s done!” He jumped up and held up a hand for a high-five. I indulged him.
“It’s done! MorcuCorp won’t even know what hit them!”
You have no idea
, I thought, still grinning.
Donovan fist-pumped the air and twirled Lucy around. He grinned at me. “Did you get everything you needed?”
I allowed my face to settle into a smirk. “I did.”
“Awesome! Now! On to the next adventure!”
Lucy’s small voice managed to cut through mine and Donovan’s celebrations. We turned to look at her.
“Should that light be blinking?”
“Uh, I don’t think—”
The computer exploded.
Somewhere, an alarm blared into existence.
“Run!” Donovan shrieked. He took off for the exit, Lucy and I right behind him.
Somehow, we managed to make it outside and behind a dune before some men in military gear arrived. They stormed into the house and we crept back to base camp.
It was later then I’d expected by the time we all got back to the camp site. The sun had long disappeared behind the sand dunes. The only person still awake was Thomas. He was sitting at the table, tapping his fingers on his thigh and staring into space.
“Hey!” he called out upon seeing us. “Thank god you’re okay! I heard some kind of alarm earlier and I wasn’t sure where you guys ran off to and—”
“We need to go,” I interrupted.
Thomas stared at me.
“Now,” I pressed. “We. Need. To. Leave. NOW.”
No other questions. Thomas ran over to his tent and started shoving his sleeping bag into its carrying case. He nudged the next tent with his foot until a head popped out.
“Wh-whuh?” Medea mumbled blearily, rubbing her eyes. “Wuzzup?”
“Pack up, we’re heading out,” Thomas told her with a small smile. “We’re finally getting out of this desert!”
“Can’t we go in the morning?” Medea grumbled. But she stood up and drug her nest of blankets out of the tent.
Lucy had already woken up Shaye and was getting her moving, so I packed up the remains of our food and unlocked the van. I checked our fuel supply while there. Depending on terrain, we could last another few months. Back to civilization, I guess
, I thought.
We left the tents where they were. No sense alerting anyone to our leaving. I felt sad I hadn’t even needed to explain that to Thomas. He just…already knew.
This’s getting too familiar
, I thought to myself. The whole “midnight-run” thing was getting old. The whole “Chloe-knows-exactly-what’s-going-on-but-won’t-tell-anyone” thing was getting really old too. I sighed.
I was driving now. Chloe had gotten really good at fast, reckless driving, but Egypt and its treacherous sand dunes were miles behind us now, so I’d taken over. I’d found some kind of highway and was following it. I hoped it’d lead us out of Africa.
I glanced over at the passenger seat. Chloe was staring out the window at the grasslands as we passed through. Every now and then the road would dip suddenly and flick her glasses up. The only reason I knew she was even awake was because she’d fix them back in place. That and her hands. She was twiddling her thumbs. Left on top, now right, now her index fingers were coiling around each other, a squeeze, now the left thumb was on top again.
I sighed again. Damnit Chloe
. “What happened?”
Chloe glanced at me, then her hands. She pushed her glasses farther up the bridge of her nose.
“Um, what…” She took a shaky breath. “What would you do with 42.8 trillion dollars?” She looked over at me.
My lips moved. 42.8 trillion doll
— I glanced at her, then fought to focus back on the road. “What?”
Thanks for reading! ^_^