The murmuring of Xavier and Damien continued drifting into the space of Charlotte’s cell. She was quietly waiting for anyone or anything to occur in their small confined space, but other than their guest, they had received no other notions.
“We need to find out what the guard schedule is going to be. When does their cycle end? When does their new rotation begin for new guards?” The tallest male in the group fiddled for the twentieth time on the lock pad attached to the metal bars.
Damien was leaning forward on his left knee while his right shin was parallel to the ground. He looked ready to pounce at the wall, but he did not move a muscle. It appeared to Charlotte that the blond male was mentally preparing himself. “I can tell they are barely changing the guard rotations. The ground is too cold to signify a rotation in this area.”
“That’s fortunate for us,” Xavier remarked with a smile before shaking the lock pad on the metal door handle. “We will be out in no time if I can get this blasted lock undone. Then we can rescue the damsel and be on our way.”
Damien merely shook his head before taking a glance to his right. Aden’s cell had hardly had any life to it since they arrived. “I hope that Aden is all right.”
“He planned for that to happen, so I assume he knew what he was getting into.” Xavier pulled his attention away from opening the door to looking straight ahead to the cell. Xavier blew out some air from his parted lips. “That was strange that he got electrocuted from the remote though. I wonder if it was a taser or something.”
“It was some rod contraption from what I felt.” He raised his hand up so that Xavier could see the burnt electrified part on the top of his hand. “‘Painful’ is putting it lightly.”
“No, that’s not what shocked him,” Xavier replied suddenly, thinking back. “He was grasping his head around his ears like this.” He demonstrated for Damien to see. “Could he have sensitive ears or something?”
Damien gave his own puzzled look. “Grabbing his ears? That doesn’t seem right.”
Charlotte was quietly mulling over everything that she had just discovered. Charie died. Died because of Zaine because he thought she was her, and now her friends who had helped her were being charged with treason for murdering her. How did it come to this?
How did Zaine kill me? Charlotte stopped to think about the facts that were just given. Earlier, they said Charie revealed herself as Charlotte Rothschild. Zaine killed Charie thinking it was her. I think I’m going to be sick.
Without much to see, Charlotte dropped her shoulders and tried her hardest not to think about the gruesome details. “Aden is strong. Let’s just hope he is all right by the time we get to him.” Charlotte sighed before dropping her hand from the bars. “In fact, he probably will come by and rescue us instead. Then for the hell of it, he’ll give us that infamous cocky and frowny face he always does.” She then attempted to copy what she assumed his face would be.
Damien, surprised at her attempt of copying Aden, burst out chuckling before falling back onto the wall behind him. “I doubt that even he would have such an expression, Lionheart!” Damien shook his head at the thought while Xavier pointed at another cell with an index finger. “Xav, what is it?”
“I wonder if they are going to skin us alive, kill us executioner style, or let us rot down there in the cells forever.”
Damien gave him a quizzical look from the random observation. “Why’d you think that?”
Xavier grimly remarked, “Because there’s a couple of rotting corpses in the cells adjacent to where Aden’s was. They look fresh.”
Charlotte shivered. “That’s deplorable. Who would sentence someone to death and leave them to rot in the dungeons?”
Damien shook his head. “The sick kind.” Regardless, it still left all their thoughts with gruesome deaths to picture in either event.
Damien got up from his sitting position to walk over to the entrance of his cell to lean out his arms and head on the cool iron bars. “Blasted lock! If only one of us had a pick or something.”
The girl with brunette hair fumbled with her bag and then her shorts’ hemline before blustering out a response. “I thought I packed something like that here somewhere.” She looked, but nothing popped up. Cesium roused from its sleep to rub its eyes with its paws. “Cesium, sorry to bother you when you were sleeping, but could you help me search for the lockpick?”
The Great Dane blinked a couple of times before nodding its head. When it stopped nodding its head, it wagged its tail and stuck its nose into her bag. Two seconds later, the robot pulled out the lockpick kit that was buried underneath everything. Damien watched with horrid fascination as the robot magically produced the kit.
Charlotte watched in a similar fashion to Damien.
Cesium barked happily and handed over the kit to the girl.
“Good puppy,” she replied and reached into her back pocket. There she had a velvet pouch full of pseudo glass bones for treats. “Here you go.” She gave the dog the treat, and it happily munched on its glass bone.
“Char, Cesium is not a puppy,” Xavier replied with a bemused remark before leaning his body against the bars.
“Slightly disturbed” was the only way Damien could feel about this situation, but at least they had the lockpick.
“Thank you, Cesium!” the girl replied without hesitation and then positioned herself in front of the cell door.
With the face of concentration and focus, she brought one of the picks out and fiddled with the lock. She scrunched her face up a couple of times, trying to get the lock to click open, but even she had difficulty.
“Try twisting the pick to the right a little,” Damien explained, gripping his bars.
The girl did as she was told, but the lock was still being stubborn. “Stupid lock. Jakob didn’t tell me I’d have to open locks until much later.” She growled lightly before attempting at the lock again.
The walls shook with a ferocity that shocked the inhabitants within the dungeon. Sirens began to ring as dirt shifted from the ceiling and stairwell.
Auburn hair disheveled, hands hurting from blisters, and dirt admonishing her face, Charlotte calculated her chances of opening the door. With her luck, their chances were not too swell.
“What the hell was that?” Damien remarked with concern.
“Sounded like an explosion.” Xavier became alert.
“Lionsheart, toss me the pick. I’ll unlock mine and get everyone’s after that,” Damien urged, but before Charlotte could pass the pick over, the foundation shook from yet another explosion.
Suddenly, dirt and dust fell from the ceiling in Charlotte’s cell as a block from her cell fell abruptly. Charlotte, surprised by the shift, snapped her back to the holding cell door while keeping her attention at the ceiling. Damien jumped up from the floor in his cell and approached the bars of his own cell. His grip was tight on the bars as he watched the phenomena happening in the girl’s cell.
Two pairs of feet appeared from the ceiling before plummeting into the cell entirely. Surprised, shocked, and bewildered, Charlotte looked over her shoulder to Damien and could hear Xavier shuffling in her neighboring cell to figure out what was going on.
“I guess that means we’re the damsels being rescued,” Damien said finally as Aden walked over to her cell door so he could open the door with the pick.
“Better you all than me. Scat, damsel, I need some room.”
She gaped at the male as he walked past. Both his ears were bleeding because he, or perhaps someone else, had ripped off his earrings. “You’re injured.” She gaped. He ignored her all the while Xavier was complaining in his cell next door.
“What the hell?” Xavier guffawed before continuing, “You said you had it under control, and look at you! Bestie, kick him in the shin for me!”
Aden popped the lock on the door with a solid click and proceeded to exit. He then ignored Xavier’s quip and made for Damien’s cell. “We don’t have time for nonsense. We probably have twenty minutes to get out before some of those guards wake up.”
Charlotte rushed out of her cell with an alerted Cesium following after. Aden had just finished unlocking the door for Damien and then moved over to Xavier’s cell last.
“What the hell is happening upstairs?” Xavier pointed up at the ceiling that shook violently the third time with a loud burst of sound.
Aden merely clicked the cell door open and peered back at the person in the cell. “Cheric gave me a prototype bomb.”
“Fascinating,” Charlotte replied before gazing at Cesium next to her. “All her inventions are so productive and resourceful! Did you know that she made Charie from scratch too?”
Damien stared into his partner’s cell before frowning. “I think it’s best if we move on now.”
“Yeah—I’m sorry,” Charlotte murmured and went to stroking Cesium on top of its head.
It took another heartbeat for them to recover their wits in the hall. Xavier was finally out of his cell and, sensing the dark atmosphere from Charlotte, decided to ask Aden about his whereabouts. “Where did you have the time to set off a bomb when you were taken away?”
“A couple of guards who didn’t know who they were messing with and two seconds of peace,” Aden merely scoffed at the question before walking over to the door heading toward the stairs. “If you want to stay here for the execution guys, continue with the twenty questions. I, for one, would like to get out.”
And with that, the five of them left the holding block and entered the facility.
۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞