Chapter Thirteen: Door to Freedom

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The stench hit me first.

I wasn't even on the last rung of the ladder. Holding my nose with one hand, I resisted the impulse to jump back down and I climbed up as quickly as I could.

When I had climbed to the top, Christopher helped me up and I took in the location. Black trash bags were piled high in a mountain towards my left. Rubbish littered the ground. Trash bins of every colour were around us. After everyone had climbed up, I turned back. The ceiling was closing back, and strangely enough, someone had stuck litter to the other side of the ceiling. When the ceiling had shut, a lid slammed shut on top. A blue rubbish bin lid.

We just climbed out of a rubbish bin?!

I stared between the 'rubbish bin' and a laughing Braya. What?

"You're telling me that the main entrance to a place crawling with assassins is a trash bin?" I exclaimed incredulously.

"Yes, that's right," Luke confirmed, "No one would suspect an innocent trash bin. Besides, the stench wards sneaking people off."

"I was expecting a much, er, grander entrance," Scover remarked, "Obviously, they don't want the cops to come."

"In the middle of town too," Denisse muttered.

"Where are we going?" I asked, "Also, we're not going back for our things right?"

I turned to Christopher and Denisse. Christopher thought for a moment, before replying, "I think we shouldn't go back there. They knew, Iolla, they knew, and we can't go back."

"It is fine, Iolla. I have all I need," Denisse reassured me, gesturing at her backpack.

"To our base," Braya replied, "Luke, where is the transport?"

"We're not taking a plane?" Christopher asked.

"By the time we buy the flight tickets – which would be an insane amount of money – assassins from DEflayte could already following us onto the plane," Braya explained.

"Here!" Luke pointed to our method of transport.

It was a sleek grey van. Luke raced forward and opened the sliding door.

"Choose your seat," he informed.

We filed in; Christopher and Scover in the front; Denisse and I in the middle, and Luke at the last row of seats.

"Uh, Braya?" I asked, "Do you have a license?"

"My father taught me to drive his van. Besides, I could pass as a seventeen-year-old, right?" She replied, turning the engine on.

I really hope that no one will pull us over.

Braya then started to drive off, away from the underground compound.

"Food, anyone?" Luke walked down, handing sandwiches to Denisse and me and tossing a couple of snacks to Christopher.

"Do you have water?" I asked.

"Yeah. You need that to practise now?" Luke replied, handing me a large water bottle. When I unscrewed the cap, it was evident that there was quite a lot to drink. I took several large gulps and relished the feeling that I was replenishing the water I had lost.

"You're very sure that they won't find us, right?" Scover confirmed.

Braya let out an exasperated sigh. "Yes. We've all noticed the pattern, haven't we? Once we officially check into something, whether it's a bus, train or hotel they found us, didn't they?"

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