I decided to combine the next two parts of the Yarn Wars since they were both pretty short. I will do that next week too, which means we only have two weeks left after this. Yay! 🙂
“We have to get in and turn the microchips off,” Harriet said. “To do that, we have to destroy whatever controls them.”
“Um…what does control them?” Lynnea pointed out.
“I don’t know,” Harriet admitted.
Just then, a black car pulled into the parking lot. The whole group dove into the bushes, except for Lynnea, who stood in plain sight. “Get down!” squealed Kira, tugging at her friend’s foot. “Are you insane?!”
“No, I’m not insane,” replied Lynnea. She began to smile. Harriet watched, dumbfounded, as Lynnea sprinted across the parking lot and over to the car.
The door opened, and a guy got out – a guy that looked remarkably like Lynnea…
“It’s her dad!” Harriet exclaimed.
Kira crawled out of the bushes, followed by Maeve, who helped Harriet stand up. They made their way over to Lynnea and Mr. Ayres. Lynnea was talking super fast, and Mr. Ayres looked extremely confused. “Lynnie, slow down. What are you doing here?”
Lynnea slowed down and calmly explained the whole thing. “We know the truth now, Dad. Even though you tried to hide it from us.”
Mr. Ayres sat down on the bumper of his car. “So you know?”
“Yes, that’s what I just said,” Lynnea said impatiently.
Harriet chimed in. “The mayor, Alta, just forced me to lead the girls here, so she could take them hostage. We were figuring out a plan.”
“We need to turn off the microchips,” Maeve said.
“Then everyone will figure it out for themselves,” added Kira.
Mr. Ayres took a deep breath. “I guess I got here at just the right time.”
“Why did you leave us to suffer?” Lynnea accused. “You knew we were poor because of the system, but you didn’t do anything!”
“Honey, I wanted to!” Mr. Ayres retorted. “You know how powerful they are,” he directed at Harriet. “You can’t resist and live.”
Lynnea accepted this. “You can make amends now.”
“It’s my day to check on the control room,” he explained. “The controller is quite small. To turn off the microchips, you have to do two things.
“First, you click the off button on a normal computer. I can do that in my office, but it gets more complicated. After that, you need to shut down the main controller – the one I have to check on today – within a minute. Otherwise the alarm goes off.
So, one of you can do the off button in my office, and I can do it upstairs in the control room. Then we just need to destroy the controller, so nobody can turn it on again. Harriet, you and Maeve can do that.”
“I’ll do it in your office,” offered Lynnea.
“That’s good,” Mr. Ayres said. “We’ll need to get into our positions, then you can push it. I’ll turn it off upstairs, and then get the controller to Harriet and Maeve.”
“What do I do?” asked Kira. “I want to help with something.”
Mr. Ayres looked startled, like he’d forgotten she was there. “Kira, I don’t really think we need you right now.”
Kira looked offended. But she didn’t have time to argue. “Let’s go,” Mr. Ayres ordered, and he led the way to the building.
It was easy to get inside – much easier than they had been thinking. All Mr. Ayres had to do was show his ID and say he was taking thugs with him. That would satisfy Alta, too; she would think they were being taken captive, and not feel the need to come herself.
Lynnea got set up in the office, and Mr. Ayres handed her a beeper. “We use these to tell when our coffee is done,” he said, sounding embarrassed. “When it buzzes, push it.”
“Okay,” said Lynnea tentatively. “Good luck.”
Harriet, Kira, and Maeve followed Mr. Ayres downstairs. They walked outside and over beneath a long line of office windows.
“Up there is the control room,” Mr. Ayres explained. “I’ll drop the controller out the window, which might break it. If it doesn’t, find some way to destroy it.”
The group nodded.
“I’ll be off, then.” Mr. Ayres walked straight inside, where he departed for his office.
“I hope this works,” Kira said nervously. “How are you going to destroy it?”
“I’ll drive over it with Bob’s car,” said Harriet.
Harriet giggled. “Mr. Ayres. He is married to my daughter, after all, so I should know his name.”
Kira and Maeve giggled too. Bob wasn’t a very common name in Seattle.
Several minutes passed. Then Lynnea came hurtling out of the office and ran over to them with a panicked look on her face. “He fell on the stairs outside the control room! I saw them carrying him by the office I was in! We don’t have much time!”
Kira didn’t hesitate a moment. “Follow me,” she told Lynnea, running for the office. Mr. Ayres would be fine, especially after the microchips were turned off. They just had to manage it.
She ran for the office where Lynnea had been. The button hadn’t been pushed yet, luckily. Lynnea collapsed on the chair, panting – she’d been running a lot lately. “Lynnea, I’m going to the control room. Give me a few minutes, then push it no matter what happens.”
“But – ” Lynnea protested. Kira had already left.
Kira didn’t know what had gone wrong, but they didn’t have much time left. Somebody was going to catch them, and they were too close to turn back now. She sprinted up several flights of stairs, grateful now for the long walks to the yarn store. Still, she had to rest for a minute before running up the last one.
The door was unlatched, and she looked through to find Mr. Ayres held up against a wall by a large security guard. His back was turned to her, and he was concentrating on chaining up Mr. Ayres. Lynnea’s dad saw Kira and his eyes widened. He glanced towards the controller.
Lynnea was going to push the button soon, and Kira had to be ready.
She eased verrrrry quietly through the door and tiptoed closer to it.
“Traitor,” muttered the security guard. He finished chaining Mr. Ayres and stuck a gag in his mouth.
Soon he was going to turn around and see Kira.
It was too much. She couldn’t fail now!
Then, out of nowhere, Kira felt something throb at the base of her skull. An intense pain flashed through her head. She saw Lynnea sitting at the computer, her finger poised above the off button, as she contemplated when to push it.
Then Kira thought with all her will, PUSH IT!!
She saw Lynnea straighten up and put her hand to her head. She looked around the room, stunned. Then she thought back: Kira?! And she brought her finger down on the button.
The controller flashed and said, “Confirm system shut down.”
It never got a chance to say anything else. Kira slammed her fist down on the button with such force that she’d have a bruise there later. The system let out a sigh and flickered off.
Something shifted in Kira’s head, and the pain stopped. She felt free and extremely relieved.
The security guard was charging for her. Kira picked up the small controller and hurled it at the window with all her might. She was quite strong, and the controller smashed through the window and went plummeting. Kira knew that Harriet and Maeve would be there to do the rest.
She tried to communicate with Lynnea to tell her to escape, but whatever connection had disappeared with the microchip. Kira was confident that her friend would escape, though.
Then she was pinned against the wall as the security guard caught up with her. He whipped out his gun and pointed it at her head. Kira stopped struggling.
At least I stopped them.
Yes, things are getting rather inventive now. I do like a little telepathy in my dystopian novels. 😉
We all know a post without a picture is rather boring. Last week I gave you a picture of Harriet, today, here’s Clementine!