With all the explosions and hacking and deceit, Ephesus figured that by about now the police and guards would have figured out what had happened.
Then suddenly Ephesus' elevator began to drop. Ephesus thought, "Well,
either Nic's luck is working for me, or else the ruling power in which I
actually believe is. I am inclined to the second."
The elevator continued slowly down. Ephesus lay on top of the hatch, trying to listen if to see if he could figure out who or what was moving it.
"A blasted good escape attempt, for sure."
"Why didn't the..." Ephesus' eyes bulged slightly at the curses that punctuated every sentence.
The second voice continued to ask why they hadn't been told there were prisoners a few floors up, and a third voice interjected, equally colorfully, that it was because they weren't ever told anything. A general chorus of affirmative obscenities responded.
A smaller voice was just barely discernible over the clanking the elevator made on its way down. "Whatever group it is that's making trouble, they're larger and smarter than we ever thought."
Silence reigned for a few moments. The first voice questioned, "Are you so foolish as to question the strength of the United to crack-down on these folks?"
"No, not so foolish, so rational. Remember that story the broke a year ago? A huge transmitting station on Mars engaged in secret projects, making weapons. And then those two elderly fugitives that it took the United nearly six months to catch? Two men old enough to have grandchildren made more heists and prison breaks than any hero of the last war."
"There are no war heroes. War is an evil."
"And there will be no war as long as the United lives."
Together all the guards agreed, and Ephesus' head made a clunk on the top of the elevator as it reached the bottom. The doors opened and the boots all surged out. Ephesus was left in the shaft, ten feet from being on the one floor he needed to reach to escape.
Then the elevator began moving back up again.
The next post is Crook Q: Part 43