Instantly I was on my knees cutting away Cea's ropes. I did her ankles first, and she kicked me in the head.
"Ow, Cea, it's me! Phil!"
relaxed instantly, and I sawed away her bonds on her wrists. Then I
untied her blindfold and gag. She breathed normally, and got up on her
knees. Wordlessly she hugged me, and we cried together.
For a few days we were left in our locked housing without contact. Food and water would come in sealed packages sent through a chute into our room. I couldn't imagine the last time I had woke without reaching immediately for my reader to read my Bible. I couldn't remember the last time I had went to bed without the last sound being my ancient reader closing down the Bible file and shutting off.
Shock kept us from talking very much those first few days. Our one-room cell was furnished with two soft pads for sleeping, and a sink for washing, and one small bathroom, but no shower. I had brought a few changes of clothes and a few toiletries. Cea had not been able to bring anything.
After our nerves had calmed I finally asked Cea, "What happened to you the night we were brought in?"
Cea put her hand over her mouth and winked at me. I didn't get it. She answered, "Oh, we went out for pizza."
Now I was even more confused. Cea was crawling over the room, looking under ledges and in lighting fixtures. She motioned me to talk. I asked, "Uhh, what kind of pizza do you like?"
Then she found it. I tiny microphone under the sink. I got it. She motioned for me to toss her something, so I threw her a scarf I had packed in case we were taken some place cold. She wound it around the microphone.
She was bruised in several locations on our body. Then she finally told the real story, "They came for me right after they got you. I had seen them coming and had started destroying anything they shouldn't find. I didn't know if they were sacking the place or kidnapping or what. When they burst in and found me doing that, the got violent." She looked up at me and smiled, even though her bruised face must hurt doing it. "I returned the favor."
I was surprised at her response, and it must have shown on my face. She explained, "Phil, Nic always told me that a guy in pain doesn't think straight. I needed them to not think to search me or everything, so I gave them all something else to think about. I was able to sneak this along." She drew out from an inside pocket a small computer chip. "It's got everything we've been working on lately."
I didn't understand. "We?"
"Ephesus and I."
I had forgotten they had been up to something. Now I only wanted to know what and why. Anything that could make Cea act like this must be important. "What does that include?"
Cea smiled, "A weapon powerful enough to keep us from being assimilated back into the monster, Phil. Stick with me and they won't be able to do anything to us, as soon as I find a computer."