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ShardanaWaking shortly after Shardana leaves, Jase makes his escape. He isn’t sure how he’ll get back through to the outside world, but he has to escape from Shardana.

Jase had a bug out pack full of water and food, enough for three days. It should only take a few minutes to get to the door, but he’d learned to be prepared. If Shardana tracked him, he could get trapped and have to wait her out.

He struck out in a direct line for the door, not taking the usual serpentine route. He didn’t want to get caught in the open. He had to go more slowly than he liked, the undergrowth was dense. Arriving at the door, he keyed in his code. The door clicked but didn’t open. Trying again, more slowly, he typed it in. A red warning flashed and a tinny voice reprimanded him.

“The code you have entered is incorrect. Failure to key in the proper sequence will initiate security measures.”


He knew it was the right code. It meant someone, probably Lawson, had changed it. Pulling out a portable Tri-D, he called Althea. A quick explanation brought her to the door. Her codes didn’t work either.

“I’m trying, Jase. He’s locked us out.”

“No, he’s locked me in,” he replied. “She’ll come back. She’ll know I’m gone.”

“I’m trying….”

“I know.”

She flipped some switches and the entire dome grew dark. The artificial light dimmed to nothing, allowing only a hazy moon to filter through the thick plexiglass covering. The air grew hotter and still.

“What are you doing?”

“Rebooting the system. It will take a few minutes, but I can use a default code.”

The hair on Jase’s neck rose as he heard a distant, ululating call.

“She’s looking for me. I’m in the open. She’ll track my scent. Hurry!”

“Two minutes, Jase.”

“I may not have two minutes.”

“I can’t rush it. Come on! Come on!” She urged the computer.

“I love you, Thea,” he blurted out. “I’ve loved you since you first came to Cosgrove. If I don’t make it out….”

“You’ll make it, Jase. I promise.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes


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