Part 1 [20/8/12]
When in the clan house, Max is dragged to the end of the hallway. Telisa presses a hidden button, concealed within the wall, and a door opens. This is a lift, and made of steel. Dragging Max in, Telisa then presses the bottom button in a line of three before standing in front of it.
The lift starts to descend and Telisa whispers "In time, you will tell us where that equipment is hidden."
"I don't think that is likely," Max retorts. "Before this week is out you will have betrayed your clan members and your journey back to reality will be complete."
Telisa scoffs. "If you think that."
The lift then opens and she pushes him out. "Let's see if you can survive in here for a day or two."
The doors to the lift then close as Max tries to get up. When he does get up, he sees no buttons to call the lift. However, he realises that he wouldn't be able to call the lift yet anyway. Telisa would still be around.
So he set to exploring.
The tunnels were steel as well, reminding Max of Star Destroyers and other hallways of cruisers from Sci-Fi shows. Wondering down one, he mentally mapped his position to where he remembered the sound studios to be. Maybe there was more than one way out. Only problem was, he mused, it was a maze down here.
Not one corridor lasted very long. There was more than one way to go each time. And even Max's knowledge of placing an almost accurate account of which way was north wouldn't be much good here. But even so, he set off down a tunnel to the left.
Jaz had been wondering what he was going to tell Max's parents when he got back. Lunchtime had arrived and they were all sat in the cafe. Jaz wasn't though.
He was searching for anything that Max might have left behind.
That was when he stumbles across a note in the cupboard. Pulling it out, Jaz knew it had been left quite a while ago. All it said was 'Left of'.
Jaz shook his head, wondering what it meant. He put it in his pocket to look at later. Heading out into the cafe to get some lunch, Jaz wonders where Max is now. Knowing exactly where he was would be better than saying he didn't after all. And it might give him a chance to get instructions off Max, however vague they might be.
Part 2 [4/9/12]
Max woke at a hard pain in his ribs. Uncurling himself, he looks up to see Telisa standing over him.
"Up now," she says. "Stanley wants a word."
Max slowly gets up and follows Telisa back down the passage, who was following some GPS device. Max sees Stanley before he sees the lobby where the lift is.
"Now then," Stanley says in his best sweet voice, with his best kindly smile on, "we will discuss the location of your hidden devices."
Before Max could reply, a hand had come from behind Stanley's back, and a needle had been jabbed in his left arm.
Ever since Max had been found, security had been pretty lax, Jaz had noted. So much so that he had gone from where they were working that day to the cafe without anyone noticing.
Taking the note from the day before out of his pocket, Jaz reads it again, and starts thinking. After a few seconds, he stands with his back to the door and walks left. At the end of the building, he turns left again.
Following the building all the way along brings him sight with the train.
"Of course," he softly says.
Running to the train, he jumps in. But no bag is in sight.
He looks under the train, inspects every inch of the train, but cannon find Max's bag.
"Please please please don't say they've already found it. Wait... Logic. If I was in a hurry, I'd want them to believe this is where I've left it."
Following this thought, he then follows the track. The only thing he sees is the rails. Keeping to his train of thought like a train on the rails, Jaz soon comes along a part of the track he remembers.
Near to the end of the journey, just as they slow down, there is a bump in the ground. The rails couldn't fully accommodate this and so they had left a small gap between the rails and the ground.
Somehow wedged into this was Max's bag.
"How I'm going to get this out is well beyond me."
And so, kneeling down, Jaz sets to some proper work.
Part 3 [4/9/12]
"How many more times do I have to say it?" Max screams. "The. Station."
"Do you really believe us to be fools?" Stanley says. "I'd rather you gave the exact location." A pause. "Actually, Telisa keep him here. I'm going to wait for a bit to get that drug active. Then we'll see how persuasive he is."
Stanley enters the lift and it goes up.
"You'd better consider telling him, otherwise he'll have me searching all over for it. You don't want that do you?"
"I'd much rather you all suffer," Max retorts. "But two's good enough."
He gives a little time for that to sink in before saying "You're not used to this, are you?"
"That's the second time you've said that blasted line!" Telisa screams.
Max could tell he had hit some kind of mark that time. "It would be easier on me if you'd let me show you where it is," he tries suggestively.
"What. So you can run off?" Telisa scoffs. "No way. This job isn't worth losing."
"Surprised you call it a job."
"And what's that supposed to mean?"
"Look at what you are doing! How is this a job? All you are doing is conning people out of their money! That's no job! That's theft!"
Telisa then backhands his mouth. "The job is more complicated then you could care to imagine."
"I care to imagine quite a lot," Max retorts, tasting blood as he speaks. He then shudders.
"Sure you can," Telisa says as the lift door opens again.
"Right then. Time to ask you again." Stanley then pulls another syringe out of his pocket. "And I promise that if you don't tell this time, more than a simple flu virus will be entering your system."
"Fine. If you want a location for it, it can't do know harm to tell you," Max says slowly eyes downcast.
"I wedged it underneath a piece of track in the station. The storage area where all the spare track is kept." Max made sure his voice was injected with enough sense of defeat to give them the impression he was telling the truth.
It worked. "Fine," Stanley says. "Telisa, come on. Let's go search." He raises the syringe just a bit higher. "But I swear if you are lying this will go into somewhere painful." He then puts the syringe away, and takes Telisa's arm.
Ever so slowly, Max reaches out to Telisa as their backs are turned. His hand grabs the GPS in Telisa's hand.
The grip tightens, then is gone as Stanley slaps Telisa on the back. When both are in the lift and are about to turn around, Max legs it from the lobby, quickly diving around a corner.
Peaking around the corner, the lift doors close up.
Part 4 [12/9/12]
It had taken Jaz roughly half an hour to get the bag out from the track. With it over his shoulder, he then heads back to the cafe. Looking out to the distance, he starts running.
Two figures were seen in the station, and he had a good idea who they were. Heading in the opposite direction from the station, Jaz runs around the building then slows to a walk when he reaches the door.
"Hey!" a voice calls.
No! No! No-no-no! Jaz thinks. They've found me.
However, it was only the teacher called Tom. Looking in the direction of the shout, he sees that the entire group is heading back down the hill.
Jaz quickly dives around the door, runs to his room and hides Max's laptop bag in the cupboard. He then runs out of the room, and back to the cafe. When the others arrive, Jaz is already sat down.
Tom immediately rounds on him, sitting at the table as well. "What are you playing at?"
"I came back early. Earlier than normal," Jaz says.
"Well I can't blame you if you're hungry. But wait in the future, until all other students have gathered as well. Otherwise the instructors here might think you're... up to something." The last three words are said slightly slower, as though he was thinking things through. "They tell me Max has been here. He was with you."
"Yes." Jaz sees no reason to say any more.
"I don't know what he is planning or what he has, but he was spouting nonsense about this place being a con."
"I heard the same thing." Jaz again doesn't let on more than needs to be said.
"Directly from him?"
"So what are you in his plan?"
"I know nothing of his plan." Then feeling this conversation should come to a quicker end, "When he contacted the college he made no mention of it being a con. It was only near the beginning of this trip when I heard any mention of it being a con, and that was because I had overheard him talking in his room."
"Can we just go to your room?"
"Er... sure." How? And why? Does he know something?
Part 5 [9/10/12]
"Does it have to be now?" Jaz asks quickly, sparing a glance at the serving bar, which had just opened all its shutters.
"Well, if you're hungry I suppose it could wait until after you've eaten," Tom replies slowly.
"Great." And so Jaz gets up from the table and walks to the serving bar, queuing with the others who were ready and waiting to be served food, thinking how he would be able to get out of this one.
Not really paying attention to what he was eating, he suddenly jumps up.
"What?" Lee, the other teacher, had been watching him.
"I've just remembered I haven't taken my Tic-Tac's."
"Tic-Tac's?" Tom asks, having heard this. "What are they?"
"Tablet-like substances which revive energy. I was meant to take one a while back, but forgot to bring them out with me."
Jaz gets up, and Tom makes to follow, but Jaz see this and says "I am able to find and take them myself. Just watch my table and make sure no-one nicks my food."
He then walks sedately towards the boys dorms and enters through the doors. Heading to his room, he them locates where he left Max's bag and exits with the bag, heading to a room he was sure was empty. Opening the door, he sees that it is. This room had a view of the station. Looking out of the windows, he sees that Stanley and Telisa aren't around any more.
Looking down again, he pushes the bag under the bed, exits that room and makes a note of where it is, then heads back to his own. Just as he was about to get inside, he hears footsteps and quickly reverses direction of door opening, so that he closes it instead.
Looking, he sees Tom quizzically glancing at him. "You took them then?"
"Oh yes, they was stuck inside my suitcase which was stuck under the bed," Jaz replies.
"Well hurry up and get back to your food. Then we can have that talk inside your room."
Still looking at him quizzically, Tom walks away. Jaz follows after allowing arms distance between them.
Part 6 [3/11/12]
Max had put the GPS to good use. He had located certain exits around the park that would give him an advantage. He didn't dare go out into the open. It would spoil the entire part of the new plan.
And besides which, the more they suffered, the better.
Jaz had finished his food, and he and Tom were sat in his room. Tom was giving him a stern look. Then he started to speak.
"If you know anything about Max, you should give that infomation up to the instructors. Max has been spurring up trouble ever since he got back, and it's all been centred around this place being a con. I'm guessing that's why he invented this whole scheme of getting you here, as well as visiting your country to get a better idea of life outside this island so he could take a different personality and face while here."
"Well, like I said before, I knew nothing about his plans. And also, he never confided in me at all. As I said, the only way I ever heard anything off him was when he was making one of those stupid recordings of his."
"So you admit he still does those?"
"Yes. It's sort of a thing of his. Fussy about his logs."
"Right then." Tom then gets up. "I'll leave you alone. But if you do see him. Report it. Okay?"
"Yeah. Sure," Jaz says.
Tom walks to the door, opens it and exits, closing it behind him. Jaz lies on the bed and heaves a great sigh of relief.
"He lied!" Stanley screams. "Lied."
"I told you he would never consiously betray the location of that equipment," Telisa says breathlessly, trying to keep up.
Stanley was storming back to the clan house in a full anger. "We need another course of action!"
"What course of action?" Telisa says exasperated. "There's nothing else we can do!"
"I'll make good on my promise and stick that syringe in his eye. Then if he doesn't reveal anything, his other eye will make great target practise."
Stanley storms round to face her. "You object?" His eyes are popping. "You actually care for him?"
"No! But what would his parents say when he arrives back like that! And think of the teachers! What would they say!"
"We'll cover it up. We'll send him home with a note saying it was an accident."
"Sticking a syringe in someone's eyes isn't an accident!"
Stanley storms back round and walks off to the clan house. Telisa hurries to keep up. Inside, they lock the door, then head to the secret lift. Down into the underground, it becomes apparent that Max isn't around.
"Where is he?" Stanley shouts. "Give the underground tracker."
"Don't have it," Telisa says.
"What do you mean?"
"You gave it away."
"When you slapped me into the lift, he had a grip on the undrground tracker."
"So it's your fault! Not mine! Get a better grip!"
"How could you say such a thing!"
Stanley turns to go back to the lift but turns around again to say something else.
Telisa's foot can be seen whipping around the corner.
Part 7 [7/11/12]
Stanley runs across to where Telisa was and sees her turning down into another corner. He follows then stops short. Following her through the maze of the underground would mean he, the manager of this enterprise, would be lost too. And with no manager, things would fall and fail. As well as that, he needed to make sure Ean wouldn't go the same way.
Max was just walking back to one of the secret exits he had found when someone ran into him, knocking him flat. He wonders who would be running around down here. Then he looks between his legs.
"What are you doing here?" both he and Telisa say.
"You know why I'm here," Max says, "but the question remains why are you down here? Unless Master Chief of the entire scam got you to get me?"
"Nah. I ran away. You were right. I'm not used to this. I'm probably already blacklisted from the clan."
"Doesn't that worry you?"
"Not if I escape with you. You do have a plan right?" Telisa asks.
"Well, I need to get a message to Jaz. And then we should be all set and waiting for Sunday."
"You do realise there's no food down here, right? And the possibility of ever getting out of here is nill?"
"I've already done both. What do you think I've been doing with this GPS thing?"
"So what's the plan?"
"First we need to get that message to Jaz..."
On the Thursday, Jaz had started to miss Max. It had been another hard days toiling, and he had got a blister in his right hand. He had completely forgotten about the spyware Max had got on his laptop.
But he was starting to get a bit bored of a night, and with Max locked away somewhere, there was no way he would know.
So after eating in the cafe with his left hand, he finishes early and heads to the room he had left Max's laptop bag. Picking it up, and returning to his room, he sits on the bed and opens the bag.
A note is lying on top of the laptop. Jaz picks it up wondering how it got there.
Part 8 [12/11/12]
After staring at the note for a while longer, Jaz decides to see what it read.
"Jaz, it took a while to find it, but I knew you'd be able to figure out the clue and get the bag somewhere else. While you lot were busy today, I sneaked to where I hid it, and found it wasn't there. Searching all the rooms lead me to where you hid it. Great hiding place, by the way, but there is more important things to discuss. On the last day, they will take you to a hill that is a soundproofed recording room and get you to tune the equipment in one room. You will be heavily supervised on that day. That's so they can get ready the big 'surprise' that the area is flooded from another storm. On that day, I want you to keep a camera attached to you at all times. This is the only part of the plan, and I won't be telling you anything else.
"Dispose of this in the regular trash. It will not be seen."
Jaz is thankful that Max is okay, but keeping a camera on him somewhere all day might be a bit of a problem.
"It's vital to the plan."
"It's foolhardy and reckless."
"Not if you spin the coin the right way."
Max was having difficulty persuading Telisa to go ahead with the latest part of his masterplan.
"I'm telling you I don't want to do it. If he kills me-"
"He won't. He might treat you a bit harshly as soon as he first sees you, but give him a chance, and he'll see he'll need you."
"But what will you do here, all alone?"
"I've got other things to be doing."
"But what if he wants me to return down here and bring you up. He'll most likely think I've been with you all this time."
"Then tell him you've searched this area and found no sign at all of me."
"He'll still want me to hunt you down. He'll have me looking all over the hills and the entire grounds. He'll be paranoid that you're hiding somewhere around here."
"Then you'll just have to show him the signs."
"You'll see. Just go."
He then pats her on the shoulder. "And just keep that jumper on. I'm relying on you. No messing up."
Telisa then walks away.
Part 9 [19/11/12]
"You!" Stanley screams. "You! How dare you come back here!"
Stanley storms up to Telisa, and she makes up her mind quickly. "Hey! Don't be harsh on me. You wanted the boy and I was searching for him."
Stanley scoffs and so she adds, "You did want him to torture. I was only following orders."
"If you've been searching for him, where is he?"
"Well, I was down there for a day, but there was no traces of him. And I searched everywhere."
Stanley relaxes his shoulders then quick as a flash his right fist comes up to connect with Telisa's left cheek. Her head is sent onto her right shoulder and she starts to spin, staggering.
"What was that for!" she says, emphasising the third word.
"For walking away without a word. For making me not trust you. And for not even an apology or reward when you returned. If you've been down in the underground for a full two days..."
"I only had my water bottle on me, taking sips from it over the two days."
"Fine. Get in the cafe and get a lot to eat. Just get back to the clan house as soon as you're done and be ready for work again tomorrow. I'll be watching you, and if you ever speak to me like you did Tuesday again, I make sure you get as worse as Rushden will get when he's found."
"Sure," Telisa says, and walks into the cafe building. She was just hoping all she would get from that punch was a crick in the neck.
Jaz was still pondering over the note when a knock on the door brought him back to his senses. Quickly stuffing the note back into the laptop bag and stuffing that under the bed, he answers "Hello?" to the knock.
The door slowly opens and the woman clan member's head pokes through.
"What do you want? I know nothing!"
"And I know everything," she replies. "Now be a bit more quiet so everyone doesn't hear."
"Oh. Come in." She does so, sitting on Max's bed. "So you know where Max is?" Jaz instanly asks.
"Yes. He just wanted me to come here and say not to be alarmed on Saturday when the coming events happen."
"I already know. He left me a note."
"Well, just so you know. Oh, and he says leave the laptop well alone if you know what's best for the cause."
And with that she goes to leave. Leaning against the door, she appears to be listening for something. Then she opens the door and exits.
Part 10 [22/11/12]
The night of Friday saw Max sneaking out through one of the secret exits he had located. He knew that his dark clothing would protect him in the long run, but when it came to sneaking into the student building he would have to employ stealth.
Running over the hill, he sees the faint light of the student building and heads to it. Once down the hill, he stops and looks around. Seeing no-one, he continues to the door.
Slowly opening it, he sees no-one inside either. Without bothering to even wonder why they never lock the doors, he opens the door even wider and enters. From inside his jacket, he pulls the torch that he had made a long time ago. This one was a simple LED creation, but still had all the tracking technology of everything else he made.
Flashing it across every door, he looks for the room that he had chosen for him and Jaz. Locating it, he pushes open the door slowly. Shining the light on the ground brings no results, except a flash of a reflection under the bed Jaz was sleeping on.
Getting on the floor, Max looks under the bed to see what he was after.
Opening it up, pulling out a square piece of paper, he writes another note, quickly, for Jaz when he wakes up.
Closing the laptop bag up, he puts the strap over him and exits the room, follows the route back to the cafe, then out of the main door. He then starts heading back to the secret exit; his work done.
Looking around to see if anyone was out, he sees the searchlight. Shining brighter than normal. The maker had been revealed with his own weapon. It appeared that Stanley had found the torch Max had hidden in the drawer of the clan house.
Realising that staying near a solid object was a sure fire way to get caught, Max runs to the hill. Looking down, he sees a reflection of light.
Betrayed! Again! By his own things. Looking back, the light seems to be wobbling, as though someone is running. Max decides to increase his speed and makes it up the hill. However, he had dropped the other torch somewhere on the hill, so getting back to the entrance of the underground would require precise action. Turning around to see however, it seemed the torch bearer had found something much interesting.
A second light comes on.