Winter Outcast - Chapter Three
They headed towards the dark building . The sun heated the concrete they ran on. Their uniforms still looked old and slightly out of date, but, hopefully, would work. They found a large box and a hover cart that mailmen used to carry packages. They pushed the cart along the magnetic postal track in the ground.
"These are so stiff, I can't wait to get out of them," Catherine looked down at the postal uniform, "These look out of date, are you sure they'll work?"
"Yes. I don't think they care about the uniform, they'll just see uniforms and a package. And if we are confident that we're mailmen-"
"A mailman and a mailwoman," Catherine corrected.
"They will assume we are. It's if we're anxious or jumpy that they'll be suspicious."
"You should have trimmed your beard."
"I'll just comb it and look down." Lot pulled a comb out of his pocket and combed his beard.
They came closer and closer to the building . It was tall and jet black. As it got taller, there were less and less windows. It looked as if the building was glaring and intimidating them. They started to slow down. Catherine's eyes wandered to her left and saw The School, and the dorm she used to sleep in, in the distance. She looked away and kept her down. She was glad the uniform's hat had a brim and helped cover her face. When they got to the glass door, a security guard stopped them.
The guard in looked at the box, glanced at them, then at the again box. He pulled out a knife, sliced the packing tape, and quickly flipped opened the box. "Ha!" he said as he revealed its contents. All he found was packing peanuts and a coffee maker. "Oh, that's not a Trojan delivery box. Okay, take it to the mailroom, it's easy to find, just follow the postal track." The guard opened the door and let them in.
They walked in with the box. They went through the metal detector and entered the corridor. They strode down the hall to where the track was leading.
Catherine felt excitement bubble in her. They made it in, she was in an important government building like she always wanted, although she had hoped that she'd be there because she graduated The School and got a job. "Why did he assume it would be a Trojan delivery box?" Catherine wondered.
"I don't know."
They continued on the path until they were in a hallway and the track lead to a door.
"We can't take this cart off the track or it'll drop like a rock, which means we can't keep pretend we're mailmen- oh, and mail woman. Why did they switch to hover carts again?" Lot wondered. "Wheels worked perfectly fine."
"Because the wheels don't need to be fixed and it's easier to push."
"Either way, I guess we have to stick with the original plan."
They marched into a room full of boxes, the only light came from dim, blue lights that wrapped around the room. They parked the hover cart to the side. They had their regular clothes underneath their postal uniforms because they were stiff and wouldn't help much after they got past the mailroom. They took off their uniforms, Catherine brushed off and straightened her school uniform while Lot threw his to the side and dug in the box.
He pulled out the coffee machine, took it part, and pulled two knives out of it. "Here," he handed one to Catherine.
Catherine was slightly surprised, but she took it and put it in the left pocket on the inside of her vest, next to the piece of wood.
Lot pulled out one more thing, a pen. "Here," he handed it to her, "It can record audio and video that you can use as proof, but it looks like a pen, so it won't look suspicious."
Catherine put it in her right pocket. "Anything else stashed in that coffee maker?"
Lot looked in. "Yeah," he pulled out an old, orange, worm-shaped thing, "a cheeto. I didn't know this was in here." He threw it in his mouth and chewed.
Catherine turned away and tried not to gag. "I'm glad I didn't have any coffee this morning."
"Maybe that's why the coffee's tasted a little funky recently. Anyway, let's go," he said as he pulled a map out of his back pocket.
"Is that an actual map of this place?"
"Only the first floors and certain areas on the other floors. Obviously they don't want an entire map of this building that anyone can access. Especially since the Code is here." Lot started towards the door, although almost tripped on a box that was lying in the shadow on the floor.
Catherine tensed up. Her feet felt glued to the floor and her mind had a quick flashback of when she was about to be arrested.
"Have you seen this girl?" A police man asked one of Catherine's classmates in the library.
Catherine was studying in the corner against a bookshelf. With the police man and the student being on the other side, she could hear everything perfectly. She kept reading her book that she hoped would prepare her for a test. She subconsciously listened to them.
"She managed to get into the Code's room and steal its information on her data collector," he explained.
"That's awful, who would ever do that?" Catherine whispered under her breath.
"You're saying Catherine did this?"
Catherine's heart stopped and struggled to process what was happening. She listened more closely.
"Yes, Catherine Forticep. Do you know where she is?"
Catherine's ears rang, her mind was clouded, she could hardly think straight. The exit out of the library was just twelve feet in front of her. She set down her books, attempted to run, and stumbled out of the library while keeping her head down. She didn't know what she should do. Hide? Run? She quickly decided to go to her dorm to collect what she needed in case she had to run.
She ran outside and towards the dorm. She was almost to the stairs when she spotted a police man right next to the stair, talking to another student. He was holding a picture of Catherine and the student pointed right at her. The police man spotted her and started dashing towards her and yelling into his communicator.
Catherine rushed to get away. There was no chance she could get anything from her dorm now. She ended up on the side of the school where almost no one was ever at. There was a door and the dumpster with a pile of garbage next to it. She made a split second decision. She pushed open the door and hid in the pile of trash bags.
The bags had the smell of rotting fruit and an unidentifiable smell, and something hard in one bag was jabbing into her side. The door next to her closed slowly, she remembered that about the door from when she volunteered to take the trash out. Catherine tried to take deep breath and held it once she heard footsteps come closer. She didn't move. One noticed the door closing and the three of them rushed in to pursue her.
Catherine waited there a few more minutes to calm down, make sure they were gone, and to rest. After those minutes were up, she crawled out of her hiding place. She didn't want to risk going back in. She raced to the forest, where no one would be, where she could be safe, and lose them. The cold air nipped at her as she ran while small, white flakes started to fall out of the sky.
The flashback ended and she was where she was now, in the same building the Code was in, about to steal information to prove her innocence.
Lot noticed her pause when he mentioned the Code. "It's okay. We're going to prove you didn't do it. Even if we do get caught, they would have to wonder why you would come back if you already have the information from the Code."
"I guess. Let's get going." She strode over to the door and put those memories in the back of her mind.
"Remember, we won't be able to talk this much once we're in the hallways, otherwise we'll be heard and get caught."
Catherine nodded. "I know."
The cover is drawn by me.