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Skyler and his team vaulted over the now barbed wire-free fence when the guards' backs were turned and dashed out of sight. It had taken days to finally clear it. Little by little when guards were changing shifts or when they weren't looking, they cleared away the barbed wire enough to allow for safe jumping.
The Coyotes on his team jumped the fence with all the grace and fluidity of a Jumper, and he felt a flare of pride. They and all the Coyotes had been training for days until they could jump with ease. They would need it.
Their second team of Coyotes jumped the fence, ready to cause chaos. Kate lock picked their way into the backdoor and they slipped inside, hurrying down the safest halls, using the knowledge of Fred's inside spies.
Tag busted a door open and stepped in, two pistols drawn, and fired into the air. Skyler smirked as guards and inmates alike in the cafeteria were startled out of their wits.
"Ladies and gentlemen you have yourselves a takeover," Tag called out, and Coyotes exploded from behind at a run. Guard drew weapons, but as expected the inmates decided to join in on the fun.
While Tag oversaw the chaos, Kate and Skyler escorted Darcy to the control room. They burst in and were confronted with two guards, who had been too heavily involved with handling the situation in the cafeteria to be in full alert mode. Kate and Skyler knocked them unconscious as Darcy sat down to work.
"Go." Kate looked at Skyler. "Get started on finding Fred's inside man and find Kip."
Skyler nodded and ran. After days of visits, Fred had finally gotten a rough blueprint of the facility, and Skyler and his friends had spent hours memorizing it. So far, it had worked.
Suddenly someone grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and yanked him down a side hall. Skyler choked and twisted. A man with black tattoos down his right arm stared down at him. The man let go of him. "You with Fred?"
"Yeah." Skyler steadied his alarm. "Let's go."
The spy led him down halls and stopped at an intersection. Any guards had been called to handle the situation downstairs. "Saw him be taken down that way the other day. Haven't seen him since."
"Thanks." Skyler nodded. "Can you cause chaos in the halls?"
The man smirked and headed off. Skyler trotted down the halls, glancing at the small plates bearing the names of rooms. Most were numbers, and after peeking inside a few unlocked ones Skyler realized they were inmates' cells.
His pocket started vibrating, making him jump. He skidded to a halt and read the text:
It's down. Others coming.
Skyler smirked and kept running. Darcy, a fifteen-year-old girl, had made the city's best security system go down. She never ceased to impress.
Skyler turned the corner and slammed into someone. He fell back with a yelp and looked up. A man with curly brown hair and hazel eyes stood before him, a nasty-looking pistol already drawn and aimed at Skyler's chest.
"Well, are you the cause of all the racket?" he asked. He motioned with his gun, and Skyler stood slowly, hands raised. "Now, slowly turn ar--"
Skyler ducked and lunged. The man fired and missed and went crashing down under Skyler, who slammed his knee below the belt and tried to disarm him. He managed to get a hold of the gun, but the man punched him, sending him reeling. The pistol clattered and slid across the floor. Skyler was forced onto his back under the man, whose hand closed around his throat.
"So you're one of the infamous Fence Jumpers." the man smirked. Skyler gasped and clawed at the man's hands. "You guys have a lot nerve coming here. But with my guns as security... you'll be seeing the rising sun behind bars. I can guarantee it if you're one of those Peltons Horatio wants so desperately."
Skyler made the mistake of freezing and staring at him in confusion. What did Horatio want with him and his sister?
The man smiled, but didn't let up on the pressure on Skyler's throat. "Skyler Pelton... guess I can't kill you. Horatio specifically asked for you alive."
A sickening thud sounded, and the man crumpled. Skyler grunted and gasped, able to breathe fully again. He shoved the man off and looked up to see Hannah standing over him, the pistol in hand.
"If I had a quarter for every time I saved your butt--"
"Thanks," Skyler wheezed, accepting her hand to pull him up to his feet. "The others all in?"
"Running rampant in the halls like good little delinquents." Hannah nodded. "They make this momma proud. Where is Kip?"
"Still looking," Skyler replied. "I ran into that guy and got kind of interrupted."
"I'll join you."
Together they began searching. Skyler tried the first door, and it opened easily. His heart skipped at least five beats.
In the room was a reclining chair that looked like a dentist's chair. But this one had restraints, and it held Kip, strapped down and seemingly unconscious. He had a pained grimace on his face, like he was barely holding back a yell. He looked awful. He was gaunt and looked sick, and his normal stubble was now a beard and mustache. He almost looked like he had been deserted on an island.
Hannah gasped when she saw him. Skyler pulled her into the room and shut the door. He hurried to loosen the straps.
"Skyler, he's burning up," Hannah said. "We've got a to get him out of here."
"I'm trying," Skyler muttered. "See if you can wake him up."
Hannah tried. Skyler's instinct began to urge him to get moving. He had been in one place for too long. But he refused to move. He struggled with the straps while Hannah nudged Kip, smacked his cheek lightly, anything to wake him up. She got results at last with a moan.
"Kip!" she said urgently. "Kip, wake up. It's me."
Kip was slowly coming to. Then the door opened. Hannah whirled, drawing the both the pistol she had swiped from the man outside the door and the one she had brought with her.
"At ease!" Jonah held up his hands. He stared. "You found him!"
"Yeah, come help. It's time to go."
Kip was blinking groggily. His eyes found Skyler's face, but didn't focus. Kip groaned.
"Easy, Kip," Skyler said. "We're gonna get you out of here." He and Jonah pulled Kip out of the chair. The older man slumped, nearly dragging the boys to the floor. Hannah peeked out and motioned the all-clear, and Skyler and Jonah began the long trek down the halls. With horror, they realized the inmates were running as rampant as their crew was.
"Guess Fred's buddies aren't the most trustworthy," Jonah grumbled.
"Just keep going," Skyler grunted. "They'll be trying to take over the front. We need the back. The others will know to clear out soon."
They rounded the corner and found themselves facing security. Guns were pointed, but Hannah fired first. Skyler stared as she shot two in the leg and the third in his upper arm.
"Go!" Hannah urged, pistols at the ready. Skyler and Jonah half dragged Kip down the halls. They met up with a few Coyotes, giving them a better escort to their escape. Skyler blinked in the daylight, relief washing over him. They were almost out. They had done it.
But they were met by even more security. They froze, guns pointed at them. Skyler slumped. They had been so close...