Mel takes me deeper into the cave and takes a hard left into a smaller offshoot cave. A large rock rolls away from the other end as we enter, revealing daylight. She continues running toward the new opening. I follow and just outside is an old truck inconspicuously hidden under a selection of branches and other foliage.
“Hop in!” Mel says, clearing the camouflage.
“Are you sure this thing will run?” I ask, jumping into the driver’s seat.
“I tuned it up just last week. Should be good to go. Full of gas. Ready to run. The only thing you have to do is go. And fast.”
I turn the key which had been left in the ignition and the rusty blue pickup revs to life. It’s loud, which can’t be a good sign when on the run, but like I said before, I don’t have many options.
“What about you?” I ask Mel, who has already started back toward the caves.
“I have to take care of my people. Go!”
I’m still anxious about it, but Grant leads us out of the Shadow Market and above ground to where he has an unmarked van waiting.
“Wait, this isn’t like the SP SUVs where they can track it, is it?” Eve asks.
“Mackenzie-Lena is everywhere,” Grant answers as he unlocks the doors. “Even if they don’t have this lojacked, they could find us if they really wanted to.”
“Wait, so why are we with you again?” I ask.
“We can go back to my previous plan of just killing you, if you’d like,” Grant says with a smirk. Is he joking? Is he capable of joking? Is it funny if it’s at least partially true? I decide to laugh lightly just in case.
“This might work out in our favor,” The Geek says. “M&L thinks Grant’s looking for us, right? So, if he’s not headed back toward them, then he must still be on the hunt, at least as far as they see it.”
“Sure,” Eve agrees, “but what do we do about the fact that we’re heading right to my parents? If M&L are tracking Grant, they’ll know exactly where Mom and Dad are.”
“That’s a chance we’re going to have to take,” I argue. “Besides, there’s nothing saying they aren’t already tracking us the same way Grant has been, right?”
“Other than how they seem to have a hard time finding us.” The Geek smiles.
“All I know,” Grant offers, “is they are willing to capture you at all costs. You wouldn’t believe how much money they offered me when I said I could track you.”
“So maybe whatever you did to Miss Nile’s system is causing them trouble in keeping tabs on people?” I ask The Geek.
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
“So, are we going or what?” Grant asks urgently. “I really hate sitting out here in the open like this when I’ve made the decision to piss off the most powerful people in the world.”
“Good point,” Eve states. “Let’s get moving. We might want to find a new form of transportation before too long, but this will do for now.”
We all climb into the van. Grant sits in the driver’s seat and the rest of us sit on the bench in the back.
“What? I’m not good enough for any of you to sit up front with me?” Grant asks, looking over his shoulder.
“Fine,” Eve says as she gets up to climb into the front seat.
“No,” I say, holding her back. “Grant and I should probably get to know each other better. You keep The Geek company.”
I climb over the center console and into the passenger seat next to Grant.
“Alright, so, where to?”
“Really?” Grant asks.
“Do you know where we are?” he replies.
“We’re in San Diego, bub.”
Go to Chapter Seventeen