I worked on my mantra, because I remembered reading something about the laws of the universe and believing in something will make it happen. God, I hoped they were right.
Daemon gave one more squeeze, and I realized he wasn’t going to let go. I would slow him down, but there was no time to protest it. A shudder rolled through my arms. I felt the Source rattle and wake up. My weight shifted back and forth.
Beside me, Blake bent forward. “Three, two, go!”
I kicked off, letting the Source rush through, expanding each cell with light. None of the guys were glowing, but we all were running, practically flying. My sneakers skidded over the road. Up we climbed, sticking to the side of the road, avoiding the streams of light. In the back of my head, I realized that keeping up with them had never been the issue.
It was seeing where to go.
But Daemon’s hand remained in mine and he wasn’t pulling me, more like guiding me through the night, around potholes the size of craters, and up the twisting mountain road.
Seventy-five seconds later, because I counted, a twenty-foot-tall fence came into view under spotlights. We slowed down, coming to a complete stop behind the last stand of trees.
I dragged in air, eyes wide. Red and white signs marked the fence as being electrical. Beyond them was a football-field length of open space and then a massive structure.
“Time?” Daemon asked.
“One minute after nine.” Blake ran a hand through his spiky hair. “Okay, I got one guard at the gate. Do you see any others?”
We waited for about another minute to see if any were patrolling, but as Luc had said, it was shift change. Only the gate was covered. We couldn’t wait any longer.
“Give me a second,” Andrew said, slipping away from the trees, creeping toward the guard dressed in black.
I was just about to ask what the hell he was doing when I saw him dip and place his hand on the ground. Blue sparks flew and the guard started to twist toward him, but the surge of electricity reached him.
A violent tremor ran up the man’s body, and he dropped the gun. A second later, he was lying beside it. The boys headed forward and I followed, sneaking a glance at the guard. His chest moved and fell, but he was out cold.
“He doesn’t know what hit him.” Andrew grinned as he blew a breath over his fingers. “He’ll be out for about twenty or so minutes.”
“Nice,” Dawson said. “I’d have fried his brain if I tried that.”
My eyes widened.
Daemon was on the move, approaching the gate. The white keypad looked unassuming, but it was the first test. We could only hope Luc took the cameras down and had given us the right codes.
“Icarus,” Blake said quietly.
Nodding, Daemon’s shoulders tensed as he quickly typed in the code. There was a mechanical clicking, a low hum followed, and then the gate shuddered. It swung open, beckoning us like a rolled-out red carpet.
Daemon motioned us forward. We sped across the field, taking a couple of heartbeats to reach the doors Luc and Blake had confirmed. I came up behind Daemon as they searched the wall.
“Where’s the damn keypad?” Dawson demanded, pacing between the doors.
I stepped back and forced my gaze to move left to right slowly. “There.” I pointed toward the right. The pad was small, stuck back behind the overlay.
Andrew jogged to it, glancing over his shoulder. “Ready?”
Dawson glanced down at me and then at the middle door in front of us. “Yes.”
“Labyrinth,” Daemon murmured from behind us. “And please, God, spell it correctly.”
Andrew snickered and keyed in the code. I wanted to squeeze my eyes shut just in case we ended up with a dozen guns leveled at our faces. The door before us slid open, revealing the space beyond inch by inch.
No guns. No people.
I let out the breath I was holding.
Beyond the door was a wide orange tunnel and at the end were the elevators. Not even a hundred feet and all we had to do was get to those elevators and go down six floors. Blake knew the cells.
We were seriously going to do this.
The door was wide enough for two people to move through at once, but Dawson stepped forward first. Understandable, considering what he had to gain by night’s end. I followed behind. As he moved under the doorframe, there was a sound of air releasing, a small puffing noise.
Dawson dropped like he’d been shot, but there’d been no blast. One second he was standing in the doorway and the next he was on the other side, withering on the floor, his mouth opened in a silent scream.
“No one moves,” Andrew ordered.
Time stopped. The hair on the back of my neck rose. I looked up. A row of tiny nozzles, barely even noticeable, faced down. Too late, I realized in horror. The puffing sound came again.
Red-hot pain seared through my skin, as if a thousand tiny knives were slicing me apart from the inside, attacking every cell. Every part of my body erupted as I dragged in a scorching breath. My legs crumbled and I went down, unable to even ease the fall. My cheek smacked off the concrete, that flash of pain nothing compared to the fire ravaging my body.
Brain cells were scrambled and twisted. Muscles locked up in panic and pain. My eyelids were peeled open. Lungs tried to expand, to drag in air, but there was something wrong with the air—it scalded my mouth and throat. Somewhere, in the distant part of me that could still function, I knew what this was.