Chapter 12

I didn’t see you, and you didn’t see me, all right? Let’s both of us go about our own business.” Lorcan raised his hands, making peace with the couple he had caught in the middle of intimate activity. He didn’t need to be super intelligent to tell they shouldn’t have been doing whatever they were doing where they were doing it.

The man didn’t look convinced. He approached Lorcan slowly and glanced cautiously at the empty corridor.

Lorcan was a fraction taller than six foot one, but his head ended just above the man’s chest. He figured he would be at quite a disadvantage in a one-on-one fight. Plus, the man had a gun.

He backed away, and the man advanced.

“No, Grant. Not here,” the woman said in English as she tugged the man’s elbow.

“But he saw us, Millie! Is he the human you talked about?” Grant’s English had a heavy accent.

“It’s a pleasure to be the topic of conversation in the middle of your busy activities. But since you know so much about me, and I don’t know anything about you, don’t you think it’s safe for you to let me go?” Lorcan backed out further until his back hit a wall.

Grant thrust the gun’s muzzle in his direction.

“Don’t, Grant. Everyone will be back soon. If you shoot him now, there won’t be enough time to clean up.”

“I’ll be quick,” Grant growled, once again aiming the gun at Lorcan.

Lorcan raised his hands, seeking a truce. “Okay, we all want the same thing. I want to leave, and you don’t want Faye to know what you’re doing here. So why don’t you just let me leave, and we’ll consider we never met.”

Grant brandished the gun. “Dead people don’t talk.”

“And they don’t give information, either. I haven’t given Faye the information she wants from me. I can give it to you, if you’d rather.”

Millie and Grant glanced quickly at each other.

“How can we be sure you won’t cheat?” Millie asked.

“You can’t be. You’ll have to take my word for it.”

Grant looked at Millie. “I can hold him until we get to the master. If he’s bluffing, it’ll be up to the master to take care of him.”

Millie hesitated.

Grant held her shoulders. “Come on, honey, this could be our one and only chance.”

“What if he’s already told Faye? What if she’s on to it? Did you see Kai come in? He rarely makes an appearance like that around here unless he’s sure they have something.”

“I haven’t told Faye anything,” Lorcan said.

“Why did she leave you alone?” Grant asked.

“She didn’t exactly. Kai knocked me out. She locked me inside the room, and I picked the lock to get out.”

Grant nodded. “That’s why she left. She didn’t think you could get out.” He turned toward Millie. “I’ll take him now, Millie. You pack your things. I’ll come back for you tonight, and we’ll leave together.”

Millie nodded.

“Be careful.” Grant kissed Millie on the cheek and pushed Lorcan out the door.

They walked out onto the street, Grant right behind Lorcan. His gun was hidden inside his jacket, and he kept it pressed against Lorcan’s back.

It was just a normal town outside, and people were going about their business. If Lorcan hadn’t known this was Nepolymbus, he would have thought he was in Brighton, a seaside town in England, during a festive season where people wore strange costumes and sunbathed on rocky beaches.

They soon approached the dome wall and the gate that marked the boundary between the water and air dimensions. Others zoomed in and out of the gate. When they entered the water, they began swimming like fish. As soon as they reached land, they walked on feet.

While it was sunny inside—if that was how you could describe the gray shade of daylight inside the dome—outside the gate, it was pitch dark. The water looked eerie.

Lorcan knew he was in no condition to swim, but Grant pushed him ahead toward the water.

“Where are we going?” Lorcan asked.

“I’ve got to go to work. I work at the Heating Ducts, and I think it’s the perfect location to keep you.”

“I can’t go in the water.”

“Well, you’ll have to. I’m not paying for your transport.”

Lorcan tried to wriggle out of Grant’s grasp, but Grant pulled the gun out from under his jacket and pointed it at him in plain sight. Bystanders on the street stopped and stared. Grant flipped a pocket open, flashing something that looked like a badge. They acknowledged it and walked away.

“There’s one thing you should know about this dimension. The Heating Ducts is a prison for the most dangerous criminals. I’m a guard there. That makes you a criminal. You can scream, or tell people what you saw back in the house, but nobody will believe you.”

Lorcan pushed Grant away.

Grant brandished the gun. “I can shoot you right here—in the line of duty. Nobody will miss you. Or you can start swimming now with me, and I can lock you in the Heating Ducts for safekeeping. You’ll live if you choose the second option. What do you say?”

Lorcan nodded and moved toward the wall of water. He knew this option would have the same outcome as the first option Grant had given him—he wouldn’t be able to survive the watery environment as a human. This was the bottom of the deep sea, somewhere far beneath the Earth.

Grant continued to walk into the water, pushing Lorcan further away from the gate. Lorcan wanted to swim back to the dome, but every movement seemed as difficult as moving a mountain. He couldn’t breathe. His lungs and his brain would stop working in a few seconds due to the pressure he was already feeling.

Grant must have thought he couldn’t swim. He tucked his gun away and pulled Lorcan farther away from land.

Lorcan couldn’t speak. He couldn’t get away from Grant, and it was too dark for him to see anything. His brain had gone numb, and so had his body.

Using the last bit of strength he had, Lorcan reached for Grant’s gun. Feeling the tug, Grant looked back, but it was too late. Lorcan aimed at his head and shot. As Grant’s body sank, Lorcan felt nothing else. His brain was dying. He couldn’t hold onto the gun. He let go, and his body floated to and fro with the currents.

Then he heard a cheerful whistling sound. In the mysterious dim light that permeated the water, he saw the silhouettes of the dolphins and the carriage box charging toward him.

They swung the box over toward him. As the door slid open, Lorcan rolled inside. The door closed instantly, and the water that had come in with him drained out quickly from the bottom of the double-layered floor. The floor immediately sealed itself up afterward.

Lorcan flopped onto a passenger bench. “Thank you, Miracle and Flipper.”

He heard another whistle, and the dolphins surged ahead and then swam in a circle. Maybe they needed him to tell them where he needed to go. He recalled seeing the surface on the way from the hospital to Nepolymbus. He didn’t know what their word for the hospital was or what they would call the surface.

“Can we go to the surface?” he asked.

The dolphins continued swimming in circles.

“Okay, so I guess you don’t understand that. Can we go back to the hospital?”

They let out a happy sound and swam ahead. Lorcan figured they would follow the same route. When they reached the place where he had seen the surface, he would point it out and ask them to take him up. Content with his plan, he leaned back and relaxed. In no time, he got the feeling they were getting close to the spot. He looked out of the window and upward.

But instead of seeing the surface, he saw the shadows of the sharks.


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