Quake by Patrick Carman Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Quake by Patrick Carman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patrick Carman
    â€œGive me a minute here,” Hawk said, holding the small M4-ZTom flash drive between the tongs. “I’ll run it through my Tablet using a digital signal.”
    Everyone watched anxiously as Hawk took forever figuring out how to connect old technology to new technology.
    â€œWe have to connect through a wireless signal developed after the chip was made—not easy,” Hawk continued. “It’s like driving a train on a freeway: a path that doesn’t match the mode of transportation.”
    â€œThis is what it will be like when the aliens invade,” Faith joked. “They’ll find our Tablets and break them apart after we’ve gone the way of the dinosaurs.”
    Jade leaned in closer to Hawk and he quietly told her everything he was doing. Dylan moved his broad shoulder close to Faith and the skin on their arms touched. He was seeing the same thing Faith was, two kids falling fast for each other. Faith smiled in a way that said, That is adorable and dorky and perfect.
    â€œGot it!” Hawk finally said. “Someone read me that code again.”
    A terrible silence settled over the room as they realized no one had written the code down and the device had been broken into and taken apart.
    Hawk shook his head. “I give you guys one simple job. Just one.”
    â€œNo, wait, I got it!” Jade said. “ I think.”
    â€œAre you sure?” Faith asked. “I thought there were more numbers than that.”
    Jade hated that she might be wrong about the code, but she had to admit she wasn’t 100 percent sure.
    â€œIt’s okay, I think I can play it back,” Hawk said. He took a deep breath and exhaled. “It’ll just take me a minute. I hope.”
    With Hawk, a deep breath followed by the words “It’ll just take me a minute” could mean four seconds or four hours. It was impossible to know which, and Clooger groaned. Luckily for everyone’s sanity, this turned out to be a reasonably simple coding issue for an Intel like Hawk, and it was solved quickly.
    â€œChalk one up for the good guys,” Carl said. “This kid is good.”
    The room filled with the sound of the message for a second time. There was more static in the transmission this time as it made its way across the divide of many years and several iterations of technology.
    â€œPrisoner One has escaped from maximum-security Western State detention zone. Message relay ordered. M4-ZTom unlock code Do not respond to this feed. Terminating.”
    â€œYou were really close, Jade,” Hawk said. “Only one number off. You’ve got an excellent memory. Definitely better than Clooger’s.”
    Jade beamed with pride, brushing her dark hair back with a delicate hand as Hawk entered the full code into the drive—
    There was a pause and a series of static waves that made everyone’s heart sink, and then a voice almost all of them had heard before materialized in the room: Meredith, Dylan’s mom and the former leader of the rebellion, was back from the grave.
    If you’re receiving this message, then I am dead.
    I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.
    There was a lengthy pause in the transmission and Faith remembered what a straight shooter Meredith had always been. She was the most matter-of-fact person Faith had ever met.
    Faith looked at Dylan and found that he was staring at his shoes. She put her hand on his as Meredith’s voice returned.
    Hawk, I’m going to assume it was you who unlocked this message, which means you also know how to pause what I’m saying. I can still give orders, and I’m ordering you to pause this message until everyone who is still alive from the following list is present: Dylan, Faith, Clooger, Hawk, Carl, and Jade. You should all hear this information at the same time. That was what I intended.
    Hawk tapped his Tablet screen and the recording

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