Inside Out Page 46

“Not all the data,” Logan said. “There are about ten hidden and protected files in the system. I bet the Controllers don’t know about them. The location of Gateway was one of them. Maybe the dissenters buried these files. They’re all password protected.” He clucked and hummed like a child with a brand-new toy.

“Could those be the files Domotor wanted?” Riley asked me.

“I don’t know.”

“Trella, what’s your birth week?” An odd tone shook Logan’s voice.

“It’s 145,487. Why?”

“And the hour?”

“Why do you need to know?” I asked.

“Humor me.”

“Hour four point fifteen.”

He whistled.

“Logan, tell me.”

“There’s a file here named with your birth week and hour.”

“What?” I moved closer to the monitor. He pointed.

“Why did you think it referred to me?”

“It says, ‘For my daughter born on…’ It’s one of the ten files Domotor or whoever thought was important, so I just guessed it might have something to do with you.”

“Can you open it?”

“Nope. Just like the others. The password question is ‘Smile and show me your pearly teeth. How many do you have?’” He glanced at me. “Count your teeth.”

“That’s too easy, and what if I lost one?”

“Have you?”

“No, but I think it’s referring to something else.” The words pearly teeth had jumped out at me. My sole possession. The comb with the pearls. The answer was the number of teeth on my comb.

“And it would be…”

“Something I don’t have with me, so we can’t answer the question anyway.”

“It’s getting late. The next shift starts in an hour,” Riley said.

I looked at the clock in surprise. So engrossed in our puzzle, I hadn’t kept track.

“I just need a couple minutes.” Logan’s fingers danced on the keyboard. “I want to put these files where I can get to them from the lower level computers.”

Anxious to get moving, I fidgeted behind Logan.

Riley also had a worried look. “Are you sure all this time you spent on the computer hasn’t been recorded or traced?”

“Yep. I’m ghosting. No port. No problem.”

“What does that mean?” Riley asked.

“Uh…just that I can get into the system without a port.”

Logan was a bad liar, but his cry of alarm distracted us both.

“What now?” I really didn’t want to know the answer.

“Gateway’s going to suck a lot of energy when it opens. Plus it has a command to alert all of Inside’s systems. We’re going to need people in the network to cover the call,” Logan said.

Yet another problem. Nothing was simple.

“I can cover electrical,” Riley said, “but we’ll need to recruit other uppers to help.” He considered. “There are a number of uppers who supported Domotor and have been lying low since his capture. But if I tell them we found Gateway, they’ll probably laugh in my face.”

“But you believed us,” I said.

“I saw Logan using level-ten clearance, and I saw the file. This is a huge risk for the uppers. They don’t know me and they won’t trust me. But they’ll trust Domotor. Can you get him up here?”

He would probably do all right pulling himself through the air shaft, but he couldn’t go between levels. “Only if we can use the lift.”

“Too exposed. Domotor is too recognizable in the upper levels. His capture and punishment was discussed for weeks. He wouldn’t be able to blend in up here, and I doubt we could get him from the lift to a room without being seen.” Riley rubbed his face. “Also I’m not one hundred percent sure the people I’m thinking about are really supporters. My dad might know.”

More problems. More people involved. To me, trusting uppers felt like the wrong thing to do, but we needed them. “Domotor would know who to trust. I can get the names from him and some kind of code word or something you can say to them to prove he’s involved.”

“That could work. But I’ll need you here, too.”

“Why?”

“To prove the scrubs are serious about opening Gateway,” Riley said.

“And if I get into these hidden files,” Logan said, “the uppers might have a way to bypass the Controllers and regain control.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Riley smiled.

Uneasiness swirled in my stomach as I steadied the ladder for Logan. I hated having to trust uppers. I trusted Riley, but he was different. Or was he?

“Thanks for your help,” I said to Riley as Logan climbed the table.

“How soon can you get me those names?”

I needed to take Logan back, then go to Domotor’s hideout. “Four hours give or take an hour.”

“I’ll meet you in our room during my break.” Riley grasped my sore elbow to help me up the table.

I yelped and he let go.

“Sorry.” Riley watched me rub the tender spot.

“Must have bumped it.”

Logan called for help. His legs dangled from the vent. I pushed him into the air shaft. When his feet disappeared, I reached for the vent.

A click slide sounded.

“Get down,” Riley ordered.

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