Inside Out Page 68

“Not to worry,” Logan said. “I covered your computer trail just in time.” He aimed for the computer and pulled a chair close to the keyboard. “Trella, what are the passwords?”

For a moment, I felt as if he talked to another person and I didn’t respond.

“Passwords?”

As if waking from a dream, I cleared my head and repeated the ones we had figured out. “We still have three unanswered, but at least we’ll get some information.”

“What about the teeth one?” Logan asked.

“Forty-one.”

“I’ll plug in the others first and see what happens.”

Domotor struggled into his chair and wheeled it over to watch Logan. The images and numbers on the screen meant nothing to me. Trusting Logan would extract the needed data, I checked Domotor’s food supplies. Low. He would need more and soon. With so many RATSS I doubted the kitchen scrubs would risk discovery by filling the air shaft again.

Perhaps I could raid the pantry when everyone attended the hundred-hour assembly. But I remembered I would either be in LC Karla’s custody by then or perhaps I would be Outside. The strange thought of being somewhere else kept slipping away. With nothing to compare to, I couldn’t even imagine it. To me, Outside resembled Inside with no Pop Cops and with more space.

I planned to touch base with Riley, and coordinate the opening of Gateway during hour ninety-seven. But first, I needed to uncover it.

After cleaning Domotor’s washroom and bedroom as best as I could, I joined them. Huddled over the keyboard, Logan’s eyes were lit with a childlike glee and even Domotor seemed thrilled. They turned to me with identical grins.

“What?”

“We know,” Logan said.

“Outside. Look.” Domotor pointed to the screen.

My stomach boiled as I peered at the image. Green and blue jumped out, but I blinked and the details became clearer.

“It’s like hydroponics,” Logan said. “But the plants are huge and the sheep’s special grass is all over the place. Look at the ceiling, it’s blue and goes on forever.”

“Does anyone live there?” I asked.

“I don’t quite know. The text states numbers and details for things like breathable air mixture, compatible food source, mineral deposits, drinkable ground water and something called wildlife. Which, as far as I could tell, are animals without any real intelligence.”

“In order to obtain the information, someone has been to Outside.” Even though thrilled with the news, I wondered how long ago the data was collected. Everything changed with time. “Can you find out when?”

“No. The information was pulled from various files and dumped together. A few sentences are incomplete, and the topic changes abruptly. Some of the files are damaged and I can only read about half of what’s in them.”

“It doesn’t matter when,” Domotor said, dismissing my concern. “Most likely it was before the Travas took control. Perhaps after the scouting mission, the Travas panicked, thinking they would lose power in such a big place. We know it’s safe to go to Outside.”

“And we know the code to open Gateway.” Logan typed at the keyboard and numbers marched across the computer screen.

I committed the code to memory.

“Something else…” He pointed. “Colored buttons. Green to open. Red to close. Any ideas?”

“To get back to Inside,” Domotor said. “There would have to be controls on Outside. Proof that no people live there or they would have opened the door by now.”

He had a point.

Finally, Logan announced he had no more useful info. “Wish we had those last three passwords.”

“What about the file with my birth week on it?” I asked.

Domotor glanced at me in surprise. “There’s a file with your birth week on it?”

“And the hour of her birth. I forgot about that one.” Logan’s fingers flew and he hummed to himself. A white screen flashed and he paused for a second. “Uh…Trell, you’d better read this. It’s from your mother.”

I backed away. “She couldn’t have…No way to know I would be involved…A trap?”

Domotor leaned closer to the screen. “No. She admits the chances of you finding this letter is little to none.” He continued to read. “It’s similar to a diary entry. Written more for herself than you, explaining what had happened. Interesting…A confession. Why didn’t you tell me Kiana was the spy?”

I plopped on the couch. “A lot has happened since I last saw you.”

“Do you want to know her reasons for—”

“No. Four people were recycled because of her. I’ve no desire to hear her pathetic excuses.”

He frowned at me. “Someday you’ll want to know.”

“Then I will ask you. It’s not important right now—she isn’t one of the uppers who have agreed to help us.”

Domotor brightened when he heard this, and I explained what I had been doing in the upper levels, but I didn’t tell him Doctor Lamont’s name or Riley’s cousin. He knew of the others, but those two were new. Despite my conviction that Kiana was responsible for my father and Riley’s mother’s fates because she had spied for the Travas, Domotor had been the one to name them.

“Excellent news,” he said when I finished updating him. “Just imagine, we’ll open Gateway and usher out all the scrubs and uppers who want to go, leaving behind the Travas with no one to rule.”

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