“You should probably call the rep,” Zark suggested.
Zedd seemed to dismiss the question. “There’s nothing we can do. I’ll try her again in the morning,” is all he said.
Zark’s anger broke. “Why won’t you do something!?”
“Zark, you need to chil!!” he shot back.
“No! I think you need to be more responsible!”
Zedd’s face reddened. “What do you want me to do? If I call our rep and tell them we misplaced our team member and android in the first week of being inducted into the league, what does that say about us?”
Zark stood silent for a moment, his face burning. He wanted to say he knew what to do. He wanted to tell Zedd where Ellis was. Instead, he turned and went to his room, slamming the door as he entered.
Zark lay in bed that evening, unable to sleep. What Zedd said stuck with Zark. There’s nothing we can do. Zark turned in bed, just trying to fall asleep. To forget it all. He opened his celltab. The sync time had still not changed. He refreshed the page, but it remained the same. The time was around 11 now. He got out of bed and dressed.
He wouldn’t be gone long. Three hours to get there. Three to get back. Back in bed before dawn, and Zedd would be none the wiser. Zark had to find out what had happened, and he would deal with the consequences later. Quietly, he crept out to their kitchen and sneaked out to the stairwell without a sound.
The automatic lights turned on in the shop, causing him to wince. He hurried down the stairs two at a time, as light-footed as he could. He shot across the garage floor, aiming for the light and alarm control on the other side of the room. When he reached it, he turned off the lights. Just to be careful, he silenced the volume on the alarm system before deactivating it.
“System disarmed” displayed on the screen.
Now to face his final obstacle: the bay door. He had to get the bike outside without making a sound. Above him was a cord attached to the automatic opener. He needed to pull it to open the door manually. He found a tall ladder in the corner of the room and placed it directly beneath as gently as he could. Climbing to the last rung, he reached and pulled the cord gently until he heard a dull snap on the inside. He listened carefully for any noise from the apartment. Nothing. He climbed down and carried the ladder back in place with careful precision.
He slid the door up along its track, testing its volume. Silent at first, then click, click, click. Zark paused, daring not to move. He listened for any movement upstairs for a full minute. Nothing. He pushed gingerly until it was just high enough to fit the bike underneath. He grabbed a nearby metal pole, just long enough to fit under the gap, and used it to prop the door open. The bike glided smooth and silent under the opening.
“Zark, you sly bastard,” he congratulated himself, smiling.
But Zark had not moved the kickstand out of its position. It caught the metal rod propped under the bay door. It popped out of place as he walked the bike under and clanged loudly as it bounced end on end for what seemed like an eternity on the concrete. The door rushed down, slamming shut, bouncing once off the pavement. Zark could hear the metal rod rolling, echoing loudly on the other side of the closed door.
His eyes closed as he cringed. He sighed heavily.
He started the bike, and zoomed away before he would have to face his father.