I hope you’re enjoying the story and I’ll let you get on and see how Renee is doing…!
As, always, please excuse the typos.
Act 3b Scene 5
Renee swam to the left side of the platform not sure how she was going to get the children to safety on the side of the lake. Aunt Bess was fighting off a large number of hostiles; Frei was quiet but she was on the roof with Rachel, Abby and Gould were fighting hostiles to get to the children Crespo and Lavelle had abandoned, and she wasn’t sure where Stosur was but she hoped she was going to help Frei.
Renee threw the metal wire onto the platform and then poked her head out of the water as the children backed up from her.
“I’m a friend of Locks,” she said in Roberta Worthington’s nasal English accent. “Have you heard of her?”
A tall girl, who was shielding the others with a taller boy, nodded. “Locks helped friends I went to Caprock with.”
Renee pointed to the metal zipwire overhead, relieved Frei had provided it. “Good, because we need to zip you onto the side away from the water.”
She hoisted herself onto the platform and spotted Stosur as she zipped towards them and stopped directly above them with a nod. “The wire can only hold enough for one on each hand.”
The tall girl moved a little one to the front. “Locks is helping. You need to listen to her.”
The little boy shrugged and held up his hands. Renee hoisted him up by the waist as Stosur held onto his wrist and looped a rope around his middle.
The tallest boy hoisted up a little girl but wobbled on his feet.
“Let me hold them up,” Renee said in a gentle voice. The children looked cold, tired and must not have eaten or drunk for a while. “It’s good for my fitness.”
The boy lowered his head.
Renee touched his arm, gently. “You can help me a lot by getting the children to trust us and then moving them into hiding when they are across.”
He puffed out his chest, eyes worn and tired. “Yes, Miss… um… Locks’ Friend.”
Renee squeezed his arm again as Stosur zipped the two children across to the banking.
Two more small children were brought to the front but Renee nodded to the boy. He was wobbling and the platform was doing the same. Renee eyed the water… best not to cause too much movement.
“Go on. You need to help them,” she said and nodded to him but he glanced around at the others and then at the tall girl.
“You must listen,” she said with a shaky smile.
He lifted up his arms and Stosur picked him up alone and zipped him over to the side. The wire attached to one of the children slipped back into the water.
The tall girl moved forward two smaller children and cuddled them, tucking their thin clothes around them as if to keep them warm. “Locks will look after you.”
Renee hoisted them up and Stosur zipped them across. The platform wobbled again and another wire slipped back into the water.
Renee hunched to pick up the wires then paused as machinery hummed somewhere under the water. “Jessie, status on the trap?”
“Miroslav is battling to block the signal. Mom is fighting with Rachel and can’t get over to the device… looks like Rachel tried pressing it… we’re holding it off…” Jessie wheezed into her earpiece.
“I’m not sure it is the device, the signal grew clearer when you were near the water,” Susan said in a fascinated tone. “You’re very electrified.”
Renee withdrew her hand. “Aeron heals in water…”
“And there was some kinda electricity from the three of you when I needed to half drown you when Kiwi ambushed you before,” Aunt Bess chimed then grunted. “You call that shootin’?”
Renee motioned to the tall girl. “Could you move these from the water. The ties need to be out of the water.”
The girl nodded, without hesitation, and scooped them onto the platform.
“Any signal then?” Renee asked nodding to the girl and lifting up two more children to Stosur.
“Yes, but it is a small signal unlike yours,” Susan said, again with fascination. “Heal in water… electrical… she’s very electrical.”
Renee rolled her eyes as the tall girl moved two more children forward… there were five to go after those. “That’s it, keep to the middle of the platform.”
“It’s getting harder to block the signal,” Jessie muttered. “Can you mom-speed it?”
Renee glanced up at Stosur who shook her head. “I can’t take more than two. The wire isn’t fixed enough.”
Renee hoisted up two children as a breeze tickled around her. “It’s good to know you’re keeping an eye on me, Nan.”
The tall girl moved two more children forward. “Hold on when you’re over the water.”
Renee stopped and met the girl’s eyes. “You know this trap?”
She nodded. “I’ve been with Mr. Lavelle since I was young.” She let through a shaky smile. “He finds it funny.”
Renee clenched her jaw and fought the urge to tell Abby to just shoot at him. “He is… as someone I love a lot would say… he needs pickle juice.”
“Sure as shoots, he does,” Aunt Bess muttered.
Renee hoisted up two more children. “Up you go.”
Stosur took hold of them. “Wire is metal. It will carry the current.”
“Not if we Mom-speed it, as Jessie said.” Renee hoped her tone was calm but her heart was pounding. “Three more to go.”
The tall girl moved the two children forward and pecked one boy, who looked like her, on the cheek. “Hold on and listen.”
He nodded as he was hoisted up.
Stosur met Renee’s eyes. Yes, the tall girl would make some locksmith with her courage.
“Renee, the signal is getting through,” Jessie squeaked then wheezed. “I need my inhaler and I don’t have asthma anymore.”
“Calm, Jessie. Miss Renee will help,” Miroslav said in an equally squeaky voice.
The water hummed.
“The electricity goes through the platform,” the girl said in a shaky voice.
Renee looked up. Stosur was on the side lowering the children. She looked down. The girl’s wire was trailing.
“I’m not as good on zipwires… you’ll have to keep me from dropping too,” she said with a gentle tone, slit the tie from the girl’s ankle and threw it up and over the zipwire. She hoisted the girl up.
“Signal is through,” Miroslav squeaked.
Renee shoved the girl into motion and she hurtled down the wire with a whimper.
“Renee, you need to get off that platform,” Stosur yelled across the lake.
“I got that bit,” Renee muttered to herself. “Get the children and yourself away from the wire.”
A breeze hit her.
She scowled. “I know I’m in a pickle.”
The breeze hit her again.
She leapt upward but the wire was too far away. The platform wobbled and swayed and something clunked under the water.
“Grab the clip, Black,” Frei muttered then grunted as if still fighting.
Renee spotted the clip with a fastener dangling zipping toward her, she leapt for it.
The water pulsed below her.
She caught the clip and zipped down the wire.
The water cracked below.
She neared the shore.
A flash leapt upward.
She let go of the wire as the flash hit it.
Tucked her head in.
Electricity hummed above her.
She hit the bank of the lake feet first, rolled.
“Disabled it!” Miroslav yelled.
Renee rolled into a heap next to the group of children and Stosur.
“Renee, you had better be fine,” Abby snapped.
“No new haircut,” Renee wheezed out as she slumped onto her back. “No Urs’ haircut.”
Stosur smiled down at her. “Let’s get these children to Bess.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Renee said and clambered to her feet then smiled. “Thanks, Nan,” she whispered.
The breeze tickled her as though Nan was giving her a cwtch. One pickle unpickled. She smiled to herself. Now to free some slaves.