The strange, tall girl --Bee-- moved away from him, leaving Zed to follow or not, as he wished. She reached the door and tried to open it, but it was locked. Frustrated, she slammed the flat of her hand against the door. Zed slipped back into his room and pulled a thin length of wire from its hiding place. When he returnened to the corridor, Bee was still banging on the door in frustration. He crept up behind her, and she nearly hit his head as she spun around.
"Don't do that!"
"What, do what?" he cringed back in the face of her anger.
"Come up behind me like that."
"Sorry, I only wanted to..." he held out the strip of metal. When she didn't respond, he took her hand and guided it to the wire. "Here, look. This might work."
"What is it?" Her fingers slid over the metal, gingerly feeling the rough points on the ends where it had been snapped off from the bed frame. He remembered how many hours it had taken him, lying on his back on the hard floor, working the loose metal to and fro with his good hand, listening for the sound of footsteps.
He took it out of her hands and gently tried to push her out of the way. She didn't move. "Ah...you need to...I need to get at the door."
"Oh." She stepped aside. He crouched down, squinted at the door, then slid the make-shift tool between the door and the frame, just below the handle. Lifting the wire, he flicked it up and to the side, and drew it away from the door. It swung towards them, hitting against their feet.
Bee felt the empty space before her and a frown appeared on her face.
"How did you do that?"
He pressed the wire into her hands again. "It's simple really - the other ones are more complicated. I haven't managed to do them yet..."
"The other ones?"
"The other locks. There's lots of different kinds. This one is the easiest. The ones on our doors are mag locks, but they can be tripped if you break the circuit - that's why they came unlocked when the power went out."
"The power's out?"
"Uh, yeah? The lights aren't...um...sorry." He looked down at his feet, twisting the small bit of wire in his hands.
"So we can just walk straight out of here?" She stepped through the doorway into the darkness and then stopped. "There's another door. Open it."
"I can't. That's what I've been telling you. I've never managed to get that one unlocked. I tried, but they changed the locks, I think..."
He heard her rattle at the door handle, and then the noise of her rummaging amongst the shelves on either side of the small storage area that he knew was there. There was a crash, the sound of smashing glass, and she emerged after a few moments, gripping her arm tight, blood seeping out from under her fingers.
Zed's eye's widened. "You're hurt!
"Yes, smartboy. Can you fix it?" She leant against the wall and slid to a crouch on the floor, cradling her arm against her chest.
"Um, I don't...wait a minute...Can you just...thanks..." He edged past her and into the storage area, carefully avoiding the broken glass on the floor. He spotted the MediCase on an upper shelf, and stretched to grab it down. He took it out to the hall and laid the items out in the dim flickering light from the emergency system. "Here, this is what you need. Let me see..." He grabbed her hand, and she flinched. "Sorry...let me see where you're injured."
Slowly, she took her hand away from the cut and sat very still as he swabbed it with the cold stinging stuff, then wound a strip of white fabric around her arm. He held the bandage with the grip he had in his weak arm, and used his other hand to cut it free with the scissors in the kit. "There."
Bee moved her arm experimentally, clenching and unclenching her fist, and wiggling her fingers. "Feels better. At least it's not dripping blood now. How d'you know how to do that?"
He clicked the items back into their places in the box. "I watch. And I remember. When they go to fetch the MediCase it never takes them very long, so I knew it had to be somewhere nearby."
She got to her feet. "Smartboy - do you think together we can break the door?"