Zed's bits of wire got them through the lock on the door in no time at all. He stood blinking in the green emergency lighting after the semi-darkness of the store room.
"It's just another hallway..." he said, disappointed.
"Maybe this one goes somewhere." Bee said, pushing past him.
There was a door immediately to the right of them, but they reasoned that it must only lead back where they'd come from. The next door along was only a simple lock, but Bee said they should leave it for now.
"It doesn't look as if it leads anywhere anyway," agreed Zed. It had the same sort of marks on it as the store room door had, so probably it was only more of the same boxes. Useful to know, but not important for now.
The corridor turned a corner and presented them with two more doors. They turned their attention to the nearest one but were distracted by a loud banging coming from behind the other. They both jumped. The banging stopped, but only for a while; it started up again after a few seconds. They listened as the noise subsided and started up again, several times in a row, becoming more half-hearted each time. Eventually it died away altogether.
Bee stretched her hand out towards the door. Zed caught at it before she could do anything.
She hit the door with her clenched fists: one, two, three. Then she put her ear to the door, listening. Three knocks came back, quickly one after the other. Bee rapped out an irregular sequence, and this, too, was copied. She found the keyhole with her fingers and yelled through it.
"I'm Bee. Who are you?"
"I'm Dee who are you!"
Bee slammed her fist on the door. "Stop that!"
Zed tugged at her sleeve, "Wait, he said Dee, not Bee."
They heard a shuffling noise from the other side of the door. "Dee, are you still there?"
Silence. Bee placed the palms of her hands on the door, "Can you unlock this one?"
Zed ducked under her arm to get a better look at the lock and shook his head. "No, it's the same as the one in the cupboard."
"What about when we crawled through the wall? Is there one of those here?" She crouched down to the floor and began feeling slowly along the wall with her hands.
Zed turned to look at the rest of the corridor and then back again. "Uh, yes. but you're not going to like it..." He looked up at the metal grill above the door.
"Why? What is it?" Bee said impatiently.
"It's higher up than the last one. But I think I have an idea."
"Good." She settled down on the floor. "Let me know if you need help."
Zed wandered back along the corridor to the store room. He found he could see better in the dim light than he could before. He stood in the doorway and looked at the rows of metal shelving. He crouched down to see if they were attached to the floor in any way. They weren't. He put his head round the doorway and yelled, "Bee!"
Zed wriggled his shoulders through the grate and looked down at the small figure looking back up at him. "Hey, Dee? Is there a chair or something you can pull over so I don't have so far to jump?"
Dee nodded and disappeared through a door at the other side of the room. There was a loud crash and he reappeared a short while later dragging a low table. He shoved it up against the door and watched with interest as Zed slowly manouvered his way out of the grating and down to the table. He turned back around and stood on tiptoe to check on Bee's progress.
They'd managed to take apart one of the metal shelving units and use the base as a step to reach above the doorway. Bee was bigger than Zed and found it more difficult to get through, but she didn't seem to mind how many scratches she got. She joined Zed on the table and promptly fell off backwards. As she fell, she grabbed at Zed's arm for support, pulling him down with her. They landed next to Dee in a heap on the floor. He began to laugh and sat down next to them.
"What's so funny?" Bee said crossly, rubbing a sore bit on her arm.
"You!" Dee gasped out in between bursts of laughter. "You looked so funny falling backwards like that." He wheeled his arms backward to demonstrate, and stretched his face into such a strange expression that Zed started to laugh with the younger boy.
"Well I don't think it's funny." Bee said, but this just made the other two laugh even harder. She shoved them away and stood up.