Change of schedule -- I'm finding it a little hard to write a 1000 word update once a week, so instead there will be two 500 word updates. Ideally, these will be Tuesday and Friday. Thanks, and hope you keep reading. Or start reading. Whatever.
In the education room, Maria and Lenore watched and sighed as the teenagers bickered about who would make the escape through the air ducts. The argument went on for nearly twenty minutes, until Juraj was selected by virtue of being the skinniest. The teens then unscrewed the access panel only to find that even skinny Juraj was much too broad-shouldered to fit in.
"Could have told them that," Lenore said. She was buffing her fingernails, which were surprisingly well groomed for a plumber. "If air ducts were big enough for people, they wouldn't be air ducts. They'd be corridors."
"So why didn't you tell them that?
"Eh, it was funny to watch."
"Good to see Aussie kids having a go," said the weird, creepy, fleshy guy who was hanging around. "You have to have a go to get a go, and if you get a go you have to have a go, because if you take your go then, fair dinkum..."
"Who were you again?" Maria asked.
"The Prime Minister."
"That doesn't seem right," Maria said. "Anyway, you go play over there, I want to talk to my sister."
"Oh, I'm sure I can help with –"
"We need to discuss sanitary products," Maria said. "It's that time of the m—"
"Goodbye," the Prime Minister said, backing away quickly. "May God forgive your uncleanness."
Once he'd gone, Maria said: "What a douche."
"Who was he again?"
"No idea. But I just remembered who threw the barrels," Maria said. "I was hazy on the details… you know, on account of being hit in the head by a barrel."
"More sense than a lot of things around here. Anyhow, it was the original engineer – the one before Jacobs."
"What, Dr Nightmarestein?"
"Yeah, him. I think he must be a baddy."
"Well with a name like that…"
"I know, right? It's a wonder we didn't pick up on that before."
Dr Kim, the educational officer came over to where the sisters were sitting. "I guess we're not getting out via the air shafts. Is there any chance of escaping through the sewers?"
"The plumbing system is designed to prevent the accidental escape of even the smallest trilobites," Maria said. "There's no chance a human could get out that way."
"Damn it! We need to escape before the ninjas come to get the Prime Minister," Dr Kim said. "Or I kill him. Whichever comes first."
"No jury would convict you," Lenore said. "Just saying."
"All right, let's look at this logically," Maria said. "External doors are locked down, and no escape is possible through the vents or pipes. Eventually, the police will cut their way in. In the meantime, if we stay away from any flooded areas we're safe from trilobites. On the other hand, we're not safe from ninja assassins as long as we're with PM Socks-with-sandals over there."
"You're right," Dr Kim said. "He does look like he'd wear socks with sandals."
"Right. So – you stay here with the kids and Lenore and I will find somewhere to hide His Accidency."
Maria and Lenore looked at one another. "Some."
"If we don't tell you, the ninjas can't torture it out of you," Maria said.
"So – if they torture me for information, then I won't be able to stop the torture by answering their questions?"
"You're a real half-empty type, aren't you?" Maria said.