The outer door of the sally port begins to slowly rattle closed when Francis pulls the manual release lever from just inside the building.
Moments before, as I had made my way to the outer door, the other four passed me in silence and had a private word with Zoey. Even Donovan. In his embrace with the girl I saw true forgiveness, as I did with the two other women. The hug Zoey shared with Francis was by far the longest, and whatever quiet words they exchanged, foreheads pressed firmly together, I’m quite sure I’ll never know nor could even understand.
So focused I am on Zoey waiting by the inner door, that I don’t even notice Francis as he emerges from sally port after pulling the lever. Until he brusquely shoulders past me, knocking me two steps backwards.
“That door had better open up again, old man,” Francis offers matter-of-factly. “For your sake as well as hers.”
Zoey follows the diminishing patch of daylight along the concrete floor of the sally port until she is standing just on the other side when it finally settles onto the ground with a resounding thud. The sound of a crypt being sealed shut.
“Zoey?” Rebecca calls out in a raised voice. “Can you hear us, darling?”
“Yeah,” comes the muffled reply. “I’m going to try the inner door now, OK?”
“Sounds good, but just a crack, right?” Rebecca warns. “If it opens, you close it right away and get back here.”
“No problem. It sure is dark in here, I - hey guys! It’s changed to green! The red light has totally changed to green! That means it's unlocked, doesn't it?“
“I think so, dear.” Rebecca replies happily. “I really think that means both the automatic and manual locks on the inner door are off!”
“Should I even check it, then? I got my flashlight, so I could just open it a crack and -”
“No!” I hastily declare. My first contribution to this exchange. “Stay where you are, Zoey! If Rebecca says the green light means it’s unlocked, that’s plenty good enough for me. Let’s get this outer door open.”
Pressing the palms of our hands into the outer surface of the sally port door, the four of us strain to lift it. It refuses to budge.
“Uh-oh. Guys?” Comes a worried voice from the other side of the door.
Francis now: “Don’t panic, Zoey. There‘s a lever to your right. I had to pull it to lower the door. Try that!”
“No, guys, I mean big uh-oh. I wasn’t looking up when this door closed. There’s a big red light that’s come on above it.”
Outside, and without a word, we all turn our eyes to Rebecca, who shakes her head slowly side to side. “If the inner door is closed,” she whispers, “the only reason that red light above the outer door is on is because it’s been set to lock from the inside.”
Zoey‘s voice from the other side of the door: “Uh, Rebecca? I totally just heard that. This means I need to go and manually unlock this door from the inside, right?
“No, Zoey! That’s not what it means at all,” I say, struggling to find options. Whispering to the others: “She does not need to go through that inner door. We tried this and it didn’t work, OK? We can find another way in.”
“Guys! Stop whispering! OK? First of all, I can hear you anyway, and second, I’m not a child! Bill, we talked about this, remember? If the inner door unlocks but the outer one doesn’t, that means I go inside. That’s what we agreed, right?”
“It is what we agreed,” Donovan reminds all of us.
“Shut up, altar boy,” Francis hisses. “Bill, if you want to go around, you know I’m right there with you.”
From the other side of the door: “Don't even think about it guys! I’m going in now, OK? I’ll have that outer door unlocked in a minute!” We hear Zoey’s voice trail off as she retreats deeper into the sally port. Closer to the glowing green light marking the inner door.
Last edited by majorhavoc
on Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:17 am, edited 4 times in total.