We continued to run for a while. The boosters finally synced and we linked to the Jefferson network. I am sure every alarm on the planet went off right then.
UNKNOWN BOOSTERS! DANGER! DANGER!
LOCATION FOUND! MEEP! MEEP! MEEP!
I am sure they had locked down the network to only known machines, boosters, computers, etc. but, I'd hardly be a Merry Prankster if I could have hacked around that. I'd actually made sure our "clean" boosters were considered 'known' some time ago. And I built a bot to help with anything the security folks might come up with. Not really intelligent, just ...adaptable.
We all tried to call our parents, but we got BII agents instead. Between gasping breaths and barely breathing gasps, we explained where we were and what was happening and can YOU HURRY UP AND ACTUALLY SAVE US ALREADY!?!
Oh the irony, adults had been trying to save us the entire time we were running around on this adventure when we didn't need it. We'd scoffed and smirked and rolled our eyes even when we were terrified. We didn't NEED saving. Until we did. And here and now, we needed that saving. We wanted out of this insanity. We hadn't seen Helmet die, but he was going to. And this was too much. What could I say? We were 12 and we'd had enough.
Beautiful irony that though.
That I tried to get through to Mom though and the BII agent had intercepted it was going to be VERY bad for the BII agents later. Mom was going to eat them alive. Dad would have been infuriatingly reasonable. Mom on the other hand...someone had come between her and her scared and endangered beloved daughter. That BII agent might not make it out alive.
We ran and gasped and blurted out everything we could. They had our location and in a calm collected voice replied:
"Stay alive and keep coming towards us. Put as much distance between you and the Chinese as you can. Keep a data stream open and the Marines will be there in ten minutes."
We ran. We fell. We tried. Our lungs were about to burst. Up and over rough terrain, down the other side. We kept going as fast as we could.
Four minutes later, our signals were jammed.
The Chinese had found us.