'I can see Carole and Danielle.' Elizabeth couldn't remember when she last felt so happy. She couldn't remember when she last felt happy.
Camera 4 focused on seven circular safety release valves. Ting couldn't pan nor enlarge this view.
Button 5 surprised Ting. On the mini-screen the interior of the room Ting was sitting in, complete with Elizabeth and Flakey was there for all to see.
'Is that what I look like?' asked Flakey, not too displeased.
'Yes,' replied Ting. 'but why have a screen watching what we're doing?'
'Maybe there's another room, with another set of buttons.' Flakey mentioned this but didn't expect much of a response.
'Flakey has to be right,' Elizabeth smiled at her hero then asked about button 6. 'What does that do?'
'Only one way to find out.' Ting activated the sixth button by pressing in the side button.
All six camera views appeared together in a row across the top of the holographic screen.
'All the pipes are green. The lake has been drained.' announced Elizabeth, 'switch to camera 2 so we know where the ducks are.'
'The Sounds are out of their ducks,' exclaimed Flakey. 'they're making their way toward us. I'm going out to meet them. There are so many.'
'Go with Flakey, please Elizabeth. I've got to find an escape route from here. If Flakey is right, and I think he is we've missed something hidden in this room.' Ting should have felt excited but no-one have been rescued yet. 'Take the Sounds to the train.'
Ting picked up the telephone. He pressed zero on the dial pad.
'How can I help?' The same recorded voice spoke through the speaker.
'Other rooms.' Ting thought it best to speak to recordings like this
'Which other rooms?'
'Upper floor.' Ting guessed.
Ting guessed again.'Lower floor.'
'There is no lower floor. A password is necessary to gain access the upper level room. Password, please. All callers have three attempts to bypass the security lock. After three attempts the line closes. In the case of genuine pass holders one attempt is more than enough.'
Ting didn't have any experience of passwords but so far he managed to scrape through everything the Middleseton disaster had thrown his way.
He tried, "open."
'Sorry. Two attempts left.
'Sorry. One attempt left.'
On the giant screen large numbers began to descend from 30 down to 1 at which time Ting knew there would be no way in or out. He would be trapped.
At number 10 the female voice joined in the countdown. '10. 9. 8. 7.'
Desperation grabbed at Ting's throat. 'Mister Moses.'
'Access to the upper floor granted. Please use the stairs provided opposite the main entrance.'
Ting turned. He stopped for a few seconds to watch Flakey and Elizabeth walk hand in hand at the head of a very long line of confused Sounds.
'We will see Ting again?' Flakey asked Elizabeth.
'We always do,' was all she said.
Ting waved knowing they couldn't see him.
Fourteen steps later Ting entered a room identical to...