After an hour’s walk, they finally reached Luta. It was a tiny village of only a few inhabitants. A van was located there. It must have been # freedomnia.
The group knocked on the back door of the van. It opened to Kwier, beaming and relieved to see them there. Then his face darkened …
— “Are you not missing one?” he asked.
“Yes,” Erin replied simply. He let us go just before the start, on his own. “
Kwier and Erin looked at each other, then she fell into his arms in tears. So much had gone through to get this far, and he had supported her every time. She was cracking. He let her cry on his shoulder for a moment, then when she had calmed down he helped her sit quietly.
— “ It’s not over yet. We still have to get out of the valley. The Academy has a long arm, but it cannot search all of Europe. As long as we are too close, we are vulnerable.
— OKAY. “
Erin regained her composure, the young people got into the van and changed. Everyone winced as best they could with wigs and makeup that Kwier had brought. Kwier got behind the wheel, then the van started up.
The atmosphere in the van was tense and heavy. Kwier was doing what he could to lighten the mood, but no one would be able to relax until they left the Academy area.
He had explained to them that # freedomnia had established its headquarters about a hundred kilometers from here. Close enough to be able to act rather quickly, but far enough not to be spotted.
Because, they would see for themselves, the Academy shone quite far. Most of the farms or businesses in the area had some connection with the Academy. They supplied the raw or processed materials that the Academy bought on a daily basis.
Thanks to a little social engineering; by giving the right calls to the right places and pretending to be someone from the Academy, Kwier had discovered that the latter was expecting in a few days deliveries of certain products, such as stationery or computer equipment, that were not made locally. It was therefore normal for supply vans to circulate these days, to make the trip between the place where the material was purchased and the storage center outside the Academy. Hopefully their van would pass for one of them.
The wig and makeup were itchy. Erin didn’t feel believable… But hey, hopefully they’d come across some not-too-watchful security teams and they’d get through.
With a wig and makeup on her cheeks, she didn’t look like the authorities would describe her. Well, if you didn’t get close enough to realize it was a wig.
They had also counted that the Academy would first have to return the students to the rooms, call and search the campus before they found out who had fled. But with the defection of Fabien, it changed the situation. He would soon have told them who his accomplices were. And by now, the Academy officials must know who escaped, especially since their little night walk had taken quite a long time. Fortunately Erin and Cherry had kept the exact meeting point for themselves … Otherwise, it wasn’t Kwier’s van that would have been waiting for them, but a much less pleasant welcoming committee.