After a dinner of leftovers, Milo gave Elle a drawing which was the final piece to the puzzle for the plan he made to escape their prison. Granted, they had access to five levels to roam freely, but they weren’t allowed above level 4 or beyond level 9.
Level 4 was their living quarters. Elle’s room was spacious and filled with things to meet her needs and wants. A bed, a desk, an art station for her creative ventures, and various bookshelves filled with books to feed her appetite for adventure, knowledge, and philosophy. She used to love the way her walls were decorated, that bubble gum pink, pinstriped with lavender and her bed was canopy-styled fit for a princess, but now as a teenager the decor was lame. Despite her desire to change the room, Sammi ignored the topic.
Across from her room was Milo’s room, which had a very green and orange tropical jungle theme with tigers and monkeys. The boy didn’t care. None of his toys were ever touched, just on display on shelves. He liked to collect the most popular toys for his age bracket. His room had few bookshelves and books. He absorbed all of his information from the internet. One wall was made into a giant monitor using several screens to consume the entire wall. He used one tablet to control all the info he displayed on the giant monitor. Sometimes, he used the giant monitor to project one image or he used each monitor separately to project various things at once. Most of the time he wore blue-grade glasses to protect his eyes from deteriorating over the excessive screen time. He rarely watched videos unless it was pertinent to get the information he wanted. Nothing like a real boy at all.
At the end of the hall, left of Elle’s and Milo’s rooms, was Sammi’s room. To the right led to the living room, where occasionally, all three of them would sit quietly for “family time”. Sammi would have a glass of wine, in the chair by the fireplace, while streaming a movie with her headphones in. Elle would lie on the couch, covered-up in a cozy blanket, reading a romantic novel or a sci-fi fantasy. And Milo would be sitting on the floor, playing three level chess with the headquarter’s A.I. computer system: Saul.
Branching out from the living room nucleus was the hallway that led to the bathrooms; everyone had their own. Then the hallway that led to the kitchen and dining room. The fourth hallway led to the elevator to go to the other levels.
Level 5 was the training level. One giant room with designated areas for certain routines.
Level 6 was the pool room to go swimming. The pool could also generate waves to go surfing and/or bodyboarding.
Level 7 was the lab where various tests were run on Elle and Milo monthly to assess their development and to push their limits.
Level 8 was the inquiry room. Occasionally, someone from Spectrum would want to meet with Elle or Milo or sometimes meet with both of them together. They never got to see the faces of anyone who sat on the panel, but they did show up in person. They used voice distorters to further protect their identities.
Level 9 was the Garden. Filled with plant life, some for looks, and others for harvest, it was a place to go to clear the mind and to relax. Either doing some gardening or just taking a walk to admire the beautiful vegetation.
Three times a week or more, Elle and Milo were taken out of the headquarters to a beach or to a woodland area to get fresh air and sunlight. Except, a tactical team surrounded them and snipers were prepared to eliminate Elle or Milo if they tried to run away.
Elle taped the recent art of Milo on her wall with all his other drawn pictures. The 5 by 7 grid was complete, each paper picture several inches apart from each other, zero pieces of art touching one another. Milo was meticulous so that only Elle would understand the map he created. It was more than a map, it had directions down to the seconds of what to do. Yes, Milo had an obsession with counting seconds.
For the plan to work, Elle needed to convince Sammi that the family needed a trip to the beach.
“You want to do what?” Sammi seemed shocked.
“I want to go to the beach with you and Milo. I think we could all use some relaxation.” Elle explained her request.
Maybe it was too bold to ask for a trip right after the Director agreed to re-red-test her in a month.
“We don’t have time to just sit around and have fun, we need to intensify your training and prepare you in case you run into Prometheus II again.”
“And I’m all for that, but when is the last time the three of us hung out as a family?” Elle argued gently. “Please, mom.” Elle added for effect.
“Stop that.” Sammi barked.
“Stop what?” Elle was confused.
“Calling me mom. It’s made you weak.”
“Can we please go, Sammi?” Elle still badgered, begging to get her way.
Sammi rolled her eyes and sighed, “Fine, I’ll let you know when everything is arranged. In the meantime, don’t slack on your workout routine.”
Milo joined Elle on a run on the track around the training level. They took it easy, hardly breaking a sweat. Then, Milo spotted Elle as she pushed limits with the weights. Lastly, Milo held the punching bag while Elle worked on her foot work on punching and kicking combos.
After they cleaned up, and were heading to the kitchen to refuel, Sammi walked in as they were making protein shakes.
“We’re not going to the beach. Instead, Elle, the Director wants to meet with you.”
Elle pretended to be worried, trying to hide her smile. Milo, as always, kept his unreadable face on point.
Milo blinked at Elle: The plan is working.
“When?” Elle asked.
“Right now, come with me.”
Off to level 8 it was.
*Edited by Kristen’s Blog