"Captain, you should take the key in case of any emergency." Ara whispered as they sat next to each other, Thomas in the other corner. Charlotte's first mate slipped it under her bum and and then stood up as if she had been holding nothing, moving over to sit next to Thomas. Charlotte slipped the key in her trouser pocket. Marlow stopped by once or twice with Ben to check in. It wasn't until blinding, yellow afternoon sunbeams streamed throughout the window that something went wrong. They should have seen it coming. After all those years, they should have known that Scotland Yard would eventually learn. Did they even have a plan B? When the officers came to get her, there was a breath of panic. 

     "She's escaped too many times. We're not letting this one get away again." The chief inspector pointed at Ara through the bars while who else but Lawrence opened the cell with two of his fellow officers. 

     "What you lot up to, Dorms?" She asked nervously as she pulled her arm away from Lawrence when he tried to grab it. Charlotte looked on with sheer disbelief, wanting to do something, looking to Thomas for his personal knowledge on the system. "Let go, you fucking copper!" Ara yelled, struggling under their force, elbowing the chief inspector in the stomach during the process. 

     "For heaven's sake, get that thing a straight jacket!" He groaned, holding his stomach. Thomas rushed up to the bars when they closed and met eyes with Ara as they dragged her away, struggling all the while. When they disappeared around the bend, he looked back to Captain Charlotte with a helpless look in his eyes. 

     "Where are they taking her?" 

     "The Devil's cell block." He replied with a gulp. 

  

    Meanwhile, over tea, Eudora smiled at the other older women with Chrysanthemum sitting beside her. The girl giggled at dumb stories and blushed with modesty as her soon-to-be step mother's friends praised her with compliments on beauty and propriety, never intelligence. Was this a true shocker though? The little cream puff had none to praise, poor girl. 

     "He's actually on a week long trip to Germany right now. Very very sudden actually. He'll be staying at home upon his return though due to an accidental fire at his flat." answered the little tart when someone asked what Thomas was up to at the moment. Eudora snickered and everyone stared at her for a moment. 

     "Oh," Only a trifle, she was too quick for their suspicion. "I was just reminiscing on when Mr. Dunning and I took Thomas to Germany for the first time. He was twelve and I had dressed him in…" They bought the story with curiosity. Eudora had never been to Germany in her life. The woman checked her watch. Where were those criminal children? 

  

    Shouts and growls echoed with Arabella in the center of the circular hall. There were doors, cells, all around the circumference and it was dim with a leak in the ceiling somewhere. Scotland Yard suddenly seemed like a dungeon. She was still being dragged though, to a cell on the far right where the metal doors were forced open by two strong men. She felt her body being thrown in and sprawling out like a ball. Had they drugged her? why couldn't she fight back when the door roared shut? Everything was fuzzy and then black. 

     

   "It's a circular set of cells deep underground known as the devil's cell block. There's a long spiral staircase that leads down to it. It's the only way down and there are no floors between this one and the devil's cell. The entrance to the steps is very heavily guarded by locks and codes and a bullet proof automaton with hidden blades in her inner workings. It's almost impossible unless we can get the codes and the keys and figure out how to shut her down but I don't see that happening from in here." Thomas explained. Charlotte looked down, attempting to strategize. "Charlie, it's useless." Thomas said a bit louder. "We can't do it. It's designed for people like you and Ara." 

    "There has to be a manual." Charlotte thought aloud with a hushed voice. Thomas walked toward the seventeen year old captain with a confused look pasted to his face. "To the robot," she said further, "there has to be a manual or some document with the automaton's system written down so we can crack this." she looked up at him and he shot her a stern look but she only replied with a smile. 

 

   

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