Annabel bit her lip, deciding the most understandable way to explain, but Grey’s inpatient expression forced her answer. “Well, let’s see…” Annabel started, still thinking. Grey’s eager eyes twinkled with interest as he shoved closer to her.
“Got it!” Annabel shouted, happily. She was extremely impressed with herself. “Okay, so, why don’t you look back. That code, and don’t get me wrong I believe you (“Sure,” Grey agreed.) but when the code started matching our steps, I got suspicious. P, D, S, Y, FB it said. P for Peel, D for deconstruct, S for shine Y for yell.”
“I moved when I said confused!” Kaylin piped up proudly.
“Exactly!” Annabel went on. “But what for FB? Well, all puzzle have some trick… maybe a false bottom.” Understanding gasps rose from the crowd’s trembling mouths. “So, the only thing that could have the false bottom was the box. Well, the pieces could have, but we’d already deconstructed one, and there was no hint of which piece it was.”
Grey smiled softly at Annabel. “Thank you,” he said. She blushed. Then, Grey turned to the others with gratitude. Della felt solemn and excited. She couldn’t wait to tell the news to… Bear. Her face dropped. I miss him. It would be so good if he was here, She thought sadly.
“I think I’ll go downstairs,” Della said, trying not to ruin the other’s mood. She was expecting a disappointed look from one of her elders but got a very different reaction. “Downstairs!” Grey yelled in a puffy tone. “Celeste would be bursting to hear the news!” Well, actually she wouldn’t because she can’t be bursting to hear something she doesn’t even know about. Annabel thought cleverly.
Led by Grey, they bustled downstairs. Celeste did really burst. She kindly got Grey and the kids out to the main island of Arkk to sell the nugget. They said with the money, they could easily buy a safe ride to Fuzz and from there, the kids would be able to call Bear to come and pick them up. Della couldn’t help but let up her bad mood to the excitement that was blowing around the room.
They jump into the old bus with extreme enthusiasm which rocked it back and forth on its tires a bit. Elmi had worried about the safety but pushed the thought away. Grey immediately slammed the pedal to the metal without strapping on his seatbelt. The wheel ground and squealed, trying to wrench out of the mossy piles of gravel blocking it from movement. “Bread smacking old bus!” Grey muttered.
The old man flung his arm out and practically punched a lever forward. The rusty bus leaped out of the muck and lurched everyone violently forward as it landed. Grey drove round a corner, missing a tree by an inch, and slowed when they got to the thick forest. “You got a license?” Annabel asked. “No, but my children do!” Grey smiled, obviously enjoying a drive in the bus. He laughed as he jumped a big root and clunked the roof into a branch overhead.
Before Annabel could tell him “THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS!” Elmi asked, “Your children? I’ve heard you mention them, but I really don’t know much…”
“Well, one’s named Samantha and the other’s Kone. They own an animal-themed restaurant called Bats and Eagles. It’s pretty popular. Uh… yeah their not married to anyone but each other and their job.” Grey gave an uneasy grin away from them, but they could see it in the mirror. “Anyway, we’ve been telling them a lot about you. How you came, who you are.” Who you are, who you are, who you are.
Grey grunted as the wheels skidded onto a long, rickety bridge that led to Arkk. It forced Della to slam her hand onto Kaylin’s lap for stability and squish her guts inside out. “Owww!” Kaylin moaned. “Sorry,” Della said, embarrassed and shoving herself to the edge of the seat.
Before the knew it, Grey shouted, “We’re here!” The Cubs almost fell out of the bus, shaky and woozy from the ride. Surprisingly, the bad driver’s parking was decent.
They were at Fred’s Precious Materials Centre and the exchange was quick. Grey walked happily out, trying to pocket the valuable money in his dirty jeans, but something… someone snatched it from his hand.
“Hey!” he bellowed at the black-dressed burglar. He took off immediately. The girls recovered from the sudden events and were in close pursuit. Grey had amazing speed so the robber couldn’t shake him off with his tricks, he was trailing so close. The cubs were having trouble keeping up with the two, tripping on tables and banging into enraged couples. Even Kaylin (who was amazing at running and sports) was barely keeping in line. Soon, they were all engaged in a full-on, epic crime chase.