Chapter Six

"How long has she been doing that?" Yu asked, leaning over to look out on to the balcony.

"For about an hour," Jean answered, stirring sugar into his coffee.

"And she hasn't swallowed it yet?"

"Guess not."

Yu's nose wrinkled as he continued to watch Lane. The young girl was sitting at the table on the balcony. Papers were spread all over the table in front of her and all her attention was on her mini-computer. The object of Yu's question was a plastic straw that dangled from the corner of Lane's mouth. It had been chewed to shreds and pieces were falling from it.

As Yu watched Lane's head fell forward and hit the table. She repeated the action three times and then didn't move.

"You sure she's not crazy?"

The French Spriggan laughed and finished his coffee. "She's just frustrated. She has been working with little results all morning."

"What's the problem?" Yu asked, opening the fridge.

"I do not know. I asked her but she will not speak to me. You try talking with her." Jean stood and pulled on his jacket.

"Where you going?" Yu asked, surprised.

"To talk with some scientists. I will be back later. Make her take a break."

"You can't leave her with me," Yu said, following Jean to the door.

"Why not?"


"Cause?" Jean asked, highly amused. "Are you afraid of a little girl?"

While Yu stuttered and struggled for a witty reply, Jean chuckled. "Try to make her talk."

"This is stupid," Yu growled. He threw himself onto the couch. He could hear Lane beating her head against the table even through the glass door and turned around to look.

One of Lane's hands was fisted in her hair. The other was crumbling several pieces of paper. Her face was turning bright red and Yu wondered if she was even breathing. Her body slumped over the table suddenly and Yu was fairly certain she'd passed out from lack of oxygen.

'Jean'll kill me if she kicks it,' Yu thought with a scowl and strolled over to the balcony doors. He opened one, leaned against it and called, "Oi!"

"My life is trash," was Lane's despondent answer.

"Whatever," Yu drawled. "Let's go eat."

"Can't eat," Lane mumbled, her voice muffled by the table.

"Why the hell not?" Yu demanded.

"Cause I'm about to figure this out and if I take a break now I'll never get it."

"You can figure it out when we get back. I'm starving."

"No. I have to stay here. I've almost got this."

"The only thing you've almost got is a concussion. All you've done is beat your head on the table."

"Most of advanced mathematics rely on patterns. Numbers themselves are nothing but a firmly established pattern. A pattern is just another form of puzzle. Puzzles are figured out by repeatedly trying to solve the same pattern."

"So beating your head repeatedly on the table is part of a puzzle?"

Lane sighed and sat up. "I've been trying to figure out the pattern behind these numbers," she answered, waving the crumbled sheets at Yu.

He grabbed the small stack and straightened them. Written on all of them was a fourteen number sequence in several different patterns. "What is it?"

"All of these coordinates were written using simple logarithms based on prime numbers. These prime numbers are repeated over and over again and I don't know why."

"So?" Yu asked, falling into an empty chair.

"So, these numbers were used to create one of the most sophisticated mathematics codes I've ever seen. Understanding it will cut off hours of guess work when pinpointing an ark."

"Can you still find them without this?" Yu asked, waving the papers at Lane.

"Uh...yeah...I guess."

"Great!" Yu exclaimed, jumping to his feet. "Let's go eat." He pulled Lane from her chair and dragged her back into the suite.

"Cut it out Yu!" Lane protested.

"I can't go anywhere without you and I'm starving," was the Spriggan's reply as he tossed Lane's coat over her head and shoved her out the door.

"I said cut it out!" Lane shouted, tugging her coat away from her face. "I have to finish my calculations!"

"Hungry!" Yu shouted back.

"So order room service you psychopath! Quit pushing me!" She tried to stomp on his foot but Yu danced away nimbly.

"Yer no match for a Spriggan," Yu said smugly as he dodged a sloppy punch. He grabbed Lane's arm and spun her around, pining both her arms to her sides with his own. "Let's go eat," he chuckled. The Spriggan pushed his foot into the back of Lane's knee, causing it to buckle and her to take a step forward.

"Let me go damn it!" Lane shouted. She struggled vainly, his grip was too tight. "You crazy son of a!"

Yu clamped a hand over her mouth, his eyes darting side to side. Someone was coming toward them and Yu could smell gunpowder.

"Stay still," he hissed in Lane's ear, shaking her roughly. "Someone's found us." Lane went still in his arms, her entire body tensed. "Be very quiet and don't move," Yu whispered and let go of her, swiftly darting down the hall.

The elevator was still and silent when he poked his head around the corner. There was a soft sound behind him and he whorled around. Lane was still pressed against the wall, her eyes wide and staring.

'They're in the room,' Yu realized. He motioned for Lane to move toward him but she continued to stare blankly, her feet rooted to the floor. Sighing mentally, he darted forward and dragged her with him toward the elevator. He paused at the metal doors, listening to the machinery whirling within.

'They're in the elevator too,' Yu thought. 'They're blocking us in. Which way out?' He gave Lane another shove away from the occupied room and elevator. He dragged her down the hall, listening intently to all the rooms they passed. Finding one empty, he quickly picked the lock and shoved Lane inside, carefully shutting the door behind them.

"Stay away from the windows," Yu ordered, keeping his ear to the door.

"What's going on?" Lane asked, her voice trembling.

"They've found us."

"What! Who?"

"Dunno," Yu replied, pushing himself away from the door. "Whoever's looking for us."

"You don't know?" Lane asked, following him as he hurried passed her.

"No. Stay away from windows!" He shoved her to the ground and hurriedly glanced around the room. "Stay here. Don' t move. They'll hear you."

Lane visibly paled and then turned a sick green color but she did as he said. Yu tread lightly out on to the balcony, hanging his head over the railing. There was a black sedan parked in front of the hotel that hadn't been there this morning. Scowling, Yu ducked back into the room.

'Must have waited 'til Jean left,' Yu thought. 'Wanted to split us up. Guess they're not completely stupid.' He'd been cooped up in this hotel for so long. A fight would do him good. A soft noise brought his attention back to Lane and he scowled. 'Can't fight if she's around. I hate this fucking mission.'

"We have to leave," he finally announced.

Before Lane could question him, the door knob rattled. Yu darted forward and clamped a hand over Lane's mouth before she screamed. He dragged her backward out on to the balcony.

"Son of a bitch," Yu mumbled.

He stooped and picked Lane up piggy back style, forcing her to wrap her arms around his neck. A manic smile spread across his face and jumped across to the next balcony. Lane's scream of fear was lost in a hail of bullets and Yu took a running leap to the next balcony. He landed awkwardly, his balance thrown of by having to hold onto Lane's legs. He barely had time to duck as bullets flew overhead.

"Stop choking me!" Yu shouted at Lane, trying to detangle his limbs from her.

"You're going to kill us before they do!" Lane shouted back.

"Shut up and stay still!" Yu glanced up when the gun fire stopped. 'Someone's coming around through the room,' he realized. 'We're on the corner. No more balconies.' "Shit," he spat. Pulling out a gun, he shoot at the balcony door, using his body to shelter Lane from the glass. He rushed into the room, pulling Lane after him, rushing across the room as the door splinter behind them and bullets hammered the room. Griting his teeth, Yu crashed through the great bay windows and jumped out, pulling Lane after him.

They fell straight down for a few, terrifying seconds before landing in the swimming pool. Crashing into water nearly knocked the air from Yu's lungs and he struggled to breath properly as he grasped a choking Lane and dragged her from the pool. Slowing only to flip off whoever might be watching them, he hurried into the crowded streets.

I'm not sure where this chapter came from. I was sitting in history, fiddling with my Pocket PC, and then this chapter suddenly came out. I had part of it done previously but I wrote the bulk of it will I should have been listening about the growth of distrbution and effects of steamboats in 1840 America but whatever. I got an A on the quiz. I'll be all right. Hope you guys like the chapter.

Its real short and kind of rough but its here and it can always be worked on later. Hurray for updates!