"He's lost it," whispered Al, shaking her head.
"Shush!" I hissed back and gave her such an icy glare.
"But if he doesn't know the way—"
My head whipped around. It came from Luke ... I thought. It certainly came from his direction but he was still squatting down with his eyes shut.
"Lu—" I began, but his hand immediately came up and was slapped across my mouth.
My eyes boggled in wonder. Was this a good sign?
The sound of voices in the corridor outside suddenly froze me. I didn't even dare to breathe.
As the voices faded away, Luke's hand fell from my mouth.
"Luke?" I whispered quietly.
He turned to look at me. He had a strange look in his eye, not quite glazed but certainly confused.
"Luke?" I said again and he burbled something at me. It was completely unintelligible. He dropped his head in despair.
I took his hand.
"Luke. Can you squeeze my hand," I commanded.
He squeezed it and I beamed a joyous smile at him. I let go of his hand.
"Luke, take the little finger of my left hand."
He had to lean over me to reach it, but he did and he took hold of my little finger by hooking his through it. It was a very sentimental gesture.
"He's lucid," exclaimed Midas. "His ability to vocalise has been compromised, but his cognitive ability is intact."
We had no time to discuss it further. Luke leaned forward and opened the panel to exit into the corridor. He led us out, down the hallway to another panel and into another shaft. This was even narrower than the last. We had to crawl on our bellies, dragging ourselves along on our elbows and it twisted and turned endlessly. Eventually, he brought us out again, this time into a deserted corridor. Troy was the last to leave the tunnels.
"This isn't anywhere near AL3!" he exclaimed.
"So where are we then?" Al asked.
"Near the detention cells."
"Luke wants us to liberate the crew," I said.
"We don't have time for this!" snarled Troy.
"No. Hang on a minute. Let's think this thing through—"
"We don't have time for this!" he repeated.
"No! You keep telling me that I'm not thinking strategically! Well I am now!" I retorted angrily. "Getting to AL3 is a problem. We're not invisible anymore. We need a distraction! What better distraction than if we can free everyone. That will give the Dancers something to worry about other than us."
Troy straightened his back and debated.
"Very well," he finally said and pushed past me to open the door.