They didn't have trouble moving back into a crowd that was being herded basically in the same direction they wanted to go. When the guards moved the group another way, Theseus was able to get them into a little area behind a gate, hidden as others went past. The timing had to be perfect not to draw the attention of anyone in the group.
Within two hours she could clearly see the port tower rising into the somewhat smoky sky. There had been no more explosions, but the fear of more trouble made the streets just as dangerous as before. People expected trouble. And worse, marquees were starting to flash pictures of the two of them. Alicia felt her hands twitch towards her hair each time, hoping the disguise was still in place.
She thought Theseus was starting to get twitchy as well, but they kept on. They played the roles, and she was amused to see how well he managed to act the part of a confused old woman.
And he still got what he wanted, slipping away at the right time, moving out of the line of sight for the precious few seconds until others moved on.
They inched their way closer. There were no more crowds now, but a few stragglers moved by. More port guards were present though. Her heart pounded with worry every time one came too near.
"Need someone of rank," he said. He had begun to slip out of the disguise. That worried her more. "Enough rank to get through the first doors without question. I can take it from there." He shoved the clothing and the rest of the disguise into a trash bin. "Take off anything that encumbers you. We're going to be moving quickly now."
She began to strip off the clothing. "What do you think Brown is doing now?"
"That's what worries me. The government is not mentioning the loss of the weapons, but you can bet that they think we have them. There were both large and small weapons . . . So the less we are carrying with us that might conceal something, the better. We don't want to give them any reason to start firing. You will want to go with me?"
She swallowed and nodded. "Yes. That doesn't mean I'm not afraid."
"We're going to do this," he said. He stood, hand still on the cane. "Stay still. I'll be right back."
He didn't give her a chance to ask what to do if he didn't return. She dropped down into the corner, made herself as small as possible, and simply waited.
He was gone forever . . . but not very long at all. He came back with a man hanging over his shoulder and he stumbled to a stop, went to his knees, and carefully settled the guard on the ground. He was clearly alive.
"This one is for you. Jacket and pants should do. The shoes if they fit well enough, but I suspect they'll be too big."
He stared back out at what they could see of the world through the narrow gap they had for a view. She was nearly changed by the time he leapt out. She hard the scuffle this time, which was not pleasant, fearing Theseus was going to fall to this man. However, he dragged this one back by the shoulders and deposited him by the other.
"They'll be out for about five hours," he said and showed her a small needle that slipped back up by his wrist. "Nothing normally dangerous and they both seem to be doing okay. With luck, we'll have someone here to pick them up in a couple hours."
They'd be done that soon? She hoped so.
He dressed while she kept watch this time, signaling him to be silent when someone came too close. Those three soon moved on and Theseus was quick to finish.
"We're going to march straight in the front door," he said. He had both the IDs in hand and began fiddling with one. "I'm nullifying the back check -- the ID should give off an alarm if it's more than fifty feet from the owner. People won't consider a problem if we have legit IDs to show."
"The pictures --"
He handed one over to her. It already had her picture. "We IWCS agents are tricky," he said. He was playing with the other ID now. "I got the pictures off the pocketcomps. You don't look quite like yourself, but I'm going to look too much like me. It's a chance we have to take. I can't go in like an old woman."
"This won't get us through inner security, but I have a way around that, too. Just stay close. And if they do stop us, go down to your knees and put your hands behind your head. Don't try to explain, don't ask questions, just make yourself as unobtrusive as possible."
"Yes," she said. Oddly, the shaking fear had passed.
They stepped out of their little protection and headed down the street. Within the block a few more of the guards were walking within a few feet of them. Alicia didn't look at them and kept her pace steady with Theseus. He'd put aside the cane and he didn't limp.
They turned one corner, walked down a street, and turned another. The port tower entrance stood ahead of them, about three blocks away. More and more guards were gathered here, though several groups were leaving as well.
They walked on. She wouldn't slow down. She wouldn't fail him.
This was almost over.
To Be Continued
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