The three of them followed Mortie down the stairs, constantly wary not to attract any more attention. Somehow, Darren didn't feel like the worst could happen with him leading the way.
Down one flight of stairs, and they reached the second floor without any further hair-raising encounters.
"Oh goodie, there they are." Fletcher, Todd, and Scarlet were almost waiting for them near the foot of the stairs. "Minus the rampaging Spooks."
Darren caught Kat hanging her head slightly in shame.
"So, did you get the records?" they asked him excitedly.
"Hoho, good thing you reminded me. I completely forgot about that, with all the thrill that was going on up there just now."
Whoops! Darren felt like an idiot for not asking that earlier. It was, after all, the sole reason they were there.
"We took care of it." Amelia said in a reassuring tone.
A collective smile of relief registered on everyone's faces before Mortie jolted them back to the situation at hand. "Come on now, the potion's not going to last longer than ten more minutes. Out, the same way we came in."
The group stepped confidently down to the first floor. Lester was standing with his arms crossed at the same spot they first saw him.
"Leaving so soon?" He cocked his head and beamed at them.
"Yup," Mortie replied. "Our GIC Cards, please."
"Oh yes, before I forget," He lay the seven cards on the table. "You're not getting these back without a full-filed report of which organisation you're from, and what you did here."
"That's impossible. Am I supposed to produce a report out of nowhere right here?"
"Send it to my office tomorrow morning. Here's the address." Lester handed him a hastily-scribbled piece of paper.
Mortie studied the address and frowned. "Okay. No problem. I'll drop by your place tomorrow with the report."
"Good. I'll be there with your card."
"Come on guys," Mortie grinned at the rest. "Let's go."
Once they stepped into the cold outside, the group laughed and slapped each other high-fives. "Well, what can I say? Mission accomplished!" Mortie punched the air.
"You can say that again!"
"I wouldn't mind saying it all night," Mortie couldn't stop grinning. "But you guys are all probably dead tired now, myself included. Let's call it a night and catch up tomorrow night at The Haunt. Same time, same place as always. Great working with you, guys!"
Again they cheered like a stadium crowd. Darren hadn't felt this sort of rush since taking his class graduation photo. Of course, that was mere seconds before his death.
"Hey, Darren," Kat smiled at him. "Thanks for taking care of me when we were in that shaft. I really appreciate it."
"You're welcome," he smiled back.
"See you tomorrow."
"Yeah, see you too."
A quiet wind picked up and gushed dried leaves around his feet. Suddenly, Darren wished terribly he could see Emily again.