The distant buzz of conversation resumed and Morgan allowed herself a silent sigh of relief. She pointed towards the side aisle and brought up the rear as they crawled on their hands and knees. The back half of the auditorium had tiered seating, so they’d have to get down an entire floor’s worth of steps without being seen.
Aiden went first, half crab walking and half sliding. Teri went next in a crouch. She was short enough that she could stay almost completely hidden behind the seats. Max and Morgan where next. In between Aiden and Teri in height, they had to half duck and half crawl to stay hidden.
They made it down to the lower level. Aiden stopped to look at the gap between the tiered seating and the ground floor. Almost ten feet of no-man’s-land to cross if they wanted to get close enough to hear what was being said.
Despite the tension, Morgan almost giggled as Aiden went down on his stomach and started crawling. Judging by the looks they were giving her, Max and Teri didn’t think it was funny. Teri followed after Aiden. Morgan was immediately jealous, because Aiden’s jeans were pretty tight, especially as he wriggled across the ground.
Those thoughts distracted Morgan as they crawled past the first few rows of seats. She almost ran into Teri’s foot with her face. Moving up alongside Teri, Morgan gave her a look to ask her why she’d stopped. Teri just looked at the wall to their right and then down at the ground.
Morgan didn’t get it at first. The wall was completely blank, and so was the floor. Then she took another look. Even in the dim light, Morgan could see that the carpet in front of them was clean. That might not be the strangest thing ever, except when you compared it to the carpet they’d been crawling over and what lay ahead on the other side of the clean section. Stains, gum, and things that made Morgan wish she was wearing gloves were everywhere else.
The lone square of clean carpet was where the glass had been yesterday. Morgan gave Teri a reassuring pat and when that didn’t seem to have any effect, she gave her a poke in the ribs. Teri snapped out of it and moved as quickly as she could to the other side.
They moved slowly, or maybe it just felt like time was dragging. It was probably at least a little bit of both, because Taggert and Fiedler were still talking by the time Morgan got close enough to hear them.
“I have a list of more tests that need to be run,” Dr. Fiedler said.
“More? The lab techs are going to stage a riot. They were here all night.”
“That’s not my concern,” Fiedler said. “And while we’re at it, this police tape is a laughable quarantine. All these doors should be locked.”
“I’m surprised you don’t want me to seal them in plastic or something,” Taggert said.
“I thought of that, but there are enough questions already. We’ll have to settle for locking everything.”
“Sheesh doc, I was joking. You take this too seriously.”
“And you pretend not to as a psychological defense mechanism.”
“You’re a scientist, Fiedler, not a shrink.”