“Are you hungry?” I kept my voice low since sound carried easily down the long empty tunnels of rock through which we traveled. I didn’t know if anyone had tried to follow.
“I could use a break.” Dr. Grayson replied.
Nodding, I stopped and slipped my pack off my shoulders and sat down. I pressed my back and shoulder blades against the cool damp wall in an attempt to stretch muscles which burned from constant bending and scrunching. Dr. Gryson joined me as I rifled through the contents of my bag.
Finally feeling what I wanted I pulled out two small sealed packets. Scott accepted his with a nod. I pressed the large capsule through the back lining and popped the pill into my mouth. Even with the help of a few swallows of precious water the capsule wanted to stick. One final effort sent it on its way.
“Did you know I invented these?” Scott asked as I passed him the water bladder.
I raised one eyebrow in a look of skepticism.
“Well, yes, the vitamin has been around for a long time, and someone else did think to add a bit of fat and calories. My contribution completed the idea. See, I added the chemical that tells the hypothalamus to release leptin, which then tells your brain that you’re full. Without that you’d still want to eat even though your body had everything it needed.”
Dr. Grayson smiled as he popped his capsule in his mouth.
Personally I would have preferred to bite into a crisp, juicy apple or tear a mouthful of chicken off the bone. I kept my thoughts to myself though as I began to feel pleasantly full. It was better than starving.
“How’s that other invention going?” I asked.
“I’ve almost got it. I found my error from the previous trials, and I think I’ve corrected the mistake, but I haven’t been able to test it yet.”
“Well, a few more days down here and then, hopefully, you’ll get your chance.”
“Yes, hopefully. I haven’t been able to get a signal since we left your hide-out. If this continues for much longer I might just go insane.”
“Well, try to hold it together Doc. You not being able to get a signal means they probably can’t track me from above either. Too much rock in between. Besides, if you lose it I might not get paid.”
“How tragic,” Scott replied. “What exactly are you getting paid for anyway.”
I narrowed my eyes as I searched his face. He looked innocent enough but I didn’t like the tone of his voice.
“My job is to deliver you, alive, to Agent Green.”
He nodded slowly.
“Good to know.”
We sat in comfortable silence for several more minutes.
“Well, are you ready to continue?” I asked.
“Yes, please get me out of here. The sooner the better.”
“Don’t be too eager, I have no idea what’s waiting on the other side.”
“It can’t possibly be worse than this.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Yeah, I do, and believe me, it could be worse.”
“I don’t care if they shoot me, as long as I can get a signal first.”