Morning found Sydney sprawled across the back seat, unable to remain awake through the night like her male companions. Nigel was barely hanging on himself, having to hang his head half out the window to keep his own wits about him. He looked and felt like hell. Aaron seemed unfazed by the whole ordeal, and he actually seemed to be in much better spirits now, and not the demon that possessed him only hours before. For that, Nigel was grateful.
Theyíd been driving for nearly four hours now without stopping, and after glancing at the odometer it was Nigelís estimate that they must have travelled a good two hundred and fifty plus miles through the night. They literally crawled into the city of Ankara under clear, hushed indigo skies. The sun had yet to appear above the eastern mountain ranges, and the people of this sleepy place were just starting to stir in the...r beds... Nigel didnít bother to ask where Aaron was taking them anymore, having exhausted that question ages ago. Their driver was content to keep he and Sydney at armís length concerning the exact nature of their fight or flight. They drove through a quiet suburb of twisting roads and back alleys, until finally Aaron turned in behind a rather unassuming, art deco apartment block and parked.
"This is it."
"What is it? Where are we Aaron?" Nigel asked one more time, his patience with Sydneyís old friend strained and his tone contemptible.
Aaronís reply was as expected. "Just donít ask me about the details, all you need to know is that weíre safe for now." Turning behind him he reached his arm over the seat and gave Sydney a gentle shake. "We have arrived Syd, time to depart."
Sydney resisted opening her eyes as long as possible, her back was sore from the bowed way in which she was forced to sleep, and carefully stretched her limbs out accompanied by a loud, distressed groan. "What, what time is it?"
"Itís six forty-five Syd." Nigel answered, briefly checking his watch, then extended his body over the front seat to grab their bags. "Aaron says weíre safe for the time being. I suggest we just follow and observe for now." He said quietly, making sure Deleany was out of earshot.
"Itís my guess he isnít going to tell us much of anything just in case one of us gets caught by whomever it is chasing us." She gingerly eased herself into a sitting position as offered Nigel a soft, telling smile. It was all she could offer at the moment. "Thatís standard."
"Yeah, heaven forbid he wouldnít want them to torture us enough that we would squeal on his precious dig site." Nigel hopped out and presented her his hand that she gladly took, and he hauled her out into the crisp morning air. "Are you sure the people after us are Turkish officials? Iím thinking more along the lines of the PKK."
"Well, whoever they are, Aaron is afraid enough of them to run like hell." She flattened out her wrinkled clothing in the front with her hands and took her bag from Nigelís shoulder, slinging it over her own. "Something tells me Iíve been lied to."
"Oh?" He leaned towards her, his kind hazel eyes questioning and unsure.
"Aaron hasnít told me everything Nigel, I can feel it."
"Imagine that... for once YOU donít have all the details." He casually remarked, his gravely voice now showing signs of stirred up mistrust and sadness at the same time. "I certainly know how that feels."
His words stabbed at her heart, viscously so. He did know. Nigel wasnít a stupid man, and it was grossly unfair to treat him as such. She had started to tell him, but now that would have to wait. Their lives depended on getting to the Ark, and getting out again alive, and they didnít need this hampering their efforts. How had things gotten this far out of hand? She felt like they were being pulled into some deep, relentless abyss, and the only way out was the truth.
Go to Part Nine.