Travel Schlepp hung from the twisted sage brush bark rope from the parapet of CENT. Climbing up the rope after Louie had gone up the downspout and tied it to a pipe was easy compared to flailing around trying to pry loose the plywood. All he had was a stout stick they had broken off of a nearby juniper. It wasn’t nearly pointy enough to get under the edge of the plywood and every time Schlepp pushed on it, he swung out instead of lifting the wood that covered the hole in the wall.
“Why couldn’t you and Newport have flown through the wall down low?” asked Schlepp.
“Sorry,” answered Louie, “We’s in a hurry and I didn’t have no pilot’s license.”
Then Schlepp got a purchase on one side were the brick was crumbly. Even though only six inches high, he was able to wiggle the juniper stick under the board and finally lever it up with pure bear strength. A couple nails squealed as they pulled loose and then Schlepp could see inside. At last they had a gap big enough to climb through.
“We’re in!” he called up to Louie.
Schlepp pulled up the rope dangling below him—it reached all the way to the ground—and pushed the coil through the opening. It uncoiled smoothly and reached the lab bench below with plenty to spare.
Schlepp pulled himself inside and stood on the bricks at the bottom of the hole the space pod had made. He untied himself from the rope and then easily rappelled to the floor. Moments later Louie swung down beside him.
“Let’s take a look at that other cage,” said Schlepp.
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