Chong had been taken back to the shed, but this time he was locked in his room and given no friendly treatment. Carlos looked at him with hate now and Benito with something tinged of disappointment and disgust. His meeting with Narang had been cut short, meaning Narang still had no idea bout Ford and their plan. However, who knew where Ford was and who was dealing with him. Once Lawrence’s dispapearance was confirmed, Vice President Hashimoto could take over on an interim basis.  Hashimoto had not been informaed of hardly any of their plan, to mitigate the security risk. That meant Ford might be executed before any of this could become known.
Chong had been in his room countless hours now without food or any kind of attendance.  There was a toilet off to one side of the room but the window was securely barred. Finally he heard some noise near his room. A muffled shriek and some cursing in Spanish reached his ears. Then the door was suddenly flung open.
“We will take care of you as soon as the leader returns,” snapped Carlos as he flung Lawrence and Malinao into the room and shut the door.
“Mr. President!”
The sight of him alive wiped all their concerns away for a moment.
Chong grinned. “Just as I planned. We all get captured in Cana.”
Lawrence gasped as if he finally understood but Malinao didn’t buy it.
“So your elevator scheme didn;t pan out eh?”
“Uh, yeah about that.  It was a diversion.  It worked as far as it went–”
Malinao was not impressed. “Where’s Ford?”
“Probably in a prison cell in Serenity.”
“What happened?”
Chong told the story of their capture.
“Stroganoff,” said Lawrence when he was done. “Ford got captured all over a bowl of stroganoff.”
“Is that what it’s called? Not bad. Anyway, I was doing well here, until I met with the head of the Fundys. I managed to–” here Chong stopped.  He wasn’t sure if they were monitored. The place looked pretty low tech, but the monitoring devices could be easily hidden. He decided not to reveal the quantum dot, just in case.
“–get in the same room with him and then he recognised me.  It’s Minister Narang.”
This gobsmacked even Malinao.
“How in–?” was all Malinao could manage to get out.
“I haven’t a clue yet. All I know is he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. Ford’s cover might have been blown if they’d found him anyway, considering Narang’s his brother.”
“So what do you two know form your adventures?”
They told him of their capture in Baghdad and he was quite impressed with their aeronautical adventure.
Malinao finished the story.  “They landed us in Cana and took us in a van here. And that’s the story.”
“What happened with all the scuffling outside?”
“Oh nothing.  Just them being rough.”
Lawrence guffawed. “The Speaker punched Carlos in the jaw after he made a remark about her gender. He’ll have a bruise tomorrow, I guarantee.”
Chong smiled.  He started to get that feeling of speechlessness again.
Malinao brushed it off and started prowling the room looking for a way to escape. The door was locked tight and Carlos and his men were just outside. The bathroom window showed some promise if they’d had a sharp knife and abojut three weeks to work on it. Ther were no ther windows and the joints at the ceiling were heat sealed. Ther wasn’t much as far as tools available.  They could break apart the nightstand for hinges and screws, but that would be noticed and just get the nightstand removed. Malinao set to attempt to remove one screw unobtrusively from the rear of the nightstand.  The bed and the toilet were the only pother things in the space.
After several more hours, Malinao had her screw but had no idea what to do with it.  It wan’t even a centimeter long.
“That’s it?!” she complained after she got it out. “All that threading for this?  It hardly even held the stand together! Man.  All that hard work and all I did was work up a stink.”
Chong took it form her and investigated. “I don’t think that smell is you. Seems liek they’re cooking up something nasty out there. Suddenly the door blew off its hinges and came hurling through the room almost knocking Lawrence over.
Ford stood incongruously in the doorway holding a handkerchief over his mouth.  Carlos and a few others could be seen passed out.
“Hurry, follow me before the gas gets us.”
Ford led them out the front door.  They ntoiced others passed out along the way including someone Chong was almost sure was Narang.
When they got outside, Ford stopped to catch his breath.  He’d been holding it most of the way in and out of the shed.
“I slipped a cannister of sleeping gas in the ventilation.  I figured I might have to carry you all out one by one but I guess that room was well enough sealed. Nice to see you Chong.  And you Madame Speaker, Lawrence.”
They had no time for more talking. Ford piled them in a very tiny car meant for three people.  Malinao wedged uncomfortably in with Chong in the rear compartment.  For that he was grateful. They rode in silence until the reached the main transport station.
Chong headed towards the tarins to Armstrong, but Ford stopped him.
“We’re headed to Tranquility.  I’ll explain on the way.”
Chong found this odd indeed.  Tranquility was a small tourist colony at this point. IN fact it wasn’t even a true colony, it was goverened by Avalon.  Only the museum workers stayed there and most of them lived somewhere else and commuted. It didn’t even have a spaceport.  In pretty much every way you could think about it, it was a dead end.  The exact opposite of the kind of place you wanted to be if youw ere on the run.     They found an empty car on the M Train to Tranquility and sat down for the rather long ride.
“Your man Hashimoto is pretty sharp. I thought I was a goner for sure when Cana extradited me. I suppose that was their plan. I’m pretty sure Cana’s been usurped by the Fundys, but that’s for another day. Hashimoto personally visited me to hear me out, and spoke with one of your guards who was with you in Omaha. Then you two were captured and he pieced together the story from there. Gave me leave to pursue you on my own, knowing he’d blow your cover if he came after you himself.  You could tell it was a hard choice for him though.”
“My cover’s already blown.”
Ford seemed taken aback a bit. “Well how the hell did that happen?”
“Your brother’s now the leader of the Fundys.”
“What?  Oh hell no he’s not. That’s ridiculou.  Narang? Why he hasn’t got a religious bone in his body!”
‘Nevertheless he’s who they took me to meet, and he recognised me. So that’s that.”
“Huh.” Ford consider this for a moment. “Did you get the dot on him?”
“Good.  We’ll figure this out when we catch him.”
“So why Tranquility?”
“Because it was th eonly place Hashimoto felt he could build up a big staff of people near Cana without anyone noticing. I was to get you and either bring you to Tranquility or send word on your condition if I couldn’t.”
Chong was about to ask about the staff of people when the train suddenly stopped. They hadn’t been riding for very long but they were outside of the Canaan dome, and therfore somehwta vulnerable.  The train tubes were thick, but many a disaster movie had been made on a dead train in an outer tube combined with a meteor strike.  It just made people nervous.
An official came over the speakers with an announcement.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please do not be alarmed. The Canaan government has requested the train stop while an official constabulary car pulls up to investigate.  Apparently some stolen property may be on the train.  A search will be conducted and we ask everyone to cooperate.  This train is till within the bounds of Canaan colonial law and as such, the Moon Metro service will obery Canaan law enforcement instructions.  We’re sorry for the inconvenience but with your cooperation, we’ll get the train running again as soon as possible.  Thank you.”
Ford and Chong were both looking at the emergency exit and eyeing each other.
“You can’t be serious,” interjected Malinao. “There’s no where to go out there.
“It’s a long walk, I know.  But if I’m right about Cana, we’re probably headed for death at this point,” said Ford.
“They wouldn’t kill the President of the Mooon!” objected Lawrence.
“They’ve wanted to kill him since he came down for th epeace conference.  Now’s their best chance.  Nobody but us knows where he is so nobody will trace the bodies.
The car lurched as the constabulary train hooked on to the end.  It was three cars back.  They needed to make a call right away.
“Follow me,” said Chong. He went away from the emergency exit and towards another door near the end of the car.