Bex has explored almost every abandoned building and tunnel in the city. He's into "urban exploration"—going where he's not supposed to go. Bex has always done it just for fun and bragging rights, taking nothing but pictures and leaving nothing but footprints. But that changes when a new kid arrives at school. Kieran is edgy, dangerous and into urban exploration as well. Together, they start pushing each other to radical extremes. When Kieran pitches a plan that involves taking more than just pictures, Bex has a decision to make. Where will he draw the line, and how far will he follow Kieran?
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ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS
Copyright © 2011 Sean Rodman
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Rodman, Sean, 1972-Infiltration [electronic resource] / Sean Rodman. (Orca soundings)
Type of computer file: Electronic monograph in PDF format. Issued also in print format.
I. Title. II. Series: Orca soundings (Online) PS8635.O355I54 2011A JC813’.6 C2011-903434-4
First published in the United States, 2011 Library of Congress Control Number: 2011929404
Summary: Bex breaks into locked and abandoned buildings just because he can, but when a new friend’s behavior becomes more and more risky, he has to do the right thing.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed this book on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover photography by iStockphoto.com
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS
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www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
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I don’t recommend breaking and entering on your first date. Wait until you can really trust them. Asha and I waited in the shadows of a closed convenience store. We sized up the building across the street. The cold drizzle was starting to soak us. She squeezed my hand and kissed my cheek.
“Bex, this is going to be awesome,” she said.
It was kind of romantic, I guess. We were looking over at the old Orpheus Theater. It was a tall, narrow building tucked between two ancient store-fronts. A tall neon sign crawled up the front of it, reading ORPHEUS. Smaller signs covered the ticket booth. A couple of big ones were marked Closed and Demolition Order.
The April rain made me wish I had brought more than my black hoodie. We needed to get moving or we’d get uncomfortable. I checked to make sure the coast was clear. At this time of night, there was barely any traffic. Most people with any sense were tucked into bed. But we were just getting started.
At my signal, Asha and I ran across the street. We headed straight into a narrow alley next to the Orpheus. We were on our way to meet up with my best friend Jake. We wanted to see what the theater looked like on the inside.
My friends and I have a hobby. We like to explore old buildings in the city. But not on the official tour. We go where we’re not supposed to. In my opinion, a No Trespassing sign just means you’re on your own. We’re not the only ones. There’s a bunch of people in the city who do this. They call themselves urban explorers. We compare notes and brag about our illegal adventures online. It’s all anonymous, of course. On the urban exploration forums, I’m Urbex604. My real name is Taylor Bexhill. My friends just call me Bex.
It’s a bit like being a superhero. In real life, I’m under the radar and keep to myself. I’ve never been into team sports. Never been cool enough to be part of the in crowd. As an urban explorer, though, I’m like a rock star. I’ve hacked more buildings in this city than almost anyone else. I look for old tunnels or abandoned buildings that nobody else can get into. Then I post some pictures from the inside. I’ve got a great slideshow of conquests now. The Orpheus Theater was one of the toughest sites in town. It had no easy entrances and some serious security guards. Now it was slated to be destroyed in a couple of weeks. I wanted to claim this one for my own before it went.
Don’t get me wrong when I talk about breaking and entering. I’m not a criminal. I do this for fun. For bragging rights. I take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. Asha says that I act like a cross between a Boy Scout and a young offender. I pulled her into urban exploration a little while ago. She totally got into it. Which was a bit of a surprise to me. She’s from a pretty strict family and comes across as really straight. But I’m not complaining.
Jake was waiting halfway down the alley. He stayed in the shadows as we got closer. He was dressed like us— black hoodie, black jeans, work boots, backpack. Jake could never really pull off the urban ninja look though. With his baby face, he looked a lot younger than seventeen. Especially when he smiled.
“Glad you two made it. I thought you might head to a real movie theater and leave me in the rain,” he said.
“And let you to be the first one to crack the Orpheus? Dude. Bex might be my boyfriend, but he’s not worth missing this for,” Asha said. Jake laughed. I pulled a crowbar from my backpack and made a face at her.
Jake and I looked at the big manhole in the middle of the alley. “You sure this is it?” he asked. I nodded. I was pretty certain that this was our ticket inside. There was a network of old tunnels under-neath these streets that led into the theater. I’d read that when the Orpheus was built back in the 1920s, it was too hot inside during the summer. So the theater owners built tunnels to bring in air from the outside. Sometimes they actually put ice in the tunnels to cool down the air. I’d spent a few afternoons looking at blueprints in the city archives. I figured that the tunnels were probably still there but sealed off. Like I said, I’m all about research and planning. It’s my secret power.
It took us a few minutes, but we got the manhole cover off. We even did it without a lot of noise. Asha was on lookout, but nobody was out in the rain.
Jake was first into the manhole. He flicked his headlamp on just before he disappeared. Asha was next, then me.
The tunnel was lined with crumbling old brick. It was drier than I would have expected in this weather. We tried to move quickly but had to duck. The ceiling was just a little too short for us to stand up in. The light from our headlamps bobbed around the tunnel.
After a few minutes, Asha turned to me. “Are you sure you know where we’re going? It seems like we’ve gone too far,” she whispered.
“It’s all good. This is totally to plan,” I lied. I was pretty sure we should have found a ladder going up by now. “We better catch up to Jake.”
A couple of minutes later, Jake pointed his lamp at the ceiling. Sure enough, there was a rusted ladder rising into the darkness.
“Bex, you get the honor,” said Jake. “This was your idea.” He bowed a little and gestured up the ladder. I returned the bow and started climbing. The ladder felt a little funny with my weight on it. I hoped it would last long enough for all of us to get up.
Reaching the top, I hooked one arm through a rung. I pulled the crowbar from my backpack again. The top of the ladder ended against a bunch of wooden planks. It looked like I’d have to pry up some of them to get through. I kept my head turned away as the wood splintered apart. Then the ladder let loose a small metal squeal and I stopped. I looked down. It was a good fifteen-foot drop to where Jake and Asha were. I wouldn’t die, but I might break something. The ladder groaned again. I needed to either get down or get through the planks, fast.
I decided to go through. I squeezed the crowbar deep in between two planks and shoved it with all my strength. The plank cracked upward just as the ladder popped away from the wall. I scrambled and got both arms through the new hole above me. That left my legs dangling in the air, tangled in the now-useless ladder. Sweat stung my eyes. I could feel my arms start to shake as they held my full weight. Asha called my name from down below. I heard Jake tell her to stay quiet.
Slowly, I inched up through the hole that I had made. Wiggling my legs, I got away from the ladder. Finally, I gave one big heave and yanked myself out of the tunnel. I rolled onto my back, breathing heavily. My headlamp barely illuminated the ceiling. It looked like it was maybe forty feet up. What I saw up there made me hold my breath. Then I scrambled back to the hole. I called down to Asha and Jake.
“You’re not going to believe this,” I said. “We get pictures of this online, and we’ll be freaking famous.”
I was rushing, but it still took a couple of minutes to drop a climbing rope down to the others, then get them up to the stage. Finally we stood together with our head-lamps sending little slivers of light across the gigantic hall. The wooden floor-boards creaked as Jake started to walk around, exploring. Ranks of red seats rose away from the stage into the darkness. I imagined hundreds of people in the audience, dressed up for a night at the theater.
But it was the ceiling that kept catching my eye. It was covered with a huge mural, a gigantic painting of ancient gods or something. Jake took some pictures. Even the bright light from his camera flash seemed tiny in the cavernous space. I pulled Asha closer to me and pointed up at the mural.
“This is why I do it.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“Why I do this…what we do. The exploring. I like finding hidden treasures that are right in front of everyone. Beautiful things that most people take for granted.” I looked at her as I said it. I didn’t mean to sound smooth, but it kind of worked out that way. She gave me a little smile.
“That’s pretty sweet, Bex.”
„Ich bin wirklich begeistert. Auch die Möglichkeit des zusätzlichen eReaders im Abo finde ich persönlich toll.”
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Wurm sucht Buch
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