As fast as she could move, Gale unlocked all the occupied cages, the same key on the keyring she’d taken from Charlie Drenth, thank God, proving effective to open the locks on them all. More than once she had to pause, to force away a grateful prisoner who was clutching at her, kissing her hands, pleading thanks. A few of the rescued seemed confused, absent, unaware even that they were being set free, their eyes wide but dulled, suffering the trauma brought about by suffering. Shell-shocked. Still, it took Gale no more than a minute to get them all freed, and a second minute for all of them to begin filing out of the building, with Gale in the lead, spurring them on to greater speed.
“Hurry up!” she hissed through clenched teeth, trying to make herself heard but at the same time not wanting to attract attention from any of the guards who might be nearby.
In the doorway she paused, seeing none of those guards; seeing no one, in fact.
“Go!” she said. “Move!”
Then they all broke and ran like mad, even the confused ones by now having shaken off their stupors. None of them looked back.