### ZIM Day 26

I couldn’t think. My palms began to sweat and I could feel my heart rate begin to rise. I tried to think of every math question I’ve ever had. Nothing seemed to fit. There was no time and so many different combinations running through my mind at once. I tried to picture numbers in my head, but they just kept getting scrambled with images of the fight in the tunnel and my crazy dreams. Every combination I tried didn’t make sense.

Then Ben shouted, “I’ve got it. This is easy it’s all ones. 1111111111.”

He started to type in the numbers, pausing after each one. It seemed like forever, but he put all of them in. Then it hit me. This was wrong. The second number would have to show how many ones there were. The second number was wrong, that would mean the others were too.

“Stop, it’s wrong.”

It was too late he hit enter just as I said to stop. The elevator buzzed and more text came up on the screen.

One down, two to go. Good luck.

It was followed by a black smiley face with x’s for eyes. I tried to think again. This is easy, why can’t I figure it out? Every one started to move around anxiously. I concentrated, but nothing made sense.

Ben said again, “OK this time I got it. 9000000000”

He typed it in and hit enter again before any body could stop him. It buzzed again.

Two down, one to go. Good luck.

My mind raced. I knew I could figure this out. Why does it have to be so complicated? Think Lee, think.

If you had a nine and all zeros, you would have to have a one as the tenth digit to for the nine in the first.

9000000001

But then you’d need a one for the second digit. 9100000001

Now we have two ones, so I’d have to put a two for the second. 9200000001. This would give me a two so, 9210000001. I realized that now I wouldn’t have nine zeros, only six. 6210000001. This seems right doesn’t it?

No, now I’d need the seventh digit to be one and the last to be zero.

6210001000

I think this is right. This has to be right. Everything fits. I keyed it in, but didn’t hit enter yet. My hands were shaking and dripping with sweat. I glanced around the room; every one looked nervous and scared. Somebody said, “Do it.” So, I hit the button.

The lights came on and a yellow smiley face came up on the screen.

Good Job.

The elevator descended quickly into the shaft. I was relieved. We picked up speed and seemed to be going down tens of stories into the earth. The elevator kept speeding up. We were literally flying downward at what seemed like over a hundred miles an hour. After about a minute or two, it started to slow down. Then finally it stopped and the doors opened.

We were in an all white room with a solid white door waiting opposite the elevator. I stepped out and started to walk toward it. As I stepped up to the door, it automatically slid open. I couldn’t see much beyond that because there were even brighter lights coming from the next room. I squinted and peered into the entrance way. As I stepped through the doorway, I heard muffled footsteps to my right.

A strangely familiar voice said, “Its about fucking time you showed up.”

Chapter 27

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