It was a forty five minute walk to the abandoned school where Nev had agreed to meet her. She waited by the entrance, glad to have Zoe for company. Dusk was starting to settle in. She gave three short whistles, like they used to do when she and Nev and Mearzt had played in the
“Have you found the boy?” Lettie asked. She was at her desk, studying something on the screen in front of her. Ayn knew there was no point in evading that truth. “Yes, but you need to give me some time alone with him.” “I’m afraid I can’t do that,” Lettie said. “The Black Suits will
Ayn really didn’t know how to make a meeting with Nev happen. She called Mearzt, but her friend wasn’t speaking to her. Ayn couldn’t really blame her. In a way, it was her fault Nev had gone missing. Still, she wished more than anything that her best friend were acting like one. She’d never felt
“Father Gheraeld has a proposal,” her dad said, his voice sounding less certain than it had been up until then. Ayn looked to her dad. Were his eyes glistening, she wondered, or was it just the light reflecting off his glasses? “Now, Ayn,” Father Gheraeld said, drawing her attention back to him, “my proposal is
“Ayn, you’ve seen the vid that’s now circulating about the Terrestrials and your father? Good,” she continued when Ayn nodded. “What he may not have told you was that the vid has generated death threats against your father.” “What?” Ayn leaned back against the door, looking at her dad, who was busy looking at the
“So, it’s true? You’re using Terrestrials to harvest minerals?” Ayn’s sense of unreality grew as she watched her dad’s face twist into a grimace. “Ayn,” he said, “that is so far beyond the point of this conversation between you and I right now. This is about survival.” “You’re scaring me,” she said. “You should be
He pressed the icon for the vid to play. The sound wasn’t great, but Ayn couldn’t deny it was her voice. And that looked like her, talking to Nev. Ayn: Tell me how to help. Nev: All we need is an image. Ayn: Of my dad? Nev: Can you do it? Ayn: Of course. The
Ayn’s question was unanswered when the office door glided open. “Dad,” she said, yanking herself away from Lettie. “Will you please tell her to leave me alone?” She moved towards him, but his frown stopped her. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he said. His voice was flat, as flat as the look in his eyes.
“The Counsel isn’t going to ship people from the home planet to mine for minerals, Nev,” Ayn had said. “That’s crazy.” “Consider the source,” Nev said. If she didn’t know any better, Ayn would think that Nev were the crazy one. But he wasn’t. He was the smartest person, besides her parents, that she knew.
It was obvious as soon as the Counsel began arriving that everyone was on edge about something. They stood in the living room, not even bothering to sit, drinking cocktails and eating finger food, their conversation a buzz of topics Ayn mostly didn’t understand until Professor Chirwnoff said, “That’s right, the mine’s been closed now