I casually made my way towards my room when I heard the cue: a sudden series of screams exploded from the kitchen. When Mom went to pick her up, I darted for Dad’s office and shut the door before she noticed.
Nobody but Dad was allowed in his office. He was a Watcher, and nobody could know what they were watching out for—not the secret, super important things, anyway. It was their job to look out for people making trouble and “disrupting the peace” and all that, but I remembered spotting them in weird places before and at more than a few odd times. I knew it was going to be a big deal to go snooping around in government stuff, but nothing prepared me for what I saw.
The whole room was wallpapered with maps: terrain overview, internal layouts of trees, forest areas, and entrances to…someplace. One map in particular gave me a déjà-vu. It was scrawled on with Dad’s pictures: arrows pointing down on one section of a mountain, and below it in the fields and forest were little stick men. Positions, maybe, of troops…or something else entirely.
Small feet paused outside the door, and small fingers slipped a map under the door. Shadela’s map. The baby screams continued on the other side, with futile coos from Mom calling softly.
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