“Phil?” Barbara’s voice startled him from a deep reverie. She could almost see the gears turning in his head as he was running what both groups of teens had discovered back and forth through his mind. His pinched lips and creased brow told her so far, he had no answers.
He dragged his thoughts back to the present, smiled at his wife, and reached for her hand to pull her close. “What is it, honey?”
“I’ve mulled over what Kyra said about birth records being changed. The moment she mentioned it, it rang a bell, but I wasn’t able to put my finger on the reason. The only thing I know for sure is this anomaly as Kyra is calling it has happened before, and we have it in the group memory somewhere.”
Having lived with this woman for many years and known her for much longer, it didn’t surprise him they had reached the same conclusion. “I know. I keep trying to find it myself, but so far, it’s eluding me. Maybe it’s time to ask some of the others. I’d like to be able to give Kyra and her team some answers when we meet with them later.”
Grinning, Barbara hugged Phil, saying “I knew you’d say that, so I brought a few of them with me.”
As she spoke, four of the other recent escapees from the mine joined them.
Wasting no time, Phil launched the discussion. “Let’s brainstorm this, then. What reasons might lead someone to go back and change their birth records?
“Religious persecution” one man suggested.
“Political reasons, like, for example, the family of the Czars” one of the women tried.
“Why not to simply hide their ties to a family known for their deceit?” A voice said quietly.
Phil looked at the doorway to see Kyra and Ty standing there.
“I’m sorry. I know we were supposed to meet after dinner, but we didn’t think this should wait.” Kyra’s self-satisfied smile didn’t look very apologetic, but she at least tried.
“That’s ok, Kyra. Come in.” Phil waved them to the table. “Please explain.”
“We did as you suggested and added Hightower to the search. Did you know his family has had a member on the Council for at least five generations?”
“That’s impossible!” One man exploded. “There isn’t another Hightower on the records.”
“No, there’s not, sir.” Ty said so softly Kyra was afraid only she could hear him. As the others in the room were giving the teens their complete attent...