By unspoken agreement, the four headed towards Sasha and Mariel’s cabin. Its proximity to the mess hall and the illusion of privacy the girls had created made it the best place to reconvene. Stepping through the flag draped doorway into the girls’ tented room, the four removed their coats and gloves and settled on the two bunks before resuming the interrupted conversation. Mariel passed around cups of cocoa she’d had the foresight to grab as they were leaving the mess hall. Everyone wrapped their hands gratefully around the warm cups and grinned when she laid a napkin full of cookies on the nightstand.
Only the lid on her cup saved Sasha from drenching herself with hot liquid as she bounced up and down on the bunk impatiently. “So, you said you knew who the other two families are?” she prompted.
“Yes, I do.” Kyra affirmed, as if the conversation hadn’t been sidelined by Tess and Sebastian’s arrival.
The air in the cabin crackled with pent up excitement. Without even knowing what Kyra’s team had found, it beat out the latest crisis currently occupying their elders. They knew their work continued to be of primary importance. Their overactive imaginations had painted horrific pictures of humanity should the Transition be thwarted. Those pictures more accurately reflected reality than they knew.
“Are you going to tell us, or were you planning on turning this into some kind of sick guessing game?” Mariel demanded.
“Well….” Kyra took a sip of cocoa and a bite of cookie, her half smile and a glint in her eye warning she’d drag it out for as long as possible. Noticing the makeshift missiles Mariel had hovering in the air ready to fling, Kyra’s smile faded as she set cookie and cocoa aside.
“OK, OK!” Kyra shielded her face and head with her arms. “You know I was only kidding, right?” She relaxed only after the missiles disappeared from the cabin.
“The first family isn’t really a surprise. It was high on the list your dads gave us to look into. One man in particular from that family is Colonel James Fitzhugh. He’s a logistics genius We suspected someone with his unique skills had to be part of the operation. He’s so well known, we were able to identify his energy signature in the sample you brought us.” Kyra retrieved her cookie and waited. Everyone talked at once, causing a deafening chatter as each tried to be heard above the rest.
“Holy crap!” Sasha exclaimed. “According to my dad, he’s one of the best in the business. Leave it to a scumbag like Hightower to make sure he has the best of the best on his side.&r...