Chapter Thirty Four

Chapter Thirty Four

When she opened the Council House door, Zena was shocked to see someone sitting inside.

Trish, however, was not fazed. She stood up smartly. “Hello,” she said.

“Hi,” Zena replied involuntarily. “Um, why are you here?”

“I have come to forgive you. Talk.”

“Oh. Maybe I should go get Nora.”

“No. Nora lied to me.”

“Yes, but,” Zena was having a hard time figuring this girl out, “you said you’ve forgiven us.”

“I have not forgiven Nora. She lied. But I am willing to talk to you others.”

This is going to get complicated, I can just tell. “Alright, fair enough.”

There was an awkward silence.

“Maybe we could go somewhere else?” Trish suggested.

“Oh, well, ok. We could…go to my house?”

“That’s fine.”


After Nora left, Sheen stared after her for a while, dumbfounded. For a little bit, the only words running through her head were

What the hell? What the fucking hell? What the…

Good God. Nora’s left us. Nora. She was the most naïve of us, in the beginning anyway.

Why’d she come to me, anyway?

Now what? It’s hopeless, it’s completely hopeless.

I’d better tell the others.

With a long sigh, she pushed herself up by her palms and began a slow walk to The Slope.


The girls settled themselves on the couch. Neither one was very much at ease. They weren’t saying anything either.

Trish spoke first. “Could you tell me about your colony, and your leavers?”

Zena was sure she heard a repressed sneer on the word ‘colony.’ “Sure.  Well, a couple months ago the adults were all drafted into the Kanian army. Anyone who could arrange to have their kids taken care of had to go. So, we decided to have Council elections as usual. It went ok for a while. Then we held this wedding. It didn’t go well.”

Trish’s eyes hadn’t wavered from Zena’s face. “Why not?”

“The kids getting married were from two different groups. The Ir—the leavers was one. The wedding turned into a big riot.”

“Who was the other group?”


“Go on.”

“After that…well, we don’t really know what motivated him, Atkin, the leader of the other group, decided that they would be better off by themselves. So they left.”

“Do you have any idea why?”

“Jacques said there was an adult with them…Rake? Rouk? And I may have had something to do with it, too.” Zena was a little tired of being grilled. “Why do you—“ she cut herself off, realizing how Trish would probably take it. “I mean, what are you thinking about?”

Not much better.

“Nothing. I am curious,” Trish said.

Jacques and Sheen chose that moment to come bursting through Zena’s door.

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