Identity Unknown

"Being back here made me see how much it can get to you; the training, all of the lessons, even just the environment we are in. We aren't the same as everyone else. And everyone else can never know.'

After six months of searching for her father, Charlotte Goode returns to the Gallagher Academy. Exams and eager friends await, but something is wrong. When a phone call changes everything, Zach can offer the answer - but someone will stop at nothing to keep him silent. And when a double agent is revealed, Charlotte must choose who to trust - but time is running out, and the Academy's greatest secrets are at risk.

The stakes are higher, but is she ready?

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1. Target acquired

  10:30am, Tuesday 14th June.

I kept my breathing steady, walked carefully, looked everywhere. I knew the man behind me was wearing a green rain jacket, even though it had stopped raining seventeen minutes ago. The woman to my left was wearing shoes a size too big. The group of guys across the street were all from around here. I took in everything. But I couldn’t see what I was looking for. Or rather, who I was looking for. I trusted my instinct, turned right.

Bingo.

“Target acquired,” I whispered.

Samuel Crosswell. Double agent, formerly worked for MI6. I noted his appearance: tall, dark hair, polished suede shoes. Distinguishing feature – the slight rip on the sleeve of his jacket. He had disappeared into the crowd, but I knew what to do. I kept him at the corner of his vision. When he slowed down, I made an excuse to slow my own pace. He stopped to look in a shop window; I did the same. And when he walked into a cafe, I knew I had to follow. 

The air was warm and smelt of fresh coffee. The floor was smudged with footprints. Crosswell remained a constant at the edge of my eye. I approached the counter, but lost my footing slightly, stumbling before Crosswell, bracing myself for the fall.

I felt arms around me, saw a familiar rip.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” I cried as he helped me to my feet. He nodded slightly and turned away. I proceeded to order a cappuccino. The glass of the counter bounced his image back at me. He put something into his rucksack before standing up quickly and leaving the cafe. I clasped the paper cup in my hand, drained the contents, felt the caffeine kick in.

“Mission accomplished,” I whispered into my comms. I could almost see him smiling, hear him saying ‘well done’.

“Moreton Street, five minutes,” he said instead. Moreton Street was about half a mile from here. I grabbed my rucksack and disappeared into the crowd. I had followed Solomon’s instructions, found Crosswell, collected a DNA sample ( his fingerprints as he helped me to my feet), but the hardest task was yet to come.

In two weeks, we were going to Manhattan to follow up a lead Zach had found. If we failed, we would have wasted over fifteen hours travelling, knackered the van’s last burst of fuel and come back empty handed. But if we succeeded, we could find our father.

“The van leaves in two minutes, Miss Goode,” Mr Solomon informed me through my earpiece. I quickened my pace and pushed through the crowds.

It was time to go home.

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