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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17. Escape

"I have a very exciting announcement to make!" Madame Dabney's soothing voice floated across the classroom. Well, it wasn't really a classroom, with its delicate silk curtains and fine china and grand piano always topped with fresh flowers. But the art of blending in and being ladies was one that all Gallagher Girls valued. Rick, on the other hand, seemed uninterested in the history of embroidery, and generally completed homework at the back of the room. But he shuffled his seat forward to hear the news, a little too eagerly, I noticed. I, however, let my attention drift, faking nonchalance in the hope that Rick wouldn't sense my fear of his proximity.

"Mr Solomon and I have decided to combine CoveOps and Culture and Assimilation into a school trip!" she announced excitedly, clapping her hands together.

School trip? That almost sounded normal (the emphasis being on the almost, as the fact that Mr Solomon was on board guaranteed a spy-like element.)

"Where?" asked Cam.

"The Rochester Estate, one of the finest art galleries in these parts!" she beamed, handing out sheets of Evapopaper with additional information.

"Sounds like fun," Rick whispered in my ear, and I couldn't help but flinch.

"Formal attire is compulsory," Madame Dabney added, much to my displeasure. Dressing up wasn't really my style, and heels were never practical during a mission - clicking shoes are an instant giveaway of your presence (plus, I totally can't balance). Imagining Rick in a bow tie and tux would sound appealing, if he hadn't been a potential threat. So, I mimicked the thrilled expressions of my classmates and left the room, blending into the crowd. I decided to make a list in my head as I walked.

The Trip: Pros and Cons:

Pro - It means a day off school, which means a day off homework

Con - Even one day off homework can make my mind go a little rusty (especially in Swahili class)

Pro - A day away from the academy might clear my head a little

Con - It was definitely more dangerous than staying put

Pro - It was another mission, and, CoveOps being my strongest subject, was good news for me

Con - Completing a mission with a possible enemy (ie Rick) wasn't such good news

 

I knew I had P&E next, but for a reason I can't explain I didn't follow my classmates. Instead, I followed one of Cammie's favourite passageways, which coincidentally went straight past the Headmistress's office. Now usually, I wouldn't lurk about in such territory, but a word caught my attention. 

"Stevens," the voice said. The expression of the name wasn't surprised, or scared, or angry. It was completely level and monotonous, one that seemed entirely careless. But then what I heard next changed my mind.

"You should be dead!" the voice cried in annoyance.

He wasn't dead?

"I followed your orders," a voice replied smoothly. A voice I recognised. The voice of Agent Andrew Stevens.

But it can't be...

"Leave." the other voice instructed in a bored manner. This person was decidedly female, but definitely not Headmistress Morgan.

What the hell was going on?!

But I didn't have time to ponder any further, as the creak of the door warned me that someone was getting closer. I pulled my satchel across my shoulder and ran all the way to the P&E barn without looking back once. I had got away, this time - but I couldn't afford to let my guard down.

 

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