They kept digging through the ripped papers and broken books.
Agata thumbed through a stack of yellowed papers—maps of some sort, but of the regular variety, showing old street systems in European capitals. There was Berlin but from before the war. Turtle had studied geography, and he knew that Sao Paolo was huge, but this map showed it as only a little bigger than Bay Ridge, with only a few main arteries and side streets. Penciled in on each map were a series of tiny 13s dotting the major streets and some smaller locations. Were they Mytro stations?
As Turtle dug, he found a box of tourist guides. There had to be about 50 in the box, each for a different city—Hong Kong, London, Dubrovnik. He showed it to Agata. 13s lined the major thoroughfares.
"Most summers we'd visit a different city. We'd live with one of my father's friends, and he'd walk around all day," she said. "He must have been making these maps."
"Interesting," said Mr. Kincaid. "I think he did a sort of caving. They call it urban spelunking."
"Spelunking?" asked Turtle.
"He'd go into tunnels and sewers and see how everything was put together. He once told me a story about how he discovered an entirely new Mytro line under Moscow. We'll have to ride it some time."
She flipped through some papers on the floor and pressed her hand against a broken picture of her father and mother standing in
a train yard in Scotland.
"They took this photo before I was born. They were trainspotters.
They used to go to train stations and watch the trains come in and leave. I guess now I know why," she said. "So what do we do now?" "We're going to find your father's research, the Key and the map, and use it to get him back. I think we can find your mother,
too," said Mr. Kincaid.
Turtle looked at Agata and then at the picture under her hand.
She most resembled her mother with her high cheekbones, but her olive skin came from her darker father. Her father was nearly bald with just a small tuft of straight hair that brushed his ears and made its way around the back, so Agata's lustrous curls also most certainly came from her mother.
Turtle thought it must have been nice for her parents to see Agata grow up. The heaviness of the thought, like a chill, darkened the room for a minute until Mr. Kincaid snapped him out of his daydreaming.
"Our first step is to find the map, his personal one. A Mytratti's personal map is his prized possession. It's like a wizard's spellbook. I'll go downstairs and get us something to drink. You guys can keep digging," said Mr. Kincaid. "You know this place better than I would, right, Agata?"
"I've only been up here a few times these past few years though," she said.
"All I ask is that you try," said Mr. Kincaid.
He climbed down the circular stairs, and they heard him rummaging about in the kitchen. When they were sure he couldn't hear, Turtle turned to Agata and brought her close to him, holding her by the arm.
Putting his finger to his lips, he hushed her and brought her even closer. "If you find anything, hide it," Turtle told her in a whisper. "I don't know what's going to happen if we find anything here, and I don't know if we can trust Mr. Kincaid with it yet."
"Neither do I," said Agata. "I'm glad you're here though, Turtle."
Turtle swallowed hard. "I'm glad I'm here, too," he said, and they started sorting through the piles of Agata's father's research, searching for ... what? Something that neither of them could describe but that was clearly important.
YOU ARE READING
Imagine if, right now, clattering underneath your feet was a secret train system that could take you anywhere in minutes. Imagine a trip full of mystery and excitement from New York to Barcelona to the wind-swept coast of Italy to the edge of space...