They knew they were looking for something old. Turtle brushed through piles of paper, looking for faded antique documents. He couldn't find much, just some older subway maps of Berlin and Moscow and some newspaper clippings that looked to be about trains from the 1800s. Mr. Kincaid was still downstairs rummaging about in the kitchen, it sounded like. A pot clanged on the floor.
Turtle pushed through a few piles until he spotted something that looked interesting—a piece of paper, the color of weak tea, with fine printing on the edge. It was folded in half and clearly a Mytro map, but there wasn't much to distinguish it from other maps he had seen. He pulled at it a little and the corner crumbled slightly. Remembering the copy of Agata's map he had in his pocket, he began to compare the two. They were completely different. This map was far more precise and looked original. A sticky note on it read "Para Agata."
"Come over here," he said. Agata moved over to him quietly.
"Para Agata. It's for me," she said, eyes wide. She plucked the sticky note from the page and put it in her pocket. Then they unfolded the map.
This sheet was more ornate than the other ones and it seemed older. It was a topographic map, the kind that showed surface detail using shaded colors and heights from, Turtle supposed, sea level. It depicted the area around three large cities—Vienna, Prague, Budapest—connected by Mytro lines. Numbers in the corners of
the cities looked like they pointed to separate maps, but for the first time, they noticed Mytro stops marked under water and in the middle of fields. There was a small inscription in the corner: 15 août 1914.
"Is that a date?" asked Turtle.
"It's French. It's August 15," said Agata, thinking a bit.
Silence downstairs. Then they heard Mr. Kincaid's footsteps on
the spiral staircase. Before they had a chance to react, he popped up, smiling. "What did we find?"
Turtle had no choice. Crumpling the map would probably destroy it, and Mr. Kincaid was right behind him. Turtle had to show it to him. As Turtle spread the map out on Agata's father's desk, Mr. Kincaid hunched over it for a closer look. His finger went to the date.
"August 15, 1914. That's a very important date to the Mytratti. That month, in Zurich, a group of them met to compare research. It was called the Last Conclave," said Mr. Kincaid. He looked at it closely. "This looks very professional. I've seen plates like this before but nothing of this quality. It's nicely printed."
"Did the Mytratti do it?" asked Agata.
"Most probably," said Mr. Kincaid.
"Where are the Mytratti now? Maybe they can help us," said
"There aren't any left, really," said Mr. Kincaid. "They were a
little too smart for their own good. No one has heard of them in decades. When the Mytratti met that August, they agreed to share all the information they had. Each was expected to add the stops they had found during their research. Agata's great-grandfather would have added the lines in Spain and Portugal while many of the professors—especially some of the rabbis—would have known these lines in the heart of Europe. This is mostly Prague and the surrounding towns."
Mr. Kincaid began to describe a scene from the previous century.
At a secret location believed to be a small, abandoned watch factory in Geneva, Switzerland, a group of 20 Mytratti had come together to share knowledge and ponder how the Mytro worked and what it could do for mankind. It was the beginning of World War I, August 1914, and the Mytro had suddenly become 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...