Turtle and Agata stood holding hands, their hair buffeted by the wind from the Mytro. They looked out on the Breach, the wide expanse of space, the impossibilities there. Her father was somewhere there, out in the dark, the barest hint of stars winking in the endless expanse of the Earth Station.
Agata's mother and Ernesto came up behind them and put a hand on each of their shoulders. "You did well. As well as you could," said Ernesto.
"But Papa," said Agata. Tears rose in her eyes, and Turtle resisted the urge to wipe them away.
"We'll find him," said Agata's mother. Turtle nodded. "We have to fix the damage Goode did and help the people he lied to."
"You heard Carlos," said Turtle. "Your father is out there, somewhere."
Agata nodded, tears stopping like she was pulling them back into a bottle. Her chin was set, her demeanor strong and brave. She squeezed Turtle's hand tightly as the wind died and the stars faded out.
You must give us time, he said.
"Then we'll wait," said Agata.
By then, Agata and Turtle would be ready. Turtle would know
the Mytro like the back of his hand. He would memorize the map and see Agata as often as he could.
Turtle reached around to pull his backpack to the front and take out the shining Conductor's Key.
"This is yours, Ernesto. This is the other key," he said.
Ernesto stopped him, placing a hand on his.
"It's yours, now. Agata has the other. You two were chosen, and
you two must keep them. If something changes, we'll come to get it, but until then we've angered the Mytro enough for a day."
"What about Ehioze?" asked Turtle.
"We'll get everyone to safety. One of the things the Mytratti did was create ways for workers to live comfortably without giving up the secrets of the rails – and most of those secrets have to do with money," said Ernesto. "We'll get them and Ehioze's family to safety.
Turtle nodded solemnly. He tugged the backpack back around his body and settled the straps onto his shoulders. The maps there were heavy enough, but the golden key was heavier. It seemed to still radiate heat into his back through the nylon fabric, and he wondered if it was just his imagination or if it was still hot from the exertion they had put it through.
The train roared up a moment later, and they boarded. They each took seats, and as the wicker settled around them, the train rocketed out of the station and into the darkness.
"Home," said Turtle. Then Agata said it. Then Ernesto. Then Agata's mother. Home.
The wind was picking up again as they left the Breach. For a brief second, as they passed from the station into the dark, Turtle almost saw the Nayzun as a bolt of pure, white light. But it was just for a second and then it was gone.
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...