“What’s going on?” Wells asked, looking from one girl to the other. “What happened?”

“One of the so-called Protectors attacked her. He grabbed her and pulled her down to the ground, saying some bullshit about the Earth wanting them to be together. Thankfully, Anna kicked him in the balls and got away, because she’s a warrior.” Octavia’s expression softened as she looked at the girl, her eyes full of concern.

“Well done, Anna,” Wells said slowly. He stared at her. “You look awfully familiar…”

Octavia smiled. “She’s from Walden.”

Wells’s heart skidded to a stop. “Walden? You’re from the Colony?”

She nodded, and for the next few minutes, he listened to Anna’s remarkable tale about her journey to Earth, and what happened after her dropship crashed. “What happened to the others?” he asked, slightly dazed. “The ones who weren’t taken by the Protectors?”

“I guess they’re still out there. They were looking for the rest of you… I hope they made it.”

Octavia took Anna’s hand again. “They will. Or else, we’ll go find them, and then we’ll all get to have a fresh start together.” She smiled. “You’re going to love it at our camp. There’s a stream where we can go swimming, and this rabbit that comes to visit every morning. And every night, we sit by the fire and talk until it’s time to go to sleep.”

Anna raised an eyebrow. “And where will I be sleeping?”

“I’m sure we’ll find a spot for you somewhere,” Octavia said, a gleam in her eye Wells had never seen before.


“I can’t wait to see it,” Anna said, a note of wistfulness in her voice. She turned to Wells. “Octavia said you might have a plan to help us?”

“I have the start of one,” he said, glancing over his shoulder to make sure no one was listening.

“The first step is waiting.” Octavia grimaced. “And then followed by some waiting and more waiting.”

Before he could glare at her, Wells heard movement behind them. He cleared his throat.

“I was allowed to pledge myself to Earth’s service today,” he said, more loudly than before.

“That’s wonderful,” Anna said, catching on instantly and shooting Octavia a look for good measure. “I hope that we’ll be allowed to as well.”

A woman in gray passed them, glaring at Wells suspiciously.

“If Earth wills it,” Octavia said, her head dipped penitently.

They all repeated it, including the gray woman, who moved on.

“You’re on your way up, then,” Anna said. “You and Glass.”

“Glass?” Wells tensed. “What do you mean?”

“She’s working as a maid for the High Protector now,” Octavia said, her eyebrows rising. “Out of the dorms and into the inner chamber, living in Soren’s wing.”

Wells’s heart started racing. “Which way are Soren’s rooms?”

“I’ll show you,” Octavia said, putting down her laundry.

Octavia led him past the laundry lines, pointing out through an alley to the left. “Follow the gray ladies that way and you’ll get there. But I wouldn’t hang around if you don’t see Glass right away. There are a lot of eyes watching that area.”

“Thanks,” Wells said, then cocked his head to the side and surveyed Octavia with a playful, appraising look. “So… is something going on between you and that Walden girl?”

She pressed her lips together, but couldn’t keep a smile from spreading across her face.

“Oh boy…” Wells laughed. “There are going to be a lot of heartbroken guys back at the camp.” He paused thoughtfully. “Girls too.”

“Okay, relax there, Jaha.”

“Noted.” He sighed. “I’d better get going. Just be careful, okay, O? Make sure you and Anna take care of each other until we find a way out of here.”

Octavia glanced over at Anna, who had started hanging the laundry. “We will,” she said, her voice a combination of determination and tenderness.

This is good, Wells thought as he hurried away. I’m rising in the ranks and Glass has access to the inner circle. All the pieces are coming together. Now I just need to—

There she was… Glass, walking with Soren along the outer road, wearing a new white dress, her blond hair clean and loose around her shoulders, her head tilted upward to listen as Soren spoke. She was smiling. She looked, inexplicably, at peace.

Wells felt the ground dropping around him, the walls rising higher, the stomp of feet surrounding him growing louder.

She’s just pretending, he told himself. She’s following the plan.

Glass glanced up, spotting him. Wells blinked at her twice, in signal, then turned and walked away, wondering why his hopeful excitement had suddenly turned to dread.





When Clarke woke up in the early morning, Bellamy was pacing restlessly. He looked so frantic and exhausted it was almost too painful for her to look at him. All she wanted was to wrap her arms around him, to tell him that everything was going to be okay, but this was not the Bellamy she could comfort. She’d learned long ago what to do when he had that feral gleam in his eye, when his muscles twitched with coiled energy.

He and Felix had found something on their scouting mission, and had waited for everyone to wake up to fill them in. Bellamy waited for Vale to stagger over, sleepily rubbing her eyes, then launched in without preamble.

“We’ve found a back door into these people’s entire stash of weapons,” he said. His eyes shone with a manic intensity that made Clarke shiver.

Felix stood a few feet behind him, arms crossed tight. “And they have no idea it’s there,” he added. “We might not have long before they discover the hole.”

No, Clarke thought desperately. That’s not the way to do this. They were vastly outnumbered. Weapons weren’t going to help them here. They had to try diplomacy, offer some kind of trade. There had to be something these people wanted, or else they wouldn’t have attacked their camp.

Clarke glanced at Paul, who had an unusually grave look on his face. He and Clarke had discussed this last night with the others, while Felix and Bellamy had gone off on their own. He’d back her up.

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