“Yes. The entrance Felix and I found is just through those trees.” He pointed to a spot where the trees thinned out, revealing glimpses of a crumbling concrete wall.

As they got closer, they both grew quieter, until they were moving silently across the damp leaf-covered forest floor. He motioned for Luke to take cover behind one of the trees nearest the wall, and he did the same. For a long moment, they stood there, straining their ears for any sign of activity. But nothing came.

Bellamy crept forward, taking a few steps onto the grass path that formed a narrow perimeter around the five-sided fortress. He turned from side to side, and when he was sure the coast was clear, he beckoned for Luke to join him.

The air buzzed with an electricity Bellamy couldn’t quite identify, as if, at any moment, a sea of white-clad men with shaved heads would flood out of a hidden door, bullets flying. Yet as they hurried along the wall, nothing disturbed the silence except the sound of their own breath.

A few moments later, he found it—the hole in the ground that led straight down into their armory, or whatever the hell those cretins called it. After he and Felix had discovered it the other night, they’d covered the hole up with some debris—planks and rocks that were strewn about the field—to keep light from streaming inside. That was probably why none of their guards had noticed it. It never would’ve escaped Bellamy’s eye, though. He never overlooked any detail that could possibly signal danger. He couldn’t help it. It was in his DNA. It’s what kept him and his sister alive all those years they were in hiding. That’s why he’d noticed the strange pile of leaves, the one Clarke had dismissed.

If only she’d listened to him. If only he’d trusted himself enough to make her listen.

Gently, Bellamy picked up some of the planks and pushed them aside. Then he got down on his knees and put his ear to the ground. There were no sounds coming from below; the armory was empty. He lowered himself into the cellar. Then he blinked, trying to force his eyes to adjust to the dim light as quickly as possible.

By the time Luke was scrambling to his feet next to him, the shadowy shapes were coming into focus. There was the cart that he’d spotted the other night, still full of weapons. Guns, knives… and grenades.

“You ready?” Bellamy asked Luke. Luke nodded solemnly.

They’d planned this out in advance. There was one cart’s worth of supplies, and if they worked quickly, they could take it all. Bellamy and Luke had brought empty sacks with them from their campsite and carefully filled them up. Then they pulled themselves out of the hole in the ground and ran quietly back to the woods.


In the forest, they emptied out the sacks, hiding the weapons underneath the brush, then hurried back to the armory for more. They did this four times, as stealthily as they could in order to avoid detection, until there were only a few weapons left.

On their last trip in, as they loaded up their bags, a faint, melodic sound drifted toward them. Both Luke and Bellamy froze, like the deer sometimes did when they spotted Bellamy with his bow drawn, arrow locked in place. Someone was singing.

Let’s go, Luke mouthed, starting to inch back toward the opening.

But Bellamy felt himself being pulled the other way, toward the warped metal door that was too bent to close properly, light streaming through the gaps. Silently, he crept up to the door and peered out.

Two girls with braided hair and white tunics were walking down a hallway, singing while they carried a large silver platter between them.

When Earth was just a maiden fair

A goddess with white clouds for hair

She wished upon the stars above

For a child She could fill with love


Their strangely blank expressions and oddly harmonious voices sent chills down Bellamy’s spine. What the hell was going on here? But as the girls came closer, his uneasiness turned to alarm. He knew one of them. It was Lina, the Earthborn girl from Max’s village. One of the people who’d been taken.

He willed her to glance at the door so he could motion to her. If he could only catch her attention, he could get her out of there. But she continued to stare straight ahead, her eyes wide and unfocused.

As they drifted past, a short, scowling man stormed into the corridor. “What took you so long? The Protectors are waiting for their dinner,” he snapped.

The second girl smiled. “The kitchen is far from the barracks,” she said dreamily.

“Well, try to speed it up next time.”

“If Earth wills it,” the girl said.

“If Earth wills it,” Lina echoed.

What the…

Bellamy turned away, scooped up his bag, then nodded at Luke and crawled back through the hole. When he stood up, blinking in the moonlight, he found that he was shaking.

“What happened?” Luke asked. “What did you see in there?”

“I saw Lina,” Bellamy said breathlessly as they both hurried back into the safety of the woods. “You know, the Earthborn girl.”

Luke’s eyes widened. “Was she okay? Was anyone else with her? Did you see any sign of Glass?”

“She was with another girl I didn’t recognize, but, Luke, there is something really, really strange going on there. I think…” He paused, not wanting to say the words aloud, afraid of what it’d mean for Octavia and the others. “I think they’ve been brainwashed.”

He explained what he’d seen, watching Luke’s jaw tighten and his eyes narrow.

“Thank goodness they’re alive, though. We’ll get them out of there,” Luke said quietly. “No matter what it takes.” He clenched and unclenched his fists. “Did you get any sense of the layout?”

“I’m pretty sure the armory is next to the guards’ barracks. The girls were bringing food in from the kitchen, which they said was far away.”

“Okay… okay… that’s good,” Luke said. “We know what area to hit if we need to.” He let out a long breath, as if he’d been holding it for a while. “Should we go tell the others?”

Bellamy hoisted his grenade-filled bag over his shoulder. Suddenly, confronting Clarke and Paul seemed like child’s play compared to what they would have to do afterward. “Let’s go.”





The forest was so quiet, it felt as though it was holding its breath.

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