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Authors: Stephanie Diaz
me to bring chemicals with me on the mission. Once I’m in the camp, I’ll have to improvise.
    I have more pressing concerns at the moment though. Beechy asked me to talk to Logan, to see if he’ll come with me to the work camp. I have a feeling he’s not going to be happy I agreed to it. He’s going to try to talk me out of it.
    But I’ve made up my mind, and I won’t change it.
    “We need to talk,” I say.
    Logan blinks once, twice, falling out of his stare. “When did you wake up?” he asks.
    I bite my lip. “About an hour ago. Sorry I left. I just couldn’t fall back asleep, and I didn’t want to bother you.”
    “It’s fine,” he says, but the slight hitch in his voice makes me think it isn’t. He rubs his eyes again, as if he isn’t fully awake yet. Walking closer to me, he reaches out and touches my short curls. “This looks nice, by the way. Different, but it suits you.”
    “Thanks,” I say, though I’m not sure I believe him. But I don’t care if it looks nice or not, as long as it helps me survive a little longer. “I figured it might make me less easy to recognize, since we’re going into enemy territory and all.”
    “I think it’ll help.” Logan gives me a sad smile. “Though I’ll worry no matter what.”
    He’ll worry even more once I tell him where I’m going.
    “What did you want to talk about?” he asks.
    I hesitate, searching for the right words. “I ran into Beechy. I talked to him about my assignment for the mission.” I pause. Just get it over with. He’s going to find out sooner or later. “I’m going to go undercover in one of the work camps in the lower sectors. Beechy wants me to spread talk of our rebellion among the workers and recruit their help.”
    Logan stares at me, his smile slowly fading.
    “He thinks it will work best coming from someone like me, instead of someone disguised as an official,” I continue.
    “Beechy’s sending you to a camp. And you agreed to it?” Logan’s voice cracks on the words. “You didn’t argue against it?”
    “I said I would do it.”
    “I think I can do the most good there. We’ll have the best chance of overthrowing the Developers if we work with the kids in the camps. You know what they’re like, Logan. They’ll want to fight if they know they’re not alone.”
    “Yes, but you won’t be safe there.”
    “Beechy said he’ll send in rebels disguised as officials too—”
    Logan presses his fists against his forehead in agitation. “But they can’t stay with you every second. You could still end up hurt or captured. You could still end up in quarantine.”
    I run a hand down my arm. My chest hurts, but I ignore it. “I know.”
    Logan’s silence stretches as if he’s waiting for me to say something else, something that might convince him to stop worrying. If only I had words that would help him feel better.
    “But you don’t care,” he says.
    “There are more important things than what might happen to me,” I say softly.
    I’m more afraid of what will happen to Logan if he comes with me. I could handle getting captured or beaten or shoved into a kill chamber, but I don’t know if I could handle that happening to him. It would be easier if he’d stay here in the compound, so I could do what I have to do without worrying about him.
    “You’re always trying to protect other people,” he says. “Like you don’t even care about yourself. Like you think no else cares about you, either, or would be affected if you were killed. But I would be. I want to protect you, if I can, but you have to let me.”
    No one can protect me, I want to tell him. As long as the Developers rule Kiel, I will always be facing capture and death.
    “Beechy said you can go with me, if you want,” I say, no longer meeting his eyes. “Or you can stay here with some of the others and join up with us when we attack the Core. It’s your choice.”
    “Of course I’m going with you. If I’m not going to

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