Kaleigha and Kahrim entered the crucible to five terrified faces.
“What is going on out there?” Ayla asked.
“Something is wrong,” Hailmon gasped, breathless. “I can feel it.”
“He has leverage,” Kahrim said carefully. “And would like to negotiate with you.”
“Leverage!” Kaleigha threw up her hands. “Maya isn’t leverage. She is being held hostage by a terrorist. We can’t let him win.”
“Hold your tongue, girl,” Karen said.
“We can take him!” Kaleigha shouted. “Kasim took out his goons. It’s just Felder and those four labor leaders.”
“Get her out of here!” Hailmon ordered.
“NO!” Kaleigha ducked the guards.
“Come with me, Kaleigha” Danesha said suddenly and vacated her spot in the corner. Everyone froze as she left the crucible.
“Go,” Kahrim whispered. There was awe in his voice.
Kaleigha cast a dirty look at the room then sprinted off behind Danesha. She caught up with the woman just as she reached the first floor.
“Bring me Kasim,” Danesha ordered as she swept through the foyer and down the hall. Immediately the villagers sprung into action. Kaleigha followed the elder into the kitchen and watched in amazement as she slid an entire wall of the kitchen away to reveal a wide wooden staircase.
“Danesha!” Kasim smiled as he walked into the kitchen. He hugged the woman and peeked down the staircase.
“What are we doing?” Kaleigha asked.
“You and Kasim will go into park, exit by the northern gate, and carry out your plan,” Danesha said. “I would go with you, but Ilma would kill me the moment I stepped foot out of the village.”
“What about Maya?” Kaleigha asked, thinking of her father’s plan.
“Move quickly and you can save her.”