Kaleigh wished she could say she was shocked. She wanted to feel deceived. But in truth, she’d felt something was amiss all along. Perhaps it was the fact that she had grown up in the harsh neighborhoods that festered in the shadows of the towers or that she was still stung by her mother’s betrayal.
“So they are sending me to my death?” She nailed Kasim with an accusatory look.
“Yes, that’s right,” Egoly said, “You are never meant to make it to the northern gate. They prepared your sling before you even made it to the village. You will be hung up to waste away at the end of a long line of Fadian.”
“Kaleigha, my sister,” Kasim said, backing away. “I don’t fully understand what is going on.”
“You’re a good actor,” Kaleigha scoffed. “That whole shtick in the woods with Ilma was worth an award.”
“Ilma!” Egoly had a far off look on his face. “The Sleeper.”
“Whose side is she on?” Kaleigha asked.
“Her own,” Egoly said, his voice even. Kaleigha could not tell if he was happy or sad about this.
“Is she a friend to the Fadian?” Kaleigha tried another method. “Will she help us or use us?”
“The Fadian have no friends or allies,” Egoly said. “We only have each other.”
“What is she fighting for?” The seeds of a plan began to sprout in Kaleigha’s head.
“Ilma is trying to escape,” Egoly answered. “She is trapped here, in her own mind, by the experiment.”