Wednesday, 21 October 2009 - 8:05 pm


It’s hard to restrain the itch to get out of here. Every part of me wants to announce it to the world and then sweep out, like an old-time heroine in huge skirts.

But I don’t have any skirts and I wouldn’t get past the door right now even if I did. Jonah is very firm about keeping me in where I’m supposed to be. I’m forced to skulk and whisper in corners. Fear is a great motivator; the General was wise enough to recognise that.

I managed to draw Jersey aside last night, in between her grouches over the troop entertainment. She’s eroding her own place here with that; the women liked her because she protected one of their number, but their gratitude is failing in the face of her disapproval of the whole system. She continues to offer them protection, often going along with the nightly troupe to make sure that none of them are hurt, with disparaging comments and much shaking of her head. I suspect she might be turning into a passion-killer and can’t quite bring myself to mind.

When I told her that we were leaving, she went quiet. First, she asked who ‘we’ were, exactly. Matt’s talking to the male Seekers, and I’m asking her and Tia. She asked when, and how. All those awkward questions that made me feel like a teenaged runaway who had forgotten that food costs money and things are further away than you think when you’re on foot.

“We’re still working that out,” I told her. “We’ll need your help to do it, though.”

That was a good button for her; her shoulders twitched straight and she eyed me sharply. “What do you need me to do?”

“Just keep an eye out for places we might be able to stash supplies, and things we might need. That sort of thing.”

“Are you gonna ask anyone else to come with us?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know anyone else I’d trust enough.”

She nodded slowly, folding the matter over in her head. “Should think about it. There’s others that might want to leave, too.”

“We have to be careful who we tell.” I put as much earnestness into the warning as I could; this is nothing to be casual about. I don’t think Jersey would purposely do anything to jeopardise us, but carelessness could kill. She agreed solemnly; she’s had enough brushes with the hard edges of Haven to inspire confidence in her sensibility about these things.


Tia has been cluttered up with her friends in the dorm, so I haven’t been able to talk to her yet. It’s hard to tell which way she’ll jump on this – it’s her new friends and security against the whoring she’s being asked to do. The deciding factor might be her brother’s wishes.

Now I’m wondering who else we should ask to come with us. I’m not close enough to anyone here to trust them with it, but the others might have made friends. What about the boys – have they asked non-Seekers? Have they made close friends over there? I don’t know how we’ll handle bringing strangers with us. Will they become one of us? Will they play by our rules? Or will they up and leave us once we get clear of Haven?

Of course, there’s Dad. I’ll ask him to come; I can’t leave him in this place. He’s different – he’s family. It’s the rest of Haven’s populace that feel like strangers.

Am I being selfish? It’s not like we can make an open offer. We have to do this in complete secrecy, so the fewer people who know about it, the better. It only takes the right words in the wrong ears and one open mouth for all of this to come crashing down around us.

I’m also not sure how I ended up in charge of this. I guess I’m the one who wants it, and the one everyone is used to turning to when we’re heading in a new direction. Somehow, I have to figure all this stuff out. I wish I felt qualified.

I feel like I should have watched more prison escape movies. Maybe I should steal a spoon the next time I’m in the mess hall and make a start on that tunnel.