Then, about an hour after Emma went down to supper, Rozena’s phone beeped. She was lying curled up on her bed, had been half asleep, but the beep woke her up with a start.

She pulled her phone out, and looked at the screen. There was a message there, from Zazi.

Have you made any progress with N? Meet us up on the roof again tonight, midnight.

Rozena put the phone away, and closed her eyes. This was all she needed. What would she tell Zazi and the rest of the SCRAM kids?

Emma came back from supper long before midnight and Rozena showed her the message. She was so tired of keeping secrets, and anyway, Emma immediately noticed that something was worrying her.

“I’ll go with you,” Emma said, and it took Rozena nearly half an hour to persuade her that this was not a good idea. “I’m not supposed to have told anyone about SCRAM,” she argued. “I swore that I wouldn’t. I don’t know what will happen, if they find out I told you everything. And things are already so messed up. Please Emma, won’t you let me go alone?”

At last, Emma agreed, although she was a bit sulky about it. Rozena could see that she liked the idea of going up to the roof of the hotel in the middle of the night.

This time, Rozena dressed in warm, dark clothes. She didn’t want to feel like a fool again. It was bad enough that she simply didn’t know what to tell Zazi and the others, about her progress in carrying out her duties.

They arrived as before, the helicopter settling down on the hotel roof, blowing Rozena’s hair about her face and making her shut her eyes against all the grit that it kicked up.

“Hey!” said Zazi as she jumped down, and Colin grinned as he pulled off his pilot’s headset. Trevor was there too, dressed as before, in his long, dark coat.

“I hope you had some luck,” Zazi said as the helicopters rotors slowed down. “None of our plans have worked out.”

She explained to Rozena that while they’d succeeded in gathering lots of evidence about the other gang members, they had no way of proving that those men had all been acting on Mark van Reenen’s orders.

“So,” said Zazi at last. “Did you manage to plant that virus on the girl’s computer?”

“Yes, I did,” said Rozena.

“Oh good!” said Zazi. “Then SCRAM will have access to all her files by now. They will find a way to trap her father. Send a message to him that looks like it’s coming from her – something like that.”

“Actually,” Rozena said, and licked her lips nervously. “They don’t.”

“They don’t what?” said Colin.

“I changed the virus, so that I’m the only one who has access to Natasha’s computer.”

“Why on earth did you do that?” Zazi stared at her.

“I just didn’t feel … it just didn’t seem right …” Rozena took in a breath and tried again. “I don’t think Natasha knows anything about this stuff her father’s doing. They’re not close. He doesn’t seem to care much about her at all.”

Zazi stared at her, uncomprehending. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Don’t you see?” said Rozena. “I can understand invading somebody’s privacy, reading their email, all that, if they are doing something criminal, something wrong. But Natasha isn’t.”

“How do you know?” Colin was frowning.

“I looked at all her stuff. There’s just no way.” Rozena shrugged helplessly. “And she’s just not the kind of person …” She looked at Trevor. So far, he’d said nothing, standing back a little and letting the others talk. “It just doesn’t seem right,” she said to him.

“That’s not for you to decide,” said Zazi. “We have our orders!”

“But it is for me to decide, if my orders are to do something that’s wrong,” said Rozena. Her mouth felt dry. Zazi was looking at her blankly, as if she didn’t understand what Rozena was saying.

“That’s true,” said Trevor. The others all turned to look at him. “Rozena’s right,” he said again. “And I think we should trust her. You have a plan, don’t you?” He looked at Rozena. “For what to do next?”

Rozena looked at him gratefully. He understood why she didn’t want carry out SCRAM’s orders unquestioningly. After all, he’d also been framed by SCRAM, and he knew how they’d lied to her.

“What are you going to do?” said Zazi.

“I’ll figure it out,” said Rozena, trying to sound more confident than she really felt.


Tell us: Is it always right for an ‘employee’ or ‘soldier’ or ‘member’ to refuse to obey orders they don’t agree with personally?