Rozena took a breath. This was it.

“This man,” she pointed at a picture, “Has been arrested for being in possession of a warehouse full of illegal weapons. This picture,” she said, pointing again, “is him meeting with another man, who organised the sale of the weapons, and taking money from him.”

One by one she explained all the pictures, laying out the evidence that the SCRAM kids had gathered so far. Natasha listened, her eyes wide, not saying anything.

The evidence was quite convincing. There were pictures of crates of weapons, and of bundles of money too, all clearly labelled, to explain how they fitted into the case against the weapons smugglers.

“Why are you showing me this?” Natasha said at last. “How … who got all these pictures? Are you sure this is all true?” She looked helplessly at Rozena. “These men, in the pictures, they are all friends of my father. I know them all. Are you sure–?”

Rozena nodded unhappily. “There’s this …” she stopped, and swallowed. Her mouth was dry. Was she about to make a terrible mistake?

“Natasha … do you know …um … is your father involved with any of this? Because, I think, you see, I think he’s the one in charge of it all. Your father is a weapons smuggler.” She looked into Natasha’s eyes. “Is that true?”

Natasha stared at Rozena, as if she hadn’t understood what she’d said. “What?!”

Rozena looked down at the photographs. “You asked me where I’d gotten all of this. The fact is, that – I know that this sounds crazy – I got them from an organisation that specialises in investigating this kind of thing.”

“The police?” Natasha’s face was pale.

“Not the police,” said Rozena. “It’s a secret organisation. I’m part of it.”

“You’re part of a secret …” Natasha got up from the bed. “I’m sorry,” she said. “This is …” She shook her head. “Is this some kind of joke?”

“No.” Rozena felt terrible. It was all going wrong. Natasha looked so hurt and angry. “I know it sounds like a made-up story, but it’s true, Natasha.”

“I’m sorry,” said Natasha. “I just don’t understand this. I have to get ready for the ceremony now.” She looked at Rozena. “I’d like to be alone now. Could you please leave?”

Rozena felt her mouth wobble, and blinked hard to stop the tears. “Okay,” she said, and got up. “Just think about it, okay? And come and talk to me, if–”

But Natasha had already turned her back on her. “Please, can you leave now? I’d like to be alone.”

Rozena left the room, shutting the door quietly behind her. She tried very hard not to cry as she walked back to the room she shared with Emma.

“What happened?” Emma said. “No, don’t tell me. I can see it didn’t go well, and we’ve got to get ready now. Tell me later.”


Tell us what you think: Is it likely Natasha will betray her own father?