From page 69:Visit Laura Williams McCaffrey's website.“‘Kay.” His eyes searched her, but she couldn’t tell for what. “After you left, I noticed the address you gave. The Waterhouses used to own the farm next to your ma and da’s place?”By page 69, Lyla has been caught by the peace officers, her world’s version of police, in the shadow market, her world’s version of a blackmarket. She’s been marked on the wrist, tattooed as a criminal. This means she’s lost any chance of winning a patron who might send her to university. She’ll be forever stuck working long hours at jobs she hates, earning barely enough to survive.
“Y-yes, s-sir,” Lyla stammered.
“Were you and Gillis Waterhouse friends?”
“When we were little, sir. They moved to Digger Street when we were eleven. We haven’t been close friends in a long while.”
“So you haven’t talked much to him in the last few years.”
“Great. That’s great. So could you start running around together again if you wanted to?” Officer Riverton asked in a rush.
“I don’t understand, sir,” Lyla said, though she suspected she did.
In this section, the peace officer who marked her has called her back to the prison, and he’s suggested there might be a way she can earn the mark off. He’s questioning her about her beloved childhood friend, Gillis Waterhouse, from whom she’s estranged. Gill has left home, and she knows he’s working for Red Fist, a group of dangerous criminals. A group the peace officers very much want to capture and defeat.
Lyla can already tell that earning her off mark might involve something difficult, perhaps dangerous and troubling. But what choice does she have?