Number of helicopters that landed on the lacrosse field during the 48 hours following Cammie’s disappearance: 9.
Number of Gallagher Alumni who spent time in Headmistress Morgan’s Office: 6.
Number of rumors Tina Walters heard about Cammie’s location: 14.
Number of rumors that turned out to be true: 0.
Number of finals The Operatives had to take despite their extreme emotional duress: 11.
Number of finals The Operatives passed despite their extreme emotional duress: all of them (but Operative Sutton only got a 98 on her Advanced Encryption exam and reserves the right to petition the trustees for a retest once Operative Morgan is returned safe and sound).
Ever since the first time Macey McHenry set foot in the Gallagher Academy she’d sensed that it wasn’t just a school. It was far more than a mansion. It was a living, breathing thing in so many ways, and every day had a feel, a smell, a sound, and a pulse. But standing in the Hall of History looking down on the foyer below, Macey couldn’t help think that it didn’t look or sound or seem like the last day of school.
There were no laughing girls, no slamming doors. Sure, the halls were filled with piles of suitcases and pillows, but the good-byes were different. The entire eighth grade was down below, hugging and squeezing like they’d never see their friends again.
Macey gripped the railing.
She totally knew the feeling.
At the end of the Hall of History, Headmistress Morgan’s door stayed closed. Macey felt her roommates come to stand beside her and she turned and looked at it. “What do you think they’re saying in there?” Macey asked.
“I don’t know. Does your mom—” Liz started, but Bex cut her off.
“No one tells me anything.” Bex shook her head and forced herself to admit, “It’s my fault. I should have known something was wrong—that she’d try something like this. I should have tied her to her bed, handcuffed her to me. Done…something.”
Bex was breathing hard. The little veins on her neck were popping out farther than Macey had ever seen them. But then Bex’s anger faded.
“I should have done something,” Bex said again, panic and guilt seeping into her eyes. “I should have done anything.”
“But—” Liz started.
“Cammie’s in the wind, Lizzie. And if she doesn’t want to be found…” Bex let the sentence trail off, no one saying the obvious: that Cammie wasn’t just a Gallagher Girl. She was a chameleon. And she was gone.
“They won’t find her,” Bex said with a look at the headmistress’s closed door.
“No,” Macey said. “But we might.”
“Macey,” Bex started, but Macey talked on.
“Who knows her better than us?” she asked. “Who has taken every class she’s ever taken? Who’s been a part of every secret boy-related mission?” She could see the idea starting to take root inside Liz and Bex’s minds, so Macey finished, “Cam won’t be found by people who know things. The Chameleon is going to be found by people who know Cammie. And that’s the three of us.”
Bex smiled. “We’ll need a place to work.”