Home > Crossing the Line (The Raven Files)

Crossing the Line (The Raven Files)
Author: Meghan Rogers


PHILOMEL BOOKS

an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

 

  2016 by Meghan Rogers.

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eBook  978-0-698-40760-2

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Rogers, Meghan.

Crossing the line / Meghan Rogers.

pages cm.—(The Raven files ; 1)

Summary: Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped as a child and trained as a North Korean spy, but the tables turn when she becomes a double agent for the very American spy organization she has been sent to destroy.

[1. Spies—Fiction. 2. Kidnapping—Fiction. 3. Brainwashing—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.1.R66Cr 2016 [Fic]—dc23 2015007510

 978-0-399-17617-3

Edited by Jill Santopolo.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Jacket credit: Cover design by Lori Thorn

Cover photograph of girl  gettyimages/Yuri_Arcurs

Additional photographs courtesy of Shutterstock

Version_1

 

 

To my parents, Marianne and Frank,

who never gave me any idea that this wouldn’t happen.

To my sister, Katie, who entertains

every crazy thought that floats through my head.

And to my cousin Hunter, who is very much my brother—

this one absolutely would not have happened without you.

 

 

Contents


Title Page

 

Dedication

Chapter One: SHOTS FIRED

Chapter Two: COMING CLEAN

Chapter Three: INTEGRATION

Chapter Four: COMFORTABLY UNCOMFORTABLE

Chapter Five: FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Chapter Six: QUESTIONS NORMAL PEOPLE ASK

Chapter Seven: FIRST CONTACT

Chapter Eight: TRAINING PARTNER

Chapter Nine: HOW THE DAY ENDS

Chapter Ten: MISSION CLEANUP

Chapter Eleven: GOING IN BLIND

Chapter Twelve: NOT ENOUGH

Chapter Thirteen: NOT-SO-SECRET AGENT

Chapter Fourteen: CLASS FROM HELL

Chapter Fifteen: BUTTON PUSHERS

Chapter Sixteen: PARTNER

Chapter Seventeen: AFTERMATH

Chapter Eighteen: DYNAMICS

Chapter Nineteen: CODED

Chapter Twenty: SAME PAGE

Chapter Twenty-One: GERMANY

Chapter Twenty-Two: CHANGE OF PLANS

Chapter Twenty-Three: TRAPPED BY THE TRUTH

Chapter Twenty-Four: SCIENCE

Chapter Twenty-Five: FIELD TRIP

Chapter Twenty-Six: SECRETS

Chapter Twenty-Seven: UNWELCOME PERSISTENCE

Chapter Twenty-Eight: NEW REQUEST

Chapter Twenty-Nine: GEARING UP

Chapter Thirty: KIDNAPPED

Chapter Thirty-One: INSIDE

Chapter Thirty-Two: FIGHT FOR CONTROL

Chapter Thirty-Three: HOLES

Chapter Thirty-Four: ESCAPE

Chapter Thirty-Five: LAST TRAIN OUT

Chapter Thirty-Six: HOME

Acknowledgments

 

 

Chapter One

SHOTS FIRED

 

I scanned the room I was about to break into from the inside of the ventilation shaft. The duct was large and opened through the side of a wall, giving me a clear view of a big concrete area—the perfect space for testing and developing cutting-edge military technology.

I drew a slow breath through my nose, giving myself one last moment to think about the alternative. This Japanese research facility was mere miles from a U.S. military base, which meant this was the closest I’d come to American soil since I was kidnapped by the North Koreans when I was eight. From the moment my KATO handler assigned me this mission, I had thoughts of using it to escape. But I knew I could never pull it off. After nine years of teaching and training, KATO thought they had me brainwashed to be their ideal spy. And while I had more independent thoughts than they could ever comprehend, they did control me in other ways. No matter how desperately I wanted to break free, I knew I could never get away with defying them.

I pushed the dangerous thoughts away and forced myself to focus. If I didn’t come back with the files for Project Pegasus, KATO would go out of their way to remind me just how much they owned me.

The duct I was in opened up onto a ramp, which led to a platform with a row of computers that overlooked the open testing area. Those computers had what I needed. I leaned back and put my feet up against the grate, preparing to kick it in. Before I could, a rope fell from the ceiling, dangling in front of me. A few seconds later, a tall, broad figure rappelled down.

I slid away from the grate, doing my best to hide in the shadows. I caught a glimpse of his face and knew exactly who it was.

His code name was Scorpion. He worked out of the U.S.-based International Defense Agency—the IDA. They were KATO’s number one enemy, and Scorpion was mine. We had squared off several times in the past, trading punches and wounds and barely escaping. In almost every instance, I’d gotten what I’d come for and left him empty-handed. Still, he was a complication.

I quickly thought of ways to modify my plan. It didn’t matter how many problems came up, KATO was still expecting a successful mission. It had been a while since I’d dealt with the consequences of disappointing them, and I wanted to keep it that way.

Scorpion did a quick sweep of the room, seeming to look for anything that might be out of place.

“Everything looks clear so far,” he said, using the communication system in his ear to report back to his headquarters. KATO didn’t give their agents that kind of support.

Scorpion slowly stepped away from me and headed up the ramp. He plugged a drive into the computer and started typing.

“I’m not seeing any Project Pegasus,” he said into his comm. I swallowed. He was here for the same thing I was. “Oh no, now I’ve got it.” He kept typing, his fingers sliding effortlessly over the keyboard.

I glanced around the room. The only way Scorpion could get off that platform was if he came back down the ramp. And if he did that, he’d have to pass by my air duct.

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