Center Control - Spying for Teens.

Dotson Academy is the place where moles are made.
Where hackers are trained.
Where teenage children are taught to never miss.
Where they are taught to murder.

Welcome home.

Chapter 1

Catherin Dominic: Special-Operations.

I hear the ticking of the clock. The man sitting across the room is wearing an Italo Ferretti tie that is lilting terribly to the left. My mind whirs as I sit in the tiny café sipping my vanilla latte. The air in Phibsborough whips my white hair in tiny spirals. I check my finely tuned watch, and the time clearly reads 3:46. A minute late.
“Ms. Dominic, I presume.” My eyes drink in the stranger in about three seconds. His hair is dark and short, and his glasses mask his eyes completely. He is wearing an expansive three-piece suit. There is a transmitter concealed in his lapel pocket, and a small device in his ear that lets him speak to whoever he is working for, or with. Clever, clever.
“You presume correctly.” He sits. There is a button under the table that I placed there, that will turn off all devices on his person . . . Even those I have not seen. My finger lingers over the small circle, but I don’t press it. Not yet. I need to see if he is really here for what he says he is.
This is what my father has turned me into. A searching, discriminating, untrusting, lying, sneaking weasel. A spy. Don’t you just love those family bonds?
“Have your parents told you anything about Dotson Academy?” I shake my head. This man is American, probably Virginian, judging by his slight twang. In the network in Ireland, America = Don’t trust. That’s just the way things work. “Then I guess I’ll have to fill you in.”
“There are 8 special skills we hone at this academy. I’m guessing you know which one you are?” This time I nod. I’m Special-Operations. I’m the one that goes in. “Good. That will make it a tad easier. You will have 5 other teammates, around your age, who will be there training with you. But there will be much more than that at the academy. They will be like you, too . . . Skillful.” Now I could pinpoint where he was from. Or, at least, where he worked: Langley, Virginia. I trace my silver painted nail around the edge of the button, and finally press it in. I can see the surprise on his face as his line goes dead.
“And if I say no?” I say calmly. The associate swallows hard. I can tell he’s not used to working with people like me. People who are young (I’m 15, by the way) and smarter than you. It’s jarring, especially when you think you work in the smartest business in the country.
Langley, Virginia, is the home of the CIA. I know, I’ve been there, uninvited, three times.
“T-Then . . . Then we’d just have to-”
“Oh calm down.” I laugh, standing up and buttoning up my gray pea coat. “I’m coming. I’ll be at the Dublin airport at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon, and - unlike you - I won’t be late.” I leave him with his jaw on the ground.

“Where is this place again?” I squint at the sun. The same associate from yesterday is with me, and he seems more wary. If he has any technology, I cannot see them, but I wasn’t planning on doing anything anyway.
“Germany. Plauen, actually. It’s snowing there, did you bring a coat?”
I nod. I am wearing a short white dress with no sleeves and a black boyfriend cardigan. I like to give the appearance of being innocent. It gets people to trust you. But I know this man will never trust me again.
“Here we are.” He leads me into a small, private plane.

I step dizzily out of the sardine can with wings and gaze up at the staggeringly tall mountain in front of us.
“Oh God.” I groan and pick up my small black suitcase. “Please don’t tell me we’re climbing that.” The man (I managed to pry out his name before we landed: Mr. Dunwoody) laughs and shakes his head; motioning to a small cable car attached to a string running up the side of the cliff.
Even better.

Dotson Academy is enormous. With hundreds of acres of riding trails, driving tracks, and forests underneath it, spiraling balconies, towering arches, and huge columns holding it up, it’s got to be the biggest building I’ve ever seen. And that’s only the outside.
The academy is filled with huge ballrooms, neat classrooms that could easily hold 40 students, a cafeteria the size of my house, and finally, to my dorm. A window covers an entire wall, with a snow-filled view of the mountains. There is two separate rooms: 3 beds in each.
“Your team will arrive shortly.” Mr. Dunwoody says, and he closes the door tightly behind him.

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