Harlem obeys Eduard’s instructions and sits at the table Mikey had dragged over. Eduard pulls up another chair and sits across from him, Mikey standing at his shoulder.
“You’re not in trouble,” Eduard warns. “We just need to make sure you’re on our side. I need you to tell us about what’s been going on with your dad and the government.”
Harlem sighs heavily as he leans back in his chair, thinking. “Shoot, I don’t know. My dad hasn’t been around today. It’s like he disappeared from the face of the earth. He’s usually at his office or at home, but he hasn’t been. I’ve looked everywhere, but he’s nowhere.
“I know about the laws being passed for maximum security regarding the masks and the Maskless. They really want you guys out of the picture.
“And the word buzzing around City Hall is that the Leader of the State is coming up here in a few days to make sure that everything is within regulations and to check up on my father. So things are going to be a bit hectic until then, and people are going to be searching for the Maskless and for people who are breaking the rules more than usual for the next few days. So be ready for that.”
“Is that all?” Mikey asks.
“For now,” Harlem shrugs and places his hands behind his head. “I’ll keep you updated with what goes on around my house. Kinda hope my dad shows up. I’d rather him rule the city rather than the Leader of the State.”
“Why is that?” Eduard presses.
Harlem chuckles and shakes his head. “You don’t know who that is, do you?” He places his hands on the table when neither of the boys answer. “She’s super strict and hard to fool. Her coming here is a bad thing, believe it or not. It means that there are too many problems for my father to handle, and she’s coming her to see if she needs to handle them herself. It’s something you don’t want, especially if you’re a Maskless.”
Eduard turns around to Mikey, who looks down at him expectantly.
“I guess that means we have to lay low for a while,” Eduard sighs. He had been almost ready to kick up the Maskless again, now that they have a new lead, a new Face…
But it’ll have to wait a bit.
“Do you think you could get us into the city hall?” Eduard asks suddenly. “I mean, without anyone getting upset or anything?”
Harlem nods slowly as he ponders this. “Yeah. I guess I could. Just don’t talk. I don’t want you saying anything you shouldn’t say.”
Mikey snorts. “Please.”
“I’m serious, guys.” Harlem says over Mikey’s comment. “They’re extra cautious with who goes in and out of the City Hall building, and if you say one thing that sets them off, they will arrest and interrogate you. Got it?”
Eduard nods and looks back at Mikey, who stuffs his hands in his pockets and nods as well. He doesn’t really like being told to shut up.
“Okay. Well. When do you want to go in?” Harlem asks, looking back at Julie, who stands from her position on the bed and walks over to him.
“As soon as the Leader of the State gets here.”
“Alright,” Harlem says, standing. “I’ll be back if there is any news. I’ll keep you updated.”
Eduard stands up. “Alright. See you around. And—hey—remember, the Maskless is over with.”
Harlem hesitates and then understands what he’s saying. “Got it. See you.”
Eduard nods as he walks out the door and closes it.