I spent the better part of the evening setting up more surveillance cameras around the neighborhood so I could watch their house. The best thing I could do now would be to track their movements for at least a few weeks to learn their daily patterns. Then I could choose the best time to make my move. I watched from the safety of a mountain cave to the north where I set up camp for myself. For the first time in weeks, I built a fire and made myself a hot meal. At least there would be one bonus to this part of my mission. I would finally have a normal sleeping schedule for a while. There was no point staying awake all night when my target would be sleeping as well.
Over the course of the following weeks I learned that five out of the seven days of the week, Kado took the delohi-saqu to a building with other children that reminded me of the academy, except that I wasn’t allowed to leave and we didn’t socialize like these people did. Every moment of my life had been regimented. When I woke, I was taken for my morning cleansing. Since I was a shadow stalker, they felt I needed more than one session a day. My morning session was usually the lighter of the two. I would be beaten, but that wasn’t anything new for me and never usually lasted long. My father had beaten me every day of my life anyway, while reminding me I was worth nothing for having been born a shadow stalker. The guides would tell me one day I might be able to prove my worth, but I’d have to work much harder than anyone else to do so.
After my cleansing session I’d be taken for my morning meal. Most of my day was spent in the learning rooms. Each child had electrodes attached to their arms and legs and sat in a small space with a computer in front of them. We would have to answer question after question about the Way of the Galvadi, our purpose within the empire, and of course we learned about the delohi-saqu and the terror he—she would unleash on our world. When we answered a question correctly, the next question would appear on the screen. If we answered it wrong, we would receive an electrical shock that quite often knocked us off our small stools. If three questions were answered wrong in one session, that child would be severely punished while the others were forced to watch.
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