Amy opened the door that separated her room from that of her small charge,
stopping short in the doorway and staring in disbelief at the small girl.
The child's blond hair stood on end, and a short piece of ribbon gathered
it into an antenna-like tuft on the very top. Her favorite blue dress
was on back-to-front and she was turning in circles trying to do up the
buttons on the back. One foot was clad in a green sock and the other was
orange. Their mates were hanging out of the open drawer in which the girl's
underwear was kept, and even as the woman watched, the other drawer, above
the height for such small hands, slid open, the girl ceasing her twisting
"Tempest!" the woman exclaimed in disbelief. "What on
earth are you doing?"
"Mommy coming," the small girl replied, turning with a beaming
smile and running over with her arms outstretched, to be cuddled. "Help."
Picking up her charge, Amy walked over to sit on the bed, the blankets
of which had been pulled up in an attempt to make it tidy. Undoing the
few buttons that Tempest had managed to fasten, the woman stood the child
on her knee as she turned the garment around.
"Who told you Mommy's coming?" she asked curiously.
Tempest tapped the side of her head with a small smile. "I dust
know," she said proudly.
"But sweetie, you've said all along that Mommy would come,"
Amy reminded her gently. "Why is today any different?"
"'Cos she coming today," Tempest replied, sitting down as soon
as the dress was properly done up so that her socks could be removed.
"I never knowed the day b'fore."
Amy considered this briefly as she pulled on a pair of matching socks
and then realized that the girl had failed to put on any panties, carrying
her over to the drawer to get some. It was true that Tempest had always
said that Mommy would come one day, although she hadn't used that word
until Jarod had taught it to all the children when they had arrived at
Sanctuary. Imitating Gabriel, she had always referred to her mother as
"Mine," but made sure she hadn't used that word when Miss Parker
had been in the nursery.
The caregiver knew the truth about the child's parentage, as did any
of those whose charges had been matched to their parents genetically.
Carrying the girl over to the corner where a dressing-table stood and
sitting on the chair with Tempest in her lap, she removed the ribbon and
began to brush flat the blond hair, seeing it spring into its usual curls.
"What about Daddy?" she asked eventually, thinking of the picture
Jarod had shown her of Kyle.
Tempest's head shook slowly from side to side. Her small brow furrowed
before looking at Amy in the mirror. As with all the children, she seemed
to have an instinctive understanding of reflection. But now she was clearly
struggling with something, and she finally turned to look around the room
as the woman finished her hair.
"What's dat?" she asked finally, pointing to the two steps
that led down from Amy's room to that of Tempest.
"I told you that last week," Amy reminded her. "They're
"Dat's it," the girl said in immense satisfaction. "'Stair
* * * * * * * * *
Blue Cove, Delaware
Valentine arrived early, despite not having left the place until almost
three. The absence of staff made his task easier, but he kept his gun
handy, in case anyone should disturb him. Fortunately for those on duty,
Taking the elevator to his personal surveillance room, he opened a locked
strongbox that he had secreted in one of the darkest corners under the
desk, and extracted a narrow metal casing with a nod of satisfaction.
This would be the perfect method of fitting revenge, revenge that he was
determined to have, one way or another. Relaxing in the overstuffed chair
in front of the console, he brought up a list of names on his computer
Opening the top drawer of his desk, he pulled out another small box,
opening it to reveal a pile of skin-colored patches, removing one and
holding it up to the light. He could still remember finding the email
from Ms. Hart to his last remaining fellow Ghost, detailing the first
round of vacations for the Seraphim caretakers. It hadn't taken much persuasion
for her to tell him what was going on, and he had acquired a stock of
Aurora patches for his own use. Nobody had missed the various Sweepers
and Cleaners he had kept down in this room during the 48 hours required
for their total addiction to the drug, and now he had a small but willing
army at his disposal.
However he had made his selections carefully. He wanted people who would
be most compliant to his wishes, and that decision would be made on past
performance. He had already made summaries of each sweeper and cleaner
before selecting those for his special group. Now he used those details
to make his selecting, picking up the phone to summon the man and then
relaxing back in his chair, twirling the casing in his hand like a grotesque
baton, while he waited for the sweeper to arrive.
* * * * * * * * *
Namir entered the gymnasium, his mind on the training program he planned
to do, but his gaze was drawn to the gap in the middle of the room, where
the largest punching bag usually hung. There was nothing in the space,
but his eyes picked out a glint of silver on the floor, walking over to
pick up the bolt that lay there. Picking it up, Namir rolled the twisted
metal between his fingers, seeing where it had been snapped away from
the ceiling, and looked up at the hole.
Looking around, his eyes fell on the twisted heap of red in the corner,
huge holes torn in it and the white insides poking out. Walking over,
his eyes wide with surprise, he tried to lift it, a grunt coming from
his mouth as he had to let it drop. An amazed whistle from the doorway
let him know that somebody else had seen it.
"What the bejeezus happened?" Sebastian demanded from the doorway.
"World War Three?"
"Somebody obviously wanted a good work-out," Trevor remarked
as he entered. "Didn't think you had it in you, Namir."
The Israeli turned on him, eyes flashing angrily, and had the psychic
on his back, gasping for air, in an instant, before he turned back to
"It was like this when I got here."
"That's what they all say," Sebastian murmured, grinning at
the healer to show he was joking, before hauling the bag out of the corner,
the effort making him gasp. Lifting it, a shower of white filling rained
down onto the floor, and the three men stare at the underside in disbelief.
It had almost been shredded, long strands of red draping across the floor.
"A knife or fingernails?" suggested Trevor, from his prone
position on the mat.
"The second," Namir said as he picked up a strand of white,
showing the streak of blood his eyes had spotted. "This was no desire
to work out. This was anger. Only real anger could give anyone this much
energy to destroy."
"I'm inclined to agree with you," Sebastian stated. "Well,
we can get a look at the security tapes to find out who it was, but for
now, let's get something done before that next meeting."
Pushing the bag back into the corner, the three men turned their backs
on it as they warmed up.
* * * * * * * * *
Blue Cove, Delaware
Eve entered her office and sat down in the chair behind her desk, unpacking
and sorting out the papers she had pulled from her briefcase. Placing
the bag on the floor, she opened the first of the memos that were waiting
on her computer, reading it through quickly. A movement in the vent went
unnoticed as a remote-controlled device tore a small hole in the silver
canister and the gas it contained began to leak silently into the room.
The woman noticed a slightly sweet smell, but put it down to the flowers
that had been delivered to her office in her absence, making a mental
note to thank Parker for them later. Gazing at them for a moment, she
turned back to the screen, surprised to see that it seemed to have a somewhat
pink tint, and rubbed her eyes before opening the next memo. This looked
blue, and she squinted at the screen, wondering vaguely what had happened
to it. Leaning back in the chair, she waited until the memo had printed
out, her hands resting in her lap, but when she would have moved to pick
it up, her arms seemed to have been turned to marble and wouldn't move.
Frowning, Eve concentrated harder, finally managing to lift a finger,
the effort exhausting her, and her head sank back against the chair. The
sounds of the office seemed strangely enhanced, and the woman tried to
think what she had been given, but thought was becoming as impossible
as movement. The door of her office opened, and a man strolled in, a mask
covering his mouth and nose, which led to a small, familiar-looking oxygen
tank he pulled behind him on a wheeled cart. Through an hallucinatory
haze, which made everything swim around her, Eve thought she saw the dark-skinned
sweeper pick up her arm and place a tourniquet around it, tightening it
until the blood vessels rose.
The needle slid in easily, and Eve watched as the familiar amber liquid
was injected. Though she tried to summon the strength, she was unable
to fight the drug as the waves of pleasure began sweeping over her. Her
earlier concern faded, replaced by a warm happiness, as she watched Willie
unclip the tourniquet and pocket both it and the empty syringe, smiling
at her, although his eyes were devoid of emotion. She suddenly found herself
smiling back at him from under heavily drooping eyelids.
"Welcome to Heaven," he whispered, the drug making his words
seem to echo in her head as he reached forward and gently stroked her
cheek. Strolling over to the door, he opened it, removed the mask and
shut the door after himself before strolling nonchalantly away down the
* * * * * * * * *
Blue Cove, Delaware
"Excuse me, Miss Parker?"
Looking up, she found a man standing in the doorway, one of Broots' most
trusted assistants, and she waved him into the room.
"What is it, Warwick?"
"I've got the report you wanted, ma'am." He handed over a folder.
"That has the phone records you asked for."
Morgan tried to keep the curiosity from her face as she accepted the
booklet, dismissing the man with a cool nod. He left the office and then
she opened the folder, running her eye down the phone list and picking
out the call. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she noticed the connection
code and she raised her head to stare thoughtfully at the wall opposite.
As with the system in Blue Cove, she knew that Berlin had arranged a
similar organization, where the number was the same, apart from the last
few digits. The call in which she had most interest, being the one Ethan
had requested her to investigate, had a code which suggested that it had
been made from one of the more important offices in Die Fakultät.
Producing a book, which gave her the important phone numbers from all
three branches, she matched the call made to Ethan's phone to the office
owned by the German Director.
That, when combined with the initials on the email, at least let her
know that, as with the Centre, the caller must have been one of few people
who had business in that office, and such limitations narrowed the field
considerably. Picking up the phone, Morgan gave her orders to Broots.
"I want you to get me list of all those who might have access to
Delius' office in Berlin."
"All of them?"
"What do you mean, 'all of them?'"
"Well, visitors too," he suggested somewhat plaintively, "or
"Limit it to staff at this stage," she directed. "Female
staff. Later, I might have to expand it."
"Yes, Miss Parker."
He hung up and she went over to her filing cabinet, removing a file and
sitting down again before she began studying the folder of the Seraphim
child who was currently of most interest to her.
* * * * * * * * *
The boardroom seemed very full as Jordan entered it, in spite of the
fact that only half a dozen people sat along the side of the table. Nervously,
he walked over to stand opposite them, the full magnitude of his actions
now coming home to him as he clasped his hands behind his back so that
he could fidget unseen.
Sebastian's voice was so cold that, for a fleeting instant, Jordan wondered
if he would be able to light a fire next time he tried, before mentally
rebuking himself for being ridiculous and making a grab for his rapidly
vanishing self-confidence, finally managing to meet Sebastian's hazel
eyes, which now glowed with righteous, though restrained, anger.
"What did you think you were doing?" Sebastian demanded. "What
right do you have to do what you did yesterday? To just take one of the
Corporation's aeroplanes, to forge my signature and then disappear without
trace! Do you know how worried your grandfather was about you? And the
rest of us weren't exactly lounging by the pool while you were gone either!
Then to come back without taking any of the security precautions that
were clearly explained to you by the man who let you take the plane --
I didn't expect it of you, Jordan."
The young man briefly considered an answer, but eventually felt that
silence would be better, dropping his eyes to intently study his shoes.
"Are you aware," Trevor put in, his voice hard, "that
only sheer luck has prevented us from being overrun by the Centre yesterday?
And if that had happened, nothing on earth could have saved us from whatever
tortures they might have chosen to inflict. You might have decided that
the life of that boy was more important than your own, but how about your
father? Your baby brother and the other children? And all the others who
have managed to find some respite here from the cruelties they suffered
at the Centre's hands? You threw all our lives into jeopardy by your reckless
"I know," Jordan muttered at this point, becoming increasingly
horrified at what he had done, the points being made now not having occurred
to him when he had left in such haste.
"I would have thought," Ramona remarked from Sebastian's other
side, "that anybody of your age would have been close to an adult,
in maturity anyway, and thus behaved like an adult. With your intelligence,
you should have an even greater advantage than most teenagers. But instead
your behaviour was something that none of the children here would have
done, deciding what you wanted and running after it without any thought
for what might happen as a result."
"I wasn't trained to think of consequences," Jordan protested.
"Then it's time you started thinking about them," Sebastian
replied firmly. "You've got no excuses. What you do here isn't a
simulation. This is real life. If you can't see any differences between
here and what you went through at Donoterase and the Centre, then your
father and grandfather, people I believed you care about, shouldn't have
bothered risking their lives to get you away from there. It seems to me,"
he went on meditatively, "that you're unaware of how much other people
have done for you, Jordan."
The boy's brown eyes flashed indignantly as he looked up, but the expression
on the faces on the other side of the table recalled him to his present
state of disgrace and encouraged him to start studying the carpet pattern
"I can't help thinking," North put in after several minutes
of uncomfortable silence, "that somebody so immature doesn't merit
the freedoms we allow those who've proved that they deserve them."
"I agree," Sebastian growled. "And for this reason, Jordan,
you are forbidden to leave the building for the next week, unless accompanied
by an adult. Your flying lessons will be stopped for the next two. And
you won't be allowed in a plane or a car unsupervised by one of us or
by your grandfather or father for the next month. Maybe by the end of
that time you'll have learnt a sense of responsibility. You may go."
His cheeks burning and eyes prickling, Jordan stumbled to the door, opening
it with the feeling of six pairs of eyes burning into his back and finally
escaping into the corridor. Hurrying down the hall to the stairwell, he
threw open the door and ran up the five flights of stairs to the residence
floor, racing to his own room and slamming the door behind him. He was
about to throw himself onto the bed when the child on the mattress in
the corner sat bolt upright, his eyes wide with panic.
Looking down into the dark, terror-filled eyes, Jordan felt the urge
to expend his humiliation and wounded pride in a flurry of tears fade
and he sat down on the bed next to the child.
"I'm sorry," he apologized, taking the small boy onto his lap
and wrapping the newly purchased bathrobe over the small pajamas. "I
didn't mean to wake you up."
Jacob's expression was still one of concern. "Are you angry?"
he asked in quavering tones.
"Not with you," Jordan assured him, giving the boy a comforting
hug. "I'm mad with myself. I did something pretty stupid."
The little boy's eyes widened even further. "Did he hit you?"
Jordan looked confused. "Who?"
"Sir." Jacob began to tremble, pressing himself against Jordan's
chest, his eyes frantically darting from left to right before fixing on
the door. "When I do something stupid, he
The tiny voice dissolved into a storm of tears, Jacob turning in the
older boy's arms and pressing his face against Jordan's shoulder as he
sobbed. The young man's pleas for him to calm down went unheeded until
the door that led to the bathroom opened and Jarod stepped out, lifting
the child into his arms.
Jarod held the boy against him, sitting down on Jordan's bed and letting
the child sob against his neck, murmuring comfortingly in his ear. The
weeping continued for several minutes, while Jarod rocked the small child,
until it slowly began to abate. As Jacob gradually calmed down, the man
wiped away the tears and stroked the boy's hair, his voice definitive
as he spoke.
"Sir isn't going to come here," he vowed. "You'll never
have to see Sir again. Ever. And that's a promise."
Jacob's mouth opened immediately and Jarod rested a finger gently against
"Ever," he reiterated firmly. "I want you to try not to
even imagine the possibility. Try not to think about him again. We'll
give you lots of other, better, things to think about. Okay?"
Hesitantly, Jacob nodded, and Jordan saw the boy's eyes light up at the
smile that immediately crossed the man's face.
"Good," Jarod told him. "Now, we've got something to show
Jordan eyed his father curiously and raised an eyebrow. This seemed to
be a plan of which he knew nothing, but he would play along until he knew
where it was going. And when Jarod put a hand into the pocket of his pants
and pulled out a small pair of swim trunks, the young man understood.
As his father guided the boy into the bathroom, leaving Jordan to change
into his own swimmers, a thought suddenly struck the young man, making
him wonder exactly what his father had been doing in the bathroom in the
* * * * * * * * *
Blue Cove, Delaware
Miss Parker picked up the short list and eyed the two names on it before
looking up at Broots as he stood on the other side of her desk.
"Uh huh." He nodded. "And they've both been working there
"No surprise there," she muttered, handing the list over to
Sydney. "Either of those familiar?"
The psychiatrist eyed the names, his attention caught by one.
"Julia Becker?" His brow furrowed. "I thought she
"Don't you remember?" Miss Parker retorted dryly. "Nobody
ever dies at the Centre." She waited for moment, but he didn't respond.
"Why do you think she's dead?"
Sydney looked at Broots. "Remember when we were in Massachusetts
and I asked you to find information about a particular project for me?"
"Sure." Broots pulled up a chair. "That meningitis thing.
You said that only five kids survived."
"It looks like I was wrong," the older man mused. "At
least, if it's the same person. She was one of the patients overseen by
Edna Raines. The report stated that she and several others died later
of encephalitis, not long after Jarod was removed from the room."
Broots reached into his pack pocket and extracted a roll of paper. "I've
got the background on all the people who have access to Delius' office."
He found the relevant page. "Apparently she was taken to Die Fakultät
from the Centre in 1975."
"That fits," Sydney agreed. Eyeing the floor for a moment,
he suddenly took a sheet of paper from the pile Miss Parker had on her
desk to make notes and scribbled four names on it, giving it to the technician.
"Run a background check on those people for me, looking particularly
in the Die Fakultät archives."
"Sure thing." Broots took the page and disappeared. When he
was gone, Miss Parker picked up the page that outlined the woman's history,
reading over it quickly.
"What's this about, Morgan?" Sydney queried softly. "Why
this sudden interest in Delius?"
"It's not Delius," she responded slowly, before giving him
a quick outline of the request Ethan had made of her, finally posing a
question. "Would it have been possible for the Centre to have known
of their existence for all this time?"
"It's the Centre," he reminded her. "Anything's possible."
Morgan eyed the names of the two women who had access to Delius' private
office before taking their profiles out of the bundle of papers Broots
had left behind. Picking up the page that gave a description of the Director's
secretary, she eyed the woman's blond hair and green eyes before putting
it down and picking up the other
"No photo," she mused. "Unusual."
As Sydney read through the information once more, she began hunting through
the mainframe for a picture. An exclamation from behind made her turn
to find the man staring at the image that she had just found.
"I know her!" he exclaimed in surprise. "When I was a
Die Fakultät in 1995, she attended all of the meetings, along with
Delius. She was his translator."
"Well, she's got a fifty percent chance of being the mother of my
brother's son," Morgan put in.
Sydney nodded slowly, turning his attention back to the paperwork. A
small furrow developed in his forehead as he read.
"This doesn't add up," he remarked. "I remember Julia
Becker being classed as a pretender when she was brought to the Centre
from South Africa. If she's still alive, why is she being used in a job
that anybody could do? Why aren't they concentrating on her pretender
"Your guess is a good as mine," the woman answered. "What
I want to know is why they used her ova to create Uriel, if that is the
case. In fact, why use either of them? Surely they've got other possibilities."
"Well, like who?" Sydney asked reasonably. "I've seen
the plans for the Seraphim project, and a major point was that they weren't
going to use any woman's genetic material more than once, to try and minimize
the possibilities of genetic defects. Who else could they get?"
She nodded, accepting this, before looking up as Broots reappeared in
the room, somewhat out of breath.
"I don't have the others yet," he admitted. "I rushed
the two women's through. I also ran a check through the NuGenesis storage
banks, and only one showed a reference."
"Julia?" Morgan guessed.
"Uh huh." He dropped the folder onto the desk, sinking into
the chair. "It looks like there was one major cover-up when those
kids were shipped off to Germany. I ran a quick check, and nobody who
knew about it at the time lived for longer than a week - except for Edna
Raines and we know what happened to her."
"What is Julia?" Sydney queried, as Morgan began reading
through the information. "Why did Die Fakultät want her, and
what was the benefit the Chairman and Dr. Cox wanted her to hand down
to her child? It presumably wasn't her ability as a pretender."
"She's a psychic," the woman responded, understanding dawning
in her eyes. "That must be how she knew about the children, and about
"Probably," Broots agreed. "That would make sense."
"Can you bring me the other records as soon as possible?" Sydney
requested. "And find out what these people are doing at Die Fakultät
now, if they're alive."
"I'm on it." Broots disappeared from the room again, and Morgan
handed the information over to Sydney before standing and beginning to
slowly pace the room, her focus trained thoughtfully on the floor.
"If these people are at Die Fakultät, Sam should know something
about them," she mused.
"And what good will this information do you?" Sydney asked.
"There isn't exactly a lot for you to do with it."
"Not now," she agreed somewhat mysteriously. "But maybe
* * * * * * * * *
There was only one person using the pool when they arrived and, while
Jarod clipped Jacob into a swimming vest, Jordan cast a nervous look at
the pyrokinetic, who was doing laps, seemingly unaware of their arrival.
Jarod caught a glimpse of the expression on his son's face and shook his
"That's finished, Jordan. As long as you stick to the punishment
they set you, it won't be referred to again."
The young man eyed him doubtfully. "Do you know what they said?"
"Not word for word, but I know what the punishment was. We -- your
grandfather, Sebastian and I -- discussed it last night." Jarod sat
down on a bench and took Jacob on his lap, looking up at his son. "Jordan,
living here, you have to consider all the residents, not just us. I know
how strongly you felt about it all, and I can't say that, in a similar
situation, I wouldn't have done the same thing. If it was just us -- up
at Barrow or somewhere -- things would have been different, but we're
here, guests of other people, and we can't just take advantage of what
they're good enough to provide."
"I guess." Jordan dabbed his toe in a puddle, staring at the
ground, before suddenly looking at his father. "Is that why you were
haunting my room?"
"Is that what you're calling it?" Jarod grinned. "Yeah,
it was. I wanted to make sure you didn't take it too hard. After all,
it was the first real punishment -- aside from whatever they did to you
at Donoterase -- that you'd ever had." He stood up, ruffling his
son's hair. "Just call me an overprotective Dad."
"Call me anything you like, just don't call me late for dinner,"
a voice chanted from the pool. "Feel like a race, Jordan?"
"Sure." The young man unwrapped the towel from around his waist
and draped it over the bench, watching the other man out of the corner
of his eye to ensure that the Australian's expression was free of any
suggestion of their previous meeting, but the man's face was frank and
As Jarod carefully carried Jacob into the pool, he watched Jordan dive
over Sebastian's head into the water and laughed. "You're in for
a tough challenge, Oz-Boy," he teased. "Jordan's had expert
"From you, I suppose," the other man shot back as Jordan resurfaced
halfway along the Olympic-sized pool, swimming with powerful strokes back
to the place his challenger waited. "Well, I've got a height advantage,
so we'll see."
"Not much of one," Jarod commented, seeing Jordan resurface,
the top of his head only a few inches below Sebastian's.
Grinning, the Pretender turned his attention back to the boy, who was
bobbing on the water, his eyes wide with delight as he stared around at
"It's big," he told the man wonderingly. "And so blue."
"It sure is," Jarod agreed, gently tilting the boy onto his
back and supporting his head. "Kick your legs, Jacob. Up and down.
That's how you'll be able to travel through the water."
To the sounds of shrieks and violent splashing, as Sebastian got his
revenge for being beaten, he initiated Jacob into the art of swimming,
recalling his own days of learning to swim and enjoying the delight and
determination on the faces of the two people that had been made from him.
* * * * * * * * *
Blue Cove, Delaware
Sydney looked up sharply as Broots almost ran into the office with this
pronouncement. "All four of them?"
"Uh huh." He dropped one of the folders he carried onto the
desk in front of the woman, gave the other to the psychiatrist and plumped
down in the chair. "That's what the reports say."
Morgan opened the folder he had put in front of her, finding herself
confronted with the images of Uriel that her brother had shown her several
nights before, attached to an email.
'These are the pictures you wanted and the best I could take. He's
a cute kid.'
She looked up abruptly. "Where did you get this?"
"It was from the computer in one of the guest rooms," he explained
a little breathlessly.
Tapping the email, she raised an eyebrow. "Whose name is on the
roster for this date?"
"Peter Winston. That's the guy who
"I know who he is," she replied somewhat tartly, struggling
to keep a smile from her face. Despite the effort, she noticed the sly
smile Sydney sent her, ignoring it and concentrating on the task at hand.
"This wasn't from the most recent visit."
"No," the technician agreed. "It's from the other time
he was here, that big meeting called after the head of the German triad
Placing the pictures on the desk, she picked up the other email, which
had been sent to the room.
'Peter, Julia said a project called Mirage was the key.'
A well-informed young lady, Morgan mused silently, glancing at
the picture on her computer screen.
Sydney placed the folder Broots had given him flat on the desk and began
looking through all the information it contained. Each individual had
three reports -- one from each station -- and Sydney glanced through the
information quickly, eyeing the date of death with particular interest.
For four of the five subjects, the pattern was the same: the Boer City
and Blue Cove reports gave a date of death in 1975, whereas the Berlin
report stated that they were still alive. Only for Julia was the pattern
different. Boer City stated that she was deceased; Berlin that she was
alive and the report from Delaware bore a question mark.
"You know who might know about that?" Morgan commented. "Sam."
"Did you want something, Miss Parker?"
All three occupants jumped before looking around to find Sam in the open
doorway with a look of enquiry on his face. Morgan shot a hard look at
Broots, who gulped nervously, before she nodded.
"Yes, Sam. Come in and shut the door."
He obeyed before walking over to stand in front of the desk. The pictures
of the Berlin subjects caught his eye, and he smiled.
"I can probably give you more information about them than those
"That's exactly what I want you to do," his boss agreed. "Pull
up a chair."
The sweeper sat down beside the desk, glancing at the five photos, smiling
again as he reached out to touch one. "That's my brother."
"Alastair?" Sydney looked startled. "Edna told me that
he and Jarod got up to all sorts of trouble."
"No surprise there," Sam agreed, laughing. "If my brother
could make trouble, he would!"
"And the others?" Morgan asked.
"They're all still subjects," he admitted. "Julia works
for the Director, as his personal translator, the twins -- Clare and Michael
-- are doing the same sorts of sims that Jarod did
" he trailed
off and stared at his hands.
"Joseph?" Sydney prompted.
I can't tell you," Sam protested, his eyes full of
fear as he looked up. "I promised!"
"Nothing goes beyond this office," Miss Parker stated firmly,
"even if he's Jesus himself."
The sweeper considered for a moment before finally acquiescing. "He's
a healer. Like Namir, that guy Mr. Parker was so keen to bring here."
Morgan raised an eyebrow. "How do you know about that?"
"I saw the message on your desk," he admitted slowly, studying
the floor briefly before looking up to meet his boss's gaze steadily.
"I heard rumors about a healer that the Chairman was interested in
and came to see what I could find. I was worried it might have been Joseph,
and I also thought the information might have been useful for the people
back in Berlin. I found the memo and sent it off to let Mr. Winston know
about Namir, and that Joseph was still a secret from this branch. As far
as I know, Mr. Parker doesn't know what Joseph's capable of, or even that
he's still alive. If he did, he'd have him sent here, and that would be
terrible for Julia."
"Why?" Broots prompted.
Reaching into his shirt pocket, Sam extracted a black and white image
of Julia, a boy in her arms, and Joseph standing beside her; a still from
a security tape.
"Happy families," the sweeper stated bitterly, tossing it onto
the desk, a glare creasing his brow. "The first child in what they
hope will be the German version of the Seraphim."
Morgan's eyes widened in disbelief. "He is?"
"Yes," Sam growled. "They've only got a couple, but they're
intending to have more eventually with similar skills to the kids here.
They aren't as well designed as the kids Cox designed, more a case of
hit and miss as far as their abilities go, but they're trying to figure
out ways to improve certain traits. Delius is planning to start Peter
on Aurora in the next few weeks, as soon as he can get the dosage right."
Stuffing the picture back into his pocket, obviously unable to say more,
he stood, nodded slightly to his boss and then turned to the door, leaving
three silent, horrified people behind him.