Of course I knew they'd come from England because we'd joined the bus at about the same time. Well, I say the same time. We were in the same country, and that usually means it was some time in the same week or so. I'd left in Switzerland, and now I was back again. Some things never leave you alone.
"Back to England? Why?" I tried not to sound like I was concerned, because they knew what they were doing, and surely didn't need my advice.
It suddenly came to me that the small group huddled in this 'shelter' weren't exactly comfortable. They looked horribly guilty.
"Have you done something wrong?"
"That's exactly the point!" said Erica. "No, we haven't. But everybody thinks we have."
I turned to Aidan. Perhaps he'd be able to explain - he seemed to be by far the calmest around here, and I'm sure he could deal with situations. "There have been, lies about us on the television. Well ... it's complicated. The long and short of it is that if we stay here we're in danger."
"They want to put us in prison!" wailed Meggie. "Prison here. In America. I'll be there till I'm old! And I haven't even done anything wrong."
There seemed to be a huge flaw in their plan to me, though of course I was no judge. "So you want to go back to England. But you're wanted, right? Like, people know your faces from the television."
"Yes," said Meggie, taking deep breaths and trying to remain calm. She knew I was trying to help.
"Well. How on Earth are you going to get there? You can't catch a plane if you're a wanted person; the bus has disappeared; a boat would take months and the same thing goes as with planes ... you're stuck here."
Meggie and Erica looked like they were about to cry. I knew they were strong people, but sometimes even the strongest of people break down. It's the straw that breaks the camel's back... "What can we do, then?"
"I'm an alien, right?" Meggie nodded, acknowledging that I'd spoken. "Well, that means I can do things other humans can't. I think this is the time when you need my help."