Chapter One (Part Two)
“Hello. This is your government. I am going to announce various student numbers. If one of those numbers is yours. Please stay here, if your number isn't called out. Please leave. I shall begin telling them now... ”. Andrea listened as number and letter spiels were ringed off. She knew Harriet and Tom's numbers simple because her memory was wacky that way. The man gave two student ID's and cleared his throat.
“And lastly, 027GF59B.” Andrea felt her eyes grow wider as she recognised her own number. Maybe they need smart kids, yeah, that sounds totally logically.
“You'll have to let us know what the government are getting you to do. Bet it's kick ass,” Tom commented. Harriet gave him a frown then realised what he meant.
“Was that your student ID number?” Harriet asked, mouth hanging open. Andrea nodded uncomfortably. The women grabbed the microphone and gave a sharp order.
“You heard the instruction, Anyone not called out please return to your normal classes.”
“See you later Andy,” Tom said, giving a mock salute as he followed Harriet. Andrea stood still as the crowd teetered down to three people. Her, a guy and the biker girl she'd ran into earlier.
“So … any clue what's going on?” the girl asked, looking completely at ease. Andrea wondered if she had been smoking something.
“No,” Andrea replied, crossing her arms as the wind picked up a little. Then it picked up a lot.
“Woah.” If Andrea had doubts about which one of them was most likely to smoke weed, the guy's slow drawled out sound of shock answered her question quickly. The helicopter was huge, not that she knew how big a small, medium or large helicopter was meant to be. But she never expected to ride in one. The pilot stayed put while a man dressed in a security outfit motioned them on board. The three shared unsure glances until the biker girl shrugged and climbed in first. Andrea followed and the guy clambered in last.
“Hey there, let me help strap you guys in properly.” Andrea was startled by the chirpy voice so much she didn't protest as the man invaded her personal space doing up her belts. He moved onto biker girl, the high guy had already done it himself. So he's a rich brat who smokes weed, Andrea concluded.
The older guy collapsed into his own seat opposite the three of them with a happy sigh and strapped himself in. When he was done he looked up to smile at them. Andrea waited for him to say something but he seemed content just smiling and looking out the window.
“This is the part where you tell us what's going on?” Andrea provoked, her voice sounding more short-tempered than she'd intended. The older guy blinked a few seconds in surprise before nodding.
“Yes, yes, I should. Ermm … it's kind of long, you should probably wait until we get to the compound. Mr Stuart can explain it all better,” he replied. His annoyingly thick and wavy brown hair bobbing with every movement he made. They sat in awkward silence for a few minutes, Andrea tried to convey where they were headed but all she saw was fields, rivers and forests. No especially captivating landmarks to work with.
“What's your name?” Biker girl asked. Andrea raised an eyebrow in surprise.
“Andrea, my friends call me Andy though,” she answered.
“Francis, nice to meet you,” she replied, holding out a leather, finger-less gloved hand. Andrea took it with slight trepidation. She couldn't help but feel intimidated by this beast of a girl.
“I'm Peter,” the guy said with an overly friendly grin in her direction. Andrea sent a disgusted one back and turned away.
“Don't think she's interested buddy, and no one asked your name,” Francis said. Andrea decided in that moment that she and Francis were going to be good friends.
“Just tell us something, otherwise this feels like kidnapping,” Andrea finally exploded. The older guy looked genuinely shocked by the outburst but nodded solemnly. It was the kind of nod Andrea didn't like the sight off. It reminded her too much of the night her father's police partner came home instead of her father. She saw him make that nod to her mother before being ushered upstairs. A few days later she attended her father's funeral. She went through an obsessed stage of wanting to track down the criminal who shot him. But she got over it, eventually.
“My name's Danny by the way,” he threw out there as he gathered himself. Francis rolled her eyes and waited to hear what he had to say.
“It's going to be hard to believe, but I can sum it up quite easily,” he said, not meeting any of their gazes.
“What's the problem?” Andrea pushed, leaning forward and forcing him to meet her grey eyes. He hesitated and swallowed uncomfortably. When he answered Andrea could only think, if only Tom were here right now.