Chapter Three (part two)
“Yes, aliens exist. And they're planning to attack Earth.” Any silly whispers and giggles died instantly, eyes widened, mouths dropped open, lips shook. Andrea felt her breathing speed up a little and gulped but didn't pull her gaze or blink. The stunned silence dragged on and Andrea waited for him to continue but instead he surveyed them all curiously. Is he waiting for someone to ask the obvious question? Fine then
“So, what do you want us to do about it?” her voice came across harsher than she'd intended but her emotions were all over the place, it was worse than PMS. He didn't seem surprised that it was her who broke the silence. He seemed to be giving her more attention than before. Any other guy, she'd think it was a creepy older guy checking out a younger girl. But something about his eyes were too cold, too calculated. He was simply deciding how useful she was to him.
“When you were all still babies, you received an extra vaccine on top of your usual ones. Your parents all signed form agreeing to this, they like us believed it would improve things such as IQ. What they didn't know that we did, was that IQ was only among some of what it could do. In theory, the vaccine could've done anything. You were among our initial test subjects for this.” He opened his mouth to continue. You're skipping facts.
“I find it hard to believe you had a subject size of just under twenty. Surely you would've wanted a bigger group to effectively determine what this vaccine did?” Andrea interrupted, barely hiding her suspicion with a layer of genuine interest.
Now he was mirroring her narrowed eyes. She saw him trying to decide whether she was annoying or extremely smart. Of course, her IQ is higher than the average, not by much. But she'd always liked to think it was her own resourcefulness, not some proxy science thing.
“Since you chose to pick up on it. The vaccine was a disaster. The subject size was just over one-hundred-and-fifty. You are the only ones who survived,” his steely eyes dared her to challenge him. If someone hadn't beaten her to it, she totally would've.
“Holy shit, you killed babies? For some vaccine? Didn't you do the proper initial testing or something?!” After this a few others quickly jumped in, some saying no more a spiel of swear words. Others asking about the initial testing. Obvious things. When things grew quiet enough Andrea leaned forward on the desk and projected her voice.
“How badly did the government want this? And just how many loopholes did they let you jump through for it?” His eyes narrowed further. Andrea suspected he wasn't going to let her hang around the compound much longer. Too smart for your own good sometimes …
“We need gifted individual for various reasons. They decided the risk was worth it. Hopefully after some testing. We'll see just how much. I already looked at some of your files, one or two of you know exactly what ability I'm referring to. Others show no evidence of being anything … special,” he had to look at her as he said that. It was probably the only petty way he could think off to make her back off.
I'm a bitch and I don't scare easy buddy.
“I think that's enough for one day. Please go outside, Angie will show the girls to their quarters and Danny will show the boys. First thing tomorrow morning, your testing will start. This is to swiftly determine who should or shouldn't stay. No doubt you've all seen and read the sheet of paper before you. You need to sign that before you leave this room.” He didn't wait to hear their responses and left.
Like hell I'm signing this contract, this is the kind of thing the world should know about.
“You need to sign it to leave kid.” The others had been and gone to their quarters. Some had been stubborn but the lull of sleep made them give in. She met Danny's gaze evenly and he made a sound of annoyance.
“It's like having two of you,” he muttered. Andrea frowned, something he noticed quickly but didn't explain further.
“Fine! Don't sign. But Mr Stuart will find a way to erase your memories, or worse you,” Danny said.
“He can't do that, it's il-”
“Illegal? This guy works outside the law, didn't you figure that out yet? You were the one interrogating him from what I could tell looking at the tapes,” Danny exclaimed with a half-crazy laugh. Andrea had a feeling he didn't agree with some of the work that had happened. Like maybe the vaccines, but obviously he knew too much. Was he going to be 'erased' if he choose to leave? She'd have to ask him another day. She forced a frustrated sigh through her teeth and picked up the pen, it was black ink. The kind of pens that glide over paper easily, nothing like uneven ballpoint pens. This man made himself seem rich and imposing in every way, no detail overlooked. Andrea didn't like the arrogance. She signed the paper. I'll find a way.