I made excuses and got Shelley out of there as soon as I could. "Listen. I need to talk to you, and quickly."
"What is it?" She looked disgruntled. Perhaps that was because I'd half pulled her down the stairs, and with a broken leg that was somewhat uncomfortable -- but she'd thank me later.
"It's been a month since you gave birth, right?" She nodded unwillingly, not liking to be reminded of that. "Your leg is healing. You've got messages to Shane Waltham and you know he's alive. Your mother has found out where you are. But I have something to tell you: Doc is going to try and escape."
"He talks in his sleep. I'm the only one that knows and he doesn't know that I know, but I think you deserve for me to tell you. When we next set down for supplies, which should be quite soon by my calculations, he's going to make a run for it. He doesn't care where he ends up as long as he's back on Earth." I was speaking in a low voice so that the Voices didn't hear me.
"But he can't. What about me? He can't leave me behind!"
"Shhh!" I put a hand against her lips to keep her quiet. "Now, what you need to remember is this: he doesn't know you know. And he also doesn't know we're walking around right now. I will take you to see him."
"You can't," she said, much to my surprise. "Please, Dr Jones, for my sake -- don't take me to see him. Not now."
"Why? I thought you wanted to see him." I was puzzled.
"I do," she replied. "But if I see his face again it will make it even harder for me to leave him, and I want him to escape. I'd only slow him down, with my leg like this! No. It will make everything too hard..." I could swear there were tears in her eyes, though she brushed them away just seconds later.
"Then we have to find a way for you to escape too. You're only sixteen. You deserve a real life, not this. Come on, Shelley, look at me. You have to believe that I can get you out of here, okay?" I stared down at the floor and then back at her. "After all, you're not under guard right now. We can get you off this ship."
"Not when my mother's so close to the Management we can't. Because if I escape and the Voices tell the Management, she'll be hurt. Killed, even." That was a side of the story I hadn't even given a thought to. "I have to wait until she's safe."
"I don't think the Voices and the Management are working all that closely together now, actually." Suddenly it made sense. "The Management watch all the CCTV tapes from here really carefully, to keep an eye on you. But the Voices don't yet know about your eyes, right? Because they haven't bothered to look, and they haven't seen it on the tapes."
Michelle got it too. "And yet the Management must have noticed, but they haven't told the Voices yet. I see what you're saying! They're keeping secrets." Her eyes darkened briefly, until they were almost their old colour. "But why?"