Adam finds the tent Aaron and Flo are in quickly, and they usher him inside. He is a little surprised to find they are not alone there are a selection of boys and they gaze at Adam with open curiosity.
Sitting on a chair he pulls his laptop from his bag. He then removes a couple of paper bags the delicious scent of fresh cooked bread and meat fills the room. He puts that on another small table.
‘What’s the plan then Adam?’ Aaron asks as he shares out the food.
‘Well I am not entirely sure, but I could contact either Gillian or Thomas or both, but I thought I would speak to you first,’ Adam looks up at Aaron as he bites his bottom lip. A mannerism they both share, Aaron has his arm wrapped around Florence.
‘When you say Gillian, you mean madam Ramsbottom don’t you,’ Florence narrows her eyes at Adam, and he can’t help it as a blush heats his cheeks. There is a collective gasp from the boys sat around us.
‘Yes, I sort of belong to her,’ Adam explains while gazing at them all.
‘Well found her type,’ Florence mutters as Arron grins.
‘If that’s the case why are you here?’ One of the older boys asks his brown eyes survey Adam as if he is deciding whether he could take him in a fight.
‘I was taken, same as you,’ Adam shrugs.
‘Except you aren’t the same as us are you. You are taken care of, you aren’t going to be sold to a stranger to be milked to death, if we are lucky,’ a younger boy growls at Adam his blue eyes flashing with hatred making Adam recoil away from him and his hostility.
‘Hey, enough he isn’t the bad guy here,’ Aaron steps in.
‘Actually, I am the same as you, the only difference is I belong to someone further up the chain and I am an Echo child, so more people know I exist and so want me.’ Adam smiles at them as the door opens and a figure steps in wrapped in a cloak concealing their gender and identity. All eyes shift from Adam to the intruder as they pull the cloak down and away from their face.
Both Adam and Aaron jump to their feet when they see Andrea and run into her arms hugging her tight.
‘Thank goodness,’ Aaron sighs in relief.
‘Miss me lamb?’
‘Yeah this tough stuff just isn’t me,’ Aaron chuckles.
‘Missed you as well my little lamb,’ she chuckles, as she extricates herself from them and in doing so reveals her tattoo on her shoulder showing she is one of Gen-Corps special forces. A couple of the boys pull knives as they surround us.
‘Knew the posh git was a traitor,’ one snarls as they advance.
‘No please you have got this all wrong, this is Andrea she will help us,’ Adam explains quickly.
‘Stand down boys he is right,’ Aaron commands them.
‘In charge now boy,’
‘No not really,’ Aaron smirks.
’Um how do you know Andrea? Adam asks looking between them.
‘I used to be Gillian’s companion Andrea was my bodyguard. Taught me to drink and play poker mostly,’ Aaron grins.
‘Is that where you went…after,’ Adam sets his gaze on his brother. ‘She told me you always knew I was alive,’ his voice is hurt.
‘Yeah I knew you were alive and more importantly safe,’ Aaron dropped his gaze before turning his attention to Andrea.
‘How are you here?’
‘I came to get Adam, I am with Thomas I was just testing the security when I saw Adam sneaking about, so I followed him, he is still an unobservant idiot,’ Adam punches her arm with a grin.
‘Thomas is here, where is he?’ Aaron asks amazed at this turn of events.
‘Oh yeah I emailed him,’ Adam reveals still grinning like an idiot.
‘You are with Thomas, governor Jakes son?’ Florence moves forward, ‘I need to speak to him.’
‘You know him?’ Andrea narrows her eyes at Florence. ‘How.’
‘He was my contact up until last year and then all communication stopped,’ Florence answers her voice all business her stance full of authority. ‘I was helping him find the twins, I ran into trouble eighteen months ago when I found this idiot,’ she indicates Aaron who grins. ‘Soon after I lost contact,’ she explains her arm around Aaron holding him close.
‘Princess Huissen, yes I heard nasty business, sorry for your loss,’
‘Thank you, is Naomi with you I need to leave my time is near,’
‘We have set up a small camp not far from here so we could observe the camp,’ She gazes around. ‘I see Thomas contact was right, something else is going on here,’ her eyes settle on Aaron. ‘Neither of you are safe here I will report back, and we will move things along to get you out. Don’t underestimate Ariella she is watching you both. She isn’t fooled Florence your influence will only protect him for so long,’ Andrea retrieves her cloak from where it fell and wraps it around herself effectively concealing herself. She hugs Adam and then turns to leave.
‘Wait,’ Aaron calls. ‘Please take Florence with you, get her away somewhere where she will be safe,’ Andrea hesitates.
‘No, I am not leaving you, we both go or not at all,’ Florence argues.
‘If I remove anyone it will be Adam, he is in the most danger here, no princess protecting him. You can say no to Thomas and Gillian for that matter Adam. Your sense of duty will get you killed,’ Adam blushes at Andreas harsh words as Aaron pulls Florence into his side.
‘Andrea she is carrying one of us the child will be a boy with the same immunity as I have, we can’t let Lady Ariella have the child, he will be the first of a new human race, Thom will know what to do,’ Adam says quietly.
‘Will he, you kept that piece of information from him didn’t you lamb?’ Andrea looks at Aaron smirking.
‘How do you know the baby is a boy that is impossible?’ one of the boys interjects.
‘Because that is what we were made to do, breed boys like us, a new human race, immune to the contaminant, the first generations will only produce males, with extended natural life as we mix with the population the genetics will get diluted and eventually after a few generations, the human race will be able to breed normally again, immune to the contaminant.’ Adam explains quietly as a hush falls over the room and all eyes turn to him. Adam swallows a nervous lump forming in his throat.
‘My god, imagine the power anyone would have if they had control of you two, they could mate you endlessly.’
‘No, that is the clever bit Doctor Echo knew that would happen, that people would try to exploit us so we can only breed with girls close to our genetic match and he built in a failsafe in that it will only lead to a pregnancy if it is done naturally, not in a dish outside the womb, our sperm dies outside the body.’
‘Jeez Adam how do you know all this stuff,’ Aaron frowns at his twin.
‘Oh, Gillian has been sending me all the old notes and reports, between us we have been piecing it together, obviously Gillian wanted to test the theory, so I spent a large amount of time living with her. We um tried the natural theory as well,’ Adam blushes and Andrea bursts out laughing. ‘Gillian is very persuasive,’ Adam coughs.
‘Gillian loves her games and life’s pleasures,’ Aaron smirks at Adams blush. ‘Yeah she had me reading all the old Adam program files crafty girl,’ Aaron chuckles.
‘Not such a meek little lamb,’ Andrea laughs thumping Adams back making him stumble.
‘I am not a child,’ Adam splutters with indignation. ‘I have a son of my own,’
‘But surely two isn’t enough,’ the brown eyed boy questions.
‘You have a son?’
‘Yes, and a wife, Sophie.’
‘Sophie, is my sister a princess of Tribe?’ Florence reveals frowning at Adam. ‘Are you boy?’
‘Um, yes,’ Adam answers with hesitation. ‘Sophie isn’t a princess, though she did mention Tribe and a house under the sea.’
‘She has gone home, about time,’ Florence mutters as a small smile pulls at her mouth as she looks at Adam.
‘But two isn’t enough,’ the brown eyed boy insists cutting off the brothers banter.
‘No, it isn’t, there are more of us, The Echo foundation.’
‘Apparently, yes,’ Adam answers.
‘So, hang on, if that is true, why are you here? Why aren’t you with them?’
‘That’s the bit that so far doesn’t fit, they have had chances to obtain me and Aaron, but they haven’t, and I don’t understand that,’ Adam shrugs.