Sat with his legs crossed, his back against the wooden retaining wall. Around him insects buzzed, as the scent of the plants drifted through the still humid air. The atmosphere soothed and angered him in equal quantities, as memories he would rather forget push forward. A life he had wanted now gone. He had found the roof garden by accident, but was now pleased he had. No one came up here and it was the perfect place for him to be. Of course, he wasn’t alone, Millie his young guard was stood nearby, always watching.
Gillian had ben sending him reports along with emails almost from the start of him being here. He had found the new lap laptop that first morning along with a note. No, Gillian though, a small part of him disappointed.
His eyes focus once again on the report. The Adam program is beyond failing and if this report is correct, he can clearly see they are too late to reverse the decline. His mind drifts again, thinking about Commune and all the people. How keen they were for him and Sophie to have a baby. That dream gone along with Sophie; he pushes her from his mind, the only way to stop the insanity of his situation overwhelming him. His gaze drifts to the words of the other suggestions made. He fully appreciates he isn’t alone working on this particular problem. He particularly likes the reports written by someone who just signs double A. He musses at what their name might be, Anna maybe.
The more he reads the more he comes to realise Gen-Corp isn’t the bad guy here, Mother Nature is along with those first scientists, that made the drug in the first place. A sigh escapes his lips, as he rubs the muscles in his neck. If his suspicions are correct, they like him, were backed into a corner with extinction staring them in the face, and laughing, as it is him now. What a mess his only thought.
Why is Gillian letting him read all this stuff, that’s simple, he is an Echo child, and some believe he and others like him are the answer. They will inherit the Earth and in short as the population dies, the Echo children will flourish. A new breed of human, bred to detailed specification, one hundred of us, as that is all you need. One hundred different genetic codes can breed with each other exponentially. It’s not nice thinking about all the people he has met will simply die, while he thrives with abnormal long life and the ability to breed longer than Mother Nature intended humans to breed, but that is the reality. The only problem he can see is that they are scattered, but he suspects someone knows where they all are, and is trying to get us reunited. Tribe and Sophie gave him the first clue.
So that leaves him with his next question, where are Tribe? He suspects somewhere in what was once Europe. A small country that was shielded from the initial disaster and the unrest and wars that happened, and probably quite hard to get too. Its geography a deterrent. So, has survived intact, and even now it has managed to stay isolated. He looks at the maps he has on his computer screen to see if anywhere fits.
The other thing he considered, is it had at one time, some sort of facility, research for military or pharmaceutical. Does Thom know where it is, no, he doesn’t think he does.
Sighing, he places the laptop with the report he is reading down. Glancing to his right a small smile pulls at his lips. The young guard stood ridged. He knows he is her first assignment and she is desperate to prove herself.
Reaching over to the cardboard box by his knee, he flips the lid up and reaches inside. Retrieving a piece of pizza, relishing it's smell, as cheesy strings hang from it. Two days it had taken him to work out how to get it delivered. It always amazed him how some things were so broken now, and others were not.
‘Do you want a piece Millie?’ His grin cheeky, as he glances at his guard. She is a plain looking girl, her soft brown eyes her stand out feature. Most likely sterilised to contaminated to breed. This was a good job for her. Well paid, lifting her small family out of poverty.
‘No, ma’am, I mean sir, sorry, I have to watch my figure,’ he chuckles at her obvious embarrassment a blush stains her cheeks.
‘Lord, do I still look like a girl!’ he exclaims easing her discomfort.
‘No sir, sorry, I haven’t met many men, you don’t look anything like a girl,’ he stuffs the piece of pizza into his mouth to stop the laughter that threatens to erupt as her blush deepens. ‘You are very beautiful, and smart, not like other Adams I have met,’ she tries to back track.
‘Yeah, you so do,’ a distinct male voice pulls Adams attention from his laptop. Millie snaps to attention checking for any threat. Looking up to see the muscular figure of Thomas. Sinking gracefully to sit against the same wall Adam is leant against. Peering first at the computer screen, and then the opened box of pizza.
‘I don’t know how you can read that stuff all day,’ he sighs and helps himself to pizza.
‘I like working up here, it is calming after all the revelations I have had. Gillian gave me full security access,’ Adam shrugs.
‘Security access to what?’ he mumbles his eyes closed as he doses.
‘Nothing that would interest you,’ he snorts but doesn’t show anymore interest. Adam knows this is a ploy and he is anything but interested.
Turning his attention back to the report he is reading, ignoring Thomas. Thomas’s gentle snoring indicating he has lost his attention. Seeing that Gillian has already implemented some of his suggestions. Shutting down the Adam Program. It is failing, even the boys created, a percentage are infertile. Monitored pregnancies also seem to be failing. Causing a shortage of new Adam's entering the already strained system. Couple this with the constant threat of inbreeding. Adam can see the looming disaster.
A vaccination program of a selection of girls is being trialled. He believes it is time to stop focusing on the boys and look at the girls. Distracted, by a new email. A smile graces his lips as he opens it and reads it.
Hi sexy, miss you loads, like what you are doing, here are some suggestions for you on the changes you are making xxx
Thanks Gillian, glad you like the changes.
You need to watch your back, I have heard rumours xxx
Thanks for the warning I will xxx
Surely, I am safe here???
Oh, you are so sweet and naïve you cannot trust anyone xxx
I will bear that in mind xxx
Adam clicks on the attachment and starts reading a report on the movement of the girls. The decision was made to quarantine them for three months before putting them with the boys. A precaution to minimise sickness after all the boys have had no outside contact.
Taking the matching system that was already in place and modifying it. Instead of letting the girls take the boys home they are now moved to a couple’s home. Giving them access to better food and conditions. Taking the threat of abduction away at the same time. So, they can be monitored, and any baby produced is cared for. Halving the mortality, while at the same time doubling the conception rate. Eventually finding communities like the one he belonged to with Sophie where these little families can grow and thrive.
‘When did you get back, Gillian said you were in France?’
‘Got back this morning,’
‘Shame we haven’t any beer then this would be perfect,’ Thomas mutters and Adam snorts.
‘Like the girls would allow that,’ Adam answers dryly making Thomas chuckle. ‘What took you so long I contacted you days ago,’ Adam grumbles.
‘Stuff to do,’
‘What sort of stuff?’
‘Your brother stuff,’
‘You found him?’
‘He wasn’t exactly lost,’ Thom sucks cheese from his fingers.
‘What does that mean?’ Annoyance laced Adams voice. ‘Gillian,’ Adam sighs. He had read that report. How Aaron was kept in a facility rather than a home. His only companion Gillian while she learnt how to run a global business. Adam knew he was the spare, the unwanted twin, put into a home and forgotten. Not Aaron, Gen-Corp had always known where he was. Until now, they had given him back to Tribe, as agreed once he turned eighteen. Then promptly lost him, much to Gillian’s disgust.
‘Not just Gillian,’
‘What happened. Is he safe?’ Adam asks with alarm.
‘Dread riders, that’s what happened,’ Thomas grunts.
‘How, why, he belongs to Tribe. Gillian told me she gave him back,’ Adam runs his hands through his hair. Glancing at Thomas wondering how he could be so calm.