“We simply do not want our daughter’s biostats in any database we have no control over.” Her father stated. His cultured tone suggested anyone questioning such a desire should check their intelligence.
Either professor McKenna chose to ignore it or wasn’t even aware, since he continued with his arguments. “But she’s exceptionally gifted! Her reaction time is phenomenal, her physical biorhythm steadier than any ever recorded. Her emotional one suggests she might have extrasensoric abilities and her intellectual biostats comfirms her exceptional intellect.”
“She could help us understand so much about the human brain, set our understanding forward by leaps.”
That was the worst thing the man could’ve said to her father. Her father straightened even more in his seat. “My daughter will no be an experiment! And I will have every copy in your system.”
The dean of science, in whose office they were, turned to Liv. His face giving no clue to his thoughts on the matter. “Miss Wainwright, you’ve reached the age of consent so it’s up to you.”
Liv lifted her chin just a bit, her gaze holding the dean’s. She’d always had exceptional physical qualities, even a near hypnotic draw to her rather flawless beauty. Most times she found herself having to pull back so as not to seriously hurt or outrun others.
It’d never been a problem in high school, but college was another ballgame. Well okay, so she’d been dumb enough to take part in a precollege biostatistical programme. Got so caught up that she’d showed more of who she was than wise. ’. . . she might have extrasensoric abilities . . . Liv shuddered at how close that statement came since she did have some form of ESP.
Which meant she had to be deplomatic in her answer, bring out the irresistible charm she was known for. “I’ve loved being part of your programme professor, finding my peak production days and optimizing my capabilities.”
The phone at the dean’s desk rang and Liv stopped her train of speech. To be honest, she was glad for the interruption. This was more serious than talking a teacher she’d known for years out of punishments due.
“Yes?” The dean said into the phone, his voice gruff. He listen for a moment whilst everyone looked at him, as if they could figure out what he heard. “Send them in.” He said, then put the phone down.
Liv was curious, but her mother had taught her from a young age that a lady waited for people to come to her and not show unbecoming curiosity. So much as she wanted to turn around and see who entered, she remained facing the dean’s desk. Much as her parents did.
“Dr and Mrs Wainwright, Miss Wainwright could we have a moment of your time?” A neutral, authoritative voice stated.
At that, Liv turned her head as her father stood up to face the suits that had entered the office. There were three of them, but as the door closed Liv saw more outside it. Unmistakable agents of some kind.
“And who might you be?” Her father questioned with the confidence of generations of good breeding.
“Homeland security sir.” He replied showing her father a badge.
Her dad took the badge from the man, who let him. As far as Liv knew, these kinds of men didn’t allow people to take their badges. But her father wasn’t just anyone. Even though he’d gone into medicine, the Wainwrights were a political family.
“What is this about?” Her dad asked as he handed the badge back.
“If you and your family would come with us to the office, we’ll explain everything.” The man turned his gaze to Liv’s professor then indicated the two men with him. “These two agents will see to it that all of miss Wainwright’s information is handed over.”
Professor McKenna’s eyes widened, his mouth opened as if to protest but only a croak came out. “May I ask what miss Wainwright’s stats have to do with national security?” The dean asked, his back at attention even as he remained seated.
“No, you may not.” The lead agent specified then turned to her father, “sir, if you please.”
Liv’s dad held out his hand and her mom stood up and took it. Her parents always held hands, even though the rest of their family believed affection should be reserved for private places. Liv followed her father as he marched out like the agents were his bodyguard.
“We’ll follow you.” Her dad asserted before the agents could lead them to separate cars.
The drive to the Homeland security offices seemed to take forever and yet passed in a blur. She couldn’t even tell which of the three offices they went to. Her mind was bound in recriminations. This was all her fault. If she hadn’t participated in professor McKenna’s program they wouldn’t be in this mess.
Was she a threat to national security?
Her parents were talking about ordinary things, acting like nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Liv wished she could be as calm as they were. All she could think about were scenes where she found herself attached to electrodes while they demanded she perform various tasks.
Why had she joined the program? It wasn’t like she didn’t have enough college credits already. Once there, she trailed after her parents, acutely aware of the men that surrounded them. For some reason, she could seperate their scents. She could even fool herself into thinking she could tell their emotions from them. But that was ridiculous.
Something shifted inside her, like maybe a sentient power that had been sleeping but was agitated enough to want to come forward. It wasn’t the first time she’d felt this sensation and like all the times in the last two years dread ran down her spine.
She didn’t fear whatever power this was. No, some instinct told her she wasn’t ready for it to manifest, that she’d die if it did. Liv found the instances where she was aware of that power to be comforting, as chilling as they left her.