"Sir, are we sure we want to do this?" Scott asked, looking at the General in his rear-view mirror. "She doesn't know, nobody else knows, so why risk it?"
General Briggs, was in the rear of the car, reading a report. His thin wire framed glasses were balanced on the end of his nose. Briggs raised his head and looked up at the mirror and their eyes met.
"Of course, it's a risk. There are too many factors at play not to be a risk. But we can't afford to have them living there any longer. The situation is already sensitive. I've just finished reading the report on last night's raid at the pharmaceutical plant. Four guards killed, over fifty percent of the stock was taken and the damage caused to the plant is going to put it out of action for at least three weeks. This was not an isolated incident. The Flawed are becoming restless, something or someone is stirring them up. I want them out of there and under our direct influence as soon as possible."
"What if they don't want her? What if she doesn't want to come back?" Scott pressed.
"Everybody has a price, Scott. It is our job to work out what that price is and if we can't then we shall resort to more unsavoury means. How much further?" Briggs asked, looking at his watch.
"Less than a mile, sir."
Moments later, Scott pulled the car up outside the tall ornate wrought iron gates of a house in the leafy-green suburb of Charm. The house was a modern combination of glass walls, steel girders and stripped wood cladding. The sunlight bounced of its shiny surfaces causing Scott to squint. Raising his hand up to shield his eyes, he scanned the immediate area. Five similar properties occupied this quiet cul-de-sac. Each property had a perfectly manicured lawn and overly designed flower borders. There was no natural planting here, every plant had been bred, selected and planted to satisfy a master plan. He chuckled to himself thinking about how much fun he could have with a random pack of seeds thrown carelessly about.
Pulling forward, so that his car was in front of the gates, his window moved down and he reached over and pressed the green talk button on the Intercom.
"Yes?" came an abrupt male voice.
"General Briggs to see Mr and Mrs Page."
The gates slowly opened inward and Scott drove up the long driveway. The imposing house looked more impressive the closer they got to it, as did the two identical black coupes parked out front. Scott pulled up behind the cars in front of a large wooden door. Having spent the last few weeks following the girl and dissecting her godforsaken drab existence, the contrast here alarmed him. He leaned over and picked up a file from the passenger seat. The information they were about to reveal was going to turn these people's lives upside down. Exiting the car, he moved around to the other side and opened the door for Briggs. Briggs stepped out gracefully and looked the house up and down, with a sneer.
Scott rapped twice on the heavy brass door knocker. Moments later, the door opened.
"General Briggs, what an honour it is to have you visit our humble home."
Scott recognised Page immediately- John Page, 42, Senior Analyst at LogiKon. Birth father to Miss Hannah Green.
"Hello, Mr Page," Briggs replied and offered his hand. This this is my colleague Mr Scott". Page looked down at Briggs hand and after a slight hesitation, shook it. He ignored Scott entirely.
"I must say I was more than a little worried about your call yesterday. We have never had somebody of your position in our home before. Please come this way, my wife is waiting for us in the kitchen," Page spoke, nervously.
Dressed in smart navy suit trouser with a pale blue shirt and a light pink tie, he had only been back home from work for twenty or so Scott's team informed them as they pulled up to the house.
YOU ARE READING
The NumberedScience Fiction
Imagine the second you're born, a consultant removes you from your mother's grasp and runs a battery of genetic and physiological tests on you. Thirty minutes later they give you a score out of one hundred which denotes your level of perfection. If...