THE TENTH LEGION
“I don’t understand the advantage.”
As he spoke, her stare never left him. For sure, he wasn’t hard to look at. Her impression of Ed White took a sharp turn for the better when Ethan told her how he’d stayed with a hybrid wife until the end. Few of The Others, especially males, showed such loyalty. The night before, Lorna was ready to give her heart and body to a two-timing lowlife like Jerry because he threw a few roses and a fancy meal her way. Ed’s passion blended with the sincerity in his eyes to create an attractive effect. She decided his chances improved by the minute.
“If there were hybrid children, they’d be indistinguishable from humans. They could blend in, inoculating the human gene pool. Since hybrids are able to breed with humans, they’d spread our genetics around the world. The bottom line is the mutation is local to Europe, but the inoculation isn’t.”
“How does the symbol of the god and goddess enter the picture?”
“It might lead to learning the identity of the earlier First Parents. At least, Grandfather thinks so.”
“Well, he’s a little far away to be any help, so I guess it’s up to us.”
Ed sighed. “I have staff working on the details. My son Toby left for Mars five months ago at his great-pop’s request to follow up, but nothing must interfere with the Mars project.”
Wanting to ask him why he led the corporation to put so much importance on the colonies, instead she said, “What’s the rush? It’s not as if the earth is going anywhere.”
“Many of us believe our lives would be better if we left Earth to the humans. More and more, humanity wants to blame the problems of the last century on us. It’s easier than taking responsibility for their mistakes.”
Her hands pressed flat on the table with fingers splayed. Donatello dusted each nail with a translucent pink that matched her lipstick. Without warning, Ed covered her hands with one of his. His manner—tentative, shy, and tense—impressed her. After she smiled in acceptance of the trifling intimacy, the intense face relaxed. The surprisingly light touch reminded her of Ethan’s as well as that of…Who?
“You have lovely hands,” Ed commented. His eyes bored into her.
Her turn to feel awkward arrived and she sought to change the subject. “What about my case,” she asked. “Don’t I get equal air time?”
“Oh, yes. The solution is simple.” His hand still covered both of hers. “You don’t have ferals. It’s a group engaged in the business of harvesting and selling human organs.” Then he turned toward a sound from the kitchen, adding, “Ah, the main course has arrived.”
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