Agnes stood over her father. To Patrick she had an intense expression utterly at odds with her years. ‘Daddy, you need to relax. Mummy understood.’
Patrick had given up fighting his binding. ‘What’s happening?’
Agnes frowned, like she was searching for something. It took a moment for Patrick to realise she was listening, concentrating on some voice that only she could hear. ‘The Wise say you wouldn’t understand.’
‘Who the f… hell are the Wise?’
Agnes took a moment and moved away to where the woman who had driven them stood, peering across the fields. Patrick craned to look where she was looking but gave up. ‘Ask them if Mummy is alright.’
Agnes looked at him and smiled. ‘Oh yes, mummy will be ok. She’s being seeded.’
‘Seeded? What’s that mean?’
The woman turned and moved next to Agnes. ‘It’s time.’ She put a hand on Agnes’ shoulder and moved her away. However hard he called, his daughter paid him not the slightest attention. It was as if she couldn’t hear his pleas.
Gregor came off the phone. ‘As best we can judge there are similar examples to Normanton and the market in China throughout each continent. The best communications are currently long wave Radio Hams. Trouble is no one is able to monitor the traffic with any degree of consistency. However, the messages from Russia and Canada suggest unusual activity in the skies above 60 degrees north.’
Prentis peered at his boss. ‘What do you mean? ‘Unusual activity?’’
Gregor shrugged. ‘I’d guess they mean space craft. Alien space craft.’
‘You’re kidding me? What on Earth is going on?’
Pensivity grimaced. ‘The Cull?’
Gregor nodded. Prentis stared from one to the other. ‘Cull?’ His voice couldn’t hide the panicked note that had slipped inside his normally calm façade.