23 Exit

Lily feels someone holding her hand. She forces open her heavy eyelids again. Her mother smiles at her. “Hello, Sweetie. Everything is fine. We are moving you out of the hospital like you asked. It is important you’re very still while in this wheelchair. Keep the ice pack tight against your abdomen. You cannot lean over or stand up. Do you understand?”

Lily nods weakly. She looks up to see a very concerning expression on her father’s face. She tries to speak. He leans in to whisper in her ear.

“Listen, Lily. Don’t speak. Something strange is going on and we are concerned. There is a shroud of mystery around the baby’s birth and we want to get you out of here as fast as we can. Someone has offered a private jet to fly us home. Be strong and listen to everything your mother tells you. Can you do this?” Lily nods again.

A nurse approaches them with a small suitcase and a folder in her hands. “I’m Emily. I will be accompanying you on the flight.” She starts to push Lily’s wheelchair towards the exit. The elevator doors open just as Emily pushes the “down” button. Two men step off and extend their hands to Deborah and Bruce.

One of the men leans down to speak to Lily. “Hello, Lily. My name is Joseph Friedman. I am an investor of this important birth in which you played a major role. I will be the protector of the baby as she grows. I wanted to thank you personally before you headed home to Washington. Please accept this check for $30,000 for your college education. This is the customary amount paid for surrogacy services. I know you are sedated, so I will just say ‘thank you’ for now.” Mr. Friedman hands the envelope to Bruce. He accepts it reluctantly.

The nurse wheels Lily into the elevator with her parents close behind. As the elevator doors close, Bruce glances back at the men in suits. Something about them makes him uneasy. He decides to shake it off, along with the entire baby project. All that matters now is to get his daughter and wife home safely.

After the elevator doors have closed on the hospital birthing floor, Joseph turns to his assistant. “Is everything set for the private plane to fly them out of Bethlehem?”

“Yes, everything was arranged per your instructions.”

“Great. Call Cal in D.C. and tell him we are going to need two scientists to replace the Parkers at Humanetics. Tell Dr. Abbott the baby died and to destroy the records. He knows better than to ask questions. Then, call Jack in London and tell him we are going to need a replacement jet and a pilot. Also, tell him to get another nurse for Holy Family Hospital. Send condolences to all of the families after the plane goes down in the Atlantic.”

“Yes, Sir. I’m on it.”

Joseph steps into a private corner and taps a speed dial number on his cell phone. “Geller, everything is going as planned. The family is on its way to board the plane. They depart in one hour. We have a man in place to take out Adrienne Morgan this afternoon after she turns her video files in for editing. We will be sure that everything is locked down here before we leave so that the story will stay out of the Press.”

“This is good news. Shall we proceed?”

“Yes. When I arrive to Tel Aviv tomorrow, we will green light the plans to develop the 144,000 Jewish super warriors you requested.”

“How long will it take, Friedman?”

“Four years. We can have them implanted by the first quarter of 2000.”

“And how long for the embryos and young adults to be launched to the planets we selected?”

“A bit longer, perhaps thirty to thirty-five years.”

“I’ll be an old man.”

“Yes, but you’ll be a very wealthy old man.”

“Excellent!”

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Triple Digit TOC by K.M. Sheridan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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