Gio had never given much thought to the Oversight Committee, but after the number of times they’d been mentioned today, he was going to have to look into it.
Yang closed the window screen and motioned toward the door. “Most of this wing is a collection of rooms like the one you just saw. We’ll visit one of the research rooms, and then Xu will return to take you back to your quarters.”
As Gio followed the two researchers down the hall, he braced himself for what he might see. The researchers had been less than ethical with the adults, and he truly hoped they did better with the children.
Yang and Wallace opened another room by pressing their thumbs onto a scanner. Gio took a deep breath and walked inside.
The two-way mirror didn’t have a screen this time. It looked into a sterile exam room, similar to the one back in Scotland he’d used to interrogate Millie Ward. Instead of an adult, however, there was an unconscious child strapped to a metal table in the center of the room.
One scientist was standing next to the table, injecting a syringe into a young boy who looked to be about twelve years old. Even if he was a first-born—which didn’t seem to matter in this facility—there were some things that shouldn’t be done.
Experimenting on children was one of them.
While he wanted to charge in and release the child, the action would accomplish nothing. He needed information if he was ever to have a chance of freeing the children. Gio kept his voice calm and asked, “What experiment are they running here?”
“The boy is a first-born on the cusp of magical maturity. We’re trying an antibody serum, developed from the chemical lining of a young woman’s uterus. Our hope is to prevent him from feeling elemental particles in the air, and thus nullifying his abilities.”
He surprised even himself when his voice came out devoid of emotion. “Was there anything special about the young woman they used to make the serum?”
Wallace shook his head. “Other than the fact she was sterilized to preserve the chemicals in her uterus, no, there was nothing special with the young woman.”
They were sterilizing children now? Gio couldn’t believe how these two talked about living, breathing Feiru as if they were nothing more than lab mice.
Now, a much bigger goal was forming in the back of his mind, and he forced down his anger. “Dr. Yang, Dr. Wallace, thank you for showing me around. But I need to be heading back so that I can confer with my colleague.”
“Of course,” Yang said. “We’ll take you back to the entrance of this wing, and Xu can show you back to your room. If you have any more questions, just call one of us and ask.”
As they led him back down the hallway, Gio hoped that Evans had put together a docile enough list of latent abilities to appease Liang. While Gio had seen a few abuses today already, he wanted to dig deeper.
He needed to gather evidence if he ever wanted the chance to change the things he’d seen today. He also needed to see how much his father knew about this because if James Sinclair supported the actions they were conducting on the children here, Gio was going to have to reevaluate his goals and figure out how to deal with his father.
After a number of buses and several plane transfers, Marco was finally on the last plane that would take him, Cam, and her team to Quito International Airport in Ecuador. As their plane left Panama City behind—the place of their final layover—Marco took a good look at Cam and tried not to frown.
She did better on planes and buses than on boats, but he could tell all of this flying was getting to her. She looked pale and had refused to eat much of anything over the last twelve hours.
Cam and Marco had spent most of their time separated from Zalika and Jacek, in case one group needed to back up the other. He’d managed to ask Zalika about how Cam usually traveled. She’d told him that if Cam had someone she trusted to look over her, she’d take a sleeping pill and wake up refreshed and ready to go once they reached their destination.
She’d yet to take any kind of sleeping aid, which made Marco wonder if she didn’t want to appear weak in front of him again, or if she just didn’t trust him outside of the bedroom.
The thought of it being the latter grated at him.
They hit some turbulence, and Cam clenched her jaw. He decided she was being ridiculous. He leaned toward her and growled. “Take your damn sleeping pill. You’ll be no use to anyone if you keep being stubborn.”
She gave him a startled look. “How do you know I have sleeping pills?”
“I was tired of seeing you suffer for no reason, so I asked your friends for some help.”
She shook her head. “Anything could happen, and if I’m unconscious, that would be a huge liability. I’ll survive this. I’ve done it before, you know.”
He kept his tone low. “What the hell are you tryin
g to prove? I know you could sit through this and suffer in silence. But, woman, seeing you do it for no reason upsets me. Take the fucking pill, and I’ll watch over you. Unless you don’t trust me to keep you safe.”
Cam hesitated, and it was like a stab into his heart. He whispered, “You don’t trust me.”