He waited. If Liang said no, they’d have to leave tomorrow. If he said yes, Gio could finally ask for a tour of the facilities and do a little snooping around.
Liang unfolded his hands and leaned forward on his desk. “I want to know, in detail, about what types of abilities have appeared and their dangers. Once I see the list, I can determine if any of them are safe enough to allow here for a trial run.”
At least that wasn’t an outright no. Gio nodded. “We’ll do that today. But in order to better pitch possible dangers and risks, is it possible to have a tour of the whole facility, not just the empty wing?”
“While you were given clearance, Mr. Sinclair, Dr. Evans was not. If you wish to have a tour, you’ll have to do it alone.”
Gio looked to Evans, and Evans said, “I have work to do. Just show me to a lab with computers, a secure phone line, and database access. I’ll start compiling the list for you straight away.”
“Done.” Liang pressed a button on his desk and stood up.
The door opened to show a short woman, and she said, “Yes, sir?”
“Set up a lab for Dr. Evans in the empty wing, and give him what he asks for.” The woman nodded, and Liang looked back to Gio. “I’ll have someone come round to your room later and give you a tour. Will that work?”
“Yes. Thank you, Mr. Liang.”
“I’m looking forward to maybe working together. The sooner I get the list, the sooner I can give you a more definitive answer.”
Evans nodded. “I should have a full report ready for you in a few days.”
“All right, gentlemen, if there is anything else you need, just ask Mrs. Wu. She can schedule a meeting once you’re ready.”
The woman named Mrs. Wu motioned for them to follow her, and they started walking.
So far, so good. Things were going according to plan.
Richard stopped the little inflatable motor boat next to the large yacht, and someone threw down a rope ladder.
He nudged her to get up, but Cam couldn’t manage it. She felt like she’d just woken up from a severe bout of food poisoning, and even lying down, she felt woozy. “I can’t do it, Richard, I just can’t.”
He frowned down at her, and for a second she thought he might care if she lived or died, but then a hard expression returned to his face. “I think you have gone soft with age.” He shouted to the people above for something to haul her up.
She was too exhausted to reply. A stretcher board secured on all four sides with rope came into view. Richard picked her up, placed her on the board, and strapped her in.
As they hauled her up, she wondered what the hell had happened to Marco. It’d been hours since she’d seen the ice flower in her window. And no doubt he’d done more than just put a flower. If she’d been in his place, she would’ve planted a tracking device, too.
Yet as far as she could see, there weren’t any other boats on the water. He had to know her current location, so where was he?
When she was nearly to the railing on the ship, Cam tried one last time to extend her claws, but nothing happened. She truly was going into this as an underdog.
A man finally came into view—lean with a long torso and broad shoulders—and he hauled her up and over the railing. There was no way to tell if he was human or Feiru, but since Richard had said these people would give her a new way to get her sister out of the AMT, she reckoned the man was Feiru. And with her luck, he was either a first-born or someone with a latent ability.
The man undid the last strap, stood, and frowned down at her. “So this is the great Camilla Melini, eh? I had expected more.”
These people knew of her, so no sense trying to play the part of a weakling. Besides, in her experience, showing attitude earned respect with mercenary-types. “Fuck you.”
The man chuckled and looked to a woman with short blond hair standing behind him. “Her spirit is the first thing that’s got to go.”
Over her dead body.
A third person came into view, and the pair addressed the middle-aged Hispanic man as “captain.” He merely stood five feet away from her and stared.
They all kept silent until Richard jumped over the rail and said, “I brought her to you, just as you asked.”
The man who’d hauled her up replied, “First we’re going to test her. If she passes, then we’ll discuss terms.”