The Proposal (part 55)

“Ayn, you’ve seen the vid that’s now circulating about the Terrestrials and your father? Good,” she continued when Ayn nodded. “What he may not have told you was that the vid has generated death threats against your father.”

“What?” Ayn leaned back against the door, looking at her dad, who was busy looking at the phone in his hand.

Zoe scratched on the other side of the door.

“We of course take these kinds of things seriously,” Father Gheraeld said, coming to stand in front of Ayn, and taking one of her hands in both of his. “Your father is Chief Science Counsel. Threatening him threatens all of us on the Counsel, which as you know, is a punishable offense.”

Ayn nodded, looking from her dad to Father Gheraeld, who smiled at her and squeezed her hand. “Now, we’ve come to find out that you have a connection with one of the perpetrators, a young man named Nev Wellybrzm.”

Ayn tried to pull her hand away, but Father Gheraeld wasn’t letting go, not with his hands, or with his gaze—which seemed to hold her in place.

“And Ayn, we were hoping you could help us rein in the group before things get even more out of hand. It’s affecting progress on any number of levels you see and—”

“What’re you asking me to do?” Ayn asked.

Father Gheraeld smiled, and squeezed her hand. “Now, understand that you’ll be safe, under surveillance the entire time. You will not be in harms way.”

“What’s he talking about dad?”

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