“It’s incredulous!” barked Sid, shaking his bald head. He tossed Lexy’s writing aside, rose from his high-backed chair and began pacing round the room. “How could this happen?!” he boomed, his face crimson. “We made it unnecessary to write or read–and now, a kid–and one of our own–has somehow done both!”
He looked sharply at Cynthia, her red, puffy eyes and tears that wouldn’t stop showed her distress. He spoke to a glum and uncomfortable-looking Jerry. “When could your daughter have learned about letters, much less found the materials to write? And where did she ever get this paper?” He grabbed the guilty sheets of paper and started reading. “‘It was a strange society.’ Hhmph.” He glowered at them. “I want some answers!” he roared.
“Really, Sid, I don’t see how she did this,” began Jerry. “She was schooled in our systems and…”
“Think!” he told him gruffly. “Have any of her friends been exposed to this?”
“Nobody we’re aware of,” said Cynthia.
“Not good enough. I want positive responses, not, ‘I don’t think so’… We’ve got to find out definitely. Bring in the friends for questioning, and everyone from her school block. I want names, Cynthia! Names! Now!” he demanded.
“I doubt she would have confided to her friends about this,” she began a little fearfully. “She never told me, and we’re… we were… close, I thought.”
“Kids are sneaky. Can’t trust ’em. What are the names, damn it!?” growled Sid. “Let’s get some answers. Now!”
“Okay,” Cynthia answered, though it was against her maternal instincts of wanting to protect her daughter. She was hurt by Alexis’ betrayal, but she could also understand it. Her daughter was like herself, only Alexis was fearless. And Cynthia feared for her. Still, she heard herself saying, “Isabel–you know, the Freemont’s daughter–she’s her best friend. Then there’s Dan, her boyfriend; Trevor Graham; Abby Morris.”
“That’s a start,” Sid said. “Get me those kids, jetzt nicht spat!” he yelled at Gus who immediately started speaking the names into the search computer and getting addresses.
“Got ’em Sly,” Gus told him.
“Send out an order for their appearance in one hour on penalty of a year in jail. I’ll show you how to command cooperation and obedience,” Sid demanded. Cynthia shuddered. No doubt, he would, and that was what she was afraid of.