Rhea sighed. She hated this kind of mess. Lately, it seemed like she had faced more than enough. She had sensed the power, the talent in Scott from far enough away, she knew he had enough potential to be dangerous in the wrong hands. She had not thought the encounter would end up like this.
"Just hold on a second, Scott," she said. "Let me and Malone straighten this out, then you and I will talk. Okay, Malone. You know by now, I can't take this job." She looked down at the file folder with the photos of Scott and his father, sitting on her lap. "He's one of mine -- I could feel his energy a mile off. He could be the main target."
Malone grunted agreement and stalked across the room to stand in front of her. He gave Scott one distrustful look, then turned his back on the boy. Rhea wavered between laughter and frustration. Malone was worried about her -- he wouldn't believe if she said Scott was no threat.
"No more data?" she asked, flipping through the folder. All she had read was background on Paul Forrester's last few encounters with people -- his narrow escapes from Agent George Fox -- and copies of the office memos that resulted in her presence in this city, waiting to meet with Fox and help him catch his prey. She tapped Scott's photo with her fingernails. There was a pulse of energy that wrapped around the boy -- it put a wall between her and him.
"He won't say," Malone admitted. He looked uneasy, and Rhea wondered if part of his anger and caution was because of that lack of knowledge. "When he briefed me, I felt he was almost afraid to tell me what he wanted."
"Not the Future of Man, then?" She chuckled when Malone stiffened.
"You reading my mind again, Jones?"
"We both know the futurists haven't pulled all their spies from the agency." She stiffened as a mental leap flashed through her brain. Forrester. Rhea cast one look at Scott, really studying his face this time. The boy only glared at her, his growing impatience clear on his face.
"What is it, Jones?" Malone demanded.
"I managed to get hold of my file -- the one with the truth of how they changed my identity and records. There was a photographer covering the air crash that killed my parents, before the FOM's government people hushed everything." She tapped the photos and Malone nodded that he understood. Rhea picked up Paul's photo and studied it. "I wonder how he got on their wrong side?"
"You think he worked for the FOM and fell from grace?"
"If his son has the potential I felt..." Rhea shuddered. "They want me for breeding -- what if Scott is a result of their work?"
"Too many ifs."