Two of the chaps had wite cotes over soots and the yunger spotty lad was in a wite cote open over a check shert and jenes. The two older ones had graying hare. One was tall, his cote smered with yello with a brown blud stane on the frunt. His eyes googeled and were horribley blud shot like heyud bene up all night smoking pot. His hare looked like it had been cut using a bowl. The uther chap was short, with one big fat black eye brow going right across his for hed. He bobbed abowt from foot to foot and had had a nervas laugh. Us being there made him nervas, so he semed to chuckle the hole time. This was un forchunat bicause when uther pepol laugh I find it infecshus and I have to laugh too. So the both of us were cackerling awey.
Bludshoteyes said: ‘Now, now, sorry, chaps, but there must be a miss take here. Plese…’ he pushed for werd an offis chare on weels for me to sit on…’theres nuthing a littel…discushun carnt sort owt.’
I love those chares. Love the wey you can go rownd and rownd at the same time as side weys and back wards. I coudent risist so I sat down. He held owt a hand. I shook it riluctently. It was dry and crackley like silver berch bark.
‘Iyum Docter Procter. My speshiality is palio lithic ginetics. So, are you arfter infomashun? Do you know eny thing abowt what we are trying to do here?’
Duncan said, thrugh grittid tethe: ‘I know this is no life for a baby. There…’ he looked abowt, ‘…there arent even eny windos.’
Monowbrow man hopped abowt and giggerled so I giggerled too. (I just carnt help it.) ‘But the mane thing is…’ I said, ‘…are baby needs to be with her muther.’ Then I addid, ‘Thats me,’ in case they dident know. I spun arownd on my chare, I coudent help it, with LittelBaby in my lap. She said ‘Weeee!’ She loved the chare too. She all weys loves what I love.
‘Ah, yes, but these babies are not jus eny babies,’ said Bludshoteyes Procter Docter. ‘Thay are neyanderthals. Thay are extremely rare and difficult to berth. Amazingly,’ he turned to me, ‘this lady here did manidge to berth the female of the two.’
Monowbrow man jumped in littel circals and laughed his hed of. I laughed to all thogh lord knows that berth thing was nuthing to laugh abowt, it hert like crap.
Bludshoteyes carried on: ‘There deeyenay is 60,000 years old, priserved by perticuler condishuns in a cave. This is why the babies are so immenserly preshus to us, and why we can not let them have a normel, dangerus life. In here thay are safe. We need them to be priserved, looked arfter and kept in a sterile invirenment, safe from diseses.’
Juring most of that littel speech, Monowbrow man chuckeled and I chuckeled in risponse.
‘You took her of us thogh,’ said Duncan fiercely. ‘And your pepol left us for ded.’
‘Erm, well, you had taken her of us ferst,’ said Bludshoteyes Procter Docter. ‘We did pay for the servisis of the surogut. We plased an order that was not forth coming. We had to take acshun.’
Monowbrow cackerled. I obviusly cackerled to but was going to have my say. ‘Yeh, but, no but, yeh but I took her of of you bicause thay had taken her of of me when thay shoudent even of done that, bicause my friend Fler says eny way it was my right to kepe my baby if I wantid to, its all weys on the side of the muther.’ I startid twerling the uther way. I wished I had a chare like that.
I think I had maniged to silence Bludshoteyes. Monowbrow took over. ‘What you must under stand is, (chuckle chuckle) we have been trying to create these babies for twenty two years. A full time job it was for a teme of six (he he hoo hoo). One hundred and ninety two pregnunsies to date, all most all of wich all endid in miss carrige or still berth.’ (giggelr giggerl).
‘Yes, we know,’ said Duncan. ‘And LittelBaby was the hundred and eighty seventh.’
‘Dus she have a name?’ arsked Bludshoteyes Procter Docter . He had recuvered a bit.
‘Err, yes,’ I said, like durr. ‘Shes called LittelBaby.’
‘Littel…Baby?’ he said.
‘No,’ I said. ‘LittelBaby, its all one werd.’
‘Oh, I see,’ he said. There was quite a long paws. I had maniged to fuck his brane up again. Good. Then the yung chap gave a serpressed giggerl and Monobrow a proper giggerl and I laughed owt lowd, but Bludshoteyes carried on: ‘I need you to know…these children, when older, coud have the potenshal for extreme vilence….thay coud be owt to in danger the human rase.’
I looked down at LittelBaby who was twiderling my sleve and sucking on my nipperl under my shert. She stopped slerping and popped her hed owt. ‘Itta notta troo dat, Mudda,’ she mermered carmly. ‘I notta hurtig eny boddy, me, nor de LittelBrudda, he notta hurtig no boddy, not now, not when he big.’
No boddy laughed then. The sientists stared at her in abserlute fasinashun. ‘Elevern munths old and talking in senternces,’ Bludshoteyes marveled.
‘LittelBaby coud talk to me bifore she was born even,’ I tolled him.
He stood up and came to wards me, holding owt his arms for LittelBaby. She clung to me like a munky, and I prerpelled my self back werds on my chare in to a metel tray on weels full of needels. I grabbed a needel. ‘You kepe awey from us,’ I said, brandishing it at him. Unforchunatly my chare spun arownd so I was pointing at the wall. The chare had a mind of its own.
I swiverled my hed rownd. Bludshoteyes was smioling induljently. ‘Now, best not to make a fuss. Were all on the same side here. Weyull arrange for you to be abel to visit evry munth. Parental visits woud help inormusly with the childruns divelopment.’
With a lot of side to side hip wiggerling, I had maniged to swiverl back rownd. I poked my needel to wards him. I notised it had a grene plastic shethe on it. I ripped of the shethe. ‘Stop,’ I said. ‘You carnt take awey LittelBabys freedum. She, abuv all pepol, nedes to be free.’
‘But, my dere, the babies will have a wunderfle, stimulating time here,’ he said. ‘Abuv all, thay will be safe. You want your baby to be safe, dont you?’
‘Of corse I do,’ I said. ‘But the only rele danger we in cowntered in all these munths, was you.’
Oo, well said, Sally-Anne, I thort to my self, bowing again to an in visibel ordience.
‘With you thogh, the babies woudent be safe,’ he said. ‘Too meny pepol are intrestid in them, too meny pepol are owt to get them. My partner, Reginald Snow, ironiusly bileved that allowing the clones there freedum was essenshal, but I knew better. The babies need constent monitering and care full intensiv ejucashun to pripare them for the owt side werld. Bisides wich, owt there, they woud be bullied! You, of all pepol, know what being bullied is like, dont you, Sally-Anne?’ He was looking at me clowsley.
‘But…’ I said, ‘but….’ I looked arownd me despritly. I wished that I was one of those pepol who can talk so easily, and with long werds and cleverly. I looked at the horribel cage LittelBrudda had been in. It was lined with paddid plastic and there was just one blankie, one plastic toy and one sippy cup. ‘Do you ever let LittelBrudda owt of his cage?’ I said. ‘I dont think you do! I think the por boy has been in there all this time.’
Bludshoteyes tried to apere shocked. ‘No, thats not true. One nine thr…erm, I mene, Littel Bruther…has lots of long walks and, erm…swiming and….trips to the farm and luvley things like that. Hes…you know…as free range as possibel.’
LittelBrudda looked at me from Duncans arms. His eyes bored depe in to mine right in to my soul. I knew that what the man was saying was not true.
‘That is not true,’ I said. ‘LittelBrudda, do thay take you owt side?’
‘Oh, he dusent talk,’ said Bludshoteyes. ‘Only gobbel de gook.’
LittelBrudda looked down. He was still. His littel fat chekes wobberled. Then he looked at me. ‘I me hedda me gogo at, plor de wold,’ he said.
‘What did he say?’ I arsked LittelBaby.
‘In his hedda he gogo owt, to explor de werld,’ she ixplaned. ‘I tink he meanig in his maginashun.’
‘Udda duff, doni de blanki de cup a de doy an dolway de dage.’
Evry boddy looked blankly at LittelBrudda. Thay all terned as one to LittelBaby for the translashun.
‘Other stuff is only de blankie, de cup and de toy and all weys de cage,’ said LittelBaby sadly. ‘LittelBrudda, oo no see de cows? Oo no see de caterpiller?’
‘Whatti de cow? Whatti de catertiller?’
‘Oo no see even de butter fly?’ LittelBaby arsked, horrified.
‘No!’ exclamed LittelBrudda morn fully, ‘me no see dat butter fly! Me oni see de butter on de tosti.’
Por LittelBrudda. He had never bene owt. He had bene stuck in that cage all his littel life. All that time when LittelBaby had been stomping thrugh the puddels, climing on the ferny banks, exclaming over dewy spiders webs and rolling in the moss, he had bene in this ugley plastic dessert. I clenched my fists. Thay were rong, so rong to inprisen LittelBrudda.
The three men looked a bit shame fased I thort. They dident argue with me eny more at least. LittelBaby spoke with such orthority you coud tell she was speking the truth. Do you know, I have realised some thing inportant. I am no longer gullibel, nor naïv. It was easy. I jus dident bileve what those men said, even thogh thay had wite cotes on. I bileved my self in sted and I bileved the babies.
‘How ever,’ said Bludshoteyes Procter Docter owt of the blue, ‘we still have the littel problem of what you did with are Mrs Collins.’
My hart all weys bitrays me. It thumps so lowd that evry one can here it. Plus, I dont know what was going on with that chare, but I spun rownd on it so farst I got a bit chare sick.
‘We thort you might know what happerned to her.’
‘She wasant even called Mrs Collins!’ I showtid, spinning rownd wioldley.
‘Yes, but how do you know that?’ he arsked.
‘And she dident even know LittelBaby was a gerl!’ I said. ‘She thort LittelBaby was going to be a boy, the silly cow.’
‘Oh,’ Bludshoteyes Procter Docter looked a bit sorry and gilty. ‘That was my folt aksholy. We got LittelBaby and LittelBruddas doqumunts mixed up, as thay endid up being due on the same day, so she thort she was picking up the boy.’
‘Oh,’ I said. ‘Wow.’ He had maniged to shut me up now.
‘By the way….did you mene to set light to her hare?’ Bludshoteyes said, all most conversashunly.
Luckerly, as I dident really have eny sootabel anser for that queschun, and telling him abowt Duncan putting the fag in NarstyLadys lips woud not of bene the best idear, Bludshoteyes stopped talking bicause peirsing sirens startid woop wooping and water startid dripping owt of the ceiling. The yung spotty boy legged it to opern the dor. Smoke billowed in. We coud here thundering fete coming a long the coridor.
Big Steve and Zoe berst in to the room. Steve smacked the yung chap in the jaw and bashed Monobrow in to the wall while Zoe hit Bludshoteyes with a taser and terned and zapt anuther chap who had come up the coridor arfter them. ‘Come on,’ yelled Zoe. ‘Whats with the delay? Are we getting these babies owt or not?’ Her hare was definetley not nete now. It was really messed up. She looked like she was in an acshun moovie.
I had a bit of difficulty getting owt of the chare. ‘Yes, Iyum coming,’ I said but evry time I pushed with my feet to get up, it weeled back werds with my bum still on it. Ivensholy I maniged by wedging my self against the wall, and we ran up the coridors and clattered down the stares and squeezed opern a metal fiyer dor to the owt side. The sirens were still waling. Duncan went on a recky and came back in quick. ‘Not that way, sicurity men rownd the corner.’
‘This way then,’ said Steve, rushing down some stares with a grene exit sing.
There was a boltid base ment dor. We slid the bolts back and came owt into a mowldy, fluddid yard with twenty or so stinky bins, a cement ramp and slimy steps up to grownd level. We swiverled are heds arownd looking for pepol. There were some running abowt but there was nuthing for it, we had to leg it across the car park. We lept in the van, all four of us and the two babies. Steve got bihind the wheel. We screeched of to wards the exit but in frunt of us a teme of hi viz sicurity pepol were showting in to walkie talkies and heaving at the grate big metel gates wich clanged shut right in frunt of us.