Augustine chewed on that for a second. "Well then, welcome to the underground for the rest of your lives."
My voice came out shaky. "I... I am not sure I like that." In a strange way, being Unaccepted and all the paper-work that went with that was an identity for me. At least concrete walls held out the world from coming down against us.
Augustine looked at me. "No more identity cards. No more files to sign and not sign. You will legally not exist. Doesn't it sound like an adventure?" The flare in his eyes caught me. "It's an Unaccepted dream! Freedom from prison, Phil. Because if they ever catch you now, they'll probably kill you."
Nic's voice chuckled out of the shadows. "And if they don't, you'll be left to rot!"
Ephesus was more interested in the threats to their safety than Nic's witticisms, "Aha! I get it. It's a pun! Anyhow, about the present situation."
Stanyard continued, "We are working with the other units on how we will get you all out of here. most likely, we will have one unit take each of you far away from the cities. You can hopefully re-unite away from the hands of the government."
Smyrna wasn't easily convinced. "I am not sure I like that plan. First off, if we all go our separate ways, and they track us, the will be getting the whole organization."
Stanyard shrugged it off, "That's established protocol. We assume success before we assume defeat."
"But that is not the main problem," Smyrna continued. "The main problem is that business about 'hopefully' reuniting. We are not going anywhere on the basis of 'hopefully' reuniting. At least not m family." No one needed to ask if that was the case for all of the Smryrnas.
"Well don't let that stop you from evaluating Cea and I," Nic interjected. "You can send us both to one spot, can't you?"
"That'd be as bad as sending the whole family together. I have checked your records, Doctor. You and Cea have gone everywhere together except prison for your whole career. They will be watching for you both. Everyone goes out individually."
There was silence until Cea stated the facts. "Uh, no, we don't. It's not happening."
Augustine just sat there, barely refraining from gaping. Finally he muttered, "Fine. I never cared much for protocol anyway. I'll save m personal computer and see what we can do to escape from this place as one massive group, but I doubt I can do that. Would you all be content to be in separate safe-houses near eachother. Or maybe Nic and Cea can go one place and you all the other?"
Nic answered immediately, "Oh, we are very okay with that."
I rolled my eyes. I found it silly that he always wanted rid of us, but he was always the one calling us back.
I answered for us, "Anything where we end up together will do. But where do we go after a safe house? What do we do for the rest of our lives?"
Augustine shrugged, "You're asking for an awful lot in advance there, Phil. In the underground, there is no such advance notice."
It seemed my life was one devoid of advance notice. First going off to Mars with Daddy, then finding Ephesus, then getting arrested... Maybe I was well cut-out for underground life after all.
Augustine concluded the conference, "I will go back upstairs and see what I can do. I will try to make the United think we left already, in a rush. They will, hopefully, wait for us to come back before coming in, expecting us to try to clean up the exit. You all have to lay low. And the lights have to go off, too.
A few minutes later we were all in darkness again.