‘Before The Incident humans and Homogaea mingled and mated. The Incident left our race and our city vulnerable. Our immune systems are compromised and exposure to full humans is now lethal. We installed the mortar to protect our city, but we have no protection for ourselves. One being can infect the whole population if they become contagious.’
‘So one of our ancestors was Homogaea?’
Z twisted its fingers.
‘The Homogaea were hunters and gatherers when The Incident happened some she Homogaeans were left behind. Those who were …’
‘Pregnant?’ Aaron looked Z in its eyes
‘Is that your word? Withbabe.’
‘To a human male?’ Ben looked around him.
‘As you say.’ Z shifted.
‘She Homogaea in heat are beautiful creatures able to become whatever their mate finds irresistible. They would find human male’s easy prey. We couldn’t risk half Homogaea being part of our city if they brought full humans.’
‘This is fascinating, but we need a plan. How do we get out of here? We can’t go back the way we came.’
Ben wandered around.
‘We have a shuttle. It will travel you to the end of our city. You will find steps, climb them. You will be in an animal home on the farm.’
‘You mean a barn?’
Aaron ruffled his hair.
‘As you say.’ Z opened a chest.
‘Don’t tell anyone where these papers came from or show them to anyone, they map our city.’
‘We won’t.’ Aaron put them in his pocket.
‘We will find out who owns the land and see what we can do.’
Ben laid his hands on Z’s shoulders.
Travelling on the shuttle sent Ben and Aaron was quicker than Aaron and Ben expected. In what seemed like seconds they were at the steps.
‘How do we get back to you?’ Aaron asked the driver.
‘Put all your hands on the door and it will open.’
‘All? So four hands?’
‘Six? Any six?’
‘You will find the right person when the time comes.’
The shuttle left. Ben and Aaron climbed the steps.