"This session of the International GMC is now open. Presiding, Doctor Umbari. Also present, Doctor Galen, Doctor Lomu, Doctor Romanov. Subject under review: alleged illegal practices at the Archangel facility, Wiltshire, England. Present and under investigation; Doctor Finn McNamara, Mr Li Nakajima. Legal counsel for the International GMC, Ms Patience Arundel. Legal counsel for Dr McNamara and Mr Nakajima, Ms Bethlehem Mbeki. Dr McNamara, Mr Nakajima, please confirm your presence for the record.



"Thank you. Dr McNamara, please state the nature of your work at the Archangel facility."

"I was the medic."


"And I was part of their medical research team."

"Please describe the nature of the medical research you undertook."

"I can't."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I can't."

"Dr McNamara, I would remind you that this court of enquiry has jurisdiction over - "

"Yes, I realise that. What I mean is that I can't remember."


"Dr McNamara, I understand that you underwent a severely traumatic incident six months ago. Nonetheless, this is an absurd claim. You were clearly able to recall enough of your former life to direct and complete the pioneering prosthetic and reconstructive work that has rebuilt your hands - "

"From what I've been able to glean from the documents found in the wreckage of the facility, it was part of their security precautions. In the event of our leaving Archangel employment, we were all programmed to blank out information pertaining to their work. Apparently."

(pause; murmuring in the background)

"I do realise this sounds extraordinary."

"You realise that, do you? You also realise that such a technology, even were it to exist, would be considered illegal, immoral and - "


"Excuse me? Do you find this amusing, Dr McNamara?"

"Forgive me…as you say, I've been through a fairly traumatic experience…I have trouble concentrating sometimes…"

"Mr Nakajima. Can you corroborate any of what Dr McNamara says?"

"Yes. He's entirely correct. I was, as far as I can remember, the Archangel futurologist."

"As far as you can remember."

"That's correct."

"And are you able to recall…what the nature of the predictions were that you were required to make?"

"Unfortunately, no."

"You are aware that forensic examination of the Tarot programme revealed a series of names and possible futures for a group of people known as the Angels?"

"I've been told that, yes. Unfortunately it doesn't have much resonance for me."

"And yet you have retained your Futurology skill-set, and are now employed by Koduji, is that correct?"


"I find this all completely absurd."

"I understand that. Nonetheless, Dr Umbari, it's the truth."

"And what can you tell me about the Angels? From the records that were recovered, they seemed to come in pairs…"


(Grace and Leo)

Leo lay naked and full-length on the purple velvet couch, his eyes closed in ecstasy. The first girl, tall and blonde and Amazonian, caressed his neck and shoulders with hands that were drenched in oil scented with almond. The second, small and brunette with long, feline eyes, did the same for his erection, putting both of her hands around it and dipping her head to take him into her mouth. Leo murmured with pleasure and stroked her hair.

"Is that good?" she asked.

"Very good…oh, yes, keep doing that…" his hands slid down her body, caressing and stroking her back and waist.

"No," she murmured, taking his hands, but it was too late.

"What happened?" he asked, sitting up. He forced her to turn around so that he could look at the ugly marks on her back. "Who the fuck did this to you?"

"No-one," she muttered.

He took her face between his hands.

"Don't tell me that," he said. "Give me a name."

"I didn't get it. It's fine, Leo, this happens, you know how it is at the Galleria…"

"You didn't report him?"

She blushed and shook her head.

"Why not? You know he shouldn't get away with this. He wants - this - " Leo gestured in disgust - "there are places he can pay for it. It's breaking the rules. What's he going to do to the next girl he gets his hands on?"

"He was a very good payer," she murmured, not wanting to meet his eyes. He sighed.

"Then give me the date," he said.

"What good will that do?"

"I'll find him," he said, smiling grimly. "Come on. Tell me. Tell me or I'm kicking you both out of here and then I'll have to finish myself off."

That made her smile.

"Last Wednesday," she said at last. "Evening shift. Ten o'clock until - actually I can't remember when he - " she stopped.

"Thank you." He kissed her warmly. "I'll fix it."

"You don't need to do that for me."

"Yes, I do…just leave it to me…oh, honey, that's really beautiful…"


Naked and serene, Madison floated dreamily in warm water in the huge bath-house at the side of their house. The surface of the water was scattered with rose-petals that clung to her white, firm little breasts as they bobbed up above the surface of the water. She had taken a cube of Euphoria half an hour ago and was now lost in its blissful embrace, her eyes half-closed.

In the small maintenance room that housed the water-pumps and the heaters, Gianfranco crouched over the little spy-hole he had drilled there months ago, kneeling on the tattered cushions he had smuggled in, his trousers around his ankles, his rigid cock in his hand. He was on the verge of orgasm, struggling hard to hold it back, but he was determined to make himself wait this time, wanting to watch the whole show before he came too. He had seen Madison do this two or three times before. First she took the Euphoria; then she took a quick, freezing shower by the side of the pool, the water splashing beautifully off her hard nipples; then she climbed into the water and let the drug take her, eventually bringing herself off with her slim little hands or with one of the toys she occasionally brought with her, wrapped in the folds of her bath-robe.

He had been watching her since she was fourteen years old and he had first become her mother's lover, wanting her from the moment he laid eyes on her. He knew that, if he played his cards right, Georgia de Freitas was his meal-ticket for the rest of his life, and he had no intention of compromising that by any little indiscretions with her daughter. But he was, he thought to himself, just a man after all, and a man was entitled to a little entertainment every now and then…Madison floated out of view for a moment, and he swore in frustration, desperately wanting to see her touch herself again. His cock throbbed with need and he rubbed himself against his hand a little, unable to resist, biting his lip to keep himself quiet.

She drifted back into view again, and he felt his whole body grow weak as he saw that one hand had slipped between her thighs, and the fingers of her other hand were gently pulling and stroking at her nipples. He felt his orgasm welling up within him, urgent and unstoppable, and he squeezed himself brutally hard, trying to keep it in check. His hand was slick and wet with his own need. Maddie's fingers were moving more rapidly now, and he could see the flush of the Euphoria on her cheeks. She was so beautiful, he thought to himself, so little-girlish and dainty and fresh…then he heard her rising cry of ecstasy as she reached her climax, and with a muffled groan of pleasure he prepared to let his own pleasure overwhelm him.

"Gotcha," said a voice, right behind him.

He thought his heart was going to stop. Grace lifted him effortlessly off his feet and turned him around so that he was facing her.

"This isn't - I'm not - " he stuttered, and stopped.

She raised one perfectly arched eyebrow.

"She can do much, much better than her mother's cast-offs," said Grace. "Did you honestly think you had a chance? No, clearly not, or you wouldn't be in here getting yourself off while you watch her in the bath."

He looked at her helplessly. She was another one he had a desperate yen for; so strict and forbidding, so completely unattainable, but in a totally different way to Maddie… I'm just not cut out for a life of monogamy, he thought to himself. The way she was looking at him, so contemptuous and so beautiful, sent a wave of shameful desire through him; he felt his cock twitch and stir.

"Honestly," said Grace softly. "You really are a complete worm, Gianfranco, and a dimwit into the bargain. Georgia de Freitas is beautiful, rich and intelligent, and she could have any pretty boy she wanted. For some bizarre reason, she chose you. Well…" her gaze rested thoughtfully on his still-exposed penis, half-hard and burgeoning. "Maybe it's not so completely bizarre. But still. All the men in the world, and she had to pick a little bastard like you who gets off on watching a teenage girl taking a bath. Pretty low-quality behaviour on your part, wouldn't you say?"

Her words were lacerating, like fire; he was utterly ashamed, and shamefully aroused. He put his hands over his crotch in an effort to hide it from her (don't stop, he thought to himself longingly, please keep talking to me like that), and, while she glanced through the spy-hole to make sure Madison was still unaware of their presence, he let his hand stroke and tug at his hardness. He was unable to believe how ready he was, how achingly, desperately aroused - just a little more and he'd be there - but I daren't, he thought, I mustn't - I've already been bad enough -

"Just be glad it was me who caught you at it and not Leo," said Grace, over her shoulder. "Leo's very protective of our little Madison. If he'd found you in here, I imagine you'd be crawling around collecting teeth off the floor."

"I know I'm despicable," he said hoarsely.

"Oh, you're certainly that," she said absent-mindedly. "Glad to know you agree, you pitiful little excuse for a man - "

The contempt in her voice was too much for him. Unable to hold back any more, driven wild by her proximity and his excitement over Madison and the absent-minded disgust in her voice, he groaned as he was overwhelmed with a completely unstoppable tidal wave of pleasure. She looked at him in astonishment, and then laughed to herself.

"You are just the most unbelievable fuck-up I've ever come across in my life," she said, taking his arm. "I'm going to enjoy throwing you to Georgia before I see you off the premises. I recommend you put your cock back in your pants first."


"I don't recognise those names, I'm afraid."

"Of course you don't. How about you, Dr McNamara?"

"It rings a faint bell…but I don't know…"

"Okay, so how about these two?"


(Jude and Amber)

Amber kissed Erin gently on the mouth, and slid out from underneath the huge, soft white quilt that covered them both. Erin watched her go with regret, but didn't speak.

Since the first time they had clung together frantically on the boardroom table and Amber had hushed Erin's whispered confession, it had been a rule between them that they never spoke while they were together like this. Erin had no idea how Amber knew when her need for the younger woman became too overwhelming to bear, or how she guessed which were the nights when she sent Pieter away to the spare room and lay beneath the duvet, naked and aching with longing. She only knew that she was grateful for it; for the joy of release, and for the utter discretion that allowed them both to pretend the next morning it had been nothing more than a beautiful dream.

Erin lay beneath the duvet and surrendered to the luxury of remembering what they had done together. The way she had buried herself in the welcoming firmness of Amber's beautiful breasts; the feeling of Amber's nipples hard and taut in her mouth. The rapture of Amber's mouth on her clitoris, sucking and nibbling. The scent of her hair as she straddled Erin's body and pressed herself against Erin's bush, rubbing hard, losing herself on a peak of ecstasy, her lovely face alight with pleasure. Her fingers dipped between her thighs and she whimpered with pleasure as she remembered…the first night Amber was back in the house after a shift change was always a time she looked forward to desperately…


Jude, arriving home early, was amused to find both David and Zachary asleep on the sofa, long limbs tangled together, long eyelashes resting on their cheekbones, textbooks and e-books and i-books littered around the floor at their feet. Like a heap of tired puppies, he thought to himself, leaning on the doorframe and chuckling to himself.

David stirred and woke, smiling sleepily as he saw Jude. Careful not to wake Zack, he uncoiled himself from the sofa and came to greet the older man.

"Sorry," he whispered.

"What for?"

"The place is a mess."

Jude grinned.

"That's what I get for living with students. How's it going?"

"Medicine is bloody hard work."

"So I should bloody well hope, David. They can't let any old idiot loose on the world with a medicine-bag and a scalpel, you know."

"Maybe I should have done Classics, like you did."

"Homos and war? I think this household is quite Grecian enough as it is, don't you?" He looked at Zack with tenderness in his face. "He's not taking anything again, is he?"

"No, I don't think so…I think he's just tired."

"Good." Jude took David's hand. "Come to bed."

"Right now?"

"Are you turning me down?"

"Never…I'm just impressed you've got the energy…"

"I've been on duty all month and I've missed you both horribly."

"Who did you miss the most?"

Jude sighed.

"How many times have we been over this, I -" he stopped when he saw David's smile. "Oh, very funny. Well, at least you can joke about it now."

"I had you for a minute there, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did."

Jude bent down and kissed David tenderly on the mouth. Then he led him into the bedroom.


"So, Mr Nakajima - I'm Dr Romanov, by the way - "

"Yes ma'am, I remember."

"I'm glad to see that sunk in, at least. What else can you tell me about this - alleged technology? Do you have any evidence that it actually exists?"

"You mean other than the fact that Dr McNamara and I have no real memory of our time with Archangel?"

"Hilarious, I'm sure. Have you any medical evidence to support your claims?"


(Frankie and Dan)

"Hey there, partner," said Frankie, kissing Dan lightly on the mouth.

"Hey. How was Egypt?"

"Hot. Sandy. Full of antiquities."

"Really? Who knew?"

"Very funny. So what are you and Maggie doing this month off?"

"Oh…I'm on shift at the fire station for two weeks. Then we thought we'd take off to Paris for a few days. Maggie wants to go and see the Mona Lisa again."

"Is she still insisting that it's a fake?"

"No, apparently this one is actually the real one. They never managed to repair the one they had after the attack, so they bought one back off the black market. They got lucky - it was the genuine article."

Frankie's eyes danced.

"Define genuine."

"You'd have to ask Jude about that - he's the philosopher. If it makes her happy, I don't mind." He put a friendly arm around her and led her into the house.

"So," she said softly. "Any change?"

"No," he said, sighing.

"He's still…retired?"

"Pretty much. He sold a couple of pieces last month, but nothing like - before...I've told him he doesn't really need us any more now that he really is just an art dealer, but he insists he likes having us around."

Frankie shrugged.

"We made a promise."

"Indeed we did."

"I'll go and see him," she said, and ran lightly across the lawn to the teahouse.

Nick Warwick was sitting in the seat he always chose, gazing at the two pictures he had mounted on the walls, their Western aesthetic strangely at odds with the relentlessly Eastward-looking teahouse. The first was a photograph of Maggie, aged about fifteen, looking back over her shoulder at the camera and laughing. The second was a painting of a red-haired woman in an indigo dress lined with scarlet, gazing out over a tempestuous sea at a shipwreck.

"I had to choose," he said to Frankie, just as if she hadn't been away for the last month. "I had to choose. There was no way I could have both of them."

"I know," said Frankie, as she always did.

"And I had to choose - my daughter. Miranda wasn't who I thought she was, Frankie. She was a monster. Beautiful, she was always so beautiful…but nonetheless, a heartless, soul-less monster, and nothing more."

No, Frankie thought to herself. She was more than that. She was also a visionary, a genius and a complete mystery…I wonder where she is…

"Yes," she said out loud.

"I had to throw her out," he repeated. "I sold a sculpture last week, by the way. An Antony Gormley piece, called Post. Very old and precious; late twentieth century. It's a man…standing on a huge iron column…gazing into space. His hands are at his sides." Nick's hands moved as he spoke, describing the shape of the sculpture in the air. "He just…stares. Endlessly. Waiting." He looked at Frankie and smiled. "It was hard to let it go. It spoke to me."

"I know."

"So…tell me what you've been doing," he said. "Tell me who's been lucky enough to spend a little time in your bed this month. Cheer an old man up with a few Traveller's Tales."

She smiled, and sat down beside him.


It was always like this the first time after shift change; the month of denial made their need for each other even more urgent than usual. They were both half-undressed even as they came in through the front door, his erection hot and heavy in her hand. She squeezed him a little and he groaned and shook his head. "Too much," he whispered, and took her hand away. She slid her hands in through the discreet slits in the back of his t-shirt instead, and caressed the sensitive inner edges of the long scars - the place that she loved to touch him, because it reminded her that he, like she, was different, forever bound to the legacy of the Archangel project.

His hand slipped between her thighs and his thumb grazed gently across her clitoris, and she whimpered with pleasure.

"No," she told him, "that's too much as well…please, Dan, I don't want to rush…"

"Like a couple of teenagers," he murmured hoarsely, laughing a little. "Oh, Maggie, no, don't, really, I can't stand it, it's too good - "

He gathered her up in his arms and carried her into the living-room, and laid her on the rug by the huge picture window looking out to sea. Then he inched his way slowly inside her, drawing out the moment, trying to make himself wait. She gritted her teeth and clawed at his back, trying to convince him to move faster, and then she thrust herself rebelliously upwards and felt him grow harder inside her.

"Darling Maggie," he gasped. "That's just unbelievable, but you have to let me - I can't hold on if you move like that - "

"And I can't stand to wait - just - please - please - " she moved again, needing him to continue, and the sensation of him losing all control and shoving himself hungrily into her was enough to take her over the edge with him.

"I love you," he said into her ear.

"I know," she said, smiling at him.


"Dr Romanov, if you would care to turn to page one hundred and thirty-seven of the dossier we provided you with, I believe you will find what you are looking for."

"Thank you, Ms Mbeki. I am aware that both Dr McNamara and Mr Nakajima have submitted to all the medical tests required by the iGMC. However, I must go on the record to say that I simply do not find it credible that such a technology could be developed without ever coming to the attention of this counsel before now - "

"Surely, Dr Romanov, the existence of such a technology would by definition make it almost impossible for it to come to the attention of the iGMC."

"An interesting philosophical point, but it simply defies belief that - "

"Dr Romanov - Dr Umbari - I really must protest. My clients have co-operated at every stage with this investigation, and I think it's become more than clear that they simply do not have any information to give you. By every single test - legal, medical or moral - they are simply the innocent victims of the Archangel organisation, which, since it no longer exists, is not subject to the jurisdiction of this court. I strongly suggest that the court consider the merits of closing the case and releasing my clients to return to their lives."

"Ms Mbeki - "

"No, Dr Romanov, Ms Mbeki has a valid point."

"Thank you, Dr Umbari."

"Don't thank me yet, Bethlehem, I have one more question for your clients. Mr Nakajima, Dr McNamara, do you have any idea of the current locations of the other three members of the senior Archangel team?"

"I believe that Emily Blackwell is working at the Cirque du Lune as a fitness trainer."


"You knew that?"


"So why did you - oh, I see. Please believe us, Dr Umbari, we are not lying. Whatever we know, we've told you."

"So it would appear. And how about - the other two?"


(Jim and Miranda)

She had been waiting on the island for months and months, doing no work, taking no calls of any kind, simply waiting, day after long, lonely day, in the villa by the sea. Sometimes, for a change, she spent an hour or two in the vast, ridiculous amphitheatre she had built for the first presentation of the Angels project, sitting with her chin in her hands and staring into space and remembering the excitement of those early days, when anything had seemed possible and she had had the world at her feet…

When he finally arrived, it was on a small black Zodiac of the kind beloved of the military; small, discreet, reliable and sturdy, a design that had never been bettered in hundreds of years of development. She saw the boat making its way across the bay long before she heard the low buzz of its engine; she watched as he dragged it up the beach, took off the motor and hid it behind a tree, and finally turned it carefully over to let the water drain off. He was bronzed and lean, dressed in a ragged white linen shirt and a pair of canvas shorts, and his feet were bare. She felt her heart beat a little faster as he approached the villa.

"You took your time," she said casually, trying to hide her excitement.

"I had some people to avoid."

"And some girls to see?"

He shrugged, and grinned. His teeth were very white in his suntanned face.

"You know me, Miranda. You've always known me. I hope you got the money out."

"Of course."

"Good girl. I knew you'd come through it unscathed." He glanced around. "Nick Warwick not here?"

She shrugged.

"He threw me out."

"The night his daughter - went missing?"

He had ordered her to go, but had not seen her off the premises, and with Dan and Frankie both away it was simple to hide herself away for a while. She had watched, fascinated, as Frankie and Dan made their painful way back into the Warwick residence. She saw Maggie, alight with a strange confidence, force her father to call for the doctor, and felt her heart swell with pride as she then compelled the doctor to forget. My daughter, she thought, and stepped out of the shadows.

"Hello," she said.

Maggie looked at her.

"I'm not going with you," she replied flatly.

"It's what you were made for," Miranda reminded her. "Come with me and I'll let you be what you were born to be. Stay here, and you'll never be able to use what you've been given. You'll spend your whole life hiding it - your whole life wondering when you'll get caught. Is that what you want?"

"You never understood that about any of us, did you?" said Maggie. "The possibility that we might be more than you intended. The idea that we might become something else, instead of just another Archangel product. I'm staying here. I'll marry Dan, if he'll have me. And - after tonight - I'll never use any of it again."

"Easy to say."

"And very easy to do. You made me ashamed of it, remember? And you were right to do it, too. It's a terrible thing you did to me. I could have been a monster, if it wasn't for Dan. And so, never again after tonight. I just need to do - this." And Miranda felt the force of Maggie in her head like a physical blow. She put her hand up to her nose and felt thick blood trickling down her lip, and felt afraid.

"What did you - "

"Never come here again," said Maggie. "Never come near me, or my father, or any of the Angels, ever again as long as you live. Now go away."

And she had had to do as she was told.

"That's right," she said.

"I always said he was a fucking fool." She could feel his gaze travelling over her, warming her like sunshine. It had been so long since anyone had touched her. "So I've got no competition for your affections, then?"

"Not for the moment. And you?"

"Did you see anyone else in the boat?"

"No, but I saw you hide the engine."

He shrugged.

"You never know when you might lead an escape route."

Then his arms went around her, and he crushed her against his chest, biting at her lips and squeezing her roughly and without a hint of tenderness, reclaiming her, and she gave a sob of ecstasy and sadness and surrendered to his brutal embrace.


Li and Finn gave their fervent thanks to Bethlemen Mbeki on the steps of the courthouse. She had no time for small talk. In her head she was already moving on to her next case, and left them after a few carefully-chosen words and a dazzling smile.

"You do good work," said Finn to Li.

"I know," said Li, smiling.

"Will either of us ever remember?"

"Probably not."

"So we'll never really know for sure if…" he gestured at the election posters hanging around the Square, with the now-famous symbol of the Angels, the rallying-cry of the Celestial Alliance and their political allies, towering sternly over them. "If that was anything to do with us?"

"If the iGMC couldn't find it, then it's probably gone for ever."

Finn shrugged.

"Ah, well. I guess we'll just have to die wondering then."

They shook hands, and walked away from each other.