The chosen few travelled by helicopter from the pad on top of the Tower to the National Space Centre in Leicestershire, which everyone had previously thought was a defunct joke.
Now there were new hangers and factories, cranes and gantries, and dominating all, a huge silver streak of blue titanium – the rocket! Everything had been paid for from the vast wealth that The Founder had creamed off the Oodles Corporation. He had engineered his dreams to perfection. Now was his last chance to re-boot Civilisation, under his control. As long as he went with them, he could continue to gain their confidence, coerce them to his will, without them even realising it, controlling the last remnants of humanity. Hopefully, a super-race would breed, and the nano-bots would continue their work, altering the DNA of their offspring to achieve his aims.
After eating and relaxing, some sleeping, not having slept for days in anticipation of the previous day’s raid, they assembled once again in the comfortable, but clinical, surroundings of the new control tower.
The Founder explained the mission, lying through his teeth as he showed them pictures of the bluey-green planet identified by the last space-flight, which he called Earthtoo, and warning them of the ten-year journey. He took them into the space-ship, and explained that the whole procedure was automated; they had only to press the large red button in the middle of the flight console, when they were ready.
It would be comfortable, and there would be plenty for them to do and learn. They could even start families before they arrived at their destination. It would be as well to begin the DNA process as soon as possible, and see that it functioned correctly.
He explained the necessity to inject the nano-chips and nano-bots into their central nervous system, through the back of their necks. Hodges and Hillsy were instantly suspicious, remembering the pain of removal of their old transplants.
“Is this really necessary?” asked Hodges. “We have spent our lives resisting this. We don’t want to do it!”
“Well,” said The Founder, “Let’s start with the children first. Then you will see that their lives can be transformed for the better, and for the good of all. You will want to participate then, I assure you!”
He told Tom and Maddie to lie on the two couches and he prepared to inject them. It was a simple enough procedure; anyone could do it.
Hills and Hodges looked on, suspiciously. Then they noticed a gleam in The Founder’s eyes; a look of triumph and greed. They charged forwards as one, picking up a scalpel and pushing The Founder back. He grabbed onto the console to maintain his balance, his fingers slithering over the touch-screen he had previously been using to set up the flight. He didn’t realise in his panic, and no-one else was even aware, that he had changed the time parameter “Years” from 70,000 to its maximum setting of 300 million. He tripped and fell to the floor, hitting his head on the sharp cross-bar of the metal work-bench. A dark pool of blood flowed over the tiled floor from the open gash beneath that silvery mane. Hillsy raised the scalpel, hesitated, and then dropped it to the floor. The Founder was already dead!
“You’ve killed him!” screamed Jacqueline. “He died trying to save us all!”
“Aye. But not voluntarily!” breathed McGill.
Tom and Maddie were horrified. All human history, knowledge, culture and experience would be lost forever if they didn’t act. They quickly injected each other with the nano-chips.