“Nast…Shelby,” he called to her from the shadows.
Peering around the corner she saw him, standing alone in the living room, wearing a silk, brocade house coat. “I just heard a noise,” she responded.
“Hedeon and Taras,” he said, reaching out his hand. “Come. Join me.”
Reluctantly, she followed Apostol to the patio. The moon hung full over the mountains, and the stars sparkled. A cool, yet comforting breeze of fresh air invigorated her senses. A tea setting rested on a table between two chairs. She sat down beside him and let her gaze trail off to the horizon.
He prepared her a cup of tea and handed it to her. “Beautiful view, even at night.”
“Yes. Have you lived here a long time?” she asked.
“Since the dissolution. This house used to belong to my family before the Communists took over. It was abandoned for many years, until the Nazis inhabited this region during the war. I officially acquired it after gaining my PhD. It took a lot to restore—cracks in the foundation, decayed wood, rodents and bullet holes from battles, but look at it now. It’s like brand new. This is what I mean by destruction and decay. It’s sometimes a necessity for change.”
“Well it certainly is a beautiful estate,” she said. “The argument between you and my father during the symposium, I sense bad blood.”
“Bad blood, interesting words. There is no such thing as bad blood, just memory embedded in the DNA. One thing I don’t understand about Morehead is the Scots used to be a rebellious lot, now he seems to be bending to those in power. He gives them what they want.”
“And what do they want?” Shelby asked.
“Ultimate control of the mass population.” He sipped his tea. “Let me explain it this way. Corporations control governments and governments control people. The Industrial Revolution, despite all its innovations and comforts has destroyed the fabric of society, namely the environment. Now, in order for survival the human genome needs to be altered, and alter the ecology in order to sustain life on planet, which is becoming inhabitable. Instead of curing the globe’s problem of mass commerciality and consumption, corporations with their scientists in their pockets are genetically modifying our food. Do you think that is the right answer? I don’t. I believe in revolutionizing the way we live.” He twisted in his seat, deeply engaged in his own theory. “You see, we can genetically alter our physical nature, or we can alter our mental and emotional nature. Altering the human genome physically will change the ecology of the world, alter our mental condition, we can fit within the ecology God gave us.”
Shelby sipped her tea. Apostol’s words gave her pause. “I can understand, but does that give a reason for violence and insurrection?”
“The question here is: what is the true crime? Who really is the enemy?”
She set her teacup on the table. “I’m a simple doll maker. The troubles of the world are beyond my scope.
All I’m interested in is finding my daughter.”
“Is that all you’re interested in?” he asked.
“What else would there be?”
He nodded and drank his tea. “I hear you have an interesting doll collection. Tell me more about it.”
“I’d honestly like to talk about my daughter.”
“Amelia. Beautiful name. She reminds of a sprite. Quite magical.” He admired Shelby. “She’s a lot like you. Strong, inquisitive…trusting.”
“Yes. You’re concerned, and desperately want to be reunited, but I don’t see fear in your eyes. You’re here, but not climbing the walls to find her. You are engaging with your clan, not wanting to antagonize, but you’re also curious.”
“You’re right about one thing. I desperately want to be reunited with my daughter.”
“And you will be. Trust and faith.”
“I’m tired,” she said, rising from her seat. “I want to thank you for your hospitality and enlightening conversation, but honestly it’s been a lot for me to digest.”
“I understand,” he replied with a smile. “Have a good sleep. And you shall be reunited with your daughter. In the meantime, trust your clan.”
“Right,” She replied allowing Apostol to hear the sarcasm in her voice.
She headed back inside the house, down the hallway filled with her ancestors. Upon returning to her bedroom, she closed and locked the door, hardly the night she anticipated.