They were led by one of the Greys, waving its arms and directing them toward the runway and the ramp up into the ship. The man in black stood off to one side, watching Wendy's reaction as they slowly walked out in single file, most of them with their heads down as they followed directions.
The first was an older man, in a ragged brown coat. His hair was thin, bald in places and he had a long, unkempt beard. His shirt and jeans were dirty and old as well, with several makeshift patches that had been badly sown into place. The smell that drifted off of him was one of urine and alcohol. Wendy guessed he had been homeless for quite some time. Until someone had offered him a place to go, likely without details on where or under who's care that would be.
The 'medical equipment' being delivered and picked up was human beings. The idea sent shivers through her, and it took a huge amount of control to not let it show as they filed past. They had orders to shoot any that made a run for it. These people, most of them every bit as disheveled as the first, had agreed to something without any idea what they were in for, probably figuring they couldn't do worse than the lives they were already living.
Then a bed rolled out of the hanger, white, with bars on the sides to ensure the occupant didn't fall out. A metal bar rose up above it, holding a bag of liquid, connected to the body underneath by a plastic tube. One of the Greys walked along behind it, holding up one hand and pushing it along without actually touching it.
The occupant looked like an old woman at a distance, but as they approached and passed, Wendy could see she was actually much younger, maybe in her 40's. She had the thin hair and gaunt appearance of a woman twice her age, though. Eyes sunken, devoid of life or hope. The victim of some horrible wasting illness or other.
These were the terminally ill and unwanted, being bartered to an alien intelligence for experiments in exchange for God only knew what. Wendy couldn't hold back the next shiver that ran through her body , and it had not escaped the notice of the man in black. She could feel his eyes boring into her even through his dark glasses.
She risked a glance over at him and he just smirked and nodded back towards the hanger.
Stepping out of the shadows in line with the rest was a little girl, no older than eight years old. Blonde hair falling behind her as she walked, wearing a nightdress and still carrying a teddy bear in the crook of her arm. She could have been just grabbed out of her bedroom. Her head turned left and right as she followed the older man in front of her, eyes wide with fear, squeezing her bear so tight it wouldn't have been surprising if its head had popped off.
For the life of her, Wendy couldn't imagine why they were handing over such a little girl. She couldn't see anything at all wrong with her. Just the fear and confusion behind wide blue eyes. She was even barefoot.
Wendy felt her chest tighten up and she had to fight the instinct to grab the girl and run for it herself. To even make a move though would probably get herself shot as well as the girl.
Then the girl was gone to the sound of running feet hitting the blacktop. The man in black scowled at Wendy and took off across the runway, pulling out a handgun from under his coat. It had been Barclay that had broken, sweeping the girl into his arms and charging off into the darkness. Wendy heard the gunshots, both the man in black and Captain Talassy had squared up and were taking shots into the darkness.
"Go on! Get after him. BRING THEM BACK!" The man in black barked at the rest of the soldiers standing there as he reloaded his gun. Captain Talassy waved, and the line moved as a unit, drawing weapons and running off into the darkness, Wendy among them, as ordered, despite the knot in her stomach.