“Doctor,” said Sacha, “Can you give me your assurance that this injection won't harm my children?”

“Well, there's always some risk, Ms Melham. I do have a leaflet that explains everything...”

Sacha placed a finger on the table.

“I don't need a leaflet, Doctor. I simply want your assurance that this injection will cause Willow and Gregory no harm...”

Doctor James Ferriday gazed at the finger.

“As I said, there is always a small risk, but if you look, you will see that this is less than the probability of...”

Sacha held up her hand.

“Please, Doctor. Don't try and confuse the issue.”

“I'm not trying to confuse the issue, I'm simply presenting you with the facts...”

Sacha rose to her feet.

“Well, I think I've heard enough. Willow, Gregory, put your coats back on. Thank you, Doctor, we'll be... what's that?”

James's screen flashed red and green.

“Oh dear,” he said, reading the yellow writing scrolling across the monitor. “I think you should take a seat.”

Sacha did so. Her son slipped his hand into hers.

“What's the matter, mummy?”

“Nothing, dear. Is everything OK, Doctor?”

“I'm sorry, Ms Melham...” he began, and then more kindly. “I'm sorry, Sacha, but you've crossed the threshold. I'm afraid to say, you're not allowed science any more.”

“I'm what?”