Four Months Before Impact Day
“You know, I’m really starting to get tired of your teenage romance bullshit,” he said, glaring at me from across the interrogation table. “I can’t help but to wonder if you’re just wasting my time.
I smirked. His frustration had been slowly growing, and it was about the only thing I had to enjoy in this ghastly concrete Hellhole. It was almost worth the regular beatings.
“Actually, you’re getting the abridged version,” I said. “I leave out the boring bits out so I can hurry back to the torture chamber.”
“We’re not torturing you, Charlotte.”
“Whatever. We’re just testing your limits.”
“Sure,” I said, rolling my eyes. “You don’t have any kind of a grudge against me.”
“I never said I don’t enjoy your pain,” he said, with a sadistic twinkle in his eye.
Boy, I’m gonna enjoy kicking your arse.
“Charming. Look, it may not seem important, but believe me when I say you need to understand the relationship between Rachel and I.”
“And why would I believe that?”
“Because of what she did, and why.”
He folded his arms, leaning forward. All of a sudden, I had his curiosity again.
“And what did she do?”
“I’m getting there,” I said, sighing. “If you don’t have the context, you won’t understand.”
“Speaking of understanding,” he said, his lips curling into a sneer, “we’ve been looking into the names you gave us. Elizabeth Effe, Mark and Aidan Scott, and Rachel Fierro.”
“Good for you.”
“They weren’t hard to find.”
I raised an eyebrow at the implicit threat.
“Did you expect them to be?” I asked.
“I expected you to give fake names, to protect your friends’ identities.”
“…You do know who you’re talking to, don’t you?”
“Have you done anything to any of them?” I asked, not even bothering to fake concern.
“We’re just watching them,” he said, but there was a flicker of something on his face, something he was trying to hide.
“You’re not very good at this,” I told him.
“You tried, didn’t you?”
“Believe me, if we’d made a move, you’d know,” he said, practically growling.
“I’m guessing you tried Rachel first, since she’s… Well, I already know how that would have gone. Have you really not been paying attention?”
“Is there something we should know about her?”
“I’ve already told you everything you need to know,” I said, laughing. It only made him more frustrated. “None of these people are normal, I told you that from the start.” A shadow grew on his face. “You didn’t believe me, did you?”
“I think you’d better continue your story.”
I shook my head.
“I want to make something clear, first. There is nothing you could do to me, no pain you can inflict, that would make me put my friends or family at risk. The reason I didn’t protect their identities is because they don’t need protection. So let me give you a free piece of advice: stay away from them.”
“Duly noted,” he said, trying and failing to maintain his composure.
You’re in over your head, buddy. We’re two months in, and you still don’t know the half of it.
“Actually, before I continue, I wanted to ask you something.”
“What?” he asked, irritable.
“Have you found anything out about me?”
“What do you think?”
“Oh, I already know. You haven’t found a damn thing. Every test comes back and says I’m normal, except I’m not. There’s nothing you can copy, no way to replicate my abilities. No weakness that will let you permanently put me out of your misery.”
“You know, I think you’re getting a little too big for your britches.”
“Teenagers, man. We’re nothing but trouble.”
He stared at me for the longest time, taking deep, slow breaths. Eventually, he pushed his chair back, and stood up.
“You claim to not need oxygen, yes?”
“What’re you gonna do, suck all the air out? It’s unpleasant, I won’t lie, but it won’t kill me.”
“No, that’s not quite what I was thinking,” he said. “Follow me, if you would.”
I glanced down at the chain binding me to the table, then back up at him, eyebrow raised.
“First of all, how? Second of all, no. This does not seem like it will be fun for me.”
He laughed cruelly.
“I assure you, this definitely will not be fun for you.”
He walked over, and unlocked the chair, a look in his eye daring me to take him on. It was so, so tempting…
Not yet, Charlie. Be patient.
I stood and followed him, struggling to resist the urge to hit him, just once. Whatever he was going to do to me, I knew it was going to be horrible, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. The only option was to endure, and wait. Surely Rachel couldn’t need that much more time…
He led me into another room, identical to all the others. I hadn’t seen the sun in two months, and all the grey was really starting to depress me.
“Stand in the centre of the room,” he instructed.
“Or I shoot you, and leave you there until you wake up.”
I did as he instructed, walking to the centre of the room. He shut the door, leaving me alone in the dark.
For several minutes, nothing happened. I started to wonder if that was my punishment; locking me in a dark room, sensory-deprivation style. If only…
Above me, I heard a low rumbling sound. I took a paranoid step back, and heard a wet squelching song on the floor where I’d just been standing. Something thick was flowing into the room.
Carefully, I reached out, letting some of the liquid land on my fingers. I didn’t need more than that to identify what they were pumping into the room.
It was cement.
“You fucking rat,” I growled.
Next Week: I’m Here To Talk To Your Reflection