Unforeseen Dives – 42b – Manipulation

<< 42a – Manipulation

I came to in my bed. Casey sat in the couch. He closed his book when I stirred. My head felt like a ton of bricks. It dissuaded me from rising. Casey pushed me aside so he could join me on the bed.
“You were quite the trooper today. Or so I’m told.”
“Yeah. A real superhero.” How ridiculous was it to faint right after the homerun? I sighed. Casey wrapped his arms around me and I rested my head on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry you had to go through this. Whatever ‘this’ was. You’ve been through a lot.”
“Most people have.”
Despite the weird emotional stuff between us, I was thankful for Casey’s presence. My mom’s death might not paralyze me but revisiting the pain and rage it sparked wasn’t a joy ride. I underestimated the toll it took on me. On the other hand, fainting remained an acceptable price to pay for stopping a war.
“I hope the information we gathered will keep this particular source of suffering from spreading.”
“I couldn’t tell. I’m a civilian, remember? If Becky catches me spying…” He nudged me gently. I smiled. “I did make you some soup, though.”
“Is there some for me too?” Becky leaned against the doorframe. She headed back here when I left my “dream state” or whatever an unconscious brain pattern should be called.
“There’s enough for the whole floor.” Casey slid out of the bed after kissing my forehead. “I’ll heat some up.”
I understood his speedy exit when Becky sat where Casey lay moments before.
“We’ll need some time to decipher what we grabbed,” she broadcasted. “The team is crosschecking the fragments with facts from Nadina’s file and the investigation as a whole. The drug lords trail is a bust.”
“She kept thinking ‘Mind over matter’.”
“Exactly. Apparently, they ‘telepath’ suggestions in people’s mind. Something like being too Zen to secrete adrenaline.”
“They program people.” Hair rose on my arms. I failed to understand how the criminals managed to surprise us so much with the Ocean, and now telepathy. Didn’t we have institutes of research around the globe deepening our knowledge of reader abilities? Were we so far behind?
“Doubt it.” Rebecca thought. “I suspect the institutes know but keep some uses to themselves. Think of the frenzy if the masses learned we can program people with a thought.”
“Think of the abuses some readers would make.”
“Maybe all the criminals managed to do is grab the person with the right knowledge…”
“The soup is ready!” Casey yelled from the kitchen. No matter how curious he probably was, he respected our need to talk about work. I was grateful for his presence.
Rebecca helped me sit. My head felt lighter than when I first attempted to move.
“I don’t think you’re weakness is due only to the emotion.” My partner said to comfort me. “You processed a whole bunch of thoughts. Your brain isn’t geared to handle that like ours.”
The mouthwatering smell pulled me to my seat at the table. Casey joined us and we fell into idle chat as we ate. I thought I was doing better but I began feeling queasy again. How long would I need to get over the scene with Nadina?
Then I noticed Becky looked sick too.
The knowledge lit up in both telepaths’ mind. Casey punched Becky. Whatever was in our food, it worked fast; Becky was unable to parry the attack. I had a hard time thinking straight. The fire alarm rang. Everything happened so fast.
Before my mind actually came to grip with the idea Casey betrayed us, he had already punched Becky a few more times. She finally dropped to the ground unconscious. He kicked her stomach forcefully and would most likely have kicked more if someone hadn’t knocked on the window.
Casey forced me to the ground, protecting me from the glass shards flying from the now broken window. As soon as he touched me, a tidal wave of horrors filled my mind. Combined with the drugs Casey fed me, the images crippled my thoughts and body. I barely felt the ground disappear from under me and the shoulder pushing against my stomach. The bumps of the steps made me even more nauseous.
A part of me rebelled against the assault enough to restore a bit of my reflection process. I thought towards my team of telepaths as hard as I could. I doubted anyone was listening in on my brain but should someone scan the building to see how the fire spread, they might read me.
“You’re a strong one, honey.” Casey murmured in my ear. “But don’t sweat it. We’ll be out of here before you know.”
Casey transferred me to the arms of a fake fireman like I was a broken doll. The cold, end of autumn air snapped me a little bit more out of my drug-induced trance. The scary movie streamed straight in my brain continued. He was a telepath too. A neurotoxin must have been mixed with the mind-blurring drug. I literally couldn’t move.
“How did they get to you?” I asked Casey as the fireman began to take me down his ladder.
“I don’t actually have a new job, honey.” The big blue eyes winked in mockery. I had partially foreseen this. The negative void in the future of my relationship with Casey. The blue eyes in the paintings.
My unstable attention wandered downstairs. A trail of smoke rose from the first floor. They actually set fire to the building. It made sense; why just kidnap me when you can down the whole organization’s moral? But then, why kidnap me instead of blowing the whole thing up? Someone in the organization wanted me alive.
The fireman shifted his position a bit and jabbed a syringe in my thigh.
“Lady, you think too much.” He murmured. Reality slipped from my grasp. Every stimulus entered my brain without being sorted. The whole world was a jumbled mess of awful smells, piercing shrieks and pain.

VIIa – A Loony Out Of The Bin >>


About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

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