Simon was feeling slightly better, about an hour ago someone had slid a food tray through a slot on the door, he had called out to them, but they ignored him completely, a few seconds after the tray a bottle of water rolled in. The food made him feel stronger, though it was a bland tasteless mush, he had sipped the water, conserving it, he didn’t know how long it would be until he was given more. He had tried to focus himself, to use his powers, but nothing was working, at first he suspected some kind of drugs in his body or in the water or food, but he didn’t feel like he was impaired in anyway.
“Good, you’re awake.”
Simon looked around the room, but he was unable to see any speakers, but it didn’t sound like there was someone outside the room.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I intended to speak with you sooner, but unfortunately I was kept away. I see the room wasn’t prepared properly, I apologise for the inconvenience.”
There was a brief hum as a floor tile in the corner moved back revealing a hole in the ground, his new toilet, great. A panel in the wall lowered itself, revealing a sink and a tap.
“There we go, that should make things a bit more comfortable for you.”
“Who the hell are you and why am I here?”
“I am your new master, that is all that matters. You are here because I command it. You will answer my questions or I will punish the child and the women you lot were so fond of.”
Simon hid his smile with a cough, they didn’t have the girls or Joey, the man would have used their names, or used a recording of them to scare him.
“They’re quite comfortable now, Joey wants to know where his father is, something we haven’t been quite able to determine yet, and the two girls, Grady and Amy seem to be in good spirits. We promised them protection, they’ll happily talk to us.”
“Oh good, so you won’t need to question me then.”
Maybe he was wrong, maybe they had been caught. But how? There was no way they could have been tracked through the tunnels. He only knew one thing, who ever it was must work for Alice.
“we have three of them.”
“What about the others?”
“They escaped, under ground apparently.”
“And how are we doing in terms of tracking them down?”
“Well, at this point we’re waiting for them to surface, we expect once that happens we should have them in a few hours.”
“Good. I don’t want to have to wait. Have they answered any questions yet?”
“No, Simon is silent, Alice shouted for a short while, but it provided nothing useful. She is now sitting on the cot, we think she is planning.”
“She probably thinks we’ll send someone in to rough her up and that her powers will start working then.”
“We’ll have to treat Simon carefully, he might snap and if he does, he’ll be useless to us. Our analysts have theorised that he may have a psychotic break soon.”
“Interesting. Do they have any idea what that might look like?”
“Ask them if we should push him into it, he might be easier to control at that point.”
“I’ll ask them to study it.”
“Good. In the meantime, ask them what forms of interrogation should be used on him. What about Brett?”
“He hasn’t woken yet, we’re not sure why.”
“Is he faking?”
“Our monitors indicate that he is genuinely unconscious, but there is no real way to be sure beyond going in. He might have abilities that we don’t suspect. It would be a risk letting someone into the room with him, with any of them.”
“If there is no change by tomorrow we’ll have to discuss what options we can take. Would it be possible to give him a low dose of uppers or adrenaline? Something to help the sedative wear off?”
“Perhaps, I’ll get some people working on it.”
“Is that it?”
“Right, go on then.”
The woman turned and left the room, already typing on her phone. He liked her, she was the best assistant he had in years and she had lasted far longer than any of the others. It was all quite impressive. He turned his chair to face the window, part of him wanted to push forward, consequences be damned, but the other half, the half that helped him to get here, wanted him to move cautiously. He had them now, they couldn’t escape so there was no real rush. It had taken them a long time to create those chambers, the ones that would negate their powers, but they had managed in the end. Though there was fears that they wouldn’t work, he was pleased to see that they were unfounded. He would get control of them, then, he would get control of the country, after that, well, he’d just have to wait and see.
The phone rang twice before Grady grabbed it and answered,
“It’s us…hello?…Oh wait, damn, uh, Apple?”
“Where are you guys? What happened?”
“We hit a bit of a snag here, where are you? It’ll be better if we talk about it in person”
Grady felt a ball of dread form in her stomach, someone was dead, it was only a question of who.
“We’re in Masona. We can wait here or meet you somewhere.”
“We don’t have a car, we’re walking, and I don’t know how to steal one. We can’t rent one either.”
“Ok, so we’ll come to you, you’re going to have to go somewhere though, somewhere public.”
“There’s no one following us, we got away clean. We can meet you at Greenacres Mall in say an hour, in the food court?”
“Make it two and we’ll see you there.”
Grady hung up and turned to Amy, “Ok, we’re meeting them in the Greenacres food court in about two hours, something bad has happened, I don’t know what yet.”
Amy turned the car around, “Are you sure it’s safe?”
“They said the password, and they didn’t sound like they were under and kind of pressure.”
“Ok, I’ll trust you. What about-” She gestured subtly towards the back, “what if it was you know who that was hurt?”
“We can’t just leave” Grady copied the gesture “somewhere, it wouldn’t be safe.”
“You’re right, but I don’t want to scar him.”
“We can talk about it privately once we meet up with them, you know who could be with them, I only talked to Rose and she didn’t say who she was with.”
Amy looked in the mirror at Joey, he had fallen asleep about twenty minutes ago, she was impressed by how well he was dealing with being cooped up in the car. She would have thought he’d have been bouncing off the walls and clamouring for an escape. They’d have to be careful with the meeting, maybe say Simon had to go somewhere else first, just in case he wasn’t there. Amy picked up her coffee and took a drink, it was going to be a long day.