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The Inspectors: The Fall of Innocence
The floor guard walked past the cell again; stopping only to check on the patient, who was still sitting cross-legged on the floor with his eyes closed and his shoulders relaxed, his hands resting on his knees. This kid seriously unnerved the guard, but he wasn’t causing any problems so there was nothing the guard could do. He finished making his round, and returned to the guard station. He then noticed that there was a message for him on the station intercom. He listened to the message and then sent his response to the main guard station on the first floor.
The “patient” as he was now used to being called by the guards, opened his oddly colored eyes slowly. Without seeming to move, he took in his surroundings using all of his sense to their fullest capabilities. He could hear the guard now typing on the computer in the guard station. He could smell the other patients on this floor as well as the guard, and identified each of them by their unique individual scents. He could feel the vibrations of the footsteps of the guard on the floor above as the overweight man made his rounds. He saw every detail in the hallway as clear as could be, despite the fact that the lights were mostly off because the patients were supposed to be asleep. He could taste the mixture of emotions that seemed to float on the air; fear, anger, misery, and excitement.
He was no ordinary fourteen-year-old boy; otherwise he would not have been locked up in this “mental hospital”, but he was far more unusual than any of the other patients here. Even the guards that were assigned to keep an eye on him were unaware of exactly what he could do; only the warden and the good doctor knew what he was capable of doing, and even they could only guess and theorize the limits of his true potential. No matter how many times they beefed up security around him, they were never able to keep him from doing as he pleased.
Getting out of his cell was easy, and wandering around the complex was a game anymore. Tonight, he thought, I’m going to let them catch me. He closed his eyes again and breathed deeply. He opened his eyes again and they were now a vibrant orange, rather than the brown-orange that they were normally. He stood and raised his hand to the lock on his cell door, and with a small metallic click the door slid open.
He stepped out into the hallway and turned toward the staircase to the floor below. He easily slipped past the security cameras, able to see all of them before they could see him, even the ones that were supposed to be invisible to the naked eye.
The metal double-doors that led to the staircase were locked, as was standard for security reasons. The only way that these doors were supposed to be unlocked was with a keycard, which only the doctor, warden, and guards were allowed to carry. He smiled to himself, he didn’t need a keycard. He walked over to the air vent near the doors, carefully removed the metal grating and fetched the magnet that he had stolen from the lab one time after he’d been visiting the doctor. The magnet was the same size as the keycards, but had a larger magnetic field than the keycards. It allowed him to open the doors, even though it wasn’t electronic and the door scanner didn’t read it.
Once through the doors, he proceeded down to the floor below, and immediately set off toward the South wing of the building. He slowed only long enough to make sure the guard was sufficiently distracted at the cross hall where the four wings of the building met. He then crossed into the south wing and continued on to Hailey’s room.
He opened the door a crack using the magnet again and slipped in, closing it quickly and quietly behind him. Hailey looked around as she heard the door open. “Zeek,” She whispered urgently, “What are you doing here?” “Having some fun.” He replied sitting down in one of the uncomfortable chairs provided by the warden for Hailey’s cooperation with the doctor.
“You’re not supposed to be here.” Hailey whispered. Zeek looked at her thoughtfully; she was the same age as him, maybe a couple months older, and was the only one in the entire complex that might have any clue exactly what he was capable of. Of course, he didn’t think that she knew, but only because she’d never tested her own potential. She was the only other person that had the same abilities that he did. “You’re right,” He said, “I’m not supposed to be here. You know, I think I’ll go be a good little boy in my cell.” He was at the door again, and starting to open it, when she spoke again, “Zeek, just don’t get yourself shot. Life would be boring without you.” They both smiled at this, and he darted through the door.
He had no intention of going back to his cell, and Hailey was well aware of this fact. He was tired of waiting for something interesting to happen; he was tired of being bored out of his mind, waiting for something to happen; now it was his turn, he was going to make something happen. He planned on going to give the doctor a visit, but he thought it would be rude to just knock on the man’s apartment door unannounced. So he returned to the guard station at the cross hall, where the guard had now fallen asleep.
He entered the guard station and leaned to speak in the man’s ear. “You probably shouldn’t be sleeping, after all there’s a patient running loose on this floor.” The guard stirred and opened his eyes wearily. He looked at Zeek, not awake enough to know what he was looking at. Zeek now satisfied turned and walked down to the East wing, sure that the guard would soon wake up and sound the alarm. Sure enough, he hadn’t gotten halfway when the alarm suddenly blared from the overhead speakers hidden in the ceiling. He grinned as he heard the thundering of boots, and the slamming of heavy security doors all throughout the complex.
* * *
Doctor Senshin was refilling his coffee mug for the sixteenth time in the past hour, when he heard the alarm go off. He picked up the phone and called the main office. “What is going on?” He demanded of the imbecilic secretary on the other end of the line. “Sir, the alarm is going off.” The secretary said. “Yes, very good.” Senshin said with false sweetness. “Why is the alarm going off?” “Well I don’t really know sir.” The secretary replied. “It was triggered by the guard station on your floor. He said he saw one of the patients heading down the East wing, towards your apartment. Security is searching the floor thoroughly as we speak. Would you like some guards to come up to protect you?”
“That won’t be necessary.” Senshin replied, already forming speculations as to who this patient was, stupid idiots for automatically assuming that he was dangerous. “Inform security that they are not allowed to harm him, and should they apprehend him they are to bring him to me immediately.” He hung up the phone without waiting for a response. He turned back to resume his work, and immediately noticed that his coffee mug was no longer where he’d set it. “So exactly what were you planning for me?” Zeek asked from where he now lounged on the doctor’s sofa; he sipped from the coffee mug that he was holding and grimaced. “By the way, this stuff is terrible.” He said setting the mug on the coffee table.”
“Zeek, what are you doing out?” Senshin asked exasperated, as he crossed the room and picked up his mug. “Well,” Zeek began, “I was bored so I went to visit Hailey, but she worried about me getting caught, so I left and came here.” He said. “You’re causing quite a stir with security.” Senshin said sitting down in the armchair across from the sofa. “Well your apartment doesn’t have a doorbell.” Zeek said with a grin, even Senshin smiled at that remark, but then he remembered what he’d been working on before the alarm had gone off, and his smile faded. “Zeek, I know that you like it here, and that you enjoy the freedoms that you have, although some of them you shouldn’t have. And it’s good that you like it here, in fact most of the people do, but there is an Inspector coming tomorrow. The lady that is doing it is very strict about regulation, perhaps worse than the warden. So for your sake as well as everyone else’s here, please behave tomorrow while the Inspector is here.” Senshin was sincere as he spoke these words, and the pleading in his voice was unmistakable; whoever this Inspector was supposed to be, they were bad news.
“Okay. I will.” Zeek said with sincerity in his voice and a curt nod of his head. “You should probably be going back to your room.” Senshin said, “I’ll inform the guards that they are not to disturb you.” Zeek stood and walked toward the door. He reached the door and stopped and turned to face the doctor again. “Sir, if I behave, can I have a room like Hailey’s?” He asked. “We can arrange that.” Senshin said, and Zeek smiled and he turned and left the apartment.
Senshin waited for a few moments to be sure that Zeek had gone, and then he bent over and pulled the tape recorder off of the bottom of the table. “Do you think he knew?” A woman asked as she stepped out from another room. “I know he knew.” Senshin said, “I don’t think it’s possible to deceive him.” He turned to look at the woman. “He really likes it here, his family abandoned him. This institute is all he has; myself, the warden, and the others.” “What exactly is he here for?” The woman asked. Senshin looked away, unwilling to respond, “You’ve read his file; you know very well why he is here. The rest of the world is unwilling to accept someone like him; a feeling that I believe you understand all too well, right Ms. Jones?” He cast a sidelong glance at her over his shoulder. She didn’t answer, but she didn’t have to; her answer was clear in her demeanor and on her face. “The Inspectors will want to harvest abilities like his for their own personal gain, and with the power that they have recently gained within the corporation; it will be hard to stop them.” Senshin said, “There are those at this complex that are in danger of being used as tools, and then discarded once the Inspectors get what they want. I fear that Zeek will be among the first.” As he spoke Ms. Jones could hear the emotion welling up in him. This man was not meant to be detached from other people, she thought to herself, that’s why he cares so much for these kids; they’re like his own children. “Well, Dr. Senshin,” She said, “I don’t plan on letting that happen; to anyone here.”