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The Inspectors: Promise in the Dark
Zeek sat in his room, waiting for Dr. Senshin to send guards to escort him down to the lab for testing. There had been many tests in the year since the Inspectors had started coming to the complex. The Inspectors, Zeek thought to himself, who are they, and what do they want? They came out twice a week, and tested various patients at the complex each time. They had tested Zeek the last twelve times that they’d come out, and each time they told him that his results were disappointing. Never once had they told him what they were testing him for; they just hooked him up to a computer that ran all kinds of scans on his brain. He knew that it was because of these scans that Dr. Senshin had been slipping several of the patient’s pills on the nights before the Inspectors came out. Dr. Senshin didn’t know that Zeek knew about the pills, but because of his promise to the doctor to do what he was told, he took the pill without question.
He didn’t know what the pills did exactly, but he had noticed that they seemed to dull his senses, and he wasn’t able to think as fast as he used to. From this he had figured that the pills did something to brain function.
He was roused from his thoughts by the sound of heavy, booted footsteps approaching; the guards come to escort him; why hadn’t he heard them before they got so close? Oh, right he thought the pill.
The guards stood in front of his door by now, and were turning the key to unlock his door. He stood up and moved to stand in front of the door. The door slid open and he started to take a step forward, but stopped dead still when he saw what was standing on the other side of the door. The term “guards” seemed inadequate for these guys; they both stood about seven feet tall with really broad shoulders. They were decked out in what seemed like combat gear, and each carried a huge assault rifle with them.
Zeek was not one to be easily intimidated, but he had to admit that he was more than a little intimidated by these behemoths. One of them grabbed Zeek’s shoulder and pulled him bodily from his room.
“We’re here to take you to see Inspector Stevens.” The other guard said as the one that had grabbed Zeek slid his door closed with an ominous thud.
“Who’s Inspector Stevens?” Zeek asked his feeling of uneasiness growing rapidly. “What happened to Inspector Jones?”
“The Company felt that she wasn’t getting the results that she should,” A voice said from down the hallway; the guards both saluted and Zeek saw a man who had to be Inspector Stevens. “Especially from you and another patient here, I believe Hailey is her name.”
Zeek already knew that he wasn’t going to like this man. Inspector Stevens was a short man, shorter than Zeek. He wore a very expensive looking pinstriped suit in a vain attempt to make himself look taller. His hair was a dirty-blonde and was slicked back by some sort of foul smelling gel.
“From now on,” Stevens continued coming closer to stand in Zeek’s face, “I will be testing you both, and I warn you that I don’t plan on being duped as easily as Inspector Jones. Come, the others should have the girl down in the testing facility by now.” The guards grabbed Zeek again and followed Inspector Stevens down the hall to the stairwell. Moments later they arrived at the doors to the testing facility. Stevens opened the security door with his keycard, and led the guards into what looked like an interrogation room. It had a table; a one-way mirror; and a couple of rather uncomfortable looking chairs, one of which had belts attached to the armrests and the front two legs.
This isn’t testing; Zeek thought to himself as the guards sat him down and fastened the belts around his arms and legs, fortunately they weren’t too tight. The guards set a microphone on the table in front of Zeek; then the guards and Inspector Stevens left the room locking the door behind them. Zeek was just beginning to wonder what was going on when Stevens’ voice came over an intercom.
“Now Zeek, I am going to ask you a number of questions, and I want you to answer them honestly. First question: Where were you born? Remember to speak into the microphone.”
“Bayside.” Zeek said into the microphone; Dr. Senshin had allowed him to read part of his medical file once, and that had been one of the things he read.
“Second question: Why are you in this Institute?”
“Because my parents wanted nothing to do with me, they left me on the doorstep when I was four.” Zeek answered. He waited for the next question but it didn’t come. Instead he heard a scream, a female scream, over the intercom. It was Hailey. She was in pain.
“ZEEK!” He heard her cry through her screams. “HELP ME!” She stopped screaming suddenly. “Please… please help.”
“Oh yes, Zeek,” Stevens’ voice came over the intercom, mockingly alike to Hailey’s, “Do help your little friend.”
“What are you doing to her?” Zeek shouted at the microphone, all he got in response was another scream from Hailey.
“That’s not the answer to the question that I asked.” Stevens said. “Answer my questions truthfully and I’ll not harm Hailey ever again. Now then the next question: Does Magic exist?”
The question caught Zeek off guard, and he was stunned by the ludicrously of it. There was no such thing as magic; the idea of it was preposterous. “No magic isn’t real.” He replied, there was a pause and he was answered by another scream. “HAILEY!”
“Wrong answer.” Stevens said, and Zeek heard another voice over the intercom somewhere in the background. He focused on it to see if he could understand what it was saying.
“You can’t do this!” It was Dr. Senshin and he sounded angry. “I don’t care if you do work for the Company; this is still illegal.” Stevens didn’t seem to realize that the intercom was still on for he spoke to Dr. Senshin, and Zeek heard everything.
“You’ll come to forgive me Doctor; take Hailey and Zeek back to their rooms.” Stevens said and both voices grew fainter as he and Senshin continued to argue. One of the guards entered the room and untied Zeek, and before the guard could figure out what happened, Zeek had knocked him down and ran from the room. He found Stevens and Senshin in the hallway, and saw another guard dragging Hailey from another room; she looked unconscious, and her hair was a mess, and she had burns all along her arms.
Zeek lunged at Stevens, who’d had his back to him, and before anyone could react Zeek had the Inspector pinned to the ground, Zeek’s knee on his chest and Zeek’s hands closed around the little man’s throat. The guard dragging Hailey had dropped her and pulled a gun and was aiming it at Zeek. Dr. Senshin was standing between Zeek and the guard, trying to get the guard to lower the gun and let him talk to Zeek.
“What have you done to Hailey?” Zeek asked Stevens, loosening the grip he had on the man’s windpipe. Stevens didn’t answer, he just stared coldly at Zeek, as if waiting for the guard to shoot. “Go ahead and shoot!” Zeek called to the guard, who looked at him in shock, so did Senshin and Stevens. “It won’t make any difference. I will have answers before you die.” Zeek told Stevens whose face turned up in an evil smile.
“Shoot him!” Stevens yelled at the guard who reacted to the order instantly. The guard leveled the gun and fired at Zeek, but the bullet slammed into Stevens’ shoulder. Stevens screamed in pain. The guard looked from his injured boss to Zeek who was now behind Stevens.
“Zeek.” Dr. Senshin said his name in exasperation. Stevens continued screaming, but now he had added some swearing at Zeek as well. “Why did you do that Zeek?” Senshin asked. “He wanted you to react like that.” He added pointing at Stevens.
“That’s right!” Stevens said standing up and clutching at his hurt shoulder. “Now we’ve proved that you’re not human, and now we can take you both to the Company for additional testing.” He turned to the guard that was just now emerging from the interrogation room. “What have you been doing? Never mind just grab him.” He pointed at Zeek. “Oh, and if you try anything like that again, they’ll shoot her.” He added to Zeek, who saw that the guard that had shoot now had the gun to Hailey’s head. “Now come on.” Stevens said and he led the way through the building to a door in the rear of the building. He opened the door and ushered everyone outside.
Rain was falling as they stepped outside. A white van pulled up, and more guards with guns stepped out of the shadows of the building. Stevens opened the door to the van, and the guards carried Hailey inside. The guards holding Zeek, for there were several of them now, threw him into the van and slammed the door quickly behind him, plunging him and Hailey into darkness.
“Zeek.” Hailey’s voice was weak and she moved feebly, reaching her hand for him out in the darkness. “I’m sorry.” She said as he took her hand in his own.
“What do you have to be sorry for?” Zeek asked racking his brain for anything that she had ever done to him, or to anyone for that matter.
“I’m sorry for not being strong, like you.” She said weakly as the van started moving and she began to cry.
“No. I’m sorry that I wasn’t strong enough to protect you.” Zeek said as tears welled up in his eyes, he didn’t try to stop his tears from falling, nor did he wipe them away. They fell down his face, and to the floor where they mingled with Hailey’s. “I will get us out of this.” He promised her. “I will find a way for us to be free, and then we’ll run away together. We’ll leave these people and never return.” He spoke softly to her until she went to sleep. As he spoke he thought out how to put his plan into action, and as he thought he realized that his senses were returning. The pill that Senshin had given him was wearing off, and now he’d be ready. “We’ll be free.” He promised her again, with more conviction than before. “We’ll be free.”