“What do you remember?” The voice was calm, measured, perfect for soothing the most savage of souls or coaxing out the deepest of secrets. It belonged to an older gentleman with a pleasant face. Gray just touched Dr. Simonson’s temples and laugh lines creased the corners of his eyes and mouth. He was impeccably dressed, and lounged in a chair that cost more than most people would make in a month.
In contrast, the man sitting in the matching chair across a well made oak table looked… “like a dressed up bum.” Agent Baker thought to himself. “Bogey Alpha-Two-Niner” was its… his… identification number assigned by Sec Central. Baker studied the unknown SPB through the one way glass at the back of the shrink’s office. His partner, Agent Richards, lounged in a chair, her feet propped up on the table while she sipped coffee and jotted down notes in her journal. She seemed as unimpressed as he did with this bogus assignment. This guy seemed harmless enough. Sec shoulda just slapped some nullifier cuffs on him and turned him over to SciTech for whatever they did with the other SPBs they collected. Assigning two Elite Agents to this case seemed like so much babysitter duty.
Sighing, Baker looked back to the source of his current frustration. The Bogey was male, approximately 6’2, well-muscled in the way that truly dangerous people were (muscle mass leaner, made for truly fast movements), and sported hair that fell to his shoulders. Richards had commented that he was “cute” which told Baker that Mr. Bogey was not a nice man; Richards never liked nice guys. Other than that, the Bogey showed signs of being the worse for some sort of wear, malnourishment had sunken his cheekbones and the baggage under his eyes could be forcibly checked at any airline station. Despite that, the man’s (“Bogey’s”! Baker reminded himself silently.) eyes were alert, taking in every detail in the room with practiced precision. This guy was dangerous once upon a time, but since he seemed to have amnesia, what did it matter? Seeing Bogey A29 shake his head slowly, Baker pulled himself away from the wall and took a seat beside Richards. This was gunna be a long, boring assignment he feared.
Back in the office, Bogey A29 shook his head, trying desperately to remember anything. He swept the room, noticing the one way mirror in the back, and realizing that due to the angle of the light’s glare it had to be a minimum of an inch thick, and dense enough to be impact resistant. The doctor was pleasant, but under all of his careful calm, he was nervous sitting in the same room with his patient. The door was reinforced, and a keypad coupled with a palm scanner was used to exit. The window that showed a scenic island view was fake, the subsonic hum coming from it indicated it was a VR picture set showing a programmed vista. The chair he was in was indeed fine leather, but eight separate studs cleverly hidden in the springs were hooked to an electric current of no-doubt immense voltage, waiting to released with the push of a button by the two agents who had escorted him here. The rest of the room was what it was meant to be, a place meant to calm a nervous patient and assure him that the doctor was a good man meaning to help. The kicker of it all was, Bogey A29 had no idea how or why he knew all of these things.
He could feel his mind trying to recover itself. Already a few things had come back to him. He knew this was a Crey facility and for some reason he did not like them. That went beyond the fact that when he crawled through the portal he was met with a dozen armed and armored men and electrocuted into unconsciousness. Beyond the cell he had lived in for the last four days, 3 hours, and 24 minutes; beyond the mediocre food laced with enough sedatives to stun a elephant, and definitely beyond the professional rudeness he had been handled with to date, he knew instinctively that he did not like Crey Biotech at all.
Beyond that he remembered that he had gone through a similar portal to the one he returned through, on a mission with his teammates (who they were still eluded him.) The mission was to capture or defeat… someone… and, … and he couldn’t remember if they had failed or succeeded. Where his teammates were eluded him as well. Sighing in frustration, he ran his fingers though his hair, “Long again, just the way Dana liked it.”
He fought to avoid tensing. “Dana? Dana who…” Visions swirled into view as he steadily stared at the ground, not wanting the doctor to read his gaze. Snapshots of a young brunette woman flashed rapid-fire through his mind. Here she was standing beneath a cherry tree looking slightly nervous, a ranch in the background. Here she was playing volleyball surrounded by other faces that seemed vaguely familiar. Then she was in a dojo following his movements as he taught her to fight. There she was running down a high tech corridor, bursting into happy tears, a horde of other supers (escaping?) behind her. In the next she was lying beside him, toying with his hair, commenting on how much she liked it long.
The last vision hung in his mind. He examined it in detail. He knew it was his room… his quarters in… Australia… the old base. Dana was wearing a… engagement ring?… No, he’d been too stupid at the time to realize how much she really meant. It had taken almost losing her… a vision of a possible future… before he proposed to her. He reached deeper, trying to pull on this new thread, and gritted his teeth in frustration as it slipped away.
Dr. Simonson, nodded in recognition of the frustration his patient felt. He echoed the same sentiment. He’d never had such a difficult brain to crack. Usually his psychic ability allowed him to peer into a patient’s brain and diagnosis them in moments, then move on to treating them in the manner PsiOps had decided said patient should be handled. He was hamstrung with Bogey A29 however. The PsiOps agent on the scene of the Bogeys arrival attempted a psychic scan on the patient and died instantly from an aneurism, screaming about “the Emerald Eyes.” It had prompted the onsite mission leader to take a more hostile means of acquiring this patient, hostile enough that it had taken almost a week before the patient could be brought in for evaluation. The aggressiveness was necessary though, for even as weak as Bogey A29 was, he still managed to disable three Tank armors and put a half dozen agents in the Med Ward.
Seeing Bogey A29 raise his head again, Dr Simonson smiled. “From what I have read, you appeared through a Portal in a lab owned by my employers. A top secret lab mind you. I must apologize that you were met with such immediate hostility, but you must understand that Crey Biotech must handle security in a very real manner. The projects we work on would be worth billions of dollars on the Black Market. An unknown, unregistered SPB, appearing in one of our R&D locations, using a secure portal without authorization is quite a surprise for any security chief to handle. Surely you understand this?”
Bogey A29 met the doctor’s friendly blue eyes with his own stormy gray gaze. For a moment the doctor thought perhaps his patient was farther gone than anticipated, until his lips turned up in a small smile. “Security is always preeminent in a R&D location, doc. Your man reacted as he saw necessary. His psychic’s death rattled him, so he threw the kitchen sink at me. Its all right, I won’t hold it against him if he’ll forgive me the time his team will be in traction.”
The smile the patient wore was one a predator gives when he knows he is in complete control of his surroundings. It took the doctor aback to see such confidant hostility shown so early in the interview. Perhaps he could push Bogey A29 into remembering a few things after all. Picking up some carefully prepared cards, “I am sure all is forgiven. A misunderstanding right? We’re going to attempt to jog your memory a bit now. Take a look at these cards and tell me what you see, alright?” With the patient’s nod, he began, sliding his first card into place, a pair of emerald colored eyes.
Bogey A29 hissed in a breath as he sat a little straighter in the chair. Releasing it, his eyes narrowed, obviously concentrating. “I see a beautiful redhead with those eyes. She’s a threat for sure. Psychic…no… mage. I am fairly certain I do not like her.” He looked to the doctor with something akin to an apology for not remembering more.
“I see. And this” The doctor moved to the next card, knowing the entire session was recorded so he need not take notes. The next few cards were meant to gauge a patients reaction to stimulation of the fear gland. The patient had no reaction to all but one, only the card meant to test his fear of losing a loved one even flickered a reaction.
Moving on to social skills, he divined that Bogey A29 would be considered a sociopath with homicidal tendencies. Deep running greed was offset with a desire to do the actual right thing. He had no concern for authority or government, and he would indeed kill if he felt it was necessary and have no remorse in the doing. He was deeply loyal to his friends, but was also untrusting, indicating that he most likely had few friends. Idly the doctor considered that he was perfect mercenary fodder and made a mental note to recommend they look in that arena for more information regarding this SPB.
Continuing his pre-planned routine, it was discovered that the Bogey SPB could speak English, German, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, and… most interesting of all, recognized Rikti markings, but called them Distri-Sitran. This was made more frustrating for both parties when the patient could not remember why he knew the markings by that title.
Closing his routine, the doctor moved through a word association drill, except he used visual identification cards in which key words were buried. Bogey A29 reacted as expected by his previous performance until the card with the word “Adversary” was presented to him. Then he lept to his feet, eyes flashing dangerously, and growled, “Typhor.” He then reeled back on his heels, eyelids fluttering rapidly, jaw slack as emotions danced across his features.
Agent Baker cursed as he spilt scalding coffee into his lap. Bogey A29’s routine answers had nearly lulled him to sleep, so the SPB’s sudden movement startled him to his feet. Beside him Agent Richards slid her long legs to the floor and stood in a much smoother movement. “Should we go in?” she asked, Electro-Stun baton already in hand. Baker wiped at the coffee in his lap as he ran through pain resistance exercises taught to every Crey agent.
“He seems to have calmed down. Give it a moment, see if the Doc can get him back under control.” Still, Baker pulled his own Electro-Stun baton checking its charge. “Ready the stun-studs in his chair. If he sits back down, put his lights out.”
Agent Richards nodded while flipping the red trigger guard up off of the activation switch for the Stun rods placed in the patients chair. The “Interview Rooms” used for questioning SPB’s were outfitted with the latest non-lethal restraining devices. Besides the ‘stun-studs’, the room had Type 7 knockout gas available, but that was almost certain to kill the “doctor” and so was used only in extreme emergencies. A cryo-bomb was also available in the form of a potted plant, and would flash-freeze the entire room, tested to hold up to Type 6 supers, and guaranteed to slow even the biggest monsters down enough to be dealt with further if needed.
Baker looked from his partners preparations back to the Interview Room, and received the second shock of the day. Bogey A29 was staring straight at him. He shook his head, chiding himself for being so jumpy. Then he felt a chill run down his spine as Bogey A29 nodded his head in the affirmative, seemingly countering the Agent’s own movement. The smile the SPB wore tore it; “Freeze him, NOW!” he shouted.
Bogey A29 smiled, his eyes still closed. Pieces of his memory were falling into place. He and his team…Crossroads… had been fighting the Adversary, a foe they had clashed with far to often… he had help though… things had gone badly and the team was separated… a portal room… unknown where it would lead, but no other choice available. The team had thrown themselves in counting on Jack’s luck to land them on their feet, together. A final blast from the Adversary had screwed something up… soooo long in the place in-between, then a lab, here, another psychic died from Millicent’s curse… a sec leader making the only decision he really could make, and he met force with force. Now he was in the confinement of a organization who obviously did not want him talking to the authorities. Crey… not a name he knew, so it was safe to assume this was yet another reality.
“Are you alright, son?” the doctor’s placating voice ground across his ears like a scourge. False shepherd sent to rape his mind and then leave his body for the scientists to pick apart. He knew the type. “Did you remember something else?”
Opening his eyes, Bogey A29 looked past the doctor to the security agent he could feel beyond the one way mirror. He could feel the guard’s panic rising and heard the ‘juice’ running to the ‘studs in his chair. He shook his head, trying to tell the guard that there was nothing to be done that would deter him from escape.
Looking to the doctor he spoke, “Why yes doctor, I remember everything now. Thank you for your help. I’m sorry that you weren’t able to get more out of me though, its this damn psychic bomb that I had forced into me, hell on psychics ya know?” As the doctor sputtered his protest, Bogey A29 grinned fiercely, “I’m married to a telepath doc, I know how to feel when someone is probing. I hope u can survive whatever your goons are about to throw at me.”
Panic showed in Dr. Simonson’s eyes. He looked to the potted plant in the corner of the room just in time to watch it explode. Whitish-blue droplets mixed with the pottery that blew through the room coating everything in a chill that was rapidly dropping in temperature. Scrambling for the door, he made it as far as the keypad, and then froze in place, an icy statue.
What’s going on in there?” Baker asked Richards. The cryo-bomb had detonated, and the ice that coated everything was a shiny coating on the one-way mirror preventing any observation. That was why this room also contained sensors to observe those within the Interview Room.
“Mmmm, Doctor Simonson is an icicle, vitals falling rapidly. Bogey A29 is… still moving?” the question hung in her words. “I knew I liked him the moment I slapped eyes on ’em.” Agent Richards grinned viciously as she toggled her baton, electricity sparking between the contact studs as she dialed the voltage up to maximum.
Agent Baker activated his own baton, and dialed it up for maximum charge. The situation had just gone from lethally boring to potentially explosive. “This is why we get paid the big bucks,” he whispered.
“Hell no, this is the perks of the job!” Richards crowed, the maniacal glint in her eyes reaching a fever pitch. She reached for the exit door to the observation room as the mirrored glass shattered around them.
“Evening folks!” Agent Baker stared in complete shock as Bogey A29 looked through the security glass he had just shattered. “I have got to thank you for the cryo-gel. I was wondering how to escape the room, and then you went and froze your own glass!” His tone took on a semi-conspiratol tone as he leaned forward, hands brushing the remaining jagged edges away. “I bet you never thought that gel would cause a temporary weakening of the glass. That had to be what, level five, maybe six, resistance?”
“Six.” Richards breathed, recovering from the shock. Baker noticed that she was a bit flushed. “Is she getting off on this?” He wondered.
Tossing Richards a polite smile, Bogey A29 placed both hands on the lip of the opening separating him from the agents and the observation room. Coated in cryo-gel, Baker noticed that he had scraped it away from his face and joints, and that the bogey was indeed quite naked, having left his clothing with the hardening gel on the floor behind him. “That explains Richards,” he thought.
“So, before I leave your hospitality behind, I have just one question for you.” he fixed Baker with a steely gaze. “Has anyone else come through those portals you have?
Before Baker could help himself he was shaking his head negatively. Something about this SPB compelled him to answer. The man was a warrior, a leader of men, a… he shook his head again violently. “He must be controlling me somehow, gota fight it!”
“No? Ah well, I suppose they wouldn’t tell sec agents if they had anyway. ‘Needs to know only’, right?” Bogey A29 lightly hopped through the window as Agents Baker and Richards backed up, giving him room and preparing to detain him. He tossed a wink Baker’s way.
Suddenly enraged at the flippance this SPB was showing for him and his office, Agent Baker hurled himself into combat. “Fuck you, asshole!” He lead with a powerhouse kick that could disable most supers, and when the bogey ducked that, he lunged with his baton.
Bogey A29 caught Baker’s wrist after avoiding his kick. Exerting pressure he turned the baton back into Baker and shoved it home against Baker’s chest. Baker screamed as enough juice to drop a charging rhino arced through him. Still, the process that each Crey agent took upon reaching Elite status allowed him to remain conscious, even if stunned. He watched with a certain detachment as Richards made her move. Her leg sweep was avoided by a quick jump, and the knife hand strike that would have disabled anyone with a human physiology was caught inches from touching its target, the clump of nerve endings under the bogey’s left armpit. Not done yet, Richards drove a knee towards the bogeys crotch that was turned aside by a muscled thigh, and then went for her final shot with the baton, aiming for his Adam’s apple.
Bogey A29 caught Richards last strike, and then used the thigh which still held her knee away from his crotch to dip her as if dancing. He smiled charmingly while applying pressure to her carpaltunal bones, forcing her to release the stun baton. “Feisty. I like that. What’s your name sugar?” He leaned in close to her face as if closing for a kiss.
Richards tilted her head back, “Damn bitch, this is no time for playing!” Baker thought, struggling to free his limbs from their lethargy. Concentrating on a sequence of command words, he released a cybernetically-implanted adrenal boost into his system. Bogey A29 watched Richards for a moment and then rammed his forehead into hers, neatly dropping her unconscious form to the floor. He then turned back to Baker, just as the artificial adrenalin boost shook through him.
“You shouldn’t have done that.” A29 spread his hands apologetically. “I was trying to just leave you unconscious, but I am betting that charge you just took is gunna make that impossible, am I right?”
“Damn straight, freak! And now I am gunna put your lights out, hard!” Baker felt as if he was moving at super speed as the adrenalin truly boosted his synaptic reflexes to inhuman heights. He laughed triumphantly as his first kick landed square across A29’s face, shoving the freak’s head to the side. He followed with two body blows that landed with sickening thuds, and continued ‘whaling’ away on A29, landing punch after punch, driving him into the wall. He was moving to fast to see much except where his next blow was landing, but by the lack of defense given, he was fairly certain his first attack had disoriented his opponent.
Backing up a step, Baker prepared his finishing blow. Spinning on his heel, he launched himself into the air, a roundhouse kick ripping through the air… and into the waiting grasp of A29’s right hand. A29 didn’t stop Baker’s momentum, but rather added to it, spinning to his own right and hurling Baker face first into the ground with great force of his own. Pain inhibitors kicked on and Baker knew every bone in his face had just fractured. He was fairly certain that his left clavicle was broken and his left arm was out of socket. His ears sang and he couldn’t breath through his nose. Still, he pushed himself up on his right arm, and struggled to his knees, absentmindedly noticing the impact print he had made in the cement floor. Blinking through the blood streaming into his eyes, Baker was rewarded with a disappointed look on his opponent’s face. Choking through his own blood, he spit out teeth, and then hurled at A29, “What? You thought I was gunna be that easy?”
Bogey A29 looked shocked. He then squatted down to look Baker eye to eye. “Son, I admire your spirit, really I do. I’m only disappointed that you had to go and bloody that beautiful suit there. I need something to wear out of here, and you are almost my size.” He brushed a bit of blood away from Baker’s lapel. “Ah well. Guess someone else will have to help me with that now.”
Baker stared, hatred bubbling up along with the blood that could only indicate a punctured lung. “How…dare…this… freak…” Riding the swell of anger, he rose to his feet determined to hurt this upstart. A29 rose swiftly with him.
“Look, I don’t want to carry this any further, son. Just sit back and call the M.D.s, ok?”
Baker spit more teeth and blood into A29’s face by way of answer. Watching the bogey’s pleasant smile become something much more feral, he put everything he had left into a final uppercut, determined to take that smile clean of A29’s face.
A29 sidestepped Baker’s blow, kicked down on the outside of his right knee, breaking it inward, and watched as Baker fell to his knees. “I’m sorry you feel that way, hoss. I’m sure you’ve told many a mark this already, so you’ll understand when I say, this is nothing personal.” He then delivered a axe hand strike to the base of Baker’s neck, severing the spinal cord and killing him instantly. Absently he watched the Agent’s still form flop to the floor.
Reaching for a pile of napkins next to a box of donoughts on the table, he wiped the blood from his face and hands, and then he stepped over the still unconscious female agent and into the hallway. Looking back he shook his head and then spoke, “Oh, by the way, you can call me Kane.”
(To be continued.)