@cbishop: Yeah, I can understand that. Next chapter is going to go through where exactly Ed is and I'll probably introduce another Carrier under Sinclair's pay roll. Should move things along a little bit
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Chapter 3: Why I'm so important
"-Turner? Mr. Turner?"
I feel groggy, like I've slept for four days and don't have any coffee in my system. I blink open my eyes and squint at the bright fluorescent lights overhead. Slowly my vision clears and I find myself staring at a white tiled ceiling with the smell of disinfectant in the air. A woman, smiling down at me with glasses two sizes too big and a tied back ponytail, speaks to me softly, "Mr. Turner? Can you hear me?"
I groan and try to rub my eyes but find my arms restricted. That wakes me up pretty fast and I quickly look down at my body, completely strapped down to a table and…DRY! I'M OUT OF THE WATER!
I quickly hold my breath (which believe me is weird when you have gills) and try to get out of the table. I've only got about a minute before I need water in me and I'm not going to let some stupid straps kill me!
I struggle to loosen the bonds, kicking my feet and throwing my arms against the straps as hard as I can. I start to feel them loosen a little bit and I hear shouting all around me but I don't pay attention.
I NEED TO GET FREE!
"Mr. Turner, please!" the woman yells at me while she and a few other people try to hold me down, "I understand that this is a shock to you but you need to calm down! You can breathe now!"
For some reason that calms me down, I don't know how but I can tell it in her voice that she's telling the truth. I look at her, see the pleading in her eyes, and open up my gills. Fresh water flows into me and I lean back into the table, slowly and unbelievingly breathing.
"How is this possible," I ask, staring at the doctors, all dressed in lab coats, gathered around me. I feel something like a tank on my back now and realize it must be feeding me water.
"The benefits of modern technology, Mr. Turner," I hear a familiar voice speak as Mr. Sinclair walks into my view. I see the crying face of Jane and I feel such a rush of anger that I lunge at him, nearly breaking my restraints. The doctors hold me back against the table but Sinclair doesn’t even flinch, he just stares at me with those hard eyes and fake smile.
"Obviously your strength is greater out of the water than I believed, Mr. Turner," Sinclair continues, looking at my damaged bonds. "We'll be sure to take better precautions next time, don't you worry."
"Go to Hell." I snarl, my anger still flaring inside of me.
Sinclair smiles wider like I've just told him a joke, "I'm afraid I've already been there, Mr. Turner, and I'm not looking to make another visit."
He looks at the doctors and moves his head towards what I guess is the door. They immediately file out except for the woman with the glasses, who stays at attention next to my table.
"Dr. Tate," Sinclair says, turning away from me, "would you mind letting Mr. Turner get a better view of his surroundings?"
"Of course not, Mr. Sinclair," Dr. Tate says, reaching under my table. I slowly begin to rise upwards to where the table's nearly standing me up. The room I'm in, now that I can see it fully, looks exactly like a regular doctor's office…well, if a regular doctor's office came with a table that looks like it was designed for Frankenstein's monster that is.
Sinclair keeps smiling at me and spreads his arms outwards like he wants a hug. "Well then, Ed. Welcome back to work."
"Not exactly my old office," I joke, my anger slowly dying down. "Gotta say, you really need to fire your interior designers."
Sinclair laughs and waves his hand at me, "Oh, how I've missed your sense of humor, Ed. It HAS been a long year for us, hasn't it?"
"You can say that." His eyes are starting to freak me out a little bit…how can he look like he's the happiest man in the world and have eyes that are saying, "I'm going to kill you slowly and painfully"?
Sinclair leans against the sink at the far corner of the room and motions at the table, "I'm afraid we had to move you from your little tube after you damaged it at the warehouse. We didn't want to leave you alone and come back to find the tube broken and you dead…it would be such a waste of machinery…"
He doesn’t even care about me, I realize. "What do you want, Sinclair?" I ask, fearing the answer.
"Now, now, Ed," Sinclair wags his finger at me, "It's still 'Mr. Sinclair' to you, have a little respect towards your boss, eh?"
"Figured not coming into work for a year would tender my resignation," I say, seeing a flash of anger in his eyes as I do. He straightens his tie and walks towards me.
"I have no love for your kind, Mr. Turner," he says, this time without a smile. "In fact I would not lose any sleep tonight if I were to take a scalpel from the draw over there and dissect you while you're still alive…but I'm afraid that would be counterproductive for Temper Industries."
He pops his neck and turns away from me. When he turns back around he's got the smile back on his face.
"You 'Carriers', I must say though, can be most…helpful," he says, looking me over. "You see, Carriers such as yourself, who have so far eluded the CBTF, give certain benefits to people like me. You're not registered, you're not even on their radar, as far as they're concerned, you don't exists."
Meaning no one's going to miss me when I die in here, I think, feeling a chill run down my spine.
"During the Blight outbreak last year," Sinclair continues, pacing in front of me, "Temper Industries became the leader in weapons design when your kind and the government began their assault on those…creatures. Now we are at the forefront in computer technology and robotics. But how did we make such a drastic move since last year?"
He taps me on the chest with a look of almost pride on his face.
"That, my dear Ed, is where you come in."
Please don't turn me into a robot, please don't turn me into a robot, I plead in my head, my mind racing to figure out where this is leading to.
"Carriers, with their powers, make for the perfect spies," Sinclair announces like it was obvious. I breathe a sigh of relief. "You can use your powers to infiltrate other companies and steal their secrets. I've been doing this since the outbreak was put down. I was surprised none of my competition got the same idea, but then again I have always been ahead of the curve…"
Sinclair takes a remote from his pocket and presses a button. A TV screen pops out of the wall displaying what looks like a giant building in the middle of the ocean. The stylized lettering on the building reads, "Cruciform Technologies".
"You want me to go there," I realize, seeing Sinclair's smile widen.
"That's right, Mr. Turner, but all details will be revealed soon. For now, Dr. Tate will be taking care of you until the time is right. Until then, don't try to escape."
His eyes darken while he keeps his smile fixed on me, "It would be good to remind you that while you may be free of the water, some people do not even have the freedom to move."
I see Jane's crying face again and fear washes over me.
Sinclair leaves without another word and Dr. Tate replaces him in front of me. She smiles like nothing incredibly evil had just happened and says, "Well, would you like a tour of the place?"
I nod absentmindedly, the smiling face of Sinclair still filling my vision with those cold dead eyes staring into me…how have I never seen him like this before?
How have I never realized that Sinclair's a shark?
To be continued