Darkness. Black all around. It was to the point where Kurt didn’t know if his eyes were open anymore. Blinking gave him no comfort, but he wasn’t exactly uncomfortable either. Living in solitary confinement for several days was nothing. Sure, had he experienced this before he met the twins, he would have gone mad and spilt his guts in a diary or something. No such luck here.
The first day he arrived, he crawled around in the darkened room bumping into a bed, a sink, a toilet and a frosty cooler filled with bottled water. No light inside though. It took him a couple of days to figure out it was a cooler. No pencil, no notebook, even if there was either he couldn’t see anything.
The room was not very big. It was much like a small barracks room that he had when he was in the army. Probably no more than ten feet by ten feet all around. He could not reach the ceiling, so it was a safe bet. He spent most of his time in the bed trying to meditate, but it was as if something was blocking him. It may have had to do with the room’s materials. He was certain it was some sort of concrete. They took his shoes for some reason. The floor was hard and cold; no mother earth to reach out to. Nothing to draw any comfort. Just a cold dark room.
Kurt rubbed his head, specifically his third eye where an implanted purple amethyst projected from his skull. He could feel the vibrations of stone on bone. He winced a little. Perhaps it wasn’t smart to have these stones planted in the skin. Though they amplified his power, there was something about this room that threw everything off.
He felt his throat. The lapis lazuli felt like a mole on the skin. There did not seem to be much power emanating from it either. He did not know what he expected. He doubted telekinesis would work in here, and he had not yet been able to manipulate the electromagnetic fields of the walls, otherwise, he would have walked through them. It seemed this was the perfect prison for him and even for James, were he alive.
Whoever they were, they knew everything about them… The Psychic Society.
So far his only guess as to who could have abducted him was the CIA. It made sense. They of all organizations should be able to stop terrorists. He smiled. He was a terrorist. There was no denying that. They had disrupted American dealings for a couple of months. Hundreds of congressmen, dead. Presidential candidates, dead. Bankers, dead. A symphony of exploding buildings in Washington DC, terrifying the public all across the United States. Terrorists. The Psychic Society were terrorists.
He sat on the edge of the bed. His stomach rumbled. It hurt. His stomach felt so empty, but he always reasoned that Jesus fasted for 40 days. He was no Jesus, and he did not know how long he had been locked up. His best guess was six days. The gurgling in his gut sounded awful, like a neglected child reasoning with mommy for a snack. A really abused child.
Had this been it? The destination of the Psychic Society? James had told him privately that he would bring about the next generation of psychics. Yet here he was locked up. James had always been right. The American government was destroying America. He, Kurt, would escape to a faraway land as James’s successor.
The second thing James told him was that there was a traitor amongst them, of course, that had already come to pass, and who amongst them had not betrayed James a little.
Kurt had betrayed James. It was not the ultimate betrayal, but he was not supposed to be here. It was supposed to be another. He just couldn’t make that sacrifice. Out of all the blood on his hands, that was one he could not let go and so he made his own decision and went against orders.
A loud thud sounded from above him. It sounded like something heavy had landed on the ceiling, or the floor above, like a massive stone. Then footsteps and voices. Above, light peeked through the cracks of wooden panels.
He began to feel better, the stale air gone from the opening above. It felt like a spell had lifted and he could see with his third eye again. It was him. The one the traitor spoke to.
“Lower the rope ladder,” said the one. Yes, that voice was familiar. The voice of the fanciest gentleman that Kurt had ever laid eyes on. Now he was going to meet him. Fancy, he thought.
A trap door opened above. Kurt shielded his eyes as light poured into his cell. It was beautiful but very intense. His synapses fired off in appreciation and he dropped his arm as the rope ladder tumbled from above.
“Climb up, Mr. Williamson. I don’t want to send these men down there to fetch you.”
Fetch? That’s snooty talk. Kurt peered up, but it was too bright above the door. He sensed several men up there. All burdened with heavy gear. Personal security? Highly trained? He smiled.
He knew it was not his place to escape. He had already botched that part up. He knew that it was his duty now to tell the story of the Psychic Society and hope that Jillian would be safe where she was.
He grabbed the first rung of the rope ladder. He didn’t realize how weak he was. How many days had it been without food? He pulled as hard as he could and stepped onto the next plank, pushed up, and reached for the next. Exhausting.
“I need help.” Kurt groaned.
“Get up here, Mr. Williamson. I haven’t got all day.”
Kurt struggled up the ladder. It was painful, however, he understood why, especially when he pulled himself onto the wooden floor. The thoughts flooded into his head and it took a moment for him to focus. He pressed his fingertips into the wood and grounded himself as best he could.
The wooden floor appeared to be a five-foot by five-foot square (the opening he crawled out of was about three-foot by three-foot) surrounded by a thick stone material that spanned the room. He looked over to the corner of the room and saw the five-by-five cut of stone that must have covered the area while he was inside.
He pushed himself up. The colliding thoughts of five armed men, each with a rifle trained on him, crashed against his mind. Anger. Lots of anger.
I want to kill him!
He deserves to die!
This piece of trash expects us to help him… I’ll help him back into that hole with a bullet souvenir.
He deserved it. Once again he smiled. I’m a terrorist. I deserve that. And death. Death and rotten sentiment.
Standing was difficult. He never realized how horrible it was to not have any food. He had a great appreciation for those who fasted longer. His stomach gurgled. It must have been heard by everyone present. Not a flinch in their demeanor. Their hard, vehement stares locked on him, fingers on their triggers, ready to put him back underground. He shook his head and raised his arms in the air.
“Don’t move!” said one of the men.
“Calm down, Sergeant,” said the fancy man.
Kurt turned his head in that direction. Even today, while visiting a horrible criminal, he was all dressed up. He wondered if this was his, a night-out-with-a-serial-killer suit. It was so shiny. So new. The shoes were buffed and polished. White, pristine shirt, black silk tie. He was middle-aged. Kurt guessed mid-40s, with a salt and pepper mustache that complimented his graying hair. This guy was somebody.
Kurt visualized a cord that reached from his amethyst third eye and attempted to link to this man’s skull.
“I wouldn’t,” said the fancy man. “I’m Gerald Crouse. You may address me as sir. We’ve spent the past ten days examining you and your body composition. We have raided the Perry residence and taken all of his technology, including his suits and modified weaponry. Your mission failed. The United States will continue its operations, albeit with some finagling of staff… This has cost a lot of taxpayer money…”
Kurt laughed. “You don’t care about taxpayers. I bet you don’t even pay taxes.”
The room was silent, like an inner flinch from all the guards. They paid taxes.
Crouse stepped forward and slapped Kurt across the face. It knocked him down easily. He remembered in his past life that happened often. He was sorry that he was going to go back on the promise he made to himself.
He sat on his knees on the floor.
“Cuff him and bring him to Interrogation room 11,” said Crouse. He left the room. Kurt felt one of the guards snap some zip ties around his wrist and hoist him up. They pushed him out of the room and into a long hallway lined with closed doors. He saw past the walls. Interrogation room after interrogation room. Two-way mirrors. Tables and chairs. All situated the same Law and Order way.
At the end of the hallway, they exited into a stairwell, ascended two flights and entered the third floor. The guards used keycards to access. Kurt smiled. He used to be a security guard. It was interesting to be on the other side of events, cuffed and dragged to a secure area.
They walked down the hallway passing by numbered rooms until they came to number 11. Again they used their keycard on the door and two of them escorted him inside, the other three remained covering the door.
They sat him at a table with two chairs and took positions in the back corners of the room. Opposite Kurt was a mirror, another two-way. He strained his eyes to look inside. He could see Mr. Crouse inside with a very tall individual.
There was something off about him, like the skin he was wearing was not his. They noticed him looking and Mr. Crouse pressed something in his pocket. Kurt was sure that there was something interfering with his powers because whatever it was, his eyes went back to seeing his own reflection.
He finally got a good look at himself. He was in desperate need of a shave, and upon noticing his face itched. It had been a while since he had a shower. They had given him an orange jumpsuit though, that was nice of them. Hopefully, they were taking care of the clothes he wore the day they abducted him.
Crouse entered the room and took the seat opposite Kurt, straight back, as if touching a commoner’s chair might affect his sensibilities. He had a file in his hand that he set on the table between them. It wasn’t very thick but it was fun to see. I have my own file.
Yes, you do. Now tell me what your intended mission was.
Kurt opened his mouth wide. It was a mixture of surprise, knowing, jubilation, and all sorts of emotion, except for the one that Crouse wanted. Fear.
He looked annoyed at Kurt’s inappropriate reaction to his telepathy. Kurt smiled. He wasn’t interested in fear. That was the old him.
“Your mission. Your group was called the Psychic Society?”
Kurt relaxed in his chair. They had a name? Were they a club? “We didn’t really have a name. Not one that we used. Did James call it that? It’s not something he ever said to any of us.”
Mr. Crouse seemed unaffected. He masked his disappointment well, but there was that inner flinch that Kurt could easily pick up on. The tiny instance of lost control upon hearing news. No matter how much you master your reactions, there is still that inner reaction that had become easy to pick up on.
“We found a manifesto in the apartment.”
“Really? We were just rectifying a failing system. The beliefs we held were simple. The system is run by shitty people and we are going to fix it. He had an entire manifesto? That’s cool.”
“He labels the group the Psychic Society. He never used this term with you?”
“No. Never a once. You know I’d appreciate a candy bar or something. And can we lose the zip ties? I have no desire to run. It is not the proper time for that now.”
Mr. Crouse, again, controlled his reactions as best he could. He closed the file and set it down, leaned in, elbows on the table fingers pressed together. “What is it the proper time for?”
“I’m here to tell the story of the Psychic Society. That’s an interesting title. Straight to the point, with a little bit of mystery. Action, romance, tragedy…”
One of the guards standing behind him nearly clubbed him in the head with the butt of his rifle, but Kurt had modified the electromagnetic field of the zip ties and phased out of them.
He stepped up and out of his seat and behind the guard and placed him in a chokehold. The other guard turned his weapon on them, but Kurt shielded himself with his captive.
Mr. Crouse sat in his seat with what looked like a thick coin in his hand, his thumb pressed tightly on it. Kurt could feel it. It seemed to disrupt his thoughts. The thoughts of everyone around him subsided. He felt like a puppet as if something was trying to harness his limbs and drop his hold of the guard. He fought it and smiled at Crouse.
“There is no need for that, sir. I told you, it is not the proper time for my escape. Call off your goon, get me something to eat, and I’ll answer every question you have.”