I walked through the halls of the Inquisition’s barracks in the prison.
The two twins were in different cells, and there had been no reports of resistance or infraction. This was strange since they had been so cocky and arrogant for girls their age. Really, some of the guards were making jokes about it. It amazed me that the solution to the problem they posed was simply to separate them.
“Sir,” A guard said, recognizing the insignia on my left upper arm, “Are you the Inquisitor scheduled for her?”
“That I am,” I said, almost sounding bored, “What has she been up to in there? Anything that I should know about?”
“Um...” The guard said, hesitating, “She’s...seemed to have lost her mind...”
I blinked, not wanting to even think of what that was supposed to mean concerning Blair or her sister. But Blair, the twin that I was supposed to interrogate today, was the quieter of the two. Which meant that she was harder to get a read on and therefore more unpredictable.
“What do you mean ‘lost her mind’?” I asked, stopping mid-step and staring at the guard.
“We’ve had to lock her in there...we lost too many handlers babysitting her inside the room...” The guard said, nearly under his breath.
I sighed, “...Again, huh?”
“She’s a monster, sir,” The guard said, turning around to swipe his card-key to the door, “I wouldn’t even get near her if I was you...”
“If you were me,” I said, barely sparing a look as I passed, “You’d know you couldn’t even get touched.”
The control area behind the one-way window of the interrogation room was manned by one guard, half the amount that was required. The first thing that caught my attention was that it was strange that there wasn’t three or four guards in this room, as per protocol for a high class prisoner. The second thing was the room beyond the glass.
It was like something out of a horror movie. Blood was splattered on the walls, the chairs, and the corners of the tables. The guards that lie stone cold on the ground were set up as they were the last time I had come to a room with the twins in it, lined up on the far wall like dolls. There was writing on the walls in their blood, eerily apparent in the flickering light of the broken fixture.
"Come and play."
I assumed that the guard that was at the door to greet me was the other of the standard manning of the control room, since this was the only thing that he had to look at. The guard that was in the control room with me wasn’t too happy to be there, his hand twitching over the button that would release anesthetic into the air.
"That won't be necessary," I said, tapping the jittery soldier on the shoulder as I passed him, "Open the door."
"Are you crazy?!" The man suddenly snapped, "You'll be killed!"
"She's just trying to keep us away when she's weakened," I said, "Now open the door, you idiot."
Even though this guy was probably ten years my senior in terms of military service, he flinched and complied. Though mumbling the entire time as the doors unlocked and I opened them.
"Blair." I said, peering into the flickering light of the room, "You do realize that killing everyone that comes near you isn't a smart idea, right?"
"It's not like I enjoy it, idiot," I heard her snap.
"Oh? I'd disagree with this weird show you have going on here," I said, sighing as I grabbed one of the bloodied chairs from the ground, sitting down so that the blood wouldn't get on my uniform.
"You don't understand." Blair said from the shadows, "No one understands except Lilith..."
"Then why don't you make me understand?" I asked, not letting my irritation show, "It'll make this easier, at least."
"You really are like Aiden..." Blair said, almost as if it were an insult, "I can see why it had to be this way."
"Stop talking like there's some big picture," I said, shaking my head. "That kid just gave you all a death sentence getting caught, so quit acting like this was all a part of his plan."
The light flickered on for longer then before, revealing Blair sitting to my right against the wall. Her back leaning on the metal, hugging her legs to her small chest and resting her head on her knees. Her black hair draped over her shins, the soldier's blood dripping from its tips as those strands covered her face. Her prisoner's uniform, having been changed from the mix-matched street clothes that most Numbers wore, was practically died red.
She really was some sort of monster to have been able to kill so many men without any injuries.
Just as suddenly as the light flickered on, it was extinguished. The image of Blair faded into the shadows like a ghost, "What do you want, Lex?"
"Why?" I simply asked, sighing, "Why did so many Numbers follow you in running away? They were kids, sure, but some of them were parents in that group."
"Aiden." Blair said tersely.
"Back to him again, huh? What is he, some sort of superhero to you idiots?" I said, crossing my arms.
"Something like that," She responded. "You've met him. You should know."
The prisoner that had back talked a guard, countering with regulations that even the guard hadn't bothered to memorize. He was a year younger, judging by his appearance, than me. There was something in his gaze that I had never seen in any other set of eyes. Not even my father had looked at me with such a cold look, nor did he have the air of superiority that this guy had. He looked down on me. Actually looked down on one of the highest members of our society.
"He's dangerous," Blair said, cutting me off from my flashback.
"Dangerous? Coming from you?" I said, shaking my head again, "Well, color me impressed."
"You misunderstand," She said, the sound of her uniform rustling in the silence.
"Oh?" I said, making my tone sound bored, though I was intrigued.
"You'll understand in time," Blair said, appearing from the shadows with a hollow look in her eyes, like she was empty,
"They all do..."
Lex turned and left, trying to hide his irritation that he couldn't get all that much out of me. I'd come out of the dark and sat on the ground in front of him. I made sure that I was close enough to the shadows that I'd be able to jump back in if he tried anything.
Most of the interrogation afterwards consisted of the usual questions by the Inquisition. Questions that both revealed what they wanted to know, as well as what type of person the victim. The type would then determine the way the interrogation would progress, and therefore what more information they could get before the victim would break.
But the big difference between me and the regular Number was my upbringing. The torture and mental conditioning that made these interrogations almost pointless. Though, that's not to say that I don't have any weak points, but they would have to take a long time to get there if I'm alone.
In any case, Lex was getting more and more intrigued with Aiden, as I'd intended. Soon, Aiden's plan would blossom with success and I'd be able to see Lilith again.
I shivered, so lonely without the presence of my twin that I couldn't seem to bare even the slightest change in temperature. I felt eyes all around me, peering at me.
Sooner or later, the guards that were behind that one way mirror would fill this room with anesthetic and put me into involuntary unconsciousness.
I trembled now, the thought of sleep and what it would bring plaguing my mind. I looked over at the bodies of the guards that had tried to tie me to a metal chair. Their empty eyes looking with hollow gazes into space. But to me, those eyes were fixed on me.
I back stepped into the darkness behind me, my back soon hitting the cold metal wall of the interrogation room. I slumped down to sit on the floor, leaning against the wall. I resumed my former position, hugging my legs to my chest and resting my head on my knee caps. I rocked myself back and forth, trying to calm down. There was no point in starting the nightmare before I even went to sleep.
The eyes bore holes into me, staring at me through the shadows. The darkness was obliterated by the flickering ceiling light spontaneously and at random intervals, making the corpses' dead faces vanish in the glare. They looked as though they were blinking, then tracking me in the moments when I couldn't completely make out their faces.
They hadn't moved an inch, not one iota of distance. That didn't matter. What mattered was their gazes, staring at me and trying to transfer all their hate and disdain for me through those looks. If I looked up, I'd be assaulted my sins, tormented by the haunting spirits of the dead that I had stolen life from.
Even as I sat there, waiting for the inevitable gas, I couldn't keep calm. It was Lilith that did that for me. Now she was gone, somewhere in this building that I couldn't get to without deviating from the plan.
I gritted my teeth. Why did Aiden have to leave us in the dark about the plan? Why didn't he trust us with the big picture instead of just our jobs? Was he protecting us? Or did he not think we could keep it to our selves?
"Blair," Lex's voice came over the intercom, "I'd really appreciate you coming back to your cell quietly. The anesthetics that we use can be quite expensive, so I'd rather not have to use them. What do you say?"
I sat in the dark, unmoving as I awaited what he would say next.
"Oh, there might even be a treat involved..." He said, confidence oozing into his tone unchecked.
"Something concerning your sister, I might add..."
Blair walked out lifelessly, like a zombie from the old movies, arms dangling at her sides.
I looked to my right and my left, the six guards that were crowding the small control room staring daggers at me. Blair's bangs were shielding her downcast eyes from view, so I couldn't see whether or not she was going attack. I took the gamble that the way that she was walking, leaving multiple openings, that she agreed to come without resistance.
With a tilt of my head as permission, the guards gingerly opened the door. Their eyes were inevitably drawn to the bodies lining the walls behind the small girl, as well as the bloodied clothes she was clad in.
They were silent as they pulled out hand cuffs, delicately approaching the girl.
I let out my breath, which had been subconsciously held in wait of what the girl would do, as soon as the clicking of the second cuff echoed off the walls. I then took the opportunity to enter the room, motioning for the guards to follow me with our prisoner.
The cuffs that were for her level of dangerous criminal had a few handy features that made escape that much more impossible. A GPS tracer was connected to an electric conductor, rigged so that it would activate if the tracker sensed the target moving at the speed an average human could run. That tracker also alerted us to the prisoner's location in the unlikely event that they escaped. It was also attached to a leash, which I held in my hand.
That being said, the guards and I still were weary of this girl. For whatever reason, she was a trained killer at the tender age of eleven or twelve. She had the reflexes that made a normal person's look as if they were in slow motion, and movement speeds to match. Not to mention the fact that there was also the fact that she could use anything as a weapon, including her body. It was so exciting and intriguing that I was about to explode.
We continued down the hall as I snapped back from my thoughts, took a right, then a left until we found ourselves at an elevator. It was large enough to fit all of us, with cameras in two corners. The buttons were holographic, and finger-print sensitive so that intruders couldn't use them in the event they were to try. I pressed the button designated "13" promptly with my free hand.
The whir of the elevator coming to life, as well as the sense of weightlessness as we descended, soon followed.
Blair was looking at the ground, almost defeated. The sense of danger that I got from her earlier was gone, her frame like a ghost in its silence. She was a completely different person than before, when she was with her sister.
I just realized how different the two of them were compared to when they were together and when they were alone. Like they had lost their will, or a part of their soul.
The elevator dinged, and the doors opened to reveal an eroding hallway. If you had a picture of a medieval dungeon and compared the sight of the Solitary Cells to it, the main difference between the two would be the stone being replaced with rusted steel and the security cameras on the walls. Of course, the stairs that lead down from the elevator to the Cells were in the same state.
The sounds of our boots on the steel steps echoed through the halls, the sound of silence greeting them gladly.
"Alright, Blair, this is you're stop," I said, pointing to the open cell door.
"Blair?" A voice sounded, "Blair!"
From down the hall, somehow hearing through the echoes, Lilith's small dirtied hand reached out of the bars of her cell.
Suddenly, as if life had returned to her body, Blair jolted towards the sound of her sister's voice. "Sis!"
But before she could act, I took the opportunity to plant a foot firmly into her neck in a quick round house kick. Not expecting it, as well as being caught off guard by the sound of her sister's voice, Blair took it at full force.
Slamming to the ground, her skin splitting just above her eyebrow and gushed blood, Blair remained fixed on the sound of Lilith's voice. The heel of my boot found its way to in between her shoulder blades, and I twisted it to and fro to make a point.
Blair grunted, her left eye closed from the blood flowing into it.
"Listen here, little girl," I said in a sickeningly sinister tone, going for the intimidation route for her submission, "I can end your precious sister whenever I want, and I can just explain away that it was self defense. Given the kill count you've both racked up, I'd say its pretty believable...So I'd cool it if I were you, we clear?"
The look in her eyes as she stared at me sent a chill down my spine. The look of death itself. I couldn't help but grin, "Well then, as long as we're clear, get in your cell, Number."
Shakily, Blair rose to her feet and stutter stepped into the cold metal confines of her cell. I slammed the gate shut, the last sight I saw through the bars before leaving staying in my mind.
Blair, giving me that same chilling glare through her own blood.
I laid down on my bed, forearm shielding my eyes from the light fixture above, deep in thought. It was a far more realistic life style living here than I ever had from my own home. The springs of the makeshift mattress dug into my side, the air conditioning units not in use while they were in maintenance.
As a result, I was slightly discomforted. Though, it was bearable and questionable that I would let anything like this keep me from what was really important.
This kid, the same age as me, was on the lips of those two twins. The same two twins that were causing more issues than any other prisoner before them. They looked up to him like he was some kind of mastermind. Or the leader of a cult.
But the records of his interrogations weren't, well, in the records. It was as if they'd just let the guy sit in his common cell and twiddle his thumbs.
The information file on his past, as well as his most recent activities in the Districts were also seeming to lack severely in detail. He, as well as the two twins under his spell, were ghosts who'd never existed before a week ago when they were caught.
Despite that, it didn't seem as though they were the run of the mill set of Numbers. They were frighteningly skilled in combat, at least it was continually confirmed by the performance of the twins. Aiden, however, hadn't lifted a finger since he'd been caged. Only his mouth had been used, using the regulations and rules that some guards had never heard of to his advantage. His knowledge base and memorization skills rivaled my own. That what was troubling me in the first place.
What was this big picture that those two talked about? What was going on that I couldn't see? What was information was I missing?
I groaned in frustration, rolling over to bury my face in my stained pillow.
"What is that guy planning...?" I thought aloud to myself.
What did he have to gain from getting captured? What was here that would help him?
Then again, I didn't even know the guy's motives and goals. He just suddenly appeared with a group of Numbers when they were trying to escape from the Gene Test sweeps.
"Of course!" I said aloud, eyes widening.
If they were trying to keep others from the Gene Test, then they themselves would have to oppose the new reforms. If they opposed the new reforms, then it was possible that they opposed the Government. There was a large amount of traitorous people within this building that would be itching to fight along side a charismatic leader that had freed them from their impending death.
If Aiden was as skilled as the twins made him out to be, he'd had to have found a way into the system. I doubted that the guy was working with just two twin...monsters, and only them. There had to be more to his story than what I was looking at right in front of me. Something that--
"Yo, open up, Rook," One of my superior's voices sounded along with a courteous knock. "Day's still young, and we have work to do."
"Coming, coming," I said, throwing on the black jacket of my uniform on and buttoning it up before opening the flimsy metal door, "Who's next?"
"Eager, are we?" The young man said, probably in his mid-twenties, "That will have to wait. By work, I mean walk with me while I take care of something that I might need your help with, Mr. Prodigy."
"What's that?" I asked, closing the door behind me.
"Questioning a certain prisoner number 888," The man said, "'Aiden', was it?"
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