⚔︎How Did I Become So Numb⚔︎
He was confused about everything and lost all on his own.
Not a moment went by where he didn't think of Damian. The one person he trusted with his everything, who had become his friend, and someone he fell in love with.
He had walked away from Conner and left him there alone. At first, Conner didn't blame him, and he still didn't yet at the same time he felt like it was selfish of him.
Promising that he'd always be there for him, loyal to a fault, and do anything for him. Just to one day change his mind and throw it all away by walking off. Regardless of it all he still missed him, and still loved him. All he wanted, in the end, was for him to come back and be with him again. Half of him still held onto that hope. He was searching for comfort as he was alone and changing so much and so fast.
Sniffling as he stared up at the blank ceiling. Slowly blinking his eyes shut a moment he heaved out a sigh. Not at all wanting to get back up again and face the base as this new person. In a way, the CIA was still able to build Conner into something that he wasn't. He wasn't a gun blazing, memory erased, psychopathic monster, but he wasn't the person he used to be.
He wasn't Director material, he was still just a kid, only twenty-five. He had to place a facade in front of who he really was, and become some kind of leader.
Heaving out another long sigh he hoisted himself to sit upright. He had been moved to a new bedroom. On the second to the top floor of the building. It was where the Director's room was located. It was much larger than his old room and everything inside it was larger as well it seemed. King-sized bed, large dresser, walk-in closet, even his desk was a lot bigger than his old one. The room was very open spaced with windows that touched the floor, just like all around the base.
Conner rolled over and pushed himself up onto his feet. Still not wanting to he had to get himself ready for whatever it was he had to do next. Rubbing at his eyes he wandered over to the closet and picked out a random suit that went together. Placing on the red pants, white collared shirt, and black jacket, as well as strapping on his watch. He again fixated at his hair and slipped on his shoes.
Crossing over to the other end of the room and heading out the door. Locking it behind him.
Looking around there were still people working at the base. Fixing what had been broken and cleaning to perfection like it always had to look. Glancing up he knew the rooftop's disaster was all his doing. But he pushed that aside and made his way up to the top floor.
Once he made it he quickly rushed over to the office, his office, and shut the door behind him. Leaning his lower back onto it and shaking his head. Conner had no clue what he was doing but had been playing it off as he had. So far nothing seemed to explode or go too haywire.
Despite that, he was acting like he knew a thing or two about anything he had been discussing for the past few days. Whatever came out of his mouth the Executives loved and went with it anyway. It still grated at his nerves and annoyed him. To them, he could never do any wrong, even if he attacked his own kind in a blind rage.
They just told him to pretend like it never happened. Which was sickening, but he had to go along with it. Still having that and about a million other things rush through his mind all at once. Damian had decided to sneak its way back to the forefront if his mind. He worried about his whereabouts and if he was in a safe space.
He had nowhere to go and had to wander off aimlessly, sure he could take care of himself more than well but Conner still worried. Now would be the time where he would come in to check on Conner like he always did whenever he got overwhelmed. He would come right in and do what he could to help him. No matter what the issue was, he was willing to tackle it full force.
Remembering all of that, Conner could've used Damian's help right then.
Straightening his back on the door he huffed out a sigh right before hearing a knock on the door. Stiffening up a little bit, Conner hesitated before pushing himself off the door and going for the handle. Opening the door he was met by one of the Executives again.
Stepping aside, he opened the door more and allowed him in. Keeping the door open behind him but placing his attention onto the other male. He went over to Conner's desk and set down a vanilla folder packed thick with paper.
Conner asked as he glanced out the door and then back to the Executive. His hand was still achy from the last few days of sitting and signing.
"This one's the most important Director McAlister. I want you to pay close attention, though we know ya won't let us down. Good luck."
His eyes grew wider at that. A ton of pressure had just been piled on top of him. It was the same pressure the CIA always lay upon him, but this was all different. He wasn't just an agent anymore, he was the Director, the one in charge of the entire base.
Conner watched as the Executive left and then shut the door behind him, locking it.
Breathing out he took a moment before turning around and looking at the desk. Slowly walked over to it and picked up the folder. Opening it he skimmed through it like it had been doing until something caught his attention. Furrowing his brows he re-read everything carefully seeing what the papers were really saying.
This wasn't like the other forms he had to sign, these were rosters of the possible new recruits for the base. Profiles of kids that were deemed eligible to join the CIA as new agents.
Reading down the lists of names, ages, and backgrounds. It all made him remember when he was first recruited. When it was him, Jones had bugged him and watched him closely for years. Then roped him in with a trick, all with the intention of turning him into the newest weapon.
That wasn't at all what Conner ever wanted to do, he wasn't sure if that was the Executive's intentions. If they wanted more kids to turn into their shiny new toys. Conner wasn't treated like a person, he was talked at rather than talked to, everything he did was so wonderful, and they worshipped the ground he walked on.
He wouldn't wish that upon anyone, nor would he ever think to do that to anyone else. Turning the pages, Conner went to sit at his chair and continue to look through all of the profiles. Seeing all of the kids and what they were capable of, why they figured these were possible candidates to become the newest CIA agent.
Flipping through page after page, looking at all of these kids, seeing what made them tick. There was no way Conner knew how to handpick the right person for the CIA nor did he want to do that either. It still didn't fit right, even if he wasn't going to capture a kid and turn them into the next killing machine. These were all just kids to him, he couldn't really see either of them become agents.
It wasn't really something that was fair or pleasant at all. It was draining extremely hard work, and all-around exhausting. It changed people a lot and Conner was living proof of that.
Conner had spent what felt like hours, just sitting at his desk and reading the profiles. By that time he felt like he knew all of them. Seeing them as people and what it was that made them, them. All of which only ever made it harder for him to want to recruit them and make them into new agents.
Conner was still rather young and a lot of them were, in fact, younger than he ever was. All ranging around the end of teens, to very early twenties. Meaning they weren't that much different than Conner was then.
The thing was, Conner wasn't really how he used to be when he first joined. He had changed a lot in the duration of those first five years at the CIA. In the beginning, he was outgoing, yet nervous, childlike, friendly to all, and bursting with energy. Looking back at himself, now he was tired, more to himself, stern, and had matured a great deal.
Conner changed so much because he had to otherwise Jones would eat him alive. Always going on and on about wanting him to be the killing machine. To this day he had no idea what that even meant. For five years straight he had been told he was to be some weapon and treated like such.
Poked and prodded like he was some toy, and always being watched. That alone gave him a bit more of an edge, not like he didn't already have one, to begin with.
It made him enraged and to lose all respect for anyone in the CIA.
His story was a lot different than the others. It made him tired, frustrated, and numb. Reading all of those profiles, he never wanted the same thing to happen to either of them. Not wanting them to go through what he had been through, or to be the reason behind it. Conner saw them all as people and had a heart for crying out loud. One bigger than even he realized, it was making him upset to see all of these kids and to think. All the CIA saw were new toys to play with.
Breathing out a frustrated sigh, Conner closed the folder and glanced out the windows. Seeing the magenta gradient on the horizon, and the blue sky appears darker. Pushing out the chair,
Conner unbuttoned his jacket and draped it over the back of the chair. With that he moved the folder into the top drawer of the desk and locked it, then he crossed over to the other side of the room and left. Locking that door as well.
Walking over to the elevator and pressing down to the training room's floor. As the doors slid open, Conner wandered down the long hallway. It already was looking much different, they were re-painting and re-constructing the bedrooms. Continuing down the hall he pulled open the large double-doors of the training room and hit the lights.
Slowly stepping in the room, it still remained the same. But now it was all cleaned up and they've added benches at the sidelines. Conner kept walking as he crossed through the training room and made it to the gym. The gym was all clean as well, every piece of equipment looked polished and like new.
Conner reached to his wrist and unhooked his watch. Setting it down he went over and stepped onto the treadmill. Rolling up his sleeves he pressed the start and hit the speed he wanted to go. Staring off walking, soon enough, Conner was running. As he ran he picked up his speed and let his mind run as well.
Thinking back on everything that had happened up to this very point. The biggest tribulation still being, of course, Damian walking out on him. He couldn't help that it ate away at him so much, he didn't understand why he would ever do something like that. Conner placed all of his trust and even his heart into Damian, only for him to reject it all and shatter both.
They were best friends that turned into something more, but in the end, they both wanted different things. Damian wanted to go but Conner wanted to stay. Both grew stubborn and wouldn't listen to the other. He was so sure that in the end, Damian would stay anyway, if he wanted Conner so safe.
He was always there for him and did so much. He made Conner who he was today, he was even sure Damian felt almost the same as Conner did. He wanted so badly for him to stay, he was meant to be loyal, but in the end, he left him. Scared and alone, having no idea what to do or how to do it. Heartbroken and only wishing he was there to pick him back up again.
Conner was crashing down, and hard. He needed someone to help pick up the pieces. But no one was there.
Snapping out of that trance he caught himself running faster, so he boosted up the speed on the machine and kept going. Mind now wandering over to all of those kids. Conner didn't have it in him to recruit people he just couldn't do it.
He didn't want to ever turn into Jones, he wasn't a monster despite what the CIA wanted him to be.
There was no way in hell Conner was going to allow that to happen. He hated it, but he would rather it be him then some other lost kid. Conner had a crutch, but now he was gone. So it would be up to him to take that place. If he had to do it, then he would. He knew what that all felt like, to be treated like he was nothing. He would want to be the source of comfort.
The one that could be trusted and the one that in the end was doing the right thing. Keeping them as far from the Executive's plans and to break the cycle of wanting a weapon. He was that to the CIA but, he didn't care much about it anymore. Still wanting it to be him, rather than some new kid all alone, getting eating alive by some psycho dictator of a Director.
Without many realizations, Conner was placing a lot more pressure on himself. All of which caught up to him when he nearly fell right off of the treadmill right then. Reaching over he hit the off button and hopped off.
Breathing rapidly he placed his hands behind his head and opened up his chest to catch his breath. After a few moments, he dropped his hands and inhaled a deep breath, holding it before pushing it back out.
Waking over to the heavy bag, he punched it once and exited the gym altogether. Going over to one of the coolers in the training room and grabbing a water bottle. Opening it and downing more than half of it in one go. Pouring the rest onto his head to cool down and shake the excess out of his curls.
Taking off his collared shirt he threw the now empty bottle in the bin and left the training room. Heading back up to the top floor to the office again. Conner unlocked the door and saw a flashing light on his intercom. Furrowing his brows he went over to it and pressed the new message.
'Sir McAlister, you have one month to decide on the new recruits.'
A different voice than before rang out through the intercom. He had heard it before and knew it was one of the Executives and not one of their little assistants.
Conner yelled out as he shoved the intercom onto the floor. Going around to the other side of the desk and unlocking the drawer. Taking out the folder of the profiles. He only stared at the close folder for a moment before shaking his head, grabbing his jacket, turning back around, and locking the office for the night.
He rushed down the steps to the other floor and went into his room. Locking the door and tossing the jacket and shirt into the laundry basket. Pacing back and forth in the middle of the room, he couldn't do it. He just couldn't pick and choose those kids like that, they were people. Kids that were still young and had a lot of life ahead of them.
Not agents that got all of that life pretty much sucked right out of them. Now Conner knew better and couldn't bring himself to do any of that.
He went over and shut off his lights, climbing into bed and just lay there still as his mind raced.
He had a deadline, massive amounts of pressure, he was alone, and he couldn't bring himself to do any of it anymore.