The Willow Society

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Chapter 62

Chapter 62

Taylor huddled against the wall of room 301 on the 31st floor. The room was comfortable, he supposed, excepting the prison issue toilet hard against the far wall. Which though it seemed practically new and unused, was sinister nonetheless. The cold air blowing in from the vents above his head was shiver-inducing. The narrow bed was actually soft, had a comforter on it and a pillow. The cold air combined with the softness of the bed jerked out a yawn from Taylor, drowsiness nearly washed over him. He shook his head vigorously, knowing if he fell asleep he'd probably wake up with an implant in his head, if he woke at all.

What if I already fallen asleep, unaware, and the implant is already there? He shivered at the thought, and the cold.

Taylor's hands scrabbled to the back of his head, fumbling behind his ears, searching for signs of implantation, not that he knew what to look for or what to expect. Or that there would be any signs at all. With a heavy sigh, Taylor pulled his shaking hands down. Surely if I have an implant I would not be thinking about having one? That must be the case. and brought his shaking hands back to his lap.

Looking around for the umpteenth time he wondered what he was going to do. What can I do? The room was provided with only one door, reinforced steel from the look of it. The vents! But this isn't a movie! Even if I could pull the vent free, despite its headless bolts, it's barely large enough to fit my head. I won't be able to escape that way. What if I could escape? What can I do? He had no weapon, no hacking tools and he was alone, unable to communicate with anyone, not that there was really anyone to communicate with who would help him. They were locked up too.

But rather than give in to despair, Taylor looked up at the sound of the camera above the door as it clicked and moved. It seemed to do so every few minutes. If only he could puzzle the whole thing out. Figure out just what was going on with Behrstable, the Mayor, all the guards. Alexander, Tate. It seemed like a chaotic jumble, a huge mess of dead ends which couldn't possible add up to what it clearly was: a concerted effort. A mass conspiracy to deploy mind control technology for the use of a private corporation. But even that seemed, well, hollow. There was a why behind it. Why would a corporation want that kind of control? Would they just use it on the competition? Consumers couldn't be mindless, they'd be useless then. Politicians already served corporations, what good was it to bend their minds? No. The answer had to be simpler, grander, baser.

His mind stretched and he wondered. Can it really be that simple? Can it be just about power? Could Behrstable be so mad with desire to control things that he would shepherd wiper technology and implants? Deploy it where it might go undetected? On a powerful figure, like the Mayor of New York City?

A politician whose ambitions were clear, if still an open secret. Mayor Goldberg was not yet well-known nationally, though he was ripe for the national stage. Taylor shook his head. It seemed too much. He couldn't shake the thought Behrstable was after power, it made sense. Something in the man's bearing refused to confirm it though.

Yet there was more. Behrstable had seemed off. There hadn't been any emotion to him, it was as if he were just going through the motions, working his way through a playbook written by someone else. Taylor could not explain, after all he had only just met Behrstable. The man had seemed, well, empty.

Taylor mouthed the word. Empty.

He looked at the camera again as if it could give him an answer.

Empty? What if Behrstable himself is a pawn? What if he's being controlled by others? Perhaps it's the Mayor behind it all. Or maybe the she Behrstable talked about? He had mentioned “others” as well. Taylor edged forward on the narrow bed, excited, as his head spun with the possibilities. But he slunk back. It did no good, regardless of whether or not any of it was true, he was, still would be locked in this room, unable to get out until they decide to let him out.

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