Shiny Happy People

Chapter 11

10:32 AM, MARCH 15 XXXX

The faces of Medel Laboratories stared hard at the face of Dr. Levia's younger fraternal twin brother.

The head of the laboratories was not present, and neither did anyone do anything to assume their place. The long table merely had its sides occupied with people seated at two neat lines across each other, and as soon as the door was slid open, their attentions were solely focused on the company's alleged newcomer. Welcome or not, he didn't enter through standard protocol, so this wasn't just an interview of formality, it was something far worse.

It seemed like an interrogation.

A scientist, to be specific, Dr. Asmodeus of the Department of Photon Sciences, decided to be the first to greet the young boy without budging from his seat, seeing that everyone was eying him like how eagles would eye a single rat.

"It seems that you got the message!" Asmodeus laughed- Levia could tell that he was nervous. "Good morning, Dr. Levia, Mr. Behemo."

It was Behemo who answered, with a simple bow of his head and a "Good morning, sir."

Obviously, he was far from welcome at a first impression.

From Gumillia's point of view, it was a sight that she utterly hated. She was among the men and women in white, and that boy stuck out like a sore thumb in all black, save for his necktie. His cane made him seem like he was a young invalid, but he was standing straight as if the atmosphere didn't bother him at all and as if he really couldn't care less if they started shouting at him.

His arrogance would kill him one day, she thought to herself. And right now, he deserved his arrogance- they, regrettably, need him.

But anyone's opinion be damned, Behemo noticed that it wasn't just the presence of scientists that filled the room, but he saw white-coated policemen- two of them- standing at two ends of the room, watching him. He didn't know why he suddenly felt extremely uncomfortable- maybe it's because of a psychological effect of being watched by higher authorities, but he just couldn't put his finger on what exactly made him so anxious about them.

Levia must've noticed his anxiety- she held his hand. Behemo didn't pull away, because everything be damned, he needed the reassurance.

"You didn't tell me that there was going to be the police involved," Levia said, looking at the man whom she had described to Behemo as Seth. Brown hair, glasses.

"On the contrary, we're the ones who need your brother's help," Seth calmly said. "Am I correct, officers? Or is he in the same boat as us?"

"Let's say he brought all of you into this mess," one white-coated policeman said, walking up to Behemo. "Well, Mr. Behemo-"

Behemo had to look at the policeman right in the eye. "Yes, sir?"

He's not afraid of the police, of course not.

"Have you heard of the revised Universal Immigration Act XX (20)?" the red-haired policeman asked, scrutinizing Behemo as he towered over the youth, being much taller than him.

"Why no, sir. Haven't heard of it. I just registered myself here last night," Behemo smartly said. Being smart, he'd read somewhere, calms the nerves, but it never gets you in a better situation.

"By right, I shouldn't blame you for that," the policeman smiled- it wasn't a very nice one, "but your registration says that you work for Medel, so you're rather exempt from being a normal clueless civilian. You're working here as a scientist, so you should know this basic law."

Levia instantly rose to the defense of her counterpart. "You can't blame him for not knowing this on his first day-!"

"Who even said that we were going to take him in as staff?" Gumillia said, and both Levia and Behemo turned to see that her arms were bound behind her chair. Every scientist's arms were behind their backrests, bound with technologically advanced chains.

Slowly, Behemo turned to look at the policeman who addressed him. "You're not accusing me for that."

"Surely not. Do you know a man named Zorach?"

"Zorach?" a blue-haired scientist said- upon reading his nametag, his name was apparently Mammon. "You mean that scientist who disappeared?"

"I wasn't asking you," the policeman calmly said, as his colleague pressed a button and as soon as he said that, Mammon shook in his chair, giving a sharp gasp as he gathered his bearings. Electric shocks. "Now, back to what I was asking, do you know such a man, Mr. Behemo?"

The name did sound familiar, but everything seemed hazy. Levia's eyes were on him. Their eyes were on him. The policeman's eyes were on Behemo, and he carefully said "No."

"Really now?" the policeman prompted, looking over at the tied-up scientists.

"I've no business with you, or this Zorach man," Behemo firmly said, well, as firm as he could. "Let them go. You've hoisted them on me and made them my responsibility, to which you really shouldn't."

"Then how would you explain your sudden appearance here in Gudonechia?"

"That is out of the question- you're interrogating him!" Levia protested, but at the press of a button, someone got shocked. A pained gasp came from someone- it was Seth, causing Gumillia to turn from where she sat to see if he was alright. He obviously wasn't, and he tried to stop shuddering.

"I don't really like getting in trouble with the law today," Seth weakly said, trying to hold his head up after getting shocked. "So Mr. Behemo, do tell him. Please."

Behemo didn't even look at Seth- he couldn't look at anything at all. All he saw was the sadistic smile of the policeman interrogating him with Medel's greatest minds being held hostage, all he felt was the tight hold of Levia's hands on his left arm, but he really couldn't put a finger on who this Zorach person is. It's more important than his supposed illegal entry, but he absolutely doesn't know who this Zorach person is.

And even if he knew, he had a strong feeling not to rat this Zorach person out to them.

"Let's make it easier," the red-haired policeman smiled, showing two fingers. "You have a choice. Tell us how you got here, or tell us where Zorach is. It's so simple. The former might, well, not give you an advantage, but the latter certainly will. But you're free for a helping."

"Behemo," Levia softly said, seemingly as scared as the rest, "tell him. Please."

Well, what's presented before him were two options.

Option 1: Tell the policeman where this Zorach person is, to which he doesn't know who he is, or option 2: tell them how he got here, which would get Medel in trouble. Actually, both ways, he'll get Medel into trouble anyways. He's obviously broken some law he didn't know- or maybe Levia did, but that didn't matter. He doesn't know if these policemen are real or fake, but judging from the reactions of many, they should be actual policemen.

Choose wrongly, and they'll be shocked to death.

In such a case, always take a third option.

"Yes, sure, of course, officer," Behemo fake-coughed, looking at Levia as he held out a hand. "Kindly...ah, my medicine, Levia. I'm much too worked up. The orange case."

Levia looked at him as if he was talking gobbledygook.

"My medicine, please," Behemo repeated.

She slowly rummaged in her bag to give him the pills that she had offered to him earlier that morning, and Behemo took them, looking around the room. Security cameras at each corner and a telephone at the middle of the meeting table.

Two policemen, many departmental heads, and Levia.

"Both of you, yes, gentlemen, to my office. Let's have a talk there. I insist," Behemo smiled genially, gesturing towards the glass door. He walked out of the room, having the two policemen follow, but at Levia wanting to follow as well, he shook his head and made sure that she stayed in the board room.


Everyone but Levia didn't know that he didn't even have an office, much less a room.

The Royal Police Force of Utopos is something akin to a world police.

It was stated as a fact in several business studies textbooks and business-oriented online newspapers that the RPFU (as abbreviated) is by far, the largest globally public provider of job vacancies. 'Serving The People Through Advancement' is the RPFU's motto, and they have a database that contains all of their registered employees as well as the profiles of almost everyone in Utopos. It's a ridiculously absurd notion for there to be a global police that monitors almost everybody, but it's true in this here world.

There's far more absurd things, of course.

The drawback was that Behemo knew nothing of the above information.

Everyone is afraid of the police, that's sure. The police arrest you when you're found guilty of something, but there's even more reason to be very afraid of this particular police force. Medel is only a tiny establishment compared to this global protectorate of a police force, but not only do they arrest you when they deem you guilty or if they find you as a suspect, their courtrooms operate solely on juries who are extremely compliant to the police to avoid being one of the unlucky ones at the defense stand.

There are so many reasons to quake at the rumored violence and power the police force hold, but Behemo knew zilch. Nothing. Absolute zero. He walked along the halls, passing by numerous offices as the tap of his cane went tap, tap, tap on the floor, just right in time with his dress shoes going clack, clack, clack.

When he was a young boy of 12, he's been told that he was a very good, if not dreadful, distraction.

In this case, he thought bitterly, I'm not wearing a puffy, ribbon-loaded dress that costs 1000 tarils.

He thinks about his past, remembering nothing about this Zorach fellow. He walks, going into his office as the policemen complain- "This isn't your office-" – but then again, it is. Let's say it is, Behemo thinks. Just give me some pride for once. I have a damn office. Behemo Barisol, it's right at the door. I've the name card to prove.

His hands burn- he didn't remember touching anything hot, now did he? But his right hand has the pills, they'll make everything so much better. Bet it could stop the bleeding, hey? Levia said that they were supplements, and she herself was taking them, so this must've been either supplements or medication to calm hysterics. His guests did seem a little hysterical, making him bleed all like that.

Tea would do. Behemo would pour them some tea.

How are you doing, gentlemen? A cup of tea would suffice before you ask your questions?

But they were awfully sloppy drinkers. Maybe they'd do better in a bar-

Behemo stopped.

Two men in bloodied white coats, looking as if they'd seen the devil, lying on two gurneys before him. His left hand, bleeding and burned. The small orange medicine box stained with the drips of his blood. His right hand, coated with saliva, presumably the policemen's. His cane, on the floor.

The room, an experimentation room.

No cameras. Nobody there.

The pills were gone.

...Oh, how he wished he knew that Zorach fellow.

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