Chapter Fifty One
As the doors opened on level B6 we were faced with a white panelled corridor. What looked like it had once been a state of the art lab was now decayed and mostly destroyed. Panels were falling off the walls exposing the raw wires behind them and rust had started to work its way across the walls and into the cracks.
Something bad had happened here.
Tobias continued to control Rex and Rufus and speak through them. “I want to show you where it all began,” said Tobias, through Rex.
“On the second day of the Siege, when the world knew they could no longer contain the problem, they built this lab. Located deep underground, it was designed to withstand the attack,” said Rex.
He walked me through another set of doors into a central chamber. The walls were covered with a soft, squishy, padded material that looked more like it was designed for a mental asylum cell than a laboratory.
“1,000 square feet of sound insulation,” said Rex. “Designed to block out the signal whilst scientists worked to stop the effects of the attack. Only ten people ever saw the inside of this room and I was one of them. I saw more of it than most.”
He pointed to a corner of the room. I hadn’t seen it at first but the padded wall gave way to a door. Rex pushed open the door to reveal a small enclosed space. The room was no bigger than the single bed that occupied it, which now lay there broken, the springs of the mattress exposed and the metal bed frame rusted and bent out of shape. The walls were padded in even thicker insulation than the main chamber.
Rusted chains lay broken on the bed. “Was someone kept in here?” I asked.
“I was,” replied Rex, echoing Tobias. “For nineteen days this was my prison.”
“But you stopped the Siege? You led the team that found a way to save everyone.”
“Yes, I did save the world but I didn’t lead the team. I was just an unlucky candidate. The one man on the planet who had the best chance of stopping the signal. That’s why I was chosen, why I was held captive.”
“So what is this place? A prison?”
“It was a lab,” he replied. “Designed just for me.”
And now for me? I wondered.
In the central chamber we walked towards another door. It was hanging from its hinges and had been badly damaged. As the room inside got closer I started to see things I recognised.
It was a room full of pipes which wove their way towards a single chair. Wires surrounded the chair and I knew the setup instantly. This was the same room I had seen in the DualCam video. Will had wanted me to see this room but I had no idea why. Now Tobias wanted me to see it as well.
An open harness hung down from the side of the chair. “That’s where they held me,” said Tobias, through Rex.
Was Tobias the man in the video? I asked myself. It couldn’t be. If the video had been Will’s memory then it would have happened recently.
“When did this happen?” I asked.
“They took me to that chair every day for nineteen days,” he said. “Each time they tried a different experiment. A different way to use me to stop the signal from killing everyone. One day they cut off part of my face and attached electrodes to my skull. It was the worst pain I have ever endured.”
The man in the video had part of his face exposed. It could have been Tobias.
“Why are you telling me all of this?” I asked.
“Telling you? I’ve done more than that Emmie. I’ve shown you. I know you remember the video?”
I gasped. “You put the video on my camera?”
“Indeed. I hacked your DualCam to show you exactly what they did to me.”
“So why delete the footage?”
“I couldn’t very well have footage of me being experimented on doing the rounds,” he replied. “Someone could do a lot of damage with that tape.”
“Why show it to me at all?”
“Because this is what is waiting for you. If you don’t help me then you’ll be the next person to be experimented on.”
“Is that I threat?”
“I don’t make threats Ms Keyes,” he replied. “I am merely warning you and trying to stop you being the next victim. We’re the same you and I.”
“I am nothing like you. Whatever happened to you all those years ago you’ve still hurt people now. You killed my brother!” I shouted.
“To show you who you really are. We may not have the same desires but deep down we are the same. I survived the death of my brother, just like you.”
“But how?” I asked, shocked.
“I’ve spent over twenty years trying to find that answer. You are the only other person in the world who is wired the same way as me. If the people who did this to me ever find you then they will operate on you too. All this time I’ve been trying to save you.”
“You didn’t stop them?”
“I killed many of them over the years that followed and made two of them my slaves,” he laughed. “You already know Vlad, the man with the knives. He was the one who carved into my face with so much glee. Now I control him.”
“But to what end? Revenge?”
“There’s only one way to get revenge on them for what they did to me. Today I start that revenge and you will help me. Or you’ll be next.”
It was a threat that worried me. The video of Tobias had shown him enduring horrible torture. It was something I knew I wouldn’t be able to face. Whoever had hurt him had changed him and everything he’d done since then had been because of them.
“So what do you need me to do?” I asked.