MECHANICAL MENACE PART IV

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
The crew gets drilled about their psionic powers by an evil board, but are they really that evil?

Submitted: February 11, 2016

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Submitted: February 11, 2016

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IV. PRINCE

 

This had been like the third time I've been wrangled by thugs, shoved into the back of a vehicle, and being driven to God knows where. And it wasn't getting any easier, especially when Fleana's foot was shoved right into my kidney.

“So any idea why you gave Nathan Backpack?” Katrina finally asked.

“I didn't give it to him.” I corrected.

“It crawled over to him. Whatever. What did you tip him off about?”

“Well, there's a tracer in my shoe. I had a feeling we'll be kidnapped again.”

Fleana shifted her foot to my liver. “Is that what that was? I actually thought we had an assignment due that you didn't tell me about.”

“Fleana are you naturally this dense or are you actually trying to be funny?” Kat snarled.

“The latter Tropical.”

“Hey, I'm about to fire both of y'all up if y'all don't shut up.” Marion's eyes widened as the trunk opened up. He stared at the robots that crowded us. “'cuse me fellas, but we were havin' a private conversation here—okay, I guess we'll talk about this later guys.”

The death bots hauled all of our relatively small bodies over their shoulders and began moving towards a door.

“Wait. What were we talking about again?” Fleana narrowed her eyes at Katrina’s glare. “That time I wasn't being funny Tropical.”

 

So I guess the death bots were smarter than they look. They twisted girders onto our arms so that there was no way to escape by running and blasting everything in sight (tried and true method). Then they plopped us into some chairs in an office and took post by the doors.

“Geez, whoever's behind this sure has trust issues.” Fleana remarked.

“Well, sure they are Mammatus.” Marion's eyebrows slanted. “They're guilty of kidnapping and attempted murder. I'm sure I would have trust issues too, especially for my victims.”

“Will you two shut up?” Katrina hissed. “I don't want to set off the killing machines.”

The room looked like any old office, like any secretary would use, except the building looked familiar somehow. The structure, the view outside, the smells…I had been here before.

My fingers were slick with my blood, and it doesn't take a genius to realize that a pool was forming on the floor. I don't know how blood loss affects Biotic-Abiotics, but it must've not been much since I didn't feel like passing out and apparently neither did my arguing friends.

Soon, a tiny, blonde woman walked into the room and sat at the desk. She regarded my friends and me as if we were just a couple of clients ready to do business with the boss.

She removed her glasses and her grey eyes sparkled. “Miss Mammatus, Mister Solar, Mister BorealisAustralis, Miss Tropical. We've been expecting you for some time now.”

“Did we make an appointment?” Katrina raised an eyebrow.

The woman gripped Katrina’s jaw and narrowed her eyes as she tilted her chin. “Sort of. The executives from the board are wondering about your progress.”

“There's a board?” I asked.

“Oh, yes. Ecosystem Corporation has a nationwide executive branch, and they are very interested in the application of Eco-technology, but perhaps I've said too much.”

“Is this about the time machine? 'cause I think you jerks owe us for that, say sixty percent of the profit share?”

“Yeah, how much are you guys making off of that?” Fleana asked.

“Defiant, aren't we?” The woman mused.

“Not really,” I trailed. “We're genuinely asking.”

“I don't have time for this.” Her tone suddenly got exasperated, way too early for that reaction after talking to us. She took a little itablet from her coat pocket and place it to her ear. “Would you like to see them in? Good.” She slipped it back into her pocket. “The board will see you now. Carry on.”

“Wh—how lady?!” Marion exasperated.

She snapped her fingers and the bots peeled off the girders. “I wouldn’t try to resist. Eco-corporation has the finest security in the state. You couldn’t get to the next door before taking your last breath.”

“I'll take your word for it.” I glanced at the machines. I didn't like our chances of escaping by ourselves. Those things took a while to kill. Best case scenario is that grandpa had outfitted this place just in case we pull another lab burning, and that didn't even end well last time.

We walked through the door behind her, and a whole row of eyes trained on us. In total, there were about twenty people in the board room, but none of our grandparents were to be found.

“Take a picture it'll last longer.” Katrina said after a while.

A woman pointed at her. “This one has an attitude problem.”

“Young lady, is that how you think you should dress?” A man asked.

“Deal with it dude. I don't do formal wear, especially after being kidnapped.” Kat sneered.

Her words didn't seem to affect them. They looked at their clipboards and started murmuring amongst themselves.

Finally, a man with a pudgy frame and two golden rings on his ring finger and pinky spoke up. “Has the Enhancer had any effect on your behavioral patterns?”

“No. We've always been this way.” Fleana rolled her eyes.

“How about your eating habits?” The woman with a distracting tick in her left eye said. “Fecal matter?”

“Why would you ask that?!”

“It's important dear.”

“I poop fine! And eat a crap ton as usual. Now that we're on questions what's with your eye?”

The whole room caught their breath, including me. I couldn’t believe Fleana would say such a thing.

The woman's eye twitched a few times. “Young lady I am not fond of questions about my eye. I was born with a defect you see, and even into adolescence it greatly affected my health. It was quite serious.” She focused that eye on Fleana. “Until your grandmother came. She helped me through my rehab. I could now hug my daughter and her new baby since the left side of my body now works, but the illness could return at any time so if the Enhancer actually works, then I'll accept it for this bad twitch.”

Fleana acted like she got slapped in the face. She opened and closed her mouth.

Marion lit his thumb. “It still doesn't justify kidnapping us. So why all the questions? What exactly do you want from us?”

A skinny man in a brown suit answered. “We were planning to implement solar radiation into Biotic-Abiotic medical treatments. I must say that it was quite brave of you to undergo this procedure.”

“Brave?!” Katrina planted her fists on her hips. “I wouldn’t call it 'brave' if you had no idea what was coming. We were forced not willing participants.”

“No, you agreed to the procedure.”

“When did we--” I almost snarked, but then my eyes widened in realization. “Oh, Styx.”

“Strong memory.” The woman jotted down.

The man with the rings tapped at his clipboard. “Anything else you would like to add. To what extent has your mind been enhanced?”

“Oh, dear, yes.” Wheezed what had to be the oldest man in the building. “I must hear more of your mental abilities. Old man like me could use such a thing. You see my dear wife has all but fallen into dementia. Perhaps with this procedure, she may remember who I am again. It's been, say, a good twenty years now.”

Fleana rubbed her bicep and averted any gazes. “Geez, you guys are making it hard to stay angry here, but--”

The door behind us closed and the blonde woman gathered everyone's attention. I didn't get to register how tiny she was. Her head barely reached my neck and her arms were like toothpicks, but somehow she managed to make my friends and me look smaller.

“Does everyone have what they need?” She asked.

“Not quite.” Ring man told her. “We have yet to convince them to divulge their capabilities.”

“I thought as much. I tried to convince the executives here that their grandkids are just too insecure and stubborn. Fortunately, I have everything we need here just in case.”

The woman pulled out an itablet and began swiping the screen. “Whose abilities do you want to know?”

Twitchy woman pointed at Fleana. “Tell us this one's.”

“I am female.” Fleana grunted.

“Fleana has enhanced empathy. I guess that has something do with a charged limbic system. I didn't major in Biology.” The woman stated. “It's actually one of the more overlooked effects of the Cerebral Enhancer. Fleana has demonstrated the ability to bond and understand emotions beyond the ordinary, as if they were whispered to her in her brain. Ah, she also has the ability to influence them for a time with the sound of her voice or just a thought. As you can see, this is quite useful in relationships.”

“You want to manipulate the hearts of your loved ones?”

The woman frowned at her. “How's that any different from what couples and parents already do? Don't you lie and compromise in order to keep peace around the house? Don't you put up with your loved one's disgusting habits and trying behavior? Well, don't you?”

Fleana tried to bore a hole in her chest with her eyes.

“Ooh, how about this fellow?” Ring man jabbed his finger in my direction.

“Prince has a particular ability, some would even say it's the most useful. He has enhanced intelligence. A pleasant ability for us scientists to have around the lab, a leg up on the competition, or just to benefit our kind. This brain here is our key to time travel.”

I was still miffed about that, but I tried not to let that show, mostly because I knew they wouldn’t care.

“The blonde girl?” The old man wheezed.

“Oh, yes! Katrina has the ability to interpret thoughts. No need to wonder what anyone is thinking with this one. It also says that she has the ability to shape those thoughts any way she wants, though for some reason she refuses to do this.”

“Um, maybe because I'm not into making brain puppets.” Kat fumed.

“Even considering your situation?”

“Well…”

Katrina averted her gaze. She was not mind jacking anyone. End of story.

“Well, what about this one then?” Ring man pointed at Marion.

“Marion's ability is the opposite of Fleana's. He has the ability to turn off his emotions. It sounds rather dull at first, but his ability can actually render Fleana's useless. Can't read or change moods if you don't have any. He is also resistant to telepathy as well. If you could control your mood, you could control your thoughts. If you never want to be hurt again or if you just want to muster up the courage to do something great, then this is the ability for you.”

The entire board began chatting fervently among themselves. Probably because they were enthusiastic about the new abilities they might receive…or was it? I thought I would feel angrier or at the very least irritable, but I couldn’t help but feel empathy for these people. To them the Cerebral Enhancer might solve a lot of their problems like the woman with the twitch and the old man's wife who hasn't recognized him in years. Maybe the world having psionics wouldn’t be such a bad thing…

I shook my head. Get real. The world would be terrible with psionics. The greedy and the psychopaths would abuse them for gain or the love of torture. A harmless five year old could mind screw his teacher all because she gave him a timeout or, worse, couldn’t control his telepathy. Family members would abuse and dominate each other. The whole thing was a nightmare in progress.

“But what can we do?” Katrina whispered.

She had a point. We don't have the Cerebral Enhancer, and I doubt grandpa would keep it here where it could get damaged. For all I know, he probably has more of them holed up somewhere, ready for worldwide distribution. We were just the models here. We were left with just one option: get out of there.


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