Chapter 3 of Sleeper Cell, check out parts 1 and 2 under Around the Bend (The Corner Mysteries)
Justin awoke to to find himself strapped between two burly looking men. His head was swimming and it hurt to focus on anything for too long. He moaned and greeted with an angry glare from the man on his right and swift jab to his left cheek. “Lights out” said the man on the his left.
“We instructed not to hit him, Celia’s gonna be pissed now.” The man who had thrown the blunt responded with an absentminded grunt.
“He took out both our partners and didn’t even break a sweat, you think I was about to give that guy a chance to finish us off? Dockens is gonna be pissed to high heaven if this guy broke his nose.” He said chuckling.
“Who is this guy anyway?”
“No clue, maybe he’s one of their experiments. Maybe he’s a rogue agent. Maybe he’s just someone with a little promise. They don’t pay us enough for me to care but this check is good enough to make sure this sleeping beauty gets where he’s going. As for the condition he’s in when he gets there…Agent Brown gave you the orders, not me.” Face grim he looked down at the unconscious strapped between them, flat on his back.
For the second time Justin awoke to a headache, only it was worse than before. His arms and legs were still bound except this time they were strapped to a cold, steel, bed? He unease was increasing as is awareness grew. He was being held in a cold, steel grey colored room. Two metal chairs were stationed a few feet away from the bed. To his left was an elevated platform with several computers setup. There were patches on his chest and the steady hum of a couple monitors located behind him. How the heck did he get here and why on earth was he strapped to this steel bed? To his right was a large pane of that reflected the room. Mirrored glass, triple pane. He knew at a glance was then disturbed by the fact that he knew that. For the second time in one day he found himself with knowledge he shouldn’t know and an ever increasing sense of dread.
He flexed his arms and strained a bit at the belt buckles that held him, he felt some of the leather give and smiled internally. Perhaps his situation wasn’t as hopeless as it seemed.
“So, someone want to explain to me why #75 has a growing bruise on otherwise flawless skin?” As Agent Brown spoke, the bruise continued its darkening on the left cheek of #75’s face. It irritated her to no end that the people she worked with, no, correction, that worked for her, couldn’t follow simple instructions. They were to sedate him and bring him in for observation. He was supposed to wake up twenty-four hours later with a heck of a headache but none the wiser. Instead two agents were in the hospital and #75 was not only awake and apparently alert but also observing his surroundings, things were becoming increasingly difficult and she hadn’t received a call yet from the Director. She was supposed to perform the “check up” but other than that she had no other orders, no idea what else was supposed to happen.
Turning her back to #75 and the mirrored glass she looked at the remaining agents from her so called “elite team” and grunted. She received a grunt in return.
“He attacked us. He knew we were moving in on him and he attacked,” said one of the agents.
“What do you mean he attacked?”
His eyes narrowed, something was off. How would she not know the kind of man they were dealing with? Was she out of the loop. Alarm bells started ringing in the agent’s head but he responded coolly, “Exactly what I said. He spun around and took out two agents like a pro.”
Brown turned her back to the agents, they took it as a sign of dismissal. It was of course, but she also did it to hide her own emotions which she was sure might betray her. #75 wasn’t supposed to know how to fight. He wasn’t supposed to be responding like this. Was something wrong with the serum?
Again for the fiftieth time that week she curse Dr. Loveitt her beloved mentor and bane of her existence.
Taking her clipboard she left the room and walked in to formally meet the thwarter of a until now, seamless career with endless mobility.
Justin’s thoughts of escape were broken at the sound of heels hitting the floor. Tile, the floor is tile. He had no idea why his brain registered that but apparently the hallow sound created as her shoes hit the floor was consequential.
He looked up to see who it was and was momentarily blinded by a bright light, he squinted.
“Don’t do that. I need to see your eyes properly.” A very curt, very female sounding voice said.
“Well, hi, great to meet you too. What’s with the lights and what the-”
“I’ll ask the questions if you don’t mind.” The female voice said in icy tones.
He had no idea who the woman was but he was his nurse or even worse his doctor her beside manner was horrendous.
“Do know where you are #75?”
His jaw clenched, another reaction that surprised. Why is she calling me this and why am I so angry about it? “Who is #75? I have a name. It’s Justin, use it.”
He noticed her eyes narrowly ever so slightly as a momentary crinkle of her brow before she continued her barrage of questions. He had no idea who she thought he was but he wasn’t this #75 she kept talking about.
She kept asking about his training and his athleticism. He’d apparently gained twenty-five pounds. He told her he was a growing boy which earned him a stern frown but he didn’t miss the brief flash of humor in her eyes.
“Who are you?” He asked.
“I’m Agent Brown.” She said and he noticed she shifted a little nervously as if the question itself bothered her.
“Brown…as in Celia Brown?”
She made a hasty step backward and clenched her board a little tighter.
“How do you know my first name? Who told you my first name!” Her pitch rising as she spoke.
His mind was fully clear now and very alert, while she’d been interrogating him he’d focused his mind on slowly working on the leather bonds that held his arms.
In a low tone he said, “I think we have a mutual friend, Dr. Loveitt”
She gasped, “How do you-”
The shouting in the hallway and the alarms beginning to sound abruptly ending her question. Agent Brown tripped over the leg of one of the monitors and went down. A women ran in as the sprinklers turned on.
“Justin!” He looked into the eyes of a woman he vaguely remembered. The woman from the bus stop!
“Justin come with me. Please! We don’t have much time!”
Seeing a chance for escape and possible answers Justin strained at the bonds again with more force popping one of the arm restraints. He was releasing himself from the other arm restraint when the woman began undoing his leg restraints.
“Who are you?!” He asked forcefully.
“Angela?” Agent Brown asked incredulously as she slowly got to her feet and reached her left hand behind her.
“Stay down Brown, I will hit you if I have to do.” Angela said, her face tight with fury.
“Let’s go Justin. Now!” Grabbing his arm she all but dragged him behind her as they ran from the room.