Chapter 9A Chapter by Domenic Luciani
Introducing a new character. I explain a few things, too.
Zach Manuszewski had never considered himself lucky until now. He took a look around the beautiful hotel room he had been living in for the past three days.
Last week, he had been gazing upon a very different sight. He was sitting in the tiny apartment that had been his home for the last six years, hoping that very soon he would be moving out of this hellhole for good. The apartment might have been small, but Zach kept it fairly clean. The same could not be said about himself. For one thing, he didn’t see anything wrong with wearing the same clothes two or three days in a row if they weren’t explicitly dirty. For a tall man, he was oddly thin. His naturally hairless chin saved him the effort of shaving in the morning and he always liked to keep his hair short"he cut it himself with a trimmer"but not because it made him look clean-cut. It wasn’t easy for him to keep his hair clean, so it was simply more convenient to have it short. The water pressure in the apartment complex was awful: on a good day he might be lucky to have three minutes of constant flow. On a bad day, it would be his good fortune if the shower nozzle managed to sputter out a minute or two of water. On these days, he tried not to look down into the tub because the water was the color of sewage waste. He didn’t think he smelled, but then again he had never really asked anybody; plus in his business, people sort of took stench as a sign of the trade.
Zach was a writer, but not just a writer: he was a journalist. He had dropped out of college at twenty to be a novelist, but he was never able to publish anything. He had four manuscripts sitting in a box beneath the ratty couch that hadn’t seen the light of day in years. The last one he had written had, at the time, seemed so riveting that he figured somebody would want to publish it, but then he read it over and decided that it was an inexcusable waste of paper and torched the whole thing.
He applied for a job as a columnist for a cruddy Chicago newspaper when he was twenty two and had barely managed to land a spot as a mail boy. It had taken him several years to work up to a desk job, and then to a columnist. He had been awful at both, but the paper’s standards were low enough that Zach passed with flying colors. It wasn’t that he was a bad writer; in fact he was very good. It was just that he hated writing about people’s pets going missing or a new store opening up. It was just too mundane. He missed writing novels and hoped to God he might work up the same passion for it that he used to have, but inspiration had been a cruel mistress to Zach Manuszewski.
All of that was about to change.
A few years ago, his crappy newspaper had been bought out by a less crappy newspaper, and then a decent newspaper bought that one, and so on and so forth until Zach had ended up working for the Tribune.
He wasn’t terribly important to the company, and his paycheck had not gone up nearly as much as he hoped it would. Then they were talking about layoffs and rumors whipped up like sandstorms as to who was headed for the chopping block. Zach knew that if they were making cuts, his name would likely be the first on the list. These were trying times for the economy, and most people didn’t care to read about a recall for earmuffs. He groaned in his chair remembering that article, it bored him to tears just thinking about it. He always found it strange that at the worst times, people ate up bad news like it was candy. You would think that they would want to get away from all that, but hard times were like a drug addiction: the more there was, the harder it was to avoid. Zach thought that maybe people secretly loved misery.
This was where he was getting lucky.
Zach’s brother worked for a company called MedTech. Zach had personally never heard of such a thing before Eric had brought it up, but apparently it was a very influential company. At the time it hadn’t meant a thing to Zach, and so Eric and MedTech were shoved deep down into his mind and nearly forgotten. This was until three weeks ago when his boss called him into his office. Zach already had a box for his things and was preparing for the worst when something incredible happened: they offered him a job. Not a promotion or anything like that, but the opportunity to report on something that would be certain to change the world in the coming years.
“What is it?” he had asked, eager to accept.
A man was there; someone Zach had never met before. His name was Mr. Bowler and he worked for the same company that Eric did. Zach was unfamiliar with the feeling of having connections, but apparently Eric counted as one.
Mr. Bowler explained to him what he would be doing. MedTech and its parent company JanisCorp had spent the last seventy years constructing an ideal city. They were experimenting with the idea of suppressing emotions in order to figure out how a perfect society would function. He would get the details when he went to the city himself.
“What we are working on,” Bowler had said, “is a society without segregation, discrimination, crime, or violence. The people have absolute tolerance of one another, and nobody feels like they have less than someone else.”
“So, you brainwash them?” Zach asked, immediately regretting it. He didn’t want to rock the boat. They were giving him an opportunity that he would never see the likes of again, and he didn’t want to come off as ungrateful.
“No, no.” Bowler laughed, and Zach felt relieved. His question was being humored, not rejected. “It is not anything like that. We don’t turn a person into a zombie, that’s not what we want at all. If it was, we would have just built a bunch of machines. Some emotions we suppress, certainly, but we don’t get rid of them. Love, for example, is crucial to the human psyche, and without it we find that people become disinterested in life. Fear, happiness, even anxiety are crucial to our survival, so it really would not have been beneficial to eliminate emotion.”
“Oh,” Zach said, trying to sound like he understood it. Really, he just didn’t want to put Bowler off with another ill-timed question, and so he just nodded and squinted his eyes like he was taking in every word Bowler and his boss were saying.
More or less, Bowler wanted Zach to write an article about the city. Zach could tell without asking what this meant. Bowler wanted people to know all the good things about the city. He was heavily invested into the project, and it went without saying that he wanted a generic, fluffy description of how perfect his perfect society was. The company hadn’t gone public with the city yet, and it was already controversial in congress, so it was important for them to have public support when the time came.
“I hear good things about you, Mr. Manuszewski. I’m sure you’ll make us proud.”
“You can count on me,” Zach said. He understood perfectly what Bowler was saying then: that he was compliant and could be counted on to do the job as he was told to do it. It bothered him how low he was sinking here, but when he looked at how much they were going to pay him, crossing a few moral boundaries was like stepping over lines drawn in the sand. All he could see was his bags packed and his tiny apartment growing smaller in the distance. He would get himself a place with decent water pressure and an air conditioning system that didn’t cut out every time it got hotter than eighty degrees outside.
He would have a one-week stint in the city, to observe the inner workings of the it for himself. He assumed this was merely for pleasantries. MedTech would probably have someone behind the scenes who would take whatever he wrote and fix up to however they wanted. He found himself half wishing that they had just saved him the trouble and written the article themselves, but Bowler had stressed that they wanted a legitimate journalist to cover the thing. Whatever, Zach thought to himself; at least I’m getting paid. He would gladly put up with the strain of writing a fixed article for the amount he was getting for it.
His bags were packed and sitting next to the door. The door was worn, but compared to the bags, it looked brand new. He had been traveling a lot lately: a perk of the job. Sometimes if he would be gone for more than a few days, the Tribune would pay for a hotel. He loved staying in hotels, because they were always nicer than his apartment. Also the mini toiletries saved him a buck or two when he stashed as much as he could into his bags. His bathroom was filled with tiny vials of body washes and hand lotions from at least a dozen different hotels.
He wondered if they would give him a hotel room while he was in the city. Again he drifted to what he might want in a new apartment. A bigger fridge, and bigger bed, for the most part things needed to be bigger. He had been a bachelor nearly all his life and he figured he was ready to get back into the scene. No woman would ever want to be brought back here, he thought. The wallpaper was peeling everywhere, the appliances and fixtures all had a noticeable coating of grime around the edges, he barely had any food besides a few microwaveable single-serving meals, and there was that whole water pressure deal. Zach put his legs up on the kitchen chair opposite him and reclined as much as he could. He had a glass of scotch in his hand, but he wasn’t too sure about drinking it. He wasn’t a big drinker in general, which people thought was odd for a writer. He had gotten the scotch earlier in the week as a celebratory memento because he thought that was what writers did to celebrate . . . or maybe it was champagne . . . whatever, it didn’t matter.
He took a quick gulp of it, like actors did in the movies, cringing and coughing as it burned his throat. He poured what was left of the glass down the drain and left the bottle on the floor for the mice to get to. He wasn’t sure if scotch killed mice, but he had seen what it does to human beings and felt safe in the assumption it would burn a hole straight through a mouse’s body.
It was nearly six o’clock. The train left at nine, and the station was thirty minutes away, so he should be leaving about now.
With one last satisfied look around the apartment, Zach grabbed his bags and shuffled out of his apartment, down the creaking stairs, and into the limo that awaited him.
He sank into the plush leather seats while the chauffer put his bags in the trunk. A second later he heard the driver’s door close and they fused with the afternoon city traffic. Zach busied himself by trying to imagine what the city look like. Would it be a land of grandeur, with lakes of gold and palaces of marble and where everyone was happy no matter the occasion? Or maybe it was a gray-world where people walked with hunched backs like slaves tending to fields. He tried to mentally prepare himself for either scenario and put a few choice phrases away for later use. When he got there, Eric would be waiting to show him the facility; a sort of grand tour. He was hoping for a few sneak peeks as well. Emotion suppression? That wasn’t exactly a term you threw around loosely for kicks. There had to be something interesting going on behind the scenes with an operation like that. A mad scientist sticking electrodes onto corpses came to mind. In any case, something like that wouldn’t be in his article. In his experience, people didn’t care how something worked as long as it did, like how they never want to know the cow that went into making their hamburger. Zach remembered a particularly gruesome piece he had done on a Chinese restaurant in upstate New York that had been chopping up deer killed in car accidents and serving it to their customers. He had never eaten Chinese food after that"hell, even before that he avoided it when he could: it was a habit of his to not eat any meat he couldn’t identify on sight.
The limo pulled into the parking lot at Union Station and Zach got out. He made a move for the bags but the chauffer kindly but hastily waved him off. He walked past the marble columns at the main entrance and stepped into the great hall, with its enormous atrium and monolithic sun-roof. He hoped that the architecture in the city would look something like this. Something popped into his head and he remembered that the style must be Roman and not Greek, because the Greek’s never used arches, and the atrium was full of arches. He hoped he was remembering that correctly: his grade-school life was something of a blur.
There were men in well-tailored suits standing all around who reacted to Zach’s entrance. They took his bags, handled his ticket information and got him seated comfortably. This is amazing, he thought. They were treating him like a king, and he loved it. Maybe when his article was published, some fame might come tagged along with his fortune. One could only hope.
Zach was nearly rolling around the station floor in imaginary money that he was almost oblivious to his train pulling in and one of the MedTech men had to come over and help him get on.
The train wasn’t just a train: it was a bullet train. He had never been on one before, but they were supposed to be really fast. It was also completely empty. He looked around the car and through the little window into the next one, but there wasn’t a soul in sight. For a fleeting moment he thought back to his novelist days and wondered if maybe they would seal the doors and gas him. Moments such as these happened fairly often and he had to remind himself that things like that only happened in his crazy novels that nobody wanted to publish. He picked a seat at random and sat down, somewhat bitter at the thought.
He half expected people to get on after him, but only a single MedTech agent got onboard with him. It made sense: the train was headed somewhere more or less classified. He imagined it was like boarding a train to Roswell, New Mexico to see the aliens. He smiled, but the empty train unnerved him. A trace of doubt slipped in and he had to wonder if he was getting in over his head.
Nah, of course not, you’ll be fine. You are the luckiest guy in the world, after all.
With a screech and a hiss, the train started to move and Zach realized there would be no going back. He thought about calling to stop the train, about throwing the door open and diving back onto the platform dramatically, or maybe he could fit through the window. He didn’t really consider doing any of these things, they were just a thoughts; a bit of anxiety in the form of an overactive imagination. This was the opportunity of a lifetime for him, and he wasn’t about to pass it up because of nerves.
The train ride would take four hours, so Zach pulled out his handy dandy travel-entertainment pack. It was just an over-the-shoulder carryon with books in it, along with a small tablet that he could play games on. He could watch movies on it, too, but it hurt his eyes to stare at a screen that small for that long. His laptop was in his suitcase somewhere else on the train, but it was old and the battery never lasted longer than an hour and a half, so he didn’t bother bringing it with him. There was something else he could upgrade when he had the money.
He was curious to find out where the city was. Bowler had been hush-hush about that for some reason. Every once in a while he would glance up from his book and look out the window to keep tabs on what general direction they were headed. His guess was Pennsylvania, but he could very easily be wrong about that. In any case, the trip was very comfortable. He didn’t like planes, mostly because they were twice the hassle of other methods of travel, and he figured that the time he saved taking a plane was quickly consumed by checking in, waiting at gates, and boarding. God forbid his luggage ended up on another flight, which had happened on more than one occasion.
There weren’t any stewardesses: the MedTech agents brought him his single-serving plastic package of boiling hot lasagna after about two hours. For whatever reason, no matter how far technology advanced, the meals that you got on trains and airplanes never got any better. They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great either.
Zach closed his eyes to try to sleep for about an hour, but it was a fruitless attempt. Since he was a kid he had never been able to sleep in moving vehicles, which was unfortunate considering how often he traveled.
When he gave up, he looked outside and tried to identify some sort of landmark he could use to judge where they were.
Literally nothing. He moved around in his seat trying to get a better look around, but all he could see was marshland. An endless bronze haze of dry grass interspersed with patches of grayish-black bog whipped by. It was no wonder this place had been a secret for the last seventy years, it was in the middle of goddam nowhere! If you had even the slightest inkling that something was out here, you would still have to wade through a couple hundred miles of straight swamp to get there. He went back to his book, but he kept an eye out to see if the terrain would change.
By the time the train began to slow down, he could see the beginning of what might have been farmland. A lot of lush green grass with perfectly formed knolls that looked almost as if they were man-made. Zach tried to get a closer look but the window went black. In fact all the windows went black and the entire car went pitch black until the lights kicked on.
“Whoa, what was that?” Zach asked.
“For security purposes, we can’t allow anyone to see the outside of the city. Please excuse the inconvenience,” One of the agents said. It was an awkwardly mechanical answer and Zach was curious as to whether this guy might be suppressed like the people in the city.
“Security purposes, huh?” He whispered under his breath. Sounds more like there’s something out there they don’t want me to see. He cupped his eyes to the glass hoping to get maybe a silhouette of the outside world, but those shades were top notch. He gave up and waited until he felt the train pull into the station.
When he stepped out, he was a little disappointed. The huge hall of Union Station made this place look like a broom cupboard. It looked more like a hospital lobby than a train station. Everything was white, from the floors to the ceiling. It was bland, but clean, and Zach guessed that was the look these people were shooting for.
There were only three platforms including the one he was stepping onto, and once again there was nobody around. Zach didn’t care for crowds, but right about now he wouldn’t have minded one. The silence was eerie.
The agent he had come with deposited his bags onto the platform while another seemed to step right out of the wall and carried them through the station. Zach had no idea where the guy had come from and nearly jumped at the sight of him. He was also shocked that the agent who took his bags looked nearly identical to the one he had ridden with. Maybe they were cloning people here, Zach thought with relish. He could smell the science fiction in the air.
He was expecting the city to be something of a big reveal, where he would walk out past some enormous double doors into the middle of some futuristic metropolis. He was expecting flying cars that ran on vegetable oil and holograms and a giant fountain, in essence, he wanted his jaw to drop.
It didn’t. In fact, he was downright disappointed. The train station was tucked away at the edge of the city, almost hidden actually. The cars sped by at high speeds but not mind-bowing fast, and they certainly were not flying. The buildings were more or less uniform, with the exception of height and width. There weren’t a whole lot of people walking around this section, and Zach didn’t get a good look at any until they put him into a taxi and sped him off to a busier section of town. He had low expectations for them and wasn’t surprised when he found that the people looked pretty normal. They weren’t clones, for one thing. They didn’t look like a terribly repressed bunch of people, but they didn’t look like they were enjoying themselves too much either. He swore that if he had never been to Manhattan, you probably could have told him this was it, and he never would have guessed the difference.
They drove him right up to the center of town and pulled over. Zach assumed this was the center of town because when he got out, the tallest building around was looming directly over him. It wasn’t impressive or anything: it looked like a giant Jenga puzzle. More MedTech agents appeared out of thin air again to take his bags and show him into the building. He really did feel like a celebrity here, although there was no admiration in anyone’s eyes. The agents only spoke to give him information or directions, and if he tried to strike up a conversation with one, they would only give him a one word answer, if any. He wasn’t used to people ignoring him, and it ticked him off a bit.
When he walked into the building, he was met with a pleasant surprise.
“Right on time then,” Eric said. Zach was glad to see his older brother, even if they hadn’t always gotten along when they were younger. While Zach had dropped out of college three years into an English degree, Eric had studied for over a decade in biomedical sciences. He had a PhD and everything. Zach was reminded of this every time he had dinner at his mother’s, because she had a copy of it framed over the dinner table, right across from where she made Zach sit. He could never help but feel she was trying to hint at something.
Their little family reunion was summed up in a handshake and a pat on the back, and then it was all business.
“Before we go into anything, it’s really important that you know who to talk to, and who not to talk to,” Eric said. Zach noticed that he kept his voice down; as if afraid he would be overheard. “MedTech is trying to do this with as little outside intervention as possible, and so a lot of people, even some of the higher-ups, don’t know what’s going on. They have no idea that they’re being monitored for scientific research.”
“Sounds like you guys have got yourselves a pretty big skeleton in the closet.”
“A monumental one. It’s crucial that nobody knows.”
“Sort of like a blind study, huh?”
“Yeah, something like that. Basically all I’m saying is that you shouldn’t go anywhere without me, but if you do, just make sure you don’t talk to anyone.”
Eric smiled. “Good. Well, let’s get started then.”
They began Zach’s tour with what Eric called ‘the boring stuff’, which was pretty much exactly what it was. He was handed over to several MedTech agents who gave him a general overview of the architectural style with emphasis on consistency, meaning that everything had to be the same. Zach was beginning to understand how thorough these people were being about emotion suppression. It wasn’t limited to a few lumps of modified sugar in their coffee, it was everything the city was, down to the last detail. The buildings were all the same because MedTech didn’t want people to question why some things were different than others, like why one style might have been Ionic and another, Corinthian. There was no dress code, but MedTech was heavily selective about the clothes offered in stores, so people only thought they were choosing their outfits. The same thing went for food and beverages and televisions and furniture and apartments, and so on. It was all to maintain the illusion of free will.
One agent had said, “It shows in history, that if a group of people feel as if they are being repressed, they will act against it. We learned from Machiavelli that, in order for a good society to function, its people must believe that they have power. Most importantly: the power to choose and make decisions.”
Zach thought he understood. It wasn’t emotional as much as curiosity suppression. MedTech was eliminating stimuli that caused emotion. He typed this, along with the agent’s speech, down on his tablet. Admittedly, this disappointed him. Psychology had never been high in his interests, and this place was sounding more and more like a head trip than a utopia.
They went over a few more things like how everyone on TV was really just a CGI of a person. They showed him a TV news anchor given creepy blue skin to dehumanize it so people didn’t have a standard of appearances to compare themselves to.
Zach couldn’t help but think they were going overboard with some of this.
After they discussed crime rates and other statistics, Zach was sent on his way. Eric was going to show him around the city and all the things about it that proved it was the best at being functional. It was like clockwork, except that the screws and gears holding everything together were completely imaginary. At any moment, the clock could stop working and the pieces would fall apart. Zach jotted this thought down as well.
Eric took Zach to the MedTech facility and showed him around the hospital. They gave him a little badge with a gold star on it that read: “Guest”. When they were done there, they went next door to the laboratory, but Eric whisked Zach away from there before he even had time to get his bearings.
They boarded the bullet train that ran on an elevated track. It was luxurious and comfortable, but by MedTech standards. Eric had seemed a little too urgent in getting Zach out of the laboratory. They had barely gotten past the lobby when Eric exclaimed, “Oh, look at the time! Come on, let’s go.”
Zach was suspicious. Despite his looks and casual personality, he was really quite perceptive, and knew exactly when somebody didn’t want him to see something. He could see tension in the air like he had x-ray vision. He decided to bring it up, but chose his words carefully.
“I didn’t know we were in such a rush. You didn’t even give me time to find where you keep Walt Disney’s frozen head.”
Eric laughed. The tension fell away and Zach was relieved.
“There are some things I’m really not allowed to show you.”
“Oh come on, Eric. You can show me! I’m your brother for god sakes, who better to trust?”
“Zach, you might be my brother, but you’re also a journalist, which sets you a few yards back from the land of trust.”
“Well yeah, but there’s one thing that sets me apart from other journalists,” Zach said, cocking an eyebrow.
“I’m terrible at my job.” Zach managed to keep a straight face for three seconds before laughing, and Eric joined in. Good, he thought, I’m almost there. He had cultured people like this before: it was part of the job, but it felt strange doing it to his own brother.
“I don’t know, Zach. These people are really strict about what they let out. They didn’t even clue me in on half the stuff for at least a decade. I’m still in the dark about some things.”
“Don’t worry about it; it’ll be completely off the record. It’s not like I want to report this, I’m just curious. You know how I get.”
“Yeah, I knew you could never keep a secret when we were younger.”
“I was six years old and I thought you already knew you were getting the TV for your birthday. It was an accident.”
Eric was quiet for a while and the only sound was the wind outside the train.
“I swear if anybody finds out about this, I’ll kill you. And I’m serious about that because I’ll be out of a job and have nothing left to lose.”
Zach couldn’t contain his jubilation and started laughing again. Maybe he was finally about to see something real.
They went around the city to certain locations and Eric would stop to allow Zach to type a few notes on his tablet, but he was bored, and his patience for the smaller pieces of the puzzle was wearing thin. Really, he was just buying his time until Eric showed him where he worked. That would be the real prize.
As per Eric’s request not to talk to anyone, Zach kept his mouth shut as they moved through the crowds. He kept an eye on the people he passed, taking in anything that seemed interesting. At one point, he purposely dropped his wallet on the ground and kept walking. A moment later, a man tapped him on the shoulder and said very politely that he had dropped it.
“Thank you,” Zach said with a smile.
The man gave him a quizzical look then turned tail and rejoined the crowd.
Maybe I smiled too much, Zach thought. Oh well, at least he had another bit of information to put into his article. ‘The people here are polite and moral citizens’"he shook his head. That sounded stupid. In any case, something about these people bothered him and it wasn’t that their minds were being observed and modified. No, he could deal with that just fine. It was something in there eyes that said they wanted out of here.
It bothered him, but he was easily distracted. He and Eric stepped off the bullet train and walked over to a squat building that, stylistically, looked about the same as any other building around, except that Eric pulled around in front of him with a mischievous gleam in his eye and said: “we’re here.”
Zach couldn’t help but be excited, but he also had to remember that he wasn’t supposed to see what he was about to see. He kept his face stoic and walked into the building after his brother like he was walking into church. This was sacred ground.
They walked right past the front desk and into an elevator. Zach was nearly sweating with anticipation. The doors opened into a hallway that looked very similar to the hospital and the laboratory: sterile white and well-lit.
Eric walked down it like he owned the place. He was the head observer for the city, which was apparently a huge title. They entered an enormous room with wall-to-wall computer monitors. Each monitor showed nine different images arranged on a grid.
“There are five hundred monitors all hooked up to nine security cameras each. I know you were never good at math, but that’s four thousand security cameras.”
“Holy crap, that’s a lot of cameras,” Zach said. He was completely in awe.
“This is nothing. In here is just the tip of the iceberg. We also monitor cell phones and radio signals and pretty much every way people communicate. At any given time, we can pull a conversation someone is having and pinpoint where they are.”
Now this was science fiction, Zach thought. He wanted to check out some of the feeds, but he didn’t know where to start. There were just so many to choose from.
Eric waved him over to a console at the far end of the room. Zach watched as he put his hands on the sleek black surface and lights kicked on. The console scanned his hand and then brought up a bunch of profiles he must have been looking at.
“Check this out,” he said. “Computer, bring up the feed for Stephen Vitello.”
The console made a clicking sound, then shuffled through about a thousand faces before landing on the face of the guy named Stephen.
“This is really interesting. For whatever reason, this guy has been acting differently than the others. He’s been showing emotion.”
“Why is that?”
“We don’t know, that’s the thing. I’ve been watching this guy for a while now and his actions are sporadic and unpredictable. On a few occasions, he’s even been breaking into the lab to steal stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“I’ll show you later. But he’s been teaming up with this guy, Beck Huxley.” He tapped on the console a few times and another face came up with the name ‘Beck Huxley’ beneath it. “They’ve been working together, and it’s just fascinating.”
Zach thought it was strange that Eric wasn’t concerned at all with the stolen goods. Instead he seemed to think that their actions were actually a good thing.
“Have you ever tried to talk to them?”
Eric frowned at him. “No, I haven’t, and I won’t. It’s important that they don’t know they’re being watched. Letting them do what they want to do is the only way I’m going to study them. Even though I really just want to know what’s happening in their heads. They’re anomalies in the system, and I have to know why.”
“What if they do something crazy, though? What if they find out what’s happening on their own?”
“Well I guess security will have to deal with them then.”
Zach knew well enough to not delve any deeper into that. In truth, he was just as interested in Stephen Vitello as Eric was, but fortunately for him, he didn’t have the same constraint to avoid them that his brother had.
He wanted to find this Stephen and talk to him. He had a gut feeling something very interesting would happen if he did.
Later that day, he had broken off from Eric and gone back over to the MedTech building. He got lost once or twice, but the city wasn’t that complicated and he got back on track fairly quickly. When he did, he located Stephen where he had seen him on the monitor back at the observers place: at the loading dock. It wasn’t hard to get to, he just had to walk around to the backside of the building and there he was. He couldn’t help the nagging feeling that something bad would result because of this, but he ignored it. His curiosity was simply too great.
Steve had been lifting a crate onto a forklift when he heard Zach call his name. “Yeah?” He asked in a gruff voice.
“My name is Zach Manuszewski. I’d like to ask you a few questions about this city.”
He couldn’t help but notice the fleeting trace of fear that passed over Steve’s eyes. Oh yes, he thought smugly. Things were going to get interesting.
© 2012 Domenic Luciani
Shelved in 1 LibraryAdded on March 24, 2012
Last Updated on March 31, 2012
Forest of Men
AboutThat is my real name, and that is really me in the picture. Like Patrick says, I'm not in the witness protection program. I mostly write books and stories. I like fantasy, or fiction, but if.. more..
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