Today’s SoCS post is brought to you by Linda G Hill and the prompt to continue this story, which this week is;
” “ho.” Find a word with the two letters–“ho”–in that order, and use it in your post. “
Hopefully that shouldn’t be too hard…
The Accumulator, part eight.
Scene: Patrick Busey’s living quarters at The Department’s facility. Patrick is pacing back and forth in an agitated manner, anxiously glancing at his watch and occasionally looking down at the front terrace each time he passes the open window, its curtain billowing in the breeze. It is eleven years ago.
The wide shot of the room cuts to a close-up of Patrick’s face, as we hear a key turn in the lock and he suddenly stops pacing, his eyes fixed on the door, the shot cuts once again and we see the door as it slowly swings open.
At this point, courtesy of some fancy editing, all movement in the room stops; the door pauses mid-swing, the curtains hang motionless in the air and the camera pans round to our reluctant narrator, who, with the help of a little more movie magic, breaks free of the FX spell and turns to the camera to resume his story…
“Now, you’re probably expecting a bit of flashback-in-flashback action round about now, but to be honest we don’t have the time, so you’ll just have to pay attention and I’ll fill you in…”
Patrick holds up a gloved hand and begins counting off points on his fingers;
“Firstly, I’ve spent the last year as a virtual prisoner in this place, since I found what exactly it is they’ve done to me with their bloody experiments. They didn’t give me any time to reflect on the news either, the very next day I was taken into the lab again and wired up to their damn machines.
I resisted at first, you fucking bet I did. But it did no good, all it got me was a needle in the neck or a belt with one of those electric cattle prod things and I went right off that idea after the very first time. An effective deterrent to disobedience that’s for sure, but it didn’t mean I’d given up, oh no.
No, I was playing a waiting game; I figured that if I played along with their mad scheme for long enough, I might be able to work out how to use these new “talents” of mine to my advantage.”
Patrick, now speaking directly to camera in the surreal, frozen room, ticks off another point on his fingers;
“Secondly, I now know why I have to wear these rather sinister-looking gloves all the time. I was originally told that nerve damage from my accident had made my hands extremely sensitive and the gloves were to prevent me from sensory discomfort, but that was just so much bullshit, of course. No, the reason is they’re all terrified I’ll touch one of them by accident and won’t have fully “discharged” all the power, since whatever perverted experiment they last forced me to take part in.
I’m dangerous, you see.
Thirdly, they are a bunch of fucking psychopaths, it’s now official.
I was of course right about poor Darcy being murdered, Endicott owned up to that one without the slightest flicker of emotion or regret, the bastard. One of his fucking goons pushed her out of the window, knowing I’d “accumulate her death force” as they so delightfully put it, as soon as I touched her. They weren’t planning on me using it up quite so soon, though.
After I killed that orderly and Endicott did his Big Reveal speech, his whole demeanor changed. He stopped all pretence of being my avuncular, concerned saviour and friend and transformed into the aloof, arrogant and thoroughly despicable man he clearly was all along. He actually smirked when he told me how many “volunteers” had already perished in the pursuit of their fucking Project and warned me that I’d “need to grow a thicker skin if you are going to be of any use to us”.
At first I wondered what he meant, then they killed Homer and it all started to make a sick and horrible kind of sense.
Homer, an overweight and slightly disheveled member of the housekeeping staff, christened by me as he bore a startling resemblance to his cartoon namesake, was another of the silent army of nurses and orderlies who attended to my every need each day; serving me meals, cleaning the room (when I had been safely removed, of course) and bringing me any of the little luxuries I was allowed, such as books, newspapers and even music and movies if I’d been a very good boy. Like the others, he seemed nice enough but had obviously been given strict orders not to communicate with me and remained totally mute throughout all our encounters.
One day Endicott arrived with a pair of his thugs in white coats, just as Homer was clearing away my lunch things. They stood patiently until he’d loaded the plates onto his trolley, then without any warning, one of the orderlies stepped forward and raised his arm. Too late, I saw the gun in his hand and realised what was about to happen a fraction of a second before he leant forward, casually placed the muzzle against Homer’s temple and blew his brains all over my living room wall.”
The camera focuses on Patrick’s face, his eyes plainly show the torment and pain at the horrific memory, then his expression hardens and his voice becomes a flat monotone.
“That was when I knew I was going to kill Endicott. I didn’t know how, not then, but I promised myself, even as I was forced to my knees in the spreading pool of Homer’s blood and Endicott’s goons wrestled one of my gloves off so they could clamp my bare hand on the unfortunate man’s arm, I swore he was going to die.
As before, the jolt of energy passed from the bloody corpse into the very centre of my being, but unlike before I wasn’t scared. In fact this time it was with a detached and morbid fascination that I traced the path of the dead man’s final escape from the world, feeling how it contracted into a dense, almost comforting weight in my chest and hung there, a slowly pulsing second heart.”
On the screen, Patrick turns and looks over at the partially open door, then back at the camera.
“They hit me with another of those electric shocks and I greyed out a bit while they pulled my glove back on. Then they scuttled out, dragging poor old Homer with them, leaving me a nasty mess on the carpet and a new mission in life.
I can hardly bear to recall the next two or three months, the appalling thought of being forced to use my lethal talent very nearly pushed me over the edge, especially when I realised this meant being responsible for the deaths of innocent people like myself, who had no idea of the horror that could be visited upon them at any time by these evil and unspeakable men.
However, since the Homer incident I have only been provided with animals as test subjects, which I initially refused to touch until Endicott employed the simple incentive of bringing in a terrified nurse with a gun to her head, leaving me no choice but to despatch them as quickly and with as much mercy as I could manage.
They seemed interested in whether I could hold back any of the accumulated power, only releasing enough to kill the target victim and somehow retain the rest.
And it didn’t take me long to find that I could do just that.
The first subject, a small rabbit, practically exploded when I finally gave in and laid my hands on it, the entire pulse from Homer’s death having been discharged in one uncontrolled burst. But as I was repeatedly “recharged”, with a steady stream of slaughtered cattle from their private abattoir, I began to gain more control over the way the pulses were discharged and eventually I could calibrate my power output with impressive accuracy.
The reason I’m telling you all this now, is because I’m pretty sure the unsuspecting flunky who is about to walk through that door is my next human test subject and, if I’m very lucky indeed, they could also be my best chance so far to get out of here.
So let’s see what happens next, shall we..?”
Patrick steps back to the position he was in when the scene froze, turns to the camera and gives a broad wink, then snaps his fingers and, as if by magic, movement returns to the room and the door swings fully open…
Fade to black.
To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…
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