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By´╝ÜCandace Blevins

I was wearing a royal blue shirt, and since I’d worn a black one yesterday, they must’ve changed my clothes. I felt for my ring and realized they’d taken it, too. My tiny saw was curled inside it, which meant I wouldn’t be able to cut my way out of this.

I lifted my head, looked around the room, and saw my captor sitting in a chair with a small table in front of him, my laptop opened as he worked at it.

I propped up on one elbow and asked, “What time is it?”

“Nearly noon. The drugs wore off within a couple of hours, you were apparently exhausted. How do you feel?”


He nodded and walked to me, pulling keys from his pocket as he neared. He talked as he unlocked and removed both cuffs. “I’m going to trust you to go in and shut the door all but a few inches. I’ve put something in place to temporarily keep the door from closing all the way. The first time you try something, you won’t be allowed to be alone again. One of us will go with you and stand guard as you go.”

I didn’t ask who undressed me, or whose shirt I was wearing — it said, “I play keyboard for the internet.” I doubted their motorcycle club had two hackers, so Wulff/Brain had put me in his shirt.

I peed for-freakin-ever, which was annoying because every second I peed was a second less I had to escape. There was a high window, and I was betting I could stand on the back of the toilet and pull myself up and through it. The guys couldn’t — they were too big, but I was skinny and could get out of it no problem as long as it wasn’t too far down on the other side.

I was barefoot and wearing a man’s t-shirt that came nearly to my knees, but if I could get back to civilization, and to my bike, I had enough stashed to buy some shoes and pants, and get the hell out of town.

I stood on the back of the toilet, opened the window, pulled myself up to it, and groaned as Wulff/Brain waved at me. I’d have been better off going out the door.

Hmmmm. I dropped to the floor, ran to the bathroom door, and opened it only to find the other guy blocking my way. Still, he wasn’t too big, and I had to try.

I relaxed, looked contrite, and then lunged forward, aiming my shoulder for his midsection in an effort to take him to the ground.

It should’ve worked, but he caught me, turned me towards the living area, and said, “I’m warming a burger up for you. My guess is Wulff’s gonna tie you back up, since you tried to escape. Can’t really blame you for trying, but… trust is earned, and you just lost it.”

Wulff. So he wasn’t going to admit to being Brain. No big surprise.

“What do you want on your burger? We have mayo, mustard, onions, and cheese.”

“All of it. Do you have a name?”

“I do, but you can call me Fox, for now. What should I call you?”

I shrugged, unsure of what he knew and unwilling to give him information he may not have.

“Let’s call her Destiny, for now,” Wulff said as he stepped into the kitchen. He held a strand of rope and said, “I’m gonna bind your legs together and leave your hands free as much as possible. It means I’ll need to carry you when we change rooms, but while you’re sitting, perhaps it can give you the illusion of freedom.”

“Don’t try to pretend to be nice. I mean, sure, thanks for the burger, and thanks for leaving my hands free… but fuck you for chasing me, kidnapping me, and holding me against my will!”

Fox leaned over the table, his face menacing. “I don’t know what Wulff has planned, but he’s the one who’s investigated you, studied you, chased you, and eventually caught you, so I’m trusting he knows how to get the information we need out of you. If I was in charge, you wouldn’t have gotten a good night’s sleep, there’d be no offer of food or drink, and you’d be hooked up to a battery while I asked questions, each zap growing longer and longer if my questions weren’t answered satisfactorily.”

My eyes went from Fox’s face to Wulff’s, who looked grim as he said, “Eat your burger. Questions come later. I’ve only had a few hours to go through your laptop, but I’m learning more and more about you. Genius little autodestruct sequence you had on the master password, by the way.”

There were only a few people on the planet who’d be capable of getting past it, and Wulff had. I was so fucked.

“If you’re learning so much,” I told him, “you won’t need to ask me anything.”

I ate the rest of my burger in silence, and then followed them to the living room. No sense trying to get away from them now, though every cell in my body wanted to fight to keep Wulff from tying my legs so I couldn’t walk.