Yes. Well. Today’s installment of Twicebound is a little late. I’m sorry. Late is better than never, right? Of course, I could go into all the reasons it was late. (my procrastinatorial abilities, the fact that I forgot yesterday was Friday *don’t ask*, and many others) However, it’s probably wiser just to say “no comment” and let you get on with this week’s installment of…
Chapter 3 – part 2
“Please tense your bicep, Mr. Kaul.”
Eddie obeyed without thinking, partly out of habit and partly because the doctor didn’t sound like the kind of guy that would take any lip.
The mechanical ‘thunk’ of the heavy injector sounded and he twitched as the needle jabbed in and slid out. He looked up at the doctor, an injured expression on his face.
“‘Ey, doc, what was that?”
Checking a readout on a screen strapped to his wrist, the doctor made a face and made some adjustments. The buttons on the screen beeped and hummed, then he looked back at Eddie.
“What? Oh. Smart chip, under the epidermis. Tags you so our computers can recognize you, in the event that we get the knothole working.”
He said it like it was to be expected. Eddie, however, didn’t like the idea, at all.
“You tellin’ me you jus’ stuck a computer in m’ arm?”
“Isn’t that what I said?”
Eddie thought about that for a minute, trying to remember what the man had said, then doing his best to figure out what it meant.
“I dunno. What’s a ‘pidermis?”
For a second or two, the doctor stared at him, then frowned. He checked the screen on his wrist again, obviously skimming through a file.
“Oh. Yes, Mr. Kaul, I injected a computer into your arm.”
Before Eddie could decide if there was anything he could do about that, the doctor nodded at the guard. The guy tapped Eddie on the shoulder and let him get out of the chair before clamping a hand on his shoulder.
“Take him down to Benwright. The other one’s already there.”
The guard nodded and started back to the elevator, Eddie in tow. Once inside, he hit the last button on the panel, then leaned back against the rail as the doors slid shut. Eddie was quiet for a moment or two, then looked across at him.
“Other one? Dere’s somebody down ‘ere already?”
There was no answer for a second, then the guy opened one eye and ran a half-friendly eye over Eddie.
“Yeah, big guy. Brought him in earlier.”
“Didn’t get a name. Big guy, cold as an iceberg. Acts like he runs the place, with the cuffs as a formality.”
“Yeah, dat’s Vančura. Wot’s goin’ on?”
The guard shrugged, closing his eye again.
“Got no idea. I move you guys around and that’s it. The colonel keeps the project compartmentalized; doesn’t like people knowing things they don’t need to know.”
With a bump, the elevator came to a halt and the doors swished open. The guard grunted and rocked to his feet, pushing Eddie out into the hall. Another set of doors were at the end of the corridor, but these were solid steel and two heavily armed soldiers were posted outside. They stepped aside as the two passed and the door opened automatically.
Eddie snatched a glance over his shoulder, watching the doors swish shut again. They were quiet, but he had a suspicion it would stand anything short of a nuke in the hallway.
“Ah, Mr. Kaul. I see Benwright has decided to play it safe.”
At the sound of Vančura’s voice, Eddie jerked his gaze around. The big man was standing nearby, ignoring the two soldiers guarding him, and watching Benwright fiddle with a computer console. Even in handcuffs, Vančura really did act like he owned the place.
“Wot’s up, Vančura? Dis guy ‘ere couldn’t tell me anyt’ing.”
Eddie’s guard released his grip and saluted to the soldiers guarding Vančura, then headed back to the elevators. The two watched him go, then one of them glared at Eddie.
“You cause any trouble, we shoot you. Just sit there nice and quiet.”
Vančura eyed them with disdain.
“Don’t worry, Kaul. You and I are the most valuable people here. Well, I am, anyway. You aren’t worth much, yet, but I like you. That means they won’t do anything; they do, I quit being so co-operative and Colonel Bozse wouldn’t be happy about that.”
From the computers, Benwright snorted, still tapping away at the keyboard. His opinion of what the colonel wanted was pretty obvious, especially since Eddie had heard the conversation in the examination room.
“All right, Kaul, you’re first.”
A chuckle sounded and he glanced at Vančura. The big man was grinning.
“First through the STAd, Mr. Kaul. They’re going to ram you through the knothole.”
End Chapter 3 – part 2
Go to Chapter 3 – Part 3
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