Chapter 13: Comeuppance – part 8
They either stared at him or wouldn’t look at him at all. One or the other. It made Shane want to scream, but of course he couldn’t. That mulatto bitch wouldn’t let him. How had everything gone so wrong?
Shane watched the girl and her dweeb of a brother from the back of the let’s-make-pretend-we’re-scientists lab. They puttered around, half-talking and presumably half-thinking at each other. Compared to earlier they were being generous. After a trip to Addison’s bathroom–teleported by Princess Bitch, of course–they’d given him a set of clean scrubs to wear, then a meager meal of a protein bar and water. He’d devoured it in his seat in a fiberglass chair in the corner of the lab. Shane had no idea how long it had been since he’d been captured, but he’d been ravenous.
Now he was just hungry, bored, and angry. Livid, really, because of what they’d done to his mind. As much as he wanted to kill the brats, he couldn’t think about it for long. As soon as his eyes locked on a potential weapon, the thought slipped away. The same thing happened with plans to escape. They evaporated, leaving him hateful and impotent.
The brats glanced at each other, then moved to one side of the room. Light flashed just in front of the closed door, and Harris and the freak who looked like him appeared. Shane started to snarl at them, then noticed how drawn his twin looked. He tried to hide it, but Shane noticed how he leaned on Addison for support. Satisfaction and jealousy warred inside him.
“Dad!” the brats chirped, like they’d been watching too much “Leave It to Beaver.” The 98-pound nerdling bounded up to Shane’s double. “How’re you feeling, Dad?”
“Tired. Antsy.” He gave the kids a chagrined smile. “Grateful. Thank you.” The boy threw his arms around the man, who winced. “Ow.”
“Sorry.” Nerdling exchanged a look with Princess Bitch. “We could get some more blood for another transfusion.”
“Yeah. Would that help?”
The impostor shook his head. “No, but thanks. I’m worn out from the shock of it all, and healing.” He tilted his head to show pink skin covering the gash across his neck.
Shane grinned, remembering the beautiful arc of blood he’d loosed with the scalpel. The thought and his smile slipped away.
Addison’s dark eyes searched the room. “Where is she?” Then she saw him and shivered, the ungrateful bitch. The others turned and stared, too. Shane glared back. He wasn’t allowed to do much else.
His twin’s face flushed with anger, then smoothed to a neutral mask. “H– she’s not tied?”
“No need,” Princess replied. “She needs my permission to do anything but blink.”
Addison turned a warm smile on her daughter. “Good work, moppet.” The smile on Princess Bitch’s face made Shane want to gag.
Shane’s double hadn’t stopped staring at him. He took a few steps forward, then stopped to lean against a lab bench. Nerdling rushed up to him, ducking under his arm. “You should sit down.”
The man nodded reluctantly, letting the boy guide him to a stool. Then he nodded in Shane’s direction. “Get her a notepad and pen. I want to know how she changed her appearance. Every detail, before we question her.”
Moments later the kid shoved paper and a pen in Shane’s face. “I know you heard him,” the kid said, his voice cool and flat like his father’s. “Explain how you changed your body. Write out successful trials only. Don’t stop until you’ve finished. Nod if you understand.”
Although Shane wanted to wrap his hands around the kid’s throat and squeeze, he nodded and grabbed for the pen and notepad instead. His mind focused on his assignment, blocking everything else out.
Shane finished with two pages to spare, the muscles in his hand aching, and really needing to pee. He looked up to find that someone else had joined the band of freaks: Captain MacKenzie. Shane smirked. Surely MacKenzie was under Gibson’s thumb. He wondered when Gibson’s trap would spring shut. Soon, he hoped.
“–isn’t a problem,” Shane’s twin said. “Jake and I can have the prototype ready in a week.” The little brat nodded confidently. “It’s embedding the psychic suggestion. I don’t know if that’s even possible.”
MacKenzie nodded. “Let’s try. Then we can test to see if it works.”
Addison smiled at the Scot. “Are you sure you’re not a scientist?”
“Quite,” he grinned back.
Princess Bitch, who sat on a lab stool beside her brother, leaned forward. “Hold on. Won’t psychics be able to detect the suggestion carried by the virus?”
The adults exchanged looks. “Maybe,” the impostor said.
“We can test for that, too,” Nerdling grinned.
“Okay,” Princess agreed. “If it can be detected, I may be able to cast a spell to hide it.”
More collective nods. Shane prayed that Gibson swooped in on them soon so he didn’t have to hear any more of their pathetic scheming.
MacKenzie sat up straight, noticing Shane watching them. Frowning, he commented, “H– she does look just like you, Myers.”
“Yeah, I noticed,” not-Myers drawled.
“She said she can look like anyone?” Something in the Scot’s voice made Shane shiver.
“She did,” Addison confirmed.
MacKenzie turned back to his co-conspirators. “Don’t kill her.”
The captain smiled slyly. “She’s the best chance we have to pull this off.”