The man pulled the mask off and dropped it on the floor. I looked up, expecting to see his face, but it was yet another mask. It was black and looked loosely like a face, but still no holes for eyes like the other. The man stood in silence for a moment before breaking into laughter.
“You thought I was actually going to show you who I was? Ha!” he laughed. “You should’ve seen your face!”
He picked up the other mask from the floor, finally composing himself.
“Okay, now that the fun is over, let’s get to the more important matters,” the man said, stepping closer. “Where is the catalyst?”
I tried to speak, but only muffled sounds came through the gag in my mouth.
“Oh, that’s right. Can’t talk if you can’t use your mouth.” He removed the gag and stepped back.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about! What catalyst? I’m just a college stude—”
The man’s gloved fist quickly slammed into my face, breaking the bolts screwed to the floor and tipping the chair backward. He reached down and flung the chair upright, crimson blood leaked from my nose.
“I don’t tolerate liars, Mr. Broderick,” he said flatly. “Just tell me the location of the catalyst and I’ll let you go.”
I’ve seen something like this before, in the movies. If I tell him, he’ll kill me, and if I don’t, he’ll do the same.
“I told you, I don’t know what this catalyst is. Please, just let me go,” I pleaded, my head spinning and eyes watering.
“You know what, that’s okay. My intimidating visage has been known to cause people to forget things.” He folded his arms. “The catalyst, can create and clone super soldiers, create and cure biblical diseases, and it has the ability to decode and hack any technological device both now and in the future. Ringing any bells?”
I shook my head no, trying my best not to lose my mind.
The man dropped his arms, he bent downward and touched my forehead with his finger. “The mind is a peculiar place. Sometimes it discards information, no matter how important, for many reasons. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to remember, other times it’s because we aren’t allowed to.”
“What are you saying? Please just let me go!” I pleaded, suddenly thinking of all the petty things that I did in my youth.
“Why do the fresh ones always insist on being so difficult?” He dropped his arm and stood. “I’ll just leave you to your own devices. Hopefully the solitude will jog your memory.”
He turned and left for the door, silently singing to himself, “…and whisper in the wells of silence…” as he exited the room.
And in fact it was silence, throughout the entirety of the small, dark room my only company for what felt like several hours was that of my heavy breathing. But then a new sound came about. A faint buzzing, growing closer until I could distinctly hear the sound of helicopter blades spinning outside.
The chilling sound of a minigun echoed, followed by explosions and machine gun fire, they grew nearer to my room. Sounding like it was immediately outside, I mistakenly turned my head to look, and was hit by a bright flash as well as several chunks of debris. The force catapulted me into the wall, the impact nearly knocking me unconscious.
My ears rang, and I looked through blurred vision to see the helicopter floating outside, whitewashed in the intense sunlight. I saw hazy silhouettes jump off the helicopter and scanned the room with guns. They quickly cut me free and put both of my arms around their shoulders, carrying me to the chopper.
The door burst open and the man stepped through, his gaze landed on the soldiers that carried me and swiftly made his way to them. The soldiers nodded to each other and one leg go to fight the man while the other threw me aboard and jump on.
The soldier blocked a punch from the man and returned one of his own, knocking him to the ground. The soldier ran and jumped aboard, a gunshot cracked the air and the soldier fell short. The other soldier that helped me aboard grabbed their hand, holding them above the ocean thousands of feet below.
The soldier’s grip loosened as blood soaked through the front of his mask. He let go, and dropped into the blue waters below.
“No!” The soldier aboard the helicopter screamed.
The man fired another shot that hit the soldier bicep. She screamed in pain, closing the helicopter door as it flew away. The last thing I saw was the woman soldier hovering over me.
“Alright Sergeant, let’s get you home.”