Game: The Secret World
Miri was shaking.
She tried to hide the fact as she walked, forcing her movements to be slow and languid. But there was no mistaking the cold sweat that had broken out over her body. This had been her first meeting with Tenji "Hedoro" Mizushi in how many years and nothing had gone as planned. She had thought -no, hoped- that whatever had been between them had been long buried with time. But seeing him... Hearing him speak. The old memories had come rushing back. Disappointing, really. She'd taken meticulous steps to ensure she wasn't the same naive fool he had once known. So, why did it now that all felt like it was for nothing?
"Sibley. You did well."
Miri paused at hearing the man's voice in her ear. Lorton Karis, her so-called 'boss.' Reaching up, she pressed two fingers against the transmitter.
"I'm glad you think so." She kept her voice low. "However, we didn't get much of a reaction. I'm telling you, he is not the type to care about this sort of thing."
"Maybe. It doesn't really matter. Either way, we will still get what we want." Lorton replied. "Head here now, alright? Bring the file with you."
She didn't respond. Her hand fell away from her ear and she continued walking. She debated hailing a cab, but she was in no rush to get back to Lorton and his new 'project.' Miri still regretted suggesting it, but there was nothing she could do now. Once he got started, there was no stopping him. She'd have to see this through to the end.
They were staying in an apartment on the east side of the city. A well to-do neighborhood where the people were too obsessed with their own lives to care about anyone else. Upon entry into the apartment, guests were greeted by a lavish setup. Expensive furniture, high art, the whole works. No one would ever guess that they were keeping an 18 year old girl in the backroom, drugged and chained.
It took Miri twenty minutes to make it there. She dropped her keys on the small table near the door and looked around the room. Classical music was playing on the stereo, the light sounds of a piano washing over the room. An empty carafe sat on the counter next to a glass. Faintly, Lorton's voice could be heard in the distance. Miri sighed, steeling herself. Her gaze fell longingly on the carafe. How she wished it wasn't empty.
She went over to a nearby desk and reached into the top drawer. Her hand emerged with a thick manila folder. Lorton's voice continued and she followed it down the hall and to the locked door at the very end. She knocked once and waited. There was a slight click. Miri opened it and slid in.
Compared to the other rooms of the apartment, this room was barren. A cot rested in the corner, next to a cheap nightstand. There was only one light, the windows blocked. A bathroom was connected to it though. The only luxury, if one could even call it that. Lorton and the girl, Twyce, were in the middle of the room. He standing in front of her. She was sitting on folding chair, her wrists and ankles tied.
Miri took in the girl quickly. She looked like the hell. The past month of being constantly injected with tranquilizers and lack of proper food taking effect. Dark circles smudged under her eyes, hollowed cheeks, her hair was matted and stringy. It made Miri cringe.
"Ah, Sibley. Welcome." Lorton nodded at her, looking impeccable as always. He was dressed in a thick dark turtleneck and black slacks. His sandy colored hair swept back. He was tall and imposing, even over most men.
Miri didn't respond and instead shifted uncomfortably. She didn't want to be in here. He knew she hated being in here. He didn't care though, said it helped instill fear.
Twyce was unmoving, her head lowered, staring at the ground. Finished with his brief greeting, Lorton continued on with his interrogation.
"Listen," He knelt down, trying to meet her gaze. "Why don't you make this easy on yourself? Just tell us what you know, and you go free. It's simple."
No answer. Lorton began pacing. "I don't understand why you are being so stubborn. Why protect him? Why protect any of it? Do you think you are being noble by doing so?"
Still no response. He sighed in disgust and reached his hand out towards Miri. She handed him the folder. Flipping it open he stared at the first sheet and made a clucking noise with his tongue.
"Such a disturbed girl. Put in an institute at 10, tried to commit suicide at 13, stole money from your parents at 16, been on the run ever since. Should have kept moving Twyce, I'm sure even you realize getting comfortable was a mistake. Might have saved yourself all this." He stared at her. "But it's too late, you fell in with the wrong crowd."
He shut the folder and handed it back to Miri. "We know about the murders. The woman in the grocery store, the man at the bar. We know about them all. You think, just because you are initiated, you're safe?"
He paused again, waiting for a response. Miri silently urged her to make some sort of acknowledgement. Lorton had a notoriously short fuse, and it was only a matter of time before it ran out. But Twyce barely moved, the only indication she was even awake was the slow blinking of her eyes.
"We can make all those marks go away though. We can give you a nice normal life." Once again, he dropped to his knees. "Just tell us what we want to know and all this stops. You don't want us to hurt you, do you?"
To Miri's horrified surprise, Twyce laughed. She lifted up her head, meeting Lorton's eyes. "You think I'm scared of you... Of this? Please. Sure the bed is uncomfortable, but I get to sleep all day. No jobs, no chores. Compared to living with Tenji, this is a vacation. Save your weak threats for someone who cares."
Lorton's jaw clenched, but he smiled, giving a slight nod.
Then he slapped her. The back of his hand connecting hard and fast with her cheek. Her head snapped to the side, glasses skittering across the floor, landing at Miri's feet. Miri averted her gaze, cringing. Stupid girl. Keep your mouth shut.
Breathing heavily, Lorton grabbed Twyce's chin and yanked it to face him again. Her lip had been split open, blood dribbling down onto her skin and his fingers, but he didn't move.
"A vacation, huh? Well, I guess we will have to change that now, won't we?" He ran his thumb over the blood, smearing it across her chin and lips. "Find out what makes you tick."
Her eyes narrowed. "Fuck you."
It was his turn to laugh. He did so while standing up, his hand still on her face.
"Maybe." His finger traced the bruise that was forming on her cheek. "We will see."
Releasing her, Lorton turned to Miri, nodding. "Let's go."
She turned to move, but paused and bent over scooping up Twyce's glasses. Pulling open the door, she waited for Lorton to follow. His threat had made her stomach turn. She knew he was ruthless, but...
"Oh and Twyce?" His voice interrupted her thoughts. She looked back to see him paused in the doorway.
Twyce didn't look over, she back to staring down into her lap.
"Don't think you are the victim here." He said, his tone cold. "You're a murderer, plain and simple. You aren't good, you don't deserve mercy. You're worse than the monsters we fight against every day. You know why? Because you have free will, and they don't. You choose this path, and now it's time to pay the price. Remember that."
He didn't wait for a reply, pushing past Miri, he let the door shut. A loud click sounding as it locked behind him.