Toxic Vol. 1 Susceptible States Part 18

Weeks pass and still DeMarcus is held. The tests continue every day. Every time his powers are a little less effective than the day before. People start resisting, being able to over time fight their limbs free. Despite this the forces holding him make no move to release him. If anything the tests are increasing in frequency.

One day he’s led into the same room where he first met with Sean, first learned why he was here and what they wanted from him. Thing’s have changed though. Security has gotten a lot more lax. He’s not handcuffed. His legs are free. They know he can’t go anywhere even if he ran and he’s made no move to remove his gag. He knows that’s only allowed in the bright room.

Sitting alone in a dark room still gets old after awhile. He’d rather spend his free time in the room they’ve given him. It’s really a cell but it’s a nice cell and the bed’s not uncomfortable. He’s bored there but they’ve given him a stack of books and they help pass the time.

The door opens and light floods the room. He’s tempted to turn around and see who they’ve sent but he knows that could lead to punishment. His books might be taken away. Instead he’ll continue staring straight ahead. He isn’t surprised when Sean’s the one to step around the table, seemingly in a good mood today. He doesn’t have to explain their process at this point. He absent mindedly drops the notebook and pencil on the table.

“I hope you’re feeling well. I understand you had steak for dinner last night.”

He nods. They’ve let him start requesting the meals he wants. The more he cooperates, the easier this is. “It was good.” It’s not a lie. The food was good. Eating’s the only other time the gag comes out. It isn’t easy to enjoy a meal though when there’s two armed men standing outside your room, barely trying to hide that they’ll kill you if you start to say a word.

“Glad to hear it. I’ve eaten at the place they ordered from and it’s excellent. Wish I was here to discuss your meal but I’ve got an offer to make you and I hope you think it’s interesting. I’d like to offer you a job. If we’re going to do it, we need to do it now. The tests we’ve been doing show your powers are weakening. That’s good news for you going home eventually but there is a matter of national security that I think you’re uniquely situated to assist us with. We’ll need your powers so the sooner the better. Are you interested?”

Staring at the older man, he considers the offer which he’s pretty sure isn’t actually an offer. “Do I have a choice?” he writes.

“You actually do. I’d love to draft you into it but with your powers, if you aren’t interested, there’s a good chance you’d just slip away anyway. We’re not going to count on you if you don’t want to do it. I can tell you though that you’d be doing your country a great service.”

“Can you tell me about the mission?”

“I’m afraid not. I’d love to, but like I said, it’s a matter of national security. I can tell you if you’re in but short of that, we have to keep this quiet.”

They really want to ask him to take on a mission for the government while knowing nothing about it after how they’ve treated him? “Is it dangerous?”

Sean nods. “It is, but it would help keep a lot of people safe. If you don’t do it, we don’t have anyone else I believe can handle it. Not without a lot of good people potentially getting hurt at least. Maybe if we still had agents like Red Line back in the day but after how that ended, there was a lot of public pressure to stop creating powered soldiers and agents. Too much room for something to go wrong.”

Closing his eyes, DeMarcus tries to clear his head. He’s not opposed to helping his country. He cares about people and likes protecting them. Risking everything to do just that’s what got him here though. It’s why he’s not safe at the moment. Then he pictures Jesse. He must think terrible things about him but if he can get out of here, maybe he can explain. Maybe there’s still a way to win him back. After everything he’s gone through with this, after everything he knows Jesse’s gone through, can he risk their future together?

“If it’s all the same to you, I’ll pass. I just want to go home.”

He stares at Sean as he passes the paper to him. The man reads it, then looks up at him, no emotion visible behind those glasses. “I understand how you’re feeling. I’d like you to think on it, even if you don’t think you’ll change your mind. If this is what you decide though, I’ll respect it. You can’t go home yet but we’ll keep running tests and once we figure out what these chemicals have done to you, or once they’ve worn off most of the way, we’ll get you out of here.”

There’s no attempt to slide the paper back across the table. Sean’s seemingly no longer interested in anything he has to say. He gives him a nod as he walks out of the room and DeMarcus makes sure to keep his eyes pointed ahead, never looking back to watch which way the man goes. Soon he hears the door shut and he breathes easy. A few minutes later a guard shows up to return him to his room.

Part 17

Part 19

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