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The man was holding a tablet in his hands. He was irritated. To those who knew the man, this would illicit genuine fear. He sent a quick text message.
The website for the small rural newspaper had the headline "Lake Monster Kills Local Swimmer!!!" The phone rang a few seconds later. The paper was tossed aside.
"Davis? I suggest you explain yourself.
We hear a muffled voice speaking rapidly out of the handset.
"Quiet.", he waited for silence, "I want you to understand how disappointed I am...
We hear pleading.
"No I wanted this to happen on our timetable. Involvement in local affairs is not part of the mission parameters. Furthermore I went through some inconvenience," he loosened his tie and collar button, "to create a substantive distraction for the authories."
"Shut up. You took action and exposed yourself, you must face the consequences. So today, no communication."
"Oh, I will allow you to monitor her status. This will make the lesson more poignant."
"Would you prefer, she suffer for your decision?"
"Continue with the next stage of the search when opportunity presents. Remember Davis, the situation for her can become much worse. I trust I am understood?
"Good. I will expect to hear from you when you are ready." he turned to look at the woman shackled to the wall of one of his remote sites. A word of assurance would be required, "Stick to the timetable Davis and you will be reunited.". The man hang up the phone.
He reached over to pick up a sketch book of a stack of face towels. On it is was a detailed drawing of a rowboat under a full moon. An excited young men is pointing as a second holds on to a steeply bent rod, appearing at the waters surface is a malevolent looking reptilian foot. Behind them, a large clawed hand is reaching over the gunnel.
The man quietly chuckled to himself and tossed the picture onto the tablet, the headline still visible. Everything would ultimately come to its logical conclusion. He would deal with whatever came along.
He opened the bag he'd carried in and withdrew the two guns appropriated from the former gentlemen. He cleared each weapon, wiped them with a face cloth and wrapped them. He stepped over to the credenza and place the weapons in a drawer.
Then sat in the chair and tapped on his laptop. In the corner of the laptop screen appeared a different angle behind the female captive. It showed a monitor on the floor in front of her
He tapped an icon and a request box opened. He began to type.
The woman in white sat on the floor back to a wall, chain around one ankle. She was fixated between a clock on the wall and then at a small screen in front of her.
The screen lit up and for a moment and her expression changed to joyful relief but that evaporated as she read. Her head dropped and her shoulders shook. There was no audio but you could see the word no coming out of her mouth in a tearful mantra.
The message on the monitor read: "Due to misbehavior by your partner, todays communication has been cancelled.'
The man clicked on another screen. This time it was a lab.
Amongst a cluttered desk with microchips, circuit boards and servos, ther was small tablet, it showed the actions of the woman in the cell. From this screen we hear sobbing coming from a figure with his face in his palms. "Sorry baby, I'm so sorry..." he is saying barely above a whisper. Once again the man smiled.
Feelings. They were such a useful tool for control.