Banks, OR

April 21st, 2020

Between the guys in the suits, there are at least six of them that I can count, and the others, whose numbers I can’t even guess at the moment, I’d say that I’m pretty much surrounded. But this is where the narrative of my own story seems fit to change since I don’t intend on being caught any time soon. In fact I’m not sure how the guys in the black cars found me but I’m not going to stand around here and wait to ask. It’s time to utilize the last little skill that the Optimal project unwittingly gave me.

My head’s already hurting figuring out how I can possibly get away, but focusing hard enough isn’t that hard since I’ve done it before. It just takes a thought to activate and….there, got it.

So here’s what we’re going to do. Banks is a pretty small town, there aren’t a lot of roads in or out of the place and it’s one straight shot through the town proper to be honest. I’m betting the government guys know that and have planned for every angle, but there’s not a lot of ways they could plan for what I can do. By the end I know my head’s going to be aching and I’ll feel ready to vomit, but I’ve got to give it a shot. The only downside is that while I might evade the half dozen men coming towards me now I know I won’t be able to avoid the others.

They come in pretty clearly when I perform this trick, and the only reason none of them have seen to date is because I’ve gotten damn good at hiding. But with this many already taking note of me it’s not going to be easy to move about without attracting attention on both sides. But it’s better than being caught and probably used as a lab rat, or just detained for useless questioning for however long that might last.

Looking up I can see that I’m coming up on Depot Street, the same cross street where the old man was killed by the ripple effect, or by the truck that smashed into him depending on how you look at it. There’s not much around and the guys from the cars are closing in, they’re just on the other side of the street now, looking right at me so far as I can tell. Let’s put it this way, their dark, mirrored sunglasses are aimed at me, so it’s a pretty safe assumption that I’m the one they want.

There aren’t a lot of people out on the street today despite the fact that the weather is nice, in Banks there really isn’t a lot to do unless there’s a festival going or if there’s a baseball game in session. The only business close to me is the real estate office that sits to my right, so it’s my only bet. Running across the street to the small car dealership would only get me caught. The others are hanging back so far, as though curious to see what happen. Strangely enough none of them have ever run across my path, not now and not in the past. It’s as though my passing has always afforded me a clearance of some type in their presence.

The guys in the suits aren’t waiting any longer. They’re already making their way across the street, which means it’s time to make my own move. The door to my right, only a couple of paces away, is one of those with a large pane of glass set in the middle. The wooden part of the door is painted a gaudy purplish color, but that’s all I notice as I make my way inside quickly, ignoring the older woman that sits at the front desk as she asks if she can help me.

I flex my will and the world seems to go away for a split second. Standing there I look out the side window to the street. Two of the government goons, I can’t think of a better name at the moment, are headed for the front door, looking in the windows to catch sight of me moving through the office. The woman at the desk is looking around, confused obviously and not quite sure what just happened.

The backs of my eyes throb and the hallway that separates this office from the home that exists in the back of it seems to rush past, three forms hurtling by me, three of the other goons. The last one must have gone around to the back and stayed there to see if I came out. But it’s not them I’m sweating over at this moment, it’s the two individuals that are staring at me from across the short expanse of the front office, unseen by all but me.

One of them, a woman by the looks of her, smiles thinly at me as her eyes narrow in a predatory fashion. I want to scream, but I don’t dare.

(to be continued)


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