Division 13: Part 1
- Division 13: Part 1
Stepping Out of the Shadows
Crime will become so rampant by 2050 that most of humanity retreats into virtual reality. Lack of participation in governments grew, and those in power began cracking down to lower crime. This becomes harsher and impedes people’s freedoms. As a result, humanity retreats in increasing numbers. Though some choose to try and prevent the complete loss of freedom, thinking that nowhere will be safe if they don’t do something.
One of them is captured. His name is Patrick, and he’s sitting in a room in an undisclosed location. He thinks it’s an interrogation room since he’s wearing handcuffs attached to a metal table as he wakes up. Patrick hears a doorknob turning behind him, followed by the loudest squeak he has ever heard, making him groan. He turns to see a gentleman in a solid black suit and tie and cheesy secret service-like sunglasses walk stiffly through the door.
“Ah, good you’re awake, Mr. Abdler,” the agent says to him in a dry, emotionless tone.
“If by awake you mean conscious feeling like the side of a mountain fell on my head? Then yes, I’m awake,” Patrick snipes back in a groan, pushing himself upright while keeping an eye on the man.
“Close enough, considering you aren’t even in what you call reality,” the agent replies, thinking he is in complete control, and moves to face Patrick, who somehow still has on jeans, sneakers, and an NWA t-shirt.
“I thought the smell in here was a bit too clean,” Patrick responds sarcastically, staring at his captor as if trying to bore a hole through him.
“A sad side effect, nonetheless, as the cliché goes, we can do this the easy way or the hard way,” the suited man says, trying to let his words intimidate Patrick.
“Let me guess, I either tell you all I know, or I die?” Patrick quirks in a smart-ass tone, rolling his eyes.
“Pretty much. See, the device you are hooked to can disintegrate your head,” the agent explains without flinching.
“So, the rumors are true? You’re throwing out all the rules, including the Geneva Convention, in your mad quest for power?” Patrick pushes, not flinching even with the implied peril he was in.
“Of course, why wouldn’t we? You progressives did a long time ago,” the agent snipped back, keeping an even tone.
“First off, no, we didn’t. We kept wanting to make things better within the rules. Do you have what you need now, Justin?” he retorts, with the agent looking puzzled at his response.
A man in a black suit with red pinstripes, a matching hat, a goatee, and piercing green eyes, steps out of the shadows. The agent’s jaw drops in surprise as he tries to push an unseen button. Meanwhile, the stranger walks over to the table, pulls out a chair, and sits down.
“Yes, that will do, Patrick. You can go whenever you are ready,” the stranger replies.
“He most certainly cannot. He is here until I say he can leave,” the agent replied, hiding that his button had failed to work.
“Oh please, you’re going to try to play that old game of I’m still in control here. You know as well as I do that you aren’t. The difference is I knew before you did,” the stranger replied in a cocky tone.
“What do you mean? This is my agency’s virtual interrogation room, and we put him in from one of our secret prisons.” The agent challenged the uninvited guest.
“Oh, that’s right, I forgot to introduce myself,” he answers. “My name is Justin Tempis. I’m with Division 13 and about to become your worst nightmare.”
“Never heard of it,” the agent spits back, visibly losing his cool.
“No surprise there. It tells me we’re doing our job well. We were created with the Geneva Convention. We only pop up when countries decide to violate it and basic human rights. Unlike other groups, we don’t end up in movies,” Tempis explains.
“That still doesn’t mean you’re in control,” the unnamed agent almost yelled in retort, losing all sense of composure.
“You’re not much in control of yourself. And yes, I am in control here. You see, as soon as you and Patrick entered the system, we took over the virtual and physical reality around Patrick,” Tempis replied.
“But that means this was all a a…?” the stooge agent tried to reason.
“A setup? Yes, it was. Patrick came to us, volunteering to get captured as proof of your violations to get us involved. You and him both know what is at stake in your small part of the world, but he understands the bigger picture, unlike you,” Justin said.
Patrick stands up as Justin is explaining the setup and walks out the door. As it shuts, all he hears is the latch before the lock clicks louder right behind it. Justin stands up at the sound of the door, walks over to the agent, and pulls out a chair for him. The agent sits down, his jaw soundlessly opening and closing.
“Now, what shall we do with you? We could kill you or wipe your memory,” Justin muses tauntingly. “No, see, I want you to remember this so that it will haunt you. You’re also going to take a message to your bosses for us.”
“W-what do you mean a message for my bosses?” the underling finally manages to ask after a few minutes of mouthing the letter w
“Don’t worry. It’s not complicated or hard at all. It’s simply that playtime is over. You can remember that, can’t you?” Tempus asks his guest.
“I-I think so,” the underling managed to stutter.
“Good, then I will be on my way. Oh, and you have 60 seconds from when I leave before this room self-destructs. It’s an old favorite of mine,” Justin replies as he unlocks the door and opens it. As Justin vanishes, the underling scrambles out the door just in time.
Justin ponders whether he should have given him more time as he pulls off his headset. He decides 60 seconds is enough as he begins to write his report. Even though the world is as virtual as it is, there is still paperwork.