Chapter 64: Father

Dreamer: Out of town.

Brainwave: Dead 3 months.

Psyren: In hiding.

Hospitalized.

On sabbatical.

In another dimension.

In space.

Dead.

Dead.

Dead.

Trapped in the past.

Dead.

Will’s list of tel’s was growing very short very fast.

He still had most of his old contacts, but they were old guard. Tel’s had a habit of dying and being replaced unusually often.

Will looked over his mental list again. There were still a few names he hadn’t crossed off yet, but he didn’t hold much hope for the ones he had left. They barely topped Aidos in power, and one of them slept in airplanes more than in his own home.

He looked at his phone. It had been three hours already, and he had no way of knowing how much time Mach had left before her power would baste her brain in its own drippings. His nostrils flared and his eyes narrowed when he pressed the unnamed contact near the top of the list.

The man on the other side of the phone was personally responsible for the actions of well over nine hundred powered and non-powered persons in the country, and nearly 5 times that number spread through the rest of the world. Each one of them was ready to receive his orders and follow them without hesitation.

Almost 40 years earlier, he had been responsible for spreading propaganda and discouraging anti-war protests throughout the entire country. His powers were unrivalled in range, and when focused on a single mind he could plant entire languages into the subconscious. He was simultaneously one of the most powerful and most valuable assets to the United Nations. To most of the very few people that knew of his existence, he was a figure of shadows that controlled the world with strings of thought. They called him The Memetic.

Will’s father answered on the second ring.

“Will.”

“Warren.” Will’s voice was flat and quiet. The air in his lungs escaped slowly as the pressure built within them.

“Are you actually calling me for the second time in as many days? At this rate we may actually have talked for an entire hour before the year’s over. But right now, you have five minutes.”

“I need your help.”

“Of course you do. What is it this time? Did another of my agents go rogue and decide to play vigilante? Or maybe you need to pull a child out of another dimension, and you need my help to figure out which one. Or perhaps you finally want to work through those suppressed feelings of abandonment.”

Will held his tongue. This was just another one of the games he played. The man never experienced more joy than when he drove others to lose control. If he could do it without his powers then even better. Will didn’t know if his father could turn this side of him off, but he knew that it would never be for his sake.

“Go on, boy. I can’t do anything if you aren’t gonna open your mouth and tell me what you need.”

“I need a tel. One that can help suppress another’s subconscious power flow.”

“For a moment I thought you wanted me to help you myself.” If Will heard a touch of sorrow in his father’s voice, then it was gone before the sentence had ended. “Tell me then, why would I waste one of my asset’s time away from missions that could actually save our country, just to save the mind of some tel who I can assume is one of your little misfits? What’s in it for me?”

Will’s grip on the phone tightened. His father never gave aid easily, and as far as Will knew, his mother was the only one who had ever received a free favor.

“I’m waiting, Will. Surely you called me with something in mind. I know I didn’t teach you to jump into a decision like this without a solid plan in mind.”

“One day.”

“Oh?”

Will took a deep breath. “So long as I don’t have to fight, injure, or abandon anyone in need, I will give you one day where I will use my powers for you.”

“Two days.”

“No,” Will spoke quickly. The haggling was just another trap. His father wouldn’t make deals with people who didn’t understand the vaule of what they offered. If he let his guard down, his father would never accept no matter how much he offered. “One day, including travel. That’s my offer.”

“Hm.” Will could hear his father’s smirk through the phone. “Very well. I will lend you an agent for 4 hours. She will be more than capable of helping your young friend to keep her head. She will meet you at the hospital and you will give her whatever aid she deems necessary. And if she says it’s hopeless, the deal is still on.”

“Fine.”

A strange sense of satisfaction rolled through Will, and he fought the urge to puke. Half the country probably had the same feeling, and he had an immediate sense of living too close to his father.

“I will be holding your ‘one day’ in reserve for the foreseeable future, but do try to keep your schedule open. I would hate to interrupt something important.” His father paused, and Will knew he was checking his watch. “Do call again Will, I so do miss our little chats. And please, tell your mother that she’s still welcome to visit any time she pleases.”

Warren Writer hung up the phone.

Will stared at his own phone with heated eyes and fought the urge to crush it. All at once, the pressure in his chest lessened and a deep sigh emerged from his lungs.

It had been one of the most pleasant conversations he’d had with his father in almost a decade. At the rate their relationship was progressing, Will might be sorry at his father’s funeral.

If he lived a very long life.

Will pocketed his phone and quickly moved towards the hospital. The longer he took, the less time the tel would have to fix Mach.

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