Detained
rating: +69+x

Agent Green walked down the street, a Styrofoam cup of tea in one hand and a glowing cigarette in the other. Endless crowds of people flowed around him, occasionally bumping his arms or legs. Green moved to the right, turning down a secluded alleyway. Go straight, go straight, turn left, go straight, turn right, turn right, turn left, go straight, turn left…

Agent Green found himself in front of Safehouse-53.

Safehouse-53, from the outside, appeared to be an abandoned tailor shop. The storefront windows showed a small room, dust coating mannequins wearing antiquated dresses and suits. Green sipped his tea and walked to the wooden door, rapping on it and hearing his impact echo. He heard a shout from inside, gradually louder footsteps, and then Agent Tangerine swung the door open from the inside. Tangerine was standing two steps down, wearing a blue and orange Hawaiian shirt; the door did not, in fact, lead into the abandoned tailor shop, but into a basement level below.

"Gotta give up the smokes, Green."

"Nothing keeps you warmer. And let's face it, something else is going to kill me before these do."

Tangerine shrugged half-heartedly, walking back down the stairwell; Green downed the last of his tea, threw his cup to the ground outside, clenched his cigarette in his jaw, then walked down just behind.

"How long have you been here?"

"Got here about ten minutes ago. They wipe you too?"

"Yup. I've got nothing after the horn went off."

"Same here. On the downside, no idea what happened last night. Upside, whatever it was, we grabbed some Artists to talk to."

"How many?"

"Eight all up, but three of them I know; you can take the other five."

"Sounds good. Standard truth serums?"

"Unfortunately not. We're all out of Class B hypnotics here; I'm pulling some more this afternoon."

"Ah. Back to the classics until then?"

"Yup. Just like old times."

Tangerine reached the end of the steps, leading Green into a dimly-lit, steel-lined room. A computer and printer sat in a far corner, a small gun cabinet stood to the left, and a door on the right led into a row of holding cells. Tangerine sat down at the computer, tapped some keys, and started printing off the first file.

"First up, The Builder. Part of The Critic's lot. He was the one making that big white marble thing."

"Do we know why?"

Tangerine shuffled the paper into a manila folder, passing it to Green, who leafed through the contents briefly.

"You ask him, he's in Cell 3."

"Restrained?"

Tangerine slapped his head mockingly.

"No, I completely forgot to do that. Of course he's restrained, go get him."

Green shook his head dismissively, entering the corridor of cells. One, two… three. Green pulled his ID card from his pocket, swiped it through the reader, and heard the buzz and click of the opening electronic lock. He opened the door and walked through. A short, brown-haired man sat with every limb chained to the steel seat beneath him. He was snoring softly, head hanging limp against his chest. Green slammed the door shut as loudly as he could, waking The Builder with a start.

"AH!"

"NAME! NOW!"

"BOB! Bob Utzon! Who the fuck are… fuck. Oh, goddamnit, you weren't supposed to know that."

Agent Green took out a pen and wrote 'BOB UTZON' on the cover of the manila folder, then sat in the seat opposite The Builder. Green placed the folder on the desk, plucked the cigarette from his mouth, and exhaled deeply into The Builder's face, who sputtered at the unexpected wave of smoke. Green grinned; it was cliche, but breathing into someone's face was effective. He was utterly dominating this little artist.

"Nice to meet you, Bob."

"Fuck you, I'm not saying shit."

"Oh, I think you will. Just breathed hypnotics into your face."

The Builder blanched; he had bought the lie.

"Fuck, man! I've got rights!"

"Ha! No, Bob, no you don't. You don't have rights, you don't get a call, or a lawyer, or any of that. If I want to, I can leave you here to rot until the day you die, and nobody will come to save you. You don't exist. You get me?"

The Builder remained silent.

"Now, Bob, the last thing you remember is a big honking sound, right?"

The Builder remained silent, the sides of his mouth betraying his fear.

"Bob. Listen. You can tell me this now, or we can just wait until the muscle relaxant kicks in. But if we wait until then, maybe your body goes limp, or your jaw goes numb, or you bite your tongue off. And then I'll have to listen to you talk while blood's pouring out of your mouth, I might mishear you, it just makes it awkward. I'll get it out of you sooner or later, so you can save yourself the trouble, maybe save some dignity too, if you just answer my questions now. Got it?"

The Builder remained silent, motionless for a few seconds, then nodded wordlessly. Green internally celebrated his triumph; the waves of bravado and bullshitting had worked faster than he expected.

"Excellent. Question number one: big marble building last night. Why?"

"Artistic domination. Contain the other artists' pieces within a makeshift museum of my own design."

"We've destroyed your piece. Is it anomalous in any other way?"

The Builder sneered at the demolition of his work, but contained his anger.

"It shouldn't be, no. It's harmless."

"Fantastic. Next up: current location of The Critic."

"No idea. He messages us when there's a meeting; if you could give me my phone, I could…"

Agent Green scowled at The Builder.

"Don't play games with me, Bob."

The Builder remained silent.

"Next question: who's The Snipper?"

"Oh, that nutjob. No idea what his name is, got a body horror fetish or something. Doesn't do much for me, but hell, whatever gets his rocks off is his business."

"Where is he?"

"No fucking clue. Wasn't going to be turning up last night."

"Alright. Last question for now: what do you know about Ruiz Duchamp?"

The Builder scoffed.

"He's a fucking hack. Mailed a bunch of us some stupid bullshit. Really annoyed Tim - 'The Sculptor', I mean."

"Location?"

"If we knew that, he'd be dead."

Green stood up and walked to the door.

"So, hey, agent guy, when do I get out of here?"

Green slid his ID through the slot, a beep releasing the lock.

"Hey. HEY! AGENT GUY, I'M TALKING TO-"

Green closed the door behind him, blocking all sound from behind.


Joey Tamlin awoke to find he had been chained to a metal chair.

"Fuck."

He attempted to move himself; the chair was screwed into the floor.

"Fuuuuuuuuck."

He attempted to loosen the chains. Each time he thought he was free, they pulled into his flesh even more.

"Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-"

Joey stopped and looked up at the opening door, noticing a familiar hawaiian shirt. Agent Tangerine sat down opposite Joey, his face utterly neutral.

"Hey Tan."

Agent Tangerine remained silent.

"You want to help me out of these?"

Agent Tangerine remained silent.

"Come on, man, don't be a dick about it. You're a man in black, that's fine. Wasn't expecting it, but that's okay. I know how this works, you'll ask me a few questions, I give you a few answers, then a quick little pinprick and I forget this ever happened. I'm not in any position to do something about it. Ask me your questions, and we can both get out of here, and you and I can get back to making shitty art. You're with them, and I get that, that's fine, that's okay. But Tan, you're with us too. You make good stuff. You make stuff that looks good, you make stuff that makes people think. You're cool. You're one of us, Tan, you're part of our family no matter what, okay? We're brothers, man!"

Joey couldn't stop himself from shedding some tears. He felt a little betrayed, but that didn't matter. He just needed to loosen his bindings a little more, get on Tangerine's good side, just figure out some way to-

"This is the eighteenth time you've given me that spiel."

Joey looked up, confused. Tangerine looked straight ahead, devoid of all emotion.

"You always tell it the exact same way. The first time, you want to know what I did? Stupid, naive, trusting, young me? I untied you, we talked, and then you tried to beat me up. It didn't work, of course; I'm a trained agent, you're just an artist. I subdued you that time, and then we wiped you, and you went back and everything was back to normal. Then, later, you found a message in my phone that you shouldn't have. We pulled you in, you gave the same speech, that time I didn't release you. We had a discussion, but then you'd somehow loosened the chains, and just as I was leaving, you tried to grab me from behind. I'd already fought you once, and you didn't remember the first time, so I had even more of an advantage. So that was the second time. After that we tightened the chains, and you didn't get out again. The third was after you and Overgang shot up some infohazardous fireworks. The fourth was when you started organising a raid on a Foundation site, so we put a stop to that. The fifth was… hell, I don't even remember. You've been in and out of here so many times, we ought to install a revolving door."

Joey struggled against his restraints.

"YOU STUPID FUCKING-"

"The seventeenth time was when your sister died."

Joey stopped.

"But I don't have… a sister."

Tangerine stared intensely down at his legs, no longer able to keep eye contact with Joey.

"Jessie Tamlin. Three years younger than you, apple of your eye, loved her more than you loved yourself. Beautiful, fun, brightened the day of anyone she met. She'd come along to exhibitions, she'd sit with all of us and hang out; she was living with you, even, before Molly moved in with you. And then she did something incredibly, incredibly stupid. She was working on something for you, something to say thanks for always being there, and then she messed up. She couldn't exploit the way that you can, Joey, she couldn't concentrate right. She lost control of the thing, and whatever it was, it made a hell of a bang. Best guess was that she was making fireworks."

Tangerine dropped tears into his lap.

"She died, Joey. Jessie died, and you weren't the same. You started drinking all the time, you'd do LSD with every meal, you buried yourself in the most complete escapism you could. And then you tried to kill yourself, and I realised you weren't going to get any better. But you're right, Joey. I'm with the men in black, but no matter what, we're family. We're close as brothers. We're friends. I asked you, dazed and drugged as you were, why you were doing all of it. You said you were doing it to forget. You needed to forget."

Tangerine looked up, face still as neutral as he could keep it, tears still pouring down his cheeks. Joey noticed his own eyes had begun to leak.

"So I helped."


Agent Green waited outside the cell as Tangerine left, still wiping the tears from his eyes. Green patted the back of his long-time friend.

"Don't worry. By the time we're done, he won't remember any of it."

"He said he forgives me."

"That's good, Tan, that's good. Hell, I saw you drag him in last time. He'd be dead if you hadn't done it. You did the right thing."

"Still. I'm fraternising with the enemy."

"Fraternise long enough, they're not your enemies any more. Nothing on Duchamp, or this Snipper guy?"

"Nah, he… he knew as much as I did."

"That's fine. We had to make sure anyway. Go on, Tan, I've got the next two, already got their files here."

Tangerine looked up at Green, frowning.

"Wait, you're not going to…"

"Hey, we can't afford to wait until we get those drugs in. What these guys know might be useless in a few hours' time. May as well go two for one; already put them in the same room. Keep an eye on the cameras for me, right?"

"Right."

Agent Green walked down the corridor as Tangerine returned to the main room. Six, seven… eight. Green pulled his ID card from his pocket, swiped it through the reader, and heard the buzz and click of the opening electronic lock. He opened the door and walked through. The two girls in the room sat strapped to their seats facing the door. Green let it slowly close itself behind him. Both of them were sternly staring at him.

"Ladies."

Green took the wooden seat across from them, placing their files onto the table.

"First question. What are your names?"

The girls continued to stare, lips closed tightly.

"Really, I only asked that as a courtesy. Your names are, as we all know, Annie Cline and Candice Brahms. You play in the band… 'Futanari Titwhore Fiasco'. I'm still not sure if I'm pronouncing that first word correctly, no idea what it means. Just another reference I'm not getting, I suppose."

They remained silent.

"Next question: did you create those duplicates of yourselves?"

"Let them go!"

Candice looked over to Annie, frowning at the outburst. Her own lips remained closed.

"We can't let them go."

"You have to!"

"Allow me to clarify; we can't let them go because we don't have them detained. We're not certain where they are."

"Oh. Good!"

Annie looked to Candice while grinning, then realised what she had done. Annie shut her mouth as her face turned a bright red.

"Ladies, we're willing to let a lot of things slide. Honestly, having weird copies of yourself running around is the least of our worries. Don't make loads of them, keep it to yourself, pretend you're twins or something, and we aren't going to have any problems. So, were you the ones who made them?"

They remained silent. Green massaged his temples, feigning exasperation. He had them exactly where he wanted them. The outburst had proved they had compassion. Compassion can be used. Compassionate people can be reasoned with. Green had his battle plan.

"Listen, ladies, we need to get something straight. You've likely heard a lot of stories about 'The Man' and what we'll do to you if we catch you. Most of the stories are nonsense, intended to make Artists like you hate us all the more. We're going to let you go, ladies; while you're a part of a problem, neither of you have done anything that goes especially against our agenda. You are reasonably 'underground', to use your jargon, you're quiet about the things you do. You maintain some semblance of normalcy, and really, that's all we give a damn about. Hell, if all Artists were like you, I'd have no problems at all. But they're not. You might not remember what happened, but a lot of people died last night because of the actions of some so-called 'Artists'. Now, you don't particularly strike me as uncaring monsters. Some of the people who died might have been your friends, your family, I don't know. They were someone's family. They were someone's friends."

Green paused for effect. Annie's expression had softened considerably; Candice's face, while still stoic, was no longer a frown. Green felt a wave of triumph. They were putty in his hands.

"Now, we're in a position to stop these people before they hurt anyone else. We have people who can take care of it. But we need to know where they are, and what they're doing, and where they're going. Anything you can tell us is useful. Okay?"

"Okay."

The both of them said the word in unison. Green had won.

"Okay. Cutting to the chase, I've got two really important questions for you, alright? First question: do you know a guy called The Snipper?"

Candice looked to Annie, who was pulling a face of confusion, then answered.

"Never heard of him. If he's got a 'The' at the beginning of his name, he's probably with The Critic's lot."

"Alright. Pretty much confirms what we already knew, but everything is useful. Second question: do you know anyone named Ruiz Duchamp?"

Candice shook her head, but Annie's face lit up with a spark of recognition.

"Oh! I do, yeah! He came to one of our concerts once, he was really nice. Invited me to an exhibition he was holding."

"Can you tell me anything about that exhibition?"

"It was just moving dioramas. Pretty simple, he was acting as though they were amazing. But, like, it was kind of weird… it was in an art gallery."

"Art in an art gallery is weird?"

"It is for most of us. The whole point is, like, breaking out of the system, you know? Not putting stuff on the wall for people to see. He was kind of odd."

Agent Green took down a note on his papers: 'SEARCH ART GALLERIES'.

"That's very useful. Thanks very much, ladies. Sorry about chaining you to chairs and everything."

Candice remained silent; Annie grinned back at him.

"No, no, it's fine! Actually… I'm kind of 'into' this."

Green blushed slightly as he made his way out of the room.


Overgang Dood awoke to find he had been chained to a metal chair.

"Fuck."

He attempted to move himself; the chair was screwed into the floor.

"Fuuuuuuuuck."

He attempted to loosen the chains. Each time he thought he was free, they pulled into his flesh even more.

"Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…"

Overgang stopped and looked up at the opening door, noticing a familiar hawaiian shirt. Agent Tangerine sat down opposite Overgang, his face utterly neutral.

"…uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I did not see that coming."

"You didn't see it the last time, either."

"Damn, Tan, how many times have I been in here?"

"This makes six."

"Shit, what did I do the other times?"

"Oh, all sorts of stuff. Mostly minor."

"And, just remind me… what did I do this time?"

Tangerine sighed.

"I'm not cleared to know, actually, and it's been wiped from all our minds. Downside of working for The Man. But I think you helped."

"That's good, at least. Hey, is this going to take long? I was going to meet a girl, you know, plans and so forth."

"You'll be out as soon as we get amnestics in. Probably this afternoon."

"Alright, cool."

"You're taking this calmly."

Overgang shrugged.

"It's just the way it is. I get that it's nothing personal, it's your job, whatever. But we're still friends. I know I'm in good hands, Tan. I trust you."

Tangerine's stomach crawled with guilt.


Agent Green was waiting, again, outside of Tangerine's door.

"Nothing?"

"Nothing, but like I said, wasn't expecting anything. I know as much as they do."

"Alright. Back on cameras, The Painter's up next."

"Got it."

Agent Green walked down the corridor as Tangerine returned to the main room. Eleven, twelve… thirteen. Green pulled his ID card from his pocket, swiped it through the reader, and heard the buzz and click of the opening electronic lock. The Painter sat and stared at the door.

"About bloody time, I've been sitting here for a fucking age. Ask me the questions and kick me out of here, bitch."

Agent Green formulated a plan immediately, and that plan composed of punching The Painter in the face until he learned some respect. He took that urge and repressed it, then wondered why he was repressing it. His subject was a pampered, impatient, spoilt artist. He'd likely be very receptive to physical assault.

Time to put the Pain back in Painter.

Green pulled his fist back and drove it sharply into the side of The Painter's jaw. The Painter jerked in his restraints, unable to defend himself. He shook his head, then spat out a dislodged tooth, face contorted in incredulous anger.

"DIDJU JUST FUGGIN PUNCH ME?"

"Shut up, or I'll do it again."

"YOU FUGGIN-"

Green relished the feeling of his knuckles against The Painter's jaw. He spat out another tooth, then adopted the appearance of a scolded puppy, if a scolded puppy had been punched in the face twice and looked like a person.

"Shut. Up."

The Painter whimpered. Green raised his fist again, enjoying the response of further discomfort.

"Two questions. Question number one: what do you know about The Snipper?"

"Heesh a fuggin lunuhtic. Dunno more n' dat."

The Painter spat out a mouthful of blood.

"Two: what do you know about Ruiz Duchamp?"

"Fuggin ashole. Desherves whatsh comin' to him."

"Do you know where either of them are, or might be?"

"I dunno. I dunno."

Green raised his fist.

"I DUNNO! I SHWEAR, I DUNNO SHIT!"

The Painter sputtered blood all over the table. Green turned around to leave.

"…yeh, you walk away, ya bitsh."

Green turned in a fluid motion, whacked his fist against the side of The Painter's skull, and left him hanging limp in his restraints.


Melanoma-on-the-arsehole-of-existence awoke to find she had been chained to a metal chair.

"Fuck."

She attempted to move herself; the chair was screwed into the floor.

"FUCK! BITCH FUCKING FUCKBUSTING CUNTLASER FUUUUUUCK!"

She attempted to loosen the chains. Each time she thought she was free, they pulled into her flesh even more.

"COCKSUCKING BITCHTITS WHORE CUNTFUCKING TRANNYBANGING FUCK FUCK TITTYSLUT ANUSPARADE ASSHOLES!"

Arsehole stopped and looked up at the opening door, noticing a familiar hawaiian shirt.

"FUCKING FUCK! CUNTBITCHING CRACKSNIFFING DOGFUCKING MANWHORE! YOU SNAKESCREWING SARSAPARILLA SKULLING SCARABSUCKING SON-OF-A-SEAHORSE! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU, YOU CUNTSTABBING TINYDICK CISGENDERED AUTOMOBILE FUCKING BITCHLICKING SHIT EATING PISS GUZZLING CLOACA TONGUING-"

Agent Tangerine closed the door without entering.


"You didn't even go in that time!"

"We're getting nothing out of her until she's sedated, trust me."

"Alright, you'd know better than I would. Last one, then?"

"Last one, all yours."

Agent Green walked down the corridor as Tangerine returned to the main room. Twenty-one, Twenty-two… Twenty-three. Green pulled his ID card from his pocket, swiped it through the reader, and heard the buzz and click of the opening electronic lock. Rita Summers sat chained to the chair, her long black dress dangling over the chains. She was avidly staring into her lap. Green moved and sat down across from her.

"Miss Rita Summers."

"That's me."

"I'd like to ask you some questions."

"I'd not like to answer them."

Rita continued staring into her lap. Green tapped his fingers impatiently on the table.

"Miss Summers, I've read your file. Two years until you finish school, perfect scores in every test. You're smart; hell, under different circumstances we'd be offering you a job."

"I'd not accept it."

"Why not?"

"Because, Agent Green, I don't care for what you do. I'd not do it out of misguided obligation, and whatever you pay is below my paygrade."

Green realised she knew his name. She must have caught a glimpse of his ID as he came in. Green knew how to deal with 'geniuses' with the whole 'unfettered' thing going. Physical threats could help, but Green didn't want to punch a schoolgirl. He feigned shock.

"How did you know my name?"

Rita looked up from her skirt, sneering condescendingly.

"It was on your ID, idiot."

Green, continuing the charade, moved uncomfortably in his seat, brushing an errant itch on his neck.

"Ah. Well, very observant of you, Miss Summers. Now, I'm hoping you might reconsider answering some questions for me. People could be in a lot of danger if you don't."

"Why should I care?"

"You should care, Miss Summers, because you are a subset of people."

"Oh, I'm so scared. Go ahead, torture me, do whatever."

"No, Miss Summers, there's no need for that. How would you like to wake up and have forgotten how to add? Or spell? Or tie your shoes?"

Rita cackled.

"Oh, that's great. Threats, yeah, that'll work. No, Agent Green, I don't think you're in any position to be making threats."

"You're tied to a chair, Miss Summers. My threats can be backed… up… with…"

Agent Green felt his throat tighten. He scratched his neck, feeling a growing bump.

"What… you…"

"Agent Green, you've officially lost control of the situation. Same thing's happening out there to your comrade Agent Tangerine."

Agent Green swore under his breath. He reached for his gun, and then his arms stopped moving. He tried to stand, but his muscles did nothing. She wasn't just any artist, she could be a reality bender, something had been missed; his mind buzzed with hypotheticals and escape plans. Rita stood up, chains clinking loosely to the ground.

"Three words, Agent Green: invisible trained spiders. You've been injected with a paralytic. You should be able to move in a few hours, no long-term effects; I'm not a monster."

Rita reached into Green's pocket and pulled out his ID card.

"I could lock you and Agent Tangerine in here, if I wanted. No ID, nobody knowing this happened. You'd slowly starve to death. But I won't do that, because hell, imprisoning people against their will? Kind of a dick move. What kind of person would do something like that?"

Rita walked to the door, buzzing the lock open and leaving it ajar.

"I'll be taking my leave now."

Rita walked down the corridor confidently, brushing down her crumpled black dress. She slid the card through every reader as she passed, flinging the doors open one by one and checking inside. The first person she saw was

"PANDA-KILLING FUCK SUCKING-"

"Oi, I'm here to get you out."

"Oh. Rita. Hurry up then."

Invisible spiders gnawed the chains off with acidic venom.

"Alright, where the fuck is Tan, I've gotta beat the shit out of that backstabbing asshole."

"No beating the shit out of anyone, A-hole. They've been taken care of."

The next door had The Painter sitting behind it, still unconscious with a bloody mouth. Rita looked to Arsehole. They knew what he'd been planning. They knew what he was a part of. They weren't happy. Arsehole grinned, Rita sighed.

"Well, okay. One punch, that's it."

Arsehole ran towards The Painter, driving her fist into his face and breaking his jaw. He woke up screaming from the pain. Arsehole walked out happily and locked the door behind her.

The next person they found was Overgang. Rita grinned, Overgang tilted his head.

"Wait, are we breaking out? Is this a thing we're doing?"

"Yup!"

"Well, no complaints here."

The restraints fell; Overgang rubbed his wrists with his hands. They moved as a group to the next door; Annie and Candice were chattering behind. Annie turned to the door as it swung open.

"Oh. Hey guys, what's up?"

"I'm breaking everyone out. Wanna come?"

"May as well, it's a bit cramped in here anyway."

Their chains clanked down, they moved past the table and joined the group. They continued opening doors until the found cell number five.

"Joey! What's wrong? What did they do?"

Joey Tamlin looked up at the group, tears slowly drying.

"Did I have a sister?"

The group of them shared looks of confusion, then apprehension. Overgang walked to the front.

"Yeah, Joey. Yeah, you did. Tan brought you home one day and told us all to drop the subject. Doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened, now we know who he is. Now's not the time to talk about this, though, we're getting out, and you're coming with us."

Arsehole shouted from the back.

"Don't worry, we're gonna beat the shit out of him!"

"Don't listen to her, Joey. Beating the shit out of him is up to you."

Joey felt the chains loosen and shook them off.

"No. Tan helped me. I don't remember, but by the sounds of it, it's better that way."

"You gonna be okay, man?"

"Yeah. I'm fine. Let's get out of here."

Joey walked out the door and joined the small crowd; the corridor was getting somewhat cramped. Rita walked to the next door, swinging it open to see an empty room, and then the next door, finding The Builder squirming against his restraints. He looked up at them, hopeful. The group turned to one another, sharing frowns. The Builder shouted in fear.

"NO, WAIT!"

Rita slammed the door shut, shaking her head in disbelief. The group walked out into the main room. Arsehole walked over to the gun cabinet, pulling it open and filling the pockets of her jeans with five pistols each. Overgang walked over to the computer; Tangerine was still sitting immobile at the desk.

"Sorry Tan, you're in the way."

Overgang moved Tangerine's body to the ground carefully, then sat down and cracked his fingers.

"Let's see what we're running with… standard DOS running, here… hah! Hey, Joey, you know that game I had messing up last night?"

"Yeah?"

"They've got it in here! Still stuck on your name, dunno why… should be funny when they find the antipiracy, though. Alright, let's wipe some stuff from their database…"

Overgang continued clacking the keyboard; Arsehole had already run up the stairwell with Rita, Candice, and Annie. Joey walked over to Tangerine's body, sitting it up against a wall. His eyes were open, but whether he was still conscious inside his brain, Joey couldn't tell.

"Sorry about this, Tan. I know you did it for the right reasons, and… you're a good friend. But you're still a spy, man! You've been spying on all of us. That's just not cool, you know?"

Tangerine remained silent, having no choice in the matter.

"We're going to have to move away, now, Molly and me. We'll be telling everyone about you. Everyone's going to know your face, Tan, and when they see it they'll keep their lips shut and walk away. I thought you were one of us, but… you aren't. There's no half-assing it. My sister, man, I don't even remember her existing. I don't remember a damn thing."

Joey pushed Tangerine's body to the side carelessly.

"You fucked us over, Tan, and you fucked me over."

Joey kicked Tangerine in the stomach.

"I THOUGHT YOU WERE ONE OF US!"

Joey kicked again.

"I THOUGHT YOU WERE AN ARTIST!"

Joey kicked higher, expelling the breath from his lungs.

"I THOUGHT YOU WERE COOL!"

Joey went to kick again, but Overgang grabbed his arm.

"We're done here, Joey. Everything they've got on us is gone, everything's deleted."

"The records, yeah. But he remembers."

They looked at Tangerine's immobile body, hawaiian shirt crumpled from the impacts.

"Fuck it, it doesn't matter. Let's get out of here, Joey. We're done."

Overgang walked Joey to the stairwell, leaving the body lying still in the dimly lit room.

Tangerine cried a single tear before passing out from pain.

the second of first starts at the end
The second of second trifurcates.
The Above Is Split In Seven
LESSERS LIKE THE WHOLE
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