Agent Meyers felt something cold on his thigh, rousing him enough to realize that he also had a headache. Meyers had been hungover more than once before and began to catalog the telltale signs… except he couldn't remember drinking anything last night. Flickering his eyes open slowly, the dimness of the room began to register in addition to the smell of dusty, stale air.
No, wait, he thought to himself. I didn't drink anything last night. Because I haven't gone to sleep and I'm not waking up at home. The vague memory of chasing someone down a side street played back in his head along with tumbling to the ground. Had he hit his head? His face felt hot and bruised, so he tried to move off of the pavement and figure things out.
Except he wasn't on the pavement. His arms and legs strained slightly against bonds placed in various locations around him and the situation became clearer - he was tied down to a chair.
"Good morning, Agent!" a cheerful woman's voice spoke from Meyers' right. Agent Meyers had not been with the Foundation very long - only half a year - but he understood the situation he was in now. He had been captured. Probably captured, he corrected himself. It wasn't impossible this was some manner of test or review by the Foundation. They were like that… and that, honestly, was one of the things he had enjoyed about the job.
"Meyers. A-26843," the Agent replied mechanically.
"Yes," the woman agreed enthusiastically. "Matthew Meyers. Matthew Johnathan Meyers, born March 23rd in 1982 to Susan and Walter. In Sugarland, Texas, United States of America." Footsteps echoed in the otherwise empty space as she approached. "You're exactly what we've been hoping for."
Agent Meyers looked around a little, barely moving his head. The light was dim enough that he wasn't entirely certain, but it seemed like they were in some small sized warehouse. Thin, probably aluminum siding, small amounts of supports and scaffolding. No shelving or storage units, so it prob-
His train of thought was interrupted by a light slap across the face. "That's all immaterial, Matthew. Can I call you Matthew?"
"Matt, then," the woman said, walking around and coming into full view.
Whoops. Not a woman, just a guy with an irregular voice. Must still be woozy. He wasn't even that small.
"Matt," the man began, crouching down and looking Agent Meyers in the eyes, "I have to thank you for what you're about to do for us."
Meeting the man's gaze, the Agent noticed what had caused him to wake up - a glass jar was pressed between his thighs. His slacks were still on, so the glass was cold enough to feel almost like ice even through the fabric. Perhaps it had come out of a freezer, but it was unlikely this place had electricity. Which meant they had to have-
The man flicked Agent Meyers on the nose. "Stop that," he chided. "Don't let your mind wander. I'm going to need you to focus on the here and now."
It occurred to Meyers that had been the second time this person had figured out what the Agent was thinking. Mind reader?
"Of a sort, yes," the man replied. "I think your Foundation would say I am certainly an anomaly."
"If you know who I work for, then I have to assume you're either prepared for their investigation of my whereabouts, or you're too stupid to anticipate it," Meyers observed casually.
"Trying to see if I'm a threat or not?" the man asked. He stood up and gave Meyers a calculating look. "I am quite a threat, Matt." The stranger's tone was just as casual as the Agent's. There was no boasting or bravado, just simple fact. "But not to you," he said, his jovial, high pitched tone returning. "Well, to you specifically yes. But not to the Foundation. Your employers and I will be working side by side for a little while, even if they don't yet realize it. Their methods and reach constantly keep me penned in, but I think I've found a way we can… get past all that."
"I doubt they're going to be very cooperative if they find out you've killed me," Meyers grunted. He felt his strength returning slowly and flexed a little against the bindings. Absolutely no give to them, must be zip ties or something like-
The man clapped his hands together loudly in front of Matthew's face. "Here!" he yelled. "Focus. Here." His hands clasped together and he motioned downward.
Meyers looked down to where the man's hands began to point. Down into the glass jar between his legs. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the stranger had also leaned forward to observe something.
Close enough, finally.
Agent Meyers stomped his left heel on the ground, releasing a short range directed burst of amnesiacs from the toe of his shoe. The vapor caught the other man in the face and he stumbled back, coughing. Meyers began to wiggle slightly, hoping perhaps the chair itself would break apart, giving him the range of motion to escape.
The stranger's coughs turned into a low chuckle and he made a tsking noise. "Foolish of me," he said, shaking his head. "I should have known better than to assume you were harmless, even now. You're a credit to your organization, you know." He rubbed his hands over his face, smearing off some of the residue from the gas. "I was surprised that your Foundation has such a wonder at their disposal," he continued, looking at the stuff on his hands. "We've been trying for years to do something like this, and there it was - right in my face." He chuckled. "Literally, even. One of your men sprayed me with it and I wasn't certain what was supposed to happen until they seemed surprised."
He walked back towards Meyers and smiled thinly. "But it's a trick, you see," he continued, trailing a finger down Meyers' face, starting at the top of his forehead. "It toys with the brain. The little grey meats get all confused. It doesn't unweave the tapestry, my friend, and I'm afraid some of us are just too firmly stitched together…
"… but not you."
Something in that final statement made the Agent's blood run a little cold.
"I'm not going to kill you, Matt," the Man said, gently rubbing the amnesiacs into Agent Meyers' nostrils and then forcing his other fingers into the man's mouth and pressing against his gums. "And your Foundation certainly will find you. Or rather, they'll find this place. You, on the other hand, are part of the experiment. So, again, I have to thank you. But I must also apologize. I need to stretch some boundaries, here. Explore some horizons. I'm not sure what will happen, though."
Agent Meyers felt the chemicals begin to take their toll. The man had rubbed the residue into his gums and nose. Smart. It’d be absorbed quicker that way. Meyers tried to recall his training – they put Agents up against the amnesiacs before, trying to tell them how to combat possible backfires of the stuff. He tried to focus on small, unimportant details. The man's voice….
Wait, Meyers thought to himself, it might actually be a woman. In a… she was wearing…
"So, that's where the Foundation comes in. They'll be here soon enough, doing what they do so well: containing whatever happens here. Not exactly a willing partner, not exactly an ideal scientific team-up, but… you use what you have, I suppose."
Wait! It was a woman, and not just any woman. His supervisor back at the Site. It was a test, after all. Wasn’t it? He was trying to recall something. His mind said he was in trouble, still, but he couldn’t remember why. Looking around, he realized he wasn't in a warehouse at all, but the administration offices he reported to. How did he not notice before? It felt hazy and indistinct, but that was probably part of whatever they had drugged him with initially. "I knew it," he said, not realizing how slurred his words were. "How'd I do?"
"Very well," the woman at the desk said, folding her hands in front of her and smiling pleasantly. "Now, if you would, Agent Meyers, please tell me about your first pet. It's part of the review. And do make sure to focus on the recorder in your lap."
Agent Meyers looked down where the glass jar… no, the recording device was. "Call me Matt," he said absently before beginning.