After we consumed as much cake as was physically possible (God damn, I've never seen anyone else pig out like that before..) and Sarah put it back into the enormous fridge, I heard a loud BZZZZERT! come from the living room, and all three of us went to see what it was. On the screen was a gray haired man, sort of old, who made a strange sign with his fingers as soon as he appeared. Looks like Howard has a few servants old enough to be his parents- or maybe that's who he is, his (and my, if we are indeed twins) dad? Howard gestured his head in my and Sarah's direction, and pointed upstairs. "Go and close the door behind you- this is not to be heard by servants." This must be Daddy, then. I climbed upstairs back to the room I came from. Sarah followed me in and closed the door behind her. I took my second look at the room then; screw the size, the design in here is completely futuristic. Things built into walls, sliding panels for the closet, and so forth.
"First things first.", she said, suddenly reaching towards me and kissing me deeply, passionately, and as hard as she possibly could. I kissed back reflexively. She then pulled back and gave a big sigh of relief. What was that all about? I didn't think the hero got kissed by the girl until they were out of the enemy camp? I still liked it, even through the pain, confusion, and panic.
"Why did you do that?", I asked. 'Why not?', a dark corner of my brain replied. 'If you're as screwed as you think you are, you might as well take advantage of everything while you still have it.'
"Even though you look and talk like him, I'm still glad he wasn't the first to do that. Dammit, I wish he didn't stop me from 'losing my chastity', or we could go further and I could laugh at him.", she replied in her sweet voice again. Geez, that was quick. Is she some kind of slut or does she just not want to lose her virginity to Little Rich Master Boy? I wasn't exactly in the mood for that kind of thing right then, no matter how few adults were there. "Now ask me stuff, just in case he stops me from telling you later."
"So just where is this place, anyway?", I asked.
"Would you like that in GPS?" When it was obvious to her I didn't know too much about it, she told me it's about 95 miles away from the Oregon coast, and no ship nor plane came this way at all.
"Okay- why did he bring you here?" Best to know who you're talking to before you ask people questions about your own situation.
"I'm his little servant girl. He makes me do all the chores, the cooking, the assassinations, everything." She slowly uttered the words with a lot of distaste- she didn't want to say it out loud no matter how many times she's thought of it. But what kind of assassinations.. I'll ask that later. "And when he gets older, he'll..." She did not finish. I mentally finished it, and the same sense of horror and disgust that she had flowed into me. Talk about rape.
Ugh... wait a sec. Something doesn't add up. "Then why the hell do you say he's nice?!", I exploded with some wonder and some real fucking paranoia. Getting controlled by your duplicate tends to do that to you, even more than being captured by men in black.
"Because he really cares. He could easily be much worse. He's prince of this whole fucking planet, Billy, and he's doing his best to act like it. He's a lot better than some of the previous people I've worked for.", she said to my disbelief.
"That's impossible!! That belongs in the Weekly World News. No one runs the planet. If someone did, why would there be wars?", I said using one of millions of disproofs to that. Damn.. one person who might be able to help me get out of here, and she's nuts or believes all that crap from the papers.... or everything Howard tells her. I already figured out whatever he's doing doesn't affect beliefs, but enough coercion, over a period of days, weeks, months... I shuddered. Hopefully, there's a way out of this. I was getting the feeling of "this is just a long nightmare, and I will wake up from it with a feeling of great relief.".
"Billy, you never read that damn Orwell's 1984.", she said with some cynicism. "Besides, a ten year old getting captured by men in black and controlled with mind control implants by his identical duplicate belongs in the Weekly World News too." Ugh. Reality and fantasy clash again. Something told me I better get used to this, because the culture shock of my old life versus this place is going to be happening a lot.
I sighed. She didn't sound crazy, at least not to me. Then again, this is all bananas anyway. Maybe I'm wearing a straitjacket in a padded cell somewhere talking to people who don't exist. No, it can't be. One does not feel the post-kiss saliva in one's dreams. I wiped it off. "Sarah.. what does he want from me?", I asked, not really wanting the answer from her either. I really don't feel like getting surprised later though.
"He wants you, obviously. I think you're going to be the taskmaster of those workers he says are going to get here soon, and I think he really does need a friend.", she said with some sympathy. (For which one of us?) I wasn't going to ask her definition of the word "friend" either. A vision of some cartoon freak came to me ('I love you so much, cute fuzzy, and I'll never let you go!!') and I was firmly slamming the mental panic button hard and repeatedly. Unfortunately, the circuit ran out of batteries from the last few minutes. All I could muster was hard breathing and shaking hands.
"Do I have to do... everything he says?", I asked, praying to a nonexistent God that there was one loophole in this. Just one, and I'll jump through it- one small nick in the enemy's defenses, and Luke Skywalker gets out of the Death Star for the ending... the hell with killing Darth.
"Everything, Billy. Everything. I don't know how it works- I don't think anyone does, in total- but it works well. The implants are perfect." (Lifetime warranty on all our mind control products!! Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!! Order now for the low, low price of $19.95 and your soul! Call 1-800-666-EVIL to order now!)
"Great.", I said. "So there's no way out of here..." I started crying. My father's voice said to me, 'Big boys don't cry.' My mental voice said to his in the morbid fashion I'm used to, 'You're dead, mother fucker, get the hell out of my head!! I have one controller to deal with-- I don't need two!!' I must have looked like an escapee from a sanitarium. Too bad I wasn't one from this hell. I think a mental institution would be the place for me after this if I told anyone where I've been. 'Yeah, I got controlled by my clone in this mansion...' would go over with the men in white coats real good. Lock him up, put him in the basement, and don't forget the Thorazine. Straitjacket included.
"Is there anyone else on this island?", I asked. Not that their existence would mean shit, just that it would be nice to know. Why am I even asking that kind of stupid question? Who cares?!
She nodded. "Yeah," she said, "there's a few Enforcers around, and a few covert operations guys are here too. You probably won't see one, but they do a lot of training here."
Of course I probably won't see them, I thought. Howard told me those guys are professionals. They have to be. Would you staff your world-controlling army of spies with amateurs? And when they say covert operations, they mean it- think cloak (of invisibility) and dagger. Fuck... all my paranoid fantasies about getting captured and taken in by a powerful foe were completely represented here. Only one thing was missing, the small bit at the end where I get the fuck outta here. Aww shit, is there something I'm not seeing or am I simply not looking in the right place?
Once more, I tried to pull myself together, and once more I failed miserably. I looked into Sarah's eyes, she looked into mine, and I knew right then that Luke Skywalker wasn't going to get out of this Death Star any time soon. No, I can't believe that. Just because there's almost certainly no way out of a trap doesn't mean you don't look for one. 'Denial.', that same corner of my brain told me, and I told it to shut the fuck up until I'm absolutely sure it's completely hopeless.
I took my second look around the room, more carefully this time. There was a closet full of clothes- all in my exact size- in the right corner, the bed on the right wall was large enough for three, the door behind me was about eight feet high, and the shelves to my left were part of the wall. And what the hell is that? A screen and a keyboard, both part of the wall. Judging from the rest of the futurism and general technological displays of power, I'd say that thing runs many times faster than the average computer.
Then I heard footsteps coming up the stairs, and I wondered what I was in for next. The fact's been said by all the millions of assorted poor people over the various millenia of the world's history- there ain't no justice. The door creaked open and my heart became entwined with my throat.
Howard came into the room with the leather-bound book, turned to the very first page, and started reading from it. "Servant Billy, as the property of the Inheritor, you shall do my will. You are forbidden to cause the secrecy of the Illuminati to be compromised. Except in the case of defending me or my property, you may not harm Illuminati or their property." Wait, that.. no, that does include self-defense. Like he said, I'm his property. "You must not attempt to harm me or my property, nor may you attempt to delude me, break your word to me, or attempt to remove the implants. In the Illuminati, ordering a servant is considered the same as doing it yourself.", he monotoned, obviously just reading from the book and not thinking about what he was saying. I sure as hell was. "I am the Inheritor, and one day I shall become the Dominator, final judge of the Illuminati, and I will be the most powerful person on the globe."
Fuck. So he is the master of this planet after all, at least in training. From looking around and from what happened to me, I didn't doubt the truth of it one damn bit anymore. An image of my old classroom came to me, Mrs. Krink (constantly named Mrs. Wrinklebutt) asking everyone what he wanted to be when he grew up. Most of us said stuff like firefighters or police or doctors. Two said lawyers, I being one. But little Tommy, the kid who looked retarded but was really smart, spoke up, "When I grow up, I want to rule the world." Everyone laughed, including me and the teacher. It was funny then.
It isn't so funny now... sorry Tommy, the position's taken... my breathing slowed to an infinitesimal crawl.
He flipped a few pages, told me not to go or look inside his room without his permission, told me to always put his needs above my own, and told me never to misinform him. Good, from now on he'll get nothing but the naked truth, the goddamn pompous fatass. I always think of controllers that way for some reason- even though they may be skinny, I always refer to them as fatasses.
Howard closed the book, looked once more at my terrified expression, and smiled my smile at me. "It's okay, Billy. I'm not going to torture you or anything. You're my friend. I love you, dude. C'mon, I'll give you the grand tour." He couldn't have said anything more scary than that, but I was getting used to fear. His voice was happy, still a little exhilarated, and what scared me most of all, unequivocally friendly, with only a small hint of world controller lurking in the back. That's because he never has to get mad, the same voice in the back of my head said. He never has to get angry or threatening or violent because he has complete mind control over you and over Sarah, and if he wants anything to happen, it happens, except for violating laws of physics (at least, I don't think he can.. no, he would have demonstrated that by now.). This guy is one powerful son of a bitch, some action hero said in yet another disused corner of my hyped up brain. The words 'I'm FUCKED!!' don't even come close to the fate I figured I had waiting.
He told Sarah to come along too, and we followed him down the stairs into the bowels of the giant mansion.