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Jocking, The: Adam Turner
|Thursday was basically a nonsense day for Adam. Lacking a single class to attend, most of the day was spent studying or goofing off. James on the other hand had a plethora of upper level biology courses to attend. Adam continued on his paper once James left, reviewing high school football mysteries. How it was being used to teach individuals to obey others mindlessly and how uniforms reduced personalities. Only having a number created a sense of being only a part, not a whole being unto themselves. Plus, the football town in Nebraska was simply too interesting. Actually, it wasn’t that far away from the Soldier’s stadium, or The Base as it was named.
"I could take an extra day to visit the town. I’m sure that Fisher would love some personal experiences and interviews."
He glanced at the name of the small town again. It seemed so familiar, something about it . . . a heavy sense of deja vu. But that was all, no sudden recollection of its meaning, only the image that it was known.
Adam’s conspiracy was closer than he imagined. The jock-frat was already prowling the campus, eager to initiate other men into their brotherhood. They passed out fliers to guys around campus, offering a special celebration tonight for anyone who wished to pledge. James walked past two such jocks without a second thought. The jocks were getting a great response from the people, everyone eager to have a little party. Especially with free liquor.
Hunter was two states away, slowing tweaking the machine. He had been working for three days straight and was not about to stop.
Briggs’ excitement over the impending jocking was diminished by the return of his old friend. The mousy man sat in a chair across the desk, slightly quivering as he spoke.
"Where’s Kai?" He whimpered to the overbearing man. Briggs laughed at the question. He assumed there was a larger problem than the missing singer.
"Him? What are concerned with him for?"
"H, h, h, he . . is very, known. I mean, people will wonder -" Briggs cut him off immediately.
"Not once we get the machine running. No one will remember."
"But I still want to know, what happened to him?"
"Awe, I thought you didn’t like him. You always bitched about arranging his press conferences."
"That was when I was a frustrated agent, not a member of an international conspiracy."
"All I want to do is make the world a better place."
"Me too. Where is he?" Briggs stared down the man for a moment. The other man’s eyes did not falter, and soon Briggs chuckled.
"Well, well. Jamie Carter. . . looks like you have some balls after all."
"I can handle myself just fine."
"Safe? What does that mean?"
"It means, he is no longer a threat."
"Is he dead?"
"You couldn’t kill him." Briggs was silenced at the bold declaration. He coughed loudly and continued.
"Apparently, TAN1 can bend reality too. We were unable to kill him."
"How ironic, beaten by a pop star."
"He’s contained. And he won’t be able to interfere."
"What will you do, once this is all over."
"Then, we will figure out a way to remove him. He can be in a coma until he dies if I choose."
"Assuming no one else wakes him."
"Sleeping beauty . . . won’t be disturbed."
"Oh, reading into prophecy again? I thought that one was called the . . . gateway sleeper? I thought Kai was the voice?"
"We won’t know until it’s over."
Brock set up in a practice formation, walking toward his center. The team on both sides was perfectly still, awaiting the signal. He stood and marveled for a moment at the sheer control. They only had one thought, and it was football. Their only goal was to play. And Brock had control over the play. It was his team, and he was their leader. The moment the words "hike" exited his mouth, a rampage of bodies began a war on the fifteen yard line, but there was no way Brock could ever lose.
"Hi, Mitch . . . it’s Adam. Umm, I wanted to ask you a few questions about football. It’s nothing major, just some stuff for Psycho’s class. If you could call me back, soon. I have to go on a . . . trip tomorrow. So, bye."
Adam hung up the phone and sat in silence for a moment. It was the third message he had left on Mitch’s phone. Still no reply and Adam was getting worried. Mitch was many things, but attentiveness was drilled into his skull. And Adam desperately wanted to be done with this project. Ghost feelings plagued his assignment, and purging those thoughts from his mind was a top priority. Night had come faster than anticipated and Adam was packing for the trip. James had one final lab in the night, so Adam packed for him too.
"Wonder what this is?" Throwing in the final bits, Adam shut the suitcase and decided to go ahead and pack the car. Time saver, since they were leaving in the morning. James had even suggested that Adam might see the sunrise, a horrifying thought to say the least.
The campus was full on commotion, and despite the night of partying that was undoubtedly ahead, there seemed a greater tension than usual. It was simple enough to find out that everyone was going to a frat house for a party. Nothing odd, except the ‘men only’ stigma, which Adam passed off as a desperate attempt to get money.
He met James back at the apartment, and learned that they were to leave at seven, in the morning. After the initial shock, Adam slumped off to bed. James followed shortly and the two were asleep before nine in the evening ever came.
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