Brian turned his hand over in the light, watching the dust particles settle then turning his hand again so they would fly through the air once more. It wasn’t the most thrilling way to pass the time but he had found that it was working for him, plus it kept him close to the only light source in the room. The light was coming through a slit in his door from the lamp hanging in the hallway outside his cell. The cell he’d been taken to shortly after visiting with Leighanne the final time and reading her letter. He had failed convincing them that any memory change had occurred; of course he wasn’t sure that they had tried to change his memory.
Brian sighed as he recalled walking down the hall towards the cell with the Doctor.
“You were quite the failure of an experiment.” The Doctor had started as they walked down the hall. Brian guessed that he wouldn’t have long to live if the Doctor was talking openly with him now about what happened. “It was my idea to keep you alive.”
The man turned to grin at Brian like he should be thankful that he kept him alive. “The Company couldn’t see the possibility but I did. I had pitched a rehabilitation program to The Company and decided this was something you could easily be adapted to. You and four other guys would use your music and fame to promote what we needed to be pushed through to the human race.”
Brian shook his head. He hated that he was used. He worked for The Company and he never thought they would use people the way they had been.
“Isabelle?” He managed to croak out.
The Doctor chuckled. “Isabelle… well we still needed her and she’s trained to withstand torture so we had to think of a more creative way to get the information she had on The Company from her. She is a very persuasive person, as I’m sure you know. We knew we could use her to convince anyone that they needed the hottest new products. It worked too; the phone has already started to take off. So may preorders it will be on backorder for months. We figured, eventually some of the information she held in her head would slip out somehow and we would know, she doesn’t even know the importance of some of the information she carries inside.”
“If you took her memories how would she even remember anything from her prior life?”
The Doctor laughed and stopped in front of a door, waiting for another man who had been following them to unlock the cell. “I can’t give away all our secrets even though you are a walking dead man now.” The man smirked at Brian as the guard shoved him inside the cell.
The door closed on Brian as he stood staring at the Doctor until the door closed. Brian slumped on the floor dropping his head into his hands. The light in the door was temporarily blocked as the Doctor popped his head into the opening to fling one final thought at Brian.
“Enjoy doing nothing but thinking about how you will help in trapping your wife before you are killed.” The Doctor laughed.
Brian sighed and rubbed his eyes. He glanced down at the floor where he had started to mark how many times they fed him. He’d been fed four times since he’d been thrown in the cell so he guessed he’d been in the cell anywhere from just over one day to four days.
With nothing to do but play with the dust in the one beam of light that entered his cell, Brian had plenty of time to think. If he was Isabelle, he’d probably be thinking about a way to escape, but he couldn’t even remember if he’d had enough training to fight the guards off enough to break away. Brian was annoyed with how foreign his own brain seemed to him. He knew certain things with certainty. He knew he’d been married to Isabelle, knew he had loved her, knew he loved his son and even had some love for Leighanne. Brian knew about some of the inner workings of The Company but being a Backstreet Boy still felt real to him. Some of his previous life still felt like a dream and the life he’d been thrown into felt real. The more time he tried to wrap his brain around the situation; the more confused he made himself. So he stopped trying to figure it all out.
Instead of trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t, Brian used his time to think about what would happen if he got out of this alive. There was a part of him that still felt like this was a dream and any moment he would wake up and Leighanne would be lying next to him soundly sleeping.
Brian rubbed his eyes again and thought about the two women in his life. If it was true and Leighanne was losing her memories as he sat in the cell would she know him? Would there be any future with her? There had to be a way they could be together. Memories of her flooded through to him and he couldn’t help but love her again until he remembered that most of those memories were not real. She had never met him at the video shoot. She had never held his hand as he went into the hospital for surgery and her face was not the first one he’d seen when he woke. Absentmindedly his hand brushed over the spot where his scar was on his chest. He realized what he was doing and sighed. Even his surgery had been faked.
Once he pushed thoughts of Leighanne out of his head he started to think about Isabelle. They had met in the office. He’d been interested in another girl and she had shot him down. Isabelle had seen the whole exchange. Brian couldn’t believe that the Cleaner would have given him the time of day but Isabelle seemed more down to earth than the other Cleaners he’d had encounters with. He was even more shocked when she pursued him and was the one to ask him out.
Isabelle had made it easy to love her. He would never have thought a woman who had to deal with what she dealt with could be so loving and compassionate. Of course, he liked her bad ass side also. The thought of never seeing her again was too much to bear.
He could feel his eyes starting to water; he rubbed them again willing the tears to stop. He didn’t need his captors to see him cry. If only he had listened to Isabelle and gone into hiding when he had the chance then maybe she could have stopped those trying to take control of the Company and change its mission from keeping those of his race safe and protected, to taking over the human race. Maybe they would have already reunited and have started their own family.
Thoughts of starting a family brought him back to his memories of Baylee. He pushed aside any memories of his birth of growing up and focused on the older boy he’d last seen. He was still his, he had a son. He had to get out of this cell; he had to find a way to live. If Leighanne could not get back to their son he needed to find a way to survive so that he could raise his child.
The door creaking open startled Brian. He pushed himself away from the flood of light that entered the room.
“Time to go,” the guard said as he approached and pulled him to his feet.
Brian tried to shield his eyes when he walked through the door but both guards were holding his arms down so he had to squint as they walked. As they walked through the hall Brian found that he was counting how many steps they were taking. He had no idea why he started it but once he figured out he was doing so, he did not stop but made an effort to remember the count as another door opened in front of him and he was pushed inside.
Brian held his arms, rubbing them where the men had held him. He turned around the room several times but there was nothing to see. He was in a metal box with tiny holes all around.
This is it, he thought. He’d been taken to a gas chamber and they were going to put him to death. He heard the whirring of a machine behind the walls and braced himself. If they were killing him it meant Isabelle had arrived and he was no longer needed as bait. He continued to stand and wished the gas would just seep into the room and get it over with.
Several more seconds passed before he finally felt something. The initial contact had caused the tension he’d been holding to release and he jumped several feet before realizing that water was soaking through his clothes. He opened his eyes but the pressure of the water forced him to close them again. They were cleaning him? He was confused and relieved at the same time but before he could really wrap his head around things the water stopped and the door opened again. Hands pulled him back towards the door. When he got his eyes opened he noticed the same two guards clinging to him directing him to another room.
“Here,” the second guard spoke as he opened another door and shoved him inside. Brian was immersed in darkness again. Was this their tactic to kill him? Get him sopping wet and let him catch his death in a cold dark room?
He sighed in some relief when the guard turned an overhead light on before closing the door. Brian looked around the room, shivering where he stood. He noticed a bench with a fresh change of clothing and a note that directed him to change.
Shivering the entire time, Brian changed into the clothes provided. He was wearing a blue jumpsuit and very basic shoes and the underwear was itching him like crazy. He used the towel they had provided to dry his hair so it wasn’t dripping into his eyes any longer and then sat on the bench. His hands fell behind him and he felt along the bench checking for anything loose he might be able to grab a hold of and hide for use to escape. When he found nothing he couldn’t help but cringe as he waited for the door to open and the guards to come back for him.
He stood as the guards came back into the room and walked towards them. He waited for them to grab his arms before leading him out of the new room. He had resigned himself to his fate. His thoughts flew to Isabelle, Baylee and Leighanne. He would not be able to help any of them, he was going to die.
He was shoved into one final room where he immediately noticed the glass. A one way mirror? He thought to himself as he approached. Sitting in the room next to his in a chair in the middle of the room was Isabelle. She was strapped to the chair and looked as though she’d already been beaten.
“Isabelle,” He shouted. He knew she probably couldn’t hear him. He started to hit his hand on the glass shouting her name. He wanted to know that he was there, that he was still alive, that she should fight. She’d been in tougher jams, he was sure of it, and escaped. He needed her to now. He continued to hit the glass until his hand hurt but she still did not look up.
Finally he placed his hand, palm flat against the glass. “Isabelle,” he whispered. The tears were already falling down his cheeks but he could not help but smile when he noticed that she was finally looking up towards the glass.
The door to her room was opening and another woman was entering. She must have known that they would not return until he was in the next room to watch her interrogation. She looked up when the room entered and looked straight at the glass and mouthed “I love you,” before the other woman stood between the glass and Isabelle and Brian’s view of her was blocked.