I was genuinely perplexed. Dude, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I definitely don’t need you to tell me I’m pretty or whatever.
Another face appeared directly behind his, a woman in gray scrubs, who was quickly pushed aside to allow two PSFs in the room. Their black uniforms were pristine, from their polished boots to the stitched red Ѱ on their chests. I saw their faces and it was like living inside of a memory. The moment took on an unreal quality.One last person entered the room. He was middle-aged, with sandy hair that turned silver under the lights. His uniform was different than that of the soldiers, a black button-down with matching slacks. I knew this uniform, but I’d only seen it once up close. Camp controller. One of the men and women who worked in the Control Tower, monitoring the cameras, keeping the day’s schedule.
Ah, there you are, Dr. Freemont began. I was just about to begin the test.The man—his shirt was embroidered with the name O’Ryan—stepped up, sweeping a hand forward, a clear go ahead.I set my jaw, fingers curling into fists. I knew better than to ask what was happening, but I read the situation quickly enough to put together a guess. The old man pulled a small, handheld White Noise machine out of his pocket and adjusted a dial on it.
All the times I’d envisioned this plan playing out, I had seen myself influencing the camp controllers and PSFs one at a time, planting the suggestion that I was really a Green, working my way through each of them as our paths crossed. But I saw now, as the doctor’s finger pressed down on the device’s largest button, that I didn’t have to influence dozens—just four.This is Green, Dr. Freemont said.
The sound that came out of the device was softer than I expected, as if I was hearing it from several floors above me. The shrill pitch and blended mess of beeping and buzzing made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and my stomach tighten, but it was nothing compared to the White Noise they used over the camp’s loudspeakers.
They’re seeing what frequency I can hear, I thought, shit—We stopped—or, rather, Cliff stopped, and I stumbled for a foot before catching myself. I think this is it, he said, looking from the invitation in his hand to the ballroom in front of us. I’d almost walked right by it, which did not escape my companion. He glanced down at me. You sure about this?
I nodded tightly. We stay at least two feet away from everyone, do a quick circuit of the room, and get out of there. If we see Jameson, I need to talk to him. Although I hadn’t worked out exactly what I was going to say.Cliff’s face was expressionless, but there was something in his body language that seemed . . . defiant. I glanced down at his hands. They were twitching, like he was trying to pull an imaginary trigger.
I pulled him down the hallway a ways, past the door and toward the bathrooms, which was one place where vampires did not hang out. I risked releasing my radius again so I could scrutinize him. Can you handle this? I asked.Cut the shit, I snapped. You seem . . . I don’t know, something. Scared. Do we have a problem?