I finally had it out with Brood. Too bad Doctor Proctor had to take the brunt of it.
I came out of my room to start breakfast and saw one of the MASC people frogmarching Doc to the middle bedroom. With Trina and Tim gone, Brood's taken it over as his headquarters, though he assures me that once the front bedroom is rebuilt, he'll move into that one, the better to be close to the front door and the gun locker and monitoring room that are being built there where the two empty storage rooms were previously. The agents have been camping in the livingroom, which means every morning when I leave my room, I practically trip over one or more of them. I can't be sure, but I think they intentionally camp where I'm liable to fall to my death. I've been assured that once the second floor is cleaned up and rebuilt, they'll be garrisoned upstairs. Small favors and all that.
I suppose I should be grateful they're keeping the place solar powered and only adding an emergency generator.
But that's neither here nor there.
I've been trying to get out of my room earlier every day just to get breakfast started before the MASC agent on the duty roster starts... because they may be adequate cooks, but it appears none of them really excels. At the same time, they seem to think if any of us are allowed to touch the food, we'll poison them. Or maybe it's a supply thing. These people... they're so concerned about keeping a record of everything. The level of bureaucracy is disturbing, but they are government agents, so I guess it's to be expected.
So the first thing I saw when I left my room was the female agent, China I think her name is, marching Doc towards Brood's room. She didn't have her gun on him, but from their body language, his prisoner status was implied. I immediately tried to step in, demanding to know what was going on, but all she said was, "Orders." So I followed them to Brood's room. He didn't look too happy to see me but told Agent China and Doc to wait outside a moment. The conversation was more or less as follows...
Me: Alright. So what's he supposed to have done?
Brood: Nothing, nothing. We just need to go over some discrepancies...
Me: Look, I saw how your agent was escorting him. If that's how you treat someone over discrepancies, I'm shocked as hell you gave Joel an extended visa. I mean he's only a serial killer after all. Based on that, Doc must be the frikkin anti-Christ.
Brood (flushing red): If it had been up to me, Joel would have been taken into custody. But that decision was made higher up the ladder. I do have the power to question your friend though. You should just be grateful they haven't ordered me to bring him in for a more in depth interrogation.
Me: Oh, I should be grateful, eh? Look, we have rights. None of us have broken any laws.
Brood: Are you sure about that. (It was my turn to turn red. I don't know what they might have on anyone else, but I'm sure my sister would love to get me locked up for stealing her car.) Look... you want to sit in on this meeting, that's fine. *If* he's your friend, he shouldn't mind if you hear what we have to say.
Me (cautiously): Alright... but we need to talk about your people...
Brood (waved me to a chair): Fine, fine, but your friend the *Doctor* first.
I didn't like the way he said Doctor, but I sat. The agent brought Doc in and Brood gestured for him to take the only remaining chair. Well, at least he didn't have her stick around like an armed guard. Guy likes to wave people around though. A few seconds passed as we sat awkwardly at his desk (made from a piece of plywood and two sawhorses) while he shuffled papers. Doc looked anxious, and I finally cleared my throat. Is making people wait an interrogation tactic or was Brood a doctor's office receptionist in a past life?
Brood: So, Mr Black, or Casey?
Doc: Casey, I guess, or Doc.
Brood: Hmm, well we'll get to that in a minute. Do you know why I had agent China ask you to come see me?
Doc: Didn't really ask... (he mumbled) but no. Sorry. No.
Brood: Alright. I guess we'll start with your family. You stated on your blog that your mother went into an asylum recently.
Brood: According to our records, she did go into an asylum... seven years ago.
Doc: Seven...? No. That's not right.
Brood: In fact, she died there. Somehow she was poisoned with cyanide.
Doc: No, she's alive!
Brood: And your father...
Doc: He should be home. I could try calling him...
Brood (raised an eyebrow): He died too, some years ago. Someone ripped out his brake lines.
Doc: No... you're wrong. Maybe... you have the wrong Casey Black.
Brood (plowing ahead despite Doc's obvious distress): Your sister... dead in a freak canoeing accident. Your uncle, tortured and killed his family before taking his own life with sleeping pills...
Doc (in a tiny voice): No...
Brood took out photos, very graphic photos to illustrate, well, everything he'd just mentioned. I didn't give Doc the chance to look at them but swept them up and flipped them over. Brood opened his mouth to speak but I cut him off.
Me: Look is there a point to this or do you people just get off on being assholes.
Brood: The point Ms ______ (I can keep my real name off my own blog if I want to.), is that your friend's memories don't seem to mesh quite right with this reality. That speaks of some pretty extensive exposure to "the Slender-Man." (Yes he said it exactly like that.)
Me (a little ticked off): In case you haven't been paying attention, we've all been exposed. Heck there's stuff from my childhood I don't remember, but I just don't care. In fact, all your people are probably exposed now just by moving in here. I hope you all have a detailed account of your childhoods, just in case some memory gets misplaced in the near future. Besides which, if all this is true about Doc's family, there are a lot gentler ways you could have broken the news to him.
Brood: Hmmmm, well, I think you'd agree that such extensive rewriting of personal history is usually only present in proxies. Which brings me to the next item. (He took out some papers and set them side by side on the table in front of Doc.) Psych eval, police records, school records. Adequate grades, but no college transcript, no medical school, yet you have some pretty advanced medical training from somewhere. Our Medic said that despite the circumstances, you did some good work on "Lullaby's" wounds.
Doc mumbled something but Brood didn't seem to care.
Brood (tapping the psych eval and the police report): Now, this is what really raised the red flags. It seems when you were a kid, you convinced your parents there was someone outside, but the police never found any evidence.
Doc (mumbling): I don't remember.
Brood: Eventually your parents took you to a psychologist, a Dr Makepeace. They were worried about your paranoia concerning this stalker and your inability to socialize at school. According to his files, there was nothing clinically wrong with you, but he found your sessions deeply disturbing. He later went insane and was committed to the same institution as your mother, where he also died under mysterious circumstances.
Brood: So, anything you'd like to add?
Well, Doc wasn't talking, and I didn't blame him. I stood and tugged him too his feet.
Me: Thanks... we'll get back to you on that. And you and I? We'll be talking real soon.
Brood (not looking happy): Yes, I think that would be for the best. You seem to be operating under some... misconceptions.
But we'll get to how that went maybe tomorrow. I took Doc to his room, and I've been "babying" him all day. I mean we don't have many treats after our building got mauled, but I've been trying to get out of him his favorite foods and doing what I can.