Detention


Oliver was shoved into a chair, and two men shackled his hands to the chair's arms. He didn't resist, there was no point. The punishment he was receiving was just, he deserved it. However, that didn't make him feel any better about it. Never before had he stepped into the detention center. No one ever spoke of it, so Oliver had no idea what to expect. The detention center was a dirty secret no one ever wanted anything to do with. Talking about it was frowned upon, as if the mere mentioning of it could bring it to one's doorstep. It was a silly, childish thought.

Yet, Oliver couldn't help but feel chilled by it. He had been expecting the detention center to be larger, but all he had seen of it was a dank, lonely hallway and the secluded room that he was in now. The room he was in was small and bare. All there was was the chair he was sitting in and that was it. It was strange, and it was that fact that made him uneasy. He didn't know what to expect.

One of the men checked his shackles to see if they were secure. Neither men looked at him or spoke to him for that matter. To Oliver they were just ghost doing the job asked of them. They had the sort of faces that were obscure and unoriginal, the type of face that seems to be everywhere, but isn't something that sticks out in one's mind. These men were the type of guys who disappear into a nameless mass with skill, who get buried in unmarked graves.

After the one man checked Oliver's restraints, he gave the other man a nod and then they left the room as soundlessly as they had entered it. Even though the men hadn't exactly been what Oliver would call company, their absence made him uncomfortable. There was strangeness to the room, a quiet before the storm per say. It made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

He kept waiting for something to happen, but there was only silence. Oliver couldn't help but feel as if the whole ordeal of getting caught trespassing was anticlimactic. It wasn't that he expected the whole Fortress to fall into chaos, but his current situation seemed underwhelming. The Five were not what he would call cruel, but he expected more than this.

It was then that the lights flickered until they completely turned off. The room was casted into darkness, and he instantly tensed up. Oliver suddenly realized how frustrating it was not to be able to turn around. He suddenly had the paranoia feeling that something, someone was behind him.

"Ah, Dr. Rochester, it would seem you've made a bad decision," a voice said over an intercom. The voice sounded familiar, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

There was a mechanical sound that came out of the darkness, like something was being lowered. It didn't last very long. He tried to see through the darkness, but to no avail. Whatever was there, he would just have to wait to see what it was.

"I see from your file that you've never been to the detention center, that's a good sign. It means we'll go easy on you. Hopefully this one trip will deter you from making another visit."

Oliver never heard of their being files of anyone, at least other than medical files. Then again he never heard of anything regarding the detention center. Those who had been sentenced to it came out a different person. They weren't drastically changed, but they were certainly more eager to obey the rules. That didn't seem too strange. It made sense that being punished would convince someone not to make the same mistake twice, but what did bother him was the secrecy. When people were keeping secrets, most of the time the intent behind it was not good.

"Now, Dr. Rochester, would you please be so kind as to direct your attention to the screen?" the voice over the intercom asked.

Right after he heard that, a bright light flickered to life before him. It took his eyes a second to adjust to the sudden light, but once it did he could plainly see a television screen hanging from the ceiling, not too far from him. The screen was completely white. Once again the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He shivered.

"Your task is simple and easy to follow, so there shouldn't be any trouble. Now all you have to do is watch the screen," said the voice, "Sounds easy enough, correct?"

"What happens if I don't comply with your demands?" Oliver questioned before thinking. There was a brief silence.

"Preposterous. Simply preposterous. It is in your best interest to serve out your punishment with complete cooperation. However, if you do become a nuisance, which is highly unlikely, then we will have no choice but to use force to make you obedient."

"Force?"

"Yes force. We will strap your head to that chair leaving you no choice but to stare at the screen."

"And if I close my eyes?" Oliver asked.

He knew full well that he was crossing a line, but he was throwing caution to the wind. Oliver was already in trouble, how much worse could it get?

"Dr. Rochester, you're testing my patience. You're a smart man, most of the time at least. Just imagine how we would force your eyes open," the voice said with more anger than before.

The voice was so familiar! It was at the tip of his tongue, but for the life of him Oliver could not remember who it belonged to. He wracked his memory for an answer, but his mind was too preoccupied with his current situation to even think of a single name. It was torture.

"Anymore questions before we begin, Dr. Rochester? Or is your curiosity satisfied by now?"

"Who are you?" he asked.

Once again there was a silence, but this time much longer. There it was, the secrecy had appeared again! Whoever it was didn't want anyone to know that this was his job. Somehow it made Oliver more apprehensive of his punishment.

"This is of no concern to you. You've wasted enough time already, Dr. Rochester. We will begin now, whether or not you want to," the voice snapped.

"I didn't realize I had a choice before," he muttered sourly.

"Be a good boy and watch the screen. Oh, and remember, don't look away."

Oliver looked at the screen, mostly out of curiosity than obedience. Brilliant lights of multiple colors began to fervently flash on the television screen. It took him a second to realize that it was not just colors flashing on the screen, but images too. They were appearing and disappearing at such a rate that he couldn't comprehend what they were.

It struck him immediately what his punishment was. Now it all made since why the secrecy and why people acted weird when they came back from the detention center. Bile rose in his throat and he instinctively looked away from the screen.

"Tsk, tsk, Dr. Rochester. Look away from the screen again and there will be consequences," the voice scolded.

He returned his gaze to the screen, but the knowledge he had just obtained made him sick. Oliver couldn't knowingly engage in this sort punishment. It just wasn't possible! To willingly brainwash yourself was just ridiculous! With a mixture of fear and anger he turned his head away once more.

There was a sigh from above.

"You've made a bad decision. Pity. There will be some men coming in to strap your head to that chair," the voice muttered, "I thought a man like you wouldn't have been so…insubordinate. My judgment of you was wrong, surprising."

It was then that Oliver could put a name to that voice. His eyes widen in shock just as the door to the room slammed open. In the darkness, men rushed over to him. One of them grabbed hold of his head, forcing it back against the chair. He struggled, but with no success.

"How can you do this?! How can you do this to people?!" Oliver yelled.

"Easy, it's my job," the voice sighed.

"I'll tell everyone about this! I'll do it! No more secrecy! You can't keep me silent, A-"

Suddenly another man tightened a strap across his head and his eyes had no where else to go but dead straight ahead. The screen instantly sucked him in, leaving him powerless and feeling immensely alone. Oliver couldn't resist it anymore, he couldn't hold onto anything. All he knew was what was before him.

"Oh but we can, Dr. Rochester. We can do anything."


Immediately after Alastair had left, Faye headed over to the quarantine ward. It was strange just plainly walking there instead of sneaking around in the darkness. She didn't know what to think of Alastair's demand. A part of her was ecstatic to get a chance to talk with Quinton, this time legally.

However, there was something strange about his request. There was no way Van would allow her to do this after he forbidden her to do so before. Van was not the type of person who changes his mind on a whim. He thinks things through, no matter how insignificant. For him to just disregard his previous feelings towards Quinton was highly unlikely. Alastair must have said something to Van, when Alastair had ordered everyone to leave his office but Van him self. She desperately wanted to ask Van what had been said, but they were not exactly on speaking terms.

Faye felt a pang of loneliness. Dani was still upset with her about the whole Collin subject, Van was silent and avoiding her, and Oliver was in the detention center. She was practically alone. Except now she had Quinton to talk to.

She couldn't help but smile at the thought of talking to him again. Although, she was a bit worried that he would still be troubled from her last visit. Faye could remember the look in his eyes. Blind terror, that was what she had seen and she had caused it. She made him remember his ordeal and pushed him off the deep end. Guilt twisted in her stomach like a nest of snakes.

Alastair had ordered her to get information out of him, but she couldn't force him to relive his nightmare again and again. Faye would have to be cautious in her work, a skill she was never really good at. Well she was going to have to get better at it, for Quinton's sake.

She was getting closer to the quarantine ward. It wasn't a long walk from her dorm room to where Quinton was housed. Both were on the first floor, but the quarantine ward and the infirmary were on the eastern wing, while her room was in the western wing. Faye was just about there.

It was then that she turned a corner and bumped into Dani and Collin.

For a moment no one spoke, only stared at each other in awkwardness. They were all waiting for someone else to say something, not daring to be the first to speak. The air was thick with tension, a spring ready to be sprung.

There was no surprise that Faye spoke first. She hated awkward silences.

"Uh, hey guys. Where are you guys heading to?" she asked with a nervous smile.

"We're just going to the cafeteria to get a bite to eat," Collin replied.

He smiled back at her, but Dani remained cold. Faye squirmed in discomfort under Dani's icy reception. At least she wasn't yelling at her. That would be ten times worse.

"Oh cool," Faye said.

Collin nodded and once again silence engulfed them. Faye looked at Dani, hoping that her eyes would convey the unspoken apology to her friend, but Dani turned her eyes from Faye to Collin. Her hand slipped into Collin's. At first he looked surprised, but then he settled into a smile.

"I should go. Places to be, you know?" Faye muttered.

"Right, we should to," Collin replied.

"Well bye," Faye said.

Collin nodded and waved good bye. Dani only turned on her feet and practically stormed away. It was as if she couldn't get away from Faye fast enough.

She didn't watch them leave, but turned away and started to head over to the quarantine ward. Faye swallowed her guilt and figured there would be time for her to talk with Dani another time. Perhaps then she could muster up an authentic apology, and hopefully Dani would actually talk to her.

But, for now she would focus on her job at hand. Right now she needed to take care of Quinton's problems, not Dani's. Besides an order from a member of the Five far surpassed any other issue present, and she would make sure that she would get the job done, no matter what.


"Alastair told us you would be stopping by today," a man said when Faye came to the quarantine ward, "My names Bill Donovan, but you can just call me Bill."

Bill held his hand out and Faye shook it. He had a firm grip and when he let her hand go it ached.

"Nice to meet you, Bill," Faye said, rubbing her sore hand.

Bill smiled a toothy grin. He was pretty up in ages, but his eyes showed that he was still young at heart. There was a certain twinkle in his eyes, and Faye found herself trusting this man with ease.

"Here, I'll show you to Quinton's room," Bill said and pulled out a key.

He unlocked the door to the quarantine ward and held the door open, "Ladies first."

Faye stepped in and Bill followed close behind. He guided her down the hall way with confidence acquired from walking the same path for years. Soon he began to whistle a mindless tone. She arched her brows at him. For a while he ignored her, but then he stopped whistling and chuckled.

"Something wrong with your face, missy?"

"Something wrong with yours?" she shot back playfully.

This time he was the one who arched his brows.

"You don't like my whistling?" he asked.

"I just thought it was a little strange," Faye replied with a shrug.

"What's so strange about whistling?" Bill questioned.

Faye opened her mouth to answer but she had no idea what she was going to say. Bill laughed. "No clue, huh?"

"Not really," Faye muttered, "It was just out of the blue I guess."

"Didn't know whistling had to be a planned event," Bill said, "People today…"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Bill shook his head and waved her question off.

"Did anyone tell you what happened to Quinton?" Bill asked, changing the subject.

"Aside from the usual stuff?"

"Yeah aside from that."

Dread suddenly overcame her. This couldn't be good.

"What happened?" she asked warily.

"The poor kid went nuts. He was seizing about as if a demon got him," Bill replied, "He's better today, but if something happens you come and get me, alright?"

Faye nodded, at a lost of words. What Bill just told her made her realize that no matter what she could not make him remember his ordeal. Even if he was stable, she could not push him down that path. Alastair wouldn't be thrilled, but that was too bad. She just couldn't do that to him. It wasn't right.

"Poor kid," Bill repeated, "No way in hell would I switch places with him. You be careful, Faye. I'm sure he wouldn't want to hurt a pretty girl like you, but that doesn't mean he won't."

"Don't worry about me, Bill. I'll be fine," Faye said.

"I hope so," Bill replied and then stopped, "Well here's his room."

Faye stopped and stared at the door. Suddenly she felt nervous. "Alastair wanted me to give you a spare key, so you can stop by anytime you want."

Faye took the key from Bill. It was small and light. Bill patted her on the shoulder.

"See you later, kid," he said and then walked away.


There was something calming about tending to his doves. Van found his stress slipping away as he spent time with his doves. In his hands he cradled a female dove who cooed softly as he stroked her white feathers. Her beady black eyes darted back and forth and she wiggled in his grasp. He smiled and placed her back in the coop with the other doves.

He had had doves for a long time. It was possible that he possessed the last doves in the world. With all the smog and radiation caused by the aliens, many animals have simply vanished from the world. Van liked to think that he was doing Mother Nature a service by protecting the doves. Besides, he found them to be beautiful and it made his stomach churn thinking about the aliens destroying nature's beauty.

There was a knock at the door which brought Van back to real time.

"Come in," he said without turning away from his birds.

He heard the door creak open and the soft thud of footsteps walking across the wooden floor. From the corner of his eye he could see Nora.

"Somehow I knew I would find you here," she said.

There was a strain in her voice and he turned to look at her. She fiddling with her necklace, something she only did when she was stressed.

"Did Alastair send you?" he asked.

She shook her head.

"I needed to talk to you."

Her voice was shaky. It was clear that something had happened, but he didn't have the slightest idea of what it could be. He took her by the arm and led her over to a nearby couch. They both sat down. Nora instantly folded her arms over her chest. At first he waited to see if she was going to explain, but it didn't take him long to realize that she wanted him to initiate the conversation.

"Did something happen to you, Nora?" Van asked.

"Not exactly," she muttered, twirling her necklace round and round again.

He waited for an elaboration but didn't receive one.

"Nora I'm no mind reader. You're going to have to at least give me a hint as to what is on your mind."

"I'm sorry, Van. It's just so…so silly, but I can't shake the feeling that there's something wrong."

"Tell me," he said calmly.

She looked past him towards the doves and then back to him, not quite meeting his eyes.

"I found something odd in Alastair's office. Well, odd to me at least," Nora began, "I was tidying up his office and when I came to his desk I discovered a sort of…secret compartment."

"Secret compartment?" he echoed.

She nodded.

"There was a journal inside. It was old and tattered. Knowing Alastair, I can' think of a reason why he would keep such an antique."

"Did you read it?" Van questioned.

"No, I was afraid he would come back any minute and find me snooping around," Nora replied and then scowling, cried, "Oh, don't look at me like that, Van!"

"Like what?"

"Like, like your thinking I'm such a child with a vivid imagination! I don't know why this all unsettles me but it does! Alastair doesn't do this. He doesn't keep around old journals in little secret compartments. He's all about organization, not being sentimental," Nora said with more brazen then Van was used to hearing from her.

She was glaring at him and he tried to touch her shoulder, but she jerked away from him.

"Nora, I don't think you're being childish. For Pete's sakes I haven't even given my opinion yet!" he said.

Her cheeks turned red and she looked away from him.

"Then what do you think?"

That was a good question. It wasn't that he didn't believe her, just he wasn't sure what she had discovered was any means for alarm. An old journal doesn't equal malicious intent, on its own that is. What made her story catch his interest was that Alastair had a secret compartment in his desk. Whatever was in that journal was without a doubt something Alastair didn't want anyone else to find out about. If he was keeping secrets then there could very well be a problem at hand.

"I think we need to borrow that journal," Van replied.

"You mean steal it," Nora asserted, "That won't work. Alastair will certainly notice it missing."

"We won't steal it."

"Then what are we going to do?" she asked.

Van didn't reply but sat in silence, pondering. The only sound in the room was the sweet noise the doves were making. He watched them for a while, ruffling their feathers and cooing at each other. With all the activity inside the coop it was hard to distinguish one bird from the other. The only way to tell which bird was which was by observing them in a closer range, but from where he sat they all looked the same.

His lips slowly turned into a smile.

"I have an idea."


Not my best chapter, but oh well.