Its always there, that faint thumping sound, barely out of sync with my own heartbeat. I've always heard it, all my life its been the one constant I could depend on. My friends would think I'm crazy until they too had their own events happen. The events ranged in variety from the easily hidden and ignored such as a sound to the more extreme. I once watched a classmates arms suddenly break in math class, I can still remember her screams. No one remembers when or why the events started. They didn't always use to be there, people were able to live out their daily lives in peace without what ever this is tainting them.
But then there was an uptick in reported voluntary committals, hospitals were running out of room with complaints of phantom sounds, emotions, visions and injuries appearing at random. Most believed it to be an elaborate hoax, some radical group trying to make a statement. All that changed when during a press conference a white house correspondent dropped dead mid speech. The autopsy report stated cause of death due to internal injuries consistent with those sustained in a bomb blast. Hours later a report would come through that an army convoy was attacked with an IED and four soldiers were dead. From there the government decided to create a special task force to investigate into these events further. Much is still unknown but a few things have been established, 1. Sooner or later everyone has an event, 2. These events work as a link between two people and, 3. If the link is strong enough when one end dies so does the other.
I'm lucky I suppose, I've got a weaker link then most. Aside from the phantom heartbeat I haven't experienced any other symptoms or injuries. I was recruited at a young age to the task force created to look into these links. I never knew why they really wanted me until a few months ago. Apparently I have a knack for finding patterns in data. That was found after scouring some medical reports and identifying the link partner to the Secretary of State. I'm now currently building a program that should hopefully assist in matching other links. I say hopefully due in large part to the fact that it will take a lot of outside assistance to get it to work properly. I'm hesitant though to finish it, on the one hand I can assist others in finding the other end to their bond, on the other whose to say this would stay a pure tool. I know what could happen if the wrong groups use it. Assassinations would take on a whole new realm, no longer would you have to get next to a typically well guarded individual, if their link is strong enough just take out the poor fool who has no clue who they're connected to.
There's really no scientific justification for the link and who it picks as partners. Some like to romanticize it with saying its pairing soul mates together but after witnessing a few links between children and adults I doubt romance has anything to do with it. Thats not to say some links don't end in romance. There's a couple on our force whose link is so strong if they try to touch anyone but their partner they get physically ill. Needless to say they're marriage is definitely one born of necessity that evolved into a love to be admired. Well, admired at times I should say.
"You mother fucker!" Sally roared, she really was quite frightening when in the middle of a fit. "I've told you a hundred fucking times, that if you're going to insist on typing up the report you fucking need to submit it. Now I look like the idiot because they expect me to keep track of you!"
"Babe, it was an honest mistake. I meant to submit it I really did, but then Mike came by and started talking about the Larson case and I just forgot." Poor Drew, he really doesn't mean to forget to turn reports in but it really is a bad habit of his. Purely because Sally is his senior partner and it reflects poorly on her.
Though in his defense the Larson case is just one of those projects that has everyone scratching their head. The one where its an open case with no clear direction. A UN ambassador had been found to match to match a boy named Larson. Problem was the boy was kidnapped and held for ransom. No clue how the link was made, originally all they had were mild sensations, an event to weak to be able to track. But then once the child was kidnapped something accelerated the events to a different level. What once was phantom light touches became excruciating pain. The kidnappers had tortured a ten year old boy to ensure the ambassador felt the pain, just to collect ransom money. Once the ambassador paid the ransom, the boy's body was found next to the Washington monument. We haven't caught the kidnappers yet, and the ambassador went insane after seeing the state his partner had been left in. We had to commit him to a high security mental institution in hopes of rehabilitating him. I'm not sure it will work, something seems to have died inside him when he saw the boys body.
"I don't care if he was talking about the Crimmons case! You know everytime you forget to turn a report in I get marked up for it. Are you trying to get us split up? Is that it, do you not want to work with me anymore?" Well thats no good, she just went from raging to blubbering. Wonder if she's pregnant.
"Sweetheart you know I don't want that. Where is this coming from? Are you ok?"
Don't do it man.
"Are you Pregnant?"
"I am not fucking pregnant! What you think that just because I get a little emotional it must be my fucking hormones. You know a woman can get emotional and it not be because she's fucking pregnant. We'd have to be actually having sex for that event to occur!" You know with her curly hair whipping madly about, and the red tinge to her typically caramel colored features she truly was a gorgeous site of ferocity. Though that bit of information regarding the state of their love life was a bit much for my poor ears.
"Honey bear you know thats not fair! Its this damn case!" Pleading his case I watched Drew fall to his knees in a groveling position. Man has no shame in the office I swear. Normally endearments make me gag, but for some reason Drew can get away with them. Must be the mountain man look he has going for him that I find it more humorous then nauseous.
"Hey guys, can we wrap this up? I need to talk to you both on your data sheets you sent me." I piped in. Normally I would be happy to just let them keep going and watching on how it would end, but this time but I had a headache. It had popped out of nowhere, or at least felt like it had. Felt like someone was drilling into the side of my skull. And all the noise was making it worse.
"Woah Squirt, whats wrong?" Such a sweet man, he really is.
"Sorry, killer head ache, must have been staring at these spread sheets too much today." God even talking made the throbbing worse. I don't even know where this came from, I was ok a few minutes ago. I need meds stat.
"Sweetie go lay down, you've been at if for the past 10 hours. You're brain is going to melt if you keep at it." Sally really would be a great mom, she's already got the voice down. She runs her fingers through my bangs affectionately and I wanted to collapse into that sensation, for a few moments my head felt better.
"Yes Ma'am. If you guys could just email me those spread sheets I'll upload them after some pain killers and sleep." I sounded chipper but once she took her hand away the pain came back. Standing up from my chair my vision darkened for a few moments. God it was getting worse, and standing was a horrible idea. I was barely able to keep on my feet my clutching the edge of my desk.
"Betty? Hey baby girl, you going to be alright? You're looking really pale." Was that Drew or Sally? I can't tell. Is that the floor coming to meet me?
"Betty!" My name was the last thing I remember before everything goes dark.
God my head is still killing me! And how did I get on the couch? Last thing I remember is standing up.
"Easy baby girl, your head took quite the hit on that landing. Not sure why you decided to fight the floor with your face but I think its clear you definitely lost." Drews voice was low, soothing, but still painful to hear. Felt like a gloved punch to the side of the head. Soft at first then the rest of the force hits you.
"Fight? Floor? What on earth are you talking about Fozzy?" He always did remind me of that muppet, what with all the facial hair and goofy personality. I briefly considered sitting up but the mere thought had my stomach threatening rebellion if I did.
"You don't remember sweetie? You took a header a little bit after you stood up. Do you remember anything before that? Have you been feeling ok?" Sally is really great at coddling they need to hurry up and get on the baby wagon. Her hands are back working their magic through my hair. I guess they took out my pony tail while i was unconscious since she was able to go straight from root to tip.
"I remember my head hurting, but thats it." Oh I should try not to talk for a bit, the throbbing only got worse when I did.
"Thats it? Does it feel like a normal headache? It seemed pretty sudden and then with you feinting." Oh how I hate that word, makes me feel frail. And I'm certainly not frail.
"No, one minute working on the spreadsheets, then you two were arguing about the reports and then it just sort of hit me." I need some Excedrin, this is getting impossible to ignore. "Can one of you guys hand me the Excedrin off my desk?"
"Here you go doll face, I'll get you some water." Ah sweet Fozzy bear, my savior from pain. If Sally ever kicks you out come to me. I'll give you shelter.
"Betty, has this ever happened before? You feinting from a headache I mean." I wonder if I tell her, her voice soothes my head, she'll just keep talking.
"Not that I can recall, I mean I get head aches a lot, thats the price you pay when you stare at computer screens as much as me but never the feinting. And never so fast." I know where she's going and its not possible.
"Sweetie, do you think you might have had an event then?" I wonder if I glare at her she'll back away from those questions.
"No." My answer is firm, with no room for argument. This is not a topic up for debate.
"Betty, don't be difficult, its a valid question. An Event would explain the sudden pain and feinting." She doesn't know what she's implying with that statement.
"Sally, there is no way this is due to an event. I've always had mine, its a pulse I can always hear. Thats it, no more, no less. To imply anything else is to say that my event is evolving into a stronger bond. And we've never heard of that occurring." The mere thought of a stronger bond is frightening in of itself, let alone the thought that all bonds could evolve.
"Betty, you know the knowledge we have regarding these things is rudimentary at best. Its quite possible that bonds can grow over time." She has always been good at entertaining outside theories. Its what makes her so good at her job.
"I understand that Sally." I don't care if I sound like a petulant child, what she's suggesting is a new wave of theories I don't want to entertain. Oh here's Drew with my water and pain killers. "Thanks Fozzy!"
"Betty, I know its scary but we need to be sure. If you did just have an event and thus your bond has grown in strength we need to know that as soon as possible." I know, I really do understand where she's coming from. Its an integral part of our position on this task force. Any bond's where physical impairment is involved need to be reported. For security reasons. It would be dangerous to have an agent in the field suddenly go down because something happened to their bonded.
"Alright Sally, you win. I'll go talk to Charles." This is going to be fun. Charles is fine as a team lead for tracking but when it comes to new information about the events and bonds he goes into full CIA mode. Icy gaze, impenetrable facade, and this presence where it seems like he's judging whether you're a foe or not. Normally I don't have that done to me but this will certainly incur that reaction.
"You'll be ok chica, think of it this way, it should make it easier to find them." I appreciate the attempt at cheering me up but he's assuming I want to find whoever owns this phantom heartbeat. And I really don't. Whats the point, just walk up to some stranger and say 'Hey I'm the owner to that heartbeat you've probably been hearing for the last 25 years. We're bonded isn't that nifty?' Honestly I don't subscribe to the school of thought that the bonds are inherently romantic like most do. Sure some do result in romance but whose to say those people wouldn't have wound up together without the bond. And I'd rather not have my life pre-scripted for me. And knowing my luck the person on the other end of this is a major jerk.