The Intuition - Debra Kayn
The controller for the Alpha Bio Project walked into the cave, escorting the girl-child known as Thirty-three. The handler softened his expression, hoping to put the young girl at ease. She was trained to meet the controller in town twice a week and come willingly with him to the cave.
But there were times she struggled with obeying—signs of failure within the project.
He put a small, white pill in the paper cup and grabbed a bottle of water. As Thirty-three sat at the table, he placed both items in front of her.
"Hello, Thirty-three." He sat across from her while the controller gave them privacy to conduct the test. "I have a few short questions for you today."
The girl sat with her chin on her chest, letting her hair cover most of her face, and tucked her hands between the chair and her thighs. He hadn't seen any improvement in eye contact, and he made a note to check the file to see what kind of training she'd had before arriving in Avery Falls.
She was the first minor in the project brought to the mountain community and placed with one of the Avery Falls Motorcycle Club members who had already advanced within the project.
Since neither one had any memories of their past, the organization placed Thirty-three with Twelve. The locals knew Twelve by the name of Steve "Speeder" Klein, and the girl went by Trina Klein.
Neither the girl nor the man questioned their sudden father/daughter relationship and believed the teenager's mother had died.
"Where was your dad between three o'clock and eight o'clock yesterday?" he asked.
"He was at the house when I arrived home from school. We had dinner, and then he went into the pole barn." She tapped the toes of her sneakers against the cave's rocky floor.
"Did anyone join him in the pole barn?"
"Did they leave the house together?"
She shook her head. "No. Only Trip left."
He turned the paper over and read from the second page. "Sometime in the next few days, I want you to go to Trip's house." He lowered his voice. "I want you to continue being friends with Zach."
At her blank look, he added, "Pay attention to what goes on at their house. I would like to hear about the activities they do together, if Trip tends to stay to himself, and what Zach and Kenny think about their stepdad."
Her toes started tapping again. He glanced at the last question and hesitated. It was one thing to ask a teenager to keep an eye on the motorcycle club members in Avery Falls, but pushing her to find out about Speeder's sex life would be out of the ordinary.
The controller never took into account that a typical teenager wouldn't ask about the sex life of adults, especially when Trina assumed the man was her father. Sometimes those in control of the project forgot that every trained participant was programmed to act as an ordinary citizen. They weren't only test subjects, and Avery Falls wasn't a lab to use at their disposal.
"Does your dad spend any of his free time with any of the women in Avery Falls?" he asked.
And, that answered the question the controller needed to know. Twelve's long-term sexual frustrations had never disappeared, no matter how many different treatments they'd tried.
"Besides Fridays, do the members of Avery Falls Motorcycle Club have any meetings when they're all at the clubhouse together?"
Her brow lowered. "Sometimes."
"How many times a week does that happen?"
He made a note. There were training sessions at the clubhouse and in the mountains, but Thirty-three would never know about that. If the club was meeting twice a week, it had to do with owning and running a recreational town.
Or it could be something more. His job was to figure out if the club members would ban together and purposely destroy the project.
"That's all, Thirty-three. You can take the pill now." He watched her put the drug in her mouth and wash it down with the water from the bottle.
He stood from the table and approached the controller. "She's taken the pill and is ready to go."
In ten minutes, Trina would forget her visit to the cave. He walked back to the table.
Thirty-three looked behind her and then faced him. "Did I answer the questions correctly?" she whispered.
He smiled softly and whispered back. "You answered perfectly."
The controller gathered Thirty-three and walked her out of the cave where he'd drive her down Seether Mountain and return her to town. Thanks to the drug, she would soon forget her