I.N.S.E.C.T: A.C.E Division

A plot with pretzel-like twists, hopefully you'll like it... if you actually read it... and if you've no allergy to pretzels...
And by the way, i know that 11 chapters might seem a long read, but they are not very long! Plus, if people are actually interested in it (big ask, i know) then i'll publish the remaining chapters

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4. A most unwelcome welcome

Pain… head… hurting… throbbing… Scarecrow… pain… spinning… ‘Thomas?’… spinning…running… ‘Thomas?’… ‘Are you alright?’… head… hurting… spinning… ‘Thomas? Thomas, are you okay,’ I heard a voice say. Slowly, the world swam into view. I was in a small room, with some sort of tacky red carpet. The walls were a light yellow, magnolia I think, and the room was bare, apart from a small bookcase, a chest of drawers and a chair. I rubbed my head, which felt as if it was on fire, and sat up. A damp rag fell off of my forehead. I was in a single bed, still in the same clothes, and a thin, slender man was staring back at me. He wore a long cloak, and repeatedly pushed his glasses up with a bony finger. ‘Thomas, are you hurt? Do you feel alright?’ he asked. I quickly sat up and pressed myself against the wall. ‘Who are you? What do you want?’ I croaked, fear running through my words. ‘It’s okay, Thomas. I understand you must be quite frightened-’ ‘Of course I am! I was attacked and shot at by a scarecrow, and now I wake up a strange man is talking me about how I feel! Where are my mum and dad? What have you done to them?’ ‘It’s okay, Thomas. Your parents are aware of what’s going on-’ ‘You’re lying,’ I said. ‘They would never let me go to some strange place with a strange man.’ ‘We know your parents, Thomas. They know why you’re here and why we had to do what we did. I’m sorry, Thomas,’ he said, rather apologetically, ‘But I’ll explain all your other questions in due course-’ ‘It’s Tom,’ I said. The thin man cocked his head to the side. ‘I’m sorry?’ ‘It’s Tom. Not Thomas. Tom.’ He nodded in approval. ‘Well, Tom, how are you feeling?’ he asked politely. ‘I’m fine, thank you,’ I said. ‘My head hurts a bit, but apart from that…’I nodded. ‘That’s to be expected. The tranquilliser serum can cause the blood vessels around the brain to swell up, resulting in headaches. It should subside in a few minutes.’ ‘Oh, thank y- Wait a minute!’ I said, surprise obvious in my voice. ‘Tranquilliser serum? What are you… how… why did you tranquillise me?’ ‘Well, again, I’ll explain all that soon,’ he said, stifling my protests. I pulled the duvet off and stood up. I felt unsteady on my feet, and also slightly nauseous. ‘Where am I?’ I asked, looking around the room. ‘Again, I’ll explain that shortly. Would you like anything to eat? Or shall we proceed?’ he said. I stopped. ‘Proceed with what?’ I said. He smiled. ‘I think it’s best if I just show you.’

We arrived at a large room, labelled ‘B2.5’. A musty smell met us as did a large, round table which seemed slightly too wide for the room. The thin man muttered something about ‘back in minute’, so I walked in by myself. Two men and two women sat around it, engaged in hushed conversation. I felt it best to keep quiet until someone talked to me, so I simply looked around the room. It was quiet small, with the same magnolia- magnolia? – walls. Several paintings hung, mainly lopsided, of landscapes and serene wilderness. Large leafy plants stood either side of the door, which stood proud and auburn against a polished oak frame. Then the thin man came in. The four people sat around the table looked up. ‘Ah, greetings, Mr Emberton,’ spoke one of the four people. ‘Greetings, Mr Van Scave,’ replied the thin man. He nodded to me, and rather apprehensively, I greeted the man. The thin man then gestured for me to sit down, and he walked to the far end of the table. ‘Tom, we would all like to welcome you… to I.N.S.E.C.T: A.C.E Division.’

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