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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AA

11. Stage I

‘Ready?’ he asked. ‘Ready.’ ‘Okay, initiating sequence R8-3334212,’ boomed Mr Van Scave. The noise of the generator whirred into action, resonating through the room. I could feel the air from the fans blasting out, whipping Miss Blundizgoat’s hair into a frenzy. ‘You may enter,’ he spoke. I opened the pod and laid down inside, feeling the vibrations from the generator. The pod was mounted vertically to the wall, shaped to my exact dimensions, leaving only a few inches room to fit the insulating padding. Inside it was slightly cramped, but a small window was mounted where my head was, and I could see the others in the room. We were in room LB.4, one of the laboratories where I.N.S.E.C.T: A.C.E Division tested a lot of their technology. I had been given an advanced jumpsuit, called a pod suit, to wear, which would reflect the scanners back onto me for maximum efficiency, as well as a short briefing by Mr Van Scave, telling me not to move or react when he started the sequence. The pod would be sealed and then scanned for any foreign objects, before the first stage, identification, would begin. The whirring became louder now, as minute lasers scanned every nanometre of the pod. A small hair was found inside and was sucked out, into a box, which Mr Van  Scave took. ‘Okay Tom, I’m going to start the identification process.’ I nodded, too nervous to speak. I could feel the looming tension rise within me, twisting my stomach into a knot. ‘Initiating sequence R8-3338674,’ he bellowed, is voice easily breaking the raising noise levels. He flexed his gloved hands and twirled them over the touch screen control panel. The pod slowly tilted backwards, my view from the window first of Miss Blundizgoat, smiling at me before she disappeared, then of the wall, then the ceiling. Mr Van Scave then turned on the speaker located within the pod, so he speak directly to me. ‘Now, Tom. You’ll feel a buzzing in your ears, completely normal, as well as a tingling through your limbs. It may start to get quite uncomfortable, but it will only take ten minutes. There is a button located at the base of the pod, which you may push with your foot if you want me to stop the sequence. You have to press it hard, as it was designed not to be pressed accidentally. Shall we begin?’ I replied in the affirmative, and Mr Van Scave started the process. The pod vibrated more fiercely and started to hum, and then I started to feel strange. Light headed, as if I was floating. Then I began to hear a sharp buzzing in my ears, as the scanning began. I shuffled slightly to the side. ‘Try not to move too much, Tom,’ spoke Mr Van Scave. I settled in my spot and looked out of the window. I could hear the buzzing getting louder, and louder, and louder. It was like a swarm of wasps were flying about in my head. Then I started to feel an odd sensation in my fingertips. It was sort of a fluttery… tingle, like being poked with needles. The feeling started to spread through my hands and feet, and then up my arms and into my chest. And it started to get tighter, stronger, and spread right through me. Through my spine, and my head, getting more and more painful. It flew through my veins, my hairs standing on end, my eyes shut with the climbing pain. And still it grew stronger, pulsing through my entire body, blazing and burning and burrowing through my flesh. Then an almighty stab of pain erupted from my chest, and spread out. My hands felt like they were on fire… my legs were fiercely clenched with the pain… I fought the urge to cry out, the pain climbing through every bone… every tendon and organ… tearing through my skin…under my ribs… I fought and fought… I didn’t want to press the button… my skin was burning… like being sliced by hot swords… my stomach felt heavy… and then… and then… ‘Terminating sequence R8-3338674,’ spoke Mr Van Scave into the pod. I could feel the sensation slowly blunting, spreading out of my chest and stomach, receding into my limbs, where the tingling sensation lingered, if only for a second, and then disappeared. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, only realizing just how painful it was when I felt the sweat on my forehead, plastering my pod suit to my skin. The pod slowly tilted forward again, until it was resting vertically, and the door opened. ‘Feeling okay, Tom?’ asked Miss Blundizgoat. ‘Yeah, fine thanks. It started to get quite painful towards the end… but I’m okay now.’ Mr Van Scave then told me to get some rest, while he prepared sequence 2. I went to go and find Ben, who would drive me to the safe house where I would be staying, hopefully not for too long. I asked a passing engineer, who told me he was in room D.4. I managed to finally find my way to the correct room, but not after going the wrong way seventeen times and asking four more people for directions. I entered the room, pushing open the large oak door into a small room. It looked very similar to the room I was briefed in, except it had a smaller table and a large row of cupboards ran along the back wall. The floor was the same red, with streaks of gold, blue, green and yellow, contrasting with the large black chairs that stood around the table. Ben was sat in one, tapping furiously at a laptop. ‘Um… Ben?’ I gingerly asked. He whipped his head around and smiled, tapped on the keyboard a few times, then stood up. ‘Hello, Tom. I assume you were sent here by Mr Van Scave?’ I nodded. ‘Well, before I take you to the safe house, there is someone I would like you to meet.’ He pulled a mobile phone out, which was sleek, black and looked very advanced. He spoke into it clearly and slowly: ‘Rick Van Scave.’ The phone clicked and the dial tone sounded. Ben put it to his ear and began to talk to Mr Van Scave. Five minutes later, he ended the conversation. ‘I’d like you to meet someone, Tom,’ he said. Then the door opened.

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