'Of the Rising Sun'
“What are you going to do to me?” Bray asked, his voice shaking.
The stern blonde woman marched over to where he lay restrained on the Dream Machine. “Where is Eleanor?” she asked matter-of-factly, ignoring his question.
Bray looked her dead in her dark eyes and gave her the strongest scowl he could muster. Since it still hurt his facial muscles to form any kind of expression, it was not the most intimidating of dirty looks and was quickly followed by a wince of pain. He then turned his gaze away from her and stared intently at the white wall to the side of him. Electronic data was visible flashing across the small screens attached to it and Bray instantly recognized the type of scrolling information from the time he'd spent working on a Dream Machine console.
Seeing that Bray wasn't going to answer her questions so easily, the stern woman spoke again, this time with a tinge of aggression in her voice. “Okay, then where are your rebel companions?”
Bray kept his eyes fixed on the white wall beside him. Clenching his jaw, he grunted loudly as he tried once more to free himself from the leather restraints. Unsuccessful yet again, he reluctantly turned to face the blonde woman. As a result of his recent strenuous efforts, the wall consoles displaying Bray's data began to change their patterns. The stern woman squinted as she watched the new information flash across the screens.
After a minute, she shook her head disapprovingly. “Your physical efforts will not grant you the freedom you desire. Nor will your silence.” She took a step closer to Bray and ran her fingers along the strap that encased his right wrist.
Forcefully she yanked on the metal tightening clasp--slamming Bray’s hand against the rock hard armrest. Bray seethed in silent pain, refusing to cry out. Seeing Bray’s impressive display of self control, she yanked on the clasp even harder. Though Bray's face scrunched up in agony, he did not make a sound.
“Now, what have you done to Dr. Secora?” she demanded while she tightened the strap around his wrist again, cutting off his circulation. The metal clasp dug itself deeper into his tender skin.
Bray clenched his teeth and spoke angrily through them. “You can torture me all you want. You won't get the answers you are looking for,” he said, mimicking what she had said to him earlier.
Hoping to catch her by surprise, he suddenly jerked his arm out attempting to grab a hold of her blouse, but she deftly evaded his grasp.
Again, she yanked at the leather strap, this time even harder than before to punish him for his disobedience. She let out a small chuckle, then began to walk around the Dream Machine, retrieving a small dagger from her waistline. She stopped at Bray's feet, then dragged the tip of the dagger along Bray's bare skin.
“The body is such a fragile thing. I am quite positive that we will find a way to get the information out of you that we desire,” she snickered at him, while the blade she held against him slowly punctured his skin.
Bray grunted in pain through his nose, as a small drop of blood pooled against the tip of the modest blade she dug into his calf. “You will not get the answers you want. It doesn't matter what you do!” he shouted as the stern woman pressed the blade even harder into his calf. Bray felt the warmth of his blood trickle down the side of his leg. “Because I don’t HAVE them anymore!” He yelled out, breathless, his voice breaking from the amount of pain he was in. Finally, she pulled the sharp knife off him.
“Is that so?” she asked in a teasing voice, cleaning the blood off the dagger by wiping it with a handkerchief from her pocket. “And why would you think that you don't have the answers I want?”
“Because,” Bray started, a bit of spit escaping between his clenched teeth. “Dr. Secora destroyed all of the memories he could get his hands on.”
The stern woman bit down on the corner of her bottom lip and nodded her head in mock understanding. “I see. Well, I think it's interesting that you believe your loss of memory is due to the actions of my father, the great Dr. Secora. I would like to point out that it is because of him that you will regain these lost memories of yours. So perhaps you are not as well informed as you believe yourself to be!”
Bray looked at her in confusion, trying to comprehend what she was implying. She turned her attention away from Bray and to the only other person in the room with them. Dr. Willow had occupied her silent distraction charting Bray's vitals onto one of the consoles.
“Dr. Willow,” the stern woman started. “Please load Program 7 into the SIRT.” she instructed, a devilish smile forming on her face. Turning to Bray she explained, “That stands for Subconscious Impression Replacement Transport. It will help me discover all those little secrets you planned on keeping from me!” she said, finishing with a smug smile on her face.
Dr. Willow looked at the stern woman, her mouth open in shock at the request.
“But—but Brielle,” Dr. Willow began, stuttering in disbelief. “Program 7 has only been truly tested once befo––”
“Enough! Run the program. We don't keep you around to challenge the official orders of your superiors,” the stern woman lectured.
While the two women argued in front of him, a slow look of realization spread across Bray's face. He squinted at the stern blonde woman as she continued to berate Dr. Willow.
“Hang on!” Bray yelled, interrupting them. The booming of his loud voice echoed in the room and both women stopped arguing and turned to look at him. Quickly trying to put all the puzzle pieces of new information together, Bray began to think aloud. He turned his head and studied the angles of the stern woman's sharp face. “Brielle? You're...you're my sister!” he exclaimed, a look of shock on his face.
Brielle sighed in exasperation, then walked briskly over to the console where she sat down and commenced programing a long procession of numbers on the keyboard. Her long fingernails clacked rhythmically on the keys as she finished inputting the last of the data.
“You don't understand,” Bray called out from across the room. “Dr. Secora is our father. He told me the truth in his office!”
Brielle maintained her ever-icy demeanor. “I am attempting to find out exactly what happened in that office. Hence why I have wasted all of my own and Dr. Willow’s time trying to bring you back from the depths of your own mind.”
Bray sighed, as he tried to think of what to say. “I told you already. I don't remember. Everything I have in my head still is torn apart. It's all shattered fragments of moments gone by now. He took them all away from me!”
“So I am to believe that the great Dr. Secora, caused all of your memories to just fade away like that?” Brielle asked in disbelief, snapping her fingers for effect. “Would you care to explain how his body ended up lifeless on the ground as a result?”
“Wait, what? My father is dead!?” Bray responded in shock.
“Dr. Secora is dead, yes,” Brielle said simply. “Whatever this world has done to you cannot be undone,” she continued. “That is not the reason we are all here today however. Braiden, I am going to enter your mind and extract all the information I need. I suppose if you would have cooperated a bit more, arrangements could have been made in order to restore your mental state back to how it once was. Unfortunately for you, I do not have the desire nor the patience to improve your quality of life at this point in time.”
Bray struggled against the restraints again, flailing his whole body in his efforts. “How can you do this? How can you treat your own flesh and blood this way?”
“If Dr. Secora told you that you were his son, and my brother, how could you have taken his life?” She retorted, her voice breaking in anger over the death of her father.
“I swear, I didn't know that I killed him!” Bray pleaded. “You have to believe me.”
Brielle shook her head, “I don't have to believe anything. That is what we have Program 7 for. It takes all the lying and deceit out of life.”
She turned to Dr. Willow. “Run it,” Brielle demanded, narrowing her eyes.
“No, please! You can’t do this,” Bray begged, hoping Brielle would listen to reason. “You need to accept that I am your brother. You are my sister, Brielle. Our father told me so!”
The sound of Dr. Willow continuing to press buttons on the console filled the room with electronic beeps. After a minute of rapid-fire key tapping, the machinery sprung to life all around them. Brielle walked over to Bray and reached up to grab onto the Dream Machine helmet that dangled high above him.
“Please!” Bray whimpered. “He told me… He told me you were my sister!”
Brielle pulled the helmet down onto Bray’s head and secured it in place. “Stop pouting Braiden. There is nothing more that you can say to stop this. I need answers. I need to know what happened to Eleanor and all your little Defected friends, and most importantly I need to know what you two did to Dr. Secora!”
“How can you do this to your own family? I'm telling you the truth. I AM your brother!” Bray hissed as he stared Brielle down.
A sinister grin formed slowly around the edges of Brielle's mouth as she bent down and looked back into Bray’s dark brown eyes. Inches from his face she whispered, “I know. But that doesn't change a damn thing.”