Master PC – Mind Magi
Chapter Thirty-Six – Rescuing Michael
Once we joined Steven and Meg inside, the five of us headed up to the thirtieth floor of the building. Much like the office building the Mind Magi Council had used for their meeting the day before, this floor had been rented out for Mind Magi use. However, unlike the other building, it wasn’t mostly open floor space.
The elevator opened up into a hallway. On both sides, doors led to offices used for various purposes. Most were labeled with either the name of the person who worked in there or what function the office performed.
Basically, it was a maze.
“Where are they?” I asked Steven and Meg.
Meg said, “Doctor Livingston’s office.”
“Oh,” I replied. “Well, where is it?”
Meg led the way. Steven followed. We were planning on having both of them enter first and tell Dr. Livingston that I had been caught. We were hoping that he would lower his defenses like Steven had done.
None of the offices had windows into the hallway. The doors had plain, white stained glass that you could only see shadows through.
After having Sally and her Dad wait in one of the offices that weren’t in use, I stood by the door to Dr. Livingston’s office as Steven and Meg went in. Even with the door closed I could hear them.
“What is going on?” asked a man. The voice was familiar if strained. I was guessing it was Dr. Livingston.
“We’ve caught the would-be House Lord, Setton,” Steven answered. “And it wasn’t easy.”
“Says you,” Meg retorted. “I know Russ tried to chop him up, but I took him down with a two-by-four.”
I heard movement and Dr. Livingston said, “Get up.” More movement was followed with “Where is he?”
Had our plan backfired?
I could hear Michael. “I-I don’t know. I-I can’t think straight.”
“You’re scaring him too much,” said Meg.
“Shut up,” shouted Dr. Livingston. “Tell me Michael. Where is Setton?”
Dr. Livingston was trying to verify what Steven and Meg had told him. Had the Master PC user anticipated this possibility?
Michael whimpered. “I-I don’t know…”
Then I heard someone grunt, and again.
“Tell me Michael. Tell me or your wife will be next.”
“I… Okay… Okay!” Michael said. “Give me a minute, please! I have to focus.”
Focusing on Michael, I reached out to feel his emotions. Fear swept through me and I pulled back instinctively.
“Dr. Livingston, you’ve filled him with too much fear. He can’t do what you’ve asked,” said Stephen. “And it seems that you don’t trust us.”
“I have to know. I have to!” Dr. Livingston said. “If he is free again, I must find him. He must be brought down.”
“Are you calling me a liar?” asked Meg in a very severe tone.
For a moment there was nothing. Then very softly, I barely caught it, Dr. Livingston said, “Yes.”
I heard footsteps and someone groan. “Tell me!” bellowed Dr. Livingston.
He must have been programmed to check on anything the others said if I had gotten to one or more of them and somehow freed them.
That was smart.
Focusing on Michael, I thought, ~Tell him the truth. Make him come out and see for himself.~
From inside I heard, “What was that? Who thought that?”
I should have realized that he would hear me.
More movement could be heard and then a woman yelped.
“Show yourself Setton!” Livingston called.
The plan was useless. Slowly I opened the door. “I’m here.”
The office had several desks and chairs. It was big enough to have held a few more comfortably. Michael was sitting on one of the office chairs. He wasn’t bound in any way, but the way he shook as he looked up at me told me he couldn’t have moved if he wanted. Fear formed a cloud around him.
Steven and Meg were both looking at me. Fear was beginning to trickle in around them as well.
Then I felt it.
Looking over, I watched as Dr. Livingston grabbed the chin of a woman. She was blindfolded. From a pocket, the doctor pulled a gun and pointed it at her head.
“You don’t have to do that,” I said while taking a few steps forward to pull his attention away from her. It was already taking me lots of effort to fight off the fear building up in me.
“I don’t have a choice,” he said. His face was contorted. A mixture of fear and pain had stretched it as much as Michael’s.
I fought just to take a simple step forward. The fear welling up in me had me wanting to stand as still as possible, so I wouldn’t draw attention. I watched the gun Dr. Livingston held, and noted the tension in his hand.
“W-we always have a choice…” I said. I wanted to say more, to encourage him to lower the gun, but I couldn’t form the words.
“NO!” Livingston shouted. He closed his eyes and I knew he was trying to fight the shouting commands in his head. “I have to do this!”
Livingston was several yards away. Even with my speed, I couldn’t have gotten to him before he pulled the trigger. I knew that. I had to reach him though. I had to find a way to get to him before the impulses forced his action.
My instincts answered my desire. I could feel my Charm reach out to him, moving silently, intangibly toward the man with the gun.
Livingston looked almost demonic with his mark fully visible. His focus was on the woman and the gun he held to her head. Suddenly he looked at me. “You! Stop whatever you’re doing.” He pointed the gun at me.
My fear shifted from what would happen to Michael’s wife to what could very well happen to me.
Wide eyed, I started at the gun. My voice shaking I said, “You wanted me. You’ve got me.” It took effort to look away from the gun Livingston held and look instead at Michael’s wife. “Let them go. You don’t need them any more.”
He shook his head and I let my Charm get closer. The gun in his hand shook. My eyes came back up to it. The barrel looked huge even from across the room.
Meg and Steven were heavily shaken. Both had backed away to a wall, not wanting to be caught in the crossfire. From there, neither moved or brought any attention to themselves. I was going to have no help from them.
Clarity filled Livingston’s eyes. “If you do anything to me, I will shoot her.” And he pointed the gun back at the woman’s head.
Fear for my life lessened, allowing me just enough control to hold off my Charm, stopping it from reaching him.
“Let my Mother go!” cried a teenaged girl from behind Livingston.
He ignored her, but I realized there was something else I could do. Instead of affecting Livingston directly, I directed my Charm at the girl. If I was right, she was Michael’s daughter, Jenna. I was going to let my Charm wrap her up and hopefully use her to distract Livingston.
Fear kept gnawing at me, making me second guess what I was planning. What if Jenna got hurt? What if she caused the gun to go off? What if… It was too much to think about. It was more than I could handle.
Dropping to my knees, I pleaded, “Please, stop this. It’s too much.”
I had felt depression, but the fear that rode through me made me want to run for the hills.
Looking up, I saw Dr. Livingston lower the gun. He studied me, considering the possibility of what I might do.
To me, there was no choice. I couldn’t do anything to risk Michael’s family. Even though I didn’t know them, I couldn’t bear the thought of what Dr. Livingston might do. Thoughts of seeing his wife and daughter laying on the floor dead filled me. Terror poured out of me in ways I couldn’t stand.
Dr. Livingston approached me cautiously and I closed my eyes. I didn’t know what he would do to me, but anything would be better than feeling fear for me and everyone else involved.
Oddly, the fear that had finally powered through me lifted. I relaxed and felt for it. Fear filled the room. Had it been water, we would have all drowned in it.
Understanding surfaced. Renée had used Master PC to make me immune to fear.
I got up, at ease with what I had to do.
Dr. Livingston backed up and grabbed Michael’s wife again. “Stay back!”
The freedom of not being afraid made things so very clear. I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t concerned even for the safety of the others.
Dr. Livingston looked not only a little worried, but quite afraid himself. The mask formed by his mark was only magnified into looking like a demonic visage due to the fear he invoked. Now, he looked like an older man, scared to death of what might happen.
Looking at the gun, I knew what I had to do. I was going to pull the gun straight up so that when it went off, it would miss Katherine’s head.
Doubt, being a form of fear, was also gone.
Focus brought about the slowing of time for me. I didn’t need adrenaline to speed up, it had always been under my control. I also knew that I didn’t have to be faster than the gun, only faster than the person pulling the trigger.
I moved. No hesitation, no concern. Dr. Livingston was true to his word and pulled the trigger, but I had no doubts about my speed. I got to him, lifted his hand with the gun and waited for the shot to go off. It seemed to take forever.
After the shot, I wrested the gun from Livingston and used my abilities to free him of Master PC as well as make him immune.
Just like every other time I had done this, another memory flashed before me. Lacking any form of fear, I had control over what I saw and chose something that had bothered me.
I was standing in a hospital, feeling old and close to death. I wasn’t there to stop my own death however, I was there to live on.
After finding a nursery I looked through the window at the infants inside. Finally I found the one I was looking for. A boy named Theodore Fitzgerald. He was the son of another Mind Magi. I was certain the child had inherited his mother’s telekinetic abilities. I would add it to mine.
After watching the staff work, and learning the timing of their pattern, I went inside. The child was asleep. Perfect.
Placing my hand on the infants chest, I focused. I passed on my memories, my powers, my consciousness.
Opening my eyes, I looked up at an old man. His eyes were glazed over. Slowly, he went back out and to the viewing window. Closing my eyes again, I knew that he would die soon. I would live on. Born again in the wake of my death.
The memory ended.
The fear Dr. Livingston had been throwing at everyone had lifted from the room. Michael, Steven and Meg were all shaking off the remnants of Dr. Livingston’s power.
I helped Dr. Livingston over to a chair.
“Why the hell did I try to shoot her?” he asked.
I shook my head. “You were under the control of Master PC. And don’t tell me it’s some nothing program because the rest can attest to what it can do.”
Livingston was more shaken up by his attempt to kill Katherine than by any computer program controlling him.
I shook him. “Doctor! Listen, you were being forced to do this. It’s that simple. You didn’t choose to do it.”
He finally looked at me, blinking as understanding filled him. “You’re right. I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t stop myself.”
I nodded and stood up.
The door to the office burst open and Sally rushed in followed closely by her Dad. After realizing that everything was calm, she ran to me and wrapped her arms around my neck. Mr. Gilman looked shaken.
“Are you alright?” I asked them.
Sally only nodded but Mr. Gilman said, “We felt fear. It was overwhelming.”
Dr. Livingston stood up. “My apologies. I was trying to keep him,” he nodded at me, “and anyone else in the area from stopping me.”
Mr. Gilman looked curiously at the Doctor. “And what were you trying to do?”
Sally said, “We heard a gunshot.”
I held up the gun still in my hand. “I stopped Livingston from killing Michael’s wife.”
All of us looked over at Michael. He was holding both his wife and daughter. Tears rolled down his cheeks. “Thank you,” he said simply.