He forced his eyes open. He only lasted a second before a stabbing pain raced through his skull. Five tried again, squinting against the blurry world around him.
Keep calm. Breathe slowly. Take stock of the situation. Everything would be fine.
That pattern had kept him alive through buildings falling on him while alone in a wasteland the same as being held prisoner by rogue Commission agents. It was effective. If he could just get his mind to work properly.
He was in a chair. The room was dimly lit. He didn’t have much time to look around before he realized he was trapped and a flare of panic raced through him. He was in a chair. It appeared to be specially manufactured for him. A metal band dug too deep into his wrists and ankles, holding them immobile. From his wrist down to the tips of his fingers there was metal casing. He couldn’t so much as move his fingers. No way of jumping without the use of his hands.
This had to be a commission job. Who else would be so equipped to deal with him?
Five’s mind strained trying to put together what happened before his unfortunate predicament. He was at a coffee shop. The coffee tasted funny. He had been drugged. He had let down his guard and it had resulted in this disaster. He wasn’t going to do that again.
“Ah, Five Hargreeves, correct? The mysterious boy.” A voice came from behind him. Five could hear the footsteps coming towards and consciously reminded himself not to tense up. He didn’t recognize the voice, but there were a lot of people who he didn’t know. He had purposely kept himself separate from the other commission agents. There was no comradery in that line of work. You never knew if you’d be ordered to up and kill your friends.
“The younger brother of the infamous Hargreeves siblings. They must be pretty protective if they’re just now letting you out of the house.” Wait. What? Was this about… his siblings? “Where have they been keeping you? Locked up in a basement? Or!” The man was making his way around to the front of him. He sounded gleeful, “Maybe it was the old man. Everyone moved out after all. Then the old man dies and there’s a thirteen-year-old Hargreeves. Oh! Are you a clone! You know of that one who went missing!”
Five didn’t know what to say. Was this some crazy fanboy who had no knowledge of what was appropriate and what was not? He could see the man now. He looked to be in his mid-thirties. He looked…. Entirely average. He wore jeans and a green sweatshirt, short brown hair, and overly pale skin.
“Oh! I’m sorry I haven’t introduced myself! I’m Kent Johnson. Now, you don’t know me, but your brother does!” His voice got higher and squeakier with each word.
Five’s head was spiking with every shrill sound.
“Which one?” He finally croaked, his voice sounding scratchy. What was in that drug?
“That vigilante.” Kent spat. “He got my little brother arrested. Made his crime look much worse than it was simply by being there!”
“Yes.” There was so much hate in the words Five wasn’t sure what to make of it. Of course, he’d finally catch a break and someone would attack him over his sibling. This family.
“Well as much as I love evil monologuing, we really should move on to my real purpose.”
Five sighed, already annoyed with this guy, “I would hardly call that a monologue. And quite frankly I’m amazed that you even have a plan with all your mindless ramblings.”
“Well, I honestly don’t have much against you,” The man shrugged, “And I really am sorry about this, but you know, ‘eye for an eye’ and all that.”
He should probably be more worried. Well, he was but he also wasn’t. He was still havening trouble thinking. Drugs had always responded poorly with his powers. Especially depressants. Probably due to his need for sugar and caffeine. What people don’t understand was that slowing down wasn’t an option for him. He didn’t want to be so high strung. It was literally in his chemical makeup. And anything he’d ever tried to take to calm him down… well… the effects where often less than pleasant.
“Now, I’m really sorry about this, but I don’t have a choice in the matter.”
Five felt a spike of fear race through his chest but tried to stifle it. He really wished he wasn’t so out of it. That would make assessing this situation so much easier.
A needle pricked his forearm. He needed to stop spacing out and pay attention.
Wait, no! Not more!
He tried to jerk away but between the restraints and the man’s grip, he couldn’t move. He felt the liquid flow into his system, it was unpleasant. He hated it. He could feel himself slipping almost immediately. Not into unconsciousness. That would be too kind.
He was stuck in this in-between where he was still awake but barely in control of his faculties.
There was a noise in front of him. A click and a light. “Ah, Diego Hargreeves, The Kraken, correct?” This man sounded like he was trying far too hard to be a villain.
A large screen had come to life near them. Five’s head was spinning but he could make out Diego looking angry and confused.
“Who are you and what do you want? How did you even get on my computer?”
Diego had never been very technologically aware. Kent was standing in front of a camera, blocking Five from the lens. His head was pounding. He wished he could fight back. He just didn’t have the energy. He just wanted to sleep. Of course, he couldn’t. Nothing good could come from that. But then again, no one else was in danger anyway. It was just him. Maybe he could just let things play out.
“You may not know who I am, but maybe you remember the name, Clark Johnson?”
Diego just seemed annoyed now. “No? You know, what,” he turned away, “Allison! Do you know what’s going on with my computer?”
Kent did not like that answer, his face turning a dangerous shade of red. He spun around and stalked behind Five, grabbing his hair to hold up his head. It hurt. Not terribly. It was honestly better than trying to hold his own head up.
“Ok, my sister is coming and she-” Diego’s eyes widened, “Five?” The utter shock on his face would be amusing in any other circumstance. “What did you do to him?”
Five closed his eyes, the screen was too bright and Diego was too loud.
“I see I have your attention now.” Kent’s smile was evident in his voice. “I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘eye for an eye’.”
The boy couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped from him. Nothing was really funny. He just felt funny.
Another laugh bubbled up from his chest. He couldn’t feel his fingers. That couldn’t be good.
“Olga for olga,” he giggled.
Kent did not sound impressed, “What?”
“Eye for an eye. It’s Sweedish.” He let out another giggle. He wasn’t sure what exactly he found funny.
A strong force hit him in the side of the face, his head snapped to the side, and then fell against his chest. HE could feel blood trickling from his mouth, Five shook his head trying to gather the strength to lift it.
“What are you doing!” He heard Diego shout.
Kent moved again to stand in front of his prisoner. “If you think that was bad, you have another thing coming. You took my brother from me. Now I take yours!” Kent spun around, ramming his fist into Five’s mouth.
His mind sceamed for him to get out, to defend humself. But between the too tight restraints and the numbness that coursed through his body at random intervals, there was no hope. No point.
“Leave him alone! Your beef is with me, right? So just, leave him out if it!”
Why did Diego care? So what if he got hurt? It’s not like it was that big of a deal.
“Yes, but where is the fun in that?” Kent laughed. If I wanted you, Mr. Kraken, I’d already have you! But right now, your little brother is exactly who I need.
Part of his mind told him to protest the “little” part bu he was too tired.
“So what’s do you really want? The drugs must really be kicking in because his words where staritng to slurr together. “Are we here for torture, kiling, just having a hostage, let’s get on with wahtever this is.”
Kent sighed, “Well if suppose we could move things along if only a little.” There was a syringe in his hand. As much as Five wanted to protest it, he just… couldn’t. There was no point. He was tired. He was restrained. He could barely hold his head up. Just let them be done witht his. He was tired.
“No! Five! What are you doing?”
It took far too much energy but he managed to look directly t the camer, “Deigo, I literally don’t care anymore. I just want to sleep.”
The cold liquid raced up his arm and the blackness that had been clawing at him for decades finally won out. He had to wonder what was claiming him . Sleep or somethig else enteirly.
Five heard things. He supposed that meant he wasn’t dead. He heard Diego and Allison and…. Kent. That was his name. They were arguing. Someone was touching him roughly. More shouts. Too bright. Darkness.
Hands were on him again. This time they were more gentle. He should really fight back. Really he should. No. He was too tired.
His eyes snapped open. Heart pounding. It was as if every once of repressed adreniline deided to come forward all at once. It was almost painful. No it was painful. Very painful.He let out a scream, his hands jerking towards his head.
“Five?” Diego was in the doorway. He was coming forward. He reached out.
“No!” he gasped, “N-no, don’t touch me. I just… I need to….” Without meaning to he pulled at the fabric of space, jumping, he wasn’t sure where. But somewhere. He was traveling through the thick blackness of space. Then stepping out. In... the living foom?
“Five?” Allison. “What are you-?”
He was jumping again without even trying. Now he was in the kitchen. Then his dad’s office. Then back in this room. All of it wasn’t gone, but he had used enough adreniline to not be in extreme pain so that was something.
“I hate drugs,” he murmered, breathing heavily, and fell back onto his bed.
Diego was still frozen in the center of the room, his eyes wide and boring into his brother. “Are you… good?”
“I’ll be fine.” He sighed. “I’m just coming down off the drugs. It will wear off… eventually.”
“Look Five,” Diego scratched at the back of his head, “I’m really sorry about-”
“Save it Diego it’s not your faut.”
“Yeah well… Are you… ok? Beause I mean you weren’t real convincing there. Why did you just… let him do those things? Why didn’t you fight back? It’s not like you and-”
“I that what’s bothering you Diego?” Five srood up and began to pace, one hand rubbing at his sore brain. “I was drugged. I’d love to know what he had in me because it’s one of the most effective drugs ever used against me. He also had a masterfully, well-built chair. He was overprepared. It had already been drugged twice befoere he even called you so I apologize if I wasn’t up to my normal fighting standard.” The sarcasm was dripping from his tongue and it felt good. It felt normal. It felt like him.
“But, right before he, y’know, you said-”
“I wouldn’t pay too much attention to anything I said. Drugs don’t interact well with my powers it causes….” he winced at a particularly bad spike of pain, “Unusual side effects. It’s largely just extreme versions of normal symptoms but sometimes my metabolism tries to fight back and it has annoying side effects.”
"That Kent guy did seem surprised you passed out when you did..”
“See, just, drugs, now if you’ll excuse me.” He blipped past him into the doorway, “I have energy to burn.”