Mind Games

The metal grating that made up the floor clicked quietly under the weight of his boots as he stepped into the room and scanned its dark corners, the catwalks hovering in the space between him and the high roof, and any other place thrown into obscurity by the lighting emanating from the single bulb suspended from the ceiling. He felt his eyes glow as he activated his power: the only reason he had managed to get this far at all. It really helped to be able to control a person’s mind through eye contact. The single pistol in his hand sure wouldn’t have cut it.

“Well, well, well, Sutherfeld,” said a voice out of the darkness. Sutherfeld turned toward the source of the noise, but the location was hard to pinpoint as it echoed around the room. He recognized the voice, though: it was Julian, the head of a notorious mercenary group that had been moving and shaking the world for several years now, thanks to the fact that Julian shared Sutherfeld’s ability.

“I’m surprised you got this far,” Julian continued. “I made sure there were obstacles to getting here that would thwart even someone with our power, but you seem hardly fazed by your infiltration.”

“I get paid for a reason,” Sutherfeld replied confidently as he moved back toward the wall, staying out of the glow of the light bulb. All he needed was eye contact, though at this point, not knowing what would happen should Julian also use his power, what he really wanted was to manage to sneak up on the mercenary’s back.

“Indeed.” Sutherfeld could almost feel Julian smiling. “But why work for them? You’re so much more powerful. You should join me – I could pay you so much more, help you realize your potential more than any governmental organization could do.”

“Now you’re just desperate. Not so cocky when you’re the one about to lose your will.”

“Come now, I’m just trying to have a reasonable discussion while you run around, waving that gun of yours.”

Sutherfeld twisted around at the last comment, his gun at the ready. Seeing nothing, he relaxed a little. “This needs to end quickly. You can’t go on using people like tools.”

“Yes to the first, no to the second. Sutherfeld, we’re the gods of this age. We can tell people to do whatever we want; we define our own morality. Why degrade yourself by working for these pitiful governments when you could have them fulfilling your every desire?”

“That would be a pretty dull life,” Sutherfeld muttered. “Aha!”

He stepped into the glow of the light bulb, gun raised in front of him, only to see Julian on the opposite side, also wielding a pistol. In an instant their eyes met, their powers activated, consuming and swallowing the other’s mind. And then they stood there, each unthinking, unfeeling, waiting for a command to come from one who was waiting for a command to come.

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