Well, it’s all finished now. It’s actually been finished since Wednesday night. I’m sort of skimming over it right now, and noticed a few things I’d have to change (for example, early on, Gerard said he had met Clyde a few times, but that actually can’t be. So forget that. Gerard has never met Clyde before, got it?
Gerard checked his watch. It read eleven fourty-five. He had enough time, he thought. He walked along the cells of the people that were used for testing. He was walking in the direction of Jem’s cell, but he had one stop to make first.
He halted in front of a cell and knocked softly on the bars. The man inside stirred, then sat up, rubbing his eyes.
“Who the hell is waking me up at this time?” he asked, looking towards where Gerard stood.
He completely stopped all movement. “Gerard. What the fuck are you doing here?”
“Again, what the fuck are you doing here?”
“Something is about to happen, and I don’t know how it will all turn out.”
“What, you’re going to take this time to finally make some grand speech about how ‘you didn’t mean for it to turn out this way’, blah blah blah?”
“No. Truthfully, I did mean for it to turn out this way. But that isn’t really an excuse for what I did for you, all the same. I should’ve let you know beforehand, or something. I don’t know.”
“You should have. We could’ve worked it out better than this.”
“Maybe. Maybe. But I want to let you know that, whatever happens tonight, it’s going to be something big. And… we may not see each other again. It’s very possible. There are a few short things I want to tell you. You’ll be getting out of this all fairly soon, as I think your sentence will be up soon. Perhaps, depending what happens, you may even get out sooner than that. But the man behind everything is Clyde Edison Orrville. Don’t forget that name, promise me you won’t. I’ve also collected all the information I’ve gathered in a hidden spot in the house.”
Gerard then explained in-depth where it was, Michael nodding in affirmation that he understood.
“Remember, if you push on the wrong area, it will all be destroyed. That could possibly end all chance of ending Mind Pharmaceuticals.”
Gerard checked his watch. He had to get going soon.
“One last thing, Michael. I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done to you.”
Michael nodded silently.
Gerard checked his watch. The time was eleven fifty-three. He began walking down to Jem’s cell.
Seven minutes later, he pushed open the door leading into testing room four. He thought for a moment, then opened the side door into the observation room.
“Until you’re needed, just stay and watch in here. I’d like to talk to Clyde by myself at the start, anyway.”
Jem nodded and walked through into the observation room, shutting the door behind him. Gerard then walked into the main testing room.
Unsurprisingly, a man was already in there. He was laying on the cot, his arms folded up under his head. When Gerard walked in, he sat up.
“Well, well, well. Hello, Gerard, so glad to see you showed up. And perfectly on time, too.”
He crossed his legs, still sitting on the cot, looking at Gerard. Gerard was in a bit of shock, realizing who this was. This was the same man he had seen at the cafe. It wasn’t that implausible of a meeting, really, but it still surprised him. He recovered himself and spoke.
“Yeah, I’m here. Let’s talk.”
He leaned against the wall. “More importantly, how about you talk.”
Clyde smiled. “No, no, I was actually thinking, with how much of a… ah… ‘final showdown’ this is, we should each have a lengthy monologue for the sake of full disclosure. And to make this as fun and chronologically correct as it can get, I’d like you to start first.”
Gerard slid down the wall so that he was sitting on the floor, still leaning against it. “Sure thing. You know, I’ve waited for this for quite some time, really. My very excitement at finally meeting you after so long can hardly be contained.” He said the last with a sneer of sarcasm.
“That’s true, to an extent. But yes, anyway, I’ll begin. I’m sure you already know a fair amount of this, but I’d prefer that you not interrupt and thereby spoil my monologue.”
“I’ve been planning this all for quite some time, Clyde. My initial reason for coming to Mind Pharmaceuticals was prompted by that. As you may or may not know, my father died as a result of some things that went on here. Whether you had anything to do with this, I don’t know, but it was the start of my search for knowledge and information pertaining to the corruption that takes place here. And I learned, before too long, that the source of the corruption was none other than our dear CEO. For a while, I wasn’t honestly sure if you existed or were just a creation of some board of the company. To this moment, I had never seen you before – except for when I unknowingly saw you an hour ago at the cafe – and didn’t know you existed. But everything pointed to it, and I made my plans accordingly. I gathered a few other people around me to work with me at times, but mostly just used them to further my plans without having much care for what happened to them in the end. And at this point, I must pause my story for a question – did you kill Devin?”
Clyde laughed. “Yes, yes, I most certainly did. Don’t bother trying to find any evidence of it, I’m quite good at covering my tracks, as you can imagine. With that answered, please continue.”
“I thought so. Anyway. I have slowly been gathering information, filling out my entire case against you and this company. I have it all hidden away securely, and no one but myself and one other person knows of how to obtain it. Once I had gathered enough to end this all, I would present it to the authorities, and, based on my calculations, you and everyone else related to it would be sent away for a very, very long time. I suppose that’s it. I mean, of course, there were many other minor parts of the plan, nuances that held it all secure, but that’s the jist of it.”
“Mmm. Very good, very good. Unfortunately, you’re much like the head of his chess team at a high school thinking he can go head-to-head against someone like Emanuel Lasker. Quite foolish, but from everything he’s experienced, he’s been the best big fish in his little pool. Little does he know how much greater things can get once outside that little pool and swimming in the ocean.”
Gerard kept silent, anger flowing through him.
“Anyway, I suppose it would be my turn. You see, I never had such grand plans from the start. For me, it more started by me gaining power in the company, then beginning to understand what I could really do with it all. You may or may not know that there are certain… allowances made in the company which both incriminate it while keeping it safe. How? I wouldn’t normally subject myself to such crass language, but it sums it up well: ‘snitches get stitches’. That’s only the most simple version of it, though. For example, in the production center, it is well known that many, many employees steal drugs. Some do it for their own benefit, some do it to sell on the street. But in either case, they cannot hold any thoughts of revealing the company. For one, the ominous fear that something ‘might happen to them’, though for such unimportant people, that sort of force would be rarely used. It would seem subtlety works better in these situations; if they were to expose the company, their access to drugs would stop, simple as that. Furthermore, they would be incriminating themselves to even mention it to any authorities.”
He took a sip of water, then continued.
“There are situations similar to this, but different in many key ways, in many other sections of the company. As a result, they are all whole-heartedly devoted to the company in their own ways, you see?”
“As for human testing. It is the most efficient way of testing things, and it was easy enough to set up an agreement with our neighbors, those of the Keene State Correctional Facility.”
Clyde laughed. “The police and government have always been far more corrupted and corrupt-able than this company ever has been. Now Gerard, I wouldn’t suggest even trying to root out the core of all that evil.”
Gerard gave a wry grin in response.
“Despite unavoidable ‘costs’, those of bribes and such, the extra revenue we made by using human testing made it completely worth it. That reminds me, you have a brother in there, don’t you?” Clyde smiled cruelly. “I’m sure we could work something out with that, don’t you think?”
Gerard pulled the gun out of his pocket, flipping it out of safety. He didn’t point it at Clyde, but he held it in his hand, ready.
“Don’t you talk about him.”
“My, my, aren’t we touchy? He doesn’t interest me, anyway. He’s just a failed part of your plans, tossed away to the wind like so many paper ashes. Anyway, let’s see where I left off. I suppose this brings us up to the recent days. I had… a foreboding, we’ll say, and found the source of it. It would appear an intern here – John, I think his name was – had stumbled into one of your secrets. I made him tell me everything he knew, which honestly wasn’t that much, and rearranged my plans accordingly. Although he didn’t know much, he gave me just enough information that I could change things perfectly. And, I suppose, this brings us up to the present.”
“Almost. But there’s someone you’ve neglected to mention.”
Jem was sitting in the observation room, watching and listening to everything that was going on. He knew just enough of both of their plans to know they had both left out many crucial details, and was quite entertained by the whole thing.
Clyde had glanced towards the one-sided mirror a few times. There was a whole in it, but Jem had remained concealed behind the still-whole part of the glass. Clyde still knew he was back there, though, and Jem had seen when Gerard had taken the gun out of his pocket.
He smiled. That gun was quite important to everything. He wasn’t sure how Clyde had managed it, but he had learned to not question Clyde’s abilities by this point, and went along with it all.
At hearing this last statement by Gerard, Jem left the observation room and entered the testing room.
Clyde rose his eyebrows when Jem entered, and Gerard smiled at his expression.
“This is Jem, Clyde. I’d give you a more thorough introduction, but I think we don’t have time for that right now. Suffice to say, he knows what you did to Christopher.”
“Oh he does, does he?” Clyde said with a smile.
“Yes, of course. I’m not sure what you were intending with that. Did you think Christopher was part of my plan? One of the people I intended to involve? How mistaken you were. But I suppose I should be thanking you, as it was the final straw that convinced Jem to join me.”
“I see. Well, I suppose you’re welcome. But what do you intend to do, now? Our secrets are all spread out upon this table of conversation, and what will you do with them?”
Gerard sighed. “The end goal has always been to end this all. And I must say that…”
Clyde interrupted him. “You know, you really could’ve ended this a whole lot more simply with just the addition of one easily-procured item.”
“An audio recorder. If you had come in here with one, I never would have known, of course,” he said with sarcasm, “and it could’ve been the final piece of evidence you needed. Perhaps the only piece of evidence, actually. I think confessions of guilt are pretty weighty in the judicial system, right?”
Oh, fuck. How could’ve Gerard not have thought of that? It would’ve been so simple, so effective, so…
“I’m afraid this is a perfect example of your one major flaw, Gerard. Impulsivity. You’re really quite impulsive at times. This can both work for you and against you, and it would appear this time, it worked against you. So, you were saying? About ‘ending this all’.”
Gerard lifted the gun and pointed it at Clyde.
“When you’re weeding a garden, you can’t just rip off the top parts of the plant. You’ve gotta get at the roots. You have to kill the roots. And that’s what I intend to do.”
His hand shook.
“It’s pretty easy to use humans as test subjects, isn’t it? Rather impersonal. But directly pointing a gun at someone is much harder. So, Gerard, I ask you; will you be able to use your impulsivity to help you this time as well?”
Gerard bit his lip and stilled his hand, pointing the gun at Clyde’s head.
“Here, perhaps a little ‘trigger’, so to speak – forgive the pun, I must ask – may help. If you don’t, maybe something willI happen to Michael. Perhaps he’ll die, just like Christopher,” he said with a smirk, “if you don’t end this all right now. One might take offense at not being able to summon your anger! One might want to avenge that little fact. I’d kill him just like I’ve killed Christopher and Devin and so so so many other people. They don’t mean anything to me, their deaths don’t even need to have a place in my plan for me to kill them. Someone such as myself can get very bored, predicting accurately everything that will happen. I’ve got to liven things up – again, excuse the pun – every once in a while.”
Jem let out a yell, lunged towards Gerard, and grabbed the gun. He rushed up to Clyde and grabbed him by the neck, pushing the gun against his head.
“Don’t you talk about him like that, you fucking piece of shit. I’ve been meaning to do this for so, so long. I’m going to fucking kill you and dance over your dead body. I don’t give a damn about prison and life sentences. Who even fucking cares? I just want you to die, and die in pain.”
He smashed the gun into Clyde’s head and threw him to the side of the bed. He pointed the gun at Clyde’s head and fired. Blood splattered over Clyde’s head and body, flecking the floor and walls around him.
Clyde let out a yell of pain, his body already slackening. He turned slowly to Gerard, smiling weakly. “I’m glad that happened. Were you not suspicious that I provided you with a weapon? Well, I won’t spoil the surprise. But, well, you might want to check on all of your gathered information as soon as possible, anyway. Have fun picking up the pieces, Gerard.” His voice had gotten weaker and weaker as he spoke, and his voice trailed off at the end. His head fell to the floor with a dull thud.
Jem tossed the gun to Gerard.
“I’m done with this. I’ll get rid of his body.”
Gerard walked up to the body and checked for a pulse. There was nothing, and he could feel the body’s warmth fading already.
Gerard fell to the floor. He didn’t know whether he should feel fear or exhilaration, or something else. All he could feel was numbing shock that it was all over.
“Yeah… okay. I…” Gerard got up, thinking about Clyde’s final words. “I should… go. I should probably… check on stuff? I don’t…”
“Thanks for killing him, Jem. I honestly don’t know if I… really… could’ve. I just… I had lost all ability to think or act or do anything.”
“I noticed,” Jem replied.
Gerard struggled to his feet, took a few shaky steps, then ran out the door and out of Mind Pharmaceuticals. He got into his car and raced home. If he knew anything about Clyde, it was that everything hadn’t really ended.
Jem watched Gerard leave, then turned back to Clyde’s motionless body. He retrieved a small syringe from his pocket and injected it into Clyde’s arm.
Almost instantaneously, Clyde’s eyes opened. He turned over and let out a few retches before turning back to Jem.
“Did he take the gun?” he asked.
“Yup,” Jem said, laughing.
Clyde rubbed his head. “You could’ve hit me a little softer.”
“Hey, I needed to sell it.”
Clyde nodded. “That worked really well, didn’t it?”
“Okay, I want to wash off this blood. I should also probably bandage myself up a little bit. I’m sure I’m going to be covered in bruises tomorrow. Liquid projectiles hurt like hell. That hit of tripe later tonight sure will be nice.”
“Same here,” Jem said.
Clyde took his phone out of his pocket and logged into a personal server website he had. He smiled at the “transfer completed” message in the log.
“Looks like everything worked out just perfectly,” he said.
Jem and Clyde left testing room four.