When last we saw our hero he was on the edge of insanity with a strange man named the planner threatening a painful series of tests that may well cost his sanity.
The light blinded him. SYP blinked at its brilliance.
“None of that now, I must see into your eyes and I cannot do that when you continue to close them. I do not wish to use force, but you must cooperate.”
SYP remembered now, the voice was the shadow, the Planner. He was looking into his eyes because they are the gateway to the soul, or some such thing. The light was back, but this time he stared right into it. He tried to burn the source of the light with sheer defiance.
“Well, well, Mr. Youth Pastor. It seems you are full of rebellion.”
Spots danced before him now as the silhouette slowly came back into focus. SYP carefully looked around the room for something he could use to free himself. They had used special reinforced restraints when his sanity was fading so that he could not hurt himself or anyone else. Now these restraints were keeping him from stopping the real villain.
“Of course my methods have worked on those with much more rebellion, so this is not the answer. I have already borrowed some of your blood, and while my scans do show some abnormalities they do not seem to be the source of your recovery either. I will continue with the typical surface investigation but I believe we will need to see what is going on in your head before the day is out.”
The Planner checked his reflexes, blood pressure, hearing … just about every possible test he could perform. He also used many strange instruments that SYP had never seen before. Things designed to measure aspects of the spirit according to the shadow man. SYP felt clearer as time passed but never tested his restraints. He knew that he couldn’t reveal just how lucid he was until the moment was right. The restraints appeared to run under the bed frame. They were attached to each other so his uncoordinated struggles would force him to work against his own strength. It was a very intelligent design, but there was a flaw.
“It seems a pity but I have not found anything specifically illuminating about your tests thus far. You are stronger than most, and your spiritual powers are certainly not a joke, but your mind had broken so these things could not help you. No, we will have to see your mind to find the answer.”
The Planner removed a device from his bag and began pulling it apart. It resembled a metal helmet with spikes embedded around it. He removed the spikes and put the helmet on him.
“Now this piece of equipment will allow me to see into your mind. Of course this will be more than a little uncomfortable. Actually it will be quite painful. We must make holes for the probes which will begin sinking into your brain. They will send impulses through your cerebral tissues and then monitor the responses. This will fully map your mental functions. The probes will continue to burrow into the primal portions of your brain until every part of who you are is charted. Of course you will not notice the probes; it is the drilling that will hurt. Unfortunately this will also end our time together since you are unlikely to recover from the deep brain scans.”
While he spoke the Planner had been fitting a drill bit into a cordless drill. As the planner came close SYP knew he couldn’t afford to wait any longer. The straps were much to strong, but the bed itself had not been reinforced against his strength. SYP pulled violently in a single coordinated crunch breaking the bed into pieces with his restraints. He was free but his movements were still fairly constricted. His feet were tethered together with the high tensile webbing allowing him only half steps, and his arms could only move a few inches apart. Fortunately the bed was quite thick and so there was plenty of slack where it once restrained him. He could bring his hands together, which meant he would be able to undo the restraints altogether, but only if he had time.
The Planner was recovering quickly and pulled a short staff from his bag. It seemed to move out of focus as he looked at it.
“This is a shock wand. It is designed to deliver bursts of electricity at exactly the right dose and frequency to cause maximum pain. It will hurt far worse than the final procedure so you should stop now.”
SYP tried to unbuckle his wrist but the Planner struck him and the world exploded. Sound roared through him and he distantly recognized it as his own howling voice.
“Oh dear, now you have certainly alerted the staff. I will have to deal with them, but first I must complete my contract and destroy you. This is becoming much messier than I would like.”
The haze was clearing from SYP’s sight just as the Planner lunged forward again. This time SYP side stepped and spun. The heavy buckle where the reinforced restraints were once attached together under the bed smashed against the Planner causing him to drop the shock wand. SYP worked quickly to remove one of his hand restraints, racing against his foe who was reaching for the pain stick. He got one hand free and whipped the short tether against the side of the enemy. The heavy duty material cracked painfully into the Planner stunning him and SYP bent to free one of his feet while slapping the electric prod away with his makeshift whip. The Planner back peddled quickly to his bag, but SYP was mostly free now. He left the restraints on one arm as a weapon against anything the Planner might pull from the bag. SYP twirled the rigging of buckles and dense fabric above his head watching for any tricks. The planner pulled something from his bag but SYP smashed it from his hand like lightening. As the item burst darkness filled the room and the Planner laughed.
“Fool. That was Eclipse Powder.”
The darkness lasted only a moment, but it was too late. SYP stood alone in the wrecked room.
A couple of weeks later SYP was happy to be discharged and home with his wife. They sat at the table discussing the events and wondering if and when the Planner would be back.
“One thing’s for sure,” Super Wife said, “He can’t drive you crazy.”
“You’re already there. Why else would you be a youth pastor?”
She laughed and gave him a great big kiss.