Mystery attacker "Mm. You know, there's more than one interested party I could pass that video on to. How do you feel about changing schools?"
Mystery attacker "We both know that's not going to happen, kid. What do you know about the Pleiades occultation project?"
Furud "I dunno, are there witches in the Pleiades or something?"
Mystery attacker "You're almost dumb enough to make that convincing. Will your cousin do okay after you're gone, you think?"
Furud "Oh I'm sure she'll do fine. Besides, sooner or later you're going to catch us all, right? You have a master plan or something? Maybe an evil genius that cackles menacingly?"
Mystery attacker "Me?" She has a rich laugh. "I have a fat bank account. I don't give a shit what they do to you and your freak buddies, 2282."
Furud "How do you sleep at night?" 2282... he knows that number.
Mystery attacker "Funny, freak-boy. What do you know about the death of Matthias Johnstone's son?"
Furud shifts in his chair, the pounding in his head amplified by the ebb and flow of his anger. He closes his eyes and tries to breathe. "I don't know anything."
Mystery attacker "Oh, you know plenty. But you still think that you're walking out of here, which is actually pretty cute. I wonder who's next..." the voice trails off for a minute, followed by a faint sound that might be keys tapping. "Right, 6134 and 1149. I give them three days at the outside when you don't come back."
Furud growls, "Leave them alone."
Mystery attacker "Or what? Judging by the files, they won't even need a push."
Furud strains at the handcuffs, "Or I'll fucking kill you." The words come out in a hiss between gritted teeth. Flashes of the fight with his father, snatches of the music filter through his blurred brain.
Mystery attacker "Hey, 6134 has a history of instability--bet she's off her meds again. You don't look so hot, yourself."
Furud ducks his head, breathing raggedly as he tries to regain control of himself. He makes an effort to put his hands back on the arms of the chair, his wrists raw and beginning to bleed. "Stop... why are you doing this?"
Mystery attacker "Money, weren't you listening? Now, tell me about the morning of February second."
Furud "You fucking bitch!" he licks his dry lips as the distorted music grows louder. "I don't know anything. I don't remember anything. I'm not going to help you."
Mystery attacker "One out of four. That's a failing grade for you kids, right? Don't worry, there are schools where they won't care about your grades, 2282."
Furud "Don't give me that school bullshit. And stop calling me that." The chains that bind him begin to rattle, and the room around him fills with tiny, uneasy tremors. It's wrong, somehow, even beyond the fact that he's the captive of a shadowy organization. It feels thick, murky, off-key.