I'm still a bit shook up by what I saw an hour ago. I was out on patrol near Langdon Park when I heard police chatter about an armed truck being held up. I responded and the driver was already tied up near an alleyway with tap over his mouth. He told me that some girls in ski masks and jackets cornered him when he was calling his boss and took the van. He told me they were only gone for about two minutes and that as far as he knew the tracker in it was still operational. I thanked him after he pointed me in the direction of the van. After searching for a few minutes I saw it being taken into a warehouse near the old steel mills. While I climbed up the fire stairs I could hear a girl talking to someone over the phone, telling them that the money just arrived.
I came in through the rooftop skylight and landed on a ledge overlooking the van.
"And just what is going on here?"
"We haul for Hypnoman." the one nearest to me said. She dark skinned and had some weird accent. Jamaican, maybe? Her mentioning him sent a chill up my spine. I'd just run into some of his slave girls. Another girl seemed almost giddy to see me.
"Miss Might, we weren't expecting you! Oh, and the place looks like a dump. If we knew we'd have a chance to recruit you we'd have tidied up a little. It's not every day you get to
"You mean you want me in your little club working for that creep?"
"Of course! You got his attention pretty quickly and he sees a lot of potential in you." Before I could reply, they all spoke at the same time.
"You're always welcome among the Sleepwalkers!" That threw me off. They sounded so...honest. I could believe they really wanted me on board. The name they used stuck out to me too. 'Sleepwalkers.' That's what he was calling his slave girls. Haven't heard that before.
"Sorry to disappoint him." I said back.
The fight was a blur. I remember being as gentle as I could with em. I wanted to break their guns, not their spines. They gave up after that, a minute or so before the cops arrived. They just put their hands up and filed out when they were told to. I left after the police took them away.
When I got back home, the way they they acted when they were beaten made me shiver. When the police came, every one of them like a kid who just got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and told to go back to their room. I half expected one of them to go 'ah well, that sucks.' The whole interaction was strange.
They didn't curse me out. They didn't threaten me. They didn't say anything to me that was even remotely nasty. They were honest to god happy to see me. While I was waiting for my pizza delivery I had a really scary thought.
Were they acting that way because they thought I wouldn't be able to resist...however Hypnoman puts girls under his control? Like I was gonna be an easy mark? Some part of me felt like they weren't entirely wrong to believe that.
I don't think this is genetic like the strength I got from my dad but my mom's susceptible to hypnosis. She told me this story back when I was a kid. She was in the army during Desert Storm and got captured by Republican Guard after being separated from her unit. She got taken to a facility near Basra where there was this intelligence officer who tried putting her into a trance in order to get her to, ya know, spill the beans. He used a metronome that shined a light every few seconds and a really calm, soothing voice. My mom almost went pale when she told me it worked. She told him everything she knew. She told me it was like the fight was being drained out of her the more she watched the metronome. When I asked her about how the guy sounded, she said his voice was like this dense fur coat she was wearing to keep out the winter cold. "I felt so warm around him, so safe."
My mom was in a trance for about three weeks, she got woken up when the Iraqis waved the white flag. She remembers a fair amount of what happened during that time. The officer was so shocked by how little fight she put up that he experimented with what else he could do. My mom's pretty certain he didn't do anything sexual (she went through a bunch of medical exams to make sure of that) but he got bold enough to try and change her alliegance. "He wanted to see if I could be turned against America, if I could be brainwashed," she told me. "I remember sitting in the interrogation room watching the metronome while propaganda translated into English played on repeat and I was repeating it too. It took months for the guys at intel to clear that junk outta my head."
The whole experience did a number on her emotional state. She was 19 when this happened. It took years, and a lot of love from my dad, for her not to think of herself as being weak.
She told me she was sure I was gonna put up much more of a fight than she did.
I only hope she's right. Ah well, the pizza girl's here. Time to focus on anchovies and stuffed crust for a little while.