The Division M conference room is a large, well-equipped meeting room with a long table and comfortable chairs. Special Agent Phillip Henry sits at the middle position on the right side of the table, staring across at the two men on the left side. The two men—one a heavyset, sweating Federal Agent, the other a hardened, weather-beaten NYPD Cop—stare back grimly.
Artemis LaFleur and Robert Thorpe sit alone in Robert’s office, drinking coffee.
They haven’t spoken of anything important—other than how each prefers their coffee prepared—since CB and Agent Grant left. Artemis drinks his coffee slowly, savoring the bitterness and the heat, and waits.
David Bernard shivers slightly as he steps into the large gym. It’s large, and mostly empty—most people are at work, and the few who are there are sticking to the stationary bikes.
It’s a well-provisioned gym. There are the traditional stationary bikes, ellipticals, free weights, bench weights and weight machines, as well as some devices David recognizes as specific to physical therapy and rehabilitation. He hadn’t used any of them—healing from the concussion came first—but they were all in his future, once upon a time.
Not any more. Creepy magic island took care of that.
Robert Thorpe’s pain is real. The pain’s location isn’t.
He feels pain because his nervous system is damaged. The kind of pain changes: sometimes he has headaches, sometimes he has muscle cramps, sometimes he has sharp, stabbing pain going up and down an arm, or a leg. Today his pain is in his lower back, and it’s more severe than usual.
There’s never anything specifically wrong with the part of his body that’s suffering at any given time, but he feels the pain all the same.