Kevin Keene ’s head hurt.
Kevin Keene’s head hurt and he was laying down.
Kevin Keene’s head hurt, he was laying down, no wait, strapped down. or something. He couldn’t move very much. The fog had yet to clear from his head. What had happened? He last remembered going to answer the door to his office to help one last student…
He heard a female voice. He tried to lift his head up to see who was speaking, but his head was strapped down. The drop ceiling gave no details as to his location. It just stared back.
“Looks like he is awake, Doctor.”
A familiar voice could be heard further off, it sounded like it was coming from a speaker of some kind. No, a cell phone, set to speaker mode.
“Good. Just in time.”
Kevin struggled to loosen his bonds. “Who are you people? What do you want?”
“Just calm down Professor Keene.” A male voice, not the one on the cell phone. Younger, still somewhat familiar. “Just relax and this will all be over before you know it.” It was a student, maybe? But who was that other voice?
Kevin sputtered, still struggling, “I will not calm down! Where am I?”
The cell phone spoke up. “Kevin, you really should do as you are advised. We don’t want you hurting yourself. You are in the Flansburgh Photonics Building, on campus, but away from prying eyes. You’re going to help us with a little experiment.”
“I refuse,” Kevin strained. His bonds were tight and secure. “Whatever it is you want, I will not help you.”
“Now now, Kevin. I always thought very highly of you. You were my star pupil. You even gave me the golden egg that got this whole enterprise started.” The cell said pridefully.
Kevin stopped and his heart ran cold in realization. “Dr. Kael? Former head of the Com Sci Department, my old professor?” He spoke slowly, whatever he was drugged with had addled his mind, but it was coming back to him now.
“He goes by The Programmer now,” chided the other male voice. “Show him some respect.”
“It all makes sense now. My old programs being manipulated, twisted. You altered the program I was working on to get into Videoland…”
Dr Kael’s voice responded proudly, “Kevin, don’t be so modest. The program you had was so close to complete, and it is even more so now. All it needs is just a few components from the other side, and we should be able to open a permanent bridge between Video Land and reality. Imagine the implications!”
Kevin was quiet for a moment. he said softly “You’re insane…”
Kevin’s world bloomed into bright colors and sharp pain as he was rapped across the temple by a strong hand. The young man’s. “You better watch your mouth, professor. We need information from you so we can finish this little project. You’re going to help us.”
“I will not.”
Kevin braced himself for another hit that did not come. Dr Kael’s voice said, almost pleadingly, but mostly threatening, “Kevin, you really need to cooperate here. I really need these kids to join me on the other side so we can finish the program, but they were kicked out by your son. For safety reasons, they have to stay out for three days, but with you here, I think we can finally bypass that safeguard. You are going to reveal the secrets of travel to Videoland to us. You will help us recover the Ultimate Warp Zone from the Palace of Power, and you will stop your son from interfering any further in our plans.”
“Charlie… I will not help you fight my son! I will not help at all! Let me go now or so help me, I will have this place torn apart looking for you!”
The young man looked into Kevin’s field of vision now. Gary Grant, all-star athlete. His student did not look happy.
“Professor Keene, we really didnt want to have to do this, but you are going to help us, whether you want to or not.”
Gary filled a syringe, tapped it, evacuated the tiny drop of air remaining. A young woman with purple hair he had seen around campus before walked in from the other side with an alcohol swab. She swapped the crook of his elbow and Gary injected him with the liquid from the syringe.
“What the hell was that?”
“Sodium pentathol, truth serum,” Gary said. “Once it takes effect, you will tell us everything you know.”
Dr Kael sounded from the other end of the cell. "After that, my prized pupil, you will join us in Video Land and I will show you what Video Land and your beloved Princess Lana have taught me. "
“Lana…” Kevin struggled mentally against the truth cocktail running through his system but it was only a matter if time now. He grew quiet now, his mind fogged at the edges.
The Programmer delegated to his subordinates, “Once he reveals what he used to travel to Video Land in the first place, recover it, and meet me at the palace. If I’m right, it should be safe to pass through. Bring your professor with you. I will need to see how the tether subprogram works on human beings.”
“If it doesn’t?” asked The Freak. She didn’t sound very enthusiastic. The Jock shot her a cold look.
“Then we will use him to keep The Captain under control, as our hostage.” The Programmer conceded. “Either way, he’s more useful to us on this side than out there.”
“Understood.” said Gary. “We will move out as soon as possible”
“Good. See you on the other side.” The Programmer hung up on his end.
“What the hell was that all about?” Gary demanded.
“Nothing,” The Freak said quickly. “Let’s get this over with.”
They both turned to Professor Keene and without much difficulty at all, began to reveal through Kevin’s medically induced state, the story of Captain N, the Game Master, and all of his secrets.