Nothing spectacular appeared to happen the next day. Brendan was annoyed that he'd fallen asleep in his suit again, and there was a new case waiting for him on his desk once he'd gotten in, but that wasn't out of the ordinary.
As always, his coffee had been handed to him by his new partner, had a bite of a bagel, and ended up sat with numerous sheets of paper spread over his desk. It was an easy enough case, but, as per usual, he had to go and find the guy.
This took up the best part of the day, forcing him to skip lunch (I'll have a big dinner). He could feel the eyes on the back of his neck as Freya watched him put the man in an interrogation room. It always gave him a feeling of security, knowing she was there, knowing she was watching his back in case anything went wrong.
"I got this one," she said as he finished closing the door. He turned to find her leaning against the wall, head tilted to one side as she looked calmly towards him.
"I thought it was my turn," Brendan said, crossing his arms.
"It was, but you take too long. And if you do take this one, you won't make it on time for the doc's meeting."
:I was kind of counting on that.:
He waited for her to reply, but soon realised he still had his defences up. "I was kind of counting on that," he repeated, making a mental note to leave his mind open the next time they spoke.
"Well, I wouldn't want to go either, but I'm not the one who can suspend you for a month."
"See ya later Frey," he said, walking quickly towards the offices. He couldn't help but notice the smug look she had on her face as he passed, but dismissed it quickly (I'll get her back later), looking at his watch. Six fifteen. He was late.
Brendan knocked lightly on the glass door before entering.
"Ah! Mister Dean. So glad you decided to join me,"
He cringed at how the sentence was force at him, sitting down in the chair opposite the desk. As he looked around, he noticed there were a few more items in the room than there were previously. They seemed to be some form of complex, possibly medical machinery, though he had no idea as to what they were for or why they were there, but he had a sneaking suspicion.
"What's with all this stuff then?" he asked, waving in their general direction.
Doctor Wells leaned forward onto his desk, his fingers steepled in front of his mouth in contemplation. "When you… For lack of a better word, remember, memorise things, what is it like?"
The agent frowned at the question, ignoring the fact that the man hadn't answered his (He'll probably get to it later). "What do you mean?"
"When you are memorising something, what does it feel like? When I'm memorising something, it feels like I'm making a new file, or like I'm creating a new bar or note in a piece of music."
Brendan nodded slowly in understanding. "It's like…" he searched for the right words. "It's like I'm fishing. When I need to keep a piece of information in my mind, I catch a fish." He tried to think of a way to continue the strange metaphor. "I keep it, alive, in a bucket of water and I take it home, where I have an aquarium, and I put it in there."
The doctor frowned. "So you have an aquarium of memories in your mind."
"Yeah. Kind-of. If I need to remember it, I just have to find it in there." (God that sounds awful! Aquarium? What will you think of next?).
Michael was nodding, obviously interested by this strange image. "So it's like pulling things from around you and locking them in a safe."
"Yeah." (Even he can think of a better explanation than you! And you call yourself NSA.)
The doctor looked like he was about to say something, but paused, considering his words carefully. "Have you ever considered putting them back, or maybe, jumping in the river?"
The question shocked him, making him blink and stumble for words. Put them back? Jump in? "What?"
"You, my friend, are like, in some ways, a mobile phone."
Frowning yet again, Brendan nodded. He decided not to ask why he was being compared to the object.
"You capture and store images, sounds, smells and so on, viewing them privately in your mind. The only other person you could share these with is Freya."
Another nod. He still wasn't too sure where this was going.
"One thing a phone can do, at least the new ones anyway, is send these images and information to other places, or take in a new one. Like a network."
"Are you saying that I…"
"Maybe. That's why I needed these machines. It's the only way I'll be sure."
"If that's the case, then why hasn't it happened before now?"
The doctor took in a deep breath, preparing for a long explanation. "Your mind is far more complex that Freya's. Hormones focused, or scrambled depending on the way you look at it, her mind when she was in high school, unlocking neuron pathways, which is one of the reasons why this has happened to her. It would have come as quite a shock. You probably had a similar experience when you first discovered you could remember anything you were shown."
(This guy is good) When he was four, he could remember drawing a picture of his home in kindergarten. All the other children had stick men for their families and matchbox houses, a typical toddler drawing. His was a tall two story building with a porch, five windows (one or two open with curtains blowing through), the path leading up to it in its curved fashion, chimney, and a group of people sat outside eating on a red and white chequered blanket eating sandwiches as a yellow dog was chasing after a ball that one of them had thrown. Sure, it wasn't exactly a masterpiece, but everything was where it should have been, even the tap on the side of the wall. It had been a bit worrying that he could do that. He was so scared of it in fact that he refused to go out of his room for a week.
"Freya's has progressed as far as she can with her ability, though she still has to learn how to control it. However, unlike Freya, you were able to control this ability, which is why it took you only a fraction of the time it would normally take to build a mental wall, and you stopped it from progressing any further, into chaos."
Brendan read between the lines. "Wouldn't that put a little too much pressure on you? And wouldn't I go insane? I don't think I'm cut out for that… that noise, being a part of my life."
"No, you won't. You have more control over your thoughts than Freya did when she discovered her gift, but just as a precaution, we'll do this at my facility. We don't even have to do the tests until we're there if you'd like."
The thought of being hooked up to any of those instruments wasn't very inviting. "Why? Why do I have to do this at all? Can't I just go on like I always have?"
"Because if you don't do this and you have the ability I think you do, your barriers won't hold it back. Your thoughts will spill into others and vice versa. You won't just go insane; you'll go into a catatonic state and damage not just your own mind but others as well. If you don't learn how to control this now while it's still buried, then we have no chance." The man's voice had increased in pitch as he'd progressed, making him glad the room was almost sound proof.
Brendan was speechless. Was he really that much of a danger to everyone?
Michael sighed, calming himself down. "Your mind is more powerful than you know. I'm just glad discovered this before it was too late."
The agent rubbed a hand over his face. (I really don't have a choice do I.) "When would I have to go?"
"As soon as possible. Tomorrow with any luck."
"She'll have to come with us. She'll be able to help you get through this."
Brendan nodded. "I'll tell her." He started to leave. "What about Harper?"
"I'll deal with that. You need to see Freya," the man smiled at him, his eyes portraying the sadness of a distant memory.