Beaton chose to sit down again, this time at a right angle to his captor. Engel suspected that this was some pathetic attempt at appearing relaxed, to get him to 'open up'. Well, it wasn't going to work.

Engel say up straighter, and realised his hat was missing. He craned his neck around the chair, looking for it.

'It rolled away after you fell unconcious,' Beaton explained.

Engel spied the hat in one dirty corner of the room.

'I'd appreciate it if you could return it,' he said.


Engel shrugged. 'It's a good hat.'

A few seconds passed before Beaton lifted himself from the seat with a grunt. He picked up the hat, turning it over and over in his hands. He slid his fingers under a rip in the lining.

'There's nothing hidden in the hat, OK?' Engel said witheringly. 'I don't have some guy on a walkie talkie giving me all the answers from some Wikipedia page.'

Beaton looked peeved, but nodded. Jack was right of course. Looking for electronic devices... had he given up on any other answers already?

'How strange,' Beaton began, hoping to win back some authority. 'You've just explained to me that you can't claim any knowledge of people 'directl affecting you'. Yet you seem to be able to predict my actions very well. A little too well, in fact.'

Engel scoffed. 'I can predict your actions because you're a hideously predictable person.'

'Don't take that tone with me,' Beaton warned in a harsh voice. Engel remained unfazed, and asked for his hat again.

'You can't have your hat. As far as we're concerned, it's my hat now. Of course, if you were to drop this pathetic facade and tell me something solid...'


There was a pause. Out of spite, Beaton began to pick at the lining of Jack's hat. 'Anything else we can get you, Jack? You don't mind me calling you Jack, do you? Perhaps you'd like some food, or water... maybe a little lie down?'

Engel sniffed. He didn't like being patronised.

'What did your lovely wife want then?' he asked.

Beaton narrowed his eyes. 'Have you been in contact with her before?'

'I told you already, no. And I don't see how you could accuse me of cheating. You're the one who took a sample of blood without my permission.'

'We don't need your permission.'

'Well, you wasted your time. I think you'll find my blood was made as normal as anyone else's. Completely ordinary and inconspicuous.'

Another pause. Beaton chose to stride back to his chair and sit down again. Most of the lining had come out of Jack's hat, which was fairly annoying to him. But he said nothing.

The pause stretched out into silence. Engel took the opportunity to try to reach some knowledge of Beaton, but there was nothing. It was frustrating. In the short time he'd been given, he'd been used to an instant grasp of any information he wanted.

The short time he'd been given. Engel was beginning to wonder how much time he had left, and whether they'd let him out of this room before then.

The End

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