I make a move to open the door, but before I lay my hand on it the door swings open. In steps Jol, looking stern. He motions at Shihong and she quietly slips out the door, leaving me alone.
"May I?" He asks before sitting down on the bed opposite of mine. He takes out several items from a bag laying on the ground, spreading them out so I can see them. They are completely random and as far as I'm concerned have nothing to do with each other. Jol hands me a stick, and gives me an amused look.
"I know this looks strange, but this is the best way to explain what goes on here. Now, tell me what you see."
"Well, this is a stick," I reply, completely confused. Jol doesn't look surprised by my answer, however. It makes me wonder how many times he seen this.
"True, it is a stick," he takes a breath. "Do you know what we train people to do with something as simple as a stick? We train them to disarm someone within a blink of an eye. Show them all the right spots to hit, and someone can be paralyzed for life. Or worse." Jol explains everything as if he's proud of being able to harm someone in such a way, making me nervous.
Next he hands me a newspaper. He doesn't wait for my reply, instead he jumps right in to the explanation. "Newspapers, or literature in general, is very powerful. When people believe they're reading from a reliable source, such as a local newspaper, they will believe almost anything it says. Also, when people trust someone, they believe their words very easily, and sometimes trust another's judgement more than their own." He pauses, looking at the newspaper intently.
"So you train people to lie?" I ask. This is somehow worse than harming someone physically. Lies break people down and tear their trust apart. Physically hurting someone is outright and has no deceptiveness. However, lying makes someone question everything, and they never really know how much was true.
Jol looks up at me, "No, we train people to persuade. Persuasion allows people to still trust, so in case we need to go back and tune up some decisions, we are able to with our Persuasonists. Those they persuade hardly even know what they're doing."
Jol continues as if this is something we would discuss at the dinner table. He shows me a microchip, not allowing me to touch it since with my "clumsy fingers" I would surely break it. He explains that they have an army of geniuses who run everything from sewage lines to televised broadcasts to hacking computers.
After he explains this, he abruptly stands and makes for the door. "It's time for you to get ready for bed. You have testing tomorrow and wouldn't want to be exhausted while getting hit with sticks, would you?" He doesn't wait for a reply, just exits as quickly as he came.
The only thought left in my mind before I go to sleep is, I'm going to be hit with sticks?