Blue Maneuver

Blue Maneuver by Linda Andrews Read Free Book Online

Book: Blue Maneuver by Linda Andrews Read Free Book Online
Authors: Linda Andrews
Tags: Book I: Extraterrestrial Security Program
fuzzy butt onto the table and stared at me.
    Fat lot of help you are . I resisted the urge to stick my tongue out at the cat.
    Ignoring my comment, he focused on the MP4 player. The words weak signal flashed on the hologram.
    Weak signal? Did that mean he’d leave to get fresh batteries?
    He tapped the display but the message remained the same. Muttering under his breath, he speared another circle on his finger. “Why did you injure yourself? Even Konstantin knows bashing in your head won’t prevent me from getting the information I want.”
    I pressed against the back of my chair. He talked of smashing my skull a little too casually. Rising up on his knees, he eased forward, forcing my thighs farther apart. My stomach clenched as the denim rubbed the sensitive skin.
    “You’re not going to get any information from me.” My muscles twitched with the need to cross my arms. The stupid light manacles held me in place. “Besides, I didn’t trip and bang my head on purpose.”
    Perhaps I could use his paternal attitude to my advantage. That was if his brainwashing hadn’t usurped my free will. I didn’t exactly feel like he controlled me, but then I didn’t know that I would. After all, I hadn’t been brainwashed before.
    At least, I didn’t think I had.
    He combed my hair over to the left and touched a gold circle to the back of my neck. “It did add authenticity to your act. But playtime is over.” He taped my illuminated handcuffs. “Restrained, you can’t invent any other ways to harm yourself and prevent me from completing my mission.”
    Mission. Konstantin. I had dots but no way to connect them. What did one have to do with the other? And how did I fit into the picture? Nowhere. I was innocent. I just had to convince him of that. “If you think I’m mixed up in something, you’re not just a sandwich short of a picnic. You’ve forgotten the whole dang food basket.”
    He eased back and fished out another circle. His lips twitched.
    Maybe I should have spent a little time formulating a better argument.
    Before I could think of one, he added another circle to the other side of my neck.
    Spears of pain lanced my head. Son of a monkey’s butt! My eyeballs rattled inside their sockets just as my teeth started to chatter. “Wh-what are you doing to me?”
    His blurry figure moved over the table. The blue hologram blinked out then images materialized.
    The blurry pictures looked like people. But despite squinting, I couldn’t tell for sure. My eyes refused to focus and the pounding in my head increased with the effort. I swear I felt each individual hair on my scalp.
    “Hmm. Bad news. The CeeBees arrived too late to record the murder.” He raised his hand and held it over my eyes, blinding me. “Shall we begin?”
    Begin what? He was already killing me. How much time did I have left before the gold dots snuffed me out? Time. Hope cut through the chills burrowing under my skin. His little show had cost him time. Maybe it was enough. Maybe help was close by.
    “I have a better idea. Why don’t you leave?” My chattering teeth diluted the message but I didn’t care. Big Brother operated in the realm of reasonable deniability. Getting caught with gadgets exposed would remove that. My body warmed to the theme. “My neighbor probably heard you breakin and has already called the cops. No doubt the men in blue are approaching this apartment with guns drawn.”
    Please God, let them be here soon . I held onto the hope despite the fever consuming me.
    “Ms. Roberts won’t interfere.”
    He knew my neighbor’s name? Of course, he did. He was the government. He also admitted to… Steel bands squeezed my chest. I jerked back and freed myself from his blindfold. Rainbow halos surrounded him, no doubt a side effect of the brainwashing. “What have you done with her?”
    I may not have liked the crotchety old woman but I didn’t want her hurt or… I swallowed the lump in my throat. Don’t think about it Rae

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