Chapter Two ~Travis~

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"Tell us where she is, Travis, before you're hooked up to the lie detector. I promise if you're honest with us we'll go easy on you for not reporting any knowledge you have to the government, and instead of charging you with treason for aiding and abetting a criminal, I will recommend that you be charged with failing to report a crime in a timely manner."

In his suit and tie, one would think Brad was an employee of some public relations firm and not a high ranking detective employed by the Militia. That coupled with his laid back demeanor and the "I'm here to help you" vibe which oozed from this assholes every pore, might make a weaker man sing. Never would this bullshit work on me, and never in a million years would I turn on Maddie. Plus everyone knows these deals are shit. I'd be charged with treason anyway. Guys like Brad want you to believe they are the good guys, only to later slit your throat on some technicality.

Just the threat of using a lie detector will coax a confession from most people who believe these machines actually work. Thinking it's better to confess than to be caught in a lie, they spill, but lie detectors are far from fool proof and since the intel can't be trusted, a confession is always the outcome they seek.

"I told you Brad," I look directly at him, eyes blank, my voice would sound almost monotone if it wasn't for the strength that pulsed beneath it, "I don't know where she is... because I didn't know she was going to run."

The lie detector technician enters the room which is kept intentionally barren and cold except for the old metal chair I'm sitting on, positioned beside a matching desk which holds the lie detector machine. There is a bright light shining down from the ceiling, spilling down the bland, barren gray walls. The cold feeling of the room is meant to feel lonely and intimidating just like the confines of a jail cell. The technician, whose badge says Robert, steps up beside me and grabs the sensors attached to the machine. He begins by attaching a sensor to the index finger of my left hand and another to my ring finger. Next, he wraps two cords around my chest and finishes by placing the final sensor, a blood pressure cuff, around my bicep.

Brad, who has been standing across from me in silence, waves Robert out of the room. As he shuts the door behind him, Brad steps towards me, a few feet of empty space is all that stands between us. I purposely try to come off unaffected from the show that has been put on in my honor, but the truth is I want to destroy Brad. He's the one sent to try and get info that will help the Hunters find Maddie. The Hunters are an elite military group comparable to what used to be known as the Navy Seals, minus the heroism, before everything changed and life on this planet became about saving the human race from extinction. The Hunters have one purpose and one purpose only, to hunt Breeders who run.

A knock sounds on the door and Robert peeks his head through the opening, notifying Brad that he has a phone call. Brad acknowledges him with a nod and the door closes. Brad remains in place bringing his full attention back to me. "Travis, I need to step out to take this call. When I return you will be given a final chance to come clean as to any knowledge you have in regards to the disappearance of Madison Ryan."

"Her name is Maddie, Brad," I respond, "Not short for Madison...just Maddie."

"I stand corrected," he replies. "I understand how difficult this may be for you Travis, but the truth will be told either way." Brad takes a step back and continues, "When I return, we will pick up where we left off. Please consider what I've said Travis." I say nothing in response, and Brad exits the room.

My mind instantly begins to replay the moment I found out Maddie was gone yesterday morning. I was outside under the hood of my dad's old '66 Chevelle, a restoration project he never had the chance to finish when we lost him to the plague and one I took over a few years ago. Maddie's parents walked up, worry emanating from them both as they approached.

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