A wave of dizziness hit her. One second she had been standing in front of Nicolae's desk, her hands behind her back. Next she was on her knees, her palms flat on the floor. Her face was wet with tears.
Nicolae had jumped across the room and was now smirking down at her. "Welcome back, love."
Oh dear Jesus. He mind rolled me. What did he do? How can he do that to me? I'm supposed to be... protected.
"You see, dear Chloe? I am your lord and master. Any time I want, I can make you tell me anything. Do Anything." The last two words dripped with slime.
"What... what in the Hell did you do to me, you bastard!"
"Well why don't we see for ourselves... hmm?"
He went behind his desk and pressed a few buttons. A black and white picture appeared on one of the monitors, the security feed for the room.
"Now, Chloe. Be a good girl and tell me what your Tribble friends have got going."
Her face and voice were blank. "They are building a bunker beneath the New Hope Church.... There are plans to..."
The Nicolae behind the desk snorted. "Boring. Let's get to the good stuff." He hit the fast forward.
She had prostrated herself before him. "Nicolae is my god. There is no other god but Nicolae. I will give my life for my Lord. Everything I have is yours."
Chloe's hands flew to her mouth. No... no... no.. She had betrayed them all. Worse she had sworn allegience to the Antichrist. Did it count if she had been mind controlled? Probably. Her faith was so weak that it hadn't protected her against his mind control.
"And what else will you do for me, Chloe" the recorded Nicolae said.
The hypnotized Chloe opened her mouth and started telling about the most perverted things she had ever heard. Things that would make a phone sex operator blush. She didn't even know how she knew what those things were, much less describe them in such detail.
She covered her eyes. "Stop it! Stop it!"
He clicked off the recording. "Now, I can assure you that all we exchanged were words, Chloe. I'd much rather have you willingly. But I can't help but wonder what your dad would think if I showed him this. Or your husband, hmm?"
She huddled into herself. "Please don't. Just tell me what you want from me."
"I believe that Cameron has an assignment in Dallas next week?"
She felt like an alien invader. The place was huge, like a garage with cement floors and walls that reflected the sound of her footsteps. She couldn't help but gawk. Guns. Everywhere gun lining the walls and behind glass cases. Small guns that could fit in her shirt pocket, large guns that looked as if they could bring down a bull elephant.
Two men stood at the end of the room. One was behind the counter, the other was leaning on it. Both were bearded and outweighed her by at least a hundred pounds. They stopped and looked at her. There was the usual male interest in their gaze but underneath it was suspicion. It was a "Are you for us, or for our enemies?" type of look.
"Help you miss?" the one behind the counter asked. She stiffened her resolved and pasted a shy smile on her face.
"I think I'm in the right place, but I have to warn you. I don't know anything about guns."
He smiled. "That's ok miss...?"
"Chloe St... uh... Williams."
"I'm Karl the owner, and this is Don. Between the two of us, we know enough about shooting and guns to make up for whatever you lack." He looked her up and down. "Let me take a wild guess. You want something to defend yourself against... trouble?"
She nodded. "I've a feeling that the world is going to lose its mind before too long. What's left of it I mean."
"Amen sister. Well then there's three things you need to consider." He ticked each point off on his hand. "One... how much you got to spend. Like everything else, with guns, you buy cheap you get cheap. Two, how... sneaky you want to be. Bigger is more intimidating, but can also draw the wrong sort of attention. Uniform type attention, if you know what I mean."
You have no idea. She licked her lips. "And the third?"
Don spoke up. "Can you kill?"
She gasped. "I don't want to hurt anyone. I just want to... scare off those who would hurt me or my family."
"Well miss, that's the thing. You fire a gun at someone, it means you've made the decision to end his life. It ain't like TV where you can shoot someone and not hurt 'em. A person can bleed out in less than a minute from a leg wound. And if you point a gun, but ain't willing to pull the trigger, well, then the gun is useless. If you can't kill then I'd tell you to save your money and hope that things don't get as bad as you think they will."
Her face hardened. Could she do it? Could she really take another life? Then she thought of Nicolae and his smug look.
I am your lord and master. Any time I want, I can make you tell me anything. Do Anything
"I need two things. I need something for my home, something big, loud and deadly. And I also need something I can carry with me. I'll need to arrange to ship these things to Chicago, because I've no idea how you can carry guns on a plane legally now. And if you can, I'd like you to show me how to shoot."
Karl smiled "I think we can do business. I've a feeling that I'm gonna be forced underground before too long, if that pacifist stays in power too much longer. What sort of price range we talking about?"
She thought about the GC issued Platinum Visa card in her purse and almost laughed at the irony. "Money is no object."