By Karen Singer
Chapter 46 Part 1
“Yes, I’ll wait.” Jacobs set his phone on speaker and started going through their latest case file while his phone droned soft elevator music in the background. It’s what he usually did when he called someone and was put on hold. In this case, he had called the mental institute where the perpetrator from the second bank robbery had been committed. It was an annoying five minutes before he heard someone pick up the phone and say hello. Jacobs quickly grabbed the receiver to take it off of speaker. “Hello doctor. This is Agent Jacobs with the FBI. I don’t know if you remember me, but I was out there two years ago to visit…”
“Yes, Agent Jacobs, I remember you. We don’t get many FBI inquiries here. What can I do for you?”
“Do you remember the man I was there to see, Mr. Goldberg? Is he still there?”
“Yes I remember your visit. And yes, Goldberg is still here, and my guess is that he’ll probably die here someday.”
That was disappointing news for Jacobs. “So there’s no change in his condition then? He’s not anymore… communicative?”
“Unfortunately, not. He’s a very, very strange case. Nothing we’ve done with him has brought him out of the odd state he’s in. I must say, for a while there he was an interesting case study for several doctors… and there’s been some student studies done on him as well. But I’m afraid he’s exactly the same as he was since he got here.”
“Okay doctor. Thank you very much. Please let me know if there is ever any improvement.”
“Of course,” the doctor replied.
Jacobs hung up his phone. One down. One more to go. And from the sound of the way things were with Goldberg, he didn’t have much hope for the next call either. He looked up the number for the mental institute in Birmingham and carefully dialed. “Hello, this is Agent Jacobs with the FBI. Is Doctor Fielding still in charge of Mr. Hollworth’s case?” He listened for a moment as whoever had answered the phone told him she wasn’t allowed to give out that information. “Can you please have Doctor Fielding call me then?” A moment later he had given her his phone number and had hung up. The doctor wasn’t in just then and wasn’t expected until later in the day. He’d just have to wait.
“Oh, I love this!” Janice exclaimed as she ran her hand over the material of the chair she was looking at. She sat down in it and a moment later approved of how comfortable it was. She moved over to the matching sofa and sat on that as well. “I’ll take them!” she declared happily. “I think they’ll be perfect.” An hour later, she had bought not just the sofa and matching two chairs, but end tables, lamps, and a coffee table as well.
Everything she had bought was completely to her taste, and would also take up less room in the living room than the current furniture did… even as sparsely as Roger had furnished it. She had major plans for the rest of that space. As soon as she got home, she was going to order a sewing machine for quilting and a large work table to put it on. Her new disaster relief program, Islands of Hope, was about to go into full swing!
She remembered though that in order for all the new furniture to get into the living room, she first had to make room for it. Right after she ordered the sewing machine… or maybe before might be a better idea, she would arrange for all the current furniture to be donated and picked up.
With those thoughts decided, she was feeling so good about how well her day was going that she decided to shop for furniture for the new deck as well. She had asked Roger… Candy to build the thing and it had come out very nicely. She might as well take advantage of the new deck and enjoy it to its fullest.
The knock was soft, but it was the knock of someone with hard hands and a lot of strength within those hands. “Come in,” Susan called as she sat back in her desk chair. As she expected, the door was opened and Doctor Xiang entered. He looked somewhat elegant in one of the expensive suits he wore all the time. She had called him earlier. He was the one who handled all the medical needs of the compound. He was also the one she went to for information when she was planning on trying a new… interrogation technique. Dr. Xiang had some very bent and cruel tastes. It was one of the reasons why he had been brought over from China to work for them. That, and the fact that he really was a very, very good doctor… despite his somewhat questionable leanings.
“You sent for me Miss Wu?” he asked as he stood in the doorway. His eyes immediately darted over toward Ben-ben who was emitting a faint growling sound from what looked like a dog bed over by the sofa.
Susan ignored Ben-ben. “Yes Xiang. Please sit down.”
“What is it I can do for you?” he asked as he took a seat in front of her desk.
“We’re going to be questioning Ben-ben over there,” she said.
“Ben-ben? I have heard about what you have… acquired, but I haven’t had a chance to see him until now.”
“You’ll get plenty of chance in a little while,” Susan replied. “But I guess it will really be Ben-ben’s human personality that we’ll be questioning since as I understand it, only one personality will be present at a time… and his human personality knows nothing of his dog personality… and vice versa.”
“Most interesting,” Xiang noted. He sorely wanted to turn around to inspect… Ben-ben. “And how may I serve you this time?”
Susan smiled. “I had these… ideas for after we question him. And I’d like to figure out a way to see if any of it is possible.”
“Miss Wu, you know how I enjoy exploring possibilities… almost as much as I enjoy turning them into reality.”
“That’s what I was counting on,” Susan replied as she got up from her seat. “Why don’t we move to more comfortable chairs? And I’m sure that Ben-ben would just love to meet you.”
“And I… him,” Xiang replied as he too got up.
Ben-ben spent most of his time confined to his small bed that the one tall thing had given him. The tall thing allowed him to roam around somewhat and she didn’t seem to mind if he chewed on his toy… as long as he didn’t chew in such a way that it would make any sound. But he had heard his name mentioned by the tall things and now he watched as they approached. He stood up, hoping to get some affection that would take his mind off of some other tall thing called Leila Rivers that he had condemned to death when he had been a tall thing. That had been a very, very bad thing to do. There was no doubt he deserved his punishment to never be a tall thing again.
Susan sat on the sofa while Xiang took one of the chairs opposite. Ben-ben moved close to her and she pet his head. A moment later, the dog set his head in her lap, happily enjoying the feel of her hand caressing his head. “I’m planning on having his hair trimmed very short,” Susan said to Xiang as she ran her hand over Ben-ben’s head. “I’m not sure if I’ll do that before or after we question him.”
“I take it though that you have other interests in mind besides his hair.”
Susan nodded. “Oh,” she said, “before I get into that, you want to see something quite interesting about him?”
“I find everything about him to be… interesting,” Xiang replied.
Susan got up and went to her desk where she retrieved a few items and brought them back. She set three large dog treats down on the floor a short distance from where they were sitting.
Ben-ben needed no encouragement to go after them. He grabbed the first one in his mouth and started chewing on it. He was about to lower his body into a laying position while he ate, but he suddenly found the tall thing’s paw under his belly, stopping him from going down to the floor. No matter, he could eat just as well standing up.
Once Susan had Ben-ben staying in the position she wanted, she held up a straight pin for Xiang to see. “Watch this,” she said. Moving behind Ben-ben, she grabbed his tiny shriveled up penis between his legs and stuck the pin into it. As she had discovered earlier, Ben-ben didn’t even notice.
Xiang blinked in surprise, but it was a different thought that raced to his mind than the one that Susan had wanted him to see. “If he feels nothing, it’s going to make questioning him more difficult.”
Susan laughed and shook her head. “It’s only that one part of his body that is doomed to feel nothing at all… and only while he’s a dog. When he’s human again, I have no doubt that it will feel everything that’s done to it.”
Xiang’s eyebrows went up. “Quite remarkable,” he replied. “But what does it have to do with your plans?”
Susan sat back down on her sofa. Xiang’s question was as good a place as any to start discussing what she had in mind. During the course of the discussion, Xiang got down on the floor and examined Ben-ben thoroughly. Nothing was missed, from his paws to his rear end and lack of a tail.
Finally, Dr. Xiang said, “Let me do some research. What you ask is something I have no idea of how to do or even if it can be done. And I already see several large problems we’re going to have to overcome.”
Susan nodded. “I was sure you would need some time for this, just as I’m sure you will find a way to solve all of the problems.”
Xiang smiled. “I hope your faith in me is will be deserved.”
“It always is,” Susan replied.