Brandon, now back at home after his 'visit' to see Sage gently lowered himself into a hot bath. "Ssssssup, tah tah tah taaaaah," he hissed as the steaming water made contact with his sore behind. The pain kept sending images into his mind of the ordeal he had been through. He felt ashamed, embarrassed and used as he gently placed his fingers to the entrance of his anus as if checking to make sure it was in one piece. Sage had been rough with him, not taking a single consideration that his sphincter had only ever been used for one way traffic. He'd made Brandon lean over a stainless steel table at the back of the laundrette and while fucking him held his hands down with his own as Brandon grunted in pain. As he now laid feeling depressed in the tub of water he started to wonder if this would all be worth it, worth the humiliation, worth the money and worth the…pain!
On Purity, Adam and Castro were being driven back to their apartment by Magnacar after Adam had paid 2 further visits to see Commander Moorabak. The journey home was slow due to immense waves of Puritans lining the streets as the World Vote was now in full swing. All over the planet people were visiting other people and enjoying the huge feast that was provided by the High Council.
"What would you like to do when we get back Adam?" Castro asked, leaning his chin on Adam's shoulder.
"I hear we can look at the results coming in on the multicom, I would really like to keep an eye on that seeing as I am one of the candidates."
"A wise choice… are you excited?"
"Scared more. I don't think it has sunk in what this means if I win."
"I am excited for you. The Commander is correct; you are the right person for this."
Adam squeezed his lover's hand. "How can you be certain, you haven't been conscious that long to know, Castro."
"I don't know… you're right that I haven't been around long but Lord Moorabak made a good argument to your cause and from what I have found out about Grand Master Telstrek, he was not a good leader."
"Yeah but he knew stuff. He knew how things worked around here… he knew about balancing the economy thing, or whatever they do here."
"That's true Adam, but you will be able to pick your advisors to help, just like Lord Moorabak said."
The magnacar pulled up in Adam's road and he and Castro got out. Adam walked briskly to the hatch and walked into their apartment with Castro in close tow. He immediately asked Optimus to turn on the screen and threw himself on the sofa and held out his arms.
"You wanna snuggle while I watch this?"
"Actually I am going to get on with my home assignments ready for life school."
"Wow, and you didn't even ask this time, I'm impressed."
Castro took his mask off and smiled. "See, I am learning!" Adam winked at him and Castro disappeared into the bedroom area.
Adam turned his attention to the multicom where there was a live feed playing of the World Vote. On the left were the top 20 candidates and he got up to take a closer look at the list.
His eyes went wide as he approached the screen. "Baby, baby, come here!" he cried. Castro came running out.
"What's happened? Are you ok?"
"Castro, I'm in second place! Ohmegod!"
Castro gave Adam a deep kiss and placed his arms round him. "That proves a lot about what people think of you Adam."
"Yeah," Adam replied dreamily as he backed up towards the sofa again. "I wonder who this Sigmedow guy is," Adam muttered to himself as Castro had gone again. "Optimus, in the World Vote how many candidates are currently standing?"
"Hello Adam, there are currently one hundred forty two candidates enrolled for title of Grand Master of Purity."
"Thanks," replied Adam as he watched an interview taking place with one of the candidates. "Hmm, no one asked me to do an interview," he grumbled before seeing his position drop to 3rd place.
2 days later on Earth
"So where is he?" Debbie Landers asked, just as the clock had hit five past midday. Brandon went to the window again and looked down onto the path below.
"Little fucker," he hissed. "He'd better be here, we had a deal!"
"A deal?" Debbie asked, raising a brow.
"Never mind… oh, I see him, there he is," Brandon said, rushing out of her apartment and down the hollow staircase before flying through the door and onto the path outside.
"How's your ass?" Sage asked, sniggering.
"Shut the fuck up, and where the hell have you been, Midday I said!"
"Uh, and it's just gone?"
"Just get inside… oh and if you breathe a word of what happened to that girl up there I won't be responsible for my actions!"
"Pffft, drop the hard act pal, it don't suit you. C'mon, let's get started, the sooner this is over the sooner me and you can move on. That is unless of course you would like to continue meeting for a little bit of bump and grind action?"
"Go fuck yourself you evil little shit!"
Brandon made his way back into the building and up the stairs while Sage followed. Debbie was waiting at the door when he got to the top and gave him a 'where the fuck have you been look'
"Sorry," was all Brandon said as he walked past her and into the lounge.
Sage stopped outside her door and smiled. "So you're the one who is about to probe my brain?"
"That's right, I'm Debbie, and you must be Sage."
"Yeah, so what do you want me to do?"
"Well you better come in first that would help."
"Hey, easy on the sarcasm at least get to know me first," Sage said, a hint of playfulness in his voice.
"Don't take no shit off him Debbie, he's an idiot!" Brandon called from the lounge.
Debbie raised her hand, gesturing for Sage to come in. He did so walking past her and joining Brandon in the lounge.
"You might wanna be careful how you treat me Brandon. You know, just in case my tongue slips on certain subjects."
"Where the hell did you learn to be so nasty," Brandon asked steely, shaking his head.
Debbie walked back in and Sage decided not to answer Brandon, choosing instead to look up and smile at the girl he'd just met.
"So, you want me to lie down or some shit like that?"
Debbie just rolled her eyes.
Brandon had been sitting in a chair for almost half an hour looking on as Debbie took Sage deeper and deeper into a hypnotic state. At first Sage had acted up causing Debbie to call the whole thing off. It took Brandon to remind him that he had shelled out a hundred pounds for this and demanded him to start taking it seriously. He did however leave out the fact he'd also let Sage fuck him, something Debbie would have certainly had something to say about.
"Ask him about the artefact!" Brandon demanded, getting impatient.
"Shhhh, I am still in the first stages!"
Brandon sat back again and huffed.
"Sage, I want you to concentrate on my voice only."
"Ok," Sage responded, dreamily.
"Sage, where are you right now?"
"Heidgate… the laundrette,"
"Do you see anyone,"
"No, it's empty… there is no one here."
"Sage, how long have you been in the laundrette?"
Brandon suddenly came to the edge of his seat. "Ask him about Adam," he hissed, getting impatient again. Debbie furiously waved her hand in a shooing way. Brandon sat back and rolled his eyes.
"Sage, before the laundrette where were you?" There was a pause as Sage twitched a little and frowned. "Sage, are you somewhere else now?" Debbie asked in a calm smooth voice trying a different approach.
"Shiny, white," Sage mumbled, his forehead creasing again.
"What is shiny and white, Sage?"
"All over, lots of things, white. It's… its hot, warm."
"Where are you Sage?"
"Not sure… very bright."
"Is there anyone with you?"
"Can see a… no, no one with me. Someone far away… has no face."
"Has no face?" Debbie asked, looking briefly at Brandon who just shrugged. "Sage, who has no face?"
"Mask… shiny mask." Sage paused and then ever so slowly a smile began to appear in his face.
"You are happy Sage? Tell me why you are feeling happy?"
"I can see my friend Adam, I remember us speaking, but not sure where… not cold like Heidgate. Warm…I can see…" Sage stopped again, his smile fading.
Brandon had again come to the edge of his seat now engrossed in Sage's words. "Where do you think he is?" Brandon asked.
"I don't know, I'm as in the dark as you are…only he knows."
Debbie waited before asking any more questions as Sage was becoming fidgety. After a few moments the boy seemed to lie still again.
"Sage, Adam is with you yes?"
"I think so… we were just talking, I was watching his mouth move."
"Sage, what was he saying?"
"Someone was going away, maybe me… not sure, perhaps him. We are both sad."
Debbie paused again for a moment allowing Sage time to immerse himself in the possible conversation he might be having. Brandon sat watching silent, his hands clasped together, resting his elbows on his knees. He looked tense.
"Sage, I am going to read out a list of words. I want you to focus on those words and tell me if any of them have any meaning or remind you of anything."
"Ok," came Sage's slow response.
"Dog… family… sunshine… grass… teacup… lamp… alien."
Sage twitched as he heard the last word, his face contorting.
"Pure… pure… mask, Pure." Sage said, causing a confused look to appear on both Debbie and Brandon's faces.
"Sage, tell me what is pure."
"A long journey… being held down, can't breathe… can't breathe."
"Sage, what is holding you down?"
"Can't breathe, pure… they have masks."
"Sage, who has a mask, who are these people?"
"Taking me somewhere… I'm screaming, can't breathe."
"Sage, is someone with you?"
"Masks, they wear masks, I can see them now…Pure."
"Pure masks, Sage tell me what this means, who are they, what is pure?"
"They helped Adam. He changed, they helped him get well."
"Who did Sage, what was wrong with Adam?" Debbie asked, her tone becoming more urgent.
"HIV… Adam had HIV," replied Sage.
Brandon dove up from his chair. "Fuck, my brother has HIV?!"
Debbie got up and grabbed hold of Brandon's arm before pulling him out into the hallway. "You need to shut the fuck up if you want him to reveal where this is going. You keep blurting out stuff and it could bring him out of this and it will takes ages to get back there… that's even if we could again, got it?"
"Yeah, I'm sorry, it's just…"
"Look, he might reveal stuff that is going to shock you or make you wanna shout stuff out, just don't ok? We can talk about it after with him."
Debbie walked back into her apartment leaving Brandon to follow. Sage was still under, still twitching now and again.
"Sage, Tell me about pure?"
"No, it's not pure, sounds like that, maybe different…oh yes, oh yes… Purity"
"Masks, they were called Puritans."
"Sage, where do these Puritans live? Are they here? Are they from Heidgate?"
"Cold, Heidgate is cold… Purity…hot."
"Sage, what is Purity?"
"It's a… it's a… It's a planet."
Brandon put his hand up to his mouth. "He has got to be winding us up!" He blurted again, angering Debbie.
"I assure you he is under," she hissed quietly. "Whatever he is seeing is real to him, now shut the fuck up!"
"Sage, these people called Puritans, are they from Purity… the planet?"
"Sage, now this is very important, I want you to think hard about the question I am going to ask you and only answer if you are certain you know the answer."
"Sage, is Adam with the Puritans?"
Sage paused, his eyes flickering. Debbie bit her bottom lips and waited. Brandon was almost off the edge of his seat.
"Yes!" Sage finally responded. Causing Debbie to smile a smile of satisfaction.
"Sage, how do you know Adam is with the Puritans?"
"I was there, I saw them, I saw Adam," he responded in a floaty tone, as a smile of his own returned to his face.
Brandon began silently tearing up as he thought about Adam and where he might be. "I knew it," he said softly, his voice strained.
"Very good Sage, very good indeed." Debbie turned to Brandon. "Well you got your answer, shall I bring him out now?" she whispered.
"Will he remember all this?" He asked, wiping a tear form his face.
"He should, and sometimes a patient will remember more as time goes on."
"Wake him then, or whatever it is you do."
Debbie nodded before turning back and looking at Sage. "Sage, we are going to end your hypnosis now and as I count up from one to ten you will feel yourself becoming more awake, do you understand?"
"Ok Sage you can start coming back now…. One, two, three… and becoming more alert as the number increases… four, five, six, seven… and really starting to wake up now… eight, nine and ten. Finally you can open your eyes and feel totally awake and alert."
Sage's eyes flickered open and he lurched up as if in panic. "That was weird!" he said.
"How much do you remember?" Brandon asked, trying to forget how much he disliked the boy.
"Everything. It's weird, I know these things are real, but I'm like questioning myself as to how they can be. I can't explain it. It's like a dream… you know like one of those ones where you wake up and for like five minutes you are convinced whatever happened was actually real. That is what this feels like. I know… I know one hundred per cent that it's real."
"Good job, Sage, you are one of my more susceptible patients, it was actually exciting for me to work with you."
"No worries… Shit, I have actually been to another world, that is so fucked up!"
"Then why don't you remember being there then and like when did you go, how long were you there, how did you get back. It all just seems a bit hard to believe."
"Don't know times four, Dickbrain, I just know I have ok?!"
"Just as long as you are not making this all up!"
"Oh fuck off Brandon, how the hell would I make all this shit up, where would I get these names from you stupid fuck, I know what I saw!"
"Boys, please!" Debbie shouted. "Time out, grow up, make friends!"
"Sorry," Brandon muttered.
"So Sage, this must be really exciting for you, what do you plan to do now?"
Sage shrugged. "Nothin'"
"Nothing?" Debbie repeated, looking shocked. "Don't you wanna contact someone like NASA for example."
"Pffft, and say what exactly. Oh hi guys, just thought I would give you a call to let you know I am recently back from another world but hey, really sorry but I have no evidence."
"Actually we just might have, Sage." Brandon said, thinking. "We have your eye for a start."
"Yeah I noticed that, what have you got there some kind of infection?" Debbie asked. "I didn't wanna ask just in case you were embarrassed by it."
"He is, and don't bother asking because he won't talk about it."
"Oh fuck off Brandon; I won't talk about it because I don't know why it's like this ok!" Sage retorted angrily.
"It's like that because something happened to you that I am certain has got something to do with these… these Puritans, or whatever you called them. Either you can't remember yet or you just won't tell us, but I think whatever is going on with that eye it has alien connections. PLUS, going back to evidence, we also have the artefact which you claim is a signal booster if I recall.
"You just need to leave this alone Brandon, it's fucked up that's what it is. We need to just forget about it and move on with our lives. That starts by pretending we never met ok?!"
"Never, I won't rest until I find my brother."
"Dude, if he is with these people then you will never see him again. We can't even get to the fucking moon anymore let alone jet across the milky way. So it's unlikely you are ever going to be able to take a trip to this place to find out why your brother is sucking alien dick!"
Brandon lept out of his seat and took a swing at Sage, landing a fist hard on his nose. Debbie winced as she saw blood, trickle down Sage's top lip. Brandon waited, tense as Sage got up from the floor, somehow expecting to be hit back, but instead Sage just wiped his nose with a sleeve and marched out of the room, slamming Debbie's door behind him.
Debbie turned to Brandon, her face angry. "Well, good one Brandon, I hope you're proud of yourself!"
"Me? Did you hear what he said about Adam? My brother is supposed to be his friend!"
"That is no excuse to hit the kid," she shouted at him.
"To be frank, after the way he's been acting and how he has treated me he had it coming and I should have punched him long before now!"
"Very mature answer. Anyway, what do you plan to do now?"
"Honestly? I don't know! He's got a point though thinking about it. Who IS gonna believe him. Sure, he has that eye and I have a piece of metal but trying to use those examples to say he has visited another world is stretching the imagination."
"Then what was the point of doing all this. Wouldn't you rather have not known."
"No, I needed to know, and I'm glad I do. He's right, I may never see Adam again but you heard him, Adam is alive, and he is well."
"On another planet?"
"I know, I know, it sounds totally ridiculous… probably always will no matter how much I try and rationalise it, but like you said, if he was under and he said those things, somewhere he believes it's true. Hey, do you think it might just be a dream he had and that's what is making him think all this stuff is true?"
"Unlikely, usually the mind can easily separate fact from fiction. No, whatever he saw while he was under I'm certain he believes it has happened."
"So how does it work then, this stuff you do?"
"Hypnosis enables the mind to travel more easily across the dimension of time. Regression, which is what I did with Sage, is the process by which a hypnotist guides the patient back through time to particular events that need to be examined by asking simple but targeted questions while under hypnosis."
"Sounds complicated." Brandon remarked.
Debbie pulled the sides of her lips down. "It's actually relatively simple; you are suggested to travel back through days months or years to recall specific memories. There are a number of effective techniques to facilitate this process. The hypnotic trance enhances your ability to remember events that you otherwise cannot recall."
"Hmm, so how come you can remember some stuff and not other stuff?"
"Good question. Part of this answer can actually be attributed to Freud who-"
"Sorry who?" Brandon asked, looking confused,
"Sigmund Freud, he's my hero! He was an Austrian neurologist who was like the father of Psychoanalysis. Most of what I do is built on the foundations of his work."
"So anyway, he described the function of the unconscious mind in great detail. Although many of his theories are widely contested, the idea that the mind is made up of different levels of awareness and activity has been substantiated by research and the observation of countless experts in psychology. You see Brandon, your mind has many activities that operate outside your awareness for good reasons. The brain evolved to economize our focus of attention to limit the amount of what is in our awareness. Consequently, there can be a large amount of mental stuff that you are not aware of but may still have an important function. It is very unusual for such a big event to be forgotten which puzzles me with your friend."
"He's not my friend!"
"Yeah, no shit!" Debbie replied, chuckling. "So as I say, what he saw would be counted as a massive event that his brain is unlikely to just forget so In Sage's case I am going to hypothesise that either one of two things has happened as to why he can't remember."
"Either his contact with these people involved a traumatic event and his brain has blocked out a huge part of what happened, if not the whole event." Debbie started, but then went quiet.
"Hmm well this is a bit more theoretical but, perhaps these aliens did something to him to cover his memories up using some kind of hypnosis of their own. Like a say, it's just a theory. I mean, you don't know what kind of technology other worlds might have out in the huge universe right?"
"I guess not. Grrr, it's so frustrating I am having to deal with a complete cunt!
"BRANDON! Don't use that word, I hate it!"
"Sorry, but if that little fucker would just work with me instead of being suck a childish prick then we might uncover what actually happened."
"Brandon, what else exactly to you need to know, ask yourself that, I mean whatever you know, it is not going to bring Adam back any time soon, nor will it make you feel better. Maybe Sage is right… maybe you just gotta accept Adam is gone and move on with your life."
"But I can't, it's like being one of those people who have a sibling go missing but a body is never found, it eats away at you! It sounds horrible, but if he was dead and I could go see a grave I would probably feel better. Or, if he was alive, and I got a letter or something telling me to stop looking for him, at least I would know he was alive, and then yeah, I would probably just leave him to it. But I have nothing. Nothing but a stupid arrogant prick with a purple eye and a useless chunk of metal sitting in a friend's room! God I wish I had taken more interest in what Fred had said then maybe I would be further along by now."
"Then go see him again, see what else he knows."
"I can't, he's dead."
"Oh… oh I'm sorry, when did that happen?"
"Couple of days ago… look, I should probably be going. Thanks yeah… here, it's all there." Brandon said, holding out a wad of bank notes.
Debbie smiled. "You say you had to pay that kid a hundred?"
"Brandon, just keep the fucking money, something tells me if I take this my conscience will have a go at me and I can do without an argument with myself. Besides, I actually enjoyed today and Sage was a good candidate to improve my skills. I guess I can thank you for bringing him to me."
"Thanks Debs, maybe one day you'll be able to call me a friend."
"Depends, are you gonna disappear for months again and just turn up when you feel like it?"
"I only stayed away because I was scared."
"And because mummy and daddy said so."
"Ok that too, but I am my own person now ok?"
"Good, pleased to hear it."
"Cool, well look, take my number," Brandon suggested, eyeing a pen on the table and scribbling his number down on the corner of a gas bill. "Maybe we can have lunch some time, you know, if that's not too forward of me of course?"
"Lunch would be nice Brandon."
"Cool, well, I'll see ya… text me yeah? Then I'll have your number.
"I will. See you," Debbie said as they both walked to her front door. Brandon gave a quick wave before heading down the flight of stairs and into the elements. Before walking off he focused his gaze up into the sky and sighed.
"Where the fuck are you Adam!" he mumbled before setting off for home.
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