“What’s going on up there?” whispered Wayk. Emmaline was sitting at the desk, talking with the very guy who had thrown them in here. Whose side was she on?
“Don’t worry, she’s got this.” Shades nodded confidently at the boys. A cry from the table snapped their attention back. Emma had jumped from her seat and was sliding the virtual pictures all across the desk. There were tons—some she slid out to make bigger. “No, no, no…” Emma’s fingers flew across the glass then stopped completely.
“Oh, dear God, no…” they heard her wail.
Emma fell back in her seat and covered her eyes with her hands.
“Emma, what is it?” called Kael. Emma didn’t answer.
The Senator sneered. “Shall we enlighten your companions, Miss Emmaline?” He drew the pictures back to his end of the desk, picked them up in an odd little square of light and threw them into the air.
Reaching to the ceiling and grazing the edges of the walkways, dozens of pictures and videos appeared. Movies. Cartoon shows. Advertisements. All kinds of mass media.
“Hey! Those are news reports!” Falcon exclaimed. “How did you get those out of the televisions?”
“Why are you showing us these? We already know what’s going on. You can’t surprise us,” said Gator. He leaned against the bars of the cage. Sparks zapped off them and he jumped back. Everyone moved away from the sides.
“You guys really believe everything you see, don’t you? Nothing unusual at all?” The Senator picked up a glass tablet and tapped some buttons. All the pictures abruptly stopped, reversed, and played over at quarter speed.
Tracer squinted at one. There were some strange-looking feed lines zipping across the screen. They flickered in odd patterns. It made his head feel weird, but he felt like he’d seen them before. He suddenly felt like he should go chill out someplace nice and forget everything.
“Didn’t you ever wonder whenever there was some kind of major catastrophe and a call to action shortly after, why nobody chose to do anything?” The Senator looked at the kids in the cage.
“Subliminal messaging,” Emma scorned. “You put hidden codes into the programs.”
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