At vault 19 it was all hands on deck as one of the containment units was opened. This was one of their most feared serial killers. They had caught him at the corpse of his 87th victim making a meal of the man. His DNA matched that found at other scenes. That was why they called me, they needed to know how many victims there actually were, where they hid and how he managed to evade capture for so long.

He was brought to the room tied to his chair with a six-man escort. There was a mask on his face; chains around his hands and feet. He looked dirty, in spite living in a facility with showers.

I took off my collar and the voices started to stream in. So much anger, rage, pride, fear, excitement even. Secrets, all the dirty secrets that you all keep in your head come streaming out to me when I remove this marvel of science tied around my neck. A few well-trained ones knew that by focusing on the task at hand their thoughts would be only work related. The rest though were open books and whispers of office romances came to my ears.

I ignored the banter as I removed my gloves. When I touched someone, I could get in. Like properly in, I didn’t just hear their current thoughts, I could sift through memories see deeper.

My back tightened as I approached. There were some minds I preferred to stay out of. So much cruelty, gore, psychological manipulation.  Had it not been for a special favor I owed someone I would have steered clear of this.

As I placed my hand on his forehead he let out a final lurch to break free but it was in vain. I went in cautiously, I caught the image of him eating the heart of the victim he was caught at. I went back, his apartment another one there, the path he followed every day, I went a year back, saw him buying new shoes, attend a strangers wedding, steal a bike. I went further. As I snapped out he lurched at me once more.

“What? what is it?” the director asked.

“I don’t believe it myself but I swear he’s not the one.”

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