"One Less Mouth to Feed": In Redemption Flats, New Mexico Agent Robbins make their way into the only bar for miles in search of the handsome man in the corner. He approaches Thomas Blake explaining that he's from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and
- If you insist? Then I mess you up so bad you never walk right again, and I spray in your face so people know whose property you are.
- -- Catman
Appearing in "One Less Mouth to Feed"
- Knockout (First appearance; unnamed)
- Agent Robbins (Only appearance; dies)
- Sue Dibney (First appearance; unnamed)
- New Mexico
- Redemption Flats
- The Box
Synopsis for "One Less Mouth to Feed"
In Redemption Flats, New Mexico Agent Robbins make their way into the only bar for miles in search of the handsome man in the corner. He approaches Thomas Blake explaining that he's from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and he is backed by some State Troopers with the intention of arresting him. Blake appears to come quietly, but he insists that they not cuff him - as he doesn't like being confined. Robbins wonders what happens if he insists. Suddenly, Blake leaps onto Robbins, knocking him to the floor and warning that if he insists, he will make it so he never walks right again, and spray in his face to mark his territory - and he has noticed that all of the "troopers" have the same badge number. Robbins commands his men to shoot as he runs for the phone to call for backup, but he is too late to stop Blake from catching up to him and flattening him against the ground. Unexpectedly, though, the woman who had been singing on stage earlier steps outside and shocks him into submission with a taser, ordering her companion to put the cuffs on him so he knows whose property he is.
Blake wakes in a darkened room, where he discovers that he is confined with several others, and there's no way out. Somewhat nauseous, he wonders if anyone has tried to find a way out, and in response, a blinding light is accompanied by an angry voice warning that "the subjects will not attempt to leave the experiment" lest they be met with a penalty. He is warned by the others to jump immediately, because they like to zap the floor sometimes. He takes the shock instead, and recovers to find that a question has been projected onto the wall: What is the secret? He is informed that this is a new development.
The confinement begins to wear on Thomas as the voice announces that the subjects have only fifteen minutes to answer the question before they receive penalties. They are instructed to open the locked containers in the centre of the room using a given combination, and inside one they find six masks. Inside the other, they find the mangled corpse of Agent Robbins - assuring them of what "penalties" means. With twelve minutes remaining to answer the question, Thomas wonders if any of them know each other. One of the prisoners introduces herself as Kani, codename "Porcelain," whose power is to make things brittle. Another of the prisoners is Shauna Belzer - the Ventriloquist. The most helpful of them so far is Damon Wells, also known as Big Shot. He explains that he is only a private investigator - with the ability to grow larger. Also imprisoned is Strix, the former assassin for the Court of Owls. Finally, there is Black Alice, who can use other people's powers.
After the introductions, only five minutes remain, and the voice announces that one subject will be terminated if the solution is not found. Thomas begins to panic, prompting Big Shot to shove him hard into the wall - which springs a leak. Thomas tastes the water and realizes that it's salty. They've been buried at sea.
The voice warns again that time is running out and insists that they choose among the six of them who will die. From across the room, Shauna announces that there are actually seven of them, as she yanks her ventriloquist dummy Ferdie out of her satchel, and the voice warns that termination of the chosen subject is imminent.
- This book was first published on December 3, 2014.
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