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Chapter 8: The Chamber of Exclusivity, Like From the Title

    Ada entered the room first, since this was basically her operation, and Toren followed closely behind her. The two took a moment to survey the room, allowing their minds to describe in elaborate detail the room’s various particulars. 
   To the duo’s left was a long row of tall filing cabinets which they probably would have described as green, but was actually desert sage. All of the drawers were shut and likely locked, especially considering the extensive precautions that had been taken to keep this room off the map. Most of the label holders above the handles were absent slips of paper, although a number of them featured tags with sloppily scrawled classifications such as ‘2011 FINANCIALS’ or ‘MARKETING MATERIALS’ or ‘HALLOWEEN PARTY IDEAS’. Beyond the row of tall cabinets was a smaller, slimmer filing cabinet that was set slightly inward from the others and might almost have been missed, were it not for Ada’s keen observational skills. The label on the upper cabinet had been marked ‘TOP SECRET,’ while the label on the lower cabinet had been marked ‘BOTTOM SECRET.’ This indicated to Ada that whomever had been charged with labeling these cabinets had most certainly fathered children.  
   Moving clockwise about the room, Ada and Toren next observed the subject of their investigation—a white male, roughly 55 years of age, stocky in build, with a frantically receding hairline and a liver spot on his forehead in the approximate shape of Paraguay. He wore glasses with thick lenses that had been cracked in a couple of places, suggesting that A) he was unconcerned with physical appearance, B) he was irresponsible and negligent when it came to attending to his personal business, or C) his captors had smacked him across the face once or twice with something heavy. He had twisted his facial features into an expression of panic and confusion, almost as if to say, “Who are you, how did you get in here, and why are you spending so much time looking at the filing cabinets?” His clothes, consisting of a white collared shirt, a paisley tie, and tweed slacks, none of which would have been anything to write home about had they been clean and new, were mightily besmirched and disheveled. It was also obvious that they had been severely sweat-stained, and that his pants had been soaked regularly with urine, and befouled with excrement. Upon catching a whiff of the man’s odor, this observation clearly tracked. Despite being overweight, he appeared to be at least recently malnourished, and was trembling visibly. He was also (not surprisingly) covered with cuts and bruises from the beatings he had been forced to endure.
   Moving further clockwise, Ada and Toren noticed a rectangular folding table that was covered with a variety of office paraphernalia. Staplers, staple removers, electric pencil sharpeners, scissors, glue sticks, Post-it® Notes, and three-ring binders, plus fasteners, tacks, and clips of all kinds. Many of them featured remnants of blood and/or skin, making it apparent that this was the captors’ store of torture equipment. Even the innocent looking rubber bands appeared to have been used for nefarious purposes. 



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