Read Game Changer Online

Authors: Douglas E. Richards

Game Changer (2 page)

“So Nicole was beginning to unravel some of my past I didn’t
want unraveled,” continued Davinroy calmly. “Your wife was a regular Nancy
Drew. As brilliant a detective as she was an advisor.”

Quinn’s thoughts and emotions had become muddled and
disjointed. Not only had the light of his life been brutally murdered before
his eyes, he had been repeatedly dosed with electricity and almost certainly
drugged. But even though he knew he would soon be dead, something within him
needed to know why. Needed to know how. Needed to understand the true nature of
the evil that had destroyed him and the woman he had held so dear.

“Where are we?” he managed to whisper. “How did you slip
your protection?”

“I’ll explain everything, but I need to know how you found
us, since I made sure to destroy your wife’s phone.”

Quinn told him. What did it matter at this point?

Davinroy glanced over at the bracelet on Nicole’s lifeless
wrist and nodded. “Nice precaution,” he said approvingly. “But even so, there’s
no way you should be here. I dosed you with enough drug to put down an elephant
for the night.” He shook his head. “You must have unique genetics that make you
more resistant than average.”

“Are you going to answer my questions?” said Quinn.

“Certainly,” said Davinroy. “About ten years ago, I had
contractors build tunnels under several of the rooms out here, accessible from
ingeniously hidden entrances inside closets. My room has one, which allows me
to easily escape my gilded cage and get some privacy. Your room is also
accessible from one of these tunnels. They all feed together and lead to
various destinations, including where we are now.

“I drugged you and
your wife at dinner,” continued the president. “Easy to do. A dose designed to
kick in after you had already fallen asleep. You Secret Service types are great
at making sure that
not drugged,
but you do tend to get sloppy when it comes to your own drinks. Nicole’s dose
was small, so I could rouse her when I needed her.”

“So you came in through your tunnel and kidnapped her out of
our room?”

“Exactly. She had become too suspicious to ever agree to
meet with me one-on-one in a secluded location like this one. Bringing her here
took some work, but I prepare well. I have golf carts and other equipment in
the tunnels, which I make excellent use of whenever I’m here.”

“What kind of use?”

“Mostly sexual. I pay high-end hookers big
money—anonymously—to come to one of the rooms here with a tunnel entrance. I
then appear and lead them underground to this location. Which you can see
contains a bed. This allows me to indulge my craving, to finally engage in what
you might call . . .
sex. I’m
only truly satisfied when the woman I’m with is terrified and in pain. I don’t
expect you to have any sympathy for me, but if you knew how much I suffer from
suppressing these urges, I think you would. I’m the leader of the free world,
with all the pressure this brings, and I’m forced to largely deny myself a
primal need that is critical to my well-being. I battle against this fierce
compulsion for months on end, until the pressure becomes unbearable. I only
satisfy these urges the minimum amount required to keep my head on straight, so
I can do the people’s business.”

Keep your head on straight?

barked Quinn in absolute revulsion. “By killing helpless women?”

“I don’t
them,” said the president, as though offended. “I’m not a monster. I do hurt
them pretty badly, but nothing they don’t recover from. And I pay them
extremely well.”

“Impossible. One of them would come forward, even if you
the most powerful man on Earth.”

Davinroy smiled broadly. “Except they don’t know what
happened to them. America spends countless billions conducting secret research
in Black laboratories across the country. In one of these labs, our best and
brightest are perfecting a drug that causes total, absolute,
take-it-to-the-bank, it-is-never-coming-back, memory loss. At the moment
they’ve managed to create a pill that will wipe away the past twelve to eighteen
hours of a person’s life.

“I made sure to get a supply of these pills a few years
back. So when I’m done with these escorts, I just deposit them a good distance
away from here and feed them a pill and a sedative. No harm, no foul. They
don’t remember coming to my resort or their encounter with me. Not the trauma,
the fear, or the infliction of pain, although it takes them a while to heal.
They just know that their personal wealth has grown considerably. To be honest,
if I could give them a choice, I’d bet most of them would be glad to take a
beating for the kind of money I provide.”

Quinn hadn’t thought he could be any more horrified than he
already was, but he had been mistaken. This man was a psychopathic monster in
every way. How could such an abomination even exist, let alone masquerade as a
human being? Davinroy looked as though he expected a humanitarian medal for
improving the finances of the prostitutes he beat nearly to death, and killing
Nicole and their unborn daughter hadn’t troubled him in the slightest.

The idea that a monster like Matthew Davinroy could even
was unthinkable, let alone rise to
the presidency of the United States.

And the greatest irony of all was
that Davinroy was a man who spoke out against torture in any form, all the
while getting a sexual thrill from doing this with his own bare hands. He
spouted nothing but pacifism, withdrawal, and peace. This had been Quinn’s
point of contention with the man. He was a modern-day Neville Chamberlain, the
British prime minister who had famously sought appeasement with Adolf Hitler.

Davinroy’s hands-off approach, his
failure to engage anywhere in the world, under any circumstances, left vacuums
that bad actors around the globe were only too happy to fill. Bad actors like
China, Korea, Russia, and Iran. And especially terror groups like ISIS, who
gladly announced their intention to commit genocide and establish a global
caliphate, a worldwide Islamic government.

So Davinroy painted himself as a pacifist, when all the
while he was capable of torturing and murdering a helpless woman without even
. This man—utterly ruthless,
without conscience or remorse—had frequently cited Mahatma Gandhi as being his
biggest inspiration, portraying himself as the exact opposite of what he really
was. Here was a wolf pretending to be as peace loving as the sheep he was busy

But Quinn realized all of this made a macabre sense, after
all. Perhaps Davinroy’s refusal to truly engage against global terrorism, his
call for civil rights for those who would butcher women and children, was just
professional courtesy. He was just standing up for his fellow psychopaths.

If he derived sexual satisfaction from beating helpless
women, perhaps he also derived satisfaction from seeing the world burn, the
direct outcome of his lack of leadership and strength, but perhaps his goal all

“So did you rape
Nicole as well?” asked Quinn, needing to know but dreading the answer, unaware
that his eyes were still filling with tears.

Davinroy’s lip turned up in disgust. “I find pregnant women
repulsive,” he replied. “And I don’t
I pay handsomely for consensual sex. But the thing with your wife had nothing
to do with sex. I had to find out exactly what she knew. Who she had told.
Where she kept her evidence. So I tortured her for the information, killing two
birds with one stone. Despite the lack of sex, I got to indulge a compulsion
while getting the information I required. The good news is that it turns out
she had kept her suspicions all to herself.”

“You are the sickest piece of shit who ever lived!” spat
Quinn. “And I know you’re lying! There’s no way Nicole wouldn’t have told me
about this. So what’s really going on?”

Davinroy shook his head. “I was surprised she kept it from
you myself, but she made a convincing case. And I put her under enough duress
to be sure she was telling the truth. You’ve sworn to protect me. She didn’t
want to put you in an awkward or compromising position. And she couldn’t really
bring herself to believe that she was right about me. She hoped she was
misreading the evidence. She came here searching for more. To really make a
case against me, she knew the proof had to be overwhelming.”

This logic was more believable than Quinn had expected. The
idea of the president being a sadistic monster was extraordinary, unbelievable.
And extraordinary claims required extraordinary evidence, especially when they
were made against a man this powerful, this slippery.

“She didn’t tell you what she was up to,” continued
Davinroy, “or anyone else. I have access to an advanced Artificial Intelligence
program. Before I came here, I fed it comprehensive information about my
indiscretions, along with Nicole’s known activities during the past few weeks,
and the activities of others, including you. It concluded she was operating
alone, with greater than ninety-five percent confidence. And tonight I made
certain this was true. I forced her to give up the password to her computer
account where she kept her evidence. And I verified everything she told me.”

He paused. “My interrogation technique was flawless. I guess
torture really can lead to good information, after all. Although, I have to
admit, once I began,” he added, looking almost amused, “I got a little carried

Davinroy shrugged. “But my intent was to kill her tonight
anyway. I had no choice. Erasing one day of memories wouldn’t do the trick,
since she’d been working on this for weeks. I really wish this wasn’t
necessary,” he said with a sigh. “Disposing of her body is going to be very
inconvenient for me. And she really was a good advisor.”

At that instant, all the hatred and rage Quinn had been
bottling up hit critical mass and exploded into a nuclear inferno.
“I’m going to kill you if it’s the last
thing I ever do!
” he hissed between clenched teeth. “Even if you kill me
first, this won’t help you. Because I promise you, I will find a way back from
the grave. And I will make you

“Yeah, good luck with that,” said Davinroy, shaking his head
in amusement.

Quinn’s despair had become so great he now longed for death.
Every second he remained alive was sheer agony, every instant knowing the
wonderful woman he had married was lost to the world forever pure torture. “So
kill me already, you psychopathic asshole!” he demanded. “
What are you waiting for?
” he screamed at the top of his lungs.

Davinroy paused for several long seconds to let total
silence once again descend on the room. “I wouldn’t
of killing you,” he replied finally. “I told you, you’re one
of my favorite special agents. Also, as I’ve said, I’m truly sorry it has come
to this. Truly sorry about your wife. Besides,
of you disappearing would just complicate things for me.”

A thoughtful expression came over the president’s face. “So
here’s what I’m going to do,” he said. “I’m going to use my memory erasure drug
on you. Make you forget you ever saw any of this. Forget we ever had this
conversation. I’m going to shock you one last time, and when you’re
incapacitated, I’m going to feed you another sleeping pill, and a memory loss
pill. Then I’m going to wipe the data from your wife’s tracking bracelet,
disable it, and dispose of her body. I’ll leave some torn clothing in the woods
for searchers to find, but they will never learn what became of her, what
terrible tragedy befell her. Maybe she wandered off. Maybe she was abducted.
It’ll be quite the mystery.”

Quinn just stared straight ahead, numb, his tears finally having
stopped, perhaps because he had depleted his entire reservoir. All he could do
was glare at the president in defeat, a caged lion about to die of starvation,
desperate to attack any limb that wandered too close to the bars but too weak
to do so.

“And here’s the best part,” said Davinroy. “I’ll have
actually done you a favor. Because of this drug, I won’t have to kill you. When
you awaken, you won’t remember your recent past, but you’ll feel awful. After
everything I’ve put you through tonight, for good reason. For what it’s worth,
I’ll be tired and sore also. Even with golf carts and powered gurneys, getting
your carcass back to your room will take a lot of effort. A lot of effort.”

Davinroy leaned in to take a closer look at Quinn, who now
appeared comatose, just to make sure his prisoner was still alive.

Satisfied that he was, the president continued. “Granted, in
addition to your soreness, the whole wife-missing thing is bound to ruin your
day. But here is the good news,” he added with a good-natured grin that was so
out of place, so
, that even in
Quinn’s nearly catatonic state he felt the chill of pure, unadulterated evil.
“You’ll be able to keep your job. You won’t be traumatized like you obviously
are now by what happened, since you won’t remember a lick of it. And I’ll be
there for you. I’ll pull out all the stops to find Nicole. I’ll be helpful and
understanding. A shoulder to cry on. You’ll end up being grateful for my
support, and feeling more loyal to me than ever.”

At this moment, Kevin Quinn, now encased inside an autistic
shell, stopped believing in the existence of God.

“And even though you don’t see it now,” continued the
president, “this really is for the best. Believe me, my bitch of a wife is
arriving tomorrow, and I’m dreading just the thought of it. After a few years
of marriage, you’d have grown so sick of Nicole you’d have wanted to kill her
yourself. But now you’ll be able to play the field again.” He frowned. “And
infants are a real pain in the ass. To be honest, I’ve helped you dodge
bullets here.”

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