Paradigm Shift 04

"Is there something wrong, Blessed Tierney?" she asked.

He nearly winced at the sound of the formal title coming out of her mouth. "Can I..." He paused for a breath and tried to keep his voice level. "Can I please have a different doctor? Preferably male?" He threw in that last to give himself a reason for his pickiness other than the truth.

Dr. Czernada gave him a surprised look. "Oh, oh yes, of course," she sounded as though her feelings had been hurt. She turned toward the door. "I will get you a male doctor."

"Good, thank you." Gregor pulled his blankets closer around himself. "I will be waiting here."

The minute she left the room, he started thinking furiously about what he was going to do. There weren't a lot of options though.

He was a Third and that had already been registered to his identity. He'd heard of people getting fake IDs, but it was extremely expensive and required connections that he didn't have. He simply didn't have the resources to start a new life.

Gregor was well and truly caught and there was nothing he could do about it. He would just have to deal with his new life the best that he could. So what recourse did he have?

He'd never been able to pull off the wide-eyed ingenue, but he hated playing the part of the tough guy. Still, he had to play at being just dumb enough that they would give him leniency for the hormone suppressant use. That was a Class C felony and could see him doing some serious prison time. He would be an old man by the time he breathed free air again.

He didn't try to practice, knowing there were cameras in the room and the footage would be checked in the course of the case against him. But he visualized the person he wanted to become and started unblinking at the blankets across his chest.

Gregor Tierney needed to be a somewhat relaxed but at the same time shy individual. He needed to be a bit of a follower, enough to break the more minor laws of Society, but not enough to get too serious. He had a conscience. There were some laws he would not break.

Taking suppressants was something he had been led into, as was hiding as a Two. He felt bad about his father's soon to be tarnished reputation, but the man had always liked a cruel joke or twelve. Being the one to lead him down the road of sin would have made Desmond Tierney give that barking laugh he'd made famous in their social circle.

Gregor sat up and folded the blankets down across his lap. He smoothed his hands over his hair, making it lay down straight. Gregor Tierney was the kind of man that cared about his appearance to the point of concern. It was the kind of thing the Mental Health Bureau of Medical loved because it wasn't a completely incurable problem. They would think he was fixable, which assured him more of a chance at a free life.

He'd spent his whole life dreaming of being free and it wasn't something he was just going to give up. They could lock him away and force him to breed, but he would make the best of what he would be given. There was no time for bitterness if he didn't want to end up in Stricture.

Gregor found his center and waited with outward patience until the door opened again and it was a while group of people appearing in his field of vision. He felt the pinching sensation of a sudden need to pee, but he ignored it.

"Blessed Tierney," the man in the white lab coat said, "I am Dr. Samuel Haden. I understand that you prefer a male physician?"

Gregor bobbed a nod. "I'm sorry I'm so much trouble, but I don't think I could have stood having her doing my care."

"I understand. It's a common affliction people have," the doctor said kindly, approaching the side of the bed. He waved his hand behind himself at the group of people hanging backwards from him. "These are some Assessors here to speak to you. I promise that I will watch out for you and if at any time you would like the interview postponed just let me know. Are you willing to talk to them? They have some questions about your use of suppressants."

Gregor licked his lips. "I need to talk to them now, otherwise I'll never be able to do it. It's better to just get it over with."

The doctor nodded. "That's probably for the best." He turned toward the waiting group of solemnly dressed bureaucrats. "He says he's willing to talk to you. But only for a little while."

The men came close to the bed, there dark haired men in sober gray suits. "Hello, Mr. Tierney. I am Magister Dylan Park. I have been instructed to ask you about several irregularities that have been found in your record."

Gregor swallowed, knowing that he could definitely find himself in a bad situation. He'd been expecting the Primes, which the other three men definitely were, but there was no way his crimes should warrant a Magister.

It made him afraid.