Monthly Archives: April 2013

“Secret Agent Man” … Part 3

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Danger Man

Danger Man. Its a job.

(For “Secret Agent Man” … Part 2 scroll down or use the search box on the right of this page.)

~~~

As Dorthea Farmer reached for the phone John Drake stepped forward, gently took her by the arm, and holding his NATO I.D. up so that she had a clear view of it, guided her to the side and out of Amanda Fallin’s line of sight. He could feel her quiver in his grasp.

“Miss Fallin, my name is Drake, John Drake. We have to talk and there isn’t much time.”

“Wha? … ” She started to speak.

“I know this will be a lot to digest so quickly but we have good reason to believe that you’re in danger. Miss Fallin is working with a communist agent in Nigeria,” and she remained still, “by the name of  Georgio Rannesin,” her eyes widened, ” and I must get you to a safe place … NOW.”

“But, Amanda?” She looked searchingly.

“Don’t worry about her or anything else right now. Just follow my lead.” And he began, arm in arm with her, with his other hand hidden under his coat and next to her waist, to walk her back to her table, and Miss Fallin. The waitress was looking, a puzzled look.

“Miss Fallin,” and he moved his hand, the one hidden under his coat, visibly closer to Dorthea Farmer. “It’s important that we leave now. Everything will be explained shortly. But for now … we LEAVE.”

Fallin looked shocked. Shocked at seeing him? Shocked at what could look like a pistol being held to the side of Miss Farmer?

“Do as he says,” gasped Miss Farmer.

Drake turned to the waitress and called out, “That call? A medical emergency. We must go to the hospital, the lady’s mother is quite ill.” Taking his arm from Miss Farmers arm, his coat and other hand still in place, he laid some bills down on the counter as they continued to walk towards the door. “This should take care of both bills. Please keep whats left as a tip, and forgive the inconvenience.” And he smiled as they all made their way out the double doors. “Keep walking and be calm,” he whispered to the two girls. Mentally he prayed his sixth sense was right. Because if he was wrong …

~~~

A short time later, a few blocks down the street in a hotel room he had rented as a safe place for Miss Farmer, he stood before the two girls and, looking at Miss Fallin, he asked, “When was the last time you communicated with your uncle, Rannesin?” The girl looked completely at a loss. “Very well. We’ll talk more about it later. In that room,” he pointed to another door, “now.” The girl, pale as death, did as she was told silently. After she had gone into the other room and the door was shut he turned his attention to Miss Farmer.

“You said you’d explai … , ” she began.

“And I will,” at which point he described the plot to her as it had been described to him. “Now,” and he turned towards the window, it was now or never, his back to the girl, “you know what this is all about.” And he heard the purse open. He knew what to expect now. His hunch, given the clues offered, had proven itself. As he turned back to the girl he gave a low gasp of mock surprise as he looked at the pistol in Farmer’s hand.

“Well, Mr. Drake, you had most of it right,” she smiled a crooked, perverse smile. “But Amanda isn’t the agent you thought she was, is she?”

“Would you mind explaining, Miss Farmer?”

“Sure, why not? I’ll consider it the granting of a last request. In a few minutes it’ll all be over,” and she laughed. “I met Georgio two years ago, the last time he visited Amanda. It wasn’t long after Amanda and I met. She can’t stand him, by the way. But we hit it off immediately. We kept in touch through, well, lets just say through channels. We have a lot in common. We share a common desire to see people freed from poverty and the oppression of the wealthy who use them for their own greedy ends, to truly better the world. We began planning this about six months ago. Can you imagine the chaos in Nigeria and other African countries, when those bad business deals take place? There will be thousands out of work, almost overnight. We’ll force the issue and the money from my father will finance a popular uprising. It will give the Party the opportunity to bring about a glorious revolution! We’ll free the masses, Mr. Drake, in spite of capitalist warmongers like my father. The plan will still go forward, without Amanda. There are several others we can use as patsies. But you, Mr. Drake, you can take pride in the fact that you were right about every detail but one. Me.”

“I am curious about one thing, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“It’ll be your last question,” she answered sternly. “What is it?”

“I understand you go to church regularly. Why would you?” And this question was sincere.

“Mr. Drake, who would look for a communist sympathizer there? Part of the plan was my innocence. And it still is. In just a minute there will be a struggle. You’ve kidnapped me, Mr. Drake. No doubt after my daddies money. In the struggle between you and Amanda, good girl that she is, trying to save her friend, your gun will go off and just before you die you’ll manage to squeeze off one more round, killing poor Amanda. Sorry, Mr. Drake, but this is how it must be. I can’t let you jeopardize this plan”

“You’re a quick study, Dorthea,” and there was a calm confidence in his voice. “But you’ve missed one detail. I didn’t come here alone. I alerted Canadian Security before ever going to The Linden.” Looking at the door he called out, “You can come in now! She’s armed.”

As quickly as Dorthea Farmer turned towards the door he moved forward and reached for her wrist. Just a few seconds went by but when they were over it was Drake with the gun and Dorthea Farmer with a look of fear on her face.

“Oh, don’t worry, Miss Farmer. I’m not going to shoot you. I’m going to turn you over to the Canadians, to be held in legal custody until you’re tried for espionage.” The door to the room? After he had called out? It never opened. “Set in that chair,” he waved her towards a chair in the corner with the barrel of the pistol. Setting down on the edge of the bed he picked up the phone and dialed. “Charles? Drake here. Code word, checkmate. Yes, I have the girl in custody. We’re at the address I gave you earlier. We’ll be waiting.”

~~~

“But how did you know?” Miss Fallin, setting across the table, her eyes blurred with tears, asked.

“Honestly, I didn’t, not for certain. Everything known pointed to you. Any communication, for example, originating in Montreal and sent to your uncle, correctly worded, would naturally be attributed to you, especially if it were traced back to your flat. No one would have suspected Miss Farmer. But it was your reactions that made me suspect. You showed no sign of emotion when I mentioned Nigeria at the bank. Which made me wonder if you knew where your uncle was, if you were in contact with him. Miss Farmer’s emotional distance, her being so independent of her father,” he smiled, “the mention of Nigeria might not have elicited a response from you if she didn’t speak of him. You’d have no reason to know that Michael Farmer was in Nigeria. Your reaction, or lack of reaction, made me wonder. On the other hand, Miss Farmer’s eyes went wide when she heard your uncle’s name, and at no other point. By then I knew that if I could get the both of you to the hotel room, well, things would progress from there. Someone, you or her, would have to do something rather than risk failure and possible exposure.”

“That horrid man. I’ve only seen him half a dozen times in my life and he always seemed … evil. And Dorthea, she was going to make it look like it was me who was a part of all this.” Her voice trailed off and she visibly shook.

“Yes, and she nearly did. Don’t dwell on it Miss Fallin. And I don’t think you’ll be bothered by your uncle again. Not after this.” He tried to sound up beat. He wasn’t sure he’d succeeded.

In silence they continued with their meal. The Linden really was a good restaurant, and after the tip he’d left earlier the service was better than usual. He looked up at Amanda Fallin. It must be hard, knowing that you were being used by someone you thought a friend. It had been hard for him to tell her. It was his job, and the chance of betrayal,  along with the ongoing chance that he might not live to see tomorrow, was what kept him from forming many close relationships. Janet was the one exception. Perhaps someday, after he’d retired, he could settle down in some quaint village, hidden away, off the beaten track, and lead a normal life. Till then … Pity the poor guy who’d have to explain all this to Mr. Michael Farmer, Dorthea’s father. Pity the father. There were times when he just wanted to … The music filtered in from the little neighborhood bar next door. It was that Johnny Rivers song again. ” … given you a number and taken ‘way your name … ” Now, somehow, he just wasn’t in the mood.

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THE PRISONER – 6 ALTERNATE THEMES – Pick Your Fave –

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Fan fiction. Its what you make it. Pick a theme, pick a scenario, go from there. Just don’t go too far. They’re watching.

THE PRISONER – 6 ALTERNATE THEMES – Pick Your Fave – YouTube.

“Secret Agent Man” … Part 2

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Flag of Nigeria and Canada

Flag of Nigeria and Canada.

(For “Secret Agent Man” … Part 1 scroll down or use the search box on the right of this page.)

~~~

He had opened his account at the bank just yesterday. It had been a busy time since then. He had located the flat shared by Amanda Fallin and Dorthea Farmer. He’d checked with neighbors, posing as a gas utilities repairman, and gotten bits and pieces of information that might or might not prove useful. Little things like Miss Farmer going to church on a very regular basis, Miss Fallin’s fear of dogs, the fact that they ate lunch together at the local cafe, The Linden, each Saturday, and similar items of interest. Neighbors do so like to talk, and he was a good listener.

~~~

“Certainly, Mr. Drake. I can help you with that,” Miss Fallin smiled. He handed her the deposit slip and some cash. “Oh, I see you’ve only just opened your account with us.”

“Yes,” he smiled back. “New in Montreal. I’ve only arrived two days ago.”

As she was arranging numbers on a balance sheet the girl asked pleasantly, “Where did you move from, if you don’t mind my asking?”

Nigeria,” and he watched for a reaction.

“Really? Such an exotic place. I’d think it must be very interesting living in such a place. Montreal is all I’ve ever known.” Oh, she was good, very good. There hadn’t been so much as a blink. Most importantly her pupils, impossible for almost anyone to control, didn’t widen as they normally would. Yes, she was very good.

“Can you recommend a good restaurant?”

“Yes. You might like The Linden. It’s rather small and perhaps not so well-known but the food and service are very good,” and she handed him his deposit receipt. “Would you like for me to write down the address for you?”

“I’d be obliged.”

~~~

As he left the bank he wondered at the girls lack of reaction to his mention of Nigeria. Her eyes never changed. There was something, something. She was good at hiding reactions. Perhaps. To be that good would require much practice. At her age, she couldn’t be more than 22 or 23, it was odd for her to be so adept at controlling emotion and the show of it.

The next day was Saturday. If they were true to form the two girls would be together and at The Linden for lunch at about eleven. He would need to act then, separate the two without Miss Fallin seeing him. She might be suspicious of him, seeing him at the restaurant, after his having mentioned Nigeria. After having spirited Miss Farmer away he would confront Fallin, with Canadian agents nearby. Things were going well. A little extra caution now and this should prove to be one of his simpler jobs.

~~~

The two girls were seated at their regular table. Drake was in a booth towards the back, his back to them, watching them, watching their reflections in the window to his right.

“Ready to order, sir?” The waitress asked pleasantly.

“Yes, please,” he pointed to the menu, “This special sounds good. With hot tea please.”

China or India?”

“Either. Oh, and could you tell me, is there a public phone here in the restaurant?” He already knew there was. Knowing ahead of time was a part of caution. But now, right now, no one needed to suspect him of anything other than hunger.

“Yes sir, its to the rear of the building, there,” and she pointed with her pencil as she continued, “Your order will be ready in about 15 minutes. Is there anything else I can do for you now?”

“No, I’ll be fine, thank you. I’ll make a short phone call while waiting.”

~~~

At the back, at the phone, he placed his money in the slot and called the restaurant. The phone rang twice and the waitress that had just taken his order answered. She was less than ten feet away, around the corner and just outside the kitchen door at the far end of the counter. Changing his voice he said, “Would you check and see if Dorthea, Dorthea Farmer, is there? A friend told me she eats lunch at your place on Saturday and I really need to talk to her.”

A moment later he could hear the waitress calling out, “Phone call for Dorthea Farmer.”

~~~

End of Part 2

“Secret Agent Man” … Part 1

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A: Secret Agent 16

“Be seeing you, Mr. Drake.”

Note: Lots of folks think that Number Six of “The Prisoner” and John Drake of Patrick McGoohan‘s earlier series “Danger Man“, aka “Secret Agent”, were one and the same. For the record I’m one of those. So, here we have a tale of Number Six in his formative stage. Slowly getting fed up with the system. Slowly reaching that point of resignation.

~~~

He sat at the bar, sipping his beer. He could drink it and smile if need be but he never would understand how anyone could enjoy it chilled. He’d spent so much time working with the Brits that anything other than room temperature seemed something rather disgraceful. The music from the jukebox in the far corner caught his attention. That new song by Johnny Rivers. He liked it. It reminded him of … Well, it reminded him.

The man slid onto the stool next to his. By way of greeting he simply said, “Drake.”

“Nigel.” Nigel was ordering a whiskey and as the bartender retreated to the shelves to fetch his drink he asked, “Nigel, how’ve you been keeping? Why am I here and who is Dorthea Farmer?”

“In order … I’ve been quite well, thank you. Because you’re the most suited for this mission. The daughter of an industrialist currently residing in Nigeria.” And the bartender set his drink down in front of him.

“So I’m going to Nigeria?” He queried.

“No, you’re going to Quebec. Its her father who is in Nigeria. Miss Farmer lives with a roommate, a Miss Amanda Fallin, on the outskirts of Montreal. Miss Farmer works as bank teller. She’s very independent of her father. Her roommate works at the same bank, got her the job actually. Miss Fallin is the niece of Georgio Rannesin. Every thing else you need to know, along with your train ticket, is here,” and he passed him an envelope.

“Rannesin. Interesting.” It was all he said as Nigel left.

“Be seeing you, Drake.”

~~~

The train lumbered along, the rails clacking. The steady beat was a sleep inducer. He had gone over the information Nigel had given him, committed it to memory, destroyed it. All of the current evidence pointed in one direction. Amanda Fallin was a communist sympathizer, an operative for the other side. Fallin, working with her uncle Georgio Rannesin, would use the life of Dorthea Farmer as a means to force her father to make several bad business decisions. Michael Farmer, for his part, would be loosing money to a certain group of business people. A very neat form of blackmail and a clean way to obtain ransom money. Simply transfer funds from one bank to another, from the looser in the business deals to the winners. Ingenious. All Drake had to do was take Miss Farmer to a safe place while exposing Miss Fallin. The safe place would be easy enough. Forcing Fallin to tip her hand so that the Canadian Intelligence Bureau could take her into legal custody was another subject, a problem he hoped to be able to play by ear. Once he had looked over the situation he felt certain he’d be able to trust his sixth sense.

~~~

“Certainly, sir,” the Bank Guard pointed towards a hall at the opposite end of a long line of tellers. “New accounts would be the third door to the left.”

“I’m obliged,” he smiled as he walked towards the hall. As he passed the tellers he saw both Miss Farmer and Miss Fallin, recognizing them from the now disposed of photos supplied by Nigel.

“Good morning, sir. May I help you” A very plump, middle-aged woman with horn rimmed glasses looked up, smiling, from her desk.

“Yes, please. I’d like to open an account.”

As he sat there, the two of them filling out the required bank forms, he asked simple and polite questions about the bank and its services. And the woman, eager to share with a new customer, gave him much more information than she realized.

~~~

End of Part 1

Secret Agent Man … Its all fun and games until someone looses a spy.

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Danger Man Game 2

When Mr. Drake arrived in the U.S. he was given a theme song that tells his story very well. It even mentions that they gave him a number and took away his name. But that’s another story, isn’t it?

Secret Agent Man – Johnny Rivers cover – YouTube.

The Prisoner … Episode 19 … “Half Dozen of the Other.”

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Created using the free Village font. Saved in ...

(Note: For Episode 18 scroll down or use the search box on the right side of this page.)

The Prisoner … Episode 19 … “Half Dozen of the Other.”
~
“No further evidence is needed to show that ”mental illness”is not the name of a biological condition whose nature awaits to beelucidated, but is the name of a concept whose purpose is to obscure the obvious.” Thomas Szasz.
~
He hadn’t felt well for several days now. It wasn’t normal, he was never sick. Alternately he felt cold and hot, chilled or feverish. And his energy level was almost non-existent. He had to push himself constantly. He wondered at first if he’d been drugged. There was really no way of knowing. He actually thought he might have to present himself at hospital. He didn’t want tothink about that.
~
“Supervisor?” The new Number 2, a short, stout, balding man in his forties turned away from the screen. “Yes” “Surveillance on Number 31 and Area 6, both. Split screen.” “Done.” Number 2 turned back to the screen. Number 31 was relaxing in his chair. Normal enough for him. Number 6 was making his way through the woods, Area 6, to his contrived personal gym. “Time to pay a call on Number 31. Keep this going. I may want to review it later.” “Of course,” the Supervisor replied. Number 2 was already striding towards the door, moving much faster than one would expect from a man his size, headed for the home of Number 31. Nothing like the personal touch, a personal visit.
~
“And you’re very certain that I can’t persuade you?” Number 2 was speaking to Number 31 across the kitchen table, a wine glass in his hand. “More wine, Number 2? I have a passable white. Tastes the same, looks the same, costs …” “No thank you.” Number 2 interrupted. “This is sufficient. But back to your vocation. Surely you miss the practice?” “Yes, I do. Very much in fact. But I’ve seen no worthwhile subjects here.” “What if I could provide you with one? He’s currently in need of help such as yours. I’d consider it a personal favor, Number 31. And you know that one hand washes the other.” He winked knowingly. “I’d need to talk with him first. Casually, to gauge his receptivity,” Number 31 stated flatly, seemingly without any real interest. “A simple task to arrange an accidental meeting. Will you be near the phone in the morning?” “Certainly.” “Expect my call,”Number 2 smiled. After he returned to the Green Dome he reviewed the tape of Number 31s actions after he had left his flat. The glee was evident. “I have him,” Number 2 smiled at the Supervisor.
~
 “Number 6! Good morning! Good late morning I should say,” Number 2 waved pleasantly, “Its nearly lunch time. Come,” rising from his chair on the cafes patio and waving his hand towards a chair next to his. “I’ve not ordered yet. Please join me.” Number 6 walked over, smiled a stiff smile and accepted the seat. This particular Number 2 had been less intrusive than any other. In fact Number 6 often felt ignored by him. A blessing he counted almost hourly. “Number 6, you look a bit pale. Feeling alright I hope.” “Fine, thank you.” The waitress was approaching. “Give us a moment, will you, dear? You’re in no rush, are you umber 6?” “Not currently, no. I’ve been planning a trip to London but its been postponed.” Number 2 laughed heartily. “Oh, I say,” wiping tears from his eyes, “your wit always both catches me off guard and cheers me. You are a Village treasure.” “Yes, well, enjoy me while you can,” Number 6 smiled a tad more. Number 2, beginning to chuckle, choked back his mirth as he caught sight of … “Say, Number 31! What a piece of luck!” He waved at the new man. “Come, you must meet my good friend, Number 6.” Looking at Number 6, “This may turn into a regular party!” And the three men had what would have been, in any place other than the Village, a very pleasant lunch. Number 31s end of the conversation took odd turns at times but he seemed, Number 6 observed, rather eccentric. It takes all kinds to make a Village.
~
“And your impression?” Number 2 leaned closer to Number 31 as they sat, watching the human chess match. “Actually a very interesting prospect,” Number 31 answered. He referred to Number 6. “Then you’ll … ?” Number 2 had begun a question and then let the sentence trail off. Number 31 smiled. “With pleasure,” he said. “Oh, look!” Number 2 nearly squealed. “The whites in check!”
~
The chills, the fever, the lack of energy thankfully weren’t getting any worse. Regrettably they weren’t getting any better either. This was day six. Hot tea and a good nights rest. Sleep came in fits. And during a lull in the fits the over head light glowed, began to lower itself, began to pulsate.
~
“You should be glad that Village residents are watched. Its a sign of care. An active interest in you’re welfare, your well being. Who knows what might have happened if you hadn’t been watched. Be thankful, Number 6,” the doctor said sternly. He had opened his eyes only moments before. He had been in bed. He still was, just not the same one. “Where am I?” It was the first thing out of his mouth. “In the hospital,” had been the curt response. “We’re on your side, Number 6. What do you want?” “I want to know why I’m here!” “I meant would you like some tea, perhaps milk? And as to why you’re here, well, you have every indication of a rare form of meningitis,” the doctor answered firmly. “I’ve had chills.That’s not a symptom of meningitis.” “No, it isn’t. You also have a mild flu bug that seems to be hanging on, given the evidence in your blood work, much longer than normal. That’s what got you here earlier tonight. Surveillance noted your fitful sleep in the extreme tonight. It was while running tests, we are very thorough Number 6, that we found indications of meningitis.” “I wasn’t awakened by your ‘medics’. Was it a special blend of tea that I had prior to bed?!” The doctor shook his head, a sort of pity written on his face. “Oh, I know you’ve been drugged in the past, Number 6. But this time you were unconscious due to your illnesses. In fact, I had to give you a drug to wake you just now. You’re a very lucky man, Number 6. Catching it at this stage should make recovery a foregone conclusion. With the proper treatment of course,” he smiled faintly. “You are in the best of hands here. Meningitis isn’t that common among men of your age, but its not unheard of either. This type, rare as it is, requires a very specific care. But not to worry. We actually have a retired immunologist here in the Village. He specialized in the treatment of certain ailments, meningitis being one of them.” “Who?” Number 6 asked. “I wouldn’t think you’d know him, Number 6, but he’s Number 31.”
~
Number 31 stood next to his bed. “Fancy meeting you here,” he said. His voice was flat, flavorless. “You realize its been some time that I’ve been retired.” “So I’m told,” Number 6 replied. “Still, I’m willing. You provided an interesting chat the other day at lunch. I’d be glad to keep you around.” Number 31 smiled, patting Number 6 on the shoulder. So much for bedside manner.
~
“How did he respond?” Number 2 looked at Number 31 earnestly. “I believe he believes that he has meningitis. I don’t foresee a problem, do you?” He looked intently at Number 2. “No, from all indications he’s accepted this diagnosis. But we can’t afford to give him cause for suspicion.” “Then we won’t,” Number 31 said matter of factly.
~
He lay there, looking up at the ceiling, the blasted muzak never ending even in hospital. He didn’t notice it so much at the moment. He was to busy thinking. Thinking it was odd that he had met 31 just prior to his hospitalization. A coincidence? Fate? Luck? Number 2?
~
“We have wonder drugs now days, Number 6.” Number 31 was holding up a rather large syringe, looking at the contents. He looked down at Number 6. “I’d like to be able to say this won’t hurt a bit. It will.” The needle punctured the skin of his arm. Not so bad. Then Number 31 started to slowly inject the medicine. And Number 6 understood fully the words, “It will.”
~
“Number 6, there seems to be, well, certain complications. Nothing we can’t deal with, but there are things that you need to be aware of. The inflammation risks damaging brain tissue. We wouldn’t want the tissue damaged. The inflammation, in effecting the brain, can cause hallucinations, even symptoms approximating mental illness. In treating this form of meningitis we also have to treat these symptoms, just as we would if you were a truly mentally ill patient. This is necessary in order to keep the patient, in this case you, in a mental condition that’s conducive to the physical treatments. Otherwise you could well prove to much for hospital personnel to deal with necessitating that we keep you sedated. Then you wouldn’t be able to communicate with us. In other words you couldn’t tell us ‘where it hurts’. That would be worse than counter productive. I tell you all of this so that, in your more lucid moments, you’ll better understand what it is we’re doing.” Medically much of what he had said was nonsense. Close approximations to unrelated facts giving the impression of validity. Number 6 was intelligent, perhaps brilliant. Number 31 trusted that the medical misinformation fed to him by that mind-altering mental control administered by way of the pulsating light would keep things believable and him confused long enough to effect Number 31s mental treatments. Immunologist. What a farce. A Ph.D. in psychology from an Austrian university under Nazi control during World War 2. And he was very proud of it. This was his chance to both perfect and prove his mind control technique. “Unsere sache wird sich durchsetzen.”
~
“How long?” Number 2 queried. “Depends on his metabolism, but on average no more than twelve hours, no less than five,” Number 31 mumbled as he flipped through the chart. “Keep me posted. Hourly, day and night,” Number 2 said sternly. Number 31 looked up, smiled faintly, “I’ll see what I can do.”
~
Number 2 received hourly updates for six hours. Thirty three minutes after the seventh update he received one last note, short and to the point. It read, “Its working.”
~
Number 2, Number 31, and Number 14, one of the hospitals staff physicians who had dealt with Number 6 in the past, stood over an unconscious Number 6. His face went from placid to grotesquely twisted regularly. “And he’ll remember nothing of this?” Number 2 looked from one doctor to the other. Number 14, pushing blond hair back out of her eyes, answered, “When its over he’ll think he was cured of meningitis. He’ll remember nothing else. He may even be thankful to us for our help. In that, all of this may have a lasting positive effect. He might just decide to fit in after this.” Number 2 smiled at the thought. He would accomplish what nearly two dozen others had failed at. And his primary weapon would have been distance and a benevolent disregard. The others were, one and all, obviously amateurs.
~
The room was brightly painted. The curtains were of a type found in nurseries, horses dancing across their folds with clowns standing atop each steed wielding colorful parasols. A large plastic car, a grand toy, a Lotus with plate numbers KAR 120C, took up the middle of the room. There were three rocking chairs. And muzak. And Number 6, in pajamas with feet. A two way mirror on one wall, every corner hid a camera, every cranny hid a microphone. He could be seen, he could be heard. Most importantly, he could be talked to. The microphones provided the voices in his head.
~
“How do you feel today, son?” A smiling Number 2 entered the room. He walked over to Number 6, put his arm around his shoulder and gave him a fatherly squeeze. “I’ve been worried about you lad. You’ve been ill, most ill. We thought that your mind had left us, that you’d resigned the human race. But we care, son, we care. And you trust us, we’re going to help you be all better.” The arm still around his shoulder Number 2 gave another squeeze, his smile widening. Number 6 grinned. A bit of drool on his chin, Number 2 took out a handkerchief and wiped it away. “Set down my boy. Lets talk. The doctors, they’re your friends, tell me that talking about things, straightening out the past, will clear the way for the future. You talk with me, you’ll feel better, you’ll be better. You’ll see. There’s no shame in getting help, and you needn’t resign yourself to any illness, physical or, in this case, mental. Talking it out, all of it, will still those unwanted voices, the ones that taunt you with your own foibles. I’m here, I’m here for you. Remember that.” Number 6 continued to grin. Number 2 didn’t notice it, he had removed his arm from Number 6s shoulder, but as he said the words, “I’m here for you”, the spine stiffened and the shoulders grew taught. They sat in rockers, looking at each other. Number 2 smiled, Number 6 grinned.
~
Every day for five days he rephrased the same question, always avoiding the direct usage one word when forming the question but using it often in general conversation. The word took slightly different forms. “Resignation” or “resigned” or “resign”. When he slept these were all repeated though the microphones, along with one other word. “Why?”
~
It was day six. They seemed to be getting no where. Every time the conversation was steered in the desired direction by Number 2 something seemed to distract Number 6. The car, the curtains, the mirror, the walls, anything, everything. Number 2 cornered Number 31 in the hall. “Another dosage.” “That won’t help,” said 31. “Then what will? What will?!” “Let me talk with him. Introduce me in the morning, let him rest the remainder of today.” Number 2 exhaled as though he wanted to be rid of something from the inside out. “Oh, alright. Alright.”
~

“Number 6! I want you to meet the Doctor. He’s one of your good friends.” And Number 2 gently pushed Number 31 forward. They spent the day together, Doctor and Number 6, chatting away, the topics meandering, Number 6 stiffening imperceptibly every time he heard the word “resign”, “resignation”, “resigned”.
~

“I’m telling you it takes time and what you’re suggesting simply will not work. In order to produce the desired results …” Number 2 stopped him there, his finger shaking in his face. “Results? And you’ve obtained exactly what? So far you’ve made him drool. I need more than spittle!” Number 31 began to go livid. “Now look here, Number 2 … ” “NO! You’ll do the looking and what you’ll see is success on my part. You’re technique is lacking. We’ll try mine now and you’ll see, you’ll see!” “You’re going to ruin … ” “I’m going to WIN!” Number 2 shouted. “Nearly two dozen others have failed at this. Several more than once. I will NOT fail, YOU will NOT keep me from the prize! You’re drugs have worked a wonder and for that I say thank you. But beyond the drugs you’ve obviously lost the touch. Now its my turn and I’ll add MY touch!”
~

He spoke in a low, deliberate way. “Lad, I’m here to help. You know that.” Number 2 took a step forward, towards Number 6. “And you want me to help, we both know that. But,” Number 6 took a step back as Number 2 advanced again, “we can’t continue like this forever. For me to help you,” and he took yet another step towards Number 6, “for me to help you I need for you to help me. One hand washes the other, we both know how that works,” Number 6 took another step back. Now he had retreated as far as possible, now his back was against the wall. This physical reality, his back being against the wall, had a psychological impact. Number 2 continued to talk. “You want to please the old man, don’t you lad? And the Doctor. You like him, you know,” Number 6 was grinning but the grin was changing, “that he wants to help you. Its why he’s here,” and he took another step, slowly. This physical reality, this last forward step, with Number 6 backed up against the wall, had yet another psychological impact on the mind of 6. And this psychological turn took, in turn, a physical twist. The now twisted grin turned into a smile. A few minutes later, the room filled with guards holding Number 6 and medics attending Number 2. With the blood wiped away it was obvious that the nose was broken in more than one place. They were taking Number 2 to hospital. Number 6, even though held by several guards, was still smiling. A certain touch had been added to the whole affair. A boxers touch.
~

“I told you! Didn’t I say … ” Number 2 interrupted Number 31. “Yes, you did,” it was hard to talk through the bandages, “but just now I have other concerns. You’re excused, Number 31.” The tone lent itself to no quarter. Number 31, face red, teeth clinched, bowed slightly and walked up the ramp. In the foyer the butler handed him his hat. Number 14 stood close by Number 2. “You’ll be needing these,” she said, and handed him what seemed a rather large bottle of pain killers. “Thank you, Number 14. You may go now.” The red phone buzzed. Number 2 sighed, trying to exhale through his nose. He was at that point veryglad for the bottle of pills. He raised the phone to his ear. “Yes sir…”
~

Number 6 sat quietly. He wore regular hospital issue pajamas now. The laundry was washing the blood of Number 2 out of the others. He smiled to himself. Drugs could do so much, but only so much. The mind, the body, under certain types of stress, would create its own and these in turn might well off set the man made pharmaceuticals. Number 14 stepped into the room, a chart in her hand. “Ah, Number 6, whatever shall we do with you?” “If it were me I believe I’d send me home as a punishment,” he quipped. She looked at him, shook her head, turned to the medic with her and said, “See to his release.” Turning to Number 6 she smiled. “I’ll send you home Number 6. Remember that home is where ever you hang your hat. It is, after all, six of one …” “Half dozen of the other, yes, I know.”
~

Be seeing you.

“Doppelganger”

Standard

The Prisoner

Number 6 is obviously a very intelligent person with a wide range of experience. Maybe he has one or two mental tricks up his sleeve that we don’t know about …

~

“Doppelganger”

~

Number 10 stepped through the door, stood at the top of the ramp, and froze. “What the devil?”

Number 2, a puzzled look on his face, raised both hands, palms upward, and shrugged.

Two men stood in front of Number 2s desk. To the left was Number 6. He nodded to Number 10 in greeting. On the right was, well, Number 6. He nodded to Number 10 and smiled. Number 10 approached slowly. Curtis was dead, of that he was quite sure. Plastic surgery? Number 2 looked honestly at a loss. Again, quietly and to himself, Number 10 repeated, “What the devil?”

“Supervisor.” Number 2s voice quivered.

“Yes.” The voice seemed to come from no where in particular.

“I want you to go over ALL surveillance records for the past three days. I want to know if you can find Number 6 in two places,” he hesitated, “at the same time.”

“What?!” The Supervisors voice belied his confusion.

“You heard me!” Number 2 barked. “Just do it. NOW!”

“Yes sir.” And on his end the Supervisor shook his head even as he began pulling up video files. “Another one gone round the bend,” he whispered to himself.

The Butler entered with a cart. Tea service for five. Five? The Butler bowed to Number 6. Twice. He stepped back, waiting to serve.

Exasperated, Number 2 spat out, “And we’re supposed to do exactly what with TWO of you?!”

“Well,” said the Number 6 on the right, “if you’ve no use for the both of us … ”

“You can always send one of us home,” the Number 6 on the left finished the sentence.

Number 2 laughed oddly. “Which of you would you suggest?” He queried, looking from left to right, right to left.

“You choose.” Both Number 6s answered him in chorus.

The Butler began to ready the tea service for five as though someone had just asked him to serve.

The metal doors opened again. And in walked … Number 6.

Number 10 went numb. Number 2 bolted from his chair, running to the back of the room. There was a hidden panel, an escape route there. But as he ran his legs seemed laden with lead weights. His feet sank into the floor. For all his efforts at running he moved centimeters, if at all. Looking over his shoulder he watched as three smiling Number 6s walked calmly towards him. He began to scream …

Number 2 jumped upright in bed, a cold sweat covering him and soaking the sheets. His eyes were wide, his mouth hung open. His heart was pounding, his breath came in short, labored gasps as though he’d been running. He leaned forward, putting his face in his hands. “Oh, bloody hell. That’s all I’d need, that’s all I’d need.”

Not so very far away, in his flat, Number 6 rolled over in bed, ready for sleep now, a satisfied smile on his lips. And he remembered happily Dr. Seltzman, and all that he had taught him so many years before.