Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Prisoner … “Deep Six” … Part Three

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Number Two's residence as it stands today, kno...

“Number Six, report to the Green Dome. Number Six, report to the Green Dome immediatly.”

“Yes, I understand. … Oh, no, I agree totally sir. Yes indeed, it was a mistake. … Everything will be put to right soon, you have my word. … No, regrettably Number Six said nothing. But he is tight-lipped. … Yes, yes I will. … Thank you, sir, thank you very much.” He put down the red phone and exited through the concealed door to the rear of the room, giving the monitor one last glance as he did. Number Two would be back soon and he didn’t need to be here.

The Supervisor smiled to himself. He was glad they had never “offered” the Number Two position to him. He was good at what he did and that was one reason they kept him where he was. Another reason was that he never spoke of what he saw. The man who had just used the red phone? That came as a surprise even to him. The twists and turns never ceased to amaze him. But he never reacted, never spoke to anyone of them. Sometimes he felt as though he knew more about what was going on than Number Two did.

The Butler never moved a facial muscle. The question uppermost in his mind at the moment was: “I wonder how he takes his tea?”

~~~

Number Six tried to look innocent. Surely they hadn’t noticed that he’d spotted the hatch. If they had they wouldn’t have allowed him to return to the spot. Unless of course it was some meaningless hole leading nowhere, which was what he half expected. But it could be a way out and he’d never know unless he checked. Rover floated only a few feet from the boat as he prepared for his last dive. Falling over the side backwards, the water splashing around him, he began his descent.

He swam along the wall of whatever it was. On the other side he could see various forms of marine life. There was a shark moving slowly towards him. At one point it obviously touched the wall and jerked away as though shocked. He made his way towards the hatch. He knew they were watching but he had to try, he had to know. And the Village warders only need slip up once. Perhaps this was that time. At about twenty feet distance from the hatch he made a dash for it. He grasped the wheel of a handle and began turning it. He could see Rover sinking towards him. He pulled. The hatch opened with Rover about fifteen feet away. There was nothing but blackness inside the hatch. Suddenly there was a rushing of water, a pull. He was literally sucked into the hole. The force was so great that it hurled him against the interior head first. That was the last thing he remembered. Until later.

~~~

Three men were standing over him. One yelled at him: “Are you a fool?! The interior mechanism wasn’t turned on! You could’ve flooded the entire level if we hadn’t turned on the emergency valve system!”

One of the other men punched the man speaking on the shoulder. He said, “I don’t think he’s one of the crew. He’s a topper.”

“Well how’d he get here then?”

“Don’t know, but have either of you ever seen him before? Any word that a new crew member was coming on?’

“No”, both of the others muttered.

“Up with you!” The second man grabbed Number Six by the arm, pulling him up roughly. “Come along then. We’ll soon see what you’re about.”

As they escorted a rather groggy Number Six down a rock lined corridor he thought he saw steam rising through what looked to be a vent of some sort. And he thought he could hear music from someplace, he wasn’t sure where. He was stumbling, blood dripping down the side of his head. He wasn’t sure how badly he was hurt.

At last they entered a control room of sorts. He was starting to come around now, a little more at himself. He felt his head.

“You set here then!” And the first man pushed him into a chair. “You,” he spoke to the third man roughly, “Go call topside. Get word to Number Two that we have a possible topper here. He’ll know what to do. Hurry about it!”

~~~

He was fully himself now, but not acting like it. He slumped over a panel of switches, holding his head. And reading labels. Valves, motors, lighting, vent system, flow control. Interesting labels. He seemed to have been there forever.

“Ah, Number Six,” said the familiar voice, “whatever shall we do with you? I give you an inch and you take the proverbial mile. I’ll expect the return of the scuba gear of course.”

“Of course,” Number Six sat up straighter, looking at Number Two.

“And have you satisfied your curiosity?”

“Not quite,” Number Six smiled as he suddenly flipped three of the most promisingly labeled switches.

A number of alarms went off. “Good choice,” he thought to himself.

Number Two went deathly pale. “You fool! You’ll kill us all!”

Number Six could hear shouts. He thought he heard rushing water. Number Two pulled him towards what looked like a glass tube. In a moment they were traveling upward, as though in an elevator. An elevator made for speed.

~~~

“Yes … Yes … I understand … Yes … Yes, at once.” A pallid Number Two set the red phone down.

The Supervisor watched with a sort of perverse satisfaction from the control room.

The Butler walked towards the door, pushing the tea cart before him. Tea time was obviously over.

~~~

The two bottom levels had been flooded. The computer systems were a total loss. It would take days to pump out the sea water, and weeks to install new equipment. Number Six new he’d created a disturbance. He had no idea how much of one. Of the five lower levels of The Village “system”, as the keepers called it, these two were a large part of the nerve center. This was a major victory for Six. Sadly, he would never know how great a victory it had been.

~~~

“Number Six report to the Green Dome. Number Six, please report to the Green Dome immediately.” The public address system seemed a bit out of sync today.

Number Six, paying for his tea, left the cafe and walked leisurely towards Number Two’s office. Knowing that he had done some damage somehow made this visit worthwhile.

~~~

The doors slid open, the Butler waving Number Six in. The globular chair didn’t move. He was at the desk before it slowly began to revolve. The new Number Two smiled slyly. The new Number Two, the old Number Forty One, spoke slowly, deliberately.

“Ah, my dear Number Six. What a wonderfully devious Villager you are. You’ll never know the pains I’ve gone through on your account.”

“Don’t feel obligated.”

“Yes, well I do have a responsibility towards the citizens,” he sighed. “Be glad you’re not being billed for your little escapade. But, after having helped, without knowing it of course, remove a weak cog from our machinery writing off the bill was the least I could do. And I just wanted to let you know that I’m here for you should you ever feel the need to talk.”

~~~

“Yes, things will change, have changed, for the better,” Number Two smiled as he spoke into the red phone. “He wouldn’t confide in me as a fellow Villager, but I guarantee,” his teeth gritted, “he WILL confide in me now. … Oh, no sir, I wouldn’t think of damaging the tissue.”

~ finis ~

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The Prisoner … “Deep Six” … Part Two

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Fotografía hecha en Playa del Carmen, México, ...

Number Six’s day goes along swimmingly. So far.

He could see Rover, up above, floating on the waves next to the boat. He was, at this point, perhaps twenty-five feet down and near the base of the cliffs. The concrete, if that’s what it was, went straight into the rock. It looked as if it had been somehow made a part of the root of the cliffs. And there was the consistent slope downward the further away from shore you went. Nothing else. Not a fish, no plankton, nothing but crystal clear sea water. Dead sea water.

~~~

“Hows our lad doing?” Number Two asked.

“Currently exploring the area around the bottom of the cliffs to the north, 23.8 feet under water. Rover is guarding.” The voice of the Supervisor answered back.

“Excellent, excellent!” Turning in his chair he picked up the yellow phone, clicked the button, and said, “Number Twenty Nine, please bring Number Forty One around. Make sure he’s ready for lunch. Thank you.”

~~~

Number Six was listening to Bach when the door opened and Number Two walked in.

“Number Six, good taste in music I see. And how has your day gone?”

“Swimmingly,” he answered dryly.

“Sense of humor! Wonderful. Actually, I dropped by to see if you’d made any marine biology discoveries you’d care to share,” and Number Two sat down, across from Number Six, making himself comfortable.

“No, nothing currently. But then you know that already, don’t you?”

“Well, while its true that Rover has kept an eye on you and your doings it can’t read minds you know. At least not yet.” Number Two, now very much at home, reached for the cigarette box. “Do you mind?”

“Would it matter? And how is your precious Number Forty One coming along? All bright-eyed and Village citizen extraordinaire I assume?”

“Oh, he’s acclimatizing slowly but surely. I wouldn’t worry too much about him. He seems co-operative enough. Perhaps he should give YOU a tour of The Village, help you see reason and all that.” He leaned back, made a smoke ring.

“I’ll be content to carry on as usual, thank you. We wouldn’t want to upset the natural balance, now would we?”

~~~

“Yes, of course, I’d … ” Number Two, red phone in hand, was sweating bullets. “Immediately, sir. Yes … Yes … Yes, sir, you can count on me. I’ll … Yes, and you.”

It had been the Voice on the phone that had “suggested” to Number Two that he lure Number Six into giving Number Forty One a tour of The Village. Number Two hadn’t believed Six would accept. It had been Two’s idea to offer scuba gear. With the Barrier it didn’t matter. Even Number Two had no control over that. Now Number One wanted Number Six and Number Forty One to interact more. He wanted a bond formed. It was up to Number Two to bring this about. Number Forty One was something of an oddity. He was valuable, he had been informed of that in no uncertain terms. But Forty One was a chemist working in a lab, one among many, for a corporation of no real significance. No government contacts, no secretive work on chemical compounds that would lend themselves to the business of either side. That there was an underlying motive he was certain. What and why? He would not risk asking and he thought it safer not to know. Bringing Number Forty One and Number Six together, for whatever reason, was at this point his only concern.

~~~

Number Two had arranged for an “accidental” meeting between Numbers Six and Forty One. They were playing chess, Number Forty One rather badly. His hands shook as he moved his pieces. The game went on longer than usual, and as Number Two watched on the monitor it was evident that Number Six was allowing the game to continue. Six said very little. Number Forty One on the other hand was pouring his heart out. The man had no clue why he was there, wherever and whatever “there” was. But perhaps, Number Two surmised, his trusting Number Six after the tour, given Number Six’s blunt honesty, was the reason Number One wanted this relationship tended tenderly. Maybe Number Forty One was going to share something and that something might be the reason he was there. And the monitors, the warders walking by, the hidden microphones, captured it all.

~~~

He would be able to make one more dive after this. He had breathed shallowly, making the three hours worth of air last closer to four. If he went back to the boat in three to four minutes he’d have about ten minutes, maybe twelve, for his last dive. Up to this point he had seen nothing, discovered nothing. It was all more of the same. Up to this point. It was floating kelp that had caught his eye at first, then a small group of fish. It was when he swam towards them that he had found it. He swam straight into it. “It” was a wall of some sort. You couldn’t see it but it was there. Perhaps a type of glass? He wasn’t sure. But it separated the ocean on the one side from the ocean on the other. This explained the lack of sea life. This barrier kept everything out. And the “concrete” floor made growth impossible. He realized now more than ever what a prison The Village and the surrounding area was. If this existed what else might there be? The logistics of it alone was mind-boggling, considering what it must have taken to convert several hundred acres of sea bottom to this. He was about to surface when he spotted it, hidden away in the rocky base of the cliff. It was a metal hatch with a screw type handle, like the ones on a submarine. Was it a way out? Or a way in?

When he surfaced he did so at the wall of what he called glass for lack of a better term. There was, above water, a sort of shimmer to it. Standing in the boat he reached as far up as he could, feeling, feeling. How high did it go? Where did it end? He marked the spot mentally. His next dive, his last dive, would be here. And he would go directly to the hatch.

~~~

Number Two was watching vicariously via Rover. “He found one of them, and the Barrier. Surprising, surprising. Well, this ought to prove entertaining,” he mumbled to himself. “I wonder how much air he has left?”

~~~

Next, the end of “Deep Six”.

The Prisoner … “Deep Six” … Part One

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English: Portmeirion, showing the Green Dome a...

“Welcome, Number Forty One, to your home from home.”

He was aware of Rover. It lurked under the waves, behind him, at a distance. He swam slowly, as though relaxed. He was anything but. He was looking. Looking for a hint, a clue, an idea … A way out. From time to time he would dive. Closer to the shore there had been no marine life. He’d put it down to currents, perhaps pollution. But here, further out, there was still nothing. The water seemed dead. No plankton, no fish, nothing.

He began working his way back to the beach, diving from time to time. He tried to go as deep as he could. Without scuba gear he was limited. The clearness of the water, as strange as it was given its lifeless quality, helped him see even if he couldn’t reach the bottom. There was nothing. Finally, getting closer to shore, he put everything he had into one last attempt. This time, with only seconds left before he would have to surface, he touched the bottom with both hands. It was smooth, no sand or silt, but smooth and hard like finished concrete with a gentle tilt downward and out to sea.

~~~

“I will admit that you’re taking longer to convince than most. But you’ll learn, you’ll learn.” Number Two was looking intently at the chessboard as he spoke.

“I am an old dog, I shun new tricks.” Number Six watched as Number Two moved his queen’s pawn.

“Yes, well. Hmm,” Number Two raised an eyebrow as Number Six made his move. “I don’t believe I would have done that. Bad move on your part, Number Six.” And he moved his rook forward, capturing one of Number Six’s bishops. “Check. And your reason for playing chess with me today. You’re trying to gather information. That’s OUR job, Number Six.” Looking up from the board he smiled broadly. “You swam out further,” and he glanced towards the wooded area on their right, “than most yesterday.” Number Six didn’t bother looking towards the trees. He knew Rover was lurking there.

“And did you enjoy my swim?” Number Six asked as he made his move.

“Oh, I know you were aware of Rover and that you knew you were being watched.” Number Two, still smiling, looked up from the board.

“Is there ever a time that I’m not watched?”

“I believe you already know the answer to that. It’s for your own safety of course.” Number Two was looking towards the sea. “And I’m aware also of what you found. You’re very good at diving. I’d not be able to hold my breath for nearly so long. Of course, at this point, both of us understanding that your find and your curiosity are out in the open, you could simply ask …”

“”Questions are a burden to others,” Number Six replied.

“And answers a prison for one’s self, yes. You see, you are learning. Perhaps you’re not as old a dog as you think.” Number Two chuckled.

“Perhaps,” Number Six moved. “Checkmate.”

“Wha … ?!”

~~~

“Oh, let him swim to his heart’s content. Perhaps this will keep him out of serious mischief. If he’d swam another half mile or so the other day he would have encountered the Barrier.” Number Two was talking with the Supervisor. “And no one passes that point unless they,” and his voice lowered noticeably,”allow it.”

~~~

“No sir, I’m not aware of any such gear available in The Village. Perhaps if you inquired at the Citizen’s Council?” The shopkeeper said, a rather odd look on his face. Obviously no one had ever asked for scuba equipment before.

“Thank you, perhaps I will. Be seeing you.”

“And you.”

As Number Six was leaving the shop the public address system came to life. “Number Six, report to the Green Dome immediately. Number Six to the Green Dome immediately.”

~~~

“I’ll make you a deal, Number Six,” Number Two leaned forward in his round chair, the ever-present smile on his lips. This Number Two had lasted longer than most, several months now. He seemed almost a fixture in the control room, a part of the equipment, another button on the console.

“I’ll make NO deals!”

“Yes, well, at least do me the courtesy of hearing me out. You can always say no … again … after I’ve finished.” Number Two, getting up, walked around the desk and pointing to a screen said, “Tell me, Number Six, what do you see?”

The screen was currently showing the hospital and its grounds. Number Six remained silent.

“Supervisor. Hospital, first ward.” Number Two spoke to the air.

“Hospital, first ward, on screen now.” The air answered back.

“The gentleman in the bed nearest the door. Our new Number Forty One. Just arrived. Seems the mental shock was a tad much for him. He required sedation. Currently he’s being brought back to reality …”

“You mean YOUR reality,” interrupted Number Six.

“He’s being brought back to reality,” and Number Two sighed, “in stages. By morning he’ll be ready to become familiarized with The Village.”

“All of which in no way pertains to me.”

“Well, it might. You see I have a very simple request to make of you. In the morning I’ll give you access to a taxi. I’d like you to take Number Forty One on a tour of The Village. Answer any questions he might have, be as helpful as you can be given your, uh, individualism.”

“Why me? I’m sure you have more than enough suitable lackeys to accommodate your Number Forty One.”

“You are correct, but I have a rather simple,” the smile left now, ” and straightforward reason that I have no qualms about sharing. This man is of value to us. You will inform him, I’m sure, about escape attempts, Village security, drugging, surveillance, Rover and a host of other things. Of course I realize you may think him a plant and an attempt on my part to gather information from you, hoping you’ll let something slip, but now that I’ve admitted that we’ve gotten it out of the way and we both know you’ll be on guard against such an occurrence. As you always are,” and the smile returned. “You will have informed Number Forty One of whatever you would have shared with him had he but asked, he’ll be well versed in Village protocol with no doubts as to the situation, I’ll be saved the trouble of bothering with him, you’ll have compromised nothing, and I’ll do you a favor.”

“A favor? Really? A one way ticket to London?”

“I know you inquired about scuba gear at the General Store. You can have it, with three hours worth of oxygen, along with a small boat with oars. Dive, explore our coast as much as you care to. And you’ll have Rover as your guardian. Just to make sure there’s not an accident at sea. We wouldn’t want a man lost overboard.”

~~~

“And you think this a good idea?” The Supervisor asked Number Two.

“Not particularly, but then it isn’t a bad idea either. He’ll be occupied, searching out a dead-end and I’ll be better able to concentrate on Forty One without being bothered by him.” Number Two looked at the screen. “There’s nothing for him to find, and if there were there would be nothing he could do, given the Barrier, anyway.”

“And you’ve checked?”

“Yes, Number One,” and he took in a deep breath, “has been fully apprised of the situation and given Forty One’s importance he’s given me the go ahead.”

~~~

“Any questions?” Number Two asked as he brought the taxi to an abrupt halt.

“No,” replied a rather pale Forty One. He hadn’t been pale at the beginning of his Village tour.

“Very well then,” Number Six pointed to a door not far from them. A small sign hung near it. The sign read ‘Number Forty One’. “That’s your flat. Welcome to your home from home.”

Number Six, in spite of himself, felt rather sorry for the man. If he was a plant he made a very good show of fear.

~~~

End of Part One.

Danger Man: Carnival

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English: North Atlantic Treaty Organization in...

North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, in orthographic projection.

“Every government has its secret service branch. America, CIA; France, Deuxième Bureau; England, MI5. NATO also has its own. A messy job? Well that’s when they usually call on me or someone like me. Oh yes, my name is Drake, John Drake.”

~~~

I had to smile when I read the name on the slip of paper. This assignment would prove interesting, I could be sure of that.

~~~

“You fly to Calcutta this evening. He’ll be waiting for you at the Hotel Holiday. Potter will give you directions from there,” Nigel was forever fiddling with his napkin. “You met the good doctor in Calcutta once before as I recall.”

“Yes, it was after Berlin. We became very good friends. I’ll be glad to see him again.”

“I thought you would,” Nigel smiled as he finally folded the napkin into his lap in a way that seemed satisfactory for the moment. “I heard you learned a few interesting tricks from him.”

“Oh, yes. Checkmate in ten moves.”

~~~

The flight was typical, bad food and stale air. Being Driven to Hotel Holiday was an adventure in itself. Calcutta taxis are infamous for their short cuts down narrow streets crowded with vendors and pedestrians.

~~~

“And would sir require a room?” The English was poor but understandable.

“Yes, please. And I’d like a meal sent up later if that’s possible.”

“Certain surely, sir. Good cuisine here, very good. And will sir be staying for long?” The clerk seemed eager to please.

“I’m not certain yet,” and Drake signed the registry. As he turned the book around the clerk, seeing his name, smiled broadly.

“Oh, Mr. Drake, this was coming for you earlier.” Reaching into a drawer under the counter he produced an envelope. On its exterior it simply read “For John Drake”.

“Thank you very much. Did the person leaving it happen to give a name?”

“Oh, no sir. He was a messenger boy. He come in, leave this, and then go again.” The clerk looked over his shoulder as though to be sure he wasn’t being watched, and leaning slightly over the counter, his hand cupped next to his mouth, said in a most secretive way, “Curried lamb this night. Cooks very fine. You enjoy this meal, I guaranteed.”

“Thank you, thank you very much.”

~~~

I opened the envelope as soon as I entered the room. It was from Potter. He would meet me in the lobby at eight p.m. We would go to the doctor’s room from there.

~~~

“Potter.”

“Hello John,” Potter smiled. “Its been awhile.”

“Yes, three months at least. And hows Maggie?”

“Fine. It was a girl you know,” and Potter smiled a smile as wide as Potter could. “We named her Julie, after Maggie’s favorite aunt.”

“Congratulations.”

From behind the counter the clerk called out, “Sir enjoy meal? Very fine, yes?”

Walking towards the stairs he looked over his shoulder and smiling replied, “Yes, very fine.” Moments later they were on the second floor. Potter knocked on the door of room number six. As the door opened narrowly both men entered. The old man, beaming, reached for Drake’s hand, pumping it with a vigor that said nothing of age.

“My young friend, it is so good to see you again!”

“Dr. Seltzman, how’ve you been?”

~~~

We needed more men like him. When first we met in East Berlin he had proven himself during the escape we organized. To have him in the free world was a great gain, and I had made a good friend.

~~~

Potter had left. Drake and Dr. Seltzman talked with lowered voices. There was no one to overhear, it was the subject matter that lent itself to a hushed atmosphere.

“He was a murderer, John. Colonel Becker was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, many of them old women and small children. All of them deemed enemies of the Third Reich,” Dr. Seltzman’s tone was bitter. He had lived in the midst of a Nazi nightmare. But he had lived. And now was an opportunity for him to fight back at last. “I saw him in the market place three days ago. Immediately I wired our friend. I am glad they sent you.”

“And when you saw him did he see you?”

“Oh, certainly. Yes, he saw me and I am sure he recognized me.”

“You know of course,” Drake placed his hand on the older man’s shoulder, “that they’ll come for you.”

“Yes, of course. That is why I called, to offer myself as bait,” Dr. Seltzman smiled. “I will be your bait and you will devise the trap. Together we shall bring a measure of peace to many who still mourn. And do not worry about me, John. I knew that this might happen and made my escape plans long ago.”

“Where can you go?”

“It is best that no one know. If the trap we set is sprung properly I will explain later how you may contact me in the future should you ever need to.” Dr. Seltzman looked toward the window, an odd look on his face. “My escape. You know, my friend, that there really is no escape for any of us. We all carry our prison with us. There is no escape from self.”

~~~

There was to be a carnival in the market place the next day. It was primarily for tourists and pickpockets, and for setting traps. I could only hope all went well for the sake of Dr. Seltzman.

~~~

Drake stood near Seltzman, within arms reach. He was seemingly intent upon a map of Calcutta. The Doctor, for his part, was looking intently at melons. And of course they were not together, they did not know each other. And in such a mixed crowd no one noticed either. Seltzman swatted at flys with a rolled up newspaper as he felt of one melon, tapped on another. Drake saw Colonel Becker slowly making his way through the crowd. He recognized him from file photos he’d seen in Tel Aviv. The Doctor had glimpsed him, had purposely positioned himself so that his back was to the Colonel. When Becker was about ten feet from his target Drake stepped forward, and with his best Bronx accent addressed the man.

“Hey, pal, you look like someone from my part of the world. No one here savvy’s English, know what I mean?” He was between the two men now. “Look at this map with me, will ya? I can’t make heads or tails out of it. And just look how it’s printed! Can you help me find … ”

“Nine!” The Colonel barked, trying to push past him. He was trying to get to Seltzman, who having heard John Drake had started circling through the crush of the crowd so as to position himself behind Becker, who was at this point hurriedly growing livid. “Idiot American, get out of my way!”

“Well now, that’s no way to treat a guy like me, just looking for help. Why I remember …” And Seltzman, every bit as crafty as he had been in Berlin, was now directly behind Becker.

“Dumm Kopf, DUMM KOPF!” He was straining, looking over Drake’s shoulder, trying to find Dr. Seltzman, trying to force his way past this stupid American when, just over his right shoulder he heard the words, “Herr Colonel, it has been many years.”

He tried to turn but the two men, Drake in front and Seltzman in back, with the crowd on either side, had him pinned. He tried to reach for a pocket but Drake’s hand was quicker and in a moment a pistol had changed ownership unseen.

“Colonel Becker,” and the Bronx accent was gone now, “there are twelve agents, eight Israeli and four NATO, stationed at various positions here at the carnival. It will be much easier for you if you’ll accompany the good doctor and myself … ” And pushing gently, guiding him in the desired direction, Drake continued to give the Colonel directions until they were safely at the nearest police office. From there Drake made one phone call and after a few words into the receiver handed it to the officer behind the desk. It was only then that the German war criminal realized that the only agent involved in his capture was the one with the disappearing accent.

~~~

“You were very brave, my friend. You captured both the gun and the man,” Dr. Seltzman chuckled.

“Doctor, I believe it was you that both provided the bait AND sprung the trap.”

“He will have notified others,” Dr. Seltzman smiled at his friend. “I must put my plan into action, my friend. Now Dr. Seltzman will disappear. But before I go, please, give me an address so that I can mail you a small package.”

John Drake wrote down an address, handed it to the Doctor.

“I will send you a roll of film, vacation pictures. Have them developed. Make certain that you keep them in proper order. If you should ever need to contact me remember the code we devised in Berlin.”

“And how will you know that I’ve received them?”

“You may write to me at the return address. Someone there will know how to get your letter to me this once. After that … ” The Doctor shrugged.

The two men shook hands. Drake spoke first.

“I wish you well, Dr. Seltzman.”

“And I you, my good friend. And who knows? Perhaps things will change, perhaps sometime I will be able to come back.” He turned to walk away, and waving one last goodbye said, “Perhaps one day I shall have a change of mind.”

Move over, Mr. Bond …

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This music, the theme from “Secret Agent”, tells its own story. Gadgets, guns, and girls? No need. Move over Commander Bond. With this agent on the job you can take vacation. Enter John Drake.

Danger Man / Secret Agent TV Theme 1960 (Patrick McGoohan) – YouTube.

Fan Fiction: The Experience

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English: Portmeirion The village where NO.6 wa...

Portmeirion The village where NO.6, Paddy McGoohan, was kept prisoner.

English: Holywell Bay This beach was the backd...

It’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here.

“And you really think there was a place like that in Scotland during World War One?”

World War Two,” I corrected him. “Its a historical fact. I just can’t find much info. I talked with some other fans at the last Prisoner convention at Portmeirion but nobody seemed to know very much about it. But, given the nature of the thing, I guess there’s not a lot of facts to know.”

“Yes, all hush-hush, James Bond secret stuff.” He smiled over his coffee cup.

“No, not James Bond. John Drake.” I get really tired of correcting people who aren’t fans. Why don’t they read a book, for crying out loud?

“You know, I’ve got a good friend that works at the University in Glasgow.” He was looking around the room now. He spotted her. “Waitress? Can I get some more coffee, please? He might get some information, you know, out of the history department or something.”

“Is he a professor?” Now here was a chance to learn something. Finally.

“Oh, no, nothing like that. But he has access to lots of stuff.” Was he hedging? Did he know someone or not?

“So what is he then?”

“Well,” he looked a little sheepish, “he’s a janitor … ”

“Oh, come on! I thought you were being for real.”

“No, I am. He’s worked there for over twenty years and knows everybody. Smart too. He gets to audit all the courses he wants for free. A job perk. He could ask one of the teachers. They all know him, everybody likes him. I could call him.” He was pulling out his cellphone.

“Sure. It’s worth a shot. I’d love to know more, maybe even visit the place, the area anyway. The place probably doesn’t even exist anymore … ” Why not? I had nothing to lose. I waited and then I listened as he talked. He handed me the phone.

“Go ahead, talk to him.”

So I took the phone. “Hello?”

“Hello,” the voice on the other end was friendly enough. “What do you want?”

“Information, I want information,” and I nearly cracked up as I said it.

~~~

Well, the janitor was smart and he did know lots of people at the University. I talked with him two more times over the next week. He didn’t find out a lot but he was able to tell me where the place had been. And, just like I thought, he said there wasn’t anything there now. But, hey, diehard fan that I am I figured it was worth a drive.

~~~

The area was really nice. Lots of greenery, real picturesque. A few cottages, narrow and winding road, not much else. I spotted an elderly lady walking down a path just off to the side of the road so I pulled over and called out, “Excuse me, could I ask you a question please? I don’t really know the area and … ” She was walking towards me now, and she was a lot older than I’d thought. Which was good. If she lived here during the war she might REALLY know something. Turned out to be a very nice, and very talkative, lady. For a while I didn’t think I’d ever get away from her. But I finally managed to escape. And I really lucked out. She had lived there all her life and she knew where the old “compound”, as she called it, had been. About five miles further down and then a real tough walk through woods, over some steep hills and on down from there to the coast. About a two-mile walk. She said I could save the time and trouble. The land was posted and had been for as long as she could remember. But, you know, I’ve never been much on signs.

~~~

It was a tough walk. But fan that I am I hadn’t come all that way to just go home again without at least trying to see the place, especially after I’d pinpointed it. I thought the walk would be easier once I topped the hill. No way. I could see down to the shore from there. Well, I could see just a little of the shore. Between me and the shore was a good half mile of rock going down to it. And I do mean down. You’d need to be a mountain goat. I kept walking around, trying to get a better look. So I climbed up on this rock. That’s when I saw the building, or part of a building. There were still things down there! I couldn’t believe it! Well, you know I had to try climbing down then. So I did. After I’d gone down some I started to wish I hadn’t. How would I ever get back up?

~~~

I finally made it to the shore. Not far from where I was there were several buildings. It was a nice place, almost like a little resort. And the buildings seemed to be in good repair. Which made me a little nervous. It was government land and it was posted and I was trespassing. About that time I saw, over to my right side, what looked like fog.

I woke up on a couch, some guy wearing a scarf and holding an umbrella standing over me.

“Where am I?” I asked him.

It was then I heard him say, “In the Compound.”

~~~

If anyone finds this bottle  please, PLEASE, this note is not a joke! I’m being held a prisoner and they keep asking me questions about stuff that I have no clue about. The guy in charge, he says his name is Leo and that he answers to some guy he calls Paddy. All of this is getting really weird and I think they’re putting drugs in my food. Please call the police, call Scotland Yard. Please.

~~~

Postscript, from Leo to Paddy: I had someone fetch this from the waves after I saw our friend toss the bottle into the sea. He still refuses to cooperate. Does he think us fools, that he came here because he’s a fan of some television series? He had to have been sent here from the other side. And, by hook or by crook, we WILL get information. Please give my best to Janet. Be seeing you.

 

Information …

Standard
Prisoner (TV series)

“Freedom is a myth.” Quote, Patrick McGoohan.

At about the same time that The Prisoner TV series was at its most popular back in the 60s a series, trilogy, of books was published about the further adventures of Number Six. They brought him back to The Village and the scenario began all over again. The books were not well received by fans. I have them, I’ve read them, I understand why they weren’t popular. But they did give rise to some rather ingenious plot devices, the ideas being either poorly developed, left hanging, or mentioned in passing and never heard of again. There was one in particular, in the second book, concerning a discovery made by Number Six not far offshore from The Village. I thought it a fascinating twist that could easily lead to a wide variety of “what ifs” and “maybes”. Sadly, the discovery was mentioned and then forgotten about. Until now. Why leave a good idea in mothballs? So I’m working on a story now to explain the discovery, although I had to have Number Six discover it all over again in order to make it work, the original discovery having been so caught up in the main thrust of the original story. At this point I know where our story begins and, honestly, have no clue beyond the beginning.  Maybe that’s why its been in limbo since around ’68 or ’69. So my grey matter is on “charge” and my imagination trying to work over time. Keep your fingers crossed and at some time in the not to distant future (I hope) look for … “Deep Six.” Til then, BCNU.