The Stolen Man: Endgame?  (Episode 5-1)

(S.M. Table of Contents)

Dan grabs your hand roughly, pressing it against the Yin Yang symbol on the door.  The outline of your hand flashes and then half the Yin Yang symbol lights up.

Dan looks triumphant, “My hand doesn’t work. Just yours.”

“And six’s,” you ask as you look nervously at Lorelei who is coming rapidly down the hall, gun still aimed at you.

“Yeah of course.  Get us in.”  He is looking nervously at Lorelei, who seems now to have stopped halfway down the hall.  Is she taking aim?  Is she waiting?  For what?

“And seven I suppose,” you say distractedly, still watching Lorelei.

“Yeah, whatever. Look, you’ve got the key.  I know you do.”

It occurs to you you probably do.  It also occurs to you that you probably have Seven, once again, to thank for that.  Reaching into your pocket you pull out the half of the Yin Yang Pendant.  One one side it is dark, flipping it over it’s light.  You fit the  the light side into the outlined light half of the Yin Yang on the door and it clicks into place like a magnet.

“Wait, Troy!”  It’s Lorlei, she’s running again, gun still drawn.

“I don’t have the other half.” you start to say, but just then the pendant you stuck on the door flips over sideways, as if on a hinge attaching itself now to the dark half.  Lights now come up in a complete circle around the Yin Yang symbol and the door swings open.  Dan grabs you and ushers you quickly inside, slamming it shut just as Lorelei reaches the door.  Dan is grinning out at her.  Lorelei, appears frustrated, and you can hear her scrabbling at the door, like some helpless animal asking to be let in.

“Why didn’t she just shoot me?  She had plenty of time.”

Dan shrugs, “Who knows?  But look Troy, we made it!”

He’s right. You weren’t crazy or merely dreaming.  Somewhere deep inside the visions were all memories, for there stands the diamond machine.  It’s smaller than you remembered, standing on a metal table, a cylindrical black object with seven or eight and what can only be described as tubes of light, running out of it.  Most of these culminate in the back of an uncomfortable looking chair.  The rest run into a display of some sort.  The display faces away from the chair, apparently meaning to be read by whoever is administering the..whatever it is the diamond machine does.  The chair sits in the middle of an intense spotlight and there are straps for the feet, the arms and some kind of headband for the head.

It reminds you of an electric chair, but when you look at it the feeling you get is of something even worse.  You’ve seen this, been intimately connected to this, literarily connected.  You feel sick looking at it, seriously sick.  Sick, and terrified, and guilty for reasons you can’t explain.  and angry.  Very angry.  And Dan seems to want you to sit in it.

“I don’t know how long that door will hold her. We don’t have much time.”

“It’s real.”

“Indeed it is and it’s your chance. Our chance.”

Dan leads you to the chair.  You resist feebly, but you are still reeling from the reality of the room and Dan surprises you with his strength and speed, pushing you down into the chair and before you have chance to get up, straps one arm and then the other into the chair.

“Hey, What are you…”

“It’s the only way.  I need your help, but you’re need no good to me until you remember who you are!”

“What are you doing?!”

Dan has moved onto your legs and now, he places the odd headband on your head.  Horrified, you realize you have let him get too far.  You are incapable of getting out of the machine now. Belatedly you  realize he is only trying to finish what he failed to do to begin with.  How stupid you’ve been.

Dan is still talking, “This thing, this machine. It has a failsafe, a way to get everything back. It holds your memories as electrical impulses. We’re just going to…reboot you.”

“Reboot me?”  Could it be?

“You want your life back don’t you?”

Dan looks searchingly at you and then makes a decision.  He unstraps your arms and hands you a small stick with a button on it, like you expect a jeopardy button looks.  “It’s the only way. Look, You can even do it. Just push this button, Troy, that’s all you have to do and it will be over.  I’ve unstrapped your arms.  If you don’t want to do it, just unstrap yourself and get up.  Or push the button and regain your life.  It’s the only way.”

“It’s not the only way.”  It’s Seven,  standing behind Dan and off the left. The scene is eerily familiar.

 (Next Episode)

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