The Stolen Man: Escape, Episode 2-5
(S.M. Table of Contents)
The reaction to this is both immediate and conflicting. First comes the familiar flash of vision
Six (Dr Sexton) standing over you, angry…who are you? I’ll tell you who you are!
Seven is standing behind Six, but now he appears slightly melancholy, less impassive. Perhaps you are simply coloring the memory with your own guilt about leaving him in the cage.
As the vision clears you travel a series of conflicting emotions and conclusions, each one rapidly chased away by another.
Pride and pleasure: you knew it. All along you’ve said you weren’t Troy!
Disorientation: despite your protests, Troy was at least a name and you’ve started to become accustomed to the idea.
Disappointment: Your not sure why you feel this but you do.
Anger: hatred would not be to strong a word; hatred of Six, and whoever else is responsible not only for what they’ve done to you but to Dan/Troy too. Who plays with lives like that?
Depression: you realize with a sudden rush of futility none of this revelation matters. You know no more than you did before. Furthermore it doesn’t mean you aren’t the person Lorelei claimed you were. She never claimed you were Troy, just some shadowy financier. Your could still be that person, that number. And that prospect does not please you.
And finally you feel skepticism and curiosity. There’s one thing that’s bothering you; not what he said, but how he said it.
Dan is watching your reaction, which passes all in a few seconds and ultimately boils down to, “what did you say?”
“No, I heard you. And it makes a weird sort of sense. But what I mean is, what happened to your stutter?”
Dan looks at you searchingly, nods to himself and speaks clearly and fluidly, “Dude, you’re like a human lie detector. I know it’s got something to do with what you hear, so I was hoping the stutter and the rhymes would keep you from seeing through me too early.”
“What do you mean, too early? How do you know that I’m a human lie detector? What does that even mean?”
“Man, you ask a lot of questions. Occupational hazzard I suppose.”
You feel sick. You wait but no vision surfaces, just nausea and a foggy sort of feeling in your head. You sit down on the stairs, closing your eyes, trying for the first time today to really think. Why will no one let you think?
“Are you ok?”
“I’m just feeling a little light headed. There’s just so much weirdness I can take in one day.”
Dan reaches down to help you up by the hand. You reach up for his hand and then pull it back rapidly. Your hand feels heavy and there is a large red welt where you pricked your hand on the door knob.
“Are you sure you’re ok?”
You stand up unsteadily, “Yeah, I’m feeling better, I just need to get this all straight.”
“And maybe some sleep. You look beat man, let’s get you back to your room.”
“What do you mean ‘my room?’ NO!”
“Why not? I’ve got keys. It’s the middle of the night. Where else would you go?”
“I just need somewhere to talk. I want to know everything you know. Tell me what you know.”
For a brief second there is a look on Dan’s face you don’t quite recognize, discomfort of some kind. He laughs nervously, “Those aren’t words I ever wanted to hear from you, my friend. I only know bits and pieces I’ve picked up around here, but I’ll tell you what I know. But first lets get out of here, and get some coff…”
Dan is being very irritating. He’s still speaking but for some strange reason he’s getting quieter and quieter as he speaks, like he’s moving away from you, but he’s not. He’s standing still…and he’s watching you, searching you with his eyes, basically staring at your eyes.
“Why are you speaking so softly? Wait, I can’t, I can’t hear!”. Actually you can’t hear yourself now either. It’s completely silent. Silent like the bottome of a swimming pool, or a grave perhaps. Dan is still talking, but you hear nothing. Nothing has ever terrified you more.