The Stolen Man: Law of the Land, Episode 3-5
(S.M. Table of Contents)
You are looking up at the sky. The hard concrete of the sidewalk at your back feels comfortingly solid. A face appears between you and the sky, looking down at you. You wish he would move because the sky was large enough to appear normal, but this face is making it apparent that the world is still slightly off kilter, still a little dizzying. You lift your hand to your face. It appears normal, no redness no swelling. That means you are dreaming? Or that you are awake? You’ve lost track. Who is that leering at you? What’s his name again…Dan? Or is it Troy? No, you’re Troy. No wait! You are not Troy! Right?
The mouth in the face opens grotesquely and begins to speak, “Are you ok? That was a bad one. You’ve been out for at least 10 minutes.”
It is Dan. He looks concerned, and you are frustrated, “No, no I was awake again. That was real. This was the dream…or maybe that was the dream.”
“Well you’re awake now.”
“Well, I have considered that you might be a figment in my head, but than I would be the one who’s not awake. You, my friend, are definitely awake again.”
“I was with Lorelei. She says it’s all a big conspiracy of some kind.”
“A conspiracy! At sunnyvale?”
“That surprises you? Seems pretty likely to me. All the weird projects, you, me…”
“Oh, no, there’s plenty of secrets. I get that, but there’s plenty of incompetence too. Does it really look controlled to you? It’s just hard to imagine anyone in this place, being organized enough for a conspiracy.”
“But six, or seven?”
“What about them Troy. Six walks around locking people up, pretending to cure them. Nobody knows what Seven does, but he’s always there. What’s happened to you, to us, is no conspiracy, Troy. It’s one big mistake.”
“You said…erasing memories…”
“I don’t know what I said. I’m just guessing like you. I’m just a janitor, here, Troy. I don’t know anything.”
The world is settling down a bit and you manage to sit up. The building behind you is tall with lots of dark glass. Sunnyvale. You had thought you were in front of the coffee shop. Isn’t that where you collapsed? You can’t remember.
“Here? What are we doing here?”
“We’re looking for Helen. That’s the key to everything. C-c-c-come on, Troy.
Dan turns and sprints towards the entrance to the building. You start to stand, pushing against the ground with your hand to steady yourself. The pain which flares up is especially intense and makes your head swim…
The world flips but you are still sitting, not on the ground but in a chair. Electrodes are stuck to your head and your body. There is a quietly humming machine, the diamond machine connected to the other end of these electrodes. Seven is standing in the background, his face unreadable. Six is standing over you. He looks angry. Really angry.
“What time is it?” you manage to ask.