Serial Saturday: The Stolen Man, Episode 4-1

The Stolen Man:  Into the Wilderness:  4-1

(S.M. Table of Contents)


You are not awake.  Currently you are not dreaming.  You are blissfully unaware.  Unaware of the wires, probes and IV’s attached in, on and around numerous parts of your body. You do not feel the cold steel of the table on which you lay.  You are completely ignorant of the two sets of eyes watching you intensely. Given your predilection for privacy, you would be glad to be asleep and unaware if, in fact you were awake and aware.On the other hand, you would no doubt be very interested in the conversation going on immediately above you.  Perhaps somewhere in the recesses of your unconscious mind you are picking up their conversation, but it seems unlikely.

Lorelei is gazing down at the oblivious you, her own unique mixture of playful curiosity, whimsy, and cruelty shining in her eyes, “So how does this work?”

Dan shrugs, “We don’t even know if it works.”

Lorelei seems surprised, but only to Dan.  She doesn’t seem anything to you, because you are not paying attention…to anything, “It was never tested?”

Dan nods down at you, “He would be the first.  Six believed it would work though, from other smaller partial tests done.”

“So, it’ s what? A truth serum, basically?

“Much much more.  If it does what he designed, it should reveal truths he’s hiding even from himself.”

“It’s like a big Psychotropic psychotherapy!  What’s it like in there?” She studies you curiously.

“I guess it depends on what he’s hiding and what he needs to find it.”  Suddenly Dan frowns, “But, you’re right..

“Why the long face, broom boy?”

“Don’t call me that.  I hate it.”

“Relax, sweetie, what would we do without you cleaning up after us? We recognize your importance around here.”

“It’s fine.  I’m just wondering. What do we do?  How do we communicate with him?  How do we learn the truth’s he’s uncovering?”

Lorelei laughs, “Oh, that’s too good.  No way to share the personal enlightenment?”

“There must be.  Troy, Whats happening in there?”

Perhaps Dan’s words reach through your unconscious fog or perhaps its coincidence, but without opening your eyes or moving you answer, quietly, almost as if to yourself,  “Helen?  L9.  Find L9”

The next instant your eyes pop open and you are surprised to find yourself lying on a table, Dan and Lorelei, looking down at you.

Lorelei smiles, “Good Morning sunshine.  Relax, we’re just trying to help you find the truth.  That’s what you want isn’t it, the truth?”

You jump up, pushing Lorelei out of the way, and start to run, unthinking.  Dan intercepts you before you can reach the door, “It’s me, Dan.  It’s ok, we’re on your side.  What did you see in there Troy?  Did you remember?  Why have they done this to us?”

His words confuse you and for a second you stop, but then you push on past, heading quickly towards the only exit you see.

Behind you Lorelei is talking, “Let him go.  We know where he’s going anyway.”

“We do?”

“You heard him.  Level 9.  He thinks Helen’s there or something.”

You turn at Lorelei’s words and answer, as if to yourself, “Helen?  L9.  Find L9”

Turning again to the exit you run through the door.  As it swings shut behind you, you see the number 6-6 on the panel.  Running down the hallway and through the hallway door, you see that there are only stairs leading down.  That’s not right, is it?  Without breaking stride, you begin to run down. As you enter the next landing you see a door which says L1 and under that

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

Level one?  But didn’t you just come from level 6?  You look up and there are no stair going up.  But didn’t you just run down them?  It seems more important to keep moving so you run down the stairs in front of you and as you reach the next level, you find yourself in front of a door which says L1 and under that

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

Once again your only option is to go down and desperately you sprint down these stairs, skipping three steps at a time.  You are not surprised to find yourself once again in front of L1 and

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

You are surprised, however to find someone standing in front of the door this time.  It’s Six. He’s wearing a doctor’s white lab coat and his best Dr. Sexton sympathetic expression,

“Tired of running yet, Troy?”

 (Next Episode)

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