Thursday, December 21, 2006

Crossing Sanity's Line

I'm awake. I'm staring through the rain-splashed windows of my ward room and my thirst is a painful thing. I'd like to scratch my nose but my arms are still in restraints. There are two IV lines; one for pain and one for whatever shit they are pumping into me. My eyes follow the line from my right wrist up and over the tower of monitors and that's when I see Wil sitting in a chair at the far side of the room. He glances up in time to catch me staring at him. He rises, a feral look in his eyes. His jaw is clenched so tight I hear the teeth within shattering. Without a word he raises his arm high above the bed and lets fly a blow that rings my ears and burns my skin. Color explodes in my brain and blood pours from my nose, staining my hospital gown. "At least my nose doesn't itch anymore". I laugh and the sound is that of gulls crying over head. He hits me again and again.

My next memory is of me sitting in the t-tank. That's the small interrogation room in Base-block. All color is gone leaving only stark white. All except the minute crescents that my nails cut into my palms as the argument continues.

"We've discussed this several time. That isn't possible. He was never here, Dr. Quinn. Do you understand what I'm telling you?"

"Explain to me then, you stupid cow, why my face looks like this? He beat the shit out of me while I was tied in ward. He beat me and held a gun to my...he said he was going to kill us both..." My wild flailing draws my attention to my horrific reflection in the two-way. I struggle with the memory. I close my eyes and rub them gingerly, afraid of the damage done to them. Odd, the skin is flat and smooth and cool to my touch. There is no pain. I check the reflection again.

"Oh, no....lost time...lost time..."

The light is different. Is it the same day? It's the same room, same starkly white table and chair. The walls have not changed. No redhead, though. Clayton something-or-other is sitting across from me.

"You are bringing charges against your superior officer, then? Is this why you called me?"

"I never called anyone! Don't you get it? I've been tied to a f*cking bed for I don't know how long. How could I have called you?"

"Dr. Quinn... Danni. I assure you, it was you who called me two days ago. You claimed that Commander Blazic had assaulted you and that you were being held against your will in a secret military installation and that you had evidence against him of some crime. But according to the logs and everyone on your team, you've been here. You've been recovering...."

"F*ck you!" I shout at the man in the lab coat as he scribbles on his clip-board. "None of this is real. You're not real, the room's not real, I'm not even f*cking real." I begin overturning the contents of the room.

At this point, the redhead glances at the two-way and nods. An orderly enters and wrestles me to the ground as he refastens my restraint jacket.

They tell me I had a melt-down in L.A. Marge's team had been tracking a courier who'd crossed into the country down south and was to deliver a package to me. It was supposed to be from Wil's team in Panama. I have vague memories of the morning, of sitting in a small corner of the library waiting for the drop. My phone rang, I exited the building to the south. When I reach the prescribed destination, there is no one there. No wait, there was someone. A boy, latino, 10 or 11 at most. He's huddled down next to a retaining wall. He stands up slowly, says my name and pulled out a brown paper bag. As I reach for it I hear three successive pops and I'm thrown to the ground. I can't breath! I see stars as I fight for breath. The boy's shadow crosses over my face as he stands over me and points a .380 at my right eye.

Marge tells me I kicked the kid's feet right out from under him, grabbed the gun while it was still in his hand and blew his brains out.


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