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Stream of consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part twenty eight…

02 Apr

It’s a beautiful day and time to sit out in the garden and write this week’s SoCS post, continuing this story from where it left off two weeks ago, based today on Linda G Hill‘s prompt;

” “any.” Begin your post with the word “any.” Bonus points if you theme your post on another word that starts with “A”. “

Oh, is that all..?

The Accumulator, part twenty eight.

Scene: Patrick and Cathy’s kitchen.

“Any minute now, you’re going to tell me what the hell you’re doing in my house, I’m sure.”

Patrick keeps his voice calm, gazing steadily at Subject:Beta as he smiles at them from the doorway, his hand beneath the counter inching toward the drawer that holds his pistol.

“I’m here for the same reason you are, I imagine. Answers.”

Cathy turns and looks at Patrick, opens her mouth to say something, then closes it again without saying a word and goes back to glaring at not-Howard-anymore with deep suspicion.

Nobody says anything for a moment, then Subject:Beta suddenly claps his hands together, marches across the room and opens the door of the fridge. 

“Well if no-one is going to offer me a drink, I’ll get one myself.”

As he opens the fridge, he is momentarily obscured from Patrick’s view and Patrick takes the opportunity to grab the pistol and level it at the open door.

“Oh, Patrick, don’t be so tiresome.”

Subject:Beta closes the door, holding a can of beer in one hand and casually waves the other in a dismissive gesture. Patrick is flung heavily against the wall, the pistol flying from his hand and clattering across the tiled floor, disappearing under a laundry hamper in the corner.

From where Cathy sits, frozen in shock, she sees a shockwave thrown at Patrick, a rippling pulse in the air that lifts him off his feet and pushes him ahead of it; holding him for a second against the wall, his feet inches above the floor, before its force seems to dissipate and he drops to his knees, breathing heavily but otherwise unharmed.

“Please don’t let us get off on the wrong foot again, I’m not some comic book villain, you know. I told you, I just want answers.”

“Answers? Answers to what questions?”

“Well Cathy…I may call you Cathy?..I have no more knowledge of what has been done to me than you have, less in fact, since you were on my nursing staff, but all I want is to find the people responsible for my…condition..I have no wish to make the two of you my enemies.”

He looks over at Patrick, who is getting to his feet and watching him warily.

“I truly regret having to do that, Patrick, we just don’t have time for trust issues, I’m afraid, not when the same people are looking for both of us, and not with good intentions either.”

Patrick says nothing, but Subject:Beta catches him glancing over at the laundry hamper and he turns back to Cathy with a smile.

“Go ahead Patrick, collect your weapon, I’m in doubt we’ll be needing it before too long, anyway.”

Cathy can’t help herself and has to stifle a giggle at Patrick’s comical double take, but as their alleged new friend no longer seems to be paying him any attention, he moves quickly to pull the hamper away from the wall and retrieves the pistol from underneath. 

Without turning back round, Subject:Beta sits himself at the counter, opens the beer and takes a sip, closing his eyes in appreciation as Patrick walks over and takes a seat on the far end of the counter, his pistol trained on the intruder the whole time.

“Mmmm, that tastes so good, I haven’t been allowed a drink for I don’t know how long.”

“Yeah, it was the same when I was in…”

Patrick stops himself, but it’s too late, Subject:Beta looks up at him and smiles that disarming smile.

“It’s ok, Patrick, there’s no need to be ashamed of our similarities, our common origins, we can learn from each other, don’t you see?”

“I’m. Nothing. Like. You.” 

Patrick leans across the counter, jabbing the pistol in time with his words, but the man who is no longer Howard Grainger remains unfazed and continues talking as if the interruption didn’t happen.

“I know you somehow charged me with energy, back at the hospital, but that wasn’t your intention, was it? What were you doing there?”

“We were there to kill you, or to get you to kill and be killed.”

Patrick’s gaze is unflinching, but if the revelation concerns their visitor, he shows no sign of it and inclines his head, waiting for Patrick to elaborate.

“Oh for goodness sake, Patrick, we have to trust somebody, sometime.”

Cathy looks at him and smiles, a pleading look in her eyes. He looks back at her and sighs, lowering the gun, then rests his elbows on the counter top and wearily puts his head in his hands, massaging his temples in silence as Cathy reaches over and places her hand on his shoulder until he looks up at her.

After searching her face for any sign of hesitation, Patrick turns to the man he’d wanted to kill and tries to think where to begin.

“Ok, I’ll tell you what you want to know, as much as I know myself, which isn’t much. But first of all; you have to tell me how you do that shockwave thing…”
“You can compare superpowers later.”

Cathy rolls her eyes and looks at Patrick with an expression that says “Boys and their toys.” and he grins despite himself as she continues.

“Right now there’s a bad guy outside and we can do with all the help we can get from,…I’m sorry, what is your name, anyway? All it said on your charts was “Subject:Beta” and we can hardly call you that, can we?”

He looks puzzled for a moment, the loss of his own identity having slipped to the back of his mind, with nobody to conduct even the most mundane of conversations with for so long.

“Hmm, yes, a name, a name is an important thing…”

“How about Jonah?”

“Now now, Patrick, there’s no need to be unpleasant. Although I like the biblical reference, given the obvious God-complex of our creators. I am the first of my kind, it seems, unless you have discovered previously unknown talents in the last few minutes..?”

Patrick just stares at the grinning Man With No Name and waits for the inevitable punchline.

“Ok then, Adam it is.”

*****

To be continued (using next week’s prompt {which can now be found HERE})…

#SoCS

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