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Stream of consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part thirty…

Welcome to a bank holiday edition of SoCS, brought to you by Linda G Hill and a prompt that inspires the continuation of this story;

” “moo” or a word that rhymes with it. Bonus points if you actually use the word “moo” in your post. “

Oh, really? Good grief…

The Accumulator, part thirty.

Scene: Adam and Patrick are standing in the kitchen, with Cathy sitting at the counter, all of them watching Carlisle with interest, as he gives every sign of fighting a battle with himself.

“Interesting, isn’t it?”

Adam grins at the sweating Department operative, who is gripping his right arm (the one pointing a gun at his own leg) with his left hand, trying with no success whatsoever to move it away from his kneecap.

“You’d think they would have warned you what you were up against before they sent you after me. Or maybe they don’t realise what sort of monster they’ve created, is that it, do you think?”

He gives Carlisle an expectant look, waiting for response, but all he gets in return is a glare, part angry defiance, part confusion.

“There really is nothing you can do, you know, I can keep you like that until your muscles are screaming in agony. Although I’m going to get bored a lot quicker than that, so you better start talking soon or I’ll just apply a little more pressure to your finger, and…”

Patrick sees Carlisle’s eyes suddenly widen and he can see the tendons on the back of his right hand begin to tighten.

“Wait!”

“Aha, he speaks! See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Now, why were you sent here, what did they tell you? Think carefully before you answer, I don’t know how sensitive that trigger is, but I expect you know how many lies to risk before you loose your leg.”

Carlisle looks at Adam, then at Patrick, who stares implacably back at him in silence. He licks his lips nervously.

“All I was told was that you and the girl were to be taken out.”

He nods at Patrick and shoots an apologetic glance at Cathy, as if to say “It’s just business, nothing personal”, then looks back at Adam.

“Nobody told me you were going to be here, I’m guessing they would have sent reinforcements otherwise.”

“What did they tell you about me and Cathy, why do they want us dead?”

Patrick takes a step closer to Carlisle, fists bunched and eyes blazing with fury.

“I was told you murdered a doctor called Felix Braithwaite and the girl worked with you to get inside the hospital. They’ve already put out police reports on you both tonight, probably to help explain the bodies they’re expecting to find in the morning.”

“But they said nothing about me, you’re sure about that, you don’t want to play for the first knee?”

“I don’t even know who you are, or what you’re doing here, you weren’t part of the job at all, as far as I know.”

“Hmm, that doesn’t seem very likely; seems to me you’re a specialist and they wouldn’t have sent you in unprepared.”

“I told you, I was only contracted to do the other two. Make it look like a falling out between conspirators, they said. No need to be too tidy about it either, that’s what they told me; “Make the girl as messy as you can, so it looks like he did it” were their exact words, whatever that to meant. I assumed you were some sort of psycho, going on what I’d heard about how Braithwaite died, so they obviously wanted me to cut her up a bit.”

“Oh, charming!”

Carlisle shrugs indifferently and meets Cathy’s furious gaze.

“I’m not an animal, you’d have been dead first, if that makes you feel any better.”

“Strangely, no, it doesn’t. Adam, couldn’t you get him to shoot off a toe or something?”

“Hahaha, I don’t see why not.”

Adam looks at Carlisle and raises an amused eyebrow.

“What d’you reckon, wanna play for a toe.”

To Carlisle’s surprise and despite his obvious resistance, the pistol abruptly jerks away from his leg and his legs buckle, forcing him to one knee. He watches helplessly and lets out a grunt of pain as the hand holding the gun jabs the muzzle violently into the toe of his boot.

Cathy laughs nastily and claps her hands in appreciation.

“Ha! This is better than watching one of those hypnotists who can make you munch on an onion or moo like a cow.”

“Now, I’ll ask you again; What did they tell you about Subject:Beta?”

Carlisle looks blank, frowning in what seemed to be genuine puzzlement. He purses his lips and shakes his head at Adam.

“Nope, you’ve got me there…”

His wrist twists sharply, grinding the gun barrel into the top of his foot.

“Ow! Fuck. Wait, wait…isn’t that some hush-hush secret agent crap? Above my pay grade, I don’t ask for details, I just come in and do the job, I’m supposed to be retired, for fuck’s sake. This was going to be a quick in and out and home for breakfast type of job, I’m not being paid enough for this X-Files bullshit.”

“You know what, I think I believe you. But I’ll have the gun now, if you don’t mind. We don’t want you to do yourself an injury, do we?”

Patrick can see Carlisle relax as the gun lifts away from his foot, but he still watches with fascinated suspicion as his arm stretches up towards Adam. The tightly clenched fingers open of their own accord, releasing their grip on the butt of the pistol as Adam takes hold of the barrel.

“Thank you, now we can all converse like reasonable people, far more civilised.”

“Wait.”

Adam turns as Cathy stands up, walks over to the still-kneeling Carlisle and looks down at him with disdain.
Then she slaps him across the face.
Twice, forehand and backhand.
Hard.

“Ok, now we can converse like civilised people.”

*****

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

#SoCS

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

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

Time to continue this strange tale, as part of SoCS, this week using the inspiration provided by Linda G Hill and this prompt;

” “project.” Use it as a verb, a noun, or both. “

Right, let’s get this show on the road…

The Accumulator, part twenty five.

Scene: The nurses station of a hospital ICU. It is two days later.

The camera executes a slow, dramatic 360° pan around the bustling lobby as we see; a circular reception desk staffed by civilian administrators and nurses, a team of paramedics rushing past with a stretcher, a group of doctors consulting medical charts, a seating area where anxious relatives wait for news of loved ones and, incongruous amongst all the white coats, two uniformed and armed police officers, standing guard outside a private room a little way down one of the four corridors that converge here.

After completing a full circuit of the lobby, the camera glides down the main corridor until it reaches a door marked Stairs and as we draw level the door opens and we see Cathy, dressed in her nurse’s uniform, cautiously look both ways down the passageway then duck back inside. A second later the door opens again and Cathy re-emerges, this time with a little more difficulty as she is pushing a wheelchair. 

Cathy leaves the chair by the door to the stairs and walks to the nurses station where she makes small talk with a couple of orderlies while making herself a coffee in the small kitchen area. After a few minutes one of the orderlies looks down as a beeper goes off on his belt, checks the message and nudges his colleague. The pair drain their drinks and toss the cups in the trash before leaving as Cathy glances at her watch before turning her attention to the police sentries.

Having studied their routine for the last two days, she’s fairly confident that…Yes, here he goes…one of them will go on a lunch run to the canteen, Cathy’s one window of opportunity.

Not even waiting for him to reach the bank of elevators, which will take the policeman down the two floors he needs to get to the canteen, Cathy hurries back to where she left the wheelchair and quickly ducks through the door into the stairwell. This time however, the camera goes after her and we follow Cathy, crossing the landing and unhesitatingly punching the red EMERGENCY button next to the fire escape, immediately setting off the hospital’s alarm system.

She goes to collect the wheelchair and heads quickly but calmly back to the lobby, turning the corner to see the single police sentry looking concerned and alert, hand on the butt of his sidearm as he scans the corridor for danger. 

Cathy keeps walking and smiles nervously, slowing down as she passes him, nodding back the way she has come.

“Some drama going on down there, I expect that’s where you friend is, is it?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Oh it’s none of my business, of course, I just thought that since you were on your own, maybe your partner was dealing with the security breach.”

“Security breach?” 

He seems unsure, but the alarm still sounds and hospital staff are going through emergency procedures, so he comes to a decision and looks at Cathy.

“You’re the one who treats him aren’t you?” He jerks a thumb at the closed door he’s guarding and she nods, “Keep an eye on him, don’t let anyone in, I’ll be two minutes.”

Without waiting for a reply, he sprints off towards the lobby and vanishes round a corner, which Cathy takes as her cue to proceed. She opens the door to Patrick’s room, pushes the wheelchair inside and we watch the door slowly swing shut. 

The camera remains steadily focussed on the closed door for about fifteen seconds, during which time we see a couple of nurses walk past, then the door opens and Cathy appears, pushing a figure in the wheelchair. It is apparent to any casual observer that the patient has suffered terrible injuries, since his entire head is swathed in bandages, with only small slits for his eyes, nose and mouth and with the hands tightly bandaged it suggests they are a burns victim.

Cathy wheels her silent charge along the corridor to the elevators, where she stands waiting for what feels like forever, her heart pounding in her chest, until the doors slide open and she pushes Patrick inside. 

The shot stays fixed on the elevators and we see Cathy and Patrick facing us from inside the one on the left, as the doors on the right also slide open. We see the second policeman stepping out of the right-hand elevator, carrying a tray of food and drink and he steps out into the corridor as the doors of Cathy and Patrick’s elevator slide closed.

The scene cuts to the interior of the elevator, where we see Patrick standing up and tugging at the bandages on his hands, as Cathy unwraps the ones from around his head. Cathy then pulls a doctor’s white coat and stethoscope from the back of the wheelchair and Patrick shrugs into it just as the elevator stops and the doors open onto the ground floor reception area.

Leaving the wheelchair and the pile of bandages in the elevator, they stroll casually across the lobby towards the main entrance and step out into the sunshine, where Cathy lets out a sigh of relief. She takes Patrick’s hand and turns to him as they walk quickly away from the hospital.

“So, what now?”

“Now? Now we have to put a stop to Dr Felix Braithwaite’s final science project.”

**********

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

#SoCS

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

Today we return to this story after a week off and I’m ready to dive back into the fast flowing waters of SoCS, assisted by Linda G Hill and this prompt;

” “how.” Start your post with the word “How.” Bonus points if you end with it too. “

How am I going to manage that? We’ll have to wait and see…

The Accumulator, part twenty four.

Howard

Only a few weeks previously, in a life that was forever lost to him, the young man now known simply as Subject:Beta had been a promising recruit in army intelligence and his name had been Howard Grainger. 

Howard would never know this of course; Felix Braithwaite and men like Endicott had rebooted his entire personality from scratch, providing him with an elaborate and deeply embedded backstory he believed so completely, that it would stand up to the most rigorous interrogation techniques. 

As far as he was knew, he was an orphan with no immediate family and he had recently survived a nasty accident (technically true, but only because The Department had engineered the car crash which had killed both his parents, leaving him alive and in the hands of Dr Braithwaite) before which he had lived the quite and unassuming life of a city office worker. Obviously the terrible injuries he’d sustained in the accident had damaged his memory, and although the doctors had been helping him to piece together his past, Felix had warned him against dwelling too much on the past and had suggested he look to the exciting future ahead of him and build a new life. 

A clean slate, that’s what he’d said, a fresh start.

Which was all very well if you had something to start with, but he had nothing and nobody, he was on the run from almost everyone and the only one who seemed to have any idea what was going on was the mysterious man who had come to see him, the one Howard was afraid he’d hurt very badly when he’d collapsed earlier this morning.

Now, nearly three hours later, Howard/Subject:Beta is crouched behind some boxes in the back of a laundry truck parked at the loading dock behind the hospital, listening to security guards shouting to each other in the parking lot and praying they have already searched the truck. Apparently they have and after five minutes or so he hears a door slam and all is quiet once more. He waits, listening for signs of further activity and then cautiously emerges from his hiding place with a mission clear in his mind. 

He will have to get back inside and talk to the mystery man, to find out what he knows, he just has to work out how…

*****

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

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

A bit of a late start to SoCS today, so it might be a short post, we’ll have to wait and see what Linda G Hill left us in the way of inspiration, so that we can find out what happens next in this continuing story

Ah, it’s another one of her multiple choice prompts;

” “so/sow/sew.” Use one, use ’em all, use ’em any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start and end with any of them. “

Is that all? Well, we’d best get on with it, then…

The Accumulator, part twenty three.

Scene: A private hospital room. Dr Braithwaite and his patient are having a heated argument. It is less than an hour ago.

11.10 – “So what do you expect me to do about it?!”

The young man with the scarred head paces about the room in agitation, shooting angry glances at the doctor, who is watching his patient’s hands as they repeatedly flex and clench into fists. His bare hands.

“All you have to do is tell me exactly what happened when that man came in here, the one posing as Dr Maddox. What did he do, what did he say to you, what did you do to make him collapse like that?”

“I already told the guards, I didn’t do anything!

“He just walked in here and grabbed hold of you and then collapsed, just like that?”

Subject:Beta abruptly stops his restless pacing, coming to a halt in front of the doctor, who takes a stumbling step back and trips over his briefcase, landing heavily on the hard floor with a grunt of pain. 

“See, even you’re afraid of me! What have you done to me, you bastard? Did I do that to him, just because he touched me? Tell me!”

Felix Braithwaite stares up in horror as the monster he has created takes a step closer and reaches for him with one of those deadly, pale-skinned hands, his face a twisted mask of rage.

“No, please, I’ll tell you. What do you want to know? Remember, I saved your life, you’d have been dead long ago if it wasn’t for me.”

“I’ve changed my mind, I’ll find out for myself.”

With that, the young man known only as Subject:Beta leans forward and places his splayed hand on top of Felix’s head.

*****

Scene: Another hospital room, seen from above. The shot tightens on the drawn and lined face of the old man in the bed until we can see only his closed, rapidly twitching eyelids.

Then the eyes snap open.

After a moment the camera pulls back, the shot opening out to show us that Patrick is now smiling.

*****

The director cuts sharply back to the previous scene and we see what happens next in a super slo-mo sequence that he probably had to save most of the effects budget for.

We see a close-up of Subject:Beta’s hand as it makes contact with Dr Braithwaite’s head, then the shot cuts away to a side view of the two men and the SFX boys really go to town.

The doctor’s body is lifted from the floor like a rag doll in a hurricane and flung high into the far corner of the room. But it isn’t so much the impact which is shocking, as the way Felix appears to collapse in on himself before hitting the wall; as if an unseen force is crushing him into a ball as easily as you would crumple a sheet of paper. Only with a lot more mess.

The body is held there for a second, a mangled, dripping horror, then slides down the wall, coming to rest in a bloody heap, one which wouldn’t be recognisably human unless you took the trouble to sew it back together. Only then does Subject:Beta lower his outstretched hand and slump to his knees, as the shot fades to black.

*****

Scene: The overhead view of Patrick’s room.

11.55 – Patrick, eyes now closed peacefully, a faint smile on his lips as he sleeps, is woken by Cathy as she hurries into the room, peers cautiously out into the corridor, where there seems to be a frenzy of activity, then closes the door and turns to Patrick

As she turns, the shot cuts to his POV, so we see the excitement on Cathy’s face as she moves next to the bed and takes his hand in both of hers, the handcuff chain rattling on the metal frame.

“Patrick, it worked! There’s security and police everywhere, they’re saying Dr Braithwaite’s patient killed him and the guards outside his room, then escaped.”

He looked up at her, the relaxed smile she hadn’t seen for so long already making him appear more like his younger self.

“Well what do you know, the good doctor finally learned his most important lesson, the one Endicott learned to his cost; You reap what you sow.”

**********

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

#SoCS

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

Ready for another round of SoCS strangeness?

Ok then, let’s see what Linda G Hill has left for us, so that I can find what happens next in this odd tale;

” “hair.” Use it any way you’d like. “

Fair enough…

The Accumulator, part twenty two.

Scene: A taxi. Dr Felix Braithwaite is sitting in the back seat, checking his watch as the car creeps forward in the slow moving traffic. It is just over an hour ago.

10.53 – “Isn’t there a quicker way to get to the hospital than this, I should have been there by now?”

“Guv, if there was a better way to get there, don’t you reckon I’d’ve taken it by now, it’s like this all over, innit? They’re working on the bypass, it’s got the whole city jammed up.”

The doctor sat back in his seat with a sigh, resisted the temptation to look once more at his watch and turned instead to gaze blankly out of the window and wondered who this mysterious stranger was who had visited his patient and then apparently collapsed. There were reports of him having dramatically aged in appearance, of his hair going prematurely grey in the space of a few minutes; but these were not effects that Felix recognised from his limited study of the young man’s recent enhancements, so perhaps his abilities were evolving and gaining power, an unnerving thought, indeed.

Had Subject:Beta attacked him and revealed his powers in public? That would be disastrous, Felix shuddered at the very thought of trying to explain such things to ignorant and suspicious police officers and the hospital authorities. It was imperative that he discovered the imposter’s identity and, if necessary, terminate him at the earliest opportunity. Nothing must endanger the success of the Accumulator programme, not when they were so close to perfecting the process with Subject:Beta.

“Here we go, sir, looks like they cleared a blockage up ahead, we’re on our way.”

He looked round at the driver, who was grinning over his shoulder at the doctor, and saw the car in front draw away from them as the jam eased and traffic began to move more freely. 

“We’ll be there in no time now, you see.”

Felix Braithwaite started to relax, it was all going to be fine, he would soon have everything under control and they could forget any of this ever happened.

*****

Scene: A hospital lobby. Doctors stride purposefully back and forth, whilst a uniformed security guard answers calls at a busy switchboard behind the large check-in desk.

11.19 – A taxi pulls up outside and Dr Braithwaite can be seen through the glass wall of the reception area, paying the driver and hurrying to the revolving door at the entrance.

He approaches the desk and withdraws a pass, which hangs inside his jacket from a lanyard around his neck, tuts impatiently as he waits for the man to finish his phone call, then starts talking before the receiver is back in its cradle.

“I’m Dr Felix Braithwaite, they’re expecting me on the fourth floor.”

The security guard looks at him with a frown and pulls a printed form from a stack in front of him.

“You’ll have to fill out a visitor’s form, sir, I’ve been told not to let anyone up there without authorisation, sorry.”

“That doesn’t apply to me, you stupid man, I’m the one who gave the order to secure that floor in the first place!”

“There’s no need for abuse, sir, I’m only doing my job.” 

The man scowls ever harder and pickes up the phone. Then he takes Dr Braithwaite’s pass and drags it across the desk to study it more closely, causing the doctor to lean sharply forward and lose his balance, grabbing hold of the desk to steady himself as the guard sniggers and punches in a number. There is a pause, during which the two men maintained silent, glaring eye contact from a distance of about six inches, then the call is answered and the doctor is released from his undignified stoop as the other man speaks to his superiors.

“Hello? Yeah, I’ve got some bloke here, says his name is Braithwaite, Felix. Claims he’s a doctor and that you’re expecting him on four, is that right?”

He listens, then nods and pulls a red laminated pass out of his desk drawer and beckons Felix to hand him his pass once more.

The doctor lifts the lanyard over his head and silently hands it to the grinning guard, watches him attach the red laminate to his regular pass and hand it back to him, then picks up his briefcase and marches off in the direction of the elevators without another word.

Riding up to the fourth floor, Felix Braithwaite takes the opportunity to focus his mind and rehearse what he will say to the hospital administrators, should they ask any awkward questions about his unusual patient. He takes half a dozen slow, deep breaths and when the doors opened on an empty corridor a few moments later, he is calm and ready to face anything.

He makes for the double doors to his left, pauses briefly to check his pass is showing, then steps through into the restricted area and sees two more uniformed guards stationed outside Subject:Beta’s room. One of the men stands up as he approaches, stepping in front of the door and folding his arms in a gesture of finality, just in case the visitor is in any doubt as to who was in charge.

Felix stops and brandishes the red laminate he had been given by the man downstairs.

“I don’t have time for any more of your little power games, I’m Dr Felix Braithwaite and I demand to be allowed into that room right now.”

The security guard looks slightly taken aback by his tone, but still takes a minute to examine the doctor’s pass before nodding tersely at him and turning to the door. He reaches for the handle, then pauses and looks back at Felix.

“We couldn’t have known he wasn’t legit, you know. The other guy I mean, he had all the right paperwork and everything, even had a letter of introduction.”

Felix looks disdainfully back at him and thinks about this a moment.

“What did he look like, this imposter?”

“Umm, average-looking I suppose, about forty maybe, dark hair, six foot, 160 pounds. He was with some nurse, she’s been looking after your man in there; Cathy, I think her name is. He was calling himself Maddox.”

“Hmm…do you have security footage of them arriving,” Felix nods to a camera on the wall, trained on the door, “if so I’d like to see it?”

“I’ll check, sir, you go in and I’ll call the control room now.”

He opens the door and moves aside to allow Felix to step past him into the room, which he does, closing the door behind him.

**********

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

#SoCS

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Stream of consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part eighteen…

Time once again to dive into the murky waters of Stream of consciousness Saturday Sunday, to see what inspiration Linda G Hill has left us, prompting the next installment of Patrick’s strange tale;

” “coat.” Use it any way you’d like. “

Ah, a nice easy one, ok…

The Accumulator, part eighteen.

Scene: A hospital. The opening shot is a long slow glide down a bustling corridor; double doors swing open ahead of us as we float past a busy nurses station and hear the sound of talking and laughter; a weary looking intern sits reading a newspaper while sipping coffee from a plastic cup; we drift through a waiting area filled with patients, orderlies and junior doctors, into a quieter section with private rooms, where the white coated staff hurry about their duties with silent dedication.

It is yesterday.

The camera slows its advance and turns to the left, gliding us smoothly to a halt as we draw level with the open doorway of a private room.  

Now the view swings downward, to show us a medical chart on a clipboard, which we realise is held in the hand of the person whose perspective we are sharing. The chart belongs to someone called simply, Subject:Beta.

Having consulted the chart, we are transported into the room by our unseen host and we see the young man who survived the car crash; head still bandaged from his surgery, he is sitting up in bed reading a book, which he closes and places on the bedside table as the visitor enters. We see the hand holding the clipboard reach out, hanging it on the foot of the bed and, as the figure turns to inspect a medical monitor, we catch sight of his face, reflected in the screen of a digital display.

The man is Dr Felix Braithwaite.

The camera zooms in on the reflection of Dr Braithwaite’s face, until the edges of the display screen move out of shot and we see him in close up for a second. Then the shot widens and we see the director has done some fancy editing and we are now seeing the doctor from a new perspective and can watch the scene unfold from our own point of view.

“So, how are you feeling today?”

Felix favours his patient with a benevolent smile and moves closer to the bed. 

“I have a headache, but the dizziness has gone and the strange feeling in my hands hasn’t come back.”

“Well that’s a good sign, the headache is merely a result of the surgery and will soon recede, but I’ll prescribe some painkillers to make you more comfortable. Now, let’s take a look and see how you’re healing, we should be able to have those bandages off today, I think.”

The doctor takes care to check the young man is wearing his gloves, before leaning over and gently starting to unwind the gauzy ribbon from around his shaven head, revealing a neat triangular scar, one corner two inches above each eyebrow, the third in the centre of his skull.

“Hmm, that looks like it’s healing nicely. The scar will fade considerably of course and your hair should completely cover it when it grows back.”

“Thank you, doctor, but what about these?” 

Subject:Beta holds up his leather-clad hands and turns them this way and that, studying them as if for the first time. 

“When can I remove my gloves, my hands feel ok now, do I really still need them?”

“I’m afraid so, yes, the gloves are a precaution, nothing more, but I’d rather you were safe than sorry. It won’t be for much longer, I assure you, so just be patient and you’ll be out of here before you know it.” Felix Braithwaite smiles, but the smile doesn’t touch his eyes, which are cold and hard. “Then our work can really begin in earnest.”

***********

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

#SoCS

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