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Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part thirty five…

Hello there and welcome to the return of SoCS, after a three week hiatus, even if today’s post is a little short, continuing this story with assistance from Linda G Hill and her prompt for the week;

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

Right, where had we got to? Oh yes, I remember…

The Accumulator, part thirty five.

Scene: A derelict factory building, its brutal industrial outline silhouetted against the glowing orange lights of a distant town, while a full moon hangs directly above in the clear night sky.
It is the present.

The rusting chain link fence sags drunkenly, a broken gate hanging open, from which a redundant NO ADMITTANCE sign dangles, creaking as it sways in a slight, muggy breeze.

The wide opening shot now begins to tighten, gradually zooming in to a small window on the front of the building, which we glide through without incident and find ourselves in a large empty warehouse.
The perimeter of the cavernous interior is almost invisible in the gloom, indistinct walls rising into the shadows to meet the corrugated steel roof overhead.

The director treats us to a long slow pan around the silent space, coming smoothly to a halt as a diagonal shaft of moonlight comes into view, shining in through a broken roof panel.

Picked out by this solitary beam, as though by spotlight on an empty stage, a body is sprawled in a pool of blood, one leg twisted awkwardly beneath them, arms thrown out to either side as though welcoming Death, for there is no mistaking the stillness of the body for anything else.

From this angle it is impossible to tell who the figure is, the head and shoulders are shrouded in darkness, outside the jagged splash of moonlight, all we can see is that they are dressed in dark military style fatigues, but the gaping hole where their chest used to be is visible even from here.

After a few seconds, the screen fades to black.

*****

Scene: Inside the black van.
It is two hours ago.

Patrick is driving, travelling on a mostly deserted motorway, the strobing of streetlights flashing across his face, the strain of the day now starting to show in the dark rings around his eyes and the clenched muscles of his jaw.

Next to him, Cathy dozes in her seat while in the back, Carlisle watches her with a curious look on his face, as though trying to recall something just out of his reach. After a moment, the look turns to one of grim satisfaction and he sits back with a thoughtful expression as the van speeds on through the night.

***********

To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…

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

The weather has allowed me to write alfresco again this week, so today’s SoCS post comes to you from the garden, serenaded by screaming children and lawnmowers, where we continue this story with a little help from Linda G Hill and her prompt;

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

Seems straightforward enough…

The Accumulator, part thirty four.

Scene: Inside the black van.
Patrick is driving, Carlisle and Adam are in the back.
Adam sits behind Patrick with his gun trained on Carlisle, who is handcuffed to a leg of the long bench seat which runs down the opposite side of the van.

We get a long, slow pan of the van’s interior, and as the shot returns to Patrick’s profile, he turns, grins at the camera and stretches his hand out to us. A hand reaches from just out of shot to take his, which is when we realise we are seeing this from Cathy’s POV.

Then we get a title screen:

“We did it, we pulled it off!”

Patrick’s eyes shine with excitement and he is clearly elated as he laughs and turns his attention back to the road ahead and the director cuts to the view out of the passenger window, Cathy’s reflection overlaying the passing shops and houses…

…as a new voiceover fades in, only this time it’s Cathy’s voice we hear;

We did it, alright, but if he knew who “we” were, I doubt he’d be so thrilled.

It always amazes me that, no matter how many times we escape the clutches of The Department by the skin of our teeth, it never occurs to him to wonder how exactly they found us in the first place. I mean, ok; most people do assume a sinister global counter-intelligence organisation is somehow omniscient and all-seeing, but as long as you’re careful it isn’t hard to disappear, if you really want to.

He’d never think to suspect someone who was essentially his hostage, an unwilling accomplice to his escape from Braithwaite and his twisted little science project.
Someone who went through all the shit with him, who put up with all the danger and violence, someone who struggled with learning a new language every time they had to flee another home, someone who had never handled a gun until all this madness began, let alone killed people with one.

As far as he knew, anyway.

We never thought he would prove so adaptable, that was the problem. He learnt to harness and control his power far sooner than we originally anticipated, but we decided to run with it, to see how far he could get without raising suspicion.

At first we tried to have a team on him at all times, just in case he did something too public to be ignored, but we underestimated him from the start and the stunt at the quarry put him a few steps ahead of us for a while. It was touch and go for a while there, until we managed to reestablish contact, I don’t mind telling you.

But by then it would have made it too obvious, tracing him to Europe so quickly, and the decision was made to leave him in place while he wasn’t a threat and take him out after he’d become complacent.

Which would have been fine, (he’s a nice enough guy to shack up with, after all, and it’s not like living the simple life in the french countryside for a few years was a hardship) except then they screwed up the hit at the harbour and he got all bloody gung-ho about going back home to exact his awful revenge.
I really thought we’d have to take him out then, before he did some serious damage to the programme but, amazingly, it actually worked rather well in our favour.

Ok, the business at the hospital did cause a bit of a stir in the media for five minutes, but the pros far outweighed the cons when all the wrinkles were finally ironed out of that one; Braithwaite dead, Patrick arrested and under suspicion, Subject:Beta a publicly wanted man, (I can’t get used to calling him “Adam”, he’s a failed experiment, that’s all) all of which make for perfectly legitimate reasons for either of them to suffer unfortunate accidents, should the need arise.

And, frankly, we’re beyond that point now.
Subject:Beta is displaying much greater aptitude than Patrick did at this point, or has even exhibited thus far, for that matter. More worryingly, he seems to have evolved an almost unlimited potential for Accumulation and is fast-developing abilities that even we didn’t foresee, leading me to conclude that termination with extreme prejudice was the only viable option.

Carlisle has always done sterling work for us in the past and I’m disappointed, to say the very least, at his performance on this job. He will certainly be facing disciplinary sanctions, if the recommendations I make in my next report are acted on.

But that’s by the way, first of all we have to work out how to get this situation back under our control, then we can decide how best to dispose of Patrick and Carlisle, once we know there’s a way to contain Subject:Beta safely, preferably alive.

But we have Felix’s notes, all his records and equipment; even now The Department’s top medical teams are studying his work and researching new candidates for treatment, so it won’t be long before we can duplicate the good doctor’s work ourselves.

Then all three of them will all be expendable.

Our view out of the window changes, the shot narrowing until the wing mirror fills the screen.

We see Cathy’s reflection as she gazes at the passing scenery, then, as if she knows we’re watching her, she looks down, straight at us.

And she smiles, as the screen…

Cuts to black

*****

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

#SoCS

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Stream of consciousness (not)Sunday: The Accumulator, part thirty two…

Bank holiday Monday is the new Sunday, as far as my SoCS posts are concerned, anyway, so let’s see what Linda G Hill left as a prompt for us on Friday, with which to continue this strange tale;

” “yard.” Use it any way you’d like. You can even add letters to it to make a whole new word! “

That shouldn’t present too much of a problem…

The Accumulator, part thirty two.

Scene: Patrick and Cathy’s living room. Patrick is sitting in an armchair by the fireplace while Carlisle is lying face down on the sofa facing him, with his arms tied behind his back and his ankles tied together, a length of parcel tape stuck firmly over his mouth. Adam watches Carlisle from his position at the window overlooking the small back yard and Patrick smokes silently, staring into the fire.

From our vantage point at the end of the room, we can also see across the hallway and into the kitchen, where Cathy keeps watch on the street outside, perched on a stool by the window.

It is half an hour ago.

As the camera drifts towards the centre of the room, Patrick checks the clock on the mantlepiece and stands up, flicking his cigarette into the hearth in a shower of sparks. He walks over and rips the tape off Carlisle’s mouth in one swift movement, ignoring the grunt of pain and bending down so that his face is level with the incapacitated hit man.

“We had better be getting ready, if you think they’re coming at ten, that is. You wouldn’t be lying about that, would you?”

Carlisle glares at him for a second, working his jaw to try and ease the stiffness in the raw skin around his mouth.

“That’s the usual procedure after this long without contact. If they haven’t come by now, it means they’ve got someone keeping an eye on the place and know I’m still in here. Looks like they don’t trust me as much they said.”

“Well you better hope they still have your health and safety as their priority, because otherwise you might be in for a very abrupt retirement.”

“I’ve no interest in making life difficult for you, it’s not like I’m going anywhere, is it?”

“Oh no, perish the thought, you were just going to brutally murder us all for money, not do anything that would make life difficult for us, that’s a relief.”

The scathing tone in Cathy’s voice as she enters the room gets a chuckle from Adam, but elicits no further response from Carlisle, who merely shrugs and stares blankly back at her.

“There’s a black van a little way up the road, it hasn’t moved for hours and I just saw someone in the driver’s seat who wasn’t there earlier. I can’t see who it is, but they’re just sitting there, I don’t like it.”

Patrick looks at Carlisle and sees something in his face that tells him all he needs to know.

“Ok, that’s them. You all know what to do.”

Leaving Carlisle on the sofa, Patrick walks into the kitchen and peers through the blinds at the van, parked about thirty meters away on the other side of the road from the house. The driver’s window is open but the angle of sunlight on the windscreen makes it impossible to see who is at the wheel. 

He turns to see Adam placing a stool outside the kitchen, facing down the length of the hallway, as Cathy comes out of the living room, closing the door behind her. The camera follows Cathy as she walks down the hall, closing doors to the dining room and cloakroom, then drawing the curtains across the window next to the front door. She stops on the way back, picking up two thick rugs which cover the shiny laminate flooring, leaving them rolled up at the foot of the stairs. 

After Cathy rejoins the others, Patrick pulls the kitchen door closed so they are plunged into near-darkness and Adam nods with satisfaction.

“That should do it; coming in from the bright sunshine they’ll be practically blind for a few seconds, that’s all I need.”

“I hope so, otherwise we’re screwed.”

“Oh ye of little faith, Patrick, I’m hurt at your lack of confidence in me.”

“Just stick to the plan and we might get out of this alive. Cathy, time to get you upstairs.”

Taking one of the heavy rugs each, Patrick and Cathy head up the stairs, as we follow Adam into the living room; where we see that Carlisle has managed to roll off the sofa, only to get himself wedged underneath the glass coffee table, and he still lies there like some sort of bizarre and furious museum exhibit.

“Hahaha, is that your best attempt at an escape, you’ve really made a pig’s ear out of that, haven’t you?”

Adam stops, raises his arm and, much to Carlisle’s surprise, the steel and glass table lifts smoothly into the air and hangs there, swaying gently, a foot from the ceiling. Adam reaches down and hauls the Department man from beneath the hovering table by his bound ankles, then glances up and makes a small gesture with his hand. The table sinks slowly down, hitting the floor with nothing more than a soft thud and a rattle of an ashtray on the glass top.

Adam bows with a dramatic flourish and grins at the scowling assassin.

“You’re welcome. Now, it’s time for your big moment. Patrick are you ready?”

“I’m here, let’s do this…Shit!

This last exclamation is a reaction to the sudden noise of approaching sirens in the street outside, followed by the sound of screeching brakes and car doors slamming.

Moving quickly now, Patrick and Adam grab Carlisle, carry him out of the living room and place him on the stool facing the front door. They sit him with his arms tied behind the stool’s low back and Adam shoves a broom handle between the two, meaning he can’t lift his arms free, even if he stands up. 

Then Patrick heads for the stairs, vanishing around the corner on the first landing as Adam ducks into the kitchen and closes the door, leaving Carlisle alone once more, in the dark.

Which is when the front door crashes open and all hell breaks loose.

***********

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 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)…

#SoCS

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