Today’s offering for #TeleTuesdays is from one of the most interesting projects I’ve had the pleasure of embarking upon. I sat down one day to complete a paragraph into a full story after a challenge and in no short time, I’d gotten myself hooked unto a story that was rapidly evolving before my own eyes. I hope you’ll have as much fun as I always do reading this one…
His eyes fluttered open. The bright bolt of sunlight that flooded the room stung and he quickly closed them. He tried to move his hands towards his eyes to shield them but the pain he felt was excruciating. Some seconds, perhaps minutes passed and not so distant sounds of movement brought him back to the present. He knew he had to move. He had to get up. He had to open his eyes. Using every bout of strength left in him he pushed up from where he had been lying and he opened his eyes, wincing loudly as he did so…………
“He’s coming to”, he heard a soft whisper of a woman out of his field of sight.
Jeremy. The name came to mind like a bolt of lightning and seeing as it was the only thing his foggy mind managed to dredge, he held on to it for dear life! Jeremy.
“Where…am I?” he managed to croak out as he slowly turned his head in search of the source of the whisper.
His gaze came to rest on the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen …though with his inability to remember anything past barely 5 minutes and who the hell ‘Jeremy’ was he realised that he could be mistaken.
“Jefferson Halls?” the beautiful woman asked, smiling.
“That’s…not my name.” he managed to whisper to her. She was dressed all in white in a uniform that looked strangely like a nurse’s, but not of any hospital he’d ever been to or heard of: fitting slacks and a matching long-sleeved buttoned top with a cap that reminded him of the cadets at the navy base he’d been raised on as a child. He then took a second further to look around the room he was in. Bare. Also white. A single window set high in the wall. And even HE was almost bare, save for briefs!
Her brows furrowed at his statement and she got up from behind her desk just beside the only door he could see and walked over to the bed he was on. He tried to sit up but he felt a persistent tugging at his right foot. Chained!
Seeing he’d noticed it, she tried to calm him down.
“Relax sir. You’ve just been restrained for your own good”
“But but-” she didn’t allow him to continue.
“I’ll go and get the doctor for you”.
With nary another word, she backed up to the door and slipped through it outside. He heard a metal bolt slide home from the other side.
“And this bloody name!” he barely managed to squeak in frustration, holding his head in his hands. I cant even remember how I got here…
That woman reminds me of Tracy. Almost the same height, the same- Wait! Who’s Tracy?!
He heard footsteps from beyond the door and all of a sudden 16 years of military conditioning kicked in. He quickly lay back down on the bed and decided to feign drowsiness.
The door clanked open and in strode the beautiful woman once more, this time accompanied by a fatherly-looking man with a warm smile on his face, also similarly dressed.
“Mr. Jefferson Halls,” he began as he walked toward the bed. “We’re glad you’re up at last. You’ve been out for 6 days!”
“Where…am I?” the patient whispered
“In good hands at Hope General Hospital in ********* City. I’m Dr. Hossam. I’d like to ask you a few general questions, if it’s okay with you.”
“Firstly, do you remember how you got here?”
“I…I don’t remember” the patient managed to whisper.
“Okay. Don’t stress yourself over that now. Let’s try another question: is there anything on your mind right now? A name maybe?”
Wait a minute…no, that can’t be right, the patient thought. Dr. Hossam died a month ago in a plane crash off the Gulf of Guinea- how do I know that?!
A sharp pain lanced through his head once more, doubling him up.
“Arghh!” he screamed. They then both rushed to his bedside and tried to get him to lie down. As the nurse brushed against him, through the pain he managed to subtly pick a pin clip she had on the edge of one of her lower shirt pockets and palm it without being noticed.
As the pain subsided he relaxed on the bed and pretended to fall asleep. As they withdrew to her desk to confer in whispers, he examined the new-found information the sharp headache seemed to have brought.
Dr. Lewis Koomson. That’s my name..
Tracy…Tracy had left him 6 months ago (an incident that signalled the beginning of his downward spiral from grace to grass…
But how did I get here??
He caught snatches of their whispered conversation “…kill him yet…must still know…lying….by all means…the Controller…”
Things seemed to be getting even worse. But slowly, a hasty plan began to form in his head. After a few minutes, he heard the metal door open once more as they stepped out and the bolt was driven home. In a flash, with not a second to spare, he straightened out the clip and deftly picked the lock on his ankle chain. He then quickly pulled off the white bed sheets to cover himself as he made his escape.
Hearing footsteps at the door, he quickly rushed to stand behind it, all the while his heart in his throat. As the lock slid open, he gathered himself and pushed whoever opened it – the Nurse- and barrelled outside, knocking down the Doctor in the process. He had no intention of stopping any time soon.
Strange, he noted idly as he tried to get his bearings, they were both in red coats now. The thought died away as he turned the corner at the end of the corridor he ran down and found himself in a thick jungle! Casting a glance back he saw that he’d just burst out of a white single-storey building amongst the greenery.
An alarm began to sound to all around, reminding him he was on the run and causing him to double his steps as he ran down a beaten path.
Almost without warning, the mostly-jungle atmosphere merged into a garden with numerous gardeners at work, also garbed as the Nurse and Doctor. He paid them no heed until he barrelled right into one of them and they both fell to the ground, the gardener face-down.
“Sorry, I’m sorry” he began as he reflexively moved to help him up, rolling him unto his back. He had NO FACE!!! Shaken, Lewis jumped back and gave a shout. The ‘Gardner’ turned his head towards him and slowly his white coat changed to red as if he bled right into it.
Suddenly grabbing his dropped shears, he lunged at Lewis without a single sound! Lewis scrambled back, narrowly missing the blades as he screamed once more and, rolling into a run, tore off at magnificent speed, desperate to get out of this mad garden-jungle! This time as he ran, all the Gardeners were alert in their now-red coats and tried to snap at him with their shears and tackle him to the ground as he passed.
“Track and long jump training at Senior High does come in handy someday after all”, he idly mused in an attempt to keep calm and not give in to the rising panic that threatened to drive him crazy with fear.
Deftly dodging a Gardner, an explosive-tipped crossbow bolt zipped through where his head had been seconds ago to impale itself in a tree and then take out its whole mid-section in a shower of bark and wood fragments!!! Diving into a thicket of shrubbery to the left, he took a quick look behind to see where the bolt had come from. Down the path in a buggy was the Doctor/Nurse duo, a high-tech-looking weapon in hand each.
Just then, he saw a grey-ish Wall at the end of the neat rows of the garden. Not even wasting a moment to question the presence or significance of a wall in the midst of his crazy nightmare, Lewis tore out of the thicket and headed straight for it!
Within 5 bounds out of the bush, they’d spotted him and things got hairy! The landscape all around him erupted with a mix of gunfire and small explosions as he zig-zagged for all he was worth to at least make their targeting a bit harder.
“Ughh!” he groaned as a bullet grazed his shoulder and he slipped, his feet getting entangled in the cloth he’d somehow managed to keep close.
This won’t help me, he concluded as he decided to leave the bed sheet behind. He then sped off towards the wall with renewed vigour.
All the while the buggy kept getting closer to his path, even running over a few Gardeners as it sped up!
At last, nearly out of breath, he got to the Wall, 7 feet high. Adrenaline kept him pumped as panic drove him scrambling over the wall. Turning to resume his sprint he barely took 3 bounds before instinctively catching himself short as he pinwheeled madly at the edge of a 30-foot fall down into the cold waters off the West African coast. Squinting slightly, he could barely make out the beach.
Hearing the buggy engine coming closer, he barely jumped aside before the buggy crashed right through the Wall, screeching to a halt right where he was standing only seconds ago.
He backed away as the Doctor lightly jumped out of the passenger seat raising his hands to show he was unarmed.
“Dr. Koomson, I see you’ve regained your memories after all”, he began as he walked slowly towards Lewis.
“All I want- all the Controller wants- is the name of the turncoat in our Association”
Jeremy! Suddenly another shaft of searing pain burst through Lewis’ head causing him to stagger back as he clenched his teeth, stifling another groan.
Jeremy Aruba: International Federation for African Security sleeper agent infiltrating the Association, a cabal of multibillionaires worldwide dealing in countries and their resources!
Lewis had been recruited by IFAS to perform an operation on and brief Jeremy in detail on classified Surgical techniques that would make him indispensable to the Association 7 years ago! The Association was at the time crossing all boundaries to stray into genetic engineering and manipulation, using victims kidnapped off the streets of Africa as guinea pigs. Jeremy was then supposed to gain a standing of repute in the organization and, with evidence gathered, help to bring it down from the inside! Deep undercover indeed.
“Yes, we do have a mole in the IFAS who leaked your personnel files to us. It seems they spent so much time securing the other people who knew about their Operation that they forgot to plan to take care of their doctor when he fell from grace. According to our new files, you groomed an individual physically and mentally to be the perfect mole in our Association. Make it easy on yourself, just tell me the name and I’ll make sure you get back to your life- I hope you’ve forgiven us for that little bit of friendly fire back there. It’s just that you startled us, you know?”
All the while, the Doctor had kept on inching close as Lewis backed up till he was once more at the edge of the platform.
“You’re lying ‘Doctor’. I’m not stupid.”
“Oh Lewis! Don’t be like that. I’m sorry we had to do that little bit of drama in the room back there to get the name out of you. It was my sweetheart over there who conked you in the noggin and made it necessary for all that drama. You see, we just wanted to pick you up and ask a few questions but when you didn’t recognise anything at first, we decided to quiz you with minimum fuss, totally bypassing your real identity lest it jogged your memory and you became more …er…resistant to our requests. We planned to get you back to your life as soon as possible…and still do, if you’ll be just a little bit more co-operative. I promise.”
Lewis couldn’t believe the absurdity of his attempt at deception. There was only one thought on his mind right then considering he really had nothing to live for, considering even Tracy was gone: Save Jeremy. Looking over the Doctor’s shoulder he saw the Nurse slowly easing out a pistol to aim at him, right between the eyes. The die was cast.
Crossing his arms over his chest, he looked the Doctor in the eye.
“Screw you” were the last words he uttered as he fell back over the edge of the platform…down…down…down…
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