How Did I get Here? Chapter 2: A Safe Place

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By Alberto Pupo

He screams in horror; he awakes to find himself confined? Where is he?  He tries to move desperately, but he feels tied down to something? His vision is still terribly blurred, and he feels a strange drowsiness still overtaking him. He had found his freedom, and now where is he?

    “Where am I?”

He speaks aloud hoping to get a response, but who knows he may be alone again. He tries to move, but he feels too weak to break out of his captivity? The last he recalls he has a memory of looking out at the moon, smelling the wet earth around him, he was free, and then he felt a jolt of pain, it must have been some weapon, a dart gun? He is unsure, but there was a moment of burning electric pain, and then the fade to black but not before he could see the outlines of three figures.

    “Where am I!”

He screams out once more, a new found rage burning within him, an anger he has not felt in a long time, but this time he received a response.

    “You are in safe place.”

The voice seems to come from the nothingness, he could hear it but is unable to clearly see who it belongs to or where it comes from. However the voice brings a moment of comfort, the fact that he is not alone serves as a type of reassurance.

    “Who are you? What do you mean I am in a safe place? Where am I?”

He is starting to get anxious; vague promises are something that he despises even though he sued to make them all the time? (he is confused as to why he would feel that way).

    “Listen, I need to know what is going on? I know you are out there, I heard you speak, but I can’t quite see you.”

He struggles to turn, but still feels the restraints are on tightly, his body still feels too heavy to move.

    “You are in a safe place; you need not struggle.”

The voice responds to him once more; he needs to try and engage whoever it is in conversation, as the suspense is beginning to kill him!

    “Listen, I appreciate that you are trying to calm me down, but right now this vague approach is driving me up a wall, I think I deserve an answer right.”

He tries to sound as angry as possible, for some reason channeling anger is the way to get things done, it is how he always used to get his subordinates and flunkies to do things for him, the notion of him having had any power or charge of anyone is a strange one and he has no idea, why the thought is coming to mind. Who is he? He knows he is Scott Mills; he remembers being married with a wife and kids. He remembers his father and mother. He recalls surviving the accident somehow?  He is still very insistent that he never did survive the accident, but was it an accident? An assassination attempt? Is he such a powerful person?  The thoughts continue to nag at him, the lack of a concrete response is pissing him off, if he can only find a way to get out of here? Wherever here may be?

    “Is this a safe place? Please tell me what is so safe about it?”

His anger is flaring now, and for some reason, he realizes that he seems to get wound up very easily, has he always suffered from so many bouts of anger issues? Thoughts are traveling through his mind at the speed of light he is trying to calm himself however the fact that the responses have been so vague have only served to frustrate him, not to mention he really would like to talk to this disembodied voice face to face. Now things are beginning to get clearer, his vision sharpening and some of the blurriness fading off. He seems to be in a small cramped room, unlike the vast warehouse he had previously awoken from. The room had the sterile feel of a medical facility along with its depressing lighting and white walls. He tries to look around to see if he can see who the voice belongs to however he still cannot make out anyone and it seems that he may be alone again.

    “Alright, what is this place? Where am I? Can you please show yourself?”

He is trying to be patient, but the fact that he is still not getting answers is disturbing.

Now he can hear a set of footsteps coming gingerly toward him,  a figure all decked I surgical scrubs looks down at him, only beautiful aqua eyes, regard him intently studying him (are they about  to cut him open?”

    “I said before you are in a safe place, there is no need to be alarmed.”

The figure now removes the surgical mask and cap; he can see long flowing flame hair accompanying, the aqua blue eyes, with a porcelain like skin, with only a tinge of pink on her cheeks.

    “ My name is Dr. Michelle Grace, and you are indeed safe, and  you are a miracle.”

Now the confusion begins to set in, what does she mean he is a miracle?   Questions as are swirling in his mind yet not a single one reaches his tongue, he feels murky all of a sudden.

    “You are still feeling the side effects of the toxins…  it is a powerful sedative, and I think the boys went slightly overboard.”

The boys? Going overboard? He wants to say something, but he is tongue tied she is a very striking woman, and for some reason bears an uncanny resemblance to? His very own wife Elaine? He now remembers her name. The soft caress and touch, the way she would look at him with aqua blue eyes?  He feels tears streaming down his cheek.

    “Thinking of lost love can be painful. I can relate, but you should be happy to be alive.”

Now he feels an anger swelling within, why is she still talking so damn vague, about everything, why is he in a surgical ward? And where is he, to begin with, >”

    “Listen, Dr. Grace; I have had it up to hear with your vague insinuations, where am I? Why am I here? Why is this a miracle?” I don’t get any of this!”

The anger is swelling further still he is clenching his fist tightly, but her calm gaze never betrays even a hint of emotion. She continues to regard him, coolly, objectively, as if she is studying some animal, more than she is dealing with a fellow human being.

    “I know you have many questions, but for the moment, you have all the answers that you need, please try and calm yourself, testing is nearly complete, and then you will be given further instruction.”

She walks away gently, and lightly without making much sound fluttering away like a hummingbird. Now he is left with more questions than answers, what does she mean by tests? What else are they going to subject him too? Why is she so damn vague about everything? Is he being held hostage by a terrorist organization? He can now remember listening to the radio that day… there were whispers, a terrorist attack on American soil. He laughs it up, arguing with his campaign manager? (why was he speaking to a campaign manager?) The memory is a rather strange one, and he can remember the look on the young man’s face as he sipped on his cup of coffee. Terror would be a big buzzword, terror out in Afghanistan. They called him Osama Bin Ladin, and he would soon be bringing a brand of terror to the United States? Then he remembers the date written on the calendar 1999? Yes, that is the year, right before the end of a millennium. It is 1999, it is a brave new world,  his campaign manager, was warning him about how terrorism would be the next challenge. Where his policies ready? Was he ready for the debate? The memories are becoming clearer; he can taste the coffee; it was nasty, but it was the fuel that kept him going. God, he was shaking so many hands, kissing so many babies…  Who was he? Who is he? Was he the President of the United States? Was he a Congressman? Why was this young man so adamant, about his policies? He feels like he has reached some form of truth? But then the memories blank? She is now staring at him again, the way a hawk regards its prey.

    “Ok, well it looks like the plan has changed.”

Her voice sounds low, and almost robotic, her eyes, did not contain that beautiful sparkle from only five minutes before.

    “I am to set you free now…”

The restraints immediately came off, he is now completely unbound. He tries to move but he nearly stumbles toward the floor, and she catches him with her arms, (which are much stronger than he thought).

    “Careful, walking, like I said you were hit with very powerful toxins, your balance is not what it may have always been.’

She helps to stand him up, and now he feels like he is on balance, she is much taller than he anticipated, a few inches taller than he is an, amazingly enough, she is wearing flat shoes.

She stares at him, again appraising him with a sense of wonder and curiosity, and then without another word goes back towards a small sink and absently begins to wash her hands.

A small door open and a figure emerges from it. It is a very familiar looking individual, pale, and bearded. He seems to be wearing some uniform, (military?) but the colors of the uniform were highly unusual, it was a metallic silver hue rather than green camo fatigues. There is also something familiar about his eyes, like if they have met before? He cannot be sure; maybe it is a coincidence or a strong resemblance?

    “ I had to see for myself they told me you were awake, and I could not believe it.”

The voice, it sounds so familiar to him, it has a tinge of wisdom to it, but it sounds like someone he was intimately familiar with.

    “ It is amazing, I can see in your face the flash of recognition, but maybe I have aged in a way that you may not remember me, sir.”

The way he speaks to him with an air of deference, as if, now another memory surges, a memory of speaking o a young man, sipping coffee across from him? The young man is pale looking. However terribly clean shaven, about a decade younger as well, but something about the way he speaks… that familiarity in his voice.

    “Yes, sir, I can see what you are thinking, it is me. David Steuben, your campaign manager.”

 

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