posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 05:32 PM
Months went by and one frustrated interpreter after another tried to communicate with him. He didn’t know how they suffered at the hands of the
General for their failure.
He started to notice a reluctance to deal with him emanating from nearly everyone he came into contact with. His novelty value had seemed to wear off.
He didn’t know that however sympathetic the staff might be, they were in danger of punishment for what was beginning to be seen as their failure.
One evening, as he looked out of the window at a dark and moonless night a picture came into view. He started to form an idea of what his daughter
looked like. The little one, his little darling. He tried harder to focus and slowly she started to appear before him. But something was wrong. She
looked odd. How could this little one look so different?
He felt tears, hot on his face. He started to realise how much of a mental fog he had been in since he had woken up. All his efforts had been focused
on trying to remember his children and learn that peculiar language his ‘captors’ had insisted on trying to teach him.
He began to think that he should try harder to communicate with them. It was slowly dawning on him that they might be able to help him but he’d have
to trust them.
He tried harder with his new interpreter and finally managed to communicate that he had no idea who he was, or where he had come from. The interpreter
looked dismayed and inwardly wondered bitterly why it was she who had been chosen by this odd person to convey such bad news to the military.
She left the room and took time to get in touch with her loved ones before going to face the wrath of an increasingly impatient General.
Patient Z found himself with a new interpreter the next day and asked why. In his halting way he questioned where the other one had got to. He had
tried to trust someone and now here he was with a new person and felt that he was back at square one again. His inner workings were not apparent to
the new interpreter who said only that she had gone elsewhere.
This interpreter took a more robust approach and Patient Z started to feel threatened. He retreated into his inner world and looked for his daughters.
He saw the little one’s face again but was rudely brought out of his reverie by a raised voice. He looked straight into the face of the interpreter
and was startled by the difference between the two faces. It was far more than the difference between a grown man and a little girl.
Hesitantly, he looked down at his hands and arms. He looked across at the interpreter and the sentry at the door. He looked hard, and then looked
again. He got up and slowly moved towards the window. For the first time in all his time here, he tried to look at his reflection. What he saw
startled him and he broke. Just broke.
The sentry and the interpreter exchanged glances. Now they were in a position that they weren’t equipped to deal with. They needed to get help,
The interpreter knew without a shadow of a doubt that the sentry would report him as the instigator of Patient Z’s revelation. As the medical team
bustled in to try and help their patient, he drew one of the nurses aside and asked her to express his regrets and his love to his family.
It took Patient Z several weeks to get over his devastating discovery. No-one could get any more out of him. As he lay staring at the ceiling he knew
that his life, as he had known it if only he could remember it, was over. He knew with an awful certainty that he would never see his little girls
He felt a great distance between them and him and knew that he would never be able to cover it. That is, if he were ever to be let go.
He had started to realise that if there were daughters, then there must be a mother. His wife. She wouldn’t emerge from the shadows in his mind, but
he felt that she was there. There was something, something. Something about her presence that told of her disappointment. She was disappointed in him.
She hadn’t idolised him as his girls had done. She hadn’t understood why he had undertaken his mission.
Mission? What was that? What had been his mission? Weeks of trying to work it out had proven fruitless.
He could only just work out that he was in a distant place, looked after by strangers who looked very different from himself.
Most of them had been kind; he had started to understand the curiosity that he had felt radiating from them. But now, there were these others who were
impatient and frightened.
He wasn’t to know that besides his lack of memory, his brain wasn’t functioning properly. The doctors had done their best, but they didn’t know
how to restore him to full mental health. He was such an unknown quantity to them.
A new General was put in charge of his ‘case’. This one took a softer, more patient approach and encouraged the staff to take Patient Z out into
the hospital grounds and see if they could interest him in his surroundings.
Patient Z responded a little better to this sort of stimulation and began to enjoy the outings. What he didn’t know was that this new General had
given up on trying to get any information out of him. Here was a man who understood the futility of flogging a dead horse.
This General, instead, was concentrating all his efforts on finding out where Patient Z had come from by examining the craft that he had been found
The technology was beyond his understanding, and that of his scientists, but they worked diligently and gradually they started to understand some of
its workings. They came to understand that it didn’t just ‘go’. It had something in it that looked like a communications device.
The new General made new efforts to understand Patient Z and his friendly approach started to yield success.
One day, he took the enormous risk of asking Patient Z if he remembered anything about the craft that had transported him here. Patient Z looked
blank, he couldn’t recall a thing. He only knew that he had woken up in that bed, but the idea of a transport started to interest him.
The General noticed that he had Patient Z’s attention and told him more about the craft. Communication between the two was still only rudimentary,
but the General could tell that he was about to make the breakthrough that had eluded his more brutal predecessor.
After a few days, while Patient Z was still enthusiastic and hadn’t had time to develop suspicions, the General arranged to have him taken to his
Much secrecy surrounded his transport from the hospital and Patient Z arrived disoriented and afraid. He wasn’t used to travelling any more and
being in a darkened vehicle that gave him motion sickness detracted greatly from any excitement he may have felt.
The General gave him time to recover and, when he judged that Patient Z was up to it, he took him into a large hangar and, with great aplomb, showed
him the craft.
Something clicked in Patient Z’s mind – he recognised this. He knew it. He could fly that thing. Without warning, thoughts of escape hatched in
The General must have seen it. He smirked. No escape here – the reason they’d captured the craft so easily was that it was found floating
aimlessly in their skies. Something was obviously wrong with its engines.
What no-one had realised was that it was their pulling of Patient Z out of his stasis pod, and their subsequent clumsy attempts to revive him, that
had caused his brain damage.
Patient Z walked over to his craft, and entered it. Sat at the controls and with no need of his brain since all the memories of its workings were in
his fingers, switched on the communicator.
Back at his base, his voice crackled over the loudspeakers. Baffled engineers heard his first words.
They hadn’t been expecting to hear anything from him. He’d been given up as lost a couple of generations ago when his tracking device failed.
The equipment that he was now being heard from had been left in place more as a museum piece to the staff at the base and to pacify his youngest
daughter who had insisted vehemently that it never be dismantled. She had never given up hope of hearing from her Daddy.
Bafflement gave way to excitement and the engineers fell over themselves to try and answer him, fascinated to find out where he had ended up.
Patient Z had one thing on his mind. His daughters. He asked, emotionally, what had become of them?
Tactfully they told him that the youngest still lived. She was now a frail, very old lady who occasionally visited the base. She was well known for
her floaty pink dresses and the question she unfailingly asked. Had they heard from her father?
Even now, as they spoke, someone was on their way to tell her that her father, Zak Hogan, a pioneer in Earth’s long distance space exploration
programme, was on the line.
[edit on 1-7-2010 by berenike]