Sunday, January 29, 2012

Story # 1.11 The Scan Part 2

Dr. Blake took Larry and Linda outside the room, leaving Dana to monitor Jay.  He was still sitting on the side of the table, still with the Versed running into his veins.  But, Dana had already bolted the door to the padded room, unwilling to enter until the others returned from the corridor.

Dr. Blake shut the door behind him, as Larry and Linda turned to face him.

"Ok, so I see what you're saying now", said Dr. Blake.

"That man in that room is not my husband!", said Linda.

"Linda, just try to stay calm", said Larry.

"I am calm, Larry.  I can look in that man's eyes and I can see the same person that had his hand around my throat threatening me that night in our bedroom.  Whoever that is, I know, it is not my husband."

"I understand that, Mrs. Trent.  Believe me, he doesn't look or act like the same man we just examined over an hour ago.  But this is the bizarre nature of Diassociative..."

"No!", Linda interrupted Dr. Blake, "Don't you dare try to cover this up with the same crap those other doctors did.  I don't care about conditions, or mental degradation, or sleep deprivation.  That is not what is going on here.  I've seen it too many times and I'm telling you both right now, that man is not my husband.  HE IS NOT JAY!"

"Ok, I believe you", said Larry.

Dr. Blake just stood there and looked at Larry for a moment, then he looked down at the floor, pondering in his mind all that had just transpired.  Finally he looked back up at them both.

"Ok, if we go on the assumption that the man in the room right now is not Jay Trent...", Dr. Blake paused.

Linda and Larry stared at Dr. Blake, hanging on his every word now.

"...then who is he?"

"Only one way to find out", said Larry.

"We'll ask him questions, controlled questions that make him respond with a more indepth answer.  We'll try to find out where this place Anderson, South Carolina is at.  We'll try to get a name out of him, something to call him other than Jay, since that only serves to enrage him further.  Then we'll try to settle him down enough to sleep and see what happens", Dr. Blake surmized.

"So what happened with the console?", asked Larry.
"I don't know.  I've never had anything like that happen before.  The only thing I can think of is that it was a power surge of some kind.  But from what, I have no idea."

"Could that be part of what happened to him?  I mean before that happened, he was laying that sound asleep and as soon as it cleared, he was sitting up", said Linda.

"Perhaps.  But what that indicates is still a guess at best.  It essentially disabled the scanning equipment.  While we are in there I'll examine it briefly to see what kind of damage we are talking about.  But, why it occurred and if it had anything to do with his shift in personality, I honestly just don't know", said Dr. Blake.

"But what if it was a literal shift?  Like someone or something replaced his personality completely?", asked Larry.

This grabbed Linda's attention.

"Now you're talking science fiction, Larry", said Dr. Blake.

"Yes, but you don't know what happened in there, right?"

"Right."

"Then I don't think we can rule anything out, do you?"

Dr. Blake stared at Larry.  He didn't want to admit it, but Larry had a good point, although highly far-fetched.  No credible scientist is willing to admit an impossibility such as this, but when face-to-face with a virtual impossibility even the most respected of scientists have to lend some credit to the unknown.

"There could be greater forces at work, I'll admit", replied Dr. Blake.

Linda looked at the doctor now, "What forces?"

"Something that caused the surge, and changed Jay's personality, but there's nothing credible to hang your hat on.  I could range from anything.  Could be a complete fluke, to aliens, or even something supernatural.  But you didn't hear me say that."

"Your secret is safe with us, doc.  Let's go ask those questions and see what happens next", said Larry.

"Wait, I want to talk about this more, Larry.  I mean what are we talking about now?  Aliens?  Supernatural, like ghosts?  Demons?", asked Linda.

"It's highly improbable, but so is a man sitting up on a table with Versed coursing through his veins, Mrs. Trent.  We may actually have to consider all possibilities.  But for now, let's try to get more information.  Come back inside with me and let's find out", finished Dr. Blake.

The three of them re-entered the room.  Dana was still sitting at the consoles monitoring the man in Jay's body's status.  She couldn't take her eyes off of him.  She looked scared out of her mind.  The man was still sitting on the side of the table, staring right back at Dana.

"Is he stable, Dana?", asked Dr. Blake.

"He's creeping me out", Dana replied.

"That sounds like a yes to me", said Larry.

"Just keep monitoring him, we're going inside."

Dana wield around in her chair and stared at the doctor after his response.  She couldn't believe he was serious.

"Are you sure about this?", asked Linda.

"I'm sure", Dr. Blake replied, as he leaned down to turn on the intercom to address the subject in the padded room.

"Hello again, I'm sorry we had to leave, sir."

"Don't call me sir", the man in Jay's body replied.

"What should I call you then?"

The man sat there, staring back at the doctor.  He didn't answer for several moments.  Neither man looked away from the other.  Finally, the man answered.

"Call me Rob."

"Rob, I'm Dr. Blake.  It's a pleasure to meet you."

Rob grunted at him and looked away towards another part of the room.

"Is there anything we can get for you?  Perhaps something to eat or drink?"

He still looked away, but hen redirected his eyes back to the doctor as  he responded, "I can use a beer."

"What kind of beer?"

"I could use a Brau Lite."

"Brau Lite, what the hell is that?", asked Larry whispering toward Linda.  She shook her head, unsure as well.

"I'm not familiar with that brand", replied Dr. Blake.

"Why am I not surprised", said Rob, chuckling to himself.

"We will get you something complimentary, along with some food.  Would that be acceptable?"

"And can you take this damn thing outta my arm too?"

"Certainly."

Rob motioned that he was agreeable with these terms.  Larry went to fetch the food while Dr. Blake and Dana prepared to go into the room.

Larry came back with beer and pizza.  Linda found the combo funny, as Jay detested both.  Larry held the pizza up to the observation window and Rob seemed quite agreeable.  Dana stood next to the door to enter the padded room.  She wasn't about to open it until the doctor and Larry both entered with her.

"Rob, we're going to come in now with your food and to take that out of your arm", said Dr. Blake.

Rob nodded, and looked over towards the door as it was being unlatched.

Dana slowly pulled the door towards her to open it up.  Larry moved passed her as it opened fully and went in first.  He had the pizza in his hands.  Dana entered carrying the beer, and Dr. Blake was close behind.  Linda stayed outside in the observation room, waiting to see what happened next.

Rob watched all three of them intently, not moving a muscle.

Larry laid down the pizza on the table beside him.  Dana also laid the beer down, the bottles clanging together in the six pack carton from her own trembling.  She was very nervous around him.  Dr. Blake approached him as well.

"Hey there Rob."

"Hi", replied Rob.

"Do you mind if Dana helps remove that needle from your arm?"

Rob looked over at Dana.  He could see her shaking.  He nodded in agreement.  As Dr. Blake watched him he did notice one unusual difference.  He had noted in his examination of Jay that the subject had blue eyes, but Rob's eyes were green.

Dana moved towards Rob, to begin removing the tape from the IV in his left hand.  Rob reached for a piece of pizza and took a huge bite.  Within a few seconds he had downed the entire piece.  It was apparent he was very hungry.

"You haven't eaten in a while have you?", asked Dr. Blake.

"No", replied Rob.

Rob took a swig of a beer, after popping off the top with his right hand.  He tasted it and loved it.

"That tastes just like Brau Lite", said Rob.

"I've never heard of that beer.  I've never heard of Anderson, South Carolina either.  Can you tell me more about where you're from?", asked Dr. Blake.

"Just that I'm not there anymore, and I'm not planning on going back."

"I take it something happened there?"

"You could say that."

Rob, realizing Dana was now done removing the needle pulled his hand away from her, so he could dig into the pizza much more quickly.

Linda was amazed.

"What happened in Anderson, South Carolina, Rob?"

Rob was eating and paused to swallow his huge bite, "Everything.  Anything."

"Could you be more specific?"

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Did something bad happen?"

"I said I don't want to talk about it!"
"That's fine, but we just want to know so we might can help you."

"You already have.  I'm not there, remember?"

"Well, how about if I ask you about other stuff?"

"Like what?"

"Maybe like, what country you're from?"

"The United States."

"Can you be more specific?

"You don't know what the United States is either?"

"I do, but what is the full name?"

"Are you going to do nothing but question me all damn day?"

"I just want to learn more about you, Rob.  I'm just curious."

"Well, you know what curiosity did to the cat, right?"

"Can you tell me who the President of the United States is?"

Rob took a deep sigh.  Dana was now back on the other side of the padded room, near to the door.  Larry was till at the edge of the table, and Linda watched on from the observation room as Dr. Blake and Rob continued with their exchange.

"If you must know, the President of the United States of AMERICA is Barack Obama, on planet Earth, with seven billion other people, in the Milky Way galaxy, somewhere in a big, black void we call the universe.  But none of that really matters now anymore."

"It doesn't matter anymore?"

"No, because they are all dead!  ALL OF THEM."

"What happened to them, Rob?"

Rob stared at Dr. Blake, still unsure of what he was hoping to accomplish, but becoming more willing to share information.

"Something bad."

"How bad?"

"Bad enough I never, ever want to go back, ok?"

"I understand, and I don't mean to frustrate you.  But these questions are the only way to help us know what has happened to you, Rob.  We have to ask."

"Well, I have told you enough.  Now can I get some more..."

Rob stopped mid-sentence.  Then he began to shake.  Finally, Rob's body flunge backwards violently and he became rigid.  Dr. Blake rushed over to him, as did Dana and Larry.  Linda came to the opening of the door and stood there waiting to see what was happening.  On the consoles in the observation room the white blinding light returned.  It went unnoticed this time as all four of them were fixated on Rob, in Jay's body, having some sort of convulsion.  Dr. Blake shouted out things for Dana to acquire.  Dana ran out to the observation room as Linda entered.

The light finally diminished, and with that so did Rob's convulsion.

Rob's body was laying there, his eyes closed, drenched in sweat.  Dr. Blake felt he was now calm.

"What in God's name is happening, doc?", asked Larry.

"I don't know", replied Dr. Blake.

Linda was right beside the table now.  She believed her husband may have returned.  But the moment of concern was quickly changed when Dana let out a blood curdling scream.  Dana fell backwards into the room, dropping all of the supplies she had in her hands.  She quickly moved away crawling behind the table.

Larry, Linda, and Dr. Blake looked on at the open doorway, but could not believe what they were seeing walking through.  Into the room walked a person.  A person who's clothes were soiled, torn, burned, and bloodied.  The skin on this person was ashen.  They were dirty, unkempt, and almost looked decaying where they stood.  But the worst part was in their face.  The mouth hung open, lifeless.  The eyes were grayed out, deathly.  This person embodied the appearance of a lifeless corpse, but yet was walking.  It looked like a zombie.

Larry was trembling.  Linda and Dr. Blake both moved back towards the back of the room, as Dana coward down behind the table in fear.  The creature was now aware of them and began moving towards them all.  It's mouth opening wider, and it's eyes seeming to light up with life from the knowledge that something it wanted was present in the room.

As the four of them stood silent, quivering, and unsure of what would happen next, Jay sat up.  He sat straight up at the side of the table.  But he wasn't empty handed as his body had been moments earlier.  This time he was holding a revolver in his right hand.  He cocked the trigger, aimed and fired at the creature approaching Larry.  The shot went straight through the creature's head.  The back of it's head exploded, blood splattering out on the other side of the padded room.  Then the creature collapsed to it's knees and fell limp on the floor.  It now appeared to be dead, completely.

As smoke still bellowed from the end of the revolver everyone took notice of Jay.  Jay lowered the weapon and placed it on the table.  Larry looked at the gun and thought, Where the hell did that come from?

Jay then turned to face Dr. Blake and Linda.  Linda looked at him, but more importantly she looked at his eyes.  They were blue again, even Dr. Blake noticed this.  Linda knew before Jay ever said anything, and ran to embrace her husband.  Apparently, he had just saved all of their lives.

Finally, after embracing Linda for a few seconds, Jay looked back up at Dr. Blake and addressed him.

"Dr. Blake, don't you ever put me back to sleep again!"

Dr. Blake couldn't agree more.



Friday, January 20, 2012

Story # 1.10 The Scan Part 1

Jay laid on a slab-like table in a gray, padded room.  Parallel to the table was an adjacent room, with an observation window.  Linda stared at her husband through the window as she stood in front of several computer terminals.  Her mind was wandering as she stood their watching a research assistant apply electrodes to her husband's forehead.  She was very tense to say the least.  The episodes had subdued, but only because of the medication Jay had been receiving while in the hospital.  However, he had been off his medication for twenty-four hours to undergo this experiment.  An experiment to possibly ascertain why Jay's mind was having such flights of fancy and why it seemed he became a totally different person in his sleep.

"So how many of these have you done?", asked Jay of the research assistant.

She smiled at him, "You're about the fourth we have tried.  Dr. Blake keeps perfecting the scans with each volunteer.  The last one actually caught a brain tumor the subject was unaware of."

"Wow!  It didn't cause the brain tumor did it?"

"No sir," the research assistant said, as she laughed.
**********************************************************************************

"He seems so normal right now," said Linda, watching on.

"He's going to be fine, Mrs. Trent, I can assure you of that," said Dr. Blake.

"Did you really find a tumor the person didn't know they had?", asked Larry.

"Yes.  It was quite impressive.  Unfortunately it didn't turn out to be such a good thing for that subject."

"Why is that?", asked Linda.

"They found out the tumor had metastasized from their lungs.  The prognosis was only about six months for them."

"Six months...for what?", asked Larry.

Dr. Blake looked up at him, "For them to live."

Linda rolled her eyes and acted almost exasperated. 

"But there is nothing to worry about here, Mrs. Trent.  Your husband has already received MRIs and CT scans that indicate there is no tumor present.  The point of fact, I wasn't even looking for a tumor in that case, it was mere chance that we found it."

"What were you looking for?", asked Larry.

"Basically a similar thing we are looking for here.  How Dr. Trent's brainwaves respond during sleep.  We can measure amplitude, frequency, and create an image of the brain to visualize what might be going on.  In the case of the subject with the tumor, the waves were looping around an object that seemed like dead space."

"Like a black hole?"

"Precisely, Larry.  It warped the waves, and the visualization of this was simply a side effect of the scan itself, but not something we were expecting."

"Well he's in trouble, he has more holes in his head than any other man alive," said Linda.

Dr. Blake looked at her and grinned.  Larry chuckled a bit.

"Ah, marriage", Dr. Blake replied.
**********************************************************************************

"All righty, Dr. Trent, we've got you all wired up," said the research assistant.

Jay looked down his body at all the electrodes connected to his chest.  He tried to look up at his forehead, but of course could not visualize the electrodes there.

"This won't electrocute me, will it?", asked Jay.

"No, Dr. Trent, it won't, I promise," the research assistant said, with a comforting smile as she leaned in and placed her hands on his right shoulder.

"Please, call me Jay", he replied, with a grin.

"Call me Dana, Jay."
**********************************************************************************

Linda didn't like this at all.

Dr. Blake was chuckling, knowing full well his assistant's demeanor was both soothing to men, and dreadful to other women.  That was part of th reason he had hire her for this type of work.

"She's harmless, Mrs. Trent."

"Oh yeah, that's what you said about the last patient, and look how that turned out?", replied Linda.

"Yes, but I'm quite certain on this one.  She's homosexual."

Larry's eyes lit up as he took a better look at her than he had already, multiple times.

"Damn, such a waste," said Larry.

Dr. Blake laughed.

Linda wanted to throw up from all the testosterone in the room.

Dr. Blake turned on the two-way speakers in the room as Dana exited and closed the door behind her.  She looked at Linda and smiled, as Linda looked away from her in disgust.

"Dr. Trent, can you hear me clearly?", asked Dr. Blake.

"Like I told Dana, call me Jay."

"I'll take that as a yes then, Jay.  Dana has prepped you and started your IV drip.  The agent is Versed, a sleeping drug commonly used for anesthesia during surgery.  Dana is a trained CRNA, so she will monitor your vital signs from here.  I can assure you we have taken every precaution.  We're using Versed to insure you will in fact go to sleep.  At that point we'll begin the scan and monitor your brain activity in a sleep state.  As far as you are concerned though, Jay, it'll be just like when you go to bed at night."

"That's what I'm afraid of."

Dr. Blake could see Jay's vitals were starting to alter.  His heart rate and breathing were steadily increasing.

"There's no reason to be afraid, Jay.  We'll be right here the entire time monitoring any activity that occurs.  You'll just have yourself a nice nap."

"I hope you're right, doc."

Dr. Blake chuckled, "Do you have any questions before we begin, Jay?"

"Yeah, can I have one of those really good, juicy hamburgers from downtown waiting when I wake up?"

Everyone in the control room laughed at his question.

"Absolutely, Jay."

"In that case, doc, I'm ready.  Let's do this."

The drip had already begun, with the Versed moving down the tubing and into the intravenous access in Jay's arm.  It felt cool going into Jay's blood stream.  Jay could feel a little tingle as it began to enter.  Quickly the agent coursed through Jay's body, back to his heart, into his lungs, through the heart again, and out through his arteries allowing it to permeate his being.  Jay was already beginning to feel the effects of the drug.

Dr. Blake assessed the vitals with Dana, who gave him the OK.

"Now, Jay, I'm going to countdown from ten.  You will become very drowsy during this.  Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four..."

Before Dr. Blake was even through, Jay had already drifted off to sleep.

"And he is asleep.  Beginning scan and imaging", said Dr. Blake.

Linda stared on at her now sleeping husband.  This was the best he had slept in months, even if it had been only a few seconds.  He was so peaceful, the total opposite of any of the activity she had experienced with him recently.  Compared to that, he looked as if he were a body lying in an open casket.

The monitor brought up an image of Jay's brain, along with an algorithm that was assessing Jay's brain activity.  It was showing low brain function, as it should with an agent such as Versed.

"He is in a deep sleep already.  This is the type of activity you would expect with a brain under sedation.  Little to no activity, so that the subject or patient doesn't experience anything during this sleep.  That's why it is so readily used for surgery."

"So, how will that help us if he won't experience anything?", asked Linda.

"Well, the goal here is to see if anything will happen like you have described.  You can't get in too much of a deeper sleep than this without being in the deepest sleep of all."

"You're talking about death, right?", asked Larry.

"Yes."

"You had to ask that?", said Linda.

"Hey, just clarifying", replied Larry.

"All vitals are normal, Dr. Blake.", said Dana.

"We are at two minutes under sedation", said Dr. Blake, for the record.

Video cameras and voice recorders took down everything being dictated in the control room, as well as any activity in the padded room.  If something was going to happen, it would be documented.

"We are at ten minutes under sedation."

"It's like a watched pot," said Larry.

"Yes, whenever you want something to happen, that's when it doesn't," replied Dr. Blake.

More time passed.

"We are at fifty-nine minutes under sedation."

"What if we go through this and nothing happens?", asked Linda.

"Even a small amount of activity could be useful, but..."

Dr. Blake stopped as the scan began to detect something.  The waves on the algorithm changed slightly indicating a minute amount of activity within Jay's brain.

"Fascinating," said Dr. Blake.

"What?  What's fascinating?", asked Linda, leaning in more over his shoulder.

"We're picking up low levels of activity around the amygdala.  It's minimal, but significant," replied Dr. Blake.

"That's something, right?", asked Larry.

"That is something, but hardly conclusive for the type of activity either of you have described."

"I could just be the beginnings of the REM cycle?", said Dana.

"It could be, but the wave frequencies aren't as profound", said Dr. Blake.

"What should the waves be like?", asked Linda.

"With REM sleep, the activity of the brain should be almost the same as when you are awake.  That's one of the possibilities we were going to investigate today.  Whether or not Jay is experiencing RBD", said Dr. Blake.

"RBD?", asked Larry.

"Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder.  What that means is when you're sleeping your muscles normally become atonic, or flaccid.  With RBD, that flaccidity ceases and the person can actually move around, act out violently, even seem awake."

"Like another person?", asked Linda.

"Perhaps, but not typically to the extent you described.  I believe that is why they diagnosed Jay with Disassociative Identity Disorder for the changes in persona you and Larry both experienced."

"Yeah, the doctors couldn't explain that party either, so that was their best guess," said Larry.

"And in the face of not knowing, any practitioner goes back to their roots.  That's just norm...."

Dr. Blake was suddenly interrupted as the monitors showing an image of Jay's brain and brain waves both when white.  The intensity began to grow rapidly, blinding everyone in the room.  Larry, Linda, Dana, and Dr. Blake had to hold their arms up to block out the light because of the intense brightness.  A low, steady hum was audibly heard from the recording devices as the intensity was sending out waves distorting their signals.   Finally, the sound ceased and the light began to diminish.  The four of them could not see in the room again, as their eyes began to re-adjust to their darker surroundings.

"What the hell was that?", asked Larry.

Larry was still squinting and rubbing his eyes, as was Linda.

Then, before both could completely get their bearings they heard Dr. Blake utter something they didn't expect.

"Oh my God!"

Both of them looked down at Dr. Blake.  He sat there, with Dana, both staring straight ahead into the room Jay occupied.  Linda caught a glimpse of the monitors and saw that Jay's brain waves were highly active, as if he were awake.  Then she heard Dana speak.

"That's not possible.  He should be asleep."

Linda looked over at her, then looked up to Jay.  She put her hand over her mouth as she looked on at her husband.  Jay was now sitting up on the side of the table, staring back into the room at the four of them.  The Versed was still running and by all accounts Jay should be completely under sedation.  But he wasn't.

Larry just stood there, staring with his mouth hanging open.

Dr. Blake turned on the intercom to speak to Jay.

Linda looked on in horror at Jay and knew this image all too well.  It was the same man she had seen in her bedroom that first night, the man she had seen multiple times since.  She could see this man in Jay's eyes and knew, once again, it was not her husband.

Dr. Blake finally spoke.

"Jay, are you all right?"

Jay looked around the room, as the sound of Dr. Blake's voice coming in from the speakers caught his attention.  He looked back through the window again, knowing the source of the voice came from one of the people in the next room.  Finally, he spoke as well.

"I've told you people before, my name is not Jay."

Dana looked at Dr. Blake, as the doctor continued looking on at Jay.

"Who are you then?", Dr. Blake asked of the man sitting on the slab.

The man, in Jay's body, looked back at all four of them.  He fixed his gaze on Linda, which sit chills down her spine.  The man's face got more demonstrative and he smiled an evil grin at Linda and the rest in the room.

"Well, you'd love to know that, wouldn't you?", replied the man.

"Please do something!", said Linda.

"Linda, just calm down.  This is what we wanted", said Larry.

"Yes, we need to question what he's wanting, speak to this person like they are the real person", said Dr. Blake.

The man inside Jay replied, "I am the real person."

This stunned Dr. Blake because the intercom had not been on while the three of them had been talking.  The man inside Jay spoke again.

"And what I want is to never leave here, or ever set foot in Anderson, South Carolina again...for as long as I live."





Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Story # 1.9 Identified

G8

RELAY: CAPRICORN REGAL INFINITY MU SAMSON OMEGA NIGHTLY

*****************************SECURE TRANSMISSION*****************************

LINE IS NOW SECURE

COMM C:  G8-84231680

COMM LINK:  The Fleece

IDENTITY CONFIRMED.  BEGIN TRANSMISSION.

SIT REP G8:
Target acquired.  Non-hostile.  Current location:  Lat 34°39'37N, Long 082°49'25W  .  Objective:  Identify cause.  Potential Hostiles:  Female, Caucasian, 64" 56.81 kg; Male, Caucasian, 75" 100 kg.  Target entering Thomas Lab, Human Research and Development Center.  Do you wish to pursue?

AWAITING REPLY...

THE FLEECE:
Negative.  Observe only.  Confirm target cause identified.  If any anomalies remove potential hostiles and acquire target.  Identity of target known?

AWAITING REPLY...

G8:
Affirmative.  Target ID:  Jameson Michael Trent.  Voluntary admit at psychological institute for Disassociative Identity Disorder.  Numerous episodes.  Fa no longer with target.  Employment:  Terminated.  Minimal Fr/Fa outside of home.  Episodes consistent.  Duration of episodes consistent.  Response to episodes consistent.  Fulfills EDR protocols.

AWAITING REPLY...

THE FLEECE:
Excellent.  Again observe only unless situation deems necessary to intervene.  Will follow-up.

AWAITING REPLY...

G8:
Affirmative.  End transmission.

COMM LINK:  Terminated

******************************END SECURE TRANSMISSION***********************

A man in a suit sat at his desk in an elaborately decorated office.  The transmission with G8 had just ended on his laptop.  He now had paper documents strewn all over his desk.  The documents all pertained to Jay.  His entire life history sat out in front of this bald headed man, as he sifted through the contents analyzing it piece by piece.

The man put down a paper document and picked up an image that laid on the desk below.  He leaned back in his plush, leather chair and took in the view before him.  The image was a family portrait of Jay, his wife, and his children.  From the looks of it, the picture appeared to have been straight out of Jay's home.

He stared at the image, focusing primarily on Jay.  He did not bat an eyelash.  He did not twitch.  His gaze was focused and comprehensive as he took in every element of Jay's appearance, contemplating the character of the man in the image before him. 

He squinted his eyes and said aloud to himself, "So you're the one who will set this all free?"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Story # 1.8 Is he gone?

"Larry, how bad is it?", asked Linda.

Larry and Linda were standing outside Jay's psychiatric hospital room at Paul D. Johnson Mental Institute, just outside Smithville.  Jay had checked himself in, voluntarily, with much convincing by both Larry and Linda.  Since that day at the house where Jay had apparently flipped out in front of Larry, Jay had spent the past two weeks trying to right himself.  However, Larry was attempting to run interference at Smithville University in the hopes that his friend would get to keep his job.  Larry was about to give Linda the scoop.

"It's bad, Linda.  They have all of the reports of the physicians and nurses here, and I've told them how he's progressed from my standpoint, but the bottom line is if he can't come back in two more weeks, they'll have no choice but to let him go."

Linda looked down and began to walk slowly away from Larry.  Larry looked down, saddened at what he had to tell Linda about her husband's job.  He felt he had to add an air of hope to the conversation again.

"Linda?"

Linda, her back to Larry, turned back around to face him.  The strain of this ordeal was taking it's toll on her.  Larry could see it in her face.  She had no idea how to deal with something like this.  Now with the prospect of Jay losing his job, it was all too overwhelming.

"I think that's positive, Linda.  At least they haven't already given up on him."

"Positive?  You think it's positive that a job my husband has performed to the best of his ability for fifteen years could be yanked out from under him after a few months of inactivity when it's clear he is having some sort of life crisis?  Positive?  He's not doing this on purpose, Larry.  He's not doing this to get out of work."

"And that's why they have been trying to stick by him, Linda.  But the bottom line is, they need a teacher to teach the students.  If he's not there, they have to find someone else that will be.  That really don't have a choice.  Believe me, they don't want to let him go."

Linda looked down, trying to process what Larry was telling her.  She took a deep breath and looked back up at Larry.  She realized that he was in fact right about this.

"I know, Larry, I know.  I understand.  I know Jay does too.  He would be the first to say that the students have to have a teacher.  We both know that."

Larry stood there looking at Linda, as tears began to form in her eyes.

"I just can't believe this is happening.  One day, Jay is his normal self, happy, loving, caring, doing what he always does.  Then out of nowhere he just starts having these crazy stories he brings up.  He brings them up to you, to me.  Where did this come from?"

"Well, the docs called it Disassociative Identity Disorder.  Especially from the reports you made about him being a completely different person at times."

"I know what they 'diagnosed' him with, Larry.  I also know that diagnsis stems from conditions in their childhood sometimes.  I can look things up on the Arpanet too.  Jay had a normal childhood, his parents love and adore him.  His life has been about as stressless as you can get.  Sure there's the everyday things we all go through, but nothing ridiculous, Larry.  He's perfectly normal."

"Then what's been happening when he is sleeping, Linda?"

Linda just stared back at Larry.  She could see he was questioning her stories now too.  She looked away for a moment, contemplating what Larry had just asked.  My God, he's going to start thinking I'm crazy next.  That was all real, that really happened to me.

"Linda?"

She turned back around to face Larry, who had come up closer to her now.

"I've gotta tell ya, these stories are crazy.  I mean, I don't know what to think.  He's a completely different person and is awake when he's supposed to be asleep?  He's seeing zombies chasing after him?  He's seeing explosions outside his home that don't happen?  I don't think crazy describes it well enough, Linda."

Linda continued to look at him, stone faced, as a tear ran down her right cheek.

Larry put his hand on Linda's shoulder and turned her slightly to face him.  He looked straight into her eyes so she could see the truth in them as he spoke next.

"But I saw something in his eyes when he finally snapped back to reality, Linda.  He really believed he had been somewhere else.  He really believed he was in that place called Anderson, South Carolina and that a bomb had just gone off.  Not just any bomb, but a nuclear bomb.  He looked like the life was just scared out of him, like he had actually been there."

Linda could see in Larry's eyes, he meant what he was saying.  This was a message to her that he did believe something could be going on.

"I saw a different man those nights, Larry.  When I looked into his eyes I could see that was not my husband looking back at me.  For God's sakes, Larry, one time his eyes looked brown.  The they are hazel, always have been.  How could they change color?"

"I don't know, Linda.  But that's why I keep trying to help.  That's also why I talked to my friend up at Crimson.  I told Jay about him too.  He does studies on people with dementia."

"Dementia?  You think he's completely losing his mind now?"

"I think we need to explore all possibilities.  Some of the symptoms of dementia can mimic issues with this other diagnosis they've stuck on him.  The main thing is this guy has the ability to scan Jay's mind.  He can hook him up to electrodes and such, scan his brainwaves and see what might be going on in his head.  Listen, I want to believe Jay isn't losing his mind.  But something is going on that no one here seems to be able to understand.  I mean, they're thinking about putting him in the padded room on a permanent basis if he has many more outburst like he did last night.  And I'm sorry, but I don't want to see him like this again."

Larry pointed into Jay's room at Jay lying in the bed.  Jay was dosed up with haldol and was unconscious.  Linda could only stare at the shell of the man she once loved.  She had to find a way to help him, some way.

Linda looked back up at Larry, as they both had been looking at Jay.

"You know what the worst part is, Larry?  It's not the dreams or the person he becomes in the middle of the night.  Jay told me that he dreamed about Britton's death before it even happened."

"What?"

"And the frightening part about that..."

She paused for a moment to formulate words she never wanted to believe.  Larry stood there completely hanging on every word.

"...he thinks he killed her.  He thinks he raped and murdered her, Larry."

Tears started streaming down Linda's face.  Larry couldn't speak, he didn't know what to say.

"That's why I've been living in the camper.  That's why I've been staying away.  And it was all at his insistence, Larry.  Would a crazy person or demented person be able to rationalize another's statements and tell them a course of action to pursue?  I don't believe so.  But I do believe that the man I saw in the middle of the night sometimes could be capable of doing whatever he wants to whomever he wants.  And I don't believe  he'd bat an eyelash or shed a tear if it came right down to it.  I'm telling you, they are two completely different people, Larry.  My husband....and the devil himself."

Larry took all of that in.  He gave a look to his friend and colleague lying in the bed, nearly comatose to the world from medication.  He knew something had to be done.

"Then that's why we'll take him to my friend.  But for now, that stuff about Britton, we need to keep that under wraps."