vineri, 19 martie 2010
To understand human nature is to understand how this complex machine really works. What sets it in motion, what keeps it going? The motives behind our very existence.
Only words. They where just words. Just that, nothing more, nothing less. And yet, they filled his mind. They were everything he was. That was his entire life. Just words.
-It should go steady from here. I don’t see any more problems with his recovery.
-It was slow….
-Yes it was. But the wounds where serious even with our technology. We where lucky that he is strong.
Steps. His life was made of steps. What was he? Was he just another assassin? Just another trigger happy product of the military? Was he just that?
-He is lucky to have you. But then again, we are lucky to have him.
-Thank you doctor.
-Thank you madam. He’s our brightest hero. He….
At first the light was painful. It was like a thousand needles invaded his sight so he refused for a moment to give in to the powerful urge of simply opening his eyes. He heard voices, he was not alone. But the voices where strange, unknown. So where his memories about why he had problems seeing. And the strange thoughts…..an assassin?
-Quentin, can you hear me?
Quentin? The voice was enticing. A touch of perfume on his senses and the hot breath of a women close by. What was going on?
The response came instinctively. He opened his eyes to see a tall, young and beautiful women standing next to a bed. He was connected to a medical interface and the console attached to the platform on the wall was showing his vital and peripheral functions. He was in a hospital. But….why?
-I’m so glad to…..
The rest of her words disappeared. She was in the early 30’s, slim, dressed after the latest fashion. She had dark-brown hair with some foxy-red locks, hazel eyes and a smile that was as present as her perfume. Where did he saw her before? ‘Cause she was not a stranger after all. Perhaps…..
-I’m glad to see you to. Actually, more than glad.
The women kissed him. He hesitated but accepted. Her lips where so familiar….Everything was.
-It’s all going to be ok.
Her name? But….
-Mr. Blake, are you experiencing any nausea, dizziness or…..
-I feel a little….I don’t know, out of place.
-You have a lot of drugs in your system. In time, as your body recovers, you will feel better. It’s just temporary. Madam Blake, he will need plenty of rest.
Christine smiled at the doctor. She understood the message.
-I will see you soon. Be good, ok?
He forced a smile. It was just a dream. The doctor was right, he was not himself. The Quentin character….It was just a pigment of his drugged imagination. He needed to rest.
Everything went dark. All his thoughts, all his memories…they all vanished. He realized that he was sleeping and looking at his body from the outside. A scary thought cornered him: was he dead? No, he wasn’t a soft touch, whatever happened, he was in control. He was brutal. He was the core. He was everything that he wanted to be with a cheery on top. The body under him smiled back. It was good to be alive. It was good to be him and this Quentin guy was just a dream. Unfortunately, the same went for Christine.
Green. Everything was in the same fresh, roughed green. A moving forest? What the hell…..no, the forest was not moving. He was. The forest was just passing before his eyes. He was seeing everything at a maximum speed through a wall of inca-glass. Two walls facing each other in a great visual effect. He was in a car rushing on a suspended highway.
Silence. A complete suppression of all sounds. He started to feel worried, this was not….then the sounds erupted all around. Someone was talking to him. A sweet voice. The voice of a person he loved. No, he didn’t knew her. She was….Christine? Who is Christine?
-Who are you?
Her smile faded. She seemed perplexed and her words hesitated.
-What…do you mean? Quentin, are you ok?
-Yes, I think so. Where are we?
-We’re going home. Why….
-I think I felled asleep.
-Are you sure you are ok? The doctor said that you might experience moments of confusion but….
-Yeah, he was right.
He was very right. Despite the familiar sensations, Christine was a stranger and so was this Quentin. Blake, the same name as hers. So they where related, married probably, tending on how she kissed him. She had the attitude of a loving wife and….all his senses where in alert. He had to be careful, confused or not, he was in control. He could not disclose the fact that he had no idea about what was happening.
-So you’re sure you’re fine? I can call him right away, they have installed a terminal in the car too. 24 hours service care, the best for the best.
-The best, huh?
Christine smiled. Her red lips uncovered a perfect set of pearly white teeth. A very beautiful stranger. A very dangerous truth hiding behind a beautiful woman….he was trippin’ close to loosing his grip on things. He had to get to the bottom of the entire story but how to do it without razing suspicions?
-You deserve it. Our newest and most praised national hero.
-How else could you call the one that saved us from the Wraith? Quentin….Quentin…
Quentin got lost in a tunnel of smoke and mirrors. His senses ceased to be in touch with his surroundings and he plunged into a world of oblivion.
-I have become the one thing I hate.
The words where his but their sense was lost to him. He looked around in disarray surrounded by the thick clouds of his breath. It was cold, that was his first current impression. He had no clue about how did he got there, the last thing he remembered was the red lips of someone close to him. And yes, a moving green wall. A forest. It looked like late summer but now he was standing in snow. A thick, crunchy layer was screeching under his feet and the cloud covered sky was preparing to tell the same story. Where the hell was he? He could only focus on the sound made by his steps. All around him was made by that sound which erupted in his mind. A closed mind with a lost key. Why the hell was he in this state?
He was alone. He had to admit that he was jumping too fast through reality. Something was not right and recent memories, those that he had, where very disturbing. Quentin and Christine Blake, the hospital, his loss of perspective and everything else that was so out of place for him.
-Here you are.
The man smiled in a friendly manner. He shook his hand and….
-Christine told me you must be here. It’s too cold today, let’s get inside, I have to talk to you.
-I’m quite fine here. Besides, is it something that Christine should hear?
The words came without thoughts. He was acting from reflexes but if so, where did he had developed them? And who was the man? Tall, with broad shoulders, he had a dangerous look under the friendly mask. Blue-sharp eyes, short hair and a hard jaw. Military…..Yes, he had to be. His features betrayed him instantly.
-She knows everything Quentin, well, almost. But you’re right, maybe it’s best to do this here.
-Alright, so spit it out.
-Hm, she said you where uneasy.
-She did, did she…..
-I’ll get to the point although…..I don’t get it.
-Maybe this is it. Your recovery went excellent, at least for the physical part. You’re in top shape, out of work for how long…it has been 5 months since your last mission. We want you back. We want you back badly. You can understand that we can not put you in the first line again but your return will bring us an unlimited capital of imagine.
-A fucking hero, right?
The man laughed hard. There was no joy in his laughter though.
-Right. You need us too and you know it. You can’t chill forever, you’re a man of action.
-Alright…..it’s not like this is our first discussion on the matter.
The man stared at him for a little. He looked puzzled.
His gamble was wrong. The man was too outspoken, he guessed it was not the first time for them to approach the matter.
-You know what I mean.
He looked him straight.
-Yeah, I guess…..So, your answer?
-I’ll have to discuss it with Christine first. After the last mission….
Whatever it was, the Quentin guy was involved in something with weight. The military was not throwing around favors with civilians. So Quentin was someone important but….if that was the case, he would have known him. He knew the entire top brass of the military and special agencies.
He was proud of one thing: despite the situation, he still kept his analytic nature at hand. He was still able to judge clearly. But…..
It felled like always, without any sign of warning. His entire world became once again blank. From darkness to overwhelming light, from total silence to chaos of senses. It took him apart and reconstructed him at incredible speed. In many aspects it was just like a dream from which he could not wake up. It was a living nightmare but all memories of dreams where erased once he opened his eyes. And when he finally did that, another piece of the puzzle was in place.
He stared in a mirror at a face that shocked him. He moved not whiling to believe what he was seeing because this was simply unthinkable. The image in the mirror also moved. He lost balance and the floor kicked him seriously but now his eyes were opened to the truth. However, he was not quite yet prepared to admit it.
-Still no change….
-I take this as normality. All these doctors, Sam….the tests, the protocols and he, sometimes normal, full of life but other times….so….far away.
The tall broad-shouldered man was standing in front of Christine. They sat in the kitchen, she made coffee and served him home made biscuits. Quentin was outside, taking a walk, as always in the morning. Although Sam insisted, he wanted to go alone.
-He said that he wants to find a new fishing spot on the western bank.
Sam took a sip from the cup, nibbling on a biscuit.
-Yesterday I’ve bought a history book for elementary school.
Christine faked a smile.
-He is on page 39, Chapter “Hero of the North-American Empire”.
-Purely propaganda, Chris.
-Yeah, an impressive one. He single-handedly destroyed the Covenant and its leader, the infamous and illusive Wraith.
“Illusive….”. Sam nodded in approval but her words filled with sorrow and anguish where replaced by his own thoughts. “There was no illusion there, once the Wraith was ours. Oh Christine, but you will never find this in a history book, I don’t think you’ll find it anywhere in a written or recorded form. We’ve made sure we’ve erased everything from this past of ours.”
-He read the book and smiled. He said not to believe everything I read.
-I agree. None the less, he is a hero.
There was no lie there. No one was able to do what Quentin Blake achieved. Perhaps this was the reason behind his current situation. Christine and the public were kept in the dark on how Quentin managed to infiltrate the Covenant, an organization which was to be considered to be as powerful as the military itself.
-Now, when I look at him…..sometimes he seems so eager to go back to his former life. Most of the times however, he is just…static. No joy whatsoever.
No joy…..Quentin Blake did unspeakable things in order to complete his mission. He became a true terrorist. Assassinations, bombings, torture….The government or the military could never admit that this was done. Quentin became as destructive as the Wraith himself in order to gain his trust.
-What do you plan to do next?
Christine didn’t answered. There was no answer, just waiting.
“You are here”.
He stared at the sign. It was large, like all signs meant to be seen. It showed a large panel with a map and a pulsating red arrow that pointed to a dot: him. His location on the map. Above the sign was a Christian cross. This was a cemetery.
He had been starring at the pointing arrow for quite some time. After a train and three autonomous cabs, he arrived at a destination he was not supposed to know. It was the longest period for him to be aware of his new nature or whatever that was.
-So your true name is Quentin. Nice to meet you, asshole.
He was talking to the dot targeted by the arrow.
-I think it’s a better name than Jules. Jules sounded so gay…but hey, you where a great asset. They’ve trained you well, too well. I’ve heard you’ve killed me. Now you are the fucking hero Jules and pour Cole is just dust. Why the hell did they buried me? It was your idea, right Jules? You knew I wanted to be cremated.
It was a sunny day. The snow was no more, seasons came and went and he was awake for many more short periods. But that did not made it easier as far as he came to understand. In front of a mirror he was staring at his friend Jules Raines. He was Jules Raines. In time he came to find out that Jules was not the real name of his fellow soldier. He was Quentin Blake, a hound of the military. He was a traitor. He learned that from the media. He was dead and the Quentin hero killed him. He had to remember that every time he became alive. He never knew what he was doing for the rest of time, but….
-I want to see my grave Jules. This is a privilege, don’t you think? I’m guessing you’ll never see yours but hey, right now a part of me is waiting for you on the other side of the Styx. I hope it does….
He had no control. He was missing too much time so each awakening meant a struggle against thoughts and ideas that weren’t his in a body that was…not his. What existence he had was a puzzle but he came to accept it as a means of understanding what happened to him and his plans. They where ruined thanks to the playboy character so loved by the public.
-Do you feel what I feel Jules? Come on you should, just a little bit. I feel anger. I feel….death. And I want you to feel the same. And…..I want you to get as lost as I am…..I feel alone and terrified and I can’t ….I can’t keep up with this, I spin into total darkness and I swear, I can see all and none at the same time. You’re closing in behind, I always feel you….just as you did when you killed me. When you splattered my brains all over the floor. Just as I got close to getting away….It’s just wrong. Everything. I’ve got nowhere to go yet I am lost.
-Sir, are you ok?
-All is lost…..yet I am found
Quentin Blake smiled back at the police officer who had troubles hiding his admiration with a false grim.
Guns make a sordid noise. Sometimes evil, sometime lacking in any emotions. Guns can speak, bark or whistle. Guns represent an extension of someone’s destructive will.
H&K MMG 3. 7.6 mm explosive rounds that on impact release a punching power incomparable to other weapons of its class. It was a weapon issued only for government agencies so he was well versed in using it. He knew that in closed spaces it delivered a deadly blow even to fully loaded Marine armour. Using it on unprepared personal meant havoc.
He looked at the weapon not believing the smoke that came out of the dark-grey barrel. What happened? The room was also full of dust and the fowl smell of death was present. He felt sick but the confusion took the best of him. After some moments of disarray he recognized that he was in the main room of his country residence. It was devastated and it seemed that he was responsible for the mess and for the many bodies lying around. Just in front of him he recognized the broken features of a tall broad-shouldered man covering the body of a woman. Christine was looking at the ceiling with dead cold eyes. A dark-red stain was extending on her chest contrasting with the sky-blue dress she was wearing.
He began to hear the cries of some wounded. He saw movement and….the piercing sound of the weapon felled again upon the room. The movement stopped and he looked terrified to his own weapon that seemed to have a will of its own. He emptied the magazine and reached instinctively for the pistol he carried in the interior pocket of his suit.
-What the hell is happening? What am I doing?
Quentin Blake was in awe. He couldn’t believe the thoughts that invaded his mind at an alarming rate. They where his…..but not. His actions where his….but not. It felt a dark vengeful presence right behind his eyes, controlling every move, every thought. He was responsible, his lovely wife died before him and he…he had no regrets. All his emotions where erased and replaced with a state of confusion. He was not in control.
Military uniforms. Suits. A party. A high level one. He and a gun. Destruction. Then the mind behind his eyes made it all clear.
-I’ve told you Jules. It was just a matter of time. See what you’ve done? See and pay. Whip and rip. Now it’s my time.
Quentin Blake took the barrel of the pistol into his mouth and pressed the trigger. All sounds ceased. Overwhelming darkness took him. A last laughter from a familiar voice.
It was the first sunny day of the spring. The guard saluted him and then returned to his duty. He allowed himself to salute him back, more relaxed. Despite the sun, it was still cold so he raised the otherwise stiff collar of his military jacket.
The car was waiting. It had no signs but it was the latest model of armored limousine used by the high ranking staff of the military core. Colonel Woods, despite his rank, was an important player in the commanding structures of the North American Empire.
-Where to sir?
His driver and bodyguard waited patiently.
The car made its way in the traffic with the ID plates as a strong deterrent for anyone who stood in their way. The tall, slim and inexpressive colonel made way for his thoughts derived from the encounter he just had. His plan was already done by the end of the discussion with the Generalissimo but he kept a few details out to ponder more on them.
The hero of the Empire was dead. His myth was shattered, well, almost, but he had a thing to say about that. Measures were already taken, the public opinion was forced to accept that the hero paid a terrible price for the common good. Sure, more than 20 people were dead: military commanders, political figures and even a cinema star. It was the last strike of the Wraith and the death song of the Covenant. A terrible price indeed.
“A hero’s death”. That was the motive of the entire affair. The epitaph of a story that only the military knew in details. ‘Cause it was about two heroes, both lost in the end. Almost nobody knew that the one called the Wraith, the illusive terrorist and revolutionary who had almost broken the order of the Empire was another brilliant product of the military. A piece on a chess table.
The former NAEMC Master Sergeant Cole, aka the Wraith, was a kite gone rogue. His training and knowledge went to the top and those were the advantages that made him so proficient as a terrorist. It took one like him to take him out after he failed to stop doing the military’s biding but it seemed that in the end, the Wraith had the last word. His own revenge.
Woods knew in detail Blake’s mission and exploits as a terrorist. For him, normally, the outcome was no surprise. But there were still some few loose ends that were bothering him. It was a personal matter, it had no impact on his own mission to rehabilitate him but he was a man that liked raising questions and finding answers.
The suspended highway was going above city level. As always, he looked in admiration to the perfect order of Toronto, the Imperial Capital. Nothing was out of place, everything was impeccable. Total and absolute order. That was threatened only by the Covenant and its leader. They where now gone but their legacy remained. That was it.
Woods made his decision. The virus variant was the ideal one for the public. During his mission, Blake was infected by the Covenant in order to ensure his loyalty. The virus struck almost a year later. A viable and convincing story. Woods himself didn’t’ believe it. But that was irrelevant.
There where two things that puzzled him. The first was a report from a doctor Green that treated Blake a few months ago. A psychologist, Green came up with an interesting point of view: he was convinced that Blake was in the first stages of schizophrenia and that was the results of psychical trauma suffered during the mission. For Woods that was more than plausible. But the doctor went further and claimed that the second persona was closely tied to his action. It was possible that the Wraith done something deliberate to him at an unconscious level. The military dismissed his theory because they couldn’t afford it. Green was discredited.
-Receiving incoming transmission Sir.
-Secure the connection.
“Good morning Sir. We have found and scanned item nr. 2091, case 0Y32, Blake Quentin. This is the file, the only copy. As instructed we’ve used erasure protocol for all related registries.”
-What is it?
“I think it’s a diary.”
-Have you read it?
“No sir, it came already classified. All safety procedures were implemented starting retrieval.”
-Ok, send it.
The data flow was quick. With all the theories, there were little conclusive facts to explain what really happened. Blake killed everyone, including his wife and no previous violent incidents where recorded.
It was indeed a personal diary. It was initially in hard copy but the safety procedure meant that the original was already incinerated by the investigation team. A very small one. He knew that after the investigation, every member of that particular team will undergo a very scrupulous research and evaluation. They where on the A list of dangerous persons. That was the reality of their lives, their role in the big picture and, like him, they where forced to play it.
The writing was rather dull. Too concise in some days, very loose in others. Nothing significant for the first pages. But then….The investigators marks grew. The writing became different. A different message, a different…..everything.
“I feel it close. Something that I can not explain. I see with different eyes, my mind seems a stranger to me more and more each day. “
Then again nothing important. No more marks. Just day to day life and a growing impatience for his status. Inactivity. Boredom was a true killer, especially for the action type.
“Something dark looks through my eyes. I feel it everyday. It grows inside me and I can’t stop it. I fear I will lose my mind soon and no one can help me. No one seems to understand. They say I’m normal but I don’t feel like a normal man. No, normality has no meaning for me these days.”
Then pages became blank. No more recordings for some 50 pages. Than, a small but conclusive entry.
“I had no regrets. I knew it had to be done. No matter his reasons, his methods and their consequences remained. He had to go and it was only right for me to put a stop to it. Yet, he was my friend. He was as much part of me as I was part of him. I hope that on the other side he has forgiven me. I’m sure that he will wait for me. They always wait for traitors.”
Woods deleted the file immediately. The day was at an end. So was the story of Quentin Blake and the Wraith.
Publicat de M-Junkie la 01:59