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Allan Garrett Allan Garrett
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The Interview

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She had a friend.

This is a 'Treatment', if you will, of another book I have been working on, it's hit and miss now. Not sure where it's going. But I thought i would toss it up as a short just to see what  everyone thinks.

      The room was stark and empty except for the bland metal table and the two metal chairs on either side of it. As he looked around the room he smiled to himself, finding a sort of humor in how perfectly ‘Hollywood’ it seemed. There was the standard metal door to his right, with a small, mirrored window allowing someone to see in the room but not out. Directly in front of him, behind the opposite chair was another mirrored window, allowing him to look at himself. He was sure there was someone looking directly at him as he examined the cuts on his face in the mirrored glass. He’d given up on escape, at least for the time being. For that he would have to wait, but he was used to waiting, and he’d gotten good at it. For this occasion he’d waited almost two hours since he’d been brought in to the room. He’d been their captive for more than a day, of that he was sure. He had no idea of what time it was or what day it was. But his internal clock told him he’d only been there a day, maybe two at the most. It was the isolation that did it, and these people were good at that, they’d mastered it. Prior to being in this room he hadn’t seen a window or a clock since he’d gotten there. ‘These people know their craft’ he thought. They’d even had the paint on the walls down pat. A dull drab grayish white. Some people believe that a plain white is unnerving, but they’re wrong. White is too bright a color, it give the occupant of the room a more upbeat feeling. The white reflects the light in the room, and brightens the mood. Sure any room and any color would drive a man mad eventually if he can’t leave it and he has no other stimulus. But plain white isn’t the color. You want a dry, drab color, something that doesn’t reflect light, it sucks it out of the room, and darkens the mood. Something that makes the occupant not only feel down, but defensive. This room had that light sucking dull drab whitish gray. The color of this room, and all the hallways he’d been in, was depressing. All you wanted was out.

       No one had spoken to him since they’d picked him up either, another psychological ploy, removing human contact. They’d grabbed him up in the alley, herding him there quite effectively in fact, just for the purpose of grabbing him in broad daylight in a place no one would notice it was happening. It was slick and impressive. He’d fought them, he always did. He very nearly won the physical battle even when it got to four on one he was getting the upper hand. But then he’d had years more experience at hand to hand combat than all of them combined. It was the taser that got him, ‘A woman’s weapon if there ever was one’ he thought. They’d given up the physical combat and tasered him, then gagged and bound him quickly and put him in the waiting panel van to drive him away. It had been the van that alerted him he’d made the wrong decision. When he turned in the alley to lose the tail he’d immediately seen the van and knew he was done. It was white of course, crisp and clean like it had just come from the dealer, it only meant one thing to him, he was being grabbed, kidnapped, abducted. So he’d fought. First two, then three, then a fourth appeared. For a minute he thought he might just make it to the street again. Then it was that damn taser. After that they’d brought him here, wherever here was. He had no idea how long they drove or how far they’d gone. ‘They must have drugged me.’ He thought. Which was a good idea considering who he was. So he didn’t know where he was. It could be blocks from the alley, or miles, or another state a thousand miles away. He did know he was in the custody of Americans, which was a minor relief. He still wasn’t welcome in some countries and if they’d gotten a hold of him they wouldn’t have wasted much time on the gray painted rooms. Once at their destination they woke him up. Considering the feeling he’d had when he woke up, a kind of jittery but sluggish feeling they must have used a drug to wake him too. Probably to make him easier to move, since he’d had no real use of his motor skills it wasn’t a drug meant to bring him out of it entirely. Then they dumped him in the first gray room, his cell. With no window other than the one in the door. That’s where he’d finally truly woken up, and he’d lost total track of time. They’d taken his watch too.
Gray walls, bad lighting, no windows, no contact with anyone, and no clocks. Not even the men he’d seen wore watches, probably so he couldn’t see the time accidentally. All of it meant to isolate, frighten, disorient and confuse, it was all carefully planned and executed, and they were good at it. It hadn’t bothered him, as it might someone else. It wasn’t the first time he was in one of these rooms, but he was sure that it was his last. Time was running out, like a clock ticking away the seconds, his destiny was coming to pass. He new it was now only a matter of time. But until that time he had to deal with these people. He’d had these conversations before with so many different people. People who had thought they knew who he was and what he was doing. But they had known nothing. They had thought he was their prisoner, but it wasn’t long before he was gone and they wondered how he’d disappeared and where he’d gone. But then all those other times he’d had time, plenty of time. But now he was aware of time and the seconds that were ticking away. Since the moment he’d taken his first breath he had never considered time, and had never been concerned running out of time. But now, knowing that he didn’t have much time left he was bothered at the idea of wasting that time with these people. This is what bothered him. ‘And it should bother them.’ He thought.

       The two men entered the room and said nothing. One carried a file folder and wasn’t wearing a suit jacket, just a shirt and tie. The other was wearing his jacket, and working hard at looking tough. He wasn’t sure but he suspected that the man in the jacket had been one of the men in the alley. He was tempted to taunt him, make fun at his inability to be a man and take him down without the taser. But he decided to leave the man alone. He watched as the tough looking one stood by the door while the one in just the shirt with the file folder walked to the chair across from him and sat down. The man said nothing to him. He simply opened the folder and began reading the file, or pretended to read it. He’d seen this before too, and it made him smile. He was supposed to be intimidated by the silence, or scared by what might be in the folder. Instead it all seemed so humorous to him, until the sound of the clock ticking rang in his ears again. The shirt looked up at him.

“Why were you smiling?” The shirt finally asked.

“I had a funny thought. So I smiled.” He answered.

“What was it?” The man asked.

“Honestly, it was you.” He answered.

He could see that remark didn’t sit well with the shirt. He considered for an instant the possibility of torture, but it passed. ‘Not these people.’ He thought. Torture wasn’t part of their normal protocol. No, they’d use psychology and try to manipulate him to get the truth. It wouldn’t work of course, but then neither would torture. He’d been tortured before, so many times and in so many ways that there was little they could do to get results out of him. Then he recalled the last time he was tortured and he cringed a little. Like love, pain is something you never really forget. It was one of the main reasons he avoided Egypt now, even though all of those who’d harmed him were all dead and gone. Some of them he’d killed himself, as for the others, time had simply caught up with them. So they would ask their questions and he would simply ignore them. First they would threaten him with prison, some dark deep hole and of leaving him there forever. But that wouldn’t work. Then they might try drugs. They’d get something, but nothing of importance since they wouldn’t know what questions to even ask. You can’t get the right answers if you don’t know the questions. Then they would threaten him again to keep him there forever. But they knew nothing about forever did they? These people had no concept of time. All they knew was today and the moment of death, that was all they knew of time. So he would wait, he would simply ignore them. Then he would be locked away and he would wait. Eventually they would make a mistake. They would miscalculate, or misjudge his abilities and he would be gone, again.
       As the shirt looked in to his eyes he considered the wait, and the ticking clock on the wall. That’s when he realized he may not have the time to wait. He knew what was coming, and he knew how it would come, but he wasn’t sure when, or where. But he was sure it was soon. He couldn’t afford to be in some dark hole when the time did come. When it did he had to be out there, among them. So for once in his life he was concerned with time. For once in his life he realized he was in fact, more like them than he’d ever thought possible.

“My name is Peter Morris, Agent Morris.” The shirt finally said. Then he looked at the file. “You are John Thomas?” He asked.

“Yes.” He answered. But then he looked at the clock and thought about the time ticking away. “No.” He suddenly said.

The man across from him looked confused, and removed his glasses. “Is it yes or no?” He asked.

He thought about the question, and he only came up with one thought, time. “Both.” He finally answered.

The man looked over at the suit standing by the door, then back at him. “Both yes, and no? So you are, and you are not John Thomas?” he asked.

“Yes.” He answered.

“Would you like to explain that?” Morris asked.

“You would be disappointed with the answer to that question.” He said.

“Why is that?” Morris asked.

“Well, let’s simply say it would run counter to your beliefs. You wouldn’t understand it. And leave it at that.” He answered.

The man looked at the file, then turned to look behind him at whoever was standing behind the mirrored glass. Then he turned to face him again.

“Okay, disappoint me. Explain it.” Morris said.

He thought carefully about what he was going to say. It had been a long time since he’d even attempted to explain who he was or what his purpose was. It had been a long time since he’d tried to understand it himself. At some point you simply accept your destiny, then it becomes you, and you let it happen. This is how John Thomas had learned to survive. By accepting his destiny. He flexed his wrists in the cuffs that were chained to the table. ‘How many times have I been in chains?’ He thought to himself.

“I am known as John Thomas,.. now. But I was born,.. No, I first existed, as Yitzac Torba. I first knew of my existence in the year 236 AD, and I am Immortal.

                            *       *       *       *

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