Monday, February 12, 2007

Chapter Three: The Pieces

Black again...


Blinding white once more.

She knew she was in the stiff, unforgiving hospital bed still, but beyond that she wasn't sure of anything. What was that impact she felt on her legs that once again broke her uncertain slumber? It was still on her legs - not very heavy - like a newspaper.

She mustered her strength sit up, fighting the drowsiness as the sleep aids were clearly still at work in her system. Her eyes never really focused completly as she picked up the newspaper, which felt a little...odd, certainly not the Times or the Globe. She tried to read it in the dim light of the morning sun slipping beneath the blinds that had been drawn. The lights in the room were off.

It wasn't the Globe or the Times, it was the... Gladefall Register.

Her eyes continued to scan the page, which felt too heavy to be typical newspaper material. The picture was of an alley. An ambulance and police tape were everywhere in the photo. She read the story...

Woman found beaten in alley, in critical condition

Lancastle Sector, January 18- Allyson Rhodes, of Lancastle Sector, was found brutally beaten and unconscious in an alley two blocks from the remains where the Embassy was destroyed two months ago. No connections have been made yet, as the woman in her early 20s was found with no money or citizenship ID on her body when she was discovered. However, her name was discovered, and she is believed to be an official of some manner, given that a government serial number - given to all parliamentary personnel - was tatooed on the bottom of her foot.
Her position in the Imperial Republic was not released, as is standard with government employees. Little other information has yet been released.

Allyson was going to be sick. She had no idea who she was or what was going on now. Lancastle Sector was one of the places in her dreams, but Gladefall? Government official? Before this had happened, Allyson had at least come to grips with the fact that she had lost sense of reality - the murmurs she'd heard from outside her hospital room had affirmed that - but now she could not even believe that anymore.

The room darkened.

"Don't read that now," said a voice from the shawdows where something had blocked the light from the window.

"Who's there?" Allyson asked, frightened and startled.

"Hide that. They cannot see it. I just want you to make sure you know what is real."

"But I don't know what's real! I don't even know how long I've been sleeping..."

"You will. You need to stay alive. You need stay in this building, and you need to keep that paper hidden. Read it when you know no one will come in."

"I don't understand. I'm sick, why are you doing this?"

"You have to trust me," the low, masculine voice said, ever so calmly.


"Did you feel that paper hit your lap?"

"Well, yes. It woke me up."

"Well, then. There are two things that are now real for you. Sleep, and that newspaper. You felt both of them when one took you from the other. It is early still. They have not come to check on you yet. Hide that paper, and go back to sleep."

"This doesn't feel like any newspaper," She had no way of knowing, but she could have sworn the figure was smiling smugly.

"You think we still use the same paper in 2153? Put the paper under your matress, I must go now."

Allyson did not bother to say anything more. She didn't have the energy to wonder about anything anymore, nevermind articulate the questions. She watched as the figure pull the blinds to one side, quietly open the window and exit as she was blinded by the bright, white light. It darkened again quickly as the blinds fell back into place.

Allyson knew her next goal would be to begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together. Everytime she came to, they looked different. And worse, she had no idea how may pieces there were.

The newspaper, she remembered.

Then the lights were on suddenly. Allyson turned her head to the other side to see Dr. Archer entering the room with a wheeled cart with breakfast and medications on it. The last thing she saw before succumbing to sleep again was the open door, on which she could read the number 1028 in large print. Whatever bulding this was that the figure jumped out of, she was on the tenth floor...

-End of Chapter 3-

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