Author: Fingers [email protected]
Title: Better Not to Know Than to Remember
Warnings: Nothing specific just vague memories of rigorous sense testing.
Notes: Written in response to the Sentinel Thursday Challenge on Live Journal: Amnesia. This short story can be seen as an epilogue to Rogue.
Disclaimer: Pet Fly and UPN own the characters and situations and the concepts of the TV series 'The Sentinel'. This fan fic is written for non-profit purposes only.
A note of thanks and appreciation to Rhyo who very kindly did the technical editing on this!
He'd forgotten it all.
The smell of the mildew growing on the sides of the cement walls of the room they imprisoned him in when they tested his distance vision, the static hiss of the electronic equipment they used for communication which was always accompanied by the masking hiss of something else. Jim smiled briefly as he remembered that he'd never told them that he could differentiate between the two frequencies, although he'd never really found out what the second frequency was all about, some kind of dampening field, maybe, so that inquisitive sentinel ears couldnít hear what 'they' were talking about.
He remembered that the outside vision test was always mind-numbingly the same and that his question at the end of the test always got the same answer.
"What's the rank of the soldier fifty yards away?"
"One hundred yards?"
"Three hundred yards?"
"Corporal. Sir, may I ask a question?"
"Of course, Captain."
"Why do you keep repeating this test? This is the third time I've done this today."
There was the usual silence from the microphone, and then the usual answer. "The mainframe keeps crashing."
He remembered they'd always stop the testing for the day when he'd asked that question.
Jim swallowed as deeper, better hidden, memories seeped into his consciousness. His back tensed as his muscles remembered the aches and tension that came from being strapped in the same position for hour after hour, his eyes began tearing up as they remembered the pain of the bright lights for hour after hour. His nose twitched as the sense memory returned of the many different odors that he was forced to identify over and over again.
Last of all, the memory of that one voice returned. Jim clasped his hands over his ears as he tried to block it out. "You're a sentinel, Captain Ellison, or can I call you Jim? Your test results are very impressive. You need someone like me who knows about your condition, I can be your guide to dealing with your problem." The voice was gentle then, harsher later when he wouldn't cooperate with his training. "Jim, you have to have a guide, better be me than some kid who doesn't know what he's doing. You're trained for this work, I'm trained for this work; look, if you donít co-operate, you know what will happen to you!"
The memories of how he got out of the program refused to come, all Jim knew was that his last memory of the voice was ominous. "Don't think you've seen the last of me, Ellison."
Jim blinked as the echoes of the last memory died away. The loft was dark and empty of anyone's heartbeat other than his own. Blair was at a campus party and had indicated that he wouldn't be back until dawn at the earliest.
In the quiet of the loft, Jim traced the name that was typed on the open page before him -- Neil Jomsiles. Aliases: none. Jim also knew what was written in the short summary below the name. Known associate of Brackett, expert in S. America, particularly Peru, disappeared on active service, probably killed.
At last Jim closed the black leather bound book. He ran his fingers over the cover, momentarily delighting in the grain, while deciding what to do with it. Destroy it and hope that the memories would also go away? No, the state of grace that had been his amnesia had disappeared for ever. Involuntarily, Jim's eyes moved to the empty room off the living area; he knew Blair was itching to get his hands on the book, he'd seen Blair's curiosity earlier.
Jim picked the book up and headed towards the door. If he went now, he could have the book hidden and be back before Blair got back from his party. By then he'd have his strategy worked out about how to get Blair to forget about the book-- more tests, maybe. Jim nodded to himself.
Yes; Blair would be safer if he forgot all about it. If they both forgot about it. There was safety and comfort in amnesia.