Better Not to Know Than to Remember
Missing scene / epilogue for Rogue.
Warnings: Nothing graphic - memories of rigorous sense testing.
Notes: First time poster! This is for Fluterbev - finally I got off my derriere and wrote it down! Hope you like!
He'd forgot 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 hiss of the electronic equipment they used for communication which was always accompanied by a 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 couldn't hear what 'they' were talking about.
He remembered that the outside vision test was always mind numbingly the same and that his questions at the end of the test was always the same.
"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 odours that he was forced to identify over and over again.
Last of all the memory of that 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 co-operate with his training; 'Jim, you have to have a guide, better be me than some kid who doesn't know what they're doing. You're trained for this work, I'm trained for this work, look if you don't 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 'don't think you've seen the last of me, Ellison.' How right he'd been. Of course Jim hadn't remembered that until he'd stood outside the loft and heard the heartbeat inside.
Jim blinked as the echoes of the voice died away. The loft was dark and empty of anyone else'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 lost, 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 the safer if he forgot all about it. There was safety and comfort in amnesia; words that were strangers to him now.
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