I wake up with a headache from hell. Every part of my body feels like it has been run over by a truck. Oh perhaps I was run over by a truck. My eyes adjust to the fluorescent light and focus on the figure hovering above me. I instantly know who it is. I don’t need him to tell me where I am.
“Welcome back to earth,” Dr Kong says. I don’t ask him ‘where am I?’ Instead I ask, “How long?”
Dr Kong ignores me, just being him.
“For how long have I been here, like this?” I ask again.
“Three days,” he says. He knows that if he doesn’t say something I will start to flare up. “You have been coming in and out of consciousness.”
I look around, taking in each and every detail. I am connected to a bank of monitors by a network of tubes and channels running from my body. I feel like I am an enhanced human weapon specimen under tests in some remote lab, like a character in a Sci-Fi movie. Or perhaps I am, with Dr Kong, and the Squad, you never know.
Bits of information start trickling in: the flight to Mombasa, killing the Sheikh, Leo and Gor receiving me at the airport, the Exodus Protocol… sirens and…. Nothing.
“It’s not serious, right?” I ask Dr Kong.
Dr Kong ignores me and goes on to perform a slew of tests on me without caring to tell me what he is doing. But I am not surprised. I am used to it.
I hear a ‘thump-thump’ sound somewhere inside me. I realize it is my heart pounding, a mill inside me. My mind is racing, like a sprinter. My body feels weak. I am helpless.
Dr Kong inserts a hypodermic-like tube inside my right ear, leaves it there and goes for the real hypo. He stabs me in my right arm and squeezes the contents inside me. I fall into a dark abysmal pit. Bits and pieces of consciousness lurk behind like a bad dream. I feel myself become lighter, aloft, as though trapped in astral body. I see myself come out of my body and stand beside my bed, looking at myself lying helplessly there as though I am a tiny fly caught in a suffocating web. I try to stop Dr Kong from doing what he is doing to me but I realize that I can’t. I am a ghost.
Dr Kong takes a metacarpal saw, a skull key, toothed forceps and a scalpel and stands above me. I feel like I am dead and I am witnessing my own post-mortem. When he reaches for the skull key and a hammer and starts drilling it into my head, everything goes blank, like the screen of a computer without memory.
When I come to, I am on a bed in a familiar room: snow white, with a plasma screen TV showing a smaller version of me playing with another girl in pigtails. I call the girl my sister. I stare at the screen in disbelief. I get of the bed to go near the TV as though a closer look at the screen may provide the answer I am looking for.
I am hardly out of the bed when the door opens. Dr Kong and Her Highness the Command enter. Command talks to me as though I am her daughter, as though I have woken up from a nightmare.
“Angel, how do you feel?” she asks. “Do you remember anything?”
I remember every thing, but I don’t tell her so. I shake my head no.
Command and Dr Kong exchange glances before they look at me. “You will be fine, Angel. The good doctor here will help you.”
“Where did you get that video of me and…”
“The past memories will help you recover your memory fast. You had a very serious accident, and Dr Kong thinks that the impact may cause memory loss. The video is to help you recover your memories,” Command says.
I listen to Dr Kong psychobabble to Command, and some to me, and they both leave as they came, like lovers.
I watch them leave with disdain. The accident may have put me down, physically, but I am still me. I am stronger than they think, or will ever know. At first I tried to fight them, but when I realized the tests on me were never ending I stopped fighting. Pretending to please them is what is left.
I will fake it till I make it, till I get the serum that they use to lower my CD4 count and destroy it.