|Fade Into Nothing
Author: tribaldreamer PM
A Techno prisoner's mind is wiped clean of everything he ever knew or loved. Then he is thrown out into the world, lost and alone. Can he regain his memories? Will he make new ones? Will he ever remember...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Chapters: 3 - Words: 2,328 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 03-02-06 - Published: 01-05-06 - id: 2738896
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
No memory of who he was…was he telling the truth? The girl stared hard at the stranger standing in the middle of her diner. He was tall and lean with long brown hair that looked like it hadn't seen a brush in a while. Could he be a wanderer, a homeless man without a tribe? Or maybe he had been a prisoner.
She thought about the Techno compound not far from town. It had always felt like a bad omen. Fear had swept through their little community when they had realized that the Technos were stationed so close, but all she could do was pray that they would stay away from town and would content themselves with their battle for power in the city. So far it had worked and she had remained blissfully ignorant of the damage that the Technos were capable of. But here stood the proof before her.
"Kara, can we keep him?" Patrick said, breaking into her thoughts and speaking of the grown man standing before her as if he were a stray dog.
Turning toward her little brother Kara replied, "We can't keep him, Patrick; he's not a pet. This man's free to go his own way whenever he wishes." She turned back to the stranger and gave him another assessing look then made her decision. "Do you want to stay here with us for a bit?" she asked him cautiously.
Stay…could he stay? Did he have somewhere to be? Was someone looking for him?
He blinked a few times and shook his head trying to clear his thoughts then looked back up into the girl's eyes. He was lost…he had no idea who he was, where he was going, or how to get there. Maybe…just maybe…he might be able to find his way again. But he had a feeling he wouldn't find it on his own. Wandering the country side and sleeping in the wild would not help him improve his memory. But maybe here, with some semblance of normalcy…with help…he might be able to remember.
"Do you want to stay?" she asked again when the silence had stretched between them for too long.
He swallowed heavily and nodded…ever so slightly.
"Is that a yes?" she asked, intent on making him say the word.
"Yes," he managed to get out hoarsly, "I'll stay for a bit."
"Good then," Kara said, wiping her hands on her apron, "let's get you some breakfast."
"And this is Bilbo, he's a frog. And Timmer, he's my turtle. Felix is my cat, he's usually hiding upstairs under the bed. My lizard's name is Sammy. And this is Zoot, he's my dog," Patrick said pointing at a mut with scraggly brown hair and large floppy ears.
"Zoot," he repeated the name softly, as if testing it out to see if it fit. It sounded familiar. "Why do you call him that? It's a strange name," he asked the boy curiously.
"I saw a picture of him once…Zoot, he was a tribe leader in the city. I named my dog after him because his hair looked just like that," he said pointing down at the wild brown fur that seemed to be matted and going in all directions.
"Get that dog out of here, Patrick," Kara yelled from the other side of the diner.
"But he's hungry too," came a whined reply.
"I don't care. He can eat outside. Come on, out he goes," she said, shooing both boy and dog out the door with a motion of her hand.
Zoot…his mind raced, searched, trying to come up with a memory. There had to be something there. The name was too familiar. A tribe leader...what else had Patrick said? The city…Zoot…the city…the tribe…Unconsciously he looked down at his hand. There was the old marking, just barely visible. But what did it mean?
"So," Kara's voice interrupted his thoughts, "What should we call you?"
"What?" he said, looking at her in confusion.
"Well, you've heard my brother's pet names. Have you decided on a name for yourself?"
"I know that, but we really must have something to call you. I can't just keep referring to you as that man, or the stranger. You must have some kind of name," she reasoned. "So what should we call you?" she queried again.
"I have no idea," he said, letting out a long suffering sigh and dropping his head into his hands.
"Alright then, I'll just have to help you. Let's see, tell me if something sounds familiar. Robert…George…Carl…Sam…Trent…Stew…Mark…Bill…Fred…No, nothing, huh. Well, that's all of my male relatives, so I suppose we're going to have to wait till someone else shows up."
"I'm sorry," he said sadly.
"Hey, it's not you're fault. Maybe I shouldn't have sprung that on you so fast. We'll just make do until you're ready to have a name. No problem."
The roar of a motorcycle sounded outside, effectively finishing their conversation.
"Well, look who's back in town," Kara said cryptically as she walked to the door to greet their visitor.
"Kara, how are things in Paradise?" the man asked, shrugging out of his red leather jacket and setting his helmet on a nearby table.
"Not bad, Slade; though it's been a bit quiet since you left town," she replied.
"Never a dull moment when I'm around, huh," he said naughtily.
Kara seemed to suddenly remember that they were not alone and turned back to look at her nameless guest.
"Slade, what was your father's name?" she asked the newcomer, without taking her eyes from his.
Behind her Slade gave her a strange look, "Why would you ask that?"
"I'm just curious," she replied in an exasperated manner, "Just answer the question."
Slade sat down at the table and pulled out a menu, "Ray, my dad's name was Ray." He replied at last.
Ray…Ray…that did have a familiar ring to it. He nodded slightly in Kara's direction and then watched as a smile spread across her face.
"That's funny," she said as she turned back to take Slade's order, "that's my friends name…Slade meet Ray."
Well, he thought as he raised his hand in greeting, at least now he had a name.