Lobard looks up from his report and asks one of the techs to give you
another sedative. The tech saunters over a console and keys in "2-5-5"
there is a few moments of silence then a long high-pitch tone. The tech
picks up a MIST (Multi-function Injection SysTem) unit and inserts into an
open panel, there is a noise like air being pushed through a small space
and then the silence returns. The tech removes the MIST unit and
approaches your table. You groggily look up and try to speak; the tech
lifts a silencing hand and smiles soothingly. He pulls the white sheet
that is your bedclothes down to reveal your upper body, there are a
multitude of wires and pins protruding from your chest area. As you lift
your head higher, you can see that there is a clear tube entering just
below your ribcage, it is full of a red liquid, which is flowing out of
"Is that red stuff what I think it is?" You ask the tech as he leans down
to swab the side of your neck.
"Yes. We are draining your body of your old blood." As you realise what
that rather frank answer means the sedative kicks in and you drift to
sleep. "You whhha…."
Lobard stands up and closes his report, "I think you should let Chek get to
sleep, he has a big day ahead of him."
You wake the next morning feeling somewhat better than the day before,
remembering what the tech said you hurriedly throw the sheet of and jump to
your feet. But there are no pins, wires or tubes anywhere to be seen.
There is, however, a small scar you don't remember just below your ribs
but then, your whole body is covered in scars. It's part-and-parcel of
being trained by Boomer….BOOMER, you remember, sort of, something happened
to him…an …an accident….but what? In fact, when you think about it, you
can't clearly remember anything before waking up. You perch yourself on
the edge of the bed and try to remember what happened and why you are here.
It's as you sit down when it dawns on you that you're naked!
"Morning Chek" A voice fills the room. There is a hint of resemblance to
someone you know but there's no surprise that you can't quite…
"..Place your finger on who I am, is that right? Well, if you look under
the bed, you'll find some clothes. When you're decent, please follow the
green corridor. I wish to speak with you."
After a quick search under the bed you come across a pair of dark blue
cotton trousers, the kind worn when training indoors, and a similar zip-up-
the-front top. Both have the words "Devils Own" embroidered in red on
them. "Devils Own" yet another name that at once you recognise, but…
recognition is as far as it goes. They fit perfectly and you feel much
better to be clothed, after a quick check round the room you decide you may
as well follow the green corridor.
You are walking down the corridor, though you feel that 'corridor' is an
incorrect use of the word, 'tunnel' would be better. There are no doors,
the only break in the wall are lights, approximately 10 feet apart. After
what seems an age, you stop and lean on the wall, there's a voice that
reverbs down the corridor and disappears into the darkness
"Oh dear Chek. You don't seem to understand this corridor do you? Think
of it as a short stroll, just a few hundred yards. I'll see you at the
just ahead, you've only got a few hundred yards left."
"Wait!" You shout as the voice dissipates. "I don't understand what you
mean! How can it only be a few hundred yards, I can't see the end?"
There is no reply. You continue walking, the walking turns into a fast
pace. The fast pace turns into a jog and the jog turns into a run. You
continue running but the darkness never recedes to daylight. After several
minutes, you slow down to a jog again. Your feet are aching and you
involuntarily collapse to your knees.
"What's the matter Chek? Isn't there an end to the tunnel? Perhaps you
should try running away, run back the way you came!
You grit your teeth and strain to raise to a stand. "No." It is said
clearly and with decisiveness. "I know there is an end. You're just
hiding it. I remember."
You start to walk again, each stride becoming more confident. "I am not
Chek, I am Charna. Tokay is my friend. Boomer was my drill-sergeant whom
I shot. And you, you are Gare Lobard, Head of a bunch of psycho psychics.
And I want nothing to do with you or the Devils Own.
You have to lift your hand to cover your eyes, as a blinding point of light
appears a distance from you. Walking further forward the point of light
widens and widens until you can see the end of the tunnel. As you
approach, a familiar voice calls down the corridor.
"Well done Chek! Not many make that test. But you did! Welcome to the
Devils Own!" He smiles as you emerge.
"I told you I want nothing to do with your group of freaks. And my name is
not Chek. It's Charna!"
Lobard offers you a seat, which you decide to accept. Even though the
tunnel was quite short, you feet still hurt. He sits behind a desk and
lights a cigar. "I'm afraid you're wrong CHEK. You can't be Charna Ekeld,
he died two weeks ago in an unfortunate accident; here are the reports and
also his death certificate.
Lobard leans across the table and passes you some documents in a plastic
wallet. You flick through the contents, and as Lobard said, they detail an
explosion in Sector D2. No survivors where found in that sector and no
evidence of what could have caused it. On a separate piece of paper is the
list of all deaths resulting from the explosion, it is in alphabetical
order and you quickly search for the E's. You find that about 2/3 of the
way through the list is the name
1.1 EKELD, Charna FLR553976 AT4 Deceased
You shake your head, placing the papers on the table. "See Chek, how can
you be Charna? He's dead and you are most definitely alive!"
You close your eyes and clutch at your head. "I don't…understand, I am
Charna…but Charna is dead…I don't…who…am…I?"
"You are Chek Anold. Why can't you just believe me."
"But, I have memories…memories of someone…a sergeant called B…Boo…I don't
remember. I did!! When I left the tunnel, I knew it all…who I was…but
now…I can't…remember. Who…are…you?
"I think I should start from the beginning. Drink?"
You nod and Lobard passes you a whiskey, which you down in one.
"I am Gare Lobard. You are Chek Anold, one of my techs found you
unconscious near the explosion that killed Charna Ekeld. Colonel Mhacti,
put in a request to have you transferred to my department and here you are.
In case you need it, I dug out your personnel file from the main databank.
Here, on this datadisk."
He slides a green computer disk toward you. You pick it up, turning it in
your hand. "So this can tell me who I am?"
"That and more, I've also taken the liberty of getting Charna's records, so
you can check that you are most definitely not him. You'll be able to see
that you look different, you blood type is different, your fingerprints are
different, you'll be able to see that you are not Charna.
He points back the way you came.
"Just follow the tunnel, it leads to your quarters."
You stand up slowly and walk toward, and down the tunnel, shaking your head
and trying to sort things out in your mind. It never even occurs to you
that the tunnel that originally took you from the your waking place to
Lobard's room…has now taken you from Lobard's room to your quarters.
In fact, when you get there you just collapse on the bed and fall to sleep.