"I don't know if I can just disappear again for five more years."

"I assure you, those five years will seem like an instant to you, and when your term of service ends, all the hardships you faced, all the consequences, will be but a distant memory."

"All the words and numbers in my head will stop jumbling around together and start making sense?"

"Precisely. We give people what they need."

She's actually pretty coherent.

Oh, the girl is definitely crazy, Topher won't even try to deny that (and why does he always get stuck trying to recruit the crazy ones?). Prime Dollhouse material. But what she's saying has some kind of logic to it.

Babbling, rapid, hard-to-follow logic, but not nonsense by any means. The math seems fairly sound. In theory, anyway.

She stops talking suddenly, cutting herself off in the middle of a word, and looks up to see Topher staring at her. She gives an embarrassed sort of grin and says, "Sorry. I'm always going on like that. Gets me into trouble. It's just, you know sometimes everything rushes up in your mind and you think if you don't let it out your head'll explode?" She pauses and looks down. "I'll shut up, now."

"No, no!" Topher insists, waving his hands for her to continue. "Keep talking. Go back to the thing about the portals again."

She smiles shyly, like she thinks he's just humoring her. "Weren't you supposed to be telling me about a contract or something?"

Topher's face falls a little. "Right. That." He clears his throat and rummages through the stack of papers he has laid out on the table between them. Then he gives up and leans forward conspiratorially instead. "Look," he whispers, "I'm really not the sales pitch guy. You should talk to my boss for the details. But what I said before is true; we can get you out of here and make you better."

She looks down at her hands. "You'd take me away from here?"


"But I'd have to go to the secret conspiracy place you can't talk about."


She looks up at him, her expression a mix of suspicion and hesitant hope. "All right," she says, "I guess I trust you."

Topher grins. He talks briefly with her doctor on the way out and hands him a form.

"I'm going to make you an offer, Miss Burkle."

She runs her hand across the back of the chair and, with a slight waver to her voice, asks, "Is this gonna hurt much?"

Topher looks up from the computer where he's preparing for the initial wipe. He offers an unconvincingly comforting grin. "Just a pinch," he lies.

She slowly walks around the chair and pauses in front of it. "You…you promise this'll work like you say? I'll wake up like that and everything'll be fine again?"

Topher hits a key with unnecessary flourish and turns around to walk toward the imprint chair. "I promise," he says, "We'll take care of you here."

She smiles and looks away, down at the chair.

Topher makes a sweeping gesture with his hand. "Will you please have a seat?"

"Hello, Whiskey. How are you feeling?"

"Did I fall asleep?"

"For a little while."