(Number Six must prove his innocence in a court of nonsense)
Six. Six Sic.
Where am I?
In the village.
What do you want?
Whose side are you on?
That would be telling...
We want information...information...information!
You won't get it!
By hook or by crook, we will.
Who are you?
The new Number Two.
Who is Number One?
You are Number Six.
I am not a number; I am a free man!
Number six woke up as he always did. His mind felt washed away from the day before. Every day in the Village felt the same. Every day he woke up, had his eggs and pancakes. Tea with lemon. Sometimes Indian, sometimes not. The voice over the radio said the weather would be sunny. Today he went out and grabbed the early edition of the Tally Ho. There seemed to be some urgent news about a crime that had been committed.
The headline read: Number Six Wanted in Murder Investigation.
This was news to Number Six. He hadn't been made aware of the fact that there was a police force in the Village let alone that he had been wanted for murder. He decided to go pay Number Two a visit.
Today's number two was a fat little pug of a man. He was bald, with patches of brown hair on the sides of his head and he wore thick spectacles. He did not seem happy to see Number Six.
"What is going on here? Have I murdered someone today?"
"We shall see," said Number Two. He sat in his round chair, not bothering to get up. "Right now it is simply an investigation. Come. Let us have our morning breakfast chat."
"Well isn't that a shame. No matter. We will start the investigation early then. Come." Number Two ushered Number Six into a room just outside his oval office. There were scientists mingling with men in striped shirts wearing bobby's hats.
"This is where our investigation takes place."
"You there!" said one of the men who was clearly dressed up as a police officer. Number Six turned around, pretending to try and find a man standing behind him. He gestured as though he had no idea what the man was talking about. He turned his head and shrugged his shoulders.
"Who me?" Asked number six.
"Don't be cheeky," said the police officer. He grabbed number six and forced him into a small room with a table and green walls.
"Sit down," the officer commanded. "Our lead detective will be in shortly." And he left the room.
Number Six was left to contemplate the day's events. In the span of less than an hour he had been stripped of his rights, forced into an isolation cell and was now waiting for an investigation into a murder he knew nothing about. He decided it would be better to play along and see where this was all going to.
He pounded the table. "I want to see my lawyer!" He yelled at the walls. He assumed, correctly, that there would be television cameras watching him. "You can't charge me until I see my lawyer!" He banged on the floor, threw his chair against the door. Of course nothing happened. He got tired and sat back down. He had made his point.
An hour passed. Number Six spent the time tracing little circles on the table. Then squares. Then wavy lines. The isolation was starting to get to him, just a little. Not enough to crack anything, or break, but just enough so that he was starting to get a bit irritated.
From the control room, Number Two watched Number Six stew in the isolation chamber. He was waiting for the most opportune moment to make a move. Orr's rule stated that the psychological distress caused by being placed in an isolated small room, could break a man's internal rhythms making it easier for him to be manipulated. The opportune moment could be figured out by a number of factors, all of which were being played out in Number Two's head. There! There! That was just right. He put on a uniform and went to the isolation room. He had not a moment to lose.
Number Six had started to bang his head on the desk. At first he had just started to pretend, but it felt strangely calming. Perhaps he really was losing his mind after all. But in any case the pounding managed to clear his head. The little birdies were also very entertaining.
It was then that the lead detective entered the room. It was Number Two.
"Where were you on the night of October 21st." He banged his fist against the cold hard desk. Speaking as quickly as he could he continued, "Oh you aren't going to answer are you? Aren't you a cheeky little liar. A little bastard. Just a number in a game? You couldn't murder anyone could you? You my friend are a lying piece of scum."
Number Six could barely follow, but he was clear on one point. "I didn't murder anyone. You must have the wrong man." He sat there confidently.
Number Two threw down a photograph. He slapped it on the table. It was a photo of a dead body, grotesque. The body appeared as though it had been snapped in two. "You did this didn't you? Last night. No memories eh? No memories of last night?"
Number Six did in fact have no memories of the night before. Where had he been? Today. "What's today?" he asked.
"Today is the day you're convicted for your crimes. Today is the day you rot, Number Six." He was suddenly unsure. What was today? Perhaps he could not account for the past few days. Everything seemed the same in the Village. It hurt his brain to think about it, so he just let Number Two's words wash over him.
"The body was found next to your home, Number Six. This was a man you used to know." He looked more closely at the picture. Smith. It was Smith. He did know this man. Number Two already knew this fact. But he asked again anyhow. "You did know this man. He was about to betray you to us. He knew why you resigned, and would have told us to get himself out of here, but you wouldn't let him have the chance."
"NO." Number Six stood up. "I would not kill a man. Not ever. Not in the slightest bit did I ever want to kill this man."
"So that was why you resigned then eh? Asked to kill?"
"No!" He sat back down. He put his arms across his chest and sat silently. "No that's not the reason why. And still." Number Two realized he had almost missed his chance.
"Well then we have other evidence against you. We have the bloody fingerprints, the blood on your shoes. You did this. Youdidthisandnowyouwillpay!" Everything Number Two said became quicker and quicker. "Confess, my boy, confess and you will have a much leaner sentence."
But of course, Number Six would not confess. And Number Two was counting on it.