Categories: A, V, JFB/SM UST
Summary: "They did things to me…and it was like drowning every day," Susanne told John. A breath of fresh air for the drowning is welcome comfort indeed.
Disclaimer: The characters and setup belong to 1013, FOX, and Chris Carter. The title is a nod to one Mr. Peter Gabriel and his fourth self-titled album, otherwise known as "Security."
Susanne Modeski didn't know where she was, but "hell" was a suitable word for it. She surmised it must have been a mental ward of some sort, being treated for her "paranoid delusions" and "homicidal mania."
There wasn't any windows in her room - just the dull, padded walls of no discernable color. At least she wasn't wearing a straitjacket today. They just decided to leave her in the dimness. They didn't dare let her out of the room without a straitjacket - not since her last attempt. She was disappointed that they'd found her before the overdose of medicine claimed her. She was really disappointed when they found the bit of glass she was saving for her wrists.
The room stank - they hadn't let her out for days. She knew it was part of the process - treating her worse than an animal. She knew she was a mess. The drugs, the so-called "medical treatments" that must have been thought up by some Nazi bastard. The rough treatment of the orderlies and some of the guards…Susanne shuddered. She survived by going numb to it all, hoping to die from it.
It was time for her "bath." Two large women marched in, stripped her without a word. They held her while a third hosed her and the room down. After it was done, they dropped her to the floor, still naked and hauled her soiled coveralls out of the room.
"Really, Susanne. When are you going to learn?" It was his voice again. She gave up trying to think up his name…it might have been Fisher, or Catcher…something like that. He was pudgy, balding, middle aged, and carried himself with a cocky bravado. "We're doing this to help you."
"Rot in hell," she managed to say.
He came in the room and squatted next to her. "Y'know, you really aren't that bad. Just tell us that it was all a mistake. You really didn't mean to go crazy like that. You…just got a wiff of your own concoction. Just happens. A lab accident killed your assistants. It was all a big misunderstanding."
A shake of her head. Her interrogator shrugged.
"Ok. Guess, we'll have to up the dosage. You're still suffering the after effects of your gas."
The drugs came later - with a new set of coveralls. The pinprick in her arm followed by the drug's effects - dry heaves (she had nothing in her stomach), feeling like she was burning and freezing at the same time. Rough hands were pulling her down a hall, to room with a cot. They pushed her in and strapped her in - one, two, three, four, five - completely immobile.
The only thing she could do was wait and seek her other release…dreaming.
A white picket fence and an apple tree in the backyard…their backyard. The sunshine was bright and two little girls giggled and played games in the backyard. Susanne was admiring the rose bushes planted in her garden.
A computer and the desk it sat on was weighted down with her research. She was a pharmaceutical researcher, coming up with drugs that cured disease, helped people live longer and happier lives. She stepped away to take a break, watching the two little girls, her lovely daughters.
The roses she had planted were growing well. It was mid-summer, the petals open and the delicate scent, sweet and heady, filling the air. It was home, comfort…peace.
One of them stopped her giggling and stood up. "Daddy's home!"
They raced into the house, Susanne tarrying a bit, putting a freshly cut rose in the vase by the window.
"And how do you know that?" She could hear his clear tenor before he walked in, carrying the smallest girl while the older one kept pace.
"Mommy just thinks about you lots." The older one giggled.
"Well, you two get upstairs and wash up, all right." He smiled fondly after the girls, before turning to her. He was so handsome, his gentle manners and kind blue eyes so unlike her captors.
She smiled with relief, knowing sadly that this dream would end, but she would enjoy it for as long as it lasted. "John, I've been thinking about you all day…"
The dreams kept her sane.
She knew she wasn't crazy.
Bitter cold, cold sweats, and horrible aches brought her back to reality. Of course John wasn't there - he was God-knew-where, along with the two others she had dragged into this terrible ordeal. They were in jail, maybe. Maybe dead, or maybe rotting somewhere like she was, even thought the thought brought tears to her eyes. Amazing how she could know him for such a short time and feel what she did. The rational scientist in her laughed at the concept of love at first sight, but the experience was real enough - a lot more real than she was allowing this to be.
After another sleep, the worst of the drug's effects had gone away, leaving her exhausted. Her bonds were undone and they drug her down the hall, into the "Talking Room." A thick sheet of glass separated her from the nondescript man on the other side.
"Good morning, Dr. Modeski." His voice crackled from the speaker as the bright overhead light seared her eyes, sensitized from too long in the dark.
"Good morning," she muttered back.
"Do you want to tell me again about what happened April 14, 1989?"
Not this damn question again. She kept silent.
"You took a pistol and walked into the lab. Which one was shot first?"
"I didn't kill them."
"We can't help you until you are ready to admit the truth."
"The truth? You don't give a damn about that," she barked.
"Tell me why you shot you lab partners."
"I didn't kill them"
"Who killed them, Susanne?"
"I don't know - the bastards I work for. Ask them."
"You refused your medications. That's why we have to inject you. Should I increase your dosage?"
"I am not crazy."
"Please believe that we are trying to help you. How long have you had these beliefs that the government was out to hurt you?"
"Since I found out they were going to test EH on innocent people."
"The records state, Susanne, that the test was a controlled one. No civilians were involved. I think I will increase the dosage."
"I don't need medicine."
"Then, cooperate with me, please. Why did you kill your lab assistants?"
After the questioning, they dragged her to the room with the cot, but left her there without blankets or anything she could possibly use as a weapon against herself or others.
The orderly that came into her small cell was new, a small man with a wiry build. He carried in his hands a stack of laundry.
"Dr. Modeski?" he asked.
She looked up, expecting him to be another interrogator.
"Some of us don't think you're crazy, Doc," he said as he put sheets on her bed, and started fixing the four-point restraints with an air of someone who genuinely didn't want to do this. "It's the rest of the world that is."
The man ducked out of her cell as quietly as he had entered. A newspaper fell to the floor from his stack, fluttering to the ground just within reach.
She strained with effort to get her restraints loose enough to reach it. The cheap newsprint felt gritty. Her eyes squinted to read it in the dim light as she held it with the hand that was somewhat loose, tilting it to make out the words.
THE LONE GUNMEN
FIFTH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
She finally shifted the paper to get some light on a part of the page. It was an editorial.
"It's been five years since the launch of our paper, and as I'm putting the paper to bed, my thoughts turn to that day in 1989 that turned us from ordinary men into crusaders.
We've broken stories on the worst kind of secrets - tainted food and medicine, military experiments on civilians, clandestine deals, and ecological destruction. However, there was the first story, the one that still has an open ending.
Her name was Dr. Susanne Modeski, an organic chemist working for weapons research. She was framed, discredited, and turned into a criminal because she wanted to expose the truth behind her research. She brought us together - and we have been closer than brothers since.
Yet, on this night, I know she is somewhere out there. Her employers captured her right in front of us, and no leads have turned up since. This is a fate too many have tasted - loved ones made to disappear. Those who vanish are tortured or worse. I still dream of the day she will be free and the endless betrayal of our elected officials and corporate leaders will cease.
And wherever you may be tonight, Susanne - dead and in a better place, or in a hell on Earth, I still love you, and will never forget you. Someday, we will find you."
The byline made her heart skip again - J. F. Byers.
For the first time in a long time, Dr. Modeski felt hope.