Wasn't BOURNE yesterday.
My world is upside down.
I don't mean that metaphorically, I'm talking literally.
The people all around, staring at me, pointing, they're standing upside down. One of them's trying desperately to tell me something. But I can't hear him. In fact I cant hear anything for all the ringing in my ears.
Ah, yes... the ringing in my head! The very same head that feels like it was hit by a bus.
No, not a bus. A car.
Right, I remember now. I remember it all. It's not the world that is upside down... it's me.
The incident back at the diner, the man who conveniently appeared from nowhere to help me escape. The very same man hanging next to me from the drivers seat, semi-conscious, blood gushing from an open wound on his forehead. He's murmuring something... a name... 'Pamela... Landy'. Is she in danger? Or is she the danger herself?
Regardless, I need to get him-us free. Focus. Calm. Panicking creates errors, errors create mistakes, mistakes'll get us both killed. If the leaking fuel from the petrol tank doesn't first. So that's what the people outside were trying to tell me. Our time is limited.
I calmly unclip my seatbelt and gravity does the rest. Now my head's really hurting.
I look all about me, assessing the situation, playing out the various options. None are coming up favourable. I can see in the side mirror a small fire growing steadily from the back. Once it hits the leaking fuel you'll be able to serve up whats left of me on a slice of toast back at the diner.
The diner. Sure hope Mr Hammond is alright. Feel so guilty.
Heads really pounding, now. Heart rate's increasing. Hard to focus. Trying to unclip the driver but its no use, the seatbelt's jammed. I look around for something to prise it open, cut the straps or... wait... a briefcase... back of the car... shiny... silver. Never noticed it before... how strange...
Now the fires spread all the way to where we are. We're out of time.
I try to pull him free. He screams in agony. Somethings broken. Or dislocated. His shoulder perhaps? I wonder what's in the briefcase?
One last look around I see a shard of broken glass from the windscreen. Perfect for cutting him free. Now, if I could just... grab... the briefcase.
Damn it, whats with me and this damn briefcase?
I need it! Probably holds information. Probably about 'her'. This 'Pamela Landy' lady. The one who's responsible for all this. She killed Mr Hammond and near enough killed me. But Im too smart. I survived. I'm a survivor. And I'll survive now, I just need to-damn it, listen to me! A mans life quite literally 'hangs in balance', and all i can think of is...!
I reach over for the briefcase, stretching until it's in my grasp, then use it to clear a sizeable hole in the windscreen before crawling my way out of it and scrambling to safety. The sheer force emanating from the explosion of the car, carries me the majority of the way.
I land in a nearby patch of grass and just lie there, as pieces of debris rain down all around me, the briefcase serving as a handy umbrella of sorts, as I wait patiently for the passing of the storm.
The briefcase. I have it. WHY?
Dear God, no! I let that man die to rescue it! But why? It doesn't make sense. I had a plan to rescue him. I'd already decided I that I would... open the briefcase. Yes, that was it... I need to open the briefcase. Could be something important inside. I NEED TO GET IT OPEN!
I take up a piece of scrap remains from the car and begin hammering away at the latches in an almost animalistic fashion until eventually one latch gives way. Followed by the other.
Taking a deep breath I open it slowly and peer inside, giddy with anticipation of my prize.
It's revealed to be... a red digital clock face surrounded by an assortment of wires... strange. Who carries around a digital clock in a silver shiny briefcase?
I glance again at it and notice... the numbers... they're counting down... to something...
'00.04, 00.03, 00.02, 00.01.'
Two men talking. Having a heated debate about... me?
I pry my eye lids open, Its difficult, they're so heavy. Still darkness, something must be covering my eyes. I'm in some sort of chair with both my hands and feet restrained. Where am
I? What the hell is going on?
"Make a note; subject 437T has responded favourably to scenarios one, two and four. Three and five, less... predictable. Her reaction time in four and one however... impressive. Best I've seen since subject: Webb back in the initial programme."
"How far we have come since then."
"Indeed. Prep the 'whitewash' software. Time for a live run. We're moving ahead with the-."
"Too soon! Synaptic readings are erratic at best. We'll need more time to ensure a stable-"
"Dr Ludlum, you are not paid to second guess my requests, merely to record my findings and carry out my instructions to the letter."
"Payment? I'm not doing this for 'payment' you... I'll remind you of your promise to-"
"Yes. Of course Dr, calm yourself. You still have my word she'll be safely released upon completion of 'Zero Hour'. But till then, doctor... I would strongly recommend you-"
"I... know. Look, when... this is over. I'm out. Completely. No more."
"But of course Dr. They're will be no further need for you. Or her. I always keep my word."
"You know, if 'he' found out we were using 'her' as a test subject... conducting these experiments...?"
"If he is still alive, as rumours persist... he doesn't even know she exists... and she doesn't even know who he is! So do us both a favour and wipe her memory like I have asked you. And doctor... thats the last verbal warning you will get. Next time you'll eat a bullet."
I then hear one set of footsteps leave the room, whilst the other draws slowly closer to my location. My heart races as a single beed of sweat begins its journey down the side of my face.
I remain catatonically still.
"I know you are awake." he whispers to me. "We don't have much time. 'Nicky Parsons'. Remember that name when you awake. Seek her out when you are able. Tell her; 'Project Whitewash' is a Go! She will know how to st-"
I black out.
To be continued...