Ch. 4- Stepping Off Point

The next few days passed by seemingly in a moment, for her at least. The two doctors could have always been found together, discussing about the unnamed woman laying in a bunk. Being doctors in marine biology and medical, they wanted to know more and understand exactly what had happened to her and how it happened. All they could gather from her was that she was on a boat the night of the storm, presumably shot, and fell in the water. Trying to get more information, or to spark her memory, they prodded her with questions, gently at first but eventually poking too hard. When they did that, they quickly learned to run, after a interesting experience with a butter knife. The blade was still stuck in the wall, and every time she glanced at it, Washburn and Marcus ended the conversation.

Despite their thorough questioning, she had no other memories come back. Stuck in bed, with only her memories from the past few days on the I'Argo and flashes of a storm and pain, she went a little stir crazy. Dr. Washburn was very adamant about her staying in the bunk, resting and healing, but he quickly learned something; she was very stubborn and rebellious. He caught her multiple times throughout the trip walking around the deck, studying everything in sight, ignoring the pain flaring from her side and shoulder as she moving in smooth, fluid motions, capturing everything in her mind. Washburn would give a glare that could turn people to stone, and she would just smile apologetically and shuffle back to her designated bunk. But that didn't stop her from moving for very long. He believed he could have tied her down to the bed and she still would get out and explore the boat. The butter knife just accented his thought of her; that she was capable of interesting things that no one would rationally expect from a woman of her size and stature, thin but lean, shorter than average but still carrying a calm, commanding presence. He thought her extraordinary.

She thought so, too. Some things came to her naturally, like the butter knife or kicking that crewman the first day she was up. So, acting as a thoughtful, analytical human being, she decided to pass time by testing herself. Staring at the only mirror on the boat shoved in the rusted, musty room that was called a bathroom, she found out that she was multilingual. Already knowing she was fluent in English and Italian, she started with languages similar to those. German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Greek, and even Russian all came to her, although the last one took some thought process to come back to her. She was even able to switch between accents in most of the languages, surprising herself with recognizing the difference between eastern and western Russian. She didn't share her language skills with the doctor, afraid she might scare him with her incredibly diverse talent.

She spent a few days, ignoring the doctor's adamant wishes, "I am an adult and could feel my limits!" She would go around the deck, discovering new things about herself such as her advanced knowledge of knot tying, geographical skills (she figured out they were about 20 miles west of the Italian coast, just south of Naples), and that she could anticipate punches. She had to recruit Marcus for that trial. But the time kept advancing to the scheduled date of docking, where it was agreed she would leave, out in the world on her own, heading to who knows where. There wasn't a lot of options for a stranded amnesiac in a possibly foreign country.

They reached near the shore in early morning, while the Jane Doe slept in her appointed bunk. Marcus, already up and ready to leave, gently shook her awake, informing her that they had stopped. He was already packed, wanting to be ready to head back to America and publish the sparse information on fish he had gathered on his working vacation, as he put it. He offered to pay for an extra plane ticket, willing to take her to America, but she had declined adamantly, saying that she had a feeling to stay in Europe. An hour later, she was standing on the front deck, staring at the approaching dock, not seeing the dock, but distant flashes of memory that now defined her life. Dr. Washburn walked up to her, noticing the far-away look in her eyes and, not wanting to interrupt potentially returning memories, remained quiet.

A man's smiling face. She feels like she should know him, his name on the tip of her tongue, refusing to come. So she decided to focus on his face, memorizing it. It was handsome in the way that the average guy his age is. Thinking his looks could blend in with a crowd, she watched his features, a sharp, rectangular face with a strong looking jaw, thin mouth, short blond hair, and a relaxed expression with an undertone of tension on his face. He was saying something. "If we ever get seperated, head to the bank in Zurich. There should be supplies there. The account number is 000-7-17-12-0-14-26. She absorbed the number instantly, memorizing them as if her life depended on it. He didn't need to ask if she got it, he already seemed to know the answer, looking forward casually, as if he were out on a stroll and not giving her instructions on what seemed like condendincy plans.

"Hey, you alright?" A voice broke the silence. She turned around and saw Washburn standing there with his hands in his pockets, a sweater folded around his arm. She nodded absently, thinking on the smiling man she knew but doesn't know. Recognizing the scrunch of her eyebrows as focusing on her thoughts, he changed the subject. "I grabbed you this," he said, handing her the sweater. He pulled out a small wad of money and passed it to her as well. "It's not much, but it will get you somewhere." A small smile slipped on her face, seeing the kindhearted acts towards her since she was pulled up. "Thank you," she replied sincerely. She really meant it. "For everything." He smiled back. "You were a huge pain in my ass! But, what old man wouldn't have done what I did in my position. Sorry I couldn't give you more," he said gesturing to the money. "It was all I managed to grab from the crew!" He laughed while she just huffed in amusement.

"Any idea where you're headin'?" he asked. A brief pause, thinking at what the smiling man said. "Yeah, I got an idea."