“Sarah,” said Dr. Randall, “It’s good to see you awake again. It’s been awhile but the body needs a lot of rest after trauma and we can only imagine what you’ve been through. Do you remember anything?”
“No, not really,” said Sarah.
“Well, it will come with time,” said Dr. Randall
“Dr. Randall, with your permission, I would like to try something to jog her memory. I think she may be able to remember more than she thinks but I’ll need the room empty except for me and the patient. Do you mind coming back later to check on her?” asked Dr. Golding.
I want to scream that he should never leave me alone with this lady but that would definitely give me away. Instead I sit up, which took more energy than it should have.
“No problem Dr. Golding. Sarah, I’ll be back later to check on you and I wanted to talk to you about adding solids to your diet.”
Dr. Golding turned to my fake husband, “Tony, I’m going to need you to leave as well. You don’t mind standing outside the room for a few moments while I talk to your wife. I think this technique might really work. Do you have the second set of pictures for her to look at?” She was still using her silky doctor voice. Was this man involved and what did he know?
I looked at Tony or Jake, as I now remembered him, and he handed over the pictures to Dr. Golding. She turned toward me and that’s when Jake waved at me but not a regular wave, a five fingered wave that ended in a fist. It was a signal, but I didn’t know for what. “Bye honey, I’ll see you in a few,” said Jake as he left the room.
Dr. Golding turned to me and said, “I know you have your memories back. I can tell that last drug I had the nurse administer worked. It usually does if it doesn’t kill you. Let’s make this short and sweet shall we. I’ll show you the pictures and you tell me what I want to know.”
I didn’t try to protest. I had my memories. What could I say? I just looked at her and stayed mute.
Dr. Golding pulled out a picture and showed it to me. She laid it in my lap and I picked it up. It was my son Jason with a bag over his head. I recognized the pajama bottoms immediately. They were the ones I had given the kids the last Christmas Tony had spent with us. They’d been Rory’s pajamas then. I must have let out a little gasp because Dr. Golding just smiled. She knew she had what was important to me. She pulled out another picture and laid it again in my lap. I didn’t even have to pick it up to see that it was of Rory and Rosemary. They were in the back of a car with their mouths gagged and their eyes covered. The next one was of Jason sitting on a cot in a room with a single light on.
“Should I go on. We have more pictures,” said Dr. Golding.
"How do I know these pictures aren't fake? Those pictures of me and my happy family were faked somehow. These could just as easily have been faked as well. That man that just left this room is not my husband Tony."
"It's good to see you have your memory back. I thought you might be resistant to helping us so I recorded a short message for you. I'll play it for you now," said Dr. Golding.
Dr. Golding hit play, "Mom, it's me Rory. I'm here with Rosemary and Jason. We're all fine so far but we are scared and don't know what's going on. We just want to come home and we want you to be okay. We love you." The recording stopped.
"Are you ready to tell us what we need to know?" asked Dr. Golding.
I nodded. What else could I do? That was Rory's voice. They had my kids.
Dr. Golding continued, “Okay, I need some information. We know your husband stole important papers and contact information from our organization four years ago. We thought that we had tied up the loose ends of that episode..”
“Tied up loose ends. You killed Tony,” I gasped.
“He was a loose end. It seems we shouldn’t have stopped with just Tony. We should have hunted you down too. You have compromised more than you can possibly know by accessing that web site last week. Our entire organization is at risk. Where is the information you used to access the site?” asked Dr. Golding.
What could I say? I didn’t know what she was talking about. Everything had been buried four years ago. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Dr. Golding laid another picture on my lap. This picture was of Jason, his hands and feet were tied and looked to be bloody. He was laying on the ground and his pajamas were torn. My heart broke a little for him. I needed to be cautious.
“I don’t remember accessing any websites last week that could have resulted in this happening. I don’t know if it’s the amnesia or if I really didn’t, but I can’t help you. I want to but I don’t have any memory of it.”
Dr. Golding did not look sympathetic to my circumstances. She continued, “Our website was accessed from your house last Tuesday and the only two people home were you and your son Jason. Do you expect us to believe that it was Jason, a thirteen year old boy, who accessed the website? Think a little harder, I think you can remember.” She laid another picture on my lap. It was my oldest son Rory. He was tied to a chair and he didn’t have his blindfold on anymore. Terror and fear filled his eyes.
What was I going to do? I had no idea about the website she was talking about. I remembered everything, everything I did last Tuesday and accessing a top level secret spy network hadn’t been on my list between cleaning toilets and folding laundry. I didn’t think the amnesia had taken only that part of my memory from me so the only other answer was that somehow Jason had done it. I couldn’t let her know that and I definitely needed more information.
“I don’t think my memory is all back yet. Did you check the computers at home? They should have had the information you were looking for.”
She rolled her eyes at me. “Yes, we checked those. Do you think I would be standing here with you if we’d been able to find what we needed? You must have accessed it from a laptop that you hid somewhere. We’ve torn the house apart looking for it but nothing. Think.” She laid another picture on my lap. This one was of Rosemary. She was curled up in a ball on a bed. She looked to be trying to hug herself, as if she needed reassurance that she would be okay. I wanted to reach through that picture and hug her and tell her I loved her. There were no ropes to tie her down. That worried me the most.
I proceeded with caution. This lady held all the cards. I needed my kids safe. “I will tell you where the computer is located, if you let my kids go. You must deliver them to the closest CIA department. You will make a video of them entering the building so I know they were delivered safely and then, and only then, will I tell you where the computer is located.”
“You make a lot of demands for someone who can’t get out of the bed to use the bathroom.”
“Those are my terms. How badly do you want that computer?”
“Badly enough to let those kids go. It’s just too bad they’ll be orphans.”
She smiled at me as she delivered her death sentence. She was a monster.
Just then the door to the hospital room burst open and men streamed into the room, guns raised and aimed right at Dr. Golding. My fake husband Tony, or rather Jake, was in the front and yelling at Dr. Golding to get on the ground.
She looked around for an escape route and found the room lacking. I saw in the slump of her shoulders that she knew there was nothing else she could do. She’d been betrayed. She very slowly kneeled down, her eyes never left my face.
“You will regret this,” was the last thing she said and then she was flat on the ground.
The next thing I knew, I was being pushed at a frantic rate through a hospital, a real hospital. It hadn’t all been a ruse for my sake. I looked up and there on my left side was the nurse who’d given me the contraband graham crackers. She introduced herself as Susan, nurse and part-time CIA agent. She was smiling at me, telling me this wouldn’t hurt much and then she stuck me with a needle and it did hurt, a lot.
On my right was my fake husband, Jake, gun still drawn. He told me that they got the kids out and they had been taken to a safe location and that I would be joining them soon. Relief. I felt relief and a bit woozy. We entered the elevator and Susan hit the top button. Jake said he was sorry they hadn’t gotten me out earlier. They’d tried but a certain Mr. Smith had gotten in the way. I guess he wasn’t a patient but rather a guard. My woozy brain felt sorry for Mr. Smith. The elevator stopped and we were through the doors as soon as they opened. We were on the rooftop deck of the hospital. I saw the military helicopter with its propellers whirling in the air. My last thought was that I was safe and then I went to sleep and dreamt of better days.
When I first woke up, I heard curtains rustling as a warm tropical breeze blew across them. It felt heavenly, like a dream world and I worried at first that I was dead. I looked around and there were my children. I knew wherever I was, I'd be okay and then I went back to sleep. I finally woke up the next day and my children explained everything to me. We were in Belize. Their dad Tony, the real Tony, had set up safe houses for us in both Belize and Romania. Tony's old CIA handler had known about it so he got the information to Jake when he found out we were in danger. Jake worked out the escape plans shortly after I appeared on an interrogation table with June Locke, a.k.a. Dr. Golding. Jake was in the middle of his undercover investigation. It turns out I escaped somehow from their safe house but didn't make it very far before I passed out. Lucky for me I was found by a good Samaritan who took me to the hospital. I didn't remember everything but I remembered some of it.
The kids told me Jake had let them choose between Belize and Romania and they all thought a place that spoke English, had wonderful weather and was close to the beach was the place to go. I agreed, although I had special memories of Romania from a job that Tony and I had done there. Belize was going to be the perfect place to recover and start over.
We hope you enjoyed our first ever computer espionage story. Look for an all new amnesia based story on Monday!