Excerpt for The Saturn Nexus - Part 1 - Pandora's Box by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


THE

CYDONIA

LEGACY

Part 1 - Panacea



Adrian Holland

Published by AMAZOLA

The right of Adrian Holland to be identified as the Author of the work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.

Copyright © Adrian Holland 2016

ISBN 978-1-909466-55-5

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

For further information please contact the official website at

www.amazolapublishing.com

A copy of this book is held at the British Library.

Cover design and illustrations by Adrian Holland


I was very close to both of my parents who were my best friends, and I have lost count of the number of happy times we shared, and all of the creativity and laughter. Like my beloved father Joe, my mother Margaret was so special, and my total inspiration. I would therefore like to dedicate this book to their memory.

Contents

Introduction

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty One

Twenty Two

Twenty Three

Twenty Four

Twenty Five

Twenty Six

Twenty Seven

Twenty Eight

Twenty Nine

Thirty

Thirty One

Panacea - a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases...

Introduction

“They’ve found us!”

A startled voice rang out from within the large mother ship, which had been sheltering within the crater’s protective walls. The layer of fine white particles which had formed the dust cloud blown up from the engines when the craft had landed, now only partially obscured the fuselage.

“You must leave!”

An anxious look confirmed the approaching vessels on the monitor.

“But what about you?”

There was more than a hint of resignation, in the voice that answered.

“You know I’ll never make it.”

It was quite a dilemma, and no way to repay years of loyal friendship.

“I can’t just abandon you!”

Alarms sounded throughout the ship as panic set in.

“You must!”

Power began to build up in the triangular shaped craft as it prepared to launch.

“I will try to hold then off long enough for you to get away.”

Locking clamps released, as a surge of energy burst from the engines.

“Negative, I’m already as good as dead!”

The interceptor swept away from the mother ship with the futility of the noble gesture plain to see, as two menacing looking craft came into view. They surged across the void of open space on an intercept course, as a pulse of liquid laser shot out.

A plume of rock and dust fragments exploded next to the mother ship, as the interceptor tried to take evasive action. Another pulse shot out, and this time it found its target, as the mother ship’s hull was breached.

“I’m hit!”

A massive explosion ripped out an entire section of fuselage, sending a cloud of burning air and debris cascading out in all directions.

“No!”

It was already too late, as the interceptor struggled to get away.

A third laser pulse found its mark, and the engines began to splutter as the interceptor dived headlong towards the barren rocky surface…

One

“Aaaahh!”

A scream shot out followed by a steady voice.

“And three, two, one.”

Herman Spink, Clinical Psychologist sat open mouthed on the chair opposite his patient. This was one of his most difficult cases, and all of his years of experience gained since obtaining his masters degree at Mannheim University were stretched to the limit. He had never encountered such a case, and his patient’s delusion seemed to be so deep seated that he wondered if he would ever be able to shift it?

Edward Rogers or Buck as he liked to be known, seemed to have a fixation on the 1928 cartoon character created by Philip Francis Nowlan. First published in the Amazing Stories magazine, it then went on to spawn a succession of cartoons, books and films culminating in the late nineteen seventies series staring Gil Gerard.

Edward opened his eyes which looked just as dazed as the expression on his face. This was not the first time that he had had this reoccurring nightmare, only this time it had been induced by the psychologist who was sitting opposite him.

“How are you feeling?”

Edward grimaced.

“How do you think I am feeling!”

There was a hint of aggression mixed with the obvious sarcasm in his patient’s voice, which was not uncommon for someone emerging from a trauma. The main difference this time however, was the fact that this patient was far from normal!

“I think that maybe it is an appropriate time to take a break.”

Herman Spink sighed, wondering what else he could do. This was a serious delusional case, and he feared that his patient, if not handled correctly, could turn violent.

“I have a cancellation this afternoon. Why don’t you get yourself some lunch and come back and see me later, say at about two?”

Edward composed himself, realising that he had worked himself up into quite a state. He felt very shaky as he always did when reliving the events of his former life. It was very difficult coming to terms with where he was now, compared to where he had been.

“I could do with some fresh air.”

Both men felt relieved, and none more so than Herman Spink. He had a lot of thinking to do, as it was going to be very difficult releasing this particular patient from his delusional state.

“Two o’clock then?”

Herman nodded, as Edward got up off the couch, a little shakily on his legs. He nodded as the consulting room door was opened, and Edward stepped out onto the small landing. Both men breathed out huge sighs of relief as the door closed behind him.

From where he was standing, it was just a matter of descending the staircase, until he reached the reception area. The young female receptionist watched him walk past the empty client seats towards the outer door, having heard the shouts coming from her employer’s consulting room upstairs. This was only his second visit and she began to wonder if this was where she really wanted to work?

Just a few days into her new job, and she was already having second thoughts. At first she expected people with phobias such as spiders, or with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or Post Traumatic Stress. Her boyfriend had tried to be supportive, but what could he say when she told him about her day spent with Edward Buck Rodgers and Spink the shrink…

Two

Herman Spink sat at his desk with his head in his hands. He had extensively studied Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who pioneered the concept of analytical psychology which he called Individuation. That was where he integrated the psychological process of opposites, the conscious and unconscious mind, while still maintaining their relative autonomy. He considered Individuation to be the central process of human development, and created some of the best known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and extraversion and introversion. Quite where Edward Rodgers fitted into to all of that was something that he doubted whether even Jung himself could decide.

Placing a finger on the intercom, he spoke softly to his receptionist.

“Madeleine, I would like you to book Mr. Rodgers in for another session at two, and being as it is now twelve, why don’t you take a long lunch.”

“Yes, and thank you Mr. Spink.”

With that the intercom cut off, as his receptionist breathed out a huge sigh or relief. Madeleine could not wait to grab her coat and handbag, and within a few moments she was already half way out of the door. Just day six into her new job, and she already felt shaky. Just a few more weeks working here and she would need to go and see her employer herself!

Herman also sighed, breathing out heavily as he tried to compose himself. In all the years of practice, he had never encountered anyone quite like Edward Rodgers. There was definitely something very odd about him, a something which nagged at the back of his mind.

Reaching into the drawer of his desk, he pulled out a worn copy of the I Ching, something he had begun to rely on more and more over the years. The ancient Chinese book of change possessed a history of more than two and a half thousand years providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, business, literature, and art. It was the basis for divination to gain an insight into a question or situation by way of the occult.

The book contained 64 hexagrams, with each one comprising of 6 lines, either broken or solid, representing either yin the passive, negative force, and yang the active, positive force. By randomly generating these six lines, and reading the text associated with it, the book became an oracle.

These lines were either called young stable, or old changing, and any hexagram that contained old yin or old yang, could change into a new hexagram when any old lines changed into their opposites. By consulting the oracle, Herman was able to get the answer to the questions he sought. That, combined with his extensive knowledge of the subject helped him to diagnose and assist his clients. Edward Rodgers however, was a bit of an enigma!

Next to the I Ching there lay three round Chinese coins with a square hole cut in the centre. Each coin had a head one side and a tail on the other. Herman preferred them to the more traditional yarrow sticks to give him a reading. Clasping them in his hand he gave them a good shake before spilling them out onto his desk. Taking his pen, he then began to write down on a piece of paper which way they had fallen to determine his first line.

Each head had a value of 3, and each tail a value of 2. It was quite a simple process, whereby a total of 6 indicated old yin, 7 young yang, 8 young yin, and 9 old yang. The tails were also noted as 3 tails indicted old yin, 2 tails young yang, 1 tail young yin, and 0 tails old yang. The dynamics were also noted as yin was feminine and yang masculine, so for example, if they were all tails then it would be old yin, one tail young yin, one head young yang, all heads old yang. The female yin was considered dominant when it was thrown in conjunction to two masculine heads.

Herman threw the coins and noted down what he had thrown, beginning with the first bottom line, and working his way up to the sixth top line. Once all six lines had been determined, they would form a hexagram. Tails were written as three dashes and heads were a cross. Using the coins had become like second nature to him, and Herman soon had the results worked out. Even though he knew the meanings almost off by heart, he still flicked through the worn pages until he came to the correct hexagram.

Hexagram 12, Blocked

“I might have known!”

Herman gave out a rye smile, as he continued reading.

Things cannot end with flowing together, and so Blocked follows.

It was quite clear to him already, that there was something seriously wrong with his patient. He seemed confused and indeed traumatised.

The main question was:

Why was Edward Roger’s mind stuck in what appeared to be a very strange loop?

By analysing dreams, or indeed visions it was possible to learn about a person’s deep secrets or hidden feelings.

Was there something more to them, or was Edward delusional?

In his years of experience, Herman usually found the answers were all contained in childhood experiences. Maybe the head injury he had mentioned had resulted in his subconscious mind returning to a comic book superhero?

If that was the case, then maybe it was fortuitous that he had not chosen spider man, as he would have tried to climb the walls of his practice!

Herman read on.

Negative influence sabotaging all attempts at progress.

Now that was the other possibility. If it was not Edward himself that was causing his problems, then it could be some sort of external influence. If that was the case, then it was likely to be something connected with his time spent serving in the Royal Air Force.

The best and strongest efforts come to nothing.

It was clear that Edward could not get past the blockage, which is why he had sought his help. Herman would have to use all of his skill to try and free it, as the reoccurring nightmare was clearly distressing him.

Heaven and Earth do not interact, blocked.

That was even clearer, and indicated that something was blocking his normal sleep patterns. There were two types of dreams, those which were a mixture of memories stored in the subconscious mind that sometimes become mixed up, and made little sense, or are actual events which occurred on the astral plane.

Dreams of something implausible like a fish riding a bicycle were obviously a set of memories. They would probably flow from say watching a documentary on sea life, followed by the news which included a report on a bicycle race such as the Tour de France. Other more disturbing dreams could result after watching a horror film, or there were those involving falling, being chased or drowning.

Waking thoughts sometimes remain on the mind when going to sleep, so whatever stresses were being suffered reflected upon the dream. They were connected with issues that had to be dealt with. The term playing on my mind was quite apt here, and it was said that by going to bed with a problem often results in waking up with the answer.

In Edwards’s case, he was stuck in a loop and did not seem to be able to make any progress at all.

The other type of dream was that experienced on the astral plane. They were not memories, but things experienced for the very first time.

Often described as feeling as though watching a film, they usually made far more sense, and were a little different from the normal subconscious mixed up memories, or the traumas of falling, being chased, or drowning.

In this case, it may well be the retained memory of a nightly journey, or account for the feeling of Déjà vu, which incidentally meant already seen.

There were volumes written about astral travel, and the basic principle was the belief that the soul left the body and travelled on the astral plane. The dictionary described that as Astral Travel or projection, being an interpretation of an out-of-body experience that assumes the existence of the astral body, which is separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside of it.

There were two schools of thought!

The first was that human beings had two parts, and could separate them, and the second was that there was only the one and that there was no such thing!

Herman, being a clinical psychologist believed that there were indeed two parts to a human being.

The Noble one has noticed that the harder you bang your head against a brick wall, the more bruised you get.

It was clear that by not being able to release the blockage it was causing Edward a great deal of distress.

The block can be overcome and the situation transformed so that the negative forces become powerless.

That was something that he was going to have to do, and so as he read on, the picture became a whole lot clearer…

Three

The atoms of inert neon gas in the discharge tube flickered red with the modest electrical voltage, and alongside it, another tube filled with mercury vapour combined to produce the word Pizza.

Edward Buck Rogers sat staring out of the pizza parlour window at the sign, as a piece of garlic bread dropped from his fingers. He was deep in thought contemplating his session with Spink the shrink.

Having experienced his reoccurring nightmare under hypnosis had done little to quell his feelings of unreality. Speaking with an English accent he felt more comfortable in the parlour, which reminded him of an Airliner Diner. That was an odd thought, as they served a variety of hot dogs, burgers, and assorted dishes but rarely pizza!

He no longer had a passport, or driving license come to that, so there was no way of knowing for certain. They had both been withdrawn since his accident and subsequent medical discharge from the Royal Air Force. That was where he had gained the nickname Buck, which was quite obvious being a pilot with the surname Rogers, but that was where the trail went cold.

According to the doctor, he had been involved in an automobile accident, and suffered head injuries. That again was something else of which he had little recognition. Yes, he could remember some things about his former career, and at least he had received a resettlement package. That had enabled him to acquire a small apartment, which was rented, and he also received modest monthly payments.

His life was just as big a mystery as the reoccurring nightmares!

Picking up the piece of garlic bread he took a bite, savouring the crispiness and the crumbly garlic texture.

What was happening to him?

It was one thing visualising himself in an American Diner, but that was nothing in comparison to piloting an alien space craft. Edward felt as though he was losing his mind which is why he had sought the help of a psychiatrist.

Taking another bite, he thought about his sparsely furnished apartment. He felt no attachment to it and little to his few belongings, which were not much to show for his years of service. Even the little he had in the bank did not account for all of the money he should have earned.

Perhaps he had some sort of an addiction or had just been a real spendthrift?

Nothing really seemed to make any sense!

Taking a sip of cola through the straw which poked out of the glass, the ice cold beverage did little to clear his head. Looking down at his plate, he could see several large pieces of pizza along with a side salad. If the truth be known, then he could hardly remember placing any of it there either. He was just about to pick up his knife and fork when a voice startled him.

“Can I get you anything else?”

The voice of the waitress brought him back to reality, and without thinking he answered.

“No thank you ma’am.”

The waitress smiled at him.

“Are you American?”

Edward nodded.

“Where are you from?”

Again without thinking, Edward replied.

“Nevada.”

The waitress smiled again.

“A long way from home then!”

Edward smiled back, wondering why he had just said that?

Someone else at a nearby table then caught her attention, and she left him sitting there with even more questions.

Looking down at his plate there seemed to be no answer in the pizza, although it was making him feel a little better, and it looked as though his life, and in fact his wellbeing, was now down to Dr. Herman Spink, MA, PhD…

Four

A large pigeon sat on the aerial attached to a chimney of one of the houses which formed a row of Victorian terraces. It looked around for a few moments, before flying off, leaving the metal rods swaying as it went. A discarded food wrapper had attracted its attention, and as it swooped down from the side street, it hoped to find something to eat. Settling on the pavement, the pigeon began to peck at a half eaten sandwich which lay at the corner of the main high street of the local town. A mixture of residential homes combined with a few small businesses could be seen as Edward walked along, stopping outside the one with the nameplate on the wall announcing:

Herman Spink

Clinical Psychologist

The white wooden door with its brass knob and letterbox, sat next to the downstairs window, which was also embossed in a similar fashion. Through the vertical blinds it was possible to see the reception area, and Madeleine the receptionist was back from her long lunch, sitting behind her desk. Opening the door, Edward walked in, wondering what revelations would be greeting him when he had his next session?

The building was a traditional two up, two down, with the reception and a back kitchen downstairs, and the consulting room and bathroom upstairs. It had been converted into Herman’s practice a few years ago and had a traditional feel about it.

Madeleine smiled as he approached her desk, which sat at the rear of the room looking out towards the window. There were a few soothing landscape pictures on the wall, and a particularly nice one of rolling hillsides above the fireplace which had been restored adding to the period features. Besides that there were four chairs which sat around a curved wooden coffee table. Everything had been designed to give a homely feel, and even Madeleine’s desk sat comfortable within its surroundings.

“Welcome back Mr. Rogers.”

Edward did his best to smile, although he felt far from cheerful. It was not that he was unhappy, just confused. He did not really know who he was, having little proof of his own identity.

“Mr. Spink will see you in a few moments, if you would like to take a seat.”

She then buzzed her employer letting him know that his client was waiting for him.

Edward sat down taking a deep breath. His first session had been a preliminary outlining of why he sought psychological help. Herman had taken notes, nodding, umming and ahhing as Edward explained all about the reoccurring nightmares. He went on to explain that he somehow felt as though his life was a bit of a void, and that there was more to it than there appeared to be.

The previous session had brought the nightmare to the fore, which was why he had been asked to come back a few hours later.

Still lost in thought, he hardly noticed Madeleine calling his name, and looked up when she spoke again.

“Mr. Spink will see you now.”

Edward nodded, as he rose from his seat, walking towards the stairs which had been opened up so that they could be seem from the reception area. They were quite steep, and the family that previously lived here must have found it rather cramped, as there was not much room within the building. Once he reached the top, there was a small landing with just the two doors, one had a brass sign on it which read bathroom, and the other consulting room.

The psychologist’s practice had been made to look as professional as it could, and Herman himself did give off the air of a highly trained professional. Being in his late fifties, he had a wealth of experience, which was just as well, as he would need all of it when dealing with Edward, the most challenging of cases!

It had been more by luck than judgement that Edward had stumbled across the sign outside, and being as he had awoken from his reoccurring nightmare that morning, decided to seek professional help. A week had now passed, and he was here again, still none the wiser. Edward may have put it all down to the bang on his head and concussion following the accident, although he, like Herman suspected that there was a veritable Pandora’s Box yet to open.

Edward knocked on the door before entering, and when he did he could see Herman sitting in his easy chair. The room had a plush neutral beige carpet, and besides the comfy chair there was a bookcase, desk and couch. Everything looked as it might have been expected to, with the period features mirroring those of the reception area.

Herman got up off his chair to greet him, and he was far from the archetypical German. He was short and dark with pepper and salt hair and goatee beard. In contrast, Edward was tall and blonde with a muscled physique, and looked far more German than Herman did.

“Welcome back.”

They shook hands, as Edward was guided to the couch which he had occupied earlier that day.

“I would like to dig a little deeper into your psyche if I may?”

Edward welcomed the idea as he already had far more questions than answers.

Who was he, and why did he have such a connection to America?

“Firstly I would like to ask you some further questions about your automobile accident.”

Edward looked blank.

“I’m afraid that I can’t remember much about it.”

Herman picked up his pad and started making notes.

“I just remember waking up in my apartment one morning, and I would not have known anything about it if it had not been for my sister.”

Herman raised his eyebrows.

“Do you remember anything about your life before the accident?”

Edward paused for a moment.

“I do remember bits and pieces about being in the R.A.F.”

Herman nodded.

“What about your childhood?”

Edward shrugged.

“Not a thing!”

It seemed as though his amnesia was almost complete.

“What about your sister, do you have a good relationship with her?”

Edward nodded.

“She has been very kind, taking care of a lot of things for me.”

Herman continued writing.

“Have you always been close?”

Edward shrugged again.

“I’m not sure.”

Herman continued with his questioning.

“And your parents?”

Edward sighed.

“Again, I have no memories, although my sister told me that they had both passed away a few years ago.”

Herman nodded, as Edward continued speaking.

“My sister told me that they were both involved in a fatal car accident.”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“Have you ever been married, children or a partner?”

Again, Edward shrugged his shoulders.

Herman gently tapped his fingers on the pad. It appeared as though apart from his sister who he had no recollection of, that his patient had no next of kin.

“You mentioned the accident.”

Edward pointed to his head.

“Yes, I have a scar, although my hair has grown back over the side of my head which was apparently shaved.”

Herman got up off his chair to take a closer look. He was not sure what he was looking for, but when he retrieved a magnifying glass out of his desk draw what he found was just as baffling as everything else with this case.

Instead of a scar or the sign that there had been stitches, all that he discovered were three small indentations. He may not have even found them if he had not been looking for something.

“So, tell me about this reoccurring nightmare.”

Edward looked dismayed.

“I think they only started about two weeks ago, although I’m not really sure, as I have little comprehension of time.”

Herman made a note.

“When you say comprehension of time, what exactly do you mean?”

Edward looked a bit flustered, having already mentioned some of this on his previous visits.

“I can only seem to remember things that happened recently, presumably from when I was discharged from hospital.”

Herman raised his eyebrows again.

“And what hospital was that?”

Edward shrugged.

“I don’t really know!”

It seemed as though there was something very odd going on, and Herman continued to ask questions for the rest of the hour. When he had finished, Herman asked him to make an appointment next week which would give him some time to do a little research and to consult with one of his colleagues…

Five

“I can’t just abandon you!”

Alarms sounded throughout the ship as panic set in.

“You must!”

A massive explosion ripped out an entire section of fuselage, sending a cloud of burning air and debris cascading out in all directions.

“Nooo!”

Brrr…

A spine chilling scream mixed with that of the unpleasant sound of the alarm clock which rang out from the bedside table, filling the previously silent apartment with a wail like a banshee.

A hand then reached out from beneath the twisted quilt, reaching for the source of the shrill, which had awakened the only occupant. After a brief fumble, the unpleasant tone ceased as the snooze button was quickly pressed, and a pair off eyes scanned the room.

Edward felt disorientated, as the sight which greeted him was not what he had been expecting. Instead of the officer’s quarters containing a Government Issue side table and wardrobe, there were civilian fixtures and fittings, and even the clock was different, as apparently was everything else.

“Where am I?”

Edwards’s voice broke the silence, as he had been expecting to head straight for the showers before getting himself ready for duty.

“Where was his uniform?”

The unfamiliar surroundings seemed alien, and yet alien was what he had been dreaming about!

Then, it suddenly dawned on him that he was Edward Rogers, former Royal Air Force pilot, and not Edward Buck Rogers, space adventurer!

The unreality of his life was getting worse, as he did not know for certain who or indeed what he really was.

Yesterday had seen two sessions with Herman the German, or Spink the Shrink as he was more often referred too.

A very strange sensation then came over Edward, as he began to realise that he was delusional, and that he would need all of his training if he was going to make it through this nightmare…

Warm water cascaded down from the shower head, washing away the sweat which had clung to his pyjamas, which he had had to peel off his body. Every morning it seemed to be the same, and more than ever he began to doubt his sanity.

What was happening to him?

The fragrance of lime filled the air as he applied the shower gel, which had been purchased for him along with the other toiletries by his sister, who he still could not remember. She seemed to be every bit of an enigma as everything else in his life at the moment.

For the life of him, Edward could not even remember her name!

The water eventually calmed his nerves, bringing to a close another attack of what he presumed was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There was no other plausible explanation, either that, or he was indeed Buck Rodgers, and had been transported back to Earth!

Edward gave a small chuckle, thinking how bizarre that sounded.

Stepping out from the shower, he reached for a towel, quickly drying himself before reaching for his civvies. His clothes it seemed had also been chosen for him by his so called sister.

That was yet another mystery as she looked nothing like him. Perhaps they were only half brother and sister, or maybe one or indeed both of them had been adopted?

The only thing that he knew for certain was that she was a quite attractive blonde, or was that a brunette?

Edward just could not remember, as she was just as mysterious as everything else in his life at the moment.

There was no canteen, and he was not much of a cook, being used to having his meals provided for him. So, he decided to head off in search of a café where he could purchase his breakfast. There was no need for a shave today as he was off duty, and so he just combed his hair, noticing that it was starting to grow, covering the slight scar on the side of his head.

The air outside was very welcoming, and the freshness really helped to clear his head, and hopefully he would feel even better after a good cooked breakfast.

Edward soon found himself approaching the high street, as his apartment was situated in one of the side streets of the town; although which town it was he did not know. Herman’s practice lay in another side street not that far away, although he was not planning on going there today. So far, he had had three sessions with the clinical psychologist, and he was still suffering form the reoccurring nightmares as well as his amnesia. Whatever had happened to him had obviously altered his mind, and he began to wonder if he would ever recover from whatever trauma he had suffered.

The smell of cooking soon wafted into his nostrils, as he turned the corner, and there was indeed a café not that far away. Edward was slowly getting used to his new surroundings, although his memory was still mostly blank.

Lack of memory was one thing, but as his stomach began to rumble, it was lack of food which was now his main priority, and it was with a great deal of relief that he approached the doorway.

Edward was met by the unmistakeable smell of toast, which wafted into his nostrils, as he breathed in the atmosphere of a busy breakfast time.

The little café was half full of people sitting at the small square tables draped with yellow and white plastic checker table clothes. It was not a very posh establishment, but it would suit his purpose nevertheless. He could remember visiting the canteen as he liked to start the day with a hearty meal, as you never knew what the rest of it would bring.

Edward chose a table near the door, so that he could look out of the window. He needed to familiarise himself with his surroundings, hoping that his mind would store what he was observing. Sitting down on one of the wooden chairs he picked up the menu, which had been placed between the little cutlery container and the condiments.

His mind then began to drift as his eyes blurred half looking at the items available, and the yellow and white walls. The top half was painted white, with the lower section yellow, being divided by a wooden dado rail. Abstract pictures were periodically placed around the walls, and he became lost in his thoughts until a waitress suddenly gained his attention.

“Are you ready to order?”

Edward snapped out of his malaise.

“Could I have some pancakes and maple syrup, please?”

The waitress gave him a very odd look.

“I’m afraid that we don’t serve them here!”

Edward suddenly realised even though his mind thought that it was in America, his body was firmly in England.

He eventually chose a full English, although he ordered the vegetarian option. For some reason he could not stomach the prospect of meat, and when he thought more about it, he realised that the pizza he had eaten yesterday had also been meat free.

Something was definitely happening to him!

Time seemed to slip by and before he knew it, Edward had finished off his meal which was surprisingly appetising. Maybe those vegetarians were not quite so daft as some people made them out to be?

Edward had also avoided tea and coffee, having orange juice instead. It looked as though he was making a few changes in his new life, although he wished he could remember a bit more about his old one.

After paying at the counter with some money he found in his pocket, Edward left the café. He did not know where he was going, and just ambled aimlessly along the high street.

The shops looked unfamiliar, as did everything else, and he still could not remember which particular town he was in.

Was it north or south?

Today, most high streets contained very similar shops, as the same brands seemed to dominate everywhere, with their bright corporate fascias turning most places into clone towns. Looking up at what the corporate identity gurus had created, he began to wonder if he would ever find out where exactly he was?

“There you are!”

At first, Edward took no notice of the voice as his mind was still drifting off on a tangent. When he eventually looked round, he could see an attractive blonde woman wearing a business trouser suit.

“When you were not in your apartment I had a feeling that you would have gone out for breakfast.”

At first he could not place her, and then as he stared blankly at her he realise that this was his sister.

“Let’s get you back, as I’ve picked up your prescription, and it’s important that you take your medication.”

She slipped her arm into his, turning him around.

“The other tablets were not strong enough, and these new ones should help you with the nightmares.”

Edward felt himself being guided back towards his apartment, which thankfully he did remember. It lay just off the high street, round the corner from the café. That was about it, as he still had trouble remembering anything about the woman who had linked arms with him.

Prescription?

He could not even remember visiting a doctor or anything about his medication either.

The high street became a bit of a blur as his mind searched for answers, and he just nodded periodically as she continued talking. Edward was so lost in thought that her words simply washed over his head.

One minute he had been standing outside the café, and the next he seemed to find himself standing outside his apartment. His sister then opened the door, and he surmised that she must also have a key.

Once inside she left him for a moment, quickly returning with a glass of water. Out of her little shoulder handbag she then produced a small box of tablets.

“You must take one every eight hours.”

She then opened the box, pushing her thumb against the blister pack, and handing him a capsule. Edward took it off her placing his hand in front of his face, and then lifted the glass and swallowed some water.

“Good, now I must go to work. Why don’t you have a lie-down, and I will see you later.”

With that she gave him a peck on the cheek, and left him standing there more confused than ever.

Edward was not the only one to be confused, as Herman also stood there wondering what was happening. Today he had gone to work as usual, when a smartly dressed woman suddenly burst into his consulting room. Fortunately he was alone as he had been preparing himself for his first patient.

The woman startled him, and before he could say anything, she began pointing her finger at him.

“I want you to leave my brother alone!”

Herman’s face flushed.

“He’s been through quite enough already, and I don’t want you to meddle with Edward’s mind any more!”

The proverbial penny then dropped.

This must be Edward Rogers’s sister!

Herman looked more closely at her, as she stood there in her black business trouser suit. She had a black shoulder handbag over her right arm, which slightly pulled the lapel back to reveal a white blouse and a hint of cleavage. Her outfit was complete with black heels, but it was her eyes which he was really focusing on. Her features were nothing like her brothers, which he could see more clearly as she had her hair up in a French pleat.

“Stay away from him!”

There was a coldness to her eyes, and her whole demeanour struck him as someone who had spend some time in the armed forces. Underneath her trouser suit he had no doubt that there was a well trained physique, as she held herself in such a manner that would lead him to suspect that there was quite a lot to this young woman.

There was also a hint of an American accent, but before he could say anything, she turned and left, leaving him in no doubt that he had been warned to stay away, and there was also more than a hint of a threat about it too...

Six

A ray of sunlight shone through the dark cloud of confusion, as Edward suddenly realised that there was far more to his condition than he initially though. He slowly opened his hand revealing the tablet which he was supposed to have taken. He could not take his eyes off it as the little red and yellow striped capsule rested in his palm.


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