Still in the booth, we circle above the man. We wish to know more but the GY87 has left and there’s nothing but the sound of waves. To enter him fully would be disastrous. He’d be his own worst enemy. But we are curious now, and cannot resist the urge to witness the memories he is experiencing.
Swooping down towards him, we become fully attached to his mind.
We see a woman hovering; leaning over him, over us. We are lying in a bed, and the woman herself is the person we share this bed with. Long dark hair, with an attractively round face not so dissimilar to the GY87’s final appearance.
Her hair tickles our bare chest. In a loose fitting nightgown, she is wide-eyed and screaming. An image so powerful, we are unable to go further.
Someone else has entered the booth.
We exit the man’s mind.
Unable to concentrate fully, we watch the man argue with a shorter man in pink. They are arguing about money. The three hours that was barely used. The man is asking for the return of some of the cash he paid, while the smaller man in pink is politely explaining the reasons why the policy of the establishment doesn’t allow for such.
We pick up on the man’s anger, though it’s not enough to compare with effects of the memory before.
Thoughts of the woman. We cannot shake the image. We need to know more, but must wait for him to be alone.
Impatiently we follow the man back through the underground maze; in the turbo-lift to the indoor market, outside, to the subway’s elevator; back to the parking area, into his automotive and up into the air. Speeding off into the night, we are with him inside the vehicle. He snaps open another nicotine sick, pops another pill. He drives and we understand that he’s no idea where he’s going. Soaring along a speed road, we are careful not to reattach to his mind as yet. Already in his current state of distress, we are dangerously close to crashing into the extensively lit side barriers.
Watching him, we think again of the screaming woman from his past; and now, processing the information we have, we realise undoubtedly that she was in fact his wife. Their bond had been close, their lives shared. Her screams were for help and accessing our data banks we confirm her as one of the many humans to be probed.
Was this what attracted us to this man in the first place? A life so wrapped up in the effects of our presence?
The man has turned his automotive away from the speed road and we are soaring through countryside. Up ahead we see ocean and know that this is where he will stop.
Unable to stand it any longer, we go back into his mind. We are with him when he breaks, when he exits the vehicle and stumbling wearily to the shore, we see the shifting images of his vision. The shingle beneath us, the waves up ahead. The black starry sky, then shingle again, shaking around with our movement.
Delving further within, we see the woman again. A different image but she is still screaming for help.
“I saw it,” she is saying, this time below us, head in her hands. Long brown hair covers her face, we have moved together to the edge of the bed and are over her looking down. “My God, Frank,” she cries. “My God, I am one of them.”
Repelled by these words, we are unable to cope at all.
The image shifts to the two of us in the bathroom – for we are now him, and through his eyes we see her. We are shaking this woman aggressively “Look again,” we are saying, holding her at the mirror. “Tell me what you see!” we shout.
“Stop it,” she is screaming. “Don’t you understand? They are here.”
Blind as to what other options we have, we run back into the bedroom, open a drawer by the bed.
“I am your wife!” she moans. “You can’t …”
Finding the hidden gun, we take it up, then return to the woman at the mirror.
“I must,” we say calmly, holding out the weapon. “For the good of us both, I must.”
Beneath the loose fitting nightgown, her body trembles in cold anticipation of what we are about to do. Looking down at our hand, the aspect narrows and zooms to our thick finger touching at the trigger; but overwhelmed by the intensity, it is impossible to go further.
Instead, fleeing from this memory we arrive again to the reality of the scene before. Shingle and crashing waves, but we are no longer in his body. There are no shifts in vision; it is but a calming panorama of flat beach, cool water and distant lights.
Floating about, we circle him, the man we have followed for the hours of this night; the man we wished to know more of; the person whose mind we felt compelled to bond with.
And as he silently stares out at the waves, we watch as a leathery hand moves upwards to his face. Fingernails begin to scratch at the skin, and we know he has seen us too.