Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Part 15



My head was pounding.  Again.

I heard the sheriff yell from some place close by.  "What happened to the damned Constitution?!"

"She was a danger," I heard a woman say.  It wasn't Dr. Ponytail's voice so I was going to go with the Major or someone like her.

"To whom?!  You?  Your plans?!  What?! And to simply drug her?!  In public?!!  Have we sunk this low?!!  My son, who was her deputized escort, was hit so hard with the butt of a gun by one of your people that he's lost two teeth and required a number of stitches inside his mouth.  That tells me that the girl needs protecting not the other way around.  So tell me again, who was she a danger to exactly."

There was a brief pause and then in a reasonable voice the woman replied, "To herself of course.  It's obvious she is suffering some kind of severe psychosis.  The poor child actually believes she has been in the city this entire time and everyone knows that is impossible.  Isn't that correct Major Jeffries?"

OK, so the woman talking wasn't the Major.  So who was she?  Then I heard Dr. Ponytail say, "I'm going on record that I do not agree with the heavy handed tactics being used.  I'm the girl's physician of record.  The drugs used were not approved by me and the dosage was totally inappropriate.  Even if the girl is suffering from severe mental trauma as Dr. Reed suggests ..."

A man's voice piped up angrily, "Are you questioning my diagnosis?"

"I'm saying that a second opinion is needed on this yes.  If for no other reason than to circumvent any suspicion that this girl is being railroaded to shut her up.  I can tell you that there is already talk ..."

The man flippantly said, "People always talk."

"People yes ... but security personnel, no ... and not just the national guardsmen."

The woman I hadn't identified by name yet asked, "I assume that you've heard this from your sergeant?"

There was a pause.  "Actually Sgt. Watson and I are not currently ... in communication."

I could actually hear the surprise in the silence that followed.  Carefully the woman then said, "Surely you are exaggerating the reaction.  Why make such a fuss over one girl?  We've handled deranged people before without this level of outcry."

Irritably Dr. Ponytail said, "Yeah, about that.  I think you may have overplayed your hand this time.  People - even some of my own staff - are beginning to wonder how many of those people were actually mentally disturbed and how many simply weren't bringing facts from outside the protected zone that agreed with your theories ... yours and the Committee's.  I myself am beginning to question a few things."

Dr. Reed said, "This is ridiculous.  Surely everyone must understand that Dr. Hanson and I ... and the others ... only have the best interest of everyone at heart."

The sheriff jumped back in and said point blank, "Regardless of your intentions, you have exactly two hours from this point to produce Deandra Dawn - undrugged and unharmed - or you will find yourself deposed from your positions by the people of this community.  She will not just disappear like the others did.  She's a fifteen year old girl.  I don't care whether you believe her story or not because it is immaterial at this point.  The fact remains that she is a citizen of the town I serve and as such has my protection.  She's a minor.  Any kind of legal maneuvering that you are thinking of requires at a bare minimum that she has an adult representing her interests during the proceedings.  Her interests, not the interests of your damn Committee."

The woman I now knew was called Dr. Hanson said, "Major Jeffries, the Sheriff is making threats against me ... and the Committee."

Major Jefferies didn't answer for a moment, like she was weighing her words.  "I warned you this could happen.  The Colonel warned you this could happen.  The control and authority we have in this area is only nominal.  When Command stopped communicating ..."

The Sheriff and Dr. Ponytail shouted "What?!!" at the same time.

Drs. Reed and Hanson yelled, "Major!  That is private Committee business!" over the top of them.

The Major was laconic. "Perhaps it was but your ... actions ... have led to a ... let us call it a minor revolt in the civilian staff we've been forced to employ to fill the gaps in communication that were created last year when so many of the Colonel's staff was lost in that riot.  I am sure that the word is spreading across town even as we speak."

"This ... this is totally unacceptable!" Dr. Reed said.  I could hear anger and fear in equal measure in his voice.

"Unacceptable or not, it is the result of your actions ... yours and Dr. Hanson's ... by choosing to act so precipitously and against counsel."

"Bah!" the sheriff spit.  "We're wasting time.  Mark my words, the girl is released unharmed and un-coerced.  You have no other options."

I could almost see him slam his hat on and stomp away.  Obviously he hadn't known I was only a few doors down or he might have just come in and got me.  The rest of them continued talking but they moved away as well and the automatic lights went out in the hallway.

I sat up carefully and took stock of my surroundings.  They'd made a huge mistake not tying me up.  I carefully tried the door but it was locked but I wasn't too worried.  If they were dumb enough not to tie me they were dumb enough to miss other avenues of escape.  The window was locked but then again I wasn't too worried about that either.  If worse came to worse I could always break it out.  But that would make noise and I didn't want that except as a last resort.

I looked around some more and then up.  And grinned.  I wouldn't even have to move furniture.  There was a medical cart and a book case against the wall.  Our group had learned a gazillion ways of getting out of places that supposedly we shouldn't have been able to get out of.  They sent me up into the acoustical ceiling a lot of the time because I was the smallest and lightest.  I would then distract the puss brain(s) and those that couldn't go through the ceiling would go through a window or door.  Divide and conquer.

I wasn't dealing with puss brains.  I was dealing with people that acted almost as dumb as puss brains could act on occasion.  I escaped the prison they had fashioned for me with almost no trouble and total silence.  I stayed on the main beams so that I wouldn't make the ceiling move or creak.  Then I went looking for a room with an outside wall that had a window that I could open.  Got it on the first try.  Also "salvaged" some first aid supplies to replace the ones that I had used on Sgt. Watson and a couple of sharp instruments that would be useful if I was unable to get to my backpack in the sheriff's office.

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