This novel is best viewed in my blog, completed with pictures and larger characters.
Chapter 17: Nazi Amy
It was an eventful day for Horace.
He got an alarm early in the morning and gathered 8 security guys. Something bad was happening in their food storage house. When they arrived at the crime scene, the guy who guarded the house swore that he saw a group of polar bears used stones to break the lock, then turned the door knob to enter. It seemed that those bears somehow were even smarter than some of those timid DI guys. Horace didn’t believe it at first. He used fish biscuits and honey to lure the bears, only found out that those bears were not interested at all. They were already having a feast inside, why bothered coming out and getting killed? Then he threw into the house a sonic grenade, which was thrown back and exploded among them. It caused most of them losing their hearing for the day. Horace realized he was seriously underestimated those bears.
After much debating, they decided to arm themselves and prepared to charge the house like SWAT teams. After spending a long time wearing super heavy armor, they hold the tranquilizer dart guns and prepared to rush in. Just moments before the action, they suddenly spotted a janitor’s son, Ben, was playing with the bears inside. He seemed to have a great time and ate a lot of popsicles. The bears didn’t hurt him but obviously held the little kid as a hostage. His existence rendered the military operation impossible.
It was a very embarrassing scene until Mr. LeFleur came to the rescue. At first he insisted on raiding the house and saying, “I don’t care about that damn kid. Let him die.”, but since nobody followed him, he could only curse and say, “Fine, you Frodos are always useless. I will do it myself.” With everyone’s surprise, he simply raised his hands high, and walked into the house unarmed. The bears roared at him, but then they were happy to see him opening a steel door with much more delicious stuff inside. Before long he started to drink Dharma beer with the bears. One hour later those bears were all out, and DI guys captured them all. It was a happy ending with no casualties, bear or Ben. Horace was smiling because he couldn’t think of a better solution himself. That man had a natural ability to con others. He would be very useful in the future.
The only remaining problem was that they had to move those 500-pound heavy weight champions into cages before they woke up. It was not easy but was done nonetheless. Dr. Chang was very pleased because his wife would have new specie to do some scientific experiment on, which made Horace frown. Just last month, one of Lara Chang’s sharks escaped the confinement and already ate 3 of DI workers in the sea so far. Who knew what Lara would do to those bears? They were already too smart and dangerous to handle.
By the time all those commotions settled down, it was well past the lunch time. Horace went to the greenhouse of Orchid station, and saw Lara Chang walking out. He told her the news about the bears and asked the situation of Amy.
“Oh, that’s great! I always want to hug a real polar bear myself.” Lara said excitedly, “Uh, about Amy? She’s basically fine, except she was working like a robot.”
“Are you sure? I saw her talking to someone in her house again yesterday. I believe she was still in a serious delusion.”
“That’s really bad!” Lara exclaimed, “She still does that? It has been, uh, how long was that since ...”
“It has been 4 months and 23 days.” Horace said, “I have been counting.”
Lara looked at him with some sympathy. After a while, she said, “You should ask her to move out of her house. Maybe there are just too many things in the house remind her of Paul.”
“That must be true. She’s too emotional inside it.”Horace agreed, “I will prepare a room in my house for her, and I will take away everything that has a connection to Paul.”
“Good luck. I know Amy’s situation is not easy on you. Everyone knows that, but I wish you the best.”
“Thank you! Now how is she doing this morning?”
“She seemed very normal to me, except she didn’t say a joke or anything. All we talked about was work and research. I didn’t want to say a joke either, given her situation.”
Horace nod, “That’s right. A joke sometimes will hurt people deeply. So ... did she eat anything for lunch?”
“Yup. She ate lunch just like anybody else, except that she spent only 2 minutes on it.” Lara tried to remember, “Then she went back to work right away. For the whole morning she didn’t smile a bit. We all feel sad for her.”
“Hm... I think the last thing she needs now is sympathy. Anyway, thank you so much for telling me all these. I am going down to see her now. Bye!”
“Bye. Good luck with her.”
Just like Lara said, Horace saw Amy working like a bee. She took some rock out of the drawer, put some tiny piece of it under the microscope, and burn something with a torch gun. He watched her with utmost care, trying not to disturb her.
Amy turned around and talked to him, “It’s you again.” The sound was plain like computer generated.
“Yup. Don’t you think you can get rid of me so easily.” Horace tried to make a light mood.
“Have you seen enough? Since last month you have kept coming here and bothering me.”
“Not really.” Horace got closer, “I just want to make sure you are alright.”
“Get out of here now, before I call security.” Amy’s voice turned icy.
“I AM the security, Amy. Please, don’t drive me away like this. I only want to take care of you.”
“You leave me no choice then.” Amy pickup something like a gun, and before Horace could react, she shot him in the chest.
A strong wave of impact hit Horace like a hammer, knocking him down to the ground and rendering him unconscious.
Amy looked at the gun-like thing, and said, “Good. The Portable Sonic Gun passes the test.” She went back to work.
When Horace woke up, he felt like his chest hurt like burning. He opened his shirt and saw a large area of bruise. My God! Amy, why did you do this to me? He stood up again, trying to get closer to Amy, only to see Amy raised that thing toward him again and said, “Get Out!”
He had no choice.
After he left, Amy shook her head and said, “Men never learned.”
“Ouch...Ouch... Be careful, Rosie. It hurts” Horace moaned with agony.
“Of course it will hurt. It’s such a big bruise. What happened to you? Why you didn’t want a doctor to see it?” Rosie was curious.
“I don’t want him to write a report. That’s all. I can handle this thing alone.”
“Really? Why not? This bruise will hurt you for months. I don’t think you can cover it up.”
“Yes... Um... I can ... uh... handle it. No worries. Please... please... lighter.” He was almost collapsed by the pain.
“Keep it still, will you?” Rosie put some cotton on the scary bruise and started to wrap bondages around his chest. She noticed that he really got a strong big chest!
“You know.” Rosie said with a little hesitation, “I really missed dancing with you in the Flame Station. That was fun.”
“Ouch, ouch... For God’s sake, that was two years ago. Rosie.” He said it with a great deal of pain, “How about Jerry. Are you still with him?”
“On and off, but I am not serious about him.” Rosie said in a naughty way, “I am serious about you.”
“I am sorry... Ouch... I can’t be the one.” Horace didn’t want to say anything. It hurt like hell with every breath.
“Well, in case you change your mind,” Rosie insisted, “You know where to find me. Now go, before any doctor sees you.”
“I hate you!!”
Two more months passed, there were many rumors about Horace’s wound, but none of them were confirmed by the source, the pathetic man himself. All they could see was that Horace frequently visited the psychologist and got some pain killer from him.
The following was from one of the visits.
“OK, Doctor, I am lying down, can we talk now?” Horace was inpatient.
“Just a sec,” the doctor got a pen and paper and ready to write, “Now I am ready. What do you want to talk about today?”
“I want to talk about Amy.”
“Sure, we all know that you were deeply troubled by her tragedy, so you might have developed a lot of anxiety because of her. No worries, you just need to take some pills and let her go for a few days, and you will be fine.”
“Doctor, I am not talking about myself. I am talking about Amy.”
“Not again.” The doctor sighed. He knew why Horace came here so often, “What about her?”
“I still can’t understand why she was crazy for 3 months, and one day she woke up, and was normal again. That’s impossible! Do you know why, Doc?”
“Hm...You are right. Her case is very interesting. Tell you the truth, I haven’t seen any case like her before. Now you ask, I can only give you my speculation.”
“Please, let me know anything that might help me.”
“When she lost her husband, she experienced a trauma so powerful that it shut down some of her brain function. Therefore she appeared to be crazy because she was not capable of thinking. After 3 month, the effect worn off, and she could think again. That’s what happened.”
“Doctor, I am sorry I have to disagree with you. When she was ‘crazy’, actually she could think very well. I heard her conversation with her imaginary dead husband. It was long and clear. It was like he was actually there. Now she’s back to work, but she doesn’t talk at all. It makes me worry even more.”
“Well, we all know that Amy is a very smart woman. So when she was in a trauma, maybe she still appeared to be normal in conversation, but she definitely lost the perception of reality. Now she finally recognizes the situation. It is very hard for her, but she has accepted it, and put all her energy into work. I will say it’s a good sign.”
“You really think so, Doc?”
“Yes. I believe everyone has his way to deal with grieve. Working hard was her way to forget about her loss.”
“Doctor, I want to agree with you, but the whole thing is not this simple. I always feel something strange was going on with her mind, something bad.”
The doctor can’t held smiling, Horace was being paranoid, he put a note in the paper, “Horace, I think you are worrying too much about her. She is okay. I just interview her two days ago.”
“What did you find out?”
“Nothing. She is perfectly fine. A bit of obnoxious, I have to add, but otherwise she was normal.”
“Wait. That is the point! She became another person. Someone I don’t know. Now she says things that can cut you deep.”
“That is what we call ‘Post-Trauma-Personality-Shift’. It is normal for a person who suddenly lost the life partner.”
“Is that really what it is?”
“Yes, it is. Now enough of Amy already, it’s time to talk about you. You have anything you want to tell me about? Has your chest pain gone? Do you need more pain-killers?”
“No, I am fine. Thank you, Doc! I think I am finished here.”
“OK, then. Come back any time if you want to talk.”
“Sure will do.”
1974, Winter. Orchid station.
THUMP! A pile of paper hit the table so hard that it made Dr. Chang jumped up in reaction.
“The direction of Dharma Initiative has to change completely.” Amy said like a dictator.
“What?!” Dr. Chang couldn’t believe his ear, “We just made the rabbit space-jumped. Isn’t that a good direction we should continue?”
“The rabbits all turned into ashes after the jump. It’s useless.”
“But we can develop a way to protect the rabbits, or we can find species that can survive the jump. It should be possible.”
“Since we cannot put any metal around the rabbit, there’s no way we can protect the rabbit. The strong electro-magnetic radiation will blast them into ashes. There is no doubt that all other animals will be the same. It was all waste of time.”
“Well, I have to disagree. Lara is working hard on an injection which will increase the resistance to EM. She also found a way to combine different animal’s DNA to produce new species. It is very promising.” When mentioned about his wife, Dr. Chang smiled proudly.
“She is too slow. What she is doing will take us at least 20 years to produce an unnatural creature to survive the jump. What should we do during this time, uh? Do we just sit here and wait?”
Dr. Chang’s face grew red, “Amy, I have to warn you. Your behavior becomes more and more ... uh... unacceptable. I think you really need to take a break.”
“No, I think it’s YOU who need a break. Look at all the white hair on your skull, you are getting old, Pierre.”
“That’s it!” Dr. Chang couldn’t stand of this rebellious Amy anymore, “Get out of my lab!”
“This is not your lab. It’s mine.” The stone cold Amy Maxwell fought back, “And now I need you to sign some papers immediately or suffer the consequences.”
“You have the audacity to talk to me like that...” Dr. Chang grunted, he scanned the paper and appalled, “What the hell is this? Munity?”
“Exactly.” Amy said, “I wanted you to step down to be the number two, and I will take charge from now on.”
“Ha ha ha ......” Dr. Chang laughed bitterly, “Everyone says you are crazy. I always argue against it. Now I have to agree with them. Woman, you are seriously out of your mind.”
“I don’t care what you think.” The overtaker Amy said, “If you don’t sign, I will make a call, then the whole deal with the island will be off, we will all die here and have nothing. Do you want to try that?”
“What kind of phone call? What are you talking about?”
“Well, actually I already made the phone call. In 10 minutes, if I don’t call somebody back. He will activate a broadcast system. And the whole deal with the island will be gone. Since the island won’t let anyone go, we will just all die here, one way or the other. So I suggest you sign the paper, and sign it quick.”
“You wicked woman!” Dr. Chang now understood what she was planning to do, “You want to broadcast the forbidden numbers?!”
“Right. It’s the only way to make you sign the paper.”
“Alright. You win this time.” Dr. Chang sat down and started signing, “But I have to warn you. With an evil mind like this, you won’t last long in this island.”
“You know what,” the undisputed champion Amy retorted, “You won’t last long either, because you are so weak.”
The new constructions began. It was a very ambitious plan. Besides the Orchid and Flame that were already built, there would be six more stations in each corner of the island. Each one would have a different purpose.
Dr. Chang was strongly against almost every station project. In the final review meeting of the whole plan, he spoke aloud, “The Arrow Station is dangerously close to the hostiles. We don’t know how to build it without them knowing it. Even if you could somehow build it, if they found it one day and discovered all the firearms inside, that’s equal to declare war on them.”
The chairman Amy just scoffed him, “Let me worry about that, Doctor. You just need to do your research work.”
Dr. Chang got use to her attitude already, he continued the protest, “What’s the purpose of the Swan Station? And why do we have to build the Pearl Station to monitor it? That’s unreasonable!”
Amy replied with a scorn, “Doctor, if you read the papers, you will know the Swan Station will be used to research on the unique properties of electro-magnetic radiation itself. We have done enough research on the materials from the Orchid Station. It is a dead end...”
Dr. Chang objected, “You cannot call discovery of space-time-jumping a ‘dead end’.”
Amy just ignored him, “Now we need to change the direction to this so we can better harness the power of pockets of energy on this island. The radiation itself is the key. It will reveal us how the ‘magic’ of the island was done. We can make blaster weapons that are thousands of times stronger than any laser we have today, and we will be the only one who can produce energy shield to block the weapons.”
“What are you talking about?” Dr. Chang frowned, “We are here to do research to benefit the mankind, not making weapons. You have totally crossed the line.”
“Wake up, Dr. Chang! There is no line in this island. Since day one, we have been slaughtered by the island one by one. Do you know how many lives we have lost so far?”
“......” Dr. Chang never counted.
“Let me tell you. It’s 108, including my husband Paul. They didn’t have to die if they had equipped a shield to protect themselves.”
Dr. Chang started to understand Amy. She was declaring a war with the island to revenge her husband. He had to say something to stop it, “Amy, I am really sorry for your husband, and the lost of those good people, but I just cannot agree on making weapons. It’s morally WRONG.”
“That’s why I am the director and you are not.” Amy sneered, “You are too weak to make tough decisions.”
That’s it! One day I am going to kick this woman out of this island and never see her again! Dr. Chang promised himself. Then he spoke to the computer screen with the utmost sincerity possible, “Mr. Hanso. I believed that this woman is leading us to a very dangerous direction in this island. The truce will be broken and we will be eliminated by the hostiles once we start the constructions...”
“Not if we eliminate them first.” the merciless Amy interrupted his words, “Don’t forget the Tempest Station...”
Dr. Chang ignored her remarks, and continued his plead, “Mr. Hanso, for the sake of our long-time friendship, I personally asked you to reconsider the whole project. It was extremely risky. It will put everyone’s life in danger. I cannot support this project with my clear conscience.”
It was a long long pause in the meeting room. Everyone was quiet. The sound of the air blowing out of the air conditioner became very loud.
Finally, Alvar Hanso on the computer screen said, “I am sorry, Dr. Chang. Her plan is so perfect that I cannot refuse.”
What?! Dr. Chang’s heart suddenly sunk to the bottom of the ocean. He felt the unbearable pain of the ultimate betrayal. “I thought you were my friend, an honorable man,” he muttered, “Now I know you are nothing but a scum!”
Alvar obviously didn’t hear that. He paid his full attention to Amy, “Dr. Maxwell. We will transfer the fund you need in one week. The number is big, but we will do everything we can to secure it.”
“Thank you, Mr. Hanso.” It appeared that Amy had won the battle. She looked at Dr. Chang victoriously with crocodile’s tear, “Are you OK? Dr. Chang.”
For a long while, he didn’t speak, and just stared back at her with an intense despite.
Amy sneered, now you are the loser, what more can you say? She let the pride of victory sank in, then she asked, “Dr. Chang, will you consider resigning from the position now? I understand this is very hard for you. I will approve your resignation right away. There is no need for you to suffer more from me.”
Dr. Chang’s staring at her like an injured bull looking at his predator. Slowly, he replied with a determination. “Thank you for your concern, Dr. Maxwell. But I am NOT retiring.”
“Oh, that is a surprise!” Amy smile viciously, “What happened to your clear conscience?”
“Fuuck that!” It might be the only time in his life he had ever used the F word, “You play dirty. I will play dirty too. The rule says you cannot fire me, so I will stay. One day when the shit hits the fan, I will be there. I will see you doom, and I will save everyone from being killed by you.”
Amy had to applause, “Bravo, bravo! Dr. Chang! This is the first time I see you as a man!” She turned to the computer screen, “Can I fire Dr. Chang? Mr. Hanso.”
Alver Hanso shook his head, “He represents Paik Enterprise. Even I cannot fire him without their consent. Personally I think Mr. Paik doesn’t trust anyone but him. So...”
“Then I will activate the number, and the whole project will be over.” Amy threatened him again.
“Ha ha, do it then.” Dr. Chang didn’t back down, “Last time, you have nothing to lose, but this time the war between you and the island had become your whole life. You have a big plan to carry out. Can you really cancel everything just like that? I DARE you to broadcast the numbers!”
The victor Amy now felt a little loss, “Well, congrats, then. Doctor, you score a little win this time.” She walked out of the room, “But there is still a war ahead, don’t you forget that. Bye.”
Dr. Chang looked at her back and muttered her famous nick name: