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Tamam Shud
#1
“It's as easy as one, two..”
(1)
Lambert Field, St. Louis, Mo. 
He’s groggy, dressed in coveralls of some sort, and slowly walking into the East Terminal doors.
The automatic doors whoosh open as he walks forward, towards a giant wall, with drawings and faces, some he’s seen before.  It’s like out of a dream or something, the faces are what he’s thinking about.  It’s men and women and while they are painted images on a wall, he feels he knows some them just the same.  Are they family? Friends? Surely not, he seems to be in public and so these people must be of some importance to this building. The owners perhaps? He doesn’t know, then again he’s not sure who he is.  Or who his-

“Family is-“ 

he hears a voice and it startles him.  He’s alone, in a busy airport, (he doesn’t know where he is either or what an airport is yet) and although it’s crowded he’s not near anyone so the voice made him jump. 

Looking around he realizes, the voice is his own.  He was looking at a man and a woman, wondering who they were, wondering about himself too and he must have begun to speak his thoughts, a normal occurrence and one that’s gotten many people in trouble.  
The wall, (he keeps hearing a voice in his head say Muriel-but that’s not quite right there.) Mur-Muriel? Am I Muriel? Or one of these people on the wall? 

“These people” 

he mutters as he starts to expand his vision along the wall, surrounded by a metal walkway.  There’s the woman, young, smiling in a field, in front of an airplane with a young woman of similar appearance sitting on top.  Same girl perhaps.  

“Wait- Airplane?”

He steps onto the metal walkway, to look closer at this,

“How do I know that?” 

But yes that is the front of an airplane, and there are more of them, each with either a face or person next to the plane.  Two men wearing animal fur and skin, stand along side two men in dark coats and beards.  All four of them are looking at an enormous structure that looks like the letter M cut in half, ‘I can tell is huge because the “half M” has small drawings that appear to be people walking around and under this archway.’ he thinks

Above that appears to be another craft that looks to be made of cheap metal and cloth, flying next a more sturdy looking craft shaped like a great big-
“Cochran” he says, yeah that’s a ship he knows.  “Zefram Cochran’s Phoenix”

He’s a little more at ease, at that, hoping that’s just the beginning of who and where he is, the how’s and why’s hopefully will come too.  Men with scarfs, and helmets, all colors and sizes, various planes, men in suits and ties standing and there are words above all these images related to flight. He must be at a central station, for flying or maybe a museum.  He’s standing too close now to really see and try to read these word, 

“WELCOME TO ST (pronouncing it as Etsy) LOUIS INTERSTEL- whoa!”

The sloped walkway he’s on begins to move.  As he falls onto his back, riding along the metal flooring and around a sharp corner he sees a ramp coming out of the ground.  Riding up this ramp are cases, boxes and baggages of all shapes and sizes, each with a bright coded ID hovering above them.  
He sits up, mentally wakes up and realizes that he’s being watch by the small crowd approaching this area. They are holding hand held devices with similar glowing ID numbers and he hears the voice in his head say ‘Airport Baggage Claim’
As he’s trying to hopefully get off this ride he hears laughing and murmurs from the growing crowd and then sees a hand extended to him and kind looking man attached to the hand.
“ Looks like you to went hind over teakettle, eh ma’am?”

He takes his hand, gets to his feet and he's about to answer 'yes, I did' when he looks at the smiling man and watches his face morph from genuine concern, to blank stare, and then to scared.  The man then opens his mouth as if he was going to make a statement but more than likely he was going to ask ‘are you alright?’ He knew this was going to be the man’s question, but because he fell. 

While the man’s expressions changed and his mouth began to open, time seemed to stand still, as our coverall clad man who may or may not be Muriel looked to his left at a mirrored wall next to the baggage ramp.  Looking back at him was a beautiful woman in her twenties, with blonde disheveled hair staring with growing concern.  She said just one word, it was the word that brought him to a stand still as he was being helped up. He said it along with her as he turned to look at his new friend who was now backing away. 

At the instance of utterance, his surroundings vanished, all but a small popping sound. He thought he heard men  faintly yelling, then the questioning tone of that single word echoed.  

“Ma’am????”

“I don’t want to get lost.”
Lost???”
(2)
8:30pm
“That’s right, he’s in the tank.” {The voice on the phone buzzed on} “I chained him up in fact.” {buzzz} “It took everything I had to get him here alone and three of us to lock him up, so yeah, he’s on the chain.”
{buzzz}
“well what was I supposed to do, enraged man rattling on about planes, & blondes, then started yelling on about Lizbia, where the hell that is I haven’t the foggiest” 
{buzz}
“Yes of course we wore our PPE, gloves and hoods all the other crap the bureaucrats dumped on us ever since the chemical wars began. 
{buzzz} 
“no you know what, I’m going on 15 hours and he can sleep it off in the tank till morning, your bloody paperwork will keep”

The officer slammed the phone to the cradle, it always feels satisfying to slam a phone down. 
Tonés sighed and looked at the clock.  Knowing he wasn’t waiting on the paperwork until morning, he never does. 

7:05pm
PC request call came in about a theft and possible D&D in Derbyshire, and Officer Tonés took the call and found a black male in his 30’s slim and lanky.  He was caught stealing a loaf of bread, by the looks of him he must really have been starving.  He fought with the shop keep a bit then yelled on about Lizbia. Scared and confused, the shop keep called in the police.  Tonés tried to reason with the man, then fought with the man and then took him into custody, not before first paying for the bread this man so desperately clutched onto like its his newborn.

8:45pm
“Evening Parkes” Tonés said to the guard of the watch, Nigel Parkes is on duty tonight.  Tonés then walked down the dark uneven stairs to ‘the dungeon’ as it’s called.  

There’s only two cells in this wing, the older wing, we use for the drunks and vagues and as he got further downstairs he began to hear Mr. D&D’s voice.  Tonés watched the man pace and mutter, then fly into a panicked rage when he saw the officer approach.
“Lizbia?” he screamed at the officer. Tonés replies calmly “you tell me, mate, is that where you’re from?  Did you take a plane in from there? And who’s this blonde you were carrying on about back at the shop?”

“Lizbia” is all he’d say, no matter what was asked “Lizbia”
“Are you speaking english?” Well, do you know your name? Do you need a translator?” The man just yells, as if he doesn’t know what anything means.  And the only word he says is Lizbia.

After a few tries of this same line of verbal, Tonés goes back upstairs to his desk. He rifles through the atlas, nowhere in the is there a Lizbia...“Lisbon? Maybe” he mumbles. 
After sending a message to his wife to tell her he’ll be late again, and grabbing a bite and an ale, Tonés went back down to the cell to try the man again.  

Tonés nods to Parkes again, and the guard stops him.  
“Sir, I wanted you to know that I brought him food” 
“yeah? And how did it go?” 
“Well, he looked at the tray, and gobbled a bit of the apple while I poured him some water.  When I placed the cup on the tray, he stopped and looked at the cup.  Then looked at his legs and hands and knocked over the cup and went back to that damn awful howling.  Sir, this is gonna be the longest night of my life” 
“ I hear ya, Parkes.  Think how he feels” Tonés, raises his eyebrows and turned away to walk the stairs down to the cells.  

Well, maybe not quite as pie, but he was pleased to hear that their guest was being quiet at least.  Watching the man sitting on his bed, still manacled to the wall by the wrist, he could see the tray, and the metal cup on the floor out of his reach.  The man was breathing rapidly he could tell even from this distance, in fact other than that he appeared to be asleep.  As he gets closer, Tonés starts to see the wall behind the man.  Not just that but he’s seeing the wall while looking through the man. That fleeting moment of pleasure screeched to dead stop, Tonés could hear men yelling outside somewhere ...fluctuations, sir... while he sprinted to  the cell door.  He heard a faint pop of a gunshot somewhere as he looked at the empty cell in front of him.  Both cells were empty. But this one had a single wrist manacle, floating in front of him for half a second.  ..ctuations in the...it’s the bio filter...
When it fell to the cement floor, Tonés screamed. 

(3)
“Do you know how many molecules you're made up of?”
“Yes,But how many?”
-“Tons

He hears that popping sound again, and hears the sound of metal falling to the floor, as well.  Then silence.  He doesn’t want to open his eyes. Not just yet. He is cold. Freezing even. Exhausted as well.  

Just laying here, wherever here is, at least he can think.  
Think of what’s been happening to him, 
“This is wrong” he thinks or maybe mumbles, not paying any attention to the finger that just poked his cheek. 
But he’s no longer clueless, he thinks. He is remembering things.  
‘Fluctuations!’
Seen recognizable faces.  There was Bessie, and the airships...Cochran.  Seeing the Phoenix Flight. 
“Mister” 
He’s knows he read about that in school, in in flight school.  He feels his body shake, then convulse and start to shiver, and he somehow feels even colder.  What’s colder than freezing? Flight school, that’s right, he’s a pilot. 
“Hey Mister?”
And he’s a HE. But why did I look like a woman at that airport? And then a black man in the brig? 
‘Lizbia’. The name rang so loud in his head it hurt.  But who or what is that? He knows he needs it. 
“Why do your eyes look like that, Mister?”

His trancelike internalization was broken by the child’s voice, he’s been hearing voices in his mind, but this one was in his ears as well.  He sits up and opens his eyes, only to find they already are.  As he sits there, blinking his wide clouded eyes, all he sees is blackness. 
“Are you blind, mister? Your eyes look like they don’t work no more”
He gulps, preparing to speak and hears his dry raspy voice answer 
“Yeah, I think your right. Can you tell me where we are?  Maybe help me up? 
“No” was all the boy said
“No, you can’t tell me where we are?”
“No” the boy said in the matter of fact, no filter, honesty that only children have. “You can’t get up, mister. Yours legs are gone”

He actually did get up, and after a touch and go ordeal between man and boy about a sturdy enough stick, with the right type of V shape on the end to fashion the older of the two a crutch, the pair walked to a nearby cabin that was the boys home.

The smell hit his senses when he stepped through the dooor. He smells coffee, sweat and tubers or potatoes roasting, there is a musty wet cloth odor too, not rancid, yet not appealing either.  But the most welcome sensation of them all was the warmth.  He didn’t need to hear the crackling of the fire to know that it’s there.  
He heard voices, an older concerned, on the verge of angry man, and a more quizative woman talking but he cannot understand what they are saying. He hears his new young friend talking back to them with desperation in his voice. 
“He was lying in the East field...once I realized he was alive I knew he was...but Papa, I...no I knew he was safe and kind, but he’s lost...I just know that’s how!”

Soon he feels strong hands helping him in and setting him down onto a chair. 
“Who are ya?” the man asked
“He’s a pilot! His name is-“
“ Hush boy! The man can answer to his own! Mind yer place”
Before he could answer the man, not that he knew the answers to any of his questions he hears the woman say something. But again it was in the language as before and he didn’t understand any of what she said.
“Yes, Mother’s right, it was good of you to help this man, and we too will help him...now I need you to go check on the hens and take the basket with you.  Mother can make up some nice eggs if you come back with the prize” The voice was no longer gruff but kind, if not a little weary, this was a good man and loving father talking to his son.
“But Papa-“
“Go”

The boy made a Tsk noise and the man hears movement and a door open and slam, knowing the boy left, not because he felt the cold from outside as the door opened and closed but he knew vague notions that the boy knew, not specifically where or who he was, but he knew the boy was concerned and now mad, mad because he always gets sent away when the grown ups talk. 
“That boy, Cyrus, I tell you”
“Your boy’s name is Cyrus?”
Confused the man said “no, the boys name is William.”  Then he added “Your name is Cyrus.  You just said so”

“Cyrus?” he asked the old man then nodded. “Yeah, I AM Cyrus.” He had forgotten, but it’s coming back to him, just upon hearing the name.  “But I didn’t tell you my name, I didn’t remember it until you said it”
The man, who had been leaning forwards now leaned back in his chair and said “Mother. Could we get some coffee here to warm Cyrus up a bit? I’ll take some too.”
She replied in her native language and he heard the man quietly now speaking  to him.  “you are welcome here, Cyrus and we will help you however we can. But I’ll not tolerate being lied to.  Why lie about knowing your own name? But that’s no nevermind to me, just speak your truth here on out”
“Sir, I am not lying. I honestly did not say my name.  Did you hear me say it?”
“ aye, I- well that is to say that I heard.” The confusion sets in his voice, “I know your name, I heard your voice in my head say your name, but now I cannot be sure that I heard the words come from your lips”
The woman he called mother, brought two steaming mugs of coffee, along with bowls of stew speaking her gibberish as she did and set one set in front of her husband, turned towards Cyrus, steadied herself some and set the second set down in front of him, with a motherly pat on his shoulder.
“-likes it, but when he gets back with the eggs. Maybe we can milk old Bessie out there to splash in your coffee, if it do ya, Mr. Ramsey.”
“Excuse me?”
“I said ‘We’re out of salt, and mind the coffee, ‘tis strong like Mr. Bunting likes it. But when William...the boy, gets back with the eggs maybe we can get ye some milk for your drink’”

The confusion spread amongst evenly to everyone in the room.  The kindly old couple, sharing fellowship with a blind, legless stranger their boy found in the field.  He speaks French so he must be from these parts.  Many here in Nova Scotia speak English, save for the old timers.  William is learning English in school, but Jabez and Mrs. Bunting have no time or need for such learning.  The stranger, Cyrus Ramsey he’s called, Not that he has confessed this, or claims to have know this until it was told to him by the Buntings, is telling them everything he can think of.  

“So, did the floor of the jailhouse move as well or was that only in the Arrow Port?” 
“No it didn’t. It was stone. The airport floor was meant to move, for the baggage to be delivered.  I was not supposed to be standing on it” He was also not to be a woman standing on it but left that part of the story to himself.  

The laughter from the kitchen caused both men to stop talking and Mr. Bunting to look as Mrs. Bunting made her way to the table with her bowl of stew and added in an amusing tone “ ‘I was supposed to stand here, not there’ It’s all rubbish, Mr. Bunting,” looking towards her husband then over to her guest, “Mr. Ramsey. You cannot stand in the wrong place with no ruddy legs. I’m sorry to tell ya”
Mother was not wrong. 

Jabez stoked the fire, as his wife  served the cake and more coffee. This time not black thanks to William who brought in half a pail of milk.
“We can ride into town for supplies, in the morning and also talk to the deacon. He’ll know what to do.”

Cyrus made no reply, he’s remembering more now than he had at dinner.  
“The stream!! The stream, Lieutenant!”
He knows that this deacon will likely commit him or chain him if he keeps talking.  He knows who he is, and where he’s from, and this place is not it. And judging by the dialect, clothing and looks of this family he’s not only in the wrong country, he’s possibly in the wrong century.  

“Thank you, Mr. Bunting you have been most kind.”

“If you can stand the wagon ride ull gander. Say, Mr. Ramsey, before we turn in I have one question and then a request.  I’ll have you square me in the eye for your answers too.  My question to you is Will you kill us in our sleep?
Their eyes locked 
“of course not sir.  You have my word.”
“Very good, I thought not but” he shrugged and tilted head to the side ever so slightly “and the request. William has asked if you would sleep in his room.  Mother will set up a pallet wherever you would like”
Grinning “of course sir. I’d be delighted”

The lone candle lit the room as the man and child lay on their backs watching the dance of the shadows.  The child in his bed, the man, as tall as the child due his missing lower extremities lay on a mat along the wall. 

The boy asked about his legs, and Cyrus began to wonder. In the airport, he remembers looking at his own body, yet his reflection showed that of a woman.  He saw his white hands grasp the cup, yet his reflection in that cup was that of a black man. He has no idea what his reflection will show here in this existence, but here when he looks at his feet, they are not there.  So who cares what the reflection shows.  Gone is gone. 

He avoided the boy’s question by reciting him a poem that he knew, but really he has no clue how he knew it. 

The boy put his little hands behind his little head resting on the pillow, and watched the ceiling as he listened to Mr. Ramsey’s poem. 

“Tamam Shud.” he began “Which means ‘this is the end’ 
This is the end, 
Beautiful friend,
This is the end,
My only friend, the end,

Can you picture what will be?
limitless and free
Desperately in need
In a desperate, What will be. 
Of all our plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end

I'll never look into your eyes again”

The boy listened for more.  Faintly he heard voices, in the distance yelling. ...the stream's too unstable....The words were in English but he didn’t understand, William then heard a popping sound.  Like a fart in the bath.  He smiled and rolled over to look at Mr. Ramsey, but the pallet was empty.  His smile faded as he stared. 
He was alone. 

The stream's too unstable....Lieutenant!”
...Come on, Cy, come on...
“Your molecules get pulled apart.”
“Then they get put back together again...Safe and sound...
You can do it, Cy!! you can do it! One..Two...
(4)

“ Oy! - Look at this chum here” 

“Hey, bullyboy! Wake up, ya scrub” 

The two men laughed at the old man in the three piece suit as they jogged by and yelled back over their shoulders at him “sleep it off, ya drunk”
They continued on with their morning routine, a morning run they will do until they are well into their forties. Until the older of the two dies of congestive heart failure and his partner goes ‘to be with him’ (by his own hand) 6 months later. 

We see the old man lying on the beach leaning again a rock, one hand rests on his heart, the other by his side. One leg outstretched, the other bend straight up at the knee.  His eyes are closed, mouth firmly shut, brain function erratic, heart and lungs working at a bare minimum.  Behind those cold dead eyes, Cyrus Ramsey screamed for help. 

But the joggers continued to jog, soon all Cyrus could do was think and try not to go insane.  He could feel the ocean breeze, hear the crash of the tide and call of the Terns that frequented these shores.  

‘The hell is a Tern??’ Cyrus thought as he tried violently to thrash his limbs into some sort of movement.  Nothing. Then a voice in his head said ‘Terns and Gannets are like flies on shit at these beaches, have been since I was a boy, you betcha’
‘Who said that?’ Cyrus asked 
‘You said it, well I said it, or thunk it- no matter, you and I are renting out close quarters it would seem, your name is Cyrus, I’m Alfie.’

The old man continued to think to Cyrus as the body they shared lay dying motionless on a lonely beach of Australia, in the summer of 1948.

‘And at this point I should come clean, since you and I are both dead.  I having consumed poison rather-forcibly I might add-and you, well I don’t really know how you died, but you’re here now.  I’d say my body is shutting down and my brain will be the last to go, but at least it’s conjured up a companion for me to keep me company, ya?’
‘Listen. No, I’m not dead, but I am Cyrus. Cyrus Ramsey.  Lt. Ramsey in fact.  Truax Field, 115th Starfleet (laughter) Space Force division. We were testing long (laughter) range transporters and my molecules became(uncontrollable laughter) encased in the pattern buff-I’m not getting the joke here. We were testing our equipment, and I have been seeing and feeling some of the most random, outlandish things.  And you sit there laughing.  What is so funny?”
“You Cyrus.” Alfie said as the laughter turned to fury, and then cold fright. “You are what funny. You see, I’m dead. A corpse (when he said this word corpse it sound as if he said cawps) a bag of rotting fucking bones. With a brain spiraling down the loo of life, and you Lefttenant are clinging to the zaps and pops of what’s left of that brain.”
“Contact Captain Lizbia, he’ll know what to d-“ Cyrus bleated 
“Will you get out before my brain dies too?”
“ shut up, and help me. I need to-“
“Tick tock Cyrus”
Don't tell me you don't know about poor Cyrus, Hoshi.”
“Am I supposed to?”
“Tick tock-Hahahahahaha”
You can't go on a survival overnight without hearing a story about someone seeing Ramsey”
“Tick Tock Lefttenant”
seeing Ramsey’s molecules rematerialize on a foggy night”
“Tic-“

(5)

Report!

“Captain, we’re Losing him sir. There was a fault it the pattern buffer on the receiving end, sir.”
“Who’s in charge over there?” 
“It’s Roth, sir, and there fluctuations in the bio scanner stream.  It’s too unstable”
“Lieutenant!...Ens. Roth! This is Captain Lizbia -Report! Do you have Ramsey?”

“no sir.  Well, not exactly sir. 
He fades in and out.  Sometimes it’s him, sometimes it’s other, it’s other people, sir.  Men and women, all ages.  Then he’s back. Screaming or yelling for you and someone else. Someone named ‘Hoshi’ 
Half of him was here for a while Sir, from the waist up.  What do we do sir?”

(6)
Cyrus.
Cyrus!
Wake up Lieutenant!
His eyes snapped open. 
Standing on the giant transporter platform overlooking Truax Field, in Madison, Wisconsin.  His field of vision is hazy, transparent,  he can see Captain Lizbia and Lt. Heisenberg in front of him, at the consoles and off at the other end he sees Roth and Murdock.  This is the test, I’m back where I need to be but stuck in the-
Cyrus!
He looks below him on the platform at the young brunette.

“You want to pay attention here?”

“I know that voice, you’re...Hoshi, right? I don’t know how I-“  The woman in the blue coveralls and black pony tail nodded and smiled,
“yes, and you know..I was where you are. Maybe, I will be where you are now, but know this...You are in an energy stream.  And the amount of energy your brain is emitting to produce your fear and worry over this test, its affecting the inadequate equipment here, preventing the conversion process of this test.  You know what they say about the power of the mind after...”
“What do they say?”
“Cyrus, I need you to take my hand.”
“Excuse me?”

“My hand, Lieutenant. Close your eyes.”
Hoshi puts three fingers on Cyrus’ palm
“Think of yourself on a turbulent ocean. You have the power to control the waves.”

Cyrus fidgeted and said “What the-you’re not helping it’s-“
Hoshi adjusts the pressure of her fingers
“Focus. The waves are subsiding, the water is calming down and growing docile. You are in control.”
Cyrus began to relax his anxiety and said “That was amazing, H-“

With that she was gone, his field of vision restored and he looked down at Ensigns Roth and Murdock who hollered and high fived each other.  

Epilogue 

“So, doc you're saying all of that happened in 25 minutes? 
“Twenty Five minutes and 3 seconds.  Your physical body will have not have aged that much but your mentality, it has taken several longer trips.”  
Dr. Pipp, examining Ramsey in sickbay went on 
“Each time you would molecularly detach, your pattern would attach itself to the nearest mind it could find, probably instantly.  
We will be studying this for a very long time before we fully understand.“

 “I was myself, yet not by myself, and I was also in those people, I was them...we knew things about each other.  But I couldn’t remember much at first, even though they could access my mind, I could not. 

“I’d guess it was your mind coping with the ordeal it was going through.“ 

“Okay, but what about the woman  that talked me down? Hoshi was her name. She was trapped in a pattern buffer too she said.  
“Yes, I read your report, that is most fascinating of all.  It would appear your subconscious created another life form in your mind, one that had a cure for the phobia you were experiencing. Again, this is just a theory but I believe this ‘Hoshi’ was a coping mechanism in your mind”
“She seemed so real. So did her crewmen...I heard voices talking to her, about me as if I was a legend.  Campfire stories about me. All of that was just-“ he taps his temple and sheepishly attempted a smile
“Up there?, yes Lieutenant I believe Hoshi and her crewmen reside solely-“ tapping the young man’s forehead lightly. “up there, but you know what they say about the mind...”
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