Patient, The: 6. Chapter Five: Fail Safe

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6. Chapter Five: Fail Safe

A short scream tore through his ears as a woman and her boyfriend back onto the
shoulder of the road when they saw the headlights of the T Bird bearing down on
them with through the rain. Aaron smashed his fist against the horn, hoping
that the sound alone would be enough to warn them away to safety. It was
difficult to see the road ahead when his head was bent low against the steering
wheel in an effort to avoid being hit by the hail of bullets that was being
fired at them from the limousine pursuing them with such relentless desire.

His new companion was managing to keep her calm a good deal better than he was
and he could not help watch in fascination as her deft hands moved over her
police issue handgun, sliding another magazine into the self loading weapon.
Even though she had not said it, he could tell that she was beginning to get
worried. The cache of ammunition in her glove box was starting to run low and
they were nowhere close to ridding themselves of their pursuers. When she
leaned out the window of car to fire off more shots, Aaron instinctively pulled
the car from the shoulder of the road to ensure she was clear of any parked
cars.

His eyes alternated from the road and from the woman who had saved his life.
Despite himself and their situation, Aaron could not help but feel a little awed
by her. She was in his opinion one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen.
It was not the kind of beauty enjoyed by the supermodel set but something that
conveyed elegance and grace, even when she was half hanging out of a car, firing
her weapon with deadly accuracy. Aaron hoped that they would survive long enough
for him to know her better because quite frankly, she could be the one person he
could confide in about what was happening to him.

They were fast running out of road and Aaron wished he knew where the local
precinct was. Keeping ahead of their pursuers had not left him much time to
navigate, he had been racing through the streets, trying to avoid the bullets
and not given much thought to where they were going. He did not know this part
of town and was pushing the T Bird to its very limits just trying to keep out of
reach of the bullets that had shattered just about every window in the car.

Aaron swung the car around as they came to an intersection, the speed of it
spinning the back section out of control on the slick tar that it slammed into a
parked van and left a sizeable dent as the T Bird shuddered from the impact. The
vehicle slowed down just enough for Aaron to jam his foot on the accelerator,
spinning the wheels enough to send a spray of water as it surged ahead. The
van’s alarms screamed in accusation as the T Bird pulled away and continued up
the street. They were fast leaving the commercial district behind and entering a
heavy industrialized area with dark empty buildings.

Eve knew she had to narrow the odds against them. She had littered the hood of
the car with enough bullet holes to ensure the limousine would have trouble
maintaining the chase, however she had not stopped it in its tracks. She had
been trying to play it safe, to avoid the loss of life if she could but it was
becoming obvious that such a desire was impossible. She knew how well she could
shoot and though the constant turns and shuddering was making it difficult to
aim, she knew it was not impossible.

The gunmen who was firing at them was reloading and Eve took the opportunity to
end the threat of him once and for all. Taking aim with deep concentration, she
squeezed the trigger and released a series of rapid shots with a specific target
in mind. The bullets smashed through the grill, puncturing the headlight,
shattering the headlight before meeting its mark. The tire exploded with a loud
expulsion of gas. Eve saw the front of the car dip sharply to one side followed
by the sharp turn the vehicle made as it spun out of control. It swerved across
the street, causing the other two cars to break sharply as the limousine cut
across in front of them. The limousine slammed into a wall, forcing the hood to
buckle from the impact as the body crumpled behind it.

The second car had managed to clear the disaster and keep behind them but the
one behind it had slammed into the limousines tail as it swerved in front of it
before the spectacular impact. The grey Ford veered sharply to avoid the
collision but failed to do so. The force of the steel against steel lifted it
off the wet road and lifted it onto one wheel before the momentum of its speed
toppled it over. The occupants of the only car capable of maintaining the
pursuit did not pause to check on their comrades, surging through the streets
with more determination to reach the T Bird.

“Nice shooting,” Aaron, declared as he saw the crash through his side mirror.

“We’re not out of trouble yet,” Eve declared as she dropped into her seat once
again and checked the remaining shells in the magazine of her gun. The grim
expression on her face told Aaron immediately that her supply of ammunition was
exhausted.

“You don’t have any more?” He looked at her.

“No,” she shook her head. “I think I’ve got about five shots left. It’s not
going to be enough.”

Aaron noticed that they reassuring lights of a populated area had disappeared
from around them and in its place were darkened factories that were devoid of
life. The streets were empty and the only people out at this time of night in
this place, were not likely anyone either of them would like to meet. It was
also the perfect place to dispose of a doctor and a policewoman if the occupants
of the car caught up with them. As it was the roads were empty except for their
pursuers. It would be hard to lose them when the headlights were a dead
giveaway.

“Turn here!” Eve ordered suddenly.

Without thinking twice, Aaron swung the wheel around, forcing the T Bird through
the entryway of an abandoned textile factory. The wheels screeched despite the
slickness of the road and as they tumbled into the driveway, Eve reached over
and switched off the headlights.

“What are you doing?” He asked, panicking when the road before him became pitch
black.

“We got to lose them,” she declared. “Just slow down and see if you can hide us
behind the building.”

“You think that will work?” Aaron asked, feeling very ineffectual, not to
mention completely out of his depth. However he obeyed her request and took his
foot off the accelerator, slowly down considerably as the T Bird rolled forward
in complete darkness. Aaron strained to see the road ahead, hoping he did not
drive the car into a wall. Fortunately, he managed to navigate through the
darkness enough to disappear behind the far side of the building. Once
concealed in the shadows, Aaron turned off the engines and they lapsed into
silence.

“I hope so,” she whispered softly and through the sinister darkness, he could
see that despite her self assured manner through all this, she was just as
anxious as he.

“For what its worth, thank you for saving my life,” Aaron said gratefully.

“I may have just delayed the inevitable,” she replied, “they could and probably
will find us.”

“I know,” Aaron replied, “I just wanted to thank you in case I didn’t get the
chance later, Officer McCaughley was it?”

“Yeah,” she nodded with a little smile, “Eve McCaughley.”

“If we get out of this, I’ve going to have one hell of a story to tell you,”
Aaron replied, his eyes watching the darkness. They could not hear the sound of
the pursuing vehicle but that did not mean that it was not out there somewhere.
“Its pretty crazy though.”

She gave him a look and retorted with a slight laugh. “After the week I’ve been
having, crazy is a matter of perspective.”

Suddenly, they heard the rumble of another car and fell silent though it was
likely they could be heard through the low drone of engines. Aaron watched the
smaller car rumble past them like a shark searching prey in the dark waters of
the sea. He wondered if Sandra Collins inside it, Sandra who was ready to shoot
him without giving it a second thought, just as easily as she had Sturt killed.
In a matter of days, she and Malcolm Industries had turned his world upside down
because he would not cooperate with their sinister intentions.

For so long, his world had been easy and comfortable. Reality and fantasy were
too strictly delineated axioms, there was nothing in between. As impossible as
it sounded to him still, John Malcolm was not human. He may be wearing human
skin but he certainly was now and through the mystique of the supposedly
dynastic lineage of the Malcolms, he had perpetuate a mechanism to acquire a new
body and retain the wealth of his previous life It was obscene and what was
worse, it was true. Moses knew this and somehow, Malcolm had done something so
terrible to the old man that it had buried his memories so deep it took hypnosis
to surface it.

If they were to fall into the hands of the men in the car searching for them,
Aaron knew that they would find someway to extract Moses’ location from him.
Aaron was not going to let them hurt him any more, not when he had seen first
hand, the power the old man possessed. He was not going to let them harm this
woman either who had placed her life in jeopardy even though she nothing about
him. Every now and then, when he turned to her, there was split second when he
thought he knew her. As he sat here with her in the darkness, fearing for their
lives, he was struck with this feeling that it had always been this way for
them. She did not feel like someone he had just met before and Aaron could not
begin to say how much that unsettled him.

“I’m not going to let them hurt you,” he said suddenly, his eyes fixed ahead, an
insane plan forming in his head.

Eve was suddenly overcome by a feeling of deja vu and turned to him, They had
done this before. She did not know how she knew that but Eve felt it, “they
haven’t found us yet.”

“They will,” he replied. “They won’t stop until they do. They killed Stuart
just because I wouldn’t do what they wanted, because I would give them Moses.”

Hearing someone else being killed caught Eve’s undivided interest. “Who is
Stuart?”

“My friend,” Aaron said softly. “They wanted me to turn over Moses and when I
wouldn’t, they killed him just to show me what would happen if I didn’t
cooperate.”

Eve wanted to ask him more questions but the sadness in his eyes made her pause
because her was touched by his sorrow. “Don’t blame yourself for that, it
wasn’t your fault. You should never blame yourself for murderers doing what they
do.”

He met her gaze and said firmly, “I won’t let them harm you Eve, I won’t.”

With that, he switched on the engine and produced the low drone from the T
Bird’s engines that would surely bring their captors towards them.

“What are you doing?” She demanded.

“Getting rid of these bastards,” Aaron said with no small amount of venom.

It was less than a few seconds when he saw the body of the other car coming down
the lane in front of them. Aaron waited until the length of the vehicle was
almost across the hood of the T Bird when he jammed his foot on the accelerator,
causing a sharp screech of tires before the car lunged forward at top speed.
The T Bird ploughed into the side of the smaller car with such force that it
drove the vehicle against the nearby wall. Aaron heard Eve let out a short cry
upon impact but he was too busy changing gears as the newer model car, made with
none of the sturdiness of an early model T Bird was crushed against concrete.

The T Bird reversed a short distance after the initial collision before Aaron
pushed his foot down on the pedal again and sent it smashing into the side of
the battered vehicle. The smaller car pressed closer against the concrete wall,
until bits of cement shook loose. Debris of glass and mortar littered the
buckling hood of the T Bird.

“Hey!” Eve had recovered her senses enough to see that the front end of her car
was being smashed into oblivion. She could picture every dent that was being
inflicted upon the car as Aaron put the vehicle into reverse and prepared for
another assault.

“Now would be a good time for those tires!” he declared as the engines revved as
the T Bird continued forward at ramming speed.

Eve shook the astonishment and horror of his solution to their predicament and
leaned out the window after Aaron had created another conclave-sized dent in the
body of the car. The doors of the sedan were bent inward now and she doubted
that it was even capable of pursuing them any longer. Still it was better to be
safe than sorry as she took aim of the rear tires and fired. Three bullets
escaped her gun in quick succession, rising over the noise of engines heaving at
the assault and revving in its retreat. The back tyres ruptured with the first
bullet, expelling gases as it back of the car sunk close to the ground as the
rubber was reduced to tatters.

“If you’re done destroying my car, can we please get out of here?” Eve demanded
as she eased back into hear seat.

“Anything you say officer,” he grinned and directed the car away from the
wreckage of the pursuing vehicle. Despite the damage to the T Bird, the car was
remained in good shape as Aaron sped away from the scene leaving a trail of
debris behind them that consisted of pieces of grill and fragments of headlight.

“Where to?” Aaron asked as they left the enemy behind them and drove back to
town.

“My place,” Eve replied, letting out a sigh of relief that they had escaped,
despite the damage done to her car to achieve it. “You’re not the only one with
a crazy story to tell.”

**********


Sandra Collins stood before John Malcolm and felt his gaze burning into the
skin.

She had been his associate long enough to know that he could make that a reality
if he wished it. She had been in the limousine when it crashed and though she
suffered no significant injuries, being unable to take part in the rest of the
search had not impressed her employer when he learnt that the doctor had
escaped. However, telling Malcolm that she had been unable to capture the
doctor was nothing in comparison to telling him that it appeared Doctor Stone
had managed to learn something of what his patient had buried inside of him for
so long.

“So you are telling me that he is now with Detective McCaughley and it is most
likely that he’s told her what he knows?” Malcolm asked her as he glared at her
from across his desk.

“Yes,” Sandra nodded slowly, able to see the fury in his eyes despite his
outward calm. “It will not take long to find them. We are finding out where
Detective McCaughley lives even as we speak. We will have our people there
within the hour.”

“I trust you will dispose of him a good deal better than you disposed of
Falstaff?” Malcolm retorted caustically.

“That was a mistake,” Sandra replied quickly, unable to shake the anxiety from
her voice. Malcolm did not take failure lightly and while he might not kill
her, she had endured his punishments throughout her service to him. It was not
an ordeal she particularly enjoyed since Mr. Malcolm could be quite creative in
how he rewarded those who had earned his anger.

“You seem to make many of them lately,” Malcolm replied. “Richard was my
financial adviser and while I have no interest in your sexual proclivities, I do
object when you tell him more than you should while you are in throes of passion
during your tawdry affair.”

Sandra shuddered as she remembered the punishment for that mistake. She closed
her eyes and forced away images of the spiders he had set loose upon her bare
skin when she was pinned to a floor somewhere in the Monolith. She had been held
down with shackles as the swarm of spiders were released over her naked body.
She had remained frozen, unable to scream because she was terrified they would
crawl into her mouth. She clamped her eyes shut as she felt those spindly legs
covering every inch of her.

“I have paid for that mistake,” she swallowed thickly, meeting his gaze once she
had composed herself.

“You paid for the error, the mistake lives on,” Malcolm replied. “I found you
because I know your soul. You served me and mine once and you had certain
successes, though I am sure you remember little of it. However, I am not as
forgiving or as weak as my servant was. Disappoint me, defy me and worst of
all, challenge me and I will see you burn in a hell that will make Dante’s
depiction of it positively pleasant.”

“Yes Sir,” Sandra nodded and turned on her heels to leave when Malcolm stopped
her in her tracks.

“There is one other thing,” he said before she could leave. “Detective
McCaughley. I want her alive.”

Sandra paused and looked up at Malcolm in confusion, “alive Sir?”

“Yes,” he nodded, “alive.”

“I don’t understand,” she met his gaze with growing puzzlement, “Detective
McCaughley is determined to connect Richard’s death to us. She should be
eliminated.”

“Thanks to your incompetence in this matter, it may be necessary for me to
vacate this body far sooner than I would like,” Malcolm stared at her. “If that
becomes necessary, I will need a receptacle to host my rebirth. Detective
McCaughley will furnish that need most effectively, so you will bring her to me
alive. Is that clear?”

“Yes, perfectly,” Sandra nodded mutely, knowing better than to debate the issue
with him. No doubt once his seed was firmly planted within her body, the
policewoman’s lifespan would last just long enough for her to deliver his child.

After all, that was how it had been with all of the others.

***************


Eve did not know whether or not it was sensible bringing Aaron back home with
her but as he told his story on the way back to the house, Eve did not see if
she had much choice. If he were right then Malcolm’s men would be on their way.
Although she had trouble believing anything that he was saying about Malcolm
being some kind of creature that perpetuated himself with a new body every
generation or so, she also had to remember that her houseguests at present were
three elves. It was hard to take the sanity high ground under such
circumstances.

Eve had explained her situation as best she could and was rather pleased when
following that revelation, Aaron did not think her insane or delusional. He
himself had a incredible story to tell and though she had no idea how the
separate pieces of their puzzle fit, it was good to know that she was not alone
in bizarre situation they found themselves embroiled. While he did not state
empathically that he believed the men in her house were elves, he was willing to
give her the benefit of the doubt. Considering what he had told her about his
patient, it appeared that they were both in the company of some rather peculiar
individuals of late.

After they had left John Malcolm’s people behind, Eve had a better opportunity
to study Aaron Stone. He was not what she would have expected from a
psychiatrist and for some reason she kept thinking that he was one of those
doctors who lived in trailers outside their hospital, like Gregory Harrison out
of Trapper John MD. She did not know many doctors who ran around with jeans and
sneakers and looked like an adult that never really left college. However,
there was a strength to him that could not be denied and he exuded it without
even suspecting its existence. When he said that he would let nothing harm her,
Eve had known with all her heart that he meant it and that made her feel
terribly safe.

For a woman who was accustomed to taking care of herself, who saw this doctor
get twitchy every time she loaded her gun during their adventure this evening,
Eve could not understand why this was so. If anything, he needed protecting
more than she did.

“Here’s the plan,” Eve stated as they walked through the door. “I’ll get my
guests and we’ll go pick up your patient and head out of the city. You said you
got a place upstate?”

“Yeah,” Aaron nodded, looking around Eve’s home and was pleasantly surprised by
how warm and comfortable it looked. It was the house for a family not a single
woman who had very little time for a social life he was certain. “It on a small
plot of land that I lease from an old patient of mine. He used to go fishing
there all the time but turned the place over to me when he and the wife moved to
Miami. Its in the mountains, in a town called Goshen near Bear Mountain.”

“Sounds good to me. We need to stay out of sight while we figure out what to
do,” Eve declared as she stepped into the front door corridor of the house.

“Hello!” Eve called out to give the trio some warning of her arrival, redundant
as it was.

If there was one thing she had learnt about them since their entry into her
life, it was the fact that they could hear a pin drop from a hundred miles away.
She guessed they were in front of the TV since that had been their best source
of information since becoming her houseguests. She hoped they did not absorb
too many talk shows. Somehow the contamination of their psyche by Jerry
Springer was a terrifying concept.

Both Aaron and Eve jumped when they heard a glass shattering on the floor as
they walked into the living room. Elladan and Elrohir had been in front of the
television set as expected but had stood up abruptly with their entrance into
the room. Legolas who was coming out of the kitchen had dropped his glass and
was standing before them with nothing less than astonishment on his faces. Eve
was suddenly reminded of how they had reacted to seeing her for the first time
and realised that they were now staring at Aaron in the same way. However,
Legolas was staring at Aaron so hard that she could almost see tears in his
eyes.

Elladan and Elrohir were not so restrained and the twins crossed the floor
exuberantly before Elladan swept a very confused Aaron into his arms to deliver
a warm embrace, while Elrohir patted him on the back as if they were long lost
friends.

“They’re very friendly,” Aaron stammered as he looked past Elladan’s shoulder at
Eve.

“Yeah, I noticed,” Eve muttered with puzzlement. For some reason the reunion
between these elves that purported to being her brothers and the psychiatrist
felt strangely familiar, though like the rest of this whole bizarre episode, Eve
was unable to explain it either.

“Elladan?” She looked at the elf for an explanation.

“Estel,” he grinned at Eve as if that explained everything, still beaming
happily at Aaron at the same time. “Estel! Aragorn!”

“No,” Aaron shook his head as he was similarly embraced by Elrohir and wished
they would stop that. In this day and age it was very disconcerting to be
hugged so warmly by two men with long hair who looked that pretty, “Aaron,” he
said firmly.

“Aaron, Aragorn,” Elrohir declared, unwilling to accept anything different
because it was he knew who was standing before him and it made perfect sense.
If the Evenstar lived in this time, why was it not possible for Aragorn to do as
well? There was a certain harmony to Aragorn and Arwen sharing the same time
because their souls were so interconnected that it was impossible that even
thousands of years could separate them.

“They did that to me too,” Eve explained to Aaron with growing confusion. “I
have no idea what language they’re speaking but they seem to think that I was
someone called Undomiel and their sister.”

Something sparked in his mind at that moment, something that he had even not
considered until this instant when Eve had mentioned the fact that these elves
believed her to be someone else. What was it that Moses kept calling him?

“Strider,” Aaron said experimentally.

The blond elf that remained at a distance but was more overwhelmed than the
other two reacted sharply to the word. Of the three, it was Legolas had not said
anything until now. The expression on the elf’s face as he said the word
‘Strider’ was one of recognition and hope. Suddenly the doctor’s heart was
pounding because he knew he was the brink of something, something that would
turn his world even more inside out than it already was. Ever since he had met
Moses, Aaron felt himself tumbling forward through some darkened chasm, coming
to this singularity of time where finally everything would come together and
make sense.

“You,” Legolas tried the word on for size having picked up enough in the last
day to come away with that much at least, “you, Strider,” he tapped Aaron’s
chest.

Legolas could scarcely contain the emotion inside of him as he regarded his
dearest friend. He had been the last of the Fellowship to leave the shores of
Middle earth because of his deep friendship with the King of Gondor. When
Aragorn had passed away into death, Legolas links to Middle earth had been
severed. After watching so many friends grow old and die including his wife,
seeing Aragorn’s life end had been the final straw for Legolas. He left Middle
earth while the Reunified Kingdom was still in mourning for the great king. Now
Legolas found himself gawking at the man who was Aragorn born in this day and
age. No matter how blankly he stared at Legolas, the elf would believe nothing
else.

This was his friend even if he did not know it.

“No,” Aaron shook his head in denial to Legolas’ belief, “I’m Aaron.”

“You,” Legolas repeated the gesture and spoke with more insistence, “Strider,
Aragorn Elessar, Estel, Aaron.”

Aaron knew what he was trying to say despite his inability to speak English.
Moses had told Aaron during their session that Strider was what he was called
before anything else. These elves recognised him. The minute they had laid
eyes on him, Aaron had seen it. They knew him. Just as they had known Eve. It
took Aaron a fraction of a second to remember that Strider was not the only
thing that Moses had called him. During their first session, Moses had called
him by another name, a name that he had forced to ask Stuart to explain. With a
pang of grief, Aaron realised that it was the last conversation he and Stuart
would ever have. However, now he knew he had to say it. He was compelled to.
Saying it would tell him without a shadow of a doubt.

“Thorongil,” he almost whispered but the elf heard nonetheless.

“Yes,” Legolas nodded slowly and placed a hand on Aaron’s chest, “Thorongil,
you.”

“Who the hell is Thorongil?” Eve asked, unable to comprehend what was going on.
She had taught the elves a few words since their stay in her home, mostly a few
basic words to make things simpler but now they were using to reveal a truth
that was sending Aaron into a deeper state of shock.

“I think I am,” Aaron finally allowed himself to say it. “Or I was, I don’t
know. None of this makes sense.”

“Look,” Eve decided that these questions could wait for now because they did not
have time for it. The strange circumstances that allowed the elves to know
Aaron for this Strider person, did not change the fact that John Malcolm’s
people would be coming for them and soon. “We can deal with this later, right
now we have to leave.”

“Yeah,” Aaron nodded, deciding she was right. “We have to get to Moses because
maybe if they know me, they might know him too.”

**************


Within twenty minutes, they were speeding away from Eve’s home with no idea how
much time would lapse before Malcolm’s men descended upon her home like a plague
of locusts. While Aaron emptied out whatever provisions they would need from her
kitchen in terms of food and supplies, Eve made the elves help her load a small
non descript chest into the back of her car. Although she did not tell them
what was within in, she successfully conveyed to them that they were not leaving
the city without the leather box, secured with a huge padlock. After their
encounter with Malcolm’s goons today, Eve had learnt one thing for certain.
They were extremely well armed and thus she intended to be as well.

Once they were supplied, the five swiftly left the house and drove towards the
Best Western motel where Aaron had hidden Moses discreetly. Aaron was glad to
get back to the old man because he had been out of touch with Moses since this
afternoon when he had left to unwisely attend Stuart’s funeral. There were too
many unsettling questions in Aaron’s head that he did not wish to deal with at
the moment. Moses had said so many times that he trusted Aaron and until now,
it was because Aaron believed that it was trust inspired of a sick man for his
doctor. The possibility never even occurred to Aaron that there might be
another reason, one so unbelievable that Aaron could not believe it until now.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Eve asked Aaron as they went to his motel
room.

“Look,” Aaron let out a deep breath and met her gaze, “I know this whole thing
is crazy but I’ve seen things in the last twenty four hours that’s convinced me
that everything about the world is not as black and white as we think. I know
what I feel and I know I’m not insane. It is hard to believe what’s happening to
both of us but no more insane than you thinking these guys are elves and that
they know us both, somehow. Can you honestly say that you believe that all this
is a hoax?”

Eve felt silent, glancing at Elladan, Elrohir and Legolas who did not understand
her language but were capable of reaching her on a level that Eve never thought
possible. In her lifetime, she had seen the very depths of human ugliness and
deception. She knew how to recognise liars and danger because it was a
necessity. In the last two days of her life, everything she knew had been
challenged with no good explanation for any of it. Eve knew there came a point
when one had to take a leap of faith. There was no other way around it.

She had taken a leap when she rescued these men from the precinct and it was
something she would never have done otherwise unless she truly believed.

“No,” Eve whispered softly, “damn I wish it was a hoax. I wish there was an
explanation for all this but I don’t have one.”

“I wish I could make this easier for you but I’m just as lost as you are,” Aaron
replied earnestly. “I thought Moses was just a patient but he’s more than that.
I don’t know what happened to Moses but I know that John Malcolm is evil and
evil in a sense that we can even begin to imagine. He’s been creeping around our
world for God knows how long and that scares the hell out of me.”

“Okay,” Eve met his eyes, “I’m with you on this, all the way.”

“Good,” Aaron smiled at her and felt inordinately pleased to know that. He
looked into her eyes and thought how easy it would be to let himself become lost
in those sapphire depths. Unfortunately, now was not the time for such
indulgence and paused as he reached the door to the motel room.

“Moses, its me,” Aaron replied after knocking once.

“What’s wrong?” Eve asked suddenly as she noticed the elves suddenly becoming
very tense. Their faces became grave as if they were sensing something in the
air that gave them concern. Legolas had pushed his way next to Aaron as the
door started to open, which confused the doctor to no end. Since their meeting,
the elf seemed very reluctant to let Aaron out of his sight.

“Aaron?” Moses’ voice returned as the door swung open.

“GANDALF!” Legolas exclaimed, his voice escaping in a burst of sound. The elf’s
blue eyes widened in shock as his face melted into an expression of disbelief as
Gandalf, the sole purpose of their quest to this strange world, suddenly
materialised before them.

“Who?” Aaron returned just as swiftly as the elf dropped to one knee in a
position of reverence before the old man. Behind him, Elladan and Elrohir had
done the same, similarly stunned that after four centuries of hearing nothing of
their old friend, only to have him appear before him so unexpectedly.

“Is that his name?” Aaron asked Legolas, cursing himself a moment a later
because the elf could not understand a word he was saying. Instead, Aaron
directed his question at Moses himself, “is that your name Moses?’

Moses was reacting badly to what was happening to him, especially the appearance
of the new faces before him. He recoiled when Legolas called him that strange
name, as if the sound of it was a physical assault. His eyes darted frantically
to Aaron, conveying to him in a matter of seconds, the fear he felt. By now,
Legolas had stood up and was jabbering away at the old man in the language that
neither Aaron nor Eve could understand. While Aaron could not understand the
content of the elf’s words, he could tell that Legolas was very excited at being
in the presence of his amnesiac patient.

“Legolas,” Aaron called out and grabbed the elf’s arm, restraining him as Moses
stumbled backwards into the room. The elf met his eyes and Aaron held his hand
in a gesture he hoped was the universal hand signal for stop.

Legolas saw Aaron’s intention and though he did not understand the words, could
see that his presence before Gandalf had clearly distressed the wizard. Legolas
could not understand what had happened to the Istar. Gandalf was the most
powerful of the Istari and he was a Maia spirit. Why was he behaving like a
frightened old man and worse yet, why was he afraid of Legolas? His eyes showed
the fear of a cornered stag and deepened Legolas’ concern for him.

“Elladan, Elrohir,” he said to the brothers, “something has happened to him.”

“Yes,” Elladan concurred with Legolas’ assessment when he saw Aaron approach the
wizard first, attempting to calm him from his highly agitated state.

“Moses, its okay,” Aaron replied as they entered the room. Legolas, Elladan and
Elrohir held back while Eve locked the door behind them. Of all of them, it was
Eve who understood the situation the least. However, she was refrained from
asking question for the moment. “You don’t have to feel afraid. They won’t make
you do anything you are not comfortable with. I get the impression they’re just
as worried about you as I am.”

“Who are they?” Moses asked, retreating into a wing chair and staring at past
Aaron at the elves with clear apprehension.

“They’re friends,” Aaron answered, not knowing what else to say. “I think
they’re your friends.”

“I do not remember them!” Moses hissed.

“I think you do,” Aaron pressed a little. “I think you do just a little. Its
all right Moses, I’m here with you. I won’t let anyone hurt you.”

“Moses,” Aaron turned his eyes towards the three elves, “this is Legolas,
Elladan, Elrohir and that’s Eve,” he introduced her lastly.

Moses stared at the young woman for a long moment. It felt as if there was a
wealth of information bottlenecked in a specific juncture of his mind, allowing
only a trickle of memory through and none of it being what he really needed to
know. However, as he saw the woman return his stare, he found a word escaping
his lips.

“Evenstar,” he whispered.

“You remember?” Aaron looked at him in question.

“I do not wish to speak of this!” Moses cried out. “There is something there
inside me that will not allow me to remember. I can feel it!”

“Gandalf,” Legolas tried desperately to reach the wizard, speaking in elvish and
hoped that would spark some memory within the mind of his old friend. “Mellon,
Gandalf, Mellon!”

“I will not listen to you!” Moses shouted.

“Can you understand him Moses?” Aaron stood between his patient and the elf. “Do
you know what he is saying?”

“Yes!” Moses cried out. “He says that I am a friend! I do not know him!”

“But you can understand him?” Eve declared. “You know what he is saying?”

“Yes,” Moses nodded, clearly distressed. The old man could not even look at the
elves, he was that afraid. “I understand him. I do not know how but I
understand him.”

“What language is he speaking?” Eve asked finding her voice when she realised
that she could finally converse with the elves if this old man could understand
them.

“I do not know,” Moses shook his head, “I only know that I understand his
speech.”

“Moses,” Aaron looked at him seriously, “is your name Gandalf?”

No sooner than the word had escaped his lips did Moses convulse violently and
uttered a scream not unlike a wounded animal. Like before, the old man clutched
his head in agony as he writhed and screamed. He collapsed on the floor, his
cries becoming shrieks of agony that left the elves and Eve in stunned silence.
However, their silence did not last long because once again, the walls began
shuddering and the same calamity that had left their previous hotel room in a
shambles began to repeat itself.

“What the hell?” Eve exclaimed as she felt the vibrations under her feet. The
furniture was shaking violently as if there was an earthquake. She had trouble
staying on her feet as a chair tipped over and felt hard against the floor. The
furniture was being rattled so violently that it was moving across the carpet.
She heard glass shatter from behind the bathroom door and heard what could only
be described as water running. The light fixture broke free as it was shaken
loose and smashed onto the ground next to Elladan who caught the spray of glass
across his back.

“Moses!” Aaron dropped to his knees and tried to help Moses who was screaming in
pain, muttering incoherent words in between his cries of agony as around him,
the room tore itself apart. “Moses, listen to me!” He tried desperately to
reach the old man, “its Aaron Moses, try to listen to my voice. Try to come
back from wherever you are by focusing on my voice!”

Unfortunately, it appeared the ordeal that Moses was enduring could not be
halted by Aaron’s soothing words. The old man seemed unreachable and his agony
deepened the intensity of the tremors until those within it could hear the walls
fracturing. Mighty cracks were running across the stone, splitting the paint
and as fragments of mortar and stone began to break free from its cracks.
Legolas took up position next to Moses as he tried to help Aaron calm the old
man. However, Moses was beyond hearing anything that might remove him from the
dark place that was causing him such intense pain.

“We have to get out of here!” Eve shouted at Aaron.

“No!” the doctor said stubbornly, “get my bag!”

Eve looked over her shoulder at the black doctor’s bag and hurried to retrieve
it. She handed the leather case to Aaron who immediately opened it, leaving
Moses to Legolas’ ministrations any more.

“Gandalf,” Legolas tried desperately to reach the wizard, trying to help the
powerful Istar who had saved all their lives on more occasions then he could
think.

“NO!” Aaron fairly screamed himself. “Don’t use his name!”

Legolas stared at him blankly, not understanding.

“Moses,” Aaron stated firmly as he produced the items he needed from inside the
case. “Not Gandalf!”

To ensure that Legolas understood, Aaron shook his head when he said the word,
hoping that the elf would understand what he had come to realise in the last few
seconds, that whatever this condition Moses was suffering, it was his name that
triggered these violent episodes.

“Do not use his name Legolas!” Elladan replied, realising what Estel was trying
to say to them. “It is his name that makes him this way!’

“How can that be?” Legolas demanded outraged by the cruelty of it. “Who could
have done this to an Istar?”

“I do not know,” Elladan replied, “but until we know for certain, we must listen
to Estel. I believe he is a healer in this life.”

Indeed, even as Legolas struggled to hold Gandalf down to keep him from harming
himself, Aaron was preparing placing a needed against the wizard’s arm. Gandalf
or Moses, as Aaron called him was unable to keep his powers from escaping him
with each agonised scream. The manifestation of his pain was shaking the walls
around them so violently, that there was every possibility that the roof might
collapse upon them,

“What is he doing?” Elrohir asked as Aaron placed a sharp needle against
Gandalf’s arm and filled him full of fluid from the receptacle it was attached
to.

Suddenly, Gandalf’s convulsions began to abate as the struggle oozed out of his
body. In correspondence to his looming unconscious state, the powerful forces
that had swept through the room also subsided with equal speed. However, the
damage was done and Aaron was grateful that this time, he had witnesses to the
whole affair. At least now he knew he was not imagining things.

“What did you do?” Eve asked as the old man began to drift into unconsciousness.

“I knocked him out with 50 cc of Thorazine,” Aaron let out a heavy sigh. “He’s
going to be asleep for a little while.”

“That’s good to know,” Eve replied staring around the room in absolute
astonishment. If she had any lingering doubts about Aaron’s story, it was more
or less gone now. She could not deny what she had seen even if she was somewhat
shaken by it. “What just happened?” She demanded.

“He’s telekinetic I think,” Aaron tried to explain the best he could but this
was a difficult proposition when he himself did not know what was wrong with his
patient. He had come to the conclusion that Moses’s condition could not be cured
by psychiatry. In fact, he had no idea how to help the old man, not after this.

“We have to get him out of here,” Eve spoke once she had regained composure of
herself.

“Yeah,” Aaron nodded, surveying the damage around them. “I don’t think I’ll be
getting my deposit back for this room either.”

**********

With the same urgency as before, Aaron and his companions took Moses and hurried
out of the motel room before the destruction within it brought the attention of
others. Thankfully the T Bird was a large car and they were able to fit inside
it, eve if it was a bit of a squeeze. In any case, Moses remained unconscious
throughout most of their journey to mind very much. This time it was Eve who
took over the driving duties while Aaron kept a close eye on his patient. He
also tended to Elladan who had been injured when Moses power were rampaging
through the room.

Legolas was watching Aaron working on Elladan’s back with a little smile. The
reincarnation of his friend was presently removing glass fragments from the
elf’s back. Fortunately, the injury was not severe for the heavy material of
elven clothing had protected too many pieces from being embedded in skin. It
seemed only fitting to Legolas that Aaron should be a healer, even when he was
so far removed from his life as Aragorn, King of Gondor and a former Ranger, the
instinct to heal was still within his old friend.

“What?” Aaron noticed the blond elf looking at him with a bemused smile as he
removed small shard of glass that had penetrated Elladan’s clothes to meet skin.

“You,” Legolas replied and glanced at the black bag.

“Doctor,” Aaron answered assuming he was talking about Aaron’s ability to treat
Elladan. “Me, Doctor,” he repeated touching the bag.

Legolas nodded, absorbing the word, “You, Strider, Aragorn, doctor.”

“That’s right,” Aaron replied, uncertain of what the elf was trying to say. “I’m
a doctor.”

“No,” Legolas shook his head. “Strider, doctor.”

“I think this Strider guy was a doctor,” Eve said helpfully from the driver’s
seat.

“I still have trouble believing all this,” Aaron said shaking his head as he
continued to treat Elladan. He made his remark at Legolas who continued to smile
at him but there was also understanding in the elf’s eyes as well.

“Any more difficult believing your patient is telekinetic?” Eve asked.

“Telekinesis I can deal with,” Aaron said with a frown, “reincarnation? That’s
something else.”

“Listen,” Eve glanced over her shoulder long enough to meet his eyes, “I have
trouble believing all this and I’m a cop but ever since I came within sight of
that damn Monolith, something has been happening to me. I’ve always had
intuition, strong intuitions, it has helped me size people up easily on the job
but since I walked into that place, its gotten worse. I shouldn’t know what
these guys are but I do. I know they’re elves. As impossible as it is to
believe, I know it. I can feel it. I can feel they don’t want to hurt me and
sometimes, I can even feel that two of them might have been my brothers once in
another life. As an investigator, I look for the most obvious solutions but in
the absence of any evidence, you sometimes have to take a leap of faith and
believe in something else.”

Aaron swallowed thickly, “ever since I ran into Moses, I have been able to sleep
without having strange dreams. The night before all this started, before Stuart
was killed, I dreamt I was someone else. Ever since he called me Thorongil,
I’ve had this strange feeling that I’ve known him before. I’ve heard of hypnosis
bringing memories of past lives to surface but I’m a psychiatrist, I am trained
to think that there should be other explanations to psychosis, not far fetched
ideas like reincarnation but like you, I know I was this Strider person. It
scares the hell out of me but I know it.”

“Yeah, you were Strider, Aragorn Elessar, Estel and Thorongil,” Eve teased. “If
we ever work out how to carry on a conversation with our friends here, I’m going
to have to ask why you have half a dozen names.”

Aaron laughed shortly before casting a look at Moses who was still very much
unconscious, “I figured out something about Moses though.”

“What is it?” Eve asked automatically.

“John Malcolm did this to him,” Aaron said firmly.

“Malcolm?” Legolas asked.

“Too long to explain,” Aaron shrugged.

“Melkor?” Legolas looked at him again. He thought he heard Aaron say Melkor’s
name. Coupled with what was happening to Gandalf, it almost made sense.
Legolas cursed the inability to communicate because he wanted to know why Aaron
had mentioned a word that sounded so much like the dark lord’s name. Gandalf
had left Valinor in pursuit of dark evil that had risen in the outer world, that
they had been able to feel even in the undying lands. Could it be Melkor?

“No,” Aaron replied. “Malcolm, John Malcolm.”

Legolas did not press him further but Aaron felt a chill run up his spine at the
troubled look on Legolas’ face. Aaron was starting to read this blond elf very
well and what was more disturbing, he was starting to share this kinship the elf
felt with him.

“You were saying,” Eve prompted, wanting to know how John Malcolm could be
responsible for Moses/ Gandalf’s condition.

“It has to be Malcolm in light of everything else we know. John Malcolm is
capable of resurrecting himself,” Aaron reasoned out as he placed clean bandages
over Elladan’s wound. “What if Moses knew about it? He spoke to me about being
alive when they had carriages on the roads. He was wandering the streets back
then. He said to me that he had been away for a long time that he had needed to
come back. What if he has been around for as long as Malcolm?”

“He sure looks old enough,” Eve was ready to accept the possibility. It was
surprising how easily she was accepting everything these days. She supposed
once she believed there were elves in the world, it was only a hop skip and a
jump to believing that there could be seemingly immortal people roaming the
streets of New York.

”That’s why I called him Moses,” Aaron shrugged.

“Good thinking,” Eve rolled her eyes, “go on.”

“Okay,” Aaron continued. “If Moses has been around as long as Malcolm then he
might know how Malcolm was reincarnating himself. Moses told me he was sent to
stop the evil, to stop the darkness they felt even though they were a world
away.”

“Its possible that Moses comes from wherever these elves come from,” Eve pointed
out.

“But he’s not an elf,” Aaron declared, having never thought of that.

“True but if they sent him here to stop evil then perhaps they made him come
looking like one of us, so he wouldn’t draw suspicion,” she replied, using her
investigative instincts to help Aaron with his hypothesis.

She was right, Aaron decided and continued, “I think Moses came to stop Malcolm
and somehow or rather Malcolm couldn’t kill him but Malcolm could make him
forget. If he affected Moses’ memory, he might have put in a fail safe to
ensure Moses would not be able to remember the truth.”

“Like sending him nuts if he ever heard name,” Eve concluded.

“No its worse than that,” Aaron said softly. “If he ever remembered his name.”










This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Scribe

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Action

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/07/03

Original Post: 04/03/03

Go to Patient, The overview

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