"What you here again?!"“I’ve just about had enough. Get me the Colonel.”
“He’s not available.”
“Then I’ll see Sir Charles Portland.”
“But he won’t see you!”
“Then you’ll have to do.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Do you know where I’ve been?”
“No, but everyone’s curious to find out.”
“I’ve been in the Village! I’ve been pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, and numbered! They wanted to know why I resigned. I tried to escape, several times. I’ve been mentally and physically tortured. I had my name, my identity stripped from me, and they gave me a number, 6 they called me. But even that wasn’t enough for them. They changed me physically, they conditioned me, they took away my number, and made me out to be somebody else, and somebody to be me! Oh then there’s the Colonel, he’s a first rate bastard, I can tell you that from first hand experience. And where’s that traitor, that man who betrayed our friendship…….Fotheringay you snivelling weasel!
"But I eventually managed to escape. I came back, you remember".
“You asked me if there was anyone at home.”
“That’s right. I went to see the Colonel and Thorpe. After all I went through, to come back here, to prove my story, and they had me taken back to the Village as easy as kiss your arse. And what did you do?
“You disappeared again!”
“Yes, and what did the Colonel do…nothing! Well not quite nothing, you sent Thorpe to the Village as Number Two to torment me, to try and break me!
“I’ve had my dreams manipulated. I’ve been manipulated, betrayed. I’ve seen a good man reduced to being nothing more than a brainwashed imbecile. I have been faced with myself…….”
“Did you like what you saw, what you had become?”
“What do you know of this? What part have you played in this?”
“For my part? I simply sat here, as I do now listening to you ranting and raving. You threw down your letter of resignation quite forcibly, upsetting my cup and saucer, to make nothing of the tea plate they stood on.”
“That letter, what did you do with it?”
“I simply passed it on.”
“To the Colonel. And then?”
“I waited for you to return.”
“I waited for you to return, here in this office I waited. And here you are again.”
The Prisoner said nothing.
“Well where is it?”
“The letter man, lets be getting on with it. I’ve not been sat waiting here all this time for nothing.”
“I don’t understand.”
“The letter of resignation, slam it down along with your fist, upset my cup and saucer, not to mention the tea plate. You’ll start ranting and raving in a minute, then storm out just as you stormed in here a few minutes ago.”
“I don’t understand I’ve just returned here from the Village…..”
“Yes we’ve heard it all before. What Village?”
“It’s run by one side or the other. I’m not sure which sides runs this Village.
“So where is this Village?”
“In Lithuania, thirty miles from the Polish border……No it’s not, it’s……….situated somewhere south west of Portugal and Spain, possibly Morocco!”
“You can’t be more precise than that?” Look you resign, you disappear. You return, and then you disappear again, and now you’ve returned once more. Is this where it all begins?”
“No it all began in the Village!”
“Are you sure?”
“I’ve just returned from the Village……..”
“And now you are about to hand in your resignation. You rant and rave at me, slam down your letter of resignation and then storm out.”
“Look, we’ve already been over this.”
“Yes, and we’ll keep going over this until you break this vicious circle you’ve created for yourself. Only it doesn’t just affect you. Look am I condemned to sit here doing the same crossword until March the eighteenth?”
“Why March the eighteenth?”
“Because that’s the day before your birthday. The day you return to this office, look down at me and ask me if there’s anyone at home?!”
The Prisoner was stunned “What can I do?”
“Don’t resign, pick up that letter of resignation, and go home.”
“A doctor once described my condition as being an anguish pattern. That I play over and over in my mind the action of resigning my job.”
“Well there you are then. Get over your anguish, tell me why you are about to resign, and then go home and forget it.”
“I can’t, don’t ask me to do that. Anyway who do you think you are anyway? You’re just a petty pen pushing bureaucrat. And you can tell the Colonel that he can shove his job. Because I’m fed up with cleaning other people’s mess up!”
“Well my advice to you is not to go home”
With that the Prisoner stormed out of the office, back along a dimly lit corridor and into the car park where he climbed into his Lotus seven, to drive out of the underground car park.
The Prisoner never saw his abductors, so he didn’t know to watch out for the black hearse that followed his car though the busy London streets. The black hearse which is now parked in Buckingham Place...................
Be seeing you