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Saturday 18 August 2012

The Therapy Zone

   Continuing the profiles of 'The Chimes of Big Ben.'

 The Colonel
Height….. 6 feet {approx}
Weight….. 190lbs  {approx}
Age……..  55 {approx}   
Hair……..  Silver grey/moustache
Nationality…. English
Occupation… Middle Civil Servant
Salary………. £300 per month {approx}
A military style of man, either ex- army or navy
Well dressed in a three piece business suit, white shirt, blue tie and black shoes.
Speaks with a cutting Queen’s English accent
The colonel is most probably an ex-army officer of the rank of colonel, hence the title he still holds today.
His background is impeccable as are his credentials. However the colonel is something of a very objectional man, Who’s scepticism stands out a mile. He does not suffer fools gladly, but this only makes him more obnoxious then ever, for he sees everything in black and white, a very cynical man, or at least as far as the prisoner {his ex- colleague} is concerned. He has a very sarcastic nature, with a very jaundiced view of things.
     As with Fotheringay, it seems that the colonel is working with the village, and has worked with them in order to extract the resignation secret of the prisoner. So he too could very well be a traitor, depending on the origin of the village.
The colonel’s office seems to have a strong feel about it, with the painting of a 19th century sea battle upon the wall together with brass cannon and two model’s of  wooden sailing ship’s.
    An office of Navel intelligence it might be said!
    As it is with Fotheringay, so it is with the Colonel.
    But what is it which drives a man or woman to give such unquestioning loyalty?

Number 6

    It seems that from the very beginning number 6 enjoys a very good rapport with this number 2. Oh he does tell him that he is going to escape and come back. Come back and wipe this place off the face of the earth, obliterate it and him with it! So even with this strange rapport there still remains the defiance within number 6.
    But yet seems to accept his number, there is no ‘I am not a number, I am a person’.
    He also seems to be an old hand at life in the village, as he escorts the new arrival,    
    Number 8 to the green dome and explaining about the salute and village taxi service. Almost as though he has begun to accept and settle down.
    He does get irritated with the constant music piped through the black loudspeaker of his cottage. The answer is to place it in his refrigerator!!
    He certainly eats well, a whole cooked chicken, roll of Salami, cheese, fresh milk, eggs and two bottles of wine in his refrigerator.
    And here for the first time perhaps, we see number 6 accept and respond to his number.
    “Come to the hospital right away Number Six” says Number 2 during a telephone call.
    “Right away” responds Number 6.
    The first time, he is alone with Nadia in his cottage he informs her “No names, you are Number 8, I am Number 6.” This is the first time that number 6 has accepted his number. 
    Then in the recreation hall at the arts and crafts exhibition, Number 6 walks up and accepts his special merit award of 2,000 free work units, the prize for the best work in his group.
    However Number 6 is still as defiant as ever. This is demonstrated in no uncertain terms when in the green dome, Number 2 and Number 6 takes tea. Number 2 asks     “how many lumps?”
    After checking the file of Number 6, Number 2 reads that number 6 does not in fact take sugar. This could indicate the possibility that Number 6 was mildly diabetic.
    However Number 6 does take sugar, three lumps just to demonstrate his defiance of them. A sign of his defiance against the village and his enforced confinement, is to place the black loud speaker inside the refrigerator. There by bringing peace and quiet into his cottage. Being unable to turn the speaker off!
    For the first time we see that Number 6 is a soft touch for a damsel in distress. He has witnessed the interrogation treatment used on number 8, and orders Number 2 to let her go!’
     Number 6 will make a deal with Number 2 if he lets the girl go. He’ll collaborate, but will tell number 2 nothing, he’ll try to settle down, join in, he may even carve something for this exhibition coming up. It is a deal which Number 2 is only too happy to accept, and hands the girl over to him in exchange for Number 6’s collaboration.
    Number 6 does appear to get close to Nadia as they spend their time together in the village. He even appears to be trusting her as they formulate their escape plan together. There is even a romantic moment which they spend together outside his cottage as curfew approaches. Nadia even gives Number 6 a nick name…….Big Ben.
     Number 6 shows his powers as a chess player by beating the general in seven moves, but he does know a few more.
    He is also very ingenious and extremely skilful, he makes his own caveman tools, a stone axe and chisel.  With these he chops down a moderately sized tree, out of which he carves three pieces for the forthcoming arts and crafts exhibition, presenting them together as one piece of sculpture. But which put together make a roughly hewn boat.
    But when launched looks as if it will not sail 30ft let alone 30 miles!
     Oh there is still Village surveillance on Number 6, in fact at one point Number 2 himself watches number 6 at work as he fells the tree, and pays Number 6 a visit in the woods as he works to chisel out the inside of the tree trunk. Number 6 is allowed to carry on working, because number 2 allows him to do so. Simply because number 2 knows exactly what he is up to!
     The sculpture which Number 6 has created and given the title of “ESCAPE”, he allows the members of the awards committee to see whatever comes to mind, but yet number 6 says that it is abstract art which indeed it is, and yet abstract art is non representational, it doesn’t really mean anything.
    It is at sea that Number 6 demonstrates yet another of his skills, navigation!
    During the time sealed in the crate, he may very well have been able to time the journey to London, but would not have been able to see that they had in fact been brought back to the village, or the elaborate equipment used to fake the journey to London. Equipment made to make Number 6 believe that he was in fact at sea. And on a journey back to London!
    It is somewhat strange that Number 6 did not query the fact that Nadia’s contact had been waiting all this time, because Nadia certainly wouldn’t have had any way of contacting him.
    Also the size of the crate and the fact that Nadia’s contact was all alone, he couldn’t have shifted that large crate all by himself.
Whilst sealed in that crate together, number 6 is asked a series of questions by Nadia.
   “Do you have a wife in England?”
    “Are you engaged to someone?”
    He might not be married, but Number 6 certainly was engaged, to Janet Portland.    
    Why he did not tell Nadia this? Perhaps he was unhappy about the engagement, or didn’t really love Janet, certainly he has put her put of his mind for the moment as he has more important things to think about.
      Believing himself to be back in London and in the colonel’s office, Number 6 is duly de-briefed by the colonel, the colonel believing that his ex-colleague has gone over to the other side and has just returned from behind the Iron Curtain in order to carry on the good work.
    And it is during this de-briefing session that we are given some idea of the content of the prisoner’s resignation. “It was a matter of conscience.” “He resigned because for a very long time…………….’
    As Number 6 leaves the supposed Colonels office, we observe one of his mannerisms, that of clicking his fingers, either due to a nervous state of mind or possible as a release for his anger.
    He also has the habit of wearing his watch in his sleep.
    A black leather strapped a Swiss wristwatch is the type worn by the Prisoner.
    Weather it is the correct time is another matter, but what does time matter here in the village? It could be any time and it would be the right time!
Having said that, number 6 does take it rather well, his betrayal by both the colonel and Fotheringay, but then what can he really do? There is much in his salute to them as they stand in a body on the steps of the recreation hall.
    “Be seeing you” salutes Number 6 casually before returning to the confines of his cottage.
And at the end as the prisoner is returning to his cottage there is the following announcement.
   ‘Good evening citizens, your local council wishes to announce an exiting competition….the subject …..seascapes!!!!!!!!!!
That sounds as if someone somewhere is having a dig at number 6.

The General – Number 34

Height…. 6 feet {approx}
Weight…. 250lbs {approx}
Age……. 60’s
Hair……. Grey/moustache
Nationality…  English speaking 
Village attire,  British military peeked cap, blue jersey, grey flannel trousers and deck shoes.
He used to be quite a handyman once.
By his own admission he was quite a handy man once. His work for the arts and crafts exhibition is to make a chess set. The General is quite a keen chess player.
    It is not know whose army he was a general of, or indeed which regiment for that matter. However he does wear a British military officer’s cap, that of a General, which of course is no proof of anything.
Which army? Which Regiment?
Perhaps he like others before him, he came here of his own free will?
How long he has been a prisoner in the village is not known. Or indeed if he came to the village a prisoner or of his own free will!

Number 38

Height…. 5 feet {approx}
Weight…. 140 lbs {approx}
Hair……. white
Age……. 70’s
Nationality… Unknown
Village attire, pale blue hat, colourful stripped cape, orange polo neck jersey, dark blue slacks and deck shoes.
   Her tapestry of number 2 was indeed a labour of love as Number 2 must have been an inspiration to her as he has been to others.
She has nimble hands for her age, young girls of her time were taught needle work and embroidery.
The tapestry would certainly have taken her some time to complete, perhaps longer than six weeks.
   This old woman has been a citizen of the village for a good many years and has long become accustomed to it and its way of life, indeed she seems much at home here.
She has been one of the fortunate ones, learning to adapt to changing circumstances and environments.
    After all what is it Number 38, or any member of the village community, cannot do here that they can do any place else?
Of course there is no possibility of travelling to visiting friends and relations in cities or other villages. But otherwise daily life here in the village would be much the same as it would be any place else, there’s the old peoples home, a social club, exhibitions to get involved with, amateur dramatics. Life here in the village, is for many, is the same as life in any other village.

Post 5 – Nadia’s contact man Karel

Height…. 5feet 9inches {approx}
Weight…. 150lbs {approx}
Age……. Mid to late thirties {approx}
Hair……. Dark brown
Nationality….. unknown perhaps Russian or Polish.
  This man is situated in the cave somewhere supposedly, on the polish coast. He is equipped with a high powerful rifle, with telescopic sights.
Working for the village he is waiting the arrival of Number 6 and Nadia posing as her contact.
How long had he been waiting for her?....... not long.
How was he contacted by Nadia from the village?............ he wasn’t, but he was contacted by the supervisor in the control room.
How was it possible for one man to move such a large crate?..... he didn’t
He speaks Russian and very bad broken English, however this would have been put on for number 6’s benefit, after all they were supposed to be in Poland.
   When Post 5 sees the membranic white mass of the guardian pursuing the two escapees, he fires three times, puncturing three holes in the membrane of the thing.    
    However this bears no effect upon the guardian, it appears to be self sealing!   
    However it does turn and skim away across the waves, away from the rocks.
    He has a crate all ready, for this is their way back to the outside world, by crate, via Gdansk, Danzig, Copenhagen and finally London.
    However it is a very large crate for one man to move all on his own, especially when there are two people in it. So he must have accomplices, fellow citizens of the village. The crate is in a cave on the Polish coast, after its two occupants are sealed inside it is then put aboard a boat and shipped back to the village. and must be put aboard a lorry.
    He was certainly slow when he handed number 6 his watch, an hour slow in fact!
    The journey to London may very well have been timed, but number 6 and Nadia could not have seen the elaborate set up used to convince them that they were not in actual fact taken from the cave back to the village.
    Such ‘posts’ are scattered far and wide of the village. They help to serve and protect the village from unwanted intruders or accidental visitors, who may stray to near the village by accident. They also aid in the return of escaping prisoner’s.

The Three Judges of the Awards Committee
 Number 22
Height……….. 6 feet {approx}
Weight………. 220 lbs {approx}
Hair………….. Black
Age………….. late 30’s
    Attire – blue piped blazer with white piping, dark coloured turtle neck sweater, light blue trousers, and blue deck shoes.
   He is something of a sever and pompous looking man. And when asked by No.6 what he thought of the abstract sculpture, he suggested a church door. Perhaps a man of a religious bent.

Height……..5 feet {approx}
Weight……. 110 lbs {approx}
Hair ……….. Aurbone
Age………… 45
Attire a red Trilby hat, colourful stripped cape, dark coloured polo neck jumper, slacks and flat shoes.
    A cheerful lady who assures her fellow judges that she sees what the artist is getting at. But there is just one thing she doesn’t understand - “Where is Number 2?”

Height…………. 5 feet 3 inches {Approx}
Weight…………. 120 lbs {approx}
Hair…………….. black
Age…………….. 40’s
Attire Straw boater, light coloured piped blazer with black piping, grey turtle neck sweater, fawn trousers, deck shoes.
  Who’s one question “Why the crosspiece?”

Next time 'A B and C.'

Be seeing you

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