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Tuesday 21 August 2012

The Therapy Zone

Free For All
Number 2

      It appears that this Number 2 is something of a bold statesman, whose position as Chairman of the village is up for election. His term of office at an end, but is it seems, looking for a second term.
Village attire, a plain dove grey coloured blazer, a handkerchief in the breast pocket, a black turtle neck jersey, dark flannels and deck shoes. Oh and the obligatory old school scarf and furled umbrella shooting stick, which he carries about with him, which appears to be part of number 2’s uniform or village costume!
      A majestic, well spoken gentleman, pompous, a man who is well conversed with not only the political rules of the village, but also in electoral protocol.
Aged….. Late fifties to early sixties, he looks the man ready for retirement.
Height…. 5 feet 11 inches {approx}
Weight… 115 lbs {approx}
Hair……. light brown to greying and combed back.
He is a master in manipulation.
Can fly a Helicopter
Right handed
Nationality… English speaking
Chief Administrator
Chairman of the village
He is also head of the town council.
Number 2 treats Number 6 to breakfast, something which none of his predecessors ever did. This may seem as gentlemanly conduct, perhaps a weakness. But Number 2 is too wily an old fox, and is just softening up Number 6.
He is something of a frail man, perhaps effected by some illness of some kind.
      Number 2 at the beginning is talking to Number 6 on the telephone and his face appears on the television screen at the same time. Number 6 tells him that the mountain can come to Mohammed! Instantly the door to ‘6 private’ opens and the figure of number 2 is framed in the doorway. ‘Everest I presume’.
    Number 2 tells him that number 6 is just the sort of candidate we need to run against him. Which of course is all part of the plot, ‘Confide and we concede’ number 2 tells number 6. But to confide to this man would only be the beginning!
Most certainly not a man to put all of his cards on the table, although he does tell n         Number 6 “You may rely upon that!” This Number 2 has a delicate sense of humour, offering Number 6 to run against him. But then if his term of office has come to its closure, then there is no danger in offering the chance to Number 6 to run for electoral office.
    How long is a term of office? It appears that a term of office for an elected Number 2 is suggested to be 12 months, as they make their choice every year.
       Apparently Number 2 has views on the village and its citizens, telling Number 6 that the good people of this community do not appreciate the value of free elections. It is bad for morale! He encourages number 6 to run for electoral office, telling him that ‘he’ is just the sort of candidate they need!
    But how strange that as part of his opening speech, that Number 2 should use the words ‘militant and individualistic’ to describe his running mate to the electorate.  
Number 2 appears to have a drink problem, or at the very least to be a secret drinker.
“A little drop now and again helps keep the nerves steady.”
    But no, Number 2 is not drunk nor is he an alcoholic.
   For inside a cave a man is busy brewing an illicit brew, a scientist or chemist who also works at his blackboard on his formulas and calculations.
Some what the worse for wear, Number 2 confides in Number 6, and who is heard to toast the words ‘to hell with the village!’
     For a moment there seems conviction in the words he utters, perhaps Number 2 can afford to say them knowing that his term of office had little time to run. Also it being the so called ‘therapy zone’ there was no danger of any of the observers overhearing him and reporting upon it to the supervisor, should there be any real credence  behind his disapproving words towards the village.
But of course it was all part of an act, or was it? After all Number 2 was due to leave the village, wasn’t he.
     How is it that such a man with so many secrets, is permitted to leave the Village? Mind you he would not be the first to do so. Perhaps if one is working for the Village….
    But then this Number 2 was somewhat frail, perhaps a better thing would to have retired him quietly into the Old People’s Home!
    Number 2 informs Number 6 that if he wins, number 1 may no longer be a mystery to him, if he sees what he means. This is something of an enigmatic remark, which bears some consideration. At one point Number 2 is speaking with his superior Number 1, advising him “Not to damage the tissue.” So every Number 2 ever to speak with Number 1, would surely know who he/she is. Then so would Number 6 discover who Number 1 is and would no longer be a mystery to him, if you see what I mean.
     He keeps number 6 conditioned, this conditioning needs to be ‘topped up’ from time to time. Although he is under the instructions not to “damage the tissue.” And number 2 likewise reminds his subordinates of these instructions. So Number 2 is allowed to go so far and no further. But the question is, what was this particular number 2 hopping to achieve?
   Once again we see Number 2 wearing the old school scarf and carrying about with him the furled umbrella shooting stick, they seem to be a most important part of number2’s village costume. Surreal symbols of a badge of office perhaps, as a “Rod of Empire” or “Wand of Office”.
      At the end there is only defeat for this Number 2, for it is clear at the polling station in the town hall that this particular Number 2 will not be returning for a second term. The lack of white rosettes in his ballot box is proof of that.
However this ex-Number 2 takes defeat like the gentleman that he is. And even offers to show number 6 the ropes. He lays his old school scarf down upon the table in the foyer of the Green Dome, just as he prepares to leave the village.
But the election was rigged, the new Number 2 was there all the time, waiting and playing her part and now wearing the old school scarf about her neck.

Number 58 – Newer Number 2

A woman working in the village as a maid, who appears not to speak a word of English but a language which is completely incomprehensible! But not apparently to Number 2, who understands her only too well.
She is not altogether unattractive, and is quite delightfully charming.
Dressed in a dark blue dress, white apron and white sailor’s hat, later wears the usual “old school scarf”.
Height …..  5feet 3 inches {approx}
Weight….. 120lbs [approx]
Age……… late twenties {approx}
Hair……… black.
Nationality…. . Unknown perhaps Eastern European or Speaks an unknown
Language and yet perfect English
Worked under the pretext of being a maid
Chief Administrator
Chairman of the village
Right handed.
Village attire, although the election period in the uniform of a maid, black dress, white lace apron {at times},white sailors hat and flat shoes.
The fist woman to be elected to the position of Number 2 Chairwoman of the village, but then she was not exactly elected, certainly not by the citizens, rather being appointed! This can only mean that she was appointed by someone, but who and from where?
    According to Number 2, she used to work in records and has a photographic memory. Although she maybe a mere Number 58, she turns out in the end to be a master player of the game.
    She is kind, affable and quite charming. She does her best to help number 6 as best she can, even to the extent of finding him an illicit drink!
At the end she and Number 6 are like children playing in Number 2’s office, pressing buttons on the control panel, excitedly as children would, to find out which button did what.
    This mere Number 58 is very well informed, knowing about that cave as she did, and where number 6 could get an illicit drink of alcohol.
    Never once does she drop her façade, pretending to be nothing other tan a maid and his personal driver during the election period. Not until Number 58 drops her façade, revealing her true self, does she have any impact upon Number 6. But when she does, it is quite utterly devastating!
      In her guise of a maid she is quite likable and remember cannot speak a word of English, or so it appears. Speaking some indeterminate language, but quite possible an Eastern European language. But then when alone in the green dome her character begins to change. And it soon becomes clear that Number 58 is in fact the new Number 2, and is instantly dislikeable! Not only that but she can now speak perfect English, but without any kind of foreign accent!
    It has all been an act, just part of the bigger game. The new Number 2 has been in the village all along, playing her role. ‘Deceptive’ is the word which sums her up.
Her manner is stern, cruel and down right aggressive. It is a somewhat chilling transformation.  As the new number 2 she asks number 6 if he will never learn and is he ready to talk yet?
    This new Number 2 has ways and means, but does not wish to damage him permanently. Her stern and cruel manner, suggests that she might go further than any of her predecessors in order to obtain that which they desire.
    As Number 58, she was accused by Number 6 of spying upon him. As it turned out number 6 was perfectly correct. Not only was she spying upon him, but was also in the perfect position to keep a close eye upon him.
    The new Number 2 appears to be cold with no love in her heart, perhaps not even for herself. And has an instant dislike of Number 6.
    And there again we see the new Number 2 wearing the old school scarf, left in the foyer by the departing number 2 along with the furled umbrella shooting stick. She has returned to the foyer in order to be wearing the scarf as Number 6 is dragged before her. Such an action can only help to enforce the importance of the old school scarf, as part of Number 2’s uniform, because it has been passed on to her by the departing number 2, together with the fact that she returned to the foyer to get it.
    There is a severe look upon this woman’s face and a deep foreboding in the sound of her voice as she tells Number 6 ‘will you never learn, this is only the beginning. We have many ways and means, but we don’t wish to damage you permanently. Are you ready to talk?’
It can only be left to one’s imagination as to what this woman, this new number 2 had in mind to put Number 6 through next. One thing is for certain, it wouldn’t be pleasant…… for the Prisoner!
      And then there is that final remark at the end which she made to the departing Number 2, ‘give my regards to the homeland’.
Had number 2 used the word ‘fatherland’, then that would have meant Germany. Had she referred to the ‘motherland’ then we would be looking at Russia or the soviet union, as was the suggestion in ‘The Chimes of Big Ben’.
    However the use of the word ‘homeland’ would suggest England.
    And if Number 2 is sending her regards to the ‘homeland’, then this strongly suggests that the village is not on home soil, but in some other territory, and not in the UK. The only question is where?

Number 6 – New Number 2

The prisoner is as defiant as ever, since his arrival in the village.
But is there something special about him? Well there must be in order for him to have his breakfast brought to him by the maid-Number 58. But then as Number 2 himself is present, this could have been a special treat for number 6. Inviting himself to breakfast, and brining it with him!
We also learn that Number 6 gave up sugar four years and three months ago, on medical advice. It is possible that Number 6 has a mild form of diabetes.
    He is afraid of nothing, he shouts in defiance having been accused of being afraid of death, being afraid of himself by the Labour Exchange manager.
But the prisoner is afraid of nothing and certainly not of himself!
       Number 6 is given the opportunity to run for electoral office, well he might as well while he is waiting, waiting for what? A chance to escape and could this be such a chance?
For a short while number 6 was the new Number 2, even if only in name only.
    He is told by Number 2 that the citizens do not appreciate free elections and that ‘he’ is just the sort of candidate they need. And Number 6 falls for it, hook, line and sinker!
    But wants to know what physically happens if he wins?
   He is told by Number 2 that number 1 will no longer be a mystery to him, if he sees what he means.
    But then Number 6 sees this as a chance to gain the position of Number 2 and there by controlling a mass exodus of the village.
    Right from the beginning he throws himself into the election, giving his first speech to the electorate from the balcony of the Gloriette.
    “I am not a number, I am a person” is the opening of his speech to the electorate, going on to tell the citizens that “at sometime, in some place all of them held positions of a secret nature and had knowledge that was valuable to an enemy. Like himself they are here to have that knowledge protected or extracted.”
    Number 6 puts the citizens into two categories, ‘those who have accepted the situation of their imprisonment, who will die here like rotten cabbages’, and ‘those who have gone over to the side of our keepers’.
That opening line from his maiden speech “I am not a number I am a person,” shows Number 6’s defiance. As does the early morning telephone call.
‘You are Number 6?’ asks the operator.
“That is the number of this place!” returns the prisoner defiantly.
Whoever during the election period Number 6 has no choice, not only to respond to his number, but also to accept it, if he is to stand any chance of actually being elected.
      At one point soon after his opening speech Number 6 is interviewed by a reporter for ‘The Tally Ho’ newspaper. However when asked by the reporter {who is excited by the prospect of this new candidate, not having one of his calibre for years!} how he is going to handle his campaign? Number 6 replies "No comment." However the reporter has pencil and note pad ready and writes his own answers to his own questions.
    And when Number 6 does give an answer to the reporter’s question ‘how do you feel about life and death?’
    “Mind your own business!”
The reporter writes down “No comment!”
    Literally moments after the interview with the reporter, a Tally Ho vendor is selling issues of the latest electoral edition from a strange printing press.
      When number 6 is handed a copy of the latest edition {by an identical twin of the photographer 113b, and dressed identically} he sees that the article headed ‘No.6 Speaks His Mind’, has already been written. The words of the press, not his!

                                          The Tally Ho

                        No. 6 Speaks His Mind  by our own reporter

                            The security of the community will be his
                         Primary aim, said No. 6 in an exclusive interview.
                           The forthright candidate for the post of No. 2 is
                         determined that the citizens be safeguarded against
                         all threats to their welfare.
                           “I have every confidence in my chances,” No. 6
                         told our reporter: “I admire No. 2 as a man and I
                         pay tribute to his achievements. But the time has
                         come for change”.
                           No. 6 insisted that it would be a hard fight, “but
                         a clean one”.
                            We must put the well being of the community
                         above everything else, he declared.
                           I did not seek this opportunity to run for our
                         highest office,” said No. 6, “but I accept the call
                         when it came, because it is my duty as a citizen”.
                           No. 6 said that his platform would be “an
                         opportunity for everyone and freedom for all.
                         I shall fight for the rights of all of us, and I shall not
                         shirk the decisions that have to be taken”.
                           In a true democracy like our community, every
                         Individual has a special responsibility to express his
                         mind by voting for the right candidate.
                           “Cards on the table is my motto”, he told our
                         reporter. “Everyone has a choice in this matter,
                         and I know they will vote for the candidate who
                         gives it to them straight from the shoulder.
                           “To have the vote is a great democratic asset
                         which must not be abused”, No. 6 reminded an
                         enthusiastic election meeting. “You must feel free
                         to make your cross in the right place”.
                           No. 6 said he entered the contest with enthusiasm
                         for a system which gave the ordinary citizen the
                         right to run for the highest office.

    These are not the words spoken by Number 6, but then it does speak of the individual, of freedom. But putting the well being of the community above everything else is not, nor is the true democracy like our community!
It is a case of the press writing and saying what they think the citizens want to hear and read!
    When Number 6 attends the ceremony of the dissolution of the out going council at the town hall, he gets carried away as he questions the members of the council.
‘Who do you represent? Who elected you? To what place or country do you owe allegiance? Whose side are you on?’ Then goes on to tell them about this twentieth century Bastille which pretends to be a pocket democracy. He demands to know why they don’t put them into solitary confinement and get what they want and be done with it?  He accuses the council members of being “brainwashed imbeciles” telling them that “In their heads must be the remnant of a brain, in their hearts must be the desire to be a human being again.”
    But Number 2 needs to know that his desire to stand for election was a genuine one, even though personally he is prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Number 6 must undergo ‘The Test’.
      As Number 6 faces the labour exchange manager, it seems that he has number 6 fairly well tapped. He is so predictable, as soon as he gains power he will organise a mass breakout!
    So as Number 6 is so clearly transparent to the village authorities, this attempt is doomed to failure right from the off. However the community must live and so must he, number 6 it seems has a responsibility, not only to himself but also to the community of the village. But now we see that Number 6 is open to conditioning by the village authorities, however ‘the tissue must not be damaged’
     One observation is a little puzzling. Number 6 doesn’t know where the tow hall is. He has to check on the electronic ‘Free Information’ board. Number 6 was shown the council building on the day of his arrival, during the aerial tour of the Village.
When Number 6 finally emerges from the Labour Exchange with his new state of mind implanted, it is with immediate success and to the cheering of the citizens. Number 6 is now more relaxed, more open to questions from the press. And more amenable to his many supporters, speaking with them and shaking their hands. Even though his answers are rather glib! There is now a new successful equilibrium, between himself and the citizens, the electorate.
    He really does throw himself into the election “The citizens can rest assured that the security of the citizens is my primary objective. Be seeing you.”
     However the recent conditioning of number 6 seems none too strong. For after being alone with 58 and picking up a phrase of her language, number 6 suddenly he becomes confused, cumbersome and therefore panic sets in. And he tries to escape, first the citizens and then the village by speed boat.
    As Number 6 sleeps that night further conditioning of the subject takes place. The light suspended over the bed begins to pulsate, as slowly it descends until it is over the face of the slumbering number 6. This restores the equilibrium and the next day number 6 is once again on the election trail.
Then again in the cave where a scientist has an illicit still {alcohol not permitted in the village} and where number 6 apparently drinks alcohol. This is actually a drug mixed to exact proportions to take him right through the election.
    However, Number 6 appears to be somewhat the worse for wear long before he is taken to the cave by Number 58. Even in the night club of ‘The Cat And Mouse’ number 6 seems to be drunk, singing his little song as he does.
“Vote for me, I’m for you ever let me be, never let me go.”
     But that is most probably a side effect of the drug used on him. But not too strong a drug, because Number 6 does make a break for freedom, trying to evade the citizens at first and than attacking the two maintenance men at the boat, then speeding off across the open water of the estuary. But all to no avail of course.
      He’s not very happy with the personal driver which he has been given for the duration of the election. ‘She wont go away and she doesn’t eve speak English!’ However Number 6 does pick up on one phrase, ‘lye ezeet zona’
Number 6 carries on right through the election period, making speeches and telling the citizens that which he thinks they want to hear. And it appears to work as every citizen is behind Number 6, giving him their full support.
   His maiden speech being some what off the cuff, but the speech he delivers from the top of the cabin of the stone boat, has been written for him. Number 6 reads it from a specially prepared idiot board!
And indeed at the poling station, there is a 100% turn out leading to an over whelming majority vote for Number 6. And he is elected to the position of number 2.
      At first he is like a child with Number 58, as they press each button upon the control panel of his desk, to see which button does what.
However, after being slapped around the face by Number 58, he soon comes round to his old self once more.
   Pressing buttons and announcing through the public address system, that the citizens are now free to go. “This is our chance…this is our chance take it now. I have command, I will immobilise all electronic controls… listen to me…. You are free to go …. You are free to go… free to go….. free to go……..” over and over the voice of the new Number 2 booms out of across the Village.
    But in the end none of the citizens who parade around the ‘free sea’ of the piazza take any notice of him. No one in fact seems to want the freedom which this new Number 2 offers them.
   This new Number 2 offers the citizens of the Village their freedom. But never once asked whether they want it or not. He tells them to ‘obey him and be free’. In the end is that any better than what they already have?
   But once again Number 6 is only being used against himself, there never was any danger of him actually winning the election.
       Once again no real harm comes to Number 6, although again drugs are used on him, together with conditioning, and he does take a savage beating in the cave from the two men from the boat, and still he will not talk!
    Apart from a few painful bruises, Number 6 is far from being damaged permanently…… yet, because there may very well be worse to come if this new Number 2 is anything to go by.
Free For All continued next time

Be seeing you

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