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Wednesday 26 June 2019


    The sliver grey Allouete helicopter was flying over the hills, ahead of it the estuary, and beyond that the village. This was just one of many journeys the pilot has made, there was nothing special about it, quite ordinary, mundane even.
   In the Control Room the helicopter had been picked up on radar. The supervisor picked up the yellow ‘L’ shaped intercom.
    “Get me Number 2.”
    “Yes what is it, what’s the matter?”
    “The helicopter has been picked up on radar, and is due to arrive in a few minutes.”
    “And you are telling me this why?”
    “I….I thought you would want to meet it.”
    “And what makes you think that?”
    “Because…..are you alright sir?”
    Number 2 did not reply.
    The helicopter flew over the estuary and circled the village before landing on the triangular lawn by the sea wall. The pilot sat in the Perspex cabin, the rotor blades still spinning. But when no-one appeared the pilot cut the engine and the rotor blades slowed to a stop, and the pilot continued to wait.
    “I’m sorry sir, I don’t know what’s happening, there should have been someone here to meet you. I’ll contact control” the pilot told his passenger.
    In the Control Room the Supervisor contacted the central area “Have Number 2’s transport standing by at the steps to the Green Dome.”
    Almost at once a taxi left the rank and drove along the road to the Green Dome, reversing into the cobbled square opposite in order to turn round. The driver then parked the taxi at the base of the steps, turned off her engine and waited.
    The steel doors opened, the
Butler stood framed in the open doorway. Number 2 looked up from the relative comfort of his globe chair.
    “What do you want?”
    “He doesn’t want anything” Number 12 said stepping by the diminutive
Butler and into the office “Its time, the helicopter is waiting.”
    “I know, but know the time has come I don’t want to leave, it’s as simple as that.”
    “Your successor is waiting.”
    “Then let him wait!” Number 2s voice echoed round the domed chamber, “let him wait.”
    “But why delay the inevitable sir, your term in office is up.”
    “I know that Number 12, better than anyone.”
    “Well then?”
    Number 2 sat in his chair thinking, turning things over in his mind.
    “He humiliated me!”
    “I realize that sir.”
    “I want another bite at the cherry.”
    “I was wondering if it were possible to reset Number 6’s mind. To wipe all the unpleasant memories of the village from his mind and begin again from the day of his arrival?”
    The pilot of the silver grey Allouete helicopter flicked switches and started the engine. The rotor blades began to turn, rotating ever faster and lifted off the triangular lawn by the sea wall and flew out across the estuary leaving the village behind.
    “I trust you will help me settle in Number 12.”
    “Yes Number 2.”
    “Now as for this Number 6” Number 2 said settling himself into the black globe chair.
    “A new approach has been suggested sir.”
    “Really” Number 2 said opening Number 6’s personal file “and what might that be?
    “To rest his mind, to wipe all unpleasant memories from his mind, and take him back to the day of his arrival here.”
    “To begin with him all over again.”
    “Yes Number 2.”
    “And that will get us where?” Number 2 asked closing the file “well?”
    “File Number 6, page one, subsection one, paragraph one, line one……..back to the beginning!”
    “Precisely. So why go to all that trouble when we can ask the Bureau of Visual records to put the tape in the machine and simply watch it from the beginning!”
    “Where will that get us?”
    “If we watch the tapes enough times we might just come to an understanding.”
    “Of what?”
    “The Prisoner……what else?!”
Be seeing you

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