Chamber of Horrors

 

home / season five / episode nineteen / act II

   

Dachau Concentration Camp
Munich, Germany
September 15, 1944

The boys stood for a few moments, their left hands gripping their right arms just above the place where the sharp needle had entered the skin. In shock, unable even to feel the first real pain in their short lives, they stared at each other until the tall German doctor came up and, placing one hand on each shoulder, they made their way back to the barracks.

“You were lucky,” Henri told them matter-of-factly as they were left inside the door. . “Usually the tattoos are applied as soon as one arrives at the camp.”

“But why?” Jacob whispered the sentence.

“So that they can easily identify you. Your clothes have the same number sewed onto the back.”

Immediately Jacob began turning himself around and around to try and see the numbers that were just out of view. The tall Frenchman began to laugh. Taking hold of Sydney, he turned the older twin around.

“You see, young one. This is what it looks like.”

After Jacob had seen the five black numbers on Sydney's back - 54679 - Jacob was turned so that Sydney could see as well. 54680. Suddenly the two boys, who for their entire lives had been the same, now had something that made them different. Sydney couldn’t help shivering at the thought.

“So what happens now?” he asked, nervously.

“Now, we wait until Dr. Leiden wants to see you.”

Warily the boys watched from their high bunks as the guard entered the barracks and looked around for them. As all the other occupants were out at roll call, it was not difficult for the guard to find the objects of his search.

“Come down.”

When they hesitated, his brow lowered and, walking over, he gathered the collar of each in his hands and literally pulled the boys to the floor. Too stunned to react, they sat looking up at him.

“When, in this place, you are given an order, you will obey at once. Is that clear?”

Nervously, the twins admitted that it was clear and, upon the direction, led the way out of the barracks. In his over-large shoes, handed to him the day before, Sydney almost fell into the arms outstretched to catch him as he entered the strange new building.

“Well, this is a strange type of reception, isn’t it?” The doctor looked up at the man who had escorted the boys across the camp and laughed. “I think we’ll have to do something for my little friends here.”

The barracks wherein goods were stored was only a short distance away and the boys stumbled there in the shoes that were too big for them, their over-long sleeves flapping on their hands and their pants threatening to fall down around their ankles. As they were pushed gently through the doors, both looked up to see shelves bulging with clothes and boxes overflowing with photographs and other oddments. The doctor walked up to the counter and immediately the two men behind it stiffened to attention.

“Yes, Herr Doktor?”

“Shoes for these boys.”

“Ja, Herr Doktor.”

After a short period of scrabbling round, two small pairs of shoes were produced of different sizes. The doctor took one look at them and threw them back at where the two prisoners cowered behind the bench.

“Dummkopf! They’re twins. Their feet are the same size.”

“Ja, Herr Doktor.” After another short wait, a second pair of shoes was produced and the boys thankfully slipped off the old ones and then put the new ones on, nervously slipping the other shoes onto the bench.

“Will that be all, Herr Doktor?”

The man rocked back on his heels and examined the boys before he looked up again.

“No, that will not. We will need new clothes, as well.”

As the men turned back to the piles behind them, they cast glances of mixed astonishment and resentment on the two silent boys. Once the children had a pile of clothes each, the doctor turned to them.

“So, and now we will go.”

His arms outstretched, the man ushered the two boys from the hut and across the grassy square back to the building. Above the door, a sign read ‘Experiments’ and the boys exchanged nervous glances.

Later they talked to Henri about it. He was, like them, Flemish, like them, but had moved only as far as Paris and was there captured and sent to Dachau. He had arrived more than three months ago and was already well acquainted with some of the most bizarre happenings in the place. When the boys were back on their beds, he pulled himself up beside them.

”What experiments do they do here?”

It was Jacob that asked the question and Henri started before looking down at them, a faint smile on his face. “That’s not something you need to concern yourselves with. You’ll be safe here, with the protection of Dr. Krieg and the others.”

”And…and where are our parents?”

Henri’s half-smile vanished completely and abruptly. “I don’t think…”

The young Sydney reached out timidly and put a hand on Henri’s. “Please, tell us. We want to know.”

“I don’t really know myself, Sydney. But I think that your father and the other men were put on a different train, one heading west. It’s…not a good sign. I’ve heard stories of fires that burn there with the bodies of people who aren’t even dead yet.” Henri’s eyes were no longer focused on the boys but on the wall above their heads and his voice had taken on a dreamy quality as the words flowed from his mouth in a stream. “It’s said by some that they are killing people by the thousand and burning them so that no one will ever know.” Blinking suddenly, he looked down and tried again to smile, wishing suddenly to erase the words he had said aloud without realizing. “But it may not be so. They could be working at one of the other camps. There’s no guarantee that that’s what happened to them.”

* * * * * * * * *

The Centre
Blue Cove, Delaware
February 4, 1963

“Hey, I’m finished!” The small face peered in through the glass but could make out nothing. As he looked, however, the door opened and he backed away.

“Hello Jarod. My name is Sydney. I’ll be taking care of you for a while.”

”Why? Where’s my mom and dad?” The boy expressed no concern or nervousness in his voice and hardly waited for an answer before he turned away and looked with some pride at the model he had built.

“That’s very good, Jarod.”

“Well, it’s hard to do from a picture. If I could go and see it, I could make it a lot better.”

The man laughed loudly. “Well, I’m glad to see that you have such a vivid imagination, anyway. That will certainly be useful for you in the future.” Sydney walked over to a table in the room and dropped a folder on it.

“What are we going to do now?”

The little boy looked up trustingly at the face above him and, for the first time, noticed that it was identical to the other man, the one who had brought him to this place. The voice, too, was almost identical and that, somehow, acted to calm any fears that the child may have had. The man pulled a sheet of paper out of the folder and the boy nodded towards it.

“What is it?”

“I want you to pretend to become someone else. Can you do that for me?”

The boy’s face lit up with the idea. “Sure. I can try.”

”Good.” The doctor led the boy to a couch and helped him up onto it, hiding a smile at the short legs that had no hope of reaching the floor and instead swung in the air. “Now, I want you to listen to what I say…”

The first simulation was complete. It had been, as predicted, a complete success and Sydney knew that it would be pleasing to his superiors. The boy had quickly picked up on the situation and had had no problem understanding what was required of him. The younger Sydney shuffled together some papers and was about to get up from his seat when the young Jarod spoke. “Can we do something else?”

Sydney looked over to him, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. “We just did. You were building a model and then you performed a simulation.”

The boy nodded impatiently. “I know. I mean something totally different.”

Reaching over, Sydney grabbed the folder and pulled out a single sheet of paper, placing it in front of the young boy.

“What’s this?”

”It’s called a pattern recognition test.”

* * * * * * * * *

February 16, 1963

Sydney closed the door of the laboratory with a satisfied nod and glanced quickly through the folders that he carried. Twelve days and Jarod was still performing at 100% accuracy. They had made great predictions for this project but he was surpassing all of them, in both time and precision. For a moment, something made him stop. Time, accuracy, precision. What was he thinking that was so wrong? For a moment he stood, leaning against the desk, with his eyes closed. A memory from the past was teasing him, calling to him.

“…you’ll have to make sure you work with people. You would never be happy at a desk. You need interaction, mental stimulus. You can understand people...”

That was it. People. That one word made all the difference. He had been to so many meetings where Jarod was discussed as a machine that he had begun to think the same way. Sydney strode along the hallways and ran up the stairs, thinking hard all the time. Was that their plan? To make sure that Jarod got no love, no affection from the man who, in the long term, was planned to become a type of teacher? If so, they would find that they were mistaken. Eventually Sydney arrived in the Security Rooms.

“Can I do something for you, doctor?”

Sydney was about to respond when his eye was caught by the sight of Jarod lying on the bed where he had managed to crawl, exhausted by the day of simulations, after the sweepers had pushed him into the room and slammed the door. Sydney's heart constricted to see the tears on the small, pale face and he admonished himself for his behavior.

“Doctor? Sydney?”

Blinking suddenly, Sydney glanced down at the woman who stood beside him and shook his head. “Thank you, no. I’ve seen everything I came here to see.”

As he descended the stairs again, it seemed that two voices were having an argument in his mind - the forces of Emotion and Science: the two creatures that had controlled him together - or sometimes in dispute - for so many years.

‘He’s just a child. Did you see the tears? He would never cry when he was working so he takes his tears to bed with him and wets the pillow with them all night long.’

‘He’s a science subject. You can’t get too involved with him. If you do, you can’t be objective.’

‘That child isn’t going to know anything about the rigors of science, and why should he? You were grateful for every piece of comfort that you received when you were the subject.’

‘That was different. I was used to getting no special attention. Indeed, that was the quickest way to die - drawing attention to myself.’

‘But you can’t deny that you liked the special attention; that you were even jealous of your brother if he seemed to receive more attention than you did.’

Sydney stopped outside the door of Jarod's room and waited for the voices to conclude their discussion, listening passively as he had always done with his arms folded on his chest, leaning against the wall.

‘But you can’t really remember,’ Emotion pleaded, calling on her brother, Love, to help her. ‘If you could really remember - if you hadn’t blocked out so much of that time - you would never be able to say that. You would go into that room, hold that boy in your arms and understand how Henri felt.’

‘Henri?’ Sydney felt suddenly that Science had been struck a blow at a weak point. But Science rallied. ‘Henri was different. He was protecting me.’

‘And what do you think your role is?’ Emotion was triumphant but Science not dead yet.

‘All right, show some feeling towards the boy. But don’t get too attached.’ With a flourish, Science produced his trump card. ‘They might take him away from you and that would destroy both you and him.’

With a definite nod, Sydney pulled open the door and entered the room. Kind but not too kind; a pattern for all the years that were to come.

* * * * * * * * *

Mayo Clinic, Research Center
Scottsdale, Arizona

“Dr. Eaton, this is Dr. Jarod Shea. Dr. Shea, Dr. James Eaton.”

The doctor turned from the microscope and faced the newcomer, his hand outstretched. “Dr. Shea.”

“Jarod.” Instantly Jarod's mind was hit by a voice that was somehow familiar to him and he struggled to remember where he had heard it before.

“James. Nice to meet you.” The doctor turned to the secretary. “Thank you, Margaret. Coffee please, in an hour. That is,” he turned to Jarod. “If you drink coffee.”

“Yes, thanks. That sounds great.”

The woman left the two men alone and Henry waved Jarod to a high stool beside his microscope. “So, I understand that you’re interested in this type of work. I read your profile. Very impressive. Must have taken a bit of work to make up.”

Jarod grinned and refrained from commenting. It seemed safer somehow.

“So your main area of focus is…?”

”Well, it has been the field of pain relief but I’m becoming increasingly interested in trying to attack the very foundations of illnesses. I mean, we can provide painkillers until a person develops a resistance to them, but until a cure can be found, surely all that’s happening is a prolonging of the inevitable.”

Dr. Eaton nodded. “I agree. And that’s the purpose behind my research. I believe that I’m close to a major development in reversing the growth of cancers from any point - not just the smaller tumors but also even the larger ones that, up to now, have only been able to be operated on. The major benefit of my treatment is the possibility of reduced risk. As you are probably aware, cancer treatments now are so non-specific that a certain amount of healthy tissue must often be damaged when the tumor is targeted. With my treatment, I may have found a way to solve that problem. Equally, my treatment has few side effects, thus far, making it preferable to many products currently available. Let me show you…”

The doctor led the way out of the laboratory and into another smaller office and Jarod followed, a puzzled look on his face.

* * * * * * * * *

The Centre
Blue Cove, Delaware

The tape stopped so abruptly that Miss Parker felt as though she had been thrown forward. She looked quickly over at Angelo and then followed his glance towards Sydney. The psychiatrist, however, only had eyes for the face on the television screen. For a few seconds, the room was so silent that voices in an adjoining office came clearly through the walls and, had any of the occupants been listening, they may have heard something that could have given them food for thought. Instead all attention was focused on Sydney.

The psychiatrist sat as if frozen, momentarily turned to stone as the mind first recognized and then repulsed the image that filled the monitor. Something that was for a moment like fear, suffering and anger all rolled into one flittered across his face, fading quickly into an emotion that might, by some, be called panic and by others to be terror. A moment of silence continued until, as though pulled by unseen forces, Sydney overturned his chair and bolted from the room.

Miss Parker and Broots stared after him for several seconds until the television restarted itself and the movement of the figures broke through the stifling atmosphere of the room. With a movement similar to Sydney's, Miss Parker leapt up from her chair and grabbed Angelo, as he was about to creep out of the room.

“Who was that, Angelo?”

Despite her firm grip, Angelo wrenched himself away and, reaching into his pocket, pulled out a DSA disk and he threw it at her.

“Experiments!” The word came out clearly but the voice was raised to the pitch of a young boy rather than a grown man. “Experiments! Suffering!” Yanking open the door, the empath disappeared through it and down the hallway at a run.

* * * * * * * * *

Mayo Clinic, Research Center
Scottsdale, Arizona

It was dark when Jarod returned to the Clinic and let himself in with a key that Dr. Eaton had grudgingly handed over upon Jarod's request that he often liked to stay late. Struggling to remember where he had heard the voice before, Jarod had spent the afternoon and evening comparing the voice with every one of the three hundred and twenty-two DSAs that he had in his collection. There was no match and now, becoming increasingly frustrated, Jarod had decided that his best chance was to go through the doctor’s records. So that was what he was going to do now. Entering the records room, Jarod systematically began his search. He was able to narrow down the field to a certain period, remembering that the voice had been heard when Jarod was only ten and only months before Catherine Parker had seemingly been killed in the elevator.

Four names appeared as patients of a Dr. Henry Eaton during that period and all of them caused a similar feeling in Jarod. Each had died of the same type of cancer and the name of one was painfully familiar. Rebecca Eaton. Jarod suspected a connection to one of the Drs. Eaton and was about to investigate when he heard the slightest sound of a door opening and closing further down the corridor. With a lightening movement, Jarod dropped the files back in the drawer, extinguished the light and slipped into the corner behind the door.

He held his breath as the door swung open but its shadow protected him as the lights overhead were turned on and, noticing a peephole in the office door, Jarod put his eye to it and was able to see quite clearly that it was the doctor himself who had entered. Opening the top drawer of his desk, Eaton pulled out a small parcel and thrust it into the deep pocket of his jacket. Then, to Jarod's chagrin, he opened the filing cabinet drawer and appeared to extracted the same exact files in which the pretender had greatest interest. rest. The drawer was slammed shut and the room darkened before Jarod had a chance to breathe. As the door shut and was locked behind him, Jarod stepped over to the desk and opened the top drawer. An empty corner was all that remained of the mysterious object that Dr. Eaton had removed and, closing the drawer, Jarod thoughtfully and warily exited the room.

* * * * * * * * *

The Centre
Blue Cove, Delaware

Miss Parker bent over the computer terminal where Broots was feverishly working and glared at the picture of the strange man on the screen. “How long?” The words came out in a snake-like hiss that made Broots shrink away slightly.

“I don’t know.” His response was slow and cautious, nervous of making the storm hovering above him crash down on his head. Regardless of his caution, it came.

“What do you mean, you don’t know? How can you not know? We’ve been working on it for almost an hour. No, I take that back. You’ve been working on it for over an hour.”

’And you’ve been hovering and yelling for over an hour,’ Broots thought to himself. ‘How am I supposed to work efficiently under those conditions?’

The voice above his head went on. “And how can it be possible that you haven’t located anything about this man yet? We know that he’s a member of the German arm of the Triumvirate and that’s it. Are you saying there isn’t even anything about his name?”

“Uh, no.” The words came hesitantly but the idea that followed came suddenly and abruptly. “Miss Parker, why don’t you ask Sydney who he is?”

Suddenly calm, the woman shook her head. “He left the Centre almost thirty minutes ago.”

”S…so why don’t you go and see him?”

”I will - soon. First, I have to know who this person is.”

Broots rocked back in his chair and looked up at her. “Those words that Angelo said - experiments and suffering. Do you think there’s a connection to this man?”

Miss Parker looked down at him in amazement. “Possibly. It’s an idea, anyway, so we’ll run with it. Try and work out who this guy is. If necessary, take a look in Sydney's office and see if there’s any idea there.”

Broots shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I…I don’t like the idea…”

Miss Parker looked down at him, suddenly exasperated. “For God’s sake, Broots, I’m not asking you to find out all of his dirty little secrets. We’re doing this to help him. Remember that.”

Broots nodded but, as Miss Parker reached the office door, he looked up again. “And w…where will you be?”

”I’m going to look for Angelo. I think he might be able to tell us a little more about what’s happening in this nuthouse.”

* * * * * * * * *

Mayo Clinic, Research Center
Scottsdale, Arizona

“Did you find what you were looking for?”

As he entered the lab, Jarod tried not to look guilty and instead looked, as he felt, rather foolish. He tried to bluff his way out of the situation. “What are you talking about, James?”

“Last night, Jarod. Did you find the things in my office that you were looking for?”

”Really, James, I…”

”Oh, come on Jarod.” Dr. Eaton turned from the microscope and looked over at the pretender. “I know that you were there and now I want to know if it was helpful for you.”

Jarod remained silent. The doctor spoke again.

“Well, I hope it was useful for you. Although I would have thought that any questions you might have had about Rebecca should really have been addressed to her father. I could have told you anything you wanted to know. In fact, those files in which you were particularly interested are sitting right there.”

Looking in the direction shown by Dr. Eaton, Jarod saw the pile of slim folders on the workbench beside his microscope and, looking up, met the eye of the doctor, which, at the present time, twinkled in a way that made Jarod more than a little uncomfortable.

“You see, Jarod, I know a lot more about you than you might think…”

* * * * * * * * *

Sitting in his lair that night, Jarod thought over the words that the doctor had uttered that day. Somehow he, too, had the feeling that he had once known a great deal about the doctor. But time or certain events had wiped that knowledge from his brain and left it blank, but with a vague and frustrating idea that something had once been there. In vain Jarod struggled to remember what that nameless, faceless thing was, but the information slipped through his mind like water through his fingers and he was eventually forced to admit that he wasn’t going to remember it alone. As the tail end of the idea came into his thoughts, Jarod reached over and picked up his phone.

Just as he was about to punch in the numbers, however, the phone rang as it lay in the palm of his hand.

“Hello?”

“Suffering.”

”A…Angelo?”

“Suffering. Sydney. Suffering, suffering, suffering.” The last repetition of the word faded and was replaced by a dial tone and Jarod stared at the item in his hand. Why was suffering the significant word? Why not anger, sadness, or joy? For a moment Jarod stared off into the middle distance, his eyes focusing on nothing in particular as his mind focused on the problem at hand. Then, with a determined air, Jarod dialed a particular set of numbers and waited for the phone to be answered.

* * * * * * * * *

The Centre
Blue Cove, Delaware

“What?”

”Where’s Sydney?”

“What the hell are you, Jarod? Psychic?”

Ignoring the jibe, Jarod focused on the reason for his call. “It’s important that I talk to Sydney.”

“Well, I’d love to let you and all that, but at the moment we’re trying to work out what made him take off like a startled rabbit.”

“And what’s Angelo’s opinion on Sydney's behavior?”

Miss Parker sighed, admitting defeat mentally, and answered the question seriously. “He obviously had some idea of what was going to happen. He showed us a video of a meeting of the Triumvirate and stopped on one particular face and then Sydney took off at a run. But when I went to look for him a few minutes ago, I couldn’t find him.” Miss Parker turned and stared at the photo of the unnamed man that sat on the desk before her. “What do you know about him?”

“I don’t know much about any of the Triumvirate at the moment. Which country was he representing - South Africa, the US or…?”

“Germany.”

“Germany.” Jarod repeated the word thoughtfully and both he and Miss Parker were silent for several seconds. “Well, if he’s a member of the Triumvirate then he’ll be well protected. Be careful, Miss Parker.”

“You too, Jarod.”

It was almost the identical second that the two of them terminated the call, Jarod to begin pacing the length of his lair and Miss Parker to recommence berating the technician for the lack of information he had found.

“You might remember,” Broots finally stated, amazed at his own courage, "We had exactly the same problems with Mr. Cox when he first appeared. “

”Ah, yes.” Miss Parker thought for a moment. “The terrible taxidermist. So we did.” She walked away and stared fixedly at a small spot on the floor for such a long time in silence that Broots felt that he had to make some sort of noise just to relieve the tension. As he was about to, however, she turned on her heel and walked to the door.

“M…Miss Parker, where are you going?”

Turning, she looked at him fixedly. “I’m going to find Sydney.” The door closed firmly behind her.

On to Act III

 
  The Pretender - © NBC, All rights reserved.
Web Maintenance by Rayhne
  home | primer | season five | season six | staff | updates | guestbook
"Ownership of the characters of The Pretender is property of NBC/TNT/Pretender Productions. Copyright of the original works on this site, including title graphics and written episodes, are the property of their creators and the VS site only, and may not be used without express written consent of the authors/artists/webmaster."