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December 16 , 2010

The Third Corridor



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Few figures have dominated a nation's destiny as much as Marshal Tito of former Yugoslavia. For nearly thirty years he held together mutually hostile religious groups in a deeply divided country, but his death in 1980 rekindled centuries-old hatreds and by 1992 Yugoslavia ceased to exist. In this revealing biography, Richard West questions…

~ Play Possum ~

" pretend to be asleep,

dead, or unaware..."

- Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third Edition

"What’s happening?" Garret pulled the reciprocator from his head, dropping it to the floor as he rose quickly from the cot. The standby medical team immediately began their protocol examination, drawing fluids, checking for physical changes, and a barrage of questions to determine his mental status.

"What’s your name? Where are you? How many fingers…"

Garret pushed them aside, and approached the habiliment, a large computer panel displaying rapidly changing numerical readouts. Just above a keyboard, a Kineto-Neural Optic Emission, or KNOE scanner, displayed a variegated, three-dimensional brain image surrounded by a near translucent skull.

Melissa turned her head to acknowledge Garret, allowing her eyes to momentarily leave the KNOE. "Your adrenaline levels were elevating and your heart rate was almost to a hundred and ninety. Your vitals were at critical levels. I had to reanimate you."

Garret bent over the console. He scanned the screen in front of him.

Melissa glanced upward again. "You’re bleeding."

Garret touched his forehead and looked at the blood on his fingers. "What happened? Did I hit my head?"

"You tell me. That wound formed just before I disengaged the signal." Melissa was calm and professional, her eyes scrutinizing the monitor, and her fingers rapidly tapping at the keypad.

"How badly is she injured?"

"She has a mild concussion." Melissa pointed at the screen, which now presented a cross sectioned scan of a brain. A series of numbers was registering at the lateral sides of the KNOE.

Melissa traced her finger along the brain composite, stopping at the frontal lobe. "These readings are puzzling, though. Her serotonin levels are elevated and steady, but only briefly did they correlate with the same desynchronized beta waves you were projecting during rapid eye movements. However, I am now receiving high frequency beta waves from the frontal and parietal lobes."

"A neuropathy perhaps?"

"No, all neuronal transmissions are functioning normally, but she seems to be creating memories we typically find during alert wakefulness." Melissa stopped tapping the keyboard to look at Garret. "It’s as though she’s in an altered state of awareness, the same readouts the scientists recorded when conducting this experiment before."

She turned back to the screen touching it several times until a full body-scan appeared. She pointed to a deeply reddened area across the figure’s left shoulder.

"What is that, a fracture?" Garret asked, touching an area on the screen.

"No, it’s a physical wound," the staff physician interrupted. "Odd though, it is disappearing almost as rapidly as it appeared,"

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