Periodic East, Chapter 28 – The Last Thing I Remember

“The last thing I remember,” Jack concluded, “was President Eastman giving me his pod.” When he finished his story, Jack looked deep into his brother’s eyes. 

“This is impossible,” Sam began, “what you’re telling me happened six years ago. Even in hyper sleep, you wouldn’t have survived this long. And why do you look like that? You look nothing like Simon, and why identify yourself as Jack?” Sam rattled on, the tone in his voice matching the growing rage on his face. “You’re not my brother,” Sam concluded, “you’re an imposter. You’re a stowaway who has managed to sneak aboard Icarus only to fuck with my head.” Sam pushed a button on his desk console. “Get out of my office and go fuck yourself.”

“I can prove it,” Jack said, “I can prove that I’m your brother. Take me to the ship’s doctor; take my blood, plasma, shit sample, whatever. I can’t explain why I look different-maybe they can-but surely they can show that I’m still your brother.”

“Was I dreaming?” Sam asked. 

“What?”

“The first night I saw you, on the Bridge, was that you?”

“Yeah, that was me,” Jack said confused. 

“So why is it that I suddenly woke up in my bed in my pajamas? Huh? Why was the ship empty? Why were all the coolers  in the Mess Hall empty? Huh? How the fuck do I know I’m not the one going crazy right now? How do I know that you’re even real?” Sam’s voice boomed throughout his room as Jack stared silently wishing he had more answers. 

“Take me to the doc, Sam. Let them prove that I am who I say I am,” Jack began, “and maybe you should get yourself checked out also. I mean when was the last time you slept? When was the last time you really remember having a good night’s sleep? I told you the last thing I remembered. What’s the last thing that you remember?”

Sam looked at the surface of his table and pushed a small button on the side, which caused a drawer to pop open. From the drawer he took out a small picture frame of himself with Simon dating back over fifteen years ago. The person in the picture looked like a slightly younger version of the Simon that was with President Eastman in the White House. Sam stared at it for a moment, then slid it over to Jack. 

“That’s my brother, Simon,” Sam said as his voice lowered with each syllable. “He was smart; really smart. Since he was seven or eight years old, he was determined to work in the White House. I know that because he told me. You want to prove to me you’re my brother, tell me why. Why did he want to work for the White House?”

Jack looked at the photo and tears started streaming down his face. He smiled looking at a photo in a setting that he had not remembered, but it was Samuel and Simon Ng in that photo together.

“He-“ Jack began, “he wanted to find aliens for the government.”

More tears streamed down Sam’s face at the correct response.

“And I did, Sam,” Jack said, “I did.”

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