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Alan Parsons Project - Games People Play

Elenore, can I take the time
To ask you to speak your mind
Tell me that you love me better

- The Turtles (Elenore)


While Rick slept, Noemy developed the film. Milena and Pawel sat together in the kitchen. “So, what are your intentions?”

“My intentions?” he asked.

“Towards Noemy,” she said, “what are you going to do?”

“Milena, we have known each other for over two decades.”

“Yes, and if you don’t propose soon, perhaps some other man will fall out of the sky.”


“Or wherever he came from.” She shrugged.

“Are you saying I have a rival?”

“Are you saying that will get you to act already? Neither of you are getting any younger, you know.”

“If my father were here ….”

“Your father is a part of the ashes of Dachau. As is a good chunk of pre-war Prague.”

He looked stricken, so she hastily added, “I am sorry; that was insensitive of me. But Pawel, it has been a very, very long time. You love her, even if you are constitutionally incapable of admitting it. And she feels the same for you, even if she is similarly handicapped. Right?”

“Maybe,” he said, then changed the subject, “what are you going to do with him?”

“I am unsure. What did Noemy tell you?”

“Not so much. She said he was badly hurt, but he doesn’t seem to be so injured now. Is he a con artist, do you think?”

“I do not know. Ah, look, photographs!” Noemy came in with the developed pictures and x-rays.

“I would not believe it if I were not seeing it for myself,” she said. She spread the pictures out on the kitchen table. “Look at this.”

There were three pictures together, of the left side of Rick’s face. The pocket watch was next to his face. The first photograph showed a wide gash in his cheek. The watch said 4:31.

The next one showed a time of 4:34 and the wound was nearly completely closed up. In the third and final snapshot, the time was 4:38 and the wound was nonexistent. It was as if it had never been there.

“What’s this over here?” Pawel asked, pointing at the first picture. It was the barest hint of a wire sticking out from Rick’s left ear. It wasn’t present in the other two photographs.

“Have you got the x-rays I took of his head?”

“Here, and here,” Noemy said, presenting them. And, sure enough, a wire showed up.

“Curiouser and curiouser, Mister Daniels,” Milena said.

“Who?” asked Pawel.

“I asked him. His name, he says it is Richard Daniels.”

“So he is American?” Noemy asked.

“I don’t know if America is this advanced,” Milena said, “I don’t think any of us are.”


“I was thinking,” HD said as he and Tom left Abbey Road Studios, “we could go to 1974 and check and see if we were successful, instead of waiting ‘til we got back to the Temporal Integrity Commission.”


“It’s all about album sales. We can go to ’74 and do research on album sales, visit a library or something,” HD offered.

“That’s, uh, that’s actually a good idea,” Tom said.

“Hey, I do have ‘em every now and then, Grant.”

“Yeah, uh, I guess you do. Okay, ’74 and we confirm. And if it took, then we go straight home.”

“Works for me. We, uh, I don’t think we fixed everything,” HD said.

“Well, that’s why Rick and Polly and Sheilagh are out, too, right?”

“Yeah, I guess so, man.”


Milena sat in her office, a room filled with old-fashioned equipment, old even by the standards of the day. She had a reel to reel tape recorder on the desk in front of her and a cup of tea as well. She turned on the recorder. “All right. I, this is, I am unsure of how to begin, for what I have to say is radical - revolutionary even.” She took a breath.

I have conclusive evidence that we are not alone in the universe. And I am well aware of exactly how insane that sounds, so I shall endeavor to explain.” She cleared her throat.

At approximately ten minutes after four o’clock this morning, July the thirtieth of 1968, my sister and I were walking on Bilkova Street in Prague, near our home. We heard, rather than saw, a man being hit by an automobile. The car dragged the body for part of a block, then the driver reversed gears, ran over the body a second time in order to dislodge it, and sped away.

She played the tape back in order to assure herself that the recording was clear, then began to record again. “The victim was still alive, although barely. The body appeared to be irreparably damaged. To my eyes, it seemed as if multiple amputations would be required, and that the victim would have likely lost a great deal of brainpower as well, as there was obvious head trauma.”

She paused and sipped some tea. It had gone cold and she made a face. “As I was tending to the victim in the street, I noticed signs of healing. My sister, Noemy Chelenska, was with me, and she confirmed same. It was then decided to bring the victim to my office, in order to treat him if necessary, and to take photographs and x-rays.” She paused a moment to gather her thoughts.

Numerous photographs and x-rays were taken. The most interesting findings were as follows: the subject - for it seems churlish to continue to refer to him as a victim - showed major wound improvement in less than an hour and was able to speak coherently. Second, it appears that he is oriented as to time and place although I will check that. Third, the subject says his name is Richard Daniels. From his accent, his haircut, his shoes and the remains of his clothes, I suspect that he was made so as to appear to be an American.”

She thought for a moment, and then stopped the tape and rewound it a little so as to go back over the silent part. Then she started recording again. “I have labeled the x-rays and photographs for convenience’s sake. X-ray number one was taken probably at around four twenty-five this morning, and shows a small wire protruding from the subject’s left ear. Photograph 1A confirms the presence of the wire. Photographs 1B and 1C show the same body part but no wire. It is my considered opinion that healing occurred in this area, and that thereby obscured the wire’s appearance. X-ray number two shows the subject’s left forearm, wrist and hand, and was taken at about the same time as x-ray number one. This x-ray shows clearly a pair of x-ray reactive bands on the subject’s left wrist, in the same place where a woman’s bracelet or a man’s cuff jewelry would be worn. Photograph 2A was taken at five-eleven and shows that the distal band is silver in color, and the proximal band is copper, but those are colors and do not appear to be the compositions of these bands. This does not appear to be paint, and it does not appear that these are tattoos. Photographs 2B and 2C were taken later, and show the colored bands without any degradation in size, color, brightness or placement. Therefore, I am forced to conclude that these two colored bands are a naturally occurring feature of the subject’s body.


“Who wants the Hamill?” Crystal asked.

“The what?” Sheilagh inquired.

The Dorothy Hamill haircut. It’s a wedge, looks like this,” she produced a picture of it on her PADD.

“What’s the alternative?” Polly asked.

“Uh, there’s the Farrah but it probably doesn’t project enough authority. There’s also this,” she produced another picture, “this is Toni Tennille. Or this haircut,” another photograph was shown, “this woman is Kate Jackson.”

“Rock, paper, scissors?” Polly asked Sheilagh.


Finally, the subject has various x-ray reactive discs in his body. His brain, both eyes, both ears, all ten fingertips and the soles of both feet contain these discs. Their purpose is unknown at this time.

She paused for a moment. “I do not believe that the subject poses any sort of a danger to either myself or my family. If this changes, however, I believe that he could be dispatched by either decapitation or drowning, if he were to be kept under for a sufficient period of time. I am merely speculating as to the amount of time that would be enough to prove fatal, but I do not know of any non-aquatic species that can possibly survive underwater for more than an hour or so. Therefore, my opinion is that twenty-four hours submerged might do the trick,” she took a breath, “let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”


Tom and HD were in a library in London. “And these are the Billboard charts for last week?” HD asked.

“Yes,” replied the librarian, who was an older man, “if you want any further back, I’ll need to get an Interlibrary Loan, which will take about three weeks.”

“I don’t think that’ll be necessary,” Tom said. Sure enough, in the number forty-five spot for the week of July twentieth of 1974, was Dark Side of the Moon.

“Agreed,” HD said, “and, uh, thanks.”

They beamed up from Hyde Park. “Any more detours needed?” Tom asked.

“Not a one,” HD said, “we’re clear to 3110.”


Milena was still sitting in her office when Noemy came in. “He is awake, and asking for you.”

“All right.”

“How long do you intend to keep him here?” Noemy asked.

“I don’t know. Let’s see how long he wishes to stay.”

“He’ll have to pull his weight,” Noemy said.

“I agree.”


Properly coiffed and attired, Polly and Sheilagh went to Kevin’s office.

“Come in,” he said.

“Could you please check Fluxy one last time?” Sheilagh asked. “I just want everything to go right.”



“Mister Richard Daniels,” Milena said once she was back in the spare room, “or, rather, I should say, Mister Richard M. Daniels,” involuntarily, he clutched his neck to find the jewelry he always wore - a chain with a Xindi initiation medal with his initials engraved upon it, and an old-fashioned skeleton key charm with a solid handle - and was relieved that they were still there, “do you know where you are?”

“Uh, Prague?”

“Very good. And do you know today’s date?”

“It’s late July. I think the thirty-first?” he ventured.

“Thirtieth. That is close enough, a mistake that anyone can make. Do you know which planet you are on?”


I really think you're groovy
Let's go out to a movie
What do you say, now, Elenore, can we?
They'll turn the lights way down low
Maybe we won't watch the show
I think I love you, Elenore, love me

- The Turtles (Elenore)

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