Brain Teasers
(November 1978)
By Peg Keeley

Part 4


The warm sunshine streamed into the large bedroom. He awoke, startled. Where am I? Surroundings were not the safe, dark library-like room with the softly ticking clock. He sat up in the large king-sized bed. The sunlight was bright and bounced off the white carpet and the flowered wallpaper. The accenting furniture was Victorian, painted white and esthetically placed vases of bright daisies and zinnias were on the dresser and bedside table. His gaze dropped to Cathi, sleeping lightly beside him. Were we…I don't remember. I can't remember this room. Is this our room? Our Bed?

Her eyelids fluttered as she awoke and a gentle smile creased her lips. "Good morning, darling."

"Good morning," he answered, but there was hesitation to his reply. Why can't I remember, even now! Certainly I could not forget loving my wife!

Her arms reached up and embraced his neck, drawing him close to her. She placed a simple kiss on his lips. "You slept so well last night," she whispered. "Didn't it seem right to be back in our bed again?"

He tried to find the words. "This is our room then? I -- I don’t remember it."

"That's okay," she whispered and ran a fingernail along the edge of his earlobe. "We can enjoy making new memories."

He gazed at her, physically aroused, but emotionally wary. "Cathi -- I -- " He pulled back the sheets and got out of the bed. "There are still too many questions."

"Can’t we answer them together?" she whispered quietly. "We know us, right? If we have each other, everything else will come in time."

Uncertainty furrowed his brow. This cannot go on, I must find the answers. I must find the truth.

"How much longer?" Cathi asked suddenly. It was difficult to know if the tone was impatience or fear, but he was certain it wasn't anger. "Paul, this is so frightening. Maybe we should have Dr. Sakar go ahead with the hypnosis today. It might help."

He wrapped the ties of the bathrobe around his waist. "I wish I knew, Cathi. There are times this all seems so right, but other times…." He stopped. Dare I tell her about Mary Ann? Who is Cathi? I love her. But who is she? And if she is right I am torturing her with this refusal. Who can I trust? Sometime I must trust someone. "Let's talk to Sakar," he agreed reluctantly.


The light was beginning to creep into the small concrete cell from the little window when the steel door squeaked open. Two guards dragged Danny in and dumped him onto the cold floor. One slid in the daily pan of mush and bottle of water. The door slammed behind as they left.

Numb past awareness of anything except that the cell was peace, sanctuary from the pain, he remained where he'd fallen and curled up onto his side to shut out everything.

Perez scrambled to the food and water and dug his fingers into the bland food. The sticky pottage dripping from his fingers, he paused the look at his motionless cellmate. "You alive, man?" he asked softly.

Williams did not reply.

Perez slid on his butt over to Danny's side. "Now you see, huh?" He touched the cold skin of Danny's shoulder and could feel the shivering. "You need this more than me, I think." He rubbed a fingerful of the food across Danny's mouth.

Danny licked his lips. The food was flavorless, uninviting, but it did not matter.

Perez pushed a little more into Danny's mouth. "Not good, but it something." He forced a few more mouthfuls in, then pushed the partially empty pan away. "You got stay with me, you hear?"

Danny gazed at him through half open eyes, and did not respond.

Perez gathered Danny into his arms much like a parent would a child. "I see you do okay. Don't want to bury you, too." He poured some of the water from the bottle into Danny's mouth.

Most of it ran down across them both and Danny recoiled from the wetness. He struggled to think. "Capitol of Kansas is Topeka," he rasped through blistered, bloody lips.

Perez uttered a short chuckle. "You not in Kansas anymore, friend."

"Kansas?" he whispered, a vacant look in his eyes. "Capitol of Kentucky is Frankfort."

"You drink this," Perez advised, tipping the water bottle again.

This time the drink was more successful. Danny felt the cool water slide down his sore throat. Why is my throat sore? The echoes of his own screams came back to his mind. WHY? Perez's body heat was warming him. "Why?" he whispered.

"Why?" Perez repeated. "No why, just here."

"Here? No," he whispered back. He slowly closed his eyes wanting to sleep. He was gradually beginning to feel, to be aware of his surroundings. His chest hurt, his stomach was nauseated, muscles cramped. His head hurt.

Perez gave him another drink.

"Thank you," he managed.

"Se nada," Perez replied. "We stick together -- you and me. Maybe they come get me tomorrow, huh? Then you help me."

"Tomorrow?" How long have I been here? Days? Weeks? Where is Steve? "You, how long?" he asked.

"Me? I've been here --" he gestured towards the wall full of hash-marks. "Lose count."


"You like that why question," Perez kidded. "I complain that the babies have no milk. My brother-in-law he betray me and I come here."

"We gotta get out of here," Danny whispered. "They'll kill us."

Perez just looked down at the floor and shook his head.


The daydreams came more clearly now. He slumped on the couch in the parlor staring into the fire on the hearth. The clouds outside were building, warning of rain. The more I try to sort this through, the worse a tangle it becomes. There is this reality and there are the dreams. My life is one big dream -- but which one? Who are these people I dream about? I see their faces, can almost grab their names. Who are they? In his fitful daydream nap, he had dreamt of Cathi again. This time her death had been so clear. There was a beach house. Her beach house. He remembered the gulls, the sound of surf, the sound of her laugh. He remembered the horror, each dreaded step he took up the stairway that led to her murdered body. Who killed her? I was afraid, angry, and they thought I have killed her. Did I kill her? Did I? Danno said…

….who is Danno? I cannot remember. He is a friend -- more than a friend. If he was here he could explain it all. Sakar has never mentioned Danno. Is this Danno another imaginative being? His thoughts were interrupted by voices in the hallway that echoed into the parlor.

"He has a right to know," said Cathi's voice angrily.

"He is not ready. Too much might injure his mind for good. Will you take that responsibility?" Sakar's voice argued.

"But the risk! You read the report! That assassin is close by! They lost him less than 500 miles away. He is coming, John! For Paul's own protection, he must know!"

They came into the room, an uneasy silence now between them. "Good morning, Paul," Sakar said with reserve.

"Hello, Dr. Sakar," he replied. He glanced from Sakar to Cathi. "You were just having a conversation."

Sakar waved a hand. "Nothing to worry about, Paul."

"That's not true," Cathi interrupted. "It was about you, Paul. You have a right to know."

"I heard part of it," he admitted. "Whatever this is, I have a right to make my own choice. You can't both continue to treat me like an invalid."

They exchanged glances. Finally Sakar spoke. "The agent who first captured you and killed Chuck was being tailed by our people. They lost him."

"He was headed here," Cathi insisted.

"Are you certain of that?" the focus of their concern asked rising from the sofa.

"I want you to know that we have the very best of security systems here. There are guards -- no one can get in here."

Cathi added: "You need to decide if you want to go ahead and have Dr. Sakar use hypnosis to probe your subconscious."

Who do I trust? Something must happen. I have to know and maybe this is the only way.

"Paul, you need to understand something before agreeing," Sakar offered in a fatherly tone. "If in their mind altering process they left behind some kind of mental land mines -- well, hypnosis just may set them off."

"If they have and I do not go through the hypnosis, what then? Do they go off another time?"

Sakar gave a hesitant nod. "We just do not know."

What if these images of Cathi are premonitions? I don't believe in such stuff. But what if they are? "Could I be a danger to Cathi?"

Sakar sighed. "There are too many unknowns."

"Unknowns," he whispered. "And hypnosis is the only way?"

"The only way I know of," Sakar answered. "I do not wish to place too much stress on you so soon-"

"But there is an enemy agent out there, maybe headed for here? I doubt he will be concerned with stress. I must protect Cathi, the risk must be taken," he decided. It feels good to take action. I will know.

"I knew we'd agree!" Cathi said with a smile. "We always do!"

"If that's what you want, Paul, I'll make arrangements for later today," Sakar said with a nod.

Yes, this is good. I must take back control of my life, of what is happening. "One more thing," he said, confidence creeping into his voice. "This agent. I don't remember him. What does he look like?"

"I just happen to have his photo." Sakar rummaged through his brief case and pulled out a bent black and white 3 x 5 that he extended towards his patient.

He stared at the image. The man in the photo was in his thirties, short, curly hair, light eyes, and unshaven. There was wildness about his appearance. He felt a sudden wave of dizziness and disorientation wash over him. He touched a hand to his forehead as he attempted to fight the confusion. "Danno," he uttered collapsing back to the sofa.

"Paul! Paul!" Cathi shouted grabbing his arm in alarm.

"Cathi," he whispered in fear as he fainted. "Help me."


Danny sat perched on the small stool in Frier's office while the officer slowly paced back and forth in front of him, snapping the riding crop against the palm of his hand every few steps.

"I find it most distressing that you chose not to co-operate," Frier commented. "Have you no understanding?"

He'd been sitting here over an hour. It took all his strength to just stay on the stool. There is no reason here. No explanation. No sense. I must just stay alive. Do not listen to him. There is no logic. He struggled to occupy his mind with some meaningless monotony like multiplication tables or memorized facts, but he was too exhausted. He felt very confused. When he opened his eyes, the lights seemed to swirl around the room in brilliant colors and small spots like flying bugs zigzagged through the puddles of liquid light that dripped down the walls. Frier's face seemed keep twisting out of shape. Am I losing my mind? Have I been drugged?

Frier suddenly stopped and turned to face Danny. "I know what it is. You believe that you are an American citizen -- you have some special privilege. Yes? You will see that here you are just another man -- less than a man. You are another prisoner."

Danny stared at the floor, gripping the seat of the chair to keep his orientation. If I answer a question, I will be beaten. If I ask a question, tortured. I just wish I knew what I am dying for. What has happened to Steve? He looked up at Frier. Maybe I can get him to tell me something by accident. I remember him saying friends betrayed me. "Why am I here?"

Frier turned in surprise. "Did I ask you to speak?" The crop came whistling down on Danny's shoulders.

He glared back at his attacker. "Where is McGarrett?" His head pounded with pain as the light stabbed through his skull.

The crop struck him again across the face. "McGarrett!?" Frier sneered. "You want to know about whom? You worry about the one who sold you out?"

He frowned and shook his head. At last I am certain that he is here and probably alive. These tactics to divide would be unnecessary otherwise.

"Your McGarrett has been befriended by a woman -- an agent and he has traded his knowledge for luxury!" Frier shouted into Danny's face.

"You're a liar!" Danny shouted before he could stop himself, but the action depleted his strength.

"Then see!" Frier motioned the guards who grabbed Danny under each arm and pulled him back across the hallway to the now dreaded but familiar torture room. "Look!" Frier pointed with his crop towards the television monitor. It was turned on and the moment of snow blinked to a video of Steve having a casual breakfast with a dark-haired woman in a beautiful sunlit solarium. There were heaps of fruit and pastries on the table. She was laughing. They smiled warmly at each other.

Danny looked away. "It's a fake."

"Is it?" Frier whispered. "Are you sure?"

Danny stared at the floor. "My name is Williams," he whispered.

Frier gave a loud boisterous laugh and motioned to the guards. In moments, Danny was again in the tight, wire cage. Unexpectedly, the lights were turned off and he was in total blackness. Nothing happened. He waited. There was no sound, no water, no shocks. Nothing. The darkness offered a momentary reprieve from the hallucinogenic effects and the headache eased. Minutes dragged by with the only companion his aching limbs.

A quiet voice spoke. "What is your name?"

There was a sudden loud ear shattering blast of laughter as the video was turned on a top volume. Danny jumped at the sound. It was immediately followed by a blast of icy water. A strobe began to flash directly overhead so intense that, even with his eyes shut, the painful light passed through. And as he attempted to contain this assault on all his senses, he was hit by a powerful electrical shock.

I cannot do this! I will go crazy! The hideous laughter echoed in his mind, his head felt like it would explode. I can do this no more!


The quiet melody of Bach's Air on G-String filtered through the quiet study as the log on the hearth had dwindled to nothing more than glowing embers. This is so restful and serene, it's hard to recall the panic of just a few hours ago. He sipped the herbed tea and let the warmth of it comfort him.

"It is like I tried to explain," Sakar said gently. "This entire mental state was very carefully orchestrated. There are going to be certain words, pictures, faces -- even ideas that trigger responses. You were apparently programmed to respond to the face of your enemy. Your own strength of character made you sort of shut down. Heaven only knows what you should have done."

He flexed his jaw. Who was the man in the picture? I think I know him. I think he is a friend. Who is he? What is his name?"

"What are your feelings?" Sakar asked.

He glanced back at the doctor. "Confusion. I -- it is so hard to place." What about MaryAnn? The sailor's calluses? The champagne? "Confusion." He repeated in a whisper. "You have told me of Chuck, but I can't remember him, I have no memory."

"And you do of this other man?"

He did not reply. "I don't know."

Sakar relaxed back in the chair. "We have a long way to go. I agree that it is time for us to search back through the past two weeks. Are you ready, Paul?"

He nodded, slowly, reluctantly, watching Cathi. She gave a small smile of reassurance. I can't seem to remember anything clearly, but if Cathi is here, then it can't be all that bad. If I have to believe in something -- I'll believe in her. But what of the odd memories? I have to know. I need to have the answer. This is the way.

Sakar drew his chair close, noting that the tea had been finished. "Paul, I'd like you to relax. Just rest back on the couch and think consciously about every muscle in your face. Relax each one….now the muscles of your arms, relax them….the muscles of your back, your legs, relax them. Do you hear your breathing? Relax, and think of slowing the rate of your heart."

The slow music filled his head, his mind, his body, became part of him. He was at peace. He was part of the music, the air of the room. There was a fleeting moment where he struggled to maintain control.

"Let it all go, Paul, let the music carry you."

There was silence except for Bach for several minutes. Sakar, without a sound, lifted the small cassette recorder from his bag, laid it on the floor in front of his hypnotized patient and turned the recorder on. He gave a thin smile towards Cathi. "Paul, can you hear me?"

He did not reply.

"Steve, can you hear me?" he repeated.

"Yes." The voice was a whisper.

"You will travel back to eight days ago. On the count of three, open your eyes and tell me where you are. One…two…three."

His eyes opened and looked around a place far from the parlor.

"Can you describe where you are?"

"My office."

"What time of day is it?"

"Evening -- the sun is setting."

"The phone is ringing. Answer it."

His hand brought an imaginary phone to his ear.

"Who is on the phone?"

"Jonathon Kaye. I need to meet…." He stopped talking. "Classified."

"That is all right," Sakar said gently. "Close your eyes for me."

He did.

"It is the next day. Open your eyes for me."

His empty eyes opened once again.

"Where are you?"

"Plane to Manila."

"Why are you going to Manila?"

"Must meet Strickland in Hong Kong."

"What did you tell Strickland?"

He grimaced. "No. No! Stop them!" His arms flailed at invisible attackers.

"Steve, close your eyes and rest," Sakar said abruptly. He frowned.

Silence filled the room for several moments while Steve lay back, looking to be asleep.

Finally Sakar said. "You did not give your message to the Inspector. You must report to Strickland."


"It is important?"


"Then you should tell him now. When I count to three, open your eyes. Strickland will be here. One…two…three."

His eyes opened. A relieved smile crossed his face. "Inspector?"

"Tell him."

"The third member of the triune is a double-agent. Chan Hu Nun. He served both Britain and North Viet Nam."

Sakar gave a victorious smile and his eyes glowed. "You have done well," he said with pride. He carefully turned off the recorder and gave a thumbs up towards Cathi. "Now, close your eyes for me one more time."

He obeyed.

"You are at rest, everything is just fine now."

It was silent for a moment as Steve relaxed more deeply onto the sofa.

"Steve is a lie. You are Paul. Steve is the enemy."

A slight scowl crossed his face. "Enemy?"

"You are Paul. You and Cathi will be all right if you can protect her."


"You love her."


"You would do anything for her."


"You will kill for her."

"Kill for her."

"Someone will try to kill her. You must stop him. He will try to kill you. What is your name?"

He frowned in confusion. "I think -- I think --"



"You are Paul."

"I am Paul."

"Who is Steve?"

"The enemy."

Sakar smiled. Just the last piece to place now. "The man who wants to kill Cathi will call you Steve. What is the man's name?"

He was silent.

"What is his name?"

"I don't know," he murmured slowly.

"Find out his name. Then kill him."

"His name."

"Find out his name and kill him to protect Cathi."

"Protect Cathi."

"Good, good," Sakar said gently. "I want you to relax for me. Relax every muscle, relax your mind, and let it flow with the music. You hear the music. Make it a part of you. Now, when I count to three, you will awaken. You will remember nothing of this conversation, but you will feel a peace, you will know you are here to protect and love Cathi. You will be ready to sleep. One…two…three."

He slowly opened his eyes and gazed into Cathi's face. "How did I do?" he asked.

"Great," she whispered with a joyful smile. "You're going to be much better very soon. Your memories are intact, you just need some time to pull it together."

He marveled at how at ease he felt. Yes, it really will be all right. I will protect Cathi, she won't die. I know what will happen. The enemy will come, but we shall be ready -- I will be ready. This was the best thing to do. Why did I ever doubt? It makes perfect sense. "I am tired," he said.

"You've had quite a day," Sakar offered. "Why don't you catch a little mid-afternoon nap. I shall see myself out."


Ming pulled on the heavy door to the lab and the thick metal complained as it scraped against the concrete floor. The young technician jumped upon recognizing his superior. Without acknowledging the young man, Ming walked over to the wire cage that still housed Williams. "Open it."

The man quickly undid the latch and let the top drop back.

Williams made no movement.

Ming took hold of Danny's hair. He pulled back Danny's head and gazed analytically into the flaccid face; took out a small pen-light and shone it into Danny's vacant eyes. He released the hair and Danny's head dropped limply back downward. Ming glanced at the tech standing beside him, reached into his pocket, pulled out a cigar and lit it with a match. He blew out the match. "Ishi, what is your impression?" he demanded of the young man.

The student fumbled, shuffling pages on the clipboard in his hand. "Hum -- no response for over an hour. Non-responsive to auditory or kinetic stimuli. Seems to be catatonic as a result of over-stimulating of the upper synaptic functions."

"Hum," Ming took a drag on the cigar and puffed out a blue cloud of smoke. "And?"

Ishi shook his head. "I guess I don't understand this as a method for obtaining information."

Ming grinned. "You must always watch the subject very carefully. And don't forget painful stimulus." He pressed the lit cigar against Danny's naked shoulder. There was a faint hiss and the acrid odor of burning flesh.

Danny gave no response.

Ishi, obviously shaken by his teacher's action, blinked as he attempted to hide his shock. "He -- hum -- doesn't respond to pain either…" His voice trailed off.

Ming grinned through his cigar. "Are you familiar with the American phrase 'playing possum'? Some have learned to disguise their feelings much better than others." He started to walk away, then paused. "Certainly much better than you. See he is returned to his cell." He left, headed for his office.

Ming's real office was not in the hollows of the concrete cellblock. It was a pleasant suite that opened out into the courtyard behind the large castle-like residence, facing the bleak prison. He and his acquaintances referred to this place as The Citadel. Appropriate enough since it had been a stronghold of a Japanese unit during the second world war. Local theory was that the cellblock had housed American POWs. It did not really matter.

Success is ours. The old fable of the sun and the wind comes to mind. The sun and the wind argued about whom was stronger. They noticed a man walking down the road and agreed that whichever of them could get his coat off was the greater. The wind blew and blew with all his might, but the man only clutched the coat tighter to his body. Then the sun took his turn. He shone with warmth and comfort. The man very soon became hot, took off his coat and put it over his arm.

So it is with extracting information from the unwilling subject. In less than eight days and with very little discomfort to the subject, McGarrett has willingly given us information that under duress he would never have yielded. The counterpart, Williams, has made every attempt to resist and toughen. He did not possess classified information, but at the end of six days, he has broken under brainwashing along the similar patterns a trained agent would have.

What remains now is the final chapter of the test -- two men, brothers at the core, will confront one another, each convinced the other is the enemy.

The door to his office opened and Ming turned to see Perez shuffle in, blanket wrapped around him. Perez headed for the coffeepot.

"It's getting colder," Danny's cellmate complained.

"It is almost over, Tony," Ming said quietly. "One more day. What is Williams doing?"

He shook his head. "I think you have pushed too hard. Ishi says he's catatonic."

Ming gave a snort. "Leave medical diagnosis to me, Tony. Williams will respond. Trust me. He merely requires the proper stimulus. He has just gone into hiding."

The door opened again and Cathi entered. "Ming, what happens now?" she demanded.

"More of the same for you," he said. "You have not completed your assignment."

She put a hand on her hip. "He's eating out of my hand, Ming. What else do you want?"

"The devotion of a husband. You are his wife, no? I want you to make love to him."

"It takes two, Ming. He doesn't seem interested."

"You are a beautiful woman," he snapped. "Seduce him."

"Yeah? Just like that? I wanna know when we blow this place. It gives me the creeps."

"When you complete your job," he snapped. "Tomorrow is the end."

She shrugged. "I don't see that screwing him is gonna make a big difference."

"It is important to me!" Ming snapped. "You are paid to do as I say. You should not be here. Go back."

"Chill, Ming. He's asleep. He's spent most of the last week asleep. He's not going anywhere."

"Then go sleep with him," Ming commanded.

"You plan to have your video rolling?" Throwing her hair, she stormed out, slamming the door behind her.

Tony glanced at Ming. "She strong-willed girl," Tony commented.

End Part 4

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