Publish Novellas 19 May 2021
EPISODE 5 – INJURIES
Captives have been trying to get restraints removed for good behavior. Eliminating hope of signaling authorities, Jayson and Caroline discovered the Navy is cooperating with their captors.
Brian is currently the one-eyed captive…
Reeling from the revelation that Dr. Toussaint’s behavior has the backing of the Indian Navy, Jayson tries to press further during breakfast with other captives on Wednesday morning.
“There’s something I don’t understand. You folks have been here for months; Isabela for years. Why haven’t they harvested your organs? Why bring Caroline and me into the mix?” Jayson wants to know.
Sheena finally speaks up. “Who said they haven’t harvested our organs? Why do think Brian is wearing that patch? They also took part of my liver!”
“And one of my kidneys, leaving me one that isn’t working so well,” Isabela adds.
“My God! They just keep us here like a buffet, taking what they want?” Jayson reacts with soft-tone anger. “Is that why they play the stupid organ music? To taunt us?”
“Pretty much. Until the buffet, in your analogy, no longer has any viable entrees,” Brian macabrely responds. “They only took one cornea. There are plenty more side dishes within this frame of mine.
“With the pulmonologist here, we are getting closer to the lung transplant. If it’s bilateral, the donor is one and done, right?” Brian asks retorically.
“So, is the surgery hapening today? I need to get these restraints off!” Jayson exclaims in desperation. “And doesn’t a donor imply voluntary transplant?”
“No, the recipient patient won’t be here until the weekend. I’m not even sure if these are the same surgeons. They may just be making plans for later. You ask many questions.
“Likely, you are registered as a donor in the event of your death. Here, they interpret that as a living donor. But now, it’s time for us to do our chores,” Brian warns.
Caroline comes to a somber realization. “That’s why they picked me. I gave consent to use my organs in the event of my death on my driver’s license.”
“Me too, but that’s not consent for what’s going on here! And, these chores seem more like busywork to keep us subjugated until our captors literally rip our hearts out, as they have already done with some of you already,” Jayson says with anger, before shuffling away.
By registering as an Organ Donor, you are giving your consent to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to electronically transmit your true full name, residence or mailing address, year of birth, and California driver license or identification card number to Donate Life California. —California DMV
Caroline and Isabela then clear away the tables while Jayson and Brian check on the compost and the septic tank.
Jayson grumbles to Brian, “Where do you sleep?”
“We have quarters that are similar to yours, not far away. The ladies will be cleaning that area today,” Brian replies.
“I can’t come up with a plan without a better understanding of the grounds. Can you take me to the hospital where they perform surgeries? They must have computers there,” Jayson insists.
“Dr. Toussaint calls it an infirmary. You can see it only from afar. Keep in mind that Leonid is armed and dangerous. He moves stealthily through the brush, looking for someone to punish,” warns Brian. “Let’s gather sticks as kindling to have a reason for being in the woods.”
About a thousand meters away in the dense brush, Caroline is helping Isabela and Sheena clean their cabins.
“Structurally, they’re similar to mine, except that you each have your own area,” Caroline says while sweeping.
“That’s the primary difference. They are also elevated higher to prevent flooding during rainstorms. None of them are luxury suites. How’s it working out with you two together?” asks the young housekeeper, Sheena.
“Jayson has been the perfect gentleman. We sleep fully clothed on our own beds. Without a full bath in more than two days, I think my body odor is an effective deterrent to him making advances,” jokes Caroline. “How do you deal with the monotony? Every day activities appear to be the same.”
“We make a choice: monotony or death. Compared to the alternative, we are blessed,” says Isabela.
“Well, anything is better than death, unless perhaps torture. I get your point. I just have a hard time swallowing the word blessed,” Caroline replies.
Isabela, you’ve been here for two years. What can you tell me about the indigenous people on the other side of the perimeter?” Caroline asks inquisitively.
In reply, Isabela reveals a wealth of information. “They are Sentinelese people who have lived here for centuries without technology, modern conveniences, or traditional medicine.
“This means they have no viruses or vaccines from the outside world. So their immune system, if it exists, is much weaker than ours. To protect the people and the habitat, the Indian Navy has declared this island off limits to the world.”
“You mean off limits to everyone except Dr. Toussaint and his entourage—including us?” Caroline reasons.
“Yes. Soldiers need organs. A kidney on the black market can fetch $200,000. In exchange for use of a small area of the island, the Indian Navy can request body parts when required,” Isabela says somberly.
“And you call this being blessed?” Caroline replies sardonically while walking away to sweep another area.
Brian and Jayson are each holding an armful of sticks when they get about 300 meters from the hospital. “Look over there to the north,” Brian tells Jayson. “That’s the hospital for surgeries. I was in there once for the cornea transplant and again after Leonid broke my bones.”
“It’s not very conspicuous. Can we get any closer?” Jayson asks.
“No, we should leave,” Brian insists.
On the way back, Leonid appears from the thick brush. He stops them and asks why they are so far from the camp.
Brian opens his mouth to give an excuse but Leonid stops him. “Silence, I am asking Jayson!”
“Um, well, we need some dry sticks for good kindling. The ones closer to the camp are moist. These will keep you warm, sir,” Jayson replies.
“Take them back to the bin and then go clean your own quarters,” Leonid commands.
“Yes sir,” they reply in succession before hurrying off.
A distance away, Jayson finally takes a breath. “I at least pissed my pants when I turned around and saw his eyes staring back at me. I need to go to the outhouse.”
When Jayson gets back to his quarters, Caroline is already there with plenty of news to share.
“Did I tell you that I saw the stream where the other workers bathe?”
“No. Is that a hint that I smell?” asks Jayson, self-conscious about soiling his underwear earlier.
“I’m no bouquet of roses either. I can’t wait to splash in,” Caroline fantasizes gleefully. “I also found out about the indigenous people. I think they are called something like Senalese or Sentinelese.”
In November 2018, John Allen Chau, a 26-year-old US missionary, was trained by Missouri-based All Nations to preach Christianity to the Sentinelese. He was killed during an illegal trip to the restricted island. Seven individuals were taken into custody by Indian police on suspicion of abetting Chau’s illegal access to the island. Entering a radius of 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) around the island is illegal under Indian law. —Wikipedia
Jayson stands up with a look of enlightenment. “So we are on Sentinel Island!”
“I guess. I’m told that it’s off limits to the world,” Caroline replies.
“Yes, and it’s patrolled by the Indian Navy. I read about this place while planning my routes around the world,” Jayson says while standing face-to-face and grasping Caroline’s shoulders.
“That’s very helpful. At least I now have an idea of our coordinates,” Jayson ponders.
“The Navy ships can fire surface-to-air missiles or launch fighter jets. Too bad my flight instructor has not yet gotten to the lesson on missile avoidance techniques.” Jayson utters sarcastically to himself while thinking of an escape plan.