From Afar: 5. The English Patient

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5. The English Patient

Chapter Five

“The English Patient”

In the months following Boromir’s incarceration, Morgan’s life had changed little. The realization that it was Boromir that had made her life so interesting was of no comfort to her. Her life sequestered back to it’s state of monotony, and life again became lonely.

She had had no word from Boromir. She hadn’t really expected any, but was always hopeful when she ran into the disgustingly perky psycho consultant.

Davis seemed intent on never letting her forget Boromir. For Valentines Day, despite getting another disturbing box of beheaded roses, she was dateless and on the way out the door when Davis chimed in, “Going to see your boyfriend in the psycho ward? Maybe he’ll have some roses for you.”

At first the thought of Boromir locked up tortured her. He seemed such a free spirit, but like all excuses, she began to reason with herself that her choice had been the right one. What else could she have done? Let him be? What if he had hurt someone, or himself? How could she forgive herself such negligence? Yet, no matter how she reasoned, and no matter how all her excuses made perfect sense, she was left feeling like she had made the wrong decision.

However miserable Morgan felt, it was nothing compared to the agony of which was now Boromir’s most grievous existence.

Morgan had not come before the goons captured him and took him away. At first he had politely refused to do their bidding, and to await Morgan’s return. They did not heed him, and at last he was punctured with something and all went dark. He woke up in another house of healing, yet glaringly white and cold. His arms were confined again to his bed, and his healers were distrusting and malevolent.

A week passed before his restraints were unfastened, and at first chance, Boromir made for his escape! He thrust all his fist could afford onto a man’s jaw, shattering the bone neath the skin. Elbowing another man in the neck, the worker dropped to the floor, grasping his throat, and gasping for air. An alarm sounded, louder than Boromir had ever would have believed possible, and he broke free of the room, running down the hall half mad with purpose.

More soldiers in white appeared, closing in. Boromir ran toward an iron gate, but it would not give way and open. He pulled on it’s bars in maniacal desperation, when suddenly he felt a sharp pain, and all his world again faded to black.

- - -

“Why did you attack my guards?”

Boromir turned to stare at his inquisitor. The man was clean-shaven with brisk short hair, and was clad in grey. He appeared serious, but not cruel. Boromir shifted slightly. They had dressed him in a appalling device, and he could not move.

“I apologize of the use of the straight jacket,” the man continued when Boromir had made no reply, “but as you’ve just hospitalized two of my men, you give me no choice.”

“What...” Boromir said softly. So softly, the man at first could barely hear, and coked his ear, listening intently. “What is it you want of me?”

“Why, for you to get better,” the man said. “For you to be able to once again join your fellow man in society without fear of your harming them.”

“I assure you, I pose no threat.”

“Well, I’d like to believe that...uh, what is it you call yourself? Boromir? Well, I’d like to believe you, Boromir, but as two of my men are seriously injured, one with a broken jaw, I’m sure you’ll understand why I’m disagreeing with you.”

“It was they who were hurting me. In my land, men do not confine one another, without wrongdoing. I have committed no crime.”

“No, no crime.”

“Then why do you imprison me?” Boromir said, he voice cracking slightly.

“For your own safety. I know it is difficult for you to understand, but things are not as they seem, Boromir. We are not against you. It is our desire to help you. We want you to get better.”

“I am longer ill; my wounds have healed.”

“Yes,” the man said gently, “but I’m not talking about your wounds, but of your mind. You’ve been having what we refer to as ‘delusional hallucinations’. You’ve been imagining things that aren’t really there. There is no ‘Gondor’...”

“There is!”

The man sighed. “My name is Dr. Larkin and I am the head doctor at this facility. We will be seeing more of each other in the time to come. Until I am assured that you pose no threat to any of my staff, you will remain in that straight jacket. If you want out, you’re going to have to earn it.”

The man promptly left, and Boromir was left alone sitting beside the barred up window. A woeful tear strolled down his cheek, and yet, he was not even able to wipe it away.

- - -

Boromir was being punished for his crime; he knew it. There simply was no other explanation that made sense to his already troubled mind. Still confined to what they referred to as the ‘straight jacket’, he was permitted to at last interact with others, and was placed in a large room of men. It was at such a point that Boromir at last understood just exactly what they thought of him. “They think me mad!” he said in awestruck enlightenment. He glanced about the dismal room with its worn furniture, and chipped walls. More bars covered the windows, and men, comatose and drooling, or else muttering and twitching were everywhere. Yet for Boromir, he knew there would be no escape. What was he to do?

- - -

“I must say, you’ve made excellent progress these few months, Boromir,” Dr. Larkin said as he sat with Boromir on their weekly session. He examined the report with a smile.

Boromir sat across from him and beamed. “I am trying, Dr. Larkin. I am trying very hard to get better.”

“I can see that. Dr. Mathews reports that your daily sessions have shown dramatic improvement.”

“I am glad to hear it!” Boromir said. He would put on any clothing they wished him to. He would say anything they wished him to say, if they would just let him leave. Somehow he had travelled from Middle Earth to this despicable place, and regardless of risk or reward, he had no choice but to find his way back.

“Alright,” Dr. Larkin said, closing the report and giving Boromir his full attention. “I need to ask you some questions, Boromir, and I’d like you to answer them truthfully. Do you understand?”

“I do.”

“Where do you come from?”

“I do not remember.”

“You do not come from Gondor?”

“There is no such place as Gondor. I only imagined that I did.” Boromir smiled. He had learned the game quickly.

“And what is your name?”

“I do not know.”

“It isn’t really Boromir, is it?”

“I do not think so.”

“Did you give yourself that name?”

“Yes. I could not remember, so I named myself.”

Dr. Larkin sat back, pleased with himself. “Well, Boromir, it feels so good when we have made a difference. I know we’ve been testing you a lot lately, but I think we have finally come to a diagnosis of what is wrong with you.”

“Oh?” Boromir said, no longer smiling. He had not counted on this. “What is that?”

“It is my belief that you have an acute form of amnesia. Not remembering your name or where you came from, you made up a persona to start your life again, so to speak. Does that sound right to you?”

“Yes,” Boromir said smiling.

“Unfortunately, there are problems. The government has kept a close eye on you ever since you arrived here, and they’re worried. You see, they don’t think you’re an American citizen. You were fingerprinted, remember? They put that ink on your fingertips? Well, there’s just no trace of you anywhere. You have no criminal record, I’m happy to say, not in the USA, not anywhere. Interpol has been contacted, and no one has any record of you anywhere.”

Boromir felt lost in the conversation. He knew they believed he longer posed any threat. He had said everything correctly, answered every question precisely. Yet, it seemed that even now, they would not let him go.

“Do you understand what I’m saying, Boromir?”

Try as he might, Boromir could not lie to that question. He shook his head, no, hoping that it would not prevent him leaving.

“You are a man with no country, Boromir. We all were sure that you were English, but there’s no record of you there. Immigration wants to deport you, but no country will take you. Therefore, you are to remain in the US.”

“Then, I can go?” Boromir said, his voice full of hope and longing. “I am no longer ill...I pose no threat...”

“No, no threat...” Dr. Larkin now looked grievous. He had been on strict orders to keep him there. “I’d like to continue with our weekly sessions for a little while longer, Boromir,” he said, watching as Boromir’s face fell into despair. “Now, don’t get discouraged. We’re on the right path to recovery!”

- - -

Dr. Larkin was again sitting in his office, yet his visitor this time was far less congenial than Boromir. Opposite him sat a short man who felt the necessity to speak sharply in order to make himself feel taller. He had short brown hair, and spoke with a thick southern accent. He was a very important man, being the secondary advisor to the head of the CIS; the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“Now, am I to understand correctly, Dr. Larkin, that you have in possession a Mr. Boromir, as he calls himself?”

“That’s correct, Mr. Whitkin.”

“Uh huh. Now, has this Mr. Boromir ever told to where he originated from?”

“No. Boromir suffers from acute amnesia. He has no recollection of any of his history.”

“The CIS,” said Mr. Whitkin in a long southern drawl, “is not so easily duped, Mr. Larkin. We get all kinds of people trying to immigrate illegally. This boy’s gotten caught, is all, and is trying to pan himself off as having amnesia. Now, we have not as yet discovered his originating country, but he’s certainly in the country illegally.”

“What proof do you have of that?”

“Where’s his passport?”

“The man has amnesia! He may have lost his passport, or had it stolen. Him not having fingerprints on our system only assures us that he isn’t a criminal.”

“Well, be that as it may, sir, it doesn’t answer the question of what we do with him. Now, my boss is emphatic on our wasting American’s tax dollars on non-Americans! Which leaves me with one question. Does this Boromir pose a threat to society were he released?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Oh, you don’t think so? Well, I’m afraid I need something more concrete than that, because if in two months time he rapes and kills a woman or holds up a bank, it will not be me taking the heat from the press for it! It will be you! So I need a better answer!”

“He needs more time. He’s reacting very well to treatment; he’s improved by leaps and bounds, but there’s still work to do. This isn’t something that you can just rush...”

Mr. Whitkin breathed in very deeply, so much so that his nostrils almost closed entirely. “Now let me make this perfectly clear to you. I pride myself for being an understanding man. A compassionate man. Now, this has got to be nothing short of black or white. He is either not a threat to society, or he is. If he is not, he will be released to the care of a local shelter. If he is a danger to himself or others, I will have no other choice but to contact the FBI, and declare him a possible terrorist. Please understand the gravity of your decision.”

Author's Note: I'm sorry, dear reader, that this one was so harsh to poor Boromir. I promise that things can only get better... Please review!

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Lizbit

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/08/09

Original Post: 01/31/08

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

From Afar

lubartow - 17 Feb 08 - 12:39 PM

Ch. 5: The English Patient

I just read Chapter Five and I have a question.  I don't think you (personally) are torturing Boromir - as some of your readers have accused, and actually he's still being treated better than the prisoners of Sauron or Morgoth!  But I don't understand why Morgan has not attempted to contact him?  Otherwise the story is quite believable in our paranoid age.

(Also I have what Tolken would call a "niggling" comment - I don't think Boromir could have thought he was being punished for his sins because to the best of my recollection there was no concept of "sin" in the Christian sense in middle earth.)

From Afar

Elfhild - 17 Feb 08 - 3:54 PM

Ch. 5: The English Patient

This is an excellent story of culture/time shock. It's both very amusing, but yet at the same time, quite grim. If it had been a weaker man than Boromir who found himself in this situation, he probably really WOULD have gone crazy by now. Your depiction of a man from another time suddenly transplanted to today's world is very realistic. If he doesn't play his cards just right, the poor son of the Steward might soon find himself on the FBI's Most Wanted list and on the run from government agents who suspect him of terrorism.

I wonder why Boromir has found himself in the 21st century, however; whether he is there for some greater purpose, or if it is only the vagaries of time and space.

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