This afternoon, our fourth after being rescued from the ocean, was a torturous one, more so than anything I endured under the water. After being brought into the pressurized wing of the medical bay on the Daedelus I was interrogated, separated from my family, and am now imprisoned.
I have remained mostly in isolation for the past 72 hours. Liz had woken up quickly, with a small contusion. It mostly affects her fine motor skills, but the doctors think that she’ll recover. More problematically, she has severe lung damage, pulmonary edema, and digestive problems. These have resulted from the bends and from inhaling so much seawater. She woke up screaming that I was a monster. That I was evil. I didn’t have much of a defense for that.
“It takes three weeks for the body to regulate itself,” said Dr. Perry when she came to check on my condition in the medical wing. “You’re lucky to be alive.”
“That’s funny,” I replied. “I don’t feel particularly lucky right now.”
“Oh I don’t know, you’re luckier than Sebastian,” she said, reminding me of our little secret. She looked sad to have kept our arrangement. “And luckier than either Nessa or Jo Selkie.”
“Tell me something, Doctor,” I began, knowing I was about to ask for yet another breach of confidentiality. “Did Chris have a brain tumor?”
“You know I can’t tell you that.”
“There’s a lot that you and I know that we probably shouldn’t,” I replied. “Chris went crazy down there. Lin told me it was because he had a tumor. Chris told me he fabricated his medical records. Which was it?”
“Why does it matter?”
“I have to know. Was he evil or was he sick? Or did his sickness somehow contribute to his moral devolution?”
“Does it bring you any comfort to know, Dr. Mann, that I was recently asking myself the same questions about you?” It did not. “Why do any of us do the things we do?”
“You don’t understand. He was a killer.”
“So were you. Almost.” Dr. Perry gathered her chart and her tablet, placing one hand on the door knob before exiting the room and leaving me to my thoughts. “Perhaps that’s the real puzzle. You ought to solve it while you’ve got some time on your hands. What drives good men to be bad?”
After Dr. Perry left, the crew commander placed me in an empty room and tied my ankles, waist, and hands to a chair. I could not move, but I could speak when Liz came to see me. The guards did not leave us alone.
I will not repeat our conversation. I will spend the rest of my life trying to forget it, actually, as well as all that necessitated it. The events of our underwater history were rehearsed, as well as those of our escape, and I can tell you this much only: Elisabeth’s version of events was a damning indictment concerning my lack of involvement, sacrifice, love and commitment to our family. Any court in the world would have convicted me, had any jury in the world been able to stomach her testimony.
I offered only one thing in my defense: “I gave us a chance.”
Commander Balic was unseasonably eager to find some shred of justification for my actions. I am enduringly grateful for that. He began to ask Liz some clarifying questions, a cross-examination, in which–though still far from flawless–my actions did begin to demonstrate some of their former intent.
When she began to suspect that he wasn’t ready to sentence me just yet, though, Liz rounded on him too.
I was released and given access to this computer to record my thoughts. This is the first internet connection I’ve had in a month.
Guess it’s time to tell the world what’s been happening.