"I am William Magnus."
It was dark.
"I am Will Magnus."
The type of deep darkness that only lives in the depths of space. The only difference is that there are no stars to guide ones path. In this darkness there is no up. There is no down. One reaches out into the nothingness only for despair to grasp the hand you can no longer see. When it does touch you there is not much one can do. It is like an infectious disease that can spread deep into ones soul and shatter it into a million pieces. One just has to cling onto who they are as a person and hope it is enough.
"I am Will Magnus."
There was a muffled explosion. It was faint due to the distance but Magnus could instantly smell the nitramide and rubber they used in the C-4. He never much cared for it since it always left a funny taste in the back of his throat. His eyes adjusted to the green laser streams that made their way down the corridor he once remembered. His star had finally appeared.
"Sir, we have live one," a voice shouted as his mounted light made Magnus guard his eyes against the pain.
Another light appeared, then another, as the sudden intensity made it feel as Magnus was gazing into the sun. Magnus' eyes slowly began to adjust as someone stepped forward.
"My name is Rick Flag," the man said as he slowly reached out to the guarded Will. "I am part of the United States military. We are here to get you out."
"I am Will Magnus."
"It's nice to meet you Will Magnus," Rick replied. "Can you walk?"
Rick shook his head in his weakened condition. Rick draped Magnus' arm over his neck, instantly noticing his fragile condition. The clothes that adorned his body dangled two sizes too big. There was a low groan caused by the weight of his now long matted head and facial hair adding what felt like a ton to his lithe body.
"Kurt!" shouted Rick. "Tell command we need to EXFIL now with a medical plus one."
"Gotcha, boss man. A couple of birds coming our - what the..."
The sudden loss of words from his colleague made Rick turn as now dozens of lights flooded the room Will occupied. At first glance the team thought the remains to be body parts - arms, legs, skulls, chest cavities opened with rib cages protruding through them scattered everywhere. Upon closer inspection the extremities were not human but made of metal, a robotic graveyard.
"Who are you?" Rick asked with a concerned look.
"I am Will Magnus," he said once more, not wanting to take a look before him he uttered his next words with shame. "What have I done?"
"Did the ancient Mesopotamians speak to people from another planet? Where their artwork and advancements aided by extraterrestrials?"
"In late game heroics, the Gotham Knights pulled off a late fourth quarter drive to get their winning streak to five games."
"As we see from the monitor we have a massive cold front pushing from the North that is going to stall over the region and bring some unseasonable weather to us for a few days."
"Show me the money."
"I couldn't hear you Jerry. I gots to feel it.
"Show me the money!"
"Hello, I am Bethany Snow for Channel 2 News. News from the Pentagon is that a joint military operation in Yemen discovered an American hostage in one of the raids conducted by American Special Operations. According to sources, the American hostage is named William Magnus. Not much is known about William Magnus since the day he disappeared ten years ago from his home in Hoboken, New Jersey. There are millions of questions circulating everywhere from how Magnus got into Yemen to what happened in the ten years between him missing and....
"The news can be quite annoying these days," a familiar voice rang from the door of Will Magnus' hospital room.
Magnus turned, shocked to match the voice with a friendly face. It belonged to a tall, dark haired man with a wiry mustache as it had on the day the had first met. "Thomas Oscar Morrow?!"
Morrow smiled as he took a seat next to the few men he recognized as an equal. "Williams Maxwell Magnus!" He found it odd to hear his entire name said aloud. Few had done it. Even fewer knew of it. "How are you old friend?"
"Dr. Morrow," Magnus stammered. "How did you find me here?"
"Tsk. Tsk. I asked first."
Will leaned back on his bed, trying to choose his next words carefully. "They think I have lost my mind."
Morrow's smile straightened as did his gaze on Magnus. "Have you?"
"I...I really do not know." It was the truest answer Magnus could give as he gazed out his window view. "They say I was missing for ten years, but I do not remember any of it."
"That is no reason for people to assume you are crazy," Morrow said. "Men like you and me have always been misunderstood. Our vision is what elevates us from many."
"Can you tell that to the soldier posted at my door?" Magnus urged as both chuckled. "So how did you find me? I have been stuck here for three days with wires everywhere and guards constantly standing at that door. If anything is driving me insane it is the damn guards everywhere." Magnus grabbed his empty urinal with disgust and threw it in the direction of the guard. "I know you can hear me!" He shouted with disgust.
Morrow looked at the military stand firm as he was taught. Morrow reverted his attention back to his friend trying to calm rising tempers. "Many things have changed in ten years Will."
"Yeah! Like what?"
Magnus was beginning to vent and Morrow totally could sympathize for his former colleague. Though he had been missing for ten years, the sudden rage flares brought back many memories of the man before him. He remembered Magnus isolating into his work but there were many times frustration took the better of him. Many did not see those days since he bunkered in his laboratory for days, but Morrow was quite aware of the side of William Magnus that many did not. "Well for starters I work for the Department of Defense."
Magnus' brow furrowed, waiting for the punch line of the joke. "Thomas Morrow works for the American military-industrial complex?"
Morrow himself tried to refrain from laughing aloud at the notion. When he was the age Magnus is now he would have never imagined the thought. His joyous smile straightened as he thought of the things that led him to the very moment he was now. "Things happen, Magnus. Stuff is out there that needs explaining and when it confronts you in the face one either runs or grasps the moment and concur it. Which one do you think I did?"
Magnus didn't answer immediately out of admiration for the man. Morrow had visions of building a technological Camelot, and he himself was a chosen member. If Morrow went to work for the US government than he would trust he did it for good reasons. "I think you did what was best."
Morrow shook his head in appreciation and wanted to return the favor as he knew something Magnus did not. "Congress wants to debrief you in a closed door session, Magnus."
"Congress? For what? I was essentially cleared by medical upon my return. They say I can go home by the end of the week."
"That is when Congress would like to speak to you," Morrow huffed. "Your disappearance have some worried. They never wanted a Robert Oppenheimer in the hands of terrorist. Sadly, you were found in a terrorist headquarters."
"I never worked on anything on the scale of Oppenheimer."
"Not ten years ago," Morrow replied. "But then again you cannot recall the past ten years of your life. I know you as a colleague and a friend and I have to admit your story is something out of a sci-fi fantasy."
"You think I did something?" Magnus asked.
"I don't know if you did. All I'm saying is that when Congress summons you into sessions that I will have your back."
Magnus appreciated the sentiment. Morrow was right about his situation. He was surprised men in black suits did not come and yank him off to some forgotten dungeon. He was unsure of a lot of things but at least knew someone was in his corner during this time. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Of course," Morrow said.
"What is twitter?"
Morrow snapped his head back and started laughing. "That is something that definitely isn't worth your time." Both laughed as friends do. If Congress wanted to question Magnus then he would be ready for them