P2: Different Ps (59 minutes)
The first thing that became obvious was that there were three of him. Three Ps, at least.
The first one was able to make his body parts move; so that he was able to move his eyes and look at the clock, for instance, or pick up the black oblong object from the table and push the side buttons.
(Ah, yes – a mobile – telephone – device.)
Then there was the second P who knew stuff – who remembered stuff, like just now: had access, as it were, to a store of knowledge.
Finally, there was a third one – a third P – which kind of overlooked everything that he was doing [just like he was doing now], which might be considered the super-P: the Overseer.
But it was access to the second P he most needed right now, he realised: the one which stored memories and, hopefully, provided him with enough information to make decisions based on that knowledge.
His life might depend on it.
So, a mobile telephone device. How did that help him?
He switched it on again.
The small white dot of light in the upper left corner turned red. That probably wasn’t a good sign. A square made up of numerals ranging from 0 to 9 lit up in the centre. A prompt required a PIN.
The good thing was that he could recognise numbers and letters of the alphabet and could understand what was required from him.
That part of his memory remained.
The bad thing was he couldn’t recall this particular anagram: P.I.N. PIN. Pin. What did that mean?
He remembered ‘pin’. To pin something. Or a sharp pointed object. A safety-pin. A drawing pin.
A safety pin.
A drawing pin.
A safety pin.
A safety pin!
A safety pin.
A safety pin. Something to keep your pin safe.
A PIN number.
A P – I – N.
A Personal Identity Number.
What was it, his PIN? He had no idea.
The mobile’s screen had gone blank.
Without the number he could not access the data it contained.
Was that a bad thing?
What could the phone tell him about himself?
Contact numbers, of course. He could contact somebody and ask them if they knew what was happening, who he was.
He would say, ‘Hi there, this is me, P. Do you know me?’ And they’d say, ‘Hey, I thought this was X, or maybe they’d say, ‘Hi, X’, when they picked up.
And maybe there’d be his own contact details stored on the phone already. Maybe he’d recognise his own name if he saw it. Remember who he was and where he lived.
And then there was other information available, he remembered, like Google and Google maps so that he could at least find out where on the planet he was located.
Then again, his intuition and capacity for lateral thought seemed to be kicking in pretty well now and maybe that would be the best way of recalling just who he was.
Maybe a more authentic ‘him’.
Actually, anyone would do right now: a Google him or a real him, it really didn’t matter.
The main thing was that he saved his life.
And this was probably the fourth P, he realised. The unthinking P. The P that wanted just to exist in some form at all costs.
The primeval P, if you like. The sub-P.
He was wasting time. A look at the clock told him another minute was almost up. Only another fifty-eight minutes remained before he was extinguished entirely.
If only he could remember that damn PIN…
Audio: the previous instalment (click below)