I didn't see the man in the heavy army jacket for a few more days. Nobody else had been killed by the pig monsters yet, but I still had a thick knot in my chest filling with dread. I wasn't sure what I should think of it all. I even checked my own visitor's list to check that Captain Jack Harkness really had visited under the business of the government.
Three days later, the same man met me in the hospital's patient cafeteria. He wore his army jacket and suspenders over his shirt. The captain sat down in the chair across from me with his elbows against the white table. He had a bit of a cocky smile, but still warm and inviting. "Remember me?"
"Captain Jack Harkness," I kept my gaze at the apple in my hands, my voice barely audible. "Torchwood."
"See anything strange recently, Adelpha?"
"Besides the ordinary strange?" I was a resident at a mental hospital. Strange was the usual. "If you mean attacks, no."
There was a slight pause. Jack's fingers interlocked on the table in front of him. "I heard they took your drawings."
"Said it might be making it worse," I shook my head. "Said I shouldn't visualize the hallucinations more."
There was yet another pause. I could feel the captain watching me, staring at me. "How would you like to learn about these things? The things that you've seen."
I finally looked up at Jack. He gave me another smile. "You know about them." It wasn't a question, I knew he had all sorts of knowledge of the monsters.
"I know where they come from," Jack nodded. "I know what they do. I know a lot about other monsters, too."
I hesitated, my apple in front of my face. "Where do they come from?" I whispered.
"All over," he nodded again. "Other things do, too. Ever heard of aliens?"
My brows furrowed. I was beginning to think he really was just humouring me. I scoffed quietly under my breath. "Yeah, sure."
"I'm serious," the man had a small smirk on his face. "Aliens. The things you've seen, the things you said you've been attacked by. I've seen many of your drawings. You've encountered actual aliens that have threatened our race for years. You were just the one who was willing to pay attention. Who had to pay attention because you couldn't go anywhere else."
I crossed my arms and leaned back. My chest rose and fell with a sigh. "Prove it."
Jack didn't seem at all surprised. He simply watched me for a short minute in his seat. Then, without another word, he stood up and walked away from the table. I was left without answers to my questions, but I didn't care enough to call out to the captain.
I decided to forget my encounter with the American man. I tried to, at least. He showed up again the very next day.
"What is it now?" My voice had a slight tinge of irritation. If this captain really had a point in being here, he needed to get to it. He had his arms crossed in my room's doorway with that obviously trademark smile.
"You asked me to prove it to you."
I cocked my eyebrow, looking up from where I had been drawing on my floor with chalk I had taken from the children's room. Jack Harkness pulled a packet of stapled papers from his large chest pocket, holding them out. They were release papers.
"Release papers? How were they approved? You have to have a guardian's signature." I wasn't sure whether to feel excited that I might be able to leave or terrified of what might happen if I did.
"You could say a lot of the people in this area owe me some favors," Jack's lips twitched a tiny bit in his smile.
I looked back down at the chalk drawing I had been making. It was a portrait of a picture I had seen in the main hallways when I first got here of some old doctor. "And what if I say I won't go with you?"
"Well, in that case," Jack pursed his lips with a smile. "I guess you have two options. Stay here and steal chalk from people to draw old guys on cement, or come with me to learn about the things that you've seen and meet a real-life pterodactyl."
I looked back up. That caught my attention. "You're joking."
Jack's smirk grew. "Guess you'll have to see for yourself."
"I guess I'll be leaving, then."
YOU ARE READING
Perspicacious: having a ready insight into and understanding of things. Being a mental hospital resident is difficult enough on its own. When aliens start to invade sixteen year-old Adelpha's hospital, she's told that it's only her schizophrenia fo...