"My name is Bruce Frederick Patterson and I was born on July 14, 1970." He kept repeating that sentence out loud until it was verbal enough to understand. Or so he thought.
Bruce had been left on his own after his field trip to the top deck. It felt like weeks, but he really had no way of determining time other than how many times he had been fed. He knew for a fact that he had at least four dinners between the time he had been in the sun and the time that Jack came back. It could have been more time; he just wasn't really sure.
Jack came in one morning and asked, "So Bruce, how are you doing?
Bruce responded clearly, "I'm doing good Jack, how are you?"
Jack was stunned! "Bruce, you are speaking so clearly now. This is great news!"
Bruce replied, "There's not much else to do in here but talk to myself, and as soon as you suggested talking out loud my voice came back."
Jack smiled, "I wonder why we didn't think of that sooner."
Bruce looked at Jack and asked, "Why have I not seen Monica? And what are her plan for me? Can I go home?"
"I don't know any of those answers Bruce, but I will certainly get a hold of Monica today and see what she has to say."
"Get a hold of?" Bruce asked. "Are you sayin she is not here?"
"I believe she went back to Washington to report on our progress."
"Did she say anything about me?"
"I really don't have any idea," Jack answered. "I am pretty much in the dark when it comes to the actual operation of this thing. My job is to reach out to the indigenous tribes and see if we can communicate."
"Have you found any more inhabited islands since you found me?"
Jack said, "Two that I know of. I have only been introduced to one of those tribes and the staff believes that the second tribe is hostile."
"Have these been close to where I was found?" Bruce asked excitedly.
"Honestly Bruce, I don't know any of those answers. I am not privy to the exact details of where we are or where you were."
Bruce asked, “Do you know when Monica is coming back?”
“I’m not sure.”
Bruce had more questions than answers at his point. At least when he was on the island by himself he had control. He felt like he was a prisoner on this floating exploratory machine and he had no say in his destiny. That was not what he wanted. He had two goals in mind. First he needed to go back and get his mother and second he needed to get home and find out what was going on. If in fact they had been missing for seven years, what happened to their house and all their belongings? It was not as if there were any relatives that would have noticed they were gone and they were supposed to be gone for a year. But don’t you think the place they rented the boat from would have filed a claim? All of these questions lingered in his mind. It only made him want to get back home sooner to answer them.
He kept himself clean shaven, and did exercises everyday in his room to make sure he remained strong. Living on the island had toned him up and he wanted to keep that shape.
Two days after he asked Jack where Monica was she entered his room.
“Hello Bruce, I heard you were asking about me.”
“Yes, I was Monica.” Bruce replied looking into her green eyes. “I wanted to know what the plan was for me. I assume it was not in your original planning to have an outside join in the expedition.”
“Bruce, I don’t really think of you as an outsider. You actually have more intimate knowledge of these islands than any of the rest of us.”
“That was by accident,” Bruce said.
“Be that as it may,” Monica smiled at him, “It is a fact.”
“So does that mean I am staying on this ‘ship’ until you studies are completed?”
“Honestly Bruce, I’m not sure what we’re going to do with you.”