pulled up in front of Abraham Sorkin’s minuscule apartment. Maxine, watching from the window, saw him and greeted him at the front door.
going on with him. I can’t get him to talk to me. He knows Macie’s missing, but he says he doesn’t know anything that will help. Somebody
beat that man up, and you can’t tell me that’s not related to Macie’s disappearance. He’s in trouble.
I thought I could get him to tell me the rest, but…Maybe you can.” Maxine fell silent as Phil pushed by her to
where the doctor sat at the Formica-topped kitchen table.
Sorkin, do you know where Macie is?”
can’t help you. I’ve told you everything I can.” Abraham’s voice was measured and deliberate. He averted his gaze and ran his finger
along the table edge.
They won’t stop at anything. The little girl who died in that fire, and your broken ribs are proof of that. These pro-lifers are dangerous.” Phil
saw Abraham’s eyes flicker .
know nothing about the pro-life people that can help find Macie.”
you do know something.”
Phillip. I will figure a way out of this. It‘s me they want, not Macie.”
is they? Listen , old man,” Phil grabbed the doctor’s arm nearly knocking him from the chrome kitchen chair. “ You’re going to tell me
what you know, and you’re going to do it right now.”
lurched at Phil, seizing him from behind. “ You’re going to hurt him. Please. Let him go.”
jerked away from the doctor, frightened by his own violence. The chair teetered a moment before Abraham steadied it. Maxine knelt at Abraham’s side, covering
his hand with her own.
what else is there you can tell us? Please. I know about the files, the ones you took home with you each night. The ones that were hidden under patients’
snooped on my desk?” A crimson mask spread over the doctor’s face. “You spied on me? I trusted you. I told you things I’ve never….and
all along you knew because you...”
Abraham, I just... Alright, yes. I knew you were distracted. I knew you spent a lot of time on those files... time you weren’t spending on your paperwork.
I wanted to know what stole your interest away from our...your patients. But I didn’t understand them. A lot of numbers and symbols, that’s all I saw.”
Maxine’s eyes were pleading. She took Abraham Sorkin’s hand from the table, clasped it in hers, but he pulled
on the Kapo. I thought you wouldn’t press...I could trust you.”
please. Avrom. You can trust me. Can’t you see? I did it because I was worried about you.” The tears finally came, running down Maxine’s cheeks, taking
her makeup with them.
wilted into the chair. “I knew it wouldn’t work. It couldn’t. It was good against evil. Good must win. A
nahr bleibt a nahr.” He nodded at the woman kneeling beside him. “ A fool remains a fool. I stayed alive during the war by washing the blood of my fellow Jews from the steel tables in the camp
hospital. I wrapped the instruments in cloth and stacked them for the Nazi doctors. But the greater good was that our lives were spared. Nothing was to be gained by our dying with the rest of
them. They made me feel like nothing,
those already-dead men.” Sorkin sat, his hand in Maxine’s, their eyes
riveted on one another. Maxine was crying now. Abraham lifted his eyes to Phil’s face.
“So, I came to America with my brother and he finished school. Then we worked, and I studied. And there we were, the collaborators, doctors, saving
lives. But I still couldn’t
wash away the names they called me, and their spittle . So, I said I would help with the research... to be the
first to give new hearts and lungs and...and eyes. A big man, I would become. Respected. But it wasn’t to happen. A nishtikeit
, I will always be.” Looking up at Maxine’s teary face, the doctor shook his head slowly. “A nobody.”
Stone interrupted, approaching the two at the table again. “What does all that have to do with Macie’s disappearance?”
a quick rap on the front door, Pete Conley entered, followed by Ron McKenzie. Phil looked up, then turned back to the doctor.
worked with them, Doctor Michael Austin and some of his colleagues, for two years. We were successful. At least with the cells. The first experiments failed. The
organs seemed whole, but they
didn’t function. Then we grew a pair of eyes in the laboratory. They were surgically implanted in a subject...in Steven Voight... and they worked.
his body didn’t reject the organs, but his mind did. You were there. You saw him. I knew that the world would see our failure, and again, I would be
a Kapo. I did this so that I would
finally be somebody. People would look at my work and my name would mean something. But the man died. That’s
all people would see. People don’t care about the end result...how many lives could be saved, or made better. They see one piece of the picture, and if it
is bad, they laugh at you. They
spit on you.”
“And Austin has Macie?”
Phillip. Michael Austin knew we would need more money than we could raise through our contacts. So he talked to a businessman
friend of his, explained the money that could be made off this. They formed a consortium , a syndicate, of men with money
and power. Men who count killing as a means of “persuasion”. You are right, Phillip. You have to find Macie.”
knelt down, meeting Abraham eye-to-eye. “ What do they want with you? Why
did they beat you up?”
notes. My journals from the experiments. But I destroyed them. The morning after Steven Voight died, I put a match to
them. I wanted to erase any evidence of my involvement in this thing.”
you have another copy. On the hard drive, or a disk?” Pete Conley was still standing by the door, listening intently.
shook his head. “There are only the records from the camp. It was the beginning.”
on, Doctor Sorkin. You can’t expect us to believe you only had one copy of something so important. You may have destroyed the hard copy, but there still
has to be something in your computer...in
back up files or something.”
stood, as though to protect Abraham, and faced Conley. “He’s telling you the truth. He wouldn’t know how to type his name into the computer...much
less make a document and store
McKenzie stood next to Conley, his face white. “Pete and I think Paige is involved in this somehow. She’s been gone since Friday, too. If these people
are as dangerous as the doctor says...
it’s not just Mrs. Stone who needs to be rescued.”
looked toward the taller man. He hadn‘t really seen him when he entered with Pete Conley. It was your wife...the one
in the red convertible. She nearly drove Macie crazy.”
stepped between them, as if fearing a physical attack. “Paige isn’t thinking clearly either. She’s not a bad person. Ron’s right. She’s
in trouble too.”