(Note: This episode guest stars Terry O’Quinn as Agent Anson Wendell. Enjoy!)
Mysterious Man: Matthew. Matthew?
[Matthew Damensen opens his eyes and finds himself looking at an aging bald man wearing a blue suit with an expensive red tie. An eerie light shines behind the man’s head.]
Matthew: Who are you? Are you my new psychologist?
Mysterious Man [smiling enigmatically]: I’m not a psychologist, Matthew. My name is Anson Wendell. I work for the government.
Matthew: Which branch?
Wendell: People are too interested in branches when they should be paying attention to the roots. The unseen places where the lifeblood is. Most people don’t want to dig that deep. They’d be afraid of what they’d find. But I digress. It’s safe enough to say that I work for the roots.
Matthew [looking around]: This isn’t my room. Where am I?
Wendell: Figured that would be your next question. Always is. Truth is, even I don’t know. They don’t allow us to see where we’re going—in fact, they put us all under so we can’t even guess. But what I do know—what I’m authorized to tell you—I’ll share. Come with me.
[Matthew, wearing a straitjacket, follows the man down a dark, cavernous hallway lit by spotlights at four-meter intervals. Wendell stops at a scanner, a plastic, brain-shaped helmet. It runs a green beam over his head.]
Automated Voice: Authorized. Agent Anson Wendell.
Wendell [turns to Matthew]: Come on through. You’d already be dead if it thought you were up to something. It knows you’re with me.
[Matthew walks through the massive doorway. The eerie white light turns into a shining, ethereal light that makes him squint his eyes. What he sees defies all description. Except that would make for a really disappointing moment, so I’ll describe it later. Like in the next sentence. He finds himself speechless at the immensity of it: towering cylinders with lights on or off as if they were skyscrapers made out of data tapes went for as far as his eyes could see. People wearing sunshades or goggles walk from cylinder to cylinder, checking and rechecking, removing tapes or inserting them.]
Wendell [noting Matthew’s reaction and looking around as if he is merely in a local library]: Yeah. That was my reaction when I first saw this place. I’m sure there’s a designated name for it, but most people around here took to calling it the Flash Drive.
Matthew [still looking up]: What…what does it do? Who made all this?
Wendell [smiling]: Who do you think? You really think that budget deficit came about from a bunch of tanks and bullets we already owned being shot off in a war or two? Well, you’d be right. I’m just messing with your head a bit. The truth’ll mess it up even worse. This actually existed before all that, before Vietnam, even.
Wendell: The Flash Drive contains the complete memories of every man, woman and child ever to have been born in the United States for the last 70 years. There was always a worry that the mind we needed would be lost out there somewhere, so it just made good sense to have a backup copy.
Matthew: You made copies of people’s minds? But how?
Wendell: Anything you’ve ever gotten from the government, from a parking ticket to a postage stamp, was scanning and downloading your memories using a nanotechnology that will not be invented for a very long time. Because of the constantly updating nature of human memories, the only way to track the updates was to do it from the future. People like me were recruited to participate in all the…related activities.
Matthew: Such as?
Wendell [looking at Matthew and smiling enigmatically again]: Such as when we need an additional copy of the same person. You see, Matthew, the truth is, despite all your protestations, you are Matt Damon.
Matthew [shocked]: What? No. No! NO! I’m not Matt Damon! I’m not Matt Damon! NO! NO!
Dr. Ben Affledge’s Voice: Mr. Damon, wake up! You’re having an episode! Mr. Damon! Please! I don’t want to drug you! Wake up! It’s a nightmare, it’s only a nightmare! Mr. Damon!
Matthew [opens his eyes and finds himself back in his padded cell]: ARRGH! [He struggles against his straitjacket. It starts to tear.]
Ben [runs to the door and bangs on it]: Lock this room down! No one in or out!
Guard [outside]: But Dr.—
Ben: DO IT! I’VE GOT THIS! [He takes off his jacket.] You want to be Matt Damon? You’re going to have to fight like him! You’re going to have to fight to prove who you are!
Matthew [breaking out of his straitjacket]: I’M! NOT! MATT! DAMON!!!
[Matthew and Ben charge at each other and–]
Ben: Mr. Damon? Are you hearing anything I’m saying?
Matthew [snapping out of his daydream]: Uh, huh? Oh. Uh…let’s…uh…let’s go back a few minutes…