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Taken Away

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Taken Away

Dunsfold Aerodrome (Top Gear Studio Track) 2004

Jeremy tossed a ball of paper up in the air.  "Paul McKenna's coming in today," He said.  "We'll have him hypnotise one of us, and he'll do a lap.  It'll be good fun."

"Make James run on telly or you admit you're a git, that sort of thing?" Richard chirped.  He snatched the paper ball out of the air as he walked by, and tossed it to James, who looked up after it hit him.

"I refuse to run on the telly.  It wouldn't be very amusing for the viewers, anyway."  James looked up from the keyboard of his laptop.  He had Stig out of his room in the hanger and he was standing in the corner of the room in his usual pose, like some life size mannequin, staring.  He didn't have anything to say, but James was keeping him apprised of the conversation.  For James, it was like standing in the sun with his eyes closed, he could turn in any direction and still feel the warmth where Stig was.

"I'd do it, but hypnotism has never worked on me," Jeremy told them.  "If it doesn't work on either of you, we'll be stuck.  We'll have to fake something."  He didn't sound like he liked that idea.  James wasn't impressed, either.  What was the point of having a hypnotist and faking the hypnotism?

"If it doesn't work on either of us, we could have him try on The Stig and have him walk away or have the hypnotist do the funny thing, like Stig turned it around on him, or something like that."  James smirked at his own idea.  It would be Ben, not Stig, of course.

When the man arrived, they had settled on James as the first test subject.  Paul would hypnotise him and make him forget how to drive for the demonstration drive of the Alfa Romeo Jeremy had tested earlier.  It had been proposed that he make James drive as fast as possible, but that seemed reckless and anyway, Richard joked, how much faster could James get?

"Hello, James, I'm Paul.  Are you ready?"  The man asked.

"Yes, I'm ready."

"Alright, then, close your eyes"

James did, breathing slowly.

"You're going to listen to the sound of my voice.  You will feel calm.  Breathe in...and out..."

James relaxed and listened to the man speaking, breathing in time with the soft, low, rhythmic words.  He felt like his mind was full of cotton, like he was half asleep.

"As you listen to me speak you will drift deeper and deeper into relaxation.  You will follow no instructions but those I give to you.  Breathe in...and out..."

He felt a tentative touch in his mind, Stig, wondering what was going on.  He didn't respond, just focused on listening to the voice. 

"Continue breathing slowly, you are falling more deeply into relaxation.  You will not consciously remember what I have said to you, and you will not feel alarmed by this."

'James!' Stig didn't send in what James perceived as words very often.  His sending was usually so soft spoken.

He felt too relaxed to respond.

"We are going to walk outside, and when we do, we will see a red car.  You will understand that this is a car, but you will not remember how to drive it-"

Stig snarled.  He stepped out of the corner and pushed the man away from James.  

"Geeze!" Paul screamed, "I thought that thing was a statue."

Stig's touch was everywhere in James' mind, locking them in together.  James felt Stig stripping away the cotton, patting his cheek.  He was terrified.  'James!  James!  You remember how to drive!"  He turned and snarled at the man again.

Jeremy and Richard pulled Paul back, across the room.  Out the door.

'You didn't answer me!' Stig sent, 'He just kept taking you farther away.'  His hands were holding tightly, and still shaking.  His breath was shaky, too.  'I called you and you didn't answer me.  He was taking you away from me.'

James hugged Stig, fiercely.  'No one can take me away from you.  No one.'

There was a little noise behind the white helmet.  James looked to make sure everyone was gone and pulled Stig's helmet off.  His short blonde hair was flattened to his head.  He had wet on his cheeks.  'It's alright.  It's alright.'

He HATED seeing Stig scared.  He had tried to make sure he never, ever had fear in his life, ever since the day they took him away from the holding facility.  Mostly it had been effective.  He had failed today.  Failed big time.  He hugged his Racing Driver.

In the end, Richard did the stunt in the car.  

Afterwards, James sat down on the couch in the productions office with Stig and they watched the episode together.  When they came to the part with the hypnotism, Stig became distressed and held James' hand tightly.  The episode came out funny.  James' favorite part was Richard's reaction to watching in front of the audience was prime material.  It was fascinating watching the battle between his unconscious and conscious mind.  His body obviously remembered what to do.  He started reaching for the keys and stopped himself repeatedly.

After it was over, Stig shook his head.  [I'm glad we didn't let that man do that to you.]

James was glad the man wasn't going to say anything to anyone about what had happened with the Stig.

Stig and James had a brief encounter with him, after which Paul couldn't remember the Stig reacting violently when he'd tried to hypnotise James.

All James had to do was speak some quiet words, in a low voice.

Stig was a quick learner.