Delusions by Krystal McDermott, admin

1. Part 1 by Krystal McDermott

2. Part 2 by Krystal McDermott

3. Part 3 by Krystal McDermott

4. Part 4 by Krystal McDermott

5. Part 5 by Krystal McDermott

6. Part 6 by Krystal McDermott

7. Part 7 by Krystal McDermott

8. Part 8 by Krystal McDermott

9. Part 9 by Krystal McDermott

10. Part 10 by Krystal McDermott

11. Part 11 by Krystal McDermott

12. Part 12 by Krystal McDermott

13. Part 13 by Krystal McDermott

14. Part 14 by Krystal McDermott

15. Part 15 by Krystal McDermott

16. Part 16 by Krystal McDermott

17. Part 17 by Krystal McDermott

18. Part 18 by Krystal McDermott

19. Part 19 by Krystal McDermott

20. Part 20 by Krystal McDermott

Part 1 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- I don't own The Pretender or any of it's characters, NBC does, I'm writing this purely for fun.

by Krystal McDermott

Light is filtering through my closed eyelids making the world appear red. Oh please don't tell me it's morning already, I only went to sleep a few hours ago, I swear. Oh what day is it today? Is it the weekend? Please let it be the weekend. I glance at the calendar on my wall. Oh what the?! It's Monday. Damn it!

Suddenly it dawns on me. Why is it so bright? It's not usually this bright when I wake up. I look at the alarm clock sitting on my bed side table, the harsh red numbers glare back at me 8:20. Oh shit! I have to be at school in 10 minutes. Ahhh!

I leap out of bed and rummage through my wardrobe until I find my sports uniform, a pale green polo shirt and grey cotton shorts. Eww how shameful. Hurriedly I get dressed, brush my teeth, do my hair and I'm out of the door by 8:35am. I run as fast as I can up the hill towards my school. My school has to be on a hill doesn't it? Like who's bright idea was that?

Finally I reach the side gate at 8:42. Well that has to be record time. It usually takes me 15 minutes to walk to school and I still have 3 minutes to spare before I have to go to home room.


I plonk my self down at my desk ready to embark on another ever *boring* lesson of legal studies. I wonder what happened on The Pretender the other night in the States. I'll have to check my email when I get home from drama rehearsal this afternoon. Oh and I have to get around to finishing my fic Visions and I have to check if the next part of that fanfic has come yet and ......My thoughts are interrupted by a figure looming above me.

"Miss McDermott are you planning on starting the questions in front of you now, or would you prefer to come back during your lunch hour and do them with me?"

Oh well decisions, descisions isn't it...wait, that's not my usual teacher, who's this guy? His voice sounds so familiar. I turn around to answer his question but the words catch in my throat.

"Uh, umm, well, uh"

"Yes" he says coolly.

"Umm no I'll do them now" the words rush out of my mouth.

I quickly turn around and look down at my desk so as he can't see the look of utter shock that has spread across my face. There is no way that can be who I think it is. Is there? No Krystal! Don't be stupid, it's totally impossible. But I'll just check again anyway. I look up from my desk to see that the substitute teacher has stepped out of the room. Well great, how am I supposed to check now? Wait is that him there? I lean back on my chair to see past the filling cabinet that blocks my view. No, damn it! I still can't see. Just a little bit further and .....whoa shit! Ow my head. Oh great *now* he comes back! How embarrassing. The entire class is laughing at me and Jar...No it's not him! Mr. Teacher Guy who looks suspiciously a lot like him is headed this way.

"Miss McDermott are you OK?" I just fell backwards off my chair, hit my head on the desk behind me, and the whole class is laughing at me, what do you think wonder-boy?

"I'm OK" I reply sweetly. He looks back at me strangely, almost as though he knows me. Of course if he was Jarod, which his not, but if he was, he'd know everything about everybody in this class. It'd be pretty cool, if it was Jarod though, then I could make him realise how much he loved Miss Parker. Hey and if he was Jarod, Miss Parker would be bound to come here looking for him and then I could make her realise how much she loves and needs Jarod. God, I'm obsessed. Do I ever think about reality? He interrupts my thoughts, yet again

"You appear to have injured yourself when you hit your head against the desk, I think I should take you up to the office, just to make sure you're OK"

We walk in silence along the wide concrete path that leads up to the office. Partly because I'm too absorbed in my own thoughts to make small talk and partly because my head hurts to much to even bother to make conversation. Did I say partly? I mean mostly! He doesn't seem to mind however, and that trademark grin of his, no Jarod's, is spread across his face. Why on earth would he be grinning? Does he find it amusing that I'm injured and in pain? If it does that just proves it, he's not Jarod. Not that I needed it to be proven. I may think about The Pretender a little too much but I'm certainly not delusional.

By the time we reach the office, he is smiling so much that he's bound to strain something at any moment. It's really starting bug me now. What could be so funny? I haven't been thinking out loud have I? Because I really hate it when that happens!

After he explains the situation to the ladies behind the office counter, he takes me into the sick bay.

"I'm afraid that you're going to need stitches" he says matter-of-factly.

Well I'm afraid that you're quite mistaken. Stitches means needles and I don't take well to needles. Nope, sorry, no stitches.

"Umm, what do you mean stitches. Nobody said anything about stitches before. I'm not having stitches. No needles and I don't mix".

I know it was useless trying to argue but hey can you blame me? We were talking needles here! Despite my protests the stitches are completed in a matter of minutes and much to my surprise they didn't really hurt. Now I'm not sure if that was because the needles actually didn't hurt or whether it was because I was so high on pain killers I felt as though I was flying around the room the entire time.

As I lay on the uncomfortable, brown lounge in the sick bay, staring at the ceiling, it dawned on me, I didn't even know this Mr. Look-Alike Labrat's name. I'll ask him next time he comes in. He seems to know my name "Miss McDermott". I really can't stand people calling me "Miss McDermott", it's so formal. The name is Krystal or Krys if you want or if you're my mum, uncle or grand-pa you could possibly get away with calling me....Is that a town car I just saw drive past the widow? Nah, couldn't be. What would anyone in Pine Rivers be doing driving around this place in a town car for? I don't have time to answer my own question, because at that moment Mr. Mysterious himself walks through the door, bringing to mind by previous question.

"Sorry, I never asked before, but what is your name?"

"I'm a little surprised you asked that question" he replies.

"No, I don't mean to be rude, I was just wondering". Great Krystal now you've insulted the guy.

"Oh, It's just that I thought, well I assumed you of all people would know" he said rather surprised. It's not Jarod. It couldn't be. Jarod belongs in the world of television, make-believe, this is reality. It's not Jarod.

"It's not Jarod. Is it?" I ask rather uncertainly. There's that grin again. "No way" Ooops I didn't mean for that to come out loud. Oh well. His grin widens until he looks as though he is about to burst out laughing. It can't be Jarod. He's just messing with me.

"You're just messing with me right"

"No, It's me alright. Jarod, AKA Labrat AKA Wonder-Boy AKA..."

"OK I get the point. But how can you possibly be Jarod. Jarod is make believe, not real, fiction, fantasy, whatever you want to call it. He doesn't *really* exist."

"I know this may be difficult for you to understand, but I am as real as you are. The Centre, the Parker's, Sydney, Broots, Raines they're all very real. Now I'm here because you are in grave danger, you must let me help you" he pleads

I almost burst out laughing. For a minute there he really had me going. Jarod, in Pine Rivers. The Centre an actual place. Raines well.......Yeah Right!

"Good one Sir, you almost had me fooled" I laugh.

"I'm telling you the truth. Your father was a member of ......." his beeper cuts him off. "Look, I have to go, but please don't do anything stupid, you have to believe me. I'll be in touch soon" and with that his out of the room and running down the corridor out of the office. Wow! And I thought I was delusional. This guy must of been absent the day they were handing out the brains. How the hell did he ever become a teacher?

Surely I can go now, not that I want to go back to class, but it's certainly not exciting in here. Well it isn't if you don't include Mr. Delusional from before. Hmmm I wonder if they're going to call my parents to come and pick me up and take me home. I hope so, it's so boring just lying here. Perhaps I can go for a walk. Ahh what the heck, there's nothing better to do.

I wonder out into the foyer. There's Brooke the shy receptionist. She's always so nice, but she's too quiet, I can never understand a word she says. Oh but she's leaving now, probably to go see Mr. Rolland. He's most likely complaining about something again. Great, that only leaves Meg to talk to and well I can't stand that cow. Oh, what a shame, she's already busy talking to someone else. I pity the poor person who got stuck talking to her. I probably should go and rescue them. Yeah I will. Mr. Wonder-Boy Wannabe has put me in a generous mood. Just thinking about him makes me laugh. What a whacko. Who could honestly believe that the Centre existed and even if they did and Jarod was here, there's no way in hell Miss Parker would come to Pine Rivers! Ha! She'd di.......I take that back.


So what did you think so far?
Part 2 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- in part 1

by Krystal McDermott

Oh, what a shame, she's already busy talking to someone else. I pity the poor person who got stuck talking to her. I probably should go and rescue them. Yeah I will. Mr. Wonder-Boy Wannabe has put me in a generous mood. Just thinking about him makes me laugh. What a whacko. Who could honestly believe that the Centre existed and even if they did and Jarod was here, there's no way in hell Miss Parker would come to Pine Rivers! Ha! She'd di.......I take that back.

This is not happening. It's just not possible. Krystal you've finally cracked. You've crossed the line between writing fanfic to actually living it. OK now *try* to think straight. You hit your head this morning, you had a weirdo teacher who looks like Jarod, thinks he is Jarod and it's just affected your brain. You're probably still high on pain killers and this is all just a delusion. She's probably not really there. If you just continue walking straight past her she'll vanish and then you'll know that you were dreaming.

OK slowly now left foot, right foot, left foot, good, we're getting somewhere. Alright now I'm beside her, I'll just wait here a moment and then she'll vanish. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi and she's not vanishing!

"You got a problem shorty?!" her icy voice cuts into my thoughts.

Well yes I do as a matter of fact. You are not real! You don't exist. It's just not possible! Why is she staring at me? She's the one with the problem. Stop staring at me! Why won't she st....Oh that's right. Good one genius, she asked you a question, she's waiting for your answer. My we're quick today aren't we? Well what can I say? This woman's kinda scary. Come on think of something, quickly before she shoots you.

"No" I say rather sheepishly. She's still staring at me. Not the cold, hard glare that she gave me before. No, this one's different. It's almost.....recognition? No, you're still in your delusional world Krystal. You're probably still asleep, just close your eyes open them and this woman will be gone. OK now close your eyes, open and she's.........gone? Huh, I didn't expect that to actually work. Where'd she go? I race over to the large glass doors at the front of the office and push them open. Nothing. No black town cars, no burly sweepers, no Miss Parker, nothing. I can't help but feel disappointed. Why? Well what Pretender fan wouldn't be? Oh get a grip Krystal they weren't really here, it's just your over active imagination.

Slowly I drag my feet along the concrete path, down past the school oval, and on towards the pine forest behind the school. What happened today? I'm certain I saw them. It was so real, they....No. Stop it Krystal! It didn't happen, just forget about it. Maybe I should tell my mum? Wait, what are you nuts!? They'll ship you off to the funny farm and there'll be no more Pretender for you. No, I'll just have to keep my mouth shut about this one.

It's 3:30pm by the time I reach the end of my street. Man I must of been walking slow. It took me half an hour to get home. No doubt mum's chucking a psych by now. The police are probably on their way. Although I don't think you can file a missing persons report until the person has been missing for 24 hours. But this is my over protective mother we're talking about, if the police can't help her, she's probably arranged a search party by now.

I ring the doorbell. Mum's always locking the door, I don't see why, it's not as if we own anything anyone would want to steal. I ring the doorbell again. Come on mum, I need to pee.

"Mum!" I yell impatiently while I try to concentrate on anything but running water. There's still no answer. Where the hell is she? I'm busting. "Mum!" Grrr I bet ya she's on the phone talking to my Auntie Sharon. It's times like these I wish we kept a spare key under the mat. I bang on the screen door. Nothing. I bang again and this time it......opens? What the......mum? She always locks the door.

I slowly step inside the house and quietly begin to tip toe up the stairs. Hang on. What am I doing? What if there's some lunatic up stairs? Let's face I'm not exactly the strongest person in the world and definitely not the bravest. A weapon, I need a weapon. I sneak downstairs again and grab the yellow cricket bat from the toy room. That should do it. I begin to edge my way up the stairs again. My back in flat against the wall as I inch my way down the hall.

"click" Uh oh that does not sound good. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, a cricket bat against a gun. I don't like my chances. I begin to quietly make my way back down the hall when I see the family portrait we had taken last may. Oh bugger it! I can't leave my mum and my sisters here. Oh *now* I need wonder boy! Damn it!

I gently push open the door to my bedroom. This has to be the worst bad idea in the history of bad ideas. That sounds familiar? Where have I heard that before? This is no time to be thinking about stupid things like that!

"Miss McDermott!" Where the hell did that come from? I look around the room. Oh it's you.

"What the hell are you doing here?!" I yell "And where's my mum and Bianca and Chantelle?"

"I told you I'm here to help you. I rang your house a little past three and when nobody answered I became worried. I got here as fast as I could, but it appears that *they* beat me to it" he replies, tucking his gun behind his back, concern written all over his face.

"What are you talking abo...." before I can finish my last sentence there is a screech of tires from out the front of my house. Now what! This day couldn't possibly get any worse. I look out the front window. Oh wait. It can. There she is, the Ice Queen herself, gun drawn with her two stooges in tow. This is all I need, my ass kicked just because Jarod decided to come to Australia and play super hero down under. There I go again. It's not Jarod, that is not Miss Parker or Sydney or Broots, this is all some kind of twisted dream!

"Well, well, well Freud, Earkle, what do we have here?" I spin around and come face to face with Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots. Jarod turns to run, but Miss Parker already has her gun pointed straight at his head. He wouldn't have gotten very far anyway, the only way out is back down the hall way and Miss Parker is blocking that.

"Jarod, don't move a muscle or I swear the next muscle you'll see will be yours, splattered against the wall behind you." Miss Parker threatens. Eww lovely. Who's she think she's kidding, we all know she wouldn't shoot Jarod. I think deep down even Jarod knows she wouldn't shoot him. Oh there I go aga....oh I give up. I don't care anymore. It's too confusing, I'll just go along with this whole delusion thing.

"Umm M...Miss Parker"

"What Broots!" she snaps. I'd hate to be Broots right now, well any time for that matter.

"Uhhh according to the t…tracking device, M...Mr. Lyle is headed this way"

"Oh shit!" she yells. Hey, that's exactly what I was thinking. From the look on Jarod's face I'd say that's exactly what he was thinking too. Well lets face it, Mr. Lyle isn't exactly Mr. Popular, although he is kinda cute. I'd never let any of these people know that though, hell Miss Parker would probably shoot me on the spot.

Before I know it Miss Parker has snapped hand cuffs on Jarods wrists and is forcing me down the stairs and out the door. What I can't understand is why Sydney is the one forcing Jarod into the car. I thought he wanted to protect Boy Genius, not be the one to take him in. Miss Parker opens the back door and gestures for me to get in. Why isn't she shoving me in? I always suspected that she really would be a nice person, but I have to admit once again I'm a little disappointed. I expected more danger, more excitement, it's not everyday you get kidnapped by Miss Parker. Suddenly I realise, this is my chance to run. I know she wouldn't shoot me, the park's only fifty metres away, I could make it there in no time, I'd soon loose her in the bush. Although this is Miss Parker we're talking about, she'd probably have me bound and gagged in 3 seconds flat. Besides part of me actually wants to go with them and....... this is just a dream.

Before I can think about it any longer, I'm shoved into the backseat anyway. Guess I took too long to make up my mind. The car screams out of the driveway, down the street and shit what's she tryin' to kill us all?! I gain a sudden burst of courage, must be this dream "Hey lady, I'd like to make it to my 16th birthday if you don't mind!" Ahh. If looks could kill, I'd be dead. OK I admit that was probably not one of my smartest moves. Sydney gives me a reassuring look. Yeah it's alright for you, you get this all the time. I on the other hand just watch it on TV and laugh.

I look out the tinted window, the enormity of the situation just starting to dawn on me. With everything that had happened I had almost forgotten about my family. I know, how loving and caring am I?

"Jarod, where's my family?" I ask.

"Don't worry about your family, we've moved them someplace safe." Wait that wasn't Jarod that answered, that was Broots. How does he know about my family and what does he mean some place safe? Sydney obviously notices the look of suspicion on my face.

"No, not the Centre. Definitely not the Centre." he says reassuringly.

Oh, OK. that still doesn't answer my other question though which was how the hell do they know about my family?! As if reading my mind Miss Parker speaks up.

"All your questions will be answered shortly, for now just sit back and enjoy the drive." Oh well, that's helpful. Yeah, that's really put my mind at ease. Thank you for all your help. NOT! I stare at the window. There's nothing better to do. Jarod doesn't appear to be in a very sociable mood. Can't blame him really, I'd be a little pissed too if I were him. I blink as the green road signs flash by. Nambour 60Km. What?! Nambour!

"Umm where are we going?"

"Airport then the US" Miss Parker replies shortly.

"Yeah, umm sorry to tell you this but the closest international airport is in Brisbane, which is in the opposite direction to which we're going, otherwise known as south."

"We're headed north"

"Yeah, I noticed that." I reply

"North as in Cairns international airport. So like I said sit back and enjoy the ride." Cairns! Cairns is a two day drive from here. You mean to tell me I have to sit in this delusional car, next to you imaginary people for two days. Oh great and the day just keeps getting better and better.


So how's this next part? Good, bad? Tell me please it's the only way I'll improve.

Part 3 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- in part 1

by Krystal McDermott

"North as in Cairns international airport. So like I said sit back and enjoy the ride." Cairns! Cairns is a two day drive from here. You mean to tell me I have to sit in this delusional car, next to you imaginary people for two days. Oh great and the day just keeps getting better and better.! It's been four and a half hours and we haven't even stopped for petrol yet. These people are not the most jolly of travelers either. Hmmm 99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer. Take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall..........................1 bottle of beer on the waaalllll,...........1 bottle of beeeeer. Take it down....... pass it more bottles of beer on the waaalllll. Well that kept me from dying of boredom for about 20 minutes. What can I do now and what on earth is that horrible noise? Oh it's Broots, snoring, well at least someone's comfortable. I on the other hand have pins and needles in my feet and my butt's gone to sleep.

"Jarod" I whisper, my eyes darting left and right to make sure Miss Parker and Sydney didn't hear me. Good, Miss Parker is too busy watching the road and Sydney is absorbed in a book. Eww how can he read while travelling, I can't, it makes me sick watching the words jump around.

"Oh Jaaarrrooddd." Answer me, damn it! "Jarod!" I whisper sharply. Finally he turns to face me. Well it's about time.

"What's wrong, Mis..."

"Krystal, please call me Krystal"

"OK Krystal, I'm sorry for the mess that I got you in, are you OK?"

No I'm not OK. I'm bored, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty and actually that reminds me, I never did get to go to the toilet. Great, now I need to pee. This is all your.....oh his eyes are so sweet and damn I can't blame you, it's not your fault. It's her fault. I'll blame her. Don't ask me how it's her fault, I haven't worked that out yet. I just know that I've got to blame someone and that someone may as well be her. Oh but I like her. Ooo hang on, I better answer him before he starts to think I'm strange. Hold that train of thought.

"You didn't get me into this mess Jarod, I got myself into this mess" Like hell I did! "I'm fine really, just a little bored and I really need to go to the bathroom" I reply.

"Don't worry we should be pulling into a gas station soon, she can't drive too much further without refilling the tank, I'm sure. Get some rest if you like" he says reassuringly.

I give him a grateful smile and then turn to look out the window. Now what was I thinking about before? That's right who to blame for this whole fiasco. Not Jarod, I like Jarod. Not Miss Parker, I like her too. Hmm who don't I like, Lyle! I'll blame Lyle. I know he's here in Australia, I heard Broots say so back at my house and judging by the way Miss Parker loaded us all into the car and took off like a bat out of hell, Lyle has to be involved somehow. Yes that makes sense, Lyle's to blame.

Now what can I think about. Wait! Is that a petrol station I see? It is, it is!

"Pull over please" I yell to Miss Parker.

"Hey shorty, I decide when and where we pull over" she snaps.

"Oh but I need to go to the bathroom, please" I look at her pleadingly, she glares back but I can see that the harshness is fading. She's not as cold as she makes out to be.

"Fine, I'll pull in here. I need to fill the gas tank anyway."

The car pulls up and we all begin to pile out, all except Broots that is, he's still sound asleep. While Sydney gently wakes him up, Miss Parker gives Jarod a stern look as if to warn him not to make any moves or sudden dashes for freedom. I know this sounds terrible and selfish but he'd better not run away, I can't be left alone with these people. Miss Parker takes the cuffs off Jarod and we all walk into the cafeteria as though we're one big happy family.

As soon as we're inside, I head straight for the bathroom. God I need to pee. Miss Parker follows me inside. Oh great what does she want? I suppose now would be a perfect opportunity to ask what exactly is going on here. I flush the toilet and wash my hands, Miss Parker is leaning against the wall watching me. Oh I wish she wouldn't do that, it freaks me out. I can't resist the urge any longer.

"What is going on here?" I ask, rather impatiently. She just stares at me as if I never said a word. OK I'll ask again. "What the hell is going on here?"

"That's better" she replies coolly "You want people to notice you, you have to be more assertive."

Yeah, thanks for the advice, but that does not answer my question.

"Where is my family?"

"Don't worry, they're safe, Sydney, Broots and I found them before Lyle did. You'll see them in a couple of days."

She gently pushes the door open and we walk out into the cafeteria. Sydney, Broots and Jarod are seated in a booth in the far back corner. Miss Parker slides in beside Sydney and Jarod, I in beside Broots. I think about what she just said to me in the bathroom. What did she mean they found my family before Lyle did? What would Lyle want with my family? There's definitely no pretender among my sisters and I, my mum certainly wouldn't be involved in anything dangerous and my dad well he passed on over 14 years ago. So what would Lyle want with us?

"Why would Lyle be trying to harm my family?" I ask. They all look from one to the other, uncertain of what to say. "Answer me!" I yell, shocking them and myself. A few people in the other booths turn around to face us. What are you looking at? Mind your own damn business. I'm trying to get some answers here. "Well" I whisper.

Sydney clears his throat "You see Krystal, the Centre used to.... well still does have a complex down here in Australia, in a place called Cessnock in the Hunter Valley"

"Uhh huh. That's where I was born, but still how does that involve my family?" Sydney goes to answer my question, but Miss Parker interrupts.

"Your father was a Centre researcher. He was working on a project named Trojan when he discovered what the Centre was really using it for. They were using your fathers research to create a drug that would slowly take over the brain cells, making it possible for that person to be brainwashed. Once digested this drug left no traces behind in the body, thus making it impossible to track. They were planning on using it to 'convince' government officials that the Centre way, was the right way. After your father found out, he threatened to go to the authorities, needless to say the Centre wasn't keen on the idea and had him killed. Well at least they thought that he had been killed until he was spotted on the security cameras at a train station in Brisbane last week."

I sat there stunned for at least ten minutes, trying to let the sudden rush of information soak into my brain. My father was alive. My father had worked for the Centre and was still alive. How come I was never told all this before? And why is Broots just sitting there eating his sausage roll, didn't he just hear what they said. I'm totally stressing out from an overload of information and all he can do is eat. Well that's just..... I was so absorbed in my own thoughts it took several moments for me to realise that Sydney was talking to me.


"Yeah" I say quietly still shocked by the flood of information I'd just received.

"Is there anything else you'd like to know? If you need to talk to anyone about this just ask me, OK?" his voice full of compassion and concern.

I consider his offer for a while, trying to comprehend everything. In just one day I've been a part of one of Jarod's pretends, abducted/rescued by Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots, found out that my father is still alive after 14 years and worked for the Centre, my family and I are being hunted down by Lyle and God knows who else, what else could there possibly be? Then it just about slaps me in the face, the most obvious question of all how is all this possible?

"How can you all be real? I mean I see you on TV just about every week, millions of people world wide watch The Pretender, the Centre is just make believe, you guys are all make believe."

"That is not us that you see on TV" Jarod says calmly.

What does he mean it's not them I see on TV. Of course it's them, who else would it be. I've heard of identical twins but you can't honestly tell me that they all act on The Pretender, that's just scary. Hang on a minute, identical twins may not be all that far off. No, they couldn't possibly all be...... the Centre wouldn't, would they? This is the Centre we're talking about

"No way" I manage to whisper eventually.

They all look at each other totally confused. You'd think they'd be getting used to me talking to myself by now.

"Last year I saw an episode of The Pretender called Donoterase, where the Centre had made a clone of Jarod but that doesn't, I mean it wouldn't really happen, would it?"

They don't need to answer, I can see it in their eyes.

"Oh my God! But how, who, when......."

"Six years ago, Raines perfected the human genome project. He created clones of all of us, including himself." Sydney said bitterly.

"But why?"

"The NBC is owned by the Centre and they thought what better way to take away suspicion then to create a television series based on the company and the people within it" Miss Parker replied.

"So when ever people saw you or the Centre they would assume that it was just part of the television series or that they were delusional. But if he made the clones only six years ago, how can they look the same age as all of you?"

"When I was younger Raines had me develop a drug that accelerated the aging process" Jarod whispered.

Those sick, disgusting, freaks. How could they ewww. And Miss Parker wants to take Jarod back to that hell hole? Eww I have suddenly lost my appetite. Broots apparently hasn't he's on his fifth slice of pizza right now. How can he eat in a time like this?

"So Brootsie change of subject. Where's our nine fingered friend now?" Miss Parker says sweetly.

"Umm well according to the tracking device, Melbourne."

Melbourne, thank God opposite direction to where we're headed. Although I know a few people on the pretendfic list live in Melbourne. My won't they be in for a shock.

We all pile back into the car, this time however Broots is asleep along the back seat across from Sydney and I and Jarod is in the front seat along side Miss Parker, with his hand cuffs still off I might add. Well where was I before, that's right 99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer. Take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.

Slowly I open my eyes and look out the car window. It's dark outside and the car has.........stopped? Huh, where is everyone? I step out of the car. Oh where are we? Are we still in Queensland? This is like dessert. I look around for any clue as to where we are when I spot Miss Parker and the others heading inside a motel. Well it was so nice of them for waking me. I really should thank them. As I walk towards the motel door I read the name above it "The Highway Inn". Oh well that's very original, considering we are on the highway and all. Gee that must of taken all of 'two' brain cells to think that one up.

Miss Parker books us two rooms. Sydney, Broots and Jarod in one, her and I in the other. Lucky me. I've finally gotten over the original shock of everything I was told at the petrol station and now I'm starving.

"Sorry, everything around here closes after 6pm" I hear the guy at the counter say. What! He has to be kidding. I'm starving, surely there's something open in this entire town. What is this place anyway?

"Where are we?" I ask

"Hicksville, apparently" Miss Parker snaps angrily.

"Rockhampton" The clerk corrects her.

"Rockhampton, Hicksville same difference. Look Larry, we have been on the road for the past 8 hours. We're tired, we're hungry and now you tell us that there is not a God Damn Place in this ENTIRE town that we can get a bite to eat at!"

"I'm sorry, everything closes at 6pm"

Great, I have to share a room with a tired and hungry Ice Queen. She'll probably shoot me in the middle of the night just so as she can cook me up and eat me. Eww.

We go off into our separate rooms. I'm a little bit hesitant in following Miss Parker into ours.

"I know she can be scary at times, but she won't bite, she's not Lyle" Broots says reassuringly. Easy for you to say, you're not the one trapped in a room with her. For once in my life I'm glad I suffer from insomnia.


Yeah, well that's the end of that part. What did you guys think good, bad?

Part 4 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- in part 1

AUTHOR'S NOTE:- This part does not really have much of a story line, it does a little, like things do happen but I was mainly just having fun writing it. It's not really a serious story though. Also I am terrified of spiders, they freak me out, I wouldn't go so far as to say I have aracnaphobia (sorry can't spell that word), but I do find them awfully scary.

by Krystal McDermott

Great, I have to share a room with a tired and hungry Ice Queen. She'll probably shoot me in the middle of the night just so as she can cook me up and eat me. Eww.

We go off into our separate rooms. I'm a little bit hesitant in following Miss Parker into ours.

"I know she can be scary at times, but she won't bite, she's not Lyle" Broots says reassuringly.

Easy for you to say, you're not the one trapped in a room with her. For once in my life I'm glad I suffer from insomnia.

I plonk myself down onto the bed next to the window. It's only twelve at night or in the morning, whatever you want to call it, they can't possibly expect me to get to sleep yet, especially considering I had an hours sleep in the car. What's on TV now? I pick up the remote and start flicking through the channels. Hmm Hyperion Bay, Talking Footy, Cart World Series Miami USA, Twins of Evil or Alchemy 2000. Oh how very exciting. Maybe I will be able to get some sleep after all. I should get changed, I've been in my school uniform all day. No wait, I don't have anything to change into, I was just ushered into the car with no time to pack. Damn it. I wonder if.........? No she wouldn't, well maybe she would. Hmm I can feel a sly grin spreading across my face.

"Oh Miss Parker" I call sweetly

"What" she grunts back at me.

"Well it's just that in all the confusion this afternoon, I had no time to pack anything, what am supposed to wear?"

She turns to look at me, glaring at me for a while. Uh oh maybe this wasn't such a good idea. But then slowly her expression changes, a mischievous smile spreads across her face.

"It is the Centre's fault that we are all here, and Lyle did ruin my favourite pair of Guchi shoes and we can't have you running around in your school uniform, it would attract too much unwanted attention now wouldn't it?" she says slyly

I nod slowly, perhaps my luck is changing.

"Well there's only one solution" states Miss Parker "We'll just have to go shopping"

A huge, silly, grin spreads across my face. Well now I know how to cheer Miss P up, mention a shopping spree. Shopping with Miss Parker, shopping with an unlimited supply of money. It's like my dream come true. Now I'll need more formal clothes so as I fit in with Miss Parker, Jarod, Sydney and Bro.......No not Broots. So that means I'll also need new shoes, a new bag or ten, a new watch, some new go with the clothes, new make up, oh a new hair style and what the hey lets just get new everything. Oh this is so cool. Well now I'm just too excited to sleep. Hmm I hope they have some decent shops in Rockhampton. They'd have to. It's a big place, miles from anywhere. They'd definitely have some decent stores. I wonder if I could get my nails done. I've never had a manicure before, it looks like fun. There's a knock at the door. Damn just when I was starting to enjoy myself.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything" Sydney says apologetically as he walks through the door, joining our two rooms.

No just another one of my day dreams. Hmm I wonder if Sydney would come shopping too. Oh and Jarod, I certainly wouldn't mind helping him try on clothes. No Krystal get your mind out of the gutter.

"What do you want Syd?" Miss Parker asks.

Sydney motions for her to join him outside for a moment. I wonder what they're up to. I sit watching the TV, with an 'I'm so totally enthralled by this show' look on my face, while they walk outside together and gently close the door behind them. Then I spring off the bed and race to the window, parting the curtains ever so slightly. They're whispering something, damn I can't hear what they're saying, maybe if I just open the window slightly.......oh shit she heard me. Run! I race over and jump on the bed, staring at the TV as though I'm completely fascinated.

"Eavesdropping were we?" her voice is in that high tone of hers which I know means I'm in trouble. Don't panic, just pretend this show is so interesting that you didn't hear her. Yes very interesting, oh I see she's married to that guy but she's having an affair with this guy, hmm.

"Oh don't give me that, you can't honestly tell me that you find Hyperion Bay fascinating. Not unless you're related to Broots."

Damn! Why are there no decent shows on at twelve at night? Should I fess up. No don't be stupid, lie, lie your way out.

"Umm no I wasn't eves dropping there was, you see there was this mosquito in the room and it was buzzing around the window so I thought that I would shoo it out, cause otherwise, you know it could bite us in the night" I plaster an innocent look on my face. She doesn't buy it. Well who could blame her, letting out a mosquito, yeah good one Krystal. She doesn't say anything though. Thank God! Instead she just looks me directly in the eye and then goes into the bathroom to have a shower.

It's like hours later, she returns. Well not really hours, but it sure felt like hours. I head towards the bathroom.

"Oh if you're going to have a shower, I'm afraid I used up all the hot water" Miss Parker says in a tone that's far from apologetic.


"Yeah sorry, tough day"

Tough day, tough day! Oh that.......ahhh. What about my tough day? I've been injured, kidnapped, had my family disappear, another part of my family reappear, there's been talk of cloning and ahhh she's so ahhh. Ok just take a deep breathe, breathe in................and breathe out. Nice and calm.

She walks over to her suit case and pulls out a picture in a silver frame. I recognise that silver frame, it's the photo of her mother and her as a baby she keeps in her office. Should I say something? No, nows not the right time?

"Good night Krystal" for once the icy tone has completely vanished.

"Good night" I whisper. Like I'm ever going to sleep, and without my warm shower grr.

"Oh Krystal, turn the light out." she demands rather than asks. So much for saying please. "And go to sleep"

"I don't sleep, I can't sleep, I suffer from insomnia" I tell her as I go to turn the light out. Hang on, if I turn the light out it will be dark, like totally dark and if it's totally dark how am I supposed to see if Lyle is coming? I know he's supposed to be in Melbourne, but if he were find out where we were and catch a plane he would be here in a few hours and then what? Oh great now I'm never going to sleep. Why do I have to be so paranoid? I wish I didn't think so much.

"Here take a couple of these, knock yourself out" Miss Parker says as she chucks me some pills. Hmm should I take them? These pills are like Centre pills for all I know they could put me in a coma or worse they could........No don't think of that just take them, one gulp and they'll be gone or you'll be gone either way you'll get some sleep. Miss Parker is watching me I quickly down the pills and lie back down on my bed.

"Krystal, Light!" she snaps.

I go to turn it out but I hesitate. Mmm dark, Lyle, Lyle, psycho mmm.

"Oh don't tell me you're scared?" she mocks

"No!" I snap back "It's just that Lyle is well his kinda psychotic and he's here in Australia and it's just freaky" I rush out.

Her hard expression softens slightly. Thank God maybe she understands. She's gotta admit Lyle is a little strange.

"Don't worry about Lyle, I'm a light sleeper, if he comes in here which I very much doubt he's smart enough to figure out where we are, but if by some miracle he does, I'll shoot off his other thumb, no make that his entire hand, just to be on the safe side, OK"

I think about her proposal for a moment and then I turn off the light. I'm not sure exactly how smart that is, cause I know Miss Parker is definitely anything but a light sleeper, I've seen it on TV, but she's very convincing, so I turn it off.

Wow those pills really work! I've taken sleeping pills before but, whoa they were nothing like those ones. What time is it? Oh it's only 3 in the morning, those pills can't of been as good as I thought. What's that noise?

"No! No Mamma please Nooooo!"

Miss Parker? What do I do? Should I like help her or should I just pretend to be asleep? I don't really know her all that well, she may not like it if I wake her.

"No Jarod help me please! Jarod! Mamma!"

Oh I don't care what she thinks I can't just leave her in that nightmare. I jump out of bed and race over to try and wake her.

"Miss Parker, Miss Parker" I say urgently "Wake up"

Oh why won't she wake up, please wake up, plea........oh shit my arm.

"Ahhhh" I shout. This must be one hell of a nightmare, she's trying to break my arm.

"Jarod run! I'm staying with Mamma. Run!" she screams, but in a child like voice as though she is a little girl again. Suddenly Broots bursts in the room.

"What's wrong? What's going on?" he demands and then he sees Miss Parker and immediately he is on the bed beside her trying to calm her down. What can I do? I feel so helpless. I've seen her have nightmares like a thousand times before on TV but to actually see it in real's just frightening. Where's Sydney in a time like this? He's the psychologist. He'd know how to handle this situation. Miss Parker wakes up with a sudden jerk, sweat is pouring down her forehead, her eyes wide with terror. What could possibly have scared her so much? It's so strange seeing her this vulnerable. Her eyes scan the room. Who is she looking for? Is someone there? I quickly glance around the room. No phew!

"Sydney is in the other room trying to calm Jarod down" Broots says quietly. Miss Parker just nods. Gee they're both having nightmares like this. What kind of hell hole is the Centre? Stupid question Krystal. Hang on they're both having nightmares at the same time....Hmm I knew they had a special connection. See they were meant to be tog.......No stop that! It's totally the wrong time to be thinking about things like that. I should be worried for the two of them not planning their wedding day.

Next thing I know Broots stumbles back. Huh did I miss something while I was off in La La land?

"I'm OK" Miss Parker snaps "Go back to bed the both of you. I don't need your help"

"Sorry we were just trying to he......"

"Go back to bed!" She growls, cutting Broots off in mid sentence.

Poor Broots, he was only trying to help her. He seems to understand though. I guess he's known her for four years now, they must be pretty close. Although not as close as he wants them to be I'll bet. Miss Parker roles over and tries to go back to sleep. Well I can't sleep now. NBC Today should be on now, I'll watch some TV for awhile. I wonder how Jarod is?

Sunlight filters in through the green curtains that hang in the window beside my bed. Yay! It's morning and that means it's time to go SHOPPING! Shopping with Miss P and to think I could be spending another day at school today. Oh shame. Wait a minute, school! They're going to wonder why I'm not there, maybe not today but if I don't turn up in a few days they'll start to wonder. Then they'll go to my house and realise we're not home and then they'll call my auntie and she'll wonder where we've gone and then they'll investigate and then they'll put out a missing persons ad and then people will spot me and then they'll tell the police and then Lyle will find out where we are and then...........ohhh I hate to think of the next part. So I won't. I'll think of SHOPPING!

Come on Miss Parker wake up. Wake up, wake up, wake up! What can I do to wake Miss Parker up without actually having to wake her. Brian messages? Wake up! Come on it's morning, it's shopping time, shopping, wake up. No. Hmmm think Krys........Oh my God! What was that? There's something crawling up my leg! Mmm. Don't panic, don't panic, just look down and see what it is. Slowly and "Ahhhh" It's a spider. It's a BIG spider, a big one. Nnerrr help. "Get it off, get it off, get it off, get it off!" I jump around the room, trying to shake it off. "Get off!" Finally the spider flys off and lands on the floor. Quick get a shoe, squash it and it's squished. Oh thank God. I turn around to see Miss Parker, Jarod, Sydney and Broots all staring at me, each trying very hard to suppress their laughter. Well, at least everybody's awake now.

"Good morning" I say sheepishly. They all burst out laughing. Well I'm glad they find it funny, I almost died of fright, but please continue laughing. One by one they stop laughing.

"So Krystal, sleep well?" Miss Parker asks and they all burst out laughing again. I grab my towel and head into the bathroom to have a shower. She wants to laugh at me, she can go ahead, I'm getting my hot shower I missed out on last night. I'll try and leave some hot water, but I can't make any guarantees.

This is it, this is the moment I've been waiting for SHOPPING! What can I say, I'm a shopaholic, there's nothing wrong with that. We pull up outside the shopping centre, despite the fact that I used up all the hot water this morning Miss Parker is in an unusually good mood. Broots tells me shopping will do that to her. Neither her or Jarod have mentioned what their nightmares were about last night, but I don't think now's the time to ask, if there ever will be a time. Right now, I'm focussing on shopping.

We pile out of the car, Sydney wants to go and explore all the book stores, Broots is desperate to check out Software Today and Jarod, well he truly is a genius, he understands the brilliance of clothes shopping, so his coming with Miss Parker and I. Miss Parker is kinda a long name to keep saying all the time, I think I'll call her Miss P, it's shorter, it's easier, she may shoot me for it though.

Oh this is so cool! We head into MYER first and I head straight to the Miss Shop section, Miss Parker and Jarod follow closely behind.

"OK Krystal, go for it, you can pick whatever you want" Miss Parker says "It's all courtesy of our twisted little friends at the Centre"

Whatever I want. I should of told her you *never* tell me to pick whatever I want, but oh well, her mistake. Hmm I want that top and that skirt and my those are nice pants, I'll have those as well. Oh now I need a top to go with them. That one, that's nice and that and that and this jacket and this shirt and another pair of pants and another skirt oh and another top and some more coats and now I need some shoes.

Miss Parker is over at the jewellery counter so I drag Jarod over with me to the shoe section. He doesn't seem to mind, in fact he helps me pick out a couple of pairs.

"You seem to be enjoying yourself considering you're supposed to be a kidnapping victim" he jokes

"What can I say, Miss P can kidnap me any day if I get to go on shopping sprees like this" I reply smiling.

"Speaking of Miss 'Parker', there she is"

"Where?" I ask

"There" he says pointing to a walking tower of clothes headed our way.Oh my God and I thought I spent a lot. She wins, hands down.

"Is that all you want?" she asks, surprised.

"No, I'll have more. I just want to go and check out some other stores"

We walk over to the counter, the lady almost dies when she sees the amount of clothes and shoes we pile on her counter.

Miss P then takes me over to CUE and Jaquie E to pick up some more 'sophisticated' clothes. I feel like I'm her personal Barbie doll, but I don't mind. I'll pick this over school, hell I'll pick this over anything anytime time. Poor Jarod he's overloaded with bags, some with clothes for himself, but mostly they're mine and Miss P's. That reminds me, it appears Miss P has forgotten all about Jarod being a prisoner, I haven't seen the handcuffs on him since yesterday afternoon. Hmmm that's one point for the shippers.

We walk out of yet another clothing store, Jarod is dressed in a new pair of black pants, a black top and a new black leather jacket. I wonder how many leather jackets that brings him up to now, not to mention black pants. Miss P is wearing a new power suit and I well I'm a mini version of Miss P in a new short silver skirt, (not nearly as short as Miss P's mind you, my mum would kill me) and a new jacket and top. Oh and a new pair of high heel shoes, how the heck she expects me to run in these clothes I don't know. I'm kinda hungry after all this shopping though. I feel like a McFlurry. Yeah a McFlurry sounds nice an Oreo McFlurry. Jarod will have one with me, I very much doubt he'd pass up the chance to have ice-cream.

We meet up with Broots and Sydney outside Big W. Broots is overloaded with new software and Sydney has a new store of books to keep him busy. I'm sooooo hungry.

"Can we get something to eat?" I ask

"Krystal you read my mind" Broots replies "I'm starving. Do you realise we haven't eaten anything since we stopped off at the gas station yesterday evening?"

Jarod, Broots and I walk down to McDonalds while Sydney and Miss Parker sit down in one of the coffee lounges. Miss P refuses to eat McDonalds, she says it's bad for her figure. Usually I'd have to agree with her, but I'm starving and I have been deprived of junk food for over twenty-four hours now, and that ain't right. All I need right now is an Orea McFlurry.

"One Orea McFlurry please" I say to the guy behind the counter.

"An Orea McFlurry? What's a McFlurry?" Jarod asks, in all sincerity. I turn to face him in totally disbelief.

"You've never had an Oreo McFlurry?" I ask slowly, totally shocked.

"No" he replies

"Make that two McFlurry's" I tell the guy at the counter.

The three of us sit down at a booth in the corner of the store. Mmmm ice-cream, oreos, does it get any better than this? Jarod seems to be enjoying his. His like almost finished already.

"So Krystal....... how are you.......... enjoying your...... stay with us?" Broots asks, in between bites of his McOz burger.

"Well, at first it was kinda scary but now I'm really starting to enj...........Oh my God"

"What? Do I have something on my face?"

"No, no, no, it's just that I could of sworn I just saw Willie walk past" Broots and Jarod both turn to each other and then to me.

"Are you sure?" Jarod asks

"Yes" Umm maybe. Yes I did, or maybe I didn't. I don't know, don't confuse me. "I did"

Broots drops his burger and stands up hurriedly "Come on, we can't stay here any more, we have to go get Miss Parker and Sydney and get the hell out of here"

No arguments from me. I grab Jarod by the hand and the three of us quickly exit the store. Ok do not panic. Look left, look right, see they're not here, we're safe. Let's look left again and right oh and behind and ahhh is that it's just a guy in a suit who's talking to another guy in a suit,................another guy in a suit who looks a lot like LYLE!

"Run!" I shout. Broots and Jarod turn around to see Lyle who is now beginning to chase us throughout the shopping centre. Run, run, run, run, run! Must make legs go faster. We run to the coffee shop where Miss Parker and Sydney are.

"Run, Lyle" I yell. Immediately they desert their coffees and are both up and running along beside us. People are staring at us but I do not care. Don't they realise this is a life and death situation here? Lyle wouldn't shoot us in front of all these people......would he? No, to risky. "Bang!" Or maybe not. Ahhh I like so totally regret these high heel shoes now.

"Split up!" Miss P yells "Krystal, Sydney, Broots go left on to the roof, Jarod you come with me, we'll meet at the car!"


Ok splitting up sounds good. He can't chase us all, although he does have sweepers with him. Don't think of that, just run! Is he still behind us? I don't want to look. Keep running, we've gotta make it all the way to the car. Now I'm glad I do gym. Oh I can't take it any longer, I've got to know if he is behind us. One, two, three, look. He's not there! He is not there! Oh thank God, but where is he?

Eventually we make it to the car. Oh I think I am going to pass out. Broots looks like he's ready to collapse, I'll join ya buddy. Oh I've never run so much in all my life. Just thank God we're all OK. Hang on. Where's Miss Parker and Jarod?


Where is Miss Parker and Jarod? Did Lyle catch them or did they escape? Join us next time in Delusions.
I'm sorry, I couldn't resist, I just watched Batman plus that part was just sooooo far fetched, it's turning into a soap opera. This has to be the lamest story I've ever written. Anyway if you did like it please let me know, if you didn't well still let me know please.

Part 5 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- in part 1

by Krystal McDermott

Eventually we make it to the car. Oh I think I am going to pass out. Broots looks like he's ready to collapse, I'll join ya buddy. Oh I've never run so much in all my life. Just thank God we're all OK. Hang on. Where's Miss Parker and Jarod? Uh Oh what if Lyle got them? I'm sure they can run faster than us, they should be here by now. For all I now Lyle could be torturing them or worse they could already be .................No that can't happen I only just got to meet them in person, they can't just die on me now! That is not fair. Man I am so self-centered. I should be worrying about them not myself. Speaking about myself though, I forgot to grab all my cool, new clothes before I ran off. Nooooo! How am I going to get them back? Oh Krystal stop being so superficial, they're only clothes for crying out loud, you can always get new ones. Yes, I can always get new ones. That thought calms me. Now where is Miss P and Jarod?

"Syd, Broots they should be here by now, where are they?" I ask concerned. They look at each other, worry written all over their faces.

"I'm sure they're fine" Sydney says soothingly "They just probably had to take a lo.............." Sydney is interrupted by the sounds of people arguing.

"Well I couldn't just leave them there could I?"

"What! Of course you could of there's more to life than just cl........."

Is that who I think it is? I turn the corner and sure enough there's Jarod and Miss P. Yes, they're alive, they're safe, they're well and they're back to fight another day! Woohoo! Wait a minute. Don't tell me she went back to get them. She did! Miss P went back to get our clothes. What a legend!

"Sorry we took so long, but 'someone' couldn't leave without their clothes, so what did we do? We had to run back down SEVEN flights of stairs, back through the middle of the mall, all the way down to the cafe and then McDonalds to get them DIDN'T WE!" Jarod practically yells. I think he's just a little annoyed.

"Oh I don't see what you're whining about, you wrecked a perfectly good pair of six inch ITALIAN stiletto heels, because you weren't watching where you were going!" Miss Parker than turns to talk or rather yell at us. "If the person in front stops running, you'd think you would stop, wouldn't you? But noooooo Mr. Dumb Ass Frankenboy here keeps going, and knocks you down the stairs, ruining my shoes in the process!" Hmmm I don't think she's too happy either.

"But aren't you both grateful that you both made it out alive?" I ask trying to calm them both down. I live to regret that question.

"Grateful, grateful. She almost got me killed all in the name of clothes. She is unbelievable. She is just so superficial! All she ever cares about is herself and to hell with anyone who gets in her way!"

Hey! What's he yelling at me for? I was only making conversation gee.

"Me, me almost get 'you' killed. What about you? Lyle's right behind us, gun in hand, shooting at us and then when I go to shoot back you say 'no don't shoot, you might hurt innocent people'. Innocent people my ass! If the Centre's taught me one thing, it's put yourself before others........ and then, lets not forget the old fossil in front of us at the escalator. No we can't just push him aside because that would be wrong, instead we have to wait 'patiently' behind him while a psycho with a gun is just metres behind us! Some genius!"

Sydney, Broots and I get in the car. There is no way we're getting involved in this one. Scary. I guess this is one point for the non-shippers. Damn!



Yeah I'm gonna end it there and make a dash for the stairs sorry. Plus I can't remember what happens next.

Feedback please.
Part 6 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- It's been a while so I'd better re-write it - No I don't own the characters, ummm except me and maybe my family, but the rest belong to NBC, OK. Don't sue please, I'm broke, it's the holidays and I can't even go to the movies with my friends.
Yeah, finally, my muses have started to talk to me when it comes to this fic and KB doesn't know this yet, but it was one of her messages to me that got them working. She suggested I bring the group into it, and I thought that was a great idea but I couldn't figure out a way to do it. Then the other day KB sent me some feedback on a fic and mentioned something about it hopefully *not* turning into a shipper fic and that just sent everything in motion, so THANKS KB.

Summery:- Yeah well ummm, that's right Jarod showed up at my school, then my family disappeared and I found Jarod snooping around my house, then we were kidnapped by MP, Syd and Broots, hmmm we stayed at a motel in Rockhampton, we went shopping, got chased by Lyle and escaped and now that's where I was up to. Oh and MP and J were arguing.

by Krystal McDermott

Well we're on the road again. Oh yay! Miss P and Jarod are barely talking to each other, Broots is fiddling with his laptop and Sydney is reading his new book. What am I supposed to do? Cairns is still miles away. This is sooooo boring and I'm so sick of singing about beer on the wall. Who the hell came up with that annoying song anyway? Plus, to make matters worse I have no access to a computer so I can't check my email and get all The Pretender fanfic. What is this world coming to? Wait a second, Broots, he has a laptop, brilliant!

"Oh Broots" I say sweetly "Can I please borrow your laptop for a while? There are some.......important messages I have to get" "But I was just......ummm well you know I need to check the mai......and....umm......oh.......OK" he stammers and then finally relents.

"Great! Thanks!" I say as I take the computer off him, he holds onto it for as long as possible and then eventually lets go.

"What is that you are looking up?" Sydney asks, genially interested. I smile begins to play on my lips as I think about what it is exactly I am looking up. Hey maybe if I get them all to read a few shipper stories I could get the wheels in Miss P and J's heads turning, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. I laugh out loud to myself.

"What's so funny?" Broots asks leaning over to read the computer screen. "Hey what's that?" he asks, a little surprised to be seeing his own name on the screen.

"This is me email from pretendfic" I reply coolly "It's a fanfic group, we all love The Pretender and we write fanfic, poems, songs just about anything on The Pretender. This story here is a shipper story" It's out of my mouth before I realise what I said. Oh well it's out there now. Now they're all going to find out exactly what a shipper is and how many of us there are out there. Oh what a shame. I laugh out loud again. Hmmm they must think I'm strange now, that's twice I've laughed out loud to myself.

"Shipper......What's a shipper?" Sydney asks, rather confused. The car swerves across the highway and speeds down the exit. Ok I guess she changed her mind about Cairns. Oh damn, that means I don't have to sit this car for another day and a half. What was it that Sydney wanted again........Oh yeah shippers. I take a quick glance at Miss Parker and Jarod in the front of the car, they both don't look very sociable still, perhaps now is not a good.......Oh what the hey.

"A shipper is someone who wants..... no desperately wants Jarod and Miss Parker to get together." I say matter-of-factly. Suddenly the car screams to halt. Uh oh. Miss Parker turns in her seat to face me, her icy glare making me shudder from head to toe.

"What was that?" she growls. Her lips are pierced tighter than I ever thought possible. Jarod turns in his seat beside her and faces me, he's not so pleased with my last comment either.

"What was what?" I ask innocently. Yes play innocent, lets hope she totally forgets about it and doesn't blow off my head.

"Don't give me that" she replies coldly "What was it that you just said about shippers or whatever crap you were just talking about?" I play with my ring nervously, this is much harder to tell her than I first anticipated. "Well spit it out!" she yells. Broots gives me a sympathetic look, Sydney nods his head with encouragement.

"Umm well you see there's this group on the internet, it's called pretendfic and the people that belong to it write fanfic based on The Pretender and there's two main groups of fans they're the shippers and the non-shippers. The shippers all want Miss...well you and Jarod to get together and the non-shippers well.......they don't.......obviously. And yeah well that's about it. So where not going to Cairns anymore hey." I rush out all the information as fast as possible.

"No don't you go trying to change the subject" Miss Parker threatens.

"Yeah what are you a shipper or non-shipper?" Broots asks innocently. I bite my lip. Oh this is going to be great I grimace. I try to build up my courage, come on Krystal you've been waiting for the moment you can tell Miss Parker and Jarod that they are destined to be together for years, since the show first began, don't give up now.

"I am a shipper" I announce boldly and before Miss Parker or Jarod can interrupt I go on "And Miss Parker and Jarod are destined to be together, they are. They love each other and they just don't know it yet and you'll see one day it will happen, you just wait, it will!" Oh my God. That came out like I'm a three year old child trying to convince my friends that my father is Santa Clause! Just then a small whimper escapes Broots.

"What's wrong with you?" Jarod asks, I can tell his slightly annoyed by the fact that I'm a shipper, but wait is that a small hint of hope and amusement I see in his eyes.

"I...I..I was...j...just killed!" Broots stammers.

"So not going to Cairns any more are we?" I say cheerily, trying to change the subject yet again. Miss P groans and turns around to face the steering wheel once more, Jarod and Sydney also return to how they had been before. Poor Broots though he's still trying to get answers as why he was killed. Well I guess that'll just have to remain another mystery, there's no way I'm gonna try and explain that one.

After what seems like hours we eventually pull up to a private air strip somewhere between Emerald and Jericho. See all those geography lessons did pay off! I actually know where we are.......sort of.

"So boys, Krystal, hope you all packed your warm, woolly clothes, because we're off to Melbourne" Miss P announces.

"Oh I hate air strips" Jarod shudders.

"You hate air strips! You weren't the one who got shot the last time we were all on an air strip together!" Miss Parker exclaims. Yeah, well here we go again, another big fireworks display between the two of them.

"I may not of been the one that got shot, but I got dragged back to that hell hole you call the Centre, because I had to save your sorry ass and do I ever once get a thank you? Noooo, because you care to much about what your precious daddy thinks" My someone's bitter. Can't blame him really, she could of said thank you. Even better she could of said thank you with a kiss. Miss Parker starts to yell back at Jarod, man am I getting sick of this.

"Will you two just shut-up please!" Hey I didn't yell that. I look around the air strip. Way to go Sydney! That's telling them. "The plane is ready" he adds. Both Miss Parker and Jarod are dumbfounded. I can tell Miss P is totally annoyed and Jarod well Jarod's just shocked. Who wouldn't be, I certainly wasn't expecting Sydney to yell at them like that.

We each climb onto the plane. Jarod and Miss Parker sit at opposite ends of the plane to each other, I'm beside Jarod, Sydney is next to Miss Parker and Broots is still reading my email trying to figure out why he was the one that got killed.


Well that's it for now folks.......I know nothing ground breaking happened, but at least it's a start, there may be more during the day. Thanks again KB, you finally woke up my muses.

Feedback please.
Part 7 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- It's been a while so I'd better re-write it - No I don't own the characters, ummm except me and maybe my family, but the rest belong to NBC, OK. Don't sue please, I'm broke, it's the holidays and I can't even go to the movies with my friends.

by Krystal McDermott

"Okay, so where are we going now?" I can't really help it. I'm a naturally curious person. I have to know, even though Jarod and Miss Parker are obviously still pretty testy and no-one else seems to be in a very chatty mood either.

"Melbourne." Miss Parker replies dryly.

"But....Lyle was....wasn't he...didn't you...?" I stammer out, pictures of a thumbless man and team of huge, bulky sweepers chasing me down the middle of the Victorian Markets flash through my head.

"Krystal, relax." Sydney puts one hand on mine. "If we just saw Lyle here, he could hardly be in Melbourne, could he?" Hmm, good point, should of thought of that. Good ol' Sydney he always knows how to calm a person down.

We reach the airport with a screech of tyres, which is good because I very much doubt I could have coped with driving all the way down to Melbourne, been there done that last year, not an experience I want to relive anytime soon, especially considering the moods some people are in, not to mention any names MISS PARKER!. "Okay, everybody out." I grab Jarod's arm as he walked beside me. Judging by the look on his face, I figured he's forgiven me for the comment about the 'shipper' thing. Maybe the Oreo McFlurry helped. But he could hardly hold a grudge about that for long, it's not as if I'm the only one out there that holds the opinion that he and Miss P are destined to be together, and that one day they will realise that and will destroy the Centre, runaway together in the middle of the night and .............. Ok I'm getting off track here. Time to go back to reality Krystal. "Where are we going to stay when we get there?" Jarod smiles.

"Don't worry, Krystal. I'm sure Miss Parker has it all figured out." Oh my God! he said Miss Parker has it all figured out. He trusts her, he really trusts her. Now if that's not a sign, what is?

As we're racing through the airport, stopping once to buy a suitcase for all the newly acquired clothes (I love my new clothes), I rack my brains to try and think of someone, anyone I know in Melbourne. There is my old Auntie Carol, but she's not exactly the sharpest pencil in the box, if you get my drift. It isn't until we're actually on the plane and in the air that I suddenly remember. "Broots," I try to keep my voice innocent. "Could I please borrow your computer again, just for a sec?" Sydney looks at me out of the corner of his eye and I can feel the heat of Miss Parker's glare on the back of my neck. "I just want it for a sec," I gabble quickly. "Promise." Grumbling, he hands it over and I type in a quick message and send it off. Thank God for email.

A few minutes later, Broots yelps in surprise. Miss Parker turns another one of her glares on him. "What?!"

"I got an email."

"Is that a surprise?" The Ice Queen is in great form. Probably still pissed off about those shoes. "I'm sure you get dozens every day."

"No - it's for Krystal." I grab the computer without looking at anyone and open up the message. 'Great! Looking forward to it. Jump in a cab and give the driver the address I wrote below. KB." I sigh in relief as I scribble down the address and delete the message, handing the computer back to Broots, who checks it carefully, presumably to make sure I haven't damaged it. Heck I spend hours everyday sending email to the pretendfic group I think I can manage to send one without doing any damage. Sydney is still eyeing me and, when I turn to look out of the window, I realise that Jarod is staring at me as well, between the seats. I pick up the book which I'd decided was the least boring of those that Sydney had purchased and try to ignore everyone else. I have always had an interest in human psych, maybe I'll find the book partially interesting.

We make record time leaving the airport too. Obviously I wasn't the only one thinking that Lyle might have been on the plane, hiding somewhere in the baggage compartment perhaps or maybe in the bathroom or maybe he was even in the cock pit the entire time and my paranoia is getting the better of me again.

Miss P expertly hails a taxi, slightly annoying two older people who have obviously been waiting for a while. Well do you think a male taxi driver is going to pass up the opportunity to drive Miss P around, especially in that skirt? Jumping in, I give the driver the address I wrote down, before any of the others can speak. Obviously he knows where we're going because he doesn't ask any questions, just pulls away from the curb. But then, if Miss Parker was glaring at me like she is at him, I probably wouldn't be tempted to say much either. No make that I definitely wouldn't be tempted to say anything.

The car pulls up in front of an old, Edwardian style house, with the ocean visible at the end of the street. Miss Parker pays for the trip, using the Centre's credit card of course, while Jarod pulls the cases out of the boot. We all stand for a moment, looking at the house, before I walk up to the door and knock. A voice yells something out and, after a few seconds, the door swings open. "Great, you're here. Come on in." None of us have said anything but somehow she doesn't need introductions. Well, she wouldn't. She knows these people as well as I do and it wouldn't take a genius to figure out who I was. As we go in, Sydney closes the door behind us and KB leads the way down the hall.

Entering the kitchen, Miss Parker turns and fixes a glare on me that makes me want to sink through the terracotta tiled floor. "Aren't you going to introduce us?" Oh yeah. Sure. Guess I forgot that they probably don't know her as well as she knows them. Smart Krystal. With a little stuttering, I manage to name each person and there's a few minutes of awkward silence. Finally we all sit down around the table in the room. Thank God, sitting down, now no one will notice if I collapse from shock. "How did you know we were coming?" Miss Parker's probably been dying to ask that question since we first walked in. After this is all over, I bet you there will be another episode of The Pretender where Miss P is dying from her ulcer, again.

KB looks at me and I'm practically begging her with my eyes not to give me away. She grins and I figure that I'm safe............for The moment. "Lyle suggested you might come." Lyle? Damn! Just when I thought things were finally going right! That one thumb psycho-freak shows up. There's slight pandemonium in the kitchen, while KB sits in her chair and...frankly...smirks. Now what's with that? I don't get it. "Would you all please shut up?" The question cuts across Jarod's frantic questions, Miss Parker's yelling and Broots' begging. Sydney's expression has become somewhat tense. Obviously he'd been trusting KB as much as I had. KB's one question makes the room immediately silent and you've gotta have respect for someone who can shut Miss Parker up when she's in full flight. Hell I certainly could never do it. In some ways I guess I'm a lot like Broots. "Thank you. When I say, Lyle suggested it, he did. But he left for Queensland about three days ago. And, no, he didn't stay here."


"Why what?" KB looks at Jarod, who suddenly seems to be finding it hard to talk. With that expression trained on him, I can see why.

"Why did he come?" Miss Parker takes up from where Jarod left off. Hmm, maybe they're thinking more on the same wavelength. Another sign that they're madly in love with each other. Sorry my shipper mind is running away with me again. "He was looking for you. Isn't that obvious? I said I'd keep my eyes open," for the first time, she smiles. "Of course, I never said what I'd do when I did see you." I should of known, KB would never turn us in.

Two hours later, things are a little more settled. Obviously KB had been planning ever since she got my message, 'cos there are rooms all set up for us. And, even better, I get a room to myself. Yay. No more sharing with the Ice Queen. The three men are still stuck with having one room, but KB's house isn't exactly huge so they'll have to make do. They should just be grateful that they're not stuck at my house, otherwise they'd all be on the lounge room floor.

I unpack a few of the clothes that I bought earlier and try to get some of the creases out. Yes, I like my clothes to be perfect, I'm weird that way. Finally, I go and look for KB. I find her in front of her computer, typing frantically at something on the screen. Reading over her shoulder, I recognise the situation and tone and realise that I'm reading a work in progress. As soon as she knows I'm there, she turns off the screen. "Having fun?"

"No." She looks at me and smiles again.

"I talked to Jarod. He told me what was going on. Don't worry, Krystal. I'm sure everything will be fine."

Suddenly I start thinking about my family. With everything else that's been going on, I've been able to avoid it. I do that I push things aside so as I don't have to deal with them but, suddenly, I can't help myself. I start crying. It's not like me to cry and I hate myself for doing it but, I can't stop the flow of tears. "I'm worried about them, and I don't even know where they are. Lyle might have got them. He might have..."

Everything nasty that I've ever seen Lyle do on TV or read about him doing in fan fics suddenly comes into my mind and now I'm really worried. No, not worried. Beyond worried. Terrified.


Feedback please.
Part 8 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- I didn't write it, KB did, and no she doesn't own The Pretender or any of it's characters, blah, blah, blah.

by Krystal McDermott

Part 9 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- We don't own The Pretender or any of it's characters. We're just borrowing them.

by Krystal McDermott

>KB's POVr /
>Krystal's POV
Part 10 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- My turn to post this time! A few exciting twists and turns to come in future parts - but this one is pretty good on its own! Please, we'd love to know what you think!

by Krystal McDermott

>Krystal's POVKB's POV
Part 11 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- Oh, and for the people who were really upset (you know who you were!) -I could say sorry but you'd probably die of shock!

by Krystal McDermott

Krystal's POV

I think I'm gonna cry. How could I have let this happen? My poor little shipper heart has been shattered. I was OK with it when it was just a crush, when Jarod hadn't done anything about it. Everybody has crushes on different people at one time or another, they last for a few days maybe a couple of weeks, they're harmless, but now...Well he just kissed her for crying out loud! Ahhh! It's not fair! I stamp my foot on the ground and fold my arms. I know it's the sort of thing you expect a two-year-old to do, but who cares, this is a time of crisis I can throw a tantrum if I want! Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker eye me strangely. Hmmm I wonder if Miss Parker got her 9mm back yet. No Krystal, that is a little extreme.

"D...did...he...Jarod just kiss her?" Broots says shocked. Although from the grin on his face I can tell his completely happy about it. Why wouldn't he be with Jarod out of the way he may just have a chance with Miss Parker? Yeah right.

"Oh, way to state the obvious Brootsie! Lose any more hair trying work that one out." I snap at him. Miss Parker turns away from the keyhole to look at me. I can tell she's slightly shocked by my outburst and Broots looks a little hurt.

"I'm sorry," I mutter. "I'm not mad at you at all Broots. I'm mad at *Jarod*. How could he?" Why is it he can fall for a woman within a couple of days, but can't see he's been in love with a lady he's know since he was a child! Some genius! Oh I think I'm going to be sick. You know what's even worse. I like KB. She's a nice person, but...Ahhhhhh! He still belongs with Miss Parker and nothing is ever going to change that. Nothing! I don't care if I have to handcuff them together and leave them on a deserted island. I will get them to admit that they love each other! I overhear Jarod saying something about being in love with KB. Grrr. I stamp my foot on the ground again and storm off to my room, slamming the door shut behind me. Stupid Jarod. Stupid, stupid Jarod. I plonk myself down on the bed and stare out the window. Humph. I take out a pen and paper and begin to write. Stupid Jarod.

After about an hour or so there's a gentle knock on the door. "Come in Sydney" I call out wearily.

"How did you guess?" he says warmly. Why does he have to be so nice? How is anyone supposed to stay in a bad mood?

"Well it's 5pm so Broots no doubt will be in the lounge room watching the Crocodile Man special on TV. Miss Parker may be smart but she hasn't quite grasped the concept of knocking yet and Jarod is...well I'm guessing you know that story because why else would you be here?" I try to sound annoyed but I can't keep up the act and I smile warmly at Sydney.

"Yes I heard about Jarod and Katherine. I know you wanted Miss Parker and Jarod to be together, but it's too soon Krystal. Miss Parker has to figure out her own life before she can commit to a life with somebody else. Also Jarod hasn't had a lot of love in his life. Katherine is good for him. You understand don't you?" I nod my head in agreement. I suppose he was right. Anyway for all I know Jarod could still turn out to be Miss Parker's brother. Ewww. The Centre does some sick things but incest. Surely they draw the line somewhere. Yeah Krystal and pigs fly.

With that said Sydney gets up to leave. I feel much better now. He has a way of putting things in to perspective.

"Oh, hang on Sydney. Where's Miss Parker?"

"She wasn't feeling well and decided to lay down for a while and take a..."

"Yes, well how could I not feel sick after seeing that disgusting display of emotion between Jarod and Katherine?" Miss Parker states as she barges in. Like I said, she's smart but the skill of knocking still alludes her. Sydney excuses himself and leaves the room.

"Yes Miss Parker? Come to chat about what happened earlier I guess?"

"No. Not exactly. Broots is watching some lunatic on TV, Sydney just left and Jarod's *busy* with Katherine" she states, although her tone was a little bitter towards the end there.

"Is that jealousy I hear in your voice?"

"Don't even..." she warns

"OK, OK, don't go there, I get the picture. Well there must have been some reason you came to visit," I say trying to change the subject. She looks a little tense. I know, I know she always looks tense, but worse than usual so I don't want to push it.

"I told you before, I was bored," she states casually.

"Oh you're bored, so you decided to pay me a visit because you had nothing better to do. Well don't I feel privileged." I say with mock excitement. She glares at me, but I can see the hint of a smile forming at the corners of her mouth.

"You know what I meant. So what are you writing?" She asks and to my surprise she sounds genuinely interested. There's a first, she must really be bored.

"Just a story about a woman who's been tortured all her life. Everyone she's ever trusted has hurt her in someway or another. So now she hurts others before they hurt her. Only problem is she can't tell who are her enemies and who are her friends and she can't admit when she's in love. Tragic really." I sigh and I have to bite my lip to stop from smiling.

"Tortured, was I?" she asks coldly.

"Who ever said I was talking about you?" I say innocently. She glares at me slightly, but still comes and sits down beside me so as she can read what I've written so far.

"This isn't going to be a shipper story is it?"

"Are you kidding? With you, Jarod, Katherine and Broots here? And after what just happened? I may be crazy but I don't have a death wish!" Uh oh did I just say Broots? She doesn't know about Broots, does she? Oh, I hope she didn't notice.

"That's a shame really," she sighs "After all, I know all the inside information on Jarod and I. I could have helped out, given you something to go with." Phew she didn't notice. Hang on, did she just say what I think she said? It's a shame? But...Oh my God! The shipper in me takes over again. I'm probably over reacting but who cares. She wanted me to write a shipper story!!!

"Krystal!" she snaps her fingers in front of my face, bringing me back to reality. "I changed a couple of sentences, just to make it sound more like me." She starts to venture towards the door, but just as she's leaving she calls out "Oh by the way, Broots doesn't like to be called Brootsie. He prefers Puff Daddy." As the door closes I hear her burst out laughing. I can't help it and I crack up too, almost falling off the edge of the bed. So she did know about Broots.

Part 12 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- Oh, and for the people who were really upset (you know who you were!) -I could say sorry but you'd probably die of shock!

by Krystal McDermott

>KB's POVKrystal's POV<

"Lyle. Is. My. What!?" I yell, totally and utterly shocked.

"He's your father." KB states again, cautiously. She glances worriedly at Jarod, who glances from her to Sydney, who stares at the floor trying to avoid eye contact with anyone, especially me. I take a deep breathe and then sit there in silence, trying to process this shocking information, I've just been hit with. I stare at each and everyone of them for a while. Lyle can't be my father, fair enough I have the dark hair and the blue eyes, but I sure as hell don't have psychopathic tendencies. Although I do love Chinese food, but eww I can't believe I just thought of that, gross. No he can't be my father, my mum surely would have told me by now and Miss Parker said they had footage of him at the a train station in Brisbane and she's certain to have noticed if it was Lyle or not. Oh these guys are unbelievable. They're just trying to get back at me for my tantrum over KB and Jarod's... 'thing'. This was a cruel joke though.

"OK, good one, you got me." I confess, shaking my head.

"Krystal, what are you talking about?" Jarod asked, slightly confused. Yeah, good act wonder-boy, but I don't buy it. I've seen one too many episodes of The Pretender to fall for that innocent approach.

"This whole Lyle is your father joke. You had me worried there for a sec, but don't you think that was a little harsh?"

"It's not a joke Krystal. Lyle *is* your father." KB states in all seriousness. Damn she's good at this.

"No he is not." I argue

"Yes, yes he is."

I sit there again and stare at them all. Sydney is looking extremely concerned, Jarod is giving me the same look he gives Miss Parker when he's just dropped another bombshell on her, and KB looks as though she's preparing for me to explode at any moment.

"You're not kidding are you?" I ask cautiously. All three of them shake their heads in unison. "What the hell do you mean he's my father?!" I yell at the top of my lungs, jumping off the bed to stand in front of them all. Jarod opens he's mouth to say something but I continue before any sound can escape he's mouth. "You are trying to tell me, that Lyle....Lyle the psychopathic, serial killer, mass murderer, man eating, freak! Is my father? I don't think so! Cannibalism isn't my style. What are you trying to do to me?! Kill me! There is no way he could me by father, fair enough I like a good Chinese dish, but I don't even like meat, let alone.........ewww. No this has to be some sort of mistake. You guys are either playing the worst practical joke in the history of the world or there's been a mix up some where along the line and you are all totally, completely, beyond all doubt, absolutely wrong! And if I were you, I'd be praying it was the second one." I stand there, glaring at them, daring them to speak. Eventually Sydney pipes up.

"Krystal, I know it's a rather large shock, but don't you think you are over reacting slightly?"

If looks could kill, he would of died a slow and painful death right there and then. I begin to pace around the room. Count to ten Krystal and calm down. One, two, three, four and bugger this!

"Over reacting? Over reacting? You think that I am over reacting? In the last week, you, Jarod, Broots and Miss Parker have turned my life completely upside down! I went from thinking you guys were just characters on a great TV show, to being totally real and the 'actors' clones of some sick little experiment. You kidnapped me, told me my father, who I thought had been dead for the past 14 years was alive and well and worked for the Centre. Then I am chased by the psycho-thumbless one through a shopping mall, we come here and my whole shipper plan is *ruined* and now you tell me that the man who just a few days ago tried to kill me is my father! Oh and wait I almost missed my favourite part, then you say I'm over reacting! Ahh!"

Not one of them dares to speak or move. Good, if I'm not happy then they can't be either. I know that's selfish and I know it's not their fault that my father is......well it's.......Oh I can't even bring myself to think it. Well I know 'this' isn't their fault, but I have to take my anger out on someone don't I? Yes I do, and now I'm talking to myself, perhaps I am crazy. Well I suppose to look on the bright side at least I have an excuse now. Oh I can't believe I just found a bright side to this. I think I'm going to throw up.

"Krystal, look on the bright side." KB says warily. Look on the bright side? I wasn't talking out loud before was I?

"If Lyle is your father, that makes Miss Parker your aunt."

"What are you tal........Ohhhhh, but that.....well it.....It doesn't make up for the fact that my father is a homicidal maniac" But it sure as hell helps. No, it doesn't help, it's still gross and eww I just realised. Yuck, my mum.....she.....she was.....her and.......her and Lyle. Oh there's fifty years of therapy. If I wasn't crazy before, I sure as hell am now. I take another deep breathe and try to calm down, besides all this yelling is really starting to hurt my throat.

"OK I'm calm. Who else knows about this?"

"Besides you and the three of us, Broots is the only other person who knows." Sydney replies, eyeing me cautiously.

"Don't worrying Syd, I'm done with the ranting and raving." For now at least. He looks slightly relieved, but still keeps his distance from me.

"So other than Broots, we are the only ones who know. You haven't told Miss Parker yet?"

They glance at each other nervously.

"No, not yet" KB answers, moving closer to Jarod. "We thought we'd wait, just for awhile, until the time is right"

"You mean until all of us are at least 100 miles away from her?"


"Good plan. So any other news you want to share with me? You've already taken sixty years off my life, care to take another and kill me completely?"


Feedback please.
Part 13 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- Oh, and for the people who were really upset (you know who you were!) -I could say sorry but you'd probably die of shock!

by Krystal McDermott


After we told her and she exploded at us, Sydney and Jarod disappeared on me. Typical men. Totally useless. Well, maybe not *totally*, but near enough. Anyway, they both slipped away while Krystal was staring out of the window and I sat and watched. I wasn't silly enough to believe that statement of hers, saying that she was calm. She was anything but, not that I was surprised. We sat there for about ten minutes in silence, before she looked at me. "You weren't kidding, right?"

"I'm sorry. This wasn't some sick joke or revenge. This is real."

"How?" It was a whisper.

"For that, you'll have to ask your mother."

She stood up and started to pace again. Not that I blamed her. "When are we going to find them? First Jarod says that he'll take me to them, then Miss Parker catches us, then Lyle chases us, and we end up here. And I still don't have any idea where they are. Do you?"

"I'm afraid not. I didn't ask and Jarod didn't offer the information. I would trust, though, that they aren't in Brisbane anymore or Jarod wouldn't be here. He'd be off rescuing them, despite the fact that Lyle's there. He's probably got some friend of his keeping an eye on them, maybe moving them around to keep them safe."

I'd thought about this for a while and that was the best conclusion I'd come up with. I'd talked myself into believing it, too, and I could tell that Krystal had accepted it to a certain extent. That must mean that either I'm really persuasive or else she's grasping at straws. Suddenly she drops, face first, onto the pile of pillows in front of her and started to sob, quietly at first and then a little louder. I move over and stroke her hair gently, but without saying anything. After a few seconds, the door opens slightly and Sydney sticks his head around it. I nod and he comes in. We'd organised this, suspecting what would happen. Of course, having Jarod simming it before we did it helped a lot. Not that he was much calmer than Krystal - it was eerie.

Anyway, Sydney comes in and I disappear. He's the trained psychiatrist, after all, and I don't want him to think that I'm treading on his toes. It's bad enough with Miss Parker mad at me. And besides, I need Sydney's help to complete my plan - preferably without him hating me at the same time!

My plan *is* developing - slowly. Every minute that I spend working on it reduces the confidence I have in it and makes the variables seem bigger. Don't you just love self-confidence? Of course, I have started a few parts of it, and they are falling together with remarkable ease, but it doesn't remove the nagging doubts. I rub my temples to remove the stress that's boiling up in there and bring up the files I need. All eight of them. This computer's so old that if I tried to put all of the info into one file, it would seize up and sulk. It does that a lot, even to the extent of refusing to print tables. Don't you just *love* technology? Sorry, I'm being really sarcastic but it's not totally intentional. Anyway, I intertwine my fingers and link them behind my head, lean back in my chair and read over the information that I've got. It's in German, because I know that the only other person in this house who can read it is Sydney, not that I'd *ever* suspect any of the others of trying to read my computer files. Much.

Anyway, a knock on the door (okay, who's surprised? If you were, then you haven't been paying attention!) and I turn around to see Miss Parker standing in the doorway. A closer look reveals the black circles under her eyes and the fact that her hands are trembling slightly. Good, it's working. No, don't ask what. It will all be revealed in good time. She comes in and sits down gingerly on the bed, as though it's going to shoot out from under her.

"Nice bath?"

"Not bad."

Ooh, she's grumpy too. Now is that what I hope it is, or is it normal? Hard to tell.

"What was all the..." she stops and yawns so widely that I worry she might dislocate her jaw. "...all the noise?"

"A bit of fun. Oh, and Krystal going off the deep end."

"Did she see you two kissing again or something?"

"I thought we called a truce on that topic."

"Okay, sorry."

Sorry? She's apologising? Wow, it really is working!

"Are you okay, Miss Parker? You don't look too good."

"I'm fine!" Snappish. As if that's unusual.

"Really? You look terrible!"

"Well...I haven't been sleeping too well. I'm probably just tired."

"Hmm, could be a lack of exercise. Maybe you should come to the gym with me in the morning."

"What time are you going?"

"Seven thirty. I have a class at nine."

She yawns again before nodding. "Okay, sure. Anything to wake me up."

"I'll call you, if you like. Or you can set the alarm."

"Call me. The alarm might wake everyone else up."

"Okay. Oh, and Jarod isn't coming."

"Why no..." she yawns again. "Oh, never mind." She gets up, wavering slightly, before walking to the door. "I'm going out for a walk ... try and clear my head."

"See you when you get back."

"Uh huh." She yawns again, nodding to emphasise her response. Yes, it's definitely working.

I turn back to the computer. Okay, point one can go. It's definitely working well. Point two and one of the hardest. I actually have to tell everyone my plan. This is probably a good time, as Miss Parker's walks tend to last upwards of an hour. And this time it could easily be more.

"Broots?" He looks up from his computer as I stick my head around the door.


He's not really seeing me, I can tell. Probably still caught up in the cyber-chat he's having.

"Hello? Earth to Broots, can you hear me?"

He reddens slightly. "Sorry. What's up?"

"Can you see how Krystal and Sydney and doing? Oh, and call Jarod for me. I think we need to start planning."

"Can do."

I pull my head back into the room and sit back down on the chair in front of my desk. It's a cliché but it's make or break time. If they don't like this plan, I'm sunk. I can't really think of another one that will work as well as this one - and this has taken long enough in research hours to make sure that everything fits.

Ten minutes. That's how long it took before everyone decided to rock up. Ever noticed how nervous you can get in ten minutes? Try it some time. It's great for skyrocketing stress levels! Sorry, there's that sarcasm again. Anyway, *eventually* they decide to make an appearance and scatter themselves around the room. Krystal still looks a little red around the eyes but I'll have to ignore it. This is important.

"Have you come up with anything?"

I take a deep breath, not that it usually helps. "Okay, can you please leave all comments until I've finished and just let me explain."

"That means you think we won't like it." It's Jarod, being shrewd. He knows me far too well.

"Which is why I only want to know at the end."

The nodding starts and, as always, takes a few seconds to stop while I try not to giggle. I don't know why silent nodding makes me want to laugh, but it does.

"Okay, I hope you'll all agree with me when I say that Jarod and I are probably the ones most in danger at this point."

Sydney is about to agree when Krystal speaks up. "I get Jarod but why you?"

"How long do people usually survive when they don't do what Lyle asks? And he told me to call him the moment I saw any of you."

"Well, I suppose..."

"Good. So, here's my plan..."

Okay, so they're skeptical. Hell, *I'm skeptical* but I can't come up with a better idea. All it needs is the Hall of Mirrors at Luna Park in Sydney, (the town, not the person) a few 'duplicates' and some good luck! What do I mean? Okay, my idea is for Jarod and I to fly to the US and convince the actors to come back Down Under to join up with the real people. Then we lure Lyle to the Hall of Mirrors at Luna Park (I know there's one in Melbourne but the one in Sydney is bigger and has other necessities in it) and confuse the heck out of him before drugging him with his own invention (remember that?) and reuniting him with his family so that they can all live happily ever after. Or something.

"But what about me? Aren't I in danger as well?"

"I thought about that, Krystal. But he is your father, and as far as I can judge, he's got a strong sense of loyalty."

"Always assuming he knew who I was..."

"And when he sees you with your mother, don't you think he's going to?"

"Hmm, maybe."

"Besides," I'm warming up to the topic and this is the real clincher.

"Do you really want to be stuck on a plane with Jarod and I, all the way to LA, and back?"

I don't think she'll need a lot of time to consider that one. But I can tell that she's skeptical. Heck, I am if it comes to that but do you have a better plan?

"There's one problem you haven't mentioned."

"Which is?"

"Miss Parker."

"Ah, yes, well..." I was coming to that, honestly. But none of them are going to like my idea and I was kind of hoping they'd forget, and...

"Katherine, what are you planning?"

"It's not what I'm planning as much as what I'm doing now." I stare at my fingers until Broots becomes impatient.

"Well, what is it?"

"I slipped into her room a couple of weeks ago and started monitoring her sleep patterns. Then, a few days ago, I started to disturb them."

"Sleep deprivation."


"Gee, I thought it made people grumpy and difficult to get on with. I guess we'll never know if it's working or not." I'll leave you to guess who said that - and it wasn't me!

"Oh, it's working, I can assure you. It's very effective."

"And how does that help? Miss Parker, in case you've forgotten, is an insomniac..."

"...who relies on pills to get her to sleep, I know. But, when they're sugar pills, they don't do much good."

"And how will an exhausted Miss Parker help us?"

"Well, the way she's going, we can probably, using the right tools, get her so deeply asleep that she doesn't even notice us leaving. And if we can keep her asleep..."

"...she won't have to know anything until we get back." I love a man who can follow my train of thought.

"Isn't that a little unkind?"

"Not really. There were other things I'd thought of, but they're all nastier than this one. Would you like me to list them?" I turn to the computer as I answer Broots' question.

"Uh, no. Not considering some of the things you came up with in your fics."

"I didn't think so."

"And how do we keep her asleep, while you're gone?"



"Yes. What's wrong with that?"

"Well, it's..."

"It's an effective sleep-causing substance."

"And you think she'll just...take it?"

"I know she's not that gullible. But Mogadon just happens to dissolve in water and, if it was beside the bed in a glass..."

"How would you know she'd drink it?"

"I'll explain. First of all, Miss Parker is pretty well exhausted now. It won't take much to push her into that deep sleep that we want anyway. But there are a few things we can use to help a bit."

"Like chloroform, I suppose?"

"I thought of that. It's too obvious. This is more subtle. First, tomorrow night, we run her a nice hot bath. To that bath we add a mixture of essential oils which promote sleep. Secondly, I've been promising her a foot massage since she saw me giving Jarod one, a couple of days ago. So I use another mixture of essential oils, including Roman Chamomile and Lavender. Also, I slip into her pillow a tissue that contains a few drops of another mixture made up of Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage and Bergamot. Lastly, I have a few oil burners, of which I have about half a dozen, around her room burning different oils that do the same thing. I'd say that she'd be asleep in about two minutes, especially when combined with the lack of sleep she's been having."

"And how do you know she won't be allergic to any of them?"

"I've been testing it since you visited on that midnight errand, to share your discovery. Remember?"


I grin at Jarod, who said that just to rile me. "I bet you do. So anyway, I used this once on someone else and they woke up incredibly thirsty, because of the scents in the room. Also, they weren't awake enough to get up but went back to sleep again. That gives the Mogadon time to work. Keep her dosed up on it for about three days, by which time we should be back. If we ever come back," I can't help muttering under my breath. Hopefully no-one else heard. Now that everything's explained, I sit back and look at them. This is what it all depends on -their reaction. I just hope they don't think I'm *too* crazy.

>Krystal's POV
Part 14 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- Oh, and for the people who were really upset (you know who you were!) -I could say sorry but you'd probably die of shock!

by Krystal McDermott

>Krystal's POV<

How do I get myself into these situations? I'll tell you how. I'm stupid- that's how. There's no other explanation for it. Only an idiot would volunteer to help KB put a sleep deprived, stressed out more than usual Miss Parker to bed. It makes perfect sense to volunteer...if you're mentally challenged, which is what I obviously am. Well, either that or suicidal, which after finding out Lyle's my father, doesn't seem like such a bad idea. So that's how I got where I am now, arranging scented candles throughout Miss Parker's room, because I'm a few cookies short of a jar. Actually they do smell kind of pretty, and are quite relaxing, but that's beside the point.

"Miss Parker, you look awful, why don't you lie down for a few hours?" I hear KB sooth as she leads Miss Parker towards the bedroom.

"I don't," are the only words that manage to escape before she lets out a wide yawn, "need to lie down, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself" she protests groggily.

"What about a nice, relaxing bath? We'll put on some soft music, candles, just to take your mind off things." I suggest as I appear from the bedroom.

"I had a bath earlier."

"We could even throw in a glass of wine or two? I'm certain we have some lying around somewhere."

I smile at KB. Great idea, offer her alcohol. Miss Parker seems to think so too, and agrees that perhaps a bath isn't such a bad idea, it might help her wake up. Well I certainly hope not, because that'll ruin our entire plan.

I run the bath, while KB goes to put some soft, relaxing music on. If this doesn't work, I'm just going to accidentally crush up some sleeping pills and slip them into her food. Totally by accident of course. I almost fall in the bath as KB comes in to light the candles. I hate it when people sneak up on me. Of course, KB thinks it's hilarious and bursts out laughing. "Ahhh! How is anybody supposed to relax when you two keep making so much damn noise?" Miss Parker growls as she enters the bathroom dressed in a robe.

"Out!" she orders, glaring at the pair of us. KB just glares back her, while I stifle a laugh. Gee you try to do something nice for someone and all they can do is complain. Fair enough, we're only being nice so we can drug her and deceive her and go behind her back, but still she doesn't know that, and the fact remains we are being nice, despite our ulterior motives. The least she could do was be civil.

Jarod and KB begin to pack for their trip to the US while Sydney, Broots and I try to make Miss Parker's room as dark and as relaxing as possible. The last thing in place is a glass of water on the bedside table, which, again is a nice, considerate thing to do. Who cares that it's going to be used to drug her later? After all, didn't someone once say, it's the thought that counts?

After an hour and a half Miss Parker emerges from the bathroom, the water probably well and truly cold by now.

"Feeling better?" I ask. My only response is a look that probably would have killed me, if she had only had her gun. Thank God Jarod hid that well. "Why don't you go take a lie down?" I persist. So I have a death wish, is that really such a bad thing? I receive another glare. Actually that's probably a good sign, at least she's too tired to think of a sarcastic comment. Perhaps we're getting somewhere. Well, at least we were until she spotted the suitcase in KB's room.

"What's the bag for?"

"Bag? What bag?" Yeah that was a great cover up Krystal, she'll never see through that one. Dumb ass. Why don't you just tell her the whole plan now and be done with it?

"That bag," she says icily, pointing inside the room.

"Oh that one, well..." think fast, think fast, think fast, think fast.

"Katherine had to keep coming in my room to get some things so she decided to pack them in a suit case and bring them in here." Well that was pathetic, but she seems to have bought it. Guess I'm not the only stupid one around here.

She wanders off to her room and it's not long before I here her yelling out to me.

"What the hell have you done to my room?!"

I softly push open the door. "We all noticed how hard you've been working lately and we didn't want you to think that all your efforts had gone unnoticed, plus you've been under a lot of stress lately, so we decided to do something nice for you, to help you relax. I hope you don't mind. I put a lot of thought into it and I'd be really disappointed if you didn't like it." The guilt trip, one of my favourite forms of convincing people to do what you want them to do. She buys that one too, ha ha ha. See I always knew she had a heart. She still shoots me an icy look, but she appears to appreciate my "thoughtfulness".

For three hours, three hours I sit around waiting, twiddling my thumbs, trying to find something decent on TV, just waiting for her to finally fall asleep. Surely she has to be asleep by now, she hadn't slept in days, and she can't possibly still be awake.

I softly tap on the door. Noooo answer. Gently I push it open and I have to suppress the screams of celebration that threaten to escape. She's asleep, out cold, off with the fairies, travelling through la la land, however you want to put it, she is finally out to the world. Thank God. Now all we have to do is keep her out to it for a few days until Jarod and KB get back and then we'll be fine, unless of course she kills us afterwards, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, maybe, unless she knocks the bridge out and then we're all done for. This plan looked a heck of a lot better, yesterday.

>KB's POV<

Of course, as we were about to set everything up to get Miss Parker, the guys disappeared. I suppose that that shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. I could try and be pathetic by admitting that Jarod had more reason to do so because he had to pack, but I can't be bothered. He and Sydney and Broots were being their usual cowardly selves. Yup, that sounds better! Well, we snuck out of the house about half an hour after Krystal had been nice and soothing and got Miss Parker into bed. They drove us to the airport while, I imagine, Krystal sat and watched TV while twiddling her thumbs. We're about to go into the flight lounge when Jarod's phone rings.

"Hello?...You what?...Great job, Krystal...Look, I know you're worried about the plan but...okay....okay, I won't tell her that you have doubts...No, of course she isn't sitting next to me..." I watch as he winks at me and I can't help grinning back. So Krystal's nervous about my plan. What else is new?

"Okay...Look, don't worry. Sydney and Broots will be back soon...No, that's fine...All right, see you in a few days. Bye." He turns to me.

"She's worried about the plan."

"Gee, what a surprise. I would never have guessed." Okay, so maybe even I was a little more nervous about this plan than I was letting on. At least, judging by my sarcasm, I am.

As Jarod grins at me again (I love those dimples!) our flight is called and Jarod and I get up from the table where we were having coffee. Sydney, who's been very protective of Jarod all day, gives him one last hug (aw!) as Broots shakes my hand.

"Good luck, you two. Hopefully we'll see you soon." Hopefully?! Good ol' Syd doesn't have much faith in our returning, methinks! Oh well...Jarod tucks his hand into mine, slings the backpack containing the numerous books that I need on the flight (I can't sleep on planes, okay?) onto his back and we walk through the sliding doors. We move quickly through the various checks and onto the plane. First class, of course. It could be my only chance to fly this way and, when the Centre's paying, why wouldn't we?

"Okay?" Jarod's looking at me wearing a worried expression. Probably because I haven't said anything for about two hours and that, for me, is only normal when I'm writing a story.

"Fine. Just thinking."

"Don't hurt yourself." I give him a punch in the arm. "Or me. You need me, remember?"

I raise one eyebrow in the way that Miss Parker taught me when we had some spare time and were actually getting on. "I need you? Excuse me while I snicker."

He grins again. "Why are you in such a bad mood?"

"Why are you in such a good one? Remember where we're going - and what's there?"

He shifts in the seat a little uncomfortably and I stretch out one hand and put it on his. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have mentioned it."

"It's a little late now."

"I know, I know." I lean over and kiss him gently. "Does that help?"

"A bit." He tries to hide a smile but I can always tell when I've got through to him.

"So what were you thinking about?"



I can't help grinning. "Not in the way you're so fondly imagining. Actually I was wondering - how old are you, exactly?" I watch as a furrow appears in his brow and I know that he's never asked himself that question, presumably because he's too scared of the answer.

"Physically, forty-one."

"And biologically?" That's got him. I've been thinking about this for a few days and I got Broots to do some work on it last night.

"Let's see." He starts to do the sums in his head that I did a few days ago. "The Centre started their work into cloning in 1971, got innocent women pregnant for the first time in 1973 - that would mean that I was created in 1975 and born in 1976."

"Which makes you twenty-three or twenty-four."

"Er...yes." He's obviously just realised the significance of that, because I know that there was no need for the hesitation.


He eyes me again as I settle into my seat and close my eyes.

"Katherine, what are you up to? I mean, what's the point of all these questions?"

"Oh, nothing really." Even without opening my eyes, I can still imagine the look on his face and I can't help grinning. He puts one hand on either shoulder and shakes me until I open my eyes.

"Why," he talks as though I've got the mind of a five-year old "are you suddenly so interested in all this? I mean, no matter how old I really am, I'm still going to age at twice the rate that you do." I reach into the pocket of my jacket and pull out a piece of paper.

"Maybe, maybe not. I got Broots to hunt into the records of the Centre for me and I found this. It's the formula you created in the first place. I have every confidence that you could create something which would reverse the treatment." He snatches the page out of my hand and stares at it in excitement.

"I've been trying to remember this for years."

"Raines used a drug that you made a few years before that to erase it from your mind. In fact, he planned that the drug would get rid of any memory you had of even making it yourself, but obviously it didn't work properly."

"And this was just in the archive?" He waves the page at me.

"Not exactly. Raines has a backlog of every experiment he ever ran. He is a scientist, after all, and if any of the projects had ever become applicable in the long term, he wanted to be able to remember what he did. Naturally, this was among them."

"And - the memory drug?"

I hand him another page. "That's it, there."

He scans the page with his eyes and I can already see his mind working on the problem. I guess neither of us is going to get much sleep. I sigh and pull out a book. It's going to be a very long flight.


As usual, feedback is appreciated and loved!
Part 15 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- Oh, and for the people who were really upset (you know who you were!) -I could say sorry but you'd probably die of shock!

by Krystal McDermott

>KB's POV<

Well, contrary to what I thought, I actually do manage to get a decent amount of sleep but whether this is due to the fact that the seats are more comfortable or that my travelling companion hasn't said a word since I handed over the precious paper with *that* formula on it is hard to say. What wakes me up is a very hard finger poking itself into my back and I roll over and glare at Jarod.

"Was that necessary?"

He grinned. "That depends. If you wanted to stay asleep while we landed so that then the plane can take you off to some other destination, no. If you wanted to get off here so that we can complete this asinine plan of yours, yes."

"Asinine?" I push my seat into the upright position and glare at Jarod.

"If you thought it was so asinine, why didn't you come up with your own then, genius?"

"I couldn't," he admits with enough frankness to make me feel slightly less angry. Slightly, I said. "Which is why we're both here, flying over the Pacific Ocean to try and explain..."

I put one hand over his mouth to shut him up. "All right. No need to tell everybody on board what we're planning." I glare at him again and, taking my hand off his mouth, turn my back on him (as much as a person can while wearing a seat belt) and pull out a book.

We land, half an hour late, after spending most of that time being bounced around as we descend through a 'pocket' of turbulence. Jarod shakes his head as we walk through the terminal. "I could have done that much better."

"Why didn't you? You know, perform your patent 'I'm a fully not-trained pilot and I can do anything better than you, nerny nerny ner ner' routine. It usually works a treat." Me, bitter?

He eyes me thoughtfully. "You're still annoyed about me waking you, aren't you?"

"Well, considering there was still almost an hour before we landed..." Hmm, that should be pointed enough.

"Look, I'm sorry. I..."

"I don't want to hear it. Let's just do what we came here for and then get on the first plane back home."

He slips a hand into mine and squeezes it gently. "You aren't the only one who's nervous about this, you know."

I rest my head on his arm as we walk. "I know."

I'm almost asleep when Jarod bursts into the hotel room, carrying a large bag of bottles and laboratory equipment. "Got it all." There's a grin on his face a mile wide and you'd think he'd never heard of jet lag. Actually, he probably hasn't.

"Good. So you can get that darned memory drug corrected and make our lives a lot easier." I lie back on the pillow and close my eyes but I can feel him walk over and stand next to the bed for a minute. I feel the softest touch of his fingers on my lips before he goes over to the table in the room and starts setting up the equipment. When I wake up, about two hours later, he's holding a test tube and examining the contents in the room's overhead light.


"I don't know."

"Of course you don't know. And you won't know until you try it."

He looks at me and I can see the next question in his eyes. Because I'm nasty, tired and grumpy, I answer it before he asks it.

"And don't try it on yourself. If it doesn't work, it might cause more harm than good."

He grins at me. "I love it when you read my mind."

"It isn't hard." I grin back and then get up off the bed and open my case. "Now that it's done, what say we get a move on? There's things to do, places to go and people to see." He's about to ask another question when I shake my head. "Later. I'll explain it later."

We sneak into the filming lot and Jarod slips into an office and finds out where Michael's trailer is. If the truth be known, this is the part I like least. Somehow it seems dishonest to pretend to be someone else and I know that in one way he isn't but it still isn't helping me in the slightest because I've never really liked deception but now I'm in well over my head and I've been lying to my parents for some time now and if I had any sense I would have stayed back in Australia with the Three Stooges and Krystal and now I think I'm beginning to rant and rave. I shake my head slightly to clear it but Jarod is too involved in his pretend (which isn't really one but you know what I mean) to pay attention and then we're inside the trailer. Fortunately no-one else is there and Michael (the actor, remember? The one who is going to freak me out by looking exactly like Jarod for obvious reasons) is obviously off filming so we can relax a bit. We just get the chance to plan a bit when I hear a voice outside that is identical to the one I just heard inside and I know what's happening. Or at least what's about to happen. I'm sitting in a chair facing the door when it opens. The door, not the chair.

"What the...Who are...?" Fortunately he's already shut the door and the security that are no doubt milling around don't hear him. In case he decides to bolt, Jarod comes up behind and blocks his way out but Michael hasn't noticed him yet. He's too busy staring at me. I smile in what I hope is a reassuring way.

"I do apologise for us barging in on you like this but it's very important that we talk to you."

"We?" I wave towards the door and Michael looks around, his eyes widening in shock as he sees a man who differs from him only in clothes.

"What on earth is - who are you?"

Jarod meets his eye. "I'm you."


"You don't remember?" I intercede quickly, not wanting to see them argue.

"Remember what? Could you tell me what's going on, please, before I call security?" He's beginning to get angry and I nod at Jarod. Luckily for us, Michael's been filming in a very familiar-looking black t-shirt and not a leather jacket. He looks around in time to see Jarod step up to him and stab the small needle into his arm. I watch as Jarod catches the suddenly-limp figure and I lock the door while Jarod puts him on the couch.

"What about the others?" He glances up and grins at me with a-somewhat-oh-what-the-heck-*very*-wild-and-totally-*not*-reassuring-in-any-way-whatsoever air. It makes me glad that I've never seen him in action before now.

"One at a time. Be patient." Showing my own impatience, I glance at my watch. "How long is that stuff of yours going to last? And will it work?" Even as I speak, though, Michael's eyelids are fluttering and he soon opens them and looks at us. I can tell that Jarod is holding his breath and he isn't the only one...

Michael opens his eyes, glances at Jarod, and a look of near-sadness comes into his eyes. "It worked, didn't it? That experiment?" Jarod nods. "I'm afraid so."

Michael glances at me and then back at Jarod. Odd that he's more comfortable talking to his own clone than to me when he wasn't before.

"And her?"

"She's helping us."

"What with?" Michael sits up and rubs his arm where the needle went in.

"Couldn't you have used something less painful, by the way?"

"Sorry." Jarod shakes his head. "There wasn't another option that I could come up with in a split second." He grins and Michael grins back. If they weren't clones, they'd certainly have to be identical twins. It's eerie. Okay, stupid statement. I'm jet-lagged, remember?

"Can we get the others in here?"

"Which others?"

"Patrick, Jon and Andrea." Okay, so I don't like not being part of the action.

Jarod looks up at me. "Not L...Jamie?"

"If that drug is going to have the same effect on Jamie that it had on Michael, I'd rather be excused. Two psychopathic killers are at least one more than I can cope with and two more than I like in the world." Michael gets up off the sofa he was sitting on and grabs a glass that he fills from a water bottle on the bench. He takes a big gulp before speaking again. "Is someone going to explain what's going on or do I have to guess?"

So Jarod tells him.

Andrea steps through the door but doesn't even get a chance to open her mouth before Jarod uses his second dose while Michael closes the door. But she's not quite as quick off the mark as Michael was.

"Okay, what's going on?" She glances up at the two men who are watching her and her eyes look as though they're about to fall out of her head. "Who the - ?"

"Andrea, calm down." Although it's hard to tell, I'm assuming that it's Michael who's talking. I doubt Jarod would be that familiar. He rapidly, and unhappily, explains to her about the cloning process and I can tell she's somewhat skeptical. Still, we don't have time to explain everything. But she gets the drift pretty quickly, which doesn't surprise me that much. I expected it, at least partly.


"What about him?" The look of confusion tells me that this is Michael and makes me wish that Jarod hadn't taken off the jacket before Andrea came in.

"We need him as well as you two."

"Why?" Andrea's sitting up as well and there's a glint in her eye that reminds me strongly of Miss Parker. It's hard not to let my feelings for the person at home in Australia clash with those of the woman sitting there.

"Just - trust me. When we're all together, I'll explain. I promise."

As well as being confused, Patrick showed every sign of being incredibly guilty and, although I don't ask, I get the feeling that he'd overseen either the cloning process or the development of the memory drug. As for Jon - well, you can probably guess how he reacts. Still, we don't spend long in conversation. The five of us go back to Michael's house and tell them the plan.

"It's insane." Gee, and I thought Krystal stayed behind in Australia. No, it's Jon. I should have guessed.

"Insane or not, it's the only plan we've got - unless you can think of another one." Considering Jarod's comment on the plane, he's being very patronising but I'm getting beyond caring.

"If it's all the same to you," my voice is a little sharper than I intend but who cares? "I'd like to find out what's happening at home." Jarod looks somewhat ashamed and pulls out his phone, just as Michael nods towards his. I smile at one and take the phone from the other - guess which? "Thanks anyway, but it might be bugged. It's better to be safe than sorry."


"Yes, Sy - Patrick. Bugged." Darn. This is going to be more confusing than I thought. "Let's see. We landed at eight thirty, local time. That makes it two thirty in the morning. It's now," I look at my watch, "twenty past three which makes it..."

"Twenty past nine tomorrow morning, Melbourne time." One of the geniuses said that but I'm too busy dialing the number to work out which one. Not that it really matters.

"Hello? Sydney? It's Katherine. What's going on?"

>Krystal's POV<

"Was that KB? What did she want? Is everything going according to plan? Are they all OK? Have her and Jarod managed to get Michael, Andrea and Patrick yet? Did they believe them? The Centre hasn't found them yet, have they? No of course they haven't or she wouldn't have been able to call you now would she. So why was she calling you? Unless the Centre has caught Jar........."

"Krystal! Slow down, please." Sydney interrupts my concerned rambling's. Which is probably a good thing because once those little wheels of paranoia in my head start turning it's very hard to stop them.

"Well?" I ask impatiently. Sydney shakes his head smiling, obviously amused. So patience isn't one of my strongest virtues...........big deal.

"Well, since you asked so nicely, Katherine was simply calling to see if we were all fine, or to be more precise to ensure that Miss Parker was still unconscious."

I allow the breath to escape that I didn't even realise I was holding. So that was it, no big deal, no huge dilemmas, just a simple call to check in. Well he could have told me that in the first place rather than let me get so worked up. Oh my God I'm beginning to sound like Miss Parker, that can't be good. I've always been known as the nice one, I can't turn sour now. Perhaps it's just lack of sleep, or lack of pressure, I haven't had Miss P sneaking up on me for the past two days. It's a shame I was getting used to her dramatic entrances and surprise visits. She is a fierce believer in arriving unannounced. I also get the feeling Sydney is missing her theatrics and Jarod's company. He's really like a father to the both of them. Broots on the other hand may as well be on the greatest vacation of his life. Since Miss Parker.........drifted off and Jarod and KB left for the USA he's done nothing but chat excitedly about his life before the Centre, about the Chess club he was a member of in high school, and the vacation he took with Debbie last summer.

After listening to Broots story about the time he had met Gilligan from 'Gilligan's Island' for the hundredth time, I finally managed to drag myself to bed for the first time in two days and fall asleep. It was a metallic click from the end of my bed that woke me. Well to put it more accurately, it made my heart leap right into my throat and almost caused me to fall right off the bed. (I'm a light sleeper).

"Oh I'm sorry. Did I wake you?" Came an all too familiar voice, loaded to the extreme with sarcasm and fake concern.

"Miss Parker" I choked on the words as I silently cursed Jarod for not destroying her gun completely. Great and now I'm in trouble and he's on the other side of the world, it figures. How the heck did she wake up anyway? I thought the glass of 'water' beside her bed was supposed to keep her knocked out for days.

"Thank God, you're awake Miss Parker! We were starting to get concerned, you've been out for days." I lie, trying to sound relieved in order to cover up the slight fear that keeps threatening to cut off my ability to speak all together. Her face softens slightly.

"That's so kind of you Krystal. You and Sydney and Broots. I haven't always been the friendliest person to be around, yet when I was in trouble you were all concerned, how sweet." Ok now I'm confused. She can't have bought that. That was way too easy. Surely she's not that dense, although tonight I wouldn't mind if she were.

"That's OK Miss Parker. We understand that you've been under a lot of pressure. Now why don't you go and lie down some more, Sydney would be extremely worried if he knew that you were up and about already, you've be...."

"Oh cut the crap Krystal. What's going on?" Damn, she's not that stupid, but she only woke up just before I went to bed, Sydney and I made sure she drank all the water ourselves. She fell asleep almost immediately. We even stayed for an hour to make sure that she wasn't going to wake up any time soon. There's no way she could be awake again this soon. Perhaps I'm dreaming. I pinch myself to make sure.


Nope not dreaming.

"Krystal. Talk now and talk fast or you'll be the most recent Parker to drop from the family tree" She threatens and this time I'm almost certain she's sincere.

"What do you want to know?" I ask reluctantly.

"For starters I want to know why you and Sydney have been drugging me and then I want to know what all that talk was about Jarod and Katherine going to America." Excuse me for a moment while I pick my bottom jaw up from the floor! How could she possibly have heard Sydney and I talking? She was asleep! Out cold! We checked! A lot! I even shook her just to make sure (well you can never be too careful)! There is no way she could have possibly hea................

"Oh damn!"

"That's right Krystal, I was faking it." OK, ok don't panic. We talked about this. All five of us discussed the possibility of Miss Parker waking up and realising that something was amiss, only problem is we hadn't discussed a solution. I'm beginning to regret that now. The only outcome that we could come up with was that she was going to kill us all and at the moment, I do believe we weren't far off. Why did she have to come in my room for?! There's Broots', there's Sydney's, why mine?! Plus I still haven't worked out how she woke up in the first place.

"I woke up before you and Sydney came to check on me, I ditched the glass of water you had so kindly supplied and replaced it with a fresh know the rest from there. Now talk!" she yells, rather impatiently. Oh help, surely someone heard her yell. Maybe, possibly, not really.........please.

I hear a muffled noise coming from the hall. Oh thank God! I glance up at Miss P to check to see if she heard it too. Nope, doesn't appear to have. Great, now all I have to do is keep trying to stall her and somehow let who ever is outside know that I'm being held at gun point by one seriously ticked off and suspicious Miss Parker. Yeah that'll be easy. Not! Right here goes. I start to talk rather loudly, trying to attract their attention.

"Ok Miss Parker. I'll tell you everything you want to know. I'll tell you all about the glass of water and why Sydney and I were talking about Jarod and Katherine going to the USA, if you could please put the gun down." Right if they didn't get the basic run down of what's happening from that, I'm doomed.

Miss Parker simply sits there, glaring at me, waiting for me to continue. Well I would continue, but I can't, we've come so far, I can't risk her finding out now.


"Well what?" Come on, what is taking them so long? Surely they've figured out that something is definitely wrong, maybe I put too much faith in them.

"Get your butt into gear Krystal and tell me what the hell is go..........!"She stops in mid sentence and silently falls to the ground. Uh oh, she's not dead is she? I get up from the bed and begin to shake her.

"Miss Parker? Miss Parker?"

"She'll be alright Krystal. She's just asleep" Sydney assures me as he steps into my room holding a tranquilliser. I'm not even going to ask why he has one, or where he got it from. This whole night has just been a little too much to take. We pick up Miss Parker's sleeping form and carry her into her bedroom. Sydney tucks her in tentatively and switches out the light. Oh well at least she won't be sneaking into my room again any time soon. Sydney gives me a mischievous grin, one that Jarod would be proud of.

"I always knew keeping souvenirs of Jarod's different pretends would come in handy one day."


As usual, feedback is appreciated and loved!
Part 16 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- Oh, and for the people who were really upset (you know who you were!) -I could say sorry but you'd probably die of shock!

by Krystal McDermott

>KB's POVKrystal's POV<

They're back! They're back! My God, I never thought I would be so relieved to see any one group of people so much in my entire life! For the past twenty four hours it's just been Broots and I. One can only listen to tales about the trials and tribulations of the computer club and chess club for a short while before being driven to homicide. Quite frankly I'm beginning to doubt whether it truly is chasing Jarod that's giving Miss P so much trouble with her ulcer. After everything that's happened while Jarod and KB have been away, I'm surprised I don't have an ulcer myself. Okay, perhaps that is just a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm the first one to admit, it doesn't take a great deal for me to become paranoid. I'm sure KB will agree with me on that one. It was bad enough when Miss Parker woke up and I only had Sydney and Broots here to help me out. Then Sydney had to go all scientific on me and become curious as to what on earth KB wanted us to give Miss Parker. One whiff and he dropped straight to the floor, leaving Broots to carry him, well rather drag him over to the lounge and I to place the oil burner and whatever that stuff was in Miss P.

"Michael, Andrea, Jon, Patrick, Debbie. This is Krystal and Broots. Sydney and Miss Parker are - resting." KB introduces everyone, wearing a broad grin, although the intros hardly necessary. Debbie immediately rushes over to her father (I think she's about as overwhelmed as I am and the look on Broots' face is priceless), while Katherine leads us all into the kitchen. Everybody is talking excitedly as KB and I prepare drinks. Plenty of coffee is going to be needed tonight, that's for sure.

I sit in silence as Broots (at least I think it's Broots because Debbie is sitting beside him) and I are filled in on all the details of what happened over in the United States. It takes me a while to figure out which one is Michael and which one is Jarod. It's not until Jarod comes behind KB and wraps his arms around her waist that I'm finally clear on who's who. Thank God Sydney and Miss Parker are still asleep or this could be a really long night.

"Krystal...?" Jarod calls from across the table. Suddenly all eyes turn to me. I knew I should have been paying attention to the conversation - now I'm completely lost.


"I said I heard things weren't exactly uneventful while we were gone." I almost choke. Did he just say 'not exactly uneventful'? I'm sorry, I may not be Mr Super hero Jarod, who saves the day with a genius plan and the blink of an eyelid, and who risks his life day after day, and has had more brushes with death than I can count on my fingers and toes, but I'd call being held at gun point by one ticked-off Miss Parker, with only Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to protect me, more than an event. I begin to tell them all about my brush with death.

"And then she aimed her gun at me and threatened me," I finish, totally out of breath. Might have helped if I'd inhaled at some point while I spoke. To my utter astonishment, KB and Jarod (I think it's Jarod. They both moved while I was talking and I'm lost again) break into hysterical laughter. In fact, KB ends up with her head resting on Jarod's shoulder and tears pouring down her cheeks. (At least now I know it's Jarod.)

"What's so funny?" So I'm miffed. So sue me. She could have killed me, her own niece, and they're laughing?! That's more than slightly rude.

"Oh, Krystal!" KB gasps and almost cracks up again. "She couldn't have shot you."

"I'm telling you," I'm getting upset now and *I* think it's justified.

No, I know it's justified.

"She would have. She even threatened me." I can here my voice changing into the 'I'm two years old and I know every thing and I'm always right' tone. It tends to develop when I get frustrated. It's childish, I know, but I can't help it.

"I never said she wouldn't." KB's regaining her control now. "But she couldn't have. She might have found her gun but I removed the firing pin before we left and took it with me."

"And even if she got another one," Jarod continues, wiping his eyes, "I replaced her ammunition with blanks. You don't really think," he gets serious, "that we would have left you in that much danger, do you? Give us a little credit."

I eye them critically, thinking over everything they just said. "I suppose not," I eventually state, trying to place as much doubt and suspicion in my voice as possible, but even I can hear the amusement creeping in. It had occurred to me that the gun was probably harmless. I even looked it over when I found it still lying discarded on the floor but I know absolutely nothing about guns. That was the first one I'd ever seen, let alone had pointed at me, so I had no way of knowing for certain whether it was dangerous or not. The full force of what they had just said hit me and I burst out laughing myself, along with Jarod, KB and Broots. Everyone else in the room just stares at each other, wondering what on earth they got themselves into.

"What's all the commotion about?"

"Sydney. Glad to see you back with the land of the living." I announce and everybody else in the room cracks up. Sydney blushes slightly and then KB does her introductory thing again and then the room is abuzz with people talking. Of course, once again I've lost track of Jarod and Michael, one of them is now talking to Andrea and Debbie, who has moved away from Broots, so now I can't figure out who Jon is, and of course Patrick and Sydney have to be standing beside each other talking to Jarod or Michael. KB and I just share a knowing glance. This is definitely going to be a long night.

At the first opportunity, I grab KB and pull her out of the room and into the hall. I see either Michael or Jarod about to come out with us but KB shakes her head.

"Later, Jarod. We'll talk later."

I look at her and my expression is obviously more confused than I thought because she cracks up again and pulls me into my bedroom. I decide to diplomatically ignore her laughter. Adult of me, huh? I do have some level of maturity, no matter how small. "How do you do that?"


"Tell the difference. I mean, they look the same - they are the same, for crying out loud. How do you know it's not Michael who's coming up and slipping his arms around your waist and...?"

"Okay, enough! I don't know how I know - I just do. It's probably something to do with the expression in their eyes or something. I don't really know."

"We are going to have hell for the next few days."

"Not at all." KB sits, cross-legged, on the bed and smirks at me.

"Well, all right. You were travelling with the genius and it obviously rubbed off. How are we going to tell them apart?"

"Until we get to Sydney - the place, I mean, not the person and that's going to be the really complicated bit, by the way - we get them to dress differently." You can tell she's quite proud of herself for that one. Darn it, I can see why. It's not such a bad idea. Why they couldn't have all thought of that before arriving here I don't know.

"Okay, Miss Genius, how are we going to deal with Miss Parker?"

"That's my responsibility, not yours. Don't worry about it."

"Okay, then. Suits me fine. Just keep her away from me. And what..."

"...was the stuff you gave her?" I look around and see them in the doorway. Two men - either Michael or Jarod and either Sydney or Patrick.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - this is going to be a long night.

"First of all, Sydney," How in heck did she know that? "how are you?"

"Fine. At least, I will be when the headache wears off."

"Good." KB smiles. Considering she just knocked him out for a day, you'd think he'd be a little more upset with her, although it was his bright idea to smell - whatever it was, after she'd specifically told him not too. Scientists, huh!

"Broots is over the moon." Sydney smiles. Obviously got a soft spot for ol' Brootsie there.

"I thought he would be."

"I suppose that was your idea, KB?"

She glances at Jarod. At least, I think it's Jarod. "Well, not only mine. But mostly."

"And how long is Miss Parker going to be out for?"

KB grins. "As long as we want. But I figure we should probably get this plan into effect soon, the day after tomorrow if possible. So I guess we can wake her up tomorrow." The grin fades a bit and, if I hadn't thought it possible, I'd believe that KB was actually worried. God knows what about. I mean, I was the one that she had the gun aimed at and - okay, I've said that already. Yes, yes, I hear you, move on, get over it.... and great now I'm talking to imaginary people.

KB gets up off the bed and walks to the door. Jarod (I presume) slips an arm around her shoulders and they lead the way into the kitchen. Well I hope that's Jarod or the real Jarod might have a thing or two to say about that. As we enter, everyone else goes quiet.

"We've got a busy few days coming up, so I'd suggest we all get some shut-eye." I glance at the clock - how did it get to midnight already?


Reasonable enough comment.

"We-ell, what say Debbie sleeps with Krystal, Jon and Patrick join the rest of the men's room and Andrea can share my room?"

There's a chorus of agreement before we all split up. At least she didn't suggest that Andrea sleep with me - I would have had nightmares all night! Andrea is not Miss Parker, Andrea is not Miss Parker, yes I'll just keep telling myself that. Although I still maintain that Miss Parker is a nice's just hidden.......really, really, well.


As usual, feedback is appreciated and loved!
Part 17 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- in pt 1

by Krystal McDermott

>KBs POVKrystal's POV<

You know those really awkward moments where you have so much to tell someone and no idea where to start (there's also the added bonus that they may kill you, but lets just ignore that for now)? So you just stand there glancing around the room, admiring the ring on your finger that you've seen countless times before, singing to yourself, waiting for someone, anyone but you to start the conversation? Well this is one of those moments, only it doesn't feel like a moment, more like an eternity.

"Hey, junior! Are you going to start explaining any time soon, or do I have time to go and catch 'Titanic the director's cut'?" Did she just call me junior? I hate that! I glance at Andrea who apparently is enthralled by the carpet in the room and too busy to help me out. That'd be right. Well KB did say family's best, so let's say I start living up to the 'family's' reputation and get down to business. Did I mention I hate being referred to as junior? With any luck the sudden rush of information may just overload Miss Parker's brain.

"You want explaining? You got explaining. Firstly, I am your niece. My father who you have been sent here to protect from Lyle...... is Lyle!" Her face turns ghostly white and I want to pause to revel in her reaction, but I'll lose my train of thought if I do that. Now where was I? Yeah, back on track now. "That's right! The Centre has lied to you, yet again. Surprised? Well if you are, you're not as smart as I give you credit for. Secondly, Lyle apparently is unaware that I am his daughter and has come after my family, which you know. What you don't know is that we have a plan. This is where Andrea, Michael, Jon and Patrick come in." Damn I'm loving this! If KB could see her face right now, I swear she'd be on the ground in hysterics. Heck it's killing me trying to remain upright.

"How are they go.......?"

"Uh uh uh" I wave my finger at her, scolding her. "Questions will be taken after the explanation" This is just too fun. Why on earth did I not do this sooner? "It was Katherine's idea. Her and I drugged you, so as you would fall fast asleep and couldn't interfere" Daggers shoot from her eyes at this point, but I choose to ignore them. "Then, KB and Jarod jumped on a plan and headed off to the good ol' US of A. While they were there they picked up a few extras. Namely Andrea, Michael, Jon and Patrick. Oh and Debbie. You know your clones?" She looks a little overwhelmed, slightly angry as well, but once again I'll ignore that. "The seven of them all flew back down to Australia and after a good nights sleep, we decided it was time to wake you. Now here's the tricky part. We, that's all of us here and my family, are going to lure Lyle and his merry men to Luna Park in Sydney. That's Sydney the capital of New South Wales Sydney, not the shrink. Anyway, where was I? That's right. We're all going to Luna Park, specifically the hall of mirrors, where we will...........sorry I'm a little foggy on this part, but please bear with me. We will somehow run around and deceive Lyle and then.......I don't know, convince him that he really is a nice guy and wants to be my dear old daddy. Then we'll all go back to our normal lives. Well as normal as possible anyway. You'll have to check with KB on the finer details of that plan. I'm just the messenger. Any questions?" Her constant blinking tells me that my plan to overload her with information has worked. Well, like I said, I don't like to be called junior. I smile at Andrea proudly, who just shakes her head, biting her lip so as not to laugh. "Oh sorry. Please forgive my rudeness Miss Parker, but this is Andrea. Well technically it's you, but....yeah I'll leave Jarod to explain that one. You haven't asked any questions so I take it your OK with the explanation?" She stares at Andrea for a moment and I'm about to waltz out of the room when finally she manages to regain her ability to speak.

"You are my niece?"

"Got it in one."

"So that would make you......?" she eyes me off suspiciously, I think she may even be trying to spot a tattoo of a snake.

"Lyle's daughter. I know it's not the greatest parentage a girl can have, and I almost died when KB told me, but I've learnt to live with it." She stares at me thoughtfully and I can feel myself beginning to lose my new found confidence. "Well I'm going now. It's been a long day. I'll leave you here with Andrea and the two of you can get better aquatinted.......if that's possible" I mutter the last part under my breath and quickly dash out of the door. I do believe I handled that quite well. Now it's KB's turn to explain her plan, if not to the others than to me once more because I'm a little lost.


As usual, feedback is appreciated and loved!
Part 18 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- in pt 1

AUTHOR'S NOTE:- I know I said the final part will be out this week, and this was part of the final part, but the rest of it kinda got lost. It might be out on Saturday if I find time. But here's this part anyway. Thanks soooo much KB for all your help!

I don't think this is one of the best parts, sorry I've been working all day and I forced myself to write it. I know you shouldn't do that, but oh well someone might like it. And I'm gonna stop rambling now. So here's the story.

by Krystal McDermott

>Krystal's POV

I wake up to find the house a buzz with activity. How people can bring themselves to get out of bed before nine o'clock in the morning is still a mystery to me, although I suppose if I actually went to bed sometime before 2 am it would be a lot easier. I'm guessing from the hive of activity that KB's big plan is coming into action, and after she explained it to me again last night I finally understand it, completely.......I think. I don't hold a great deal of confidence in our ability to pull it off, but I understand it, which is the main!

We're all going to hike on up to Sydney. I'm going to use an ATM card Jarod has set up specially for me in my name, to book into a hotel, which hopefully Lyle and his little minions will stumble upon and come bounding down here as fast as they can. Yeah, the one time I actually have enough money in my account to book into a flash hotel, Lyle and his merry men will be a hop, skip and a jump behind. Anyway enough winging back to the plan. There they'll find me at Luna Park sitting down to a peaceful dinner of fish and chips (It was either fish and chips or a hotdog. There's not a great deal of variety at theme parks and a bread roll with a concoction of God knows what slapped in the middle and covered with tomato sauce did not exactly tempt me). Then I'll spot them (the muscle and the missing thumb) heading towards me (well actually Debbie will tell me through a wire that I'll be wearing that they're on there way) and then I'll run, run, run as fast as I can to the hall of mirrors, which in all honesty will be directly behind me (I wasn't going to take any chances now). There the real fun shall begin. After a twisted game of hide and seek, Jarod, Miss P, Sydney, Michael, Andrea, Patrick, Jon, KB and I (that's quite a mouthful) should have Lyle cornered, all with the help of Broots and Debbie who'll be monitoring the area via computer surveillance, tracking devices and hidden microphones. Cool hey? I can finally live out my 'wannabe spy' dream.

Here we'll proceed to give Lyle heart failure by telling him that I am his daughter and he *really* should reconsider following the Centre's orders to kill me. Hopefully, well at least according to the plan Lyle should see the error of his ways and decide to jump ship and bat for our team, but I'm skeptical to say the least that Lyle will have a sudden change of heart. So I've enlisted the help of Sydney. If Jarod was hypnotised once so as portions of his life could be erased, why can't Lyle be? Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, we'll have a *lot* of explaining to do to the people at Luna Park, but that's just a dot on the horizon right now and I'll leave that part up to Jarod anyway, he's the one always saying he has a nack with people. Oh and the most important part, after our little tour of the theme park is finally over, Jarod has promised me that we will all be heading out to a private air strip just outside of Sydney, where his friends will be waiting with my family and if all goes well Lyle will be warm and welcoming towards them. As long as he doesn't suggest that we all go out to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate, I'll be fine. Yes, I'll just keep telling myself that....

"Good you're up!" Jarod comes bursting into the room with an assortment of what I can only refer to as 'gadgets' in his arms. Plonking them down on the bed he throws open the curtains and begins talking to me excitedly. I'm vaguely aware that he's talking in English, only because I recognise a few words here and there, like 'the' and 'and', but other than that I'm just falling back on the old smile and nod trick. I'm suddenly aware that he's stopped talking and is now looking at me with a bemused smile.

"What?" I ask slightly confused

"You weren't listening to a word I said were you?"

"No it's not that I wasn't listening" I state in all honesty. "It's just that, I did not understand a word of what you said, give or take a few 'then' and 'so's" He shakes his head and laughs. I think sometimes he forgets he's just 'slightly' smarter than the rest of the us.

"OK, ok exactly how much of it did you understand?"

"Well, and please remember I'm putting this in my terms now. The first part I got, about wearing the wire, don't let it get too hot and also it can't get too cold either and to be careful cos the battery pack will heat up after a while so try not to let it touch my skin and also if the reception gets a little scratchy at times don't worry it's just because the frequency from the rides nearby interferes with the signal. Yadda, yadda, yadda you were doing some kind of demonstration as to how to wear the thing, which you'll need to do again at the hotel when we get there because at that stage I really was getting lost because you started talking about electromagnetic fields or something like that and I switched out. And before you ask, yes I do science but biochemistry, not physics or whatever that stuff is covered in. Besides I don't think they teach us the art of evading psychotic men who work for secret organisations in school. I hear the job doesn't pay all that highly." I stop talking and take a breath. God I can ramble on, can't I?

He grins smugly "I don't know about that. I do quite well for myself"

I laugh, he's got a good point there. Electronically transferring funds from a large company's bank account to your own could be quite profitable.

"Jarod! Krystal! There you both are! Come on, hurry up, the plan leaves in just over an hour!" KB leaves as quickly as she came dashing into her room to make sure everything is in order before we leave and her parents return.

"Guess I better change out of my pyjamas then hey?" I ask, turning to face Jarod. He rolls his eyes and shakes his head before heading down the hall after KB.

Half an hour later, we're all assembled in the lounge room for our final 'debriefing' in Melbourne and what can only be called a roll call.

"Right, we have Jarod, Sydney, Broots, Miss Parker, Debbie, Krystal, Michael, Andrea, Patrick, Jon and myself, good everyone's here. The plan leaves at ten thirty, that gives us just under forty five minutes. Great. The taxis will be here in five minutes, when they arrive Jarod, Michael, Sydney and Patrick can you guys load the bags into the boot? Miss Parker, you used to be a cleaner, can you make sure there is absolutely no trace of anyone except me having been here? My parents will be back this afternoon. Broots and Jon, can you both log into the Centre mainframe and make sure that there are going to be no little surprises awaiting us when we arrive in Sydney? Debbie can you double check that we have all the surveillance equipment with us and make sure it is all in order? Finally Krystal, can you take this phone here, dial this number and call in a bomb threat?"

My eyes dart about the room, and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one shocked by that last request. It appears the only person other than KB to be aware of this aspect of the plan is Jarod.

"Excuse me? Did you just say bomb threat?" Debbie asks in disbelief from where she was standing between Broots and myself.

"Sure did"

I glance at Miss Parker, who looks at Sydney, who turns to Broots, who glances down at Debbie, who looks back at me.

"Huh?" All five of us say at once. KB shakes her head in frustration.

"Must you always question everything I do?"

"Well no, but....... a bomb threat!" I say incredulously.

"Actually, it was my idea" Jarod pipes up and all eyes sudden turn on him.

"We needed a distraction for the local authorities and we also needed the area cleared so as not to draw too much attention to ourselves and to evacuate any civilians just in case things got a little out of hand." His last comment does very little for my already lacking confidence in the whole plan.

"And what better way to say hey there's nothing funny going on here, than announcing a bomb threat!?" Miss Parker states sarcastically. KB nods in agreement.

"My sentiments exactly, but Jarod seems to think it's a good idea, so here you go Krystal time's a wasting" she states handing me the phone, a grin the Cheshire cat would be proud of spreading across her face.

"O..K..." I manage to say, still a little taken aback. "And what exactly do you say when you call in a bomb threat? Where is the bomb anyway?" I can't believed I just asked that! I'm going to go through with this? I'll be......well I'll be like a criminal? The term like father like daughter jumps to mind, but I quickly push that aside. There's no way I'm eating people pies. Bluck!

"Bradfield Park" Jarod answers my second question.

"Why Bradfield Park? Why not the Olympic Swimming Complex? It's right next door, you have to walk through Luna Park to get inside."

"Yes, but Bradfield Park is also next door, it's a larger area for the authorities to cover and it's directly beneath the Sydney Harbor Bridge, so they would have to shut off the entire area" He takes the phone from KB and hands it to me. I can't believe, I'm going to do this.

"Wait, wait, wait, you didn't answer my other question. What on earth do I say?"

"Hmmmm let me think on that one. How about there's a bomb" Miss Parker states dryly. I give her a cold smile and begin to dial the number. I don't even know who it is I'm calling.

"Hi, can I please speak to whoever is in charge there? Thanks. Ummmm who's calling? Just tell them it's an old friend with some news. Thank you" I look up to see everyone staring at me and I quickly cover the bottom end of the phone. "What?"

"Hi, there, please, can I please speak to whoever is in charge, please. Thank you." Miss Parker imitates in a sugary sweet voice.

"Oh I do not sound like that. Besides I always speak this way on the phone." Suddenly I'm aware of a deep voice on the other end of the line. "Oh sorry, yes I'm still here. I'm just calling to inform you that there just may possibly be a.....a bomb planted in Bradfield Park" I rush out quickly.

"I don't take kindly to prank callers Miss" is the gruff reply on the other end.

"No, no, no this isn't a prank, I really do have reason to believe that there is a bomb in Bradfield Park.....................I can't tell you that, all I know is there is a bomb there somewhere and the area should be evacuated, all of it. I'm talkin' Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Olympic pool, of course the park itself, and Luna Park, definitely Luna Park..............How, should I know?! Like a bomb, sticks of dynamite and stuff, little buttons and a big ticking clock................No I do...hang on a minute" I look at Jarod only to see him shaking his head, damn it! "No, no apparently I don't want any money........nothing, just clear the area, it's dangerous, no I can activate it by remote.....yeah.....really? I didn't know that.......7 yea........" Miss Parker suddenly snatches the phone out of my hand and hangs up.

We arrive in Sydney at about quarter past eleven. There is absolutely no need to hail a cab, because as soon as Miss Parker, Andrea, Jarod, Michael, Broots, Jon, Sydney and Patrick step out on the curb five immediately screech to a halt. I suppose it's not everyday you see four sets of twins wondering around together. Jarod waves the other two taxis away, and all eleven of us climb into the remaining three. Andrea directs our driver towards the Sir Stamford hotel and we are on our way.


Feedback please.
Part 19 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- in pt 1

AUTHOR'S NOTE:- This is basically the finally part, there's just one last part to go to wrap everything up and that will be out tomorrow. It has to be out tomorrow because I'm going away for a few days tomorrow night, ironically to Sydney. Thanks again KB for all your help.

by Krystal McDermott

*Thud* Debbie and I duck as a flying stiletto narrowly misses both our heads.

"I take it you find unpacking frustrating?" I ask Miss Parker, preparing to dodge another missile. Instead she simply glares at us and sits herself down on the edge of the bed, crossing her legs.

"Don't even......."

"Go there, yeah we get it, you're still a little touchy after that whole airplane incident" I have to bite my lip to suppress the burst of laughter that's going to erupt from hearing Debbie's last comment.

"Airplane......incident? I was wedged for almost an hour between Fred Flintsone and Mrs. Carol Brady! And she had the nerve to even suggest that I was....... that he was...... my husband!"

"Hey! Remember you are talking about my dad there"

"Yeah and remember what Mrs. Fulcher or as you so aptly named her Mrs. Brady said 'a good wife will be rewarded with a husband for life, a wife who nags will be a lonely old hag" I can't help it anymore and I burst out laughing along with Debbie. Seeing Miss Parker trapped between some guy who looked as though he'd just stepped off Planet of the Apes and the Queen of Bake Sales will entertain me for years to come. Debbie is just about on the floor in fits of laughter and I must admit I'm not far behind her, Miss Parker just may kill us, but at least I'll die with a smile on my face. I wipe my eyes only to see Miss P start to smile a little herself a small laugh escaping her lips.

"Hope I'm not interrupting anything?" Sydney pushes the door open slowly, a shocked expression on his face. Obviously he wasn't expecting to find the three of us in here in fits of laughter.

"No, no we were just discussing our plans for this afternoon" Miss Parker announces seriously, vanished from her face any traces or her ever remotely having fun.

"I just came across the hall to tell you that, Jarod would like us all to meet in his room in 15 minutes"

"Thank you, Sydney" Miss Parker rushes out as she basically pushes him out the door and erupts in fits of laughter once more.

After Jarod, Broots, KB and Debbie had explained to us all in detail exactly who would be standing where and doing what and Jarod had demonstrated to us all on how to wear and operate the wires (this time leaving out the confusing stuff about electricity and magnets), Jarod, Broots, and Debbie left for Luna Park to get the area secured. With Jarod posing as a police officer they should have absolutely no trouble getting through security after our little 'bomb' threat. By now Lyle and his band of clowns on steroids should have pinpointed our location. All that's left to do is leave them a couple of nice handy breadcrumbs telling them exactly where I can be found, zip into our 007 costumes, head on down to the hall of mirrors and prepare to get our heads blown off. OK so maybe that last part isn't written into the script.

Michael is just helping Andrea tape her wire to her side when there is a screech of tires from the street below. KB rushes over to the window, her mouth dropping as she sees the thumbless wonder exit the car.

"Oh you have got to be kidding me. OK change of plans" she announces, turning back to look at 7 worried faces. Now I know that wasn't in the script. I never should have left for school that day.

KB, Andrea, Patrick, Miss Parker, Sydney, Jon and I grab the remaining surveillance equipment and quickly race towards the service elevator and ride it to the garage, while Michael poses as bait and heads towards the lobby. Miss Parker and Andrea make it to the two town cars Jarod had purchased earlier this morning first. I climb in the front with Miss Parker in one car as Sydney and Jon jump in the back, while KB and Andrea climb in the front of the other, with Patrick scurrying onto the backseat. I barely have enough time to put on my seatbelt before we are racing out of the garage and screeching to a halt outside the hotel. Five seconds later Michael bursts through the large glass doors and slides into the backseat beside Jon in Andrea and KB's car. In hail of bullets we fly down the main road headed towards Luna Park, with Lyle and the suits close behind and what do you think everyone on the street does? They just stand there with their mouths wide open. A few losers on the corner cheer as we go past as though it's all some kind of stunt. There's no running to the nearest payphone or hastily whipping out their mobile phones. Nah who cares if it's a life or death situation, it's entertainment!

A team of sweepers begin to gain on us and Miss Parker screams at me to take the wheel while she grabs her gun.

"Are you insane! I'm not even old enough to have my learners yet, I can't drive!"

"Well unless you want to arrive at Luna Park in a body bag, I suggest you take the wheel, while I lose the monkeys!"

"If I drive we won't be wearing body bags, I'll be wearing the steering wheel and you'll be wearing a steel pole!" I shout back.

"I said drive!" With that she suddenly lets go of the wheel and leans out the window, gun in hand. I quickly unbuckle my seatbelt and lean across so as I can reach the steering wheel. Yeah it's ok for her if we crash she still has her seatbelt on, I'm the one who's going to go flying through the front window. Over the sound of Miss Parker firing out the window I can just hear Jon in the backseat.

"As I walk through the valley of the shadow......" Oh God, Oh God, Oh God.

"We'll you hurry up and shoot out a tire or something. I almost took out a traffic light back there!" That and the fact that I have absolutely no idea as how to get to Luna Park. There's the sound of an explosion behind us and Miss Parker is back inside the car, smiling like the cat that ate the rat. I scramble to put my seatbelt back on, while Sydney tells Jon to breath.

"See that wasn't so hard now was it?" Miss Parker says smugly. I just shake my head and smile. I must admit after the initial 'I'm gonna die' shock wears off, the adrenaline rush is awesome!

With a skid of the tires we're pulled up directly outside the house of mirrors, where Jarod is waiting after he and Broots 'secured' the area of any civilians that may be at risk from the bomb. It's not long before Andrea and the others arrive announcing that Lyle is no more than five minutes behind them.

"Right then. Places everyone!" Jarod announces with a grin. "Broots and Debbie the observation unit, Michael and Andrea the east entrance, Jon and Patrick the north, Sydney, Katherine and I will be at the west and Miss Parker and Krystal you're at south waiting for Debbie's signal."

"I guess this means that I don't have time to sit down to my dinner of fish and chips then hey?"

"Afraid not" Jarod replies with a smile

"Oh don't worry Krystal, I'm sure 'Daddy' will cook you up something nice and tasty when you get home" Miss Parker says as she reloads her gun. I resist the urge to throw up as everyone runs off to take their places.

"And three, two, one, action!" Debbie calls out through the mic as Lyle and the MIB's skid around the corner. Both Miss Parker and I head straight towards the hall of mirrors as they give chase.

Inside it's almost completely dark except for a few blue lights here and there which reflects off the mirrors and makes the fake smoke along the ground glow slightly.

"It's time's like these I wish I never quit smoking" Miss Parker mutters from in front of me.

"Oh that's real comforting thanks" I reply dryly. Please let it be over soon, please let it be over soon. Of course not in the over over sense, as in everything entirely over forever, just in the over, let me go home, or at least let me wake up from this nightmare sense. And did I just explain myself to myself?! Perhaps I do need to be shot, just so as I can go on a little trip to the renewal wing.

"Miss Parker! Krystal!" Oh God that was Lyle! "Come out, come out where ever you are!"

"What's the matter Lyle? Don't fancy a little game of hide and seek? Scared of the dark?" Miss Parker coos back.

"Are you insane?" I whisper harshly "If you answer him he'll be able to tell where we are"

"Exactly! For all we know he could be seeing mirror images of us right now. It'll just confuse his tiny little brain all the more"

"Krystal" I hear Debbie over the wire. "Take a right, and then the second left."

"Gotcha. Oh and Debbie, where's Lyle now?" I'm not totally sure if I want to know the answer but I think I prefer knowing to not knowing.

"Ummm don't panic, but he's just on the other side of the mirror" she replies

"That's why I'm giving you those directions. If he takes his next left, which he will because he's in a dead end, he'll be right behind you"

I suddenly push Miss Parker from behind trying to get her to speed up a little bit.

"Go, go, go" I whisper. "I don't particularly feel like having a bullet hole through my back"

"You're such a chicken"

"As long as I'm not going to become a barbecued chicken I don't particularly care"

We quickly round the corner as Lyle calls out from somewhere behind us.

"Oh Miss Parker. There's an interesting little fact about wires and hidden mics, although I suppose Jarod did tell you all about it, but did you know if there's enough electromagnetic activity in the air it interferes with the transmitters frequency and you know what happens then?"

I gulp. I knew I should of listened to Jarod. Although I have no idea about what I could of done to prevent this, but I certainly would have had second thoughts about coming here in the first place. Stupid science. Is nothing fool proof these days?

"What no answer? Well perhaps you'd care for a little demonstration?"

"Oh no. It's OK, you don't have to do that. We don't want you to go to any trouble now" I have no idea as to what posed me to answer him call it fear, call it temporary insanity, but do you think he listened? No. There's a sudden high pitched, ear piercing noise and then nothing.

"Debbie? Debbie answer me!" Oh God I'm gonna die! Miss Parker suddenly turns to me and crouches down a little so as she can look me in the eye. I never actually realised how short I was 'til that moment.

"Krystal, now don't worry, I'll get us both out of here, OK?" I nod, I'm far from convinced, but I nod anyway. "Now just stay close behind me, if he does anything funny, I'll blow off his other thumb, besides I've never lost to Lyle before, I'm not about to lose this round of hide and seek to him" she says with a smile. I smile back slightly, but then my face drops. Miss Parker whirls around to come face to face with Lyle.

They stand there, silent, unmoving for a few moments, guns drawn. Lyle moves slightly and begins to pull the trigger, when Miss Parker shoots. There's a deafening crash as the glass shatters all over the floor and then another shot is heard from behind us.

"It was just a mirror. It wasn't him, it was just a mirror." I tell myself, trying to breath once more.

"Yeah, but that mirror just shattered in a million pieces and his friend just fired from behind us"

Both of us run through the maze as images of Lyle and other sweepers flash past us. After the first fifteen or so, I manage not to scream or jump every time I see one. We round the next bend and the next bend until eventually I have to take a breather.

"Miss Parker can we..............Miss Parker? Miss Parker?!" Uh ohhhhh. No this wasn't supposed to happen. It was supposed to be a simple plan, we run around fool Lyle trap him in the centre of the maze and then live happily ever after. Losing contact with Debbie and then losing Miss Parker wasn't part of the plan! Ok, ok, ok I'm just not going to panic, I'm going to breath in and breath out, breath in and brea...........Oh hell is that? No, it's just a mirror, it's fine, I'm safe, the mirror can't shoot me. And look, there's another mirror image. It's of Lyle, and look I can wave right at him and absolutely nothing happens. See perfectly safe, and I'm talking to myself again, but I don't particularly care because it's making me feel better. There's another Lyle.

"Hello mirror image Lyle"

"Hello there" Oh crap. The mirror image just answered me. The mirror image isn't supposed to answer me. It's just supposed to look frustrated and walk away and what am I doing? Mirror image is walking straight towards me I should run. Run!

I race through the maze and I can hear Lyle not far behind me. They promised me that I wouldn't die, they promised me! I round the bend and run straight into Jarod, too bad he's made completely out of glass and just heads off in the other direction as if nothing happened.

"Jarod! Jarod where are you? Answer me please?"


"Oh shut up I wasn't calling you, I was calling Jarod!" I yell behind me. "Why don't you go chase someone else, all this running around is getting very boring" I see a mirror image of him to my left and he looks slightly stunned.

"Krystal will you stop running please!" he calls back.

"Oh wait, what was that? Stop running please? Oh well when you put it that way, sure I'll stop running and let you blast a hole through me head! How stupid do you think I am?!"

"Would you look in one of the mirrors, I'm not even carrying my gun! Krystal I know the secret!" Lyle calls out, a hint of desperation in his voice.

"What? That you're a psychopath? I got news for you, that's no secret!" I take a quick glance at the mirrors and he's telling the truth, he's not carrying his gun. I consider stopping for a brief moment until I realise that he could still strangle me.

"No not that! And I'm not even......well I never was......well I'm not........Not that secret. I know about you're mother, about the Centre, I know I'm your father!"

I stop dead in my tracks. That one I wasn't expecting.

"Thank you" I hear him say puffed from behind me. Wait. What the hell am I doing, just cos he knows his my father doesn't mean he still won't kill me.

"What are you doing? Why are you running again?!"

"We can talk and run. I don't trust you!" I call back.

"Krystal? Krystal as that you?"

"KB? Sydney? Jarod?" I round the bend and come face to face with KB, Jarod and Sydney. Living breathing KB, Jarod and Sydney.

"Oh am I glad to see you!" At that moment Lyle crashes straight into the back of me. "What the? Ahhhhhhhh!" I scream jumping back to hide behind Sydney. Once again childish I know, but I've been running for a long time and I'm really quite tired. Lyle leans up against the mirrored wall, completely out of breath.

"Remind me never to take you jogging" he puffs out.

"Oh no problem, you won't have to ask me twice" I look around from behind Sydney to see Jarod, KB and Sydney smiling.

"Oh what now? What do you all know that I don't?"

"He knows Krystal"

"I know he knows"

"Then why were you.........." Jarod begins before I cut him off.

"Why was I running? Well if Lyle suddenly came up to you and said, hey I know the secret, now stop running, I won't kill you, everything will be ok, what would you do?"

"Good point there" Jarod nods in agreement.

"There's just one thing. I'm just a little curious as to how Lyle knows?"

"You know I am here? You can ask me?"

"I still don't trust you" Sydney smiles and begins to explain.

"After we heard the gun shots we headed in that direction. Jarod had memorised the plans of the maze so we knew exactly where we were going. We ran into Lyle and after Jarod 'persuaded' him to put the gun down....."

"Holding a gun to my head was a very convincing method of persuasion" Lyle interrupts

"Yes well anyway, Katherine, Jarod and myself then proceeded to show Lyle the DNA records and Centre folders detailing the directive to come down here"

I glance at Lyle suspiciously, he seems to be genuine but this is Lyle remember. Trust him too much and you end up in a casserole dish.

"So what about Miss Parker, Andrea, Patrick, Jon, and Michael and the other sweepers.?" I ask.

"Jarod took out a few earlier on and Miss Parker took care of the rest. They said they'd love to come and join the reunion but they're a little tied up at the moment" KB says with a grin.

"Patrick and Jon got completely lost and ended up with Broots and Debbie in the surveillance room, and I think Andrea and Michael are outside somewhere"

With the help of Jarod the five of us walk out of the maze. Sydney continues to recount the afternoons events to me and Lyle continues to assure me that he really is not going to kill me. I on the other hand try to convince him that he really should take up Sydney's offer to hypnotise him, just to be on the safe side. Miss Parker, Broots, Debbie, Jon, Patrick, Michael and Andrea are outside waiting for us when we finally exit the hall of mirrors.

"See Krystal, told you I wouldn't let anything bad happen" Miss Parker says with a grin.

"I'd say this calls for a celebration!" Lyle calls out. "Who feels like dining out tonight? Chinese?" I stare in horror as Lyle bursts out laughing. "Kidding, kidding. Have a sense of humor people"

"Jokes are supposed to be funny, that wasn't" I state still a little disturbed.

"Ok, you pick the restaurant then" I shake my head.

"Sydney, I just might take you up on those psychiatric sessions"


Feedback please!!!!!!!!
Part 20 by Krystal McDermott
DISCLAIMER:- I changed names of my actual family members for obvious reasons (internet weirdos) And I had someone ask me this from the first one and the answer is no I do not live in a town called Pine Rivers. As far as I know it doesn't exist. Pine Rivers is a huge, huge shire (county) stretching from Brisbane city to the middle of nowhere.

by Krystal McDermott

>Krystal's POV

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