Blue Skies by 23
Summary: Jarod applies to a McDonald's in TX
Categories: Indefinite Timeline Characters: Broots, Jarod, Lyle, Miss Parker, Mr Parker, Mr Raines, Original Character, Other Non-Centre Related Character, Sydney
Genres: General
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 4 Completed: No Word count: 5350 Read: 6512 Published: 07/08/05 Updated: 07/08/05

1. Part 1 by 23

2. Part 2 by 23

3. Part 3 by 23

4. Part 4 by 23

Part 1 by 23
Disclaimer: The characters Miss Parker, Sydney, Jarod, Broots etc. and the fictional Centre, are all property of MTM and NBC Productions and used without permission. I'm not making any money out of this and no infringement is intended.


Blue Skies
part 1
by 23






Wilton Alley
McAllen, TX

Jarod placed his hands in the pockets of his jacket as the bus came to a stop on the opposite street. As he was making his way to the bus, he saw a woman run out of the nearby apartment building. A man with an angry glare in his eyes appeared in the doorway, searching for her. After he had begun to run after her, Jarod followed from a safe distance. He eventually found himself in an alley. A very aggressive assault ensued and Jarod was temporarily unable to move in bafflement. As his mind came into focus, he let out a gasp and dived on the attacker.

Jarod practicedly caused the man to fall in unconsciousness. "Are you okay?", he asked, but the woman had vanished. Largely annoyed at the fact he had not been able to make contact with the victim, Jarod looked around for a department in which to register. The nearest building was a McDonald’s with a sign "Help Wanted" in the window next to the "No Shoes-No Socks-No Service" sign.

Jarod walked into the building. He walked up to a man with hair dyed blue behind the counter. "I saw your sign. Is the business not doing well?" he asked. The man laughed. "Man, it’s a fast food restaurant. We’re always hiring," was the reply. "I’d like to apply, then."

****

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

"Well, apparently Jarod couldn’t afford first class express packaging," came Miss Parker’s voice as she entered the room, Broots and Sydney both awaiting her. "Tell me Syd, what does a golden arch represent to our boy?" she asked. "Well, Arches represent doorways, new beginnings or old endings. It’s hard to tell," said Sydney, "but Jarod may feel as though a great burden has been lifted."

"So Atlas’ resigned," she said. "Broots, trace this package to its source," she said, "and be quick about it." Broots said "Yes Miss Parker," and left immediately, package in hand. Miss Parker noticed a figure on Sydney’s desk of a king on a throne. "From a friend of yours?" she asked. With little trepidation, Sydney replied "More like...a colleague." Miss Parker took the throne and pushed the arch through it, binding the king’s neck to the throne. "So, something Jarod gives me is useful," she said placing the figure back in it’s original spot.

****

Blue Street McDonald’s
McAllen, TX

"Dan," Jarod said to the worker he’d met first, "what’s a ‘happy meal’?" Dan laughed. "Jarod, don’t tell me you don’t know what that is. It’s a child’s meal with a toy inside. You’ve never heard of a happy meal? Where did you grow up?" "Nowhere anybody would have wanted to grow up," he said, picking up a plastic chicken nugget. "A plastic based food item with a face! How funny!"

A mother and her daughter walked in. Jarod recognized her instantly. She was the woman who had been chased yesterday. He smiled at them as he said "Hi, may I help you?"

The mother blinked her eyes a few times, then stopped. "Yes, I’d like 2 cheeseburgers, a medium Coke and a happy meal with chicken nuggets and a Sprite," she responded. "Okay, your bill is $6.23," Jarod replied, while Dan gathered the meal. The mother and daughter sat down at a booth nearby. Watching them, Jarod saw the playground in the back of the building. "Dan...do you mind if I go over there..." For some reason, Dan said it was okay, and Jarod followed the little girl to the playground.

The girl seemed to be having some trouble climbing to the top of the slide, so Jarod went over to give her a boost. When he was there, he turned to his left and saw a man with a gun aimed at the girl. He jumped up reflexively and the bullet pierce his arm. The girl burst into tears and her mother rushed into the playground. Dan withdrew a gun from behind the register and headed outside, ready to arrest the shooter. By the time he got there, the shooter was gone.

*****

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

"Syd, I think Atlas didn’t resign actually. He just got a second job," said Miss Parker, taking a red stand with four holes, a second golden arch and a plastic chicken nugget from a newly arrived package. She took the arch from the figure and put both in the red stand. "Broots, I want the report on that package pronto!" she said. "Would you like fries with that, Miss Parker?" came a wheezing voice. Broots handed her the report. "McAllen, Texas. Well, I’m in the mood for fast food. Right Broots?" she asked. "Yes Miss Parker, but couldn’t we get pizza?" "Broots!"

"I’ve decided to come with you this time. It’s highly important that we capture Jarod and apparently the sweepers seem...inefficient..." said Mr. Raines. "So, Raines has a new project not to be compromised?" she asked. "Any, Syd, now what do you make of it?" "The easy job at a fast food restaurant...it’s almost always symbolic of one’s needing a break from exhaustion. So, maybe Atlas did resign...temporarily." "Sure, Syd. Let’s just go."

****

Woodwurd Hotel
McAllen, TX

Jarod turned on his laptop. Quickly, he accessed the latest Centre project: BLUE. Unsurprisingly, Raines was the initiator and lone member of the project. It read: HGP:25%
Estimate: 100% in one week
Operation Base: Classified

Annoyed, Jarod click the "Classified" tag. He the overrode the classification, but now the moniter had "None" listed as the operation base. He then headed over to the restaurant because it would soon be his work shift.

****

Blue Street McDonald’s
McAllen, TX

Jarod rushed up to the door, literally crashing into Parker. She turned around and withdrew her gun. "Well, Jarod. I’d like a Big Mac, large fries, and a Sprite," said Miss Parker, holding Jarod with one arm, pointing the gun at Dan with the other, "think you can handle that, big boy?"

****

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

"Sydney you’re not going to believe this," Broots said, chewing on his thumbnail and looking at the moniter. "Raines is working on a new project...BLUE...something about H-G-P," he said. "The Human Genome Project," said Sydney. "You...know about it?" "I’ve heard a lot about it. They’re trying to sequence DNA. Adenine, Cystosine, Guanine, and the other one I always forget..."

"Thymine," came a voice.

Broots and Sydney both turned around to face a handcuffed Jarod, escorted by Miss Parker. "He’s not escaping this time. The lock on the hand-cuffs was melted into a solid iron bar."

*****

Jarod’s Sim Lab
Blue Cove, DE

"Jarod, you’ve done this simulation before. Please, do it again," said Sydney, from outside the clear-bubble. "No, Sydney. I...I...I...can’t." "Jarod...Please. If the Centre no longer has a use for you...they’ll dispose of you." "I don’t care. What’s the point of living if you’re forced into everything you do?"

Sydney stood silent. Jarod glanced at his mentor, confused. "Syd...are you okay?" "Jarod...I’ve lived here..in the Centre...for much too long. I try to fight it...but you can only fight in small ways here. I can’t help you anymore."

"No...Sydney...you can! Please! Please help me. I have to find my family. You know what that’s like."

"I know all to well what that’s like. The Centre has Michelle and Nicholas. I’m sorry Jarod. I can’t help you anymore."

Sydney left the room, and Jarod sat there, stunned.





Please tell me what you thisnk about it! icelerrin@aol.com
Part 2 by 23
Disclaimer: The characters Miss Parker, Sydney, Jarod, Broots etc. and the fictional Centre, are all property of MTM and NBC Productions and used without permission. I'm not making any money out of this and no infringement is intended.



Blue Skies
part 2
by 23







Raines looked at Jarod, almost happily. „Understand that if you do not comply, we will be forced to kill Michelle and Nicholas. You understand that, Jarod?"

„I’ll comply," Jarod responded, cursing himself for getting Nicholas and Michelle involved.

„That is very good. Of course, we will need to start from day 1 with the simulations. Your new mentor will await your finished building."

Jarod worked indifferently on rebuilding the same building he had when he had first started performing simulations. It made him feel an awful swelling in his stomach. When he was done, he didn’t say anything. He just waited. The door opened almost immediately afterwards, in spite of the fact he had tried to avoid being noticed.

„Hello Jarod. My name is Charles. I’m going to be taking care of you for a while." A completely unfamiliar man walked in.

„Who are you? Where is Sydney?" Jarod asked, confused and angered.

„Sydney has been transferred. The Centre felt his efforts were... not to their full capacity. I am taking over his position." Jarod sat down. Life was going to be Hell again. If only someone could help.

****

Psychology Wing
Blue Cove, DE

Sydney worked on his plants, fearfully. Michelle and Nicholas watched him.Nicholas stood up. „Dad?" he asked.

„Yes, Nicholas?" replied Sydney.

„How long are we going to be here? At this place? It gives me the creeps."

„Probably a while. You’ll probably want to eat something. There’s a cafeteria, but I rarely go there."

„Nick and I aren’t hungry, Sydney," said Michelle. „I’ve told him about this place. We’ll wait with you."

„As you wish, Michelle."

***

Jarod’s Sim Lab
Blue Cove, DE

„Jarod, I need you to work. Why can’t you focus?" Charles asked.

„I need to talk to Sydney. Where is Sydney? I need to talk to Sydney. Where is Sydney?" Jarod
repeated the same answer, and continued to do so.

„Jarod! Please. Why do you need to talk toSydney?"

„There’s a girl. The Centre will kill her and her mother unless we do something! I need help. Will you help me Charles?"

„Jarod, I’m sorry. If I bend the rules they’ll kill me."

„So you’d rather kill a childto save your skin. Please, you have to help me!"

„Jarod. You have 5 minutes to talk tohim. Here," said Charles, handing him a phone, „tell Sydney what you need to."

„Thank you, Charles."

***

Psychology Wing
Blue Cove, DE

Sydney’s phone began to beep. He picked it up. „Sydney...How did you get to the phone? Oh...okay. Right," he said, picking up a pad of paper and scribbling on it, „I’ll do it. I promise. Jarod...don’t let this place control you again. Thank you. Goodbye."

Michelle and Nicholas stood up.

„I’d like to go with you Dad," said Nicholas.

„And me too," said Michelle, „I can’t stand idly by and watch them do this anymore."

„Jarod told me about a Project: BLUE. Raines is deciphering the entire human genome and he’s almost finished with it. Worse than GEMINI, however, as he will be able to understand the amino acids and make virtually any creature he would like. We have to save the child whose DNA is being sequenced. She’s at this address."

****

167 Wilton Alley
McAllen, TX

Sydney rang the doorbell. The same woman who Jarod had helped earlier at the McDonald’s opened the door. Jarod had given Syd an accurate description, so he knew who he was looking for.

„Mrs. Klipe, you and your daughter are in grave danger."

Nicholas helped them into the truck outside, and Michelle followed.

„Sydney..."

Michelle began, but Syd interrupted her. „I’m sorry, but I can’t leave. Someday, Jarod will be back there permanently, and if I’m not there, they might destroy him. Now go before Raines arrives," Sydney said.

***

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

„Dad, Sydney has compromised our entire project by relocating the girl. And his family has escaped. Surely you will not stand for such insubordination!" Lyle said, explaining his anger.

„Now Lyle, Sydney’s done too good a job for us here at the Centre for me to believe something like that. In fact, I’ll bet it was Jarod who did this. Now doesn’t that make more sense?" Responded Mr. Parker.

„Of course, Dad," said Lyle with a very venomous slur.

„Well then, the next thing we have to do is regain control of Jarod’s mind. I think you’d be the best person to do that, Lyle. Will you?"

„It would be my pleasure, Dad"

***

Jarod’s Sim Lab
Blue Cove, DE

„Mr. Lyle? What are you doing here? What happened to Charles?" Jarod asked, confused, angry, and disturbed.

„Charles had to take a short break. I’ll be taking care of you for a while."

Jarod tried to run, but there was nowhere to go. „Lyle, you are a sick sick man."

„It is very hurtful to me for you to insult the fact that I have a psychological disorder."

„You mean an obsessive need to order mail-order brides, torture them in your shack and kill them?" „Why...yes," said Lyle.

****

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

„Miss Parker, I’ve traced the girl and her mother that Jarod helped escape," said Broots, nervously.

„Where to, Broots? San Francisco, Puerto Rico?" asked Miss Parker.

„Actually...just down the road from here."

„Jarod helped theses two people escape fromLyle, and now sends them along to the place that’s hunting them?"

„Jarod’s motivation,"answered Sydney as he entered, „is much more complicated than that. I’m not sure what it is this time. That makes me feel...empty. I wish Charles hadn’t replaced me. I knowJarod..."

„Sydney...I can’t believe they did this to you...I knew they were bad...but this isunforgivable. Even if they didn’t kill my mother...I hate this place."

„Miss Parker, you were not here by choice. You were raised here. Your family is here. I lost my family because of them, and I didn’t do anything about it. I have done some very bad things under their orders. But I had a choice. And I can’t forgive myself."

„Sydney...I may have been raised here, but it was my choice to stay. I could have left this place...before Thomas...before they...and I would have had a life. Now I feel empty, the same way you feel empty when Jarod’s alone."




Please tell me what you thisnk about it! icelerrin@aol.com
Part 3 by 23
Disclaimer: The characters Miss Parker, Sydney, Jarod, Broots etc. and the fictional Centre, are all property of MTM and NBC Productions and used without permission. I'm not making any money out of this and no infringement is intended.



Blue Skies
part 3
by 23






#42 Tailhill Street,
Blue Cove, DE

"Mrs. Klipe?" said Parker, knocking on her door

"Just a minute! " shouted Janice Klipe. She sent her daughter, Helen, to bed, then ran to the door. "I’m sorry, I had to send my daughter to bed and" Janice began her sentence without looking up, then raised her head to see a gun at point-blank range. "Who are you? "

"That doesn’t matter right now. Give me your daughter."

"No! I won’t let you hurt her. "

"I don’t want to hurt her, and I don’t want to hurt you, but if you don’t move I may have to. "

Janice gave up, feeling as though she had let her child die.

Parker walked down the hallway to a door with blue crayon on it. She opened the door. Helen look up from her pillow.

"Who are you? " she asked, in a whisper.

Miss Parker shook her head. "0It’s not important. You have to come with me. I can protect you from the people who want to hurt you. Please...trust me. "

****

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

Broots busted into the room, and looked at Sydney, impatient; worried.

"What is it, Broots? " Syd asked.

"You’re not going to believe this. Rumor has it the child, Helen Klipe, was brought in today. But that’s not the strangest thing. They’re saying Parker did it!"

"Damnit! " Syd cursed under his breath. Broots looked at Syd.

"It’s not like it’s your fault."

Sydney glanced at Broots, quite clearly stating that it was.

"You mean...you...?"asked Broots. "They...were going to kill you. It doesn’t matter now, though. "

"No, Broots, you’re right. I risked my life to save that child and they just took her back. I’vegot to find Parker. "

****

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

"Miss Parker, how could you?" asked Sydney, almost yelling. Parker glanced at him.

"Sydney, I didn’t intend to bring the child back here. I was looking for a safe place to hide her while Broots started removing Raines’s work. But they were waiting for me, even my father. I...I can’t believe what happened. I wish...I wish they could’ve just taken me." Parker had finished, and ran, as fast as she could to get out of the Centre.

Sydney stood there. „Jarod...I could really use your help right now." Sydney turned on the DSA player and watched Jarod performing the heart-breakingly familiar simulations, and saw something that Lyle would, in fact, could, never ever see. Jarod was fading. The once, brilliant genius, Jarod, was fading. The Pretender was all that he was. Jarod was fading. „So far away. Walls separate us, Jarod, and you are sinking even further away from me. So far away."

***

Blue Street McDonald’s
McAllen, TX

Dan filled out the form to resign, unsure of whether or not it was temporary. A lot of things confused him at this point. He had seen Jarod save that child, that child who had walked in, accompanied by the same lady, every day for a month before Jarod had arrived at the restaurant. And now, the lady, and the child, and Jarod had all vanished. Worse than all of that, Dan was attracted to the woman who had abducted Jarod.

Dan placed his uniform on the manager’s desk. Then he hurried out the door. He searched for a hint, a clue, anything that would lead him to Jarod. Unfortunately, Miss Parker had taken Jarod’s chicken nugget toy, so Jarod had been left with nothing to hint at where he was going to be. Dan kept searching, and asked everyone he could find, but to no avail.

***

Jarod’s Sim Lab
Blue Cove, DE

Jarod had just recently finished performing all of the previous simulations, which he had developed a new and profound hatred for.

"Jarod, I’m glad to see you’re finally making progress," said Mr. Lyle. Jarod remained inert. "Well, we have some new simulations for you to perform. Will you get in the bubble? "

Jarod climbed into the bubble mechanically.

Mr. Lyle turned the bubble on and Jarod saw a city filled with chaos.

"It’s 6,500,000,001 AD. The star, Sol, has run out of hydrogen. The entire world is about to be engulfed by the explosion. You have to save it. "

"I...I can’t!" gasped Jarod, as if the sulfur were really entering his lungs.

"Time’s running out, Jarod. They will all die! " shouted Lyle.

"No...I can’t! I don’t know how! Why me? Why can’t you save them?"

"Jarod! They’re going to die! You’re going to die! I’m going to die! The entire world is going to die unless you do something! You have to do something!"

6,000’ Altitude
Above Blue Cove, DE

"Nicholas? Are you okay?" asked Michelle, to her son.

It, however, was most definitely Sydney’s son, who responded, "No, I am not okay."

Michelle look up and down the isles of the plane. "Nicholas, my son, I know how you must feel, but---"

"No, you don’t know how I feel. He risked his life to save me, when I was so thickheaded that it took that much courage from him for me to believe he was my actual father, and now when he needs our help more than ever, we’re supposed to fly home? I can’t think straight, let alone teach!"

Michelle looked at Nicholas. "Let’s leave this plane."

***

Miss Parker’s House,
Blue Cove, DE

Miss Parker settled into the couch with a new guilt upon her conscience. She drank from a glass of wine, but the pain did not go away. She was so drunk that she felt the pain was, indubitably from the wine, not even remotely possible that it could be from what had happened. She tried to count the number of people the Centre had killed, with no reason whatsoever. She got to three, then forgot her place. She tried to count the number of people who the Centre had that day ruined the lives of.

One. Jarod. Two. Janice Klipe. Three. Helen Klipe. Five. Sydney. Six. Michelle. Seven. Nicholas. Eight, and nine, unbeknownst to her. Dan and Miss Parker.

****

Jarod’s Sim Lab
Blue Cove, DE

"Jarod, hurry! You have to save us all!" Jarod felt frozen. He watched, saw the impending doom the brightness of it, tried to turn away, couldn’t, tried again, couldn’t. He felt as though he had failed, failed himself, failed the world, failed all the people in the world. The words passed through his mind again: All the people in the world. Then...

Jarod had once asked Miss Parker what it was like to die. (She had responded that he might ask Mr. Raines.) At this point, as the sulfur and the helium of the sun overtook his senses, as he saw each person give up any hope of surviving, he knew exactly what death was like. He saw it in each person’s eyes. And then he saw something else in those eyes. He saw a person, some evil, some good, some indifferent, but all of them were people. He saw the troubles, the agonies, which they faced; he saw the joys, the happiness, which the had experienced; he saw the layers of personalities; he saw the
inner self, and he saw, for once in a long time, himself. Jarod. And Jarod had to save the
world.

"We can convert the hydrogen into helium and blanket the explosion."

Lyle clicked the stopwatch. „Very good, Jarod. 2 minutes. Do you feel ready to perform the next simulation?"

Jarod looked up at Lyle, smiled at him. „No. Absolutely not. I will never, ever, ever, perform a simulation for you again." And it was at that point when Jarod broke the glass-bubble, got up, jabbed his elbow into Lyle’s gut, grabbed Lyle’s gun, and shot all the equipment in that Lab. Lyle pressed an alarm button somewhere, then went completely unconscious.

****

Miss Parker’s House
Blue Cove, DE

Jarod listened to Miss Parker, who was speaking to herself.

"I have so many burdens on me. First Jarod, then Michelle and Nicholas, then the child, then her mother. I just wish they would all go away. Let me live peacefully" ,said Parker. Then, in a whisper, she spoke as though confessing „Or at least...let me live" The phone rang.

"What?" she answered out of habit.

"Miss Parker," said Jarod, in the tone he always greeted her with in these conversations, "have you had your break today? "




Please tell me what you thisnk about it! icelerrin@aol.com
Part 4 by 23
Disclaimer: The characters Miss Parker, Sydney, Jarod, Broots etc. and the fictional Centre, are all property of MTM and NBC Productions and used without permission. I'm not making any money out of this and no infringement is intended.



Blue Skies
part 4
by 23





Miss Parker’s House
Blue Cove, DE

“Jarod, how did you escape?” Miss Parker said once she had recovered from her state of confusion. She held the phone tighter, closer to her ear.

“Your brother, as it seems to me, underestimates people.” “I enjoy being underestimated, however I am going to kill him for this. After I kill you.” “You really should see a psychiatrist about misplaced aggression.” “The one good psychiatrist I ever met was only on the job for a day, Jarod.” “Well, I’m sure he could return if you really wanted him to.” “I don’t.” “I’m sure he’s sorry you feel that way.” “I’ll bet he is,” said Miss Parker, clicking the phone off.

Jarod sighed. It had been a strenuous day. A seemingly non-finite number of things had happened to him that day. He went to go look for a spot to rest the night.

***

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

“I can’t believe it! This place is in total chaos!” shouted Syd happily. Michelle glanced at him. “You look happy. Why is that?” “Lyle...they’re going to demote him. And Jarod! Jarod was mentally faced with his worst fear: a pretend he couldn’t win.” “And that’s good?” “He overcame it Michelle! He escaped from this place on his own! He didn’t need help anymore!” Sydney hugged Michelle in rapture.

Then his face fell. “He...didn’t need help anymore. He doesn’t need me anymore,” Syd said, realizing what he had been saying. Michelle looked at Sydney, sad, and nodded. “Sydney. That’s the worst part of taking care of someone. Once you’ve helped them...they become independent.” Sydney wandered over to his desk and began writing.

****

Middleway Street
Gilan, Massachusetts

Dan had been half-way across the states searching for Jarod. He had also taken to picking up jobs and leaving them shortly after. He was here to meet a person Jarod had helped. It was a convenient place because neither of them lived nearby, therefore preventing the chance of the Centre’s actual involvement. Dan waited there for what, Jarod later informed him, was 10.852 minutes, but seemed like forever.

The person he was meeting was Jonathan Neivan. Jarod had helped Mr. Neivan with a lawsuit a few years ago. Neivan needed help again that day, and had tried to contact Jarod. However, Dan was the only person available at that time. So, Daniel would have to pretend to be a pretender, a very self-defining concept.

****

Miss Parker’s House
Blue Cove, DE

Parker jerked forward in her sleep, then awoke. The phone rang. She jumped, then hit her head. She picked up. “What?” she asked. Syd responded on the other end of the phone. “Well, we’ve figured out where Jarod’s gone. Broots needs someone to be a sitter for Debby.” “Why? She’ll be fine, he’s always chasing Jarod.” “In Europe?” “Europe?” “France, actually. Specifically Paris.” “Why?” “You know Jarod. He probably wants to help someone.” “And make me kill my back while doing so.” “Well, would you sit for Debby?” “There’s no way I’m missing a chance to kill him.” “Guess we’ll have to bring her then.” “Sydney, we can’t do that!” “We can’t leave her alone, Miss Parker,” said Syd, adding as an afterthought “or at the Centre.”

***

Aboard a Plane
Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Northern Atlantic

Jarod was always glued to the window when he flew. He had 3/7 major coastlines of America memorized. Jarod’s pretends had rarely carried him this far away from his family, but there was someone he needed to see. Who it was, he didn’t know. But he had an unmistakable premonition that he needed to go to Paris.

Having memorized the coastline, Jarod looked to see what the featured movie would be.

***

Mr. Parker’s Office
Blue Cove, DE

“Yes, Angel, I know. Mr. Raines mentioned that you were headed for Europe,” Mr. Parker said to his daughter. “Raines?” asked Miss Parker. “Yes - what’s wrong?” “Oh, nothing, I just figured that he didn’t care.” “He really seemed to. Didn’t really seem like he wanted to go, but offered anyway. He’s a loyal man.”

***

The Centre
Blue Cove, DE

“You’re telling me that Mr. Raines knew?” asked Broots, no more panic stricken than normal. “Not just that,” responded Miss Parker, “he even volunteered to go.” “Well, he can’t go - can he?” “Apparently my father thinks he can. What is he up to?” “In order to understand a person, you have to go inside his mind,” said Broots “according to Sigmund Freud.” “That man’s mind is one biohazard wasteland that Jarod’s not bringing me into. Why have you been reading Syd’s books?” “Jarod sent some very interesting information on the subconscious.” “Jarod gives the term ‘quack’ a whole new meaning.”

***

Boarding a Centre Helicopter
Blue Cove, DE

“Je ne comprends pas. I do not understand,” recited Broots, listening to his “Learn French in 41 minutes and three seconds while on a helicopter without forgetting everything immediately afterward” tape which had been among the books Jarod had sent. Miss Parker glared at him. She bothered to say “Je suis malade,” before eliminating Broots’s existence in her mind for yet another time. (Broots later discovered that was French for “I am ill” and stopped repeating the phrases on the tape.)

Debby, in back with Sydney, was reading the latest Harry Potter book - written in French, of course - and wondering how her dad would fare. Sydney was reading synopses of soap operas that he would be missing. Meanwhile, Mr. Raines was flying the plane without demonstrating any hint of emotion.

****

The Eiffel Tower
Paris, France

Jarod looked out at the sunset. It was different from up high; so was everything. He was dressed in a curious antique painter’s outfit, and spun the magnificent colors on his wooden pallet to the canvas. Almost finished, he put white lines which made it appear as though the canvas had been cracked, and later pieced back together.

****

Centre Helicopter
Landing

Miss Parker was glad to get off the plane; she was the first one off. Nervously, Broots rose and went to accompany Debby. Sydney sighed, and put his synopses away. As the three were about to leave, Miss Parker yelled Jarod’s name, and Raines immediately ran past them, oxygen tank speeding.

Jarod was there, but he knew his way around and was running. Raines fell, having been block by a young kid, who was about to help him; he ran away seeing Raines’s face.
Sydney came to help him, and Broots held Debby safely away from the Centre operative. Miss Parker continued to run after Jarod.

Jarod twisted his ankle, at a very inconvenient time. Miss Parker held her gun and aimed at him. Jarod was in a dead end, at a green colored house. He rang the doorbell. Miss Parker said “Don’t move!” and steadied her gun. Jarod looked at her. Hurt showed in his eyes. “Why do you think I brought you here?” he said. Miss Parker didn’t say anything.

“I missed out on most of my childhood. You missed out on part of yours,” Jarod said, trapped, but not wanting to leave. Miss Parker’s hands trembled. The door opened. Her gun fell to the floor. It was her mother.


TBC


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