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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.



A Call from Reno
By Mare McMurray
1999







The Centre
Blue Cove, Delaware

"This is Sydney," the man said, holding the phone close to his ear and leaning back in his chair.

"Why do people hide what they fear most?" A curious voice asked.

"Jarod," Sydney said, smiling.

"The one and only," came the reply.

Sydney chuckled. "So what’s this about fear?"

"Why do people hide what they fear most?" Jarod repeated.

"Where did you hear this, Jarod?" Sydney asked.

"I read it, in a book about a sphere."

Sydney nodded. "You mean Sphere by Michael Crichton."

"Yes, it was very good." There was a pause. " But you still have not answered my question. Why do people hide what they fear most?"

"Well, Jarod--"

"Sydney!" a male voice snapped.

Sydney turned in his chair to see Mr. Lyle standing in the doorway.

"I’ll have to get back to you," Sydney said in a business like tone. He hung up the phone and smiled blankly at Mr. Lyle.

"What is it?"

Mr. Lyle narrowed his eyes at Sydney for a moment, scrutinizing. Brushing one hand down his wine red suit, he cleared his throat.

"We got a lead on the whereabouts of Jarod—"

Just then Miss Parker walked up next to Mr. Lyle, giving him a stern look. She turned to Sydney; " We leave in 10 minutes." She turned to leave.

"Where?" Sydney asked, raising his eyebrows.

Miss Parker looked back at him. "Washington." With that she left, Mr. Lyle looking after her. He glanced back at Sydney and at his phone, then left himself.

Sydney shrugged, and stood up. He took his dusk brown coat from the back of the chair and walked out, leaving the darkness of his office to the frigidness of The Centre.

* * * *


Public Library
Reno, Nevada

Miss Parker stormed into the library, Sydney and Broots following shortly after. The others in the library turned to watch as the tall bernet in the vanilla duster marched up to the front desk. She pulled out a picture and held it up for the librarian to see.

"Have you seen this man?" Miss Parker asked sternly.

" Jarod? Why yes, he used to work here."

Miss Parker pocketed the photograph and leaned forward, eyes narrowing with annoyance.

"What do you mean, ‘used to’?"

The Librarian looked down at her desk, fiddling with some papers.

"He left just this morning."

Sydney hung in the back, watching Miss Parker. An amused smile crossed his face when he heard that Jarod had left that morning. Broots wondered over to one of the libraries computers and sat down. He began typing ideally, forgetting about the problem at hand.

Miss Parker gave the librarian a hard look before turning swiftly away, her duster briefly wrapping around her figure. She walked up behind Broots and leaned down right by his ear.

"Time to go," she hissed.

Broots quickly brought his hands away from the keyboard.

"Y...yes, Miss Parker." He got up, jittery a bit and tailed after Miss Parker as she headed out.

"Time to go, Syd," she said as she passed Sydney.

"You go ahead, Miss Parker. I’ll catch up in a minute." Sydney replayed, walking over to the front desk.

Miss Parker narrowed her eyes a Sydney for a moment, then continued out, Broots right behind.

Sydney walked through the library, glancing at the books, looking for a specific one. He stopped, reached up and pulled down a paperback book with the title Sphere. He flipped through the pages till a small piece of paper fell from within the book to the floor. Sydney put the book back and knelt down to pick up the paper. He turned it over and read,

Things are looking up

Mr. Lyle sat in the passenger seat of the blue Dodge Interpid rental, drumming his fingers on the outside of the door impatiently. "What the hell is taking him so long?"

Just then, Sydney walked out of the library and headed for the car, hands in pockets. Broots leaned across the back seat and opened the door for Sydney.

"Take a pit stop while you were in there, Syd?" Miss Parker said sarcastically, putting the car into drive.

Sydney didn’t answer, just looked out the window.

Broots leaned forward a bit. "Well, Miss Parker, I acusally have to--"

"Learn to hold it," Mr. Lyle snapped, as they pulled away from the curb.

A soft chuckle came from a man working on the telephone wires, way up high on a pole. He watches the car drive away, popping a pezz into his mouth from a yellow and blue pezz dispenser. The man climbs a bit higher on the pole, an amused smile on his face as he watches the blue Dodge disappear through the city.


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