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DISCLAIMER: Not mine, except for Hannibal

Author’s note: This is a middle section of the story, but instead of going back to the beginning, I am going to review it in the future. I wanted to put a human side to Lyle, because he is my favorite character and Jaime Denton, I think, deserved a little more publicity than as just a cannibal without a heart.

Hell Hath No Fury
by Ice Queen1

"I wouldn’t stand so close, Miss. Parker. This one is dangerous," Lyle warned, though he wished she would ignore him and attempt to enter the cell.

"As dangerous as you maybe?" Parker scoffed.

"Worse," Lyle replied truthfully.

"So what is it that she does?" Miss. Parker asked, staring inside the cell at the girl.

"She is a mimic. Something like a Pretender, but instead of pretending to be someone else, she takes their place in real life. In short, she’s a replacement killer. Takes the place of someone and then kills them to prevent there being two of the same person. She’s very good at it," Lyle added.

"What do you need a mimic for when you have a pretender?"

Lyle looked at her in disgust. "We don’t have a Pretender, remember? You still haven’t caught him. Which is where she comes in…" Lyle nodded at the door.

"You’re going to get this girl to kill Jarod? What’s the point in that? You still won’t have Pretender," Miss. Parker pointed out.

Again, Lye rolled his eyes. "Of course, I’m not going to let her kill him. Just capture him. After all, you can’t kill someone if you can’t find them. We just have to make sure that she doesn’t dispose of him before we get there. Then we shall have our Pretender back and the Mimic," Lyle assured his twin.

"What’s her name?" Miss. Parker asked, peering close to the bars.

"I forget what her name was before she got her code name. Most simply call her Hannibal after Hannibal Lector. I think she prefers it," Lyle replied coolly.

"I do," a low voice hissed from within the cell. "Hannibal, pet of the Cannibal," the voice continued.

Parker smirked at Lyle. "I see she knows your secret."

"Why not? She understands me," Lyle answered.

Miss. Parker glanced inside the cell and watched as the previously unmoving crouched figure seemingly unwrapped itself from the position. Hannibal stretched out a long, delicate leg and slowly rose, apparently on just one foot and unwrapped her other from around the back of her neck. The straight jacket held her arms firmly by her sides. Her long, black hair cascaded down her back in wispy strands, and as she turned, Miss. Parker shuddered at the voids that should’ve been her eyes. They were empty, coal black with no white at all, giving the appearance that all she had were burned pits where the eyes should’ve been. If the eyes were truly a window into the soul, she was deader inside than her namesake. She moved like a true predator, no sound at all when her barefeet touched the ground, and she seemed to slink through the shadows like a big cat. Parker was sure that she could hear the girl growling.

"You’re going to let her loose?" Parker asked incredulously. "I knew you were insane, but I didn’t know it had gone this far."

"Afraid of me, Parker?" Hannibal hissed.

"No," Miss Parker replied stiffly.

"Then you’re dumber than you look." Hannibal smiled, looking slightly animalistic. With a shrug, the straight jacket fell around the girl’s ankles, revealing a slim but muscular torso of a dancer. Hannibal shrugged. "I guess it shrinks in the wash."

"Hannibal, be nice," Lyle scolded, though it wasn’t a real command.

Hannibal’s grinning shrunk into a pouting scowl. "You never let me have any fun," she grumbled.

"Soon," Lyle promised. "Very soon." Lyle turned towards his sister. "Now…" he began. "Shall we discuss tactics?"

Hannibal watched as they walked away. She liked Lyle. He was kind to her. He defended her against Raines…and the Triumvirate. She knew that it was because he wanted her to be his experiment, and his alone, but she also knew that he respected her. If not for her potential, then for her respect for him that she gave in return. Hannibal could not remember when Lyle had used force on her rather than just a firm command. Hannibal understood why he had done the things he had, and while she did not condone it, she sensed why he did them. She even liked his pet name for her, Hannibal. For her birthday…or Christmas… she forgot which it really was, he gave her something that no one in SL-27 had ever been allowed to have…books. And not just for Mimicking purposes either. He gave her Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Contact, The Lost Years of Merlin, and Tom Sawyer purely for her own enjoyment. She had read them so many times that she could quote them, including punctuation.

Hannibal looked up at the camera watching her every move, but it was the only one in her cell. Once again, she owed that to Lyle. He had forbidden any more than one form of surveillance at all times and he had thankfully not installed one in the bathroom. Casually, she walked around her cell a few times. She did think of it as a cell, even after five years, and her prolonged stay was still captivity. Something she was about to relieve herself of.

As Hannibal passed under the camera a third time, she pulled the cord out and cut the video feed. The only one that would be watching was Lyle, and she could still hear his voice down the corridor. The black haired girl picked up the discarded straight jacket and ripped the belt buckle off, examining the sharp end. She smiled and began methodically testing the padded walls by kicking them with her foot. After a few seconds, she heard a hollow echo resounding from behind the padding. In one deft movement, she sliced the white cushioning off with the buckle and grinned as she saw the duct system grate underneath. Once again, she used the buckle to twist the bolts off and push aside the grate. She crouched down on her hands and knees and stared intently into the blackness of the abyss. She pushed the straight jacket inside along with the belt and the grate itself. She climbed in and pulled the padding up behind her, securing it by passing the belt through two small slits in the back and then fastening it to the grate it self. Hannibal knew that they would not be able to tell the difference between the sections of padded walls compared to the one she had just fixed. And they wouldn’t be able to pull it out either because of the sides of the grate. They were two long to be able to be pulled out, so unless they ripped out the entire panel, they wouldn’t be able to access the vent the same way she had.

Hannibal bent herself around, almost in half, inside the narrow vent and began to crawl swiftly down the darkened passage. She had twenty-seven floors to climb up, she knew that much. As for where to get in the darkness, she knew exactly where she wanted to go.

Left, left, right, down, left, right, right, right, left. Suddenly, she popped out into the ‘in between’ room. It was a large, open space that few at the Centre were even aware of that was between rooms and cell blocks that extended for the entire height of the Centre. Hannibal wriggled her way out of the vent and pulled herself up onto one of the pipes nearby that was most probably for running water and pulled herself entirely out of the vent and clung to the piping. Hannibal looked up and down the pipes, then carefully put her ear next to one. She could hear the vibrations of the sinks and bathrooms, but if she concentrated on each sound, she could discern the sounds of footsteps, considering all the pipes were in the floor. She was on SL-27, so the loudest ones were on the same floor, and the rhythmic ones were footsteps. Hannibal knew which footsteps were whose because of her many hours and days spent simply listening to the pipes in her own walls. Hannibal could hear Lyle and Miss Parker walking around each other, like sharks circling in a tank. Good. He was still distracting her. Smiling, Hannibal began to pull herself up the long stretch of pipes.

Twenty minutes later, she had arrived at the vent system on the ground level, the same one she believed Jarod, the Pretender she’d heard so much about, had used on his own escape route. Hannibal pulled herself along the air shaft and soon felt a warm breeze. Within in seconds, she lifted the hatch door and found herself beyond the reach of the Centre’s prying digital eyes.

Hannibal climbed out of the vent and simply stood for a moment, eyes closed and her ears open. The sounds were what she missed most. Th leaves brushing up against one another in a gentle summer wind, the ocean crashing against the rocky shoreline, gulls dropping their lunch of mussels against the same stones that the waves beat upon. Even the animals were bustling about. She could picture the small, black and white striped chipmunks scurrying across the think blanket of leaves carpeting the forest floor. The highway noises from several miles off were even a welcome sound compared to the dismal silence of an abandoned wing twenty-seven floors underground. Hannibal opened her eyes and spread her arms wide, face turned to the perfect azure sky, spinning on her toes.

"I’M FREE!" she screamed happily, to no one in particular. When she heard no footsteps fast approaching from the Centre’s direction, Hannibal whooped with delight. It had been too long for this kind of freedom. She was in a world where she could scream as loud as she wanted to and no one would come running. To be free again, after so many years alone. Of course, she’d been allowed outside with Lyle at night a few times, but they made sure not to got too far from the Centre’s perimeters, otherwise they would’ve been noticed by security. She wanted that even less then Lyle. As far as the rest of the Centre was concerned, Hannibal had died fourteen years ago in the same room Dannie had once occupied.

She had a mission to do, and she would not be averted, not even by the Sweepers and Miss Parker.

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