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Son of Adam
Venue – 2 November 1970
Autumn was present in the air. The sharp coldness of the first winter air allowed small puffs of white air to materialize from the warm breaths of the people that stood huddled outside the house. A brown Ford sedan drove up the driveway, the headlights shining briefly on the white faces before slashing past them. The engine cut out, and the driver brought the vehicle to a standstill next to the group of men. A door opened, the interior light flashing for a brief moment before a harsh command darkened it again. Inside, the fast, repetitive and painful breathing of the patient could be heard. Moving quickly, they secured her to the gurney, the straps wrapping around her wrists and feet. They didn't even bother to make her comfortable or provide a blanket against the chill. She lay on the gurney, clad only in a hospital gown while they brought her inside the house.
“Is she ready?”
His voice did not fill her with confidence and safety, instead it increased her fear. Through the painful contractions, she tried to focus on his face but failed.
He had promised...
The stoic faces around her watched her reach for her son, trying to see his face. All she could see was the back of the woman who held him. She could feel her life blood continue to find a way out of her and she knew with certainty that she would never be allowed to see her son grow up. As darkness closed in her last thought was one of regret and despair.
She will never know what it would have been like to hold him in her arms...
Michigan – Present
He glanced at the late afternoon sky, noting that the heavy mist that was lying over the lake had thickened with the approach of storm clouds from the northwest. The sun had disappeared completely, not even visible as the hazy ball it was earlier. Nightfall was approaching and it would be dark soon. His dark hair was ruffled by the wind that whipped across the lake, creating white crests on the surface. It was autumn and the first winter storm was fast approaching. Turning soulful eyes to the house behind him, he sighed.
The house next to the lake was a an old two story colonial building, white picket fenced and washing that flapped in the increasingly strengthening wind. This was offset by the big, old trees that surrounded it, mourning in song with the wind. This picturesque setting was in contrast to what was going on in the immediate surrounding area. The red and blue flashing lights of the police cars created a laser show on the whitewashed wall of the front porch. Blue uniformed men walked in and out the house, their flashlights increasing the sense of wrongness. Here and there the bright yellow of FBI on the backs of jackets identified the one group of law enforcement officers from others. His own jacket matched theirs, his badge identifying him as part of the elite group.
Steeling his emotions one more time, he breathed in the cold, arctic air. Allowing Sydney's voice to bring calmness and a sense of objectivity, he turned from his viewpoint and allowed his feet to carry him towards the front porch. Showing his badge to the police officer guarding the front door, he entered the hallway.
Everything was neat and tidy. Looking into the living room to his left, he saw the toys in baskets around the comfortable couches. He could sense the love that was still lingering in the room, bringing with it a sense of sadness. Ignoring the other ground floor rooms, he made his way up the stairs.
He caught his first glimpse of the body in the master bedroom. He had to swallow the bile that rose, turning his head so that others would not see his hurt.
Taking a deep breath, he entered the carnage. His gaze followed the pattern of blood smears that marred the rooms walls and carpet. Red against beige, the contrast seemed to hold his attention for a full minute before he could focus back on the body of the man again.
His head was caved in, the skull crushed by the heavy stone ornament that lay next to him. He could see the congealed dark of the blood that matted the black hair. His eyes was staring into the distance, no one had closed the unseeing gaze. Crouching besides the body, he looked at the broken fingernails, the bruises that had barely time to form. Rising slowly, he turned towards the connected bathroom.
It was pink. That was his first observation. Who still had pink bathrooms?
Her red hair was spread angelically around her white face. Her lips had been painted red, a cherry color that nearly tore a sob from him. He remembered the last time he had seen her and he couldn't bring that image together with the one that was no splayed unnaturally on the cold bathroom tiles.
“I assume you're the agent they sent from headquarters.”
Turning, he saw a red-faced man enter the bathroom. He was within his fifties, a round belly straining against his shirt buttons, his nose showing the blue veins of a heavy drinker. His light blond hair was thinning and his blue eyes gazed at him with an indifferent air. He knew immediately that this man had already noted most things that he would need to make an accurate assessment of him and he wondered how much of what he allowed the other to see would be interpreted as just another overworked agent who had seen to much death. Holding out his hand, he introduced himself.
“I'm agent Kennett but you can call me Jarod. Do you have any further information regarding the double murder?”
“As far as we can see, this had been unplanned. He killed the husband before doing the wife. A neighbor called the local police and I guess he got scared and ran before he could take what he wanted. Thus far we haven't been able to determine if anything was stolen.”
Nodding his head, Jarod walked out the door. The other man followed him down the short hallway. Opening the door on the other side, he entered the child's room. Everything was in disarray. Clothes and toys were laying haphazardly around the room. His feet crunched on glass from a broken lamp that lay on its side. Looking around the room, he began a frantic search for the child.
“He's not here.”
Stunned into immobility, his heart plummeted to his stomach. His jaw tightened, his eyes closed.
He knew the other was observing him, wondering about his relationship with the family. He had to swallow twice before he could get anything more than a croak out. Even then his usual deep voice cracked twice.
“What do you mean he's not here. Where is he?”
“Well, the neighbor said that the father usually picked him up from the connecting farm road when the school bus dropped him off. The father was killed before he could do that and when the neighbor went to fetch the kid, he only found his backpack.”
Following the detective down the stairs to one of the police vans parked outside, he noticed that the storm had come closer. Big, fat drops started to fall when the reached the doors, and they entered the dark interior, closing the door on the storm. The loud splatter of the raindrops on the metal roof made conversation almost impossible.
Taking the backpack from the detective, his fingers slipped over the rough material. It was blue, with yellow and white side stripes. A normal backpack bought everyday for thousands of children across America. Opening the flap, he took note of the books and pencil case inside. Taking out one of the books, he allowed his hand to linger over the carefully written words on the front. In blue pen was inscribed proudly the boy's name and parentage.
“No, daddy. I understand.”
Placing the phone back on its cradle, her other hand wiped tiredly across her face. Disappointment was evident in her body language, and she allowed a brief glimmer of it to show on her face. Rising, she went to the drinks cabinet and poured herself a good stiff finger of scotch. Downing it in one go, she bent slightly went the burning liquid hit her stomach. Just one more reminder of what the Centre is leaving her, a smoldering stomach ulcer that was laying in wait to pop and a yearly reminder of Thomas' death.
A knock on her door turned her head sideways. Another tentative one came and then she remembered her instructions to be left alone. Opening the door, she turned away as Broots entered.
“Miss Parker, s...sorry to interrupt b...but we might have a h...hit on Jarod.”
“I'm not in the mood, Broots. Do you or don't you. I am not running after his hide across the country for a might.”
Fidgeting, Broots took out a folder he had been holding.
“W...well, according to the new s...search programme I ran, h...he is in Michigan. An article was spotted t...that might” seeing the annoyed look, he cleared his throat, “s...sorry, uhm, could draw h...his attention.”
“Give me that.”
Grabbing it out of his hand, she scanned the offending item. Looking at the date and heading she made her decision. It wasn't as if she had anywhere to go or anything to attend.
“Get the jet out of the hanger and phone Sydney. We're leaving in an hour.”
“M...miss Parker, there's something else.”
Lifting an eyebrow, she snapped her fingers when he failed to comply, instead looking at his feet.
“Out with it, Broots.”
“Uhm, its Mr Lyle. He has already left and he took the plane.”
Glancing at her angry eyes, he swallowed his answer, nearly cutting the word in two.
“You can use Detective Mason's office. He is on leave for a few weeks.”
Entering the small office he gave it a good once over. This was better than he had expected, thanking the officer who had brought him here. Closing the door almost rudely in the police officer's face, he leaned against the door briefly, allowing his pent up emotions to show briefly. Stepping towards the desk, he put the DSA case on the floor next to the chair, trying to get his thoughts under control. He had never before allowed himself to be this personally involved and it was starting to get to him.
Restless, he stood up again and went back to the door. Locking it, he closed the blinders, knowing that it could be seen as distrustful and suspicious but he didn't care. Grabbing the DSA case, he put it on the desk. Opening the silver briefcase, his fingers trembled when he took the appropriate disc and inserted it into its slot. He almost didn't push the play button.
For Centre use only
The scene opened on a much younger Sydney, crouched in front of a ventilation shaft. The shaft was small, to small for an adult to enter it and seen from a closer angle was the white of someone's eyes staring silently back.
“Jarod, you have to come out of there. Come on, you can't stay there forever.”
The boy could be seen shaking his head, drawing his knees closer to his small body. Small tear tracks were barely visible in the dim light, and it was very obvious from the adult's body language that this had been going on for a while now. Sydney moved slightly, his focus on the camera as he spoke for the hidden audience behind it.
“Jarod had now been in the ventilation shaft for four hours. He is ignoring all commands to get out of there. I'm hoping that hunger and thirst might drive him out so that we can address the reason why he thought to hide there.”
Sydney could be seen focusing back on the small body determinedly wedged into the small space.
“Jarod, its time for your supper. Come on, I'm sure you're hungry.”
Again the boy shook his head, dropping it on his arms the surrounded his knees.
Sydney's voice admonished, bringing the head back up, the eyes widening slightly before the boy swallowed his fear. Ignoring the older man, he shifted his body around till his back was turned to the other. Only then did he allow the quiet sobs to come unaided. To Sydney it looked like the boy thought that if he couldn't see Sydney, then Sydney wouldn't exist. Jarod's unresponsiveness increased his worry.
Jarod stopped the DSA, leaning back in the sturdy office chair. He started to remember his reason for hiding, for wanting to find a place that was safe. It was one of the times that Sydney had gone of to visit his brother Jacob, leaving him in the hands of Raines. Raines had asked him to perform a harrowing kidnap ordeal, not withholding any physical abuse in the process. Sydney had returned earlier than expected and Raines had to let him go. He had been so immersed in the other's personality that he had ran the first chance he got. That's how he had ended up in the small shaft, too big for adults but big enough for his needs. Taking a deep breath, he leaned forward, and fast forwarded the scene to three hours later.
“I have decided to use external stimuli to see if I can't coax Jarod out of the shaft. I have brought a puppy, and will leave it at the entrance, hoping to get him close enough so that we can grab him.”
The scene unfolded to show Sydney leaving a small Labrador puppy at the entrance and then moving away to the side. The puppy sniffled and wined, drawing the young Jarod's attention. His eyes were drawn to the small warm body that lay in wait, tail wagging slightly as he sniffed his new surroundings. Lifting his eyes from the puppy, he looked around the small square area he could see. Everything was empty. Tentatively, he reached out but found that he was too far from the puppy. He had to move closer but with that brought fear and the memory of pain. Looking outside again, he couldn't see any of the adults. Quietly, he moved closer. Finally close enough to grab the small body, he was immediately pulled from his hiding hole. Screaming and kicking, he tried to get rid of the strong grip that had hold of him, hurting him. Only then did Sydney's voice register. Settling down, he was transferred from the sweeper's grip to Sydney's firm but gentle hold. Allowing the comfort of the others arms around him, he pulled his small arms around Sydney's neck, holding as tight as he could. Burrowing his face in his handler's neck, he allowed the tears to come again.
The knock on the door startled him. Grabbing the disc, he quickly closed the case. He pushed it under the desk before unlocking the door. The red faced Detective Murray were looking past him into the darkened office before focusing his gaze back on Jarod.
“Is everything all right, agent Kennett?”
“Yes, I just needed time to think. Have you received any preliminary results from the lab?”
Holding out a brown folder, he took a step back, watching the other take it. This man intrigued him, so full of compassion yet, he couldn't quite place his finger on it, there was something different, something not quite right.
Jarod looked at the detective, once again wondering just how intuitive the man was. The indifferent gaze settled on him again, before Murray responded negatively. Closing the door on the man, he took the folder to the desk. Opening it, he scanned the first page. Nothing that he could be of use to him, he turned to the others. All were along the same line, just the basic first steps that all specialists make in their initial assessments of crime scenes. It was the last page that hit him between the eyes. It was the missing persons report that is drawn up when the possibility of a kidnapping is strongly suggestive. Boldly, in black printed letters was the name of the boy he had thought he could protect.
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