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Somewhere in the lowest levels of the Centre
Sydney stared down at Jarod in horror. The couldn't be the end. "Not for Jarod. Please, God, not Jarod," he prayed as he hadn't since the car accident that took his brother from him. "Please, not my son." He had never told Jarod of his true feelings, had never acknowledged, even to himself, that he did love Jarod as son. And now, because of this damned virus, he couldn't even give him a goodbye hug.
Air ventilation system
Somewhere in the Centre
Angelo scrambled through the vents as fast as he could. His friends needed him. Both Friend and Sister were sick. He could feel Friend falling into the darkness even as he approached the sublevel Jarod was housed in.
"Friend, STOP! Fight! No Go into the DARK!," Angelo called to Jarod psychically.
"Angelo?" he heard faintly in response.
"Friend have to stay, have to fight," Angelo called back. "Sister and Mentor need Friend, Angelo need Friend."
Angelo could sense that Jarod's fall into the forever Darkness had stopped. There was no feeling of his return to the Light, but that was OK for now. He could help his friend later. Now he had to get the secrets on the DSA that he carried in his mouth to the Mentor before the Monster could hurt anyone else.
Miss Parker's House
Blue Cove, DE
Miss Parker laid on the floor in the bathroom. As soon as she could sit up without the room spinning like a top, she was gonna hunt down that lunatic labrat and shoot him in a very uncomfortable spot. This was the second time he had given her the flu and she was going to make damn sure there wouldn't be a third time.
A sudden surge of nausea swept through her and she groaned. Shooting was too good for that no-good, sugar-addicted excuse of a frankenrat boy. She wasn't sure what she was gonna do to him, but she would figure out something just a soon as she got to stop praying to the porcelain god.
Sydney stood in the doorway and watched the machines. Machines that breathed for the still figure on the bed. Machines that measured brainwave activity, heartbeats and blood pressure. Machines with tubing that pushed nutrients into that instill body and tubing that carried waste materials away. He looked at everthing in the room, everything but the motionless figure of his surrogate son.
"Sydney, they've brought in Miss Parker," a voice at his elbow announced. "She'll be here any second."
Sydney jumped, shocked at the interruption. Broots stood at his side, his gaze skipping back and forth between Sydney, the room in front of them, and down to the elevator at the end of the corridor.
A ding sounded and both men's eyes were drawn to the now-opening doors. Miss Parker's voice echoed eerily down to Sydney and Broots.
"I demand that you let go of me. What are you doing? Let Me Go! Get that needle away from my arm. NOOO! STOP!....." Slowly her voice faded away as the sedative the doctor administered took effect.
Somewhere in the Centre
"It's done. Both of them are in the infirmary. The male Red File has skipped into the stage 3 coma, but the female has seemingly stabilized while still in the first stage. She still exhibits all the symptoms, and the doctors still believe that she will enter stage 2 at any time."
"Excellent. Proceed to the next phase of the project. I want the both infected before the end of the day. And, while you're at it, infect the shrink and the computer geek. No sense leaving any loose ends."
"What about the two Red Files? When do you want the antidote administered?"
"Not until just before he enters the final stage. Have the doctor give the injection, have him pronounced dead, then move him. The "death" will illustrate to all just how deadly this virus is and when the next victims show symptoms, they will believe that they truly have a terminal illness.
Jarod floated in the darkness. It was a comforting darkness, though. Not like the darkness of the Centre. This one gave him the feeling of home, or at least what Jarod imagined home to feel like. It was almost like being hugged and Jarod loved to be hugged.
After an unestimatable amount of time, one are began to grow brighter. Jarod drifted over to the brighter area and watched in fascination as Angelo appeared in front of him.
"You OK now, Jarod?" Angelo asked.
Jarod's eyes opened in shock. "Angelo?"
"I'm fine, here. This is some unexplored area of our minds, and Raines couldn't hurt me here."
Jarod smiled. "So we can talk like this all the time?" he asked.
"I'm not sure," Angelo replied. "Right now, you're in a coma because of that virus."
"You have to keep fighting, Jarod. Don't give up. Sydney and Broots gave Stubby down in the lab your notes and I found a DSA with more information on it. They are hoping to have something for you soon."
"I don't know if I want to go back, Angelo. I'm tired. Tired of running, tired of fighting. Maybe it's time to end it all."
"NO! Jarod, you can't stop. You are needed by so many people. Just think how your death would affect Sydney and Parker, your family, and even me."
"Parker won't care and Sydney just wants his science experiment back," Jarod mumbled under his breath sarcastically.
Angelo just stared at Jarod, who wouldn't meet his eyes.
"OK, OK. I'm sorry, that was a stupid thing to say."
"Sydney would be devastated if you died. He loves you, even if he won't admit it. As for Miss Parker, she needs you. She knows you have never lied to her, never tried to manipulate her for your own good and never tried to hurt her. She needs your love, because she doesn't trust any other. With her mother and Thomas both dead, if you died, she would close off her emotions and that would be the end of our Miss Parker. So don't let her down, Jarod, by quitting now. Don't let either of us down."
"Now, you need to pull together all the strength you have to wake up very soon. There's a plot to have you declared dead and then they will move you. That happens, Sydney and I won't be able to help you. So, you have to help yourself."
Angelo's voice was fading and the darkness surrounding Jarod grew deeper. "Wake up, Jarod. Wake up..........."