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Chapter or Story Chapter or Story
Each character is written by a different author (well almost, some writers add on a second later in the story), so to help you readers keep it all straight, each character has a different color.
Writer / Character
Jacci - Mr Cox
KatieQ - Miss Parker
Manoline - Broots
Tinanaz - Jarod
TLM - Sydney
Whashaza - Lyle, Alex
A new chapter will be posted approximately twice a week, check end notes for when the next is scheduled to arrive.
It had been hours. It was hard to tell how many, but what did it matter really? Sydney thumbed the edge of the metal slab he was sitting on. It felt metal anyway.
He could only assume Cox had thrown him in the dark to remind him of his blind stint after the bomb in SL-27. It wasn't as though he really minded it though. He knew whatever they were accusing them of, that Broots wasn't doing anything wrong to get caught doing and that if Miss Parker was sneaking where one shouldn't sneak, she would be able to keep her guard up. Watching them would only encourage his anxiety. Perhaps sitting in the complete black was a bit of blessing in disguise.
Sydney shielded his eyes though, when the door flung open to a stream of bright light and the bustle of two bodies thrown into his already small room. It shut just as quickly as it opened, but he was relieved to feel the two new presences in his cell.
"Nothing to fear. It's just darkness," he assured his colleagues, who were clearly in distress over this new situation. Different types of distress of course, anger versus panic, but distress all the same. The amusement in his tone was evident and he could feel Miss Parker's wrath from his seat. He suspected that she'd been saving it away for Cox anyway.
Jarod paced around the small room deep inside his mind. He glanced at the monitors situated along the far wall. The wall-hung screens showed a variety of lines, squiggles and images. Heartrate, visual images, and audio playback for the outside world were all available for his immediate viewing.
Jarod had first created this room back when he was still a child. Sydney had told him how to disengage from this and this was the result. Jarod wasn't even sure if Sydney knew about the room. It had never been used when Sydney had helped him run a SIM because Sydney always honored the 'refuge' signal. The room got a lot of use when Raines, and later Lyle, were in charge of things. Nothing that happened to his body could hurt or influence him here. But he could control his body from in here.
A glance at the visual monitor showed male legs pacing back and forth in front of his limp body. Turning up the volume allowed him to hear the argument between Lyle and Alex. Neither one knew what had happened to him and each was blaming the other for looked like his total collapse. The inside Jarod gave a smirk at that and he briefly wondered if the two would actually break out into a fistfight.
But more important issues confronted him and he knew he had to find a way to stop them. This injection they had shot him with seemed to be the same as the ones earlier. That was okay, because the antidote he had created was time released. He could feel it stopping the drugs even now. The notebook, however, was truly frightening.
A search of his memory files showed what had been happening to him. Lyle and Alex had done a good job of blocking this from his conscience mind, but nothing was hidden from him in here. The phrases 'Lyle knows best', 'I am nothing' and 'I belong to Lyle' filled long pages in the notebook. SIMs he didn't remember running were detailed in here. Even the last SIM, the one where he moved Centre money into Sydney's account was in here.
So, now he knew what the T-Board was about. Now he just had to clear their names and rescue himself and the girl from Lyle and Alex. A little reprogramming on Lyle's programming and then all was ready. Everytime he saw the notebook and the things Lyle him to write, he would automatically translate those word into words with much greater meaning. Words that went far back into his past;
Kre Kaw Toads Foot, Geese Walk Barefoot.
Parker rolled her eyes at Sydney's pathetic attempt at comfort. "I'm not the one afraid of the dark," she spat out, giving Broots a rough pat on the back in mock comfort.
"Wow, it's dark in here" Broots said genuinely surprised.
"Mhm," Sydney agreed with Broots, as if only to verify that it was indeed dark. "Have you both been through the board?"
Broots nodded, then remembered that no one could actually see him and said a quiet yes.
"Only slightly more painful than one of your psychobabble sessions Syd," Parker stated sarcastically. "Does anyone know what the hell is going on."
"Isn't it obvious? They're distracting us. Jarod needs my help and they've locked us up because we would only get in the way of their plan. Clearly, they have a plan, and Jarod is the one who will suffer," He paused, shifting his tone. "For instance, has anyone seen Lyle lately?"
Parker sighed in frustration. "Tell us something we don't know Sydney. Even Broots' dwarf mute friend could have figured that one out. They obviously have something on us. I want to know where it came from, who is behind it and why Cox seems to be more obsessed with Broots than his decaying furry friends."
"And why on earth anyone would order mayo with french fries," Broots said quietly, still not able to get Cox's disgusting lunch order out of his mind.
"I'll just call you Captain Ketchup." Parker muttered under her breath.
Sydney ignored the two, more concerned with theirs and Jarod's well being than Cox's lunch, "Cox didn't mention Broots when he was investigating me. Maybe he's questioning aimlessly to stall us, to confuse us."
Parker paced the small room, it's inner layout obvious even in the dark as it was the same unimaginative design as every other in the Centre. "We know my thumbless brother is behind this, the question is if he is working with Cox, or stringing him along for the ride."
"Either way, someone else being involved would explain why there is no real pattern in their questioning" Broots said, eerily close to the voice the analysts on SL17 used when presenting new information. "Maybe he was just stalling while we wait for the real interrogator to arrive". He shivered at the thought. He didn't think he could stand another session like the one he had with Cox.
"Don't worry, Broots. It's exactly what they would want," Sydney reassured him. "You might be onto something with the new interrogator idea. If Cox is really done with us, then why hasn't he let us go?"
"He hasn't let us go because he hasn't found what he is looking for. Whether that is a guilty omission or just buying some time, is anyone's guess." Parker replied, turning out and peering out the small window in the dark cell.
"What do you think he wants us to admit to?" Broots said, while trying to find a comfortable corner in the cell
"Whatever they think we are guilty of, and this time Broots I think you have a starring role." Parker answered.
"W-what do you mean?" His attempt to sound confident failed miserably.
"If you're innocent, there's nothing they can convict you of," Sydney attempted to convince his friend. "Without sabotage anyway. And The Centre, well..." He drifted off.
"Oh don't wet your pants Broots. Only a guilty man would have something to fear." Parker interrupted.
"Not at the Centre" He mumbled then was hit by a ray of light as the door suddenly opened. A sweeper stepped in, and for a second Broots thought about making a break for it, but then the gun flashed from under the man's suit jacket and all jail breaking ideas escaped as reality hit him, hard.
The sweeper looked up, "Miss Parker, you are free to go"