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Author's Chapter Notes:

And here we are again. Wow this story is long. Well, hang on, more chapters to go.



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, Emily

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 was wonderful to be under estimated.

Parker had flown under the radar ever since being released from the T-board circus freak show that Cox was the ringmaster of. She had holed up in her office, working impossibly long hours.

They had assumed she was down and out without Broots the magnificent at her side.

They were wrong.

Angelo had found her, and despite his brain, scrambled and fried like yesterday’s omelette, the empath had proven to be a much needed ally.

Parker had been tempted to pull herself away from the Jarod pursuit, and devote her sole efforts to finding a way to free Syd and Broots, but her instinct warned that Lyle was the key to ending this charade.

Find Lyle, find Jarod and maybe then she would launch into a few hostile negotiations of her own to free Sydney and Broots. Hopefully the tech had managed to survive Cox’s scrutiny without wetting his pants.

Angelo somehow been able to stumble upon a transport order for some ‘precious’ cargo, valuable enough that a small entourage of sweepers had been ordered to oversee it.

Whoever had put the order in had made no effort to disguise it, again it was wonderful to be under estimated.

She had reached the start point as the transport just as the town cars had been pulling out, and have been following them stealth style as they slowly made their way back to the great state of Delaware.

She was more convinced than ever that her brother truly was a moron. It had been almost comical watching Jarod, who was obviously under the influence of a high-quality cocktail given the way he was stumbling around like an idiot, her brother and his team of minions chasing after the errant pretender. Lyle had underestimated Jarod, just like he underestimated her.

Parker had made a run for the treeline the second Jarod had appeared from the town car. A rural gas station, there was only one place he could go to disappear.

And now her prey was in her grasp.

Pulling out her Smith and Weston, Parker engaged the clip, casually gripping the shoulder of the pretender, who was heaving heavily from his suicide dash across the empty field.

“Hello Jarod.” She announced succinctly, pulling him into the tree cover.

Things were about the change.


And so the charade was going to continue. As amusing as playing with these two was, it was getting tiresome. Cox was worried Lyle was screwing things up with Jarod and here he was playing 20 questions with these two nobodies. It looked like it was Sydney's turn now and he had to admit the old shrink was standing up much better than he had expected. So now it was time to put some pressure of a different type on him.

Waiting patiently, he thought about the approach that would be most beneficial and he knew he had two opportunities to worry the old man. Even if he didn't show it, Cox knew that he would be fretting about this for a while to come. Hopefully by then this ridiculous charade would be over and everyone would be back where they belonged, doing what they were supposed to be doing.


“Sir?” It was the way the sweeper said it that made him look up from where he was hunched over a map, trying to implement contingency plans to capture Jarod and finally notice the silence. And then he swore. Emerging from the woods just south of the parking lot was someone he had not calculated for and in her grasp was his missing pretender. Indicating to the sweeper who stood next to him, he whispered, “Get Alex and the girl out of here.”

Then he smiled, tugged his tie into place and walked over towards his sister.

Parker couldn’t suppress a grunt as more of Jarod’s weight sagged against her.

“Hell of an escape plan you had Jarod, collapsing only steps away from your guard dogs,” she muttered.

The pretender remained silent as he leaned into her further. In all the scenarios she had played out in her mind to drag Jarod back to the Centre, the handcuffs and her Smith and Weston had been a constant in all of them. Yet here she was, helping the staggering pretender along.

Parker knew they should have stayed under the tree cover, but Jarod’s idiotic break for freedom had depleted whatever reserves he had. Her brother was busy directing the sweepers to sweep the area, so she had made a calculated risk to make her way back to her car.

Twenty steps and there wouldn’t be a man alive who could catch her.

Growing up driving Daddy’s Porsche had served her well.

Lyle stopped just short of her, aware that she had her gun out and pointing in his general direction.

“You shouldn’t be here, Sis.”

"Back off Lyle, you lost the prize," Parker snapped, continuing on her pathway towards the car, her gun carefully trained on her brother.

“I don’t think so,” Lyle said, his voice smooth and confident. He wrapped a hand around Jarod’s arm, ensuring that the pretender and Miss Parker were brought to a halt. “I’m under orders to bring Jarod back.”

“Cox will not be happy, Parker. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’re surrounded by sweepers,” Lyle growled menacingly.

"My responsibilities are not to Cox and your agenda, they are to the Centre. Last time I checked you lost your prey. I'm just the rational 3rd party stepping in, to ensure the prize makes it back home. Why don't you and your band of merry man just head back home before this gets ugly?"

“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into, Parker,” Lyle hissed. “Jarod is not well and you have no idea how to treat him. I do, so the wise thing for you to do would be to give him to me and to go home and forget you ever saw him. You might even manage to save the lives of your tech and shrink in that process.”

"Do you and Cox actually think you are fooling anyone besides the screen actor's guild? Another few hours and you'll hit the longest T-board in Centre history. Only Broots is fool enough to believe that it is real," Parker asked, folding her arms in front of her as she slammed the car door on a nearly catatonic Jarod.

“If I was you, I’d be careful who I made my bed with. You don’t want me as your enemy, Parker.”

And what a valuable ally you make Lyle," Parker hissed back, glaring at her brother. "I'll tell you what, in the spirit of family, I'll make you a deal. Boy-wonder stays with me, in my car, under my control, but you can send one of your watchdogs back with us. And don't worry, I'll be sure to sing your praises and recount second by second how your idiotic intervention helped return Jarod back to his favorite Centre sublevel."

Lyle returned her glare, folding his arms in protest. He never liked losing and giving way to his sister, felt exactly like that. His gaze shifted towards the pretender passed out on the backseat and then his thoughts gathered on Alex and Emily. He still had Jarod in his control, even if his sister wanted to baby-sit him. Fine. Let her. And if she looses Jarod, she’ll be the one taking the responsibility for it.


He smirked at her surprised expression and turned to indicate to one of the sweepers to join her. “We’ll be right behind you, Parker, so don’t get any ideas about letting Jarod escape.”

"You seem to be doing that well enough for the both of us Lyle." Parker replied, climbing into the car. If Lyle had half a brain on his head, he would have insisted on accompanying her, but it appeared that all the genetic potential in that department had been bestowed to her. She had bought herself some time, she had Jarod, and now all she needed was a plan.

Chapter End Notes:
Next chapter: Sunday

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