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Author's Chapter Notes:

Hey all, thanks again for lovely reviews. Starting school again soon, so will probably cut down chapter frequency somewhat.


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, Sam

TLM - Sydney

Whashaza - Lyle, Alex

Check end notes for when the next chapter is scheduled to arrive

Dialing the number again Cox listened to the dial tone, waiting and refusing to pace. He had safeguards in place if this went as bad as it seemed to be going, and Lyle was going to pay, and pay heavily.

It had been a scramble though to keep his head above the tidal wave of trouble that was going to come his way soon. The T-board fiasco was not going to be easily forgotten and he had lost much standing because of it. He also guaranteed Miss Parker would be more wary towards him, which had not really been his intention at all. He needed to drive a wedge between her and her brother, divide and conquer might be an oldie, but it was still a goodie.

Now Parker would hate him even more, and he hadn't even had a chance to have any fun with her, which MIGHT have made it all worthwhile.

When the phone was finally answered he snapped into it. "Do you have him?"'


Alex blinked, trying to get rid of the haze that was starting to fill his mind. He knew exactly what was happening. The drug that was meant for Jarod was now flowing in his veins.

Damn Emily. If he ever laid his hands on her….

Grunting, he managed to push himself into a semi-seated position. His mind was steadily declining. He could feel his intelligence waving goodbye to him, as it disappeared over the hill. Shaking his head, he managed to make it to his feet where he wavered for a bit until the dizziness passed.

Get Emily back.

Squinting his eyes, he blearily looked around him. He could make out trees, trees and some more trees. The litany of – Get Emily back - sang in his mind on the beat of a defunct rock song he had heard long ago.

Sniffing, he took a deep breath and started in the general direction he hoped Emily had disappeared to.


“Yes. We’re on our way back. We should be there in two or three hours.”

"Back from where?" Cox asked, relaxing only slightly at that news. "With Jarod? Intact?" He didn't trust Lyle for one second and there was going to be hell to pay for screwing this up so badly. All of this could have been done in the Centre under controlled conditions, but no. Sometimes Cox had to wonder if they all wanted Jarod out, so that they could use the so-called pursuit to pad their expense accounts.

“How many pretenders do you think we’re chasing. He’s a bit worse for wear but otherwise should be ready for his next dose when we arrive.” Lyle said, mentally rolling his eyes at Cox’s idiotic question.

"We are chasing?" Cox asked slowly, wondering just who we might entail. He hadn't answered the question about where either, which meant he probably didn't want to tell him, which meant that something no doubt had gone wrong. "You know what is riding on this Lyle; do you need me to spell it out for you again?"

“I’m well aware of why we’re doing this, Cox. My sister is driving the car that we’re in and she’s giving me a death glare,” Lyle said, giving his sister a smirk. “Do you maybe want to explain to her why we’re doing this? I’m afraid she won’t believe me.”

"Parker is there?" Cox asked, leaning back. Seems he had underestimated her after all. "And her partners as well I assume?" Where Parker went, those two clowns were sure to follow. This could actually work in his favor as no doubt they would both be squabbling like 3 year olds over who got to take credit for this. He had no intention of telling her anything, and he doubted Lyle would want to share with her either, information was power after all and Lyle loved to think he had the power.

“We had to come to an agreement regarding wonder boy and his method of delivery back to the Centre. Sydney is currently fussing over wunderkind.” Lyle turned in his seat, giving Jarod a stare, enjoying the look of fear on his face. Sydney as usual gave him a warning glance that he ignored. Maybe things could work out in regards of getting rid of Jarod’s nursemaids when they’re back at the Centre.

"He is back, in a cell within 3 hours Lyle, or you and your posse are finished here for good. Understand?" he asked with exaggerated patience.

“Understood.” Lyle slammed the phone shut, suddenly not amused anymore. He could only hope that nothing more was going to go wrong before they made it back to the Centre.


After gaining control of the gun that was currently pointed at Alex, she had made a point out of removing all potentially harmful objects from the man's possession. From her limited experience with Centre goons had taught her that they could make even a paper cut turn lethal, so 'harmful objects' really meant 'all objects'. As she was giving the unconscious man one last thorough search she couldn't help but wonder exactly what he'd done to her in the same state, but quickly managed to push the thought aside.

There was no way she could predict how long he would be out, so using a piece of string she found in his right back pocket she'd tied his hands and feet to a nearby tree. There was no doubt in her mind that if Alex truly wanted to get out he would be able to untie her ridiculous knots in less than five minutes, that was if the drugs had left him so tired he couldn't just tear the weak string in half. So more than anything it was to give her a little peace of mind, perhaps a little false sense of security as well, something she desperately needed in able to keep what little sanity she had.

Earlier, when she had heard the car arriving, the loud debate, the voice of the man that threw her of a building ringing in her ears like a warning sign, it had hit her for the first time how truly dangerous these people were, how willing they were to do just about anything just to settle a score. The same people who she now deliberately pissed off. Soon after one of the three cars she knew was out there had sped of. She was too scared to see who was still standing there, if anyone, too scared to move at all. Even though she knew they would probably be coming back, she just couldn't seem to move.

So for now she was just sitting in the woods, a gun firmly planted in her hand, the same gun that had formed a large bruise on her side, watching her kidnapper sleeping. Was he even her kidnapper anymore? Maybe she was his now. She found herself unable to answer her own question, this wasn't exactly her field of expertise. At least it hadn't been until a few moments ago.

Not willing to spend too much time thinking about that particular topic she redirected her attention to the small pile of items that had formed of things she'd removed from Alex' possession. Among them were three casings of ammunition, two knifes; one Swiss army knife, and one which she had found tucked in his right boot, four vials of an unidentified substance, three syringes with matching needles, a money clip with 50 dollars, a button she could swear matched the one that was missing from her shirt, a roll of duck tape, keys, and a disposable cell phone with a missed call.


The distant voice snapped her from her musings. She ignored the effect it had on her pulse and glanced over at Alex' unconscious form, and whispered softly "Guess that settles it tiger, we're not the only people on this 'island'".

It was time to get a grip.

She gathered up all of Alex' things and stuffed them in various pockets, making sure she knew exactly where all the weapons went. She took a lesson from the master and stuck the knife in the side of her left shoe, where it would be easy to grab. Not that she would really know what to do once she had it.

She slowly rose to her feet, careful not to make any unnecessary noises.

"Get Emily back."

She turned to face an unconscious but muttering Alex, suddenly becoming more aware of the possibility that he might actually wake up. "Yeah", she muttered, "why don't you work on that while I go to see who else has the same idea."


Broots could hardly believe what had just happened. This was high school all over again, only this time he had less hair.

He was stuck in the middle of nowhere, the closest to civilization being a cabin with at least one unknown individual inside.

"Shit!", he said in hopes of releasing some frustration. He swore very rarely, but Miss Parker seemed to positively thrive from it. Unfortunately it turned out to be just another one of those things that Miss Parker liked that did nothing for him. Like scotch.

Most annoying part of the whole thing were the two locked cars in the driveway. Sydney, who had a ride, had the keys for one of them in his right pocket, and the presumably dangerous unknown person was most likely carrying the keys for the other one. The way he saw it he had three options: A) Knocking on a door that even Lyle had the brains to run away from. B) Walking home from a place that it took two hours to drive to. Or C) Rather than severing all bonds with his Uncle Stew ten years ago when he stole his car while visiting one weekend, go back in time and ask him to show him how to hotwire a car. All seemed equally doable right about now.

From the shadows Emily watched the little bald man muttering quietly to himself. He looked unarmed and, except for the muttering, didn't seem particularly scary. So after surveying the area she decided to make her move. She walked quietly towards him, slowly raising the gun. "Freeze, or I'll shoot" she said firmly, while quietly wishing she'd managed to come up with something better to say.

"O-ok," Broots managed to squeeze out, with his back against her. Her, it was a female voice. But the shadow in the house had been a man. So either they were more than one, or... maybe she was just a little butch. "D-don't shoot. Please!" He put his arms out in an attempt to seem nonthreatening. Though halfway in the process he realized he was defying her order to "freeze", so he just stood there, his arms looking truly freezed as they hung awkwardly midair.

She eyed the man up and down, he almost looked more uncomfortable than she felt. She really expected the Centre to have trained their people better than to loose it at the sight of a gun. If it wasn't for the fact that she'd seen him before with that Sydney-person, she would have thought he was just lost in the woods. But she had, besides he was far too pasty to be an outdoorsy person. "Turn around!"

"So just to be clear, the 'freeze' doesn't apply anymore?"

"Would you just turn around!" She said, probably a bit louder than she should in case the jittery guy had backup wandering around somewhere. The man was barely moving so she added with a sigh, "No, the freeze doesn't apply anymore. Just don't make any sudden moves. Ok?"

Broots nodded vigorously as he turned around slowly, but then realized that was probably exactly the kind of sudden moves she was talking about and stopped.

From the startled look in his eyes she figured she would have to do this slowly as to not send him into a state of shock, she could only deal with one unconscious man at a time. "Now, I'm going to ask you some questions and you are going to answer me, OK?" He gave her a nod so carefully that she began to wonder if he was going in slow motion, but figured it was just another one of his little quirks and continued, "Where did Lyle and the others take my brother?"

Broots eye's grew wide. Unless she was referring to Sydney, which he very much doubted, this was - "Are you...Jarod's sister?"

No wonder they dumped this guy in the woods "Just answer the question Mr..." She quickly shot a glance in the direction she came from, trying to see if Alex had woken up, but from where she was standing there was no way she could tell.

"- Broots" he said carefully, hoping it would not anger the girl with the gun. As he continued to look at her there was no doubt in his mind that she was related to Jarod. She had the same determination, same brown hair. And most of all she scared the crap out of him, but in a different way than anyone at the Centre. Just like Jarod.

She rubbed her forehead in frustration, "Could you please just answer the question? It would make my life a whole lot easier. " She turned her head again, she needed a glimpse of that psycho.

"Yeah, um...of course." Broots muttered trying desperately to remember what the question was so he could answer it. Luckily for him, his mind decided to work with him for once, "They were going to bring him back to the Centre...I think"

"Great" Emily sighed deeply. It took her genius brother more than 20 years to figure out how to get out of that place, now she had to do it in less than a day. And she didn't even have positive confirmation he was there. "Just...great." The only hope she had would be if she could get to him before he got inside the building. Even if you ignored the bit of him being surrounded by trained professionals the idea was a little sketchy. Not only would she have to drive in her current state of mind but -

"Excuse me, ms?" Broots said and looked slightly horrified down at her now brightly red shirt, effectively breaking her fragile train of thought, "You seem to be... bleeding..." Broots said and pointed carefully at her stomach.

"Tell me something I don't know," she muttered under her breath. As she reached into one of her pockets to pull out some more duck tape in hopes of stopping the worst of the bleeding, her fingers connected with Alex' keys and an idea formed in her head. "Mr Broots, do you know how to drive?"

Chapter End Notes:
Next chapter: Thursday

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