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Hey all. Thanks again for wonderful reviews and well-wishes. Exam went absolutely fab and I am now completely done with school until fall. Yay!
Hope you like the new chapter
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.
There was no doubt whatsoever in Cox's mind that the doctor was lying to cover up for his friend. Loyalty that was given freely was so much more impressive than bought loyalty, no matter how displaced it was. When Mr Broots finally cracked and admitted not only to the embezzling, but to also helping the Pretender, then that alone would also be enough to implicate the doctor.
Mr Broots would be watching and wondering, so easy to break it was hardly any fun at all.
All of a sudden, light pouring into the small cell. Broots looked up only to be faced with a rather unpleasant looking sweeper. He wasn't ugly, well in that case moderately so, it was more the fact that Broots knew that whatever he was up to would not be pleasant.
"Up" the sweeper growled and grabbed his arm.
At least he got one of his questions answered. He would be the next to make an appearance at the T-Board, not Miss Parker. He decided to think that was a good thing. He would have to think of the reason later though.
Jarod leaned back from the laptop, stunned. Miss Parker, Sydney and Mr. Broots were back at the Centre and in going through a T-Board session for embezzlement. Cox was leading the interrogations, but Jarod could see Lyle's hand working behind the scenes. But where was Lyle? He hadn't been seen around the Centre for almost three weeks and not even Raines' files hinted on where he was or what he was up to.
Jarod turned back to the computer. "What kind of evidence did they have," he wondered to himself. The Centre was whacked, but even they wouldn't put a Parker through a T-Board without some kinda proof. The repercussions were too great to do that.
Broots tried his best to sit calmly in the uncomfortable chair. Cox had not said a word since he sat down, neither had any of the other people he assumed was in the room, just out of sight. But wasn't going to loose it, not this time.
He had done nothing wrong, he knew that for a fact. For the last couple of months there had been no 'special projects' for Miss Parker, no favors for Sydney. He was safe. This was all just a game to scare him into admitting something they never knew he'd done before he told them. At least that's what he imagined Miss Parker would tell him, and Miss Parker was usually right about these things.
They would use every trick in the book to scare him and he would just have to do his best not to let them know they were being successful.
Five minutes later Mr. Cox was still leafing through a thick folder of papers, and not paying any attention to him.
"W--what do you want?" Broots finally managed to say, not as confidently as he hoped, but anything was better than just sitting here, waiting for the bullet to strike.
Cox smiled broadly at him, taking note of the time. He would be collecting on that bet. Mr Broots could not stand the pressure and Cox had known the longer he made him wait, the more he would sweat.
"Let me ask you a question Mr Broots." He finally looked up at him, pulling at the sleeves of his jacket, which had ridden up slightly. "What do you want?"
Never in all his years working for the Centre had anyone asked him what he wanted, not even in his coffee. So needless to say the already nervous tech was thrown a bit off guard. He ended up staring at Cox for several minutes, not really managing to come up with an answer.
"Please Mr Broots, you must want something?" Cox said after the silence dragged. "Do you really expect me to believe you are perfectly content in your work here, no grievances at all?" He asked, raising his eyebrow in imitation of Miss Parker.
"Well, regular hours and a pay raise would be nice." He said jokingly. Mr Cox did not look amused.
"We don't pay you enough Mr Broots?" Cox asked calmly. "You feel your work is undervalued?" He sat back, casting a glance off to the side before looking back at the nervous tech who looked like he was about to faint.
"N-no!" He knew it was a trap, he just knew it."That's not what I meant I'm only saying-" what was he saying? "I'm only saying..." he looked around the room, desperately searching for an answer that wouldn't result in him laying dead in a ditch somewhere. "I'm only saying it would be nice to have a weekend off every once in a while."
"It would seem to me Mr Broots that you are not entirely sure what you are saying at all." Cox smiled at him. "You can relax Mr Broots, this is not the Spanish Inquisition after all. It is not like we are going to pull out the thumbscrews."
Broots let out a nervous laugh, then felt a bit stupid when he realized a few minutes later he was the only one laughing. He cleared his throat. "Cox, I mean Mr. Cox . Sir." He wiped his forehead and let out a sigh. "Could you please just tell me why I'm here, why we're all here? In the middle of checking out one of Jarod's lairs, the second in the same city? We were so close. Why now?"
That took him by surprise a little, although he didn't let it show. "Ours is not to reason why Mr Broots, we are all cogs in the same machine." He looked up as he was approached by a sweeper with a note. Reading it for a moment, he folded it precisely and put it on the table in front of him, watching at Broots' eyes were drawn to it. "Yes, the same city and yet another near miss it would seem. Are you helping Jarod Mr Broots?" He asked him plainly. He didn't think he was though, it made no sense as Jarod would be able to pay him handsomely from all of his stolen funds and Cox didn't think Broots had the criminal mastermind to commit embezzlement as a cover for more sinister activities.
He wasn't really surprised. Since he was first assigned to the Jarod pursuit he had been faced with the same question again and again. "I have a daughter. I know what the Centre is capable of." Faces who had made that clear flashed in his mind, both victims and the lost souls doing the unimaginable deeds. "I do my best to bring Jarod back to you, to this place. It's my job."
"Yes it is. So Sydney then? Or perhaps Miss Parker?" Cox queried nonchalantly. He was curious to see just how quickly he might roll over on his friends when push came to shove.
"No, of course not!" Broots sighed heavily. The more he said the more words they had to twist. "We work our ass of day and night. Miss Parker even has an ulcer because of all of this. Do you think we would do that if we were helping Jarod?"
"Perhaps.... if you wanted to appear as if you were catching Jarod." He countered with a sly smile. He was clearly very defensive about just how much time he worked and how hard he worked.
"I want to know what's on the note." Broots said agitated.
"You are in no position to ask," He snapped, as if angry and nodded to the sweeper to escort Broots back to his room. As he was leaving he paused the sweeper for a moment and handed Broots the note, which had nothing more than a confirmation of his lunch order, which would be ready momentarily.
Broots was once again sitting in his cell with no other company than the rust stain. As he was escorted back he caught a quick glance of Miss Parker in an adjacent cell, but still there was no sign of Sydney.
Where was he?