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Disclaimer : I do not own the series. I do not own the characters. No harm is intended. This story is written purely for entertainment value, so please don't sue.

Ratings : PG-13 for some very brief mentions of violence, just to be on the safe side.


Failure is not an option


Failure is not an option. It was such a cocky corporate phrase, something that they taught you in pompous yet mandatory management seminars as a way to motivate your troops. But he loved that phrase. It had a smooth ring to it, with a definite hint of steel. Enough to terrorize anyone when used appropriately. Five little words which Jarod would soon learn to fear. A nine-fingered hand in a leather glove.


Failure was not an option. They all lived their lives by that rule. All chasing each other and the truth. And the first one to find the truth... Once she had believed that the first one to find the truth won. But it seemed such a long time ago... Now she knew that the first one to find the truth got to do whatever he wanted with it. Expose it, erase it, twist it. She had her mother's plan to complete. A soft hand with a tear-shaped diamond ring.


Failure was not an option. Everyone knew it at the Centre, down to the last tecchie, down even to Frank his weird friend at the archive department, the one with the twitch... He used to think failure would mean the end of his career. Now he would almost welcome that if it meant he could walk away from all the evil in that place. But not if it meant leaving friends behind. Muttering something about being underpayed he glanced nervously behind his shoulder. He had work to finish. A nervous hand flew over computer keys.


Failure was not an option. And yet right then, failure whispered seductively at him. Why not give up? It was so hard to keep track of his thoughts these days. They seemed to scatter everywhere on the cold floor. Why do you resist? Why make things so hard for you? Why don't you just cooperate? Against such temptation all his answers seemed to slowly fade away..Yet there was something he had to hold onto. But what? If only he could be left alone for awhile, if only he could think. But the torment never let up and it was his own fault, they said. He was so stubborn, but the drugs would help with that. Bruises, cuts, and wounds.A trembling hand in metal cuffs.


Failure was not an option. With Jarod it had never been, too many things depended on it, starting with Jarod's life itself. At the first sign of weakness, Raines would have taken the pretender's training over. But now things were different and now he would have to make a choice. Jarod or the Centre. Not a choice really, for who could live without their heart? Now, all he had to do was make sure that their plan had no flaws. His hand cupped his chin thoughtfully.


Failure was not an option, not when you were smuggling a prized possession out of the Centre, all their lives were at risk. Broots was taking care of the video cameras on their path, and she allowed herself a smile thinking all they had to do now was avoid the sweepers on duty that night. If they were discovered... The Parker name would not save her this time. Her family had never understood. Even Jarod didn't understand. It was simple really : You run, I chase. They had to be equals. And so for the time being it was Sydney ahead, Broots at his computer, Jarod's hand in hers and everybody else be damned.


Chapter End Notes:

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