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Author's Chapter Notes:

Just have typos and misprints checked by my lovely guardian angel, Antoinette!

This chapter features one of my favorite songs. I just thought it fitted very well with J & MP relationship at the beginning of the season.

Of course, lyrics and music are not mine! And so all the characters, as usual.

10.03 a.m.

Sydney and Parker spoke about strategy for a couple of hours. When Lyle and Raines summoned Miss Parker, she answered she would go to their office whenever she felt like it.

Broots was tense and busy, he was working at his computer with great diligence without listening to a word his two colleagues were saying.

Before indulging in dangerous conversations, Broots and Sydney had inspected Miss Parker’s office and Sydney’s. They hadn’t found any bugs. The phones didn’t have any recording devices. Apparently, they could talk freely.

“What will you say if they ask you clues on Jarod’s movements?” Sydney asked.

“I could tell them the truth.” she replied, starting to feel the signs of an incoming migraine. “That he’s hidden inside my house and he is located a few miles from here.”

Then she realized she hadn’t previously mentioned this to Sydney and Broots, so she got ready for a change of mood.

“I didn’t ask him to, he came back on his own. He said he feels safer here than anywhere else, he says…”

The thing embarrassed her and she didn’t want to talk in front of Broots. So Sydney sent him a glance and asked him to leave them for a few minutes.

“Uhm, I…I’ve got a meeting with my friend Johnny at internal affairs. We’ll catch up later.”

When Broots left, Sydney invited Parker to sit close to him on the sofa.

“You’re worried.”

“I can’t help it, can I? I’m going to face my brother and Raines everyday, knowing that Jarod is hidden in my own house.”

“Why did he come back?” Sydney demanded her. He already knew the answer, but he wanted to hear it from her.

“Jarod thinks that it could be easier to face this thing together. He says that he feels vulnerable when he’s away from me, that it’s easier when we’re together.”

“And what do you think?”

“I’m not cut out to be the lovely wife, Syd!”

“I guess that’s not Jarod’s intention to make you feel like.” he replied, almost amused.

“Perhaps it’s easier for him, but not for me! I’m the one bringing my sorry ass to this madhouse, pretending that nothing has changed. I’m going to lie to everyone, forge evidence of Jarod’s movements, make Lyle believe that I’m still hunting him…while he’s hidden at my place!” she almost shouted, standing up and gesticulating.

“If anything happens to him, I’d never forgive myself. After all he’s been through because of me.” she concluded, sighing.

“You’ve got the same problem you’ve always had….your guilt come to the surface. Don’t let them come between you and Jarod. You’ve built something good, don’t let the past destroy it.” Sydney suggested.

“But the past still exists, Sydney, it’s a shadow we can’t delete, it sticks.”

“So you must be very good in learning from your mistakes, we all have to.”

“And how are you coping with this?”

“Helping you and Jarod was a good start. I’ll talk with Raines to find out what he did to your memories. At least, you may find some peace.”

Sydney rubbed her arms and then exited the office. Parker sighed and regained her Ice Queen mask. She only had to pretend that everything was like before. After so many years, she had become a Pretender too.

“Sis, we were waiting for you.” Lyle announced, admiring her entering his office with a fierce look.

“I guess you killed time messing around with each other’s fingers.” she quipped. “No more thumbs exchanges, lately?”

Ignoring her, Raines intervened, “Where have you been?”

Parker reviewed the new rules of the game. Be a good liar, you must believe what you’re saying.

“I was following a clue to find Jarod. A personal track, that I had to go through on my own.” she explained, sending Lyle a glare.

“We can’t work well if you start going around the States alone and without sweeper teams. You could at least have taken Sam with you!”

“Jarod lured me in an impasse. I was hoping to find information about my mother’s death, but he cheated on me, as usual. I have been trapped up in a basement for three days. I had to wait for Sydney and Broots to find me.”

Lyle stared at her, not so convinced, “Where were you?”

“New Haven.” she answered, sincerely.

Raines took a worried look at Lyle. Could they both be aware of the existence of Catherine’s manor?

“Jarod…did he tell you anything about our mother?” Lyle asked.

She shook her head, “I never saw the damn Lab Rat, he left me a message to make fun of me.”

“What did it say?”

Parker need to think quick, she tried to get in Jarod’s shoes. After all, she had received his messages for years, she could pretend she actually got a new one.

She slightly spread her legs, her arms folded. She looked at Raines with her blue eyes and said aloud, “Beware of enemies, but even more of friends.”

Lyle rolled his eyes, noticing that Jarod was still trying to gain a bit of his sister’s trust.

“If you don’t mind, Broots and I have work to do. Jarod was seen in Connecticut in the surroundings of the place he imprisoned me in, I must do some digging.”

“No!” Lyle screamed, standing up and following Miss Parker while she was going out.

Parker now was sure that her brother’s nervousness was due to the fact that he knew about Catherine’s house. It couldn’t be otherwise, or he wouldn’t have reacted that way.

“You know, Lyle, if there’s something I hate more than having you as twin brother, it’s to have someone tell me what I should or shouldn’t do.”

“We already followed Jarod’s tracks, all dead ends. We must wait for him to turn up, chasing him in this very moment wouldn’t be an appropriate strategy.”

Raines looked at him worried.

What did those two have in their mind? Were they hiding something from her?

“Just think about taking care of your stump, let the pros think about Jarod!” she replied, exiting the office that once belonged to her father and now was Raines’s.

She hid behind a wall, hoping to overhear the two of them talking.

“She can’t go back there, if Jarod knows about Catherine’s house, she could find something we might have missed.”

“We already searched the house, and we never found anything, take it easy, son!” Raines answered. “Just try to keep an eye on your sister and focus on our little project, it’s the only way, the only card we still got to play with the Africans.”

“If only they hadn’t found those damned Scrolls!”

“We should thank your father, for that.”

Miss Parker had heard enough. She went back to her office, finding Sydney involved in a deep conversation with Broots.

“Miss Parker, here you are finally! I’ve found something!”

She omitted for a second the conversation between Raines and her brother as she concentrated on Broots’s computer.

“I was trying to find out if The Centre knew anything about the DSAs stolen from Jarod’s mother, I wanted to see if there was a sign of them anywhere…so I started searching inside The Centre archives; all the DSAs have been catalogued by date, year and subject. Needless to say, most of them are about Jarod.”

“Get to the point, Broots!” she yelled with impatience.

“Ok, ok…in the last years, The Centre started a digitalization of all the available DSAs to protect the information for their heritage…There’s also a copy of the disks that Jarod took away.”

Broots played a video with Jarod pretending to find out how President Kennedy was killed.

“Those bastards had already copied everything before Jarod ran…” Parker whispered, in clenched teeth.

“Yeah, if we found out sooner, we would have saved so much time…anyway…some DSAs in the list, on the other hand, had never been converted. They disappeared before the assigned personnel could copy them…”

“Print a list of those DSAs!”

“Already done.” Sydney intervened. “The recording dates match with the ones of the videos you and Jarod found.”

“And The Centre did find out.”

“A couple of years ago, an incessant research started, those DSAs made the guys at the video department get crazy, they couldn’t understand what happened to them, because the disks weren’t among the ones that Jarod stole.”

“Did my father know?” Miss Parker asked.

Broots assented, in silence. Sydney, as usual, had been left out of everything.

“I’ve checked on his correspondence and I found this.” Broots went on, giving Miss Parker a piece of paper. “It’s a letter the Triumvirate sent your father at the beginning of ’77.”

Parker read it greedily.


  Project “Mind Rain” must be carried out as soon as possible.

  We won’t tolerate any other delays, and we won’t allow the pretender

  to become a threat for The Centre.

  Doctor Raines will take control of the situation, but the boy’s guardian

  must be kept in the dark, we don’t want any interference.

  Don’t disappoint us again, Mr. Parker.


“Project Mind Rain…Have you ever heard about it, Sydney?” she asked.

“No, and it doesn’t sound good. But if it has anything to do with those DSAs…”

“Maybe it’s also what they did to me and Jarod…it does makes sense, the last stolen video was set during New Years Eve ‘76.”

Parker sat down for a moment, she was worried because of that discovery.

“Did you talk with your brother?”

“Yes, and I managed to convince them that my absence was motivated. But I also found out that they’re up to something, a project they don’t want to tell me about. And to them, it seems to be even more important than Jarod’s pursuit!”

Sydney rubbed his chin with his hand. “I doubt Raines wants something more than Jarod’s return.”

“I promise you, Syd…” Parker said finally. “He’s hiding something. And we both know what we should do about it.”

They both turned to Broots, who looked at her scared, “Why do I always get the worst tasks?!”


When Miss Parker arrived home that night, she found all lights turned off and a very weird silence. She opened the door, trying not to let him notice her presence, then she locked it. She didn’t turn the lights on at once, starting to look around, hoping to find some sign of his presence.

She made a few steps towards the living room when she suddenly felt two gentle hands touching her shoulders, two hands that knew very well her curves. A second later Jarod’s face was laying next to hers. She didn’t need to hear him talk to recognize him.

“I should install an alarm, almost everyone can enter this house.”

“I’ve been waiting for you for hours, I was getting crazy!”

Parker caught the chance to convince him to disappear, “Why didn’t you leave, then?”

“For the same reason I came. I’m addicted to your hair scent.”

Parker turned around and kissed him, then she turned on the lamp. The light almost annoyed her.

“Tell me you’ve got news.” she asked him, impatient.

Jarod reached his computer and invited Parker to follow him.

“Ethan was hidden with you, before he disappeared. There was no reason for him to leave without telling us, unless something, or someone lured him elsewhere.”

“Do you think Raines and my brother found him while we were chasing that insane sociopath?”

Jarod shook his head, “No, we would have found out. You said Ethan had started a note he never finished, what did it say?”

“Just that he needed to leave, but the note wasn’t very clear. Maybe he was hallucinating again.”

“I don’t think so, he was learning to control the voices, he was following your mother’s voice, mostly…Anyway, he didn’t know that I’ve become a bit possessive towards my family lately, so I’ve injected a subcutaneous transmitter into my father, my sister and Jesse. When I found Ethan, I did the same with him.”

Parker looked at him, surprised by that revelation, “Why can’t you locate him, then?”

“Because it activates only if the subject is at a distance of ten miles from The Centre…A precautionary measure, in case that someone drags a person I love inside that place.”

“So we know from exclusion that Ethan isn’t at The Centre.”

Jarod nodded, “Precisely.”

“Did you inject me, too?” Parker asked, she wanted to know if Jarod took that so called precautionary measure for her, too. But he shook his head in denial, “I would have never violated your privacy in such way, and besides it would have been useless. You always are at The Centre.”

Obviously, Jarod was right.

“I’ve started to think like Ethan, pretending to be him. You came  looking for your father and Alex, Ethan told me where I could find you. Maybe he felt he had to come and search for us, help me save you…”

“But why he didn’t come back later?” Parker asked. She didn’t understand where her brother could possibly be, and she was very worried for him.

“I’ve got an idea. We may try and call him back to Blue Cove. It’s the only way we’ve got to locate him. As soon as my transmitter activates, I can find him in less than one minute.”

“And how can we lure him down here? And at what cost? Jarod, he’s been prisoner of Raines for years! He had the worst childhood, maybe he just wants us to leave him alone.”

“He’s just worried and he probably doesn’t know what to do. Maybe he’s looking for your mother!” Jarod replied, trying to support his point of view.

Parker, as always, kept silent and tried to understand what Jarod was up to. “How can we communicate with him?”

The pretender stood up, glad to notice that Miss Parker was listening to him. “The only one who can is you. You’ve got a connection beyond the material.”

“My inner sense?” she asked with skepticism, knowing that she couldn’t turn it on and off as a lamp.

“You must trust the voices, Parker, they led us here. You must use it to contact Ethan and ask him to come back.”

“I can’t, Jarod.” She answered, standing up.

“You don’t have much of a choice! We need Ethan, and he needs us!”

Parker was moving back and forth, ready to blow up.

“Do it, Miss Parker…” She couldn’t help but notice his return to the Miss. “Talk to him!”

“I can’t!” She screamed. “I don’t even know how this gift works, I can’t activate it whenever I want! You can’t force me to do something I know I can’t do!”

Jarod was visibly disappointed; after everything she had achieved, she didn’t trust herself. He looked at her sitting down again, leaning her head on her hands, then he reached her.

“I trust you…and I can help you do this.”

“How?” she asked him, not convinced at all.

Jarod sighed and smile, “With love.”

He took her hands and squeezed them gently, while she looked at him scared.

“Trust me.” He asked her for the umpteenth time.

Parker sighed, then she closed her eyes. The only thing she could feel was the gentle touch of Jarod’s hands. Then his voice intervened, “Relax, Parker…Think about the last time you’ve seen Ethan…”

Parker thought about her father’s house, the fireplace, the conversation about Catherine.

“Think about Ethan…Call him…” Jarod whispered.

Parker concentrated and heard the voices mumbling. She couldn’t understand what they were saying, they were just rumbling, one over the other.

Two of them, however, seemed to be stronger than the others. She distinguished the first one very well, it was her mother’s.

“Call Ethan, Miss Parker…” Jarod went on.

She slightly moved her face, with her eyes closed and Jarod’s hands tightened on hers.

Now, she could hear also the second voice clearly.

“Ethan.” she whispered.

A second later, she was again in that burning apartment. It seemed that they were destined to meet each other there, the place where Ethan had saved her.

“Ethan!” Miss Parker repeated.

Her brother turned around, he was smiling.

“Hello, Miss Parker.”

“What are we doing here? I don’t understand…”

“You were searching for me…And your inner sense brought us back here, where everything started.”

Parker felt the words  echoing, as if that wasn’t real. But in her mind, that was incredibly real.

“Ethan…You must come back…For me and Jarod. Come back home…” she said.

“Home?” Ethan asked.

We are home…Come home! Please…”

Ethan looked at her, in silence. A moment later, Parker was in her house again, with Jarod holding her hands.

How much time had passed?


“I saw him, Jarod! I saw Ethan!”

He smiled and held her, glad that his idea had worked. He wanted to push Miss Parker so that the great gift she had inherited from her mother could grow. Jarod was sure that learning how to use it would come in handy.

“You succeeded in communicating with him?”

Parker put her hands on her eyes, “I think so…I’ve asked him to come back.”

Jarod nodded and noticed that she seemed tired and exhausted because of that experience. She was also very hot, her forehead was burning.  

“Are you okay?” he asked her, a bit worried.

“I think these are…effects of…the transfer…”

She stood up and reached the bathroom. She accepted the fact that she wasn’t fine when she found herself throwing up. She rinsed her mouth to recover, but her migraine was still there.

Jarod knocked on the door and she let him in. She was pale and very hot.

“I’m sorry it does this to you…I shouldn’t have pushed you.” he said getting closer and touching her forehead again.

“No, you were right. I just hope that Ethan got the message. Just keep checking his transmitter, will you?”

He nodded. Parker was looking better, but Jarod knew how proud she was. She would never admit being sick.

“You need some rest.”

“Yes, maybe you’re right…”

They went towards the bedroom, and Jarod prepared an infusion for her. He helped her get into bed and sat next to her, holding her hand.

Obviously, none of them wanted to sleep.

“I also have news.”

Jarod looked at her, curious. With all that had happened he hadn’t even asked her how her day at The Centre went.

“Something about your father?”

“Not exactly. I overheard Lyle and Raines talking about a special project. Something they keep hidden from all of us…they said it’s very important, especially now that the Triumvirate has got the Scrolls.”

Jarod opened his eyes wide. So they actually managed to find them. But what had happened to Mr. Parker?

“Broots found some information about a Project Mind Rain.”

That name didn’t ring a bell for Jarod, but Miss Parker had already figured that out. “We believe it’s about what they did to our memories.”

“The name is actually evocative. We must find anything we can about it.” Jarod answered.

“Tomorrow, now I really need some rest.”

Jarod tried to stand up, but she kept him by his hand.

“…Stay here with me?”

When he saw her defenseless as a child, he softened. She was a trigger-happy-hunter but she was still the little girl trying to catch his attention.


He looked at her.

“How can you be so…”

“So what?” he asked.

“Good. Fair. Honest. Pick a word. How come you don’t hate Sydney and me for all we’ve done to you? How come you don’t look back in anger?”

That is the question, Jarod thought. Sometimes he had found himself in anger or spite. Like when he had killed Damon. But then he had always felt bad, empty. He lived with that sense of emptiness The Centre had left him with, and he could fill it only when he helped other people. The smiles, the sweet words, the happiness in their eyes. That was what gave him the strength to go on and look at the future without resentment.

“Well, the night I escaped from The Centre, I ended up in Todd Baxter’s car, the man who helped me run away. Between a subject and the other, I heard this song at the radio. That was the very first song I listened to after my escape.”

“Which song?”

“The lyrics are about this main concept, don’t look back in anger.”

Parker smiled. “I know that song. I like it.”

Jarod wondered how could it be possible for them to be talking about such a normal and beautiful thing as music. “Well, I took it as my motto. Remember the chorus, don’t you? It talks about this woman, Sally, whose soul is sliding away because it’s too late. But in the end, don’t look back in anger.”

Parker sang the tune in her head, trying to remember all the words exactly.

“I immediately associated you with Sally. You knew it was too late for us, and you were walking on by. But I didn’t have to look back in anger.”

Unintentionally, Parker squeezed his hand tighter.

“I can’t really explain why I am what I am. Nobody would expect a boy taken from his family, exploited like I was…to grow up…normal.”

“Not a chance.” Parker chuckled.

“But I tried. And once I was out, I followed my instinct and conscience, as Sydney taught me to. At least, I owe him somethin, he gave me the means to distinguish good from bad. And I wanted to be among the good ones.”

Parker smiled. “I wish I had joined you sooner. But for years, too much time…I played on the wrong team.”

Jarod gave her a kiss on her forehead, “Not anymore.”

It didn’t take her long to fall asleep, with her guardian angel by her side.


9.47 a.m.

“Miss Parker! You’re here, at last!” Broots said, welcoming her, breathless.

She didn’t look well. Miss Parker was still a pale and nausea sometimes turned up again.

“Are you all right, Parker?” Sydney asked, worried for her health, as usual.

“Never been better.” She replied. “News about the Mind Rain Project?”

Broots shook his head. “I’m looking everywhere, but I haven’t found anything, yet…”

Parker had thought about it. There was still a last thing to try, she hadn’t used Angelo’s faculties yet. He was the only one who could see clearly through it all.

“I know what you’re thinking.” Sydney said. “But I would like to have a chance and speak with Raines, before addressing ourselves to Angelo.”

“Why?” she asked, and she didn’t understand why Sydney was so reluctant to let her see the empathic.

“Maybe I could use the scientific side of the project to…”

“Sydney.” she interrupted him. “The old zombie won’t believe a word coming from your mouth. You helped Jarod run too many times, you also helped him rescue children before Raines could hurt to them. Remember when you pretended you wanted to be Jes - Jarod’s clone trainer? Then you betrayed Raines and let Jarod know where he could find the boy?”

Sydney almost smiled, remembering one of his most heroic acts.

“Miss Parker is right, Raines doesn’t consider us as his subordinates anymore, he sees us as an opponent team…The only one who still enjoys his favor is Lyle.”

Miss Parker nodded. “We need Angelo, Sydney. It’s the only way.”

Sydney sighed and assented. He led Miss Parker and Broots to where they’ve always kept Angelo, the huge dark room where former Timmy could pour out his instincts.

However, they weren’t prepared for the vision they got as soon as they reached the room. Angelo was in a catatonic state, he seemed to be back to the non-conscious moments after Raines had brainwashed him for good.

“What happened to him?” Parker asked, noticing that he was looking at the floor with no signs of life in his eyes.

“He’s been like that since you came back from the island. After helping us to find you, he entered in this absent numbness and didn’t say another word. I’ve been trying to stimulate him for weeks, but to no avail.”

“What did they do to him?” Parker asked, reaching her childhood friend and leaning down to him, with a tear to her eyes. The memory of the video she and Jarod had found was still vivid in her mind.

“Nothing…nobody had anything to do with him, except me. It’s as if…he had gone back to the self he was when you were children.”

“I didn’t think I would ever miss his scribbles and exaggerated reactions when he touched objects.” Broots said, noticing that the empath’s felt-tip pens were all spread chaotically on the floor.

Miss Parker got nearer and looked at Angelo with tenderness. When he didn’t even flinch at her presence, Parker took his hand and squeezed it. When he felt the touch, he suddenly raised his face and stared at her.

“Miss Parker…Danger…” he whispered.

Sydney was wide-eyed. “I can’t believe this! He just talked!”

“Miss Parker…Jarod…Danger!” Angelo went on, squeezing her hand and standing up, starting to speak out loud.

Parker let go of his hand and watched Angelo getting back to his normal self.

“Miss Parker…Jarod…Danger!”

Angelo continuously repeated those words, while Parker looked at him worried and scared at the same time.

“I don’t understand, why now? What’s going on, Angelo? What danger?” Sydney asked him, trying to calm him down.


Parker goggled her eyes. Angelo was saying the words she had heard in her mother’s video.

“A terrible secret is hidden at The Centre. Something my inner sense cannot foresee yet. It’s like if something born from the two of you lies in the most hidden depth of The Centre.”

“Angelo!” Miss Parker firmly took his face in her hands, asking, “What secret?”

Angelo shook his head, he couldn’t answer.

“Please, Angelo…You must help us.” she went on. Sydney was astonished by her behavior, since she had never really given importance to Angelo’s attacks, all those years.

Angelo moved towards a piece of paper and took a black pencil in his hand, then he started writing something, tracing out the words. When he was finished, he showed Miss Parker the paper, and she read out loud.






“There are no labs in that sublevel, that I know of. What could there be?” Sydney wondered.

Miss Parker knew exactly what was in that place.

“It’s the place where they keep my father and Brigitte’s son.”


2.29 p.m.

Jarod had been looking for information about Ethan for hours, by now. Sometimes he read F.B.I. top secret files just to be sure that no federal agent was hunting him because of his involvement with the subway explosion.

In spite of his efforts, every hope was vain. There was no trace of Ethan. His brother was covering his tracks and apparently he didn’t want to be found, not even by his own family..

The only hope was the transmitter, but it didn’t show any sign of life, yet.

“Where are you, Ethan?” Jarod whispered, more to the computer than to himself.

His cell phone rang, and from the ID he recognized Miss Parker as the caller.

“How’s your day in Wonderland?”

“Call me Alice, from now on.” she replied “Jarod…I spoke with Angelo.”

Parker was wandering in The Centre corridors, trying to move carefully and breezy.

“Was he helpful?”

“Maybe. It’s too soon to tell, but I believe the danger my mother was referring to in the video is connected to my brother.”

Jarod shook his head. “Lyle is already a risk for us, I do not see why he- ”

“Not that brother…My little brother, my father and Brigitte’s son.”

Jarod came back to reality. He hadn’t thought about that boy for a while, maybe because so many things had happened to him during the last year, that he never stopped a second to ponder about Mr. Parker’s legacy. He considered the child to be of great value, and yet he had disappeared without even mentioning him. Was he thinking about the little boy, when he had jumped from that plane?

“The boy…I almost forgot about him.” Jarod confessed.

“Well, didn’t. I’ve been asking my father and Raines about him for months, but they always wanted me to buy the story about the underdeveloped lungs condition, but I haven’t seen him for weeks.”

“You believe he’s in danger? And what does it have to do with us?” Jarod asked, skeptic.

“I don’t know what to believe. Any news about the fugitive?” she asked, never mentioning names in case somebody was listening.

“No, I’ve almost los- ”

Jarod stopped talking because Ethan’s transmitter just turned on and started to flash.

“What?” Parker muttered.

“That’s it!” Jarod said. “I found him!”

“Wait, I’m coming with you.” she said.


Even if the balance of their relationship had changed, Parker didn’t want Jarod to control her and oblige her to do anything.

“He’s also my brother, Jarod!”

“I know that.” he answered, while he loaded a gun, the telephone held between his ear and shoulder. “But you’d raise too many questions if you ran right now, let me take care of it.”

“No way!” she shouted against him, starting to move faster.

“Parker.” Jarod started, his voice back to the old reproachful tone he used before they revealed their love for each other. “Trust me.”

Parker stopped and just thought. Jarod was right, she truly wanted to see Ethan, but she couldn’t risk Lyle finding out. And suddenly she felt the voices, her mother’s more crystal than the others.

Let him go.

“Ok, Jarod.” she gave up.

“I’ll be in touch.”

“Be careful!” she yelled, before he could hang up.

He felt so flattered by those attentions that he smiled to himself. “When did somebody at The Centre ever found me, if you weren’t behind his back?”

He ended the call, leaving Parker almost amused.

Even if he had showed confidence to Parker, Jarod was indeed worried. He never used guns, but that day he felt he should be ready to defend his brother, at any cost. It was too much important to find Ethan, after all that time.

He followed the transmitter signal until he reached a park located a few miles from Miss Parker’s house, and he tried not to attract attention. That afternoon there were not many people around, specifically an old lady walking her dog and a couple of friends jogging and chatting.

Jarod took off his sunglasses and started to look around, hoping to see Ethan somewhere. The transmitter was beeping and Jarod followed it until its sound became more and more frequent. When he reached a huge oak, Jarod looked behind the plant.

“You’ll learn the fine art of hide and seek in time.” he said out loud, leaning over the plant.

His brother was sitting on the ground, leaning against the tree trunk. He had just a small backpack with him, but apart from that item, he looked just as Jarod remembered him.

“Jarod!” he shouted, standing up and holding him. “How did you find me?”

“That’s a long story, I’m telling you later. Now we need to go, this place isn’t safe.”

Ethan shook his head, “We’re safe, for now.”

“The voices?” Jarod asked.

Ethan nodded, smiling.


Jarod couldn’t help but hug him again warmly. He missed him so much since he left.

“Where do we start?” he asked him.

“Let’s start from you and my sister.” Ethan replied, smiling again.

Jarod made another embarrassed smile. It wasn’t easy to have those people reading him like a book.

Sydney got back to Miss Parker’s office and found her lying on the sofa. She was holding her head with her hand.

“Any news?” he asked her.

She opened her eyes and awoke, sitting up.

“No, but if there were problems, we’d already know, wouldn’t we?”

Sydney smiled and put a hand on her shoulder, “You sure you’re okay?”

“It’s going to pass…It’s just my ulcer, sometimes it kicks in again.”

He nodded. “What are you going to do with your little brother?”

“The access to SL-19 is forbidden, you can get inside just with a special card that only Raines and Lyle own. I can’t show my hand to them, I must understand what’s going on, before.”

“Maybe I do!” Broots exclaimed, entering hastily.

Miss Parker stood up and looked at him with a victorious gaze, “Found something?”

Broots smiled. “It took me hours, but I was successful in breaching the security system of the cameras in SL-19!”

“Good work, baldy!” she said, patting him on the head. Besides the pet name, Broots was surprised by her statement. He went to her computer to import the videos that he had just downloaded from the archives.

“This is a few days ago, you were still on…holiday, uhm…”

The video showed a corridor of Sublevel 19 in front of Room 47. Lyle and Raines came out of that room.

“It would be a catastrophe if my sister found out about this.”

“Don’t worry about her, she’s not even here. And when she’s back, we must keep her in the dark about it, as usual.” Raines replied.

“I don’t know…Seeing what this is about, I think we should…”

“You’re not authorized to think!” Raines shouted, showing his determination.  “The project is progressing very well, in a couple of years we’ll take it to the next phase. We only have to wait and make the best of it.”

“And what about Jarod?”

Raines grimaced. “We keep hunting him, but it would be a waste of effort. He’s got too many people helping him from the inside. We need to change our goals and get ready for a new pretender. They took Ethan away from me, but they won’t take him.”

Raines moved away. But Lyle wasn’t over yet. “And what about my father?”

Raines turned around and looked at him, smiling. “If he really survived, it’s up to the Triumvirate to show him mercy. But he had agreed with this project, since the very beginning. After all, we’re talking about…his legacy.”

Miss Parker looked at Broots as if she was hoping the video to continue, but it had stopped.

“There’s nothing more, as soon as they discovered I had intercepted this conversation they became more suspicious and blocked everything.” he explained in his defense.

“So it’s true. They want to use the baby, turn him into a pretender at the service of the Triumvirate. Some things never change.” Miss Parker murmured, through clenched teeth. After thirty-five years spent working on Jarod, that circle seemed to have no end. A new generation always led to new pretenders.

“I can’t believe your father agreed to let them take advantage of his son.”

“Well, he was not such a fatherly figure, wasn’t he, Sydney? Not to mention how much he insisted on the fact that the baby was his heir, the one who would continue the Parker’s legacy.”

In that very moment, she remembered the terrible words Mr. Parker had said before jumping off the plane. He had affirmed that the new Parker’s legacy was starting with her. What did he actually mean by that?

“One thing is for certain, we’ve got to rescue that boy. Angelo was right, he’s in danger.”

Miss Parker reached the door.

“Actually,” Sydney stopped her. “Angelo said…That you and Jarod are in danger.” He pointed out.

Parker ignored him and went out. She’d had enough.

Chapter End Notes:

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don't you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you'd never been
All the things that you've seen
Will slowly fade away

So I'll start the revolution from my bed
Cos you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside 'coz summertime's in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out

So Sally can wait, she knows it's too late as we're walking on by
Her soul slides away, "But don't look back in anger", I heard you say

Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it's night or day
Please don't put your life in the hands
Of a Rock n Roll band
Who'll throw it all away

Gonna start the revolution from my bed
'Coz you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside 'coz summertime's in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face
'Coz you ain't ever gonna burn my heart out

So Sally can wait
She knows it's too late as she's walking on by
My soul slides away
"But don't look back in anger", I heard you say

So Sally can wait
She knows it's too late as we're walking on by
Her soul slides away
"But don't look back in anger", I heard you say

So Sally can wait
She knows it's too late as she's walking on by
My soul slides away
"But don't look back in anger, don't look back in anger"
I heard you say, "At least not today"

[OASIS - DON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGER - Lyrics & Music by Noel Gallagher]

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