Table of Contents [Report This]
Chapter or Story Chapter or Story
by Krystal McDermott
Well, contrary to what I thought, I actually do manage to get a decent amount of sleep but whether this is due to the fact that the seats are more comfortable or that my travelling companion hasn't said a word since I handed over the precious paper with *that* formula on it is hard to say. What wakes me up is a very hard finger poking itself into my back and I roll over and glare at Jarod.
"Was that necessary?"
He grinned. "That depends. If you wanted to stay asleep while we landed so that then the plane can take you off to some other destination, no. If you wanted to get off here so that we can complete this asinine plan of yours, yes."
"Asinine?" I push my seat into the upright position and glare at Jarod.
"If you thought it was so asinine, why didn't you come up with your own then, genius?"
"I couldn't," he admits with enough frankness to make me feel slightly less angry. Slightly, I said. "Which is why we're both here, flying over the Pacific Ocean to try and explain..."
I put one hand over his mouth to shut him up. "All right. No need to tell everybody on board what we're planning." I glare at him again and, taking my hand off his mouth, turn my back on him (as much as a person can while wearing a seat belt) and pull out a book.
We land, half an hour late, after spending most of that time being bounced around as we descend through a 'pocket' of turbulence. Jarod shakes his head as we walk through the terminal. "I could have done that much better."
"Why didn't you? You know, perform your patent 'I'm a fully not-trained pilot and I can do anything better than you, nerny nerny ner ner' routine. It usually works a treat." Me, bitter?
He eyes me thoughtfully. "You're still annoyed about me waking you, aren't you?"
"Well, considering there was still almost an hour before we landed..." Hmm, that should be pointed enough.
"Look, I'm sorry. I..."
"I don't want to hear it. Let's just do what we came here for and then get on the first plane back home."
He slips a hand into mine and squeezes it gently. "You aren't the only one who's nervous about this, you know."
I rest my head on his arm as we walk. "I know."
I'm almost asleep when Jarod bursts into the hotel room, carrying a large bag of bottles and laboratory equipment. "Got it all." There's a grin on his face a mile wide and you'd think he'd never heard of jet lag. Actually, he probably hasn't.
"Good. So you can get that darned memory drug corrected and make our lives a lot easier." I lie back on the pillow and close my eyes but I can feel him walk over and stand next to the bed for a minute. I feel the softest touch of his fingers on my lips before he goes over to the table in the room and starts setting up the equipment. When I wake up, about two hours later, he's holding a test tube and examining the contents in the room's overhead light.
"I don't know."
"Of course you don't know. And you won't know until you try it."
He looks at me and I can see the next question in his eyes. Because I'm nasty, tired and grumpy, I answer it before he asks it.
"And don't try it on yourself. If it doesn't work, it might cause more harm than good."
He grins at me. "I love it when you read my mind."
"It isn't hard." I grin back and then get up off the bed and open my case. "Now that it's done, what say we get a move on? There's things to do, places to go and people to see." He's about to ask another question when I shake my head. "Later. I'll explain it later."
We sneak into the filming lot and Jarod slips into an office and finds out where Michael's trailer is. If the truth be known, this is the part I like least. Somehow it seems dishonest to pretend to be someone else and I know that in one way he isn't but it still isn't helping me in the slightest because I've never really liked deception but now I'm in well over my head and I've been lying to my parents for some time now and if I had any sense I would have stayed back in Australia with the Three Stooges and Krystal and now I think I'm beginning to rant and rave. I shake my head slightly to clear it but Jarod is too involved in his pretend (which isn't really one but you know what I mean) to pay attention and then we're inside the trailer. Fortunately no-one else is there and Michael (the actor, remember? The one who is going to freak me out by looking exactly like Jarod for obvious reasons) is obviously off filming so we can relax a bit. We just get the chance to plan a bit when I hear a voice outside that is identical to the one I just heard inside and I know what's happening. Or at least what's about to happen. I'm sitting in a chair facing the door when it opens. The door, not the chair.
"What the...Who are...?" Fortunately he's already shut the door and the security that are no doubt milling around don't hear him. In case he decides to bolt, Jarod comes up behind and blocks his way out but Michael hasn't noticed him yet. He's too busy staring at me. I smile in what I hope is a reassuring way.
"I do apologise for us barging in on you like this but it's very important that we talk to you."
"We?" I wave towards the door and Michael looks around, his eyes widening in shock as he sees a man who differs from him only in clothes.
"What on earth is - who are you?"
Jarod meets his eye. "I'm you."
"You don't remember?" I intercede quickly, not wanting to see them argue.
"Remember what? Could you tell me what's going on, please, before I call security?" He's beginning to get angry and I nod at Jarod. Luckily for us, Michael's been filming in a very familiar-looking black t-shirt and not a leather jacket. He looks around in time to see Jarod step up to him and stab the small needle into his arm. I watch as Jarod catches the suddenly-limp figure and I lock the door while Jarod puts him on the couch.
"What about the others?" He glances up and grins at me with a-somewhat-oh-what-the-heck-*very*-wild-and-totally-*not*-reassuring-in-any-way-whatsoever air. It makes me glad that I've never seen him in action before now.
"One at a time. Be patient." Showing my own impatience, I glance at my watch. "How long is that stuff of yours going to last? And will it work?" Even as I speak, though, Michael's eyelids are fluttering and he soon opens them and looks at us. I can tell that Jarod is holding his breath and he isn't the only one...
Michael opens his eyes, glances at Jarod, and a look of near-sadness comes into his eyes. "It worked, didn't it? That experiment?" Jarod nods. "I'm afraid so."
Michael glances at me and then back at Jarod. Odd that he's more comfortable talking to his own clone than to me when he wasn't before.
"She's helping us."
"What with?" Michael sits up and rubs his arm where the needle went in.
"Couldn't you have used something less painful, by the way?"
"Sorry." Jarod shakes his head. "There wasn't another option that I could come up with in a split second." He grins and Michael grins back. If they weren't clones, they'd certainly have to be identical twins. It's eerie. Okay, stupid statement. I'm jet-lagged, remember?
"Can we get the others in here?"
"Patrick, Jon and Andrea." Okay, so I don't like not being part of the action.
Jarod looks up at me. "Not L...Jamie?"
"If that drug is going to have the same effect on Jamie that it had on Michael, I'd rather be excused. Two psychopathic killers are at least one more than I can cope with and two more than I like in the world." Michael gets up off the sofa he was sitting on and grabs a glass that he fills from a water bottle on the bench. He takes a big gulp before speaking again. "Is someone going to explain what's going on or do I have to guess?"
So Jarod tells him.
Andrea steps through the door but doesn't even get a chance to open her mouth before Jarod uses his second dose while Michael closes the door. But she's not quite as quick off the mark as Michael was.
"Okay, what's going on?" She glances up at the two men who are watching her and her eyes look as though they're about to fall out of her head. "Who the - ?"
"Andrea, calm down." Although it's hard to tell, I'm assuming that it's Michael who's talking. I doubt Jarod would be that familiar. He rapidly, and unhappily, explains to her about the cloning process and I can tell she's somewhat skeptical. Still, we don't have time to explain everything. But she gets the drift pretty quickly, which doesn't surprise me that much. I expected it, at least partly.
"What about him?" The look of confusion tells me that this is Michael and makes me wish that Jarod hadn't taken off the jacket before Andrea came in.
"We need him as well as you two."
"Why?" Andrea's sitting up as well and there's a glint in her eye that reminds me strongly of Miss Parker. It's hard not to let my feelings for the person at home in Australia clash with those of the woman sitting there.
"Just - trust me. When we're all together, I'll explain. I promise."
As well as being confused, Patrick showed every sign of being incredibly guilty and, although I don't ask, I get the feeling that he'd overseen either the cloning process or the development of the memory drug. As for Jon - well, you can probably guess how he reacts. Still, we don't spend long in conversation. The five of us go back to Michael's house and tell them the plan.
"It's insane." Gee, and I thought Krystal stayed behind in Australia. No, it's Jon. I should have guessed.
"Insane or not, it's the only plan we've got - unless you can think of another one." Considering Jarod's comment on the plane, he's being very patronising but I'm getting beyond caring.
"If it's all the same to you," my voice is a little sharper than I intend but who cares? "I'd like to find out what's happening at home." Jarod looks somewhat ashamed and pulls out his phone, just as Michael nods towards his. I smile at one and take the phone from the other - guess which? "Thanks anyway, but it might be bugged. It's better to be safe than sorry."
"Yes, Sy - Patrick. Bugged." Darn. This is going to be more confusing than I thought. "Let's see. We landed at eight thirty, local time. That makes it two thirty in the morning. It's now," I look at my watch, "twenty past three which makes it..."
"Twenty past nine tomorrow morning, Melbourne time." One of the geniuses said that but I'm too busy dialing the number to work out which one. Not that it really matters.
"Hello? Sydney? It's Katherine. What's going on?"
"Was that KB? What did she want? Is everything going according to plan? Are they all OK? Have her and Jarod managed to get Michael, Andrea and Patrick yet? Did they believe them? The Centre hasn't found them yet, have they? No of course they haven't or she wouldn't have been able to call you now would she. So why was she calling you? Unless the Centre has caught Jar........."
"Krystal! Slow down, please." Sydney interrupts my concerned rambling's. Which is probably a good thing because once those little wheels of paranoia in my head start turning it's very hard to stop them.
"Well?" I ask impatiently. Sydney shakes his head smiling, obviously amused. So patience isn't one of my strongest virtues...........big deal.
"Well, since you asked so nicely, Katherine was simply calling to see if we were all fine, or to be more precise to ensure that Miss Parker was still unconscious."
I allow the breath to escape that I didn't even realise I was holding. So that was it, no big deal, no huge dilemmas, just a simple call to check in. Well he could have told me that in the first place rather than let me get so worked up. Oh my God I'm beginning to sound like Miss Parker, that can't be good. I've always been known as the nice one, I can't turn sour now. Perhaps it's just lack of sleep, or lack of pressure, I haven't had Miss P sneaking up on me for the past two days. It's a shame I was getting used to her dramatic entrances and surprise visits. She is a fierce believer in arriving unannounced. I also get the feeling Sydney is missing her theatrics and Jarod's company. He's really like a father to the both of them. Broots on the other hand may as well be on the greatest vacation of his life. Since Miss Parker.........drifted off and Jarod and KB left for the USA he's done nothing but chat excitedly about his life before the Centre, about the Chess club he was a member of in high school, and the vacation he took with Debbie last summer.
After listening to Broots story about the time he had met Gilligan from 'Gilligan's Island' for the hundredth time, I finally managed to drag myself to bed for the first time in two days and fall asleep. It was a metallic click from the end of my bed that woke me. Well to put it more accurately, it made my heart leap right into my throat and almost caused me to fall right off the bed. (I'm a light sleeper).
"Oh I'm sorry. Did I wake you?" Came an all too familiar voice, loaded to the extreme with sarcasm and fake concern.
"Miss Parker" I choked on the words as I silently cursed Jarod for not destroying her gun completely. Great and now I'm in trouble and he's on the other side of the world, it figures. How the heck did she wake up anyway? I thought the glass of 'water' beside her bed was supposed to keep her knocked out for days.
"Thank God, you're awake Miss Parker! We were starting to get concerned, you've been out for days." I lie, trying to sound relieved in order to cover up the slight fear that keeps threatening to cut off my ability to speak all together. Her face softens slightly.
"That's so kind of you Krystal. You and Sydney and Broots. I haven't always been the friendliest person to be around, yet when I was in trouble you were all concerned, how sweet." Ok now I'm confused. She can't have bought that. That was way too easy. Surely she's not that dense, although tonight I wouldn't mind if she were.
"That's OK Miss Parker. We understand that you've been under a lot of pressure. Now why don't you go and lie down some more, Sydney would be extremely worried if he knew that you were up and about already, you've be...."
"Oh cut the crap Krystal. What's going on?" Damn, she's not that stupid, but she only woke up just before I went to bed, Sydney and I made sure she drank all the water ourselves. She fell asleep almost immediately. We even stayed for an hour to make sure that she wasn't going to wake up any time soon. There's no way she could be awake again this soon. Perhaps I'm dreaming. I pinch myself to make sure.
Nope not dreaming.
"Krystal. Talk now and talk fast or you'll be the most recent Parker to drop from the family tree" She threatens and this time I'm almost certain she's sincere.
"What do you want to know?" I ask reluctantly.
"For starters I want to know why you and Sydney have been drugging me and then I want to know what all that talk was about Jarod and Katherine going to America." Excuse me for a moment while I pick my bottom jaw up from the floor! How could she possibly have heard Sydney and I talking? She was asleep! Out cold! We checked! A lot! I even shook her just to make sure (well you can never be too careful)! There is no way she could have possibly hea................
"That's right Krystal, I was faking it." OK, ok don't panic. We talked about this. All five of us discussed the possibility of Miss Parker waking up and realising that something was amiss, only problem is we hadn't discussed a solution. I'm beginning to regret that now. The only outcome that we could come up with was that she was going to kill us all and at the moment, I do believe we weren't far off. Why did she have to come in my room for?! There's Broots', there's Sydney's, why mine?! Plus I still haven't worked out how she woke up in the first place.
"I woke up before you and Sydney came to check on me, I ditched the glass of water you had so kindly supplied and replaced it with a fresh glass...........you know the rest from there. Now talk!" she yells, rather impatiently. Oh help, surely someone heard her yell. Maybe, possibly, not really.........please.
I hear a muffled noise coming from the hall. Oh thank God! I glance up at Miss P to check to see if she heard it too. Nope, doesn't appear to have. Great, now all I have to do is keep trying to stall her and somehow let who ever is outside know that I'm being held at gun point by one seriously ticked off and suspicious Miss Parker. Yeah that'll be easy. Not! Right here goes. I start to talk rather loudly, trying to attract their attention.
"Ok Miss Parker. I'll tell you everything you want to know. I'll tell you all about the glass of water and why Sydney and I were talking about Jarod and Katherine going to the USA, if you could please put the gun down." Right if they didn't get the basic run down of what's happening from that, I'm doomed.
Miss Parker simply sits there, glaring at me, waiting for me to continue. Well I would continue, but I can't, we've come so far, I can't risk her finding out now.
"Well what?" Come on, what is taking them so long? Surely they've figured out that something is definitely wrong, maybe I put too much faith in them.
"Get your butt into gear Krystal and tell me what the hell is go..........!"She stops in mid sentence and silently falls to the ground. Uh oh, she's not dead is she? I get up from the bed and begin to shake her.
"Miss Parker? Miss Parker?"
"She'll be alright Krystal. She's just asleep" Sydney assures me as he steps into my room holding a tranquilliser. I'm not even going to ask why he has one, or where he got it from. This whole night has just been a little too much to take. We pick up Miss Parker's sleeping form and carry her into her bedroom. Sydney tucks her in tentatively and switches out the light. Oh well at least she won't be sneaking into my room again any time soon. Sydney gives me a mischievous grin, one that Jarod would be proud of.
"I always knew keeping souvenirs of Jarod's different pretends would come in handy one day."
As usual, feedback is appreciated and loved!