My Would-Be Savior

 

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Parker pulled her car off the road into a grove of dense oak and birch trees. She waited there, watching the rustic lodge and the matching outbuildings. Her pulse began to race.

Twenty minutes later, she heard the roar of car engines. With relief, she watched them pass her hiding place and disappear among the trees. She reached the lodge, watching everywhere. The three sweepers left behind were no problem since they knew her, but she didn't want to take the chance. At a side door to the lodge, she breathed deeply and gazed around one more time. Then she opened the door. The house was eerily quiet, a massive wood coffin. Almost everyone left when the alarm was sounded that Jarod was sighted in the vicinity. She had to admit that Broots was good at his job. She knew that Lyle would not stash a prisoner on the first floor.

She slowly made her way upstairs, when she stopped before a closed door. Parker tried the knob. Locked. He skin prickled. Nerves.

Glancing left and right, she drew a small case from behind her back and extracted a set of narrow picklocks. She worked skillfully through three of them. Finally, the fourth opened the lock with a quiet click. Again, she listened. Parker pulled out her 9mm and turned the knob. The door swung open silently, its hinges well oiled. She gripped her weapon firmly.

The room was a dark, shadowy cell with no windows. A rectangle of light spilled in from the hallway. Ahead a mounded figure lay on the only piece of furniture -- a narrow cot shoved against the far wall. She sped softly to the bed.

"Kendra?" she whispered.

"What? Who?" the figure moved into a sitting position, causing the cot to creak.

"Are you all right?" Parker reached out to support her shoulders but Kendra was sitting upright already. Kendra stiffened. "Let's get you out of here."

Kendra was suddenly suspicious, and cringed back against the wall. "You could be one of them."

"I am one of them, but I'm going to get you out of here safely."

Kendra cocked her head. Her gaze grew sharp and analytical. It was a simple matter; if she decided not to trust this woman, she would lie. That is, if the voice in her head would let her.

With Parker in the lead and Kendra half-running, they moved quickly down the stairs, and through the deserted hallway to the rear door where Parker had parked the car. Kendra's brain was working at full speed now, and her emotions were ratcheted to a fever pitch. As they reached the door, Kendra stumbled and grabbed for Parker's arm. A surge of something unfathomable pulsed through them, almost dropping them to their knees. Parker froze for a second. Once recovered, Parker pushed her outside. She pulled open the door and Kendra climbed in.

Parker turned on the ignition and drove away, breathing deeply with relief. It was only when they were on the highway that she looked over at the young girl who sat in the passenger seat. Then, she saw it. She realized why she had risked so much to rescue the Senator's daughter. She was saving something good. Herself. Every fiber in her body screamed with a sense of purpose.

Kendra reached forward and turned on the radio, then started to tune in another station. Parker watched the young teen from out of the corner of her eye. Picking up her cell phone, she hit the speed dial button, waiting.

"Sydney, I need Senator Evans' home address."

The young girl looked over at the woman who had rescued her, opening than closing her mouth, when suddenly the radio station's news update mandated their attention.

"Never mind, Syd. Just meet me at the Capitol Building. Seems that the Senator isn't at his residence. Oh, by the way have you heard from Jarod lately?" His response was in the negative, and Parker terminated the call.

* * * * * * * * *

Jarod was still locked in a meeting with SAC Greer Paris and the others from the team when the call came that the Senator had decided to address the press at the steps of the Capitol building. Excusing himself, he made his way out of the upstairs office and pulled out his cell phone.

"Sydney, where's Miss Parker?"

"She's on her way to the Capitol Building."

"I take it that the visit to the lodge at the Grange yielded the results expected. Tell her to be careful, Sydney. The Centre's going to be at that meeting with the Senator, and I wouldn't want her to get caught in the crossfire."

"Neither of you plan on telling me why though, other than Sim 230's importance."

"The less you know, the better. I've got to go," with that he terminated the call.

* * * * * * * * *

Dusk had settled over the city, and the streets were no longer subject to the rush hour traffic as Parker neared the Capitol Building. The car pulled up along the curb, only to find themselves blocked from the numerous TV news crews, there for the Senator's press conference. The young girl looked out her window, her blue eyes frantically searching the crowd for someone. When her eyes found the tall figure surrounded by not only men in dark suits but lights and reporters, a small smile graced her features. As suddenly as the smile appeared, her brow furrowed and she rubbed her fingers to her temple.

"He's in danger," she whispered, "I need to get to him." And before Parker could stop her, the young girl bolted from the car and made her way toward the steps of the building. Parker caught the movement of three men, and instinctively got out of the car and slowly made her way toward the crowd. Scanning the crowd, her eyes finally fell on Kendra, who had almost reached her father. Her skin prickled as she watched the Senator turn at the sound of his daughter's voice, when there was a popping noise. Parker watched the Senator's back arch and then he fell to his knees. Parker watched as the Senator pushed his daughter toward the man on his right, while pistols barked around her. Kendra twisted to her right and fell into Jarod's arms. There was no mistaking what had happened, the Senator as well as his daughter had been shot.

"No!" Her scream was drowned out by the sound of sirens and gunfire.

Parker started to reach behind her for her own gun, when a hand gripped her shoulder.

"Don't, Parker, there could be repercussions."

"But..." she started, only to have the good doctor shake his head.

Adrenaline pumping, Jarod pressed a hand to the hole in his charge's back, time lost all meaning. Closer the sirens wailed. His eyes scanned the crowd, and locked with Parker's. His lips trembled, but no words came.

He looked down at the blood oozing through his fingers. He applied more pressure, then closed his eyes and prayed.

* * * * * * * * *

It was Halloween, and Broots was trying to finish up his work so he could get home and take his daughter and her friends trick-or-treating, when the door to the lab opened and a large wooden crate was delivered.

"Mr. Cox?" the messenger said.

"Mr. Cox... he's not..." Broots stuttered. At that moment Mr. Cox stuck his head into the room. His face tense, his eyes cheerless in the harsh fluorescent light.

"What's this?" he asked, his mouth compressed into a thin, tight line.

"It's for you," Broots whispered, sweat already glistening on his forehead, his mouth dry, as he tried to leave the room.

"Stay, Mr. Broots." Following the directions that were stamped on the crate, Cox slowly removed the top to reveal a grim gift. Broots' eyes nearly bulged out of his head, and he had to suppress the urge to speak. The gift, similar to the one that Jarod had left to remind Miss Parker of her first meeting with Thomas Gates, was personal in nature. A graveyard scene, three tombstones, each bearing a name, and a familiar person standing behind them, only this person had turned-down wings attached to him.

"Happy Halloween, Mr. Broots," Cox said as he turned and stormed out of the lab.

Broots walked over to the model and got down on his haunches, looking closely at the tombstones. He shuddered. One was labeled Zoe; the second, Senator Kendall Evans; and the third bore the name of Mr. Cox.

* * * * * * * * *

In her home, Parker flicked on her desk lamp and collapsed into her chair, weary and frustrated. She leaned back and massaged her temples, trying to ward off a headache, when the shrill of her phone pierce the silence.

"What?"

"Are you all right?" Jarod's words hung in the air.

"How should I be?" she countered. "More innocent people died because of..."

"And will continue to die, unless something is done to stop them. You took a step towards that by rescuing her."

"Some would-be savior I turned out to be. How is...?" her voice trailed off.

"Nothing has changed, Miss Parker. We are still alone, all of us, for now, " and with that the call was terminated.

* * * * * * * * *

Jarod looked through the glass windows at the frail figure hooked to all the machines of a modern hospital, held captive for now. He pushed the door open; took a seat next to the bed, patting her pale hand before he reached for the worn paperback on the nightstand.

"Should I read some more to you?"

She nodded slightly, then tried to smile.

Opening the book to the marked page, he began to read:

"If plain men hide their true name from all but a few they love and trust utterly, so much more must wizardly men, being more dangerous, and more endangered. Who knows a man's name, holds that man's life in his keeping. Thus. . . ." Jarod looked up from the book and saw Kendra's eyes slowly close, her breathing changing to signal that she had drifted off to sleep.

The door opened slowly, the doctor in-charge entering, a clipboard in her hand.

"I'm not sure I feel comfortable about releasing her. I made the call that you asked, though, and St. Catherine's on the Hill is expecting her. You will monitor her closely, won't you, Doctor Brazelton?"

"Of course," Jarod replied. "She's rather special."

End of Episode
My Would-Be Savior

 
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