He stared at the report in his hands for a long time, trying to comprehend what he was reading. It was a standard ambush, everything went according to plan. They were even able to capture the mole Perez had detected. The rest of the rebels were able to get away, but the mole was the primary objective. Still there was one thing that was not making any sense. He looked at Perez, who was standing in front of his desk, from over the folder. Raising an eyebrow slightly he asked, â€œHe dropped to the ground?â€
â€œI saw it myself Mr. Anderson,â€ he answered. â€œDavidson was midway through activating the system, then he just dropped to his knees.â€
â€œWas he hit by one of our shooters?â€
â€œThat was my initial thought too. I even had even had the men search for any trace of blood. But I knew they wouldnâ€™t find any.â€
â€œAnd why were you so sure of this Mr. Perez?â€
â€œIt was the way he fell sir. He didnâ€™t drop like he was shot from a bullet. He just dropped to his knees. In fact from what I saw he stared staring at the back of his hand.â€
â€œHis hand,â€ Anderson asked slowly. His head of the assault team just nodded in response. Anderson closed the report and leaned back into his chair, concentrating.What happened to Davidson? Perez coughed to get his attention. â€œYes Mr. Perez?â€
â€œI was wondering how soon until we can start interrogating the mole sir.â€
â€œAh yes, him,â€ he leaned foreword a bit. â€œIâ€™m having medical fix up his leg a bit first. No point in giving the rebels a chance to paint us as barbaric after all. Torturing a helpless, injured captive and all that. We have a very tenuous relationship with the Drakan community as it is Mr. Perez.So donâ€™t put any undo stress on it.â€
â€œIn other words,â€ Perez stated, â€œdonâ€™t target the wounded leg when we finally get the ok for the interrogation.â€ For a human he caught on pretty quick.
Anderson nodded, â€œExactly Mr. Perez.â€
â€œItâ€™d be easier to get something out of him if we did.â€
Locking his fingers together he told him, â€œThink of it as an opportunity to be creative Mr. Perez. Mr. Taylor will let you know when itâ€™s your turn with the captive, so you may want to start thinking of ways of making him talk.â€ Perez said he would and left the office and him alone with his thoughts.
Anderson stood up and faced the window behind his desk. Clasping his hands behind his back he looked at the people below. Slowly his head turned and his gaze came upon the file on his desk. Once again he was left with the question, what happened to Davidson?
â€œTheyâ€™re treating him pretty well,â€ she heard Friedman say beside her. â€œAnderson ordered he be given full medical care. He actually looked really surprised he was being treated so well. Well surprised but a little cautious,â€ he amended. Then he was quiet for a few moments. â€œIf you want I can try to get a message to him. Security is pretty tight around him but I think I can do it without being caught.â€
â€œI appreciate the offer Dr. Friedman,â€ Melissa said absentmindedly, not looking at him.
He nodded, â€œThat being said, security has been amped up all over the place. You canâ€™t even walk two feet without a security guard eyeing you. Anderson sent down an order that you had to stay in your sector unless needed elsewhere. If youâ€™re caught somewhere youâ€™re not supposed to be you will be taken in for questioning. Iâ€™m not sure when Iâ€™ll able to get you any information again. They found one mole, now theyâ€™re shaking the place down trying to see if there is another one.â€
â€œThank you for letting me know Dr. Friedman,â€ she said softly, still not looking at him. â€œBut I hope you understand if we have more than one concern at the moment.â€ He nodded sadly and looked at the other behind them. Dusty, Lance and Sparky were looking at the same thing she was. Friedman started looking too. In front of them was a pane of glass. On the other side was a brightly lit room. Usually the room wasnâ€™t used, more times than not those who were really sick were kept in here to keep them from contaminating the others. She wished that was the case this time around, it would explain everything.
No, right now they were looking at Rachel kneeling down trying to look calm and doing everything not to freak out. She was trying to talk to Jack who was sitting as far as he could in the corner. Sweating and shaking slightly, a blank and wide eyed stare currently replacing his usual expression. Melissa had talked to just about everybody involved in the fiasco and nobody could tell her what happened. Now she had to deal with the effects of what whatever happened. Not that there werenâ€™t plenty of signs that something was wrong. But she never dreamed that something like this could happen. After a few more moments Freidman spoke up again, â€œAre we sure itâ€™s a good idea to let her stay in there?â€
â€œI know where youâ€™re coming from Harry,â€ Dusty answered him. â€œBut right now Iâ€™m convinced Rachelâ€™s the one person he wonâ€™t hurt,â€ he paused before adding, â€œat the moment.â€ She could tell how much trouble he had saying that. â€œBesides, itâ€™s gonna take a team of wild horses to drag her out of there.â€
â€œIâ€™ve seen something like this before,â€ Lance spoke up. â€œIn the middle of a fight, every so often a guy just stops. Thereâ€™s no rhyme or reason, they just get tired of fighting. Sometimes there was a sign sometimes there wasnâ€™t.â€
â€œI think thatâ€™s only part of it,â€ Friedman said.
â€œI gotta agree,â€ Dusty added. â€œJack might have gotten tired of fighting, but there was something else messing around in his head long before now.â€
â€œWhy did we ignore it for so long?â€, Melissa asked, mainly to herself.
Dusty answered anyway, â€œProbably because it was easier to believe it wasnâ€™t something worse than he was letting on.â€
As they talked Jack expression finally changed. Looking frightened for a brief moment he snapped his eyes shut and put his hands on top of his head. Slowly rocking back and forth he was muttering, â€œGo away. Why wonâ€™t you go away?â€
â€œEasy Jack,â€ Rachel said in a soothing voice trying to keep him calm. â€œWho wonâ€™t go away?â€ He just kept rocking. â€œIâ€™m trying to help you, please tell me who wonâ€™t go away.â€
He started hugging his knees as he opened his eyes and concentrated on a spot in the room. Finally he said, â€œDrakan. The Drakan I killed, they wonâ€™t leave me alone. I go to asleep theyâ€™re there. I stay awake theyâ€™re there. I canâ€™t get away from them. Thereâ€™s one here now. That spider I killed in the alley, standing right there. Staring at me. Thatâ€™s all they do, stand there and stare. Staring right at me.â€ The frightened look on his face slowly turned to anger as he stood and stormed across the room. To nothing but the air he screamed, â€œWHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!â€. Tears falling down his face and dropping to his knees he sobbed, â€œWhat do you want from me?â€
Glancing over at Rachel Melissa didnâ€™t need her gift to know she was about to lose it, â€œSparkyâ€¦â€
Nodding he entered the room in a flash. â€œRachel,â€ he said softly, â€œthe boss needs to see you about something.â€ She quickly left the room as Sparky sat next to Jack. â€œHey there buddy, Arron wanted me to tell you that heâ€™s not letting anybody near your bike.â€
Rachel closed the door behind her and stood there shaking a bit. Nobody knew what to say to her. But as soon as Dusty took one step toward her she ran into his arms and started crying. â€œItâ€™s alright darlinâ€™,â€ he told here, â€œthis is tough on everybody.â€
â€œI saw something was wrong,â€ she said, â€œI should have made him talk about it.â€
â€œNow, you may have known Jack longer than I have little lady, but even I know that if you wouldâ€™ve pushed the matter eventually he wouldâ€™ve started pushing back.â€
Melissa walked over and put an arm around her and said, â€œWeâ€™re all guilty of letting this happen. So donâ€™t go shouldering all the blame for this. Only thing we can do now is help him get out of this,â€ silently she added, if that was possible.
â€œCome on little lady,â€ Dusty said while moving her toward the other door, â€œLetâ€™s get you some air.â€
She backed away, â€œNo I canâ€™t leave him.â€
â€œNobody asking you too darlinâ€™. Itâ€™ll just be for a couple of minutes so you can compose yourself a bit, alright?â€ Reluctantly she agreed and left the room.
Melissa looked back at Jack who sat there saying, â€œI tried to feel guilty I really did.â€
Chewing on a knuckle as she heard that she mumbled, â€œEmily I pray this was part of that vision you had.â€
News of Jackâ€™s state of mind spread quickly. Sometimes she doubted she would ever stop being surprised at how fast that type of news would spread. Emily just assumed it was part of the natural behavior, Drakan or human. As she walked down the hallways she could hear them talking about him as she passed. Some came up and asked her if Jack was going to be alright. Answering them honestly she replied, â€œI havenâ€™t been able to see his immediate future as of yet.â€ Some of her fellow Drakan looked depressed as she said that. A small testament to Jackâ€™s character, he was able to establish a few small friendships here and there since heâ€™s been living here. Not many, but a few. Some of the children seemed hurt by the news, especially young Jennifer who was holding her bear Polly tightly.
Of course there were those who were overjoyed at the new. Some celebrated privately, most openly, the fact the Drakan Killer, for lack of a better term, broke. Jason seemed particularly pleased at the news. They had to stop Arron from jumping him at one point. That didnâ€™t stop them from exchanging some heated words. She shook her head sadly at those who were happy with the turn of events and continued walking.
â€œDrink this darlinâ€™,â€ she heard Dusty say. Emily turned a corner and saw him try to give a cup of something to Rachel.
â€œIâ€™m not thirsty,â€ she told him softly. Emilyâ€™s heart went out to her, she was taking this harder than anybody.
â€œDrink, youâ€™re not going to do Jack any good if youâ€™re depriving yourself.â€ He put the paper cup into her hands when she wouldnâ€™t take it. Cupping her face between his hands he told her, â€œNow I donâ€™t know what going through that head of yours, but Iâ€™m telling you now weâ€™re going to do everything we can to get Jack back to the way he was. You got my word thatâ€™s my main priority right now.â€
â€œAs we all will child,â€ Emily said as she came into view. â€œJack is too strong a sprit to do otherwise.â€
Usually when she said something like that people looked grateful for the encouragement. Rachel just stared at her saying nothing. Emily was expecting this so she was already braced for it. â€œYou knew this was going to happen,â€ she accused. â€œDidnâ€™t you!â€, Rachel crushed the cup in her hand as Emily simply lowered her head. â€œWhy didnâ€™t you tell us?!â€, she demanded as she got in her face. â€œWe could have been prepared for this! We could have stopped this from happening!â€
â€œRachel,â€ Dusty tried to calm her down. He even put a hand on her shoulder that she pulled away from.
â€œWhy didnâ€™t you tell us?! Did you want him to go through this crap?! Is this how you get your kicks?!â€
â€œRachel thatâ€™s enough,â€ Dusty told her sternly. She walked away cursing in French. Dusty rubbed his eyes, â€œIâ€™m sorry Emily.â€
â€œIt is alright Dusty,â€ she told him. â€œThe child just needed somebody to lash out at. Much like Jack did awhile back.â€
â€œStill doesnâ€™t make it right.â€
â€œAt least sheâ€™s directing her anger at somebody other than herself.â€ Dusty couldnâ€™t argue with that point. â€œJack needs her to be strong right now.â€
â€œYou did see this coming, didnâ€™t ya?â€, Dusty asked while looking at her funny. â€œI have to agree with the little lady, you should have warned them.â€
Sighing Emily told him, â€œIt wouldnâ€™t have made a difference Dusty.â€
â€œYou donâ€™t know that Emily.â€ Then he closed his eyes and looked very sad. â€œLook at who Iâ€™m arguing with.â€
â€œI know it is hard to hear but Jack was meant to go through this,â€ she explained. â€œIt was just a matter of when, not if. No amount of preparation was going to stop it.â€
â€œMight have made the blow a little easier to take if we did know.â€ He looked very tired as he sat down. â€œI know I told her Iâ€™d do everything I could to help him, but I donâ€™t think I can get him back to the way he was.â€
â€œI have faith that you will Dusty. You are the only person stubborn enough to believe he could do so.â€
â€œMaybe, but Iâ€™m pretty sure his fighting days are pretty much done.â€ He expected her to agree, but she remained quiet. â€œYou donâ€™t honestly think Iâ€™m going to agree to let him do that again? Thatâ€™s what got him in this mess to begin with. Iâ€™d be a damn fool to let that happen.â€
â€œI want to agree with you Dusty,â€ she told him honestly, â€œbut I know his part in this particular drama isnâ€™t over yet.â€ She continued on her way adding, â€œAnd ultimately the final say on the matter doesnâ€™t belong to you Iâ€™m afraid.â€ Emily felt Dusty stare at her but he said nothing in return. When she exited the room she sighed to herself, â€œEven I donâ€™t know what choice he will make at this point.â€ As she remembered the vision that was responsible for him being here she added, â€œI donâ€™t think I ever did.â€
Standing outside the door leading to the room Jack was in Rachel just stared at it for a long time. She went to the cafeteria to grab him something to eat, but she couldnâ€™t open the door. What was stopping her? She promised herself that she was going to everything in her power to get him through this, yet she was staring at the door. Rachel had to be honest with herself, it was hard to see him in that condition. He was so full of life, to see him like thisâ€¦. Taking a deep breath she opened the door and relieved Arron, who looked sympathetic as he patted her on the shoulder and left the room. Alone with Jack huddled into the corner, part of her prayed that stupid little sly half grin of his would cross his lips and he say â€œGotcha.â€ That part of her was disappointed real quick.
â€œI brought you a sandwich,â€ she said as she sat down on the floor and placed the tray in front of him. â€œThey only had diet pop left, I hope thatâ€™s alright.â€
Glancing at the tray he mumbled, â€œIâ€™m not hungry.â€ At least she was able to get him to say something.
â€œCome on Jack, I know you have to be a little hungry.â€ She pushed the tray toward him a little. He was staring at it but he wasnâ€™t pushing it away either. â€œJust half a sandwichâ€¦ please.â€ Looking at her briefly he slowly reached out and took one of the halves. Rachel watched him as he ate. Every so often his eyes would flicker around the room. Seeing those Drakan he killed or looking for them she couldnâ€™t guess.
After he finished the sandwich half she felt a little better that she got something on his stomach. Now for the hard part. Reaching into a pocket she pulled out a small plastic bag that contained a couple of pills. Like she thought his eyes locked on the bag. She might as well get this out of the way. â€œDusty told me to give you these.â€
â€œWhat are they for?â€ he asked looking a little more nervous, if that was even possible.
â€œHe said they would help you relax,â€ Rachel told him. She didnâ€™t see a point in lying to him. â€œMaybe you can finally get some sleepâ€¦.â€
â€œNo,â€ he cut her off and tried to get further into the corner. â€œNo sleep. Theyâ€™re there when I sleep.â€
â€œJack calm down,â€ she said in a soothing voice as she could muster at the moment. Rachel knew this was going to be hard. â€œDusty wouldnâ€™t give you anything that would hurt you. Just take the pills and swallow themâ€¦ please.â€ He didnâ€™t look like he was going to do it. â€œIâ€™ll stay with you the entire night. Please, for me.â€ Jack looked her right in the eyes then held out a hand that was shaking. Dropping the pill into his hand he popped them into his mouth and swallowed. â€œJack I need to see if you actually took them.â€ Her heart jumped a bit as he got that annoyed look that crossed his face every so often. But he opened his mouth, he even lifted his tongue and showed her his hands, â€œThank you.â€
Rachel sat next to him and gently pulled him down until his head rested on her lap. Without thinking she started stroking his hair to calm him down. She didnâ€™t know why she started doing it, it just felt like the right thing to do. After a few moments of silence Jack spoke up, â€œRachel.â€
â€œWhyâ€¦ why are you doing this?â€
â€œBecause Iâ€¦,â€ I love you. â€œBecause youâ€™re my friend and I care about you. Like you told me I take my friendships very seriously.â€ He nodded in response and was quiet for a couple more minutes before speaking again.
â€œRachel, do you remember me asking why World Inc. needed something like me?â€
She had to think for a bit but she remembered. He asked her that right before they left World Inc. and went on the run. â€œYeah, I told you they needed someone like you.â€
â€œMitchell said they needed a thing like me.â€
That made her a little angry. Rachel had a similar conversation with him bout Jack. The way Mitchell thought still made her blood boil. â€œMitchell is an idiot,â€ she told Jack. â€œYou are the most human person I know. Donâ€™t you ever forget that, do you hear me?â€
â€œI wish I was still human,â€ he mumbled. Rachel heart broke but she said nothing. After awhile the pills took affect and Jack was asleep soon after. Rachel patted his head gently and tried to get comfortable. She also tried to find a position to get some sleep herself that wouldnâ€™t wake him up. This could be a long night, but it would be worth it.
After a couple of hours Melissa came into the room. Rachel put a finger to her lips to tell her to keep quiet. She nodded and closed the door behind her as quietly as she could. Kneeling down a few feet away from her she softly asked, â€œDo you want me to watch him for awhile?â€
Rachel shook her head a bit, â€œI told him Iâ€™d stay with him the entire night. I donâ€™t want him to think I broke my word.â€
â€œIâ€™m pretty sure he doesnâ€™t want you to run yourself ragged.â€
â€œI know, but I owe it to him.â€
â€œYou and everybody else Rachel. I told you all of us let this happened. If anybody is guilty of anything itâ€™s me. I had him do things that added to his problem.â€
Both of them went quiet when Jack stirred slightly. When it looked like he wasnâ€™t going to wake up Rachel said, â€œIâ€™m going to have to apologize to Emily later.â€
â€œShe already told me about,â€ Melissa informed her. â€œShe totally understands why you blew up at her.â€
â€œIt doesnâ€™t make me feel any better about it.â€
â€œTrust me Rachel if she felt insulted her cane wouldâ€™ve let you know,â€ Melissa said with a smile. Too bad Rachel didnâ€™t feel like returning it. Melissa started staring at Jack, but it wasnâ€™t a look of concern. It was one of confusion. Before Rachel could ask what was wrong Jack started twitching slightly, almost like he was dreaming. She remembered seeing him doing this a couple of times when they were on the run. His twitches started to get a little more violent.
â€œJack,â€ she said softly. A little louder she repeated, â€œJack,â€ and nudged him slightly.
His eyes opened suddenly. A second later he got up yelling, â€œNOOOO!â€. Scrambling away from them he turned toward them with another look she never seen on his face before. The look of somebody ready to fight for their very life if they had too. Melissa got between them and changed into a light green tiger with dark green stripes. Rachel tried to get in front of her when he lost the look and became more aware of his surroundings. â€œPlease,â€ he said in between breaths, â€œplease donâ€™t do that.â€
â€œThat was my fault,â€ Rachel told him she approached, â€œI shouldnâ€™t have startled you like that.â€ She shot a look at Melissa behind her as she reverted to her human form looking ashamed of herself.
â€œI over reacted,â€ she told her. â€œFriedman put something in my headâ€¦sorry.â€
â€œItâ€™s alright,â€ Rachel said as she put an arm around Jack. It took a few minutes but she finally convinced him to lie back down. â€œCould you hand me his coat over there?â€
â€œSure,â€ Melissa grabbed it from the corner and handed it to Rachel, who placed on top of Jack to cover him up. â€œIâ€™d better goâ€¦ something going to pop up that needs my attention before I know it.â€
â€œOk,â€ Rachel told her. She guessed Melissa was thinking the less people in here the better it would be for Jack. Rachel found herself agreeing with it. â€œWeâ€™ll see you in the morning.â€
When Melissa left them alone Jack said, â€œIâ€™m sorry.â€
â€œDonâ€™t be,â€ she told him. â€œJust try to get some sleep.â€ Jack said nothing as he stared at the wall.
The next morning Anderson walked into the World Inc. lobby and found Taylor waiting for him. After saying good morning to the receptionist he motioned for Taylor to follow him. The elevator already had several people inside who held the door for them. For what seemed like an eternity listening to the humans and their small talk they were finally alone when the last one slowly exited. Making sure they wouldnâ€™t be disturbed Anderson hit a secret switch the senior Allen had installed that would turn off the call buttons for this elevator on the other floors. â€œHow did the interrogation go?â€
â€œNot well sir,â€ Taylor said,â€ Perez and hisâ€¦ *ahem* â€˜specialistâ€™ worked on him the entire night. But so far he hasnâ€™t been talking. He wonâ€™t even admit the name he gave us is his real one.â€
Anderson smirked, â€œI would be highly surprised if that was his real name.â€
â€œTrue,â€ Taylor agreed. â€œBut Perez is asking permission to use some more, shall we say, persuasive tactics to get the information out of our guest.â€
â€œHe is rather impatient, isnâ€™t he?â€, Anderson commented. Taylor didnâ€™t respond. â€œMitchell would have come up with some more creative means before asking permission. Tell him to wait a couple of days before getting a little more aggressive, we still have to keep up appearances.â€ Taylor said he would pass it on. One more thing was still bothering him. â€œIâ€™m assuming no one still has no idea what happened to Mr. Davidson.â€
â€œNo sir, weâ€™ve been listen to the feeler we have to the rebels and so far nobody is talking.â€
Anderson thought it over as the elevator doors opened. â€œI have often found money can loosen a tongue or two in some cases. Put an offer out there for Davidson condition, and only his condition. I have a feeling somebody will bite sooner or later.â€
Rachel fell asleep before he did, again. He tried to fall asleep, he really did. But the nightmares kept coming back to him no matter what he did. Jack sat against the wall still shaking against the heat of the room. His eyes darted around the room as various dead Drakan came and went as they pleased and he couldnâ€™t do anything to stop it. One of them did something different that caught his attention. The dolphin Drakan stood in the middle of the room and stared at Rachel who was still sleeping. Feeling an anger grow inside of him Jack stood up to confront the ghost. â€œLeave her alone,â€ he demanded. It looked at him and disappeared as Jack fell back to his knees.