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A Time in Their Lives

Jarod sat at the desk in a worn down hotel room he had recently checked into. He had just finished a stint at the Echno Research Laboratory as a Research Assistant. It had allowed him the time he had needed to finish his research into the chemical process of the drug he had been working on for comatose patients – a hybrid Halstrom’s Technique.

His DSA machine sat in front of him replaying the disc that showed an assistant telling Sydney that his car was ready for the Mount Pleasant Home. He hadn’t known at the time it was Christmas. Christmas - families coming together, celebrating the blessings of the year.

Jarod had learned, after his escape from the Centre, that Sydney’s brother Jacob had been residing at the Mount Pleasant Home after a terrible accident. An accident that he also now knew Sydney blamed himself for.

He himself had never realized the part he had played in the entire scenario. Jarod had been but a child in a world of insanity. But the years following his escape had revealed artifacts that had brought him to his current realization. He had played a part in both the saving and death of Jacob.

Jarod thought back to the time when he had been in the Centre....

Jarod sat at the table in the Sim Lab calculating one of the many simulations that the Centre put him through, when the door to the lab suddenly opened.

A man came walking in through the door. Jarod looked up in surprise. He looked exactly like Sydney. There was a slight difference – the way the man walked – that told Jarod this was not his mentor, but a twin. The similarities were too close for them not to be.

“Hello.” Jarod said watching the man with curiosity as he moved along the wall and then disconnected the power line to the Sim Lab camera.

“Hello Jarod. My name is Jacob.” The smiling man said as he made his way to the table.

“Are you Sydney’s twin brother?” Jarod asked even though he had already calculated the answer.

“How observant of you Jarod. Yes, I am Sydney’s twin brother. He has told me a lot about you. So has Catherine Parker.”

Jarod smiled at the name of his friend’s mother’s name. “I like Mrs. Parker. She is always kind to me and asks if I am all right.”

“I know Jarod. That is why I am here. I know that Sydney has been working with you, but I need to know one thing. Have you been visited at all by a man named Dr. Raines?” Jacob waited anxiously for Jarod’s answer.

“I’m not familiar with that name, but I know that there are...” Jarod paused. Not sure whether he should continue.

“Yes Jarod? You can trust me. I want nothing more than to help you.” Jacob smiled trying to convey warmth to the cautious boy.

Jarod looked around. “I know that there are men that watch me when I perform my simulations. Men that stand in the shadows. I can’t ever see their faces.”

Jacob shook his head in agreement. He knew that Raines and the Triumverate were watching Jarod closely. They considered him a top priority. Unfortunately, he knew that there were other Raines projects. Children being used for horrible experiments. He had concurred with Catherine Parker that they had to help the children. That Dr. Raines had used unscrupulous methods to attain these children.

“Jarod. I want you to do me a favor.” Jacob pulled a crystal on a chain out of his pocket. “I want you to watch this and listen to my voice.” Jacob started to swing the crystal back and forth in front of Jarod. “You are getting very relaxed. Listen to the sound of my voice. You are relaxed, feel like you are floating.”

Jarod watched as the sparkling lights reflecting off the crystal sent him into a deep subconscious state. “Floating...” Jarod repeated.

“Good Jarod. I want you to know that Catherine Parker and I are going to get you out of the Centre later this evening. You will go with me without question. You will not remember that you saw me today and never mention anything to Sydney. Do you understand Jarod?”

“I understand.” Jarod replied in a monotone sleepy voice. “Don’t tell....don’t remember....” Jarod trailed off.

Jacob smiled. “When I count to three, you will wake up. One.” Jacob backed up toward the camera and plugged the recorder back in. “Two.” Jacob back up and opened the door. “Three.” Jacob became a shadow in the outside room.

Jarod lifted his head and went back to the simulation he had been working on.

Jarod had gone to a hypnotherapist after finding out that he had been hypnotized after seeing Catherine Parker pregnant with Ethan. It had only been then that he remembered the encounter. And with the assistance of his DSA’s, that it had been the day Jacob and Sydney had had the horrible car accident.

He smiled as he looked at the clock, knowing that Sydney would be receiving his package now. He finished sending an e-mail to the head of the research department, giving them his findings and his cure for certain types of comas. Unfortunately too late for Jacob, but not for thousands of others.

The twinkling of the ribboned packages on the table reminded him that he had to meet his father, Emily, Ethan and the boy for Christmas dinner. The first he had allowed himself to attend since finding them all. He smiled and said to himself, “Merry Christmas Sydney.” Jarod got up and gleefully grabbed the presents, heading out to his destination.

At the Centre

Sydney worked late this evening. He was use to going to the Mount Pleasant Home every Christmas week, but with Jacob gone he felt a little lost. A soft knock on the door pulled Sydney out of the file he had been reading. “Enter.”

Miss Parker opened the door, several items in her arms. “What are you doing here Sydney. It’s Christmas Eve.”

“I believe the same thing you are Miss Parker. Work helps to keep my mind off of things.” He smiled that gentle smile he used to hide his true feelings from anyone.

“Let’s just say I’m not up to eggnog and chestnuts with Lyle and Raines. This is for you.” Parker handed a long wrapped box to him. “Just a little something. This...” Parker whipped over a long manila envelope. “Is from the Lab Rat.” Parker handed over the mail to Sydney waiting patiently to see what it was. She was almost afraid to see what he had left for her at her house.

Sydney opened the envelope, dumping the contents onto the desk. The first thing he saw was a file folder. He lifted and opened the folder. He flipped the pages back and started to read.

Parker stood there for a few moments. “Well? Anything we can go on?” She asked impatiently.

Sydney looked up. “No Miss Parker. It’s just some research paperwork. Why don’t you go home and enjoy your Christmas.”

Parker straightened herself up. “Well, I hope you have a happy holiday Sydney. I’ll see you after the beginning of the new year.” Parker turned and left the office a little sad hearted. She had hoped that Sydney would offer to join her for at least Christmas Eve dinner, but concluded it would be just yet another Christmas spent alone. With a far off look, she wondered where Jarod was.

After he made sure Miss Parker had left the room, Sydney looked back down at the folder. Jarod had discovered a hybrid cure that consisted partly from the Halstrom’s Technique.

Sydney then shifted his focus to the envelope that had fallen on the desk under the folder. It looked very old. A sticky note was stuck on top.

Hope this gives you some peace of mind. Merry Christmas.

Sydney opened the envelope and pulled out a single sheet of paper. He read the semi fading words.

I have contemplated what you and I have discussed. I now know that the experiments being performed on SL-27 go beyond the psychological explorations we were suppose to be doing. I have seen the ramifications of Dr. Raines’ experiments and believe that we have no choice but to follow your course of action.
Sydney’s treatment of Jarod has given me a look at how this research should be performed. But it disturbs me that you have found evidence that these children were not abandoned, but stolen.
I will be meeting with Sydney this evening. I will talk to him in the car since it is the only place I know of where the Centre does not have ears. I have the need to thank him. His protection of Jarod has been the example to save my soul from the atrocities Raines has tormented these innocent children with.
Take care Catherine and be careful. I will call you at the predetermined time.

A tear formed in the corner of Sydney’s eyes as the realization sank in. The night of the crash was the night Jacob was going to speak with him. Somehow the Centre had found out what he and Catherine were planning – in the end silencing them both.

Sydney ran his fingers over the words – saved my soul. Sydney sighed. In his last minutes it was not disgust Jacob had felt, it was salvation. Jarod and Sydney had saved Jacob from Raines and from having to live a life he would regret.

Sydney looked off into the distance. “I love you Jacob.” He said softly, words he had never said for reasons he wasn’t even sure. And from somewhere outside time and space came a response – “I love you too Sydney.”

Quickly Sydney picked up the letter and file folder, looked around his office, and then turned to leave the office. A renewed faith surging through him that he was going to help Jarod, once and for all, stop Raines.

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