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Chapter or Story Chapter or Story
Keywords - MPJR
Summary - Miss Parker finds another Pretender in the Centre in the form of a little girl with a link to Miss Parker herself.
Disclaimer- Miss Parker, Jarod, Sydney, Broots, Sam the Sweeper, Willie, (Whew! Am I done yet?!?) Raines, Lyle, Mr. Parker, Brigitte, and Mrs. Catherine Parker do not belong to me....that was depressing. They belong to NBC and now, maybe, TNT. No infringement intended so please don't sue me. On the other hand any other characters you run across and don't sound familiar are probably mine so you can sue all you want about them, but you won't see a penny.
A/N: An old story that was my first, but please R&R!!!!
ANGELWING By Jaclyn Parker
All the earth, though it were full of kind hearts, is but a desolation and a desert to a mother when her only child is absent. -Elizabeth Gaskell
Miss Parker walked towards her office with her usual brisk pace and her usual "I-own-the-world-and-it's-all-on-my-shoulders" attitude and sighed heavily when she noticed Broots and Sydney waiting for her inside. Pushing the door open hard she smiled to herself when Broots jumped slightly.
"What now?" she said crossing over to stand in front of her desk. "A package from Wonder boy?"
When she got no response she turned to face the two men, her head titled and a look of mock amazement on her face. "Don't tell me we have a lead? You boys do remember what those are, right?"
Broots cleared his throat and glanced nervously at Sydney who normally had a calm facade was visibly shaken. Miss Parker, seeing this exchange of looks, approached Broots and raised her eyebrow.
"Well, umm, Miss Parker, you were kinda right on the first guess." Broots stammered out. "He sent a DSA."
"Of my mother?" Miss Parker said voice turning soft and curious. Broots once more shot a look to Sydney who nodded slightly. Again Miss Parker saw this and began to feel a stir of something in her gut.
"Not exactly. Um, you need to sit down to watch this, Miss Parker." Broots said walking over to stand behind her office chair, where a DSA player had been set up on the desk. Next to it was a glass of clear liquid which Miss Parker had a feeling wasn't water but vodka.
"What the hell is going on here?" Miss Parker asked wary of where the conversation was headed.
"Please, Parker." Syd said gently. "Trust us. You need to sit down."
Now Miss Parker was nervous and the gut feeling intensified greatly. She walked over to her desk, took her seat and watched the screen expectantly. Broots inhaled deeply, pushed the disc in, and typed in the play code.
The screen came to life and Raines' face appeared immediately. He and his sidekick in the world of evil, Willie, were talking to a young child seated at a child's play table. The room was completely barren with the exception of a white movie screen in what appeared to be the back of the room. On the far right of the room a tiny cot was visible and a lone teddy bear was on the bed. The shot was now focused on the young girl's face. The child could have been no more than 3 ½ or 4 years of age. Her hair fell to just past her shoulders and her eyes were wide like those of a frightened animal.
"Are you going to cooperate today or is Willie going to have to punish you again?" Mr. Raines wheezed out slowly and menacingly. The child shook her head violently and looked up at Mr. Raines. Miss Parker couldn't explain it, but there was something about the girl that got to her. Not in a bad sense, just she couldn't put her finger on it.
The girl opened her mouth and then closed it again. Then as if she had come to a grave decision, she spoke.
"Mr. Raines?" the girl spoke in a tiny bell-like voice. "Please. This is the last time I will ever ask you. Please, I wanna see a picture of my mama. Please?"
Raines sighed deeply and nodded to Willie. Willie's arm lashed out and caught the young child across the face. Miss Parker felt uncontrollable rage as her eyes gathered with tears and her hands clenched and unclenched. The child was knocked off her tiny chair and huddled on the floor. Raines began to move towards her and she scurried, on her hands and knees, to the cot. She grabbed the bear off the bed and clutched it to her chest, trying in vain to hide herself from Raines' harsh words. Raines crouched down to her eye level and put his face right in front of hers.
"Because you solved that difficult SIM earlier and I know you will never disobey me again, I will show you a picture of your mother." He made a move as though to leave, but turned back around and gave the child a look of disgust. "But you do remember that your mother is dead, right? She killed herself to get away from you, her rotten and selfish daughter. I am the only who cares whether you live or die."
The girl nodded and Raines moved away. Off camera you could hear the door to the room slam shut and the child winced. The girl climbed onto the cot and watched the canvas eagerly, a bruise already forming where Willie had struck her. Miss Parker gasped again and covered her mouth with her hand. Sydney and Broots again shared a look this time knowing that the woman in the seat in front of them would never be the same. For the picture on the canvas in the room was none other than a picture of Miss Parker.
Miss Parker looked at the bottom left hand corner of the screen, her hand covering her mouth and her eyes wide in shock. The words read Catie 3/03/98 and just under them said For Centre Use Only.
"Syd?" Miss Parker finally spoke and cleared her throat. She looked for the glass of liquor that had been sitting next to her and she drowned the whole thing before she spoke again. "Syd, how...when...why?"
Miss Parker stood and paced her office violently. Frustrated she slammed her palms down onto her desk and hung her head.
"Dammit!" she yelled making Broots jump at the amount of anger and malice in her voice.
"Parker, the package the DSA came in had a note inside too." Sydney said handing a slip of paper to the distraught young woman. Miss Parker opened it quickly and read it aloud:
"Miss Parker, this came to me addressed under the name project ANGELWING. Looks like brother, Lyle, wasn't the only family member Daddy didn't tell his Angel about."
"Broots! Search the mainframe for anything in reference to ANGELWING." Miss Parker said throwing a glance his way.
"Already started." Broots said quickly. He and Sydney made their way to the door and just before Broots followed Syd out he turned back to Miss Parker.
"Miss Parker?" She turned and looked at him with pain in her eyes. "We will find her. I know we will."
Miss Parker just nodded and he slipped out the door. Miss Parker walked back over to her desk and looked at the still fame of the little girl crying on the gray cot. She cursed the day she ever heard of a place called The Centre and touched the screen gently where the image of the child was.
"Where are you little one?" she whispered her voice filled with pain. Miss Parker hit play and watched the girl cry herself into a restless sleep, every tear striking her heart like a blow. She echoed Broots earlier words, "We'll find you.