|Give the Devil His Due
Author: Bad Faery PM
Jackson wants a lot of things. Revenge is first on the list.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 14 - Words: 22,718 - Reviews: 333 - Favs: 162 - Follows: 209 - Updated: 01-01-09 - Published: 08-27-05 - id: 2554990
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Jackson twisted on the narrow bed, fighting for consciousness. He growled through his teeth at the agony that shot through every part of his body. The pain was unbearable, surpassing even the worst that his psychopathic father had inflicted on him.
With a feeling of triumph, he wrenched his eyes open, finding himself in a small, sterile white room. He blinked rapidly, trying to figure out where he was. As he rolled his head to the left, a tall figure came into view. Mr. Marlowe, Jackson's direct superior, took a long drag on his cigarette and shook his head slowly.
"Jackson, I must say that we're very disappointed in you."
His mind raced as he struggled to remember the chain of events that had left him in this bed. Keefe. The plane. Lisa. Knives and guns and pens. The telephone.
"Lisa..." Jackson rasped, his voice nominally stronger than it had been after his impromptu tracheotomy. "She... made the call..."
"And promptly made another one," Marlowe told him crisply. "She called in a warning to Keefe after she got away from you. A rather pathetic showing for your first assignment, don't you think?"
Jackson shifted uncomfortably, unable to think of a way to defend himself. It had been a poor showing. That slip of a girl had outthought and outmaneuvered him at every turn. Worse than that, she'd gotten around his defenses, distracted him with her vulnerable eyes and her so-very-female emotions. Mentally, he steeled himself against Marlowe's censure. He knew well enough that there was no defense he could offer that would cool his boss's anger. Deciding that his fate was out of his hands, he decided to tell the truth.
"It was a stupid plan."
To Jackson's surprise, Marlowe chuckled. However, his hopes of appeasing the man were immediately dashed when the older man spoke again, "Of course it was a stupid plan, you fool. It was your job to realize that and do something about it. And you failed spectacularly."
A test. Jackson's eyes fluttered closed. It had all been a test. He'd been so desperate to show that he was worthy of their trust that the thought had never even occurred to him.
When he opened his eyes, Marlowe was staring down at him with something that looked almost like pity. "We had such high hopes for you. The perfect candidate. Intelligent. Violent. Totally devoid of emotion. And yet you crashed and burned."
"You have one week to recuperate," Marlowe continued. "After that you will be removed from the Center's property permanently."
Jackson went stiff with shock and terror at the older man's words. Removed. He'd heard that euphemism before. And here in this bed, connected to more tubes and wires than he could count, he was totally helpless to stop them from killing him.
Marlowe chuckled again at the fear in Jackson's eyes. "So, not quite emotionless after all," he noted dryly. "You think too much of yourself, Jackson. You're not worth the resources it would take us to dispose of you."
Without another word, the man turned and left the small room. The heavy door swung shut behind him, closing with the loud click that indicated a lock. Jackson would have bet anything that he wouldn't be leaving here until his captors chose to let him out. Now he was nothing more to them than an animal in a cage.
Anger boiled inside him, burning away his pain and fear. So they thought he was useless, did they? They thought he was incompetent, a fool who was beneath their notice.
He would prove to them how wrong they were.