|Out of the Darkness
Author: Yva J PM
When the truth emerges about Anton's 'death', Patty begins to question whether or not she is really ready to face the events of the past all over again.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 11 - Words: 29,863 - Reviews: 68 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 05-16-13 - Published: 10-24-10 - id: 6422605
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Since there is an overwhelming wish for me to continue with this story, I have every intention of doing so. I will be finishing one project that I have been working on and then will continue this. Please be patient, but this story will be written. I need to get my plot bunnies together so that it doesn't read like 'A Person of Value' or 'Another Journey'.
This idea has been kicking around in my head for a number of months now and unlike my AU pieces, this goes as close to the book as I am capable of doing. No I am not following the sequel tooth and nail, because I did not like the sequel that much. There will be elements in this story from the sequel, but there will not be a Roger character.
Thank you for showing an interest in this idea, and I will be posting chapters when I am able to get them written and edited. I am really excited about the enthusiasm for the story idea.
The year that this story is set in is the year 1950. It is the same year that Patty graduates from high school according to Bette Greene's sequel. Staying consistent with that, I am subtracting six years and am going with the idea that she met Anton in 1944, just before the war ended.
Fixed and edited, January 7, 2012.
Out of the Darkness
By: Yvette Jessen
He lived with a single regret, of course, he was not yet aware of what that happened to be.
For what it was worth, Phil McFee was a practical man. He knew the distinctions between things of importance and flights into the fantasy. He had joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a young man. Upon obtaining this dream job at twenty-five, he was soon filled with ambition and desired nothing more than taking part in cases that would shed the light of heroism on him.
Phil wanted to leave his mark on the world and have everyone know his name. This was a lofty goal for a man who hailed from Atlanta and had taken his first job as a county deputy right out of high school.
Over the years that followed until his appointment at the Bureau, none of his colleagues ever knew of his hopes or dreams, nor did they really care. Phil had managed to cover any form of insecurity with a façade of harsh words and direct questions. Perhaps it was that, which insured him a job working in a federal branch of law enforcement. Anything less than that would have rendered him as being weak, and he did not want to be cast off as a weak man. It was for this reason that anyone, regardless of their age or experience, would be subject to his rather harsh form of interrogation.
It was also no surprise that no other person, not even his first partner, John Pierce, ever knew that he even possessed a softer side. Over the years, he had painstakingly trained himself not ever to show it. "It's a weakness," his father had insisted on more than one occasion. These words were an ingrained philosophy that he lived with each and every day.
Phil was a person who had grown to manhood believing that it was a drawback to show compassion, and foolish to let his guard down. He would soon discover after a time that matter-of-fact indifference was the best tool in which to manipulate another person. Of course, there would come a day when this ideology would be put to the ultimate test.
He was 32-years-old when the war ended in 1945. Upon the news of it coming to an end and Nazism being eradicated, the FBI agent had managed to make a life for himself in a cozy corner office on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. It was a good life, one that gave him plenty of time to contemplate his past as well as what had happened that had brought him to this particular moment in his life.
He had not seen much of Agent Pierce since the two of them had been sent to Jenkinsville, Arkansas during the late summer of '44. Every so often, Pierce would stop by his office and tell him how well he was doing and what promotion he was up for next. It did not seem to faze Pierce in the slightest that Phil had put in a request for a transfer soon after the events had reached their eventual conclusion.
If truth were known, the younger of the two agents had slowly grown tired of his partner's ego, and as soon as his request had been approved, he was able to move on and leave the past where it belonged.
Still, he could never forget the preteen girl that he had met during that fateful summer. She had only been twelve at the time, and yet she knew exactly what she had done and accepted responsibility for it. Given his experiences with adults, he knew very few who could profess to having done the same. Today, he wondered where she was and what she was doing. She had, no doubt left the reform school and returned home once her sentence had been carried out.
To Phil, Patricia Ann Bergen's release would mark the closure of that particular chapter and he could cease reading small town newspapers and move on to something more interesting. Of course, this had proven to be much easier than he anticipated because there were always stories of spies and traitors filtering about, especially during wartime.
The years would pass and the news would change from escaped prisoners to a war ending victoriously for his country. Soon after Hitler's death, the German prisoners would be released and sent back to the war torn nation of their birth.
It was now time for all of them to let go.
Although Phil would never have admitted it, the events had proven to be a blessing in disguise, because now he was no longer directly linked to John Pierce.
Phil liked his former partner about as much as he liked getting a root canal. Perhaps the underlying truth was that the two men were more alike than either of them was willing to admit. "I want to retire from this penny ante stuff and do real American work," his former partner had often complained when they had been working together.
Phil interpreted these words as a desire to quit the Bureau and go to work for the Secret Service. Instead of taking Pierce's words seriously, Phil had cast them off as the words of an over-ambitious agent.
The day Phil's past would come back to haunt him was a day he would never forget. It was as though he had stepped into a time machine and was hurled back to that fateful day in 1944 when they had appeared at the home of Harry and Pearl Bergen in order to interrogate their twelve-year-old daughter.
The sky outside the window of Phil's office had gone from blue to gray in the matter of hours. Fog had descended all around D.C. and it was clear that that winter had turned out to be much colder than normal. He tapped a pen impatiently against his desk as he looked down at several of the documents that he had been given to sign.
He had completed another case, and was now sitting in the office and filing the necessary paperwork with the Bureau. This was the most uninteresting part of his job, but it had proven to be a great necessity nonetheless. After all, much of the paperwork involving former cases somehow enabled him to solve present day ones.
As he affixed his signature to the final document, the sound of someone impatiently tapping on the door to his office could suddenly be heard. He raised his head as he closed the file and cast the pen aside. "Come in," he called out and waited.
The door opened and much to his dismay, John Pierce sauntered into the room. His former partner's eyes still carried the same ambition they had when the two agents had done field work together. "Agent Pierce," he said, still addressing him with his surname. He was not one who would idly use first names, not even if it was requested of him. If anything, this would enable Phil to maintain some formal distance from a person whom he did not necessarily like.
For his part, Pierce simply closed the door and strode the length of the room and sat down on the chair opposite the desk. "How you doing, McFee?"
"Alright," he responded, "and yourself?"
"Fine and dandy," Pierce said, a smug smile finding its way to his lips. The senior agent's eyes stared across the desk at Phil as he continued speaking. "I just wanted to stop by and say 'good-bye'. You probably won't see much of me around here anymore."
Phil studied his former partner's face for clarification, but receiving none, he silently waited. The elder of the two men carried an expression on his face that reminded Phil of those guys who would be out playing cards all night and had perfected a stony poker face.
"You're leaving?" He eventually asked. Internally, he was thinking, well, don't let the door hit your backside on the way out.
"Aren't you even interested in hearing about what happened and how this all came about?"
Not necessarily, he thought, but instead of vocalizing those feelings, he raised his head. "Well, I figured you'd get around to telling me," he responded plainly.
Pierce took a deep breath as a smirk lined his otherwise chiseled features. "It's no secret, McFee, I got the promotion I was waiting for." A smug smile remained even after the words had faded.
Do I really want to hear this? Phil asked himself. Instead of being rude, he responded. "Congratulations. How'd it come about?"
"I was able to combine information from several of my cases, and file a report with my superiors," Pierce said, the arrogant smirk still on his face. "The irony is that it all tied back to that Jenkinsville thing."
"I don't follow," Phil responded. "That was six years ago."
"I know," Pierce nodded. "I suppose that since it's been so long since it happened, I should probably come clean on it. There were a few things that I didn't tell you about that case when we had it."
"What specifically did you not tell me?" Phil asked. "I recall you saying that the escapee was shot and killed and we suspected that the girl was involved."
"Do you remember what happened just before we went to their house?" Pierce asked.
"Sure, you came by my hotel room, banged on the door, and when I opened it, you showed me a piece of yellow paper and said that we had to go and talk to the girl."
"The information I had was falsified," Pierce confessed.
"Don't play off like you have suddenly gone deaf, McFee," Pierce said, his eyes practically gleaming. "I knew what that brat did; I just needed to back her into a corner to get her to confess. Much of the information I had about Reiker was false." As he was speaking, a sly grin stretched across his face.
"You told me it was factual," Phil argued. "You swore up and down that Reiker was dead, and now you're telling me that we used his 'rumored' passing as a means to get the girl to tell us the truth."
"What difference does it make?" Pierce barked. "The kid confessed to harboring a German Prisoner of War. We got what we wanted."
"At a child's expense," Phil mused. "I know that we were the ones who put in the recommendation to send her to reform school and perhaps that was what she needed. But, after all that, the case was closed."
Pierce took a deep breath as his practiced response emerged. "Phil," he spoke the younger agent's given name. When Phil McFee raised his head, he continued. "That was why I didn't tell you that the whole thing was a trick."
"A trick?" Phil asked skeptically. "So, basically, what you're saying is that Reiker is still alive?"
Pierce shrugged his shoulders before his next words emerged. "Maybe, but it never ceases to amaze me as to what a seemingly official looking piece of paper and some theatre blood on a blue colored shirt can reap."
As if on cue, Phil's face went a shade whiter. "So, what you're basically saying is that your promotion is entirely based on a lie."
"Yeah, but they don't know that, and Reiker's not around to argue otherwise," Pierce smirked. "Look, I did what every good agent does; I managed to fudge a little bit of information and got the stupid kid to fall for it. And she did; hook, line, and sinker. I used the very same tactic when I spoke to a witness and got them to spill the beans about a mafia suspect."
"So in order to get her to spill the beans, you basically told her that her best friend was dead," Phil said.
"Don't go soft, McFee, he was just a Nazi," Pierce snapped.
"He was her friend and we told her that he was dead," Phil said. "That poor girl has been grieving him for six long years."
"Oh come on, let's not get melodramatic," Pierce snapped. "It's not our fault that the stupid kid picked the wrong friend. The bottom line is, when a suspect lets their guard down, we pounced and ended up getting everything we wanted. What do you care about some traitorous kid in a silly hick town?"
In lieu of a response, Phil's eyes closed slightly. "Perhaps I shouldn't care, but if Reiker is still alive..." His voice trailed as he looked at his former partner, and allowed his next question to emerge. "Is he?"
"So, was he ever captured?" Phil asked.
"Yes, they did catch up with him that night in Buffalo. That much was true. It was also how we ended up getting the shirt. Since the bullet hole was not all that dramatic, I took the incentive to doctor it up a bit. After that, I came to get you and we went to get the girl's confession. As far as I know, Reiker was taken to a prisoner of war camp in New York and stayed there until the end of the war."
"And none of this bothers you," he whispered. "Not even a little."
"No, why should it?" Pierce responded as he got to his feet and started towards the door. When he turned back around and saw the skeptical expression on Phil's face, his expression darkened. "Look, McFee, I don't need a lecture from you on morality." He opened the door, but stopped before stepping out into the hallway. Turning around, he regarded Phil through threateningly narrowed eyes. "Don't go and do something stupid, McFee. I have enough clout that I can destroy you."
With these words still hanging in the air, the elder of the two agents left the room.
Once he was gone, Phil raised his head and stared as the door was closed. "Then it is abundantly clear that his only intention was to come in here and brag," he muttered under his breath. "Typical."
Getting to his feet, the FBI Agent quietly went over to the filing cabinet to file the group of folders away, his thoughts still drifting back to the conversation he had had with Agent Pierce.