The Net: Still Running
A/N: Just so you all know, this is about the TV show, and NOT the movie! And this is a newer edited version of the story that was already posted. It starts off just after Angela and Mariano are arrested by the FBI near the end of the episode "Zero." The song "Kentucky Rain" by Elvis was the inspiration for this story. In past stories I always thought Praetorian HQ was in a bank, but it's not, it's in a travel agency, so that's fixed here. Sorry this took so long to finish! And don't forget to post a review! Even if you've read most of this before, a few things have changed. It says I updated this in January 2007 with chapter 12, and it wasn't finished then. But after finishing it, I went back and made some chapters longer, so as of May 2007 the story is complete and there are 12 chapters, they're just longer now. If you've already posted a comment, you can still post another one(just don't sign in and you can post as many as you want!) Thanks in advance, and thanks for past comments which kept me going! You guys are awesome!
Angela was led out of the Mattimoe Travel Agency in handcuffs along with Mariano and his gang after finally taking down the Praetorians and taking back her rightful identity. She looked around for some sign of Jacob. Perhaps he was in a police cruiser or perhaps he had gotten away. One look told her he wasn't in any of the cars on the scene which meant he must have gotten away.
After she had put on the orange jumpsuit they gave her upon entering the prison, she was ushered down a long corridor of jail cells, all of them filled with women wearing the same jumpsuit. They took her to the last one and slid the barred door open.
"Here you go, Missy. You're lucky. You get a cell all to yourself" the guard said before pushing her inside and sliding the barred door closed.
Angela stood there, staring out into the hall, holding onto the bars, wondering where Jacob was. If he hadn't already been caught, arrested, and sent to prison, then for sure he must have escaped. This meant that he could get her out of jail and Mariano and his friends too! But how would he do it?
Angela sighed and went to sit on the small cot in her cell. Who knew just how he would get her out of there? Jacob was resourceful, he would come up with something, he always had before anytime she had been in trouble. Her eyelids began to fall as she yawned. Breaking into Praetorian Headquarters had been a whole lot harder than she had thought.
She was on the cot, with her knees drawn up to her chest and her arms wrapped around her legs, deep in thought, when her cell door was opened. She looked up to see another woman being ushered into her cell. She had dirty blond hair and bulked up arms. She squinted at Angela as if checking her over to make sure she was worthy enough to be sharing a cell with.
"You've got company, Missy. Be nice!" the guard said as he closed the door.
She could hear the sound of his boots ringing on the cold concrete floor, as he walked back down the hallway.
"What're you starin' at?" the other woman asked.
"Nothing," Angela said with a sigh, resting her chin on her knees.
"Yeah, you better be starin' at nothin'!"
Where was Jacob when Angela needed him? Though that made her sound weak, like she couldn't even defend herself against another woman.
"Off the cot!"
"What?" Angela asked, startled out of her thoughts.
"You heard me! Get off the cot!!! It's mine now! You've had it all to yourself for too long now. Hurry up! Off the cot!"
Slowly, Angela got up. The woman pushed her away and sprawled out on the thin mattress as Angela went to sit in the farthest corner away from her.
For awhile, neither spoke a word to the other. The woman stayed sprawled out on the cot while Angela curled up in her concrete corner.
Where was Jacob? He should have gotten her out by now. He must have an elaborate plan or something. This was going to be even harder than breaking into Praetorian Headquarters.
"So, what're you in here for?" the woman asked.
Angela sighed, "Nothing."
"Nothin'! God, you really are dumb!"
Angela only stared at the wall in front of her.
They both looked up when they heard a voice from the hall. There was a guard standing there looking at Angela.
"Yeah! You! Come on! Someone's here to see you!"
Angela quickly got to her feet and followed the guard. She was led down the hall to another room, where she met a man in his middle forties with dark hair. Not a young man, seventeen years of age with bleach blonde hair.
"Don't tell me, I know. Jacob sent you and you're supposed to be my lawyer, right?"
"Um……I'm sorry, Ms. Bennett, but I don't know any Jacob," he said.
Had she heard him right?! He didn't know who Jacob was, but even so, he had called her by her real name, not Marx, the name the Praetorians had given her.
"I know, he probably told you not to mention his name to protect himself, I understand. Forget I said anything."
"But, I don't know who he is. Honest. And I'm not here as your lawyer."
What?! Then…..where was Jacob? What had happened to him? Why wasn't he trying to get her out of here? Had the police gotten him too? Or had something else happened to him?
"My name is Walter Cizelski. I'm here on part of the CIC."
"Center For Intrusion Control"
"Oh. What charges am I being brought up on? I have a right to know, you know."
"You're not being brought up on any charges….well, that is, if you accept my offer."
Here's where Jacob comes in. He knows about him. This Walter guy wants me to give up Jacob, I just know it!
"I'm looking for agents to populate the CIC."
"What? What did you just say?"
"I want you to go to Quantico , get some FBI training, and then work for me in the CIC."
"What? What exactly is the CIC anyway? And why? Why would you want me? I'm in jail, aren't I?"
"We police the internet. I'm sure you know how much crime happens online, and no one's taken the initiative to police it yet. I want to do that. I know how good you are with computers. And I know you're innocent. So, if you take my offer, I'll get you out of jail. Mariano and his friends already walked earlier today."
"I don't know. I told you that already."
"Jacob Resh? He was with me in all this, he helped me out. Are you sure the cops didn't get him too. Or did something else happen to him? He was there at the travel agency where I was arrested. He was breaking into the their computer system. He's got to be somewhere!"
"I have no clue who you're talking about. No clue at all. Now, what about the offer? If you don't take it, you'll have to go to court and you'll probably end up with a life sentence in jail. If you take the offer, you leave jail right now, with nothing on your record. And you'll have a job."
"I'll take it."
Maybe this way she could find Jacob. She knew he was out there somewhere. He was probably just hiding out somewhere until he felt safe enough to come out. But it was ok. Wherever he was, she was sure he was ok. He had to be.
"OK, well, I need to go talk to a few people about this, get it finalized. I'll see you later."
A guard came in and walked Angela back to her cell after Walter left. When she was ushered into the cell, her cellmate didn't even look up at her. She was lying on the cot, her hands behind her head, and her eyes closed. Angela sat in the corner.
She couldn't seem to get him off her mind. She knew there had to be a logical reason why Jacob hadn't contacted her. He could take care of himself. She knew this, but she still couldn't seem to get him off her mind. She couldn't seem to stop worrying about him. He was fine though, she know he was. He had to be. But then where was he? Maybe if she took this job she was just offered she'd be able to find him. Right, like he'd ever think to look for her there. He'd never find her in an FBI office!
Angela looked up to see her cellmate looking at her.
"So, was he the one that's been on your mind this whole time?"
"The guy that was just here to see you?"
"How do you know it was even a guy?"
"Cause, I just know these things. So? Was he?"
"No, someone else."
She didn't need to know about the job. She wouldn't know the difference. Whatever. Hey, how did she even know she had a guy on her mind? Well, they were not like that anyway. But she still couldn't get him out of her brain.
"So, then it must be your husband on your mind then?"
"I'm not married."
"Ah sure you are. A guy that's on your mind twenty-four/seven. You're married. Whether by a priest or not, you're married if you think about him that much. I certainly hope he thinks about you just as much, otherwise it's a one sided marriage."
"I told you, we're not married."
"Yeah right. That's just what you WANT to think."
Angela turned her head away as a single tear slowly made its way down her cheek.
He had to be out there somewhere. He just had to be safe and OK.
"Hey! I was talking to you!"
Turning back, Angela quickly wiped the tear away.
"Were you crying?"
Two hours later, another guard came back for Angela. Quietly, without a word to the other woman, she walked out of the cell and down the hall with the guard. She was lead into a beige room with only a chair and a table inside. On the table were her clothes and a yellow envelope containing her personal things. She took off the orange jump suit and put on her old clothes and took her watch and wallet out of the envelope. She was then lead out to Walter who was waiting for her.
"Glad to be out of there?" he asked.
"Yeah, I am."
She gave a slight smile as they walked outside to his waiting rental car.
If Jacob didn't go to her, she had to go to him, wherever that was. She couldn't leave him out there alone.
"Where are we going? You know I have no place to live, right?"
"We're basing our operations out of Washington State. Your apartment is still there, still in your name. Past rent and all utilities have been paid by the government. We've got a plane to catch in two hours."
Angela stared at him in awe. "You would do that for me?" she asked.
"The government did. Not me, personally. Besides, I know how good you are. You're exactly what we need."
Stepping out of Walter's actual government issue grey Ford Angela felt odd to be back home. It had been almost a whole year since she'd seen her old apartment. She wasn't sure if she was elated at everything being over, or afraid of finding some long dead Praetorian inside. Looking from the apartment building to the street her eyes widened to see her old, rusted out, blue Jetta sitting at the curb.
"That's my car..."
"And these, I do believe, are your keys," Walter said, handing her a set of keys. "Here's my business card, call me in the morning and we'll discuss what's what, then, ok?"
"Yeah sure. Hey, really, thanks for everything. I really appreciate it."
"No problem. Just don't forget to call me. Remember I hold the keys to your future. If you don't call I can have cops on your doorstep faster than you can blink."
"Don't worry, I won't forget."
Entering the long abandoned apartment, she found the place to be in the same mess it had been in when she'd last seen it, running away from Sean Trewlawney, wherever he was now. She walked through the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, and found that nothing seemed to be missing though a lot was still broken and her plants were dead.
Pulling her empty wallet out of her pocket, she sat down on the couch in the living room. She looked around her, at all of her things, thrown every which way, by the man who had chased her for over a year and had tried to kill her on a number of occasions. Remembering just how easily Sean had gotten to her, she didn't feel very safe there anymore. She opened her wallet to see how much money she had for a hotel room, and then remembered she had no money left to her name. But, just before she closed her wallet, she discovered that it wasn't as empty as she had thought. In shock, she pulled out a photograph.
"Jacob!" she exclaimed out loud, covering her mouth with her hand. "Oh my God! I never put this in here…" she whispered to herself. "How did this get here?"
It was a photo of Jacob, she hadn't even known she'd had. She recognized the picture as his senior high school photo. He was wearing the traditional tux complete with his bleached hair. Handsome? Oh yes! And cute too! Holding the picture close, she suddenly remembered something, got up and went into her bedroom. Under the bed she found her old lock box, miraculously untouched. She unlocked it, and to her relief, found one hundred dollars in cash inside.
Taking the money, her wallet, keys, and Jacob's picture, she set them all down on the coffee table. In the closet she rummaged around through everything that had been thrown around and misplaced. Finally, she came up with a picture frame as empty as her wallet. She put Jacob's picture in it and put it in a duffle bag with the rest of the stuff she had gathered up as well as some clothes, tooth brush, and a few other essential items lying around the house.
Throwing the bag over her shoulder, she left the apartment and drove to the nearest motel. After booking a room for the night, she took out Jacob's picture and set it on the night stand. Everything else she left in the bag. Ever since the Praetorians had started chasing her, she'd always been prepared to run at a moment's notice. Forgetting to turn the lights out, she got into bed, and lay there, staring at Jacob's picture, unable to fall asleep.
For so long, she'd been staying in hotel rooms, alone, and with Jacob. They seemed almost like home now and she wasn't sure she could ever get used to staying in the same place for too long, afraid of who might find her even though Jacob could be one of those people.
She knew he could take care of himself. He'd proved it on a number of occasions. So why was she so worried about him? Why did she feel this way? No easy answer came to her that night.