A/N: Sorry for the long wait! I hope there are still people reading my fanfic.
Here we go:
Blue Cove, Delaware
It was early that Monday morning and Broots was confident that this would be a good day. The last three months he spent his time searching for traces of Jarod, where no traces were. Now he finally had good news and he was on his way to Sydney at the moment.
Broots entered the office of the psychiatrist and saw the older man sit in front of a DSA-player, totally absorbed by the pictures he saw. Curious the technician stepped behind the desk and watched the black and white video that showed two children. The girl was telling the boy to lay his hand over his heart and to promise to never tell someone.
Recognizing the boy as a young Jarod, Broots asked. "Is that a sim?"
Startled Sydney turned his head to look at his colleague. He wasn't sure if it was good that Broots had seen this or that the other man was able to sneak up to him. But finally he answered. "No. Surveillance video."
"Who is that little girl talking to Jarod?"
Sydney raised his brows about this question. "Oh, that is Miss Parker, Broots."
Broots began giggling and took a closer look. "Miss Parker?! That's Angelo in the vent behind them. I knew, she knew Jarod as a child – but Angelo?" Now his face showed confusion.
"Miss Parker and Jarod were best friends then." Explained Sydney and turned to the screen.
"Oh, really. Hadn't thought that." Broots watched a young Miss Parker leaning to Jarod's ear and whispering some secret to him. "That's cute."
"It sure is." Syd stopped the DSA at that point, pressed eject and hid the disk in a book of 'Childhood Traumata'. In the middle of the pages a hole was cut out and a stack of DSAs was already hidden there.
Broots eyed the doctor for a moment and his features became serious. "You miss Jarod. "
Sydney hesitated a moment, but answered. "I don't understand why he suddenly vanished after five years of playing cats and mouse with us. Something must have happened at Carthis."
"And M- Miss Parker doesn't want to talk about that island."
"So it is."
"B- but maybe Jarod didn't disappear for good." Broots stepped closer and raised his brows, bowing his head slightly while doing so.
A frown spread on the psychiatrist's forehead and he watched the other man curiously. "What do you mean, Broots?"
"I came here to inform you about it. A really huge package for Miss Parker has arrived at The Centre. Concerning the size and that there is no return address, it must be Jarod."
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Ten minutes later three sweepers had brought the package with a lot of trouble down into the sim-room near Sydney's office. Expectantly the psychiatrist watched the men in black suits leave, before he slowly circled the one metre high box, his head leaning thoughtfully in his right hand. Once more he wondered what his protégé had in mind. Inwardly he hoped Jarod was all right and this hint would finally give him some insight into the reasons, that made Jarod disappear for months.
As he was ordered Broots had searched for Angelo and the two men were entering the lab just in the moment, Sydney was about to cut open the paperboard. "W-what are you doing, Sydney. M- miss Parker is going to kill us, if we peek into her package before she does." The tech came to an abrupt halt next to his colleague, gathering enough courage to look directly into the older man's face.
"Calm down, Broots. Miss Parker will arrive down here in more than an hour. I think she would be more upset, when we call her and steal some precious time with her baby brother from her." To be true, Sydney was too excited, to wait for his boss. This was the first sign of life from the man he thought of as his son, in months. He would risk some threatening from the other person, he also felt like a father for.
"Yeah, you might be right." Broots backed off a little, but a second later the fear was back on his features. "B-but…" Before he could finish his track of thoughts, he horrified watched the psychiatrist cut the tape of the package. "O- oh, god. She is going to be so mad!"
Angelo helped silently as always Jarod's mentor to rip the paperboard away and to reveal a box of a miniature graveyard. On the thick wooden walls surrounding the graves sat figures of snakes, demons, goblins and other scary creatures, all lined up in a 25 centimetres gap. In the middle were at least one hundred graves, each 15 centimetres large, a headstone at the top of each. A small crypt made out of mirror glass was on the far right side, from Angelo's point of view.
By the sight of the cemetery, Sydney became more calm and thoughtful than he usually was, concern rose within him.
The tech traced his fingers over the wood of one goblin figure, his former fear forgotten and totally fascinated by the work of the man they try to capture for the last five years. "Wow. W-what does that mean, Sydney?"
"I don't know, Broots. I don't know."
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The next hour the three men spent with looking up any of the figures in the internet, giving some of the materials to analysis and Angelo trying to empath something.
That was how Miss Parker found them. When she saw the Empath's head peeking up between two demon figures, a smile appearing on his face as soon as he saw her, the Ice Queen stopped dead in her tracks and smiled involuntarily back. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach and her heart began racing, when she realised that this was a hint of Jarod - that he was back on the screen, playing his old tricks.
A moment past by, in which Broots looked scared up to her. Slowly she crossed the last metres, crossing her arms in front of her. Her gaze fell immediately on the figures and the graves, remembering her on the cursed island near Scotland. A smirk spread on her face and she muttered a 'Nice, Jarod.' Breaking her eyes away from the box, she saw the concerned look on the older man's face. "Syd?"
Sydney locked eyes with Miss Parker, trying to understand her amusement. Sighing he answered slowly. "I'm worried that this might be some farewell greeting. All the signs for death and hell make me think that Jar-"
A half laugh escaped Parker's red lips. "Funny, Syd. Next time you say he is gone under the grave-diggers. … Have you already found some clue?" Her glare travelled from the psychiatrist to the technician, who stood confused about her good temper on the other side of the graveyard.
"N- nothing yet. We haven't found a picture or information matching one of the figures. It's like there is totally no clue behind." Broots neared tentatively the brunette, who he more or less secretly admired and loved.
"Oh, there is, Broots." Her smile grew, as she gave each of the little statues a closer look. Then her gaze travelled over each grave, stopping at the one on which's top a little cherub stood. She stroked the stony head of the makeshift headstone, inspecting its features and eyes. After a moment, in which her colleagues observed her curious, she decided that the little angel looked down on the grave before it. Cautiously Parker opened the wooden lid, bringing two folded pieces of paper and a small bag into view.
"Wow. How did you knew, Miss Parker?" Broots was taken aback and watched her retrieving the contents of the grave.
"Already been there; done that, Broots."
Frowning about her strange answer, he looked back at the cemetery. "Shall we open all the other graves?"
By the time he had said that, Sydney and Angelo had come up to Miss Parker and looked both over her shoulder on the drawn picture of a little girl. 'Angel' rang light as a whisper from the brunette's lips. Her blue orbs remained on the portrait, while Angelo gently grasped for the paper.
The Empath stayed calm, but his face showed deep sadness. "Poor little angel. Knew all terrible things. Knew the curse. Knew the evil that took her."
"Yes, Angelo. She knew what was to come." Images of the girl's ghost flashed in her mind.
"Voices told her."
Startled Miss Parker looked up to her other childhood friend. "What do you mean?"
"Her voices, your voices told her. Told her about the fire. Told her you would come."
"She had the Inner Sense?" Miss Parker could read confirmation on the man's features. "So that also runs in my father's family."
Sydney watched the woman before him, who looked like hypnotised at the drawing. "Miss Parker? What does run in your father's family?" Stepping in front of her, he added. "Who is this girl?"
"Little Miss Parker." Piped Angelo, before the Ice Queen could say anything.
Sighing Parker walked over to the steps leading to Sydney's office and sat down on them. The psychiatrist and the tech followed her, confusion evident on their faces. "This is the self-portrait of my great-grandfather's daughter. Everybody called her Little Miss Parker, only her father, that bastard, called her Angel. The day she draw these two pictures," Parker paused holding up the second sheet of paper that was repaired with tape. "The day almost one hundred years ago, she and her mother died – burned to death by her own father and husband." The brunette ignored the 'Oh god!' from her colleague and spoke, a tingle of sadness in her voice. "Angel desperately tried to stop the rising madness in the Parker family, but even the priest, she asked for help was killed. Her only success was to hide the scrolls."
"Scrolls? W- what scrolls?" Again Broots was ignored and Parker continued with her train of thoughts.
"That day, my great-grandfather left Carthis for good. When he arrived in America, he founded The Centre. … If Angelo is right, then Angel had the Inner Sense, that tried to warn her. And that means, that the gene for the Inner Sense also runs in my father's family – not only in my mother's."
"That is just logically, since many genes are recessive."
Broots looked like he had seen a ghost. "Eerie story."
"And that is what Jarod wanted to tell you." Concluded Sydney and began pacing the room.
"No. I doubt that he knows about Angel's Inner Sense." She opened the little bag that was also hidden in the grave. In it were scraps of paper – dates or question-marks printed on them. Curious about the new riddle, she closed the bag and walked back to the miniature graveyard. "Jarod wants to tell me something else."
"And what exactly?" Broots ran after her like a puppy.
"We will see that soon." Parker looked at the figures surrounding the cemetery like guards. About a fourth were demons and serpents. "We have to find the demon Asmodeus."
"Asmod-what? Here are many demon figures. Which one do you mean, Miss Parker?" The woman in question shot him an annoyed glare, shushing him immediately.
Parker's blue eyes scanned the figures and compared them with Angel's picture. In some way all of the demons seemed to match the drawing in one point or another. Observing the statues more closely, she noticed all of them but one had their eyes closed – and the one remaining starred at the opposite wall of the box. The brunette moved to that spot and searched for something to open the wooden panel – but failed. When she was about to ask Broots to bring her some tool, her eyes fell upon the goblin directly next to the desired wall. She grasped the wood and pulled it up into the air, revealing a small opening that lead behind the wall. Parker dug her hand into the gap and pulled it back out with a tube of glue between her fingers.
Raising a brow, the brunette muttered under her breath. "As if we don't have any!" Annoyed about the dead-end, she threw the item towards Broots, who caught it in the last second before it hit the floor.
Sydney watched her – part of him impressed and proud on the woman – another part interested in how she knew what she had to do. He asked himself, if that box had something to do with the events on that island and Jarod's disappearance afterwards. To him Miss Parker was the only one knowing the answers at the moment.
Parker had found with a little help of Angel's drawing the exact match for the serpent. The wooden animal's gaze fell on one of the mirror-crypt's walls. She had almost opened the glass roof, when she realised Jarod's variation of the little game. Her head shot up and she barked in her best command tone. "Broots, bring me a laser-pointer. Now!"
Scared of the sudden change of mood, the tech quickly sprinted away, only to return seconds later. Impatient Miss Parker flicked her fingers until Broots placed the laser-pointer in her palm.
Immediately the Ice Queen placed the laser-pointer on the serpent's head and turned it on. The red ray was reflected by the mirror and a small red point fell on a goblin at another side of the box. Satisfied Parker went to the creature and tried to lift it, as she had done before. Just this time the figure didn't move an inch. Confirming that the laser-pointer had shown her the right place and that the mirror-crypt was really empty, she inspected the goblin more closely. Suddenly she noticed a fine crease around the creature's neck. Screwing the goblin's head off, another small bag inside the wood came into sight.
Parker grasped the new hint and looked inside it, seeing scraps of paper again. On some were names, on others photos of people she knew. Nosy she looked at the three hints and decided that there must be at least one more – something to glue the pictures, names and dates on.
Sydney saw that the brunette had lost all ideas, where the next hiding of the clue could be. Giving it a try, he wanted to proof if his assumption was right. "What else had you and Jarod done, when you had found the three creatures of the drawing?"
A little startled about that question and the psychiatrist's guess that she and Jarod had worked together on the island, she answered, remembering the time three months ago. "We put the words together and searched for the chest. But here is no chest and nothing that looked like then." Her eyes fell back on Angel's map and searched for an answer.
"And when we take everything apart?" Broots suggested, but was silenced by his boss' glare.
The brunette scanned the graveyard again, her blue eyes wandered over the graves and headstones, each in a different shape, but all partially covered with moos. Some minutes past and she investigated every grave, row after row; she finally noticed letters engraved into one of the stones. The words were well hidden behind the plant cover, but Miss Parker scratched the moos away with her fingernails – flicking with her fingers once more, signalling the tech to get her a tissue – ASAP.
Sydney watched the woman trace her index finger over the name on the headstone, sadness resided in her features. When his eyes finally made out the letters and their meaning, his face showed worry for the woman before him.
Meanwhile Broots snatched a view over the Ice Queen's shoulder and read out loud 'Rest in Peace Little Miss Parker'. "Woha!" The tech's eyes widened and he muttered half unbelieving: "T- that's your name, Miss Parker! Is Jarod gonna kill you?" His concern was evident in his shaking voice.
The woman in question just rolled her eyes. 'Didn't the idiot listen at all?!' Carefully she opened the wooden lid of the grave explaining the story once more. "That's Angel's grave. I found it on the island. As I told you just one minute ago everybody addressed her as Miss Parker!" With that she retrieved a folded paper, hoping it to be the final clue. Walking over to the shrink's desk, she placed the glue and the two bags on the table while unfolding her newest founding – a DIN A3 paper with many lines on it, which connected different boxes with each other. Above every small but long box was a much bigger one, obviously defined for the pictures. On the topmost angle – without free space for a photo – was the only filled box that read: 'Crypt-keeper Parker'.
A sigh escaped her red lips when she understood what the pretender wanted her to do. She damped the bags' contends onto the tabletop and searched for the miniature copy of Angel's portrait along with her name.
Sydney rested his head in his left hand, watching curiously his boss place one picture, name and the corresponding dates – if there were any – into the empty boxes. "A family-tree." He stated and wondered what his protégé had in mind.
Some time past before Miss Parker placed the last name – this time without a photo – on the only box that wasn't connected with any other. She ran her finger over the empty picture-box over her baby brother's name, making a mental notice to replace the emptiness with a photo of Tommy.
Afterwards she examined her finished work, noting with a smile that even Jarod's father Major Charles was represented in order to give Ethan his rightful place in the family.
When Sydney's phone rang, the brunette knew exactly who was on the other end of the line and turned the loudspeaker on. "That was lame, Jarod. You stole the idea of a little girl that died almost 100 years ago."
Despite her words the pretender heard his love's excitement about the resume of their old cat and mouse game. "Angel was smart. It was a good riddle and it took humanity 100 years to find the answer. … I wanted to give you something easy for the start. After all you had three months free."
A sarcastic laugh escaped her lips while she threw the glue at Broots motioning him to attach the scraps on the paper. "Free! Hardly. … How long have you needed for this?"
"Three days without any sleep; the fourth day I spent in bed. The hardest thing was to draw the branches of your family-tree, so every picture has enough space and you can say clearly which line goes to which image. Took me hours!"
"Oh, poor genius!" They were back at their bantering refreshing the odd feeling of normality.
Behind the brunette, giving her her room of privacy, he listened to the conversation, glad to finally hear Jarod's voice again.
Holding Angel's map in her hands she noted the plastic on the old drawing. "You taped it?"
A little startled about the accusing tone in her voice, Jarod argued back. "You ripped it in two!"
A smile formed on the old man's face, hearing the effortless exchange of the two people he cared so much for.
"I thought we should clear some branches of the Parker family-tree." The pretender finally revealed the purpose of his work and listened to the silence that followed for a moment, giving Parker the opportunity to add her two cents. Then he continued in friendly voice. "And by the way, I thought you might appreciate your evil twin out of the hair for some time." Remembering the reference she had used for her brother during the former night.
Smiling evilly Miss Parker walked a few steps around the desk. "Where did you sent Lyle this time?"
"Let's just say, it would do him some good if he had seen the Indiana Jones movies or at least Relic Hunter. And Parker, when he comes back, you shouldn't cross his way for one or two days." With this said the pretender disconnected the line and the beeping of the ended call echoed through the office.
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A/N: I hope you liked this chapter – please tell me. I think my writing skills became a little rusty since my last chapter, but it can only become better – hopefully.
I would appreciate comments and reviews. Shall I go on? Do you like my turn of events till now? The more reviews I get the faster I write.