To him that is pitiless the deeds of pity are ever strange and beyond reckoning.

J.R.R. Tolkien.

The answer to that was surprising. Cindy hunched back even further and whimpered.

"You can't… I've tried."

"Tell me how you tried."

"No…no…he he said not to. He might punish…punish Kim if I disobey him."

Hostage 101, find someone the individual cares about. Easy and effective…if you don't have a soul. Sheila pitched her voice lower.

"Tell me about him, Cindy…" A mute shake of the head, tremors running throughout her body.

You poor damned woman. What was your life like before this? I bet the worst fight you'd ever been in was in school…and than you encounter… Sheila shook her head slightly. It wasn't surprising she was like this. It was surprising she was even this well off after over a decade.

But that didn't mean Sheila could lighten up. Too much was at stake.

"You know…sooner or later she's going to get caught." Sheila said, in a casual voice. "Probably killed. She's good, and no team sent to get her is going to be casual about it. Dangerous as she is, if she does anything other than get down on the ground, I bet a sniper will put a bullet in her head from a mile away." Cindy whimpered and huddled.

"Of course, she might surrender—or be taken down and not killed." Sheila shrugged. "So what happens then? She goes in front of a jury of twelve good and true men and women…how many people has she killed? In cold blood?" Sheila shrugged, "Well, it's better than it was in the old days—I mean, lethal injection is a lot less painful than the electric chair or firing squad. I hear you just… fall asleep." Now Cindy was moaning softly.

"Do you think he will turn himself in to save Kimmy?" Sheila asked. "He'll dump her and find another tool… It's not a question of if, but when." Sheila paused, and thought then continued.

"She'll be hurt no matter what, Cindy, but work with me and maybe, we can make certain that she isn't executed, killed, or put in jail for the rest of her life."

"I…" She shivered. "It's my fault."

"No, it isn't." Sheila said, her voice stern. "Let me guess—he had you beaten, right? Screwed with your mind?"

Cindy didn't looked up, but Shego saw her shoulders tense as she started speaking. "And Kim's…. he would have her beaten when she did…poorly, but after the first few months, I wasn't allowed to be with her…make things better for her. If I tried, they beat me…and they hurt her worse." The words came difficultly, tears trailing down Cindy's cheeks, falling on the floor. "They told her…told her that I didn't care…." She paused, "She…she believes that I left her father, that I'm the reason she's never seen James again."

"So she likes her father?"

"She…she loves him."

A way in?

"What's Kim like?"

"She's….oh god, she's Tono's slave. She'll do whatever he asks her to, she lives for him."

"Tono…" Sheila paused, "Wade, run a search—cross reference with the area."

"He'll…he'll punish me." Cindy said. "He'll do it. I'm not supposed…supposed… to talk to strangers. I'm not allowed."

How long. Sheila wondered. Twelve years like this? She looked down at the wreckage of a woman in front of her and shook her head, before darting down and pulling Cindy Possible back up.

"No. You are allowed." She said. "Look at me." Cindy looked up at Sheila and Sheila gave her the kind of smile that was the tuna's last sight before the great white took it.

"This Tono's scared you. Tortured you, screwed with your mind and with your daughter's. You're terrified of him, right?" A fragile nod.

"Well, Doctor Possible, I'm FBI and I eat people like him for breakfast." Her voice dropped, certainty in every word, "And if he kills me, big deal—there'll be another one after me, and another one after that, because we do not give up." She softly laughed, "His organization is going down, in flames." She paused, "But we have to worry about getting you and your daughter out, and out in a way that doesn't involve life in a Federal prison."

"But she…she…. Tono said…" Sheila reached out and covered one of Cindy's hand's, as the older woman gripped her head in her hands and moaned like a dying animal.

"I know what he said. I won't lie to you—there will be a lot of people saying that your daughter needs to go up. I may be one of them. It depends." Her voice went softer, "How much is left of your daughter, Cindy? How much of Kim is there, and how much of Tono's creature?" Cindy didn't say anything.

"Sometimes… sometimes she's…like Kimmie." Sheila waited, "But whenever she did…Tono would do something else." Cindy said, than fell silent. Sheila waited for a moment.

"OK—we don't have a lot of time, so I need you to tell me as much as you can—start from the beginning." Sheila waited while Cindy started speaking.

So… Tono sends Kim out as an assassin…but other than that keeps her close, keeps her away from anyone who might say…unfortunate things. Sheila nodded. Kim was still a teen, after all… that opened some possibilities.

"OK…" She said, when the story was finished, after getting a few choice bits of information about exits and entrances, "Do you want to come with me?" It wasn't a good idea, given that it would send up a flare to Tono….but Cindy Possible was a victim, not a conspirator, Sheila was now certain and leaving her in Tono's power could easily put her life at risk. Truthfully, Sheila shouldn't even be giving her the option…

"No." Cindy said, softly. "I… I have to…stay. With my daughter." Sheila sighed.

"Fine. We'll be moving very soon…and I promise you I'll do my best to get Kim out." She paused. "Whatever happens, the life you've lived for the past twelve years is going to change." Cindy nodded, a tiny spark of…something other than despair in her eyes.

"OK Wade, give us some power." Sheila said. The elevator started moving and then the doors opened to reveal Cindy's minders. Sheila walked out, face set in a vapid expression, tone entirely different.

"Like, you know you'd look really good if you had your hair done in a two tone? Don't forget the number for the salon I gave you!" She waved and gave an air headed giggle, "Buh-bye!"

Cindy didn't get a chance to buy anything else. Her minders nearly dragged her to the car and headed right for Tono's mansion. She vaguely wondered if, or how she'd be punished.

It didn't matter. Cindy paused, in shock.

It didn't matter.

All that mattered was one way or the other, this nightmare was coming to an end. But for it to truly come to an end, she had to make certain Kimberly got out of it, alive. Got back to James.

No matter what. Her life was forfeit for her many failures, but Kimmie's wasn't. Not unless Tono managed to work his sickening magic on her once again.

Which meant no matter how frightened she was….how fearful of what Kim might do.

She had to talk to her. Tell her the truth.

And pray it would be enough.