The Net: "The Dying Pool": Chapter 1
A/N: This is just a slight remake of a dream I had this morning. Things are not the same as they are on the show, but I do put some explanation in so that you understand why things are the way they are, though it might be a bit long. Well, anyway, read, enjoy, and post a comment to tell me what you think! Thanks!
The old cement building was hardly usable anymore with no glass where the windows should be and no electricity. The yellow paint was chipped and peeling, revealing the cold hard cement and the only running water went to a large fountain on the first floor. The fountain was a wide circular bath three feet deep and made with an array of colorful tiles still intact from the building's days of glory. In the center stood an angel, her wings outspread, and the vase she held running over with water into the pool below.
On the second floor of the old building a few families who could hardly afford bread for the day had chosen rooms and moved in. Bare mattresses lined the floors, a few crates here and there filled with personal possessions could be found, or a box of old clothes. Nothing more.
Wanted for cyber crimes she didn't commit under a name that wasn't hers, Angela Bennett lay on the narrow twin-sized mattress letting her mind wander at will. She wanted to get up and start rummaging for food, find an outlet of electricity and an internet connection to see what Sean Trelawney and his goons were up to. But she wasn't alone on the thin mattress. While she lay on her side, Jacob was right behind her, sleeping soundly with his arm draped over her.
To disturb him would be wrong. He'd been up late the night before playing with the children in the building and when they refused to go to sleep without a bedtime story from him their parents had let him fulfill their wishes. In consequence, he'd gone to bed exhausted but happy.
Angela thought of the events that had led them to the abandoned building in the middle of a forest clearing nowhere near civilization with it's inhabitants invisible to the outside world. Images of Jacob's grandmother falling to the ground with a bullet lodged in her forehead filled her mind. Sean was laughing with glee, the gun still in his hand as Angela watched from behind a bush, unable to save Nana before getting away. He didn't know who he'd killed and he really didn't care. He had the house burned then, Greg pouring gas throughout each room and Kelly lighting the match. The only two home at the time of their invasion had been Nana and Angela herself. Had he known he was taking Sorcerer's home away, Sean would have been even happier. As it was Sean only knew Angela was staying in the house, not who she was staying with. An added helper was that Jacob was at school. Angela thanked God everyday that Jacob was still alive and that Sean didn't know who he was.
After that day, she and Jacob had made a pact to stay together for as long as they could, viewing that they only had each other now. After several months of wandering and evading the Praetorians, they'd stumbled upon the lonely building and decided to camp out there for a few days. Everything was quiet for the first few hours until an older woman appeared in front of them, startling Jacob who jumped to his feet intent on defending himself and Angela before he realized she meant them no harm. A trickle of people filed into the room as they began to understand that Jacob and Angela weren't there to report them but were also homeless. They were nice people, down on their luck, broke, squatters with nothing to lose but this last roof over their heads. They quickly became the family that both Angela and Jacob had lost and they'd decided to stay. It was out of the way, no one would find them there. One of the families gave them a twin mattress and they chose a room and moved in like everyone else.
The feeling was almost overpowering. A bond had formed between all of them. They were one giant family coping with life together. Sharing a twin mattress with him wasn't as bad as she thought. Now she enjoyed the feeling of his arm around her and his body pressed up against hers, helping to keep her warm on cold nights. She remembered the first time he'd told her he loved her. She'd been afraid because she'd missed her period for two months straight. When she finally screwed up the nerve to tell him he said he'd scrounge up enough change to go into town and get a home pregnancy test for her.
The morning he left he turned to her and looked her deep in the eyes and said: "Angel, I love you. And whether you are pregnant or you're not, I will always love you. If you are, I will support you all the way. I will always be here for you either way. OK?"
She nodded dumbly as tears began to slip down her face. He wiped them away with his fingers before leaving a tender kiss on her lips.
"I love you," he said again.
She pulled him into a long hug. "I love you too," she whispered. "Please, just come back, OK? I don't care if you can't get it, just come back."
Now, one month later, without disturbing him, she rested her hand on her stomach, still surprised to know that she was three months pregnant with their baby. The thought still scared her, after all, she was a fugitive running away from the law because they thought she was someone else and from Trelawney who wanted God only knew what from her. How was she going to have a child in the middle of all that?
Jacob was wonderful, despite everything. He wanted to be there for her. He wanted to have this family, no matter what they were running from. And she could tell, by the look in his eyes, he wasn't just saying it to make her feel better. Every night it seemed she told him she wasn't sure she could do this and every night he'd calm her fears and tell her she could do anything. She'd survived the Praetorians this far, one more hurdle would be a piece of cake. But she still wasn't sure.
"They come! They come!" an urgent woman's voice came from the doorway, breaking into Angela's thoughts.
She looked up into the frightened face of Maria who kept ringing her hands together.
"Who's here? What do you mean?" Angela whispered, still not wanting to wake Jacob.
"The men you tell about! In big cars! They come! I see! I see them!"
A flashback to several weeks ago reminded Angela of the night she and Jacob had finally told the members of their adopted family a little about the Praetorians. Angela gently moved Jacob's arm and bolted to her feet, leaving him to sleep alone. Running to an empty window she saw three hummers bearing down the old dirt road and her heart beat faster and faster.
"I not know you!" the woman said, backing away. "I not know you! I tell them that!"
"Thank you," Angela said before dashing towards the angel on the first floor.
Around the edge of the room were small storage cupboards. She would crawl into one of those to hide. There was no evidence that she lived here and they didn't know Jacob. She prayed they wouldn't hurt anyone as she curled up inside the cupboard, her knees to her forehead, and closed the door. Silent tears ran down her face at the thought of what she'd just done to Jacob. He had no warning Sean was coming. Just a rude awakening by a steel toed boot perhaps and when he awoke, she'd be gone. She didn't want to scare him, but it was too late now. She heard the hummer engines stop right outside the front door. Heavy boots thundered into the building.
"Nice fountain," she heard Sean's voice say, just outside her cupboard. "Find me Angela Bennett! I want no stone unturned!" Heavy boots marched away, separated. Some went upstairs, others checked the rest of the first floor. When the heavy boots came back more shoes shuffled along and she knew they'd taken her new family, brought them down to see Trelawney.
"Ah, squatters, I see," Sean said to himself. "Do you know this woman?"
"No, I not know her!" Marie said.
Others chimed in with similar answers, but she didn't hear Jacob's voice.
"You there! Boy! Have you seen her?"
"N...no. No, I haven't seen her," came Jacob's terrified voice, no doubt worried more about her than scared from Sean.
"No? No, are you sure?"
A blade. That was the sound of a blade being drawn!
"Because if you don't tell me where she is now, I'll just have to slit your throat and then where would we be, eh?"
"She...she left...yesterday...didn't say where she was going!" Jacob sputtered.
"And what if I don't believe you? Do you still want me to slit your throat?"
A small cry escaped Angela's lips at the thought of Jacob dead. Her cupboard door swung open with the help of one of Trelawney's goons to reveal the scene before her. Sean did have a long knife at Jacob's throat, only now, everyone had taken their eyes off him and were looking at her in surprise.
"Ah, Angela, so good of you to join us! I thought you'd be here soon," Sean said.
Angela looked beyond them to the angel and knew what she had to do to protect Jacob and their baby. Crawling out she made a dash for the water.