Sunday, May 17, 2009
10:46 AM

Jules must have drifted into unconsciousness without meaning to.

When she nodded herself awake, the tight band around her chest constricted her breathing.

It was all quiet. There was no hum from the cargo lift, no presence of anything else but her own thin breaths. As she tried to regulate her breathing, something clutched at her heart, refusing to let go.

There was nothing quite like feeling your own life slipping away. No blood this time, just the increasing pressure on her lungs as the minutes went by. A few tears dropped involuntarily from her eyes, and she stopped her shaking hand long enough to wipe the tears away furiously.

Nothing had worked. She had tried to yell for help, but it was apparent that she was alone in - wherever she was. Tried to climb to the top of the lift to find a way out that way, but she didn't have the right tools. The doors are clamped shut, rigged to small explosives around the small, confined space that she could see, clear as day. The red LEDs blinked at her, almost mockingly.

It had been more than two hours since she had informed the boys of her situation... It would mean she had less than an hour left, before her oxygen ran out completely.

Her world was already beginning to swirl around her, proving harder and harder for her eyes to stop closing. Harder and harder to stop herself from dropping into a deep slumber. She felt almost weightless, almost like if she held her arms out, she could float away.

It took all of her willpower to force her eyes open. She had discovered in despair that her phone was running out of battery, and even though she knew, deep down, that Spike's GPS location search was futile, she still needed to know that the option open. To know that string of hope that out there, her boys were looking frantically for her.

She let out a bitter laugh, even though that took more effort than she was prepared for. Her head lolled to the side, and she made no effort in sitting up straight now.

When her eyes strayed to a rundown monitor hidden behind boxes, it took more than a few seconds for her sluggish mind to catch up.

But it eventually did, as her eyes trailed the thick wires around the lift, and she stood up carefully, her hands using them as a guide. The wire ended at a top corner --

Oh, god. Thank god. It was a small security camera. If she could just yank it off its mount, she might be able to expose a small hole in the metal wall. A small hole in the metal wall meant a small stream of oxygen. Her mind leapt at that, and she let out little huffs, trying to tug it down.

She estimated she had maybe half, or an hour more of bided time left. Maybe time enough for a miracle to happen.

She nearly collapsed in joy when a click sounded, and the camera came tumbling down. With a renewed vigor, Jules forced herself to think. There must be something she could do, something she could access to help identify the man who was on this quest to destroy Sam.

Please work, please work, she chanted as she stumbled over to the old, dusty monitor. It flickered to life.

Lumbering back to the metal table, she picked up her phone with a shaky hand, and hoped her phone wouldn't die on her before she could get her message across.

Sam answered before the second ring.

She put the phone to her ear.


"Sam. I have security footage, I can take a photo of my captor and send it to you, and you can figure out who he is."

Her voice was slow and low.

"Stay with me, Jules," she heard him say, and it was only a moment later that she realized she had drifted off again.

It hurt her chest to speak.

"How is everyone?"

"We're doing all we can to get to you, Jules."

"Okay. But hurry, or you'll hit rush traffic and be late for work."


"Sam? Is that you? Hey, listen." She squinted her eyes at the monitor and rewound the footage to a frame where she could see the man clearly. "Sam. I love you, okay, the job is important but I do."

In the background she could hear him whisper. She's getting delusional, Ed. She's not making much sense anymore. There's - not much time left.

"Noooo," she whined, but forgot what about as she finally got to a frame when the man was almost looking straight at the camera. She positioned her phone; her shaking hands supported by the wall, and took a picture, sending it as an email to the team.

She held the phone to her ear.

"Sam. I have security footage."

"I know. We're downloading the picture, Jules."

"I can take a photo of my captor and send it to you."

Sam's voice crackled, like interference in the airwaves. She could barely hear what he was saying now, just that it sounded mildly urgent. She pulled the phone away from her face, only to see it going through the shut down process.

The screen turned black.

She choked back a sob.

A/N: ...Hi. Remember me? And you know what I said about the story spanning a week? Forget that. I managed to condense the plot so that the pacing wasn't so awkward, so now we are in the climax! That, and I'm experimenting with writing smaller chunks, so I really should be finishing this story really soon. Thank you so much for hanging in there, and I promise updates will be more frequent and less frustrating in the near future. I appreciate all your reviews and comments! More reviews means a faster turn-about time, too, as a form of motivation. ;)