Spies and Lies

By: Vinsmouse

Summary: In the episode Sole Survivor, what if Joe smelled the perfume before Abrams entered the room?

Warnings: Violence, torture, angst

Rating: FRT

Disclaimer: I don't own the Hardy Boys, not making any money, just cheap thrills.

Chapter 1

Joe blinked back tears again. It seemed like all he did was cry, he thought, disgusted with himself. His father and brother were gone, likely betrayed and instead of trying to find out who had betrayed them Joe could only lie here crying over his loss. He should be out there searching for the betrayer, seeing that he was brought to justice.

"And just how do you propose to do that Joseph Hardy? You can barely walk across the room."

Joe could almost hear his aunt's voice, both harsh and gentle at the same time. He never had been able to figure out how she did that. He sighed. Imagination or not the voice was right, he was too weak to do anything towards avenging his family. But he wouldn't always be weak and he promised himself that someday he would bring their betrayer to justice.

Since waking from his year long coma Joe's life had taken on a nightmarish quality. He had no memory of the wreck that put him here, only a vague, hazy, memory of an ambulance ride. Leta had told him how his father and Frank had haunted the hospital, never leaving his side until that horrible day in February. How could it have all gone so horribly wrong? The newspaper reports hadn't helped, only leaving him confused. Why had they been on a boat in Victoria Harbor when they were supposed to cross the Bay of Kowloon?

Well he wasn't going to learn anything lying here wallowing in grief, was he? Determined to find justice for his family Joe threw the covers to the side. Stiff and weak he slowly climbed from the bed making his way to the chair by the window. Angry at the amount of time it had taken him to move across the small space he glared down at his legs. Now what, he wondered as he let his eyes roam the room, taking in details he hadn't noticed before.

Curious and needing distraction he began to look through a row of drawers next to the closet. Here he found some of his personal effects, among them his wallet. Pulling it out he opened the leather case. Drawing in a sharp breath he gazed down at the pictures within their plastic sleeves. With shaking hands he pulled one out, a group shot of him, his father and brother. Lovingly he traced a finger over their features as memories of earlier, happier times flew through his mind. Closing his eyes he could picture the scenes.

Seeing their faces, hearing their voices in memory was a bittersweet torture. Swallowing hard he finally put the pictures away and closed the wallet. Looking towards the closet he wondered if his clothes were there? Probably not; with the injuries Leta had described he wouldn't be surprised if they had to cut his clothes off. Still he stood, taking a couple of steps to the closet. Opening it, he saw his clothes hanging there. Seeing the familiar things was comforting in a way. Reaching for the jeans he slid the wallet into place. It was at this moment a scent hit him, bringing with it a memory of the shop here in Hong Kong. He smiled as he remembered joking around with his brother as his father stood nearby, laughing over their antics. Wait a minute? That had happened only a day or two before his accident, how then could the scent still linger a year later? It didn't make any sense unless...it was a lie.

His heart hammering in his chest Joe tried to think clearly. What should he do? Confront Leta and Dr. Lo? No, he was too weak for that. His best move, he realized, would be getting the hell out of Dodge, the sooner the better. With that in mind he reached for his clothes.

"Is he ready?" Abrams asked his co-conspirator.

"I still think it's too soon," Dr. Lo objected. He cared nothing for the well being of the young American but if they pushed too soon they might force his memories deeper.

"Yes doctor I'm aware of that, but it doesn't answer my question," Abrams calmly responded.

Dr. Lo nodded. "Let me speak to him first."

"Of course."

Dr. Lo walked rapidly to the room, pushing open the door. Spotting the young Hardy by the closet, his pajama top unbuttoned, surprised him. "What are you doing Mr. Hardy?" he smiled. "You are too weak to leave us."

Joe froze, cursing himself for moving too slowly. Something in his face must have clued the so-called doctor in.

Laying his clipboard aside Dr. Lo drew a hypodermic from his pocket and moved towards the young man. He couldn't let the boy leave. The questioning would just have to wait.

Shoving the chair towards the doctor Joe side-stepped around the older man, making his way to the door. He would just have to make his escape as he was; he only hoped the whole hospital wasn't in on the scheme, whatever it was. That it was connected to Chang's defection he was certain but beyond that he didn't know. With more time to think he could no doubt figure it out. Unfortunately he wasn't going to get the time.

The doctor jumped to one side, allowing the chair to crash against the end of the bed, drawing attention. Joe pulled open the door. "Please help me," Joe gasped upon seeing the large man standing in the doorway. Judging by his suit Joe was sure he was with a government agency, probably the CIA.

"I'm afraid I can't do that," Abrams smiled. Stepping towards the boy he forced him back into the room.

"You're one of them," Joe accused. Dodging to the side he tried for the door. A tight, painful grip on his arm pulled him to a stop.

"A little help doctor," Abrams said as he struggled to hold on to the adrenaline flooded boy.

"Of course," Dr. Lo said, moving towards them, the hypodermic once more ready to jab into Hardy's arm. With deft movements he quickly administered the drug, bringing an end to the fight.

"You fool!" Abrams spat. "How are we supposed to question him now?"

Dr. Lo smiled. "You worry too much," he chided. "The drug will last only a short time, long enough for us to secure the boy."

"We need to get him out of here."

The doctor shook his head. "No need."

Abrams stared at the Chinese doctor. "You don't expect to torture him here? We'd certainly be caught as soon as he starts screaming."

"My friend have you no imagination?"

Abrams smirked. "What do you have in mind?"

"Restraints to begin with, that will keep him in place and unable to fight back. "

"And his screams?"

"A gag will suffice one such as they use on patients undergoing electro-shock treatments," Dr. Lo replied, a cold smile spreading across his face.

"That could work, but how will he answer our questions?"

"We will ask a question if he indicates his refusal to answer persuasion will be applied. The question will then be repeated. This procedure will continue for as long as is necessary to change the young man's mind. If he indicates his cooperation we will remove the gag."

Just then the door opened, admitting Leta Manheim, a gasp alerting the two men to her presence. "What's happened?"

"He somehow realized he had been lied to," Dr. Lo replied.

"What? But how?" Leta asked, her eyes widened in shock.

"It doesn't matter. Get restraints and a gag from the supply closet," the doctor ordered.

Leta gave a short nod and turned on her heel.

"Now help me get him into the bed," the doctor ordered Abrams. Between the two men they soon had the youngest Hardy lying in the bed. A few minutes later he was secured by the restraints, a gag strapped around his head, insuring any noises wouldn't escape this room.

"How long until he wakes up?" Abrams asked.

Dr. Lo looked at his watch and did some quick mental calculations. "He should be awake within an hour. While we wait we can gather the things needed to extract our answers."


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