Show: Pretender and Orignial Characters
Part: 3 of 3
Setting/Season: After IOTH
Rating: PG13... a little R
Spoilers: None really.
Warnings: Violence, Language, Torture
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Pretender characters so don’t sue me. The PHQ characters belong to me.
Summary: Jarod helps other pretenders find one of their own when a friend goes missing after investigating a new Centre Project called Resurrection.
A/N: These original characters were created long ago on NBC's Centre Exchange Board. They've kind of gotten into a roll playing group and now have a small world all their own... Thought I'd share it with you. Hope you like. Also this story kind of goes along with my story More Than You Think which you should read first; however, there is a great deal of time between the two.
Michael nodded to her. “No, you don’t know you can trust me, Elena. But McKenzie does.”
She stared at him solemnly. He was right. Whoever McKenzie was, she trusted this man. She came around and knelt down in front of him again. “Lyle said McKenzie died.”
Michael looked at her sympathetically. “We thought you had. I thought you had. He tilted his head back. I thought I was going to die when I saw the car explode. I searched the rubble. We found some remains and when the DNA match came back… I had no choice but to believe it. It said you died, but you’re here. I believe you’re real. I believe you’re here.”
“You loved McKenzie?” The thought gave her hope but scared her at the same time. This man was very intense and she suspect, dangerous, but she also believe he would never harm her no matter what she did to him.
“You and I were best friends. You came to me if you had a problem and you were the only one I confided in. I would have died in your place. I tried to be there for you when Connor returned. I tried to help you when he claimed to love you and you nearly shot him. I want to help you now.”
Elena’s looked away from him. He was from the pretender houses if he knew about Connor. Lyle would want to know about Connor. And yet… she could almost remember this man holding her. She was crying. A gun. Another man. “If I help you what happens to me?”
Michael smiled at her. “You come home and I take care of you.”
She nodded as the door burst opened. She jumped and pulled her gun as she moved around her prisoner. “You lied. You had people coming for you the whole time!”
“No.” Michael looked to the others. “I had no knowledge of their mission.”
Jarod was stunned as were Miss Parker, Broots and Jaidyn. Jarod stepped forward lowering his weapon. “McKenzie? Oh my god. It’s really you.” Tears welled up in his eyes. “You’re alive.”
Elena felt tears stinging her eyes. She knew who Jarod was and this seemed like more proof she’d been lied to. “Stay back. And don’t call me that. I’m Elena.”
Jaidyn pushed forward. “No you’re not. You’re my sister! You’re McKenzie.” Jaidyn pulled out a picture she had found of McKenzie with some of her friends, she had carried on her for some time, and held it up. “This is you. Elena was your mother.”
McKenzie backed away from her prisoner. “No.” She whispered as she backed to the wall and slid down it putting her hands to her head. She put her forehead to the cold metal of her gun. “This isn’t happening.”
Michael looked up at Jaidyn. “Untie me.” She wasted no time. She pulled out a knife and ripped through Michael’s bonds. She helped him to his feet but he pushed away. He could walk but he was more out of it then he’d even realized. He stumbled to the wall and put his back to it, letting himself slid to the floor. “McKenzie, I won’t leave you here. You have to come with us. We will explain everything.”
McKenzie looked to the man next to her. Through her tears she asked, “What is you’re name?”
Jarod knew she’d been converted to Elena but he hadn’t realized she really wouldn’t know any of them. He watched as Michael smiled at McKenzie. “I really don’t know but everyone calls me Michael.”
McKenzie tears turned to sobs as she moved to help Michael up. Jarod crossed the room and help her.
Jaidyn looked down the corridor. “We have to go.”
Natasha ran into the dojo Michael had created. Connor was working on his judo. He looked over at her. “Jarod and Jaidyn found Michael and their bringing him home.” Natasha crossed the room and headed for Connor.
Connor could already tell there was more to the story. He watched her strangely as she came closer. He could see the tears sliding down her cheeks. “What else happened?”
Natasha didn’t stop she headed straight for Connor and wrapper her arms around him. “McKenzie’s alive and their bringing her home.”
Connor exhaled like he’d been socked in the gut. He huffed a couple of times before wrapping his arms tightly around Natasha. He picked her off the ground and swung her around, letting out a roar of joy he’d never heard from himself before. They let go of each other. “How?”
“From what Jarod’s said, the Centre set up her death so they could convert her into Elena. Michael convinced her she’s McKenzie.” Natasha smiled broadly.
Connor shook his head. “I can’t believe this is happening.” Connor pulled Natasha into an embrace. “My daughter’s alive. She’s alive.” Connor pushed her back and looked down at her. “Does she remember us?” He wasn’t sure he wanted her to remember all the times he’d kidnapped her and put her through hell. He wasn’t sure he wanted her to remember he was a murdering sociopath, but he did want her back. He wanted her to know he was different now.
“I doubt it.” Natasha looked up at Connor, hoping his previous schemes were in the past and he wasn’t about to pull something in the future.
As soon as the jet landed the staff of the new San Francisco House was out to help Michael off the jet. Natasha and Connor ran from the house and stopped short of the jet. Jaidyn exited first. “Nem.”
“Jaidyn.” Natasha smiled at her daughter.
Jarod smiled as he exited the craft holding onto the hand of the woman everyone recognized as McKenzie. Natasha grabbed her the moment she stepped onto the grass and pulled her into a hug. “McKenzie, we thought you were dead. I’ve missed you.” Natasha felt the distance between her and McKenzie and pulled out of the embrace.
Connor didn’t hesitate to approach McKenzie. He put his hands on her face. “My little girl.” He wrapped her in his arms as tears started pouring from his eyes. “My little girl.”
McKenzie was more than a little confused and pushed away from him. “I don’t know you people.”
Connor was stunned. He knew here memory was gone but he had truly believed she would remember something when she arrived. He’d hoped the distain she’d once felt for him would surface and he’d have his little girl back again. Anything was better than her not knowing who he was.
Miss Parker stared at the flowers in the garden. “How am I going to explain this absence?”
Jarod smiled as he walked up behind her. “I have an idea, but I’d rather you stayed with me.”
Miss Parker turned quickly to face him. “Jarod, you know our lives can never be different. You know I can’t leave, at least there I can slow things down.”
“Parker?” Jarod approached her slowly, but he sidestepped him.
“Figure out how to get Broots and I into the Centre’s good graces.” She looked at him as her insides twisted with agony at the thought they could never have what they both clearly wanted. She started to pass him but he grabbed her arm.
“Debbie, Sydney and Angelo are still at the Centre’s mercy. What would happen to them if Broots and I didn’t return?” She stared into his dark eyes.
She was right. Even he had to admit it. “Fine.” He let go of her arm and watched her walk up to the house.
Elena walked into the infirmary searching for Michael. She knew she should think of herself as McKenzie especially since everyone in this house greeted her as such, but part of her was sure everything was a lie and another part wanted to be McKenzie just to see Michael look at her like he did.
“He’s over there.” A nurse smiled and pointed across the infirmary.
She nodded to the woman and crossed the room. She stopped at Michael’s bedside and stared at his sleeping form. “Will he be all right?” She looked to another nurse who’d come to check his vitals.
“He’s definitely in bad shape but he’s going to pull through just fine.” The nurse smiled and walked away.
Another man approached slowly. “McKenzie?” He looked at her cautiously.
“So I’m told.”
“My name’s Teren.” He looked to Michael for a moment and then back at her. “He’s a fighter.”
“I noticed that while I was torturing him.” She sighed heavily as she moved closer to Michael’s side and took his hand in hers.
“Of course.” Teren looked at little shocked; of course, he shouldn’t really because he already knew what had happened to Michael.
She looked up at Teren. “Michael and I were…”
“Are meant for each other, just like Jarod and Parker.” Teren smiled at her and she looked surprised by his comparison. “You two were just friends when you supposedly died, but you both had deep feelings for each other. I think you’d be together right now if it weren’t for the Centre.”
She shifted slightly. “So what I’m…”
“What you feel deep inside, gnawing at you like a guilty conscience, is McKenzie hating that she harmed the man she loves.” Teren turned and walked away.
She watched him go and then looked back to Michael who was now staring up at her. “McKenzie.” He whispered. His hand squeezed hers strongly.
“Michael, I’m not…”
“You are. You are McKenzie. You know you are McKenzie.” Michael intense gaze seemed to peel right through all the doubts and fears. McKenzie slowly climbed onto the bed next to him. Michael moved his arm to let her in and then wrapped his arm around her. “You’re where you belong.”
McKenzie put her head on his shoulder and arm knowing it was one of the few places he didn’t hurt. She tilted her head up to look at him. “I know.” She tilted her head back down and snuggled next to him gently.
Jaidyn stood in the doorway staring at Michael and her sister lying together on one of the infirmary beds. All the anger she’d felt towards Michael slipped away… all the pain slipped away… she was happy her sister was home and happy love blossomed for someone.
Connor approached her from behind and wrapped his arms around his daughter and kissed her on top of her head. “Watching you sister?”
She nodded as she smiled at her father. “She doesn’t remember any of us but she remembers trusting and loving Michael.”
Connor and Jaidyn watched Natasha enter the infirmary from another entrance. “Love can conquer anything if you let it.” Jaidyn noticed Connor was no longer watching McKenzie and Michael but rather her mother.
Jarod walked into the common room where McKenzie had headed to after Michael informed her he wasn’t about to let her stay at his side every moment and that she needed to work on remembering and getting to know everyone who loved her. “McKenzie?”
McKenzie rose from the couch where she’d been reading about herself and everything she’d done at the houses. “Jarod.”
He wanted to believe she remembered him but knew she had been involved in helping the Centre look for him. “What have you been doing?”
“Actually, I was just reading about my mother.” She cocked an eyebrow at him. “Not a very pleasant woman. I can’t believe the Centre wanted me to be a woman who would willingly hand her child over to them and tell the father the baby died.”
“I can’t believe they thought they could change you that much. You are tough and probably scary as hell to those who go against what you believe in but you’re not evil… far from it.” Jarod moved further into the room but stayed away from her.
“Why do I get the impression you feel awkward around me?” She eyed him.
“You and I were close.” Jarod stated flatly.
“How close?” She looked a little shocked.
“Not that kind of close. You were like a little sister to me. You and I shared a lot.” Jarod sighed knowing this McKenzie didn’t remember any of it.
“Apparently, I got around. The people I’ve dealt with… the things I did…” She shook her head. She looked to him. “Yes, just a fraction of what you’ve done but still.”
Jarod really didn’t know what to say to that. “I heard Michael and you have gotten closer.”
She blushed slightly. “Apparently, that is new to even McKenzie.” She shrugged. “I can’t help it. When I’m near him I know who I am and I just feel like he’s…” She searched for the words.
“Part of you.” Jarod knew all too well what that felt like.
“We’re not talking about Michael anymore.” She paused. “Miss Parker?”
Jarod smiled. “Speaking of Parker. I’ve got a Centre operative to tie up.” He didn’t bother to answer McKenzie; instead he just bounded out of the room leaving her to absorb more about her previous life.
Jarod tightened the rope just a bit more. “I never thought I’d ever have you tied up like this again.” He came around to face Parker who actually suppressed a smile.
“Don’t get used to it.” She stated a little less than harshly. Her retorts were often dripping with distain but this comment sent a pleasurable chill up his spine. Someday maybe they’d actually get to be together but for now she had to go back to the Centre.
Jarod turned to look at Broots. “Comfortable?”
“Not really.” Broots looked up at the pretender. “But whatever gets me back to Debbie.”
“That I admire about you.” He turned and started for the door.
“Jarod!” Miss Parker called to him. Jarod turned to look at her. “I’m glad McKenzie’s alive. I know how you felt about her.”
Jarod smiled at Miss Parker. “Family’s important, Parker. We both know that.”
Lyle burst through the doors and smiled. “Well, well, if it isn’t my dear sister. All tied up I see.”
“Just untie me!” She seethed at him.
“Looks like Jarod got the better of you once again.” Lyle crossed the room and reached down to untie the bonds that held Parker. “Quick question. How exactly did Jarod get in and out of the Centre without their being a record of it?”
Parker hated Lyle so much she wished she could simply shoot him. “Same way he always does, now untie me!”
Lyle considered her answer and then nodded and shrugged as he untied her. A sweeper untied Broots and Miss Parker and he quickly left the ‘site of their humiliation’.
Angelo rocked back and forth as he stared at the screen of McKenzie being turned into Elena. “Not the mother.”
Angelo watched as McKenzie screams quieted and Elena’s personality emerged. Angelo knew what they’d done; they’d brought out what McKenzie already telepathically knew about the vegetable that lay on a medical bed in the corner of the room. “The mother’s bad. Mother can find mother.”
Raines leaned over the body. “Elena, help your daughter help us.”
Angelo shook his head. “Don’t listen. Voice bad. Not you.”
Angelo turned from the screen to a wall covered in pictures. Jarod, Kyle, Ethan, Miss Parker, Broots, Debbie, Major Charles, Emily, and Margaret. He grabbed Margaret’s picture off the wall and shoved it face first at the screen of McKenzie’s transformation. “Danger!”
Raines glared at Lyle. “You lost… McKenzie!” He wheezed.
“Jarod got in here and took her and the man with him.” Lyle tried to defend himself.
“Now we will… never get… Margaret’s… location.” Raines slowly moved around to sit behind his desk, dragging his oxygen tank behind him.
“What makes you think Elena knew where Margaret was?” Lyle asked.
“Before… Connor killed… her, she… found Jarod’s… mother.” Raines slowly sat in his chair.
“So Elena knew where Margaret was and we were going to find her and get Jarod to come to us, but Connor unknowingly put a stop to that by killing his ex-wife?”
Raines didn’t have to answer; he simply stared at his son. “We’re… back to… square one.”
Miss Parker’s phone rang and she lifted it off the receiver. “What?” She said calmly.
“Maybe someday things will be different and you won’t have to go back there.” Jarod’s voice stated over the phone.
“Maybe.” She paused. “How is McKenzie?”
“She’s doing a lot better. She’s started remembering things.” Jarod told her.
“Does she know why the Centre wanted her to be her mother?”
“I don’t think they’d gotten to it yet.”
“Let me know if she remembers anything useful.” She turned to look out her window.
The line went dead and Jarod looked at his phone. “Someday, Parker.”
Brief Original Character Overviews:
Natasha/Nemesis: Natasha worked for the Centre for many years until she decided they were lying about their work. She fled the Centre taking data with her. She is the aunt of McKenzie and mother of Jaidyn.
Connor: Left the Centre with Natasha. The two were lovers until Connor started to believe Natasha was involved with his daughter, McKenzie, being handed over to the Centre as a small child. Jaidyn is also his daughter.
Elena: Worked with the Centre, specifically Raines on projects like Mirage. After she became pregnant with Connor’s child (McKenzie), Raines and she faked her death and she handed McKenzie over to the Centre. Connor shot her before leaving the Centre and going to the pretender houses.
McKenzie: Grew up at the Centre. She met Jarod when she was young and he was still there. The two became close but were ripped away from each other when Raines found out. Their memories were wiped. McKenzie was brought to the pretender houses with Jarod’s help.
Jaidyn: Jaidyn was stolen from her mother by the Centre when she was a newborn. She worked for the Centre in an offshoot group called The Sect.
Teren Ceth: Teren is a strong telepath with no ability to prevent himself from reading others. His name Teren Ceth is an anagram for The Centre who named him when he was a child.
Michael: Michael doesn’t remember anything before the age of 13. He joined the houses a while before McKenzie and was involved with another house member, who left him. McKenzie and Michael have been close since meeting each other. Michael’s abilities range from pretending, tracking, covert operations, reconnaissance, and infiltration. He is one of the few who can track Jarod just as Jarod is one of the few who can track him.