Author: Chesterfield PM
In order to rescue hundreds of children and her friends, Juliet has to go into the ARROW Corporation itself to expose its true schemes of illegal and secret human trafficing. It will take some convincing to rally any help among reluctant participants.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 27 - Words: 76,094 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 03-16-10 - Published: 01-02-10 - id: 2759392
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Juliet decided to follow Grant down the hallway and through the doors into the Medical hallway. Grant seemed to know exactly where he was going and, feeling somewhat out of place, Juliet continued to follow, figuring Grant would tell her to go away when she wasn't welcome anymore.
Grant pushed open a door which led to another hallway where Haru was sitting in a chair with a pole next to him. The pole had a bag hanging on it with a tube connecting to the needle in Haru's arm but there didn't appear to be any blood flowing.
"Where is she?" Grant said.
"Over there," said Haru, pointing to one of the closed rooms with more guards and doctors standing outside it, exchanging clipboards and worried expressions. Observing this occur, Haru said to Grant, "Calm her down."
"My ability doesn't work on her," Grant reminded him.
"Then use your natural charm," said Haru. "She likes you because you're not a guard and you're not a doctor. She likes Product-Grant. Nothing else."
"What girl is this?" Juliet asked.
"You know her, Juliet," said Haru. "She's one of Felix's children. One of the ones you're looking for."
"Leda?" Juliet tried. "Let me talk to her."
Grant looked as though his first instinct was to argue with Juliet, but then turned to Haru who nodded.
"It might be good for her," Haru said.
Juliet wasn't sure who Haru had meant when he said 'her,' though she supposed it would be a good experience for both of them.
"Come on," Grant said.
He suddenly must have had a relapse back into his more violent tendencies because he roughly grabbed Juliet by her arm and began to escort her towards the door where Leda apparently was. At first, Juliet tried to pull her arm away, but Grant only made a sound which suggested he might have been telling her to be quiet. It occurred to Juliet just then that perhaps his rough escort was perhaps a show for the guards and doctors. Hoping she was making the right assumption of what was happening, Juliet accepted his firm grip and followed his lead to the doorway.
"Open it up," Grant commanded of the guard.
"It's about time," said the guard. He was staring at Juliet, and clearly wanted to ask why she was going in there, but he wasn't going to ask any questions. Perhaps it was partially because she was "clearly" being escorted in, or maybe it was because he wasn't interested in getting Grant angry at him.
Finally, the doors opened and Grant took Juliet inside. The doors immediately clamped shut.
The room was just another standard hospital room and there she was: Leda. Juliet hadn't seen Leda since Sunday had been in the hospital back in London and she found the petite unglamorous girl didn't look in particular good health. Leda was sitting on the bed in the corner, her arms resting on her folded knees, wrists tied together with fairly unrestrictive manacles. She was leaning against the wall, bored, and despite Grant and Juliet's entrance, she did not react. She stared straight ahead and only observed.
"Leda," said Juliet as soon as Grant let go of her and immediately ran up to the girl to give her a hug.
Leda remained still as Juliet wrapped her arms around her. After a few seconds of awkward silence, Juliet slowly pulled away and looked Leda up and down. Aside from just looking skinnier and perhaps sleep deprived, she didn't see anything outwardly wrong with her. But, still, she only continued looking straight ahead and not saying anything.
"Leda," Juliet tried again.
This seemed to finally wake her up. She very slowly turned her head in a slight fashion and looked at Juliet, as if she was sizing her up. "Juliet, hi," she said.
"What's going in?" Juliet said to Grant.
"She gets this way," Grant says.
"She seems totally calm!" said Juliet. "Weirdly calm, actually. Did you use your ability to make her like this?"
"No," said Grant. "This is her ability."
"What is?" said Juliet.
"This," Grant replied, gesturing towards Leda who was still sitting silently. "Her ability is kind of like the opposite of mine, in a way. You know how I can mess with adrenaline and brain responses and all that? Well, she can turn all of that stuff just off completely and become this. Totally unemotional, totally unresponsive."
"So you're basically useless in a fight against her," Juliet deduced.
Grant actually looked offended. "My ability is useless in a fight against her," he corrected her. "Trust me, if me and this girl got into a fight, I would be able to take her down in just a couple of seconds."
"I believe you," Juliet said. "I wasn't meaning to fight with your fists."
"Well, you did say 'fight,'" he pointed out.
Then he did something Juliet found rather surprising. He moved around the table and sat down next to Leda, releasing her from the bindings which held her wrists together. Then, after doing so, he leaned up against the wall as well and threw the manacles as hard as he could across the room so they made a loud crash and knocked a stack of papers to the ground.
"What are you doing that for?" Juliet demanded as she started to pick up the papers.
"No, don't," Grant said. "Just keep shouting."
"Why?" demanded Juliet.
"Because they're supposed to think we're fighting and struggling in here," Grant said, rolling his eyes that this wasn't already common knowledge.
"Why do you want them to think you're fighting in here?" Juliet questioned.
"Because that's why they called me, to have a fight with her," Grant said. "When she shuts herself down like this, I'm supposed to get it out of her. Of course, once she's like this, she doesn't care about anything going on around. Usually it takes a few good blows on the head."
"Wait, so you hit her?" Juliet said, startled.
"No," said Grant, annoyed that it was taking so much effort to convey his convoluted point to Juliet. "We have an agreement. I pretend my way works so I have to come and spend time in here, pretending we're working and rehabilitating."
"Why would she want to pretend to be working and rehabilitating?" said Juliet, feeling uneasy.
"Juliet," said Grant with a sigh. "Haven't you figured it out?"
"Figured what out?"
"Haven't you figured out how much harder it is to be a girl in this type of place than it would be a man?" Grant asked. He lightly touched Leda's shoulder and she didn't react. "Especially the pretty ones, fourteen to twenty, usually it's the worst."
"Yeah, usually they're often taken advantage of," Grant said. "And there's no rule that says it's not allowed. We do this solitary confinement exercise to keep that from happening."
"Are you saying that Leda's been abused?" Juliet asked. "Sexually?"
"Well, she could have been," Grant answered. "I don't really know because she doesn't say and Dana won't tell me."
He suddenly stopped as if he just remembered something. Juliet evaluated he might be recalling the beginnings of their conversation about the identity of Marianne Churchill and expected him to lead back into the conversation. Instead, he looked contemplative and then glanced at the ceiling with his eyes, wearing a slight frown.
"What?" Juliet asked.
"I don't know," he said before she even finished asking. "I wanted to ask you something, but I can't remember what it is. Were we talking earlier?"
"Yeah, we were talking," Juliet said.
He finally looked down at Juliet again and then shook his head.
"Never mind, I guess," he said, facing Leda again.
Juliet waited for him to persist, but he did not. She wondered if it had anything to do with Dana and her earlier attempt to manipulate Grant's memories concerning his meeting with Marianne Churchill. As he sincerely attempted to even remember the conversation he was having with Juliet, she wondered if maybe she should fill him in on what Dana did. Then again, maybe he knew and that was why he had decided not to pursue the memory any further. After all, Haru had said it would be better if Grant did not know the identity of his mother and father, so perhaps it was for the better if he didn't know the truth.
"Stop," Grant said, still keeping his eyes on Leda, but his tone was directed towards Juliet.
"Stop what?" Juliet questioned.
"Feeling that," said Grant. "All guilty and apprehensive. It makes me suspicious of you."
Juliet realized she was probably radiating her feelings towards Grant. She often forgot about the fact that he could sense the slight changes in her emotions just like Elliot could because she was distracted by the fear of his ability to manipulate them.
"Sorry," Juliet said, swallowing awkwardly.
"Don't apologize," he said. For the first time, Juliet realized he sounded soft, sincere, and was speaking with care instead of just throwing out the first threat that came into his mind. She found him oddly sympathetic in that moment.
He made a low and aggravated sound, clearly aware of Juliet's observations towards his change in mood. He lowered his hand from Leda's shoulder and then started snapping his fingers in front of her face while saying, "Hey, girl. You want to wake up now? Things are okay now."
"Things are not okay now," Leda said quietly as she, all at once, lurched her shoulders forward and then sat up. She saw Juliet standing next to her, and finally sighed and gave her a hug. "I'm sorry," she said.
"Leda, are you okay?" Juliet asked, still a little confused, but ready to learn.
Leda pointed her head to the ground and shook it vigorously. "I want to get out of this place," she said. "I want to get out now. Not tomorrow. Not some other time. It's got to be now."
"We're working on it," Juliet assured her.
"Haru's working on it," Grant interjected.
"He told me he has a plan already, but I haven't seen it," Juliet admitted.
"You can't see it," said Grant. "He's got it all up in his head. It's been there for twenty years."
"We're going to get out of this place?" Leda looked up hopefully.
"We're trying," said Juliet. "As soon as I figure it everything out—"
"No, now," Leda interrupted. "It has to be now. Really, Juliet." Leda looked extremely serious, holding onto Juliet's hands firmly. "Now."
"I don't know what you want from me," Juliet said. "I can't just go outside right now and start organizing a master plan."
"Why not?" Grant asked.
"Because there are a lot of people to coordinate," Juliet reminded him.
"Haru organized them all pretty easily," Grant said. "He's guessing the escape will probably only take one hour at the most. And the thing that will take that much time is climbing through the elevator shafts."
"Elevator shafts?" Leda repeated, sounding interested. "So we do have a plan, then."
"I guess," said Juliet, still confused. "Listen, let me talk to Haru and get this all figured out. Don't do anything that would get you relocated because I think, at this point, everyone's just about where they need to be. Could you give me a day?"
"A whole day?" Leda repeated, somewhat outraged.
"Yes, I just need some time to figure things out and then iron them down," Juliet said and then she took hold of Leda's hands eagerly. "This is going to work. You don't have to worry. But we really only have one chance at this and if it gets messed up because we move too fast, then that could be a lot of trouble for everyone. Do you understand?"
Leda nodded reluctantly. "I understand," she said. Then she looked at Grant. "Can I stay here a little while longer, though?"
"Yeah, you can," Grant said in the same soft and sympathetic voice Juliet recognized from before. However, his voice changed when he addressed Juliet and told her, "Maybe you should go. You have things to coordinate."
"I guess I do," Juliet agreed as she put her hand on the doorknob. "Should I just…?"
"Thank you, Juliet," Leda said quietly.
Juliet hesitated a few moments, waiting for any other guidance or instruction, but Grant did not offer anything. Finally, she opened up the door and was almost immediately apprehended by the man standing outside, but then he backed away from her when he realized she wasn't Leda.
Feeling more awkward than ever, Juliet slowly moved away from the room and looked to the place Haru had been sitting when she went inside, but he was not there anymore. She glanced back at the man standing by the door and wondered if it was a bad idea to ask where he had gone, but then she heard her name called from behind her.
She turned around and found that the room across the hallway was half opened so, feeling bold, she pushed it open and discovered Haru sitting on the bed inside. He smiled when he saw her and urged her to come in and close the door behind her. She did as she was instructed and waited in front of the closed door as Haru readjusted some dials on a machine which was attached to a tube connected to the needle in his arm.
"I hope this is the last time I have to do this," he said passively as he looked over his shoulder at her.
"Grant mentioned you have a plan," Juliet led him, trying to stay as quiet as possible in case anyone was listening.
"Yeah, I've got a plan," Haru said, also whispering. "You want in?"
"Of course I do!" Juliet said, forgetting for a moment that she was supposed to be stealthy. She looked at the door behind her and then back at Haru who raised both eyebrows. "You have to give me the whole run-down of the plan someplace a little less uh…population heavy."
"Fair enough," said Haru. "I don't have anything scheduled for the evening. After I'm done here, I'll go to your plane. Get as many of your own guys there as you can. I'll bring Dana and Grant, and I'll tell you everything I have."
Juliet thanked him and opened the door to slip out as inconspicuously as possible. The man in front of Leda's room was still standing there, watching her intently, but she assured herself there was no way he could possibly know what was just discussed inside. Avoiding eye contact with him, she hurried down the hallway until she came to an elevator, stepping inside and pressing the button as many times as she could before the doors closed.
As she stood out on the staircase overlooking all the airplanes, she sighed heavily. It was just about that time again where things were going to get complicated.
I always make it a point not to ask for reviews, so that's not what this is. Generally, there just isn't a lot of interest for this story continuing, and I'm having a difficult time motivating myself to continue. So there is going to be a bit of a hiatus. Hopefully, it won't last too long and I'll get back to it. Thanks for reading this far, and for the few people who have been reading, I appreciate it! ~