Screaming Secrets

Chapter Three: Not Dead, Not Alive… She's My Crybaby

10072007 – 0745P

AN: Chapter three… Yes, I realize it is incredibly redundant to tell you what chappy this is right after the heading. And yet… I can't find it in me to care. Mmyep.

With that in mind, let's get this over with.

Music: "Nerve Gas" by Kill Hannah. Everyone should listen to this song. It's like a rock and roll music box. Amazing contrast.

XxX

Adrienne was sick from the time she was a child. Dr. Walls wouldn't tell me anything about her illness, except that he had been treating her since she had come to the Company at age five.

It wasn't really a problem until some time around my sixth anniversary at the Company, when I assumed she and I must have been around fourteen years old. Around that time, she became incredibly susceptible to every little illness going around, from colds to fever. A case of the sniffles could easily turn into pneumonia for Adrienne. It was as if she had no immunity whatsoever.

I really think that Dr. Walls saw Adrienne as a daughter, otherwise she probably would have been killed as soon as she came to the Company as a child. But eventually the two of them could no longer hide the seriousness of it.

I'll never forget the day Adrienne died.

Headquarters was underground of course, but in my mind rain was pouring down, thunder and lightning cracking in the sky as I shivered. I suddenly felt so cold. Chills seemed to penetrate my very bones as Adrienne was led into the shooting range. Five men faced her, hoods up over their heads. A pitch black blindfold was secured over Adrienne's eyes. Even if she had cried, the fabric would have caught it, keeping it invisible to the world. But I imagined that her eyes were dry as she faced her unseen executers. There was no way that Adrienne would embarrass herself in her last moments by crying.

Although I couldn't see her eyes, the rest of her face betrayed no emotion. Her mouth was set in a determined line, and her forehead was smooth, showing no signs of worry or apprehension by creasing. She looked incredibly calm.

I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. I couldn't understand it. Had I been lying when I told Adrienne that I wouldn't hesitate to shoot her if ordered? I hadn't thought so, but maybe I had.

The man in the center of the line raised his gun and the others followed suit. I sensed the tension in the air as the man's finger was undoubtedly tightening around the trigger.

And then the shots rang out, and it was over.

Adrienne never came back to our room after that, but sometimes I couldn't help but imagine that she was still there, staring at me with that amused look she always wore when she realized just how little I knew about the Company that I served without doubt. But that was silly, of course, and with time I moved on. I couldn't let something like that interfere with my job.

Jennifer never took another dog on, and continued to work solo until retirement.

The Bonham name ended with Jennifer. If Adrienne had lived, she would have taken it on as her own. But when team fifty-nine fell apart, so did the name. I've heard that that happens a lot. But it just made me all the more determined to make sure that I wasn't the one to end the Montgomery line.

XxX

Two weeks after Adrienne's death, a new pup was moved into my room, into Adrienne's room. I narrowed my eyes, hating every inch of the brunette boy, but took up my expected role of mentor. He could only have been about seven, and had never handled a gun. He held his awkwardly and I recalled how heavy the metal had felt in my own hand years ago. I showed him, as Adrienne had shown me, how to take apart his gun and clean it. I took him to the shooting range, where they had killed Adrienne, and let him watch me shoot. His eyes were wide in awe, but he didn't speak once. I expect he was still dumbstruck, if not by what had happened to bring him there, then by me.

I waited for a few days, but no one came to get him, so I took him to the range again and taught him to shoot. His arms were like spaghetti, and I had to keep forcing him to lock them. I noticed that he took far too long to aim, peering through the sites for nearly a minute. Semiautomatics weren't meant for that, and neither were Unspeakables. I snatched the gun from him.

"Listen," I spat, glaring at Oliver, "don't get spoiled by your sight. You can't use it in jobs. In fact, you can't even look at what you're shooting half of the time. Try aiming for three seconds at most, since you're just now learning. One, two, three, shoot. Eventually you'll learn to aim with your arm rather than your eyes."

And with that, the Company came full circle and I was Adrienne, and Oliver was me, and everything started over.

XxX

There were a lot of new pups in the Company that year.

My favourite was named Jacob by the company.

He was the fifteen-year-old son of some sort of well-known executive, and when his parents were assassinated, he was brought to the Company. He was a purebred in a group of mutts. He wasn't like the others, and not just because of his bloodline.

Jacob was blind.

He was part of Sector Twelve, the unit of the company that specialized in the children that didn't quite qualify to be Unspeakables. I knew that they used these kids for medical experiments, but it didn't faze me. They were defects. They might as well make themselves useful in the laboratories before they died.

But Jacob was different.

They wouldn't get near him. No matter how quietly they walked, or how slowly they approached, if they got within arms-length of him, they seemed to suffer horrible accidents.

They were called "accidents" because no one could quite prove that Jacob did it.

One researcher was taken from the room with a long surgical blade sunk so far into the back of his hand that you could see the sharp end peeking through his palm. His assistant said that she had been watching; and that aside from flinching when the man reached towards him, Jacob hadn't appeared to move.

He wasn't the only one, either. Two other researchers were ushered from the room following similar "accidents". At that point, Gregory and I were called in. As Untouchables, we were trained to observe and analyze things that other people couldn't. So we were locked in the room, and told to restrain Jacob at all costs.

The second I stepped into the room, I felt an overwhelming sense of fear wash over me. We were in danger; I could feel it.

By this point in my career, I had been at the Company for about six and a half years. I had completed countless missions, and executed all except my first flawlessly. I had taken down some of the biggest names in the country. And all through that, I had managed to stay calm.

But now… This boy was not someone to mess with. I could sense it.

I saw his body move a fraction of an inch towards Gregory as he tried to inch closer. My hand moved instinctively towards my holster. I didn't care what the company told me. If that bastard made one move to hurt Gregory, all bets were off.

Jacob was looking at Gregory now, watching him get closer.

Wait…

He couldn't be watching Gregory… So that meant…

I drew my gun quickly, but I no sooner got it raised than it was knocked out of my hand. I blinked, and then Jacob was back on the examining table, sitting with his face towards Gregory, his ears cocked at me. I glanced at Gregory to see his eyes wide, darting between Jacob and me, and I knew he had seen it, too.

What was this boy? It wasn't normal, even by Company standards, for a human to move that fast. I knew we were no match for him. If I moved towards my gun, at the very least he would knock it down again. And bending to pick it up would mean exposing the back of my neck to him. I wasn't nearly desperate enough to do that.

I was stumped. I had no idea what I was supposed to do.

I saw the idea form in his mind before it happened, and suddenly Jacob was launching himself at break-neck speed towards Gregory. I cried out in shock and hurled the first thing I could grab at him, trying desperately to deter him.

The bedpan connected solidly with his head, echoing hollowly through the room, and then Jacob was slumped against Gregory, out cold. There was a clatter and a pair of scissors fell from his hand to the floor.

He was armed… He was armed the whole time…

After that, they stopped all research on Jacob, instead partnering him with a young master, Helen Calloway, to form Team 93.

XxX

"How come you move so fast? Is it 'cause you're blind? How come you don't talk? Are you stupid? Is it 'cause you're blind? I had a dog that was blind, but we shot him because he kept walking into walls and stuff. He was a stupid dog. He was blind. Are they going to shoot you 'cause you're blind? How come you gots a master and I don't? Is it 'cause you're blind? How come—"

Thunk.

Jacob had thrown Oliver against the wall. I sighed and trained my eyes back on my gun as I disassembled it. Oliver would never learn. We should just shoot him.

"How come you're so mean? Is it 'cause you're blind? I—"

Click.

Click? What—

" Jacob, no!" I screamed as I turned to see Jacob with his pistol pressed firmly against Oliver's temple. Oliver had gone a spectacular shade of white, tinged with green, and his eyes were as large as saucers. " Jacob, you could be terminated if you do it! Just calm down!"

I was breaking a rule and I knew it. The pups and dogs were placed in such tight quarters for a reason. If you had a short temper, you wouldn't be effective as an Untouchable. By putting us in an environment like this, we would weed ourselves out without any work from our superiors. By interfering, I was upsetting the process.

Jacob seemed to consider what I said for a minute before releasing Oliver and putting his gun back in his holster.

"God, that guy is crazy!" Oliver exclaimed. I narrowed my eyes.

" Oliver, if you don't leave Jacob alone, I'll kill you myself."

XxX

AN: Wow, it's been a long time since I started working on this chappy. Lol. But I'm glad I got back to it. Thanks to YumeMaker for prodding me to work on it again. :)

For those of you who might not have caught it, Adrienne had an immunodeficiency disorder. Just because Kaylynn was in the dark doesn't mean you should be. Lol. What it basically means, if you don't already know, is that her immune system, which in normal people is the body's defense against illness, is less active than normal, or not active at all, and even the most trivial of illnesses can threaten your life if not treated promptly or properly. AIDS is an example of such a disease, and probably the most recognizable, but Adrienne didn't have that.

These long chappys are killing me. I don't know why. Probably just because they aren't my style. Whatever. This one wasn't quite as long as the last few. Only six pages. But that's still long for me. :)

So… yeah. Please review? I love you all:)

♥.