Shattered / The Trust

Shattered / The Trust
A Miniseries of The Legacy

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Trust - Episode 5

Episode 5: Contingency Plan

People exiting the train gaped and did double takes as the police crime scene unit investigated the scene. It wasn't a grisly murder, but scene like this one tended to bring out the voyeur in everyone

Holt Martin met his partner at the scene of the crime. They always seemed to pull the odd deaths. Leo Sutherland, a dapper-looking black man, arrived shortly before Holt. He was all business. He wore purple plastic gloves and jotted notes into a leather bound notebook.

"You always look like you're wearing your Sunday clothes. Don't you own jeans and a t-shirt?"

"Sure, I do. I just choose the appropriate time to wear them," Leo pointed to the body. "Cynthia Nixon, twenty-nine. Looks like a heart attack but I'm having the coroner run toxicology and checking the puncture wounds around her neck."

"They don't look self inflicted. Did anyone see her on the train?"

"We're checking the surveillance cameras at every station," Leo said. "We're bound to find something."

Holt had a feeling all they'd find would be a dead end.


Getting out of the Facility wasn't as easy as it sounded, but Phoenix Gray was determined to escape.

"Do you have a plan," Jenna asked. "Or are you just winging it?"

"What is there to plan for?" he asked.

"We want to leave, we leave." Phoenix's voice was strangely unemotional and had been from the moment she found him lying on a metal slab in Echelon's lab.

"I think it's a little more complicated than that," Marcus said. "You can't underestimate these people. They have an agenda and they want to fulfill it."

The halls were filled with a constant stream of lab technicians and subdued subjects going for treatments. The only thing the group had going for them was the element of surprise and the fact Phoenix and Jenna had not been intergraded into the community. The Facility was using a more high tech ruse to duplicate them.

"I have an idea how we can get past a majority of the guards," Marcus said.

"I'm not going to like this, am I?" Jenna was already confused. A lot of her memory seemed fuzzy and she hoped she hadn't made a mistake cutting the device out of her hand.

"The Facility doesn't know either of you," Marcus said. "See  how the handlers are guiding individual subjects around? One of you will pretend to be a handler and we'll just walk out the front door."

Phoenix shook his head at the idea. "That contingency only works for two of us. I'm not leaving here without both of you."

"One of you can hide somewhere near the exit. And when we make a run for it, you come with us." Marcus seemed to be pleased with his plan, but Phoenix wasn't buying it.

"I've observed the guards and their patterns. It will be much easier to exit through a point with little guard interaction."

"That does sound a lot safer," Marcus agreed. "But the farther you delve into the Facility, the harder it will be to get out."

"So, our options are: make a run for it and potentially be killed by a guard or go further down the rabbit hole? Jenna sighed. "I really hate both options. Anyone for a Plan C?"


Elizabeth laid down in the machine Angus Farley had designed. As it moved her into position, he fiddled with the instruments and played the keyboard like a master pianist.

Light flashed around her head as Farley extracted the southern personality from her brain.

"I don't know what it is, but that personality has a voice that grates like fingernails on a chalk board." Farley pulled the bukly cassette from the chair and filed it along with the others on the wall. The wall looked like a sea of 8-track tapes in multiple colors. No one was sure what the significance of each color meant. It was meaningful only to Farley.

"I can't find the right one to fit her," he said to his assistant. "I want her part killer and part siren. Is that too much to ask?"

"Lethal combination for a killer." Esta Cooper, head of Echelon, walked in. "Still no luck, Mr. Farley?" she asked, her Australian accent more pronounced than usual.

"This is a tricky business. ADP Technology isn't just plug and play, ya know. The personalities have to mesh and work in a subtle harmony. We've come a long way since the Black Council created the Paris personality, but it's virtually obsolete now."

"But Paris is still active, is she not?" Esta asked.

"Oh, Im sure she's running around some third world country playing secret agent, but  take my word for it, her days are numbered. The processing power on that chip is like Atari verses Wii. There is  no real comparison. They're  not even the same beast any more."

"I would like to study this Paris personality," Esta said. "Find her for me." She stood and crossed to the door. "I'm serious, Mr. Farley."

After she left the silence in the room was deafening. "Who does she think I am? Sherlock Holmes? Because that's who it would take to find Katrina Bradley these days. She had the Paris artificial intelligence inserted into her against her will over twelve years ago. It's not like the thing has GPS.

"Maybe it would be easier to track down the people who created the Paris AI. Maybe you could swipe some code or something." Farley's assistant, a small goth-like girl, spoke in mere whispers. He was surprised by her suggestion, he almost thought her deaf or mute.

"Either way, tracking down Paris is going to be a challenge.


Lisette DuPre was a woman with a mission. Following along with her father's notes had gotten her far. His research was invaluable. She had been tracking Paris for twelve years. Since her father, Jacques', death, Lisette had taken his work on as her own. Vengeance spurred her, vengeance against an agency and a man who had taken her father from her.

Finally, all her searching had been rewarded. She had tracked down the Paris personality. Following Arleen had been an inspired tactic. Arleen was Declan O'Conner's sister and her . Dec was in love with Katrina Bradley and she was the operative Jacques DuPre had implanted the Paris personality into.

Lisette could see her now. She put the field glasses to her eyes and saw Kat washing dishes like a normal housewife. She was dressed like some throwback from the 1950s. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. It was too surreal. Katrina had gone from one of the best female operatives to someone who had no inkling the definition of a dead drop.

All she wanted was revenge and swift justice. The bulky gun shook in her hand as she aimed at the woman who had haunted her dreams. Killing her would be better than killing Declan.

As she pulled the hammer back on the ancient revolver she'd stolen from the New Orleans Legacy House, a figure came out from the dark and kicked the gun out of her hand. Lisette lost balance and fell to the concrete. Tiny rocks pierced her skin. The figure towered over her like a dark silhouette.

"You're making a mistake," a female voice said. "If you want to get revenge, here is who should be on your hit list."

A piece of paper floated to the ground and Lisette snatched it up.

"Philip Lancaster and The Snake?" She was definitely familiar with Philip. He had been in charge of the New Orleans House, but the Snake was the stuff of legends."

"The snake was the assassin, but Philip was ultimately responsible for his death."

As quickly as her attacker was there, she was gone and Lisette was left with a decision. Continue with her mission and kill Katrina or look into this new direction.


Jenna hated this plan. She was hiding near the exit. She wished she could escape immediately. But she felt frozen in place. She watched as Phoenix led Marcus toward the door. They walked through the center area past the glass window of the director. They both kept their eyes forward and facing the exit.

Farley leaned over the balcony and shouted. "You there! Bring him up here now."
Phoenix glanced up and saw Farley looking directly at him. "Yeah, you!. Up here. Now."

Jenna wanted to scream. They were only one step away. She inwardly fumed.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Episode 4: Can You Hear Me?

Episode 4: Can You Hear Me?
by Toni Walker

The rooms in the Facility were white and medicinal. Marcus fingered the lump on the back of his hand. 

There was something wrong with how controlling Echelon had become. He couldn’t remember his past, who he used to be. But there was one thing for certain -- he didn’t like who they made him become when a mission was in the works.

He pulled a knife from his pocket and glanced toward the security camera mounted on the ceiling.

He poised the knife but stopped.

They were watching. They were always watching. But he had to do this. He had to do this in a place they weren’t monitoring. The only place he could think of was the shower.

As he made the first cut under the pounding spray of water his nervous system seized up and he fell forward bashing his skull on the side of the tub.

“Help me,” he whispered.


“I don’t know your sister,” Jenna said to the nearly naked man.

His attention shifted and suddenly he seemed as if he was listening to a voice that wasn’t there.

“Did you hear that?” he said glancing around his surroundings.

“Hear what?” Jenna asked.

“Someone is calling out for help.”

“I didn’t hear anything,” she said.

“It’s two rooms down on the left.”

“What is?”

“The person in trouble.”

Jenna thought the man was crazy, but she was beginning to think weird things were normal here.

He got up from the table and studied the lock on the door.

“It’s electrical,” he said to himself.

“Why does that matter,” Jenna asked.

He pulled a cord from the wall and ripped it from the base of a lamp.  He plugged it back in and gave the lock a shock of voltage that could cripple a man. The electricity fried the lock.

He heard a satisfying click. The door was open.

“The lock doesn’t know if the electrical pulse is coming from this side or that side.”

He didn’t touch the knob of the door and used a plastic matt. The door opened easily.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

“Come on,” he said. “We have to help him.

“Help who?” Jenna asked bounding through the door after him.


Marcus thrashed in the shallow water of the tub. He was face down, but he couldn’t get his head out of the water. It was almost as if his mind and body was working against him.

He banged the back of his hand against the side of the tub hoping to dislodge the device under his skin, but he couldn’t find the energy to complete the task. His head had been under water for a few minutes and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold his breath.


“What are you doing?” Jenna asked following the strange man down the hallway. It had to be her reporter’s instinct keeping her on his trail. Any other reason was pure insanity.

“In here,” he said, opening the door. They could hear splashing and suddenly, the sounds completely stopped.

The man rushed to the bathroom pulling the unmoving body of Marcus out of the tub. He laid him awkwardly on the hard tile floor.

Jenna came in and stopped abruptly. Not only was Marcus not breathing -- he was completely naked. Her eyes grew wide and the turned around to give him privacy.

“There’s no time for shyness,” the man said. “You have to help me.”

Jenna spied a towel and moved it across the lower portion of Marcus’s body.

“That’s better,” she said.

In between CPR and rescue breaths, the man ordered Jenna to look at Marcus’s hand.

She knew this wound. She’d had a similar one recently.

“If I pull this out, he may get a bit of memory loss. It happened to me.”

“It’s a chance we’re going to have to take,” he said. “I need him alive. He’s the only one who can get us out of here.”

Jenna wasn’t sure how the man knew that. But he seemed full of useful information. She found a pair of tweezers and focused on removing the transmitter. It slipped out easily, more easily than hers had. He many not have the same symptoms at all.

“That’s odd,” she said.

“What’s odd?” he asked.

“When Hank pulled mine out, it was connected to a cluster of nerve endings. His wasn’t. It slipped out clean.”

“That is odd.”

As soon as the device was flushed down the toilet, Marcus began to stir. He groaned and put a clammy hand to his forehead.

“What happened?” Marcus asked.

“I think when you cut into your hand, you triggered a dangerous Facility protocol to subdue you,” he said. “They really don’t want you to leave, do they?”

“You’re both too new to know what goes on around here,” Marcus said. “These people kidnapped you for a reason.”

“I know why I’m here,” the man said. It could be any number of reasons: The Legacy, Ethan Fairchild, my father, the Foundation. It’s a toss up.”

“Got a lot of enemies, do you?” Jenna asked. “I write for the calendar section of the Herald. What could these people possibly want with me?”

“Who you know. What you know. It could be anything,” Marcus said.

“Help me get him into the living room,” the man said grabbing Marcus’s shoulders.

Jenna eyed Marcus’s near naked form. “Can’t you put something on? Boxers, something?”

The man grabbed a pair of underwear from atop the sink and tossed it towards Marcus. Jenna stepped into the other room.

“They don’t make them like her anymore,” Marcus said.

“Actually, there ware plenty of her out there,” the man said. “I don’t think she realizes how long she’s been here.”

“You’re a relative newcomer,” Marcus said to the man. “You’re supposed to be in a near zombie state.”

“I’m not one for following the rules,” he said, but the process the Facility put him through didn’t leave him completely unaffected. Focusing was a challenge.

“You’re Esta Cooper’s pet project. The rules don’t apply to you,” Marcus said slipping on his boxers. “What’s your name?”

“Phoenix Gray,” he said abruptly. “And I’m no one’s pet project.” He shook his head trying to clear his mind. “I’m leaving. You two can come or you can stay behind. It makes no difference to me.”

Phoenix walked into the room past Jenna. His fingers gripped his belt loop for dear life. It didn’t make the shaking in his arm any less. It merely disguised his weakness.

He leaned against a chair as a dizzy spell nearly took him to his knees. Jenna turned and saw him struggle with standing.

Marcus stood on his own and shrugged into a dark navy shirt and pants. He passed clothes to Phoenix who gratefully accepted them.

Marcus placed a steadying hand on Jenna’s shoulder.

“I don’t understand anything that’s going on,” Jenna said.

“All you need to know is that we need to stick together,” Marcus said. “Between the three of us, we’ll figure this thing out.”


The Jenna look-alike checked the time on her cell for the third time in two minutes. Her foot tapped uncontrollably. She was on a time table and was at the mercy of the train schedule. Her foot tapped uncontrollably. If she was late, she’d never get the explosive necklace off her neck.

The train pulled into the station and she ran up the stairs toward the passenger drop off area. Her contact was supposed t be in the park beyond the parking lot. She raced to the location, frantically looking for her contact.

“Where is he?” she muttered.

A television in a nearby shop window turned on. Darkness had fallen making the screen more noticeable.

“Excuse me,” the man on the screen said. She recognized the personality. It was Miles Hayworth, the head scientist at Echelon. His accent was thick as he beckoned her forward.

“I’m unhappy to inform you that you’ve missed your contact,” he said.

The Jenna look-alike was out of breath and leaned down resting her hands on her knees. She was too exhausted to gasp. 

“NO!” she said through labored breaths. She looked around frantically hoping to see someone who could help her. But once the sun set the train lot quickly emptied and was deserted.

“Why are you doing this?” she begged the screen. “I did everything you asked.”

Miles smiled and nodded. “Yes, you were one of our best operatives. Unfortunately, we have an image to maintain. We can’t let our competition know our clones are defective.”

“I’m not defective,” she shouted.

“No, you’re not,” Miles admitted.

“What does that mean exactly?”

“It means you’re not a clone. Just an unfortunate girl who stumbled across our path and lost her life.  Goodbye, Cynthia.”

The image on the television flickered out and the Jenna look-alike’s heart began racing.

Was this the end?

Suddenly, the necklace Echelon had given her began pricking her neck. Tiny needles extended from inside the hollow area and latched onto her skin. The effect was so quick she didn’t realize what had happened before her legs collapsed beneath her and she fell to the ground.

A man with shiny leather shoes stepped forward whistling a tune. He reached down, hit a button and released the latch on the necklace. But that wasn’t all that happened. Suddenly, she no longer looked like Jenna West.

She hadn’t been a clone at all.

The man pocketed the necklace and walked away down the sidewalk.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Trust - Episode 3

Episode 3: Herald In The News- By Toni Walker

The offices of The Trust were brightly lit and full of activity. Situated in the Library command center, Candice worked tirelessly as she searched for intel and gathered information from all her contacts.

“All my agents have come up empty,” Candice Kent said hours later. “The one I have going to the Park Ridge address has just arrived. We’ll play this one close to the vest considering the Jenna in Park Ridge is a reporter.”

“She could be the original model… the one all the clones were made from,” Hank said.

“Clones? Who said anything about clones?” Bailey Chase asked. He wore a black turtleneck beneath a sports coat even though it was eighty-five degrees outside.

“My brother, David and I are experts on cell duplication. It’s a process that could easily translate into cloning. Plus, he’s been working on a hush, hush project he couldn’t talk about. This could be it.”

“Technology is not that advanced yet,” Bailey said, convinced of his conclusions. 

“We’ve come father than you think. There is a company out there -- Echelon -- who is probably closer than any other with the technology,” Hank continued. “And not so surprisingly, they have leased the abandoned base.”


Holt Martin received the call from his Trust contact unexpectedly. Work from them didn’t come on a normal basis. The boss was abrupt and to the point.

“We need you to find Jenna West and put her into protective custody,” Bailey said over the phone.

“Jenna? Why? What did she do?” he asked, surprised by the request.

“You know her?”

“Sure. My pop has been an investigative reporter for years. She was one of the interns who worked with him.”

“Was this recently?” Bailey asked.

“Ten years ago, maybe. Jenna’s a local, one of the few reporters who came from here and stayed here.”

“We need to examine her, son. Bring her in as soon as you can -- without alarming her. She may be in danger.”

Holt chuckled. “Easier said than done, sir. That girl can smell a story a mile away. She won’t be easy to mislead.”

“One hour, son. I’ll expect both of you in one hour.”

Holt shook his head as the call disconnected. He might as well have asked for the moon.


The Facility was white and medicinal. There was nothing homey about the place. Jenna hated being there. That much she did remember.

“Why are you doing this to me?” she asked. “Why are you so loyal to these people?”

Elizabeth leaned over her. “The better question is -- why aren’t you loyal? They created you for a specific purpose. All the rest of your line has done exactly what the Echelon has wanted.”

“My line?” Jenna asked.

“We’ve all been genetically engineered,” Liz said. “They control everything about us. So why can’t they control you?”


The offices of the Daily Sentinel newspaper were cluttered and filled to the brim with people and paper. The place was a fire code violation if he ever saw one.

Les Martin sat at the editor’s desk near the back of the newsroom. He shook his head at Holt’s inquiry.

“I haven’t seen Jenna around town in weeks, maybe a month,” Les said. “I can have Stanley call the Editor of the Herald. He would know more about her investigations.”

“Thanks, dad. I’m going to swing by her place and see if she’s there.”

“Why do you need to see her? You looking for a date?” Les always held out hope that he’d find a nice girl for Holt.

“No, I need to question her about a case I’m working on. Nothing serious.”

Jenna West’s apartment was near the park which was five minutes from the center of town. Her front door was secure and locked but the back door was another story.

He pulled out his weapon. The door was ajar, lock smashed. He nudged it open with the tip of his gun and quickly checked every room. 

There was no sign of her.

There were, however, signs of a struggle. He flipped his cell phone open and dialed Bailey.

“She’s been missing for weeks and her house is trashed. Looks like she may have been kidnapped.”


Marcus watched Jenna out of the corner of his eye. She’d been quiet since her return to the Facility. Something was different about her, more genuine. The scar on her hand was already healing. Marcus felt the same lump under his own skin.

Marcus wasn’t someone who connected with people. He did have memories deep in his psyche of a brunette girl who needed help. Those memories didn’t quite seem to belong to him, though.

He approached Jenna, more out of curiosity than anything else. 

“What happened to your hand?”

“There was something there,” she said. “It’s gone now.”

Jenna’s eyes seemed glazed and hooded. The doctors at the Facility had already started to re-introduce her to the meds.

Marcus held her hand and rubbed the skin. The lump was definitely gone.

“He cut it out -- The man at the edge of the woods.” She stared up at Marcus, her yes brimming with tears. “It feels better without it.”

He brushed a tear from her cheek.

“Why are you crying?” he asked. When the charge nurse entered the main area, Marcus blocked Jenna from view.

Jenna touched her tears reacting as if she’d never experienced the phenomena before.

“Can I go home now?”

Before he could respond, the nurse approached. She was older, grandmotherly.

“There you are, sweetie. It’s time for your treatment.”


The Jenna look-alike followed the tunnel for nearly a mile before being met by her contact. He had the access code for the special necklace she wore. The man wasn’t familiar with her, just as she wasn’t familiar with him. He gave her the first six digits of a code on a piece of paper.

“You will receive another six digits at the location on the note. Your next contact will be able to remove the necklace. If you try to remove it now, it will detonate and kill you.”

The look-alike seemed startled.

“Why so cloak and dagger?” she asked.

“That’s the way the brass wanted it, so that’s the protocol.”

The Jenna look-alike shrugged, stuffed the note in her pocket and followed the man out of the tunnel.

“With the note is a train ticket to your next location. You have approximately eighteen minutes to get there and board the train.” He glanced at this watch. “Your time starts now.”


A technician studied Jenna’s vitals. He stared at one monitor in particular, the one that told how well the duplicate’s cells were holding up. The monitor showed no deterioration. This surprised him. He called his colleague over to check his results.

“According to our records, she could be at a level two cell deterioration. This scan shows no deterioration at all.”

The second tech shook his head. “Do the scan again.”

“I’ve done it three times and I’ve gotten the same result.”

“It shouldn’t be possible.”

The tech stilled. “It would be if she was the real deal. The original Jenna West.”

“Oh, man,” the second sighed. “We’re so screwed.”

“We can’t let the brass know about this complication,” the first said.

“Complication? These people don’t play around. The originals are supposed to know nothing about the process.”

“We have to fix this,” the second said. “We have to get rid of her before they realize who she really is.”

While the technicians fought a body on a slab on the next table moved. A blue sheet shuddered and Jenna jumped. As the moments went on the fog in her mind became clearer.

She jumped as a moan came from the other side of the room. Jenna’s heart jumped in her chest. She inched to the edge of the metal exam table.

The sheet moved again revealing a body beneath. It was a man. His arm moved to his head as he attempted to sit up.

“Are you alright?” she asked softly.

The man flinched and jumped up. His breathing was heavy.

“Who are you?” he rasped as he got off the table. The sheet fell from his body revealing chiseled abs and boxer shorts.

Jenna held her hand out., “Stay right there. Don’t come any closer.”

He shook his head, disoriented, wobbling on his feet. “Where is my sister?”