Title: Something Else
Characters: Karen Parker & Travis Morgan w/ mentions of Alex Mercer
Word count: 619 words
Karen Parker’s brief encounter with Travis Morgan under Blackwatch’s “care,” in which she’s given a “choice.”
“Karen. Let me help you.”
Rough fingers came up to brush at Karen’s cheek, followed by the dab of a white handkerchief against her bruised cheek. She recoiled from the touch and cringed inwardly as she saw the splotch of blood on the kerchief—her blood. It wasn’t the only place she was bleeding from, no doubt.
Karen didn’t remember how long Gentek had been holding her in this room. A week? Two? She’d been going to Penn Station with Alex, and suddenly Blackwatch was there. Karen was the distraction, and Alex never looked back when he pushed through the crowds of people.
It hurt more than the butt of a rifle ever would.
"We’re all in very deep here. There’s only one way out: cooperation."
The handcuffs she’d been put in were opened, and what seemed to be a contract was set in front of her. She made a disdainful face as she skimmed it, already knowing where this conversation was going. Hadn’t she cooperated enough? She’d told them all she had known about Alex’s plans, about what he knew about the virus. She’d delved out more personal information about their relationship than she’d ever made her best friends privy to. There was nothing else to cooperate with them over.
"If you assist us, you’re free and clear. A ticket anywhere you want and a top-level assignment. If you don’t… there’s nothing I can do for you."
If you assist us. So there it was. They wanted her to do something more for them, something that involved Alex. Karen had heard the soldiers say what they planned to do with her when the questioning was over, and it was enough to make her stomach churn. She wanted to say no, but if she did… she could kiss freedom goodbye. Alex wouldn’t come and save her like some storybook hero. She was on her own, and this was all she could do to avoid turning into a plaything.
Karen kept reading the contract. You must assist us in creating a cancer weapon to stop Alex Mercer. Heart sinking quickly, the blonde covered her eyes and released a shaky breath. She couldn’t do that to him. She couldn’t! Alex had been the love of her life, the man she’d given up almost everything for. She’d reshaped her whole life around Alex until his obsession with exposing Gentek had ended their relationship, but even still she’d loved him dearly. He’d meant everything to her.
A laptop was placed in front of her. Karen looked at it slowly, then up at the scientist who had worked with her and Alex. Travis Morgan. A man she’d once considered a friend. He wordlessly pressed play, and a soldier behind Karen gripped her messy hair ruthlessly, yanking her head towards the screen. She mouthed a pained ‘ow’ and focused her blue eyes on the video, clapping a hand over her mouth. It was Alex, but… it somehow wasn’t. The man on the screen looked like her Alex, but he had the most sickening appendages she’d seen. Claws the size of his torso, enormous fists that, in a lighter setting, would have looked comical to her. He was ripping tanks apart, slicing pedestrians in half, leaping at least fifty feet into the air… it was inhuman.
"Listen, Karen. Whatever he is now, he’s not the man you knew, he’s something else."
No, he wasn’t her Alex anymore. He was something less than human now, and that killed her inside. Karen gripped the edge of the table, tearing her eyes away from the screen to shoot a glare up at Morgan. Her voice was gruff, throat raw and abused, but she managed to sound firm.
"I want a lawyer."