Disclaimer: See Prologue.
Rating: A, E, R, ALT
Tears and Silence
Jer's Apartment/November 8, 1996
Jer picked up the small box next to his mailbox with a smile. "Finally," he muttered. The small box was heavier than it looked, because it was lined with lead to prevent x-ray viewing of its contents. "I was afraid you wouldn't get here on time," he told it. He started up the stairs to his apartment.
"After all, tomorrow's the big day," he grimaced. He wasn't really looking forward to this-- much. At least, not the way he'd been looking forward to it a month ago. "Before Jessie," he thought out loud. Unlocking his door, he stepped inside to the shrill whine of his cell phone. Dropping the package on the couch, he picked up the phone and flipped it open. "Jer here."
Jessie's voice floated out of the phone. "Hi, Jer. It's Jessie. I just wanted to know if you're still coming over tomorrow?"
"Yeah, unless there's a problem," he said, picking up a knife to open the package.
"No, no problem. But Dr. Quest and my dad got called out of town. They're leaving tomorrow. But I know you like to cook, and I thought you might like to help make breakfast. Hadji wants me and Jonny to help, but I really doubt it would be edible."
"That sounds great. What time?"
"Oh, I guess about seven or so. We usually eat about eight, and they have to leave by nine."
"All right. Should I bring anything?" he asked, slitting the heavy tape that sealed the box.
"No, I don't think so. Let me ask Hadji." He heard a clunk as she set down the phone. A minute later she returned, saying, "No, he says he's got everything all ready, unless you have something special you want to try."
"Nope, nothing out of the ordinary. I'll see you then, OK?"
"Bye." He hit the "off" button and finished opening the box. Out fell a small, sleek handgun, a full clip, and a letter in his mother's handwriting. "Oh, great," he muttered. "Another Missive from Mom."
Jer loved his mother, but he hated her letters. Filled with ranting about her husband's tortured brilliance and Race Bannon's unending crusade to murder him and destroy his family, they tended to be depressing. "Wonder if she's ever looked into freelance cult propaganda as a way to raise extra money," he asked out loud. "Dear Jeremiah… how are you…Lorenzo says hello…Caroline tells me you're eager to have your revenge…blah blah blah…" Suddenly he froze as he read the next sentence. "After your father was crippled I knew that Race Bannon would continue to be a formidable adversary but I never expected that his daughter would follow in his footsteps and murder Jeremiah at the height of his brilliance…"
He felt as if he couldn't breathe. Dropping the letter he ran to the balcony, threw open the sliding glass door and staggered out to lean against the railing. He watched the cars below drive through the darkness and felt a sense of oncoming vertigo.
Clutching the railing until his knuckles turned white, he fought for breath and control of his emotions. He slid down into a crouch as the full implications of the situation hit him.
"Jessie," he moaned, silent tears beginning to come. "Oh, Jessie…"
E-mail to Csurd@hotmail.com /November 8, 1996
Why didn't you tell me I was after the wrong Bannon? No matter. I'm prepared for what I have to do. I assume that you and Julia are prepared to pick me up. I will be at the compound at seven, but expect no action until at least nine. Jer.
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