"I hate the ending myself but it started with an alright scene..."
Dr. Clark lay asleep with her head still in Ray's lap, her skirt clad legs scratched and bloody from when she fell and her once perfect curls now in a deflated mass of tangles. The others looked no better but rather worse, purple rings had formed around Mikey's eyes and the dim lighting made his already slim features seem even more sallow and pale, little more than skin stretched thinly over his skull.
Frank sat with what he hoped was a determined expression but in reality looked little more than an exhausted child trying to keep his puffy eyelids open as he nodded off. He had long ago abandoned his standard issue white jacket in favor for a musty indian blanket that was stored in the back of the old van.
Ray looked no better than the rest and would periodically reach up to smooth out his hair, only to remember it was all gone. He did this yet again before rolling his eyes in exasperation. He decided to distract himself by reapplying the anesthetic balm that every killjoy kept on hand to the blaster burn on Dr. Clark's back. From what he could tell, the shot only hit muscle and thankfully missed any important nerves in her spine. Temporary paralysis and a burn, that would be all.
She moaned in her sleep as his hand came in contact with the burn and Gerard glanced curiously back at them from his seat in the front. Ray ignored his presence and spun the lid of the balm back on till it was tight. The van slowed to a stop and it was Dr. Deathdefying's turn to twist around to face them, "We're here."
"Here" was a small cave opening that stood at the end of the narrow dirt road that twisted up the far side of Bert's Peak. The van had been backed up close to the entrance and it was easy work to maneuver Dr. D's wheelchair through the opening to a clear patch of ground just inside the hill. It was this small pocket of a cave that hid a large steel door, like something of a bomb shelter back from the days of the fires.
Frank helped support the slowly recovering woman while Gerard and Ray worked to pull the door open. Just inside lay what any killjoy would call a "jackpot". Two walls were covered in a series of close together bunks, a cramped arrangement that reminded Ray very much of military ships. Also dominating the walls were shelves double stacked with canned and dried foods, and even better were that none of them carried the label "Power Pup". Finally, they could eat real food. In one corner a communication system had been set up with various radio broadcast equipment and a few monitors were facing them. Resting on the chair before it was a large standardized BL/Ind storage box with a single disk lying on its lid.
Ray sat Dr. Clark down in one of the metal folding chairs and joined the others in gawking at the box. "What is it," he asked as Mikey handed Dr. D the disk and lifted the cardboard lid. He gasped at the contents and pulled them out, handing each member the treasured items. "Oh hell yes!" Frank grinned like the cheshire cat as he pulled his beloved vest on. Inside the standard evidence box were their coats and rayguns, apparently saved for records and evidence.
Dr. D glanced over at the quietly smiling woman and looked back down at the disk in his hand. "I think this is for you," he said, a slight feeling of dread had started to gnaw at his stomach. He had a feeling as to what the disk would show. It did not escape his notice that only one of the two people he had set this plan up with had escaped. He saw in her eyes that she knew as well. She nodded once and he placed the disk into the slot of the computer, an ancient system indeed but still working.
The screen flickered to life and the rejoicing killjoys fell silent as they watched a handsome blond man sit down in front of the camera. He was wearing a white lab coat but the room behind him looked more like a private office than anything one would find at Better Living. The man coughed once to clear his throat and offered a tentative smile at the camera. "Hey, Jackie," he said while giving a brief wave of his hand. "If you're watching this right now then that means our planned worked and you're probably not alone right now either." He gave a brief mischievous smirk, "Don't let those smelly boys give you too much trouble. Also, welcome back to the sunlight, guys."
He sighed heavily and ran a hand through his hair, "This video also means that my job succeeded... and I really hope you weren't around to see it." He glanced only briefly at the camera, seeming to make eye contact with her, "Then again, it'd be nice if your face was the last thing I see." He coughed slightly and continued, "I'm really sorry it had to be this way and that I didn't tell you. I don't think you would've gone through with it if you had known." She nodded her head knowingly, a slight sob escaped from her lips, "It's better off this way, I mean they're always watching us and all those videos..." He trailed off and seemed to stare at something behind the camera for a moment before he snapped back to focus, "I remember when you showed me that surveillance room, and there we were: our whole lives in front of us. And you hit play to show me and when the lights all went out we watched our lives on the screen," she dropped her eyes, also recalling the day she shared the discovery, "I hate the ending myself, but it started with an alright scene." Their first documentation had been the two of them entering a coffee shop after their exams had ended, a small and subdued celebration for the two of them. "So, this is my goodbye then," he tried smiling but it was clear that a tickle had formed in the back of his throat, "I tried to leave you prepared and with some company, hopefully everything you'll need is here in this shelter. At the bottom of the evidence box is their medical files which might help clear up any future confusions, it'll be tough going for a while but you'll pull through." He was blinking his eyes furiously now and his final words came out in choking bursts of effort, "I love you, Jackie. I love you so much, and I'm sorry I have to leave you now, I'm so sorry. We'll see each other again though, this isn't the end." He gave a small wave of goodbye and reached towards the camera. The screen went back to the computer's desktop.
Gerard had been leaning against a wall behind Dr. Clark and watched the scene with a withdrawn curiosity. "Your boyfriend?" He asked. She shook her head while wiping her running nose on the sleeve of her lab coat, "Roger was my brother."
A/N: About time I updated, huh? Please give some feedback or a rating. Thanks for everyone who reads and double thanks to my reviewers, I love you all lots.