Chapter 9 of Sleeper Cell

Justin awoke for the second time in twenty-four hours unsure of where he was or how he got there. Unlike the last time though, he awoke without the dull throbbing headache and without being attached to a cold, steel, examination table. He was still with Angela. Angela with the bright brown eyes and the warmest smile he’d ever seen north of the Mason-Dixon line. His happy thoughts stopped abruptly. What did he know about the South? Had he lived their? Did he have family there? Did he have any family left? What were they like? Why the heck couldn’t he remember anything? It was like his brain was a clean slate. He couldn’t remember anything past him getting that cab and heading to go get pancakes.

He’d just begun to get up when he a murmuring of complaint. Curled up against him was the warm bodied Angela…his heart stirred with something like…longing? He hadn’t remembered ever feeling like this but for all his lack of memories, this felt real enough. With his free hand he gently touched her shoulder. Immediately her eyes flew open. Clear and focused, her hands clenched defensively.

Justin chuckled admiringly. “You’re in quite the awkward position defensively to attack the enemy.” Angela’s face wrinkled in a slight frown before returning his smile and rolling away from him, off the side of the couch, and onto the floor face first. He couldn’t smother his laugh nor did his efforts improve when Angela glared at him from the ground.

Slowly swinging his legs off the couch and standing up he bent down and lent her a hand, which she accepted with another frown.

“So tell me, just what would you have done if someone was attacking us? You know how to use those fists?” He asked with a smirk,

She shrugged. “I’m a scientist but I’m no shrinking violet. I can throw a punch. I tackled Agent Brown didn’t I?” She said, walking towards the small kitchen adjoined to the living room.

Watching her carefully, he walked over and leaned on the countertop. “Yes, you most certainly did. Nice attempt at a flying tackle by the way. How did you know where I was by the way?”

She paused from raffling through the cabinets. Her back was turned to him but he could feel that brain of hers spinning. Working out her story perhaps? He allowed the silence to linger for a few more seconds. He was about to speak when she said turned to him.

“I followed you. I recognized the van color and knew that the company vans came in that color of ashen grey. So I followed at a safe distance, went through the regular staff entrance, and went to the lab. Once there, I pulled up your file and tried to come up with a plan to get you out. I had this feeling. This strong feeling that if I didn’t, they’d wipe you clean.”

As she spoke she watched as his smiles of admiration fade to confusion. She could see a hint of anger as well. “What do you mean, “wipe me clean?”

She moistened her lips. How should she begin? “I-I-I…I think that you were one of Dr. Loveitt’s special experiments.” She quickly continued when she saw his quick flash of anger.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know how else to phrase it. All I know is that he was working on a special serum that was supposed to enhance human capabilities. Most of the people he worked with were soldiers or cops. But he always told us at he lab that on them was different. He wouldn’t say how or why, just that you broke the mold. He said that this guy was his “special project”. He never wanted to go into specifics and I was the only person from the lab that was ever allowed into the room during your sessions.” Suddenly a little shyly she added, “I’ve done you vitals and collected a few samples from you a few times.”

Slowly absorbing everything she said he sat heavily in one of the stools near the kitchen counter. Looking her square in the eyes he said, “How many times did we meet? How often do you think you did my vitals or collected my samples?”

That little line returned to her forehead and there were little lines that reached from her nose towards her eyes. Momentarily distracted, it took him a second to realize she’d spoken. “Wait, I’m sorry. How many times did you say?”

“I saw you three or four times when you were walking into the building. You would say hello and make a joke about doing a check up or something.” She recalled with a smile. “I did your vitals six times. The last time being the last time you came in and spoke with Dr. Loveitt. What was that? Three months ago?”

He raked a hand throw his hair and roughly slide it down his face in frustration. “I don’t remember any of that.” He said. “I vaguely recall visiting with the Doctor but that’s it. Nothing before or after those visits. I need to see my files. I need to know what’s going on.”

Angela stuffed her hands in the pockets of her robe. She’d known he’d want to. She’d been thinking it through before she’d drifted off to sleep. He had just mentioned sneaking into the lab when she shook her head. After what she’d done, she doubted she’d ever be able to walk into that lab again. Not if she intended to walk out of her own volition.

“No, we can’t go back there. Even if I wasn’t worried about being arrested or questioned about my involvement with you, I doubt my access card or codes still work. Agent Brown, I’m sure, will have several questions for me.” She with a wary smile.

“Then what do you suggest we do? I need answers Angela. I can’t, not know what’s going on.”

A sense of unease seeped through her but she knew it was the best way to get the answers that he needed. Subconsciously she stood straight, squared her shoulders.

“We have to go to the Dr. Loveitt’s apartment. It may still be monitored but if there’s any information at all to be gained. It’ll come from there. I’ve been there a couple of times for social events or to give him a lift home so I know the way.”

He didn’t like the idea of taking her with him. What if something happened? He didn’t want anything to happen to her.

“I’m not letting you go alone.” She, seeing he was about to respond, she cut him off. “Besides, what if you left me here and something happened to me? Who’s going to watch your back while you’re searching through files? You’ve never been to the apartment before have you?” She asked incredulously.

He shook his head but couldn’t help but smile. He liked a woman with spirit, one who could hold her own. His mother was like that. He froze.

“What?” Rounding the counter Angela grabbed his handed and checked his pulse. “What is it? Is something wrong? Are you feeling ok?” Her voice becoming more frantic as she spoke she led him to an armchair.

Squeezing her hand slightly, he looked into her eyes. “I’m fine. I- I think I remember something. I think I remembered something about my mother.”

She seemed lost in thought for a moment and then spoke softly. “We should start getting ready. I have somethings that might fit you. I think we should head out now. I’m no spy but I don’t think “the cover of darkness” will help us with this mission.” She said with a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.

She didn’t want to do this. He couldn’t say he blamed her. Trying to brighten her mood he changed the subject.

“So whose clothes you tryna put me in anyways?” He asked in an exaggerated tone of voice.

His question threw her off for a second and then she smiled. “If you must know, they belong to an old boyfriend.” She said and sashayed down the hall toward her bedroom. His laugh cut abruptly at that and he heard her snicker as she entered the bedroom. Wait…she was joking right?