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Type of Story Trilogy

BTTB Rating A

Main Characters Zoe McCallister, Tracey Thompson

Genre Angst/Sci-Fi/Romance

Any Warnings May contain disturbing content

Does story include spoilers? No

Summary Placing someone under the microscope is enough to drive anyone over the edge - let alone someone who's already insane


"Where am I?"

Blinking to aid her eyes adjust to the light, Zoe's blurred vision slowly began to clear. She attempted to lift her hand to her face; about to rub her clouded sight, but instantly frowned when she realized that she was limited as to how far she could go. Her wrists were cuffed to the metal frame of the provisional hospital bed. She quickly whipped her head up in concern, glaring at the two men standing just a matter of feet away from her.

"The hospital ward," one of the men stepped forward, replying to the question she asked upon awakening from her comatose state. "You're in prison."

"I don't remember being brought here." Zoe grimaced, reluctantly relaxing and leaning back into the plump pillows that made her imprisonment somewhat agreeable.

The man who seemed to be answering the questions she shot back at him in a rapid-fire fashion, smirked. He was wearing a dark pinstripe suit and had peroxide-blonde hair that clashed perfectly with his striking violet eyes. "We had to give you a mild sedative to keep you under control; you were causing havoc in the transfer van when you arrived."

"Sedative?" Zoe frowned in concern. As a nurse she knew the effects and didn't feel as though she was under the influence of any alternative substances. All of her medical training kicked in; she scrolled through all the symptoms in her head - obviously impressing her peers as they both shared an ingenious grin. "What kind of sedative?"

"That's irrelevant." the amethyst-eyed blonde interjected. "Right now we'd like for you to focus on maintaining your strength." he drew back the sleeve on his jacket and examined the time on his chrome watch before lifting his head back up to look at her. "I've got to be somewhere now, but if you need anything, Doctor Klein will be at your need." Zoe followed his stare as he motioned his head to the lab-coated man stood in the background; his cobalt blue eyes unnerving. "I'll be back to check on your progress later."

She watched as he turned around and took long strides out of the ward-like room, exiting through the plastic strip doors that were similar to the ones Zoe had forced Peter through at gunpoint back at the abattoir only days ago.

Doctor Klein approached, his ID tag swinging from his lab coat as he leaned forward to pass Zoe a polystyrene cup of water; the name Klein, Arkus visible.

The red light blinking at the top of the door and the sound of an electronic bleeping made Tracey's head shoot up. She was locked in a solitary room that looked like a white and clean cell; a shackle placed around her left ankle, connected to a 6ft chain bound to a pole in the centre of the room, giving her more than enough space to wander the boundaries of her facility.

A freezer-like hiss accompanied as the plastic door opened. The same man who had just spoken to Zoe stepped inside, adjusting his tie and shuffling further inside. A military soldier closed the door on behind him.

"Who are you?" Tracey leaped up from her seated position on the cool tiled floor; her chain narrowly preventing her from getting in the violet-eyed stranger's face. "What am I doing here?"

"We know about your relationship with Zoe." he smirked cunningly, leaning back slightly to get a better look at the brunette in his control; her crystalline green eyes now filled with panic.

Tracey stepped back and relaxed her tensed shoulders, her chains dropping to the floor with a clunk. "What are you going to do?"

"Nothing." he informed her bluntly, not making her feel any less or more assured than she had been when she first heard his revelation. "We'd like to study your girlfriend a little further before you can be released."

"Released?" Tracey blinked, she was taken aback by the prospect. She had been in that cell for three days now, and being away from Zoe and being alone for so long was beginning to take its toll - the cracks were starting to show. "Where the hell are we? Is Zoe here?" her voice wavered highly as she rapidly asked that last question.

"Of course she's here, we're in prison."

Tracey's eyes widened slightly as she frowned in confusion; she couldn't understand any of this. Why was she in prison, because of her relationship with a wanted fugitive? And if so, how the hell did they find out about them? That and the green and purple bruise across her forehead made her head hurt. "What did you mean by release?"

The man sighed lightly, lifting his tedious gaze from his polished and shiny shoes. "You will be free to go as soon as we've finished with you."

"And Zoe?" Tracey looked on cautiously, waiting for the answer with an already half-developed cringe.

"Zoe, unfortunately, won't be let loose." the impeccably dressed man in his mid-to-late 20s half-heartedly smirked. "She's a prisoner."

Tracey's eyes glared sullenly as she tightened her grip on the chains that she was holding in her hand, her knuckles popping and turning white; fighting back the urge to swing the looped metal in just the right angle to crack his jaw. "Then why the hell am I here? I'm not a prisoner, am I?"

"That depends entirely on your point of view." he looked at her clenched fist that contained the metallic restraint and smirked, before looking back up at her and twisting the curves of his lips into a deceptive smile. "Now that's out of the way, I'd like to introduce myself; I'm Agent Isaac Ryder, Zak to those I have a mutual liking of."

"Agent?" Tracey twisted her face in confusion. "Who are you people?"

A sly grin played across Zak's neutral-pink lips. "We're a small branch of experimentalists working under orders from the CIA."

Tracey fought back the urge to laugh in the alleged agent's face; this was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard, but reluctantly played along anyway. She didn't have much choice if she ever wanted to be free and see her lover again. "What would the CIA want with me and Zoe?"

"To test your girlfriend's supreme intelligence." Agent Ryder informed dryly; totally avoid of emotion. "She has a remarkable gift - we'd like to capitalize on this opportunity, now that we're all under the same roof."

Zak frowned when he noticed Tracey's eyes look through rather than at him, and followed her browed stare. Looking through the circular window of the captive detective's cell was another man; his eyes darkening. The agent swallowed nervously and turned around to reface Tracey. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got an important meeting to attend." he nodded to an ominous red button on the wall, underneath a thin pane of glass, like a fire alarm. "Press the button if you need anything."

She watched on curiously as he exited the cell, envying him when he was able to walk out of the whitened room of his own volition.

Agent Ryder met with the mysterious man who glared through the window - he was now standing patiently a little way down a noiseless and sterile corridor, that looked like one of those nuclear research facilities you see in sci-fi movies.

The amber-eyed man turned to face him, grinning charmingly as he greeted his lackey. He was wearing camouflage pants, combat boots and a black polo-neck sweater. His arms crossed behind his back, standing around authoritatively as soldiers lined the walls. "How are they holding up?"

"Understandably confused, but fine." Zak revealed earnestly, on edge as if he was treading on eggshells; trying his utmost best, but entirely in vain, to impress this man, who was no older than himself, but had a stern face that would make even the bravest blood run cold.

General Rhys Quinn nodded his thanks and smiled vigorously. "Make sure they're kept apart while we run the tests."

"Absolutely." Agent Ryder almost mused, quickly lowering the tone when the amber-eyed militant looked at him expectantly, almost as if he wanted to be questioned. "But, sir, I'm also confused. Why did you want Detective Thompson to know about our operation? You know that the moment they're reunited that they'll try to escape."

"That's exactly what we want to happen." Rhys chuckled deeply.

Zak twisted his face in confusion to the amber-eyed man's statement. "Sir?"

"Trust me." General Quinn ominously smirked. "We're at the final stages of the project now."


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Duuuuuuuude!! :D

It's up!! :)

And, it's fabulous!! I loved it all the way through - military conspiracies :ph34r: means excellent, in my book!! Zak seems ... interesting. I haven't decided my full opinion yet. German doctors <_< sounds even more suspicious ..... conspiracy theories shall be discussed when I return, as I'm off for now!!

It's seriously amazing, though - update soon! :ph34r:

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Wow, that was brilliant. I'm glad it's up.

I must say, very interesting. Loving the little twists and stuff along the way. I agree with Ali about German doctors and Zak....

Wonder what they're going to do with Petey.... Prob wipe him off or something.

As always, excellent writing. You captured the atmosphere very well.

*gives Andy a boxful of cookies*

P/S: You're forgiven. :D

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Thanks, guys! :D I'm glad you're liking it. *munches on cookies*

The updates are going to get bigger from now and expect some twisted stuff. :ph34r:

Not sure when the next part will be up, as I'm still working on it, but I'm hoping before the end of the week. You might just get a SSOAS update in between to help with the wait.

So... any idea what they need Peter for? :P

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I was hoping to update today but it's coming along slower than I thought, so expect the next part to be up sometime tomorrow. :ph34r:

Until then, here's a teaser for the Tracey/Peter fans...

Tracey placed her elbows on the table and rested her chin on her hands as she smiled in his direction. "How you doing?"

"Good." Peter sighed somewhat blissfully; like a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders and he could now breathe. "Relieved that the McCallister case is finally closed." Tracey tried her best to disguise the grimace that was quick to invade her once happy fa├žade. "How about you?"

"Yeah, I've been good." Tracey forced, what she hoped, was a positive smile. "Believe it or not, there's actually not a lot going on here. Sometimes I find myself missing Summer Bay." she replied coyly.

Peter raised an eyebrow in response, a dimple appearing on his left cheek. "Now there's something I thought I'd never hear you say."

"Well, I did tell you when Zoe was transferred."

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Teaser :D

More soon :ph34r:

As for why they need Peter, I'm thinking they need information right now, but my conspiracy brain is tired out after last night's X-Files marathon!! Maybe they torture him :ph34r:

I'll come up with better theories in the morning :P

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Thanks for the feedback, and for your patience. :P

I've got writer's block and this next scene is a little tricky (how do you write a tape recording getting louder and faster while Zoe's locked in a room, on the brink of insanity?), so here's another teaser for the time being:

The sociopath sighed and rolled her shoulder blades back as they continued to walk further; hesitating whether or not to ask one of the many questions that had been playing on her mind since the day before, when she first awoke. "So, what's a German scientist like you doing in a women's correctional facility?"

Arkus smiled slyly. "What makes you think I'm a scientist?"

"Have you seen yourself lately?" Zoe scoffed, quirking an eyebrow as she looked the peroxide blonde over; he was wearing the cliched lab coat and carrying a clipboard and pager.

"I work under supervision from the governor." Arkus swiped his access card through the security pass, being granted entry and saluting the militants standing guard.

Zoe looked back at the soldiers as she continued walking down the corridor before resuming her intrigued attention back on the German. Surely they didn't guard prisons that extremely. "And what the hell is your work exactly?"

"Testing the inmates' mental stability." Arkus revealed bluntly as he unlocked yet another door. "I don't think I need to explain why they've selected you for their program."

Stay tuned... :ph34r:

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