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iStory:The Agent/chapter summaries
|The Agent/chapter summaries|
The Agent is the third volume of iStory.
|First mentioned:||February 10, 2009|
The following is a list of chapters of the The Agent volume of the iStory, with summaries and appearances noted. The summaries below are for each chapter and explain what must happen in order for the reader to complete the mission successfully.
Chapter 401: The Agent (released 2/10/2009, 2/13/2009)
|Rachel Mills has survived bizarre encounters at Pinehearst and in the Middle East, but this week she begins her strangest adventure yet. Rachel has found acceptance and a sense of belonging in her new role. But her first mission turns her world on its head. At a crater that was once an airplane, Rachel learns that she is again a soldier in a war, and the enemy is more dangerous than she could have possibly imagined.|
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|Hired by what she believed to be a professional paramilitary organization, Rachel Mills finds herself in the middle of a secret war between the government and not-so-ordinary citizens. Rachel continues to encounter Jim, who is now a fellow agent, while working for this organization. She thinks Jim seems protective of her, but knows that Jim knows much more than he will admit to her.
It is now the end of the day, and Rachel feels empty and drained. She wishes to herself that Gibson was with her, then looks at the woman they captured. She notices that the woman is scared, and thinks that she should be. Rachel then recalls to herself how the day began.
Rachel's recollection begins with Rachel participating in a training exercise in a gutted office building surrounded by woods. The building has mold on the floor and water leaking in the walls. As Rachel gets close to her target, she holds her breath. Her target appears to be a short Asian guy, who wears glasses and baggy clothes, dirty from the chase. Rachel then moves into the shadows of a hallway.
While following her target, Rachel notes to herself that the agent training is brutal, intense, and bizarre. Rachel recalls being in shape in the Marines, but being part of this organization is a different experience. The trainees are taught a thousand ways to take down a target, wearing all sorts of protective gear and in odd conditions, often with various handicaps.
When the target stops briefly and scans the area, Rachel hides again before he can spot her. He kneels down and pulls a grill from the wall, and Rachel realizes they had found his stash. She then steps out from hiding and shoots him twice in the head.
The agent screams in pain, and says that one shot in the shoulder would have been fine. Rachel replies that doing that wouldn't be good practice, and then the other trainees start coming out of the woods. Her trainer, Moore, leads the trainees as they approacher her, and holds a stopwatch and clipboard. He tells Rachel that she broke the course record and the other trainees cheer and applaud.
Rachel notes that most of her fellow recruits were very competitive and hated her as of a few days ago, but that she has been turning around their opinions by being better than them. One trainee, Gibson, who was two years younger than her, tells Rachel that he could be out if he fails this test one more time. She replies that she will give him some tips to help him, but he says he just wants to hear about Iran again.
Pausing her recollection, Rachel notes that Gibson's eyes told her that he had never been out in the field. However, his eyes also made him the best shot in their training group. She guesses he thought he was just playing a video game and feels sorry for him. Rachel also notes that he should be standing next to her right now as she promised him, but that things didn't go as planned.
Continuing, Rachel recalls that they get a call about the plane crash. They are briefed that the plane carried federal detainees, and their instructions are to recon and contain them. The recruits then all pile into black-painted helicopters that immediately take off. Everyone is given live ammunition, and the trainees appear happy to get a reprieve from the deep-assessment training they had been getting for the last forty-eight hours.
When they land, Rachel is told to report to Danko for orders. She recognizes Danko's name--she had been compared to him in training, and they called him the Hunter: lethal, focused, instinctive. Rachel locates Danko when he is talking with Senator Petrelli and listens to their conversation. The senator is arguing with Danko that the detainees are going back into custody--that they are not assassins, but Danko says that the detainees should be killed. Danko also notes that the Senator's daughter turned the transport flight into a National security emergency.
While the arguing continues, Rachel turns her attention on the girl Danko pointed to. She notes her blond hair and that she appears to be a teenager. Rachel also notes the girl is scratched up and very upset. Several agents stand around the daughter, and her hands are tied behind her back. Then Rachel looks at the crater where the plane had been, and ponders what she is capable of.
Suddenly, Rachel feels a burst of air and another blond girl appears, and then both the new girl and the senator's daughter disappear. Next, Rachel hears people say that Claire has disappeared, and pieces together that Claire is the senator's daughter's name.
Shortly thereafter, Danko spots Rachel and approaches her while calling out her name. He tells Rachel to pick three men and follow the main search party. Danko adds that if that party gets into trouble, her squad is to ignore everything else and capture Claire by any means possible. Rachel asks what if they can't capture her, and he instructs her to shoot her in the back of the skull.
As Danko walks away, Gibson approaches Rachel and asks to be in her squad. Rachel tells him to stay close to her, and that he should keep his head down to stay okay. Following the main search party, they find a group of the escaped detainees including the senator's daughter next to the smashed tail of the plane. The agent in charge begins setting up an ambush with hand gestures when the fast girl stands up like she is going to take off. Gibson then starts shooting and hits the fast girl, sending her hard to the ground. Claire goes down also, and Gibson pauses a micro-second when she falls. The other agents continue shooting and shouting around him.
Before Rachel can realize it, another of the fugitives faces off with Gibson, and he turns and starts killing everyone around them. In a matter of seconds, everyone else but Rachel is dead and Gibson points the gun at her. Then Danko fires and kills Gibson. Claire begins moving again and Danko approaches her. Rachel thinks he is going to end her life, but instead he pulls out a tie and takes her prisoner.
Rachel pauses her recollection again, and looks down at the blond woman's face. The woman appears dirty, tired and terrified to Rachel, and Rachel notes to herself that now they just need to stop the rest before more good men die.
The player is then given the opportunity to try one of the assessment examinations that was given to Rachel Mills, and is instructed to respond in the way that best reflects the player's own style. The player is also told that there are no wrong answers, to assume that every choice results in success, and to keep score while answering questions. After completing the eighteen question exam, the player is told how to rank the results and then told what the score should mean in terms of how the player reacts to various situations.
Chapter 402: The Agent (released 2/17/2009, 2/20/2009)
|Rachel Mills' first operation left her shaken, but the troubled young ex-Marine has impressed the Hunter. The senior government agent gives Rachel a special assignment. Her investigation uncovers far more than she expected. Before the week is over, Rachel's life will take a very strange twist.|
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|Rachel Mills has become an accepted and respected member of a secret new government unit. After the plane crash, Rachel promised fellow trainee, Gibson, that she would protect him, but fugitives that Claire released killed him. Now, Rachel's deepest secret begins to haunt her.
Rachel wakes up and finds herself sitting in a metal chair in a Pinehearst lab. She has taken a bullet and blood runs down her arm. A spotlight is pointed in her face, and she can only make out the outline of her interrogator's body. Then, Rachel sees a blue IV dripping into her arm and the interrogator shuffles forward. Rachel addresses the interrogator as Petrelli, but realizes it is the girl that almost killed her in the desert lab. Rachel notices the girl's stained skin, swollen arms and legs, and unfocused eyes, and that fluid is dripping from the girl's veins onto the floor.
When the girl lunges at Rachel, Rachel recalls that the last time she faced off with the girl almost ended in her own death; so Rachel dodges the girl's blue hands, rolls over the table in front of her, and rushes out the door. As she reaches the exit, Rachel hears behind her the girl's bare feet slapping the tile, snapping her limbs inhumanly fast.
Suddenly, Rachel arrives in a funeral home. She notices lots of chairs in the room, and everyone there is tall and wearing black. Thinking the girl is still after her and that the casket will protect her, Rachel starts walking up the aisle. As Rachel approaches the casket, no one seems to notice her. When she reaches the casket, Rachel finds it closed and tries to open it. She succeeds in raising it an inch a few times, but it always drops back shut as if something is holding it closed. Rachel then whispers, "Please, Mom", and a blue arm snakes out and grabs her wrist.
Rachel screams no and wakes up on the floor, realizing she is back to the nightmare that is her life. Rachel notices she is in her room, and the curtains are gray so it must be close to dawn. She finds her T-shirt soaked with sweat and her body severely shivering. Rachel looks at her bed, and notices that the covers are still settling--that a second before she was lying there. She then lowers her head into her arms and groans, when someone calls out for her from the doorway.
After quickly snatching her gun from her desk drawer, Rachel watches a tall, square, and unshaven man enter her room. She surmises that he is ex-military with a few years of something else blurring the edges, probably CIA, and is likely one of Danko's men. The man notes that Rachel is fast, and she asks him what he wants. He replies that he is her new partner.
Rachel processes the word partner, recalling Gibson's face and realizing that Gibson had been her responsibility, not her partner. The man apologizes for not knocking, saying he heard a yell, and Rachel notes that she just had a dream. Her partner notes he had some of those lately as well, guessing it involved a "freak" with powers, and Rachel thinks to herself if he only knew. She asks for him to come back later, but he says he can't. He says Danko sent him with another file for her about the "special project", and Rachel lowers her gun.
Two hours after Rachel's partner leaves, Rachel reflects on not asking for his name. She thinks that it was too soon, and recalls the recent deaths she has experienced: Gibson; David, at Pinehearst; Eric, the young Special Forces officer; and tough old Barton, in Ghanaf. Rachel also adds her mother to that list, since it has only been weeks since she learned why she killed herself, and notes they all died because of powers.
Rachel then turns her attention to Danko's file. She notes to herself that Danko has had her searching through some old websites, stuff that used to be run by people with abilities. They were just trying to understand more about how they think when Rachel found the first message. When Rachel reported it, Danko instructed Rachel to keep the project off the grid as he thinks there might be a security breach. Rachel was informed that when Danko's analysts started looking at the websites, bursts transmissions began leaving the government firewall, with each transmission always being comprised of 200 characters. The technicians suspect it is probably some kind of Trojan virus that they picked up from one of the websites.
After turning on her computer, Rachel begins going through a new target list of about a dozen websites Danko has given her to look at. She finds that the first website is a kind of message board, and spots a few images with bar codes or something that she wants to check out. Rachel copies them to her computer and attaches them to an email to a hacker buddy who can sort those things out and let her know about anything interesting. After a while, Rachel narrows the list down to three other websites that give her a weird feeling.
Site 2 is "Las Vegas Niki", which Rachel notes to herself is like a creepy tomb since Niki is dead. Rachel searches this second website for a while, but finds another hidden message in plain sight just when she is about to push on. She writes "ALEX" in the file and underlines it twice, thinking that it is something she has to tell Danko about.
Site 3 is "HG", which Rachel notes to herself is a very intense website. Rachel learns from the website that the woman, "HG", waged an ability-related campaign for a while, coordinating with a number of others through the website. Rachel has trouble parsing the sheer wall of information at first, and takes a break after a few minutes of writing down names and places. A minute later, Rachel walks back to her computer with drink in hand and from a distance, far enough back that she can't read text, sees that she has been thinking too hard. She whispers aloud that she is going to shut down the messenger.
Just as Rachel finishes looking at the websites, her phone buzzes. Rachel checks the caller ID, sees that it says "UNKNOWN", and figures it must be her hacker buddy. She rolls her eyes and answers the phone while writing another note on the file for Danko.
Rachel says "What's up, Volts?", and he replies on how early it is. Rachel comments that it's practically lunch time, and he responds that she is right and he should be in bed. He adds that he is up, playing her little mind games, because he loves her. Rachel replies that she loves him too, but threatens to break his legs if he forces her to drive over there to find out what the bar code said. Volts then asks if Rachel really doesn't know, sounding weird. Rachel responds telling Volts to just say what it is, asking if it is a nuclear launch code and he's afraid of ending up in a maximum security prison.
Then, Volts says "Stop this, Rachel." Rachel responds that Volts is grumpy, and to call her back after lunch. However, Volts says that the bar code means what he just said, and Rachel realizes they know who she is. Suddenly, the power goes out and Rachel is left standing in the dark. Rachel tells Volts she will call him back, but her cell phone connection has been cut off. She tries to call Danko's office, but gets an "All circuits are busy" message. Rachel then grabs her gun off the bed, tucks Danko's file under her arms and prepares to leave her room when her phone buzzes with a text message.
Rachel examines the message:
She also finds an attached video file to the message. Knowing ahead of time what the file likely contains, Rachel opens it and views security footage of herself at Pinehearst teleporting across a rubbled space inside the crumbling building. She thinks to herself that she was scared and stupid, damaged goods. Then another message arrives, "DON'T TELL DANKO WHAT YOU FOUND TODAY". Rachel replies, "OR WHAT" and she gets the response "YOU KNOW".
Rachel thinks to herself that she had had it all: a team that respected her, a leader to follow, and real enemies to put away; but now it is all wrong. She notes she hates REBEL almost as much as she hates herself, then she gets another message. The message reads "I NEED YOU TO DO SOMETHING".
Chapter 403: The Agent (released 2/24/2009, 2/27/2009)
|The Hunter sends Rachel on her first operation: tracking down Alex, a fugitive who recently evaded capture in California. But the mysterious REBEL has other plans for Rachel. The young agent must balance her secret against her mission over a long day that ends with a bang...|
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|Rachel Mills has been given a special mission by the Hunter and has stumbled on REBEL's use of codes hidden across the Internet to reach out to allies and fugitives. REBEL witnesses Rachel's discovery and threatens to expose Rachel's secret to the world. Rachel also gains a new partner, and is blackmailed into participating in one of REBEL's missions.
Now, Rachel notes to herself the military-issue 12-gauge shotgun that is being pointed at her head from five feet away. She guesses that two seconds has transpired and that the man holding the shotgun plans to pull the trigger. Rachel also notes that REBEL has been trying to kill Rachel all day, and begins recalling prior events, starting with what occurred about a week earlier.
In Rachel's recollection, she jumps into the passenger seat of a van Danko is driving, and Danko asks where she was. Rachel replies that her boot lace snapped and she had to fix it. Danko then hits the gas, leaving an area where Rachel thinks cops would soon arrive. Rachel makes eye contact with Jason, her new partner, in the van's rear seat, and wonders if either Danko or Jason suspected what she had been up to.
A couple days later, Rachel is practicing firing her weapon at the shooting range with Jason. She notes to herself having been there a long time--that Jason was starting to look tired, but she was used to the practice having practiced shooting holes in stuff as therapy since the day in Pinehearst when she found out about her condition.
Jason starts up another round of firing. Rachel watches him shoot, placing his elbow low in a way she recalls a lot of Navy SEALs do. She watches the intensity on his face, under the ear protectors and goggles, and figures he wants to beat her bad. When Jason places down his pistol and stops the timer, he gets an eighty-six percent, and challenges Rachel to beat it. However, Rachel replies that she is done for day, and is tired. Jason insists that Rachel shoot the targets, but then Danko walks in and interrupts them.
Rachel recalls that a day ago, one of the fugitives had made it all the way to his apartment, almost killing him. Some of the agents started looking at Danko differently, but she didn't. Danko rewarded that loyalty with an assignment.
In the firing range, Danko tells Rachel and Jason to get their gear together--that the will depart on a plane in fifteen minutes. Rachel asks where they are headed, and Danko answers that they are headed to Costa Verde to find the fugitive, Alex. As Danko tells him this, Rachel's cell phone beeps with incoming text messages back on the shooter's bench, and Rachel figures that REBEL knows as well what is happening.
Rachel disregards her phone and tells Danko that she will get him. Danko then informs Rachel they think that Alex had help escaping them before, and that the cheerleader is in the same town. He also instructs Rachel to inform him if they can find any evidence that the cheerleader is involved, and await further orders.
Danko leaves and Rachel turns around to get her beeping cell phone, but Jason is already holding it. She asks for it back, snatching it from him, and Jason asks if she just got a text. Rachel confirms she did, and Jason asks if she is going to read it. However, Rachel ignores that question, presses the shooting range button and begins firing. She imagines they are fugitives and impresses Jason with her precision, noting that she comes there a lot. Jason compares her to a killer robot, pulls off his eye protection and tosses it on a table. As Jason leaves, Rachel drops her cell phone in a trash can, thinking that would be the end of REBEL's interference on her mission.
Upon reaching Costa Verde, Rachel and Jason meet the lead agent at a command truck. The lead agent comments that they are Danko's go-to boys, and Jason clarifies that Rachel is but he just carries the bags. Rachel asks for the latest intel, and the agent informs them of three leads. The first lead is Alex's car, for which they haven't found anything in their first look, but the agent guesses they might have better luck. The second lead is that the target spent a lot of time with the local beach crowd, so they might have an idea where he is hiding. The third lead is that his apartment might hold some clues, as agents are watching the place but no one has searched it yet.
Jason comments that since it's after lunch, local time, they might not be able to hit all of the leads that day. Rachel responds that they need to get moving, then.
Rachel decides for them to proceed to Alex's abandoned car, and they meet two agents there. The two agents watching the car inform them that Alex has not shown up, and it should be okay to take a look around. Rachel notes to herself that the agents look bored, but are taking it in stride as professionals. Rachel and Jason agree that Alex is unlikely to return to the vehicle, so they take a look around the street. While they are looking around, Rachel notes to herself that ditching the vehicle does not seem like something Alex would do on his own, and suspects the Claire was involved in helping him escape.
Jason spots a security camera on the corner of a nearby self-storage facility pointed at the side street where Alex's car had passed, and lets Rachel know about it. Rachel notes to him that there isn't an office in the storage building, so the camera must be remotely operated. She then instructs Jason to call back to base and find out if they can hack the archives for the camera footage. While he calls, Rachel wanders the street, trying to place herself in their shoes to figure out where they would head next.
A couple minutes later, Jason catches up with Rachel and asks what she is doing. After Rachel explains, Jason says that Rachel is good at that, noting seeing her performance in training. Rachel asks what they found, and Jason says they found something and are going to stream it to him in a second. Jason's cell phone then buzzes and he comments that someone is texting him. Rachel guesses that it is REBEL.
Rachel decides to snatch the phone from Jason, who promptly asks for it back. However, Rachel just turns her back to him and opens the text message, which reads "DONT DO THIS RACHEL." Rachel decides to hit the delete button and waits for the video. While she waits, Jason comments how it was her who freaked out when he picked up her phone, but Rachel still ignores him. The video file then comes in with a beep, and Rachel opens it. In the video, Rachel sees Alex's car and a blonde, female, Caucasian passenger, but then the file gets deleted and a new text message appears, "STOP NOW OR ILL HAVE TO TELL". Rachel then hits delete again just as Jason reaches and grabs the phone back.
Jason asks where the video is, and Rachel says that it was blank and for them to resend it. After staring at Rachel a moment and her staring back, expressionless, Jason dials the base again. He relays to Rachel that the tech can no longer find the video, but swears it existed.
Rachel says to forget the video and decides they should head to the beach. They arrive near a local sand-side restaurant where the surf crowd hangs out when the surf isn't calling. Rachel spots a clump of young men and women in swimsuits draped over the wooden seats outside the restaurant, and begins to head toward them. Jason asks if she is serious, and Rachel answers that she always is. He then tells her to compare what they are wearing. Rachel then notes to herself that Jason and Rachel are in dark suits and glasses, while the surfer crowd is dressed in rags. She also notes that she wasn't much of a surfer girl while growing up, southern California or not, and often got into fights at school with this crowd.
After considering, Rachel responds that they will put the fear of God into them, but Jason notes they are most likely to get ignored as in the film Point Break. Rachel then surprises Jason, saying she hasn't seen that film. Jason then looks around and points to a nearby surf shop, where a rack of women's swimsuits are in front. Rachel refuses to get into a swimsuit disguise, but Jason insists saying they can go shoot lots of stuff later to fix her karma.
Rachel finally decides to follow Jason's plan and wear a disguise. After purchasing and getting into a swimsuit, Rachel approaches the surfer crowd on her own. As she says hello, she thinks the plan isn't going to work. Rachel notes the girls sizing her up like a circling shark and the guys smiling like she is long-lost family. One of the guys, who has stringy blonde hair, replies a hello to her, asking if she is visiting a while. Rachel responds that she is, sort of. She also notes that she is there to meet her cousin Alex, and asks if he had seen him. The guy says he had, and then one of the girls speaks up that he hasn't been around that day.
Rachel tells the girl they were supposed to meet, but she tried calling his place and he's not there. The guy replies that he guesses she's stuck with them, and asks what Rachel drinks. However, Rachel ignores him and asks if they have any idea where he might be. The girl notes that Alex's friend, Liliane, hasn't been around either, suggesting she should check with her. Rachel then replies that she will do that, asking where Liliane lives.
After getting Liliane's address, Rachel returns to Jason and he asks if she had any luck. She tells him to keep his eyes up, and notes that Alex has a friend that is also missing. Realizing his idea worked, Jason complements her work and grins. Rachel responds by telling him to be quiet and drive.
Upon arriving outside Liliane's house, Rachel is dressed in standard gear again and instructs Jason to keep watch outside. He replies that he can't cover the whole house and asks if she wants to call for a team. Rachel says no, and for him to just watch the back of the house. She adds that she doesn't expect anyone to to flee out the front.
Rachel exits the car, walks up to Liliane's front door. While walking up the front lawn, she notes the toys in the front yard and suspects Liliane lives with her family. After knocking on the door, Rachel overhears Liliane's mother ask what she has done now in the next room. A moment later, Liliane appears at the door, a short, cute girl with beach-blonde hair and blue eyes. Rachel picks up that Liliane is more afraid than surprised, asks her father, who had answered the door, to speak with Liliane alone. The father says no, but Liliane says it's okay. He then leaves the front room after Liliane answers him that she doesn't know what it is about.
Liliane whispers to Rachel that she can't believe Rachel came to her home. Rachel talks with Liliane and learns that Liliane is a government informant, and had a drug charge or something from a party at her community college. Danko's men had called and given her a way out in exchange for her help. They told her Alex was taking some special steroids or something, and she was supposed to report if she noticed him do anything weird. She had called in some tips right before he had disappeared, and now she is afraid to leave the house.
While Rachel continues talking with Liliane, Rachel spots a scrolling text bar appear across the bottom of a big-screen TV in the living room. A kid's movie kept playing in the background, but a little boy noticed the text and called to his mom that the TV is broken. Rachel sees that the scrolling text is showing her name in caps.
Rachel asks if Liliane knows where Alex might go, and Liliane asks Rachel if she knows about "the girl". Rachel asks what girl, and Liliane explains that one of her friends at the comics store said a girl came in before Alex ran off. Rachel notes that he didn't tell her people about any girl, and Liliane replies that her buddies had scared him so he didn't mention it. Liliane adds that he didn't know her name, and just saw some blond hair.
Rachel figures it is Claire, but doesn't think it is any kind of proof that she could offer Danko. The TV continues to scroll text, even quicker now. Rachel ignores the TV, but a woman arrives to the living room and is surprised by it. Liliane then comments that Alex is out there now, and will sue the government if he comes after her. Rachel replies that sounds like a plan, says goodbye, and leaves.
Jason meets Rachel back in the car and asks how it went as they drive off. Rachel notes that her proof is real thin, but it sounds like Claire Bennet was there. Jason then asks if she wants to call it in, but Rachel replies that they should check the apartment first.
Upon entering Alex's apartment, Rachel is shocked by how cluttered it is. They both set about searching through the place for half an hour and then meet up to trade notes. Jason and Rachel agree that the place is a dump, and Jason notes he didn't find any evidence that Alex had been contacted. Rachel says that she found one pay-as-you-go cell phone with a long-dead battery. Jason responds that it is odd that he lives in SoCal and doesn't have a working cell phone. Rachel replies that he may own multiple phones, and that she also found a laptop.
Rachel notes finding the laptop on top of more stuff than under, and suspects he might have used it occasionally. Jason then finds the power supply in some laundry and boots it up. A mail program opens automatically and begins downloading. Jason comments that Alex has lots of unread mail, and then notices that the emails are disappearing. Rachel spots a tiny LED glowing on the edge of the laptop cover and realizes it's a webcam. Next, Rachel says hello to REBEL and Jason asks what she just said. Then, a new email arrives in the in box with the subject line "Leave now Rachel!". Rachel tells Jason to turn off the laptop, explaining that someone is hacking and deleting the files.
After Jason closes the laptop and ejects the battery, he begins cursing himself for a second, and Rachel tells him she is going to go call Danko. Rachel goes to the alley behind Alex's apartment building to use a pay phone that is there. She notes to herself not using a pay phone in years, recalling the closest thing being large public comm units at her base in Iraq. Rachel had used one to call her grandfather once after she got deployed, hoping to trade Marine Corps stories, but her grandfather didn't want to talk about anything military-related.
While authenticating herself to Building 26, she feels someone close behind her. Rachel says for Jason to give her a minute, but then feels something pressed hard to her back. Someone tells Rachel to hang up the phone or he'll kill her, so she does so. A minute later, he allows Rachel to turn around and talk with him.
The man says his name is Dave, and that he is worried about his son, Alex. Rachel could tell he likely served in the military in his past, but is now balding and gray-mustached. Dave asks what to know what she did with his son. He says there are no warrants or news about him, and the cops and FBI don't know about her. Rachel notices he is holding something under his coat, but doesn't know what. It is now nighttime and the alley is dark except for a bare bulb over a nearby door. She spots a car she guesses is Dave's parked in the shadows, and suspects he was watching the building to find Alex and found her instead.
Rachel tells Dave that she doesn't know why he thinks she knows anything, adding that his son is probably just hanging out somewhere. Dave replies that he heard about the comic book store, and that a cop asked about tickets, but the city doesn't know anything about it. He then asks who her people are. Rachel replies that she isn't at liberty to say, and tries to escape. Dave tells her to stop and reaches for something under his jacket. Rachel knocks Dave aside and gets about five feet from him when she hears him clock a 12-gauge shotgun and stops still.
Dave levels his shotgun on Rachel's face as she turns around. He tightens his finger, and Rachel fears he is about to kill her. She then feels a now familiar strange tingle start, her adrenalin pumping as she closes her eyes and prepares for something. But then Jason arrives and tells Rachel to look out. Then, all the lights on the block simultaneously turn off, and Rachel notices nearby air conditioners are also winding down.
Rachel, Jason, and Dave stand in the darkness while their eyes adjust, and then Rachel or someone moves, and Dave fires his shotgun at Rachel. The blast passes through the air where Rachel was standing, and Rachel realizes she has teleported onto the roof of Alex's apartment building. Rachel watches Jason scream at Dave in the dark below, pointing his pistol in Dave's direction. Then, Dave lets go of his gun, kicks it away, and lies down on his face. Rachel then looks up and around the city, noticing that the whole city's power grid has been knocked out. She assumes that REBEL has saved her life; and guesses that when she finds out the cost for doing so, she will wish she was dead.
Chapter 404: The Agent (released 3/3/2009, 3/6/2009)
|Agent Rachel Mills is in Costa Verde with orders from Danko to find any connection between Claire Bennet and Alex, the boy with abilities who mysteriously eluded a government team the day before. Despite the threat of REBEL exposing her secret and her now-constant nightmares, Rachel pursues her mission with a single-minded vengeance. When it finally comes, the confrontation could end in many different ways...|
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|Jason Pierce has begun to see a strange pattern of behavior in his partner, Rachel Mills. After encountering Alex's father, Jason and Rachel search sectors of Costa Verde with spotty video and satellite surveillance until the still-dark hours of early morning. They then head to a motel and Rachel falls asleep on her bed. After the sun has come up, Rachel is awakened by Jason screaming at her from the doorway of their adjoining rooms. Rachel asks Jason what his problem is and he turns, heads back into his room and shuts the door. Rachel then realizes she is soaked with sweat, must have been dreaming again, and must have yelled.
Later, Rachel and Jason have bagels for breakfast at a table outside a small bakery. Rachel begins to say how they think they should proceed, but Jason interrupts her and says she said something in her sleep. Rachel asks what she said, but Jason just stares at her without replying. Rachel notices he has a hand under the table and is beginning to pull it out. Rachel just waits and he puts one of his hands on one of hers. He says that he knows about her problem and is there for her.
Rachel claims to not know what he is talking about, and Jason responds that Rachel can't avoid it. She again says she doesn't know what he means, but Jason replies that he thinks she does. He asks if Rachel really thinks he hasn't noticed, and adds that Rachel's attempts to cover it up are making it worse. Jason then specifies the nightmares, obsessive training, and irritability.
Rachel then says it is Jason's move, and asks him what he is going to do. However, Jason just responds that Rachel is not alone. Rachel replies that, of course, the "freaks" are everywhere. Jason responds that it's no way to talk as it's not their fault and slides a business card over to Rachel. He explains that the card is for a woman she should call, that she helped many of his friends over the years, and that PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is her specialty. Rachel then laughs out loud that this is what they are discussing and Jason frowns.
Rachel asks Jason what makes him think she has PTSD, and he explains that Rachel talks about the people she has lost and the missions that went bad in her dreams. Jason adds that she mentioned a blue girl, her grandfather and mother, and a bald guy. Rachel asks about the bald guy, but Jason can only say that he thinks he is another of the "freaks" she went after. He continues that Rachel keeps yelling at him to do something; but Rachel is offended at hearing him call them "freaks". She cuts him off before he can finish his sentence, says for them to go, and that they can continue the conversation later. They then leave the bakery and begin driving in their car.
After Rachel directs Jason drive them about ten minutes through Costa Verde, Jason begins asking where they are going. However, Rachel says they are already where she wants to go and instructs Jason to park the car on the corner after making the next right turn. A half-block away, Jason spots a pool-cleaning van parked across the street from the Bennets' house and realizes where they are. He begins to Rachel if they should be there, but she tells him to be quiet and he does so. Rachel and Jason then approach the van on foot, and Rachel slaps her ID onto the van's window bringing to attention the two agents inside. Rachel says that they will take the current shift, and the two agents agree to take a break and leave.
While watching the Bennets' home from inside the van, Jason asks if Rachel thinks Claire is hiding Alex. Rachel replies that she does, noting that since Alex's apartment is still locked down and they have his car, he needs to be either hiding nearby or vanished into thin air. Jason responds that Alex wouldn't be the first of them to do exactly that, but Rachel insists that Claire has got him. Jason then suggests that they go "rattle the cage" and Rachel agrees with doing so.
As Rachel and Jason cross the street towards the Bennet house, they both see a curtain move inside and comment that the Bennets see them coming. Jason adds that he is going around back and Rachel agrees to let him in when she gets inside. After Rachel bangs on the front door, she is let inside and allows Jason to enter from the back as planned. Claire Bennet then tells them that they shouldn't be there. Rachel turns around in the kitchen and looks at her, and thinks she looks fearful. Rachel then tells Claire that she knows Alex is there, but refers to him only as "he".
A moment later, Jason returns from searching upstairs and says that area is clear. Rachel spots Claire glance at her adopted mother, Sandra, and reads their faces. She then turns around and sees that a door leading to the pantry was behind her.
Rachel chooses to enter the pantry and finds it full of dark shelves and cans. The Bennets in the other room remain quiet as Rachel searches, but she doesn't find anyone inside. Rachel then steps out of the pantry and says that she knows Alex is there somewhere. Claire then comments to Rachel something sarcastic and Sandra asks Rachel and Jason to leave, and they do so.
A couple hours later, the sun has gone down and Rachel and Jason are again watching the Bennet house in the pool cleaning van. Jason has started to say something a couple times, but stopped himself before doing so. Now, Jason is starting to get restless and Rachel spots Claire's car pull out into the street. Rachel sees blonde hair in the driver's seat and a hooded, slumped figure in the passenger's. Jason and Rachel then rush out of their van and jump in front of the car before it can leave. Then, the driver's window comes down and Rachel realizes she is aiming a flashlight at Sandra Bennet. Beside Sandra, the hooded male looks up, and Rachel sees that it is Claire's brother, Lyle. Sandra tells Rachel she is taking her son to the movies, and Rachel realizes she is being played.
Suddenly, dogs start barking behind the Bennet house, and Jason and Rachel race around the Bennet house and into the dark backyard. Arriving at the backyard fence, Rachel curses herself out loud for being fooled and Jason puts a hand on her shoulder to comfort her. He tells Rachel that they will get Claire, and Rachel instructs him to split off from her and make sure they don't cross the street beyond the houses. Jason tells Rachel to call him if she sees them, and he turns and climbs the fence. Rachel then turns the safety off on her pistol and continues the pursuit.
Rachel arrives and searches around a blue-glowing pool. The area around the pool is very quiet until Jason radios Rachel that he thinks he sees them at the end of the street. Rachel and Jason rush to the end of the street, but don't find anyone. After retracing their steps for an hour, they head back to the van. Jason recommends backing off before Senator Petrelli learns what is going on, but gets interrupted when the mission laptop suddenly signals a new message has arrived. The laptop is between the seats, pointed in Rachel's direction, and she sees another message from REBEL asking for help and warning Rachel that a man might give away her secret.
Jason then grabs the laptop before Rachel can stop him, and asks about what he finds. He turns the laptop back towards Rachel and she sees that REBEL's message is now showing as a bunch of garbled text. Rachel tells Jason to contact headquarters and tell them to resend the data. When Jason turns away to do so, a new message appears at the bottom of the screen, "HERE'S HOW TO READ IT".
Rachel reads REBEL's instructions to "BREAK EACH LINE AT 60 CHARACTERS" and when she does so the line wrap she notices the text is an ASCII photo of Eric Doyle. She whispers aloud Eric Doyle's name and that it's unbelievable, but Jason doesn't understand what she says. Jason tells Rachel that headquarters is resending, that a new tip came in a few minutes ago, and now they have direct orders to move out. Rachel is surprised that headquarters actually was trying to send a message, but says only "okay" and stares back at the laptop screen.
Chapter 405: The Agent (released 3/10/2009, 3/13/2009)
|In this special edition of iStory, Agent Rachel Mills' tortured nightmares strike again. Or do they?|
Soon, Rachel will face off with an old foe, but the Six Dreams suggest that her time is not up yet...
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|Rachel Mills has several dreams in succession. In the first, Rachel is covered with blood and sees a body lying ten feet away from her in a pool of blood. Rachel then realizes the blood is on her because she killed this person. She falls on her knees by the body and begins crying because she knows the victim and the person was special somehow. Rachel continues looking at the body, but can't bring herself to touch it. On the wall, she can make out a crudely drawn symbol that looks like a hammer surrounded by four dots. A moment later, Rachel senses a quiet noise, and turns but cannot see the source. Then, she sees something bright and things change.
Next, in her second dream, Rachel finds herself armed and in the hallway of a government building at night. People are moving around in the rooms around Rachel as she rushes silently down the hall. She thinks the place is at war. When Rachel reaches a glowing room, a man steps out of it and she shoots him without hesitation. She notes that the gun is silenced and she keeps moving without examining the body. Rachel notes a light flickering strangely at the end of the hallway where there is a massive metal door. She keeps walking towards the door though she doesn't have the passcode, and then things change again.
In the third dream, Rachel is in another building during the day. She says "Hello, Mom", but can only see the person in front of her. Rachel then thinks to herself that the only thing that matters is what happens next and braces herself for something when everything suddenly disappears.
Then, in the fourth dream, Rachel is hurting more than she ever imagined and finds her hands are on her chest. She lifts her fingers and realizes she is slowly bleeding. Then, Rachel falls on her knees into some dirt and says aloud that someone "really did it". A woman then replies that she told her she would and Rachel's vision fades.
In the fifth dream, Rachel is somewhere bright where she can see a dozen people or more looking up at her including men, women, and a child. They are waiting for Rachel to do something, but look terrified. On a nearby crate, she sees the same symbol again that has a hammer and four smaller symbols around it. Rachel then raises her hand and is holding a bomb detonator. She looks back at the crowd before her and feels sad but peaceful. Then she presses the button.
Next, in the sixth dream, Rachel sees a man with a shaven head and piecing eyes. He shows her something in his hand, but Rachel is terrified of it. She tries to hide her fear, but can tell that he knows she is afraid. He calls Rachel an agent and tells her to look at what he is holding. Rachel replies that she did and asks him what he is going to do. The man replies that he has a plan, then he puts his other hand on her shoulder and stares at her until she looks back into his eyes. He then tells Rachel to listen closely and that she can save them all.
Finally, Rachel has another dream where she sees a woman talking on the phone with her mother. The woman says that was the end, apologizes, and says she is sure it was Rachel. She then tells Rachel's mother that she knows something, says goodbye, and hangs up.
Before Rachel experienced these dreams, Rachel is on assignment with Jason Pierce to capture Eric Doyle, Rachel recalls how saving Eric was the first and worst thing REBEL has asked her to do and thinks that saving him again is the last thing she wants to do. However, Rachel realizes she needs to do so if the situation is going to end without ruining her life and ending his. She then notes to herself that Eric is a poster child for everything she is fighting against in defense of her country; but since Eric could mention that Rachel helped him before in interrogation, she needs to get to him first like Rebel said.
Rachel is listening to the SWAT team leader talk on her radio. The leader informs those chasing Eric Doyle how dangerous he is and to not let him focus on them. Also, the leader tells them that if Eric tries to control them, they need to terminate him the first chance they get. While listening to those orders with Jason turned away from her, Rachel also reads new text messages from Rebel: "YOU OWE ME. THIS IS HOW YOU CAN REPAY. FREE DOYLE. --REBEL"
Next, Rachel tells Jason she suspects Eric Doyle will try to pass through some alleys ahead of them. She tells Jason to wait for him out front while she flushes him out. Jason tells Rachel to be careful and she replies that she always is. Rachel then enters the alleyway from behind and shouts at Eric Doyle to stop, but he doesn't seem to recognize Rachel and is still running. Then, Jason radios for Rachel to pull back as the team is almost there. However, Rachel replies the she is going in and does so despite Jason's continued plea for her to wait. She chases Eric Doyle up another alley, and he stops when she shouts again. Rachel shouts that she is giving him a chance to surrender, then tells him to look at her face in a lower voice after making sure Jason isn't around.
Then, Rachel cannot speak and becomes frozen. She realizes the sun is behind her and Eric must not recognize her since he forces her to point the gun to her head. Eric then says something but she can't hear him under the roar of blood rushing to her head, and then Eric forces Rachel to slam her head into a brick wall on the side of the alley. Rachel hears a dull thud and then blacks out. For the next moment, she thinks she sees a dark shape waiting for her there, at the edge of onrushing dreams.
Chapter 406: The Agent (released 3/17/2009, 3/20/2009)
|One of Angela Petrelli's dreams about Rachel Mills comes true. Rachel's partner, Jason Pierce, decides that he must act now to save his partner. But there's no way he could have anticipated how his strange, tortured fellow agent would react.|
Rachel makes a new friend who may change her life, and a new enemy who could end it.
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|Shortly after Howie Kaplan's escape, Jason Pierce recalls having been Rachel Mills's partner for a few weeks. He notes that he hates the "mutants", that for him it is about fear, but that for Rachel it is the real thing. Jason notes to himself that seeing the look on Rachel's face when he found her on the floor the first time they met, he began seeing their mission as a war. He continues that he heard Rachel sleep-talking through motel room walls and while she napped on surveillance, and she whispered the names Leona, Angela, and Grandpa. Jason adds that he has seen soldiers broken by combat, but for Rachel, it appeared to him that war was all she knew and that she needed a friend.
Next, Jason recalls how Rachel risked everything to go after Claire Bennet, noting to himself that he would have followed Rachel anywhere and that is what makes today so hard. He is riding with Rachel down the highway in a rented car, the same evening as Howie Kaplan's escape. Rachel keeps quiet as she drives, not noticing as Jason glances at her. As they pass around the next curve in the road, Jason notices a motorcycle following them and getting closer.
Jason checks out the rider behind them and sees that it is a woman, dressed in black leather and helmet. Rachel spots Jason looking over his shoulder and comments that the rider has been pacing them. She asks if Jason has also noticed that, and Jason denies it and asks if Rachel is hungry.
They stop at an anonymous restaurant along the highway. Upon entering, they find the place crowded with drivers eating a late dinner. Tired kids, rumpled parents, and slumping truck drivers are among those eating. After getting seating, Rachel glances at her menu and comments that the place is not very good. However, Jason says it is perfect. Rachel asks what it is perfect for, and Jason realizes she sees through him. Then, the restaurant door opens again and Rachel and Jason notice a tall, dark, and pretty woman enter wearing motorcycle leathers. Jason makes eye contact with the woman, but she doesn't seem to recognize him.
Jason then tells Rachel he needs to tell her something and he needs her not to freak out. Rachel smiles and says she will not promise, and puts her hands under the table. Then, Jason tells her he saw her save Howie Kaplan, and that if she tries to what she did there in the restaurant, everyone will see her. Rachel replies that Jason set her up, and he replies that he isn't taking any chances. He adds that he promised Danko that this would go smoothly, but Rachel softly replies that he hasn't told Danko. She adds that if Danko had been told he would have come himself with a SWAT team and hope she tried to make a break for it so he could kill her. Jason then asks Rachel to turn herself in willingly, but Rachel tells him she thinks Danko will kill her after making her suffer. Jason replies that he thinks she is wrong, and Rachel responds that is cause he is not like Danko or her. She then asks who he has told, but Jason says it is not important. Rachel then gets up and faces the door.
Jason grabs Rachel's hand to stop her from leaving; and, in response, Rachel shoves him into the burger and fries of a family of four next to them. Rachel calls Jason a bastard and says that she trusted him. Jason then replies that she is one of them, and begins to ask politely for her to sit back down. However, the woman in motorcycle leathers then gets up off a stool at the counter and begins to approach them with a military-grade taser in her hands. Jason explains to Rachel that the woman is his sister, that she isn't of one of them, but is a pro. Rachel asks what Janey knows, and Jason says she knows Rachel is coming with them peacefully. He adds that Rachel can trust her, and there's no other way out of this in front of all these witnesses.
Jason glances at the family whose dinner he messed up and notices they are staring back at him too blankly. Then, the youngest, an eight-year-old girl, falls from her chair onto the floor and drool trickles out of her mouth shocking him. Rachel and Jason notice that everyone in the room suddenly appear like they are asleep on their feet, and Janey's taser hits the floor with a thud. Jason asks Rachel what she did, but someone else answers from behind him. He hears the voice say Rachel didn't do anything and that is what makes his people so wrong.
Then, Jason spins around and sees a girl standing there. He guesses she is in her late teens, and notices she appears blonde, and wears a college sweatshirt turned inside out. The girl tells Rachel to come with her, saying she is a friend. Meanwhile, Jason reaches towards his sister. He threatens to do something to the girl if his sister is hurt, calling the girl a freak. The girl then cries out Rachel's name and Jason half-turns before getting shot.
Jason thinks it hurts more than he ever imagined, and finds his hands on his chest. He notices the bleeding starting slowly, and comments to Rachel that she really did it. Rachel replies that she told him she would. Jason then notices that Rachel is crying; and decides he wants to tell her what he really thinks, but now he can't recall what that was. Then, Jason's view fades to black.
The next morning, Rachel awakens in an abandoned hunting cabin where she has spent the night with the girl that helped her. Jason's death is on Rachel's mind as she sits down at the cabin's dusty table. She recalls shooting Jason, and how he was so confident she wouldn't shoot even when she told him she would. She tries to rationalize the death since he tried to take her in, but begins wondering how could she be this way and him not see it.
The girl then interrupts Rachel's thoughts, asking if Rachel knew "him" a long time from her bunk. Rachel replies, asking whom the girl is referring to, and then lowers her face into her hands and begins crying. The girl responds that it is okay, and that this is the worst part. The girl continues that this is the transition, when Rachel becomes who she is in her head, and when others know who she is without her being scared.
Rachel then thinks that the U.S. government must want her for killing her partner, and realizes the only reason she is alive is because of this teenager she just met. Feeling relieved, she thanks the girl for being there to help her, and the girl replies that it is not a problem and begins recalling to Rachel a time when Claire told her something. Rachel interrupts the girl, saying that she has history with Claire. The girl responds that she knows about that, and Rachel notes that the girl knows a lot but she doesn't know the girl's name.
The girl says she didn't think Rachel would ever ask, and comments that they knew she would come around. Rachel then asks whom she is referring to, but the girl says she can't talk about that because that is how they got in trouble with Howie. The girl adds that Rachel really saved them when she helped Howie escape.
Next, the girl joins Rachel at the cabin's table and asks if she has heard about LAWR. Rachel replies that the government picked up some chatter about it, and the girl explains that she is the A in LAWR and that her name is Anna. The girl adds that she helps Ellen, but can't talk about that part. She then tells Rachel that Rachel has to go back to her organization, and Rachel responds if Anna is kidding. Anna says that REBEL told her that they need Rachel there now since things are so dangerous. Rachel then says that they could kill her on sight, and Anna says she is sorry but doesn't think Rebel would ask if it wasn't safe. Rachel thinks Anna's comment sounded almost like a question, but doesn't reply. Then, Anna says that she has a big test tonight she has to get to and Rachel agrees to leave with her.
Before they leave, Anna notes that Jason's sister, Janey, works for a special U.S. Army unit that plays dirty, and that REBEL thinks she might hunt for her brother's killer. Rachel replies that it will be okay, and jokes that she hasn't met an Army girl that could arm-wrestle. Then, Rachel says for them to get Anna to her test.
Chapter 407: The Agent (released 3/24/2009)
|Rachel struggles with the aftermath of Jason Pierce's death as both REBEL and Danko mysteriously go off the grid. But another Building 26 operation is already underway, and Rachel's new ally Anna desperately needs the young agent's help.|
In what could be one of the most devastating battles yet in this secret war, an army of agents faces off against a large group of fugitives hiding in an abandoned office building.
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|REBEL and Danko have both mysteriously gone off the grid. Building 26 agents find Jason Pierce's body in a dumpster behind his apartment and note that he had been shot to death. Within hours, they make their way to Rachel's door. Rachel lies and tells them that they made it back to the city okay, and that she last saw him when she dropped him off.
Rachel recalls then to herself what actually happened. Anna stayed silent in the car while Rachel took Jason out of the trunk by herself. Rachel had felt sick at the time, having shot her friend, Jason, to cover up her secret when he was just doing what he thought was best for Rachel.
After the agents leave, Rachel sits by herself in the dark and falls asleep. She has a repeated nightmare of being in the Pinehearst lab, killing David with scissors again, but this time David wasn't a monster. Rachel was chasing him and he begged her to stop, and sometimes David had Jason's face.
One morning, Rachel reads the daily intel briefing, which contains tips about possible fugitive activity around the world, and she finds her fight with Jason page two. She reads that a dozen diners at the restaurant have reported blacking out during their dinner, and one woman was still in a coma. Rachel thinks to herself that the woman would be Jason's sister, and recalls that Anna told her that the coma wasn't permanent. She also recalls having the impression that permanent was possible, but that Anna would rather die than do that to someone.
Continuing to read the briefing, Rachel notes to herself that witnesses mentioned a man and woman arguing beforehand, and that their descriptions of Jason and herself were very accurate. However, no one had said anything to her about it because the report claimed the incident occurred in Oregon. Rachel guesses that Rebel is likely responsible for that, and for the first time begins thinking she might get away with what she is doing. Her thoughts then become suicidal, but she is interrupted by orders to report immediately to an address in New York City.
Rachel proceeds to a dark alley near the designated address, and sees the SWAT team while her eyes are still adjusting. They approach Rachel, a wall of black armor and weaponry, and she becomes motionless out of fear. Within seconds, the first of the agents reaches her, and places his glove on her shoulder. He recognizes Rachel, and he tells her he just heard about Jason and is sorry. Another agent tells Rachel that it was a bad break. The first adds that Rachel looks rough, and the second says that they will get those responsible. Rachel then thanks them and hears the site commander call for her.
After proceeding over to the commander, he asks her if she has heard from Danko. She replies as to whether he was looking for her, and the commander informs her that Danko has been off the grid. He adds that Rachel is Danko's buddy or something, and asks if he said anything to her about this operation. Rachel responds that Danko didn't say anything to her about it, and asks if there is a problem. The commander denies any problem exists and instructs Rachel to go in with B Squad. Rachel can tell he is hiding something, but doesn't say anything. Then, the commander tells Rachel he is sorry to hear about Pierce, calling Jason by his last name, and comments that he was a real patriot.
Rachel is surprised so many people know her name and care about her, and ducks down the next alley to hide her becoming nauseous. She then looks up and sees the abandoned office building they are targeting. Rachel notes to herself that the roof had once been a plant nursery, and that intercepted communications between the fugitives indicate that there could be a dozen of them hiding up there and that one of them is "losing control" in some manner. Continuing to analyze the situation, she thinks that anything could happen when they head inside and notices that everyone seems tense except for the commander. Rachel notices a smug expression on the commander's face, and thinks something is wrong.
Anna interrupts Rachel's thoughts and says hello to her. Rachel then pulls Anna to the ground, telling her there are agents everywhere. Anna replies that she knows, and jokes that there are a couple agents behind her, sleeping or something. She notices Rachel doesn't laugh and gets a good look at her face. Then, Anna comments that Rachel isn't okay and asks if she is punishing herself. When Rachel responds that she isn't yet, but has some ideas; Anna takes Rachel's arm and asks her to walk with her.
Anna explains her story to Rachel, her Russian accent coming out strong. In her recollection, she tells how she lived in the woods in Siberia, and that her family was very poor with a home whose floors were dirt. It was very cold in the winder, and very hot in the summer, but they didn't mind. When she was almost a teenager, Anna began having headaches. She began hearing and smelling strange things. Then, one night her mother and father had a fight and Anna got frightened. She heard a weird sound in her head and everything stopped. The next day, her family had become like animals, making noises and eating with their hands. They didn't know each other and couldn't talk, so Anna fed and bathed them but they didn't get better. When the food ran out, she killed the chickens and looked for berries in the woods. Finally, a man came from her father's work and the government took them away. Anna never saw them again, and was sent to a terrible orphanage. It was there that the Pinehearst Company found Anna before bringing her to America.
Rachel tells Anna that what she did was an accident and that Anna shouldn't blame herself. Anna says that she agrees, and that it had no purpose or meaning. She continues that Rachel thinks she is evil because she killed her own friend, but that she did it because she saved Howie's life and so she could save many more lives in the future. Rachel responds that she did it only because she was upset and scared, and Anna says that she should be. Anna states that Howie needed Rachel to be upset and scared, and the people in the target building need her to be that way as well. Anna and Rachel arrive at the target building, and Rachel sees that it is empty and dark.
Rachel says they should go find them and Anna tells Rachel to take them up, reaching out a hand and calling her "Scotty". Rachel grabs her hand and tells Anna the line is "Beam us up, Scotty". Anna then apologies, claiming not to be very familiar with Star Wars. Rachel notes that's the wrong name, then focuses on one of the windows high in the building and teleports them inside.
Rachel and Anna materialize in a dim, decaying empty hallway, and Anna begins stumbling about. Anna comments that teleporting feels like warm static, and Rachel draws her gun. Rachel senses a draft that smells like wet dirt and motions for Anna to follow. As they proceed, Anna notes that her own power sounds like a bad horror movie and asks Rachel to admit she has an amazing ability. However, Rachel responds that she doesn't like calling her ability a power, and that she sees it more like a curse she would give anything to be cut out of her.
Anna then grabs Rachel's arm and asks her to move them into the next room to prove to the fugitives that she is one of them, and because she can. Anna continues that Rachel's ability is who she is, that her old life without it wasn't hers, and that the real Rachel can "teleport through walls to save scared, lonely people". Rachel prepares to say something in reply, but instead relents and teleports them inside.
Once inside, Rachel realizes that neither Building 26 or REBEL knew the truth of what was going on inside. She notes to herself that the area had been converted to a kind of jungle. The fugitives appear to have been living in the place for a while, growing food, sleeping in side rooms, carrying water. Rachel spots a lot of people there, and a gathering of about twenty quickly assembles around her and Anna. She also notes to herself that many of the people there look like street people, but only one of them appears to have an ability.
A twenty-something girl motions towards one of the men, saying he is their leader. Rachel and Anna then stare at a patch of trees in buckets and makeshift planters that are patched tightly around him. Rachel notes that the man doesn't appear to be moving much; and, although she can only make him out as little slices of brown among the trees, he appears to be glowing. In between what sounds to Rachel like a smoker's wheezing, the man tells them his name is Abe. Rachel notes to herself that Abe also looks to be blind, with cataracts that have turned his eyes opaque. She guesses that if the army outside knew this was what they were facing, they would have already stormed the place and captured everyone.
Next, Abe reaches out a hand toward Anna and Rachel, and the girl in her twenties tells Abe not do something. Before Anna and Rachel can react, everything becomes black. A moment later, the light comes back and Abe glows a shade brighter. Rachel notices the glow is coming directly from his skin, and Abe turns to face Rachel. Abe tells Rachel that she is very pretty, then waves his at Anna and tells her she is too blonde.
Anna informs Abe that REBEL sent them, and he replies that they have been waiting a long time but they never came. Abe then points to a wall, where a crude symbol has been scratched that looks like a hammer surrounded by four stars. Rachel comments that Abe is sick, and he responds that he can see for a moment when he takes the light. Abe adds that doing so poisons him and it is getting worse. Rachel then notes to Anna that if Abe is radioactive, everyone there could be in trouble. However, Anna appears to disregard that thought for the time being, and she tells everyone that the government is outside. After the crowd around them gives a big gasp, Abe asks Rachel what they should do now.
Rachel tells them they need to leave and, after a minute of stuffing their possessions into boxed and bags, the group gathers again in the middle of the false jungle. A skinny kid tells the group that no one is guarding the back exit, and Rachel replies that the agents would not just leave it open. When the kid then insists that it is open, Rachel checks it out and finds something a minute later. She then returns to the group and tells them that the agents will attack from the north, and that it will be really loud and flashy but they will not charge in. Anna then asks how she can be sure of that, and Rachel explains that the fire escape has been rigged to blow. Rachel continues that she expects that the agents plan to flush them out that way, and then blow everyone off the side of the building. She adds that she should have known the agents wouldn't plan a straight-up fight with so many unknowns, and the group asks Rachel what they should do.
Rachel says they should still use the fire escape and Abe laughs. Everyone else just stares at Rachel, except for Anna who comments that Rachel is going after whoever has the detonator. Rachel then tells the group that in three minutes, they need to proceed down the fire escape no matter what is going on outside. One person asks what happens if Rachel doesn't stop the bomb. She replies that the bomb going off would be bad; but since getting away will be the hardest part, they need to go even if she hasn't given them the all clear. Anna responds that it isn't really okay with her.
Chapter 408: The Agent (released 3/31/2009, 4/3/2009)
|(Continued from last week) Agents from Building 26 have trapped a large group of suspected fugitives in an abandoned plant nursery. But Rachel Mills and her new friend Anna Korolenko discover that only one of the fugitives -- a dying blind man -- has an ability. Worse, Rachel has spotted a bomb outside the hideout: Danko is planning to blow the fugitives up rather than risk more agents on a frontal assault.|
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|After Anna tells Rachel that her plan to get the detonator is not really okay with her, Anna pulls Rachel aside. Anna tells Rachel that maybe Rachel was right, that they should just take Abe away and that the others will be released eventually. Rachel responds that there is another problem, that agents have seen them. Anna replies that she has been seen before, and REBEL makes it go away. Rachel then comments that it is easy to remove Anna from the records, but if Rachel disappears it will raise eyebrows as they are currently running the description of a double agent.
Rachel reads Anna's expression, and notes that Anna is wondering if Rachel is going to kill the fugitives. She continues that Rachel killed her own partner to hide her ability, and it would be easy to just wait three minutes and warn her commander so that he blows them up and preserves her secret. Rachel adds that no one would think to blame her for Jason's death after that, and asks again if that is what Anna is thinking. However, Anna just responds by throwing her arms around Rachel and telling her to come back to them.
With two minutes left before the fugitives move out, Rachel teleports herself back down outside the building and finds herself standing around the corner from the SWAT teams. She hears people talking, loading their guns, and applying their body armor, and realizes they are ready to proceed. Rachel walks around the corner and searches for the site commander, Commander Klassen. She notes to herself that Klassen is one of Danko's most trusted lieutenants, and recalls how he has been trying not to act smug since they arrived. Rachel thinks his act is strange since a lot of agents have been getting killed in operations like this, then realizes he knows he is going to kill the fugitives.
An agent beside Rachel asks her if she is ready for some payback for Jason, and Rachel says she is. Rachel then watches Klassen twirl a finger in the air, and the squad leaders begin calling out orders. Then, in one large mass, the SWAT teams head towards the target building. Rachel stays in one place, waiting for Commander Klassen.
At the one minute mark, Rachel spots the commander bringing up the rear with two aides carrying laptops and radios. She notes to herself that they should be in a field ops van, but Klassen decided he wants to go on foot. Rachel also thinks that though the troops think what is doing is for show, he actually wants to be on the ground so he can slip away and observe the supposedly "non-functional" fire escape.
The commander spots Rachel and asks her why she isn't with B Team. Rachel realizes needs to join her team for now and does so. The SWAT teams are making their way to their pre-marked paths, passing over trash and street bums until they reach the target building. Rachel checks her watch and figures that Anna and the fugitives should be heading down the fire escape now. She figures it will be close and doesn't know how to stop this. Then, Rachel hears the last status reports in her earpiece noting that everyone is in position, and the commander radios to proceed in thirty seconds. She notes to herself that it sounds like the commander is moving fast, but he has already moved out of view.
Rachel breaks from her team and rushes toward the direction Commander Klassen was heading. One of the other agents yells into their radio that a truck is approaching. The agent adds that it's a large truck with no markings, approaching from the northwest, and that the people in the truck have spotted them. The agent continues that the truck is accelerating towards the back of the building.
Commander Klassen responds that he will head there, and Rachel guesses he is practically already there. She can hear his voice, even without the radio, and hears him yell. Rachel notes that it is a kind of FUBAR yell, and that he has spotted the fugitives. The commander radios that the targets have already left the building, and he gives instructions to the teams. He orders teams A and C to circle around the sides and team B to move to the top floor and take out anyone still there.
Rachel starts running and, after turning another corner, spots Klassen a block ahead of her. She also sees figures heading off the bottom of the fire escape, and Klassen turning around with the detonator box out. Rachel guesses that it is too late, and the fugitives are too low to be affected by the blast. The commander spots Rachel and says her name questioningly.
Then, they both look towards the mystery truck as it screeches its tires. The truck stops at the end of the fugitive's alley, and Rachel notices a symbol of a hammer and some dots is traced in the dust on the side, the same symbol she saw in the nursery overhead. Commander Klassen radios for team B to move to the windows and block the fugitives from the truck with gunfire until teams A and C arrive.
A few moments later, team B starts firing from the upper-story windows of the building. Rachel aims at Klassen's back, but can't pull the trigger. She then notes getting a rush of adrenalin and time seems to slow for her. As smoke rises out of the alley and bullets tear into the truck, Klassen begins running toward the battle. Rachel then teleports in front of the commander and says hello. However, Commander Klassen cannot stop quick enough and his face winds up in Rachel's fist. He begins falling backwards and the detonator flies into the air. Rachel grabs the detonator just as Klassen lands on his back. As the commander sits up, Rachel takes hold of his collar and he asks what she is. Rachel replies that she is a monster and then closes her eyes.
With a snap, Rachel teleports herself and the commander to twenty feet in the air above the fire escape. As they hang in the air, she notices agents leaning off the top platforms and out nearby windows. Rachel sees bullets flashing off the grimy alley walls, and that the agents' helmets are all facing away from them. They then begin falling, and she can make out a dozen or more of the fugitives' pale faces at the end of the alley. She notes to herself that there are men, women, and a child among them, and they alone see Rachel and the commander flash into the middle of the sky.
As the commander and Rachel fall next to the fire escape, Rachel looks at the bomb detonator in her hand, then at the agents around them. Then, in a moment where she feels sad and peaceful; Rachel lets go of Klassen, closes her eyes, and presses the button.
Sometime later, Rachel recalls something happened to her in the air, and notes that it feels like she left part of herself up in the sky. She remembers feeling the concussion of the explosion, even as the ground materialized under her feet. For a moment, it felt to her as if she had a foot in both spots, and she landed a different person with a new life. Rachel also notes that it hurt a lot, and that she screamed over and over. Then, hands grabbed her and a diesel engine roared.
Now, as Rachel still recovers from the shock of the explosion, she finds herself in the back of the truck. She is standing, holding herself up and watching the highway slip past. The faces of dead agents, some license plates, and road signs flash into Rachel's head as she focuses and turns around. The fugitives she helped rescue are all staring at Rachel in silence, and Rachel finds it a bit creepy. She asks them if she left part of her face on the side of the building, and Anna laughs. Most of the others smile and look down, but a few continue staring.
Rachel reflects on what happened again, then asks Anna who is driving the truck. Anna replies that it is a friend, and that she will introduce the person to her when they stop. Then, Anna's cell phone beeps with a message from REBEL. Anna notes who its from, and takes a long time reading it. Rachel asks what is up and Anna responds only by wordlessly handing her the phone.
Looking at the phone, Rachel sees a huge list containing cries for help from fugitives in trouble. The message also contains status reports, email addresses, and links to websites. Rachel asks what is happening, and Anna responds that Ellen is in trouble. Rachel then comments that Anna needs to introduce her to Ellen someday, and Anna says they need to introduce a lot of people to Ellen.
Then, Rachel's cell phone buzzes with a text from Danko. Rachel reads the message, which asks her to report to him immediately. Anna, having taken back her own phone, says that REBEL pointed her to a person at a nearby circus that should be their priority. Rachel absently replies that she hates circuses, and Anna asks if something is wrong. Rachel responds that there is something she needs to take care of first.
Chapter 409: The Agent (released 4/7/2009, 4/10/2009)
|Danko orders Rachel home, and the young agent prepares for the worst. But Danko will find a way to surprise her yet. If Rachel can survive the hours ahead, Rebel will make her a surprising offer. Meanwhile, Rebel sends Anna ahead on a mission to a circus hiding an important secret. But Building 26 -- eager to learn what "LAWR" is -- follows hard on her heels.|
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|While Anna proceeds on to help a fugitive hiding in a circus with minimal knowledge from Rebel, Rachel Mills heads to Building 26 to meet with Danko. Rachel drives past Arlington Cemetery on her way, recalls always picturing herself ending up there, and wonders if that will still happen. She soon arrives in front of Building 26.
Once inside, Rachel finds Danko's assistant, Bob, slumped at his desk in front of Danko's office. She notices the door to the office is closed, and Bob tells Rachel that she is early. Rachel asks Bob if he knows what her meeting is about. Bob responds that he doesn't know what the meeting is about, but adds that it was called by Dan from Internal Affairs.
Rachel guesses Rebel must have missed something and considers staying to find out, but then changes her mind. However, just then, Danko walks past and Bob calls for him. Danko shakes his head and tells Bob that he can't be bothered now. Bob asks him about his meeting with Agent Mills and Internal Affairs, and Danko asks Rachel if she is Agent Mills.
When Rachel acknowledges that she is, Danko smiles and invites her into his office, acting as though they had never met. Proceeding inside, Danko reaches out a hand to guide her into a chair, then asks her how a girl like her wound up in a place like this. Rachel trips over the edge of the office's rug and misses Danko's hand, then tells him she just wanted to serve her country. Danko tells Rachel that of course she did, then asks her if she is busy tonight and if she would like to get a drink.
Rachel decides to ignore the question and asks Danko if she can call for Dan to join them. Rachel thinks to herself that Danko is likely trying to rattle her or play good-cop to Dan's bad-cop. Then, Danko replies for her to call for Dan like she suggested and checks his watch. Rachel tells Bob to call Dan and he arrives with two big security guys who stare continuously at Rachel.
Rachel figures that she will find out what they know and then port out. Dan drops a thick file on the corner of Danko's desk. Danko stares at it and then rests a hand on it without opening it. Next, Dan asks Rachel to tell them what really happened when Howie Kaplan escaped from her custody.
Rachel thinks to herself about telling them what really happened, but instead says that she was knocked off the building during the fight and landed on a fire escape. She continues that when she got back to her feet, the suspect had disappeared, and notes that what she is saying is in her report. Dan laughs at that, then picks up the fat file, flips through it and asks her if her report left a few things out. He continues that the report didn't mention a witness who reported seeing Howie have a conversation with a female agent after the escape.
As Dan asks her to start over, Rachel slowly reaches for her pistol that is tucked behind her back. However, Danko then asks them both to get out of his office and they look back at him surprised. Dan apologizes and asks Danko to repeat himself. Danko responds for Dan to stop picking on Rachel and to get out of his office, adding that he has somewhere to be. Dan then replies that they have discussed the substantial evidence, tapping on the thick file; but Danko points out that the file is just a bunch of old requisition forms. As Dan flushes that his bluff was called out, Danko asks them to excuse him as he has to see a man about a corpse and leaves.
The office remains silent for a while, then Dan comments for Rachel to admit she is sleeping with Danko. However, Rachel ignores his comment, tells him to have a nice day, and begins to leave. Dan calls after Rachel, telling her that he is watching her.
Back on the highway, Rebel sends a text message to Rachel's cell phone, asking her for a favor. He asks her to help him save a Building 26 prisoner, saying it is dangerous, and that the government is about to learn Rachel's secret. Rachel begins thumbing into her phone that it's time for her to cut and run for a while when Rebel sends her another text. Rebel texts that if she helps him, he will tell her the truth about her mother.
Meanwhile, Anna has arrived at the circus, and now reflects on Rebel's last text. He wrote that agents are surrounding the place, and that Anna needs to find the man in the black hat. According to Rebel, the man will know what to do. Rebel also says that this one is especially important. Anna then reflects on what she never did as a kid. She never had a real, American-style birthday party (although she isn't really sure when her birthday is), been to Disneyland or World, never owned a bike, and never being to a circus, where she is now.
Anna notices she is open-mouthed like a kid, but that the magician's act is the least amazing thing she sees. While recalling having seen a lot of "magic tricks" while growing up, she notes the magician is having people pick cards and telling them what is on them. Anna thinks to herself that he must be a mind reader, and might already know why she is there. However, she decides that it would be a good idea not to talk with him about it until he has finished his act, so she heads back outside to watch the elephants.
After the act is done, Anna spots the man as he leaves the tent and introduces herself. He is startled to see Anna, but says hello and continues walking towards another tent in the back of the lot. Anna tells him she wants to help him, but he replies that they are not hiring and doesn't look back at her. She continues that their friend sent her, and he wants her to tell him that the men in black are here. However, the man just looks at Anna like she is crazy and tells her he is busy. Anna replies that she knows he can read minds; and he laughs, saying that is just a trick and asks her to go back out front. She counters that he asked their friend for help, and he angrily asks her to just go away.
The magician then turns and walks into the back tent, which has a sign that says "FREAK SHOW!" over the entrance. Anna grits her teeth and follows him inside. She finds the place dark and creepy, with many cages spread around the tent. Anna guesses none of the other visitors are left since it's closing time; but as her eyes adjust, she notices things are still happening in the tent. She hears water splash and spots a woman that looks like a fish from the waist down get out of a giant fish tank and begin unzipping something behind her back. Then, the woman sees Anna and calls out to someone named Doug, telling him that there is a kid in the tent. The man that Anna was talking with curses then somewhere in the back, and more things begin moving around Anna.
Anna spots a man and a woman stuck together from the shoulder to hip, sharing a shirt and pants pass by her. Another man all tied up in chains, stares at her with a crazy grin. Then, she sees what appears to be a rotting body rising out of a coffin and screams. The woman who was stuck to the man's shoulder says it is okay and pats her shoulder. The clothes she was wearing hang off of her; and the man she was attached to now stands behind her in his underwear, with all his own limbs.
As Anna calms down, the woman says that Anna is kind of old to be scared by costumes. Anna replies that she is used to it being real, and not a costume. Next, Anna takes a deep breath and shouts toward the man in the tall hat. She tells him that they have to go, and that the government is surrounding the circus.
A silence then falls over the tent, and the man in the tall hat steps out. He is wearing a T-shirt now, and asks Anna what she knows about the government. Anna replies that she told him, that she was sent by their friend and they need leave. She adds that they will be coming for him as soon as all the escapes are cut off. The man replies that they will not; and Anna asks him to take her somewhere private so they can talk, saying she will prove it to him. He responds that he believes her now, but that the government agents are coming for everyone else there, not him.
Anna looks around and sees the girl who was in the fish costume cup her hands. The air inside turns to water, leaking through her fingers. The woman who was sharing clothes steps back into the man behind her, and their shoulders pass through each other. The chains around the man with the crazy grin suddenly melt, revealing jeans and a T-shirt, and he winks at Anna.
Anna then says for all of them to flee, but a raspy voice from the coffin says they can't. The voice is coming from the "thing" Anna screamed at earlier, which sits up again now. Its hollow eyes glance at Anna, then it reaches out a hand and grabs a chair. The man in the tall hat calls the thing in the coffin Linda, and tells her not to use his chair. However, Linda appears to ignore him and the chair begins to age, turning black and finally collapsing into dust. As this occurs, Linda becomes a young woman that Anna thinks looks familiar somehow. Next, Linda tells Anna that they can't leave until the twin is safe, or else Ellen and everything else they have worked for will be lost. Then, everyone looks at Anna.
Some time later, Anna has huddled everyone together in the dark while they wait. She checks her cell phone for the twentieth time, but Rebel has not sent any further instructions. As Anna wonders what is happening, she notices everyone freeze around her as they spot lots of people quietly moving around outside. She worries about having to take out so many agents at once, because that would mean at least some of them will be hurt for real and left in a condition worse than dead. Anna then thinks that she is even more worried that the government will realize who she is for sure and have to spend the rest of her life hiding in dark corners like the one she is in now. She guesses that Rachel would know what to do now, and asks in whisper where Rachel is.
Chapter 410: The Agent (released 4/14/2009, 4/17/2009)
|Rachel's secret is about to be exposed, and she has every reason to leave Building 26 immediately. But Rebel asks Rachel Mills to save someone special before she goes. In exchange, he promises information about someone from Rachel's past. Rachel agrees, setting into motion her final hours as a Building 26 agent. Meanwhile, Anna wrestles with a shocking twist at the circus.|
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|The same night that Rachel agrees to help Rebel rescue a prisoner from Building 26, she heads to the shooting range that is located in the building. While she shoots at targets in the range, she recalls how the range has been a simple aspect of her life that helped her center it during her rough times. She then notes to herself that as soon as the day shift leaves, she plans to attach a silencer to her gun, free a prisoner being held upstairs, and leave it behind forever. Rachel continues that despite this, she is happy because she has found her place in using her ability to help save lives. She notes that Rebel is right that she is doing this last mission to find out more information about her mother, but only so she can tie up that loose end and get on with her life.
At that moment, Rachel is grabbed by several hands. She fights back, but is shoved off the ground and head first into a wall. Rachel is then able to stand up, and she sees Danko there. He holds up his cell phone and video message from Jason plays. The message is to his sister, Janey, and it says that if she received the video, then something happened to him. He continues that he probably screwed up, but she should make up something cool to tell their mother. Jason also adds that Rachel is his new partner, and that if he has a suspicious death while with Rachel, Janey needs to give Jason's superiors this message. He says that he observed in Rachel what might be symptoms of a psychotic break, probably combat-stress-related, and that she could pose a severe threat. Jason also notes that he is investigating further before filing a formal report, but that if she is getting this message, it might be too late.
Danko then shuts off the video and comments that ballistics just confirmed the bullets in Jason's body matched Rachel's gun. Rachel notes to herself that she has spent months using her abilities under Danko's nose, and he is just arresting her for murder. She guesses Danko still thinks she is on his side, but that she is damaged goods. Rachel looks through the cracked shooting range door and at Danko, and then teleports into the hallway. Rachel hears Danko shout that she is one of them, and begins running down the hallway while adding a silencer to her gun.
It's still night outside, but people are moving around in the rooms she is passing. An agent steps out of a hot room, backlit by an orange glow. Rachel shoots him in the head and keeps moving without looking down. The light at the end of the hallway flickers and Rachel guesses Rebel is telling her where to go. As she approaches, she spots a massive metal door there that Danko added after the last time Rebel tried to break someone out, and she continues toward it.
Finally, Rachel reaches her destination, a room with rows of bodies that stretch into the dark. She notes that their chests rise slowly and faces are tight, that some have their eyes open, but none of them look at her as she passes by them. She hears someone groan, and turns and spots Eric Doyle. Next, Rachel pulls out the tube that is in his nose, and then pulls out the tubes of the man and woman next to him. This causes alarms to start up, and two agents crash through the door and begin firing.
The woman sits up just in time to get shot, and instantly dies. Her blood splatters across another bed, instantly burning through the sheets and flesh of the person laying there. Bullets hit the other man too, but they turn into sand. Eric ducks behind him as the agents continue shooting. Meanwhile Rachel teleports behind the closest agent, whom she recognizes to be Agent Harper. He turns toward Rachel, but she disables him with a jump kick. Before landing back on the ground from her kick, Rachel teleports behind the other agent, who is shooting bullets into the other man she freed. However, the bullets are all turning into sand. The agent screams for them all to stay back, calling them freaks; but the man grabs the agent's shoulder, says "dust to dust", and disintegrates him into chunks of sand. The man then asks the Lord for forgiveness.
Rachel wonders why she is freeing these people, and tells herself that she was destined to do so. She then grabs Eric Doyle and the other man by the arms and tells them it is time to leave. Eric Doyle asks what is happening, and Rachel says she is saving his life again. The other guy asks about the other prisoners, but Rachel tells him that other agents are on the way. She then begins teleporting them through the building. Along the way, she learns the man who can change things into sand is called Gordon.
Rachel takes them to the roof, but when she pushes open the roof door, she sees that the helicopter she was planning to flee in has already lifted off. She also spots two agents sitting in an open doorway of the helicopter. A spotlight then centers on Rachel and her two friends, and Rachel shoves Eric behind Gordon to protect him. She then teleports herself up into the helicopter seconds before the two agents in the chopper begin firing machine guns at them. Seconds later, Rachel forces the shooters out the still airborne helicopter and they stop shooting. She then points her gun on the pilot. He tells her to remain calm, but Rachel tells him it wouldn't matter because she is certifiably insane. The pilot responds by asking her what she wants, and Rachel instructs him to take them out of there.
They touch down in a dew-covered field at sunrise, and the helicopter becomes silent. Eric and Rachel go for a walk together while Gordon prays. Eric comments that he guesses Rachel isn't going to be undercover at Building 26 anymore, and Rachel confirms that she can never go back. Eric then sees Rachel checking her phone again, and asks if there is still no word from her friend. Rachel responds that there isn't and that Rebel hasn't sent anything either. However, just then, Rachel's phone buzzes with a new text from Rebel.
Eric tells Rachel that Rebel always comes through, and she replies that it would be great if he could do so without her getting shot at. Then, Rachel opens the message and reads that something went wrong at the circus. She asks why he didn't tell her sooner, and Rebel tells her he didn't know until it was too late. Then, Rebel tells Rachel something that makes her feel as though the sky landed on her head. Rachel races back to the helicopter, shouting for Gordon to untie the pilot. She has just learned that Anna got herself into a jam.
The previous night, Anna is thinking she doesn't like elephants anymore. She is hiding with the circus staff in an old, forgotten cellar, as big as a couple trucks. The animal tent is pitched over it, and the door is covered with straw and other stuff that gives off a strong stench. The smell was too much to take at first, but nobody complains much. Above the cellar, Anna can hear agents searching the tent for the millionth time. She guesses the sun has set by now, but that even more agents have arrived. She can hear their trucks rumble past and things breaking.
Anna looks around the dark cellar at the people around her. Linda Niles, the lady from the coffin, sits closest to her, but has not talked much since they entered the place. The closest to Anna after her is the ringmaster, Bobby, who had talked with Anna at first, but fell asleep around midnight. Along the other wall sits the man and woman who pretend to be Siamese twins for their act. Anna notes that they don't talk, that sometimes they move at the same time, and that the man's expression is like a little, sleepy kid. Barbara, the mermaid performer, lies on her side by them with her eyes closed. Anna suspects Barbara is awake since she jumps at every noise. And next to Barbara is the crazy man, who always smiles and whose outfit is continually changing. He is sometimes in a straitjacket, other times a tux, and sometimes jeans. Anna notes to herself that she doesn't know his name and is afraid to ask.
After checking her watch, Anna notes that she still has twenty minutes to go before her next check-in. As per Rebel's instructions, she is holding her cell battery in her hand so that the agents couldn't trace them through her phone. Anna has been putting it back in her phone once an hour for a few seconds while she checks in, and Rebel has continued to tell her to hang on.
Linda then begins a conversation with Anna, commenting that Anna must be the Amazing A in LAWR, the name that Howie came up with. Anna asks if she knows about the group, and Linda replies that she is L. Linda continues that Anna has been her delivery girl for months, though it feels like years to her. Anna compares Linda's sad and tired demeanor with L's text messages and notes, and realizes it is really her. Linda then apologizes, saying she knows Anna wanted them all to be superheroes. Anna lies and says she didn't, and asks why Rebel brought them together if it was dangerous for them to really meet and they were only supposed to message each other in case one of them got caught?
Linda replies that they are just getting started, and says for Anna to let her introduce her to W. Next, she motions her thumb at the pretend-Siamese twins. Linda comments that the twin, Valerie, and her maybe-brother, maybe-ghost Victor, form the W (V + V together = W). Then, Linda explain that they are together in order to save Ellen. Anna asks what Ellen is, and Linda begins explaining that they are Ellen. Linda starts by noting that Ellen started as just her, LN, and that she used to run a shipping company. She continues that Rebel contacted her, and had knowledge about her past. Rebel asked Linda to hide fugitives in warehouses and trucks across the country. Linda adds that next, Rebel contacted Anna to be the "delivery girl"--a cute blonde that every frightened fugitive would trust. Then, she notes that he found Valerie and asks Valerie to show Rachel her power. Valerie slides across the cellar to Anna and touches Anna's shoulder with one hand. Suddenly, everything shifts and Anna finds herself sitting on the opposite side of the room with one of Victor's hands on her shoulder. Anna jumps away from him, but he doesn't seem offended and just stares at her.
Linda explains that Valerie and Victor can transfer anything up to person-size, that if one of them has it, the other can obtain it. She adds that she has seen them pass a whole family from Pennsylvania to California in thirty seconds and that really beats trucks, but that they get kind of irritable when they are apart for too long. Then, Anna asks if Linda knows about R. Linda replies that that Rebel let Anna meet R after she came over to their side, and that R is their girl on the inside at Building 26. Anna realizes that Linda is talking about Rachel, and comments that Rachel will figure them a way out of their hole. However, Linda responds that Rachel will not be joining them that night, and explains that it's due to a deal that has been made with her.
Anna tells Linda that she is confused why Rachel isn't coming, because they need her help. Linda replies that she is sorry, but Anna is going to have to make due with them, and wait it out until the agents leave or kill them. Anna replies that Rebel wouldn't let the agents hurt them, but Linda points out that Rebel does the best her can, and has other stuff going on. Linda adds that they are not his only crew, and that Anna might join the "varsity team" someday if she eats her Wheaties. Anna comments that Linda doesn't have to be mean, and Linda apologizes.
Anna guesses that Linda has given up hope, and wonders if they are no longer useful to Rebel now that Ellen is exposed. She snaps her battery into her phone, and Rebel texts to hang on and that it isn't clear yet. Anna replies, asking where Rachel is, and he responds that Rachel is in a helicopter. Anna texts back that she is scared and wants to get out, and Rebel replies that there are too many agents and they just need to sit tight a little longer and trust him. Then, Anna hears new voices overhead and pops the battery out of her phone.
Linda asks what Rebel said, and Anna replies that Rebel said they would be okay. Anna adds that Rachel will come, and Linda asks if Rebel said that. Anna answers that he didn't have to, and that he and Rachel will not let them get caught. Next, Linda becomes silent, and Anna notices some changes in her, including that age-lines begin deepening in her face, making her suddenly appear to be middle-aged. Then, Linda tells everyone to get up and says they are getting out of there.
Back in the current time, it is the next morning, and Rachel arrives at the location of the circus Anna was sent to. Behind ambulances and government vans, Rachel sees puddles that are mostly half-dried and many small craters, shaped like bodies. She then passes a zombie, an agent whose eyes wander blankly as he leans against the side of an ambulance, wrapped in a blanket. An EMT is checking that zombie's pupils, but there are many more sitting and moaning. Rachel continues into the area, passing a row of body bags. Some of the corpses look to Rachel like old people, but she thinks that a few hours ago, they were all her own age. Rachel then notes to herself that a war happened there, and wonders what went wrong.
Ahead of her, Rachel spots a bunch of grim-faced agents huddled around something and talking loudly. She guesses they are questioning the prisoner Rebel told her about. Rachel then lowers her cap over her face and proceeds to get closer. When she hears the agents beating the person up, Rachel begins walking faster, and pushes her way through other men and woman in SWAT gear and suits. When she is close enough, she sees the knee, shoe, and face of a young man. Rachel notices that is face is blank similar to one of Anna's zombies, but doesn't think Anna would hurt a friend.
One of the agents comments that the man must be a kind of idiot, but another replies that he has to know something. The second agent notes that he was in the hole with the others, and gives instructions to give the prisoner a pencil so he can draw something. Rachel then turns to look for the hole the second agent mentioned, and the prisoner shouts out the name Linda. She glances over her shoulder back at the young man, and sees that he is staring at her. He asks for help, and the crowd of agents turn to follow his gaze. Rachel responds by saying "well, hell" and winds up face to face with Janey Pierce, the woman who turned her in to Danko. Janey fires a taser at Rachel's chest. Rachel tries to teleport out of the way, but it's too late.
Chapter 411: The Agent (released 4/21/2009, 4/24/2009)
|The battle at the circus is over. Rachel and others have been captured, and "Ellen" and LAWR crippled. Danko makes Rachel an offer that she can't refuse. Part I of the conclusion of "The Agent."|
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Rachel awakens and finds herself tied to a chair in an interrogation room. Emile Danko is with her, eyeing her like an animal. Rachel thinks about how he may kill her and comments that she has no regrets. Danko tells her that she is an insult to the USA and that she should be ashamed. Rachel tells him that he should be ashamed for hunting people who are different. She insists that most of them are harmless but Danko shows her a picture of Linda Niles. Rachel is disgusted by the woman's rotted flesh and ancient body. Danko tells her that Linda is the leader of Ellen and that he wants her killed. Rachel asks why he is telling her this and he says that she will be the one who does it. Rachel tells him that she won't kill anyone else and Danko smiles. He shows her a window into the next room and comments that if she doesn't kill Linda, he will kill Anna. Rachel stares into the other room, where Anna is tied to a table and drugged. Rachel says that she will do it.
Danko tells her to speak to the freak in the next room and lets her go. Rachel enters the other room and finds Victor, who calls her Linda. He cries for help and Rachel feels sorry for him because she is unable to do anything. She reassures him that everything will be alright and he calls her Linda again. Rachel asks him to take her there and he places a hand on her shoulder, shifting her to Valerie. Valerie is hysterical and asks if Victor is okay. Rachel doesn't answer and demands to know if anyone has seen Linda. Crazy Tom announces that she ran away and Rachel runs after her.
Back at Building 26, Danko speaks with Janey Pierce, who is outraged that he let Rachel go. She says that she killed her brother and that she must pay. Danko tells her to be patient, as Rachel will soon return. Janey tells him that it is not good enough but he says that she can do whatever she wants with Anna, who was responsible for her coma. The two then receive word that Ricardo Silva has been captured and is on his way through the building. Danko leaves and Janey becomes furious. When she is certain that Danko is gone, she steals a tracer from the office and heads to Anna's room. Along the way, she murders several agents, creating a bloody mess. She then frees Ricardo and places the gun in an agent's hand to make it look like he was subjected to Ricardo's ability.
Janey then goes to speak with Anna. She begins to cut her hair and her arms, frightening Anna. Anna demands to know where Rachel is and Janey explains that Rachel has been sent to kill Linda Niles. Anna is shocked and states that she won't do it. Janey laughs and tells her about the deal that Rachel made with Danko, making Anna almost certain that Rachel probably will kill Linda. Janey then says that Rachel will never know the truth and Anna asks what she means. Janey then reveals the truth, that Linda Niles is in fact Leona Mills, Rachel's mother. She knocks Anna out once more and injects her with the tracer. She then flees from the building.
Anna is once again awoken by Ricardo, whom Anna is thrilled to see. She is not bothered by the possibility that he may have used his power, as she states that they are at war. She then hurries him into the next room, stating that they have to stop Rachel from making the biggest mistake of her life. Victor recognizes Anna and shifts her to Valerie, who tells her that Rachel is already after Linda. Elsewhere, Janey finds Anna's location and heads to the warehouse.
Rachel searches for Linda and explains that Anna will die if she doesn't help. Linda steps out into the open and confesses that she is a monster and deserves to die. Rachel doesn't want to kill her but Linda/Leona insists that it has been foretold. Rachel then realizes the awful truth, forcing Leona to run from her. Rachel chases after her but is unable to stop her mother from pulling out a gun and shooting herself. Crazy Tom reaches the body first and sadly announces that "It's over."
Chapter 412: The Agent (released 4/28/2009, 5/1/2009)
|Rachel Mills and Anna Korolenko have escaped from Building 26, but Linda Niles lies dead. Now, Rachel and Janey Pierce face off in a warehouse of terrified fugitives. Janey is unlike anything that Rachel has faced before: a soldier who doesn't play by any rules... and maybe a glimpse of Rachel's own future.|
|click "show" to view optimal summary|
|Rachel leans over her mother's body, unable to believe what has happened. Tom arrives and announces that she is dead. Then, quite suddenly, Rachel is shot from behind by Janey Pierce. The fugitives scatter and Rachel teleports into the open space within the warehouse. She yells for Janey to show herself, stating that it is time they finished this once and for all. Janey fires again but Rachel avoids the bullet. Then, Janey leaps from the shadows and tackles Rachel to the ground. The two agents struggle and Rachel manages to kick Janey off of her. As Rachel gets to her feet, Janey disappears into the shadows.
Rachel listens intently, trying desperately to hear Janey. There is a creak on the floorboards behind her and Rachel turns to see Abe. She screams for him to get away but Janey stands and says that he should stay. She aims her gun at Abe but before she can fire, a wave of water comes crashing down on top of her. Rachel is amazed and turns to see Barbara generating waves of water. Rachel cannot believe that people are fighting back but becomes worried when Janey stands and fires at Barbara. The lights go out and Abe pulls Barbara away, returning the lights when they are hidden. Janey becomes outraged and screams that they are all freaks. Another wave comes crashing down on top of her as more and more fugitives come out to face her.
The fugitives form a circle around Janey and the deranged agent stands, facing them evenly. There is a loud snap as Janey's arm is broken by an unknown force. Rachel is chilled to the bone when she notices that Janey didn't even flinch as her arm was broken. Howie Kaplan steps forward and tells Janey that she is not covered in water. Janey sees that she is covered in oil and Howie lights his lighter. People yell for him to burn her and Janey turns to Rachel with an evil smile on her face. Deciding that it is the right thing to do, Rachel grabs Janey. She says "For Jason" and teleports her away.
Rachel later returns to the warehouse and reunites with Anna, who tells her that her mother's body is gone.
Several hours earlier, Leona Mills addresses her gathered fugitives. She explains that she is grateful they trusted her and that their trust has kept her going for a long time now. She then explains that a woman will come looking for her and that no matter what, they must make sure she finds her. The crowd is unsure what she means but applaud her none the less. Leona then makes her way for the hall but is sidetracked by Tom. She thanks him for being such a good friend for all the years and he tells her that she may change her mind. Leona shakes her head and asks him to be the first one to her after it happens. As she turns to go, she finds herself in a different set of clothes. Tom has created a tux for himself and a ballgown for her. Leona says sorry and runs off into the hall.
As Leona hides in the hall, she hears Rachel searching for her. She smiles as she sees her daughter and wonders if she ever thinks about her. Leona then gives her age to a wooden plank, reducing herself to a walking corpse. She steps out into the open and tells Rachel that she needs to be dead. Rachel is a little taken back by her appearance but reassures her that she doesn't have to die. Leona laughs and tells her that it has been foretold. She calls her Rach, which makes Rachel recognize her for who she truly is. Leona runs and as she runs she pulls out a gun and shoots herself. She comments on how difficult it was to see her daughter in so much pain and then blames Angela Petrelli, who called her a coward for abandoning her daughter. She remembers how hard it was to leave but retains her belief that it would have hurt Rachel to grow up with a mother who was a monster.
When everyone apart from Tom is gone, Leona stands and leaves the building with him. He wishes her good luck and she thanks him. She gives him a final order, to go back and pretend that he does not know anything, and then leaves. As she is walking through the garden, she makes herself young once again and then gets a taxi ride to a bus stop. Once there, she meets with Angela Petrelli, who is sitting on a bench. Leona tells her that she made the real thing as close as she could to her dream and Angela smiles. Leona notices the kid who is sitting with her and Angela introduces Leona to Rebel. Micah says hi and Leona is a little angry that it was a kid who had been blackmailing her. Micah insists that she did the right thing and says that he kept her secret until the very end. Leona asks what he means and there is a noise behind them. Leona turns to see Rachel, Anna, Tom and Valerie standing. Rachel runs up and hugs her mother and Leona is grateful that she has her daughter back.
- The first iStory chapter for The Agent, Chapter 401, was released on Tuesday, February 10, 2009.
- Most of chapter 401 of The Agent was released on February 10, 2009. A second part to this chapter was released on February 13, 2009, where each player is allowed to take a psychological assessment test that Rachel Mills also took and see what evaluation the test score provides.
- Most of chapter 402 was released on February 17, 2009, and the chapter ended with Volts about to tell Rachel the translation of the bar codes she had emailed to him. On February 20, 2009, the story continued with Volts explaining what he found.
- Most of chapter 403 was released on February 24, 2009, and the chapter ended with Jason Pierce finding his partner, Rachel, being held at gunpoint by Dave Woolsly and then telling Rachel to look out. On February 27, 2009, the story continued with a city-wide power blackout.
- Most of chapter 404 was released on March 3, 2009, and the chapter ended with Rebel telling Rachel how to read the encrypted message he sent her. On March 6, 2009, the story continued with the message being revealed.
- Most of chapter 405 was released on March 10, 2009, and the chapter ended with Rachel finishing the last of her nightmares. On March 13, 2009, the story continued with Rachel's chasing of Eric Doyle in the real world.
- Most of chapter 406 was released on March 17, 2009, and the chapter ended with Jason losing consciousness. On March 20, 2009, the story continued from Rachel's point of view with Rachel meeting her savior, Anna.
- Most of chapter 408 was released on March 31, 2009, and the chapter ended with Rachel pressing the detonator button and closing her eyes. On April 3, 2009, the story continued with Rachel recalling how she materialized in pain next to the fugitive's diesel truck.
- Most of chapter 409 was released on April 7, 2009, and the chapter ended with Rachel receiving a text from Rebel after leaving Danko's office. On April 10, 2009, the story continued from Anna's point of view with her arrival at the circus.
- Most of chapter 410 was released on April 14, 2009, and the chapter ended with Rachel receiving a text from Rebel after escaping Building 26. On April 17, 2009, the story continued with Rachel rushing back to the helicopter.
- Most of chapter 411 was released on April 21, 2009, and the chapter ended after Rachel and Anna's accounts of the story. On April 24, 2009, the story continued with Janey Pierce's account.
- Most of chapter 412 was released on April 28, 2009, and the chapter ended after the final showdown. On May 1, 2009, the story continued with an epilogue of Leona's meeting with Angela and Micah.
- For a summary of the The Agent series of iStories as a whole, see The Agent.
- For alternatives to chapter 401, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 402, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 403, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 404, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 405, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 406, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 407, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 408, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 409, see here.
- For alternatives to chapter 410, see here.
Friend or Foe (Operation Bad Blood, Operation Splinter) • The Private (summaries) • The Agent (summaries) • The Civilian (summaries) • Faction Zero (summaries) • Slow Burn (summaries) • The Puppet Master (summaries) • Purpose (summaries)
|Related iStory Portals: Characters • Locations • Places|