Location: Las Vegas, Nevada year 2100
It was after her shift at the House of pain diner, and Twitch had to walk home. It wasn't far and the neighborhood was relatively safe, but the young waitress still felt uneasy. Doug's warning from a few days ago was an icy mockery tap dancing to the tune of her insecurities. Street lamps glowed under the pitch black of the night sky, as the hustle and bustle of a balmy Las Vegas night filled the runaway's senses. Bonny hands gripped the strap of her messenger bag every time a rowdy group of drunken tourists passed her by.
Normal night sounds associated with big city's instantly morphed into something from her nightmares. It was as if all her preparations for the eventuality that she might be found meant nothing. Her own family had called her crazy, and would love nothing more than to see her locked away and forgotten. The doctors that had been her jailers would use her in whatever capacity they deemed. "Get a grip girl, it ain't noth'n," she told herself, passing by a black pit of an alley. It only made the impending panic worse.
Ducking her head, the black haired woman power walked the rest of the way to the motel she was staying at. Only to be stopped by the horrifying sight that greeted her as she stepped foot just down the street from the Singleton Motel. Wooden barricades surrounded the entrance of her temporary home, with various cops, reporters, and spectators milling around the immediate area. And it was all the petite woman could do to force herself to breath; she needed to get away and now. Forcibly inhaling and slowly uncurling her fingers, Twitch moved toward the spectators in front of the barricade. "Excuse me," she called to the nearest one, "do you know what happened here?"
A craggily old woman answered her readily enough, "yeah they say'n some whack job snapped and killed the manager of this place." Twitch's hands began to shake as she stuttered out her thanks to the elder. Glancing around, she could see the wanted posters already being put up, or handed out by the beat cops. Hunching slightly forward so that the bangs of her wig covered her face, Twitch kept walking. It was time to run again.
Location: Unknown year 2100
"What happened?"And not for the first time, Erik Holmström's 'project manager' wished he could give an equally simple answer. Barton Defoe was an efficient perfectionist. He took pride and dignity in all his doings, and held little to no qualms about doing anything to get the job done. This particular assignment was made all the more frustrating by there being too many variables to control and no way to manipulate the situation completely in his favor. He had just returned a few hours ago from his mission to Vegas, he had just found a lead on his target, only for it to go south when man he had question on the girl's whereabouts had started to get greedy.
"The girl was smart sir, the manager didn't ask questions because she always paid in cash, and what little tracks she did leave behind was infinitesimal." His employer's glare told him exactly how much trouble he would be in if he wasn't so good at his job. "And yet you still executed the motel proprietor, knowing that it would call more attention that we do not want." Agathe Bentsen scowled severely at the man whom had failed more than he would truly ever know. If the unknowing key to their' victory went to jail they would most likely lose all chance of recovering her.
Barton bit his tongue against the scathing retort that precariously hung heavy on his lips. "Money talks Ma'm, your query paid that man for information on a regular basis. She would have run before I could acquire her." "She has run, yet you don't have the girl, and now the authorities are after her." Rosalind curled her lip in mild contempt at her perceived rival in Erik's approval. Barton ignored her, the sandy haired gold digger with what little remained of his self control. "I have ordered that the vessels to be moved the origin site, as soon as I acquire the girl, I will personally escort her there." For a moment Erik just stared at him with a searching gaze, "get it done." Barton internally relaxed.
Location: Amtrak California motor coach depot; Las Vegas Nevada
Twitch was still fighting the almost undeniable urge to start freaking out as she made her way to the locker storage that held her preplanned 'care package.' She had already changed her appearance just enough to remain inconspicuous. Her black baby doll styled wig was replaced with a long brunette one covered with a beanie. Color contacts were taken out and instead Twitch opted to wear thick glasses meant obscure the color of her eyes. But the fact remained that once again the young woman had to start afresh once more. Twitch the waitress living in at a shitty motel in Las Vegas could no longer exist, just as the twelve year old girl who was sent to an insane asylum could no longer exist. But the memories wouldn't let Twitch go.
The year was 2095 and a young girl smoothly rushed upstairs to her bedroom in her parents Tennessee home, locking her door and thus insuring that her usual roommate wouldn't be able to disturb her. Her name was Valentina Whispers and she was twelve years old. And for the past year the youngest daughter of Andrew and Georgia Whispers has been having nightmares. Debilitating nightmares, so vivid and so disruptive to the child's resting hours that it began to affect her waking life in the most detrimental ways. In her dreams Valentina was always fighting, fighting against people whom scared her on the most fundamental level.
She dreamed of cages and dark dank places, being beat so badly that whomever she was fighting was able to place her in a coffin. Faces morphed before big eyes, each more different than the last, but all held hatred in their gaze as they squared off against a frightened little girl. She had dreamed of being hit with all manner of things, chairs, stairs, pipes, and even trashcans. But worst of all she dreamed of fire. In her dreams Valentina lived out being burnt alive, over and over again. And through it all there was two constants. The man with red hair and the man with eyes like hers.
The child was skin and bones from lack of appetite, her grades, and social skills suffered severely at school. Yet every doctor that she was taken to said that there was nothing physically wrong with her. The psychologist that her parents forced her to see always wanted her to relive the horrors of her dreams. Apparently talking about the pain makes it go away. Valentina threw her ratty book bag at the door she just locked, ignoring her parents and sister banging on the door. After the latest episode of malicious teasing she had to endure, the youngest Whispers wanted to be left alone.
"Open this door young lady; we're going to have a discussion about your behavior!"Angry tears flowed easily from pale jeweled eyes. The slightly off colored orbs only added fuel to the fire of the incessant rumors about the odd girl whom was mostly regarded as a nutcase. The Whispers were well known in this small town, they had been there for three generations. And all three generations had dark hair and dark eyes. Valentina had neither. This was all the evidence the townsfolk needed, now her 'problems' could be blamed on questionable breeding.
The adults gossiped freely on the subject when they thought none of the Whispers would hear. Suddenly Valentina was the rape baby of a bi-polar serial killer left on the Whispers doorstep, Georgia's love child by a stoner in college, or even the offspring of a Satan worshiper. Whatever was said, the end result was always the same, Valentina was worse off for it. The parents of the children she went to school with kept their progeny away from her, Adults outside of her family treated her with pity or disgust, and the few people she did have any contact with didn't understand.
Even her parents didn't seem to grasp that their child was slowly dying from their' need to fix her. Pitching herself onto the cool sheets of her bed, Valentina curled up in on herself, and covered her ears, "JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!" The youngest of four wasn't surprised in the least when the threats and pleads on the other side of the door became more persistent. Once upon a time Valentina might have cared, but right now all the frail girl could think about was crying herself to sleep.
Twitch walked just a touch faster toward the rent-a-lockers at the end of the bus depot. And plowed into a police officer handing out wanted posters, "oh I'm so sorry," she began to help him pick up the posters. The runaway knew that if she just left then it would look suspicious, right now she couldn't afford anyone looking too closely at her. "It's alright, miss." Twitch glanced nervously at the cop.
The man was perhaps a good decade older than her, placing the young officer in his late twenties early thirties. He looked as awkward in his uniform as Twitch felt watching him. He was obviously new to the force and just developing the senses that were the hallmark of cops. Casting her gaze to the pictures that she was helping pick up, the Tennessee looked into the eyes of her thirteen year old self in the last picture ever taken of her.
It was the one year anniversary of Valentina Whispers commitment to Tennessee State Sanitarium, and assistant therapist Dr. Felix Hardy sat behind his office desk. He wasn't one hundred percent sure that his young patient belonged here. The only serious symptom that she had shown was nightmares. All the little blonde's other behaviors could be explained from that. But whatever argument he came up with was dismissed by the head therapist.
And as a result the Whispers couple sat before him now on the pretense that it would help in their daughter's recovery if she saw them. 'Not a complete lie, at least.' The child psychologist thought with just the barest twinge of guilt. "How is Valentina doing doctor, really?" Felix turned his attention to Georgia Whispers ne Johnson. And just by looking at the woman, it was clear that Valentina didn't take after her mother in any way. Georgia was a curvy woman of Pacific Islander descent. Her dark eyes and thick black hair was a clear departure from the blood spun gold of her daughter's tresses. "Valentina is doing surprisingly well. I feel there is clear progress in her behavior, and her ability to cope."
His client's father scoffed, "don't deny that there is still something seriously wrong with that child. We know she still has nightmares, she said as much earlier. I don't want my kid screaming at shit that isn't there Hardy, so give to us straight. How much longer do we have to wait for her to get better, if at all?" Georgia gasped in horror at her husband, offended on her youngest behalf, and yet at the same time Felix could clearly discern she was in agreement with him.
Andrew like his wife looked nothing like his daughter. Though the man was clearly Caucasian, he was healthily robust in a way only a lifetime spent on a working farm could give. This included a healthy tan Valentina would never be able to have, on the principle that she burned too easily in the sun. All in all, the Whispers patriarch fit the bill of hard working middle class family man a little too well. Being subtle wouldn't work with the man. Felix felt trapped because offending Valentina's father could have catastrophic repercussions for the thirteen year old.
But saying nothing was guaranteed to have a more destructive outcome. Daringly the psychologist leaned forward, lacing his fingers together. "If we are going to be frank here Mr. and Mrs. Whisper, then I must say with the utmost respect to yours, and your daughter's position, that the only thing keeping her here is you." "WHAT!" Even if the response wasn't unexpected it still hurt Felix's ear drums. "Valentina is a very articulate, intelligent, and shy child. It is not the nightmares themselves that causes her distress. It is the response of others to her nightmares."
Andrew's posture stiffed, as he scooted forward and glared. "And how are we supposed to react when our eleven year old little girl wakes up one day, and tells us she's buried somebody alive."The buff man all but snarled. Georgia placed a calming hand on her husband's shoulder. "This went on for a year before we started look'n for help doctor, don't you understand? This is better for Valentina. Dr. Bearer said that she might not ever completely recover, are you saying he was lying."
Felix wanted to curl his lip in fury laced disgust. "With all due respect Mrs. Whispers Dr. Bearer is operating with the same blinders as you and your husband, and from what Valentina tells me the entirety of your community." The child psychologist cut the parents before they could say anything in retort. "You and everyone around you have hammered into this girl's brain that there is something wrong with her, she has not had one person in her life that has told her otherwise." But as Felix continued to argue with the Whispers, they didn't know that the subject of their argument was listening in. And in the young girl's mind, her parents didn't want her anymore.