AN: Sorry that it's one of the shortest chapters, but I wanted to get something posted. More to come.
Chapter Nineteen: So Much for Hope
"So you know who I am."
Mike leaned his head back on the bars and stared at the ceiling. He was trying to recall more information, but the combination of his already terrible memory and the concussion didn't give him much to work with, "Nicole Kline," he said, beginning with what he did know, "You're Justin's sister."
Wren approached the bars and stood directly in front of Mike, gripping the metal tightly. He noticed her knuckles turning white; she was furious, but her voice was very controlled when she said: "And you're his murderer."
"He was a traitor," Mike defended, "A spy or something, I can't remember all of it."
"So he made some bad decisions. But he didn't deserve to die!" she yelled. She was visibly holding back tears now. So much for the controlled front, "He was my only brother, my last living relative, and you ripped him away from me."
Mike took a slow breath. When his memory finally revealed Wren's true identity only hours ago, he was in shock. He didn't know what to tell the team, so he waited until he could talk to the woman himself. To everyone else, Wren was a stranger who seemed to have sprung up out of thin air. But to Mike she was a picture in a brown leather wallet, carefully tucked away in the back pocket of a deceased ex-Ranger in Beirut. That soldier was Justin Kline, and Mike only found the wallet after searching the dead man's body. Most of that mission, along with everything else from that part of the world, was a blur. But now he distinctively remembered that picture of Nicole –Wren- and her name written on the back of the paper. He remembered the sinking feeling of knowing he did kill someone's brother, someone's friend, someone's son. But then again, Justin had done the same thing to countless others. He was a killer, and Mike, for whatever reason, was the one who had to stop him.
"I did a lot of things in Beirut, or so it seems," he spoke slowly, cautiously. There was no changing what happened, but he could at least try to make her understand, "I don't know what else I did or why I was the one that killed your brother. There are two years' worth of gaps in my memory. But whatever I did, I'm sure I did it because it was what had to be done."
Wren closed her eyes tightly and rested her forehead on the bars. Mike couldn't help but feel some pity for her, but not enough to be empathetic. She was still the reason for all the chaos over the past few days, whether she believed it was justified or not.
When she still didn't say anything, Mike changed the topic, "Why can't the facial recognition software identify you?"
She didn't look at him, but said, "When I heard that Justin was… that he wasn't coming home, I drove. Too fast, too reckless… I went off the road and wrapped my car around a tree. They said I was lucky there were no life threatening injuries, but that's when I got this idea. To go after whoever did this. I thought I should get plastic surgery and keep from getting caught early on."
That would explain it. She looked familiar to Mike, but the computers couldn't get an exact match because this face, technically, didn't exist.
"So this is completely for revenge, then," he said angrily, and his head echoed with the sound of his voice. He steadied himself against the bars behind him, waiting for the pounding to diminish, "Karr kidnapping my little sister wasn't part of your plan. Now he could kill her without a second thought, and it's because of you."
Her eyes were still shining, but now Wren smiled happily. It was infuriating; Mike wanted to reach through the door and slap the look off her face, mostly because he knew what she was about to say.
"You know, I'm glad I didn't get the chance to dismantle Karr. I hope he does kill your sister. An eye for an eye, am I right, Mikey?"
"No. Melody isn't a traitor. She's not a killer, like your brother was. She's innocent in all of this. But she's a Knight, and she'll find a way to stop him."
"Karr won't go down easy. He'll take her with him if he has to."
"How would you know? You barely know him at all."
She laughed. Wren looked genuinely pleased with herself, knowing that she could still win. It was disgusting, "I'm not the only one looking for revenge, dear. Karr's drive for it is almost thirty years in the making. There's no stopping him this time."
An hour went by in silence. Karr was speeding by about thirty miles an hour at any given time, which was making Melody nervous. She figured that since Karr wouldn't activate his scanner he was driving purely by sight, like a human would. He was still a supercomputer, making an insane amount of decisions and observations every second, but without his scanners Karr couldn't predict anything beyond the range of his vision. So when he was going ninety miles per hour on a fairly busy highway, that left a lot of room for error. It also attracted a lot of attention.
"How fast can modern squad cars travel?" Karr asked out of the blue.
"Oh like I know that off hand," she said, "…why?"
The road ahead of them was straight and flat for miles. Karr pushed the car harder and the speedometer clicked up to 100, "No reason."
Melody turned in her seat –wincing a little from the pain that remained in her side- and waited for the siren. Sure enough, a second later the familiar sound crept into the cab. The cars began to pull over, revealing the police cruiser chasing after them. Her heart leapt in her chest.
"You should put your seatbelt on," Karr suggested, implying that he had no intentions of pulling over.
So much for hope, she thought.
AN: By the way, I'd like to thank everyone who's stuck with this story. It's taking way longer than originally intended (the fact that I just graduated when I started this thing in ninth grade doesn't make it seem any better,) but I feel like it's also turning out to be better than it would have otherwise. I might even revise it in the future, mainly because I was fourteen when it began. I don't even want to go back and reread the chapters, because I'm afraid it may not have been written/planned out as well as it should have been. Anyway, thanks everyone who still has hope left for this story. Getting reviews seriously makes my entire day, and I really appreciate them. :)