The Patchwork Daughter

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Chapter Seven - Sympathy For The Cyborg - Sophie

The officer steps out of Blake Collins' interrogation room.

"I'm going to the manor. I don't care what the boss says." I frown slightly and turn away from him. I go to the boss' office. I tell him. I ask him to put me in charge, instead. He agrees. He talks to the other officer. By the time he exits the office, he has been demoted. I get some equipment together and get ready to leave. The last thing I do is check on Blake Collins. He looks up at me worriedly when I enter the room. I smile at him reassuringly.

"Don't worry Mr. Collins. The boss has given me the assignment, instead. No vicious, low ranking officers going to beat up your friend." I know he was lying. He knows I know. He smiles at me, relieved but still fidgety and nervous. I leave him alone with his thoughts again.

It takes 15 minutes to get from the station to the outskirts of town, then ten more to get from there to the old manor in the hills. When I get there with my team, I knock loudly on the heavy doors. Everything is silent and I hear my requested entry echoing about the halls of the falling down manor house. I knock again. Still no answer. I open the door. Or, at least, I try to. After a minute or two of futile shoving, I get the rest of team to help me. Once we finally have the door open, we start looking about the entrance hall. Soon enough, I hear quiet voices from the large double doors at the top of the main staircase. I send my team out to look around the front of the building and the driveway. When they are gone, I move silently up the steps. As quietly as possible, I slip into the room and sneak up some steps to the side. From up here, I can see pretty much the whole room and it is unlikely that I will be spotted. Then I see the source of the voices. A woman who looks a lot like Diana Grey, but with long ginger hair instead of short blonde, is talking quietly and furiously with a young man. I recognise him as David Winston. I read his file, among others, when I realised how much time he had been spending with Blake Collins of late. He seems angry and she seems almost bored and very irritable. I lean closer and mange to find a good spot so I can hear better. This room has very good acoustics. She is currently the one speaking.

"I have told you already, David. I want to die! You have no idea how long I have been around! I have always adored life and yet I have not had the kind of life I wanted! All I want, all I have ever wanted, was simple, human mortality. Now that I have a chance, and someone to stay with me and ease my passing, you are trying to stand in my way! Is it no wonder I am cross with you? I have longed for death for so many years, now. I have tried and tried and failed countless times to end it all. I can never bring myself to destroy life, even my own, but that does not mean that I will not greet death with open arms and heart when it is my time. I know what I am, David. I know all I have done and I will be happier when I am no more. I will be better and so will this world. Everything will be better without me."

"But I won't be!"

"You? You? I like you David, but whether you want me alive or not will not change my mind! You cannot change what I am and what I have done! You cannot stop me from being a monster! Nothing and no one can! I am too lost. I am not what I once was and I hate what I have become. I miss my father and my mortality and I cannot cope with this half life! I cannot, will not, shall not, go on! If I do not die then I will see all else die and I will wish to go with it all the more! I will be gone soon, anyway, so why stop me now? I am in control of my fate, not you, and I will not sit around living for a man I hardly know! You are hardly even a man yet! A boy! A child! You have no experience of life and you want me, who has seen its wonders and it's despairs, to continue for your benefit? You, who have never heard a friends last breath or a child's first laugh.

"You want to live and I want you to live. I wish you all the happiness in the world, David. Please do me the same favour and let me end? I have longed for rest for all of my un-life, or whatever this is. I have always wished for the eternal peace that my mother and father have been blessed with, and yet now, now that it is within my grasp, you, who have probably never really appreciated life fully, want me let it go so that I, who have seen life and death revolve around me and leave me behind, can, no, must, live on with you! For you! I have no need and no wish for life, but you, oh so selfish you, want me to carry on in this hell so that you are not alone!"

David is still and silent. He stares at her like that for a minute before a small tear falls down his cheek. I see it glint in the sunlight. Lydia Turner gasps quietly. I know it is her now, for she cannot be anyone else. She moves forward quickly and cups his face gently in her hands.

"Oh, David, do not cry? Please do not cry? I am sorry. I am so sorry. I do not know what came over me. Please forgive me, my friend? Please?" She sounds close to tears herself, but I doubt her ability to produce them.

"No." It is barely a whisper and I only know what he has said because he shakes his head gently as he says it. She closes her eyes and backs away silently, thinking he has turned down her plea of forgiveness.

"No." He whispers again. He looks up at her and his eyes are hard and determined and damp.

"No." He said it louder, this time. More sternly. Lydia Turner flinches.

"Don't apologize. It's me who should be apologizing, not you. You did nothing wrong. I am sorry and I understand. Well, I don't, really, but I am trying too. I don't know how you feel, because I have never wanted to die. But I have always wanted to live, really live, and I can imagine how it might feel to not be able to. I know that I am selfish. I always have been. But I will not be selfish here. It is not the time or place. I'm sorry, Miss Turner. Please except my apologies and know that I am here, and I always will be here, to help you with your passing and to make it a happy one." They stare at each other for a minute before stepping hurriedly in to one another's arms. Their hug is brief but tight and when they step away from one another their expressions are stone. They turn to the massive machine in the middle of the room.

"So." David says, finally, his voice renewed in strength.

"How do we do this?" He turns his head towards his unlikely friend and she smiles at him.

"Well, first of all, we have to be as quiet as possible. Second, aim for any wires you may come across and make sure to pull apart as much as you can. When the police find this it should be nothing but a massive heap of metal, screws and springs." He nods and turns back to the machine. He sighs heavily and claps his hands once, rubbing them together in anticipation, before making his way towards the metal tower of artificial life.

As they start taking it apart, the others make their way in, one by one. They ask what's going on and the closest person to them explains. Soon, there are 9 people working in the room. There is a large, fluffy, grey cat getting in the way. I memorize who each of them are before sneaking back out of the room to keep my people distracted. Now, don't get me wrong, I am woman of the law, but I know a good person when I find one and Lydia Turner and her acquaintances are no hard hearted criminals. They are a bunch of friends looking out for each other, although I have my doubts about Fiona Brook. When I reach my team, I send them off to look about the grounds, specifically the chapel. They won't find anything, but the chapel was mentioned, so I can't be too careful.

As we all move about the grounds I catch sight of Luke Carmichael in one of the windows. I move surreptitiously closer to the building. When I am close enough, I move up to the window. We make eye contact. He looks shocked, then terrified. I shoo him away from the window and he runs away manically to join his friends. I roll my eyes and continue pretending to search for clues. After a while, I tell my team to continue searching the grounds while I look about the main hall, again. They don't suspect a thing. I go back inside and head for the ball room. This time, I don't bother trying to be quiet as I open the door. Everyone looks up, fearfully. I hear Luke Carmichael telling everyone that I was the one he saw through the window.

"Don't be afraid." I tell them.

"I am here on Blake Collins' behalf." Everyone looks at each other, confusedly.

"Blake sent you?" David Winston steps forward as the group leader. I get the feeling it's the norm for him to take control. I nod my affirmative. He frowns.

"You are a police officer. What connection do you have to Blake?"

"I was sent to take him in for interrogation."

"So you are Sophie Frond?"

"Yes, I am. He is in custody at the present time. He's under suspicion of being connected to Lydia Turner and of lying to the police in order to hide her existence. I managed to get myself in charge of this operation. I was in here when she" I nod over at Lydia Turner, "made her 'I want to die because' speech to you. I am on your side and I am keeping everyone outside, in the grounds. I will keep an eye on the window I saw Luke Carmichael at. If you need to get outside, go to the window and get my attention. Try not to alert anyone else to your whereabouts. If I see you waving at me, I will presume that you need to get out of the building and I will take my team around the front and into the entrance hall. I will, of course, make sure everyone takes their time searching for clues. You should have plenty of time to get to the chapel that way and since we've already checked it, no one will think you are there. Do you understand?"

"Yes. Amy. You are in charge of calling for help if we need it. How do we know we can trust you? What if we need you but want to stay inside?"

"If you need me but want to stay inside then use one hand to call me over with small motions through the window. If you need to escape then wave both hands manically. Simple enough?"

"Yes, but we still don't know if you really are on our side or not." I sigh exasperatedly and take off my watch.
"Here, take this. It has my initials on it. I am on your side, whether we win or lose. If they find this on you then they will know that I am working with you."
"What if you say we stole it?"

"Do you have some paper? We could make an agreement."

"And then you could tell your superiors that you were acting as a double agent to help get us captured."

"Oh, will you never be persuaded? Here! Take this."

"What is it?"

"It's my locket. It's closed right now, as you can see, but you can't just open it. My colleagues know me. They know that I wouldn't just give any stranger I don't trust a key into my personal life. They also know how paranoid I can be. I have some very special locks on this locket. See if you can open it." He tries for a while before passing it to Amy Lodge. She tries and fails then passes it to Lydia Turner. She tries and fails, too. She seems surprised.

"I can break into almost anything, Miss Frond. Well done. This is obviously very well protected."

"Precisely. If you just hand it back to me... Thank you... There. In you are. If they find this open with you, then they will know that I am definitely on your side. That coupled with the watch and there will be no argument on the matter. Happy now? I really must be getting back to my team before they start getting suspicious." I get a nod and a small thank you from David Winston and then I'm off. With one last smile to the room, I leave them and rejoin my team.

As we work, I think about who was there and what their involvement with Lydia Turner could be. David Winston seems pretty loyal to her. I can't quite place why, but then I guess it might be the same reason as I am. Fiona Brook's appearance is a definite mystery. Luke and Grace Carmichael are the kinds of people who get in to allot of trouble for the sake of getting into trouble. At least, Grace Carmichael is. Her younger brother just tends to follow her around, according to their files. Blake Collins is very much the same as Grace Carmichael in that respect.

Amy Lodge was probably recruited because she's so good with locks and hacking. She has been caught breaking into people’s houses on multiple occasions. God knows what she does it for. Jacob Wilde is very fond of excitement, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if he came here to look out for Grace Carmichael, either. Their files stated that they meet up in secret a lot. Then again, I also wouldn't be surprised if she was the one who came to look out for him. Theo Grey is a given. His sister, Diana, is the one whose skin and eyes Lydia Turner appears to be wearing. It wouldn't take me by surprise at all if he was working with Fiona Brook to get rid of Lydia Turner. Well, they won't have long to wait, now. As for Benjamin Swann, I am not entirely sure. He has been known to vandalize communal buildings, so it wouldn't be hard to believe Fiona Brook had blackmailed him by saying she would tell the council about his latest attack. The church. Of course! If he was the one who vandalized the church, then of course she would use that as an excuse. All I need now is proof and a motive. Why would she want him in the first place? So many questions and so little answers...

I can understand why someone would want to imprison Lydia turner, but I don't know why anyone would want to go so far as kill her. If anyone does want to kill her, that is. God, I don't even know how Lydia Turner is alive, let alone why she won't be soon! I've got so much information in such a short amount of time that it's starting to confuse me. Oh well, I guess I should just concentrate on keeping my team distracted for now. I can think about the details later.

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