Sometimes I Feel Like A Man In The Wilderness
I'm A Lonely Soldier off To War
Sent Away To Die, Never Quite Knowing why
Sometimes It Makes No Sense At All…
Makes No Sense At All…
Roughly about 6:00 PM
Parker swiftly eased herself onto the bar's rooftop. She'd used her gear to move quietly from the loft as the others watched Hardison working to track Eliot's earbud. She knew Hardison would find something, but she also knew it would be a while and she needed time to herself. She always enjoyed coming up to the roof whenever she needed room to breathe or just to think.
Eliot knew she spent a lot of her time up here even if she was supposed to be in her own apartment. He understood her need for wide open spaces where she didn't have to listen to people. She loved being a part of this team, but it was still hard for her to be in a room full of people. Especially when they were all just as worried as herself over finding Eliot.
She missed him. She truly loved each of them, especially Hardison, but she missed Eliot the most. He helped ground her. She knew she could ask him anything and he'd tell her the truth. He'd never lie to her. Eliot always explained things to her in a way she could understand and he never looked at her like she was crazy. She knew everyone thought she was a little crazy, but hell who wouldn't be after the life she'd lived.
If she hadn't been taken in by Archie, she'd probably be in jail right now. He taught her how to be good at what she did and she loved moving among people and not being seen. She had gotten so used to that, that it was hard sometimes to try and be a normal part of something.
But with Eliot she could tell him how she felt. Yeah he always told her something was wrong with her, but he'd also told her that it was okay to have something wrong with her if it made her her. And while she'd tried hard to do a lot of things others did, she still needed to have her own space. So here she was taking time to breathe.
She reached into the pocket of her jacket for the envelope she'd snaked from the coffee table while the others where busy with their electronic tracking and waiting for the friends of Eliot's to come help. She'd meant it when she said she didn't want to read her letter from Eliot because to her he wasn't dead. They'd find him and she knew he might be a little upset if he knew they'd read those letters to all of them.
But she also couldn't help wondering what he had to tell her that she didn't already know. She was planning on sneaking the letter back on the coffee table when she went back before anyone took notice, so she only had a few minutes at best to see what he had to tell her.
She carefully pulled back the sealed flap and pulled out the pages .
God where do I even start with you. I thought writing your letter would be the easiest, 'cause I know I don't have to explain things to you like I do Nate, Sophie and Haridison, but now that I'm doin' this it's really just as hard.
Okay so remember when I told you not to ask me about the worst thing I ever did when I worked for Damien Moreau? Well, it's because I didn't think you'd understand. You remember how that psychic broke you when he read you about your brother? Remember how devastating it was to know someone was somehow getting into your mind and reading your inner most thoughts?
It's Hell. So, that's why I've made the decision now to tell you what the worst thing I ever did was and I hope in the end you will try and understand and try to remember me without remembering what I was capable of.
I'd prefer you didn't tell anyone else and I'm really hoping you can do that. Without me there, you may find it easy to tell and I don't need anyone else hating me anymore than I know you will or I already do. You see it's not that easy sometimes getting past our past. You think people don't understand you, but they do. They really do. And you sharing your secret about your brother brought everything home for all of us.
You can understand how it is for Nate to lose his son. Hardison and Sophie can probably sympathize with him, but they will never know what it's like to lose a son… or a brother. I know what it's like to lose not just one brother, but three and a sister along with my mother.
I lost my baby brother when he was around seven in a car accident along with my baby sister and my mom. I lost an older brother, Eaton to the war in Iraq that I didn't even know was my brother until I was thirteen. And then I lost another, Evan about five years ago. Evan and Eaton were twins and as different as night and day. Eaton was good and...well Evan wasn't. What I think will make it hard for you to understand is that I am the one who took Evan's life. I'm the one who stopped his heart, I'm the one responsible for ending him.
I knew who he was and I still killed him because I'd been ordered by Moreau to do it. You see, Evan worked for Moreau and that's what lead me to him too. I'd become disillusioned by the military and Eaton couldn't understand that. He loved the military. But to me the things I'd had to do for the Army didn't seem any different than the things I'd be doing for Moreau. I was in a dark place then and Evan wasn't a good man. He had never been a good man. Eaton tried to help me, but he didn't understand. He'd tried to help Evan too. He was always trying to help Evan. Their being twins, they'd taken each other's place a lot growing up and Eaton tried to protect Evan, but he couldn't do it in the end. When I got the news that Eaton had been killed in Iraq I just lost all faith in the military and I ended up joining Evan… and joining Moreau.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to justify my actions, because I'll never be able to. But Evan was just as evil as Moreau. At least he was until Moreau found out Evan was working against him and for his own agenda.
Moreau ordered his death and he ordered me to do it. To prove myself. I didn't hesitate, Parker. You have to know that. He told me to kill my brother and I did it without a word. I blamed Evan for a lot of things and it was so easy to just come up behind him and slit his throat. No remorse…not then. Not until I'd learned the real reasons behind Moreau wanting him dead. Those reasons aren't really important anymore, what's done is done and I'll never be clean of that. I'll always have blood on my hands…always…
I just hope you can remember the good times we've all had, and know that I've tried hard since then to do what's right, whatever that is. I know you may not understand, but I needed to have at least one person who knows my worst secret. I know where I'm headed and I've made my peace with all of this a long time ago. I'm just trying to see my way clear enough so that I can at least make sure those I've left behind can find a little peace too.
I'm not a good man, Parker. I don't think I've ever been a good man, not really. My father saw it in me and the only people I've ever been even a little open with is all of you. The team… Just remember I tried to do the right things in the end and I wouldn't trade a single minute of the time I was given with all of you.
Sometimes the only way to stop hating myself is to just stop living. I'm not going into this with a death wish, but I'm not going out of my way to stop the bullet if it happens to find my heart. I've done a lot of things, good and bad, but the bad will always be what's remembered. I'm asking you to try and remember a couple of the things I've done that weren't so bad.
I know telling you this story isn't a good thing, but I want you to know that you above all of the team, well you are the one I know will keep my secrets even if you don't agree with what I've done. I know you'll see me as both a bad man and a not so bad man. And right now that's all I can ask for.
Take care Parker and remember...
There's nothing wrong with you…
There never was…
Parker looked at the pages in her hands as she sat there with her thoughts going in a million different directions. She didn't hate Eliot. She'd never hate him. And regardless of what he'd just told her, she knew there was more to it than just black and white. She wasn't stupid. What she couldn't figure out is how Eliot had missed it.
She folded the pages back and resealed the envelope after stuffing them back inside. She didn't cry, because right now she wasn't hating Eliot. She was mad. She was mad as hell at him for thinking he could only trust her with this secret.
He was wrong, she wasn't going to be able to keep his secret; at least not all of it. She'd keep it from him though. One thing for sure, Parker knew for a fact when they found him she was gonna strap a damn harness on his ass and throw him off this figgin' building. Because he was such an idiot. A god-damned idiot.
She smiled as she thought about seeing Eliot falling and maybe seeing a little fear in his eyes before he'd close them off and lean into her as she guided him down. Yeah, she was so gonna throw his worthless ass off the building when they got him back and then she was gonna burn this letter.
Because no matter what Eliot thought about himself, she would never be convinced he killed his own brother just because he'd been told to. No, Eliot was deep. He was friggin' volcano deep and if anyone needed a reason to kill, it was Eliot Spencer. No matter what he said, Eliot was trained to protect and at heart he always killed because someone else needed protecting. And what's more she knew he didn't know the truth. There was more here than he was telling her in his letter.
She reattached her harness and moved to the roof's edge slipping the letter back inside her shirt as she smiled deeply and made a promise to the man. She was gonna save his worthless ass even if he didn't think it was worth saving. She was gonna save Eliot she thought as she jumped off the building.
Roughly about 4:00 AM Uzbekistan time
Roughly about 6:00 PM Boston time
After finishing his call to Vance, Quinn had received a call from his contact. If he could get his butt to the airfield the guy could fly him out right now and get him to his exchange plane in time to get to Boston before nightfall. Since Uzbekistan was about ten hours ahead of Boston, he'd arrive there when it was still today.
Sometimes he hated thinking in terms of days when he had to travel somewhere where the time zone was ahead. He always felt a little like he was time traveling when he could get back to the states before he'd actually left. He would call Vance and tell him exactly when to expect him once he was in the air, but right now he needed to hurry.
It was closing in on 4 am here and the streets were dark, so anyone traveling this time of night would be noticed if anyone else was up and awake to notice. He quickly stuffed his things in his duffle bag and used the back stairs to exit the hotel. He'd paid his bill ahead so there was no need for the process of checking out. No one in his line of work ever really worried about checking out anyway. You never knew for sure when you'd be having to make an exit, so rule of thumb was to pay for several days in advance.
As he slid behind the steering wheel of the jeep he'd rented, his mind took on the memories of his own life in the military and how things had once been good. Hell, he'd even been friends with Eliot once. He'd been on a couple of missions with the man when he was leading his own black team. The guy had been young, but he was good at what he did and he always made sure they all got out.
That was until Lucas Malone ended up on a mission with both Eliot and Quinn. That mission had been the beginning of the end of any friendship between the two. It had been the end for both of them. They never worked with a team again after that. Eliot went his way and Quinn went his. But they both knew it was because of what happened to Lucas.
Quinn sighed as he thought of that mission. If Kat knew just how well he and her brother had known Eliot she'd probably never agree to help the man. But it was because of Eliot that her brother had even been brought back to the states after… well just after.
Luke wasn't in black ops like Quinn or Eliot. He'd been a member of the 20th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, but he'd been assigned to help get him and Eliot to their destination. Quinn and Eliot were there in Bagdad to liberate a freedom fighter that was being held in one of the city's buildings.
Their driver had just let the two of them off at the spot where they'd meet up again in an hour when they were attacked. They were there for a combat operation and a sniper had found them. Luke went down first protecting his younger companion, the driver. Luke had been only 28. The same age as both himself and Eliot.
It had been Eliot who'd grabbed Luke and pulled him behind a broken wall for some protection, but the damage was done. Luke was gone and when the military got word back to the government the blame had been put on the mission and the mission's leader, Eliot.
Eliot had been leading the mission and it had just been a coincidence that Luke had been sent to guide them in. Quinn hadn't seen him since basic. Luke wanted to be an officer so he went one way while Quinn followed the dark path. He wanted to be the hero, the guy who swooped in undercover of darkness and rescued the hostages and made America proud.
Boy had he gotten an eye opener when he'd met Spencer and he'd told him what he was really in store for. Eliot had been the same age as Quinn, but he'd been doing this a lot longer and he was the Commander. He was a leader. Quinn learned what he could from Spencer, but he'd never completely agreed with the man on everything and when he'd lost Luke he blamed Eliot too.
Eliot had blamed himself as well. He took every man he lost as a personal loss. But Quinn knew now that it wasn't Eliot's fault anymore than it was Luke's. The person to blame was the sniper and he'd enjoyed every minute he'd spent taking that ne guy apart piece by piece. Spencer didn't know he'd found the last sniper later on or that he'd taken him out, but Quinn knew and he knew Luke knew. It had taken a long time, but he'd found one of the snipers and learned that Eliot had taken out the others when he'd been captured after that mission. So all of them were gone now and Luke had been avenged.
He sighed as he drove through the dark heading back to help a man he'd once blamed for taking his best friend. He didn't blame him anymore, but once things had been said it was hard to unsay them, and in a way Quinn was still angry. Eliot had taken the blame then just like he knew he'd still take it today. No matter what had happened, Quinn knew it wasn't Eliot's fault. The man had made sure Kat had a brother to bury and that was more than any other commander had ever done for his men back then from Quinn's experience with the military.
Roughly about 6:30 PM
"Okay, Ford." Major Matthew Whitmore said as he sat across from the mastermind at his dining room table. "Let's go over what you know."
Hardison was still hard at work on his computers running his programs when the two military men arrived just as the Detective was about to leave. Nate asked the detective to stay though and go through what he could with the two military men as both himself and Sophie sat at the table with the them.
Nate had noticed that Parker was missing, but figured she'd sneak back in sometime as she probably needed time alone. She did that a lot and he was willing to look the other way. And he'd spotted the missing envelope from the coffee table just minutes after noticing her absence.
"All we know for sure is Eliot's not dead, but someone is and that person was elderly and related to Eliot. We also know that the people who took him are probably tied to the military." Nate said as he looked at Bonanno for verification.
At Bonanno's nod of agreement, Whitmore looked at Vance to see what he thought they should say with the cop in the room. "Well, we don't know who the remains could be, but we do have an idea who's behind this and it is tied to the military." He paused as he turned to look at Hardison who seemed to be busy at his workstation. "Do you want to have your guy there join us so we can get this all out in one sitting?"
"No need, I hear you guys." Hardison said without breaking his stride of typing on a different computer keyboard for each hand.
At Bonanno's chuckle, Whitmore raised his eyebrows. "Earbuds?" He asked, smiling.
Hardison just nodded as the others at the table watched. "How'd you guess?" He asked, as he finally stopped and turned around to face them.
"Heard you talking about running a program on Eliot's when we walked in." Vance said for Matthew. "But it wouldn't be hard to guess. Eliot's mentioned them once or twice. He's probably never told you how much he actually loves the things."
Hardison seemed surprised at the information, but then he smiled. "My boy like's my toys? Alright." He said nodding and turning back to his computers.
Nate couldn't help a smile at that either. Eliot really did love a lot of Hardison's toys. He just loved driving the guy crazy as well. Just like brothers did. He thought again about how much the two acted like brothers.
"Okay, so where do we start?" Vance asked. "You tell us what happened to Eliot piece by piece and we'll fill you in as we go along. And detective, I don't have to tell you that even though this is currently a criminal case, it won't be pursued as such. Both the victim here as well as the criminals are military and a military court will probably be handling this once when we get Eliot back."
Bonanno looked at the Colonel. Yeah, right he thought with a smirk. "Sure. Just like nothing ever happened, right? You swoop in rescue Eliot and somehow the criminals end up getting away or conveniently dying?" He asked as he thought about this whole mess. He didn't want to admit it, but once he'd have argued jurisdiction. Yeah, once, but not now. He'd let the military do what they needed to do in this case. As long as he didn't see anything or know how this all ended up, he could plainly apply plausible deniability.
"Yeah exactly like that detective." Whitmore answered for them. "Eliot may not be active military, but just in case anyone needs a cover, he's always been listed as inactive and available for recall at anytime. And despite what the general military does, I take care of my guys; good or bad."
"And which is Eliot?" Parker asked coming up to the table. "Because I won't let anyone sit in on this unless you are all in this to get him back no matter what."
The others were surprised by her sudden appearance. Nate quickly recovered and noted that the girl looked better than she'd looked earlier. Like she'd made an important decision about something. He just wondered what she'd found in her letter. He glanced around her and he could plainly see the envelope was now laying back on the coffee table. He smiled at her as he took in her whole demeanor. Yes she'd definitely made up her mind about something and he could only guess that whatever Eliot had said to her, it had renewed her determination in finding the man.
Whitmore stood up to take in the girl his wife had told him a few things about via Eliot. She was a little thing of a girl, but he agreed with Eliot. She could hold her own here. He could see it in her stance. This girl knew what was going to go down and she knew exactly everything she needed to know. He smiled as he motioned for her to take his seat and he moved to sit in the next one.
Parker sat in his offered seat, but she didn't relax. "I mean it. If anyone at this table is thinking of keeping any of the others in the dark, we end this now. I don't want anyone here who isn't going to help Eliot or tell us the truth. No lies, no secrets. I know Eliot's done a lot of bad things, and that this is because of one of them. I also know it's his brother who has him. His not so dead brother."
Parker took in the surprised looks she received from everyone at the the table. She'd had time to think after reading Eliot's letter and she knew that even if Eliot had killed one brother, having a twin meant a lot of things and she knew something Eliot hadn't said in his letter that had her thinking. They all had ties to the military and Damien Moreau. He'd killed his brother alright, but she knew he hadn't killed Evan. Eliot had killed Eaton. And she knew Eliot didn't know which one he'd killed or he'd be behaving differently in his guilt.
No, if Eliot knew he'd actually killed the good brother, he'd be in worse shape in the guilt department. So the one thing they needed here was the truth and they all needed to know so they could make a plan. So Nate could make a plan. She looked at the mastermind and hoped he understood just how important the truth was here. The truth was what they needed.
"Parker's right. The truth, no likes or half truths here. We need the truth. And since Parker has figured out a few things, perhaps we should het her lead this discussion." Nate said as he motioned for her to take the floor. He knew she needed this and he knew once they had the truth then they could all focus on stealing their Eliot back.