CHAPTER Marco opened his eyes slowly and stared at the wall in front of him until the room stopped spinning. His mouth was dry, and the ropes that held him to the chair were cutting into his wrists and ankles. He glanced around the room, and his vision started to spin again. Marco closed his eyes and gritted his teeth against the dizziness. He heard the door open, and the sound of someone walking across the room. Marco felt the person stop in front of the chair, and he sensed that he was being looked over. Suddenly, a hand grabbed his chin and forced his face up. Marco opened his eyes and looked into a face that he detested. "Comfortable?" "Get away from me Sarah." Sarah Jacobs smiled sweetly. "Would it kill you to be polite to me…just once?" She let go of his chin, then backhanded him swiftly. Marco's head whipped back, and he absently wondered at the pretty stars he saw. He slowly looked back at Sarah. "Since you asked; no, I'm not comfortable." He could taste blood in his mouth, and silently cursed the woman standing in front of him. Psychotic, vindictive bitch!! "Aw, uncomfortable?" Sarah mocked. "Gee, that's just too damn bad." She turned and walked to the door. "Always a pleasure." Marco said as she walked out of the room. He itched to ask where Daphne and Casey were, but he knew that him worrying would be exactly what Sarah wanted. He was not willing to play any of her mind games. Sarah returned shortly with a small case. Marco watched as she put it down, opened it, and took out a hypo-needle. She checked the dosage, then turned to him. "Have you ever done synth?" she asked. "Of course you haven't…you're a goody-goody." Marco's attention was fixed on the hypo-needle as Sarah approached him. "Get away from me." Marco said. He wet his lips as Sarah grabbed his right upper arm. "Don't…please." "Relax Marco…you might just like it." Marco tried to pull away, but the ropes prevented him from moving. "Come on, think about this Sarah. What good am I going to be to you if I'm all drugged up?" Sarah looked at him as if she was considering his words, then pressed the hypo-needle against the inside of his elbow. "Damn you!" Marco spat at her. "You Bitch!" Sarah laughed softly. "Be nice." Marco gritted his teeth against the feelings that started to wash over him. One moment he was calm, then exhilarated, then frightened. He could hear voices, but when he opened his eyes, he was alone. Marco saw a movement in the corner of the room, and his eyes grew wide as spiders started to crawl out of a hole in the wall. He watched in fear as they started to come toward him, and could feel his panic build as they began to crawl on his legs. The one thing in the world guaranteed to stop Marco cold were large spiders: and these things were huge. Marco closed his eyes and whimpered softly as the spiders climbed along his bare arms and onto his shoulders. "Noooo!" Marco yelled. God no! "Help me Daphne. Please." He whispered. "I'm here." Marco opened his eyes. The spiders were gone. "Over here." Marco looked. "Bella!" Daphne stood by the door. She smiled at him. "You do what you have to do." she said, then disappeared. "NO!" Marco screamed. "COME BACK!" Daphne inhaled sharply and sat up. She jumped as someone touched her arm. "Casey?" She looked at him in confusion. "Ma'am." Casey Matte said. "Are you okay?" Daphne looked around the small room they were in. "What happened? Where's Marco?" Casey sat on the side of the cot. "From what I remember…we were on a training run…" He stared blankly at the wall as if trying to recall the events. "Den we …got ambushed? Next 'ting I know, I wake up in 'dis room. Marco is no where 'round." He got up and walked to the door. Daphne nodded slowly as she looked around. She herself could remember no more than what Casey had said. "I do believe that we are in trouble." "Dat's an understatement." The Cajun replied as he felt around the door. "Sealed up tight." "Wonder who nabbed us?" Daphne said. "And what have they done with Marco?" Casey came back and sat down. "I'm sure Marco is fine." They both looked up as they heard someone scream. Daphne jumped up and ran to the door. "That was Marco!" She started to pound on the door. "Marco!…I'm here!" A small window in the door opened, and Daphne stepped back in surprise. "Sarah." "Hello Daphne." Daphne punched at Sarah 's face, and yelped in pain as her hand hit an invisible force field. "Temper, temper." Sarah teased. She looked at Casey. "My, but you're a cute one." "Where's Marco?" Daphne demanded. "He's fine." Sarah said. "In fact, I was just introducing him to the wonders of synth." She smiled. "He seems to be enjoying it." "Let me out of here." Daphne said calmly. "Perhaps we can discuss what it is you want from us." "What I want," Sarah began, "is for you to be dead. Unfortunately, that is not part of the overall plan….yet." She stepped back and closed the small window. "Sarah!" Daphne yelled and began to bang on the door. "Get back here you slut!" Casey touched her arm. "She's gone." Daphne looked at him, then kicked the door in frustration before she went back over to the cot. Sooo, that was Sarah, Casey thought. "What now?" "Now….we wait." Daphne answered. Mitch hung up the vidphone in disgust and sat back down in his seat. "Well?" Hawk asked. "Nothing." Mitch answered. "Nothing on the sonar, nothing on the satellite… nothing." He pounded his fist on the top of the desk. "Where the hell are they?!" "We'll find them." Hawk said, although he shared the frustration. "And I think I know where to start." Mitch looked up at him. "Where?" "I need you to secure me a visitors pass to see Justin McGilney." Marco looked up slowly as the door to the small room opened. Sarah walked in, carrying the small case with her. She approached Marco and brushed the sweat soaked hair off of his forehead. "How was it?" "How the hell do you think it was." Marco answered, his heavily accented voice hoarse. It had been the worst experience of his life. "Where's Daphne and Casey?" He hadn't meant to ask, but it came out anyway. "They're fine……for now." Sarah opened the case and took out the needle. "No!" Marco said loudly. Sarah smiled as she pushed the hypo-needle against his arm again. "Why don't you just kill me and get it over with?" Marco demanded. "We're not going to kill you." Sarah answered. "No?" "No." "Then get the hell out of here and leave me alone!" Marco yelled. He involuntarily shrunk back as Sarah touched his face. "Don't touch me…..ever." Sarah smiled, then slapped him hard. "Here's something to think of during your time alone…..Do you think Daphne and this Casey will…grow close while they're together in that room?" She smiled at the look on Marco's face. "I do believe he was comforting her a few moments ago." Marco inhaled deeply. "It's not going to work Sarah…Try your mind games on someone else." "Just…think about, okay?" she purred, and walked out of the room. Marco commanded his mind not to think about it, but he found it hard to think. This stuff is bad shit he thought…Damn, I'm really starting to hate that bitch! He turned his head as he heard a voice, but no one was there. He started to pull at the ropes that held him, hoping to cause some pain to block out the effects of the drug. His mind cleared momentarily as the rope scraped across his left ankle, so he concentrated on prolonging the pain. Marco tried to think of a way to escape as he moved his ankle, then stopped when he realized that he would need two good legs to get out of wherever it was he was being held. Marco suddenly remembered the conversation that he had with Derek a few weeks before. Derek had said that sometimes psychics could pick up a friends distress if that person concentrated on the psychic. I hope he's right….What have I got to lose. Marco closed his eyes, tried to clear his mind, and concentrated on Derek Crowman. He slowly let the fear he was feeling slip into his thoughts. Sebastian read through the reports once again, hoping to see something that would lead him to his friends. He rubbed his eyes, and switched over to the U.S.B. reports. He looked up as Derek walked in. "Nobody wants to do a training run." Derek said. "They all want to find Daphne, Marco and Casey." Sebastian sat back in his chair. "Fine by me….Chances are that the Fin Corp. has them, if we find them, we might find the main base." He thought for a moment. "I'll contact the Admiral, and work out our own search plan." "Okay, I'll let everyone--" Derek broke off as a strange feeling hit him, causing him to stagger slightly. What the hell?!?! He held up his hand to silence Sebastian, and concentrated on what was happening. He had never experienced an emotional rush quite like this one before, and it took awhile to pull all the piece together. Images of spiders flashed through his mind, and he closed his eyes against the intense feelings of fear, anger and worry. Then, as fast as the feelings and images started, they ended. Derek opened his eyes and sat down heavily on the couch. He put his hands over his face and shivered slightly. "Are you all right?" Sebastian asked. Derek removed his hands from his face and nodded slowly. "Sarah has them." He said softly. "How do you know?" "Marco just told me." CHAPTER Marco lost track of time as he tried to count the number of times that Sarah had been in to ‘visit’ him. The days seemed to merge together, and he was unsure of anything as he weaved in and out of consciousness. He thought he was right when he guessed about twelve visits, but he tried to refuse to believe it. Twelve times she’s shot me full of synth?????? NO!!!……..I….I can’t……but…… Daphne and Casey looked up as the door to the small room opened. A body was shoved in, and the door closed as the person crumpled to the floor. Daphne went to the body and turned it over gently. "Oh Marco." she whispered as she looked into his face. She touched his ashen cheek, and his eyes flew open. "Bella?" Marco whispered. His eyes were unfocused, and he seemed to look past her. "I'm right here." "Please stay!" Marco begged, his voice breaking. "Don't disappear again!" "I won't." Daphne promised as she felt tears start to run down her cheeks. Casey crouched beside her. "He look awful. What dey do to him?" "They drugged him." Daphne answered. She remembered seeing the same look in her mother's eyes whenever Aleena had used synth. "Help me get him onto the cot." Casey went to Marco’s other side and helped Daphne move him to the cot. They laid him down gently, and Daphne took her husband's hand as she sat beside him. She jumped, as Marco yelled and sat up quickly. He looked at her, then pushed himself back against the wall. "GO AWAY!" he screamed. He put his hands out in front of him to keep her back. "Marco, it's me." Daphne said in a soothing voice. "No! You're not real!" Marco squeezed his eyes shut. "Leave me alone!.... Please!" He opened his eyes again and looked at her. Suddenly, Marco struck out violently and pushed Daphne off the cot. She fell into Casey, who was standing behind her, and the two of them landed on the floor. Casey laid there, stunned for a moment as his body registered the pain that traveled through it. Daphne quickly sat up and looked at him briefly. "You okay?" Casey nodded and sat up slowly. He looked at Marco, who returned his gaze. Daphne stood up, and Marco pushed himself closer to the wall. He stared at her, and his eyes seemed to clear momentarily. "Bella?.......Help me." he begged in a whisper, then fell over onto the cot. Daphne rushed to him and checked his breathing. "He passed out." she said in relief as she rolled him onto his side. She looked down at his pale face and sunken eyes. "You're dead Sarah." she whispered. Marco slowly opened his eyes and ran a hand over his face. He stopped and looked at his hand, surprised to see that he was no longer tied up. He realized that he was laying down, and tried to stretch slowly. He stopped when his foot touched something soft and he raised his head to look. Relief flooded through him when he saw Daphne as she sat sleeping at the foot of the cot. Marco glanced to the side, and saw that Casey was asleep in the corner. Marco sat up carefully and ignoring the nauseous felling that hit him, reached out and touched Daphne's arm. Her eyes popped open and she looked at him. "Come here often?" was all he managed to say before Daphne fell into his arms. Marco hugged her gratefully and kissed the top of her head. Daphne finally let go, leaned back and looked at him. "How are you feeling?" "Like I've been to hell and back." Marco told her. His hands started to shake, and he clenched them together in an attempt to calm them. He looked across the room and tried to smile at Casey. "Are you two okay?" Marco asked. "They didn't do anything to you.....did they?" Daphne shook her head. "No, we've been pretty much left alone. Almost like they're waiting for something, or someone to deal with us." She smiled and took his hand in hers. "Sarah dropped by a few times to taunt and gloat." "She dropped by to visit me a few times a day." Marco said coolly. "What happened to you?" Daphne asked. "We could hear you screaming. Did they hurt you?" Her voice broke. Marco brought her hand to his mouth and kissed it. "Sort of...I was tied to a chair." He paused and Daphne noticed the unfocused look in his eyes again. "Sarah kept pumping me full of synth." "For how long?" Marco looked at her, and his eyes cleared. "Since we got here." He closed his eyes. "Probably everytime you heard me scream." He opened his eyes. "How long have we been here?" "'Round tree days." Casey answered. Marco looked at him. "Three days?" he asked weakly. Oh, God! "What do they want with us?" he whispered. "I don't know." Daphne said. "Probably to keep us out of action." "Sorry to have dragged you into this Casey." Marco said. "It's us they want....not you." "I was jus' an added bonus." Casey said and stood up. His shoulder still ached from when he hit the floor. "Any idea where we are?" "None what-so-ever." Marco answered. He swayed slightly and closed his eyes as dizziness hit him. "No me sien to bien." he whispered in Spanish. He pulled his hand out of Daphne's and laid down. "Are you okay?" Daphne asked. Marco stared at her blankly for a few moments. "I think so....I'm not sure." He closed his eyes. "I'll be okay once I get something to eat." Daphne moved down to sit on the floor. She brushed the hair away from his face. "When was the last time you ate?" "I haven't." Marco said. "All they've given me is a bit of water." "What!?" Daphne couldn't believe it! She had noticed that he had lost weight, but she thought it was because of the drugs he had been given. She looked down and discovered that Marco was once again asleep. "Ensign Matte." Daphne said without turning around. "Ma'am!" "We need to work on a plan to get out of here." "Agreed." Casey answered. Wherever here is. New ideas for the story Justin circled around Daphne as she sat helpless in the chair. He looked up at Marco. “Tell me, does she still like it rough?” Marco’s face registered absolute anger as he lunged at Justin. Two guards held Marco back. “You touch her....and I’ll kill you.” Marco said evenly. Justin looked amused, then turned his attention back to Daphne… “Do you remember all the fun we used to have? All the great times we had in your bed?” he glanced at Marco. “I sold the bed the day after I threw you out my window.” Daphne said. Marco stared at Justin, trying to figure out what he was up to. Justin shook his head. “Aw, bella…..” he looked up as Marco grunted….” “What? You call her that also????” Justin looked back at Daphne. ”How sweet.” Daphne looked up at Marco, and saw the anger in his face. She desperately wanted to tell him that Justin was lying…he had never in their entire relationship called her bella. Marco looked into Daphne’s eyes and understood everything…Justin is lying!!!! Peter was a street kid in the underwater colony…tough, & mean…..he grew up on ????? in the streets, and had even run with a gang for a few years. He grabbed the knife and held it out skillfully in front of him….. His face showed no emotion as he circled the other man. Marco stopped and listened at the door before he slowly pushed in open. Evidence of a fight was everywhere, but the room was empty of people. He heard a small moan from behind some boxes, and quietly made his way over to it. He cautiously looked behind the closest box. “Peter!” Marco crouched down quickly and felt for a pulse. He jumped as Peters body jerked. “Your hands are cold.” Peter mumbled. He slowly opened his eyes and looked up. “What happened?” Marco asked. “Are you all right?” Peter nodded slowly. “I think so.” He tried to sit up, but slumped back to the floor. His hand went to his side, then he took it away and looked at it. Marco’s eyes grew wide when he saw the blood on Peter’s hand. “Aw, shit.” Peter looked from his hand, and to Marco’s face. “I seem to be cut.” He said, then closed his eyes. “Peter?” Marco said in a worried voice. “Pete? Shit!” He looked as the door opened, and moved quickly out of sight. He glanced around the box, and then stood up. “Christ, Marco!” Sebastian said in alarm. “Don’t do stuff like that.” “Where’s the medic?” Marco demanded. “Peter’s hurt.” Sebastian looked at him briefly, then stuck his head out the door. “In here.” Marco watched as a medic entered, then waved him over. He moved to the side as the medic checked Peter over. Marco looked up as Sebastian joined him. “Please don’t die.” Marco whispered. He closed his eyes as dizziness overtook him. Sebastian grabbed him by the arm, and steadied him. The medic looked up. “I’m fine.” Marco said. He leaned heavily against one of the boxes. “Did you find Daphne and Casey?” Sebastian nodded. “They’re safe.” Marco slams Daphne against the wall. Daphne grunts in pain. Marco- You are going to listen to me! Daphne _ Let go of me! Marco- Not until you hear what I have to say. Now, it is true that I gave Devon my code. Daphne- You betrayed me! Marco- (hurt) How can you possibly think that?! I had to stop him from hurting you. Daphne- You gave him your code! Marco- yeah…….but not my access code. Daphne- What? Marco- (letting go of her) Not that it would mean anything to you now, but I gave him the code that activates my computer siege program. Daphne (staring, until comprehension dawns) Oh….Oh, God…I’m sorry I… Marco- You thought that I betrayed you. Daphne- I…. Marco - Save it! I had to do something so that you wouldn’t have to go through the same pain that I did…..(sadly) I thought you trusted me more than that. Daphne- I don’t know whether to kiss you , or kill you. Marco- I’d prefer the kiss. Daphne- (touching his face) I’m sorry that I doubted you…I should have known. Marco- (kissing her hand) I knew that you would react this way…that’s why I couldn’t tell you that I would tell if he EVER threatened you. I needed your reaction to be real.