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For Your Toys Only (Episode 12)


Episode Twelve
Parting Ways
Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

They drove along for a while, Jack figuring out what was going on. The only way Alice had been able to find him was if the cell phone in his pocket had some sort of bug. He’d worried about this for some time before gently pushing it from his left hand pocket and letting it slide to the floor under his seat. He kept his eyes open for a secluded place to pull over. The first scenic stop that he saw, he pulled the car over into one of the small four parking spaces. He stopped the car and got out listening for approaching traffic. All he could hear though was the quite of the country.

“What are you doing?” Alice asked as he walked back towards the trunk of the car.

“It’s not paranoia this time.” He said as he opened the trunk and pulled an old back canvas back pack from it. “They really are out to get me.”

“Jack, we can get back to the Agency.” She smiled at him, but it was false. “Everything is going to be fine.”

“The Agency is being run by Mikelson.” He said. “Maybe not for long, but for long enough. Bauer killed Ricco’s brother because he wanted to warn Ricco about working against them. If he was going to kill Ricco, it was to shut him up. Part of what’s going on here is an inside job. I can’t trust anybody in the government, which is why you’re going to drive this car to Lima like I asked or you’re going to go tell them everything you know about me in order to help hunt me down.”

“But Jack.” She pleaded, trying not to. She was supposed to be a professional after all.

“We don’t have time.” He tossed the keys back to her. “When they catch you, and they will, just tell them you were trying to get me back to The Agency so you could turn me in to friends out of some kind of loyalty or something.”

“We can go in to The Agency, you can be turned in there.” She reached into her coat. “I can turn you into friends, make sure Bauer doesn’t get you.”

“You’re going to take me in Alice?”

“It’s not just that K is off the street, you’ve annoyed people.” She kept her hand in her coat, but didn’t draw or move to act more.

“I do that.” He nodded.

“We can at least get you in front of The Agency’s Board.” She made some movement with her right hand that looked like she was adjusting her grip on her gun. “They like you. Most people like you, but you strain the leash a lot.”

“Are you ready to kill me Alice?” he asked, not moving. “Because if not, I suggest you take your hand from your gun. You should know better than that.”

“Sorry Jack.” She said lowering her hand to her side. “But you can’t keep this up.”

“I can and I will.” He swung the bag up onto his shoulder. “If I have to take on every member of the government to do it.”

“C’mon Jack.” She looked up and down the empty street. “You can’t take on The Agency and the NSB. They’ve got a thousand men on standby at any moment.”

“I’ve got a friend in New York.” He smiled at her. “He’s got this thing he says whenever he’s told that there are insurmountable odds.”

“What’s that?” She asked.

“That’s okay.” He told her. “I’ve got lots of bullets.”

“I often wonder what they call pervasive paranoia when mixed with supreme arrogance.”

“Being Welsh-Irish.” He laughed and then listened for traffic, which wasn’t in evidence. “We know you bastards are out to get us, but that’s okay because we’re out to get you too.”

She laughed and put her hand up over her mouth, a motion that reminded him of just how beautiful she was. She shook her head and looked down at the black leather boots that she had zipped up over her pants.

“Okay, now get in the car and go.” He told her waving at the Hudson. “I don’t even want you to know which direction I went. And don’t hurt my car. When K’s all better I’ll be coming back for it.”

“Will you be coming back to work?”

“A lot of that it going to depend on whether or not I can rescue Santa.”

“You really have a lead?”

“I really do.” He nodded.

“Okay.” She walked towards the car and turned around to see him still looking at her. “Good luck.”

“Thanks.”

She got in the car and started to drive away, and he couldn’t help himself but to wave at her as she did. As she went around a corner, Jack considered and not for the first time, that paranoia had its privileges. It was like membership in that way, except you didn’t get a card that could be tracked every time you used it. He walked into the woods and out of existence for the moment, tossing the back pack onto one shoulder and listening to the false plates bounce against each other as he did.

All he would have to do now would be to find a car that he could put the plates on and liberate from its owners. He had checked his guns thoroughly the night before, and even if there was some sort of tracking device he might have missed, the shock from firing the gun would have destroyed it. He figured keeping the guns was pretty safe, this wasn’t Europe after all. Having a gun was like having a wallet here, even if he was a wanted man and would have to think like that.

Still, even if he had to run from the government, he still had a job to do. He was going to be saving Santa Claus, even without the official backing of the government. All he had to do was get himself a pre-paid phone so that he could make some calls and he would have all the support he needed. He wondered if he might not just get away with using his old phone, that was an idea anyway.

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