From Darkness to Silver Light

Jake glared at the home nurse or more appropriately apartment nurse, as with his right hand he slapped her attention away from himself. She had been trying to place a jacket on to him, dress him, and he wanted no part of it. He could still dress himself.

"I am just trying to help you." She paused to figure out a way to make her job more palatable to the young man, and then continued with, "do you want to catch a cold out there?"

The agent for J.O.Y. rolled his eyes back as he chided her his annoyance about what was being done to him, and what he felt was not needed. "Yes, I do not have much to any feeling in my left arm. You can thank my congenital health disorder for that! But buzzards are not circling my head yet! I can still dress myself. It is only a short walk from the front door to the car, I'm sure sickness by fall air will not strike me in that time!"

She was not taken back by the 17 year old's commenting to circumvent her orders, but she at the same time did not want to distress his parents waiting for him in the next room over. The Anatech family's living room. The young man's parents were waiting for him to finish up getting ready to leave their government provided living arrangements, to take him to his educational service job. That which he was not completely looking forward to attending.

"Fine then, if my services are not needed for this, here put it on." She lightly snapped at Jake holding the jacket out before him, waiting for him to take it from her.

Still glaring at her, Jake Anatech took his denim jacket and not breaking his gaze for a moment, started trying to put it on himself with only his right arm taking action. His back worming with the one active upper limb to try and help it to move the left arm with it's lack of any neurological sensory, into the lite coat's sleeve.

Most of the way through the act he got a push to move at the job a little faster than he would have been comfortable with. From the living room, stepping into the doorway to the kitchen, his father knocked on the wooden frame of it, to voice his concern of the moment. "You aren't going to let that keep you down? Duties start in thirty minutes you know?"

"I know, and it's no problem." Jake said, finishing maneuvering into his jacket.

Following in duckling fashion behind his parents to the family car, he now glared again. But not at them, or intended to reflect his feelings about the nurse which was now living with them. This scowling of his face and feeling of hatred was being directed inwardly to himself. A gesture misinterpreted by all but those who knew him best.

His whole life to as far back as he could recall, he'd been prone to have strokes. The earliest one he could remember happening in kindergarten. Seeing his peers and teacher leaning over him in concern as they waited for the local hospital with their ER staff to arrive on the scene to help him in depth. His teacher swearing under her breath but not out of his hearing range, that she should have paid more attention to his parents' warnings about him, when she'd taken him in as a student.

After entering the car and ignoring his mother's glancing back at him to see how well he could cope with the disability handed to him by the most severe stroke he'd had in his life so far. One which had made him permanently lose some of his nervous system. The agent for JOY buckled himself into his car seat and laid back into it. The car's temperature didn't seem that bad and neither for that matter the temperature he'd felt outside it. This fall so far for just north of Virginia, Washington DC., the District of Columbia was being rather mild for early November.

"Honey, do you have your pills with you?" His mother, Freda asked him still looking at him from the car's front passenger seat.

Grabbing out the pill bottle which in his opinion felt like it should be permanently affixed to his body for need of it's use. Jake replied to her, showing her the bottle shaking it lightly outwards from himself. "Ticlopidine right here!"

Satisfied with his answer, Freda Anatech took on a more relaxed posture and turned her attention to her husband in the car's driver's seat, to then the window in front of her. Worry for her son's welfare was a constant in her daily thoughts. It had been a cross combination of her husband, Otto and Jake's insistence that her son could live any form of a life outside normal school. She felt lucky JOY's headquarters weren't too far from their home. A run if she wanted from her workplace of just a couple blocks if needed.

Otto's concern was no less than his wife's but for him at this moment his mind was not on the silently upset man in the car's backseat. It was focused on part one as he saw it of the daily morning drive. Jake's work part one, his wife's work part two, and then on to his part three. Sometimes this had little interruptions, added tasks like of picking up breakfast if not eaten at home, or a quick stop at the nearest bank they had checking & savings accounts with. D.C. even if one was a seasoned driver to it, was never an easy drive through. Commuters like him traveling to their jobs, tourists wanting to see the sights of their nation's capital, and of course the commuters who were prized in this place, it's politicians who always were in need of special escort.

Forcefully paused at a stop light and looking to see Jake's presents in the car's backseat by way of the inter-roof mounted mirror. Otto questioned his son over his coming work. "Have you been given a new assignment yet? Or are they going to wait some more time about it?"

As the stop light changed over to green, Jake sighed staring out the window nearest to his side and replied, "they aren't waiting any more. All of us today are being given new assignments."

"What sort of assignment do you think you're up for?" His father asked as he rounded the car on to the final street needed in the first of it's morning destinations.

"Anything dad that I can do. I don't believe in limiting myself and you know that." Jake answered snapping lightly as the reply came out.

"No need to be snippy with me, Jake. I don't want you handed fluff assignments. You know that." Otto replied in mild frustration.

Pulling up the car to the grated entrance of JOY's headquarters. Something which didn't appear as anything of significance to the untrained eye. Otto slowed in speed and rolled down his window to give a small grin at the building's outer most stationed guard. To then move forward just a little more to have the guard's line of sight fall in line with the vehicle's rear passenger window.

Jake not rolling down his window, with force gave a lite tug of his cheek muscles to give a smile too at the expectant guard. Seeing the young man in the car's backseat was all that was needed by the uniformed man to know it was ok to let the car through and onwards to the government building. That while he well knew the child's parents, he wanted to stay formal about his work. The kid was still the only one of them that actually worked there.

-----

Excused from having to dress complete in normal work attire, much to his disliking. Jake stood as straight as he could lined up with his fellow JOY agents awaiting their secondary sign-in a.k.a. roll call. Their chief a man named Drake Aquino, doing his normal eying up & down of what he only personally to himself and to them, called his officers. A terming not used by other adult staff of the organization where as they used the terming of agent on the children. This contradicted title to Mr. Aquino however who felt the lads and at least one lass, deserved. After all J.O.Y. outside it's acronym form stood for:

.Junior
.Officers
of
.Yeong-Gi

The eying was his way of making the youths feel on their toes as they reported to him for duty. Not a one of them ever looked improperly presentable during their shift time, at least not at this time of day. If such a thing ever did occur it was likely only due to a new agent being among them who didn't know better. JOY while being for the most part very peaceful, and over all above anything meant to be helpful to others in the extreme, had a mild military air to it. Likely that was one of the reasons it was valued to those who knew of it outside wanting to make use of it's officers. The order it demanded on it's young representatives. Their parents while wanting their children to have respectable jobs, knew this would in part to them values to hopefully be held by them for the rest of their lives.

After Chief Aquino finished his roll call of his charges, the company flanked to Jake's right side spoke up, directing her words outwards but clearly meant for the man at her left. "He failed to note that your shirt is on backwards."

Meant only as a verbal poke in jest of him, a verbal poke that from only the lady beside him, he knew had nothing meant emotionally salted intended in it. It still prompted him to retaliate against her. This retaliation, a verbal poke back at her. "Yes Katy, oh and your shirt. I couldn't help but notice this about yours. It's not buttoned up all the way. Nice bra."

Heather Tabin then smiling, hit Jake for his reply. The action drawing attention on the pair by their fellow agents, most of which still near by from the just dismissed roll call. It was not a hard hit, she was his friend and hard hits were only reserved by her to use on him when on the job and she felt he deserved them.

"Katy?" Another agent questioned the red headed 19 year old woman, who he now stood in front of.

Jake answered the questioning agent, "Katy Correct, she is Katy Correct."

Trying to repress a laugh, the man who'd questioned the girl but had then been answered by her friend, in amazement blurted out his thoughts about her nickname. "You're nicknamed from that kid's show?! Because you help him?!"

Turning to Jake the agent now and laughing lightly he continued on to state, "that then makes you the dumb bucktoothed moron right? Darryl -."

Jake halted the agent's speech in cupping his one good hand over the man's mouth, "don't." Anatech finished the agent's words, but not how originally they were intended if however still right.

With the absence of Chief Aquino from their presents, from the room beyond where the agents of JOY stood in awaiting their duly assignments; which were always hoped to be of a larger magnitude then paperwork or dogging senior staff on outbound jobs. Came reason for their anticipation to suddenly be heightened, Aquino's Deputy Chief, a man only a few years older than Jake, Vincent Sasso entered their presents. Deputy Chief Sasso had numerous jobs he had to daily undertake for the organization but as far as it's namesake agents were concerned, only one of those registered with them for good recognition. The handing out of their assignments. What gave them practice for greater things that might as any, all of them hoped to dream. Save lives and secure the safety of others at risk of high threat.

Most of the time work of that scope was not given to them. With all the world change going on around them, change for the better best assumed. Given the recent news reports of the destruction of the Berlin Wall. They found their presents needed less and less. Today seeing Sasso's face looking brighter than normal, showed promise of exception.

Real work got handed to all of them but one. Jake objected immediately when noting this. Not even a fluff assignment as his father would have called it. Being the day's coffee boy didn't even rank close to being a fluff assignment in his eyes. No, coffee boy ranked as a toxic dumping on his intellect.

"Heather can you use a partner?" Jake asked his friend, as he tried to contain his anger about the insult just given to him.

Pity was not a quality pronounced in Tabin's outlook on others in need. That as a key component in why she and Jake got along so well. She didn't treat him like the wisp of a dying man most of the world, he felt treated him. So when she replied to his question, Jake got a double shock.

"No, but fieldwork? I'll see what is needed."

-----

Nothing during the course of the day felt interesting to Jake. Office work highlighted by snack runs for his superiors and a few times for fellow JOY agents. None of them Heather. The black haired young man wished in silence over the course of his shift he'd see her at least once that day before they had to clock out. Sure he'd see her then but in pondering her words in his head over and over, that she might get some work for him. Work that didn't feel beneath him. He itched to have something more interesting to do than to make short runs to the Bertucci's near by for his co-worker's office dining.

Only one thing of interest happened during the day and it was something he felt better forgotten. JOY had a small section of it devoted to science with employees working in it which didn't get out much to see the light of day. That was why they needed his service for refreshments. It was also why he and most others avoided the scientists & techs working there. They sometimes did weird things in their work which while making sense to them in the name of progress as they thought of it. Just confused those not in their tight social circle.

Today Jake Anatech given an order for a small pizza and handed money to buy it. Being forced to come into the science division's work space. He kept his eyes low entering the lab area."Who ordered a pizza?" He asked, with his attention fixed on the floor just before him.

"With pineapple and mushrooms on it?" Questioned a man from some where off in the distance of the room.

Sickened by the thought of the toppings and making a face reflecting that feeling, Jake answered the questioning man. "Yes, unfortunately."

"Bring it here," the man who had ordered the somewhat gross Italian dish waved for Jake to come to him.

Seeing Jake start to slowly move forward, and at that minus being looked up at him to see for who the teenager had to deliver the pie to. The worker requested Jake to do something the JOY agent was avoiding. "Look up, and head over here."

Jake did as ordered, his brown eyes looked and quickly found the ordering scientist or tech, he wasn't sure which. The man was plump with glasses and soft in hair color. The work space surrounding him, not as strange to see as what he'd encountered back when he'd first stepped foot in it a few years back when he had just started working for JOY.

Moving towards the man, though Jake did finally catch sight of a, pausing he wasn't sure. He also feared his own guessing at the sight. Looking at a table that was mostly barren, laid on top of it a dog of good size, a white and black spotted lanky boxer. Whether it was breathing or not, he wasn't sure. Had they killed the poor beast for their studies or was it just playing a trick.

"The dog," that was all he could say questioning, pointing at the animal laying completely still on the ivory table top.

"Is dead," exclaimed a woman passing by Jake, as she with care carried a beaker of some kind of greenish-blue fluid to a station, filled it's self with other fluids of all sorts of colors.

Looking not to the woman but to the fat man that had ordered the sickening pizza. Now feeling more sick, Jake had an exclamation of his own to say, "You keep dead animals in here!?"

"Lunch first gopher boy." The man replied, not answering to Jake's statement but seeming to say he might with the presentation of food.

Once being handed over the box containing the pizza and change left over from the transaction which had purchased it. The large man started to talk again, in between hungrily eating. "We don't normally keep dead animals in here. That dog it did not die because of us. Don't worry about that. We don't kill things here. No, the dog you see there, it died while in training. Drug sniffer, it could not cope with what it found. Too over powering, the narcotics it found damaged the poor animal's brain into not working."

"So what is it doing here?" Jake questioned, feeling the need to press answers out of the man.

"We are trying something revolutionary here. We are giving the dog a new brain!" The ginger blonde haired man answered smiling, before taking another bite of his pizza.

"You frankenstein weirdo," came Jake's response as he turned away from the man contentedly working away at his meal, to shake his head in starting to leave the older man.

"Not a flesh and blood, muscle brain, gopher! Computer young man, machine!" The large man shouted at Jake, who by this time was almost at the entrance to the room.

Entering the door to the lab once more, prepared to leave the place. Jake could not help but say his last two cents over the matter of the dead dog. "Let the K-9 rest in peace!"

"But it will give the dog a new chance at life!" Came a response from within the lab, muffled through the now closed door to it.

After hearing that, Jake refused to say anything further, figuring he could not argue with the scientists and techs about their work ethics. Why would they listen to him when he had been careful to avoid their lab as much as possible over the years. Seniority of any sort, he had not.

-----

Come five pm when JOY started to shut down for the day with those that worked all day in it's headquarters, started clocking out. And ones that didn't have to stay in it's walls but were lucky enough to get to do fieldwork, started coming in to do the same as them. Making their official leave of the place. Jake clocked out and waited for Heather to return to the building, hoping he'd finally have the words she'd uttered to him that morning, given something good followed up with.

Heather returned a half an hour later, when nearly the whole building was deserted and by the point Jake had already called his parents letting them know he had, a lie which bettered the moment, still had important work to do. He was bored when she found him, sitting backwards in a chair, head resting on it's top rail listening to music from a hand held tape player, she could only faintly hear from his headphones.

Bending down to his eye level so he could see her, she questioned him to make him aware of her presents. "What are you listening to?"

Jake pressed the stop button of the tape machine with a loud clicking sound before answering her, "Piccirillo."

Having never heard the name of the band before, confused Heather had to question him further. "What kind of music is pic-curi-oh?"

"Oh madam, you poor lady it's sort of a pop-jazz sound, very invigorating." He answered coyly to her, getting up from his seat to stand before her.

"Poor lady has work for you." She stated to him grabbing his short tie in one hand, smiling. Her other hand fishing into her pants pocket at the same time for something he had not a clue to what it could be she was after.

"Thank you, and second what are you doing with my tie?" He questioned her.

Finding what it was she had been fishing for, Heather took a pen cap sized device out and proceeded to pin it to the underside of the young man's tie. Answering him, she stated "An assignment that had basically been trashed, that lucky you can be dealt with tonight if you want it, which I assume you do. As for your tie, I have just put a microsized walkie-talkie on it. We will be working together on this job."

"Will there be danger?" He asked her, eyebrows raised.

Placing her what would be receiver walkie-talkie into her broach boasting the insignia of JOY. That being a simplified arrowhead pointing upwards with abstracted wings coming out to either side of it. The woman replied, "unknown, this job wasn't felt by our superiors worth looking into to take care of. The party we have to intercept if they exist is going by unknown identification."

"What is the job?" Jake asked Heather, eager to know beyond it's small mystery, what it was.

Clicking a button unseen, hidden on the device by the broach, she answered, "testing," mouth close to the jewelry and gadget. Before continuing to say, "Some unknown is rumored to be breaking into the Montgomery Building tonight to I kid you not. Steal records which shield the general public from knowledge of real fantasy creatures. Unicorns, dragons, and crap like that."

"Ok, I do think you're kidding. That sounds like crap," Jake replied, looking not only puzzled but disappointed in hearing what the lady had in mind for him to intervene in.

"It's all I could get a hold of. Remember, this assignment of intercepting and stopping that rumored unknown was trash bound." Heather replied to him, before adding, "how well could you hear my voice over your walkie-talkie a moment ago?"

Fidgeting with the gadget's placement in his tie, and not looking hopeful anymore about his future. Jake responded, "I could hear you well. This assignment, it sounds as useful as a dead dog."

"What?" The female JOY agent got confused by her friend's tail end of reply.

"Not important, lets-," he caved in knowing beggars couldn't be choosers. "Lets get this over with." He finished, looking resigned about the matter.

-----

No real appointed time existed which told the pair when they should start on the voluntary job they'd undertaken. The staff of the Montgomery Building, a place that's purpose was that of information of storage for various government organizations. Recognizing who Jake and Heather represented, allowed them admittance to the building after being told the pair were on assignment. What that assignment was exactly, neither wanted to fully divulge to the building's staff.

A mission to stop a potential intruder from stealing some of their quote un quote records concerning the existence of real mythological creatures, not a matter they felt would be taken seriously likely by anyone. The higher of position staff at JOY were certainly proof of that. It was better to have them think every day documents were at risk like census data or last year's Pentagon spending reports.

Sitting in an office that now abandoned staff had told the agents they could make use of while they awaited their quarry to surface. Jake and Heather finished a meal they had created from a set of vending machines that were stationed in a near by hallway. Junk food but they didn't care. If this evening was anything, it was the chance to have time with a friend who looked up to her for guidance and equal treatment not normally given by others but highly appreciated. That was Heather Tabin's outlook on the night. Jake Anatech's outlook was different. Friendship yes, but full partnership in the matter of their circumstance to come, no.

Balling up a Chunky Bar wrapper and dumping it into a trash bin by his side, Jake broke news to Heather he knew she'd likely disapprove of, but hopefully would accept. "Officer Heather, Agent Heather, however you'd like this in the official report once this is over with. It's late, this would be the right time of night some one might try and strike for stealing anything. I want to deal with the job solo."

Mouth caught on her Yoo-hoo bottle, Heather stared to Jake in shock for a moment before putting down the drink to her side and replying to him. "This might not be anything and at the same time it could be real. Jake, I'm your friend, your Katy. Other JOY agents you know typically don't work alone."

"Could you give me this one? Heather, you seem to be the only person in my life right now who doesn't treat me like I have limits outside my parents. I want that respect to extend to others who work with us as well," Jake replied.

Now it was Heather's turn to accept what was handed to her. She would not deny him this because clearly it meant a lot to the man. Taking one last swig of her drink, she answered him. "We don't know if this assignment will even have true validation to it in the end. But you know what? I am senior to you so I will put in my report about this, that you did this job, the action end of it by yourself."

Getting up, Jake smiled at her and started to depart her with what he wanted as his ending words to her over the assignment's means of being carried out. "As Chief Aquino says, good lass."

Not wanting those to be his ending words during the active part of the voluntary assignment. Heather added to Jake as he cleared her sight almost completely, "your walkie-talkie."

Jake fingering the gadget concealed on the underside of his tie, turned it on. Wanted solo mission or not, simple indirect communication with his best friend was something he refused to neglect. Speaking into his tie, he replied to her, "working and ready."

-----

The intruder came later than Jake was expecting which relieved disappointment that had been steadily building in him when his solo watch went pass just under one hour in wait. The person, whoever they were had done nothing yet illegal the teen had noticed except the breaking into of the establishment. Nothing was held in their possession that didn't already look a part of what the person had come in with. The movement in dim light of the person seemed off and while appearing stealthful, was not still normal in that. That intrigued Jake about them enough to just watch to see what the person would do next.

How the member of JOY knew this had to be the expected mystery thief was by their outfitting. A deep purple formfitting suit covering the whole body except in certain places of it. Feet in shoes of matching color, and gloves that matched as well. Plus a mask which made Jake now truly wonder who was now occupying a space only a few yards away from him. It was not the sort of mask any trained member of JOY knew to pigeon-hole a criminal with. At least not the standard run of the mill types.

The mask covered the whole head of the intruder and where one would see out of it was a fine mesh fabric sewn in flawlessly. It too matched the color of the rest of the criminal's outfit but it did have one thing on it not seen any where else on the figure's body. A stylized spider which in yet a deeper tone of purple, took up the face of the mask.

Speaking into his walkie-talkie softly, Jake questioned Heather about the person's appearance, hoping she could match it up to any gang or underhanded political groups she knew of. The young man doing the action hidden from the being he was watching which seemed to be moving with the grace of a silent nightmare through out the room.

"A spider, Heather. Surely some whacked out group uses that for a symbol we should know of." He finished in his questioning to her.

At barely a whisper, Heather replied to him, "I'm sorry Jake but that description doesn't sound familiar to me."

"Copy," came his answer to her, the last words he felt like saying to her before confrontation to the masked intruder.

Finding what the cloaked criminal sought, the man or woman, Jake couldn't tell, started to pick the fully enclosed lock on their chosen file cabinet. That's when he finally decided to confront them. Minus a gun to threaten the unknown with, because his age didn't allow that yet according to JOY's rule book. The boy had a taser at ready for them in his good hand for the other to see.

"Stop it right there." Jake demanded of the intruder sternly.

The masked figure glanced at Jake in a slow motion at least with their head, while in quick movement still picking the lock. It unnerved him how his confrontation was proceeding and a lump involuntarily went into his throat. Not professional he thought, his reaction, but this needed to be addressed.

"Sir or madam these are government files you are trying to break into. As it stands you are already guilty of the crime of breaking into this facility." He stated to the unknown that by now was not faced in his direction but was focused back again on the file cabinet alone.

Starting to get upset at the person's odd and distant acknowledgement of him. Jake put down his taser to rip off the mask of the other person. Maybe a true face to face would jolt their reaction to his demand of them.

When the mask was removed Jake was stunned to see it was not a normal face beneath it. It was the face of something not human. Ugly and terrifying, pass fear he felt it induce another reaction in him that he knew all too well. With the onset of a stroke emerging, and in his failure to do any action beneficial to his welfare at that moment the thing took action before he did.

The human in body structure only with covered hands, but uncovered face which shown of rotting things. Not only decay of small bony things unknown & dead, but also earthen ground of moss, twigs, dirt, sharply pointed stones, and pointed ears. It grabbed for the taser Jake had discarded on the floor in front of it and pressed it on the boy, unleashing it's weaponized electric current upon him.

-----

After a long silence coming from the other end of Jake's walkie-talkie, Heather decided anger at her should be forgiven by her partner if it came at all about her checking up on his progress with the mysterious intruder. All she had heard from it at last note was a sharp inhaling of breath along with a second noise she couldn't identify. That had been roughly twenty minutes ago.

When she entered the room she last knew him to be in by him having reported his position to her earlier. It took her all of a few moments to locate him and the sight of him horrified her. Down on the floor, twitching, he lay before a broken into file cabinet with no sign of the purple clad unknown to be seen in the vicinity.

Quickly moving to Jake to examine him, she noticed no motor control was present in him. It was his chest that was moving spasmodically. His eyes were closed and blood was present on his mouth, nose and one ear facing the floor.

"Jake?!" She asked him in panic. A useless gesture but first to ring to her mind. The second gesture was the one that made a difference. Crying she grabbed for the first phone she could find and after dialing nine on it for making an outbound call from the building, proceeded to dial additional numbers into it. Just three were needed, a nine followed by two ones.

The nation's capital while always busy with numerous forms of commotion, took no pause it rushing an ambulance team to transport the fallen JOY agent to the nearest hospital to his location. As it raced through the night carrying not only Jake but also Heather. Heather made active an alert monitor she carried on Jake's behalf. Pressing one of it's buttons, it relayed GPS data to Otto's beeper, telling him were she was and more importantly where his son was. Heather knew it wasn't the same as a phone call, that would have been better, but she did all she could for now.

Every other minute sitting beside Jake, she pressed the button again and again to feed it updated information as fast as she hoped Otto could track it & likely Freda, who Heather was sure by now had to be with her husband, rushing to get in touch with their boy. This was bad and only just a few short weeks ago she thought she'd seen life's last harsh blow to the youth happen. The stroke which had cost him the use of his now neurologically dead arm. Last time he didn't bleed. She was sure the taser he normally carried on assignments was to blame for his slowly spilling blood. It had likely been used against him by the intruder Jake had been facing. But even electrical shock wouldn't account for the state he was in, something worse had to have happened to him but what?

Biting her lip to try and hold back tears, she left the ambulance as fast as it's team of staff did when they pulled up to the hospital's ER entrance. The timing of Jake's arrival coincided with his family, Otto and Freda arriving in their family car in a rush just as their child was pushed into the open doors of the hospital to be met by it's trauma staff on call. Both parents meeting Heather at once, both talking at once, making her stop her pursuit of the hospital staff with her partner & friend.

Choking her words as she spoke them, she tried to relay to the pair what she knew of what had happened. After taking in her side of the explanation, Freda took her in for a hug after scolding her verbally for having allowed Jake to have taken on the unknown by himself. Otto's reaction came as being an action that surprised the younger woman.

Turning to face both ladies he asked them, "Jake is a strong kid at least in mind. Body - body as we know is a different matter. Do either of you think he could cope with more loss?"

Heather buried her head into Freda at hearing the words, shaking her head no as she did so. Freda's reaction came as tears and eyes which could not meet her husband's. After a pause, softly she gave her answer to his question.

"It would destroy him. He wants so much to help others, I can't imagine JOY or anyone else would allow him that chance now."

Looking from his wife to then look at Heather now looking at him with her one eye not buried against the older woman. Otto came to a decision he hoped would help his child and voiced part of it to the women. "Lets find out what the doctors have to say. If they can't help Jake have some form of a normal life, maybe something not normal is in order here."

Screaming at the man, Heather broke away from Freda to protest his plan of action in how it sounded. "You what, you want him forever down for the count!? Bedridden for the rest of his life!? Your own son!"

She hit him as she spoke the words and continued to hit him even after that. Otto forcibly stopped the girl's beating on him. Feeling the need to now reveal better the thoughts he was having, he spoke them to the JOY agent trying to sound calm as he did so. "Heather, Heather I'd never wish such a thing on Jake. What I'm talking about here is I know what JOY in it's science division has been fiddling with for sometime. Bionic implants and not of the type you hear about once in a while by health literature. Girl, they maybe his only chance at a better life."

Trying her best to calm down, Heather wiped away her tears and in replying, questioned him. "But will he still be himself? Or a machine?"

"Heather it's his body that's damaged, not his mind. Jake will still be Jake, just enhanced," Otto answered her.

Looking away from Heather that by now felt the need to in controlled descent, to collapse to the ground sitting, Otto stared at his wife awaiting her thoughts about their son's life. A change to it that very well might be needed very soon. She spoke in a whimper of concern, sounding unsure as the words came out. "He'll still have what he has always had. The strokes, medication just seems never fool proof and I don't think even this could help him."

"It could and likely would fix his heart, Freda. It's been in the experimental stage for ages but the implants JOY could provide him, would out shine any pacemaker available through best standard treatment." Otto answered her, coming nearer to her as he spoke.

"Do it," came Heather in response to Otto's words. The girl not getting up from her spot on the pavement, but head facing him once more.

"Freda?" He questioned his wife for her answer.

Joining Heather on the ground Freda finally answered him after a long pause. "Talk to the doctors first and if needed, you can call the people working in JOY's science division. I want Jake to not just be alive, I want him to live."

A Beginning.