Hope and Prey
Oct. 24, 1998
Juan Carlos Coto
Hope and PRey
Jarod is dreaming.... In black-and-white he walks through the corridors of SL-27 toward a man in a dark suit whose back is to him. As Jarod approaches the man, Jarod shifts from a teenager to a grown man, to a teenager, to a grown man again, as he asks if the man is his father. The man in the dark suit stands in front of an open elevator, and on the floor of the elevator is the body of Catherine Parker. Images of the gun in the man's hand, and a metal-looking ring of fire flash through Jarod's mind as he screams... And abruptly wakes up.
Jarod is sitting in the front seat of a red rented Jeep, which is parked on the side of a little-used highway. Jarod shakes himself awake, puts on his sunglasses, starts the Jeep up, and drives off down the road toward an area marked Tribal Land.
AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker is having daytime, walking nightmares about the death of her mother, and of Mr. Fenigor's statement that it was Jarod's father who murdered Catherine Parker. Despite the wishes of her father, Miss Parker vows revenge for her mother's death, but tells her father and her brother Mr. Lyle that she's seeking Jarod's father as a way to get Jarod. When Mr. Parker and Mr. Lyle meet up with her that morning, they tell her that they've found a website connected to Jarod through which he's asking the public for information on his family. Miss Parker says they won't catch Jarod through the website, because he'll keep altering the server, and they'll never be able to trace the source. Mr. Lyle agrees, but says he'll keep an eye on the site anyway.
ON THE TRIBAL LANDS, Jarod arrives at the Dunson SA** Bar, where he's eventually met by a Native American man named Mike Bodie. Mike had contacted Jarod through the website's e-mail address, and told Jarod that he had some information about Jarod's father. When Mike arrives, he's walking with some difficulty, and leads Jarod over to a table in the bar where they sit together and talk. Jarod shows Mike the photo of his mother (and himself as a baby), which he'd gotten from Lewis (the caretaker at Oakview Lodge). In the photograph, his father, Charles, is just a shadowy reflection in the background. Mike says he can top that, and hands Jarod a photograph of Charles and Mike from the 1970's when Charles, known to Mike as Major Charles, had saved Mike's life. Mike also hands Jarod a hand-made "dream catcher", and tells him that Charles made it when Charles went on a dream quest.
As they're talking, Jarod notices that Mike is bleeding from his belly. He's been shot. Mike tells him that that sort of thing happens when someone's trying to kill you. Jarod asks Mike who shot him, but before Mike can answer, he's interrupted by the arrival of a blue truck with blacked-out windows, which he seems to recognize. Mike leaves the table in a rush and tries to run out the front door, telling Jarod that he'll tell him everything he knows whenever they meet again. As Mike runs out of the building, bullets start flying, so Mike rushes back into the building, jumps over the wet bar, and heads out the back. Jarod chases after him. When Mike runs out of the back of the building, the blue truck appears again, and shots ring out from the cab of the vehicle. Some of the bullets hit the doorframe just as Jarod is coming out of the building, and shrapnel hits him in the head. He falls on his back on the floor, as Mike jumps onto a motorcycle he has parked outside and drives away.
AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker goes to the infirmary to look for Mr. Fenigor and get more information out of him, but finds, instead, that Mr. Lyle is there and Fenigor is gone. Lyle tells Miss Parker that Fenigor is dead, and all of his secrets died with him. Lyle then approaches Miss Parker and tells her that even though they are brother and sister, he finds her attractive, especially when she's angry. Miss Parker leans in toward him with a gentle warning: "You've never seen me angry." She leaves the room without another word.
AT DUNSON'S, Jarod is seated at the bar, holding a cold bottle of beer to his head where the shrapnel hit him. The bartender tells Jarod that bounty hunters are after Mike. Mike, apparently, was responsible for the bombing of an ACM Mining Company rig and had jumped bail right before his sentencing.
To find out more about Mike, Jarod goes to Mike's property, which is adjacent to a huge spread of Tribal Land. Upon entering the house, Jarod finds the living room damaged by several shotgun blasts. As he looks at the room, he uses his pretender skills to reenact, in his mind, what happened there. He can hear the gunshots, hear Mike shouting, and feel Mike's fear. Jarod is then startled when a woman, packing a heavy shotgun, comes up behind him, cocking the shotgun so he can hear it.
The woman asks who he is, and Jarod tells her he's a bounty hunter looking for Mike Bodie. Searching for a name to give himself, Jarod looks up at the GREENPEACE banner hanging across one wall of the living room, and tells the woman he is "Jarod... Green." The woman looks up at the banner as well, and introduces herself to Jarod as "Kim... Peace." She's a bounty hunter who's also looking for Mike. She wants the $20,000 reward money for herself. She says she won't work with Jarod to capture Mike, but accepts his invitation to coffee at the nearby diner anyway.
At the diner, Jarod and Kim share small talk. She notices that he has no gun, carries no handcuffs, has a rented jeep, and wears no wedding ring. She guesses he's NOT a bounty hunter, but is someone who isn't attacked to any one particular place. Jarod tells her he's from Delaware, so she starts calling him "Delaware" from then on. She also points out a collection of other bounty hunters in the place; all of them have come out to try to get their hands on the $20,000. Jarod says ones of the bounty hunters shot Mike at his home and tried to kill him again at the bar earlier that morning. Kim tells him it's unlikely that a bounty hunter would shoot Mike; the bounty's bigger if the prisoner is brought back alive. The worst that would happen to Mike was that a hunter might rough him up a little bit. Jarod says, "You didn't rough me up." And Kim gives him a wry smile and says, "I'm an old fashioned kind of girl."
AT THE CENTRE, Sydney goes through therapy on his eyes to restore his sight. The progress is slow, but there is progress. When Miss Parker and Broots arrive, Broots tells them that there's been no lead gleaned from Jarod's family website. It keeps changing servers every 18 hours and is untraceable. Broots also went through Mr. Fenigor's records and found a Death Certificate on him, and a notation that his organs had been donated to several different hospitals around the country.
ON TRIBAL LAND, Jarod goes to the office of the Tribal Liaison; a man named Vincent, and tries to get information about Mike Bodie from him. Vincent, however, is more inclined to ask Jarod questions about himself than give Jarod any answers. Jarod tells him he has a photograph of Mike when Mike was a child, and wonders if Vincent knows who the man with Mike in the photograph are. Vincent says he doesn't know, but tells Jarod to ask Emery, the office historian. Emery, a college student, tells Jarod that he doesn't know who the man is. Jarod thanks them for their time, and leaves the office, but is confronted outside by Emery who says that he recognizes the dream catcher Jarod is wearing around his neck.
Mike usually kept the dream catcher with him, so the fact that Jarod was wearing it meant, Emery assumed, that Jarod was Mike's friend. Emery tells Jarod that he's got a file of information on Mike as part of the "Indigenous Rights" thesis he's writing for school. He gives Jarod a file folder full of newspaper clippings on Mike and Mike's "activist" activities.
That afternoon, in his hotel room, Jarod goes through the clippings while he's watching a DSA of himself a young teenager at The Centre. On the DSA, young Jarod is pretending to be a forensic anthropologist, reconstructing facial features from skeletal remains. His efforts eventually produce a three-dimensional sculpture of a man that is virtually identical to a photograph Sydney shows Jarod when Jarod's done with his work. Jarod has created a second casting, however. And when Sydney asks to see it, he finds that the figure has no face. Jarod tells Sydney this sculpture is of his father... a man whose face he cannot remember.
Looking over the newspaper clippings more closely, the adult Jarod finds one that shows Mike Bodie at a place called Dead Creek in the desert. Jarod takes his jeep out to Dead Creek hoping to find Mike there... not realizing that he's being followed by Kim.
At Dead Creek, Jarod does indeed find Mike Bodie, and the two of them sit and talk for a while. Mike tells Jarod that when he was a child, Major Charles saved his life. Mike had wandered out into the desert and nearby caves and gotten lost. Rescue crews searched for him for five days and then gave up, but Major Charles, who had come from the nearby Clearview Air Force Base, refused to quit. He kept searching for Mike until he found him, and brought him back home. Mike often called Charles by an Indian name he'd given him: "Soaring Eagle".
Before Jarod can get any more details, Kim appears, shouting at Mike and threatening him with her shotgun. Mike rushes off, and escape on his motorcycle, while Jarod tries to run interference by putting his own body between Mike and Kim's line of fire.
Once Mike is well away, Jarod returns to his jeep... with Kim following after him, arguing with him and yelling at him for letting Mike escape. She sees the dream catcher Jarod is wearing and demands to know where he got it. He tells her he got it from a gift shop and drives away. Kim goes through her pockets and finds a paper-wanted poster of Mike Bodie. In the photograph on the poster, Mike is wearing the same dream catcher.
AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker has Broots, Sydney and Angelo gathered in her office. Broots has brought the sheets from Mr. Fenigor's bed in the infirmary, and is hoping that Angelo will be able to empath something from them. Angelo approaches Miss Parker's desk to take the sheets, and looks at her, very worried. He tells her: "Revenge bad... Revenge makes revenge, makes revenge, makes revenge..." Miss Parker tells him he’s not there to talk about her, and insists he focuses on Fenigor's sheets. Angelo handles the sheets for a moment and a smooth smile drifts over his face. He says that Mr. Fenigor is feeling better now, and then he pulls the sheets over his head. Sydney laughs when Broots describes the scene to him, and Miss Parker is piqued. She doesn't understand. Sydney explains that Fenigor is alive... a living "ghost" somewhere in The Centre. Where do the ghosts there generally live, he asks her. She says, "Renewal Wing," and heads off in that direction. Once she's out of the room, Angelo starts repeating a number over and over again: C-A-5-4-3. Broots understands that it's the number of a "Centre Archive" file, so he goes after Miss Parker to tell her about it.
Later, Broots meets up with Miss Parker in the Renewal Wing, and they're are both astonished when Mr. Fenigor, looking fit and smiling happily, walks right up to them and escorts them to his room where he's packing a bag to leave. Miss Parker demands to know what else he knows about the death of her mother, and Fenigor tells her that he doesn't know what she's talking about. She tells him The Centre murdered her mother, and that he had assisted her mother in rescuing of children from the place. Fenigor shakes his head, smiling, and tells her that The Centre is an altruistic facility. She asks him about Jarod, and he says he doesn't know anyone by that name. Fenigor then takes his packed bag, and leaves his room... still smiling. Broots understands that The Centre has somehow "scrambled" Mr. Fenigor's brain, altered his perception and memory, but doesn't understand why they didn't just kill Fenigor. The Centre, had, after all, killed Catherine Parker when she knew too much; why was Fenigor still alive? Miss Parker says they kept Fenigor alive as bait for her to follow; while she was chasing after him or his "ghost", she wasn't focusing on the pursuit of Jarod. Broots asks who would try to trip her up like that, and she answers, "Mr. Lyle."
IN HIS HOTEL ROOM, Jarod is sleeping, sitting in a chair with his head on the desk in front of him. His nightmares have returned... He's dreaming about Catherine Parker's murder, and the man in the black suit, who turns to him and looks at him without a face. Jarod screams, "No!", and wakes up with a jolt. Someone is banging on the door of his room. Jarod goes to the door, and opens it. Mike Bodie enters and falls onto the floor. Jarod opens up Mike's shirt, and can see that he's bleeding more profusely now.
Jarod puts Mike in his bed and removes buckshot from Mike's stomach. Although there was loss of blood, there was no serious damage and no infection, so Mike will be all right. Unfortunately, however, Kim bursts into the room, her shotgun poised. Linking Jarod and Mike through the dream catcher, she had a hunch that Jarod would lead her to her prey, and had been watching Jarod's room all day.
Kim drags the wounded Mike outside and tries to manhandle him toward her truck. When Mike struggles, she pushes him against the hood of Jarod's jeep. Angry, Jarod approaches and tells her she can't have Mike. Kim grabs Jarod and bends his arm against his back, trying to pin him while she handcuffs him. With his free hand, Jarod gets his own set of handcuffs off of the belt-loop on his trousers, cuffs one of Kim's wrists and then cuffs her to the roll bar on the Jeep. Jarod and Mike then steal Kim's truck and drive away.
AT THE CENTRE, Sydney watches DSA's of a child Jarod newly come to The Centre. His vision is blurry, but improving quickly. Meanwhile, Broots delivers a sealed metal box to Miss Parker's office and tells her it's the Centre Archive #543 box Angelo had been muttering about. The box has Catherine Parker's name on it, so Broots didn't want to open it. Broots leaves Miss Parker so she can open the canister by herself. Using a pair of bolt cutters, she breaks into the box and lifts off the lid. Inside is a black pistol with a circle-of-flames insignia on the butt: the same gun that had killed her mother... The same ring of fire that Jarod had seen in his nightmares.
At the Tribal Liaison's office, Jarod, Mike and Emery try to figure out who it is who's trying to kill Mike. It could be someone from the ACM Mining Company -- since Mike supposedly blew up one of their rigs (which he denies doing). Or it could be one of the bounty hunters -- although Kim had repeatedly assured Jarod that the bounty hunters wouldn't try to assassinate Mike; they'd try to bring him in alive. Mike explains that ACM was trying to work with the tribal liaison's office to get permission to construct a copper mine near Mike's property, but Mike wouldn't sell his land. But if Mike were killed, the property would be turned over to the tribe, NOT to ACM, so he doubted that ACM was trying to kill him. Who could it be, then, Emery wonders? Jarod decides it has to be someone who would benefit from the transfer of Mike's land over to the tribe upon Mike's death...
Jarod uses the office computer to hack into the offices archives and discovers that Vincent, the Tribal Liaison, had been promised $250,000 in stock options if he could get the tribe (and Mike) to agree to the construction of the copper mine. When Mike refused to settle, Vincent tried to kill him (and frame the bounty hunters for his murder), so that when the title of Mike's property went to the tribe, Vincent, as the tribe's legally appointed liaison, would have jurisdiction over the land ear-marked for the copper mine. If Mike's property WASN'T included in the deal, the mining company would cancel their bid for the site and give Vincent nothing. Jarod, Mike and Emery then contrive to expose Vincent's plot and trap him in his lies.
Jarod contacts Kim and tells her that Vincent is trying to frame her and the other bounty hunters for the attempts on Mike's life, and asks for her help. Meanwhile, he rigs up a non-workable shotgun, and substitutes it for the working one in Vincent's truck.
That night, Emery calls Vincent and tells him that Mike is at the Liaison's office and is going through their computer records. Worried and furious, Vincent rushes to the office and rather than finding Mike, he finds Jarod there. And Jarod is angry.
Vincent comes to the office with the shotgun from his truck, but Jarod wrenches it away from him and throws it outside in the dirt in the courtyard. Then Jarod chases Vincent around the courtyard, shooting at him over and over again with his own shotgun, demanding that Vincent admit to all of his misdeeds. Terrified that Jarod might kill him, Vincent admits to trying to murder Mike for profit, and admits to trying to frame the bounty hunters, and even admits to setting off the bomb at the ACM Mining rig in order to frame Mike and get him arrested. Vincent then dives for the shotgun Jarod had tossed on the ground, and grins at Jarod telling him he's now out of ammunition. Vincent rises, leveling his shotgun at Jarod and pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. The shotgun Jarod threw to the ground was the one he'd tampered with earlier.
Kim then emerges from the shadows with recording equipment, showing Vincent that she's gotten his confession on tape.
AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker takes the gun from the CA543 box to Angelo and asks him if he can empath anything from it. Angelo takes the gun gingerly in his hands and tells her, "Follow the Circle."
Later, Sydney arrives in Miss Parker's office to warn her that Lyle and Mr. Parker are heading her way. Miss Parker notices that Sydney's sight is, by now, almost fully restored. Sydney leaves just as Mr. Lyle and Mr. Parker arrive. Before either of them can say anything, Miss Parker announces that she's giving up the pursuit of Jarod's father and will focus her attention fully on the capture of Jarod again. Mr. Parker is pleased, but Lyle is disbelieving and suspicious.
IN THE DESERT, Mike takes Jarod to the caves where Major Charles secluded himself to conduct his private "dream quest". Mike shows Jarod the cave paintings done by Charles: the figure of an eagle, a shadowy image of a father and son, an Indian symbol for "eternity", and a man standing in a circle of red flames. Half-hidden in the dirt on the floor of the cave, Jarod finds a cloth patch with the same circle-of-fire insignia on it that he saw in his dreams (and that were on the pistol that killed Catherine Parker). Jarod asks Mike what the symbol means, and Mike tells Jarod to ask his father.
Mike then leaves and allows Jarod the privacy to go on a dream quest of his own. Stripped down to his pants and an undershirt, clutching his father's dream catcher, Jarod curls upon the floor of the cave, puts himself into a state of sleep, and dreams....
In black-and-white, Jarod walks through a corridor of SL-27, and come across the man in the dark suit, whose back is to him. Jarod reaches out to touch the man, and the man turns toward him: it's Major Charles (as he looked 20 years ago). Charles smiles at Jarod and the two embrace. Jarod asks him if he killed Catherine Parker, and Charles answers cryptically: "Follow the Circle, Jarod. Follow the Circle."
After Jarod awakens, he finds Mike again and the two of them head out to the nearby Clearview Air Force Base where Charles had been stationed. The base was now shut down, so there was no one there Jarod could ask about his father or about the distinctive circle-of-fire patch. Still, Jarod is grateful that he has as much information as he has. He thanks Mike, and the two separate.
At the Centre, Angelo is alone in his space. He's created a circle of paper-balls around him, and carefully lights the circle on fire. He sees images flashing through his head of an eagle figure, a father and son, a ring of fire, and a swirling "eternity" symbol, and he repeats over and over again, "Follow the circle... follow the circle... the circle...the circle..."