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> A Tough Decision
post Sep 27 2016, 07:55 PM
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Spy Chic V
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The rest of the Australia trip was relatively uneventful, and the girls were soon back home and into their routine. They stopped by WOOHP for Feline's release from the Containment Facility (CF), and met her brother who was there to pick her up. Feline's online applications had resulted in a few upcoming interviews at veterinarian clinics. An editor at Feline Fancy magazine had read her blog, curious about the writer's name, and asked her to write a article for the next issue, with the possibility of a column. Alex promised to keep in touch and read her upcoming article.

Muffy had started working occasional part time shifts in data entry at WOOHP, and was accepted at Cal State L.A., to her delight. The girls met her apologetic, yet thankful parents on her release date.
Clover was given a tearful hug by her former enemy, who had opted not to return to her spiky hair and wild makeup look from before imprisonment. After a bit of thought, Clover offered to try to stay in touch as well.

Life went on for everyone, until eventually Stacy accepted Sam's request for a visit.

Los Angeles- WOOHP Building

As with the previous visits, the two not meeting the inmate were reading and chatting a bit in the WOOHP Lounge on the second floor. Stacy, led by a guard from her cell to the visitor's room, was deep in thought.

WOOHP Containment Facility- One week ago

WOOHP's CF is unlike most prisons, not only in how incredibly high tech it is, but also in that it houses a section for both men and women under the same roof. The two genders are generally kept separate, but there are times when they may interact. One such occasion was when Stacy finally met former Mali-U theater professor, Milton Bard, who slipped her a handwritten note. She quickly hid it before anyone noticed, though she realized the action may have been captured on a surveillance camera somewhere. Pen and paper are among the few possessions inmates are allowed at WOOHP.

“Milton,” Stacy said, curious.

When she was a fellow inmate, Feline described to her the man from their former college, including his appearance and theatrical way of common movement.

“Dear Stacy,” he replied. “Please accept this script for a future performance, starring myself,” he bowed for emphasis. “I'd like to cast you as leading lady,” he smiled. “Please dispose of this script in the restroom after you've finished reading it,” he added before walking off.

“Sure, thanks,” Stacy smirked, thinking it to be a love note, possibly something creepy. Still, after both Feline and Muffy had been released, she'd lost her only friends in the CF, and was lonely. She asked for permission to use the restroom later. There she read the note quickly, blinked in surprise, dropped it in the toilet, did her business, and flushed.

Containment Facility Visitor's Room:

Entering the visitor's room, Sam spotted the young blonde woman, accompanied by a guard and sat down across from her at the table.

“Stacy,” she said warily.

“Sam,” responded Stacy evenly.

“I guess you've heard how everything went with Ms. Dion and Muffy...” Sam trailed off.

“And now it's my turn. Hmph,” Stacy eyed Sam skeptically.

“Hey, what's with the 'tude?” Sam inquired. “Do you know how crazy it is for me to try to trust you after you pretended to be my friend, and captured me to suck out my brainpower? And the other students you captured? Then you tried to kill my friends with fire! Then destroy them with your mech suit! And demolish the library? They told me all about those last few after my brain was back to normal”. Sam was livid. “Sorry, maybe I should leave. There's no logical reason to be here,” she said and stood.
“I was trying to follow my heart in reaching out to you,” she said and turned around to go.

“I'm...sorry,” Stacy pleaded. “Please don't leave yet. I've been sorry this whole time here,” she mumbled. “I won't ever do anything like that again,” Stacy added.

“Or so you say,” Sam returned. “It's not easy to forgive someone who tries to kill your best friends,” she spit out. “I did develop a theory though,” she mused. “Maybe the huge IQ boost you received overshadowed your moral judgment, so that you would do anything to reach your goal. That all you wanted to do was kidnap and cheat until your brain got tweaked and you became a would-be murderer,” Sam said, and took a drink from her water bottle.

Stacy gazed at Sam, despondent.

“You know, that wasn't the first time someone went brain vampire on me,” Sam considered, stroking her chin in thought. “There was a game show called Brain Busters, and the host my friends stopped; Wink... what was it?”

Stacy's eyes widened. “Weatherdale. My uncle,” she said.

Sam stared in surprise, “Really? Wow, I'm thinking this explains a lot with you.”

“Yeah, before Mali-U, my parents divorced, and I would hang out with my uncle sometimes. He taught me what he was doing with his brain drain technology he'd developed,” Stacy explained. “My dad worked in robotics and taught me about that, and... doing whatever it takes to get ahead,” she mused.

“My uncle eventually put his plan into action, but was stopped cold and locked up. I had no idea you and your friends were involved,” Stacy said.

“I visited him while he was locked up here,” Stacy glared at Sam. “Then after he was released, he helped me build my mech suit in the dorm basement during the year before you showed up to campus,” she said. “He's visited me here once,” she finished, and drank some water from her WOOHP bottle.

“So it seems like you've had some... interesting influences in your life,” Sam reasoned diplomatically.
“What's so sad is all you had to do was ask me, or... somebody to study with you. Or talk to your professors, or pay for a tutor. Getting help isn't being weak,” Sam explained earnestly.

“I wish someone had told me that before,” Stacy confided. “I was taught to do whatever it takes to get what I want and to be the best,” she said.

“You never needed to be the smartest. You do your best, and if you fail, you try again,” Sam said. She thought a bit, then added, “That doesn't include villainous schemes. Those shouldn't be done at all. Please... don't ever do anything like that again,” Sam added.

Stacy bit her lower lip self-consciously, and looked off to the side, lost in thought.

“Stacy?” Sam said hesitantly.

“Hm?” the blonde girl responded after an awkward pause.

“You zoned out just now when I was talking about doing the right thing. What's on your mind?” Sam inquired. “Please,” she added.

“I... was really mad at you and your friends at first. I wanted out of here, but it was impossible to escape,” Stacy said dejectedly. “Then just recently I met Milton here, from Mali-U. He gave me a note that said...” she trailed off and stopped.

“Milton... Bard.” Sam said, remembering the man. “The former drama teacher.”

“Yeah, he's handsome, cool, and smart. The note said...” she trailed off, searching Sam's eyes.

“That I could be his leading lady and escape with him if I help get on WOOHP's good side working in robotics or something,” she admitted.

The WOOHP guard looked on with interest at the information.

“Ugh. I can't believe I said it. Poor Milton's going to be so disappointed. I was still trying to decide what to do, but honestly, I didn't think I could pull it off,” Stacy said sadly.

Sam looked at her with sympathy, “Thank you for telling me. Yeah, everyone that escapes here gets caught, then has a longer sentence. It becomes a really bad cycle,” She thought, then added, “Stacy, he might have been using you. You know, hang you out to dry and escape by himself.”

“I don't know...” Stacy considered.

“There are a lot of intelligent people locked up here,” Sam said. “And less intelligent people living happy lives, free, out of this prison,” she added, then leaned forward slightly. “And a typical genius in the WOOHP prison is likely an idiot in heart IQ,” Sam said.

“Heart... IQ?” pondered Stacy.

“Yeah, I was fortunate to be raised to excel academically and in 'heart smarts'. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Not to cast someone aside if they don't measure up somehow,” Sam said.
“You almost killed my friends because they weren't smart enough for you. But they have great heart IQs! They're brave, loyal friends, and so much more!” she emphasized. She drank some of her water, leaning back a bit. “Sorry if I'm lecturing you,” Sam added.

“It's OK, I get what you're saying, Sam,” Stacy replied. “Just wish I'd heard this before doing all that...,” Stacy trailed off.

“All you can do is move forward from here,” Sam said. “So if WOOHP offered to shorten your stay here if you worked in robotics here, would you be tempted to use that to do something bad again?” Sam inquired.

“I... don't think so,” Stacy replied.

“Hm, as long as you stay here, your heart and brain IQ will be limited somewhat,” Sam considered.
“But if you have the drive to succeed like you used to, but in a healthy way, I can help you,” she continued, holding Stacy's hands comfortingly. “Not control you, but help you change,” she finished.

“You really think I can change?” Stacy stood, interested.

“I do,” Sam returned firmly.

Stacy's eyes teared up a bit, and she briefly hugged Sam. “Thank you. I will!” she said.
After breaking the hug, the guard offered her a napkin to wipe her tears.

“Happened the last two times,” he explained.

“OK, I'll visit next week. Take care, Stacy,” Sam said.

“Thanks, you too. Tell your friends I'm... sorry for what I did. See you,” Stacy waved and turned to leave with the guard.

“I will. Bye,” Sam said as she went to the door in the opposite direction, where she'd entered from.

WOOHP Lounge

Sam met with the others back at the comfortable cafe, and after a brief stop by the ladies' room, they were downstairs, out of the building, and getting into Clover's car.

“Ready for the recap, girls?” Sam inquired.

“Mm-hm,” Clover responded, eyes on the road, as she pulled out of the lot into the street.

Mali-U Parking Lot

Walking back home from the parking lot with the others, Alex said, “Sammy, you can tell Stacy I accept her apology”.

Sam nodded and looked discreetly at Clover, who'd been thinking the matter over.

“Um, give me a week to decide, 'kay?” Clover said.

Alex gave her a slight frown.

“OK, same goes for me,” Clover said as she raised her hands in acquiescence.

The girls entered their dorm, and Alex said, “You did a great job Sam. I hope this works out”.

“Thanks. Yeah, all we can do is try our best and see,” Sam replied.

“Yup,” Clover agreed. “Good hanging out. See ya'll tomorrow,” she said as the three split up for personal time. Another eventful day came to a close, with hope for a better future, day by day.

Hope you enjoyed that third WOOHP CF visit story. I really enjoyed writing it. Thanks again to my brother and Ghidra from TSUG for catching typos, etc. Capm and others at FF.net for support and inspiration. Just found a typo & fixing here is much easier than FF.net...

I have one more (crossover) story I'm writing that has never been done (I think). Totally Spies meets Martin Mystery meets Team Galaxy! Yes, it will make sense, by Marathon standards. tongue.gif

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However tough life gets, don't give up!
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