"What's a Pretender?" Spike asked.
"They call us that because we can become anyone we want to be: Doctor, lawyer, teacher, cop, anything. The Centre identifies these people when they are children. They take them. They do all sorts of experiment. But what they really are focused on is having the Pretenders run scenarios, all sorts of things; they sell the information they gain. Many people have died because of stuff that I thought up. I escaped the Centre. I travel around, helping people, and trying to avoid recapture." Jarod paused, and studied Spike, trying to see if he believed what he had just head.
Spike took out a cigarette and lit it. "Jesus, mate. That's some pretty harsh shit. How does Red's guy Mr. Lyle fit into all of this?"
Jarod let out a sigh. "Mr. Lyle is one of the higher-ups at the Centre. He performed some particularly cruel experiments. He's also a murderer, and quite possibly a cannibal."
Spike couldn't keep the shock from showing on his face. He had suspected that there was something wrong with Robert Lyle, but he never guessed that it was something this big.
"Bloody hell. What does he want with Willow?" Spike asked.
"From what I can tell the Centre wants to use her. Lyle was sent here to gain her trust. He's supposed to get her to perform a spell for the Centre. I'm not sure what the spell is, or what it's for, but I doubt it's anything good. And after that, who knows what they might want with her. The Centre is big on experimenting. They might want to use Miss Rosenberg as a test subject."
Spike nodded, anger welling up in him. He'd tear Mr. Lyle to bits. But Spike knew that Willow really trusted the bastard, as did the rest of the Scooby gang.
"Do you have any proof of all of this?" He really hoped that Jarod did.
"I have surveillance footage. They taped me for years. I have almost everything they did to me, including Mr. Lyle's nastier experiments." Jarod motioned to a silver briefcase that sat on the motel room desk. "Do you think that we'll be able to get your friend to watch them?"
Spike shrugged, "I think I can. The chit's going to be destroyed though. She really likes this guy. I think she loves him in fact."
"Well, she might be hurt, but better she find out the truth now. If the Centre got a hold of her, you all would probably never see her again. We can't let that happen, Spike." Jarod simply couldn't bare the thought of the Centre destroying another innocent life. He wanted, not of the first time, to wring Lyle's neck. Jarod had met a lot terrible people, both at the Centre, and since his escape, but Mr. Lyle was one of the few people who actually frightened him.
"I'll get her to come here,? Spike decided. "You can tell her the story and show here the videos. I don't know what will happen after that, but I'll get her here."
Spike stood. "I'll be back later tonight. I'm not exactly sure how I'll get Willow to come with me, but I'll get her here some how." Spike went to leave, then turned back, "Oh, and Jarod?"
"If I found out you're lying, that you're trying to hurt Willow; chip or no chip, I'll tear out your heart with my bare hands."
"Of course," Jarod said.
Nodding in acknowledgment, Spike turned once more, and without another word he was gone.