Title: Primeval Season One
Characters: Chloe, Nick, Stephen, Abby, Connor, Claudia, Capt. Ryan, Lester, Ben Becker & others.
Fandoms: Smallville/Primeval (bbc)
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe was in love with the man of her dreams, and then she let her curiosity get the better of her and walked through an anomaly...waking up in England two years later, in the custody of James Lester and the Home Office. Now, with mysterious circumstances surrounding her before her rescue, and with everyone she loved thinking her dead, Chloe is forced to join the Anomaly Reaseach team or stay the Home Office's 'guest' indefinitely. She must make a new life, learn to create a new family with her team members, and all of this while not realizing that she and the leader of her new team, Nick Cutter, might share more than just an interest in the unexplainable.
Chloe looked up at that accent and her heart began to speed rapidly in her chest.
He was handsome.
He was very
"I wasn't looking where I was going either." She gave him a small smile, hating herself for how awkward she always seemed to get whenever faced with someone mildly good looking.
And this guy was much more than just mildly good looking.
He smiled at her, his hazel eyes seeming to track every feature of her face before his smile grew a bit wider. "I'm Ben." His hand was large, and when hers slid against it in a handshake she could feel it calloused. "Ben Becker, Tourist."
"Chloe Sullivan." She smiled. "Local."
They stayed like that for a moment before bursting into laughter, and Ben reached forwards, wrapping his arms around Chloe's waist, bringing her towards him and slightly off the ground.
Chloe's arms went around his neck and she smiled up into his face. "Lois says we're retarded every time we reenact that first meeting."
"Lois is just bitter and jealous." Ben replied with a grin.
She giggled, closing her eyes as he bent his head to cover her lips with his in a relaxed yet thorough kiss.
It was amazing to believe that she could be this way with someone.
When she'd run into Ben a month ago in Metropolis she thought it would just a memory of some random hot british hunk, and yet he'd asked her out for coffee...and here they were today.
"So, you ready for tonight?" He asked, smiling adoringly into her face.
"I would be if you told me what was happening." She grinned up brightly.
"But that would take away from the surprise, now, wouldn't it?" He pecked her nose lovingly before letting go. "And speaking of which, I have to go call my mates and make sure that it's ready."
?" She picked up on that word hungrily. "What 'it
He grinned at her as he backed up towards the front door of her apartment, in which he'd found himself staying at since he'd come to Metropolis. "Not weaseling it out of me, Ms. Daily Planet."
The junior reporter grinned at him, watching as he left.
That man was good at keeping secrets.
And this certain one was killing her.
Hurrying to the window, she watched as he emerged from the apartment building and turned to look up at the window, smirking when he caught her looking at him.
She felt a blush appearing on her cheeks, and gave him a half wave.
Ben grinned and waved back, winking as he turned and began to walk down the busy streets.
Chloe sighed and turned her back on the window, pressing back against it and smiling.
She had it bad.
She had it really
What was she going to do when he had to return to England? His vacation wasn't going to last forever, and her heart was going to break, just like it always did.
Chloe nibbled on her thumbnail worriedly on the thought.
Suddenly a bright light exploded in the kitchen, bright and throbbing as if with life.
The cutlery in the kitchen began to shake in the dish drain before shooting forth into the bright white, glowing thing.
Chloe watched this from the entrance to the kitchen, eyes wide and heart racing, as every thing metallic seemed to be attracted towards this thing.
Gulping, the blonde considered trying to find her cellular to call Clark, but her curiosity got the better of her and she found her feet taking her towards the large glowing portal looking thing.
Hesitating a second in front of it, Chloe outstretched her hand tentatively towards it...and her hand went through it, disappearing on the other side.
There was another side
to this thing.
And like in most aspects of her life, Chloe found her curiosity winning over her better judgement.
The blonde walked through the anomaly.
And it closed behind her.
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A silver 4x4 pick up truck with a Department of Evolutionary Zoology logo on the door pulled up outside the Central Metropolitan University. Nick Cutter and Stephen Hart got out, Nick snorting as they spoke about Stephen's latest girlfriend.
"I think there's something seriously wrong with her."
Stephen snorted. "No, Nick, please. Tell me how you really
The old friends shared a smile as they continued towards the university they both worked at, traveling along a wooden walkway alongside on the buildings.
"Professor Cutter?" One of the students, a nerdy looking boy, approached them.
They ignored him, continuing to talk amongst themselves.
"Pro-!" The man dropped his armful of papers, cursing softly to himself as he picked them up rapidly and hurried after the two older men. "Professor Cutter!"
Finally, Nick sighed and turned to the much younger man. "Yes?"
The man smiled at him, outstretching his hand. "Connor Temple."
Nick thought for a moment. "Sorry, never heard of it. I think you want archaeology. If you go around up there to your right and keep on walking, its on your left."
Nick and Stephen both pointed to the right.
The young man looked confused. "No, it's not...it's not a place, it's my name." He cleared his throat. "I'm one of your students."
Nick raised and eyebrow and looked at the young man more thoughtfully. "Really?"
"Uh-huh." Connor nodded.
"Well why...why don't I recognize you?" Nick wanted to know, a little suspicious.
Connor cleared his throat. "Well, you've never actually turned up for the seminars."
"Oh, right, that probably would be the reason." Nick agreed, nodding, before starting to walk off again, mystery solved.
Stephen joined him once more, both losing themselves to the conversation they'd been in before.
Connor took in a deep breath. "Professor!" He hurried after them, entering Nick's office, pausing when he saw the professor's desk, which was covered with various skulls, a leather bound journal, a couple of gems, and two pictures of the woman Connor knew to be Helen Cutter, Nick's wife.
"Don't touch anything." Nick called back to Connor. "This is my laboratory technician, Stephen Hart."
"Hi." Stephen acknowledged.
"Hi." Connor echoed.
Nick walked around to stand by his desk while Connor stood in front of the desk and Stephen walked over to a side table. Nick picked up a pile of paper in a pink folder and threw it into the bin by his desk.
Connor cleared his throat. "Oh, actually, that's my dissertation."
Nick straightened up and gave Connor a questioning look before retrieving the dissertation.
"Yeah." Connor nodded. "You see I argued that all life on Earth derived from organisms carried here by alien spacecraft." He grinned proudly. "It's pretty sexy stuff."
Nick pursed his lips and tossed the dissertation back in the trash.
Connor's smile dimmed. "It's a work in progress, really."
Nick picked up a piece of stone, which contained a fossilized fish skeleton. "Tell me what this is."
"A fish?" Connor made a face.
"Obviously." Nick replied. "It's a sarcopterygian. There's no trace of them in the fossil record for 70 million years, and then suddenly one of them just pops up in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Totally inexplicable in modern evolutionary terms. See, Darwin provides most of the answers, it's the piece that don't fit that interest me."
"See, that's why I was wondering if you'd seen this." Connor held up a newspaper with the headline 'MONSTER HOAX or Truly Beastly'. "Some sort of gigantic, undiscovered predator."
Nick unfolded the newspaper and could see a blurry picture of...no. It couldn't be. He looked at Connor with disbelief before handing the paper to Stephen. "This is the real deal." Connor announced.
"Connor, you should get out more." Nick wouldn't look at the boy. "Go to a bar. Meet a nice girl. Life will seem a lot less confusing."
"I've already got a girlfriend." Connor defended. "Sort of."
Nick moved back behind his desk and took off his jacket.
"That's not really the point." Connor continued to champion his cause. "There's an eyewitness, claimed to have seen it."
"People claim to have seen the Loch Ness monster," Nick debated. "That doesn't mean it's there."
"Not now, obviously." Connor scoffed. "It died years ago."
Nick and Stephen shared disbelieving looks.
"The Government, they took the body away and covered up the whole thing." Connor pressed.
"This is just a hoax." Nick pressed. "Forget it."
"Your wife wouldn't have ignored it."
There was a moment of silence as Nick froze. "My wife was a serious scientist." He finally spoke. "She wasn't a gullible monster hunter."
Connor sighed, remorse obvious on his face. "Sorry."
"It's okay." Nick responded.
"I just thought you might want to check it out, that's all." Connor put the newspaper back in his back and started to move towards the door. "It's not as though the Forest of Dean is far away though."
Nick suddenly looked up, going pale. "The Forest of Dean?"
Stephen straightened from where he'd been looking at something with a microscope, turning to Nick.
Slowly, Nick turned to Stephen.
Connor frowned, looking between them in confusion.
Stephen, eyes on Nick, finally spoke. "If we leave now we could be there by lunch."
A large smile appeared on Connor's face.
At the zoo, a young zookeeper, Abby Maitland, sat in one of the lizard enclosure, trying to persuade two of the lizards to mate.
"Come on guys, what are you waiting for?" She asked. "Soft light and a Frank Sinatra record?"
Abby's boss, Tim Parker, walked up to the enclosure and tapped on the glass partition. "How are Brad and Angelina?"
"Oh, totally gay, but otherwise fine." Abby quipped.
"They should be mating by now." Tim pointed out.
"Maybe they just don't fancy each other." Abby sighed.
Tim sighed as well. "Abby, a word."
The blonde with the shortly cropped hair stood, moving out of the enclosure to face her boss,
"Abby, I'm sorry." Tim faced her as well. "The sponsor's pulled out and I have to slim down the reptile program."
"And my job comes under the heading 'instant weight loss', right?" The tiny woman guessed before turing and storming out.
Tim followed after her. "There's an attachment going at the bughouse. I could put in a word for you."
"I'm a lizard girl, Tim." Abby protested. "You know that."
Tim's mobile began to ring and he turned to answer it, dropping the armload of papers he'd been carrying. "Oh sorry."
"Oh." Abby crouched to pick up the papers while Tim was on the phone, eyes widening when she noticed one of them in particular. It was a letter from a boy named BEN TRENT, who had apparently found a lizard and sent photos.
Tim finished the phone conversation and took the pile from her. "They're letters from people wanting the zoo to collect their animals. Why do people buy exotic pets it they don't want them?"
Abby held the letter from Ben in her hand, and smiled as she looked at the photos of the creature the boy had found.
"Is everything alright?" Tim asked.
"I'll handle this one if you like." Abby smiled brighter. "It's my field, and I know the Forest of Dean pretty well." She cleared her throat. "So, about this attachment."
"Yes." Tim nodded as they began to walk the way they'd come. "It's a six-month project studying the life cycle of parasites in elephant dung."
Abby sighed. "Sounds unmissable."
In the Forest of Dean, Nick, Stephen and Connor walked up to a damaged truck with the eyewitness, a security guard wearing a reflective jacket.
"I'd just finished my rounds when I caught a glimpse of it on the monitor." The guard announced, motioning to the body of a red truck that had been slashed open, leaving great gashes in its sides.
"Can you imagine how much force it took to rip this thing open?" Connor announced in awe. "Look at the size of the marks. If you want my
opinion, I think its..."
Stephen picked up a dead chicken, and Nick gave Connor an amused look.
Connor noticed. "You don't, do you?"
"Well," Stephen took in a deep breath. "If I found these gouges in the wild, I'd be certain we were looking for a large predator."
"But we're in the Forest of Dean." Nick reminded.
"It was huge and it was so fast." The guard remembered softly. "It was gone across the yard in a second."
Stephen approached the truck and looked at the red, liquid substance splashed across its side. "Well, there's blood."
Nick moved closer to the actual Forest. "Stephen. Come and give me a logical explanation for this."
Stephen looked up from the truck. "It's a hoax, obviously." He caught up with Nick and stopped when he too saw the the twisted metal fence at the edge of the trees. "Just, uh, a very difficult one to pull off."
"Can I say something?" Connor asked from behind them.
Nick moved closer to the fence, leaving Connor and Stephen behind.
Connor turned to Stephen, voice lowered. "Is he alright?"
"Helen Cutter came to this area eight years ago to investigate a creature sighting." Stephen announced, gaze solely on Nick. "She disappeared in this forest. The body was never found. Just a rucksack. No blood, no clues, nothing. She just vanished."
"I see you like dinosaurs, Ben." Abby smiled as she noticed the theme of the little boy's room.
"Yeah." Ben laughed. "They're awesome."
Hearing chirping, Abby looked around and saw a lizard on Ben's bed.
"His name is Rex." Ben grinned. "I found him in the forest. Looked him up in a book and it said he was a flying lizard from Southeast Asia."
"Draco Volans." Abby murmured as she looked closely at Red, confusion visible on her face. "He's not a Draco Volans."
"No?" Ben asked, surprised.
Suddenly Rex jumped from the bed to a bedside cabinet, then to a chest of drawers, and then to a high shelf, knocking things over as he did so.
"In fact, I don't know what he is." Abby admitted, in awe.
"I thought you were an expect." Ben frowned.
"I am." Abby smiled. "And if I'm right, you've discovered a completely unique species."
"Oh cool." Ben grinned.
Abby turned to him. "I need you to show me exactly where you found him."
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-Cold, warmth, light, darkness, silence...roars...
Abby and Ben walked through the forest, the petite, pixie-ish blonde carrying Rex, the lizard happily wrapped in a purple blanket.
"It's too cold for him here." The girl decided. "He must have escaped from a private zoo or something."
"I found him around here somewhere." Ben announced. "This way." But then he saw something and stopped. "Abby?"
She turned to him, and noticed what he saw, her face going pale.
A dead cow had been lifted into the branches of a tree and left there.
The humans looked around nervously before turning around and rushing away as fast as they could, but Abby began to fall behind, knowing the forest much less than Ben did.
"Slow down. Wait for me!"
"Maybe it was a leopard." Ben was hurriedly saying to himself up front. "They sometimes drag their prey into trees and come back for it later."
"Don't be silly Ben. How many leopards are there in the Forest of Dean."
"I don't care. It's weird. I'm getting out of here."
"Ben, hold on!" Abby called after him as he gathered speed. "Wait for me!"
At the bar in the Eddington Hotel situation by the Forest of Dean, Nick Cutter sat drinking a glass of water, trying to make sense of what they'd seen today. He pulled out his wallet and looked at the picture of Helen, wondering if this was just another hoax, or if this was similar to what had happened to his wife the day she'd disappeared so mysteriously all those years ago.
Feeling a tap on his shoulder, he looked up to see a pretty redhead.
"Excuse me." She announced before kissing him. "Don't panic." She whispered, pulling away slightly. "I just told that slime ball over there that you were my boyfriend. One more sleazy chat-up line and I was going to have to kill him."
"Well, I'm very glad I was here to help." Nick announced, putting away his wallet. "Uh, I'm Nick Cutter."
"Actually, I know who you are." She smiled. "I'm Claudia Brown, Home Office. I saw you at the Hotel and I'm hoping you can do me a favor, Professor."
She smirked slightly at that. "I suspect this is why we're both here." She took out a white envelope from her bag and revealed the picture from the newspaper to be inside. "We get dozens of rogue animal sightings every year. You'd be doing me a great favor if you could just confirm all this is nonsense."
He sighed. "I can't dismiss the evidence out of hand."
She blinked. "Surely you're not giving this whole monster story credibility, Professor?"
He smiled easily. "I'm just trying to keep an open mind."
She made a face. "People always say that as though its a good thing."
His smile grew. "Well, you see, that depends on how you define monster. A wild panther might look pretty terrifying on a dark night."
"Is that what we're dealing with?" She frowned, going serious.
"My best guess, if it exists at all." Nick admitted. "The last sighting was somewhere near the forest. Would you care to join the search?"
She smiled. "I suppose I owe it to the taxpayer to do more than sit in my room and suck the mini bar dry."
Together they made their way outside, where Connor had his laptop open on the 4x4 and was in the process of showing Stephen his database.
"This database contains constantly updated information on all non-extinct vertebrates." He announced. "I've been building on it every spare second since I was 14."
"It's impressive." Stephen had to admit.
Connor grinned. "It's pretty cool, huh?"
"And slightly sad." Stephen added while nodding.
"You know we're not talking about a wild cat, don't you?"
Stephen looked at the younger man, silent.
Nick cleared his throat as he and his companion arrived. "This is Claudia Brown from the Home Office. She'll be coming with us."
"I knew it." Connor announced. "It's a cover-up."
"What's he talking about?" The redheaded female turned to Nick in confusion.
Nick grinned. "Connor never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like."
Ben was still running through the forest, hardly noticing as Abby began to fall behind until they'd become separated. He was prey, and his instincts was telling him there was a predator around, that he needed to get to safety. He continued forwards, spurred by survival instinct, when suddenly something shiny caught his eye.
Coming to a stop, Ben looked up at a large shining sphere of throbbing, glittery light. The young boy walked up to it and stuck his head through, eyes widening as his gaze scanned the prehistoric landscape on the other side. There were some volcanoes erupting in the distance, and other creatures like Rex flying around.
In the distance, there was something shining, but he couldn't tell what it was.
Ben pulled his head back through the anomaly, amazed.
He was about to go back through when he heard a roar, finally remembering why he'd been running moments later.
Turning, he ran back into the trees. "ABBY!"
"BEN?" Abby tried to find where the boy had gotten to, but was knocked off balance when Rex jumped out of her arms and began gliding around. She looked up at him in awe, and then followed the troublesome yet cute creature into an area of denser undergrowth when he landed. "Rex! Not now Rex. Please come back."
Rex moved further into the undergrowth, and refusing to give up, Abby bent down and began to climb down after him.
"Rex. Come here." She got deeper and deeper into the undergrowth. "Stop messing around."
Suddenly slow footsteps could be heard.
Rex chirruped nervously before going completely silent.
Abby looked around for the source of the footsteps.
A low growl could be heard, and then a monstrous creature's reflection appeared in a nearby stream.
Abby and Rex stayed very still until it moved away.
And then they looked at each other, both terrified.
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Stephen, Claudia, Nick and Connor travelled through the forest, Stephen holding a map, Connor holding a compass.
"If there really were some sort of creature here, wouldn't the journalists have found it by now?" Claudia wanted to know, somehow making it through the forest well enough despite her high heeled boots.
"They wouldn't know what they were looking for." Nick countered.
"But you do?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Hmmm. I've seen Stephen track wounded animals through the rainforest for up to 10 days at a time."
"Not to mention wrestle an anaconda and save a whale." Sensing his joke not appreciated, Connor moved forwards so that he was walking with Stephen, leaving Claudia and Nick behind.
"Maybe there is something here, maybe there isn't." Nick continued with his conversation. "Frankly, I doubt it."
"Cutter!" Stephen called from in front.
They turned, eyes widening as their gazes rested on a dead cow lying in a tree.
"Okay, now I"m getting interested." Nick announced.
"Professor," Connor called. "The compass is going haywire."
Nick went to his student and gazed at the compass needle spinning around madly. "Curious and curiouser."
Ben reached the edge of the forest, and was back at the estate where he lived. He climbed up a stile to get onto the estate, sighing with relief.
Looking down, he realized that he'd pricked his finger on a thorn.
Shaking it off he ran into his house and to his room, locking the bedroom door behind him.
The young boy dove onto a beanbag chair and studied his finger, realizing that it is bleeding. He must have bled over the stile.
Suddenly, Ben's window started to steam up in time to some growling from outside.
Ben turned his head to look and scrambled out of the way and onto his head just as a huge set of jaws smashed through his window.
The boy screamed as the creature grabbed his bed and shook it.
Scrambling back as far as he could, Ben started grabbing things and throwing them at it. He threw the remote control for his stereo at it, accidentally turning his stereo on, and the loud music confused the creature for a moment, allowing Ben to get off of his bed. The boy crawled out of the way and grabbed an electric ball, throwing it at the creature. The electric charge held in the glass globe was enough to sting the creature and it retreated.
Ben grabbed a lightsaber and slowly made his way towards his window, which had been completely destroyed.
But at least the creature, whatever it was, was gone.
He sagged in relief.
Having finally reclaimed Rex was little victory now that it was dark and she realized she didn't know the Forest of Dean as well as she'd boasted to Tim earlier that morning.
"Okay Rex." She sighed. "Which way now?"
Stopping in a clearing she heard a growl behind her. The blonde gulped and turned around, seeing a different sort of creature behind her than she'd seen in the reflection, but that didn't make this creature any less intimidating.
Abby backed up as it turned towards her and roared.
Rex jumped out of her arms again as the creature repeated itself.
"Rex!" Abby cried out.
Suddenly three men and a redheaded woman appeared, coming up behind her.
"Don't move." A blonde haired man with a scottish accent whispered.
"Is it real?" She whispered back to him.
"Some sort of experiment, maybe. Hybid, throwback. Who are you?"
"Abby Maitland. I'm a keeper at Wellington Zoo. Who are you?"
"Nick Cutter." He whispered, approaching the creature slowly, shining his flashlight at it. "It's a reptile. Five or six tons at least. Large supratemporal bosses. Huge oesteoderms on its back."
A tall, very manly looking man with dark hair and very light blue eyes, and a shorter, more geeky looking guy with dark hair and eyes, approached the creature as well.
"It must be some kind of anapsid." Nick decided.
"A tortoise?" Abby blinked in surprise.
The creature roared, causing everyone to back up.
"Stay in his field of vision," Abby advised. "You're making him nervous."
"I was right." The dorky guy took a picture of the creature with his camera. "It was a dinosaur in that warehouse."
The redheaded female snatched it from the dorky guy. "Whatever it is, it's classified until I figure out what the hell to do about it."
Rex appeared out from where he'd been hiding.
Nick shone his flashlight on him as the taller male with the blue eyes crouched down to get a better look at him. "Look at that, Stephen."
Stephen-the very manly one-shook his head. "Bloody hell, there's two
Nick looked up at Abby. "Where did that come from?"
Which is why they'd gone to the Trent house, to find Ben Trent's room nearly destroyed, and the boy raving about a dinosaur attacking him.
Nick examined the damage done to the window before turning to the others. "There was no dinosaur. The simple truth is that Miss Maitland got carried away. Ben's pet was nothing more exotic than Draco Volans. Its a Southeast Asian flying lizard."
"There was a monster though." Ben insisted. "It chased us. Tell them Abby."
Abby couldn't look him in the eyes. "I really don't know what happened, Ben. We just got frightened, that's all."
"But I saw the past." Ben protested. "Prehistoric times. I was there!"
"You saw the past?" Nick's eyes narrowed.
"There was desert and rocks and things." Ben snapped before storming out of the room.
"I blame the telly." Mrs. Trent announced before hurrying out after him.
Claudia turned to Abby. "I know you feel bad about lying, but if word of this got out, who knows what the consequences might be." She looked between Abby and Nick. "You're both going to have to sign the Official Secrets Act."
"Whoa." Nick turned to Claudia. "When did this become an Official Secret?"
"About ten minutes after I finally persuaded my boss not to have me sectioned." She responded flatly.
"Yeah, well, right now we have a far more urgent problem." Nick decided. "That creature we saw may be many things, but it certainly isn't a ruthless predator that drags its prey up into trees."
"Well you can't be sure of that." Claudia countered.
"He can." Abby interrupted. "It's a herbivore. Pure veggie."
All the color drained for Claudia's face. "You mean there's another one out there?" "What did Ben mean when he talked about seeing the past?" Nick asked another question. "These animals have to be coming from somewhere."
"What are you saying?" Claudia narrowed her eyes at him.
"I'm saying that the answer is in that forest." Nick replied. "And maybe Ben found it."
They made their way back to the forest, where Connor and Stephen were with the creature.
"You know, this is going to win me the Nobel Prize." Connor commented to Stephen from where he sat looking at the creature in awe.
"You don't even know what we're dealing with yet." Stephen reminded.
"Come on!" Connor chuckled. "It looks like a dinosaur. It behaves like a dinosaur. It's a dinosaur! It's the missing link to the ancient past and I discovered it.
Suddenly the creature grew scared and started to walk away, Connor and Stephen scrambling out of its way.
"Where is it going?" Abby asked.
"Let him go!" Nick ordered. "It's scared. Let's see where it thinks is safe."
They followed the creature until it reached the shining, throbbing anomaly, and then went through it, disappearing.
Claudia's eyes were wide. "Where did it go?"
Nick smirked. "Home."
The next morning the area around the anomaly had been secure by Claudia's backup. No one had gone home that night, everyone just watching the anomaly and unable to look away, trying to understand what it was and why it was there. Nothing made any sense anymore.
"My pen." Connor announced, watching as the pen that'd been clipped onto his shirt's pocket rip off and fly into the anomaly. "That explains the compass going crazy."
"What could cause a magnetic field so powerful?" Nick asked softly.
Connor blinked. "Maybe it's an alien spaceship."
Abby watched a soldier, under the supervision of Capt. Tom Ryan, take Rex away in a cage. "You don't think they'll hurt him?"
"Of course not." Stephen shook his head. "Everything we've seen about the animals so far is consistent with vertebrate that last appeared in the fossil record hundreds of millions of years ago."
Claudia frowned. "You mean they're like creatures from the past?"
"No." Nick shook his head. "I mean they are creatures from the past."
Connor let something else fly through the anomaly with a giggle. "Brilliant. Just brilliant." He paused, remembering something. "Oh, that was my front door key." He grimaced. "Crap
Capt. Ryan motion to Claudia.
The redhead noticed and nodded, turning to them. "Cutter, we have to go now."
"You've got your own experts." Nick frowned.
"They didn't see what we saw, and they don't know what you know." She walked off.
Stephen approached. "I'll stay here with Connor, whatever attacked that boy was no veggie eater."
Nick nodded in silent agreement.
Stephen looked at him before sighing. "You're thinking about Helen, aren't you?"
"It explains everything." Nick whispered.
Stephen looked down at his feet. "Except why she didn't come back."
-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-Is that...a voice?
At the Home Office they met James Lester, a short man with a Napoleon Complex, who would be in charge of co-ordinating the operation.
"This phenomenon, Professor." Lester turned to Nick. "Claudia tells me you have an explanation."
"A theory." The blonde corrected. "The boy's experience proves that there's a concrete landscape on the other side of the anomaly. And I think its the Earth many millions of years ago."
"And this, anomaly, as you call it." Lester cleared his throat. "Is a door between time zones in the world's history?"
Folding his hands behind his back, Lester raised an eyebrow. "Suppose this remarkable theory is correct, what are the immediate risks?"
"Famine, war, pestilence." Nick counted off. "The end of the world as we know it. You know, the usual."
"I think I could do without the facetiousness." Lester murmured.
"Well, I could do without standing in some anemic office in Whitehall, talking to a civil service pen pusher, when I should be exploring the most significant phenomenon in the history of science."
"Technically, I'm not actually a civil servant. " Lester interrupted. "More like a troubleshooter without a portfolio in the PM's office."
"You mean you're a Government hatchet man." Nick reworded.
"Colorful, but surprisingly accurate." Lester nodded.
"And there's something else you should know." Nick stood up. "I intend to find out what happened to my wife, whatever the risks, so I'm going through the anomaly and if you want to stop me you're going to have to shoot me."
"I would hope it won't come to that." Lester announced, picking up a file with a picture of Rex on it. "The lizard's DNA confirms your theory. It's a living fossil. Under the circumstances I'm going to allow your exploratory mission into the anomaly."
"I'm taking back the lizard." Nick's voice left no place for argument. "Creatures that don't belong here should be returned to their natural habitat."
Lester nodded and pushed a piece of paper over the table towards Nick. "It's a disclaimer. We won't want any nasty lawsuits if you don't come back."
Sitting on a log, Connor kept his laptop on his knees while Stephen crouched next to the footprint they'd found.
"Okay. My best guess?" Connor looked up. "The creature we found was some kind of scutosaurus, late Permian era. That footprint? Definitely not the same animal. If we are talking late Permian, then this little charmer is the prime suspect."
Stephen stood and went to crouch next to Connor, who showed him the page of his database that he had brought up.
"It's a gorgonopsid." Connor announced. "It's a compact killing machine, and it's got incredible power. Stephen. If it's still out there, then you have to find it. Fast."
"What about you?" Stephen raised an eyebrow.
"You, mighty hunter. Me, I'm more logistic and, you know, backup." He patted Stephen's shoulder. "Go get 'em, boy."
Snorting, Stephen shook his head in amusement at Connor, before turning and following the footprints away.
Everyone but Stephen and Lester were at the anomaly site. It was raining, and several tents had been set up. Connor was on the phone, while Nick was being checked over by a medical person.
"Will you call Stephen again?" Nick turned to Connor, ignoring the man checking him over.
"He's not answering." Connor replied.
Claudia appeared at Connor's side, eyes only on Nick. "It's 18:55. I want you back no later the 20:00 hours. If the first contact works out, we'll go from there."
The group were approached by Captain Ryan, who was wearing full gear and carrying a large gun.
"What's he doing here?" Nick asked Claudia, ignoring Captain Ryan.
"This is Captain Ryan." The redhead motioned to the tall blonde man. "He's a Gulf war veteran with extensive desert experience. We don't know how dangerous it will be on the other side of the anomaly." She raised her hand to cut him off when he started to speak. "No arguments, Cutter. He goes as well."
Nick sighed and turned to Ryan, shaking his hand as Abby approached with Rex. She handed him over to Nick as Claudia and Ryan moved away.
"Please take care of him." Abby whispered. "And look after yourself too."
"Yeah." Nick nodded, cradling Rex. "We'll be fine."
Claudia turned to Ryan while the others spoke. "Whatever happens, bring him back."
Ryan moved away from Claudia, and he and Nick walked towards the anomaly. Ryan accepted a canvas bag from one of his men. Nick glanced back, and then after a shared nod they stepped through the anomaly.
Claudia, Abby and Connor watch in silence.
Connor grabbed a note pad out of his pocket, dropping his pen.
It fell to the floor rather than being attracted to the anomaly.
"My pen." Connor whispered, bending down to pick it up. "The magnetic field didn't take it." He stood, eyes on the shimmering light. "The anomaly is getting weaker."
It was hot, boiling, full of black volcanic rock, and a few trees and bits of scrub bush.
Nick released Rex, and Ryan dumped most of his gear, sorting through it while Nick stared around in amazement.
"Give me an hour." Nick turned to his companion. "One hour on my own."
Ryan looked up, unsure.
"I've got a radio." Nick reasoned, raising said microphone.
That didn't seem to quite please Ryan, but he let him go.
Nick walked to the top of the hill, gazing at the impressive view below, unable to believe he was truly seeing this.
Rex flew past, and down below a family of scutosarus' stood happily.
Nick turned at the voice, noticing Ryan a little way away, waving at him.
He wanted to ignore the man and continue with his search, but there was an urgency to Captain Ryan's movement, and as a scientist Nick was naturally curious.
"Professor! Over here!"
Walking down the hill, Nick frowned as he came to where Ryan was waiting on him, standing amidst what he'd found.
It was a ruined campsite.
"My god." Nick whispered, crouching down by a metal tin and opening it.
Inside there were food and medical supplies.
"People." He picked up a Yorkie bar. "Somebody's been here before us."
"Well, whoever it was, they didn't get far." Ryan announced. "Over here." He motioned a little further, leading the scientist to the other side of the camp, showing him a skeleton. Nick crouched down by it.
Ryan spotted something and unearthed a camera, in its case, from the ground. The leather camera case had the initials HC on it.
"It's HC." Nick whispered. "Helen Cutter."
They stood, shock visible on Nick's face.
"Is it her?" Ryan asked, sending a look towards the skeleton.
Nick crouched down again and appeared to count the skeleton's ribs. "No, it's a man."
"How did he die?"
"I don't know, uh…"
Nick stood, shielding his gaze against the glare as he looked in the direction being pointed.
There was a cave.
And something glowing inside.
"I don't know." Nick admitted, finding his feet going towards it. "Another anomaly?"
"Professor..." Ryan began, obviously not too sure about going towards the great unknown glow.
But Nick was way ahead of him, hurrying towards the cave.
What if it was a fire?
What if it was Helen?
She could be alive.
Waiting for him.
Hurrying inside, Nick stopped, eyes wide, unable to believe what he was seeing.
It wasn't Helen.
It wasn't a fire.
It was a girl, barely a woman.
And she was floating, apparently unconscious in the middle of what would seem to be an anomaly, and yet it was different from the one they'd traveled through.
Ryan stopped as he reached Nick's side. "What-?"
Nick walked towards the girl, cautiously, before outstretching his arms towards her.
As his arms reached for her the bright light disappeared in a flash, and the power keeping her floating vanished.
It was only his quick reflexes that kept her from dropping to the ground.
He might have hurt his back a little though.
"Professor!" Ryan turned on his flashlight and adjusted it to his gun, so he could both give light and protection. "Are you alright?"
"Y-yes." Nick nodded, hefting the girl higher into his arms.
"No." Nick shook his head, looking down at the girl's face. "She's not Helen."
A beeping sound resonated through the cave. "It's time to go."
"I've got to find my wife." Nick shook his head. "I have to stay."
"I've been ordered not to leave you, professor." Captain Ryan announced calmly. "If you stay here, so will I-and so will the girl."
Nick looked down at the girl in his arms.
She'd obviously been trapped in here by an anomaly...like his wife might have been.
Could he ruin this child's only chance of freedom?
Nick sighed, realizing he'd lost.
Hefting the girl's weight once more, Nick turned towards the exit.
Together, the scientist and the soldier slowly made their way back to the anomaly, slowed down by the weight of the unconscious girl.
As they neared the anomaly, they realized the light was dimmer...and shimmering erratically.
It was closing.
Sharing a look, the two blonde men hurried on, pushing themselves forwards, Nick and the unconscious girl darting through the anomaly first and then Captain Ryan, emerging on the other side, right before the anomaly disappeared.
"Cutter!" Connor announced.
"You're all okay!" Abby exclaimed.
"Who's that?" Claudia asked, the first to notice the blonde girl in Nick's arms.
Abby, hearing a chirruping noise, pulled away from the others, smiling when she noticed Rex in the trees. The blonde used the distraction to hurry to the lizard and when Rex flew into her arms happily, she pressed a kiss to his forehead and snuck away.
"Well done Ryan." Claudia smiled at the captain before turning to Nick. "Who is that? What did you see?"
The medic hurried forwards and Captain Ryan took the girl from Nick so that she could be examined.
Nick watched them go, concerned, speaking distractedly. "There was a camp, looked like a military one."
"Who is she?" Connor asked curiously.
"We don't know." Nick tore his gaze from her, returning it to the others. "She was hovering on an anomaly, unconscious."
Everyone's gazes widened and they turned to look at the girl.
Suddenly a roar sounded and everyone started running, military personnel towards the sound, and civilians away from it, as the gorgonopsid raced out of the trees towards them.
"Oh my God!" Connor exclaimed.
"Run!" Claudia cried.
There was gunfire.
"Moving target! Hold your fire!"
"Ryan!" Claudia yelled over the chaos. "Clear the area!"
A soldier screamed as the gorgonopsid tossed him before knocking over one of the floodlights.
The creature began running towards where the medic was cowering next to the unconscious girl.
Nick looked between the beast and the girl, terror welling in his chest.
Suddenly headlights and a car horn distracted the gorgonopsid as Stephen arrived in the 4x4, meeting the creature in a head on collision. The gorgonopsid went down, and the front of the 4x4 was severely dented, but Stephen stumbled out of the vehicle unharmed. The tall, dark haired man walked towards Nick, shaking his head slowly, missing the creature's eyes opening behind him.
Stephen turned towards Claudia's voice and caught the discarded gun she'd tossed, turning and firing a shot right between the beast's forehead, killing it instantly. "Right." He dropped the gun, smiling at Nick, before his gaze went to the unconscious girl. "What did I miss?"
They'd developed the film from the camera taken from the past.
The pictures inside had been of Helen.
She'd been there.
He'd been so close
Looking down unseeingly at the papers on his desk, Nick tried to digest everything.
Some force out there had ripped the boundaries of space and time to shreds. Maybe it'd happened before, and if that had happened, then every single thing they'd thought they knew about the Universe was wrong. Or if this was the first time, what had changed? What happened next?
This was far from over.
He sighed, finally focusing on the papers in front of them.
They were of their mysterious blonde.
Once they'd gotten her to Home Office there'd been a vast amount of exams they'd put her through, and she seemed to be perfectly fine.
After they'd been sure she was fine, Claudia had investigated and discovered that their mystery girl was an American by the name of Chloe Sullivan, who disappeared two years ago in her apartment. Like Helen, her disappearance had been unexplained, no body ever found.
Nick began to wonder just how many of the people lost in this world hadn't been sucked into an anomaly.
He continued to read her file.
She'd been working her way up in the Metropolis Daily Planet, most of her articles had something to do with the weird, which made everything so ironic.
Another interesting thing was her blood type.
She had Bombay blood.
So did he.
And the only other person he'd ever known to have it as well was Helen.
Was it something about the Bombay blood that'd attracted the anomaly to her and Helen?
He ran his hand over his face before looking at the blonde with green eyes smiling at the camera in the picture in her folder.
His gaze then went to the picture of Helen on his desk.
What was the connection between their disappearances?
Females with Bombay blood?
Shaking his head, he placed the picture down on the desk and stood up, walking into a small lab at the side of his office. There was a noise by his desk, a shadow moving across the room.
Nick frowned, hurrying out of the lab. "Hello?"
Frowning he moved back to his desk, discovering Chloe's picture gone, and another picture on the desk instead, held down by a living ammonite.
Hearing footsteps running away from his office, Nick grabbed the picture and rapidly followed them, ending up on the walkway near to where he and Stephen had met Connor.
Unable to believe his eyes.
In the distance, Helen stood under a streetlight, looking down at the picture of Chloe Sullivan.
Helen looked up and began to move away.
"Helen!" Nick took hurried steps forwards. "Helen!"
He raced down the small hill towards her, but once he reached the streetlight she'd been standing under she was long gone.
He looked around him frantically, unable to understand what was happening.
And then he looked down at the picture for the first time.
It was a picture of a tired yet satisfied looking Helen, holding a baby in her arms, while lying in a hospital bed.
Hands shaking, Nick flipped the photo over and felt his blood chill in his veins.Helen and Chloe Cutter, September 14, 1987, MetropolisNo
Rushing back to his office, Nick tore the papers from the desk and reread the information.Chloe Sullivan, born September 14, 1987, Metropolis.
According to the records neither Moira nor Gabe Sullivan's blood type were hh, and since both parents had to have Bombay blood to pass it on to their children it'd been determined that whether she knew it or not, Chloe Sullivan had been adopted.Adopted
Nick collapsed into his seat, eyes wide in horror.