Title: Primeval Season Two
Sequel to: Primeval Season One
Characters: Chloe/Becker, Stephen, Nick Cutter, Abby, Connor, Lester, Leeks, Jenny, Helen
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe's trip to the past has changed their present and many other very important details in their lives, though some more than others. Is there a Ben Becker and a Claudia Brown in this universe? And what is Helen up to NOW?"What are Leek and Helen up to? All those creatures." Jenny paced the small windowless cell she and Nick had been locked up in, probably not at all aware that their every movement and conversation were being intently watched. "Why are they here? What are they going to do with them?"
Nick sat against the wall, not seeming at all concerned with what was happening to him. "Well, I could guess, but what's the point? It's gonna be okay. Helen's not interested in you."
"She's your wife. You should have kept her under control!" Jenny declared.
Nick's lips curved in amusement.
Jenny blushed. "You know what I mean."
"You'd think she'd be too worried about her life to flirt." Helen declared as she leaned over the desk, watching the monitors intently, her gaze never leaving Nick.
From where she sat, holding her crutch over her lap waiting for the right time to act, Chloe made a face as her gaze went to where Leek was pacing behind her and then it went towards the computer screens featuring the cells in which her friends were locked up.
"She's obviously, flirting, don't you agree?" Helen sent Chloe a look over her shoulder before returning her gaze. "It's somewhat fascinating. I wonder if this is residue emotion from Claudia Brown or if no matter what personality she has, this woman just finds my husband irresistible."Nick chuckled, shaking his head. "I hope your fiance knows you're such an old-fashioned girl."
A look of unease crossed Jenny's features as she leaned against a wall. "For your information, I don't have a fiance any more."
Nick turned to look at her immediately. "Why? What happened?"
"This job." Jenny whispered, sadness on her every feature. "He thought I'd met someone else." She scoffed. "Couldn't very well tell him it wasn't another man, so much as a something-osaurus."
Nick continued to look at her intently.
"Anyway, the truth of the matter is I've been feeling..." her gaze finally went to Nick, pausing as she looked at him intently. "...different, recently."
Something shifted in his eyes.
"Do you know I watched him outside of her house one night?" Helen commented, reaching out to trail her finger over the outline of Nick's face on the monitor. "He was beginning to try and explain to her that she was Claudia Brown and that he had a high school crush on her. Of course, her fiance...or ex fiance...arrived and he balked, leaving." She sneered. "Crushed him good."
Chloe felt her heart ache for her father, guilt filling her at this revelation. He hadn't told her anything about this, and she hadn't bothered to ask. Selfishly she'd only cared about her problems and her situations and hadn't stopped to think about all the pain her father was going through on his own. She was a terrible daughter.Jenny cleared her throat and pushed away from the wall, pacing once more. "Can we talk about this another time?"
"I didn't start it." Nick reminded.
"It's not like we haven't got anything else to worry about." Jenny declared, ignoring his comment. "Imminent death, for example."
"It's okay. We're not gonna die." Nick replied. "Helen's a lot of things, but she's not a killer."
"You really thinking she's in charge here?" Jenny made a face.
"Yeah, Leek doesn't have the wit to do this on his own."
Leek went to the monitors next to Helen, leaning down, face ugly. "He's seen what I can do, and yet he still belittles me."
"It's your own fault, Oliver." Helen smirked, turning to face him, leaning against the desk. "You're too good at being insignificant."
Leek's eyes narrowed.
She didn't seem to care. "You won't forget our deal?" She pulled out a knife from only god knew where. "Nothing happens to Nick. Or Chloe."
Chloe looked between them before clearing her throat. "Why am I here?"
They turned to look at her.
"If you rather I could put you in a cell with the others." Leek declared in what he obviously thought was a menacing tone.
"I don't think you will." Chloe responded, bluffing her bravado as she glared at him. "They're in those cells because they came here. I'm here because you brought me. That means that while they stumbled onto you, you needed me here. And I want to know why."
Helen smirked, obviously quite proud. "And then you think everyone underestimates you, Oliver."
Leek sent her a glare before turning to Chloe. "The only reason you're here and not there is because you're injured, and vital to this experiment."
The blonde's eyes narrowed. "Experiment?"
"Don't let Oliver frighten you." Helen shook her head. "It's non-intrusive and all up to you actually. The experiment all depends on you."
"What?" Chloe turned to her, confused. "What are you talking about?"
Helen just smiled.
A guard cleared his throat, causing Leek to turn to see a pretty dark skinned girl brought to them.
"Ah, Caroline." He smiled at her.
Chloe's eyes widened. This was Caroline? Connor's ex girlfriend?
The girl stammered. "I-I'd like to go home now." She was shaking. "I don't want to be involved in anything like this."
Leek sent Helen a look before turning back to Caroline, grinning an evil grin. "I think you just need some pleasant company." He turned to the guard. "Grab her. We're taking her to see her little boyfriend." And with that they walked away, Caroline sobbing and trying to fight the guard in vain.
Helen smiled and opened her mouth to say something, when Nick's voice caught her attention and caused her to turn towards the monitor once more.
"Lorraine, you're sure there are no messages?" James Lester frowned as he paced the overpass in the Command Center of the ARC. They'd come back from that lead they'd gotten on Leek's whereabouts only to find the place abandoned and a mocking dvd of the little bastard preening about his supposed brilliance on leading them off course. They'd had to return to the ARC to try and figure out what their next move was but when they'd arrived Cutter and the others had vanished into thin air.
It left an uneasy little stirring in Lester's stomach that just wouldn't go away.
"No sir." Lorraine assured, looking through a computer.
"There's been no anomaly alert?" He continued to pace, looking at his mobile phone, as if by glaring at it sufficiently he could somehow conjure up a call from the annoying professor and his ragtag team.
She looked up at him and shook her head.
Lester let out a sigh of utter aggravation. "Where IS everybody?"
"None of them are responding their mobiles." Lorraine was the Queen of Obvious today it would seem.
"Leek is planning something and I want to know what it is!" Lester declared, running his hand over his new suit, not quite forgiving Leek for having ruined his favorite one in the attempt against his life.
Lorraine bit her lip and gazed down at the computer.
Throwing his hands in the air, Lester stormed back into his office to pace some more.
-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-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-"Whatever Leek's planning to do with those creatures, Helen will have her own agenda. She always does."
Jenny leaned against the wall once more, making a face. "Lester says she's mad."
"No, she's extraordinary." Nick declared seriously.
"Extraordinary?" Jenny turned towards him with a frown. "She tried to kill you."
"No, no, no no, that was Leek." Nick chuckled. "Bombs aren't Helen's style."
"But hostage taking is?" Jenny made up her face.
"Yes." Nick declared with a shake of his head. "She took Chloe before, to show her the beauties and mysteries of the anomalies...something she'd offered me and I'd turned down. So I know she must have her reasons for what she's doing now."
"God." Jenny made a face of disgust, something akin to jealous crossing her eyes. "Anyone would think you're still in love with the woman."
Nick turned to look at her, taking in a deep breath. "Yeah, probably am."
Helen drew in her breath slightly, leaning in closer, her eyes widening.
Chloe watched the woman who was her mother and realized something that very instance that she hadn't realized before, and probably should have. "You're still in love with him."
Helen tensed before turning towards Chloe. "I never stopped loving Nick, despite everything."
"But you left him, willingly." Chloe couldn't even begin to understand. "If I had known that walking into that anomaly all those years ago would have taken me from Ben I never would have done it." She gulped. "But I know you would have."
"You're right." Helen admitted. "If I could do it all over again I would have. I'd step into that anomaly and do everything just the way I did in the past." She smirked. "I just might do that."
Chloe frowned, confused. "What?"
"What if, instead of you being alone in that apartment, what if Ben had been there with you?" Helen tilted her head. "What if you could go back and change it so that the two of you could have walked into that anomaly together?" She smiled. "Think about it, you would have had him at your side this whole while, growing closer through these situations-you never would have parted from him. He could have proposed to your properly...although the ring had yet to arrive."
"What?" Chloe whispered, her eyes wide and filling with tears. "What are you-?"
"He was going to propose to you, before you disappeared." Helen replied. "He had sent for his grandmother's engagement ring. It was what he went to pick up when he left you at your apartment that day."
"You're lying." Chloe's voice shook as a silent tear slid down her face. "There's no way you could have known that. You're just trying to hurt me."
"No, no, no, no." Helen came towards her, bending on her knees to wipe at the tear with her thumb. "You're my daughter, my only child. I'd never hurt you." For a second, Chloe could see true motherly love in those almond-brown eyes. "I hadn't met your Ben before you stepped into the anomaly, but I'd had people watching over you, and I knew that he was going to propose."
Another tear made its way down Chloe's ashen cheek as she realized just how much she'd truly lost.
"And I know that unlike Stephen's embarrassing little...debacle...you would have said yes to Ben." Helen wiped at another tear, brining her wet finger up to her lips and sucking in the salty tear. "You look at him the same way that I look at Nick."
"It's not so much to do with love or hate any more." Nick declared. "It goes much deeper than that. We shared something that was unique. We connected. There's nothing I can do about it."
Helen turned back to the monitor, transfixed.
Chloe looked away, silent tears trailing down her cheeks.
The flat was too quiet. And it felt cold. Also, it seemed much larger now that he wasn't sharing it. The telly alone wasn't enough to make the place seem less dead. There should be more to this. Stephen could remember the days in which this would seem like Nirvana to him, and yet instead it seemed more like Tartarus. There should be the noise of Baby running up and down the floor, and Chloe's humming as she did something or the other. She always hummed Bittersweet Symphony, something he knew she didn't even realize that she did sometimes. It was a New!Chloe quirk, not an Old!Chloe one.
Stephen gazed up at the ceiling, one hand beneath his head and the other resting over his stomach as he waited for Helen to get back from talking to her journalist friend. He hoped that as soon as she finished talking to the man she called him so that he could know what the plan was. Lester was going to regret everything he'd done, Nick would have to eat everything he'd said, and Chloe would come around and realize that everything Stephen had done had been necessary for the common good.
Things would go back to the way they'd been before.
The bed wouldn't be cold and big and lumpy anymore.
His mobile phone rang, interrupting his sulking, and Stephen reached for it on the bedside table, bringing the devise to him and frowning when he saw it was Lester. He brought it to his ear, just wishing he could tell that snivelling little man that he was onto him and would make him rue the day he'd first hear the word 'anomaly'. "What do you want?"
"Listen, Stephen, this is no time for sulking." Lester declared. "People are dying right now and many more will die unless you do something."
Stephen remained silent, listening, wondering if this was a trap somehow.
Lester let out an aggravated sigh. "Look, we need you. There's been an attack at a beach. We think it's a Silurian scorpion. I can't get a hold of Cutter."
"How can I trust you?"
"Why shouldn't you trust...?" Lester sniffed. "Look...we haven't got time for this."
This could be real.
People could be dying.
Stephen frowned. "All right, tell me what's going on. But if I help you, I do it alone."
"You'll need backup."
No doubt to shoot him in the back.
Stephen snorted. "No. If I so much as catch sight of one of your men, I'm out."
Leaning on her crutch, Chloe stood in one of the many corridors, watching her mother pace. Helen had ordered Nick and Jenny be brought to her and they were waiting for them a good walk's distance outside of the Command Room, as Chloe decided to call it. She wondered how Leek would take to Helen's taking charge and releasing two of his prisoners while he was prancing about somewhere congratulating himself on his evil schemes going according to plan so far.
Hearing approaching footsteps, Chloe looked up and smiled in relief when her father and Jenny turned the corner, the guard behind them. "Dad."
"Chloe." He hurried forwards and wrapped her in his arms, holding her tightly.
She closed her eyes, drawing comfort from his warmth as she hugged him back.
"What? No hug for me?" Helen asked teasingly from behind them.
Nick looked up at her.
Helen stood on some steps, hands on her hips. "It's time we talked."
"What about?" Nick leaned against a machinery, arm around Chloe's shoulders as he gazed at his wife.
Helen ignored him, going to stand before Jenny, eyeing her curiously. "Fascinating. The same as Claudia in every external detail. Eyes, hair...in all visible ways she's the same woman and yet she's completely different."
She raised her hand to touch Jenny's brown hair.
"Back off." Jenny escaped the touch.
Helen grinned at her before turning to Nick. "A little more aggressive, perhaps, than the original." She tilted her head. "Claudia Brown becomes Jenny Lewis, a new person with a new identity. Interesting."
Jenny turned to look at Nick.
"It seems that nature allows only so much variation." She turned to look at Chloe. "Like your Ben. Or, Hilary, as he's called in this timeline." She smirked. "He has his same surname though, and that intrigues me. Why him and not her? So many questions."
"Listen." Jenny spoke up, bluffing bravado. "You can still save yourself. Help us and I'll make sure Lester goes easy on you."
Helen chuckled. "I think you'd be happier with your friends. This is a family meeting and you're the odd duck out, aren't you?" Her gaze went to the guard. "Take her."
Jenny's gaze went to Nick.
Nick nodded to her.
She took in a deep breath and allowed herself to be dragged away.
"Nick, you're with me." Helen declared, moving up the stairs and disappearing through the archway.
Nick turned to Chloe, voice lowered. "Are you alright?"
She nodded, gaze going to the archway before returning to him, lowering her voice as well. "Dad, we have to get everyone out of there."
"I know." He whispered. "But for right now we need to find out what's going on."
"Leek's got this whole place bugged." Chloe hissed softer.
Her eyes widened, wondering how much of the conversation in the cell with Jenny had been staged.
"Come on!" Helen called from ahead.
Nick took Chloe's crutch from her and with an arm around her waist helped her up the steps towards the walkways. "What's all of this about?" He called in a voice for Helen to hear as they made their way closer to her.
"Fresh start, Nick." Helen smiled. "A new and better future. The world changed in a new direction once before. Your friend Jenny, and Ben as well, prove that if we can control the anomalies, we can make it happen again." She grinned. "Doesn't that excite you?"
"No." Nick frowned. "I don't want to change the world, Helen. I happen to think it's rather beautiful just the way it is."
"You can't really be saying what I think you're saying." Chloe whispered, horrified to her core as she gazed into the glisten in her mother's eyes. "You know what happens when we interfere, the damage we cause!"
"We can't damage the future, Chloe, only alter it." Her mother declared sagely as she stepped in front of a open door, with blackness inside.
Suddenly a predator snarled and showed itself, reaching out with its arms and poking its head out slightly, though seeming unable to come out further. A red device was inserted on the top of its head, Chloe got a good look at this since she was face to face with the monster, its putrid breath bathing her face.
Helen chuckled, obviously amused by the terror on Chloe's face and the way Nick dragged her away from the door. "It can't hurt you. Not unless Leek orders it to. The neural clamp overrides its instincts."
Nick gazed at the monster in horror. "You gave this technology to Leek?"
Helen's gaze returned to the creature.
"It's from the future, this technology." Chloe whispered, breaths erratic from fear as she was unable to look away from the predator. "You found it when you went to the future, didn't you?"
"It wasn't the only thing I found in the future." Helen whispered, eyes surprisingly filled with emotion as they turned to look at Chloe intently.
The blonde frowned, confused at to the look she was receiving.
Helen turned and started walking away once more. "Come on, we're going to see Leek."
Nick and Chloe exchanged looks before giving a wide berth to the door with the predator, following after the light-footed brunette.
They finally made their way to the Command Room, and through the monitors Chloe could see that Leek and his guards had taken the others (Caroline included) down below them to the room where the laser cells were. A large siren sounded as Leek pressed a button, and meat dropped into the cell, feeding the creatures.
Abby found the cell where Rex was and hurried towards him.
"If it's me you really want to talk to, why don't you just let the others go?" Nick sent a look towards the monitors before helping Chloe back onto the seat she'd been on before, turning to face his wife.
"The last time the world changed, it was an accident." Helen ignored his question. "But we can repeat that accident as an experiment under controlled conditions."
"No!" Chloe's voice sounded louder and sharper than she'd intended. "You can't do that!"
"Actually, I can." Helen smiled.
Nick frowned at his wife. "So what you want to do if you want to change the present just to see what happens in the future?"
Helen gazed at him intently. "I knew you'd understand."
"What happens if you destroy the human race during this experiment?" Nick challenged, obviously trying to get her to see reason.
She laughed, ducking her gaze for a moment like a flirtatious maiden. "Then we bring it back again."
Nick was silent, just eyeing her in shock.
"Helen, you can't seriously be thinking of doing this." Chloe whispered, trying to reach out to the woman. "It's dangerous and crazy and...immoral."
"No it's not, it's just your fear speaking." Helen turned to her. "I think this is why the anomalies first appeared...so that we can help create the future."
"No." Nick cut in. "Look, everything, everything in nature is the result of random selection."
Helen gave an aggravated sigh.
Nick plowed on nonetheless. "Now, if we start to disrupt that perfect balance then life just begins to unravel."
"I disagree." She replied calmly, a smile hinting at the corners of her lips. "Let's see who's right."
The door opened and Leek appeared with a guard, pausing only for a second to sigh when he noticed Nick. "What's he doing here?"
"I invited him." Helen replied casually.
"Well, never mind." Leek shrugged. "I wanted him to see this anyway." He walked towards the main computers, tapping something. "Give away our location and your friends die."
He typed in some key codes bringing up a video conference option, which dialed the ARC. It rang and rang until it was finally answered, and then when he'd made his demand known it was forwarded to Lester, who could be heard asking if the call was from 'Cutter' as he sat down in front of his computer.
"I'm afraid it's not Cutter." Leek declared as Lester could be seen on the screen. "But he's here with me and so are the others."
"Hey Lester." Chloe waved in the background.
"As you can see, they're fine." Leek continued. "For now."
"It's only a matter of time until we track you down, Leek." Lester declared. "If you don't release them..."
"Listen to me." Leek glared. "An hour ago, I released a Silurian-era scorpion into a well-known holiday resort."
"What?" Chloe hissed. "You psychopath!"
He turned and grinned at her. "Thank you." Before turning back to face Lester, once more all business. "I can tell from your face it's already made an impact. I've positioned another dozen creatures in similar locations."
Nick turned to look at Helen, trying to get her to see reason.
Chloe had long given up on her mother, horror filling her soul as she realized how many people were in danger out there.
Lester must have realized the same thing, because his face went blank. "Go on."
"Call off the search, or I shall let them go one by one." Leek declared.
"What is it you really want, Leek?" Lester raised an eyebrow. "Is it money?"
"I'll be in touch." Leek declared.
"What about the scorpion?" Lester asked.
"Oh, um..." Leek thought for a second. "That's your problem." He then cut off the communication and turned to face them, smiling brightly at Chloe. "Did I really come across as psychotic?"
Chloe gazed up at him, true fear creeping into her soul.
If he was honest Stephen would admit that he'd welcomed the creature hunt. It'd done him good to have something to take his frustration out on. It'd been odd to see the beach deserted, but the hunt had been exhilarating. He'd purposely baited the thing, made the hunt last longer than it had to. He'd taken pleasure from the pursuit, and when the creature had showed cunning of its own he'd counted it as a bonus. In the end it'd ended up speared and contained for Lester and his men to come and pick it up. He'd called the despicable little man and let him know curtly that the job was over before hanging up.
He gazed at his phone and frowned.
Helen had yet to call.
"Money? MONEY?" Chloe slammed the bottom of her crutch into the ground in anger. "You've got to be joking! TELL me that that isn't what this is all about!"
"The anomalies are unstoppable now." Leek declared in a smarter-than-thou tone. "And in the future money will not mean very much, but knowledge and power will, and I intend to be very, very powerful."
"Did Helen see you in the future in some screwed up version of Mad Max or Doomsday or something? King of the Cannibals sitting upon his high throne of bones?" Chloe pushed herself up to her feet, leaning heavily on the crutch and hating it because she'd like nothing better than to use it to beat this disgusting insect with. "Is THAT the grand future you're looking forwards to?"
Leek didn't answer.
Nick turned to Helen. "You knew all of this and yet you still helped him?"
"I need the right environment to conduct my research." She shrugged.
Leek turned to the computer and began keying in some information.
"What?" Nick frowned, going towards it. "What's going on?"
Chloe turned to look at the monitor to see that Abby, Connor, Jenny and Caroline were in another room now, looking around them. "What are you doing?"
A siren echoed in the room.
"I underestimated you, Oliver." Nick whispered. "You're a lot smarter than I give you credit for."
"I know." Leek sighed.
Nick walked away from the table and then turned back towards it. "When did you figure out that we'd rigged the anomaly detector?"
"Well, it wasn't difficult to see that you'd found my spyware." Leek turned towards him. "After that, all I needed to do was remotely upload a modification from my laptop."
Nick's gaze went to the laptop in question.
"Simple, really." Leek preened.
"I never saw that coming." Nick whispered to himself.
"No, of course you didn't." Leek sighed, shaking his head, an air of superiority emitting from him in waves. "But if you think that paying me compliments is gonna buy your friends any more time...I'm afraid you're mistaken."
"What do you mean by that?" Chloe hobbled towards him as Leek typed something into the computer. "What are you doing?"
Leek sent her a sideways glance. "I think the Americans calls it "dinner theatre"."
Chloe turned to look at him in horror before something happening on the screen caused her to return her attention there in time to see a Sabretooth tiger being let into the room with the four unarmed people. "No!" She turned to Helen. "You can't let them get eaten!"
"She's not the one in charge here," Leek reached out and grabbed Chloe's arm, yanking her to him. "I am!"
Nick took menacing steps towards Leek yet had to stop when the guards raised their guns at him. "Helen."
"All right," Helen turned her gaze to Leek. "You've had your nasty little joke."
Leek looked up from where he was still holding Chloe's arm. "Who said anything about a joke?"
"Let go!" Chloe yanked free, stumbling back into the computer, hissing as her crutch fell to the ground and her ankle hurt like hell.
"Stop this now." Helen raised an eyebrow at Leek.
Lightning fast Leek pointed his finger at her. "You do not give me orders! No one does!"
Surprise was obvious on Helen's face.
Chloe's gaze went to the screen, watching as Abby slowly left the small huddled group, stance a predator, drawing the sabretooth towards her.
Nick went to the monitors and grabbed a glass of water that'd been nearby, dumping it on the computer's keyboard.
One of the two guards grabbed him from behind, restraining him.
Leek chuckled. "Cutter, that's pathetic. I'll just patch my laptop up to the mainframe," he started doing so as he spoke. "And I still have complete control over the..."
"Warning, warning." An automated voice declared. "System breach."
Leek tried overriding, nothing worked.
"Don't bother." Nick declared, still in the guard's hold. "Connor planted the virus in the detector. He downloaded it to your laptop when you hacked in. In a couple of minutes the whole system's gonna be paralyzed."
Chloe gazed at her father, impressed beyond words. He'd known this would happen. He'd counted on it!
Leek growled as nothing he did worked.
"Security failure imminent." The Computer's voice warned. "Security system disabled."
Cutter took advantage of the distraction, freeing himself form the guard's hold and knocking him unconscious with his own gun. A scream from the monitor caused him to look there in time to see the sabretooth jump at Abby yet miss her, hitting a power circuit box, causing sparks of electricity to explode, sending the sabretooth running away as it cried in pain.
Chloe hurried to the desk and pressed a button she'd seen Leek press before, a door opening for the four to escape through.
So intent in their relief as the four below escaped from the room, they didn't notice Leek escaping until long after he'd gone.
"Warning." The Computer declare. "Animal containment facility offline."
Chloe's eyes widened in horror. "No."
The guard Nick had forgotten rushed to him, and Helen knocked him out cold.
"Warning." The Computer repeated. "Animal containment facility offline."
"You see Nick?" Helen turned to him, smiling. "We still make a good team."
"We're not a team." Nick replied, holding the gun. "I'm handing you over to Lester."
Chloe ignored them, trying to work the computer but it wasn't doing anything but allowing her to watch as the lasers in the cells in the holding room disappeared, allowing the creatures freedom which they happily took.
Raptors and mermonsters and all sorts of things that gave her nightmares escaped the holding area, infiltrating the building.
"No, you won't do that." Helen shook her head. "I heard what you said in the cell. I know you still love me."
Chloe froze, turning from the monitor to gaze at her parents.
"Don't flatter yourself." Nick shook his head. "I said exactly what you wanted to hear."
Helen's eyes narrowed. "You knew the cell was bugged."
"I thought it might be Leek's style," he nodded. "So I thought I'd put on a little performance just in case."
Despite her mother being a psychotic bitch, Chloe couldn't help but feel sorry for her. In her own demented way, Helen Cutter was desperately in love her with her husband.
"Oh, I'm sorry honey, I didn't mean it." Nick declared darkly at the show of Helen's emotions.
"I don't believe you." Helen finally whispered.
"I don't care." Nick replied, training his gun at her. "Now get in front of me before I shoot you."
"Dad!" Chloe gasped in shock.
Helen eyed him before making her way in front of him as ordered.
Without taking his eyes off of his wife, Nick reached out with his free hand and wrapped it around Chloe, helping the limping girl towards him.
"I don't think you'll shoot me, Nick." Helen turned towards them, walking backwards into the darkness.
"Helen..." He called warningly.
She took off into the darkness, disappearing.
Nick cursed under his breath.
Chloe patted his chest, letting him know she understood.
"Warning, warning, warning." The Computer called. "Mainframe contacting external network. Upload of data files commencing."
"Let's get out of here." Nick whispered.
In the ARC, distorted chatter filtered through the Anomaly Detectors as the computer screens showed an influx of data that was so plentiful it wasn't able to show but a second of them before going onto the next. Lorraine tried her best to fix whatever was going on but this was Mr. Temple's baby and she was no where near as proficient as him when it came to technology or its use.
"What's going on?" Lester called from the overpass.
"The detector's networked itself to an external mainframe." Lorraine called back.
"Well stop it!"
"I can't!" She was going to get fired...this was a horrible day!
"Are we being sabotaged?" Lester asked.
"I don't think so." Lorraine returned her attention to the screens. "It's sending us information."
There were dinosaurs everywhere and it didn't help that she was injured and thus slowing both her father and herself down considerably. There'd been some missed calls with a pair of raptors and a giant centipede, but they'd gotten out of that somehow. Still, they weren't the ones that Chloe was worried about. There was a future predator in here, and that was the thing she was terrified to come across.
Of course, it wasn't long after her voicing that fear to her father that they found themselves being stalked by one. One couldn't hide from a future predator as one did with the other creatures. The predators listened in to the sound of your heartbeat, the more scared you were the louder the beacon that told them food was waiting. And Chloe's heart was racing in horror as they cowered in the corner, her father aiming the gun at the darkness above them, the creature having so many places to hide and it was doing just that.
They could hear it though, its growls.
Father and daughter tried to make a run for it but the creature struck, sending Nick flying into the wall and Chloe tumbling to the ground in a wave of pain.
The girl looked up, seeing the predator standing tall over her. Her body shook in terror as the room grew stifling hot and seemed somewhat brighter.
The future predator paused over her, seeming utterly confused before roaring.
A gunshot sent it flying away from her.
In seconds her father was at her side, helping her up as they hurried away, the sound of the creature picking itself back at haunting their heels.
Stephen stared at the sea, remembering the time Chloe and he had come here. His Chloe had loved the sea, loved coming for a dip once every week, and he'd forgotten how much he'd missed complaining every time she'd drag him here early sunday mornings to go swimming. He missed a lot of things.
Hearing his phone ring, Stephen sighed as Helen's number showed up as he brought it to his ear. "Where have you been?"
"Stephen, listen, there isn't much time." Her voice was soft, breathy. "Lester kidnapped me. I got away, but I need you to come get me."
"Kidnapped?" Stephen couldn't believe the lengths that mucus was able to go!
She drew a breath, emotion thick. "Nick, Chloe...and the others...they're dead."
Stephen collapsed to his knees on the sand, his eyes widening in horror, his heart racing, his stomach sick.
"Lester had them killed." Helen whimpered. "Stephen, listen. Lester's going to call you. Whatever he says, it's a trap. I'm gonna tell you where I am and then I want you to throw your mobile away. They can trace you with it."
He listened to the address before standing and throwing the phone into the sea with a yell of despair.
They made their way silently, finding themselves in the same room their friends had been offered to the sabretooth tiger in. Lights on the floor shone upwards, and the circuit box was still smoking from where the creature had jumped up against it and apparently fried it. As one they silently made their way across it towards the door the others had escaped through.
But as they reached the middle of the room Chloe stopped, feeling something, turning her head to gasp.
The predator was standing behind them.
Nick turned with her, watching as the creature, large as a man, came towards them.
The predator stood before Nick, staring into his face, letting out a gurgling sound as it watched him before quickly turning its attention to Chloe. It seemed to forget the man then, turning its body to face her, the gurgling sound now urgent as it lowered its head to hers, its putrid breath bathing her.
Nick reached out rapidly, wrapping his fingers around the neural clamp and yanking it out.
The predator roared in agony, flailing around before collapsing dead before them.
Chloe let out a breath of relief. "Nice one."
"I thought so myself." Nick whispered back, voice just as shaky.
Clapping could be heard as Leek appeared, sighing. "Clearly a design fault." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a remote device. "I'll have to correct that in the others."
"Others?" Nick whispered.
Leek motioned above them.
Chloe whimpered before looking up above, a cry escaping her lips as above them eight predators gathered and more yet were arriving.
"I wouldn't bother trying to escape." Leek declared. "They'll rip you both to pieces before you could blink." He smirked. "My very own Praetorian Guard. They'll make me untouchable."
Chloe reached out with a shaky and poked him.
He sneered at her. "You know what I mean."
Nick couldn't remove his gaze from above them. "You really think you can keep them locked up for long?"
"Well, properly chipped they're no more dangerous than a car or airplane." Leek replied stuffily. "A machine designed for human use."
"No, that's not how it's gonna work, Oliver." Nick finally looked down at him. "Because one day they're gonna escape and then when they do they're gonna kill all of us. It's the end of the human race you're looking at."
"Ooooooh!" Leek cried mockingly. "I'd love to stand around, discuss your apocalyptic fantasies all day Professor, but unfortunately I've got work to do." He smirked. "Now, in a few minutes, the mainframe will have eliminated the virus. Unfortunately, your 'friends' have escaped with the creature Rex. Lester will soon know where I am." He walked towards them. "But I have you two." He now poked Chloe. "And I don't think he'll attack me."
"I wouldn't bet on that." Nick smirked.
The smirk wiped the assurance from Leek's face.
The door to the room Helen had been holed in hiding was kicked open, and Stephen appeared looking like some dashing knight out to save the damsel in distress. Helen breathed out a sigh of relief and hugged Stephen when he surged forth and embraced her.
"What is this place?" He asked, pulling away.
Helen tried for scared yet honest as she looked around her. "I don't know. Lester's people brought me here."
"What happened to Chloe? To Cutter?" Stephen asked, his voice hoarse, his eyes filled with emotion.
She looked down, tears coming to her eyes yet not enough to spill. She wasn't that good of an actress. "There are creatures here, Stephen. They were killed."
He looked away, agonized. "You saw i t?"
He turned his back on her, taking in a deep breath, before turning back to her. "Where's Lester?"
"Oh, he's too powerful Stephen." She shook her head. "We can't stay here." She came towards him. "I've been thinking, we should find another anomaly. Wait on the other side until it's safe."
He frowned at her. "We have to confront him."
"Stephen," she tried for terrified. "We have to go."
"He killed Chloe." Stephen's voice was lower than she'd ever heard it. "He killed Cutter. And the others. I'm not leaving until he's dead."
"You've have your chance to surrender, Leek." Lester declared on the small portable device Leek was holding in his hand, which apparently also served as a remote for the future predators above them.
"I still have twelve creatures out there." Leek was obviously trying to pretend he was still in control of the situation. "One command from me, and there'll be absolute chaos."
"What, Cutter didn't tell you?" Lester's visage was proper smug. "That clever little virus of his sent us the content of your hard disk. We found names, locations, all sorts of useful stuff. We're just mopping up the last of your menagerie right now."
Leek sent Nick an accusing glare.
Nick gave him a sheepish smile.
"Oh, and Jenny just phoned." Lester continued, obviously having a wonderful time right now throwing it all in Leek's face. "You have, uh...oh, just a few minutes before we join you. Now if you don't mind, I think there's some snooker on the other channel."
Nick snorted in laughter.
"Have you ever seen a man torn in half on live TV, Lester?" Leek growled.
Chloe's eyes widened in horror as the camera device was pointed towards them.
"Call a halt to your men or I shall order the creatures to dismantle Professor Cutter, joint by joint." Leek declared.
"The government does not negotiate with hostage takers!" Lester declared.
"Thirty seconds, then they kill him." Leek declared. "Your choice."
Chloe suddenly realized the lack of mention of her own self, and she wondered if that was because if the creatures attacked her father they'd eat her too, or if Leek had plans for her alive. She grabbed hold of her father tightly in case the second were true.
"James, don't do it, I'm not important." Nick called out.
"Ten!" Leek began to yell.
"Unfortunately, I agree with Professor Cutter." Lester sighed.
"Eight!" Leek frowned at him. "Seven!"
Nick tightened his hold on the neural clamp.
Nick let go of her hand.
Chloe, confused, let go as well.
"No individual's life is more important than the protection of the public." Lester declared to Leek.
Leek was sweating. "Four!"
Nick looked behind them at the circuit box.
"Three!" Leek loosened his collar. "Two!"
Nick turned and raced towards the circuit box, jamming the neural clamp into it, the charge of electricity surging through it sending him flying backwards.
"Dad!" Chloe yelled, limping towards him.
The electricity in the circuit box fried the neural clamp, and with it, its network.
Above them, the future predators began to growl viciously as the lights in their clamps died.
"What have you done?" Leek cried out in horror.
Nick stumbled to his feet and wrapped an arm around Chloe, helping her out of the room. They could hear Leek behind them, screaming all sorts of obscenities and threats to them before suddenly he began to scream in agony and beg for help.
His Praetorian Guard had turned against him.
Et tu, Brutus?
All around them the creatures could be heard trying to escape.
"There's no time." Helen led Stephen, walking rapidly and determined. "Forget about Lester, it's too late."
"We finish this now, Helen." He growled behind her.
He then stopped, and looked at something.
Sensing that he wasn't following her anymore, Helen turned and followed his gaze, eyes widening as her brown orbs fell upon Chloe and Nick, who were seated on steps, seeming in shock. Nick was staring ahead and Chloe fussed with his hair, whispering to him.
Stephen just stared at them.
Nick looked up, eyes narrowed on them.
Chloe followed his glance and her eyes narrowed as well.
Helen looked from her daughter and husband to Stephen, wondering how she was going to get around this one now.
"You said they were dead." Stephen hissed, turning to glare at her. "What have you done?"
"Not you, too." Nick shook his head at Stephen. "Don't tell me you knew about this."
"Oh, I've never seen this place before in my life!" Stephen pointed his finger at him, his gaze lingering on Chloe's face.
She looked away from him.
Helen cleared her throat. "I told you the truth Stephen! Lester brought me here!"
"Ask her." Chloe spoke up, voice trembling. "Ask her about what she really wanted to do. Go an ask your precious Helen about Leek."
"She's not my precious anything!" Stephen snapped at her.
"Ask her how many people were going to die!" Chloe snapped right back at him, tears filling her eyes before her voice dropped, shaking with emotion. "Ask her how she didn't care."
"She's trying to trick you." Helen whispered, unable to look away from the emotion on her daughter's face.
"I wanted so badly to believe in you." Stephen hissed at her before turning to Nick and snarling at him. "But that doesn't put you in the right!"
"Stephen there's a whole army of predators in here!" Nick stood, voice vicious. "If any of them make it above ground there's gonna be nobody left!"
Stephen went silent.
"Now if you want to help people, we have to do this!" Nick snarled.
"There're too powerful, Nick." Helen shook her head. "There's nothing you can do."
"If there's anyone here who can think of a way to stop them, it's you." Chloe grabbed hold of the railing and pulled herself up, obviously terrified and hurt yet defiant and oh-so her daughter. Helen could see herself in the child, and it made her proud. "You brought them here. You know them better than anyone else. How do we deal with them?"
Helen took in a deep breath, eyeing the blonde girl as she thought, before her eyes widened with an idea. "The siren. The creatures associate the sound with food. They'll come back to the cage room whenever it sounds."
"Then if we can lock them in with the predators they'll destroy each other." Chloe whispered, mind working on the same wave-length as hers.
Helen smiled cunningly at her daughter.
Chloe was so much like her, if only she'd admit it to herself.
Maybe then the blonde would take the steps necessary.
"Come on then." Nick wrapped an arm around their daughter and helped her as they all hurried back towards the cage room, Helen leading the way. Stephen took in their surroundings in disgusted silence, and Helen could catch him staring at Chloe every couple of minutes but her daughter only concentrated on making it to the cages, her body seeming in pain. The girl was also flushed, as if a fever had begun to set upon her.
They reached the cage room finally in the middle of it Helen found the handing cord with the controls. She pressed the red button and the siren wailed loudly in the air. Already the sound of the banging in the facility was growing less, the sound of creatures approaching loud and clear as they headed towards them.
"It's working." Nick whispered. "Let's get out of here."
"I'll seal the door." Helen nodded as she brought in the rear. "Nothing will get out."
Already a raptor had arrived.
Helen raced towards the button and hit it, escaping through the closing door just as the raptor grabbed hold of her leg, dragging her to the ground and into the room. She screamed, terrified and in pain, but suddenly Stephen and Nick were both there, struggling with the closing door and with the raptor which wanted to eat her.
Nick proved he loved her despite it all.
He wouldn't let her get hurt.
She knew he'd meant it when he said he still loved her.
"Stephen! Shoot it!" Nick grunted.
Stephen was apparently having trouble with the gun.
He was terribly useless.
If she survived this Helen was going to have to fix her attentions on some other minion.
A more useful, yet just as easily manipulated one.
Nick kicked out with his foot, damaging the locking device and stopping the door from closing enough to cut her in half.
Finally Stephen managed to handle his gun properly enough to shoot the raptor in the head, killing it.
Nick dragged Helen back into the safety of the hallway.
"The creatures are almost here!" She hurried to her feet. "Come on Nick!"
Nick stood at the door, trying to close it yet unable to. "I can't close it!"
Chloe leaned against the closed section, gazing in through the oval peep-hole. "We have to hurry guys! Those things will be arriving any second!"
Helen frowned, going back towards them.
Stephen followed. "We have to close it otherwise they're gonna get back out."
"We can only close it from in there now." Helen whispered, gaze going to the door, to the thin slit. "The control's on the other side, but it's already closed so much that whoever does it will be locked in."
Stephen looked behind him in horror as he, Nick and Helen drew together.
Chloe gazed through the slit into the room in fear.
Nick leaned hard against the door. "One of us has got to go back in."
Helen lowered her gaze.
It wasn't going to be her.
Silence reigned between them as the three faced each other.
Nick took in a deep breath, closing his eyes tightly. "I'll do it."
Stephen shook his head, horror in his eyes. "You'll never make it out."
Nick looked up at him. "Make sure Chloe makes it out of here."
"Cutter-." Stephen shook his head. "Cutter please don't-."
Nick turned towards the door in time to see it close.
Helen's eyes widened as she realized what had happened. "Chloe?"
Nick raced towards the door. "NO!"
Terror filled Chloe's body as she gazed through the head-sized oval peephole in the door to see her father and Stephen banging on the door, ordering, begging her to open the door and let one of them take her place. Tears made their way down her cheeks despite her desperate pleading with herself to be brave for them.
"Don't do this Chloe!" Nick slammed his hands into the reinforced door, desperate. "Open this door! Open it!"
"Listen to him Chloe!" Stephen begged. "We'll find another way!"
Behind them, she could see her mother staring at her in a mixture of awe and horror.
"Open the damned door!" Her father bellowed.
Chloe tried a smile for him, but knew it was wobbly at best, the sound of the approaching creatures louder as they drew even closer. "I can't, if I do, you'll all die."
"Chloe please." Nick whispered, slamming the door. "Chloe!"
"Daddy..." Chloe wiped at her eyes, at the tears that blinded her. "Daddy it's okay."
"No it's not!" He was breaking down in front of her.
"Daddy...I love you." Chloe whispered, bringing her hand up to the glass.
Nick brought his hand up and placed it over hers, tears streaming down his face. "Chloe please."
"I have to do this." She whispered, beginning to limp backwards as the room started to fill with the predators. "You're all too important. If anyone is going to figure out anything about the anomalies and how to deal with them, its you three."
"Chloe..." Nick sobbed.
"Bye." She sobbed, moving so that he couldn't see her anymore, refusing to let him suffer through that as she turned to see the monsters surrounding her, reminding her oh so much of her childhood nightmares that she couldn't contain the cry of fear that escaped her lips.
The blonde slowly backed up against a wall, creatures all around her, predators above her. She slid to the ground, hugging herself as her body trembled violently. The room was hotter, brighter, almost suffocating.
A predator jumped down from the ceiling, landing right in front of her, the gurgling sound urgent once more.
Chloe closed her eyes and hugged her knees to her chest, lowering her head as she cried. She hummed to herself, Bittersweet Symphony not calming or soothing her fears as it usually did, but at least she didn't feel alone anymore.
The pain came sudden and immediate, blinding in its intensity, tearing her apart into millions of pieces.
Helen had slipped away, Nick never noticed. He hadn't cared. Still didn't. It'd taken countless of the ARC's security personnel to drag him from the floor he'd slid to long after the creatures inside had turned on each other. Nothing had survived. Nothing was intact. There were pieces of things everywhere...one of those pieces could belong to his daughter.
Nick doubled over and threw up.
Stephen stared at the walls filled with pictures of something he'd never have again.
He felt sick to his stomach but there was nothing left to heave.
There was nothing left.
Cutter was still in shock, the only thing he did was stare at the walls of his flat. Jenny, Connor and Abby had had to spend the last couple of days checking in on him to make sure that he'd fed himself or at least drank water.
It was why Baby was here with Stephen.
The tracker gazed down at the young dinosaur in his arms, bringing her to him so he could press a kiss to her head before putting her into her traveling case. He couldn't stay here, wouldn't stay here, but wasn't leaving her behind. Not her. Not his only living connection...
Picking up his suitcase and the carrying case, Stephen gave the flat one last look before leaving it all behind.
His connections would get him to Africa without any trouble, and from there he could lose himself far away from her memory...before it killed him.
Helen refused to spend her time like Nick, consumed by his own mourning. She spent her time in the Jurassic, keeping herself busy and checking between jumps to see if things had changed during her absence. So far nothing had changed, and Nick was losing a lot of weight due to his stubbornness.
Then again, he didn't know what she did.
He didn't know that their daughter was still alive.
"You're not making any sense Mr. Temple." Lester raised an eyebrow at the youth, who was visibly bubbling with energy, and the girl Maitland wasn't much better. That in itself wasn't so surprising because they were always filled with indecent amount of energy and vigor, and yet it was Jenny exhibiting the same amount of exuberance which kept him from shooing them out of his office.
"I thought it was a fluke, you know? And at first I hadn't even noticed it because the system was still downloading the info from Leek's computer and it had been messed up with the virus, but I've double and triple checked and it's not wrong!" Connor was disgustingly giddy.
Lester couldn't remember himself acting like this in his youth.
"What he's trying to say is that the computer detected activity." Abby grinned brightly. "Anomalous activity. Within Leek's compound. The day Chloe-the day it happened."
Lester frowned, slightly intrigued. "Go on."
"The computer detected an anomaly opening, but it was unlike any anomaly we've ever seen before." Connor declared, pulling off his hat. "It opened and closed in a matter of seconds." Connor clutched his hat tightly. "It opened in the cage room."
Lester's breath caught. "What are you saying Mr. Temple?"
Jenny finally spoke, stepping forwards. "James, Chloe might still be alive."
A spark of light erupted in the darkness before suddenly blaring into an all-encompasing light as an anomaly opened up, throbbing with life. Out of this a young woman stumbled out, gasping as she collapsed onto her knees, looking around her, disorientation obvious as she gazed around her before suddenly recognition hit and fear marred her features.
And yet the monsters that had been there seconds before were no where to be found.
Kneeling on the floor, Chloe Sullivan brought a hand to her beating heart as she looked around her at the room, which could barely be recognized as the cage room and was still in the beginning stages of construction.
She realized what this meant, eyes widening as her breath left her in a gasp. "When am I?"