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?
"You mean you haven't been able to get Rex back?" Chloe frowned as she waited in a traffic jam in the M25 Motorway.
"I'm going to find Caroline, and I'm going to kill her." Abby growled with murderous promise. "I'm so worried Chlo, what if she's hurt him? He's a delicate creature! He needs to be in a certain temperature, eat certain food or -I don't even want to think of what might happen to him!"
"Calm down Abbs." Chloe sighed. "You're just going to have to tell Cutter."
Abby was cringing, it was somehow obvious in the sound of her voice. "I'm beginning to think you're right and I won't get Rex back any other way."
Chloe looked up at the LED sign above them which read SEVERE DELAYS, as if the traffic jam she as currently stuck in wasn't obvious enough."The second you get into the ARC today you need to-." She turned her head as someone ran passed her car...and the sound of roaring caused Chloe's eyes to widen as she peered out of her windshield up ahead of her as people started getting out of their cars and running as cars were flung left and right as if they were nothing but mere toys. "Tell dad that there's a mammoth on the M25 Motorway."
"What?" Abby asked.
"Abby! There's a mammoth! Get the personnel from the ARC here!" Chloe snapped closed her phone, watching as the large mammoth flung over a car which had a woman and young boy inside. "Oh no."
"So what's the secret meeting all about?" Stephen asked as he entered the staff gym, seeing that only Connor was there. He looked around, wondering where Abby, Cutter and Chloe were as he took a sip of his coffee and leaned against his locker.
"I don't know." Connor declared from where he was sitting. "He just said the core team needed to meet here now. But Abby can't make it because of some emergency at the zoo and I'm not sure if Chloe's a part of the team anymore. Is she?" He then flinched. "Sorry man. I wasn't thinking. How are you doing?"
Stephen took a long sip of his drink. "News travels fast."
"Chloe called Abby, said she'd moved in with her dad for a while." Connor admitted.
"It's fine." Stephen's jaw tensed as his gaze went to a weight rack. "We just hit a rough patch, that's all."
"Mate, you proposed and she rejected you." Connor looked worried. "I think that qualifies as a little more than just a 'rough patch'."
"Look, I don't want to-." Stephen started before stopping the second the door opened and Cutter walked in.
"Thanks for coming." Nick Cutter locked the door behind him. "I wanted it to be somewhere we wouldn't be overheard." He frowned. "Where's Abby?
"Working at the zoo. Emergency with the lions or something. Couldn't make it." Connor stood.
Stephen cleared his throat. "Chloe still pretending she doesn't have a job?"
"She quit, remember?" Cutter declared, not meeting Stephen's gaze. "Jenny's formidable mother-in-law is actually looking for an assistant and Chloe is considering applying for the job."
"What?" Stephen snapped.
"You can't be serious." Connor frowned, looking just as upset.
Cutter cleared his throat. "To be honest, I'd be very happy if she took that job. I don't like her being near the anomalies. It's too dangerous. And the anomalies are why we're here." He went to the music system and turned it up, as if expecting there to be a listening device in the room...then again...there very well could be one. "There is someone working against us."
Stephen and Connor drew nearer, as Cutter's voice had lowered.
"Someone who has access to the detector and probably the same person who stole the headset in the Silurian." He continued whispering.
"Someone?" Stephen frowned, not believing Cutter wouldn't just come out and say 'Lester'. Wasn't it obvious?
"Okay, I know that we all have our own ideas about who that might be," Cutter declared. "But this time we have to find out for sure."
"Okay, so how are we gonna do that?" Stephen wanted to know, glad that for once they would be going on the offensive.
An alarm sounded.
An anomaly had opened.
The boy was screaming for his mother, who was unconscious in the front seat of the car that'd thankfully landed right side up. Chloe grabbed her crowbar from under her seat and got out of her car, using the vehicles as cover as she made her way towards the trapped civilians. The Columbian Mammoth attacked a couple of people who'd ran out of their cars yet were too slow, spearing them with its tusks or just slamming its trunk against their bodies and sending them flying into cars or other people.
She made it to the window of the car as the driver started to revive due to the cries of her child. "Are you okay?"
The woman gasped in surprise before starting to freak. "I can't get out! My legs are trapped. My little boy...!"
"What's his name?" Chloe tried to calm her, since seeing her like that wouldn't do the boy any good.
"Jake." She answered.
Chloe went to the backseat window and looked at the boy who seemed secure. "Hey Jake, I'm Chloe."
"Everything's going to be alright." She reassured him. "So don't panic. You'll need to be brave for your mommy. Okay?"
The boy nodded once more.
Chloe went back to the driver's window. "Calvary's on the way, people who can deal with this sort of situation."
"Who can deal with whatever the hell that is?" The woman cried as the Mammoth drove its tusks through the window of a posh little car in front, lifting it clear off of the road.
"It's an elephant." Chloe tried covering.
"I've never seen an elephant like that."
"Oh, of course not, those aren't supposed to be allowed into the country. It's obviously been illegally imported for some private zoo or a circus or something." Chloe tried her best to look sincere. "They're known for being violent and territorial, especially around mating season, which I'm guessing this is."
"They better deport whoever brought him in!" The woman cried.
Chloe took in a deep breath, deciding that if Jenny ever left the ARC she herself might have a future in her job. "Okay, I have my crowbar with me. I'm not exactly the strongest person but I'm coming in there and seeing if I can somehow free your leg."
"Thank you so much." The woman whispered.
Someone's body was flung onto the car.
Chloe ducked behind the vehicle for protection.
The woman trapped in the front screamed.
They were gonna need a bigger gun.
A Colombian Mammoth was on the M25 in broad day light. This was Lester's nightmare come true. Jenny was trying to figure out how in the world to cover this one up. Cutter was excited since this would be their first Mammoth. Connor was...well...he was Connor.
Stephen was grateful for this as it helped keep his mind off of how quickly things had deteriorated in his life. He walked to his car to find a more suitable gun, his thoughts chaotic. Chloe couldn't truly be thinking of leaving the team. Not after that long speech she'd given him and Nick before...about the anomaly being connected to her somehow and her need to know the truth.
He opened his trunk, grabbed the gun and slammed the trunk down to reveal Helen Cutter. "What are you doing here?"
"I needed to see you." She replied.
A car honked.
"Get down." Stephen ordered.
She rapidly did as told.
Nick and Connor pulled up in Nick's car.
Stephen turned towards them, hiding the gun with Helen behind the car. "I left the gun inside, I'll catch up with you, yeah?"
Nick nodded, driving away as Connor received a call on his phone from Abby.
Stephen watched them join leave the compound before turning to Helen. "What are you playing at?"
"Talk to me Stephen." She ignored his question.
He glared at her before sighing. "You were right."
She stood with a sigh.
"Cutter knows about the conspiracy." Stephen frowned.
"Come with me." She leaned against the car. "We can't wait any longer. Nick can cope."
He leaned against the car, cursing silently how fucked up everything was getting.
Helen looked away in annoyance at his hesitation before turning back to him. "Every second you delay makes Lester's position stronger."
That did it and he looked at her, nodding. "All right."
As Chloe sat in the front passenger's seat trying unsuccessfully to free Jasmine from her car she wondered how in the world Jenny was going to handle all of this. Though the fact that police nor camera crew had tried flying over in a helicopter as yet meant that she'd probably put up a no flying restriction-and the fact that neither Chloe's nor Jasmine's cells worked meant that there was a barring on mobile phone reception as well. This comforted the blonde as it meant that the ARC team were out there already trying to figure out how to get the Mammoth out of this mess.
The creature came close and Jasmine started to scream.
Chloe dropped the crowbar and reached out, covering her mouth. "Do not make any noise. We're safest if it doesn't know we're here."
The woman was trembling, but nodded.
Chloe removed her hand.
Up ahead a familiar truck came into sight, slowly maneuvering towards them through the spaces between abandoned cars.
Chloe's eyes widened and she smiled. They were here.
Jasmine wiped at her tears. "Why did they stop? Why aren't they coming to help us?"
Chloe looked up ahead. "They just can't approach us, the ma-elephant is too nervous. The best thing we can do right now is calm down and give them the time they need to rescue us."
"But the elephant-."
"Won't even notice us if we're quiet and stay in the car." Chloe promised, reaching out and squeezing the woman's hand. "In the meantime, lets see if we can't get your legs free as quietly as possible."
"We'll need proof." Stephen declared as he and Helen spoke in the dense foliage behind the ARC, hidden by the trees and shrubbery from any curious eyes. "Files, photographs, video footage, a complete record of the entire anomaly operation."
"You know Lester will kill you if he has to." Helen tried for worried.
"You'll have to tell the press everything." Stephen declared, every minute falling more and more into place in her plans. "It could get ugly. That's not all." He cleared his throat. "We have to give Cutter another chance."
"What?" She asked, surprised, having thought she'd managed to turn Stephen against Nick.
"We're gonna tell him what we're going, give him the choice." Stephen declared, ever the faithful little lap dog.
Helen was definitely seeing why Chloe had a hard time forgetting her past lover. "Can't tell him, Stephen."
"I'm not going to." Stephen replied. "You are."
"All right." She replied, because any other answer would make him suspicious. "If you think Nick will listen to reason though, you're wrong."
"Oh, he'll listen." Stephen replied. "It's not personal."
She raised an eyebrow. "What about Chloe?"
Immediately his gaze lowered. "What about her?"
"I'm surprised you want to give Nick another chance but not her." She replied, enjoying putting him on edge like this, getting his mind off of what he thought was right by Nick and instead getting him annoyed. "I know she moved out on you, so I was wondering how exactly things are going."
"That's none of your concern." Stephen snapped at her.
"On the contrary, that's my daughter." And she had plans for her.
"You're not exactly mother of the year, Helen." Stephen snapped at her.
She didn't snap back at him because she needed him. "Doesn't mean I don't care about her, Stephen. She's my only child and even if she doesn't know I'm there, I keep an eye on her to make sure she's fine. It's how I know she's letting Nick influence her too much."
Stephen paused, frowning. "What do you mean?"
"I remember the other timeline, Stephen." Helen leaned hard against the tree, eyebrow raised. "In it you didn't even have a chance with her."
His fist clenched.
"You were close, don't get me wrong, but she was always in love with Ben." Helen hid the way the pain in his expression gave her glee. "During our travels throughout the anomalies Chloe and I bonded over the loss of the only men we'd ever truly loved because of stepping into our first anomalies."
Helen couldn't keep back her smirk, enjoying how he understood what she hadn't said.
He'd loved Helen once, and he loved Chloe now...and the men both women had truly loved hadn't been him.
Never would be.
"This isn't the old timeline, Helen." Stephen was barely able to keep a hold of his emotions, he was fragile like that, it was what made him easy to manipulate. "I'm getting her back."
"It'll be easier to do that if she doesn't have Nick whispering in her ear all the time affecting her decisions." Helen declared.
He looked at her before shaking his head and storming away.
She grinned, everything falling into place, before following.
Chloe was there.
Somehow, for some reason, she was in the car with the woman and boy.
How is it that his daughter always managed to find herself in the middle of the chaos caused by an anomaly even when she wasn't with the team? Nick paced back and forth, worried, seeing the mammoth oh so close to the car with his daughter in it, the car the mammoth could squash easily if it wanted to. The only good thing was that Chloe was keeping the woman and boy calm and quiet in the car so the mammoth wasn't noticing them. They would be safer that way.
He felt pride well up in his chest.
"Where is Stephen?" Connor looked around him, worried. "We need more firepower to be able to deal with something that size!"
"He should be here by now." Nick frowned. "But we can't wait any longer. The mammoth can't smell his mates and he's getting more and more agitated."
"What are you gonna do?" Connor asked.
"This." Nick rushed out towards the motorway, ducking around cars, keeping himself as hidden as possible before arriving at the car. "Is everyone alright here?"
"I'm trapped." The woman cried. "Please help Jake."
"Hey dad." Chloe smiled up from where she was trying to free the woman's legs unsuccessfully.
"Hey kiddo." He smiled at her, glad to see she was okay, before going to the back seat where the boy was strapped in. He opened the door and unstrapped him.
"Mum!" Jake cried.
"It's okay, I'll look after her." Nick promised before looking in the front seat. "Chloe, take him to safety. I'll get her free."
"Be careful." Chloe nodded, slipping out of the front seat and grabbing Jake, picking him up. "Come on. My dad will protect your mum."
They hurried behind a van, hiding from the mammoth, slowly making their way towards where Connor was waiting.
"Chloe!" He let out a breath of relief. "You're okay!"
"Connor, we need to find a way to get that mammoth back into the anomaly." Chloe announced, going to the car and using the ARC's radio, entering Abby's frequency. "Abbs? Abby?"
There was a crackle and then: "Chloe? You're okay! I tried getting into contact but the call won't go through and-!"
"Abby, are you still at the zoo?"
"I need a big favor." Chloe declared. "I need you to get as much female elephant urine as possible and bring it here straightaway."
"Elephant-?" Abby gasped. "Genius! You're going to lead it to the anomaly! I'm on it! I'll be there as soon as possible."
Jasmine screamed in pain from inside of the car on the motorway, causing the mammoth to race towards the car and spearing it form behind with its tusks, lifting the vehicle in the air.
"Mommy!" Jake cried.
"Connor! Keep him there!" Chloe yelled.
The mammoth flung the car free from its tusks, the vehicle landing upside down, with the creature racing towards it, Jasmine's screams terrified and pained.
The mammoth raised up and slammed down on the back of the car, beginning to climb it towards the front, squishing the car with her father and Jasmine inside.
"No." Chloe whispered, racing forwards, ignoring Connor's yell for her to come back. "Hey! Hey! You!" She yelled, waving her hands, but the creature ignored her. She looked around her before racing to a boxed in convertible and reaching in, pressing hard on the horn. The noise was loud and jarring, causing the mammoth to stop stomping on the car and turn towards her. "Oh boy." She looked around her and started racing away, the creature roaring as it chased behind.
Racing in between the cars, Chloe tried to slow down the creature's approach but it either trampled over the cars or tossed them aside as if they were toys. She ignored the roars and her own rapidly beating heart, racing towards the anomaly, hoping to lure the creature back through even if she had to jump in herself. There had to be enough time to go through the anomaly and come back before it closed.
There had to be.
And yet as she drew closer she could feel the throbs of the anomaly, feel them rapid and urgent like the beat of her own heart.
It wasn't going to last long.
As she made a jump for it the anomaly disintegrated and she tumbled to the ground, twisting her ankle as she fell. The blonde gasped for breath, turning towards the mammoth to come right towards her...before stopping and seeming to scent the air. It turned around and started racing towards an open moving van, which was being sprayed with female elephant urine by Abby-who must have performed a miracle to have arrived so soon. Then again, the zoo wasn't that far away from here now that Chloe thought about it.
The mammoth raced up the ramp into the van and the ramp closed behind it, capturing it.
Abby smiled, dropping the container of urine. "We caught ourselves a mammoth!"
Chloe smiled at her before collapsing onto her back on the asphalt, gasping for breath.
She looked up in time for Nick to fall to his knees and pull her into his arms.
"You stupid stupid girl!" He held her tight, trembling. "You could have been killed!"
"You too." She whispered, hugging him.
"I just got you back, Chloe." He whispered into her hair. "I can't lose you."
"And I can't lose you dad." Chloe cleared her throat, tears prickling her eyes. "You're all I have left."
He held her tighter, crying softly as well.
They finally pulled away, looking into each other's face.
"Dad," she whispered, reaching up to brush a tear from his cheek. "I'm coming back to the ARC starting today. I can't seem to stay away from anomalies even if I try."
"I'm realizing that," he admitted, wiping at her own tear before helping her up.
Her ankle throbbed from having landed on it awkwardly, and so her father wrapped an arm around her, helping her limp forwards. They walked passed where Abby and Connor were leaning against the van with the now contained mammoth, and made their way towards where the ARC truck was. Chloe smiled, feeling much better now that she'd decided to go back to the ARC. She knew now that what she'd said was true. She was a part of the anomalies somehow. Even when she'd tried to stay away from them she'd somehow been drawn to the anomalies on her own.
There was no other path for her.
"Do you think Lester will give me a hard time because I called him a pompous idiot?" Chloe asked her father curiously.
He chuckled. "If anything I think he might respect you a bit more. Or, he'll just blame it on the yankee in you."
"He might." Chloe agreed with a laugh before freezing, eyes widening in shock.
In front of them, leaning against a car, were Stephen...and her mother.
Abby and Connor, who'd been coming up behind them, froze as well.
Stephen pushed away from the car and started towards them.
Nick and Chloe exchanged looks before bridging the distance between them, standing before the two newcomers. Chloe couldn't understand what she was seeing. What was Stephen doing with her mother? Why were they together? What was going on? It couldn't be good. Helen was her mother but Chloe knew that the woman was more than a little twisted.
"So where the hell have you been?" Nick stared at Stephen, ignoring Helen's presence. "We could have been killed."
"You weren't." Stephen replied.
"Not this time." Nick frowned. "Chloe was very nearly close."
Stephen's gaze went to Chloe before going back to Nick.
Chloe's gaze went to Stephen before sliding to her mother. "Helen."
"Hello darling." Helen smiled that cunning smile of hers that made Chloe uneasy. Her gaze then went to her husband. "You just gonna ignore me, Nick?"
Nick didn't even look at her, eyes on Stephen. "She with you?"
Chloe allowed her gaze back to Stephen, seeing the dark circles under his eyes and yet managing to keep back the guilt as confusion and suspicion built in her at her mother's presence.
"Not in the way you think." Stephen announced, gaze going between the two of them.
Chloe frowned. "You've been seeing her?"
"Yeah, a couple of times." Stephen nodded. "But that isn't important, what is important is that-."
"A couple of times." Chloe whispered, cutting into his sentence. "You've seen her a couple of times."
"Chloe-." Stephen started towards her.
She took a step back and nearly crumbled as her ankle throbbed in agony when she put pressure on it.
Nick tightened his hold on her, keeping her on her feet. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." She cringed through the pain.
"You were hurt." Stephen whispered, seeming to realize it only now.
"You made me feel horrible for keeping secrets from you," Chloe narrowed her eyes at him. "I told you everything, I opened up completely to you...and yet you still wouldn't tell me about seeing my mother?"
"There's nothing going on between her and I." Stephen promised.
"That doesn't matter!" Chloe snapped at him, fighting back the tears of hurt and humiliation. "I trusted you with everything and you didn't trust me."
"It's not-!" Stephen took a step towards hers.
"That's enough, Stephen." Nick shook his head, stepping protectively between them. "You're fired."
"What?" Chloe asked in shock as Nick tightened his grip around her and walked them passed Stephen.
"She can help us!" Stephen turned to follow them.
"If you think Helen's here to help, then you're madder than she is." Nick continued to walk Chloe away.
"Just listen to me!" Stephen grabbed hold of Chloe's arm, jerking her slightly out of Nick's hold.
Chloe looked between the two men who each had a hold on one of her arms.
"Are you still in love with her?" Nick glared at Stephen. "Is that why you trust her?"
"Will you stop that?" Stephen snarled at him. "Stop trying to turn Chloe against me! You're the reason she moved out!"
"What?" Chloe asked in confusion. "Why would you think that?"
"You know what?" Nick snorted. "I don't care what you do. Do it. Just leave us alone."
He gave a jerk on Chloe's arm.
Stephen tightened his hold.
"Let go, Stephen." Nick glared.
"You let go!" Stephen snapped.
"The both of you let go!" Chloe jerked her arms out of their hold. "You're hurting me."
In more ways than one.
She looked between them before shaking her head and limping away.
Behind her, Nick shook his head at Stephen before joining her, leaving the younger male with a smirking Helen Cutter.
So the yankee had finally decided to come to work.
Lester stood above in his glass office and watched as Chloe gazed at the captured mammoth in its holding cell down below in the command center, a look of lost sadness in her face. She was bruised and was using a crutch hooked under her arm so she could walk despite her badly sprained ankle, which was bandaged up. The girl looked younger than he'd ever seen her, hugging herself as she gazed up at the creature. He doubted she was even remotely interested in the mammoth itself, but it was probably more interesting to watch than Cutter, who was in a terrible mood now that he'd gone and fired Hart.
Then again, Lester didn't blame him.
First Hart messed with his wife, then his daughter, and then his wife again?
The bloke had it coming.
It was a pity though, as the man was a good tracker.
During Lester's moments of thought he didn't notice Chloe see Stephen enter the Command Center, and thus he didn't notice her begin to limp towards his office until she knocked.
The head of the ARC turned and raised an eyebrow. "Come in."
The yankee cleared her throat before slipping in, the door sliding closed behind her.
"I see you've bonded with the furry Dumbo."
She smirked. "He'll attack predators if he senses danger, and is disoriented while stuck in the wrong time. I can relate to that."
He waited for the groveling to ensue so she could get her old job back.
"I want to come back." She replied, leaning against the glass door, keeping off of her injured foot. "To the ARC."
"And we're just supposed to cater to your whimsy?" Lester went to sit behind his majestic desk, ready to make this difficult for her before finally relenting after an acceptable amount of pleading. "We need people we can rely on, not fickle little girls who-."
Chloe hobbled towards him and leaned down, palms flat on his desk as she looked at him. "You need me."
He snorted. "Someone has an inflated sense of value."
"You don't need to confess your inner demons to me, we all have issues, it makes us all human." She replied, eyeing him intently. "Lester, I never truly wanted to leave the ARC, but some things happened and I needed to find answers. I've been testing a theory of mine, and the results-Lester-somehow I'm attracted to anomalies." She slowly and carefully sat down, leaning her crutch against the desk. "Even when I'm on my own doing my own things, I stumble upon anomalies."
"So I've noticed." Lester admitted, noticing Stephen talking to Abby, tension rising from them both. "You have a knack when it comes to coming across them."
"There has to be a reason for that." Chloe announced. "Something in me." Her gaze met his steadily. "Something that might be picked up on if I can have a very thorough physical."
Lester tilted his head slightly in interest. "Are you saying what I believe you are saying?"
She nodded. "But on my terms."
He eyed her curiously before nodding. "Of course."
"We don't have the right to decide what people should know. " Stephen slipped into the room where Cutter was going over some documents. His talk with Connor and Abby had both been a blow, as both had in their own way scolded him for bailing of them with the mammoth, how Chloe and Cutter could have both died thanks to his absence, and both had told him in no uncertain way that whatever Cutter wanted they were going to be on his side. So since Chloe was upstairs talking to the Devil himself, Stephen went to the source of the contention in the gang hoping to get Cutter to see reason.
"Whatever argument you may have had lost any credibility when you hooked up with Helen." Cutter declared, keeping his back to him.
"She predicted this." Stephen shook his head, Helen's words whispering in his head. "Said that you wouldn't listen." He moved around the examination table so he could face Cutter finally. "That you were too arrogant to face reality."
Cutter finally looked up at him. "Reality? You have no idea what that word even means any more. The world changed. "
"Right." Stephen snarled, unable to keep a little of his resentment from coming out. "The world changed. The timeline messed up. You can't deal with it. You want things to be the way they were before! You must be so happy damn Ben is back in the picture!"
"Ben is back in the picture?" Cutter asked, surprised.
Stephen glared at him. "That isn't the point."
"You're right." Cutter replied. "The point is that we can't protect anyone until we know why the anomalies appear and what they mean."
"It's always your way or nothing."
"That works for me." He pushed away from the table and started walking away.
Stephen's resentment grew, his anger. "It doesn't work for me!"
"It doesn't have to." Cutter declared over his shoulder. "You and Helen can go and do whatever the hell you want together, just stay the hell away from my daughter."
"I am not staying away from Chloe." Stephen growled.
"You damn well will." Cutter stopped though wouldn't turn towards him. "She isn't your Chloe, she never was, and she will never be. Especially not after the stunt you just pulled."
"And you'd be happy if that were true, wouldn't you?" Stephen sneered. "Just because your wife can't stay away from me you'll do all in your power to keep your daughter from me too."
There was no warning.
Cutter turned and slammed his fist into Stephen's face, sending him crashing into the wall.
Stephen wiped at the blood trickling down his nose as he stood. "That's made everything simple."
Cutter stared at him with disgust before turning and leaving, taking Connor and Abby with him.
Connor tapped at the Anomaly Detector, typing in commands, breathing in and out and trying not to hyperventilate as he whispered to Nick: "Is anyone looking?"
"Nobody knows what we're doing, Connor." Nick whispered back. "You're no reason to be suspicious. So relax and stop looking so guilty."
Connor nodded. "Sorry." He continued typing. "Uh, hands are shaking." He looked around him and began typing once more, opening up a program edit window and typing into it. "This thing with Stephen..."
"Don't go there." Nick frowned.
"Right." Connor continued typing. "Thought it was a bit harsh." He cleared his throat. "He's still our friend, isn't he?"
Nick looked at him.
Connor nodded, gaze going back to the computer. "And it's nothing to do with me. At least I can tell Abby I tried." The program began to run. "It's done."
"Both parts?" Nick whispered.
"Both parts." Connor nodded. "No one's gonna know a thing about this until it turns round and bites them."
Nick turned to look at the program and smiled. "Okay. Let's see where this trail leads."
The men smiled at each other.
Neither noticed Leek above them on the higher level, watching them with narrowed eyes.
Chloe looked up as she exited the bathroom, nearly giving a little squeak when she came face to face with Oliver Leek. She gazed into his smiling face and then frowned, looking behind her at the sign, making sure that yes, this was the entrance to the female bathroom and not the male, before turning her attention back to the man who was still smiling.
The blonde cleared her throat, giving him a small, confused smile. "Can I help you?"
"Ah, yes, you're back on the team. I'm here to give you an official welcome back." Leek placed his hands in his coat's pocket and continued to smile at her. "Your presence was dearly missed around the ARC."
"That's...sweet." Chloe tried to keep the smile on her face although the confusion was mounting. "I...uh...missed being here."
"Good to know." Leek continued his creepy smile. "There are some new procedures that have been implemented since you left and Lester asked that I go through them with you but the files you need are in my car and I'm going out on an important task so why don't you walk down with me to the parking lot and I can give them to you so you can look them over?"
"Sure." Chloe nodded, following him slowly towards the elevator on her crutch, pressing the parking lot button, the doors closing and leaving them alone there. "So a new contract?"
"Something like that." Leek nodded as they continued down to the underground parking. "There's always so much paper work in this sort of job. You'd be surprised."
"I'm sure." Chloe nodded as the elevator stopped and the doors slid open, she lead the way out towards the vehicles before realizing she had no idea what Leek drove. "Which one?"
"T-that one over there." Leek reached into his pocket and pulled out his keychain, pressing a button and causing one of the cars to beep. "It's in the backseat."
"Okay." Chloe opened the backsheet door and frowned. "Nothing's here."
"M-maybe it fell under the seat."
Chloe leaned in more and looked under. "There's nothing-."
Something slammed into the back of her head, knocking her unconscious and sending her falling onto the seat.
They'd set the trap and waited in the church where they'd set the false alarm to signal the anomaly was opened and they'd waited for the traitor to show himself. They'd been expecting Lester to come rushing in with armed men. They hadn't found any sign of Lester...instead Jenny had stormed in with armed guards searching for the anomaly.
Things hadn't been pretty, what with Cutter aiming a gun at Jenny and demanding to know why she was there. It also got awkward when Jenny obviously had no idea what was going on, why the gun was pointed to her face, and when she finally admitted that Leek had sent her, well, a lightbulb went on.
Caroline turned towards Leek as he exited his car and came towards her.
"Sorry I'm late." He straightened his tie. "I had a few loose ends to tie up." He reached her. "I know what a difficult job it is to pretend to enjoy someone's company." He reached into his jacket and pulled out the amount of cash agreed upon. "So, uh, well, hope this makes up for it."
She hesitated for a second before reaching for it. "Connor's not going to get hurt, is he?"
Leek smirked. "What? You mean you actually care?"
"I'm not..." she shook her head. "I'm human."
He eyed her, thinking of all the dreams he'd had of her under him. "Yes, you are." He raised an eyebrow. "I hear you've got a present for me."
She motioned towards her car.
He walked to it and smirked as he saw Rex in a cat carrying case on the backseat. "Excellent. Undistinguished, but, well, he can serve his purpose."
"What purpose it that?" Caroline pulled a wild curl behind her ear. "Why are you so interested in these...these things?"
"Look, if you really want to know, I can show you." He reached into the backseat and pulled out the carrying case, closing the door behind him before turning to her. "Your choice."
In his office Lester went over the paperwork that they'd need, signing all forms and such. It was certainly tedious to be in charge. It was after hours and everyone was gone and yet here he was, signing papers and drinking cold coffee. And did anyone in this operation appreciate his hard labor and sacrifice? No. The thankless barbarians.
Hearing a sound, he frowned as he stood, exiting his office, something clanging in the distance.
He walked down the overpass, gazing down at the Command Center.
Above him, one of the lamps swayed while the other remains perfectly still.
Hands clasped behind his back, Lester's eyebrow raised as he continued walking down the overpass towards the Command Center.
Somewhere an object fell, the sound reverberating.
Reaching the ground, Lester paused by a small van, wondering why it was there and why the back was open. He gazed inside and found nothing, and yet something inside of him, his instincts maybe, told him that he had to be aware.
He continued looking around as he circled the Anomaly Detector.
"You're on your own, James." Leek's annoying voice announced, causing him to turn around to se Leek's face in every screen of the Anomaly Detector. "There's no one there but you."
"Leek." He frowned. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Now, I want you to feel what it's like to be on the wrong end of your grand disdain," Leek sneered. "The little man looking up at the big boss."
"Security!" Lester yelled. "I want security in here now!"
"They've all gone, James." Leek declared. "Either off on Cutter's goose chase or dead. Now..."
Lester looked around before turning back to the screens and finding himself facing a Future Predator.
Leek chuckled. "I'm gonna hunt you."
Lester ran away as the electricity to the ARC began shutting off, leaving him in the dark and in a disadvantage yet he kept on, running through the hallways, never giving up. He was James bloody Lester. He would not be done in by a bloody frog from the future!
He leaned against the corner, reaching his hand out, trying to find the panic button, pressing it and reinstating the electricity via the emergency generators.
The creature jumped out at him, slashing at his chest and throwing him back through the doors to the gym. He fell in and crawled inside, the creature stalking him. Lester's eyes widened as he saw the radio and slammed his hand on the power button, starting the loud music, causing the creature to roar as it grabbed its head. It floundered, unable to find him as the music vibrations messed with his ability to locate its prey.
Lester took the opportunity to rush into the armory and grab an automatic as the creature managed to destroy the radio. It came at him strong, taking each bullet and bouncing away before trying to come back. The gun clicked empty, the shells all around them, the creature driven back for precious seconds. Lester threw the gun down and raced back to the Command Center, racing towards the mammoth container. He grabbed the remote and walked towards the screens.
"Leek! You're never gonna make me beg for my life!" He puffed his chest up. "So let's just end it now."
"All right." Leek pouted. "If you insist." He pressed something that had the creature, which had climbed onto the beams of the roof, snarl and growl as it shook its head. "Goodbye James."
"One more thing!" James would not let that sniveling little rat have the last word.
"Yes?" Leek seemed intrigued.
Lester took in a deep breath despite the pain it caused to the slash in his chest. "You really are a tiresome little man." He secretly pressed the button to open the container.
The creature jumped at James...and the mammoth proved true to Chloe's words. It sensed the predator and attacked, shearing it with its tusk, running it through.
James let out a breath of relief as the mammoth flung the creature's dead body off of its tusks.
"Good mammoth." Lester declared before leaning against the wall and sliding down to the ground as the mammoth sniffed the walls tranquilly.
Cutter, Connor, Abby and the others hurriedly returned to the ARC to inform Lester of Leek's traitorous activities only to find a dead future predator and an injured yet very lively Lester. Jenny was pissed off about the whole gun-to-head bit, but thankfully the fact that Connor's using the Anomaly Detector to try and hack into Leek's personal file to get information on the bastard and track him down caused a bomb attached under the van used to bring the future predator to go active...well...it was a good distraction.
Thankfully removing the battery from the car itself powered down the bomb attached to it, and that was able to be resolved relatively easy.
It wasn't until after everyone breathed a sigh of relief that someone realized something that had been overlooked in all the craziness.
This place was so different from Stephen's apartment in the real timeline. It wasn't a spartan existence with only the essentials. Instead there was warmth, colors, and little details here and there that betrayed time and tenderness. There was a definitely a woman's touch in every corner of the flat. The pictures were everywhere, marking each spot of the flat as-well-they made it feel off-limits.
Helen reached for a picture of her daughter and smiled as she gazed at her. In the picture Chloe was holding one of the tranquilizer guns and doing a very exaggerated Bond pose. It was funny. Helen slipped the picture out of the frame and into her pocket before putting down the empty frame and looking at the other pictures.
Her phone vibrated in her pocket, and she answered it, eyes on a picture of Chloe and Stephen toasting. "Yes?" She listened to the whiny little voice on the other end. "You did what? A bomb? What about-? Good. She isn't to be hurt." She shook her head. "Of all the crass, misconceived ideas, Oliver. Do you want me to finish this now? Because, you know, I can walk away at any time. Without me you're nothing. Do you understand?" She sneered. "You realize this is going to make Nick more determined than ever to find you." She shook her head. "You make a crude little joke like that again, you'll regret it."
She hung up.
Stephen appeared in the doorway, cheek beginning to bruise from where Nick had hit him. "Who was that?"
Helen hesitated a second before giving him a smile. "A journalist. Someone from the old days." She picked up her gear and walked up towards him. "I've arranged a meeting."
"I'll come with you." Stephen smiled, eager to spill the beans on the ARC.
Helen barely kept herself from sneering. "Not this time. He's an old friend. I'll be better on my own." She tapped his good cheek as she passed him.
"Won't he be surprised to hear from you?" Stephen turned to watch her go. "You're supposed to be dead."
"Well, exactly," Helen wondered when in the world Stephen had grown a brain. "Which is why it'll be easier if I see him on my own. It's, uh, there's a lot of explaining to do." She hurried towards the door. "You get everything ready, I'll be back soon!"
She slammed the door and left, smirking.
The video footage of the parking lot showed Oliver Leek knocking Chloe unconscious and stuffing her into the back of his car before leaving the ARC. Nick was going insane with worry yet he realized that he couldn't panic, couldn't just go about all guns a-blazing. If he was going to find out where that abominable little man was (and thus where he had Chloe) Nick was going to have to use what he had at hand.
And what they had at hand was the neural tap that'd been placed on the now dead future predator. It'd been surgically implanted in its skull. It must have been how Leek was controlling it. The clamp was linked to the central nervous system and it was operated by remote radio signals.
Even Connor had never seen anything that advanced before.
Leek wasn't smart enough to hotwire a future predator's brain by remote control.
At least that was where he made a mistake. Any incoming radio signals could be picked up by the detector, and all Connor had to do was to track the specific signal the neural tap worked on.
"We should tell Stephen." Abby commented.
Nick turned to her. "Stephen's made his bed. He can lie down in it."
Connor had managed to trace the signal...and Lester hadn't let them go. He'd left with the commandos, and Nick and the others had been left at the ARC with orders to stay put in case anything changed. Nick wanted to beat the crap out of Lester, to tell him that this was his daughter he was keeping him from rescuing, but Jenny and Abby both had kept him back and somehow convinced him that this was the best thing to do.
But he didn't agree.
He should be out there.
"I don't-understand." Connor frowned from where he was typing into the Anomaly Detector.
"What is it?" Jenny asked from where she stood watched Nick pace.
"I-I got this idea, right? From tracing this signal?" Connor continued typing. "I realized that I could trace someone through their phones and I thought, well, I could find Rex by tracing Caroline's phone signal and finding out where she was. But I wanted to do a test round and so I traced Chloe's phone. I thought there was a fluke somehow and then...it's the same."
"What's the same?" Abby stood.
"Make sense, Connor." Nick started towards him.
"Chloe's signal is not coming from the place where we got the signal from the neural tap. It's somewhere else entirely." Connor frowned. "Thing is, Caroline's signal is coming form the same exact building."
"Chloe?" the voice seemed to echo. "Chloe are you alright?"
There was a feeling of a caress against her cheek.
Chloe groaned, starting to come around.
"I'm sorry." The vaguely familiar voice whispered. "I told him not to hurt you."
Chloe forced her eyes open, finally seeing her mother leaning over her in the thick darkness. "Mom?"
Helen smiled, softly brushing some hair out of her daughter's face.
From behind her, Leek appeared.
Chloe's eyes widened and she sat up, hand to her throbbing head. "What's going on?"
"Lester took the bait, and found the pirated signal, went on the wild goose chase to nowhere...and Cutter and his team have been apprehended and contained in the building." Leek smirked, arms folded behind his arms, seeming quite self-satisfied.
Helen smiled and reached her hand to Chloe.
Chloe gulped before placing her hand in her mother's, accepting her help up, keeping her weight off of her injured ankle.
Suddenly the lights flickered on, and Chloe's eyes widened in horror as she found herself in a room filled with captured specimens from all the eras the anomalies had led to which they'd come up against, each dinosaur in a laser cage.
"What is this?" She whispered, looking around her in horror.
Helen smiled. "The future."