Characters/Pairings: Becker/Emily/Matt, Connor/Abby, Ryan, Edward Lester (OC), Greaves (OC)
Rating:15. For violence and swearages.
Summary: Connor tries to find a way out of the prison and to locate Ackley and April.
Author's Note: It's been a bit of a while since I last posted a chapter for this story, so if you've forgotten what's gone on then check out the previous chapter here. Beta'd as usual by the wonderful fredbassett but any mistakes are all me own. Enjoy.
Edward and Emily were shoved through the door just moments before lockdown.
When the sound of an alien scream echoed through the prison, a chilling fear froze Edward’s body and he fell against the wall. He didn’t at first notice every part of him was shaking until Emily’s hands grabbed his arms and her pale face slowly came into focus.
He heard her whispering voice telling him to calm down and to keep quiet but the screaming didn’t stop. There was also a thick sickening scent in the air, bitter and coppery and that meant only one thing.
“What… what’s down there?” he stammered, unable to stop himself from looking towards the atrium.
Fast blurring movement of shadows shot across the walls and clicking bat-like screams made Edward Lester tense even more. His heart was racing, beating and pounding furiously in his chest and a cold sweat formed on his brow and trickled down his back. He could barely breathe although he had to force himself to do so.
This was not what he’d ever thought he would experience or ever wanted to experience. All the books he’d read and all the imaginings of creatures from out of space had been just that, a part of his imagination. It had been comfortable just inside his head but the anomalies changed all that. The dinosaurs and creatures he’d learnt about in school were indeed fantastic in reality, but it was much more frightening.
Edward was still trying to get his brain around what caused the anomalies and the technology Ackley had introduced. In the short few days he’d been a part of this secret department, it surprised him how little they actually knew. Finding out that Ackley was from the future did explain why, but the fact that the anomalies could bring something from the future, it never occurred to Edward. He never thought that he would get to learn about his own future as well.
Ackley had mentioned a grandson. James. A man that Emily and her companions knew and knew very well. His mind was in overload as he thought about what this grandson of his would be like… was he a good man? Was he anything like him or even his father or mother? What kind of a future did they live in?
Edward was startled out of his pondering as a scream came from a distance. He realised that it was not something this time, but someone crying out, someone in pain. Emily had already started running towards the voice and so Edward scrambled up as quickly as possible, following her to the main atrium.
He wished he had stayed where he was.
The creatures he saw writhing on the floor were not like anything he had ever seen or heard of. They were grotesque, beyond hideous and even as the things shook on the ground helplessly in convulsions, Edward stepped back several more spaces.
Emily wasn’t afraid. She ran straight towards it all, without even a moment’s hesitation.
Blood was everywhere, the smell alone should have alerted him but it never registered before. There were several bodies of the creatures in a sloppy mess on the floor and the sight of it riled up a sickening churning in his stomach which threatened to spew up in his mouth, but then Edward saw the state of the two other men.
Becker was clutching at his face, gritting his teeth and holding back the cries of pain from a wound, his blood dripping between his fingers.
The Irishman was even worse. He was covered in red but Edward could see that the majority of it wasn’t his. He was sitting up and his face was contorted with pain as he clutched his knees to his chest. He was muttering something, his eyes staring in horror at Becker. He was horrified as to what he had done, for the knife was right next to him. This was not the same man Edward had met when they came through the anomaly.
Back then, the Irish had been a calm and collected man. There had been compassion and a sense of control about him, but it was not so now. Irish was crazed, driven to the point of insanity from probably facing these creatures and Edward didn’t blame him. Those things would send anyone mad.
The next few seconds happened quickly.
Emily reached the men, scooped down to where Becker had dropped his gun and pointed it directly at the convulsing creature. She didn’t hesitate, her finger squeezed the trigger and the bullet impacted directly into the thing’s skull.
Completely unfazed, Emily turned to the other and fired again. It hit the predator’s torso, making it mad instead of dead. Up on the level above, Edward saw the third man, the one they called Connor, leaning over the rail and holding something in a closed fist. The second creature thrashed even more when the red device on its head glowed intensely. The thing’s claw swiped out and nearly caught Emily’s ankle, but a second bullet ended its life.
It didn’t stop its twitching.
The gun cluttered loudly to the floor and Edward heard Emily’s sharp and painful intake of breath before she ran to Becker’s aid. Edward blinked and thankfully his fear cleared away. A bit.
Emily frantically ripped some material from her dress, a single green strip and used it to wrap around Becker’s eye, stopping the bleeding as much as she could. As soon as Emily tied the knot and secured the makeshift bandage, both Emily and Becker turned to Matt.
Becker dropped to his knees and attempted to wrap his arms around Matt, but Becker only agitated him more.
“Get off me! Get off me, you fuck!”
“Matt… it’s all right! It’s okay! It’s us!”
“GET OFF ME!”
“What wrong with him?” asked Emily, panic sounding in her voice for the first time. “What happened?”
“I don’t know.” Becker’s voice momentarily broke, distress and anguish fleetingly crossed his face. “I tried to reach out to him and he slashed me with the knife! I don’t understand!”
Matt yelled again for them to leave him alone, he thrashed and struck out but it didn’t deter them, Becker took every blow and he didn’t budge an inch. Emily tried to clean Matt up, her hand attempted to get through his flailing arms and all the while Emily urged him to calm down, but Matt wasn’t having any of it.
He was spitting utter hatred at them and then at Connor when he finally came down the stairs.
“Oh shit! Guys!” Connor clutched at his stomach and gagged a few times, but he managed to keep his composure. “We’ve gotta get out of here! April! She’s--!”
“April?” Emily turned sharply, her eyes darkening. “What’s she got to do with this? She’s dead!”
“No! She’s not! She’s here! Sort of. Look, she’s Ackley’s daughter! So this goes way back! Guys, we’ve gotta get out of here and find her! She did this to Matt! She did this to him!”
“Fine. We’ll deal with her later, Matt needs help!” Becker sneered.
“You need help too.” Emily interjected.
“I don’t care about me! Connor! Find a way to get those bloody doors open!”
Connor didn’t need to be told again. He simply nodded in the affirmative, grabbed Edward by the collar of his coat and dragged him away whilst Becker and Emily again tried to settle Matt.
Matt’s screaming still wouldn’t stop. His babbles of hateful curses and yells of hurt and anger echoed across the walls and Edward couldn’t bear it. Even as he followed Connor through the corridors towards the control room, he could still hear Matt. Edward stumbled when Matt began to laugh in the midst of it all.
“Edward? Help me!” Connor’s voice broke through it all and snapped Ed’s attention round to him. “The prison is in lockdown but I think I can contact the outside from the control room. It’s our best chance to get the guys to a hospital but preferably one in my time!”
“I don’t know what I can do, all that tech is beyond me,” Edward stammered as Connor helped him back up the stairs. “Look, Ackley will have certainly left some of his people behind to make sure that we don’t get out. They’ll be guarding the anomaly too! Do you really think he would leave it open for anyone to walk through?”
“Oh ye of little faith! I’ve got me and my team out of many tight spots! I’m not going to fail now. A second lot of hands will be greatly appreciated!”
“Fine! If you insist.”
Connor grinned as if Edward had just said something amusing and led Lester back to the control room. It was locked just like all the rest of the doors, but Connor just grinned some more, stuck out his tongue and eventually managed to open it by finding a hidden manual release.
Edward had seen some of this new technology before but he couldn’t help but be in absolute awe at the sight of the control room when they walked through and how Connor worked it with such ease. This was clearly from the future and not just simple advances as Ackley had originally stated. It was amazing.
“Right! They’ve done what I thought they’d do, which was disable the lockdown commands at this station.” Connor said, flicking more switches and thumping buttons.
“How is all this possible? What is all this?”
“To me? This is ancient but so cool! Ackley has seriously screwed with the timeline introducing all this stuff. Look, the only way those doors are opening is if someone from the outside does it for us. Do you know anyone we can contact, someone with authority, who has one of your walkie talkies and who isn’t under Ackley’s thumb?”
“You mean a radio? Yes, there’s Miles Jones. He’s a good chap, from the few times I’ve met him. He doesn’t think that highly of Ackley so I’m sure he’ll help us.”
“Let’s get Miles on the horn then!”
“And you can do it? Using this… equipment?”
Connor grinned again.
“Sure. Give me enough time I could reverse what they’ve done and disable lockdown but that could take a while and Matt and Becker don’t have that kind of time. We need to get them out of here now.”
Edward wasn’t going to argue with him, he gave all the information he needed and sure enough, Connor was able to make radio contact with the man in question. Edward explained the situation and the response they got back was promising.
“But don’t just come yourself. Bring everyone, emergency services, police, everyone.”
“Very well. We’re on our way now.”
Edward felt much more reassured and smiled with a great satisfaction. He caught Connor looking at him strangely.
“What? Is something wrong with my face?”
“Nope. It’s just for a moment, you looked so much like… well you reminded me of our Lester.”
To Edward it looked as if that was a good thing, judging by Connor’s smile. He didn’t have time to ask anything further as Connor flicked a few more switches and headed for the door.
“Let’s get back.”
Upon their return to the atrium, Matt’s screaming had died down to quiet murmured moans. Emily was kneeling down next to the two men, trying to coax Becker to let go of Matt, who was having none of it. When Edward announced that aid was coming, Becker didn’t budge.
Edward thought about prying for more information. He wanted to know exactly what those things had been but he knew he wasn’t going to get any answers, certainly not from Becker or Matt. However, it seemed that Becker himself was demanding some answers and turned round until he could see Connor with his good eye.
“What did April do to him?” he demanded.
Connor shrugged his shoulders. “She said she gave him something, something that is making him sick,” he said solemnly. “What exactly, I don’t know, but I know it’s because of her he’s like that.”
“Where is she?”
“I dunno. She might have got out before the lockdown occurred.”
“How soon are those doors going to be opened?”
“As soon as Jones can get here.”
Becker was not happy about that piece of news.
“It’s not soon enough!”
Then it really wasn’t, Matt went frightfully still and limp in Becker’s arms. There was a look of utter panic on Becker’s face, he called out his name, he slapped at his face to try and rouse him but it didn’t wake Matt at all.
“MATT! Please… MATT! Answer me!”
Emily again took control—as if she’d never lost it—and pushed Becker away. She checked Matt’s vitals—he was breathing— and signalled with a wave of her hand for Connor and Edward to take Matt to the exit, ready for when help arrived. As Edward and Connor struggled to carry Matt, Emily struggled herself to keep Becker subdued whilst at the same time hauling him in the same direction.
Emily was strong despite her size and despite Becker’s condition and his protesting, yet she managed to get him to the door. She leaned the dazed half-blind man against the wall and whispered something to him as she ripped another strip from her dress to bandage his wound.
She calmed him down further with a single touch of her hand on his cheek.
Edward didn’t hear what she whispered to him, but whatever it was, it eased him. He seemed to accept what was going on and that there wasn’t anything else he could do, so Becker moved over to where Matt was resting and took him back up in his arms. His hands touched over Matt, at first checking his injuries and then resting ever so tenderly over his chest.
“His ribs are broken and he might have possible internal bleeding.” Becker’s voice was deadpan, professional, but the stroke of his hand against Matt’s face, as Emily had done to him, was intimate. “We have to get him out of here… please.”
Seeing that loving touch and hearing Becker’s voice turn into a simper made Edward flinch and he saw that Connor looked surprised at such a gesture, but in that instant there was the sound lockdown being lifted.
Becker immediately tried to scramble to his feet and as soon as he managed to, he picked up Matt under great strain and with immense determination. He wobbled and nearly dropped Matt but he refused help except from Emily. He allowed her to guide him through the doors and keep him in a relatively straight line.
Edward was surprised at the crowd that greeted them outside, but it wasn’t completely unexpected, after all he had asked for it. Well, most of it.
This prison was Ackley’s property. What had happened to the previous inmates was uncertain, but this was his place. His people had been keeping it secure, but now there were firemen, police and soldiers everywhere, as well as some onlookers, passers-by. The press was here too, for there were flashing lights from cameras.
Jones, a tall stocky man in a long trench coat, and a few others of his team, came rushing up to help them.
“Lester! What the hell is going on?” Jones asked as Connor and Emily did their best to keep the others away from Becker and Matt. “You told me to get all the emergency services here and I have, so what’s happened with Ackley? The radios are going absolutely bonkers and Downing Street’s not happy! They’re demanding answers!”
Edward understood that all these ‘agents’ needed answers, everyone was after them but he was still the newbie. He could tell that they thought he was not qualified for this, that he had no right to be giving any kind of orders or to be in the position he was in. He was still a boy.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t give you all the answers, I don’t know them. I will tell you what I know on the way to the station.” Edward replied. “We need to get these people back to the anomaly and to their own time as soon as possible. Also our teams have to secure the prison. No one else should be allowed in that facility.”
“Something else came through the portal? An incursion?”
Edward shook his head. “Not exactly, it’s hard to say, though Ackley is responsible.”
Jones was unnerved by that, but he nodded and after he gave out the orders to his second in command, he directed Emily and Becker towards one of the military’s medical trucks, where others of his team aided the wounded into the back.
“The hospital might be better for them judging by their condition.” Jones said, looking at the blood drenching the two men. “However, if we unlocked the portal now, it will vanish.”
“Wait! You’ve locked the anomaly?” asked Connor. “How?”
“With one of our devices.” Jones replied. “It’s quite technical, but I suppose we’d best get you home then."
Jones issued some last minute orders on his radio and the truck then sped off towards the station.
Even at Kings Cross, things were not going as well. The public were not happy about the disruption and at their being kept out of the station itself. More soldiers and police were acting as barriers for the public, but they parted pretty quickly for the truck.
Jones parked the truck in a remote place which allowed them to get inside without being pestered further. Edward never liked seeing Kings Cross looking so deserted and barren without the bustle of people, but it was necessary. If he was still freaked out by all this, then they certainly would be.
They grabbed a stretcher from the back of the medical truck and it made carrying Matt to the anomaly was a heck of a lot easier. Emily and Connor helped Becker and to Edward, it felt a long time before they finally reached the platform and the anomaly. It was painfully slow work.
Unlike before, when Edward had been keeping guard with only two other men, the anomaly portal was guarded like a fortress now. More men, armed with guns, surrounded the phenomenon and several more were guarding a locking device. The once-huge glowing anomaly was like a small silver ball slowing turning around in mid-air. It was dormant?
Connor wasted no time by asking anything of anyone. He ran over to the device, muttering that it was his invention, and shoved one of the armed men aside. When the man pointed his gun at his head, Connor scowled.
“Do you mind? Don’t point that at me!”
“Do as he says, man,” said Jones. “But tell me, what happened? Did Ackley come through this way? Have you heard anything from him?”
The man shook his head. “No, sir. I’ve not seen anything of Mr Ackley himself, but a few moments ago some of the men were called away, by him on the radio, no reason was given. The rest of us were told to remain here.”
“So Ackley is still here, in this time. He hasn’t gone back.” Edward said.
Connor wasn’t going to tell them that they might have gone through another anomaly; instead he focused on the locking device. His fingers were a blur over the control and Emily and Becker were staring at the anomaly waiting patiently for it to open.
In an instant the small silver glittering ball erupted out into a big anomaly, but there was something not quite right about it. It seemed dimmer, it looked as if it was about to disappear.
In an instant the small silver glittering ball erupted out into a big anomaly, but there was something not quite right about it. It seemed dimmer, it looked as if it was about to disappear.
Edward turned at the sound of Matt’s voice.
Edward turned at the sound of Matt’s voice.
Matt was wide awake and looked like he had seen a ghost. He was pale beneath the blood on his skin and he was shaking as he scrambled to his feet. Matt was awake but the thought of going back through the anomaly terrified him.
Emily ran over to him.
“Matt, we can go home!”
“No!” he yelled. “I’m not going, not when Ackley is still here! He’s planning something! He still wants me to find out! We have to stop him!”
“Guys! Now is not the time to be having this debate!” Connor yelled. “We have to go! The anomaly is on the verge of closing!”
“Then go!” Emily snapped. “We’re right behind you!”
Connor didn’t look sure. He wanted to go but Edward knew that he wasn’t someone who could casually abandon his friends.
Connor edged closer to the anomaly, still unsure and very worried, especially as some of the armed men tried to restrain Matt, but eventually he did as he was told and walked through the anomaly.
It was previously unknown to have two locking devices keeping an anomaly closed. Abby knew that Connor hadn’t taken any with him when they first went through, which meant that there had to be another. Ackley must have one.
Everything was so insane.
Ryan being alive was just one thing.
She had explained as best she could everything that she remembered, but time had been changed in other ways here. It saddened her to know that Cutter and Stephen had still died, but Danny was alive, he had managed to stop Ethan from escaping and he was now with Jenny helping Ethan as much as they could.
And Sarah? No one knew what had happened to her. Instead of dying, she was missing in the past, but she might as well been dead. Ryan explained to her how important she was to him, how he never wanted to give up on her. Every mission brief always kept the order to be on the lookout for her.
There were other changes she had yet to hear about, especially about the ARCs origins, but for now there was the concern and problem of the anomaly being locked from both sides.
“So you can’t unlock it? At all?” Ryan asked Greaves as the two soldiers stood next to a couple of scientists fiddling at the innards of Connor’s invention.
“Well… no.” Greaves said. “These guys have turned our device off, but until whatever is locking it on the other side shuts down…we can’t do anything.”
“I don’t like not being able to do anything.” said Ryan, his grip on his gun tightening with frustration. “Just keep at it.”
Ryan turned away and then he began to pace back and forth in front of Abby. Ever since hearing the news of Becker’s death, they had all taken it surprisingly well—as well as anyone could take the news of their captain’s death— but Abby could see the loss and grief edging slowly across Ryan’s face. She still couldn’t believe that he was alive, it felt weird to see him in front of her like this.
Abby wanted him to stop pacing, she wanted to talk to him more about their differences, but just as she opened her mouth, the anomaly swelled up and opened.
Everyone jumped to attention, alert and ready, guns aimed at the glowing anomaly in case anything or anyone hostile came through. For a moment, nothing happened and the tension built high until finally Connor appeared.
Blood covered his clothes, he looked absolutely worn and tired and so afraid.
“It’s me!” he gasped, holding his hands out in defence. “It’s just me!”
“Hold your fire!” Ryan yelled.
Everyone stood down, lowering their weapons.
Abby rushed up to Connor, concerned that he might be hurt, but his small smile and the crushing hug he gave her told her that he was okay.
“The others are right behind me.” He said, gasping for breath. “Don’t worry, Abs. It’s not my blood, it’s Predators blood and maybe some of Matt’s and Becker’s too. They’re coming through in a moment. All of them.”
“All of them?”
“Becker is alive, Abby! He and Emily are alive! Ackley lied!”
Connor grinned when he saw how elated and relieved Abby was at hearing that news. She squeezed him so hard and when she let him go Connor was able to see the look of delight on the other men’s faces. Including Ryan.
“What the f--?” Connor gasped for breath as he pointed a finger at Ryan. “He’s alive too? How did that happen?”
Abby gave him a look.
“Oh heck. We changed the future, didn’t we?”
“Damn.” Connor bowed his head and pulled Abby into another hug. “Abby, it didn’t go well back there. Matt… Matt is in a seriously bad way.”
“Where is he?”
Connor turned round and then the look of worry and panic drifted across his face once again. He looked to the anomaly and waited. They all waited, but no one came through.
A few seconds later, still nothing.
“Connor? Where are they?” Abby asked, her hand squeezing his so tightly.
Connor didn’t reply, he only muttered under his breath “Come on! Come on, you guys!” and he shuffled nervously on his feet. He then began to bite anxiously at his nails.
“Connor! Where are they?” Ryan repeated.
“They were right behind me! I swear! They were right behind me!”
“Oh god!” Abby gasped. “The anomaly is closing!”
“No!” Connor ripped his hand out of Abby’s grasp. “I can’t leave them back there!”
Abby screamed at him not to do it, but it seemed he didn’t hear or didn’t want to hear. As the light of the anomaly faded away, Connor ran straight towards it. Abby felt her voice break and her legs give out when Connor and the anomaly vanished completely.
“You shouldn’t have come back. It was very foolish.”
“I couldn’t leave you guys.”
Emily smiled weakly and took hold of Connor’s hand.
“Thank you, but it was still very foolish.”
The sun was shining today, it was warm, the birds were singing and while the two of them sat on the bench watching the others go about their daily lives, it was anything but lovely.
The people who walked past them were not their people. The cars were not their cars. This was not their time. 1932 had been such an exciting prospect when they all agreed to go through, but as Emily and Connor sat watching this world, it felt horribly cold and unreal.
They were stranded. There was no home to go to any more.
“How is he?” Emily asked.
Connor slicked some of his hair back and pulled at the collar of his coat. Emily really didn’t want to focus too much on what had happened, neither of them did, but the silence was just unbearable for her.
“Fortunately, it’s not infected, but… it’s going to scar.” Connor replied, allowing Emily to lean against him. He put his arm around her and for a few minutes they watched the world of 1932 go on before he carried on talking. “They’ll let him out in a few days, maybe a week, but Becker’s not happy. He’s got one hell of a temper and none of the nurses want to go anywhere near him. He hates it in there, Emily. Why don’t you go and see him?”
“Maybe I will, later.”
She wasn’t going to tell Connor that she was afraid to see Becker in the state that he was in. She didn’t want to see him so angry and she hated herself for it.
“Emily… we can’t leave him in that place.”
She knew he was now referring to Matt. She bobbed her head, briefly acknowledging that statement, but hoped that Connor would stop talking about it. Knowing how much Becker hated being in hospital was bad enough, but knowing about Matt was something else.
Her eyes began to sting and burn with tears, but Emily refused to let them fall.
“We’re not going to leave him, but it’s not going to be easy to get him out either. You saw how bad he got.” Emily rose to her feet and looked across the park to where their tails were obviously trying to hide behind their newspapers. “Walk back to the apartment with me, Connor. It’s too cold out here.”
“I’ve got to go to the ARC in an hour. I don’t want to leave you on your own. Come with me, Emily. There is still some hope. Well… a bit.”
Emily held out her hand and looked away from him. It was simply a signal for him to stop talking and comply. Once he did, when he took hold of her hand and they walked slowly together down the path, their tails followed.
“So. This is what is comes down to.”
Matt didn’t look up. He kept his face resting on his knees and ground his teeth in frustration. Anger and grief kept interchanging and it was tearing him apart.
The lights. He remembered the lights flashing and streaming past him. Hands restrained him and held him down. He was bound, tied so he could barely move. He heard the slamming of doors and screams. The Predators had always haunted his dreams, but now it was ten times worse. They were calling out to him.
“We’re in a bit of a pickle, boyo.”
“I’m not talking to you.”
“If you say so, but you have to admit what you did to those soldiers who tried to restrain you was a bit over the top. Your actions have stranded us here and you’ve kept us here because you think Ackley is still in this time and up to something else. You think that those predators you faced were just a distraction? Who cares? There is no way of getting back to good old 2011 now. The anomaly has gone.”
“Shut up.” Matt growled.
“I can’t. How can I? You’re thinking it, so I say it. Matt… you’re fucked up. That’s why we’re here and it’s why Becker and Emily won’t come and see you!”
Matt shook his head. They will come and see him! The screams will stop as well!
Matt badly wanted to see Becker and Emily again, and Connor, he needed to know that they were okay. He also wanted the voices to be quiet, especially his own.
“You are going to spend the rest of your life here and they are going to be so blissfully happy together… without you.”
Matt snapped. He utterly lost it.
He yelled. He roared until his throat went raw and he looked up and saw his own self laughing as he stood over him. Matt struggled to his feet, screaming hell and obscenity at himself, and lunged towards him.
He only succeeded in smashing into the bolted door. He did so again and again until he fell onto his back, red in the face as he struggled to free his arms from the canvas straight jacket. He screamed and cried through the straps that bound around his head, before breaking into laughter.