DISCLAIMER: The characters herein are used without permission. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Assumes some events of season 2 and season 3.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To chava3040[at]gmail.com
Watchman, What of the Night?
"No," Helena was adamant in her refusal, "Myka cannot be removed from here. Not until we know what is really going on and what that artifact she touched did to her. There is nothing that they can do for her at the hospital."
Releasing a longsuffering sigh, Pete tried to keep his voice calm, "Hospitals aren't the Hell holes they used to be H.G. They have equipment and technology that could help us find a way to bring her back." Pete looked to Artie for support, exasperation seeping into his tone, "Dr. Calder hasn't been able to do anything for her, except tell us what we already know. She's been catatonic for a week. We need to do something other than watch her lay in that bed day in and day out."
"And how exactly do we try to figure out what the artifact did to her if she is under constant watch by doctors, nurses, and various staff?" Helena spoke slowly and clearly as if speaking to a child. "We need to neutralize the effect of the artifact and that would be impossible if Myka is not here."
Aggravated and insulted at the way Helena was talking to him, Pete dropped any pretense of civility, "And what exactly have we done on that front?" He pierced her with a scowl, his voice taking on a scoffing tone. "That's right, absolutely nothing." Pointing a finger at Helena he continued, "And who are you to be the deciding factor in what happens to Myka?" He slowed his speech, enunciating each word as he repeated his question, "Who are you to her?"
"Enough," Artie's shout echoed off the walls of the room. Helena crossed her arms, her eyes flashing dangerously at Pete but she kept silent. The two agents stared murderously at each other in the ensuing silence. The tension in the room was palpable. Artie looked between the occupants of the room his eyes oscillating between Pete and Helena, his eyebrows furrowed in displeasure.
Leene sighed and slipped out to the kitchen to prepare tea, Artie's angry voice filling the silence behind her. Mrs. Frederic walked into the kitchen to find Leena steeping tea in preparation for her arrival. Seating themselves opposite one another across the kitchen table they jumped right into the topic that was causing palpable tension between everyone at the Warehouse.
"What are we going to do?" Leena asked the older woman looking up into deep, old eyes.
"There is nothing that can be done," the stately woman shook her head, "Myka touched the feather of Ma'at. That is a power far above our own."
"That won't satisfy Helena. She won't sit idly by and wait." Leena shivered as a thought occurred to her, "She would tear this world apart for her. I can see it."
"She already had that in mind once before," Mrs. Frederic divulged calmly as if she was sharing nothing more than the weather. "That, I suspect, is the reason this is happening to Myka in the first place. But there is nothing she can do to expedite this process. Helena, and the rest of the team, must wait until Myka returns on her own."
"She's missing her soul, Irene," Leena said worry coloring her tone, "Isis sits guard over her body to keep it from dying. But, I don't understand why? And to what purpose? And how is she even going to get her soul back?"
Shaking her head, the Warehouse matron answered honestly, "I do not know, Leena." Her sigh giving away how frustrated she was with the situation, "All I know is that this involves power that supersedes our own. And I have been forbidden to interfere." Both women turned at the slamming of the front door.
"Hopefully this is all resolved before those two tear each other apart," Leena said seeing two flaring auras moving to the parked SUV.
Myka paced like a caged lion (six steps to, swivel, six steps fro). The unending, maddening cycle was beginning to wear on the occupants in the sitting room directly below.
Grunting in exasperation, Charles looked over the top of the newspaper he was trying to read while enjoying his morning tea, "Helena, dear," he said with put on sweetness, smiling when Helena looked up from her writing, "could you possibly go tell your guest to refrain from driving me mad?"
A smirk painting her lips, Helena raised a questioning eyebrow at her brother, "My guest, Charles?" He smiled behind his paper at her tone. "You make him sound like one of the many guests that grace your quarters, dear brother." Shaking her head at his quiet laughter and casual attitude of the whole situation, Helena tried to clarify. Knowing explaining it would be useless, she attempted it regardless, "He is not that type of guest, Charles. He was injured and needed a place to heal for a couple of days. That is all," she insisted.
Tilting his head toward the constant noise being generated above him, Charles looked less than convinced, "He seems awfully agitated for that being the total sum of happenings in this situation." Turning back to his paper, he smirked as he stated, "And, my dear, at least my guests generally have the decency to make themselves scarce with the rising of the sun." He looked up as fine dust landed on his newspaper. Frowning as he dusted his paper, Charles looked at his sister annoyance clearly coloring his features, "Making the whole process much more pleasant for every party involved."
Helena rolled her eyes at his upset but got up from her desk nonetheless, "Alright, Charles, I will go find out what is wrong and try to calm him down." She stood, gently placed the fountain pen neatly beside the parchment and straightened the wrinkles from her dress. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Charles place his newspaper aside and stand to approach her. Turning to him, she raised her eyebrows in tacit question, "Am I not moving quickly enough for you brother?"
Her amusement died when she saw how serious he was, "What is it Charles?"
Closing the short distance between them, the tall, willowy man leant against the desk, eyes firmly fixed on his sister's, "Helena, are you in some sort of trouble?" He titled his head to indicate the man in the room above but kept his gaze on Helena. "A few days ago, you walk in here, at God knows what hour of the night, with those fellows you associate with, carrying this stranger who has apparently become a permanent guest." Helena dropped her eyes. "What is going on?" Charles caught Helena by the shoulder before she could turn away and gently, but firmly, held her in place. He used his other hand to tilt her chin up so he could look at her eyes. "Whatever it may be, Helena, I can help." He lightly kissed her forehead. "Let me help."
Clasping his hand in hers, Helena leaned in to kiss his cheek, "I cannot explain all this." She waved her hand to indicate the now silent room. Charles expression hardened. Sighing, she squeezed his hand, "Trust me Charles."
Knowing he would be unable to persuade her to divulge anything, Charles acquiesced, his features softening again, "I always do." Releasing her, he stepped to the decorative rack of swords placed by the hearth. Picking one up, he studied the length of it before turning to his sister, smirk firmly in place, "And, I will polish my dueling skills. Should the need arise to defend my sister's honor."
Helena's laugh bounced off the walls as she exited the sitting room. He heard her rejoinder float down the stairs, "I am very well capable of defending my own honor brother."
"Artie, do you think sending them out together was the wisest idea?" Claudia's tone was incredulous. "They've been at each other's throats since they got back from Egypt. It's like Myka was the only thing making them even remotely civil to one another."
"I don't care," Artie gruffed, "I just needed them out of here. They were driving me crazy." He pushed his glasses up and refocused on the file in front of him. "They might even work out their differences now that they're forced to work together."
Claudia raised both eyebrows at the sometimes absent minded man, shaking her head she turned back to the laptop she had used as a shield while Pete and Helena argued. "Yeah," she muttered, "that has about the same probability as a snowball's chance in Hell."
"I heard that," Artie groused without turning around to face her. Claudia rolled her eyes at his back and used exaggerative facial motions to mimic the older man. "Stop that," he demanded as he swiveled around to face her. She stopped mid motion and pouted at Artie, "Party pooper."
Standing and picking up his file, Artie walked out to the stairs, "Come with me." He impatiently waited for the girl to follow him, "And, bring your laptop." He disappeared up the stairs into what Claudia knew was Myka's room.
Gathering her things, Claudia scrambled up the stairs to follow the grumpy, old man. She entered the room and paused at the sight of Artie tenderly holding Myka's hand, his countenance softening into an expression she rarely saw on his face. She walked over to Myka's bookshelf to give Artie his private moment. Walking her fingers along the spines of books, she stopped at a book that looked very recently placed on the shelf. Picking it up she turned it over to read the cover. It was an old, worn copy of The Time Machine. Glancing back at the books neatly placed in rows on the shelf, she noted a much newer copy of the same book she held in her hand.
"What have we got here then?" she muttered to herself as she opened the cover of the book. In Helena's precise handwriting, written on the top left inside cover of the book was a dedication:
In memory of my darling Myka,
Who was the inspiration and muse of this work.
Helena G. Wells, 1895
Fingertips ghosted over the old, faded ink. Brow furrowed in bewilderment, Claudia stared at the inscription dumbfounded. Trying to wrap her mind around the possible implications of what she was seeing, Claudia sat down on the nearby chair, accidentally jostling the book and causing something to fall out of the pages. She stooped down to pick up what looked like photographs. She sat back down to study what she was seeing, her mind running a million miles a minute trying to process all the new information. "As Tim Burton's Alice would say, things are getting curiouser and curiouser in this crazy little drama."
Claudia stared at the picture in her left hand that was a grainy black and white photograph which was obviously very old. In it she recognized Helena, but not the man gently holding her. Turning her head to look at the picture in her right hand, she recognized Helena and Myka. Smiling. Happy. Her heart clenched a little as she looked up from the picture to Myka. Staring back down at the picture she wondered how Helena was coping with the waiting and wondering if Myka would ever come back to them. "Maybe all the fighting with Pete helps relieve some of the pent up nervous energy," she muttered to herself as she tried to pinpoint exactly why the pictures seemed so similar despite the obvious fact that they were mostly likely taken a century apart. Claudia went through a mental checklist noting that Helena was present in both pictures, the moment captured seemed the same, the expressions on Myka's face and the strange man's face seemed the same, both Myka and the men held Helena the same way. "This all means something." Her eyes bounced from one picture to the other. "If only I could get all the pieces to fit together right."
"Would you stop murmuring to yourself and come look at this?" Artie snapped, before remembering his manners, "Please?" Grunting in frustration as her thoughts slipped away after her inner monologue was so suddenly interrupted, Claudia placed the photographs back into the middle of the book and returned the old, worn book to the shelf. Making a mental note to ask H.G. about the whole thing when the inventor returned. Her mind still caught up in what she had found Claudia absently wondered out loud, "Do you ever wonder the secrets H.G. is carrying around?" Artie turned his head to her, bushy eyebrow raised in silent question. "I mean, she's been alive almost a hundred and fifty years and she seems to keep everything to herself. I think the only person she has let close to her, in all this time, is Myka."
In a moment of rare disclosure, Artie shared his thoughts on that point, "Everybody has secrets. But, not everyone is as dangerous as our infamous H.G. Wells."
"Myka's been good for her. Why can't you trust her, for Myka's sake?" Claudia asked seriously.
"It's hard for me to trust someone that has more secrets than I do," he turned back to Myka, "but I have given Helena a chance because I trust Myka's judgment." Waving off anymore discussion along that line of thought, he abruptly changed the subject, "I want you to find out everything you can about this tattoo."
"When did Myka get that?" shock clearly evident in her voice, Claudia peered closely at the mark.
"It's a recent acquisition from Egypt," he answered as he studied the tattooed feather on the inside of Myka's right wrist.
Eyes locking onto the wrist, Claudia asked something that had been bothering her the entire week, "Artie," he looked up her, "do you find it odd that Mrs. F hasn't made a single appearance since this whole thing started?"
Artie looked back down at the feather of Ma'at burned into Myka's skin but did not answer.
Sides aching from the constant pacing, Myka groaned painfully as she gingerly sat the body she was walking in into one of the chairs closest to her. Through the furious pacing, she had come to the conclusion that this was no different than when she had switched bodies with Pete. She tried not to worry about the glaring details that were different in the current situation versus the previous one. Mainly, the feather she had touched and subsequently the Egyptian deities she had encountered in Warehouse 2.
Head and sides pounding in tandem with her heartbeat, Myka wished she had some more of the drugs that were in her system up until yesterday. Slumping in the chair, completely deflated, Myka considered how she was going to reverse the situation. Helena would obviously help. And the others would help, too. Her mind immediately supplied doubt. Where were the others? Why had no one but Helena been at her bedside?
The more Myka considered the questions running through her mind, the more muddled her thoughts became. Only Helena had been in to keep an eye on her (not counting the two men she had seen briefly a week before), but not the Helena she remembered. Helena had been in and out helping with the broken ribs. She would sometimes sit and read, but she mostly sat quietly, not conversing with her as had become their custom. Helena seemed younger, somehow. Her eyes did not carry the weariness and pain she had come to associate with the brown depths. Her shoulders did not droop with the weight of grief. Myka was so lost in thought that she did not notice Helena opening the door and walking toward her.
Helena cleared her throat to get the young man's attention. He seemed deeply lost in thought and startled when he realized she was standing directly in front of him. "I did not mean to startle you," she apologized, "I knocked but when there was no answer I worried you may have injured yourself and could not call out."
Myka waved off the apology. Looking Helena once over, she spoke before she thought, "What are you wearing? Is it Halloween? Or are you pining for the 19th century?"
Looking down at herself, brow wrinkled in confusion, Helena did not whether she should take offense, "I am not quite sure what to make of your questions." Deciding his injury warranted clemency, she took no offense. "I see the clothes I brought you fit you well enough."
"Yeah, just a little snug. I could have just borrowed something of Pete's. This kind of looks like it was made circa a century ago; like you dug it out of your brother's closet," Myka responded. Hearing how ungrateful her words sounded out loud, she quickly added, "But thank you, I do appreciate it."
Helena looked at him curiously. "Right," she responded when silence stretched between them, "would you like some tea?" At his nod, she turned and indicated he should follow her.
Moving as fast as her still healing body would take her, Myka trailed behind Helena. "Where are the others?" She asked walking down the stairs slowly.
Helena turned to him making sure he did not injure his ribs as he made his way down the stairs, "Kataranga is at the Warehouse. At least, I assume he is. He rarely leaves it. And, MacShane is most likely at home with his wife and children."
"I meant Pete, Claudia, and Artie," Myka said as she stepped off the final step. "Even Leena." She looked around and really noticed her surroundings for the first time. Bewildered at what she saw, her voice tinged with confusion, "What happened to the Bed and Breakfast?"
Helena looked at Myka wondering what the poor man was referring to, "I have no idea to what you are referring." She turned, grasped Myka by the elbow, and led him to sit on one of the chairs by the fireplace. "Neither do I know any of the people you mentioned, nor this Bed and Breakfast you speak of. Are you sure you did not injure your head as well as your ribs in that explosion?" Helena tentatively reached out to touch Myka's temple at his suddenly pale complexion. "What is wrong?" Helena asked worry evident in her tone. "Did you aggravate your injury?"
Myka inadvertently ignored Helena, her gaze firmly fixed on the newspaper sitting on the table next to the chair. The only things that caught her attention, and had her riveted, were one word and four little numbers on the front page.
Myka could hear Pete's distinct voice echoing through her head: Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.
To Be Continued
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