TITLE: In Times Shadow--Part One
AUTHOR: Cassie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
DISCLAIMERS: Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict are copyright Tribune Entertainment Company www.tribtv.com and the show is produced by Roddenberry/Kirshner Productions. They are used without permission. No infringement is intended. (This disclaimer was taken, with permission, from Brown Unicorns fan fiction)
SPOILERS: Spoilers up to: A Stitch in Time
AUTHOR'S SUMMARY: Will visitors from the future mean danger and maybe death to the only Taelon on Earth that sympathizes with the human race, and the complete alteration of the future.
Thanks: Thank you to Cate, Toni, and Karen for your incite, criticism, encouragement and your faith.
In Time's Shadow
by Cassie <email@example.com>
Major Liam Kincaid looked around the massive room at the high white walls. The only things that presented themselves on those walls were the vents that controlled heating, or-which seemed to be more the case-cooling; and the filled balcony. He looked behind and around himself, on the stage, past the red velvet curtains on both his side and the other. He then looked to Da'an, standing in front of a podium giving his speech-one that Liam wasn't paying attention to. Everything looked in order, so why did he have this nagging feeling? The space between Da'an and himself also bothered him. He was too far, he thought. If this intuition was right, that something, though did not exactly feel wrong but felt misplaced, brought danger to the Companion, he might not be able to get to him in time.
When he shifted on his feet the gun underneath his leather jacket shifted as well. It was still uncomfortable, but necessary. It wasn't like he could just use his Sha'karava. Part of him was afraid that he couldn't control it, and he may hurt an innocent. Another could probably guess the reactions, and repercussions it would cause.
Liam turned and addressed the a red haired Security guard that stood next to him. "Have your teams seen anything?"
"No sir," the guard answered. "Everything's clear."
"Well, keep a close watch out," Liam told him, and added more to himself, "I have a bad feeling."
"Yes, sir," the guard said, and looked across the stage, a resentful expression on his face. Surprised by the expression, Liam followed the direction of the guard's gaze. A young woman stood there. She had short brown hair-cut to just above her ear. All the other security guards were customarily ready to react, but she was different. She was, it seemed, more so. Her green eyes scanned the room thoroughly, as though looking for something or someone specific. She expected something to happen, it was evident in her stance-feet spread and gloved hands touching behind her back. She was waiting. For what? Perhaps she had the same feeling as he? Part of him doubted it. But, beside said facts, there was another, and one that troubled him. Liam didn't recognize her as a guard that had been assigned to the Hall. Before he could ask the security guard, that he had just spoken to, who she was, the guard had moved away. And, then, there was another question, he didn't really recognize that guard either.
All of a sudden her head snapped forward, and she took a step from her position. The action propelled Liam's eyes back to her. Something was wrong, he could feel it as well. He tensed. The woman looked quickly around, her white gloved hand reaching under her uniform jacket. Suddenly, she looked at Da'an. No, not at, behind. She was already moving toward Da'an before Liam could react.
It all seemed to happen in slow motion, and Liam felt as though he was slower still. He looked behind the stage as a man appeared from behind a curtain. He held in his hand a...was it a gun? If it was a gun it was none like he'd ever seen before. The woman reached Da'an and pulled him to the floor as an energy pulse shot from it. Liam pulled out his own gun, pointed it at the would-be assassin, and pulled the trigger, but it missed. The man then shot toward Liam, forcing him to jump out of the way.
The room was now in utter chaos. Screams and yelling filled the auditorium. The other security guards were trying to get the audience out of the room. It was only to be expected that they didn't see what happened next. An energy pulse then shot at the intruder, one of a similar nature as the gun man's own, and hit him. Instead of falling, his shape seemed to shift or faze. Liam followed the direction in which it came and his eyes ended up at the young woman he had been watching earlier. She held in her white gloved hand, a weapon that was as equally unrecognizable as the gun man's. Liam's eyes turned back to the intruder in time to see him leave. The woman followed after him, but not before saying something to Da'an, and getting a reply from him.
Liam followed her, gun in hand, through a short hall after passing through a stage door. She was outside the door at the other end of the hall, when he caught up. She was tense and out of breath as she looked around. The door led outside of the building. The intruder was nowhere in sight. She looked at a now ungloved, right hand, then balled it into a fist as she closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"Any idea where he went?" Liam asked her.
"No. I'd be following him if I had," she answered unconsciously, folding her arms across her chest; her eyes now opened. The gun had disappeared, and she held the glove, that had once been on her right hand, in her left-which was still gloved. Her ungloved hand was still balled in a fist. He would have just dismissed the glove if he hadn't seen a faint brown mark, that looked almost like dirt, visible in its crunched position. She jumped then, startled. Her arms loosed and slid from their position. She looked at him in astonishment and surprise, until she regained her stoic face. It wasn't exactly cold or unfeeling, but it gave nothing away. She turned from him, folding her arms once more, then leaned back against the wall.
"I'm Liam Kincaid," he said offering his right hand, she probably already knew that, but...
She turned her head and looked at him, then his hand, then him again. She was sizing up whether to take it or not. Liam didn't back away from her calculating expression, just waited, his arm extended.
"Tara Denner," she introduced, still not taking his hand.
"Do you mind if I asked you a few questions?" Liam asked, letting his hand drop, as it seemed as though she had no desire or intention of take it.
"Like what?" she asked in a cool business-like manner. She tried to push herself from the wall, but fell back.
"Like: what just happened in there?" Liam asked not noticing her effort.
"Someone just tried to kill the North American Companion, what did it look like to you?"
"That is not what I meant, and you know it. Who exactly was that in there, and what the hell was in his hand?" Liam asked, trying to keep his calm and not raise his voice.
She gave no inclination that she intended to answer him. She didn't even look at him.
"Listen, Ms Denner..." he began. It was then he noticed that her jacket was burned on her upper shoulder, as well as the flesh underneath. She looked tired, and worn out, like she was trying to keep her eyes open. "I have to get you somewhere where someone can take a look at that." Liam continued, motioning to her shoulder.
"I'll be fine." She answered seemingly weaker.
Liam took her arm, the one with the good shoulder, with the intention of leading her back in, but her legs gave way. Her lifted her nearly unconscious form into his arms and headed back in, saying, "Some how I doubt that." She didn't object, probably to weak. Even if she had he wouldn't have listened. He intended to get answers. How exactly did she know whoever that was, was there? She had sensed him, but how? Why had he tried to kill Da'an? He had a feeling she knew. What was he using as a weapon, what had she used for that matter? There was a lot of answers to get.
Much of the people and confusion had gone when Liam reentered the hall. Da'an had four guards around him as well as a man in a blue suit to whom he was talking. As soon as Da'an saw Liam, he excused himself, and made his way to him. "How badly is she injured?" Da'an asked Liam worriedly gesturing to the woman in Liam's arms.
"I don't know," was all Liam could answer. The only visible damage was the burn on her shoulder, he didn't know why she experienced this loss of consciousness. He turned his head looking for someplace to put her down, and spotted a chair. He walked to it and put her in it carefully, and leaned her against the back of it. He walked back to Da'an. "I want to stay with her. I'll get another protector to take you back to Washington." He said taking out his global.
"Very well," was Da'an's answer.
Liam looked back to the chair in which he had put her and she was nowhere to be seen. He turned his whole body toward it and scanned the area. She couldn't have gotten far. Da'an followed his eyes. Liam looked back at Da'an, and Da'an at him, both with the same question.
"But how could she have gotten away?" Liam Kincaid asked Dr. Melissa Parks. He had gone straight to her when he could. He was leaning up against her desk. Waiting for a response to his story.
"With just the burn on her shoulder, she could have left easily" Dr. Parks answered. "But the loss of consciousness doesn't make sense."
"Maybe it does," Augur put in. He had been listening while he sat in front of a nearby computer. "You said this guy had been using a weapon you couldn't recognize, right? Well it's possible that it could effect someone by draining them of energy."
"But that doesn't explain how she got up and left, when I turned my back for only a second," Liam reminded him.
"Well you said she was using a similar weapon, maybe she had a way to counteract the effects," Augur surmised. "Kind of like a bullet proof vest."
"No," Liam stated. "Why would she experience the energy drain if she could prevent it."
Augur turned back to the computer. Those weapon could be worth a fortune, was his thought. But only if the two could be found. But how could she have just gotten up and walked away after what had seemed like an loss in energy someone would have needed to sleep off at least a couple of hours?
"I'm gonna go and see what I can find out from the security records," Liam said pushing himself from the desk. "She has to be in there somewhere."
"I'm sorry, but I don't have a Tara Denner listed in my files," a man in a black suit told Liam Kincaid looking down at his computer. Liam was at the office of the company that had done the security for Da'an's speech.
"Then you have no idea who that woman was?" Kincaid asked.
"No," the man answered getting up from his desk. "An investigation is under way. We'll find her soon enough."
"And the gun man?"
"I'm sure you will," Kincaid said unconsciously. "Keep me posted on the search. Da'an would like to see her as soon as you find her." Even before Liam had said it, he knew that they would not be likely to find her.
"Will do," the man answered.
"One last thing," Kincaid said stopping the turn that he had been about to make.
"Do your guards normally wear gloves?"
"No, Major. It inhibits the movement of the hands," the man answered, confused at the question.
Liam, then, left. Who ever that was that went after Da'an will be back to try again, and Liam had a feeling that Tara Denner wouldn't be far behind.
"Is this incident being investigated?" Zo'or asked Companion and FBI Agent Ronald Sandoval. He sat in his chair on the bridge of the Mothership.
"It is, Zo'or," Sandoval replied.
"Maybe it should not be," Zo'or said rising from his chair upon the mothership and walking from it. He swept past Sandoval, who stayed stationary until Zo'or had past him. "Perhaps this unforeseen event can be used to our advantage." Zo'or turned toward Sandoval, then continued, "If Da'an were to succumb to such an unfortunate incident, then none would oppose the need of bioengineering humanity."
"And the woman who reportedly protected him?" Sandoval pointed out.
"I do not believe she is a priority. But in case she does prove so, you must find her and prevent her from interfering in the preferred out come."
Captain Lili Marquette's global beeped. She took it out and opened it.
"Where are you?" Liam Kincaid spoke, from the other end.
"The hall where Da'an gave his speech," Lili answered.
"Why?" Liam asked.
"Sandoval sent me down here with a team to assist in the search for anything that may lead to finding those involved in the attack on Da'an," Lili said looking around quickly, then back to her global.
"That doesn't sound right, why would Zo'or be interested in an attack on Da'an?" he asked with almost a self inquiring heir.
"I was told specifically to look for anything that might locate the woman who had protected Da'an," she continued softer, then took another quick look away from the global. "He told me to bring any and all evidence to him as soon as it's found."
Liam, on his end, looked up, then back to Lili. "He must be looking for Denner incase she shows up to stop another attack on Da'an." Liam took a deep breath, then continued, "Did you find anything yet?"
"No, not yet. Any suggestions?"
"Yeah, I followed her down a corridor behind the stage and outside of the door at the end, look there."
"Thanks." Lili closed the link.
"We have a problem," Major Kincaid stated walking toward the seated Da'an, in that Taelon's embassy office. "Sandoval is already looking for Tara Denner. If I don't find her first, we may never know what happened."
"Then you must go." Da'an spoke.
Liam nodded and turned to leave then stopped. "What did she say to you, after she pushed you out of the way of the attacker?" he inquired facing Da'an once more.
"She asked after my well being," Da'an replied. Liam looked down. "Is there a reason why you have asked that question?"
"After I followed her out, I asked her if she had seen where the attacker had gone. It wasn't what she said, but how she said it. Her reply suggested she had expected me to be there, but she looked at me as though she was surprised that I was. It was as though she knew me, but didn't believe I was there." Liam looked up at Da'an then, his expression asking if what he had said made any sense. Da'an sat in contemplation. "Well," Liam began with a sigh, "I have to get going."
Da'an nodded. Liam left Da'an, who was deep in thought. His thoughts were now on Liam's words. The young woman had spoken to him in a context that suggested she had conversed with him prior to that day. He had his own theories as to her identity. Those theories were now changed and expanded by Liam's words.
Lili had stood there for a couple of minutes looking for some clue as to the woman's identity before she found any. The finder prints came first. She put the device she had been using to scan the wall in her jacket pocket after she checked that she, indeed, had the prints. She looked around quickly. She was about to leave when she spotted the strand of short brown hair. She took it from the wall and looked at it with a small smile, then put it in a small plastic container. At least she had something to give Augur to help them in the search, if both the finger prints and hair had , indeed, come form the woman. She took another look around to make sure no one had been watching, then headed back in.
She, herself, was interested in finding Tara Denner, the woman who had protected Da'an. Liam had said that this woman, who ever she was, would probably know the attacker, and he was one that had to be found.
Liam had contacted her after the attack, and told her everything. He had also told her that he had his own suspicions about Denner. Yes she had protected Da'an, but he had had a strange feeling about her, especially because of how she had spoken to him, and how she had regarded him.
Liam entered Augur's door impatiently. "What did you find?" he asked. Augur was waiting for something to come up on his screen.
"Lili brought down a hair sample and some fingerprints," Augur told him, not looking from his screen. "I'm trying to process the prints now..." Augur started then stopped when words started to flash on the screen.
"What is it?" Liam asked moving closer to get a better look.
'NO DATA AVAILABLE' flashed on the screen, over and over. Augur hit a key and as the two words stopped flashing on the screen, others appeared, on mass. Augur's eyebrows lifted, and then he turned to Liam. "Well, according to this, she doesn't exist."
"What do you mean 'doesn't exist'?" Liam insisted.
"Exactly what I said. I have access to all known data bases, and even those unknown, and she's not in any of them."
"What about the hair sample?" Liam asked some what confused.
"I was just about to get to that," Augur said turning from Liam. He picked up a small plastic container on a table next to where he stood. He held it up and looked into it with a crinkled brow. All the while Liam waited impatiently by. Augur then took the strand of hair from the container and put it into a small opening connected to one of the computers. Augur folded his arms and stepped back. On the screen appeared a picture of a DNA Helix, that started to fill in with numerous components. When it was finished, the word 'SEARCHING' flashed on his screen. The screen, suddenly, went dead.
"What the..." Augur began, taking a step forward, toward the screen.
"What happened?" Liam irritably.
"I don't know," Augur said in confusion. His fingers went to the keys, his eyes to the screen. Nothing happened. He stepped to another computer to try there. But nothing. Only when he stopped, and stepped away did the once dead computer screen, come alive again. It showed no signs that it had even begun to search for the owner of the DNA. Augur looked at Liam, and Liam at him. "This is gonna take longer than I thought."
"Keep working on it," Liam told him after his deep breath. "I'm gonna do a little more investigating."
"Where?" Augur asked, half engrossed in finding out what happened to his computers.
"At the Hall."
"I would have thought that Sandoval would have went over that place with a fine tooth comb."
"Maybe, but I have a feeling that something is there that will give us a new insight to what happened. I have to find it before Sandoval does." Liam left Augur to his computer.
Denner walked slowly down the shaded alley way. She had quickly changed from the security uniform, she had worn earlier, into her black and green traveling jumpsuit. She found her uniform less infringing to her work than the suit-like security one.
She came to a door and slowly opened it, walking in only after she had checked to make sure no one else had found their way there. The abandoned building was the same as when she had found it on her arrival, but she didn't trust her eyes as much as she once had. She took out a small device and pressed a button on it. It unfolded itself into the gun she had earlier. No, she didn't trust her eyes, but she trusted her senses and they were telling her there was someone else here. She walked cautiously through the dimly lit and empty room. Staying against the wall she surveyed the dirty expanse of this section of the building. Although it had been sunny on the outside, her eyes had, as usual, quickly become accustomed to the dark. Still against the wall, she slowly rounded a corner. A man sat with his back to her, leaning against the back of the seat in which he sat. His short gray hair denoted his age, but that could be deceiving.
"Identify yourself," she ordered, holding her gun up and at him.
He sat up and turned his head. "Ah, there you are, Denner," He said relieved getting up from the seat. Denner relaxed and pressed the small button on her gun once more not needing to look at it. It compacted itself then she hooked it onto the belt she wore. "You gave me a dreadful fright." He spoke with the accent he always cherished, the one gained when he grew up in Hertfordshire, England. "It's odd that you didn't know it was me."
"What are you doing here, Hughs?" Denner didn't try to sound inviting, Hughs noticed.
"They sent me on. Not to say they thought you couldn't do it," Hughs quickly put in. Denner turned her back to him and walked to the other side of the room, Hughs followed her with his eyes and head continuing to speak. "I had a bit of a hard time, though. Tried to convince them you didn't need me, but they insisted, don't know why."
She had reached the other end of the room as Hughs finished. Denner now had something in her hand, which had been hidden behind a small ventilation grate. She was walking to a table that stood near Hughs.
"I came despite my own objections, though. But, of course, one can't say 'no' to them." Hughs turned toward her as she past him and put the device on the table. She then opened a small hatch on the side of the rectangular device.
"The Council had their reasons," she stated monotonously concentrating on what she was doing.
"Your sure aren't you? Yes, you always are. Oh, yes, and Terry got back fine. He was coming while I was going." He waited for Denner to reply, and when she didn't he went on. "I guess he erased the files well enough. Did I hear something about him making a connection with the locals."
"Yes. A companion protector questioned him about anything a guard might have picked up on, but that was all."
"Well, at least it was nothing important. What do you have there? It's a TF 13 isn't it?"
"What are you doing?"
"Resetting the number scale. I felt a varying in the flow and have to reset it to keep it from fading further."
"Did-did you meet any of the locals?" he asked as-a-matter-of-factly
She didn't look up only gave another even, "Yes."
"Well now, at least they keep you up to par. How did they get it to you?" Hughs continued, referring to the device.
"They always call in their agents when there has been an update," she stated.
"Yes, of course. So, do these locals that you met have anything to do with the present state of interspecies relations, you know the presence of other than earthly races?"
"Well now, this looks in top shape, doesn't it?" Hughs paused and with a quick look at Denner continued. "How did they react to you?"
Denner stopped and stood up straight, she then turned her head to Hughs. "They didn't know," she stated bluntly her eyes containing nothing.
"And how long before they do find out who you are?"
"If they don't know now, they should figure my position out soon enough," she went back to her job of maintenance.
"I wasn't speaking of your position."
"They won't," she stated bluntly closing the small hatch and returning the device to its previous position, then came back to the table.
"Yes, well. Anything to report?"
Denner took her weapon from her belt once more and unfolded it. "The wire of the beam must be altered," she told him. "It wasn't strong enough to break through the TF barrier, and incapacitate the target.." She then took a small black object from her ear that looked like a security guard's communications device and placed it on the table.
"Did that work properly?" Hughs said indicating the device she just put on the table.
"It gave ample warning," she replied.
"What about the regulator?" Hughs asked walking over to a small computer, picking it up, and bringing it back to where Denner stood. If the beam variable couldn't penetrate the time fluctuation then he must be using something stronger to hide himself.
"Not in visible sight." she said softly.
Hughs looked up quickly at her tired tone. She had put her gun down and was leaning forward on the table with her eyes closed. "What is it?" he asked worriedly.
She opened her eyes and stood up straight. "A minor injury," she told him. "I was hit."
"By, the..." Hughs began, his worry now increasing.
"Yes," she stated, taking a couple deep breaths.
Hughs tried to control the shock as he said, "We have to get you back-"
"No, I'll be fine."
"Denner, we don't know what kind of effect it will have on you, especially considering who his weapon was set for."
"I am aware of that," she said slowly. "And you are also aware that I am the only one that can do this."
She was right, Hughs knew. Hughs looked to the screen in front of him and tried to concentrate. "Was there any indication of where the target went?"
"No, I confronted him outside of the building, but couldn't hold him. I also did some scouting after I left the site."
"So that's where you were."
"I think you should rest now, Denner, until-" Hughs stopped speaking, startled by the next readings that appeared on the screen.
"What is it?" Denner asked quickly, noticing Hughs' facial expression.
"Someone tried to access your DNA make up."
"Did the program stop it?" she asked alarmed.
"Yes," he said with a sigh of relief. "You are is safe."
The teams still searched, despite the fact that they found nothing. For most it was their third time looking for prints on the same wall. Liam, himself, looked intently around the room for the fifth time since he arrived near a half of an hour ago. He had to kneel down before he saw it. The podium had been moved out of the way for the teams to search. Denner hadn't touched or made any contact with it, but they had searched it anyway, and found nothing.
The sequence of events cycled, again, through his head. Denner had run to Da'an and had pushed him out of the way of the attacker's weapon, receiving most of the energy pulse on her shoulder, but not all of it.
Liam stood, then walked over to the podium and kneeled again. He ran his fingers over the burned wood. Yes this was from the pulse, there was no doubt about that. He carefully broke off a piece and put it in his pocket. He looked around as he got up, to make sure no one had seen what he did, then walked away.
Sandoval looked away from the security guard he had been speaking to, once more. Kincaid's initial arrival had, though not surprised him, caused him to feel the need to watch the Major. Although it had been uneventful for the duration, something may come out of the observance. When he had finished speaking with the navy blue uniformed guard, he made his way to the podium and kneeled down where Kincaid had been. He eyed the burn mark on the podium, then broke a piece from what was left, and looked at it. What could have inspired Kincaid's interest? The reports said the some kind of energy came from the attacker's weapon. Could this be remanence of that ray, if the word could be used. One of the younger security guards had not hesitated in the use of it, and that was one of the descriptions that came readily.
Dr. Leroy looked into the microscope at the piece of the burnt wood, as Sandoval stood to the side waiting in the well lit lab. He looked up to a young woman on his left, his associate Dr. Clare Lawrence. He stepped aside to let her have a look, but whispered something into her ear before she proceeded. She peered into the microscope lens. She slowly came up from that position and looked to Dr. Leroy in astonishment. He walked to Sandoval as Dr. Lawrence took another look.
"What have you found, Doctor?" Sandoval asked.
"You said this came from a gun?" Dr. Leroy asked in response.
"Yes," Sandoval answered.
"We now have the ability to distinguish what element have played any given part of a disabling or destruction, like burning. We can tell if it was done by acid, fire-"
"I am well aware of that, Dr. Leroy, get to your point," Sandoval interrupted.
"Well, it can't be a certainty but it looks as though it was hit by an increased voltage of something containing an already large amount of energy, such as lightning."
"What are you saying, Doctor?" Sandoval insisted.
"What he is saying, Mr. Sandoval," came from Dr. Lawrence from where she stood, neither looking at the them, nor into the microscope any longer, "since you don't seem to comprehend, is that whoever made this weapon has learned how to recreate and harness the destructive capability of a lightning bolt, at least ten times over." She turned her head to face the two. "Does that answer your question?" She then turned her head back and looked down at the microscope, now deep in thought.
"Can it kill a Taelon?" Sandoval asked Dr. Leroy, frowning.
"Yes, Agent Sandoval, I believe it can," Dr Leroy confirmed.
Sandoval turned from Dr. Leroy, letting him return to his associate, and pulled out his global. It was time he contacted Zo'or with his findings.
"Did you find her?" Zo'or asked from his end of the transmission.
"Not yet, Zo'or." Sandoval replied. "But I have become acquainted with some information that you should know."
"Well, what is it?" Zo'or asked with an air of annoyance.
"What do you mean a lightning bolt?" Lili Marquette demanded, then looked around to make sure that no one had heard her outburst. "Are you telling me," Marquette continued in more of a whisper, "that whoever this is can throw lightning bolts at anyone they chose?"
"Yeah, I am. Augur did a thorough examination of it, and that's what he came up with." After Liam had gotten this news he decided he had better tell Lili, but not over the global, he thought it was best he did it in person. "He also found out it had been magnified at least eight to ten times over."
Lili's eyes moved to the floor, and she leaned against the wall she stood in front of. She spoke as though talking to herself, "So Denner really did save Da'an's life."
"Seems that way," Liam said looking away toward some of the workers, then turned back to Lili, "Have you found anything else?"
"No," she answered with a sigh, looking back up and pushing away from the wall. "I don't even know why Sandoval still has us down here, we've gone over everything top to bottom more then once, and haven't found a thing."
"You'd think Sandoval would have given up on this site."
"And there isn't anything else to tell me?"
"No, everything's the same. Every time Augur tries to use the hair sample his computer shuts down, and he can't find Denner's name, finger prints, or description in any data base."
"As though she doesn't exist."
Liam looked at the floor for a couple of moments, thinking, then it dawned on him. "Or doesn't belong here." He turned to leave.
"What? Where are you going?"
"The embassy," Liam answered turning back to her. "It's possible that Tara Denner doesn't exist, at least not yet." With that announcement he left to speak to Da'an about his theory, leaving Lili as she went over in her head what he had just said.
Was it possible? In her dealings with the Taelons she had done a lot of revising of what she thought was and wasn't possible. But there was still some doubt, some suspicion to the possibility of what Liam suggested. That this woman, Tara Denner, didn't exist because...because she was from the future, it was a bit hard to believe. 'Any harder to believe that Liam had traveled into the future?' something inside of her asked. 'No,' she answered in truth. 'No it wasn't.'
Lili's global beeped, interrupting her thoughts. When she opened it she found Sandoval on the other end. "Yeah?"
"You are to discontinue the search. Your efforts have proven fruitless, and to pursue the search there would prove to waste resources. We must use other means in which to find the woman."
"And the attacker?"
"Of course, Captain, but the woman might be more cooperative if found, and could therefore help us in finding the attacker. Captain, you are now required to return to the Mothership."
"I'll be there as soon as I can clear the area." Lili closed her global wondering how they were supposed to look for someone that didn't exist yet.
Da'an thought a moment on the theory Liam presented to him, then spoke, "Your theory is sound."
"But it doesn't really explain why the attacker is after you and when he'll be back to try again," Liam put in.
"No it does not, therefore we must then be ready for him when ever he may come."
"So all we can do is wait?"
Hughs sat back from the screen of the compact computer. These things were entirely too small for his aged eyes, and he refused to medically alter his eyes. This assignment was frustrating, he couldn't pick up anything in his scans. This equipment may be the best but it was doing nothing to help. Somehow this man that they were after could evade their sensors. If he had a more period system it might make it easier to detect the energy in this case because the energy would be seen as alien to sources known now. And of course this man probably would not expect it of Hughs, himself. He smiled to himself, thinking of how he had always spoken about the past's "underdeveloped" technology. He had never thought that he might have use for it. But it was more then that, he needed help. He couldn't deny that, no he couldn't, but it was not as though he could walk into a computer lab and ask help to find a futuristic enemy.
He sometimes wished he could resign, but then who would be left to watch and be a friend to Tara, if one could call themselves that. Tara wouldn't allow anyone to be that close. He couldn't even call Denner "Tara", except in his own head, and even then she would seem to try and make the familiarity nearly impossible. He turned his head to Denner who sat on a stool examining her weapons. She had said maintenance, but she had been at it too long. Anyone who didn't know her as well would be fooled, but he knew her entirely too well, in such ways. She never took that long. She was, in fact, the quickest at the maintenance because she didn't want to "waste time," as she puts it.
She looked up at him. "Is there anything new?" she asked in the same tone she always used-the business-is-everything tone.
"No," he answered. "Some how he is evading our scans." Denner looked back down at her weapon and Hughs continued, "It's like he knows our frequency and can block it. This is like a class A Rubex puzzle."
"Solve it then," she told him bluntly, not looking up.
It was easy enough for her to say, she was good at solving the nearly impossible riddle that was the class A Rubex. "We need help," Hughs told her going straight to the point.
"The Council doesn't have the resources available at the present time. I would have requested it if it was possible."
"No, I don't mean that kind of help. We need someone from this time, with computer technology from this time."
Denner looked at him, nothing betrayed in her eyes of what she was going to say, Hughs only expected it because he knew her character, or most of it. "No," she stated. "We are not permitted to socialize with the citizens other times, you know that. It could be a damaging effect on the future."
"Wouldn't it be a damaging effect if we don't catch this man before he completes what he came back to do? We can either continue on this track and possibly arrive too late if he dose attack, or we can get help and stop him."
It had taken Lili, in her opinion, too long to wrap up the search and send everyone on their way. She was now heading for the roof, to her shuttle. She opened the door to the roof of the hall, and let it shut behind her. It was already dark.
Lili was half way to her shuttle when she heard a step on the cement roof behind her. She reached for her gun.
"Hands out to the side, and turn slowly," a male voice said behind her. She turned around slowly, hands out to her side. "That's it. Hello Captain Lili Marquette," he said a, smile of satisfaction crossing his lips. "I'd thought you'd like to see the face of the man who would kill you. I'm not the kind to shot someone in the back, no matter how much they deserve it." He unconsciously brushed his shoulder length sandy colored hair behind his ear.
Hughs looked at the blinking screen, quickly.
"What is it?" Denner asked securing both her gun, and the global that was assigned to her on this trip.
"I've detected a transport," Hughs answered. "It's at the Montgomery Hall, on the roof." Hughs was confused. He looked behind himself, Denner was gone. He looked back at the screen, then. Wasn't his target at the Taelon Embassy in Washington?
"What are you after? Why are you here?" Lili asked the hard face of the man that stood in front of her.
"Justice," he replied to her questions. He paused for a few moments, then proceeded to speak. "It's almost a pity to kill you in your ignorance...almost." The word was filled with sarcasm. A contemptuous smile curved his lips as he positioned his gun higher ready to-An energy pulse came through the darkness and hit the attacker's gun. Unable to hold it, the attacker's gun went over the edge of the building.
Lili turned her head and spotted a young woman, about twenty to twenty-five, brown hair cut short, her green eyes and gun were trained at the attacker. "That's enough. It's time to go," she spoke evenly, her voice was cold, unfeeling.
"I'm not ready to leave just yet," he said. He pulled something quickly out of his pocket and threw it a couple feet from him. It exploded on contact with the cement. The force threw both Lili and the young woman to the ground. After the smoke faded, the attacker was no where in sight.
The woman got up from where she had lain, and looked around. Not seeing him, she gave release of breath, knowing she had again not fulfilled her obligation. She looked toward Marquette, then she pressed a small button on her gun, and it impacted itself; she then clipped it onto her belt. After a moment of thought she calmly walked to Marquette. "You all right?" she asked Marquette when she had reached her.
"Yeah," Lili said, just picking herself from the cement of the roof. She looked at the woman, then said, "You're Tara Denner aren't you?"
She just looked at Lili, her eyes revealed nothing. She then turned and started to walk away.
"Wait-" Lili started quickly.
"I suggest," the woman interrupted, "that you either proceed to the Mothership or the embassy."
Lili grabbed the woman's arm to stop her,. "Wait a minute," Lili said determined, "I want some answers."
Denner looked at Lili with those cold eyes, then somehow they slightly released some of that coldness, and there was a faint amusement in them, the expression of humor was almost indistinguishable, but it was there. "I can't give them to you, Captain Marquette," she stated bluntly, and coldly.
"And why is that?" Lili asked keeping hold of Denner's arm. With a movement that seemed quicker than normal reflexes Denner had extricated herself from Lili's grasp and threw Lili to the ground face first. When Lili pushed the hair from her face and looked up Denner was no where in sight. Denner's calm, and cold manner had given Lili no chance to counter the move, of even to expect it. "Damn," Lili whispered hitting her hands against the cement, frustrated. Then forced down a twinge of pain, when one of her hands contacted with the cement. She looked at the palm of that hand and swore again as she saw the scrape that was starting to redden, though gave no signs of bleeding.
Lili's global beeped, as she stood. "Captain," Sandoval said from the other end.
"Yeah," she answered, giving another glance to the slightly scraped hand.
"You were expected a while ago."
"It took longer than I had thought, to wrap everything up." Lili looked up and around.
"Is there something wrong, Captain?"
"No, I'll be there as soon as I can," she said, then closed the link after Sandoval's nod. She went to her shuttle and sat down, then opened her global once more. "Liam."
"Yeah?" came his voice in response.
"I just had a close call with the attacker," she told him.
"What happened?" he asked, his voice insistent.
"He tried to kill me, if it hadn't been for Denner he would have."
Liam's eyes went to Da'an, whose attention was focused on Lili's words. Concerned eyes met his own. "Are you okay?" Liam asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she answered. Da'an seemed to relax slightly, and Liam allowed himself a breath as Lili continued, "but, he said he's back for justice."
"Justice? What justice?"
"I don't know."
"Is there anything else?"
"No," she replied. "That was all. I tried to get some answers from Denner, but I couldn't get anything."
"It's understandable, if she is from the future she wouldn't want to influence the past, and change the future."
"But wouldn't she do just that by being here."
"I'm not sure."
"Listen, I have to get up to the Mothership, contact me if you find out anything."
"Yeah, sure. But watch out."
"I will," she said. The link closed.
Liam closed his global and looked to Da'an. "Well, we have a motive, or nearly one."
"Yes," Da'an said in thought. He walked a slight distance from Kincaid, looking to the floor. He looked back to Kincaid. "But in finding this there is another puzzle."
"Like what justice would be found in killing you and Lili?"
"But what will come with the locating of this knowledge?" Da'an spoke softly, his eyes fixed on the wall across the room.
Jonathan Doors stood in the conference room that existed in is underground home and headquarters. He looked over to a man seated at an oval table. "Has he been thoroughly checked?" He asked the man once more.
"Yes, completely," the man assured. "He could be a great asset to the liberation, Jonathan. I've seen him work, and he's good at what he dose." The man looked seriously at Doors, which seemed to age him even more. The man was in his early fifties but had never looked it until the Taelons and the Liberation had come along. There were lines about his eyes and mouth, and what was left of his hair was a mix of gray and black. "We can trust him."
"Alright, Richard, bring him here, but check him again, I want to be sure."
"Will do, Jonathan," Richard Tyler said with a nod, a smile appearing across his face. Tyler got up from the chair he had been sitting in. "It's a good decision, Jonathan, don't doubt it before you've met him," he assured Doors once more. He held out a hand and Doors took it. "I'll see you soon, Jonathan."
Doors nodded and said, "Richard," in farewell. After Tyler had left, Doors still stayed in the conference room thinking. If this man, Vega, was all that Richard said he was, then he would be a good addition to the Resistance movement. There was however a but involved. It was: but there is a chance it could be another front, another way the Taelon's were trying to get to him. If there was something, anything that didn't smell right Doors would not hesitate to do what was necessary. He would have Augur do a search, to be sure.
With that thought he pressed a button on the wall by where he stood, a screen appeared and not long after so did Augur's face.
"Augur," Doors said in greeting.
"Yeah," was his reply.
"I need you to run a search on someone," Doors told him.
"Who?" he asked instinctually.
"A man named Vega."
"Just Vega, ha? I'll get it to you when I can."
"And when will that be?" Doors asked with a tint of impatience in his voice.
"Right after I finish what I'm doing," Augur said somewhat preoccupied.
"And what is that?"
"Don't you know?" Augur asked, his full attention on Doors.
"Well Da'an was nearly assassinated..."
"I know that," Doors interrupted.
"...and Sandoval has been looking for evidence that will identify either the attacker or the woman that came to Da'an's rescue," Augur paused to make sure Doors had caught what he had said.
"Yeah, so?" Doors prompted.
"Well, we found some things."
"Well," Augur began...
Sandoval was waiting for the Captain, when her shuttle docked on the Mothership. He came straight to her as she walked from the shuttle. "What happened, Captain?" he asked then stopped until he had come face to face with her, "The sensors picked up fire similar to the attackers."
"I had a run in with the attacker when I was getting ready to fly up here.," she answered, wondering why he had not mentioned this when he had contacted her after the attack.
"Did you find out anything?" he asked motioning her to accompany him to the bridge as they spoke.
"Just that he doesn't plan to leave until he has killed someone," she said lowly, almost sarcastically. She didn't want to give away anything specific.
"Why did you not report this when I had contacted you?" Sandoval asked stopping.
Lili searched her mind for an answer, then grasped one, "Well, I had thought if you hadn't mentioned it, then you would have had a reason for it . I didn't bring it up incase that reason was that you did not want me to say anything until I could speak to you in a more secure location, like here." She hoped that had done the trick.
"Yes," he said in answer, "I, myself, had not known until after I had contacted you. Did the woman show?" he asked, beginning to walk once more.
"Yes," Lili replied, following. "She wouldn't tell me anything when I questioned her."
"And why didn't you not take her into custody?"
"I was unable to hold her, and at the moment I had been preoccupied." Her answer was in the same tone as her whole address, business-like, and informative.
"Very good, Captain," Sandoval said as they reached the bridge.
Zo'or who sat in his chair, turn towards the two as they entered. He looked at his implant expectantly.
"It seems," Sandoval started as he came to Zo'or, "that the attacker is not only after Taelons, but also their employees. Captain Marquette had come face to face with him."
"Is there anything new to report?" Zo'or asked dominantly.
"No, there is nothing," Sandoval replied. "She did confront the woman, who had followed the attacker, but could get nothing from her."
"And we are sure it is not Jonathan Doors?" Zo'or questioned, not so easily giving up on the idea.
"Yes, " Sandoval confirmed. "Doors would not jeopardize his position by killing a Taelon, and I do not believe he would go after a human employee of the Taelon's; especially in the way that Da'an's was threatened."
"Then we do not know who it is we are dealing with." Zo'or walked past the two humans.
"No, Zo'or," Sandoval said turning in Zo'or's direction.
"Is the Mothership vulnerable to an attack by this man?"
"We had no evidence to suggest that he could penetrate the ships defenses, but extra guards will be posted, if that is your wish."
Lili followed with her eyes, head, then in turning her body to the alien and his implant, but she had not moved from the area where she stood.
"Yes," Zo'or ordered. "Post them immediately."
Lili had turned to leave when Sandoval addressed her, "Where are you going?"
"To take care of this," Lili said showing him her scraped hand.
"Then go, but report back immediately."
"Still nothing is known about the attacker who attempted the assassination of North American Companion, Da'an," the news anchor said, informatively, seated postured behind her desk. "Teams ended their search of the Montgomery Hall early last night empty handed. We are assured that the search will, however, still continue by other means. In other news the Bigsby Troupe featuring the new singing sensation Rebecca Masters, have extended their tour to Washington D.C., at the request of President Thomson..."
Augur shut of the screen and looked back to the computer. "That should be quite a show," he said.
Liam walked the door to Augur's abode quickly. "You called?"
"Yeah, take a look at this," Augur said pointing up at the computer screen. Liam looked at a varying line of pulses.
"So I picked this up just before Lili was attacked. Apparently this guy is somehow letting off some kind of energy every where he goes."
"Did you check for similar energy inside the Montgomery Hall where Da'an was attacked?"
"Yes I did, and it's there too."
"So we can trace him?"
"Not exactly. The energy is being elusive. I can track it when it's at its height, but not before. To accurately be able to trace it I'd have to know exactly what to look for, specific frequencies, and signals..." Augur let the rest roll into silence. Augur thought for a moment then produced, "I might be able to trace the actual person, that is if a tracker could be planted on them."
"The energy emissions wouldn't get in the way?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Now the question is, how do we plant a tracker on the John Doe attacker, or Denner for that matter? It's not like we know where they're going to turn up. He could go after Da'an, Lili, or anyone else dealing with the Taelons."
"You don't think that he's just got a vendetta against Lili, or Da'an?"
"No, I don't. What does both Lili and Da'an have in common? What connects them? The Taelons. Da'an is one and Lili seems to work for them."
"True. Then all we can do is be ready for them at any time, any where."
Captain Marquette had been in the process of scanning the city when her global beeped. "Yeah?" she asked when Liam's face appeared.
"Meet me in the shuttle bay, I'm coming up," Liam pronounced with such an insistence that Lili didn't question his request.
She nodded her head, closed her global, and headed for the shuttle bay. When she arrived, she found, so did Liam. His shuttle was in the process of docking at the moment. Only when he had done and was getting up from his seat did she approach him. He stepped down and met her.
"So what's this about?" she asked immediately.
Liam didn't answer her question right away. "Come on," he mearly said, motioning that she follow him. He led her away from the bay and into a hall near it that was empty at that moment. It was then that he began, "Augur picked up some unusual energy signatures that he can't identify both inside the Montgomery Hall and on the roof, where both attacks took place. Did you pick up anything up here?"
"No," she answered. "But why did you come all the way up here? You could have just contacted me on the global."
"That's not the complete reason why I'm here," he told her.
"Because of this," he said taking a small device Lili identified as a tracker, from his pocket.
"Is there any new information?" Zo'or asked Sandoval
"None yet, Zo'or," he answered. "Both the attacker and the young woman seem to have disappeared."
"Or are just waiting," Zo'or pronounced.
"Yes, it is a possible strategy. Waiting until our guard is down, but that is a useless concept since we will stay ready until he is caught."
Lili watched the two from the terminal at which she stood. Yes it was possible that he, the attacker, was waiting, but something in her gut said it wasn't for them to let their guard down. The feeling said that it had to do with some other type of timing.
"Unless he indeed cannot penetrate the Mothership's defenses," Zo'or said confidently.
"But why is he waiting to appear when there are a number of Taelons and their employees on earth that he can target?" Sandoval asked.
"That is true. And he cannot think that we will leave the Mothership in the light of the present threat that he represents. But, yet, how does he expect to gain entry here?"
"Unless," Sandoval began, "it is not us that he is after. Perhaps he has a personal vendetta against someone in specific."
"And who would that be? He has gone after only Da'an and Captain Marquette. What would connect them?"
"Captain Marquette had been connected to Da'an by her employ before she came here."
"So had you," Zo'or pointed out.
Sandoval looked down, then back up and said, "It may be best to post more guards, incase this man does have the means to enter here."
"Proceed," Zo'or told him. "It is better to be ready for anything, no matter how unlikely it may be."
"I would agree if there was any use," a voice came from the side.
Liam's global beeped. When he opened it he saw Augur's anxious face on the other end. "What is it?" he asked.
"I just picked up some energy readings," Augur told him.
"The Mothership?" Liam repeated. "I'll be right there."
Lili recognized the voice immediately. She turned from her station, and pulled out her gun aiming it at the attacker.
"Put it down, Captain Marquette," the man warned, pointing a large gun at Zo'or. "You wouldn't want to get the leader of the great Synod killed would you?" sarcasm filled his statement. "Maybe I should rephrase the question, if you don't understand me."
He knew. He knew who she was, her connection to the Liberation. Yes, Lili could tell he did, but how? Well, if he is from the future then it's possible for him to know.
"And you," he continued looking at Sandoval, "had better put that arm down. This is a very sensitive trigger." Sandoval slowly complied. "Now don't move."
Liam flew his shuttle close to the enter doors of the Mothership, and turned on his communicator to gain entrance, but could not get through. Communications were being blocked from the inside. There was no way he could get in. He swore softly as he turned the shuttle around and headed for Augur's.
The attacker pulled something from his belt. The small piece of machinery was similar to the smoke bomb he had used on the roof of the Montgomery Hall. With this one, however, he kneeled down and put it on the floor. He pressed a light on it that had been blinking, then got up and moved forward away from it. A light came from it, then. It circled the four; the companion, his implant, the Captain, and the attacker who wouldn't mind killing all three. There seemed to be a glass globe that came over them then disappeared. It was then that security arrived. They shot at the attacker, but their shots only bounced off of the invisible shield. The attacker smiled.
"What do you want?" Sandoval demanded.
"Justice, Agent Sandoval, if you haven't heard."
His gun shifted toward Marquette. "For the mur-" he stopped at a sudden flash that denoted another presence inside of the shield.
"That's enough, Ronoff," Denner said, her gun trained on the attacker.
The man, Ronoff, quickly turned his gun from Marquette to Denner then back to Marquette. "Well, Denner, what an unpleasant expectancy. Though I didn't know you could now walk through walls." He paused, then continued as a small contemptuous smile formed on his lips. "Your not going to make it, Denner. I will have my justice. What, no witty remarks? But of course not. You not the type are you. The UFSDTT Counc-"
"Enough!" Denner yelled.
"Trying to save your home, these ...their future" he began in sarcasm, then the contempt returned, "or just yourself."
Denner's face was unchanged from it's cold, unrevealing expression. Her eyes and gun were unmoved from their aim.
"Put down your gun, Denner, unless you want to risk it," Ronoff said concentrating on Marquette.
Though Denner's eyes never left Ronoff's face, she knew where his gun was aimed. She slowly lowered her arm until it hung at her side, gun in hand, then kneeled and placed her gun on the floor, then rose.
"Move away," he commanded, and she did.
Sandoval noted what was occurring. The attacker, Ronoff, was engrossed in the woman, Denner, and her apparent helplessness at his hands. Ronoff's attention was not on the implant, so the implant would take advantage of it. He cautiously brought his arm up slightly letting the sleeve of his suit jacket come back from his skrill. Then quickly brought the rest of it up, but as it came alive Ronoff's gun shifted to him and he pulled the trigger. Sandoval was pushed up against the wall of the shield by the blast, then fell to the floor, he could feel his energy draining away.
Denner chose this moment to rush Ronoff. She surprised him, and he fell over, losing the hold of his gun. It slid away from him. He kicked Denner back, and she made contact with the floor. They were in combat now. Ronoff was strong and Denner was fast.
Lili went for the gun and aimed it, or tried, at Ronoff. She couldn't shoot. If she did she ran the risk that she would hit Denner.
The upper hand between them varied. When it looked as though Ronoff would succeed Denner came back with an effective kick or punch. But Ronoff was tiring. When he stepped back Lili got her opening, and was ready to walk right in. The blast hit Ronoff on the back of his shoulder. He fell over onto his knees and hand. Ronoff then looked up and to the side, and seeing his gun he dived for it. Before Lili could shoot again Ronoff had reached his gun and shot a pulse at her. Lili jumped out of the way as the pulse came and it just missed her, but it did not miss the wall of the shield. The contact of the energy pulse and the shield wall caused a flash of light that even Zo'or had to turn his eyes from. When everyone looked up Ronoff was gone.
Lili got up putting her gun away. She looked up questioning at Denner. Denner looked at her, then turned away and slowly made her way to her gun, breathing, it seemed, carefully. Denner picked up her gun and impacted it then clipped it to her belt. Denner then walked to Sandoval and kneeled down next to his still unconscious form. Lili followed her. She reached them as Denner checked Sandoval's neck for his pulse.
"He'll be fine," Denner said as Zo'or walked from his position to them. "He'll be unconscious for a couple of hours, and a little dazed when he wakes up, but that can't be helped." Denner got up to her feet.
"But-but how could he have survived?" Lili asked confused.
Denner just looked down at her, saying nothing, then turned and walked away.
"Wait," Lili called and followed, she grabbed Denner's shoulder to stop her. "What is this all about?" she asked in a low tone.
"Like I said before, Captain, I can't say," Denner's voice was the same businesslike tone, containing no emotion, real or otherwise. She turned and walked to the device on the floor and pressed a couple of buttons. She rose from her position and went to the other side of the shield. The shield then deactivated. The guards, however did not have a chance to apprehend Denner as she disappeared around a corridor.
"Do you think it's best to try and capture Denner?" Lili asked Zo'or quickly. "With the threat that the attacker, Ronoff, may return to the Mothership."
"Then instruct them to let her go," Zo'or said, then looked at Sandoval's form at his feet.
Even after Lili said what she did, she knew that that wasn't her reason for, uncharacteristically letting Denner walk away. She should feel frustrated that she hadn't caught the woman yet, but she didn't. Part of her said that she should feel shame because she hadn't caught Denner yet, but another part wouldn't let her. What was wrong with her?
Well, Lili thought to herself, at least the bug was planted.
"Are we getting a signal?" Liam asked Augur as they watched the screen.
"Yeah," Augur said watching a small blinking light on a diagram of the Mothership. But as soon as he said it the light disappeared.
"What happened to it?"
"I don't know," Augur said striking some keys. "But the signal may disappear during a transport. So if she got her way to a...to a portal for instance, then we would have to wait until she reappears to be able to find the signal again. I'm setting up a scan that should pick her up when she does come out."
"How long should it take?"
"Depends on where she's going," Augur said with a shrug. "Just like any other portal transport. It's only a matter of..." Augur let the rest of his statement roll to silence as a beeping came from his system. "What the...?"
"What is it?" Liam asked.
"I'm detecting the tracker, but it's strong," Augur said concentrating on the screen.
"Well...where is it?" Liam asked his voice strengthened.
"It's-it's here," Augur pronounced unassuredly, looking to Liam
"It's what?" Liam looked at Augur.
"It's here," Augur repeated, eyes back on the face of his monitor typing on the small key board in front of him and looking at the screen near a foot away. "In fact it's right behind us." They both looked around to see the small tracker on a stand behind them. Then they looked at each other quickly before looking at the door. Tara Denner stood there.
END OF PART ONE
Copyright 1999 Cassie <firstname.lastname@example.org>