Murphy's Law (2/4)
By Anne Olsen
Rating/warnings this chapter: This Fic has been rated in accordance with the approved TTFF Rating System. OK (Oz/Kiwi spelling/grammar etc) - PG - Angst, drama.
Author's notes: This fic is part of the 'Tears in Heaven' series. More info and stories in this timeline can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/ab7/shadesandechoes It can be read on its own but there are references to previous stories in the arc.
This fic will also be archived at the new Expressions site.
Summary: The new breakout witnesses a grizzly murder, and insists that his new history teacher is responsible. Are things really that simple?
Disclaimer: The Tomorrow People belong to Roger Damon Price, Thames/Tetra and ITV television. Highlander is the property of Panzer/Davis, Rysher/ Gaumount Televison. Stargate SG1 are owned by Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Products.
Alex MacDonald belongs to me and shouldn't be used without permission.
Thanks to: Big hugs to Megan for her support and beta reading. Also to Sakura for her wonderful eye for typos, beta reading and helpful comments. And Wendy for her suggestions and comments.
Feedback to: anneo @ paradise.net.nz
Glancing up at the sound of a strong American accent, Joe saw Damon sitting at the bar. He'd known the man had been listening in on his conversation with MacLeod earlier, and had been waiting for him to approach.
"Yes, that's me. Last time I looked anyway. What can I do to help you? Mr?" Joe noticed the last of the patrons had finally left. So you were waiting for the place to empty, is that it? Let's see exactly how much you know about what's really going on.
"Damon. General William Damon." Damon reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his identification, throwing a small white card onto the counter top in front of Joe. "I work for an organisation called WorldEx. We're investigating a couple of individuals and I've been led to believe that you might be able to help."
The general looked tired, Joe decided, pouring himself a whisky. He offered one to Damon but the other man shook his head. Moving out from behind the bar, Joe made his way over to one of the small tables, indicating that Damon should follow. "If you want to ask questions, we might as well be comfortable," he explained. "Now, how can I help you?"
"I've been led to believe that you have connections with a Simon Trent," Damon explained, sighing.
Shaking his head, Joe was curious to see what Damon's reaction would be to his answer. "Never heard of him," he lied.
The other man's face was unreadable as he sighed again. "Colonel Charles Masters?"
Joe shook his head.
"James Horton?" Damon wasn't even consulting a list, Joe noticed. He knew his prey extremely well and had done his research. Noticing Damon run his hands though his dark hair in a gesture of frustration, Joe surmised that this was a man very much on edge. Years of watching Immortals had also taught him to read people extremely well.
"My brother-in- law's name was James Horton," replied Joe. There was no point lying about what was on public record for the whole world to see.
"So you're telling me you have never heard of either Trent or Masters?" Damon shook his head. "I'm sorry, Mr Dawson, but I don't believe you. What would you say if I told you that I had evidence to the contrary, evidence which linked your name with theirs?"
Joe glanced at his watch. "I'd say that information was incorrect, General Damon. I'm a busy man. Is there anything else you want to know?" Anger crossed Damon's face fleetingly. Good. If the man got angry, he'd get sloppy and then Joe would have a better chance of finding out what exactly was going on.
"Yes, there is and I suspect you know that. Stop playing games - we both know you know these guys." Damon rolled his eyes. "You have no idea what you're dealing with. I'm a busy man too, Dawson; a busy man who hasn't the patience to put up with being given the run around."
Joe decided to push the man a bit more. "Can't you tell me what this is about? How can you expect me to help you if I don't know what you're talking about?"
"Okay. I suppose that's a fair question." Damon paused and Joe guessed he was wondering which piece of information to share. "Do you know what Horton was involved in before he died? After all he was your brother-in-law."
Nodding, Joe decided that maybe if he threw out a tidbit of information to the man, he might bite. "All I know is that he was working on some sort of classified project, a scientific experiment which had gone wrong. He was cleaning up the mess, or words to that effect." Joe frowned after seeing Damon's reaction to information he knew the man already had. But hadn't that been basically what was on the CD? This so-called race of teleporters had been some scientific experiment, nothing more. He pitied the poor lab rats at the receiving end of those experiments. Knowing Horton, they would have been vagrants perhaps, people who wouldn't have been missed. It sounded as though Horton's replacement, Trent, had been continuing his work with the same zealous attitude. Horton might be dead, but unfortunately his name seemed to be living on, as were his twisted ideals.
"Cleaning up the mess? Is that what he called it? I hope you're not trying to tell me you condoned his actions? I hope for your sake you didn't, I truly do."
Damon had turned white and seemed close to losing it. If he pushed the right buttons, this might be the way to find out what exactly the man was involved in. Joe knew it was risky; he'd seen this kind of reaction before. But if they were talking about one of Horton's schemes here there were a lot of lives at stake, not only those poor experiments, but the Game and Immortals as well. The Game had been going far too long for it to be brought to a halt by some maniac's delusions of a threat to mankind that didn't exist.
"And what if I did agree with him?" Joe shrugged. "What's it to you? >From what I've heard it was just a scientific experiment gone wrong. Most scientists put down the lab rats when they've finished with them."
The glare that Damon shot his way was one of total contempt. Before Joe knew what was happening the man was on his feet. He was trying to keep his temper under control, that was obvious, but what was equally as obvious was the fact he wasn't succeeding. Now he knew his hunt for Damon's trigger had been successful, Joe wasn't entirely sure it had been a sensible move on his part. None of the research he'd done on Damon had prepared him for a reaction like this.
Suddenly, Joe's chair was knocked out from under him and he hit the floor.
Damon's eyes were burning in anger. "Lab rats? Lab rats?"
"Calm down, Damon," Joe said, trying to reassure the man while he looked around for something to lean on to pull himself into an upright position. Damn these artificial legs. It was times like this when he felt the most defenceless. He glared at Damon, feeling his own anger rise to the surface. "What the hell are you playing at? You can't just come in here, throw things around and still expect to me to answer your questions."
"Calm down?" Damon was so angry, he wasn't to be reasoned with. "You condone Trent and Masters' plan to kill my son and his kind and you expect me to calm down?"
Joe grew cold. What the hell was Damon on about? "Your son?" he asked, his voice little more than a whisper. "My God, I had no idea." Damon's son? No wonder the man was in the state he was. Joe knew how he had felt when his own daughter's life had been threatened. Damon's son was one of these teleporters? But how?
"You had no idea? Masters had them kidnapped, experimented on, nearly killed and you had no idea?"
"The teleporters are kids?" Joe asked, looking up at the angry man leaning over him. "My God," he repeated his earlier statement, knowing the shock he was feeling was mirrored on his face. All that had been on the CD had been facts and figures. No names or indication that it had been anything but a scientific experiment that had gone horribly wrong. "He's been experimenting on kids? I had no idea, I truly had no idea."
Megabyte looked at the boy standing in front of himself and Adam. I knew trying to fix the ship's beacon had been a good idea, he thought smugly. At least the kid's damp exterior hadn't come from the ocean. The days of unexpected baths were over. He frowned, sensing something brush against his mind as the frequency of the hum from the ship changed momentarily and then returned to normal. [Yeah, okay. Maybe you had something to do with it, too,] he 'pathed. The ship was sure getting temperamental these days, wanting credit for stuff it hadn't even been responsible for.
"He's got a sword," the new arrival sounded almost hysterical, as he glanced between the two Tomorrow People. He was tall, Megabyte noticed, at least four or five years younger than himself or Adam, and probably much the same age he'd been when he'd broken out. He could still remember how disoriented he'd felt, being dangled over that balcony one minute and landing in the sea the next. But then he'd had the advantage of being able to guess what had just happened because of Kev breaking out before him. "He just cut off that man's head with a sword."
An Immortal? Megabyte could sense a similar feeling of surprise from Adam. Unless there were others who did that whole cutting heads off to survive gig, of course it would have to be. What was this kid doing watching a couple of Immortals? "A sword? Are you sure about that, kid?" he asked, leaning back again the column he'd been working on, or mucking about with, as Adam had called it.
"Of course I'm sure. You don't tend to forget your history teacher cutting someone's head off." History teacher? Megabyte grinned. The kid had hardly been a TP five minutes and he'd found trouble. Maybe his dad's theory about trouble magnets wasn't so far out after all.
The new kid stopped suddenly, took off his glasses, and made a show of cleaning them carefully with the edge of his sweatshirt, eyes darting peripherally around the interior of the ship. He's just realised he's not where he was a few minutes ago. Took him long enough, but probably seeing the fun beheading had sidetracked him. Poor guy. If this was how he reacted to mild weirdness he'd be cleaning those glasses till he fell over.
He stared at Megabyte, the puzzled expression he'd given him upon arrival turning to one of recognition. "I know you. You're Lisa's friend, Megabyte. I met you that day in the park when Kevin found Ewan."  He paused and glanced around again before coming out with the obvious. "Hey, this isn't where I was a few minutes ago." Observant with it too. Alex. Megabyte remembered him now from their fun day of R&R in New Zealand.
"Got it in one," he grinned back. Alex seemed to be calming down, though the poor kid was still a bit shell-shocked. Megabyte glanced at Adam, looking for some reaction to the mention of Lisa's name. He hadn't talked about what had happened between the two of them after he'd gone after her that day, over a month ago, but only told them he doubted they'd see her again. After feeling the pain coming from their friend, the pain not even his usually strong shields could hide, none of them had pressed for further information.
"How did I get here?" asked Alex. "And more importantly, where's here?" [I'm dreaming, I must be. I'll wake up in a moment and that guy will be still coming for me with his sword.]
They'd have to teach the guy some shielding, that was for sure. It was so not a good idea to think that loudly around here. Al could get himself into some serious trouble without even trying. Megabyte smirked, and ignored the glance of disapproval Adam sent his way. Okay, so they'd teach him sooner, rather than later.
"You teleported, Alex," Adam told him, starting in on the beginners guide to TP lecture. "You're like us. We call ourselves the Tomorrow People. We're the next stage of human evolution. We can teleport, speak telepathically..."
"Do you mean teleport like in Star Trek?" asked Alex, still looking bewildered. Megabyte fought a desire to say something smart and tried to remind himself that he'd been in this position a few years ago. "Or do you mean psychic powers, that sort of thing? Is that how you know my name?"
So the kid watched a bit of science fiction. Always a good sign.
"Speak for yourself, Megabyte," commented Adam, nodding absently in response to Alex's last question. Of course the fact that Jade had told him about that day in minute detail had helped, but why spoil the guy's theory? The way the kid was broadcasting, giving out his name should be the least of his worries. Speaking of which he hadn't exactly 'pathed that last comment Adam had replied to, had he?
"Stop eavesdropping," said Megabyte giving his friend a dig in the ribs after moving over to stand next to him. "Yeah," he told Alex. "Psychic powers. Hey, Adam, are you thinking what I'm thinking about the swords and stuff?"
His brow creasing into a frown, Adam nodded. "Immortals. If an Immortal saw Alex teleport, it's not good, Megabyte. From what Pierson told us, it could be dangerous if Immortals found out about our existence." Understatement much, pal? Of course the Immortal, whoever he was, had seen Alex teleport. Teleporting wasn't something he could have missed. The loud noise and bright light were kinda obvious.
As Adam kept talking, Megabyte felt sorry for the new kid. Not only had he just broken out, but he'd run straight into the whole fun Immortal thing too. Breaking out on its own was enough to take in. "He seemed to think they could see us as a dangerous adversary, a threat to the outcome of their Game. Think, Alex, are you sure the man saw you teleport?"
Alex nodded. "He saw me staring at him after he cut that guy's head off. He's my new history teacher, Mr O'Neill." Alex face turned slightly green, as he remembered what he'd seen.
Gross, thought Megabyte, catching the tail end of his thoughts. Shields 101 sooner rather than later, definitely.
O'Neill? Weird that the Immortal would share the same name as...Megabyte frowned, his thoughts interrupted by three light signatures solidifying around them as Jade, Kevin and Ami teleported in.
A broad grin spread across Kevin's face after he glanced around the ship and noticed the newest Tomorrow Person. "Alex!" he exclaimed. "Hi, I'm Kevin. Remember me?"
If he didn't, he does now, Kev, thought Megabyte, watching his friend's enthusiasm with amusement.
That day hadn't been one any of them had talked about much, with the whole Lisa angle. Megabyte took another glance in Adam's direction, but the Australian had his shields up and wasn't giving anything away. Not like that was anything new. Poor Adam. Now that Alex was one of them it put a different spin on the situation. Kevin had been sure Lisa was involved with Alex's brother, but with not having the option of knowing for sure, and not wanting to bring up the subject again for Adam, they'd canned the conversation quickly and moved onto other things. It hadn't looked as though they'd ever see Lisa again so there hadn't been any point in pursuing it.
Alex smiled, but said nothing, suddenly growing quiet with the arrival of the others. Kid seemed to either prattle on or lose his tongue. That's what Kev had noticed the first time they'd met, Megabyte remembered. Mr Observant seemed to notice stuff like that, unlike himself of course, or so his friend kept telling him. Hey, different people notice different things.
Still talking to Alex, Kevin introduced Ami and asked about what had happened. Alex just stood there quietly, watching the others and nodding as Kevin showered him with questions.
Jade glanced over at him, and he could sense the puzzlement coming from her. Nice perfume, he thought appreciatively. Jade coughed, and he realised she'd asked him something. "What?" he asked, suddenly aware that she wasn't the only one staring at him.
"What's going on, Megabyte?" she asked. "I was at Ami's when we sensed what must have been Alex's arrival. You guys don't seem too happy about the fact we've got a new Tomorrow Person." He could see her watching him, that way she did when she thought he wasn't paying attention to her. It was weird how no one else seemed to notice how warm it was in here. One of these days he was going to have to play around with the thermostat on the ship. The stupid thing must be playing up again.
"When Alex teleported an Immortal saw him," Adam explained. Megabyte rolled his eyes with that one.
Make it sound simple, why don't you, Adam?
"An Immortal?" asked Ami. "You mean like Adam Pierson?" He and Adam had made a point of not using Methos' real name when they'd related the events that had happened at Cheyenne Mountain.  They owed the Immortal their lives; it was the least they could do in return. The fewer who knew that Adam Pierson was really Methos, the oldest Immortal, the better.
"No, like the other guys who run around with swords cutting each other's heads off." Megabyte smirked, choosing not to notice the annoyed glare Ami shot his way. Ami, with her weird interest in Egyptology had asked a lot of questions about the Immortal when he and Adam had returned to Colorado. She'd also perked up when she'd heard they'd met Daniel. He would have thought the run in with Rameses would have done something to slow her interest down in that area, but nope, it was still alive and kicking. Or should that be dead and buried?
Ignoring his reply to Ami's question, Adam nodded. "I think Megabyte and I had better check it out and make sure this guy isn't a threat to us." Right, and what did Adam think they were going to do when they found the guy? Ask him nicely to forget what he'd seen? Megabyte mentally shrugged. Adam was right about one thing, they couldn't not check it out. They'd just have to find out what was going down exactly and play things by ear once they got there.
"Good idea," agreed Ami, "but I'm coming with you. I know how you guys love to get into trouble." She was wearing that 'don't try and talk me out of it expression' Megabyte knew so well. Trouble? Yeah like she didn't. Last he looked she seemed to attract bad guys just as well as the rest of them. Of course telling her that wouldn't be the way to go at the moment. Ami, when she got her mind set on something, wasn't a person to be argued with.
A frown crossed Alex's face after he looked down at his wet shoes, and then behind him. He hadn't even asked about Immortals, but just followed the conversation closely. But then the word Immortal and the whole seeing the beheading was self-explanatory. "Oh great," he exclaimed. "I've left my school bag behind." The frown was quickly replaced by a look of panic. "It's got my name and address in it. You don't think he'd come after me do you?"
Adam nodded. "That's exactly what I'm worried about, Alex." This scenario was becoming more fun by the minute. Adam ran his hand through his dark hair, a gesture that meant he was more worried than he was letting on.
"I'm coming too," said Jade, her gaze meeting Megabyte's.
"No you're not," he said. "No way." As he knew would happen the blonde girl snorted.
"Yeah right, Megabyte. Why not?" Her voice took on that argumentative tone which usually preceded the realisation that she wasn't going to listen to reason. As far as he was concerned she was, this time, whether she liked it or not. Jade brushed her long blonde hair back off her face, her bangs hanging softly around her face, and he let his eyes linger on her momentarily before replying. He wondered if she had any idea just how pretty she was, just what effect she was having on him, standing there with her mouth turning up slightly...Megabyte pulled himself up sharply. "Because it's dangerous, that's why. You can stay here and help Kev give Alex the TP 101 lecture, okay?"
The real reason was because he wouldn't take the chance that something might happen to her. He still remembered all too clearly the anguish he'd felt when he'd nearly lost her a couple of months ago.  No way was he taking any chances of it happening again.
"Well if it's so dangerous why are you going then?" Jade didn't look very impressed with his answer, but then what else was new. She didn't seem very impressed by a lot of what he'd done lately, period. Maybe he did overreact, occasionally - he knew that, it was just the way he was. She did the same herself at times. Women never seemed to see it that way for some reason. Maybe it was time he got his act together and had that talk with her he'd been putting off. But not now, with all this other stuff going down.
"Because I'm older and wiser," he replied smugly, catching Adam's expression and choosing to ignore it. He shrugged. What else was he supposed to tell her? They wanted to get to this guy before he legged it didn't they?
"We'll be careful, don't worry." Adam added as they initiated the teleport.
Megabyte hoped they were doing the right thing, not just giving this immortal more reason to tell the rest of his kind about their existence. He remembered Methos' last words to them, as they'd parted ways in Colorado, before the old guy had disappeared for parts unknown. 'Not all Immortals are like me. Think about that before you reveal yourselves to just anyone. I'm not running a babysitting service. Next time you guys are on your own.' He snorted. Babysitting service? Get real. Methos might have been so many thousand years old, but he and the other TPs weren't exactly kids either.
Yeah, this was going to be a fun trip. He could just see it now. Hopefully the guy would be long gone, taking his headless body with him and things could get back to what passed for normal these days.
 In the previous story, 'Where The Winds Blow'
 Refers to events in the first story in the 'Tears in Heaven' series, 'The Medusa Stone'.
 Story three - 'All That Glitters.' Yes, I'm playing referencing the previous stories in the arc, in this chapter, as they all tie together in the series...eventually.
End of Chapter Two
:: Return to WIP Index ::