Category Archives: Fanfiction

WWE-I Was Your Man [Fanfiction]

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I Was Your Man

The pyro had went off in Toronto , signalling the end of another night of magic for the stars of World Wrestling Entertainment, and for Seth Rollins, it signalled the climax to a historical and significant evening for him.

He had again slain the beast Brock Lesnar, twice in the same year, to reclaim the Universal title, this match had been more punishing than the prior one they had at Wrestlemania, but Seth didn’t mind, for this bout had been his proving ground. He had firmly demonstrated to those who had doubted him that he was no fluke champion and that no matter how much was thrown at him, he would perceiver.

Awaiting him backstage was his significant other, now the new hero of Canada, Becky Lynch, triumphant in her own gripping match with Natalya Neither. She threw her arms around him as he stepped through the curtain to Gorilla position, smothering his forehead and lips with generous and gentle kisses.

“See what happens when the man has a plan?” Becky said.

“Your advise paid off big time Becks, I can’t imagine how that’d have gone without you putting your mind at work” said Seth.

“Phone call for you Seth” announced a staff member, handing Seth a cell phone

“Just give me one minute Becks, I gotta take this” he said.

“I’d hate for you to keep a man waiting” said Becky.

Seth strolled off to a private corner of the arena and took the call.

“Hey, sound match out there” came a gruff, familiar voice that triggered conflicting emotions within Seth.

“Yeah, well, its two victories more than you’ll ever have against Brock Dean” said Seth.

“It’s Mox, Dean was what the million dollar man bought and paid for, that’s what all those people chanting your name bought, it’s cheap change for me and I ain’t ever cashing my chips here with it” said Mox.

“Come on man, don’t you ever want to remind yourself of the good times? You met Renee when promoted as Dean”

“Don’t bring her into this, Renee knows the real me, and we ain’t concerned about the food on our table”

Seth realised what this was all about.

“Listen, what I say in interviews is what gets me fresh opportunities like the here and now, I’m loyal to this company, you want to go to an untested promotion that everyone proclaims will be the lethal bullet in our backs, that’s your dollar to risk, but so long as you’re taking aim at me, I’m gonna shoot right back”

“Why can’t you ride the roads like Roman does man? He got interviewed a week or so ago, got asked about where he stood with me and he said it was all good. He even defended the company taking advantage of his leukaemia, you think something like that isn’t biting him?”

“Roman leads by example, but the champion always has to have the chip on their shoulder, it’s just what it takes to be the man around here”

“Yeah, and that’s why your man was jerking the curtain tonight wasn’t she?”

“You condescending piece of…” Seth began, but he was quickly cut off by Mox.

“No, no Seth don’t even try to raise your voice to me when everything about it is too faint to hear over where I am. There was a time where I was your man, a proper one, balls hanging low, the works, we had the plan, we took care of each other, we declared everyone around us would taste justice, now you’re willing to burn those roads we ran across as you move forward? Fine, forget who you are Seth, but Roman doesn’t, and I won’t, I’ll bring my brand of justice, kind of like what I’m doing now, all you’ll just bring to the table is the brand. Good little puppy, slay as many beasts as you want, but you’ll never howl quite like a hound again so long as you’re McMahon’s best friend”

The phone line went dead; Seth threw the phone across the room.

Becky noticed him looking gaunt and distant.

“Bad news?” she said, wrapping her arms around his waist.

“Just a declaration of war, nothing we can’t handle” he said.

Arm in arm, they walked back to the teeming mass of superstars congratulating themselves over a hard fought evening.

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Doctor Who: This Used To Be My Playground [Fanfiction]

doctor

 

This Used To Be My Plaground

The Doctor was seated at the head of the table, on an ornately carved high-backed chair. Ohila of the Karn Sisterhood sat at the opposite end, observing the activity.

Assembled before her were The Doctor, having regained the office of Lord President from the deposed and disgraced Rassilon, and The General, chairman of the Gallifreyan War council.

Their agenda this day was to discuss the malicious and misguided actions of the former President, his intent to confront the prophecies regarding the nature and impact of the mythical hybrid that would come to claim Gallifrey and stand amongst its ruins.

The choices made by Rassilon had left The Doctor alone, without a friend, without a reward, and with nothing to lose.

“If you wanted to know about the hybrid, why didn’t you come to me? You’ve summoned me home before”

“We dared not risk bringing the hybrid here, you claimed it was you in your message to the young boy you dispatched to the capital”

“So being time lords and knowing not to cross hairs with the web of time, you ensured you couldn’t just force my TARDIS back here because you heard a remark from me in your present”

“And this very admission from you was what prompted Rassilon to take action and to seal you within the confession dial, so you would be given a chance to elaborate”

“And face a just punishment in the process of working out a means to escape” The Doctor replied.

“Your companion, Ms. Clara Oswald, was not intended to be a victim of your interrogation, please believe that Doctor”

“Clara did a very human thing, she tried to one-up me, and she got herself killed. I can’t turn the clock back on that as much as I want to. Rassilon laid out the mines, but she was the one who stepped on them”

“Then you forgive us?” The General asked.

“The Doctor tore out the weed at the core of Gallifrey’s arrogant bout of paranoia, no one else is to blame but Rassilon himself” Ohila said, chiming in.

The Doctor tilted his head upwards, his eyes fixated on the large oval window atop the building, trying his best to make up distant suns glistening across the bright and burning orange skies of his homeworld.

“When I said the hybrid was ‘me’, I didn’t mean myself, I meant someone I had turned into a hybrid, a human who’s life I prolonged indefinitely using a piece of alien technology. She had a name, but as time passed, everything that name was associated with withered and died around her, so she abandoned it, she became singular, unattached. She identified only as ‘Me’. That individual was the crude she-devil you arranged a deal with on Trap Street”

“How does she come to Gallifrey?” The General asked.

“You’re Time Lords, can’t you decide when it is time to see for yourselves?” asked Ohila

“Well, perhaps time has already decided for us. Rassilon made the deal with her to keep her street safe, she knows our race exists, and she’s got all eternity to wait for the universe to run out of breath. A heat death means plenty of sun, and you picked a fine spot to deposit this old nursery in, ideal conditions for a final, fateful vacation”

“All prophecies are not clear on what shape the hybrid will come in, it is possible this girl is but one of many diversions” The General argued.

“You mean your prophecies aren’t even clear on what colour it is? They’re not trying to offend anyone on the P.C spectrum are they?”

“This is no time to play the fool. Doctor”

“It’s the end of the universe. It’s the only time I’ve got. And you want me to keep you all safe”

“Can you?”

“I’ll need help obviously”

“Gallifrey is at your command”

“Oh, not from you lot. No, you’d cramp my style. Look at your hats. I’m going to need the use of an extraction chamber, to request a favour of someone”

Many years earlier, at Bannerman Road, a familiar scenario played out

A young boy, Luke Smith over excitedly, chats on his phone with his friend Clive over the events of Christmas 2009, the day the world became one man everywhere.

“That was the maddest Christmas ever, Clive. Mum still doesn’t know what happened. She got Mister Smith to put out this story saying that Wi-Fi went mad all across the world, giving everyone hallucinations. I mean, how else do you explain it? Everyone with a different face ”

Luke crossed the road without looking, only for the Doctor, a much younger Doctor, dragged him off the road before he could be struck down by a speeding car.

“But it’s you! You’re…”

The Doctor walked back to his TARDIS.

“Mum! Mum!” Luke said, heading towards his mother, Sarah Jane, as she stepped out of the house to check on him.

“What? What is it?”

“It’s him. It’s the Doctor”

The Doctor waved goodbye, Sarah smiled.

Then she noticed something wrong.

The Doctor seemed frozen, locked in position, no longer moving a muscle.

She looked all around her, and everyone else was the same. Luke, the cars, the people going about their business on the road, all motionless.

A shimmering light emitted from just behind the TARDIS, Sarah felt compelled to investigate, etching closer and closer towards it.

She saw a hand beckoning her, an unfamiliar voice calling her name.

Sarah stepped into an all-white room, with operatives also dressed in white. The only colour are their faces, the General, the Doctor, and Sarah, and some blue computer panels.

“Where am I? What is this?”

“Hello Sarah Jane” The Doctor said.

“Doctor? Is that you” Sarah said, pricking the front of him with her finger.

“It is, and to answer your question Sarah, this is home”

“Home? Your home?”

The Doctor nodded.

Sarah felt her confusion give away to untempered elation.

“You found it”

She placed her right hand warmly against The Doctor’s right cheek and stroked it tenderly.

“Doctor, oh Doctor welcome back”

The Doctor reached out and held Sarah’s hand as it remained attached to his cheek, he felt its searing warmth, he wanted to wrap himself in it, he had missed it.

He had missed her; he had missed everything about her.

The General urged The Doctor to get on with the matter at hand.

“Sarah, this isn’t a house call”

“I just saw you, you were saying goodbye, like you always do, but something was different about it…it was like you knew you weren’t coming back, not as I knew you, not as you knew yourself”

“And you would be right, that version of me died Sarah, not long after bidding you adieu, that wasn’t even my previous form”

“You had a whole other life I missed out on?” Sarah asked, her hand disengaging from The Doctor’s face.

The Doctor grabbed her by the shoulders.

“You’ll come to know the self that succeeded him in time, that’s all it takes, time”

Sarah did not fully understand, but trusted the words of the man before her. She gave him a light smile, trying to hold back tears as she processed the news of the tenth incarnation facing his mortality.

“You’ve gotten old” she said.

“I’m probably only a couple of years ahead of you in appearance”

“Ah, so you’re finally keeping up with me”

“Ms. Smith, the lord president has requested your presence on this planet for as long as he deems proper”

“Oh I can’t stay; I have a son to look after”

“They’ll keep, don’t worry, you’ll be returned to this precise spot and moment when we’re done”

“Doctor, are you sure it is wise to use the extraction chamber in this fashion? There could be unforeseen side effects…”

“What side effects? Tell me”

“Sarah, I think we should go topside, it’s almost nightfall”

Before Sarah could utter another word, The Doctor grabbed her hand and escorted her to one of the lifts which took them up to the top of the capital citadel.

Atop the citadel, Sarah and The Doctor sat atop the roof, kicking their feet back and staring out at a few crimson stars as they ignited one by one and descended into the wild lands of the planet.

“I hope none of those areas are inhabited” Sarah said.

“No, no Gallifrey has specific defences, magnetrons that pull the falling strands away from any habitable area and into harmless dunes”

“Even at the end of everything, your people still cling to survival skills” Sarah replied.

“Sarah, I have to ask something of you, and you can say no any time you like”

“Tell me, just as long as you speak truthfully about the side effects of this extraction chamber of yours” Sarah insisted.

“The chamber is usually only used for people at the very end of their time stream, we take the person at the moment of their demise, and when they have provided us with the necessary information, they’re returned to see out the rest of their remaining seconds”

“Was I fated to die then?” Sarah asked.

“No, no we misused the chamber this one time. You have much more life left in you Sarah, and that’s why I need you for what lies ahead”

“Why not extract me at a later stage in life? When I’ve met your previous self?”

“That’s still to come for you, but this is you at your peak Sarah, this was when you had just earned your second chance and you revelled in it, this was the woman I knew could keep the earth in line even as I stepped over it myself. I was tempted, very tempted, to abuse the chamber in a different way, to bring a good friend of mine back from the brink of death, and keep her where I needed her to be. I wanted to be naughty Sarah, a very naught boy indeed. This, all of this, used to be my playground and the Time Lords the spoiled elders I wanted to mock in front of the unruly sorts, my aim was to be a champion amongst the unruly and strike out on my own”

“You succeeded at that, and more so you proved wiser than the so-called elders, you proved to them straying from home did more good for the universe than ruling out intervention” said Sarah.

“And what did it cost me? A friend, my Clara, oh I can tell myself she was to blame for her own demise, but had I not let slip that nonsense about the hybrid and Me the moment I got here, Rassilon wouldn’t have had the impetus to try and snare me in the past…it’s only now I realise this isn’t my playground Sarah, it’s my penance. I have to rule over Gallifrey, I have to prepare them for the hybrid, whatever form it takes, and I’m more scared that I may face it alone”

“And that’s why you summoned me…the absolute best version possible, to spend the duration of your presidency at your side…to keep you in line”

“I’m scared, and alone, and hell bent on succeeding, will you stand in the ruins, you, myself, and the one who only goes by Me, at the end of it all, and confront the riddle of the hybrid once and for all?”

“Oh Doctor, even if there were no stars left, I’d gladly light your path any day. Come on, we’ve got work to do”

The Doctor and Sarah climbed down from the edge of the roof and laid their heads down, clutching their hands and squeezing them tightly. They watched more stars descend from the burning sky.

“I suppose when I get back, I’ll have a few extra years on me”

“All of that will be covered when you realign with your correct timeline”

“And I’m sure I’ll need my memory erased”

“I’m not putting myself through that again”

“But if you do let me remember, when I see your earlier face, I’m not supposed to say anything?”

“Even if you hear of my ‘untimely’ death from a couple of vultures”

“It’s not like you to leave me a preview of what’s to come”

“Sorry, just trying to keep the timeline spoiler-free for myself”

“Hmmph, spoilers, reminds me of a woman I crossed paths with just a couple of days ago, my time anyway”

“Did she say anything about me?”

“Just that you never leave her any tin dogs”

Torchwood-Life Like Fire [Fanfiction]

edith

 

Life Like Fire

Edith Lyons stood triumphant in the smouldering ruins of the detainment camp, her knees buckling, her physical strength failing, her body, ravaged by radiation from nuclear fallout years ago, was giving out on her, but her spirit was soaring. She had let all these caged birds fly across the fields and towards safety.

She had helped to change the world.

She spotted her lover Fran nearby, helping to load the last of the refugees into the backs of vans, soon her mission would be over and they could settle for a while. The war was far from won, but the night had been.

The air suddenly became thinner and thinner, Edith took her inhaler and took in a deep intake, but this time it was proving to have minimal effect. She believed this could be the end, but she would not be denied a final question from her lips directed towards a species, a society and possibly even the universe.

“I wonder…I wonder…what happens next?” she asked.

Then there was blackness.

She would recover, because she wanted to see, there was always so much to see. The urge to have her question answered was so great it would drive her to defy death’s call. She followed the news diligently, news of a world waking up to the horrors of Vivian Rook and her four star party, she would eventually entertain herself with the corners of the dark web, the resistance network, who chatted about tales of those culpable in the transfer of refugees to the detainment camps and the inhumane treatment they received there, being stolen away into the night towards a haven, or to be condemned to a fresh hell.

She planned a reckoning for all those that had wronged others so callously. She only needed the spark of inspiration to light her path.

She would be there for her brother Stephen, and hear his anguish, his pain. It was more about him than her, he was mourning his own catastrophic failures and how afraid he was she would pass on without seeing him redeemed, but she understood why he felt this way, and was well prepared

When the opportunity arose to use cutting edge technology to upload her memories into a data cloud, she saw the chance to make good on many promises to herself, to her family, to the world.

She would live on to see how the human race advances.

She would exact revenge on Vivian Rooke.

She would stay in touch with her family.

She would become a beacon, a lighthouse, guiding ships, souls, into port and navigating then through the dark.

The day comes, and she is plugged into the machine. Her niece Bethany is there for most of the experience, calling in from home, she has prepared the family for a new, yet familiar, arrival.

Tied to the machine, tanks of water molecules behind her, years, and years roll by in her head, flashes of what had been her family’s life up to that point, all stored in her head, plucked and deposited onto molecules of water, used to chronicle the life path of a family that lived like fire and burned as brightly.

The Doctors, Moss and Riku, hear of how confident she will be of living as a brand new form of life within the complex network, how she believed Vivian Rook had been stolen away by whoever funded her, and her plans for retribution on her.

They believed it was all imagination, and urged her to calm down. Edith was confident what she had ‘imagined’ was merely the future offering her a tantalising promise of tomorrow. This would happen, she’d make it happen.

Bethany eventually departs as they enter the final stage. Edith relaxed herself, laying down on the bed and allowing death to creep in, but not before one final affirmation.

“You’re wrong, you know. You’re absolutely wrong. Everything you’ve stored. All the downloads. Those bits of me that you’ve copied on to water, you’ve got no idea what they really are. I’m not a piece of code. I’m not information. All these memories, they’re not just facts; they’re so much more than that. They’re my family. And my lover. They’re my mum, and my brother who died years ago. They’re love. That’s what I’m becoming now. Love. I am love”

She could feel her life signs slipping away, she prepared for the end.

The doctors were swiftly interrupted by several men, some of them armed, and two individuals, a man in a long grey overcoat and a blonde woman in a dark blue coat and skirt.

“Slight change of plan Doctor Moss” said the man.

“Excuse me, but who exactly are you?” said Moss.

“Yvonne Hartman, and this is Captain Jack Harkness, we’re known to Edith, well, one of us is”

Yvonne looked toward one of the men, who removed his helmet to reveal the features of a man Edith had met when conspiring with the rest of her family on how to free Viktor Gariah, the lover of her deceased brother Daniel, who had been detained at one of Rook’s camps.

The man, Ahmed, walked over to Edith and checked for a pulse.

“It’s too late, she’s gone” said Riku.

“Notify the family” said Moss.

“Yes, open a link to them, I can take it from there” said Jack.

“She saved my sister, she saved everyone, we have to save her, you promised us she would help light the way for others” said Ahmed.

“And we’ll fulfil that promise, right now she has to put certain fears to rest” Jack replied, working on a device attached to his wrist.

“Have you tapped into the network?” asked Yvonne.

“I work like a charm every time, probably because I’m such a charmer”

“I’d say you’re just a lucky charm” said Yvonne.

“Oh really, is that why the government is always after me?” Jack joked.

“I’m sorry, but are you actually trying to hack into our cloud database?” asked Moss.

“Not hacking, extracting”

“Extracting data?”

“Edith’s data to be precise, and giving her memory core a bit of a boost to create centralised sentient awareness. We got in touch with her family just before we arrived here, they’re prepared. Got them to use an old Signor device from back in the day, it’s a bit primitive, I’d have preferred the walls to house her voice like with current technology provides, create a genuine haunted house given the state that building is in”

“Amusement’s for lesser centuries Captain” said Yvonne.

“Oh right, just ’cause this is where everything changes, some things like genuine fun doesn’t get to stay encased in amber” Jack sarcastically replied.

“You can’t just put Edith’s mind into a Signor and expect to be so formal with her family, if there’s a chance this works, she could react badly to being out of mind, out of place” Moss protested.

“But she wouldn’t be. Don’t you see? Couldn’t you tell she was trying to persuade you otherwise? We were watching everything, when she said she would enter the machine and become a spite and a spirit that would fly across the oceans to hunt down her prey, she was committed to the idea she would not be prone to human conditions, human failings, the reactions, the fears, the anxieties, she has fearlessly lit her path and it is furious, it is also fair, she will not be like Prometheus and the sun, hers is a life like fire and she will burn those who have crossed the Earth will ill intent. We’ll help her every step of the way”

“How so?” said Moss.

Jack approached the water tanks; he put his right hand against the tip of one of them, gently pressing his head against the glass.

“Edith, we know who was behind Rooke, in your normal and constrained world, they would be beyond your comprehension, but now? Now you’re above even them, you are what they are trying to deny the rest of humanity. You are evolved, you are different, transhuman, life without limitation, you are more vital to your cause, to the diverse trail that we must lead the world through. We can help you, we can take your gift, we can give you a voice and turn up the volume so all those who refuse to listen can hear you. Go to your family, let them know it’s you, tell them the truth about what’s going on, why you need to do what you have to, then drift away, find Vivian Rook. You helped light the path of revolution Edith; don’t ever diminish the role you had in that. Cross the boarders like your brother did”

There was silence for what appeared to be ages, the water levels in the tank rose, the temperature in the room began to get warmer and then colder

“If you’re there, if I’ve succeeded, greet us like only Edith Lyons can”

At the Lyons home, the family gathered.

Bethany got the call.

“She’s gone” she said.

The grandmother, Muriel, took her turn to speak, addressing the device pearched in the middle of the table

“Good afternoon Signor”

Not even a second passes before the response is made

“Good afternoon” it replied in a partially feminine, and familiar, voice.

Jack smiled.

“Welcome to Torchwood Ms. Lyons”

Knight Rider: Ride The Dragon [Fanfiction]

51EM15X05KL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

Stern checked his watch as his car pulled up to the rendezvous point on the barren open road.

He was at least five minutes early.

That gave him plenty of opportunity to reconsider, to pull out of the deal, to make good his escape. Leave what he believed to be a futile deal behind.

Those five minutes ticked by, and eventually wound down with Stern still undecided. The price tag of the deal had done its job in making his mind up, and he cursed himself for it.

Another car soon pulled up behind him, with a tall and keen African-American male with flowing dreadlocks, flanked by two large muscular goons.

He beckoned Stern to step out of the car, Stern obliged.

The two men stared at one another, one cool and collected, and the other sensing his every nerve was shot.

Stern fumbled through his pockets searching for something, the other gentleman’s two heavies moved an inch closer, which hastened Stern to quickly produce the item from his person.

“Look Kincaid, I’ve been as clear as I can, I can’t retrieve anything else from the facility without being implicated, and they already know I was the one who last checked the security feeds”

Stern nervously handed Randy’s men a small black obelisk device.

“Here, now it’s not much, but it’s everything on the first fifteen agents we could recruit, it’s not the fifty like we arranged, but that’s all I can supply”

The heavies moved closer, Stern tossed the device to Randy, who caught it without even flinching.

He looked at it with a look of mild disappointment, it was obviously not what he’d ideally desire, but at the same time he looked as if he was also partially satisfied, like this was worth some kind of wait.

“You like what you see don’t you? Alright, I think I’ve earned my take. Give it to me”

Stern noticed the large men were starting to put on black gloves. He could tell trouble was brewing.

Randy gave a silent and commanding nod to his heavies, who rushed Stern and grabbed him headfirst, applying pressure from their massive hands as they pulled him into a vice like grip, ultimately succeeding in caving in and crushing his skull.

Randy snapped his fingers, which seemed to bring the two heavy hitters to heel. They returned to his side and all three entered their car, driving off into the distance and leaving Stern a lifeless shell on the desert road.

Inside the car, Kincaid played with the black box, testing it’s durability by gripping it tightly. Suddenly, and frustratingly, it came apart in his hand.

“A dud” he said, almost smiling. He quickly got on the phone.

“Keep Mrs. Stern precisely where she is. I’m sure he’s left the real box with her”

Travelling along the open road in his faithful supercar K.I.T.T, Michael Knight, flagship agent for the Foundation for Law and Government was preparing to lecture his sentient partner on a topic that had been on his mind as of late

“KITT, one in three fish caught around the world never makes it onto the plate, ever wonder why? Because it’s either thrown back overboard or it rots before it can be eaten”

“Please…why talk about fish?” K.I.T.T asked.

“Always keep your keener interests fresh in your mind buddy, helps you plan ahead for the future” Michael advised.

“Does that future still require you to be at the foundation?” K.I.T.T asked.

Michael’s silence spoke volumes.

“Please reconsider Michael” KITT begged.

“KITT, we’ve been through this, we’ve tried to keep Wilton’s torch burning bright, but it’s been far too cold since Stevie passed away. The torch doesn’t have to burn out with me if I know that it’s time to relinquish my hold of it”

“I can’t imagine having another partner, it just won’t be you. However will I find one?” K.I.T.T asked.

“Have you perhaps considered dating?” Michael replied, trying to keep the tone of the conversation light and full of merriment.

“Very funny” K.I.T.T replied.

“Believe it or not, I’m serious buddy; you’ve got the pizzazz, the right look, that wise-cracking, cynical but convincing personality and an attitude that all women admire”

“…But I don’t exactly have the physical qualities women would find pleasurable now do I?”

“Beauty is best perceived on the inside pal, you just need a woman who understands that, who can be a rock for you in times of great need, who can patch you up when you’ve left in pieces”

“Name one” KITT asked insistently.

“What?”

“Go ahead. Name one. I’m all receptors”

“Alright…off the top of my head…April”

“April hasn’t worked at FLAG in over two years Michael, and I think I know where you’re going with this, you just don’t want to say it in case I become repulsed by the very notion”

“And will you?”

“Absolutely. It’s Bonnie isn’t it?”

“The name never left my lips”

Michael was satisfied that K.I.T.T had said it and not him.

“She’s practically my mother Michael”

“She mothers you, but she also mends you. She’s perfect”

“She’s human. I’m not”

“KITT, I’ve even heard Devon refer to you as the most humane thing the Foundation has ever produced”

“How flattering, but you’re just trying to make me feel better about you leaving. It won’t work”

“Would you prefer I turn the topic back to fishing?”

“Mercifully, you won’t have to. Devon’s on the line”

“Alright, patch him through”

The features of kindly, yet strict Englishman Devon Miles appeared on KITT’s monitor screen.

“Devon, judging from your shaken demeanour, something’s either hit you hard or you’ve just read my notice”

“A little bit of both Michael, I can’t persuade you to think differently?”

“Not this time my friend, in just under a month, the sun will set on this gentle Knight. I’m game for a few more missions before that, so it’s best you assign them to me when I’m still in a willing mood”

“Then I shall not waste time over your personal matters, instead you’ll just have to deal with mine. Tanner Stern is dead”

“Tanner Stern…Devon, isn’t that one of Jennifer and Garth Knight’s godparents?”

“In happier times, yes, he was a dearly valued friend of Wilton, his cooperation and funding was vital to the initial operations of the Knight Foundation, but he had demons Michael, we could never prove it, but we were certain he’d been embezzling, Wilton acted on his gut instincts and dismissed him”

“So what, did his demons catch up to him?”

“We don’t know. We kept tabs on Stern on the possible chance we could nail him for the same crime in a different position, but he must have learned his lesson because he kept a quiet profile as he bounced from one national interest job to another, he was most recently a key researcher in the Dreamfields project”

“Sounds like they’re experts in a good night’s sleep”

“I’m afraid it’s nothing quite so innocent Michael, Dreamfields is an advanced study of sleeper agents affected by MK Ultra techniques. Over fifty agents, CIA, freelance etc, were subjected to the procedure and had their brainwave patterns taken, stored on a computer hard drive, every secret they ever possessed is on that box”

“And you think this Stern guy was thinking of stealing it?”

“Not ‘thinking of’ Michael, he has stolen it. Don’t ask me how, but someone put him in charge of security detail for Dreamfields, and this afternoon we discovered he had tampered with the security cameras to create the illusion the master memory was still in our custody, but it no longer is”

“He stole it and badly covered his tracks?”

“It may be that failing to conceal the trail may have been deliberate. We discovered that he had recently checked in to a couples retreat with his wife somewhere in Colorado”

“So he left a trail did he? Guess he wanted to redeem himself. Alright, I’ll pay this retreat a little visit”

“Good luck Michael”

“Ready for a big catch buddy?” Michael said as he put his foot down on the accelerator pedal.

“Maybe, hopefully this is one assignment that convinces you not to be the one that got away”

Michael and KITT’s arrival did not go unnoticed by the couples at the retreat, who marvelled at the look of the black T-Top as it strolled up to the front of the building.

In an attempt to look even more suave than usual, Michael pressed the C button on the car dash, triggering KITT’s convertible mode. The roof of the car slid back and Michael sprang out of his seat and leapt out of the car, landing on both feet with precision agility.

Noticing all this was a dapper looking bushy haired lady in crystal clear heels, a long silk scarlet scarf around a white shirt. She admired the look of Michael’s ride.

“Nice wheels, but it makes me wonder, do you give all your attention to this particular mistress over your own woman?”

Michael was unsure of how to answer that without getting too personal.

“Actually I’m looking for someone”

“Those are the words a woman wants to hear, you’re alright” said the lady, giving him a longing wink before stroking her fingers delicately over the hood of the car.

As she walked off, Michael entered the clinic’s reception area.

“Excuse me; I’m looking for a Mrs. Emilia Stern? I understand she’s still in residence here” Michael asked.

“Who are you in relation to her?” asked the receptionist.

“I’m not related, but we have something in common…one Tanner Stern, he was killed just on the outskirts of this very clinic, now I’d like to ask Mrs. Stern a couple of questions if at all possible”

“I’m sorry sir, I can’t permit you an audience, are you even married? Our policy strictly prohibits anyone not related to our guests be denied access to the building”

“Listen, I’m not here to patch things up with a loved one, I’m here to conduct an investigation”

“We conduct our own investigations here sir, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave”

“Or what?”

The receptionist pressed a button behind his desk, signalling security.

Michael sighed deeply, this was just the kind of complication he didn’t need.

Suddenly, an inspiring thought came to him.

“Yeah, as a matter of fact, forget what I said, I was just trying to play macho, you know, the old tough uncompromising cop card. I actually came here to book me and my wife a five week session; do you think that could work?”

“You must think I was born yesterday sir. You meant exactly what you said earlier and falling back on an excuse isn’t going to sway me. Mrs. Stern will not be disturbed”

Michael was soon escorted out of the building by two lean and brash looking guards, who took him out and tossed him on to the concrete pavement.

The woman with had admired the manner of his arrival earlier walked over to him.

“I take it she still thinks you value the car over her?” she remarked.

Michael looked back at KITT, frustrated and dejected.

However, even as he clambered back into his vehicle, more radical and dangerous thoughts were occurring to him.

“KITT, have you been made by the security cameras?” he asked.

“Negative Michael, the one camera at the front of the building takes a while to cover the entire scope of the area”

“Let’s keep it that way, blow it out” Michael asked.

KITT did as instructed and sent out a disruptive signal that caused the camera to short-circuit.

“Any particular reason why you had me do that?”

“Let’s just say I’ve a feeling you’ll be coming this way again, and I’d hate for you to be recognised”

Back at the FLAG semi, Michael and KITT discussed the days’ events with Devon, Bonnie Barstow, and Reginald Cornelius the 3rd, or RC3 to his friends.

“I don’t get it Devon, how can a clinic like that even be able to deny an official investigation?”

“I’m afraid because of the company it keeps; it can keep us out indefinitely. We are a private operation Michael, but so is the clinic, and there’s no way of proving a connection that would require the presence of the police, not officially”

“But we have a connection, Tanner was there Devon” Michael insisted.

“He was there on private business; he and his wife were working on ways to fix their relationship”

“So why hasn’t she checked out yet? If he’s dead, there’s nothing keeping her there. Devon, something stinks here”

RC3 interrupted the conversation and handed Devon a print out of the clinic’s proprietor.

“The clinic is operated by one Randolph Lester Kincaid” RC3 confirmed.

“I’m afraid this just got more complicated. Kincaid is another slippery customer with a bit of a grey area to him. A militant prodigy, recruited into the service at just 14 years old, they knew he wasn’t the legal age but were so impressed with his skills they kept that little fact quiet. He left the army of his own accord nine years later to pursue more passive interests”

“Never knew being a murderer was such a gentle pastime” Michael remarked.

“Yes, well, good luck proving it” Devon added.

Inside KITT, Bonnie was checking on KITT’s systems when the dash came alive, the TAPE deck was played, and powerful and immersive music became blurting out of the speakers. Bonnie was taken aback, slightly amused.

“KITT, what is this all about?”

“Careless Whisper, it’s your favourite”

“And what do I owe this pleasure?” Bonnie asked.

“Michael thinks we’re a match”

Bonnie gave KITT a look conveying both annoyance and cynicism, not taking his sincerity at face value, and clambered out of the car to give Michael a telling off.

“What have you been telling him?” she said with mellow frustration.

“Hey, I’m just proving how attentive I’ve been over the years. Most observant” he said.

“He’s just teasing you KITT, he knows his days here are numbered and he’s going to make sure we’re all as uncomfortable as possible” Bonnie explained.

“That’s what I thought too, but on reflection, the idea of standing a chance of us being compatible has warmed me to the potential situation”

“Well, that’s because I haven’t given your positronic relays a bit of a temporary jump to realign them with your agility shifters” Bonnie asked.

“Was that a threat or an advance warning?”

“A bit of both”

“Ah, I see you two are flirting” Michael said

“Cut it out Michael” they both said.

Bonnie noticed something on KITT’s dash.

“KITT, your internal temperature levels are rising so slightly, if I didn’t know better this could pass for blushing”

“Question is Bonnie, are you?” KITT asked.

“Don’t be silly”

RC3 proceeded to explain the purpose and function of the clinic to the others.

“The clinic only takes couples who’ve been on the rocks. They keep them apart most of the time when they get there as a way of testing just how much they long for each other, only allowing couples to have contact through special phone lines. When the couples are on the cusp of reconciliation, they’re brought together through a special reconciliation line, and when they make their intentions clear over that, and then they’re allowed to see each other, enjoy some time together, and check out”

“Sounds like a very orderly procedure” Bonnie replied

“And exactly the kind of militant strategy Kincaid is capable of dreaming up” said Devon.

“So either Stern was in a hurry to reconcile, or it’s possible he had to check out before his wife could check on him” Michael deduced.

“Michael, I would like very much for you and KITT to return to the clinic. If Kincaid has his hands on the master memory box, national security is of the utmost concern. Heaven knows what was stored in those agent’s heads.” Devon confirmed.

“I’d love to Devon, but the clinic caught on to me real quick, and they know what I look and sound like, so I can’t go back there, but I made sure that KITT could, the cameras never made him outside the building…and the way that clinic’s wired, we can just use his voice”

“Then we’ll have to arrange someone else to help KITT co-ordinate our operation” Devon replied.

“Yeah, and it’d have to be female” RC3 added.

All three men turned to Bonnie, who looked perplexed.

“What are you looking at me for?”

“You’ve been in the field before”

“Yeah, but to act like KITT and I are some kind of couple? Come on Michael”

“Hey, if anything, it’ll give you a chance to vent about his short-comings, all part of a relationship that just grows and grows”

“You’re sick” Bonnie replied, a little flustered.

KITT again began playing Careless Whisper as Bonnie sunk her head into her hands.

Back at the clinic, Emilia Stern was listening to a soothing session of classical music when a sudden knock at the door startled her. She tensely approached the edge of the room and called out to whoever was on the opposite side.

“Who is it?” she said

“Room service ma’am” came the response.

Stern’s nerves calmed and she opened the door to let them in.

“Of course, please come in”

Two large, muscular men stepped in; both looked like they were fixed on a different kind of mission. They looked at the records she was playing.

“Got an ear for Beethoven?” one of them asked.

“Tanner’s favourites, I can’t help but listen to him. They were playing even when we talked over the reconciliation line”

The men stood still, keeping quiet, staring into Mrs. Stern, making her most uncomfortable.

“I can’t seem to bring myself to…part of me is always thinking he’ll come back through that door, or call me on the reconciliation line. That’s all I want to hear, just the sound of his voice”

She noticed the men weren’t leaving.

“If you don’t mind me asking…when am I going to be allowed to leave?”

“When we’re fully satisfied” replied one of the men, cracking his knuckles.

“Satisfied with what?” Stern asked.

“The state of your health” said one of the men in an icy manner.

En route to the clinic, KITT was trying to make small talk with Bonnie.

“You haven’t talked to me since we left the semi”

“I’m just thinking of how I’m going to sell the ups and downs of this ‘marriage’ of ours to those waiting for us at the clinic”

“Define the ‘ups’ first if you care to”

“I just don’t think we thought this through, according to the information we processed, both partners have to be present and then they’re led away to separate rooms. You’re a car, I can’t exactly say you’d prefer to sleep in the garage than be anywhere near me in the villa”

“I’ve processed a little more of the details since then Bonny, and apparently if the couple is already experiencing long-term separation, an exception can be made to that rule. There is an eight day period where the groom can prefer to deal with matters directly over the phone, but he must make some sort of personal appearance once that session is up”

“So you’re telling me I may have to be here a while?”

“You can’t get rid of me that easily”

“Oh be quiet”

Bonnie stared out at the open road, taking in the splendour of the great outdoors as KITT hurried along towards the villa.

She didn’t know why, but she felt compelled to ask KITT precisely what he had in mind for their back-story together.

“Have you even come up with a narrative for the pair of us? How we met, and ‘fell in love’? We need something to give the people there a slim hope their techniques can reconcile us so I have an excuse to get out of dodge and abandon this crazy scheme”

“Let’s say when we first met, you swept me off my feet with a salsa…”

“Why a salsa?”

“It was the first dance I could think of”

“Ok then, what was our song?”

“I think I’ve come across one in my leisure index that’ll do just the trick”

The car’s interior soon came to life with the beats of que locura enamorarme de ti, on a continuous loop.

Bonnie, feeling a little overcooked, pressed the reliable C button on the dashboard which, as before, pulled down KITT’s top. Bonnie got up on her feet and spread her arms wide across the crisp open air, taking in a rush of the afternoon breeze as the salsa played loudly over the speakers.

Their activity on the road caught the attention of a nearby police car, which sped after them.

Bonnie heard the sirens and quickly dropped back into the driver’s seat. A quick press of the C button, and KITT’s top swiftly slid back over her head.

“Now you’ve done it, we’re going to get pulled over”

“I did nothing, you were the one who went topside looking for fun in the sun, and I was the designated driver”

“Designated? KITT, are you trying to spin it like I were drunk”

“That’s the story you might have to tell the officer”

“Don’t you even think of pulling over?”

Despite her protests, KITT did just that as the police car drove up beside him, the sun roof retracted as its driver gesturing with his hands for it to slow down.

As KITT came to a halt, the officer, slightly obese with bags of weariness over his eyes and his tin star badge sloppily stapled to his shirt, slowly made his way out of his own car and approached the window of the right side of the vehicle, he lightly tapped it.

The window came down to reveal Bonnie’s flustered features.

“You looked an awful lot like you’d prefer walking on air to keeping your eye on the road ma’am”

“I’m sorry officer, its first day jitters”

“First day jitters?”

“Yeah, my first tour of pro bono work in a long stretch, I felt like celebrating”

“You some kind of doctor?”

“You could say that, I dabble in a little surgery. Treat every man I meet like a machine”

“You on your way to perform an operation?”

“Yes” KITT replied, startling the officer, who could not see anyone else in the pitch blackness that filled the car’s interior.

“Who said that?”

“Her husband, and I’m in quite a sorry state” KITT continued, adjusting his voice so it was slower paced and sluggish.

Bonnie caught on to what he was trying to do.

“Yeah, he can’t hold his liquor” Bonnie answered.

“Why is everything so dark in there?” the officer asked, peering again into the pitch black interior.

“He’s sensitive to sunlight”

“But you had the top straight up when I caught sight of you. This is a convertible correct?”

“I risked all that to give my wife a brief thrill, she’s due to perform live-risking surgery on me, and I have developed an allerg-aller-…”

“An allergic reaction” Bonnie finished for him, recognising KITT didn’t want to sound too coherent in detailing his ‘dire condition’.

The officer found the explanation most unorthodox.

“Ok ma’am, say I were to believe this tall tale, how soon is this operation?”

“As soon as I arrive at where I need to be”

“Ok then, I’ll escort you to where you need to go, just in case you feel the need to indulge in any special stress-relieving ‘thrills’ again, these roads aren’t for any sort of joyride, no matter how noble the intention, you got me?”

“Clear as crystal officer, won’t happen again” Bonnie replied.

“You might want to turn the lights up in there a little, just so you can see where you’re going” the officer advised before walking back to his car. Bonnie gave him a reassuring wave.

She slumped in the chair, reflecting on just how close a call that was, but she could not feel anger even if it was quite necessary. All she could think of was the enormous risk KITT had taken for her.

“KITT, I can’t believe you”

“Did you really think I’d let you take the blame for me?”

“I don’t know, you’re normally the first person who puts Michael on the spot whenever you’re in a jam, and here you are making sure I come across as the better person”

“And now we have another narrative to spin to those at the clinic. Drunken disorderly putting your medical career at risk”

“I’d like to think our relationship has some redeemable qualities”

“Do you have anything in mind?”

“All I can think about is the way it all began”

At this prompting, KITT resumed playing his personally selected salsa for the duration of the journey

Emilia Stern was resorting to a round of cleaning, constantly keeping herself distracted from the tragedy that had impacted her. The doorbell rang, she answered.

“Mr. Kincaid, what do I owe this pleasure to?”

“I figured I would take an interest in how you are coping with your loss. We are doing everything we can to keep you well accommodated”

“Are you ever going to let me out of here? I need to move on, make preparations for Tanner’s funeral. I’ve got to a get a hold of his nephew”

“We’re not detaining you Mrs. Stern; we’re just trying to keep you at ease during your grieving process”

“I’ve done all the grieving I can process in this place…you don’t know what it’s like being surrounded by all these squabbling couples, all taking what they have with one another for granted. I should never have been persuaded to come here”

Mrs. Stern seated herself on the couch and buried her head in her hands. Kincaid sat down beside her, cradling her as she went limp in his arms, spent from the emotional toll the past few hours had taken on her.

“I would hate to have you run out just as we on the cusp of a true break-through, in many respects, you can help our little community learn a great deal on how to process this kind of grief if anything similar should happen”

Stern couldn’t help but find that last sentence most curious.

“You sound as if you strongly anticipate whoever it was that killed Tanner will come back for the rest”

Kincaid stroked the edge of her cheeks delicately.

“It could be the others, it could be me, and it could even be you”

Kincaid got up and made his way out, gently blowing a kiss at his guest before swiftly exiting. His two lumbering henchmen awaited him on the other end.

“May we deal with her now?” asked one of the brutes.

“Your bloodlust will have to wait a little longer. I’ve managed to put some fear into her, she will be less compelled to leave if she knows a threat still exists, eventually I will ask about what items Tanner brought with him to the clinic. When I am fully satisfied with her answers, then I shall demand her silence. Not before”

Kincaid then quickly changed the subject and turned to other matters.

“The security cameras, have they been repaired?”

“Maintenance workers reckon another day tops before they can go up” confirmed another of the goons.

“Then we will have to tread carefully. I’ve already been informed someone was here at the clinic asking about Tanner, we must acquire the information vital to our operation quickly…and if grief and fear cannot coax the truth out of her, then and only then will you step in to supply absolute force. Is that quite clear?” Kincaid spoke, his ice-cold voice sending tangible shivers down even the normally unshaken enforcers’ spines.

KITT approached the mountain road that Kincaid’s couple’s clinic was perched near the top of, the police car still tailing them from behind serving as an escort.

As KITT and Bonnie pulled up at the clinic, Bonnie proceeded to freshen herself up with a spot of perfume. She paused as she applied it, taking note of something across KITT’s dashboard.

“Something the matter?” KITT asked.

“You’ve turned on your Olfactory sensors”

“Well, since you’ve turned things up, so did I. Am I not allowed to form an opinion on what type of fragrance you put on?”

“Let’s just talk business OK? Use your micro scanners to keep audio tabs on me”

“What about visuals?”

“I’ll notify you when you can turn them on, a girl needs her privacy too you know”

“You’re absolutely correct; I must learn to respect your boundaries”

Bonnie sighed and motioned to get out of the car.

“Don’t forget your wristwatch” KITT advised.

“You mean Michael’s wrist watch”

“No, I meant the one I had Michael buy you”

The door to the glove compartment on the dash opened of its own accord, and Bonnie gazed inside at its contents. A sparkling white and gold plated Seiko ladies’ watch.

“Do you like it?”

Bonnie was mesmerised.

“Did Michael put you up to this?”

“I put Michael up to it; we picked one up on the way back from our first visit to the clinic”

Bonnie tried it the eloquent gift, slipping it onto her wrist with ease. Her eyes sparkled in awe of its rather simple majesty.

“It’s beautiful, I’m flattered KITT, really, I don’t know if I can accept something like this”

“It’s not a question of acceptance; it’s more about the appreciation. You have affection for my gesture, I am content with that”

Bonnie again took a peek inside the compartment and fetched out another item, it was indeed Michael’s own communications watch.

“I already have to deal with you over the phone; I’d appreciate it if I didn’t have to keep in touch through every vital moment of my stay here. We’ve been through enough work on and off the field to know you can trust me. Just give me a chance to wind down”

“You wish to wind down? I thought you said we were all about business from here on out”

“What is it that you and Michael always do? Mix a little business here, a lot of pleasure there”

“It’s quite the opposite; Michael’s personality just blurs the lines a little”

“Only just a little?” Bonnie said, as she opened the door and scrambled out of the car.

“Have I put you in the mood most appropriate for this assignment?”

Bonnie peered back into the dimly lit interior to give KITT an earful to his receptors.

“You’re not doing it for the assignment KITT; you’re doing this all for me in some terribly misguided insistence that there’s something going on between us. You have to prioritise here, get into the part if you have to, but stop treating it so personally. It’s not fair to me”

“How is it not fair? It means nothing to you doesn’t it?”

Bonnie maintained radio silence on either confirmation or denial.

“Doesn’t it?”

“I’m going to check in now, phone ahead to let them know you’ve already made arrangements to arrive at the clinic in a couple of days time, but that you’ve been given the number to the direct phone line so we can stay in touch until you ‘arrive’, that should hopefully give us all the time we need to get Mrs. Stern and the black box out of there”

“What about our police friend?” said KITT.

Bonnie looked north of her to find the officer getting out of his own car.

“Leave that to me” she said, shutting the door behind her.

She approached the officer, trying her best to feign appreciation for his good deed for the day.

“Thank you ever so much, I need to prepare a room for my husband, you wouldn’t mind looking over him and my car while I sort this out will you?”

“If you think it’s the best for your husband’s health, but I can’t stay too long, I’m needed back where I was. The road stays awful rowdy”

“I understand, thank you” she said, and headed to the entrance, giving KITT’S bonnet a gentle tap on the way over there.

The officer peered over at KITT.

“How’d a no-good drunk like you ever net a fine catch like that?”

Bonnie headed into reception and made accommodation arrangements.

However, she hit a snag.

“I’m sorry Mrs. KITT, we’re kind of full, you’ve have to cohabit with one of the other guests”

“Sure, no problem any candidates?”

“Would room fifteen A be a good fit?”

“Looks like you and me are gonna be roommates” came a voice from behind her.

“Tammy Clarke, occupant of 15 A, a pleasure to meet you”

Bonnie anxiously shook her hand as it was offered to her.

“Bonnie, Bonnie KITT” Bonnie said, her heart in her mouth as she grappled with the pseudonym she had taken.

“I’ll get you settled in no time, you can keep me company with stories about your own love and loss” Tammy said.

The two ladies made their way over to 15 A, where they unpacked and eventually unwound, sharing several pleasant conversations about the people in their lives.

“My man had a son by another marriage, Channing, sweet kid, he just turned thirteen. He cleaned his old man up at the tennis courts, it took some time for me to sooth that ego of his, but that should have been my first warning sign. Before long, I found he was set off by a million things; usually it had to do with something competitive. He had to be everything around me, the best swimmer and the best dancer, but he all he had to show for it was two left feet and the shallow end”

“Maybe you should thank him for making the effort” Bonnie suggested.

Tammy flinched, almost like Bonnie had read her mind.

“That’s just it; he wants me to thank him. Every time he’s on the other end of the line he says I help him come in first, but I want to be leading the charge too in our business. He says I should be grateful and content as an equal, but we both know he just wants me to stay in second place; he doesn’t want me sticking one foot ahead of his. That’s why we’re here; he’s got to learn it’s OK for him to trail behind too”

Bonnie poured herself and Tammy a glass of water and raised a toast.

“Well, I hope you end up owning the dog in this race” she said.

The Two women raised their glasses together in a toast and drank.

“So, what brings you all the way out here?”

“My husband has a few issues to work through, I practices in medicine, I mend people, but lately all I seem to be doing is patching him up exclusively, I give him daily examinations, I give him fuel”

“He’s an engine you have to keep running” Tammy concluded.

“Yes, yes exactly that and it’s me who ends up running on empty. It’s not like he doesn’t appreciate me, he’s wonderful, he depends on me to mend him, but I need to be on the mend myself, to improve, and to do that I need to be in the field of practice”

“Well, speaking of practice, time I worked on mine over at the court, fancy a go?”

“No, I’d better start trying out that hotline; I think I miss my husband already”

Once Tammy excused herself and headed over to the tennis court, Bonnie made her way to reception and contacted KITT, verifying with the receptionist that KITT had indeed called ahead as she’d requested.

“You can tell our officer friend to head out now KITT, we’re completely settled”

“Bonnie, must you announce to the entire clinic we had a police escort? If you’re not careful, you might attract undue attention to yourself, and just imagine my cover’s public image”

“I’m being as quiet as I can”

“Speak up; I can’t hear how difficult you’re making this”

“Oh you’re impossible” Bonnie yelled

“Is there fire in my dragon?” said KITT

Bonnie hung up the phone and took a glance over at two women who had eavesdropped on the outburst and were already making chatter amongst themselves.

Outside, the police officer looking after KITT received the news.

“Well, it’s been nice to meet you fine folks, take care of that girl and your car while you’re at it. If I were you, I wouldn’t know which to love first or more”

“And the less I think like that, the more I’ll start loving life” KITT replied.

Unbeknown to KITT, one of Kincaid’s two heavies had caught a glimpse of him when returning from an errand he had been running.

The heavy made his way into the lobby and called in to Kincaid’s office, only to receive his secretary on the line.

“Mr. Kincaid is at an all-day meeting with your clients, can I take a message”

“I think I’ve spotted something he’ll definitely be interested in, have his schedule free for sometime tomorrow morning”

Once both ladies had settled in for the night, Bonnie found herself tossing and turning, unable to get a good night’s rest.

She got up, put up on a pair of slippers, and calmly entered the bathroom. She curled up beside the shower and turned on her watch.

“KITT? KITT are you there?”

“Bonnie, do you know what time of night it is?”

“I’m restless, and I wanted to apologise for snapping earlier. You’re far from impossible. I just can’t stop thinking about how crazy all this is”

“You’ve been out in the field on more dangerous escapades than this, you can handle it”

As pleased as she was that KITT had faith in her abilities, that wasn’t what was troubling Bonnie, if she could even call it trouble at this point.

“It’s not that, I was thinking back to things I was saying to Tammy, it made me realise a few home truths about myself, about you, and how easy we are together”

“I’m touched Bonnie”

“Could you do me another favour?”

“Name it”

“A little serenading would make for good morning coffee conversation with Tammy, you got any tracks?”

KITT played What’s New Pussycat from Tom Jones and patched it through directly to the watch at a modest volume. Bonnie leaned back against the walls of the shower and clapped her hands with delight.

The next morning, Tammy awoke to find Bonnie humming a delightful melody to her.

“Sounds like you had heaven handed to you last night” she asked.

“You could say that. The husband played me the dreamiest tunes last night”

“He made you forget the nightmare that brought you two to this point did he? When he’s coming over? I’d love to meet him; I’ll tell my man about him if I can”

“Another day or so, truth be told, sometimes I don’t think I’d need him around physically, we’re not the type that requires that kind of intimacy, all I need is the sound of his voice”

“So long as snoring doesn’t come out of his mouth, I ought to be fine with whatever else he’s selling. Just be careful it isn’t snake oil that makes you feel good’n’ready for him just yet. A girl’s gotta fortify herself if they want a little more effort shown their way”

Tammy checked her watch.

“Oh, will you excuse me? I have to run an errand for a friend”

“Sure, I ought to be heading over to the phone anyway; I’m expecting the hubby to give me another house warming call”

“Might have to get my man to do the same, tell me about it later”

“Of course, I’ll tell you when we head over to aerobics”

“I’d like that”

Kincaid was led to the outside of the building by his hired help, who pointed him in the direction of KITT

“You’re absolutely certain?”

“That thing gave me and my brother the shock of our lives, we don’t forget little deeds or who commits them”

“They couldn’t have known about Tanner’s stash, not unless his wife had gotten a message out without us knowing”

“Do we have your authorisation to pay Mrs. Stern a visit?”

“I want to see the registry for yesterday morning and afternoon, once we have their location, then you can pay them a visit”

“Sir, there’s no more time, they’re here. They’re trouble. Give us the go-ahead”

“”Ok, I’ll arrange transport for you to depart as soon as possible if you succeed in retrieving the goods, don’t cause a scene”

After Tammy had left, Bonnie slumped down on the bed and called KITT on her signal watch.

“How are you?” KITT asked.

“I’m good KITT, thanks so much for last night, it warmed me right up. How’s life on your end? Any trouble?”

“Trouble has a habit of noticing me”

“Somehow, I don’t think Tammy is that much of pain in the ‘toosh”

“I would. I’m tagging her heat signatures, and she’s heading towards WO8, that’s Mrs. Stern’s room”

“KITT, how do you know that’s Stern’s room?”

“I’ve tapped into the clinic registry”

“Aren’t you rushing things just a little?”

“I don’t have a choice. As I said, trouble takes notice of me, and this assuredly is trouble”

KITT played a video recording from last night of the hoods pointing Kincaid to where he was parked. Bonnie froze with apprehension as she recognised him.

“I recognise that man; he’s one of Margo Sheridan’s goons from that mess in San Francisco”

“He recognised me Bonnie, we have to act fast. Notify Devon”

“”Actually, hold that thought, I’ll head on over to Stern’s room and see what Tammy is doing there””

“Bonnie, that could be extremely dangerous” KITT cautioned, but Bonnie was insistent.

“Both of them could be in danger and I’m not about to sit here knowing I could have done more. If this were Michael, he’d be on it by now, I’m your partner for this, I’ve been your partner always, we’re doing this together, don’t try to stop me”

“Very well, but you must hurry, I’m detecting another heat signature approaching Mrs. Stern’s room”

Bonnie swiftly made her way along the corridors, following KITT’s directions and heading towards the room.

KITT was beginning to worry.

“Bonnie, the door has been breached”

Bonnie dashed through the halls, making her way finally to Stern’s door, where she heard a struggle going on a few meters away. She suddenly heard a smash.

Arriving at the door, she found a morbid sight,

A visibly upset Stern screaming at a lifeless body sprawled over the remains of a coffee table.

It was Tammy.

“Are you OK ma’am?” Bonnie asked of Stern, who grabbed Bonnie’s arms and pleaded with her to leave.

“Get out, they’re still here” Stern said.

“Who are?” Bonnie replied.

Two of Kincaid’s goons suddenly shot past her, one of them carrying a briefcase in their hands, they shoved Bonnie to the floor, but Bonnie quickly tripped up one of them while lying down.

She got up to her feet and waited for the brutish hulk of a man to rise, before springing onto his back and clawing at his eyes with her fingers. The man swung violently, trying to crush Bonnie against the side of the wall, but Bonnie placed her legs against the side of the structure and used the momentum to propel her and the goon into a glass cabinet full of polished ornaments.

Bonnie clambered off the brute’s back, grabbed a nearby glass candle holder and smashed it across the base of his head, knocking him senseless.

She swiftly patched through to KITT on her watch.

“KITT, I need you to track the heat movements of anyone who has just left this room”

“I’m already on it Bonnie”

Bonnie checked in on Tammy, she looked for a pulse, but couldn’t find one. She could afford no tears just yet, as there was business to settle.

“It’s my fault she’s gone, I was giving her something to look after, we’d be seeing one another a lot on the tennis court, I confided in her, she was to take Tanner’s effects from me and put it in her room…suddenly these brutish people came in, accused her of working for some law enforcement agency and

“They mistook her for me, my god” Bonnie said, almost numb with shock.

Kincaid intercepted his henchman at the parking lot just as he was scrambling to enter a car that belonged to him.

“I told you not to make a scene”

“Change of plans, I’ll see the client gets this box personally”

“What about me? I want my cut”

“Consider yourself cut” said the goon, levelling Kincaid in the stomach, entering the car, and speeding off.

Bonnie dashed out and headed towards KITT, climbing into him, the two headed off in pursuit.

“He’s going at an accelerated pace Bonnie, and up a mountain hill no less, if he’s not careful, he could career off of it, or worse, force other drivers off the road and plunge”

“We have to stop him before that, super pursuit mode” Bonnie replied, pressing the appropriate button on KITT’s dashboard to trigger the transformation.

KITT transformed into a sleeker, more fortified and quicker road rover and it soon caught up to the enforcer’s own vehicle.

“Jam his breaks KITT” she said.

KITT did so, and with the speed the opposing car was going, the sudden stoppage of the breaks was enough to send the enforce plunging out of the car window and across the tarmac.

Bonnie sat back in her seat, put both hands up to her face, and buried herself in her tears.

“I’m sorry for Tammy Bonnie, truly” he said.

Bonnie quickly recovered from her moment of distraught reflection, got out of KITT, dashed her fingers along his smooth frame, and headed over to the battered body of the enforcer, raising his head up to match her in the eyes.

“The next time you try to fracture someone else’s face, just remember it was this dragon that burned you” she said, and flattened the man with a swift right hook.

Back at the clinic, mop up operations were under way as police had been notified, with Kincaid having been named as an accomplice by the apprehended enforcers.

Bonnie sat atop KITT, her legs gently kicking against his bonnet, her hands relaxing across his windshield.

Bonnie watched as Tammy’s body was removed from the premises and loaded into an ambulance.

“How do we do it every day KITT? We try to be so careful, we think we’re ahead of the curb, but we were so caught up in ourselves that we made some very basic errors”

“We made human errors” KITT replied.

“Yeah, and it cost us one human. It’s easy to tell just how tired Michael sometimes is of seeing failure, makes one wonder if we’re all cut out for this in the long run. At least you can take it in stride”

“Bonnie, without the sentience you worked so much on perfecting for me, without you informing and enhancing my experiences with your care and confidence, your humour, your successes and deepest regrets, I would never have developed a soul. I care just as much as you, I care for others, and there could come a time where even I may tire of the ride”

Bonnie smiled, touched by KITT’s honesty. She knelt down and gently kissed his bonnet, only for the kiss to linger for more seconds than one would normally expect.

Bonnie disengaged, a look of astonishment on her face, she clambered inside the car and allowed the wind through an open window to give her intakes of breath for her own had felt like it had been taken.

“KITT, patch me through to Michel if you can”

“My logic tells me you’d rather this be a private conversation”

“Oh no, you’re listening in. This concerns you too”

A worried Michael appeared on the screen

“Bonnie, just so you know, I’m trying to get Devon to approve of me heading back over there… Kincaid’s heavies caused me and KITT a lot of hassle in San Francisco, I’m not about to let them…”

“Forget it, the job’s done. I need to ask you something”

“What exactly?”

“Michael, is this at all strange to you?”

“What is?”

“I’m asking you for your perspective on what exactly goes on in KITT’s head, it’s crazy, but it’s as if I’m trying to get an opinion on a guy I’m interested in from the person who knows him best”

Michael was delighted.

“I knew there was something”

Bonnie was visibly blushing.

“Michael, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to talk to Bonnie for a minute or two” Devon replied, gently pushing Michael aside.

“Let me guess, this is the part where you beg me to call if off before everything gets really toxic?” Bonnie joked.

“Bonnie, please, you know KITT means you no real harm with this form of teasing”

“I’m serious Devon, there’s things going on between me and KITT, have I been cooped up in the foundation’s labs and the semi for too long? Why would I feel this way about him? He’s not human, he can’t give me a gentle kiss or an inviting embrace, there could be no physicality, and yet I’m moved by his gentlemanly gestures, he knows what I like, It’s a pity Asimov never put forth a fourth mandate in his law on robotics, one about robot’s roles in regards to companionship. That’d be all the proof I’d need to know what I feel, want I want, is right”

“Bonnie, if I may quote Asimov, ‘You’ll have such proof as exists, you are the only one responsible for your own wants’. KITT is an exceptional machine, and we all need to give him exceptional consideration”

“Thanks Devon, I love him too”

Bonnie turned off the dashboard com

“Did you mean that?”

Bonnie nodded nervously.

“I can’t help it, it’s just there…Michael was right, it’s always been there, I’ve never really found anyone out there that matches you, matches your ideas and ideals, and you do have such things, no one has your need to feel human and wanting to know the why of what we are, and to emulate it, to transcend beyond your own basic core function. It fascinates you, it fascinates me, and I will always want, I will always need, to want to explore that with you”

“Whatever happened to looking forward to winding down?”

“How about you stop trying to wind me up?”

“That’s the whole point of this activity, that we both drive each other crazy”

“Any more lip from you pal, and I’ll drive you off a cliff”

“How very Thelma and Louise of you. You do know I come equipped with parachutes?”

KITT detected a faint giggle coming from his passenger.

“Bonnie? Are you laughing?”

Bonnie was all a flutter, she was unsure of how to react to the question without giving KITT something to further consider in regards to her mood.

“Yeah, I kind of am. My gosh, I love you. I absolutely love you. This is insane”

“To reach the limits of sanity, to venture into the unknown, is what it means to ride the dragon” KITT replied.

“Then by all means, let this dragon soar. as fast as you can make my heart race” she instructed.

 

Doctor Who-A Door Once Opened [Fanfiction]

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A Door Once Opened

The Doctor paced up and down the TARDIS, his mind troubled, he watched as Donna Noble, full of spirit and hope, dashed around the consoles, flicking switches and observing the arrangement of solar systems on the display screens.

“Picked a spot yet?” The Doctor asked.

“I thought we could try the planet Felspoon. Just because. What a good name, Felspoon. Apparently, it’s got mountains that sway in the breeze. Mountains that move. Can you imagine?”

“How would you know that?”

“Because it’s in your head. And if it’s in your head, it’s in mine.”

The Doctor walked over to her, calmly as he could, as if he were approaching the eye of a wild storm.

“And how does that feel?” he asked

“Brilliant! Fantastic! Molto bene! Great big universe, packed into my brain. You know you could fix that chameleon circuit if you just tried hotbinding the fragment links and superseding the binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary, binary…”

Donna gasped for breath, The Doctor reached out for her, but she pushed him back, insisting she was in good health.

“Nah, never mind Felspoon. You know who I’d like to meet? Charlie Chaplin. I bet he’s great, Charlie Chaplin. Shall we do that? Shall we go and see Charlie Chaplin? Shall we? Charlie Chaplin? Charlie Chester. Charlie Brown. No, he’s fiction. Friction, fiction, fixing, mixing, Rickston, Brixton”

Donna reeled back; this time collapsing backwards into The Doctor’s waiting arms. This time, Donna could feel a burning sensation course through her mind, her temperature rose and fell, a mixture of hot and cold, all the while her head experienced a dizzying spell.

Miraculously, she staggered to her feet, The Doctor gently supporting her.

“My god, I feel just like Susie Harper when she caught wind of her husband’s car crash in Swansea” she said.

“Donna, are you aware of what’s happening to you?”

“Yeah”

“There’s never been a human time lord metacrisis before now, and you know why”

“Because there can’t be” she said, fresh tears beginning to run down her face.

“I want to stay” she said.

The Doctor couldn’t help but afford himself a wry smile.

“Susan used to say that, a long time ago now, she’d seen every sweeping sort of change there is in this universe, yet she never wanted things to change for herself. Change is good, they say, change is evolution. What happens when the change is too great though? What if you cease to be the person we all know you to be? That’s what she was afraid of; she wanted to belong somewhere, in one place, in one time. I always told her that was an impossibility”

“And now?” Donna asked, barely holding it together.

“Now I’ve learned a few things…what do you want Donna?”

“I want to belong Doctor, but with you, here, in the TARDIS, exploring galaxies , learning all I can from you, facing the faceless, staying true to who I am, but being an equal, you and me, the Doctor Donna”

The Doctor graced her tearful cheeks with a tender touch and rubbed it smoothly.

“We had the best of times” he said, pressing his fingertips gently against the sides of her temple.

“No, no Doctor, please I want to stay, I don’t want to go back”

“Donna, when you travel with me, there is no going back”

“So what is this?” Donna said as The Doctor gently closed his eyes and concentrated.

“Stay still” he said.

Donna ceased pleading and stayed as composed as she could, The Doctor tensed up, his body shook, she felt something move within her mind, her temperature stabilised, but now it was The Doctor that was becoming cold to the touch, then hot again.

The Doctor’s eyes snapped open and his right leg gave out, he knelt to one side, leaning onto the console for support. Donna cradled him, trying to get him back to his feet.

“Doctor? My head, it’s getting clearer, what did you do?”

“I experimented, just a little, call it an original recipe if you will” The Doctor said, short of breath, he grabbed his chest and tried to pump his hearts back into a regular pattern, as they were both beating a bit too rapidly.

“You took advantage of my personal crisis to conduct an experiment? Oh that’s wizard, I’ve gone from teacher’s pet to lab rat” she replied.

The Doctor couldn’t help but laugh at Donna’s tenacity.

“Look at you, not one second off of avoiding a meltdown, and here you are having a meltdown”

Donna was initially peeved at the sheer cheek on display, but The Doctor’s smile and the relief her crisis had been avoided was enough to get her to think differently, and she soon joined in the merriment with a fresh giggle of her own.

“Alright Frankenstein, you’ve got one shot at an explanation before I take a shot at your ribs for that one, so let it out”

“A few years ago, when I travelled with Rose, I came across Madame De Pompadour, uncrowned queen of France, fantastic gardener. She was being stalked by some robots who wanted her body parts to power their ship and she was feeling very perturbed about that, so I peered into her mind trying to uncover exactly why they specifically chose her…and then something extraordinary happened, she peered into my own head. Two-way telekinetic symbiosis between Time Lord and human. She observed all my memories, could see them as clear as I could see myself”

“Did you ask her how she could do this?”

“All still a bit of a mystery to me, but I never forgot what she said. She told me ‘A door once opened can be stepped through either direction’, that’s when it struck me, a door, a back door, that I could use to deposit all of your experiences with the meta crisis, pouring it into my own head, and leaving the telekinetic link open so everything else your tiny human head observes and absorbs from this moment onward can reside in a tidy little corner of my own mind, dormant and asleep”

“Who are you calling tiny?” Donna said, winking.

The Doctor hummed a little melody to himself as his hearts began to beat regularly, he felt a spring in his step, but he couldn’t yet let go of Donna.

His hands clung on to her own; he looked into her penetrating eyes.

“Our minds will stay linked, every pain in your path will be shared by me, you need not fear overheating, you need not fear fits, you need not fear anything…but it does mean your ordinary life is over, this means you can’t go back to temp jobs and traffic jams, this means you have a place where you belong”

“Just say this means forever Doctor”

“You and me. For as long as we live”

Donna clung to the Doctor tightly; The Doctor cradled her in his arms.

“This feels a bit less platonic…nice though” he said.

“Well, maybe Dalek Cann had a point; maybe this was always fated to happen” Donna said.

“Hope you’re well prepared then, because there’s something else I shared with Madame De Pompadour” he said, and leaned in to give Donna a mesmerising kiss.

Doctor Who-The Man I Was [Fanfic]

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As The Fifth Doctor bids farewell to his previous selves, he finds one of those selves may be a little further ahead

 


DOCTOR WHO:

THE MAN I WAS


The game of Rassilon was over, the price for playing it had been paid in full by the now deposed Borusa, President Eternal, now ruling alongside many other prize claimers over a tomb.

Within moments Chancellor Flavia and her guards would be descending on the chamber to secure the area and to instruct those who had survived the game to make a full statement of their ordeals.

The Doctor knew he had to make good his escape before that could happen. Celestial Intervention Agency’s regular lines of inquiry were always so bothersome to him.

He also knew that each of his incarnations would have the most terrible trouble keeping their singular narrative straight, having experienced four separate challenges all at once.

He envied his fourth incarnation, who had managed to elude the whole procedure purely on an error on Borusa’s part.

The window open to his remaining selves were narrowing, he knew if they all took their leave now, there would be no chance of him being able to properly recollect due to the timelines being thrown back into synch, he would not be able to retain the memory, and the CIA would be far too tangled up in red tape to bother pursuing the matter further.

Temporal fission was the solution; another product of Rassilon’s misguided but fair genius. Those who had participated in the game would be returned to their customary times and places.

As they all came up to him to say goodbye, the kindly elderly soul reunited at last with his granddaughter, the inconsistently tempered cosmic hobo accompanied by a respected Brigadier, and finally his third incarnation, accompanied by perhaps the best of companions.

Her.

Sarah Jane Smith.

“Well goodbye me dear chap, I must say I’ve had the time of my lives, haven’t we Sarah Jane?” asked the third, extending his hand out to shake his other selves’.

“Have we? Well, I only have one life and I’ve had too much already” she said.

She reached to extend her own hand and bid farewell

“Goodbye” she began, than something came over her.

Some more rational people would call this an instance of recognition, and a chance to make something of the moment before them.

The realization had to have been dawning on Sarah by now this was the latest version of The Doctor, the form that had succeeded his fourth, the last face Sarah saw.

The one that left her behind on Earth on the flimsy basis no human was to step forth on Gallifrey, his home world.

In truth, he just didn’t want her to know him better than any of his prior companions. The last two to step forth on his world had their memories stolen from them, their times with him on his travels brutishly cut short.

Things had changed in his lives since then; experience had taught him that a greater loss can occur on his adventures whether or not they be tied to Gallifrey and its own dangers. The late Adric had seen to that.

He had tapped into the minds of all his incarnations when they had linked together to free him from Borusa’s control, and from what he had glimpsed of his third incarnation’s dealings in the Zone he had found it the most casual, almost no drama to be had other than bearing witness to a Raston robot’s crude despatch of Cyberman forces.

He reflected on how Sarah had dealt with witnessing one of the deadliest killing machines devised, and she had barely blinked.

This was the woman he deemed impossible to take with him?

Madness.

What if she told him, in this moment, how she felt? Would she thank him for the times he spent with her? Would he thank her for sending her a version of K9 as a Christmas present? Would she give him a piece of her mind?

His heartbeats beat faster, his aloof expression almost crumbled.

Then the moment passed as quickly as it had started with a formal handshake and a quiet goodbye.

“Erm, it was very nice meeting you”

The Third Doctor ceased the opportunity to make light commentary on this

“Thankyou Sarah, it was nice meeting you too”

“What?”

“I’ll explain later” he said, giving his other incarnation a wink.

It was at this moment that The Fifth Doctor reflected on another memory of his third self created by this day’s events, another exchange between him and Sarah Jane when they had first met up in the Death Zone.

No, no, it’s you you”

That’s right”

No, No, you changed remember? You became all, er…”

Teeth and Curls?”

Yes”

He had remembered what his fourth incarnation was fated to look like. Usually a time lord can only be certain of his own reflection for as long as his timeline is out-of-synch, then they forget as soon as the adventure with them has concluded. In times of greater danger, the future self manifests as a projection, occasionally the projection will be camouflaged to prevent the reflection becoming clearer , presumably not to shake the focus of those they’re assisting to move on to the next phase as they combine wits to solve a problem.

Another response from the exchange rattled The Doctor further.

Yes, well, maybe I did, but I haven’t yet”

He was trying to make things simpler for Sarah on their adventure together, but he holding something back from her, he had planted a lie inside a truth.

He had become teeth and curls; he just hadn’t become him again.

Not yet.

Retro regeneration was, after all, possible.

Perhaps Borusa’s time scoop had malfunctioned twice, displacing his fourth incarnation, and bringing another incarnation that happened to take the face of a previous self forward. The pain he had felt when he was initially taken perhaps could have been because they were in the midst of a forgotten adventure together and his role in that encounter was essential to keeping him alive.

If his luck held out, perhaps the explanation to Sarah was one about to come rather than yet to come.

Sarah could sleep soundly in bed today knowing she could see the faces of all those Doctors she knew again, replenished, and renewed.

And if there ever came a day where he would revisit a few of those old faces, he would make up for the mistakes in the lives they had led earlier.

Next time, he would not let her go.

As he watched the ‘Third’ Doctor and Sarah Jane enter the TARDIS, The Doctor spoke to his companions, a part of him cursed himself for not saying much to Sarah Jane in that crucial moment, but a part of him was overjoyed at realising what sort of person he’d travelled far from

“I’m definitely not the man I was. Thank goodness”

 

 

Sliders-Roulette [Fanfiction]

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Roulette

Commonly, it’s every day you take a good look at yourself. Most times however, it’s usually through a mirror. Not this time.

This time the experience was very three-dimensional, physical, and real.

“My god” resistance commander Wade Wells uttered in disbelief at the sight of the person amongst the party that had arrived at the holding facility to spring her from her militant Russian captors.

Her double. Her exact double.

“I know this is difficult to process, but this is as wild for me as it for you” the double revealed.

Wade scratched her head, baffled as to what this meant. Had the resistance somehow smuggled her in to take her place? Had they perhaps recruited the finest plastic surgeons to meticulously replicate her appearance and graft it on to a willing volunteer?

When did they ever find the time to do that?

“Look, we can’t hang around here, my friends are doing their best to distract the guards but this isn’t a fantasy world, they’ll come around eventually, they’ll hopefully be

“Oh no, you’re giving me answers on the go, and you’re giving me them right now. If you know who I am and you’re part of all this, then you’ll consider that an order” the commander instructed.

Wade threw her hands up and shrugged.

“Why not?” she said.

As the resistance soldiers and the two Wades darted down the corridors as quickly as they could, the commander was floored by the amount of info dumping she was being subjected to.

“Parallel dimensions? Sliding? Sounds a lot like the kind of thing you find on forbidden planet”

“Maybe that’s why parallel worlds are cordoned off the way they are…worlds like this ought to be illegal”

“You don’t suppose your group of ‘sliders’ could fit some of us into your travel plans?”

“I don’t think we’ve thought that far, we only just got here, largely by accident, and we’re set to leave as soon as my friends spring the crying man from his own cage”

“Sorry, did you say the crying man?”

“Yeah, Rembrandt, Rembrandt Brown, you know him?” said Wade.

“Rembrandt Brown? Yeah, I’ve heard of him. Killed in the Detroit uprisings over twelve years ago, he was an up and comer on the soul circuit just before with the spinning tops. Pilot and I had our first dance to one of his songs”

“He’s got good taste” Wade said.

“I like a little soul in my man, Pilot’s just my type, his whole race is my type, he’s just lucky to have been first in line”

Wade laughed, her double shared her wit.

They managed to reach the outdoor area. They saw Pilot just a couple of meters away playing lookout.

“Let’s see how you good you are at proving you’re the real Wade” Wade said, telling her double of the kiss Pilot had planted on her.

He had found the experience somewhat lacking, this time she was sure he’d be supremely satisfied.

“Only one other person has kissed me the way he did, and he turned out to be a stranger from another world too” she said.

“Different Pilot?” she asked.

“No, Quinn, one of my friends”

“Quinn? As in Mallory?” the Commander replied, almost in disbelief, she felt like laughing.

“What’s the joke?” Wade said.

“He’s probably nothing like this where you come from, but he’s such a square”

“No way, who’d have figured?” Wade replied sarcastically.

“You’re kidding me, I mean, I used to really dig him but it’s like he never saw anything past our friendship, he’s still like that on your world?” the commander asked.

“He has his moments here and there, but yeah, totally oblivious”

The pair were soon joined together in a fit of merriment which was all too swiftly undercut by the sound of gunfire ringing out all around them.

“Scatter” Commander Wade instructed.

“No, I’m not leaving you out of my sight” Wade said.

Commander Wade took her cap off of her head and planted it on her double and pointed to the retreating soldiers

“They came all this way with you to make sure I wasn’t out of their sights, they’ll lay it all on the line to keep both of us safe. Head back with Pilot, I’ll co-ordinate a tactical retreat with the rest. Go!”

Wade nodded and headed off, slightly terrified but placing her trust in what the commander was doing.

Elsewhere, another party of resistance troopers were laying down cover fire as Quinn Mallory, Maximilian Arturo, and Rembrandt Brown all darted under a hail of bullets and made it to a nearby truck. Quinn was deeply distressed, searching for signs of Wade in all of this chaos.

To his relief, he caught sight of her fleeing the grounds with Pilot, the commando trucks were already starting to pull away. Three of the commandos threw grenades, taking precision aim at the ceiling, and the resulting inferno tore the roof off of the complex.

Quinn took Wade by the hand and sprinted towards the cab where Arturo and Rembrandt were entrenched, the truck was on the move and under heavy fire, but Quinn was able to leap onto the edge of the cab, he tightened his hold on Wade as Rembrandt helped support Quinn’s own weight. Quinn held Wade close as the sides of the cab were rattled with soviet gunfire.

“Almost at the home stretch Wade” Quinn assured her.

He noticed Pilot firing from the back of the jeep as another explosion rocked the former university building. It was soon entirely ablaze, a large tunnel of smoke pouring out from what had remained of the roof and blackening the still evening sky further.

Quinn held Wade tightly so she wouldn’t fall; he whispered calmly to her that all was well.

She failed to respond.

Quinn pulled her back and looked at her face, there was a quiet and terrifying stillness to it, her skin pale, cold to the touch, slurred breathing. Quinn’s fingers graced her back and found them smeared with blood when he withdrew his touch.

Quinn was shaken, he held her face in his hands and looked for any trace of life, even the faintest would suffice, but there was nobody staring back at him, her eyes were closing.

“God Wade, no, I-I never should have brought you here. It’s my fault. My god, this-this is all my fault, everything…”

He held the back of her head to his chest; he closed his eyes in anguish as the full consequential weight of his meddling with god’s grand design came calling on his conscience.

The truck pulled up to the curb of a residential area. Arturo was frantically applying resuscitation techniques on Wade. He did not achieve much success.

Rembrandt and Quinn were on their knees alongside Pilot, they felt desperate, helpless.

Rembrandt looked up to see that one of the other trucks had stopped and a medical squad raced back towards them, the men assessed the situation and took over from Arturo hoping they would have more luck than he.

“Move back, give me some room” the doctor said.

Rembrandt rose to his feet and pulled Quinn back with him. They watched with bated breath as the team explored the bullet wound.

Observing from a short distance away was someone who was both new and familiar.

Only a few minutes earlier, she had been talking to herself, sharing a laugh, discussing boys, losing herself in a playful world that distracted her from her duty to the resistance, and she had enjoyed much of that conversation.

She had been hoping to have it continue a bit longer, but now it had all fallen silent.

And now she was left staring at that reflection, so still and motionless, the very life blood pouring out of her, the spark in her eyes gone, and all that was left was the grief of a man she had been learning about minutes before.

Someone also new, yet familiar.

“Quinn?”Commander Wade Wells said.

Quinn believed he was hallucinating as his ears picked up on the voice. He turned, immensely relieve to find Wade approaching him on foot, having stepped out of the back of the truck the medical team had been riding in.

Quinn surprised Wade by moving over to her and clutching her tightly.

Wade’s attention remained drawn to the body ten yards away, now being surrounded by a throng of sad and obeisant rebels.

Quinn pulled her head back into his shoulders.

“Don’t look back, never look back you hear? Always forward, always with me, you got it?” he said.

“Quinn, there’s something you need to know…” Wade said, trying to get a word in, but Quinn was too taken in by her safety.

“Trust me, I’m going to get you home, we’re going home, say it with me. Say it”

“We-we’re going home” said Wade. Quinn held her firm, Wade held him back, her own troubled mind racing.

She watched Pilot rush over to where the other Wade had fallen, he was distraught, his body shaking, and he scooped up Wade in his arms and held her close to his chest, whispering to her, kissing her tenderly on the forehead, trying to bring out some kind of reaction.

Wade had every right to break away from Quinn, to walk over to Pilot, to assure him everything was well, that she had lived, that the resistance would go on.

And something prevented all of that.

Something that proved as formidable as the resistance, something that could not be easily dismissed or destroyed.

A notion.

An idea.

Back at the resistance’s underground headquarters, the rebels were in the process of hurriedly packing up and relocating. In a far corner of the room, underground radio was announcing the success of the raid on the political prison.

The Sliders were being congratulated by Pilot and the others#

“Thanks to what you’ve told us of your world, we know they can be defeated. You’ve giving us hope again. In Wade’s memory, we’ll carry on”

Pilot leaned forward and gently kissed the group’s version of Wade on the cheek.

“Good luck, I hope you make it home” he said.

Wade gently touched the spot where he had kissed her, she looked into his eyes briefly then quickly glanced away, knowing that kind of lingering contact would arouse his suspicions.

Pilot nodded at Quinn, then he and his lieutenants strolled away, throwing themselves back into command, barking orders and rallying the troops.

As Arturo and Quinn began to work out how to best use the sliders’ timer mechanism to depart this world and achieve the best possible destination, that of their home Earth, Wade took a stroll around her base to process the surreal experiences of the last few hours, what she had done, who she had met, and what she was giving up.

She looked all around her, the resistance hadn’t fallen apart, and in fact they had been strengthened by the raid they had just conducted. News of her fate hadn’t even been addressed on the radio, which she felt was appropriate, not one person is above the mission.

She could always confess she was alive, reveal that it was the Wade of another world that had fallen, but only a handful of people high up in command believed such a sensational story, imagine if that were to be applied to the general public or the puppets behind the media, they would deem the resistance mad, trust in them would greatly diminish.

And for those in the resistance who had remained uninformed of the doubles situation, they would assume she had risen from the dead, or was being impersonated, and that would invite radicalisation within the ranks or dissension from within.

She could hear so many voices, some uncertain, some distraught, some encouraging, but she was drawn to one voice in particular, at first it was barely audible, but the closer she got, the louder it became.

She recognised the deep, soulful voice coming from a large tent erected at the edge of the compound; it was a voice that had accompanied her first dance with Pilot. She moved closer in proximity to that location.

She quietly entered the tent, and saw six bodies, rebels killed in the raid, including her own, being draped with American flags. A few mourners stood in silent tribute as Rembrandt sung the timeless hymn Amazing Grace. The song moved Wade so much a tear strolled down her cheek.

When she took on the role of resistance commander, she had been responsible for a few losses, people who had died in her name, people who had fought for her beliefs and paid the price. Now, she herself had paid with her life, only she was alive to witness the profound effect martyrdom was having on her group.

If her life had proven so significant in life to these people, the resistance would be strengthened even further by its loss.

All that was left was for her to play a cosmic game of Russian roulette with her life, she was free to decide what path she desired most, and somehow the idea of journeying to worlds where Russia did not have a lip lock on the states or where there was no disease or crime proved tantalising.

And if there were worlds where tyranny still existed, she could her experiences and skills in leadership to help turn the tide.

She would never tell the others, at least not yet, it could destroy Quinn, who was so clearly a leader in his own right, and keeping the group sane and together during a turbulent journey, she would not deter him from his own path by reminding him daily of tremendous guilt.

As the four Sliders departed the resistance base and moved across the city streets, the wind kicked up the deserted sidewalks, giving the cityscape an eerie forbidding quality and causing all four travellers a sense of unease.

A frustrated Quinn was making adjustments to the timer, the wind made him squint.

“I have no way of verifying whether or not the timer is charged. If the Professor’s computations are precise, with a minimal standard of deviation…”

“Oh give that brain a rest q-ball, simplify it for the rest of us” said Rembrandt.

“I can’t tell if we’ll get home or not, I really don’t. Best to keep your fingers crossed I guess”

The Sliders hurried along when a man in a large cream trench-coat stepped out of the shadows and abruptly blocked their path, shining a powerful flashlight in their faces.

“You’re violating curfew, I’ll see your papers. Now.”

As Quinn and Arturo hesitated, Wade was not as patient.

Knowing this was likely the last act she would commit on her world, she approached the man firmly

“We don’t have time for this” she said, and clocked the man square in the face with a mean right hook.

“Gee Wade, I didn’t know you had it in you” Quinn said.

“Guess my double’s shown me my untapped potential” said Wade, charging down the streets ahead of the rest of them.

Little did Quinn know just how true this was.

Meeting her double, even briefly, had changed her outlook, through her friends it was very possible to have different lenses with which to see the world.

The Sliders hurried for the scene and headed for the park, wherever they ran to, be it to wherever home was for them, or to a thousand different worlds to come, they were putting their faith in risk, chance, and choice. A game of cosmic roulette, with their lives at stake.

Commander Wade Wells would be there to make sure their odds were good.