+ Authors: grumpybear1031 and shaych_03
+ Fandom: Warehouse 13
+ Pairing: H.G./Myka
+ Notes: Ladies lovin’ ladies ahead… and angst, and action, and well, just read it – we promise you a happy ending. Takes place where 2X12 Reset leaves off, possible spoilers for both seasons. Some liberties taken with certain events, as we don't have actual dates for H.G.'s bronzing etc... We are finally finished and doing a second round of edits...whooo hooo.
+ Rating: We'll play it safe and say R throughout NC-17 Chapters will be clearly marked.
+ Disclaimer: Warehouse 13 and it's characters belongs to Syfy. We're just borrowing them for a while and promise to give them back.
Thanks to taterc for help with a quick beta.
Author's Note: Shay, I hope you can forgive me for dragging you into this mess. My obsession with H.G. Wells blinded me, and a need to correct the total mess that was “Reset” kind of made me crazy. I'm not much of a writer so your help in getting this from inside my head to down on paper is very much appreciated. I'd also like to say a big thanks todarandkerry for being an amazing beta. Your suggestions and punctuation help are invaluable.
Author's Note: Jen, you may have dragged me into watching Warehouse 13 kicking and screaming, but I've had more fun working on this story with you than I have in a long time. Your ideas are great; you have a natural ability to kick start my muse and keep her chugging along happily. Should I even bother to mention how good you are at calling me on BS characterizations or reinterpreting the sometimes cornball melodrama that my muse creates? Anyway, I'm glad you got me into this. I would also like to add my thanks todarandkerry , for her spot on beta skills. I hope we didn't kill you with all the missing commas.
CHAPTER 1 CHAPTER 2 CHAPTER 3 & 4 CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 6 CHAPTER 7 CHAPTER 8 CHAPTER 9 CHAPTER 10 CHAPTER 11 CHAPTER 12 CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER 14 CHAPTER 15 CHAPTER 16 CHAPTER 17 CHAPTER 18 CHAPTER 19 CHAPTER 20 CHAPTER 21 CHAPTER 22 CHAPTER 23
Helena awoke to find herself soaking wet and strapped down to a padded steel table. Her head, arms, waist, and legs were all fastened in nylon straps which held her flat on her back. The dull, throbbing ache in her head was just a precursor of the pain she knew was coming. One thing I can say for being tortured – it certainly did keep my mind off these blasted headaches!
Opening her eyes, she looked up to see Valda standing above her. The moment he noticed she was conscious, he smiled and said, "So good of you to join us, my dear. We were just about to begin a rather shocking conversation. Care to join in?" His smile grew cold as he reached down and ripped open her shirt.
Ignoring her partial nudity, he carefully used a towel to dry small patches of her skin and then affixed several long wires with medical tape.
"You see, my dear, I've recently acquired a rather miraculous device. Possibly you've heard of it? Cerletti's box?” When he didn’t see any recognition in her eyes, he shook his head and said, “No? Pity, it was after your time, I suppose. Anyway, this rather brilliant man devised a machine that uses electricity to shock the sick back to health. Quite popular it was, I'm told. Anyway, this little baby," said Valda conversationally as he turned and patted the ornately carved wooden box from which the wires emerged, "was his personal project. A little something extra for those particularly difficult to cure patients." Leaning down, he got right in Helena's face and whispered, "I can't wait to show you how it works."
Sweating with the effort to withstand her fear, Helena whispered, "Well, in the interest of science then."
Valda smiled gleefully. "That's exactly what I'd hoped you'd say." Twisting a nob inside the box, he said, "This is level one." As if he were squashing a bug, he depressed a button with his thumb.
The machine hummed to life. Each cable suddenly became alive with electricity as sparks jumped and danced along the length of the wire. As soon as the wave touched Helena's body, her eyes rolled backwards and she cried out in pain. One of the arcs peeled away from the cable and wrapped around Valda, causing him to groan as a torrent of pleasure tore through his body.
For a full minute, he allowed himself to revel in the satisfaction of seeing Helena's pain and then, he reached over and cut off the device.
"Now,” he said, licking his lips lasciviously, "I'll ask you again - what do they know? How much did you tell them about my operation?"
Helena sneered and replied, "Go to hell.”
"Tsk, tsk. I guess we'll have to try level two then." Twisting the dial, he smiled in anticipatory glee and then, depressed the button.
Helena's scream echoed like sweet, sweet music around him.
When the cavalry arrived, it arrived in style. Several dozen armed men and women, all dressed in the black uniform of the warehouse security squad, poured from their vehicles and positioned themselves alongside Artie, Claudia and Mrs. Fredric.
The Caretaker was flanked on either side by two large, heavily armed men. In one hand, she held a radio, and in the other, she carried a gun. Right on her heels, dressed in black camouflage and carrying both a weapon and a medical bag, was Dr. Vanessa Calder.
Pete was suitably impressed. Myka was too busy bouncing in place to care. As soon as Mrs. Fredric came up to them, Myka said, "Can we go now? It's almost time for them to shove off."
"Not just yet. My men will deploy first. Once the fighting begins, I want you and Agent Lattimer to sneak aboard. Find Agent Wells. Artie and Claudia will hang back and provide any assistance you may require."
"Okay, fine, whatever. Just go, go, go!" Myka was about to vibrate out of her own skin. Something was wrong, she could just feel it. It was like every hair on her body had suddenly turned into needle-fine shards of glass and, whenever she thought of Helena, they would stand straight up and dig tiny furrows of prickly fear into her flesh.
Turning away from the agents, Mrs. Fredric exchanged a few brief words with the security team and then, through the lenses of a pair of night vision binoculars, she watched as they deployed. As soon as the first shot rang out, she nodded to Pete and Myka. “Go! Now! Quickly!”
With Myka in the lead, Pete, Artie, and Claudia raced for the gangplank of the cargo ship.
Calmly, Dr. Calder took up a position near Mrs. Fredric and said, "You do realize that if anything happens to Agent Wells, that we'll be down by not one, but two of the finest agents to ever serve the warehouse?"
"I am fully aware of that, Dr. Calder. Why do you think I invited our friends to the party?" replied Mrs. Fredric as she indicated the two strapping men who were standing guard over them.
"Ah. I'd wondered about all the firepower,” replied the doctor with a wry grin.
There was fighting all over the upper decks of the ship. Pockets of resistance forced Pete and Myka to make their way across the deck slowly, ducking behind whatever cover they could find. Behind them, Artie and Claudia quietly bickered over which of the artifacts in Artie's bag were more efficient at subduing the resistance.
"Guys, guys! Stop for a minute!" said Myka suddenly. They all stopped.
"What is it, Myka?" Artie said as he played with what looked like a pinwheel.
"We're doing this wrong. We've got to figure out where Helena is right now before Valda realizes that all the noise out here isn't coming from Soldier Field." She pointed upward, indicating the fireworks display overhead.
"Ooo, right," said Pete. "Hey, do you have some kind of, oh I don't know, you know, like a thing from Star Trek? A tricorder! Yeah, that's it. Something that checks for life signs. Anyway, yeah, do you have one of those tucked away in that bag of tricks of yours, Dr. Artie?"
Artie dug around in the bag until he came up with a small vial containing a dark crimson liquid. He looked at it, looked at Pete, and then quickly shook his head. "No. Oh no, not this. Anything but this."
"What is it?" Pete, Claudia, and Myka all asked.
"Bloodhound No. 9," replied Artie with distaste. "It was developed for the warehouse by Chanel."
"What does it do?" said Claudia as she started to reach for the vial.
"It gives the wearer the tracking abilities of a bloodhound," said Artie. As Claudia's fingers closed around the vial, he added, "Unfortunately, it also makes them behave like a dog. Barking. Scratching. Chasing their tails - it's very distracting."
Claudia quickly jerked her hand back. "Okay. I guess that's out."
At the same time, Myka whispered, "I'll do it."
Artie shook his head. “No, you can't.” At Myka's outraged glare, he reached out, gently touched her arm and said, “You can't, because if Helena's hurt, she's going to need you to be all there for her."
Everyone turned to Pete, who shrugged and gave a half smile. "I guess that just leaves me then. I should have known that when I fell in love with a veterinarian my life would go to the dogs."
After instructing Pete to put a dab of the liquid just under his nose, Artie stepped back, pulling Claudia with him. "Okay, now, we need a way for you to be able to pick up Helena's scent. Myka, do you have anything of hers with you?"
Looking suddenly very worried, Myka said, "No. Was I supposed to bring something?"
With a bit of his normal acerbity, Artie replied, "No, no, of course not. You couldn't have known about this. Okay, we'll just have to do this the hard way. Pete, why don't you just -"
Claudia cut him off. "Smell Myka," she said, as a knowing grin spread across her lips.
Pete frowned but gamely stepped up and began snuffling around Myka's neck and shoulders. "Why am I doing this aga- oh hey, there's something here and it's not the same as - oh Myka, we are definitely talking abou-ou-ou-uff! Uff, uff, uff." Pete's command of language suddenly vanished as he turned and started to shamble in the direction of the ship's bow.
He got maybe five feet away before he turned, barked once and then shook himself. "Well come on, she's this way." Pointing excitedly, he started to run toward the bow of the ship.
They raced along, following Pete's unerring sense of direction, encountering only token resistance until Pete suddenly pulled up short at the end of walkway. Silently, he indicated that around the corner were two guards. Everyone nodded, and Claudia exaggeratedly mouthed, “Now what?”
Each of them stood there with identical expressions of confusion on their faces until Pete got an "aha!" look and began vigorously pointing at a ladder that led to an upper deck.
At first, no one got it, but then, Myka clued in and silently went, "Oh yeah, yeah, and -" Quickly she mimed tossing something toward the intersection of the walkway and then knocking out the guard who came to investigate.
Artie looked at her as if she was insane, but Claudia got it and grinned. Quietly, she ran back a few feet, grabbed something from the deck and returned. Victoriously, she displayed a length of pipe, causing Myka to give her a wink and a thumbs-up in response.
Insistently, Artie held up his bag and shook it at them, but it was too late. Pete had already started to climb the ladder. Clapping his hand over his face, Artie shook his head and then turned to Myka. She was busy positioning Claudia in the shadows and instructing her to aim for the knees while she went for their intended victim's head.
Seeing that he was to be excluded from this little set of shenanigans, Artie ducked back out of the way and readied his Tesla. It never hurt to be prepared. In that moment, he realized that his agents – his people – were all working together like a well oiled machine. And they didn't need you, you old fuddy-duddy. Not knowing whether he was proud or sad, Artie sighed, and waited for the action to begin.
When the attack went down, it unfolded almost exactly as they had hoped - with one small hitch. Instead of just one, both guards ran to investigate Myka's sudden appearance at the end of their walkway. Quickly, Pete had to reverse direction, drop down and take a running leap at the back of one of the guards while Myka met the other head long. It then became a test of speed to see if they could bring down the guards before they could get off a warning shout.
Grabbing his man in a choke hold, Pete wrestled the guard to the ground, squeezing tighter and tighter while the man kicked and fought to escape. Not having the same strength as Pete, Myka chose to use speed over power. Dancing backward, she quickly got the guard to put himself in a place where he was vulnerable to Claudia, who took immediate advantage of the opportunity and jumped out of the shadows, laying into the back of the guy's knees as if she were lead blocker for Adrian Peterson.
With a cry of pain, the guard went down, grabbing at his leg. Before he could do more than let out a hoarse exclamation, Myka used the butt of her gun to knock him into oblivion.
When Pete was sure that his man was down for the count, he released him, and then divested him of his weapons and cuffed him to the ship's railing. Myka did the same to the other guard and then they all gathered at the hatchway the men had been guarding.
Softly, Pete said, "The scent is very strong here."
"That must be why they didn't leave their post when Mrs. Fredric's guys attacked," said Myka.
Artie shook his head. "We're far enough away from the point of entry that I doubt they even heard anything. The regents only hire the best." He smiled grimly and then produced a very familiar looking reflex hammer. "Shall we go find out what those two were guarding?"
Quickly, he struck it against the hatch's hinges. They immediately began to vibrate until they shattered, allowing the hatchway door to fall inward with a loud clunk.
With weapons drawn, Pete and Myka picked their way over the fallen door and then started heading down to the bowels of the ship. Claudia was next, easily scampering over the door, while Artie brought up the rear.
Straight down they went, until they reached another hatchway. This one was open, and at the far end, they could see another hallway that branched to the right. From that direction came a bluish light, followed by a woman's agonized screams. Before Myka could take off, both Claudia and Artie grabbed hold of her shirt and dragged her backwards, away from the sounds.
"Myka wait, no! You can't just go barreling in there. You don't know what kind of back up he has," whispered Artie harshly.
Pete sniffed the air, scratched his head and then said, "Just one, besides H. G. Male, definitely smells male."
"That has to be Valda. Okay, here's what we're going to do." Artie quickly outlined the plan.
Another penetrating scream echoed down the hall.
"We don't need a plan," whispered Myka harshly. "I'm going to stop that bastard before he kills her." She pulled away from their grip and turned to run, but was blocked by Pete.
"No, I won't let you get yourself killed. We all go, together." He grinned suddenly. "I get to sneak up on the bad guy, I get to sneak up on the bad guy!" If Pete had had a tail, it would have been furiously wagging. As it was, he danced around so eagerly that Myka was afraid he'd start barking and yelping in joy.
Helena's whole body went limp as the current from the artifact was cut off. Uncontrollable shivers rolled over her as aftershocks moved through her muscles. Teeth chattering, she rolled her eyes upward so that she could look at Valda. He loomed over the head of the table, his arms extended at his side, one hand still hovering over the box and the other splayed outward.
The man's head was thrown back, his mouth open, and his hips were moving in an unmistakable thrusting pattern that, had Helena been able to think clearly, would have disgusted her. As it was, she still had to swallow back the urge to vomit at the sight.
"That, my dear, was level four," Valda said as he slowly shook off the effects of the artifact. "Are you ready for level five, or have you decided to cooperate?"
Though she tried to fight it, Helena felt her willpower dissolving. Shrinking into herself, she sobbed, "Why? Why are you doing this? You know I'm not going to talk, so why don't you just kill me and make us both happy?"
Suddenly, Valda was there, his mouth pressed right up against her ear. "You'd like that, wouldn't you? You'd love to deprive me of my fun." Rising, he shouted, "Well that's not going to happen." He moved over to the box and twisted the dial up another notch, then glanced up and grinned menacingly. "I've been waiting far too long to let you escape justice so easily."
As he was about to depress the button, Helena cried out, "Wait! Please - just, wait." She was sobbing. The breaking point was near; she could feel it as her body tensed in preparation for another bout of pain. Hope was fading, leaving her grasping for anything - any tidbit of reprieve from the horrific agony that came on tendrils of electric light.
"Yes?" he leaned forward eagerly. "You wanted to tell me something?"
Licking her lips, Helena raggedly asked, "Why me? Just tell me, why choose me?"
Sensing victory, Valda laughed and replied, "Oh, my dear, H.G. Wells. It was always going to be you. From the very start, when we decided to gut the warehouse, you were the one who was chosen. You were the perfect patsy - after all, Arthur Nielsen would never believe, without absurdly concrete proof, that something that came from the Bronze sector was harmless. Why do you think they couldn't find any record of you being there?" Leaving the machine, he began to pace around the table, stopping every so often to admire the evidence of his handiwork.
Helena's body was a map of burns and contusions. The sight made him nearly dance with glee. Unable to stop himself, he reached out and lovingly wrapped one hand around her throat and began to squeeze. With the other, he pressed a gun to her temple and then said, "But that's not what you really need to know, my dear. Oh no, because even though you were the perfect patsy, it was one tiny detail that made me want you, and only you."
For a moment, she was falling toward an endless well of inky shadow, and in that space of timelessness, Helena gladly surrendered. Myka... The name was all she could hold on to as the world faded to a single pinpoint of light.
Suddenly, Valda released her. "Sorry to disappoint," he said as she gasped for breath and then let out a sob of anguished despair.
He made his way back to the artifact. Patting it lovingly, he said, "Where were we? Oh yes. I was telling you all about my little obsession with destroying you. You see, Miss Wells, you're something of a legend in my family. Oh, not because of those pathetically boring stories you wrote, or even because of your record as a warehouse agent. Oh no, in my family, you my dear, hold the eternally damning title of murderer."
Valda's words started the wheels of Helena's mind churning. Through the thickening sludge of pain, she pried at her memories, hoping for some clue that would allow her to understand the madman's ranting.
Then, as if laid before her on a gilded platter, the answer appeared. One of the men who had been responsible for Christina's death had been named Valdan. Emile Valdan, she now remembered. A shifty, no-good lackabout who'd sooner slit a man's throat than work for honest wages. Helena forced the details to surface, to see his face, to remember his scream as she crushed his manhood with a sledgehammer.
Opening her eyes, Helena was about to speak when something caught her attention. Standing just outside the door, pressed mostly in shadow, was Myka. Her gun was drawn, and she stood as taut as a drawn bowstring. Their eyes met and Helena was hard pressed not to call out to her. Instead, she forcibly looked away and said, "I've always thought that you carried a bit of a bad odor about you, Mr. Valda. Now I know that it's because you descend from a piece of slime so rotten that not even his whore of a wife would claim his body."
With an inarticulate scream of rage, Valda spun away from her and jammed his thumb down on the button.