"Treaty of Her Sigh"
Still woozy from being knocked out by Erika, Tim slowly opens his eyes to see the same three deputies from Eddington County looming above him on the front porch.
Older Deputy: Well, well, well – it's Mr. Hagidgin!
Tim: (Startled) What did you do to me?
Older Deputy: We haven't done anything… yet
Younger Deputy: But I'm sure your girlfriend has done plenty
Tim: (Nearly choking on the words) GIRLFRIEND?
Other Deputy: Ray's stick can attest to that
The two men snicker and high five each other.
Tim: Why am I in a robe on my porch?
Younger Deputy: She's a real kinky one, you lucky bastard
Older Deputy: You know, I could have you arrested for not following my orders earlier
Other Deputy: Let's cut the guy some slack, I'd do the same if I had a hot blonde like that waiting for me
Younger Deputy: Especially since, well, since you don't seem to be her type
Tim: Hot blonde? – WOMAN? – um, no, this is all wrong
Older Deputy: Maybe you can enlighten us?
Tim: This is my brother Geoffrey Hajanian's cabin – you can call him and check – you can look at my license again and verify my name…
Tim reaches for his wallet and realizes he has nothing except the robe.
Tim: No way…
He runs over to the cabin door and it's locked.
Tim: (Banging on it) MY KEYS
Younger Deputy: (Whispering to Tim) Is this some kind of role playing thing? – think she'd be into a gang bang? – we already have the uniforms
Tim: YOU NEED TO STEP AWAY FROM ME, NOW
Older Deputy: I'm getting tired of this, boys – I say we take him in… exactly the way he is
Tim: WHO THE HELL IS THIS BITCH?
Tim suddenly freezes up.
Tim: Blonde you say?
Other Deputy: Does she wear wigs?
Tim: (Ignoring him) Erika… could it possibly be? – why?
The shed in back of the cabin catches Tim's eye.
Tim: OH MY GOD, SHE HAS MY BAG
Younger Deputy: (Excited) What's in the bag?
Tim: (Slamming his fist on the door) DAMMIT ALL
Older Deputy: I'm done with this, cuff him and bring him to the station!
Before Tim can protest, the other deputy has him in custody and his pushing him towards their car.
Younger Deputy: What about his girl?
Older Deputy: I'll let you stay here for awhile and “play” but bring her down when you're done
Younger Deputy: Awesome!
Other Deputy: Why does he get to have all the fun?
Tim: (Muttering) I really hope it's you, Erika… or maybe not
Erika and Morrigan speed along the Santa Conchita riverbank in Tim's Jeep. The soot in the air from the eruption creates a brilliant orange sunset swirled with purple clouds.
Morrigan: (Appreciative) Beautiful
Erika smiles beneath her balaclava.
Erika: It is nice to know you will always find the beauty, no matter the situation
Morrigan: (Raises an eyebrow at her) Or person
Erika: Perhaps “creature” is more appropriate
Morrigan: Perhaps “human” is
Erika: We are almost there
Morrigan: I would feel better if you came with me
Erika: I will return for you but there are matters that need taking care of
Morrigan: I know, you need to revert or morph or whatever it is you do to become a Sea Monkey
Erika: The proper term is transmogrification
Morrigan: Didn't I mention earlier how I forgot to pay attention in biology?
Erika: I seem to recall that
The Jeep slows and pulls off into an oak grove.
Erika: You will have to walk it the rest of the way, you are only about a quarter mile from your home
Morrigan: (Stepping out of the jeep) HOUSE… that place was never really a home, now more than ever
Erika: But it is the safest place for you right now
Erika motions to Tim's black bag.
Erika: Be sure to take it with you
Morrigan: NUH-UH, I do NOT need that added worry
Erika: It might be useful
Morrigan: Then you use it, not me
Erika: Fine, we have no time to argue
Erika starts to get out of the jeep.
Morrigan: What are you doing?
Erika: Walking you to your door
Morrigan: This has been a really wild date but you don't have to walk with me
Erika: I want to make sure…
Morrigan: NO – I said I'll be fine!
Erika is a little stunned.
Morrigan: Just like the president and the vice president are rarely in the same room, it's better this way… in case something should happen to one of us
Erika: We will be fine but you are correct in playing it safe
Morrigan: (Moving closer to Erika) Besides, the quicker you do what needs to be done, the quicker you come back to me
Erika: Agreed – I need to find the trident and then I'll return to the bay – expect me in the morning
Morrigan: Do you want chicken eggs or salmon eggs?
Erika: I want you to relax and try to remember as much as you can about what happened with The Clergy
Morrigan: I wish I could forget
Erika places a comforting arm around Morrigan.
Erika: Amethyst is no threat to you… when she returns, ask her about her father
Morrigan grabs Erika's arm and gently feels it.
Morrigan: (Sweet smile) Fin has skin… who knew?
Erika can't find the words as Morrigan starts to walk off.
Morrigan: We still need to talk more… later
Erika: Heavy Metal
Morrigan: (Halting) What?
Erika: You asked me before what my favorite kind of music was… I enjoyed heavy metal at one time
Erika hops back in the jeep and takes off.
Morrigan: (Watching) Why did I think it would be Yanni?
Miles down the road, Erika grabs the satellite phone and dials.
Erika: (Speaking French) Connect me to the Meeramar Zurich office please… hello, Chantal, this is Erika – yes, I am fine, thank you - I need you to convey a message to my brother…
KJ and Griffin speed through the mountains in a limo. Griffin is chattering away on his satellite phone as a bleary-eyed KJ slumps in his seat and tries to collect his thoughts.
Griffin: (Into phone) Yes, father – I understand – we'll be there shortly
Griffin clicks off the phone and pours KJ and himself a brandy.
KJ: (Refusing it) I couldn't be anymore numb and still function
Griffin: I just need you to function for a few more hours
KJ: Care to explain to me why we're headed in the direction of the volcano?
Griffin: We need to be there
KJ leans forward and taps on the window partition.
KJ: Driver, turn around and take me back to Duquesa Bay
Griffin: What are you doing? – DRIVER, IGNORE MR. VON MEER'S REQUEST
KJ lunges at Griffin and grabs him in a headlock.
KJ: DRIVER, DO AS I SAY – I HAVE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU, GRIF – I NEED TO GO HOME TO MOM, WHO COULD VERY WELL BE THE LAST OF MY FAMILY, AND YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO TELL ME WHERE WE'RE GOING
Griffin: (Gasping) I'LL TELL YOU, I'LL TELL YOU… LET GO
KJ does as Griffin coughs and regains his breath.
Griffin: God almighty, you're as bad as your sister
KJ: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? – I SWEAR, IF YOU HURT HER…
Griffin: Bad choice of words, sorry – for the last time, I love Erika more than my own life, I could never hurt her
KJ: (Looking out the window) Then… where is she?
Griffin: (Patting his shoulder) We'll find her – I promise – but we need to attend this meeting, first
KJ: Attend WHAT meeting? – for the last time, Griffin, where in the hell are we going and why?
Griffin: Remember what I told you about the Nereidium?
KJ: Is that what this is for? – we're on a wild goose chase for your magic rocks?
Griffin: Actually, Kage, it's metal…
KJ: (Rubbing his face) Aw, gimme a break!
Griffin's satellite phone rings and he answers it.
Griffin: Why, yes… yes, he's right here, hold on
KJ: (Taking the phone) Who is it?
Griffin: Chantal from Zurich
KJ: That's odd… hello, Chantal
KJ nearly leaps out of his seat.
KJ: WHERE IS SHE?
KJ: ERIKA JUST SPOKE TO HER
Griffin: WHERE DID SHE CALL FROM?
KJ: HOLD ON, HOLD ON… did she say anything else?
The limo enters a tunnel and the reception fades out.
KJ: HELLO, HELLO? – CHANTAL? – DAMMIT, GET OUT OF THE TUNNEL
Griffin: We can't…
The limo continues on and then slows down as darkness envelopes it.
Griffin: We're here
The glowing eyes of several hooded figures approach the limo windows.
With twilight fading over the woods near Mount Wiggins, Joenne Mirabello and her black ops unit patrol the area. Charred trees, rocks and bodies litter the ground. She reverently touches the battle fatigue tatters on a half skeleton/half corpse.
Joenne: (Into her radio) Looks like we've found Major Dawkins
One of her field agents points out an empty blue cloak hanging from a tree.
Agent: I wonder if that belonged to the bastard that got him?
Joenne: Bag it, we need everything we can get from these freaks
Agent: At least we got a few of them this time
Joenne: (Kicking a tree stump) Yeah, and we lost 27 of us in the process
Agent: DC is expecting a report soon
Joenne: Send the same one we've been sending all along – The Clergy is getting closer to the Nereidium and we're still fucking helpless against them!
Agent: Do you want me to use those exact words?
Joenne: Be creative… and then go sweep the northern sector – report back in ten minutes
Joenne ventures down to a grove near the banks of the Santa Conchita River. She scans the area with her own eyes and then with inferred goggles. Nothing. As she begins to leave, a sensor gauge lets out a single ping.
Joenne: (Freezing) Hello!
She grabs her side arm and turns in the direction of the reading. The pings grow louder and more frequent as she trots along.
Joenne: (Into her radio) ALL TEAMS, NEED ASSISTANCE AT ONCE, LOOKS LIKE WE GOT OURSELVES A STRAGGLER
Agent: (Over the radio) ON OUR WAY
Joenne: THE TARGET IS STATIONARY AND AT THE FOLLOWING COORDINATES…
Joenne is now running full bore. She snaps a green chemical lightstick as darkness falls.
Joenne: I'M COMING FOR YOU, HOOD BOY
As she rounds an outcropping, she is amazed by the sight of Darkfin's trident embedded in a rock with the body of a brown-robbed Clergy member stuck beneath its prongs.
Joenne: HOLY SHIT
Agent: (Over the radio) AGENT MIRABELLO, ARE YOU ALRIGHT?
The trident now glows a soft orange, causing Joenne's lightstick to match its color.
Joenne: (Half smile) Well now, where's your Mama?
Agent: COME IN, JOENNE, DO YOU COPY?
Joenne: (Into her radio) I'M FINE – IT WAS A FALSE READING – CANCEL THE BACKUP, REPEAT, CANCEL THE BACKUP
Agent: In that case, we could use your help over here – we've spotted a civilian vehicle approaching on a fire road
Joenne: Is it the Jeep we spotted earlier?
Agent: Negative – it's press… a KCON newsvan
Joenne: Aw, great!
Agent: The Jeep went in the opposite direction but this is coming straight at us – we need your order to fire…
Joenne: HOLD ON, I MIGHT KNOW THESE PEOPLE
Agent: You know our directive about the media – we can't let them get any closer!
Joenne: HOLD YOUR FIRE UNTIL I CHECK IT OUT FOR MYSELF, THAT'S AN ORDER
Joenne casts a regretful look at the trident and then runs off. She now approaches her fellow agent armed with an RPG launcher. The KCON newsvan is in the crosshairs.
Agent: We cannot take the risk of them broadcasting any of this – we need to eliminate them ASAP, chalk up the disappearance to the volcano
Joenne takes a deep breath knowing there is no other choice.
Joenne: (Bowing her head) Wait for them to cross the grove, then fire
The van suddenly halts and cuts the motor. The driver's door opens.
Joenne: (Looking through her scope) Wait… who is that?
A woman runs in their direction and yells.
Justine: JOENNE, JOENNE, ARE YOU AROUND HERE?
Joenne: (Tackling the agent) NO, THAT'S MY SISTER
Morrigan slips under the yellow police tape and sneaks up to the back door of her darkened home. She takes a spare key from under a loose roof tile and carefully goes inside. Making sure the window shades are drawn, she checks each room and grabs a bottle of water from the refrigerator.
Morrigan: (Whispering) I'm starting to feel hot and cold again… this is not good
A thought crosses her mind, causing her to spit water.
Morrigan hurries into her bedroom. She lights a tiny candle and peers through the glass of the terrarium at her pet tarantula. She lets out a huge sigh of relief when she realizes the spider is still alive. The candle blows out as quick gust of air rushes from behind.
Amethyst: Don't worry, I took good care of her for you
Surfaced on July 1, 2000
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