Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to ITV1. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time. The idea of the story as well as the story itself – including all possible pre- or sequels published afterwards – are mine.
Summary: Part 3/? of the ‘Lost in time’-series. This was a dream, it had to be. This wasn’t supposed to happen, not here, not to her, not like this. Yet, here she was, trapped in the Early Jurassic, surrounded by dinosaurs considering her as nothing but food.Warnings: once again not beta-read
“How much longer?” Becker asked impatiently. It had been two weeks since Jess had disappeared. Two weeks she’d spent on her own in the Early Jurassic. Two weeks he had spent checking every anomaly to see which era it led to before locking it.
Lester had told them not to make any attempts to reopen the anomaly inside the ARC through which Jess had disappeared. He had told them not to go through any anomaly in search for her. But for the first time, Becker didn’t care what Lester said. He wouldn’t leave her behind.
Besides, Lester hadn’t said anything about reopening the anomaly somewhere else. If Lester found out, Becker would be fired. So what? If it meant that he brought Jess back, who cared? Or if he at least found an answer to the nagging question what had happened to her.
He hadn’t been able to save her the first time. He needed his chance to make this right; even if Lester didn’t understand. Even if no one understood, he needed to try. He couldn’t go on living without trying to amend his failure. He couldn’t go on living without her.
“Becker,” Abby turned to him. “It’s been a pretty long time, and…”
“She’s still alive,” he interrupted her. They’d had this conversation too often already, he didn’t want to go down this road again. As long as he hadn’t been to the Early Jurassic finding her body or bones or any other proof that she was dead, she wasn’t.
He wouldn’t pronounce her dead before he had any proof that she was, that there was no way to bring her back to her time, back to him. He wouldn’t give up on her. He simply couldn’t. He was obsessed with the idea of saving her, it was the only thing standing between him and insanity, the idea that he could save her and didn’t have her blood on his hands.
“Lester was right, she isn’t trained for this,” Connor agreed with Abby.
“Look, if you don’t want to help me, fine, just tell me, I’ll find another way,” Becker grumbled. Even though he wasn’t sure what other way there could be if Connor wasn’t willing to help him, he knew he wouldn’t give up. He couldn’t. Even if he had to walk through every anomaly he could find, then this was what he would do for the rest of his life. He would find her.
“We want to get her back as much as you do,” Abby assured him. “And we won’t rest before we reopened the anomaly. All I’m saying is that we should be willing to except the worst if it turns out that…”
“No,” he interrupted, almost shouting at her. “She’s not dead. I won’t give up on her. I… I can’t.”
“I know,” Abby told him with a slight smile. “And I don’t want you to believe that she’s dead. I just want you to accept that we might be too late.”
“We aren’t,” Becker insisted. “She’s alive. I just know it.”
“I hope you’re right,” Connor said, looking at him. “I really do.”
He nodded, and then sighed. “I know what we’re doing here is illegal and can cost our jobs. So I understand if you don’t want to be a part of this.”
“She’s our flatmate,” Connor stated. “There’s no way we’ll leave her behind in a prehistoric era.”
“Not after we’ve been through this,” Abby added. “As far as we know, she could still be alive. And as long as there’s a little bit of hope left…”
“… we’re not going to give up,” Connor added.
Becker took a deep breath. “So, how much longer?” he repeated.
“I finished rebuilding the device,” Connor said. “If it works, the anomaly it creates will be large enough for a human to get through.”
“If…” Becker mumbled.
“It will work,” Connor assured him. “I’m sure it will. The main problem was recalibrating the device so that it opens an anomaly leading to an exact time.”
“And?” Becker pressed him.
Connor sighed. “Well, we collected the necessary data from the ADD and I could use everything we’d found out about Helen’s device. I’m sure it’ll work.”
“Meaning that I’ll arrive two weeks after she’d been pulled through the anomaly,” Becker said, trying to process the information.
“You?” Abby asked with a frown. “I thought we were going together?”
“No, I’m going alone,” Becker stated. “There’s no need of putting your lives in danger as well. This was my idea – and it was my rule that no one goes through the anomalies. So it’s only fair if I’m the one breaking it. Besides, I need you here so that my way back is secured.”
“Don’t worry, we won’t let the anomaly close again before you can get back through,” Connor told him with grin.
Becker gave him a small smile. Frankly, he could think of a lot of things much worse than being trapped on the wrong side of an anomaly with Jess by his side. Being forced to live without her leading the way. He shouldn’t have let go just like that. He should have gone with her, be there to protect her from the dinosaurs until someone saved them.
Instead, he had abandoned her, left her alone, left her to the dinosaurs. He could have jumped through the anomaly as well. He should have…
“Becker?” Abby’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
He turned to look at her.
Giving him another soft smile, she said, “This wasn’t your fault.”
Of course, this was his fault. He had been the one not being able to pull her back through. He had let go of her. “How do we avoid the ARC detecting the anomaly and showing up here to close it?” Becker wanted to know as he turned to watch Connor work.
“That’s going to be the hardest part,” Connor said.
“He has to get into the ARC and find a place without CCTV,” Abby continued, letting Connor concentrate on his current task. “Connor will set up his laptop, hack into the system and enter a virus that will knock out the anomaly detector for at least two hours.”
“They’ll never know what hit them,” Connor commented. “Hopefully.”
“Are you sure they won’t be able to fix it in less than two hours?” Becker pressed him.
Connor grinned at him. “Who do you think they’ll call when the detector crashes down? The problem is that it will be too obvious if I can’t handle the problem in two hours. Then they’ll certainly call someone else in.”
“And they won’t know it was a virus you entered into the system?” Becker asked, frowning at Connor basically in concern. If they found out, it wouldn’t end well for any of them. While Becker himself absolutely didn’t care as long as he could get Jess back, he didn’t want to be responsible for the rest of his team being fired as well.
“Nope,” Connor assured him. “Even if they let anyone else fix the computer, which is pretty unlikely because the only two persons who can fix a glitch like this are Jess and me, they won’t be able to track the virus back to any of us. So we’re safe.”
“At least they won’t be able to prove it,” Abby added.
“Right,” Connor mumbled. It would be pretty telling if the anomaly detector broke down the moment they opened an anomaly to get Jess back from the Early Jurassic.
“Okay, so I’ve got two hours to find her,” Becker mumbled. If she was clever – what she without a doubt was – she’d stayed close to where the last anomaly had opened. Since Connor used the data from the ADD, their anomaly should open at the same spot, at least almost.
“Don’t worry,” Abby said, giving him an encouraging smile. “This’ll work. We’ll bring her back.”
“Of course, we will,” Connor said, putting a small piece into the device, rubbing his hands. “Okay, I’m ready.”
“We only have one chance,” Becker reminded him. A trial run wasn’t possible. The ARC would detect the anomaly and find their device before they would be able to even try to get to the Early Jurassic. And they couldn’t enter the same virus into the ADD twice. “Are you sure this will work?”
“Of course, I am,” Connor assured him, rolling his eyes. “I’ll drive to the ARC now. In one hour I’ll enter the virus, sending you a text when I do. Then you’ll open the anomaly, go through, get Jess back, and the thing will be closed before anyone in the ARC will notice it.”
“We can’t risk another Sinosaurus or anything else coming through,” Becker said. “Abby, you’ll lock the anomaly once I’m through. Give me the two hours to get Jess. Then you lift the lock and give me another thirty seconds to get through.”
“I’ll give you a minute,” she argued.
“Thirty seconds,” Becker repeated. “The incident at the ARC didn’t even take a minute. You can’t be sure what’s coming through if you leave it open that long.”
“Thirty seconds, Abby,” he insisted.
Unwillingly, she gave in and nodded. They both knew she would leave the anomaly open until both Jess and Becker were back through.
“I’ll head to the ARC,” Connor stated. “If I enter the virus immediately, they might notice anything. You be careful, mate.”
Becker smiled wryly at that. “Just make sure this works!”
“It will, no worries,” Connor promised before rushing out of the door.
“Now all we can do is wait,” Abby said, sinking down on the couch in Jess’s apartment.
Yeah, wait. Becker was about to lose his temper. He’d done nothing but waiting for the past two weeks. Every minute that passed was a minute Jess might not have. Maybe she was hurt and needed medical care…
He’d let her go. He’d let her be pulled through the anomaly into the era where she was trapped now. He had to make it right and bring her back. And he was sure she was still alive. She was much stronger than most people thought she was.
Besides, he had yet to give her an answer to her confession. He knew she’d said it because she thought she was about to die. But he also knew she wouldn’t have said it if she hadn’t meant it. She had wanted him to know, and he wanted her to know.
It felt like days until finally Abby’s mobile phone beeped. She’d long since given up starting a conversation with Becker while they were waiting. He was too focused on the time, coaxing it to go by faster.
“He’s ready,” Abby announced after having read the text. “We can start.”
He nodded, grabbing his EMD. “When I’m through, you’ll lock it immediately, and you won’t open it until two hours have passed.”
“I know,” Abby assured him, holding up her watch. “We’ve been through all this three times already. Don’t worry, I know what I have to do.”
“I know,” Becker said with a sigh.
Abby smiled at him, placing a comfortable hand on his shoulder. “You will go through and get her back. I’ll start the countdown right after you’re through. And in two hours you will both be back here with us.”
He nodded, giving her the hint of a smile. They both knew that if he didn’t find her within the two hours, he wouldn’t come back either.
Straightening, Becker charged the EMD. “I’m ready.”
“Be careful,” Abby told him, before she started Connor’s prototype. It hissed, and she already feared it might not work, when suddenly there was a surge and an anomaly opened in the middle of Jess’s living room.
Becker took a deep breath and walked through.“Good luck,” Abby mumbled as she locked the anomaly and started the countdown on her watch. Two hours of waiting lay ahead of her.