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It was Thursday night. The house was very quiet since Rachel and Alex had gone on assignment, leaving Kat behind. Kat sat by the fire playing with an assortment of toys while Sari perused her mother's journals incessantly for an answer.
She found one on the day she had been born. Sabrina wrote about her birth and at the end, without an explanation, wrote this: "the future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves". Sari stared at the ceiling in deep thought when Derek came in, looking rather disturbedly at this young girl who was incapable of being a ghost hunter, like his father, in his eyes.
When he opened the door and saw her, he himself knew it was true. Sari looked up before he spoke. "I just found your journal, you left it in the library," he said. She picked up the book, ran her hand over it and felt his handprint.
"You read it." she said. Before they went any further, Sari sent Kat to get a book from Nick to keep her away.
Derek nodded in reply then. "Then you know, don't you? My mother trained me well. She said I must follow her example," she explained.
"You were four when she died, you couldn't have been that intelligent at that age," he pondered.
She stood up and walked over to a box in the back of her closet then and pulled out her sword. It was covered in topaz at the hilt, to signify her birthstone.
Derek looked at it with wide eyes.
"You just can't face it, can you? I was a trained killer by then. I'm supposed to be a Destroyer," she intently said.
He looked at the 6 foot tall girl, long of limb, thin, yet strong and smart holding her sword in front of him. A girl who could be the most loving person around Kat, yet commit murder without blinking an eye. Nick's father, her uncle, had been a ghost hunter, as well as Winston Rayne had been. Sabrina had tracked down these spirits with her occult research and passed on the info so that they might be destroyed.
Just another revelation - Sari was a ghost hunter like her grandfather, uncle, mother and father had been. Since the age of 8 when Sari was old enough to be taken out in the field of warfare, her uncle had taken her along. Oddly enough, he never took Nick, yet he took her. Derek felt sick at the thought of his own daughter being trained and molested by the very same man. According to Legacy record, Sari herself had actually destroyed over 30 dark spirits since she was 10, and had even sought to conquer the London house, overrun by the darkside for now. She had also tried to kill herself about half a dozen times since then. No Legacy member had been initiated as a Destroyer/ghost hunter before the age of 15, except for her. Her strength and intelligence made her a good hunter, but it didn't help her emotionally.
Derek sat down beside her and looked at what she was reading. "Another of her quotes, eh? What are you hoping to find, my dear? An answer? Sabrina was a researcher, not a philosopher." he said.
She looked at him and answered, "Whenever I read her journal I feel connected to her. She was the only good person that raised me. My life has been so unnatural, I've always felt detached from myself because I had to, it was the only way I could live with what..." Without finishing, Derek understood what she meant.
"You remind me of the satirist Voltaire, sweet. He searched far and wide for happiness through the despair of his own life and found it was inside, not out. Perhaps you will realize this one day too." He kissed her good night then and left her to her reading, happy that she was so much at peace whenever she remembered her mother.
It was about 11:30 pm when Sari, asleep, heard a footstep in the darkness. She sat up in bed, asking, "Who's there?"
A little voice came out of nowhere, "Can I stay with you, Sari? I can't sleep."
Sari, relieved, said, "Of course, Kat. Come on in." Kat snuggled in with Sari for the third night in a row. "I hate this house, it's so scary," Kat whispered. "Oh, hon, I know, but it's not haunted or anything, poor baby," Sari said soothingly, smoothing Kat's hair. She opened her arms and Kat crawled in them while she sang a lullaby. By the time Sari finished the song Kat was asleep in her arms and she sank down to sleep beside her. She felt another presence then, and saw Derek in the shadows of the hall.
"Sorry, forgot to leave the hall light on for her. I never really had to care for a child, not used to it," he said. Sari just smiled and said, "It's OK, I don't mind the company." He smiled to himself, seeing her compassion for the child. Maybe someday she would be a mother herself. He approached her and touched her cheek lovingly, and tucked the two in before going back to his own sleep.
Kat stirred, and woke Sari. Rolling over in bed, she suddenly felt someone was in her bed on the other side of her. "BOO!" Nick quirked. "AH!" she screamed back. Kat yelped in surprise. Sari fell off the bed and the cast hit the floor with a thud. "Ouch!" Sari yelped on impact.
Nick laughed and said, "Come on, lazy butt, today we get to take that cast off, gotta take you into town."
Sari flashed Nick a mad look, then smiled. He was such a goof sometimes, but this helped lighten her days many times. When Kat started to cry, Nick came over and took her in his arms, saying, "I'm sorry, bunny. Just playing a trick on your aunt Sari here." Kat just pulled away and hid behind Sari.
"She'll be fine, and we'll be downstairs soon, OK? Just be patient, jeez."
Nick went to get some breakfast then, and left Sari and Kat to dress. She pulled on sweat pants and a sweatshirt, helped Kat with her jeans and shirt, and headed down the steps. Derek was in the dining room with Philip, Rachel and Alex. They were back now, mission successful.
"Alex!" Sari exclaimed. She hopped over and the two hugged. "Hey, we're going into the city, come with us, Alex!" Sari said. Kat, first clinging to Sari, ran over to her mom. Alex agreed to go with Sari.
Derek came up to the front door, blocking their way. "Got a surprise for you, you'll be able to use it when that cast comes off, sweet," he said, grinning. When Nick, Alex and Sari finally got out, they saw a 4-by-4 Blazer sitting out front, a deep red paint. The glint in the sun was sparkly.
"Oh, my, God." Sari breathed. Nick took the keys and revved the engine. It was a V8, purred like a tiger. Sari kissed Derek's cheek and leapt down the front stairs to the passenger seat.
"Great, Derek, I get back and now I have to go joyriding with these two stuntsmen!" Alex said jokingly. Sari looked behind Derek at the shadow named Philip, always so pensive lately. Her smile faded and was replaced with a devilish grin. She came up and pulled Philip down to the vehicle. He tried to get out of her grasp, but she tightened it. "I don't want to go," he said, wrinkles creasing on his forehead. "I don't care, you're coming and you're gonna have fun, Philly. Time to get over it," she whispered to him, determined. As soon as Alex and Philip got in back, Nick pushed the gas pedal and left tire marks on the pavement, leaving dust in their wake. Kat spoke up then, and said, "I want to go too!" Rachel kneeled down to her and said, "Honey, you're too young to go joyriding, besides it isn't fun to wait at the doctor office, is it?" Kat shook her head no, then was sent off to play. Rachel and Derek headed inside.
Alex watched the tension in the car when Nick saw Philip in the rearview mirror. He was still fairly pissed at how he had attacked Sari.
When she had brought him along, Nick was perturbed. Sari knew Nick was mad, but laid a hand on his shoulder as he drove, and said, "Stop it Nick. He's not to blame." Nick gave her a disturbed look and said, "Don't even start, Sari, this isn't your battle."
Sari's face turned to surprise and she retorted, "Yes it is! Excuse me but this does involve me! You will give him a chance, I'm asking you to, please Nick!" He softened and said nothing. After arriving at the outpatient clinic, Sari, with Nick's help, got in and Alex decided to take Nick for some coffee, she needed to talk to him about this. The Legacy was not a place for tension to continue, they had to remain friends or it would work against them.
Philip waited with Sari, then helped her into a room where the doctor helped cut and peel off the cast. The affected area, after being washed, was still painful, and Sari winced many times when the doctor examined the bone. Philip watched her silent agony, and rubbed her shoulders comfortingly. The doctor declared it had been set right, and wasn't crooked but was certainly fragile. He prescribed some pain medication and vitamins and they left. Sari tried walking around the street with Philip, and felt a little pain but otherwise was grateful to have the damn cast off. When she fell a little, Philip grabbed her and set her upright again, as they reached the cafe. When Philip grasped her waist to set her up again, Sari intently stared at those big hands encircling her. Looking up at his face, she smiled wryly and went inside.
"Hey now." Alex said, happy at seeing an intact Sari again. Nick looked down, so Sari came over and said, "Hey now." He looked up at her and realized that she was actually happy, and it was then that he truly forgave Philip.
"I want to drive now!" Sari exclaimed. Nick handed her the keys and got in back with Alex. Philip was terrified of being up front with her at the wheel, but consented. Sari turned up her favorite rock radio station, drove down breakneck hill at a good clip, and certainly tested the struts on her new car. When they went around a bend, Philip gasped in horror, and Sari laughed at him. Alex just braced herself, she was used to Nick and Sari's driving habits, both of them were maniacs in her opinion. Nick opened his window and stuck half his body out, feeling a rush of wind, and he shouted with pure adrenaline force. By the sheer grace of God, they all made it to the Golden Gate Bridge park in a space of 13 minutes. Sari brought the Blazer to an abrupt stop and leapt out. Alex unbuckled her belt, and Philip just sat there, catching his breath and doing a rosary. Sari started trying to run and spun down to the ground in a whirl. She let out a huge scream, not in pain but release. Nick caught up with her and they wrestled like kids on the ground for awhile. She felt so liberated then.
"Were those two brought up like that?" Philip asked. Alex replied, "No, but imagine what their childhood was like, they were raised violently, just their way of getting rid of that anger." Philip couldn't have imagined living like those two had, his parents had always been so loving and tender. It made sense, Nick and Sari had been raised abusively and their actions reflected that.
Sari got up off the ground, grass stains all over, and pulled Philip out of the car. She started fighting him playfully, and he finally had to defend himself. Meanwhile, Nick caught his breath and went back around the hill to talk to Alex. Philip had Sari pinned, and said, "Give up?" Sari laughed and replied, "Never!" Then she used her arms and threw Philip over her head, did a somersault over his body and had him pinned in a matter of seconds. "Aw, you're too easy to tackle, you're no fun." she said coyly. He didn't say anything, just kept on catching his breath. Suddenly she was aware how close they were. Their hands were locked and she had pinned his legs with her own. Her eyes became dark and serious then, and she leaned down and kissed him passionately. He closed his eyes, unable to resist her. When she pulled herself up off of him, she heard Nick's voice and blushed deeply.
"Shit!" she murmured, breathing heavily. Her eyes darted all over and she ran off, leaving a very hot, out of breath Philip lying on the ground. Nick looked at him strangely, and asked where Sari was. It was lucky they had been out of visual range. He replied he had no idea, and hoped Nick wouldn't see through his lie. He got up and went back to the car where Alex had some cold drinks waiting, it was getting late and they should be getting back. When she saw Philip approaching, shock gripped her.
Philip avoided her gaze, and she asked then, "What happened, Philip?" He said nothing and just got in the back seat. Sari and Nick came back after he found her, and she drove them all home. When they reached the mansion, Philip ran off while Derek came out to greet his daughter without her cast. Alex went upstairs to unpack, Nick headed off to work on his Mustang, and Sari went inside, still feeling a little pain.
Derek joined Sari in the dining room where she ate a meal, she was starving. "So how's Rachel?" she asked between bites.
"Oh, she's fine. Says Kat is kind of temperamental lately, it's probably because she's been away from her so long," he answered.
She just nodded at him and then asked a very personal question. "I can see the attraction, you should make a move, Derek," she baited.
He watched her, and seeing her seriousness, he answered, "I don't think it would work. Hell, my own father killed her mother, I don't think she'll ever get over that. Besides, if it didn't work out, we would lose her and Kat, and I don't want that to happen. You're so silly, little one, being a matchmaker." Laughing, she understood his reasoning and didn't push it.
It was about 8:15 that night, when Philip came across Sari's room. She wasn't there and he knew he shouldn't but he snooped. He found her diary and flipped through it. In the middle he found the emblem, the infamous "L". Only Destroyers/ghost hunters had these. Fascinated, he read a few random entries. Then he counted the stars on her emblem. 32. Sari was almost as decorated as Derek was, and she was a mere 20 years old. From the date, she had been christened at the age of 10?!
"Well, we must be quite curious now, eh?" Sari asked him leaning against the doorjamb, scaring him. He whirled about to face her, and she spoke up again. "It's not really a secret, I've been one for a long time now, youngest ever initiated. I guess I was too young in spirit, because you probably also know how many times I've tried suicide. I know now I wasn't ready, not in my mind, to fight. I've even tried to consecrate the London house. I'll probably try again someday. Does that scare you?" she asked heavily.
He couldn't lie, it did scare him and he said so. She nodded, grateful for the honesty at least. She pursed her lips and sighed. Then she closed the door, locking it. "And you're a priest. I know I shouldn't have done that. But I think the attraction here is mutual, isn't it?" she questioned him.
"Yes." he said. Philip was slightly smaller in height, and felt overpowered, yet this feeling was good? They stood there, about four feet from each other, just staring for what seemed like eternity. "What do you want, Philip? I'll leave it up to you." Sari asked him, breaking the tension, while unlocking the door and moving away from it. The wrinkles in Philip's forehead creased and his eyes showed deep fear. He really really felt her in his mind, and the feeling had been there for months now. When he was away it was easy, but right now he was here. Suddenly he made his choice and tore off his cassock.
Sari backed up until she was against the wall. In Philip's eyes, she saw a passion hotter than anything she had seen before, and was almost afraid. The absurdity didn't escape her. He relocked the door and moved towards her. When he touched her shoulders, moving up her neck and face, feeling her features with his eyes closed, the heat just rose around them. He brought his lips to her neck and she leaned back. With a vicious force, he rammed her up against the wall, knocking the breath out of her, and she gasped in pleasure and pain. One of his hands deftly moved up her shirt, and he laughed when he realized she hadn't worn a bra all day, and she wasn't embarrassed! She laughed too, and then she ran her hand down his chest and unbuckled his belt. He watched how swift she was, her hands were so calm yet he felt her shaking inwardly. When she pulled up his shirt he allowed her to pull it up over his head. To keep herself up, she wrapped her legs around him so she wouldn't fall. Before she got it off, she tickled his side and he shivered. "Hey, not fair!" he cried out.
"All's fair in love and war," she said. He tickled her thigh and she flexed her leg. "Ack!" she snorted. Finally she pulled her own shirt off and Philip leaned into her, burying himself in total ecstasy. When he tired of holding her up, he dropped her on her bed sideways. She managed to wriggle out of her pants, while Philip did the same with his own. Then he tackled her on the bed, and it squeaked.
"Shhh! We can't make so much noise, Philly," she laughed then gasped as he felt her, inside and out. Intent on finishing what he started, Philip said nothing. She waited for him, but he teased her for awhile instead. His finger circled and circled, and Sari could stand it no longer. She demanded him inside her, and he fulfilled her order. Then they just lay together, sweating and panting in unison. Instant remorse fell upon Philip and he cringed when she touched his face. She opened her eyes and looked at his. "I have to get outta here," he said, and quickly dressed, leaving her with tears in her eyes.
It was almost 4 am, and Derek heard muffled crying down the hall. He traced the source, and found Sari curled in a fetal position on her bed, crying and stifling it. When he came over to comfort her, he thought it must be another night terror, because she was drenched in sweat, her face neck and T-shirt alike, and her face was devoid of happiness. "Hey, wake up little one, come on, I'm here now," he crooned, pulling her hair back. Her bed was quite rumpled, like she had tossed and turned all night. He pulled her to him and shushed her cries, wiping away the tears. Mistaking him for Philip, she repeatedly cried, "Don't go...don't go..."
When the last sob took her energy, she slept in his arms while he stayed up the rest of the night keeping watch over her. When his arms tired and he was sure she was asleep, he placed her back in bed and drew up the covers. Off in a far corner, he noticed something strange, and picked it up. Drawing back in horror, he recognized it as Philip's cassock. In his rush he had forgotten it. Derek quietly left, keeping her door slightly open and reached Philip's room, unused, and put the cassock on the bed.
Derek was reading the newspaper and drinking some coffee, when Philip staggered in, half drunk. They stared at each other in unison. It horrified him to think of the implications of all this, but he said nothing to Philip. Snapped out of his reverie, Rachel came in the door. The cold air from outside surprised Philip as well, and he pounced up the stairs to his room. Rachel watched him go up, then went to the dining room. She saw Derek's expression and it scared her.
"What the hell is going on?" she asked. She caught his attention, and he signaled for her to follow him. When he closed the drawing room doors, he told her what had happened. "I don't know what to do, because I also had a vision of this and didn't stop it," he said.
Rachel asked, "What did you see?" He looked out the window, sighed, and began. "It was about a week ago. I knew there was an attraction and I probably should have stopped it then. Philip and Sari slept together last night, and he can't really face that. Then Christina came three nights ago and said it was destined to happen, no matter what I did. But Sari's only 20 years old now and still getting over what happened to her in the past. Philip's a priest. It's not what you'd call a healthy relationship."
Rachel reassured him by saying, "I know she can be compassionate, I've seen her. I think she can handle it, Derek. You must remember it is their choice, and they made it."
Derek wasn't convinced, "There's more you should know, Rachel."
She looked up, surprised. "You can't be saying there's more secrets about this girl, can you?" she implored.
He nodded, and answered, "She's a Destroyer, a ghost hunter since the age of 10. I just found out myself a week ago. She was trained, apparently, by her mother then by her uncle." Rachel was taken aback, and muttered, "You mean like your father trained you?" Derek nodded again. Rachel let out a breath and murmured, "Jesus almighty, I can't believe this. It's no wonder she has a psychiatric record. Molested by the same man that trained her, and was doing stuff like this since she was ten!?" Hearing a hand clasp a mouth in horror, they both turned to face a very surprised Nick and Alex.
Philip left before anyone saw him, and he later flew out to Ireland, back to his homeland.
Rachel decided to calm everyone down, and they agreed not to panic and confront the two. Nick tried to find Philip but all his things were gone, as well as Philip himself. Sari was still asleep so they left her alone. Derek eventually woke her up, at 2:30 in the afternoon. Before she said anything, he sat down beside her. She rubbed her eyes, they were bloodshot. After blowing her nose she looked towards him.
"Where is he?" she asked, knowing that he knew. He replied, "Philip's gone. I'm more worried about you, though." She frowned at him and said firmly, "Don't worry about me." Derek wasn't very happy about discussing such things either, and just nodded. "I wouldn't pursue anything like this again, Sari. It could devastate your relationship with Philip as a friend and member of this Legacy. I trust your judgment, and I would advise you to use it, " he warned before leaving.
Rachel felt an obligation to Sari now, sort of like a mother. She came up and knocked on Sari's door at 7:09 that evening, and found her staring at the wall. She appeared to have gone into a catatonic state, and Rachel quickly came over to her. She took her face in her hands and stared into Sari's eyes. "Come back to us, Sari, I order you to come back," she said. Sari just continued to stare. "I know you want Philip," she said. The girl suddenly snapped away from her at the mention of Philip's name. She ran down the stairs and out the front door, straight into the rain. Rachel ran after her, before any of the others members saw. She ran as fast as she could, and finally caught up to the girl.
"You can't have him, Sari! I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry for what happened to you. But don't let it drag you down!" Rachel demanded. There were tears running down Sari's face when Rachel saw her, before she turned away and screamed out all of her frustrations at the black sky. As she screamed, lightning cracked and the weather turned fiercer on them. The tears running down Sari's face mixed with the raindrops, it was like God crying for her as well. Derek caught up to Rachel, holding Sari in her arms. When she saw his face, it turned into Philip's and the darkness only got darker. She began to see a room take shape then. As he looked out the window, she saw the outdoors.
When she knew where he was, she uttered the word, "Ireland." Somehow, thousands of miles away, Philip heard what she was saying and saw what she was seeing. They had been so close, they had created a link to each other somehow. Then Sari's vision closed up, or was transformed, and her uncle appeared in front of her. Sari tried to get away from Rachel, but she held her strongly. When her eyes got wide in terror, a wave of fear rushed through her, and something in her told her to get away now. She pulled away from all of them with all her strength. "NO! HE'LL GET US ALL!" she shouted as Derek dragged her back to the house. When she bit his arm, she drew blood and he yelled in pain, but refused to let go. She struggled and kicked, leaving many bruises later. When Rachel came in behind him, Nick helped restrain Sari as Derek tended his arm. She refused to be drawn back to consciousness, so Rachel put her out completely with some morphine.
Nick looked at Sari sleep, and turned to Rachel. "She was the only one of us that ever fought him. She was just a kid, we all were, but she fought him off as much as she could. He couldn't seem to break her spirit. But he certainly broke her sanity," he said sadly.
Rachel walked with him through the house then, while the others slept. "I'm sorry to say, I don't know much about your family. You had brothers and sisters?" she asked. "Yes. Two sisters. Nina and Laura, they're both older, 37 and 34 respectively," he replied, and continued, "Dad never went at them like he did her though. When I think about it now, I realize that he was becoming bitter in his old age, and it made him angrier, thus we took it harder than those two did. But of all of us, Sari definitely had it the worst. It makes me sick to remember that asshole ripping her to shreds, inside and out. Just your typical family, eh?" he said sarcastically and bitterly. "One time Mom was with her, she was hospitalized for 'falling down the steps' and she tried to kill herself by biting her IV all the way through and breathing into it, forcing more oxygen into her bloodstream so she could die. Of course, Mom stopped her. I just don't know, Rachel, if any person can get over the horrors of the past like that." Nick finally explained. Rachel couldn't find an answer to that one, and finally said, "She's so extraordinary. With any normal upbringing she would have thrived. Extremely intelligent, strong, willful. A born leader personality. But I don't know how she managed to get this far."
A flash scared Sari awake. She peered at her clock, it read 5:03am. Without brushing her hair or seeing her appearance, she pulled on some jeans and a loose navy-blue turtleneck. She packed some clothes, picked up her cell phone and laptop, found her keys and tiptoed down the creaky stairs. No one heard her pull open the garage and turn on the Blazer. In a panic, she peeled away from the island mansion and booked the next flight to Dublin via cellphone. The first ferry came early, at 5:30 and she took it. Her eyes, wary and bloodshot, showed how tired she was. But determined, she made it to the airport and ran to meet her last minute flight, which left the terminal at 6am. A whoosh of sound, like a jet, woke Derek up. He had seen the wings of a plane from a window. Pulling on his robe, he rushed down the hall and found Sari gone. She was going somewhere, and he knew it was to Philip. "Alex! Nick!" he shouted, waking both. They met him in the hall, staring at the empty room. "Find her, Alex, she's on an airplane going somewhere, find out which flight." he ordered. She agreed, and they quickly tracked down the transaction from her credit card.
"She's on British Airways flight 1703. To Dublin. She's going to Ireland, Philip must be there." Before she said anymore, Derek left them, saying, "I'm going out there on the next flight. Nick, you and Alex track Philip down. We know his major haunts in the country. I'll get out there, and call you for more information, OK? Oh, and let Rachel know what's going on." They agreed and split up. Derek booked it out to the airport himself, his trip bag ready in the backseat for emergencies. On the flight, he tried to See what Sari was doing, but she was able to block him out, now that she sensed he was on her trail.
A car drove up the country road to a small house near Tara, Ireland. Philip peered out from his childhood home, empty usually, but he had kept it up over time. He looked at the girl stumble out, looking very different now. Her eyes were red, there were shadows under them, and the frown on her face touched him. When she collapsed at his door, he came out and helped her inside. She felt weak, so weak. He set her to bed in his parents old room, and she slept for over nine hours before coming to again. When she did, she remembered where she was, and searched out a bathroom. She sank into a hot bathtub of water and seemingly cleansed her whole being, body and soul alike. It was nighttime now, but she was wide awake. The time difference sure set her off. When she was done, she came back to the room she had been in, and recognized it as his parent's room. It smelled of old ghosts to her. She dressed in clean clothes, and realized she was starving. Downstairs, she found some food and began to cook herself a meal. Philip awoke, it was almost 1am, to some eggs cooking downstairs. He had to remind himself it wasn't his mother, it was her. Unable to stay away, though, he came down. She looked up at him, eating her meal. She was literally sucking it in, fast. With food in her mouth, she said, "I was hungry...starving actually." She grinned, and he smiled when he saw bits of egg stuck in her teeth. "Always so hungry." he replied. With a sudden force, she approached him and wrapped herself around him. When she kissed him, he tasted some of the food. "Sunny side up. Interesting. I would have though scrambled," he said. She pulled him into his parents room then, and he could resist no more. "I knew you were coming," he said. She answered, "I knew you'd be here."
By morning, the two slept peacefully. There was no more escaping from what they were doing. It was 9am when they heard a banging on the door downstairs. It was Derek. Sari was very much tired, and slept through the ruckus. Philip, however came down to let Derek in.
"I'm too late, aren't I?" he asked, shaking his head. Philip didn't answer him. Sari eventually came down an hour later, and saw Derek. She gulped, but refused to back down.
"I wish you hadn't come, Sari." Philip said. Hurt, she looked at him. "Yes you do," she whispered in a hoarse voice. "No, I don't, I'm sorry," he said, looking away, still denying what he really felt. "Fine, then I'll go away," she croaked, her sorrow turning to anger. She ran up the stairs and repacked her things. She went out the back way, snuck to her car and drove away before Derek or Philip could stop her.
Derek talked to Philip then, saying, "This was predestined, I was told."
In surprise, Philip looked at him strangely. "Yes, it was. And you don't know it yet, but last night should not have happened. Because she's pregnant. It was foretold," Derek finished. "How can..." Philip tapered off. They headed back inside the house while Derek informed him of what he'd seen and later left to catch a flight back to San Francisco.
Sari arrived back in San Francisco to a sunny warm town, drying out from the horrific storms of the past weeks. Just the smell of the air permeated Sari's mind and she felt back at home. She took her car and just drove around, getting the feel of things again. She checked her laptop computer, and printed out some finished research papers. These were taken over to SFU, where she visited some professors for awhile, catching up on what was happening. She had always been a straightforward student, and was considered an ally in the faculty department. Back at her old apartment, she visited her friends and they gossiped on who/what was happening in town. Sari needed to get back to her roots again, the Legacy had dragged her down lately. She met Norman after work, and they walked together on the street for awhile, and he gave her some paperwork to complete. Her next case had been assigned just the previous day, and he was making sure it was light stuff. After all this, Sari realized she didn't want to go back to the island, not for awhile at least. It was the last place she thought of, but decided to return anyway. The interstate spanned out and she got off at the Eureka exit.
18947 Rosewood Drive. The house hadn't changed a bit, Sari thought. She walked up the sidewalk, but before she got to the door, a woman came out to greet her. "Oh, my dear, come here," said a smiling, boisterous Carolyn Boyle. Sari dropped her bag and ran up to the woman who had tried to heal Sari's wounds as much as possible as she grew up in their house of horror. "It's been so long, come on inside, little one. I was working in the living room when I saw you. How has college been? And the FBI Academy?" she asked. "Fine." Sari replied. Carolyn embraced the young girl, seeing her dreary face. "Come." she whispered, ushering Sari in. The house was totally different on the inside, unlike the outside. The walls had been repainted, new carpet installed, paneling ripped out of the hall, and the grandfather clock was gone for good. Even the furniture was changed. Carolyn Boyle left no stone unturned after her husband died. Everything was tossed and replaced. She wanted new memories, not the old. It helped Sari to think of it as hers now. Yet she still shivered when she passed through the den, the memories infiltrated even through all the changes. When she sat in the kitchen, Carolyn made them some coffee and sat down with her. "It's been several months since you were here. You certainly have changed." she said. Sari gulped, remembering her as her second mother, who had nursed her through the worst of times, sometimes risking her own life to protect her. "I've been made an agent now, the Academy days are over for me. No more hell training. I've got another semester after this and I'll have my SFU degree," she iterated. "And how is the Legacy? I know you're back in, you were convinced to rejoin here, after Chicago. I also know Derek is your father," Carolyn said. Sari snapped her head up in surprise, she had never been a member, how would she know all this? "I'm fine. It's been rough. A lot of memories resurfaced, kinda brought me back to square one emotionally," she answered straightforward. The two continued to catch up with each other, they had been out of touch. It was later that afternoon that Derek got back into the city. He called out to the island, but Nick said Sari hadn't returned. "Find her," he said then hung up, frustrated with it all.
Alex called Rachel, but no such luck. Sari was somewhere on the mainland for sure, but she could be innumerable places. After all, she had grown up there. After Nick contacted some mutual friends, he was about to give up, exasperated. Then Alex had an idea. "Would she be back at home, with your mom?" she asked. Nick snapped his fingers, replying, "Of course!" He called home then, and his mom answered. "Hi there Nick. What's going on?" she asked surprised. "Mom, did Sari come there? Derek Rayne is really trying to find her, it's pretty important. If she's there, can I talk to her?" he asked. Carolyn agreed, and Sari took the call upstairs, in her old bedroom. "Hi Nick." she said then was silent. "Look, Sari I don't' know what happened in Ireland, but I have a pretty good idea. Why did you leave like that? For some reason, Derek's really mad about the whole thing, you shouldn't have left," he said. "I don't understand, Nick. I... my personal life should be no one's business but my own. Why is Derek chasing me around like this? I refuse to be treated like I'm a damn four year old!" Sari exclaimed before hanging up on Nick. Knowing that he would alert Derek, Sari scrambled out to her car with her bag. As she drove down the street, her eyes blurred over with tears. Something had happened to Philip, she felt it. She pulled over and blacked out then.
Derek was driving down the street when he saw the car parked half on the curb, the driver slumped on the wheel. He recognized Sari, and quickly pulled over. He carried her to the Range Rover, and dumped her in the backseat. As he was pulling up to the mansion forty minutes later, he heard her rustling in the backseat. Before he could stop, she kicked the backseat window out with her foot and dove out on the road. He jumped out, he was at the end of the lane leading to the mansion, and Nick saw what happened from the upstairs window. Quickly Nick and Alex were outside running towards Derek, kneeling before a bloody figure twisted on the ground, Sari. When they got her in the house, he called Rachel to come out and help her. By the next morning, they received word that Philip had attempted suicide as well, he had been hit by a car. Derek took it upon himself to keep watch over the girl now, as arrangements were made to have Philip brought back to recuperate there.
Sari woke up to a coaxing voice, asking her to get up. Rachel put her arm around the girl and helped her sit up. When she did, she winced in pain, clutching her stomach. She felt like there were knives stabbing her from the inside, and felt it all coming up to the surface. She dashed into her bathroom and vomited, and when she looked up she saw Rachel behind her. Wiping her mouth, Sari turned to face her, eyes wild. "I feel like crap. This is the worst pain," she whispered crackily, barely audible. Rachel smiled smugly, saying, "Welcome to the joys of pregnancy, Sari." Sari looked down and felt her abdomen, and a flash hit her, there was life in her, it was a totally new sensation. Then she remembered, and asked, "Where's Philip? I saw headlights..." Rachel looked at her strangely then, thinking it was possible the couple had forged a connection and knew what the other was feeling, despite distance separating them. "He was hit by a car, just standing out in the middle of the road," she said. Sari calmed herself down, and looked down at the floor. "Do you want it, Sari?" Rachel asked her, astonished. She looked up at Rachel, saying, "Yes. It's a girl, and her name will be Julia Elizabeth." Derek wandered in then, and heard her statement. "I know," he interrupted. He took her shoulders in his hands, and turned her around. "Christina told me you'd have this child. She will be the embodiment of the Legacy, a heritage richer than all of us," he continued. When he saw her will in her eyes, he held her close to him and closed his teary eyes. The child would be a miracle in herself, but would also be a damnation to Philip, if he let it. Would he ever accept this, Derek wondered.
Alex and Rachel helped Sari gain her strength after a couple of weeks. Derek himself went out to Ireland to accompany Philip back to the states, while Nick stood in as precept. Sari went back to work at the FBI part-time, as before. Meanwhile, a report came in from Hawaii. An unusual artifact had been discovered there, and Rachel was sent to bring it back to San Francisco. She called Sari at her office, and asked her to watch after Kat for the meantime. "You need the practice, my dear. I'll see you later then." she said, and hung up on Sari. She gave her signature of concurrence on some documents regarding a recent investigation and autopsy. The local reports were now complete, every detail turned through and the case was closed when she closed the folder. Signing off for the day, she went to Kat's school and found her waiting inside, drawing while the teacher waited for Sari to show. "Hey there kitten!" she exclaimed when Kat ran to her. Kat leapt and bounded out to Sari's Blazer, and she remembered there was no space in the passenger seat, her laptop and fax were lying there. Scooping them up, she placed them in the case between the seats. They stopped over to Rachel's house and picked up some things for Kat before driving out to the mansion. Nick came out and looked at Sari get out, while Kat ran off for the swingset around back. "Let's walk for awhile, Nick. Come on." Sari said, taking his arm. As they watched Kat run across the jungle gym, Sari spoke. "How's it feel to be precept, at least interim?" she asked. He grinned, saying, "Hey, for us power freaks it's awesome!" She laughed at him, and pushed him. He ran after her, and tackled her, giggling, like little kids again. He tickled her till she begged to give up. When he got up, she jumped him from behind and he fell forward. When they hit the ground, Sari gasped in sudden pain, sucking in her breath, her eyes wide. Nick was afraid he'd hurt her, but when he turned around to see, he didn't see anything wrong with her. Suddenly she ran inside.
The phone had rung, and Alex picked it up. Derek slowly told her that Philip had relapsed into a coma, and wasn't expected to live through the night. When he couldn't talk anymore, he just hung up. Alex whirled to see a dazed Sari. "Something's wrong isn't it? I felt it." she said. Alex just nodded, and immediately determination flooded into Sari, down to her toes. "I'm going out there, I have to. Take care of Kat for me, please, Alex." Alex agreed, and Sari started making phone calls, first to British Airways then to the hospital where Philip was. She sped away in her Blazer, not even with any extra clothes. When Sari got hold of Derek, she was on her flight out. "I'll be arriving in 8 hours, I'm taking the Concourse jet out to Dublin. How is he, Derek? I felt a jerk real sudden then nothing. Was he conscious at all?" she asked, running her hands through her hair, frustrated. Derek replied, "He was awake for some time, he said he missed you and hoped all would be well for you forever. I...can't take it." Derek broke down then, and Sari started to cry in unison. "I should never have left him!" she murmured, then a wave of pain crossed her again, and she ran for the bathroom in first class, while holding a cell phone. It must have been a sight, a crying girl running down the aisle with a cell phone, holding her mouth shut tight. She retched hard, while Derek heard her on the other end. She sat there, leaning against the wall, as turbulence hit, and she threw up even more. "Sari! Sari?" Derek exclaimed. She shut her eyes, and sat down on the floor of the cubicle. "I'm here. It's just some morning sickness. Or is it evening? I don't even know anymore." she said. "You shouldn't even be traveling, sweet." he argued. "Well, you can't stop me, Derek Rayne. I don't care how fucking sick I am, Philip is worse, and needs me, and I don't give up easily." she replied, hanging up then as another wave of sickness whooshed through her.
The Dublin airport was certainly busy, but Sari managed to find an ATM, convert some money, and hail a taxi. She realized she had nothing with her but her purse then, but went straight to the hospital anyway. Instinctively, she paid the driver and headed through the hospital up to 5th floor. Derek greeted her at the elevator, and she stormed past him to the room. When she saw that white pale face, emotionless, almost dead, she stifled a cry and fainted in a heap. She awoke to the smell of food, and hungrily ate a sandwich that Derek handed her. Some color returned to her cheeks, and he was relieved to see it. She was tired then, and curled herself around Philip on the side of his bed. Derek pulled some covers over her, and kissed her warm cheek. He continued his vigil, looking at the two curled together, his children as he thought of them.
While they were asleep, Derek realized Sari had no extra clothes with her, so he sent out for some. Down in the cafeteria, he called back to the mansion, and informed them of Sari's arrival. "How's Rachel's trip?" he asked. Nick replied, "Fine, she got back today with the 'voodoo' box. Alex thinks it is from the Pacific natives that lived there, migrated from India. There was an ancient clan there supposedly. But I could care less about that, I just hope you guys get back here safely." Derek agreed and they gave up on continuing the conversation. Back up in Philip's room, he saw Sari, wide awake now, pressing her hands on his cheeks. he also noticed that she was barefoot, and saw her socks on Philip's feet, how odd. Her leather jacket was covering his chest as well. When she felt Derek behind her, she said, "He's so cold, I have to warm him up." She began to shake at the sound of her own voice and he embraced her tightly while all the sadness flowed out. He sat down on a chair, and Sari curled up in a ball on his lap, like a child. She was so light, he realized. He stroked her back as she sobbed into oblivion again. When she was asleep, he pulled down his long coat from a hangar and covered her up in the chair, while walking around outside for awhile. It was about midnight when he wandered back in, and this time he saw staff running frantically to Philip's room as he stepped off the elevator. Sari came out amidst the havoc, towards Derek. "What's happened?" he asked. "He went into arrest. I rang for the nurses and resuscitated him, he's still alive and now he's awake," she said. "You brought him back," he smiled. She let out a sigh and hugged her father.
Derek sent Sari back home, knowing she needed to get rest, and she didn't fight him. He accompanied Philip home a month later, after things had calmed down. Alex was glad to have her back, she was very very sick, and needed bedrest for three days straight. Rachel awaited Derek's return, because she felt she needed to have Sari with her at all times, on the mainland. The girl was dealing with heavy emotions, and was pregnant, so Rachel was certainly in a position to help her. When Nick brought Derek and Philip back in the helicopter, Sari watched them from the window in the library as Rachel and Alex helped Philip get upstairs to his room. She avoided Philip at all costs, and looked at the garage, where her blazer waited, packed full of her stuff, to go to Rachel's. Rachel took Derek to his study, and they agreed Sari would be better off on the mainland with her. Sari crept into Philip's room and just stared at the man sleeping there. The man that broke her heart, yet still she loved him, and silently kissed his cheek before leaving.
Nick and Rachel helped Sari get unpacked that same day at Rachel's home. She made up the guest bedroom and bathroom to her satisfaction, and thanked Rachel again for putting up with her. Then Nick took her for a walk, so they could talk. "You're 20, Sari. I don't know if you really are ready to be a mother. Might sound dumb for me to say it, and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't wanna see you stuck. And Philip obviously wants nothing to do with any of it, which I think is crazy too. I wish you could just make me understand," he said. She looked up at him and smiled, a rare smile lately. "I don't care if he doesn't want this. It's his choice. But I can't give this up, because I feel it in the core of my soul, Nick. It's not an it, it's a she, I already know. I don't expect anyone is really ready for kids, but I will live. My gosh, I've lived through so much, and you still doubt my capacity?" she asked. He shook his head, saying "I just want to know, how are you going to keep doing all that you do now after this?" She answered him, "I graduate from SFU in a few months, in May, and after that I'll just be doing FBI work beyond our precious Legacy realm. I don't really see much conflict, it's almost like it really was predestined, like Derek said." Her calmness bewildered Nick, but he accepted her version of it, and gave her a huge hug. It had been so long since they just talked, he missed it. She was so very special, he realized, and if this was right to her, then it was right to him.
When Nick got back to the mansion that night, Derek was waiting for him, as well as Alex. He talked to both of them, giving Sari's point of view. When he was done, Alex asked, "Where do we go from here, then?" Derek spoke up, saying, "Well, Sari and Philip still have feelings, even if they don't show it. The best thing to do is just keep them separate when handling our cases, so nothing gets in the way of our work." They all agreed with this at least, and left it at that.
It was an overcast Tuesday in March, and Sari was in the library finishing her term papers for SFU. She sighed when she finished, and went downstairs for a snack. Finding her stash of Butterfinger bars, she grabbed one. Along with some more coffee, she trudged up to the computer room, wondering if anything new was up. She checked her email, and found an attached file from Paula Higgel, the forensics specialist in Chicago, also a Legacy member. She had found some interesting information on the database at Fort Evanston, Illinois, the Center for UFO Research. Sari looked at the file, and her eyebrows raised when she saw her name on a report from 1979. It was a report on the incident surrounding Sabrina Boyle's disappearance. Some attached (and classified) info was not forthcoming, but Sari decided to crack the code and see why it was so interesting. Alex came in and watched behind her back, as Sari downloaded the document. It was binary code, a language to digitalize information. When she converted it, she found that the translation was a satellite transmission received in Houston AFB that same night. Then she read on in Paula's note: "now look up some of SETI's records from the past few nights. There might be a connection. You can solve it, I'm sure. Later, butterfinger phreak:)" Sari laid back and smiled. Then she plowed into the work ahead of her. Sure enough, SETI(Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) in New Mexico had received a signal, and she compared the two. Then she compared them as aiff files, and played them simultaneously. Perfect matches! She leaped up and shrieked happily, jumping up and down with Alex. It seemed that the two attracted a crowd, because Derek and Nick stood in the doorway, looking rather puzzled. Then Sari explained what Paula had found, grinning ear to ear. "I now have proof. The military can't disprove this," she concluded.
Philip came at first to see what was going on, but left after Sari saw him. She ate supper in silence, thinking of what she was going to write. Sari was a devout writer of freelance articles explaining the unknown, from the occult to crop circles to surface burns to UFO sightings. Later that night, she sat down with more coffee still, and set about writing up the article. It took all night, but when complete, it was a masterpiece. She submitted it to the San Francisco Journal, where a friend of hers worked. She asked to keep it under her pseudo name, Soyleb, an anagram for S. Boyle. Logging off completely at 5am, Sari walked around awhile, and the hairs on her neck shivered when she passed Philip's room. She picked up her briefcase downstairs, left a note for Derek, and went home to Rachel.
Rachel woke up at 5:30am, and went downstairs to get ready for work. Sari was there, watching the sunrise through the patio door. "Hi, you're up early. Up all night, or just getting up?" she asked. Sari turned to her and replied, "Up all night." Rachel didn't look a bit surprised, but when she saw the girl wasn't even tired, she got curious. "So, what did you do?" she questioned. "I found another connection between my mother's disappearance and some transmissions from SETI recently," she said, then explained the rest. "It's concrete evidence that the government is covering something, and it'll be published tomorrow for sure in the Journal. I'd like to see those guys fidget in Washington, heh. Both signals were caught by Wolf Industries surveillance equipment, the CIA's number one contractor. It's all legitimate," she finished. "Sounds like you're asking for trouble, Sari. I don't know much about what happened here, but you're in for a real Pandora's box. You better be ready for it," Rachel replied. Sari narrowed her eyes, and answered, "My mother was killed by those people when I was four, right in front of my eyes. It's payback time, Rachel."
Derek was eating breakfast with Alex, Nick and Philip on Thursday morning when he spit out his coffee in a rush. He gasped when he saw the newspaper, third page. It was Sari's article. Alex looked up, and Nick looked at what Derek saw. "Oh jeezus! She actually submitted it!" he cried. Philip looked at the article as well. The author was Soyleb? Derek read his thoughts, and said, "It's an anagram, Philip. Sari's not dumb enough to put her name on this, or she would be dead by now. She might be hotheaded, but she's not stupid. Dammit, that girl is getting herself in trouble! I wish she hadn't done this!" Enraged, he left the room in a huff and headed off to the mainland in his Rover. When he reached Rachel's house, he waited until Sari got home from the FBI. It was noon, and she was there only part-time. She wasn't surprised to see the Range Rover in the driveway. "Well, hello dear, dear father. What brings you here?" she asked sarcastically. "You know what the hell brings me here, don't you dare play games," he said. "My informant at NICAP said they loved the story, and confirmed that NASA's going crazy denying everything," she replied, smirking. "You think it's funny to put all of us in danger, especially yourself?" he asked, enraged. He grabbed her arms tightly. She pulled out of his reach, and pushed him away. "Don't you dare, Derek! They killed my mom!" she shrieked. Derek didn't know what to do, so he just sat down, as Sari stared at him. She wasn't sad, she was angry. "Payback's a bitch, isn't it Derek? You sure would know," she replied. "Look, Sari, you've proven that what happened is real. I know it, you know it, all of San Francisco knows it now. But to expose yourself isn't wise. You're a very brilliant girl, but you lack common sense. And pretty soon, you're going to be a mother. Please, for your sake and the child's, don't pull any more stunts like this, OK?" he pleaded. Sari nodded, understanding him. When she started to cry, she sat down and he knelt to hug her. "I miss her so much. I had to do it," she sobbed. "I know, honey, I know you do," he whispered soothingly. They had finally reached the base of her problems, and had reached that empathy she so lacked. Sari had finally avenged her mother's death, and felt some closing after having published her story.
It amazed Philip at what Sari could achieve in the space of a couple days. She had finished out her semester at SFU, two months ahead. She had hacked several files, written a story about it, and published it. She had brought high military officials to their knees, as the various paranormal clubs united behind the story, running amuck the government and its secrets. Nick had to run Philip into town to another parish and when he visited Sari, he greeted her at the door, saying, "All hail the Great Sari, who has brought the military to its knees! Sieg heil! Down wit' the government!" Derek watched Nick's joke, and Sari laughed hard. "I don't speak much German, Nick, stop it! You prankster, come on in," she said, smiling at him. He embraced her, and said, "Good to see you too, sis," Derek enjoyed the fact that Nick and Sari had bonded well since childhood. It gave him hope that Sari could get over the past with Nick and his joking ways at her side. He still wondered about her and Philip, though, there was so much yet unresolved.
"So why are you here, Nick?" she asked him. "Oh, Philip had to run an errand, just thought I'd come along and see how Derek was grillin' ya." he said. They looked over at Derek then, and he answered, "I guess I said what I have to. I hope you can help us with our cases, Sari. Might not be as powerful a story as chasing down alien life force, but it's just as important. Use some sense from now on, Sari, that's all I ask," She nodded at him, and bit her lip anxiously. "I know. It's something I had to do. For my mom, I know you understand...dad," she replied.
So, another mystery in Sari's life was resolved, although there were more to come. Philip still had to come to terms with her existence. She had to come to terms with his. Derek knew the Legacy would never be the same, that was for sure.
There was a lot of pent-up frustration still within Sari, and she decided to try to run it out. On a warm April weekend, she went out to the FBI training grounds, and worked out on the course ten times before stopping and wiping the sweat off her face and arms. She did a few laps around the track then, pounding the pavement with all she was worth.
After she finished out her energy, she went to the locker room and showered. When she came out, a well dressed man approached her. "Why have you come?" she asked. "Your actions have brutal implications, you've seen things never to be seen, and brought them to light. An investigation is being held in your name, and on Monday you'll be notified of a hearing. I would advise the utmost of caution. Care and discretion are now crucial. Remember that I will only protect your position so long as it's in my best interest as well," the man said. Sari nodded. "What is your interest, may I ask," she questioned. He replied, "The truth." She wondered how much of the truth could ever be found. "They're here, aren't they?" she implored desperately as he walked off. "Ms. Boyle, they are here and have been here a long time," he answered, disappearing from sight.
On Monday, Sari was called in to a meeting, and questioned all morning, exasperatedly. A censure and even suspension were recommended, yet she could care less. Her contact was protecting her for now, her ass was on the line but she covered her bases. No information was given to the NSA(National Security Administration), who demanded where she got her sources. Her connection in Congress assured her that she need not divulge any of this, and so she left feeling like a hurricane had swept through her, and was certainly not prepared for what lay ahead.
Derek awaited Sari's arrival to the mansion on Monday afternoon, with the Legacy's next case in hand. When she came, he ushered her into the conference room where Alex, Rachel, Nick, and Philip were waiting as well. "I just got this from the Cairo house. A sarcophagus has been unearthed near the Giza plateau. It has some sort of portal in it, along with tablets encrypted in ancient Egyptian, but it can't be deciphered, they were hoping we might be able to identify it. I didn't know you knew ancient Egyptian, Sari, but one of their members was certain you do, so we get to study the contents. As we speak, it's being shipped here. Nick, you and I are going to make sure it gets here from LAX. Sari, you are to pull up some of our archives on Egyptian languages. Alex, help her put all of it on computer. Philip, I want you to help Rachel clear out the living room, so we can put it in there," Derek said. "I'm surprised they couldn't devise it in Cairo. It must be a tricky hieroglyphic sequence. And it's been five years since I even looked at Egyptian," Sari thought aloud. Derek answered her, "It's not really hieroglyphics, from what the precept there said, it's more like actual symbols instead." He and Nick left then. Philip knew some Egyptian as well, and looked at Sari strangely. Also a linguist, was there no end to her knowledge? She narrowed her gaze at Philip when he stared at her. When Derek and Nick had gone, she pushed him angrily down on his chair and said, "Stop staring at me all the time, dammit, Philip!" After her ordeal that morning, she was a walking time bomb, and couldn't deal with Philip right then. Rachel and Alex looked up in surprise, as Sari raced upstairs to the library to start her work.
Sari was pulling down a large old book in the library and handed it to Alex to scan in. It was a book of Sari's dedicated to her from her mother. The pages were old and worn and yellowed, the sign of a well used book. "This is the only one I'll need," Sari said. Meanwhile, Nick and Derek had the huge parcel tied down to the roof of the Rover, and drove the thing up to the entrance of the house. Philip came out and helped them unload it in the living room, and when Sari looked at it, she didn't recognize the writing at all. "It's preDynastic, before any of the Pharoahs. It was found near Giza, though, right?" she said aloud. Derek nodded, and confirmed the locale. "Alex, do some carbon dating for me, OK?" Sari asked. Alex agreed. Rachel looked at the circular portal, it was really odd. Suddenly, Sari came up and touched it. Then she licked a side of it. "It's a metal, but I don't recognize it," she said. "Nick, run diagnostics on it." Derek said before leaving them to their work. It intrigued him how the girl could be so curious, and answer her own questions before anyone else could. Fascinated, Sari stayed up all night for three nights while still going to work during the day, trying to figure it out. By Friday, she still had no answers, although the tablets had been translated easily. They said, 'Hail Ra, Sun God, giver of eternal life. He who travels will find the new world. Balance is restored in this earth.' She needed some air, so she went up to the roof and stared up at the sky. She found all the constellations she could, and suddenly looked again. She shook her head, it couldn't be. Suddenly she ran downstairs, and gasped. It was Orion, the constellation, that she had seen in the sky and saw the same pattern on the portal.
Derek couldn't believe what she was saying, but it seemed logical when she explained it. "These are all constellations, seemingly giving an address. Three dimensionally, the symbols show a location, far beyond here. Current science has defined four major galaxies, this one appears to be in the furthest one known to us. I know it sounds really far fetched, but what if the theory is true, that the first real Egyptians were alien life, far advanced? It explains the regression of their language, becoming so barbaric, and how the pyramids of Egypt are so advanced and well-built, yet so old, and as yet unexplained? The egyptian culture regressed for thousands of years, until Greek culture took over. Tell me I'm crazy!" she challenged. "You're crazy." Nick said, grinning. Sari thwacked him playfully, saying, "You dolt, heh." Philip, as a member of the faith, said, "I don't think you're right, Sari." She turned on him quickly, asking, "What makes you say that?" He answered, "This seems more like a cult worship case to me. The Egyptians were similar to other societies in that they answered questions with mystical beliefs. It's nothing more than a part of that. Their relics that we interpret don't represent anything real, it's based on faith, not fact. What I find fantastic here is that any of this can be considered the truth." Sari continued the debate, saying, "Then how do you explain Khufu's Tomb having no writing yet being a place of worship? If mysticism is based on relics and writings, please explain it." Philip looked at her in surprise, thinking how well a debater she was. "The English found writing there, in the 1930's," he said. Sari questioned him further, saying, "If you really know your history, Philip, you'd also know that the scientist was a fraud. The so-called writing he 'discovered' was misspelled, like in his translation guide. Later found, no one questioned him because he was highly regarded. There never was writing in that pyramid chamber." The two continued arguing heatedly for twenty minutes, like a tennis match. Derek could see they might be there until eternity arguing all of this, so he said, "Alright enough, you two, whatever this stuff means, we need to figure out where that portal opens to, so let's just agree that there's stuff that might not be explainable, not yet anyway." They all agreed, and Derek sent Sari home, she needed sleep. She had been working full-time that week, and was staying up nights to solve the puzzle there too.
It was 2:48am. A light burst through the circle of the Egyptian portal in the living room. Without warning, every mirror in the house cracked. Blood seeped through the cracks, little droplets dripping on the floors of the mansion. Alex woke, startled, when she heard a cracking noise, like someone scratching their fingernails on a chalkboard. When she saw the perfectly straight vertical line going down her full-length mirror, and a drop of blood on the floor below it, she was unable to even scream, her throat choked. Approaching the mirror, she touched it with her finger, when something poked it, and she drew back in horror. Before she could run for help, a replicate of her finger stretched out and shapeshifted into a rope from the mirror. It encircled her, and pulled her to it. She was then pulled to the other side, the next world beyond ours, a transition to another realm of consciousness. It was so cold, she realized. When she screamed, nothing came out of her mouth. When she moved, she felt like lead. It was like a dream, but was real.
The next morning, Sari woke up and yawned loudly, for once feeling refreshed from sleeping through the night. It was Saturday, and she felt like being lazy. Without caring for her appearance, she trudged downstairs in her shorts and T-shirt, and saw Kat was up, watching TV. Rachel had been called in to the hospital, big surprise. "You had breakfast, Kat?" Sari asked. "Yeah. Mommy made me some." she said. Sari nodded and went to get herself some juice and cereal. Having not eaten in 16 hours, she scarfed it in and refilled her cereal bowl, when the phone rang. "Hello?" she asked, chewing her cereal, as she flipped through the mail on the counter beside the phone. Her paycheck had come, it was substantial this month, with all the overtime she had. More than enough to pay Rachel the rent and add to her capital investments. "Hi Sari. Is Alex there?" Derek said. "No, why? What's wrong?" she asked, raising her eyebrows. "She's gone, no note, nothing. It's not like Alex to do this, I think something's gone wrong. Also, we've checked the whole house, and every single mirror here has a perfectly straight crack in it, and a little bit of blood on them. Nick and Philip are going crazy looking for her, I just wanted to let you know, see if you'd seen her. Would you mind coming out today?" he asked, concerned. "Of course I will!" she said quickly, then remembered Kat. "Oh, Rachel's at work. I'll have to bring Kat." she continued. "That's fine. Just get out here soon?" he asked. "I will, Derek. Give me some time though, OK?" she implored. They agreed, and hung up.
"Kitty Kat. We're going out to the island today, babe. You might be bored, so bring along your Nintendo set or some books. I'm gonna take a shower real quick, so you just get ready," she instructed. Kat agreed, and Sari cleaned up within 20 minutes flat, worried about her friend. She left a note for Rachel then. When she pulled on her hiking boots ready for a search, Kat came in, ready to go, and they headed out to the ferry at the pier. Upon the arrival of the Blazer, Nick came out and said they had checked the grounds, called some friends on the mainland, tried every nook and cranny. She went inside, and walked up to a mirror in the dining room, touching the glass. She tasted the substance, it was fresh blood. "It's not hers, I ran it through ballistics," he said, answering her question before it was asked. "Let me see if I can get anything off it," she replied. She pressed her hand to the mirror and closed her eyes. A vision came at her, as if falling on her. She saw Alex huddled on the ground, but she was floating. Several spirits appeared to be crouched around her, seen from above. Their emotion appeared to be that of craving. Christina came to her then, and explained with a riddle, "They want life, after all their strife," Sari at first didn't understand, but Christina disappeared shortly after.
Sari came back from her trance, and tried to understand. She told Nick what she saw, and he was just as perplexed. Derek and Philip came in from outside then, and followed Kat into the dining room, where Sari and Nick were staring at each other. "I saw her, Derek. She's on the other side," she explained. "The other side?" Philip asked. "It's a transition world, between this and the next. It's a plane of existence similar to that of dreams. You're not really conscious when you're there. I've been there, and it's not pleasant. It's always cold. It's blindingly dark, yet so light, like at sunset when you can barely see because of the light, yet it's getting dark," she explained. Derek asked, "How did she get there?" She shook her head, saying, "I don't know. My guess is that portal has something to do with how she got in. I think we unleashed a demon of sorts just by translating it. And it's trying to use her to keep the other spirits bouyed. Her presence there is distracting them. We have to get her out, for her sake and theirs."
"If anyone has to face this, it'll be me." Derek decided. "But we don't know how to fight it." Philip argued. "I do, but I can't go in." Sari interrupted. The puzzled looks prompted her explanation, "If I go in there, I'll lose the child. Any being not yet born, brought in there dies automatically. As it is, whoever goes in will stop breathing while there. When you return, Derek, we have to submerse you in a bathtub. Water is the only way to bring you back to life. Alex has been in there for several hours now, it may be hard to get her back, but let's hope she's alright." Derek consulted his father's book and sure enough, the girl was right. Down to a tee. Her familiarity was strange, and he wondered when she had ever been there, but didn't question it.
Sari joined him in the library, reading from his father's journal. "Am I correct?" she asked. He nodded slowly, and grabbed her shoulders loosely to face him. "There's something you're not telling me." he said. Her chin quivered, as if she were going to cry, but she held her own, and her eyes widened at the memories. She spoke softly, saying, "It's so far away, so distant. They took us both, but I came back, and she didn't." Derek confirmed, "Your mother." She nodded back at him. "I know I have no proof or anything, but my theory is that the separate world we call Heaven is really another state of being, where we change in shape, mind and soul. That 'plane of existence' is of human origins, but those things aren't human on the outside." Derek shook his head, what a weird idea, to think that Heaven could be an alien planet! "You don't believe me." she murmured, as if she had heard it before. Skepticism in her ideas was common, which was why she rarely expressed them. But firsthand knowledge gave her a sense of Truth, whether others believed or not. This was also why she had questioned her religion so much, and why she was versed in these subjects like Philip. To find explanations for her experiences.
Nick came in and interrupted, saying, "Everything's ready, we gotta get Alex now." The three of them met up with Philip in the living room. Derek quickly took charge, "OK, Nick help me get some rope secured, Sari, you're going to repeat the saying and I want you to watch for any trouble, so look through the mirror. Philip, you'll help when I have Alex." Sari then found Kat when they were in the living room, and she said, "Kitten, we're going to get Alex now. You be sure to stay close to Philip, and away from me for awhile, OK? I'm going to be busy helping, so be careful, sweetie." She nodded at Philip, and he took her hand and stepped out of the room for awhile with her.
Sari uttered the words aloud from the tablets, as the portal activated. Nick helped Derek tie the rope around himself, to use as a guide getting back. When the last syllable in the sequence was uttered, Sari started to shiver, feeling a cold rush through her skin. She held herself steady as Nick pulleyed up the rope, and kept hold himself to be sure. They watched in silence as the light enveloped Derek, crouched to go through it. Sari pressed her palm to a mirror then, and closed her eyes. She was hovering above again, watching Alex suspended below her. Then she saw Derek, searching, out on the edge. Sending him a telekinetic message, she said aloud, "Look to your left. Look, dammit, look! OK, you see her. It's hard to walk, you have to lean into the atmosphere around you, or you can't move. The gravitation force is strong. Come on, you can't use your feet here. There, you're getting it." With her eyes closed, the wrinkles in her forehead creased, as her energy signature zoomed in on her father's actions. Guiding him with her voice, she encouraged him. Nick took her free hand and squeezed it, waiting for the signal. She continued in her muse, muttering, "To get her awake, open her eyes. Make her look at me, I'm above you. Can you see me? You see me, good. Watch me closely. Wrap your arms around her tightly. If the your bond breaks before we have her out, she'll be theirs forever. Nick!!" He understood the urgency in her breaking voice, driving unseen forces away from the pair in unfamiliar surroundings. "Get them out of there, NOW!" she screamed. Nick ran over to the rope and pulled hard. Philip came when he heard her shrieks, and saw Nick grinding his teeth, pulling the rope with all he could. Philip quickly assisted him as Kat watched fearfully. As they were halfway out, something raged inside the circle and attempted to pull them back in. Sari pulled her hand from the mirror, it was literally smoking, some burns on the palm. Without feeling the pain, she came and took hold of Derek under his arms and grunted using more force than she had ever used before. The three of them managed to pull Derek and Alex out, wrapped together tightly. A strange clear gel was caked over the both of them.
"They're not breathing! Not breathing! Get them in the water!" Sari ordered frantically. As Nick and Philip got the two in the bathtub, a face flew through the circle and raged straight in Sari's face, mingling with her own screams, much larger than her own. It was the demon that had taken Alex. Her arms thrown above her head, she fell backwards to the floor. When Philip saw the attack, he came into the room, and repeated the incantation used to open the circle. It now closed up, pulling the entity back in, as the house shook. When she got back on her feet, Sari ran upstairs and found a jackhammer. The whole room spun like a top. Back downstairs, she destroyed the portal as the screams sputtered to a horrific end.
They went upstairs then to see how Derek and Alex were, and when Nick looked up at them, he swore he saw a glint in Sari's eye, as they changed back to a light blue color. She grinned at him, raising her eyebrow and he laughed. Finally, in an absurd way, they all joined in and laughed at the situation. It was then that Rachel came in the doorway, and stared at them all, thinking they had gone mad. Philip choked when he saw her, and stopped. Then they all stopped. "Oh, Alex, it's good to have you back." Sari exclaimed, hugging her. "It was so weird, I don't even remember half of it." she said, standing up. Derek stood up as well, and spoke, "We should explain this to Rachel, it must look pretty strange, eh?" Nick smiled at that, thinking how it must appear. To see Alex and Derek in the bathtub, soaking wet, Nick and Philip crouched, laughing hard, and Sari giggling while toting the sledgehammer she had used earlier, while Kat clung to her jeans. Just another typical day at the Legacy.
When everything was straightened out, Rachel left to go home with Kat. Derek and Alex headed off to their rooms to clean up. Nick decided to go out for awhile, still the perpetual night owl. Sari decided to stay, she had to speak to Philip about the future and nature of their relationship. They headed off to the library after everyone else had gone to bed. It had been a unique day, for sure. "What are we going to do, Philip? You can't just dismiss me, yet you value your position in the Church. I wish you could just love me, but it's not that easy, is it?" she asserted, questioningly. He looked down at the rug, and answered, "No, it's not." She approached him and took his chin in her hands, pulling his face up to eye level. "Do you regret it?" she asked, penetrating his gaze. "No. I wish I did, it would make this so much easier." he replied in a cracking voice. Sari thought then that he would end it, but instead he grabbed her hand, holding up his face. She tried to pull away, but he kept grasping it. He was saying one thing, and doing another. His thoughts and emotions were completely separate. Unable to resist, she curled a strand of his hair with her fingers, tracing around his scalp. Her voice lilted in a purr, "Yes..." She led him down the hall to his room, the furthest one down the hall, and quietly closed the door.
That night, Philip stayed there with her, not running this time. As she slept, he felt the life inside her. The moment touched him deeply. This was his child. And hers. It was hard to believe that this could give him grief. He rested his head on her stomach, and fell asleep that way.
It was morning, and Alex and Nick were up. Derek woke and dressed, and slipped down the hall. He opened Philip's door silently while watching the two sleep peacefully, and remembered both as children. He hated to spoil the moment, so he left them and went downstairs to breakfast. It left a smile on his face, yet he felt trepidation in his heart. Wishing nothing but the best for them, he just decided to let it work itself out.
Sari opened her eyes slowly, listening to the birds sing. Another rare, sunny day spilt light in the Angel Island mansion. The stained glass windows made colors dance around the walls and ceiling, like a crystal's reflection. She ran her hand over Philip's cheek slowly, waking him up. Realizing where he was, he turned to see her. She smiled so happily at him, and blissfully kissed him before stretching out and standing up. He watched her do some situps, while stretching her back to loosen up the joints that caused so much grief to her lately. Rachel told her to expect it, just another great thing to look forward to. A little smirk came on his face when he saw she couldn't bend as easily anymore, with that little bulk in the middle. Without saying a word, he went into the bathroom and took a shower. Five minutes later, he was startled by a cool hand on his neck from behind, and Sari stepped in, joining him.
It was a Sunday morning, and Philip had to rush off to his parish at 9:30, even though it wasn't his day to preach he still had to be there. Sari decided to accompany him. She felt like being in a church this morning anyway. She drove quickly, since Mass started at 10am in the church. It was weird to escort her in to the church, and she dashed up a back stairwell to the balcony, as he joined her there. She stared at the Bishop giving a sermon. He looked up at her several times, and she returned the gaze, never backing away. Afterwards, in the Fireside room, used for socializing after Mass, the Bishop came up to her personally, saying, "I haven't seen you in a long time, but I think I know who you are." She answered, "I'm Sari Boyle. My mother's name was Sabrina, perhaps you know of her." He nodded, "Of course. She was in Italy years ago, I heard about what almost happened to her. Some lunatics attacked her in the name of God, so they said, how awful." Sari looked at him strangely, replying, "Yes, well she escaped and had me." She recalled the way the Church had set about trying to kill her, and felt betrayal wasn't beneath this man. "I see there might be good reason for you to be here. Are you hoping to have the child christened here?" he said, nodding towards her belly. A smug grin on her face showed her defiance, as she answered, "I thought it fitting to come for Mass, remembering the past. And yes, I might have her christened here." Philip came up to them then, and said, "I see you've found the Bishop." She nodded, a coy look on her face. "I should probably get going, work at the FBI calls on Monday, and I still have some things to sort out at the Luna foundation." she baited, knowing he'd understand the undertone. The Bishop looked at her abruptly, in surprise. As Philip and Sari left, he whispered to her, "You're Derek Rayne's daughter, aren't you?" Without answering, she left more hurriedly, feeling claustrophobic. She needed to be outside.
What was to become of all this? she wondered. The hierarchy would now be informed of her appearance, and told of her pregnancy. I can defend myself, she thought, and tramped off to the Blazer ahead of Philip. She hoped that she hadn't opened herself up to a fight she couldn't win, remembering her mother's past, attacked by holiness, barely alive to make it back to the states while pregnant with Sari. She cringed at the thought, which brought rage to the surface. What battle lay next in her life? she wondered to herself.
to be continued on the next page...