Chapter One: Vulpes vulpesEdit
Just another normal day in the Warehouse. Alarms were blaring, people were shouting and clamoring over furniture and each other and several things were on fire. Par for the course.
"TRAI! Leave the filing cabinet alone!" Myka screamed at the collie who was making a blizzard out of shredded files.
"Petey, get back here with my keys!" yelled Blaine at the ferret who had ducked behind a sofa.
"No Shodi! That's not a scratching post!" shouted Abi, as the mobile fur ball bolted away from a mutilated chair leg.
"Damn it Felix! How did that blasted fox of yours manage to start a fire like this!" Artie exploded at the agent who was trying to coax his pet out from under a table.
"I don't know, someone left a glass of water by an outlet! He's not usually like this. What's up with everyone today?"
Artie managed to quell the fire and chucked his extinguisher onto the chair. "I'll tell you what the problem is. We're not a pet shelter. There's too many animals here."
Suddenly a flash of purple light grabbed everyone's attention. Claudia stood in the door way with a static bag in her hand. "Did any of you bother to check for artifact disturbances? Anyone?" Everyone in the room suddenly looked sheepish. She opened the bag and reached a purple-gloved hand inside. "Property of one Vladimir Durov, a safety glove that reverts animals to a wild state."
Artie's brow furrowed as Trailer bumped his head against is hand, demanding attention. "But we have Durov's glove in the Barnum sections. It makes them behave so they could be used in shows." He absently scratched Trai's head, causing the dog to excitedly wag his tail.
"That's Anatoly Durov. This was his brother. Someone snagged this one a few months back but apparently it never got cataloged. One of the little furballs must have found it down the back of a desk or something and set it off." She dropped it back into the bag, causing it to let off a small spark.
"So they should be fine again?" Abi asked hesitantly, reaching out to Shodi. She smiled when the cat rested his head on her palm and began purring.
Blaine picked up his keys from where Pete had dropped them at his feet before running off. "I didn't know you had a fox, Felix."
The small red vulpine leapt into Felix's arms and licked his cheek. "He was at the wedding, how did you miss him?"
"There were more important things happening, in case you forgot," he replied with a small grin. "Wonder how their honeymoon is going."
"You can ask them when they get back." Artie interrupted his rumination. "In the meantime, you three have a job to do." He pointed at Felix, Blaine and Claudia. "That's what I came in here to tell you before my coat ignited." He shot a glare at Felix and the fox, who both managed to look guilty. "You three have been called out to Eureka. Thy asked for you lot personally."
All three faces lit up. "Seriously?! They asked for us?" Blaine said enthusiastically.
"Well, yes and no."
"Oh." Blaine's face fell slightly.
"They requested someone who's good with biotech, that's you," he gestured at Blaine, "Our animal expert, that's you," he gestured at Felix, "And Claudia was asked for by name by that Bismark boy."
"Dougie!" Claudia said with considerable excitement. "When do we go?"
Artie threw her a set of keys. "Go pack."
Chapter 2: Edmondtonia rugosidensEdit
"So what's your history with the town, Claude?" Blaine asked. The three young adults were piled into the back of a rather impressive car that had been sent to collect them from the local airport. Blaine and Claudia were seated in the back, while Felix appeared to be asleep in the passenger seat. Ample leg space meant that Felix's fox, Target, was able to curl into a small ball on the floor. His head lifted to glance at Claudia, as if waiting for a response.
"Well, Dougie, I mean Fargo, he came to the Warehouse a few years ago to update the computer systems. Artie was all against it but I think Mrs. F wore him down. Anyway, Dougie accidentally activated an old security system that turned out to be half of Hugo's brain and nearly killed us all.
"Then a few weeks after that I went to visit him and there was a forest in the GD building and some kind of time travel thing going on and I nearly died in a minefield. Felt just like being back at the Warehouse really."
Blaine paled slightly. "T-time travel? What kind of time travel?"
Claudia shrugged, not noticing his discomfort. Target cocked his head at her and she seemed to click. "Oh, OH! No, not that thing. As far as I know, no-one knows about that. Relax Blaine, they couldn't possibly know."
Some color returned to his face, and he absently pet Target, who had jumped onto his lap. "That's good, I always get so anxious coming back here. So who was doing the time warp?"
"It seemed to be all about that Grant guy, the one who brought GD a few years back. They pumped him full of goo to try and buffer the energy coming off him. Something about a link to the forties or around then, when the town was a military unit."
Blaine wrinkled his nose. "Body full of goo doesn't sound fun. Isn't that stuff meant to cause hallucinations or someth-" He was cut off by a sudden crash. The front of the car exploded as if it had hit a wall and flipped onto it's side. The three agents and Target were flung around the inside, their momentum tipping the car onto it's roof. There was a loud noise, almost like a cow, and another massive crash as something powerful struck the side of the car.
Blaine pulled himself through a shattered window to see a large creature in the middle of the road. It had four legs, what looked like a plated back and deadly looking spikes along it's shoulders. More pressing was the large club-like tail that it was preparing to swing at the upturned vehicle again. "Anklyozord?" Blaine muttered in disbelief before quickly coming to is senses and ducking back inside the car.
Claudia looked terrified. "The driver's alive but he's unconscious and looks pretty badly hurt. Felix is...I actually think he's still asleep. But his fox is ok. Looks scared to hell though. What's out there?!"
Blaine gulped. "Um, if this was anywhere else on Earth I'd say I was hallucinating. Given the local levels of insanity, however, I'm going to say dinosaur."
Chapter 3: Australia eccentriciaEdit
"Dinosaur. You're joking, right?" Claudia stared at his incredulously.
"Well it has four legs, scales and a hammer for a tail that just totaled our ride. I'm going with dinosaur, yeah! I'm guessing an Ankylosaurus of some kind, it looked like one of the Dino Gems." The two looked at Felix, who was still somehow asleep. Another crash rocked the car, causing Target to yelp.
The small fox swung around and bit Felix hard on the ear, causing him to finally wake up with a shout. "Good boy." Claudia crooned as she scratched his chin.
"Whazzat? The hell's going on? The world is upside down." Felix slurred groggily, massaging the side of his head.
"Car crashed, dinosaur outside. He seems angry." Blaine explained hurriedly.
"Dinosaur? I call bullshit on that." Felix replied, and he started to pull himself from the wreckage. He promptly pulled himself back in with wide eyes. "On the other hand, I don't mind being proven wrong."
"Now what?" Blaine asked, not really expecting an answer. "I think that thing out there is a bit pissed at us. I'm not going out there first."
Felix's pointed ear twitched slightly. "I don't think that's a problem. Listen."
The three stopped making noise and focused on the sounds outside. "Is that...an engine?" Claudia asked.
"Motorbike engine." Blaine specified.
"And the unmistakable sounds of 80s rock." concluded Felix, grinning. Blaine clicked and started to smile.
"What, why are you so happy?" Claudia probed.
"Help has arrived."
All three agents forced their way out of the fractured windows to see man in a cowboy hat ride onto the scene on an impressive off-road motorcycle. In one hand he had a large gun-like object which he fired at the dinosaur. Electricity arced over it and it slumped over. The man pulled out a walkie-talkie and spoke into it in a thick Australian accent.
"One Edmondtonia snagged on the main road by the town line. Our guests had a bit of a run in with the sheila. Looks like we got one injured, too." He clicked the device off and removed his sunglasses. He walked over to the group with a stoic look and stared them each in the eye.
Then his facade dropped and his face broke into a massive smile. "Felix, Blainey! Cor, it's been yonks since I saw you two last!" He pulled them into a group hug before turning to Claudia. "And you must be Ms. Donovan. Ol' Dougie speaks very highly of you." He offered a polite hand to her, which she accepted.
"Um, don't mean to be rude and everything, It's great to see you too Tagg. But that was a freaking dinosaur." Blaine interjected. Taggart turned to him with a slight frown.
"Yeh, we have a bit or a minor infestation at the moment. More than I can handle on me own. Which is why you lot are here." He beamed at them again.
"Sorry, how can you have a 'minor infestation' of extinct creatures?" Felix asked.
Taggart looked sheepish. "Yeah, we may have been messing around with things we shouldnt've and thing escalated just a smidge."
A look of realization hit Claudia. "Artifact? That's why you asked for the Warehouse, you guys made dinosaurs with an artifact!"
The wait for transport passed relatively quickly. Taggart refused to answer any questions about the dinosaur that still lay unconscious in the road. "It's better if you lot hear it from the source. They can tell you far better than meself."
When a new car did arrive, it came accompanied by an ambulance, a large pick-up and a tow truck driven by the town mayor. "Blaine, Ms. Donovan! It's so good to see both of you again." Henry hopped out of the cab and walked over to shake their hands. "Jim told me what happened, so we have paramedics here to check you for any injuries."
"Hey Henry, or should I say Mr. Mayor!" Claudia smiled at him. "We're all fine, just a few small cuts and stuff. The driver is pretty banged up though, Taggart thinks it might be a concussion."
Henry frowned. "Well, we'll get him back to GD and have him looked over. I see you, uh, you found our new local disaster." He glanced over at the beast as Taggart helped some men in overalls winch it onto the truck.
"Yeah, can't wait to hear the story behind this one." Felix muttered, getting Henry's attention.
"Ah, you must be Mr...Draco? Interesting name." Henry offered his hand to Felix, which was reciprocated.
"Well, I've had an interesting life. I can assure you my parents were a bit more sensible than me at name-choosing."
Henry nodded, glancing at his ears and eyes. "Taggart told me a bit about you. I'm sorry we didn't get to meet last time you were here, but I understand you helped out with that shrew problem we had."
Felix shrugged. "I'm good with animals, I guess. It's why I'm here. Although this," he jerked his head towards the pick-up trundling down the road, "May be out of my league."
Henry frowned again. "Jim's too, I think. He asked for you by name. Said you three deal in the weird. Now Eureka has had dealings with this Warehouse before, but I still don't know exactly what you do. Fargo was awfully vague and that Hugo fellow that came to stay seemed a different variety of odd. And that's saying something."
The agents looked uncomfortable. Henry put his hand up to stop them as Claudia opened her mouth. "It's alright, I know it's some top secret thing you can't discuss. It's just the curiosity of a scientist is all." He smiled at the group and turned towards one of the cars. "Best be heading over to GD. This problem isn't sorting itself out and you guys need to know what we're dealing with."
Chapter 4: Dracorex hogwartsiaEdit
"Where is everyone?" Blaine asked, looking through the window at the deserted streets of Eureka. "This place should be bustling on a Saturday."
"Mass evacuation," replied Henry from the drivers seat. "Either out of town, holed up in GD or in their own doomsday bunkers."
"I'm guessing owning a bunker in this town is as common as having a front lawn." muttered Felix.
Henry laughed, "Almost, I'd say."
"So, I've got to ask, how big is the threat if it required a mass evac?" Blaine asked, glancing around nervously at the vacant shops and abandoned cars.
The former mechanic frowned slightly. "I think it would be easier to show than to tell." He stopped the car in the middle of the road and pressed hard on the horn. The street exploded with noise. Every tree along the road released three or four small flying lizards. A beaked reptile about the size of a cat burst out of an upturned trashcan and bolted into a gutter. A large bipedal dinosaur that looked like a wingless dragon fled from an alleyway, stopping to roar at the car.
The agents in the back seat watched with wide eyes. "You cloned all of these dinosaurs and didn't expect them to escape?" Blaine said incredulously. "There's at least four dozen or them in this street alone. Have you not seen Jurassic Park!?"
Henry scoffed. "Please, I worked with Chriton in the early days of his visions, way before he wrote that book. We were well aware of the dangers involved. In fact, all of the dinosaurs you've seen are either herbivores or insectivores."
"So if you knew the risks, how did so many get loose?" Felix asked.
Henry's brow furrowed in concern. "That's why you're here. The ones we made didn't get loose, they're still locked in our underground biosphere. We have no idea where these ones came from, or why there are so many."
Claudia held her head, "Let's back up to why Eureka needed dinosaurs in the first place. Jurassic Park or not, whose idea was it?"
"Dr. Cope." Henry explained as they neared the GD Headquarters, "Technically it was Chriton's idea, but he was unsuccessful for years. The goal of the project was to understand evolutionary biological processes, and somehow Cope was able to succeed where Chriton had been failing." Pulling up to the front of Global Dynamics, the building looked abandoned due to the lack of cars out front. Parking by the front door, they proceeded to get out.
Felix nodded as he whistled for Target to climb out, "How many dinos do you have in storage?"
"One of each species, varying genders too." Henry explained, "What we can't figure out is where these dinosaurs came from."
"Isn't that why you brought us here Henry?" Claudia asked rhetorically as they headed in.
As the others headed in, Henry hung back with Blaine, "I know we're in the middle of a crisis and all, but word has it that you've been up to something at that Warehouse of yours." Blaine felt the color leave his skin, this was the reason he didn't return from installing the Artifact Organization Code in the Warehouse; time travel was against the core rules of Global Dynamics and he'd already lived in three different timelines (technically the one was a time bubble, but he wasn't going to split hairs).
"Um....yeah....you're talking about the Zeta Waves, right?" Blaine mentally crossed his fingers hoping that was what Henry was talking about.
He nodded, "I heard you managed to use the waves to make a two-way mental radio." Blaine felt a weight roll of his shoulders, "Yeah, that. Technically I had help from Claudia and Hel-" he cut himself off short, another Warehouse secret he couldn't spill.
Henry placed a hand on Blaine's shoulder and walked him into GD, "How about after this is all straightened out, we get a bite to eat at Vincent's and you can show me what you've been up to." Blaine nodded and managed a smile as the two scientists walked in to GD.
Chapter 5: Styracosaurus albertensisEdit
Compared to the abandoned exterior, the inside of Global Dynamics was bustling with life as those who didn't have emergency bunkers were holed up in here. Felix was forced to pick up Target to avoid him from getting crushed in the crowd, to which he licked Felix's face.
When the four of them managed to get to Fargo's office overlooking the main lobby, they were greeted by an exasperated Allison, "Finally Henry, did you get that help you kept talking about?"
"Relax Allison, I got the Warehouse," he gestured to Felix, Blaine, Claudia. Fargo perked up when he saw his old friends walk in, "Blaine? Claudia?" He quickly left his desk and gave them each a quick hug before turning to Felix, "And you must be Felix. Taggart's mentioned you a bit."
The four almost immediately broke into small talk, only to be cut short by Allison. "Sorry, can we sort out the reunions later. Henry, I know we were promised experts but these are just a bunch of teenagers." She glanced at the three awkwardly. "No offense meant.
"I know Ms. Donovan helped out once before, but what experience could these three possibly have dealing with extinct creatures?"
Blaine was about to speak up before being cut off by Henry. "I was surprised too, Allison, but I have it on good authority that these three are more than qualified. Claudia can match Zayne when it comes to tech wizardry, Blaine used to work in biological programming before being moved and I have it under good authority from Taggart that Mr Felix has a certain gift with animals. Though he was a little vague about that..." Henry shot a look of curiosity at the young adult as his fox rested along his shoulders like a scarf.
Allison put a hand to her head. "Yes, alright. We need all the help we can right now. I think you need to come with m to see Jason...I mean Dr. Cope." She lead them down a few corridors, all of them busy with scientists and civilians.
"How long has this been going on for?" Blaine asked, one hand causally scratching Target's head.
"It started about a week ago." Allison replied. "There were some scattered reports of monsters in the woods and strange birds flying around. Nothing too odd for Eureka. Then a Styracosaurus herd smashed Main Street. No-one knew where they'd come from, but after that the population just exploded. We've counted seventeen species so far, and they just keep multiplying."
Claudia looked confused. "And these are all the same kinds you have in the eco-sphere?"
Henry nodded. "Except they're not the same kinds. They are the same. We've done tests on captured ones and every single one is biologically identical to the next. They aren't breeding, they're somehow cloning themselves at an impossible rate!"
Felix and Blaine hung back from the group. "A cloning artifact in the lab?" Felix whispered.
"Most definitely. Maybe the bones were charged. Or the cloning machine."
"Could be something in the town, or in the eco-sphere."
"True, true. I guess we'll have to look everywhere."
"What are you two whispering about back there?" The boys snapped to attention as they noticed Allison and the others looking back at them.
"Sorry," Felix called, "Target here was just getting restless." He scratched the fox behind his ear, causing the vulpine to yip.
She narrowed her eyes in suspicion for a moment. "Right. Well Dr. Cope's office is right though here." She stopped at a nondescript door in the hall and pushed a button on the frame. The door slid open with a whoosh. Desks were cluttered with papers and small pieces of technology and large yellowed bones. Small tools like brushes and picks lined the cabinets and several large machines were humming in the corner. Though there was no scientist to be seen.
"I guess he must have gone down to the sphere..." Henry said.
"Must have." Allison agreed. "It's just down the hall to the elevator, if you'll follow..."
"Actually, do you mind if we look around here for a bit?" Blaine cut her off as she began walking to the door.
She looked mildly surprised. "I don't know, this is very delicate equipment and I don't think Dr. Cope would appreciate a group of ki....young adults messing around with it."
Fargo raised his hand slightly. "I'll stay here with them while you track down Jason. I'll make sure they don't break anything." He smiled unconvincingly.
Henry looked uncertain. "Alright then. We'll be back soon." He looked around at the innocently smiling agents with skepticism before he and Allison left the room, the door sliding closed behind them.
Chapter 6: Anurognathus ammoniEdit
Fargo kept grinning until the doors closed, then he spun around to talk to the group. "It's got to be an artifact, right?Here in GD?" He looked far more exited than before, and it was clear he'd been holding it in for a while.
"Could be," Blaine said. "Why don't you think it's just some new cloning method?"
Fargo's enthusiasm seemed undiminished. "Well first off Dr. Jason never explained where he got the DNA for cloning from. His official statement was that he did a "Hammond" and extracted it from some amber but..."
"That's impossible. DNA couldn't survive that long, even with preservation. It should have decayed eons ago." Claudia concluded.
"Exactly!" Fargo beamed at her. "So I did some digging into it with Henry. He thought it might have been some gene recession effect on bird embryos."
Felix shook his head. "Not all of these species evolved into birds, and some of them seems to have traits that no other living thing has."
"That's exactly what Taggart said...more or less. Besides that, these couldn't just be grown."
Blaine looked up from a skull he was holding. "They're biologically identical to the fossil records. Look." He held up a large crest of bone. "This is exactly like the spikes on that kangaroo-saurus we saw in the street,"
"Dracorex." Felix interjected.
"Yeah, that. This couldn't have been pulled from recessive genes, they've been cloned from the source."
"Bingo." Fargo's excitement seemed to grow with ever sentence. "So I started to get suspicious. Then they stared multiplying and I knew this had to be something to do with the Warehouse!"
Claudia nodded. "Good call Dougie. This is screaming artifact. Have you filled in Henry and Allison yet?"
Fargo shook his head. "As for as they know, Warehouse 13 is just a GD storage facility where the old experiments are stored now that the dump has been cleared up."
Blaine stared at Fargo as he says this, "Fargo...what exactly do they think I do if they think the Warehouse is a storage facility?"
The head of GD shrugged, "They think you're in charge of the incoming projects and storage."
Blaine gave a huff and muttered under his breath, "I already have to avoid the lost years, now I can't even explain if I have t-"
"Something wrong Blaine?" Fargo gave him a tilted look.
Quickly re-composing himself, he shook his head, "Nothing, just wondering how Dr. Jason managed to find an artifact. Any chance you can do a check to see if he purchased anything...odd recently?"
"You're going to have to be a bit more specific Blainey," Claudia pointed out, "Odd is another name for Eureka."
He paced a bit, trying to narrow down the criteria while avoiding Target's tail, "Anything from older projects in bio or genetic fields."
Felix poked his head up from a counter, "What're you thinking, the artifact has been here the entire time?"
Blaine shrugged, "You get hundreds of famous scientists passing through Eureka over the decades and someone is bound to leave something behind."
"I'll get right on that." Fargo nodded as he headed out to let the Agents get to work.
Claudia raises an eyebrow, "Still not sold on the idea of the artifact living in GD for all these years."
Blaine shrugged as he went to Dr. Jason's computer to find his notes, "Claudia, can you really see anyone one at GD going antique shopping? We have to assume that the artifact was created here."
As he navigated through the firewalls of Cope's computer, Blaine scoffed, "Seriously, how could Allison not trust me with the equipment...I'm pretty sure I know my way around delicate tech. I helped put Carter into the VR and I wrote the code to put AI Holly into her old body."
"Relax Blaine." Claudia tried to calm him down, "I consider it a miracle that they even let me within a mile of the FTL Drive, even if it's fried."
"Binary to brain functions. You ever try to try to code the human brain in binary to reverse-engineer?" Blaine countered back.
Claudia was about to counter back when Target yipped loudly at the two of them.
Felix frowned, "Let's put the tech-mojo back in our flashdrives and get back to work." The other two nodded and were about to resume their scavenge when the doors opened. Allison walked in looking frustrated and distraught.
"I've got some unfortunate news." she placed in hand to her forehead. "We managed to find Jason. What was left of him. He told us he wasn't cloning any carnivores, but something down there got to him and...well it isn't pretty."
The agents faces fell. "There goes our only lead." Felix muttered before being elbowed in the ribs by Claudia and nipped in the ankle by Target at the same time.
Allison looked up at the trio. "Did you find anything at all here?"
Blaine shook his head. "Nothing. No files, records or...uh...ecetera."
Claudia stepped forward. "Allsion, could you show up where he'd been doing his work. Maybe the key is in his lab."
Allison frowned. "You know, he never let any of us down there. His reasoned that it would be too risky disrupting the dinosaurs eco-system. It never really seemed weird, but now that I think about it we should have been suspicious about that. There's just always so much to keep track of it can be hard to know what we need to worry about."
She led the group out of the office and down the corridor. They stopped in front of the elevator as Henry exited with a pair of medics, wheeling a gurney with a misshapen but still humanoid looking body bag. "Is that..?" Claudia ventured.
Allison looked more crestfallen. "Yes, that's him. Or what's left. Medics are taking him to the morgue to see if they can identify what got to him." The group watched the medics as they wheeled the deceased doctor down the hallway.
"We should hurry," Henry said. "If whatever did that to Jason manages to get out, we could have a much bigger problem. And I didn't think that was possible at this point." There were murmurs of agreement from the agents as they began to shuffle into the elevator. Allison was about to push the button to bring them down when they were all startled by a series of shouts coming from further down the corridor.
There was a moment of hesitation before Allison and Henry ran from the elevator towards the noise, the three agents following behind. They caught up to see the medic team struggling with the zipper on the body bag, which seemed to be squirming violently. "What's going on here?!" Allison pushed to the center of the small crowd that had begun to form around the commotion.
"I don't know." replied one medic, "The thing just started moving suddenly. He can't still be alive in there, not in the condition we found him in." Claudia, Blaine and Felix shot quick nervous glances at each other as the zipper finally came undone. They caught a brief glimpse of what looked like a skull covered in jerky before a small white and pink lump flung itself out of the bag and landed on the floor. Several people jumped back in shock as the lump slowly formed features, shaking and pulsing as muscle tissue and bone structure formed.
Target began barking at the mass, yet stayed a good distance away from it as it twitched.
After about a minute, the mass stopped moving and slowly uncurled itself. It resembles a small lizard, but covered in brown and black feathers. It lifted its head and screeched at the crowd, showing dozens of tiny dagger-like teeth.
Chapter 7: Diictodon felicepsEdit
Target yipped loudly at the creature for a few more seconds before whining and backing up behind Felix's legs, his tail tucked between his own.
Allison stared at the creature in amazement for a second. "That's an Anugoranthus." she said, seemingly in shock. She recovered as Taggart came barreling into the crowd and grabbed the small dinosaur. It's squawks of panic could be heard over the burlap sack that was thrown over it.
"Moving along now, folks. Nothing left to see here." he called, and the crowd slowly began to dwindle. Eventually, once the medics had recovered and moved on with the body, only Allison, Henry, Taggart and the three agents were left, all looking directly at the struggling bag. "No idea how this little bugger slipped past the radar." The eccentric wrangler beamed at the group. "I'd best get him caged up with the rest of the blighters. Got to say, this one looks a bit bitey." He gave another cheerful smile and wandered off down the hall. He waved at Fargo as he walked past, causing the oblivious genius to do a double-take at the squirming sack Taggart had over his shoulder.
"Did I miss something interesting again?" he moaned. He looked over the confounded faces of his coworkers.
"That," Henry said slowly, "That was rapid cell growth. That whole dinosaur grew from a small mass right in front of us. That's how they've been getting out of the lab!"
Blaine's eyes widened as he had the same revelation. "They're not escaping. Something is growing them, reconstructing their entire genetic model from loose DNA."
"Wait wait wait." Allison put a hand up as she processed the information. "You're telling me that there's no breach? That these dinosaurs are just growing out of bits of scales and fur people are accidentally taking out of the lab? Henry, even by our standards that's impossible."
Henry nodded. 'I know it should be, but we just saw it. I'm betting the whatever ate Dr. Cope left some saliva or even a tooth, and it somehow triggered a rapid stem cell growth that reformed the entire organism."
Fargo looked more excited than before. "I knew it wasn't something scientific. That's got to be an artifact here in GD, right guys?" He turned to Claudia and his face lost it's enthusiasm when he noticed all three agents looking at him in horror. "Oh dear..." he muttered quietly, as Allison and Henry both narrowed their eyes.
"What do you mean, 'artifact'. What artifact is this?" Henry probed. The four younger professionals looked at each other sheepishly.
"Uhm," Blaine spoke up first. "We may not have been entirely honest with you, Henry..."
A look of concern and suspicion crossed his face. "How so?"
"Well..." Claudia was next to say something. "Please don't take it personally, Mr. Deacon. It's sort of a top top secret sort of thing."
Allison crossed her arms. "I think at this point we need to know, if it's a matter of town safety."
Felix shuffled through his pockets and pulled out his Farnsworth. "I think Artie can explain it better than us. You might believe him more." He turned the dial and waited for Artie to notice him.
"What is it, do you have the artifact?" Artie was quick on the question, but faltered when he saw Felix's expression.
"Uhm, Artie, we have a Code Purple."
Artie furrowed his brow. "I see. Let me talk to them." Felix silently handed the device to Henry, who had been looking at the retro-styled machine with interest. When he saw who was on the other end of the line, his eyebrows nearly escaped into his receding hairline.
"Dr. Carlson!?" Henry looked more than surprised as the face of his old colleague stared back at him. "I thought you were dead! You walked into the art-" Henry cut himself off suddenly. "Is that what you lot were talking about?" The agents shook their heads and Fargo looked from Henry to the trio in confusion. Only Felix maintained eye contact, which, if Henry noticed, he did not mention.
"I'm not the Carl you knew," Artie clarified. "My name is Artie Nielsen and I work for Warehouse 13, an organization that, I'm sure you've guessed by now, is not just a GD dumping site."
Henry nodded. "I had my suspicions, but it is nice to have them confirmed. And you two," he looked at Fargo and Blaine, "You knew the whole time?"
"Well not the whole time," Fargo started. "I didn't find out until I went to update the security, then the thing happened with the zoetrope and-" he was cut off by an elbow to the rib from Blaine.
"Yes, anyway..." Artie went on. "The Warehouse is a very old organization, going back thousands of years. We find and store things that the world perhaps isn't ready for. Things you'd have trouble explaining with science." Henry looked skeptical.
"Oh please. Science can explain anything with enough time and understanding."
Felix piped up again. "What about that anti-grav generator that went haywire and caused the gravity wells all over town? That's not exactly scientifically sound."
Allison finally spoke up. "Well that was a complicated malfunction in a gravity field generator that..." she trailed off. "Actually...you're right. I can't think of why it did that."
Artie held up a small rectangular watch on a chain. "That scientist fitted the machine with this pocket watch. It was owned by Schwartzchild himself, and causes destabilizations in gravity."
Henry scoffed. "Please, that's preposterous. Even the most advanced technology would be several times that size."
Claudia took out of her bag a small snow globe. "Mr. Deacon, we work with things that aren't science. I guess they're sort of magic, if you had to call them anything. And your town seems to attract them."
"It's true," Fargo interjected. "Remember Isaac? He was using one of these things to mind control the town. The Warehouse took him and has him in a sort of solitary for using an artifact to hurt people."
"Fargo, what you're saying is ridiculous. Isaac found a television signal that intercepted the behavioral center of the brain and he was taken by the SS. There's no such thing as magic..." Allison stopped mid speech as small ice crystals fell from the glowing snow globe. Henry stared in utter shock. He took the artifact from Claudia and it stopped glowing. He looked the entire thing over, looking for pieces of machinery. Giving up, he gave it a small shake. It began to glow again and released a small flurry of winter.
"Mr. Deacon, the Warehouse can make a very convincing cover story. We're well connected." Artie spoke from the Farnsworth. "This is the reality we work with, and now there is an artifact in Global Dynamics right now bringing dinosaurs to life."
Chapter almost 8: The Sit-DownEdit
"I refuse to believe this," Allison rested her head in her hands. "You're telling me that you're part of a secret organization that protects the world from magic on a daily basis, that no-one has even heard of you and that this has been going on for thousands of years?"
They had taken the time to relocate to an unoccupied office for the rest of the discussion, where Artie had filled the two scientists in on a brief (yet still lengthy) history of the Warehouse.
"And not just that, but that you've been in and out of this highly secure town several times to collect these 'artifacts' without us even noticing?" Henry interjected. "That's preposterous. There would be records miles long of any kind of magic going on."
"Would there?" Artie probed from the small screen. "The chemical equation that turned metal into golds? That makes sense to you?"
"It was more complicated than that!" Henry said, the look of someone trying to teach something simple to someone slow. "There was a bacterium that was activated when the incorrect formula was attempted, and correcting the equation neutralized it."
"Okay," Fargo spoke up. "But that doesn't make sense. Bacteria don't just appear, and they don't just die off because something was written down."
"He's right, Henry." sighed Allison, her hand pressed back against her forehead.
Henry shook his head. "No, I don't believe magic has existed all this time, in our own town of the worlds greatest minds, and no-one has noticed."
"Trust me, Mr. Deacon, people have noticed." said Claudia. "Including the Warehouse. You don't think we have files on every incident that's gone on here, artifact or not."
Blaine pulled out his phone and opened a list of notes. "Accidental creation of a black hole, accidentally firing a laser at the moon, the town seemingly vanishing at Christmas two years in a row. Not to mention the incident with the teleporting spaceship." he read out.
"Don't forget the time travel." Felix offered. All eyes turned to him in shock. "As if we don't know. We have at least three reports of temporal disturbances over the last ten years recorded, thanks to Dr. Grant."
"Trevor? You've been in contact with Trevor?" Allison asked in shock.
"Naturally." replied Artie. "Who do you think proposed he buy the place?"
Henry, Allsion and Fargo stared in shock at the monitor. Henry recovered first. "Regardless of all of this...nonsense," he waved his hand in the general direction of the agents, "you expect that to convince us that magic exists?"
"Henry, they've shown us some of these artifacts already. I can't explain that pair of chopsticks, let alone the snow globe. Plus Fargo has vouched for them. What they're saying makes sense. Enough."
Henry put his hands up to cover his mouth, then brought them down wearily. "I can't, Allison." He sounded almost resigned. "I'm a man of science. I can't just accept that these things are real. We would have found them. Studied them and used them to further scientific progress. Tell me, if these things are true, why has this not happened?"
Target turned from his spot on Felix's lap and looked at him. No sounds were made, but Felix seemed to get the message. "You really think it will take that to convince him?" The fox yipped. "Alright then." Felix said with a shrug, and he pulled out a shirt, some shorts and a digital watch.
He placed the clothes over the fox as the room stared at him in confusion. Then he placed the watch on the floor. The fox placed a paw in the strap, which set off a powerful light. The fox morphed and grew, filling out the clothes until it settled into the form of a young ginger-haired boy.
He stood up and waved awkwardly at the group. "Hi" said Garrett.
"How," said Allison and Henry at the same time, their eyes wide in wonder and shock.
The expression was mirrored by Blaine and Claudia, who leapt up to hug the boy. "Garrie! You were dead. How the hell..?"
"Felix brought me back, sort of." he said with a smile at the older agent.
"It wasn't easy, and I'd prefer you keep it between us for now." he said, grinning at him proudly.
"That fox just turned into a human..." said Henry, bringing the attention back to him. "Into a human. That's not scientifically possible."
"No," said Artie, "It's an artifact at work." Felix's eyes nearly escaped from his head as he turned to the Farnsworth, clearly forgetting it had been on. "I'm happy to see you back, Garrett. And Felix, we'll discuss this when you get back. I can trust I'm not needed here anymore? I have a lot of paperwork to fill out now, I think."
Felix slumped in his seat with his head back. A droning noise came from his mouth that sounded suspiciously like "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.....".
Garrett turned from his boyfriend looking a little sheepish. "Uh-oh. I didn't mean for Artie to see...but, uhh, I hope you believe us now, Mr. Henry."
Still somewhat in shock, Henry managed to find his words. "I...I guess I've seen it now. But still, why has no-one used these artifacts to help the world? Why keep them locked up?"
Claudia, still beaming with excitement, answered. "People have, Mr. Deacon. Sometimes it worked, other times not so much. Artifacts tend to be hard to control and often things go real bad real quick."
Fargo butted in, "Like that Hugo guy. He tried to use an artifact to make himself into an AI to improve the computer systems of the Warehouse, but something went wrong and his mind was fried."
Henry nodded, but still had a look of skepticism. "The fact is, Mr. Deacon, not all artifacts are good." Blaine said. "Some have potential to help, but all have potential to cause harm. People have tried in the past. Julius Caesar, Paracelsus, H. G. Wells. They all tried using artifacts to help the world, or themselves. And it all ended badly.
"And say you found a way to use one, what happens when people, like yourselves, ask questions? The hows and whys. People would learn about artifacts, abuse them in ways you wouldn't. It's never been a question of why not. In this case it's a question of who needs to know for the safety of everyone."
"Example A, right over there," said Claudia, pointing to Fargo. He went very red and looked like he was trying to pull his head into his suit. "Dougie here found an artifact and instead of telling us, he tried to use it to make his games more realistic. And how many people nearly died, Dougie?"
He sunk even lower as Allison and Henry stared at him, not quite in surprise but in almost resignation. "Five.." he admitted sheepishly.
Henry put his hands up to get everyone's attention. "Alright, alright. I understand. Mostly. Safety of mankind, unpredictable. Yes. Given current circumstances and what we've just seen," he gestured to Garrett, who had taken a seat beside Felix, "I have no choice to believe you. But when this is over we demand to speak to your superiors. There's more to this than you're saying, and I want to know where we're going to fit in."
"Sounds reasonable to me." Claudia said, sticking out her hand. It was accepted by Henry, who shook it firmly.
"Now that we have that sorted out," said Allison, who looked either more adjusted or at the very least less shocked than Henry, "Can we start sorting out this dinosaur issue?"
Chapter actual 8: The Chriton EffectEdit
"So we have records of Luis Alvarez, Edwin Colbert and Harry Seeley having some of their personal effects and notes in GD," said Fargo, reading from the large list he'd brought over. Sandy sat hunched over a computer on the other side of the Farnsworth, frantically typing the names into the Salinger scanner.
He shook his head. "No, we have iridium from Alvarez, but that has nothing to do with extinction or the reversal thereof. The other two studied different fields. Can you narrow it down to the dinosaurs themselves?"
Fargo flipped through his notes further. "Well we've had Rinchen Barsbold and Jose Bonaparte working here at different times. Maybe them?"
Sandy tapped away. "No... we have nothing on either of them. I don't think they've made enough impact."
"What about Dong Zhiming?" offered Henry. "He discovered ridiculous amounts of dinosaurs while he was with us."
"Could be..." said Sandy. "Any of the species you've seen in town?"
"Er, no." admitted Henry, somewhat awkwardly.
Allison took the notes from Fargo and ran a finger down the list. "Maybe we should focus on the ones who worked with the bones themselves, not just digging them up. How about Ivan Yefremov or John Ostrom?"
More typing could be heard from the device. "Let's see...Ostrom, no. We do have something of Ivan's though. Says here a set of his paleontology picks were recovered in the sixties. They could revert living organisms to a fossilized state. Huh, that's odd. Says here the set is incomplete."
Claudia turned to Henry. "What was Ivan's field? Something to do with bringing them to life?"
Henry chuckled slightly. "Exactly the opposite, really. Yefremov pioneered the study of taphonomy. That's how living things decay and fossilize. Micheal actually met with him once before his death to try and learn the best way to find preserved DNA cells...."
Henry trailed off as a look of realization hit him and the others. Except Fargo and Blaine who were talking excitedly in the corner. Sandy seemed to figure it out, too, and was hammering away at his keyboard. "The set is recorded as incomplete. According to the system, a full set contains picks and brushes. What if..."
"What if the brushes restore dead tissue." Claudia interjected. "They reverse the fossilization process!"
"That would certainly give enough DNA to clone the specimens," Henry said, "But does it explain how they keep replicating like that?"
"Artifacts are unpredictable when they mix with new things." said Felix. "If I had to guess, something in the artifact got mixed up with the cloning process. Maybe it misinterpreted the intent Jason had with the DNA samples. It's likely the cells themselves are still charged with artifact energy, the artifact may think it's trying to help by continuously replicating them. Maybe."
"That....almost makes sense, I guess." sad Allison. "So we need to find the artifact and, what, purple it? Will that stop the cloning?"
"In theory, yeah. Although it might not solve your dinosaur problem." Claudia replied. "Dougie, Blaine!" she called to the boys, "We're going on a treasure hunt!"
They decided to split up as they rushed out the door. One group, Claudia, Allison, and Garrett, made a beeline for Dr. Cope's office. Felix, Blaine, Fargo, and Henry made their way to the underground biosphere. On the way, Felix heard Fargo and Blaine continue their talk. "I can't believe your boss is Buffy!"
Chapter 9: Unearthing the PresentEdit
Allison made it to the office first, having the benefit of knowing where she was going. Claudia and Garrett followed behind, the two hadn't stopped talking about the boy's apparent resurrection, the details of which were going over Allison's head. She paused slightly when she heard him mention a 'consulting' simulation, but dismissed any connection to the mysteriously missing matrix array of the Consortium as coincidence.
"What exactly should we be looking out for here?" she inquired to Claudia. "Sparks? Lights? A weird humming?"
Claudia shrugged. "Anything that looks odd or out of place, I guess. Sometimes lights and sparks. I haven't had humming yet, but one did play the symphonies of Beethoven."
Allison couldn't tell if the 'agent' was trying to mess with her, but she put it aside and began opening drawers and cabinets in the rather spacious lab they had generously allowed Jason to work in.
Garrett found something first. "Mrs. Carter, did Dr. Cope specifically ask for a lab in the bio-containment area. One with cages?" he asked somewhat tentatively.
"He did." she replied. "It's wasn't most unusual thing I'd been asked that week, so I didn't think it was important. Why do you ask?"
Garrett carefully removed a large cloth that had been covering a series of small cages along the side wall. The two women looked in confusion, then growing apprehension as cage after cage of dinosaurs were revealed. All were brightly feathered with short arms and large clawed talons.
Allison gasped as quietly as she could, the small dinosaurs were either dead of asleep as they hadn't yet reacted to the intrusion, but she was taking no chances. "Those are raptors!" she whispered urgently. "Jason assured us he wasn't working with carnivores at all."
"Maybe these were prototypes." Claudia offered. "Raptors are the closest thing to living dinos we still have, he might have wanted to compare them and see if the artifact could give him what he wanted?"
They all backed quietly out of the room, not wanting to disturb the potentially sleeping hoard, and Claudia was immediately on the Farsworth to Blaine.
"Blainey, you might have a problem. Dr. Cope lied, we just found about twenty cages full of some kind of raptor."
"Nineteen." Garrett offered. Allsion and Claudia stared at him. "There were twenty cages but only nineteen had raptors in them," he explained, "And it wasn't at the end of the row either, which means he either removed it, it escaped or he took it somewhere else."
His eyes were full of panic, and the realization dawned on everyone. "Blaine, you need to get out of there. I don't think the Anurognathus that killed Jason. I think he made a big mistake!"
It took almost no time at all for the other group to reach the entrance to the biosphere. Apparently all GD elevators had the ability to reach the heavily outfitted monitoring and decontamination room the served as the gateway into the largest of Global's laboratories. Blaine approached the colossal glass window that overlooked the expanse of forest.
"I'd heard some guys talking about this place, but I never saw it myself." His face was full of wonder and awe. "It's a lot bigger than I imagined it."
Henry joined him at the window, a flash of lightning flashing across their faces. "Lab 27. 15 square miles of primeval redwoods under the town. After the Mars project was shut down it's been used for all kinds of field practice. Then Jason had it reserved for his dinosaurs."
Fargo typed a few commands on one of the terminals, frowned at the sharp klaxon it gave him, and tried again. Another error noise. "Henry, I can't turn off the weather." he said, turning to the older man. "I'm not going in there with that storm. This is a new suit."
Henry walked over to him and entered his own set of commands as Felix stood next to Blaine, who was still marveling at the scope of the area. "This 'storm' seems unsettlingly familiar..." he said, causing Blaine to look forward instead of down. The clouds had a noticeable purple tint, and there appeared to be no rain.
"According to the system, there is no storm scheduled for today." said Henry, his brow furrowed as his eyes scanned rows of text on the screen. "Whatever's going on in there isn't being caused by the weather system."
Felix and Blaine looked at each other. They put on a stoic facade as they turned to look at the two academics. "This isn't good," Felix said. "Some artifacts can generate pretty large amounts of energy, and with no outlet and the constant use, it can build into this."
"Think of it like mycellium," Blaine offered, noticing the look of confusion on Henry and Fargo's faces. "You have a starting point, the artifact. Then it puts out hyphae which bloom separately. Even though they seem separate, they're still connected. And feeding it energy to continue growing.
Henry lit up. "So the dinosaurs out there are still connected to the source, and are making the web grow more powerful with each new bloom. That sort of makes sense." Fargo and Felix seemed to disagree on that point and quietly shrugged at each other.
"We need to get down there and neutralize the artifact," Blaine continued. "That should stop the energy buildup and maybe even disperse it across the connections."
Henry hit a large green button by the airlock door. "Let's get going then. This is looking bad enough already.
The group descended another, mercifully shorter, elevator and found themselves standing among the large towering trees. Henry led the way, Fargo and Blaine staggering over fallen branches and the odd boulder as they tried to keep up. Only Felix seemed in his element as he effortlessly leapt from tree to tree some ways above them. On one occasion they had to make a detour as they ran into a small wildfire caused by a sudden bolt of electricity.
After about ten minutes of walking Blaine felt a buzzing in his pocket. He pulled out his Farnsworth and flipped it open to see Claudia distorted though the convex lens. "Blainey, you might have a problem. Dr. Cope lied, we just found about twenty cages full of some kind of raptor." She said, her voice hurried and slightly panicked.
"Nineteen." Garrett's spoke from offscreen "And it wasn't at the end of the row either, which means he either removed it, it escaped or he took it somewhere else."
Claudia's eyes widened. "Blaine, you need to get out of there. I don't think the Anurognathus that killed Jason. I think he made a big mistake!"
"There's a whammy-storm down here, we're on our way to the artifact." he replied. "We'll be careful, Henry knows his way around and we have Felix. Meet us back in the monitor room." He clicked the device shut and sprinted a bit to catch up with the others. Felix had joined them on the ground.
"Guys, Claude and the others found something worrying in Jason's office..." he began, but trailed off as he saw the others staring straight ahead at something. He turned to see, even though a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach told him he know what it was. Not ten feet in front of them, chewing on the remains of a small bird-like creature, was a raptor. Only a couple of feet tall and covered in bright plumes, it lifted a viscera-caked head to look at the intruders. "Back away slowly," said Fargo, steadily but clearly afraid. "It's vision is based on movement."
"Myth," said Henry, his tone the same. "They're actually apex predators with exceptional eyesight. Let's be grateful that's not the only thing those movies got wrong about these things."
"Do you mean the size thing, the intelligence thing or the pack hunter thing?" asked Felix, glancing around at the bushes, as if more would jump out at any second. The raptor chirped at them, then made a small hop forward.
"Guys, I've just realized something," Blaine said, shaking. "If Jason cloned a bunch of species, like what's topside at the moment...where are they all?"
Fargo gulped. "I'd rather not find out..." he said, although a curtain of dread fell over the four as they all realized the weight of the implication. The raptor chirped again. The bushes chirped back.
"We should go!" Henry said hurriedly, and the rest seemed to agree rather quickly. They took off running towards the center of the storm as dozens of tiny dinosaurs flooded out of the undergrowth and pursued.
Chapter 10: Not Quite A MeteorEdit
The lift dinged as it reached the basement level, and Garrett was first out of the doors and into the control room. He dashed towards the large viewing window and gaped at the mass of purple clouds beyond. Allison came up next to him.
"So this is a 'Whammy-storm"", she said in a voice of wonderment. "It's beautiful, in a way. But why didn't our internal scanners pick up on something this size? We have surge detectors in every sector."
"Maybe your systems are programmed to filter out these kind of energy signatures?" Claudia offered. Allison looked at her, surprised and confused. "I intercepted some E-mails of Felix's," she continued, "He's been talking to some of the regents about possible artifact experimentation in Eureka. Something level 5, whatever that means."
Allison paled slightly. "I would know about any experiments of that sort going on, I'm sure. I can guarantee none of these artifacts have been tested in Global Dynamics until this happened." She spoke slightly quicker than her usual pace, and Garrett picked up on an emotion he couldn't quite place. Guilt? Or fear? Maybe a bit of both, mixed with some sort of denial. He chose not to bring it up in front of Claudia.
"We need to get down there, they could be in trouble!" he said desperately. He made a move towards the entrance doors but didn't get far before Allison grabbed his arm. He made a small yipping sound involuntarily.
"It's way too dangerous, Garret. If you're right then they're swarming with raptors down there. Felix and Blaine are capable enough to look after Fargo, and Henry knows the area better than any of us. We can keep track of them with the biomonitors." She led him to the computers at the side of the room and punched in some keys.
The monitor lit up, showing a rough map of the colossal lab. The screen flickered every now and then, and bars of static rolled across the screen. "Must be the energy out there interfering with the signal." Claudia guessed, giving the console a whack in an futile attempt to clear the image.
"Not perfect, but at least we still have a live feed coming in." Allison gestured at four red dots on the screen moving rapidly towards a blue-shaded area. "They're nearly there!" Allison said excitedly, "That blue spot is the field lab where Jason had set up." Garrett signed in relief, but Claudia kept her eyes on the image in front of her. Her eyes narrowed.
"Something about these static patterns seems off," she said. "Regular static should roll as the signal goes in and out, but on the screen here it looks like snow it moving along the screen." She pointed to a mass of black and white pixels that took up a large portion of the map. The static snow moved on a conical shape, with the narrow section aimed right at the four dots.
Garrett realized first. He began to panic again and looked ready to start hyperventilating. "What's wrong, Garrett?" Allison asked concernedly. Garrett pointed at the screen.
"It's not static." he murmured, barely audible. "The scanner is picking up blocked energy. Artifact energy." Allison and Claudia's eyes widened at the revelation.
"There's so many of them." Allison said, her voice full of dread.
"And they're right on their tail." Claudia concluded.
Chapter 10:Velociraptor mongoliensisEdit
The mass of dinosaurs continued to grow as the group dashed desperately over fallen logs and bushes. Bolts of purple lightning rained down on them, causing small fires that occasionally needed to be circumvented. Finally the blue canvas tents became visible through the dense trees.
Fargo glanced behind him as he continued to run, sweat staining his tailored suit. Several dozen turkey-sized killers were following now, but he couldn't help noticing they seemed a little sluggish.
Allison fell back in her chair and stretched her fingers. "I turned down the temperature as much as I could," she told Garrett and Claudia. "Hopefully that should make it easier for them to get away. Or at least buy them time."
"How would that do anything?" Garrett panicked. "We need to get in there and help them!" He turned to Claudia, expecting her to back him up.
She put a hand on his shoulder. "There could be hundreds of them down there. I know Felix and Blaine can deal with this." Garrett untensed a little, but still shot a glance at the doors that could take him down.
"They may have feathers," Allsion told him in a patient voice, "but they're still cold-blooded. Low temperatures might affect their energy levels enough to slow them down considerably."
Felix reached the outdoor lab first. He turned around to see Fargo bringing up the rear, not running as fast as the rest. Although, Felix thought, he hardly looks like the most athletic person. Although he did notice something odd. The hoard of raptor were still following, but they seemed a lot slower as well.
Henry helped Fargo into the tent and closed the zipper. "It must be Allison. The temperature in here has dropped significantly. It's hard to notice when you're running for your life, but it's making those raptors a lot less energetic."
Blaine immediately started flinging open drawers and shuffling piles of papers. Jason had apparently not been the tidiest worker, and the tent was crammed with piles of clothes, files and assorted technical equipment. Eventually he lifted a small brush into the air. "I got it!" he shouted triumphantly.
Henry frowned at him slightly. "And the others?" he inquired. Blaine's smile dropped slightly. "A full set is about four in different sizes."
"Look fast," said Fargo, peeking out of a mesh window. "We're running out of time here!" As is on cue, a small thump came from a bulge in the canvas. It wriggled for a bit and then retreated. More thumps followed. Not rapidly, but consistently.
Felix pulled something from a pocket in his coat. "You three keep looking. I'll make a distraction." he announced. He gently pushed Fargo aside and flung open the tent flaps. Scores of small feathered heads turned to look at him for a brief second. Then they pounced.
Back in the control room, Garrett, Claudia and Allison sat in relative silence, staring at the tiny screen. There was a short cheer of victory when the red dots had made it safely into the blue square, then nothing as the mass of static slowly enveloped them.
"What's the hold up?" Allison asked. "Shouldn't it be easy now? How did you say it? 'Brush, bag, done'?"
Garrett's mouth turned into a small frown. "It's not usually that easy, but they're running out of time. Blaine can pick up on artifacts pretty quickly. Maybe all of the raptors are messing with his radar. What do you think, Claude?" He turned to her, waiting for an answer, but she was already at the door. "Wait, Claude!" Garrett called, moving towards her.
"The bags!" she cried back. "They don't have any static bags. I forgot to give them to Blaine when we split up!" She pulled one from her satchel and started hammering the elevator call button.
Garrett paused in panicked shock for a second before grabbing the bag from her. "Stay here and watch the screen." he told her, in a forceful voice that surprised him a little. "I can move faster down there than either of you. I'll get it to them."
Claudia hesitated, not wanting to risk the life of another agent. Particularly one so young who had already been through so much. But she conceded his point. Slowly she moved away from the doors just as the elevator arrived. Garrett entered, hit the call button and slipped off his watch, reverting to his vulpine form.
Chapter 12: Re-ExtinctionEdit
Garrett bolted through elevator doors before they'd fully opened, a small roll of metallic bags clenched tightly in his jaws. This was the first time he'd been able to fully make use of his new form, being restricted to the endless aisles of the Warehouse since his return. Had it been in less urgent circumstances he would have been exhilarated by the rush of wind, deftly pouncing over fallen trees and making sharp turns to avoid scrub fires.
He'd found himself feeling some odd new sensations as a fox, particularly in the Warehouse. Felix had told him that foxes had a sort of magnetic detector that they used to hunt, but Garrett had never felt it like he had now. Perhaps the sheer volume of the artifacts in the Warehouse dulled it, but out there he could clearly sense a strong tingling force. Clearly unnatural but very strong, he felt compelled to run towards it.
It didn't take him long to find a trail. The carcass of a dinosaur, some kind of mole-sized creature with tusks. Small droplets of blood led away from the mess of meat and towards the center of the storm. Garrett steeled himself and pushed even harder to get to his Felix before whatever did that got to him as well.
"Found another!" Henry called from beneath a desk, holding the brush up. "That's three, right?"
"Four!" Fargo relied, as he pulled the final artifact from under a stack of books and papers.
"Thanks god, now we can end this." sighed Blaine in relief, as he began to pat his pockets. He froze suddenly, his expression both terrified and dismayed. "I forgot the bags..." he muttered.
Fargo's smile vanished as well, but Henry simply looked confused. 'Bags? What bags? You have the brushes, can't you just, I don't know, 'un-zap' them and make the replicas vanish?"
Blaine began ripping all of his pockets open desperately, clearly too panicked to pay attention. Fargo spoke up. "That purple goo we produce for the Warehouse is like an artifact insulator, they call it Neutralizer. It sort of dampens the effect of the artifacts. They usually have a bunch of bags lined with it for travel, but...."
"Claudia has them." Blaine concluded, collapsing into a chair. "I never got them off her before we left."
Realizing the situation, Henry joined him in his slump, falling into a swivel chair. "So unless we go out there and make it all the way back to the control room, we can't shut this all down?" he asked.
"Bingo" replied Fargo, making use of the last chair available.
"Speaking of going out," said Blaine, looking at the tent flap, "Felix has been out there a while, and I haven't heard anything since he left."
Garrett was finally getting close to the tent. He knew not only from the smell of fudge and ozone in the air, but because he was finding it harder and harder to move. As he approached the tent it felt like he was struggling against a river of honey. He saw the raptors before anything else. Dozens of them, all moving very slowly towards the blue canvas. They, too, were incredibly slowed. Some caught mid-jump, hovering in the air as they inched closer to landing.
Garrett bumped past them, moving just fast enough to get past before they could react. His Felix, always planning ahead. Those trapped by Leon Hermann's Deck of Cards were always more affected than others who walked in later. Garret managed to swipe away some raptors that had become close enough to be fully frozen in time and crawled his way towards the center of the mass.
He ducked just in time to avoid another raptor flying through the air towards him. Felix stood just outside the flap to the tent, thin sword in hand. He was kicking and smacking away dinosaurs at full force, causing them to resume moving in real-time as they were flung out of the stasis field. The deck of cards hung suspended in the air around the tent. Garrett let out a muffled yip, getting Felix's attention. He furrowed his brow in concern and rushed over to grab his partner, scooping him up and retreating back inside the tent.
"Garrett!" he scolded, as soon as he was safely inside. "What the hell are you doing down here. It's way too dangerous."
Garrett simply yipped again, dropping the roll of bags at his feet. Blaine, who had been jolted into alertness by the sudden re-appearance of Felix and his fox, quickly composed himself and dove at the bags. He tore one open and roughly shoved all four brushes inside. The bag gave off a cacophony of sparks and light, more than any of them had expected.
In the control room Allison and Claudia had their eyes on the screen and viewing window respectively. Neither had said much since Garrett had left, but they had tracked his movement through the dome until he too was absorbed by the mass of static. Then nothing.
A minute of so passed, though it had felt much longer. Then the screen went white. Through the window, Claudia saw a burst of light from the eye of the storm. The clouds promptly thinned and faded. When the monitor rebooted itself it was clear of static, showing only five red dots crowded inside the lab area. The two women hugged in relief.
Chapter 13: New Cenozoic Edit
Almost 12 hours later Claudia, Blaine and Garrett walked back into Artie's office, static bag held up triumphantly. To be exact, Claudia and Blaine walked in. Garrett barely had a chance to step out of the Umbilicus before Pete had swept him up in a massive bear hug, dropping him in a huddle of agents who swarmed around him.
"Hey, back off and let him breathe," Artie called out from his desk, "Poor kid's already died once, he doesn't need you lot smothering him to death." The mod let out a few weak apologies and took some steps back, leaving the poor redhead looking slightly disheveled in the middle of the room.
He grinned at them widely. "I'm really sorry I couldn't tell you guys sooner. Felix was afraid the regents would be mad so we agreed to keep it a secret. At least for a while until we were sure it would be ok."
Myka looked around the room. "Speaking of..." she wondered aloud.
Aden shared her look of confusion. "Yeah, where is the sneaky little cat?"
"He opted to stay behind," Garrett explained. "He needed to help with the dinosaur round-up and something, something diplomatic envoy to Eureka for a while. He said it would be mean to "keep you guys from assaulting me with love", his words, so I came back first."
Artie twirled around on his chair and got up to give Garrett a brief and rather awkward hug. "And assault we shall," he said, "But you two," he pointed at Claudia and Blaine, "Need too fill out your incident reports and you," he clapped a hand on Garrett's shoulder, "Need to have a word with Mrs F about your future at the Warehouse."
Claude and Blaine slumped and Garrett's expression became one of terror. "What do you mean? They aren't going to get rid of me, right?"
Artie's face changed as he realized his poor choice of words. "No, no, no, nothing like that. She wants to talk about you wanting to continue your work as an agent here, given what you went through. Steve will be there as well, he went through the same thing. It's will all be fine." Garrett visibly relaxed, the tension falling from his body. "Felix is in big trouble though."
Felix sat in a diner on the edge of Eureka. Henry said his ride would be along shortly, so he had tine to kill and a twenty he'd filched from Fargo's wallet. He liked lasagna, and cash was easier to pocket than pasta. His fork clanked against his bowl. The dinosaurs had been easy enough to round up. Some were already in containment thanks for Taggart and the rest stood out rather blatantly against the local wildlife.
He was not looking forward to heading back to the Warehouse. Garrett had to 'come out', as it were, sooner or later, but the Regents were going to want words with him. "Thank you for coming." The voice broke him out of his reverie. An older woman in a professional looking suit took a seat opposite him.
"Took a bit of a risk with that note," Felix replied, tossing a hundred dollar bill onto the table. The reverse side of the note was white and had printed text. "A poor fake, but it got my attention." he replied snarkily.
The woman smiled politely. "We knew you couldn't ignore that. Even in Jason's dump of an office you just can't help yourself, can you?" Felix glared at her over the rim of his hot chocolate.
"We were hoping you'd be sent," she continued. "After your first visit we had to look quite hard to find an artifact that could get your 'expertise' called in. Dinosaurs was the best we could do."
"Congratulations," he replied dryly. "Your minion died to a pack of prototurkeys and the Warehouse was outed to the smartest minds on Earth. I'm sure that went exactly as planned."
Her smile faltered slightly. "Jason's death was unfortunate. We warned him about working with carnivores. Accidents happen. But having the Warehouse revealed to Mr. Deacon and Mrs. Blake was inevitable. Hopefully it will make your visits a bit more frequent. We know you've been avoiding us."
Felix looked uncomfortable as he took another sip. "So what if I have. You don't do much to inspire trust."
She smiled again, but this one was less friendly. Almost a challenge. "And after we gave you the codes to our toys to help your little redheaded friend. All we asked for in return was a bit of co-operation."
Felix scowled again and sighed deeply. "Yeah, alright. Fair's fair. What do you need?"
The woman's smile, devious but this time clearly genuine, was all the more unsettling. With her copper red hair, Felix began to worry what devil he'd made a deal with this time.
- Vladimir Durov's Animal Taming Glove: Causes animals to revert to a primitive, un-tamed behavioural mentaility. Countered by Anatoly's glove.
- Donovan-Biston Eotional Synchro: Synchronises zeta-waves of the wearers, allowing transfer and melding of thoughts, emotions and memories.
- Karl Schwarzchild's Pocket Watch: Causes distortions in the fabric of space, generating gravity wells.
- Albert Bandura's Bobo Doll: Causes reciprocal behaviour in veiwers. Can be used to influence or encourage certain behaviours or actions.
- Freezing Snowglobe: Releases a shower of snow and ice proportional to severity of shaking.
- Alchemist's Curse: Activates a strain of transmutagenitc bacterium intent on causing societal collapse.
- Jane Goodall's Watch: Activates the higher brain functions of great apes, elevating therm to human-level intelligence. Can also revert polymorphed great apes to their original form.
- Chinese Chopsticks: Creates sparks when clicked than can quickly grow to massive fires. Used "recreationally" by Felix.
- Max Wertheimer's Zoetrope: Allows for the transfer of the conscious and subconscious mind.
- Beatrix Potter's Tea Set: Overstimulates the imagination centers of the mind, often leading to dark fantasies.
- Luis Alvarez's Iridium Chunk: The holder can accurately estimate energy output, even in hypothetical situations, and predict the results of related events.
- Dong Zhiming's Vertebra Fossil: Shakes violently when above significant fossil deposits. May have minor reanimation propeties.
- Ivan Yefremov's Paleontology Tools: The various picks reduce living tissue to a fossilized state. The brushes can restore fossilized tissue.
- Leon Herrmann's Sword and Playing Cards: Slows and freezes time over a radial area. Effect is neutralized by piercing the Ace of SPades with the sword.
- Ibn Muljam's Belt: Used by Felix to conceal Leon Herrmann's Sword.