Chapter 8

Connor sat with Stephen talking about the early days of the anomalies, about the Forest of Dean and Helen. Stephen was still weak but recovering as were all those that had been infected. They had been lucky, only two deaths from the many that had been confined to isolation. Becker opened the door and Connor and Stephen looked up.

"Abby's awake." He informed Connor.

"I'd better go" Connor jumped to his feet and patted Stephen's shoulder as he headed for the door. "See ya later, mate."

Stephen smiled as he left and Becker went to follow him out. "He's still chasing her."

Becker turned to him. "Apart from Lester they are, were, the only ones left from the beginning. They need each other. And they make a good team."

"Captain!" Stephen hesitated, "Becker...I need you to do something for me."

Becker tipped his head to the side quizzically as he stepped back into the room and closed the door.

"You don't trust me, I know. No-one trusts me and I don't blame them. I deserve that. But I need your help. I need to get out of here."

"That ….is not going to happen." Becker responded forcefully arms folded across his chest.

"I need to make this right. This is all my fault."

Becker stared at him. "I cannot let you walk free from here. They are my friends and I will do everything to protect them. Even if they don't like it."

"They are, were, my friends too. I am glad they have you looking out for them. God knows they need it. Especially Connor." Stephen chuckled, "But I bet Cutter gave you a hard time."

"What is it you want to do?" Becker asked.

"I need to find Helen."

Becker pulled a face.

"I need to put this right. I know how she operates and I have to try and stop her."

"Why should I believe that is the reason you want to go after her? You are probably still working for her."

"I understand. But she is planning something. Something big."

Like what?"

"I don't know. But everything she does is calculated. Nick. Me. The ARC. She has a plan. And we are all pawns in it, everyone of us."

.

Becker and Stephen stood in front of the anomaly that had been open for weeks. Others came and went quickly but some like this one stayed open. They still had not worked out why.

Becker looked at Stephen, "You sure about this?"

Stephen nodded, "I have to make this right. I at least have to try."

Becker handed him a rucksac and a gun, "These should help keep you alive."

Stephen took them and slung the rucksac over his shoulder. "Thanks." He held out his free hand and Becker shook it firmly. "I'll do my best."

"Take care. We hope to see you back here soon."

Stephen released Becker's hand. "Look after them."

"I'll do my best." Becker replied.

As Stephen turned and walked through the anomaly, Becker leaned back on the truck, rubbing his hand across his chin with a sigh.

.

Lester paced his office as if waiting for something. He looked out of the large glass window and saw Becker enter the hub. He opened the door and went out to meet him at the top of the stairs.

"Well?"

"It's done." Becker replied. "And the anomaly has closed."

"Let's hope we did the right thing." Lester sighed.

They looked out over the hub. Conner was working on the artefact with Abby stood at his shoulder watching. Sarah sat off to the side on the computer. She looked up and laughed at something Conner said as Abby rolled her eyes. Danny was close by, flirting with one of the technical staff.

"You are going to have to tell them."

"Yes I know." Lester snapped. "Thank you for stating the blindingly obvious."

Becker shrugged.

"All in good time." Lester saíd softly. "All in good time."

They both stood and watched the ARC going about business as usual. For now.