Chapter One

Hello! I'm back with another story. I have no idea how long this one will be because I never plan ahead when I write….I'm awful, I know…As far as the title goes, it's a terrible title I know but I'm never good at titles. Hope you enjoy!

London traffic was not contributing to the improvement of Jess Parker's day. She'd made the decision to leave later than usual when a pipe in the flat above her burst and sent a steady stream of water from her ceiling light onto her kitchen floor. She quickly placed several large pots on the floor to capture the trickle of liquid and phoned the building superintendent to inform him of the problem as she grabbed a jacket and headed to her car that was parked on the street in front. After thirty minutes of stopped traffic, she sighed and reached over to grab her mobile in the purse beside her and dialed the number of Terrance, the B unit field coordinator on duty.

"I'm so terribly sorry, Terrance! Between the burst pipe and this ridiculous traffic jam I'm afraid I'm going to late this morning. Again, I completely apologize," the flustered young woman began. Terrance Zengel laughed. "Jess….I've never even see you arrive less than thirty minutes before your shift so don't worry…..I've got things covered until you get here. Believe me, there's enough chaos going on here right now that will send your blood pressure sky high…"

Jess' eyebrows shot up as she leaned forward in her seat and began firing questions at the older man. "What?...I didn't get an anomaly alert on my laptop! What's going on? What teams did you send out and can you give me the GPS coordinates? I might be able to access video feeds from the site."

Jess quickly grabbed the laptop on the car seat beside her and the sound of the clicking of a keyboard filled the car. The voice on the other end of the mobile spoke again as she set her phone on speaker and laid it beside her on the seat. "Actually Jess…..sorry…..I didn't mean any kind of anomaly alert, I just meant the annoying chaos from those ridiculous protesters who are at the outside gates again. I swear it's taking personnel twenty minutes to make it through the front check-in with those idiots yelling and trying to demand access to the ARC. Jess pulled the mobile away from her ears as she could hear her boss, James Lester, and his loud voice in the background as he yelled at an unfortunate employee. "NO! You are absolutely not to engage in any kind of dialogue with those simpletons! …..and tell Captain Becker , even if we HAD purchased him the tank he requested, he would not be allowed to, in his words, 'disperse hostile civilians' with it!"

Jess rolled her eyes and resumed her conversation with Terrance. "Those idiots are at it again? What do they call themselves? 'Christians Against Dinosaurs?' Maybe they should change their name to 'Christians Opposing Critical Knowledge! Then they wouldn't be CAD they'd be C…O…C….ummm…..well, never mind…." Jess blushed lightly and quickly shoved her mobile back in her purse and continued her slow progress toward her workplace.

Thirty long minutes later, the field coordinator drove up the street toward the ARC and found, to add to her stress, that the entrance to the ARC was blocked by several people with signs that said 'Paleo lies are created here' and 'Stop filling our children's minds with rubbish.' Sadly, several of the signs were filled with misspellings and errors which served to add to Jess' increasingly bad mood. She sighed with resignation as she drove toward a parking lot used by contract employees and parked her car. Carrying her laptop case, purse, and various equipment needed for the upgrades on her station she trudged toward the door in her adorable, yet increasingly uncomfortable four inch heels. One hundred meters later, almost at the entry gate, she was confronted by a short woman in her mid-thirties in a black and white dress who blocked her way into the check in point.

"Are you one of the employees here who perpetuate those ridiculous lies about dinosaur bones?" she shouted as she stepped toward Jess who was now beginning to struggle with the load of equipment she was carrying.

As she moved the strap of the heavy duffle bag back to her shoulder and balanced her laptop case on her knee, Jess gazed up at the woman with a look she usually reserved for her three year old niece when she was misbehaving.

"Isn't there something else you can protest ….like scientists who develop vaccines that save children's lives …or medical researchers that are curing new kinds of cancer...because you people are usually over there bothering those scientists….you know, because they're doing such awful things with those brains God gave them by saving people and all…" She began walking again toward the entrance, pushing past the protester.

"Never mind…..since you're dressed like that you're obviously just an assistant who fetches coffee for someone," stated the woman in a matter of fact manner.

Jess' eyes narrowed as she turned back toward the woman to answer her. "EXCUSE ME?...Who do you think…" Her field of vision was suddenly blocked by a tall man in black who placed himself between her and the protester. Jess stepped to the side of the tall man to finish her rather pithy reply but the soldier was now in front of the protester and ordering her in no uncertain words to vacate the sidewalk in front of the building.

"If you do not leave this area, which for your information is protected by the military, you WILL be arrested and I WILL PERSONALLY make sure you are charged with trespassing," Becker stated loudly as he towered over the woman who had now stepped back from the sidewalk with a wide eyed expression. She stared at Becker for a moment as she brought her fingers to her hair, which seemed to constantly be falling at her eyes and half smiled at the soldier. She stared for a moment at Jess, then back to Becker as she picked up her sign and moved herself to a position across the street, glancing at the soldier once more with a small wave. Becker rolled his eyes and turned to Jess and picked up the heavy duffel bag she was carrying and put it on his own shoulder. Jess stared at the woman before she turned back toward the ARC.

"I didn't need you to save me, but thanks Becker," Jess said with a small smile at the tall soldier as they entered the gate. The soldier looked down at her with his trademark smirk.

"Actually, I was saving HER . I know how dangerous you can be around ignorant idiots. I'm pretty sure you could have taken her down…even in those heels."

Jess giggled and Becker laughed along with her. As far as Jess was concerned it was the one bright spot in her morning. Later, she would say it was the ONLY bright spot in a day that went from bad to positively dismal.