Season 1, after More Than Human

Twilight was approaching. Everybody was occupied with their favourite hobby. Summerlee and Veronica were fussing over pots and paints, Malone was day dreaming by his journal, Challenger was not to be found - it was most likely that he was in the lab - and Roxton was puffing his pipe, by the balcony railing, gazing at the jungle outside. Marguerite was undecided for a moment - a half finished book awaited on the table and there were stones she needed to examine - but she finally picked up her sewing and sat down by the window. She had a lot to think about.

The plateau, that she was stranded in, seemed to match Shanghai Xan's description. A mysterious place with strange and terrifying creatures - where the mundane and fantastical coexisted. Who, in good old London, would believe them if they spoke of half-man half-lizard creatures who held humans as slaves. She sighed as her eyes swept over her companions. Truth be told, they puzzled her more than the place. Challenger, Malone, Summerlee and Veronica. They had each risked their life for each other. Why? She wondered. The three men would rather die than disclose the secret of gun powder. A niggling voice, inside her told her that they were right. The lizards were barbaric. God knows what they would do in this primitive land with the powder! And Veronica? She could have escaped and returned to safety at her Tree House. She had no obligation to the explorers. Yet she had stayed and risked her life by returning in time to rescue them. Marguerite shivered slightly as her eyes swept over her companions. She was different from them. She would have protected herself.

"There is nothing wrong with self preservation," she argued with herself.

Idealism was all very well in civilised society but it didn't go very far in times of war. Most times, it was just foolishness. She remembered idealistic young men, not unlike Ned Malone, in the war. Soldiers who signed up for king and country. In the battle lines, they confronted reality - disease, disillusionment and death.

"Fools, all of them," she muttered to herself. "What good did it do?" Leaders used them as petty pawns and won medals for courage without even facing combat. The sweethearts, in whose honour the men fought, usually wetted two hand kerchiefs and then married the neighbourhood baker's son. Only their mothers truly grieved them.

"Well, I don't have a mother," thought Marguerite bitterly. Perhaps it was the perversity of her nature that rebelled against her lot. There may be none to genuinely grieve her death or remember her. None to sing paeans of her courage or place flowers on her grave. But that only made her all the more determined to cling to her life.

"I don't need anybody's tears. I will look after myself." Even as the thought crossed her, the memory of the towering T-Rex filled her mind's eye. The huge, lumbering creature with its terrifying jaws peering close to her. If not for Roxton, it would have been curtains for Marguerite Krux. Her eyes flickered in his direction.

"What an odd man," she thought to herself, "Why did he risk his life for me?" She could not understand it. Money? Power? Sex? She mentally ticked off the usual motivations of men - none of them could explain it. He was a peer of the realm and reputed to be rich. Sex ? He definitely desired her - she was not mistaken about that. But, she shook her head. He was a proud man and very certain of his appeal with women. It was not his style to claim sex as a token of gratitude. The last possibility was that he was truly the real deal - an honourable man. Even as the thought crossed her head, she scoffed at the idea. She had never come across an honourable man before and she had known more than her fair share of men. Men could certainly speak grandiloquently about honour, write reams about virtues and ideals in newspapers and in story books. But when it actually came down to facing the sheer terrors of survival, those ideals usually evaporated or were locked away in the recesses of ones conscience to be discovered on a sunny day after the rain clouds had passed away. She did not blame them their cowardice, recalling a frightened young man in Shanghai facing Callum. "He was only human - no less and certainly not more". She would never be that young again, she thought with a sigh, her heart aching at the memory of her past naïveté and the intensity and innocence of her first love.

Well, Roxton did not seem human. He had risked his life for her. "Why?" He certainly did not love her. She was not even sure if he liked her. They constantly quarrelled, he frequently disapproved of her actions and more than often suspected her motives. He had once called her a woman of fire and steel. Was that even a compliment? "Perhaps, he would do the same for any one," she pondered. "That was it! That was the answer." She recollected how he had refused to kill at Tribune's orders. He had made no long speeches. "You may choose whether I live or die but I choose whether I kill," he had said so simply and yet succinctly, thrilling a part of her soul into admiration in the midst of terror at the prospect of imminent death. She remembered the gossipy tales from London society - about how he had killed his brother in a jungle safari and inherited the title. While she had known better than to believe some of the more sensational aspects of the stories, she now knew they did not square with the man. She could not help wondering how those apocryphal stories had affected him. He was indeed an honourable man with possibly a vey troubled and guilty conscience. That guilt was driving him to take inordinate risks on behalf of others.

"All the more, the reason for me to keep my distance," she decided. A wide chasm separated them - a chasm of birth, breeding, disposition and morality. They had nothing in common, except perhaps an abundance of passion. She sighed again. It would be far easier, far far easier, though, if he wasn't just so damned attractive.