I was originally going to make this two chapters but I just couldn't figure out where to make a break so I just wrote one excessively long one. Last chapter here! Thanks for reading!

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Jess moved quietly through the dark hallway as she advanced to the side entrance to the auditorium. The halls she often walked through on her way to various departments in the course of her normal day now seemed threatening and eerie as her bare feet padded down the hall. She knew she was no soldier. Every sound she heard from the empty rooms caused her to start and bring her weapon to the ready position. She remembered when Becker conducted her basic weapons training which was standard for personnel who worked in the ARC. Becker had instructed her to keep her weapon at the ready but not to keep her finger constantly on the trigger to reduce the possibility of a misfire. He stood behind her, their bodies almost touching, as he grasped her wrist gently and moved her right arm into a more comfortable and natural firing position. She remembered her heart beating madly and groaned as she thought again of the kiss she gave him in the Hub. He probably felt guilt, not a surprise… that she had stepped into the dangerous role he usually played and while he definitely returned her kiss she was sure he felt she needed a vote of confidence and nothing more. At this point, embarrassment was the least of her problems.

Becker's calm voice came into her ear at that moment and she felt her cheeks turn red as if he could read her thoughts.

"Jess, you're going to stop at the entrance of the auditorium until we can be sure Connor is also in place. Be sure to sweep the auditorium visually with your weapon ready BEFORE you enter the auditorium I'm seeing multiple targets in the area. There are more than a few large containers that the animals could hide behind so take your time and move CAREFULLY! At this point, we still have no communication with McKittrick and Schooler. I'm fairly sure if you were sitting in my chair right now, you'd have figured that bit out about 30 minutes ago…."

She could hear his smile as his voice hummed in her ear.

"Well, I'm sure if you were standing in my position right now, the creatures would already be back through the anomaly and I'd already be writing my report on the successful containment of this incursion! I've decided after this little adventure I'm not going to be applying for a position in your department any time soon." She grinned.

"Jess, Abby has come up with an idea that might help you and Connor move the creatures out of there. When you begin the advance to the auditorium….next…Connor….lights"…..Becker's voice began to fade in and out amongst static on the comms….

"Jess…can …..hear….."

Jess sighed. Of course now WOULD be the time their communication would fade out. Right when she needed Becker…right when she needed Becker…...didn't she always need Becker?...this might be the last time she heard his voice…...a pat on the back when they'd had a difficult mission…..a joke or a smile when things didn't go right at the hub…she needed him…..she needed to tell him, just in case…just in case this didn't go well. He probably couldn't hear her anyway but if she said it and if something happened maybe later when they went over the feeds he would hear…..and know that even though it wasn't a returned, what she felt for him was real…..she touched her comm and made sure the feed went only to Becker's comm.

"Becker, I know you probably can't hear me but just in case I don't get to talk to you again, I think you are the bravest and best man I know. Not because of what you do but because you care enough to do it. I've loved you for a long time and…. I wasn't quite brave enough to say so and I know you don't feel the same….. but I wanted you to know….she touched her ear again linking her with Connor. ….. "Connor Temple are we ready to enter the lion's den…."

Connor replied, "Jess Parker, whatever happens, you can be my wingman anytime…" He grinned.

"Oh, Connor…been watching "Top Gun" again, have we?" she joked. "Ready when you are, Maverick…"

Taking a deep breath to calm her shaking hands, Jess brought her weapon to ready and entered the auditorium, surveying the area with her weapon before entering….just as Becker had instructed.

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Becker sat in front of the ADD frantically trying to find any button or switch that would restore communication with Connor and Jess. Nothing …..nothing he was doing, no magical reboot would bring the comms back. He sat frozen at the computer feeling an unfamiliar abject terror that he wasn't doing enough. Abby looked over at him worriedly. His eyes widened and a strange look came across his face as he seemed to receive some communication back but then it seemed to be gone again.

"What is it Becker? Did you hear something, anything…." Abby questioned him quietly.

"Nothing….no"…a look of determination crossed his face..…"we've got to be ready with the light magnification…I can see on the feed that their entering the auditorium…..we've got to get this right….we've only got one chance….." His face was strained as he prepared the electrical surge that would cause the lights to flare to high power.


Connor entered the dark auditorium silently, pointing his EMD in different directions, waiting for some sign of the creatures. He didn't need to wait long. A small creature, possibly a juvenile troodon, darted forward toward him as he pressed the trigger of the weapon and watched as the animal fell quickly to the floor. He moved to the side of the room opposite the entrance to the door and began to methodically sweep each area to push the animals toward the exit.

Upon entering the enormous room, Jess immediately switched to coordinator mode. If she was viewing the room from the ADD, she knew that she would be looking for creatures that could not only attack from the side but from an upper vantage point which meant atop 20 meter high storage containers.

As she advanced toward the back wall, a noise to her right caused her to swing her weapon and without looking fire off a shot. A human sized animal immediately fell to the floor and because she remembered the information Matt had relayed about the creatures intelligence and ability to hunt in packs, she immediately swung her weapon around to the opposite direction just in time to bring down another similar animal attacking on her left. She grinned, despite the shiver that ran through her.

"Two down here, Connor. Might change my name to Lara Croft!" Her face became serious as she eyed the door. "Let's move forward toward the door"

"Gotcha Jess!" Connor advanced forward and looked to his left to see Jess doing the same.

They slowly moved through the warehouse/auditorium when suddenly he noticed the lights above them which were actually quite dim, suddenly flicker. At that moment, the lights surged and a brilliant light flooded the room. A creature that had been hidden behind two boxes near Jess suddenly screeched a warning sound and ran toward the doorway to the hall.

Jess and Connor immediately recognized the animals terror and at the same time pulled out the two flash/bang devices they brought and tossed them into the back of the room. The noise in combination with the lights and the loud noise drew out two more creatures who slid across the floor toward the dim light of the hallway.

Connor and Jess could hear the sound of EMD's being discharged as the lights returned back to their normal state. As they both walked toward the center of the large room, Jess shouldered he weapon and allowed a large smile to cross her face.

"I think that's….." she began to say through the smoke when suddenly Connor heard movement above Jess' head. A large shadow sprang forward and fell down toward the spot on the floor that Jess was standing. Without thinking, Connor reached into his belt and pulled out the Glock that Becker had tossed to him and rapidly discharged it twice as the creature bore down on her position on the floor knocking her into an a spot on the floor directly in front of the anomaly.

Connor watched as the anomaly began to reduce in size until it finally winked out of existence.


Becker and Abby were frantically searching video feeds.

"I can't see anything! There's too much smoke in there!" The frustration was evident in Abby's voice.

Becker opened and closed windows as rapidly as he could but to no avail. He did find a message that a relay was damaged in the process and quickly switched to a backup system. Immediately comms were open and they suddenly had access to the lockdown program. They grinned and immediately began manually pushing buttons that would release all the doors that were locked including the rooms with soldiers and the lab where Matt was working. Becker put his hand to his ear.

"Jess! You and Connor, OK? Looks like McKittrick and Schooler have tranqed the troodons you drove into the hallway…I'm not seeing any more incursions…" A momentary silence crossed the comms.

Becker shifted in his chair and tried to stand up.

"Jess I need you to answer me immediately! Connor, what's going on?" He was grasping the edge of the table with white knuckles.

Connor's voice came over the comms but didn't have the good news Becker so desperately wanted to hear.

"Becker, Jess got knocked toward the anomaly by the last creature and I can't find her in all this smoke! I need someone down here immediately to make sure she didn't go through!"

In all his years of military service, Becker had never truly felt the absolute dread and terror he felt at that moment. He started to limp toward the lift when two soldiers burst into the hub followed by several medics who noticed Becker's now bleeding thigh and swiftly shoved him into a wheelchair for transportation down to the medical wing. Abby stood up tentatively and felt immediately better as her vertigo symptoms eased and she was able to slowly walk toward the lift.

Becker's loud voice rang out over the hub.


The medics were insistently arguing that his wound would begin to bleed again if he tried to walk more than a few steps and an hour in the the medical unit would give them time to sew up the damage and make it possible for him to check after that. Abby knew no amount of coaxing would convince him to go anywhere other than the auditorium to look for Jess. In fact, now the medics were discussing sedating him as they were sure a head injury was the cause of his belligerent demands. She sighed and walked over to the medics.

"Gentlemen, I will be responsible for Captain Becker. I will wheel him down to the auditorium to check on the status of his team and then wheel him back to medical for treatment. I think that's just about the only way this will go smoothly." She put her hands on Becker's shoulders warning him that this was probably the only way they would release him.

He frowned, folded his arms across his chest and sat silently while the medics discussed if this treatment plan was feasible. They nodded and Abby slowly pushed him toward the lift.


Jess heard sounds she couldn't identify but could see very little. She knew that the force of the troodon striking her had thrown her in the direction of the anomaly. She could see nothing and her eyes were definitely open. She sat up gently grabbing her weapon just in case more creatures were in her vicinity in this dark, strange place. As her thoughts cleared, she realized the sounds she heard were soldier's voices. Connor was directing them to find something, probably they were looking to make sure there were no anomalies. At least she hadn't gone through…When she woke up in the dark place, she was sure she'd been pushed through to the late cretaceous. Feeling with her hands she found a small tunnel. Grabbing her EMD she crawled from between the containers and walked silently to a dark corner near the front of the room. Her head hurt slightly and she didn't want to get in the way of the soldiers work so she simply sat down on a box, out of the way, leaned her head back and closed her eyes. She heard Connor directing the soldiers but couldn't hear what exactly he was saying. It didn't matter, she would rest here for a few minutes. They probably had moved Becker to medical and she would walk there in a bit to check on him and then begin writing her reports.

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Becker sat silently in the wheelchair as he and Abby went down to the lower floor in the lift. She wasn't quite sure what to say to comfort him.

"Becker, I know she's OK…They'll find her." He turned to look at her and she wasn't surprised to see the haunted look on his face.

"This can't be it. She HAS to be there and be OK…..I can't…" His voice began to break and he quickly became quiet again.

They arrived at the auditorium and Abby slowly wheeled Becker into the room. Connor smiled grimly at her and walked over to her and Becker.

"We're taking the search step by step. We found her comm next to the troodon so we can't use that to find her. But we WILL find her, this is a huge room."

"Becker, stay here, I'll be right back" Abby reassured the stoic captain as she walked toward a stack of boxes in the far corner discussing where Jess could possibly be.

Becker felt more panic than he'd ever felt in his life. Even the time he was trapped by enemy fire in Afghanistan…..that didn't even compare. He looked away from the soldiers and as he did he saw movement in a corner by the door.

She sat there with her eyes closed, sitting on a box and leaning her head back against the wall. Her cheeks were blackened by soot from the flash/bang with a bruise forming on one of her cheeks but to Becker she looked like the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He stood up from his chair and limped over to her still form. Sitting down next to her, he placed one of palms against her cheek and whispered her name.

She started suddenly and her large, blue eyes flew wide open. As they stared at each other a soft smile began to form on both their lips. Becker spoke first.

"Jess Parker, you are the most brilliant, brave, and beautiful woman I have ever met or hope to meet in my life and you're right, I don't feel the same as you because there is no way on Earth you could possibly love me as much as I love you. I'm sorry it took your having to take down 5 dinosaurs to get me to admit it…"….He gazed into her eyes and slowly leaned forward and placed his lips over hers. Her surprise rapidly disappeared as she placed her arms around his neck, pulling him closer as she opened her lips to his and relaxed into his embrace.

Abby looked over her shoulder to check on Becker and began to grin. Connor turned to look and suddenly called off the search as the soldiers began to set up a perimeter.

When the kiss came to a natural end, Jess glanced down at the blood on Becker's thigh. She suddenly became serious.

"Becker, what were you thinking! We've got to get you to medical! I don't know if you noticed but you have a GAPING HOLE IN YOUR LEG!" she scolded him and put her arms around his shoulders to help him to the wheelchair as he grinned at her unrepentantly.

At that moment Matt walked into the auditorium, reuniting with his team.

Connor shook his hand. "Good work, Matt. Maybe you'll be joining the tech department after this mission, yeah?"

Matt shook his head and smiled. "I don't think I've got the "skill set" to do this job full time. But I've gotta say I'm impressed with your skill as team leader. I might have to step it up a bit to keep my job!" He slapped Connor on the back and walked with the group out the door.

At that moment, James Lester came quickly striding into the hallway followed by a concerned Emily.

"Matt, what has happened? Is Becker OK? Are you OK?"Emily glanced between members of the team with a confused look on her face.

"I arrive at my office after being driven around for two days by an absolute mad woman who seems to have memorized every traffic law of this city and refuses to break a single one. It took us two hours to get home from the conference when it should have take us one! This woman needs a course in taking orders from a superior!" He glanced back at an unrepentant Emily, who smiled sweetly.

"I'm really an excellent driver!" she grinned. "He's just an awful, what do you call it, back door driver.

Abby laughed. "You mean back SEAT driver Emily….and I imagine you're most right about that!"

Lester continued. "Not only that, but when I return to the ARC after my ride through Hell, when I ask to speak to the FCO in charge, I'm told to talk to Becker and Abby. After I inquire who the Hell is doing Becker's job, they inform me to talk to Temple and Parker? Have I stepped through an anomaly without my knowledge and landed in some kind of alternate universe?"

At that moment, Mckittrick walked up to Jess and Becker as they turned to make their way to medical.

"Sir, we were able to get the tranqed animals back through the anomaly on the first floor before it closed. We've established a perimeter to check for any further activity."

"Sir" he saluted Becker before turning toward Jess.

"Ma'am" he saluted her also with a bemused smile and turned on his heel and walked down the hallway.

Becker smiled up at her. "I hope my men still follow ME after this!"

Jess leaned down and kissed Becker lightly on the lips. "I resign my commission effective immediately" she whispered and turned his wheelchair toward the medical bay.

Becker called Connor over before they left. He looked up as Connor handed him the Glock he had given him and grinned.

His eyes serious, he put his hand on Connor's arm.

"Thanks for…" He looked up at Jess who was talking to Lester.

"Anytime Captain!" Connor quickly grasped Abby's hand and led her toward medical for treatment.

Jess stood and Becker sat in the lift waiting for the door to close.

"You know, I really shouldn't be left alone tonight. Maybe Lester could have one of my men stop by and check on me." He said looking contemplative.

Jess laughed. "I wouldn't trust any of MY men with that task so I will assign myself to that detail.

Becker smiled as the doors closed. "Wouldn't have it any other way, ma'am…"


Thank you for everyone who read and reviewed. Special thanks to Youhavelovelyhair, Drawn to Darkness, Rubytronix, and Prawn crackers for all you encouragement.