Family Ties
Jen Sulzer

Disclaimer: The characters of Adam Newman, Megabyte Damon, Ami Jackson,
Kevin Wilson, Jade Weston, and the concept of the Tomorrow People are
the property of Roger Damon Price, Thames/Tetra Television, ITV
Television, Nickelodeon, etc. The characters of Derek Rayne, Alex
Moreau, Nick Boyle, Rachel Corrigan, and Barbara Rayne, as well as the
concept of the Legacy, belong to Trilogy Entertainment, MGM, and the
SciFi Channel, etc. These characters are used without permission, but
not for profit. Carrie Morgan, Ariel, Michael, and any strange
creatures encountered along the way are my own creations.

Note: Quotes indicate verbal speech, single quotes indicate thought,
and colons indicate telepathy.

I’d like to thank Kristin, my long-suffering beta-reader who has stuck
with me through five fics now, as well as Deb and Laura for providing
me with detailed character sketches of Barbara Rayne. Thanks, guys!

Family Ties
A Tomorrow People/Poltergeist: The Legacy Crossover

Chapter One
Control Room, Angel Island, San Francisco

"So what exactly are we looking for?" Nick asked as Derek stepped
through the holographic entryway.

"Anything to suggest why the Blessed Mother statue at St. Mary’s is
weeping," the Dutchman responded.

"Gee, that really narrows it down," Nick muttered as Derek passed him
and entered his office. Derek smiled briefly, but did not let Nick know
he had heard the comment. Things had been somewhat slow around the
Legacy as of late, and they were all getting a bit "stir-crazy," as
Alex had put it.

He took a deep breath as the doors of his office slid shut behind him.
Even Derek himself was beginning to feel slightly restless. To make it
worse, the holiday season was nearing, and that usually meant trouble
of one kind or another for those who stood vigilant against the
darkness. The Dark side just couldn’t seem to let this season of peace
and goodwill go by without trying to ruin it. 

Walking to his desk, Derek gratefully sank into his comfortable chair.
After a moment, he spun around to face the window, hoping the panoramic
view of the skyline would calm his nerves.

Even that majestic cityscape, though, couldn’t do more than take the
edge off. Sighing, the Precept turned back to his desk and began
digging through the ubiquitous mounds of paperwork that were the
hallmark of the Luna Foundation, as well as the Legacy.

He had barely picked up his pen when the phone on his desk began
shrilly ringing. Grateful for the interruption, Derek snatched up the

"Derek Rayne."

"Sir, it’s Jonathan, from the front gate. There’s someone here to see
you, sir." Derek’s face went pale as the gatekeeper relayed the
visitor’s identity. Hanging up the phone, he strode out of his office
and into the Control Room.

"Derek, are you okay? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost!" Alex
exclaimed with concern upon seeing her Precept’s pale face.

"You could say that," was the only response she got as Derek stepped
through the hologram. She glanced over at Nick, who shrugged in


The Foyer, Angel Island

Derek smiled bemusedly as he paused to straighten his tie in the

‘I’m a grown man, and I still worry about what she’ll think of me!’ he
thought to himself with a slight chuckle. Finally satisfied with his
appearance, he strode towards the door just in time to hear someone
knocking on the other side. The Dutchman took a deep breath before
swinging the door open.

"Mother! What a pleasant surprise!" he exclaimed. Barbara Rayne smiled
in return.  Surprisingly youthful in appearance, she had the bearing of
a Russian countess, and impeccable style to match.

"Oh, really, dear? From the look on your face, I’d think you were going
to the guillotine," she replied to her son’s greeting. Derek grimaced,
and then hastily schooled his expression into one of pleasure. "Aren’t
you going to invite me in?" Abashed, Derek stepped aside to allow his
mother to enter. Ever vigilant, Domenic, the major domo, appeared
seemingly out of nowhere, and took Mrs. Rayne’s bags.

"Will your mother be staying long, sir?" the proper British manservant

"That depends, Domenic," Derek replied, with a glance at his mother.
"on exactly why my mother has made this unannounced visit."

"Haven’t you guessed, Derek?" Barbara asked with a smile. "I’ve come to
meet my granddaughter. Take my things to the Green Room, please,


Taphini Island, The Ship

Adam Newman lay curled up on his mattress, a framed photograph clutched
in his hand.  He stared past it, his eyes filled with tears.

‘How could she do this to me?’ he wondered. ‘How could she fake her own
death?!’  Overcome, the Australian threw the picture across the chamber
and buried his head in his arms, ignoring the sound of the glass in the
picture frame shattering. The Ship produced a worried-sounding melody.

"Just leave me alone!" Adam cried, his voice muffled by his arms. The
Ship continued its attempts to comfort him, but they went unheard.
After a moment, the alien computer became silent.

A second later, a flash of light filled the chamber, and quickly faded
to reveal Ami, who appeared quite worried. She began to move towards
Adam, but paused when she noticed the smashed picture by her feet. She
knelt over the shattered picture, and gingerly piled the pieces of
broken glass on top of the framed picture. Picking up the damaged
photograph, Ami walked over towards Adam’s limp form on the futon and
set the picture down next to him. Settling herself on the edge of the
mattress, Ami reached a hand out and squeezed Adam’s arm.

"It’s okay, Adam," she whispered to him. "Carrie can fix it, I’m sure."
The only response she got was a muffled moan. "Come on, Adam, why don’t
you tell me what’s bothering you?" The Australian remained silent.
"Does it have something to do with this picture?" Ami asked, tapping a
finger on the edge of the frame. She got no verbal answer, but Adam did
raise his eyes and glare at her angrily. Intrigued, Ami quickly pursued
this line of questioning. "Who is she Adam? A relative?" she asked as
she peered at the old picture.  Indeed, the picture’s subject did share
the Australian’s dark hair and eyes.

A hand suddenly snaked out and covered the picture. Ami looked up in
surprise to see Adam had fully raised his face and she quickly noticed
his eyes were red and puffy.

"Have you been crying?" she asked. Adam ducked his head, but Ami
pressed on. "What happened Adam? What did she do?" A sudden thought
struck her. "Or was something done to her? Was she killed?" Adam
glanced at his fellow teleporter sharply, and then took a deep breath.

"The woman in the picture is my mother. She died with my dad in a car
crash when I was ten. Or, at least, that’s what I thought…" Adam
revealed, carefully studying Ami’s face.

"Oh, Adam!" Ami exclaimed, reaching out to comfort him, but the
Australian edged away.  He wasn’t ready for comfort, at least not yet.

"I always thought she had died in that crash--but all that changed the
other night. When we went up against that cult," Adam continued, as Ami
sat in shocked silence. "I’m positive I saw her with them--as their


Angel Island, The Living Room

Derek and Barbara Rayne sat on the sofa in the luxurious room, quietly
catching up and making small talk. Once he had taken his mother
upstairs to "freshen up" before meeting her granddaughter, Derek had
gone to Carrie’s room to tell her of their visitor.  Unfortunately, the
room was empty, and Carrie was nowhere to be found. After a fruitless
search of the House and grounds from the Control Room, Derek had made a
mental note to get his daughter a cellular phone or at least a pager,
and had hastily ushered his mother into the living room to await his
daughter’s return.

"Frankly, Mother, I wish you had called first," Derek told his mother
as he poured tea from a sterling silver pot Domenic had thoughtfully
brought in.

"I’m surprised you weren’t expecting me to visit, dear," Barbara
replied as she accepted the steaming cup her son offered her with a
perfectly manicured hand. "After all, you called me out of the blue one
day, and told me I had a granddaughter I had never met! I talked to her
for approximately twenty minutes, and then…nothing!

"Yes, well, things have been a little busy around here," her son
replied uncomfortably, keeping one eye on the doorway. ‘Where is she?’
he wondered. ‘It’s not like her to disappear without at least leaving a

"I’m certain they have--the Legacy has a way of taking up most of your
time, I know," his mother replied. "But still, you could have at least
had her call me again, or write a letter!" A sudden flash of light just
outside the doorway drew both of their attentions before the discussion
could escalate.

"Alex? I got that stuff…" Carrie’s voice trailed off as she entered the
room, shopping bags hooked over one arm. Dressed in a faded sweatshirt
and ancient jeans, she seemed out of place in the elegant room. "Oh,
I’m sorry I interrupted, I was looking for Alex," the redhead
explained, beginning to back out of the room. Derek quickly rose from
his seat and grabbed her hand before she could disappear again.

"No, please, we were waiting for you. Carrie, this is someone I’d like
you to meet." Barbara Rayne rose and approached her granddaughter with
a warm smile and an outstretched hand.

"Hello, dear, I’m your grandmother." Carrie’s eyes went wide as her
free hand involuntarily reached to meet her grandmother’s. The elder
woman chuckled at her shocked silence. "I know you weren’t expecting
me--" she began, but Carrie cut her off.

"Oh, no, I’m thrilled to finally meet you," she broke in, glaring
daggers at her father, who simply shrugged with an amused smile. "It’s
just that this is kind of a bad time…Um, I’ll be right back." She
quickly exited the room, leaving her father and grandmother to glance
at each other in confusion.

Chapter Two
Angel Island, the Control Room

"Alex!" Carrie exclaimed as she stepped through the hologram, bags
still hanging over one arm. "Do you know who’s out there?"

"No, but I know Derek looked like he had just seen a ghost. Who is it?"
Alex asked, looking up from her terminal as Carrie walked in.

"My grandmother!" the redhead exclaimed as she dropped into the nearest

"Barbara’s here?" Alex asked eagerly. "Well, that explains Derek’s
behavior earlier! How is she?" Carrie glared at the researcher.

"I had no idea what to say to her--she looked incredible, nothing like
I expected!" the young teleporter exclaimed, running a hand
distractedly through her unruly auburn hair. "And to make matters
worse, I actually walked in there holding bags from Wal-Mart and
looking like I’d just gotten out of bed!"

"You with nothing to say? That’s a first," a deep voice commented from
the other side of the room. Carrie glanced over and grimaced.

"Thanks a lot, Nick! I don’t see you running out to say hello!" Alex
quickly stepped between the two of them and put her hands up in a
placating gesture.

"Now, come on guys, back to your corners. Carrie, I’m sure Barbara
didn’t even notice any of it. She was probably much too eager to meet
you. Why don’t you give me those bags, and run upstairs to change?"
Carrie glanced down at her faded sweatshirt and ancient jeans, which
had a hole in one knee.

"Thanks. That’s a good idea. I’ll meet you outside the living room in
five minutes," she replied, dropping the bags on the floor and
vanishing in a flash of light.

"Think she’d teach us how to do that?" Nick asked. Alex smiled.

"Well, you could always ask, but I don’t think she really wants to talk
to you right now. Why don’t we go say hello to Barbara?" Alex
commented, taking Nick by the arm and pulling him out of the Control
Room before he could object.


Taphini Island, The Ship

"You think your mother’s that cult’s leader?" Ami asked in disbelief.
Adam nodded.

"I’m sure it was her. Look at the picture!" Ami did, but she wasn’t so
sure. The picture was at least ten years old, and a bit fuzzy.

"You don’t believe me." Adam stated bluntly, reading the uncertainty in
her face.

"It’s not that I don’t believe you, Adam, it’s just that--well, it’s
kind of hard to tell," Ami fumbled for the right words to placate her
friend. But Adam would have none of it.

"I understand. It seems outrageous to you, doesn’t it?" he asked, his
voice having gone curiously flat.

"I wouldn’t say outrageous, Adam…" Ami began.

"What would you say about it, Ami?" he demanded. Ami couldn’t think of
anything to say, so she kept her mouth shut. Adam rose from the
mattress and began pacing around the small circular chamber. "I can’t
believe you’d do this to me! Not after what she did!" Ami rose and put
a hand on his shoulder, but Adam shrugged it off. "I think I need to be
alone right now," he told her coldly without turning around. Biting
back tears, Ami nodded and backed away from him. Before she left,
though, she gave it one last try.

"I’m sorry, Adam. Maybe--"Adam cut her off with a wave of his hand.

"Don’t, please. Just go." The Australian dropped down onto one of the
Ship’s ledges as his fellow teleporter disappeared in a flash of light,
his head in his hands.


Angel Island, Carrie’s Room

"Hey! Can’t you knock or something!" Carrie exclaimed as Ami ‘ported
into her room. "I was in the middle of getting changed! What if you’d
been Megabyte?"

"What if I’d been Adam?" her friend teased, sitting down on the bed.
Carrie gave her the full benefit of the "Rayne glare" as she pulled on
a sweater and straightened her khakis.

"So what’s up?" Carrie asked as she stepped into the adjoining bathroom
to brush her teeth.

"I’m worried about Adam. He thinks--wait a minute, why are you getting
dressed up so early in the morning?" Ami asked her fellow teleporter.
Carrie never got out of her "uniform" of sweatshirt and jeans before
noon if she could help it.

:You’ll never guess who’s downstairs,: Carrie challenged.

"Who?" Ami asked.

:C’mon, guess!: Carrie replied with a mental grin.

:Um, Elvis?: Ami ‘pathed with a roll of her eyes. A sudden sensation of
choking came across the telepathic link, and she leaped to her feet.
:Carrie! Are you okay?:

:I’m fine, you just made me almost swallow my toothbrush.: Carrie
replied. :How’d you come up with that one?:

:It doesn’t matter. So who’s downstairs?!: Ami demanded.

:My grandmother.: was the ‘pathed reply, tinged with excitement. :I
just came up here to change so I could do damage control on my first
impression.: Carrie added ruefully. Ami started in surprise.

:Today’s a day for family surprises!: she exclaimed.


:Adam--oh, never mind. You should go downstairs and enjoy yourself.:
Ami couldn’t bring herself to spoil her friend’s good mood.

"No, what’s going on? What’s wrong with Adam?" Carrie asked with
concern as she came back into the bedroom.

"Well, he thinks the leader of that cult--the New Dawn, right?--was his
mother." Ami carefully watched the expression on her friend’s face.

"What?! Where’d he come up with that one?" Carrie asked in surprise.

"He has an old photograph of her--his mother, I mean--but it’s quite
old and a bit fuzzy. I couldn’t tell for sure, but he was adamant about
it." Ami replied with a sigh.

"Oh, man. What are we going to do?" Carrie wondered aloud as she ran a
hand through her hair. She stared in surprise as Ami took her by the

"Right now, you are going to go downstairs and meet your grandmother.
We can discuss what to do about Adam later." Ami told her friend in no
uncertain terms. "He won’t do anything crazy, I’m sure," she added as
she saw her friend’s hesitation.

"Are you certain?" Carrie asked. Ami nodded. "Well, okay then. If
you’re absolutely positive he won’t go off looking for her or anything,
that is," she added with a sidelong glance at her friend.

"I’m sure. He’s just upset and stressed out right now. He needs time to
cool down, and then we’ll be able to reason with him," Ami replied.
"Now go downstairs before your grandmother comes up here looking for
you!" Both girls burst into laughter at that matronly remark.

"Okay, Mom!" Carrie exclaimed as Ami mock-punched her on the arm. "You
want to meet her?" Carrie asked as she moved towards the door. Ami
shook her head.

"And how are you going to explain your British friend who arrived here
without anyone noticing?" she asked with a smile.

"Good point. I want you guys to meet her, though. I am going to tell
her about us, I think--eventually. She deserves to know," Carrie
remarked, grinning as Ami shooed her out of the room.

:See you later, right?: the question was ‘pathed as Carrie walked down
the hallway. The redhead grinned.

:You bet. We can discuss our fearless leader then.: Ami smiled with
relief; at least she wasn’t alone in handling this anymore.


A darkened room, somewhere in San Francisco

The only source of light in the dimly lit study was from a small desk
lamp, illuminating several ancient texts that lay open on the desk. A
woman was bent over them, her dark hair pulled back into a long braid.

‘There must be something here!’ she thought to herself, smacking an
open hand on the open volume in frustration. ‘I must find some way to
regain favor with my lord!’ The sudden sound of a floorboard creaking
caught her attention.

"Yes, Michael?" the woman asked without turning around.

"I should have known I couldn’t sneak up on you, Ariel," the tall,
blond man remarked with a slight chuckle. "Anyway, I brought those
books you wanted. Don’t know what you hope to find in them, though." He
dropped the volumes on the desk before collapsing into a nearby
armchair. The dark haired woman had to jump to keep the priceless
volumes from tumbling to the floor.

"Be more careful, Michael! These books are irreplaceable--they’re
valuable antiques!" she exclaimed. Her frustration was met with a wry

"As is so much around this place, I’m afraid. We need new blood in this
organization, Ari." Michael commented, staring idly into the darkness
that shrouded most of the room.

"Exactly how do you suggest we recruit this ‘new blood’?" the woman
asked skeptically. Her companion smiled.

"How about those youngsters who surprised us at the clearing? They
appeared to have rather…‘promising’ talents, you know." The woman
called Ariel groaned.

"I know they do, Michael. It’s how they stopped us from bringing our
lord to cleanse this world, remember! How would you have us bring them
across? They’d never agree to help us, that much is clear!" she
exclaimed, rising from her seat.

"Oh, I don’t know about that, Ari," Michael replied, waving her back
into her seat. "They’re human, at least I assume they are, and that
means they all have at least one weakness. All we have to do is figure
that out."

"Is that all? I thought you wanted us to do something impossible!"
Ariel said with a mirthless laugh as she turned back to her books. "We
don’t even know who they are!"

"Oh, don’t we?" Michael remarked, pulling a manila file folder from
thin air and tossing it carelessly onto the desk. Ariel grabbed it and
eagerly opened the file. She gasped as she looked through its contents.

"How did you get these?" she demanded of her companion, spreading
several photographs on top of the precious volumes. Michael simply

"It was child’s play, my dear. Once I realized his identity," Michael
gestured with one elegant finger to one of the pictures, "the others
practically came to me! Now, how are we going to, ah, ‘convert’ them?"

"I have an idea…" Ariel murmured, half to herself as she studied the
pictures intently.

"Well, whatever you decide," Michael remarked, rising from his seat,
"make sure they pay for disrupting our ritual and blocking the coming
of our lord!" Ariel merely nodded in agreement; she was lost in
thought. Michael smiled icily at her, and then strode from the room.

As he pulled the door shut behind him, a small man dressed in a
servant’s uniform approached him with the air of someone approaching a
caged panther.

"Um, sir?" the small man asked, keeping his head bowed--it was treason
to meet one of the Masters’ eyes. This "Master" responded with a tired

"Yes, what is it?" he asked sharply, which only made the servant more

"Well, there--there’s a phone call for you, sir," the man stammered,
carefully keeping his eyes downcast.

"I’ll take it in my office," Michael snapped. "Oh, and make sure
Mistress Ariel is not disturbed--not for any reason whatsoever. She is
in the midst of an extremely important project; the fate of all our
endeavors is hanging in the balance. Do you understand?" The servant
nodded, and Michael headed for his office.

‘My dear Ariel,’ he thought to himself. ‘This plan of yours had better
work. If not, well-- everyone is expendable.’

Chapter Three
Angel Island, the Living Room

"And so, after we retrieved the artifact, the spirits simply vanished!"
Alex told a politely attentive Barbara. She glanced over to the
doorway--Carrie was taking longer than the promised five minutes, and
the researcher was doing her best to stall for her. She was psychically
sensitive enough, though, to notice a "disturbance in the Force" as
Nick would have put it, and those "disturbances" usually meant another
teleporter was nearby.

‘I just hope Carrie doesn’t get any ideas about telling Barbara right
away!’ the researcher thought to herself. ‘I can just imagine the
fireworks that would cause!--Speak of the devil," she added as Carrie
stepped through the doorway.

"Ah, hello, everyone. How’s everything going?" the redhead remarked
nervously. ‘Oh, that was real smooth, Carrie! You sound like you’re in
third grade!’ she mentally berated herself.

"We were beginning to think you were never going to come down!" Alex
joked, coming over and putting a reassuring hand on Carrie’s shoulder.
"Don’t worry--you’re going to be fine," she whispered into the
teleporter’s ear. Carrie managed a brief smile just before her
grandmother approached.

"Hello, dear," Barbara Rayne greeted her granddaughter warmly. "I do
hope you’re feeling better--you looked slightly ill before," she
commented with a smile.

"Yes, well, I was feeling a little dizzy earlier, but I’m okay now,"
Carrie replied, giving her grandmother a grateful smile for the excuse.
Barbara quickly took her by the arm and led her over to the couch.

"So, tell me about yourself, dear," Mrs. Rayne instructed as Derek,
Alex, and Nick made a discreet exit.

"I’m afraid there’s nothing I didn’t tell you on the phone," Carrie
replied. ‘Well, except for the fact that my friends and I have psi
abilities that we use to save the world every now and then,’ she
thought to herself wryly.

"Are you certain? I’ve missed so much of your life," her grandmother
commented. "I don’t even know your favorite food or color."

"Pizza and dark blue," Carrie replied without missing a beat. Both
Rayne women shared a laugh, but a discreet knock at the door
interrupted their conversation before it could go any further. Carrie
and Barbara both rose to answer it, but Carrie reached the door first.

"I’ve got it, Grandmother," she said as she reached for the doorknob.
Barbara smiled at being addressed that way for the first time.

"Yes, Domenic?" Carrie asked upon seeing the majordomo on the other
side of the door.

"I do apologize for the interruption, Miss Carolyn," the manservant
began. Carrie smiled; the majordomo was the only person who insisted on
calling her by her full name. "but your father requests your presence
in his office for a moment." Domenic smiled apologetically.

"Of course, Domenic," she responded. "Please tell him I’ll be there in
a minute." The majordomo nodded, and then crisply turned and proceeded
down the hallway. Carrie turned back to the inside of the room and
began to explain the situation to her grandmother.

"Don’t worry, dear--I completely understand," her grandmother replied
with a wave of her hand.

"Yeah, duty calls," Carrie replied with a grateful smile as she exited
the room.


Another darkened room

Michael came into the room with a measured stride, confident that all
was going to plan. All except for Ariel, of course. She would bear
watching. As a precaution, Michael checked the lock on the door as he
shut it behind him.

‘Time for the local report,’ he thought to himself, running a hand
through his blond hair as he sat at the large desk which was the
principal piece of furniture in the room. He opened a drawer, and
pulled out a medium-sized velvet pouch. It was black in color, of
course. He unfastened the closure, and shook out a round, clear crystal
about the size of the palm of his hand.

Settling the crystal in the middle of his desk, Michael held his hands
out above it, and began chanting softly in Latin. A moment later, the
stone began to glow with an unearthly green light, and a voice issued
from it.

"What news?" the voice asked sharply. Michael allowed himself a small
smile before he replied.

"Our plan to capture and convert those ‘teleporters’ has moved forward,
and everything is falling into place," he reported.

"What of the witch?" the voice asked. Michael’s expression changed to a

"She is with us for the moment, but her allegiances may be wavering.
Perhaps you could arrange to send me another mage?" he replied, trying
to keep his voice light, but still hint at future possibilities.

"You will make do with the resources you have," the voice instructed
coldly. The crystal then fell dark, and no efforts Michael made could
reestablish the connection.


Angel Island, the Hallway

‘What’s going on here?’ Carrie wondered as she approached her father’s
office. ‘First he "forgets" to tell me my grandmother is coming to
visit, and then he yanks me out of the room just as I begin to feel
comfortable with her!’

Carrie stepped through the doors as they slid open before her,
intending to give her father a piece of her mind. She came up short,
though, as soon as she saw the worried expression on his face.

"What’s wrong?" she asked instantly, moving to stand beside him at his
desk. Derek managed a ghost of a smile, and indicated that she take a
seat. After a moment’s hesitation, she did so. "Hey, it’s not that bad.
Actually, Gran and I getting along pretty well, considering." Her
father’s smile was more real this time, and Carrie took that as a good

"I’m glad of that, but that’s not why I needed to see you," her father
remarked. "I just received a fax from Frank Karmack down at the police
station. There was a robbery last night…a witness described the
perpetrator appearing in a flash of light, and then disappearing in a
similar manner." Carrie’s jaw dropped as she sat in shocked silence for
a moment, but she quickly recovered herself.

"Well, it sure wasn’t one of us!" she exclaimed.

"There’s more, I’m afraid," Derek went on. "The owner of the store was
killed by some sort of invisible force, possibly a telekinetic blast of
some sort."

"Now you know for sure it wasn’t us! For heaven’s sake, we can’t kill!"
his daughter exclaimed angrily. The Dutchman nodded calmly, causing
Carrie to blush with embarrassment at her overreaction.

"Yes, I know that," Derek reminded his daughter. "Could you check with
the others, just to make sure of their whereabouts? If any of them were
nearby, it’s possible someone saw them and made up this story," Derek
asked. Carrie snickered.

"If they came up with that story," she commented, "they’d have to be
drunk. Oh, I get it!" she commented at her father’s smile and nod.
Carrie’s eyes took on an unfocused appearance as she contacted the

:Hey, guys, I hate to do this to you, but I need to know last night
around,…: she returned to reality for a moment to glance at her father.

"When did it happen?" she asked.

"About a quarter after midnight," was the reply, after Derek checked a
paper lying on his desk.

:Around a quarter after midnight last night, California time. A
shopkeeper was robbed and then murdered, and a witness described the
culprit appearing and disappearing in a flash of light.: Carrie
explained. The replies were quick in coming.

:I was in my room, studying for my Chem exam,: Ami replied in her
clipped British accent.

:Dad was working late, so Kev and I rented some movies and got pizza,:
Megabyte ‘pathed.

:Yeah, and we had to stay up all night watching bad movies and eating
cold pizza!: was Kevin’s reply, which brought a smile to Carrie’s face.

:I was on my way to school, like you two should’ve been!: Jade chimed

:She’s got a point, Megabyte. That’d be quarter after eight, London
time,: Carrie observed with a smile.

:Why walk to school when you can teleport? And besides, I took a year
off before college, remember?: Megabyte asked mischievously.

:It’s kind of hard to teleport when your mother watches you out the
window every morning to make sure you actually get on the bus!: Jade

:All right, you two, that’s enough,: Adam stepped in, but his mental
"voice" lacked its usual authority. In fact, he sounded more tired than
anything. :I was here on the island.: he finished quietly, and then
withdrew from the conversation. Carrie frowned for a moment, but
decided now was not the time to pursue the matter.

:What’re we going to do?: Megabyte asked.

:I don’t know yet. I’ll get back to you when I have more information.
Thanks, guys.: Carrie opened her eyes as she broke the mental link.

"No one was even close to that area," she reported. "I don’t know
what’s going on here, but it’s definitely something we should look

"Agreed," the Dutchman replied. "Perhaps we can work together this
time?" he asked with a smile.

"Well, we can always try," his daughter replied, with an answering

:You know, we should probably check this place out, before too much
more time passes,: Ami interjected. Everyone else ‘pathed their mental
agreements, even a reluctant Adam.

"Could you make my excuses to Grandmother?" Carrie asked her father as
she rose from her chair. Her father replied with an elegantly raised
eyebrow. "Hey, if we really are being framed for murder," Carrie told
him, "we’d better check it out before the trail gets any colder." Derek
considered this for a moment, then nodded.

"All right, but I have a feeling Mother isn’t going to like this," he
replied. Carrie laughed out loud at his pained expression.

"Hey, she’s your mother--just tell her something’s come up."

"What kind of ‘something’?" her father asked.

"Oh, I’m sure you’ll think of ‘something’," Carrie remarked with a sly
smile. "I’ll be back as soon as possible," Carrie promised just before
disappearing in a flash of light, leaving Derek to try and come up with
an excuse that his mother wouldn’t see through in an instant.

‘This is going to take a miracle,’ the Dutchman thought to himself with
a shake of his head.


A darkened room somewhere in San Francisco

"So, how is the great plan going?" the tall, blond man asked from his
seat by the fireplace as a dark haired woman entered the room.

"Exactly according to schedule," she responded, gracefully taking a
seat in the chair across from him. "My sources tell me Rayne has been
appraised of the "incident," and he will undoubtedly relay the details
to his daughter."

"And after that, it’s only a matter of time," Michael finished, leaning
forward eagerly. "I must say, Ari, this plan of yours is brilliant. All
we have to do is dangle this ‘carrot’ in front of their noses, and
they’ll come to us!"

"And when they do," Ariel commented with a tight smile. "They won’t be
able to escape, despite all their ‘special powers’!" The two of them
shared a dry laugh, and then Michael rose from his seat and strode
towards the door.

"Much as I hate to leave your delightful company, my dear, I really
must begin preparations for our "guests." They will undoubtedly be
arriving shortly." With a cold smile, he strode from the room, leaving
his dark haired companion to gaze into the fire.

"Yes, he will be here shortly, and then I will know the truth…" she
thought to herself, clasping her hands in her lap as the flames seemed
to leap higher under the intensity of her gaze. She didn’t realize
Michael was silently observing her every move from just beyond the
slightly open door.


Outside Baker’s Meats, San Francisco

No one paid much attention to the small group of young people gathered
outside the deli turned gory crime scene. If anyone even noticed them,
they assumed they were simply a group of curious, morbid teenagers.
That was the farthest thing from the truth, however. The group of young
teleporters clustered tightly together, discussing their plan of

:For the last time, Jade, you can’t look inside!: Ami admonished the
younger girl, who, for all her attempts at being mature, pouted. It
hadn’t been the initial plan to involve the younger two in this grisly
crime, but Jade had thrown a fit at the thought of being left out of
the excitement, and Megabyte had dragged Kevin along anyway, saying he
"needed to get out more."

:Adam and Megabyte got to look!: Jade replied. Ami rolled her eyes and
turned to Adam for support. To her surprise, however, help didn’t come
from the Australian who sat on a set of concrete steps, deep in

:Trust me, kid, it’s nasty in there. It’d give you nightmares for at
least a month. Think of the five goriest movies you’ve ever seen and
put them together--that’s how bad it is in there.: A shaken-looking
Megabyte soberly put in, giving Jade something to think about. He
continued on a private channel to Ami and Adam. :How anyone could think
we did this is beyond me.:

:No one thinks that, Megabyte. Derek just wanted to make sure no one
had seen us around here and gotten the wrong idea, remember?: Ami

:There’s Carrie,: Adam suddenly broke into the conversation. Ami
glanced in the direction he was looking, and smiled to see Carrie
quickly approaching them.

"Hey guys, how is it in there?" she asked, gesturing in the direction
of the roped-off store.

"Very, very nasty," Megabyte replied. "I wouldn’t recommend looking, if
I were you." Carrie raised an eyebrow.

"It must be really bad to get that reaction from you, Megabyte," she
commented to the computer hacker, who nodded grimly in reply. "So, now
what?" Carrie asked, turning to Adam, who had remained silent for the
last few minutes, with his pendant tightly clutched in one hand. "Earth
to Adam!" Carrie remarked a few moments later, putting a hand on his
shoulder after the Australian failed to answer. He abruptly snapped
back to reality.

:Someone’s watching us!: he exclaimed, jumping to his feet and running
across the street, into an apparently abandoned building. The remaining
teleporters glanced at each other in confusion for a moment, then took
off after their leader.


Angel Island, Derek’s Office

"Derek, may I speak with you for a moment?" the Dutchman glanced up to
see his mother standing just inside the doorway.

"Of course, Mother. I can finish this paperwork later," he replied,
pushing a stack of papers to one side of his desk. "What’s on your
mind?" Barbara Rayne graciously took the seat her son offered, and then

"I know you have secrets from me, son, just as your father did. I came
to terms with that awhile ago," his mother told him. Derek nodded,
remembering her last visit, where they had finally made peace with each
other. "However, that is not the case where Carrie is concerned,"
Barbara continued. " I know she’s keeping something from me, and I need
to know what it is. Tell me, Derek, what’s going on here?" It was clear
that Barbara Rayne was determined to find an answer, but her son tried
to fend her off as best he could.

"I believe this is a question Carrie should be answering herself," he
replied, earning a sigh from his mother.

"I did try to ask her first, but she seems to have disappeared again,"
she replied. After a moment’s thought, she continued. "Actually, the
last time I saw her, she was on her way to your office. What happened
to her, Derek?" Barbara Rayne challenged.

"Carrie asked me to tell you she had some urgent business to take care
of," Derek stated, hoping that, for once, his mother would be satisfied
with a simple explanation.

"And what ‘business’ would this be?" his mother asked, giving her son
an appraising glance.

"A friend called her," Derek replied. "A friend who needed her help
very badly."

"Would this ‘friend,’" Barbara began, making it clear she wasn’t
entirely convinced of Derek’s excuse, "happen to be Adam?"

"Yes, it was," Derek stated, hoping Carrie would return in time to put
an end to all of this.

"Well, then, why don’t you give me his phone number, and I’ll call
her," his mother reasoned.

"You don’t have to do that," Derek jumped in.

"Why, Derek?" his mother asked. "Is it because she’s not really there?"
Barbara glanced at her son with a raised eyebrow that emphasized their


Near Baker’s Meats, San Francisco

:Ugh!: Jade exclaimed as they entered the long-abandoned building
across the street from the butcher shop turned crime scene. :This place
is disgusting!: Indeed, it was--dust blanketed the floors of the bare
rooms, and shadows filled every corner. The team crept quietly down the
dark hallway, trying to figure out where their leader had gone.
Megabyte paused to flip a light switch on a nearby wall, but nothing

:Guess somebody forgot to pay the light bill.: he joked, drawing a
withering look from Jade.

:Megabyte, that one is so old--: she began.

:Did anybody see which way Adam went?: Carrie interrupted as they came
to a branch in the hallway. The others shook their heads.

:Flip a coin?: Megabyte asked flippantly. Carrie was just about to
reply to this when a sudden crash off to their right caught their
attention. Immediately, the team headed in that direction.

They burst into a room a few doors down the hall from where they had
been earlier, and froze.

Chapter Four
Angel Island, Derek’s Office

The Precept of the San Francisco Legacy House was desperately trying to
think of an excuse to leave his office and escape from his mother.
Apparently, her gaze hadn’t lost any of its piercing power over the

"You still haven’t given me a straight answer, Derek. Where is my
granddaughter?" Barbara Rayne asked icily. "And "I don’t know" won’t
cut it, because we both know you do."

"Perhaps she returned already and didn’t want to disturb us," Derek
suggested. "Let me call Alex and see if she’s seen her." His mother
sighed and sat back in her chair, deciding to humor him for the moment.
Fate had a different idea, however. As Derek reached for the receiver,
he knocked over the stack of papers that had been sitting on the edge
of his desk. They slid to the floor, everything landing in a messy

Mrs. Rayne smothered a smile as her son blushed, then blustered to
cover his carelessness. They both knelt on the floor to gather up the
papers. Suddenly, Derek stiffened slightly as he noticed the headline
"Mysterious Murder in Meat Shop" at the top of one of the papers his
mother held. He started to reach for them, but Barbara had not missed
her son’s reaction. She kept the papers out of his reach, and went
through them one by one.

"Which one is it, Derek? Which one of these deals with Carrie?" She
asked, carefully watching his reaction as she looked at each paper in
turn. "It can’t be the annual report for the Foundation," she
commented, laying several of the papers aside. "How about this article
on the Madonna at St. Mary’s Church? No, that’s not it." That article
joined the financial reports in the "no" pile. "What about this
"Mysterious Murder"?" Barbara Rayne finally asked. Derek was careful to
keep his face an impassive mask, but after scrutinizing his expression,
his mother smiled with triumph.

"So, you sent her to check out this crime scene? Why on earth would you
do that?" her son opened his mouth to respond, but a sudden, blinding
pain brought the floor rushing up to meet him.


In the Abandoned Building (or is it?), San Francisco

The five teleporters found themselves completely surrounded--by
darkness. Total blackness was on all sides, and even the door they had
entered from was gone. Carrie struggled to see, or at least make out
something that would hint at where they were, but she could see nothing
except blackness.

"What’s going on here?" Megabyte’s physical voice finally asked from
somewhere off to her right. All of their attempts to move or teleport
had failed, along with all attempts at mental communication. The
darkness, whatever it was, had them immobilized--both physically and

"I have no idea," Carrie reluctantly replied. She hated to admit it,
but she was at a loss for an explanation.

"Adam?" Ami called hopefully into the darkness, but there was no reply.
At least, not from the Australian.

"I’m afraid your leader is unavailable at the moment," a deep voice
replied with a slight chuckle that sent chills down each teleporter’s
spine. A bright light suddenly glared at the teleporters, causing them
to squint in an effort to see. A tall, good-looking man stepped
forward, looking each one of them over carefully. He ran a hand through
his blond hair for a moment, then sighed. "Well, you’re a little rough
around the edges, but you’ll have to do."

"What do you want with us?" Carrie asked angrily, as the others echoed
her question. The blond man smiled ruthlessly.

"Why, to train you, of course!" The man replied with a wave of his
hand. The teleporters suddenly found themselves able to move again, but
their freedom was short-lived. With another sweep of his hand towards a
door the team was certain hadn’t been there before, the teens felt
themselves begin to walk towards it, but not by their choice.

"How can he do this?" Megabyte hissed under his breath.

"Silence!" the man thundered, and the teleporters suddenly found
themselves without speech.

‘What the heck is going on here?’ Carrie wondered. ‘And where’s Adam?’


Angel Island, The Foyer

Rachel Corrigan had just stepped out of her coat, when Alex ran into
the hallway.

"Rachel! Thank God you’re here!" the researcher exclaimed breathlessly.
"It’s Derek--he’s having some kind of seizure!" Rachel immediately
followed her colleague and friend down the hall and into Derek’s

The doctor paused in surprise upon seeing what had befallen their
Precept. The always daunting, sometimes infuriating man she had come to
consider a close friend was lying on the floor of his office, his
entire body shaking violently. Rachel collected herself, struggling not
to let her shock at his condition show. Kneeling next to Derek’s body,
she slipped into "doctor mode," and began caring for her patient.

"Give him some space--move everything out of the way!" she ordered to
Nick, who quickly began moving chairs and artifacts out of the way. "We
shouldn’t restrain him, but something needs to be under his head,"
Rachel explained to Barbara, who immediately removed her immaculate
suit jacket and slid it under her son’s head. Fortunately, after a few
more agonizing minutes, the seizure seemed to subside, and the Dutchman
wearily opened his eyes.

Derek opened his mouth, but no sound came out. A quizzical look crossed
his ashen face, but, after a moment of surprise, Rachel quickly jumped

"I’m sure it’s just an aftereffect of the seizure and will probably
pass with time, but you should have it checked out. I know a doctor who
specializes--" Derek cut her off with a wave of his hand and an
explicit shake of his head. Alex, Rachel, Nick, and Barbara exchanged
amused smiles.

"Now, Derek, I really must insist that you see a doctor about this,"
his mother scolded. "I realize this probably was not a "natural"
occurrence," she continued, as the Legacy initiates exchanged surprised
glances, "but you may have injured yourself physically. Would your
colleague be willing to make a house call?" she asked Rachel.

"He owes me a favor, so I’ll have him come out here as soon as
possible," Rachel promised. "Nick? Could you help us get Derek up to
his room?" the ex-Navy SEAL carefully lifted his Precept off the floor,
and gingerly helped him up to his bedroom.


In the Abandoned Building, San Francisco

"Look who I found nosing around, Ariel!" the blond man exclaimed as he
led the teleporters into a sumptuous room with a roaring fireplace. A
dark haired woman glanced up from the ancient volume she had been
reading and broke into a radiant smile. The teleporters glanced around
the room in shock--how could this room exist in the building they had
entered earlier?

"Finally! The plan worked!" she exclaimed as she stood, but her smile
quickly faded as she mentally counted the number of teleporters in the
little group. "Where’s the other one?" she whispered into the blond
man’s ear. The man stiffened, but quickly fixed his smile back into

"He may have eluded us momentarily, but it’s only a matter of time
before he joins his little friends here! And then, the fun begins!" he
promised with a mirthless laugh.

‘What is going on here?’ Carrie wondered to herself. ‘Who are these

"Did you take care of Rayne?" the blond man asked his companion,
smiling coldly as Carrie stiffened at the mention of her father’s name.

"Of course, Michael!" Ariel replied. "He won’t be alerting anyone to
our whereabouts any time soon!" they both joined in a vicious laugh,
oblivious to the anger that filled each of the teleporters in the room,
one in particular.

"You see, dears," Michael remarked, turning to face the teleporters
once again. "you are completely in our power, and there’s no hope of
the cavalry coming any time soon. Will you join us?" he smiled at their
incredulous expressions. "Yes, well, perhaps later. Now, come, it’s
time you saw where you’ll be staying for the duration of your little
visit." With that, Michael turned, and led the silent, yet seething
group of teleporters to their prison. Upon their exit, Ariel’s
expression of satisfaction and victory instantly faded.

‘The last one will be trouble," she thought. ‘But I’ll quickly find
where he’s hiding…’ she reached for a grimoire lying on a nearby table,
and soon lost herself in the contents.


Elsewhere in the Building

A dark haired figure crept slowly down the dingy, deserted hallway,
keeping carefully to the shadows. Adam grew increasingly concerned as
time continued to pass and the others failed to join him.

‘Where could they be?’ he wondered. He was positive they had entered
the building right behind him after he had had the sensation they were
being watched. Apparently, once they entered the building, the rest
team had vanished into thin air. The sound of a voice from a nearby
room caught his attention.

Slowly easing the door open, the Australian peered inside. His eyes
went wide as he saw the interior of the room--it was a luxurious
library, completely at odds with the dark, dirty hallway Adam stood in
just beyond the door. He had a further surprise as he noticed the woman
he believed to be his mother performing some sort of ritual in the
center of the room. ‘No, I think she’s actually casting a spell!’ he
corrected himself after watching for a few minutes.

Adam gasped as the spell conjured up an image of him standing in the
hallway, looking into the room. The woman abruptly turned and threw the
doors to the room open, just in time to see her prey disappear around
the corner. She began to give chase, but two guards approached her from

"Master Michael sent us, ma’am," one of the men told Ariel. "He said
you might know where the missing boy is." Ariel mentally cursed Michael
and his uncanny knowledge--if she denied seeing the missing teleporter,
or mislead the guards, she would certainly pay for it when this was all

"I just saw him--he ran this way," she told the guards, indicating the
direction Adam had taken. They sounded the alarm, and then the chase
was on.


Angel Island

"How’s the patient?" Nick asked Rachel as she stepped out of the
Precept’s room, quietly shutting the door behind her.

"About as well as can be expected," she replied with a rueful smile.
"Dr. Richards is in with him now, but he’s not having much luck keeping
our esteemed Precept in bed."

"That’s Derek for ya," Nick commented. "He’s sure he’s immortal or

"Or something!" Rachel agreed. They both shared a strained smile, and
then went downstairs to update Barbara and Alex on Derek’s condition.

"How is he?" Barbara asked as soon as they entered the Living Room
where Alex had been plying her with tea to calm her down.

"He’s resting, but there doesn’t appear to be any lasting damage. Other
than his loss of speech, I’m afraid." Rachel told her. The worry lines
on Barbara’s face creased even more deeply than before.

"Any sign of that lifting?" Alex asked in an effort to fill the silence
that followed. Rachel shook her head.

"It’s impossible to tell exactly when that will wear off, but we’re
extremely hopeful." Barbara sighed suddenly, drawing the attention of
everyone in the room.

"I wish now I hadn’t made such a fuss about Carrie disappearing like
she did. I feel certain whatever "mission" he sent her on is connected
to this somehow." Derek’s mother sank back further in her chair, for
once looking every bit of her years.

"Where is the kid, anyway?" Nick asked. "I haven’t seen her since
Derek’s mother got here."

"I haven’t either," Alex added.

"He sent her on an assignment to investigate a murder," Barbara
offered, causing the three Legacy initiates to stare at her in
surprise. She managed a strained smile at their expressions, but
soberly continued. "The paper should still be on the floor in his
office--that’s where I dropped it when he collapsed." Mrs. Rayne closed
her eyes in exhaustion. Alex quickly disappeared into his office and
returned with a small stack of papers. Barbara pulled out the article
about the meat shop murder, and Nick whistled.

"I never saw that one," he commented. Alex nodded in confirmation as
she scanned the article.

"Me, neither," she suddenly went pale as she reached the end of the
article, and she wordlessly pointed out a passage to her colleagues.
They all glanced at Barbara, but she appeared to be lightly dozing out
of exhaustion and worry for her son and granddaughter. Nonetheless,
they moved outside the door so they wouldn’t disturb her.

"So Derek finds this article about a teleporter possibly committing
murder, and sends Carrie to check it out? That’s outrageous, even for
him!" Rachel exclaimed.

"Rach, she’s a Rayne--if she went anywhere, it was probably her idea,"
Nick commented with a wry smile. Alex nodded in agreement.

"I doubt she’d ever let Derek "send" her anywhere. But, what do we do
now? We can’t leave Derek and Barbara here alone," Alex said.

"Rachel should stay, since Dr. Richards could need her help," Nick
replied. "Alex, you and I will go and see what’s happened to Carrie and
the other kids." The ex-SEAL rattled off a series of instructions for
each of them, and they quickly went about their assigned tasks.


In the Abandoned Building

His heart racing in his chest, Adam ran breathlessly down the corridor.
He dodged first left, and then right, figuring that, if he himself
didn’t know where he was going, his pursuers wouldn’t be able to tell,
either. Fate was apparently on Adam’s side, since he spied a closet in
the hallway just as his pursuers were gaining on him. He ducked inside,
and pulled the door shut just in time. A small group of people ran
straight past him, never noticing the closet. Moments later, the
Australian poked his head out the door, listening carefully to be sure
his pursuers weren’t doubling back.

Cautiously slipping into the hallway, Adam headed back in the direction
from which he had come, determined to figure out what was going on.

:Guys?: he ‘pathed hopefully, but silence was his only answer--it
didn’t even feel like his telepathy was working correctly; it was like
the thought was staying right in his head. The Australian sighed; all
previous attempts to locate his teammates had failed as well. Fearing
he already knew the outcome, the Australian closed his eyes in an
attempt to teleport. This proved unsuccessful as well. ‘What could have
happened to them?’ Adam wondered, fearing his friends had already been
captured. ‘That could be why she was looking for me,’ he reasoned, ‘if
she’d already found the others.’ Pausing to hide in a shadowy corner,
the Australian planned his next course of action.

‘Too risky to let myself get caught, even if it would tell me where the
others are being held.’ Adam figured. ‘Best to do a little
reconnaissance first.’ The sound of voice echoing down the hallway
caused Adam to duck into hiding again, sighing angrily. ‘This is
getting ridiculous!’ he complained to himself.

"I don’t care Jeff--those kids give me the creeps," Adam listened
intently to the conversation of two of his pursuers who had apparently
stopped to make small talk directly in front of Adam’s sanctuary.

"They’ve got ‘em all secured in the basement, pal," his companion
reminded him.

"Yeah, but still, those kids are supposed to be able to read your mind-
-I’m not going near them!" the first man declared.

"What ever you say, man," the second man told him, obviously humoring
his companion. "C’mon, let’s find that boy, and then we can get back to
our poker game," Adam let out a breath he didn’t know he had been
holding as the sound of receding footsteps reached his ears. Once he
was certain they were gone, Adam once again eased his way out of his
hiding place and back into the hallway.

‘Now how do you get down to the basement?’ Adam wondered, a plan
beginning to form in his mind.

Chapter Five
In the Abandoned Building

"Here we are, my dears, your luxury accommodations!" Michael declared,
throwing open a door seemingly at random in the dark hallway. The only
light in the corridor was the glare from the bare, overhead bulb
hanging from the small room’s ceiling, but Michael had led them through
the darkened hallway without hesitation. The teleporters glanced
uneasily at each other, but Michael directed them into their prison
cell with another wave of his hand.

They each struggled to resist his hold over their actions, but none of
them were able to break free. Once the entire group was inside the
small, windowless room, the door was slammed shut with a loud clanging

"You see, there is no way out," Michael told them through a small
cutout in the door, which, unfortunately, was blocked with metal bars
of some sort. "But, as a show of good faith, I’ll allow you some
freedom." He waved his hand, and Jade, who had been struggling to
communicate her discomfiture, suddenly let out a squeal.

"Hey, I can talk again!" she exclaimed. Their captor smiled

"Yes, I didn’t want you to be bored to tears down here. Also, you’ll
find you are now able to shift into more comfortable positions," he
promised, and the team found themselves able to move again.

"Care to finish the job?" Megabyte asked sarcastically, but Michael’s
eyes blazed, and the young computer hacker found himself flung up
against the wall for his remark.

"Remember, children," the blond man instructed them, "I may have
restored your powers of speech and movement, but my lord may choose to
remove them at any time. Oh, and you should know that there have been
rumors about some rather interesting ‘creatures’ down here, so trying
to escape, or even calling for help, would be very foolish. Please,
enjoy your stay." Michael quickly strode down the hall and away from
the small group huddled in their cell, obviously not wanting to be down
in the basement any longer than he absolutely had to.

"Now what?" Kevin asked.

"We find a way out of here," Carrie promised, rising to test the door.

"What about what he said was down here?" Jade asked, softly, not
wanting to attract any unnecessary attention.

"We’ll just have to take our chances," Carrie replied. The younger girl
shivered, and Ami squeezed her shoulders comfortingly.


Outside Baker’s Meats, San Francisco

Nick and Alex pulled up outside the butcher shop with a squeal of

"You’ll never catch me ever letting you drive again! Who taught you,
anyway?" Nick demanded as he got out of the car.

"Gramma Rose, who else?" Alex answered with a sweet smile. Always a
hasty driver, Alex hadn’t been able to resist the thought of taking
revenge on Nick for all those nerve-wracking drives he’d taken her on
over the years. "Do you see them anywhere?"

"Nope. I’ll look inside--you check around back," he instructed as he
ducked under the yellow tape barrier and pushed the front door open.
Alex gingerly stepped into the alley that separated the butcher’s shop
from the building next door.

Not sure what she was expecting, Alex breathed a sigh of relief as she
saw the alley, as well as the space behind the store itself was quiet
and empty. ‘No sign of demonic activity here,’ she said to herself with
relief. The sound of rustling paper behind her quickly caused Alex to
whirl around. She was just in time to glimpse a ragged, hunched-over
figure lurching out of the alleyway.

"Hey! Wait a minute! I need to talk to you!" Alex cried after him, but
the figure gave her a furtive glance, and then moved more quickly out
of the alley. Alex gave chase, shouting for Nick as she followed the
man. They had just reached the corner, when a sudden figure leapt from
behind Alex and tackled the man, forcing him to the ground.
Fortunately, there weren’t very many people around, and those who where
there only saw what they wanted to see. Nick quickly yanked the ragged
figure to his feet, and shot a questioning look at his colleague.

"They weren’t inside--does he know something?" he asked. At Alex’s nod,
Nick pulled their captive over to a set of nearby stone steps. The
dirty man yanked himself free of the ex-SEAL’s grasp, but, at Nick’s
warning glance, merely seated himself on the steps.

"All we need is some information," Alex assured the man, who snorted.

"Yeah, that’s all the cops wanted, too, but what did I get out of it,
huh? Nothin’. "

"When did you talk to the police?" Nick asked.

"After that there shopkeep was murdered," the man replied, gesturing
towards butcher shop where the murder had occurred.

"You were the witness!" Alex exclaimed. "Did you really see the
perpetrator appear and disappear in a flash of light?" The man nodded.

"You betcha. The police weren’t interested in that, though. Figured I
was drinkin’, but I wasn’t. I saw what I saw, and that’s what I saw.
Newspapers were really interested in what happened, though."

"I bet," Nick commented. "What about earlier today? Did you see a group
of kids standing around here, or inside the shop?" The man glanced at
Nick, his eyes narrowed.

"And what’s in it for me, huh? Why should I tell you what I seen?" Nick
glanced at Alex, who nodded. Nick grimaced slightly as he pulled his
wallet out of his back pocket.

"How does twenty bucks sound?" the ex-SEAL asked. The man leaned back
speculatively, with eyebrows raised. "Thirty?" Still no response.
"Forty is my last offer," Nick told him, holding the bills just out of
the man’s reach. Suddenly, the homeless man stood, and snatched the
money out of Nick’s hand.

"Saw those kids here earlier, on these here steps. Then, all of a
sudden, one of ‘em ran into that building there," he pointed to a
vacant building across the street, "and the rest followed ‘im."

"Thanks," Nick told him before crossing the street to check out the
building. Alex hung back for a moment.

"Hey, if you ever need a place to stay, there’s a shelter over on
Mission Street," Alex told their informant, who shrugged.

"Always full, that one," the man commented. Alex smiled.

"Just tell the director that Alex Moreau sent you, and she’ll let you
in, okay?" The man murmured her name under his breath. "That’s right.
Thanks again for the information!" Alex soon joined Nick in front of
the building.

"So, do we storm the battlements?" Alex asked.

"Let’s take the sneaky and quiet approach," Nick replied, pulling his
gun out of its holster, and flashing her a grim smile. "They’ll never
know what hit them."

"Great, but who’s ‘they’?" Alex wondered.


Angel Island, the Living Room

The sound of footsteps caused Barbara Rayne to awaken from her nap. She
rose from her chair just in time to see her son trying to walk past the
doorway without waking her.

"Derek! What are you doing out of bed?" she demanded. Her son
stiffened, then turned, and tried to answer, but rolled his eyes when
no sound came out. Barbara reached over and picked up a pad and pencil
Alex had left on the coffee table. Derek quickly scribbled out a
response, and held the pad up for his mother to see.

"‘Has Carrie come home?’" Barbara read aloud. "I’m afraid not, Derek.
In fact, Alex and Nick went to look for her," she told her son, whose
eyes widened. Barbara looked over his shoulder as he resumed

"‘Danger--dreamed they’re--’ What is that word, Derek? You really need
to work on your handwriting," Derek shot his mother an amazed glance,
and got a wan smile in return. "Yes, dear, but, once a mother, always a
mother." Her son tried writing the word again, and this time Barbara
understood his meaning.

"‘They’re imprisoned’?! Where??" she asked incredulously. Before Derek
could respond, Rachel and Dr. Richards entered the room.

"What is this? I leave for five minutes to confer with Dr. Corrigan,
and you immediately disobey orders!" Dr. Richards exclaimed. He tried
to lead the Precept back to bed, but Derek refused to leave the room.
Rachel quickly took the doctor aside and offered to take charge of the
patient. With a hearty ‘Good Luck!’, the good doctor washed his hands
of the Dutch Precept.

Rachel saw him to the door, and then returned to find Derek and Barbara
in his office, where he was communicating much more efficiently on the

"What have we got?" she asked. Barbara glanced up, her face even more
lined with worry.

"Not much, I’m afraid. Carrie has the Sight, correct?" she asked.

"I, ah, well, she has a touch of it, but her main talents lie in…other
areas," Rachel replied, shooting a cautious glance at Derek, who seemed
to confer with her wording. Fortunately, Barbara was too preoccupied to
notice Rachel’s hesitant response.

"Derek appears to be picking up on their situation somehow, but direct
communication seems to be out of our reach," Barbara stated quietly,
rubbing her hand tiredly over her eyes.

A sudden strangled cry from Derek drew both their attentions.


In the Basement of the Abandoned Building

The small band of teleporters sat on the floor of their small jail
cell, each trying to come up with an escape plan. The door appeared
secure, and there was no window or convenient hidden passage around, so
the team was stuck, at least for the moment.

"I’m surprised they didn’t tie us or something," Ami remarked tiredly.

"We’re still under whatever’s left of that spell, remember?" Megabyte
commented. "We’re obviously not a threat to them."

"Then maybe we should become a threat," Kevin spoke up viciously,
surprising all of them.

"How do you expect us to do that? We are locked in here, you know, and
we can’t even teleport!" Jade replied, leaning against the wall with an
air of defeat.

"We can’t give up, guys. There’s got to be a way out of here!" Carrie

"Maybe I can help," a familiar accented voice commented from the other
side of the door.

"Adam!" everyone exclaimed in the same breath. The Australian grinned,
and dangled a ring of keys in front of the window.

"Where did you get those?" Carrie asked. Adam’s smile turned grim.

"Off a guard who won’t be needing them," he replied. "Hey, don’t worry,
I only snuck them off him while he was asleep," he added upon seeing
their shocked expressions. "Let’s get out of here," he said as he
unlocked the door.

"I’ll second that!" Megabyte exclaimed. "How’d you find us?" he asked

"My powers are being blocked, so I did it the old-fashioned way," the
Australian replied with a smile. "I eavesdropped on our "friends" out
there," he elaborated at Megabyte confused expression.

"Hang on, guys," Carrie spoke up. "What are we going to do about our
"friends" up there?" The teleporters glanced at each other uneasily; no
one had an immediate plan.

"I think we should get out of here, and then come back with someone who
knows how to handle people like them," Ami finally offered.

"Like the Legacy," Carrie agreed. Adam nodded.

"That’s probably our best bet. I think I saw another exit down the
hall--we should be able to get out that way," the Australian stated.
Once the rest of the group had filed out of their prison, Adam closed
and locked the door.

"What’re you doing that for?" Carrie whispered.

"To confuse them a little," Adam replied. "And to buy us some more
time." He disappeared down the hall for a moment, but quickly returned.
"I put the keys on the floor next to the guard--with a little luck,
he’ll think they just fell off and won’t bother to check the cell," he
explained. The team then quickly headed in the opposite direction,
towards the exit, with Adam leading the way.

"Adam, when they captured us, they took us to see that woman who led
the cultists last time," Ami told him in a hushed tone, having moved to
the front of the group to speak with him.

"I saw her, too. I’m more certain than ever that she’s my mother," he
replied. All other attempts to draw him out proved fruitless, so Ami
retreated to the rear of the group, where Carrie was keeping an eye on
what was behind them.

"He still believes she’s his mother," Ami told Carrie with concern.

"We can’t do anything about it now," Carrie reasoned, "but I’m
beginning to wonder if he could be right after all."


Somewhere else in the Building

"What do you mean, they’ve escaped!?" Michael demanded, yelling at the
underling who had delivered the news.

"One minute they were there, sir, and then they were gone! The door was
still locked--I don’t know what happened!" the man replied, striving to
make his superior understand the escape wasn’t his fault.

"Well, why haven’t you found them yet?" Michael asked icily. "Get out
there, and don’t come back until you’ve found them all!" The man nodded
his head quickly and scurried out of the room, not wanting to be in the
Master’s presence any longer.

"I don’t believe this is happening!" Michael exclaimed, collapsing into
the nearest chair.

"You do know how they got out, don’t you?" a soft voice asked from the

"It must have been that blasted boy, Ariel! He must have figured out
where they were, and then sprung the lock somehow," Michael said,
resting his hands on his knees, a plan formulating in his head. Ariel
smiled slightly at the mention of the missing teleporter.

"At least they’re still in the building somewhere," she remarked,
moving out of the shadows. "That blocking spell we constructed blocks
psi energies throughout this building. And, I’d know it if they tried
to push through the wards--" she broke off as an outside force
distracted her.

"What is it?" Michael demanded.

"Someone’s trying to get in!" his companion replied. "Two people,
actually--they have the stink of the Legacy all around them!" Michael
buried his head in his hands; his carefully thought-out plan was
falling apart before his eyes.

"How can this be happening?!" he asked no one in particular. "There’s
no way they could have found out where we are!"

"The important thing now is to keep them from finding those children
before we do!" Ariel reminded him.

"Yes--we must move quickly!" the blond man replied, and they both
headed for the door.

"I’ll keep our "guests" from finding out the cavalry is here," Ariel
promised as they moved into the hallway. Michael nodded in reply, and
they parted ways.

Chapter Six
Angel Island

"What is it, Derek?" Rachel asked as she and Barbara bent over the
Precept. Derek appeared locked in a Vision of some sort, but that
didn’t stop him from twisting away from their attempts to restrain him.
The Vision ended as abruptly as it had started.

"Derek? Please, son, what did you See?" his mother asked. Derek glanced
around the well-lit confines of his office for a moment, as if unsure
where he was. Suddenly, he pulled the keyboard towards him and began
furiously typing an account of his Vision.

"Dear Lord!" Barbara exclaimed, reading over her son’s shoulder.
"Wherever Carrie and her friends are, there’s some sort of creature or
something nearby--it’s just lying in wait to attack them!" Rachel
snatched the receiver up from Derek’s desk and punched in Nick’s cell
phone number. When the ex-SEAL failed to pick up, she tried Alex’s
phone. No answer there, either.

"There’s no answer--we’ve got to get out there!" she exclaimed. She
turned to leave, and heard Barbara’s surprised exclamation as Derek
rose to follow her. Turning back around, Rachel spoke quickly. "Derek’s
our only link to what’s going on out there, whatever it is. We need

"Then I’m coming as well--I am perfectly capable of taking care of
myself, if the situation warrants it," Barbara replied coolly, and
abruptly strode out of the room. Derek and Rachel shared an amused

"And I used to wonder where you got it," she commented to her Precept,
who could only frown at her in response. They both quickly made their
way to the car, and then the threesome headed for downtown San


In the Basement

The team was moving down the dark hallway quickly, but with as much
stealth as they could manage. Which wasn’t easy, when you had a group
of six teenagers who were used to simply disappearing in the face of
danger. Fortunately, there was a slight increase in the lighting as
they approached the exit--now they could actually see where they were
going, at least somewhat.

Suddenly, Jade stopped dead in her tracks, causing everyone behind her
to bump into each other.

"W-what was t-t-that?" she stammered in a low voice. Everyone else
glanced around cautiously, peering into the shadows.

"Aw, it’s just your imagination running overtime," Megabyte told her
after a moment’s silence failed to reveal any monsters. The others
managed weak smiles as they started moving again, but a sudden crashing
noise brought them all skidding to a halt.

"Now even I heard that," Ami commented nervously. The team glanced
around uneasily, but nothing jumped out at them. They had just decided
the situation was getting to all of them when a sudden blur leapt out
in front of the group.

"Adam!" Carrie exclaimed. "Watch out!" The Australian dared not even
spare a glance over his shoulder to make sure his friends were safe--he
was too busy dealing with the mystery creature.

The thing, whatever it was, swung at Adam’s left shoulder--fortunately
he dodged to the right just in time. The creature then tried to get at
him from the right side, but Adam was able to dodge to the left. This
pattern continued for several repetitions before relief came from

Hunting around in the dim light, the other teleporters had managed to
lay their hands on several lengths of pipe, which they threw at the
creature. Working under their block against killing, they could only
try and distract or at least deter the creature--destroying it was out
of the question.

Their efforts were unsuccessful, however, since the creature was only
momentarily distracted by the flying debris, and was blocking their
path again immediately after they ran out of ammunition. Unfortunately,
this necessitated Adam having to resume his little dance with the
mysterious monster.

"We can’t kill it," Ami reminded everyone breathlessly, as they
struggled to come up with a solution to getting past or around the

"Too bad," Megabyte commented, and Ami punched him lightly in the arm.

"We need a plan, guys, and we need it now," Carrie interrupted them.
"Adam can’t hold that thing off forever." Indeed, the Australian had
quickly tired of his little game with the creature, but fear for his
friends kept him going, and forbade him from allowing anyone to take
his place.

He was only human, however. Tired, Adam reluctantly backed off for a
moment to catch his breath, hoping against hope that the creature would
leave them alone. That was not the case, however, and the creature
abruptly charged the small group. The teenagers scattered, and the
creature suddenly paused, as if held by an invisible force. The monster
howled as it was dragged backwards by that same force. When it reached
the spot it had begun its attack from, a gate abruptly slammed down
from the ceiling, effectively penning the creature behind its metal
bars. Unfortunately, the gate also blocked off the team’s only hope of

"What just happened?" Kevin asked shakily. "It-it was like someone
helped us." Adam shrugged his shoulders.

"I don’t know, but we’ve got to find another way out, and quickly--our
luck might not last much longer," he commented. Wordlessly, the team
returned the way they had come, hoping they would find a turn off that
would lead them to another exit.

After they had disappeared from view, a dark-haired woman left the
shadows behind the metal gate and moved towards the creature. Initially
it growled at her, but after she raised her hand and stared at the
creature, it allowed her to pet it on the head.

"Who bound you here, I wonder," she said in reply to the creature’s
pitiful whine, "Someone here doesn’t trust me! Let’s see how they react
to having their plan change unexpectedly," she concluded, pulling a
small stack of photographs of each of her victims, from Adam Newman to
Derek Rayne, from one pocket of her robe and a pouch containing some
sort of blue dust from another. She neatened the pictures into an even
pile, and the sprinkled the dust on them in a circular pattern. She
then blew it softly into the air, the dust and pictures vanishing in
sparkles of light. With a satisfied smile, and a final scratch to the
creature’s head, she disappeared into the shadows again, destination


Elsewhere in the Building

Nick stealthily crept down the deserted hallway, gun at the ready. Alex
followed closely behind, reluctantly carrying a gun the ex-SEAL had
forced on her earlier.

"See anything?" she whispered, and Nick answered with a quick shake of
his head. He abruptly paused in mid-step, and put out his hand to keep
Alex from being seen. She listened for a moment, and then also heard
the sound of footsteps rapidly approaching. They both flattened
themselves against the wall, and Alex prayed those approaching were the
ones they were looking for.

As the footsteps neared the wall they were hiding against, Nick
suddenly stepped into view, gun aimed at whoever was coming. Soon
after, Alex saw a blond man rush at Nick before he had a chance to
shoot. As the two men fell to the floor and struggled for possession of
the gun, Alex raised her own weapon, and tried to find her target long
enough to be of some use.

After a few tense minutes, Alex finally fired into the floor, a few
inches away from the struggle in the hopes of distracting Nick’s
opponent. Her strategy had the desired effect, and Nick took the
opportunity to shove the man into the nearest wall, causing him to slam
into it, and lose consciousness.

"Well, that solves one problem," the ex-SEAL commented as he rose, "but
now he can’t tell us anything." They both froze as an eerie whistling
filled the hallway.


In the Basement

The team had backtracked almost to where they had been imprisoned
before, and no turn-offs had been found.

"Are any of the guards around?" Carrie whispered to Adam as the team
hid behind a convenient wooden crate. She turned around as Jade
muttered something about Megabyte’s elbow jabbing her in the back. A
quick glare won a muttered "Sorry," from the younger girl.

"I don’t see anyone," Adam replied. "I think it’s safe." They rose from
their hiding place one at a time and crept past their former prison and
down the short stretch of hallway leading to the staircase they had
been brought down before.

The teleporters had just begun to creep up the stairs when a shot rang
out from somewhere above them. The teens flattened themselves against
the wall of the stairs, hoping the shots weren’t directed at them.
Fortune seemed to be on their side, since the figures that rushed past
the stairs in the direction of the gunshot went right past the six
young people.

When the coast seemed clear, the group eased into the dim hallway, and
crept towards the commotion building at the far end of the corridor.


At the other end of the Hallway

Alex gripped Nick’s shoulder as the whistling sound increased in both
intensity and volume; the sound of more people approaching also reached
their ears.

He silently motioned for her to flatten herself against the wall again,
and he followed suit. They kept their guns at the ready, but Alex had a
feeling they wouldn’t be of any use against whatever produced that
whistling sound.

"Master Michael!" one of the men exclaimed as he came upon their fallen
leader. "Fan out!" he said to the other men with him. "We must find who
did this!" The two Legacy members listened intently, and waited for the
perfect opportunity. Finally, the SEAL in Nick told him it was now or
never. He leapt forward, and tackled the nearest figure before he had a
chance to defend himself.

Alex stepped from behind the wall, and pointed her gun at the remaining
figures before they could call for help.

"Nick?" she asked after her colleague had dealt with his opponent and
laid him on the floor next to their leader.


"We still don’t know what’s making that noise," she commented
nervously, tightening her grip on her weapon. An eerie green light
suddenly fell on her from behind, and the men she was keeping in check
turned to run as a wind suddenly blew down the corridor.


Outside the Building

Derek, Rachel, and Barbara quickly pulled up in front of the butcher
shop, intending to start their search there. A quick look inside the
building revealed no one had been there in a while, but a search of the
immediate area also proved fruitless. Rachel was just about to try Nick
and Alex again when Barbara noticed a sudden movement from a pile of

They all watched as the ragged man stood, dusted himself off, and
smiled a gap-toothed smile at them.

"You folks looking for the two that came in that?" the man asked,
pointing at Alex’s car.

"Yes, we are," Rachel responded with a doctor’s preciseness. "You saw
where they went?" The grizzled homeless man nodded.

"They went after the kids," he replied, and refused to say any more.
Rachel groaned at his vagueness, but it was Barbara who pulled her
wallet out of her handbag and calmly offered the man a fifty-dollar
bill. Her son’s surprised expression didn’t escape her.

"We have eight people missing, Derek. I think they’re worth at least
this much," she told him, as the homeless man snatched the bill out of
her hand.

"The whole lot of ‘em went in there," the man said, gesturing to the
abandoned building across the street from the shop. Nodding their
thanks, Derek, Rachel, and Barbara quickly crossed the street and
entered the building. The homeless man, however, went back to his den,
amazed at how rich he’d become all in one day!

Upon entering the disused building, the three rescuers were surprised
to spot Alex and Nick lying on the floor, their weapons nearby.
Fortunately, the two Legacy initiates began to sit up just as their
friends approached.

"What happened?" Rachel asked Nick, not wanting to waste any time.

"We didn’t find the kids yet," the ex-SEAL replied, "though we did find
something else."

"Whatever it was," Alex commented, "It must have hit us going about
eighty or so."

"Was it a green light of some kind?" Barbara asked anxiously. Alex

"We could see it from the street," Rachel explained. "Can you two
stand?" At their affirmative replies, the others helped them to their
feet, and they set off to look for the teleporters, deciding, at least
until they knew what they were dealing with, there was safety in
numbers. Going in one group also avoided conflict with the two Raynes,
both of whom were determined not to be left behind.

"How’s Derek?" Alex whispered to Rachel, who shook her head grimly.

"Not much change, I’m afraid," she replied. "He still can’t speak,
though he somehow picked up on a dangerous creature near the kids--
that’s what brought us here." Alex nodded in understanding just as a
figure stepped from around a corner they were approaching.


Elsewhere in the Building

Once they had seen the green flash at the far end of the hall, the team
had slowed their approach, once again trying to become invisible
against the walls. This was easier than expected, however, since the
mysterious green "ghost light" had knocked out all the power to the
building. Of course, no one being able to see them meant they couldn’t
see anything, either.

:What’s going on here?: Megabyte asked after he had bumped into Kevin
for the umpteenth time, not realizing he had ‘pathed his question until
a moment later. :Hey! We’ve got our powers back!: Everyone was jubilant
at the thought of being "back to normal."

:Let’s just ‘port out of here and go for help.: Jade recommended, eager
to get away from this building as soon as she could.

:Wait--what about what’s going on down there?: Carrie asked, gesturing
towards where the flash of light had come from. :Where that light came
from,: she added, remembering the others couldn’t see her hands.

:Carrie’s right--we have a responsibility to stop whatever’s going on
in this building.: Adam reminded them.

:Oh, great.: Jade ‘pathed resignedly. :Let’s get this over with.: The
older teleporters shared amused smiles as they crept closer to where
the mysterious light had come from.

When they were just around the corner from where the "ghost light" had
come from, Adam put out a hand to keep them from moving any closer.

:Let me have a look first.: he told them, stepping out from behind the
shelter of the wall before any of them could stop him.

:I really hate it when he does that!: Megabyte ‘pathed. Most of the
others agreed with him.


Back down the hallway

The green ball of light that had slammed into Alex and Nick flew down
the hallway, casting an eerie glow as it went. As it came up on
Michael’s unconscious body, the light-being paused, as if considering
its options.

After a moment, the light simply dove into the unconscious man’s body,
effectively taking it over. Michael opened his eyes a moment after the
possession, but, instead of their usual ice blue, they were now
entirely a sickly green color.

He chortled with laughter--now things were going to get interesting!


Still in the Building

Out of reflex, Nick had pushed to the head of the Legacy group and
trained his gun on the figure that had appeared from around the corner.
Unfortunately, the hall was now completely dark, with the only
illumination coming from a small flashlight Barbara had thought to
bring from the car.

"Don’t move!" Nick warned the approaching figure, which immediately
froze and raised its hands to show it was unarmed. Barbara shone the
light on the figure’s face, and the Legacy members gasped in disbelief.

"Adam?" Rachel asked, moving forward to embrace the previously missing

"Nick?" a familiar voice asked as another figure appeared from around
the corner. The ex-SEAL lowered his gun in disbelief.

"Carrie?" Derek suddenly asked from behind the shorter man. All the
Legacy members started in surprise at hearing their Precept’s voice
again. Pushing past his colleague, Derek held his daughter close,
silently thanking any and all celestial beings that happened to be
listening for returning her to him.

"Would someone care to explain what’s going on here?" Barbara asked in
confusion. Carrie laughed at the sound of her grandmother’s voice.

"Why am I not surprised to find you here, too, Grandmother?" she asked
as she turned to hug the older woman. By this time, the remaining
teleporters had also moved forward, and were greeted by the relieved
Legacy members.

"Much as I hate to break up this reunion, something is still hanging
around here," Nick observed., bringing everyone back to the situation
at hand. As if his words had the power of prophecy, a whistling sound
filled the corridor, and the wind began to pick up again.

"Nick, next time keep your mouth shut!" Alex admonished him as they all
headed back to the front entrance. Just as they reached it, however,
the door Rachel had been careful to leave open slammed shut, and a
green flash blinded them for a moment. When they were able to see
again, they saw Michael blocking their escape, but his eyes and body
now had an eerie glow.

"We really can’t let you leave," Michael told them coldly. Nick fired
several rounds into the man, or whatever he was, but they had no
effect. The being only chuckled at his effort. "Your pitiful weapons
are useless, as you can see. You have no choice but to surrender to
your fate! This will be a much better catch than we had planned!"

His mirthless laugh was cut off abruptly, leaving the Michael-creature
gasping for air. It was as if an invisible hand was crushing his
throat. "No!" he managed to force out, eyes directed behind the small
group. They all turned to see a hooded figure standing behind them, one
arm outstretched.

"I followed you, believing the fight was against those who you led me
to believe had taken my husband and son! Now I see the real creatures
behind that crime--you and your kind!" the figure’s hood had fallen
back during her speech, to reveal the woman who had disappeared after
leading the cultists a few months ago, and the woman Adam believed was
his mother.

She sketched an arcane symbol with her free hand, and the symbol
appeared to shimmer with blue light as it flew past the stunned Legacy
members and teleporters. The symbol, by now just a ball of blue light,
surrounded Michael, and apparently smothered him. The blond man
collapsed to the floor as the blue light dissipated, and then his body

Everyone stood in stunned silence for a moment, but the quiet was soon
broken by the sound of collapsing beams and cracking plaster. The
building falling down around their heads, everyone made for the doors.
Everyone that is, except for Adam.

"No!" he exclaimed, pulling away from the group. Without hesitation,
Carrie went after him. She caught up with him a short distance down the
hallway, looking around wildly. "Where is she?" he demanded. "I’m not
leaving without her!"

"Adam," Carrie asked her fellow teleporter, gripping his arm to keep
him looking at her, "do you think anyone who could do what she did to
Michael wouldn’t be able to get herself out of here?" He glanced at her
for a moment, eyes wild with fear and worry.

"I can’t lose her again!" he cried, wrenching free of her grasp and
starting to run down the hallway. Mentally cursing his loyalty, as well
as the debris falling down around her head, Carrie gave chase, just in
time to see the Australian vanish into thin air in the face of a
falling beam. Relief flooded her as the redhead followed suit, ending
up on the sidewalk outside the building which had been their prison.

Carrie was disoriented for a moment, from both the sudden bright
sunlight and the unfamiliar surroundings. Strong arms pulled her away
from the building, just as it collapsed into a pile of broken debris.
Once she realized where she was, Carrie was not surprised to find
herself leaning against her father, who had apparently pulled her out
of danger. They shared a quiet smile before Rachel appeared at their
side, and began throwing questions at Derek.

"When did you regain your voice, Derek? Did it have anything to do with
that-that thing--" Derek cut her off with a wave of his hand.

"Let’s go home," he said quietly, drawing smiles and nods from

"We’d better get out of here before we have to answer a lot of
complicated questions," Megabyte agreed. He prepared to teleport, but
Carrie’s hand on his arm stopped him.

:Would you mind coming back to Angel Island with us the old-fashioned
way?: she asked. :I’d really rather not have to explain everything to
my grandmother here in the street.: Megabyte pretended to think it over
for a moment, but then relented with one of his ever-present smiles.

:Are we all gonna fit?: Jade asked, gesturing to the two cars parked

"It’ll be a tight fit, but we’ll all manage," a voice remarked behind
her, causing her to jump. Jade whirled to see Nick Boyle standing
behind her, a mischievous smile on his face.

:Are you sure he’s not telepathic?: Ami asked Carrie in surprise.

:Positive,: the redhead replied with a smile. :He probably figured out
what we were talking about when Jade pointed to the two cars.:

:Oh, I didn’t even realize she’d done that.: Ami replied as they all
piled into the waiting cars, but not without Barbara Rayne watching her
granddaughter and her friends with a puzzled expression on her face.

As the cars pulled away, a hooded figure emerged from the debris, a
little dusty, but really none the worse for her ordeal.

‘I thought they’d never leave,’ Ariel thought to herself as the sound
of sirens increased in the distance. ‘I still have work to do--time to
disappear.’ As quickly as she had come, the woman disappeared into the
shadows of a nearby building, destination unknown.

Back at the abandoned building, a few days later

Carrie shaded her eyes in the face of the setting sun as she ‘ported in
with the others in search of their ‘fearless leader.’

:Anybody see him?: she broadcast. Adam had refused to answer any of
their "calls."

:There!: Ami replied, gesturing towards a figure silhouetted against
the setting sun. :He’s standing in the midst of the rubble.:

The team ducked under the yellow "Police Investigation" tape barrier
without a second thought. The local authorities were doing an
investigation as to why an entire building would suddenly collapse for
no apparent reason, but the Legacy had taken steps to ensure that no
one would ever guess the truth.

"Hey," Carrie said cautiously as the small group approached Adam. "You

"No, I’m not okay," Adam replied curtly. "She might have died in this!"
he exclaimed, making a broad sweep with his hand to indicate the

"Adam," Ami interjected. "She could appear and disappear at will--I’m
sure she made it out all right!"

"Yeah, man, she’ll turn up sooner or later," Megabyte agreed. Adam
glanced at them uncertainly. Carrie reached out and put a reassuring
hand on his arm.

"Come on, there’s nothing for you here," she told the Australian.
"Let’s go home." Adam reluctantly nodded, and the six of them vanished
in a large flash of light.

Across the street, a certain homeless man looked from the rubble of
that abandoned building to the deserted butcher shop he was leaning
against. ‘Devils and angels,’ he thought to himself. ‘What’s this world
coming to?’

To Be Continued…

[End of Family Ties]