Stolen Prayer
Lisa Joffe

Disclaimer: Hope you like my shortish story! The Polterpeeps belong to 
MGM/Trilogy, and the LFNers belong to...oh, heck, it's around
somewhere....anyway, if you want to borrow the characters, just put 
them back when you're done, and no one will get annoyed! 

* * * * * *

'Something's gotten into my life, 
Cutting it's way through my dreams like a knife' 
- Something's gotten hold of my heart

Michael climbed up into the unmarked van that sat outside the quayside 
warehouse. Inside the dark interior, computer monitors and small 
coloured lights illuminated Birkoff's face as the young man sat staring 
intently at a monitor. His glasses reflected the several different 
views of the warehouse, each from a camera set up by the hidden teams 

'How's it going?' Michael asked, looking up at the screens. 

'Haven't seen him yet.' Birkoff answered, turning to Michael. 'We 
didn't even see him go in; how can you be sure he's there?'  

Michael looked grim. 'He's there. He always leaves his victims in the 
place he took them from.' 

Birkoff shook his head. 'We don't even know if Kabrowski was checking 
this place out. He might have been taken from somewhere else. In 
fact...' Birkoff persisted, 'We don't even know he was taken. He might 
have just split, or...' 

'Birkoff, shut up.' said a voice behind them. The two turned to see 
Nikita, the beautiful blond member of the team, entering the van behind 

'He was taken from here.' Nikita continued. 'Just do your job, and stop 
hassling Michael, okay?' 

Birkoff gave Nikita a mock salute, and turned back to watching the 
screen. Michael shot Nikita a grateful look. He hadn't really felt up 
to arguing with Birkoff just now. At the moment, Michael just felt old 
and tired; he'd felt this way since things had started to go wrong last 
week. Michael had been put in charge of tracking down and apprehending 
a killer. The regular police didn't have a clue as to what was going 
on, so Section One, the secret government agency Michael worked for, 
had stepped in. The man had struck eleven times over the past six 
months, almost each time in a different part of the country. The last 
three times, the killer had chosen his victims in San Francisco. 
Michael had moved his unit to the city two weeks ago. Then, one of his 
operatives, Kabrowski, had just...disappeared. He'd called in to say he 
had a lead, and was checking some places out. That was the last anyone 
had heard from him. 

Michael was taking this personally. This case was affecting him in a 
way that no other had ever done. It was just the way the victims were 
killed, the diabolical mutilations, the way they turned up dead exactly 
a week after their initial disappearance. They might have died a day, 
three days after their abduction, but they were always found a week 
later. Michael shuddered as he thought about the last victim, twelve-
year old Kathy Cooper. She had gone missing from her home in downtown 
San Francisco four weeks ago. Three weeks ago, her body was found in 
her bedroom by her nine-year old brother. And now Kabrowski... 

'Damn...and he has kids.' Michael thought. He stared at the screens for 
a few minutes, trying to put together the pieces of a puzzle that just 
wouldn't fit. Then he got a feeling, deep down in his stomach, and his 
skin came over in goosebumps, and he knew... 

'He's in there!' Michael said hurriedly. Nikita and Birkoff just stared 
at him. 

'There's nothing on the monitors...' Birkoff began. 

'I don't care! He's there!' Michael yelled. He turned to the others, 
desperation on his face. It shocked them; they had never seen him act 
like this. Nikita had only seen emotion like this on Michael's face 
once before, when he had been forced to let his wife, Simone, who he 
loved more than life itself, die. Michael turned to the intercom 
system, speaking to the rest of the teams hidden about the wharf. 

'Move it! Get in there now!' 

From all different hiding places, men moved out, swarming towards the 
warehouse. Michael jumped out the van, closely followed by Nikita and 
Birkoff. They ran to the warehouse, machine guns held tight in their 
arms. As usual, Birkoff was unarmed, and Nikita stuck close to him. A 
strange thrill was written on the young man's face; he was rarely in 
the middle of the action like this, and excitement was wrestling with 
fear. He was usually stuck in the van, out of harm's way. Birkoff had 
been in Section for eight years, but he'd never learnt how to shoot a 
gun, preferring instead to spend his time with his computer programs. 
Hell, for seven of those years, he hadn't set foot outside the 
organisation! The exhilaration left his face suddenly as he saw
Michael ground to a halt ahead of him, stopping in front of a form on 
the floor, stretched out it the shape of a crucifix. It was Kabrowski. 

The man was spreadeagled on the floor, eyes wide and unseeing. His 
flesh hung from his face in torn strips, dried blood turning black at 
the wounds. His loose clothing was pure white and spotless, another 
trademark of the killer. Birkoff stared at the form for a moment, 
before running outside, where he was violently sick. Michael just 
stared down at the figure, face cold and hard. 

'Michael?' Nikita asked tentatively.  

'This man doesn't escape alive.' he said, his voice low and soft. 'He's 

He waved to two of his men, who moved in to shift the body. Then he 
looked around the vast deserted warehouse, before stalking off back to 
the van. Nikita remained a moment longer, before looking at Kabrowski's 
body sadly, and leaving. 

High up in the rafters, Jackson breathed a sigh of relief. He had 
thought that he would be caught this time. That wouldn't be good. The 
One inside him would have been most displeased, and when It was 
angry...but Jackson shouldn't worry. It would protect him. His dark 
skin blended in with the shadows, hiding him. Jackson watched the 
people below, the kid, the woman, the man. He knew that the man was 
dangerous, he was getting too close to the truth. Jackson would have to 
put him off somehow. Jackson shifted slightly to get a better look at 
the man as he walked out; long, auburn hair, open and gentle face, 
tall. The woman was beautiful, graceful and blond. Jackson ignored the 
kid; he was of no threat. When everyone had left, Jackson climbed down
from his hiding place. He had much work to do, but first, he had to lay 
low for a while. The man might put surveillance on the place again, in 
an effort to catch him. But the One inside Jackson was too clever for 
that. He'd show them... 

* * * * * * 

'You're dancing slow, you're dancing fast 
You're happy now, but that won't last' 

-The Price Of Love 

'It isn't my fault!' Nick laughed, looking up at his tall friend. 
Philip gave him a dirty look. 

'So who's else's fault could it be?' he said. He ran a hand through his 
long hair, now turned a bright shade of auburn. Philip groaned. 'Does 
this stuff ever come out?' 

'You have to wait for it to grow out.' Nick ran on a few steps, ducking 
to avoid a swipe from Philip's hand. He turned back to face his friend. 

'You shouldn't have used my hair highlighter with your shampoo.' 

'You shouldn't have left the bottle in the bathroom!' Philip yelped. 'I 
look Gillian Anderson!' 

'You aren't that good looking!' Nick laughed again, walking backwards. 
He gave a yell as he stumbled into someone coming the other way, and 
fell down, landing hard on his backside. Philip came over and stood 
over him, a mock serious look on his face. 

'It's a punishment from God...' 

Nick scrambled up, turning to the person he had bumped into. They sat 
on the sidewalk also, slightly dazed. 

'Are you okay?' Nick asked him, helping him up. The dark-skinned man 
looked at him, slightly confused. Then he looked over at Philip, who 
was gazing at the two of them with an amused look on his face. The man 
took a sharp breath, and he backed away from the duo. 

'I'm...I'm fine.' he stammered, before turning and hurrying off in the 
opposite direction. Nick stared after him. 

'Odd guy...' he muttered. Then he turned back to Philip. 

'C'mon. We have to get going, or we'll be late back.' 

Philip grunted, hefting the shopping bags he carried. 

'Why did I get lumbered with this stuff? Can't you carry some?' he 
complained. Nick shook his head. 

'Nope, your job to get the groceries, I just drive the car.' 

Philip sighed. 'Next time Derek decides to give the servants the week 
off, he can do the shopping!' 

Nick gave a loud sneeze in reply. 'I think I'm coming down with 
something.' he sniffled, digging out a grubby tissue. Philip took an 
exaggerated step away. 

'Don't give it to me!' he warned. Nick gave him a sarcastic look. 

'I'm definitely not helping you with the shopping now!' he said, 
walking away. 

'Nick!!!' Philip called after him, following him. 

'Nope, not coming near you!' Nick yelled back. 

Philip sighed. 'I give up...' 

Jackson watched the two men walk off down the road, towards the dock, 
his heart hammering painfully in his chest. That couldn't be that man 
from the warehouse.....could it? But they were so similar, the same 
auburn hair, the same facial structure. Jackson had only gotten a 
glimpse of the man back at the warehouse, but he was sure that the 
clumsy kid's friend had been him. He began to follow them carefully, 
making sure that he kept out of their sight, but making sure that they 
were always within his. 

* * * * * * 

But we are fools 
Because we're dying by the rules 

-Wake Up The Mountain 

By that evening, Nick's cold had turned to full-blown flu'. He went to 
bed shortly after dinner, clutching Kat's furry hot water bottle, 
ignoring comments from the others. About half an hour after he had gone 
upstairs, the front doorbell rung. Alex went to get it. She smiled at 
the young man standing outside. 

'Hello, Seymour.' 

Birkoff grimaced, but said nothing. Only Alex could get away with 
calling him by his first name, and that was only because he fancied her 
something rotten. Alex knew this, and continually teased him about it, 
loving it when he went several different shades of red. 

'Evening, fair lady.' Birkoff grinned. 'Nickster in?' 

Nick and Birkoff had met a few months ago, on one of Birkoff's very 
rare trips to a local pub. They had both been rather intoxicated and 
had gotten into a drunken fight. The landlord had called the police, 
and the two had been arrested. Alex remembered going down to the 
station at one in the morning to collect Nick. The young man had been 
sitting in a cell with Birkoff when she had arrived. 

'Heyyyyy 'lex!' Nick had slurred. 'I'm in a bit of trrrouble!!!' 

Annoyed at being called out at that time, Alex had persuaded the police 
to keep Nick in the cell until the morning, when he would be well and 
truly sober, and hopefully with a massive headache. Whilst signing some 
papers, a young man had arrived. For a moment, Alex had thought that he 
was Philip, they were similar in looks. It turned out that the man, 
Michael, had come to collect Birkoff. 

Alex had tried to strike up a conversation with him. 

'Yours do this often?' 


'Is he your brother?' 


Alex had given up at this point, and the two had stood in silence, 
until Michael heard of Alex's decision to leave Nick there overnight. A 
ghost of a smile had passed over his face. 

'Now that's an idea.' he had murmured. Alex had left then, but when she 
returned in the morning, both Nick and Birkoff were still there. 
Apparently, sobering out in the same cell had proved to be some sort of 
male-bonding experience, and the two had become friends. Alex quite 
liked Birkoff, but Derek and Philip remained slightly suspicious of the 
young man, especially when he never gave clear details about himself. 

Alex looked down at Birkoff standing on the doorstep. 

'Nick's ill.' she explained. 'I'd have called, but I had no idea you 
were coming.' 

Birkoff shrugged. 'I was by the docks, thought I'd pop in.' 

'You can't 'pop in' on an island.' Alex laughed. She stood aside. 'Come 
on in. Maybe you can cheer Nick up, he's a bit grumpy.' 

Birkoff stepped past Alex, heading for the stairs. He passed Philip, 
and nodded a greeting. Philip gave him a stony look, which Birkoff 
ignored, bounding up the stairs. 

'Give the kid a break, Philip!' Alex said, shutting the door and 
wandering over to her friend. 

'Sure.' Philip said. 'Arm or neck?' 

Alex rolled her eyes. 

'Come on, I need help with the washing up.' She linked her arm through 
Philip's, ignoring his protests. 

* * * * * * 

Here I am 
Seeing you again 
My mind's so far away 
My heart's so close to stay 
Too proud to fight 
I'm walking back into night 
Will I ever find someone to believe? 

-Forever and One (Neverland) 

Birkoff stood by the window in Nick's room, staring out at the night. 
The window was open, a slight breeze blowing against the curtains and 
ruffling Birkoff's hair. He remained silent and still, eyes focussed a 
million miles away. Nick, sitting on his bed in teeshirt and weatpants, 
watched him, waiting for the younger man to speak. Finally, he did, 
still not turning. 

'We lost him.' 

Nick winced, having been told all about Kabrowski's disappearance. 

'Did you get him?' 

Birkoff shook his head. 

'It all seems so...pointless.' he whispered. 'I mean, he was one of the 
good guys!' 

He turned to Nick, giving him a halfhearted grin. 

'Don't suppose the Legacy want in on this one, do they?' 

'Shush!' Nick said, quickly. 'Derek'll kill me if he finds out I ever 
told you about the Legacy!' 

'And Michael really will kill me when he finds out I told you about 

Nick smiled. 'We'll, when we're seventy and own them, we can tell who 
we like!' 

'If we live that long.' Birkoff said, softly. He shook his head, trying 
to clear out the image of Kabrowski, lying slaughtered on the cold 
concrete floor of the warehouse. His normally optimistic nature had 
gone, replaced by that of a man who has suddenly realised his own 

Nick was getting slightly irritated. He had a pounding headache and his 
limbs ached like hell, but he was trying his best to cheer Birkoff up. 

'Look!' Nick snapped, a little tired of his friend's pessimism. 'In our 
line of work, this sort of thing happens! It's an ugly reality, but 
deal with it!' 

'You didn't see him!' Birkoff yelled suddenly. 'You didn't see him, 
lying there! How can you tell me to get over it, when you've never even 
seen it!' 

Nick paled slightly, and when he spoke, his voice was low and 

'I found my best friend...the only woman I've ever loved...crucified! 
Don't tell me I've never seen this, because I have!' 

'Oh, forget this!' Birkoff said, coldly. 'I don't know why I came here 
in the first place!' He stormed towards the door, not looking back. 
Nick angrily threw a pillow after him, but it thudded into the door 
just as Birkoff slammed it. Then Nick flopped over onto his side, 
clutching his remaining pillow, as a wave of nausea flowed over him. He 
heard the front door slam, announcing Birkoff's exit from the house. 

Damn! he thought to himself, wondering how he was going to fix this 
one. He had never seen Birkoff so mad, and it scared him. He resolved 
to hunt through the Legacy's Database in the morning, see if he could 
find something useful to give to Birkoff as a sort of peace offering. 
Maybe the Legacy could help out Section...just this once... 

Hidden in the bushes, watching the house, Jackson saw the kid from the 
warehouse hurriedly leave and dart down to the dock, where a small 
speed boat lay moored. Movement caught his eye, and Jackson looked up 
at the house. The auburn-haired man stood there, watching the kid 
leave. Jackson was now sure that this had been the man from the 
warehouse, the presence of the kid had confirmed it. Now all he had to 
do was wait...and watch... 

* * * * * * 

Born into somewhere unseen and unknown 
Just like a wonder so small and alone 
Take me away into your innocent dreams 
Maybe I'd see what it all means 

-A Million To One 

Next night, Derek ran into the library in a panic. 

'Philip!' he called. 'Philip, where are you?' 

Philip leaned down over the railings of the balcony, his hair falling 
over his eyes. 

'Yes?' he asked. 

Derek held up a black bow-tie, which matched perfectly his tailored 
black tuxedo and white shirt. 

'Help?' he asked, in a small voice. Philip laughed, coming down the 
stairs, and took Derek's bow-tie, before tying it neatly around the 
precept's collar. 

'Thank you.' Derek blushed. Philip looked highly amused. 

'I can't believe you still can't do one of those! I mean, even Nick can 
manage one!' 

'Are you going to be okay here with him?' Derek asked, ignoring that 
comment. 'I mean, we can always cancel...' 

'No!' Philip said. 'Go, have a good time at your museum whatever. I'll 
take care of Nick.' 

'Sure you don't mind?' 

Philip grinned. 'I would much rather be at home than going to one of 
those functions! You know I don't like formal occasions!' 

'For a priest, that can be hard.' Derek quipped. 

'Go!' Philip said. 'You're going to be late!' 

He followed Derek out into the hallway, where Alex and Rachel were 
coming down the stairs, dressed in evening wear. Kat was staying over 
at a friend's house tonight, so Philip was going to be alone in the 
house with Nick. Philip didn't know whether or not to be grateful for 
his friend's illness. True, it got Philip out of having to go to a 
museum benefit dance, but on the other hand, he hated it when Nick was 
ill. It wasn't because Nick expected to be waited on hand and foot, it 
was quite the opposite. Nick would stay quiet and out the way, and 
several times already today, Philip had even forgotten that the
young man was even in the house. 

Once Derek, Alex and Rachel had left, Philip made up a mug of hot tea, 
and wandered upstairs to Nick's room. The place was dark, the lights 
off. Soft music drifted in the air from the CD player, something by 
Phil Collins. The window was open, letting in the chilly night air. In 
the gloom, Philip could just make out a Nick-sized bump on the bed. 

'Nick?' he called softly. 'You awake?' 

The bedside lamp flicked on, bathing the bed in a soft glow. Nick 
looked over at Philip fuzzily. 

'Wha'?' he muttered. 

'D'ye want anything?' Philip asked, coming into the room, and setting 
the mug down by the bed. Nick groaned, turning the light off again. 

'Yeah. Sleep.' 

Philip turned, carefully picking his way across the dark room, meaning 
to close the door behind him. 

'Hey, Philip?' Nick called to him. 

'Yes?' Philip asked, immediately. 

'Three murders in San Francisco, in the last three months.' Nick said, 
not mentioning the fourth, Kabrowski. 'Left in a crucifix position, 
white clothes, very messy. You get any time, can you dig something 

'Sure.' Philip said, puzzled by the odd request. 'Anything else?' 

Nick gave an unintelligible murmur, which Philip took for a 'no'. The 
priest wandered downstairs to the control room. The others wouldn't be 
back until about two in the morning, so he had peace and quiet to work 
on Nick's odd request. 

At about eleven, Philip was sitting at a console, drinking a large cup 
of coffee, reading several excerpts from newspapers. The murders were 
chillingly gruesome. The victims had been mutilated horribly, dying in 
the worst ways possible. Philip was reading about several similar 
murders, occurring in different places across the States, when the 
lights flickered momentarily, signalling a power failure in the rest of 
the house. The control room was safe, operating on a different system 
to the main house. Philip sighed, and grabbed a flashlight from a 
cupboard under the bench. 

Damn fuses... he thought to himself, before wandering out into the dark 
house, not turning the flashlight on just yet. He stood for a moment in 
the library, listening to the noises of the night; the creak of 
floorboards settling, the soft tick of the clocks, the gentle howl of 
the wind outside. Philip frowned as he heard another noise, a slight 
sigh, as if someone had breathed, or maybe brushed their clothes up 
against some furniture. He turned slowly, holding his breath. Then he 
definitely heard it...someone else's breathing. 

Philip snapped the flashlight on, heart pounding, aiming it at the 
noise he had heard. Nick gave a yelp as the light shone in his eyes, 
flinging up an arm to his face. Philip quickly moved the light. 

'Nick! What are you doing? You nearly gave me heart failure!' 

'My CD player stopped.' Nick said. 'There's no power anywhere.' 

'It's the fuses.' Philip explained. 'Go back to bed, I'll fix it.' 

Nick looked hesitant to go by himself. 

'Oh, for Goodness' sake!' Philip said, exasperated. 'Come on!' 

He shoved Nick towards the stairs, then followed him to the young man's 
room. He watched Nick unsteadily go in, then he turned and made his way 
back downstairs again. He descended to the basement where the fuse box 
was, and flicked it open. He groaned at what he saw; several of the 
wires in the box were a jumble of melted metal and plastic. One of the 
wires had shorted out, in turn messing up the rest. Philip rummaged 
around in the basement for a bit, looking for some spare wiring. Not 
finding any, he sighed and trudged upstairs to Nick's room. 

'Nick?' he whispered. 'You awake?' 

'Mmn?' came a small moan. 

'Where's the spare wiring for the fuse box kept?' 

'G'rage.' Nick muttered, turning over and going back to sleep. 

Philip wandered down to the garage, eventually finding some lengths of 
wire. About an hour later, he had repaired the damage, and the power 
came back on again. Giving a silent prayer of thanks, he tiredly went 
upstairs again to Nick's room. He looked into the dark room, just 
making out the bed. Somehow, it seemed odd, as if something was not 
quite right... 

Philip turned on the light suddenly, illuminating the room. It was 
empty, the bedclothes flung onto the floor. Philip turned back to the 

'Nick!' he called, worried. There was no reply, just a smothering 
silence. 'Nick!' Philip called, more urgently. He ran along to the 
bathroom, hoping to find his friend there, but it was as empty as the 

Philip ran back to the bedroom, all the while calling for his friend. 
Panic coursed through him as he searched, but to no avail. The bedroom 
was as vacant as before. Then he saw a sight that chilled his spine, 
making cold sweat run in rivulets down his back... 

A barbecue skewer, driven hard into the wall beside the window. 

From it's curved end, hung a small silver band. Philip approached 
quickly, unhooking the metal link. It was Nick's SEAL ring. 

Philip leaned out the window, searching the night for signs of 
movement. A dark shape scurried across the lawn, and in the glow of the 
outside lights, Philip saw a tall man, dark skinned, carrying Nick 
limply over his shoulder. Philip ran downstairs, flinging open the 

'Hey!' he screamed, anger and fear building inside him. The man looked 
back and saw Philip. He broke into a run, Philip in hot pursuit. The 
man ducked into the thick trees, and Philip followed him. In here, 
there was no light, and Philip could no longer see. He turned in 
useless circles, lost until he heard the sound of a speedboat off to 
his left. Philip dashed out of the trees onto the docks, but it was too 
late, and a small boat sped out into the bay. Philip stared hopelessly 
after it; Derek had taken the only useful boat that night, the other 
was being repaired. Philip continued to gaze out at the bay, long after 
the boat had disappeared. 

* * * * * * 

If I knew that I'm your only one 
I could live and make it through time, 
But if one day you'd just be gone 
I wouldn't know how to ever get by 

-If I Knew 

At the Rayne museum, the party was in full swing. The celebrations were 
in honour of the opening of a new collection of ancient and mysterious 
artifacts. Patrons from all over had come to the opening, which was 
also a plan to raise money for an education program for some local 
school children. 

Derek was talking to a rather attractive woman from Chicago. She was 
tall, blond and willowy, with a small, seductive mouth. Unfortunately, 
she seemed to have more money than sense, and so Derek was slightly 
relieved when his mobile phone rang. Excusing himself and retreating to 
a quiet corner, Derek answered the phone. 

'Hello?' he asked, wondering who it could be at this time of night. 

'Derek?' Philip said, sounding panicky. Derek was gripped by a sudden 

'What is it?' 

'Derek, someone's taken Nick!' 


'They broke in! I...I couldn't stop them!' 

Derek's blood froze, his mind numbing. His mouth worked, but no sound 
came out. 

'Derek?' Philip said, from the other end. 'Derek?!' 

'I...I'm here, Philip.' Derek answered, the initial shock wearing off. 
'We'll be straight back. Hang on.' 

Derek cut the connection, running to get Alex and Rachel. Their 
reaction was as stunned as his had been. 

'How could this happen?' Alex immediately asked. Derek shook his head. 

'I'm not sure. But we should leave immediately.' 

Debbie, the senior museum worker, came up to them, immediately noticing 
the anxious looks on their faces. 

'Something wrong?' she asked. 

'Debbie, can you take over here?' Derek asked. 'Philip just phoned, 
Nick....Nick's taken a turn for the worse. We have to go.' 

Debbie nodded understandingly. 

'Sure. Wish him better for me.' 

Derek smiled sadly. 'Thank you.' 

* * * * * * 

But it's alright, it's alright, 

You can't be forever blessed 

-American Tune 

Derek ran in through the door of the House, Alex and Rachel close 
behind. They found Philip sitting on the steps in the hall, talking to 
a policeman. Other officers were wandering around the House and 
grounds, taking notes and photographs. Philip looked up as they 
entered, but didn't bother rising. 

'You took your time.' he said quietly. 

'We got here as soon as we could.' Derek told him, harshly. He looked 
at the policeman. 

'Could you excuse us for a moment, please?' 

Once the officer had left, Derek bent down and said to Philip, 

'What are you doing? Why are the police here?' 

Philip stared at Derek. 'Didn't you hear me before?! Nick's been 

'The Legacy could handle this!' Derek hissed. 'You had no right to call 
the police!' 

'Oh, I'm sorry!' Philip said, sarcastically. He stood up to address the 
police officers. 'Excuse me,' he called out, 'But would you mind 
leaving? My friend wants to handle this himself.' 

Derek yanked on Philip's arm to seat him again, then looked over at the 
confused officers. 

'Excuse the Father.' Derek apologised. 'He's a bit upset.' 

'Upset?' Philip exploded. 'Nick was taken from under my very nose! How 
do you expect me to be?!' 

'Hey, Philip,' Alex quickly interjected. 'Help me make some coffee? We 
could all use one.' Before Philip could protest, she dragged him off in 
the direction of the kitchen. 

'He's just feeling guilty.' Rachel told Derek. 'It'll pass, don't 

'I'm not.' Derek gritted his teeth. He approached the officer who had 
been talking to Philip earlier. 

'I'm Derek Rayne, this is my house. Can you tell me what happened 

The officer stuck out his hand, pushing back his oversized hat. 

'Officer Karl Adams.' he introduced himself. He looked at Rachel. 'And 
you are...?' 

'Rachel Corrigan. I'm a member of the Luna Foundation.' 

Adams squinted at his notepad. 'Luna...oh, okay. Right, Mr Rayne, it 
appears the perpetrator came here by boat, possibly earlier today, and 
watched the House. When you all left this evening, he snuck into the 
House, messed with the fuses. Whilst Father Callaghan was fixing them, 
it seems the suspect went up to Boyle's room, overpowered him, and 
left. Callaghan gave chase, but was unsuccessful. Guy made a clean 
getaway. You know who would want to do this?' 

'No...' Derek said, lying. He thought of all the people it could be; 
Arkadi, Hitchcock, every one of them linked to the Legacy in some way. 

'Boyle had no enemies?' Adams asked. Derek shook his head. 

'He rubbed people up the wrong way sometimes, but not so that anyone 
would want to do this.' 

Adams held up a clear forensics bag. 

'You recognise this?' 

Derek and Rachel looked at the contents of the bag. 

'That's Nick's ring.' Rachel said. 'Why?' 

'It was found skewered to the wall.' Adams replied. 'Whoever did this 
means business.' 

* * * * * * 

See me covered with sadness 
And I'll soon wish to die 
When the overwhelming madness 
Is eating up my mind 
Here and now 
I look back at a good time 
No more lie- I slowly say goodbye 
It's the time of the oath 
My sweetest memories die in the cold 

-Time Of The Oath 

Nick awoke slowly, feeling the aches in his body spread out along his 
spine and shoulders. For a moment, his fevered mind thought that he was 
back in bed, but the cold metal beneath him brought him back to 
reality. Looking around hazily, Nick saw that he lay on the floor of a 
large transport van, the windows painted over from the inside, a metal 
partition separating him from the driver's compartment. Faint light 
filtered through chinks around the sliding door. Struggling to sit up, 
Nick wondered how he'd gotten there. The last thing he remembered was 
Philip coming into his room, but after that, nothing. 

Nick leaned back against the wall, his head swimming. He prayed that 
this was all just an illusion brought on by the 'flu, that none of this 
was real. 

'Philip!' he called, wanting his friend there. There was no comforting 
answer, only a smothering silence. Nick stiffly crawled over to the 
door, pushing against it, but it was locked from the outside. He 
squinted into the cracks around the door, and could just make out the 
ocean, far below him. The van was parked on the edge of a cliff, and 
Nick could see Angel Island slightly, the House just out of view. Nick 
slumped back against the wall, his strength drained. 

After a while, he heard footfalls outside the van. Hope flared inside 
him as he turned in the general direction of the sound. 

'Hello?' he yelled as loudly as he could. 'Is anybody there? Hello?' 

The footfalls stopped, and Nick heard a key inserted in the lock of the 
door. Nick was suddenly very afraid; not knowing who it was. He was in 
no state to fight off an assailant, the 'flu saw to that. He just hoped 
that there was some bizarre, safe reason that he had woken up here. 

The door opened, and Nick half-closed his eyes against the light. He 
could see the silhouette of a man, tall and powerfully built. 

'Who are you?' Nick asked, sounding a lot braver than he felt. 'Why am 
I here?' 

'Why is any of us here, Nick?' the man said, his voice low and soft. 
'Indeed, who are we really? Does any of us truly know our purpose for 

Great, Nick thought, I've been kidnapped by the latest Zen guru. 

'I know why I'm here, Nick,' the man continued, 'I'm here to do my 
master's bidding. Such a shame your friend got in the way.' 

'What do you mean?' Nick asked, suddenly more worried about Philip than 
himself. 'What did you do to my friend?' 

'Nothing. Yet.' Nick couldn't see the man's face, but he was certain he 
was grinning. The man moved suddenly, coming into the van and closing 
the door in one fluid motion. He flicked on a flashlight he held in his 

Nick stared as he recognised the man he had collided with in the street 

'What is this?' Nick asked. 'Hey, if you're annoyed about before, I'm 
sorry, but isn't this a little drastic?' 

The man smiled. 

'Don't play innocent, Nick. You know what this is about.' 

'Humour me.' 

'Your assassin friend, the one with auburn hair.' Jackson said. 'The 
one who's hunting me.' 

' mean Philip? He isn't an assassin, he's a priest!' 

'Don't lie! I saw the kid at your house, he was with your friend when 
they were hunting me!' 

Nick was confused. 'What...' then his blood ran cold as he thought of 

'Oh, think that Philip is Michael!' 

Now it was Jackson's turn to be confused. 

'Philip accidentally dyed his hair, he looks just like Michael.' Nick 
said, quickly. 'It's not me you want, I don't know Michael!' 

'But I saw you with him!' Jackson yelled. 

'It wasn't Michael you saw me with! It was Philip!' 

'Be quiet!' Jackson yelled, feeling the One inside him start to stir in 
anger. 'Don't lie to me!' 

'You've made a mistake!' Nick pleaded. 'Please, let me go!' 

'No!' Jackson shrieked. 'Be quiet!' He reached into his pocket and 
brought out a slim object. Nick shied back as he recognised a 
hypodermic needle. Jackson reached down, grabbing Nick around the 
throat, jabbing the needle into his shoulder. 

'Time to say your prayers.' he whispered harshly, just before Nick lost 
consciousness, sliding into an inky blackness where no light shone. 

* * * * * * 

Another chance hello, another goodbye 
And so many things we'll never see again 
Days of life that seemed so unimportant 
Seem to count and to matter much later on. 

-Fading Lights 

Birkoff was seated at his station, taking a night shift. He was still 
mad at Nick, mostly for being right again. He leaned forward, rubbing 
at his eyes. He hated night shift, he never could sleep during the day. 
Checking to make sure that no one was watching, Birkoff switched the 
computer monitor that he was running security scenarios on, to 
broadcast television. He flicked channels; bad movie, rerun of Baywatch 
(now that might be interesting viewing!), Tv dramas that were so bad 
they had to be shown at night, news. Birkoff sighed, settling on 
watching the news broadcast. There was a piece on some guy who had 
miraculously turned into a dog, another on a woman who married a 

This is news?! he thought to himself, reaching out to turn over to 
Baywatch, which would probably be more intellectually stimulating than 
this trash. Then Nick's picture flashed up behind the newscaster, and 
Birkoff froze. He listened to the broadcast, barely hearing the words, 
but catching every meaning. His heart nearly stopped as an awful 
thought struck him. 

'No.' he whispered to himself. 'It can't be...' 

* * * * * * 

What would you do if I sang out of tune? 
Would you stand up and walk out on me? 
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song, 
And I'll try not to sing out of key. 

-With a little help from my friends 

Philip had slept badly that night; he just couldn't close his eyes for 
more than five seconds without seeing the sight of Nick being borne 
away on the shoulder of some sinister stranger. However, the more he 
thought about it, the more he was sure that he had seen the man 
somewhere. Finally, at five in the morning, he had abandoned all hope 
of sleep and wandered downstairs. He was surprised to see Derek already 
in the library, hand wrapped around a mug of coffee that had gone cold 
hours ago. 

'Sorry.' Philip said humbly, sitting down at the table next to the 
precept. Derek shook his head. 

'Nevermind, you were understandably upset last night.' 

Philip laughed bitterly. 'Understandably.' 

There was uncomfortable silence for a moment. Then Philip asked, 

'Who could it have been?' 

Derek put the mug down, sighing. 'Any one of a hundred people. The 
Legacy aren't exactly the most popular people in the world.' 

'What if it wasn't Legacy business?' Philip wondered. 'I mean, not our 
whole lives revolve around it.' 

Derek shrugged. 'If that's the case, then I don't have a single clue as 
to who it was.' 

Philip shook his head. 'I'm sure I've seen that man somewhere before.' 

'Why didn't you tell the police?!' Derek asked, astounded at this. 

'As you so kindly reminded me, it may be Legacy business. If it is, 
then telling the police would be the worst thing I could do.' 

Derek sighed. 'This is too complicated.' 

The doorbell rang out at that point. Derek frowned. 

'Who on Earth could that be?' He got up and went downstairs, followed 
closely by Philip. Alex and Rachel, woken by the noise, stood at the 
top of the stairs expectantly. Derek opened the door, and sighed as he 
saw who it was. 

'Birkoff, you couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time...' 

Birkoff pushed forward, standing in the hall. 

'I'm sorry, I have to talk to you.' 

'Birkoff, haven't you heard?!' Philip snapped. The younger man looked 
at Philip, hurt. 

'Look, I came here to help you!' he cried. Philip snorted. 

'You could help by going away again!' 

'I really don't think we should do that, Father Callaghan.' 

Everyone turned at this new voice, staring at the man standing in the 
doorway. He looked startlingly similar to Philip, with long, auburn 
hair and a quiet, open face. Behind him stood a tall woman, blond and 

'And who exactly are you?' Derek demanded. 

'I'm Michael.' the man replied, his accent definitely French-Canadian. 
'And this is Nikita.' The woman smiled at the Legacy members, putting 
them all at ease, except Philip. 

'Birkoff, take your friends and get out of here, now.' 

He was ignored, instead Derek looked curiously at Michael, then at 
Birkoff. Then he broke into a tired smile. 

'Section One?' 

Michael nodded politely. 'Legacy?' 

Birkoff stared, open-mouthed. 'You guys know each other?!' 

'Know of each other.' Michael said, smiling. 

'I don't believe this!'Birkoff yelped. Michael looked at him 

'Section has known about the Legacy for a long time, and I believe they 
have known about us for even longer.' 

'Hmm, okay.' Alex called down from the top of the stairs. 'What is 

'Section is like the Legacy, but without the supernatural part.' Derek 
explained. 'They go after the terrorists and such that the other 
agencies either don't know about, or don't want to know about.' 

'Well, that's about right.' Michael said. His smile disappeared. 'I 
understand you could do with some help.' 

Philip stared at them angrily. 

'What makes you think you can help?! This is our business, not yours!' 

'Father Callaghan,' Michael said, through clenched teeth, 'There is a 
very good chance that the man who took your friend, is the same man 
that we have been tracking for months. He has been moving from state to 
state, and he just killed one of my men on the docks. He is very 
dangerous, and, sorry to say this, but if you go after him yourselves, 
none of you will make it back alive.' 

There was silence as Philip and Michael stared at each other. 

'The murders?' asked Philip quietly, remembering the ones that Nick had 
asked him to look up. Michael nodded solemnly. 

'I'm sorry.' 

Philip went very pale, the fight gone out of him. Nikita quickly moved 
over to him, taking his arm. 

'Father, if we join forces, there is a very good chance we can get Nick 
back. Are you with us?' 

Philip nodded.  

'Hang on, wait a minute.' Rachel spoke for the first time, rubbing her 
eyes tiredly. 'What would this guy want with Nick?' 

'I think he mistook Philip for Michael.' Birkoff said, apologetically. 
'I mean, the hair and everything...' 

'We look nothing alike.' Michael told Birkoff coldly, running his hand 
through his long hair. 

'Completely different.' Philip agreed, purposely copying Michael's 
action. That simple act made the others laugh, and Philip felt part of 
the guilt he had been carrying since last night lift. 

* * * * * * 

The danger of war, with its havoc of life, 
The danger of ocean, when storms are rife, 
The danger of jungles, where wild beasts hide, 
The danger that hides in the mountain slide- 
Why, what are they but all mere child's play, 
Or the idle sport of a summer day...? 

-Sweet Danger 

The deep black curtains of blessed sleep were roughly torn away from 
Nick, and he tried to glance quickly around the van before realising 
that he couldn't move. He was strapped to a hinged-back chair that 
Jackson must have placed in there while Nick was unconscious. He tried 
to rock it, but it was bolted firmly to the floor. A bright light, like 
one in the dentist's, shone straight in his eyes, and he had to squint. 
The rest of the van was in complete darkness, and from somewhere 
drifted opera music, Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma. Nick tried to see 
into the dark. 

'Hello?' he called, weak still from the injection that had knocked him 
out. Part of the shadows shifted, and Nick could just make out the dim 
outline of a man. Nick shifted uncomfortably as he felt the man's eyes 
bore into him. 

Nick attempted to remember everything he could about hostage 
situations, but his mind was too fuzzy. 

What was it? he thought. Keep them talking? Yes, that's it, talk. 
Difficult if they don't talk, but make a start, it could be your only 

'So, what's your name?' Nick did his best to sound jovial. 

'That doesn't concern you.' came the reply in a soft, liquid voice. 

'What do you want?' Nick tried again. 

'To serve my master.' Jackson moved forward into the light, and Nick 
could see that the other man held a shining surgical knife, which he 
turned over and over in his hand. 'Lucky thirteen, Nick.' Jackson 
continued, in his soft whisper. 'You're the last one. The special 

Jackson's dark skin gleamed in the light as he came ever closer to 
Nick, who shrank away. The older man reached down, taking hold of 
Nick's thick, wavy hair. The exSeal cried out in pain as Jackson's 
fingers twisted cruelly in the strands. 

'Let go! You're hurting me!' 

'This is only the beginning.' Jackson smiled. 'You have to be prepared; 
made ready for my master to take.' 

'Your master...' Jackson twisted his fingers again, and Nick fell 
silent under the new pain. 

'The Prince of Darkness.' Jackson spoke the name adoringly, as if 
speaking of his true love. Then, quickly, he sliced down with the 
knife, and the pressure on Nick's scalp was suddenly released. The 
older man stepped back, holding a clump of the young man's hair. He 
lifted his hand slowly to his lips, and blew on the brown strands. They 
scattered, falling on the floor. Nick could just see them as they fell. 
In the gloom, it looked as if they were tiny creatures, writhing as 
they made their way to the ground. Then Nick realised that they really 
were moving, that they were squirming on the floor, thickening and 
curling to become...what? 

They slid over the floor, black and wet, climbing the struts of the 
chair to which Nick was bound. He felt them burn as they glided over 
his bare skin, leaving red tracks. He winced, torn between fascination 
and horror. Then one wrapped itself around his wrist and opened a 
minuscule cavity that Nick took for a mouth. He let out a yell as it 
bit deep, drawing blood. He looked at Jackson, petrified. The other man 
just smiled back, as if this was the most natural thing in the world. 
Then the other creatures began biting into Nick, burrowing beneath the 
skin, and he began to scream as terror and pain invaded his very being. 
Jackson reached behind him, and turned up the music. 

* * * * * * 

One looks behind him to some vanished time 
And says, 'Ah, I was happy then, alack! 
I did not know it was my life's best prime- 
Oh, if I could go back!' 


Michael turned, surveying Nick's room. He looked out the window, then 
back at the door. His handsome face was slightly vacant, as if he was 
thinking deep. 

'The police went over everything with a fine-tooth comb.' Philip told 
him, apologetically. He stood at the entrance to the room, Birkoff by 
his side. The others were downstairs, making coffee. 'I'm not quite 
sure if you'll find anything.' 

Michael turned, frowning. 'There's no blood.' 

'What?' Birkoff looked confused. 

'No blood.' Michael pointed to the bed. 'Nick can't be that heavy a 
sleeper, to be taken down to the docks without waking.' 

'You'd be surprised.' Philip made an attempt at humour, but Michael 
didn't smile. 

'He'd have to be knocked out, you'd expect blood.' he said. 

'Maybe he was knocked out a different way...' Birkoff mused, absently. 
Then, he clicked his fingers suddenly, turning to Philip. 

'Did he eat or drink anything, say, an hour beforehand?' 

'No, I don't think...yes! Yes, he did!' Philip remembered. 'I gave him 
a mug of tea about an hour or so before the lights went out.' 

Michael went over to the bedside table, and picked up the nearly-empty 
mug. He sniffed at it, then peered into it. 

'Nothing.' he said. Birkoff came over, taking the mug from him. 

'I'll go back anyway, see if there's anything in here other than tea.' 
He started for the door. 

'Hold it!' Philip stopped him. 'Go where?' 

'If I told you that, I'd have to kill you.' Birkoff grinned. Philip 
looked uncomfortable. 

' can use our lab. I doubt you'll have any different 

Birkoff shrugged. 'Sure.' 

About an hour later, Birkoff sat back from a computer monitor, looking 

'Got it!' he called. The others, who had been talking quietly in the 
corner of the room, came over, crowding so they could all see the 

'Rohypnol.' Birkoff told them. 'Only a little is needed to knock anyone 
out, and Nick drank the whole mug.' 

'How did it get there?' Philip asked. 'I mean, I made that myself.' 

Derek looked grave suddenly. 'The man must have been in the room with 
Nick when you came in...' 

Philip paled and turned away. 'The Sonofa....' he whispered softly. 

Alex stared at the computer printouts she had been perusing. They 
contained the details that Philip had been looking up the previous 

'You know,' she said, slowly, 'These sound horribly familiar.' 

'Maybe you read about them?' Nikita asked. Alex shook her head. 

'No.' she frowned. 'Something else....' Then her eyes widened, and she 
shoved the papers at Rachel, before running out the room. 

'Maybe we should have made decaff...' Rachel wondered. 

Alex came running in again, holding a Legacy journal. She thumped it 
down on a workbench, riffling through the pages frantically. 

'Where is it?' she complained. 'It's here, I'm sure it is!' 

'What is where?' Derek asked her, thoroughly confused. Alex ignored 
him, flipping over page after page. Then, she gave a triumphant cry. 


Derek leaned over her shoulder to see what she was looking at. In 
faded, spidery hand were several long entries. Derek read the end of 
the one the book was open at, 

We found Charles, just as we knew we would, exactly a week later. He 
was down by the shore, by the temple Jeannette had built. His body had 
been horribly dissected; I hope his soul found peace at the end. There 
was evidence that whatever foul fiend took him, continued to attack him 
well after death claimed him. Charles was the last, the thirteenth. We 
have failed; I only hope that future generations of the Legacy will be 
more successful in stopping this creature for good. 

'Alex, what is this?' Derek was intrigued. 

'The murders.' Alex explained. 'If you read the other entries, you'd 
know that they were almost identical to the ones that have happened 
recently! Thirteen killings, all found in exactly the same place they 
were taken from; except the last, who would be found in mystical 
places, such as by standing stones, or on temple altars. There's 
evidence that murders like these have been going on for centuries!' 

Birkoff grabbed the journal. 'Could they be copycat killings?' 

Alex shook her head. 'Too similar.'  

Nikita stared at them. 'Hold on, it can't be the same guy! I mean, he'd 
have to be hundreds of years old!' 

'My dear, I've met Cain, so a hundred-year old killer isn't much of a 
wow.' Derek told her. 

Nikita looked bemused. 'Cain?' Michael turned to her. 

'I take it you didn't read the brief I gave you.' 

'I read what you gave me.' 

'Including the supernatural bit?' 

'Michael, you don't honestly believe.... ' 

'What I believe,' Michael said, frostily, 'Is that there are some 
things that cannot be explained away by rational means.' 

'If it makes you feel any better,' Rachel turned to Nikita, 'I don't 
believe half the stuff, even when I see it!' 

'But...' Nikita was not to be put off. 

'Nikita, can you do us a favour, and just accept it?' Philip spoke up. 
'It doesn't matter if you believe in it or not, you just need to go 
along with it. We'll concentrate on the supernatural elements, you 
concentrate on everything else. Okay?' 

Nikita nodded. She didn't like this job, it felt too....strange. These 
people actually seemed to accept what Nikita couldn't. Even Birkoff and 
Michael appeared more trustful of what these people had to say, than 
they did of Operations and Madeline. 

Maybe it's because these people tell the truth....or what they perceive 
to be the truth, anyhow. she thought. 

She yawned then, hurriedly shoving her hand to her mouth to hide it. 
But it didn't escape Michael's eagle eyes. He glanced at his watch. 

'It's quite late.' he said, surprised by how quickly time had gone. He 
inwardly cursed himself for not keeping a closer eye on the hour; every 
minute they spent messing around meant an hour of Nick's life ticking 
away, time they could not afford to waste. 

'Have you got any more information on the old killings?' Michael 
inquired. Derek shrugged. 

'It'll be in the database somewhere, but it could take hours.' 

'Then we'll work in shifts.' Michael decided. 'Derek and I will stay 
first. Philip and Birkoff can take over, and the Alex, Rachel and 
Nikita can take over from them. 

Derek nodded in agreement. 'We should be done by morning in that case. 
I just hope that Nick will be able to stay alive until we can figure 
something out.' 

No one answered him. They left the room in silence, leaving Derek and 
Michael to work alone. 

* * * * * * 

The light shines down the valley, 
The wind blows up the alley, 
And, oh, how I wish I was 
Lying in the arms of Mary. 

-Arms of Mary 

Pain was all he could feel. It invaded every part of him, snaking 
through his blood, curling seductively around his spine. His skin felt 
dry and cracked where open wounds had bled the precious life-force over 
his limbs. Nerve endings screamed at him, crying out their torn beings. 
His mind was tortured in a different way, wanting to know why, but 
never knowing the reason. He wanted to know if Philip was alright, if 
Jackson had kept his word, and not gone after the priest yet. 

Nick couldn't see anything; Jackson had blindfolded him earlier, when 
the creatures had finished feeding on him. After that, Nick hadn't 
heard anything except a small click, shortly before he heard the door 
open, and Jackson leave. After that, there had only been a suffocating 
silence. Nick hadn't the strength to cry out for help, it took all his 
effort just to draw painful breaths. His mind was reeling from what he 
had seen of the creatures; how his own hair had been turned into 
something so repulsive... and terrifying. 

He had no idea how long Jackson had been gone. His sense of time was 
blurred by the pain, creating a type of limbo that was both terribly 
short and agonizingly long. He could only wish that whatever was going 
to happen to him, it would be quick and dignified. He hated the shame 
that came with being helpless, and knew that if he ever got out of this 
mess, he would never be able to live with it. 

A key turned in the lock, and Nick felt the cold night air bite at him 
as the door opened. The van rocked as someone entered. 

'Miss me?' came Jackson's voice, softly mocking. 

'Where did you go?' Nick asked. 

'It's not your place to ask questions!' Jackson snapped at him angrily. 
He stalked forward, and tore the blindfold away from Nick's eyes. The 
young man blinked at the sudden removal of the darkness. Jackson glared 
down at him, his stare never wavering, and Nick had to look away. When 
he looked up again, the other man still had his eyes locked on him. 
Nick shifted uncomfortably, not liking the intense, cold stare that he 
found himself scrutinised by. 

Jackson stepped away suddenly, staying just inside the ring of light 
cast by the lamp. 

'I've been to visit your friends.' he said, matter-of-factly. 

'What?' Nick was struck by a sudden fear. 

'I left them....a little something. I must say, your house is quite 
busy.' He walked back again, and in a fluid movement, he grabbed Nick 
by the jaw. The younger man winced as Jackson's fingers pushed deep 
into his flesh. 

'You lied to me.' he whispered, face paling in anger. 'You said you 
didn't know the auburn-haired one. I almost believed you. But I saw 
him. Uh-huh. At your house. With the kid and the blond woman. And your 
friends. Why did you lie to me?' 

'I... I didn't...' 

'You lied!' Jackson screamed. His hand shifted position, and Nick found 
that he couldn't breathe. He began to choke, lungs burning as he tried
desperately to draw a little air. 

'Please...' he managed to cough out. 'Please...' 

Jackson released him, and Nick gulped in a deep, painful breath, 
gasping for the sweet oxygen. Jackson still stared at him. 

'Do you know what the punishment is for lying to Us is, Nick?' 

'Us?' Nick looked around, but the rest of the van was empty. 

'Myself... and my master.' Jackson smiled. 'He is the Lock, I am the 
Key. Very few people can open the Lock, did you know that? So, it's 
quite an honour, to meet Us.' 

'Touched, I'm sure.' Nick responded, sarcastically, before immediately 
realising that was the last thing he should have said. Jackson's eyes 
grew wide, and rage contorted his dark features. 

'You have no discipline! I'll have to make you ready for my master to 
take, or he won't be able to return! You'll have to be prepared!' 

From out of nowhere, Jackson produced the surgical knife he'd held 
earlier. He polished the tip on his sleeve, then held it against the 
skin of Nick's shoulder, bared where his tee-shirt had ripped. Jackson 
ran the knife down, scoring a small line that welled red. Nick hissed 
in pain, and Jackson grinned, holding the knife to his mouth, and 
licking the blade clean. The One inside him squirmed in pleasure at the 
first tasting of his last victim. This one wouldn't give in without a 
fight, he could be sure of that. And when he did claim him, victory 
would be all the more sweeter. 

* * * * * * 

Every breath you take, 
I'll be watching you. 

-I'll Be Watching You 

Philip turned uncomfortably in his bed, wishing for sleep to come. He 
heard Birkoff turn on the floor, and felt a small thrill of 
satisfaction as he realised that the younger man would be even more 
uncomfortable than he himself was. The two'd had to bunk together, and 
the women were in the room next door. There was only two hours until 
shift change, but to Philip, it felt like eternity. 

'You don't like me, do you?' came a voice from out of the darkness. 
Philip was nothing, if not honest. 

'No.' he told Birkoff. 

'Why not?' Birkoff asked, and Philip could actually hear real pain in 
the kid's tone. 'I mean, what have I ever done to you?' 

Philip sighed. 'It's not personal, it's just... I don't trust you.' 

'How come?!' 

Philip sat up, and flicked on the bedside lamp. 

'You're an assassin. You kill people for a living; I save people's 
souls. Call it a conflict of interest.' 

'You didn't like me beforehand.' Birkoff pressed. 'And I don't think 
it's fair not to tell me why.' 

Philip stayed quiet, staring at the young man. 

'I think I know why.' Birkoff decided to get it all out quickly, before 
his courage left him. 'You don't like the fact that I'm friends with 

'Nick has lots of friends, I like all of them.' 

'But you guys were best friends, until you fell out. You can't hack it 
that Nick and I are as close as you two were, but he always pushes you 
away now!' 

'That isn't true.' Philip said, shakily. 

'Isn't it?' Birkoff was angry. 'I may not be as smart as the rest of 
you when it comes to personal problems, but that I can see! You're 
jealous, Philip! The green-eyed monster has bitten the priest from the 
Emerald Isle!' 

'What would you know about it?!' Philip snapped. 'I mean, you've known 
Nick and me for so long, you must be an expert on how our minds work!' 

'No.' Birkoff said simply. 'I just don't desert my friends.' 

Philip stared at him, shocked, unable to reply. Then, he quickly 
reached out and turned out the light. He felt horrified, that Birkoff 
could have such great insight into his private life, felt ashamed that 
the young man was right, felt...what did he feel? 

Philip reached under the pillow, pulling out what felt like a piece of 
thin card. 

When did that get there? he wondered. In the soft moonlight that shone 
though a chink in the curtains, Philip could make out that it was a 
photograph. But he kept all his in an album, he never left loose ones 
lying about... 

Philip flicked on the light, staring at the photo, and gave a hoarse 
cry. Birkoff sat up immediately. 

'What is it?!' 

Philip just stared at the photograph, heart beating fast, feeling a 
panic rise within him. 

'What is it?!' Birkoff repeated. He snatched the photo from Philip's 
hand, then he understood Philip's reaction. 

The photograph was a Polaroid, the shot of a small metal interior. In 
the centre of the dimly-lit picture was a chair, large and black. Nick 
was strapped to it, blindfold, terrified expression on his face. His 
body was covered in raw wounds where his clothes failed to protect him, 
blood and bruise merging to become one. 

'He was here... ' whispered Philip. 'Oh, dear God, he was here...' 

* * * * * * 

I'm no believer, 
I just listen to my own head. 
I'm no believer, 
I just call you liar instead. 
Keep all your sorrows, 
Words might be pathetically vain. 
Life is a fire, 
Light it and you can read your name. 

-Anything My Mama Don't Like 

'You're leaving.' Derek snapped. 

'No way!' Alex retorted. 'We're staying here with you!' 

'Alex, we don't have time to argue!' Derek tried to convince her. He 
had never been so scared before, not even in Peru all those years ago. 
Philip came up behind him. 

'Alex, he's right. You and Rachel have to go get Kat, and then get out 
of San Francisco. It isn't safe here!' 

'But what about you?' Rachel asked. 'If that maniac can get into the 
house undetected when we're all here...' 

'We'll take that chance!' Derek pleaded. 'Please, you have to go! If 
not for your own sakes, then for Kat's! What'll she do if he kills all 
of us?' 

Rachel looked at Derek, then at Alex. 

'Look, why don't I go, Alex can stay here...' 

'No!' Michael cut in. 'Both of you must leave.' He gave a smile. 'I 
promise not to let anything happen to anyone.' 

Alex sighed, finally giving in. 'Where do we go?' 

'Nikita will take you back to Section. You'll be safe there. It's a bit 
unorthodox, but seeing as we know about the Legacy, I guess you won't 
be telling anyone.' 

'Hold it, Michael!' Now Nikita was angry. 'I'm not leaving you!'  

'It's more important that you make sure the others are safe.' 

'What about you?' 

'I'll have Birkoff.' 

'Oh, wonderful.' Nikita spat out. 'And when exactly was the last time 
Birkoff actually went on a job?!' 

'Hey!' Birkoff defended himself. 'I'm not completely hopeless! Plus, 
Derek and Philip are here, we'll be fine!' 

Unhappily, Nikita nodded agreement. She turned to Alex and Rachel. 

'Get your gear. We leave in five minutes.' The two women left, 
disappearing through the hologrammatic wall. Derek looked down again at 
the photo Philip and Birkoff had given him, and he felt a chill run 
down his spine. He didn't like splitting up the group, but he had to 
make sure that as many people as possible were safe. Ideally, he would 
have preferred to have Alex along instead of Philip, but it would have 
been a harder fight convincing Philip to leave. 

'Michael, be careful.' Nikita instructed. The man nodded. 

'Oh, I will be, don't worry.' 

Nikita turned to Birkoff. 'I'm putting you in charge of Michael. See he 
doesn't do anything too stupid, okay?' 

Birkoff smiled. 'Sure.' 

Nikita left, calling out 'Good luck!' over her shoulder. 

The remainder of the group turned to the computer screens. 

'Have you found anything else out?' Philip asked, hopefully. Derek 
shook his head. 

'No.' he said, sadly. 'There's almost nothing. All we can determine is 
that the creature can only be called by someone once every three 
generations. That person takes the creature into him, and thirteen 
murders are carried out. They're always grisly, like dissections and so 
on.' Derek looked a little pale at this, and swallowed, his throat dry. 
'They're all returned to the place they were taken from exactly a week 
later, except the last, who is found in a place of ritual.' Derek 
tapped out a command on a keyboard, and a map of America and Canada 
appeared on the main screen. 

Michael pointed out several red dots on the map. 'These are all the 
places that thirteenth victims have been found in. Never the same place 
twice, so we can rule them out.' 

'Are you sure about that?' Birkoff asked. 'I mean, how many more places 
can this guy have to use?' 

'You'd be surprised.' Derek said, calling up several blue dots to the 
map. There were literally hundreds of them, stretching over the whole 

'Any one of them?' Birkoff asked, doubtfully. 'How do we check them all 
out?! Even Section and the Legacy together don't have that many 

'Wait a minute...' Philip said thoughtfully. He keyed in a few 
commands, and wavering yellow lines appeared over the map. Where the 
lines crossed the dots, they turned orange. Those not touched by the 
lines disappeared, until there were only fourteen dots. 

'Ley lines!' Philip cried, triumphantly. 'All the final murders took 
place on ley lines!' 

'What?' Michael looked confused. 

'Like power lines.' Birkoff explained. 'Supposedly, the Earth is 
covered in them. They're meant to convey energy around the globe. Many 
ancient cultures believed that they could be used to conjure demons. 
Others believed that ley lines trapped demons, that dark creatures 
could only roam on the lines, nowhere else. Many ritual structures have 
been built on ley lines, like Stonehenge.' 

'Well done.' Philip smiled. He started to warm to the kid. Maybe he 
isn't so bad after all! 

Birkoff flushed. 'Late night Tv.' he explained. 

'So,' Michael said slowly. 'We are concluding that this really is a 
demon, and he'll be heading for one of these places.' He looked at the 
others. 'I hope you're right. Nick's number thirteen. We screw this up, 
we aren't going to get another chance.' 

Derek looked at him solemnly. 'So, let's make sure we don't.' 

* * * * * * 

I understand you've been running from the man 
Who goes by the name of the Sandman. 
He flies the sky like an eagle in the eye 
Of a hurricane that's abandoned. 

-The Sandman 

Jackson strapped himself in, then started the engine. The van roared to 
life, and he took off down the road. He looked over at the sleeping 
form in the passenger seat. Nick was bundled in a black ski-suit to 
keep out the cold. 

Mustn't kill this one just yet! Jackson thought. He was quite pleased 
with this last victim. He hadn't given in, or begged for mercy, like 
the others had. And he hadn't died quickly, like the little girl. This 
one was special, Jackson knew. The One inside him knew that as well. 
The creature had fed well on blood and fear, and was now content in 
snuggling deep inside it's host. 

Jackson was wondering how to get over the border to Canada. He was sure 
to bump into someone who would ask questions on Nick's appearance; the 
kid looked like he had just gone ten rounds with King Kong's elder 
brother. At least he wouldn't wake up until the journey was over. 
Jackson had given him a cocktail of Rohypnol and Ketamine, which would 
be enough to knock anyone out, let alone a beat-up, 'flu-ridden young 
man. Smaller, subsequent doses would be enough to keep the kid 
unconscious for the whole time. He felt a small pang of guilt as he 
looked at Nick; for some reason, he liked this kid; he was different to 
the rest. It would be such a shame to kill him.... but Jackson shrugged 
off the feeling. 

What the heck? This'll be fun! It's what I've been building up to do, 
it's what's right. 

Jackson checked the map spread out on his knees. If he was lucky, he 
could get to where he was going in three days. He'd have to check into 
motels during the night; cops would ask too many questions if he was 
caught sleeping in the van. As long as he kept a low profile, 
everything would turn out okay. The One would be satisfied, and would 
be able to return to gorge itself again; Jackson would have....what 
would he have? He didn't rightly know. All he did know was that he'd 
enjoyed what he'd was such a shame not to be able to do it 

Late that night, Jackson approached the receptionist of a seedy motel, 
out in the middle of nowhere. Truth be told, he was exhausted from the 
continual driving, but he had made good timing, and had completed 
nearly a third of his journey. 

'Room for two, please.' Jackson told the pretty young woman behind the 

'Double or two singles?' she asked automatically. 

'Two singles.' Jackson gave a disarming smile, and the young woman 
smiled back. 

'Here with your girlfriend, sir?' she asked. 

'No.' Jackson laughed. 'Just my friend. He's fallen asleep in the car, 
too much beer.' 

'My boyfriend does that.' the young woman sighed wistfully. 

'What's your name?' Jackson asked, suddenly. The woman looked taken 

'Maria.' she said, grinning. 

'Well, Maria, I think that your boyfriend is wasted on a pretty thing 
like you. What you need... is a real man.' 

Maria laughed nervously. 'I'll just get your key, sir.' She went to the 
key rack behind her, Jackson watching here every movement; the
creamy-whiteness of her skin, the deep black shine of her long hair, 
her cat-like movement... 

Jackson felt the One inside stir in hunger. 

'No, she's mine.' Jackson said, inwardly. 'You have your fill, let me 
have something!' 

The One grumbled, then quietened. It didn't want to alienate Jackson 
from itself at this crucial point. Jackson took the key from Maria. 

'Number 309.' Maria told him. 'Hope it's to your liking.' 

'Maria,' Jackson said, his voice becoming soft, and almost hypnotic, 
'What time do you finish work?' 

'I...I...' Maria stammered, thrown by the question asked by the 
handsome stranger. Then she gathered herself, and broke out in a big, 
beautiful smile. 

'About eleven.' 

'I'll see you then.' Jackson couldn't believe how easy this was. 

'What about your friend?' Maria was worried. 

'He could sleep through World War Three!' Jackson laughed. Maria looked 
at him, indecisive. Then, 

'I'll see you at eleven.' she said. Jackson gently raised her hand to 
his lips, and kissed her. A delicious shiver ran through her, and she 
breathed a little quicker. Jackson slipped away, and she stared after 
him, her own kind of hunger already craving. 

A few minutes after eleven, there was a tentative knock at Jackson's 
door. Checking to see that Nick was still fast asleep, he opened the 
door, letting Maria in. He noticed that she had put on more make-up, 
and her clothes were clean and fresh. Jackson slid the door closed 
behind her as she walked into the room. Maria looked around, and her 
gaze settled on Nick. She gave a gasp of concern, turning to Jackson. 

'Is he okay?!' she demanded. Jackson didn't answer, instead locking the 

'Hey, what is this?!' Maria sounded scared. 'Let me out of here!' 

Jackson came forward, grabbing Maria by the wrists, pulling her close. 

'Let me go!' she cried, but Jackson held on tighter. 

'Have you ever noticed,' he whispered in her ear, 'How close pain is to 
pleasure? As in, your pain, and my pleasure?' 

* * * * * * 

There's somebody that I'm longing to see, 
I hope that he turns out to be 
Someone who'll watch over me. 
I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood, 
I know I could always be good 
To one who'll watch over me. 

-Someone To Watch Over Me 

Nick could hear screaming, but it sounded very far off. His instincts 
told him to discover the source of the noise, but another part of him 
wanted to stay safe, here in the drug-induced blackness. But the 
screamer sounded in so much pain... 

Nick struggled to the surface of the inky blackness, fighting the urge 
to close his eyes again. He realised that he must have been drugged, 
but the last thing he could remember clearly was Jackson's face, 
looming in front of him, waving a knife. Everything after that was a 
blur of pain and darkness. 

The scream sounded again, and Nick's eyes shot wide open. Rolling over 
on the bed, he could see Jackson, pinning down a blood-covered young 
woman. She turned her head, and saw Nick. 

'Help me!' she shrieked. 'Please help me!' 

Jackson turned, and saw Nick staring horrified at the pair. The older 
man grinned. 

'Here for the show?' he mocked. 

'Let her go!' Nick tried to sound forceful, but his voice came out weak 
and faint. Jackson's grin widened, and he reached down to the girl. 
Nick heard a wet, tearing sound, and then Jackson was holding Maria's 
still-beating heart in his hand. She stared at her organ, mouth 
working, but no sound coming out. Then her eyes grew blank, and her 
head rolled sideways, her blank stare settling on Nick. 

'Oh, Nicky.' Jackson shook his head. 'I didn't want to kill her But you 
saw; you weren't meant to. You should have stayed asleep.' He stood up, 
and came forward to crouch by Nick's bed. The young man couldn't move, 
paralysed by both shock and the effects of the drugs. He couldn't draw 
his gaze away from Maria's dead stare. If he could, he would have been 
sick. Jackson picked up his jacket, which lay next to Nick, and took 
out a syringe. 

'I'm sorry to do this Nick. But it's for the best.' 

He plunged the needle into Nick's arm, and the fluid ran into his 
blood. Nick felt the sting of the point, and then the world tilted 

Oh, God. he thought, as blackness once again swarmed up to take him. 
Please, if there's anyone listening, let me die. Please, let me die. 

* * * * * * 

Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow, 
Don't stop, it'll soon be here. 
It'll be, better than before, 
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone. 

-Don't Stop 

Philip peered out of the helicopter window, watching the world rush by 
beneath him. The ground was covered in a thick blanket of snow, and the 
windows were becoming frosted. He looked up to where Derek and Michael 
were piloting the machine, faces masks of concentration. Birkoff was in 
a van somewhere below them. Michael had thought it best that one of 
them remain on the ground, just in case. 

Derek pointed to a small motel. 

'That's it there.' 

Philip craned his neck, trying to see. Two days ago, a grisly murder 
had been reported there, and a man had been seen carrying someone 
answering to Nick's description beforehand. It was the only lead 
Section and the Legacy had; everywhere else had drawn a blank. Between 
them, the two organisations had assembled a large enough force of 
aircraft and ground vehicles to cover sites on ley lines, but no one 
had turned up anything. 

'Hey guys.' Birkoff's voice came in over the radio. 'If we follow this 
road, we'll come to a Canadian checkpoint.' 

'We know that, Birkoff.' Michael said back, slightly irritated. 

'Yes, but there's a group of standing stones about a day's drive from 
there.' Birkoff spoke back, sounding triumphant. 'And recent 
excavations showed signs of medieval ritual killings...' 

Derek grinned. 'Race you there.' 

About half a day's travel away from them, Jackson drove hurriedly, 
cursing as the checkpoint came into view. He'd lost almost two days 
travel, having to lie low in another motel as the cops hunted up and 
down the highway for whoever had killed Maria. By some amazing 
stupidity, they hadn't checked the motel Jackson had hidden out in, 
missing their killer as they drove past. Jackson stared out at the 
snow, shivering. The heating in the car had gone bust, and he had to 
wear several extra layers of clothing. He looked over at Nick, who was 
propped up against the cold glass window. He was looking slightly
better than he had, and Jackson thought that if he tried, he could lie 
pretty convincingly as to where the bruises and abrasions came from. As 
a precaution, Jackson had given him another injection, just to keep him 
out. The last thing he needed was for the kid to wake up at the 

Jackson stopped the car as a young man at the checkpoint waved them 
down. He wound down his window, and the young man leaned in. 

'Can I see your license, please sir?' he asked. Jackson dug in the 
glovebox, and brought out the fake one he carried. 

'Right, Mr.... Carlisle.' the guard looked at the papers. 'Can I ask 
what your purpose is in Canada?' 

'Business, mostly, mixed with a little pleasure.' Jackson smiled. The 
guard looked over at Nick. 

'Is your friend okay?' he asked, with some concern. 

'Oh, he's fine.' Jackson assured him. 'Just got into a little fight a 
couple of days ago, he's still a bit woozy.' 

'Do you want me to take a look at him?' the guard offered. 

'No, no, he's fine. Just needs to sleep it off.' 

Just then, Nick groaned, and moved his head. The guard looked at him 

'Are you sure....' 

'Yes, he's fine!' Jackson snapped. He wanted to get out of here, now, 
before Nick woke up fully! Everything would be ruined if Jackson were 
stopped now! 

Nick opened his eyes, and looked at the guard. His lips moved, but no 
sound came out. The guard seemed hesitant; the younger man looked 
pretty scared to him, and he wasn't sure if he shouldn't try to stall 
the pair... 

The guard shrugged, and handed Jackson the papers. 

'Make sure he sees a doctor, okay?' he said. Jackson nodded, and drove 
on. Inside, he was singing, triumphant. He'd done it! Now all he had to 
do was make it to the stones, and he'd be home free! 

The guard watched them go, and the walked inside the small shack by the 
road. He picked up the radio. 

'Michael? I got them...'  


'Birkoff, you were right.' Michael radioed down to the younger man. 
'They've been spotted by our man at the checkpoint. Can you carry on, 
you'll have to go ahead without us.' 

'Why?' Birkoff was uneasy at the prospect of chasing after Nick and 
Jackson without any backup. 

'We have to refuel.' Michael told him. 'We can't get there on what we 
have left.' 

'Set me down.' Philip leaned forward to Michael and Derek. 'I'll go 
with Birkoff.' 

Michael looked at Derek, and when the older man nodded reluctantly, 
Michael looked back at Philip. 

'Okay. But don't rush into anything unless you absolutely have to. 
We'll only be a couple of hours behind you. Birkoff?' 


'Hold up, Philip's coming to join you.' 


Birkoff and Philip raced through the checkpoint, waved on by the guard. 
Philip had the map spread out, so Birkoff could see where he was 
heading. The older man hung on grimly to the door handle as the van 
bounced and jolted over the ground. The van swerved dangerously as 
Birkoff swung the wheel to avoid a pothole. Philip hissed out a curse 
under his breath. 

'Where the heck did you learn to drive?' he demanded 

'I didn't.' Birkoff answered, stone-faced. Philip's eyes popped open. 

'You what?!' 

'Do you want to get there or not? We've wasted enough time getting you 
onto the van!' 

'I thought you might need some help!' 

'Not from you!' 

Philip sighed. 'Didn't we resolve this?!' 

'You did, I didn't.' 

'Birkoff, I'm sorry, really. I guess I was just....' 




'Well, yeah...' 




'Hold it! Okay, I'm sorry, okay?! Even confession is never this hard!' 

Birkoff gave a crooked smile, and held out his hand. 

'I'll shake it later.' Philip said. 'Right now, can you just keep both 
hands on the wheel?!' 

* * * * * * 

I want you to come back and carry me home, 
Away from these long lonely nights. 
I'm reaching for you, are you feeling it too? 
Does the feeling seem oh so right? 
And what would you say if I call on you now, 
And say that I can't hold on? 
There's no easy way, it gets harder each day, 
Please love me, or I'll be gone. 

-All Out Of Love 

It was nearly dawn when Jackson pulled up to the standing stones; vast, 
concrete blocks arranged in a circle, surrounding a smaller, horizontal 
one, not unlike Stonehenge in Britain. Everywhere was covered by a 
covering of snow, giving the place an aura of secrecy and majesty. 
Jackson cut the engine, and climbed out the van, slamming the door. The 
vehicle rocked on it's wheels, disturbing Nick, who woke up with a 
start. He looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings, wondering what 
the heck was going on. Since the checkpoint, Nick had become less and 
less affected by the drugs in his bloodstream, and was feeling stronger 
than he had since this all started. He heard Jackson approach from the 
other side, and quickly shut his eyes again, fuzzed brain already 
formulating a plan during what might be his last chance. 

Nick heard his door open, and Jackson reached in. Nick forced his body 
to go limp as Jackson effortlessly picked him up, and carried him from 
the van. He heard the crunch of snow underfoot, and felt vast shadows 
pass over him. Then, there was the freezing sensation of cold snow and 
stone under his back, and Nick was immediately glad for the ski suit. 
He heard the footsteps draw away again, and Nick cautiously opened his 
eyes and raised his head. Jackson was opening the back of the van, his 
back to the young man. Nick stared around at the surrounding stones, 
and realised he was right in the centre. He had seen enough horror 
movies to know that this wasn't good. Then Jackson slammed the doors, 
and began to walk back to him. 

Jackson rounded the large stones, and nearly dropped the bag he held 
when he realised that Nick wasn't where he left him. 

'Oh, shit.' Jackson muttered under his breath. He placed the bag on the 
middle stone, and looked around at the surrounding land. There was no 
sign of Nick anywhere. Jackson felt near panic; the kid couldn't just 
disappear, could he?! Jackson paced around the stones quietly, 
searching in case Nick was hiding amongst the irregular placings. Nick, 
on the other hand, kept well away from his tormentor, sticking to the 
opposite side of the stone circle. He knew he couldn't make a run for 
it; he'd be spotted. His only hope was to keep circling the stones 
until he thought of a better plan. He had no idea how long he kept this 
up, but the sky began to get lighter, and his fingers became numb from 

'Hey, Nick!' Jackson eventually called out. 'Where are you? You can't 
run, you know that. Why don't you just give yourself up, and make 
things easier on yourself?' 

Nick peered round the side of the stone he was behind, and saw Jackson 
had his back to him. The other man turned suddenly, and Nick ducked 
down, crouching in the snow. He leaned back against the stone, closing 
his eyes, and swallowing deeply. He was sure Jackson had spotted him! 
But when he heard nothing coming in his direction, he peeked out again, 
and his heart nearly stopped. Jackson was nowhere in sight. Nick stared 
among the stones, but there was no movement. Then something made Nick 
turn. Jackson was behind him, hovering gently a few feet above the 

'So that's where you've been hiding!' Jackson grinned, bringing a lump 
of stone crashing down on Nick's skull. Despair filled the young man as 
he pitched forward, knowing that he had just lost his last chance at 
escaping out of this mess. 


Birkoff killed the engine to his van, literally, just as it bounced 
over another hole. It gave a loud *clunk*, and then was silent, and no 
amount of coaxing from Birkoff or Philip could bring it back to life. 

'I shoulda driven.' Philip said, exasperated. Birkoff glared at him, 
but said nothing. Instead, he pulled out the map, and began to study 
it. Philip grabbed it off him. 

'After that appalling display of driving, I am never trusting you with 
anything, ever again!' 

'No change there, then.' Birkoff muttered under his breath. He got out 
the van, and looked around. 


'Shhh!' Philip waved a hand at him. 'I'm concentrating!' 

'But Philip...' 


'Philip, would you listen to me a minute?!' Birkoff yelled. Philip 
stared at him; he'd never heard the young man shout before. Birkoff 
pointed to a clump of large shapes about half a mile off. 

'I found them.' 

Philip jumped out the van, staring at the stones. He could see a van 
parked beside them, and he looked over at Birkoff. 

'Come on.' 

Birkoff shook his head, turning a nasty shade of pale. 'I can't.' 

'What to do you mean, you can't?' Philip demanded. 

'I... I can't! I'm scared!' 

'Don't you think that Nick is a lot more scared than you?' 

Birkoff shook his head. 'I'm just a computer nerd! It's Michael and 
Nikita who do this stuff, not me! I'm like Jimmy Olsen to their 

'Even Jimmy gets to save the world once in a while.' Philip said 
softly. He looked Birkoff directly in the eyes. 'I know we've never 
exactly seen things the same, but I know we both care a lot about Nick. 
Now, I'm not about to sit here, and let anything happen that I might be 
able to prevent. Okay, so I don't know if I'll make it back here in one 
piece, but I'm sure going to try. Understand?' 

Birkoff nodded apologetically, still looking like a scared little kid. 
'Let's go.' 


Careful not to make too much noise in the snow, Birkoff and Philip 
crept up to a large stone, and hid behind it. From there, they could 
clearly see Jackson, standing beside the middle stone, looming over a 
huddled shape lying on it. 

'Nick...' whispered Philip. Jackson was holding a large knife, which 
glimmered in the pre-dawn light. He held it over Nick, who just looked 
up, tired and resigned to his fate. Birkoff turned to Philip. 

'Did you learn exorcisms when you trained to be a priest?' he asked, 
quietly. Philip nodded. 

'Can you get rid of this guy?' Birkoff whispered. 

'Only the One controlling him. His mortal body I can't destroy.' 

'Leave that part to me.' Birkoff stood up. 'I'll distract him, you go 
at him with your Latin. Those verbs and tenses should be enough to 
scare off Satan himself.' 

'Birkoff, no...' Philip grabbed for the young man, but it was too late, 
and he stepped out from behind the stone's cover. 

Jackson looked up at the new arrival, and smiled. 

'Well, well. And who do we have here?' 

Birkoff swallowed nervously. 'I'm here to stop you.' 

Jackson laughed. 'And how are you meant to do that? You're of no threat 
to me!' His eyes narrowed. 'Where are your friends?' 

'I'm alone.' Birkoff told him. 

'Birkoff, get out of here!' Nick cried weakly. 

'No, stay.' Jackson insisted. He looked down at Nick. 'You're more 
trouble than you're worth. I was having regrets about killing you, but 
now, I honestly couldn't care less!' He raised the knife, and prepared 
to plunge it into his victim. 

'May the One live for another cycle!' he screamed. 

'Nooo!!!!' Birkoff let out a yell, and ran at Jackson, fists flailing. 
Jackson fell back, the knife glancing across Nick's arm. Birkoff landed 
on top of him, and the older man tried to fend off the rain of blows. 
From behind the stone, Philip stared in disbelief; the kid may have 
been a computer nerd, but he had a vicious right-hook! Philip ran 
forward, and grabbed at Nick. The younger man stared up at him, 

'Where did you come from?' he asked. 

'Tell you later.' Philip said quickly, helping his friend off the 
stone, and sitting him down against it. As long as Nick wasn't actually 
on the stone, Philip was sure that Jackson would not be able to hurt 
him. Then Philip ran around to the other side of the stone, where 
Birkoff was being less than successful in pinning Jackson down. 

'Philip!' Birkoff yelled, panic in his voice. 'Do something, I can't 
hold him!' 

Jackson laughed, and suddenly Birkoff was hurtling through the air, 
crashing against a stone. He gave out a small groan, and then lay 
still, his body limp and crumpled. Philip turned, horrified, to face 
Jackson. 'You sick bastard!' 

Jackson grinned, slowly licking his fingers which had Birkoff's blood 
on them, enjoying Philip's reaction. 

'Futue te ipsum et caballum tuum.' Philip said quietly. 

'Now, now, mind your language!' Jackson grinned. 

Philip advanced on Jackson, chanting every incantation he could think 
of; but Jackson stood his ground, grinning at the priest. 

'Sticks and stones may break my bones...' he mocked. Then he let out a 
yell as a shape launched itself at him. 

Nick pinned down Jackson, face a mask of rage. He cocked back his fist, 
and dealt Jackson a heavy blow to his cheek. The man let out a roar of 
pain, and his eyes glazed over. Nick looked over at Philip. 

'Try it now.' he suggested. Philip began the incantations again, and 
this time, they began to have an effect. Jackson began to thrash under 
Nick, jerking his head and body from side to side, but the young man 
held on grimly. Black smog began to issue from Jackson's mouth, and he 
bucked wildly, trying to lose the hold on him, screaming obscenities. 
The smog rose, a terrible shrieking sound issuing from it. It hovered 
menacingly in the air, directly above Birkoff. It began to snake down 
to him, brushing his lips, the One desperately seeking another host. 
But the first rays of dawn hit it, dispersing it in the streams of 
light. Tiny black wisps twirled out into the air. Jackson went limp and 
still, his powerful body losing it's strength. Nick stood up shakily. 

'You had to control Jackson before you could reach the One.' he said, 
quietly.'It was too well protected.' He sat down heavily on the stone, 
holding his ripped arm as the sun began to fill the circle, turning the 
snow into a myriad of tiny, sparkling points of light. 

* * * * * * 

Illusion never changed 
Into something real. 
I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn. 
I'm all out of faith, 
This is how I feel, 
I'm cold and I'm ashamed, 
Bound and broken on the floor. 
You're a little late, 
I'm already torn. 


True to their word, Michael and Derek's helicopter appeared over the 
horizon a little over two hours later. 

'Here come the cavalry.' Philip muttered darkly. Nick looked up 
wordlessly, having not moved from his perch on the stone, face pale. 
Birkoff began to make his way somewhat unsteadily towards the van. 

'I need my gear.' he mumbled. Philip caught his arm gently as he 

'You did good.' he said, simply. Birkoff didn't answer, only shrugging 
off Philip's hand, and making his way back to the vehicle. 

The 'copter landed, the rotors slowing and stopping. Michael and Derek 
jumped out, hurrying over to the group of stones. 

'Are you okay?' Derek asked anxiously, eyeing Nick's bloodied arm and 
bruised face. 

'Fine.' Nick snapped. He looked distastefully at Michael. 'I take it 
you're Michael, then.' 

Michael nodded. 'Where's our man?' Nick nodded to Jackson's body, 
turning cold. 

'He's dead.' 

Michael seemed annoyed. 'I wanted him alive!' 

'Well, sorry.' Nick said, sarcastically. He got off the stone, and 
began to walk towards the helicopter. Derek stared after him, then 
turned to Philip. 

'Where's Birkoff?' 

'In the van.' Philip answered. 'Ho got a bit knocked about, but he'll 
be fine.' He directed a look at Michael that said As if you care! 

Michael looked over to the van, just as Birkoff began to walk back to 
them, carrying a holdall. The assassin turned to Derek. 

'We'll clear up here. My men will dispose of the body, tie up the 
police investigations.' 

Derek nodded. 'Thank you.' He glanced worriedly at the two youngest 
members of the combined team, who stood together by the helicopter. 

'Do you think they'll be okay?' he asked. 'I know our job can be pretty 
violent at times, but from what we've learnt about Jackson, this one 
out-does anything we've done before.' 

'They'll be okay in a day or so.' Michael said wisely. 'If not...' he 
left the sentence unfinished, the meaning hanging thickly in the air. 

'In the Legacy, we don't kill the weaker members, we help them.' Derek 
said, curtly. 'You might do to learn from us.' 

'I'm too old to learn anything new.' Michael argued. Derek laughed. 


'In my line of work, you tend not to live too long.' Michael explained. 

'Maybe if you learned, you'd live longer.' Derek said, quietly. 

'Come on.' Philip told them. 'I'm cold, and I'm sure those two would 
rather go home than stand here all day.' 

By the helicopter, Birkoff and Nick watched the others approach. 

'They know too much.' Birkoff said, not looking at Nick. 

'The One must live; which for the host?' Nick answered back. 

'He is split, He must become one again.' 

'Only in another host.' 

Then Nick gave a wolfish grin, and turned to Birkoff. 'The Priest.' 

When the others arrived back at the helicopter, Michael and Derek 
climbed into the front, starting the rotors. Philip clambered into the 
back, and gave a smile to Birkoff and Nick. 

'You guys okay?' 

As one, they smiled back, and replied. 'We are fine.' 

The helicopter rose over the stones, speeding away, and Birkoff and 
Nick turned as one to stare out the window.