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Primeval/Chaos: When We Collide 11/16

July 9th, 2012 (06:25 am)
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feeling: listless

A/N: This chapter is a bit shorter, but there's lots of stuff going on. And I suppose we should see how Billy’s faring.

Previous parts in the MASTER POST .



PART ELEVEN

-o-

Everything happened quickly.

One second, the car Stephen was riding in was pulling up to the building; the next, teams of Special Forces soldiers were swarming, fully armed as they began to surround the structure. The formations moved seamlessly, approaching with a rehearsed precision that made the haphazard approaches Stephen had been on seem unduly ridiculous by contrast.

Fredericks was talking into the phone, when suddenly a door opened. The teams descended and there was a sudden uproar. Stephen strained, trying to see around the forms in black. There were flashes, though. Bright red lipstick; bleached blonde hair; flailing hands.

Jenny, Abby, Connor. Another woman, too, carrying Rex.

They were okay.

Okay was something of a relative term. Connor was nearly frantic, even as he was surrounded by soldiers. He was stressed out, to say the least, his frantic movements the only way he knew to show it. Abby put her hands up and didn’t resist, only moved to desperately stop a soldier from manhandling Rex. The other woman seemed just as keen on protecting the lizard, but she was further along on her way to genuine shock. Jenny, though bedraggled, seemed to take it best, hands out as she handed over a large and impressive gun and already talking, slow and easy and patient.

But they were alive. Tired and ruffled and scared but alive. Considering that he’d thought they were dead, that was enough for Stephen.

“Secure them,” Fredericks said. “Out of the way, out of the way.”

Just like that, his friends were ushered away, moved swiftly through the horde of special forces soldiers and being escorted into one of the vans.

“Any other signs of movement?” Fredericks asked. He had traded the phone for a hand-held radio device. It crackled, and a new voice replied, “Negative.”

Fredericks nodded curtly, but Stephen shook his head. “Wait, that’s not everyone.”

Fredericks looked at him warily. He pressed the talk button again. “Any reports of where remaining personnel might be?” he asked. “We have at least four other people in there, two friendly, two we need in custody.”

There was a pause. Then the line picked up. “They report that Professor Cutter was separated from them,” the voice continued. “No confirmation on the others, though.”

Stephen felt nauseous.

“Thank you,” Fredericks said. “All right, Alpha Team, move in. We’re a go. I repeat, we are a go.”

“But Cutter—“

“Will be found,” Fredericks concluded for him. “Along with Helen and Leek and Billy. These men are good at what they do, I can assure you of that.”

The men started to file through the door, guns raised for a sweep of the building. In the seat next to him, Fredericks was checking his own pistol. “This is where we part ways for now, Mr Hart,” he said, putting his files aside. “I promise you, you will be quite safe with the driver—“

Stephen made a face, trying to understand. “I told you before, I’m coming with you,” he said.

“No, I told you before that you could accompany me and provide intelligence when needed,” he said. “From a safe distance. The car is equipped with a radio. Should we have need for advice, Corporal Bennett up front will be happy to relay our questions.”

Stephen shook his head. He’d been left behind for too much. He’d left his team one too many times. Cutter was in there – Billy and Helen, too – and Stephen needed to be there. “These are split-second decisions,” he said. “Life or death, just like that. You can’t leave me behind. You need me.”

Fredericks sighed. “Given your file, I never counted on you being this difficult to keep in check. There’s no indication of such a rebellious nature.”

“Unless my friends are in danger,” Stephen said. “I’ll follow orders I deem fit and good. I’ve just found that Cutter’s been a very capable leader.”

Fredericks looked perturbed. “This entire thing is a disaster,” he muttered. “What’s one more breach of protocol?”

With that, he got out, leaving Stephen blinking in shock. When he realised that he hadn’t been shut down again, he fumbled with the door and got out. The day was bright and he had to jog to catch up with Fredericks. “So that means I can come?”

“You’re here, aren’t you?” Fredericks said. He kept moving, walking through the remaining contingents of soldiers. He pulled his radio out again, pressing down. “All units, assume a standard search pattern,” he said. “Apprehend all humans until we can sort them out. Shoot to kill when it comes to the rest.”

Another group of men streamed in, and Fredericks edged closer, glancing back at Stephen. “Keep close,” he said. Then he pulled a spare pistol out of his belt, holding it out barrel first. “And my, how did you manage to find a gun just lying around. Best keep it to yourself, because I’m too busy to notice.”

Stephen took it, unconsciously checking the bullets. When he found it full, he couldn’t help but grin as he followed Fredericks into the interior of the building.

-o-

Billy was trained to survive. He’d endured all sorts of training scenarios, being put through rigorous trials and left to fend for himself in extreme wilderness conditions. He’d gone through combat training, worked in war zones, and been fully briefed on how to survive, regardless of the conditions.

Nothing had prepared him for this.

The first strike came from one of the cats, launching itself at him with a growl. Billy anticipated the attack just a second before it came, and he ducked out of the way, rolling hard on the ground. The beast landed heavily behind him, smashing into the attacking raptor he’d failed to see.

The collision ignited a scuffle, and Billy backed off frantically to avoid the flurry of teeth and claws.

Another one of the cats joined that fray, and one of the raptors turned on the closest Future Predator.

Shaking, Billy scrambled to his feet, scooting backward in hopes of finding some escape.

Instead, he came face to face with a Future Predator.

The file didn’t do the thing justice. Its face was intelligent, with keen, evil eyes. It cocked its head, almost smiling as its body tensed, preparing to strike.

Billy’s breath caught in his throat. He could run, but he’d never be fast enough. He’d be dead before he made it two metres.

Which meant he could just accept death or—

It sprang.

Without thinking, Billy kicked his boot out, catching the thing hard in the ribcage. It screeched, fumbling forward, claws flailing as it skittered to the ground.

Hot pain sluiced up his arm, and Billy felt blood from a glancing cut. If it was serious, he couldn’t tell. Didn’t have time to tell. The thing was recovering, and quickly.

Billy took his chance, turning to run as fast as he could to the closest exit. The main door was locked, but the labyrinth still might provide some cover if he could just get out of the main room.

Another Future Predator landed in front of him.

Pulling up short, Billy blinked rapidly, trying to think of an alternative. Going hand to claw with these things would be a losing prospect, but if he could just buy some time.

This one didn’t hesitate, flinging itself at Billy faster than he could see.

This time, it connected solidly, its teeth buried in Billy’s shoulder. Billy screamed, going down hard and hitting his back and head hard against the ground as the thing tried to mount him.

The white hot pain lanced through him and he jerked, as much out of agony as desperation. It was enough to jar the creature, sending them both tumbling to the side and giving Billy enough time to back off feebly.

There was blood everywhere now, running all down his torso and leaving smears on the floor. He was lightheaded with it, body trembling as he tried with everything he had to stay conscious, to keep fighting.

Help was coming. Help was going to come.

This time, he hardly saw the attack, a fresh Future Predator coming from the side. He managed to curl up, but it was meagre protection, and sharp claws ripped through the skin on his back.

He screamed again, his throat feeling raw as tears burned his eyes. He flailed, flopping back to the ground uselessly. The predator hovered, turning him neatly onto his back and holding him down as it bared its fangs.

Billy couldn’t move. He couldn’t even look away.

Maybe help wasn’t coming. Maybe they’d be too late. Maybe—

The predator was thrown off, so intent on eviscerating Billy that it had neglected the approaching cat. The two rolled off together in a mess of howls and screeches.

Billy blinked. Retreat, he thought. But it didn’t matter. His arm was useless now, his back torn. The loss of blood was making his vision tunnel and the pain was paralysing. He had no way of assessing the severity of the wounds, only their debilitating effect. Fatal or not, he could only gasp for air as the next predator moved to strike.

This time, it grabbed at his leg, jerking him roughly across the ground. Teeth dug deep and when it released its grip and sat back, its jaws dripped with Billy’s blood.

He was watching himself being eaten alive.

Another predator rounded, nipping at Billy’s side with its teeth. The fangs sunk deep, jarring him to the side. The first predator growled, yanking so hard on Billy’s leg that he thought it might come off. Claws punctured his stomach, digging deeply, and Billy couldn’t even scream any more.

The two predators turned their attention to each other, hissing before they attacked, fighting their way off to the side.

All around, Billy could hear the sounds of fights. Predator against predator, annihilating each other just as planned. Only this time, they had the ultimate incentive. Fresh meat; a still pounding heart, a living sacrifice.

He could still make a run for it – there was time now – but Billy couldn’t move. He couldn’t even try to move.

Instead, he lay there, staring up at the ceiling. Things were dimming now, sound drowned out and things going dark. The pain abated as everything went cold and numb.

James Bond didn’t die. But James Bond was a poor excuse for a hero.

This was okay, Billy told himself. Everyone else would live. The mission would be a success. Stephen could make things right with Cutter.

As the end approached, Billy held onto that small comfort as hard as he could.

-o-

Going through the building, Stephen realised again how foolish he’d been.

This wasn’t about the ARC and protecting the public. It never had been. Helen had used that to gain his trust. She’d taken his good intentions to help cover up this.

Over all the months that had passed, and her few, carefully chosen visits, she’d acted like he was her only ally, yet she’d been secretly building this place up. She’d played on Stephen’s compassion, told him she had nowhere else, when she was steadily stockpiling her own escape and worse.

Stephen had known there was a traitor, but he hadn’t known this. If this was what Cutter had had some inklings about, if he’d thought it was this bad, Stephen never would have kept Helen’s part in this a secret. Not for a second.

His hand tensed on his gun when there was a sudden racket. Gunfire. Something suspiciously sounded like a growl.

Fredericks had out his radio. “Report!”

The feed crackled as it came alive. “We’ve got confirmation on predators,” a voice replied. “At least ten, although they seem to be in a confined area.”

“Anyone else?”

“One male, injured but secure,” the voice said.

Stephen straightened at that. One male. Leek maybe. Or Billy. Or Cutter.

“Identity?” Fredericks pushed, and Stephen found himself hoping anxiously.

“We’re working on that. We’ve had to forcibly restrain him.”

Fredericks looked bothered but tried not to let it show. “Assessment on predators?” he asked.

“Alpha team is ready to engage. Permission to apply all necessary force.”

“Copy that. Permission granted. You are go for attack.”

Just like that, there was an explosion, resounding loudly through the base. Stephen flinched, but Fredericks seemed unbothered. The echo had barely just settled when a fresh racket of gunfire erupted, more pronounced. There were definite howls this time, screeching through the walls, and Stephen fought all his impulses to run to help them.

He knew it would be futile, though. With that gunfire, it sounded like a war zone. Stephen would only get caught in the crossfire.

And then, it was over. Almost as fast as it had began.

Fredericks put the radio back near his mouth. “Report.”

“All targets in this area have been destroyed,” the voice replied. “We’re still sending out teams to search the rest of the bunker.”

“Any casualties?” Fredericks asked.

There was a hesitation, some chatter in the background. “Yes, sir,” he said. There was a hesitation. “We have one confirmed casualty at this time.”

“One of yours?” Fredericks asked, a frown etched on his face.

“Negative,” the voice replied. “It appears to be a civilian.”

Stephen’s heart stuttered. A civilian. He’d seen Connor and Abby and Jenny. But not Cutter. Not Helen. Not Billy.

If it was any of them…

It couldn’t be.

After all Stephen had done.

Fredericks was still talking – asking for a description, for a condition – but Stephen had stopped listening. Instead, he started running as hard and fast as he could, hoping that he wouldn’t be too late.

-o-

Billy thought that the sight of a predator devouring his own flesh would be the last thing he’d ever see. He thought he’d see the sneering expression of a Future Predator, its intelligent eyes alight with joy as it ripped through his skin like it was paper, taking meticulous bloody mouthfuls like a child savoring the last of his favourite dessert. He’d thought he’d die with this image burned into his retinas, of the beast toying with him, prolonging his death, tearing his flesh strip by strip to make him last.

For once, Billy was actually glad to be wrong.

Somewhere, there was a loud boom. Billy couldn’t turn his head to look, but the predator on top of him went on alert, staring with contempt toward the sound. The thing seemed to use one hand to pull Billy closer – like a vulture hoarding its kill – when the gunfire started.

Billy recognised the sounds – machine guns, shooting to kill – and heard the predators cry out. The one on top of him coiled to spring at this new threat, but as it pushed off Billy’s prone body, the spray of bullets caught it, jerking it back. At first it only staggered, but the rounds didn’t slow, riddling its leathery flesh until finally it was over.

The gunfire ceased, and a haunting silence ensued.

It was over.

Billy tried to breathe, tried to cry. He convulsed instead.

Above him, a special forces soldier looked down, face still obscured by his protective mask. Their eyes met and the man looked back up. “Hey! We’ve got someone here!”

They had come. Backup had come. The thought was almost surreal – after predators and blood and near-death – help was here.

He hadn’t realised that he’d started to drift until the man was kneeling over him, talking. “…we need to double time it on the medic,” he was saying, not looking at Billy any more. “Looks bad.”

It felt bad, too. It felt worse than that. It felt like he was already dead, barely hanging on.

And for what? His mission?

Billy couldn’t remember any more.

Billy couldn’t…

A new sound split the air. A cry. Animalistic but human. Twisted with desperation, anguish, grief.

“No! I have to see him! I have to—“

It was familiar, but Billy couldn’t place it, could see the face but not quite bring up the name—

He blinked.

Then Cutter was there.

Dishevelled blond hair. Blood smeared on the temple. Large blue eyes staring desperately into his own.

“Stephen,” he said. It was one word, but it said so much. So much of loss. So much of hope. So much.

Then Billy felt himself being lifted. The small movement hurt, but somehow it didn’t matter any more. Cutter didn’t break eye contact, not even as he settled Billy onto his lap, arms wrapped protectively around him.

Cutter seemed to take a shaking breath. “Stephen,” he said again, more intimate this time, more vulnerable. Cutter no longer had any answers. He didn’t have any instincts left to trust. He was just sitting there, holding Billy and stuttering like a bumbling fool. He could face diabolical ex-wives, plot to circumvent madmen and their cruel plans, but here he was, literally on his knees. For Stephen.

That warranted something.

That warranted everything, but Billy wasn’t sure he had anything left to give. He had to try, though.

Swallowing, Billy sought to find his voice, but all he dredged up was blood, thick and cloying in the back of this throat. His effort to speak was garbled and he choked instead.

Cutter held him tighter. “Just hold on,” he said – he begged. “You just need to hold on. For me.”

It wasn’t an order. There was no assumption of obedience. Just an honest plea.

Billy needed to tell him. Needed to tell him about Stephen, needed to tell him about the mission, about the two of them, about –

He shuddered, his efforts falling short again as his trembling visibly increased.

Eyes wet, Cutter shook his head. “It’s okay,” he said. Then he added, “We’re okay.”

Billy had made a promise to Stephen, a promise he needed to fulfill. But he couldn’t…he didn’t know how. Even the simple act of breathing was almost too much now, pulling painfully in his chest with each wheezing effort. There were other people now, tending his wounds, but he could barely feel the ministrations. There was only Cutter.

Cutter’s expression wavered – almost broke – and he hoisted Billy higher until Billy could feel Cutter’s heart pounding close to his own.

“Stephen, I—“ Cutter began but cut off, his throat choked. He swallowed and tried again. “Stephen, I’m sorry.”

Billy’s lips moved, and he tried to shake his head, to explain, to make him understand.

Cutter’s hands found their way into his hair, running lightly through the tousled locks. “I’m so, so sorry,” he said, tears spilling down his cheeks now.

Cutter needed to know. Stephen needed to know. But Billy had nothing left.

“It’s okay,” Cutter soothed, pulling him even closer now and tucking his head against him.

Billy needed to fight, needed to try, needed to finish his mission.

But suddenly, it was warm. It was safe. The pain and the failure and the rest didn’t matter here. Not any more.

Cutter rocked him now, slow and gentle. “It’s all going to be okay,” he said. “Trust me.”

And as the darkness pulled him under, that was exactly what Billy did.

NEXT

Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
Duo Trio


A lot going on? Yeah, just a bit! *G*

Ahhhhhhh flail shriek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, I'm glad that Stephen wasn't in the cage room, but poor Billy! The poor bloke even does his best to farewell Cutter in character too in the last chapter.

Now seeing him being ripped apart (I really dislike the powers that be for giving Stephen such an awful death), but oh, the Cutter reactions were beautiful, with the cradeling and apologising. New angst heights, but I know what is to come...

Thanks for letting the back up reach Billy in time!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter

In order to spare Stephen the worst, I had to give some bad to Billy. It's not exactly a fair trade, but at least everyone's alive...

Thanks :)

Posted by: reggietate (reggietate)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
circleofglass

*meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!*

And still five more chapters to go! *flails and iz ded*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
stephen blue wonder

LOL, I hope the next part doesn't make you flail as much. But I can't promise you that...

Thanks :)

Posted by: flaccidduck (flaccidduck)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)

Excitement to burn!

*runs in mad dizzy circles of glee*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

So glad you still like it!

Thanks!

Posted by: freddiejoey (freddiejoey)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
pic#117539045

*clings precariously to edge of seat*

*tumbles off*

fabulous chapter!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
stephen hair

LOL, hopefully the next chapter doesn't leave things quite as precipitous.

Thanks!

Posted by: fredbassett (fredbassett)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 12:58 pm (UTC)

Oh my, that was an intense chapter!

I was really upset by how horrible Stephen's death was and this really conveys that awfulness.

I hope Billy is OK and that Cutter is still OK with Stephen when he knows what happened.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

I'm not killing anyone in this fic, so Billy's probably okay, but as for Cutter and Stephen...well, there's still five chapters :)

Thanks!

Posted by: scwlc_fic (scwlc_fic)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)

I know I'm horrible, but I'm snickering over Cutter's face when he finds out that Stephen's totally fine and he's been effectively weeping over some random scotsman from MI-5.

That was fantastic. I really liked that you gave Billy some cool moves and at least a smidge of survival skills relatable to the situation. You really captured what must have been an utterly frenetic scene in canon (if we'd actually seen it), really brilliantly.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
stephen goodbye

Cutter is in for a bit of a shock. The question is how he'll handle it...

Thanks :)

Posted by: goldarrow (goldarrow)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)

Whew. That was amazing.
I read the entire thing in one mental gulp. Each sentence just pulled me forward.

Worried about how Cutter will react when he discovers it wasn't Stephen who sacrificed himself for them, though...
Maybe that's why we still have 5 parts? *bg*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

It means so much to me that people are so engaged in it!

And yeah, Cutter's reaction is a big part of the rest of the fic...

Thanks!

Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Billy

*Hyperventilates*

That was intense and scary and had so much going on.

*Iz nervous*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter sit

I'm glad it's an enjoyable read -- even the second time around!

Thanks :)

Posted by: judithjohn (judithjohn)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
pic#117847135

*lets out big breath*

*holds it again ready for next fabulous chapter*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
stephen's eyes

Thank you!

Posted by: joshinator (joshinator)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
pic#117536650

Awesome action in an awesome chapter.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
stephen smiles

Thanks so much!

Posted by: knitekat (knitekat)
Posted at: July 9th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)

Meep! That was intent and poor Billy - that description was quite eek! Yay for him still being alive and yay for Nick seeing sense.

More please.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter distance

More soon! And yeah, Billy really doesn't catch any breaks in this fic.

Thanks!

Posted by: natchris (natchris)
Posted at: July 10th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
pic#117351741

I love when I see a fantastic new chapter of this fantastic crossover appear!!

Now I'm just looking forward to more

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
stephen shocked

I'm really glad you look forward to it -- and that it doesn't disappoint :)

Thanks!

Posted by: Lena7142 (lena7142)
Posted at: July 10th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC)
stephen

That scene with Cutter and Billy kills me. It breaks my heart so many different ways...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 11th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
stephen hair

Yeah. It's really hard to say I feel the worst for in this fic...

Thanks :)

Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: July 14th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
Hurt/comfort

OMG! OMG! OMG! *runs off to read the next chapter*

Posted by: Cordelia Delayne (cordeliadelayne)
Posted at: July 15th, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
[primeval] blue background stephen

*flails a lot*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: July 18th, 2012 11:54 am (UTC)
stephen and cutter

I wish I could say it gets better...and it will, but not yet...

Thanks :)

31 Read Comments
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