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The Wells Project

Future Earth, USA

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a part of The Wells Project, by SolemnStories.

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SolemnStories holds sovereignty over Future Earth, USA, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for The Wells Project
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Future Earth, USA is a part of The Wells Project.

10 Characters Here

Damien Frost [0] Just doin' his job.
Paul Bennett [0] One day, my life will flash before my eyes. I want to make sure its worth watching.
Ryno Frost [0] It's hard living in a better man's shadow.
Tom Beret [0] Serving his country
Gabriel Cross [0] International businessman, descendant of the Medici family, and new CEO of the Medici Group.
Jeremy Koboto [0] ...The Oddball...
Teresia Roehder [0] A German woman obsessed with her family's past.
Katriona 'Kat' Harris [0] History does not repeat itself. The historians repeat one another.
Janette Reagan [0] The backbone of The Wells Project
Kendra Krise [0] Scientist studying the effects

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#, as written by Loxley
When Gabriel came back to the Medici Tower, he went straight to his office at the penthouse level. It was a huge office, even by the standards of millionaires. He worked quickly in getting rid of the more annoying tasks that needed doing, and dismissed his accountants who complained about his absence without leave. Then, finally, he picked up the phone and called down to the R&D department of the Medici Group, located in the secret basements of the Medici Tower. Normal was the one who picked up the call. They talked for a few moments before Gabriel got to the point:

"What do we have so far?" He asked. Normal's reply wasn't satisfying:

"I-it's encrypted, sir." He said. "I - I need t-to decrypt it be-before we c-c-can read the d-data. I-it's a fa-fail safe the c-computer system uses for instances l-like this. B-but we got 73 p-percent o-of the harddrive's c-contents. I-it's fairly c-certain th-that we g-g-got our hands on s-something useful."

"And how long will it take to decrypt?"

"I-it's hard t-to say, s-sir. M-maybe twenty-f-four hours...maybe t-twenty for years..."

"Let me know when you have something." Cross said. He threw a glance at the wristwatch and sighed. "I got to get over to OTO and meet those old retards. You can reach me on my cellphone." He hung up and looked at the swarthy man sitting in a corner of his huge office. "Mr Hunter. With me." His bodyguard stood up and followed him out into the hallway. His secretary, a beautiful young woman named Helen, looked up when he stepped outside. He said: "I'm going out for a while. Forward any calls to my cellphone." She nodded with a "Yes, sir". Gabriel and his bodyguard entered an elevator soon after, and descend the Medici Tower, until they stepped out into the huge lobby on the ground floor.

Gabriel stopped to talk to a couple of business associates while Hunter went to fetch the car. Their discussion was brief, and soon after, Gabriel stepped outside and entered the vehicle. Hunter took him away from there immediately. Neither of the two spoke during the drive. Finally, the car stopped in the center of the city, in a large, temple-like building marked "Order Templi Orientis". Hunter left the car and opened the door for his employer, who stretched his muscles as he stepped outside. He looked up at the magnificent temple-building with a disgusted expression on his face.

He sighed.
"I hate these people." He muttered. "A bunch of powerful old farts...so content in their status quo of power that they have lost every ounce of ambition. Losing your ambition is worse than losing your lust for women. Once you have no ambition left, your life isn't anything more than an empty, hollowed-out bag of flesh anymore." He spat in disgust. "Someone should just put them out of their misery. Kill them all, and take the power for himself. I intend to be that someone."

"You will be, sir." Hunter replied.

"Soon. Very soon." Gabriel muttered. "I'll take you with me to the top, Jonathan. You have my word on that." He patted his friend and bodyguard on the shoulder, and then added: "But for now, let's see what they have to say. Come on."

The two disappeared into the building.

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#, as written by lilozzy
Kat looked around and smiled, "This smells like my grandmothers house but it beats landing in a cow pasture," the wall paper on the walls was faded and peeling in parts, she was sure there was mold somewhere. She followed Teri and looked out, people milled about on the street below, it looked like something from the pictures of the era. When Teri asked if they should go she nodded and glanced at her watch, Kat nodded and made her way across the floor to the front door.

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Snapping his eyes open, Jeremy found himself in another world. He sighed as he took in the sudden new sights and smells. It was something he'd never quite gotten used to--the journey. He had heard that some Keepers were able to cling to an amount of consciousness during their transition through time, but it was something of which he had never succeeded in doing.

Ah well, probably for the best.

Moving off slightly, Jeremy took careful count of the other Time Keepers, watching them meander a bit. After a few moments Teri and Kat decided it was time to go and began to step away. So, with a quick glance towards the others, he moved after the two women.

After thinking about it a moment Koboto recalled that the perp's address had been on their mission sheets, but they hadn't been given all to specific guidelines and honestly he didn't know who was going where. So he stopped and spoke up.

"Hang on guys...what are we all doing or...where are we going first?"

Jeremy pushed a finger to his temple to still his own insecurities and cast aside the unasked questions that riddled his mind. He felt a headache slowly creeping up from the base of his neck. Trying to keep an open expression while still pressing his temple, Jeremy patiently waited for some sort of answer.

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Damien felt his head spinning, but he shook it off. It would be gone in a moment anyway. He took off his fedora, ran his fingers through his hair, replaced the fedora and thumbed his chin where his goatee had been. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. He opened his mind to take in the sounds of the era..

The loud backfiring of all of the automobiles on the streets...

A paperboy excitedly announcing the latest news...

Swing music was coming from some building down the street. It ever so slightly caressed his ears...

Ah. The nineteen thirties.

"All right Jeremy," Damien said. "We are after Beauford Hetfield. He is going to hit the 4th Street Bank at about noon, and it's about 8 o clock now. We gotta find this guy and hold him up somehow... I say we check out where he lived first of all, which, if what the mission statement is true, is right next door in the next building. If we are lucky, we can catch him before anything happens." He stepped into the light of the open window and peered outside. Faces of the past danced on by, living in their "now" in the most literal sense, whether they knew it or not. He stepped back from the window and thought for a moment. "We have to be careful... Janette said she doesn't want any balls out blazing guns on this one... so we have to be tactful... What do you think?" he said, turning and facing Jeremy.

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When Damien replied Jeremy tried not to look to surprised as he turned his attention towards the other. It had just seemed for the slightest moment as though the guy had been about to step out before he'd spoken up. Perhaps not...

...Probably just your imagination Koboto...

When Damien raised a question that would seem to be directed back towards him, Jeremy took a moment to ponder it. Then though, the thought finally occurred to him. "Well...until now I had been assuming we'd have to confront this guy face to face. But I think there's enough of us..." He looked around to the other Keepers, "We could do some low key sabotage that would keep the perp from getting near a bank any time today." An odd grin crept upon his face. "Hell, throw in some religious connections and we'd probably keep him from hitting any banks. These old world citizens will take anything as a sign from god." Jeremy chuckled, and then shrugged with a bit of a dorky grin still. "I dunno, just a thought." He thumped the face of his wrist-watch then, seeming to both punctuate his sentence and finalize his thought. Though his mind was far from done with toiling over the idea. Maybe it could work...

Or maybe not...Then who'd they blame? You! A cautious voice from within seemed to remind him. But Jeremy brushed it aside. If it was such a bad idea, the others would tell him. The first thing you learned in this job was that lying to be polite, wasn't an option.

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Kendra's pale blue eyes quickly snapped to Koboto. "Our mission from Jannett was to make him rethink himself." She said sternly. "Try to change his mind. I guess technically he would think god was out to get him if he tried to rob any bank, but then what happens? He goes out into the streets preaching of a vengeful god. Most just ignore him but the few crazies listen. Soon more and more gather. Its still mostly in control until the internet is invented and then it spreads like wildfire and when we get back to our time we have a new cult on our hands. One that does human sacrifice. Do you want that on your conscience Koboto? If you ask me a bank robbery is better than thousands of human sacrifices."

Kendra thought hard for a moment trying to think of what would cause the least amount of aftershock. She didn't really feel that just talking to him would fix the problem, even though thats what the mission implied at first. She sighed. "I guess you're right Jeremy. But lets not leave him in a mentality that god is out to get him. One of us will have to pose as a pastor and somehow make him confess his sins and be forgiven after we're done playing with his head." She didn't like not playing by the mission exactly. Now though it seemed the only way. "So anyone have any ideas of how to prank this guy out of a bank robbery?"

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"Kendra makes a valid point," Damien said. "We don't need to create any more religious atrocities for nutbars to crawl out of the woodwork and venelate someones frontal lobe because the voices in his head insisted they were holier than thou."

Jeremy and Kendra looked at each other, then back to Damien, unsure whether or not it was proper to laugh. Damien looked at his watch. Time wasn't waiting for them. They had to move.

"I wish we knew more about the guy," He continued. "I feel like we need to get into his psyche a bit and find out what he is all about. That way we can get to him if we need to talk him down. Let's go check out his place and see what we can find."

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Tom hung up the phone, he had a tip after so much time in this rat hole city he finally had a lead! Sure the informant hadn’t told him who or where he was, but a possible Nazi meeting was a chance to good to pass up he gave the orders for a team to go in as soon as possible. It would be hell keeping the FBI and local cops out of it and they would scream bloody murder, but if he could pull off an actual Nazi arrest no one would care.

Fritz tightened his grip on the M1-Grand and looked at his two companions, they had been standing outside for a couple of minuets already and heard voices coming from within though they couldn’t make out what they were saying. After a quick glance at his watch he saw that the other three members of the team should be in position on the fire escape ready to go in through the window. “Now” said Fritz as he kicked in the door knocking it partially off the hinges. The people were spread throughout the main room. He wondered for a moment how the people would react to the three men in black suites coming in the door, or the other three breaking through the window. He raised his rifle and yelled “hands in the air! Now!”

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#, as written by Loxley
Gabriel felt dirty when he left the OTO temple. He always did. Having to socialize with corrupt filth like the ones you would find in the OTO temple was enough to make him feel utterly disgusted - but he was good at hiding it when he had to. With a disgusted expression on his face, he stepped down the stairs and approached the car. Hunter had, as always, taken it out and were waiting for him. Gabriel stopped by the open car door and looked up at the temple. Then he looked at Jonathan, and said:

"Soon, Jonathan... Soon. I'll take us both all the way to the top."

"And I'll protect you with my life until we get there, sir." Hunter replied with his usual low voice. "Where to?"

"Back to the Tower. I bet Blake wants my head by now. Damn accountant." He sighed as he entered the backseat of the car. Hunter closed the door behind him, and Gabriel leaned back in the seat, heaving a sigh. Despite being a billionaire seeming a simple lifestyle, to Gabriel Cross it wasn't, and had never been. But it had become worse by his own actions. Before his betrayal of the Time Keepers, he had been wealthy, but nowhere near this wealthy, and he had had no power. Now, he wielded incredible power, at the hands of the thousands of businesses owned by the Medici Group. It came with responsibility, responsibility that he took. It was a small price to pay if it meant paving the way for his ambitions.

His eyes drifted to the car phone, and he picked it up, dialing a number from his memory.
"Yes. I would like to order some flowers. Hmm, what do you have? It's for a beautiful woman. Hey, you're the expert. It sounds pretty good to me. Of course. What should it say? Hmm, let me think..." He removed the phone from his ear for a moment, thinking about what to write on the card. Finally, he said: "It would make me happy if I got to see you tonight, Janette. I will wait at Mon Refuge at eight. I hope to see you there." He nodded to himself, and continued: "Yeah, that'll do. Sign it "Gabriel". She'll know who it is. Yes, it's best to deliver it at her home. Her name is Janette Reagan, and she lives at..." He gave the address. After a few moments, he settled the matter of the bill, and hung up.

Perfectly timed, he soon looked up to hear Hunter's voice say:
"We're here, sir."

"Thank you, Jonathan." He said. "I'll head down to R&D. Come by when you've parked the car."

"Yes, sir."

Gabriel entered the gigantic skyscraper. As before, he didn't make it all the way to the elevators without being addressed by several men and women. He politely talked to all of them before moving on to the elevator, and taking it down to the R&D floor where Normal's workspace was located. It was time to make plans for his next actions against the Time Keepers, and such plans were almost always made down in the R&D division. Though they were always subtle, and rarely outright illegal, the R&D section was the most secure location in the Medici Tower. Here, he was certain nobody listened in.

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As the men bust into the formerly quiet room, Jeremy was probably the first to react. It wouldn't be called a good reaction though, considering the sudden intrusion had nearly scared him witless. After Kendra has snapped at him, Jeremy recoiled to let her and Damien work things out. He had exchanged a brief glance with Kendra as the other keeper had seemed to go off on a slight tangent, but then carefully moved himself out of the conversation, happy enough just to listen.

I told you it was a stupid idea...

Jeremy grinned. Hopefully he wasn't schizophrenic...but that little voice in the back of his mind was always right. Too bad he didn't listen to it more often. With a sigh Koboto then looked down at his wrist watch again and his heart jumped slightly. The second hand wasn't moving.

Damn you, little... He had thumped the glass again and then glanced up quickly to be sure no one noticed his trouble. They hadn't seemed to at least. With a few more firm thumps the clock began ticking again...and Jeremy had looked up just in time to see a team of men come busting through the door.

His eyes widened and he stepped back in surprise, moving just in time to back into one of the men who'd come in through the window. He felt his glasses slip from his face, moving his hand up just in time to catch them before they shattered upon the ground. Koboto swallowed hard and quickly looked around at the men...

Shit! What are you idiots doing here?! His subconscious screamed. Jeremy shoved the thought aside. Now was not the time to show hostility... composing himself surprisingly quickly Jeremy squared his shoulders and returned his glasses as they belonged.

"Well good morning gents, the way you came busting in I'd have guessed you were running from the ole lady." Jeremy wore a grin and a wink. "Frankly you scared the shit outta me..." He smiled still, despite the fact that it had hardly broken through the fierce looking men. It was strange though how quickly his demeanor had changed. He allowed himself to turn a bit serious then though...they were armed after all. "But nonetheless it seems we've found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time." He glanced around to the other keepers with slightly raised brows. They'd have to talk their way out of this somehow...

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Jannett stared at the clockwork a moment longer. That's it...they're gone. She couldn't stop her stomach from turning knots. Trust them.

The woman found her thoughts wandering back to Gabriel's invitation. It was an utterly obvious ploy...but she couldn't help but wonder if she could use it to her own advantages somehow. The idea tugged at her as she turned to leave the room. Suddenly though Jannett stopped and glanced back over her shoulder. "Bennett, I've got a small project to keep you occupied for a bit while we wait on the return. See me in my office in fifteen." She called to the engineer without much consideration in her voice. Jannett had unwittingly let herself become worked up over Gabriel Cross' invitation...it was putting her in a bad mood. Without bothering to correct her tone though she left it at that and then returned to her office.

There Jannett sat in her chair and let her head fall into her hands. Damn life. A sigh rattled through her. As she raised her eyes, Jannett found the delicate looking rose Gabriel had left behind. Her gaze fixed upon it a moment, and ever so slowly she reached to take hold of it. As her fingers curled around the stem, her eyes drew further into the inviting beauty of the bud...and it was then that she felt a small but sharp pain in her fingertip. Her hand drew away from the rose, letting it fall as it may. And as she upturned her fingers, a small speck of ruby red blood was there to meet her gaze. Like a symbol it was.

Jannett turned her eyes to look down at the elegant rose once more but this time she saw its true nature. One little spine left hidden at the base of its stem was enough still to hurt. It was proof that even beauty and innocence can hide a sharp point...

"And it can be just enough to make you bleed." Jannett whispered to herself. She had a lot of thinking left to do.

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Fritz turned to the man who spoke and trained his rifle on the mans chest. “Down on your knees, right now” yelled Fritz. “All of you get down, and place your hands on your heads” said Fritz once more. The other five men on the team spread out through the room covering the people with there M-1 Grand rifles. One of the men approached the man who had talked with handcuffs in one hand and a pistol in the other. “We are with the U.S. Army cooperate and none of you will be harmed” said Fritz. Fritz believed he had the situation in hand now all he had to do was get these people handcuffed and to the police van outside and he was home free. Still there were several people in the room and he needed to watch them all or one of them might try something. “Everyone remain calm and do as we say” said Fritz.

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With a look of surprise Jeremy lowered himself to his knees. He drew his hands up and placed them on the back of his head, listening calmly as the man that seemed to be in command spoke up. He watched patiently as one of the other men placed handcuffs around his wrists, and looked up when the commanding officer finished speaking.

"I don't mean to protest but on what charges are we being taken into custody sir?" Koboto asked, his voice a bit more firm but taking no challenge towards the other. It was best if they provoked them as little as possible. But he threw a glance over his shoulder, to quickly check how the others were responding. It would just take one trigger happy hot head...

At least Ryno's not here... He couldn't help but think with a slight huff. It wasn't really anything personal, but there was just something about that guy that didn't sit right with Jeremy. Of course here lately none of the keepers seemed to be getting along with him much.

Shrugging it off he turned back towards the officer, hoping to receive an answer from the man.

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“We have received reliable intelligence that a Nazi meeting was taking place here” said Fritz “so you are all being detained for suspicion of spying on the United States of America and or plotting harmful acts against its government.” Two other men lowered there rifles and pulled out handcuffs and pistols and approached the others, which left three men including Fritz covering the people with there rifles. “If you are innocent a background and history check should go a long way to proving it” said Fritz.

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Damien couldn't believe this.

His hands were up and he was on his knees being detained for being a genocidal maniac under the reign of an insane dictator with the wrong end of a rifle in his back.

I've had better days, he thought.

He instantly began calculating. He was furious, so he would have no problem taking out this entire room of suits in a couple of minutes... but it would be too messy. This mission was supposed to be death free if they could help it, and of course his first priority was not endangering the other time keepers. He breathed deeply to calm himself. He could throw a stun grenade of some sort, such as a flash or smoker, but the feds would examine it after they got away and find all the intricate parts, the mechanisms, and that would either cause the government to build superior weaponry at a faster pace and potentially cause a cataclysmic super war and the nation would blow itself up, or, knowing the USA, they'd examine it, block it from the public eye and be entirely too secret about, send it to some hack with a PHD he got out of a Cracker Jack box who would get pissed because he wouldn't understand it, and they would box it up and send it to the same place they sent the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones, hence another alien conspiracy, 4 cults and 2 religions.

So Damien waited. He wasn't sure exactly what he was going to do and how he was going to get out of this, but he knew one thing.

The clock was ticking against him.

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#, as written by Loxley
Gabriel let out a yawn, and threw a sideglance at his wristwatch. It was five. Everyone else, except for security, had gone home for the day. The Medici Tower, with the exception of his private floor, and those floors he had rented to other people to live in, was all but abandoned. And in the R&D department below the building, Gabriel was alone in the massive concrete locale, which reminded him more of a car park than a research and development laboratory. Though the hundreds of black boxes containing various research prototypes, certainly, proved that his R&D people did what they were supposed to.

Sitting on one such box, and with his laptop on another, Gabriel were reading through the files retrieved from Janette's computer. Most of it were private correspondence or information regarding the Project but not of interest to Gabriel. His only concern was, after all, the Clockwork. And there were a lot of files. His finger kept pressing the keyboard of the laptop as he eyed through the information. He purposefully didn't read any of the correspondence once he had made sure it was private, and if it were in regard to work, he only read far enough to make sure it didn't say anything vital about the Clockwork. Which, of course, it didn't. He rubbed his eyes and reached out for the cup of coffee next to the computer.

A door opened behind him, and he turned around to see Hunter step out of the elevator.

"You work too hard, sir." Hunter said as he approached.
"The burden of being a leader, Jonathan." Gabriel said as he stood up, closing the laptop. "But you're right. That's enough for one day. I've got a date tonight, anyway." He stood up, but wobbled slightly. Jonathan stepped up and caught him. The bodyguard gave him a frown as he reiterated:

"As I said, sir. You're working too hard. Don't overexert yourself." Gabriel gave a wry smile, patting him on the shoulder.
"I promised you, and everyone else who joined me under the banners of my family...even my own ancestors...that I'll take us to the top. And I intend to do it, no matter what it takes. A few late nights are a small price to pay." The bodyguard's frown deepened. It surprised Gabriel to see him show any hint of emotions, concern as they were. Finally, however, he only shrugged, and said:
"As you wish, sir."

Gabriel patted him on the shoulder again, telling him not to worry. The two left the R&D department after Gabriel turned off the lights, and took the elevator up to the Medici Tower penthouse where he lived. There, as usual, Jonathan checked the apartment for assassins, before Gabriel was allowed to prepare for the evening's date. At the request of his bodyguard, he went to bed, and slept for an hour to recover his energy. When he woke up, he took a shower, shaved, and picked out a navy blue Armani linen suit for the evening, together with a bright green Versace shirt, both of them his favorites.

Roughly thirty minutes before the time of the date, Jonathan drove Gabriel in his car to the French restaurant, Mon Refuge. As he owned the place, there was no trouble to get a table despite the long lines outside. The butler took his overcoat, and escorted him to the best - and most private - table in the restaurant, where Gabriel sat down to enjoy a glass of expensive whisky while waiting for Janette to arrive. Jonathan had agreed to leave him alone for the evening, though only under the condition that Gabriel brought his pistol in case anything happened. Though he didn't like bringing a gun to a date, at least Gabriel had some privacy for the evening. And he intended to enjoy it with Janette, completely without interference from either of their loyalties and organizations.

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Looking down at the clock on her desk Jannett heaved a sigh. Bennett had come and went...and she had done plenty of work since. But now, she had to get out of the office. She wasn't exactly sure why, but Jannett was quite sure it had nothing to do with Gabriel's proposal for dinner.

Or at least...she thought she was sure.

Standing abruptly the rather exhausted woman pressed a button to begin her computer's shutdown process, and then began to exit the office. It would still be several hours before the Keepers returned...she could go home for a bit, grab some dinner, and have plenty of time to get back.

Dinner ... at home.

"I'm going home to get a little rest." Jannett informed the secretary as she clocked herself out. "I'll be back before the curfew...let me know if there's any problems before then." The young blond woman behind the desk nodded cheerily, and bid Jannett a good night.

* * *

Home is at times an odd sort of description of a place. As she pulled in the drive, Jannett found herself wondering if this house was really her home any more. A bit of disdain found her as she saw her husband's car parked in the drive.

Husband ... Ex-Husband ... She never knew what to call him.

When she stepped in the door however, her gaze was met by a rather surprising scene. William sat at the kitchen table, looking rather deep in thought, and in front of him sat a beautiful bouquet of flowers. For a moment Jannett felt speechless. Why had be bought her flowers? A quick thought reminded her that it was nearly their anniversary...but she hadn't expected something like this. Not considering the current conditions of their relationship. But then as he looked up she saw the stress in her soon to be ex-husband's eyes.

His brows were low and he looked almost confused. "I'm sorry Netty...but I just don't understand whatever happened to us." William spoke slowly, his eyes set on her a moment before they began to drift towards the flower arrangement. "I know I lost you a long time ago, I've finally come to grips with that, but you replaced me already?" He asked with dismay. It felt like a punch in the chest as his words hit Jannett's ears. The flower's weren't from William...No, Gabriel must have sent them.

Her hands quivered slightly, but she swallowed to keep her voice steady. It wasn't easy. "I...told you..." Jannett closed her eyes and pressed a finger against her temple. "...not to call me that." She choked out the words and then, unable to look at him, walked to her bedroom.

Closing the door a little to hard, Jannett then fell back against it, burying her head in her hands. Why was life so impossible? What ever happened to the dreams they used to share..?
A sickening realization found her then. She had been the one who ruined this marriage, who destroyed their happiness together. It was all her own fault...and now she had crushed the man she had once thought she loved.

For a moment Jannett stood there...staring at her closet. She didn't know what to do...but she couldn't stay at the office...and she couldn't stay here. Dread welled within her but she began to reason and argue with herself. With a sudden need to escape it all she rushed over to her closet and grabbed a dress from it's hanger. "Just in case." She murmured to herself, though still not willing to admit she wanted to go meet Gabriel. Slipping the dress into her bag she then drew a breath and stepped back out the door.

William still sat at the table, wordless as she passed. Jannett too kept her silence but as she came near the door she sighed quietly and let her shoulders fall. "I'm leaving..." She began without turning.

"No dinner?" William called quietly. She drew in another anxious breath.

"I'll get something later."

A silence fell, but she stood there a moment still. "You're going to meet him aren't you?" William asked behind her, his voice was somber and low. Jannett gritted her teeth and turned at last to look at him. But she still didn't meet his gaze.

"I've got some Keeper's coming in late, I need to get back before they do." William never replied, but deep down Jannett knew that he had realized she never refuted him. A sudden memory returned to her...a promise, forever ago... "I'll never lie to you." She had swore to him, so long ago. If there was in fact some part of her that still cared for him, it had forced her to keep her promise. But that thought was far from reassuring.

* * *

The restaurant was top quality...no less than could be expected from a man like Gabriel Cross. As the hostess directed her to their table, Jannett glanced down at the thin watch resting upon her wrist. It was nearly six. She swallowed hard, and began to wonder when the last time she'd worn this dress had been. As she thought back, she seemed to realize it had been to an Anniversary dinner with William not so long ago. Ironic.

It still fit her well, and its silky black fabric graced itself over her, nearly reaching down to the floor. The hostess nodded to the table and then swiftly dismissed herself, almost without Jannett noticing. She suddenly felt silly and out of place here, but she was careful not to let it show. Forcing a cool expression onto her face, but not yet offering him a smile, she greeted Gabriel calmly. "Good evening." The words poured off her lips surprisingly gently, and Jannett suddenly realized that with her emotions in such turmoil, she should have never allowed herself to come here. But it was far too late to turn back now.

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#, as written by Loxley
Gabriel sipped his whisky. It burnt in his throat as he gazed out the window. It was a beautiful, starlit night. Just like that night, he thought to himself. The stars, and knowing the woman he was waiting for, both reminded him of a similar night many years ago, when he had been sent back to the 19th Century for a mission. A mission he had betrayed. He still carried the guilt of it, but that, too, was a cheap price to pay to realize his ambitions. They were what he lived for. Because Gabriel Cross' ambitions knew no boundaries. That was what was said behind his back, and Gabriel knew it. But it was true. He would do almost anything to reach the top.

Almost.

There were many people, after all, who had put their faith in him. He couldn't fail them.

****


His thoughts were disrupted by the appearance of nothing less than a goddess. As his eyes drew to the entrance of the restaurant, a hostess approached his table, escorting a gorgeous woman wearing a beautiful black dress. It was Jannett. His heart leapt at the realization she had accepted his invitation. Ever the perfect gentleman, he stood up as she approached. Her greeting was a simple "Good Evening", but it was enough to make Gabriel smile, a genuinely happy smile, enhanced by her soft tone, rather than the cold one with which she usually spoke to him when they met. The happy smile was an unusual sight with the young business man, as any of his employees could testify to. Though admittedly, few could ever tell what Gabriel Cross was really thinking.

"You look incredible, Jannett." He said as he walked around the table, pulling out her chair for her, and helping her take a seat by pushing it in again when she had sat down. As he returned to his own chair, he looked at her across the table, and smiled again. "I'm very happy that you came." He gestured for a waitress to approach, which she did, and, looking at Janette, asked: "Would you like something to drink?"

After the waitress had left, Gabriel's keen, almost wolfish perception, that had served him so well in his days as a villain extraordinare, and just as well in the few relationships he had actually pursued in his life, alerted him to the fact Jannett seemed upset, though she did well in hiding it. He tilted his head slightly, and frowned.

"You look a bit pale. Is something bothering you?" He asked, with concern in his voice.

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Gabriel was all smiles. It wore a sort of knot in Jannett's stomach that he seemed so pleased to see her here. "You look incredible, Jannett." His smooth words found her. Then the man reached to pull out her chair, and with an appreciative nod Jannett sat. After Gabriel sat she looked up to let a sort of dutiful smile catch her lips. It seemed as though he almost begged for it with his eyes, and still his smile broadened at her small return of the gesture. "I'm very happy that you came."

As the waitress approached to take her drink Jannett nodded slightly to the other woman. "Yes I'll have a..." Her eyes flipped back to Gabriel a moment. "Just a water for now." She returned her gaze towards the waitress. The woman turned and began to walk off as Jannett pondered the risks of taking a few drinks tonight. It would no doubt be unwise to some extent, but she could use a good glass of wine. Although as much as Gabriel Cross had seemed to remember about her, he probably already had a bottle on standby.

Her attention was drawn back towards the other as he tilted his head ever so slightly. A frown found his lips as he spoke up. "You look a bit pale. Is something bothering you?" A sigh found her before she could even think to stop it. Jannett swallowed hard and then ran her index finger across her brow, sliding her hand down the edge of her jaw, only stopping when her fingers touched her lips. It was a distressed, thoughtful sort of gesture. Her chest rose and fell in what seemed like another sigh though this time nearly silent. Then she forced her eyes up from the table, to meet Gabriel's eyes directly.

"The flowers were unnecessary." She said simply. It seemed like a silly thing to be upset about, probably because it wasn't the full reason she was upset. But truthfully, Jannett wasn't even sure herself the entire reason she was so stirred. And right now, she didn't care to know...but she would no doubt have to figure it out.

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#, as written by Loxley
It made Gabriel happy to see Janett smile, but her paleness still bothered the man. When she ordered a glass of water, he realized she still didn't trust him - and who could blame her, really? He sipped his whisky thoughtfully, before putting it down and looking her in the eyes. He said:

"I understand that you are weary of me, Janett. But let me assure you again, that I'm not going to try anything underhanded. This is a date, not a business meeting. I promise you, I shall not involve whatever business we may have together or against each other in our roles as enemies, in our date." He leaned slightly across the table as he looked her in the eyes, and said: "I won't ask you to take my word for it, but at least let me reassure you on the point."

When he asked her if she was alright, Janett let slip a sigh. She swallowed hard, and then made a nervous gesture of wiping her face. Gabriel witnessed it with concern. It was clear that his date was not feeling well, and as a gentleman and her date of the night, it was up to Gabriel to remedy it. Before he could try, however, she met his gaze, and spoke:

"The flowers were unnecessary."

Gabriel was taken by surprise, and then let out a short laugh. "A lot of things we do in life are not strictly necessary, Janett. But we do them anyway - because it makes us feel good, or because we hope it will make people we care for, happy." He frowned, then added, as he leaned forward, placing his hand on hers: "I may be your enemy, Janett. Fine, so let's work against each other during working hours, if that's what our paths in life compels us to do. But I don't want you to hate me." He made a pained expression as he added: "Knowing you do...hurts me more than anything else in this world."

He sighed before he continued: "I don't want to be your enemy. Competition, maybe, but never enemy. And if I can make you happy, Janett...if I can do anything for you...I'll do it, regardless of what it takes." He squeezed her hand just slightly, with a gentle smile. "You look like you could use something stronger. How about a glass of wine?" He turned to a waiter walking by, and said: "Waiter, could you bring in the special wine, please?"

"Of course, Mr Cross. Right away." The waiter nodded, and hurried away, only to return soon after with a bottle and two glasses. He carefully placed the glasses in front of the two, and with almost delicate movements, opened the bottle, and poured some wine into the glasses. Afterwards, he placed the bottle on the table, and left as silently as he had arrived. Gabriel carefully shot one of the glasses to Janett, and then sipped his own, nodding to himself with approval.

"This is a 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Jeroboam." He explained to her. "I bought the world's last cache of ten bottles, at an auction in Genoa in 1997. Back then, I was still a snot-nosed kid with too much money on my hands. This is the first of the bottles that I have ever had opened. It is said that this is one of the world's finest wines ever to have been made. And so, I can think of no person I would rather drink it with than you."

He leaned a bit forward again, and asked with a joking wink:
"Now, Janett, will you promise me to please try to enjoy our date tonight?"

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With a sigh Jeremy listened to the General explaining their charges. It seemed logical enough. At least their temporary identities for the mission would check out…

…should check out. With a slight sigh he realized none of the other Keepers offered to speak up. It was a shame…they all shot down his ideas but leave dealing with the crazy 1930’s citizens to him. Great.

When one of the officials looked at him a bit oddly for sighing Jeremy tried to use it to his advantage. “Well that’s swell.” He mused, scratching his ear against his shoulder. “But how long is that goanna take? I don’t mean to rush things…but I already know we’re not Nazi spies and you’ve interrupted a rather imperative meeting, you see…” It was a long shot perhaps, but he needed something. His eyes turned towards Damien, then he directed their attention his way with a nod.

Please run with me on this… He silently begged of the other.

“We all came here because he said he could get us jobs…not exactly an opportunity you’d want to turn down these days.” Koboto sighed again and let his shoulders slump and his eyes cast down slightly. “I never thought it would come to this sort of life for me…but neither of my parents can work much these days, even if they had the chance, and I was in a rush ‘cause my ma’s been sick for weeks.” His eyes turned back towards Damien cautiously. “I thought maybe if I could get an advance I could grab her a little something on the way home.” Then he raised his gaze back towards the officer. “But I can’t say its not good work that you men do. So I guess things will just be what they are.”

He had tried not to make it sound like a complete sob story…but it was his last ditch effort. If this didn’t work…they’d either have to go along with things and hope it didn’t take to long…or bust their way out before there were any more army officials hovering around. Now it became a waiting game.

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“I’m sorry for you and your troubles sir” said Fritz “But orders is orders.” Now with all the people in handcuffs Fritz motioned for the others in his team to escort the prisoners out of the room down the stairs and to the waiting police van outside. “No one do anything stupid o.k.” said Fritz. They led the people out the door and toward the staris the wood creaking beneath there feet.

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Damien was formulating a plan in his head as quickly as he could. He knew he couldn't kill them, but He knew that there was a chance that their identities might not check out, and even if they did, their mission would be compromised before they were cleared.

Allright, he thought. There are six of these guys, two on me, two on Kendra, two on Koboto. We can't kill them, but we can't let them take us.

And then it hit him.

When Kendra wasn't in the field, she was always tinkering around and making new gadgets. One of her latest inventions had recently been added to their "secret uniform" they all wore while on missions by Janette, as in their badges, sidearms, amnesia pills, ect. He had always thought it was a stupid and pointless add on, but he realized that this may be their only hope.

The officers ushered him into the hallway leading to the stairs first. His hands were cuffed behind his back and the two officers escorting him were holding one arm each. He waited until the others were out in the hallway behind him. That's when he enacted his plan.

He crossed one leg in front of his right and tripped himself. As he headed towards the ground, the men being tripped up with him, he kicked his heels out into each of the officers sides before they hit the ground. As their faces met the floor, Jeremy groaned. He lifted his head slightly to peer at his two officers and smiled. Out cold. Son of a bitch, it worked.

He heard a "What the hell?" come from one of the men as the remaining four rushed up to their fallen comrades, leaving Jeremy and Kendra free. Damien rolled over onto one of the downed men, found the handcuff keys hanging on his belt loop and undid his right hand. He reached into a hidden satchel in his jacket containing small sleep darts.

He stuck the closest officer directly in the neck. He conked out next to Damien on top of the first officer on the right. Another approached him pointing a pistol at him and cursing under his breath. Damien flung a dart into his chest and he fell over unconscious. Two more... The last two tried to rush him and ran at him on either side of him. Damien took a dart in each hand and stuck both of their stomachs as they took him down. They didn't get up. "Sorry, It's just protocol," Damien said to the downed men in sarcasm.

Jeremy and Kendra could only stare. Damien sat up, brushed off his coat smugly, stood up with the handcuff keys, and approached them.

"Kendra, you remember how I said that those sleeper points you hid in our heels were stupid and pointless? Well... My bad."

Damien unlocked their cuffs and straitened his hat.

"Let's grab our stuff and get out of here. They'll be awake in five minutes."

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Ryno opened the door to his house. He was exhausted. The monotony of the paperwork had gotten to him. He tossed his jacket in the general vicinity of the coat rack. He heard it hit the floor; Ah, damn it, he thought. But he really didn't care. His brother was on the job, and Damien and the rest of the time Keepers on that mission were scheduled to be clockworked back into the present the next day.

He drug his feet across the floor of his and Damiens apartment as he slowly and sleepily made his way into the kitchen. He grabbed a bottle of Crown and moped into the living room. He sunk into his easy chair in front of the telewall and took out the remote. He pressed the power button and light coarsed through the wall as the picture was assembled. Damien had left it on the Classic Movie channel. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. He smiled. Their folks had raised them on this movie. A fantasmic tale about a kid in a band who finds a girl he loves and fights to the death for her. Fighting for her... and himself. And potentially the good of mankind. That's why they got into this whole thing, him and Damien. To the make the world a better place. But it didn't seem to be getting better. There were slight changes in the state of affairs... but politicians were still greedy crooked slimy bastards. People still get murdered, assassinated, raped, and hurt. Although those crimes were harder to get away with than before, they still occured. And the worst things seemed to always happen to the best people... Lennon, JFK, and... their father...

Ryno let out a big sigh. It always came back around to this. He thought of the day he and Damien came home from school to see their mother bawling her eyes out on the floor with the phone dangling near the floor. He was scared. His dad was Superman. His mom was Wonderwoman. And suddenly, they were mortal. It forced them to grow up. It forced them to face the injustices that were so prevalent in their childhood.

But they had the power to bring him back. They had the power to save their father. Their generation had finally broken the code... they had finally made the numbers come out right.
They could travel through time! It was unbelievable! It was straight out of the pages of H.G.Well's book, minus those furry white freakish cannibal things...

And he stopped.

It was against the rules. If they went back and saved him, something drastic might be changed. Him and Damien might not be time keepers.

But wouldn't their father be proud? He would probably be a time keeper himself! And all he would have to do is go back in time, tail his dad and save him...

And out of nowhere, from the dark corner of his apartment, a voice rasped, "Then why don't you?"