Author: LowDesert PM
The War with Time has been lost, the Elementals are scattered or destroyed. Sapphire and Steel remain to continue the resistance...but at what cost?Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Drama - Sapphire & Steel - Chapters: 17 - Words: 29,463 - Reviews: 5 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 05-21-12 - Published: 01-04-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7711735
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Antonia held the Glock at arms' length, pointing it directly at Mr. Huston/Steel. He was staring up at her, but not moving, as if he were paralyzed. He seemed to be waiting expectantly, as if resigned to his fate. It was that look that made her hesitate to drop the hammer, but she could barely feel her hands on the gun. She had never shot anyone before…
Silver's hand carefully but firmly closing over hers took that decision away.
"No need for that," he said as he lowered Antonia's shaking arms. "Let me take that." He gently eased her behind him as he carefully examined the firearm. He removed the clip, peered at it closely, and then put it away inside his suit jacket, tossing the rest of the gun away on the floor. He turned his attention back to Steel. "Now…as for you."
Steel was still frozen, but able to observe Silver standing over him, hands on his hips. He tried to speak but was unable to get the words out.
"Well, Steel," Silver said as mildly as he could manage. "I'm sure it's good to see you again too, although once again you appear to be in a bit of a mess. Not differently really, since the last time we saw each other, eh?"
Steel moved slightly at his rival's tone of voice, just enough to reveal his indignation. "Not...need…" The raspy words barely escaped his throat.
"Oh, really?" Silver's voice rose. "Then what would you call-"
Sapphire brushed past Silver, knelt by Steel's side and wrapped a blanket around his shoulders. "Enough of this," she said briskly. "We've got to warm him up, quickly!"
"That Transient Being is gone," Silver insisted. "But we're not out of the woods yet. There could be others downstairs, and who knows what else."
"I know," Sapphire replied. "That is why we must restore Steel. Help me."
Silver grumbled. "I simply don't understand why you stay with him."
Sapphire slowly stood up. "What are you saying?"
"You know exactly what I mean! After what he's done? To you? Quite frankly, I'm surprised myself I didn't let that young lady take a shot at him!" Silver bent down and glared directly into Steel's eyes. "Do you hear me Steel, I should have let her shoot you, you…you blackguard!"
"I mean it, Sapphire! I've quite a mind to just leave him here, let him get himself out of this debacle," Silver grasped Sapphire's hand. "I know the way to the Sanctuary. Let's get out of here. That's why I came here, for you."
Sapphire pulled her hand away. "Not without Steel."
"He betrayed your trust," Silver continued in exasperation. "He's been incredibly reckless, and to involve these humans in this-"
Antonia, who had been cowering by the door in stunned silence this whole time watching this argument, noticed how Steel's eyes followed what they were saying. He looked as if he could kill that other man, yet he seemed afraid at the same time, at what Mrs. Huston – Sapphire – would do.
A sudden movement from the crib made Silver and Sapphire turn around quickly. The pale blond child had climbed out of its crib and dropped to the floor, but nimbly, on his feet. Antonia was amazed to see that this child, surely no more than two, was steadily walking towards Silver, his eyes focused menacingly on him. Not like a child's clumsy walk. To her surprise, Silver's expression suddenly turned from anger to alarm, and he backed away from the child. He seemed more afraid of this baby than when she had pointed her gun at him. She suddenly understood that there was something not only unearthly about this child- it was dangerous, even to these aliens.
"Sapphire…" Silver pleaded urgently. "Do something!"
Antonia realized that Silver really was deathly afraid. Sapphire herself seemed stunned at what she was observing. The child reached its hands out towards Silver, and it was evident to all of them that he was going to attack Silver.
"Stop this!" Antonia suddenly shouted, startling both Silver and Sapphire. Antonia was surprised herself – the words had just burst out without thinking. Again, to their amazement, the child stopped his threatening advance against Silver, and looked up at Antonia – but now there was no look of adult menace; he had the expression of a just a curious child now. He was standing next to Steel, who was trying to turn around to look at him. Abruptly, the child placed both his hands on his father's body, and Steel gasped loudly, eyes widening, his body arching forward as if jolted by a powerful electric shock.
"Steel!" Sapphire gasped and darted forward, but Silver held her back. "Wait!" he ordered.
The child pressed his hands against Steel's back for a few seconds more, and they saw Steel regain his motor functions; he blinked and flexed his hands, and looked up at them.
"Fascinating," Silver exclaimed. "It…he appears as if he knew exactly what to do, and how to do it."
"Do…what?" Antonia stared at them, then at the child. The boy, apparently satisfied with what he'd accomplished, seemed to have reverted back to the status of a human child. He reached out for some toys scattered on the floor, began playing as if that had been his real intention all along.
"Restore my insularity," Steel stood up, completely restored. "So I may function again." He looked wonderingly at the child. "I hadn't expected that."
"Well, you should have expected something of the sort!" Silver retorted. "What were you thinking? Do you even know what kind of power you've unleashed?"
Steel turned on him furiously. "What I know is that this may be what turns the tide."
"Is that all this means to you?" Silver waved his hands in disbelief. "What you've done? Have you even considered the future of this…this being?"
"What do you mean?"
"When it matures, do you think you can control it? You've become just as bad as these humans when they learned to split the atom-"
"I said, enough of this!" Sapphire stepped between them, swept the child up in her arms. "Silver is right…we are not finished with this mission yet. There is another downstairs."
Antonia jumped up. "My sister!"
"Your sister, and something else."
"Your sister came here 20 minutes before you arrived with the Transient Being, the one you knew as Mr. Zamorra," Sapphire explained calmly. "He was posing as a human to lure you."
"Where is she now?" Antonia demanded. "Listen…just let the both of us go. We won't cause you anymore trouble."
"I'm afraid it's not that simple," Silver said regretfully. "We are the ones causing you trouble, and it's not your fault. You were targeted by the Transient Beings, because you have the ability, although a very small one, that can be of some use to…people like them and us."
"You…and them, you are in some kind of war?"
"That is correct. The Transient Beings are in the service of a…higher authority. From out of the corridor of Time. The Primordial Beings. They're not like us, exactly. They are immensely old and powerful. They can cause a lot of trouble to sentient beings. In fact, throughout your history, they have caused quite a bit of havoc. Most of them we managed to push back into Time, long ago, but they must have gotten free, or some of them anyway-"
"One of them is somewhere in the house with your sister," Steel interrupted brusquely. "If you want to get her away from it, you have to help us and stop playing the innocent bystander."
It may be too late for that, Silver replied to Steel privately.
She doesn't need to know that.
Sapphire approached Antonia, still holding the child, who was clasping its arms around her neck and staring at the human curiously. "Antonia, please help us."
"How…what do you want me to do?" Antonia did not really mean that, but she was shrewd enough to try to play along. As long as she could get ahold of Annalia, and get the hell out of here, and let these whoever-they-were fight amongst themselves.
"It's very easy," Steel said to her. "Go downstairs and find out where they are."
"The Primordial Being will not kill you," Silver replied bluntly. "He wants to use you too, as he is probably planning to use your sister."
Antonia was suspicious. "So how do you know I won't help that other one?" Anger and fear made her blurt out the words before she could really think about it. "Maybe everything you are telling me is wrong."
"We don't." Silver said.
Antonia hesitated, stared at the three, no the four of them, who were watching her as if holding their breaths. Why was she doing this?
"All right. I'll go look for them. But I'm getting my sister and then I'm getting out of here. I'm not doing anything more." Antonia glared at Steel. "I'm not a part of your war!" She turned and left the nursery.
Silver took a deep breath. "Well, Steel, is this still a part of your plan?"
To be continued…