Saint Stephen

Stephen had gone to religious education classes as a child. One thing that had stood out in his young mind was studying the saints, especially his namesake. Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr. He remembered his teacher saying that dying for God was the most noble thing a person could do. To his eight year old mind, nothing sounded more heroic.

Now, almost twenty five years later, Stephen didn't think about God much. He tried to live a good life according to his own morals. He knew he wasn't perfect, but he figured he did good enough. The young man knew that his line of work was dangerous, and he had made peace with the idea that it would cost him his life one day. He considered it his duty to protect Cutter, Connor, and Abby. Even though he accepted death was a distinct possibility in the near future, Stephen didn't idealize it the way he once did.

Now here he was, standing in a room, surrounded by dinosaurs. Right now they were occupied by chunks of meat littering the floor, but soon it would run out and their attention would turn towards different prey. Unarmed, he made an easy target.

Stephen thought about his family, and then his new family at the ARC. He hoped that Connor would finally get up the nerve to ask Abby out, and that the two of them would be happy together. He hoped that Cutter would forgive him for what he did. Stephen couldn't really explain what came over him when he locked the door, protecting his mentor from the hungry carnivores. He hadn't been thinking. He supposed that since he had put his life in jeopardy to save the other members of the team so many times, it was instinct to do it again. Or maybe he thought he needed to do this to make up to Cutter what he had done all those years ago.

He didn't see Helen. Part of him was glad that she would be spared seeing him die, and the other part of him was mad at her selfishness. He shouldn't be surprised. Stephen knew exactly what kind of woman Helen was, and had known for years. It was completely in her character to look out for herself, and only herself.

Standing there, with the yellow bars forming a box around him, Stephen looked at the small window on the door to see Nick Cutter. Cutter was pounding on the door, yelling something that looked like Stephen's name. It was too late for second thoughts, if Stephen had any. He hadn't been perfect, and this would make up for his sins. This would make everything right.

Stephen kept his eyes on Cutter. He hoped to communicate that it was worth it, giving up his life for a friend. A sense of peace came over him. He could hear the dinosaurs move towards him. It would be over soon.

Stephen closed his eyes.

The End