Spirit Walk

Late at night, in his room on the Nautilus, Sawyer lay in his bed, and thought about recent events.

It had all been going very well for the League lately. There hadn't been a major crisis for some days now, so the League had spent their time relaxing and practicing with their abilities. Sawyer was proud to say that they were improving a great deal already; Skinner was moving so quietly that only Terry could hear him move, Sawyer and Nemo's reflexes in a fight were now capable of nearly matching Mina's, Terry, Hyde and Mina could equal each other in a fight of pure strength, and even Hartdegen had learned a few effective combat skills from Nemo.

Yes, the League were definitely turning into a very effective fighting force. There was only one problem...

They had nothing to fight.

They'd been practicing for ages, and now they didn't have anything to fight that would allow them to see what they could do.

They were at a loose end.

Groaning, Sawyer stared up at his bed. Trying to get to sleep, he began to idly count the various small screws in the roof; he'd heard of most people counting sheep to get to sleep, so he figured that him counting rivets was fairly normal.

Eventually, when he'd reached about eighteen, he dropped off to sleep.


Blinking a little, Sawyer opened his eyes to a very unusual sight.

He was standing in what appeared to be a complete void, whose only distinguishing feature was its lack of a distinguishing feature, and the fact that it was white. Sawyer blinked a little at the perfect blankness of it, but as soon as he opened his eyes again the white had faded to a slightly more bearable grey.

"Hello?" he asked, raising one hand to his mouth and calling out. He then realised something; he'd been in his pyjamas, but now he was wearing his usual day outfit. Something strange was going on here...

"All in a day's work for you now, Sawyer," a voice said from behind him.

Sawyer froze. That sounded exactly like...

But it couldn't be...

He looked behind him, and there the man was.

Allan Quartermain, looking just as he had before Moriarty had stabbed him.

"Allan..." Sawyer gasped, unable to take in what he was seeing. "But... but you're... you're..."

"Dead?" Quartermain asked, smiling at his young protégé. "It's complicated, Sawyer. Let's just say someone sent me to warn you about the future."

"What about it?" Sawyer asked. "If it's that Mina and I will have children, you don't need to tell me; Terry already filled us in on that. Oh, sorry; Terry's-"

"A cybernetic organism from an alternate future, living tissue over a metal ento-skeleton," Allan said. "I know; you see a lot of things when you're dead. But that's not why I'm here. I'm here to tell you about something that concerns the entire League."

"Ah," Sawyer said. "Well, give it to me."

"Soon, you and the League shall face foes that are the League, in a sense," Allan said. "You shall battle your equals, and sometimes they shall be your superiors. And on some of these missions, you will make new friendships, but one mission shall spell the end of a friendship you would once have died to preserve." Allan stopped and groaned. "Sorry I can't give you any more, boy. The people who asked me to do this won't let me give you anything more specific."

"Well, it's better than nothing," Sawyer said, smiling reassuringly at his mentor. "That it?"

"Not quite," Allan smiled. "There's someone here who wants to have a word with you."

"Huh?" Sawyer asked, looking over at Allan. What dead person would want to talk to him? Well, there was Huck Finn, but there wasn't really anything they had to say to each other...

"It's not Finn," Allan smiled at Sawyer. "You don't know him, but he knows one of your team-mates." He glanced behind Sawyer. "Ah, here he is."

Sawyer glanced behind him to see who Allan was talking about.

It was a man, a couple of inches taller than Sawyer, dressed in a long black coat, with an identically-coloured waistcoat and tie. He had extremely bushy sideburns, and his hair lacked a fringe above the forehead. His face bore the impression of a man who was prepared to fight for what he believed in, no matter what the odds.

Sawyer recognised him from a photograph in Mina's bedroom.

The man was Jonathan Harker, Mina's dead husband.

Sawyer gulped a little. No matter what he'd encountered so far, he still had no idea what to say to the spirit of his lover's dead husband.

"Um...hi?" he said, holding out one hand. He wasn't sure that was the right thing to do, but what else was there for him to do? Grin? He had to say something, anyway.

"Hello, Tom Sawyer," Harker replied, taking the offered hand and shaking it. "I've heard a lot about you from Allan Quartermain and Joe Harper; all of it good. And I've seen even more from up there; almost everything, in fact."

"Oh," Sawyer said, realising the full meaning of that statement. "So, you've been able to see me every time Mina and I... you know..."

Harker smiled reassuringly at Tom. "Yes, I have, and you don't need to worry about it; I'm perfectly fine with whatever choice Mina makes about her personal life. After all, she is a fine woman; she can't be expected to mourn me for the rest of her life. She deserves to be happy again."

"Yeah, she is that," Sawyer replied, nodding at Harker. "I don't think I've ever met a woman as... as... I don't think a word exists that can describe what she is."

"I know what you mean," Harker smiled at him. "Our old friend, Professor Van Helsing, once referred to Mina as one of those women sent by God to show us that there is something better beyond this life. I think that's the closest any man will ever get to accurately describing Mina."

"True," Sawyer said. Then, he sighed. "John- I can call you John, right?" Harker nodded. "John, I want you to know, I would never do anything to hurt Mina. I'll always be there for her, whenever she needs me. I'd... I'd die for her."

"Well, that's good to hear, but do me a favour, mmm?" Harker asked, smiling at the American. Sawyer nodded. "Don't die unless you feel you have to. Mina's already had to lose me, and I don't think she wants you to die as well. Besides, you'd be breaking that promise you made to Quartermain."

Sawyer nodded at that point. He may have never said anything to Quartermain, but he still recalled his thoughts after Quartermain's last words to him.

"May this new century... be yours, son... as the old one... was mine."

Even as Quartermain's last breath passed his lips, Sawyer had made a reply in his head.

"I'll make sure it is... Allan."

He liked to think he'd done a good job already.

"You're right," he said, shaking Harker's hand. "Thanks for this." Then a thought occurred to him. "Hey, where's Dorian Gray in this place?"

"Why do you want to know?" Harker asked.

"Just feel like giving him a little punch that I could never give him when he was alive," Sawyer replied.

Harker smiled at that. "A fair comment. I'd join you if it were possible, but he's currently stuck in a location that we can't access from here."

"Hell, right?" Sawyer inquired casually.

"The deepest circle," Harker smiled at him. "He's barely gotten started on his eternal torture, and already I hear he's feeling a bit under the weather."

"Excellent," Sawyer smiled. "Well, I'd best be getting back. After all, got some training to do, fights to be ready for, that sort of stuff."

"Sorry to cut this conversation off, boy," Allan's familiar voice said from behind Sawyer. "But, as you said yourself, you'd best be off. Be seeing you."

"Well, I've got a lot to live for, so it may not be for a while," Sawyer replied casually, as the figures of Allan and Harker began to fade away.

"Maybe... maybe not," Allan said, smiling enigmatically.

"What?" Sawyer asked, puzzled.

But just before he could hear Allan's reply...


He woke up.

"Dammit," Sawyer whispered to himself, as the rivets in the roof of his room once again came into view. He'd really been enjoying that little conversation; he always regretted not being able to say goodbye to Allan personally. Plus, he'd always had a certain curiosity regarding the man who had first won Mina's heart, and it had been nice to see that the man in question was a good one. He'd nursed a secret little fear that all of Mina's prior relationships had been with scumbags like Gray, and it was good to see that they hadn't been; he didn't like to think that she had such bad taste in men.

But had it actually happened? Or had it all just been some weird dream...?

Suddenly, Sawyer felt something in his hand. Opening it, he saw what it was, and stared in astonishment...

A pair of glasses with cracked lenses.

Quartermain's glasses.

"That was real..." Sawyer whispered to himself, as he sat up in bed and stared at the spectacles. He had genuinely been talking with Mina's husband and Quartermain... Sawyer lay back down in bed, making a mental note to redouble the League's training the next day. If Quartermain's warning was accurate, they'd need all the forces they could get...