A/N: This is the second fan fiction I've written so please be nice to me! Constructive criticism will be accepted – flames ignored.
Oh and this will probably make more sense if you've read 'A Soft Place To Fall' first.
I'm reposting this and my other TKR story as the original formatting appears to have been lost in one of the site upgrades.
Disclaimer: You all know the drill - I don't own any part of Team Knight Rider – let's just say that if I did it wouldn't have been cancelled.
Trek Sanders laughed with delight as he popped another wheelie on Plato, his sleek black Honda Blackbird. God it felt good to be away from Sky One. He'd been stuck inside for nearly six weeks, ever since that damn explosion.
"Warp factor nine, Mr Scott," Plato exclaimed.
Trek laughed again, knowing that the AI was enjoying the speed as much as he was. Having been cleared for duty recently, Trek hadn't been able to wait to get out.
"Trek, we need you back here now," Kyle Stewart's voice crackled from his communicator.
Trek sighed and began to slow Plato down, preparing to turn around.
"Guess it's time to go back, buddy," he said.
"Aw Mom. Do we have to?" Plato whined.
Trek smiled. Plato was great at cheering him up. He turned the bike around and sped off back towards Sky One.
Erica West sat in her chair in the situation room filing her nails. Across the table from her Duke DePalma leant over to say something to Jenny Andrews opposite him. Kyle, meanwhile, moved restlessly around the room, anxious to begin the meeting.
"Kyle," Dante, Kyle's silver SUV, said in his proper English voice, with his picture appearing on the screen behind him. "Trek and Plato have just pulled into the garage. I did tell them that they shouldn't go out."
"Thank you Dante," Kyle responded.
A couple of minutes later Trek bounced into the room. Kyle raised an eyebrow at him.
"Nice of you to finally join us nerdboy," Erica said.
"Yeah… of course you're always Miss Punctuality," Trek retorted.
Duke rolled his eyes. It looked like the Erica and Trek road-show was starting up again. The two operatives were silenced by a disapproving look from Kyle.
"Now that we're all here," he began, "FLAG has a new mission for us."
The team looked at him expectantly.
Kyle pressed a button, bringing up the picture of an elderly man.
"This is Dr Livingston Jacobs…"
"The biologist?" Trek interrupted, looking a little startled.
Kyle shot him a tolerant glare.
"Yeah. Anyway, Dr Jacobs has been working for the highest bidder for the past several years. He's been linked to various outbreaks of a range of diseases all over the world. FLAG has received information that he's working on something new. Basically they want us to find out what he's working on, who he's working for and stop it."
"Where do we start?" asked Jenny.
"I want you and Duke to look at Jacob's former employers. Who, where, when and why. Erica, can you see what you can dig up about his personal background? I'm gonna call a couple of contacts and see if I can find out anything about his current employer."
"What about me?" Trek asked.
"You have a doctorate in genetics, right?"
"Yeah," the young man answered slowly.
"Did you happen to study biology as well?"
"Ok I'm assuming you still know one or two people at MIT. So what I want you to do is try to find out what Dr Jacobs is up to. We need to know what he's working on and we need to know how to stop it."
Trek pushed his hair back behind his ears.
"I could head up there and talk to a few people," he suggested. He turned to Erica. "Do you want to come with me?"
Erica rolled her eyes.
"Why would I want to do that?"
" 'cause Dr Jacobs used to teach at MIT and I can probably get you his records to look at."
"Alright," Erica sighed. "But you're gonna change that shirt before we go."
Trek looked down at his T-shirt.
"What's wrong with Bugs Bunny?" he asked defensively.
"What's right?" retorted Erica. "I'm not sharing a vehicle with anyone looking like that."
"Can you two please stop for a minute?" he asked. "I think we all know what we're doing now. Dismissed."
As they all walked out through the door Kyle caught Trek by the shoulder.
"Hey," he said. "I know you've been cleared for duty but I want you to take it easy on this one."
The young man rolled his eyes.
"I'm serious, Trek," Kyle stated. "I don't want any problems ok?"
"Yes Dad," Trek answered impudently. "I'll be careful."
Kyle watched him bounce out and shook his head.
Kyle put the phone down with a sigh. None of his contacts had been much use. He sat in the situation room deep in thought about his next move. Gradually his mind wandered into a contemplation of his team-mates.
Jenny was as exotically beautiful as ever. Kyle's heart jumped whenever he saw her. He was quite prepared to admit to himself that his feeling for her went beyond what was normal for a team-mate but for professional reasons he would never say anything. Jenny was as deadly as she was beautiful and her marine training had helped the team on numerous occasions.
Erica was just as beautiful and, in her own way, just as deadly as Jenny. The former thief and con-artist tended to be unorthodox in her way of handling situations and her approach to teamwork had caused Kyle sleepless nights. Erica was very secretive about her past and tended to hide her feelings and emotions behind a veneer of sarcasm. Recent events, however, had proved that she cared deeply for her team-mates. Kyle had stopped worrying about her commitment to TKR. Her methods might be unusual, but Erica would always come through for them.
Then there was Duke. The African-American ex-cop was so large that people who didn't know him often made the mistake of thinking he was stupid. Duke was actually very intelligent and was surprisingly gentle and articulate. His sensitivity made him almost as valuable to the team as his strength and his courage.
Kyle's thoughts turned to the last and youngest member of the team. Trek. The kid was by far the least experienced of the operatives and under normal circumstances Kyle would never have accepted him on the team. But Trek was far from normal. An immature taste in clothing and a wise-cracking attitude hid a brilliant mind. He could come up with amazing solutions to seemingly impossible problems and seemed to be able to invent any special devices they needed at will. Although his past until the age of twelve was well known, Trek was almost as secretive as Erica about his more recent history. Kyle couldn't help but wonder how much of Trek's apparent attitude to life was a front. He was sure that the kid was a lot tougher than anyone thought.
Kyle shook himself. This certainly wasn't helping with the mission. He got up and quickly left the room.
As Sky One landed in New England, Erica strode down through the garage. Turning around she saw Trek coming through the door. He was wearing a plain t-shirt and semi-tight jeans and was pulling on his leather jacket as he walked.
"At least he won't totally embarrass me," Erica murmured.
"Why are you always so mean about Trek?" asked Kat.
"Oh come on," Erica responded quietly. "Have you seen him? He's so geeky it's unreal."
"Cute though," Domino interjected.
"Please. You'd think a dead body was cute as long as it was male," Erica retorted.
Before Domino could respond Trek had joined them.
"What are you talking about?" he asked, raising an eyebrow quizzically.
"I… was just wondering if I should ask for a new paint job," Domino answered quickly.
"Well I think you're beautiful just the way you are Dom," Trek said.
"Isn't he a nice boy?" Domino purred.
"Come on," she said, swinging her leg over Kat. "Let's go."
She slid her helmet on, snapped the visor shut and pulled the yellow and black Honda Blackbird through the back of the loading bay, waiting for Trek to join her outside.
Pulling up outside one of the buildings at MIT, Erica couldn't help being a little overawed. She had never been to college and sometimes felt a little jealous of people who had that chance. She glanced across at Trek. The young man was smiling gently to himself and had visibly relaxed.
"Shall we go inside?" he asked.
Erica shrugged as she removed her helmet, hanging it off one arm. Together they walked through the door to the building, pausing in the foyer to allow their eyes to adjust to the lower light. The air conditioned room seemed cool and dark after the bright sunshine and humid conditions outside. Trek moved over to the reception desk and smiled easily at the young woman sitting there.
"Hi we're here to see Professor Wiseman," he said.
The receptionist returned his smile.
"I'm afraid I'll need your name Mr…?"
"His name is Dr Kevin Sanders and I'm sure the professor won't want to see him."
Erica jumped at the sound of the harsh voice behind her. She noticed Trek tense. He turned to face the newcomer, his face unreadable.
"Peters," he said coldly. "It's been a long time."
"Yeah Sanders it has," the other man sneered. "I wish I could say it's good to see you… but it's really not."
"I'm hurt," he retorted.
"Ok," interjected Erica. "Let's put the testosterone away now boys."
Peters' eyes flicked over her.
"Who's the bimbo, Sanders? Managed to pick up a hooker?" he asked.
Erica saw a brief flicker of anger in her team-mate's eyes. But there was no hint of it in his voice when he spoke.
"Look I'm just here to see the old man," he said. "I didn't come to fight with you."
The older man sneered.
"Like I said he won't want to see you."
"Don't you think that's his decision?"
"You left! You abandoned him at the most important part of his research!"
The air in the room crackled with tension. Suddenly another voice spoke.
"Are you here to see me child?" The voice was warm and soft.
Trek turned and smiled at the newcomer.
"I'm hardly a child any longer old man," he observed.
"Well I guess you'd better come through to my office," the old man stated.
"Professor," Peters interjected. "Don't forget you're supposed to be attending a faculty meeting in twenty minutes," he shot a nasty look at Trek. "I'm sure Sanders understands how important it is. He can't expect to just walk in here…"
"You're perfectly capable of attending in my place," the professor interrupted. "The faculty will understand. It's not every day that I get the chance to see old friends," he smiled at Trek, "or make new ones," he added, raising Erica's hand to his lips and kissing it.
"You're such a flirt," he said.
"I've got to be true to my nature," laughed the professor. "Come on let's go kid."
They made their way down a corridor and up a flight of stairs. The old man produced a key from his pocket and opened a door, inviting the two TKR members in with a wave of his hand.
Erica gasped as she looked at the office. It was beautiful. The wooden shelves held leather bound books trimmed with gold and a large leather sofa sat against one wall. The old man sat down behind an inlaid wooden desk and formed his fingers into a bridge, regarding them through half closed eyes. Erica sat gingerly on the edge of the sofa. Her team mate stood looking around the room appreciatively.
"Nice," he said.
The old man raised an eyebrow.
"What can I say? The faculty has been good to me." He looked at Trek acutely. "I get the feeling this isn't a social visit. Why've you suddenly come visiting now?"
"I should've known nothing gets past you. You've heard of FLAG." It wasn't exactly a question.
"The Foundation for Law and Government? Are you working for them now?" the professor asked, sounding surprised.
"Mmm," the young man shrugged. "I… er… I actually work for Team Knight Rider," he paused at the old man's startled look. "What?"
Wiseman recovered from his surprise.
"Sorry. It's just that I never saw you doing the whole James Bond thing. Q maybe."
Trek sighed, knowing that all too often his team-mates thought the same thing.
"Anyway. The Foundation's interested in the current location and work of Dr Jacobs."
"Poor Livingston," sighed Wiseman. "You worked with him for a while didn't you? Before he sold out?"
Erica looked at Trek with her shock registering in her eyes.
The young genius fidgeted awkwardly, refusing to meet Erica's eyes.
The old man looked at them.
"Ah," he said. "If you'll both excuse me I have to use the bathroom."
He stood and left the room hurriedly.
Erica stood and grasped Trek's arm.
"When were you gonna tell us?" she hissed. "Jesus, were you even gonna tell Kyle? You weren't were you? You were just gonna go off on your own again," she added, recalling a time a year before when Trek had gone off on his own to stop an earthquake machine he had invented as a child.
"No," murmured Trek.
"No what? No you weren't gonna tell us or no you weren't gonna go off on your own?"
"Both," he answered.
Erica let out an explosive breath.
"Just so I know… have you worked with every psycho in the US?" she asked, her irritation making her voice sharp.
Trek finally raised his head to meet her gaze. Erica was struck by the raw emotion in his eyes. Then the mask slipped back into place and she ceased to be able to tell what he was thinking.
Professor Wiseman re-entered and stopped as he saw them staring at each other. Trek looked at him and smiled a little too brightly.
"We need your help," he stated. "Erica needs to see Dr Jacob's personnel file if she can and I'd like your help on what he might be working on."
The old man's eyes narrowed as he looked at the TKR team-members, feeling the tension between them. Finally he nodded.
"Ok kids," he said. "Let's get to work."
To be continued………