Hello, everyone! Thanks for checking this out. I fell in love with this television show over the past few months, so naturally I became inspired to write fan fiction for it. Of course, I do not own the characters from Eureka, or I'm sure I would find much more expensive things to do with my time. I just love to play in their sandbox! Please read and review, but most of all, enjoy.

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Chapter One

Dr. Nathan Stark considered himself a rational man. He was a man of science, and science commanded a life governed by logic. It was because of that logic that even Nathan knew his obsession with the artifact bordered on madness.

And yet, even in acknowledging his obsession, he did not have the means to suppress it. During the day he was fine. He operated as any motivated and highly-funded director of Global Dynamics should. He directed projects. He focused on discovery and the pursuit of invention, and he demanded efficiency. But at night, Nathan found himself spending more and more time standing outside the room that held the artifact, studying the inside of the room on a monitor, sometimes for hours on end. Even tonight he told himself that he would only stay in Section Five for a half hour, and yet here he lingered.

He squinted into the artifact, mesmerized by its brilliant luminescence. The more time he spent near the artifact, the more he wanted to know about its properties, its history… its power.

"Dr. Stark."

Nathan jumped as his communicator went off at his side. He sighed. "What is it, Fargo?"

"Sir, I've gone over the video feed. There's been a security breech in Sections Three and Four."

Nathan felt his blood pressure rise. It propelled him towards the elevator. "What about Five?"

"No, nothing in Sector Five."

"What happened?" he demanded. "Where are they?"

There was a pause.

"Fargo!"

"I can't describe it, sir," he said hurriedly. "You have to see this."

Nathan reached the elevator in record time. "I'm on my way."

As Nathan took the elevator up to Section Three, a lone hooded figure sprinted down the hall of Section Five. The figure appeared and disappeared in jolts of electric static. The video feed cut out, losing sound and then picture. The figure ran around the corner after Nathan Stark. The figure ran through a door, and then straight through a wall, before the figure disappeared once more.

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Three Days Earlier…

Sheriff Jack Carter paced around his house, talking loudly on his cell phone. "Yes, I know. I know!" he shouted into the receiver. "You think I haven't thought of that? … What do you mean you're the one who's been dealing with this? … Well, last time I checked she doesn't live with you and what's his name again? Brian? Bernie? Oh, I'm sorry, Bradley." Jack raised his voice. "No, I don't know what time it is, but I can take a pretty damn good guess."

A soothing voice that sounded suspiciously like a female Fargo said, "The time is 3:37 a.m."

Jack sighed and held the bridge of his nose between his fingers. "Now is not the time, Sarah," he mumbled. Then, his voice picked up again. "Sarah's the name of my house. … No, I'm not being sarcastic!"

The female voice on the other end of the phone prattled on and on, until Jack cut her off, "You know what? You're right. I'm sorry. You're absolutely right. I shouldn't have called. So the next time our teenage daughter disappears in the middle of night, I'll be sure to go ahead and assume you know nothing about it. Yeah… Yeah, I do mean it. Tell Bradley I say hi." Jack clicked off the phone with brute finality before flinging it onto the couch.

Seconds later Jack collapsed onto the couch beside the phone, hunched over, hands on his knees. He'd called Vincent when Zoey was thirty minutes late. Then he called Spencer. Then Joey. He even called Fargo, and why he'd called that guy to find out Zoey's whereabouts Jack hadn't the first clue. All he knew was that he had not wanted to call his ex-wife, but now that he did he was more worried than ever. Nobody in Eureka had seen Zoey, and with scientists gaining super human powers, scientists replicating themselves into a clone army, and scientists becoming convinced that aliens were taking over the bodies of congressmen, Jack had enough problems without keeping tabs on his delinquent daughter.

The sound of the front door opening caused him to jump to his feet.

"Welcome home, Zoey," Sarah announced cheerfully. "You are three hours and thirty-nine minutes past your curfew. Parental override installed to document this occurrence for future reference."

Zoey Carter trailed in with heavy footfalls, toting her book bag behind her, and made a disgusted face. "Doesn't this house come with an off button?"

"Zoey!" Jack ran over to his daughter. "Where have you been? Do you have any idea what time it is?"

Sarah answered, "The time is 3:40 a-"

"Not now, Sarah!" Jack turned back to his daughter. "Where have you been?"

Zoey shrugged. "Studying."

"Studying?"

"Yeah," Zoey said crisply. "Hello? I have a test on Monday."

"You expect me to believe that you're three hours and thirty-nine minutes late coming home because you were studying for a test?"

"Where else would I be?" Zoey demanded. "There's nothing to do in this stupid town but go to the library or study astrophysics or wait for the next half-baked science experiment to blow up half the town. Yeah. Real exciting."

Zoey flounced past him, but Jack blocked her path. "Oh yeah?" he demanded. "If you were so busy studying, then why couldn't you answer your phone when I called you? The past fifteen times?"

"I turned it off," she said. "You were distracting me."

"Zoey. I have been your father for fifteen years, and during that time, I have not once seen a study session that didn't involve 'The Real World' or 'Extreme Makeover' in the background."

"Hmm, well, maybe that's because in those fifteen years, you haven't been around all that much."

Great, Jack thought. She was going there again. Who hadn't seen that coming? Over the years, Jack had become accustomed to broken ribs, fist fights, and small flesh wounds, but he still hadn't found a way to deflect his daughter's accusations. "Zoey," he said a little more softly. "We've been over this a million times. I thought things were getting better. I thought we were past this."

"What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded. "I'm home from studying! What more could a father possibly want from his daughter?"

"I want you to call me when you're going to be late! I want you to call me when you're going to be fifteen minutes late. Not three hours and … and …"

"Thirty-seven minutes late," Sarah chimed.

"Thirty-seven minutes late!"

"Well," Zoey said. "I guess we don't always get what we want." With that, she pushed past him and went up the stairs.

"Zoey, I'm gonna give you one last chance." She continued up the stairs, and Jack said, "Where in the hell were you?"

"Out in society."

"That's it," Jack said. "I tried being Mr. Nice Guy, but you want to play hardball? That's fine." He pointed to her with unyielding authority. "From this moment on, you are officially grounded for the next two weeks."

Zoey whirled around. "WHAT?! You can't DO that!"

"Oh yeah?" Jack challenged. "Watch me. Sarah?"

"Yes, Sheriff Carter," Sarah answered.

"Start program 'Ground Zero'."

Sarah announced, "Program Ground Zero in effect as of 3:55 a.m."

Zoey stomped back down the stairs. "What is she talking about?"

Sarah was quick to answer her. "Ground Zero is a program with utilizes my restrictive settings. With Ground Zero in effect, the subject Zoey Carter will not be able to leave the house without Sheriff Carter's permission. Once permission is given, documentation will commence on when Zoey leaves the house and when she returns. All documentation will be sent directly to Sheriff Carter via phone conversation."

A wide grin spread across Jack Carter's face. "Why Sarah, how comprehensive of you."

"Thank you, Sheriff Carter. It's just one of my many functions."

Zoey stewed in place before she glared up at the ceiling. "More like one of your many dysfunctions!"

"You don't have to make this complicated, Zoey," Jack said. "We don't have to do this! All you have to do is tell me where you were."

"I already told you!"

"No, you already lied to me."

"What is your issue?! I was studying!"

Jack shrugged. "Okay," he sang. "Have it your way. I really hope you like this house. You're gonna be spending a lot of time in it."

Zoey shouted down from the top of the stairs. "This is even more annoying than prison!"

"You weren't in prison. You were in a detention-" The door to her room slammed shut with a resonating bang. Jack swallowed and finished. "Center."

"Sheriff Carter?" Sarah asked.

He scratched his head. "Yeah?"

"As moderator of the well-being of this house, I should report that Zoey appears to be throwing shoes on the walls upstairs."

He could hear it loud and clear. "You don't say."

"… Do you think we were too hard on her?"

Jack shook his head and murmured. "I traded my wife for a talking house."

"What was that, Sheriff?"

"I just said she came back to the house," he said. "At least that's something different. Before it would take days, a team of agents, a computer system to track stolen credit cards, and a trip out of state to get her home." He sighed and continued, "All you have to do is keep her grounded until she starts coming home on time."

"Sheriff, speaking of time, may I remind you that you have work tomorrow starting at 8:30 a.m.?"

"I guess it's too late for me to say no."

"By my calculations, that gives you approximately three hours of sleep if you are to shower, eat a healthy breakfast, and leave on time for the station."

Jack nodded as he trudged up the stairs. "By your calculations, huh?"

"That is correct."

"In that case, let's skip the healthy breakfast. Wake me up at 8 a.m."

"Very well, Sheriff. Is there anything else that I can do for you before you go to sleep for the night?"

When Jack reached the top of the stairs, he could still hear Zoey flinging her shoes against the wall. "Yeah, there is. When I wake up, remind me to give Beverly Barlowe a call."