Elemental Four: Epilogue
by Valerie Vancollie
valeriev84 at hotmail dot com
Note: I'd like to take this opportuniy to extend some thanks to people. First to my two wonderful betas, ALEO and fredbassett, for going over the story for me. Secondly, I like to thank everyone who reviewed, especially those of you who did so for every, or nearly every, chapter. It is really appreciated!
Well, here's the final part of the story, just a short epilogue.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Numb3rs characters, items or situations. I only lay claim to the original aspects of the fic.
Sunday: 1:29 PM, May 18th
"Hello," Megan said as she knocked lightly on the door and entered.
"Megan, hey," Don greeted her with a large smile, though his voice still wasn't quite normal.
"Where is everyone? I'd have expected at least your father and brother to be here."
"The nurse threw them out, said they had to go eat."
"Really? I wish I had seen that."
"It was quite the show. I haven't seen that particular type of consternation on either of their faces since Mom died," Don commented as Megan took the seat closest to the bed which his father had monopolized since his arrival.
"How are you feeling? Colby and David tell me you'll be okay."
"Yeah, well, you know," Don said, holding up his arms to show the bandaged wrists. "They're worried about infection at the wounds and in my lungs given how dirty seawater is."
"Your lungs too? I thought Colby had gotten to you in time."
"Oh, he got to me before I started seriously inhaling it, but I did swallow a fair amount altogether. And, well, with the strain from being deprived of so much air, they think my lungs may be particularly vulnerable. But it's nothing I can't handle."
"This isn't going to vanish overnight, Don."
"Yeah, well, we'll see, right."
"How did I know you'd say that?" Megan shook her head.
"How come you're here? Not that I'm not glad to see you, but I thought you were going after the woman."
"We did, we have her."
"Turns out she used her own car to transport you, so it was very easy to locate both her and her father. Got your hair and DNA on the backseat too, along with McNamara's and Polinski's."
"Nothing like supporting forensic evidence. What's the deal, though? Why did she do it?"
"Looks like it did go back to the '92 case Hawkins and McNamara worked on," Megan explained. "Her mother was one of major drug lords involved in the operation that was shut down. Only she refused to lay down her weapon and was killed in the resulting crossfire."
"And her daughter blames us? She couldn't have been more than four or five years old at the time."
"Six, actually, and it looks like her father is the one who fostered the hatred and anger in her. From what I could see at the house, he raised her to hate federal agencies and the people working for them."
"So, what, he groomed her to kill the men involved in his wife's death?"
"That is what I think at present."
"And the whole four element thing?"
"Some type of control mechanism or so. Perhaps it even ties back to the mother somehow, I need more time to look into that. When we arrived on the scene, she didn't resist us at all, claiming that she was above us and our lowly laws. When Colby informed her those lowly laws would get her a lethal injection, she merely smiled and said it was too late; that she'd already achieved aether."
"Aether, isn't that Larry's fifth element?"
"Larry's, eh? He'll like that," Megan teased as Don glared at her. "But yes, that is the fifth element he was taking about, the 'heavenly' substance."
"Wait, she thinks she's now somehow above us mere mortals? From killing agents?"
"Apparently she has somehow come to tie the belief of the five elements into the bloodlust her father instilled in her."
"She'll get off with an insanity plea."
"Probably," Megan agreed. "But you'll be pleased to know that she changed her tune remarkably when she learned that you had survived."
"Her belief in being above us seems to be tied to the successful completion of a kill with each of the other four elements. Without that, she apparently doesn't reach aether."
"And since she didn't get water, she doesn't get to, what, ascend?"
"Something like that," Megan agreed with a smile. "David has made a copy of the tape so you can see her reaction for yourself."
"What's the deal with Polinski and me? We weren't involved in the operation that killed her mother."
"No, but the FBI agent she wanted to target died in a car crash five years ago and she somehow seems to think each element needed to come from a different agency and since there were only three involved in the incident-"
"She needed a fourth. So DHS was chosen at random, I'm sure they'll feel honored," Don said as he shifted slightly, trying to find the right words. "Look, I wanted to thank you for getting to me in time."
"It was more Charlie than anyone else. He figured out how she was selecting her victims and that you were the most likely candidate from the Bureau. Without that we would never have realized you were missing in time. Nor would we have found you without his equations."
"But it was you who got him to focus on the problem. I can tell you from experience that's no easy feat, and you had the foresight to send SWAT along," Don continued, shuddering involuntarily as the helplessness and panic rose again in his mind. "If that torch hadn't been there... well, I wouldn't be here now."
"You're welcome," Megan whispered after a moment, the mere possibility enough to chill her to the bone.
There, the end.
I hope you all had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Now, I already know a lot of you liked the situation poor, poor Don found himself in (though a disturbing amount of you guys seemed to be hopelessly focused on the nearly naked part of the scenario (I mean, a disturbing amount, honestly, I would never (strikethrough)dream(strikethrough) think of going there, after all, I only wrote that part, right?)). I am wondering though what you thought of the blend of Greek thought, astrology and the modern zodiac being added to the mix. Did that work well?
Since I always end up asking authors about the 's' word, I'll state this now. There is a possibility that there will be a sequel of sorts to this fic. I do have some half formed image of Don needing to be back on a beach or something that requires him to confront the new water/drowning fear he has. And, besides, David wouldn't dream of letting Colby off without some good natured teasing about 'the delivery method of the aid given.'