Characters: Abby, Connor, and Nick
Disclaimer: I am definitely not affiliated with the show in any way nor do I make a profit from this. Also, the kombalagos is a creature that I have invented based on the nagapie and any names of people/creatures that resemble anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
P/L: A curious little creature from the future has arrived in the care of Abby and Connor however trying to convince Nick to let them take the furry animal home may be out of the question. Even after disaster strikes at the anomaly is the team in for one last surprise?
IV. My Name is Shwari
"I told you that something was wrong! But you wouldn't listen!"
Abby's cries of grief still resonated within Nick's mind. Try as he might to get her sobs out of his head Nick could not simply let it go. The kombalagos's death had been entirely his fault and even if the anomaly had remained open there would have been no hope in trying to rescue her. The fire had been too intense to have done anything.
"How could you let this happen? How could you!"
Leaning forward from his reclined position, Nick folded his arms over the steering wheel and let his forehead rest on his arms. There could be no immediate forgiveness from Abby. And Connor, the poor kid was torn between trying to comfort his teammate as well as defend their leader. What a terrible position that Nick had put the pair of them in. Would Claudia be able to forgive him for accidentally sentencing the little kombalagos to her death?
Sighing, Nick lifted his head and gazed at his house. What a quiet place this was. It was a shame that the moment that he had spent with Claudia had been all too brief. Even though he hadn't been feeling well and had promptly fallen asleep at the woman's gentle coaxing, it had been so peaceful that Nick did not want it to end. And since that time it had been even harder to resist wanting to ask her over for dinner. With the sudden death of the beloved kombalagos it was highly unlikely that even Claudia would want to speak to him. Did none of them understand how much it hurt him as well?
Stepping out of the lorrie, Nick was determined to end his night with a quick dinner and an early bedtime. If he could wake up earlier, he could get to the ARC earlier than the others and be submersed in his work before they arrived. And then, maybe then, Nick would have formulated a plan on making amends with his team. Perhaps he could even forgive himself for what happened.
Nick paused for a moment and looked back at his car. It was late out and he could not see beyond the shadows of his car. Was there someone out there? Or was this another anomaly creature? As Nick began a slow retreat to his house he kept an alert ear out for the sound. Perhaps it was nothing but a bird or perhaps the tele. Nick even tried to reason himself that it could be someone walking down the street. It was eight o'clock in the evening but it certainly wasn't midnight.
It was nothing more than a bird. Nick gave a small sniff and finally turned his back towards his truck. Perhaps he really did need to rest more. The strain was getting to him more than he was aware and hearing noises was certainly not a sign of health.
Nick froze and turned sharply back towards the car. So it wasn't just a bird, someone or something was singing! And that voice, that high, mammal-sounding voice was oddly familiar. But it couldn't be the little kombalagos, she had gone through the anomaly! Maybe there had been more? Nick shook his head and continued his approach of the lorrie.
The singing was even louder now and very slowly Nick opened the backdoor of his truck. Even in the dim light he could still make out the objects that he had in the backseat. There were a few notebooks and an encyclopedia but nothing more. But there was something in the backseat, Nick was certain of that. And in a voice betraying the confidence he felt, Nick demanded firmly, "All right my little friend, it's time to show yourself. Nice and slow..."
At first nothing moved. But then two ears began to emerge from under the seat. Then two large eyes fixed themselves upon Nick followed by the rest of the furry head. The little kombalagos stared sheepishly up at Nick and then the corners of her mouth turned upwards in a weak attempt at a smile. Immediately her eyes seemed to grow a little as her smile dropped into a pleading frown. This was not another kombalagos but their small creature.
"Oh...how did you..." Nick tilted his head to the side, unable to formulate the many questions that were buzzing through his mind. It would be ridiculous to even ask the creature how she managed to survive the fire let alone question her in how she came back with him. Running a hand through his short blond hair, Nick stated, "I should take you back to the ARC. I can't keep you here..."
"La, Niick arguk, is'ma minni..."
Nick stared at the little creature, stunned that he had heard his name being uttered by the kombalagos. Surely this was just his imagination. Animals were always talking over humans. She couldn't possibly be trying to explain things to him, could she? Nick was a man of science! Why would trying to believe that a creature from the future could understand him be so difficult?
Kneeling so he could better hear the kombalagos, Nick inquired softly, "Can you understand me?"
With her eyes still locked in the pitiful mode, the primate responded, "Ana bat'lub af'wak."
A chuckle escaped Nick's lips and he gave a short shake of his head. "I don't know what you are speaking but it is of human orgin." Another sigh escaped his lips but the smile remained. "I can't believe you managed to sneak out of the ARC and stowed way in my car. Either we are really slacking off or you are one clever little creature." Nick gently offered his hand to the little primate. "But you can stay with me. I won't subject you to the scientists tonight."
Now the kombalagos seemed to smile. She slowly moved forward and nudged Nick's hand with her soft little head before chirping quietly at him. "Mweerevuu heelaa heelaa heeyioo mweerevuu."
A smile filtered through Nick's stern gaze as he gently scratched the creature behind her ears. There was something special about this small remarkable creature. She was not afraid of humans at all and seemed to enjoy their company. Perhaps the future wasn't all doom-and-gloom as some other creatures had made it out to be. Maybe there was hope after all for something decent.
"It's all right little one, you can stay here but it's only for the night so don't get your hopes up."
Once inside his house, Nick brought the kombalagos to the kitchen. Setting the little primate down on the counter, Nick began looking through the refrigerator. As he did so he spoke to the small creature, "If you have been in the lorrie all day I bet you are hungry. But what do I have that someone like you would be able to eat..."
Sniffing the counter the little kombalagos curiously made her way across the strange surface. Her ears remained at attention and her eyes roamed about the room as if there was no end to her curiosity. It amused Nick to see the look of fascination in the creature's eyes as she explored everything that was on the counter. There wasn't a paper, pen, or even a collection of prehistoric bones that went unchecked. The little pink nose went everywhere.
"You're a curious little one aren't you?"
Nick closed the refrigerator and leaned against the counter, now just observing the kombalagos. Suddenly he turned around. "Ahh, I almost forgot about these." He picked up two bananas from the place next to the toaster and began unpeeling it as he walked towards the little primate.
At once the kombalagos turned her head towards Nick and rose to a sitting position on her haunches. Her tail flicked eagerly on the table, this causing Nick to chuckle. What a little puppy she was! He broke off part of the banana and held it out for the kombalagos. With a little sniff, the furry one daintily took up the piece with her teeth before holding it between her finger-like paws. As she ate Nick watched her in fascination. Truly it was good to see her alive again! Then he remembered.
"Abby..." Quickly Nick reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his cellphone, depositing the rest of the banana on the counter next to the kombalagos. As he pulled up Abby's number a thought crossed his mind and instead he dialed a different number. After a moment, Nick quickly greeted, "Connor, it's Cutter... I need you to get Abby over to your phone now. I have something important to tell the both of you."
Now hearing from Nick at this hour came as no surprise to Connor as he was used to getting evening calls from their fearless team leaders. However, hearing Nick ask him to get Abby with important news for them both was not something usual. Curiosity ran high as he quickly went to the living room where he saw Abby curled up on the couch staring across the room. Rex was nestled in her arms, sleeping.
"Hey Abby, I think you should hear this."
Abby lifted her head and regarded him curiously. "What's all the fuss about? Who is it?"
"It's Cutter," replied Connor. He could hear Nick calling his name and quickly turned his attention back to the phone, "Yeah? She's here. What happened an anomaly opened in your house, eh?"
Despite the humor neither Nick or Abby were very impressed and Abby simply shut her eyes while Nick spoke eagerly, "Tell Abby that the little kombalagos didn't die."
"What? What do you mean she didn't die?" Connor looked over at Abby and saw that she still was refusing to show interest in the conversation. "But how can you be sure?"
Nick looked over at the kombalagos and saw that she was working on the rest of the banana, happily singing away. The professor replied, "Because she is sitting on my counter, that's why. Put Abby on. She needs to know."
Happiness surged through Connor and he gave a little jump as he pumped his fist into the sky. Quickly he dropped by Abby and put the phone to her ear. In the process he accidentally nudged Rex, who gave a short cry of annoyance before snapping his mouth angrily at Connor. But this Connor did not seem to notice in his excitement.
"C'mon Abby, it's Cutter! Listen to what he has to say!"
"All right, all right..." Abby grumbled irritatedly as she took Connor's cellphone. She didn't bother giving Nick a greeting and instead let her heavy sigh press into the phone.
"Abby?" Nick asked quietly. Having heard the sigh, Nick knew that she was still upset and for that there could be no blame. And in a gentle voice Nick continued, "Abby, I am really sorry about what happened at the anomaly today. You were right and I will try to listen to you more from this point on. I also want you to know that our little friend, the kombalagos, she's not dead."
"Not dead?" Abby could hardly believe this. She looked over at Connor for reassurance and immediately Connor bobbed his head in excitement. "But how, Cutter... the fire..."
"I don't know how she came back but it is definitely her all right." Nick's grin was sure to be seen through the cellphone. "If you want you and Connor can come over here tonight and see for yourself. And no, I'm not taking her back to the ARC so don't worry Abby, she's in good hands. I promise."
"Thank you Nick," Abby whispered as she wiped away a tear that had fallen. She smiled joyfully over at Connor and gave Rex a gentle hug. "That makes me so happy to know that she's okay. Yeah, Connor and I will be right over." Before she hung up she suddenly asked, "Hey, Cutter, why didn't you just call me if you wanted to speak to me?"
This drew a gentle smirk from the leader. He asked quietly, "If you had known that it was me calling would you have answered it?"
Abby let out a soft laugh. "You're right. Thank you Nick. We'll be right over."
As Nick closed his phone, he moved back towards the kombalagos. He saw that she had finished eating the banana and was now staring patiently at him as if waiting for him to say something. Nick gently scratched the fur between her ears.
"I know that you are speaking a language that is human," said Nick quietly. "And I am going to find out what it is so perhaps we can find out more about you and how to help you. But for now, you are safe so you can relax here. No one is going to hurt you."
Nick then started out of the kitchen when suddenly the kombalagos spoke:
"My name is Shwari."
The professor halted his steps and spun around, his eyes wide with shock. He quickly retraced his steps and knelt in front of the kombalagos. "Either I inhaled more smoke than originally thought or else you just spoke..." Nick shook his head and rubbed his eyes. "No, that is impossible."
A smile spread across the kombalagos's mouth and she hopped to the edge of the counter and peered at Nick with a knowing smile, "What is impossible?"
"You speak English..."
The kombalagos sat back and smirked proudly, her voice beautifully rich with accent, "But of course I speak English! I speak very good English!"