I don't own Eureka, if I did we would have old Jo back. I do happen to own this story so that is what you are getting
152 voicemails and 238 text messages, that is what flashed on the screen of Jo Lupo's PDA when she finally turned it on. Nine days. That is how long she had been gone from Eureka. 5 weeks 2 days, that is how long she had been pregnant when she returned home, not that she knew that yet. 1794 the number of days before those who had been lost would come home.
Finally reaching her car Jo sighed, she had been camping deep in Rocky Mountain National Park. She had turned off her PDA as she left Eureka and drove straight here. She hated leaving but she really needed time to think and right now she needed a shower. Throwing her backpack into the car she was ready to head into town. One night in a hotel and then she would be off again no destination in mind.
She pulled into small hotel in Estes Park, gateway to the Rockies they called it. The scenery was majestic; the first snow had begun to fall on the 14,000 foot peaks. The thinner air up here mixed with the chilly night temperatures and the silence had given Jo time to think. Nine days alone in the wilderness had made her come to one conclusion. She could be alone but she didn't want to be, not for the long haul. Truth be told she wasn't. She had a family, not just over seas but in a crazy little town full of mad scientists. Eventually Jo would end up back in that town but for now she was still searching.
Serenity, that is what Jo had found here. But peace was what she was ultimately seeking. Peace to know her place in this world and peace that her decisions were based on this time these people and not ghosts of the past.
A smile was on her lips as she thought of Zane. Never a hookup to him, that's what he had said and that he would be thinking about her. It had been so hard to leave; she had pulled out of that kiss early using all her self control. What she had really wanted to do was stay in his arms forever, to agree to go to Titan with him after all or to beg him to stay Earth bound with her. Unfortunately they both needed this time apart. Her to figure things out to make them stronger together going forward. Him to prove to himself that he was more then just a screw up, the Astreaus crew would be heroes and Zane would definitely be a stand out among them. There was no doubt in her faith that Zane could truly do anything he put his mind to. That was one of the many things she loved about him.
No real way to deny it to herself anymore, she admitted she loved him.
Opening the door to her room she flung her stuff on the nearest chair and pulled her PDA out of her bag. Jo needed the time away but with brothers overseas and loved ones on Titan she still wanted to check in from time to time. After hitting the power button she laid it down on the dresser and headed to the bathroom for a shower to wash off the back country grime.
The hot water pounding down on her drowns out the sound of her PDA going crazy beeping at her as if desperately trying to draw her attention. She only heard the noise after stepping out and sliding into her bathrobe. Jo picked it up and looked at in curious way. Over 200 messages, her heart dropped into her stomach WHAT THE HELL was going on. She hit the voice mail button.
"Your voice mail box is full. You have 152 messages. First Message…"
Carter's strangled voice came on the line "Jo, where are you? Look I know you are on your journey of self discovery but there was a problem at the launch. Please call me."
Jo deleted the message and the next started before she hung up. Vomit was bubbling in her stomach as she pushed the speed dial for Carter.
"Jo?" He asked as he came on the line. "Thank God, finally. Where are you?"
"What happened, Carter? Is everyone ok?" Ignoring his question, hers were more important.
"Someone hijacked the launch. They changed the destination coordinates and sped up the launch. Allison was inside when it happened. We have no readings from the ship and no way of knowing where they are or if the ship survived."
The vomit won. Jo ran for the bathroom and hugged the toilet emptying the contents of her stomach. The PDA had fallen out of her hand and was sitting on the floor.
"Jo, are you there? Jo answer me." Carter was screaming into the phone.
Wiping her mouth she picked up the phone. "I'm here Carter" was all she was able to say.
"Where are you? I'm sending a chopper."
"Estes Park, Colorado." She answered.
"Get your stuff together. I'm coming to get you. I'll bring one of your guys to drive your car back. We need you home." Carter really was sorry that her trip had to end like this, but with everything going on Eureka was the safest and best place for her. The truth was they needed each other to get through this.
"Ok. Hurry please." Jo was going to be sick again.
"I'm on my way. Hold tight" He hung up.
Jo nodded knowing he couldn't see her and that the line was now dead. Thankfully she was still sitting in the bathroom when the nausea hit her again.
After brushing her teeth and getting dressed. Jo sat on the edge of the bed, mind blank unable to comprehend the magnitude of what Carter had told her. Lost. Lost forever? Lost but coming back? Faces flashed in her mind. Holly gone. Fargo gone. Grace gone. Allison gone. Zane…. Oh God, Zane gone. She had just gotten him back. Well sort of gotten him back, now he might be gone again.
Dammit, she cursed herself. Why hadn't she figured this out before he left? Now that it may be too late she was pretty sure she knew exactly what she wanted, a family, a life in Eureka with Zane. This Zane.
The friendship she and this Zane had built was so much more then she had ever built with any boyfriend. It was a foundation she now realized that she had neglected in the old timeline. With original Zane they were more like teenagers, fun and some what superficial. They never really talked about important things or work. Just video games, or paint ball.
But this Zane spent time with her talking. Maybe it was just orbital dynamics or Astreaus schematics but they talked and laughed like friends, adult friends. Hell, this Zane had been the one to ask her for more and she was the one who wasn't sure. She hated irony.
What a difference a couple of weeks made. Now she would give anything to throw herself into his arms and promise to wait for him or to have gone with him so they could at least be lost together.
Her phone chirped. Picking it up she saw Carter's number. "Hello."
"Jo, we're almost there. Can you meet us at the hospital? We have clearance to use their helo pad."
How long had she been sitting there?
"Sure. I'll check out and meet you there." Jo grabbed her things suddenly glad to have a purpose. She loaded her bag into her car and dropped her room key at the front desk. Estes Park was a really small town and it only took a few minutes to reach the place and park her car. Luckily the helicopter pad wasn't on top of the building but rather in the back of the parking lot. Jo had pulled her car into the spot closest to the pad and pulled out her bag. It was only a few minutes before she heard the chopper approach.
The military grade machine was drawing attention from the people around the hospital. It didn't help when one of Jo's security guys, Hanson, decked out in his almost military uniform and Carter in his Sheriff's uniform stepped off. Jo handed her keys to Hanson and quickly walked to Carter. He pulled her into a tight hug. Words weren't needed, not that they could be heard over the whooshing of the blades. Carter relaxed his grip and pulled her into the chopper. Her head rested on his shoulder as they took off.
He didn't have to come get her. If Allison was missing too she knew he must be in his own private hell right now but she was so glad that he was here. He was afraid of heights and flying but he had to make sure she was safe and coming home. Carter was like a brother to her, well really a hybrid of brother and dad. Right now both were in serious pain and needed each other.
Jo fell asleep halfway through the flight; she was exhausted from her trek through the Rockies. She had planned on a big nap but she had worked herself up in knots after Carter's call that sleep was far from her mind. But with Carter's strength nearby and the rhythmic sound of the rudders, Jo was lulled to dream land.
The helicopter landed on the roof of GD and the engines turned off. Jo shook off the sleep that had filled her brain. Looking up she saw Henry waiting for them. Jo, uncharacteristically, flung herself at him. Usually she was not so emotional but right now none her natural defenses mattered.
"How are you?" She asked truly concerned for her friend. Henry had been through a lot, losing Kim not once but at least 3 times (That Jo knew of) and now after falling in love with Grace she was gone too.
Henry gave her a sad smile. "Taking it day by day. You?"
"In shock, I'm sorry I left."
"Not much you could have done at the time," Carter interjected.
"I could have been here for you guys. Oh, how are Kevin and Jenna?" Jo had only been thinking about herself lately. This must be so hard on Allison's kids.
"It's hardest on Kevin. Jenna's still so little. They are living with me and Zoe will be here soon on break from school to help out." Sadness passed over Carter's face. Explaining what happened to Kevin had to have been hard.
"Whatever you need, I'll help." Jo offered.
"Thanks, I'll probably take you up on that sometime."
The trio had walked back into the Astreaus command center. "What do you know?" Jo asked ready to dive back in.
Henry walked her through everything they knew. The accelerated launch, Allison trapped inside, the computer lock out, Jack's attempts to overheat the reactor. "We have been pulling apart the computer program line by line trying to figure this out. I still don't know how this happened and we still can't find Astreaus." Henry's voice was slightly manic by the end of the story.
"Do you think it was Beverly?" Jo asked.
Henry nodded and Carter asked "who else could it be?"
"Have you called Tess and asked her to use her big telescope project to try to pinpoint their location?"
"Oooh, good idea." Carter started then he blushed. "I probably shouldn't be the one to call though. She's still mad about me and Allie."
Jo rolled her eyes, typical smooth with the ladies Carter. "I can call her, she may be upset but not enough to not help."
Carter checked his watch. "I need to go get Kevin and Jena. Jo you are welcome to stay at the house."
"Thanks Carter. I'll be over later." Jo smiled faintly. At least she had a place to go. She pulled out her phone to call Tess. What time was it in Australia?