Chapter 1

Magdalene Defoe had gone to the Wallace house to talk to her goddaughter.

She was showing Shilo a hologram of her mother when Shilo gasped and ducked around the corner, peaking out from behind it.

Mag slowly turned around to see Nathan standing in door behind her. He didn't look at all happy to see her.

"Hi Nathan… " she said in a soft, tentative voice. He looked just as surprised to see her.

"Mag. How did you get in here? Don't you have a show tonight?" he asked in a distinctly cool voice.

"How are you Nathan?" she asked, a trace of concern in her voice. He looked tired.

"Busy" Nathan said crisply, walking past Mag.

"You never were a man of many words Nate. You told me Shilo died" she said, unable to hide her anger at being lied to all these year.

He stopped and looked around at her. "Listen…" he started to say.

"Nathan. I promised your late wife I'd be present in Shilo's life" Mag pointed out.

"Shilo is very ill. It's not safe for her to see people. I need to give her her medication" Nathan said, starting to go toward the stairs

"Dad. Let her stay in here" Shilo pleaded as she appeared at the top of the stairs.

"No she's leaving" he said firmly, grabbing Mag's arm.

"Please hide her here" Shilo begged, voice clearly showing her fear for Mag.

"From what?" he asked, trying to steer Mag towards the door.

"She'll be dead!" Shilo yelled, tugging frantically on Nathan's arm.

"Nathan you're hurting me" said Mag, trying to tug her arm from his grip.

"My daughter needs a rest" he snapped.

"I'll be fine Shilo don't you fret" Mag said soothingly to Shilo.

"Repossessions are dangerous. You're not safe. Dad she's not safe!" Shilo shrieked, letting go of Nathans arm.

"Shi!" he shouted as she turned and ran up the stairs. He let Mag go, following his daughter.

He heard the door slam and walked up to it.

"Shi…. Please take your medicine" he said pleadingly.

"She will die!" Shilo yelled from behind the door.

"Nonsense" he said firmly.

Shilo opened the door dragging him inside. "Come and see. Mag's in trouble Dad" she said, grabbing a magazine from the table and pushing it into his hands. "A Repo man will come and take her eyes!" Shilo said.

"There are things in life we are best to leave alone" he said, putting it down and walking to the door.

"She'll die! You must help her Dad!" Shilo pleaded, grabbing his arm.

"Shilo this is senseless" he said firmly

"Please Dad you have to try!" she said. She wasn't going to back down without a fight.

"Shilo this is pointless!" he snapped.

She kept pleading and he yelled at her to shut up. She looked rather shocked.

"She was Mum's best friend Dad. What would Mum want you to do?" Shilo said softly.

His expression softened. "Shi I…" he started to say. He knew Marni would hate what he was doing… and would hate it even worse if he harmed Mag. And if he was honest with himself he knew he couldn't bring himself to hurt Mag. He cared too much about her.

Nathan sighed and left Shilo's room. When he got to the stairs he saw Mag had turned to leave.

"Mag… wait…" he said. She froze and then turned around surprise on her face.

"Stay… please" he said as he walked down the stairs.

She looked at him with those striking mechanical eyes. "All right" she said softly.

He took Mag into the living room and poured himself a glass of brandy. "Would you like one" he asked.

"Please" she said, taking a seat in one of the comfortable chairs.

"You never used to drink" he commented as he poured one and sat in the chair next to her.

"That was before I started working for the Largo's…" she said, a trace of irony and bitterness in her voice. She took the glass and sipped it gratefully.

Concern flashed over his face as he took in the tone of her voice but he didn't comment on it.

"They want you dead Magdalene…" he said quietly.

She sighed, taking another sip. "I know… Rotti can't stand to lose his precious songbird" she said bitterly.

Nathan frowned. He hated Rotti. Then man had blackmailed him into a job he detested.

He looked at her. She was dead without him. And he couldn't let that happen.

"Mag… I might have a way to save you…" he said. She looked at him, her expression suggesting she was trying not to get her hopes up.

"How? It's too late for me now…" she said sadly. She knew she had sealed her fate… but she couldn't stand working for GeneCo any longer.

"If they had your eyes… and they thought you were dead… there would be no reason for them to look for you" he said slowly. A plan was forming in his mind.

She looked at him quizzically. "I would rather be blind than Rotti's captive… but how would we convince them I'm dead? We'd have to blackmail a Repo Man…" she said, voice trailing off as she caught his expression. Guilt was all over his face.

Horror overcame her. "Nathan you aren't… tell me you aren't…" she said. Was this the man they had asked to kill her?

"Rotti blackmailed me. He knew that Marni's death was… my fault" he said, voice cracking slightly. "The cure…. should have worked…. but then Marni got worse… I was losing her and Shilo too…" he continued. "I was only about to save one of them…"

He couldn't help looking up to her face. Her expression was full of sadness, concern and even… something like understanding.

"Marni's death wasn't your fault Nate" Mag said softly. "I know you would have done everything you could to save her." He could hardly believe it. Forgiveness. From his wife's best friend.

"And Rotti is a monster. He manipulated both of us. All these years… and you were in bondage as much as I was…" she said sadly. She couldn't bring herself to condemn him when she had 1st hand experience of what Rotti did to people.

He tentatively placed his hand on hers. "You don't know what it means… having someone understand…"

Just then the door opened. Shilo was standing there.

"Does the fact Mag is still here mean you are going to try to help her?" she asked hopefully.