Authors Note: This is a one shot story set after episode eight of Terra Nova. I've been playing with this idea over the last couple of episodes and V's has played right into what I was thinking for this story. Story events take place right after the end of the episode.
The party was over.
The annual harvest festival that gave everyone in Terra Nova a chance to unwind, for the colonists who held humanities future in their collective hands to relax and have a party had ended. Silence had descended on the colony as the night, with almost everyone retiring to bed. The only ones who were still awake were a handful of the soldiers – manning the sentry towers to ensure nothing nasty, human or dinosaur, entered the sleeping colony. Everyone else was lying in their beds, everyone that was but Jim Shannon.
Lying in bed – with his wife Elizabeth sleeping peacefully beside him – Jim found himself completely unable to sleep, despite his exhaustion. Instead he lay there, listening to the sound of Elizabeth breathing deeply in her sleep he gazed at the ceiling. He couldn't stop thinking about the conversation he'd had with Commander Taylor in the brig, especially the truths that Taylor had revealed to him.
For months now he had known that there was a lot more to Terra Nova than what most people knew. Ironically it had been Mira, the leader of the renegade Sixers, who had first clued him into the fact that there was much more to Terra Nova than giving humanity a new beginning. But he had had no idea what that had been, until now. And the truth was far, far worse than he had ever believed it would be.
The truth that Terra Nova was a lie.
The government – or whoever was really behind the establishment of the colony – was not at all interested in giving humanity a second chance. They only wanted to use this place, this brutal, savage but at the same time remarkable world, as a resource. To strip it of all its wealth, to suck it dry until this world was in the same death throes as the world they'd left behind in 2149. And to use the profits of that exploitation to line their own pockets – regardless of the fact that in doing so they would doom the human race to a slow but inevitable extinction. It made him feel sick, made him feel angry and sad; angry that whoever was behind the plan hadn't learned from humanities mistakes, sad for exactly the same reason.
But who are they, he thought, from what Taylor told me it's not Hope Plaza, not the United Nations or the US government. But someone else, someone with a heck of alot of power, money and – if what Mira said to me before about her daughter is right – absolutely no scruples about holding someone's family hostage in order to get there way.
Sighing softly Jim carefully – so as not to disturb his wife – slipped out of bed, pulled on his bathrobe and made his way into the open plan living area of his family home. Going over to the fridge he took out some milk and placed it in a mug. After returning the milk to the fridge he slipped the mug of milk into the microwave and started it heating before taking a pot of coffee powder off a storage shelf.
A few moments later – holding a steaming cup of fresh milky coffee – Jim made himself comfortable on the couch and began to think. His analytical mind – that had helped him so often in his career with the Chicago Police Department – thinking about what Taylor, and a few months earlier Mira, had told him. Thinking about who could really be behind the plan to rape this new world of all its wealth – who had the power and influence to gain control of the genius of Lucas Taylor, to get a five star general like General Philbrick to do their bidding and to send the Sixers here when Commander Taylor foiled there first attempt to alter the time portal into what they wanted and needed it to be for their nefarious plans to work.
His instincts and experience told him that it had to be one of the mega-corps that had dominated the global economy since the mid-twenty first century. Mega-corps who cared nothing for people as human beings and only about the money they could bring in, mega-corps who'd ignored all the warnings scientists had issued about the precarious state of Earth's biosphere and just carried on with dangerous and destructive practices until the biosphere went into terminal, irreversible decline turning the lands to lifeless desert and the oceans to a toxic soup.
The question was which one.
Even for a mega-corp this was a big operation and far beyond the financial and political means of most of them. That meant it had to be one of the really big ones, one that stood to lose everything if Terra Nova succeeded in its stated goal of building a new civilisation free of the problems of the one everyone here had left behind. The more he thought about it there was only one mega-corp that fit the bill and it was the biggest and most powerful them all. The one whose security division was literally an army as well equipped – or even better in some cases – as most national armies back in 2149.
"Jim," Elizabeth abruptly said jolting him out his thoughts. Looking up he saw his wife in her night gown standing over him with a concerned look on her beautiful face.
"Elizabeth I'm sorry did I wake you," Jim asked apologetically.
"I turned over and you weren't there at first I assumed you'd just gone to the toilet but when you didn't come back I knew something was wrong," Elizabeth replied sitting down beside her husband she could easily see that he was disturbed by something, and it didn't take a genius to figure out what was disturbing him. "You're thinking about what Commander Taylor said."
Jim nodded knowing better than to deny it. "Yeah," he confirmed, "I keep thinking about who could really be behind it and who would benefit the most from the scheme Taylor told me about and who would have the power to circumvent those in control of Hope Plaza. I can think of only one explanation."
"And that is," Elizabeth prompted feeling a profound sense of déjà vu about this conversation. When Jim had been a cop back in Chicago they'd had many conversations like this many nights, especially when Jim was in the midst of a particularly difficult investigation.
"It's a mega-corp," Jim replied grimly, "they would be exactly the kind of people to see Terra Nova not as an opportunity to give humanity a fresh start but as a resource to boost their profits. But this is to big for most of them, in fact I can think of only one mega-corp that would have the money, political power and means to pull something like this off."
Elizabeth suddenly felt a chill go down her spine. "You're not seriously suggesting," she said.
Jim nodded his expression going grim. "It's RDA it has to be," he said.
"It makes sense," Elizabeth replied after a few moments of silence. The mega-corp that referred to itself as the Resource Development Administration or RDA for short was the largest and most powerful of all the mega-corps. Its wealth and power fuelled by its monopoly on exploiting solar resources, and whose power was only going to continue to grow now that a few shipments of that wonder mineral they mined on Pandora had reached Earth and its incredible superconductive properties were known.
Now that she thought about it Elizabeth realised that RDA did have good reason to see Terra Nova as both a threat to their power and as an opportunity for yet more profit. Since the first pilgrimage seven years ago Pandora and Terra Nova had been on a collision course in terms of public opinion, especially when it came to colonisation. On that front Terra Nova had massive advantages over Pandora – the biggest three being that people could breath the air here without needing to use clumsy breathing apparatus to filter out the harmful gasses that filled Pandora's atmosphere and they didn't have to spend six years in risky cryogenic suspension to get here. The third and final point being that here they didn't have to worry about trespassing on somebody else's land in the way they did on Pandora with the Na'vi.
On the money making front Terra Nova was a gold mine when it came to useable resources – especially flora as unlike Pandoran fruits almost all the fruits produced by the plants in this time were biologically compatible with humans. Humans could also easily digest dinosaur meat – not that they hunted dinosaurs much as it was far easier to catch fish, fish after all generally didn't try to hunt you back – and meat from other fauna in this time without any major problems. This was after all the same planet that they'd evolved on just eighty five million years younger. Only the fact that the time portal was one way had prevented the mega-corps from exploiting that biological compatibility.
"Do you think Taylor knows," she asked after a moment.
Jim shook his head. "I think he suspects that the mega-corps are involved in some fashion," he admitted. "But I don't think he realises that its RDA who are likely behind wanting to take away everything people here have worked for."
"We should tell him."
"I will," Jim replied before yawning as his exhaustion caught up with him. "I'll ask to see him in the morning."
Elizabeth nodded. "In the meantime we should head to bed," she said standing up and holding out a hand for her husband. Smiling Jim took her hand and stood up, he took a moment to drop his now empty mug in the sink, before leading the way back to their bed.
In moments he was settled back in bed, with Elizabeth snuggling into his side as she did every night. I wonder how Taylor is going to react when I tell him I suppose I will see in the morning, he thought as he closed his eyes. A few moments later he was asleep, all thoughts of the conspiracy behind Terra Nova and who was likely behind said conspiracy swept aside by the rhythm of his wife's heartbeat and the distant sounds of the night time jungle.
Commander Nathaniel Taylor loved mornings.
Yawning softly, and carrying a mug of steaming coffee – coffee grown right here in Terra Nova – in his hands he gazed out upon the colony as people began going about their daily lives. He loved to just stand here on the balcony in the morning and watch as the colony awoke and began another day of working to tame this savage but beautiful land and in so doing build a new future for themselves and all of humanity. It was at times like this that he could forget – at least for a little while – that all this was built upon a lie, a lie that he would fight with everything he had to prevent becoming a reality.
But not this morning.
This morning he found his thoughts drifting back to his confrontation with Jim Shannon yesterday before the fireworks display and party that was the culmination of the annual harvest festival. Especially he found his thoughts drifting back to the truths he'd revealed to the cop-turned escaped convict-turned first ever sheriff of Terra Nova. Truths that he had never told anyone before – not even Wash knew, though he knew he should tell her as she believed as much as he did in the future they were trying to build here – it had felt strangely good to tell them to Jim and to see the mans reaction to them. He knew now that he wasn't alone in trying to prevent Terra Nova's wealth being exploited by whoever was really behind this and who'd turned his own flesh and blood against him, the fire and determination in Jim's eyes when he'd said he would fight to prevent that happening proved that he now had an ally in his fight.
The sound of someone coming up the stairs caught his attention and he looked over, just in time to see the person he'd just been thinking about come up the stairs. Jim was dressed in the dark blue clothing he normally wore in his role as sheriff, had his normal standard issue sonic pistol holstered on his hip and had a scowl on his face. A scowl that combined with the fact that Jim Shannon was a very big, very muscular man made him look extremely intimidating. Indeed Taylor had heard from a Wash that most of the troops were quietly terrified of courting his wrath, that they fired Jim's glare as much as Wash's or his own. Corporal Reynolds especially was terrified of Shannon though Nathaniel believed that had more to do with the fact that Reynolds was dating Jim's eldest daughter than anything else. Jim was intimidating enough in full on cop mode Taylor hated to think how intimidating he was in overprotective father mode.
"Morning Jim," he said in greeting.
"Morning Nathaniel," Jim acknowledged with a smile before his expression turned serious again. "Can I talk to you in private?"
Taylor frowned and nodded before gesturing for Jim to go inside his office. He followed moments later, closing the doors behind him and locking them as something told him that whatever Jim wanted to say it was not for anyone else's ears. Certainly it wouldn't do for Wash to charge in during the middle of their discussion – though Alicia was right now in the middle of putting together another shipment of supplies to send out to outpost three, replacing the shipment the Sixers had hijacked.
"What is it?" Taylor asked moving to his desk and sitting down.
"Its about our discussion last night. I was thinking about it for hours last night. I think I know who our enemy is."
"Who," Taylor demanded.
"It's one of the mega-corps, in particular its RDA," Jim replied.
"RDA," Taylor whispered shocked for a moment. He had known that the people who wanted Terra Nova to fail, wanted this world to become just an exploitable resource, was likely connected to one or more of the mega-corps. But for some reason he had never considered RDA to be the ones behind everything before. "What makes you say its RDA?"
"I don't have any proof but they have the most to lose if we succeed in the goal that brought us all here especially as Terra Nova is in direct competition with Pandora," Jim replied. "And the most to gain if they can make the time portal go both ways. They also have the money, resources and are ruthless enough to get to Lucas and make him work for them as well as make General Philbrick, Mira and the rest of the Sixers do their bidding. I don't know what leverage they would have on Lucas or Philbrick but I do know the leverage they have on Mira and probably the rest of the Sixers."
"Go on," Taylor said leaning forward and listening in fascination, hungry for answers. Answers as to why his son had betrayed him, why his one time mentor had tried to murder him forcing him to kill him in self defence and who had sent the Sixers here.
"Remember when I went after Sam Marcos and was taken to the Sixer camp?"
"Yeah I almost threw you in the brig for defying my orders to stay in the colony."
"Yes well while I was there I spoke with Mira. One of the things she told me was that her daughter Sienna is being held in 2149 and will only be sent through the portal if she eliminates you," Jim explained. "At the time I didn't really think much of it, Mira was trying to persuade me to join the Sixers and I thought she was just playing on my sympathies and the fact that I'm a father. But after what you told me last night, I have to think that she was indeed telling me the truth. And if they've done it to Mira then they've probably done it to the other Sixers as well it would be just like RDA to do something like that. And the problem is they have enough political, economic and military power to make themselves virtually untouchable back when I was a cop in Chicago I had to drop investigations into RDA SecOps personnel more than once when the RDA lawyers interfered."
"Makes sense," Taylor said suddenly feeling somewhat sorry for Mira even though she was his enemy. If what Shannon was telling him was true then she had no choice but to do what she was told to do if she ever wanted to see her daughter again. If he'd been put in the same position wouldn't he have done the same? In all probably he probably would have. "Cold, ruthless and just the kind of thing I would expect from them, I've had a fair few run ins' with RDA SecOps personnel myself over the years and its never left me with a pleasant feeling. And I know the kind of people they've appointed to senior SecOps command positions – they're not anyone I would trust."
Jim nodded in understanding. "As I said I don't know about Philbrick or Lucas. How they would control them I don't know," he admitted.
"I think I do at least with Lucas," Taylor replied his eyes darkening with memory. "Lucas had a daughter, Rebecca. Her mother died in childbirth, Rebecca was the apple of Lucas' eye as he was of mine. She was only about a year or two older than your youngest.
"Three months before Lucas came through on the second pilgrimage Rebecca supposedly died of an illness caused by the atmosphere back in the future at least that's what Lucas told me when he arrived and she wasn't with him, I had no reason to doubt him as she'd always had weak lungs. From what you've told me it is very likely that Rebecca is still alive and RDA is holding her to ensure Lucas complies with their wishes." His eyes darkened further and an expression of pure rage appeared on his face. "The bastards are holding my granddaughter and have turned my own son against me."
"It's not your fault Shannon," Taylor replied closing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths to calm down, pushing down the rage that wanted to explode from him like molten lava out of a volcano. He would deal with it later. Right now he needed to think, needed to plan what he was going to do with this new information. "Thank you for coming to me with this, Jim. Now I know roughly who our enemy really is, now I just have to figure out what exactly to do about it."
"I understand. Just remember commander you're not alone in this anymore. If you need me to help you do something to stop these people destroying what we are building here. To stop them destroying all our hopes and dreams for the future."
"I'll let you know," Taylor confirmed before standing up. "I need to go out for a bit to think about this on my own. Wash should be finished with what she's doing in half an hour or so. You're in charge until she gets here."
"I'll do my best."
"I know you will."
With that Taylor stood up from his desk, unlocked the doors and stepped out into the bright morning sunshine. Without hesitation he walked down the steps and began walking in the direction of the garages where his personal rover was stored, Jim had just given him a lot to think about. Thankfully there was a place close by that he went to when he needed to think, where nobody would bother him but which was still close enough to Terra Nova for him to respond to any crisis that erupted. Though they had no proof that the RDA was involved in the plot to turn Terra Nova into nothing but a resource what Jim had said made sense, to much sense. What he was going to do about it, how he was going to stop them he had no idea. He did know one thing however and that was that Jim was right, he wasn't alone in this battle anymore.
And he was thankful for it.
Author Note: There you have it folks. I might write a sequel to this, depends on both my muse and what happens in next week's episode.