A/N: Glad to see there's still readership! Sorry for the long delay: I was so uninspired but I pushed this out. Guess what? They're going to give us a Terra Nova comic! It'll tie up all the loose ends and it comes out this fall along with the DVD. And Dean Geyer will now play a starring role on Glee! I'm no Gleek but I know some of you would be happy! Anyway, without further ado, the return of The Future of the Past. Please keep reviewing so I know there's still SOMEONE out there who cares!
I wasn't feeling any better by morning. In fact, I felt even worse. But to be honest, I was very, very nervous about having to conduct a psych interview on a woman who had attempted to murder my mother. Under ordinary circumstances I likely wouldn't have been assigned to her due to a potentially biased opinion but (a) it wasn't like there was anyone who didn't hate Katrina Coleman and (b) I was the only one free and licensed to conduct any sort of psychiatric evaluation that day so there was little in the way of choice. But at the very least Sean promised to be there with me for moral support and possibly physical protection depending on how things went.
I ate breakfast in silence, staring out the window and trying to think calm, soothing thoughts. A new wave of nausea hit me and I was forced to ditch breakfast down the garbage chute before I ended up throwing up over everything. Matt came out of his room, hair sticking up at weird angles because he rolls around a lot in his sleep. He sat down opposite me, observing my haggard appearance.
"You okay?" he asked. Matt's always been able to tell when something's wrong, not that it would take a rocket scientist given how terrible I must have looked.
"Fine," I replied.
"Liar," he countered. "You look like you're about to puke. Are you really that nervous?"
I nodded, wide-eyed. "Hell yes! She tried to kill Mom, what if she tries to kill me too?"
"She won't," Matt shook his head. "She wouldn't dare."
"Because we're also Mark Reynolds' kids. And she had some sort of creepy obsession with Dad. She has some sort of creepy obsession with me." He cringed.
"Matt, what did she do to you?" I was worried now.
"Nothing bad, don't worry. She was just uncomfortably close and she tried to manhandle me. Kept saying how much I looked like Dad."
"Well, to be fair you do," I told him. "What happened after that?"
"I backed away and then Justine saved me."
I snorted. There wasn't anything inherently funny about my brother nearly being groped by a forty year old woman but something about Justine Carlisle having to save him struck me as amusing.
"What's so funny?" his eyes narrowed and he stared me down across the table. I took a sip of herbal tea I'd been nursing all morning to soothe my wildly churning stomach.
"Oh, nothing. Just that your girlfriend had to come to your rescue."
"Not funny, Adelaide. It's not like I'm alone. Sean has to come babysit you while you give an interview."
"I'm a girl," I countered. "What's your excuse?"
Matt faltered, then closed his mouth, capitulating to me. "When is the interview?"
"Nine," I said, glancing at the clock on the wall. I had a half hour to kill and it wasn't helping that the clock was ticking so slowly.
"You sure you'll be okay?"
"I'll be fine, Matt. It's a crowded clinic and I'll have Sean there to protect me. And if Katrina tries anything there's always Dad to contend with. You know he won't let anything happen to me."
Matt chuckled. "I kind of hope she does try something. Just to see Dad take her down."
I grimaced. "That's mean!"
Matt got up from the table, smirking mischievously. "Good luck, sis."
"Thanks," I said half-heartedly, the nerves suddenly returning now that there was no conversation partner to distract me.
"Call me if you need any more help. You know I'll come running," he advised.
I nodded, but I had no intention of calling Matt if I needed help. We look out for each other and I knew full well he'd drop everything to come to my aid, just like I'd do for him or Paul. But his graduation was in a few days' time and he needed all of the training he could get to finish preparing. And I had Sean to protect me…
When I decided I could avoid it no longer, I finally got dressed and headed to work. Mom let me take the rover.
"In case you need to get out of there fast," she said, handing me the keys with a wink. Then, noting my nervous expression, she reassured me. "Relax, Adelaide. You'll be fine. The clinic is secure and Katrina Coleman hasn't really caused us any trouble since her release. I doubt she'll start now. How's your stomach feeling?"
"Better," I fibbed. I'd told her about my vomiting episode the night prior and she agreed it was likely just the nerves getting the best of me. I neglected to inform her I was still feeling nauseated and that Katrina had been getting a bit creepy with Matt.
"Good," she smiled. "Sean's going to be there, right?"
"And Aunt Zoe works in the clinic too. I asked her to keep an eye out for you. And if you need him, Dad's just a quick phone call away."
"I know, Mom."
"Good luck," she said, sending me off with a hug. I felt like a soldier on the way to a battle.
Sean was already in the clinic when I arrived. He was sitting in the waiting room, a large sonic rifle resting on the seat beside him. He stood up and hugged me when I entered.
"How're you feeling?"
"Not so hot," I admitted to him. "Still a bit nauseated."
"Deep breaths," he counseled. "You've done this before. You've got this."
I breathed in deep but still felt scared. The clock read eight fifty-nine. "Guess I should just get this over with," I sighed.
Sean's hand rested firmly on my shoulder. "I'll be right here with you."
Steeling myself, I entered the little side room where all the psychiatric evaluations were conducted. It was a room smaller than the one I slept in, with a lounge-type chair placed in the center of it, a rolling office chair for me to sit in behind. I grabbed my Plex, took one more deep breath, and sat down. Sean leant against the wall, arms folded, the rifle leaning beside him. I took comfort in the fact that he would be able to keep me safe.
At exactly nine, Katrina filed in looking cheerful. She had gotten tanner since her release, no longer frightfully pale. And being in the real world had done her some good—she wasn't as gaunt as before. From a physical standpoint she was a model of health. I inquired if she had been taking the vitamins I'd prescribed. She politely answered that she was and then seated herself on the lounge chair.
"Okay, Katrina," I said quietly. She turned around to smile at me. It seemed almost…kind. I was unnerved. "The way this works is, I'm going to ask you a few questions and I just want you to answer them honestly for me, okay?" I went through the standard script for pysch eval patients. She nodded her head. "So first, do you have any questions or concerns for me—anything medical or physical?" She shook her head and I made note of it on the form that was displayed on my Plex screen. "Have you felt sad, depressed, or burnt out?" She shook her head again. "Have you ever had the urge to harm yourself?"
"No," Katrina replied.
Though you may have had the urge to harm others, I added in my head. "Have you ever tried to harm yourself and if so, when?"
"Never," Katrina answered calmly.
"Do you have a problem controlling your temper?"
There was a long, hesitant pause. "I suppose you could say that. Sometimes I just get really angry, you know?"
I nodded my head faintly, the nauseous feeling returning. "Do you…do you find that your temper is…more violent when drinking or using medications?"
Katrina laughed. "I'm not a violent drunk, sweetie."
I forced a laugh. "Do you…resent being advised?"
Another pause, this time Katrina appeared a little uncertain for a moment before answering: "No."
The uneasiness was really settling in now, much stronger than before. I briefly looked to Sean, who appeared concerned. "Are you okay?" he whispered as he leant close.
"I'm…not sure," I confessed.
"You look a bit pale," he stated.
"I feel nauseated again…a little faint…I'll be fine."
He nodded but didn't look entirely convinced. Nonetheless, he returned to his position against the wall.
"What's with the armed security forces, hon?" Katrina asked, just noticing Sean's presence. "I'm not that…dangerous am I?" The simple smile looked out of place on her cat-like features.
I was feeling even queasier at this point. "No…it's just that…we're taking…precautions."
"Hon, whatever happened all those years back with your family is behind us now," she smiled at me. And that was it. The dizziness became overwhelming and I felt myself falling, saw Sean rushing to catch me. And then darkness.
I know I probably made a terrible impression at the little get-together last night. But to be fair, if my family had known what I'd been dealing with, they would've understood. Probably. At the very least they would have left me alone. And I did mingle with Dr. Cossack a little. We discussed some obscure flora discovered in the southern hemisphere and I actually felt somewhat intelligent and appreciated. But I heard Mom lamenting to Aunt Zoe that I was 'cutting myself off from everyone' once I went into my room. Thankfully, she didn't mention the little Kyle Dugan secret. Mom's trustworthy like that.
I was still quite shaken. Katrina Coleman, some ex-con who was (as far as I know) at least somewhat dangerous, had approached me, promising to take care of my bullying problem. Initially, I thought she was just making a joke or something but it turns out she was serious. And I went along with it, and now I was a bit scared because she had promised to show me another way to gain their respect.
It started out with a few simple things. She told me how to be manipulative, that no one could be trusted. And to be honest, she's kind of correct. Aside from my family I've quickly learned that anyone who says they want to be your friend is lying. Katrina included. I just haven't figured out what her ulterior motive is yet. I will though, which is why I'm even still bothering with her. I just know she's up to something and as long as she thinks I'm her little star pupil, everything will be fine. She's slippery. I was sitting out on my porch thinking over everything when a familiar, dark-haired head stepped into sight. I immediately recognized Nikita Singh smiling at me.
"Hey, Paul!" she greeted cheerfully, her high-pitched, somewhat nasally voice ringing out as she stepped closer. I stood up and hopped down from the porch.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"Not much," I shrugged, looking down. Nikki is certainly the closest thing I've got to a friend right now but I'm not a hundred percent sure about her either.
"Would you like to come by the lab?" she suggested. "I mean, it's a weekend and all and you look miserably bored."
"I am," I confessed. And besides, I wasn't going to pass up on an opportunity to spend time with my only seemingly-real friend.
"So come on then!" Nikki urged. "Dr. Wallace asked me to categorize insects and it's just no fun without someone to talk to."
I shrugged and followed her. The last time we'd categorized things we had ended up losing track of time. We had discussions about science and history and philosophy and all the things I enjoy but never talk about because people laugh at me.
"You know, I just got this new book on my Plex," Nikki said on the way. "I could show it to you if you'd like. I think you'd enjoy it."
I nodded enthusiastically. "I'd love to take a look."
Dr. Wallace was pleased to see me back.
"I see Miss Singh has convinced you to return," he noted with a proud expression. "Wonderful, then. It's always great to have additional hands in the lab."
I spent the rest of the afternoon talking with Nikki as we fished various dead creepy-crawlies from boxes that were sent to us by scientists in the field. Most of them were monumentally huge, some with colorful wings, others with freakishly pointed teeth. We sorted them first by insect class, then by species. Before I even knew it, it was nearly six o'clock. Time flies when you're having fun…
RECAP: Sean is Adelaide's boyfriend, age twenty-one with sandy hair and brown eyes. He serves in Mark's battalion and is generally well-respected for his good manners and sense of humor. As we've seen, he's very protective of Adelaide and their relationship is sort of a goofy, romantic one. He is more grounded than she is and occasionally has to reign her in or calm her down. We've also learned that the have been physically intimate with one another for some time now and that it hasn't been a very closely guarded secret. Despite this, Adelaide's parents generally approve of him and believe he is beneficial for her.
Words cannot describe the panic I felt when I saw Adelaide start to fall over. I was at her side in seconds, catching her as she slumped off her seat. Katrina had sat up and was looking on concernedly.
"Is she okay?" she asked, her voice eerily serene.
My anger flared up, partially because of how calm she was but mostly because I was holding an unconscious Adelaide in my arms. "You!" I shouted, more forcefully than I intended to. "Look what you've done!"
"Me?" she asked softly. "How did I do this?"
"She was nervous because of what you did to her mother!"
I wasn't sure, but I thought I saw a hint of amusement on Katrina's face that made me even angrier. "Please, dear," she said quietly. "All of that is in the past now. I would never hurt a living creature."
I ignored her appeal, turning my attention to Adelaide. The color was drained off of her face. "Go and get a doctor," I ordered Katrina icily. She seemed to sense my anger and did as I said without question. Seconds later Dr. Tate rushed in. I knew she was Adelaide's aunt but with the number of Shannons working in the clinic it was just easier to refer to her by her maiden name.
"What happened?" she asked, stooping down and slowly prying Adelaide from my arms.
"She just…blacked out," I said lamely. "She was nervous about the evaluation she would be conducting. She was throwing up and stuff." I recalled the previous evening.
Dr. Tate nodded, then glanced coldly to Katrina, who looked away quickly, remaining surprisingly silent. "I don't blame her for being afraid," Dr. Tate said loudly. "She's a criminal after all."
"Oh please! That's all over and done with, my dear," Katrina replied, trying to sound condescending though it came out more fearful than anything.
"Alright, I want to get Adelaide into a Bio-Bed to do some tests—just to make sure nothing else is wrong."
"You may want to go do something else—this could take a while."
"I'm not leaving Adelaide's side," I declared resolutely. Dr. Tate shrugged, then looked to Katrina.
"I'll radio command and ask them to come pick her up. They'll probably want to finish the evaluation someplace else." With that, I stepped outside to radio HQ. Soon after, Privates Carlisle and Kelly came to get Katrina, still oddly unaffected by Adelaide's collapse.
Dr. Shannon, Adelaide's aunt, came into the exam room at the same time I did, evidently the one to be conducting the exam.
"Hi," she greeted pleasantly.
"Hi, Dr. Shannon."
"You look shaken," she noted as she opened several menus on Adelaide's Bio-Bed.
"I was worried!" I defended.
Dr. Shannon smirked. "You're just being a good boyfriend," she said. "Adelaide would be happy to know that." She turned back to the screen and frowned suddenly. "What the hell…?"
I rushed to the side of the bed, glancing over her shoulder and looking at the full-body image. "What is that?"
"I'm going to get my mother!" she declared suddenly, rushing out of the room without providing any answers as to what exactly the image was…
A/N: What's wrong with Adelaide? Can Paul really trust anyone? This and more in the next chapter which will hopefully be up sooner rather than later. This is one of the few TN stories I still have motivation to write for! Please keep this motivation fueled with reviews! Thanks!