Warning: Character death.
"I know," she said. "Change the rules."
But Myka didn't listen. She moved her bishop instead of her pawn.
It was the most horrible sound Helena had ever heard, the sound of the gears turning and grinding against each other. Then the inevitable fall of the blade. She would have jumped right underneath the blade if she could move but the bloody whip was controlling her.
The next thing she knew, Pete was slapping the gun out of her hand and Sykes diverted the whip towards him. Unfortunately, Pete had grabbed the gun by then and Sykes made him point it at her.
But she didn't care. She just walked right up to Sykes.
Pete shot her. Funny thing. She didn't feel the pain. She heard the loud bang. She felt the blow as the bullet hit her abdomen. But she didn't feel the pain. So she kept on walking.
Sykes looked terrified as she stood before him. At least she thought it was terror that drained all the color from his face. Her hands clamped on his neck and just kept on squeezing until all signs of life in his eyes were gone.
While everyone else was distracted by the blade splitting Myka's head into two, he struck H.G.'s arm and caught the gun as it was flying in the air. But too late, Sykes was already controlling him with that damned whip and he found himself pointing the gun at H.G.
But it didn't matter. At least not to H.G. She kept moving towards Sykes.
"Sykes," Pete said, "you just killed someone she loves. Do you think a bullet can stop her from killing you?"
"Let's see, shall we?" Sykes said.
That infuriating smirk on his face was quickly wiped off when his stomach started bleeding. He looked so confused as he clutched on his wound.
Pete was immediately freed from his hold.
But all that commotion didn't stop H.G. from going for Sykes' neck. Pete just watched as she strangled him. He was a dead man anyway with or without H.G.'s help. If H.G. wasn't squeezing all the life out of him, Pete would have let him bleed to death.
It wasn't H.G.'s fault. He knew that. He wasn't a big fan of chess but he knew which pieces were which. Myka moved the bishop when H.G. told her to move the pawn. If she hadn't done that, maybe she'd still be alive.
But how can you be angry at someone who was dead? So Pete channeled all his anger towards H.G.
H.G. was reinstated as a Warehouse agent. Pete told the Regents that Sykes died because of the gunshot. That he pried H.G.'s hands from Sykes' neck and stopped her from strangling him to death. The coroner's report supported his claim. The phantom bullet hit a vital organ and Sykes had stopped breathing while H.G. was strangling him.
The Regents made her his partner. The official reason was that they still couldn't trust her. So they made Pete, a senior agent, her babysitter instead of Claudia or Jinks. But the truth was Pete requested for H.G. to be his partner, just so he could berate her during missions. She didn't just take it, she'd argue back. There was a lot of yelling between them during missions. But if something went wrong, it was always her fault, not his. She would always take responsibility and let Artie yell at her.
Pete didn't feel an ounce of guilt or responsibility for that. She deserved it. If she had died like she was supposed to, Myka wouldn't have been too eager to save her and Sykes' plan would have fizzled. It was all her fault.
Pete stabbed her during breakfast one morning. She didn't have a fork and she saw that Pete had an extra fork so she politely asked him if she could have it. Instead of passing it through Claudia, he threw it at her and it landed on her hand.
They argued as usual. She mostly just screamed, "You stabbed me!"
And he kept saying, "I didn't throw it that hard."
She finally ended it with, "Well, it isn't that bad. I think I can still hold a gun."
"Great," Pete said. "See you outside in ten? I need to change. Your blood is all over my shirt."
"You shouldn't let him treat you like that," Claudia said when Pete was out of sight.
Claudia brought her to the kitchen and washed her wound at the sink. Then she squinted at her hand.
"I think it needs more than some bandage," she said.
"Darling, I lived in Victorian England," said Helena. "We slap old rags on our injuries and tie it off with some more old rags."
"Nice try," Claudia said, drying Helena's hand with a towel. "Suturing existed since Ancient Egypt."
"Yes, but we didn't have the nice drugs you have now so we didn't bother with small cuts such as this."
"Why though?" Claudia asked.
"I imagine it's because mankind cannot think fast enough."
"No," said Claudia. "I meant, why do you let Pete treat you like his personal punching bag?"
"He needs someone to be angry with," Helena answered.
"But you do too."
"Yes, but I killed the man who took away Myka with my bare hands. Pete was not as lucky as me."
It was H.G.'s underwear that saved them. Myka had taken the Corsican Vest and modified it into a camisole. Pete remembered Myka pulling Emily Lake into her bedroom before they rushed off to the basement parking. She must have told Emily to wear the camisole then.
There was a crude sex joke in there somewhere but lately, nothing seemed funny to Pete anymore. Not even the Sunday morning cartoons.
They couldn't access Emily Lake with the sphere alone. Unlike H.G., Emily wasn't real so it wasn't able to project her consciousness like it did with H.G. But there were traces of her memories in the Janus Coin and Claudia was able to extract them.
It turned out Myka found out how to use Emily as a recording device.
"Hi everyone," Myka said. "If you're watching this, it means my plan worked which is great because you have no idea how many times I've done this. So, you don't have to worry about the whole dying young thing because it feels like thirty years have passed. She took a deep breath and continued, "I just need to say two things. One, it's nobody's fault. And two, please don't try to bring me back. Swapping one life for three is a pretty good deal. Don't mess that up." And with a final smile, she said, "Thank you."
They decided that time travel was out of the question. They had both tried to change the past before. It didn't work out as they wanted. So they went with the next option.
They didn't take it lightly. They did a lot of research to ensure that Myka did not come back evil or a zombie or any other bad outcome they could think of.
Today was the day that they were going to bring her back.
Artie, Claudia and Steve were all out of town solving cases while she and Pete were told to do inventory. They had an argument last night. It was staged at first but it didn't seem to bother anyone. They had had too many arguments as of late that the fights had become white noise to everyone living at the inn.
So she decided to make it real.
"You know, it was as much your fault as it was mine," she said.
Pete shook his head. "What?" he asked. "What are you talking about?"
"Come on, Pete," she said. "It's always about her, isn't it?"
"Stop," said Pete. He knew what she was trying to do.
"When we fight, it isn't about a case or an artifact or whose turn it is to feed Pete. It's about her."
"Stop," he repeated, glaring at her.
Claudia and Steve had gone quiet. She finally got their attention. Even Leena came out of the kitchen to watch.
"You blame me because if I was dead, she would still be alive. But whose fault is that exactly?"
"Stop!" he exclaimed.
"Who was the one who failed to destroy the Janus Coin?"
He charged towards her. The pace at which he was moving told her that he was about to shove her. But he stopped himself by grabbing hold of her shoulders.
"You didn't deserve it," he said. "You betrayed her trust. You broke her heart. But she still went out of her way to save you. You didn't deserve it."
Later, Artie was called.
"Clearly, you two have issues with each other," Artie yelled as he usually would. "Until you work out those issues, you will not be doing anymore missions."
They protested half-heartedly. By then, they couldn't even look at each other's face, let alone argue to spend more time in life threatening situations together.
Helena would do anything to get Myka back, even it meant picking on the healing wounds of her relationship with Pete.
H.G. didn't really like the method that they had chosen. She liked scienc-y artifacts. Not one based on magic. But this was their safest bet.
Myka won't turn evil using this artifact. Or a zombie. He really didn't want to bring Myka back only to have to shoot her in the head.
It was some fifteenth century witch's book of spells. They even had to make a potion with ingredients that looked suspiciously similar to the ones for fudge. It was important that they follow the instructions in the book for a resurrection spell and say the words while touching the book. Without the book, they'd just get fudge and without the "potion" and spell, they'd get nothing.
They also had to perform the ritual at Myka's grave because her body was there and they didn't want Myka to wake up in a coffin and try to claw her way out like in Kill Bill.
They were just about to open the coffin when Claudia showed up. They thought she was the cemetery caretaker. They couldn't see her at first since she shone her flashlight directly into their eyes.
It was when she said, "I'm hurt that you guys didn't invite me to Myka's resurrection party. I thought we were friends," that they knew it was her.
"Claudia, you shouldn't be here," Pete said to her. "How did you even know that we're here?"
"The two of you never talk about Myka, especially with each other. When you had that fight yesterday, I put a tracker on Pete's car." She clapped her hands, "So, are we going to do this or what?"
"No, Claudia," H.G. said. "Pete and I have discussed this at length. We know what we are getting ourselves into."
"You mean a lifetime of bad luck?" Claudia asked. "I knew that. Come on, let's do this."
"Look, we know you want to help," Pete said. "But we'd rather do this without you. Myka's going to kill us when she finds out how we brought her back and we're fine with that. But if you're involved too, she's not going to kill you. She's going to kill us. And that means she's going to kill us twice."
"Okay. I don't have to suffer Myka's wrath. Doesn't really make me want to do it less."
"Claudia!" H.G. suddenly exclaimed. "Leave, now."
"Why? Because it's fine for you to carry a lifetime of bad luck? But it's not okay for me? You're a Warehouse agent, for god's sake. You're making it easier for yourself to get killed. And do you think that your bad luck won't affect Myka? She's going to be on missions with either of you. Who's to say she's not going to jump in front of a bus that is headed for you because of your bad mojo? I mean she's clearly never done that before. Right?"
Pete had never thought of that. He can take care of himself. He won't let his luck control his life. But if there was a chance that he could endanger the people around him…
"Then I will quit," H.G. said. "If it means getting Myka back, then I will quit."
"H.G.," Claudia said, walking towards H.G., "don't you understand? You," she pointed at H.G., "won't be getting her back. You'll have to stay away from her. In fact, you'll have to stay away from any of us. Do you really think that would make Myka happy?"
H.G. laughed dryly, "It has been done before."
Claudia was still trying to convince them not to perform the spell. And it seemed to be working on Pete. Helena can sense his growing doubt from the way he was digging a hole with his foot.
"I can't imagine it happening to Steve or Joshua," Claudia said. "For all I know, I'd probably be doing the same thing but I know you two will stop me because we've seen it too many times how an artifact can destroy countless lives. I mean, look at us. Myka saved us and it's great but she's also left us with so much pain that we are considering doing something that we know is wrong. Something that we try to stop from happening every day."
"But," Helena said. "What if it was me? I can't bear the thought of Myka sacrificing herself to save me. Pete was right. I don't deserve it."
Pete kicked the dirt that was covering his foot, chuckling. "Don't flatter yourself." Then he took the book and tore out the page where the spell was written. He fished out a lighter from his pocket and burned it.
A week after the incident at the cemetery, H.G. came up to him.
"I don't think I can do this anymore," she said to him. "The Warehouse has taken so much from me. My child. My morals," she chuckled. "Yes, there was a time when I was quite righteous. And my…" she hesitated, "…Myka. This place is poison."
The next day, she disappeared.
Pete followed suit five years later. He met a girl. Green eyes. Curly hair. Almost as tall as him. He never told her about the Warehouse. He can't even if he wanted to since he made Kelly his 'one'. The moment that he was sure that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, he sent in his resignation letter to Mrs Frederic.
On the tenth anniversary of Myka's death, he visited her grave. He wasn't the first person who came to visit. There were fresh flowers resting on the tombstone and a familiar locket next to it. He opened the locket. Instead of a picture of a little girl, there was a picture of Myka in it. And engraved on the empty side was, 'My Love'.