Almost as soon as the car stopped, Pete flew out of the car, taking a neutralizer bag and some gloves that nearly fell out of his pocket and the artefact. Swerving around the people walking by, he ran as fast as he could up to the door of the bookshop.
"Pete! Slow down!" he heard David call from behind him.
Pete took no notice of him and proceeded to knock on the door as loud as he could. Almost a few seconds later, it opened to reveal Myka's mother, Jeannie…he was lucky to remember her name.
"Pete! What a nice surprise! What are you doing here? Is Myka with you?" she asked, looking over his shoulder.
"Uhmm…about that…" Pete started. She understood almost immediately. Her shoulders sagged and the smile faded from her face quickly.
"She was affected by an artefact, but we have reasons to believe that she'll be here soon," Pete explained.
"An artefact?" Jeannie asked.
"Yup. A Winnie the Pooh one. It takes you to an animated version of the Winnie the Pooh tales and then it drops you back at a spot which has some sort of connection to you as a child."
"Ahh. So you came here, naturally."
"Well, come inside then. We'll have to explain to her father what's going on," she said, waving her hand. Then she looked past Pete again and seemed to notice David only just then.
"Who's this?" she asked politely.
"Well, this is David. He was affected by the artefact that Myka was…"
"Oh. Oh right, yes. Please, come in."
She held the door open a little wider and Pete and David slipped into the bookstore. He noticed it hadn't changed much in the past few months; it still had that same dusty, old style that Pete knew Myka loved. It just made him even more certain that Myka would turn up here.
"Hey…Pete!" he heard a voice say from in front of him. He craned his neck around the corner of a shelf and saw Myka's dad, Warren, sitting in a big armchair with a book sitting in his lap.
"Hello!" Pete greeted, giving him a little wave.
"Since you're here, Myka must be here! Where is she?" he asked excitedly. Pete ducked his head and Jeannie cleared her throat.
"Oh, no…please don't tell me…"
"She was affected by…by…umm…one of the things you were affected by," she explained. Pete could almost hear the disappointment and sorrow leach out of Warren. He was scared to look up.
"So, why are you here?" Warren asked bluntly.
"Well, the artefact is designed to bring you to a place which has something to do with your past," Pete said, "and I have a feeling that she's gonna end up here."
"Who's the kid behind you?"
Before Pete could answer, he noticed a bright light emitting from the window behind him. He turned around and squinted, and he felt…something. Pete had a good vibe.
"I think…" he started, but then the light flashed even brighter and Pete covered his eyes. When it died down, he looked and saw a figure floating by the window. Myka.
"MYKES!" he screamed, and he bolted down towards the front door, closely followed by David, Jeannie and Warren, who flew out of his seat. He threw the front door open and ran to the side. Myka was lying on the ground, her eyes closed.
"Oh god," he heard David mutter, and Pete threw himself to her side, picking her up in his arms and whispering her name.
"Myka…Myka…can you hear me? Myka!" he said, shaking her. He heard Jeannie gasp in shock, but he kept his eyes on his partner.
"Myka…come on…wake up!" he insisted. With shaking hands, he rested his fingers on her neck and tried to get a pulse. It took a few times, but eventually he got one, beating evenly and slowly.
"Myka…I know you can hear me. Come on, just need to open your eyes!" he said loudly, holding onto her a little more tightly. He felt relief wash over him as he saw her eyes flutter open, her stare turning to him.
"Pete…?" she muttered weakly.
"It's okay. You're safe," he sighed.
With a shock, he quickly grabbed the Roo toy before it could disappear and brought out the Kanga toy. He placed them next to each other and watched. Nothing happened for a few seconds, but then the toys turned and faced each other, and held up their palms. Pete moved back a little and encouraged the others to do so as the two artefacts began to glow bright yellow and then the light exploded and cascaded rays everywhere. Sparks flew for a few seconds and Pete once again covered his eyes.
Suddenly the light stopped, and Pete opened his eyes. There were now two artefacts standing next to each other, looking as innocent as two toys could ever look.
"It's over," Pete muttered.
"Pete…" he heard Myka say softly. He turned to her.
"Thank you," she whispered, her voice barely audible. Then her eyes closed and her body became limp. She had passed out.
Pete looked up at the others. David, Jeannie and Warren were all standing there, looking exhausted but relieved.
"It's over," Pete repeated, so now everyone could hear.
"Did you get the artefacts?" Artie asked Pete over the Farnsworth.
"Yep. Snagged and bagged. Just need to tag it and we're done," Pete exclaimed.
"She's okay. Resting up in hospital. Although I'll doubt she'll be able to walk for a few days. We'll spend a few days here."
"Ahh yes. Good."
"Um…Artie?" Pete asked.
"Is there any particular reason why you weren't answering your Farnsworth?"
Artie swallowed a lump that gathered in his throat. "Well, we had a bit of artefact trouble. It's fine now, though."
"Are Claudia and Jinks okay?"
"Yep. Fine as well. Although Jinks might have accidentally scared her and knocked her out. I'll tell you the full story when you get back from Colorado Springs."
"Looking forward to it."
Artie hung up and smiled to himself. The artefacts were bagged, and the agents were fine. Nothing to worry about.
He heard voices coming down the stairs and he turned back to his computer, making himself appear busy. The voices became louder and he could now understand that they were arguing about something.
Well, at least he hoped there was nothing to worry about.
Claudia and Jinks finally got to his room and seemed to be in argument about the dog, Trailer.
"Artie! Could you please tell Claudia that it's her time to feed him, and not mine?" Jinks argued.
"No! I fed him yesterday!" Claudia rebutted. "It's your turn!"
"What? I fed him yesterday!" Jinks complained.
"Enough!" Artie demanded, and the agents both shut their mouths.
"You're both wrong. I fed the dog yesterday, because both of you forgot to feed him!" he said.
Claudia and Jinks both said nothing. "One of you, feed him in about ten minutes!"
"I'll do it," Claudia said grumpily, and she slowly walked away. Then she stopped, retraced her steps and turned to Artie.
"Did Pete and Myka get the artefacts?" she asked.
"Yes, they did. Although Myka's going to be in hospital for a few days, since she was affected badly. They'll be back in a few days," Artie explained. Claudia breathed a sigh of relief.
"So, what do we do in the meantime?" Jinks asked.
"Simple. More inventory. And remember to feed the dog," he grumbled, turning back to his computer.
"Really, Artie? More inventory?!" Claudia complained.
"Haven't we had enough already to last us… I don't know…a week?" Jinks joined in.
"I know! It's unfair!"
"I'd much rather do chores now."
Claudia and Jinks proceeded to walk away from Artie discussing all the things they would rather do. Well, that was easy, he thought. Now he had more time to himself. Enjoying the peace and quiet.
Well, while it lasted.
So…the artefacts are neutralized, and all the chaos is over. The last few chapters will probably just be a wind down, set in the hospital with Pete and Myka, and then the very last one with them back at the Warehouse. I'll be posting one, maybe two more. And also with the dog, I can't remember what gender it was but I have a 'vibe' it was male, but I could very much be wrong. Please correct me if I am. Thank you all so much for the views, reviewing, favourites and follows, like always. See ya next week!