fredbassett: (Default)
[personal profile] fredbassett
Title : Silk and Steel, Part 75
Authors : fredbassett & munchkinofdoom
Fandom : Primeval
Characters : Abby, Connor, Nick, Jenny, Helen, Stephen, Lyle, Thomson, Stringer & others
Rating : 18
Disclaimer : Not ours, no money made, don’t sue
Spoilers : None
Summary : The ARC reverberates with the aftershock of Thomson’s actions.
Warning : Slave!fic.
A/N : The links to all previous parts can be found HERE and for convenience, the last part can be found HERE. Captain Thomson appears with kind permission of [ profile] deinonychus_1 and Chris Wilkes appears with kind permission of [ profile] reggietate

Abby watched Thomson’s steady progress across the floor of the atrium and towards the ramp leading up to the first floor, presumably heading for Leek’s office. She could still see the slow, steady drip of blood from Captain Ryan's severed head held firmly in Thomson's hands. She was no stranger to bloodshed; she'd seen plenty of it in her job. Accidents had happened occasionally at the zoo and there had been numerous casualties on anomaly call-outs, but had been something strange about how sluggishly the blood had run when Thomson had lifted up the head....

Movement caught her eye and she saw Nick walking quickly down the ramp towards Thomson. He’d clearly been on his way to see Leek when Thomson had staged his dramatic performance but, to Abby’s amazement, the volatile professor was somehow managing to hold his temper in check, but whether that would last was anyone’s guess.

She found she was holding her breath as the two men drew level. She watched as Nick dragged his horrified gaze away from the object in Thomson’s hands. The Section 42 captain said something too quiet for her to catch and then, his face set in a hard mask, Nick continued on his walk down the ramp.

She closed her eyes in momentary relief. Then a second later they were jerked open again as she heard one of the ADD technicians beginning to gag. She saw Ali Khan jump to his feet, wobbling unsteadily as his legs threatened to give way underneath him. Abby shot out one hand and caught him by the elbow, steadying him as he lurched forward, while Connor threw off his shock-induced lethargy and tried to grab the man’s other elbow.

Khan choked again and desperately covered his mouth with his free hand. He shrugged off Abby's hold and moved forward, his speed picking up as his body began to recover from the shock of the brutal sight that had stunned everyone in the atrium into immobility. Then his left foot caught the edge of the body bag and he overbalanced, landing hard on his knees beside the bag before any of the soldiers could catch him, one hand slapping palm-down in the small pool of blood that had been left. He choked again, then his stomach gave up a clearly unequal struggle and he vomited.

Abby fought her own sudden urge to be sick. All around her, Khan’s actions seemed to have shaken everyone out of their stunned states, and she heard someone sob loudly. Then someone else, further way, began to wail.

A hand rested softly on her shoulder and Abby jumped. Her gaze jerked upward and met the concerned stare of her team leader.

"Breathe, Abby," he whispered urgently. "I need you, girl. Connor needs you."

Abby nodded, swallowed hard, and went to help Connor, who, despite being as white as a sheet, had grabbed Khan by the arm and was busily hauling him to his feet while clearly trying to suppress his own need to throw up. She kept her attention firmly away from the body-bag and the obscene contents that had been Khan’s undoing. Between them, Abby and Connor got him seated again in front of the ADD, staring at the screens rather than at anything else.

Nick spoke urgently behind her, pulling at her attention. She could barely make out his words to the soldiers. God, she thought, please don't make it worse.

Connor’s eyes met hers and for a moment she thought he was going to lose his composure as well. She leaned forward and touched Connor softly on the shoulder.

"It'll be okay, Conn," she whispered. "Nick will take care of us."

He looked at her incredulously but took his cue from her, as Abby had hoped he would. Connor even managed to pull out a grubby handkerchief from his pocket, thrusting it at Khan with a muttered, “Here, mate, spit in this and keep watching those screens.”

Connor slipped his free hand into hers and gripped her fingers hard, the wool of his fingerless gloves feeling strangely comforting amidst a world that appeared to have taken a rapid descent into even bloodier madness than they were already accustomed to.

"What do we do now?" Connor whispered.

"We get you two out of this bloody madhouse," Nick said, coming up behind them.

"We can't leave Ali," Connor blurted.

A soldier came forward, someone that Abby didn't recognise. He took Khan's arm with more care than Abby expected from one of Thomson's soldiers. "I'll take care of him, Miss," he said.

"No, we can't just leave him here." Connor's voice rose and Abby looked helplessly at Nick.

"He’s coming with us,” Nick calmly told the soldier. “Come on," he repeated. With a firm nod to Abby, he took hold of Connor's arm and pushed him toward the doors leading out into the corridor.

"What about the soldiers?" Abby asked.

"I've cleared it with Lyle," Nick said grimly as he continued to steer Connor through the doors. He seemed to trust Abby to stay with them.

"Where's Stephen?" she asked, suddenly concerned.

He turned briefly to look at Abby. ”We’ll worry about Stephen when I’ve got you three out of here,” Nick said firmly. “We’re going to the recreation room now, no argument.”

Abby nodded tiredly. It was as good a sanctuary as any in the ARC. She let her mind close down for the moment, focussing on nothing more than Nick's feet in front of her, and walked. She didn't care where they were going, just as long as it was away from Thomson, the executioner, or any visual reminders of Ryan's death. She could feel anger begin to well up inside of her but she ruthlessly pushed it down and kept walking.

* * * * *

Lyle watched as Nick Cutter took charge of his team. He didn’t know what Thomson had said to Cutter on the ramp, but whatever it was had been effective. There had been no repetition of the professor’s angry outburst in the lower corridor immediately after Ryan’s death and Lyle was thankful for that. They were all going to need to keep calm now, including Cutter. The whole place felt like a giant pile of dry wood, ready to be ignited by nothing more than a spark.

He bent down and quickly pulled up the zip on the black plastic body bag, hiding the horror it contained. A high-pitched scream from the first floor told him that Thomson had now reached Leek’s outer office with his grisly burden and had no doubt managed to scare some other poor fucker shitless, quite possibly literally. Someone was going to have to dispense a lot of hot sweet tea to make up for that little stunt. The scream hadn’t come from Lorraine Wickes, Lyle was sure about that. He sometimes wondered what it would take to make her lose her cool. If the appearance of a severed head hadn’t succeeded, he very much doubted anything would.

A flurry of activity on the first floor caught his attention and he looked up in time to see Lorraine ushering out one of the other secretaries. The woman looked like she was struggling to draw breath.

“Oh shit, she’s asthmatic,” Chris Wilkes said heavily. The medic glanced at Lyle and received a quick nod. “I’ll deal with this one, mate,” Wilkes muttered to Ditzy as he headed up the ramp at speed.

Lyle glanced at both Ditzy and Blade, who’d been helping him and Wilkes to carry Ryan’s body though the atrium to the garage when they'd been interrupted by Thomson. Ditzy was splattered with too much blood for any poor bugger to find him a comforting sight and Blade was no better, having already calmly wiped the blood off his Fairbairn Sykes onto his combat trousers before sheathing it again, his face an expressionless mask in which green eyes gleamed like broken emeralds. Blade didn’t do emotion on duty, not even when he’d handed his knife to Thomson, knowing full well what was about to happen next.

In spite of the fact that he felt like a mule had just kicked him in the guts, Lyle had to admire Thomson’s flair for improvisation. The Section 42 captain had managed to create a diversion of monumental proportions. From what Lyle had seen in the past of government executioners, it would take a stunt like that to distract the man from demanding an immediate substitute in the Punishment Room. Once Lyle’s initial shock at the sight of Ryan’s bloodied body in the corridor had subsided, it had been replaced by a combination of anger at the risk Ditzy and Wilkes had taken to save their captain from an ignominious death and concern for the likelihood of retribution.

He grabbed hold of the body bag at the top end and heaved it up, while at the other end, Ditzy and Blade did the same. Joel Stringer came quickly to his side to take part of the weight.

“Jon?” The question was asked quietly, but Lyle could see the concern in Stringer’s dark eyes.

“Peachy, mate, fucking peachy,” Lyle muttered.

Carefully avoiding the unappetizing mixture of blood and vomit on the white tiled floor, the four soldiers started to carry what was left of Ryan’s body out of the atrium. Lyle looked up to the first floor again in time to see James Lester striding purposefully back towards Leek’s office, with one of the guards following quickly behind him, the two men no doubt drawn back by the commotion in the main command centre of the ARC.

Stringer quickly let go of the body bag with one hand and thumbed his radio to the open channel used by the security team. “King, for fuck’s sake stop him! He’s not going to like what he sees in there!”

The guard reached out to grasp Lester’s arm. Lyle watched as Lester shrugged him off and marched through into the outer office. Stringer swore creatively under his breath, apparently accusing King’s mother of infidelity with a goat, if Lyle had heard him correctly.

“We can take it from here, Joel,” Lyle said quickly. “You sort everyone else out.” It was clear someone needed to get a grip on the rapidly deteriorating situation and Stringer could always be relied on to avert a crisis.

The captain nodded and let Lyle take the full weight of his end of the body bag. As Stringer jog-trotted up the ramp, Lyle heard him giving the order, “Lockdown, I repeat, lockdown! Security to escort all non-operational personnel to their work quarters immediately. This applies to anyone below the level of section head.” Then in typical Stringer fashion he added, “And do it fucking quickly! The show’s over for the day. I want this fucking place as quiet as a mouse with its head up its own arsehole in less than five minutes!”

Lyle grinned. Stringer could be as subtle as a brick in a sock at times, but he was right. Staff having hysterics in the corridor was a recipe for disaster and they didn’t want this little story getting out of the building before Jenny had a chance to work her PR magic, or should that be voodoo? Lyle was never quite sure where the immaculate Ms Lewis was concerned. She would take care of staff issues and it was up to Thomson to contain whatever was happening in Lester’s – Leek’s – office. In the meantime, he and the rest of the lads had jobs to do. They could get hammered later, but for now, it was business as usual.

* * * * *

Jenny Lewis watched as black-uniformed security guards and soldiers moved swiftly through the ARC in response to Stringer’s declaration of a lockdown. Standing by the rail on the first floor, she’d had the equivalent of the Royal Box from which to watch Thomson’s display. She’d struggled to keep the contents of her stomach down as he’d marched up the stairs with Ryan’s head held in front of him in both hands. The reactions of the secretaries in the outer office had been predictable. One had promptly gone into hysterics whilst in contrast, the ever-reliable Lorraine had simply set her mouth in a hard line and done her best to get the other woman out of the room as fast as possible before she added to the mess the cleaners would have to deal with. Chris Wilkes now had her propped up against the wall taking deep breaths from her inhaler.

The atrium itself was awash with blood and vomit, not that she blamed Khan for his reaction. Whatever was now happening in Leek’s office was not something she could interfere with, but there were staff that needed her attention. Falling into step with one of the guards, Jenny started a sweep of the main administration corridor and from there made her way down to the lower floor where soldiers and guards were already taking matters in hand.

She saw Professor Butterfield being ushered into an empty office by Annie Morris and noticed the wet patch on the front of the man’s trousers. It looked like he’d had a good view of Thomson’s antics as well, with predictable results. She’d had to deal with enough complaints about abuse of power from the man’s staff in the past to find it hard to muster any sympathy for him so she left Annie to deal with him and moved on to more deserving cases.

A few minutes later, Annie joined her in the corridor and said quietly, “Well, that was unexpected.”

It was unusual to see Annie without Blade as her shadow, but Jenny presumed he was still with Ryan’s body. Lyle and his men had amazed her by their calm acceptance of Thomson’s actions in the atrium. It made her wonder quite what horrors lurked in their backgrounds if they were able to take a stunt like that in their stride.

Jenny surprised herself by managing a smile. “That’s one way of putting it.” She stared around at a now-empty corridor. It looked like they were winning the war on hysteria.

“Where’s Nick?” Annie asked.

“I saw him taking Abby and Connor into the recreation room,” Jenny replied. They’d not been close enough to speak, but Jenny had been pleasantly surprised to see that Nick had kept calm and was busy attending to his own people without getting involved in whatever was going on with the executioner.

“So who else do we need to worry about?” Annie asked. “I haven’t seen Helen while all this has been going on…”

“Stephen…” Jenny said quickly. “He wasn’t in the atrium. Don’t tell me that bloody woman has…” One of Thomson’s men was coming towards them down the corridor, talking into his radio. “Have you seen Stephen Hart?” Jenny demanded.

“In the Biology Labs a few minutes ago, I think, ma’am,” the soldier replied. “With Dr Cutter.”

“That fucking bitch is a menace!” Jenny exploded, to the man’s evident surprise.

Jenny had long since perfected the art of making rapid progress in four-inch heels, taking the nearby stairs two at a time, with Annie Morris only a pace behind her.

They burst through the door of the laboratory in time to hear Stephen Hart say loudly, “Jesus Christ, Helen, a man has just died. Surely even you can’t find that sexually arousing?” His voice was loaded with scorn and it was clear that he was not prepared to let the woman intimidate him.

Giving Stephen ten out of ten for composure in the face of adversity, Jenny declared, “Stephen, just the person we were looking for. Nick wants you. Annie will take you to him. If we get a call-out now, I want to make sure the field team is capable of a coherent response.” Jenny treated Helen to a bright smile. “I’d appreciate your assistance in dealing with the science teams, Helen. You are, after all, Chief Science Officer," she added archly.

Helen rolled her eyes. “I don’t tolerate hysterics.”

“Then find someone to slap,” Jenny retorted. “There are plenty of candidates.”

Turning her back on Helen was never something she enjoyed doing, but with a final wholly false smile at the other woman, Jenny made what she hoped was a suitably stylish exit.

Date: 2012-04-11 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's all fabulous but this just made me snort my coffee:

Helen rolled her eyes. “I don’t tolerate hysterics.”

“Then find someone to slap,” Jenny retorted. “There are plenty of candidates.”

Date: 2012-04-12 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*g* Jenny is definitely a match for Helen any day, even on one like this.

Date: 2012-04-11 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well done, Jenny!

I need some hot sweet tea now. That was a gruesome image, even if it wasn't Ryan's head. *g*

Date: 2012-04-12 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*offers you a restorative cup of tea*

Date: 2012-04-11 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooo-er, missus! Strong stuff! :-)

I'm glad Nick kept it together this time. And yay! for Jenny, too. Great chapter.

Date: 2012-04-12 06:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nick has finally realised he needs to be the one helping to hold things together.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2012-04-12 07:41 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2012-04-12 08:20 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] - Date: 2012-04-12 08:26 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2012-04-11 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay for Jenny. And bloody hell, I was reading this ep through my fingers, even though I knew Ryan was safe!

Date: 2012-04-12 06:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL, I suspect we wouldn't have survived this chapter if we hadn't made it clear Ryan was still alive.

Date: 2012-04-11 03:24 pm (UTC)
ext_27141: (Jenny)
From: [identity profile]
That was intense, and completely riveting!

Date: 2012-04-12 06:56 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-11 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are just determined to make me suffer on the issue of Lester seeing Ryan alive and in full possession of his head aren't you?! Witch!

*mutters impatiently* is it next week yet? *taps paw on floor in most annoying manner possible*

Date: 2012-04-12 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Um, yeah... er.... mebbe....

*hides from the ire of the puppy*

Date: 2012-04-11 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh that was good. I'm glad there are a few people who have managed to keep a level head while all that was going on. The Nick, Abby, and Connor part was spot on perfection at the beginning of this chapter. LOVED it.

I was worried for Stephen as my immediate thought when Abby asked about him was HELEN! Good on Jenny and Annie for the rescue. :-D

MAN! Even knowing that it's not really Ryan (And I forgot to mention how perceptive Abby was with the blood being sluggish ;-) ) that was freaking gruesome. I don't think I'd ever want to see someone taking a knife and forcibly removing someone's head. That's just... *Shudders*

You laydees are brilliant. I had no want of imagery there. I have a very clear picture of exactly how disgusting everything looked and smelled in that atrium. BRAVO!

Date: 2012-04-12 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was one of the chapters that we each wrote bits of and then stitched them all together at the end. It took a while to get it right, so I'm glad it worked.

Date: 2012-04-11 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great chapter! (even better since I know it wasn't Ryan's head)

Date: 2012-04-12 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*g* We probably wouldn't have escaped the pitchforks if that hadn't been clear.

Date: 2012-04-11 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What a fab, if gruesome, episode!

Love everybody's reactions to it - and typical for bloody Helen to take the opportunity to harass Stephen. Go Jenny!

Date: 2012-04-12 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's S&S, it's bound to be gruesome!

Date: 2012-04-11 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was so atmospheric and exciting!

Date: 2012-04-12 06:59 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-11 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This story is completely amazing

Date: 2012-04-12 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

Date: 2012-04-11 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eek, even though it isn't really Ryan. Lots of atmosphere and Thomson really goes for the dramatic.

And Helen just had to use it for trying it on with Stephen. Bad Helen.

Go Jenny! Love her calmness and determination to look out for everyone.

Poor Lester, even knowing that isn't really Ryan, it's going to be a terrible shock for him.


Date: 2012-04-12 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh yes, Thomson has rather a theatrical flair when he wants to shock.

Date: 2012-04-12 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good Lord! Leave to Helen, that bitch! But Jenny to the rescue . . again! lol Poor Jenny is going to have to upgrade her CV to include keeping horny bitches in line and collared employee out of her clutches! Loved the detail and that you calmed Cutter down so he could see to his people. sooo, I suppose we have to wait until next Wednesday for the next update? Yeah, I was afraid of that. . .sigh . .patient Penny, that's me . .

Date: 2012-04-12 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Helen does like to choose her moments!

Date: 2012-04-12 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Have I mentioned how much I love Jenny! She can handle Helen like no one else. Thats a girl fight I'd pay to watch. So glad she saved Stephen from a fate worse than the whip. But*hugs* poor Lester even knowing that its not his 'Ryan' the visual would still be heart breaking.

Date: 2012-04-12 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oooh, that's a great icon!

Jenny is fun when she's taking on Helen.

Date: 2012-04-12 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is such an epic epic!

Date: 2012-04-12 07:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks. I think it's still probably the longest single fic in the fandom.

Date: 2012-04-12 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've become such a mad fan of this series.

Date: 2012-04-12 08:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's nice to know, thanks.

Date: 2012-04-12 09:46 am (UTC)
fififolle: (Primeval - Ryan *ewk*)
From: [personal profile] fififolle
Oh Helen, eww. I can't believe how cool Stringer and the others are, they are my heroes! I hope Lester keeps his cool too! Brilliant chapter!

Date: 2012-04-12 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Keeping cool is very necessary in this universe!

Date: 2012-04-13 04:39 am (UTC)
celeste9: (primeval: team)
From: [personal profile] celeste9
This was all rather unsettling, even knowing what we know. Great look at the aftermath through different characters and hooray for Jenny again putting Helen in her place! Poor Stephen needing to be saved again, but it does look like he was doing all right on his own!

Date: 2012-04-13 09:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Stephen certainly wasn't in the mood for Helen's games.

Date: 2012-04-13 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, definitely not an easy day at the ARC.
Helen seems to be a very twisted woman if she can think of sex after a dead man's head was severed and carried around the ARC.

Date: 2012-04-13 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This Helen has scant regard for life, her attitude to the clones demonstrated that.

Date: 2012-04-13 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cutting Ryan's head off is such a Thomson thing to do, I think. I love the way you write the team's different reactions to the extreme events & Jenny dealing with Helen.
But I think the team have a long way to go before they're safe.

Date: 2012-04-13 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, it was a very Thomson action.

Date: 2012-04-15 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ewwwww at the image of Thomson with Ryan's head. Meep for lots of things, and yey for lots of people being calm and looking after each other.

I still suspect this going to get worse and more complicated before it gets better, though.

Although actually, at the momnent, I'm mostly worried for Lester.

Date: 2012-04-16 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suspect it's fair to say that it wasn't one of Lester's better days. *nods*

Date: 2012-05-02 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is one incredible saga!

Love how everyone watches everyone else's back - but meep for Stephen smarting off to Helen! He's collared and she's vindictive!

And yay for Jenny to the rescue *g*

Date: 2012-05-02 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jenny and Helen are definitely well-matched, but my money would be on Jenny.

Date: 2012-05-09 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL for Helen and Jenny and the slapping!
And Thomson's really made a meal of that! You had fun with that head didn't you?! *g*

Date: 2012-05-09 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*g* Yep, I had way, way too much fun with the head.

Date: 2012-11-28 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow! Go Jenny & Annie, taking charge and smacking Helen down!

But Lester... *wibbles*

Date: 2012-11-28 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Helen certainly needed a smackdown.

Date: 2014-08-14 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Oh, the head. Of course, once you're dead, you're dead, but desecrating a body like that is so very awful. I think I'm in shock too. The different reactions felt very real - but it's good to see how the team works together.
Trust Helen to have her mind on the important things in life!
Broken emeralds is a gorgeous image.
(Spotted that subtly worked in pissing image!)

Date: 2014-08-15 09:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really couldn't resist the bit with the head. It was utterly horrible, but gave rise to some responses that were really great to explore. I also had huge fun with Thomson all the way through this part of the plot arc.

(*g* Busted!)


fredbassett: (Default)

April 2017

23 45678


Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 20th, 2017 06:05 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios