fredbassett: (Default)
[personal profile] fredbassett
Title : Silk and Steel, Part 88
Authors : fredbassett & munchkinofdoom
Fandom : Primeval
Characters : Thomson, Lorraine, Stringer, Blade, Annie, Nick, Stephen, Leek, Lyle, Connor
Rating : 18
Disclaimer : Not ours, no money made, don’t sue
Spoilers : None
Summary : The ARC isn’t the only place to have come under attack.
Warning : Slave!fic.
A/N : The links to all previous parts can be found HERE. Captain Thomson appears by courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] deinonychus_1.

8.35am. The Atrium. Anomaly Research Centre.

Thomson stared at the computer screen showing the news channel while Connor and Ali Khan did their best to withstand the cyber-attack being mounted on the ARC’s computer systems.

Lorraine Wickes had arrived a few moments ago and had promptly been co-opted into helping to run systems checks. While Connor tried to close down every hole that had been punched through the defences, she was doing her best to help Khan analyse the information on the anomalies that had been opening and closing with monotonous regularity over the last few hours.

“There was one in Cambridge at 7.30am,” she said in an almost preternaturally calm voice. She looked up at the computer screen still showing the news footage from outside the Cavendish Laboratory. “The coordinates match that location.”

Thomson’s eyes widened and a feeling of dread settled on his stomach. “What about the one ten minutes ago in central London. It lasted three seconds and then vanished. Check it out, Miss Wickes.”

Lorraine’s nimble fingers flew across the keyboard almost as fast as Connor’s. “SWIP 4DF,” she announced.

Thomson raised his eyebrows in enquiry.

“That’s the Home Office in Marsham Street,” Lorraine said calmly.

Stringer swore violently and then said, “There are surveillance cameras up and down that road. Can you access them?”

“We don’t need to,” Lorraine said, pointing up at the screen showing the news.

The footage of the bomb blast in Cambridge had been replaced by another female newscaster. “We have reports just in of a second bomb blast, this time in central London at the Home Office building in Marsham Street…”

“I’m getting reports on the police channel of explosions not too far away from here…” Ali Khan broke in excitedly. “Multiple blasts… one in Highbury Avenue… another in Newhall Street…”

“Highbury Avenue is where Mr Leek lives,” Connor commented, looking up from his terminal.

“And Cutter’s house is in Newhall Street,” Stringer supplied. “Someone is targeting the homes of people involved in the anomaly project…”

“And Annie Morris used to work at the Cavendish Labs,” Connor said. “Oh shit…”

Thomson exchanged glances with Stringer. “Lockdown?” he queried. He could see that one of the administration staff had appeared on the first floor walkway and was staring down at them. Despite his earlier order, Thomson had no doubt other people would soon be arriving to complicate matters.

Stringer nodded and reached over to depress a button on the intercom system. “This is Captain Stringer speaking. Immediate lockdown, I repeat, immediate lockdown. No personnel are to be allowed into this facility under any circumstances. All movement within the ARC is to cease. All security personnel are to arm themselves immediately. Everyone other than security is to stay in their rooms, I repeat, stay in your rooms until you receive further orders.”

Connor swivelled around in his chair and stared up at the two soldiers, his eyes wide with alarm. “If this is being done through the anomalies, whoever is controlling this doesn’t need to walk in through the front door. They can just…”

His words were drowned out again by the sound of the ADD alarm, coupled with an extremely loud scream from above them.

Thomson turned around and was greeted by the sight of a huge ball of light in the middle of the atrium.

Connor had been right. Whoever was doing this had no need to ring the front doorbell.

And in Thomson’s mind, there was only one likely culprit.

8.35am. Science Labs. Anomaly Research Centre.

As Stringer’s lockdown order reverberated out of every set of speakers in the ARC, Blade held Annie tightly in his arms, one hand stroking her hair.

He needed to find out what the hell was going on and get his hands on some more weaponry other than his Glock 19 and his knives. Something was going down, and whilst he didn’t know what was happening, all his instincts told him that they were about to be neck deep in trouble.

The dull boom of an explosion from somewhere in the building confirmed that view. He needed to get Annie out of her lab and to somewhere safe. The fact that her old place of work had just been obliterated wasn’t lost on him. Annie had been using the super-computer in the Cavendish building to run some calculations on the data she’d been collecting from the anomalies and if someone was targeting her research, they weren’t safe where they were.

“Ma’am, we need to get out of here…”

“Niall, I…” Annie started helplessly her computer. “All my data, it’s…”

“Not worth risking your life for,” he said firmly.

He was about to grab her by the hand when movement in the doorway caught his eye. Sergeant Miller was now dressed in full black combats. The bulky black-pocketed tac vest he was wearing fitted his torso like a glove. Miller’s face was impassive as he started to close the fingers of one hand around the small box he was holding.

Blade grabbed one of the long grey desks in the lab with one hand, sending computer equipment flying to the floor. He turned the desk on its side and threw Annie Morris behind it, diving on top of her to shield her with his body.

The blast that came a heartbeat later was even louder than the roadside bomb in Iraq that had killed three of Blade’s teammates. His last emotion before the world turned black was surprise that Miller had been willing to go down like that. The sergeant had never struck him as the suicidal type.

8.35am. Bunkroom. Anomaly Research Centre.

Nick pulled on his boots, fingers fumbling to tie the laces. Stringer’s lockdown order had been followed only moments later by the sound of an explosion in the building. He’d heard the noise and felt the tremor from the blast, and from somewhere he could hear the sound of screaming.

Stephen, who had slept fully-dressed, had swung down from the top bunk and was standing in the doorway. “We need to stay together, Cutter.”

Nick nodded. If the ARC was under attack again, Stephen was right, there would be safety – of a sort, anyway – in numbers. For the first time since he’d arrived in this world, Nick wished he had a gun, and he could see from the look on Stephen’s face that his assistant was thinking the same.

Another explosion rocked the building and Nick heard Stringer’s voice over the tannoy system again, this time ordering all civilian personnel to evacuate the ARC. It looked like they’d just experienced the shortest lockdown in history.

Stephen picked up a chair from a corner of the room and then calmly and deliberately smashed it against the floor. He handed Nick one of the splintered legs and picked up one for himself. Broken chair legs weren’t much of a weapon, but they were certainly better than nothing.

Together, they stepped into the corridor.

A low growl made the hairs on the back of Nick’s neck stand up. Approaching them at a slow prowl was a gorgonopsid, jaws agape, with blood dripping from its thick teeth. Suddenly the chair leg seemed an incredibly inadequate line of defence.

Stephen thrust Nick behind him, back into the bunk room. The gorgonopsid stared at them and then launched itself down the corridor, the growl rising to something that sounded very close to a howl. They barely managed to get the door closed before the creature slammed into it, shaking it on the hinges and coming close to breaking through, even with their combined weight against it.

The two men exchanged glances. By unspoken agreement, they grabbed one of the bunk beds, ripping it off the brackets that held it to the wall and dragging it across the floor to the door.

Another growl came from outside and from what Nick could make out the beast had now started to head-butt the door. He looked around, desperately seeking a way out of their plight, but they were on the second floor of the building, with only a small window, one that Nick doubted he could force himself through, even with the incentive of a Permian killing-machine behind him. And even if they did escape that way, there was no way they’d survive a sheer drop down onto the tarmac below.

The sound of splintering wood said without the need for words that time was running out.

Stephen lunged in between the two bunks for the hole in the door, the broken chair leg held out in front of him like a fencing sword. A moment later, the massive jaws closed around the wood and the gorgonopsid bit the chair leg in half, as though it was simply chewing on a toothpick.

Another full body-slam shook a load of plaster loose from the walls as the sound of a third explosion reverberated through the building.

A ceiling tile came crashing down behind him, Nick looked around and recoiled in horror as an enormous centipede dropped down out of the hole and scurried towards him. He lashed out with the chair leg and tried to kick the creature away, hoping it wasn’t venomous

Nick had thought only a moment ago about using the ventilation shafts as a means of escape, but the idea of finding himself in company with another giant centipede was not appealing He grabbed a mattress off one of the bunks and tried to hold it in front of him like a shield just as the gorgonopsid’s head breached the door and an angry roar filled the room.

Stephen recoiled, taking a step backwards as the centipede reared up and struck at him.

8.35am. Great West Road. West London.

Oliver Leek couldn’t decide whether he felt happier with his eyes open or closed.

If he had them open he could see the risks Lyle was taking as he weaved in and out of traffic at high speed on the motorbike he’d taken from the man he’d killed. But if he closed them his imagination simply went into over-drive and to make matters worse, he kept seeing the ruin of his house in his mind’s eye. Lyle had taken less than five minutes on a rapid drive-by to ascertain that Leek’s house had indeed been reduced to something that looked like it had been hit by a massive wrecking ball. The houses on either side had also been damaged in the blast, and windows had been blown out in half of the street.

Leek had wanted to stop to find out if any of his neighbours had been injured, but Lyle had over-ruled that, revving the engine and pulling away as the first of the emergency vehicles had arrived.

They were now making rapid progress through the rush hour traffic towards the ARC. Leek had been tempted at first to use his mobile phone to contact his colleagues, but the need to keep both arms firmly wrapped around Lyle’s waist had prevented that. He was now also wishing that he hadn’t rashly turned down the helmet that Lyle had offered him. His squeamishness about their attacker’s blood was now paling into insignificance when set against the enormity of Lyle’s manic driving.

The leather-bound notebook, now tucked into the inside pocket of Leek’s jacket, dug into his chest and was a painful reminder that Helen Cutter had obviously decided on yet another scorched earth policy, this one literal as well as metaphorical.

If Leek’s house had been targeted, he was sure she would have done the same to the others and he wondered now how many of his colleagues he would find when they reached the ARC.

And indeed whether the ARC itself would still be intact.

8.36am. The Atrium. Anomaly Research Centre.

With the sound of a bomb blast somewhere inside the ARC echoing in his ears, Connor watched in horrific fascination as something that looked like a gigantic crocodile waddled out of the anomaly that had opened in the middle of the atrium.

The rational part of his brain told him that it was almost certainly a deinosuchus, an extinct genus related to the alligator that had flourished during the Cretaceous, while the part of his brain that handled self-preservation wanted to embrace its inner kitten and find a nice safe space in which to curl up and hide, leaving the heroics to others.

The creature was at least 12 metres long. It walked on thick, stubby legs, but Connor was certain it would be capable of a fast pace over a short distance. Its long tail waved from side to side, scraping lightly over the tiled floor. The enormous jaws equipped with huge, robust teeth gaped open. Details from a paper he’d read recently flitted through Connor’s mind while the Technicolor version in front of him stared around it at an unfamiliar environment. It had been argued that the deinosuchus had possibly possessed an even more formidable bite that a tyrannosaurus and looking at the thing, Connor found it extremely easy to believe that theory.

Another scream echoed through the atrium, coming from the other side of the anomaly. A member of staff had obviously arrived in the covered garage area after Stringer had announced the lockdown and had just come into the main control room. The deinosuchus swung around with a frightening turn of speed and went in the direction of the noise and the movement.

The sound of gunfire from both Stringer and Thomson overrode the scream. Bullets thudded into the creature’s thick hide but did absolutely nothing to slow its progress. The woman who had just come in through the door turned to run, but the deinosuchus was too fast and even its lack of grip on the smooth floor didn’t seem to be slowing it down. The huge jaws snapped closed on her legs, bringing her down hard on the floor as blood spurted from a severed artery.

Both Stringer and Thomson fired again, but they might as well have been using peashooters for all the effect the bullets appeared to be having. The ADD alarm went off again and Connor knew without even looking that it was registering within the ARC again, to disgorge more death and destruction.

“We need something better than these,” Stringer said to Thomson, with the unnatural calm all the soldiers seemed to be able to adopt even when presented with something straight out of a nightmare. The captain was holding his Glock two-handed and putting shot after shot into the giant creature’s head while it worried at the body of the woman, shaking her like a terrier worrying a rat. “Get to the armoury, I’ll cover this as best I can.”

The woman’s desperate cries filled the atrium. Connor had seen and heard some grim things in his time on the anomaly project, but the wet ripping noise of the giant crocodile tearing off one of its victim’s legs was something he knew he would never dislodge from his mind.

As Stringer continued to put bullet after bullet into the deinosuchus’s head, Connor was aware of Thomson sighting on a different target. His bullet took the dying woman in the head, ending her cries. Shock surged through Connor’s system even though he knew the Section 42 captain had done the kindest thing possible. Thomson nodded to Stringer and, without a word, left the atrium at a run.

The huge creature was slowing slightly now, staggering on its bowed legs.

The only question in Connor’s mind was whether Stringer had enough bullets to finish what he’d started before the deinosuchus found its next victim.

Date: 2012-07-11 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigtitch.livejournal.com
Squeak!
Weeble!
Squeak!!!!!

I find I also wish to embrace my inner kitten and hide for a while!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
I rather love the idea of people embracing their knner kitten. *g*

Date: 2012-07-11 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freddiejoey.livejournal.com
WWWWoooooWWWWW

WWWWWWeeeeeeWWWWWWW

*pulls dressing gown over head in excitement*

Date: 2012-07-12 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
*g* I'm glad it seems to be working!

Date: 2012-07-11 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lukadreaming.livejournal.com
Blinkin' flip! Bloody awesome and scary action. If you need me, I'll be hiding behind the sofa!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
I can still see you!

Date: 2012-07-11 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clea2011.livejournal.com
Yeek! It's getting pretty tense and exciting! And scary!
Great chapter!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:23 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-11 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tay-21.livejournal.com
HOLY HELL! I'm reading this chapter from behind my freaking fingers and biting every nail I have off. (I just got a manicure on Sunday too. :-( )

I think I shall have to read next week from behind the sofa whilst curled up in a ball embracing my inner kitten like Connor wanted to do.

Fabulous fabulous fabulous. OMG! Next week needs to hurry it on up!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
There seems to be a lot of inner kittens about at the moment!

Date: 2012-07-11 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ebonyfeather.livejournal.com
Eeep! Things really are going from bad to worse!

Great chapter, though.

Date: 2012-07-12 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Ah, it's the inner kitten everyone has been embracing!

Date: 2012-07-11 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knitekat.livejournal.com
EEK! MEEP! Gasps loudly.

Wow! HELEN certainly does things with a bang.

More, now!

*purrs loudly*

Date: 2012-07-12 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Oh yes, this is very definitely a scorched earth policy.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] knitekat.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-07-12 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2012-07-11 09:32 pm (UTC)
fififolle: (OMG!! cat)
From: [personal profile] fififolle
You can't stop there!!!!! Although I'm not sure I could take much more!! eeek! waaah! flail!
Please let Annie and Blade be okay! They make such a sweet pair :)

Date: 2012-07-12 11:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
*jumps out of the way of the flailing.

Date: 2012-07-11 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flaccidduck.livejournal.com
I held my breath through the whole thing

Brilliant!!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:25 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-11 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aunteeneenah.livejournal.com
Flippin Computer! Right in the middle it did a flippin update and shutdown! Ahhhh, left Nick and Stephen hanging. Anyway, doing the whole inner kitten thing sounds pretty damn good to me, too! This was just so exciting! OMG! That bitch is targeting everyone. Did I notice that the Home Office was blown up, as well? Hell, she's not leaving anyone to stop her but wait! Isn't there another Nick Cutter wandering around out there? I don't think he's a clone. I think you're bringing back the mean and nasty Cutter. He'll sort Helen out! Meanwhile **meep** **hiding behind chair** **peeks out** Good Job!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:25 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-11 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reggietate.livejournal.com
*meepflail*

Am clinging desperately to hope, but things look very bad for Our Heroes!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
It's certainly not looking set for a rosy future. *g*

Date: 2012-07-12 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] natchris.livejournal.com
"The ADD alarm went off again and Connor knew without even looking that it was registering within the ARC again, to disgorge more death and destruction."

Everything is going off with a bang!

I love it!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Oh yes, definitely with a bang.

Date: 2012-07-12 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auntypam.livejournal.com
*runs and jumps behind sofa with Luka* Boy when you girls do chaos you do it up right. Is there anyone not in peril? All I can say is hurry up next week!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Oooh, another great icon!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] auntypam.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-07-12 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-07-12 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2012-07-12 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] judithjohn.livejournal.com
This is full of wonderful imagery!

:....putting shot after shot into the giant creature’s head while it worried at the body of the woman, shaking her like a terrier worrying a rat:

Great stuff!!

Date: 2012-07-12 11:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-12 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joshinator.livejournal.com
This is epic!

Date: 2012-07-12 05:09 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-12 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldarrow.livejournal.com
Holy... wow... must breathe...

This has me sitting in my chair staring at the screen in almost a trance.
Just had to type the last sentence three times to get my fingers to work.

*Wibbles*
*Hides under chair*
*Squeaks*

Fantastic!

Date: 2012-07-12 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you!

Date: 2012-07-12 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaynedoll.livejournal.com
It's getting tense. I hope you haven't killed off Blade - you know my feelings on killing the pretty ones *g*
Helen had better come to a horrible end after all the bad things she has done

Date: 2012-07-12 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
*g* All will be revealed in the next few weeks!

Date: 2012-07-13 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nietie.livejournal.com
Oh noes! Suicide bomber! Steeeephen! Creatures!
*hides under duvet* Tell me when it's safe, please (if it's ever safe. Brrrr).

Date: 2012-07-13 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Er, it might not be safe for a while....

Date: 2012-07-13 02:51 pm (UTC)
celeste9: (primeval: team)
From: [personal profile] celeste9
*peeks out from behind the couch* Crazy scary action! I am so worried for everyone!

Date: 2012-07-13 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
That's good, it means I'm doing my job properly. *g*

Date: 2012-07-13 03:14 pm (UTC)
ext_27141: (Conclusive Proof)
From: [identity profile] telperion-15.livejournal.com
Yikes! Lots of old friends coming to visit now!

Date: 2012-07-13 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Oh yes, it's a big party now!

Date: 2012-07-15 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talliw.livejournal.com
Eeek, such a cliffhanger.
Helen must be more out of her mind as I thought. I hope they can put the creatures down before someone else dies.

Date: 2012-07-15 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
She's now determined to cover her tracks, and is using rather extreme methods!

Date: 2012-08-07 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lsellersfic.livejournal.com
You can tell how invested I am in this universe by the fact that I'm more worried about the political fall out than the fact that everyone is about to be either blown up or eaten!!

Date: 2012-08-07 09:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
LOL! Well, politics does rather provide the foundation for this universe.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkhorse-99.livejournal.com
OH NOES OH NOES OH NOES OH NOES!!!! It's getting real! Poor Connor, Poor Leek, Poor Annie!

Helen is bughouse nuts! Blowing whole buildings up? The concept of 'subtle' just flies right over her head, doesn't it?

Date: 2012-09-15 08:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
LOL, no, it's never been a concept she has taken on a date.

Date: 2012-11-28 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] comnena39.livejournal.com
Eeeeeek! Oh my you have been waiting a long time to unleash all kinds of merry hell on the poor lambs haven't you?!

Date: 2012-11-28 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] comnena39.livejournal.com
By which I mean that you are doing a good job, and are clearly a bit gleeful about it all ;-)

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-11-28 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand

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