David looked down at the microwave as it gave a ding that signaled that his TV dinner was done and he took it out. His food supply was getting low; he'd need to go get some groceries soon. HE imagined that he could do it in the cover of night; the cameras weren't nearly as reliable then.

Besides, he needed to get out in the world and see what was happening anyway. The television only showed a taste of the world that they really lived in... He needed to go find the others and see how they were doing. Did they have Naomi yet? Had Joseph found his niche as a leader?

He doubted that he would be exactly welcome. Part of him regretted leaving, but it had to be done. He had no doubt that the Guardians would've killed him for every rule he had violated. And besides, they needed to grow and they couldn't do that if they relied on him for all the answers.

Someone knocked on the door and he hesitated. Fear shot through him like a dagger in the chest. Since he'd gotten there a couple of weeks ago absolutely no one had come knocking on his door. Was it the Guardians? Facility? One of the members of the team?

He kept his gun aimed behind the door and opened it, his finger was on the trigger, ready to strike should it happen

He opened the door and gave a sigh of relief when he saw Lisa standing there, "Lisa?"

Her eyes strayed to the door as if she knew he was aiming a gun at her from behind it, "Do you honestly still do

that?"

"What are you doing here?" he demanded angrily. He'd been so careful-

"It's good to see you too," she said in a deadpan but annoyed voice, "May I come in?"

He opened the door wider, "I suppose I don't have much of a choice."

She walked through the door and he looked out into the breezeway, looking for any sign that she'd been followed. He didn't see anything, but that didn't mean anything in their little universe.

He closed the door and locked it, "How did you find me?"

"I'm an interrogator remember? I can see into your mind with just a touch, and I knew you'd run here"

"So you invaded my privacy and cheated? I thought you thought yourself better than that."

"Cheating is such an ugly word," she smirked; I prefer using the resources that God decided I'd have."

"What do you want?" he demanded.

She sat in his easy chair, "We need to talk."

"I don't have anything to say. If you recall I'm no longer part of the team."

"Yes, I also recall that you left with your tail between your legs right when we needed you the most."

"Oh that's nice."

She sent him a seething glare, "However, that's not why I'm here."

"I don't need anything you have to offer."

"You so sure about that?" she put her purse on the couch, as if saying that she wasn't going anywhere, "The Facility's been destroyed, but the Government's going to be taking its place soon. Oh, and Jane's dead and we got Naomi back, the Guardians and the Facility were one in the same, Frederic turned against his superiors and Kyrie's now helping us. Oh, and the group's broken up, but everyone else is fine, thanks for asking."

He blinked. He was only able to process a small part of what she just said. He knew that she was trying to lure him into rejoining the group by getting his interest. She was hardly subtle about it, and he couldn't deny that she'd gotten his interest. But he wasn't going to let her know that. He would rather have them beg to take him back. He'd tried to keep them safe and they treated his attempts with distrust and anger, "Why do you think that would concern me?"

"Because the Facility has been destroyed," she said.

He shook his head. She was lying, "The Facility has lasted for four hundred years, it can't be brought down as easily as that."

"But this is far from over," she continued as if she hadn't heard him, "The Guardians are still alive, and after being a pawn in their game all my life…it just makes me sick that they're about to get away with everything they've done. I left the group because I wanted to do this without Joseph and Naomi letting their feelings get in the way. I need someone that knows the inner workings of the Guardians."

"I was low on the ladder"

"You know enough." She hissed, "And if you ever want to redeem yourself from some of the things that you've done, then you'll at least consider it."

She stood and grabbed her purse.

David sighed and looked at the ceiling. He could just let her walk out, he'd be happier for it. Able had made sure that all of them had money in their accounts to live comfortably in case something should happen. He didn't owe anyone anything. He never even WANTED to be a Guardian in the first place; he was forced into it just like the rest of them. Why should he help them? He didn't even want to be on a team that didn't respect him or trust him. What did he owe these people?

But if he helped her take down the Guardians, then he could say that he'd done the right thing for once in his life. He could right the wrongs that others had suffered and maybe…ACTUALLY do it his way without people constantly questioning him.

"Wait!" he yelled, "You might as well start at the beginning."


2022

Naomi and the guards led Frederic into an office that had once served as a nursery judging by the childlike murals on the wall. He took in the crib that had been shoved to the far side of the wall. It was discarded for now, but still at hand for when Naomi's baby was born.

"Leave us," Naomi dismissed the guard with a jerk of her head.

Frederic unconsciously clenched his fist while his mind raced. He tried to make sense of what had just happened. His daughter had just killed a man in cold blood, and for a second he only thought about himself. How was he supposed to get home?

"Well, now that that is settled" she put the gun down, "I need to know where you are in your timeline, what year are you from?"

He lost his temper and slapped her hard in the face. When she nearly stumbled, his hand shot out and grabbed her arm to steady her. She looked up at him in a mixture of childlike anger and confusion and he immediately he regretted what he did. He had no place to doll out a father's punishment when he was never a father in the first place towards her

She touched the red mark on her face and for a second he was worried he might end up like Trinidad or those that tried to kidnapped her when she was six years old, "What did you do that for?"

"What did I do that for? Really? Really Naomi. What did I do that for? It couldn't possibly be the fact that you just killed a man."

She didn't seem bothered, "I've killed plenty of men in my lifetime."

"You honestly have no problem with this?"

"He was a Guardian." She put the holster of the gun on the table, "Isn't that enough of a reason."

"The Naomi I knew would never have-"

She looked up sharply, "Oh, you're from those years of my life."

"I don't-"

She sat down and took off her shoes, "You're going to sit down and judge me when you've done things that are completely worse? You claim that you did what you had to do several times."

"You were to be better than me. You were raised by your mother."

"Well I have done everything I've had to do as well. Everyone else is gone; I don't have anyone I trust. Those people in there," she pointed to the door, "I can't trust them as I trusted the others. Joseph, Lisa, Jane, Able…they're all dead and the only reason I'm kept alive is because Mr. Harving thinks that I'm useful for some mission and I don't even think he knows what it is. I'm only kept alive because the Guardians put it in his mind that I was supposed to help him. And the only reason the others are dead is because of that very same reason," she walked forward, "But I'm not supposed to. It's all a big joke and now I'm pregnant and there's nothing left."

He saw her put her hand absentmindedly on her stomach, and it just dawned on him that he would be a grandfather soon. In the shock of everything, he hadn't even taken time to consider it. He wanted to ask her so many questions. He wanted to know what happened to Joseph, but he could only found on question leaving his lips, "Who is the father?"

"What does it matter? Bernard killed him too. Any semblance of me being happy, he's found a way to destroy," her hand ran across her stomach in an almost maternal fashion, or at least more maternal than he'd seen up till now, "I dread to know what he'd do to her if he knew she existed."

"Bernard doesn't know."

"At least as far as I know he doesn't," she looked up at him, like a lost child looking for answers, "Sometimes I think I should just have the baby and give it to Emilia and then go jump off the nearest building but I know I can't."

He felt his heart break, he knew he was responsible for this, "Naomi-"

"Because if he did find out that this baby existed then I don't know what I'd do. Fire-starting can be passed on through genetics. And if he got ahold of her and there was no one to protect her then everything I've fought for would be for nothing. She'd just be a replacement for me and if he had her then he could dispose of me since I'm so much trouble."

"You need to tell me what's happened," Frederic told her, trying to stay as calm as possible. This was all a trick, it had to be. An illusion by Bernard Harving or something and he just needed to remember how to wake up, "I need to know everything that's happened so we can stop it."

"Don't you understand?" she asked, "We can't stop it. Not after the Guardians made sure that everything went according to plan. If we have any hope of changing this, then you have to kill them. All of them. Because if you don't, then they're going to use us all as pawns."

He should stop her. And remind her of David but he didn't. Something told him it would all be for naught. HE could only look at her to see how far gone she was.

"Alright," he sat on the other side of the table and played along, "If I'm going to stop it then I want to know what's going to happen first so I know what to look for."