After Leena followed Myka downstairs and out to the back patio, where Myka had a tendency to go whenever she was troubled, mainly in the middle of the night, the hostess walked toward the warehouse agent, but stopped before interrupting her thoughts. The intuitive knew that Myka knew she was standing there behind her.
"I'm not sure why this is hitting me so hard," Myka said without turning around. "I mean, it's not like we haven't been through this before. We've been through this a number of times. Pete's almost died, I've almost died, You, Claudia and Artie…"
"That doesn't make this time any easier," Leena responded softly after Myka cut herself off. "But you know that every time, we figure out a way to fix everything and then bag and tag the artifacts."
Myka scoffed, then finally turned around to look at Leena as she replied, "Maybe so, but eventually our luck is surely going to run out. Think about all of the agents that have either been killed or gone insane because of what we do. We may have gotten through this so far, but this time's different. Pete was used as an instrument to bring back a psychopathic murderer from the dead."
Leena answered sadly, "I'm not sure how long it will take for him to recover, but…"
"What if he doesn't, Leena?" Myka shouted out angrily as tears began to slowly fall down her face. "Or worse yet, what if he does and he's not himself anymore. What if he does go insane? It is one thing for me to live with the fact that Sam was killed because of an artifact. At least he died with a single, quick bullet to the head. I've come to terms with it, but even though it's been only three years since Pete and I've become partners, I know him more than I ever did Sam. I… I don't know how to explain it. I just know that I cannot deal with him not being okay; with him not being Pete."
"I know," Leena finally spoke up again after listening to the agent in silence and then remaining silent for another minute in order to try to come up with the right thing to say, unsure of what that right thing was. "I can sense your pain, Myka and believe me, everyone else here is feeling the same way. Your job, all our jobs, it's dangerous, but someone has to do it and Pete knows that. He isn't here just because he's a secret service agent, who's willing to take a bullet at anytime to protect you and everyone he loves, as well as his country, but he's here because he's strong, because he's incredibly in tune with the world around him, and because he has more heart than anyone I've ever known all these years I've been working here. I am afraid for him, but at the same time, I am glad that it's him going through this because if it was you, or Artie, or Claudia that MacPherson is tearing apart, then I wouldn't believe so strongly that any of you would survive like I do with Pete."
Myka stared at Leena for a few seconds, then suddenly rushed forward, wrapping her arms around the woman standing in front of her in a hug, and when she let go, she responded quietly, "Thank you!"
It was then that Artie walked into the room, followed by Claudia, Steve, and Mrs. Frederic and as they did so, Myka quickly wiped her eyes, then Leena quickly asked, "How is everything going up…?"
"Is Pete doing all right?" Myka interrupted. "Was Vanessa able to… to…?"
"Pete is doing fine," Vanessa replied and then noticed the scowl on Myka's face. "What I mean to say is that the freezing process went as well as I could have hoped. His vitals are weak, but he's fine, for now."
Myka let out a breath of relief, then Claudia spoke up saying, "I hate to put more stress or pressure, or whatever this is that everyone's feeling around here, but we really need to come up with a plan on how we're going to get back the skull and prayer rope before they're destroyed and then kill MacPherson."
Myka looked at Claudia in surprise, then over at Artie, and asked, "What do you mean kill MacPherson? I mean, not that I have a problem with that seeing as he's done all this to Pete and is technically already dead, but I expected all the higher ups would want us to bring him in so that he can be bronzed, again. And what does it matter if the artifacts are destroyed? If they are, maybe then everything will be reversed."
"Unfortunately, not," Artie answered. "Both artifacts are still linked to Pete. If they're destroyed, Pete will die. They must be de-neutralized, thoroughly. Also, there's another hitch, which the rest of the Regents would not approve of, accept for Jane, so when we do it, we're all going to be in a lot of trouble and probably fired, maybe even bronzed ourselves. We have to send James back to Hades in Hell. If we don't…"
"If we don't, my son will die," Jane said coldly as she walked finally walked in as well. "I can't lose Peter to this job and especially not because of James MacPherson. I would rather spend eternity in the bronze sector, than live the rest of my life knowing that Peter died, especially because I dragged him into this life. I'm giving you all one last chance. You can leave now if you can't do this and I promise that no consequences will come to you, nor will I think any less of you."
Myka moved to stand beside Jane and then responded bluntly, "I'm in."
Mrs. Frederic replied, "I concur with Agent Bering."
"It sounds like you have a soft spot for us, Mrs. F.," Claudia said.
"I don't know what you're talking about," the elder answered. "Agent Lattimer has done much for this world and his vibes, as he calls them, have come in very handy in snagging, bagging, and tagging artifacts. It would be a shame to waste such a handy resource."
Artie responded, "Right, whatever the case may be. I received a text from James letting us know where and when to make the so called exchange of artifacts. We've got a plan to come within a very limited amount of time. If anyone has a good one, I'm all ears."
Claudia quickly replied mockingly, "Your ears are a little huge, but I still think Dumbo's are just a little bit…"
"Zip it, little girl," Artie snapped as he cut her off. "I suggest that unless you have a plan, do not speak for the next five minutes."
"Relax, Artemis," Claudia answered. "I've got a plan and it's a good one. Even if it isn't, it may be all we've got."