Forty-five minutes passed by since each of the warehouse agents, as well as Jane, all left Leena's, leaving the intuitive and Dr. Calder behind to take care of Pete. Twenty-five of those minutes were spent outside of Univille at an old, torn down and abandoned construction site waiting for MacPherson, who was now late for what they believed was their final showdown, to show up.
"All right, what gives?" Claudia finally spoke up after waiting impatiently in nervous silence. "Are you sure you got the place and time right, Artie? I mean, maybe I'm wrong, but I never really thought of James MacPherson being the non-punctual type, although, he did have a knack for showing up at inopportune times."
"Of course I got the right time and place," Artie grumbled. "I double checked. He's just trying to make us more nervous by making us wait, knowing we'll become more desperate to save Pete. He thinks it'll make us more willing to just hand over the artifacts without much of a fight."
Steve spoke as he replied, "He's pretty good with a gun, except that it was actually Pete, who was firing, and he's got about as much knowledge of artifacts as Artie, so do you really think that that's why he's late; because he's not up for much of a fight?"
Claudia shrugged and then answered, "Maybe, but what if he's stalling for time in order to perfect whatever plan he and Renee have come up with? They are just two people coming up against the five of us, all with warehouse agent, or Regent, status after all."
"Oh my God," Myka responded. "James specifically requested that the five of us all show up here."
"Yeah, so?" Artie stated. "He wanted to make sure that there were no surprises, like Claudia or Steve popping out from behind another tombstone again. And he wanted to meet Jane."
Myka cut in, "No, he didn't want to all of us to come out here to avoid any surprises or to collect just a few artifacts. Why would he do that if he could lure us out here so that he could take over an entire warehouse full of them? MacPherson isn't here because he's gone after the two of us that still have access to Warehouse 13, but don't have the leverage to fight him back."
When Myka suddenly began to run back to their SUV they had driven over in, what she had just said finally donned on Artie, as well as the others, who all began to follow after Myka, and the older agent shouted, "He's going after Vanessa and Leena in order to force them to walk him and Renee into the warehouse!"
"Yeah, and he's going to use my son against them as leverage," Jane replied as they all finally reached their vehicle and got in, then began to speed off. "Myka, I sure hope you know how to speed."
"I certainly can when the people I care about are in danger," Myka answered firmly as she stepped on the gas.
Shortly after the others left her bed and breakfast, Leena slowly walked up the stairs toward Pete's room carrying a try of cookies and tea for Dr. Calder, then set them down carefully on the dresser beside his bed without saying anything to the woman as she was working on checking over the intuitive agent's vitals once again, and marked down her results on his chart, which she brought with her from the hospital.
As she finished for the moment, Vanessa finally turned to the younger woman and said, "Thank you for the tea and the cookies, Leena."
Leena nodded as she asked, "So, aside from the obvious, how is he doing?"
"About as well as can be expected in this situation," the doctor responded. "Pete's vitals were already weak when I put him under and now, he's just getting worse the longer we keep this up. Being frozen may have helped us to extend the time he has left, but… I'm not sure how much longer I can really keep him under before the snow globe's effects can't be reversed successfully. I hope you believe in prayer because we'll need everyone to get back here with Rasputin's artifacts soon, or…"
"Oh, the artifacts are here all right, my dears, but I'm afraid it's not your friends, who have them in their possession at the moment, nor did they ever have them," MacPherson interrupted suddenly as he appeared in the doorway, causing the women to spin around in shock and fear, then both moved closer toward Pete in order to try to protect him against the villain before them.
Leena was the first to speak as she asked, "How… what are you doing here, James?"
Renee came up from behind the man as she replied for him, "While your friends are foolishly out there waiting for us to never arrive, we came here knowing that you would have no choice, but to lead us into the warehouse."
"Yes, I suspected Arthur and Agent Bering would have come up with some kind of plan to stop me," James continued. "However, Leena knows that I was always a step ahead back when I was alive, don't you, Leena?"
"Yeah, up until your own foolishness got you killed in the first place after you released H.G. Wells," Leena answered smugly. "Her double cross was something you should have seen coming, but you didn't and now you're going to lose again."
MacPherson grabbed Leena roughly by her wrists and pulled her up off the bed as he angrily responded, "Not this time. Dr. Calder, if you please follow after us. As my partner stated before, we're taking a little trip to the warehouse and the two of you are going to help me to override the security so that I can get in and lock the others out. Agent Lattimer here can just remain as he is; where he'll die in my place."
Vanessa swiftly grabbed the blanket Claudia and Steve had brought to her from the warehouse, unbeknownst to James and Renee that it was an artifact with healing, or warming, capabilities, and roughly draped it over Pete just before she was also pulled up by Renee, who pulled out a gun and aimed it at the two women in order to get them both to move toward the door so they could all leave for the warehouse. Leena tried to resist as she cried out in fear for Pete's life while James pulled her along with him, not seeing what the doctor had done.
Thirty minutes later, Myka, Jane, Artie, Claudia, and Steve all arrived back at Leena's place as Myka shouted out for both Leena and Vanessa, but when neither of them answered, Myka and Jane both ran up the stairs as fast as they could in order to check on Pete, knowing that MacPherson had been here and had at least taken the women. As they ran into his room, they found him struggling to get up from his bed, having recently woken up cold, confused, and alone.
"Take it easy, Peter," Jane whispered to him as she pulled his frozen body into her arms in order to warm him up as much as she could and to try to get him to stop moving, in hope that she would be able to help to reserve what little strength he had left, then she looked up between both Artie and Myka with fear and anger written all over her face.
"Vanessa must have managed to drape Florence Nightingale's blanket over him before she and Leena were taken," Artie spoke up softly. "She knew that it's even more dangerous to leave him frozen while unsupervised. We need to get to the warehouse and do whatever we have to do to end this now before James can lock us out permanently and before it's too late to save Pete. He won't be able to hold on much longer."
Myka knelt down in front of Pete and Jane and as she took her partner's hand in hers, she said, "You need to keep fighting, Pete. We're going to stop MacPherson, but… you can't give up. Please hold on and when this is all over, I promise to go with you to that new restaurant in New York you've been nagging at me to go with you to for weeks now. Jane, will you be all right here alone with him?"
The woman looked back at Myka stoically as she more carefully wrapped Nightingale's blanket around him to try to keep him warmer and replied, "Go. I'll keep my son alive until you finish this."
"I think you're going to need a quicker way of getting into the warehouse than just driving," Mrs. Frederic responded as she suddenly entered the room carrying what looked to everyone like a long wooden plank. "It's a good thing I thought to take this out earlier."
"What is that thing?" Steve asked.
Artie answered, "It's the threshold of Limentinus. You set it at the base of any wall, it'll create an entrance leading directly into the warehouse. Thank you, Mrs. Frederic. Are we ready?"
At the warehouse…
As the villains dragged Leena and Vanessa into the building's office and while Renee held a gun on the two of them as they sat on the floor in one of the room's corners, MacPherson sat down at the computers and began typing away on the keys in order to start locking it down to stop the agents from getting in.
While he worked, Leena finally spoke up as she asked, "What exactly do you plan on doing here, now that you've changed the security to keep the others out? Do you really think that they won't find another way in? Artie has been here a little longer than you, seeing as you were dead for two years and then on the run before that. He knows this warehouse like the back of his hand."
"As do I, my dear," James replied. "And if they do manage to make their way in, which I believe they will, at least I'll have the chance to wreak a little havoc first and get exactly what I need."
"You obviously have no remorse over what you've done to Pete, do you?" Vanessa asked. "No remorse knowing that by you staying alive will cost him his life?"
Leena looked over at the doctor sadly, then back up at James, who smiled and answered, "I gave Agent Lattimer a chance to join me a long time ago. If he was smart, he would have agreed, but instead he was a fool and chose to mock me. He was also partially involved in my initial death, so no, I do not have any remorse for the fact that he will very shortly die so that I can have my life back."
The intuitive glared at the villain as she responded, "You bas…"
"Come now, Leena," MacPherson interrupted as he leaned down and gently took her chin in his hand. "That kind of language is unbecoming, especially for one such as you."
"Should I tie them up, James, or can I just knock them out cold so we can go down to look at the artifacts?" Renee finally spoke up.
James released his hold on Leena and replied, "I'm afraid we don't have enough time for me to give you a tour, Renee. I'll need you to stay up here and keep an eye on these two. Don't worry, I promise to get us everything we've talked about and more."
Renee looked disappointed and then finally nodded as she answered, "Fine. Just don't forget the analog password cracker."
"I won't," MacPherson responded and then left the room to head into the warehouse.
Ten minutes later, Artie, Myka, Claudia, and Steve suddenly walked through the wall behind the woman still holding her gun on their friends, then Myka cleared her throat to get her attention, and swiftly threw a punch at her in order to knock her unconscious. Artie made his way over to help Vanessa and Leena up off the floor, while Steve reached down and picked up Renee's gun.
"Where's MacPherson?" Myka asked quickly.
Vanessa replied, "He's down in the warehouse doing God knows what."
Leena continued, "One of the artifacts they wanted was the analog password cracker. They didn't mention anything else they were after. How did you get in here and through that wall?"
"The threshold of Limentinus," Claudia answered. "Does it really matter how we got here? We did, now let's get after MacPsycho. Did we already forget about Pete?"
"Of course not," Myka responded as she rushed out onto the balcony overlooking the vast aisles full of artifacts below and began to search for MacPherson. "I don't see him, Artie? Does this thing show everything?"
Artie looked through it himself as he replied, "Most of this room, but I'll bet you he isn't down where this thing will reach. He's either down in the gooery, or the in the dark vault. He can't be up to any good."
Myka nodded and then asked, "Then, what's the fastest way to get down there?"
"The fastest way is the zip line," Claudia answered. "You two go and Steve and I will be right behind you."
"Does MacPherson have the skull and prayer rope on him, Leena?" Myka asked as Artie got himself hooked up.
Leena nodded and responded, "He's carrying them in the bag he's got with him. He'll be keep them real close as long as his life is still linked to them and to Pete."
Once Artie finished and Myka climbed up onto his back, Artie then pushed forward as they swung across the rope over the aisles and he shouted out, "We'll find him, Myka!"
"If he's in here, what exactly do you think he's after, Artie?" Myka asked after they landed roughly back on the ground near the entrance to the dark vault. "How does he expect to keep any of these things contained?"
"I won't be needing containments for the artifacts I'm searching for," James called out from behind them when they walked into the room as he suddenly sprayed a can of what was the same sticky string that had once nearly caused a meltdown throughout the entire warehouse, causing both Myka and Artie to become tangled up in the mess. "Sorry, Arthur, but surely you didn't think catching me would be that easy, did you?"
Artie grumbled, "No, not really, but I was hoping. What artifact in here are you after?"
James held up the small box in his hand to show them and Myka recognized it right away to be the very first artifacts she and Pete had hunted down, then she said in confusion, "Lucrezia Borgia's jewelry box and comb? You can't use that thing yourself. It only works for certain people."
"Yes, I know, but Renee can and she will," James replied as he placed the artifact into his bag around his shoulders. "She fits the criteria for this particular artifact and with it, she'll be able to cause chaos and panic around wherever she chooses to be, which will make quite the mess for you all to worry about while I disappear for good. Some artifacts I can use for myself, while others I will use to continue my work from before; releasing the artifacts back out into the world where they belong. Goodbye, Arthur; Agent Bering."
"James!" Artie tried to call out as the villain left the vault, leaving both him and Myka behind as they struggled to get freed from the sticky string. "James!"
Myka spoke up again saying, "He's gone, Artie? We need to get out of… the snow globe! Didn't we bring it with us? It's how Pete used it to get me and Claudia freed before…"
Claudia and Steve finally ran into the room as Claudia rummaged through her tool bag she carried when she did inventory and interrupted, "Don't you worry, I've got it right here. Just hang on. Jinxie, don't touch the sticky string, whatever you do. Believe me, it's not fun to mess with."
"Thanks Claud," Myka said once she and Artie were finally released from the artifact's hold after the youngest agent froze the string like they had seen done before. "Now where do we start searching for that psycho?"
"I think I know what he's going after next," Artie answered as he quickly walked out of the vault, followed by the others. "He's going after the phoenix. If he gets his hands on it…"
Myka responded for him, "Then, he'll be able to come back to life if we manage to kill him, Pete will die for sure, and he'll also end up killing another one of us. Let's go guys!"
When James finally reached the aisle where he knew the phoenix was stored, thanks to searching the databases in Artie's computers, he made his way over to the artifact and was about to pick it up until a bolt of electricity from a tesla gun was suddenly fired at him, but he saw it just in time to dodge out of the way. Unfortunately, it was just before he could grab the small box the phoenix was kept in off the shelf.
As MacPherson slowly got up off the floor, Myka lowered the tesla gun, then raised up her glock, and aimed it directly at the villain before her, just as Artie, Claudia, and Steve caught up to them. Steve followed suit as he also pulled out his own gun and turned it on James as well, as he moved forward to stand beside Myka.
James looked at them smugly as he spoke again asking, "Do you really think you can shoot me in cold blood, Agent Bering? You are no murderer, but you will certainly become one if you kill me like you want to so badly. What would your partner think of you then? You don't really think he'd be able to ever fully trust you again, do you?"
"You shut up about Pete," Myka answered coldly. "I won't let you take his life from him, MacPherson."
"Then, kill me and you'll only end up becoming like me," James replied. "As will the rest of you."
It was then that a shot was suddenly fired, causing everyone to jump, but the shot didn't come from either Myka's or Steve's guns and just after the shot rang through the air, MacPherson looked down at his chest and saw blood pouring out from a wound that was only beginning to burn. The pain didn't last long and everyone stared as James collapsed to his knees and then fell the rest of the way to the ground, but before he took his last breath, he rolled over onto his back and looked for the source of the shot. Just before his eyes closed for good, he saw Renee staring down at him as tears poured down her face and anger spread across her face.
Leena walked up from behind her and took the gun from her hands, as Myka stared at her in surprise and asked, "How… why did you do that?"
Renee finally looked away from James' body as she turned to Myka and responded, "I heard everything he said to you a few minutes ago over the coms you set up before leaving the office after I came to. He was going to use one of your precious artifacts on me in order to give him time to disappear. I didn't want to believe he didn't care for me like I did him, like Carol did, but you all were right."
"So you broke away from Leena and Dr. Calder's custody and took back your gun so that you could come down here and kill him?" Artie asked as he looked between her, Leena, and then Vanessa, who also walked up behind her.
"Something like that," Renee replied as Steve finally moved to take the gun from the woman's hands. "I'm already a killer, you're not. I figured this was the least I could do for you for setting me straight and saving me from becoming a slave to one of these things."
Myka suddenly rushed forward and picked up the villain's bag to check on Rasputin's skull and prayer rope, both of which were there and intact, then she spoke up as she turned to Artie and spoke up firmly, "Take care of these as soon as possible. I'm going to check on Pete."
As she quickly ran out, Artie turned back to the others as he said, "We did it. I think everything's going to be all right again. MacPherson's gone for good this time and Pete's going to be all right."
"I hope you're right, or Myka's going to quit for good this time and we'll never be able to get her back," Claudia answered despondently.
"I wouldn't blame her," Leena responded sadly after reading Myka's aura before she walked away. "She's heartbroken. She loves Pete very deeply."
Once everything was over, the agents took care of James' body and Renee was escorted to prison by Mrs. Frederic and her bodyguards for the crimes she had committed, except for the shooting of MacPherson. The older woman had used an artifact on her in order to wipe out her memories of the events that had taken place in the warehouse that night in order of preserving the location of the building and the few secrets that would keep her from trying to give them away.
And it turns out that Artie was right about Pete being fine after their final confrontation with MacPherson, but only physically, as Pete hadn't spoken a word as he slowly recovered in his room at Leena's bed and breakfast, nor was he interested in seeing anyone in the days since he finally awoke again. It wasn't like Pete at all to keep to himself and to be so silent, but everyone knew that being used as the instrument to raise a monster like James MacPherson from the dead and to be forced into the back of his mind as the villain took over his body to cause so much damage as he had done was a devastating burden for anyone to bear. Jane stayed with him more than everyone else as she sat in the chair beside his bed in silence, refusing to leave her son's side as he suffered through the guilt that was plaguing him. Myka and the others relieved the Regent only when she gave in to get some rest.
Four nights later, Myka was sitting up with him as he slept and was struggling to stay awake herself when she felt a hand rest on top of hers, only to wake to find Pete sitting up on his bed and smiling down at her as he took her hand in hers. When Myka finally snapped out of the surprise of seeing him awake, she suddenly jumped up from the chair and wrapped her arms around him as she embraced him in a hug, as tears poured down from her eyes.
Myka cried, "Oh my God, Pete! It's so good to see you smile again like you used to. Are you all right? I mean, are you, you?"
Pete laughed softly as he answered, "Yeah, I'm me again. I'm so sorry it took me this long to snap out of… well whatever it was I was going through. I didn't mean to scare you or anybody. I just felt like I couldn't breathe. I was really scared, but I'm back now."
"I need to go and let everyone know," Myka replied as she went to stand up until Pete quickly pulled her back down again.
"Before everyone comes in here to baby me, especially my mom, I want to thank you for what you said earlier and of course for saving my life," Pete responded genuinely as she looked at her with a deep emotion she hardly ever saw in him, as he was always such the goofball she had come to love.
Myka tried to think back to what he possibly meant and then asked, "What I said earlier? Back when?"
Pete smiled and then replied, "Back when you were trying to keep me aware that you were here beside me and fighting for me when I was beginning to lose myself, when you said that I was your favorite superhero. That was a little cheesy you know, right?"
"Yeah, I know, but… wait, you heard all of that?" Myka asked as she began to feel embarrassed. "I mean, I realize you were aware I was there when you said my name, but you really heard everything that I said?"
"Not all of it, but I heard that," Pete answered as he laughed again. "The rest is a little hazy."
Myka smiled as she responded, "You know I only said that in hope to put a little more fight in you. I didn't really mean it."
Pete nodded as he replied, "Yes, I do know and Mykes, ditto. Now, help me downstairs so that the others can have their turn to fuss over me. I really hope Artie made cookies. I'm starving."
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Genevieve KellyWrite a Review