Helena stopped dead in her tracks; Myka's words had hit their target dead center. "Domin….? You think I am?" Helena stammered and looked like the proverbial deer in headlights.
Myka's expression confirmed that she said exactly what she meant to say. "Where were you when they were teaching people how to get along? What did they have you locked up somewhere?" Myka asked and had no idea how much those words would sting.
This would have been the moment Helena yelled out in frustration and tore into her opponent. This was not a business deal though, even if Helena thought the same rules should apply. So Helena took a deep breath and swallowed her pride – again.
"Myka, tell me how I can fix this. Surely there is but a simple solution?" Helena asked sincerely.
Her tone gave Myka pause because it sounded heartfelt. Giving in was easy for Myka, it was what she did all the time. Then she remembered what the last twenty-four hours had been like for her. She had been manipulated, lied to, played, and dismissed. She shook her head and gave a soft chuckle to think she almost fell for it again.
"Sure, I'll tell you Helena," Myka said turning to her suitor.
'OK then,' Helena thought waiting for the solution to this puzzle that was Myka.
"Go find yourself a time machine, Helena. Then go back to yesterday when we met and this time around – don't manipulate, intimidate, dismiss or use me! How's that Helena? Simple enough for you?" Myka said and stormed out of the hotel into a cab - leaving Helena speechless - again.
"Where is she?" Sam asked Helena.
Helena was deep in thought, Myka words still smarting.
"I fear Myka has left us, Mr. Martino. Perhaps to do some much-needed soul-searching," Helena said.
"That's ridiculous," Sam said and started to leave. Helena put her hand on his arm and much to everyone's surprise, it was gentle.
"Give her tonight to sort things out, Sam. She's had a very rough day and I must admit, I believe I had something to do with that," Helena said and Pete immediately mouthed– 'something?'
Helena was the last person Sam would trust for advice. After all, no one knew Bunny the way he did. He frowned at Helena, but didn't say anything. He left the hotel in pursuit of his girlfriend.
"Take me home, Pete," Helena said.
It was after a few minutes of silence in the car before Helena spoke. "I will admit, Mr. Lattimer, I can put business deals together with much less effort than it takes to please that woman," she said out of frustration to her consigliere.
Pete looked in the rear view mirror and nearly got clipped by a taxi. He swerved just in time to miss it, but in doing so, tossed his passenger to the side.
"Do not kill me, Mr. Lattimer. I fear you will be out of job if you do," Helena said.
"Sorry boss …it's just….," Pete said and then thought maybe he should just watch the road.
Helena detested hesitancy.
"Mr. Lattimer, if you have something to say – say it. I do not appreciate feeling that people are too intimidated to speak their minds with me. I do not bite," Helena said and meant most of it.
'Yeah right,' Pete said under his breath.
"Say again? I believe you might have caused some hearing impairment on that effort not to kill us," his boss commented.
"I'm just a little surprised that that's what you think you were doing," Pete said, waiting for the laser look to appear in the mirror.
"Surely you jest, Mr. Lattimer. I took her to dinner, I took her into my home when she was drunk, I stayed with her until the morning, I saw to it that her imbecile of a boyfriend got home safely, I allowed her to bring Mr. Sykes into my office. I – even – apologized tonight," Helena replied and she sounded just like the Mayor listing the reasons he should be reelected. "And I allowed her to throw some very harsh word my way," she added to seal the deal.
Pete knew he was in uncharted waters. When people told Helena Wells what they really thought, it was usually their last appearance. And as insane as his job was, he liked it. He also liked Myka. She was one of those people you meet for a short time and know she's a good person. He wasn't sure who he was saying this for, but he was going to say it.
"Boss – nobody likes to be played," Pete said and grabbed the steering wheel with both hands. He was almost certain Helena's bellowing could make the air bags go off.
'Was everyone going to share their bloody opinions today?' Helena wondered. First Mrs. Frederic, then Myka, now Pete.
"I just think it would have gone better for you if you had been nicer to her….. from the start," Pete said sincerely.
"From the start," Helena repeated as they reached their destination.
Pete expected to hear he was fired, but instead Helena thanked him and got out.
"You okay, boss?" he yelled through the opened window.
"Couldn't be better, Mr. Lattimer. And thank you for your sage advice," Helena yelled as she ran up the step into her home.
"Thanks for letting me live," Pete said as he drove home. He pressed the button on his steering wheel to activate his phone. "Call Artie," he said and the car phone dialed the office manager at home.
"Hello, you've reached the residence of Arthur Nielsen. I'm not home right now…," the recording said.
"Artie, pick up, it's Pete," Pete yelled into the car speaker.
"What?" Artie said from the other end.
"Well, hello to you, too," Pete said back.
"Hello Pete. Now …what?" Artie asked slightly more civilized.
"We need a new boxing bag," Pete said remembering the state of the other one. It was hanging lifeless and empty when he went to the room downstairs before.
"So you called me at this hour to tell me that?" Artie asked annoyed.
"Well …. Yeah. I mean I think she's going to need it pronto," Pete said.
"Pete, I know you live, drink and breathe Wells Corp 24/7, but I have a life!" Artie yelled.
"Really? What were you doing when I called?" Pete asked knowing his friend well.
"I was…..I was just about to …," Artie stammered and shut the sound down on the television.
"Vanessa working the night shift has done wonders for you, Artie my man," Pete said.
"What size bag?" Artie asked not wanting to hear how boring his life was with his girlfriend working nights at NYU Hospital.
Helena closed the door behind her, threw off her high heels, and went up to her bedroom where she quickly changed into pants and a long sleeved blouse. She was about to rush out when she realized there was something she needed to do. She sat down at her desk, took out a piece of fine stationary embossed with her name at the top. "Dear Myka…," she wrote and followed it with her thoughts. She reread it once, folded the paper, and placed it into an envelope with Myka's name on it. She brought it with her as she went to the end of the hallway and pressed in the code to gain entrance to the room. The door opened and Helena could feel the cold air of the rarely accessed room on her face. The smell reminded her of her library back home filled with books from floor to ceiling. Helena put the light on and gazed upon the object that was dead center in the room. She ran her hand along the armrest of one of the two opposing chairs. The base of the contraption was very large and the bay window on the room had to be removed when she had it transported there. She was not supposed to have taken it, but she felt she was entitled to it since it was after all, hers.
Helena had used it only once since she had been released from the Bronze Sector in a facility out in South Dakota. It seemed that the current people in charge had need of her services and so the higher-ups commissioned her release. Ripped from the solitude, Helena was requested to use her time machine to allow two present day agents to gain access of the consciousness of two agents in the past. Helena didn't ask the details, she simply used her machine to allow it to happen. They were so pleased with the results, that the decision makers granted her full pardon and release. They had no resources to help her other than to give Helena a new identity if she wanted it and access to her accrued money. They explained as nicely as they could that although she thought these items were her belongings and technically they were, once she was bronzed as an agent, everything became property of the facility. Helena disagreed. She stayed and played nice enough until she could figure out a way to remove the few items she wanted – a necklace, some books, and her machine. Even if they accessed their rudimentary inventory software system, Helena had tampered with it to show that nothing was missing. And she worked nights to build a non-functioning machine that looked just like the real one. Helena left South Dakota with her belongings and never looked back. She used her new name only once.
Then she found her way to New York and created her new world.
Helena knew the limitations of what she was about to do. She would send her mind back – to intersect with herself – but with new information. This time – Helena would not fight the feelings she had when she saw Myka. This time, she would not be so afraid to admit that she liked Myka, even knowing how much it would hurt if she left. 'She left anyway, you bloody fool,' Helena said to herself as she checked the connections on the machine. Helena spent months accessing the power grids of New York and reprogramming the circuits in case she ever needed the extra power. She turned the dials to the desired time.
Then she sat down, placed the connections on her head and took the remote in her hand.
Myka knew that Sam would follow her. She wasn't sure about Helena. Either way, she didn't want to be found. She knew Sam would go to her apartment so she went to her office. Even if Helena came there, she might buy herself some time. After all, Myka had work to finish before she left. She greeted the night guard and went up to her office. She was happy to see all the flowers were gone. Myka went to her desk and started composing her letter. She reread it once and signed it, and then placed it in an envelope and wrote Helena's name on it. She took the documents and went upstairs to Helena's office. She placed all three items down on Eileen's desk with a note asking her to give them to Helena when she arrived. Then Myka went to a coffee shop near her apartment and waited until Sam accepted she wasn't there and left in a cab. Myka set out to pack what few things she had unpacked and made a plane reservation for the next morning. She sat down on the couch and looked around. 'New York preys on nice people like you,' her mother warned her.
"Maybe not New York," Myka said as she closed her eyes, "…just Helena Wells."
Eileen was busy in her kitchen perfecting the lessons her Aunt shared when the room went dark except for the blue flame on the gas stove.
"Dad! The fuse blew again," she yelled to her father who had fallen asleep on the couch. A minute later a beam of light shot into the room as her mother entered with a flashlight.
"It isn't just us, sweetie. Look outside. The whole block is out," her mother explained.
Eileen grabbed her phone and checked to see if it worked. "Oh thank God," she said because darkness was nothing compared to being cut off from texting.
"Mom, it's all of Brooklyn," she said as she checked the news on her phone.
"Now what the heck could have caused that, I wonder," her mother said shutting off the stove.
"Can you imagine if they trace the outage to the one guy who turned on his tiny little air conditioner tonight and blew us all out? Eileen laughed.
Eileen was right. The Con Edison Electrical Company had found the source of the drainage on the system, but it wasn't in Brooklyn.
They traced it to a townhouse on Central Park West in Manhattan.