Sep 26, 2011


When she was sure the fighting was over, Lena left the Holdsworth and went down to the docks to find her husband and children. With her with was her Kimber .45 compact, which she really, really did not want to use, but carried it just in case. With utmost apprehension, she moved down the boarding ramp and across the dock. The crewmen and workers mostly stood around looking confused, but a select few had armed themselves and took defensive positions. Some looked to her as if to ask what was going on. As first mate, Lena's duty was to the crew. She was their direct pipeline to the captain. She represented them. And so they looked to her. As scared as Lena was, she forced herself to return their glances with a confident nod that told them, “I got this.”

Finally, she came to the area outside the Fujikawa-Mitchell Line control center where she found Hank and Liam directing a small group of crewmen and Lisbon soldiers. “Hank!” Lena called. “What's going on?”

Hank explained what happened.

“Oh, gosh!” Lena gasped. “But everything's okay?”

“Well, there's one more thing,” Hank told her. “Emma's not showed up yet.”

“What? Is she okay?”

“I don't think we should worry, but I know the guys we killed. They're Steelewood's elite and they're a team of four. We only killed three of 'em.”

“What does that mean?”

“I don't know,” Hank sighed. “Liam's taking a few volunteers to do a sweep of the city, see if we can find her.”

“Dad, we're heading out,” Liam said. “You coming?”

Hank remembered how tired he was from fighting before and realized he wouldn't be much help, “Naw, I'm gonna wait here. You go ahead and-”

“Emma!” Lena suddenly exclaimed. Coming down the street was a strange man in a blood-covered tan suit with her Emma in his arms. Hank turned and then ran after him. Lena soon followed, “Oh, Emma!”

“She's fainted,” the mysterious tan-suited man said. “She's lost a lot of blood.”

“What the hell happened?” Hank demanded as he took his daughter in his arms. She was truly unconscious, either from shock or from blood loss. Either one was bad.

“She was shot by a man dressed in full tactical gear,” the tan-suit said. “She was injured, but managed to get to cover. The tango was moving in for his kill, but lucky enough, I happened to be on the scene. There was another man with her, but he was dead when I got there.”

“Liam, go check it out,” Hank ordered.

“Yeah,” Liam nodded as he gestured for a few of the soldiers to follow him.

“Come on, we need to get her to Dr. Lorentz,” Hank grunted as he started on his to the Holdsworth. “You, come with me,” he ordered to the stranger.

“Right,” he replied instantaneously as he followed Hank closely. Lena came with them as well. Since Hank was defenseless as he carried Emma, she kept her hand close to the Kimber. Seeing her daughter like that made Lena actually want to use it. Somebody did this and likewise somebody should pay. If tan-suit was being honest though, then that was already taken care of. Half of Lena's being felt something akin to jealousy, while the other half was relieved not to be a part of that. It was in this moment Lena realized that it had been a long time since she had felt so conflicted. The last time was in Russia and before that, Iraq. And there was more than conflict, there was anger.

Lena knew herself not to be an angry person. Even back during the outbreak, Lena didn't find herself angry. She was sad, heartbroken even, but not mad. At first, payback sounded like a good plan to her. In Iraq, Lena went along with the rest into the thick of combat. She even fired her gun, maybe even hit a few of her targets. But she hated it, the blood, the noise, the chaos; all of it. Fighting was a task left to Hank, who never turned away from a challenge. That day, they had Isadora Fleming, the stone-hearted ice queen. She proved herself strong, professional, and utterly deadly. Lena feared Isadora until she broke. Isadora fell in love with Paul Holdsworth, the klutzy Department of Homeland Security agent upon whom you could place some blame for the outbreak. In a night aboard Air Force One, Paul and Isadora consummated a relationship neither really knew would quickly come to end. In Russia, at the final battle of their quest of vengeance, Paul took an AK round straight through the chest, bringing him to a bloody, ugly end.

When Hank and Lena went their separate ways from the others, Isadora revealed the final product of her relationship with Paul. Isadora was pregnant with Paul's child, a son named Sergei. And as Lena thought on that, it suddenly hit her. The strange man in the tan-suit! It all added up. He had Isadora's icy cyan eyes and black hair, but his father's face and stride. Lena stopped and put her hand on Sergei's arm, “Hank, keep doing, we'll catch up.”

“Sure thing,” Hank quickened his pace as he ran up the boarding ramp, bleeding daughter in arms.

“Sergei? Sergei Fleming, is that you?” Lena asked as she looked into his, trying to confirm it before he answered.

The tan-suit shrugged and chuckled, “Yes. Hello, Mrs. Mitchell.”

Lena said, “We ain't seen you, what, ten years?”

“Something like that,” Sergei started walked again. Lena followed him as they started up the boarding ramp. “I can honestly barely remember you all. That was Emma Uncle Hank was carrying?”

“Yeah and that was Liam back there,” Lena replied. She fought back a wave of heavy emotion. “I wish we could give you a real proper greeting, but, as you can see-”

“It's no bother,” Sergei smiled warmly. “I'm just glad to be here.”

“What brings ya here?”

“I was hoping I could hitch a ride.”

“You goin' to Boston?”

“Not exactly.”

“Where to?”

“It's not the destination I'm concerned with. I was hoping that you had a spot on your crew for-”

“We'll squeeze you in!” Lena assured him. “The son of Isadora Fleming is always welcome on my boat, ya hear? Always.”

“I'm glad to hear that.”

“Look, I need to- I need to go and-”

“Go ahead.”

Lena nodded and then broke into a run. Hank had shown her ways to pull her emotions back, to hide them away temporarily. She controlled her anxiety over Emma just long enough to take care of Sergei, but Lena was far too sensitive to handle it for long. When Hank or Liam pulled their emotions, they could keep them hidden for a long time and safely eject them. For Lena, it was like pulling back a bow string. The whiplash would come back stronger than it was before she pulled. The dams were about ready to burst and Lena needed to release. But she had to hold it in for just a bit longer. Just a bit....

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