Voting is closed! Lecia will tell Elizabeth to talk to Isaac alone.
I haven't mentioned this on the forums yet, but this choice has been one where they were both unpleasant options with one being less bad than the other. It'll be clear which one was which whenever the next part gets out, which will be today and another part following tomorrow since there's not going to be a vote on this upcoming part.
Apologies for taking longer than I intended! I picked up a nasty sickness and I’ve been focusing more on recovering than writing, but I do intend to work on the next part once I wake up from a nap and hopefully finish it before tomorrow so I’m back on track again. We’ll see how it goes!
Elizabeth had gotten used to the same schedule, every single day. She’d sleep until the baby woke up, then she’d do whatever she felt she had to do.
On her birthday, she woke up to find the room completely empty and the time being two hours past when she usually woke up.
She eventually got out of bed and got ready, going to the dining hall.
They’d been trying to get Whitlock to eat solid foods, which was a hit or a miss depending on the day. Marshal had him in the high chair and he seemed to be eating what he was given, a gift in itself.
She took a seat next to Marshal, who wished her a happy birthday and then turned his attention back the baby. “You remember how Kimber and Jude were jokingly spitting their food out last week?” She nodded. “He picked that up and he’ll do it if nobody’s watching.”
He gave the baby a spoonful of food then looked down to clear his throat. By the time he looked up, he had spit his food onto the high chair’s tray and looked to Marshal, waiting for a reaction.
Elizabeth smirked, looking over the mess that she knew she wouldn’t have to clean up. “Further proof that he’s your son.”
“Not that we needed any more proof of that.” Marshal took a napkin that already had some baby food on it and wiped the high chair before attempting to feed him again. “What do you feel like doing today?”
“I think I’m going to go into the city.” She knew he wasn’t going to like it, but it was something she had promised Chelsea she would do. “I know it’s really soon after our last visit, but Chelsea needs my help with something. I’ll be back after dark, but he should already be asleep by the time I get back so that leaves plenty of time for us later on.”
He grimaced but stayed focused on his current task. “I’m going to be honest, I don’t even feel slightly comfortable letting you go out there knowing about that creep in the woods.”
“I don’t think he’s going to do anything. I mean, I wouldn’t do anything so soon after a failed attack, especially if I knew Filip and Monty were on watch for me specifically.”
“That’s because you know what they’re both capable of.” He sighed. “I can’t really stop you from doing what you want, but I’m just going to ask that you reconsider it.”
She already knew this was something she had to do, but she didn’t want him to worry about it all day. “Right, I’ll consider it but I won’t make any promises.”
He went silent, likely trying to change the topic. “My dad, Alyssa, and Milo are coming back later today.”
“And that means a visit from Pierre?” He nodded as Elizabeth got out of her seat. “Great, I miss the old bastard already.”
“I’m sure he has a few choice words for you too.”
Isaac had a habit of sneaking off to the balcony if he woke up during the nights. Whatever the weather or the temperature, it always felt normal to him and he always considered it one of the safest places in the house since it was facing away from the city.
He didn’t really consider that to be an opening to the Voyagers until he stepped onto the balcony to find one of them waiting for him. He looked over her for a moment before crossing his arms, waiting for her to explain herself.
One thing most Onyx members could agree on was that Elizabeth wasn’t much of a threat to the lives of Onyx representatives, but was more of a thorn in their side.
After coming to the conclusion that she wouldn’t say anything first, Isaac decided to say something to remind her that she was not only trespassing but she was also known. “Mrs. Kennedy, I thought you would’ve been somewhere else for your birthday.”
“You know just as well as me that the Voyagers don’t take breaks.” She gave a soft smile. “I came here to talk about your plan for Chelsea.”
“That’s none of your concern.” Isaac immediately shoot back, taking a seat across from her.
Her smile faded. “I’ve been all over the city today just trying to track down significant people, so please just hear me out.” She attempted to put a smile back on, but quickly gave up. “You need to know the laws of Georgie’s estate because he’s trying to trick you. He recently signed in a law that made any possessions of a woman up for grabs by her husband upon marriage, that means Chelsea’s share of Onyx would go to Georgie instead of a share of Jade going to you and there’s multiple ways you can avoid that.”
Isaac smirked and leaned back in his seat, uncrossing his arms and cupping his hands. “I’m interested in your perspective of this and you’re a parent yourself. So tell me, if you were in my position, how would you handle this?”
“Considering the options, I’d go with the obvious one of marrying her to Zachary. He doesn’t want his share of Onyx but he doesn’t want to sign it over to you.” She has a slight look of disgust on her face once Zachary came up, telling Isaac that she wasn’t fond of him because of his betrayal of the Voyagers. “They’d marry and he’d give his share to her, quit his position, then she can petition for an annulment and you also get Zachary out of your life by doing that.”
“Clever.” Isaac paused, looking around the yard below them to see if any other Voyagers were around. “Why do you feel this is in any part your decision?”
“Because without the gene, both of our groups are worthless. Marrying her to Georgie sends her back to Australia and effectively out of range. One of our groups is bound get predictable and I’m afraid it won’t be my group, so it’s in your best interest to keep her around.”
“You come into a city where there’s a bounty on your head and trespass, all while being unarmed and expect to get away with threatening me?” Isaac got out of his seat. “Go home and think twice before you take a step into the city next time.”
He turned back into his home, locking the door behind him and leaving her on the balcony.
One thing Yvette was guilty of was occasionally checking up on her former residence, just to make sure nobody else had taken up residence in it. She normally went alone and at night to avoid alarming any of the Voyagers into thinking she was up to something suspicious.
Pierre has stayed at the motel later than normal to help those who came back get settled and check in with Joseph on how he had been handling things there.
He had been upset earlier in the night after finding out Elizabeth went back into the city and blamed Marshal for it, extending his probation once again by a month.
She had been trying to avoid him for most of the night and had done a pretty good job of finding a time that Monty and Filip had gone inside for a moment.
“Ms. Williams, where are you going?” She heard Pierre calling behind her as she was working on unlocking the gate.
She stopped in place, turning to see him heading straight for the gate. “Just out for a walk. Where are you going?”
He moved next to her, unlatching the gate before she could. “Back to the bunker for the night. Don’t you think it’s a little late for a walk?”
“So what? Is Elizabeth the only person allowed outside the gate after dark now?”
Pierre ignored the comment, opening the gate wide enough for him to go through but stopping in her way. “Tell Alyssa to come out here immediately, then I want you to go get Filip, Monty, and Marshal. If you see anyone other than those four, tell them to go back to their rooms.”
She stood in place, confused by the orders until he moved to reveal a body lying face down on the ground, surrounded by a pool of blood, her auburn curls giving away her identity before anyone could see her face.
Once Alyssa got out of the gate, she quickly went to the body to feel for a pulse, getting nothing in return.
Filip and Monty joined them outside the gate, Monty keeping his distance from the body. “Isn’t she going to come back? Why is everyone so concerned?”
Alyssa frowned and shook her head, her eyes focusing on what she believed killed her. “Chelsea’s out of range and she was still weak from the last time.”
“How do you know it happened here?” Filip questioned, quickly jumping to another topic. “No, wait, how could she survive me stabbing her but not this? That doesn’t make sense.”
Alyssa and Pierre moved the body to see her body, something major sticking out the Alyssa. “Monty, how long were you two away from the gate?”
“Just ten minutes, Yvette can back that up because she’s been watching us all night.”
“And you two heard absolutely nothing?” They shook their heads. “When was the last time someone saw her?”
They all went silent until Pierre crossed his arms. “I spoke with her just before she left at about noon.”
Alyssa looked at her watch, furrowing her eyebrows. “That doesn’t add up. This body is already cold and well past the beginning stages of rigor mortis. She would have left at noon to come back three hours later and gotten stabbed here, but I trust that none of us would be capable of overlooking a body. She would have had to be put here long after she actually died. Where did she go?”
“She told me she was going into the city to speak with Isaac Hampton but she wouldn’t listen to me when I told her to not go.” Pierre uncrossed his arms, pointing at Yvette once she joined the group. “Go into the city and see if she was actually there.”
Yvette nodded, stopping in front of the truck and picking the keys up off the ground. She paused once she found herself looking at the headlight. “Monty, let me borrow your flashlight.” He passed it to her, the group’s attention turning to what she was doing. She turned the light on and flashed it on the headlight. “Has anyone noticed this footprint before?”
Filip kneeled to look at it as well. “It looks fresh and probably doesn’t correlate with Rick or whatever. There was a struggle.”
“Rigor mortis, not Rick or whatever.” Alyssa looked to Pierre. “Filip knows how to work the system back at the bunker, so it might be for the better if Yvette drops him off there on her way to the city.”
Pierre gave a nod of affirmation as Filip got up and into the truck with Yvette. He then turned his attention to Monty. “You would have heard a struggle, correct?” He nodded. “Then this makes no sense. There is no sequence of events that leads us to where we are right now.”
A moment after Filip and Yvette pulled away from the scene, Marshal stepped out of the gate. Alyssa watched as if he scanned the body with his eyes before shaking his head. “What’s going on?”
One thing Marshal was bad about was bluffing. He could never tell a convincing lie to the people who knew him and Alyssa immediately noticed that he wasn’t trying to fake confusion, he was actually confused. “I’m going to need your help with something. You’re the one person in this group who knows Elizabeth’s body as closely as she does. Can you think of anything that would help us get a one hundred percent certain identification of her?”
He briefly looked at the body again before scowling. “You’re wasting your time with that body, it’s not her.”
“How can you be confident in that when you’ve only seen the body from ten feet away?” Pierre questioned, ultimately making Marshal take a few steps forward.
He looked over the body again, crossing his arms. “It’s still not her. Elizabeth has a small scar on her right cheek, this woman doesn’t. In fact, I can almost assure you that this woman also doesn’t have any evidence of getting shot multiple times, stabbed once, or a pregnancy. Elizabeth had all of those.”
‘It would line up with the weird timeline we’ve been given, but I still don’t know if this is Elizabeth or not.’ Alyssa sighed looking over the body, then at her companions. ‘I could ask Pierre for permission to take a deeper look since he’s my superior or I could ask Marshal for permission since Elizabeth is really involved in all this.’ She looked at Marshal once again. ‘It might make him feel better if I reach out to him as a friend, but I don’t know if Pierre will stop me since Marshal technically has no control over this.’
[Ask Pierre for permission] [Ask Marshal for permission]
Her father was normally awake long before she was, but he usually waited until she was awake and ready before they went to work.
Instead, she woke up to a voicemail from him saying that he’d already left and switched her shift around so she’d be able to sleep in. He also mentioned that he’d have someone stop by the house to pick her up about thirty minutes before her shift.
She got ready and ate breakfast before just wandering around the house, waiting until whoever came to pick her up showed up.
As it would turn out, her father sent Zachary to pick her up, which was a bit of a surprise in itself since he didn’t like Zachary and he also didn’t like Zachary being around Chelsea since he always said that he had been “influenced by the enemy” and he didn’t want it rubbing off onto Chelsea.
Zachary wasn’t the type to rush as he believed in things happening naturally, a lifestyle his parents had adopted and Isaac hated. “We should probably hurry since your dad set up a meeting for the three of us and Georgie.”
“A meeting? For what?”
“Probably something about your wedding if Georgie is involved.” Chelsea noticed a slight look of distaste on his face when he said it.
“What are your thoughts on that?” She paused, only continuing when he seemed a little confused. “The wedding, what do you think of the wedding?”
He hummed slightly for a moment, which Chelsea knew meant he was thinking over it. “I think it’s a bad idea. Georgie’s a pervert, a liar, and a cheater. I also think it’s pretty immoral to send your own daughter into a marriage like that, especially someone like you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
He shrugged. “You’re just not Georgie’s type. You’re not promiscuous, you’re not submissive, and you’re not some organization receptionist who uses your boss for whatever the hell you want and then leaves him for someone like Georgie.”
Chelsea was one of the few people who knew about Zachary’s short lived relationship with Onyx’s receptionist, Debbie. He never told her exactly why Debbie had ended the relationship and he always seemed a little uncomfortable talking about it, but now he just seemed mad. “Debbie left you for Georgie?”
“In the most humiliating way possible.” He sighed, looking to get a bit more comfortable. “It was the day I had to bring my aunt to work with me since Gillian was out of service. We were going to leave but aunt Marcella realized she left her medicine in my office. She wouldn’t tell me where she put it, so we both had to go up and that took some time just because of how unwell she is on her feet and we ended up walking in on them in my office.Georgie took it as an opportunity to mock me and Debbie used it as an opportunity to dump me.”
“She understands that she’s not the only woman he’s seeing while he’s here, right?” Zachary nodded, keeping his eyes on the road. “Then why is she still going for him? That makes no sense to me.”
“I love to remind people of this, I’m the most disgraced name Onyx has to offer. Georgie may be a complete tool, but he’s still got some dignity to his name. That’s something I don’t have and I have no chance of earning because an opinion on me has already been formed.”
“You were with the Voyagers for most of your life, so that’s something that’s naturally going to scare some people. They’ve been told their entire lives that the punishment for associating with the Voyagers was death but yet here you are, someone who has associated with their group for years, in a position of power.”
Zachary stayed silent until they got to work, Chelsea only sticking around because it seemed like he had something on his mind. “The group I was with certainly weren’t Voyagers. Joseph’s group was the Voyagers, not Rocco’s group. We may have both been inactive for some time, but Joseph’s group stepped up when they had to, not Rocco’s group. I may barely know the people in Joseph’s group and they may hate me, but I have a huge amount of respect for them just because of how they stood up for their beliefs, it’s a lot more than I can say for the group that I was part of.”
They both left the car and went into the building, meeting up with Georgie in the lobby before going into the elevator to go to Isaac’s office.
Chelsea was between the two men in the elevator, immediately feeling an unspoken tension between them. She could already trace it back to what happened with Debbie. Zachary wasn’t that serious with her, but it didn’t change the fact that she had cheated with Georgie and Georgie felt no remorse about it.
That tension lasted all the way until they had all taken a seat in Isaac’s office. “First, I must thank the three of you for joining me on such a short notice. I’m sure we all had more important things lined up today, but this matter holds a personal priority to me. Now, I want to start off by asking Chelsea what she believes is most important in the life people like us lead.”
“By people like us you mean people who have control over organizations, right?” She looked to her father, getting a nod in response. “Our business is the first priority, but after a certain point I believe family should be a priority since they’ll be the people in charge of what you leave behind.”
Isaac nodded along, eventually looking at Georgie. “Now, the strangest thing happened last night. Two different Voyagers showed up to my home unannounced at two different times. The first one spoke to me about what she believed would leverage our odds against her group. As suspicious as it is, I believe there’s two people in here who can testify to her honesty.” He then looked between Zachary and Chelsea. “You two, tell me how honest of a person Elizabeth Neil is.”
Chelsea immediately knew what the meeting was for once he mentioned Elizabeth and she knew she had to convince him to believe Elizabeth if she wanted to stay where she was. “She is probably the most trustworthy of their group. She refuses to take lives and has even saved a few Onyx lives, so it seems very likely to me that she’s being completely truthful when she tells you it’ll raise Onyx’s chances of success.”
Isaac then looked straight at Zachary, waiting for his answer. “She’s right. Elizabeth has always been one of the people who puts lives ahead of goals and a confrontation with Onyx will lead to an unspeakable loss of lives on both ends and she wants to prevent that, even if it means failing at her group’s goals.”
“That brings me to my next point of interest. Mr. Kenny, our deal will not be going forward from this moment on and you’ll be expected to return home immediately.”
Georgie stopped slouching, sitting up straight with a look of disappointment in his eyes. “Why’s that?”
“Elizabeth brought something to my attention that you intentionally tried to hide from me and if I can’t trust you with being honest about your laws then I can’t trust you with my daughter.” He then motioned to Zachary. “That, and why should I got for one half of two different organizations when I can get the complete organization back with his share of Onyx?”
“I’m sorry, what?” Zachary seemed to be getting ready to reuse the offer, even if he deep down knew it wasn’t going to an offer more than it was a demand.
Georgie looked to Zachary, a slight snicker when he did so. “You really think that boy scout is any better to take care of your daughter?”
At Georgie’s comment, Zachary seemed to get angry again, his surprise quickly fading. “You know what, Isaac? I’ll do it and I’ll do it as soon as tomorrow if that’s what you’d like me to do.”
Isaac looked pleased at Zachary’s response, a smile on his face. “Georgie, that’s what you lack. The yearning to preserve what’s most important in our businesses and I don’t want that useless nature rubbing off onto my daughter.”
Isaac had said that Georgie would be staying a week as a show of good faith.
His plan was to have her spend the week with Zachary to allow the two more time to get to know each other on a more personal level and prepare for the wedding at the end of the week.
They only came in to work for the first two days of the week before Isaac demanded that they take the rest of the week off, which Zachary only did when Chelsea agreed to it.
Isaac encouraged them to go out and make their relationship look a little more natural so they had gone to a lounge to talk with some of the people Zachary considered normal.
His parents had been known to hang around people who walked a very thin line of breaking the law but had the charisma or money to avoid getting caught and from they all knew about him, he preferred to hang out with the people who actually broke the law.
After a few drinks, they settled onto a couch away from other people to talk about something that Chelsea said was important.
“When you first told me who you were, you said that every leader has someone working undercover and that Marshal didn’t know who was working for him. Do you know who it is?” He hesitantly nodded. “Who is it?”
He stayed silent before taking another drink and then draping his arm around Chelsea’s shoulders and leaning in close to her. “One of the Richardson’s is unhappy in their current life and has adopted the thought process of things being better if the entire family didn’t work for Onyx. They’re the only reason Elizabeth hasn’t been caught for all the cyberattacks and Marshal wasn’t executed when he last came into the city last month.”
He then leaned back in his spot, keeping his arm around her to try and seem more natural but stay close enough for their conversation to remain private. “And the people who are after my dad, have you gotten an answer to that?”
“Not a clear one but that’s part of the reason I didn’t fight his decision to ditch Georgie.” He looked over to her, a slight shrug. “I guess now is the best time to tell you, I’m not signing off my portion of Onyx until I figure out who’s behind it and can create a compelling argument for it.”
“Signing off your portion of Onyx? How do you know that’s his plan?”
“Because it’s not his plan. It’s Elizabeth’s and it’s pretty easy to figure out. She doesn’t want you to leave South Dakota but she’s also conflicted on acting with the Voyagers because of her kid so instead of suggesting something that helps the Voyagers, she just wants to create another obstacle that gives her time to decide on what would be best for her kid.”
“Where’d you come to that conclusion?”
He chuckled, taking another drink. “I didn’t, your dad did but he didn’t mention signing off on Onyx. That’s just something Elizabeth would recommend, I know that much about her.”
Chelsea knew what she wanted to ask next, but she could already tell how he was going to react to it. “That same night, you mentioned that the Voyagers and Onyx both hated the Bennington family. I’ve done a lot of searching through records to try to find connections to the Voyagers and I haven’t found anything yet. What is the connection?”
Zachary went quiet, staring off for a moment before sighing. “I never knew this until I met Joseph, he told me everything I know about it and it really changed my view on the Voyagers and my parents.” Chelsea could tell he was struggling to find the right words to say. “My parents would lure Voyagers out of hiding with the promise of safety and they’d immediately sell them out. Every single person that went to my parents for safety has ended up executed for being associated with the group.” He softly chuckled. “Marshal nearly beat my ass in Vermont after that. He was mad that I lied to him and I was who I was and if it wasn’t for Milo, he would have definitely given me a beating.”
She quickly thought better of continuing the topic and tried to deviate from it. “The other groups have people from Onyx working for them, but did Leona have somebody in the Voyagers before she made contact with them?”
“Of course she did. A number of the new Voyagers have no reason to stay loyal strictly to the group and those are the ones she picks to go undercover. Grady was undercover for her until Marshal showed back up, then he backed out on her. Him backing out and Marshal’s tenacious grip on his beliefs are what made her come out of hiding.”
“What do you mean by that?”
He looked as if he was thinking on the question before he took another drink. “Marshal’s an odd man, he always has been. From what I heard from other people, Dawn and Kyle had some major differences in parenting and so he had two extreme influences growing up. You’ve met Kyle, you know his temper. Marshal has the same exact temper but he doesn’t handle it the same way Kyle does, he puts that energy into something different and he has to do it to perfection, otherwise it’s a waste of his time. That’s all Dawn. Leona was afraid of him because he’s completely unpredictable, the same reason your dad has made him a priority target.”
“And what about the rest of the group? I’d say most of them are just as dangerous if not even more dangerous.”
He shook his head. “Marshal’s the most likely to take a life without hesitation and he’s only gotten worse since Elizabeth got pregnant, but most of the others prefer to incapacitate a threat or surrender rather than kill somebody. That’s not to say they don’t support him, though, he’s just protecting the group and his wife, they can’t blame him for that.”
“Do you know exactly who’s undercover for who?”
He nodded and looked over his shoulder, but then quickly looked away and leaned in close to her. “Don’t look now but Georgie and Debbie just walked in and they’re on a straight path over here.”
She thought over her options for a split second before pulling him into a deep kiss, hoping it would send the two in the opposite direction.
Neither of them pulled away for a few moments, the both of them taking the moment to fully process what exactly they were doing and what they wanted.
Zachary was the first to pull away, a blush taking over his face as he did so. “I was just going to suggest we leave since it’s already late, but I guess your suggestion works too.”
Chelsea smirked, looking over her shoulder to see that the two had in fact turned away. “My dad is supposed to be showing up sometime this week, so we probably should go.”
He pulled his arm from behind her shoulder, a slight laugh as he got off the couch. “Sure, since it’s your idea now. You’re driving, though.”
“You know, I think I should drive.” Chelsea got off the couch, seeing Zachary roll his eyes in response.
I just think Pierre would feel appreciated and respected if Alyssa asked him. He would be more likely to trust or listen to her in the future. I don't think Marshal would mind, especially since he doesn't believe the body is Elizabeth's anyways. I hope it's not Elizabeth, since she is one of my favorite characters.
Also, I think Chelsea and Zachery make a cute couple, but their influence could make them a real power couple as well. Together, they could really help the Voyager's.
By the way, was no one curious about who the second voyager who visited Isaac was? No one seemed to ask about it during the meeting.
Post by LiquidChicagoTed on Nov 16, 2018 23:43:37 GMT
[Ask Pierre for permission]
I just don't think doing this behind Pierre's back is a good idea. See, here's the thing, if Alyssa asks for permission and is denied, which is anything but confirmed, what would stop her from just doing it regardless? Tales brings up a point I agree with, respecting Pierre as the superior could be a good way to gain his appreciation, so I support that choice.
Alyssa looked between Marshal and Pierre before focusing on Pierre. “He seems really certain that this isn’t her and he does have a point that if I do look over the body, I can find out if it is or not. Do you agree with that?”
Pierre stayed silent for a moment before delivering his verdict. “We’ll move the body to the infirmary to provide some sort of privacy.”
Alyssa noticed the look she got from Marshal before he turned and went back in the gates, leaving her, Pierre, and Monty to move the body.
The three of them put the body in the infirmary, then left to wait outside the door for Marshal since he was the only one who could confirm or deny anything with absolute certainty.
There wasn’t much to say until Monty broke their silence, asking what they all wanted to know. “Do you guys think Marshal’s mad?”
“No doubt about it.” Alyssa sighed, watching the door to Marshal’s room. “Mad, shocked, hurt. He’s a lot of things right now, but conflicted is the biggest one. I’m almost certain he heard me mention that Chelsea wasn’t in range and he always gets a little shaken up when Elizabeth dies, just because that’s not supposed to be a normal part of your life.”
“The fear of the unknown is one that can break the strongest person alive.” Pierre was also watching the door but didn’t seem too keen on the conversation. “I only agreed to allow you to look over the body to offer him closure so he and the boy can move on. Milo and Leah will understand, but Marshal is almost incapable of accepting death as soon as it happens, even if it’s right in front of his face. My concerns at this moment are for his son.”
“Even when trying to express emotion, you still sound like a robot.” Monty gave a nervous chuckle when he caught the glare Pierre sent his way. “I mean, we were all thinking it.”
Pierre looked away from Monty, shaking his head.
Marshal’s door opened again and he left the room, carrying a sleeping and bundled Whitlock in his arms. He joined the three and sighed, trying to put on a fake smile. “I just didn’t want to leave him alone for too long.”
The four of them went into the room, Alyssa having to search the body.
At every single turn, Marshal continued to deny that it was Elizabeth until Alyssa went to take note of the woman’s eye color.
She noticed he stayed oddly silent when she did, so she chose to question it. “Is there something on your mind?”
He adjusted Whitlock, which woke the boy up. “It’s still not Elizabeth, but now I can tell you who it is. Elizabeth and I used to have identities that allows us the go undercover in Onyx; they were real people who had gotten tired of being field agents for Onyx. Sara Jacobson was the first person we met up with and she looked so close to Elizabeth that we were confident we could pull it off. One problem we had was their eye colors. Sara had green eyes, but they were a darker green than Elizabeth’s and I can tell you that if you compare that woman’s eyes to Whitlock’s eyes, you’ll find that they’re darker than his but they’re still green.”
Alyssa went over to Marshal and motioned for Monty to come over and open the boy’s eyes. “I don’t really want to touch the baby’s face after I’ve had my hands on a dead body.”
Monty joined her, Pierre lingering at a distance to where he could see but stay far enough.
Most people at the motel knew that Whitlock was oddly sensitive about his back and often wouldn’t let anyone touch his back without throwing a tantrum. Monty had hoped that because Marshal was there, the baby would just forget about it and go along with his day, but he quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen.
As soon as Monty laid a hand on the baby’s back, his eyes flew open and he stared daggers at Monty, waiting for him to back away.
Pierre and Alyssa took note of the exact color of his eyes and compared it to the woman, finding what Marshal said to be true. “Was there anything else about Sara that you can remember?”
He frowned before shaking his head. “There wasn’t much to remember about her. Her hair was more of a dirty blonde than it was light brown, her eyes were green, and her voice was pretty high pitched.”
“So we can be sure that this isn’t Elizabeth, but we still can’t positively identify her?” Pierre crossed his arms. “That also brings up the questions, where is Elizabeth and what is the timeline of events?”
Alyssa thought back to what she knew and went back to look over the body one more time before standing to address the group. “This isn’t Elizabeth, but it’s very likely Sara Jacobson. The timeline of events is pretty hard to decipher with no key witnesses, though I think it’s possible to create one.” She directed most of her attention to Pierre, knowing it was him that she’d have to convince. “Nobody knows what happens to field agents after a Voyager takes their identity, as I’ve been told that they don’t keep contact with the Voyagers and the Voyagers don’t attempt to keep contact with them. That being said, whoever killed Sara knew that she would pass for Elizabeth, even if it was temporarily. Sara being left in front of the gates was a distraction and wherever Elizabeth is, she didn’t go on her own free will. That can be proved by the shoe print that was left on the headlight of the truck that she took into the city.”
Pierre nodded along, eventually cutting in. “That explains why you were having trouble finding how the death was recent.”
“Exactly.” Alyssa went on. “That was because the time of death was early afternoon at the latest. Sara was killed whenever someone found out about Elizabeth’s plans to leave for the city and then dropped at the gates to try and convince us that she was Elizabeth.” She then looked to Marshal. “Who else knew about Elizabeth going into the city?”
“She told me that she was going to tell Monty and Filip just so they were aware she’d be getting back later and didn’t alarm them when she did come back.”
Pierre looked at the floor, tapping his foot. “I hate to say it but there’s not much we can do about her being missing. We have no idea where to start a search or if we’d just be getting led into a trap.”
Monty seemed to agree until Marshal spoke up. “You’re wrong about multiple things there, but I’m going to suggest a course of action that’s going to sound a little out there.” The three of them looked at him, waiting for his idea. “Isaac wants Elizabeth and Whitlock back in the city because he wants to test the gene they carry, they can’t do that because they only have Chelsea. I’m going back to the city and taking Whitlock with me and I’m going to give Isaac the opportunity to lead a search.”
“You can’t do that.” Alyssa immediately interjected. “Isaac will kill you, that secures absolutely nothing for the group.”
“It does.” He shot a look towards her. “If I give myself up and confess for every Voyager related crime that I can, it offers some people here a clean slate and gives me a better chance at talking Isaac into letting me live. Isaac will be able to use Whitlock and Chelsea to track Elizabeth down faster than we can on our own and that gives the group a better chance at finding her alive and no offense intended towards Pierre, but that’s the only thing that matters to me right now.”
“Isaac’s going to know that you’re using him.” Monty chimed in, trying to talk him out of it.
Marshal nodded. “Of course he is. Isaac Hampton is a brilliant man, but he’s not one to turn down two high priority targets and their child when it benefits him in every way possible.”
“It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind, but what about the group?” Pierre leaned against the wall, studying Marshal.
“My plan is pretty simple and Milo knows all of it, he was already going to take leadership and Elizabeth and Whitlock being in the city gives him more of a reason to act. Samantha has the same useful skills that I do and worst comes to it, Cecilia and Horatio both count for a decent medic.”
“It sounds like a smart move, in my opinion.” Pierre crossed his arms. “It’s not going to be the popular opinion but sometimes the unpopular option is the best one.”
Chelsea spent most of the afternoon with Carmella, who had taken a quick liking to her and mentioned to Zachary that she wanted to get to know her more, which he then passed on to her.
Halfway through the afternoon, her father showed up with Anthony Richardson in tow, a slight look of frustration on his face.
He had Chelsea and Zachary meet with him and Anthony in the living room after he had gotten a few select papers in just the position he wanted. “When I told you two to make your relationship look more natural, I didn’t mean for you two to put on a show in the lounge. Certain media outlets have already broken the story and because we haven’t made a public statement announcing the engagement or why it’s happening, they’re conspiring over the nature of your relationship.”
“I feel that’s a natural reaction since I’m technically her boss.”
Isaac nodded, looking through his papers. “That’s why one of you needs to resign. The last thing Onyx needs is claims of misconduct.”
Anthony looked surprised by the claim. “That’s not what we discussed on the way here and it’s something that can be handled at a later date.”
“Thank you for the reminder.” Isaac started putting his papers away, only confusing Chelsea and Zachary more as he had just taken them out. “Marshal Kennedy is currently in the fourth floor conference room. He’s making some outlandish claims and refuses to give anyone all the details until Chelsea’s present but he claims he’s willing to surrender on specific conditions.”
Chelsea and Zachary shared a look of concern before Anthony and Isaac focused solely on Chelsea. “I mean, I don’t know him that well but I can try to talk to him.”
“That would be appreciated.” Isaac then stood, Anthony slowly getting up. “I expect to see the both of you at headquarters in an hour, the gives you thirty minutes to get ready.”
After that, the two excused themselves to allow Chelsea and Zachary some time to get ready.
They hurried and got ready, going straight to headquarters whenever they were ready, making a beeline for the elevator once they got there.
As soon as Chelsea and Zachary took a seat across from Marshal, Isaac and Anthony joined them, Lyla Richardson following behind them soon after.
“These are all the people you’ve requested, now will you talk?”
Marshal nodded, putting his hands on the table. “I’m ready to surrender and I’m not speaking for my whole group, I’m speaking for myself. I understand why you’re all likely confused as to why I’m doing this, but I want to make an offer. I’m willing to reform and take blame for any crimes you want me to, but I just need two things from Onyx.” He looked at Isaac, seeing that he seemed interested in what he had to say. “After your visit with Elizabeth, she went missing. We sent Leona to question you and she said you had no idea what happened to her. We waited a few days to see if she would turn up but she hasn’t and at this point, it’s unbearable for me. Our son is nearby and I’ll gladly allow you to use the gene to locate her on the condition that I help in the search and you don’t separate my son and I.”
“What makes you believe we’d have any interest in searching and potentially saving a Voyager?” Isaac crosses his arms, studying Marshal from his seat.
“Elizabeth’s another high priority target and she’s the only one you’d need to start studying the gene’s effect of her and how it evolved in our son. Once she’s found, I’ll find a way to keep her in the city and we won’t associate with the Voyagers from then on.”
Lyla looked to the table, tapping her finger. “The gene does need to be checked on and it wouldn’t hurt to see how it’s changed since Elizabeth joined the Voyagers and Chelsea went to Jade.” She then cupped her hands. “What I'm most interested in is seeing how well it’s doing in a second generation.”
“The only way to do that is to locate Elizabeth and the gene can probably be used to locate her, right?” Chelsea questioned Lyla, already knowing her answer to Marshal’s requests.
“That can be done, but it’ll take time.” Lyla didn’t seem too confident in her answer. “Marshal, would you say your son is typically more attached to Elizabeth?” He nodded. “I’m assuming he’s already noticed her disappearance, so he’s dealing with some major anxiety because he doesn’t know what’s going on. The chances of being able to locate her with the gene are relatively small if all three of you aren’t focused on finding Elizabeth or in her case, being found.”
“But what’s most important is that it can be done.” Anthony spoke up, surprising most of the people at the table by speaking out of turn. “He’s willing to turn in himself, his wife, and his son if we can just find her. They’ve run way too many times and I’m certain that he knows he’s not going to be able to leave the city again, especially not with his son. That, and I’ve heard that Elizabeth went to Isaac a few days ago and gave him information against her group, so she clearly doesn’t want to be with the group either. We need to find her and research the gene, its been sitting idle in all of them for way too long.”
Marshal’s sudden silence told Chelsea that there was something in what Anthony had said that he hadn’t previously known.
The others seemed to agree with what Anthony said and turned to Isaac for what he had to say. “Because of the circumstances, you and your son will be staying with Zachary until Elizabeth is found. You won’t be separated unless you act up, then I won’t hesitate to chip you and put you right back on the fourth floor. Am I understood?”
Marshal nodded slightly, looking at the table. “Sounds like a deal.”
“Isaac, if it’s alright with you, I’d like to do some testing on him and the boy today.” Lyla spoke as everyone was preparing to leave the meeting. “I want to see what exactly I’m dealing with on both sides and Elizabeth is already in the system, but he’s not.”
Chelsea could tell Isaac was likely going to say no, which encouraged her to jump into the conversation. “He can tell me where the baby is and I’ll go get him. That gives Lyla time to take his blood and he’ll be ready to help with the baby by the time I get back.”
Isaac pushed himself out of his chair, brushing down his white suit jacket. He then looked at Marshal. “Tell her where the boy is and then go with Lyla.”
The room cleared out, only Chelsea and Marshal remaining once everyone had gone.
He stayed silent and seated for a moment before getting up. “He’s in the diner’s alley with Milo. He’s got two bags with him, most of it is Whitlock’s stuff but some of it is stuff that I need, so please don’t forget the bags.”
He then left the room, immediately being confronted by Lyla when he walked out.
Chelsea left once she knew they had made it back to the lab and met up with Zachary in the lobby, telling him where they needed to go for the baby.
The ride to the diner was quiet, mainly because Chelsea didn’t want to break the silence. Zachary looked a bit upset about something, but she wanted to wait until he brought it up.
As they got closer to their destination, he sighed. “Why do you think your dad put them with us?”
“I think he would rather have just left the baby with us but he knows he can’t talk Marshal into splitting up. I’ve got a strong feeling he wants the baby to stay around me in case Elizabeth turns up when we’re not searching for her because we’d be able to feel it if she were in range.” She looked over to see a puzzled look on his face. “Why do you ask?”
“Marshal’s not going to be happy about having to stay with someone who lied about his identity for years and then abandoned the group when the first opportunity presented itself.” He seemed to tense up. “Loyalty is something Marshal values more than anything else in the world because loyalty is all that the Voyagers have. They don’t have money, but they also have no use for money, they live on borrowed time, so what they have is a bond that was formed through loyalty to each other.”
“Marshal left the group too, though, so I wouldn’t say loyalty is that big of a deal to him.”
Zachary shook his head. “Marshal left the group because Elizabeth is in danger and coming to us is his best bet at saving her. It’s something he took into consideration, given that it has been a few days since she went missing, but he was comfortable enough to leave the group in someone else’s control. Regardless, he chose to come to us because he’s married to Elizabeth, he’s loyal to her just as she is to him.”
Chelsea could tell there was more he wanted to say. “Is there more?”
He nodded. “There’s some stuff I want to ask Milo. I’m not entirely sure I one hundred percent buy what Marshal said about her disappearance.”
“So you’ve gone from being nervous about him to being suspicious of him?”
“No, I’m not suspicious of him, I just think he’s hiding a few details because he doesn’t want to get in trouble. Milo’s still a free man since we’re there for the baby, he has no reason to hide details from us and I’m sure he’s just as desperate to get answers so that’s why we’re going to ask him for what he knows.”
Chelsea stayed silent, knowing the plan was a pretty solid one.
Once they arrived, Milo revealed himself and that he wasn’t armed, he handed over the bags Marshal had mentioned and then passed the baby’s carrier to Chelsea.
He had been holding the baby before they got there, knowing it’d be the last time in a long time that he’d see his nephew, a thought that visibly upset him.
He went to hand the baby to Zachary but then pulled him back towards him when he noticed Zachary didn’t go to take him. “I’ve got a few things to ask you, you can keep him until we’re done.”
“There’s not much I can tell you guys, I’m sorry.”
“Whatever you can and do tell us brings us closer to finding Elizabeth, so you really just need to answer a few questions.”
For a moment, Zachary seemed to be studying Milo. He was in the worst condition that he’d ever seen. He looked like he hadn’t slept or eaten in weeks. “Fine, but I’m not sticking around much longer.”
“How was Elizabeth prior to her disappearance? Behavior, emotional, whatever you can think of.”
Milo shrugged, looking away from Zachary. “I wasn’t around much until the day she went missing because of an incident.”
Zachary shared a look with Chelsea, knowing Marshal hadn’t mentioned an incident beforehand. “What incident?”
He stayed silent before he sighed. “A few of your officers raided the motel and shot me. I had to go to a different location for treatment and recovery but I was told that Elizabeth took out six of the officers and spared just one.”
“And that one spared was Ada, right?” He nodded. “The day Elizabeth went missing, what can you remember from it?”
“That was the day I went back to the motel and her birthday. She wanted me to help her sneak past the guard on duty so she could leave to do something and I distracted the guard while she went out the gates.”
“Did she tell you where she was going?”
He shook his head. “She didn’t, but Marshal did later that night. He told me she wanted to go talk to Isaac and that he was really worried about her since she had been gone for awhile but he didn’t want to alarm anyone by going after her himself.” He took a deep breath, looking down at the baby. His voice cracked when he spoke again. “The last thing I remember about that night was Marshal coming to my room to tell me that she was missing.”
“Do you know if she would leave at her own will? Maybe for a break?”
“She would never; she wanted to be there for every single thing Whitlock did and she was afraid to leave the gates for some time. It really surprised me when she asked for me to distract the guard and I did it because I thought I would be helping her get over her fears.”
“Is there anyone that you believe would want to hurt her?”
Milo looked up, staying quiet for a moment before nodding. “Yeah, Filip said there’s some pervert in the woods that tried to get his hands on Lecia when she was with Whitlock.” He passed the baby to Zachary before going to leave the alley. He turned back for a brief moment to look over them. “This part might interest you, whoever it was killed the real Sara Jacobson.” Next time:
"You're putting yourself in a lot of danger and quite honestly, the only thing saving your life right now is a lie. Word won't get out from me, but I'd advise you to choose your words with the utmost caution."
"What makes a group? Is it the people? The beliefs? The unity?" Pierre stared her down, waiting for an answer. "If you're going to be a leader, you have to decide what's going to keep your group going."
Something was happening, something disastrous. The Earth had told him to fear the day the Voyagers just gave up and he could feel the day coming. He could feel their faith rapidly declining and he knew he had to do something.
Marshal looked between Chelsea and his own son, eventually sighing in defeat. "I can help you buy some time but I won't take the fall for it. There's too much on the line for me, but you're really not ready for this, anyone who looks at you can tell that. You have your own things to work out, so do it quickly."
She had snuck out of the room, walking with her hand on the wall to guide her as she walked through the dark. In a matter of moments, all the lights flew on and a sound that reminded her of fireworks went off. She continued along the wall, reaching for the first door she saw, the lights going off again as soon as she opened it. She threw her hand back to the wall, a sudden surge of pain hitting her as she felt something slice into one of her fingers, the pain causing her to cover her mouth with her free hand and stop in place, getting on the ground.
And with that, we've reached the end of the sixth chapter! I did say the alternate choices would be present and they're going to be in a post either tomorrow or the next day because I haven't got them all ready yet.
What I do have is some optional questions since I realized I didn't do them last chapter, I'm not too certain about the chapter before that.
1) Who is your favorite character?
2) And your least favorite?
3) Who is a character you want to see more of?
4) What is a theme you want to see more of?
5) Where do you believe the main story is going for the Voyagers?
6) Where do you believe the main story for the Onyx Organization is going?
7) Are there any plot points you believe I neglected that you would like to see covered?
8) Is there any speculation you’d like to provide on the next time segment?
9) Lastly, do you have any questions or comments of your own?
There was no choice in the first part of the chapter but in the second part, you had Alyssa back up Marshal’s decision. By doing this, the relationship and trust between the two as well as the group’s trust in Marshal’s leadership. Another result of this choice is Marshal seeing a bit of leadership abilities in Alyssa, which caused his departure from the Voyagers in the finale.
Going on, you chose for Marshal to spend some extra time with Elizabeth in 6.3. Because of this, Marshal ended up being late to the motel; that influenced Pierre’s view on his leadership, as well as Pierre’s overall view of Elizabeth after becoming weaponized for the first time.
A follow-up choice to that part was encouraging Elizabeth to kill the guard or not. You chose for Elizabeth to spare her and while it took some effort to stop her from killing the guard, it gained the Voyagers a new ally and will likely make things easier for Marshal in the city.
By questioning Pierre on what he saw while Elizabeth was weaponized, it showed Alyssa that Elizabeth doesn’t trust Pierre and warned her to watch for lies from him. It also gave Elizabeth a little insight of what happened while she was weaponized and it gave Marshal and Pierre the chance to tell Alyssa and Elizabeth what happened from both of their perspectives.
Back at the motel, Lecia was responsible for Whitlock’s care. When she was posed with a choice, she chose to refuse the man’s help. This was easily the biggest choice of the chapter and had she accepted the man’s help, she would have died and Whitlock would have gone missing, starting a much different ending from the chapter. Though it did cause Elizabeth’s situation at the end of the chapter because she didn’t see a reason not to leave the motel.
Once Elizabeth and Marshal returned, Marshal faced a choice of telling Elizabeth about his idea to get Eris out of headquarters. By telling her his idea, he got her to help Eris and effectively took the last opportunity they’d get at freeing her and reunite her with Joseph. Pierre was going to be upset whether the had chosen to rescue Eris or not. However, this choice has the potential for repercussions for Marshal in the next chapter.
When Chelsea requested Elizabeth’s help, she chose to talk one-on-one with Isaac. This choice drastically changed the chapter for Chelsea. If Elizabeth had chosen to crash the wedding, she would have bought Chelsea some time but failed to change Isaac’s mind because of how she handled the situation and Chelsea still would have been sent away.
In the last choice of the chapter, Alyssa chose to ask Pierre for permission to search the body. By doing this, she showed Pierre that she somewhat respects his leadership and values his opinion. This was also the choice that decided how the search for Elizabeth would be handled with Marshal surrendering to Onyx because of this choice.