I want the truth to stay out there, away from me
6 Months After the Previous Chapter
Penelope Garcia looked on in wonder at what was going on around her. It was a dream, it had to be because this kind of thing only happened in dreams; things like people with swords, people who were impossibly strong and even people who weren’t people. She could feel the grit of the brick under her palms where she was leaning against the wall, but all she could do was note how vivid this dream was, the notion that this might not be a dream was quickly discarded. Penelope figured that she must have fallen asleep at her office, because her dream started with a phone call.
“Kevin, how are you?”
“I’m fine, but you need to get out of there now.”
“What, why,” Penelope Garcia asked. She knew that Kevin Lynch was pretty level headed so the fact that he was clearly agitated already had her on edge. She’d just been winding down with a little net surfing after helping to successfully put away the slime du jour; a sociopath that thought it was perfectly alright to sell human beings.
“On the case you all just closed, you tripped over something when you were searching for the perp. A group that works very hard at not being exposed and right now they see you as a threat. So I need you to get out of there right now and get over to Derek’s, he should be able to hold them off for a while.”
“What are you talking about, who’s out to get me,” Penelope asked. She remembered seeing some interesting patterns in the stuff that she’d pulled up. It hadn’t been relative to the case so she’d just flagged it and moved on.
“There’s no time for this,” Kevin said over the phone, clearly panicked. “Do you trust me?”
“Of course,” Garcia answered automatically, and she did.
“Then get out of there right now and I’ll explain when it’s all over.”
“You promise,” Penelope asked, as she shut down her systems and started packing her belongings.
“Yeah, I promise,” Kevin replied. “Just hurry and be careful.”
“I will, I love you;” she said.
“Love you too,” he replied and cut the connection.
Garcia finished shutting her systems down and headed out. She was cautious as she left the building, making sure that there wasn’t anyone unusual paying attention or following her. As she climbed into her car, she gave Derek a call; to let him know that she was on the way. Penelope hoped that he’d accept ‘nervous boyfriend’ as an excuse for her to be there.
As she knocked on the door yet again, Garcia was having second thoughts about all of this. She was pretty sure that Morgan was at home, but it looked like he already had company. She felt awkward enough about all of this without busting in on Derek and whoever he happened to be with. As she was reaching up to knock yet again, she was forcibly spun around. As soon as she could focus on who had grabbed her, Penny was sure that she either fallen asleep or gone insane. The person that had grabbed her wasn’t a person, or if it was, it wasn’t like anyone she’d ever seen before. To begin with, he/she/whatever had three eyes, no hair, green skin that looked like scales and knees that bent the wrong way. Garcia went to scream, but whatever it was quickly slapped a hand over her mouth and smiled, there were a lot of teeth. The hand over her mouth tightened its grip painfully as the creature holding her reached for something with its free hand. Garcia saw it pull out a knife that looked longer than her forearm, the obvious implications made her eyes widen comically and she started wrenching at the hand holding her with both of her hands, but it was like trying to lift he car, a lot of effort for no result. The thing holding her smiled even broader, obviously enjoying her panic when Garcia heard a meaty thump and the expression on her captor froze in a rictus of pain. The hand holding her face convulsed painfully and then fell away as the thing fell to the side of the porch. Penny just stood there, trying to process what had just happened, it was as though someone had turned off her emotions as she struggled to understand what she was seeing. Absently, she looked down at whatever had been about to gut her and saw a huge axe stuck in the back of its skull. She looked up to see who had just saved her only to be shocked even further at what she saw. It was Kevin, or at least some version of Kevin. This one had a patch over one eye and shaggier hair and for a second, Garcia would have sworn that his eye flashed green for a moment.
“You alright,” the not-Kevin asked as he absently wrenched the axe from the skull of whatever had attacked her.
Stunned beyond the capacity for words, Penny just gave a little nod. Flashing a very charming but slightly feral grin, the not-Kevin just said, “stay here and you’ll be OK”, before turning back to face the front lawn and the street. Widening her gaze to take in whatever it was the not-Kevin was looking at, Penny was further stunned to see several more of whatever it was that had attacked her fighting with a girl. She looked smaller than JJ, but was waving a sword around that was almost taller than she was. Garcia then watched as this tiny woman kicked one of the huge attackers, she noted that it flew at least twenty feet before it landed. “Come on Bruce,” the tiny woman called out, “you don’t want me to have all the fun, do you?” Idly, Garcia noted that the girl was attacking three creatures while she asked this and was nearly invisible in the resulting cascade of entrails, fluids and body parts.
The not-Kevin gave a barking laugh and started across the lawn towards the largest knot of remaining creatures, the axe raised high.
The part of her mind that would have her screaming in horror had somehow been locked down and Garcia was able to watch the rest of what went on with an almost clinical dispassion. She was not even shocked when she felt the door behind her being wrenched open and a sleepy sounding Derek Morgan yelled out, “what the hell’s going on here?” She just turned her head slightly and muttered, “I have no idea,” and went back to watching the action. She noted that Derek had drawn his gun and calmly put her hand on it and forced it down, it didn’t take much force as Derek was just as lost in the surreality of the situation as she was. Neither of them flinched when the girl’s sword and the man’s axe both hit the final creature as the same time, cutting it into three very separate pieces.
Only after the head of this last creature stopped rolling did the pair of them seem to notice Garcia and Morgan watching them. The not-Kevin, she supposed his name was Bruce, seemed to be thinking of something to say when the girl elbowed him in the side and called out, “sorry to slay and run but we’ve got to be going.” The tiny woman then grabbed the not-Kevin’s arm and spun him around with her. “Come on Bruce.”
“Fine Robin,” Bruce replied, Garcia could hear the smile in his voice. “But I’m driving.”
Penny distinctly heard a pout in the girl’s voice as they were running towards a nearby car, “you never let me have any fun.” She and Derek just stood there in a stupor as the two of them climbed in and drove off; the whole thing where they identified themselves as federal officers or yelled out clichés like “stop or I’ll shoot”, didn’t occur to either of them until the car turned a corner and the tail-lights vanished.
Once it was just the two of them, it was as though a spell were broken as Derek yelled out, “what the hell’s going on here,” once again; and Garcia just started screaming. This pulled Derek’s attention away from what had just happened in front of him as he sank down onto the porch, holding Garcia and giving her what comfort he could. When Penny was finally composed, Morgan again asked about what they’d just witnessed, but in a much calmer tone.
“I don’t know,” Garcia replied. “Kevin called and warned me that someone was coming after me and that I should get over to your house because you had the best chance of holding them off. So I came over here, hoping that you would be OK with me being here because my boyfriend was freaking out over something when I was grabbed from behind.” She weakly gestured to the yard, “you kinda saw the rest.”
“Did he say why someone would want to come after you?”
“He said that one of my searches tripped over someone important, someone that put a lot of effort into not being found. I did notice some weird patterns coming up from my searches but they weren’t pertinent to the case so I flagged them so I could check it out later.” There was silence for a minute or two as the two friends just sat there and held each other. “He looked just like Kevin,” Garcia murmured out of the blue. At Morgan’s inquiring look she continued. “The guy who was here, Bruce I think she called him; he looked just like Kevin, but a wilder, more feral version of Kevin.”
“You sure it wasn’t a disguise,” Derek asked.
“No, it wasn’t him,” Garcia replied with certainty; "maybe it's like they say and that everyone has a twin out there somewhere."
"Maybe," Morgan replied.
She then looked directly at Derek, “what are we going to say?”
“About what,” Morgan replied.
Garcia started to answer but then she looked at the spot where Derek was pointing. Where one of the creatures had been very messily dead, there was now no remnant. “Never mind,” Penny said. Now she was looking forward to a rather vigorous discussion she’d have with her boyfriend the next time she saw him.