Of women and weirdness
Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to SyFy™.
Note: contains slight spoilers for the episode “Of mites and men”.
“So,” Zoe Carter said, feeling a tad uncomfortable, “I guess this is the first time since we’ve been on our own?”
“Considering that I have arrived in Eureka only recently,” ‘Andria Korshe’ (actually Beverly Barlowe, though this couldn’t be proven right now), “this statement may not be quite appropriate. Furthermore, I feel that whatever we didn’t have between each other could’ve gone on without you being here.”
Zoe glared at ‘Andria’ through the bars. She could deal with the fact that Zane had preferred Jo Lupo over her, but the fact that they had done the ‘nasty’ in the Carter house in her room? Granted, with her absent in Harvard, her room was converted into a guest room, but it still was wrong!
In addition, the fact that by the time she arrived her father and Dr. Blake had everything replaced in there (due to the abovementioned reasons) didn’t help; in fact, it didn’t resolve anything: when Jo, unwisely, had confided to Zoe at the Carters’ residence, Zoe lost it just a little bit and charged at the older woman with such a look in her eyes, that Jo opted to flee even as Zoe pursued her. The two of them had run a merry chase (well, not that merry) over the better half of Eureka, until Jack and ‘Andria’ had stepped in and restrained the younger woman in the holding cell of Eureka’s town prison.
Sadly, after that, Jack had to go GD to run security there while Jo participated in yet another qualifying test for upcoming space travel to Titan, and so Zoe was left on her with ‘Andria Korshe’, (well, there was also sheriff Andy, but he was helping Jack out, so he didn’t really count either) who ignored her. And Zoe didn’t like it.
Actually, she didn’t like this situation in general, not just ‘Andria Korshe’ in particular, but the older woman was not only ignoring her, she was doing that while reading some sort of a cheap novel and eating lunch!.. That was injury on top of insult, and Zoe was sure that ‘Andria’ knew it.
“Doc!” she said angrily, “or whatever you call yourself now? Can you let me out? Dad told you to do that once I cooled down!”
“My name,” the older woman said coolly, “is Andria Korshe and don’t you ever forget it!”
“Yeah, whatever,” Zoe replied, unimpressed. “Can I leave?”
“Yes, I suppose so,” ‘Andria’ replied, unlocking the door. “Off you go, shoo!”
Zoe blinked. “Shoo? Shoo? What am I, a squirrel or a pigeon?”
“No,” ‘Andria’ agreed as she returned to her cold salad and reading material, “you’re not. Now don’t you have to be somewhere else?”
“So that you could eat cold salad in peace?” Zoe didn’t back down. “And it’s probably not a very good salad – I could make a better one, just not with pasta.”
‘Andria’ took a good look at the younger woman. “Are you volunteering to make me one?” she finally said after a long, long pause.
“No! Actually? Yes,” Zoe confessed. “Everyone is so busy with this entire space travel thing, so I have a bit of free time on my hands – I can’t participate in it because I’m too young and arrived too late-“
“-and you’re volunteering to make me lunch?” the other woman wasn’t fully convinced yet. “You’re that desperate?”
“For someone who’s not wholly into space? Yes!” Zoe said without hesitation. “Um, you’re not, are you?”
“No, how could I? I was an intern in a mental hospital and then I got a diploma in security – that’s how I got here,” ‘Andria’ replied placidly. “What interest do I have in cosmos?”
“Guess that’s your word of the day, then?” Zoe shrugged, before pressing on. “And what if it was senator Wen or someone, doing the offer in place of me – for real-“
“Don’t go there,” ‘Andria’ said firmly, “just don’t. Now, you said something about a salad?”
It was then that the office’s phone rang. “Yes?” ‘Andria’ spoke into it. “Sherriff’s office, who is it? Dr. Erasmus? Right. It’s an emergency? I’m on it!”
“We’re on it!” Zoe said quickly even as she moved to the car. “Come on, I’ll drive!”
‘Andria’ gave her a long look but said nothing.* * *
“So, where are we going?” Zoe asked a brief while later as the older woman drove through Eureka’s streets.
“I’m dropping you off at your home, while I am going to see what’s going on with Dr. Erasmus and his partner,” was the flat reply.
“Hey, hey, there’s no need to take that sort of tone with me,” Zoe said angrily. “Besides, dad never objected if I was aware of what was going on-“
“Except that right now you’re bored and looking for trouble, and I would rather not have it on my watch,” ‘Andria’ replied firmly. “Plus you offered to make me a salad?”
Zoe bit her lip: the fact that what the other woman was saying was true didn’t help it either, but if she was left on her own for the rest of the day, she might just crack.
“Tell you what,” she finally said. “Can I just come along and keep an eye on things? I promise not to get in your way and I promise to make you a meal afterwards.”
‘Andria’ eyed Zoe thoughtfully. The self-cooking stage of her self-reinvention wasn’t proceeding too great, so she was getting rather hungry. “Very well,” she said gruffly, “it’s a deal.”
The two women rode on in silence.* * *
“Ah, thank goodness you’re here – officer?” Dr. Erasmus said, albeit a trifle hesitantly at the end.
“Yes,” ‘Andria’ nodded. “I’m Andria Korshe; I’m covering for sheriff Carter while he’s covered for officer Lupo at GD while she’s going through the latest space-related test.”
“And I’m here to keep an eye on things – just for bureaucratic reasons,” Zoe quickly added as the older woman turned around and gave her an evil eye. “So, Dr. Erasmus, what seems to be the problem?”
“My assistant!” Dr. Erasmus wailed. “See, we were working on breaking through the space-time continuum, and we have made a breakthrough, but she hasn’t come back-“
“Wait,” ‘Andria’ firmly interrupted the babbling scientist. “Can we have it more slowly, please? Your continuum-breaking – it has something to do with Titan?”
“No! I’ve been working on this for much longer than Douglas Fargo had gone to Jupiter and got everyone so crazy about it!” the scientist snapped. “And now the good senator is intent on cutting our funding if we don’t comply! Well, damn her and damn-“
“Wait!” ‘Andria’ spoke up sharper this time. “So what do you think you done – regarding your experiment?”
“I told you, my assistant and me – we broke the continuum barrier and have now, probably, opened a window into the past...or the future, I suppose.”
“And how was she supposed to get back?”
“By walking right back!” Dr. Erasmus explained. “Our experiment... it’s a two-part device: she’s got the second part that holds the opening there, see?” he pointed to a point in the field, which, now that the other two had time to look, had a sort of a shimmering look to it. “Anyways, as long as she’s alive and has her part, this portal remains open and she can walk right through!” he paused and added. “In fact, she should’ve done so hours ago, that’s why I called you. Well, I actually called sheriff Carter, but since he’s so busy with this infernal space travel-“
“I’m on it,” ‘Andria’ said quickly. “Zoe, you know how to take statements as your father does?”
“Yup!” Zoe agreed all too quickly. “Doctor, if you would step away over here and do the paperwork with me-“
As Zoe none-too-subtly distracted Dr. Erasmus, the other woman took a deep breath and walked through the breach.* * *
On the other side of the breach...well, it wasn’t Eureka anymore or even USA in general. Well, maybe Hawaii, for it was sweltering hot, very damp, and a dragonfly the size of a small chicken had just landed on Beverly’s shoulder. No, probably not even Hawaii.
“Hey! Is there anyone human around?” she called out, while ignoring the dragonfly, since it wasn’t doing anything to her. “Miss, Dr. Erasmus is worried about you!”
“I’m up here!” came a tiny voice from somewhere high in the sky.
“Miss?” Beverly looked up and saw Dr. Erasmus’ assistant sitting on top branches of a tree. “What are you doing up there?”
“Hiding. From the creature sneaking up on you!” the other woman shouted even as Beverly whirled around.
A reptile that could only be a carnivorous dinosaur – bipedal stance, small and almost useless forearms, a big head shaped as a rectangular box with snapping jaws – was charging at her.
Beverly might’ve become super-strong, as Willow Rosenberg and her girlfriend had explained to her, but she wasn’t so sure about speed. However, sometimes strength can compensate for speed, so she bunched the muscles in her legs, crouched, and when the carnivore was almost upon her, she leapt, going for vertical rather than horizontal distance. Her strategy came through, she landed on dinosaur’s back... only it was rather the base of its’ tail instead.
The dinosaur didn’t like the fact that it now had a human sitting on the base of its tail, holding onto it with a death grip. The massive reptile began to whirl around, trying to bite or to shake her off, its’ jaws snapping like a steel trap, slowly coming ever closer, until...
...Beverly slid off, and the jaws snapped shut on the tail instead. Judging from the screech of pain that came from the dinosaur’s throat, the bite was a good one, and judging from the speed it retreated from the impromptu fight, it no longer wanted to battle either.
“That was amazing!” Dr. Erasmus’ assistant said as she quickly climbed from the tree and approached Beverly. “How did you do that?”
“A lot of physical training, I suppose, plus a bit of good luck that I seem to have acquired lately,” Beverly confessed. “Can we leave now? Dr. Erasmus said that all we have to do is to walk from where we came from and it’ll fix itself, right?”
“Yes,” the assistant nodded, “all we have to do is – run!”
The two women fled as the original carnivore came hollering back from the forest, pursued by a much bigger dinosaur that sprouted a sail-like crest on its back.
! The biggest meat-eating dinosaur known to science!” the assistant wheezed, as Beverly half-dragged, half-carried her back to the shimmering portal.
And then the dinosaurs were upon them.* * *
“Oof!” Beverly mumbled as she fell face-first into grass – ordinary, Eureka, modern grass! “Hey, we made it!”
“Yes, you have!” Zoe said, excitedly. “Are you two okay?”
“We’re fine,” the assistant replied instead, “but that poor thing-“
That poor thing had been the original carnivore, now standing before the decapitated head of the much-bigger spinosaurus and yowling, half-triumphantly, half-confused.
“Ah, there we go,” Beverly muttered crossly, jumping up into the air with all of her strength and landing onto the dinosaur’s head hard enough to stun it. “End of that, now let’s send it back.”
“Uh, one problem,” Dr. Erasmus said after Zoe closed his mouth for him. “The device is bust after your fall. We’ll need a lot of time to fix it.”
Beverly/‘Andria’ swore.* * *
“Thank you very much for cooking us dinner,” Ramona, Dr. Erasmus’ assistant, said politely to Zoe as the blonde finished serving them dinner – chicken, French fries and some sort of sauerkraut salad. “We... don’t usually have time for cooking, so-“
“Don’t mention it,” Zoe said conversationally, as she watched ‘Andria’ finish of her portion of dinner. “It’s the least I could do since you almost got eaten by dinosaurs. And speaking of dinosaurs, when are you going to send that one back?”
“It’ll take us at least a week, most likely quite a bit more, to fix our device,” Dr. Erasmus confessed. “And with Eureka’s transformation into a one-trick pony, pardon me, I cannot make any guarantees.”
“You really don’t like the possibility of space travel?” ‘Andria’ said thoughtfully: before they came to assist Dr. Erasmus and Ramona, Zoe just talked her ear off about it.
“Of course not!” the scientist said quickly. “I’m as excited as the next man!” he told the three women present. “But... Global Dynamics had never put all of its eggs in one basket as it has done now – that I don’t like.”
“Pity that you can’t start a petition about this,” ‘Andria’ shrugged and froze, as she saw the eyes of the other three lit-up excitedly. “Um, what did I say?”
...When several minutes later the other three half-dragged, half-led her to a computer to help them start an online petition to moderate Eureka’s space program, she knew exactly what she has done: she had start a social avalanche.TBC