By Doreen Freitag
Translation by Birte Schieder
After having parked the car they approached the destroyed warehouse. The road tanker had done a good job. The side of the building facing the road had a huge hole in one of the walls and pieces of something that had been molten beyond recognition were proof of the great heat that must have existed at the site. The building was surrounded by yellow tape and a couple of signs reading ‘Danger of collapse’ warned people not to enter the warehouse.
Rex Matheson lifted the barrier tape and all of them approached the building. They could still smell the burning. With a movement of his arm, the CIA agent pointed them in the direction where he had found the corpses. One after another they entered the remains of the warehouse and reached the burnt room.
Jack and Gwen had gotten out their flashlights and pointed into one corner of the room, where three corpses laid on the floor. Catherine had to cover her mouth with her hand and tried to fight back a choked sound. Comforting her, Jack put his hand on her arm.
‘We left those for you,’ Matheson explained and grimaced with disgust. ‘We've already had the others fetched up. Overall, we have found forty-six bodies in here, three were human and forty-three were your Weevils. No idea how they got here.’
Gwen stooped over the corpses. ‘They're a female and two males. They seem to have worn some kind of collar.’
‘All of them did, by the way,’ Rex Matheson added. ‘But there's another reason why I wanted you to come here. We also found it in this room.’
He stepped towards an intact metal table which was covered in grime and lifted the canvas covering the item which laid there.
Jack inhaled abruptly and exchanged alarmed glances.
There on the table was a glove made out of metal, which was free to move in every single piece of the glove. Also it seemed to have survived the fire with almost no damage.
‘You know what that is?’ Matheson asked astonished.
‘The Risen Mitten,’ the Captain said quietly. ‘I didn't think I would see such a thing ever again.’
‘A glove for resurrection?’ Catherine had understood the words and asked the question.
‘It's a vicious thing,’ Gwen answered in Jacks name. ‘I almost died from it once. And another one wasn't really lucky for Owen, either. So I wouldn't really say it's a positive thing.’
‘But this one is different,’ Jack said and approached the table. Catherine could see how the Captain didn't want to touch the glove. He had his hands deep in the pockets of his coat and only stooped over it with his upper body. ‘It looks much more filigree and agile and it has some kind of sensors at the fingertips and a control panel built onto the palm. The others didn't have that. Must be an update and I actually don't want to know all the extras this one has included. Pack it in and take it back to the headquarters with you. And be careful that no one pulls it on and touches a corpse with it - just for fun.’
‘All right, I'll tell Jim, he'll have everything arranged,’ Rex Matheson said and quickly left the room.
Out in the sunlight again, they first squinted and tried to get used to the brightness of the Californian desert.
‘What else have you got?’ Gwen wanted to know.
‘There's a collecting space where we file more finds which haven't been completely burnt. I can show it to you if you want to.’ Matheson pointed towards the less destroyed end of the warehouse.
‘Have the people here already been questioned on the fire?’ Jack asked and while putting on his sunglasses, he turned his gaze towards the crossroads with only a few buildings.
‘No, until now we've had everything classified,’ the CIA agent replied. ‘I wanted to wait for you to come here.’
The captain smiled meaningful, but only Catherine, who was standing next to him, had seen his amusement.
‘Well then I'd say that Catherine and me are heading to the supermarket,’ the Captain decided. ‘Maybe someone over there can tell us something about this issue.’
‘Okay,’ Gwen said, nodding, ‘I'll have a look at these finds with Rex, then.’
‘Come on, Scully,’ Jack smiled and offered her his arm. ‘Let's begin with this old-fashioned way of investigative work.’
‘I can't remember Mulder and Scully to be working with linked arms,’ Catherine, who had linked arms with Jack with a laughter, said while they left. Being close to Jack Harkness, it was easy to push the displeasing memories of the corpses in the warehouse away.
‘Well, that's what makes us two special. I like to handle things in my own way. But after all your hair looks a lot like Agent Scully's.’
Catherine smiled back at him and they walked towards the crossroads in silence, their arms linked. Jack's face showed a grumpy expression when he looked at the huge white rooster on the roof of the mini-supermarket. Catherine figured it was supposed to show the range of articles, but in her eyes, it didn't really do its job well.
‘I hate chicken!,’ the Captain said and turned towards the entrance door.
They entered the small and stuffy room. The market seemed to be empty, except for one person.
A tall man with a muscular build approached them from the counter and stopped in front of Jack, his arms crossed. Chewing a gum, he gave him a once over. ‘Can I help you, sir?’
They might not seem like a typical tourist couple, but Catherine couldn't think of a reason for this weird welcome.
‘No thanks,’ Jack replied, ‘we don't want to buy anything. We'd just like to ask you some questions.’
‘You'll also have to pay for those,’ another male voice said, coming from an adjoining room of the small supermarket.
‘Don't you get involved, Spiky! I'm doing that on my own.’ While he said that, the giant turned towards the adjoining room and Catherine could see a Beretta under his belt. She stepped backwards, alarmed.
Jack immediately grabbed her hand and quickly pulled her back next to him. Addressing the man in front of him, he said: ‘We're here on behalf of the CIA because of the burnt warehouse over there. Did you notice anything unusual in the last couple of days?’
‘I think you're in the wrong place, sir.’ The giant's smirk became more and more self-complacent and Catherine could see the white chewing gum he had between his yellow teeth.
‘But you did notice that the warehouse was on fire, didn't you?’ Catherine asked uncertain and could feel how, all of a sudden, Jack was all tensed up.
‘Lady, I don't like to repeat what I said,’ the giant said and moved his arm in her direction.
Jack immediately positioned himself in front of Catherine and stopped the man from approaching them by holding his hand forward. ‘Okay, keep calm. We just had a question and we're doing our job. There's no reason to go mad, okay?’
The man stepped backwards. ‘So, if you want to buy something, then you're welcome to do so, but no one will answer your questions here.’ He turned abruptly and left Jack and Catherine in the room.
After he had disappeared in the adjoining room, Jack and Catherine could hear parts of a muted argument.
‘I don't like this at all,’ Jack said and got his mobile phone out of his pocket. A moment later, Gwen was on the phone. ‘We need your assistance here. Looks like we stirred up a hornets' nest here.’
The Captain had just finished his sentence when the giant entered the room again. He had pulled his gun. ‘Hey, what did I tell you, mister? You can either buy something now or you will immediately leave my shop, understood?’
Catherine could feel her heart beating fast. So this was how it felt like when a situation was about to escalate and life was in danger.
Jack grabbed Catherine's hand and pulled it up in the air, together with his. ‘Okay, okay, you're right. We're leaving now.’
All of a sudden, the second man entered the room through the small door. ‘Hank, have you gone mad? You're ruining everything. We can't let them go now!’
They could hear a car approaching quickly from the outside.
‘Shit,’ the giant shouted, lifted his gun and aimed at Jack. All at once, Catherine realised that the man was about to pull the trigger and instinctively threw herself between Jack and the man.
Just like in slow motion, the man fired his Beretta. Catherine could feel how Jack pushed her away from him. She fell to the ground and was horrified to see how the bullet hit the Captain in his heart. Then he was catapulted backwards, hit the wall and lay there, lifeless.
‘Hank, you're such an idiot,’ the other man screamed and pulled the giant into the adjoining room. Catherine could hear them opening another door which must have lead outside. Then they left.
‘Jack!’ Catherine rushed up to him and kneeled down in front of him.
A car stopped in front of the supermarket, the tyres crunching on the broken rocks.
Steps quickly approached the entrance door. Rex Matheson and Gwen stormed into the room. They must have summed up the situation with one glance because they immediately focussed on the small adjoining room. They deigned to look at the Captain for a second time, however.
Catherine looked at them in disbelief. Captain Jack Harkness was lying on the floor, dead, and they didn't even care?
She stared at the lifeless face and could feel the tears coming.
‘Jack,’ she whispered and caressed his cheeks in despair. She didn't want to lose him before she had even had the chance to properly get to know him!
And she was still alone with the dead man. What was going on here?
‘Gwen,’ she shouted, loud and demanding.
Gwen finally turned around and looked like she remembered something she forgot to do. She exchanged a quick glance with Rex, which Catherine couldn't quickly interpret, and quickly came to her.
She squatted down next to Catherine and cupped her tear-flooded face with her hands. ‘Listen, Cathy! Jack is all right! He'll be with us in a second again. Trust me, okay?’
In this very moment, Catherine would have believed every promise that Jack wasn't dead, so she nodded hopefully.
‘Stay here with him,’ Gwen said. ‘Rex and I will try to find the men.’
‘Okay,’ Catherine whispered and put her hands on Jacks chest protectively.
‘Good,’ Gwen replied and smiled at her to encourage her. Just shortly after that, she had left the room with Rex.
Catherine left one hand on Jacks shirt. She couldn't feel a heartbeat. But in the past few weeks she already had experienced so many unusual things, that she just hoped Gwen could keep her promise.
She brushed Jack's hair out of his face with her other hand and tried to stay calm. It broke her heart to see his motionless face and his closed eyes.
For a couple of - how it seemed - never-ending seconds nothing happened and Catherine started to doubt Gwen's words again. She started to panic. Tears streamed down her face and one fell from her chin onto Jacks lower lip. It lay there like a pearl and seeing that let Catherine become desperate.
Then, suddenly, he woke up, breathing in deeply. His head bounced up and fell down again, but his eyes were open now. The tip of his tongue slid over his lower lip and he frowned, he must have tasted the salty tear. For a moment, he looked around as if he was searching for something or somebody. Then his eyes found Catherine.
‘You can't imagine how glad I am to see you,’ he said and smiled happily.
‘Jack! You're back again! I thought I lost you.’ Catherine laughed and cried at the same time and caressed his face again and again without really noticing it. She couldn't believe that these eyes looked at her again and that his cheeks got a healthy colour again.
Suddenly his hands grabbed her fingers and stopped her movement.
Catherine noticed what she had been doing there and could feel herself blushing. ‘I... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to... I just...’
Jack didn't reply. He lifted his hands to her neck and softly pulled her head down to his. When their lips met, Catherine felt like a light, golden flash just went through her body. Jack kissed her with such passion that thousands of small fires and sparks appeared in her body. She felt such an overwhelming stream of energy rushing through her body that she couldn't help but moan with surprise.
When Jack eventually stopped kissing her, Catherine could feel her body glowing with energy. Just like every single cell of her body just had been renewed.
‘Jack, what was that?’ Catherine asked. She felt inebriated.
‘I think you call it a kiss,’ he smiled and his eyes glowed from satisfaction, like she had never seen it before.
Catherine shook her head. ‘THIS wasn't just a kiss!’
‘Didn't you like it?’ he quietly asked.
‘Yes, it did,’ she said and caressed his face again. ‘And I want more.’
‘Aha. That's what you get from it,’ he jestingly replied and slowly sat up. When he looked into Catherine's eyes, he could see how insecure she was and added: ‘But I'll tell you something, Cathy. I also want more. A lot more.’ He ran his thumb over her lips and Catherine enjoyed the prickling that came from it. When he took his hand away, she sighed malcontent.
He got to his feet and flattened his coat, while he examined the bullet hole in the cloth. He didn't look too happy about it. ‘But first we'll have to save the world again. Are you coming?’
Catherine smiled and got to her feet as well. ‘Aye, Captain.’
Jack pointed towards the door through which Rex and Gwen had disappeared before. ‘Through there?’
‘That's right,’ she answered. Before he could run through the door, she grabbed his hand and stopped him. He turned around.
‘Jack, does that mean that you're always coming back? Every time?’
He took a deep breath and pulled her into his arms. She breathed in the flavour of the coat's cloth and patiently waited. For the answer she knew and feared.
‘Yes, Cathy, that's what it means. I'm always coming back.’
‘It's been far too long already.’
He held her away from him and looked into her eyes. ‘Yes, it is.’
For a moment she could see an unimaginable old agony which tore his soul apart, and shivers ran down her spine. When he noticed that, he closed his eyes and pulled her to him again for a deep hug.
The sound of a gunfight from outside brought them back to reality. Jack grabbed Catherine's shoulders and said: ‘Stay here and call this Jim in Rex's office! If we called the local police, we'd have to explain too many things and who knows who else is mixed up in all this.’
He pulled out his gun and exited the supermarket through the rear exit.