Back to Duty

by Loui

Earth: Final Conflict is copyright © Tribune Entertainment and Roddenberry/Kirschner. No infringement of that copyright is intended by this story.
"Back to Duty" is copyright © Loui.

The news report droned on in the background. Liam ignored it and sat quietly drinking his hot chocolate. The past few months since he had left Ireland had been restful. He had more or less mastered his control of the psychic connection he had to humanity. Was it time to go home? He had missed Washington, that had surprised him. He had missed his friends in the Resistance, he had even missed Zo'or and Da'an! He was nervous, though; was he ready to go back?

That's when it happened, a wave of pain so intense he had to clutch his head in his hands... what had happened to Sandoval? It had to be him, he didn't have such a strong connection with anybody else. He heard the news story interrupted with a breaking news flash. He lifted his eyes to the screen, as did the other patrons in the cafe.

"...This just in. In a shocking move on the part of what is believed to be a radical Resistance splinter group a missile assault has been carried out on a Taelon shuttle returning Da'an from the recent conference in Rome regarding Ma'el and the ancient contact made between Humanity and the Taelons. The shuttle has crashed somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. The status of the passengers including Da'an, Companion Agent Ronald Sandoval, the Deputy President of Ireland and several Volunteer personnel is still unknown. A massive search is underway at this time..."

Liam didn't hear the end of the report; he paid for his hot chocolate and was out the door in a flash heading for the nearest ID Portal - he had to get back to Washington DC - to the Embassy.

Ten hours later, an exhausted Liam entered the main entrance of the embassy. The guards did a double-take as entered.

"Ah, Major... how can we help you? I'm afraid things are a little hectic right now..."

Liam gave the guard a tired smile.

"It's okay, Pat, I know this is irregular. I'm just here to pick up some stuff, then I'll be on my way to see Zo'or..."

Pat exchanged a glance with his colleague. Tentatively he said, "Does this mean you're coming back, Major?"

"As soon as I talk to Zo'or I'll be heading off to the search area. Don't worry, we'll get them back safe."

Pat smiled. "Sir, yes sir."

Liam reported to the Mothership and to a very surprised Zo'or.

"... Yes, I know I left, Zo'or. Do we have to get into this right now? They are still missing. I know Sandoval better than anyone and Da'an better than any other human involved in the search. I am the logical choice to be involved in the search. If you really want to discuss my reasons for leaving, they can surely wait till we get them back."

Zo'or stared at the man in front of him for a long moment.

"As you say, Major. Their safe retrieval is of paramount importance. Very well, you have full authorisation and are returned to full and active duty."

Liam turned to go. As he did so he heard Zo'or say, albeit reluctantly, "Welcome back, Major Kincaid."

The shuttle entered normal space and landed in a clearing already overflowing with other vehicles. Liam exhaled slowly, smiling. There was nothing to smile about in this situation but he couldn't help it. He had missed flying a shuttle, it truly was an amazing feeling to be in control of one of these vessels.

His face quickly lost its smile as his gaze took in the situation in front of him. It had been sixteen hours since the shuttle had crashed, why was this site still in a state of chaos? The Volunteers at least should be better than this, no matter the competence of the local authorities. His eyes narrowed dangerously. It looked like he wasn't back a moment too soon.

Liam exited the shuttle, inwardly furious that his arrival was not challenged. All right, he was in a shuttle, so he did have Taelon connections; even so, he should have at least been asked his authorisation for being at such a currently sensitive site. Nothing. His eyes scanning everywhere, Liam took particular note of the sloppy security perimeter and the unbelievable sight of two camera crews moving freely amongst the searchers. What was going on?!

As he approached the command area, he noted quick double-takes on the part of a few Volunteers. They weren't completely asleep, then; thank God for small favours. He approached the area, calling out in a commanding tone, "Senior Volunteer, report!"

Someone, a local law enforcement member by his looks, said, "What the hell? Who are you? By what authority are you here?"

The Volunteers, on the other hand, had a very different reaction. Shock.

"Uh. Major Kincaid, sir..."

Liam let his very real annoyance show.

"Volunteer, I said report! What is going on here? I arrive on site, I'm not challenged for authorisation to be here, I'm left free to wander this camp; I spotted at least two camera crews wandering about unsupervised! Have you even begun to search? Every moment is precious. Why do I find an argument going on here between various agencies supposed to be working together to perform a rescue?"

The Volunteers had turned about three shades paler under this tirade; even the non-Volunteers had the wit to look ashamed.

"For now it's irrelevant; finding the survivors is our prime concern. Afterwards, Volunteer, expect to find your entire unit under serious review.

"As for you - Deputy, is it? I have full authority here. My name is Major Liam Kincaid, Protector to the North American Companion. My orders come directly from both the White House and the Taelon Synod. I am in charge here. Is that understood?!"

One look at the expression in Liam's eyes and everybody chose discretion over valour and nodded their heads 'yes'.

Liam issued orders at a phenomenal rate. Within thirty minutes the perimeter was secured and the camera crews were under close escort. Shuttles containing Volunteer search parties - with local mountain guides along for their local expertise - quickly fanned out in a detailed search pattern.

Two hours later word came back that wreckage had been spotted; there was still no sign of survivors. Liam pulled back teams from other areas, flooding the area with searchers.

He waited impatiently at the command area for the search. One of the local deputies handed him a cup of coffee and he stood leaning against a car, sipping it quietly, lost in thought.

A sudden feeling of intense pain caused the cup to drop from his nerveless fingers. A Volunteer, seeing his apparent distress, came over to see if he was all right. She was surprised to find herself propelled towards the Major's shuttle and ordered to strap herself in.

"Major! What..."

Quickly firing the shuttles engines, Liam said, "Sandoval is hurt. Send the following co-ordinates to the search teams on the ground. Tell them that Da'an is unharmed, Sandoval is severely injured and in need of immediate medical assistance, and that everyone else including the Deputy President of Ireland is dead. Hurry! Tell them our ETA is five minutes. Do it now!"

The last sentence was said like a whip cracking. Liam was concentrating on flying, but he still heard the young Volunteer mutter, "I'll tell them. But how do you know, Major? How do you know?"

Liam winced as he heard her relay his instructions to the ground teams. How was he supposed to explain this? Ignoring the problem for now, Liam returned his focus to the matter at hand: finding Da'an and saving Sandoval.

"Sir, the teams report they have located the co-ordinates you gave and have spotted Da'an. Still no sign of Agent Sandoval, though."

As she said the last part, she saw the Major's face fill with worry at the news.

"Keep me posted... Uh sorry, what's your name?"

"Anna Duncan, sir."

Moments later, Liam and Anna exited the shuttle and headed for the group of people checking on Da'an. Da'an gave a surprised look as he saw Liam. He said, "I should have realised it would be you, Liam. You gave your word a long time ago; thank you for finding us."

A long look passed between Liam and Da'an, to the mystification of the others present. Liam gave a half smile and said, "I've missed you too, Da'an. I'll arrange for one of the Volunteers to return you to the Mothership immediately. I still have to find Agent Sandoval, though. I'll join you as soon as I can."

He turned to one of the Volunteer pilots and said, "Escort Da'an to the Mothership immediately and inform Zo'or I'll report back after I find Sandoval.

"Anna, you're with me. Let's go."

He then turned and began jogging up the slope away from Da'an and the others. Anna turned to follow, but stopped when she heard one of the others say, "How does he know where to go?"

Surprising herself by jumping to the Major's defence, she said, "He just does. He hasn't been wrong yet, so keep your mouths shut."

She rushed to catch up to the Major and almost bumped into him when he stopped abruptly. He closed his eyes and seemed to hold himself very still, as though he was sensing something. Quietly Anna touched his arm and said, "Which way now, sir?"

"This way. Hurry!"

The urgency in the Major's voice compelled her to greater speed as she stuck to the Major's heels. He saw something and let out a horrified gasp. Glancing round to see what he had found, she let out a cry of her own. Sandoval. God almighty, there was blood everywhere!

Liam dropped to his knees beside the injured man as Anna whipped out her global and called for immediate medical assistance on-site.

She watched as the Major gently wiped blood away from Sandoval's face. At his touch, the injured man began to stir. In a voice full of concern, the Major said, "Easy, Sandoval, it's me. Help is on the way. Just hang on, okay? Remember what I told you in Ireland; you have to stay safe."

Anna realised she should probably move and give them some privacy. Something stopped her, though.

Sandoval's eyes slowly fluttered open. At first they were full of confusion, and then he saw the Major. His eyes filled with calm and his entire demeanour seemed to relax.

"Liam. You came. I knew you would."

With a hoarse voice, the Major replied, "You called, I came. I told you, any time you need me, I'll be there."

The moment was interrupted by the arrival of rescue personnel. Sandoval was whisked off to the nearest hospital. Liam issued orders to the personnel gathered on the scene. After his orders had resulted in the location of both Da'an and Sandoval, nobody questioned any more how he knew what he knew. Instead they went off to retrieve the bodies of the other shuttle passengers from where he said they could be found.

Anna accompanied Liam to the hospital. Zo'or was demanding his immediate return to the Mothership. He wanted to know how the Major had been able to locate the shuttle survivors so quickly and why he had left Taelon service so many months before. The Major refused to be budged. He sat at Agent Sandoval's bedside and refused to move until he received concrete assurances from the doctors that he would recover fully. Then and only then he agreed to go to the Mothership. He surprised Anna with a gentle kiss on her cheek.

"Thank you for all your help, Anna. I know this has been highly irregular, to say the least. I'm sure you'll hear all about this soon enough. Until then, will you stay with him, please? I don't want him to wake up alone. Tell him I'll be back as soon as I can."

Unsure of why she was so concerned about the Major or why she wanted so much to help, Anna simply said, "Of course I will, Major."

Liam shuttled up to the Mothership and made his way to the bridge to see Zo'or and Da'an.

Zo'or spoke first. "Ah, Major, so nice of you to finally join us. We would like to commend you on your excellent work in locating and retrieving Da'an and Agent Sandoval."

Da'an interrupted at that point, receiving a sharp look of reproof from Zo'or. Undaunted, Da'an continued, "My thanks, Liam. I am most gratified to see that you have returned to duty. How is Agent Sandoval?"

Liam gave a heartfelt smile and said, "He is expected to recover fully. I expect he should back at his post in about a week."

Before Zo'or could start his 'interrogation', Liam beat him to the punch. He said, "I'm sure you have many questions for me. I realise I was extremely abrupt in my resignation from duty. I had my reasons, I assure you, and yes, Zo'or, they are to do with the reason I came back and how I was able to locate the shuttle survivors so quickly. May I be allowed to explain?"

Shocked by Liam's candour, Zo'or inclined his head in agreement. Da'an himself looked highly curious as to what Liam was about to say.

"I discovered something about myself, something completely unexpected. At the time I believed you would consider it as an impedance to my ability to perform my duty satisfactorily. You would have been correct."

Zo'or asked the obvious question. "What did you discover, Major?"

Taking a deep breath, Liam continued, "I discovered a psychic ability. Passive, but there. Having been fully briefed on the Synod's reaction to Katja Petrenko, I decided that I could best serve the Taelon cause by removing myself from your presence.

"However, in the months that I was away I mastered this 'talent', and now believe it poses no threat to Taelon security. As I understand it, the Commonality links your entire race; this link is a conscious feeling on your part, yes?

"I found, and I have no idea why, that I share an empathic link with humanity. The link is instinctive on my part and completely unconscious on humanity's part as a whole. I feel what I guess you could call disturbances. Disasters, accidents, things like that. I had been thinking about requesting you allow me return to duty, but then the accident happened. The reason I came back was I felt it happen; I felt Sandoval's injuries and the deaths of the other humans on board. I knew I could find them, I simply followed the feelings of pain from Sandoval as though it was a trail laid down that I could follow.

"I realise you may still consider me a security risk. I pose no threat to the Commonality; this link is with my own species, not yours. I would like to resume my role as Da'an's Protector if you will allow it and he wishes me to return. This talent is no risk to you; if I didn't believe that I would never have returned. If you deem it necessary, Da'an could watch me on your behalf. He would be the first to notice if I was ever in the position of becoming a security risk. I realise the Volunteers would have to be told, I accept this may infringe on my privacy, that cannot be helped. May I return to duty?"

All the Taelons on the bridge, not just Zo'or and Da'an, had listened to the surprising revelations coming from the human. His sincerity was apparent to all, even Zo'or. To everybody's surprise - Liam's most of all - Zo'or immediately gave his blessing. He said, "Your reasoning or your motives in leaving cannot be faulted, and your honesty about your ability is much appreciated. I see no reason why you cannot return to duty as long as you keep Da'an apprised of any 'feelings' that merit Taelon attention."

Da'an just said, "I welcome your return, Major. Your presence has been missed."

With a relieved smile on his face, Liam said, "My thanks for your understanding. Upon returning Da'an to the security of the Embassy, may I have permission to return to Sandoval and inform him of my return to duty?"

Da'an said, "Of course, Liam. We must brief the media first about my sadness at the deaths of the others and about your return to duty. However, when we have done so, you are free to go to Sandoval."

Taking their leave of Zo'or, both Liam and Da'an headed for the shuttle bay.

The camera crews were all waiting in Da'an's audience chamber. Word had quickly spread around the globe that survivors from the shuttle attack had been found. The news crews were in a frenzy for details, but word had come via the White House that since it had been an attack on a Taelon shuttle, the official briefing would come from the Taelon Embassy in Washington DC.

Two Volunteers entered the chamber in advance of Da'an. There were sighs of relief and murmurs of 'Oh Thank God' upon seeing the Companion alive and well. The attack had horrified the majority of the planet and the thought that Da'an might have been lost in the senseless attack had worried many.

Assuming his customary seat, Da'an motioned the camera crews forward. He said, "Before answering your questions, I would like to make the following statement.

"Now that the families of all those killed in this incident have been contacted, I have been asked to give the official briefing on what happened.

"As you are aware, there was an attack on my shuttle as I returned from the conference dealing with Ma'el and the ancient interaction between the Taelon and Human races. Besides several Volunteer assistants, I was being accompanied by both the Deputy President of Ireland and by Agent Ronald Sandoval. The shuttle was severely damaged by the attack and crashed in the Rocky Mountains. Agent Sandoval and I were flung clear as the shuttle impacted; all the other passengers were killed on impact. The Taelon Synod expresses its deepest sympathies to the families of those killed."

As soon as Da'an had finished speaking, the barrage of questions began. The voices all jumbled together in a cacophony of sound.

"Da'an, were you injured?"

"Where is Agent Sandoval?"

"Has there been any progress on catching those responsible?"

One question cut above the others and the chamber silenced waiting on Da'an's response.

"Da'an, how were you found so quickly?"

Da'an motioned to one of the Volunteers, who left the chamber.

"A combined search force consisting of Volunteers and local law enforcement officials had begun the search when the person the Synod selected to head the search arrived on site. He quickly motivated the teams and was the person who located both the shuttle and its passengers.

"He saved my life and reached Agent Sandoval just in time to save him from his injuries. Agent Sandoval is currently being cared for in a hospital in the local area. This location cannot be disclosed just now until proper security measures are in place.

"I am most fortunate to be able to say that he has agreed to resume his duties and once again serves in the capacity as Protector to the North American Companion."

Gesturing with his arm, Da'an indicated the man entering the chamber. He said, "I believe you'll all recognise Major Liam Kincaid."

Uproar followed. The Major's very public and very surprising resignation had caused speculation for months. Nobody had ever been able to discover why he had left. He'd seemingly vanished off the face of the Earth after the rescue in Ireland, and here he was back and once again working for the Taelons.

"Major, why did you leave Taelon service? Why have you come back?"

Liam looked at the cameras, wincing inwardly. He'd really hoped to be able to talk to the Resistance in greater detail before word got out. Unfortunately, all he'd been able to do was send a quick message to Augur before he'd had to leave for the search site. Things were going to be interesting for a while.

"I would just like to say that I am looking forward to being back at duty and serving as Da'an's Protector. My reasons for my previous resignation are private and I would hope that you would respect my wishes that they remain private."

Glancing at Da'an, Liam saw him give a slight nod; thank God for that - this interview was over!

"Ladies, gentlemen, this briefing is now over. May I ask that you leave the chamber. While Da'an was not physically injured, he is exhausted. He gave this briefing this early in contravention of the wishes of his doctors that he rest. Please contact the usual official media spokesmen for any further updates on this matter. Thank you for your cooperation."

Liam and the Volunteers gently shepherded the media personnel from the chamber as Da'an lay back into his energy shower. Da'an's last words were, "Go, Liam. See to Sandoval."

Anna looked up as she heard footsteps approaching, a determined expression on her face. She had done as Liam asked and kept watch on Sandoval. She'd had to get rid of several local law enforcement personnel who seemed to think that since he was there and not going anywhere Sandoval should be answering questions about the crash. Not bloody likely! Anna had found herself wanting to be a fly on the wall when Major Kincaid caught up with them and expressed his displeasure over their heavy-handed manner.

Her face lightened into a smile, though; it was the Major.

"Sir, he's going to be fine. He's been awake once and was asking for you. I told him you'd be back soon."

A dry tone emerged from the bed as a now fully awake Sandoval said, "He's awake, Volunteer, and he's perfectly capable of talking for himself."

Anna blushed furiously, but the grins on the faces of both Sandoval and the Major robbed the rebuke of any sting. She quickly excused herself, but stopped briefly when the Major said, "Please wait for me outside, Anna. We still have some work to do."

Sandoval looked at Liam for a long moment before saying, "I am so glad to see you. I was beginning to think you were never coming back."

Liam bit down a grin. "Sorry I worried you."

Sandoval just gave him an exasperated look.

"Liam, what did you tell them? Are you in any danger?"

Liam looked up at the ceiling for a moment before looking Sandoval directly in the eyes.

"Surprisingly, no. I told the Synod that I had a passive psychic link to humanity, but that I posed no danger to the Commonality. I said that I used that link and the pain I'd felt coming from you as a trail that I used to locate you. They seemed to buy it. The fact that I volunteered the information freely and agreed that Da'an could 'keep watch' on me as well as the fact that it would be necessary to brief the Volunteers counted in my favour. Zo'or, Da'an and the rest of the Synod have agreed to my re-instatement as Da'an's Protector. I'm back."

Sandoval sighed. "I can't admit to not being worried, but I am so glad you're back."

Liam gently laid his hand on Sandoval's forehead. "Rest. I'll be back in a bit. Anna and I have to make some arrangements about the bodies of the others."

Liam walked back out into the corridor. Anna asked, "Where to now, sir?"

"The morgue."

Liam had ordered all the attendants from the morgue. A single doctor remained with him and Anna held position at the door, barring entrance to all, as she had been instructed. Liam asked to be taken to the body of the Irish Deputy President and for the covering to be lifted from her face. The doctor stood to one side, bewildered, as Liam stood there and placed his palm on her cheek and began to speak.

Anna recognised the language as Irish Gaelic, although she didn't understand the words.

Liam repeated this procedure for each of the Volunteer bodies. She didn't recognise the language used, it sounded alien; that was impossible, though.

The doctor looked like he was about to say something, but one look from Anna silenced whatever he was about to say.

Liam addressed the doctor and instructed him to release the body of the Irish Deputy President to the officials from her government that had arrived to take her home for a state funeral.

"Anna, take a team and return the bodies of the Volunteers to the Mothership. Arrangements are already in place for their services."

"Yes sir."

Liam and Anna returned to Sandoval's room to find a woman waiting outside it. Just as Anna was about to challenge her presence, she felt the Major's hand on her arm, restraining her. Confused, she glanced at him, only to see him smile as he called out, "Renee!"

The woman whirled round and Anna finally recognised Renee Palmer. Meanwhile Renee, upon seeing the Major, had come striding towards them. It was all Anna could do to restrain herself as she saw the stinging slap she directed at the Major's face. How dare she! Then she heard the other woman say, "Liam, I've been worried sick! Why did you never send any word?..."

Anything else she might have said was muffled from Anna's hearing as Liam swept the other woman up in his arms and gave her a huge hug that she returned wholeheartedly. Liam said quietly, "I've missed you too, Palmer."

Renee stepped back and grasped Liam's face in her hands. Looking deeply into his eyes, she smiled at what she saw.

"You look good, Kincaid. You found what you were searching for when you were away, didn't you?"

Anna, now totally confused as to what was going on, saw Liam smile and nod his head in answer to Ms Palmer's question.

"Wait for me, Renee. I need to check in with Sandoval and then I'll fly you back to DC."

Liam turned to Anna.

"Anna, again, thank you for all your help. I'm leaving you in charge of Sandoval's security while he is here. Contact me if you need anything and I do mean anything."

An hour later, as they entered the shuttle Liam would be piloting back to Washington, Renee spoke.

"He wants to see you. Soon."

Liam sighed; was he never going to get the chance to get unpacked and settle back in quietly? What he said was, "I expected as much. When and where?"

Renee told him and he said, "I'll be there."

Liam leaned tiredly back against the far wall of the elevator as it made its way down through the Earth to the hidden sanctuary underneath the church. It was several hours since he'd returned to DC with Renee, but he'd had to check in with the Embassy and lose several reporters before he could even begin to think about making his call on the Resistance.

The elevator came to a stop and Liam levered himself upright, smothering a sigh of exhaustion as he did so. God, he needed to get some sleep!

He didn't really pay attention as he was walking out the door and half stumbled as he came into contact with something solid. Startled, he looked up into the face of a very large and unfriendly looking man standing there with an impassive look on his face. Puzzled, Liam looked round; what was going on here? Spying Jonathan and Augur looking on, he called out, "Jonathan, Augur what's going on?"

Augur looked faintly apologetic, but Jonathan just said to the man mountain blocking his way to 'check him'.

Liam stood there and fumed as he was searched for weapons and listening devices. He bit his tongue to keep from saying anything he'd regret later as his weapon was confiscated. Now was not the time to get into a shouting match.

Augur approached him with a conciliatory smile and patted him on the shoulder, saying, "The wanderer returns! Welcome back."

Liam smiled at Augur; no matter what their past differences, he had missed the cyber wizard. Doors spoiled the mood, though, by muttering, "Yes, he returns, heading straight back to his Taelon masters!!"

Liam had had enough.

"Jonathan, if you have a point to make, then make it! If you just wanted to see me to rant at me, couldn't it wait till I'd had a little sleep?! I've had about six hours sleep in the last three days; it's been a busy time."

"Yes, Liam. Busy working your way back in to the Taelons' good graces. What have you betrayed in order to regain your position?!"

Outraged as he was at the accusation, Liam did his best to defuse the situation. Not rising to Jonathan's obvious slur on his actions, Liam simply sat down, saying, "I've not betrayed anything and I never would. I would have thought you'd know me better by now; obviously I was wrong."

Augur looked at Liam. The man in front of him had changed, matured. He thought back to the Liam from before; he'd been full of pent up emotion when he'd turned over control of the Resistance back to Doors all those months ago. Augur had thought he was ready to crack, you could see it in his eyes. Now those same eyes gazed steadily at the two men that had known him since the day of his birth. Augur understood what had happened, even if Doors didn't. Liam had gone away and come to peace with his heritage; the alien and the human were now reconciled - Liam was whole. Augur asked, "Liam, what are your intentions? Why did you come back?"

Rubbing a hand over is tired face, Liam sighed; finally a question, rather than an accusation!

"First things first. I came back because Sandoval was injured and he needed me. That I also ended up saving Da'an was an added bonus.

"Jonathan, stop pulling faces. If he'd been killed in that rogue Resistance attack, it would have made the previous crackdown pale into insignificance and you know it!

"My psychic abilities allowed me to track Sandoval, and that's what I told the Taelons. I also said their emergence was what made me resign in the first place. Now that I've freely told the Taelons about them, I'm trusted more than I was before. I've been asked to resume my role as Da'an's Protector. I am going to do it. It'll allow me to protect Da'an - and whether you ever agree with me or not, I still say that Humanity won't survive without the Taelons, not anymore. It'll also allow me to protect Sandoval.

"Augur, stop it. I know how you feel about him, and I know you have your reasons. I know he's done reprehensible things in the past, and I'm sure he'll be ordered to do more. There are reasons for most of what he does and he doesn't always have a choice. Nobody else gives a damn about him but me; I will protect him if I can.

"As for my ties to the Resistance, you're my friends; I'd never betray you. If you want me back, then I'm back. I am more than willing to go back to being an undercover operative for you. I'm trusted now more than ever before, I'm in the inner circle. Use me.

"Jonathan, if you don't think I can be trusted, then I'll stay away and only help you out if you request it.

"I'm tired. I'm going home. Call me when you reach a decision."

Liam got up to leave, retrieving his gun as he did so. He'd almost made it to the elevator when Doors called out his name. Sighing, he turned round; what now?

Jonathan looked him in the eyes for a long moment before breaking in to the biggest grin Liam had ever seen.

"Welcome back, Liam. Of course we want you back. We just had to make sure of your loyalties."

Liam nodded his head in understanding and offered a friendly salute with a cheeky grin on his face before leaving the 'lair'.

Back in his apartment, Liam leaned his shoulder against the window and looked out at the bright lights of the city at night. He smiled. Strange and hassled as his life was becoming again, he had to smile. He was home.

With that thought he went to bed. Tomorrow and all the complications it would bring would be there soon enough.

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Last modified May 21st, 2001.
Trudy A. Goold/