Final Hours is the fictional first story in the fourth trilogy, taking place a mere 3 weeks after the events of Shadowed Abductor.
This story was 'adopted' by DetectiveLayton92 from an anonymous Wikia Contributor, who had given her permission to 'adopt' the title.
Chapter 1 -- BrittneyEdit
Since Hershel told me he'd be home late, I decided to swing by the university on my way home after work. I opened the door of his office to find him sleeping on the couch again.
"Love," I whispered, tapping him. "Love, wake up."
"Ungh," he moaned.
"Busted," I said.
"So sorry about that," he said groggily, straightening his hat.
"You've got to stop being so hard on yourself," I said. "Or at least get hyped up on sugar or something."
"No more late night study sessions, I promise," he told me.
"That's what you say every time!" I said. "Listen. I'll try and find some time for us to take a long and deserved vacation."
"You mean go on holiday?"
"Whatever! I call it a vacation. Same thing. But yes, so we can go on holiday."
Then, the strangest thing happened.
It almost felt as though it were an earthquake, because the ground was shaking, but neither Hershel nor I moved a fraction of an inch. A sudden drowsy sensation befell both of us, like we were falling sleep. The shaking stopped.
"Whatever! I call it a vacation. Same thing. But yes, so we can go on holiday," I said. "Woah, serious déjà vu moment!"
"What do you suppose that was?" asked Hershel.
"I'm not sure. An earthquake, perhaps?"
"But, we're not even close to a fault line, and of that magnitude...?"
"I'm sure it's nothing to worry about," I shrugged it off. "Now, I'd better see you at home before seven."
"See you at home, dear."
Chapter 2 -- JeanneEdit
I stood there in front of the vanity mirror in the dark. My opaque counterpart and the flames from the scented candles behind me were the only things visible.
Slowly, I unfastened my overcoat down to the middle of my chest, gingerly pushing each gold-coloured button through its own hole.
Softly, I touched the stain on my skin; the bruise; the scar, long since healed, where the piece of metal tore through my body five years ago today.
Some anniversary, I thought. I should be dead right now, shouldn't I?
I winced as the excruciating pain shot through me once more. The doctors were lucky to save me. It was a miracle I was still alive.
I remembered everything. The task I was given. The chaos. The sniper rifle. The bullet. The blackness. Above all, I remembered the name of the man who did this to me on that awful day.
I buttoned my shirt up again. I blew out the flames, a wisp of smoke trailing behind me, and left.
Chapter 3 -- BrittneyEdit
Four days after the 'earthquake', Luke came to visit me at work.
"Oh, hi Luke," I greeted. "What brings you here today?"
"Oh, I had nothing else to do, so I figured I'd drop by for a visit. Is there anything I can help you with?"
"Hmm... you could help me file papers," I suggested.
He accepted the task and went straight to work.
"Say, did you feel an earthquake a few days ago?" he asked.
"You felt it too? Aftarwards, I had the stranges feeling of-"
"Déjà vu," we said in unison.
"Like you had to repeat yourself," Luke said. "It was weird."
The ground started to vibrate again, more vigorously this time, and Luke and I were stuck in the same frozen trance we experienced previously. But instead of being in the same position as before, when we snapped out of the sleepiness, Luke was coming through the door of my office, like he had just entered. It was almost as if someone had hit the 'rewind' button on him.
"Oh, hi Luke," I greeted. "What brings you here today?"
I stopped myself. "I know why you're here, so I needn't ask you again." I felt stupid. Luke didn't have so much luck, however. He couldn't conciously stop himself from repeating his 'lines' and actions until he caught up to current time.
"Another one of those again?" he asked. "It almost seemed like it went farther back in the past than the first one."
"I think you're right," I said. "The first one went back only a minute or two, but this one went back about five minutes!"
"Don't you think we need to tell somebody about this?" he asked.
"Yes, I do. Let me call around and see if I can find anyone who knows what this things are."
"Oh," I remembered something. I handed Luke £10 for his efforts. "That's for all your help today."
"Don't mention it," I said, smiling.
Chapter 4 -- JeanneEdit
I sat there at my desk --technically, it was in his office-- tapping my fingers. I needed to "decide on a plan of action," in the words of my future husband. A plan of action to destroy the man who shot me.
I already knew where he was every waking second of the day, so all I needed was a plan to infiltrate his base. I already knew what weapon I were to use: an Accuracy International AW50 sniper rifle, the one he used on me that day.
The door opened quietly.
"What are you doing up so late?" he asked, bending down and kissing my neck.
"Planning," I replied vaguely.
"For what, exactly?"
"Revenge, of course," I said.
"Surely you're not going to-"
"Yes, I am," I said. "He deserves it! Don't you think proper justice would be to nearly kill him?"
"Dear, I thought we had an agreement," said Jean. "We weren't to kill anyone unless absolutely neccessary."
"This is the only exception!" I said. "How would you like it if I wasn't here right now?"
"Yeah, you wouldn't like it! God knows, another woman would have her hands all over you! Hell, it could be Earnhardt for all I know!"
"I highly doubt that. Besides, she's not my type."
"Do you remember when we took that 'break' right after you proposed?" I asked.
"Were you in contact with anyone else while I was gone?"
He said nothing, but shifted uncomfortably.
"No. Tell me that you didn't meet with anyone else, and I won't feel obliged to punch you."
"I never met with anyone for help or anything, and no other females were ever in the house while you were gone," he reassured.
"Except for Deserée?" Deserée was our 'maid' of sorts. She was hired because there was now two of us in the house, not just him. Nice girl. Shy and quiet though.
"Except for Deserée," he repeated.
"Alright, fine. I believe you." I sighed. "But I'm still going through with my plan to execute him, and that's final."
Chapter 5 -- BrittneyEdit
The audio crackled through the ancient speakers of the television set, paired with the grainy black-and-white image.
"There have been many reports of so-called 'earthquakes' throughout the entire world-"
I flipped the channel.
"After the shaking ceased, I found myself repeating what I had just said earlier-"
I flipped again.
"Many scientists are currently hard at work to find out what causes these-"
Damn, it's on every channel, I thought.
It wasn't until five minutes after I turned the TV off that my brain registered all the newly-recieved information.
"Duh!" I said, reaching for the phone.
Wait, do I remember his number? I asked myself. Ah, yes I do.
Dimitri Allen picked up the line on the other end. "Hello? May I ask who is calling?"
"Ah, yes, Dimitri. This is Detective Earnhardt, from the Yard."
"Listen, if you're asking about those earthquakes, I don't have any answers for you."
I could tell he was lying. "Did I mention I'm a psychic detective?"
"That means I can tell you're lying about not having answers. Tell me what I need, and we'll be on our merry way."
"Alright. I don't know much as of yet, but I do believe that they are connected to something much bigger than we had originally thought."
"Ah, it seems I have failed to mention. Don Paolo is working with me."
"Oh. I see. Well, if you come up with any more answers, you know how to contact me."
"And if you have any more information about these ruptures, you will let me know."
We agreed and I hung up.
Chapter 6 -- JeanneEdit
I laid there on the ground, motionless, peering through the scope, seeing the target some 1200 meters away. Adjusting my earplugs, I made sure everything was lined up, the elevation and trajectory of the projectile.
I pulled the trigger.
A clear shot, I would say, because when I approached the wooden cutout, there was a definitive hole where the bullet went through, near where the heart should be.
A clear shot, but not good enough, I decided.
And so I tried again and again, each shot closer than the last, until I believed I had it perfected.
Once I was home, I locked it away in my gun safe, and went back to my desk. Then, another one of those damn earthquakes started happening. Then, once it was over, I found myself back at the shooting range, taking my first shot. I ceased myself from shooting anymore, and headed back home.
Somebody better figure out what the hell is going on, I thought.
I certainly could not take much more of this; it was irritating me to no end.
Chapter 7 -- BrittneyEdit
"Dimitri!" I cried over the phone. "We had another one just a few minutes ago! This time, it went back an hour!"
"That can't be..." his voice trailed off.
"It seems that they go back further in time each time they happen, and if they continue to do that, it may end up as the dreaded 'Reverse-Spiral' effect."
"What the hell is that? Speak English!" I cried.
"It means the fabric of time is slowly tearing more and more. The earthquakes are the result of that. Each time, we go further back into the past, and if we do not stop them from happening, they will continue to do so."
"Which means, what exactly?" I asked impatiently.
"That means that time itself will be stuck in a reverse spiral, and time will flow backwards, instead. There will be no way out. The world as we know it, the entire universe, will cease to exist."
"WELL, HOW DO YOU SUPPOSE WE STOP IT?!?!" I shouted. The vein in my temple was pulsating.
"I'm not sure. For the time being, just remain calm, and let me do some research, first."
Remain calm. Remain calm. Yeah, right. How am I supposed to remain calm when I know the world's probably going to end?
Chapter 8 -- Broneph ReinelEdit
I heard a knock at my door. It was Detective Earnhardt.
"You do realize what's happening, don't you?" she asked.
"That the world's going to end?" I said sarcastically.
"Actually, you're right about that." She explained to me what might happen and how.
"And, you're telling me this, why?"
"I figured you may team up with the Yard to keep at least some peace," she said.
"This is a worldwide issue," I said. "There's not much I can do."
"You can always contact other agencies and departments overseas. Hell, get the Americans involved. They'll get in anybody's business."
I nodded. "I'll see what I can do."
She left, and I found myself reminicing years past. Almost catching Descole was the memory that stood out the most.
Doesn't he have a girlfriend or something now? I asked myself. Of course he does. Jeanne.
I remembered her clearly.
Chapter 9 -- BrittneyEdit
"Hershel!" I said, once I got home.
"Apparently, the world's going to end."
"Are you joking with me?"
"Not even a little!" I explained the 'Reverse-Spiral' effect to him.
"So that's what these 'quakes' are."
"I begged Dimitri to figure out how to stop them, but he said he'd have to do research."
"How long would that take?"
"He didn't tell me," I said.
Hershel sat down and pondered the possibilities.
"I don't think there's much we can-" He stopped mid-sentence. "You told me that you can time-travel at will, correct?"
"Uh, yeah. It's pretty tiring, though, but I'm capable of it. Why?"
"If we have you time travel back and forth through time-"
I stopped him, "It would work like a needle and thread, wouldn't it? 'Sewing' the fabric of time back together."
"Well, I could give it a shot. I'm not sure how well it would work, if at all. Tell Dimitri that we've come up with a solution."
Chapter 10 -- JeanneEdit
I peered from behind a tree and saw the building where he was. It was very well camouflaged, and yet it still had guards patrolling the perimeter.
This is where my skills come in handy, I thought. Setting my gun on a tripod, I shot a blank out into the open, not hitting anyone, for a mere distraction. I packed up my weapon and maneuvered quickly around the edge of the building in the split second that the guards weren't paying attention.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
I made my way quickly and quietly through the corridors of the base, being careful not to be seen. Too bad I wasn't careful enough.
"Stop right there!" a guard in front of me commanded. Another guard stood beside him, blocking my way.
"Eh, no. I don't think I will," I said. My rifle easily doubled theirs. "Take me to Reinel's office. Now."
I've always had a gift for manipulating people, because they did exactly what I told them to. Once outside the door, I told them to scram, or I would get rid of them. They fled like dogs with their tails between their legs.
Smart boys, I thought. With one swift kick, I broke the door in. Broneph just sat behind his desk.
"Your past has come back to haunt you, Reinel," I hissed.
"Now, how did I know you would show up?"
"Because your intuition told you," I said matter-of-factly. "Do you recall March fifteenth, five years ago?"
"Yes, I believe you do." I walked closer to him, close enough that the tip of my gun touched his chest. "Do you remember what happened? What you did to me that day?"
"I did nothing to you. A mere accident, it was."
"This was no accident," I objected. "You intended to kill me because I was a valuable asset to the SIS. To make your job easier for you, seeing as how you wouldn't have to deal with me, you wanted me dead, gone, and out of the way. Well, isn't that ironic? Because I want the same thing for you."
I pointed the weapon at him and cocked it.
"Wouldn't it be poetic justice to do the same thing you did to me? I would truly enjoy it."
Chapter 11 -- LaytonEdit
"Dimitri, I believe we've found a solution. We will use Brittney's ability to time-travel and 'sew' the fabric of space/time back together."
"You do realize the risk involved? She may be trapped forever, as she will be tampering with the timeline."
"I do, and accept the risk. She concurs," I glanced at her, and she nodded.
"Then, I must explain to you how she will actually do this," said Dimitri.
"She must go back the amount of time the earthquakes went back. First, she must go back one minute, and then to present day. Then, she must go back five minutes, and return," explained Dimitri. "Continuing with an hour, then a day, and then finally a week to make sure that it is fully sealed."
I told this to Brittney, and she seemed surprised.
"That's a lot of work," she said. "I may have to rejuvinate between traveling. Have some spiced tea or something ready for me when I return, alright?"
I had no idea what was going to happen.
Chapter 12 -- JeanneEdit
Six officers came in from behind me. Two tried to pin me, but I kicked one to the floor, and shot the other in the shoulder. I just grazed him, though. Another came up from behind me, but I used a strong choke hold on him. He slumped to the ground, unconscious. Two more tried to pin me down, but I flipped one over my shoulder.
The last one had a gun, but of course, mine was bigger.
"Drop the weapon or I'll drop you!" he commanded.
"You first," I told him.
Then, my worst fears were confirmed. More officers came in through the door, while I was still focusing on the gun fight. More of a duel, really.
They ambushed me from behind and they pinned me against the wall, my hands behind my back.
"No! You can't do this!" I exclaimed, my right cheek pressed hard against the cold wall.
"Well, this is just luck. Nearly one Descole, and now the other?" he beamed. Slowly, he removed my delicate mask from my face, revealing my green eyes, and who I really was.
"And look, a conveiniently placed camera," one of the officers said, snapping a photo of me.
"Damn you, Broneph. Damn you all to hell!" I cussed through gritted teeth.
"Curse all you want, but it won't do you any good."
Two of the officers literally lifted me off the ground, while I was squirming to break free of their grasp, and escorted me to a holding cell, with some twenty guards.
"Can I at least have my mask back?!" I said, gripping the bars of the cell with gloved hands. "I paid good money for that! And when do I get my phone call?!"
"Oh, you'll get your phone call eventually," said Broneph, walking in.
"Well, I need to tell my fiancé that I won't be making it to dinner tonight," I explained, with just a hint of sarcasm in my voice.
"Oh, so you two are engaged? I see Descole's made a move." He laughed at his own joke.
"You don't deserve to be forgiven for this!" I yelled.
"I know full well I'm not."
Chapter 13 -- BrittneyEdit
Time travel is a weird process. For me, at least. I went to travel back in time exactly one minute, as I timed on my watch. But my physical body stayed in the present and communicated freely with other people, it was only my 'spirit' that traveled. It was hard to explain.
"57, 58, 59, time's up," I said, and went back to the present.
As I returned, I noticed I was much more tired than beofre I left.
"A minute down, lots of time to go," I said. "Where's my tea?"
"Here!" said Luke, who apparently had just gotten to my home.
I gulped down the tea, and traveled back again.
"I think it's working," said Luke, who had no idea how this worked.
"I believe so, too. The amount of 'time-quakes' should be significantly decreasing," said Dimitri.
I returned once more, drank more tea, and traveled again, for an hour, this time.
This is going to take forever, I thought.
"So, when we get to when the amount of time is a day, and a week, do we have to wait a day or a week?" Luke asked, madly brewing more tea.
"Actually, no," said Dimitri. "It's a complicated process, but it should only take a few minutes, as long as she continues constantly."
After I had came and went again, this time for the week, Luke asked, "So, why does this work?"
"It's really more of a trick, really," said Dimitri. "Since she's going back and forth so quickly, it is reversing the reverse, which makes time flow forward again."
"Oh, my brain hurts!" he exclaimed.
Whilst I was working my butt off, exactly 8 minutes had passed in the present day world.
I sighed and sat back in my chair once I had returned for the last time. "Are we dead yet?" I asked.
"You did it, Brittney!" Luke cheered. "You saved the world!"
That didn't sound normal, but I didn't care. I just needed sleep, which is exactly what I got.
Chapter 14 -- JeanEdit
"It seems you've gotten yourself arrested," I said sarcastically. "Congratulations."
"Oh, shut up. You've been here in my shoes before, too."
"However, my identity wasn't revealed. You, on the other hand-"
"Again, shut up. Just find a way to get me the hell out of here," she said.
"Maybe I will. Or, maybe I won't."
She growled. "I'll kill you, I swear!"
"What, from behind bars?"
"I've got connections, you know!"
I shushed her. "Just go to your happy place."
"Have you ever considered the possibility that I DON'T HAVE ONE?!?!"
"Actually, I do believe I did think about that once."
"Oh, forget it. But while you're thinking of a way to get me out of here, don't go hitting on any other women. I made you promise."
"I wouldn't dream of it."
I hung up.
Well, maybe...I joked.
To Be Continued...
A big thanks to Castle and the episode at the end of Season 3: 'Knockout' for inspiration!