Copyright 1999, Lyta. All rights reserved. No part of this story may be re-posted in part or in full without written permission from me.
Disclaimer: Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict is copyright 1998, Tribune Entertainment Co. Its characters are used without permission, no infringement is intended.
Title: Delaying the Inevitable
Summary: What happened after “Contemplation”.
It seemed extremely ironic to Liam: telling someone over twenty times his own age what to do, but then everyone was his elder except for those too young to form coherent sentences. He had often mused over a soda in the Flat Planet Cafe about the gigantic paradox that characterized his life, only at the moment it seemed a bitter one.
He swished the soda around in the can as he turned his head toward the television mounted onto the wall. He once again had to watch a colleague become the unwilling leading lady of the evening news. Liam sighed and wished for a stronger drink, but had no desire to add a hangover to his growing list of miseries.
At least it was so very public. If Julia’s arrest had not occurred on national television, she and her team might have disappeared into a Taelon project like Augur had for a time. Liam had heard stories about how the Taelons “rehabilitated” Resistance members with by implanting them with CVI’s.
The CVI. He kept wondering when the day would come that Zo’or would demand his implantation. He was confused as to why he was still free while Da’an lingered in a holding cell on the Mothership. If the Taelons were tapping his phones or having him followed to gather evidence, then they were in for a disappointment. He had returned control of the Resistance to Doors shortly after Renee Palmer had rescued them. With the Taelon sweeps, deep cover operatives were in precarious positions and Liam could not afford to do anything suspicious while he was under such a heavy microscope. The information his position allowed him to gather was critical, especially now, but the forced disassociation from his friends made him feel so horribly alone.
He wished he could go to Augur, but it was simply too dangerous and Liam actually had no clue where the cyber wizard was holed up until the path to his abode under St. Michael’s was clear.
Then his global beeped.
“Agent Sandoval, what can I do for you?” Liam inquired, keeping his tone polite when he wanted to scream at the man who was his human father. Sandoval had betrayed everything he had sworn to protect, and everything he had valued. How could he live with himself?
“Zo’or would like to speak to you regarding your position with the Taelons. As I’m sure you are aware, you are the only Companion Agent without a CVI. The Synod would like to re-open our discussion on your refusal to accept one.”
“I’ll be right there.” Liam answered. He sent the coded signal he had dreaded to Dr. Belman and took a deep breath before walking out the door and into the drizzling afternoon.
Liam arrived on the Mothership via shuttle half an hour later. He had taken slightly longer routes at every opportunity, even if that meant getting wet by being out in the rain. Liam did not mind the weather, it felt cleansing somehow, but it was all a futile effort to delay the inevitable and he still found himself in a shuttle on final approach for the Mothership. It filled the viewscreen until the screen was no longer sufficiently large enough to display the entire ship. He stared at the Taelon vessel; it reminded him both of amoebae and the shadowy things that lurked about in his nightmares. Tangled bits of Ha’gel’s memories merging with fears from his own existence, Liam supposed. Now one of his nightmares was coming to pass as he sat mentally preparing himself to have one of the conversations he had sought to avoid since day one as Da’an’s protector. With a fully functional CVI he would be compelled to confess his true nature and his knowledge of the Liberation to Zo’or.
“Major Kincaid.” Sandoval acknowledged as Liam stepped out of the shuttle and into the landing bay. The Implant’s posture indicated that he intended to escort Liam to the Synod leader personally.
Liam nodded wearily. He did not even feel the urge to come up with a cutting remark. It would seem cheap to him now. He followed his father to the bridge and ignored all of Sandoval’s attempts to draw him out his tightly closed shell.
But Sandoval did not take him to the bridge. Instead they ended up in the implantation room. Liam stood in the doorway, stunned. He tried to ignore Sandoval’s expression. His father was waiting for him to join him in the room, but Liam could not move.
“Zo’or intends to make sure that all companion protectors have the most unswerving of loyalties.” Sandoval informed him, all the while gauging his reaction to the situation.
“My loyalties have never wavered.” Liam protested. He racked his brain for ways to argue his way out of this. He had always expected to be having this conversation with Zo’or, not Sandoval.
“Then you have nothing to fear.” Sandoval said with a small smirk. He shifted the position of his right arm slightly so that he could fire Raven with greater ease if it came to that. Liam turned at the sound of approaching footsteps and came face to face with two emotionless, muscular and heavily armed Volunteers. Instinctively, Liam took a step away from them and crossed the lab’s threshold.
“See? Now that wasn’t so bad was it?” The Implant’s expression almost dared Liam to resist.
Liam was about to give Sandoval a surprise when he caught site of Dr. Belman preparing for his implantation and breathed a sigh of relief, which he covered with a nod. He was led to the implantation table and the Volunteers firmly strapped him down. Immediately after he was rendered unable to move, in accord with Murphy’s law, his nose began to itch.
As he watched the probe move steadily closer to his jaw, he could not help but relive his Human parent’s memories of implantation. Liam silently prayed that everything would turn out all right, but something nagged at him. Then abruptly he recognized what was bothering him and began to struggle with everything he had, but his bonds held him firm and immobile. There was nothing he could do to prevent the implantation.
Ronald Sandoval watched impassively as the probe penetrated Kincaid’s skin, causing a small bead of blood to trickle down and onto the table. The new implant seized for a few minutes before his eyes closed and he went limp against the restraints, his face pale and covered with a fine sheen of perspiration.
“The CVI has been delivered.” Dr. Belman informed him curtly.
“How long until he regains consciousness?” Sandoval asked.
“A few hours.”
After Sandoval updated Zo’or of their progress, he straightened his tie and brushed an imaginary bit of lint off one arm of his black jacket.
“Thank you, Doctor.” The attaché said as he left. There was no reply.
Ever since Zo’or had Belman implanted, Sandoval had noticed that she tended toward curt responses except when answering to the Taelons. It was a change he only spent a second contemplating.
When Liam came to, he was aware of a sharp pain in his head but immediately shrugged it off. An implant could not be bothered by mere physical discomfit when the security of the Taelons is at stake. He wondered when he would be permitted to leave the medical bay, there were some things he had to inform Zo’or about.