crossposted to AO3 here.
Warning: Burton died just before this story.
Summary: AU: What if Connor had not stayed to help Philip Burton with the computer check?
Characters: Connor, Abby, Lester; mention of Burton, Shannon, Jess, Mary.
special thanks to Lukadreaming who helped me brainstorm for this.
two drabble(ish)s - one of Connor, one of Abby - POV on the aftereffects.
Philip Burton is dead.
When we got back from catching the Creature, we found the ARC on full lockdown. Once we were able to get inside, we found him in a supply room with Rex.
Before the ARC had started its building-wide scan, all the captured Creatures were reported to have been in their cages. So it should have been a nice, quiet bit of time to relax.
But nobody thought to check for Rex. For one thing, he's usually at the flat with Abby - or watching over the flat when she's not there.
But Rex was here, in the ARC, unaccounted for. And he's why Philip is dead.
One of Philip's last messages was that I'm to be on the team examining the programming software. Just in case. In case the trillion-to-one odds of it not being Rex's fault land in his favor.
"You ready, Connor?" Shannon asks me.
Best get started. "Ready," I say.
Jess is still looking ashamed, like there was something more she could have tried, above and beyond what she did try.
Abby hasn't come around, and I'm glad of it. I don't think I could stand to look at her right now. She left Rex here, and that's why Philip is dead.
Becker takes me to Lester's office after I'm left cooling my heels in isolation here in the ARC. I know only the bare bones of what happened: Connor's hero killed Rex.
When we get to Lester's office, I barely see the row of soldiers lined up along the wall; mostly I see Rex lying in a specimen jar on Lester's desk.
Behind the desk, Lester is standing. "Is this or is this not your pet, Miss Maitland?" he asks me.
"That's Rex," I say.
"Answer the question."
"Why? You've already decided what you're going to do. So why should I say anything?"
"We still have options open to us. But which of those options we use, is entirely dependant upon your answer."
I don't say anything.
After a minute, he says, "Silence is as valid an answer as yes or no. Gentlemen," and Becker and O'Keefe come over and cuff me.
Then Tremayne comes over and shackles my ankles before she stands alongside Becker.
"Abigail Maitland, your willful disregard for the safety of our nation, has consequences. And you will be punished accordingly."
"I have made allowances for your behavior previously, Miss Maitland," Lester says. "The loss of your colleagues, the wild actions of your brother - yes, I knew - and being lost in the Cretaceous with only Mr. Temple for company. But your recent actions are not something I will permit to slide by. Enjoy prison," he tells me, and I'm escorted off the property.