This is the first half of Two. This is hurting to write, so I thought I would share the pain. Sorry, guys. That and it seems like I haven’t posted decent fic in ages. So still WIP, but worth reading, I hope. ::cries at what I have done to the brothers:: I think this is rock bottom – I think I wanna cry 🙁  Warnings: Spoilers for S2, Sotto Voce. Discussion of suicide.

-o-o-o-

Virgil!

Her scream shot through
his mind like a bullet from a gun and suddenly she was everywhere.

He was breathing in the material
of her dress, his hair was aflame with her anger, his ears rung with her
screams.

No! you can’t have him!

There was light, searing
light, red hair, pale skin. Fire.

And an inky black.

It dripped between the
flames and where it touched him, it burned.

God, it burned.

He struggled pulling
backwards, but there was nowhere to go. There was no way out.

Eos screamed his name
again.

And eyes so green, so like
her father’s, flashed in front of him, her expression one of pure terror. Virgil, no!

And he was being pulled
forward. He was being pulled out. The light was blinding.

NO! YOU CAN’T! A blanket of roaring sound washed
over him, taking all thought, taking everything.

He stumbled, a kiss
brushed his cheek, and his world burst into flame.

He burned. Everything
burned. A wind tore around him and whipped up all the darkness, wrapping it in
white fire. It spun into a whirlwind, its ferocity shredding all before it as
it tore away into the whiteness.

Virgil blinked and it was
all gone. Silence. There was only white, pulsating white, pulling gently.

Eos?

No answer.

EOS?!

Nothing.

His breath hitched.

No. No. He felt around.
She had to be here somewhere. EOS?!

He took a step backwards
and stumbled again.

This time he fell.

-o-o-o-

“EOS!”

Scott yelped as his brother
sat up suddenly, narrowly missing a painful headbutt. But a moment later, he
had to hurriedly reach out and catch Virgil as he wavered, groaning.

“Eos, no. Hurts.” Virgil
pushed the palms of his hands into his eye sockets. “No. No. No. Please. No.”

“Virgil.”

“No. No. Eos. No.” There
was a note of hysteria in his voice so foreign to Virgil’s character, Scott’s
heartbeat doubled.

“Virgil.”

Shock-filled eyes looked
up at him. “She’s gone. I can’t find her. She’s gone!” Those eyes turned
inwards, darting around in panic. “She’s gone. She’s gone. I have to find her.”

And his brother’s eyes
rolled up in their sockets. This time Scott was able to catch him before he hit
the floor.

-o-o-o-

There was white again.

It throbbed.

He felt around. She had to
be here.

But there was nothing.

The white pulsed like a
heartbeat.

He took a step in the
direction of its pull.

And found himself
elsewhere.

Virgil stumbled.

And he was peering down.
He blinked. “John?”

-o-o-o-

John looked up. “Virgil?”

The hub was drenched in
code. John couldn’t find Eos. She simply wasn’t there.

But there was a single
green light lit on her camera above.

He whipped up another
window, accessing Eos’ support systems, the cradle that kept her safe on
Thunderbird Five. The programs were functioning, but there was no sign of Eos.

Something else was being
cradled. A mess of non-code. It ran like a river across his screen, completely
unintelligible.

An invader?

He activated the
computer’s security regime.

“Ow! What the hell? It bit
me!” That single green light flickered.

“Virgil?!”

And the code he had spent
so many hours writing to protect Thunderbird Five fragmented and collapsed. The
multi-level program corrupted beyond repair.

“Virgil?”

“John?” That green light
flickered again. “I can’t find Eos.”

John eyed the strange
non-code. “Virgil, where are you?”

No answer.

“Virgil?!”

The lights flickered.

Hell.

“Virgil!”

Still no response.

John hit his comms.
“Scott, where is Virgil?”

The voice that answered
was hardly that of his level-headed eldest brother. “John? What happened?
Virgil is unconscious. He was yelling for Eos.”

The lights flickered again
and John swallowed. “I think he is up here.” Hesitant. “In the computer.”

“What?!” A harsh breath.
“How is that possible?”

Still looking around
somewhat nervously. “I don’t know.”

“What happened?!”

“As far as I can tell,
there was an attack. I think Eos intercepted it.”

“You think?”

“It came through
Thunderbird Five, but we weren’t the target.”

There was silence for a
moment. “Virgil?”

“That would be my guess.”
A shaky indrawn breath. “And Eos intercepted it.”

“Is she okay?”

The question struck him
hard and he found himself struggling for control. “No.”

“John?”

Quiet. “I can’t find her.”
It was starting to sink in now. Eos was gone, maybe forever. His heart skipped
a beat. Then another.

“John?”

“I-“

A disembodied hand
appeared on his shoulder and he startled, propelling himself backwards across
the room. The hand grew an arm, a shoulder, a familiar green baldric appeared,
blue uniform, solid boots, dark hair…all slightly transparent. A hologram.

Of Virgil.

“Are you okay?” It spoke,
its lips moving, but its baritone voice issuing from the speakers above.
Painfully familiar eyebrows were crumpling in concern. How the hell? “What?”

And it vanished.

The green light blinked
out.

-o-o-o-

He was flung backwards and
the white returned. It pulsed at him mockingly.

Eos?

But he no longer expected
an answer.

A step…

And he found himself
surrounded by his brother. Scott was holding him. Gordon was staring at
him…fear on his face… “Gordon?” The sound of his own voice stabbed a knife
through his skull. “Augh.” He instinctively curled in on himself, his fingers
wrapping around his head, eyes squeezed tight. The pain throbbed at him
mockingly.

Quiet. “Virgil, you with
us?” A finger brushed the hair out of his eyes.

“Hurts.” God, it hurt.
Scott’s arms tightened around him. He forced himself to breathe, gain control.
“Eos. John.” He squeezed his eyes tight.

“John has it in hand.”
Even in his confused state, Virgil could hear the lie.

“She’s gone.”

The arms around him pulled
him just a touch closer.

Gain control. His head
spun.

Gain control. He was sick
of being so weak and such a burden. He forced himself beyond the throb of his
head. “I have to-“

“Virgil, stay down.”

“No, I have to-“

Scott’s arms tightened,
but Virgil was stronger than his brother. He pushed him off gently, but firmly,
sitting up, his very bones protesting. “I have to find her.” TB2’s deck plating
dug into his butt.

“How?” Scott’s voice was
quiet, but desperate.

Virgil ran his hands over
his face, fingers catching in his hair. “I don’t know.” But he had to. “Need to
speak to John.” And with that he was struggling to his feet.

Two sets of hands helped
him up. “I’m okay.”

“No, you’re not.” Both
Scott and Gordon in harmony.

No, he wasn’t, but he’d
make the best of it. Pounding head or not.

-o-o-o-

John’s voice was fragile.
“I’ve lost her.”

Virgil sat on the lounge
just like he had that morning, but the situation was so different. No spritely
voice in his head, no laughter at his dopeyness, no niece in his head.

He closed his eyes.

Eos.

A step and he was in the
white. It pulsed at him.

Another step and he was
once again staring down at John. “John?”

The floating figure
startled and spun to stare up at him. “Virgil, what are you doing?!”

“I’m so sorry.” He reached
out to his brother and his hand appeared. John flinched, but Virgil reached out
to touch him. He so wanted to hug him. “I’m so, so sorry.”

John had all the
appearance of a deer stuck in headlights. “Virgil, what are you doing?”

“Virgil!” Scott.

He started and stumbled
backwards.

White and the pain
returned. “Augh.”

There were hands on his
shoulders. “What did you do?”

“I-“

“He was here again.” John.

“How the hell is he doing
that?” Gordon.

“That thing in his head.”
Alan.

“State the obvious.”
Gordon.

“Someone had to say it.”
Alan.

“And yes, it always has to
be you.” Gordon.

“No-one else here has the
guts.”

“Alan!” Scott.

“I warned you.”

“Is this a ‘I told you
so’? If so, save your breath.”

“So what are we going to do
now? Some asshole is out there who has got it bad for Virgil and doesn’t care
who gets in his way. Thunderbird Five’s security is down. Who gets shot down
next?”

“I don’t see you offering
any suggestions.” Gordon’s tone was scathing.

“I had a solution and you
all shot it down!”

“Virgil stays here!” He
had never heard Gordon so angry.

“And look what happened!”

“Alan!” John’s voice
carried just that hint of space static, but it didn’t dull his fury. “Eos
discovered a third breach of security yesterday. It struck while the isolator
was on! It still reached Virgil, knocking him unconscious. If we had taken your
suggestion and exiled Virgil, cutting him off from Eos, they would have him and
he would likely be dead.”

There was silence after
that. Virgil’s heart pounded, the pain in his head echoing it. It was obvious.
If he had left, Eos would still be with them. He squeezed his eyes tighter.

“Virgil?” Scott’s voice
was quiet yet desperate.

“I’m sorry. So, so sorry.”

“Not your fault.” Gordon
was firm.

“Doesn’t change the fact
that Eos is gone.” Eos is gone. The emptiness echoed in his head.

“Still not your fault.”

“What are we going to do?
We’re sitting ducks.”

Virgil opened his eyes and
latched them onto Alan. “Do you have any ideas, smart ass? Because other than
shooting myself in the head, I’m all out of options.”

Everyone froze. Alan went
white.

“No, Virgil. Don’t even
think about it.” Scott looked as pale as Alan.

“Why not? You would be
safe.”

“NO!” And Scott broke. It
was like the snapping of a tree in a storm. His blue eyes screamed pain and
they were in his face, hands on his arms. “DON’T YOU DARE!” Scott was shaking
him, his grip hurt.

And then his brother was
being dragged away, Gordon yelling his name. Alan had his other arm. His
brothers forced Scott to sit down, Gordon shoving Alan out of the way to sit in
front of him. “Scott, c’mon Virgil didn’t mean it.”

“Didn’t he?” There were
tears in Scott’s voice. “Don’t you dare, Virgil. Don’t even think about it. We
don’t give up. We will beat this bastard, together.” The words were rote. His
brother falling back on their automatic mantra in distress.

Virgil?

He started, his thoughts
immediately turning inwards.

Eos?!

But no, it wasn’t his
niece. The voice was distinctly male. A familiar voice.

John.

He looked up at his
brother in his hologram. He spoke his name again and it echoed in his head.
Terror flared up. John was in his head.

It is just me, Virgil, just my voice. I promise. We need to work
out how this all works. We need to find a way to defend you.

How?

I tracked you. I’m sending a simple data transmission. Voice only.
If we can work out how this works, we can work out a way to prevent unwanted
intrusion.

He fought back the bile.
John was right. He stared at his brother’s hologram. The expression on his face
was full of sadness and apology, but underneath that was love. He never thought
it could be so blatant, particularly from his stoic, calm brother, hair blond,
uniform black, simply because he cared.

“Guys.” His brothers
looked up. “Do me a favour and tell me that that is John.”

Scott’s eyes were red and
it was Gordon who stood up and walked over to the holoprojector and checked the
signal’s origin. “Yep, that is definitely Johnny.”

“Good.”

We can beat this, Virgil. I promise you.
The intensity in his holographic eyes reached across the room and imprinted
itself on his soul. You hang in there,
big brother.

Okay.

And it was okay. For all
of twenty seconds, when the signal from Thunderbird Five was cut dead.

-o-o-o-

TBC

Leave a Reply