Happy Birthday, you're dead

(or a funny thing happened to Geoff on his way to a surprise birthday party.)

Part 3.


March 9th 0415

Tracker shifted in his seat as he and Boomer took turns watching Eclipse's van. It was the only lead they had on the man.

Boomer opened his eyes as Tracker settled into a more comfortable position. "Anything yet?"

"Nope." Tracker answered.

Boomer nodded as he prepared to take over.

"We've got movement," Tracker stated as one of the gages moved ever so slightly.


"I don't think so, indication is several somebodies. Eclipse works alone. They're interested in the van."

"What's the plan?"

"For now we watch, find out what we can about them. Get somebody to tail the visitors. I want to stay with the van."

Boomer nodded. "I'll call in a tail team."

March 9th 0425

The Doc checked his watch, Eclipse was due back any time. He bit his lip as he put his plan into action. With a pair of forceps, he dropped the time release capsule down Geoff's throat. "Sorry old man," he thought to himself, "But you're going to make me a very rich man."

He put his equipment away and waited. Fifteen minutes later, Eclipse returned. His companion wore a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled down.

"Ready?" Eclipse asked as he pulled out a blindfold.

"Just remember, if he gets worse, call me," the doc warned as Eclipse's companion sat down next to Geoff.

"We will," Eclipse assured the doc. Then he turned to the man sitting next to Geoff. "I'll be back in an hour. Sorry it had to happen this way."

The man nodded and waited until Eclipse had blind folded the Doctor. "Be careful," he whispered as he pulled down his hood.

Eclipse nodded as he looked at the two men and turned away. You could see the family resemblance.

March 9th 0500

Joseph Edwin Mays looked at his brother in fear and amazement. He had long imagined this day, and feared that it would never be. He had wondered what his brother was like, and now, he was holding him as he fought some battle in his own mind.

"Easy," he called, as Geoff all but screamed. He eased himself behind his brother and wrapped his arms around him protectively. "Don't worry Geoff, I'm here," he called.

"Davy?" Geoff groaned groggily.

"Just take it easy."

Geoff whimpered as his father towered over him. "Why didn't you eat with the rest of us?" he demanded. "Do you know how embarrassing it was? That was steak you refused to eat. Steak! Do you know how much that stuff costs?"

Geoff tried to explain, he tried to eat it, he just couldn't. His stomach churned at the thought of it.

"We get home and all the sudden you're hungry again. Well you're going to eat this steak by god!"

Geoff stepped back only to find himself cornered with his father towering over him. The feel of cold dead flesh in his mouth made him wretch as his father shoved it into his mouth.

Joey held Geoff gently as he rolled over, retching.

"Easy," he urged as he placed his hand tentatively on Geoff's forehead. He was burning up. He found the cloth Eclipse had left there, moistened it and held it to Geoff's forehead.

Geoff recoiled from the coolness and cried out. "No, please, no more," he cried, then whimpered "no more!"

Joey pulled Geoff closer and bit his lip. "Easy," he whispered. "Everything's going to be fine."

"Davy," Geoff answered groggily. "Its not your fault."

"Shh," Joey answered. "Just rest."

Joey gently patted his brother's head as he started to relax. Finally Geoff's breaths came in even puffs. He thought about the horror stories his father told him about the "changeling child," and how he tried to destroy the family. Joey clenched his teeth in disgust as he held his brother. It was as he suspected, the monster was not his brother. The monster had been their father.

Now more than ever he wanted to talk to Geoff, seek his acceptance, but the plan had back fired. Geoff was alive, they'd managed to not screw that part up at least.

Eclipse had told him about the things that had gone wrong. He'd shot one of Geoff's friends, thinking he was protecting Geoff. He'd managed to save them both from the rocket blast, but now this.

"Geoff," he called softly. "I'm so sorry."

"Its okay, Davy," Geoff answered groggily. "Its not your fault."

Joey held on to those words, and hoped that they would apply to him as well, someday.

March 9th 0530

Tracker scanned the area while Boomer went over the van. They had to find out what the late night visitors had done while they were checking it out.

"Cool," Boomer's voice came in over the comm-link. "Really cool shit they got here Tracker."

"What's taking so long?" he answered back. There was no sign of movement in the area, but Eclipse had a reputation for slipping in and out of secure areas without making a sound.

"Sorry, had to defuse this." Boomer said as he joined Tracker and handed him a small box.

"Which is?"

"Combination tracking device and," he stated as he opened the box. "Fireworks."

"Our boys weren't playing around then were they?"

"No sir," Boomer answered. "This is C-12, known on the streets as C-no-more. This much would have taken out the van and anything within 20 meters."

"Boom," Tracker stated.

"Nah, more of a whoosh, but you get the idea."

Tracker shook his head, sometimes Wayne just got into his work a little too much.

March 9th 0600 hrs

Gina checked TwoBears' vital signs as he continued his inward journey. His breath came in soft deep breaths, his pulse, strong and steady.

Bear traveled back to the office, right before the explosion. He hovered over Geoff and the man known as Eclipse. He forced himself to concentrate on them, even as Eclipse aimed his weapon at the door. He knew Duck was there, he knew she would be shot, there was nothing he could do about that. But he could follow the man. Duck was right about one thing though, the man did reek of magic.

He watched the gun fire and felt his pulse quicken. This was the moment, and he knew he only had one chance. He watched as the man drew power in around himself and followed them as they left the room. He felt the explosion behind them and Geoff's sudden pain.

He was disoriented. The man had teleported them somewhere. Somewhere dark and moist. He listened to the sounds around them and identified the area. He knew he was in the drainage tunnels under the city before the man turned on the lamp. He waited as the man propped Geoff up and checked on him. Once he was sure Geoff was alive, he let the time slip forward to the present.

Bear let the room around him come into focus and was surprised to see someone holding Geoff protectively. He shook his head as he recognized the boy. It was Geoff, but not Geoff. He possessed the same fierce loyalty, Bear could sense that in his baring, but he was younger. Younger and less sure of himself.

"Get the doc," the younger man called as Geoff screamed. Bear knew that scream, Geoff was delirious, and caught in the nightmare that was his childhood.

Geoff groaned as he tried to physically fight off that which only existed in his mind. Bear was torn. He had to let the others know, but Geoff needed him now. As he wavered, his decision was made for him.

He felt Eclipse, long before he saw him. But by the time he had, it was too late. He felt the energy as Eclipse drew it towards himself and then released it.

"I'm a friend," Bear yelled, hoping that Eclipse would hear. "Take him to the Wilson Clinic, they're the only ones you can trust."

It was his last thought before everything was on fire around him. He fought it, his will against Eclipse's power. He should have been able to face it, stand against the flames, but he'd already worn himself out getting there.

March 9th 0630

Gina was worried. Bear's heart rate had started to slow as he had warned her it might, but now it was racing dangerously fast. She started to rub his arm as she felt te first erratic beat, she tried to remember what he had told her.

Three beats on the drum, three beats and then a faster cadence to bring him back. She stopped the tape he'd been using and picked up the stick. She did as he instructed, resisting the urge to take his pulse. 'This is normal,' she kept telling herself. 'This is normal.'

Five minutes later Bear breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm back," he whispered weakly. "You can stop now."

Gina turned towards him and gasped. Bear's shoulder was singed, and the exhaustion in his eyes radiated over his entire body. "Bear?" she called anxiously.

"He's alive," Bear answered weakly. "Alive, but something is wrong."

"What?" Gina asked worriedly.

"He's delirious," Bear forced himself to answer. "They have him in the tunnels, but I'm not sure where."

"The tunnels?"

"Under the city," Bear answered, his voice fading. "Under the city."

Gina tried to question him more, but Bear's strength had finally given out. Gina hit the intercom and paged Davy's office.

"Geoff's alive," she all but shouted. "Bear says he's in the 'tunnels under the city.' We have to find him Davy. Bear says he's delirious."

"Can he give us anything else to go on?" Davy asked anxiously.

"Davy, he's out of it." Gina warned him. "Took everything he had to tell me that much."

"He's hurt?" Davy asked worriedly.

"Not too badly," She answered. "I think he may have been attacked. I'm checking him out now."

"Let me know when you have a status," Davy told her. Gina watched the lights on the phone as Davy called together a search party, then turned her attention back to Bear.

Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

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