K iera Cameron
looked at the bits of rubble that lay at her feet. She ran her hand through the
strands of hair that fell over her right eye, pushing her brown locks to the side and out of the way.
In her late twenties, moderately tall with a slim figure, Kiera was as attractive as she was capable,
smart and determined.
The explosion had been small and very controlled. The rest of the breaching of the company's
security had been done with very sophisticated, advanced electronics. The only thing taken in the
robbery was a prototype of a newly engineered, and secret, communications amplifier. It was
designed to boost communication strengths to overcome many types of interference, with some
civilian, but primarily police and military, applications.
But Kiera suspected the device could be used, in the wrong hands, to do just the opposite. To
override and disrupt communications. And she knew just whose hands would want to do that.
Kiera was the expert on an organized gang that had infiltrated Vancouver. She was on loan to the
city's police department from Section 6, a high level, super‑secret government agency. Or so she
had convinced, with a little manipulation of data, her partner, Detective Carlos Fonnegra. As well
as Police Inspector Dillon, to whom they both reported. And that morning she had told them that
she saw the gang's "fingerprints" on this robbery, thereby assuring their being assigned as the lead
team in the investigation.
But in truth, Kiera was not from Section 6. And the organized gang was not really a gang at all.
They had begun as enraged, uncompromising protesters, using the name Liber8. Some of their
grievances were justified ‑ democracy was being reduced, corporations and oligarchies controlled
people's lives. But to Kiera, their growing violence was not justified. Nor was their callous
disregard for human life in their increasingly destructive and deadly acts in support of their
manifesto. In short, they had become terrorists.
After they blew up a government building, killing thousands of innocent people, they were
captured and sentenced to death. But they made a dramatic escape just before their execution. An
escape which Kiera had seen first‑hand.
But Kiera could not tell any of this to Carlos. She could not tell him when and where this had
happened. Because she could not tell him that Liber8 escaped in the year 2077; escaped using a
time travel device that brought them to 2012.
She could not tell him that she was a Protector with CPS ‑ City Protective Services ‑ a highly
trained and skilled policewoman with advanced electronic implants hard‑wired into her cortex.
Implants that gave her electronic readings of her surroundings in her vision, even the ability to
record what she saw. She could not tell him that what she was really doing was tracking, and
trying to stop, Liber8 from achieving its goals of changing the future through corrupting and
controlling the present. They had already killed many people in 2012 in trying to effect their
desired changes in 2077.
And she could not tell him that she had come back sixty‑five years, from 2077, along with them.
"I don't understand how they got through our security," Rodgers said. He was the
of the division that built the prototype. "Given that it is a very sensitive project, and with the
government's interest, we installed leading edge technology, that we further customized ourselves.
Nothing can break through it. It's beyond anything a robber with even
the most up‑to‑date 2012
knowledge of security electronics could penetrate."
But not beyond someone with 2077 knowledge of security electronics, Kiera thought.
"But someone obviously did penetrate it," Carlos dryly noted.
Rodgers sighed. He started to say something in response but then realized there wasn't anything
he could say.
Carlos walked with Kiera to the side away from Rodgers and the others. Six feet tall with dark
hair and a somewhat rugged face, Carlos was considered by many women to be quite handsome.
But to Kiera it had been a strong, but strictly platonic, relationship. She had kept it that way. But
her loneliness and isolation in 2012 was starting to get to her.
"So what makes you think this is the gang's work?" Carlos asked.
"They blew open only what they absolutely had to," she replied. "They broke through the rest of
the security using sophisticated electronics."
"Electronics that no one could have had," Carlos said, "at least if you believe Rodgers."
"This gang has more expertise in electronics than you could imagine," she said. "I believe Rodgers
that no one else could have done this."
"And therefore it has to be them?" he asked.
"And also because nothing else was taken," a voice in Kiera's head said.
"And also because nothing else was taken," Kiera repeated. "As Rodgers told us, there were other
sensitive prototypes in advanced stages of development. If this was industrial espionage, they
would have taken some of those, too."
The voice in Kiera's head belonged to Alec Sadler. A teenager who was a bona fide genius in
electronics, computers, communication and all associated technologies. His "workskop" ‑
a room in the barn, above the stables,
on his family’s farm ‑ where he spent most of his time was filled with multiple monitors and all
sorts of electronic equipment. He lacked one thing: the arrogance and conceit often displayed by
Alec had been playing with an experimental transmission frequency. He would grow up and invent
many things in the future. Including the electronic implants that were inserted into Kiera's cortex
in 2077. Implants that used the transmission frequency with which Alec was now, in 2012,
And so, to his and Kiera's great surprise, he "found" her when she arrived in 2012. And
discovered that he could talk to her, and see everything that she saw, via her implants. And that
Kiera could talk to him as well. He had been helping Kiera since then.
"I'm trying to hack into their site to see what this device really is," Alec said to her, as he rolled on
his chair among his many pieces of equipment.
"So if this was the work of that gang, why did they take only this invention?" Carlos asked.
"Because it gives them a practical power that they can use," Kiera answered. "Broadcasting their
own messages whenever they want to. Or worse, disrupting police communications. Giving them
a free hand for whatever they're planning to do.
"We've got to get this device back."
"You're the expert on the gang," Carlos said. "Where do we start?"
"I'm working on that," Alec said in Kiera's head.
"Give me a few minutes," she said. "I have to make a call."
"Your Section 6 sources?" he asked.
"Yes," she lied. Walking out of Carlos' hearing, she pulled out her cell phone and made believe
she was calling someone and talking on it.
"What can you tell me, Alec?" she asked through the implants' transmission.
"Give me a minute," he answered. "Wow...this is amazing!"
"I know it is," Kiera said impatiently, "but that doesn't help me find it."
"OK, OK, but this will," he said. "The device is still a prototype. Not everything they designed
was in it yet. So for this to work now, it needs to have line‑of‑sight to the transmitter. And with
nothing that could get in the way. Like a building or even a window."
"So they have to be outdoors," Kiera said. "And on a high place."
"Where they could be spotted," Alec added. "Wait, there's more." He fiddled with some of his
equipment. "Because of the amount of amplification needed, the device has to be within three
hundred meters of the transmitter."
"That narrows down their proximity," Kiera said, "and how much ground we have to cover."
"But there are lots of transmission towers," Alec added. "Cell phones, television, even radio
towers. That's still a lot to cover."
"But it gives us a start," she said.
"I'll send the locations of all the towers to your cell phone," he said.
"Thanks, Alec," Kiera replied.
Phoebe unpacked the large bag she had brought home from her shopping, spread the contents
across the kitchen table, then inserted a CD into her new CD Walkman.
As the CD reached the last track, most
of the items were now in the white mixing bowl that sat in front of her. She dropped in a few
dried dark gold colored leaves, then added a pinch of a brown, granulated substance. Though not
over a flame, the contents nevertheless began to bubble.
"Hand me three of those bassimer roots," she said. Stuart, at the other end of the table where the
roots lay, counted off three and passed them to Phoebe.
Dropping them into the bowl, she took a wooden spoon and gently stirred the contents. The
bubbling subsided as the mixture turned a candy‑pink color. It looked for all appearances to be
nothing more than a benign drink. Phoebe dearly hoped that it was not.
"Is that it?" Stuart asked.
"I hope so," she said. "I combined what seemed to be a few more general potions from the Book
of Shadows. Then I added a few other ingredients that should be general, too. But we won't know
for sure until we use it on a demon."
"It's a shame spells need to be more specific to particular demons," Stuart said. "Otherwise you
could just make up one and use it on whoever this demon is."
"Potions have more latitude," Phoebe replied. "If Prue and Piper can locate last night's demon, we
may not have the time to make up the right spell to vanquish him. But this potion is as general as
it can be. It should work."
"I don't like 'should work' when dealing with demons," Stuart said. "It isn't good enough ‑ it's still
a big risk. I'd rather have a nice, customized spell.
"On the other hand," he admitted, "you do need more time to say a spell than to just throw a
potion at a demon."
"I'll call Prue and see if they found that demon's trail," Phoebe said. "Maybe we'll be lucky and
he'll lead us to the one ‑"
Leo's orbing in interrupted Phoebe.
"You have to get going. Hurry!" Leo commanded.
"I do love your civility and manners," Stuart said, sarcastically.
"Good morning," he said, grudgingly.
"Good morning Leo," Stuart and Phoebe said together.
"Now hurry up and get ready," Leo ordered.
"Get ready for what?" Phoebe asked. "And just what is going on?"
"Something terrible may happen," Leo answered.
"May happen?" Phoebe asked.
"Almost certainly will happen," Leo replied. "The Elders sense something is changing. Or will
"Leo, you're not making any sense," Phoebe said."What is changing?"
"They don't know," Leo said. "At least not exactly. Look ‑ there isn't time to waste."
"Stop, Leo!" Phoebe said. "I...we have to understand what is going on. Explain!"
Leo exhaled again.
"There's nothing more to explain," Leo said. "The Elders sense that something is about to be
changed by a demon and that change will do something terrible."
"What is going to be changed?" Stuart asked.
"They can't tell...exactly," Leo answered.
"Which demon is going to do this?" Phoebe asked.
"They don't know that either," he admitted.
"So there's a demon ‑ they don't know who ‑ who is going to do something really bad ‑ they don't
know what ‑ and we're supposed to stop it?" she asked, incredulously.
"Now you understand," Leo said.
"Understand?!" Phoebe exclaimed. "How are we supposed to stop an unknown demon from
doing some unknown terrible thing?"
"Be innovative," Leo said.
Phoebe and Stuart turned and looked at each other.
"The Elders have "ordered" us to do way‑out and dangerous things," Phoebe said, "but this...this
is...the craziest thing yet."
"When is this unknown demon going to do this unknown thing?" Stuart asked.
"Very soon," Leo said. "Get your time travel spell."
"Time travel?!" Phoebe said. She was starting to sound like Piper whenever her sister got annoyed
at The Elders. Which was often. "You said it was going to happen very soon."
"It is," Leo said. "But in 2012."
"Well that gives us a whole twelve years to get ready," Stuart said, facetiously.
Leo shook his head. "Once the demon makes the change, you won't be able to undo it. And The
Elders said it's about to happen."
"And they don't know what nor by whom," Stuart said. "But at least they know when. And who
said that they're not very helpful," he added sarcastically.
"We can't waste any more time arguing," Leo said. "Get Prue and Piper and say the spell."
"They're not here," Stuart said. "They're chasing down the demon who attacked some people at a
charity dinner last night."
"This is more important," Leo said.
"More important than stopping the demon who is planning major destruction on the solstice?"
Phoebe asked. "May I remind you ‑ and The Elders ‑ that if we don't stop this demon there won't
be much of a future left to save."
"And if you don't stop the demon in 2012, there won't be a future worth saving," Leo said. "It will
be an empty victory."
Phoebe looked at Stuart, then exhaled.
"Piper and Prue are in the East Bay," Phoebe said. "I'll call them and tell them to come home."
"With the traffic on the San Mateo Bridge, it will take them a good hour to get back here," Stuart
"You can't wait that long," Leo said. He hesitated for a few seconds, looking upwards. "The
Elders said you'll have to go by yourself," he said. "Now."
"What?!" Phoebe exclaimed. "They want me to find this demon, whose powers are unknown, and
take him on ‑ oh, and stop him from whatever...change he's trying to make ‑ without Prue and
Piper to use their powers! Not to mention without the Power of Three!"
"You don't have a choice," Leo said. "The time in the future is happening now. This demon is
getting prepared now. We can't waste any more time. You have to go now."
Stuart was going to say something about the future time happening now being a contradiction,
then decided it wasn't worth trying to get Leo to explain it.
Instead he just said "I'm coming with Phoebe."
"No," Leo said. "You'll just get in the way and distract Phoebe when she has to look out for you."
"I've helped them fight evil and save innocents the whole time, without being in the way," Stuart
said, curtly. "You know that Leo. And you also know that I won't let Phoebe go alone. So stop
arguing ‑ you're the one who's wasting time, now."
Phoebe looked at Stuart for a moment. Something unspoken passed between them.
"That's how it's going to be," she said, crossing her arms as she turned back to Leo. "Take it or
Leo looked upward for a moment.
"OK, he said, "you win. Now hurry up and get the spell."
Phoebe held the paper with the date and location that Leo had written down for her.
"Where do we start looking for this demon?" Phoebe asked.
"Find these people and follow them," Leo said. "The Elders said that they're somehow connected
to the demon."
"Are they in league with him?" Stuart asked.
"The Elders don't know," Leo said. "So be careful. Follow from a distance without revealing
Leo handed Phoebe a paper with two names written on it.
After she and Stuart looked at it, Phoebe put it into her pants pocket.
In her jacket pocket she had a break away flask, filled with the potion she had made
"Hold both of my hands," Phoebe said to Stuart.
"Let's go," she said, and began the spell.
"This is an alley in back of some business," Phoebe said, surveying less than enthusiastically the
less than immaculate place to which the spell had brought them. "Unlikely anyone would be here
and saw us just appear out of nowhere."
"I hope this spell got us close to those people Leo gave us," Stuart said. "You were concentrating
on them, too, weren't you?"
"Yes...the spell should have put all of that together," Phoebe answered. "Let's go around to the
front and see where we are."
They walked out of the alley, looking around to be sure that no one was watching them.
"It's a diner," Phoebe said. "That explains why the alley in back looks the way it does."
"And a bank two doors down," Stuart said. "We need to convert our money. So maybe the spell
did work right. Go into the diner and look around for those two people. I'll go into the bank and
get some money."
Stuart hurried to the bank as Phoebe slowly approached the diner. She could see through the
windows that it was relatively empty. She walked to the door and slowly went inside, taking in the
A large, middle‑aged man sat at the counter, engrossed in both his newspaper and his food. At a
table along the window sat a man who seemed to be in his thirties. A serving of scrambled eggs,
pancakes and coffee was set before him, which he was obviously enjoying. An identical serving
was set opposite him, though no one was sitting there. Nor had any of that serving been touched.
Odd, Phoebe thought. Someone's not hungry. Or not here yet?
She casually walked past the man and the table and sat down at the adjoining window table with
her back to, and directly behind, him. This is all we have to go on, she thought. If the spell didn't
bring us to the right place...
Her thoughts were interrupted by the appearance of the waitress.
"What would you like this morning?" she asked.
"Umm...toast and coffee," Phoebe answered. "Make that double...I'm meeting someone." I hope
that makes both of us, she thought, as the waitress went to get the order.
Phoebe wanted to turn around to watch the man. But that would have been awkward. She
purposely had taken that seat to better hear anything that was said at his table. If in fact he was
meeting someone. And if in fact they were the right people.
2012 didn't appear that much different from 2000, Phoebe thought, as she looked through the
large window into the street. At least nothing that was obvious. Some differences in the styling of
the cars that passed by ‑ that was to be expected ‑ but nothing radically different. Some new styles
in clothes ‑ and apparently some old ones resurrected ‑ but again nothing like the clothes they
show in science fiction movies of the future.
The waitress brought the two coffees and servings of toast, along with a selection of jams. Phoebe
took a sip of the coffee. Hmmph. There's one thing that's not any different in 2012, she thought.
Diner coffee hasn't improved in twelve years.
The opening of the door brought Phoebe's focus back to their task. Stuart, with a young woman
in her late twenties right behind him, was at the door. He opened the door then stood aside,
allowing her to enter the diner first. Always the gentleman, Phoebe thought.
"Thank you," the woman said, then walked over to the table where the man was sitting.
"What do you want, Kellog?" the woman asked, somewhat brusquely.
The name got Stuart's attention as he walked past them to Phoebe, who was now very alert. One
of the names on the paper Leo gave them. Quietly, Stuart sat down, then handed Phoebe an
Canadian money, he mouthed silently, as she took the envelope and put it in her jacket pocket.
"Just want to have breakfast with you, Kiera," the man answered.
Hearing the second of Leo's names registered with Stuart and Phoebe. Bingo, he thought. The
spell had worked perfectly.
"You always want something," Kiera said.
"Is that the kind of attitude to have?" Kellog asked. "I did save your life at the factory."
Control of Kiera's implants, and with that control of Kiera, had been taken over remotely by
Liber8. They made her try to kill people in a factory, in particular her partner Carlos. It was
actually Alec who had shut down her implants and knocked out the transmission from Liber8. But
Kellog had been there and had contributed to helping the situation before Alec had worked his
"You really should try the pancakes," Kellog continued. "I ordered them for you. They're really
good. Almost as good as the ones back home."
Kiera took in a deep breath and exhaled. Reluctantly she sat down at the table but didn't touch the
"I do owe you for that," Kiera admitted. "As does Carlos."
"Nah, you don't owe me," he said. "Well, maybe a little bit."
"What do you really want, Kellog?" she asked.
"You know I'm really happy and content here," he said. "I've got plenty of money and I'm
enjoying living here. And I'm not interested in any of Kagame's plans and acts.
"Except...except now," he continued. "I don't want him upsetting my nice world. And that's
what...what he may do."
"What's his plan?" Kiera asked.
"I don't know exactly what, just that it's really big," he said. "I made it my business to "run into"
Lucas. He's still not that mad at me so I got him to have some beers with me. A lot of beers.
When he loosened up he said this would take care of everything, that they'd be unstoppable."
"With the communications amplifier that they stole," Kiera said.
"Yeah, that's part of it," Kellog agreed.
"I want that prototype," Kiera said. "Where is it?"
Kellog took another byte of his pancake.
"I don't know...yet," he answered. "But that's only part of it. There's something a lot scarier.
There's some woman who's the key to using that amplifier. Something that only she can do with
"Lucas sounded like all of their problems are over...and now they've won. They can change the
future and the present. And that scares me. And it should scare you. Because you're the first one
they're coming after. You're the one that woman, whatever it is that she does, is going to do it to
Stuart and Phoebe had been absolutely still, neither eating their toast nor drinking their coffee,
listening to every word that was said.
"Lucas is an electronics expert," Kiera said. "What could a woman in 2012 do more than he could
do with that prototype?"
"Yeah...and that's what's got me worried," Kellog said. "Kagame is no fool. This woman must
have something exceptional."
Kiera stood up to leave.
"You really should try the pancakes," he said.
"Let me know if you find out anything more," Kiera said, then turned towards the door.
"I'll follow her," Stuart whispered in Phoebe's ear. "You stick with Kellog."
"We don't have a way to keep in touch," Phoebe whispered back. "We don't have cell phones that
"We'll meet back here in five hours," Stuart whispered. He stood up and casually followed Kiera
out of the diner.
Phoebe thought for a moment. She took her cup of coffee in her hand and stood up. She turned
around and started to walk by Kellog's table, then hooked her left foot around the table leg and
fell onto Kellog, her coffee spilling over his scrambled eggs.
"Oh...oh...I'm...I'm so sorry," Phoebe stammered. "Oh...I don't know how I could be so clumsy."
"It's OK," Kellog said, enjoying having a pretty girl on his lap.
"I ruined your eggs," she said, standing up. "This has just not been my day." She sighed with a sad
"Coffee will give the eggs more taste," he said. "What's happened to you today?" he asked,
concern in his voice.
"This is my first day in Vancouver," Phoebe answered. "My friend was supposed to meet me and
show me around the city but she cancelled at the last minute. Then I got lost twice this morning.
And now I've spilled coffee over your breakfast."
"Nothing to be upset about," he said. "Look...come sit down and join me. I've got lots of extra
pancakes. And eggs without coffee on them." He smiled at her as he said that.
"No...I couldn't bother you," Phoebe protested.
"What bother?" Kellog said. "I'd enjoy the company. In fact, after breakfast I'll take you around
and show you the city."
"Uh...that's very kind of you," Phoebe said, and sat down at the table. "But I don't want to take up
your time. You must have things to do today."
"Just one thing," he said. "I'll have to stop to take care of that. But other than that I'm all yours."
"That will be great," Phoebe said. "Thank you!"
"What do you make of that, Alec?" Kiera asked through her implants.
"It's not good," he replied. "Lucas sounds too confident about it. This can be something really big
and really bad."
"See if you can find anything about this woman," she said.
"There's nothing to go on," Alec said. "We don't know a thing about her."
"Only that Kagame's plan needs her," she said. "That's enough."
Stuart had stayed a distance from Kiera as he watched her. He thought he was imagining that she
was talking to herself. Now he saw her take out her cell phone.
"Have anything?" Carlos asked on the other end of the call.
"Not a lot," Kiera said. "Run through anything we have on any woman with a record who just
came to Vancouver. Maybe with an electronics or communications background."
"How does she fit in?" Carlos asked.
"I don't know yet," Kiera said, "but somehow she does."
"I'll start on it," he said. "Are you coming back now?"
"I have to stop at my apartment first," she answered. "I'll be there in an hour."
Putting away her cell phone, Kiera took out her car keys as she walked slowly towards her car.
Seeing what she was doing, Stuart looked around. This is a fairly busy street, he thought. There's
got to be taxis around here. Proving his assumption, two came down the block towards him but
they had passengers.
Kiera had opened the car door and was sliding in behind the wheel. Now Stuart was getting
frantic. He couldn't lose Kiera. I need a spell for a taxi, he thought emphatically. Just as he did, an
empty taxi turned the corner.
Uh...uh...what...he thought. No...uh...my being here with Phoebe...are we connected? No...that
can't be. I'm not a witch. The taxi and my thoughts for a spell is just a coincidence. As Stuart
quickly hailed the cab Prue's admonition came to his mind: I don't believe in coincidences.
"I'm with her," he told the cab driver, pointing to Kiera's car. "Just go where she goes."
The traffic wasn't heavy and the taxi was able to follow Kiera without much difficulty.
After about ten minutes, Kiera pulled her car over on a quiet street and started to park.
"This is good right here," Stuart quickly said. The driver pulled the cab over, double‑parking a
block behind Kiera. Stuart paid him, then hesitated. Debating whether to keep the cab waiting so
that he could follow Kiera if she used her car again, he decided against it as he had no idea how
long she would be there.
Kiera had turned the first corner and Stuart walked quickly to follow her. He turned the corner as
well and saw Kiera turn into an alley. Stuart followed suit, slowing his pace to appear to be
casually entering the alley.
But there was no Kiera in the alley. Where could she have gone? Stuart thought. How could I
have lost her so quickly? He hurried his pace, looking all around the alley, even up a fire escape
that was hanging down, in case she had gone up it.
Suddenly a door behind him flew open. His right hand was pulled behind him in a tight grip and
his body was pushed tightly to the wall, pinning his left hand against it. Something cold and hard
was pushing into his back. Stuart had no doubt that it was a gun.
"Who are you?!" Kiera demanded.
"What...what?" Stuart stuttered.
Kiera tightened her grip on Stuart's hand.
"OW!" he cried.
"It's only going to worse," Kiera said. "Now who are you?"
"I don't know what you want," Stuart said.
"Don't even try that," she said. "You came into the diner with me. You sat at the next table but
you didn't eat anything. You just sat there listening to my conversation. Then you followed me
outside, watched me call my partner, then followed me in a taxi here."
Wow. Whoever she is, she's very sharp and observant, Stuart thought.
Kiera pushed the gun harder into Stuart's back.
"I can get tougher," she warned him. "How are you connected to Liber8?" A window started to
open a few floors above them. From the corner of her eye Kiera saw someone look out.
"Vancouver Police," Kiera loudly announced. "Get back inside and close your window." They
heard the window quickly slam shut.
"I'll just take you down to the police station and lock you up," she said. "I'll get the answers out of
Police, Stuart thought. Leo said The Elders didn't know which side Kiera was on. But she's
police. I'll have to take the chance and trust her.
"Wait," he said. "I was following you. It's about that woman. The one you were talking about
with Kellog. She's very, very dangerous. We have to find her and stop her. You're the best lead
that we have.
"We figured you were smart enough and determined enough to find her," he added, making that
part up. "And when you did we would take it from there."
Kiera thought for a moment.
"Who is she?" she asked.
"We don't know exactly who she is," Stuart answered. "Just that she has..." can't say powers, he
thought..."has some advanced knowledge that would be disastrous if she was allowed to use it."
"Through the prototype communication amplifier," she said. Kiera relaxed her hold on Stuart. She
backed away from him but kept her gun trained on him.
"But how? And where has she been until now?" she asked.
"We don't know," Stuart said. "But with your help we're going to stop her. Now...would you
please put away your gun. We have to work together."
Something clicked in Kiera's head.
"You're from Section 6," she said, then holstered her gun.
What's that? Stuart thought. I'll just have to play along with her.
"You know I can't answer that," he said.
"What's your name?" she asked.
"Does it matter? It's Stuart Weston. But you won't find a record of me anywhere," he said. Even
in 2000, this Charmed role reversal changed world had no record of me.
"I'm on it," Alec said in her head.
"Who was that with you in the Diner?" Kiera asked.
"My partner," he replied.
"Where is she now?" she asked.
"Following Kellog," he said. "That was our backup plan in case I lost you."
"Nothing," Alec said through Kiera's implants. "There's no record of him in Section 6. In fact, he's
right. There's no record of him anywhere. Either he's that deep a cover or he's lying about
"Have to start to learn to trust my instincts," Kiera said to Alec.
"What?" Stuart asked.
"That's what Carlos told me," she said.
"He's right Kiera," Alec said. "As a Protector in 2077 you were trained to rely only on facts and
the readings from your implants. Instincts were never used. In 2012 it's different. Carlos is right."
"Carlos is my partner," she said to Stuart. Using her instincts was new to her. What was she
feeling about Stuart?
Kiera took a deep breath.
"OK," she said. "My instincts are telling me that you can be trusted."
"Oh...I just saw the time," Alec said. "I have to go clean out the barn. I'll be back in an hour or
Alec lived on a farm with his mother, step‑father and step‑brother. His parents were not thrilled
with the hours he kept himself locked up in his shed, "playing' with his electronic "toys". But they
tolerated it as along as he did his chores. And now he was late for one of them. He shut down the
equipment he used for connecting to Kiera and went to the barn.
"My apartment is around the corner," Kiera said. "We can talk there." She led Stuart to a small
apartment building, then into her apartment.
"Can I get you something?" she asked.
"Water would be fine," he said.
Kiera went to the refrigerator, took out two small bottled waters, and brought them with glasses
to the living room.
"How did you learn about this woman?" she asked.
"Intelligence sources," Stuart answered. I suppose The Elders qualify as that, he thought.
"And they couldn't give you anything more about her?" she asked.
"No. It was a very narrow piece of intelligence," he said. "That makes it very frustrating. Kellog's
corroboration was nice, but not very helpful. She's somehow come in under the radar."
"Under the radar?" Kiera asked, unfamiliar with the idiom.
"Yes..." Stuart said, surprised. "No one knows anything about her?...who she is?"
"Oh," Kiera said, nodding her head in understanding.
Kiera's cell phone rang and she picked it up.
"Carlos...what?" she asked.
"Are you near a television?" he asked.
"Yes...why?" she asked.
"Turn it to channel 8," Carlos said.
Kiera went to her television, turned it on and switched to the channel.
An image was on the screen.
"Big business is taking advantage of you," the voice said. "And the politicians are selling you out
to be their partners. Justice and democracy must prevail."
"They're using the amplifier to take control of the station's broadcast tower," Kiera said.
"We're sending units there right now," Carlos said. "I'll meet you there."
Kiera ended the call and looked at the list of transmission towers that Alec had sent to her cell
"Got it," she said. "Look...I'm going to the tower. You..." Kiera was concerned about Stuart
coming along. If he was Section 6, he could tell Carlos that she really wasn't part of it.
"I'm coming along," Stuart said. "This is our chance to get...uh, capture this woman. But I need to
keep a low profile," Stuart said. He couldn't afford to have police ask him about Section 6,
whatever that was. "I'll stay in the background."
That suited Kiera just fine. "Ok...let's go," she said.
Kiera stood on a small patch of grass near the foot of the tower. She looked around her, making a
360 degree turn. The area around the tower was limited. There were some buildings surrounding
it but from their vantage point they could see all of them, including the roofs.
"Where are they?" she asked. "They had to be within three hundred meters for it to work."
"There are units all over the neighborhood and on the roofs," Carlos said.
"How could they have gotten away so fast?" Kiera asked. "That amplifier is big and heavy. It
wasn't made for fast movement."
Carlos exhaled in frustration.
"What was the point of that broadcast - to undermine authority?" he asked.
"Yes...weaken authority, strengthen their hand," Kiera answered.
"Who is that?" he asked, pointing to Stuart.
"Section 6 contact," she replied, carefully. "But he's keeping his distance
to keep a low profile."
"Yeah...I understand," Carlos said. "Well...there's nothing more we can do here. I'm going back to
"I'm, uh, going to consult with my source. I'll come in later," Kiera said. She walked over to
Stuart and hurried him away from Carlos and the other police.
They made their way down to Kiera's car when she heard a voice in her head.
"I found something," Alec said.
"Uh, just a minute," Kiera said to Stuart. "Wait in the car." Stuart opened the door and got in, but
kept watching Kiera. She took out her cell phone as if she was talking on it. But she had started
speaking before she even had it open.
Stuart stared sharply at Kiera. I'm not imagining this now, he thought. And so I wasn't imagining
it before, either.
"What did you find?" Kiera asked. "You were supposed to be doing your chores."
"I went into the house and my step‑brother had the TV on," he said. "When I saw the Liber8
transmission I ran back to the shed. I played around trying to track the signal. You won't like this.
It wasn't originating from the channel 8 tower."
"We saw it on channel 8," Kiera reminded him.
"That's how it was broadcast to the TVs," he said. "But it originated from the channel 10 tower.
They used the amplifier to send the signal to that tower, then bounced it from there to the channel
8 tower. Even though the two towers broadcast on different frequencies, they matrixed the signal.
In simple terms, it's like an SAP signal that's broadcast along with a TV station's main signal. Only
here they were able to modulate that second signal's frequency to match the channel 8 tower
"Was that in the prototype's design?" she asked. "Or was that added on?"
"I can't tell if it was intended to be able to do that," Alec replied. "The potential for that capability
could have been there without Rodgers' team realizing it."
"And that woman, whoever she is, made that work," Kiera said.
"It's possible," Alec answered, "but Lucas could have tweaked it. From what I've seen of his work
he's certainly capable of finding hidden functions."
"So they were nowhere near the channel 8 tower," Kiera said. "We were looking in the wrong
"And now you can't know what the right place will be when they make another broadcast," Alec
added. "Look, I've got to get back to finish the rest of those chores. I'll be back later."
"Thanks, Alec," Kiera said, and closed her cell phone. This is getting worse, she thought. That
prototype gives them anonymity. And we still don't know anything about that woman working
"What was that about?" Stuart asked in a neutral tone, keeping his suspicions out of his voice.
Kiera didn't respond as she got into the car. How much do I want to let him know? she thought.
"They have a theory about the transmission," she said. "But they have to look into it a lot more
before they'll say anything definite."
They drove mostly in silence back to her apartment, Kiera trying to figure out Kagame's plan. And
how the mystery woman fit into it.
"What did they accomplish today?" Stuart asked, when they in Kiera's living room.
"Flexing their muscles," Kiera said.
"This doesn't make sense," Stuart said, mostly to himself. "How can this destroy the future?"
"Destroy the future?" Kiera asked, warily.
"Uh...I mean...affect anything beyond what they did today," he tried to cover up.
"This woman was part of what they did today." Kiera didn't know that but she was fishing. "She
helped them make that broadcast and get away."
"No," Stuart said, slowly shaking his head. "Not the broadcast..." He paused as he thought of
something. "But their getting away without a trace. That...that could have been her doing," he
added, speaking to himself again.
Kiera slowly stepped away from Stuart, moving a few feet away from him. She half turned from
him, pulled out her gun and turned back to face him.
"Who are you!" she demanded.
"Kiera...we've been through that," Stuart protested.
"And none of that was true," she said. "You were talking about the affect on the future. Not on
what could happen now ‑ but on the future. That would not be the first concern of someone from
"And your saying the woman could have made Kagame and whoever was with him disappear.
What knowledge of electronics would make that happen? And you kept too much in the
background at the tower. You didn't do any basic investigation. It was as if once you got to the
tower and didn't find anyone there was little of interest for you.
"So I'll ask you just once more ‑ who are you?!"
Stuart was silent, trying to decide what to say to her.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he said.
"You'd better try," she said, the gun pointed at him.
Stuart exhaled. I've come this far, he thought. I have to trust her.
"What I told you about locating you as our lead to the woman was true," he began. "And that...
woman is our target. And she is a danger...to the future. A danger that could destroy the
future...and make it not worth having."
Stuart's words resonated in Kiera. Liber8 could destroy the future. The future as it was, the future
from which she came. The future as it was meant to be.
But wouldn't be if Kagame could alter the events of the present to his liking. Alter them in a way
that would, over time, destroy the future.
Kiera stared at Stuart, then slowly holstered her gun.
"What do you know...what can you know about the future?" she asked. "Where are you really
Stuart took a deep breath. "Not where," he said. "When."
"When?" Kiera repeated, then shook her head. "You couldn't have come back from the future..."
"No, not from the future," Stuart said. "From the past. From the year 2000."
"2000? That's impossible," she said. "Time travel technology didn't exist back then."
Stuart paused to think about what Kiera had just said.
"Not with technology...with a spell," he said, then exhaled. "You'd better sit down."
Kiera and Stuart both slowly sat down on the sofa.
"We came here using a time travel spell," Stuart continued. "Phoebe ‑ my partner ‑ is a witch. A
good witch. She said the spell that brought us here."
Kiera looked at Stuart as if he was insane. "Witches? Spells? That's nonsense."
"I know it's hard for you to believe," Stuart said, "but it is the truth. Here, look at my driver's
license." He took out his wallet, then removed the license.
Kiera took it and carefully examined it. She stared at the expiration date: October 2002.
"Why would I be going around with a driver's license that expired ten years ago?" he asked. Kiera
kept staring at the date. She could not come up with an answer to Stuart's question.
"That still doesn't prove it," she finally said, handing the license back to him.
"How did we find you and Kellog at the diner?" he asked. "Who knew you'd be meeting there for
breakfast? The spell not only brought us to 2012, but brought us to where we would find the two
of you. Our only leads to finding this...woman, before she destroys the future."
"Who is she?" Kiera asked.
"If you don't believe what I've told you so far, you won't believe the answer to that question
either," he said.
"Tell me anyway," Kiera insisted, looking Stuart straight in his eyes.
"She's not a woman," he said, then hesitated for a second. "She's a demon."
"A what?!" Kiera said.
"A demon," he repeated. "With what you would call 'supernatural' powers. Powers that can
somehow be used here in 2012 to destroy the future. I don't know how. I don't know what those
powers are. I do know that she has to be stopped. That's why we're here. That's our responsibility
to stop her."
Kiera sat back and tried to digest everything Stuart had told her. This is impossible, she thought.
None of it makes any logical sense. And yet at some level, she realized, something did.
"And you're a witch too?" she asked, skeptically.
"No, I'm a normal mortal person," he answered. "Phoebe is the witch who has the responsibility to
save and protect innocents. I just help her."
Protect innocents. The words hit home to Kiera. She was a Protector. It was her job to protect
and save innocent people, too. In 2077 ‑ and in 2012, too.
"That's some story," Kiera said, though there was less skepticism in her voice than there had been
a few moments earlier.
"And now I want to hear your story," Stuart said. "Who you really are. And when you are from?"
"I'm a policewoman right here and now," she responded defensively.
Stuart shook his head. "I was honest with you, Kiera. Now reciprocate.
"One: you didn't know what I meant when I said 'under the radar'. Everyone, even in 2012, knows
what that phrase means. But perhaps in the future they don't know it anymore.
"Two: your seeming to talk on your cell phone when actually you're not. You're using your
cell phone to cover up that you’re communicating with someone some other way.
"Three: you said that time travel technology didn't exist in 2000. As far as I can tell, it doesn't
exist in 2012, either. But as you let that slip, it obviously must exist at some time in the future. A
future with which you are familiar. A future about which you care very much."
There was no reaction from Kiera. Stuart took a deep breath.
"We know what it is to keep things secret, things that we can't let others know," he said. "We
can't tell people about Phoebe. Whatever you tell me will be guarded by us the same way."
Kiera sat quietly staring at Stuart. She couldn't tell him who she was. She couldn't tell him about
what happened in the future. Only Alec knew and that was different. She needed Alec. She could
"We need each other," Stuart said, as if reading her mind. "What are your instincts telling you
about that? What are your instincts telling you about trusting me?"
Facts. Logical, measurable facts. That's what Kiera was trained to use. But reality seemed to be
getting in the way of them. As did her instincts. What do I follow? she thought. A mistake either
way would be disastrous.
Kiera stared into Stuart's eyes. Her implants' reading told her nothing about what was behind
them. But her instincts did.
"I'm a Protector, from the year 2077," she began. She told Stuart the whole story about Liber8.
About how they escaped from their execution using a time travel device.
"I was guarding them in the room in which they were to be executed," she said. "When they
started their escape I tried to stop them. And got sent back to 2012 with them."
She told them how Kagame, the leader and mastermind of Liber8, had been trying to shape the future ‑ through acts of controlling
people, of trying to destroy the seeds of future industry, of killing people now to control and
manipulate how the future will be. To make the future different than the way it had been. About
how she had been trying to stop him. And, without giving his name, about Alec.
"Their escape plan didn't include my being here to stop them," Kiera said. "They very much want
to eliminate me."
"Is the government really controlling and limiting what people do?" Stuart asked.
Kiera thought carefully for a moment before she responded.
"The government...has its faults," she said. "But what Liber8 offers is much worse. Anarchy,
death, destruction, all in the name of their self‑righteous and narrow view of what freedom is."
"The Elders agree with you. That’s why they sent us to stop that demon from helping Kagame to
destroy the future," Stuart said, then gave Kiera a brief explanation of The Elders.
"Who does Kagame have with him?" Stuart asked.
"Lucas, electronics expert," Kiera said, "Travis and Jasmine, ruthless killers ‑"
The alarm on Stuart’s watch rang, interrupting Kiera.
"I have to meet Phoebe back at the diner," he said.
"Call her to come here," Kiera said.
"Our cell phones don't work in 2012," he replied.
Kiera gave Stuart a piercing look. She didn't really believe his story. Yet her instincts were fairly
shouting at her to trust him, anyway.
"Let's go pick her up," she said.
Phoebe had spent the day getting the grand tour of Vancouver from Kellog. Though she found
the city lovely ‑ she especially loved the scenery at the Lost Lagoon, with its Jubilee Fountain, in
Stanley Park ‑ she was frustrated in that she had not learned anything of importance from him
about the demon.
"As much as I'd love to continue showing you the city, I have something that I have to do now,"
"The tour was great," Phoebe said. "Thanks a lot."
"We can do some more tomorrow," he said. "Meet me at the diner for breakfast. On me."
"Hmm...maybe I will," Phoebe said. "I'll see in the morning what I want to do."
"Same time as this morning," Kellog said. He gave Phoebe a big smile. She smiled back.
"Thanks again," she said, then turned to walk away.
A disappointed Kellog watched her go, then headed in the opposite direction. After walking just a
little bit, Phoebe half‑turned to see where Kellog was going. Then, at a discreet distance, she
Two figures stood outside a bar, bottles in their hands. The woman was blond, the man was dark.
Phoebe watched Kellog sneak around behind them, where there were a couple of dumpsters,
behind which he hid.
He's close enough to overhear what they're saying, she thought. This may be key to finding the
demon. But I can't go there without Kellog seeing me. And there isn't any other cover near those
people to hear them. And I have to hear what they're saying.
The only way to do that is with a spell, she thought. Yes, she was the best of the three sisters at
making up spells. But spells take preparation. They take time. Making them up on the fly is iffy at
best. But she also knew that she had no other choice.
Phoebe closed her eyes, blocking out everything from her mind, except the image of the man and
woman drinking from the bottles. She took a deep breath. And began to say the words.
"Man and woman I see with bottles in hand,
Your words may be trivial or may be grand,
Let the sound of those be as if you were near,
Let them be heard as if you were standing right here."
"...really had them today." It was a man's voice Phoebe heard. A voice that sounded as if he was standing next
to Phoebe. But he wasn't. He was fifty yards away with a bottle in his hand.
Phoebe exhaled. The on‑the‑fly spell had, amazingly, really worked.
The woman raised the bottle and drank from it. "I would have loved to see their faces," she said.
Then they both laughed. "And that was just a small test," she added.
"And now the test is over. Tomorrow...tomorrow will be big," the man said. They both drank
again from their bottles. Having finished what was inside of them, they flung the empty bottles
into a nearby can and stood up. Seeing that, Kellog scurried back the way he had come, out of
their sight. He could no longer eavesdrop on what they were saying. But Phoebe still could.
"Tomorrow...the Protector!" the woman said. Phoebe clearly heard a malicious glee in her voice.
They walked away together but in silence. That's all I'm going to get from them, she thought.
Looking at her watch, she knew she had to rush to the diner to meet Stuart.
Kiera's phone rang as she was driving Stuart to the diner.
"What is it, Kellog?" she asked, answering the call.
"I know where Lucas likes to go for his beer," he said, "so I went there. Jasmine was with him. I
overheard them say that today was just a test. But tomorrow ‑ that would be big."
"You think they're going to try take over all of the channels' transmissions?" she asked.
"Sounds that way," he answered.
"We'll be ready for them," she said. "Thanks."
"Sure," he said. "But...be careful. I really don't want anything to happen to you."
"Your concern is noted," she said, and ended the call.
"That was Kellog," she said in response to Stuart's inquisitive look, then told him what Kellog
"Just who is he?" Stuart asked.
"Kellog was one of the terrorists who escaped with Kagame," she answered. "But he made some
money here ‑ easy enough I suppose if you know some of the future ‑ and decided he'd rather
enjoy the good life than be a terrorist. Kagame tried to kill him once but he still maintains a
tenuous relationship with some of Liber8. At times he has been helpful to me."
Kiera pulled up opposite the diner just as Phoebe was running towards the front door.
"Phoebe ‑ over here," Stuart called. Phoebe turned and approached the car. Seeing Kiera in it, she
"It's OK," he assured her. "Kiera knows all about us. Don't worry, it's safe."
And now they'll both know all about me, Kiera thought. But is that really safe for me?
Phoebe got into the car, warily eyeing Kiera.
"We're working together to stop the demon...and Kagame," he added. As they drove back to
Kiera's apartment, Stuart filled Phoebe in on everything Kiera had told him.
"Kellog overheard Lucas and Jasmine say that tomorrow was going be big," Kiera said, when they
were back in her living room. "They're going to take over all of the channels. But we'll be ready
for them. We'll cover all of the television transmission towers. So whichever one they're using,
we'll be there and catch them."
"There's more," Phoebe said. "I followed Kellog and overheard them too. Kellog was afraid they
would see him and snuck away before they finished talking. They couldn't see me because I was
fifty yards away from them."
"Then how did you hear them?" Kiera asked.
"I used a spell," Phoebe said. Kiera stared at her for a few seconds but didn't challenge what she
"The woman ‑ Jasmine? ‑ said 'tomorrow ‑ the Protector'. They're targeting you, Kiera. I don't
know how ‑ that's all she said."
"I can't worry about that," Kiera said. "We have to concentrate on covering the television towers.
I'll handle Jasmine."
"I don't understand why they haven't tried to go back to 2077?" Stuart asked.
"They did try," Kiera said. "The time travel device needs a huge power source. They found one by
a scientist who was experimenting with it, then killed him after he showed them how it worked.
But it exploded when they tried to use and it damaged the device. So now they're stuck in 2012.
"And so am I," Kiera added.
For a moment, the face of a determined, focused Protector was replaced with one of a vulnerable,
and very sad, ordinary woman.
"Do you have family there?" Phoebe gently asked.
"I have a husband," she said. "And a son, Sam. He's ten." Thinking of him, Kiera's emotion began
to show on Kiera's face. "I miss him...I miss him very much."
Phoebe understood what it meant to miss family. In this Charmed role reversal changed world,
Phoebe was separated from her real Alyssa Milano family. They existed ‑ but for them she didn't
exist. They had nothing to do with her. In fact, she had never even been part of their family.
But she could not feel what it was like to be separated from your child. She knew that she could
not begin to understand the pain that Kiera was feeling. She wished that somehow she could
comfort her ‑ but she didn't know how to do that.
And then the emotion was gone from Kiera's face. The serious face of a Protector, single‑minded
in her objective, returned.
"I'm calling Carlos to get everything arranged for the morning," she said. "Where are you
"We didn't have time to get a hotel yet," Stuart said.
Kiera looked at them for a moment. "You can stay here tonight," she said.
The morning was overcast and a little cool, not truly raining but with just a fine spray in the air.
They had a light breakfast, then prepared to go to the towers.
"Take this," Kiera said, tossing a cell phone to Phoebe. "It's an extra one. Stay in the car until we
know what's happening. I don't want to have to explain why you're there. They think that Stuart is
Section 6 but I don't want to push that, either."
"Thanks," Phoebe said, looking it over to see what differences it had from her 2000 cell phone
Kiera's phone rang. "Is everything ready?" she asked.
"We'll have people set up ringing all of the towers, as well the surrounding buildings," Carlos said
on the other end of the call. "Dillon is probably going to show up some time, too. We'll be at the
Channel 10 tower. Meet me there."
"I'm on my way. I'll be there in about 20 minutes," she said, then hung up.
Kiera had just started her car when her cell phone chimed, indicating a text message. She pulled
out her phone and stared at it.
"What is it?" Phoebe asked.
"A message addressed to me," Kiera replied. "Come to the tower at Spirit Park. Now!"
"Who's it from?" Stuart asked.
"It doesn't say," she said. "But it's addressed to The Protector. That can only be coming from
"Which TV tower is that?" Phoebe asked, as Kiera looked it up on her list of towers.
"It's a cell phone tower," she said.
"How does that fit into his plan?" Stuart asked.
Kiera thought for a few seconds. "I don't know but I'm going there to find out."
"Call Carlos to meet you there," Stuart said.
"No," Kiera said. "This could be a ruse to get everyone away from the television towers. And
anyway, it's on the other side of the city. It would take Carlos too long to get there."
"This could be what they were talking about yesterday," Phoebe said. "A trap for you."
"Maybe," Kiera said, "but I have to go there."
"Then we're coming with you," Stuart said.
Kiera called Carlos and told him what she was doing. He wanted to meet her at the park but she
convinced him to stay with their plan and that she would see him later at the channel 10 tower.
The cell phone tower was on a grassy hill just inside the park. Kiera parked two short blocks
away to let her get a better view of the area before walking inside. As they slowly approached the
park, Kiera withdrew her gun from its holster. Trees ringed that side of the park, blocking out the
urban buildings and traffic.
Passing through the trees, they came to a small shed, used for the park's maintenance equipment.
About thirty yards away at a forty‑five degree angle to their right was a large, wide almost
three‑quarter circle of rocks, sloping gradually to a height of six feet and twice as wide in its
circumference. Some forty yards ahead slightly to their left was a circle of smaller trees and
shrubs, blocking the view of anything that lay beyond it.
And some two hundred meters to their left, opposite the opening in the circle of rocks,
was the transmission tower.
"Stay behind me," Kiera warned them. She started to peek around the shed when they heard a
"What's that?" Stuart asked.
"AGGH!" Phoebe screamed. She raised her hands to cover her ears as she fell to her knees.
"Phoebe!" he called to her as she screamed again and fell to the ground. She lay with her knees
drawn up to her chest, her hands desperately trying to block out the sound from her ears.
"Kiera? Kiera?" Alec called out, sitting in front of his equipment. "What's happening? No, no, no!
The transmission is gone."
"Where's that sound coming from?" Kiera asked, looking all around them.
"The cell phones," Stuart said. "It's coming from the cell phones." He knelt down and pulled the
cell phone from Phoebe's pocket, fumbling with it until he found the "off" button, then threw it
down on the ground.
"Turn yours off!" he commanded Kiera. She took hers out and shut it. With that, the high‑pitched
"Alec? Alec are you there?" Kiera said. "That amplifier has somehow knocked out my
"Phoebe! Phoebe!" Stuart called. Her hands were now limp, her arms laying helplessly by her
unconscious body. He turned her onto her back and felt for a pulse.
"She's alive...but her pulse is very weak," he said.
"What happened?" Kiera asked.
The answer came to Stuart as he stood up.
"That demon has the power to kill witches with a tone her voice generates," he said. "She would
have to be close enough for the witch to hear her voice for it to work. But with that prototype
amplifier, she can just transmit the tone through the cell phone tower. And any witch with a cell
phone would hear it and die. We turned these off just barely in time before...before it killed
Kiera stared at Stuart, an uncertain look on her face.
"Now do you believe me? About when we're from, about Phoebe being a witch?" he asked,
grabbing Kiera by her arms. "You see ‑ no one else was affected. Not you, not me. We all heard
the tone. But only Phoebe was hurt by it."
Kiera was all facts and logic. But she could be reached by truth. And could accept it. And
reluctantly, she was recognizing the full truth of Stuart's words.
"That's what this demon is getting out of the deal with Kagame," Stuart said. "The use of the
amplifier to kill witches."
"But how...how could she know that Phoebe was even here?" Kiera asked.
"Maybe she could sense her presence," Stuart said, "but more likely she didn't know about her.
She just wanted to rid Vancouver of any witches that were here and could vanquish her. That
would give her a free hand to do her evil."
Kiera scanned the area, her eyes seeing the readings from her cortex implants.
"There are people behind those bushes and short trees," she said, pointing to them. "I can't tell
how many. And there's something inside that circle of rocks to the right. Something's
generating an electronic reading. There's a clear line‑of‑sight to the tower - that must be the amplifier.
And something else is with it. But it's not generating human
"But I don't understand how that demon helps Kagame with ‑" A second tone interrupted Kiera
before she could finish her question. This tone was much lower than the first one, more like a loud
humming sound. Both of their cell phones were still off. The humming wasn't coming from them.
They peeked around the shed. Coming towards them from the circle of small trees and shrubs was
a blond, slim woman. She held a cell phone in one hand and a gun in her other hand. And she was
completely surrounded by a lightly tan‑tinted bubble.
"Jasmine," Kiera said. She aimed her gun at Jasmine and fired two shots. The bullets bounced off
of the bubble, ricocheting to the bubble's side.
"What?!" Kiera exclaimed.
Jasmine fired at Kiera. She and Stuart pulled back behind the shed.
"The demon," Stuart answered. "She's doing that. She has the power to put a bubble around
herself. A one‑way impenetrable bubble. Nothing can get in. But whatever is inside it can get out.
Like the bullets from the gun."
"This demon can have more than one power?" Kiera asked.
"Some demons do," Stuart said. "That's what Kagame's getting out of this. That must be the deal
he made. The demon gets to use the amplifier to kill off all of the witches in the city. And Kagame
gets to use that bubble. That demon is using the amplifier to project that hum, and with it that
bubble, to Jasmine's cell phone. She could project that bubble to all of Kagame's people's cell
"If that bubble is really impenetrable then Kagame can do whatever he wants to change the
future," Kiera said. "Assassinations, robbery, bombs. If he can't be stopped...he has a free hand."
"They both do," Stuart said, "Kagame and that demon. She can destroy the present and he can
destroy the future."
Kiera peeked around the corner of the shed. Jasmine was coming straight at her. Kiera fired
another round but it just bounced off the bubble. Then Jasmine fired back.
Kiera pulled back behind the shed just in time. There was no doubt in Kiera's mind what Jasmine
planned to do to her. There was no way to stop her. And there was no where to run. From her
angle, Jasmine could see almost all of the area between the shed and the trees they had come
through into the park. And there wasn't any cover that whole distance.
"A trap," Stuart said. "This is what they meant yesterday. They were talking about a trap to kill
Kiera's mind was racing, trying to find a way out. But she couldn't come up with any.
"There isn't a way out," she said. "And I let you and Phoebe get caught in this, too."
"No ‑ we chose to come with you," Stuart said. "And they're not interested in us. At least Kagame
isn't. It's all about you, Kiera. It's only about killing you.
"They expected to find you alone but you're not alone. I'm here with you...and I won't let that
"And maybe...just maybe...there is a way out." He knelt down by Phoebe, reached into her jacket
pocket and took out the breakaway flask.
"This is a potion Phoebe made to vanquish demons," he said. "At least its supposed to do that.
And Phoebe is very good at what she does. She made it back home and brought it with us to use
on that demon.
"According to your implants' readings the amplifier is behind those rocks. And that demon has to
be right with it. That's who your implants can't make out. Because the demon isn't human. I'm
going to throw the potion on her."
"It's all open ground from here to the rocks," Kiera said. "You don't have any cover to get there."
"I know," Stuart said. "But it's the only chance of saving you. Draw their attention while I run
there. Try to keep them focused on you."
Kiera and Stuart stared at each other. Their looks said, in place of unspoken words, they both
knew this was their only chance. And that by taking this chance, there was now a special, strong
bond between them. Kiera edged to the left corner of the shed as Stuart edged to the right corner.
"Now!" she said, as she poked around the corner and opened fire. Stuart ran. He didn't look at
Jasmine or whoever was behind the trees. He just concentrated on making it to the rocks.
Kiera's bullets had no affect but she hoped that it would distract all of them from Stuart. Jasmine
just kept walking towards her, not even bothering to fire her gun. She was waiting until she would
be right next to Kiera. And then she would execute her.
Stuart made it to the rocks. The opening in the circle was on the side of the trees where Kagame
and his Liber8 people were. Stuart knew he wouldn't stand a chance if he approached the demon from that
side. Instead, he started to climb the slope of the rocks.
He was more than three‑quarters of the way to the top when he head someone shout "Up there".
Then something hit him and he felt a tremendous, sharp, burning pain on his left side. He fell
against the rocks. Looking down at his chest he saw blood. Lots of blood.
He was suddenly very weak. His strength almost gone. His mind was losing concentration. The
demon. Kiera. He had to concentrate. He had to save Kiera.
Stuart summoned from somewhere a last bit of strength. He pulled himself up the rest of the
sloping rocks, then reached the top. Below him was the amplifier. And the demon.
He took the breakaway flask from his pocket and aimed it at the demon. Then he threw it with
whatever bit of strength he still had. And then he collapsed on top of the rocks, and slowly slid
back down towards the ground.
Jasmine had come around the shed. A satisfying mean smile on her face, she stood half a dozen
feet from Kiera, her gun pointed straight at Kiera's chest.
Suddenly there was a wild cry from behind the rocks. Screams of pain mixed with the sound of
flames. From behind the small trees and shrubs, Kagame saw the fire erupt around the demon,
enveloping the amplifier too. And he heard her cries as she was whirled around within the fire.
There was a final scream and a loud boom. And then the fire and the demon were gone.
And so was the bubble around Jasmine. It took a few seconds for her to realize her situation. But
Kiera's reflexes were faster. She rolled away from Jasmine, then ran around the right side of the
shed for cover.
Jasmine fired one shot in Kiera's direction, then turned around and starting running back towards
the small trees and shrubs where Kagame and the others were.
Kiera came around towards the front of the shed and fired a shot at Jasmine, hitting her in the leg.
Jasmine stumbled as shots rang out from the bushes. Kiera ducked back behind the shed as
Jasmine ran limping towards the bushes. The shots kept Kiera from coming around to shoot
again, allowing Jasmine to reach the safety of her Liber8 comrades.
The sound of a siren could clearly be heard.
"Let's get out of here fast," Kagame shouted.
"We have to get the amplifier," Lucas said.
"The fire damaged it," Kagame said. "It's useless to us. Leave it and run now!"
Kiera slowly came around the side of the shed. She saw movement in the opposite direction, away
from the shrubs. She looked for a moment, then ran as fast as she could to the rocks. Stuart had
slipped down almost to the grass. She eased him down the few remaining rocks, then sat down
sideways on the ground and pulled Stuart's body against her thighs, cradling him in her arms.
"Stuart! Stuart!" she called to him.
Slowly he half‑opened his eyes. "You're...all right?" he asked.
"Yes...thanks to you," she said. "You saved my life."
"You're...you're...special person," he said with difficulty. "Had to...save you."
Kiera took Stuart's hand in hers. She felt him weakly try to grasp hers back.
"Your potion...Phoebe's potion destroyed that...demon." She used the "d" word, having
completely accepted everything Stuart had told her. "You ruined Kagame's plan and saved the
future...at least for now."
"We saved...future," he said. "We did it...together." Stuart's eyes started to close.
"Hold on, Stuart!" Kiera implored him. She let go of his hand and pulled out her cell phone,
turned it on and pressed a button. "Emergency! Need an ambulance immediately at Spirit Park,
Tenth Avenue entrance."
As she closed her cell phone she looked up and saw Phoebe standing above her. A man was with
"Phoebe? You were just...almost dead," Kiera said, in bewilderment. "How are you better? And
who is this?"
"This is Leo and there's no time to explain," Phoebe said. "Let Leo touch Stuart."
Kiera didn't let go of Stuart but sat up straight, giving Leo access. Leo kneeled down and placed
both his hands on Stuart's chest.
"What is he doing?" Kiera asked.
"Leo can help," was all Phoebe said.
"Maybe not this time," Leo said. "He may be too far gone."
"You have to save Stuart," Phoebe demanded. "You have to!"
Kiera looked on confused as Leo concentrated and an aura glowed around his hands on Stuart's
chest. Leo kept concentrating and said nothing for a minute.
"OK," Leo said. "It's working."
Phoebe let out a sigh of relief. The siren was getting closer.
"I don't know what's happening here," Kiera said, "but that's a police siren. They're going to be
here in a couple of minutes. And you can't be here when they come."
"I need more time," Leo said. "He won't die now but there's still more that has to be healed."
"Leo has the power to heal," Phoebe explained to Kiera. "That's why I'm standing here. He healed
me first. Now he has to finish working on Stuart."
"I called for an ambulance," Kiera said. "It will be here any minute. We'll take Stuart to the
hospital. They'll finish...taking care of him.
"But the police will be here first. They'll ask questions you don't want to answer. Questions that
you can't answer. You have to get out of here now!"
"I'm not leaving Stuart," Phoebe said with determination.
"Stuart saved my life," Kiera said. "I won't leave his side. You have my word." She pulled out her
key chain, quickly removed a key from it and handed it to Phoebe.
"Go to my apartment and wait there," Kiera told her. "Pick up the cell phone I gave you ‑ it's by
the shed. I'll call you as soon as I know anything. Now get out of here!"
Phoebe looked back at Stuart and exhaled.
"Let's go, Leo," she said. "We can't be found here."
Leo stood up, gave Kiera a questioning look, then turned and hurried away with Phoebe.
"How did you know to come here?" Phoebe asked Leo, as she picked up the cell phone by the
"The Elders said that something was wrong in the time line," he answered, "and that someone
here needed help right away. But what are you doing in Vancouver? Why is Stuart with you?
Who is that woman that saw what I did? And why does your hair ‑ everything about you ‑ look so
different? You look the way you used to look a dozen years ago?"
"You're the future Leo from 2012, not our Leo. That's why you don't why we're here," Phoebe
started to say as Leo looked upwards.
"The Elders ordered me to leave right now ‑ and not ask any questions," he said. And with that he
The siren became very loud, then suddenly stopped. Kiera slipped her hand under Stuart and into
his pants pocket. She pulled out his wallet ‑ the wallet containing his 2000 driver's license ‑ and
slipped it into her jacket pocket.
"Kiera, I have you again," Alec said in her head. "Something was blocking your transmission after
you reached that shed."
Good, Kiera thought. I won't have to try to explain witches and demons to him. "The amplifier
knocked out my transmission," she said. "Kagame's plan failed and the amplifier was damaged and
"Fill me in on what I missed," Alec said.
"Later," Kiera said. "Right now I need you to do something. Get into the Section 6 files and
create a record for Stuart, a record that shows that he is with them. Just like you created the
record for me ‑ make the same kind of Section 6 record for him. They'll be taking Stuart to the
hospital as soon as the ambulance gets here. I need that record in place when they start checking
"Why?" Alec asked. "If he's really deep in Section 6, someone there will set that up for him.
So...he's not from Section 6. Then who is he, Kiera?"
"It doesn't matter," she said. "Jasmine was about to kill me and he saved my life. And he got shot
doing that. Alec, don't ask questions. Just do it!"
"OK, OK. It will all be there by the time he gets to the hospital," Alec said.
She looked up and saw Carlos running towards her, his gun drawn.
"No one from the gang was seen at any of the towers," he said. "And I didn't like your coming
here by yourself. So I left them and came here. And it's a good thing that I did. What happened?"
"Kagame was here with the amplifier," Kiera answered. "It was a trap. They had me cornered but
they weren't expecting Stuart to be here. He drew their fire when he came from the other side.
That let me get out but he was shot. The ambulance is on the way.
"They must have thought there were more police around besides Stuart so they ran. I couldn't
Carlos looked at how Kiera was cradling Stuart.
"He saved your life." It was a statement, not a question. Kiera nodded her head.
"They were just out to get you," Carlos said. "And then they probably would have used the
amplifier to hack into our cell phones."
Kiera did not disagree with him. Let Carlos believe whatever I don't have to explain, she thought.
A second loud siren came to a halt.
"What happened to the amplifier?" he asked, looking at the remains of the half‑burned prototype.
"It exploded," Kiera lied.
"Looks like they'll have to start over from the beginning with their design," Carlos said.
Good, Kiera thought. It will be a long time before they have another one that Kagame would try
Carlos pulled out his cell phone and called a number.
"Pull everyone out from the towers," he said. "They were here in Spirit Park. Everything's under
control but send some people here to clean up."
Paramedics came running towards them.
"Gun shot wound to the left side of the chest," Kiera told them. They began working on Stuart,
then started transporting him to the ambulance.
"Who is he?" one of the paramedics called back to Kiera. "He doesn't have any ID."
"Stuart Weston," she answered. "He's a Federal Agent." She stood up and turned to Carlos.
"I'm going to the hospital," she said.
"Dillon's going to want a full report," he said.
"It will have to wait," Kiera said. "For now just give him what I told you. I have to go with
Carlos nodded his head, showing he understood why.
"And...thanks for coming here," she added.
"You're my partner," Carlos responded. "I wouldn't leave you alone if I thought you were in
Stuart isn't my partner, Kiera thought. He barely knows me. But he wouldn't leave me alone in
Alternating between pacing the floor and sitting in the uncomfortable, plastic chairs, Kiera had
spent over an hour in the hospital surgery lounge. She was worried to the core about Stuart.
Worried more personally, she realized, than she had ever been about anyone outside of her family.
I barely know you Stuart, she thought. But I'm feeling...I'm feeling ‑
"Detective Cameron?" a voice called to her. She turned towards the lounge door and saw a tall,
broad shouldered middle‑aged doctor, whom she assumed to be a surgeon, standing there.
"Yes," she said.
"I'm Doctor Garner. I just did the surgery on Mr. Weston."
"How is he?" she hurriedly asked.
"The surgery was successful," Garner replied. "But..."
"But what?" Kiera almost jumped down his throat. "What's his prognosis? Is he doing as good as
can be expected?"
"Actually, he's doing better than could be expected," the doctor said. "Much better. Sit down,
please." Kiera hesitated, then sat down in one of the uncomfortable green plastic chairs. Garner
took the chair next to her, obviously accustomed to the chair's discomfort.
"Frankly, Detective, with the wound Mr. Weston received, he should never have made it alive to
the hospital. In all my years of surgery I've never seen anything like it." He paused, as if groping
for the words that were eluding him.
"If I didn't know better," he continued, "I'd say that his body...had started healing itself. Which is
not possible. Of course, he still required surgery, but much, much less than his wounds should
have needed. To say that this is remarkable would be a major understatement."
Leo, Kiera thought. Phoebe said that Leo could heal. Whatever he did with his hands on Stuart's
chest, he saved Stuart's life.
"Now when a medical...anomaly, for lack of a better word, happens, I and my colleagues want ‑
no, need ‑ to understand it. I need to know about Mr. Weston. But my inquiries have hit a brick
wall. Everything about him is classified.
So deeply classified that even such connections as I have can't find out anything about him.
"I've dealt with enough families to recognize when someone cares very much about one of my
patients, so I can tell that you care very much about him," Garner went on. "Tell me, Detective
Cameron, what is special and different about Mr. Weston that would cause...what happened?"
Kiera stared at Garner for a moment, then slowly shook her head.
"There isn't anything different about Stuart. He's just an ordinary person," she started to say, then
stopped. She thought about what Stuart had done for her at the park.
"No ‑ I take that back," Kiera said. "He willingly risked his life to save mine. There's nothing
ordinary about that."
Kiera had phoned Phoebe with Stuart's status but had told her to remain in her apartment until
Stuart could receive visitors. And until she was sure that neither Dillon nor Carlos would be
around. It was another hour before Kiera was allowed into Stuart's room.
"Hi," Kiera said, approaching his bed. "How are you doing?"
"Groggy from the anesthetic...and whatever else they've given me," Stuart slowly replied. "Are
you all right?"
"Yes...thanks to you," she said, then came closer and sat down next to him on the edge of the
right side of his bed. "Why...?" She couldn't finish the question.
"You're special, Kiera," he said slowly, his eyes sometimes half‑closing. "Not just Kiera the
Protector. But Kiera the person. I don't leave someone I care about ‑" Stop, his groggy mind
managed to think. Don't tell her that. "...leave a friend, to die," he tried to correct himself.
But Kiera had heard and understood what he first said. Looking into his eyes, she gently ran her
hand down the side of his face.
"Two words ‑ 'thank you'," she said. "Two words that are...insufficient for what you did." She
leaned closer, gently lifted his head in her hands, put her lips on his and kissed him.
Stuart hesitated, but then took his free arm that was not hooked up to the IV and put it around
The kiss lasted only a few seconds. But a lot of unsaid things passed between them in that short
"Rest now," Kiera told him, as she stood up from the bed. "I'll see you later."
Stuart looked at her, a small smile on his face. Then he closed his eyes and did as she had told
"Kiera, that was good that you kissed him," Alec said in her head when she was outside of the
"I love my husband," Kiera said, "nothing changes that. But being so far away in time...it's like
being in different worlds."
"You're right, it doesn't change your love for your husband," Alec continued. "And it doesn't make you disloyal to him.
But you are in
different worlds. And you don't know..."Alec tried to be gentle, "when you'll get home.
And you can't go on so alone and isolated. I told you that a while ago. You have
a lot on your shoulders, more than anyone besides me realizes. You need companionship. For
your own well being."
"Maybe...maybe," she started to say. Maybe Alec is right. The stress and isolation have become
too much. "It was only a kiss...but I felt...such a relief ‑"
"Kiera," Carlos called out to her.
"Have to go," she whispered to Alec.
"How's Weston doing?" he asked, approaching her in the hallway.
"Very well," she answered. "Better than expected. I may be able to get him released late
"You've really taken an interest in him," Carlos said.
"Yes...I suppose I have," Kiera replied.
Having gotten Carlos out of the hospital and back to the police station with her, Kiera quietly
called Phoebe and told her it was safe to go to the hospital to see Stuart. Then, together with
Carlos, she gave Dillon a full oral report.
"You were outstanding today," Dillon said when they finished, "as was your Section 6 colleague. I
am very grateful that you're alive and that he’s recovering."
"Thank you," Kiera said. "And so was Carlos. He sensed something was wrong and came running
to help me."
"Yes, you're right. You do make a good team," Dillon said. "What about that woman you were
trying to find out about?"
"False lead," Kiera lied. "That happens sometimes."
"Don't I know it," Dillon responded. "OK ‑ go write up the report."
"Yes, sir," Carlos said. They got up and walked out of Dillon's office.
"Thanks for the plug in there with Dillon," Carlos said as they reached their desks.
"You are my partner," Kiera said with a small smile. "We look out for each other."
Stuart couldn't wait to get discharged from the hospital. Given Garner's inability to gather any
information about Stuart, and that Kiera was both Stuart's friend and a policewoman, she was the
closest person the doctor could find to take responsibility for him. And given his continued
remarkable recovery ‑ which Garner could not dismiss ‑ Kiera got the surgeon to agree to
discharge Stuart, the following afternoon, in her care. On the condition that she would bring him
back the next afternoon to be checked.
"Good night, Alec," Kiera said that evening when they were back in her apartment. "I'm shutting
down my transmission.'
"Why now?" Alec protested.
"It's my privacy time," she said, and switched off the transmission before Alec could protest any
further. Kiera did not want Alec to hear what they were going to discuss.
Phoebe told Kiera about the demons they had fought and continued fighting back home, and
especially the demon who would bring destruction and devastation to the world on the upcoming
‑ in 2000 ‑ summer solstice.
"That’s why we have to go back home," Phoebe said. "When we do, Leo can finish healing
"Stuart's discharge was on condition he be checked by Garner tomorrow afternoon," Kiera said.
"If he doesn't show up there will be lots of questions, and probably problems, for me. Stuart is my
"We're not doing anything that can hurt Kiera," Stuart said, wincing. He was sitting on the sofa
but still had pain when he moved his position or spoke. "We'll wait until after Garner checks me
to go home."
"Who is Leo?" Kiera asked. "How can he...do what he does?"
"Leo is a whitelighter," Phoebe began to explain. "Leo...he's sort of a guardian for Prue,
Piper and me."
"Your two sisters," Kiera said.
"Yes. He orbs in and out through a light ‑ that's his means of transportation. That's how he got to
the park so quickly. In his life he had been a medic. When he became a whitelighter, he was given
the power to heal. Just what he had tried to do during his lifetime.
"He tries to watch out for us and also at times gives us assignments from The Elders," Phoebe
continued. "To save and protect innocents. That's why we came here. Although much of the time
we find innocents, and demons, by ourselves. And just like Kagame is looking for you to be
vulnerable so he can kill you, the demons are continually looking for our vulnerability to kill us."
"That's a big, and dangerous, responsibility," Kiera said. "I have a lot of respect for you."
"That's true both ways," Phoebe said. "Your responsibility isn't any less than ours."
"Actually, as we saw yesterday," Stuart said, wincing again, "we make a good team together."
"You need to lie down now," Kiera said to Stuart. "And you're sleeping in my bed tonight, not on
the sofa. I need to change your bandages. And...I'll watch over you and take care of you during
Phoebe wanted to say something; to say that she would take care of Stuart. But she held her tongue.
Kiera obviously felt a bond and a responsibility to look after Stuart.
Kiera helped Stuart stand up. She looked deeply into his eyes for about ten seconds.
And Stuart found himself looking back into hers. And something connected between them,
something that responded to the loneliness that each of them felt. Kiera was alone in
a time that wasn't hers. And Stuart couldn't get the secure,
committed relationship from Phoebe that he needed.
Then Kiera led Stuart into her bedroom and closed the door.
Phoebe stared at the door. It would be only one night, she thought, trying to re-assure herself.
And nothing is going to happen. Kiera is married.
Phoebe exhaled. But not here. Kiera is married in the future. But this isn't Kiera's time.
Here Kiera is very much alone, very much under stress - and very lonely.
And Stuart had saved her life.
Phoebe thought about how Kiera and Stuart had just looked at each other.
And she realized that Kiera had decided to do more with Stuart than just change his bandages.
And that he would not be unhappy that she had.
Phoebe exhaled again. This was hers and Stuart's future, not their time, either.
And she had refused the commitment in their relationship that Stuart had sought from her, substituting an "open" relationship.
So whatever happens
here doesn't affect their relationship, she tried convincing herself.
But not successfully. So she blocked out of her mind thinking about what else besides care would be
happening behind the closed bedroom door.
Stuart removed most of his clothes and lay down on the bed. Kiera came over and looked decidedly into his eyes.
She firmly grabbed the rest of his clothes and pulled them off.
Kiera quickly undressed and slipped into the bed next to him as Stuart looked at her uncertainly.
She ran her hand gently down the side of his face, then leaned over and placed her lips on his.
They gently kissed. And Stuart's uncertainty was gone.
Kiera duly brought Stuart to the hospital the next afternoon, where Garner, despite his
frustrations at not finding what made Stuart tick, pronounced him sufficiently mended to not need
daily checkups. He had wanted to see Stuart again in a week, just to be sure all was well, but
Kiera insisted that the Federal agency's internal doctors would monitor his progress.
They had gone back to Kiera's apartment, where she had once again turned off her transmission to
Alec, leaving him wondering just what was going on there.
"This spell that you have for time travel," Kiera began, then hesitated. "How...how flexible is it?"
Phoebe understood what Kiera was asking.
"You mean, can we go further into the future from here," Phoebe said. "Can we go all the way to
Kiera exhaled. "My son. I so...miss him. I so want to see him. To hold him."
"We've used the spell for round trips," Phoebe said. "We haven't tried making side excursions. I
don't know if it will work. It's a risk. We might even all wind up being stuck in 2077."
Phoebe saw the look on Kiera's face. She turned to Stuart and understood what he wasn't saying.
What he wanted her to try. What he owed to Kiera.
Phoebe took a deep breath.
"OK. We've done risky things before to help innocents," Phoebe said. "We'll try it."
"No!" Kiera said, emphatically. "Everything that I'm doing here is to prevent risk. The risk to the
future. I won't let you do anything that would put yourselves at risk."
"It might well work," Phoebe said. "It...should work."
"'Should work' isn't good enough," Kiera said. "It's too big a risk." Stuart heard the echo of his
own words when Phoebe had made her untested vanquishing potion. 'Should work' he had said,
was too big a risk. Tho potion had worked ‑ but the risk of its failure had been real. Kiera went
over to Stuart and took his hands securely in hers. "I won't do that to you."
"Kiera ‑" Stuart began.
"And..." Kiera interrupted him, "if I don't stay here, Kagame will have free rein to manipulate
things to change the future as he wants it to be. What kind of future will I find if I leave him
behind in 2012? What kind of future...will I be making for Sam?"
Stuart saw Kiera's eyes watering. He squeezed her hands, then let them go and put his arms
around her and hugged her. As she embraced him too, her head rested on his shoulder so neither
Stuart nor Phoebe could see the tears streaming from her eyes.
They stood that way for a few minutes, Kiera feeling Stuart's companionship, and the strength
that he was giving her. The strength she needed to keep doing what she had to do.
When she felt that her tears had finally stopped, she let go of their embrace.
"We both have jobs to do," Kiera said, turning to face both of them. "Yours is in the past, mine is
in the present. But we're both trying to save the future."
"Are you sure ‑" Stuart began again.
"Shh!" Kiera said. "What will be...must still be. Unchanged. I owe that to...to the innocents of my
time. I owe that to Sam."
She went over to Stuart and stared deeply into his eyes.
Putting her arms around him, she began kissing him, as Stuart put his arms around her and held her tightly.
Phoebe closed her eyes and turned away.
Kiera's stress and loneliness, and the feeling of isolation that it generated, had brought her ‑ with
Alec's urging ‑ to let go and embrace Stuart's companionship. But when this kiss ended,
she knew, his companionship would end with it. The loneliness and isolation would return.
Kiera didn't want the kiss to end.
But it had to. When it did, Kiera brushed Stuart's cheek with her hand. He took it in his hand and
held it tightly for a long moment as they looked deeply into each other's eyes.
"Remember me," Kiera said to him.
"Always," Stuart replied. And now there were small tears steaming from his eyes. "And..."
"I will," Kiera said, knowing, without hearing, what he was going to say.
"Go ahead Phoebe," Kiera said, steeling herself. "Say your time travel spell...and go home."
"We didn't find that demon from the charity dinner," Prue said. They were all up in the Halliwell
Manor attic, after Stuart's and Phoebe's return from 2012. "We don't know who he was or
anything about him."
"Sounds like as much as you know about the demon you were after," Piper said to Phoebe.
"Actually no," Phoebe said. "I didn't find anything in the Book of Shadows that matched her. But
Stuart saw the demon and knows how she looked."
"Then you get to add her to the Book of Shadows," Prue said.
"Me? I'm not a Halliwell. I'm not even a witch," he said. "Only members of the Warren/Halliwell
family can add to it."
"The Book of Shadows is ours now," Phoebe said, "and we decide who adds to it. And we just
decided that as you saw, and vanquished, that demon, you get to add her."
"Uh...thank you...but I couldn't accurately draw her picture," he protested. "I'm not an artist."
"Not a problem," Prue said. "I have just the spell ‑ a temporary spell ‑ that will fix that for you."
"We don't know her name," Piper said.
"No...but as she's your demon, Stuart, you get to name her," Phoebe said.
Stuart thought for a moment, then exhaled.
"If it's my choice," Stuart said, "then I'll call her...Kiera's Demon."
Kiera held the item in her hand as she lay down in her bed. It was a small toy soldier. Sam had
given it to her the last morning she saw him. To protect her, he told her.
"Sam," she said gently, clutching the toy tightly in her hand. And slowly she let herself fall asleep.