Along Came a Spider...


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Scene Title Along Came a Spider…
Synopsis Noah built an Ark because God told him to.
Date October 2, 2015

The gurgling sound of pumps sucking water through rattling pipes is nearly deafening. The stink of seawater and rust clings heavily within the tight confines of the airlock. Streaks of sea grime and corrosion run top to bottom down the walls. Small fish flop and gasp breathlessly on the grated floor. Standing in front of the scratched and dented hull of a faded blue tourist submersible sitting on its running rails, a handful of people stand on the threshold of something new and unknown.

"I never thought she'd take the suggestion so literally…"

Edward Ray is speechless when he steps down out of the submersible, adjusting his glasses and looking around the airlock. "This is just…"

"Biblical." Else says softly, taking a few hesitant strides forward on what were once white flats, now stained brown with rust. Edward nods, awkwardly, looking back into the submersible and holding out a hand to help the young blonde behind him down. Destiny's eyes are wide as she takes her first shaky steps down into the airlock, the stinging smell of seawater and rust assails her senses, making her scrunch up her face in response. Edward affirms his grip on her hand and waits until she's off the steps all the way down to the floor. There is nervousness in Des' eyes, but moreso than that there's worry. She was taking a huge risk coming here.

Else slowly turns, regarding Destiny over her shoulder with furrowed brows, then turns and walks forward toward the pair of rusted metal airlock doors ahead of them. Her attention isn't so much squared on the doors, but the closed-circuit camera in a metal cage mounted above the doors. Else raises one hand, then the other, and shouts up at the camera. "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land…" she spreads her hands apart, "and the waters were divided!"

Edward, looking back briefly at Destiny, comes slinking over to Else and rests a hand on her shoulder, then points to a red plunger button beside the door.

"Sweetheart, you have to hit the call button."

The Ark

Below Cambridge, Massachusetts

October 2nd, 2015


But then, there's a loud blare of a klaxon and an orange emergency light begins to flash. The entire airlock starts to rattle and rumble, and Edward looks up with wide eyes as the doors let out a screeching metal-on-metal groan. "Or… maybe not?" He whispers, letting his hand fall away from Else's shoulder. As the doors slide open, silhouettes of figures in police riot gear backlit by flood lamps come into view. As they raise rifles Edward takes a step back in front of Destiny, sucking in a sharp breath and staring at Else, who merely holds her arms out to her side. She is without fear.

As their eyes adjust to the light, a familiar voice calls out from behind the rank of security forces.


Wedging herself between two of the security officers, Michelle Cardinal stares in wide-eyed disbelief as she sees him. Else, looking askance, steps aside and motions to Edward with a flourish of one hand. Chel regards Else with momentary scrutiny, but before she can step forward and have a proper reunion a gruff man's voice calls out from behind her.

"You know these people?" Donald Kenner holsters a pistol he's carrying to his hip, walking just so out of the floodlights path as to be lit by them, rather than silhouetted. His thick, bushy beard catches the light, makes it look larger than it already is. Michelle looks back, nodding, and then hastily makes her way over to Edward and throws her arms around him.

"My God, Edward. I thought you were dead." Chek presses her face to the side of his head, squeezing him with all her might. He might be the last living friend she has, and the intensity of her embrace emphasizes that. Edward is, at first, reluctant to return the hug but then does so with more strength and intensity than he'd expected of himself. Nodding against Michelle's shoulder, Edward mumbles an emotion-strangled response and then leans back and looks up at Michelle, smiling through tears.

Security is relaxing in light of this reunion, except for Kenner. Rubbing a hand across his mouth, he looks back at the security team and then back to the airlock. "So I take it we're letting them stay?" He calls to Michelle, who looks back to Kenner and nods repeatedly, using a thumb to brush tears away from her own eyes. Kenner nods, sighing as he does, and starts to turn his back on the airlock. "I'll tell Norton t'get on recalculation of the rations…" His tone is dismissive, as if he thinks Michelle doesn't even care.

He's not wrong.

"Joy's here," Chel says in an exasperated breath, smiling to Edward as she delivers that news. "They're all here." She adds, tears still streaming down her cheeks. It's only then that Michelle spots Destiny standing in Edward's shadow, and as they two meet, Michelle looks down at Edward with furrowed brows and an expectant stare.

"It's a long story," Edward says, flicking a quick look to Else and then back again. "I'll explain once we get settled in." Michelle understands, everyone who's found the Institute and come to stay has a long story behind them, and the first thing that they want to do is settle.

She understands.

Or at least she thinks she does.

Some Time Later…

"…and then Donald and his people showed up in much the same way you did. I think they used the same submersible, too." Walking through the leaky corridors of the Ark, Michelle and Edward are still rediscovering who they are after so many years apart. "We had a few people who wanted to leave a couple years ago, so we let them take the sub out and dock it at the radio station." That has Edward leveling a look at her, thoughtfully.

"Then, if that's your only submersible, how do you leave?" His question elicits an awkward smile from Michelle.

"We don't," is her guilty response. "It's too risky. If too many people learned about us, it'd be the end of everything. Armed people would try and fight their way in, people in numbers we can't sustain and…" Michelle looks away and shakes her head. "I'm researching other options."

Edward's eyes narrow, suspicion in them, but he doesn't voice it. There's something in Michelle's expression that worries him, something in the tone of her voice that gives him pause. So instead, he changes the topic for her. "I'm sorry about David…" is a somehow easier topic to broach. "But, I'm glad you and Rianna are here together. I'm glad you haven't been alone down here all this time." Michelle nods, swallowing audibly as she does as a ghost of something like guilt flashes across her face.

"I'm sorry about Mortimer," is how Michelle chooses to respond. "He… it was a tragic accident. I know you two weren't close, but… all the same I know he would've wanted you here." Edward nods, accepting the apology at face value as he walks, his reaction as distant as Michelle claimed their relationship had been.

"I feel like, if I'd gotten a chance to be a part of his life when he was younger, maybe things would've turned out differently." Edward looks down at the floor while he walks, hands tucked in his pockets and shoulders hunched forward. "I'm… I'm glad he wanted to get to know me. I just… I don't know if I ever would've donated if I'd known how bad of a family he would be raised by." Michelle shakes her head and looks away, teeth clenched gently around her bottom lip.

"You had no way to know," Michelle says in a hushed tone. "The fact that he was able to track you down at all… that you got a couple years before everything went to hell, it— " She can't. Michelle swallows awkwardly and shifts the topic as she stops by a numbered door in the hall, room 2112. "This is their dorm," she says with a somewhat more genuine smile. It's only now that Edward realizes he's been crying,scrubbing his cheeks dry and blinking back the few tears that remained. Michelle smiles, nervously, then steps forward and raps her knuckles on the door.

"One second," chirps from the inside, and Edward's stomach twists into knots. He reflexively smooths his hair, raking fingers through the sides, trying to make himself look presentable — as if his wife will care. Michelle steps back some, making sure that Edward is the first thing she'll see on opening the door. When it does open, the tall woman on the other side has a bright expression of cheer, which quickly shifts to confusion, then shock, and then as she claps a hand to her mouth and her eyes well up with tears unfathomable emotion. A strangled scream erupts from Juliette Ray-Luis as she lunges out of the apartment and throws her arms around Edward, breaking down in loud, gasping sobs the moment she's able to feel that he's real.

Edward can't even hope to hold composure as he wraps his arms around his wife, sobbing against her shoulder and looking both small and vulnerable in their height disparity. Visibly awkward, Michelle starts to cross in front of the apartment door, but nearly collides with someone else coming out of the doorway. She catches herself, one hand on the young woman's shoulder. They lock eyes for a moment, but then the blonde pushes past Michelle and comes up beside Edward and Juliette. "Mom, what's wr— "

Then she sees Edward.

"Oh— oh my God."



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