Chapter 1: The note
The year is 1965. Four years after the return of Owen Carvour. Well, return was perhaps not the best word for it. No one else knew that he was alive, or at least so he and his family thought. The five of them had mostly been able to live out their lives in relative peace. The twins were now fifteen years old, despite having been kept inside for most of their lives, both of them were growing into relatively normal young women. Tatiana and her sister Nadia had taken to visiting more. Thankfully, Nadia and Margaret had become… closer throughout the years if that was the right word for it. Ellie had come out of her shell, beginning to have a more even split of traits from each of her fathers. And Curt and Owen’s relationship was only stronger than it had been before 1957. The two men had grown and developed together, grown an understanding of how-to best care for the other. They both spent most of their time looking after their two girls along with the twins’ grandmother. All the personal history that the two men shared had only worked to strengthen their relationship in the long run.
But history had a funny way of catching up to you. And Curt and Owen were no exception.
The morning was peaceful. Curt woke up as he did most days, his head resting on Owen’s chest, arms wrapped tightly around the other man. This position only changed when Owen had nightmares of Chimera, in which case Owen would be the one in Curt’s arms and not the other way around. Light had streamed in through the cracks in the tattered blinds behind them and Curt had heard Owen groan softly. He had adjusted their position, so they were facing each other on their sides in his effort to roll over to avoid the light. Curt found his reluctance to wake up most days endearing.
“Good morning.” He whispered gently to the other man who huffed and buried his face in Curt’s neck, doing anything to not face him. Curt laughed again, shifting to try and coax Owen into waking up. “Owen, you have to get up, I’m not letting you sleep in for the fifth time this week, I’m not caving.”
“You’ve said that the other four times, love.” His voice was muffled by his head placement, but Curt still could hear Owen’s loving backchat. “You caved then.” Curt felt Owen huff again against his collar bone and decided to employ a different strategy to wake his partner.
“Owen Carvour, if you don’t get out of this bed within the next five minutes, I will not lock Oleg in the laundry for the next week and force you to feed him every hour when he comes in here crying.” Curt threatened quietly, whispering into his partner’s ear. Owen groaned and finally flopped over. Though he was the only cat person in the family beside Curt’s mother, Oleg was a pain when it came to being fed on the regular.
“Fine. Fine, you got me.” Owen sighed, looking at him with a faux-frustrated expression. “That monster stays in the laundry every night or I will not hesitate to draw the gun in the bedside table on you. I’m joking, love.” Owen felt the need to drop that into any threatening comment he made towards Curt. They were always jokes but he knew Curt was sensitive to the possibility of Owen turning against him and his family again. He couldn’t let Curt think he was still a monster. Curt nodded, kissing Owen’s cheek before swinging his legs over the side of the bed.
"I know you were." His voice was still deep, and sleep ridden as the American man looked at his partner. "Care to join me in the kitchen to make breakfast?" He often dropped in his best impressions of Owen's accent and often heightened language, which often caused his partner to roll his eyes. Curt enjoyed mocking their dialect differences even if his impression of Owen was incredibly poor. Owen sat up.
"Yeah, of course..." He mumbled in his best impression of Curt's American drawl, forcing a laugh from the younger man who pulled him up from the bed. Owen smiled, fixing his bed shirt before turning to make the bed as he did most mornings to Curt's chagrin.
"You make sure to do it in front of me to make a point, huh?" He folded his arms and raised his eyebrow as he watched the British man pull the sheets up. The cheeky bugger just turned and kissed his cheek.
"Never." Owen just took his hand and led him out of their bedroom, into the long hallway that connected the upstairs of the house. It was oddly quiet, even for a Saturday morning. Even if the girls were asleep, Owen would usually still hear Ellie mumbling in her sleep, a habit she had picked up from him. But it was deathly quiet. He took note of the irregularity as he and Curt continued downstairs, releasing their cat from the laundry on the way down.
Curt tiredly trudged to the kitchen while Owen went to the cat bowls by the landing of the stairs, filling them with a sigh. It seemed like a regular morning for the pair, just preparing for a day with their daughters. Owen would probably be helping with their lessons again; Nadia would be coming to spend time with Margaret and Ellie that night. But something was still strange about that morning. When Curt and Owen made the call for breakfast, neither of their daughters came downstairs. Curt had gone to get his mother, so Owen was left in the silence, just looking upstairs and waiting for the girls to come down.
But they never did.
"Margaret? Elliana?" He called out again. But there was still nothing. Owen frowned more as Curt and Ms Mega joined him in the room. Curt looked around expectantly for their daughters.
"Where are they?" He asked softly, confused. Neither girl was a particularly deep sleeper.
That's how they realised that their past was still a lot closer than they thought. Now they were stood in Ellie and Margaret's room, looking at a messily scrawled note.
‘Dear Agents Mega and Carvour,
You may have not realised exactly how much of an effect your selfish and senseless actions had. We are determined to remind you. We have both Elliana and Margaret, your two daughters. We are willing to negotiate, we aren’t the monsters here after all. The two of you, along with Tatiana Slozhno and Barbara Larvenor are to meet us at the following location in five hours in order to settle the terms for the return of your daughters and Ms Slozhno’s sister.
We are not the unreasonable ones.
Owen began shaking after reading it.
Chapter 2: Breaking out
Nadia Slozhno doesn't take no shit.
Shaky breaths echoed through the cold, blank room. There was no emotion, but terror shared between the three girls inside. Actually, more like shared between two of them. Nadia was looking around the grey walls, trying to find an escape whilst the Carvour-Mega twins cowered together. Both of them had only heard stories of the damage that Chimera could do from their fathers. And being taken in their sleep was more horrifying than the several recounts of torture they had overheard Owen whispering to Curt at nights. They knew that they weren’t the target of this, the issue was with their fathers and that was possibly scarier. They were expendable, they were props to Chimera, they could be killed if Curt and Owen didn’t comply and the thought haunted them.
Ellie had her arms tight around Margaret, trying to remain her level-headed, calm self but it was difficult considering what they were facing. The twins had never been exposed to the outside world and to be exposed to the cruellest and darkest part of it immediately was confronting. It was everything their fathers had warned them about and protected them from, but now they weren’t there to protect them. Margaret clung to her sister, looking up at the pacing redheaded teenager who had stopped by the small gap in the door to the room they were in. Ellie could infer from the small blood splatters up the walls that it was an old interrogation room, better described here as a torture chamber.
“It has been an hour.” Nadia sighed, stepping away from the door, looking at the two blonde twins. “There is clock across the hall.” She appeared to be the calmest of the three though it was obvious that she, like her sister, hadn’t exactly been taught to express her emotions healthily. She sat down opposite them, pulling at threads in her orange sweater. A feeling of hopelessness had overcome the three of them. And not even the knowledge that their families were most likely on the way could give them enough faith. Then they heard a booming voice from the doorway. The three turned sharply from the corner they were hunkered in.
“No sign of any of them. Are you three prepared to be sent to the bottom of the ocean?” In the doorway was a rather smug looking man, one who had gloated on arrival about how miserable he had made Owen before Curt saved him. Ellie and Nadia were both sick with his attitude. The man walked over to them, leaning on the wall beside them, unthreatened and relaxed around them. The Russian teenager stood up.
“They will come for us; you won’t get away with this.” She was defiant, folding her arms and glaring. The man just snorted, pushing away from the wall, taking a step closer to Nadia. He was cocky and it angered the three more. Margaret reached up to grab Nadia’s wrist, quietly telling her to stand down, but she stood her ground as the man spoke.
“I already have. Curt and Owen are too chickenshit to come after you and your sister and Doctor Larvenor don’t have the resources to get here.” He shrugged. “It’s a fun way to toy with them before their inevitable deaths at my hands. The three of you would have made promising agents but, revenge for Agent Cavour’s actions comes first.” He had pushed them too far with the insults to their families, and Nadia wasn’t about to stand for it. While he was distracted with his smug recount of how he expected events to go, Nadia backhanded him, Margaret sticking out her leg causing him to trip and hit the ground. Chimera hadn’t thought to bound their arms, considering three teenage girls little threat. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Nadia pressed her boot down over the man’s throat, putting just enough pressure to discourage him from trying to get up. And just enough so that he couldn’t get out a call for help.
“Find his keys and gun. We’re getting out of here.” She instructed them, staring down. It should have been assumed that the younger Slozhno was just as deadly as her sister, and just as fiercely loyal. Ellie soon dumped a metal ring covered with clinking keys in Nadia’s hand.
“Let’s go.” She hissed, looking around the room. “They’ll notice that he hasn’t left the room soon.” She turned to look at her sister, who was holding the man’s gun, surprisingly naturally.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
"What if they've hurt them? Our girls could be dead for all we know!"
"Owen, I am this close to throwing you out of this van if you do not shut your mouth within the next ten seconds." Tatiana let out a frustrated exhale as she sunk further into her seat in Curt and Owen's car. She was watching barb, who had joined Curt in the front seat, and who's eyes were flicking to her watch every second. Barb seemed the most afraid of any of them. Tatiana's only concern was covering their tracks once they got out of there with the girls in tow.
"Please, stop threatening each other. Owen, I'm just as scared as you are." Curt sighed, trying to focus on the road despite the fear welling up inside of him. Margaret and Ellie were still weak enough that anything Chimera was capable them would easily injure or kill them. Curt and Owen hadn't exactly been focused on the weaponry side of things when home-schooling their girls. Curt couldn't help his thoughts from wandering to Margaret. She had always succumbed easier to fear than Ellie, and he wasn't there to comfort her. It killed him inside to think of his daughter being afraid without his comfort. He was just praying Ellie and Nadia were enough to keep her safe and calm. But he doubted it.
"Curt, you have no idea what Chimera is capable of, you have no idea what they could be doing." Owen's voice was cold, but Curt could tell he wasn't mad at him. Owen was more scared than any of them, he had seen the horrific conditions within the organisation. He had taken part in some of the most brutal activities he'd ever seen. Considering what he had been made to do for them. He couldn't imagine what they were doing to his daughters. He was a traitor after all. They'd want to make sure that everyone knew the consequences of betraying them. What was he going to see when they got there? What was the guarantee that Chimera wouldn't go back on their word and slit Margaret and Ellie's throats in front of Curt and Owen? They could never be sure that their daughters were going to make it back in one piece. And Owen hated to think of the torture the fifteen-year-olds could be facing.
"I promise, nothing will happen." Curt looked back at him in the mirror, locking eyes with his obviously distressed partner. "I won't let them hurt our girls." He mumbled the end to himself as he pulled the car up to an abandoned boat yard, looking at the small building in the centre of it. He took a deep breath. This is where they were to go to retrieve the girls.
But as the group got out of the car, pistol fire broke the soft sounds of the night.