director_global: (intent)
When it's over, he hears Zoe start to cry, followed by the sounds of Carter trying to comfort her as she weeps into his shirtfront.

Stark doesn't turn around.

His hand is still on Callister's shoulder, as if even now his touch might somehow keep him in the world.

"I didn't come all the way back to be left alone--"

He doesn't let go, even as he covers his face with his other hand to hide his own tears.

* * * * * * *


It doesn't take long to make the necessary calls to the right people to ensure that Callister will be taken directly to the funeral home instead of anywhere else. Stark informs them that he'll be in himself to make the arrangements for his burial.

Allison would handle it, he knows, if he were to ask.

He also knows that he won't.

* * * * * * *


The trip back is silent. Carter drives; Zoe sits in the back.

Stark rides in the passenger seat and stares out the window, remembering.

"I'm scared.  I'm not ready... What's gonna happen to me?"

"Remember what Alan Turing said?"

"He figured God could give a computer a soul if he wanted to.  Do you think that's true, dad?"

"I know it is."


* * * * * * *


At his request, Carter drops him off at Global so that he can pick up his car.

The car's there, that much is true, but he has absolutely no intention of going home to be alone with his thoughts. Not tonight.

"It was my fault. I should have never sent you away in the first place."

Instead, Stark heads for the secured project room in Section Eight.

It's only a small step from there to the end of the universe.
director_global: (examining something)
The team's analysis of the anomaly and post-event report had been as thorough and complete as any man could wish, even when that man is Nathan Stark. The outcome had been deemed 'inconclusive' and the file marked INACTIVE, as no one had been able to independently reproduce the anomaly after the first wave of occurrences faded.

Then again, Nathan Stark isn't just anyone.

He's well aware that there's still passage going on back and forth from Eureka to Milliways. Therefore, it's only logical that there should be a way for him to activate a direct portal. To that end, he's reserved a project room in Section 8 for his own private research, secured to his access only.

The field generator on the ceramic table is humming quietly when he finishes making adjustments and steps back from it. Stark studies a readout on the side of the device and nods to himself.

"As I calculated, the new configuration duplicates the previously measured electromagnetic frequency. Now, if I can project the field within a contained space so that it adheres to a stabilizing ground..."

Stark flips a series of small switches on the side of the generator, then waits. The hum increases, and the device begins to vibrate slightly as a faint glow forms around the newly-added piezoelectric arm.

Two seconds later, a ray shoots from the device and strikes the free-standing door that Stark had installed in the center of the room.

Nathan Stark smiles in satisfaction.
director_global: (blue-eyed intensity)
He's on his way to a meeting when the message comes in. Without a word to Fargo, who's trotting along at his side, Nathan Stark turns on his heel and starts back the way he came at a swift pace, already sending his response.

To: CARTER RESIDENCE
From: NSTARK

My office. Two minutes.


"Um, Doctor Stark?" Caught off guard by the change in direction, Fargo's scrambling to catch up. "Um... what about our meeting?"

"Something's come up. Reschedule it."

Leaving Fargo standing in the hallway and staring after him, Stark strides into his office and heads straight for the computer.
director_global: (charming smile)
Nathan Stark knows how to bide his time.

He waits long enough to be sure that the cat has arrived and been taken into the Carter household, and then waits still longer, in order to allow enough time for a routine to be established.

A few days after that, when the sheriff's deeply embroiled in the latest challenge to his abilities, Stark takes the opportunity to make an unscheduled visit to the Carter household.

Or, rather, to the Carter house.
director_global: (blue-eyed intensity)
They've moved from the disaster zone that was briefly Fargo's office to one of Global's virtual modelling labs. Henry and Stark are brooding over the projection table, examining a three-dimensional construct of the Global Dynamics complex.

"I put a trace on the hot wire," Henry says. "The power source leads out the back; that's where the machine is vulnerable. Now if we can reach that, then we can get to the guts of the thing."

Stark's gaze doesn't so much as flicker away from the diagram. "I've got a team in Section Five working on a laser bombardment drill that will bore right through the titanium shell."

Henry shakes his head. "Yeah, unfortunately your guys in Section Four tell me it's not titanium, it's zirconium carbonite, which is..."

"Impenetrable," Stark concludes. A weary sigh escapes him.

"Impenetrable," Henry agrees. A beat. "But I believe we can get there--"

With Stark looking on, he clears the schematic from the screen and loads a smaller scale model of a specific subsection. "--from here, through the base of the machine."

He glances up at Stark, who's silently studying the section that Henry's indicating. "If we tunnel down, under, and up, we'll be directly behind it and then I think we've got a shot."

Stark nods. "Tell Fargo to give you anything you need." With a wry, pained smile, he looks from the model to Henry, meeting the other man's gaze. "And also, not to touch anything you don't."

As Henry hurries out the side exit to find Fargo, the main door slides open, admitting Allison. She walks up to stand beside Stark, informing him, "Bad news, good news. We didn't get anything from Thatcher, but Carter wasn't hurt in the process."

Still studying the miniature schematic, Stark nods. "And the good news?"

Allison sighs with exasperation and darts a sharp look over at Nathan Stark-- who, despite the gravity of the situation, allows himself a small smile.
director_global: (examining something)
It's clear that if they're to have any chance whatsoever of surviving this, it's going to depend on the work of the scientists who are both younger than ancient and less than demented.

While Fargo nervously hovers behind them, Henry Deacon and Nathan Stark are studying the tangle of multicolored wires inside the computer's panel.

"It could also be thermal conductive resistance," Henry opines. "Let me take a look."

Wordlessly, Stark activates the Wiedemann-Franz apparatus and passes it to Henry, who settles the kinetic goggles in place on the bridge of his nose and leans forward to examine the wires.

"Yeah. Looks like they used the classic formula," he observes. "Red for hot, blue for not, yellow's usually the ground." He glances sideways at Stark. "So, I guess it's pretty safe to cut the blue. What do you think?"

Nathan considers their options in silence, then looks up as the computerized voice reminds them,

"Weapon will deploy in twenty hours."

He looks back at Henry. "Do it," Stark orders, with no outward show of nerves. It doesn't matter; Fargo exhibits enough for all of them and to spare while Henry takes the wire cutters from his pocket, reaches into the panel, and snips the blue wire.

"Launch code override initiated," announces the computer.

Grinning, Stark slaps a laughing Henry on the shoulder while a jubilant Fargo jumps up and down, only to be arrested mid-leap as the computer continues,

"Weapon will deploy in seven hours."

A horrified hush ensues, broken at last by Nathan Stark:

"Let's not cut any more wires."
director_global: (Default)
It's still a long way up the corridor from Fargo's office back to the elevator, but that just gives them time to discuss.

"We need to arrange for transport trucks and establish evacuation routes," Carter muses.

Allison nods. "Make emergency contingencies for every location that could be hit."

The two of them are leading the group, walking quickly ahead of Stark and Henry, while Fargo trails along behind the rest.

It's Carter's turn to nod. "Yeah, area hospitals should be prepped for emergency overflow."

"And we'll need to estimate collateral damage in and around the target perimeter," Allison reminds him.

Noticing that his jacket cuff is out of line, Stark adjusts it in silence. The movement draws Carter's notice, and he snaps over his shoulder,

"You can hear us, right?"

"Unfortunately." Stark spares a moment of his attention from his sleeve to glance up at the other man. "You're panicking."

Carter stares at him in disbelief. "We're not panicking, we're reacting! You say 'death ray,' we have a reaction."

"You said death ray," Stark corrects, blandly.

"It's a ray, right? That causes immediate death?"

Stark sighs. "Yes. It could cause immediate death. It could simply blow up, and people here would immediately die. It could strike Moscow, and people there would immediately die. Then Moscow would retaliate, and people everywhere would immediately die."

A dismal silence fills the hallway while everyone considers this.

"Evacuation's moot," Stark concludes, matter-of-factly. "No place is safe."

Carter glares at him. "Well, you chose a great time to be indifferent."

For the first time in the last several hours, real irritation shows clearly on Nathan Stark's features.

"I'm not indifferent, Sheriff; I'm focused." A beat. "We have twenty-four hours, and we happen to be in the most advanced scientific facility in the world, housing the largest supercomputer in the world, fabricated by the smartest scientists in the world. We've got plenty of time to figure this out, as long as we don't panic."

This is evidently news to Fargo, who bursts out, "But we've downloaded, scanned and decrypted every file, every schematic and every piece of paper of every project ever developed here, and there's nothing!"

Whatever Stark was about to reply is overridden by Henry, who realizes, "Well, maybe not every piece of paper...."
director_global: (blue-eyed intensity)
There are days when things are more stressful than others. Unfortunately, those days seem to happen a lot in Eureka.

"It had to come from somewhere." There's no missing the edge to Stark's words, even as he strives to keep his tone reasonable. "Keep looking."

"Yes sir, Dr. Stark!"

He doesn't bother to dignify that with a response; Stark's already turning toward his office door as it slides open.

"Allison, glad to see you."

A beat.

"Sheriff."
director_global: (that's not good)
Every so often, it's important to provide little incentives for those who support you. Nathan Stark is well aware of this, which is why he currently happens to be walking across the lobby of Global Dynamics with Fargo at his side.

"I can't tell you how much I appreciate this, sir," Fargo nearly babbles.

"No need to thank me, Fargo, you've earned it." Stark doesn't bother to slow his pace. If Fargo can't keep up -- one way or another -- then that's his problem. "Having your own office is a rite of passage. It's a symbol of status and rank; tells the world you've arrived."

Reaching the elevator, he strides in; Fargo darts in to join him just before the door closes and the system activates.

The door slides open on the second level. Before Fargo can step out, Stark forestalls him with a small shake of his head.

"Not yet."

As the elevator continues, a look of almost puppyish hope floods into Fargo's expression.

"Section Five?"

Stark slants a sideways look at him--

--I'd have hoped you were self-aware enough to know better than that--

--and allows himself a small, superior smirk. "Pace yourself."

The elevator comes to a stop at Section Four. This time when the doors open, Stark steps out and starts down the utility corridor, walking briskly along the unfinished concrete floor past the pipes and myriad loud noises.

"What's down here?" Fargo asks.

Stark turns to look at him with mild surprise. "You. And your new office." With a wave of his hand, he turns once more and continues on his way down the hall.

It's a long, long way, but eventually they reach an unmarked door, where Stark comes to a stop. Pulling a set of keys from his pocket, he unlocks the door and pushes it open.

"Congratulations, Fargo."

Stark grandly gestures for Fargo to precede him into the old storage room replete with junk and illuminated by a single buzzing fluorescent light.

"You deserve every square foot of it."

With a smile, Stark claps him on the shoulder and leaves him to it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


Several hours later, the combined efforts of Fargo, Spencer, and Henry Deacon have gone a long way towards eradicating the mess. While Henry has headed back to the garage, taking a box full of files with him for later investigation, neither Fargo nor Spencer is ready to call it quits just yet.


"Check this out!" Fargo calls, pushing a metal shelving unit aside to reveal a very old, and very large, computer console. "Think it's a stereo?"

Spencer snorts. "Sure. First generation iPod."

Refusing to be baited, Fargo continues to fiddle with an assortment of buttons and switches. "How do you turn this thing on?"

After a moment, Spencer's unwilling curiosity draws him over. Fargo glances at him. "It's got keyholes."

Spencer brightens. "And we got keys. I saw some in the desk over here."

One mad scramble later, Fargo holds up a couple of keys.

"These two match." He tosses one to Spencer. "Here, go unlock your side-- on three. Ready? Set, go!"

Both turn their keys; nothing happens. Spencer snorts again, this time in disgust and disappointment both.

"Just another old piece of useless junk." He sighs. "That was almost exciting--"

The rest of his words are drowned out by an ominous whirrrrr as the console activates, accompanied by flashing lights, a loud siren, and a helpful electronic voice informing them all,

"Primary firing sequence initiated. Weapon will deploy in twenty-four hours."

As the red LCD of the countdown clock flickers into life and clicks over to 23:59:59, Fargo moans and reaches for his cell phone.

Mere seconds later, it's all too clear to Nathan Stark that despite his best efforts, he still hadn't managed to put Fargo's office quite far enough away.

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Nathan Stark

March 2010

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