Everyday I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
- Albert Einstein
Jack rubs his hands together in the cold Cardiff air. Wishing he hadn't left his gloves in the truck he's blowing warm breath into his cupped hands every so often as Owen pokes around at the body that's lying in the middle of the field.
"I'd say... six hours ago."
Jack shook his head, upset that he'd gotten the call seven hours ago and hadn't been able to track it down until this moment. He wanted to yell at the guy, to tell him he had been stupid to go out there alone, to call him when it was already too late. Pressing his hand to his forehead Jack kept his resolve though, in front of his team he had to. Wiping his hand down over his features, he brushed away the self doubt, the self deprecating tone that surely would come from across in his words when he finally spoke about the incident. Shutting his eyes for a split second he allowed himself the instant to mourn his friend.
Lifting his head he moved toward the head, face down in the frozen ground, Jack crouched low resting on the balls of his feet as his hands moved to the shoulders. A single glance to Owen and the nod let him know it was okay to move him now. There was nothing they could do, nothing beyond finding out just what had happened to him. The body was cold to the touch, Jack could feel the chill even through the coat of the guy as Jack shifted him off of his stomach.
It shouldn't have happened... and a thousand times Jack wished that maybe just once things could be just easy to explain. Meeting a man in the nineteen fifties, and then having to fall out of touch... not being able to just stop by because he'd never be able to explain... not even for a moment how it was possible. Too many lives lost... to time... to things that he couldn't explain away so easily, and now this life was gone as well.
"D'ya know him...? Jack?"
Gwen's voice, always so soothing always just there... a solid thing to cling to with all her compassion, cut through his haze of remembrance. He had known him, more than he'd known a lot about his own life at the time, and now all that was left was a phone call placed too late for him to do anything about it. Standing up Jack shrugged off the question, leaving yet another one unanswered, another one flooding his team with doubt about just who he was really.
"Here's what we know. Seven hours ago Curtis Ambrose called one of my old contact numbers, and left this message," Jack held up his cell and played the call to everyone over the speakerphone.
"I've found it... I know you never believed, but it's real. It's real and it's following me. All those nights laughing about just what it could really be, and I've actually tracked it down. Thirty years of looking and I had to share it with someone... I had to tell someone who believed in those things that no one else did. Jack... I had to tell you... I've found it."
Pressing the end button on his cell he shoved it back into his pocket. His lips a thin tight line of disapproval over the foolishness of his old dear friend, to think that he actually still believed... after all those years, the belief was still pushing him to do the insane.
"You sure seem to attract the loonies Jack. Sounded absolutely nutters that one, just what'd he think he found anyway? What was he lookin' for all those years."
Jack bit back his own comment, bit back the rage that came up from unknown places at the assumption that his friend was mad in some way. He was just hopeful... a believer and he knew you can't blame someone for trying to find something else to cling to... especially when it's all you have left. Shooting Owen a look Jack inhaled the icy air feeling his nostrils freeze up a bit before he spoke up again.
"It doesn't matter what he was looking for Owen, what matters is finding out what found him. I know what he was looking for didn't exist, but he found something... or something found him. Preying on his naivety, on his willing to believe..." Jack shook his head, "No one deserves this kind of death, no one."
"We'll get to it then..."
Gwen, once more that voice of reason, pushing everyone in the right direction and Jack began as well. His hands brushing lightly over glazed over eyes, closing them to the surrender of death and folding hands across the man's chest. It's the least he can do... it's the only thing he knows he can do for his friend right now, and it will never feel like enough.