The Beacon Hills Sentinel/Guide Center is an old high school. A retired one. The one his mom and dad attended, actually, even though Stiles hadn’t. Derek hadn’t, either, so there is that.
It’s cool looking. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the cool stuff is from the original building or from any of the many remodels. Sometimes it’s really easy to tell, like the hallway three wings of classrooms down from what was and still is the main office. It kind of looks like someone snipped a section of a hall out of a different building and dropped the snippet into the old high school. Like a very confused giant’s version of scrapbooking.
The old high school is actually on the edge of the Preserve. Closer to town than the campsite or Derek’s childhood home but still surrounded by woods.
They are touring the facility, trying to figure out if they want to make the new sentinel/guide daycare part of the Center or build a new facility for it. Making it part of the Center would increase its security because hello, sentinels, but the Center is a place for sentinels in distress and Stiles isn’t convinced it would be good for sensitive children to be exposed to that, no matter what this little weasel of an administrator says.
“I think the problem is that we aren’t parents,” Derek says once they have finally sent His Pushiness on some fool’s errand.
“Neither is he!” Stiles argues.
“Right, but we could get some parents to look it over and give us their opinion. Mundane and sensitive parents. Your dad, Ms. McCall and- Actually – ” Derek turns abruptly and leads Stiles upstairs, around a few corners and into an old classroom.
Inside the classroom are a saucy-looking blonde woman and one of the biggest men Stiles has ever seen. Both are sentinels. Stiles has seen them around and they seem friendly enough but they largely keep to themselves.
The two sentinels are arguing about something but stop and stand when Stiles and Derek enter the room.
“Stiles, this is Vernon Boyd,” Derek gestures at the man who gives a tight smile and nods to Stiles. “And his mate, my cousin, Erica Reyes. Their little boys used to go to the Hale House Nursery.”
They are quick to assure Stiles that their children were not harmed by the Fire. Their older boy was on the field trip the daycare was having that day and their younger one had been in the backyard with Laura. They were very lucky and intensely grateful.
They discuss the day care thing. Boyd and Erica definitely feel that having the nursery at the Center would be bad for the children and that the Center’s location would actively discourage busy parents from using the service.
“We’re here almost every day,” Erica says at one point. “And it can get bad for us, I can’t imagine- just, no.”
“Talia and Jason’s house wouldn’t be any better though,” Boyd puts in. “Location wise, anyway.”
Derek nods and moves to stand. Their inquiry is fulfilled.
“Derek?” Erica’s voice stops them in the doorway. “Have you been to the Archive, yet?”
Stiles’s curiosity piques. They had meant to but with everything going on it hadn’t seemed important.
Derek shakes his head.
“I think you should. I went down there the other day after you said the two of you would need to and, well, you need to go down there.”
Derek looks to his guide. Stiles is enthusiastic about it. Of course he is. Knowledge is power! as Stiles reminds him on an almost daily basis. Derek just rolls his eyes and leads the other three towards the Old Gym.
To Stiles’s surprise, they end up in some sort of maintenance closet under the Old Gym. Derek and Boyd pick up and move a metal shelving unit full of an army’s worth of various paper goods, to reveal a wall with a large triskele carved into it.
Derek pushes up a section of the wall. It proves to be a panel (that Stiles is convinced you have to be a sentinel to see) that covers a biometric palm reader. Derek lays his hand on it and after a few moments, it lights up green and a door unseals from the wall like the hatch of a spaceship. It is the coolest fucking thing Stiles has ever seen.
“There are three exits,” Derek tells him as he leads them down a bunch of stairs and a hallway. “This one, one in the center of the eastern wall and one in the northwest corner. The one in the corner is an exit only and opens to the woods not far from the house. This one and the eastern one open both ways. You know where this one goes, the other lets you out at the Center’s sign near the road.”
Derek freezes just a few steps into the room at the end of the hall. “Oh, god.”
The four of them spread out. The room is huge, with pillars that look like they might have been stolen from the Lord of the Rings set at regular intervals. The room is filled with boxes and dust.
Probably more boxes than dust.
“We’re going to need back up.”
Getting back up is, of course, easier said than done.
It is a family archive. Sure, it has records for the local Pride; everything aged out of the archive attached to the library upstairs ends up down here, but it also contains a great deal of private family stuff. Like past alphas’ journals and all kinds of legal paperwork, from deeds to birth certificates. One box looks like nothing but medical records.
So, who do they ask? Who can they ask for help?
Laura and her guide left with Svetlana and Gage for training and an alpha placement.
Cora and Gavin are wrapped around their new partners. She won’t let anyone get too close to her guide. He is practically barricaded in his new room back at the dorm. They probably won’t be fit for company for more than a week.
Peter is bonding with his guide and their new kids, all three of them.
They end up approaching Lydia and Deputy Parrish when they see the newer pair in a hallway.
Lydia’s sentinel is stubborn, trying to force himself to accept the presence of others near his guide so soon after bonding. He refuses to be the cause of her missing any school even though he’s obviously uncomfortable with his guide being around even their alphas.
“We could graduate early!” Stiles throws himself and Derek into Martin-Parrish’s argument. “I’m only going for the physics credit but I could drop to one of the lower graduation plans and get my diploma tomorrow.”
“I’m only attending for an art credit.” Lydia puts in, giving her sentinel a haughty look. “Everything else is for fun.”
Stiles turns to gape at her, more than a little shocked. “You’re taking physics.”
She shrugs. “Fun.”
She glares at him but concedes the point with a nod.
“What about that thing you got?” Derek butts in. “In the mail. About the languages.”
Beacon Hills High already has the most diverse Foreign Language department in the state. Mostly because Beacon Hills has the most sentinels in the state. Sentinels who spend a great deal of time serving their Tribe overseas. Normally for more than long enough to pick up the local languages.
It’s the teaching certificate that keeps a lot of sentinels and guides from sharing their knowledge. In the school anyway. The Center-sponsored classes don’t have that requirement.
“You’ll probably find the letter when you get home.” Stiles says, feeling Lydia’s curiosity. “Apparently Kira’s dad is going to work for the school and that adds Korean, Japanese and two dialects of Chinese to the program.” He turns to his sentinel. “And a single semester of a language isn’t going to do me a bunch of good.”
“Are you taking Latin?” Derek gives him that squinty eyed look that Stiles is pretty sure means he’s tracing the edge of that thing he won’t tell Stiles about until Stiles gets the appropriate clearance.
Stiles raises both of his eyebrows and gives Derek his skeptical face “Should I?”
His sentinel shrugs. “It would help.”
“With that thing you can’t tell me about yet?” Stiles just wants to confirm, honest!
Derek nods tightly, “With that thing I can’t tell you about yet.”
“I know Latin.” Lydia gives a perky little shoulder shake. “Three forms of Latin.”
“There, I can learn it from Lydia. Which I will have time to do after I get passed out of high school tomorrow.”
Derek huffs. “You should definitely study Latin with Lydia but you can’t just drop out of high school.”
Stiles gives his sentinel the scathing look that his statement deserves. “It’s not dropping out if you’ve finished all the required course work. It’s graduating early.”
“Fine. You’re right.” He continues before Stiles can crow about his success. “But you only get to do this once, Stiles, so make the most of it. I could almost regret you going into this bonded because you will miss so much of it, but I could never regret you being in my life. I need you. So, just, do this. For me?”
Stiles deflates and looks to Lydia. He could still push for his way if he has back up, but Lydia is slowly caving under a heavy dose of sincere sentinel eyes.
He huffs right back at his sentinel and nods. Fine, they’ll do it Derek’s way.
The Archive isn’t that bad.
Okay, the dust is bad but seeing four big, bad sentinels in little white dust masks and gloves is kind of hysterical.
Most of the Archive is in really good shape. There just hasn’t been anyone updating and filing everything away for at least 15 years. And they need little binder-divider-storage things. More shelving wouldn’t go amiss either.
The sentinels get busy stacking and lining up boxes of records by date. The two guides on station start the research.
It was surprisingly easy to get Derek to agree to let Lydia dive into the records with his guide. Stiles figures it’s because Derek was much more comfortable with Parrish than he was with Scott. Is it the age thing? Or maybe they went to school together?
Stiles and Lydia pour through the oldest records they could find. They went all the way back to the founding of Beacon Hills and start throwing facts back and forth for the sentinels and each other.
“Apparently Beacon Hills was founded by a bonded pair, which we knew, Guide Deacon Smith and Sentinel Balthazar Hale.” Lydia said at one point. “Beacon is a contraction of Balthazar and Deacon.”
About twenty minutes later, Stiles asks, “Do you know why the settled here?”
Lydia shakes her head in response.
“They mention here something called Nemeton Point. There’s a map.” He holds it up. “We can check it out later. Probably.”
“What’s a Nemeton Point?”
“Sounds like it’s a nexus point for ley lines or telluric currents. Whatever those are.”
“Telluric currents or Earth currents are extremely low frequency electric currents that travel over large areas at or near the Earth’s surface. They can travel over ground or through the sea and are influenced by both human behavior and nature.” She frowned at the lot of them when they froze and looked at her. “What? I read.”
Stiles clears his throat. “Judging from the map there are seven of them on Earth. Guess who holds four?”
Lydia leans over his shoulder. “That one is Beacon Hills. That one has got to be Sheppard’s Dale, Virginia. I’m going to guess the one in France is whatever the Argent’s named their complex and the one in China is the Suns’?”
Stiles nods, that’s his guess, too. “I wonder if we should point these out to the minor clans in the Southern Hemisphere?”
“I wonder if the map is still accurate.”
Their departure had been delayed. Eppes-Edgerton had demanded more gear both to help with their investigations into the accusations against John and just in case they are stepping face first into a war because what besides a guide gone crazy could destroy the entire First Expedition? Answer: war.
Landry had balked at both the supplies and the delay, but the expedition’s leaders had the backing of Sandburg-Ellison and the President so the General couldn’t deny them what they wanted.
It’s Sunday afternoon before Liam goes through the wormhole with nothing but a P-90 strapped to his chest and a backpack full of vacuum packed clothes.
As a member of the forward guard, he has to be mobile.
The first thing that hit him on the other side of the wormhole is John’s panic. He’s pretty sure it is John’s panic anyway. His brother’s scent profile has changed since they were last together but it isn’t completely wrong or anything. More like as if he had bonded?
Liam shakes his head to clear it.
The room they stepped into was beautiful. It’s done in a strangely metallic blue and an actually interesting shade of brown. The stairs in front of him have cool looking runner lights that Liam is pretty sure are some form of Ancient, but he couldn’t begin to tell you what they say. Directly up the stairs, there is a huge bank of multi-color pane glass windows that is flanked on either side by more stairs leading up into bright and open balconies.
Most importantly the room is full of people. So much for a ‘murdered expedition’.
All around the room, he can pick out science and military uniforms matching those sent with the first wave. Mixed in with the expedition members are people adorned in rather roughly hewn clothing and wielding very advanced, very alien looking weapons.
He can hear Sumner on the radio, trying to talk back through the wormhole because holy fuck! This is not what they expected! All Sumner gets back through the radio is static.
Are they being jammed? Are radio jammers a thing? Can they do that?
John’s boys, Darius and Damon, get the soldiers coming through the wormhole to focus on getting the supplies and other soldiers coming through the wormhole organized and out of the way, just like they trained.
Members of the original expedition hustle forward to help and direct the newcomers.
Sumner smells furious.
Eppes-Edgerton smell vindicated.
The remaining officers and sentinels smell at least five different kinds of confused.
Liam doesn’t know any of the others well enough yet to be sure who is feeling what but there is a broad range of emotional smells filling the room. Curiosity, excitement and fear are the most prevalent.
John Sheppard himself is standing up on the balcony to the right of the gate. Behind him, with one hand on John’s shoulder, stands a huge dreadlocked sentinel whose scent matches the changes Liam can detect in his brother.
The gate winks out behind them and Liam spares a moment in his staring to hope that was the full thirty minute interval they planned on.
A small, blonde female sentinel pushes her way through the crowd, pulling a larger brunet male guide in her wake. It’s been about a year but Liam still recognizes them as Dr. Sam Carter and her guide, Dr. Daniel Jackson.
“Jonas?” Jackson questions the new expedition’s language asset, sounding more than a little lost.
The younger guide looks to his predecessor and nods earnestly. “I’m here to rescue you.”