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Story Data

Posted July 25, 2011

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Series: Eureka Moments

Title: Where The Streets Have No Name

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG.

Summary: Jack wouldn't put it past the crazy geniuses he policed to find a way to make any lyrics dangerous if they put their minds to it. 1000 words.

Spoilers: Eureka 4.12 "Reprise"

Notes: Kind of a missing scene, including a secondary character we haven't seen in awhile. Title is, of course, a famous '80s song; dialogue about it somewhat paraphrased from Wikipedia.

"What? You're kidding me," Jack said, as Fargo filled him in on the identity and song choice of one of the last affected residents.

"Nope. Didn't you know she was a U2 fan? For shame, Sheriff," Fargo replied, with a little chuckle. Then he cleared his throat. "Um, gotta go; Deputy Andy's calling in again."

"Thanks, Fargo." Jack rolled his eyes as he ended the call. Seriously, for all Fargo had matured since he'd landed in the hot seat at G.D., he could be such a little kid sometimes.

It was hard to hold it against him this time, though, considering that for once no one had died as a result of the scientific mishap of the week. They hadn't even lost any valuable assets, except for Jo's house; G.D. had come out of their encounter with Dr. Marten several billion dollars richer.

Now they just had to make sure that the casualty count stayed at zero. They'd tried to track down those who might be influenced by the neurolinguistic programming to act out on dangerous lyrics first, but there were a lot of music fans in town, and Jack wouldn't put it past the crazy geniuses he policed to find a way to make any lyrics dangerous if they put their minds to it. Thankfully, most of them had stuck to fairly literal transferences of song titles or choruses so far, so he didn't think he had to worry about walls collapsing or things burning down in this case.

He looked up at the signpost of the nearest intersection to test his theory. Yep; it looked like she had gone for the obvious interpretation. Now he just had to figure out how to track her down. She'd be able to find fodder for her new crusade practically anywhere within the town grid.

Though, if he had to guess... Jack turned in the street, scanning the buildings around him until he had a good idea of where he stood relative to the dry cleaners. If he were the song-fueled scientist with a yen for street signs, and that was his starting point... he spun around again, heading for the next street over.

Two streets up and several blocks further down, he finally spotted his quarry perched atop a painter's ladder. A black nylon backpack had been propped at the base of the ladder, partially unzipped; several strips of green-painted metal were visible inside, and judging by the way she was wielding her high-tech multi-tool thingy another was about to join them.

"Hey, Callie," he called cautiously, not exactly eager to startle her given her uncertain footing.

"Oh, hey, Jack," she called back, throwing a distracted smile over her shoulder.

"Got something against Coriolis Loop?" he asked, gesturing up at the sign.

"Oh, just the usual," she said with a casual shrug.

"And that would be...?"

She sighed, turning back toward him to gesture with the tool. "You know," she said. "It's not Coriolis Loop per se, it's the whole concept of what a street sign signifies. Where you live in this town says a lot about how much power you have at G.D., have you noticed? It's just like anywhere else. Street names are just one more sign of the arbitrary divisions that negatively distinguish us from our neighbors, and Eureka is supposed to be about advancing the human condition, not carrying old faults forward. If I'm going to live in the present, I want it to be a present I can live with, you know?"

Callie's voice grew more and more passionate as she spoke, and Jack smiled a little, reminded of why he'd tried to date her, once upon a time. There hadn't been enough spark there to overcome his feelings for Allison, but that had been his fault, not hers. "Yeah, I get that," he told her. "But it is kind of illegal, and I'd rather not have to arrest you for theft of traffic signage."

"I'm not stealing them. I'm liberating the residents from the artificial social framework enforced by their addresses!" she exclaimed, finally wrenching the plate loose.

"If you say so," Jack soothed her. "I'd still prefer if you could liberate yourself from that ladder, at least. You're not supposed to put your weight on the topmost step, you know."

"Going to arrest me for that, too, Sheriff?" Callie laughed brightly. But she did take one step down, and then another, until she was on the ground, stooping to slide the pilfered sign into the backpack with the others.

"Nah... just going to ask you to listen to something a little less catchy than your usual playlist," he told her, approaching with a specially programmed iPod in hand.

She blinked at him, a line of puzzlement forming between her brows, but paused in the middle of folding up her ladder enough to accept one of the earbuds he offered. "If you say so," she said gamely, inserting it into an ear as Jack started up the counter-NLP track for her.

She blinked again, then slowly widened her eyes as she listened, staring down at the backpack at her feet. "Oh," she finally said, a little blankly. "Um. Gee, this is awkward."

"S'okay," he offered reassuringly. "It happened to a lot of people today. Well, not the sign thing; but the acting out on things they'd never normally do. Though I wouldn't turn down an offer to, say, make it up to the town with a little community service?" He gestured toward the multi-tool still in her hand.

She blushed. "Yeah, I'll just... get right on that. Thanks, Jack."

"Just doing my job," he told her, shrugging.

"Yeah." Callie's smile slipped a little as she turned and busied herself with the ladder again.

Yeah. Speaking of awkward.

Time to call Fargo with the success... and head for Café Diem and Jenna. It was still Jack's day off, and Allison would be home soon. It wouldn't hurt anything to let Andy take care of the rest.


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