|"Ironically, her internal clock stopped as the world devolved to chaos."|
Title: Time Stands Still
Part One: Prologue
Series: To Be Determined
Crossover: Joan of Arcadia and Jeremiah
Author's Note: I've wanted to write this for years. I finally threw the plan out the window and started typing. No, I don't know where it's going anymore!
Beta: Not Yet.
Feedback: Please, rip it apart! I really mean it! Go for the throat! Nicely? I'm a process writer and strongly believe in revision. While this is not a 30 minute first draft (oh dear, more like
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, it belongs to someone else. (In other words, I'll beef up the disclaimer a bit later. I know Jeremiah was developed for Showtime by JMS, and JOA created by Barbara Hall and Eric Kripke for CBS). Plot is mine. Song lyric is from "Time," sung by Chantal Kreviazuk. What If It All Means Something. 2002: Hit Factory Studios, Sony; NY.
Time Stands Still
'Time, Where Did You Go?'
...Old World Song Lyric
She once told Him that she didn't want to grow up. Ironically, her internal clock stopped as the world devolved to chaos. In retrospect, the war against Ryan Hunter served to exercise her organization and delegation skills more than anything else. Exercise, as in another training exercise to prepare her for the greater Evil soon to be unleashed in the world - something so insidious that without her friends, Joan would have missed it altogether. Hints from Ya-Ya, Him, or not.
Too soon, the Big Death left behind a world full of children without parents, without comfort, and without hope. Joan quickly, and painfully, learned she couldn't save them all, but could try to save as many as possible. With help, she could create a safe place for them. Some, sadly, didn't want to be saved. Determination and resilience drove her in her tasks. Ripples led to this? None of it made sense to her and His direct hints seemed to come less frequently the more frantically she worked. She felt angry; She tried not to blame Him. She didn't learn for many years that this Evil was created by humanity.
In the Old World, they called her Joan: sub-defective teen and daughter of the Art Teacher the Police Chief. In the New World, they called her Saint Jane: Keeper of the Children's Sanctuary, Sister of Luke and Grace, Friend of Adam and Emissary to the Seer Helena, and Hope for Every Child in The World. The order was a tall one for her to fill, but Joan was going to do her best even though the Ryan Hunters of the World were still out there trying to stop her.
Saint Jane always seemed to know when to rescue groups of children from impossible situations. No one knew who she was; no one could describe her, except say she was a young girl or woman. This was immutable.
As the Old World ended with the Big Death, nearly every human soul who reached puberty and above died. Some were immune, some were locked away in special research facilities, and some reacted to the virus in unexpected ways.
Jeremiah always heard tales about Saint Jane as he searched for his father and Valhalla Sector. She inspired hope and longing in every lonely child that day-dreamed about her, waiting for her or his rescue. She was like Wendy from Peter Pan, flying happy children off to Never Never Land, where they would never go hungry, or hurt again. After his brother died, Jeremiah wished and wished for this story into fruition, clapped his hands for Tinkerbell - not that she had anything to do with Saint Jane, or Saint Jane had anything to do with Wendy, really - hoping that she would come and take him away from the hurt and salve his grief.
Eventually, fairly quickly, he figured out the fairy tale for what it was. Reports spanning fifteen years stated Saint Jane as a young girl, sometimes like Snow White (all pale skin and dark hair), sometimes like Cinderella (blond and blue eyes), and sometimes like Jasmine (sultry green eyes, olive skin, and a flying carpet). Jeremiah personally liked the Wendy and the Lost Boys story best, but point was none of it was real. Nothing like the Children's Sanctuary ever scouted true on any of his or Markus' maps. Of course she and the whole business was one honking fairy tale. No one rescued anyone these days; you had to rescue yourself. At least Jeremiah knew Valhalla Sector existed, or did at one time.
Annoyingly, Kurdy (secret philosopher, poet, and fish thief) insisted that Saint Jane was a secret African Princess who transported those she rescued to the Dark Continent by magical portal. While eating some of his stolen fish that first night, Kurdy regaled him with a childhood tale about 'Jane of the Jungle', proceeded to vocally slaughter a jaunty tune in homage, and waited for some kind of applause with a mischievous smirk. Jeremiah didn't take the Saint Jane legend personally anymore, so Kurdy survived his stolen meal.
Irony plays out in many forms, because before Jeremiah came to Thunder Mountain, meeting the real-life Wendy of Never-Never Land was the last thing he expected.
to be continued...