Twenty-One: Heaven and Earth
not possible!” Daisy insisted for possibly the
tenth time in as many minutes. “It’s just
tried to tear his eyes away from the angrily bubbling
lake boiling away in the center of the cavern, but found
he couldn’t help but stare at the way the inky
mass of water churned and undulated like something alive;
alive and very pissed.
I think you might have mentioned that before,”
he told Daisy, as the ground lurched violently beneath
their feet and more rocks fell from the ceiling. He
yanked the girl to his side, covering her head with
his arms as chunks of the cavern rained down all around
need to get out of here,” Sam said. “Right
now. This place is gonna shake itself apart and if we
don’t end up crushed to death we could end up
trapped. Or boiled alive. Or steamed. Or…”
Dean offered, just as jets of fire started to shoot
up from the surface of the water, reaching up for the
cavern ceiling like hellish fountains of flame.
eyes widened as she shook herself loose from Dean’s
protective hold and backed up a step. “That’s
Yeah, we got that.” Dean agreed, grabbing the
archaeologist’s arm once again and pulling. “C’mon
Indiana. Time’s up.”
once, Daisy didn’t even protest, allowing Dean
to pull her away from the lake as if she had no independent
will of her own.
jets of flame shot up from the surface of the water
as they turned to haul ass out of the cavern, dodging
falling rock while picking their way blindly toward
the exit, the ground doing its best to lurch right out
from under them.
temperature was rising exponentially, steam rapidly
filling the distance between their current position
and the faint sliver of daylight which seemed to be
moving further away the faster they ran toward it, the
clamorous hiss of water boiling to vapor behind them
echoing off the cavern walls as the flames rose higher
and higher with each thud and judder of the rocky ground.
glanced behind him once to ensure Sam and Zach were
still following, shoving Daisy in front of him as they
finally breached the entrance to the cave. He sucked
in a welcome lungful of fresh if dusty air, his hand
still firmly wrapped around Daisy’s arm as she
doubled over, breathing heavily, his grip seemingly
all that was keeping her from faceplanting on the cracked
ground at her feet.
cover of allowing Daisy to recover her breath, Dean
held his position at the entrance to the cave until
Sam and Zach emerged behind him, himself breathing a
little easier when he saw his brother was safe and in
okay?” he asked throatily, Sam only managing a
weak thumbs up in return as he coughed dust out of abused
Dean pushed Daisy in front of him, making his way as
quickly as he was able back down the haphazard pile
of displaced rock toward Daisy’s dig site, doing
his level best not to slide down on his ass.
Daisy seemed as sure-footed as the proverbial mountain
goat, Dean stumbled a couple of times, the rocks juddering
beneath his feet as the ground continued to rumble,
steam billowing out of the cave entrance behind them
as they slip-slid their way back down onto terra firma.
as firma as it was likely to get with Earthquake
Girl trying to shake them to pieces without even knowing
she was doing it.
that was fun,” he remarked, trying to catch his
breath as his lungs protested the heat and dust with
which they’d been assaulted in the last hour.
“Remind me to add that to my list of Things Never
To Do Again.”
herself from Dean’s iron grip, Daisy pulled her
cellphone from her jeans pocket, holding it up and examining
it with a frown, even as the quaking beneath their feet
once again began to lessen.
are you doing?” Dean enquired as calmly as he
was able, glancing over his shoulder as Sam and Zach
finally drew level with their position.
didn’t even look at him. “Getting my legs
waxed,” she snapped irritably. “What does
it look like I’m doing?”
blinked, stepping back unconsciously before throwing
a look in Zach’s direction. “She always
this friendly or is it just me?”
take it personally,” Zach said, shaking his head
as he tried to get his breath back. “She gets
testy when she’s scared.”
shot a glance at him. “I am not scared!”
she insisted, clenching her jaw. “And I’m
not testy either! I just think maybe we need
some help.” She cast a withering look in Dean’s
direction. “Professional help.”
nodded. “Oh yeah, you definitely need professional
help, sweetheart,” he agreed.
Sam put in.
can’t get a signal,” Daisy announced, pointedly
choosing to ignore Dean completely. “And I think
it’s time I called a couple of my colleagues from
Stanford.” She shrugged, heading off toward the
Jeep. “I have a satellite phone in the car…”
made to follow her, but Dean caught his arm, lowering
his voice in an effort to avoid Zach overhearing what
he was going to say next. “She gets scared, the
ground starts shakin’?” he observed. “And
now she’s not in danger—at least for now—the
quaking stops? All by itself?”
glanced over at Zach, who was following Daisy back in
the direction of the Jeep and the dig site. “Pretty
big coincidence, huh?”
huge coincidence!” Dean gestured toward
the crack stretching from the dig site to the mountain,
and to the bones erupting from the earth along its entire
length. “Just like her finding these weird-ass
bones just as her funding’s about to be cut.”
sighed. “I guess she was pretty desperate to find
something to validate her research,” he conceded
reluctantly. “And this is a damn significant find
in anyone’s book.”
in the nick of time,” Dean agreed. “I dunno
man, maybe this is all a set up—the bones, the
cavern, the quakes…”
tilted his head to one side uncertainly. “This
is a pretty elaborate hoax, Dean,” he observed.
“Especially for someone working alone. I mean
that lake? Blowing a hole in the side of a mountain?
Seems pretty extreme to me…” He scratched
the back of his neck thoughtfully.
sighed, nodding grudgingly. “Little Miss Sunshine
over there doesn’t exactly strike me as the con
artist type either.”
shifted slightly, his sneakers scuffing the dusty earth
beneath his feet. “There’s another possibility,”
he hazarded, eyes downcast as he worried his bottom
lip with his teeth.
psychic kid, right?” Dean guessed, nodding. “One
that survived that flunky Eli’s little Psychic
nodded slowly, eyes gradually rising to meet Dean’s.
“Like Kyle, or Nathan Cole, maybe? They both somehow
escaped Lucifer’s notice when he put an end to
Haris’ little science project back in Wyoming.”
heard of a Big Bad called Duffield before,” Dean
heard of a Big Bad called Cole, either,” Sam pointed
out. “We still have no idea who Nathan Cole was
Dean suggested. “She oughtta get a one way ticket
to Hell for that Dawson’s Creek song
sighed. “You’re no fun sometimes, Sammy,
you know that?” he said. When Sam just frowned
at him, he shifted his feet uncomfortably. “Yeah,
okay,” he conceded. “So how come Lucifer—or
Haris, for that matter—wasn’t interested
in Kyle or Nathan?” He grinned brightly. “I
mean, seriously, that whole tornado thing Nathan had
going on? Was awesome!”
shrugged. “Maybe—” he began slowly.
“Maybe they’re from some diluted branch
of a cursed family,” he suggested. “You
know how we’re pretty much descended right down
the male line from those Winchesters—”
Sam confirmed. “And it was the same story with
Alyssa Medina, Matthew Teller, Matthew Ismay, David
Mitchum, right?” he added. “Well maybe Daisy’s
cursed ancestor lived hundreds, maybe thousands of years
ago; maybe her ancestral line has become so diluted
that she just escaped Haris’ notice—”
Kyle and Nathan.”
she’s powerful enough to cause earthquakes.”
if that’s true,” Dean said, “there
could be hundreds of psychic kids still out
there we don’t know anything about.”
Sam agreed, the two of them just standing looking at
each other as they considered this worrying possibility.
silence was finally broken by Zach ambling back toward
them, his hands stuck firmly in the pockets of his jeans
and a worried look darkening his features.
man.” Sam clapped him on the shoulder reassuringly.
raised an eyebrow at the question. “Well, as far
as Daisy getting to her satellite phone? Yeah, she’s
talking to a couple of guys she knows from Stanford
right now—a geologist and a marine biologist.
Should be here within the hour.”
that’s good—right?” Sam hazarded.
smiled tightly. “Sure,” he agreed. “But
the whole ‘burning lake, girlfriend causing earthquakes’
scenario? Not so much.”
man, it might not even by Daisy—” Dean began.
no?” Zach interrupted him testily. “Like
when she got mad at me for bringing you guys here and
a damn chasm opened up at her feet?”
took a breath. “Sometimes,” he said slowly,
“these things run in families.” He glanced
quickly at Dean before continuing. “You—uh—know
anything about Daisy’s background? Her family?
Where she’s from?”
frowned minutely. “She’s from Louisiana
originally,” he told them. “Her dad’s
a dentist. Does that help?”
really,” Dean mumbled.
about her mom?” Sam asked, frowning pointedly
at his brother.
wonder Haris never bothered with her.”
shot his brother a “that’s not
funny” look, just as Daisy herself approached
from the direction of the Jeep, excitedly waving her
a signal!” she proclaimed, grinning a little maniacally,
and Dean couldn’t tell if she was jittery because
she was scared or because she was excited. Enthusiasm
sparkled in her eyes as she bounced eagerly on her toes.
“We got ourselves a little expedition out here,
gentlemen!” she burst out. “My colleagues
are real excited!” Her attention slid to the side
of the mountain, where the steam billowing from the
cavern entrance seemed to have lessened. “This
is such an amazing find!” she mused.
“It could really make my career.” Her voice
sounded faraway as her brain skipped ahead twenty years.
Suddenly her focus snapped back to the present and to
her companions, a huge grin splitting her face in two.
“Let’s see Professor Atherton try to cut
my funding now!”
exchanged a loaded glance with Sam, who merely shrugged
and turned his attention to his feet.
huffed. “Sweetheart, we just watched a hole get
ripped in a mountain in case you hadn’t
grin widened. “I know! How awesome is
shook his head hopelessly before persevering on regardless.
“Kinda convenient, though,” he said. “All
of this. Couldn’t have happened at a better time
for you, right?”
narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. “Meaning?”
shrugged nonchalantly. “Well you gotta admit,
it’s pretty lucky—you making the archaeological
find of your career just as your project’s about
to get mothballed.”
eyes flashed and she strode right up to him, hands on
her hips and chin sticking out as she stood on her tiptoes
and did her level best to get in his face.
the archaeologist was about as intimidating as a Chihuahua,
Dean had to give her bonus points for attitude.
are you trying to say, Dr. Venkman?”
the girl demanded, her mouth drawn into a tight white
inclined his head in Sam’s direction. “He’s
Venkman,” he informed her. “I’m Stantz.”
know, you keep casting aspersions and I am so
gonna wipe that smug smile off your face, pretty boy!”
it your best shot, Indiana,” Dean returned,
pulling himself up to his full height and proceeding
to loom over her threateningly. “I’m kinda
partial to aspersions as it happens. What are you gonna
do, make the earth move for me?”
virtually growled at him, baring her teeth as she stubbornly
stood her ground and prepared to launch another verbal
assault in his direction, just as Sam stepped smoothly
between them, one hand on Dean’s chest, the other
on Daisy’s shoulder.
hey, time out!” he insisted, pushing them apart
hastily. “This isn’t helping!”
started it!” Daisy whined.
not,” Dean retorted.
Kids! Enough!” Sam echoed Daisy’s earlier
intercession in his best teacher voice, shoving Dean
back a step before turning back to the archaeologist.
“Look, don’t you think it’d be better
if we pooled our resources here rather than getting
into a pissing competition with each other?”
I’d kick her ass at that too!” Dean insisted.
“You just don’t have the plumbing, baby!”
made another lunge toward him, Sam catching her arm
and holding her back. “Hey!”
looked up at him, her cheeks flushing as she breathed
hard. “Did you hear what he was accusing me of?”
wasn’t accusing you of anything,”
Sam assured her, soothingly. “Believe me, Daisy,
we’re not making any judgments or any accusations,”
he continued, throwing a look in his brother’s
direction. “Are we, Dean?”
shrugged. “Nothing wrong with a few aspersions…”
he grumbled under his breath.
shook his head at him. “Look, we need to work
together here. You two think you can do that?”
hesitated before nodding grudgingly. “I suppose.”
not in kindergarten, Sam.”
kiss and make up.”
grimaced. “I’d just as soon kiss a wookiee,”
she informed him, causing Dean to snort loudly.
can arrange that,” he told her, glancing meaningfully
in Sam’s direction before turning his appraising
gaze back toward the diminutive archaeologist. “Star
Wars fan huh? Maybe you’re not so bad after
no Han Solo, buddy,” she informed him haughtily,
tossing her ponytail dramatically over her shoulder
before her expression softened a little bit and her
lips twitched into a reluctant smile. “Although
Zach tells me you pretty much drive Chevy’s version
of the Millennium Falcon…”
better believe it, sweetheart!” Dean informed
her, matching her grudging smile with a grin that was
probably the closest he was going to get to a peace
offering. “And much as I love hanging out with
you here in—uh—Tatooine, you think maybe
we should head back to the Jeep? I guess that’s
where your geeky friends will be meeting us?”
nodded. “I guess.” She paused for a second
before turning and beginning the trudge back in the
direction she’d just come, leading the way as
Sam and Zach followed, Dean bringing up the rear. “But
only one of them is a geek,” she added,
eyes twitching in Zach’s direction.
young man sighed. “Everyone loves the tall, handsome
marine biologist,” he muttered under his breath.
“It’s the hair, right? I guess blonds really
do have more fun.”
it, even you have a crush on him,” Daisy
frowned at her while Sam took advantage of the girl’s
improved mood, quickening his pace until he was matching
Sam began casually. “Where you from, Daisy?”
archaeologist cocked a suspicious eye in his direction.
“Lafayette,” she replied cautiously. “Louisiana.
was Sam’s turn to shrug. “Just passing the
time of day,” he returned innocently, and from
the look on Daisy’s face Dean wasn’t at
all sure the girl was buying it. “So how about
your family? They still there?”
eyes narrowed as her suspicions became even more heightened.
that got to do with anything?”
had to admit, the expression of innocent enquiry that
crossed his little brother’s features just then
was pretty damn masterful.
was just wondering, that’s all,” Sam explained
with a guilelessly dimpled smile. “Y’know,
Duffield. Where have I heard name that before? You have
any famous or—” he chuckled, “—infamous
ancestors I read about in a history book or something?”
stopped dead, looking up at him as if he was completely
off his meds. “Why the hell would you want to
know that?” she demanded.
seemed momentarily taken aback, but recovered quickly.
“History buff,” he explained with another
freak is more like it,” Dean added smoothly,
and Sam nodded, grateful for the assist.
you two sure got the ‘freak’ part down,”
Daisy muttered, spinning on her heel and resuming her
path toward the Jeep.
caught up to her again, seemingly undaunted by the girl’s
distrust, and Dean had to admire the kid’s perseverance.
“You know, we traced our ancestors all the way
back to the Winchester family—”
the rifle,” Dean butted in.
cast a glance at him over her shoulder. “You must
be so proud,” she commented, raising an eyebrow
at him before turning her attention back to Sam, who
threw her another innocently encouraging smile. She
sighed resignedly. “No,” she said at length.
“No famous forebears in my family. Or infamous
ones.” A lopsided smirk crept across her face
as she added darkly, “Well not that I know of.”
nodded, and Dean was kind of relieved his little brother
seemed to be letting the subject drop. The last thing
they needed was Daisy getting pissed off at them and
going all Earthquake Diva again. That kind
of “rock ’n roll” Dean could certainly
trudged on in silence for a few minutes, finally arriving
back at the Jeep just as Dean risked asking, “So
these friends of yours—”
be here within the hour,” Daisy supplied.
think they’ll be able to figure out what the hell
just happened in there?”
hoisted herself up into the Jeep’s driver’s
seat, sitting sideways with her legs dangling out the
open door. Her eyes shifted to the chasm yawning open
from the dig site to the base of the mountain and she
shrugged one shoulder noncommittally. “I’m
not sure there is an explanation.”
leaned against the side of the car, following the direction
of her gaze. “At least there’s no more steam
coming outta there.”
was too weird, man.” Sam shook his head. “I’ve
never seen anything like that—”
caught his eye and raised an eyebrow. “Not since
happened in Leicester?” Zach asked a little nervously.
really don’t wanna know,” Dean told him.
don’t?” Zach didn’t sound entirely
don’t,” both brothers told him simultaneously.
know,” Daisy put in suddenly, for a second seeming
to be talking to herself before her distant gaze snapped
back to her companions and she laughed sardonically.
“Maybe this really was the site of Creation,”
she said. “Maybe God—or Coyote—or
whoever—is angry at us for disturbing such a sacred
explain why it’s surrounded by the bones of angels.”
Sam sounded way more serious than Daisy had. He shrugged.
“Y’know—to scare the masses away from
huffed. “Not sure there was anything ‘holy’
about what we just saw in there,” he observed.
“C’mon, lake of fire? That’s Old Testament,
in Hellfire?” Daisy snorted derisively. “You
think that was a Hellmouth we just saw? Guys, hate to
disappoint you, but Buffy really was just a
TV show y’know. And this certainly isn’t
Buffy…” Dean seemed to drift off for a second,
before suddenly exchanging a nervous glance with his
brother. “You don’t think…?”
he began, letting the rest of his sentence tail off
into a tense silence, Sam worrying his bottom lip with
his teeth for a second before replying.
nodded, the brothers holding each others’ gaze
as if Daisy and Zach weren’t even there.
earthquakes,” Dean said. “When we were in
the mountain. Almost sounded like—” He paused,
took a slow breath before continuing. “Almost
sounded like somethin’ was trying to bust through…”
man,” Sam whined. “That was so not fun the
Daisy held up a hand to silence them. “You guys—”
She looked from one to the other, the disbelief growing
in her eyes. “I mean, you don’t actually
think it’s called ‘Mount Diablo’ because
the Devil lives here, right?”
the Winchesters exchanged an uneasy glance, Sam laughing
nervously. “Of course not,” he assured her,
not sounding quite as convincing as he had clearly hoped
do you think, we’re idiots?” Dean asked,
before suddenly adding, “Don’t answer that,
raised an eyebrow and seemed about to toss a rejoinder
in Dean’s direction, but was cut off by Sam’s
cunning distraction technique.
why is it called Mount Diablo?” he asked, the
sincere innocence once again flooding his carefully
guileless face; although from the amount of research
Dean had seen the kid do in the last few days, he was
pretty sure his little brother already knew the answer.
really want a history lesson now?” Daisy
asked a little incredulously.
spread his hands in front of him. “We got an hour
till your friends get here,” he said with a shrug.
y’know, know your enemy,” Dean added shortly.
better to have all the relevant information before you
go rushing into something,” Sam amended, casting
Dean a pointed look.
what I said,” Dean protested.
shrugged. “Well,” she began. “If you
really want to know… The mountain got the name
‘Mount Diablo’ in 1805 when some Chupcan
Native Americans escaped from the Spanish into a nearby
willow thicket, seeming to disappear into nowhere. The
Spanish dubbed the place ‘Monte del Diablo’
or ‘Thicket of the Devil.’” She grinned
mischievously. “‘Devil’s Woods.’”
Dean glanced at Sam, whose eyes had already flickered
in his brother’s direction.
along the line,” Daisy continued, “the Anglos
misinterpreted the name as a reference to the mountain
itself, rather than the woods nearby, and the name just
stuck. Certainly, by 1850 General Mariano Vallejo had
romanticized the engagement with the Spanish just a
little bit. In a report to the California State Legislature,
he had the incident taking place on the mountain itself,
where he claimed the soldiers saw an ‘unknown
personage decorated with the most extraordinary plumage,’
which caused the Spanish soldiers to turn tail and run,
believing the Natives had allied themselves with the
laughed at the ridiculousness of the whole story, and
Sam and Dean smiled awkwardly whilst exchanging a dark,
almost impenetrable look.
Devil, huh?” Dean said lightly, still looking
pointedly at Sam. “Lucifer right here on this
little ol’ mountain?”
have thought?” Sam returned, fake smile slipping
barely suppressed a shudder, all traces of humor suddenly
gone from his lowered voice. “Man, if this is
one of Lucifer’s old stomping grounds,”
he said, just loud enough for Sam to hear. “We
could be in serious trouble.”
only a story,” Daisy assured them breezily, glancing
distractedly at her watch. “There’s no such
thing as the Devil.”
brothers smiled at her, even as their gazes slid warily
to the mountain.
Dean said slowly. “No such thing…”
* * *
to their word, it was about an hour later that another
Jeep bounced along the uneven ground toward their position,
kicking up plumes of dust in its wake.
spent the time keeping one eye on the mountain and another
on the park, simultaneously looking out for park rangers
and civilians alike, neither of whom, thankfully, seemed
interested in inspecting the damage caused by the earthquakes.
Which was odd in itself, Dean mused, almost as if the
trembling had somehow been confined to the area around
the mountain itself and no one further afield had felt
Dean knew that wasn’t possible.
quake the magnitude of the one that had ripped a hole
in the side of the mountain? That would have been felt
had told them other little snippets of Mount Diablo’s
history as they hung out by the Jeep and waited for
reinforcements. But when Sam had again tried to wheedle
a little more personal information out of her, she had
been skillfully evasive to the point of making an excuse
to go check out what was left of her dig site, Zach
hard on her heels like an over-protective puppy.
didn’t get the impression Daisy was being so evasive
deliberately; more like she’d rather be discussing
her work than her personal life, and he really couldn’t
blame her for that. Not everyone had Winchester-sized
skeletons in their closets, but for a lot of people
the past, family, these were places they weren’t
overly-anxious to visit, especially with strangers they’d
met barely a couple of hours earlier.
knew from personal experience that there were chunks
of time in his own life he didn’t discuss with
anyone, not even Sam: November 1983 for one, and the
couple of years that followed. From what he remembered,
that had not been the most fun period of his life, much
like the time Sam had been away at Stanford.
course, there were always reminders everywhere he looked
of the parts of his past he’d really rather forget.
Like the giant Stanford University logo adorning the
hood of the Jeep which squeaked to a halt a couple of
feet away from Daisy’s somewhat older vehicle,
two figures inside barely visible through the sudden
sandstorm churned up all around it.
Jeep’s passenger alighted and approached them
first, a small hamster of a man in his late fifties,
with a thick thatch of auburn hair set atop a wide head
and little round glasses that magnified his dark eyes
to unnatural proportions balanced lopsidedly on the
end of his pudgy nose.
stuck out his hand as he approached them, and Dean couldn’t
help commenting, “You called Scooter from The
Muppet Show for help?” even as Daisy cast
him an irritated glance.
nice. He’s one of Stanford’s top geologists—an
expert in his field.”
Anthony Maynard,” the little man introduced himself,
shaking Sam’s hand a little too enthusiastically
before moving on to Dean’s and finally Zach’s,
who he suddenly squinted up at before wheezing out a
rasping laugh. “Oh, but I already know you, don’t
I my boy?”
smiled broadly. “Yes sir,” he confirmed.
“Zach Warren. I’m Daisy’s—”
yes, yes, I remember now,” the Professor agreed
distractedly, already turning his attention back to
Sam and shaking his hand all over again. “And
Sam began, and Dean wasn’t sure whether his kid
brother was nonplussed by the little guy’s odd
behavior or merely tongue-tied at finding himself once
again in the presence of an honest to goodness Stanford
University professor. “Winchester. Sam Win—”
Winchester! Good strong family name!” the professor
commended him, finally letting go of him, although his
body continued to shake even after he’d stopped
eagerly pumping Sam’s hand. “So exciting!
So exciting!” he twittered, bouncing over to Daisy.
“What a day, my dear! What a day! And what a find!
A hole in the side of Mount Diablo you say? Giant underground
lake? My my, I’ve not seen this much excitement
since Mrs. Maynard decided to wear a negligee on the
night of our thirtieth wedding anniversary!”
and Zach glanced at each other a little uncomfortably
while Dean positively beamed at the little man.
Scooter, you’re gonna have to tell me that story
stared at him for a second before bursting into raucous
guffaws of laughter, slapping Dean enthusiastically
on the back before leaning into him conspiratorially.
“My boy, maybe you and I should get together and
raised a wicked eyebrow. “I expect I could learn
a thing or two, huh?”
professor opened his mouth to make a suitable boast,
but his eyes suddenly skittered to the figure approaching
from the Jeep, and he was scuttling off toward him in
an instant, Dean apparently already forgotten.
my boy, come, come, there are boiling lakes afoot!”
newcomer strode toward them out of the settling swirls
of dust, a powerfully built blond man almost equal to
Sam in height, broad shouldered and slim with startlingly
grinned warmly as he approached them, eyes twinkling.
“Winchesters!” he greeted them heartily.
“Nice to see you boys again in a warmer climate!”
blinked once, twice, for a second imagining the man’s
handsome face shrouded by the hood of a parka, snowflakes
on his eyelashes and settling into the stubble on his
chin. “Holy crap!” he burst out, which was
followed almost immediately by Sam’s amazed,
marine biologist nodded in confirmation, pulling Sam
into a rough bear hug before slapping his back so hard
Dean half expected his little brother’s teeth
to shoot out of his head.
a long way from Canada, my friend!” Jon observed,
shaking Sam’s hand as he pulled away slightly.
you’re a long way from Norway!” Sam returned.
“What are you doing here?”
Dean interjected. “What the hell’s a Norwegian
marine biologist doing in California of all places?”
turned to face him suddenly, eating up the distance
between them in two long strides.
Winchester, it’s been too long!”
braced himself and barely disguised a flinch as Jon
pulled him into a powerful embrace before literally
yanking him off his feet a couple of inches.
he managed to splutter out as the air was knocked from
his lungs. “We mere mortals need oxygen, remember?”
dropped him with a massive grin, his teeth startlingly
white against his newly-acquired California tan as he
turned back toward Sam. “Your brother’s
shrunk in the sunlight, Sam,” he said. “Look
how tiny he is without six layers of clothing!”
glanced down at his t-shirt and jeans, an affronted
grimace puckering his forehead. “Hey…!”
his legs weren’t so bowed he’d be as tall
as us normal-sized guys,” Sam commented, positively
beaming at his brother, who shot a venomous scowl in
‘Hey!’ applies to you too, Gigantor—”
Daisy held up a hand suddenly, stepping between the
big Norwegian and the even bigger Winchester. “You
guys know each other?”
snorted dryly. “Yeah, what are the odds?”
damn phenomenal I’d say,” Zach put in.
Sam agreed, still examining Jon thoughtfully. “Me
huffed. What was going on in Sam’s giant thinky
brain now? “C’mon, man, you don’t
time we met was out in the middle of nowhere on the
Canadian tundra,” Sam pointed out. “Now
we randomly bump into each other in the middle of nowhere
California-style, right where ‘weird stuff’
is going down?”
It sounded lame, even to Dean’s ears.
intervention?” Jon offered.
looked at him. “Don’t tell me you got religion
since the last time we met?”
what I saw in Canada,” Jon informed him wistfully,
“I believe anything is possible.” He smiled
playfully. “And when Winchesters are involved?
Anything can happen and frequently does.”
cocked an eyebrow. “What happened in Canada?”
was met by an awkward silence, Jon finally replying,
“I’m still not sure I know.”
nodded, glancing from Sam to Dean. “More ‘weird
what we do,” Dean replied with a half-smile before
deftly changing the subject. “So what are
you doing here, Frodo?” he asked, glancing sideways
at Sam. “Not that me ’n Samwise
here aren’t happy to see you…”
frowned at him. “You realize that makes you Gollum,
right?” he suggested archly.
let’s not be nasty!” Dean said defensively.
“I’m not the one called you ‘Samwise’
in the first place!”
a helluva lot more sense than ‘Frodo’!”
was being ironic! He’s tall, dude!”
call me short one more time and I’ll kick your
ass all the way back to Canada, Sasquatch—”
and whose army, Shorty?”
Jon cleared his throat pointedly, and the brothers instantly
ceased their bickering, eyes downcast like a couple
of naughty schoolboys.
you two are just like an old married couple,”
senile old married couple,” Zach agreed.
Winchesters glanced at each other sheepishly before
Dean coughed awkwardly and repeated his earlier question.
“So Volsung. What’s a nice marine biologist
like you doing in a place like this?”
amused smile faltered a little. “I’ve been
working at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Center out
at Pacific Grove,” he explained. “I was
brought in as a consultant a couple of months ago when
the researchers there noticed the ocean’s temperature
had risen a couple of degrees above what is usual for
this time of year. They didn’t think much of it
at first, but the temperature kept on rising over the
next few days, the water for a hundred square miles
gradually becoming hotter and hotter, until a day ago,
when it finally became superheated.” He took a
breath and swallowed. “Yesterday I stood and watched
as the Pacific Ocean boiled. All the marine
life in the area is dead or dying. It’s catastrophic,
and whatever’s doing it, it seems to be affecting
a hundred mile stretch of coast from the San Francisco
Bay area down towards Monterey Bay.”
scrunched his brow. “What the hell could cause
something like that?” he asked.
coughed politely and the group’s attention shifted
to the diminutive professor. “That was why
I was consulted,” he put in, puffing out
his chest a little. “I believe there might be
some kind of geological explanation for this marine
plate shift, right?” Dean hazarded, causing the
group’s attention to swing back in his direction,
Sam’s mouth hanging open a little. Dean shrugged
dismissively. “What? That motel we stayed in when
you had chicken pox got the Discovery Channel.”
quite right my boy,” Maynard confirmed. “It’s
possible the North American Plate shifting against the
Pacific Plate has caused volcanic activity beneath the
ocean’s surface, causing the water to become superheated.”
about the lake we found?” Daisy put in. “The
one underneath Mount Diablo?”
face collapsed in on itself, and it took a second for
Dean to register that he was laughing.
my dear, that’s just not possible,” the
professor insisted. “Mount Diablo is situated
between two converging earthquake faults and is the
result of subduction—the Pacific Plate sliding
beneath the North American Plate, which causes the earth
to buckle and push rock upwards. The earth becomes compressed,
and the mountain is formed by this displaced rock being
pushed outwards and up. Big caverns like the one you
described on the phone would only be carved out by water
erosion, and as far as I’m aware there’s
no flowing water beneath this part of the Diablo range,
hasn’t been for thousands of years…”
held out a hand in the direction of the mountain. “Take
a look if you don’t believe us, Scooter,”
he said. “Unless all four of us were experiencing
some kind of group hallucination, that lake’s
it was boiling,” Sam added. “Just like the
* * *
was relieved to note the lack of steam billowing from
the cavern’s entrance as he and their little recon
think the quake caused the water to boil?” Dean
asked, glancing back in Sam’s direction as he
stepped into the humid darkness. “That’s
why it stopped? Because the quake stopped?”
shrugged. “Either that or—”
no water left to boil.”
was staring down into the cavern as Sam drew level with
him, and the younger brother let out an involuntary
gasp at the sight which met his eyes.
boiled away,” he said quietly. “The whole
lake boiled away!”
is that even possible?” Dean asked, eyes still
fixed to the damp cavern floor which continued to steam
about as possible as the lake being here in the first
place,” Sam commented, as Daisy pushed past him,
deftly elbowing both brothers out of her way.
the hell…?” she said, making to rush down
to the floor of the cavern just as Dean caught her arm
and held her fast.
possibly,” he commented, raising his eyebrows
at Sam as he inclined his head toward the center of
the cavern. Previously submerged beneath the lake and
still partially obscured by hazy white steam, they could
just about make out the rocky floor of the cave appearing
to slope downwards into what looked like a giant funnel
culminating in a bottomless black pit perhaps twenty
feet in diameter. “You know if I didn’t
know any better,” Dean said slowly, “I’d
say that looked like—”
sinkhole,” Sam agreed uncomfortably. “Just
like back in Leicester.”
glanced from one to the other of them. “What the
hell happened in Leicester?” she demanded, a little
more forcefully than Zach had earlier.
happened,” Dean told her shortly.
blinked at him.
the Spanish really did see the Devil here all
those years ago,” Sam observed. “Dean, if
this is another Hellgate—”
Daisy echoed, choking off an almost hysterical laugh.
“You guys are kidding, right? Please tell me you
don’t believe this is an actual Hellgate?”
When both brothers continued to gaze at her levelly,
not the slightest trace of humor on their faces, she
blinked blankly at them. “Oookay,” she said,
backing away from them slowly, hands raised in mock
surrender. “Well when you boys decide you need
a ride back to that mental ward you escaped from, you
just give me a holler.” She shook her head in
disbelief before rolling her eyes and turning away from
them, striding purposefully over the still-steaming
ground toward the center of what had previously been
seemed to fight the urge to pull her back, biting off
a snarky retort and instead glancing over at Sam, who
was once again chewing his bottom lip thoughtfully.
do we?” the older brother asked, his
voice lowered as Sam met his gaze with a frown. “Do
we believe this is a Hellgate?”
was about to offer an answer, but hesitated as Jon,
Zach and Professor Maynard emerged into the cave behind
goodness!” they heard Maynard burst out. “This
really is quite extraordinary!”
guys better come see this.” Daisy’s voice
floated back through the cloud of steam into which she’d
disappeared, and the Winchesters approached her position
cautiously, the steam beginning to thin despite the
heat still radiating up through their feet.
sinkhole was clearly visible, the rock funneling down
into the bottomless blackness still shiny with moisture,
and if he hadn’t seen the water boiling for himself,
Sam might have believed someone had pulled a giant stopper
out of the hole and the lake had merely drained away.
were right about them being arranged in a pattern,”
Daisy told him. “It’s a ring—look.”
boys followed the direction of Daisy’s pointing
finger to where the receding waters of the lake had
revealed more unnaturally white bones scattered around
the circumference of the basin.
perhaps wasn’t the right word, Sam realized, noting
that even though the water had been so violently removed
from the lake, the circle of bones remained unbroken,
the remains spread evenly and regularly and with quite
happened here,” he pronounced slowly, eyes never
straying from the circle of bones. “Something
makes you say that?” Daisy asked. “These
bones? You think they were left like this to keep the
to keep something in,” Sam agreed darkly.
a devil’s trap,” Dean said, seeming to catch
on to his brother’s line of thinking. “You
think that’s what this is?”
a devil’s trap?” Daisy interjected, the
brothers continuing their conversation as if she’d
not even spoken.
shrugged. “I dunno, Dean,” he said slowly.
“But why else would someone arrange these bones
like this?” He let the question hang, and Dean
took a breath.
why was there nothing like this at Leicester?”
the older brother asked uncertainly, his brow crinkling
in contemplation. “If—if someone—something—left
why not do the same in Leicester?” Sam finished
for him. “If this works the way I think it’s
supposed to, then that would certainly have stopped
the souls of the dead from escaping as soon as—”
he coughed, eyes flicking to Daisy, whose gaze was bouncing
between the two of them like a spectator’s at
a tennis match. “—Ferinacci’s little
construction crew had finished forcing their way up
to the surface.”
nodded thoughtfully. “And that begs another question,”
he pointed out. “Who the hell put this here?”
why?” Sam agreed. “Why here
and not Leicester? There have always been rumors that
Leicester was the site of the Eighth Gateway to Hell,
but here? Beyond the Creation lore Daisy mentioned,
there’s nothing to indicate this as the location
of a Hellgate.”
almost as if someone expected the bad guys
to try and bust out this way.”
turned his gaze onto Daisy, who was still staring right
back at him, her expression a little nonplussed, as
if she couldn’t work out whether the brothers
really were nuts or—perhaps more worryingly—
really were serious.
felt oddly relieved when Zach appeared behind her, gently
placing one hand on her shoulder and deftly turning
her away from the Winchesters, refocusing her attention
on the nearest skeleton and lowering himself down next
to her as she carefully began to examine the exposed
bone. He said something to her, too low for Sam to hear,
his hand moving gently between her shoulder blades,
and she smiled shyly, ducking her head a little.
clenched in Sam’s chest, his jaw tightening.
Dean said, breaking in on his thoughts. “If something
happens here—like Leicester—with civilians
know,” Sam agreed, not for the first time marveling
at his brother’s uncanny ability to know exactly
what he was thinking. Sometimes he wondered who the
psychic was supposed to be here. “We need to get
them away from this place.”
was not going to be an easy task, considering professor
Maynard had already scuttled excitedly to the brink
of the sinkhole while Jon was busy collecting samples
from the shallow puddles of water still lurking between
the cracks and crevices of the uneven floor.
is quite incredible,” Maynard proclaimed, peering
into the darkness before squatting down and beginning
to scratch at the rock with a pocket knife he seemed
to have produced from thin air. He held the knife up
to his nose, beckoning the boys toward him as he gingerly
sniffed at the blade. “Sulfur,” he announced,
eliciting an uncomfortable look to pass between the
two of them. “Look, it’s everywhere.”
He gestured around him with the knife, indicating the
floor and the walls of the cave which, now that their
eyes had adjusted to the murky light, they could clearly
see appeared to be coated with a distinctive yellow
shook his head a little, running a finger along the
rock at his feet where the coating of sulfur seemed
most concentrated. “I really wouldn’t expect
to see sulfur in a non-volcanic region such as this,”
he said. “Not at these levels of concentration
anyway.” He stood back up, stretching slightly
as he nodded at the cave walls. “Potassium nitrate,”
he said. “Saltpeter. Now that’s
something I’d expect to find crystallizing on
the walls of a cave such as this one. But sulfur? That’s—”
he paused, searching for the right word, “—unusual.”
in our line of work,” Dean muttered, Sam suddenly
catching him by the arm and pulling him sharply out
of the professor’s earshot.
older Winchester seemed about to protest Sam’s
manhandling, but was abruptly silenced by Sam’s
urgently whispered, “Sulfur, Dean! What if this
is another Hellgate?”
just looked at him, shifting from foot to foot uncomfortably
as the lines deepened between his eyebrows. “Sam—”
mean, what if Lucifer’s trying to build
another Hellgate? To replace the one we destroyed in
blinked dumbly at him for a second. “Is that even
possible?” he asked at length. “I mean,
can he just build another exit outta the Pit whenever
he feels like it?”
don’t know, man. But that earthquake—it
didn’t exactly feel natural, did it?”
that makes it supernatural?”
you gotta admit, that thumping noise sounded way too
much like construction work to just be the manifestation
of Daisy’s bad temper.”
I guess if Lucifer’s got his minions trying to
blast a hole through the earth’s crust, that could
maybe account for the ocean—and the lake—boiling
away,” Dean agreed reluctantly. “Whatever
they’re using to force their way out of Hell,
it’s gonna be generating a helluva lot of heat.”
He rubbed his hand over his chin as he surveyed the
cave around them thoughtfully. “So maybe our little
archeologist isn’t quite the earthquake magnet
with think she is.”
focus drifted to Daisy, who was still intent on the
remains scattered around her. “Maybe…”
he said slowly. “But I wouldn’t rule it
out just yet.”
wicked grin inched its way across Dean’s face.
“One way to find out,” he said brightly.
“Next time there’s a tremor, see if you
can make the earth move for her!”
just looked at him, attempting to dismiss his brother’s
less-than-subtle innuendo with a well-placed eye roll.
“Dean, that’s so not funny,”
he snapped, even as his cheeks colored. “You know
it doesn’t just—I can’t just—
turn it on like that—”
I refuse to believe any brother of mine can’t
just turn a girl on at the drop of a hat.”
continued to grin at him infuriatingly, and Sam merely
huffed. “Dean, we could be looking at a demonic
invasion here,” he snapped. “Focus for a
am focused!” Dean protested innocently. “You’re
the one with your mind in the gutter! I just meant,
y’know, use a little of the Force, Luke! Give
her a taste of her own medicine!”
Hellgate. Demons. Lucifer.”
shrugged dismissively. “Look, there’s nothing
coming out of this hole, right?” he pointed
out. “Except for, y’know, a little fire
and brimstone. There’s no recently-departed spooks
hijacking unsuspecting passersby. And no demons. And
there’s sure as hell no Lucifer—”
if the bones are acting as a devil’s trap—”
still be able to see the demons trying to get out of
the Gate. They just wouldn’t be able to get past
supposing the bones are supposed to work like
a devil’s trap.” Sam sighed, raking his
fingers through his hair. “Hell, they might not
even be angel bones.”
shook his head, casting his gaze around the grizzly
circle of remains. “But if they are?”
he said, pausing before asking his next question. “Sam,
what the hell could kill an angel?”
angel,” Sam replied shortly. “Or at least,
maybe a fallen one.”
shrugged. “Maybe this is some kind of battle site.
Maybe these are the earthly remains of the angels who
died. Daisy did say some cultures used to leave the
remains of the fallen on show as a warning…”
warning against what?”
Disobedience. Dean, if this was the site of a battle
between angels—between rebellious angels—and—and
those loyal to—”
Dean shook his head. “Sam, come on. I’m
not even sure I buy into the whole ‘angel’
deal, but God? Seriously?”
just think about it,” Sam insisted. “The
bones, the cave… This could be it, man!
The place where they fell!”
and his followers. This could be the place where they
were cast out—where they were thrown into the
Pit after they rose up against Heaven—”
whoa, whoa, wait a second there, Sparky!” Dean
held up his hands. “You’re talking about
the Fall? Lucifer’s actual Fall from
Heaven? Like in the Bible stories?”
we’ve met Lucifer! We know it’s
not just a story!”
You think God left these bones here to discourage
shrugged. “Maybe. According to the legends, many
of Heaven’s army were lost during that battle.
And it would also account for why this site
is so closely guarded. Why there’s a devil’s
trap of angelic remains surrounding it. Why we’ve
not heard about it before.”
I’m still not sure—”
Sam continued excitedly. “Dean, think about it!
Maybe this isn’t a Hellgate at all! Maybe this
gateway was only ever intended to be used once.
And then only for a one way trip…”
raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Fallen angels check
in, demons don’t check out?” He paused for
a second to consider that. “And you think maybe
they’re trying to turn a dead end into a revolving
merely shrugged. “We’ve heard of crazier
thought about that for a second. “But still—angels?
C’mon, man. There’s no such thing.”
Lucifer was an angel! You’re telling me you
don’t believe in him now?”
opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before
finally shaking his head in disbelief. “Sam, you
can’t be serious about this!” he managed
at length. “The Fall? It’s just a story—a
wendigo?” Sam suggested. “Or werewolves.
How about chupacabra? Kikituk? Spring Heeled Jacks?
Radiant boys? Ghosts? Demons?”
okay!” Dean held up his hands. “I get the
picture!” He shook his head before muttering,
“Geekboy know-it-all,” under his breath.
“But come on, Sam. Angels?”
left these bones here like this, Dean.”
mean it was friggin’ angels!”
mean it wasn’t. If there’s demons—and
we know there’s demons—then it
stands to reason there have to be angels too.”
Sam scratched at his nose thoughtfully, eyes straying
back to the circle of unearthly remains before lighting
up suddenly. “You know what? Maybe demons are
repulsed by the remains themselves,” he hazarded.
“Maybe it’s not the pattern they’re
laid out in that matters so much. Maybe it’s just
their presence here that keeps the demons—”
He paused for a second. “Down There. Maybe this
was a way for those who fell in battle to continue protecting
their brethren. To continue protecting Heaven.”
He glanced around himself. “And Earth.”
tiny line of concentration crinkled between Dean’s
eyebrows. “Decomposing angel corpses would pretty
much make this whole place a no-go area for those of
a demonic persuasion,” he added thoughtfully.
“If the remains work the way you think they do.
Maybe there’s more to this than just the bones.”
considered that. “Organic material seeping into
the ground and making the whole area toxic to demons?”
He cocked an eyebrow at his brother, impressed by Dean’s
line of thinking. “That’d be pretty ingenious.
And could explain why these earthquakes—and their
side effects—are a hell of a lot more severe than
what was going on in Leicester.”
nodded. “Maybe they have to bring the whole damn
mountain down in order to destroy the circle of protection.”
Sam continued to nod thoughtfully. “Could be the
fault line,” he offered. “Maybe that’s
why they’re blasting away at it—in the hopes
of destabilizing enough of the area to completely eradicate
any trace of the remains. Neutralize the protection
they offer. Create a new Gateway to Earth…”
looked like a light bulb suddenly went off behind his
eyes. “The lake! Sam, the lake—if these
remains really did once belong to angels and
the remains seeped into the earth and into the lake,
then the water could have been—”
water,” Sam finished for him.
wonder they needed to boil it away.”
the ocean boiling—that was just a byproduct of
their destabilizing the fault line—they only needed
to get rid of the water here, but the heat
they’re generating superheated a couple hundred
miles of fault line into the bargain.”
about demonic overkill,” Dean commented, shaking
his head. “Okay, so if that’s what’s
going on here…” He trailed off, pausing
briefly before continuing, “Then how the hell
do we stop it?”
took a breath, folding his arms over his chest before
chewing nervously on a thumbnail. “I don’t
know if we can…”
demonic uprising? Kind of a bit above our pay grade,”
Dean agreed. “But it’s not like we haven’t
plugged up a Hellgate before.” His attention wandered
to Daisy, who had just passed between the two of them,
intent on a skull sticking up out of the ground a couple
of feet behind him. She was humming softly to herself,
even as she brushed gingerly at the ancient remains.
“Well at least someone’s happy in their
work,” Dean commented. “Y’know, considering
we could be on the brink of a Demonic Apocalypse and
laughed, not even looking up at him. “Yeah, Demonic
Apocalypse, sure,” she said, nodding sagely. “Whatever
you say, guys.”
not kidding,” Sam insisted, taking a step towards
we’re not nuts,” Dean added preemptively.
did look up at that. “But you really do
fight demons and monsters, right?”
glanced awkwardly at Sam, as if not entirely sure how
to answer that question, and Daisy merely inclined her
head in Zach’s direction.
tells me there’s a little bit more to you two
than just the poor man’s Ghost Busters.”
so much of the ‘poor man,’ Indy,”
Dean admonished her, turning back toward where Jon was
collecting water samples from the couple of puddles
that were all that was left of what would appear to
have been an entire lake full of holy water.
I’m sorry,” Daisy responded completely insincerely.
“Didn’t mean to wound your pride there,
made a face at her. “Hey, if I wanted to be insulted
I could go talk to Frodo,” he informed her. “In
fact, I might just do that!”
yourself out, sweetheart,” Daisy returned.
“Boring conversation anyway.”
no Han Solo either, baby!” Dean returned, and
Sam was fairly sure he could hear his brother’s
teeth grinding together as he stomped off in Jon’s
direction, stopping so suddenly he almost skidded on
the damp rock as Daisy resumed her humming.
back around, he was looming over the young archaeologist
before she’d even finished the first line of whatever
it was she was singing.
is that?” Dean demanded, glaring down at her.
looked up at him, frowning. “It’s a skull,”
she told him, indicating the remains she was busy uncovering.
“Alas, poor Yorick, y’know?” When
Dean didn’t respond to that, she added, “What
does it look like, pumpkin pie?”
rolled his eyes. “If only,” he breathed,
obviously struggling to maintain his patience with the
girl. “The song. The song you were singing.”
was Daisy’s turn to shrug. “Helps calm me
down,” she informed him dismissively. “You
know, when people are doing their best to irritate
the crap out of me?”
a nursery rhyme,” Dean informed her.
blinked up at him a couple of times. “Yeah? So
sue me! I happen to like it. It has sentimental value.
My mom used to sing me to sleep with it.”
swallowed, his eyes meeting Sam’s meaningfully.
“Yeah, mine too.”
a second, Sam was at a complete loss as to why Daisy
humming a nursery rhyme to herself should be completely
freaking his big brother out. It wasn’t like it
was any weirder than Dean singing Metallica to himself
when he got stressed, right?
Dean prompted. “Alyssa. When she wiped my memory
back in Phoenix. Dude, it’s the same song!”
blinked a couple of times. “The nursery rhyme?”
He cast his mind back, shuddering slightly as he remembered
that blank, scared look in his brother’s eyes
after Alyssa Medina had whammied Dean’s memory
right out of him.
got to her feet abruptly. “Hold on there, hotstuff!”
she interrupted. “My mom told me that nursery
rhyme’s an old family tune—been passed down
from generation to generation for, like, ever.
So I’m sorry, but there’s no way your mommy
used to sing it to you when you were a rugrat.”
raised an eyebrow. “Wanna bet?”
squared her shoulders. “Actually, yes,”
she informed him. “Seeing as it’s a song
about some cowboy who was, like, my great-great-great-great-something-or-other-grandpa.”
mouth fell open slightly, but all that seemed to come
out of it was air.
Claviger?” Sam jumped in, barely able to believe
what he was hearing. “Daisy, you’re related
to Emmanuel Claviger?”
crap,” Dean muttered, swaying on his feet a little,
as if this was maybe just one coincidence too many for
one day. And Sam couldn’t say he blamed him.
Daisy rolled the name around on her tongue, clearly
oblivious to Dean’s horror or Sam’s disbelief.
“Claviger…. Yeah, that sounds familiar,”
she said finally. “Not sure about Emmanuel, though.
Think I’d have remembered being related to someone
called Emmanuel. I think the name my mom mentioned was
Sam clarified. “James Claviger was your great-great-great—”
nodded. “Yeah, that sounds about right. My mom’s
glanced up at Dean, who had paled considerably. “Emmanuel
Claviger’s younger son,” he explained, his
mind’s eye trying to conjure up the details of
the complicated family tree he remembered drawing up
on a napkin in some diner back in Phoenix. “The
doctor. Shadrack Mann’s grandfather.”
raised an eyebrow. “Little Miss Earthquake’s
related to the old kook that gave me this?” He
fingered the amulet about his neck a little disconcertedly.
was back to glancing from one to the other of them in
turn. “Wait, wait, wait!” she insisted.
“How do you know all this stuff about my family?
I mean—I never met the guy, but I know there was
some swamp-dweller nutjob called Shadrack who my family
never talked about—” She paused for a second,
glancing at Dean’s amulet with the detached curiosity
of an archaeologist. “You knew him?”
inclined his head slightly. “Kinda.”
Sam stammered. “Sorta related to him too. Your
great-great-great-grandfather James Claviger? He was
the younger brother of our great-great-great-grandfather,
John Claviger. The cowboy in the nursery rhyme—Emmanuel—he
was their father.”
’round his neck…” Daisy murmured,
still examining Dean’s amulet. Gingerly, she reached
out to run her finger over the charm, pulling back in
surprise as something that was probably just static
crackled at her touch.
totally just static, Sam completely failed
to convince himself.
squinted down at the girl appraisingly. “You know
what this means, right?” he said, a grin slowly
teasing its way across his face.
looked up at him, her frown pretty damn threatening.
“You ever call me ‘Cousin Daisy’
you’ll be wearing your kneecaps as a hat, Bo,”
she informed him archly, tugging at the amulet meaningfully
and yelping as another crackle of electricity bit at
her fingers. “Dammit, what is that
mom ever tell you much else about Shadrack Mann?”
shook her head. “I told you—he was the family
you got that part right…”
gave you this?”
charm from the nursery rhyme?”
catch on quick.”
does it do?”
glanced over at Sam. “It’s kind of a protection
raised an eyebrow. “Can I have it?”
you’re a girl.”
Daisy looked like she might punch Dean’s lights
out, Sam stepped smoothly between them. “It’s
complicated,” he informed her. “Long story—”
take it off I die,” Dean added helpfully.
did a double take. “Hey, if you don’t want
me to have it, just say. I’m not stupid
the truth,” Sam interceded on Dean’s behalf.
“He really will die if he takes it off.”
squinted at him. “Seriously?” At Sam’s
nod, she blew out a breath. “What the hell was
crazy Cousin Shadrack into?”
complicated too,” Dean informed her.
complicated for a girl to understand?”
Daisy was grinning sardonically, but Sam could tell
from the confused look on Dean’s face that his
brother wasn’t at all sure whether she was being
serious or not.
never got to finish his sentence, a distant rumble turning
into a judder beneath their feet.
c’mon, Indy! Gimme a break! I was only kidding!”
scowled at him. “I told you, these earthquakes
aren’t my fault!”
the rumbling increased in volume, the ground began to
shake a little harder.
glanced at his brother. “This feel different to
you?” he asked over the growing cacophony.
so much a quake as a—vibration,” Dean agreed,
caught hold of Daisy’s arm as the ground lurched
beneath their feet, and for once she didn’t protest
as he began to draw her away from the hole in the center
of the cave.
Professor!” Sam called over to the two scientists
still examining the rim of the sinkhole. “I think
you’d better get away from there—”
words had barely left his lips when a column of flame
shot up out of the hole, Professor Maynard stumbling
backwards as Jon caught him and attempted to drag him
away to safety.
followed Zach’s gaze upwards, where the pillar
of fire was rapidly blackening the cave roof, orange
fingers scrabbling across the rock like vaults in a
flames on a nursery ceiling.
didn’t say anything, but he didn’t move
Sam yelled over the deafening rumble. “Dean!”
had taken it upon herself to start tugging at Dean’s
amulet again, the resulting buzz of electricity finally
succeeding in tearing his attention away from the dancing
flames above his head and returning him to the present.
think we need to get out of here,” he said a little
groggily, his voice oddly strained.
nodded his agreement, gagging as the noxious stench
of sulfur began to assault his nostrils. “Like,
yesterday,” he agreed. “Jon! We need to
unmistakable sound of screaming began to emanate from
the sinkhole, tendrils of anguished sound reaching up
from the depths of the earth to mingle with the flame
and the rumble of quivering rock, and Sam was vividly
reminded of Leicester, of the souls of the dead seeking
release from their eternal torment.
grabbed hold of the flustered professor, dragging him
back toward the Winchesters, both of them stumbling
as the ground seemed to lurch violently, a loud crack
rending the air above them as the rock began to crumble
and disintegrate below.
ran to their aid, catching hold of the professor as
Jon regained his footing, the ground tilting back toward
the sinkhole as rock and debris tore itself free and
bounced back down the slope, disappearing into the entrance
to the bottomless pit.
nodded as Dean made to pull Daisy toward the cave’s
entrance. “Go! I’ll help them!” he
assured his brother, but instead fell to his knees as
a crack formed right under him.
keeping a tight hold on Daisy, Dean reached out for
his brother as a strong wind shot up out of the sinkhole,
hot and violent as it began to whip and whirl around
them, the screams of the damned borne up out of the
Pit to reverberate off the cavern walls, even as the
whole mountain seemed to be shaking itself to pieces.
covered his ears with both hands, squeezing his eyes
shut as Dean and Daisy were thrown to the ground beside
him. But it wasn’t enough to block out the overpowering
noise or the heat or the smell, and he almost felt as
if he was being dragged down to Hell itself as the terrible
screams reverberated all around him and the noisome
whirlwind ripped at his clothes and his hair.
risked opening his eyes at the insistent tug on his
sleeve, Dean pointing toward the opening to the sinkhole
as dark shadows began to emerge from within the blackness,
resolving into vaguely humanoid shapes guttering within
the jets of flame still reaching up to the ceiling.
really need to get out of here…”
Dean stated the obvious, attempting to pull both Sam
and Daisy to their feet but failing spectacularly, the
young archaeologist seemingly rooted to the spot as
her eyes widened in terror.
Unable to form a coherent sentence, she pointed instead
to the edge of the bone circle, where the darkness itself
seemed to be moving, silhouettes and the shadowy suggestion
of something crawling up out of the sinkhole
and slithering toward the remains.
I really hope you’re right about this…”
Dean muttered, both Winchesters holding their breaths
as the dark shapes approached the bones…but ventured
was as if an invisible wall had been thrown up around
the sinkhole, rocks still bouncing and juddering back
down into the opening, but the emerging shadows unable
to pass any further than the ring of remains.
trap,” Sam breathed in relief. “Told you!”
right, Mr. Smartypants,” Dean said. “You
figured that out, can you figure out a way to stop the
ground shaking long enough to let us out of here?”
rest of Sam’s sentence was abruptly cut off as
an eerie white light suddenly began to cast even more
shadows onto the walls all around them.
first unable to pinpoint the source of the light, Sam
blinked hard in the direction of the sinkhole, where
the very absence of light seemed to be collapsing
in on itself as a blinding whiteness filled every inch
of the cave.
brighter and brighter as the darkness seemed to swirl
back down into the sinkhole, Sam screwed up his eyes
against the light which seemed to be emanating from
the bones themselves, pulsing and vibrating in concert
with the ground upon which they had lain undisturbed
for thousands of years.
felt Dean’s hand on the back of his neck, pushing
him and Daisy both down against the ground as a terrible
scream like a million souls giving voice to their unending
torment shredded the air above their heads and the light
became so blinding all Sam could see was white, even
with his eyes screwed tightly shut.
there was a sound like the absence of sound,
the opposite of sound, the light growing even brighter
until a deathly silence seemed to suck the air right
out of the cave and a bright white flash dissolved the
world around them….
the episode here