Chapter Sixty-Five

"What have you done with Laura?" Luke demands of Helena who stands smugly smiling at him. Stefan is physically restraining Jax who is ready to dismember the old hag and be done with it. Sonny, on the other hand, is realizing, for the first time, just how much he's underestimated Jax in the past.

"I want my wife," Luke tells Helena who seems to be feeding off the strong emotions coming from the men.

Stefan, with his understanding of Helena, alone seems calm. "Mother," he tells her. "This is not going to work. Years ago your schemes might have triumphed, but no longer. Far too many people know about you, about your evil plans, and they will not let you take over General Hospital, Port Charles, and certainly not the world." He takes one step forward after releasing Jax, and continues speaking. "You have hostages, but to no avail."

"I have Laura and Brenda. I have all the others and you can do nothing to stop me. If you even try, I'll have them killed immediately."

"Look around you, Mother," Stefan says. "What possible benefit will that be to you?"

"Logic and reason?" Helena snaps. "Did you think that I was unaware of all the others you'd brought into your plans? I knew about all of them. Don't you see, Stefan? You and I are approaching this from totally different directions. You appeal to all that is noble and self-sacrificing in others. I appeal to their inner desires, to their needs. If, for instance, I wanted Mr. Corinthos on my side, all I'd have to offer him is unlimited power here with Brenda Barrett at his side."

She looks at Sonny and says, "You understand that I have and will make available your entire operation to the authorities unless you join me. Think about it, Mr. Corinthos. You can operate with complete impunity, and have Brenda, or you can go down tonight."

"And all I have to do is to kiss your ***?"

"My ring will do," Helena smirks. "That is the way you show allegiance."

With a gloating smile, she turns to Luke who is shocked that Sonny is even considering the switch. "Luke, my old friend, I can grant you freedom. Complete freedom. You've been like a tamed lapdog these last couple of years. Running a blues club! A man like you born to live on the edge is wasted where you are. And, bored, I'll wager. You've really felt alive these past few weeks, haven't you? Testing your wits, dodging, conning, scheming-it's been fun, hasn't it?"

Uneasily, Luke nods, surprised to find himself in agreement with her. "So?"

"So, join me and add some spice to your otherwise mundane existence. You'll never completely trust me, nor I you, but the game....that's the thing for us, isn't it? Move, countermove. You and I need the challenge, don't we?"

"I need Laura," Luke remembers, almost as an aside. "Destroy her and ....."

"And you'll be liberated for the first time in years." Helena's voice drops almost seductively. "No more restraints, Luke. You'll have the freedom to be whatever you were meant to be. Nobody holding you back. Freedom, Luke. I'm offering you emotional freedom."


"No buts, Luke. She's lied to you, hidden her son, betrayed you with Stefan, and now expects you to die for her, after which she'll go to Stefan should he survive. Lesley Lu is Stefan's daughter, not yours. You have a son, Luke, and that's all."

Luke slowly nods, while Robert and Anna, and the others look on, aghast.

Helena continues, her voice soothing, persuasive. Almost hypnotic. "Just join me, Luke, and I can give you real freedom for the first time in your life."

"Don't listen to her," Robert tells him, coming to stand by his old friend. "She's evil incarnate, Luke. Luke?"

Staring into Luke's eyes, Robert is suddenly aware that there is something wrong. He turns to Helena, accusing. "You've used that Mind Altering Drug on Luke and on Sonny, haven't you? No way he'd ever buy into your plans, and you know it. No, Helena, it won't work this time, hostages or not."

But, Helena is still smiling. "Not even for Robin?" she asks, flipping another switch. This time, another panel glides aside, and we see Robin enclosed in a transparent capsule, strapped in place. Her eyes are wide, and as she sees her father, she mouths, "Dad! Mom?"

"What have you done?" Anna demands as she raises her gun again to Helena. "Let her go."

"Never," Helena smirks. "She's mine, and you are, too. You won't kill me because you know that Robin will die instantly if you do. Now, Sonny, Luke, take their guns and bring them to Faison. Oh, and Robert, I've promised Faison that Anna can stay with him. She'll be most amenable in the future."

"Not likely," comes a voice from behind Helena. "It's over, Helena," says Jason Quartermaine as he strides purposefully into the room. "You've screwed up enough lives, you miserable old *****. Yo'time is up!"

But, Helena continues smiling. "I think not. You see, I know about your accident, about your current job, and your entire family. And, I know that even if you hate everyone else, you'll never do anything to jeopardize your beloved grandmother."

This time, Lila Q is wheeled into the room, where she looks up at Helena. "You evil...."

"Can it, Granny," Helena snaps. She addresses the group. "Time to begin."

With a click on a remote, the panel which had concealed Robin slides aside and we see Laura enclosed in a similar capsule. "Now," Helena says, raising the remote control device she has.

Suddenly, Nikolas launches himself at her, shouting, "No!!! You can't do that!!"

But, Helena shakes her head with one swift move, levels her gun on him, only to gasp in disbelief as a shot rings out, and we see Lila with a smoking gun. Helena looks down, seeing the blood dripping from her right hand which is shattered.

"Don't call me Granny" Lila orders, coldly. "Jason, get the gun."

"Faison," Helena orders, tersely, "Do it!"

To the horror of the others, the capsules holding Laura and Robin appear to be filling with some sort of gas, and, both women double up, holding their sides.......laughing!!!

"The joke's on you," Stefan says, as Helena and her crew are swiftly disarmed.

"Yeah," Luke says, his eyes clear. "He who laughs last....."

And so it goes......Helena and her motley crew are out of business, and we learn that behind the scenes, Lucy Felicia, Mac and Jean-Pierre have been busily changing gas canisters, and carefully orchestrating the arrival of Port Charles' finest. Ryan has confessed to his part in the diabolical plans, and cleared Kevin's good name. Ned and Lois have reunited, making it apparent to one and all that their love can take anything the Q family can dish out, while Jason is left to deal with his current situation.

A Jason Q with all his memories intact can hardly continue working for Sonny, but he can't betray Sonny, either. Looks like PC University, then on to Medical School for him where he and Robin plan to set up practice together.

Sonny, seeing Brenda run into Jax's arms, is reconsidering the job that cost him Brenda's love-and Stefan has made him an interesting offer. Sonny C WSB? As Lucy would say, "Yikes!"

Lila has returned to the Q mansion with Reggie where they, with Stefan's blessing, are setting up a branch intelligence office in a hidden room off Lila's bedroom....

Robert and Anna are back, Mac has cheerfully given up the Police Commissioner's job and gone back to his PI office with Felicia-Scorpio, Scorpio and Scorpio, now that Anna has joined them.

Frisco and Jean-Pierre return to WSB business, and Collins-Coe The Wedding of the Year is being planned.

But, what, you ask, became of Laura?? One last scene--the camera focuses on her eyes, glowing with love and understanding, and with a smile on her face, she runs straight into his arms!!!! Hmmmmmmmmmm

And yes, dear reader, the choice is yours. Into whose arms did Laura run?