‘Fringe: Sins of the Father’ preview: Read excerpt from new novel

Aug. 22, 2014 | 3:11 p.m.
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Peter (Josh Jackson), right, battles Windmark (Michael Kopsa) for the fate of mankind in "An Enemy of Fate," the second in the two-part series finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Anna Torv as Olivia in "Liberty," the first in the two-part series finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Windmark (Michael Kopsa), left, and Commander (James Kidnie) decide the fate of the child Observer Michael in "Liberty," the first in the two-part series finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Josh Jackson), left, and Olivia (Anna Torv) prepare for a battle for the fate of mankind in "An Enemy of Fate," the second in the two-part series finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Josh Jackson) contemplates the plan to defeat the Observers in "An Enemy of Fate," the second in the two-part series finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) goes beyond traditional FBI investigation in the first episode of "Fringe." (Ben Mark Holzberg / Fox)

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John Noble, Anna Torv, Jasika Nicole and Joshua Jackson in a scene from the first episode of "Fringe." (Ben Mark Holzberg / Fox)

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Olivia (Anna Torv) finds herself trapped in a mysterious lab in "Bound," a Season 1 episode of "Fringe." (Craig Blankenhorn / Fox)

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Walter (John Noble) in "Inner Child," a Season 1 episode of "Fringe." (Barbara Nitke / Fox)

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A scene from "Inner Child," the introduction of a boy who later pays a key role in Season 5. (Craig Blankenhorn / Fox)

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Peter (Joshua Jackson), right, follows Olivia (Anna Torv) to a crime scene in "Bad Dreams," a Season 1 episode of "Fringe." (Craig Blankenhorn / Fox)

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Leonard Nimoy as William Bell, owner and founder of Massive Dynamic, in "There's More Than One of Everything," the first season finale of "Fringe." (Craig Blankenhorn / Fox)

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Peter, left, and Walter discuss research footage in the "Fringe" Season 2 premiere "A New Day in the Old Town." (Fox)

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The alternate universe is revealed in "Over There," the two-part Season 2 finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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The alternate universe is revealed in "Over There," the two-part Season 2 finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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A scene from "Over There," the two-part Season 2 finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Olivia (Anna Torv) in "Amber 31422," a Season 3 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Walter (John Noble), left, and Peter (Josh Jackson) investigate a victim at a crime scene in "Marionette." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Josh Jackson), left, and Olivia (Anna Torv) become part of Walter's experiment in "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide," a Season 3 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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From left, Peter (Joshua Jackson, Walter (John Noble) and Olivia (Anna Torv) help an injured man in "Welcome to Westfield." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Joshua Jackson, left, John Noble and Anna Torv in a Season 4 episode of "Fringe," "A Better Human Being." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Joshua Jackson), left, tends to September (Michael Cerveris) in "The End of All Things), a Season 4 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher/ Fox)

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John Noble in a scene from "The Consultant," a Season 4 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Walter (John Noble) investigates a crime in "Brave New World, Part 1," the first in the two-part Season 4 finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Nina (Blair Brown), left, Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia (Anna Torv) help a dying girl in "Brave New World, Part 2," the second in the two-part Season 4 finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Joshua Jackson), left, Walter (John Noble), Etta (Georgina Haig), Olivia (Anna Torv) and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) search for a hidden tunnel in the "Fringe" Season 5 episode "In Absentia." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Etta, played by Georgina Haig, right, confronts a Loyalist in the "Fringe" Season 5 episode "In Absentia." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Walter (John Noble), left, and Peter (Josh Jackson), revisit the Harvard lab in the "Fringe" Season 5 episode "In Absentia." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Joshua Jackson, left, John Noble, Anna Torv and Georgina Haig in "The Bullet That Saved the World," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher/Fox)

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Olivia (Anna Torv), left, is unaware of an Observer's presence in "The Bullet That Saved the World," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher/Fox)

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Etta (Georgina Haig) battles an Observer in "The Bullet That Saved the World," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher/Fox)

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Georgina Haig, left, battles an Observer in "The Bullet That Saved the World," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher/Fox)

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Etta (Georgina Haig), left, is found by Peter (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia (Anna Torv) in "The Bullet That Saved the World," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher/Fox)

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Walter (John Noble) follows clues that lead him to a pocket between the universes in "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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John Noble, left, and Josh Jackson in a scene from "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Diyah Pera / Fox)

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Walter (John Noble) retraces his steps for answers in "Through the Looking Glass and What Walter Found There." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Olivia (Anna Torv), left, Walter (John Noble), Peter (Josh Jackson) and Astrid (Jasika Nicole) find a device that could help their mission in "Five-Twenty-Ten," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Josh Jackson), left, and Windmark (Michael Kopsa) meet in an abandoned building in "The Human Kind." (Cate Cameron / Fox)

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Peter (Joshua Jackson) in "Black Blotter," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Cate Cameron / Fox)

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Jasika Nicole, left, and John Noble in "Black Blotter," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Cate Cameron / Fox)

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Joshua Jackson, left, Anna Torv, Jasika Nicole and John Noble in "Black Blotter," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Joshua Jackson), right, puts an electrocognitive translator halo on the Child Observer (Rowan Longworth) in "Anomaly XB-6783746," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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John Noble plays Walter in "Anomaly XB-6783746," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Jasika Nicole, left, John Noble, Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson in the series finale of "Fringe." (Liane Hentsche / Fox)

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Olivia (Anna Torv), left, watches helplessly as Michael (Rowan Longworth) steps off the train and into enemy custody in "The Boy Must Live," a Season 5 episode of "Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Joshua Jackson), left, and Olivia (Anna Torv) are upset by the Observer's story in "The Boy Must Live," a Season 5 episode of "The Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Olivia (Anna Torv) tracks Loyalists in "The Boy Must Live," a Season 5 episode of "The Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

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Peter (Joshua Jackson), left, and Walter (John Noble) tracks Loyalists in "The Boy Must Live," a Season 5 episode of "The Fringe." (Liane Hentscher / Fox)

Much in the same way its spiritual predecessor “The X-Files” paired the paranormal with the procedural, “Fringe” — the spectacular sci-fi series created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci that drew to a close last year — imagined a world in which the fantastic lay just beyond the grasp of an unknowing populace. But of the many alien, unnatural threats that intrepid agents Mulder and Scully faced on Chris Carter’s landmark 1990s drama, “Fringe’s” time shifts and visits to parallel dimensions weren’t among them.

Indeed, by the time its second season arrived, “Fringe” had established its own unique rhythms and preoccupations as its action centered around Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), an agent for the FBI’s Fringe Division, a covert operation set up to investigate extraordinary events, and her cohorts, the red-licorice-munching, off-kilter scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his brilliant and bold son Peter (Joshua Jackson).

Though the show concluded in January 2013, fans can return to the world of the series with a new novel, “Fringe: Sins of the Father.” Written by Christa Faust, the book opens in 2008, with Peter Bishop, estranged from his father, engaged in questionable activities in Southeast Asia. Fleeing for his life, he’s pursued by his past, and confronted by his future.

Read an excerpt from the novel, which arrives Tuesday, below, and click through the image gallery above for a look back at “Fringe’s” television run.

***

Peter had rented three different rooms in three different generic franchise hotels near the airport, using three different names and three different creatively obtained credit-card numbers.

In each room he’d stashed a go-bag containing a change of clothing, basic toiletries, a gun, a wad of American dollars, a fake passport, a cheap laptop, and a poker hand of clean credit cards. Those were an essential part of his repertoire, and it had taken him years to set up a reliable source.

He staggered into the first one he reached, and collapsed on the bed for several blank, blissful minutes, just breathing and enjoying not being dead. Once he got his heart rate down to something not too far above normal, he hit the minibar like a typhoon, downing several tiny bottles of booze in a row without bothering to check the labels, and then cracking an ice-cold Singha.

The cover of "Fringe: Sins of Our Fathers" by Christa Faust.

The cover of “Fringe: Sins of the Father” by Christa Faust.

He raised the bottle, toasting himself and the precious suitcase, and took a deep, heroic swallow. Simple beer had never tasted so good.

Flopping back down on the bed, he put the bottle onto the nightstand, pulled the last of the disposable cell phones from his pocket, and dialed a number he knew by heart. A woman answered.

“Hello.”

“Let me talk to him,” Peter said.

There was a pause, a muffled exchange, and then the sound of violent, incomprehensible Scottish swearing starting on the other end of the line. It became louder and louder, like the leading edge of a nuclear blast. When it hit, Peter had to hold his phone away from his ear.

Finally the roar died down.

“Hello, Eddie,” he said.

“That Peter Bishop?”

“Yeah, it’s me,” Peter said, sitting up on the edge of the bed. “I got your money.”

“Oh, you do, do you?” Eddie’s words became slow and condescending, as if he was talking to a child of questionable intellect. “And why should I believe you now,” he demanded, “as opposed to the forty-seven other times you said you had my money?”

“Because it’s right here,” Peter said patting the suitcase and putting the phone between his ear and shoulder so he could turn it to face him. “I’m looking right at it.” He unzipped the case.

There was a momentary silence on the other end.

“Tell me where you are, and I’ll send someone,” Eddie said. “And you’d best not be talkin’ out your fanny flaps again, because I’m runnin’ out of reasons not to kill you.”

As he said it, Peter opened the suitcase. Then he stared, slack-jawed and disbelieving, at its contents.

There were no briefcases.

“Bishop?” Eddie said, his voice full of suspicion.

In place of the briefcases full of neatly banded stacks of American greenbacks, there was a custom-cut gray foam liner. It was shaped to cradle a Plexiglas cylinder clearly marked with a red biohazard sticker. Inside of that, there was a single pinkie-sized vial with an orange cap and black hash marks to measure volume.

It was a little less than a quarter full of cloudy pink liquid.

“Let me get back to you,” Peter said, He disconnected the call before the Scotsman could launch into another wave of swearing.

 

Up in the empty suite on the thirtieth floor—the one that had been kicked open—Richard McCoy unbuttoned his stained Hawaiian shirt. Silence had descended on the otherwise empty floor of the hotel.

Nearby, Jones sat in a modern chair that had was more stylish than comfortable. The “police officers” had gone back into the fray, leaving the two Englishmen alone in the room.

McCoy peeled off the shirt, revealing the squibs stuck to the skin beneath. He used a damp towel to wipe away the sticky fake blood and adhesive. A thin trickle of silver flowed from a slight nick just above his left clavicle.

“Good thing they didn’t hit you dead on,” Jones said, arching a brow at the superficial wound.

“I don’t mind,” McCoy replied, pressing the towel firmly against the small cut.

“I’m not worried about your welfare,” Jones said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I’m worried about the welfare of our little puppet show. If you had really started bleeding all over the place, Mr. Bishop might have noticed that something was rotten in Denmark.”

McCoy nodded, dropping the towel and picking up a clean shirt from the bedside table. He slipped an arm into one sleeve.

“There were a lot of moving parts in this little drama,” he said. “Do you think he suspects anything?”

“No, overall I think it went well,” Jones replied. “Even with that annoying intrusion at the last minute.”

McCoy smiled.

“The game is on,” Jones added.

 

Peter set the phone down on the bedside table, beside the half-empty beer he no longer wanted. The phone immediately started buzzing, demanding his attention and scooching itself across the surface of the table. But Peter ignored it until it stopped, squinting at the mysterious vial inside the suitcase. That crimson warning sticker made his skin crawl, even though he had no idea what could possibly be in there. Blood plasma? A virus?

Some kind of deadly bioweapon?

Instinctively he edged away.

Whatever it was, great pains had been taken to prevent the vial from being broken. Which told him that whatever was in there, somebody didn’t want it to get out. Or maybe they didn’t want the outside world to get in.

The phone began to buzz again, and his mind turned to a more immediate concern.

Big Eddie. There was no way the mobster was going to understand what had happened. He wouldn’t even listen long enough for Peter to explain. No, he had to find a way to turn this around. Somehow…

He stared at the vial again.

How can I turn whatever this is into money, he thought, and as quickly as possible?

Peter considered himself to be a broad-minded entrepreneur, relatively unburdened by quaint, old-fashioned concepts like morality. It had been a gradual process, this erosion of the distinction between right and wrong. He’d progressed from harmless, penny-ante swindles—like faking an MIT degree—to identity theft and fraud, then to gray-market tech and smuggling.

Therein lay the answer to his current dilemma. He was sure of it. He was willing to sell pretty much anything to anyone—no questions asked—and was perfectly happy to rip off anyone dumb enough to let him get away with it. What was that old saying? A fool and his money are soon parted.

At least he hoped so.

He even was willing to sell someone a gun, knowing full well that if they were buying it from him, they weren’t planning on using it for target practice. But if this vial really did contain some kind of bioweapon, chances were anyone who would want to acquire it wouldn’t be using it to rob a bank, or teach a cheating husband a lesson.

No, if Peter went down that road, his carefully maintained, gray-shaded hat would go full-on bad-guy black.

It wasn’t that he was a bad person. He just applied a sliding moral scale to each caper. Of course, the scale tended to tip in his favor, whatever the situation. Yet he tried to avoid ripping off people who couldn’t afford to be ripped off. Fortunately for him, just about everyone in his world of shady dealings was just as selfish and “morally flexible” as he was.

But a virus wouldn’t distinguish between innocent and guilty. It wouldn’t even distinguish between the other guy and Peter. If it was deadly, and it was unleashed, it might kill him just as quickly and efficiently as Big Eddie.

There had to be another way.

Ignoring his self-preservation instincts, he made himself lean down close to the sinister vial, even though every inch of his exposed skin was screaming for him to stay as far away as possible. He didn’t even realize he was holding his breath until his head started to spin from the lack of oxygen.

There was a printed label on the inner vial. The letters were tiny and difficult to read, so Peter practically had to press his nose against the outer Plexiglas cylinder in order to make them out.

VN11-H2.

Then below that, a name: DR. JULIA LACHAUX.

Peter reached into his go-bag, pulled out the laptop, and swiftly helped himself to hotel’s overpriced Wi-Fi, searching for “Doctor Julia Lachaux.”

Bingo.

Lachaux was a scientist employed by the privately funded Center for Seizure Disorder Research. She was surprisingly photogenic for a scientist—a tall, leggy redhead with a curvy build and a warm smile.

And she was currently involved in a firestorm of controversy.

Doctor Lachaux was engaged in the development of a bioengineered retrovirus that supposedly held the key to a cure for epilepsy, a disorder from which she herself also suffered. There were several heartwarming stories about her tireless work to help kids with the debilitating condition they shared.

The controversy swirled around the rumor that the virus had been stolen. Reading that, Peter glanced at the vial.

“I think I can confirm it as true,” he muttered. Then he returned to reading. The posts were all infuriatingly vague about what the virus actually did, but one claimed that it “had the potential to overwrite DNA.”

He also found a post—about a week old—in which Lachaux denied the reports that her virus had been stolen, and assured the interviewer that even if it had been, there would be absolutely no danger to the public.

“Methinks the lady doth protest too much.” The more he read of her vehement denials, the less believable they sounded. And with good reason.

He dug deeper, and found the official site for the Center for Seizure Disorder Research. Their facility was impressive—upscale and well appointed, with top-of-the-line equipment. A far cry from what his father had used at times over the years. It seemed to be funded primarily by some movie star with an epileptic kid. Most importantly—to Peter anyway—it looked as if they would have enough disposable funds to pay handsomely for the return of Doctor Lachaux’s precious virus.

Maybe there was a way for him to profit from this mishap, after all.

Now that he knew what to do with his accidental cargo, Peter had to figure out the how. In essence, how was he going to smuggle a potentially deadly virus out of Bangkok and into the United States? Granted, it was less than three ounces, and would fit in a plastic baggie, but on general principle the Department of Homeland Security tended to frown upon that sort of thing.

He knew he wasn’t a terrorist. They might not be so certain.

Of course, he might not have to bring it to Doctor Lachaux’s doorstep. He just had to get it somewhere close enough that it wouldn’t be out of the question for her to come meet him.

Still, he wanted to try to avoid getting the international agencies involved, if at all possible. So “close enough” still meant the States. He’d have to figure out how to slip in unnoticed, and in a situation like that, there was only one person he could think of who might be able to help him with this.

Peter dialed another number he knew by heart. She picked up on the first ring.

“Tess,” he said, then quickly added, “Don’t hang up…”

But she did.

Crap.

This was going to require some persistence and creativity, along with a healthy dose of charm. Luckily, convincing a hostile ex to doing something dangerous was the kind of thing he did best.

***

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