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Trapped (3)

Artist: easytheregenius
Word Count: ~ 22.100
Summary: When a member of the crew goes missing, most of the stranded point their fingers at the obvious suspect who keeps claiming to be innocent. The crew is forced to work together and surprising alliances are forged to get Eli back.
Characters: Eli Wallace, Nicholas Rush, Everett Young, Camile Wray, Ronald Greer, Matthew Scott, Tamara Johansen, Chloe Armstrong, Sgt. Spencer, Adam Brody, Vanessa James, Dale Volker, Jeremy Franklin, Lisa Park, Airman Becker, Marian Wallace, OCs
Pairing: Chloe/Matt
Rating: PG-13
Spoiler: Air, Darkness, Earth, Time, Life, Human
Setting: Season 1 – after Life
Warnings: Violence, language
Beta: elaiel, who took on the task of beta reading the English version of this. artemis_neith who looked at the very first German version of this years ago – thanks for that and for the criticism that made the story better than it was before.
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Stargate Universe and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Chapter 2
Trapped Masterlist



The wonderful artwork for this story was created by easytheregenius. Please drop a comment for the coverart and banners.

***
***


3.



Nicholas decided around noon that he’d waited long enough.

His steps echoed in the corridor in which Young's provisional office was situated and he heard the Colonel curse softly before he entered the room.

“Dr. Rush,“ Young said with an expression that told him that he’d already awaited him – and was not looking forward to his visit. So the soft curse had been because of him.

Nicholas crossed his arms. “You’ve been wasting his time long enough now, don’t you think?“

Young frowned in confusion. “What?“

“Eli,“ Nicholas answered impatiently. “I need him in the control room.“

Young got up and came around his desk. “And you think that he’s running errands for me?“ He shook his head. “I’ve been waiting for him for hours now, myself. He was supposed to report to me this morning.“ The fact that he didn't tell Nicholas about what irritated him only more. He hated that Eli was permanently taking mysterious orders from Young. He wanted to know what was going on. Young crossed his arms. “What do you need him for?“

“Calculations,“ Nicholas snapped.

Young sighed. “Well, he’s not here.“

Nicholas snorted. “That much, I can see.“

Silence spread during which Young was staring at the floor and Nicholas out the window behind Young's desk. Finally, Nicholas said, “I’m going to check his quarters.“

Young nodded. “Tell me as soon as you found him.“ Nicholas narrowed his eyes and Young added, “I just want to make sure that he’s alright.“

Nicholas turned away, then he faced Young again to nod quickly before he left. Faintly, he heard Young mutter, “A lot of work.”

***

Eli wasn't in his room. Nicholas would have never admitted it openly, but a part of him was starting to worry. It wasn't like Eli to disappear without a message for longer than a couple of hours. And although he had to admit that the smoldering dispute between him and Young had reached its peak yesterday, putting Eli undeservedly in the center, it was unusual for him to just disappear. And telling nobody where to. Lieutenant Johansen and Chloe hadn't seen him, Scott and Greer were also clueless and the other scientists shook collectively their heads when Nicholas interrupted their work at their respective projects and asked for Eli. He'd officially not been seen for eleven hours and that was no longer just strange – it was alarming.

Nicholas entered Young's office without knocking. Miss Wray and Lieutenant Scott were sitting with the Colonel in the living area and stopped talking when Nicholas entered. Wray narrowed her eyes in annoyance at the interruption but Young didn't let her say a thing. “Found him?“

“No,“ Nicholas answered curtly, “nowhere. I searched the area we live in. Miss Armstrong and Miss Johansen helped me. Miss Armstrong told me that he was spending the night sleeping in her quarters and that he left even before she woke this morning. Nobody has seen him for approximately eleven hours.“

Young massaged his temple.

Wray frowned. “What’s going on? Who’s missing?“

“Eli,“ Scott answered.

“Eli?“ she repeated in disbelief.

“Theories?“ Young asked, not paying attention to her or Scott. He stared at Nicholas, who suppressed a sarcastic comment – at the moment, it was more important to work together.

“Maybe he went exploring a part of the ship we didn’t yet search – but he would have his radio with him and knows bloody well that no one’s supposed to go there without backup – or he’s somewhere around here and hiding. But I don’t think so. He’s got no reason to.“

Wray got up. “Apart from the fact that you two are treating him like a slave.“ She crossed her arms. She was small but with that expression on her face she made up for every inch. Nicholas had met marines on Icarus who were treating her with respect not just because she was a woman but because they actually had respect for her. As a representative of the International Oversight Advisory, she also had a certain degree of power although Nicholas frequently wondered why a woman with her intelligence and competence hadn't been climbing the ladder faster than one could say Stargate.

He respected her, but that didn't mean that they liked each other. Nicholas glared at her. “We're not.“

“Really? Every time I see him, he’s doing something for the two of you.“

Young said, “You’re exaggerating.“

Scott cleared his throat. “Excuse me, sir …“

Young nodded and Scott continued, “I noticed that Eli’s not working on his own projects like the other civilians on board, but he’s always in the control room with Dr. Rush or …“ Scott hesitated for a moment, glanced at Nicholas and continued, “… or he’s running errands for you.“ He seemed to realize what he'd said – and to whom – and he ducked his head. “Sir,“ he muttered his apology.

Nicholas shook his head. “That's no reason to just disappear.“

“I wouldn't worry yet,“ Scott said. “He's been stressed lately. Maybe he fell asleep somewhere.“

Nicholas looked at Young, not convinced, and Young didn't seem to be either. “Eleven hours?“ he asked.

Nicholas nodded.

Young cleared his throat. “Let's make it a full fifteen.“

Nicholas didn't like that one bit, but he nodded. He was hoping that Scott was right.

***

Everett wrapped the meeting with Camile and Scott up and walked to his desk. He read the list of complaints Camile and Scott had gathered and tried to come up with a way to improve the situation on board. They needed more food. The few fruits they were able to gather on the planets they visited were always gone fast. Water wasn't a concern at the moment. They'd found a river near the 'Gate on the last planet and had been able to form a line to the ship. Nine hours of hard work had proven to be worth it. The tanks were almost full.

Everett was just going through a bunch of complaints against Sgt. Spencer, when a knock sounded on his door. He raised his eyes. “Miss Armstrong.“

Chloe entered his office, a piece of paper in her hand. “Colonel, Dr. Rush told me that you haven’t started a search for Eli yet.“

Everett checked his watch. “Let’s give him a few hours. I’m sure it’s nothing.“

Chloe shook her head. “I’d like to start the search now.“ She handed him the note.

Gotta run. C U at breakfast. Thanks for the bed and the meal. Sorry for falling asleep.

The lower part of the note had been ripped off but Everett could still see the upper curves of some letters. When he looked up, Chloe was staring guiltily aside and tucked a few strands of brown hair behind her ears nervously. He suspected that she'd shortened the message. “I think he’s somewhere exploring the ship,“ she said when he looked at her questioningly. “He just left … maybe to do something for Dr. Rush.“

“Did you ask him about it?“

“I just remembered the note a few minutes ago.“

Everett got up. “Dr. Rush would have told me if he knew where Eli went.“ For once, he was sure about that. Rush seemed to be seriously worried about Eli. “But maybe he understands the note.“

***

“We were supposed to meet here,“ Nicholas said in confusion and stared at the note as if it could give him the answer. Then, an idea hit him. “That … that stupid boy. He wouldn’t …“ He turned away from Young and Chloe and called up a schematic representation of the Destiny.

Chloe looked at the holographic screen and sighed in relief. “You know where he is,“ she assumed.

“Maybe,“ Nicholas answered, distracted by his search in the database.

Young was getting impatient. “Rush?“

Nicholas called up the entry he’d been looking for and turned to face the screen. “I found this energy signature yesterday,“ he said, pointing at the screen. In the rear end of the ship, a small red dot was pulsating. “It vanished after a while. Eli saw it, too. We were just about to check it out when you interrupted us, Colonel.“

“What is it?“ Young asked with a hint of alarm.

“I have no idea. I postponed the reconnaissance after our argument and didn’t have the time to do it until now. There is something giving off energy readings, but the source is tiny. This is a record. The signature didn’t re-appear.“ He looked at Young. “I told Eli from the very beginning that no one should explore the ship alone. We just can’t know what’s in the unexplored parts.“

“Well,“ Young said, “Eli’s not the kind of guy who follows such rules. The internal communications system … I can be heard throughout the whole ship, right?“

Nicholas shook his head. “I limited the reach to maximize efficiency.“

“Undo it.“

Nicholas nodded and pressed a couple of buttons at the control unit before he activated the system and nodded at Young.

“Eli, this is Colonel Young. If you can hear me, report to the control room immediately. We’re starting to get worried here.“

After Nicholas deactivated the system, Chloe spoke up. “He could be hurt.“

“Yeah, I’m working on it,“ Young answered, grabbing his radio, “Lt. Scott, Lieutenant James, TJ and Sgt. Greer, report to the control room ASAP.“

***

“Colonel, we’re almost there,“ Matt said into his radio and gripped his gun tighter. Ronald was a calming presence beside him, completely focused on the dim corridors and rooms around them. Vanessa James looked back the way they'd come from, her weapon at the ready.

TJ was between her and the two men, a rucksack with medical equipment on her back and her Beretta in her hand. Their steps were echoing softly even though they were trying to be quiet.

“Stay alert. We don’t know what kind of source emitted the energy signature,“ Young reminded them.

“Copy that, sir.“

Vanessa said, “If Eli’s sitting there, playing with his iPhone, I’m going to kill him.“

Ronald chuckled.

“Hey!“ Matt hissed, “Let’s wait and see, alright?“

They crept down the corridor towards the room where the system had detected the energy source.

Matt took position at one side of the door, Ronald at the other, while Vanessa and TJ were waiting and leaning against the wall next to Ronald. Matt nodded at Ronald and he operated the mechanism. They entered the room cautiously. Ronald lowered his gun. “Nothing.“

Matt grabbed his radio, looking around the empty, dimly lit room. “Colonel, negative. We have searched every room in the vicinity … he’s not here.“

There was silence for a moment, then Rush asked, “Is there something that could have emitted the energy signature?“

“Nothing. The room’s empty,“ Matt answered.

Chloe's worried voice came down the line. “And you didn’t miss a room?“

“No,“ Matt answered. “Chloe, we’ve been down here for almost two hours now … this part of the ship is abandoned.“

Young ordered, “Come back.“

Matt nodded. “Yes, sir.“

Vanessa looked around, but the room was just as empty as before. “Weird,“ she said. “Where did that energy signature come from?“

Ronald grinned mockingly. “Maybe Rush is wrong. He’s not perfect.“

The Colonel’s voice sounding over the internal communication system interrupted them. “This is Colonel Young. Everyone report to the ‘Gate room immediately. No exceptions and no delays.“ He paused for a moment. “We’re missing someone.“

TJ sighed. “Well, that makes it official.“


Chapter 4
Trapped Masterlist

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