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Stargate Universe: Trapped (7) (Fanfiction)

Trapped (7)

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 6
Trapped Masterlist



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

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7.



Jack O'Neill tapped his pen on the desktop, watching Young and Camile sitting in front of his desk with grave faces. Young's consciousness had landed in Bill Lee's body while Wray's had taken over Dr. Mehta. Jack wasn't a fan of such tricks but it was the only way to communicate with the people on Destiny. Young's quick thinking in taking the Ancient communication stones with him during evacuation of Icarus was helping them now. Because even though they couldn't send Destiny food or technology, they could at least stay up to date. Unfortunately, staying up to date didn't always mean that he was happy. "Who?"

Young cleared his throat and leaned forwards. "Eli Wallace."

Jack leaned back in his chair. "That computer geek?"

Camile nodded. Jack closed his eyes. Young and Camile arriving at Homeworld Command so early in the morning had been a bad sign from the get-go. Jack remembered Eli – better than he wanted to admit. Rush's face when Jack had told him that someone had cracked the Prometheus equation had been unforgettable. "How long?"

Camile answered, "A bit more than twenty-six hours."

Jack sighed. "That's long."

Young nodded. "It's a big ship."

"You're looking for him?"

Young's eyes narrowed in irritation. "Of course we're looking for him," he snapped, "What do you think we've been doing the last hours?" He seemed to remember who he was talking to, that he was overstepping lines, and ducked his head. "I'm sorry, General."

Jack glanced at Camile. "Could you leave us alone for a minute?"

He saw that she didn't like it but she nodded. "Sure." She got up and left the two men alone. Through the window, Jack could see her in the adjoining conference room. She looked at them before sitting down to wait.

"Colonel, do you have control over the situation?"

"Search parties are all over the ship to look for Eli. We're doing what we can."

"What's Rush doing?"

Young let out a sarcastic laugh. "He helps. He really does. Eli's ... a big help for him." He massaged his forehead, took off Lee's glasses and rubbed his tired eyes. "To the most of us, he means a lot."

"I know what you're going through – being responsible for civilians. It's different than being responsible for soldiers."

Young looked up at Jack and nodded.

"What are we dealing with? An accident? Did Eli touch something he shouldn't have?"

Young shook his head. "We refrain from speculating, sir. We're looking for him and look into why he went missing as soon as he's safe."

Jack could read subtext after working with a linguist for eight years. "You think someone helped him disappear." Young's eyes told him the truth and Jack rubbed his forehead. "Damn!"

"I don't think that Eli's in any way to blame for his disappearance. He's curious and likes to experiment but he's smart, too. There are security protocols concerning the exploration of the ship in place and Eli can read Ancient, not perfectly but better than me. I don't think it was an accident."

"Colonel, it's your decision what to do about this."

Young nodded, then he got up. At the door, he turned back around and returned to Jack's desk. "Sir, will you inform Eli's mother?"

Jack sighed thoughtfully. "I don't think that we should upset her if there's no reason to do so. Let's wait."

"I think so, too, sir."

"If the worst case happens, we'll of course continue to pay for her medical needs."

Young seemed to be surprised. "Medical needs?"

Jack narrowed his eyes. "Yeah." It was obvious that Young had no idea what Jack was talking about. Before he was able to ask another question, Jack ended their talk. "Inform me about your progress in forty-eight hours. Earlier if something happens."

"Yes, sir."

***

"What should we do when the Kinos hard drives are full, Doctor?" a huge marine asked from his place next to the door leading into the control room. His name tag read Lt. Howard.

Nicholas looked at him, his despise barely concealed. "There's enough space on them."

Howard looked at the Kino in his hand and asked, "But what if there isn't? Should we delete something then? How does that work?"

The other soldiers nodded and looked at Rush attentively.

"You won't have to delete anything," he answered, irritated. "But if you want to know so badly, Lieutenant …" He took the remote control from Airman Jennings who was standing near him and held it up. "The remote control. Press the interaction labeled Delete. It's ridiculously easy – even for you." He showed them how to find it. Then he handed the remote control back to Jennings. "But you won't need it. I deleted the footage of all Kinos we already had a look at last night." He rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache build.

Scott nodded at the soldiers. "Let's get started. Teams of two. The same as yesterday." While the soldiers left the room, Scott joined Nicholas. "Get a grip."

Nicholas was focusing on the controls. "A grip?"

"It's no use to make the men angry."

"They're asking stupid questions," Nicholas answered before taking one of the laptops and leaving the control room. Into the radio, he said, "Dr. Franklin, meet me at the shuttles. I need you for the heat detectors."

***

Chloe entered the make-shift infirmary and found TJ going through her backpack. The bag was lying on one of the beds, medical supplies spread all around it. TJ was muttering to herself, nodding once and again, and packing things into the bag. In one corner of the room, Riley's motionless body was lying on a bed. Chloe ducked her head. His injuries were slowly healing but TJ was still unable to say for sure if he would survive the accident from two weeks ago.

"Chloe," TJ said.

She raised her head to look at her. "Hey!"

TJ smiled back weakly. "What's wrong?"

Lieutenant James entered with two bottles of water. "Got them."

TJ nodded gratefully and packed the bottles into the bag. James stood there for a few seconds, undecided, then she looked at Chloe and said, "I'll go see if Matt needs me." With that she left.

Chloe asked, "What are you doing?"

"I'm preparing for when we find Eli. He'll be dehydrated," TJ said with a nod to the bottles in the bag. "Maybe even badly hurt." She packed some bandages and pain killers. "Maybe unconscious …" She stopped and raised her head to look at Chloe apologetically. "It helps to pack the bag every few hours to make sure I have everything I need."

"You think it's going to be bad."

TJ sighed. "More than twenty-four hours without water, Chloe, are serious."

***

Frustrated, Nicholas leaned on his console when he returned to the control room. Doctor Franklin joined him. "It was worth a try," he said carefully.

Nicholas took a deep breath. "I don't understand why I can't get the system to run. I …" He trailed off when he noticed the auto-protocol showing him something that had happened half an hour ago and he opened a map of the ship.

"What's wrong?" Franklin asked, trying to peek over Nicholas's shoulder but Nicholas just pointed at the console next to him. He'd never liked people looking over his shoulder.

Nicholas sent Franklin the map. "The energy source Eli and I found."

"It's back," Franklin said, pushing a button. "But I can't find any information about it."

"I know, I already tried," Nicholas answered and grabbed his radio. "Sergeant Greer, this is Rush."

"Yeah?"

When the energy source vanished, Franklin sighed in frustration. Nicholas turned away from the console. "The energy source was back but it's gone now."

It was silent for a moment, then Greer said, "I'll take James and TJ and have a look."

Nicholas nodded, raised the radio and said, "Thank you."

For a moment, the words hung in the air, then Greer said slowly, "You're welcome."

***

Matt looked around the mess hall to find Chloe but she wasn't there. Assuming that she was in her quarters, he left the mess again. On his way, he encountered Airman Jennings who was focusing on a remote control, steering a Kino to follow him.

"Jennings," Matt said with a frown, "are you returning from the search?"

"Yes, sir," he answered, suddenly seeming a bit nervous.

"Didn't I tell you to search in teams of two?"

Jennings swallowed and said hesitantly, "Well, sir, my partner …" He stopped and admitted, "Spencer left me, sir. He just left during the search. I didn't even notice until I returned from exploring a corridor."

Matt cursed softly before grabbing his radio. "Spencer, this is Scott, come in."

No answer.

"Sgt. Spencer, you're supposed to look for Eli. Where are you?"

***

Everett looked at the screen, waiting for Rush to pull up the right footage. His gaze roamed Eli's quarters. Empty bowls and mugs beside the bed and the working station. The bed was rumpled. Eli's laptop was lying on the duvet, next to it a book Everett had last seen Rush with in the mess. The camouflage jacket Eli had worn on the desert planet was lying in a corner, half-concealing a note pad covered in equations. Above the work station, photographs were adorning the wall, showing the crew. They'd been recorded by Kinos, copied to the laptop and printed out with one of the more useless things they'd brought here from Icarus – a printer working with batteries. In another corner, a bag was stashed, pajama bottoms hanging out. Military socks were lying in front of it. These and other not essential clothes had been given to the evacuees so that at least some of them could change clothes once in a while. There were other books distributed throughout the room, external hard drives, a laptop that as far as Young knew had been given to Eli to be repaired, a torch and – curiously enough – car keys. It looked as if there had been a fight raging in the room but sadly enough, this was Eli's way to keep order.

Everett sighed softly and Rush gifted him with a tense smile. "How do you realize that someone's a genius, Colonel?"

Confused, Everett frowned. "What?"

"A genius reigns the chaos."

Everett laughed. "That his sense of order hasn't taken over the control room yet is strange-"

"Because I like working in a neat environment and take care that Eli removes everything he lets lying around throughout the day." He scrolled through the data base. "Eli's mind is intuitive, Colonel. What he needs, he takes and what he doesn't need, he leaves behind. Here it is." He opened a video file and Everett peeked over Rush's shoulder to have a look. Rush leaned to the side and got up. "Sit down."

Everett dropped into the chair. The screen was displaying one corridor of Destiny. "What am I looking for?"

"This has been recorded yesterday around half past seven in the morning," Rush explained with a tap of his forefinger on the time code. "Wait for it."

The Kino seemed to be in search mode. It turned a bit and Everett saw where it was. "Eli's quarters."

Rush nodded.

Ronald Greer jogged past the camera – Everett knew that he liked to do his exercises alone – and the Kino focused on him for a moment, almost seeming to be interested, but then he turned the corner and was gone. Everett saw Eli with two bowls in his hand enter his quarters. "Okay, he's coming from Chloe's room."

Rush nodded. Eli didn't stay in his quarters long. He returned, the bowls pressed to his chest with one arm, while holding a Kino with one hand and a remote control with the other. The Kino followed Eli down the corridor, then it turned away and continued its search in another direction. Rush stopped the footage. "I thought you'd like to see this. That confirms the recording of him leaving the mess hall."

"He went there to drop of the bowls."

"He's been seen shortly after six."

Scott knocked at the door and they turned around to face him. "Sir, Sergeant Spencer was supposed to look for Eli but he didn't. He just left Airman Jennings."

Everett rubbed his forehead. "I can't say that I'm surprised."

Scott frowned. "You don't intend to do something about it?"

"We don't have time for this, Lieutenant. And if he doesn’t want to search it's better if he doesn't. Was he seen?"

"Vanessa ... Lt. James saw him in the mess."

"I'm going to talk to him later about leaving Jennings in the dust. There's nothing else I can do."

Scott seemed unhappy about this but he nodded. "Yes, sir."

***

Eli was exhausted, thirsty, hungry, his ribs and head ached and he was cold and every glance at his watch proved to him what he already knew: he would die down here. If they didn't find him before now ... he pulled his legs to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. How thorough were they in their search? He leaned his head against the wall and stared at the ceiling.

Were they even looking for him?

The thought made his throat clog up and he blinked away tears. Of course they were. They had to. He closed his eyes. But that didn't mean that they would find him …


Chapter 8
Trapped Masterlist

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