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Trapped (9)

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 8
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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9.



Young entered the control room with an expression that told Nicholas everything he wanted to know. "Nobody came," he said.

Young shook his head. Nicholas leaned against his console and rubbed his tired eyes. Young put his hands on his hips. "Scott and James interviewed Spencer. He says he's got nothing to do with it, but he admits that he attacked Eli several times after I defended Franklin."

Nicholas nodded.

"To get to me."

Nicholas was surprised. "Did he say that?"

"Not exactly."

Nicholas noticed that Young was suppressing rage. "What are you going to do now?"

"I don't know."

Nicholas laughed scathingly. "If Spencer gets away with this, how is anybody supposed to believe that you're going to punish them for whatever happened to Eli?"

Young glared at him.

"This is your chance to prove yourself as a leader," Nicholas said.

"You don't get to tell me how to lead this ship. What am I supposed to do? Lock everyone up who commits a crime, be it petty or not?"

Nicholas shrugged and nodded.

"Maybe drop some of them off on some deserted planet as an equivalent to death penalty?"

Nicholas sighed and rolled his eyes.

"I don't wanna be that kind of leader," Young said firmly. He turned away to leave the room, but then he turned back around. "Rush ... did you know that Eli's mother is sick?"

"Yes," Nicholas answered, confused by the rapid change in topic. "You didn't?"

"Did he tell you?"

"I read his file. Why do you ask?"

Young didn't answer, he just left.

Nicholas shook his head and turned back to check the automated protocol of Destiny to see if he'd missed some major or minor event during the gathering. He was reminded of the warning sign telling him that there was something wrong with one of the doors several levels down. He grabbed his laptop and pulled up the map he'd made for the search. Sergeant Greer and Airman Rennie had searched that part of the ship. He should go and see what was wrong with that door. Minor things, he'd learned that much on Destiny, could turn into major problems in no time. He took his torch and left.

***

It was cold. Nicholas cursed that he hadn't made a detour to get a thicker jacket from the storage room. He remembered Greer complaining about the temperatures down here but it was already too late to go back.

His torch finally illuminated the door making problems. It was closed and chalk crosses told him that it had a very good reason to be. When Nicholas, Dr. Park and Brody had first explored this part of the ship, they'd noticed some hull breaches and sealed some of the doors. But ... Nicholas frowned and grabbed his radio. "Dr. Park, this is Rush."

He knew that she and Brody were working a project near the control room. She answered a short while later. "Yes, Doctor?"

"Please, go into the control room and check something for me."

Another minute went by, then Park said, "Okay, I'm here."

"I'm in section eight, standing in front of a door."

"Section eight? Dr. Rush, that part of the ship is-"

"I know. Just listen. You remember the conference room we found?"

It had been the only interesting thing they'd found. They'd dubbed the room that way because of the large table in the middle and the chairs around it. The rest of the section was divided into quarters and storage rooms.

"Yeah," Park answered.

"I'm at the end of that corridor, in front of the last door."

"Okay," Park answered, seemingly having a look at the map.

"It's marked but I can't remember any breaches in this corridor of the section."

Park needed a moment before she answered, "Because there weren't. The door should be alright."

"I'll open it."

"Dr. Rush, are you sure?"

"Just close it if there's a problem." With that, he braced himself against the wall next to the door and activated the mechanism. The door opened. Nothing else happened.

"Dr. Rush?" Park asked carefully. "I don't get any unusual readings. No warnings."

"I'm fine."

"Why's the door marked?"

Nicholas didn't answer, instead having a look into the room with his torch. He saw Eli almost immediately. He ran the few steps to him and knelt beside him. "Eli?" He felt for his pulse and found it – too slow. Eli's skin was cold and pale and his lips blue. The torch showed Nicholas some dried blood on Eli's face and his lips thinned. "Eli?" There was no answer. Nicholas's hand found his radio. "I need a medic down here."

"Dr. Rush, are you hurt?" Park asked.

"I found Eli."

***

Nicholas strained his ears, but he couldn't hear a thing. No steps echoing through Destiny's corridors getting closer, just silence. Impatiently, he activated his radio. "Where are you?"

Johansen sounded out of breath. "On our way, Doctor."

Nicholas looked down at Eli and noticed that his eyes were opened a bit.

"Eli?" He put a hand on his shoulder. "Look at me." He didn't know much about first aid. The only thing he could think of was protecting Eli from the cold but he didn't know how. He didn't even have a jacket.

Finally, the echo of hurried steps far away.

"Sorry," Eli said softly.

"What?"

"Sorry, dad."

Johansen entered the room. "Dr. Rush," she panted, falling to her knees beside him.

"I think he's hypothermic," Nicholas said and Johansen nodded. She checked Eli's pulse and he stayed silent to enable her to concentrate.

That was when Scott and Greer joined them, pushing the hover sled. Greer looked around. "Damn! I checked every room down here."

"There were signs on the door," Nicholas replied. "Maybe someone put them there to avoid the door being opened." Johansen handed Nicholas her torch and made him point it at the head wound. Nicholas looked at Scott. "This wasn't an accident."

Scott picked up Eli's cell phone and switched off the torch app before shoving it in his pocket. He nodded.

Greer pointed his torch at the destroyed door mechanism. "Somebody was all too happy to help out."

***

Eli was unconscious when they reached the infirmary and laid him on one of the beds. TJ looked at Vanessa James who'd appeared at her side as soon as they'd arrived. "I need blankets."

Vanessa nodded and hurried to get some from the storage room. Chloe joined them, her arms folded. TJ leaned over Eli and checked his pupils before feeling his pulse again. His skin was cold and TJ hoped that they would be able to warm him up.

Scared, Chloe asked, "What's happened to him?"

"Do me a favor," TJ answered, starting an IV. "Unpack my bag and put my things on that table."

Chloe obeyed but she asked, "Is it bad?"

"Chloe," TJ answered harshly, "not now."

"Sure," Chloe replied softly and dropped the now empty bag. "Sorry."

Out of the corner of her eye, TJ saw Everett entering the infirmary. He glanced at Eli and then joined Rush, Matt and Ronald who were standing at the end of Eli's bed. "Where did you find him?" Everett asked.

Rush folded his arms. "In one of the sections we already searched, in a room marked with chalk crosses."

TJ tuned out the conversation and looped her stethoscope around her neck before opening Eli's jacket. Vanessa returned with blankets. "Here," she said, depositing them at the end of the bed.

"Cover his legs," TJ said distractedly, glad to have someone who was calm and focused. Chloe was standing at the head of Eli's bed, her arms folded, watching TJ. She kept nibbling her lip as if that would stop her from asking questions. Vanessa pulled off Eli's shoes, letting them drop to the floor, before covering his legs with the blanket. TJ pulled up Eli's t-shirt and froze. Chloe clapped a hand over her mouth.

"Shit," Vanessa said and came to stand next to TJ. The men were silent by now. Vanessa took a guess. "Broken ribs."

TJ prodded a bruise that reached from his shoulder down the side of his chest and pulled a face when she felt the bones give. Panic was threatening to grab her but she fought it down.

"Punctured lungs?" Vanessa voiced TJ's concern.

"I can't tell," TJ answered. She listened to Eli's lungs. "I can't hear anything unusual. He didn't spit blood so I don't think so."

"I had a punctured lung once," Vanessa said, staring at TJ in concern. "I ended up in the OR."

TJ listened to his lungs again and closed her eyes to concentrate.

"We have to operate," Vanessa said.

"No," TJ answered. "I can't hear anything unusual. I don't think his lungs took any damage."

"And if they did?" Vanessa asked.

When Chloe spoke, she sounded as if she was choking, "He might be bleeding internally."

Everett interrupted them. "Tamara?"

She breathed deeply, listening to Eli's lungs carefully. She prodded the bruise again. She would have given everything in her quarters for an x-ray. "No," she said finally, "his lungs didn't get punctured. The ribs are gonna heal. The bruise is the result of several kicks. You can almost see the boot print." She pulled the t-shirt back down and tucked the blanket around him. "We have to keep him warm and treat the head wound."

Vanessa helped her with the blankets and TJ used the movement to cover the tremble in her hands. She wasn't sure. She would have to keep an eye on Eli. She avoided Chloe's skeptical gaze and instead caught Rush's eyes. He was frowning and seemed just as skeptical as Chloe, but he nodded. TJ forced her hands to calm down and focused on the head wound above Eli's forehead.

"What about the hypothermia?" Everett asked and TJ answered, "He's past the state where the body's still able to generate its own heat by shivering." Relieved, she noticed that the wound wasn't deep and had stopped bleeding. She put a plaster on it and made a mental notice to watch Eli for symptoms of a concussion.

Matt crossed his arms. "And that's bad?"

She spread out a blanket over Eli and answered, "It's reversible. He needs warmth. Another problem is the dehydration, but I'm already taking care of that."

Chloe asked, "Why's he unconscious?"

"The hit on the head, dehydration, exhaustion, hypothermia …" TJ sighed in frustration. "I can't tell. I don't have x-rays or a lab, nothing. I'm doing what I can but at the moment, I can't do more than warm him up, rehydrate his body and watch him closely."

Everett nodded and decided, "We should let him get some rest without all of us standing around."

TJ glanced at him gratefully.

"Dr. Rush, Lieutenant Scott, Sergeant Greer, meet me in my quarters. Lieutenant James, please go and find Ms. Wray and send her to me."

Vanessa nodded and headed out to look for her.

Everett looked at TJ. "I'll tell everyone that we've found him and that there's no need to besiege the infirmary."

"Thank you, sir," TJ replied.

Everett nodded and left with Rush, Matt and Greer in tow.

TJ had almost forgotten about Chloe but now she said, "I wanna help."

"There's not much to do at the moment."

"He needs warmth," Chloe said. "Body heat?"

Surprised, TJ looked at her. "Yeah." Chloe took off her fleece jacket and her shoes. TJ looked at the bed. "It will be a tight fit. The beds are made for one."

Chloe shook her head. "We'll manage."

TJ held up the blankets and Chloe laid down next to Eli before resting her head on his shoulder and carefully wrapping an arm around him.

"Don't squeeze the ribs," TJ said.

"Alright."

***

Jack O'Neill leaned back in his chair and nodded. "Good news for a change."

Young and Rush were sitting opposite him in the chairs in front of his desk. Young had arrived in Bill Lee's body again while Rush was using an Airman's body. Young gave his own nod. "We talked," he said then, glancing at Rush, and Jack assumed that Camile Wray had been part of that talk as well. Maybe others, too. "We don't have any real suspects, but maybe Eli can tell us who's responsible."

Rush propped his head up on one hand. "We know for sure that it wasn't an accident."

Jack asked, "What do you wanna do about it?"

Young shrugged. "We don't know yet."

"But it's obvious that something needs to be done," Rush said.

"We'll wait until Eli tells us who attacked him."

Jack nodded. "Keep me updated."

"Yes, sir."

***

Eli had started to shiver an hour ago. Chloe had been half-asleep when it started. TJ had calmed her down by telling her that this reaction was normal. By now, the shivering had almost stopped and he was breathing a bit easier. TJ nodded at Chloe after checking his temperature. "He's back to normal."

Chloe closed her eyes in relief. Eli turned his head in her direction and Chloe looked at him. "Eli?"

He frowned. "Ow," he said softly.

TJ asked, "What's hurting?"

Eli shook his head. "Chest ... head …" He opened his eyes and looked at Chloe.

TJ stepped into his line of vision and put a hand on his forehead. "I'll have a look at your eyes, okay?" she asked and checked his pupils. Eli squeezed his eyes shut and tried to turn his head away but TJ persisted. "Looks good," she said and felt for his pulse. "Is the pain bearable?" She only had a limited supply of medication, and even though she would run out of it long before they would return home she intended to make it last as long as possible.

"Scale?" Eli asked.

"One to ten.“

Eli closed his eyes. "Six. Bearable."

"Okay. Try to get some sleep."

"'kay."

Chloe smiled at TJ and she gave an encouraging nod. "I think he was lucky. He seems to be coherent and there's no sign of internal damage. If he stays that way, I'll let him go to his quarters tomorrow to rest. He won't be allowed any hard work in the next few weeks to protect his ribs but I think in a few days, he's well enough to get back to light duties." She turned away to look after Riley.

"Chloe?" Eli asked softly.

"Hm?" she answered.

"I'm not complaining but ... what are you doing in my bed?"

***

When Nicholas entered the infirmary, Johansen was just checking Eli's pulse. She raised her head to look at him and smiled. "Hello, Doctor Rush."

He nodded at her.

"What can I do for you?" she asked.

"Nothing, actually. I'm here to see Eli."

She nodded in understanding. "I have to go and change Riley's dressings. There's water on the table. When Eli wakes up, see to it that he drinks it."

Nicholas nodded. Johansen gifted him with a smile and then went to one of the boxes containing her equipment. Nicholas sat down on the chair next to Eli and put his laptop on the bed. Eli was sleeping soundly, so he concentrated on his work for a while. He heard Johansen talking to Riley softly and raised his head. Doctor Park was standing next to Johansen, helping her to prop Riley up. He turned his head away and stared into Eli's open eyes.

"Hey, Doc," Eli said softly and cleared his throat.

Nicholas winced in sympathy. "Eli." He picked up the cup. "Water?"

Eli nodded and sat up a bit. He grimaced and Nicholas stood up to lay a helping hand on his shoulder. "Careful." He arranged the pillow Eli was leaning on. "Better?"

Eli nodded. "A lot."

Nicholas handed him the cup. Eli's hands were shaking slightly, but he shook his head when Nicholas offered to help with the cup. While he was sipping the water, Eli glanced at Nicholas every now and then, seemingly taken aback. Nicholas crossed his arms and avoided Eli's eyes. Eli put the cup down and Nicholas opened the canteen next to it to pour some more water.

With an amused smile, Eli said, "You're the perfect nurse."

Nicholas closed the bottle. "There are things you pick up when …" He stopped.

Eli asked, "… when one is a genius like you are?"

Nicholas shrugged and picked up his laptop. He cleared his throat. "So ... Colonel Young and I think that you should ... look at this footage and tell us who ... attacked you."

"And then what happens?" Eli asked.

Nicholas put the laptop on Eli's lap. "That's up to Colonel Young and Miss Wray."

Eli nodded slowly. He looked at the screen and Nicholas played the Kino footage showing the crew listening to Young speaking after the disastrous try to dial Earth. The whole crew was present. Eli paused the footage and pointed at a young man standing next to Lieutenant James.

Nicholas frowned. "That's Airman Jennings."

Eli shrugged. "I don't know him that well."

"He's helping Becker in the mess hall. He helped looking for you. Are you sure?"

Eli nodded.

"I was expecting you to point at Sgt. Spencer."

"I was having problems with Spencer. But he didn't do it. I caught Airman Jennings stealing food."

"The cooking plate," Nicholas said.

"What?" Eli asked, confused.

Nicholas grabbed his laptop. "Thank you, Eli." He left the infirmary.


Chapter 10
Trapped Masterlist

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