Pairings: None, Gen
Rating: PG-13 (to be safe)
Warning: Contains claustrophobic setting
Spoilers: None. Timing is first half of S3, but unimportant.
Remix of Rise Up and Fight by jadesfire. You need to read her story first for this one to make sense.
Summary: For anyone faced with a wilderness emergency survival situation, fear is a normal reaction...
By Leesa Perrie
The section titles and quotes come from this site.
- For anyone faced with a wilderness emergency survival situation, fear is a normal reaction.
The world exploded, or at least it seemed to, as debris rained down on him and he ducked beneath the work station, narrowly avoiding a beam that crashed down to the right of him. Too close, too damned close, he thought as fear and panic welled inside of him.
The whole room shuddered, the ceiling collapsing at one end, trapping him inside the bunker.
No way out, no way out, trapped like a rat in a cage, a dark, cold, deep under the ground cage…oh crap, buried alive, he was buried alive!
Well, okay, not literally buried, he could still move about, but if he couldn’t get out…
The shuddering seemed to go on forever, but eventually it stopped and he was left listening to the noise of settling rubble.
Trapped in a dark dungeon, a tomb, a crypt…
Propelled by the desperate need to get out, get out, get out, now, now, now, he blindly felt his way over the where the entrance had been.
Blindly, because it was dark. He hoped it was dark. Not that he was blind…but no, no, he hadn’t hit his head, so he couldn’t be blind. Bruised by falling debris, but nothing serious, nothing really bad. He’d been lucky.
He gave a sharp laugh at that, edged with hysteria. Lucky would have been two bombs far away from the bunker exploding, not one of them right next to the place, burying him alive.
Reaching the pile of rubble where the door had been, he started digging. Scraping away, panic coursing through him. He had to get out, now, right now, he couldn’t do this, couldn’t stay down here…
He dug until his hands were painful; torn and bleeding from the sharp edges. Futile digging, each handful removed replaced by more dirt and rocks. His breathing ragged, hope fading…panic slowly fading as despair crept in.
He couldn’t get himself out of this.
Eyes closed, he slumped to the ground, trying to quell the fear and trying to hang onto that slender hope; they’d come back for him.
But part of him still found it hard to believe.
- Pain may often be ignored in a panic situation.
As he lay there, leaning against a pile of rubble trapping him, the pain started to make itself known. His hands throbbed with the abuse he had subjected them to, his shoulders ached from the bruises sustained from falling rocks, his left ankle screamed at him from when he had twisted it trying to hide under the work station. Was it broken? No, no, he didn’t think it was broken, but badly sprained maybe.
Another slightly hysterical laugh escaped him, that he should be able to tell the difference between a broken bone and a sprain by experience alone. It hadn’t always been that way, back on Earth, back in the labs, safe from physical harm. Well, safe unless the canteen tried to kill him by putting citrus in the food and forgetting to label it. Or a bee stung him far from help. Or he got knocked down by a speeding car…
But at least no one had tried to kill him purposely back then. At least, he didn’t think so.
Moaning, wincing, he reached into his tac vest and fumbled out some Tylenol, dry swallowing two of them.
He should be doing something, but right now, all he felt able to do was sit here and try not to whimper too much.
Not that there was anyone to hear him if he did.
- Cold lowers the ability to think, numbing the body and reducing the will to survive.
Shivering, he realised it was the temperature was quickly dropping.
He slowly worked his way over to the environmental control unit, which wasn’t that far away, just to one side of the work station he’d hidden under.
The area he was trapped in was small, too small, the debris encroaching and closing in on him…
What had he been doing?
Oh right, heat. If some of the systems were still working…maybe he could get some heat in here.
It hurt, crawling the short distance over the rubble strewn floor, but he couldn’t let that stop him. Hypothermia was not the way to go here, and he knew the longer he left it the worse it would get, affecting his ability to think, to survive.
Reaching the control unit, he mentally slapped himself upside the head and reached into his tac vest again, pulling out the life signs detector and switching it on.
Light! Well, a soft glow, but better than the darkness. Why hadn’t he thought of this before?
Using the detector as a feeble flashlight, he studied the control unit, finding the systems he needed. A few not-so-deft twists of a couple of wires and the heating came back on.
He closed his eyes in relief. Strike one for him.
- Dehydration is a common enemy in an emergency situation and must not be ignored.
As the place started to warm up, his thoughts turned to water. The dust in the air was settling, but had left him drier than a desert.
Using the flashlight-cum-detector, he worked his way slowly away from the control unit and around what was left of the work station, finding a sink with a tap less than a metre away, and yes, running water.
He wasted no time in rinsing out his mouth and drinking thirstily from the tap.
The water had a slight metallic taste, but seemed fresh other than that. Hopefully it wasn’t full of dangerous metals or toxins. It seemed unlikely, this presumably being meant for the Genii stationed here.
Then again, they hadn’t been too worried about radioactive bunkers until it had proved too late for some.
He decided in a moment of Sheppard-like optimism to assume it was safe.
Not like he had much choice about it anyway.
- Hunger is dangerous but seldom deadly.
Thirst satisfied, hunger reared its head. To be honest, he was surprised it hadn’t raised its head earlier; he usually ate when he got nervous, though maybe not so much when he was in a full blown panic.
So, food. He had a PowerBar in his tac vest and he knew he had a couple more in his pack, along with several MREs. He just had to find his pack…and see if the Genii had left anything as well.
Searching was hard on his hands and his ankle. Wincing and muttering about mad Genii and their bombs and Wraith devices that blew places up, he staggered and crawled his way around the small, too small place, finding his pack next to the work station. It was damaged but the MREs looked okay.
There was a hoard of Genii rations not too far away as well. In the interests of making sure the rations were edible, he gingerly tasted one.
And now he felt a twinge of sympathy for the Genii who’d worked here if this was what they’d had to live on.
Still, it was edible.
Counting how many rations and MREs he had, he worked out a meal regime that would keep him alive for two weeks, all the while fervently hoping he wouldn’t be there anywhere near that long.
- Fatigue is unavoidable in any situation so it is best to keep in mind that it can and will lower your mental ability.
Tiredness was pulling at him, but he couldn’t stop yet. He needed to do something to help Sheppard and the others to find him.
If they were looking.
No, no, of course they were looking. He had to believe that or else he was screwed. And dead.
So, they were looking. What could he do to help them?
A distress beacon, obviously.
Sighing, he started to dismantle a part of the environmental control unit, careful not to touch the heating system. Resigning himself to darkness, he used the power source in the detector for the newly assembled, ramshackle beacon, needing to save the Genii power for the heat.
Pity the lighting system was beyond repair.
So, great, a beacon.
Not so great, a dark lonely and possibly radioactive bunker.
Closing his eyes, he tried to fight the tiredness pulling at him, wanting to worry about the radiation, to give in to the panic inside him, but finally he gave in, lying down to sleep a restless, pain-filled slumber.
7: Boredom & Loneliness
- These enemies are quite often unanticipated and may lower the mind's ability to deal with the situation.
Days had passed and he was truly, utterly, totally bored. His laptop hadn’t survived the bunker’s collapsing masonry, and without a light source he couldn’t write; not that he carried paper and pen anyway, something he should consider for future missions.
As well as a penlight.
Most of his possessions had been damaged, though a few items had survived. Food mainly, as well as the Tylenol and the detector, whose energy cell was powering the distress beacon, and a few bits and pieces.
Nothing he could use to make light or use to amuse himself.
So he was bored, bored and, oh, bored.
And worried about his team, mostly Sheppard, who he knew, just knew, was beating himself up over this.
Yes, the Colonel had given the order to stay, like he’d any intention of running. Sure, there might have been time for them to all get out safely if he had left the program running, but the chances were high that there wouldn’t be. Really, there’d been no other option. At least, none that would have ensured the safety of this planet’s people; of his team.
He wasn’t a hero, but he couldn’t have lived with himself if he’d left too soon and people had died.
Sheppard gave the order to stay, but he would have stayed if Sheppard had ordered him to leave. It was as simple as that.
Of course, that wouldn’t stop the Colonel, stop John, from blaming himself, especially if they believed he was dead.
Crap, he hoped they didn’t think that, but he knew if the circumstances were reversed, he wouldn’t have much hope that whoever stayed behind had survived the bombs.
He wished he could tell them that he was alive. Tell them not to mourn. Tell John not to beat himself up over this.
Tell them to come get him.
The fact no one had come yet worried him. If they thought he was dead, would they bother to come?
Of course they would. No one got left behind.
Perhaps they couldn’t get to him and were having to wait for the Daedalus?
That must be it.
But a part of him doubted it. Still doubted it after everything that he’d been through; the times he’d thought they wouldn’t come but they did.
He wasn’t pessimistic by nature…just a realist. If that made him seem pessimistic, well, he couldn’t help that, could he? Realistically, they most likely thought he was dead, but they’d brought back bodies before now, so long as the risk wasn’t too great, and it wouldn’t be, not with the Daedalus to beam him out.
No, they were coming.
They had to be.
Dying from hunger was not a fun way to go, so no, they were coming.
And when he got back, when he got home, he would kick Sheppard’s ass and tell him to stop blaming himself. Well, not literally, but verbally. Verbally, oh yeah, he’d sort that guilt complex right out. The Colonel wouldn’t know what had hit him.
Though maybe he’d play dumb and let John come to him…and then let rip.
If they came.
If he got home.
Lights and noise and people suddenly assaulted his sense, and he curled up, blocking it out, especially the brightness.
Hands on his arms.
"It’s okay. I’m Dr Wright. You’re on the Daedalus."
"About time," he muttered ungraciously, as he felt an IV needle piercing his arm.
He smiled to himself.