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Fears Within Me

Fears Within Me

Author: Therm

 

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, with the exception of Nick.

Summary: Hannibal thinks back to Nam and a certain person he met for the first time.

Warning: Mentions torture and minor character death, nothing graphic though.

Note: Title comes from the song 'Waiting for today to happen' by The Lightening Seeds.

 

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During a war, you see a lot.

If I was told when I was a kid about some of the things I was to see, I could never have believed that a human body could become so unrecognisable.

Especially when this gross disfigurement came from the hands of other human beings.

But in a war, it becomes an everyday occurrence.

 

I remember when Face, BA and I were sent out to rescue the POW's from a notorious camp. It took a long time to set up, hard work from not just us, but our support system, the other soldiers that weren't part of our team, but we couldn't have completed this mission without them.

The actual rescue mission went well and we managed to save all the wounded soldiers that still had a chance. 

 

It wasn't until we were in the choppers, heading back to base that you really saw these guys.

 

The mission had been during the darkest hours of the night so we could move easier, more freely, so with that, you couldn't see what you were dealing with. Feeling for pulses was the best we could afford with time against us.

But with time travelling back you could do little else but sit there and try to ease the pain from the men lying at your feet. Some of them bleeding to death while you sat there, unable to more than give them the very basic first aid. It felt like the equivelant of putting a band aid on someone who had a limb missing. Fruitless.

But it was all you could do, so you did it anyway. I would say that I had better first aid knowledge than a lot of the boys there, but I still was at a loss as to what to do for a lot of these men.

 

It was the guy nearest me who I felt connected to.

His face swollen badly and dark, not just from the dirt but the unrelenting beatings that he'd received.

His body twitched and he let groans of agony escape from his cracked and split lips. His body rested against mine and I noticed the warmth eminatting from him. Not a fever as I'd first suspected because I felt the warmth move in a way that could only mean blood. I wanted to check the man over, but I knew my level of first aid couldn't help this kid and with base now visible for the pilot, I just comforted him.

 

I looked at his face and tried to imagine what he'd look like without all the swelling and cuts. I guess the first thing I thought of was how young he looked. His hair looked dark, brownish but this could be from dirt and blood, it was just too hard to tell. His eyes were shut, reserving what little energy he had just fighting for life.

 

Before I even get a chance to start speaking words of comfort everyone is moving around me. We've landed and everything's gone crazy. The start pulling these torn up kids out and there seems to be people everywhere. A man reaches in and carefully, with the aid of another, move him away, out of the chopper.

 

Everyone's gone, I'm alone now, with the exception of the pilot. He hasn't moved either. The silence seems frightening.

 

A man rushes back to the door where I'm sitting, looking from me to the pilot he asks if we're both okay. I nod weakly and I see the pilot hold up his hand, letting the man know he's fine. The man leaves again, running to check the other choppers.

 

The pilot moves in his seat. Taking off the various bits of limited safety equipment he has and slinging it on the seat next to him. I see him glance back at me, so quick most people would have missed it. Then he opens the door and leaves, slamming it shut behind him. I vaguely recognise him, probably one of the pilots we'd had before.

 

After all the pre-mission normalities and the slap on the back from the boss, I showered and went to attempt to sleep. I was exhausted and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to drift off.

But soon enough, I'm sat up in bed having woken with a start.

It wasn't the worse dream I'd had here, just a whirl of images and knowing those kids are some where right now, either still clinging to life or having that lifeline ripped from there hands stops me from attempting to sleep.

 

I know one place I'd like to be right now. I get up and dress, heading out quietly as possible. My determined quick footsteps soon take me to where I want to be and I'm right there at the medical bay.

 

My eyes immediately fall onto a man who has company. I recognise the man as the guy who had laid by me. I can't see who's with him, but I approach quietly and slowly. I move round so I'll be opposite his guest.

It's then I notice that it's the pilot from earlier. The man who flew us back here.

 

There's probably as much shock on his face as there is on mine.

He looks away from my gaze, back to the man on the bed.

 

“You know him?” I ask, as I sit on the chair provided by the side of the bed. 

A small nod is all I get as a response. I can imagine how I'd feel if this was someone I knew, who I worked with.

“What do the doctors say?” I press.

 

“Nothin'” He replies.

 

I'm stumped at the doctors silence and I hear a slight bitterness to his voice, although it seemed he was trying to control it.

Guessing the persuit of his friends condition is a little pointless, I decide to speak about the man in front of us both.

“What's his name?”

 

“You really care?” He asks and although the words are aggressive, the tone of voice doesn't quite match, it sounds more defeated.

 

“I wouldn't be here otherwise.” I say simply.

 

A brief pause. “Nick.”

 

I look at Nick on the bed. He looks bad, the light doesn't make the injuries look more severe, it simply shows them for what they are.

 

“He's a pilot too, you know.” he continues.

 

“Yeah?” I say, keeping it neutral.

 

I get a nod as a response. “You know what they do to pilots?” He asks, meeting my eye again. There's a deep anger there as he says these words.

 

I just nod. I can't say anything. He knows that he'll be in the same boat if he ever gets caught. Actually this guys lucky. He was rescues. Most are probably are killed out there in the jungles.

It's a damn scary thought.

 

He looked back down at Nick again. “They think they're CIA agents.”

 

I look from Nick to the pilot opposite. “If only they knew, huh?”

 

He turns to me and there's something in his eyes, something that looks more scared than I could imagine. He looks away from me, but not at Nick, just away. Taking a deep breath, he stands.

“Er, I need to get going.” He says, regaining his composure.

 

He begins to walk away when I hear a very faint whisper coming from Nick.

His eyes are barely open and his mumbling something I just can't understand. “Hey!” I call to the pilot who's leaving as I move closer to Nick. I have a hand on his arm, trying to comfort him in some small way.

 

The man comes rushing back over and once by his side, he moves close to him.

 

Nick's breathing is ragged and harsh. “Murdock.” he says, so faint I almost miss it. He takes several uneven and pain filled breaths before he says anything else. “I told 'em nothin'.”

 

“Knew you wouldn't.” Murdock says to him.

 

Nick's breathing doesn't even out any, he continues to struggle. “I'm gonna get a nurse.” I tell them as I walk away.

As I get a few steps from the door, I hear a large final gasp.

I know what it sounds like. I've heard it before.

 

I look to the bed. Nick's eyes still open, staring at nothing above him. Murdock had hold of his arm, a gentle touch. I see his eyes close in grief for a few seconds before he opens them again. Looks back at his dead friend.

 

Murdock moves his hold from his arm, up to Nicks hand and kisses the back of it, before laying it down across the now still chest.

 

Murdock sits down on the seat, looking lost and totally defeated. “Wanna get that nurse.” He says to me quietly.

 

I walk away and find a nurse and tell her about the death.

She thanks me and says someone will be there to deal with as soon as possible.

 

When I return to the room, Murdock's gone.

 

There's just a body.

 

 

The End

 


Fears Within Me by Therm

 

 


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