Bringing Her Home
AN - I submitted the first chapter of this a while ago, the first story of any kind that I've ever written, and honestly, it was all I intended to write. But some of you were kind enough to suggest that it could be the start of a longer tale, so thank you for prodding me to "find" the rest of the story. As a disclaimer, I admit to having absolutely no medical expertise other than watching ER forever, so excuse any factual errors in the use of medical terminology.
General Hammond gets the news
General Hammond looked up from a stack of paperwork as Sgt. Harriman appeared in his doorway. The sergeant looked relieved and happy, as he announced, "Sir, NASA's deep space tracking network just picked up a transmission from Prometheus. They're on their way home, sir."
The general stood up, breaking into a wide grin and replied "That's wonderful news! Did they give any indication of when they'd be here and what caused the delay?"
Walter responded, "No sir, it was a brief message, but apparently Colonel Ronson wants to speak with you as soon as possible. I can arrange to patch it through to you here if you want, sir."
"Do it right away, son, and notify Colonel O'Neill, Dr. Jackson and Teal'c with the news."
"I believe that they're off base at the moment, but I'll contact them."
A few minutes later, the general was on the speaker phone with Colonel Ronson.
"It's really good to hear from you Bill! Run into some trouble?"
"If you can call a ship-eating gas cloud, an attack by an alien ship, and then abduction by those same aliens trouble, yeah, I guess we had our share."
"Sounds like it will be an interesting report. Is everyone all right? "
"Almost everyone, and that's the main reason I wanted to talk to you now, instead of waiting until we get home. Our medical personnel would like to consult with your doctor about a seriously injured crew member. As you know, we have a small medical staff, and no M.D. on board, so they'd like some guidance on the best way to treat this patient."
"I'll get Dr. Fraiser here right away."
Hammond had Walter page Dr. Fraiser, then listened as the colonel filled him in on the details of the last few days: the slight detour with the intent to study a gas cloud, the consequent attack by an alien space ship, and finally the decision to abandon ship.
All crew members had apparently been beamed onto the alien ship then kept captive for some time. The aliens appeared unhappy with the circumstances, and seemed to think that the humans were somehow responsible for their ship's inability to leave the cloud. As time went by, the aliens became more and more agitated. They were on the verge of punishing their human captives when suddenly, the aggressive behavior halted, and the humans were all beamed back onto the Prometheus.
As the colonel reached this point in his account, Janet Fraiser entered the general's office. She gave the general a questioning look, and he said, "Dr. Fraiser, the medics aboard the Prometheus have an injured crewman and need a consult. Colonel Ronson, I'll turn it over to Dr. Fraiser now, and when she's done with the medics, you can finish your report."
"Yes sir, she'll be talking with Lieutenant Pickens, our senior medic."
Dr. Fraiser asked the lieutenant, "What's the nature of the problem?"
"Well ma'am, the patient suffered a severe concussion, and while we've done x-rays and seen no evidence of a skull fracture, we're concerned about possible injuries to the brain. We don't have the machinery on board to do any more sophisticated testing. From what the colonel says, it will take a few more days to fly home, so we're wondering if we should set down on the closest planet with a stargate and gate home. That would be the quickest way, but I'm worried that gate travel could make things worse. Any thoughts?"
Dr. Fraiser replied, "When did the injury occur? I assume you followed the usual procedures for this type of head injury, keeping the patient under close observation, checking responses, etc.?"
There was a long hesitation on the line, and then Pickens answered, "The injury occurred roughly 5 days ago, but the patient was alone on the ship at the time, so there was no treatment. She did treat a minor cut on her forehead, but she was alone for 4 days, and we weren't able to treat her until we got back to the ship."
Dr. Fraiser looked puzzled, and Hammond briefly explained the situation. He then asked the lieutenant, "I thought the whole crew was beamed to the alien ship?"
Colonel Ronson cut in. "We didn't realize that anyone was left on the Prometheus until we got back and found her on the bridge. Apparently she was hurt during the attack and was unconscious when we all went to the escape pods. By the time she came to, we were all gone."
Dr. Fraiser, looking concerned, said, "That's not good. Have you been able to find out the kind of symptoms she had during the time you were gone, and can you give me her current condition?"
The lieutenant responded, "That's one of the reasons that I wanted your advice. She has a bad headache, obviously, but she's also not very responsive. From what we can gather, she was having both visual and auditory hallucinations while she was alone. She also said she passed out several times."
Dr. Fraiser told him, "You're right to be concerned. If the concussion is as bad as it sounds, and she had no treatment for that long, I'd like to examine her as soon as possible, but you're also correct, gate travel might not be a good idea either."
She thought for a moment, and then asked, "Are you close to a planet with a secure stargate?"
Ronson replied, "Yes, we can be at P3X-121 within a couple of hours. Do you think that gate travel will be safe?"
Janet answered, "I'm not sure, but with the general's permission, I'd like to take a medical team to P3X-121 with a portable CAT scanner. I'll be able to assess her condition better once I can see her myself and check out her scans. If it seems safe, we'll gate her home. Otherwise I can fly home on the Prometheus with her."
Hammond responded to her request immediately "Sounds like a good plan doctor. But Colonel, are you still in any danger from the alien ship? That planet is out of your way, and I'm sure you and your crew will want to get home as soon as possible; especially after all you've been through. It's not really in the best interest of the ship and crew to put down on a planet, making you more vulnerable to attack, just to help this one crew member, is it?"
Ronson chuckled. "General, to answer your first question, the alien ship is no longer a problem. And to answer your second question, I think every crew member on board would volunteer to do anything possible to help the major. After all, if it weren't for her, we'd all still be stuck in that alien ship, if not dead."
Janet and the general looked at each other in confusion. The general asked Ronson, "What do you mean?"
Ronson explained. "When we were beamed back to the Prometheus, Major Carter was there on the bridge. Somehow she not only found a way to get our both our ship and the alien ship out of the cloud, but also convinced the aliens to let us go and leave us alone. All of that while suffering from major concussion. I can't wait to hear how she managed all that, once she's lucid enough to explain it."
Janet and the general both looked surprised at this latest revelation.
Janet asked, "You mean Sam is the one who's hurt?" while the general queried," Major Carter managed to convince the aliens to leave?"
Ronson answered in a tone bordering on awe. "Yes sir. I guess I always knew how intelligent the major is, but I never suspected how tough she is. I'd be honored to serve with her anytime. If she ever decides to leave SG-1, general, I would love to have her back on Prometheus."
General Hammond, signaling Dr. Fraiser to leave and prepare for her mission, told Ronson, "I'll be sure to let the major know you said that as soon as she's better. In the meantime, we'll have a team on P3X-121 in less than two hours. We'll find a suitable landing site as close as possible to the gate and you can contact them when you're in range of the planet. I'll see you in a week or so, and I look forward to hearing the rest of the details then. Have a safe journey home."
As he hung up the phone, Jack, Daniel and Teal'c appeared in his door, looking anxious. Jack said, "So the Prometheus is on its way back? Everything ok?" Daniel cut to the chase, asking "Is Sam all right?" Hammond gave them a short explanation, then pointed to the door, telling them to suit up to accompany Dr. Fraiser on the mission to P3X-121. "I'm sure that Dr. Fraiser won't mind having a back-up team, just in case. And if she decides to ride home with Major Carter on the Prometheus, you have permission to go along for the ride as well. Just try not to get in the crew's way, and stay out of Colonel Ronson's hair."
After they left, the general was finally able to take a moment to absorb and reflect on the information he'd just received. Caught up in Ronson's account of the activities on Prometheus, and then in working out the plan to bring Major Carter home, Hammond hadn't been able to take the time to contemplate the events. His relief that Prometheus was fine and on its way home was somewhat tempered with concern over Major Carter's condition, but he knew that she couldn't have better care than Dr. Fraiser would provide. And with her team close by to provide strength and comfort, he felt sure that she would recover quickly. Besides, he mused, if the woman could mange to save the Prometheus and persuade a ship full of hostile aliens to stand down, a little thing like a head injury didn't stand a chance.
He reluctantly pushed aside his meandering thoughts, looked back at his crowded desk, and switched on the intercom.
"Sergeant, do you have those requisitions I need to approve?"