"Beyond the Darkness."
by Jade Stiger
E-mail for feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating: R ( Sex, Violence, Dialog)
Archive: yes please. Originally posted to WWOMB, this version has been edited for a more general audience (and because the original squicked even ME!)
Disclaimer: The characters don't belong to me, I just abuse them for my own twisted amusement. No copy write infringement is intended.
WARNING: M/M non-consensual sex, not graphic but it still may be disagreeable to some readers.
"Good news, Nathan. New Cape Police have your missing Lieutenant." Admiral Noyce smiled.
"The police?" asked Nathan, relief and curiosity in his voice. "Why?"
"He was arrested for hitchhiking on the interstate." The admiral replied.
"What was he doing on the interstate?"
"He said he was trying to get back to the seaQuest."
"Did he say where he's been?"
"No. If you want to bring Chief Crocker and Dr. Smith, they will release him into your custody pending the hearing."
"What hearing?" Bridger asked.
"Nathan, your man has been A.W.O.L. for ten days."
Nathan frowned, "I'm sure he had a good reason."
"I hope so, because he hasn't told anyone yet."
"I'll get my team and be at the station in an hour."
"I expect a full report after dinner."
Nathan nodded, "Thanks, Bill." He reached over and shut off the communicator, then sat back sighing deeply. Ten days. It had been almost two weeks since he'd disappeared without a trace. The crew had been frantic, not knowing what had happened to their friend. Nathan engaged his PAL and called Wendy and then the chief and told them to meet him at the shuttle.
When the sergeant led them into a dimly lit room, Nathan was shocked at the sight of his crewman. Brody looked up when he heard them approach, his face was bruised and dark circles ringed his eyes. Wendy crouched beside Brody's chair and spoke softly to the Lieutenant, too softly for Nathan to hear.
"Why wasn't he taken to a hospital?" Nathan questioned the officer.
"He refused. Quite insistently." He replied, rubbing gently at a bruise forming on his chin.
"Take these restraints off." the doctor ordered, barely controlling her anger.
The sergeant stepped behind Brody and opened the cuffs. Wendy caught Jim's arm as he got to his feet, shaking. Crocker moved to help support him and Jim smiled weakly, accepting their aid. Together they helped Brody out to the jeep, Nathan pacing behind them. They rode silently back to the launch.
Crocker piloted while Nathan sat in the back with Wendy and Jim.
Nathan stole worried glances at the unusually quiet security chief, occasionally meeting Wendy's concerned eyes. When they docked, many of the bridge crew were waiting for them, pressing forward to tell Jim how glad they were to see him and how worried they had been. Wisely, they refrained from touching the battered man as Wendy led him down to the Med Bay.
"Why don't you wait in my office, Nathan while I give him a quick once over." Wendy said, pulling Brody to a gurney. Nathan nodded and stepped into the office.
Jim leaned nervously against the edge of the bed, his eyes downcast.
"Come on Jim, just lie back and try to relax." she coaxed. "This will only take a moment." Wendy smiled and he tried to smile back as he stretched out on the bed, wincing.
Wendy gently pressed her fingers across the bones of his face, checking for fractures. "I'm sorry, Jim." she said as he flinched beneath her hands.
"It's OK. It just hurts a little." he said wearily.
Wendy's fingers slid through his hair checking for bumps or cuts. She unbuttoned the top button of his uniform shirt and was surprised when his hands suddenly clutched hers, forcing her to stop. Fear flickered in his eyes and his grip tightened spasmodically.
"Jim, you're hurting me." she said gently.
"Don't." he said in a frighteningly toneless voice.
"It's alright, Jim. You're safe." She turned her hands to clasp his. "I just wanted to check for bruises or broken ribs. I'm not going to hurt you."
He blinked slowly, the fear leaving his eyes. Brody sat up and removed his uniform shirt and then pulled off his undershirt. Wendy sucked in a breath at the sight of all the angry bruises covering his torso. She slid her hands gently across his ribcage and around to his back. The texture of his skin was rough and she stepped behind him. Her eyes widened at the sight of dozens of cuts on his battered back. The cuts appeared to continue down to his buttocks but when she tried to pull the waistband of his slacks down, he leapt off the bed, grabbing up his undershirt and quickly pulling it back on. "I want to go to my quarters now." he said in a quivering almost child-like voice.
"Jim, how did you get these wounds on your back?"
"I don't know, I can't remember." Brody crossed his arms over his chest and lowering his chin to his chest began to rock. Wendy reached out to him but stopped when he growled, "Don't touch me!"
"Alright Jim. You clearly need to rest. You go on to your cabin, I'll talk to Nathan."
Wendy watched, bewildered as he stumbled out into the hall and disappeared.
Wendy walked into her office and sat at her desk, sighing.
"Well?" Nathan asked.
"He's gone to his quarters."
"Why? I need some answers now, Noyce wants a report after dinner tonight. What am I supposed to tell him?"
"That we've waited ten days and one more isn't going to hurt anything." she snapped irritably.
Nathan frowned at the doctor and she got up to pace in the confined space.
"Something's wrong." Nathan said.
"Yes, but I don't know what." she sighed again. "I need to examine him more thoroughly but he doesn't seem too keen on the idea."
Brody staggered like a drunk, catching himself with an outstretched hand against the bulkhead. He stopped for a moment fighting the urge to run blindly to his cabin. His heart pounded in his chest like a trapped bird as he forced his breathing to slow to a more normal pace. His skin prickled in the chill air and he remembered that he had left his shirt back in the Med Bay. He straightened and continued on to his cabin, locking the door behind him. He lay down on his bunk, pulling the blankets tightly around his shivering body. He fell into a nightmare filled sleep, waking exhausted. There was a knock at his door and for a moment he considered not answering but the knock came again.
"Just a minute." he called. Brody got up and retrieved a clean shirt from his closet. Pulling it on he unlocked the door and pulled it open.
Lonnie stood in the passageway holding a covered tray. She smiled. "Can I come in?"
Brody stepped back and she came in setting the tray on his desk.
"I thought you could use some food. I brought you some soup and a sandwich."
"Thanks." Brody dropped onto his bunk.
Lonnie sat beside him. "You look like ..."
"I was going to say someone who didn't sleep well last night."
"Last night? What time is it?"
"A little after noon."
"Shit, I'm late for duty." He stood up and Lonnie caught his arm.
"Hey, it's alright. Crocker took you off the duty roster for the next week."
"I don't need to be off duty, I'm fine."
"You don't look fine." Lonnie smiled as he frowned at her. She picked up the bowl and a spoon and handed it to him. "Are you going to eat this on your own or do I have to feed it to you?"
Brody took the bowl and spooned some up. He found that he was very hungry and quickly finished the soup and the sandwich.
Lonnie smiled, "You look better already. My mother always said that tomato soup and a cheese sandwich would cure any ill."
"Thanks, Lonnie." Brody's eyes closed slowly and he swayed. Lonnie caught him and gently lay him back on his bunk. She called Med Bay on her PAL.
"Dr. Smith, I'm in Brody's cabin, I think he's sick." she said, worried.
"Can you stay with him? I'll have Dagwood bring him down to the Med Bay."
"Sure." Lonnie sat beside him, holding Jim's hands in hers.
Wendy motioned Dagwood to put Brody on the bed. "Thanks Dagwood, you can go back to hydroponics, Richard still needs your help." The GELF smiled and left. She opened Jim's eyes, checking his pupil reflex with a penlight.
"He's unconscious." Wendy unfastened his slacks and pulled them off.
"What are you doing?" Lonnie asked as Wendy rolled the Lieutenant onto his side.
"Finishing what I started yesterday." Wendy was mortified to discover that the cuts she'd found on his back extended from his shoulders to his knees.
Some of the cuts were recent others at least a week old.
"What is it?" Lonnie asked.
"I think it's whip marks."
"Someone beat him with a whip?" the anger in Lonnie's voice made Wendy look up.
"You can't tell anyone about this, Lonnie."
"I wouldn't hurt Jim by saying anything."
Wendy examined the marks on his wrists. "I thought these were from the police station, but I think they were just made worse from that."
"Why did the police handcuff him?"
"He attacked one of the officers when they tried to take him to the hospital." Wendy set up an i.v. "He's pretty dehydrated, that's why he passed out."
"I don't think he slept well last night." Lonnie blushed as Wendy glanced at her. "I went by to check on him and it sounded like he was having a nightmare."
"I'm going to give him a mild sedative and keep him here for a couple days."
"Is it alright if I sit with him?"
Wendy smiled at the engineer. "Sure, I think Jim needs a friend near when he wakes up." The doctor injected Brody with a sedative and checked the i.v. "I'll be in my office if you need me."
Lonnie smiled and pulled a chair up by the Lieutenant, settling in with her feet curled up under her.
Wendy closed her door and sat at her desk. She opened the computer file for Brody and began to dictate. "The cuts on his back appear to be caused by a whip. The marks are deep enough to bleed but not to require stitches. The wounds extend from his shoulders down his back and buttocks to his knees. The wounds do not extend to the sides. There are traces of an antibiotic salve on the more recent wounds. There are ligature marks on both wrists consistent with restraints. There are bruises and traces of rust on the palmar surfaces of his fingers. Bruises on his face are consistent with injuries caused by being struck with a fist. He is dehydrated and has not eaten much for at least seven days. The bottoms of his feet are dirty and there are what appear to be insect bites on his legs and arms. Due to the bruising and wounding of his chest and back, I cannot determine if there are also insect bites on these areas. He relates that he cannot remember where he has been for the last ten days, nor can he remember how he came to have the wounds on his back and wrists. I can find no physical cause for the amnesia. His uniform shirt and slacks are clean and his clothing has been sent to the lab for forensic analysis. The patient is now under mild sedation and observation with nutritional and hydrational support."
Wendy leaned over her desk, pressing the heels of her hands against her eyes. Tears slipped down her cheeks, falling unnoticed onto the desktop. "There is also evidence of recent sexual assault."
"Admiral Noyce, Mr. Brody is in no shape to stand trial or to be questioned about his whereabouts."
"Dr. Smith, I appreciate your dedication to the health of your crew but it is very important that we question him. The bodies of two young men have been found near the interstate where Lieutenant Brody was picked up."
"You can't think that Jim had anything to do with that?" Wendy asked angrily.
"The bodies have the same type of wounds as Brody."
"What are you saying?"
"The police think this may be the work of a serial murderer. Jim may be able to help them catch this maniac before he can kill again."
Wendy closed her eyes and shook her head. "Jim says he can't remember anything about the ten days he was missing."
"Dr. Smith we have the results of the forensics test on Brody's uniform and a copy of your medical report but we need more."
"If you've read my report you know that he's suffered a very traumatic experience. I'm not sure I can force him to remember what happened to him."
"Please try, Dr. Smith. If you can't get him to tell you, the New Cape Police are going to send out detectives to question him and there is nothing I can do to stop them."
"I'll try." Wendy shut off the link and rubbed her eyes. She became aware of someone standing in the doorway and looked up to see Lonnie.
"I'm sorry to bother you but I heard what the admiral said. If the police question Jim, everyone will know what happened won't they?"
"It's very likely that the news feeds will broadcast the story." Wendy admitted.
"Do you think Jim will tell you what happened?"
"I don't know if he can. There is no physical reason he can't remember but he has apparently blocked the memory of it. Sometimes things happen that are too traumatic for a person to deal with so they block out the memory of it."
"I know." Lonnie said softly. "Have you heard of MDMA?"
"Methlenedioxymethamphetamine? What's that have to do with Jim?" Wendy asked.
"MDMA has been used by psychologists to help victims of assault remember what happened to them."
"Where did you hear about that?"
"I guess I must have read about it somewhere." Lonnie said gazing at the floor.
Wendy could sense that Lonnie was hiding something but she didn't want to press the issue at the moment. Wendy stood up and walked to Lonnie. "Do you remember if that article might have mentioned a dosage?"
Lonnie stepped back, not meeting the doctor's eyes. "120 milligrams."
Lonnie went back and sat on the bed beside Jim as Wendy got the drug from a locked cabinet.
"Jim?" Lonnie said, stroking his hair. "We need to talk, it's very important."
Brody opened his eyes and reached for Lonnie's hand. "I'm scared." he said.
"I know, but we have to do this." She pulled him close as Wendy administered the drug. "I won't leave you, I promise."
"Now what?" Wendy asked.
"Dim the lights, his eyes will be sensitive. Then we wait a little bit and ask him to remember."
The doctor moved to dim all the lights and then she sat on the bed on the other side of Jim. She reached over and pressed her fingers against his neck, checking his pulse. "How do you feel Jim?"
His eyes tracked sluggishly toward her, "I feel …" a smile slowly crossed his face. "… good."
Lonnie hugged him, "Jim, I know you don't like it but we need to know what happened to you while you were gone."
His smile faded and he pressed against Lonnie. "It's bad, I don't want to go there."
Wendy started to speak but Lonnie shook her head, silencing the doctor. "I know it's bad and it hurts, but it's important that you remember where you were." Lonnie said gently. "You went to the base didn't you?"
"I had a meeting with Captain Hatfield."
"The captain was pleased to see you, wasn't he? After you had a drink with him, you left the base."
"We had a drink, bourbon. I said I would buy the drinks next time." Jim began to relax. He lay back against Lonnie, looking up at her. "I left the base at precisely 1528 hours."
"Where did you go after you left the base?" Lonnie questioned.
"I got into the jeep and I pulled out on the boulevard. There was an old man, he said his transport had broken down and he needed a ride …" Brody looked puzzled for a moment. "He wasn't an old man, he hit me with a jinn…"
"What's a jinn?" Wendy asked softly.
"It's a short piece of rubber hose filled with chunks of lead." Lonnie replied quietly. "Then what happened, Jim?"
Brody moved restlessly in her arms. "I woke up in a barn or shed, someplace dark and cold. I couldn't move. I was chained face down on a bed and I was cold."
"Can you tell us where the place was?"
"I could see my uniform, it was folded neatly on a chair with my shoes upside down on top of it." Jim stared at something only he could see. "I was cold because I was naked. I heard someone breathing … I felt his hands on me, touching me. He said I was perfect, that I was beautiful and he loved me. I didn't want his hands touching me like that and I tried to get away but he ... I couldn't get away. I watched him take his clothes off and then he …" Jim began to sob.
Lonnie kissed his forehead. "It's alright Jim."
"He raped me." Brody continued, still crying. Jim took a deep breath and the words spilled faster from his trembling lips. "He told me to say I loved him and that I liked what he was doing to me but I refused. I thought he was going to leave me alone but he just went to a closet and got a whip. He said he'd make me like everything he would do to me and that I would learn to love him or he would kill me. I could hear the whip before it hit. It burned. I tried not to scream but he just kept beating me. Every day he would come in and rape me. Every day he told me to say I loved him but I never said it, never. He always got the whip out and beat me and I couldn't stop screaming." Tears streamed down Jim's pale, bruised face.
"Jim, how did you get away?"
"The girl helped me."
"She came out one night, she said she couldn't stand to hear me screaming anymore, she hid me in her car and drove me out to the interstate."
"Jim, do you know who the man was?"
"No." Jim's eyes closed slowly and his head lolled against the engineer.
"It's wearing off." Lonnie said. "We don't have much time." She gently shook Jim by the shoulders. "Jim can you tell us how to get to the house?"
Brody's eyes opened wide, "I don't want to go back there."
"You don't have to go back, just tell us how to get there so the police can get him."
"He's a bad man." Jim said softly.
"Yes, he's a bad man and he hurt you. We want to stop him from hurting anyone else but you have to tell us how to find him."
"Past the smiling sun sign," Jim's eyes closed again as he snuggled against Lonnie, sighing. "Third road on the left, turn right after two kilometers." He went limp in her arms.
Lonnie settled more comfortably on the bed not wanting to relinquish her hold on Jim. She looked up at the doctor and returned Wendy's smile. "He'll sleep for a while now." Lonnie said softly.
"Thank you Lonnie." Wendy got up and went into her office to call Admiral Noyce.
Later the admiral called to tell them that the police had arrested the man who had kidnapped Jim. "The police found another young man chained up in that freak's garage. The boy is going to testify against him."
"Jim won't have to testify then?" asked Wendy.
"No, but he will still have to make a statement." replied Noyce. "How is he?"
"Much better, he remembers what happened but he seems to be dealing with it ok. What about the girl who helped Jim?"
"The police found her too, she'll be testifying also. You never did tell me how you got the Lieutenant to remember what happened."
"Patience, Admiral." Said Wendy, smiling.
Noyce looked confused, "Patience?"