Disclaimer: Don't own anything unfortunately. Oh well, I still get to play :-)
The surf pounded at the limp body on the shoreline, tossing it first one way and then pulling it another. As the sun began to rise above the tree line its rays reflected off the debris scattered along the beach. Not much remained of a life raft and its emergency contents. The man on the beach wore an ill-fitted life jacket that looked as though it had been put on in haste. In truth it had been fitted while he was unconscious. Struggling to lift his dead weight, his young companion had barely been able to get the jacket over his head and tie it off roughly around his arm before they had been engulfed by a wave. His own jacket had been swept away with the previous monster wave. He had no choice but to put the remaining jacket on his captain and hope they wouldn't need to rely on it to keep them both afloat until help arrived.
Focusing solely on the task of keeping his friend from drowning he had been unable to stop their precious supplies from being washed away as the tiny life raft was buffeted by the churning ocean. He hadn't been able to do anything but watch helplessly as the shuttle craft they had just escaped from, sank silently beneath the waves, taking with it any way to contact anyone. He wasn't sure if he had been able to activate the emergency beacon before it went down. There just hadn't been enough time to do anything more, like radio out a distress call.
In the stillness of the early morning there was no sign of the teenager. Seagulls circled overhead with a screeching cry as they searched for food. Tiny crabs scuttled back and forth across the sand. The small island was waking up. The man on the beach also began to stir. Waves crashed mercilessly against his still form and he began to register the movement in his senses if not in his mind. As he struggled to open his eyes the stinging spray of salt water made him shut them again quickly. Rubbing the water from his face he tried to sit up but the pounding in his head made him fall back to the sand. Water rushed in over his feet again and he began to take in the sensations he was feeling. Soggy. Cold. Pain. Confusion.
A glimpse of the previous night flashed through his mind but it just brought more confusion. He was with someone. Who? The answer refused to form in his mind so he decided the first priority was to get out of the water. One step at a time. Slowly and painfully he pulled himself into a sitting position and was immediately engulfed by a wave of nausea. His head spun and the view in front of him was awash with spots.
"Little sparks," he mused to himself. "Lots of little Tinkerbells." He laughed out loud at that incongruous thought but immediately regretted it as his vision blurred over again and he had to force himself to stay upright. There was nothing funny about that. As the nausea subsided he slowly tried to stand up. Pushing against the wet sand he felt a stabbing pain run the length of his arm and he gasped in agony. Falling back to the sand he gingerly pulled back his dark blue sleeve only to see that his right arm was horribly swollen and bruised.
Another flash of memory and he recalled the sickening sensation of being violently thrown to the floor. Holding his arms up instinctively he had tried to protect himself from the fall. Someone pulled him upright but the face refused to resolve itself in his memory. Frustration lent strength to his determination and he tried again to stand up, this time cradling his right arm with his left. The spots swam before his eyes again but not as bad as before. He managed to stay on his feet and stagger out of the reach of the waves before collapsing back onto the dry sand. His soggy clothes clung uncomfortably to his body and he shivered in the wind. Vague flashes of yelling and rushing water came back to haunt him but he still couldn't work out who the face belonged to. Young. Blonde hair. Frightened. Yelling something he couldn't understand.
"Damn it! Who are you? What happened here?" he wondered out aloud. The only answer he got was the squawking of seagulls fighting over fish in the shallow rock pools.
Thirteen hours earlier….
Jonathan Ford wandered slowly around the bridge, noting how smoothly this crew worked together. The seaQuest had been his for three days while Captain Bridger and Lucas were away at a bio-technics conference and he had reveled in the position of acting Captain. There was no place he wanted to be more than the bridge of the UEO flagship. He was jolted out of his musing by the urgent sound of his sensor chief calling a warning.
"Commander, we've got an undersea earthquake dead ahead. Shockwave's on its way!" Ortiz spun back in his chair to check the WSKRs for sensor readings.
"Sound "Collision". All hands brace for impact!" He issued the order and seconds later a klaxon sounded throughout the boat. As Ford waited for the shockwave to hit he grabbed the nearest handrail and held on. He glanced around at the faces before him and saw the tension in them. There was no way of knowing just how hard a shockwave would hit and they could be devastating to undersea craft. As the first of a series of waves hit the seaQuest several of the bridge crew were thrown off balance and hit the floor. Ford clung on tightly and waited for the violent motion to subside. Gradually the shockwaves dissipated and things returned to normal.
"Everybody OK?" Ford called out as he ran to help Ensign Daniels to her feet. Looking around he checked that nobody seemed to be more than bruised and he breathed a sigh of relief. He didn't want to be handing the boat back over to the captain in less than perfect shape. The captain! He and Lucas were on their way back in the shuttle. They had called in when leaving the conference but hadn't checked in since. Their ETA was still three hours away so hopefully that put them outside the range of the shockwaves. Ford didn't want to consider what they could do to a small craft like a shuttle.
"O'Neill! Call up the shuttle and check on Captain Bridger and Lucas."
"Aye Sir. SeaQuest calling Shuttle One, come in Shuttle One."
"SeaQuest calling Shuttle One. Captain Bridger please respond."
Ford looked at his communications officer with a growing feeling of concern.