Well I finally came up for an endding for 'Hardwired', but it may take a day or so to get it written down. So until then feel free to enjoy a lost chapter of Crosswired. And by 'lost' I mean I wrote it as an after thought when I had nothing else to do. A prolouge of sorts on how Daniel endded up missing.
For anyone interested in the 'Wired' series of Angst novels, they can be found here, starting with Crosswired.
Daniel drove home with his mind on just about everything but the road itself. He'd driven the route so many times that his car practically knew the way on its own. It was only about six o'clock but the change in seasons made it night already.
Formost on his mind was an artifact that Sam had brought him earlier that day. She had found it out of place on the Base, in one of the storage closets. It had long since lost its catalogue tag and she had wondered if he remembered which planet it had come from, or at the very least if it was important enough to keep.
He had told her that it was certainly important, even if he didn't know exactly where it had come from or what it was for. He had placed it on his desk and stared at it for hours trying to recall where he'd found it. Eventually Jack had come and informed him that it was time to go home for the weekend.
Driving through a hilly forested area Daniel was still rotating the unidentified object in his mind. When someone coming towards him suddenly turned their lights on and then flashed their high beams at him he was caught completely off guard. When the blinding lights swerved towards him he automatically jerked the wheel away.
The shoulder of the road sloped away into the forest. When the tires of the car hit the soft dirt and slippery leaf litter from the autumn leaves Daniel lost control of the car. The light framed car slid and started to spin before slamming passenger side first into a sturdy tree. The odd direction of the impact slammed Daniel's temple against the shatter resistant glass of the driver's window.
Once he was sure that the car had come to a complete stop Daniel took his hands off the wheel. Unsure of what had just happened he gingerly touched his sore temple. He brought his hand down and stared blankly at the blood that now marked his fingers.
Through the haze of confusion Daniel suddenly heard a sharp tapping sound. He looked around before spotting a man in black clothes and a flashlight outside the driver's side window. Still confused by the accident Daniel just started at him.
The man smiled brightly and tapped the window again. When Daniel still didn't respond the stranger pointed to the door lock. Finally understanding Daniel felt along the edge of the door for the button and unlocked the door.
The stranger opened the door and reached in and unbuckled the seat belt that had kept Daniel from being thrown clear of the car. Daniel didn't question the man's motives when he offered him his hand. He accept the help and shakily got out of the car.
"Thank you," Daniel said gratefully "is the other driver alri..."
He was cut off as the man suddenly forced Daniel around and pinned him face down on the warm hood of his car. Completely disoriented Daniel simply tried to push himself away from the car. The man snatched one of Daniel's wrists and brought it behind his back. When Daniel tried again to move he cried out in pain as the man jerked his wrist violently up towards his shoulder blades.
"Stay still." The man growled.
"W...what?" Daniel stuttered. "What are you doing?"
When the stranger went to take possession of his other wrist Daniel finally realized that he wasn't trying to help him. With a strength backed by fear Daniel elbowed his attacker in the face. Caught off guard the man released his prey.
Daniel pushed himself away from the car and whipped around. He had every intention of fighting the man until he discovered that he wasn't alone. There were two others as well and they were moving in to capture him again.
The 'flight' half of Daniel's 'fight or flight' response took over instantly. He made it around the car, but was quickly tackled. The pair rolled a short way down the gentle slope that the car had stopped in front of. At the bottom Daniel untangled himself and broke into a run.
He didn't make it very far before they were on him again. He lashed out at anything that touched him in a chaotic and increasingly claustrophobic fight. It began to feel like the trees themselves were trying to pin him down. The men were trying to get him restrained, but seemed unwilling to injure him or become injured themselves. Although out numbered Daniel managed to keep enough freedom to fight back.
"Pierceson, bring him down." One of the men growled.
Daniel suddenly found himself free. However before he could take advantage of it a paralyzing jolt from what he guessed to be a tazer brought him down to his hands and knees. He ground his teeth together but failed to keep from retching in the leaf litter. His fear response to electricity had been thrown way out of proportion ever since Honduras.
"He's stronger that I though." The first man said approvingly.
The three men converged on him once again. Two of them grabbed him by the upper arms and forced him to his feet. With the muscles of his back still suffering spasms from the tazer it was impossible for him to fight back. Daniel took as deep a breath as he could manage.
His desperate cry for help was cut short as his third attacker forced a thick cloth between his teeth and tied it tightly behind his head. Starting to run low on available adrenaline Daniel allowed them to guide him back towards his ruined car.
Back at the wreck there were several more people and two dark coloured vans there now. Daniel didn't see all of the details, his attention had been suddenly taken up by the ominous black body bag that lay next to his car. It looked like someone was inside it.
With the two men still pinning his arms back the third one stepped in front of him and started to carefully unbutton Daniel's light blue shirt. The others released him just long enough to pull the article of clothing away from him.
When they had their prize one of them secured Daniel's wrists behind his back with a plastic zip tie. One of the new comers came up and took the shirt and walked over towards the body bag.
"Do you need the pants as well?"
"No, the fibers from the shirt should be enough. I do need the shoes, in case there's enough of the rubber sole left after the fire to analyze. Although if everything goes according to plan there will only be charred bone left."
Before Daniel knew what was happening one of the men hooked his foot around his ankle and with a quick jerk he pulled him off balance. Landing hard on his back he fought to regain his breath while his shoes were taken from him as well.
Daniel cried out against the cloth between his teeth in a mixture of fear and rage as they hauled him back to his now bare feet. He threw himself back as hard as he could, slamming the man behind him into a tree. The other came to try and restrain him once more and ended up receiving a painful kick.
Although it was a good effort the two men recovered quickly and brought Daniel back under control easily. They started to lead him towards one of the back vans. Screaming once again Daniel thrashed to escape.
"We're going to have to drug him." The first man sighed. "He's going to hurt himself."
Despite Daniel's best efforts to resist he soon found himself on his knees. One of them tangled their hand into his sweat and blood drenched hair and yanked back his head to expose his throat. Staring up at the night sky Daniel swallowed convulsively as he felt a needle being pushed through his skin and into a vein.
The drug was warm, he could trace its path through his system as it race along with his blood. Whatever it was dulled his senses, but he managed to stay awake. Too exhausted to struggled further Daniel stumbled over to one of the vans at the physical instruction of his main attacker.
Laying on his side on the floor of the van his laboured breathing became increasingly thick and slow. He shook his head trying to clear it, but that only brought on an unwelcome wave of nausea. The man who had brought him to the van stepped inside, followed by one of the others.
They beat a signal on the metallic side of the van and the vehicle began to move. Still conscious Daniel waited for an opportunity to strike. He wasn't even sure why he did it, but when the second man came into range he lashed out and kicked him hard in the knee. The man growled in pain and backed away.
Daniel braced himself for the inevitable retaliation. However it never came. Once the man recovered he simply held Daniel down while the other secured another zip tie around his ankles. Daniel would have preferred a sharp kick to the ribs, this cold professionalism was far more terrifying.
"He's still got a mean kick. Should we dose him again?"
"No. We were specifically instructed that if we absolutely had to use drugs to use something mild to avoid damage. Once his cortisol levels drop it will bring him down."
"You're the expert."
Daniel knew the man was right, he could feel the encroaching darkness getting heavier. It was instinct to struggle against it even though he knew in his mind that he had lost this fight before it had even started. Eventually he began to feel like taking the next breath was just too much effort and he gave in to sleep.
What confused Daniel the most when he woke again was the fact that it didn't seem to matter if his eyes were open or closed. The results were the same, a darkness so absolute that his eyes played tricks on him with a myriad of colours.
Experimenting with movement he found himself unbound, laying on a carpeted floor. He sat up carefully, welding his eyes shut against a pounding headache. His memories of the day were sketchy at best. The last think he could remember clearly was having coffee in the mess at the SGC with Jack. After that things became a jumbled mess of daily activities and unexpected violence.
Daniel tried to get to his feet, however, his legs simply refused to support him. Accepting this he explored his new environment on his hands and knees. The wall was not difficult to find nor was it very far away.
The door was a little trickier to find and although he knew it would be locked he tried it anyway. The door did not disappoint and remained stubbornly locked. A quick tour of the rest of the room proved it to be small, featureless and more rectangular in shape than square.
Not knowing what else to do Daniel sought out the corner furthest from the door and sat there with his knees pulled up protectively against his chest. In the dark time was meaningless, so he had no idea how he waited before something happened.
Noises from outside suddenly perked Daniel's attention. He tried once more to get to his feet, but he simply wasn't ready. When the door opened a bright light sliced into the room like a razor sharp knife. Crying out in pain Daniel threw his arm up over his eyes.
"When I said 'keep him in the dark', I meant don't tell him what is going on...not literally 'in the dark'." A female voice said in an annoyed tone.
"Right." A deep voice muttered.
"Which one is this?"
Daniel heard his name and tried to respond to it, however his throat was dry as the deserts he used to call home. He tried once more to look at the speakers, but his eyes couldn't adjust.
"Thank you for doing this." The female voice said softly.
"I can't believe I agreed to it."
"You won't regret our deal."
"I regret it already."
There was a sudden silence between the two intruders. Daniel thought he heard the male make a noise of disgust and leave. Although still blinded he could sense the other approaching. He jerked back violently when she delicately touched his arm.
"I am sorry." The woman said softly.
"W...who are you?" Daniel finally managed to speak.
"No one you know."
"What do you what?"
"Something you don't remember..."