Characters: Connor, Abby, Danny Quinn, Nick, and Corporal Baumann
A/N: I own nothing of "Primeval" that belongs to Impossible Pictures and I make no money from this, clearly. This is a crossover between "Primeval" and "The Bunker" and no one will have needed to see "The Bunker" to understand this. And no, I didn't just write this on a whim.
Summary: After weaving through a labyrinth of anomalies, Connor, Nick, and Abby are thrown into WWII-Germany where they meet Danny Quinn's doppelganger, who seems to know Connor. The team is further puzzled when the soldier offers Connor the message: "Leave me here to die."
As Connor trudged up the steps he was met at the door by Nick. The man's face was flushed with anger and Nick snapped at him, "Where have you been Connor? We've been worried sick about you! What are you doing, going off all alone like that and--" His eyes rested on the unconscious German in Connor's arms. "Oh no, no no no, Connor… you cannot bring him in here."
"I can… and I will!" Connor replied as he glared at Nick.
Entering the cabin, Connor made his way towards the bedroom and before setting the German onto the bed. As Connor began pulling off the jacket, Nick appeared in the room demanding, "Just what the hell are you doing Connor?"
"What does it look like?" Connor retorted, sniffing away his annoyance. "I'm saving his life."
Nick came closer to Connor and saw the insignia on the uniform. Sighing in frustration, Nick ran a hand through his hair and said, "You can't just go off in the middle of the night to retrieve some soldier, especially one like him!"
"He's a life," Connor replied stiffly. He paused briefly to glare reproachfully at the person he used to admire. "Does it honestly matter what side of the war he's on?"
"That's not what I meant and you know that!" Nick made his way to the bed but was gently pushed aside by Abby as she went to Connor's patient. Her hand flew to her mouth the instant she saw his face.
"No… it can't be!" She looked up at Connor, her eyes begging for an answer.
"It's Danny," Connor replied with a hopeful grin.
"That's impossible!" Abby leaned over the German's still figure and placed her fingers against his neck to check for a pulse.
At last Nick was able to see the man that Connor was trying to protect. For a moment he too believed that he was looking upon Danny Quinn. But the idea of Danny surviving the wolves and making it through the anomaly was implausible. And surely had Danny made it through, the cabin was not so far off that he wouldn't have been able to locate it without changing clothes.
Clearing his throat, Nick said, "It is impossible because that's not Quinn."
"Of course it's not. It's just his doppelganger." Still worried that the man would bleed to death, Connor looked to Abby and inquired anxiously, "How is he?"
"His pulse is weak but it is steady," Abby replied as she straightened. Ignoring Nick, Abby moved around the bed and began tearing the soldier's shirt. Once the wound was exposed, Abby spoke to Connor, "I'm going to need some cloth and some water." She sighed and wiped a hand through her fringe. "Hopefully there is still some coming into this place."
"I'll get it now."
Nick stepped to the side as Connor rushed past him. He couldn't believe that the two were outright ignoring him. As disbelief over the sudden mutiny sank in, Nick moved towards the door and said, "I hope you two are well aware what this situation indicates."
"A man slowly bleeding to death," was Abby's simple response.
Connor snuck back into the room, grinning inwardly at Abby's commitment to helping people. As he handed her the towels, he said, "Thanks Abby."
Once more Nick sighed, this time running his fingers through his hair as he came back to the bed. "Look, I know it is unfortunate what happened to this soldier and under normal circumstances I would be in favour of saving his life. But presently, this means that we are behind enemy lines and that the Germans are so far scattered that even their wounded are losing their way."
"Or," said Connor as he moved back out of the room. "Perhaps we are stuck between the two lines. After all, chilly weather like this with leaves on the ground makes it a pretty strong indication of fall. And about this time, depending on where you are, Operation Market Garden has probably just started."
"Oh, that's just perfect," said Nick sarcastically as he began to pace. "So instead of just worrying about being exposed to just normal soldiers on either side, we have British and American paratroopers coming at us from the west and experienced panzer divisions to the east. Oh, that's real reassuring Connor. The fact of the matter remains that at any moment we could be faced with soldiers. And Allied or not, we cannot be seen by any of them. You might have rewritten part of history just by bringing him here!"
"His name is Danny," said Connor as he walked back to the bed and handed Abby a water basin.
"Did he tell you this?" Nick inquired as he watched the youth kneel by the bed. "Or are you still convinced that this is Quinn?"
"I'm not a child Cutter, I know that this isn't my best friend but someone else." The anger burning within Connor was mixed with sorrow in remembering that even by saving this man's life, it still wouldn't bring him his lost friend. Sniffing back his grief, Connor continued, "When I called this man 'Danny', he acted as though this was added reassurance that I was someone he knew. He treated me like a friend, someone he really cared about."
Taking the jacket, Connor reached into the inner pocket and pulled out slips of paper. He smiled when he read the identification papers. Proudly he presented his find to Nick. The professor was astonished at what the papers indicated.
"See," Connor said as he beamed knowingly. "Daniel Baumann. That's his name. And he's like Danny Quinn too. He's good, Cutter, I can feel it. Please, we need to save him."
Nick was about to respond when Abby cut in suddenly.
"Connor-- I hate to cut in on your discussion but his wound is pretty bad, and by the looks of it, he's already lost a lot of blood."
Resting his hand lightly against Baumann's forehead, Connor took in a small breath before he asked, "Can Danny be saved?"
"He wasn't shot, he was stabbed. So at least we won't have to worry about retrieving a bullet." Abby sighed and began cleaning around the wound. "It seems that he was stabbed through his side but the angle of it made it so it didn't hit anything vital. The ribs suffered the most damage, luckily for him. But…"
"But what?" Connor regarded Abby anxiously, completely unaware that tears were finally making their way down his cheeks.
Rubbing her brow with the back of her hand, Abby continued quietly, "Judging by how the scrape marks have healed, this poor man has been bleeding for several hours. He's lost a lot of blood and the chances of infection is very high." There came a pause as Connor shut his eyes and tried to suck in his grief. He wasn't going to lose this Danny either! Seeing Connor's plight, Abby added, "However, if we cauterize the wound, he'll have a chance."
Once more Abby paused as she placed her hand over Connor's. "And it is likely that if he wasn't able to find either army, he would have died in a few hours."
Connor sighed and a small wisp of a smile dotted his features. He brushed away his tears and clasped her hand tenderly. "Thank you Abby."
"Don't thank me. He's not out of the woods yet." Abby looked over to Nick and asked, "Can I build a fire now?"
"That wouldn't be a good idea," Nick stated firmly, making sure to not look at Abby as he said this. Instead he kept his eyes on Connor, who now was regarding him as though he had just been betrayed. "If we are between lines and we don't know which direction either army is headed, we could alert either side to our location by lighting that fire. Unlike the prehistoric worlds that we have been in, we cannot be seen in this one. Everything we do here has an impact on us directly, especially with this war. We must do nothing but wait for the next anomaly."
"Why don't you want to help him?" Connor interrupted as he glared accusingly at Nick.
Sighing, Nick leaned against the doorframe and drew a hand through his hair. He replied, "Connor, I don't want him to die either but,"
"But you're sentencing him to death!"
"He's not Quinn, Connor. No matter how much you want him to be, he will never be the friend you lost. Quinn, the man who is your friend, is dead, and there is nothing that we can do to change that. Helping this man will not bring him back. Connor, you're going to have to accept that there are some things that you cannot change."
"But we can save this man's life!" Connor exclaimed, disbelief glaring from his eyes. How could Nick refuse aid to someone? Wasn't that entirely against his own personal values? Connor looked back at the unconscious Baumann before continuing, "How am I supposed to just accept that we have a chance at saving someone's life but all we're going to do is sit here and do nothing?"
"Connor, we don't know anything about this man. What if this man is supposed to die, Connor? Would you want to be responsible for changing the future?"
"If it means another life saved then yes, I would gladly take responsibility," replied Connor with a stubborn frown. The earlier sorrow in his voice steadily transformed as he found strength in his resolution. He could not be pushed into changing his mind.
However, the newfound courage only added to the uncertainty of the dilemma that Nick had to face. He asked, "Connor, what if this man lives and has children who wind up tearing the country apart, or doing something else that alters the present as we know it? Remember what Abby said? If this man wasn't able to find either army he would bleed to death out there."
"His name is Baumann and that is a horrible way to die! What if he was supposed to find an army and actually makes it through the war? But even if he wasn't supposed to live, what if he has children and they find the cure for cancer… or some other disease." He looked over at Abby and found that she was nodding her head in agreement. Hope surged through Connor's heart at this display of loyalty.
"If that is what Baumann's children would be destined for, the world would greatly welcome them," Nick replied as he clasped his hands together. Leaning his head against the door, Nick continued, "But we just can't be certain of what saving him is going to do. Even if we save him, he still may not survive the war. And if he was not meant to live beyond now, what other harm could we be bringing the Allies by letting him live?"
"What are you suggesting?" Connor demanded, his glare hardening, "That he would play some significant role in a war that is almost over? He's not some killer, Cutter. When I first found him, Danny called me 'Neumann' and always referred to him as 'my friend'. Everything he said to me was not in a superior, from-one-soldier-to-another tone. It was spoken like two comrades who had grown so close that they were like brothers.
"He cared so much about this Neumann that he seemed grief-stricken that I wasn't surrendering to the Allies. Danny wants Neumann safe and was willing to die completely alone but happy in the knowledge that his dear friend was safe. Whoever this Neumann is, he's a friend that Danny wanted safe with the Allies. And in case you forgot your history, if it was found that a soldier was deserting or that another had helped him, they were shot without a trial."
Connor paused and his expression softened as he pleaded, "Danny is a regular soldier. He is good, I can feel it. He's like our Danny! We can't just condemn him to death! Please Cutter, let us help him! Don't make me watch him die."
"All right, he can stay," Nick said as he looked up towards the ceiling. "Do whatever is necessary to treat his wound but as soon as you are done, get rid of that fire!"
Abby nodded and Connor bowed his head, whispering words of gratitude. Turning to Connor, Abby said, "I need you to get whatever you can burn and make a fire. Then find me a big knife."
"What if there aren't any knives?"
Abby sighed and sadly regarded Baumann's pale face. "Just find me a knife, okay?"
Nodding, Connor left the room. He hurried into the living room, bumping into a few objects that were obscured by the darkness of the night, and made sure that the fireplace was still operable. Satisfied, Connor began gathering some of the wood that had been left by the fireplace. He quickly placed in a few logs and was about to rise when he suddenly smelled something burning. Panic jumped into Connor's throat but the moment he rose, Nick was there to greet him.
"This should speed things up a bit," said Nick as he handed Connor a burning piece of newspaper. There was a faint hint of a smile in the older man's eyes as he watched Connor nestle it among the wood. Soon the wood was engulfed in flames.
A slight feeling of shame overcame Connor, and for a moment he was disposed to sitting next to the fire, gazing into it and wishing that he hadn't said all of those harsh words. It wasn't easy to get along with Nick Cutter; it never had been. Even after creating the anomaly detector and making it mobile, Connor still had felt a desire to keep proving himself worthy to Nick. But all of that seemed ruined with his sudden rebellion against Nick's judgment, something which Connor knew that he would not be able to live down. But what was pride if it meant the death of another man?
"Connor, I know you care about that man in there," said Nick softly as he continued studying the youth. Keeping his tone gentle, Nick continued, "And I also know that Danny Quinn meant a lot to you. What your heart tells you to do is usually the right course of action, but in this case Connor, I hope you will remember that we are not in the present."
Connor stiffened and braced himself for another verbal confrontation. But to his surprise, Nick simply added, "I do hope that he makes it."
Meanwhile, as Abby pressed a fresh cloth against Baumann's wounds, she noticed the man beginning to stir. Fear crept through her as she watched the man awaken. There were times that wounded soldiers lashed out at the people that were trying to help them, terrified that they were instead being slowly butchered to death. Making sure that the cloth was secure over Baumann's wound, Abby backed away from the man. When at last he opened his eyes, Abby held her breath and waited.
The German took in a few uneven breaths before letting his head turn opposite of Abby. After a moment of taking in the dimly lit room, Baumann shifted his gaze and faced Abby. The woman stood paralyzed in her spot, clutching one of the bloodied rags.
"Don't be afraid," Abby whispered, hoping that she didn't sound as nervous as she felt. "I'm only helping you. You were wounded." Abby pointed at the man's side and then showed him the cloth. "You are in good hands, I promise."
Baumann regarded the rag in Abby's hand and then tried to look at his wound. But the pain drove him back onto the bed and he simply let out an exhausted sigh. "Kein angst, fräulein. Ich werde Ihnen nichts tun." Then he returned his gaze to the ceiling and his frown deepened. "Wo ist mein Freund? Neumann?"
That's the name that Connor had mentioned! Donning a cheerful smile, Abby replied, "Neumann? Hold on just a moment, yeah? Let me go get him."
Abby then stepped into the hall and towards the living room. Through the darkness she could hear Connor and Nick's voice. She urged quietly, "Connor! Your friend is awake and he's asking for you! I need you, now!"
"Don't worry," said Nick as he placed a comforting hand on Connor's shoulder. "I'll get everything ready, you just make sure that your friend stays calm. If he at all proves dangerous I will--"
"He's not dangerous," replied Connor with the smallest of smiles. "He's Danny. And he won't hurt me, or Abby."
"Come on!" Abby insisted, tugging on Connor's arm until he was following her.
When the two re-entered the room, Baumann inclined his head and greeted Connor with a friendly smile. "Mein Freund!"
Connor knelt next to the bed and grasped Baumann's hand. In German he responded, "I'm here and as I said before, I'm not going to leave you."
"Who is this?" Baumann inquired, regarding Abby. "And who is the other person?"
"This is Abby, and she is part of the Underground. I met them earlier and they said that they could help. They really do want to help you Danny."
Baumann chuckled suddenly and squeezed Connor's hand. "You are a good man, Matthias. But you shouldn't be trying to save me."
"You've said this before. Why do you not want me to help you?"
"Die Panzer kommen."
"You know they can't move at night," Connor responded, his voice catching as he tried to maintain his composure. "So for now, I'm going to take care of you. You're safe here." He looked over at the door as Nick appeared. This was it. Turning back to the German, Connor gripped his hand even tighter and told him, "To avoid infection we have to cauterize the wound. Do you understand?"
"I don't have a choice," chuckled Baumann. He sighed softly and whispered, "Just get it over and done with. And Matthias, if I die, get to England. It's the only safe place for us now."
"I will," Connor replied. "But you are not going to die."
Abby took one of the clean cloths and handed it to Connor, telling him, "Give this to him Connor. It's going to be very painful and I doubt you'd want him to break your hand."
"He won't hurt me," Connor said with a small smile. "He's my friend."
Baumann willingly took the cloth and bit down on it as Nick brought the knife over to Abby. When Connor saw it, he knew that it was a bayonet. Where Nick had found that was beyond his understanding but at the moment, Connor didn't care. He watched as the glowing blade was brought towards the wound. As soon as the fiery metal touched Baumann's flesh there came a terrible hiss. A wisp of smoke floated in the air that immediately wreaked of scorched flesh.
On the bed Baumann writhed in agony and his teeth clamped hard onto the cloth. Connor held the man's hand tightly and watched helplessly as Baumann fought the torture. And though the procedure had only taken a few moments to accomplish, it took Baumann even longer to settle down. Connor grimaced as the grip on his hand worsened but for the German's sake, he wasn't going to complain. Instead he took a dry cloth and gently wiped the sweat from Baumann's brow.
"You did it Danny, you did it," Connor whispered in encouragement. He was overjoyed at Baumann surviving and even more pleased to see him calming at last. But his happiness soon turned to grief when he watched his friend begin to shut his eyes. In the sudden panic, Connor forgot his German and blurted, "Don't go to sleep Danny! Stay awake mate!"
"Connor." Abby gently placed her hand over his. "He's going to be fine. Just let him sleep."
Though it grieved him greatly, Connor did as Abby said and watched as Baumann fell unconscious. A smile came to Connor and he resumed wiping away the sweat from Baumann's brow. "He's just as strong as Danny and equally hard-headed. Luckily for us, it's proven to be of great help." He looked up at Abby and smiled through grateful tears. "Thank you for what you have done for him, Abby."
The young woman bowed her head a little and smiled. "He means a lot to all of us Connor. You're not alone in feeling that way. We're all in this together."
"All of us," echoed Nick from the door. He kept his watchful gaze on Connor for a moment, making sure that the youth understood that he meant every word. Then he said, "I'll put out the fire and I'm going to stay upfront for the rest of the night to keep watch. The both of you, stay in here and try to get some rest."
"We will," the pair replied.
As soon as Abby finished bandaging the wound, Connor pulled a blanket over Baumann. He was then handed a second blanket. "Here, put this on him as well. It may feel warm to us but we've also been stuck in the ice age and he hasn't. He's going to need all the warmth that he can get if he wants to fight off infection."
"You think of everything," Connor teased gently as he covered Baumann a second time. After making sure that his German friend was comfortable, Connor followed Abby to the wall where he slid down next to her. Pain shot through his leg and as he hit the floor he was reminded of the dire wolf encounter. He groaned and immediately began nursing his arm. "Why didn't I feel this earlier?"
"It's the adrenaline," replied Abby in a matter-of-fact tone. "Now that the excitement is over your body is feeling its own injuries."
"That explains a few things," Connor grumbled as he winced once more. His eyes began to droop but he fought it off in an attempt to salvage the few bits of pride he had left. "You know Abby, if you want to, you can use my shoulder as a pillow. I promise I won't have any objection to it."
A soft chuckle escaped Abby and she playfully pushed against his arm.
Several hours later, Abby was curled up in Connor's lap and sleeping peacefully. She had his arm over her waist as a way of being comforted. Like Connor, she greatly missed the real Danny Quinn. He had always been the hopeful type, even if annoyingly optimistic at times. When Becker and Connor begged her to wait for back-up to arrive, Danny had agreed to pursuing her brother into the future without waiting. Danny had never been a quitter. It was from this that Abby was able to draw her strength.
It was also why she missed him so much. Danny had trusted her with so much and the fact that he even treated Connor more than a child, like Nick and Stephen always had, made her appreciate Danny even more. And she knew how much Connor loved his best friend. But unlike him, Abby could not openly grieve. She had to be strong for both Connor and the team. There was no room for being a woman here.
Unknown to the sleeping woman, Baumann had begun to stir. He gasped quietly as his side still throbbed like fire. But it was as the Abby had said, he was in good hands. Slowly Baumann turned his head to look for Connor and he saw the pair huddled on the floor. His discerning eyes watched them for a moment before shutting.
At last the morning light began to filter through the clouds and into the trees. In the silence of the woods there rose a steady beep. Nick jerked his head around to the table, his eyes wide with hope. Leaping at the table, Nick grabbed the anomaly detector and saw to his great joy that it was blinking furiously. Nick kissed the contraption and hastened towards the sleeping trio. Sticking his head into the room, Nick exclaimed, "An anomaly has opened! Wake up!"
"An anomaly?" Abby murmured as she lifted her head and stared up at Nick.
"Yes," Nick grinned. "Time to go."
"But what about Danny?" Connor inquired as he let Abby help him up.
"We can't take him with us," Nick replied. "It's far too dangerous to do so."
"But we're not going to leave him here, are we?"
Nick sighed and looked to Abby for help but the young woman put up her hands and said, "Do not look to me for help on this one. I knew that this was coming but I still am not sure I can give a correct answer."
"We're not leaving him!" Connor exclaimed, not even trying to keep his voice quiet anymore.
"I'm sorry Connor, but we have no other choice. Abby's stopped the bleeding and that will give him enough time to find an army. You've done your best for him."
"No, no," Connor shook his head and moved next to the bed. "Danny was making sure that Neumann got safely back to the lines and now it is my turn to help by getting him into safe hands." He looked down at Baumann and was slightly shocked to see that the man was beginning to wake up. A weak laugh escaped Connor as he said, "See, he's waking up! We've got to at least try to help him!"
"Don't argue with me," Nick suddenly snapped. "We're going, even if I have to drag you with us! You're friend is going to be safe here."
"Tanks are coming," said Connor suddenly. "That's what he told me. I know if we stay here we are liable to get obliterated by tank shells or mortars from the Allies, but I cannot leave him. This cabin is a target Cutter. At least, let me get him to someplace safe where I can explain that…" Connor suddenly squeezed his eyes shut. "How can I explain that I am abandoning him?"
"Mein Freund," said Baumann softly as he began pushing himself up. In German he said to Connor, "If it is time for you to go then you must go with them. Do not let me slow you down. I will catch up with you when I get to the Allies."
"Promise me that you will make it."
Baumann smiled weakly at Connor. "I'm sitting up at least. If I can get to my feet on my own, it is a promise."
At those words the German rose shakily. Connor reached out to help him but the German pulled his arm away. "The Panzers are coming and you must get away from them as quickly as--" the silence of the morning was interrupted by an explosion from within the woods. Baumann's eyes widened some. "They are here." Straightening, Baumann grasped Connor's hands and spoke urgently to him, "Please, get out of here. Keep running and don't look back! You will make it my friend."
"But you will get to the Allies, won't you?"
Baumann just smiled as a second blast shook the cabin. This was promptly followed by another explosion and then another. Nick appeared in the room and grabbed Connor's arm. "We've got to get out of here before they figure out that we're here! I don't know which side is blasting who, but it sounds like they're both having a go at each other!"
Connor was hardly listening as he was yanked out of the room. He made one last call for Baumann before he was dragged out of the house. Another explosion close to them rocked the ground and sent Connor tumbling into the dirt. He was hoisted gruffly to his feet by Nick.
"Can you run?" he asked.
Connor weakly nodded, throwing one last desperate look at the cabin. At that moment, Nick released Connor and raced ahead to help Abby as she ran in the opposite direction of the explosions. As soon as he caught up with her, Nick began directing her towards the apparent anomaly site. Connor limped forward, still torn between trying to help Baumann and wanting to rejoin his friends.
A mortar crashed into the side of the house causing an explosion that sent Connor into the dirt. Blinding pain filled his legs and along his injured arm. Connor cried out and held his arms over his head. Faintly he could hear Abby yelling for him and in his hazy vision, Connor could see Nick racing back to get him. Knowing that he had to move forward or else be subjected to further mortars, Connor dragged himself to his feet and sprinted towards Nick.
Another mortar pummelled the cabin, tearing it apart. As Connor ran a mortar struck the ground behind him. The shock of the round detonating hurled Connor into the base of a tree. He slumped to the ground, completely lifeless.