Disclaimer: I don't own Primeval or its characters…
Author's note: Because the more I like a character, the more I abuse them… (I blame watching too much Die Hard as a child).
Warning: Violence and coarse language. Please let me know if it's enough to merit a higher rating.
Captain Becker grunted in frustration as he pulled against the handcuffs that were binding him to the railing, effectively immobilizing him. He was sitting on the edge of the ramp in the heart of the ARC, and yet it was disturbingly abandoned. Everyone had scattered, been rounded up by the invading force or fled into hiding. And here he was, basically sitting on his hands, while hostiles were doing who knew what in his building, to his people.
Being powerless...it was precisely what he despised the most. Worse than just being rendered powerless, to be so while others, those he had sworn to protect were in danger. And more than just a job or his duty, the ragtag team of eccentric, odd, and possibly insane had become his friends.
Willing himself to calm, he strained to listen to the conversation on the edge of his hearing; if one could call it conversation. The voices were most definitely raised-aggressive, tense. And there were no exchange of ideas other than 'do what I say or someone'll get hurt' and 'screw you.' A small flash of pride put a brief smile upon Becker's face as he heard Abby's obviously unhappy, sarcastic tone snipe back at the harsh, unidentifiable male voice. He tried to assign it to one of the goons that had invaded the ARC, but couldn't discern if it was one of the big ones, or one of the even bigger ones.
Judging by the lack of resistance, his men were just as incapacitated as Becker himself. Hopefully, the mercenaries had underestimated the civilians and scientists. The rather poignant lack of violence indicated that Danny Quinn had probably already been deemed a threat and was in no better a position to take back the ARC. Unless Connor was near a computer, he probably wasn't about to pull off some geekery-fueled rescue. And while Sarah was certainly possessing of a great deal of ingenuity, the whole action bit didn't appear to be her strength. However, Abby might be mobile. It was hard to say. The voices seemed to be coming from the vicinity of her arboretum, but no matter how he twisted, he couldn't get a visual. Still, she was definitely a very capable girl. And depending upon the wariness of the man with whom he could hear her quarrelsome voice arguing, she could appear at any moment to free him.
Slowly but surely, Becker had placed his trust in the others. However that did not mean the best course of action at the moment was to wait upon their capability to resolve the situation. Besides, if this was anybody's mess to clean up, it was his. Yet again, he had failed to keep the ARC secure. People had died on previous occasions for his lack of vigilance. Not this time.
Forcing down his self-indulgent anger at his failure, he began to survey the area around him for anything that might prove useful. There was nothing within reach, even if he pushed himself beyond the limit of human flexibility. His weapons from which he had been disarmed were sitting atop a table a frustrating few yards away. If he did free himself, they would live to regret leaving them in the open so close to his person.
Noise caused him to snap his head sharply in the other direction, only to find Dr. Page struggling between a pair of very unhappy looking mercenaries as they half-dragged her through the doors opposite. He could tell by the fading wince on the taller man's face, that she likely landed a blow to the man's crotch. Even seasoned fighters couldn't shrug off that kind of pain right away. He stopped mentally congratulating her for putting up some resistance when he saw the ruthless anger in the man's eyes, and the hand tightly clamped at the back of the woman's neck. The mercenary's comrade had the blank look of a man on a job who didn't care either way how it turned out, as long as he came out of it alive and a little richer. But this guy, he was going to make her pay for getting in that blow-not because she had hurt him, but because she had wounded his pride. Not to mention he was the type who liked to hurt people. Becker had seen it enough times before to recognize it in this bastard with only a cursory glance.
This man was going to be a problem. Becker made a note to put him at the top of the list for when he was loosed.
Just then the doors on the side opposite to where Sarah and the thugs had entered swung open, revealing a man not nearly burly or roughed up enough to be a mercenary. There really was no other conclusion than that this was the brains of the operation. Not to mention that he wore a suit (poorly tailored) but definitely not the kit of soldiers-for-hire. He was sort of weasel-like with that furtive, sly look to his eyes. He approached in a pensive gait that said he had far too much riding on this endeavor.
A moment behind, Abby was pushed through into the large space, another muscle-no doubt the one with whom she had been arguing-following closely behind. The two groups met in the center, providing Becker with a convenient view of the proceedings.
Weasel ran a hand through his hair, which judging by its mussed state, was a nervous tendency.
"What do we have here?" he asked, his voice squeaky enough to reaffirm Becker's suspicions about the man's relation to the weasel family.
"We found her trying to slip back into the ventilation system with this," Bored Soldier explained, holding up a handgun she must have retrieved from one of the weapon's lockers.
Wow, thought Becker. That wasn't the type of maneuver he had expected from the archaeologist. He thought he had come to understand the woman quite well, but this called for a reevaluation of such conclusions about the intimacy of their friendship.
She crossed her arms and angrily stared down the little man before her, daring him to offer the retaliation for her behavior himself. Weasel looked away, revealing his discomfort and fear to Becker instead of the woman from whom he had attempted to hide it. Just to unsettle him further, Becker winked at him. Unfortunately, unsettling the man wasn't going to buy any immediate or tangible result. The girls were outnumbered four-to-one (not that Weasel would be a problem for either of them), and Becker himself was chained to a steel rail rooted in concrete.
"And your name, Miss...?" Weasel probed after regaining his composure.
Sarah gave him a stubborn, silent look, which elicited a surprising outburst of anger from her interrogator, who roared...well, as much as a weasel such as he could.
"All I'm asking for is a little cooperation," he shouted at the world in general, before continuing his tirade in a more subdued tone. "Is that so much to ask? Nobody's been seriously injured yet." He paused, a bit of darkness flashing in his eyes, one that worried Becker far more than the ruthlessness of the mercenaries. Weasel was a nutter-a violent one.
He fixed his eyes on Abby, who up until this point had found the exchange (specifically Sarah's intimidation of the man) somewhat amusing, and then turned them onto Sarah, adding, "But that can easily be remedied."
With a nod to Sadist, Sarah was forced to her knees by the brutish hand at her neck. The gun was claimed from Bored Soldier and directed purposely at the scientist's head, a self-satisfied grin contorting Weasel's face. Abby tried to jump to Sarah's aide, but was restrained by the goon's arms wrapping around her in a tight bear hug that lifted her off from her feet. She kicked and struggled futilely, calling for them to leave her friend alone.
This wasn't happening.
This wasn't going to happen under his watch, not in front of his eyes. Becker pulled against the handcuffs, straining his muscles until they burned and he heard his tendons cracking. Shooting a leg out behind him, he kicked blindly at the base of the post, but he could not land enough blows to even make a dent in time. The arseholes had been smart enough to cuff his arms behind his back around the railing, increasing the difficulty to near impossible that he could free himself.
All in the tableau turned their eyes to him briefly, having forgotten his presence until the violent outburst on his part. However, the distraction was not quite long enough to buy time for Sarah to take advantage. The gun still pointed threateningly at her head. Weasel continued to smile malevolently as her breath became more panicked. She looked to the ground as the moment stretched on, no longer able to stare down the man who stood poised to end her life. She shot an extremely brief glance in Becker's direction. It was but a fraction of a second, but her eyes had found his, and his stomach twisted horribly.
"No mind," Weasel said eventually, handing the gun off to Bored Soldier once more. It was probably less than a minute from when Sarah had been forced to her knees, but it had felt an eternity, one which was inarguably the most painful of Becker's life. Never had he been quite this powerless. Abby apparently felt the same way, as he caught her releasing her breath in an audible sigh as the gun was lowered.
"We have Temple," he concluded. "And you'll find that's all we really need, if he's properly motivated."
Weasel paused, smiling in a manner that seemed to say everything was going his way. Yes, definitely prone to mood swings-instability was never a good sign in a bad guy. They were so very unpredictable.
"Speaking of," he said, clasping his hands together. "I had better go check on the little mad scientist."
"Watch them," he ordered the two mercenaries that had brought in Sarah. "And be careful of James Bond over there," he said, indicating Becker. "He could be a problem."
"Why don't we just kill him?" Sadist asked, a hungry glint in his eye. Becker dared him to get closer. He seemed like the type who would want to see the life drain from a person, and that required a proximity that would lend Becker at least a slim chance at putting up a fight.
"If this doesn't work out," Weasel shut down the mercenary. "We don't want murder added to the list of charges we're accruing, now do we?"
The mercenary shrugged. 'Murder' was a mention on his CV, not something he avoided.
"You're the one paying," he conceded when Weasel gave him a look that begged for verbal confirmation of his orders.
With that, Weasel disappeared into another part of the ARC, where they must have been keeping Connor and possibly some of the others. The big guy released Abby to follow Weasel like a loyal St. Bernard puppy. The young woman fell to the ground, gasping for air. No, wait-it was just an excuse to check on Sarah, who remained in the submissive position into which she had been forced. Obviously, the archaeologist was shaken, but Becker wished he could see her face, read her eyes, know she was still up for a fight.
"He didn't say we couldn't have some fun, though, did he?" Sadist commented to his comrade who shrugged nonchalantly. Then he buried his fist in Sarah's hair, causing her to wince. "You got those two?"
Shooting a glance in Becker's direction, Bored Soldier gave him a half-nod in the affirmative, as he wrestled Abby's arms behind her back and secured them with a zip-tie before sitting her back down on the floor.
"I owe this one something," Sadist sniggered maliciously, before he began to drag Sarah off to the side by her hair. Her hands flailed at finding his wrist, to relieve the pressure from tearing out chunks of her black locks and bits of her scalp along with them.
"Leave her alone!" Abby shouted desperately after Sadist, her eyes large with fear for the other woman.
Why was he such a failure? Becker found himself sinking into self-pity and unable to will himself from it. It would've been better if they had killed him, as much use as he was to anyone... Sarah's kicking feet disappeared around the corner as Abby again shouted for Sadist not to hurt her friend. Out of sight, out of mind, not hardly. Every nerve in his body strained to focus upon what he could not see. Bile bit at his throat as the second of silence seemed to stretch on and on. What had he done to her, what was he going to do?
There was a sickening crack, and a grunt from Sarah. It was unmistakable enough. Sadist had struck her. And although he could not say where the man had landed the blow, Becker could tell by the sound that it had been with considerable force. Another, equally heart wrenching sound followed the first, as the bastard struck her again. And again. And again. The assault echoed through the great space, joined by Abby's desperate pleas.
"Stop! Stop it!" she shouted, on the verge of tears.
Fuck Me! Fuck Me! Fuck Me! Becker berated himself until a thought occurred to him, over which he cursed himself some more for not thinking of it sooner. But could he get away with it before Bored Soldier caught on? Abby's horror and anger were building into a right rage, and thinking that the ARC soldier was secure, Bored was focusing his entire attention upon preventing the infuriated young woman from going to her friend's aid.
So, do it!
Becker gritted his teeth, adjusted the angle of his left wrist oblique to the concrete and with a sharp, focused jab of his combat boot, kicked the appendage as hard as he was capable of doing. He felt his flesh crushed beyond the point of the bones' elasticity, accompanied by the sudden jab of pain as if he'd been stabbed. Successfully broken, but was it enough? For the hundredth time, he tugged at the circle of metal, feeling his wrist give in with a burning submission. The bones of his hand still resisted and it stuck at the base of his thumb.
Sarah cried out in pain, which steeled him more than anything else could have. Having done it once already made the second attempt far more difficult, so he tried not to think about the pain to come, and struck his hand again, a few times in quick succession to ensure the job got done. Hastily, he pulled it through the unforgiving metal ring, trying not dwell upon the unnatural shape of his hand. Finally, he was free to act.
He had to be quick to catch Bored unaware, even though Abby was giving him quite the difficult time, throwing kicks at him while on her feet, as well as from the ground. Unfortunately, the pain resultant from crushing his hand was almost dizzying, and he had to take a moment to fight down the vomit threatening at the back of his throat.
Becker recovered quickly, though, as Bored once again pushed Abby to the floor. The mercenary only had time to turn into the punch he threw at the man's temple, causing him to crumple to the ground. At least freeing himself only cost him the use of one hand...
He looked to Abby, whose eyes practically begged him to assist Sarah, and then ran to the assaulted woman's aide. As they came into view, he could see that Sadist had finally stopped hitting her. Instead he was straddling her waist, and had begun to open her blouse, the sick.…
Becker was on him in one swift movement, not slowing a bit for he had already surveyed the situation in the fraction of a second it took for him to close the distance. He wrapped his right arm around the man's neck, hauling him off from Sarah, as he trapped the back of the mercenary's head with his left arm, effectively restraining him in a choke hold, one in which he did not hesitate to apply pressure. As he briefly let his gaze fall upon Sarah's swollen and bleeding face, the man futilely struggling in his grasp, it was all he could do not to shift the placement of his hands and snap the bastard's neck. He tried to tell himself that Sarah wouldn't want that, as the piece of shit lost consciousness, his body turning to dead weight that Becker eased to the floor.
Adrenaline still coursed through his veins, but with the immediate threat eliminated, Becker's mind allowed the screaming pain of his wrist to be heard, and he winced as he stepped forward to check on Sarah's battered form.
And then there was a sharp sound, and a stabbing pain in his side. While his back was turned...could these arseholes be any more craven? Throwing himself to the ground, he found Sadist's sidearm and turned to face the man he had apparently not punched quite hard enough. Abby had been moving to tackle him, but backed off when she saw that Becker had a gun trained on the man. He planted two bullets in Bored's chest before the stunned mercenary could fire off another shot. Maybe the man should pay a little more attention to his work. No, that was unfair. It certainly had been the blow to the head Becker had landed that slowed his reaction time, not to mention skewed his aim enough that he only winged the ARC soldier with the initial shot.
Rolling onto his back, Becker considered just lying there for awhile, breathing heavily, in an immense amount of pain and forming a decent pool of blood upon the floor. But there was still work to be done. And he had no idea what Sarah's condition was. It hadn't looked pretty.
A/N: There is more…we'll see if I get the motivation to pen, edit and post it.