Thank you all so much for reading and even more so for taking the time to post a review. I normally respond to everyone individually (as long as you have logged in), in case I have missed anyone this week, please know that I appreciate every single post from all of you.
Now on with the story. I hope you will enjoy it. Next chapter in five to seven days.
Treason – Chapter 03 - On the move
Infirmary, Navy Brig, Tuesday 0500 hours
Steve fell asleep late at night, long after Danny was gone. Seeing the shock on his friend's face hurt him more than Steve would have ever imagined. He lay awake for many hours thinking about losing his best friend over what he had done. Even though Danny has no idea yet what Steve had really done. At some point exhaustion won and Steve fell into a restless sleep.
From which he now awakes with a start. He falls back onto the mattress with a groan. Fierce pain is lancing through his head and chest and cold sweat covers Steve's whole body; making him shiver. His hands are trembling and he has trouble taking a deep breath. His heart is racing and feels like it is beating out of his chest.
A moment later the lights are turned on and he squints against the harsh lights that threaten to make his head explode. Another groan escapes and he tries to sit up to breathe easier, but the movement causes an overwhelming pain in his chest. He cries out and falls back, arching his back in the hope to alleviate the pressure on his upper body. He feels like he is being crushed.
"Commander! What's wrong?" Steve hears someone calling out to him.
"Can't… can't breathe… chest… head… pain," he barely manages to get out.
Steve's breathing is down to a wheezing and he is just moments from passing out. An oxygen mask is placed over his nose and mouth, and it brings instant relief. At least it helps him breathe a little easier. But it doesn't help with the intense pain in his head and chest.
"Commander, you need to try to relax."
Steve becomes aware that at some point, his hands had grabbed the bed rails with a death grip and the whole bed is shaking from his trembling. His body is shaking like he's having a seizure. Steve feels the headrest being put into an almost upright position which helps some more with his breathing, but increases the pain in his head a great deal.
"Commander, you need to let go of the bed rail. Come on, let go. That's good."
A moment after he let go of the rail, Steve feels a prick on the back of his hand when the nurse inserts a needle for an IV. Soon he feels something cold entering his system making his racing heart slow down a little, but not much. He still feels like it is going way too fast.
"Tony, get the crash cart, just in case. His BP is all over the place and his heart rate is still over one fifty." A new voice is talking, but Steve can't make out any faces. His vision is blurry and gray around the edges. He knows he's close to passing out again. Steve startles a little when his tee shirt is cut and taken off him. Sticky electrodes are attached to his chest and a moment later he can hear the sound of the heart monitor.
"His chart says he was tased yesterday afternoon. Maybe this is a late reaction?" Voice number one says.
"That would be damn late. Go and see if Lt. Denver is already on the base; he treated him yesterday," voice number two says. Steve still can't make out more than blurry shapes, but he can breathe a little better and it seems that his heart rate is slowing down a bit more. The pain in his head is at a new level though and is causing his eyes to water. It feels like his brain is trying to break free from the cranium. "Commander, I'm Dr. Epson. I'm going to help you, just try to calm down, okay?"
"Jeff? What's going on?" Finally a voice he recognizes, Lt. Denver.
"I don't know, he complained about severe pain in his head and chest. A few minutes ago he couldn't breathe and was just short of a cardiac arrest. His heart rate is down from one eighty to now one forty. I'm just getting an EKG. Maybe a late reaction to the electro shock from yesterday?"
"Highly unlikely," Denver tells his colleague and turns to Steve. "Commander, can you hear me? Please open your eyes for me."
Steve hasn't even realized that he had closed them. He opens his eyes and looks at his doctor from yesterday. "Head hurts... and my chest," he says through the foggy oxygen mask.
"I promise you will feel better in a minute." He injects something into the IV port and turns back to Jeff Epson, "what does the reading say?" He motions to the EKG printout.
"The waves are perfectly normal, except that it is beating way too fast. He's down to one thirty now. I don't understand, what the heck's wrong with him?"
"I'm not sure," Denver says as he takes a closer look at Steve who has his eyes closed again. "Commander, open your eyes again."
"Hurts," Steve groans out but opens his eyes again. Only to immediately cry out in pain. His hands fly to his head and a second later he lies completely still.
"Commander! Steve, come on, open your eyes." Lt. Denver gently lifts first the left and then the right eyelid and curses at what he sees. "Damn, his pupil's blown. We have to get him to Tripler right now. This looks like intracranial bleeding."
After Steve passed out there is a flurry of activity around him. He is transferred to a gurney and not even five minutes later placed into an ambulance to get to Tripler Army Medical Center which is much better equipped to treat such a serious injury.
H50 – H50 – H50
"Steve! Steve, come on, wake up." Lt. Denver gently shakes his patient.
"Ugh, g'way," Steve tries to get away from the annoying voice, but it's no use.
"No can do, buddy, come on open your eyes." Denver looks down at Steve who is still a bit out of it. "Are you with me?"
"Aw man, what the hell did you give me? I feel like shit," Steve says without actually opening his eyes.
"I had to make it look real, sorry. Steve, please look at me."
Steve opens his eyes and looks at the blurry version of Phil Denver. "What the…" Steve rubs his right eye and blinks a few times, "I can't see. Phil, I can't see."
"It's okay, don't panic. It will wear off in a couple of hours, don't worry, okay? As soon as the pupil is back to normal your sight in the right eye will be just fine. I promise." Lt. Denver tries to calm Steve down, who is rather agitated discovering he isn't able to see with his right eye. "How do you feel?"
"Like I've run a marathon. Was that really necessary? I thought I'd die there for a minute," Steve says as he looks around the ambulance.
"That was the plan. How bad is your head?" Phil knows that the pain from the drugs will linger for a few hours at least.
"Hurts… I feel really shaky."
"That's what you get for faking a heart attack and bleeding in the brain," Phil tells him with a grin. "You should feel better in a few hours. I assure you there will be no long term consequences."
"So, it went according to plan?"
"Yeah, everything is in place. We should be there in a few minutes. Are you ready to do this?"
"I'm ready," Steve says and to emphasize his words he sits up on the gurney. He tilts a little to the side when dizziness hit him as soon as he's vertical. He takes a few deep breaths and motions to the clothes next to Phil. "Those for me?"
Steve is just done with changing into a pair of gray cargo pants and a tee shirt when the ambulance comes to a halt.
H50 – H50 – H50
Danny Williams continues to follow the ambulance that left the base five minutes ago. He had been shocked when he saw his friend being loaded into the military ambulance which had taken off with siren and lights on.
He had arrived on the base this early in hopes of talking to the JAG lawyer assigned to Steve's case. When Steve told him last night that he was guilty of the crimes he was charged with, Danny was shocked. He had left his friend without another word. A move which he now regrets.
After thinking it over during a sleepless night, he has come to the conclusion that there must be a reason that Steve wants him to believe he betrayed his country. Danny has no idea what that might be, but he sure as hell will find out.
Danny lets himself fall back a little when the ambulance turns off the lights and sirens and leaves the highway. Five minutes later they enter a deserted pier at the harbor. Danny stops his car behind a stack of containers and takes cover behind a few smaller containers nearer to the stopped ambulance.
Danny only has to wait a few more moments for the driver to get out the bus and open the back door. He can see Steve, who is leaning on a guy in uniform and they both make their way out of the ambulance. It looks like Steve is not very steady on his feet. But he is dressed in his normal attire and Danny can clearly see that he is armed.
For the first time, Detective Williams is not sure what to do. Stay in hiding and watch what is unfolding or go and confront his partner about what is going on? That decision is quickly taken out of his hand by the arrival of a speed boat.
H50 – H50 – H50
Steve can hear the boat before he can even see it. The sun is still not up, so visibility is not the best.
Steve hates what he is about to do, but there is no other way. He has to get rid of Phil and the driver. The three guys from the speed boat are coming closer and Steve greets them with a wave of his hand.
He then turns back to Phil, "I'm sorry." Steve draws his gun and fires two shots point blank at Phil and not even a second later at the driver. Both men go down. "I'm sorry," Steve whispers again with a look at the growing pool of blood.
After a second of complete silence all hell breaks loose. It starts with Danny yelling, "Five-0! Freeze. All of you!"
Steve turns around and is shocked to see his friend standing not even fifty feet from him. Danny's gun is trained on him. Shit!
Steve knows this will end in disaster and Danny getting hurt is the last thing he wants. He should have known that Danny would not listen to him and back off. He should have known that Danny would try to figure out what was going on. But seeing him here is still a shock.
But he has no time to think about it any more; his 'associates' open fire on Danny. It's time to take action. Steve fires in Danny's direction, making sure to aim wide and to not even hit the container Danny is taking cover behind. His vision is still a little blurry and he only has the use of one eye, so he makes damn sure not to hit anything near Danny. A ricochet bullet would be just as deadly as a direct hit.
A couple seconds later he unites with the three guys from the speed boat, "Let's get out of here." Steve yells at them as he motions for them to hurry back to the boat.
They reach the edge of the pier where the first guy already has jumped down onto the jetty where their boat is moored. Steve turns around to fire his last round in Danny's direction to make him keep staying under cover. Unfortunately for him, the other two guys don't aim wide but try to hit Danny, so he is returning fire.
It feels like time stands still. Steve feels the bullet hit him in the left shoulder, throwing him off balance, making him lose his footing and fall back down to the jetty. Where he lands with a loud thud. But not before he sees the shocked look on Danny's face; a look he will probably never forget.
Steve feel hands grabbing him and dragging him over to the boat, unceremoniously dropping him to the floor. The fall from the pier adds to his already weakened state. Steve has trouble breathing; all air had been pushed out by the impact onto his back. The fall was only about three, maybe four feet, but that was enough to leave him breathless and bruised. The pain in his shoulder starts just about now and he's pretty sure the bullet did not go through. He can feel the warm blood soaking the front of his shirt, and the sounds around him are muffled. Steve groans when one of the guys presses a cloth onto his shoulder to stop the bleeding.
The same guy lifts him up to look for an exit wound, but as he had already feared, there isn't one. Steve is lowered to the deck again and the pressure on the wound increases a bit more. The pain in his head combined with the pain now in his shoulder is finally too much to handle and Steve gives in to the darkness that has been beckoning him the last minutes.
H50 – H50 – H50
NOW the story can begin... see you next week. And yes, I'm prepared to take your yelling. So, let me hear it.