That Sinking Feeling, Part 2
Posted on Mon Oct 11, 2021 @ 4:39pm by Sergeant Lacey Burkett
Edited on on Tue Dec 20, 2022 @ 12:04am
Mission: Phone Home
Coming through the stargate after being hit by a Jaffa staff weapon was easily the most painful thing Lacey had ever done, not only because of the now exposed flesh over her left shoulder blade, but also because she had (justifiably) dived through head first, and after emerging on the other side faceplanted on her front with all the grace of a drunken Rhino. Pushing up from the stone surface of the steps brought new levels of pain to her shoulder as her bones moved under the fresh wound. She forcibly immobilised her left arm, clamping it to her midriff and, whimpering, started the tab from the gate to the Treeline at high speed. Over the Sound of her heavy footballs she heard the Stargate disengage behind her. She turned Sharply. Lacey needed visual confirmation that the gate was closed. It was. She fell to her knees and caught her breath for a few seconds.
No, don't stop, you ain't safe yet.
The injured sniper hauled herself to her feet and jogged the rest of the distance to the Treeline. A small depression in the ground was quickly selected as her home for the next few hours and after carefully setting up the rifle -bipod and scope-cover open and placed to observe the Stargate- Lacey crashed into a sitting position, staring at the ground for what seemed like half an hour just attempting to process what had just happened. She couldn't dial Earth. The alpha site was overrun. The next logical move was to try the Beta site but Lacey decided she dare not attempt it straightaway. Perhaps she could do some good there, perhaps the Stargate being a massive attention magnet would just get her slaughtered as she walked through. Now she was injured too! It made her even more dejected than she was already, but reluctantly Lacey decided to to look after herself a little bit and try to get through the gate a bit later.
Night started to fall after a couple of hours. Lacey had eaten a bar from her emergency rations, had some water and had tried to assess the damage to her shoulder, not an easy task when you can't see what you're doing. She had managed to remove her uniform jacket and her tee underneath but her sports bra was another matter. Not only could she not contort her arm and shoulder in the right way to get it over her head but when she tried to move it blinding pain was the result. Lacy started to consider the possibility that the energy of the staff blast had melted the Lycra Spandex material to her skin. Certainly there was nothing more she could do about it for now than dress the wound with supplies from her emergency first aid kit and gingerly put her clothing back on. Her tee was now inside out so the hole from the staff hit was now over her other shoulder and the wound was protected from the elements. It would have to do. Lacey had popped some pain pills but they were small potatoes and did very little. She laid behind her rifle and rested her head on her arm. The wound continued to throb. Any kind of useful rest was unlikely.
Lacey awoke with a start and checked her watch and the Stargate in quick succession. It had taken a good hour for her wound to settle a little and it seemed she had been able to sleep for about twenty minutes. She moved her shoulder experimentally. It stung, but it was workable, just, although she wouldn't be slinging her rifle over it for a while. Another bar from her rations was enjoyed for energy and morale as she observed the incredible night sky on an uninhabited world. It was probably the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Her mind kept jumping back from what she was seeing to what had happened a few hours before, images flashed in her head of Jaffa approaching and staff blasts flying overhead. If she was going to move to the Beta site it'd better be soon or any chance she had of doing good would probably be gone. It hurt her to think she might be letting down her comrades by just sitting there and Lacey had to console herself that she was injured and needed a little time to regroup. Going into a war zone in pain with only one working arm would probably have been foolhardy. It was the right choice. Although it didn't feel good.
Feeling her energy and her calmness returning and after a chug of water from her canteen Lacey stood and packed up the M24 again. She was going. She had had enough time. Carefully the rifle was slung across her back avoiding the wound on her shoulder and, M9 in hand, she walked back over to the gate and dialled Earth, hopefully, swapping the pistol to her left hand so she could dial with her right.
Lacey had that sinking feeling again. What on Earth was going on? With a sigh she dialled the beta site. The light of the gate pierced her eyes in the blackness around and ruined her night vision as uncharacteristically she had quite forgotten to close one eye. The calm watery ripple of the event horizon was sympathetic to the idyllic surroundings of this world but a strange antithesis of the chaos and confusion going on in her mind. Lacey prayed she wouldn't need her ruined night sight as she took a deep breath and, resigned to whatever fate would meet her on the other side walked through the portal once again.