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Benny set out for the caves that morning, as part of her bid to finally see the whole of the island that she was slowly being forced to accept could very well be her home for the foreseeable future. She'd made her way to the dinosaur territory, had walked the beach from one end to the other, and had enjoyed the hell out of the waterfalls. Now it was time for a little underground exploration. She wasn't planning on spending more than a few hours hiking the caverns, so she'd only brought along a torch and a small bottle of water. From what she'd gathered, plenty of island residents had already investigated the cave system and they hadn't found anything remotely dangerous. Nothing to worry about.

She'd been at it for the better part of 2 hours, and so far it had been fairly easy going. Although part of her had hoped she might find some evidence of previous settlements or proof that other people had lived on the island before her fellow abductees had started arriving, she hadn't seen anything to support that theory. Slightly disappointing, but it had been something of a long shot. Bypassing the main passageways, she headed into a smaller offshoot that had progressively narrowed until there was barely room to stand upright and the sides of the cave were maybe an arm span away. This was more like it.

She'd just turned into an even smaller side passage when she heard it. A sharp CRACK. So loud it was like a gunshot, reverberating through the narrow caverns. Before she even had time to react, she was knocked to the ground by the falling rockface and everything went black.

When she came to, the only thing she could feel was a pain so sharp and immediate that tears sprang to her eyes. Her right hand had been crushed in the falling debris and every movement was agony. She screamed when she finally managed to release it and craddled it to her chest in the absolute darkness of the cave. At some point she'd lost her grip on the torch and her bottle of water had gone missing as well. She tried to search around for them with her uninjured hand, but she couldn't feel anything but rocks and dirt.

Benny was starting to panic and it took every ounce of strength she had to stop and try to control her breathing. Slowly counting down from ten, deep breaths in and then out. She had to stay calm. She needed to assess the situation, figure out how large the cavern was, how much air she had available, work out a method of escape. But there was nothing. The area wasn't even large enough for her to sit up. She finally found a small opening that lead further into the cave system, but it was barely big enough for her hand, let alone her whole body, and the surrounding rock was solid. No way for her to enlarge the opening or make her way through. At least she wouldn't suffocate. Though with no water, it was possible the lack of oxygen might have been a less agonizing way to go in the end. The thought sent a new wave of panic through her body like a flash of heat.

And the pain in her hand just kept getting worse. As she lie there she began to register all the other injuries that her brain had overlooked in that first rush of adrenaline. Throbbing in her right hip, blood on her face, and it hurt to breathe. A bruised rib, possibly broken. Goddess, how could she be so bloody stupid?! She knew better than this. She was a professional, she knew how to plan for contingencies, knew how to take care of herself so that she'd never again be in a position like this. But, no, she'd gotten overconfident. Complacent. So sure that there was nothing on this island she needed to be afraid of. She'd hadn't even told anyone where she was going this morning! No one would be looking for her, and even if someone noticed she was missing, they wouldn't have a clue where to start looking. She was completely and utterly screwed. And it was her own damned fault.

Screaming out her frustration in the tiny cavern, she pounded the ground with her uninjured hand and let the tears fall.

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cantstopmoving
Feb. 5th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
That night, Wednesday, Dick patrols with Roy. When he notices Benny's not in her hut, he's not worried. She gets around. Conversation about the pointlessness of patrolling here sparks some 'quality time' with Roy before they finish up patrol and head home to sleep.

Edited at 2009-03-15 02:09 am (UTC)
bernicesurprise
Feb. 6th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
She wasn't sure how long it'd been since the rocks fell, but if her thirst was anything to go by, she'd guess at least 10 hours. Maybe more. And she'd spent quite a few of those hours screaming for help until her throat hurt nearly as much as her hand did. Weren't there supposed to be people living somewhere in the caverns? Someone must have heard the passageway collapse.

But no. She couldn't keep fooling herself that anyone was going to respond to the sound of the cave-in. Even taking into account how difficult it was to measure time in the pitch black, it was still far too long for her to keep hoping she'd be discovered that way. If there was any chance at all that she was going to be rescued from this bloody ridiculous situation, it was going to be because someone was specifically searching for her. And she'd been too fucking stupid to leave a single clue as to where she was going. Just bloody perfect.

The throbbing in her hand hadn't diminished in the slightest and the constant agony was making it harder and harder for her to stay calm. Surely she'd been in worse spots, but that didn't mean she wasn't incredibly pissed off at herself, the island, the caves, and anyone or anything else she could think of. And she had plenty of time to think. And to panic.

She didn't want to die there, alone in the dark. She knew all too well what would happen to her body without any water. What would happen to her mind. And she couldn't even spare any more moisture to cry about it, no matter how much of a relief it would have been. Goddess, someone had to find her. After everything she'd been through, she refused to accept that she was going to die in such a stupid, useless way. No matter how twisted the universe's sense of humor was.
cantstopmoving
Feb. 8th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Thursday morning, Dick's pandiculating while he snatches a cup of still-brewing coffee when he runs into Alex who mentions she hasn't seen Benny since Tuesday.
bernicesurprise
Feb. 8th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
So many hours now alone in the dark. And it was so, so dark. That complete and utter blackness that one really only finds underground. She'd started to hallucinate some time ago, but she'd known it was going to happen. Not her first go-round with sensory depravation. Not by a long shot.

She kept reminding herself what was going to happen -- perceptual distortions; visual, auditory, and olfactory illusions; vivid fantasies often accompanied by "strikingly valid" hallucinations. And then, of course, there was the extreme anxiety that was getting harder and harder to ignore or control. Especially when added to the cramping and nausea courtesy of her dehydration and the ever present throbbing of agony in her right hand.

At first she'd been able to guide the hallucinations somewhat. Humming snippets of songs she liked, trying her best to think of the comforting times and places. In the TARDIS, watching the birth of a new galaxy. The red dawn on Mars. Being with Ace and the Doctor under the Heavenite arch.

But the fear and the constant pain made it harder and harder for her to hold on to the good moments. The happy moment. And her thoughts were turning more and more to the monsters. The Daleks, the Cybermen, all the bastards who'd ever tortured her in the name of their pitiful little gods and pointless wars.

It was only a matter of time before it would be too much, before she'd lose control completely. She knew better than most that everyone breaks eventually. She just had to try and hold on as long as possible. Someone would find her. They had to find her.



Edited at 2009-02-08 05:01 am (UTC)
cantstopmoving
Feb. 18th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Intra-team dating's always hard, but when it starts to look more like a daisy chain than a relationship, it's time to stop and smell the daisies. Dick and Monet have a heart-to-glare chat about Roy, Tim, and Karolina, before noting Benny's not in again. Dick decides to do some discreet checking around in the morning.
cantstopmoving
Feb. 18th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
Friday morning. Up early for training and gymnastics class. New tricks at the beginning of the week, practice on Fridays. I send them out early so I can make some discreet inquiries about Benny.

Alex hasn't seen her since Tuesday. Bill hasn't seen her at all, since he's been at the second island. Jack's besotted with Logan, so he's not much help either. Sarah-Jane's short with him. Ianto Jones isn't pleased at all to have him raising suspicions when his people have lost so many recently. No one knows anything, except that Alex remembers Benny saying she wanted to do some exploring.

She's already made an expedition to dino territory. That was well-planned though. I can't believe Benny would be stupid enough to go exploring on her own, but intuition tells me she's just exactly that stupid.

On the other hand, there's a good chance I'm jumping at shadows out of boredom. Benny sleeps around. She could just be taking a day or two off. To be on the safe side, I'll roust the team and have them do a little casual searching. If she doesn't turn up by tonight, then it's time to let the IPD know.

Between comms and word-of-mouth, it doesn't take long to track down a bunch of the teams and hand out assignments:
Titans take the Compound-east, Exiles take the Compound-west. Check the second and third clinics first. Everyone checks in by comm once an hour until she's found.

Be discreet. Use your eyes and ears. Treat this as an undercover training exercise. Repeat: Low profile. Expected outcome: Benny's 'shacking up with a new git' and has lost track of time.

Just in case, I'll take the caves.


After a careful search of Compound and clinic, he checks in by comm. Compound and clinic clear. Heading to the caves now. N out. It's N and codenames over the open channel, even though they're plain clothes and undercover. No one accidentally picking up the frequency needs to know that Dick, Roy, Monet, Karo, Tim, Cassie, and Kon have comms.

Edited at 2009-02-18 08:28 pm (UTC)
wizard_errant
Feb. 23rd, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Even with Spot scanning to help, Dairine's coming up empty. And it's hard to be too discreet when you're searching through the parts where people live; at least nobody ever thought she was that normal to start with. "Sorry, N," her voice comes crackling over the comm. "Red five here, I've got nothin'."
not_the_s
Mar. 15th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
It was weird being out on patrol again. Weird, but really, really good. What was wrong was that Bart wasn’t with them. It was just him and Tim and Cassie. They should have been a team and, instead, they were only a part of one. There were others, too. Dairine was there, but it was who was missing, not the new people, that really got to him. What was also weird was the Bat-like efficiency of the operation. Robin and Nightwing had different styles. Kon almost felt like he had to salute when Nightwing gave him an order, which was why he tended not to behave when it didn’t matter. The urge made him itch every time he had it.

This was important, though, so there wasn’t even a thought of disobeying. Oddly enough, there wasn’t the urge to salute, either.

“S here. Nada. Moving on.”
thethirdwonder
Mar. 15th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
"WG here. Got Nothing. Going to keep moving." Wonder Girl gave a frustrated sigh. How many heros did it take to find one missing person? They were less effective then a search dog in this place and it was frustrating. Not that her powers would be much help besides getting an aerial view but it was something! Stopping a moment to take a deep breath and tighten her pig tails, she set off again through the underbrush, considering going up into the trees if anything for just a change of pace.
bernicesurprise
Feb. 19th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)
All of her sense are betraying her now. She can't trust her eyes, they just lie to her. Memories twisted up and distorted until she can't remember the truth anymore. The smell of the caves reminding her --

So dank and the smell of rotting flesh is everywhere. He's calling me toward him and there's nothing I can do to resist. My mind is screaming in defiance but I keep walking toward him. The puss oozing from the empty eye socket. Everything in my wants to run, to vomit, to do something other than press my lips against his cold dead flesh but I have no choices now. Nothing but the dark flame.

She pressed her hand to the cold ground, grasping at the pebbles and the dust under her fingers --

I cover my ears to block out the sound of the never ending weapons fire, the screams of the colonists, the droning "Exterminate" from every direction. The building falling to rubble. My home disappearing as I crouch there trying impotently to hide. I'm so small and all I want are my mummy and daddy to take me away from this place but daddy is already gone and mummy...oh, mummy. I'm so, so sorry. I was so selfish, such a selfish child. How could I have asked you to go back. It was too dangerous, Daleks everywhere and now you're gone. Mummy, please come back...

The excruciating pain in her hand --

The Standartenfurer will be back soon. More torture, more questions, more nazi propaganda. He hasn't let me sleep in so many days and I'm so tired. More tired than I can ever remember being before and so, so thirsty. But it won't matter to him, to any of them. Because I'm a murderer and a spy and that makes me less than an animal and I know what Nazis do to their enemies. To their prisoners. And the fear is so overwhelming it consumes every other thought.

Wolff will come back and I'll tell him anything he wants to hear. Anything that will make this all
stop. And as much as that knowledge burns me with shame, I can't care anymore. Fighting it will get me nothing. Everyone breaks. Everyone. I'm covered in piss and sweat, the welts on my back sting with every movement, and my hand. Goddess, what they've done to my hand. But the Doctor will come for me. He's never abandoned me. If he's still alive he'll come. I just have to hold on.

Please, Doctor.
Find me.



Edited at 2009-02-19 12:29 am (UTC)
cantstopmoving
Feb. 20th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Methodical and meticulous, Dick patrols the caves, searching for any sign of passage. At first, in the areas close to the Compound, there is too much. Too many footprints, brush marks, bits of lint, even old blood from accidental scrapes against the wall to be meaningful. Farther back, darker and warmer, the trace thins out. Still too much to track someone specific with, but a few people have been this way recently.

After an hour of a fairly easy hike inwards, Dick pauses, taps in, and says quietly - apparently to the air - Still in the caves. Proceeding along southwest branch. Possible trace. Will report back with findings. N out. - then crouches down to examine two matched prints with a deeper impression where someone about Benny's shoe size stopped, probably to drink. Straightening, he scans up the wall, fingers barely touching, and is rewarded with a hair caught in a crag and a fiber from a cotton shirt. He's in civvies, but he packed for N, and tweezes both, bagging the trace after taking snapshots with the digicam. Probably this isn't a crime scene, but if it is, he won't be responsible for messing up the IPD's investigation.

Definite trace. But no clear ID. Keep searching. N out.

Half an hour later, the tracks are down to one recent set that hasn't come back this way. Increasingly alert for sounds, he picks up the pace, instinct telling him this is important. Up ahead, rubble blocks a narrow passageway and the tracks stop. He's on his knees, snapping photos before the thought registers and digging away at the edges already. "Hey! Anyone in there? Benny? Can you hear me?"
bernicesurprise
Feb. 20th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
She has no idea where she is anymore, but some small part of her mind registers the sound of someone coming and she moans softly in pain and fear. It's too soon for them to be coming back to continue the interrogation. She's still so weak and she's told them everything she knows. She tries to curl into a protective ball, to make herself as tiny as possible, to try and hide from what's coming, but she knows it's no use.

"No more," she whispers through her chapped lips. "Please, no more."
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thedoctordances
Mar. 8th, 2009 06:35 am (UTC)
Beverly was charting. By hand, which never ceased to be a novelty, though she had gotten used to writing things out, slowly but surely, with a pen. It was fortunate she'd had the experience before, as a child. It was almost easier than using the essentially primitive computer system that the clinic kept on hand. Even so, it was no wonder everyone back then had to have eyesight modification--this was impossible to read for too long.

The usual staffer had stepped out for some coffee, and she was alone when she heard noises and footfalls, looking up from her paperwork with a slight frown of concern.
cantstopmoving
Mar. 8th, 2009 07:07 am (UTC)
Every muscle in his body burns from carrying Benny most of the way out of the caves. She's in bad shape, slipping in and out of consciousness from dehydration, hunger, and pain. For the last half an hour, he's had her on his hip like a baby, and only his training and discipline are keeping him moving through the halls of the Compound.

His only thought besides getting them where they're going is that he and Tim need to work on comm reliability and test them all over the island.

He drags himself the last two hundred feet to the clinic, doesn't stop at the door, but keeps moving to the diagnostic table. "I need some help here," he says, voice calm, confident, and commanding when he sets her down, in spite of the shrieking pain in his arms.
thedoctordances
Mar. 8th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Beverly was on her feet before they even got halfway in the door, grabbing her coat and her tricorder. If she'd been at home she'd have been screeching for a nurse, but there's no one there to help yet, Ms. Turner being out yet on maternity leave, and so she got to the table alone. "Dick. What happened?"
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