Sandburg to the Rescue

By Alia


The whole situation had gone bad early, and Simon Banks thought things couldn´t get any worse after Jim was knocked unconscious when their vehicle crashed on their way to the extraction point. He was wrong, of course.

Megan and Henri were both injured when they came under fire mere feet from their helicopter. Neither were badly hit, and Simon and Rafe managed to take out the shooter, but it was only after all the injured were loaded into the helicopter and Simon looked up to the pilot to let him know they were ready to get the hell out of there, that he realised that his troubles had just gotten as bad as they could.


Simon´s loud stream of curses at finding the pilot unconscious and bleeding profusely from an apparent bullet graze to the head was interrupted by Sandburg´s much louder, multilingual swearing.


Simon stared in shock as anthropologist ordered Rafe to help him get the pilot into the back – and worse, the detective quickly obliged, as if it were the most normal thing in the world to do.


‘Let me see what we´ve got here…´ Sandburg muttered, leaving Rafe to tend to the man´s wound.


‘Sandburg!´ Simon recovered himself, bellowing at the man as he climbed into the now abandoned pilot´s seat. ‘What the hell are you doing?! Don´t tell me you think you can fly this thing?!´


‘Yeah, well,´ he replied with a sigh. ‘It´s like riding a bike… I haven´t flown this particular bird before, but…´ He trailed off, his hands ghosting over the controls in the cockpit. ‘Yeah… Yeah… Ok… Yeah Simon, I can fly this – it´s good. Hop in man.´


‘No way am I getting into a helicopter with you at the stick Sandburg!´ They had to get out of here, the goons they´d escaped wouldn´t be too far behind, but Sandburg?! Maybe they could rouse the pilot…


‘Fine!´ The venom in Blair´s voice stopped Simon mid-rant. ‘Then step back so I can start the blades without risk of taking your head off. You´re welcome to stay behind, but I´ve got injured people here, and they´re already in and I´m taking them out of here.´ He held his finger poised over what Simon assumed was the control to start the helicopter´s blades spinning. ‘You´ve got exactly five seconds to either get in, or get the hell out of the way Simon. One…´


Holy Shit!! He´s serious! Simon suddenly realised. Well, it´s been a nice life… he thought briefly to himself as he dove into the back of the chopper before the kid reached ‘Three´. This is insane!! But I am in command here (well of everyone except Sandburg, obviously) and you don´t abandon your men.


He sent a quick prayer skyward, feeling the chopper leave the ground as the door slammed shut.


It seemed an eternity had passed (though frequent checks of his watch confirmed that the trip in fact took 25 minutes), when he heard Sandburg´s voice through a speaker on the roof telling them to brace for landing.


Almost instantly, the door swung open to reveal men and women in hospital scrubs who quickly removed the injured men and woman, jogging toward an elevator with their laden gurneys.


Feeling more than a little like he was in some bizarre nightmare, Simon stumbled out and up to the cockpit only to overhear the kid arguing into the chopper´s headpiece microphone.


‘… no way man – no can do. Getting here was life and death, but getting this bird back to wherever it belongs is a no-can-do. My licence expired a few years ago…´


It was just too much. The last thing Simon saw was the hospital landing pad rushing up to kick him in the face.





The first thing he noticed was that he was warm – too warm. Then there were nails scratching across his skin and he was sure that there was a giant spike drilling into his head. Screeches and thunder and wails assaulted his hears. The smells made him want to hold his breath… and the light, even through his tightly closed eyes pierced right into his brain.


But even as he began to notice the overwhelming sensations they went away, one at a time. First his skin tingled with a comforting touch and the nails and spikes assaulting him became comforting blankets and sheets. A smooth cloth covered his eyes and he felt soothing darkness. Smells vanished until there was only the smell of safety and comfort various herbs, dusty books an the faintest scent of algae… Finally, the noise was all gone save one compelling voice speaking softly into his ear. And then, just before he drifted off again, there was only one sound. The sound that soothed him more than any other: the soft lub-dub, lub-dub of his saviour´s heart.


There was peace and comfort, and then no more.




‘Alright, he´s asleep.´ Blair leaned back in his chair next to the emergency room gurney on which Jim now rested.


‘Am I permitted to speak again?´ Simon demanded acridly.


‘Simon,´ Blair sighed, running his hand across his eyes. ‘He was overloading. Everything was on high when he woke up – everything. Pain, light, sound, smells… everything amplified. Just the air brushing across his skin would have been agony – every sound…´


‘Alright,´ Simon sighed, his voice much gentler now. ‘I get it… But he´s alright now?´


‘Yeah,´ Blair answered wearily. ‘Yeah, everything should be dialled down to a safe range next time he wakes up.´


‘Then maybe you can tell me where you learned to fly a helicopter? Another ‘uncle´ a pilot and you spent a summer flying?´


‘Huh…´ Blair chuckled, shaking his head. ‘Yeah, actually. Something like that.´


‘I thought you were scared of heights and flying though…?´


‘Heights, yes. When I´m on the edge of the ground looking over a cliff, or the edge of a building… And I´m not the hugest fan of being a passenger in a plane or helicopter. But flying is something else entirely.´ Blair chuckled again, turning to look at Simon for the first time. ‘It´s a control thing – I guess I´m more of a control freak than I thought.´


‘Huh,´ Simon actually chuckled at this as well. ‘Yeah, well. Jim´s still got you beat four ways to Sunday on that, so don´t worry about it.´


‘Oh sure,´ Jim´s weak grunt brought their attention back around to the gurney. ‘Make fun of a guy while he´s incapacitated.´

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