Pairing/characters: Connor, Stephen, Abby, Cutter.
Warnings: Language, angst
Disclaimer: Not mine. ITV and Impossible Pictures own them.
Word count: approx 1000
Summary: The team are having a bad day, especially Connor.
“Connor! Where the hell is it?” Stephen’s voice sounded angry over the phone. Angry and stressed and like he was chasing after some bloody huge creature. Or possibly being chased by some bloody huge creature. Connor couldn’t quite tell.
Connor’s fingers skittered over the keyboard in front of the ADD, the phone tucked between his ear and his shoulder as he worked.
“The anomaly should be right there, Stephen. The signal’s weak but it’s definitely there.” He tried to cover the frustration in his voice. It wasn’t his fault that Cutter and the others couldn’t find the damn thing out in the field. It sure as hell wasn’t a problem with his Detector.
“The hand-held is all over the place, Connor. I can’t get a decent bloody signal from it.”
Well if you’d stop dropping it in the shit it might work a bit better, Connor thought to himself. He didn’t say anything out loud, though, and continued trying to pin down the location on the map so that he could give Stephen some sort of landmark to work with.
“Right, got it. The anomaly is inside a warehouse on the industrial estate. Unit 4D.”
“Great. Thanks.” Stephen broke off abruptly, and the phone line went dead.
“Stephen! Stephen!” Shit. Connor grabbed the phone and called Abby instead.
“Abby, what the hell is going on out there? I just lost Stephen, is he okay?”
“I don’t know where he is, he took off after the creature.” Abby sounded breathless, like she’d been running as well.
Connor wished he could be out there with them. He felt useless stuck here at the ARC. He caught himself, and shoved the thought to the back of his mind. No point wishing for the impossible.
“Okay, the anomaly is in warehouse 4D. I guess that’s where Stephen might be heading now.” If he’s still up and running. “Abby, what is it? What creature have you got?”
“I don’t know,” Abby yelled. Her voice sounded as frustrated as Connor felt. “It’s like a giant boar or something.”
Connor twisted the chair round to the adjacent desk and did a quick search through the database on his laptop.
“How big? How many of them?”
“Just one that we’ve seen,” Abby panted, clearly running as she talked. “It’s huge, as big as a horse, and twice as bulky.”
Connor quickly narrowed his search parameters and came up with a result.
“Okay, it sounds like it might be something from the entelodont family. Big, nasty, but the good news is they don’t tend to go round in packs so hopefully there should just be the one. If you get a shot, go for a big dose of tranquiliser on it, Abby. It’s going to take a lot to put it down.”
“Okay Connor, thanks.” The line went dead, and this time Connor knew it was because she had better things to do than keep him updated with what was going on.
He turned back to the ADD and fiddled with it. This was the bit that he hated; the sitting and waiting.
A hand appeared in front of him holding out a cup of coffee.
“How are they doing?” Ali Khan asked him.
Connor accepted the coffee. “Thanks. You know, the usual. Running around, getting chased. Blaming the equipment when they can’t find the anomaly.” He didn’t entirely manage to keep the bitterness out of his voice, and Khan’s careful expression meant that he had noticed but was yet again not going to comment on it. Now that Connor was spending so much time at the ARC working with the ADD, he knew that Khan was feeling like a spare part. Connor understood exactly how he felt.
He tinkered with the display settings on the ADD, zooming in and out on the map overlay, verifying the position. None of it was any use, he was just killing time, and he knew it. The ADD couldn’t tell him the important stuff, whether his friends were okay, whether they were even still alive. Bloody useless thing.
Abruptly Connor’s phone rang. He almost fumbled and dropped it in his haste to answer.
“What’s going on?” he blurted, sounding almost as breathless as Abby and Stephen had been.
“Relax Connor, everything’s fine.” Cutter’s voice was calm. “We found the anomaly and Stephen managed to lead the creature back through it.”
“That’s good,” Connor breathed a sigh of relief. He tried to suppress the feeling that they’d got away with it. Again.
“Um, Connor.” Now Cutter sounded sheepish. “I’m afraid we might have broken another one of the hand-held detectors. Will you be able to fix it?”
Connor fought down a sudden surge of anger. Yeah, he thought, because I’ve got nothing bloody better to do than fix detectors when you lot keep breaking them.
He closed his eyes momentarily. The worst part of it was, he really didn’t have anything better to do these days.
“Don’t worry, I was working on an upgraded version anyway,” he said, trying to keep the tension out of his voice.
“That’s good. Oh, and thanks for the information,” Cutter added, although to Connor’s ear the words sounded like an afterthought. “It was useful, it helped.”
“Great. Well, see you when you get back.”
He hung up before Cutter could say anything else.
“Mission accomplished?” Khan asked, still standing beside him.
“Something like that,” Connor muttered.
The information was useful, he repeated to himself. I was useful. I’m still part of the team.
Who was he fucking kidding?
Connor suddenly wondered if there was anything left in that bottle of scotch that Abby didn’t know he kept in his desk drawer.
“Can you do me a favour and keep an eye on the Detector for a bit, please?” he asked Khan.
Connor spun round and headed out of the Atrium, silently praying that the wheelchair didn’t get caught in the doorway again.
Fucking useless thing.