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ficlet: Useless

Title: Useless
Author: Athene
Fandom: Primeval
Pairing/characters: Connor, Stephen, Abby, Cutter.
Rating: 18
Warnings: Language, angst
Spoilers: none
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.

            “Of course.”

            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.


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78 comments or Leave a comment
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telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: December 13th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
*wails* OMG, you can't have done that! I know you like the Connor whumping, but COME ON!!!!! Those last two lines were just heartstopping!!!!!!! My jaw literally dropped in shock!!!!!!

*flails* ARGH!!!!!!!!!!! *overuses the exclamation marks* !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited to add a few more of these...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited at 2008-12-13 09:42 pm (UTC)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 13th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
so... the ending was a surprise then? Woohoo! My biggest fear with this one was that people would see it coming a mile off.

OMG, you can't have done that! I know you like the Connor whumping, but COME ON!!!!!

*evil grin* Welcome to the scary world of one of my favourite kinks - seriously hurt!fic. Because I iz evil.
lukadreaming From: lukadreaming Date: December 13th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Waaaaaahhhh! *Waves arms around a lot in lieu of coherent comments*

That was just awesome the way you move from making us think that Connor's been sidelined because he's no good in the field to that sudden revelation at the end. And the little touches like the bottle in the drawer and having to mend the detectors so often are just brilliant.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: December 13th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
That seemed pretty coherent to me! That's exactly what I wanted to say, except I was too busy failing and wearing out the exclamation mark button!
kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: December 13th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)


Nice subtle touches re Connor's plight, through until the kicker at the end. Poor boy - I could see this happening, and all the frustration from both him and the team.

Are you going to do a sequel? Am imagining the guilt from the others over what happened to Connor, even if they hadn't been there when it happened (or perhaps they weren't there...)

deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 13th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
No plans for a sequel, I'm afraid. This was a one shot bunny that mugged me this afternoon after a comment from Munchkinofdoom on another, rather more fluffy fic that I wrote.

But thanks for the comment, it's great knowing this one worked, it was bit of an experiment beause I don't normally do twist-ending type fics. Although I do love playing with angst and hurt.
alyse From: alyse Date: December 13th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the angst. ::pets them all:: I knew it would have to be something like that, but it still hurt.

Poor Connor.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 13th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I couldn't help it, he's pretty when he's broken. Way back in my previous fandoms before Primeval, I wrote a lot of seriously-hurt angst type fics. So far in Primeval I think I've been fairly restrained, but it was bound to happen eventually.
bigtitch From: bigtitch Date: December 13th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh - I thought he might be off sick. Didn't expect something like that!
Great fic - great angst!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 13th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think my Connor!whumping muse is back in full swing for some reason. I blame Fred for a recent comment conversation about favourite kinks.
(Deleted comment)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 13th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
but... he's so pretty when he's broken. *makes big puppy eyes and points to pretty-when-angsty icon*

You know me by now, I like breaking the boys. Especially Connor. This just happens to be a little bit more broken than usual, that's all.
joereaves From: joereaves Date: December 13th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well at least I know who to hide behind if I ever get my wheelchair!Stephen fic done.

This was brilliant. I so did not see that coming. Poor Connor.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 13th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool, glad you liked. I want more seriously-hurt fics in this fandom, there aren't enough. Or maybe I just have a wierd taste in fic because my introduction to fandom was Stargate SG1, where Daniel!whumping and serious injury were practically compulsory!

oooh, wheelchair!Stephen fic? That sounds interesting. Speaking of which, is anything else happening with that one you were writing were Stephen survived the end of 2.7 but was critically hurt, and Nick was helping him recover? I was enjoying that one.
littlestarling From: littlestarling Date: December 14th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG! Poor Connor!

Good story!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 14th, 2008 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. Poor Connor, I am horrible to the poor boy sometimes.
reggietate From: reggietate Date: December 14th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC) (Link)
*Flails* Oh, you can't leave us hanging like that, you just can't, it's too good! More, please *bats eyelashes*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 14th, 2008 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)
There's been a surprising amount of flailing in reaction to this fic. And not the good type of flailing, I suspect.

I'm not sure what else I could do wth this scenario, other than a massive overload of angst, which would not necessarily be a good thing. I don't know, I think I'm resisting playing in this type of fic because I know once I get started I'll wallow in my favourite kink far too much and it will just turn into an uber angst and h/c fest.
fififolle From: fififolle Date: December 14th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh *God*. You did it. You did it to Connor. And it is really sucky. But a brilliant fic, obviously. *wails*
Jeez. Poor Connor. *kicks something*
Well done.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 14th, 2008 08:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry *hides*

It's me, it *had* to be Connor, really, didn't it? It was never going to be anyone else if I did a 'permantently hurt' fic.
munchkinofdoom From: munchkinofdoom Date: December 14th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Aha! I was wondering how long you'd last before you did something permanent!

Personally, I could see Connor going for one of those power chairs with all the bells and whistles - height adjustable seat, extra speed, suspension etc... *veg* And Lester grumbling about paying for it!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 14th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Heehee! I couldn't resist any longer. Besides, I'm blaming you and Fred for this. Fred's comments over on the fic rec post about favourite kinks and stuff got me thinking of it, but the bunny actually came from that comment you made on my other fic yesterday, where you said Ryan was lucky he only ended up with a broken arm considering my taste in h/c.

I could see Connor going for one of those power chairs with all the bells and whistles - height adjustable seat, extra speed, suspension etc...

Oh, yeah. And he'd be trying to do wheelies in the corridor or something showing off to Abby.
lsellersfic From: lsellersfic Date: December 14th, 2008 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Killer. Last. (Two) Line(s).
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 14th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It's great it when something like that works really well.
fredbassett From: fredbassett Date: December 14th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nope, I didn't see it coming at all!!

Great fic. Heart-wrenching last lines.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 14th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool. Poor Connor, as if I haven't indulged in enough Connor!whumping recently.
verito295 From: verito295 Date: December 19th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
God I love when they break so prettily!
I still can't believe I missed this, bad bad Lucas but I absolutely adore it. Loved Nick's attempts to tell Connor he was still useful and the final revelation is just perfect (unfortunately I arrived knowing what the fic was about but it would have hit me like a punch in the gut)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: December 19th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It is unfortunate that you knew what the 'surprise' ending was going to be before you read it, but never mind. Glad you still liked it regardless of that.

Loved Nick's attempts to tell Connor he was still useful

I could see the likes of Cutter and Abby trying to go out of their way to find things that he can still contribute to and be part of the team, even though they know there are some things that just wouldn't be possible any more.
daxie42 From: daxie42 Date: May 25th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Connor spun round and headed out of the Atrium, silently praying that the wheelchair didn’t get caught in the doorway again.

Woah that was a fantastic twist, I never saw it coming!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: May 25th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
heehee! I'm evil to the poor boy sometimes. Okay, make that *a lot* of the time... Glad you liked and that you were surprised by the twist.
78 comments or Leave a comment
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