frith_in_thorns: The city of Atlantis (SGA Atlantis)
Frith ([personal profile] frith_in_thorns) wrote2017-09-10 10:38 pm

[fic: wolf 359] Entropy

Title: Entropy (Wolf 359)
Word count: 900 words
Characters: Renée Minkowski, Doug Eiffel
Pairing: Gen
Content/Tags: Major character death. Spoilers for all of s2. Fills my "mercy killing" square for hc_bingo.
AO3 link

Summary: A canon-divergent AU from after episode 15. Hilbert's dead. This is... not good.

-

You had never intended to shoot him. But when you see Hilbert's body hanging limp against the starlight in the observation deck, the first emotion you feel is… relief.

He deserves that.

Eiffel is louder, horrified, empathetic even now. He shudders when you expose the remains of white powder crunched in Hilbert's teeth. "Poison," you say, blankly. "We should have searched him better."

You should have searched him better.

"I guess he knew Cutter…" Eiffel trails off. He stares at you, like you have any answers. "What do we do now?"

"We fix Hera," you say. It's the only thing you can say. "We get her back online and then we… hold on. And while we're doing that we, go through all the secrets in Hilbert's lab, so when we eventually get relieved we've got some leverage."

As if Goddard Futuristics will have left stuff like that lying around, after all the effort they went to to keep you in the dark. But Eiffel looks at you like you've reignited all his hopes and what are you going to do in the face of that?

The first critical system alarm is fourteen hours later. The second one is ten hours after that.

You loose track after the first few days.

You fix, and you jury-rig, and your eyes burn from lack of sleep. You pick around in Hera's wiring, an act which feels more and more obscene the more you realise how painfully inadequate you are for the task. You're a ham-fisted medieval surgeon, tearing her further apart in sheer ignorance while you pretend to yourself you're helping.

Critical faults in life support. Engines. The aft airlock.

You blew the corpse out of that airlock, the second day of… this. Sent him into deep space. Alone in the cold.

Critical faults in the main power grid. The thermoregulator. The engines.

You have a permanent migraine, the world wavering in the edges of your vision. Eiffel coughs persistently, running a low-grade fever he never has the chance to sleep off.

There's never time to decipher Hilbert's research.

Hera's neural net refuses to spark back to life.

Critical fault. Critical fault.

You stare too long through the window at the redness of your own personal hellfire. The colour clings as you finally turn away, leaking red mist into the artificial air.

Eiffel coughs. Coughs and coughs and coughs.

You freeze. You freeze, and two metres away Eiffel chokes on blood, claws for air.

You try. Goddammit, goddammit, you carry him to the medbay and disentangle his fingers from their white-knuckle grip on your sleeve and you tear through Hilbert's medical stores but there is nothing labelled halt massive internal haemorrhage

and all you can do, in the end, is give Eiffel morphine until the tight agonised lines in his face smooth over with a peace you wish could assuage your own agony.

"It's going to be okay," you say, and stroke his sweat-matted hair, and do your best to be calm, be calm, be reassuring, lie your goddamn heart out.

He meets your eyes, sluggish. Slurs, "I've… seen things you people… wouldn't believe…"

The morphine pulls him away. You sit, hold his hand, stare blankly forward and you should think profound thoughts, speak some more bullshit words of comfort in case he can still hear you, but you're just too goddamn tired.

Between breath and breath, he's gone.

Critical fault in life support. You get the air recycler going again. Oxygen consumption is right down these days.

You'd had to take the number three engine temporarily offline early on. The number two engine burned itself out while you sat with Eiffel. Both unsalvageable.

You use the pulse beacon relay. You state events neutrally, objectively.

You scream. You beg. You threaten. No one picks up.

Critical fault in navigation. Not like you care; you're not going anywhere.

Critical fault in engineering. Fuel lines rupture.

"At the current trajectory we will be over the red line in thirty-two hours and twenty minutes. Recommend immediate course adjustment."

"Do it," you say. Your throat rasps.

"Insufficient engine power. Engines are already operating at maximum thrust."

And there it is.

That relief.

Suddenly, no responsibilities to abdicate. No standards to live up to.

It's over.

And yet you still fight, because this is who you are in your blood and bone, and there is nothing else left of you. You fight engine parts, circuitry, you fight to make your voice heard across eight light-years of space. You fight to save Hera, one last try, and you never know just how close you come to succeeding.

And you watch the star from the observation deck, because at the last it matters to you that you face this head-on. You matter, and you want Wolf 359 as your only witness to know it.

You're aware what your last thoughts should linger on. Your parents; Dominik. But your life was always more complicated and messy than you wanted it to be, and when it comes to it you think no defined thoughts at all, just a rush of… entropy, a lifetime's memories rushing past and fragmenting in the gravitational stresses.

You fall, and fall, and your eyes fail you at the very end.

The star shines blue.

-
glinda: a radio floating in space surrounded by junk with a star in the background (wolf 359)

[personal profile] glinda 2017-09-11 07:41 am (UTC)(link)
Oh ouch my heart.

Especially:
"You fight to save Hera, one last try, and you never know just how close you come to succeeding."

Poor Minkowski.
Edited (html fail) 2017-09-11 07:42 (UTC)
glinda: Hera quote text: No I tried to SEE if I could kill you. For Science! (semantics/for science!)

[personal profile] glinda 2017-09-11 07:55 pm (UTC)(link)
It's okay, it hurts in a good way! :p The more I love a character the more I like to make them suffer so...