Disclaimer: The characters in this story are owned by ABC Television. I am not profiting from this story in any way. It is written strictly for pleasure. Copyright 1992, 1994 by Nancy Durgin. [ I started this "Survival" sequel back in 1992 and never did finish it. Here's one of my favorite scenes from that unfinished story. I just pulled it out of the unfinished story with no edits or polishing, but I think it should more-or-less stand alone, if you are familiar with the episode. ] Hanley and Saunders at the aid station (A scene from an unfinished sequel to "Survival") By Nancy Durgin The aid station was in a small building that had been a cafe before the Germans and then the Americans had moved into the village. It was a small village -- barely a crossroads -- but unfortunately for its former French inhabitants, it happened to be strategically located between the river to the east and the city of Orleans to the west. Hanley motioned the other men around to the rear of the building where the food was being served at the back door of the cafe's kitchen. Even Littlejohn, who had never been known to miss a chance at a hot meal, had to be steered reluctantly away from the front doorway that led into the aid station proper -- where they'd left Saunders. "Go ahead and eat," Hanley told them. "The doctor's not going to want you all crowding in there, anyway. I'll let you know what he says." As the others disappeared around the corner of the building, Hanley wearily climbed the two steps up to the main entrance to the building. As he opened the door, his senses were assailed by the warm, brightly lit interior, and the characteristic odor of antiseptic. Inside, the room was divided into two areas by green canvas sheets suspended from the ceiling. The outer area served as an office and treatment area, with a ward area containing a half-dozen cots set up behind the make-shift curtains. Hanley paused in the doorway, getting his bearings and letting his eyes adjust to the light. The doctor -- a tall, thin man with graying temples, whom Hanley wasn't acquainted with other than seeing him briefly when they'd dropped Saunders off earlier -- was in the outer office, putting the finishing touches on a bandage on the arm of a young soldier. The doctor glanced up at his entrance. "Be with you in a minute, Lieutenant," he said. When Hanley hesitated in the doorway, he added, with a tone of impatience, "Close the door -- you'll let all the heat out." "Sorry," Hanley muttered, stepping in and closing the door. The doctor, satisfied, turned back to his task. Deciding that the doctor would be occupied for a few more minutes, Hanley pulled the curtain aside and glanced into the ward room beyond. Only three of the six cots were occupied -- Saunders lay near where Hanley stood, while a G.I., armed with an M-1, sat on a chair by the two farthest cots, which contained two injured German prisoners. A low fire burned in a fireplace against the wall opposite the cots. Hanley nodded at the G.I. who had glanced up at his entrance, and then moved over to where Saunders lay. He sat down on the edge of an adjacent cot, looking with concern at the man who lay unmoving on the bed. The sergeant lay with his white bandage-covered hands on top of a grey blanket. His field jacket and shirt had been removed, and his bare left arm was strapped to a wooden board, an IV tube leading out of it to a suspended bottle containing a clear fluid. Saunders, cheeks flushed with fever, shivered as a chill racked his body. It seemed to Hanley that the fever was, if anything, worse than it had been before. Saunders moved restlessly, muttering something that Hanley couldn't make out. Hanley heard voices rise in the outer office as the doctor finished with his patient and escorted him out. "Keep the bandage *clean* this time," Hanley heard the doctor admonish him, in a not unkind voice. "Sorry, Doc.... That's not easy when you're crawling around in a foxhole," the G.I. replied apologetically. "Thanks again!" Then he was gone, accompanied by the sound of the door opening and closing. "Now, Lieutenant," the doctor said, as he came through the curtain while drying his hands on a towel. "Come on out here and I'll take a look at you. What's the problem?" Hanley looked at the doctor in confusion. "Huh? Oh, I'm fine, Doc. I came to check on Sergeant Saunders here," Hanley explained, gesturing towards his restive friend. The doctor looked at him sharply, an expression of disbelief crossing his face briefly. It occurred to Hanley that, since he hadn't had a chance to clean up yet, he probably looked pretty bad himself. But then the doctor nodded, "Oh yes, you brought him in earlier." Satisfied, the doctor turned his attention to his real patients, moving past Hanley to glance at the two Germans who had been laying quietly since Hanley entered. He tsked at the soldier who was guarding them. "These two aren't going to cause any trouble, Private," he said firmly. "Why don't you go get some dinner?" "I'm really supposed to stay here, sir," the G.I. replied uncertainly. He glanced at Hanley for reassurance. Hanley shrugged, in no mood to interfere with the doctor who, although he wasn't a combat officer, still outranked him. "Go on," the doctor repeated. "And if you run into my orderly, send him back here. He can watch them." "All right, sir," the soldier agreed. He got up, taking his rifle, and moved past them. Satisfied, the doctor turned back to Saunders, checking his pulse with two fingers at the side of his neck. Saunders shuddered again and groaned, muttering incoherently. "How is he?" Hanley asked, as the doctor continued with his examination. "He's running a high fever," the doctor explained. "He must have picked up some kind of a virus or an infection. And he has 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his hands and wrists -- they're badly burned, but I don't think there will be any permanent damage. I'll be sending him back to the evac hospital in Orleans tomorrow." "Did he come around at all? Did he say anything?" The doctor shook his head. "No -- nothing that made any sense...." They were interrupted by the arrival of the doctor's orderly, whose entrance was announced by a noisy clatter from the outer room and a burst of cold air which billowed the hanging divider-sheets. "Hey, Doc!" The medic pulled the canvas aside and looked in. "I brought you some dinner. Better hurry before it gets cold!" He paused as he noticed Hanley sitting there. "Oh, sorry, Sir! I hope I didn't interrupt anything!" "Alright...alright, Jimmy," the doctor said, with the manner of one who was accustomed to such outbursts. "In a minute. Meanwhile, come on in here and keep an eye on those two." He gestured with his chin toward the two Germans. "Sure, Doc." The tall, lanky youngster moved past them into the room. Hanley was distracted by a cough and a groan from Saunders, who'd been roused by the young medic's boisterous entrance. Hanley leaned forward hopefully, seeing Saunders' eyes briefly flicker open. "C'mon, Joey...." Hanley heard him mutter. Whatever the restive sergeant was looking at, it wasn't in *this* room. He sank back down on the cot in disappointment. "Geez, it's getting *cold* in here," the medic declared loudly from the other end of the room. "Well, stoke up the fire, then," the doctor said. He looked at Hanley, "You look like you could use a cup of coffee, Lieutenant. Come on -- Dawkins there will keep an eye on the Sergeant. He's not likely to come around tonight, anyway." Hanley nodded, reminded by the grumbling in his stomach they he didn't really want to miss his first real meal in two days, either. He stood up and followed the doctor towards the outer office. Behind them, the medic had moved over to the fireplace, where he was checking out the dying embers with a metal poker. There was a loud clatter of shifting wood, and Hanley turned at the noise to see the medic flip one of the logs and bring a burst of flame out of its freshly exposed underside. The medic tossed a new log onto the pile with another loud crash. Then he stood back to survey his handiwork. While Hanley was sure the task could have been accomplished with more subtlety, he couldn't argue with the result. He could already feel the warmth from the rejuvenated fire spreading across the room as the crackling flames licked hungrily at the fresh dry wood. Hanley turned and continued through the gap in the sheets into the other room, where the doctor was already pouring coffee from a pot that had been warming on a small cook-stove. "Here you go," the doctor held out the steaming mug, but before Hanley could take it, they were both distracted by a commotion from the other room -- a raised voice, followed by the sounds of shattering glass. Hanley grabbed reflexively for the automatic that should have been at his side, but he came up empty-handed -- he hadn't gotten a chance to scrounge up an equipment belt and weapon to replace the ones taken by the Germans when he was captured. Cursing under his breath, Hanley turned and moved quickly back into the other room. "Sergeant! Get me out of here!" Hanley was surprised to see that the two German prisoners were still laying quietly on their cots, and that it was Saunders who was doing the yelling. The source of the disturbance was now struggling wildly on the cot -- held down, with difficulty, by the young medic. The shattered remains of the glass IV bottle lay in a pool of liquid on the floor beside the cot. Hanley stopped short, taken aback by the unexpected scene. The medic held Saunders down by the shoulders as the panicked sergeant struggled to get up, hampered more by his inability to use his bandage-covered hands effectively, than by any lack of strength or determination. "Get me loose!" Saunders begged. "Try to keep him down," said the doctor, who had entered the room behind Hanley. "I'll get a sedative." He disappeared back into the outer room, the canvas sheets closing behind him. Hanley, energized by the doctor's calm instructions, moved over to help the medic, whose attempts to control Saunders only seemed to make him more frantic. "What happened?" Hanley asked as he grabbed Saunders' right shoulder and tried to apply enough pressure to hold the struggling man down without hurting him. "I don't know. All of a sudden he sat up and started yelling...." the medic said. He shifted to make room for Hanley to get a better grip. "Somehow he knocked down the... oof!" The explanation was cut off abruptly when Saunders, swinging his left arm -- which was tied to the immobilizing wooden board -- like a club, managed to land a solid blow in the medic's stomach. The startled medic pulled back, inadvertantly stepping into the puddle left by the broken IV bottle. He lost his footing -- and his grip on Saunders -- and fell back against the next cot, which collapsed under him with a crash. Hanley was almost as surprised by the turn of events as the medic. Saunders took the opportunity to slip out of his grasp and scramble to his feet on the opposite side of the cot, next to the fallen medic. The IV needle was still taped to Saunders' arm, and the tubing connected to the shattered bottle trailed along after him as he backed towards the center of the room. Hanley took a step forward, then stopped when Saunders suddenly came to a halt and whirled around, eyes frantically searching around the room. Hanley took another step towards him. "Take it easy, Saunders." Saunders ignored him. He stopped with his gaze fixed on the fireplace, where the freshly stoked blaze was still burning brightly. Then he started backing up rapidly, still ignoring Hanley as he moved past him towards the right. His retreat was halted when he ran into the stone wall. Saunders looked wildly around the room again, and then stopped with his gaze on Hanley -- but there was no recognition in his terrified expression. "Let me out of here!" he pleaded hoarsely. Behind him, Hanley could hear the medic struggling to his feet. He turned and gestured for him to stay where he was. When he turned back, Saunders was staring back at the fire again, his body shaking, his eyes wide with horror. Hanley followed Saunders' gaze to the fireplace and then suddenly the situation became clear to him. Saunders was just trying to get away from the fire, he realized. The terrified sergeant thought he was trapped in the burning barn again. He had no way of knowing that the exit he was looking for was just a few feet away -- hidden behind the wall of sheets. "Okay, Sergeant," Hanley said calmly. "Come on, let's get out of here." He took a careful step towards where the opening in the sheets was. Saunders, still staring at the fire, didn't respond. Hanley reached the curtain and pulled it aside, nearly colliding with the doctor, who was about to open the curtain from the other side. "Doc -- Wait a minute," Hanley said. The doctor, hypodermic needle in hand, stopped and looked at him quizzically. Hanley held out the canvas flap. "Hold this open -- I think he'll calm down if I bring him out here." The doctor nodded and stepped aside, grabbing the flap from Hanley. Hanley turned back and moved slowly over towards where Saunders was standing. He touched Saunder's arm gently, distracting him from his hypnotic focus on the fire. "Let's go, Sergeant," Hanley said firmly. He pointed to the opening. "I got the door open. Let's get out of here." Saunders started to break away from Hanley's grip, but then he noticed the opening Hanley pointed out to him, and he abruptly stopped struggling. "Gotta get out of here," he agreed. He started toward the opening, breaking into a stumbling run for the few paces it took him to actually get there. Hanley managed to keep a grip on Saunders' arm as he followed him through into the other room. This part of the room had two real doors -- one leading outside, and one leading into the rest of the building. Saunders paused uncertainly, trying to decide which door would get him out. But Hanley had no intention of letting the shirtless, shoeless, Saunders go outside. Just getting him away from the fire might be enough -- in addition to the metal cookstove in the corner of this room, there were two covered lanterns providing light -- but no open flames. Hanley hoped that the change in surroundings would bring Saunders out of his waking nightmare. With that in mind, he took advantage of Saunders' momentary indecision, and steered him firmly towards the nearest chair. "Okay, Saunders," he said soothingly. "We're out now -- you're safe. Why don't you just sit down over here and rest for a minute?" "No...." Saunders tried to pull away from him. "Gotta get out of here...." But the panic-induced strength was fading even as he spoke. Hanley found he had little trouble overcoming the man's feeble attempts to get away from him. He could easily have forced Saunders into the chair, but when he realized that Saunders was no longer capable of putting up any real physical resistance, Hanley didn't want to upset him even more by forcing the issue. "You're safe," Hanley repeated. "It's okay, Saunders. We got away." "Gotta get out of here...." Saunders croaked hoarsely, repeating the mindless litany again. Hanley grabbed Saunders by the shoulders and shook him, willing the still-frightened eyes to focus on reality. "Sergeant! Look at me!" he ordered. The fever-bright blue eyes suddenly locked onto Hanley's and stayed there. After a moment, Saunders' frightened expression changed to one of bewilderment. He cocked his head to one side and looked around the room, as if seeing it for the first time. Then the gaze swung back to Hanley. "Lieutenant?" Hanley took a breath -- and realized he'd been holding it. He smiled reassuringly. "Yeah." "The Krauts...captured...." Saunders raised his left arm and looked curiously at the mass of wood, bandages, tape, and IV tubing. Then he looked over at the white-coated doctor and the bedraggled young orderly, both of whom were standing back by the ward-room opening -- watching, but not interfering. Finally he turned back to Hanley and tried to formulate the question that summed up his obvious confusion. "Where...?" "We got away. We made it back," Hanley explained. "We're at the aid station -- back at the company CP." Saunders nodded, visibly relaxing at the explanation. "And," Hanley continued as he adjusted his grip on Saunders' shoulders to provide support as he felt the sergeant start to sag. , "*You've* been giving the poor doctor a hard time, Sergeant." The doctor stepped over on cue. "Now, Sergeant," he said cheerfully. "If you're through wrecking my ward room, then how about we get you over to that examination table there, so I can inspect the damages." "Okay..." Saunders came up with the most cooperative gesture he could muster under the circumstances -- he passed out.