SQ "Attempted Murder" pt.1
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"Attempted Murder"
A seaQuest Story
by Cindy Brewer

New CapeQuest, Florida

Commander Jonathan Devin Ford whistled softly as he climbed the steps to Katie Hitchcock's apartment. She stayed here whenever the H.R. Clinton was in port. Reaching the third floor, Jonathan felt his blood freeze seeing Katie's door halfway open.

"Katie?" Jonathan called cautiously opening the door the rest of the way. The small apartment was trashed. Bookshelves toppled, tables overturned, sofa on its side.
"Katie? "He repeated slight fear in his voice.
Jonathan crept into the apartment making sure the intruder wasn't still there. When he slipped into his fiancee's bedroom he felt his heart leapinto his throat. Katie Hitchcock was sprawled on the floor, face down.
Ford quickly turned her over to find blood seeping slowly from a gunshot wound in her chest.

"Oh God." Jonathan breathed as his fingers frantically hunted for a pulse. He let out a breath he didn't even realize he'd been holding when he found a weak one.
"Hang in there, Katie. "Jonathan whispered as he scrambled for the phone.

"What do we have? "A female doctor with blond hair yelled as the paramedics smashed the gurney through the swinging doors.
"Gunshot wound to the chest. She's lost a lot of blood."
The doctor nodded, glancing at Ford's anxious face for a moment.
"Get her into trauma room one. Stat!"
Jonathan started to follow Katie, but the doctor blocked his path. "I'm sorry, but you'll have to wait out here."
Ford finally found his voice. "She's my fiancee'."
The doctor gently placed a hand on his shoulder. "We'll do our best."

"Commander Ford?" A male voice asked tentatively an hour later.
Jonathan turned around. "Yes?"
A young brown haired man flashed a badge.
"I'm Detective Paul Hansen. I know this is difficult, but I need you to answer a few questions."
Jonathan nodded glancing at the operating room,"Go ahead."
"Was there any sign of forced entry when you arrived?"
Jonathan forced himself to concentrate,"No the door was part way open."
Hansen nodded, scribbling on a small notebook,"Could you tell if anything was missing?"

Ford shook his head,"To be honest I didn't notice. My main concern was Katie..."
Hansen nodded, his brown eyes sympathetic.
"I understand." He glanced at the swinging doors of the operating room.
"Any news on her condition?"
Jonathan shook his head,"No, they said it could possibly be a long operation."
Hansen nodded, "I'll keep in touch."

Miami, Florida

Ben Krieg hummed to himself as went to answer his door, pineapple drink in one hand. He frowned as he saw a man in a brown suit and a uniformed police officer close by.
"Benjamin Krieg? "The man asked briskly.
The man held up a folded piece of paper,"You're under arrest."
"What?!" Ben asked incredulously, the pineapple drink hitting the floor.
The man motioned to the uniformed officer who began to put handcuffs around Ben's wrists.
"You have the right to remain silent, if you give up that right anything you say will be used against you in a court of law, if you can not afford an attorney one will be appointed for you. Do you understand?"

"No. "Ben said angrily. "What's the charge?"
"The attempted murder of Katherine Hitchcock."
Ben stopped struggling as he felt his face pale, "Is she alright?"
The Detective adverted his eyes. "All your questions will be answered later. Let's move."

Four hours into Katie's operation Jonathan had placed a call to Kristin Westphalen. She wasn't home so he tried Nathan on the seaQuest. Tim told him, Bridger was in a high security meeting with Noyce but promised he would get Ford's message to him as soon as possible.
Six hours into Katie's operation Jonathan heard the page, Kristin was returning his call.

"My God, Jonathan how is she?" Kristin asked worriedly after Ford had filled her in.
Jonathan sighed, the not knowing beginning to take its toll.
"She's in emergency surgery right now." He had to fight to keep his voice from breaking, "Kristin, I have a feeling I may have lost her."
"Oh, Jonathan. "Kristin said softly. "You hang in there. I'll be in New Capequest as soon as I can."
"Thank you, Kristin. "Jonathan said as he slowly replaced the receiver.

Ben Krieg sat slumped in a wooden chair in the police interrogation room. The police weren't giving him any straight answers. All he wanted to know was what had happened to Katie. Ben rubbed his face tiredly. At
least he knew she was alive...with the attempted murder charge. That was a small comfort.

Detective Paul Hansen sighed as he leaned against the table looking Ben in the eye.
"Okay, Mr. Krieg...let's try this one more time. Why were you at Ms.Hitchcock's apartment?"
Ben glared at him,"As I've already said, I've been in Miami all day. Why would I drive over two hours to kill my ex-wife who I haven't had any contact with since the first seaQuest was destroyed over two years ago."
Hansen rubbed the back of his neck tiredly as he motioned to the uniformed guard.
"This isn't getting us anywhere. Let him have his phone call then take him back to his cell."

Ford felt like he had wore a path to China in the waiting room floor when the blond doctor finally reappeared six hours later. Jonathan didn't like the look on her face.
"Is she alive?" Jonathan demanded.
The woman sighed motioning Jonathan to a nearby couch,"Commander Ford,let's have a seat. My name is Kelsey Harmon."
Jonathan took a seat, knowing it was the only way he was going to get any information.

"Your fiancée is alive. "Doctor Harmon said finally.
Ford released the breath he'd been holding,"Thank God."
"But I'm afraid she's not out of danger."
Jonathan looked up sharply,"Why was the operation so long?"
"The bullet was in a tricky position. Half an inch either way and she'd be dead right now."
Jonathan winced,"But you did get it out?"
"Yes..." Kelsey nodded. "...but unfortunately she's lost a tremendous amount of blood. She's slipped into a deep coma."

Jonathan leaned heavily back against the couch,"So she can't tell us who did it."
Kelsey shook her head,"And she may never remember. Getting shot is a very traumatic experience."
Ford nodded, swallowing hard,"Can I see her?"
Doctor Harmon shook her head,"Not for a few hours. She's in recovery right now. Why don't you go home and get some rest. I'll call you if there's any change."

When Jonathan returned to his hotel room he found a message from Nathan.
Ford got through to the seaQuest in less than two minutes.
"Jonathan, I got your message, what's wrong?" Ford sat tiredly down onto the bed.
"Katie's in the hospital."
Nathan's blue eyes widened,"What? What happened?"
"From what I can tell, she walked in on a robbery and was shot."
"Is she alright?"
Ford shook his head,"She's in a coma."

"I'm sorry, Jonathan. Do they have any idea who did it?"
"I don't think so. The Detective in charge said he'd call me as soon as they knew anything."
Nathan nodded, empathy in his blue eyes,"Let me know if there's anything I can do for you or Katie. Noyce sent us on another Bureaucratic trip to New Zealand."
"Thank you, Nathan. I'll keep you posted. I'm going to go back to the hospital later."
"She's strong, Jonathan. She'll pull through."Nathan said ending the communication.

It seemed like Jonathan had just finally fallen asleep when his phone rang. With a sigh he hit the correct button.
"Sorry." Detective Paul Hansen said apologetically. "I called the hospital. They said you'd gone back to your hotel."
Jonathan sat up slowly,"Its okay. I don't think I could've slept long anyway."
"I told you I would call you if we found out anything."
At that Jonathan was fully awake,"You have a suspect?"
Paul Hansen nodded,"We arrested Ben Krieg this morning."