Stunned, Sam looked at the landed Wraith ship. “Wow,” she uttered as she eyed the enormous ship lying on the ruins of the village and the darts, gathered like wasps over a honey pot, flying overhead.
“Yeah, and there is plenty more where that came from,” Rodney said, frowning at the console. “It’s a good thing that they’re not big on togetherness or we’d be in big
Sam nodded in understanding; they had been in a similar situation with the Goa’uld. It was only the species natural suspicion and reluctance to work together hat made it possible for the SGC and their allies to defeat them. Unfortunately, the Ori didn’t suffer from the same problem. “Any luck with the sensors?” she asked.
“Kind of,” he muttered. I’m picking up two distinct human life signs, and a whole lot of hazy ones. I’m assuming that those are the ones that are cocooned.”
Sam frowned; she had read about the Wraith’s eating habits and how they cocooned humans for further meals. “That means that one of them is…”
“Don’t say it,” Rodney said, shuddering. “I’m getting flashbacks as it is.”
Sam looked at him curiously. “Care to share?”
“Long story,” Rodney muttered. “And one I’m trying really
hard not to dwell on it right now. Any problems with the teleportation beam?”
Sam glanced at the laptop in front of her. “Not that I can see.”
“Right,” Rodney drew in a long, nervous breath. “Let’s do this before I come to my senses.” The jumper slowly moved forward and Sam tensed in her seat. The one hitch in their plan was that the beam wouldn’t work while the cloak was on.
Not for the first time, Sam wished that she could fly the jumper. Even if they cloaked immediately after using the beam, the darts would have a good enough position on them to make evasion tricky. The jumper came to a halt, and she threw Rodney a questioning look.
“They’re directly below us,” he said, as he quickly threw a shield up between them and the back compartment. Sam raised an eyebrow. “Just in case we’ve got the wrong life signs,” he muttered, catching her eye. “Lowering the cloak...now
The Darts’ reaction to their presence was immediate, and Sam ruefully concluded they were expecting a rescue attempt as she swiftly ran through the protocols Rodney had set up on the laptop. An energy blast rocked the jumper, and Sam swore under her breath.
“That was close,” Rodney said hoarsely, as he checked for damage. “But not close enough. You know, I suspect they just trying to wing us. Guess they want us alive, lucky us.”
Sam nodded as her fingers flew over the laptop. “Got them,” she said, rising from her seat as the back compartment lit up. “Get us out of here.” Sam staggered on her feet as Rodney lifted the cloak and did a wobbly one eighty,
“Don’t say it,” he said, abruptly, and Sam closed her mouth. All things considered, she supposed she could consider herself lucky he hadn’t crashed them into the Wraith ship.
The ship staggered once again and, from the scowl on Rodney’s face, she guessed it wasn’t his doing. Shrugging, she glanced into the back compartment and froze. “Rodney, lower the shield,” she said urgently. “It’s Teyla and Sheppard; they ‘re unconscious.”
The shield lowered, and Sam hurried to their side, breathing a sigh of relief as Teyla groaned.
“What happened,” she murmured, as she slowly opened her eyes.
“Lie still, I want to check you over,” Sam said.
“I am fine,” Teyla protested as she slowly propped herself up on her elbows. “Just a few cuts and bruises. It is John you should be worried about. They took him for questioning while we were on the Wraith ship and he hasn’t regained consciousness since.”
Frowning, Sam looked at the bruise on Sheppard’s temple, and quickly lifted his eyelids. “I think he may have a concussion.”
“Check his ribs,” Teyla said.” I believe they may have broken a few when they dragged him from the cell.
Sam carefully undid his flack jacket and lifted his shirt; dark bruises covered his chest. “Could you—” A med kit suddenly appeared under her nose, and Sam looked up into Teyla’s worried face.
“I shall hold him while you bind,” she said softly, as she gently lifted Sheppard’s head.
Sam nodded and quickly secured the bandage tape around his ribs, making it as tight as she dared. “That’s the best I can do,” she said.
“That is all you can
do,” Teyla said. “Help me make him more comfortable.” Silently, Sam helped her put a blanket over him and insert another one under her head. “You could not find Ronon?” Teyla eventually asked.
Sam shook her head. “You and Sheppard were the only definite life signs we could find,” she explained. “The others were too weak; Rodney said they’re probably humans that have been…”
“Cocooned,” Teyla finished for her. “I suspected as much. They took Ronon first, he never came back.”
“Do you think he’s dead?”
“No,” Teyla said, after a moment’s pause. “They wouldn’t kill a runner that quickly. I suspect they’ve cocooned him for a later date, so that they can enjoy him at their leisure.”
“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that,” Sam said, suppressing a shiver
Teyla nodded in agreement. “Let’s hope.
A soft thud echoed through the jumper’s hull, and Sam glanced over her shoulder. “Rodney, everything okay up there?”
“Just peachy,” his voice answered irritably. “Now shut up for a moment, I’m trying to land this thing.” Another thud bounced off the hull, and Sam bit back the comment on the tip of his tongue.
“He’s trying his best,” Teyla said softly. “He always gets acid tongued when he’s concentrating.”
Sam made a face. “What’s his excuse the rest of the time,” she muttered.
“Let me guess, he gave you hard time when we were captured.”
Sam felt her cheeks go hot as the kiss suddenly flashed in her mind. “Something like that,” she said, trying to keep her voice nonchalant.
Teyla raised an eyebrow. “I sense there is more to this tale than I originally surmised.”
Sam smiled noncommittally; she liked Teyla, but she didn’t know her well enough to be discussing her personal life…not that Rodney was part of her personal life, of course.
Teyla sighed. “It’s none of my business, I know,” she murmured. “But it might be worth pointing out that Rodney is a lot more vulnerable than he may appear. Be careful, Samantha.”
“There’s nothing to be careful about,” Sam eventually said, not sure of what else to say. A hollow boom shuddered through the jumper and Sam got to her feet, glad of the distraction. “I’ll just go check on him.” Teyla tilted her head, her expression knowing as she nodded.
“Great, that’s all I need,”
Sam thought as she scrambled into the jumper’s bridge. “I suppose it could be worse; I could have Vala here, giving me relationship advice.”
She grinned at the thought.
“I don’t suppose you could share the joke,” Rodney muttered, glancing up from the console. “I could do with a laugh right now.”
Sam looked at the view through the window. “We’ve landed.”
“No need to sound so surprised, I’m not that
Sam smirked. “You’re not exactly Amelia Earhart either,” she teased.
Rodney rolled his eyes. “Some of us have better things to do with their time than learning how to do wheelies in the sky - like save peoples ass’s on a daily basis with their scientific expertise.”
“Some of us can do both
“Yeah, well, some of us don’t have an ATA gene; so you can talk all you want, wonder girl, but it isn’t going to help you fly this thing…how are they?”
Sam blinked at the sudden change of topic. “Teyla seems to be okay, but Colonel Sheppard is still unconscious,” she said, dropping her voice.
“Nothing new there
,” Rodney snorted. “I swear, the guy is a trouble magnet. He might as well paint a target on his head and get it over with.”
“I’m sure John will appreciate your concern, Rodney,” Teyla said, appearing from the back compartment.
, as if you haven’t had the exact same thought,” Rodney said.
A glimmer of a smile appeared on Teyla’s lips. “He does seem attract more than his fair share of enemies,” she allowed. “But so have we all, Rodney. The Pegasus galaxy holds many dangers.”
“And every single one of them seems to want to kill us,” Rodney complained. “I may have been better off in Siberia after all.”
“You hated Siberia, Rodney,” Sam pointed out. “You did nothing but complain about it the whole time you were there.”
“Please, don’t remind me,” he said, shuddering. “And if you think I’ve forgiven you for that, you’ve got another thing coming.”
“I can always get you sent back if you want. I hear Colonel Barishnikova misses you dearly…she mentioned something about a picnic?”
“Don’t you dare
“Would you two just get a room
already, “ a voice rumbled from the back compartment. “I’m trying to get some sleep here.”
Sam almost laughed at the look of relief that spread across Rodney’s face. “Sheppard, about bloody time,” he snapped. “Trust you to take a nap in the middle of a Wraith invasion.”
“What the hell are you talking about, Rodney,” Sheppard groaned.
“I’m talking about a Wraith fleet lurking in this solar system and the Daedalus on an intercept course with it.”
” Sheppard suddenly appeared at the doorway, clutching at his ribs. “Could you repeat that? Because I think my ears are playing tricks on me. Did you just say something about a Wraith fleet?”
“In this solar system,” Rodney repeated. “Any bright ideas about why they’re here?”
Sheppard gave him a look. “You’re going to make me say it, aren’t you?”
“Well I wish someone would say it,” Sam said dryly. “Because I’m in the dark here.”
Sheppard smiled humourlessly. “What do the Wraith ever
want when they gang up like this?” he said. “Welcome to the annual ‘Lets Find Earth’ convention.”
“Oh,” Sam uttered, as the words sank in. “That’s not good.”TBC