Chapter One: Under Fire
: Sony and MGM own all things Stargate Atlantis. Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy own all things BtVS. I'm only borrowing and will return them at the end of the fic.Setting
: Takes place one month after Something Worthwhile
. After Chosen
for BtVS, before Michael
in Stargate Atlantis. No episodic spoilers for SGA.~*~
The blast rocked the ground near the Puddlejumper, nearly knocking Faith off her feet. Staggering under her burden, she managed to get her footing and kept running toward the Jumper.
"Hurry!" Teyla urged, tearing ahead of them to lower the Jumper ramp.
Out of the corner of her eye, Faith could see Ronon, exhausted and running as fast as he could, an unconscious McKay draped over his shoulder. Faith wasn't faring much better. Yeah, she had Slayer strength, but running for over two miles while carrying John Sheppard's bleeding body, which outweighed her by about eighty pounds with all his gear on, was fucking killer.
Another blast struck behind them, but now Teyla was returning fire, giving them enough cover to make it across the flat plain to the Jumper.
Ronon bounded up the ramp ahead of Faith. She slowed just a fraction, to avoid hitting him, when a Wraith dart fired a blast right next to the Jumper, shattering the rocks. Something hit Faith in the lower back, burning and painful like a knife wound.
Faith didn't scream. She had so much to do, there wasn't any goddamned time
to scream. Her momentum propelled her up the ramp, where Ronon helped her lay Sheppard down on the bench.
"How's McKay?" Faith asked as she fumbled for her P-90.
"Not dead yet," Ronon said briefly. He ripped open Sheppard's vest and put his ear on the man's bloody chest. "He's not dead yet either."
"Who's going to fly us out of here?" Faith asked, heading to the open ramp of the jumper to help Teyla. "Don't suppose you're a pilot, too?"
Teyla peered up at the patch of visible sky. The Wraith dart was making a large loopy turn back towards them. They didn't have a lot of time.
"We cannot leave."
Faith swore in the broken Czech she'd been learning from Zelenka. "You want to stay
"The ship cannot be piloted by anyone without the genes from the Ancestors," Teyla said, reaching for the bazooka case. "The Colonel and Dr. McKay are the only ones on our team with that ability."
"What kind of bullshit is this?" Faith shouted, helping Teyla load the bazooka. In the sky, the Dart had completed its turn and was on its way back. "Whose stupid idea was that?"
"The Ancestors." Teyla snapped the bazooka to her shoulder. "We must stand and fight."
"There has to be something we can do!" Faith dropped her gun by Teyla's side and sprang to her feet. The wound in her back shot stabbing pains all along her torso. She had to grab the black netting overhead to avoid falling on her way to the cockpit, stepping over McKay and Sheppard as she went.
"The weapons' system and the flight system are managed together," Teyla shouted, kicking a large gun over to Ronon.
Faith fell heavily against the pilot chair. "What about that cloak?" Damn it, she refused to sit here as fodder for space vampires while half her team was dying from an explosion. It was always a fucking explosion, either destroying half the Potential Slayers or half of her space army team. "Fuck!" Frustrated and terrified and not willing to die, she slapped her hands down hard on the controls.
The ship lit up like a Christmas tree.
"Teyla?" Faith said, backing away from the seat. A rush of footsteps, and Teyla was at Faith's side.
"You have the gene of the Ancestors?" Teyla asked, as surprised as Faith had ever heard. "How did you--" She shook her head. "You have to fly us out of here!"
"What? I can't fucking fly!"
"Incoming!" Ronon shouted. The bazooka went off in an explosion of noise.
"Faith, we have no choice." Teyla shoved Faith into the pilot's chair. "You must!"
"I can't even beat Andrew on the XBox!" Faith started hitting buttons at random. "Come on, ship, help me out!"
The ship responded, the cloak covering the ship as the ramp closed. Faith gave the flight controls an experimental tug, making the ship bounce up into the air.
"Use the weapons!" Ronon said, grabbing the back of the pilot's chair as the Jumper lurched drunkenly to one side.
"How?" Even as Faith asked the question, the ship shivered, and she knew the weapons were ready and armed. Fire already!
she screamed in her mind.
A bright yellow light zipped across the sky. The Wraith Dart exploded into a million pieces, and Faith had to pull up hard to avoid the debris.
"Hurry back to the Stargate," Ronon urged.
"No stops at the Tasty-Freeze?" Faith snarled, turning the Jumper around. "Are there any more Darts?"
The display screen appeared. Ronon pointed at a blue dot. "That's us." Then he moved his fingers down. "Three more Darts, on their way."
Faith's hands trembled on the controls. Everything was getting fuzzy, and she knew she was hurt bad, but she couldn't stop now. Three alien ships that wanted them dead, two team members dying in the back. She had to get them back to Atlantis.
The Jumper broke atmosphere, climbing into the starry sky. The Stargate was a tiny speck of silver in the distance.
"Hey, if we're cloaked, why're we worried about the Darts?" Faith asked, wondering distantly why her words were all slurred. She'd been hurt worse than this before, she wasn't going to let it get her down. She was a Slayer, and she had shit to do, lives to save and all that junk.
"If they get close enough when we open the gate, they will simply fire blindly," Teyla said, slipping into the chair beside Faith. "We must beat them there."
"How's those guys back there?" Faith asked. For the life of her, she couldn't remember the names of the wounded men in the back. Something about sheep?
"We must hurry," Teyla said, sounding grim. "When we are close enough, I will dial the Stargate, and send through my IDC."
"Whatever rocks your boat." Faith blinked hard as tiny black dots danced in her vision. The Stargate was getting bigger. "Hey, how do I slow this thing down?"
"We do not have time for that," Teyla said, punching the gate controls. "You will have to fly us through at this speed, and slow down in the Gateroom."
Suddenly, the Stargate didn't look so large. "Are you nuts?"
"We have no time!" Teyla hit her radio. "Atlantis, this is Puddlejumper One! We have a medical emergency! Two men down!"
Faith started giggling. This whole thing was so fucking surreal, like a video game. Andrew would have gotten a huge kick out of this. Faith wondered how many extra lives she had on this level.
"'K, ship, we're gonna have to slow down real quick." Faith gripped the controls hard, hoping she wouldn't fall over. "And no crashing."
The ship decloaked itself and seemed to giggle along with Faith, as the event horizon loomed large, then they were through and Faith stomped on the floor for the imaginary brakes. The side of the Jumper hit the Stargate on the way through, and they spun, knocking everyone around, but the ship stopped itself in the middle of the Gateroom.
Faith was left holding the controls and breathing heavily. The controls weren't responding any longer. Did she break the ship?
"The ship will dock itself automatically," Teyla said, laying her hand on Faith's shoulder. "You saved us."
"Right." Faith couldn't take her eyes off the control panel, full of dancing blue lights. She'd made it to the next level. Andrew would be so envious.
Once the ship docked in the bat, the back ramp opened up and the medical team rushed in. Their voices were all blurry, like there was a layer of water between them and Faith. She made herself let go of the controls and rotated the chair around.
Teyla and Ronon were helping the medical team with the injured men. McKay and Sheppard
, Faith finally remembered.
Dr. Weir ran up the ramp. "What the hell happened?" she demanded as she looked around. "If Colonel Sheppard and Dr. McKay are injured, then who flew the ship?"
"Faith," Ronon said, helping the med team lift McKay onto a stretcher.
"Faith?" Dr. Weir looked into the cockpit. Faith wanted to tell her to stop swaying back and forth, it was making her dizzy. "I wasn't informed that she had the gene--"
"Elizabeth, this can wait," Beckett interrupted. "All right, people, move!" The whole medical team buzzed around like bees, moving as a whole out of the Jumper. Dr. Weir and Teyla and Ronon all went with them, leaving Faith all alone.I should go too,
Faith decided. Make sure they're okay.
Getting up didn't hurt, and that bothered Faith. It should have hurt, right? The Jumper swayed as Faith stood. Was it an earthquake? Maybe she should tell someone. No, Atlantis was in the ocean. Waterquake?
The ground kept lurching as Faith walked. She staggered over to the door. It was a lot easier to not fall over when the wall was helping her stand.This ain't good.
A dull, dark ache was growing in her chest, like someone had opened her up and scooped out her insides like ice cream. Maybe I'll sleep.
Blinking, Faith tried to focus. "Buffy? That you?"
Slim, cool hands took Faith's face. "What happened?"
Those hands smelled faintly of gunpowder and blood. "Teyla, hey." Faith blinked hard to make the other woman come into view. "S'up?"
Teyla looked past Faith, and something on her face changed. "You are injured."
Faith turned around. Bloody footprints tracked down the hall, right to where Faith was standing. "What..."
Then the floor pulled itself out from under her feet and hit her upside the head. Someone was yelling and it sounded like Dawn, and Faith wanted to tell her that it was going to be okay, but Dawn was far away and Faith wasn't sure she could afford the long distance charges to another galaxy. Then...