Chapter 1: The Quiet Game
“I don’t understand…what is ‘the quiet game’?” Teyla inquired, after Lt. Col. John Sheppard had suggested that Rodney play just such a game as they were flying the puddle jumper through the new world. Ronon was sitting behind Teyla, as per usual, and Rodney behind John. Rodney seemed suddenly to be staring very hard at his laptop, and John grinned cheekily, obviously not seeing something wrong with the scientist’s sudden mood change.
“It’s where you see who can be silent the longest, and sometimes there’s a prize at the end. Usually parents try it on their kids when they’re being rowdy,” John explained to her. Teyla blinked and then smiled at the familiarity of it, and even Ronon chuckled.
“Yes, we have a similar game, though I believe that it is called ‘Hunting the Wind’. We tell our children that they cannot catch the wind and see it and possibly talk to it themselves, because they are far too noisy. Over the years, when they start to grow out of it, we remind them of the game because during wraith cullings, it helps them to be extra careful and silent.”
“Two birds with one stone, eh?” Rodney said tersely, and Teyla wrinkled her nose. Dr. Weir had attempted to explain the words to her at one point, but it was a little unclear.
“In a way,” She said finally. “Is something wrong, Dr. McKay?”
John turned slightly sideways to see the scientist grow even tenser at the words, and he was watching the screen rapidly. Ronon was watching Rodney curiously.
“Sheppard-there’s an energy signature that’s similar to that one creature that Jinto had unlocked from our first year in Atlantis.”
“What?! But that thing can’t be here now, can it? We sent it to a frozen wasteland!” He protested, and Teyla nodded agreement. Ronon was confused, and she quietly gave him a look that she would explain later, if she could. He nodded once, not happy with being out of the loop.
“Yes, well…the energy readings are…similar. But-” He hesitated, shaking his head. “The readings are off. WAY off, but it’s closest to the energy monster, and it’s hard to describe. Let’s just say that I don’t want to be around when it decides to see if we’re its new plaything.” Rodney said seriously. “It’ll drain the energy from the jumper, I imagine, as well as the gate and anything that our weapons have. We’ll be dead in the water,”
Teyla was momentarily confused by that idiom as well, and Ronon just shrugged at her when she looked his way.
Without warning, however, the ship bucked and went down several notches. John turned to the controls quickly, and said in a breathless voice,
And that was when the jumper lost power completely and the jumper sank to the ground as though it were a feather falling from the sky.
Teyla slowly woke, feeling confused and disoriented. The last thing that she remembered was talking to Rodney, John, and Ronon…she blinked several times, and then memory returned-the puddle jumper had crashed, and she had blacked out after slamming her head against the front of the consul. She winced as her head throbbed lightly with pain, and began to stir after a few seconds, remembering that her teammates might be severely injured.
Ronon was fine, though unconscious. Trying to wake him was difficult. Rodney, too, was unconscious, though had a broken arm and a dislocated knee. She winced again at seeing the dislocated knee, and hastily fixed it for him while he was still out of it. The tension from his body drained, but did not completely disappear. She turned to John…
John had vanished, though there was blood where he had been, and sparks occasionally burst as though the jumper now had power. She felt a flicker of fear strike in her heart, and looked at the windshield, but the glass was not broken. She glanced towards the bay doors…and found them open.
But why would he leave?
A sudden wave of agony swept through her mind, and the presence of another being was speaking to her while she bent half over herself, clutching her head at the incredibly intense pain.
I have your Ancestor-none of you matter to me. You will leave, and I will look the other way. But he is mine!
The voice was filled with venom and hatred towards John, and the feeling of fear was becoming more widespread, and the pain eased a very tiny bit as she took a deep breath. Ronon was stirring slightly, and Rodney was still unconscious.
Please…please, release our friend. He means no harm. We were simply passing through this world-
Teyla shuddered hard as the pain returned, but remained upright, wincing and gritting her teeth. Ronon was watching her quizzically, a worried expression on his face.
Foolish mortal! This Ancestor is MINE! The creature snarled, sounding even more furious. I WILL MAKE THEM ALL PAY!
Teyla felt her heart nearly stop at those hateful words. This thing…would hurt John. Of that, she was sure of it. And they had not crashed lightly, and John might already be hurt…she swallowed hard.
You hurt him, you will answer to not just myself and my team-but all of those who live on Atlantis.
She vowed, and the creature hissed in return, and showed her an imagine, one of which made her fall to her knees at the pain of it.
John…John was alive, but he was severely hurt. His face was marred by blood, and his upper body was bruised from colliding with the consul of the ship. He was unconscious and unresponsive as the creature was hauling him towards some secret place.
I will kill him if you come towards me. He is now MINE. Now leave, and do not return to this planet!
They were suddenly flung towards the Stargate, all three of them. The puddle jumper had vanished, and Teyla was face-first in the dirt, Ronon laying on the ground twitching, and Rodney remained still and unconscious. She stumbled to her feet, and checked Ronon-he was struggling to his feet as well, and she assisted him. She felt the gate dial, and then her IDC turned on by its own accord. The creature! It was doing this! She felt terror seize, and she tried to fight it, so that she might rescue John, and without warning agony split through her skull. She was aware of screaming, once, and then…
“You do not understand,” Teyla said in a tight voice. “That creature will torture Col. Sheppard until he is nothing but a vegetable. That creature,” She snarled, feeling fury towards it. John had already suffered so much, and Teyla was intent on doing everything in her power to protect him. “Showed me an image in my mind of Col. Sheppard being tortured until he was completely broken and empty inside. We MUST hurry,” She urged.
Teyla was currently standing in the infirmary. A white bandage was plasted onto the side of her head, and she had already taken pain medications. Rodney was unconscious on the infirmary bed-something that Carson was rather worried about, because the only times that Rodney was unconscious for this long was when something was dreadfully wrong. Ronon was bandaged up as well his ribs had been bruised when he’d slammed against the back of Teyla’s chair.
“What do you propose in rescuing him?” Elizabeth finally asked, and Teyla breathed a sigh of relief.
“Send a team to the planet to get to the jumper and remain there. I highly recommend all of them not having the Ancient Gene. Perhaps Dr. Zelenka could be on the team to see if the jumper can be recovered?” She rattled off, as the plans came to her mind. The broken image of John wouldn’t leave her, and she was shaking from weariness and fear. “We will sneak into the planet through a cloaked jumper. Dr. Beckett will need to come with us,”
“From all that you’ve told us of what’ll happen to Colonel Sheppard, I couldna agree more lass,” Dr. Beckett said grimly, already getting his medical supplies together with the help of the second in command of the medical staff, Dr. Keller, who appeared worried and concerned. “How bad do you think he was off before that bloody creature took him?”
“He hit the consul hard, and there was blood…I am not sure, but from the image that the creature sent me of his last current condition, he had been knocked unconscious very hard, and he may have bruised ribs like Ronon.” She bit her lip, considering. “You may need something for broken bones as well, if he was as badly hurt as Dr. McKay.”
“Aye,” Dr. Beckett responded. “I’m already packing as much as I can into this. Um…my ancient gene won’t cause problems with this, will it?”
“Until it is through with John, I think that you will be safe.” She whispered, and there was momentary silence.
“I’ve requested Miller, Lorne, and David’s to the jumper bay.” Elizabeth said finally. “And I’ll stay here and have everything open and ready at a moment’s notice.” She added.
Teyla couldn’t help herself-she hugged Elizabeth and Elizabeth was momentarily startled before Elizabeth hugged her in return, as a friend would.
“Bring him back safe home,” Elizabeth whispered to her.
“I will do everything in my power to make it so,” Teyla said sincerely back. Releasing her from the friendly and comforting hug, Teyla looked towards Ronon. “Ronon, I do think that you will need your swords on this mission.” She suggested and Ronon gave his first grin since they got back to Atlantis.
That grin said that whatever stood between him and retrieving Sheppard wouldn’t survive for very long.
They arrived back at the planet in a cloaked jumper, and though Teyla barely felt the presence of the monster, she still made sure that she was well shielded against him. After rescuing John and everything settled back to normal, she was going to make sure that her shields for her mind were always in place.
“We must hurry-I do not know for how long we have before John will be seriously hurt,” She urged Beckett and Ronon. She wished that Rodney was here as well-his skills would be most useful, but he had still been unconscious back at the infirmary in Atlantis.
The group hurried the jumper towards the downed jumper, all of them praying that it wasn’t too late to save Sheppard’s life.
Teyla could not hide her unease as she was going towards the jumper with her team. They reached the jumper in record time, and the image of the battered and broken Sheppard would not leave her. She felt highly worried and anxious for her friend.
They settled the other team down with Zelenka, who was working rapidly to figure out if there was something that could be done to save the jumper. He’d already restored power, but being able to fly it back to Atlantis would be another thing entirely, she realized. The jumper was badly damaged, and Elizabeth would not be pleased if they lost yet another one. And John would be most upset at losing his favorite Jumper as well, she thought.
After they had settled Zelenka and the secondary team up in the damaged jumper, Teyla turned to her teammate, as the others were mucking about the jumper attempting to repair it as quickly as possible. For this mission, the team that was with them was Lorne’s team since he had the most men that had the ATA gene.
“We must plan a way to distract the creature to rescue John,” She said seriously. “That creature is strong, and John will not be able to defend himself easily…or at all, I fear.”
“What kind of creature IS it?” Lorne wondered, and she shook her head.
“I do not know,” She admitted, sighing. “But that is the least of our worries. That creature is intent on breaking John into pieces, and-” She gasped, as without warning the creature’s voice filled her mind again, sounding cold.
You think you can trick me? Think that you can sneak into my world and I not know it? You are causing your friend more pain and grief.
An image came to Teyla then, and it was one of John screaming as the creature was breaking the bones in his chest and stomach while it stomped on him. Teyla rocked backwards from the force of the image, and was barely aware of Lorne and Ronon catching her.
Please…please don’t…just let us take him off this world, and you will no longer have to see him or any of us, I swear it! She pleaded with the creature as it broke John’s arm.
The creature seemed to consider her words, and then said in a smug tone.
I do not care if you set foot in this world. I am going too…And then he paused. You brought more?! It hissed, sounding furious, and she felt alarmed as it was thinking of going after Lorne, and the two other men that had the ATA gene. Stackhouse and Ryan-who was new-she realized with dread.
No…stop…She pleaded. We did only bring them to help John…you are killing him!
That is the point. I despise those that have the ancestral blood in them…those…they abandoned me here, left me to die, sent wraith here to finish me off, and…It wasn’t just angry, Teyla realized abruptly. It was…lonely and sad and confused. Maybe, she thought hastily, she could use this to her advantage.
Please…you do not have to be alone. There is another creature, one similar to yourself, that was also trapped in a small place by the ancestral blood. We set it free and moved it to another world. We can give you the coordinates, and you may go there and stay with it. Then you both will no longer be alone. Teyla said sincerely.
The being paused, and seemed confused. It hesitated, she could see that.
And when you go there, none of our people will ever set foot on that world, I swear this. Teyla promised.
That seemed to make its mind up.
Dial this planet. I will leave your pathetic human where he is. Should you try to trick me, I shall go back and finish him. It warned, and Teyla broke from Ronon and Lorne and dialed the address.
“What are you doing?”
“I persuaded it to leave,” Teyla explained. “Tell your men to let it go. I know where to get John, and he’s going to need medical help. After the creature goes through, Dr. Beckett, we’re going to need a stetcher.” She said softly.
Dr. Beckett nodded, looking worried and grim.
“Aye,” He hastened to get such a stretcher. Teyla and the others watched as the large creature that looked similar to the black cloud that she had once encountered moved through the gate.
Goodbye, puny humans.
She said nothing, but watched as it went through and then the gate shut down. After which, she hurried to get them to John’s side.
He was barely breathing, and in agony, but he was still alive.
And that was all that mattered.
Chapter 2: Epilogue
-This was an afterthought that I decided to add to the story. I figured it would make things a little nicer rounded off.
“So this creature took me because it got trapped for thousands of years alone?” John asked, incredulously.
“That is what it said,” Teyla agreed, nodding. “The thing was extremely lonely and angry, and I used its loneliness to get you safe.”
“Did I thank you for that by the way?” John wondered, wincing as he moved slightly in order to get more comfortable on the bed.
“There is no need to,” She said simply.
“What I don’t get,” Rodney muttered, as he was lying on the bed opposite of John. “Is why it didn’t attack me. It went for Sheppard, and you said that it was going to go after Lorne and his men, but it only knocked me out…”
“Because your gene isn’t the same as ours,” John offered, and Rodney made a face.
“Fake ATA gene strikes again,” He muttered, sighing. Teyla smiled.
“In this case, I think it saved your life, Dr. McKay. Imagine what it would have done to you if it thought you were like John?” She teased.
“Yeah, we wouldn’t have to listen to any more of your whining.” Ronon said with a smirk.
“Or, if it comes to that, we could just get him to play the quiet game.” Dr. Beckett said, as he came up to their bedsides, to check on his patients, and then frowned in confusion as John, Teyla, and Ronon burst into laughter while Rodney began spluttering in protest that he was NOT a child.
Teyla laughed loudest of all, relief going through her body in a rush. Her friends were safe. Her team was safe. And they were home.