"Quit your moaning and bring that over here," Sheppard said as he placed a large heavy box on the floor. He knew he'd regret telling Colonel Carter that he was available to help move things around.
"I am not moaning," McKay argued as he placed his box on the floor by Sheppard's.
"Yes, you are. If you didn't want to do this, why are you here?"
"You made me!"
"Did not," Sheppard shot back.
"Rodney!" Sheppard could feel his patience wearing thin. He hadn't realised how much stuff was needing to be moved. He had ample help in the form of the two male members of his team and a group of five other men, but it wasn't helping his rapidly souring mood.
It was his first day off in far too long and he had offered to help move things around. He was going to ask Keller to look at his head. He was starting to think he had hit it badly on his last mission.
Sheppard glanced at McKay. "You're trying to impress her aren't you?"
"Colonel Carter," he folder his arms over his chest and smirked at his friend.
"You are! You're blushing. You're doing this so she'll notice!"
"I'm with Katie, remember?" McKay argued.
"So? We all know about your unrequited lust," Sheppard teased as Ronon walked into the room and over to them.
"Over it," McKay narrowed his eyes at his friend as he turned around and walked out of the room to get another box.
"He still likes her," Ronon said knowingly as Sheppard laughed.
"Yeah, well, it's not like she's bad to look at," he said as he unfolded his arms and began walking out of the room. Suddenly, he stopped, and glanced over to the wall. He was sure he had seen something shine.
"What?" Ronon asked, following his line of sight.
"I thought I saw something," he explained as he walked over to the wall and placed his hand on it. He skimmed the wall with his hand and sharply pulled it back when a panel appeared. "Whoa."
"Another room?" Ronon asked, his eyebrows raised.
"Could be," he answered before he tapped his earpiece. "Colonel Carter? Come in please."
"Yes, let me do all the work," McKay said irritably as he walked back into the room and placed his box on the floor.
"Sheppard found a hidden panel," Ronon explained as Sheppard help up his hand to silence his friends.
"Yes, John?" Sam's voice said into his ear.
"We've found a hidden panel in the new storage room. I'm guessing for a hidden room. Want us to check it out?"
"Be careful," she said.
"Here it goes," he said as he swiped his hand over the console.
A panel of the wall slid easily to one side. The room inside was dark. Sheppard shrugged and stepped over the threshold, the second he was in the room the lights came on. He looked around the room as he heard his friends walk to his side.
The room was empty, except for a large mirror that gave no reflection.
Sheppard tapped his earpiece again. "Uh, Colonel, you might want to come see this," he said.
"I'm on my way," came Sam's reply.
"What have we got?" she asked as she entered the hidden room, coming to an abrupt halt when she spotted the mirror. "Oh no."
"You know what it is?" Ronon asked.
"Unfortunately," she nodded. "It's a quantum mirror. It allows you to travel to alternate realities. We've encountered far too many of those."
"I'm getting a headache already," Ronon said as he pinched his nose.
"Is there a control for it?" she asked as she walked towards it.
"We haven't been any closer to it than what we are now," Sheppard replied.
"Good," she nodded as she walked around the mirror, bending down to pick up the control that was behind it. "No one touches this. Understand? Nothing good can come out of this."
"No touching. Got it," Sheppard nodded as Sam walked back to the line of three men. "What exactly does it do?"
"In the first year of the Stargate program, Daniel found a mirror off world. He touched it. He got sent to another reality. One that was being destroyed by the Goa'uld. He managed to get back in time to warn us of the attack and we were able to stop it. In the third year of the program, an alternate version of myself and Major Kawalsky came through. Their reality was being destroyed. We helped save it.
"Two of the same person can't be in the same reality without severe consequences. My counterpart went through seizures until she was back in her own reality. General Hammond ordered it destroyed, but we learned pretty quickly that it couldn't be destroyed. The one on Earth has a cover stone on it so it can't be used."
"Got a migraine," Ronon winced.
"This control is getting put into secure storage. This room is to be locked and never used again. Are we clear?"
"Crystal," Sheppard and McKay said at the same time.
"You were awfully quiet during that," Sheppard nudged McKay after Sam had left.
"Shut up," McKay said as he stepped out of the room behind Ronon.
Sheppard swiped his hand over the console and watched as the door to the hidden room closed and the console disappeared.
The whole place was being destroyed. Parts of the city was falling all around him. He heard a wall crumble behind him. Flashes of blue almost blinded him as the power short circuited. He held up his hand to shield his eyes.
He could hear the Wraith darts outside. He could hear the explosions as they attacked the city he had started to call home. He knew he hadn't managed to shake the Wraith from his path. He knew they were still following him.
His lungs burned as he ran deeper into the city. He knew he would be lucky to survive. His legs ached as they carried him even faster towards his destination.
The Wraith were right behind him. He pushed himself to run faster. The walls of the city spat rubble at him as they shot at him and missed. He felt one shot buzz past his ear. Too close. He had to get away.
He wiped his face. Blood from his cut forehead ran freely down his face. His legs were about to give out. He could barely breathe. He threw his gun to the ground. He ran out of ammo a while ago.
Blood pounded in his ears. Sweat and blood ran into his eyes. He could hardly see. He had to keep going. He couldn't be captured. He had to survive.
He ran to the one room where the Wraith wouldn't find him. He skidded to a halt in front of the wall. He felt panic rise in his chest as the swiped his bloodied hand over the wall and the console failed to appear.
The Wraith were only seconds away from his position. Fear washed over him. Finally the console appeared and he swiped his hand over it. The wall slid back and he entered the room, sealing it behind him.
He pressed his back against the wall and heaved a sigh as he heard the Wraith pass by him. He was glad the room was sound and light proof. He was safe. For the time being. He was in the Ancient's version of a panic room.
He crawled over to the mirror and reached behind it. He thanked whatever God was out there that the control had not been moved.
He spent a few minutes catching his breath as he lay on the floor, mentally taking note of his injuries. He was sore and exhausted from running, but apart from the cut on his forehead and a possibly dislocated shoulder he was fine.
He knew that his shoulder was dislocated, but he had yet to feel the pain. He added being in shock to his mental list of injuries.
He activated the mirror and glanced at the reality on the other side. It was dark, but it looked safe. But he wouldn't know until he was on the other side. He had to take the chance. Anywhere, any reality, was better than the one he was already in.
He stood up on his shaky legs and touched the mirror. The small electrical current that passed through his body as he travelled from one reality to another sent him to his already weak knees.
He managed to shut off the mirror before falling unconscious.
He had no idea how long he had been out when he woke up. All he knew was that he was alone. Safe. And the pain from his dislocated shoulder was making itself known.
He groaned as he sat up and held his arm as close to his body as he could. He had to pop the joint back in. But he had nothing to help him do it.
He unsteadily got to his feet and walked over to the wall. He swiped his hand over the console and pressed his back against the wall as the door opened. He couldn't let anyone see him.
He glanced outside. It was clear. He was glad that the city was intact.
As quietly as he could, he left the room, closing the door behind him, the control awkwardly in his hand.
He knew he had to get to the infirmary. Sooner rather than later. But he had to find the base commander and inform her of the situation.
He looked out of a window as he made his way to the base commanders quarters. It was well into the night. He knew that she would most likely be sleeping. Normally he wouldn't wake her. But he was no longer in his own reality. 'Normally' no longer applied.
He was glad that he didn't run into anyone on his way to his destination. That would be the last thing he needed.
He knew that the base commander was the best person to talk to first. Despite the city being quiet and not having met a single person on his journey thus far, he kept himself hidden.
His shoulder was extremely painful. He bit his lip to stop him from crying out from the jostling he was giving it with every step he took. He could taste blood. But he couldn't decide if it was from his lip or his forehead.
He finally made it to her quarters and swiped his hand over the pad. He waited, impatiently and painfully for her to answer. After a minute he swiped again. He was about to swipe a third time when the door slid open.
He wasn't expecting the woman who stood before him.
She stood there, her long blonde hair tied up in a braid, slightly mussed from sleep. Her blue eyes were tired and annoyed at having been woken up. She wore a too large plaid shirt that fell half way down her thighs, the sleeves just covering her fingers.
Her long legs were bare, as were here feet. He watched as her eyes focused on him. Her eyes softened when she saw that he was injured.
He stared at her in disbelief. He shook his head and closed his eyes. He opened them again and saw that she was still standing in front of him.
"Mom?" he asked, his jaw hanging slack.