Todd drained the life from the last remaining Genii, and growled pleasurably. Rarely had he been given the opportunity to gorge himself, and he was determined to savor every moment he had free from hunger. He surveyed the carnage and smiled. Dead Genii littered the floor, dead from his shots as well as their own, when not drained and shriveled. He shook his head. Even in close quarters the Genii were bad shots, and there were several merely wounded that he took glee in consuming as they lay helpless. The hateful face glared at him from across the room while he fed, deprived of its last victim. He studied it carefully. Sekkari to be sure, but twisted and deformed. Todd wondered if it was a remnant of one of the experiments in the lab. The thing bared sharp, silver teeth at him, then sank into the wall. Todd decided to take another look at the test subjects before leaving the planet; a creature that could mimic a Wraith illusion was a potential danger to his kind. Perhaps a new specimen to dissect would keep the little doctor too busy too harass him about tests and experiments.
He felt his anger begin to rise again and pushed it down. Objectively, he admired Dr. Keller. She had a brilliant mind, and she was entirely pragmatic about what needed to be done in order to further advance her research. Yet, he was not a prisoner or a slave to be experimented on. He was Wraith. His kind had conquered the stars before the humans had even come into being. He clenched his jaw. Todd, despite what John Sheppard and his followers might believe, wanted relative peace. Though he would never say so aloud, many of the Wraith Queens were short-sighted, gluttonous fools. War did not benefit anybody. With war came famine. Cull the planets until extinction, and the food supply was gone forever. Todd remembered ancient civilizations, beautiful and proud, now not even dust. He missed them. Many settlements were made up of worthless, savage people little better than animals, but others were filled with thinkers and artists, scientists and philosophers. Todd chuckled to himself as he recalled the first time he captured a philosopher. The man had talked circles around him, trying to convince Todd to release him. It annoyed Todd to the extent that he had the man gagged before feeding, but afterward his meal's words took root in his mind, prompting questions and new ideas. His new way of thinking had ultimately earned him a Truename, though many a queen had been heard to lament that had they known the philosopher would have also inspired a sense of humor in Todd they would have him thrown into the nearest black hole.
Todd hummed tunelessly to himself as he made his way back to the lab. Music was another thing his people did not have, but he had come to enjoy the sounds during his time on Earth. A prickle of unease touched him and he began to hurry. The silence after a battle was often unsettling, but this was more. His instincts told him something was wrong. He fell silent and stood still, listening intently. After a moment he heard crying from far off; hopeless, helpless sobs. He began to run.
He saw the blood first. Jets of blood had arced over the lab, splashing walls and workstations with wet crimson. A pool of it surrounded a dead Genii soldier, and he breathed a little easier until he moved past the corpse to find Dr. Keller crouched on the floor, holding Amelia. Amelia's eyes were closed and she didn't breathe at all.
"What happened?" Todd growled. Fury rose in him and he fought the urge to lash out at Dr. Keller.
"He had a gun," Dr. Keller said dully. "Amelia tried to disarm him, but she was too weak. He shoved her and she broke her neck. Her C2 and C3 vertebrae, I think. Her respiratory system was paralyzed. She suffocated." She looked up at Todd. "I tried chest compressions, but her sternum just shattered."
Todd bit his tongue. It would be unfair to blame Dr Keller. Amelia's death was ultimately his fault. He was responsible for their safety, and he had failed them. Had he not fed from Amelia she might have been able to fight off the Genii; she definately would not have broken so easily.
"Did you kill the soldier?" he asked instead.
"Yes," Keller sniffled.
"Good girl," he replied, and then was bewildered when she began sobbing again. He'd never understand humans.
Todd knelt beside Keller and Amelia. He had never attempted to restore life before. Bestow the gift to one still living, yes, but never to one already dead. It was risky if one didn't have a full larder from which to feed if things went wrong. He could drain himself of every bit of life he had just consumed attempting to bring her back, and she would still be dead. But what honor if he didn't try? She sacrificed for him, and now it was his turn to do the same for her.
Todd pulled the neck of Amelia's shirt down, exposing the half healed wounds from his earlier feeding. He placed his claws carefully over the scabs so as to not scar her further and bit down with his feeding slit. Reaching deep within, he pulled life force from himself and pushed it into her. His mind probed hers, searching for a spark.
Come on, he ordered silently. Just a few living cells is all it takes. Damn it Amelia! Stubborn, foolish human!
He felt resistance, and then the life force began to pour into her. Amelia's eyes opened and she gasped for breath as her shattered bones knit together with a series of loud cracks. Gray hair darkened and wrinkled skin smoothed. Todd released her and sat back, relieved.
"Amelia!" Keller laughed, inexplicably crying again. Todd would never understand humans. "Can you hear me? How are you feeling?"
"Yeah," Amelia replied, sitting up carefully. "I think I'm okay. I mean, I feel fantastic."
"You look younger than you did before," Keller said, looking her over carefully.
"Dr. McKay said much the same when I gave John Sheppard back his years," Todd shrugged. "I'll admit I am unable to gauge human ages with much accuracy. I hope this is sufficient?"
"Yes," Amelia smiled as she stretched. "This is sufficient."
To Todd's surprise, Keller wrapped her arms around him and pulled him tight against her. Todd froze, then patted her back awkwardly. His kind were not known for their physical displays of affection, even with their own young. Humans, on the other hand, seemed to crave touch, not only from one another but from different species as well, dogs and cats in particular. Todd had rather liked the cats on Earth.
"I do not think Dr McKay would approve," he teased Keller gently, unsure of how to extract himself without giving offense.
"Don't care," Keller mumbled into his hair. "You brought Amelia back. I couldn't... not on top of everything else." She squeezed him again. "Thank you."
"Did you get the rest of them?" Amelia asked. She was on her feet now, nudging the dead Genii with her toe. She touched her face where he had hit her, relieved when she felt no more pain.
"I did," Todd said, carefully prying himself away from Keller. "Dr. Keller did an admirable job on this one though. Please don't start crying again, Dr. Keller. I'm giving you a compliment."
"I'm beginning to suspect the Wraith are evolved from Satedans," Keller said wryly, brushing away tears. "Most women don't consider killing a person compliment worthy. It's more of a traumatic experience."
"You humans are very fragile," Todd sighed, straightening his tattered leathers. "Now that we are all alive and relatively unscathed, I suggest we find the control crystal. I'd also like to find a way to disable the stasis chambers. It would be an abomination to allow this to remain."
"I'll see what I can find," Amelia said, giving Stubby one last kick.
Major Lorne met Sheppard and his team at Sora's camp. The rebel Genii had been easily subdued, and the survivors had been rounded up and restrained.
"Colonel Sheppard," greeted Lorne with a nod. "You need to hear this." He motioned for one of the Genii to be brought closer. "According to this one, Dr. Keller and Amelia Banks were here. Sora had them caged right over there. Tell them the rest."
"A Wraith took them," the captive soldier said tiredly. "Sora had them secured, then a damn Wraith showed up, grabbed them out of the cage, and took them through the gate. Sora sent some men after them."
"There's a wrecked cruiser not far from here," Lorne added.
Ronon shouldered Sheppard aside and grabbed the Genii soldier by the throat, lifting him several inches in the air. The soldier, aside from a few choking sounds, didn't bother to struggle. He rolled his eyes toward Sheppard, looking very put upon. It had not been a good day for the rebels, after all.
"Alright Ronon, put him down," Sheppard sighed. "He can't talk if he can't breathe."
"What Wraith?" Ronon snarled. He bared his teeth at the soldier, but the soldier was too tired, too hungry, and to demoralized to care. He waited impassively for Ronon to release him. Ronon gave his throat a final squeeze before letting him drop with a snort of contempt.
"I'm sorry," the soldier coughed. "I don't know every damn Wraith in the universe by name. But if it helps, the women went with him willingly. Sure, I suppose taking their chances with a single Wraith would be preferable over their chances with an entire Genii camp and an angry Sora, but they seemed to know him. Is... is Sora not coming back?"
"No," Teyla said regretfully. "She's not coming back.
"Thank the gods," the soldier muttered, and shuffled back to the other prisoners.
"Todd?" McKay squeaked. "Could it have been Todd? What was Todd doing here? How did he find them before we did?"
"How did he know they were even missing?" Sheppard pointed out. "Could he have bugged Atlantis?"
"When we find them, I'll ask him," Ronon said grimly.
"Well, at least Todd likes Amelia," McKay mused. "I'm not sure how he feels about Jen, but he really bonded with Amelia."
"Rodney," Sheppard said. He eyed Ronon warily. Ronon was wound tighter than a garage door spring, and likely to do as much damage if he snapped.
"I mean, she gave him food and suddenly they're best friends laughing over chocolate!"
"Rodney, ixnay on the iath-wray..."
"Kind of like a puppy. Do Wraiths know about puppies? They seem like they'd be more cat lovers to me-"
Ronon planted himself in front of McKay and leaned down. "Check. The. DHD." he ordered through clenched teeth. "Find them now."
"Right," McKay blinked. "DHD. I'll just go check that."
"What do we do with them?" Lorne asked, nodding toward the prisoners. Sheppard looked at Teyla. The death of Sora was weighing heavily on her, and she had once been a friend to the Genii.
"Offer them to Ladon Radim," she suggested quietly. "They are exhausted and malnourished, and had been following their commander's orders when they left the Genii. Let them go home, and allow Ladom to handle them."
"Wonderful," they Genii soldier called back sarcastically. "I've always wanted to see the radiation labs. Hooray..."