Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate or any of the characters.
AN: I'm looking for Beta Readers, if anyone is interested, shoot me a message.
This story starts right after the end of S4E10 "This Mortal Coil"
John slowly opened his eyes, trying to drag his consciousness from its hazy surroundings.
"It's about time you woke up."
John recognized that voice, "Ronon? What's going on?"
"Look around, just the usual." replied Ronon very casually.
John finally had the mental acuity he needed to sit up and look around. He was on a bench in an all too familiar jail cell. Teyla, Rodney, Elizabeth, and Ronon were all there with him, Ronon the only one awake before John.
John looked to the bigger man and asked, "How do you always do that? Seriously...It would be helpful to wake up sooner."
Ronon, having been asked that question many times over his life said the same thing he usually did, "You just get used to it."
John stood up and started shaking the others awake. They slowly started coming back to the real world, or what John was hoping was the real world, he shivered at the thought of what he imagined it could be.
After a few minutes of everyone getting the bearings together, Elizabeth spoke, "How'd we get here? The last thing I remember is the jumper taking a hit..."
John nodded his head and replied, "The replicators must've kept us alive. That doesn't bode well with me..."
Rodney groaned when the stray thought came to him, "They must be keeping us alive to put their hands in our head..." Rodney's face paled as another thought struck him, "Oh god, what if they're doing it to us right now?"
Teyla spoke up, "Stop that Rodney, there's no way to know. Might as well not give it a second thought or you'll drive yourself insane thinking about it."
Ronon was lying down on one of the two benches, relaxing as if it was his room on Atlantis, he spoke up, "As much as I love going with the flow, if we're back on the Asuran home world then we're going to need one hell of a plan to get out of here."
Elizabeth added, "Ronon is right, I for one don't want to stay here."
Mckay broke into the conversation quickly, snapping his fingers as he did so, "I think I have an idea...".
After several minutes of very heated arguments mainly between John and Rodney, they finally agreed to a plan.
The team heard footsteps coming down the hallway, they all stood up quickly and faced the front of the cell. Oberoth walked directly up the entrance and nodded to one of his fellow replicators, the cell door powered down and slid open. Oberoth walked inside and said in his usual monotone, "Welcome back Elizabeth, though to be quite honest, I didn't expect to see you again."
Elizabeth was about to make a remark when Mckay stepped forward and started speaking, "Oberoth, I'm prepared to make a deal for my team's freedom," he looked sheepishly between his friends and added, "and my own freedom too, of course."
The other members of the team all looked shocked at what Rodney had said. John was the first to speak, "Rodney, what are you doing?" he started speaking more quietly, "We had a plan remember?".
Oberoth noticed the reactions of all his prisoners and was intrigued. "And how, Dr. Mckay, do you think you can make a deal for everyone's freedom?"
Rodney spoke again before anyone could stop him from answering, "Well I'm pretty sure by now you've figured out what we did the last time we were in the city, you know, making you fight the wraith?" He looked at Oberoth and the replicator gave a short nod. Rodney continued, "Well, I can fix that, if you want. I'll change you guys back to your old selves, that's the deal, I do that you let everyone go." He tried to look as confident as he could.
Oberoth stood still, no emotion showing on his replicator facade of a face. He seemed to be thinking about the deal, many dozens of possible scenarios were being processed by his nanites at the same time. He thought of all the things that could go wrong and all the things that could go right, if he were to have his choice back about fighting or not fighting the wraith. After thousands of risk and reward scenarios played out in his mind in but a few seconds he spoke up.
"Alright Dr. Mckay. We will let your team go, and yourself, after you have disabled the compulsion to make us fight the wraith, but you have to go one step further. You have to take down the safeguards preventing us from altering our own programming. You do that, and we'll even remove all the nanites from your team."
Rodney's face faltered, betraying a look of surprise. "Really?", he asked. "I didn't even think about the nanites still in us..." He looked down and seemed to be pondering this new development.
John took a step toward Rodney and yell whispered, "Rodney, don't you even think of doing it. The replicators' being able to change their programming is probably the worst thing that could happen EVER. Even you told me that."
Rodney glanced up at John, but he had already made up his mind. He looked back to Oberoth and stood up straight, as ramrod as he could. "I'll do it."
Rodney was escorted to the replicator mainframe by Oberoth himself. When they arrived, Rodney walked up to the console in question and started looking about. He turned around and faced Oberoth and said, "To do this I'm going to need one of my own tablets, it has several shortcut methods that will allow me to get this accomplished rapidly. And to be honest, I'm not sure if I could do it without one."
Oberoth stood dispassionately. After a few seconds delay he responded, "One is on its way down from your recovered 'puddle jumper' as we speak."
Rodney again counted his blessings and spoke up again, "Well...good. Yeah, that's good. Uhhh, I also need left alone, I mean, no offense, but I don't think I can work with you...people... staring at me."
Oberoth gave him a very stern look, then spoke with his voice lowered and sounding threatening, "Very well Dr. Mckay, just get it done and you'll have your freedom."
At that, Oberoth left the room and Rodney was left to his own devices. He sighed as he tried to come down from his adrenaline pumping high. He took the time to look around the room and really take it in. He was at a console that looked like a high tech horseshoe. In front of that was the replicator core, colored light blue and orange and standing at around four feet tall.
So much trouble from this stinking device, he thought.
After several more moments of Rodney's wandering eyes, a new replicator came in, complete with an Atlantis expedition style work tablet. Rodney rubbed his hands together and smiled. The replicator handed him the device without as much as a word and turned around, leaving the room at once.
Finally, time to start the plan, he thought, happily.
He removed the interface chip from the back of the tablets case and plugged it in quickly to the slot at the console. He then looked up at the two tables behind the replicator core and grinned like a schoolboy who just got his first kiss.
He opened up one branch of pre-programmed batch files he had written as standard in all tablets. This one was heavily protected though and needed two authorization codes to get to, thankfully he had memorized John's earlier in the day. He made dozens of changes in the code quickly, trying to get this part of the job over with as soon as possible. Once he was satisfied with the results he executed the scripts.
Immediately, the two tables behind the core got to work. In mere moments there were two completed replicator bodies on the table. They sat up, rotated their legs to the side of the table and got up.
Two down...dozens more to go.
As quickly as he could, Rodney created more and more replicators. As he was working he gave commands to the replicators already standing around staring at him.
"Guard the doors, I don't want any Asurans getting in here, kill them quickly.", he ordered.
The replicators nodded and divided themselves evenly between the two doors. Before Rodney could complete the hundred and fourteenth replicator, an Asuran wandered down to the core room to see what was taking Rodney so long. The Asuran turned the corner into the room and got pulled in bodily by two replicators. As those two held onto him, one per arm, another replicator came up to it and stuck its hand into the head of the Asuran, after a brief second, the Asuran crumbled to the floor like sand.
Rodney heard the commotion and knew his time was up. He knew Oberoth would find out about the death of his 'brother' quickly and needed to get ahead of him. Rodney cancelled the construction of the two replicators currently being built and changed his task to the act of escape, the half-finished replicators falling into a sludge like state. Using his tablet and going back several folders of programs he opened one he wrote earlier just in case he would have an opportunity like this. He executed the script and then unplugged the interface chip from the console and quickly shoved it back in the sleeve of the case.
He yelled, "Alright form up half in front of me and half behind, kill all Asurans we run into on the path, do not stray from that path or you will be left behind."
Rodney and his large group of replicators made their way to the jail cell where the team was being held. They ran into a few surprised Asurans on the way there, all of them were killed quickly. Rodney just snickered to himself thinking; Not being able to tell your friends what's going on is fun isn't it?
Rodney's' program made several things possible. First and foremost the Asurans subspace transmitters were pumping out a powerful array of white noise across the subspace band, making the Asurans unable to communicate with each other by means other than speaking. The program also deactivated the planets internal and external sensors, preventing them from being able to locate the team once there were on the move, and also hopefully when they made good their escape.
The large group finally arrived at the jail cell, the replicators killing no less than four Asurans standing guard who were also unaware of what was going on. The team stood up as they heard the sounds of struggle outside their room. Two of the 'good' replicators came into the room followed by Rodney.
John looked at the small gathering and did a small fist pump then exclaimed, "Oh yeah, for the first time ever it's good to see you again! I'm glad the plan worked."
Ronon spoke up with his dose of reality, "We're not off the planet yet… Wait a minute, first time ever?"
Rodney told the nearest replicator to go to the mechanism controlling the locks for the jail cell and deactivate the shield. The replicator stuck his hand in the control panel and the cell door opened on its own, and the team exited quickly.
John spoke up, "Did you find out where our jumper is?"
Rodney responded, "Oh yeah, because I had SOO much time to figure out everything while I was trying to save our lives!"
John turned his head and gave a stern look, "Rodney! Do you know where it is, or don't you?"
Rodney was exasperated and replied, "Oh come on! No I didn't have time for that, Oberoth cut the party short!"
Teyla joined the fray, trying to keep everyone focused like she was so used to doing, "We are still in a hostile environment, I suggest we stop arguing and head to the jumper bay above the gate room."
The team nodded, acknowledging the fact that they weren't out of the woods yet. John started shouting and got the replicators into several large squads. With the cloned humans in the middle of the squads the replicators made their way to the jumper bay.
They made it ten minutes later. They had to fight their way through several Asurans. The Asurans had their energy pistols with them and, while not being able to permanently harm the replicators, insured they were frozen for a few seconds with each shot. That gave the Asurans a small advantage and because of it, the SGA team lost seven of their replicators to the enemy, the Asurans 'melting' them by the hand in the head trick.
Once in the jumper bay, the team ran around to each of the jumpers, looking for the one that they had crashed in on another planet. They didn't find it though and were forced to just grab a few at random.
John and Teyla jumped in one, while Rodney, Ronon, and Elizabeth jumped in another. John took off first and opened the jumper bay doors leading to the stargate. The small army of replicators, following orders, jumped down the thirty foot drop and landed with resounding bangs. They quickly took care of any Asurans in the area.
John lowered his jumper down first, Rodney hovering with his just a dozen feet above the other. John quickly dialed an address to a planet with no known population and flew the jumper through, quickly followed by Rodney's' jumper. As Rodney's' jumper cleared the event horizon on the other side, a veritable nonstop stampede of friendly replicators followed. It took nearly a minute for them all to get through.
Once the gate shut down, John dialed another address and the same event repeated.