TITLE: What is Needed Most
RATING: PG-13 for Language and violence
SEASON: sometime in the future after Brotherhood
MAJOR CHARACTERS: Sheppard, McKay, everybody seems to play some part
DISCLAIMERS: The characters, Atlantis, etc, all belong to MGM, Gecko, Showtime, the Sci-Fi Channel.
NOTE: When I started this fic I'd only seen up through 'Letters from Pegasus' so hopefully it doesn't skew too drastically from any future canon. I waited till now to begin posting for three reasons: 1. so 'Brotherhood' could be shown stateside 2. so I had enough written to feel like I'm actually going to finish it and 3. It's my b-day, why not? This is also my first 'not just a tag' SGA fic…hope it works for y'all.
SUMMARY: Sometime in the future post "Brotherhood" Someone from the past has realized how important McKay's mind really can be and decides they need it for their own purposes.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Huge thanks to NT and Tipper. Yes, they dragged me here but they also are the encouragement that keeps me writing during those times I feel like chucking it all:). Thanks to both for the betaing, the suggestions and the help with the title! The mistakes—I take all the blame for any of those.
FEEDBACK: Yes , reviews are appreciated!
SPOILERS: Definite spoilers for "Brotherhood" as well as "The Storm" and "Eye" Possibly some for "Underground" and some other early first season episodes.
ALSO: any similarities to other posted stories—specifically Espiritu's 'Retribution' is totally coincidental. We discussed it and chalked it up to great minds thinking alike:)
"You okay back there, Dr. McKay?" Humor tinged Major Sheppard's voice as the Atlantian team walked with their Smyrnian escorts through the tall grass of planet MXH-348.
"Ha ha ha, very funny." Rodney scowled, wiping a thin line of sweat from his brow. "He thinks he's funny," hetold Radu. The Smyrnian smiled graciously. "We're fine back here, Major," Rodney responded to John. "I'm just sharing with Radu the latest test I've been running on the life signs detector. He's quite fascinated." Rodney stopped himself from telling Sheppard that Radu walked entirely too slowly.
Sheppard rolled his eyes, noting Teyla's amused expression. "I'm sure he is. Don'tbore the man; we need him for the negotiations."
"Again…ha ha ha," Rodney answered, obviously not finding the major at all funny.
"Put the scanner away; you can play later." Sheppard's eyes searched the grasses around them, slightly unnerved by the shoulder high stalks. It reminded him of the eerie ambush scene in movie Jurassic Park 3.
Vicily, the Smyrnian leader, nodded reassuringly. "We are almost there, Major Sheppard. The pavilion has been set up for our meeting today." The tall, thin man moved with a grace that made him appear to glide through the field.
With one more check back on Teyla, Ford and Rodney, who was falling further behind,still pointing to his scanner and rattling off facts to his guide, Sheppard continued after the fair-haired leader. It had been three days since his team had first encountered the Smyrnians as they'd scouted out MXH-348 as a possible ZPM location. After an initially tense introduction, the primitive farmers and gatherers had quickly agreed to meet again to trade. Weir had declared it an excellent opportunity to establish a new ally. So, Sheppard and his team had returned today, hoping to set up a formal agreement for trading. When they'd come through the gate, as scheduled, Vicily and three of his men were waiting for them, ready to lead them into the village.
"I'm hoping, in time," Rodney explained to Radu. "To program our scanners to be able to distinguish between various life forms, particularly the Wraith of course." He shuddered unconsciously.
Radu's eyes, wide with wonder, were fixed on the handhelddevice. "Never have I seen such a machine," he said softly.
"No, I imagine not." McKay turned the scanner on. "See here. This cluster, these eight dots represent the group of us." He frowned suddenly. Besides the eight dots, more than a half a dozen other dots scatteredbehind the party. "That's…" he paused, and stopped walking, looking around them, but the grass was too high and thick to see anything.
"What is it?" Radu asked curiously, glancing around as well.
"Oh, Um…there appears to be at least six, no eight more life signs then our group here." Rodney pointed to the dots on the screen, double checking the read out.
"I would not worry about it, " Radu said calmly. "I'm sure it is nothing save my people coming into the village for the meeting, or possibly it is deer. There are many here, they plague our fields."
"Right." McKay started walking again, realizing that the rest of the group was quite far ahead of them on the narrow path that cut through the field. "I thought all your people lived in the village," he commented remembering the intel they'd gathered on their earlier trip.
"Yes, however, they might have been working in the North Field," Radu explained. "Our harvest is nearing. Come." He motioned forward. "We're almost to the village."
John sighed with obvious relief as the group emerged from the tall grass into an open area set up as a small village. Vicily motioned towards the largest building, which actually looked more like a large animal pen than a pavilion. The roof set high on weight-baringwooden beams, but the walls of the structure were nothing more than roughly weaved wire. Surrounding the pavilion, irregularly spaced, were various sized grass huts. A dozen or so men of Smyrna were already seated on rough-hewn benches that lined the "walls" of the pavilion. Dressed in plain brown pants and colorful flowing shirts, the word Gypsy crossed Sheppard's mind as he observed the small group. Stepping aside, the Major allowed Vicily, Teyla, Lt. Ford and their two escorts, Vidor and Yakov, to precede him.
"Where are McKay and Radu?" Sheppardasked peering into the grassy field again.
"They are coming." Vicily pointed as the two men came into view. They were just exiting the field and Sheppard wondered what the delay was before he turned and entered the building.
"Welcome," Vicily entered, leadingthe way, escorting them further into the makeshift pavilion, toward the center of the room.
Three Smyrnians stood as if cued and blocked the entrance like guards.
"Major?" Lt. Ford questioned.
Suddenly, it was as if Ford's voice had signaled the rest of the Smyrnians into action. Instinctively, the three Atlantians raised their P90s but it was too late. They were surrounded and the men, who three days earlier had been toting nothing but knives and bows and arrows, now held them captive with much more modern weapons.
"What the hell is going on here?" Sheppard asked, his voice dangerously low.
"It would be in your best interest to hand over your weapons now," Vicily explained simply.
"Oh really?" Sheppard backed down.
"Yes, and in the best interestof your friend, Dr. McKay."
Rodney continued talking to Radu about scanner technology, trying to sum up decades worth of technology in a way he could understand, as they stepped into the village's clearing. "See, if I can just find a way to interface the Atlantean technology with the limited Wraith technology we've obtained, I'm hopeful that…" he stopped, startled by a sudden commotion in the Pavilion. He stared, stunned as the rest of his team were surrounded by the Smyrnians.
"Major?" He started forward, reaching for his firearm but a strong grip on his upper arm stopped him. He stared in shock at Radu and the weapon pointed at him.
"Please cooperate, Doctor. It will go better for everyone that way," Radu pleaded.
"Cooperate? What the hell is going on here?" Rodney echoed Sheppard's exact words. He searched for the major again, seeing him in a tense stand off with the group inside the building. Radu pushed him several feet closer to the pavilion. He was close enough to hear the others now. "I don't understand," he protested.
"Maybe I can help clear up the situation."
McKay froze, fear spiking through his mind. He couldn't turn around to look. It couldn't be.
John saw him, his anger flaring. "Kolya!"
"Now, Major Sheppard. Once again I seem to have the tactical advantage." The Genii commander smiled knowingly as he stepped further out of the grass and waved his hand, signaling his men.
Eight stepped out of the field behind Rodney and Radu, while eight more spilled out of the two closest huts to the pavilion; all of them were heavily armed.
Rodney tipped his head back, closing his eyes momentarily. "The extra life signs." He looked at Radu accusingly, but the Smyrnian looked away.
"What do you want, Kolya?" Sheppard demanded harshly. He knew Kolya was right about having the advantage…again. "There is no ZPM here."
Kolya smiled again, and walked slowly toward the building. "It's not what I want, Major. It's who I want." The commander turned and looked at Rodney. "We meet again, Dr. McKay."
Rodney's eyes grew wide. "No." He tried to back away, but a Genii soldier was there, pressing his weapon into McKay's back and pushing him forward again.
John shook his head, Kolya's intention dawning on him. "Not going to happen, Kolya."
"Hand your weapons over to the Smyrnians, now."
"I will not let this happen," Sheppard repeated, refusing to lower his weapon.
Kolya stared at John a moment, then without looking behind him, raised his hand and signaled to his men. The soldier behind McKay moved quickly, raising his weapon and smashing it viciously into the Doctor's back, aiming for the kidneys.
Rodney stumbled, tripping forward before landing on his knees from the blow. Pain seared through him and his vision blurred. He put his hands out, catching himself before landing face first in the dirt. On hands and knees, he fought the dizziness and struggled against the nausea.
"No!" John moved,but the Smyrnians stepped closer, raising their weapons higher. He calculatedhow effective they would be with the unfamiliar guns.
Teyla shifted beside him. "Major," she spoke softly, assessing the danger.
"I know," Sheppard conceded, but still held onto his P90.
"The choice is yours, Sheppard," Kolya reminded.
"You won't kill him," John argued, staring hatefully at Kolya. His mind reeled. How the hell could was he going to be able to stop this from happening? Was Rodney okay? "Not if he's the reason you're here."
Kolya's grin was slow and frightening. "I want his mind, Major. I don't need him physically whole." The same soldier who'd hit McKay now aimed his gun down at Rodney's legs. "One knee at a time." Kolya shrugged. "Your choice."
John watched Rodney. The doctor was obviously still dazed by the blow,but had pushed himself up so that he was kneeling now instead of on all fours. His face was a pale mix of fear and pain. Reluctantly, Sheppard lowered his weapon. Unsnapping it from his vest, he handed it to Vicily. He focused on Kolya who was looking smug. "I will kill you," John promised as Teyla and Ford followed his lead and surrendered their weapons.
"Yes, so you said the last time we met."
"I mean it."
"I'm sure you do." Kolya looked down at Rodney. "Let's go, Dr. McKay."
Rodney shook his head, ignoring the throbbing pain. "I'm not going anywhere with you," hesnarled stubbornly.
"Vicily." Kolya's voice was sharp.
Immediately, the Smyrnian leader stepped forward and grabbed Teyla by the arm, placing the barrel of his weapon to her temple. Two other guards grabbed Lt. Ford and Major Sheppard to keep them from interfering.
A new fear rushed through Rodney.
"Choose, Doctor. Now."
McKay's eyes met Teyla's and he caught the slight shake of her head clearly, her eyes filling with anger rather than fear, but he couldn't make that choice. "I'll go," he managed.
"Very good." Kolya nodded and McKay was dragged to his feet. His weapon and radio removed and tossed into the dirt. Kolya turned back toward Sheppard as Rodney was hauled into the deep grass. "Vicily will escort you to the gate in an hour." His dark eyes narrowed. "Same courtesy you granted me as I recall." Then he turned and melted into the field himself.