RATING:T for language, violence that might get a little nasty and other adult situations.
SEASON: First season somewhere, after The Storm/Eye and before Brotherhood. I know, that's a big gap, but you choose.
MAJOR CHARACTERS: McKay, Sheppard, Ford and Teyla. Beckett will eventually show his snarky face.
CATEGORY: Action/angst/humor- you name it, it has it.
SUMMARY: The team suffers separation anxiety, Sheppard gets whumped by the Genii, and McKay MacGyvers a bomb out of an MRE. WIP (gasps and shocked awe allowed.)
SPOILERS: Oh, there are a few hints here and there but nothing gets spoiled except maybe Underground and The Storm/Eye. But anything prior to Brotherhood is fair game.
FEEDBACK: Yes, please. I thrive on it and so do the bunnies.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own them. If I did, they would not be allowed to go on hiatus.
NOTES: This is not one of my POV stories as those are on hold until the new season starts because I don't want them to become AU. I swore to myself that I would never do WIP, but of course three months ago I swore I would never go back to writing fanfiction. 7+ stories later, here I am. I know what I said, Anna, but as you can see, I lie to myself regularly. I consider this a challenge for a nonlinear writer like myself to see if I can write myself out of any plot corners I may write myself into. Still, I do promise that this will not go on forever- three parts at most and I hope to update regularly. Also, I took some liberties with creating past history for John, just snippets since very little has ever been revealed about his backstory. They are all created by my sick little mind, so in all SGA reality, they are probably AU. Deal with it! Finally, since I don't have any new episodes to use for inspiration, I have turned to the dictionary as you can see from this title and my last story 'Redux'. If you have any good words, drop me line at my email address in my profile and I'll see what pops into my head.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This story has not been Beta-ed, mainly because I don't have one. So, all mistakes are mine. Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed my other stories- this is all your fault. Other than that, I blame the damnable bunnies!
sub•ter•fuge(sub'tur-fyOOj), noun. A deceptive device or stratagem.
Chapter1: Separation Anxiety
Day-Glo green, John thought as he scanned the crowd with an anxious eye. He would trade his stash of miniature Baby Ruth bars and the DVD of internet porn he had won off of Bates in a pick up poker game for a single astrophysicist-sized shirt in Day-Glo green. Reflective stripping would have been nice as well, given the lighting or lack there of. His gaze skimmed across the sea of people searching for a spot of blue that would indicate McKay, but the mob was moving too frantically in an all out panic to discern one lone scientist in the flickering iridescent street lamps.
He keyed his earpiece, "McKay, do you copy?"
"Major, where are you?" the voice was urgent and slightly winded, so that he could almost hear the unspoken 'thank God' preceding the question.
"Near the entrance to the amphitheater." He had managed to push his way out of the masses and squeeze into a small breezeway just outside the building so that the crush of people was passing him by instead of pulling him along. McKay, evidently, had not been so lucky. "How about you?"
"Uh,…I'm not really sure. Hey, stop touching me!"
"I'm kind of moving with the mob. Not like I have much choice. Watch it!"
"Do you recognize anything?"
"Ouch! Yes, panic and chaos, and a healthy lack of respect for personal space. Damnit, keep your elbows to yourself!"
He let out a sigh. If only he could dress him in Day-Glo green he would be able to keep sight of him and not have to have this conversation. Sure it wouldn't work well for covert operations, but the thought of Rodney and covert in the same sentence was ridiculous to begin with; his mouth would give away their position long before they were spotted by potentially hostile forces, so it really didn't matter. "Any landmarks look familiar?" he asked with pained patience.
"No, not really. I don't think I've been in this part of the city before."
Okay, that narrowed it down. The stargate was to the south, which was how they had entered the town, so he could rule out that direction. The Magistrate's compound of offices and dwellings was in the eastern quadrant of the city and they had been there for the past two days, so Rodney should have been able to recognize that area. The industrial section of the city, and he used that term loosely, was just north of the government section and McKay had visited several facilities over there that very day. That left the western portion of the city, the residential area, which made the most sense seeing as most panicked hordes tended to head home when threatened by gun wielding terrorists.
"Try and get out of the crowd, find a place that's easy to spot and sit tight. Call me with your location and I'll try to find you." He started working his way to the west, unfortunately against the crowd from his position, so that he fought the current of people like a salmon swimming upstream.
"Major, this is Ford. Do you need assistance?"
"Negative," he told his 2IC who, with Teyla, was waiting under cover at the stargate, "hold your position. We may be delayed, but we'll be there soon enough."
He pushed against the throng, slowly making headway, when McKay came across the radio. "Major, I've found a building; it looks like a church of some sort. It's fairly distinctive from the rest of the buildings in the area. I'm in the doorway now."
He placed his finger to his comlink to key it. "Underst…," he started then was jarred roughly by a large terrorized man causing his hand to pull the earpiece out of place. He looked down, seeing the radio skitter across the cobblestone road as it was kicked by several pairs of feet. "Crap," he mumbled to himself trying to keep his eyes on the devise. If he had thought trying to spot Rodney's blue shirt in the dark had been hard, it was almost impossible to see the black headpiece. He worked his way to the edge of the crowd, hoping it had made it to the rough curb of the roadway. He continued to look down searching for the only link he had with his lost civilian and the rest of his team. It was nowhere to be seen. What were to be seen, however, were a pair of black boots topped with gray utilitarian pants. He looked up into the face of a sneering Genii soldier. He felt two other bodies approach him from behind.
"Oh, hell," he said and the expected blow came to the back of his head, causing his already dark world to turn black.
"Major?" Rodney called as he leaned back against the door of the church. "Major Sheppard, do you copy?" There was no answer. Oh, this was not good. What was he supposed to do now? The Major had told him to sit tight, that he would find him. But how could he find him if he wasn't responding on his radio? Okay, there was no reason to panic. There was enough of that going on right then that he didn't need to contribute to the collection plate. It could be his location, he thought, interference that wouldn't allow him to reach Sheppard. He keyed his radio again. "Lt. Ford, can you read me?"
"Dr. McKay," he whispered back, "what happened to Major Sheppard?"
Oh, that was definitely not a good sign.
"I can't reach him," he told the young marine, "I was hoping that maybe you could."
"Major, do you copy?" he called in a low voice. Then, to McKay, "Nothing."
He let out a sigh. I will not panic, he thought. I will not.
"Okay, maybe he's just having problems with his radio, bad batteries, or…something." He tried not to think about what else 'something' might be. "I'm going to wait here for a little longer; let the crowd disperse. If I haven't see him by then, I'll make my way back to the gate and meet up with you and Teyla." He looked up into the night sky, futilely trying to orient himself. Sure he had learned to recognize some of the stars on Atlantis, but on a completely different planet, even those few constellations he had deciphered looked even more alien with no indication of relative direction. Not that that would have helped much seeing as he really didn't know where he was in the town itself. He was hopelessly lost in a foreign city on an alien planet with hostile agents possibly scouring the streets.
He had not been able to discern much about the shooters when the attack happened, but they had a distinctly Genii-ish quality to them. As if in answer to his thoughts, Ford came back across the radio. "I don't think that's such a good idea, Doc. The Genii are swarming all around the gate. We're in a pretty secure location, but there is no telling what you may run into on your way back."
Okay, well great, then that settled that little dilemma. No need to worry about how to get back to the gate. So, what next? Wait for the Major, that's what. But what if he couldn't find him, for whatever reason? He willed himself not to think about what the reasons may be. Then an idea came to him. "If Major Sheppard doesn't show up, I'll make my way back to the Magistrate's quarters," he told his teammates, at least the ones he could communicate with at the time.
"That may not be a wise decision," Teyla told him. "We do not know why the Genii are here, but it is obvious their intentions are not entirely lawful. The government facilities may be their goal."
"Good point," he reluctantly conceded. "I'm open for ideas," he told them.
"Just stay in the city, try to blend in," Ford told him. "We'll contact you when we can move to you or it looks safe for you to move to us. If Major Sheppard shows up here, we'll let you know."
"Blend in," he said aloud, watching the crowd move frenetically before him. "I can do that." And if he gave in to his growing anxiety he knew that would be easier than anyone could imagine.
"We'll stay in contact, Doc."
"Yeah, you do that, Lieutenant. And take care of yourselves."
He leaned into the door, watching the crowd, searching it for the familiar form of the Major and hoping against hope that he would appear.
From their vantage point, they could see the dozen or so soldiers milling around the stargate. Several more had already headed into town on some unknown mission. At least it was partially unknown. What they did know from Major Sheppard's quick communication was that the performance he and Dr. McKay had been attending had been cut short by gunfire and the appearance of armed men. Then all hell had evidently broken loose.
"Do you think Dr. McKay will be alright?" Teyla asked softly from his side.
"I hope so," he whispered back, "but there's nothing we can do for him or the Major right now."
"Yes, I agree." Then, as if to reassure herself, "Major Sheppard is very resourceful, I'm sure he will be fine, as well."
He nodded with a small smile, trying to buy into her optimism and silently cursing the luck that had separated the team.
They had been on the planet for two days, negotiating a trade treaty with the Corridons. Teyla had traded with them in the past. They were one of the more technologically advanced races they had come across in the Pegasus galaxy, although centuries behind Earth. Still, they had quite a bit to offer the expedition as they had the crude ability to machine equipment and necessary replacement parts for the day to day operations of Atlantis. Nuts and bolts kinds of things, both literally and figuratively.
Negotiations had been going well, and were set to wrap the next morning. The Magistrate, a friendly older man named Garris, had invited the team to attend a public concert to commemorate some national holiday or other that was being celebrated. The Major had at first declined, stating the team's need to check in with Atlantis. However, at Garris' frown, Teyla had taken Major Sheppard aside and pointed out that although the treaty was almost in place, it was not yet signed and this refusal could be construed as an insult.
The Major had then agreed that at least half of the team would remain while the other two returned to the stargate and reported back. Of course as the leader, Sheppard was expected to remain, much to his dismay. His forced smile made it perfectly clear that the last thing he wanted to do was remain behind and listen to native folk music. Dr. McKay had quickly volunteered to return to the gate and escape the same fate as the Major. However, that changed dramatically when he heard that a banquette would follow the concert and he just as quickly reneged on his offer and volunteered Ford and Teyla for the two mile trip back.
Aiden had to admit that he hadn't been too disappointed with the Doc's change of heart, given his earlier choice of either being stuck at the concert or stuck trekking back with McKay, his prospects hadn't been very promising. But suddenly being paired with Teyla and released from diplomatic duty had brightened his day considerably. That was until the Genii squadron had come through the gate.
They had just finished their report to Dr. Weir and where debating whether they should head back or wait a little longer to ensure the concert was done, when the gate had come to life behind them. They had found cover in a nearby ravine and watched as twenty armed men wearing the trademark Genii uniforms had stormed through the event horizon. They had warned the Major, then at his direction, hunkered down to await further direction. And that's when everything went south. Evidently men were already in place in the city, shooting had begun followed by mass chaos as the crowd panicked and fled the stadium. The Major and Dr. McKay had become separated and with the men at the gate coming and going in small bands to and from the city, they had little to no chance of helping their teammates without being caught.
Lt. Ford let out a sigh, "I hate not being able to do anything to help," he told Teyla quietly.
"Perhaps from our position we can gleen information that might be valuable to Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay."
Aiden nodded resignedly then looked back at the guards at the gate. Well, they couldn't get any information from where they were currently located. "Be right back," he told Teyla then worked his way silently through the darkness so that he was closer to the enemy troops.
Two men had just returned from the direction of the city and were conferring with some of the men left behind.
"Margen just reported in. They have the soldier, but haven't found the scientist yet."
"What about the other two?" the man that had been at the gate the entire time asked.
"No one has seen them for several hours. They left the city to report back to Atlantis and that's the last anyone heard from them."
The conversation then turned to complaining about one of their officers and Ford scooted his way back to the ravine and dropped in beside Teyla.
"What did you learn?" she asked him.
"Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that they haven't found Dr. McKay and they have no idea where we are."
"And the bad news?"
"They've captured the Major and want McKay."
He had come to hate the Genii. Not that he had left with a heart full of warm fuzzies after their first meeting, but he hadn't really hated them, just didn't like them very much. After their invasion of Atlantis, however, his dislike had grown to all out hate. He could never forgive them the emotional scars they had left on Elizabeth and the physical scars they had left on Rodney, not to mention the reoccurring nightmare that still haunted him in which one or both of them were dead at the hands of that son of a bitch Kolya. But that hate was nothing compared to the way he just out right despised them now.
The man who had been interrogating him for the past hour or so nodded his head silently and the goon with the big hands and the lazy eye backhanded him soundly, renewing the flow of blood in his mouth. His taste buds had numbed to the metallic flavor long since, so that a warm gush was the only sign that he was still bleeding.
"Now," the older man asked with deliberate calm, "are you ready to answer?" He was tall, lean, with a long lined face and sharp nose. His thinning gray hair was slicked back from bored, cloudy blue eyes. Cataracts, John had thought when he first saw the man, although if they were, he had adjusted perfectly because his sharp pacing steps showed no sign of faltering.
The older man didn't have to actually ask the question, as he had only ever asked the one, 'Where is McKay?' The irony of the whole situation was that he had answered him honestly from the first time he asked to this last.
"I…don't…know," he drew out the words then willed himself not to flinch when the next blow came on cue. This one was to his kidney and only the two stooges holding him up kept him from collapsing to the ground. "I've told you, we were separated in the crowd. I was looking for him when Moe, Larry, and Curly, here invited me to this shindig."
"But you know where he is," he stated matter-of-factly as he brushed some nonexistent lint off his uniformed shoulder. John had always hated dress uniforms, and didn't trust anyone who liked them. People who enjoyed the dog and pony show that typically went along with such formal attire were usually out to serve themselves more than the mission. John could tell, this man loved his uniform. That fact scared him more than any of the henchmen ever could.
"No," he returned in the same level tone, "I don't."
"You know, Major Sheppard, at first I found your perseverance admirable, I would have been disappointed if you had sold out your compatriot so quickly. Now, however, I only find it boring."
"Really? I thought I was just starting to hit my stride."
The older man approached him then and took his chin in his hand, turning his face so that they met eye to eye. "Listen to me, my boy. You have one purpose and one purpose only and that is to deliver McKay to me. If I decide that you are telling the truth, that you don't really know where he is, then you will be completely useless and I will have to dispose of you appropriately."
A fury blazed through him that he hadn't felt since he was seventeen years old, when he had finally stood up to his stepfather, had finally had enough of the crying ringing in his ears, and had finally stepped between the man's upraised arm and his mother cowering form. His stepfather had taken a step back in surprise then stopped, regarded him with drunken eyes and smirked, "What do you think you're doing, boy?"
John had punched him then, square in the face, and broken his nose. His thanks had been to return home from school that afternoon and find his mother packing up his room and telling him it was probably best that he find someplace else to live.
He jerked his face away from the man, spitting blood onto his perfectly buffed boots. "I am not your boy," he told his tormentor as he fought through the eye-stinging memory of Johnny Walker laced breath, "and I will never deliver up McKay."
The man let out a growl, and John braced for the blow he knew was coming. He was spared, however, when a young soldier walked through the door. The soldier paled visibly and John couldn't tell if it was at the bloody sight he must have been or the look of anger on the older man's face for being interrupted. "S..sir, we found this," and he held up John's radio.
Crap, John thought, and hung his head.
The scowl on his interrogators face turned to a smile, "Excellent," he told the young soldier as he walked toward the door, flicking his hand carelessly over his shoulder. The big man grinned then and he heard the older man order them. "Leave him alive, I'm not through with him yet."
Then the beatings began in earnest, and unfortunately for John, his perseverance lasted longer than his consciousness would have liked.
Okay, Rodney thought to himself, time to get organized.
He sat cross legged on the floor in the back of the church, his pack unzipped open in front of him. When it had become obvious Major Sheppard was not coming and he had no where to go, he had tried the door and found the chapel to be unlocked. Candles lit the flower draped altar at the front of the rows of benches in the otherwise empty sanctuary. It appeared that it was available for anyone wanting to come and worship anytime during the day or night, 24 hours, seven days a week. Well, 27.3 hours and however they divided their calendar on this particular planet.
His stomach grumbled and he dug out an MRE from the bottom of his pack. He cursed the Genii yet again, this time because they had cost him the banquette he had been looking forward to since the previous night. Not that that was the worst thing they had done all day, not by a long shot, but still he had sat through the caterwauling that was supposed to pass for music on this planet and was stuck eating what the U.S. military had the audacity to label as 'Chicken Tetrazzini'. A more honest label would have read 'microscopic chicken threads floating in a gelatinous medium accented with strips of coagulated school paste' but he figured that was too long to print in large block letters across the brown pouch of government goodness. He cut open the bag, took a bite, and leaned back against the wall.
First things first, he thought, what do you know?
He knew Ford and Teyla were safe, at least for the time being. He also knew he had no way to get to them or them to him, nor did they have a way back to Atlantis for reinforcements. He knew the Genii were there, wielding guns, taking names, and kicking ass. He knew they had Major Sheppard, that little nauseating tidbit of information had been given to him by Lt. Ford along with another piece of news that turned his stomach even more than his military-issue meal; they were looking specifically for him.
He sighed. Why couldn't they just go and find their own genius to torment? Why did they have to keep wanting him to figure out how to arm their bombs or threatening his life in order to fix the things Sheppard had broken? The Major was very good at breaking things, especially when he did it intentionally. When they had attempted to overtake Atlantis, it had taken everything he had to balance repairing the equipment, stalling the Genii, and saving the city, especially given the weather, the stress, the threats to Elizabeth, the pain…
He shook his head, rubbing absently at his arm, suddenly very concerned for Sheppard. If they had cut him trying to get information, what would they do to the Major? More importantly, what would they have to do to the Major? The man made stubborn look easy, had turned spite into an art form. If they wanted information, he would be belligerent just because he could for as long as he could.
He started to push his meal away, no longer interested in it, but forced himself to take another bite, knowing his body needed the food. He continued his cataloging.
Now, what do you not know?
He didn't know why the Genii actually wanted him. He could guess, but it would be pure speculation, so no use going there. He didn't know how the Genii had found them on this planet. From what Lt. Ford had told him about the conversation he had overheard, it appeared they had come here specifically to find them, but how they had known they would be on the planet remained a mystery. He didn't know where they were holding the Major. Still on the planet, somewhere, as Ford and Teyla had not seen anyone leave through the stargate. Finally, he didn't know exactly where he was, but he figured that would be resolved in a few hours when the sun rose and he could ask directions from people as they started their day. Problem was, once he knew where he was, he had nowhere to go. He looked around the church deciding it would make a good enough home base, at least for the time being.
Lastly, what do you have?
He began emptying his pack onto the floor. There was his life signs detector, his laptop, an extra external hard drive, a repair case with a few tools, wires, and clips, his Leatherman, a small first aid kit, two more MREs in addition to the one he was currently eating, an extra pair of socks, a cap, a rain poncho, an emergency blanket, a reflective mirror, several small packs of sunscreen, insect repellant, and hand sanitizer, and a small leather case with archeological brushes and picks. At the very bottom he found an extremely squashed powerbar, a gritty layer of sand and a paperclip. He puzzled over the paperclip momentarily, wondering over the fact that no matter what duffle, briefcase or pack he owned, there always seemed to be a paperclip in the bottom even though he could never remember having any clipped papers in the bag. It was one of those great mysteries of life, like missing socks in the laundry or keys that disappear only to reappear magically after you finally break down and get duplicates made of your spares.
He was about to start inventory on his vest, wondering sarcastically if he would find the missing New Zealand hotel receipt he had needed last year for his travel reimbursement to Antarctica, when his radio keyed in his ear with a small burst of static. He checked his watch, making sure he hadn't missed reporting in with Teyla and the Lieutenant, only to find he still had fifteen minutes. His heart raced at why they would be checking in early. He waited a few seconds for them to call, but there was nothing. He was just about to call to them, when it keyed again and a strange voice spoke over the frequency.
"Dr. McKay," the voice called with polite authority, "please respond."
He started to reply, then hesitated. If the Genii had Sheppard, then they might also have his radio. He wasn't sure if he really wanted to talk to them. However, it might be his only way to find some information about the Major.
"Dr. McKay," the voice called again, "I am fairly sure that you can hear me. I am also fairly sure that we can be of beneficial service to one another."
He licked his lips, swallowed his fear, and keyed his earpiece. "Is Major Sheppard okay?"
"So, you are out there after all." The voice seemed pleased and almost grandfatherly if not for the icy tint of delight he could hear.
"Answer my question. Is he okay?"
"He is alive." The small inflection on the last word caused a chill to run down Rodney's spine. Alive but obviously not what the man would classify as okay.
"I..I want to talk to him."
"I'm sorry but that is not possible at the moment. But I would like to make arrangements for you to see him."
"Nope, not going anywhere until I talk to the Major."
"That may take some time to arrange."
The question of why sprang to mind, but he pushed it back and concentrated on sounding casual. "Not really in a hurry to get anywhere at the moment. Kind of comfortable where I am."
"And where would that be?"
"Even if I could, I don't think I would be telling you."
"Fair enough." He sounded almost amused. "Must be very lonely for you, Doctor. On a strange planet, no teammates around, not really sure who you can trust. Very lonely indeed."
"Ha! You obviously don't know me very well. This is the first peace and quiet I've had in months. I'm actually rather enjoying myself." He could feel the perspiration on his forehead and wiped absently at a drop running down his temple.
"I see, well, enjoy it while you can. I'll be back in touch shortly. By the way, do you know when your other team members are scheduled to return from Atlantis?"
Rodney opened then closed his mouth in surprise at the last question. They thought Ford and Teyla were back on Atlantis. That might be his ace in the hole. "They aren't coming back," he blurted suddenly when he realized he hadn't answered the man. "They went back last night to stay. Major Sheppard and I were scheduled to complete the treaty then return today."
"Well then, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid you will have a change in plans. I will be in touch shortly. Telmun out."
The radio went dead and Rodney pulled his knees up to his chest. Telmun. Well at least he had a name for the voice. He really dreaded the time when he would then have to put name to face. With a heavy sigh, he dropped his forehead to his kneecaps. He was way out of his league here, way, way, way out. What was he going to do if the man produced Sheppard? Right then, it was the one thing he wanted and feared most. If the Major was still alive, as the man had claimed he was, as he prayed he was, he would have no choice but to comply with his plans to meet up with him. But then what? It didn't take multiple PhD's to know that once they had him, they would have no need for the Major any more. No, they had their bargaining chip and so he had to find one of his own.
Think, he told himself. Think, think, think. You can do this. After all, you are the sharpest knife in the drawer, the quickest duck on the pond. You're a genius for Pete's sake, bona fide, certified, and card carrying even. Yeah, sure, McKay, like that would work. Pull out your MENSA card and drop that bombshell on them.
"Bomb," he said out loud, looking excitedly at the equipment and tools spread before him. Of course! It didn't have to be big, just big enough to take him out personally and maybe anyone in the close vicinity. Because, they wanted him and if they were going to ante up using the Major's life, then he would ante up with his own.
Teyla's eyes widened as she listened to the conversation on the radio and she noted a similar expression on Lt. Ford's face. It had been disheartening, to say the least, to learn that Major Sheppard was probably injured and unable to speak. It had been alarming to learn that Dr. McKay was going to have to turn himself over to the same people that had hurt the Major in order to try and save his life. And it had been surprising to learn that the Genii thought they were back on Atlantis. Hopefully, Dr. McKay's quick thinking had reinforced that assumption. On the positive side, that meant they might be able to use that to their advantage. On the negative side, they would no longer be able to communicate with Dr. McKay, leaving him completely alone.
"We must find some way to help Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay," she told her teammate.
"Hey, no argument from me. Question is, how?"
She considered for a moment, then spoke. "I have been thinking about how the Genii knew we were on this planet. They know that I am helping your people find trading partners."
"Well, yeah, that's how we met them in the first place."
"Exactly. And as I have traded with the Genii for many years, they are familiar with many of the other planets that the Athosians have developed relations with. I believe it was my father even who told the Genii about the Corridon to possibly develop their own trade among the two groups."
"So, what, you think they came here hoping that you would also bring us here and they could ambush us."
"I think that they have established friendships here that may be sympathetic to the Genii cause and would be willing to notify them when we arrived on this planet."
"You're saying there is a spy among the Corridon?"
She nodded her head in agreement.
"But who?" he asked.
"I do not know," she admitted.
Aiden bit his lower lip in thought then said, "Okay, let's just think this through. They attacked at the concert and I don't think it was just coincidence that Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay were in the audience. So, who knew they were going to be at the concert?"
"The Magistrate," she told him with dawning realization.
"Or someone in his office," he added.
"So what do we do?"
"They are only looking for us to come out of the gate, not behind it," he indicated the forest that sat behind the stargate. "All the patrols have been along the road between the here and the city."
"We could circle around, enter the city from the east," she supplied, catching on to his thinking, "and into the Magistrate's offices."
"Exactly," he said with a grin and began gathering his gear. "Come on, I'm in the mood to flush out a spy."
"And if we find the spy," she said with a grin of her own, "hopefully we find the Major and Dr. McKay."
With a last look back at the stargate and occupying Genii troops, they headed to the forest and were quickly swallowed by the night.
TBC (I can't believe I typed those three letters!)