Once he saw that Menacing Guy wasn't looking for him, Pete continued to follow behind the party at a discreet distance. His friends were talking to each other in low voices, but he could hear some of it. It sounded like they were being forced to do something they didn't want to do.

Pete was listening so intently that he jumped when he heard the whiny voice come out of the black box Menacing Guy was holding. "Laden has been leading three of our men on a reconnaissance mission. It seems Major Sheppard has killed three more of our strike team."

Intense Guy looked interested at that remark, but his expression quickly changed to one of disgust and barely concealed fear as they walked out onto the same platform that the spiky-haired guy had occupied earlier. "Oh, would you look at this!" yelled Intense Guy, pointing at the sparking panel. "That is just never going to be useful again!" He mumbled to himself for a minute, then said, "I should be able to bypass this switching station entirely.

"Tell everyone to fall back to the control room," said Menacing Guy into the box. "And watch out for any 'nighthounds'," he added wryly. Then he turned back to Intense Guy and demanded, "How long to fix it?"

"It's not half as bad as it looks. I'd say 15-20 minutes tops."

"Do it!"

"Dr. Weir, I need you to..." Intense Guy and Alpha Female huddled around the broken panel, and Menacing Guy was again talking into his black box. Pete took the opportunity to inch closer to his friends and listen to what they were saying.

"Why did you tell him you could have this fixed in 15-20 minutes?" asked Alpha Female.

Intense Guy's face turned red and he looked like he was going to start jumping up and down. "Oh, I don't know... maybe... uh... SO HE WOULDN'T KILL US!"

"I understand that. But once the shield is operational, we won't be very useful, now will we?"

The expression on Intense Guy's face would have been funny if the situation weren't so tense. "Well, why did you let me tell him I could fix it in 15-20..." he demanded, as if it hadn't been all his idea.

Alpha Female interrupted firmly. "You'll just have to stall him some more."

"Well, I just told him how long it would take!"

Alpha Female seemed ready to cuff him like a pup. "Well, find another problem with it! Tell him that the power-loop interface isn't jiving with your walkabout! The dog ate your power coupler! Anything!"

Pete's ears perked up. Food?

"Isn't jiving!"

"Rodney, you get my point! Look, from the sounds of it... if we can buy Sheppard enough time it seems he can take care of the rest of them on his own."

Intense Guy muttered under his breath as his hands worked. "Stupid Genii. Crazy, dumbass stormtroopers. Hey, why don't we take hostage a city that's about to be destroyed! Great idea!" He paused for a minute as if his mind went temporarily elsewhere. "Hmm, getting the dog involved really could be interesting..."

Pete was about to run over to Intense Guy to show him he could help, but then he heard the familiar sound of heavy footsteps and jumped back. "Radio Chief Cowen, tell them to send reinforcements," said Menacing Guy. "If you're hoping Major Sheppard can diminish our numbers, you are mistaken."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Pete wasn't sure what to do now. Menacing Guy was threatening two of his friends, and the third had become a fierce predator. Pete really did want to help, but just didn't know how. And truth be told, he was getting tired again. He decided to go back to the large room with its many big boxes. If he couldn't find anyone else there, at least he could find a place to nap for awhile.

When Pete got there, though, sleep became the farthest thing from his mind. High up in the cavernous room a door was opening. Slowly, one of the giant boxes floated down from the sky until it almost touched the ground. Then, with a crunch and a thump, it landed. Pete could hear loud voices coming from within the box. Among the few words he could make out were "worst landing ever!"

Then the door of the box slid open and he recognized the voice of the healer. "Don't you think you're exaggerating a wee bit now, Lieutenant?"

"No!"

Teyla walked out of the box with another two legged creature who couldn't be much more than a pup himself. They looked around to make sure they were alone, and then the healer emerged from the box, too. "Where are we going, then?"

"Armory." said the young pup firmly.

"Are you sure that's what we sh..."

Pete watched as Young Pup tried to assert his dominance. "You know you're always saying that your not military? You don't have to take orders?"

"Aye," said the healer warily.

"Now you do." Young Pup handed one of the fire-breathing sticks to the healer, who looked at it like it were a deadly snake.

The three two-legged creatures crouched and started to move to the exit of the large room. "So long as it's temporary," muttered the healer.

The three moved quickly, and Pete was unable to keep up. The last thing he heard from them was, "These wee dots don't tell us much about who's who. How do we know which one's the Major?"

"He'll be the dot getting rid of the other dots."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The next place Pete decided to try was the room with the big ring. He felt like he was walking around and around in circles without being able to do anything other than watch his friends suffer, and this frustrated him greatly. His mood did not improve when he arrived to find the room still full of the gray-clad two-legged creatures. Whiny-voice was here in person this time, talking to someone who knew how to operate the stuff in the room. "How many should we expect?" she asked.

"A full company... sixty or more. I don't know how we were expected to take a facility this size with any less."

Pete watched as the ring began to light up and make noise. Then the puddle that had scared him so much appeared. Whiny-voice and two others approached the ring, whereas the machine operator remained on the upper level to speak into his own black box. "Reinforcements are arriving now, Commander."

Pete was not surprised to hear Menacing Guy's voice again. "Have them secure Stargate operations and report back to me."

"Yes, Commander." He turned suddenly and caught sight of Pete before the dog had a chance to hide. The two stared at each other, then Pete allowed his tail to droop. He whimpered quietly and looked at the two-legged creature mournfully. He also prepared to roll over on his back if it became necessary.

Fortunately, it didn't. The two-legged creature relaxed and smiled slightly. "You're that hound I've been hearing so much about. You don't look that ferocious. In fact, you're rather cute." He bent down to scratch Pete behind the ears. As he stood up, the spiky-haired guy jumped out of hiding and hit him in the face, knocking him unconscious.

The spiky-haired guy shook his head at Pete. "Thanks for the set-up, but I thought I told you to stay out of the way. Jeez, you must be taking lessons from Rodney. Neither of you listen to me!" Then he rushed toward a panel of controls and started pushing buttons, stopping when a shimmering curtain of light appeared in front of the puddle. Whiny-voice looked up as flashes of light began coming from the ring.

"Shut it off, Laden... STOP HIM!" The spiky-haired guy and the gray-clad creatures pointed their sticks at each other. Small metal objects were propelled from the ends and ricocheted off railings and consoles. Whiny-voice yelled frantically into her black box. "This is Sora. Stop sending the reinforcements. The Stargate shield has been raised!" But after a few more minutes of the flashing lights, the ring shut down.

"It's no use, it's over. The gate has shut down... there are no more men coming."

Menacing Guy's voice from the box was angry. "How many men made it?"

"Five. Five of sixty."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Belisse: You just might get your wish!

nebbyj: Dog, hound, whatever. Pete doesn't care what you call him as long as you don't call him Kavenaugh! ;-)

jennamagig, flah7: Happy to oblige...

nightpheonix: This is definitely a new perspective! I don't think the writers have tried anything with a dog yet. LOL

TBC