Title: A Fowl Encounter

Author: Grey Lupous

Disclaimer: Ah, if I owned Stargate Atlantis, first, there would be no hiatuses, but then the cast and crew would quit on me, and we'd
spiral out into oblivion when writer's block hit, so it's best I'm not left in charge anyway. I'm just borrowing it all from the lovely folks at MGM, Gecko, and other guys, who love me so much they won't slap anything resembling a lawsuit on me.

Notes: Originally written as a challenge for a private fiction site. I apologize to allchicken lovers. I watched far too much Animaniacs as a child.


The thought of hopelessness was briefly replaced with a fleeting feeling of panic and as he struggled to fill his lungs he knew this breath would be his last.

"McKay?" Sheppard's voice sounded tinny and distant over the earpiece. That meant he was somewhere in the hallways still, and no where near the scientist in mortal danger. "I turn my back for two seconds and you disappear. How does that fit the definition of staying put?"

The voice paused for a few seconds, obviously expecting some sort of witty reply. As far as McKay was concerned, he could just wait. He had other problems to deal with. He let out his next breath, waiting for the giant jaws—er—beak of death to descend on him. It didn't, and McKay felt a small wave of relief move through him.

"McKay?" The voice came again, this time more concerned than annoyed. "You know it makes me nervous when you're quiet. It's just not natural."

Eyes wide, barely breathing at all, Rodney inched his hand slowly, inch by inch, to tap his earpiece. There was no movement in front of him, but he spoke so softly, he could hardly hear himself speak.

"Major?" The whisper was barely heard over the line.

"McKay?" Sheppard stopped cold as he heard his teammate's voice. "Are you all right?"

"No, that would definitely be a no." His voice was a bit louder, but had the recognizable McKay hysteria tone to it.

Sheppard started moving again, in the direction he last saw his wayward scientist. "What is it?"

There was a slight squeak, as if McKay was choking back a reply. Finally he heard, "Just get in here. Now."

Sheppard tapped his own earpiece, sure that the other two members of his team had picked up on the strange conversation as well. "Teyla, Ford, McKay's in some kind of trouble. I'm in the back of the facility, meet me there as fast as you can."

He heard Ford's affirmative reply as he rounded the corner, surprised to see Rodney on his hands in knees, still as a statue, facing off with a giant, six-foot—chicken?

"What in the hell?"

The giant chicken squawked loudly at Sheppard's entrance and puffed its feathers out, making itself look even larger than its ridiculous size.

"Don't provoke it!" McKay squeaked, still not moving.

"Sir?" Ford's concerned voice came over the radio. "What is it?"

"It's a-a," Sheppard shook his head, wondering if maybe he was just imagining it, "giant chicken!"

"Chicken?"

"Yes, it's a freakishly large chicken!" McKay hissed. "Now bring the Colonel and a round of his secret spices! And hurry! It looks hungry!"

Sheppard edged closer to McKay and the chicken, wondering if General O'Neill ever had any problems like this. "Now McKay, I'm sure the chicken is more scared of you than you are of it."

"I find that very hard to believe!"

The chicken hissed. It was an odd, strangled sound, and reminded John more of air escaping out of a balloon than the noise a giant barnyard animal would make. The thing's huge beaked lunged out towards McKay, who stumbled, crawled, and subsequently fell back with startled yelp. Ever the brave team leader, Sheppard charged in guns blazing to his teammate's aid, but the chicken was fast, and somehow managed to knock the gun out of his hand and effectively pin him and McKay against the wall with one swoop of his massive wings.

"How did this happen?" Sheppard moaned miserably.

"I don't know! I was too busy trying not to be impaled on the beak of death!"

The giant space chicken made its weird hissing noise as it closed in on the two men. McKay gulped, watching his death approach him. "He doesn't look happy."

"I think it was the KFC crack from earlier. It's probably a sensitive subject with him," Sheppard couldn't help but grin at the sour look McKay flashed him.

"Go ahead and laugh! We're about to be pecked to death by a giant man-eating space chicken! Do you know how low on the list that is on the ways I wanted to die in another galaxy?"

"It made the list?"

"Well now it did!"

The sound of pounding footsteps caught everyone's attention as Ford and Teyla rounded the corner to take in the very odd scene. She titled her head to the side, obviously confused by the appearance of the strange animal. And although Ford's mouth was flapping open and shut like a dying fish, he hefted up his gun, ready to save his commander.

The chicken swiveled its head to glare at the intruders, narrowing his hawk-like eyes at Ford.

"Ford," Sheppard warned.

It was too late, like something out of a bad B horror film, the chicken launched itself across the room, flapping its wings to gain extra momentum. Ford let loose a spray of fire, sending feathers flying everywhere. The beast did not slow though, and he found himself pinned under a very angry three-hundred pound bird.

The sound of a single P-90 shot filled the air, and the chicken dropped its full weight on Ford as it went limp. He groaned as it knocked the wind out of him. Both Sheppard and McKay looked at Teyla in awe as she unceremoniously kicked the body of the dead bird. When it didn't budge she shot them both annoyed looks. "Help me move it. It's crushing Lieutenant Ford."

Ford nodded eagerly under the huge bird, letting out a squeak that could have resembled the word "help".

Both McKay and Sheppard snapped out of their chicken-induced stupor and helped Teyla roll the giant fowl off of Ford and help the young lieutenant to his feet.

"You okay?" Sheppard asked.

"Couple of bruised ribs is all," he said, wrapping an arm around his chest. "Big Bird isn't too friendly is he?"

"No," Sheppard agreed, and turned an accusatory look at McKay.

"What?" The scientist asked defensively. "I didn't go looking for a demented Sesame Street reject! It found me!"

"They always seem to," Sheppard said sourly, and poked the body of the bird with his foot. "Say, you think Weir would let us bring it back?"

"I'm not carrying it," McKay took a step back, and Ford nodded his agreement.

"I think it would be wise if we left it here," Teyla added.

"Contagions," McKay put in, "you know, a really bad case of salmonella, or the Pegasus's equivalent of mad cow disease."

"True," Sheppard shrugged, "but I was looking forward to seeing how the chicken would cross the gate."

McKay groaned and Ford grimaced. Teyla raised an eyebrow at their reactions, but decided not to ask. It was probably another one of the Major's Earth jokes.

"What? It wasn't that bad of a joke!"

His team turned away from him and started trudging back to the gate. "C'mon, we were all thinking it!"

He sighed and gave one last look at the bloody mess of feathers below him. "Geez, who ruffled their feathers?"

The chicken was silent.

"Tough crowd," Sheppard muttered to himself and started after his team, not noticing as the talon's twitched slightly before curling up into a fist.


Cue Dramatic Ending Chord