SUMMARY: Things are not always what they appear. Team fic + Beckett with a little time for everyone, eventually.
SEASON/SPOILERS: Poisoning the Well, set in the first half of Season One.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Okay, I do not write WIPs, usually. But these four pages of fic have been sitting on the hard drive forever as my attempt to write something a bit meatier, with more plot, and to try and involve Teyla and Ford since I tend to forget about them, but still love 'em. I'm posting to see if anyone thinks it has potential, b/c frankly, I need a little kick in the behind if it does so my muse will finish the damn thing. So if you like, feel free to badger :).
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis or anything associated with it. I'm simply borrowing, but I promise to return all in one piece. Eventually.
"Incoming wormhole! It's Lt. Ford's IDC."
There was no mistaking the sounds of gunfire. SGA-1 was early. And early was never a good sign.
"Atlantis?" Ford's voice came through on the radio. "Warning - we're coming in hot!"
The fact that Sheppard wasn't on the radio was another not-so-good sign. Elizabeth Weir immediately took action. "Lower the shield. And get a medical team to the gate room." While Ford hadn't indicated injury, instinct told her she needed to be prepared.
The shield lowered, sending a spray of bullets into the control room and airmen diving for cover. Ford tumbled through the gate, followed closely by Teyla and McKay. Thankfully aside from a few cuts and bruises, the three appeared unharmed. But that wasn't her immediate concern.
"Raise the shield!" Ford called out.
"Where's the Major?" She frowned - was she missing someone else? "And Beckett?"
Ford shook his head. "They're gone. Captured."
Twelve Hours Earlier
"Again, Major, I don't really liked being volunteered without my permission."
"You weren't volunteered, doc. Weir practically ordered you through the gate."
"Aye. At your suggestion."
"Yeah, well, the worst part is over. You're through the gate. And they are friendly, Carson, so calm down. All you have to do is take a look at their president, fix him up, and I'll personally escort you back. Scout's honor."
Beckett still looked uneasy but kept walking.
"We all know what happened the last time you volunteered my services," Carson muttered quietly. There was no mistaking the sadness and guilt in his voice. Although he suspected the man hadn't intended for John to hear the statement, he had and wasn't sure how to respond. They'd been on eggshells around Beckett concerning the entire Hoff situation since it happened. And after giving his part of the story at the briefing with Weir, Carson hadn't been willing to discuss the matter further. And he hadn't gone through the gate since, content to sit with his charts and microscope. John simply settled for silence and the two walked on toward the village.
The recent mission was going up without a hitch. They'd come through the gate and hit a small town not unlike the American Midwest of the earlier part of the 1900s. A farming community, the townsfolk seemed quite thrilled at the visitors, especially when they seemed to possess higher forms of technology. Even better, they knew English (Rodney seemed extremely pleased with that fact) and negotiations started immediately for grain in exchange for help updating their farming equipment.
But it was when McKay had made an offhand remark about something medical, that the locals grew even more excited. Excitement grew when Teyla addressed Rodney as Dr. McKay and one young woman, who introduced herself as Catia but refused to say nothing more, practically dragged Rodney with her and Sheppard soon found himself, along with the rest of his team, escorted to what passed for a car on this planet and driven thirty miles to the nearest "city," which despite it's classification by the locals wasn't what John would have called a city. Still it had developing buildings and structures, with a good amount of people milling about.
It was like pulling teeth, but after a conversation that could have easily been more awkward then a teenager's first date, Sheppard managed to find out that Catiaâ™s father was head of the city. And her father was apparently quite ill.
"You see, I'm not that kind of doctor," McKay had tried to explain but security still pushed the man up a flight of stairs. Sheppard followed, with Teyla and Ford on his heels, surprised that no one tried to hold him back. It was a bit surreal, almost. In his experience, people were never this friendly, and yet so mysterious.
Sheppard watched as Rodney was not-so-gently shoved in the direction of a door at the end of a long hallway. It opened to admit the man, and slammed shut before anyone else had a chance to react to it.
"Sir?" Ford had piped up. "I don't like this."
"You're not the only one." He hoped the basic medical training Beckett required all personal traveling off world to complete would be enough to placate these people they still knew so little about.
A moment later the door opened and McKay was shoved out of it.
"He's, uh, definitely sick."
"Wow. How long did it take you to figure that one out?"
"Well, excuse me, Major, but last I checked I had a Ph.D. in physics which, may I point out, is in no relation to medicine. They, however, are not listening and not taking no for an answer. I mentioned bringing Carson-"
"McKay, why did you have to go and do that? We know squat about these people and you want me to go back and bring someone else through the gate?"
"Squat? This coming from the man that was quick to volunteer Beckett's services on Hoff?"
"We knew more about the Hoffans. Potential against the Wraith and all."
"Lot of good it did us. Frankly, I consider food just as important. No food, no us, no chance of -"
"I get your point, McKay." He sighed. "So medical help gets us grain?"
"Didn't I just say that?"
John ignored him. "Ford, you're in charge. I'm high tailing it back to the gate."
"Wait. Why you? You have the gun." McKay was shifting his weight from foot to foot, nervous.
John rolled his eyes. "Ford has a gun. Teyla has a gun. Even you have a gun. Although, I'm beginning to question my judgment on that one."
McKay reached down to his side, where John knew the man kept his gun. "Oh, right."
"They seem pretty friendly. See what else you can find out. Besides, since I was the one to drag Beckett through the gate last time, I figure it's up to me to keep up tradition." He turned. "Now play nice."
Finally he and Beckett set foot on the village, where another car picked them to escort them to the city. Beckett, for his part, simply clutched his supplies and remained silent. As taller buildings came into view, Sheppard felt an uneasy feeling grip his stomach. He glanced towards Carson again, but the the car had stopped and Carson was chatting with Catia, who'd came out to greet him. Like she had done with McKay hours ago, she latched into Beckett's hand and proceded to drag him into the building. John followed behind.
When he caught up, he found Carson gone and his team sitting in the hallway. He frowned.
"Carson's in there," McKay indicted, jerking his head towards the room at the end of the hall.
Still, Sheppard frowned. Something was different.
"They will not permit us to leave," Teyla explained. Ford nudged his head toward a couple of men near the "president's" door. Clad in brown, the two held impressive weapons, unlike any gun he'd ever seen on Earth.
"No higher technology, my ass," he muttered.
There was a distinct tone of worry in the briefing room as Ford recounted what was quickly equaling an ill-fated mission.
"Hell broke loose, basically."
Elizabeth sighed. "It was a simple trade agreement, Lieutenant. I thought we'd established they were friendly. I never would have sent Dr. Beckett through if they weren't."
"They were," Ford agreed.
Elizabeth leaned forward on the table. "Then what happened to change their minds?"