I gave him an order.

Silly me, I thought it would work.

Guess what? It didn't, and in the space of a few seconds, my formerly cooperative and obedient second-in-command took the damned jumper and flew it right over my damned head.

I suppose I should be grateful. After all, he'd been threatening people with guns earlier. At least he didn't try blowing my head off with the jumper's weapons and leaving the slag on the floor of the control room. Rodney would have had a few unkind words about that mess -- not to mention Elizabeth, Zelenka and few of the other geeks.

I'd like to hope the protesting wouldn't have just been over the unholy stains blood leaves on everything.

I watched him go. I just sat there and watched him go. I didn't so much as lift a finger. My hands were wrapped around the damned stunner weapon, and what did I do? I watched. Oh, sure, we'll try searching. Have you ever tried finding someone that doesn't want to be found? I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Ford will be every bit as stubborn as Ai-Qida when it comes to that fact. After all, I helped train him. I taught him half the tricks he knows about Stargate travel.

The other half came from Rodney. And Elizabeth thinks we have a chance in hell of tracking him down. I'd like to see Atlantis' MENSA population formulate the odds on THAT one.

"We'll find him."

Elizabeth tried...I'll give her credit. She tried to give me a little bit of hope. Even pointed out we'd managed to survive the wraith in order to make the effort. But she managed to lose sight of small, tiny fact: I keep losing people. I lost Gall, I lost Abrams...I even lost Grodin. I suppose I could share the blame with the wraith, but I'm not in the mood to be that generous.

I might as well have killed them myself. Just like I killed Sumner. And Everett.

And now my second in command.

End Prologue