TITLE: Mirror, Mirror
AUTHOR: Wraithfodder
RATING: T
CATEGORY: Drama, heavy-duty angst
SPOILERS: Massive spoilers for season two episode Conversion.
Copyright Disclaimer: See part one.

SUMMARY: A missing scene from "Conversion." Sheppard contemplates his future as his body and mind succumb to the iratus bug retrovirus..


Mirror, Mirror

PART THREE

He released his grip from Elizabeth's neck. He heard her body strike the floor – a dull thud - but she was no longer his concern. The guards outside his door were pitifully ill prepared for his assault. Both men were on the floor within seconds of his escape. He'd been wrong. Doubling the guard hadn't been the answer. Quadrupled, with P-90s - and itchy trigger fingers - would have been preferred.

He progressed through Atlantis' corridors, his destination undetermined. He threw somebody out of a transporter. He'd never met the man before. A scientist, his brain fleetingly registered. White lab coat. Didn't care. He felt no urge to feed – at least not yet. He hoped that it would be over before he progressed that far.

He needed to get away from people, away from killing anyone. He knew that Weir would send people after him. Knew Caldwell was still on base - and that he would eliminate a security risk.

It didn't take long to make his way down to an unpopulated section of the city. Areas only recently touched by exploration due to the ZPM's increased power.

Soon he could sense his former friends pursuing him, hear their movements through the dark, artificial halls. Some pass by, unaware of his close presence, but he can hide in the dark, above them.

Another group was coming his way. Part of him mind tells him to stop, to confront the armed soldiers hunting him down: to let them finish him off. Yet something else more primordial surges through his mind like a powerful intoxicant: the instinct to survive. So he crawls up the wall, until a bright beam centers on him. He hears the cries below and skitters quickly up into the uncompromising darkness of the cathedral-height ceiling. Below him is a team of armed humans - humans - he'd once been that himself, but his humanity was leaving him, like sand torn away by the constant pounding of surging waves.

He drops from the ceiling, in a fall that would have easily killed him just a day ago. The two soldiers were easily taken out with a blow. He barely felt the impact against his arms, and the three Wraith stunner bolts from the remaining men leave nothing more than an itching sting across his torso.

Preservation takes over and he realizes he has to defend himself. With a single leap, he crosses a distance he once would have cried in ecstasy to achieve without a machine under his control, and his flight ends quickly, as does the conscious awareness of the two men he strikes down.

The danger is now gone and he starts to flee again, up the stairs but to where, he's not sure, until a voice calls out, stopping him. His mind registers the source: Teyla. He turns.

Part of his mind reacts rationally to her presence, to a distant desire that she would help end his existence. He proceeds down the steps, but she warns him not to advance any further. Fragments of memories of a friendship flicker dimly amongst his dark thoughts, of why she seems so hesitant to shoot him, but she has to do it. Otherwise, it is she who might die.

He wants to live yet he wants to die. He wants this agony to end, but not by her hand, yet… he approaches another step and she shoots, and then the burst of bullets spark away under his feet, and the overwhelming instinct to survive blots out all other thoughts, and he runs up the stairs, down a corridor.

He runs until blackness explodes into his very being.

PART FOUR

His head feels like it's going to explode. Pain caresses each nerve ending in its sadistic grip. His mind fleetingly registers being immobilized at both his wrists and ankles. Restraints. He'd lost control.

His eyes shoot open.

He was in hell: a never-ending hell of pain and imminent insanity.

He barely hears Beckett telling him that the headache is from the inhibitors, the drug that keeps his humanity from being totally subverted by his new being, that of a predator.

Elizabeth is standing there, looking down at him with concern etched in her tired face. The light bothers his eyes but worse, there's something he needs to ask her, but he can't remember…. just a dark room, hazy with the taint of violence and fear.

He licks his lips, asking the question to which he is terrified to hear the answer. "Did I hurt anyone?"

THE END

Author's Note: Hope everyone enjoyed this little slice of Sheppard's hellish experience ;)