Stargate Atlantis: Darth Maul

Major John Sheppard finally made it up to the top of the hill he and his team had been traveling up. He halted the group and took a look around at the landscape. It was a beautiful view. As a matter of fact it was a beautiful planet. He just wished that the place Dr. Rodney McKay wanted to take a look at wasn't still so far away! It wasn't that he didn't like walking so far but they had already been walking for an hour and it was an extremely hot day on this planet. He was beginning to wish that they had of brought the puddle jumper instead.

"Rodney, how far till we reach this magnificent find?" John asked McKay, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"If my calculations are correct, and we know that they are, it should be about 10 minutes away," Rodney answered. "And you won't be so sarcastic if it's a Zed-PM we find will you?"

"Rodney being sarcastic with you just comes natural." John answered back and then started walking again. "Let's get a move on guys." he said to the team.

Teyla and Lieutenant Aiden Ford just looked on amused, for banter such as this often happen between the two men. Teyla often wondered how the two men were becoming such good friends when they had such obvious differences. But the athosian surmised that she still had a lot to learn about Earth men.

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True to McKay's word, 10 minutes later the team arrived at the spot that sparked McKay's interest. John took a look around the place. It looked a lot like most of the abandoned ancient cities they had come across before on the travels through the Stargate. There was broken pillars and what looked like partial buildings that had come apart with age and time, spread about a green valley. It would have been an archaeologist's dream city. But John was no archaeologist so the city lost its appeal soon enough when he realized that McKay would want to spend a decent amount of time here. He knew that McKay was hoping to find a Z-PM hidden amongst the ruins, and he hoped that McKay found what he was looking for. They had been in Atlantis now for eight months and a he felt that a Wraith attack was bound to happen sooner of later and a Z-PM would surely come in handy.

John's attention came back to the present and he studied his team, all 3 of them had their eyes on him waiting for him to make some decisions. He was actually surprised that Rodney had waited for his orders. Usually the scientist just went off of his own accord.

"Okay, Lieutenant you and Teyla secure the perimeter, keep your eyes open."

"Yes Sir." Ford answered walking off with Teyla to secure the perimeter.

"Rodney, you're with me, do your thing." John said with a sweep of his arm and watched as Rodney mumbled something then walked in the direction his equipment was obviously telling him to go.

"So Rodney, what makes you think we're gonna find a Z-PM here?"

Rodney sighed in frustration. He really wished that Teyla had stayed with him instead of Sheppard. They had been in the city for a few hours now and he thought he was really making some headway and he would probably make a lot more if the Major would quit asking him questions that Rodney was sure he had already asked a dozen times. In the short time that they had known each other, Rodney had established that the Major became increasingly annoying when he was bored. Which he just happened to be right now.

"I already told you." Rodney finally said.

"Well tell me again." John replied walking around and kicking small bits of the ruins with his feet.

"Major please go annoy Ford or Teyla."

"That's no fun, besides I just sent them on another perimeter check." John told him and gave up his rock kicking when Rodney gave him a dirty look.

"So?"

"So what?" Rodney asked looking up in frustration.

"So what makes you think there might be a Z-PM here?"

"Well if I must tell you again, when Stackhouse's team did a reconnaissance of this planet in the puddle jumper, they picked up some energy readings that were worth checking out, as I'm sure you know Major finding a Zed-PM would solve a lot of our problems and help us discover lots more about Atlantis since we would be able to power the city fully." McKay answered all in one breath without taking his eyes off his equipment.

"Ahh right," John said. "I'm just gonna go check with Teyla and Ford and leave you to it."

"Yes please go!"

"Okay, okay, okay." John said with an insulted look on his face.

Rodney watched as Sheppard walked a few feet away and contacted their two teammates on his radio. He didn't see why the Major was being so cautious with perimeter security. It was obvious to at least Rodney that they were alone on this planet. But he guessed that was Sheppard's job to worry about that and after all his team's safety was one thing that Sheppard did take very seriously. At least it kept him from annoying Rodney for a little bit. Realizing that he still wasn't getting any work done, Rodney went back to focusing on his equipments reading in order to locate what he hoped was a Zed-PM.

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"Ford come in."

"Here Sir," Ford answered his commanding officer on his radio.

"Any sign of anything out of the ordinary?"

"No everything seems pretty normal … For being on another planet that is." Ford Joked.

"What about you Teyla? You sense anything?" John asked knowing that Teyla had a keen sense.

"No not that I can see Major Sheppard." Teyla answered, then asked "you seem ill at ease Major do you sense something?"

"No, it just seems a little too quiet here; it just feels like something's not right …. Or maybe I'm just bored out of my brains watching McKay."

"Has he found anything yet sir?" Ford inquired.

"Nope, Nada but he's told me go away several times … I think I'm annoying him."

"Really Sir," Ford chuckled and gave a knowing look to Teyla.

"We will make our way back to your location Major, there is nothing out here that we can tell at the moment." Teyla said into her earpiece.

"Okay, see you guys soon." Sheppard said.

"You know the Major is right it does seem a little quiet out here," Teyla said looking at Ford as they made their way back. "But I do not sense anything else out of the ordinary."

"Maybe that's just the way that this planet is, I mean we have encountered weirder things before." Ford replied, looking at their surroundings as they walked.

"Such as?"

"Well the Wraith for one are extremely weird if you ask me." Ford said smiling.

"Indeed they are lieutenant." Teyla replied returning his smile.

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"Major!" Rodney called making John jump when his silence was interrupted.

"What?"

"I think I may have found something!" Rodney said excitedly.

"Well?" John asked moving closer to where Rodney had moved to.

"Long story short Major, there is definitely something in this wall."

"How do we get to it?"

"There is a lever buried just beneath the surface right next to the wall. I'm sure that if we press down on it we will be able to get at whatever is behind this wall." Rodney explained looking quite happy with himself.

Without waiting for John to give permission Rodney pressed down on the lever with his foot. All of a sudden a small hatch inside the wall started to rise.

"Rodney! What have I told you!" yelled Sheppard.

"What?" Rodney asked as he walked to the hatch to see what was inside.

"Next time wait till I say you can touch … whatever it is you were going to touch okay."

"Well it isn't a Zed-PM." Rodney said taking the small round object out of the hatch and handed it to john so he could see it

John took a look at the object in his hand and noticed that there was a small red light blinking on an off. All of a sudden realization hit him and he yelled for Rodney to run, and was just about to throw it. But it was too late. The next thing John saw was a blinding flash of light and a noise that sounded like an explosion. His last thought before darkness was CRAP!

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Teyla and Lieutenant Ford stopped walking as soon as they heard the explosion. They were fairly close to where they had left the Major and their resident scientist. Two pairs of brown eyes looked worriedly at each other and both silently agreed that they needed to get to their teammates as soon as possible. Both of them didn't doubt that the explosion they had just heard had something to do with their friends, because trouble seemed to follow them everywhere.

"Major Sheppard … McKay come in!" Ford said into his radio as they quickly made their way back. He was answered with silence. He tried again with the same result and this silence only made them run faster.

5 minutes later they made it to the edge of the clearing, but both crouched down just out of site.

Looking out into the remains of the ruined city Ford couldn't see any sign of the Major or Dr. McKay, which worried him.

"Aiden I don't see any sign of them." Teyla conveyed.

"I know! Well I guess we should get a closer look." Ford said getting up and making his way out of the forest.

The made their way silently across the grass until they got to the wall that McKay had been working at the most.

"Teyla! Look here," Ford called "Looks like whatever Dr. McKay found was in this hatch."

"Not only are Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay missing but also our gear is no where to be seen." Teyla observed.

"Yeah I noticed that." Ford said taking of his hat off and running his hand over his short black hair in frustration. "Where could they be?"

"I do not know."

"Well they couldn't have vanished into thin air."

"Maybe we should try our radios again?" Teyla suggested.

"Yeah," Ford agreed. "Major Sheppard, come in."

Again their only reply was silence. Ford sighed.

"Lets take another quick but thorough look through these ruins then head back and get some back up. I don't want to waste to much time on a fruitless search when they could be in danger."

"I agree." Teyla said walking off in the opposite direction to start their search.

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Dr. Rodney McKay came awake to one of the worst headaches he had ever had. He was surprised to find that he was in fact very much alive. Rodney opened his eyes and realized that where ever he was it was almost pitch black. There was something niggling at the back of his mind, like he was forgetting something. He was trying to work it out when all of sudden it came to him. SHEPPARD he thought as he sat up straight.

"Bad idea," he mumbled to himself and grabbed his head with his hands as he disturbed his headache.

When his headache became more bearable, Rodney risked opening his eyes again. He looked around the small room. It was extremely dark so he couldn't really tell where he was or how big the room was. Rodney hated small dark spaces. It was just like when the kids at school used to lock him in his locker. Except for the fact that he was on an alien world, and a whole galaxy away from Earth. He was starting to feel that panicky feeling he tended to get in certain doom situations. But he thought he had valid reason to feel a little panicky considering that he was locked in a small dark room. Well not that he knew for sure that the room was locked.

Okay now I'm rambling to myself, get a grip McKay He thought to himself. Okay let's see, what would Major Sheppard do in this situation? Hmm which reminds me I wonder what happened to him

Finally standing up Rodney thought that he should at least check out his surroundings. That sounded like the right thing to do, even though he could hardly see. He found the wall closest to where he was standing and placed his hands on it. It felt like concrete.

"Okay now that, that is established, now what?" he asked himself aloud.

Rodney turned around and squinted at the other wall. It didn't look too far away, so he started walking towards it to see if he could at least see how big this place was.

"Okay 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 ... 5 argfhhhh!" Rodney yelped as he kicked and tripped over something.

"Ouch! Dammit!" he cursed. Sitting up he realized that he was still half lying on whatever it was that he had tripped over. It felt soft, almost like a human body.

Oh My God! I'm locked in a room with a dead body! Rodney panicked to himself and scrambled back against the wall. Looking closer at the body he realized it looked familiar. Getting up whatever minimal courage he had, he moved over to get a closer look. Rodney McKay and dead bodies did not go well together. Again squinting to get a better look, he got closer.

Oh my god it's Major Sheppard!

"Major!" he shouted, shaking the prone man before him.

"Oh god please don't be dead. Major! Wake up!" John still gave no indication that he heard him.

Rodney was really worried and considered shaking the Major again but then a thought occurred to him. He reached out a hand to the Major's neck to feel for a pulse. It was there strong and steady.

"Oh thank god!" he sighed I gotta remember to check that first next time before giving myself a heart attack! He thought to himself.

Rodney kept a hand on the Major's neck a tiny bit longer just to make sure he wasn't imagining things. Then lent over his face to make sure he was breathing. Check! Okay breathing and heart beating good, good, good!

"Major, you need to wake up!" he told John once again trying to shake him awake.

Rodney felt a little unsettled that he had awoken before Sheppard. Sheppard was usually the first to awaken when in these situations. And it disturbs me a great deal that there are other situations to compare to! Okay McKay back to more pressing issues he thought to himself.

Rodney tired to remember what he could last remember. They had found some device in the ruins he had handed it to Major Sheppard and then Sheppard had told him to run. Thinking about it now made more sense. If whatever that was had gone off while John was holding it, it would make sense that he would have been more greatly affected than Rodney himself was. He guess he had been awake now for about an hour and John still hadn't woken up yet. Rodney looked down at John again. He looked pale even in the dark. He grabbed one of John's hands and felt his forehead.

"God your freezing!" Rodney exclaimed to the unconscious Major.

Thinking about it now he was a bit chilly himself. Getting up Rodney felt his way around the room and found the door. He tried to pull and push it open to no avail, so made his way back to john. Realizing that all he could do for now was wait, he grabbed a hold of Johns arm's and dragged him over to a corner. He sat down with his back against the wall and held John to him.

"This is strictly for body heat Major so don't go thinking weird on me!" he stated to his unconscious friend.

"Have I ever told you how much I hate these situations?" Rodney asked not expecting an answer. Trying to keep his mind occupied so that he didn't panic. He couldn't afford to panic now. He just hoped that Teyla and Ford were safe and more importantly they were conducting a rescue. Yes that would be nice he thought.

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Doctor Elizabeth Weir was sitting in her office when she heard the familiar noise of the Stargate coming to life. Knowing that Major Sheppard's team was the only team off world at the moment, she was not surprised upon walking into the control room to be told that it was Lieutenant Fords IDC. She stood looking at the Stargate from the control room and was surprised to see only Ford and Teyla step through.

"Lieutenant, where are Major Sheppard and Doctor McKay?" Elizabeth inquired as she came down the steps to meet them.

"We don't know Ma'am."

"Major Sheppard sent us to do a perimeter search. As we made our way back we heard what sounded like an explosion." Teyla explained. Her expression very troubled.

"When we got back to where we last saw the Major and Doctor McKay they were no where to be seen. Even all our equipment was gone." Ford continued "it was like they just vanished."

"Was there any indication of an explosion there?"

"No Ma'am."

"Well is it possible that if what you heard was an explosion that it didn't have anything to do with Sheppard or McKay?"

"I think that is highly unlikely Doctor Weir. I am sure that the sound came from their direction." Teyla told her following both Elizabeth and Ford up the stairs into the control room.

"Ma'am I would like to take a team back there and try searching again," Ford said looking at Elizabeth hopefully. "We might have a better chance of finding something with more manpower!"

Elizabeth looked at him for a minute like she was trying to work all of this out in her head.

"Okay Lieutenant. Take Stackhouse's team since they were there a few days ago. Keep me informed!" Elizabeth ordered.

She watched as Lieutenant Ford and Teyla rushed off to organize their search group. Hoping that they found their missing team members alive and well.

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He was laying on something soft and lumpy, which wasn't totally uncomfortable if he didn't have the worse headache he'd ever had. Major John Sheppard tried to open his eyes but the pain in his head quickly made him change his mind.

What the hell happened John thought to himself as tried to prepare himself for a second attempt at opening his eyes. Figuring that he wasn't going to figure out anything laying here with his eyes closed to tried opening them again.

Okay not on Atlantis

Where ever he was it was extremely dark, he could only just make out a ceiling. His head was pounding and making it hard to think.

All of a sudden a bright light came from no where and john gasped and shut his eyes tightly again against the pain.

Upon opening them again slowly John realized that the lights of the room had come on.

"Major your awake!"

John jumped at the sound of the voice that came behind him. He looked behind him to find his soft and lumpy bed had actually been a certain scientist.

"Rodney," he croaked as he rolled of the scientist. "oww."

It turned out moving so fast wasn't such a good idea. John grabbed his head in his hands and his headache intensified.

"Major?" Rodney asked "Are you okay?"

"Stupid question McKay," John grinded out "Do I look okay?"

Rodney just looked at his friend for a minute before going over to him and tried to help him keep still. After another minute John seemed to have calmed down a little.

"I'm sorry Rodney … I'm fine."

"Yes because a man rolling around holding his head in his hands constitutes as fine." Rodney said sarcastically.

"Just a little headache … well okay actually a big headache but it'll pass! What happened anyway?"

"That thing we … I found in the ruins sort of exploded on us," Rodney paused then continued "well I wouldn't say exploded actually considering both of us are in one piece. It was most probably some sort of stun weapon. Similar to those of a Goa'uld shock grenade."

John gave Rodney a blank look.

"Oh right you never really knew of or much about the Goa'uld. Anyway what I'm saying is that thing knocked us out and considering you were holding it when it exploded, for lack of a better word, you probably were more adversely affected by it."

"Ooookay, that explains what happened, but doesn't really explain this." John said waving his hands around the small cement like room they were in.

John sat up some more and pushed Rodney's hands away from him and slowly took his hand away from his head. Testing it. Rodney looked at the Major expectantly and saw that John was trying to move himself to sit up against the wall so moved to help him. Surprised when John let him.

"I'm okay. So Rodney do you have any idea how long we've been in here?"

Rodney just shook his head.

"Okay has anyone …" John's next question was interrupted by the door to their room opening.

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Ford looked at the Stargate with a sigh. He was not looking forward to relaying information back to Dr. Weir. Looking over at Teyla he could see that she was as equally unhappy about the situation as he was.

"Atlantis this Lt. Ford come in please."

"This is Doctor Weir, we read you Lieutenant. Have you found anything?"

"Yes and no ma'am, all we found were some tracks but they didn't lead us very far."

"Teyla did you notice anything?" Elizabeth asked looking to Dr. Carson Beckett who had come to stand beside her.

"Doctor Weir the tracks that we did find lead me to believe that perhaps Major Sheppard and Doctor McKay were taken by someone. However they are very good at hiding there tracks." Teyla answered.

"I see … Lieutenant what do you want to do now?"

"Ma'am I would like to see if we can pick up the trail maybe …"

"Do we even know that the tracks were from the people that took Sheppard and Rodney? For that matter do we even know that is what happened to them?" Elizabeth interrupted.

"Doctor looking at the tracks I believe that, that is the most likely possibilitiy." Teyla interjected.

Elizabeth sighed. They didn't have any certainties. For all she knew this could be a waste of time. But then again if the Major and Rodney had been kidnapped then this might be their best shot at finding them right now.

"Okay Lieutenant, you have a go."

"Thank you Ma'am. One more thing I think we should bring along a medic since we don't know what condition they'll be in when we find them." Ford suggested.

Elizabeth nodded as she considered this. It made sense. Looking over at Carson she was just about to ask him to get one of his medics ready but he was already one step a head of her.

"I'll go myself, just give me five minutes to get ready."

"Carson you don't have to go yourself." Elizabeth reminded him.

"Aye I know, but I want to."

"Okay get ready." Elizabeth nodded to the doctor seeing that he had a very worried look in his blue eyes. He was worried about his friends and that out of all the doctors on Atlantis he would be ready for anything. He was extremely good at what he did and frankly she didn't know what her exbidition would do without him.

"Lieutenant, Doctor Beckett will coming through in 5 minutes wait till he arrives then head out. Weir out."

"Yes Ma'am." Ford said then went to sit on the rock next to the DHD, to wait for Carson.

"Do you really think you might be able to pick up the trail again?" Ford asked Teyla as she walked over and sat down next to him on the rock.

"Possibly, but there will be no guarantees Aiden."

"I know but we have no other leads and its better than sitting around doing nothing when the Major and McKay could be in trouble."

"I agree." Teyla said shifting her grip on her P-90.

Five minutes later Ford and Teyla were surprised to see a puddle jumper come through the event horizon of the still open Stargate. The puddle jumper was parked in front of them and the back hatch opened. Carson walked out to greet his two friends.

"Lieutenant, Teyla." Carson nodded.

"Hey doc, what's with the puddle jumper?" Ford asked looking inside to see two more soldiers inside "and the extra men?"

"Doctor Weir thought that we would make better time if we didn't have to walk the hour or so to the ruins. We are to leave the puddle jumper at the ruins with a couple of men and go in on foot to hopefully find the tracks." Carson told Ford and Teyla and motioning them to get about the puddle jumper.

The pilot took off again and flew in the direction of where the ruins were. Carson looked nervous. He hadn't been out of Atlantis much at all since they made the trip there eight months ago but there were certain occasions where it called for it. Like right now when two of his friends had most likely been kidnapped and might be in need of his medical abilities. He hadn't known any of these people very long at all but he cared for everyone especially Major Sheppard's team and yes even Rodney. As annoying and obnoxious as the scientist could get Carson new that Rodney had feelings and a heart. For some reason he just didn't like anyone else to know that. Atlantis had changed Doctor Rodney McKay though. When Carson first met Rodney at the Antarctic ancient outpost, that's all he saw. The impatient, arrogant obnoxious jerk. Now Rodney seemed to care about others and has even given people like Carson a chance to actually be his friend. Carson looked out the front window of the puddle jumper at the landscape that was going by fast. It amazed Carson how most planets even all the way in another galaxy looked just like earth. He sat back down again and looked over at Lieutenant Ford and Teyla who were sitting quietly in the back of the jumper. Ford looked impatient to get started and even though Teyla was the picture of calm he could tell that she was also anxious to get started. He turned back to the front window and just hoped that they were successful in finding Major Sheppard and Rodney.

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John looked up at the visitor who was standing in their cell. That's what he assumed they were in right now, although there visitor had yet to say a word. On first glance John thought that the man was human but on a second look he noticed he had about three little red horns on his head. It kind of reminded him of Darth Maul from Star Wars … without the red and black face. Looking at Rodney who was kneeling next to him, John could tell that he was feeling panicky. Looking back at his captor John started to get irritated because the guy still hadn't said anything.

"Look Mr. Maul are you gonna stare all day or are you gonna get to the part where you tell us what the hell is going on?" John asked looking up at the silent man. "No? Okay then tell ya what, I have this massive head splitting headache so what do ya say letting me and my friend here go."

Rodney helped John stand when he realized that he was trying to get up. Once he was standing he went to step forward. Their captor lifted his hand up and John went flying back to the wall with a thud.

"HEY!" Rodney screamed at the guy "what was that for?"

"You may not leave." the man stated to Rodney but his eyes never leaving John, who lay motionless crumpled on the floor.

"Why not? What do you want with us?",

Rodney's question was ignored. The man simply turned around and walked out the door. Rodney just stood there staring at the door, the only sound he could hear was the sound of the door locking on the other side and his and johns breathing. The Major! He suddenly remembered and quickly made it to the Major who had just started to moan. Rodney looked up and noticed there was blood on the wall where Johns head must have connected.

"Ouch." Rodney whispered in sympathy "Major, wake up!" didn't we already go thought this

He slapped john in the face lightly a couple of times until johns eyelids fluttered. Slowly John opened his eyes all the way, and then scrunched them shut again for the pain in his head was even worse than before.

"Ohh God! What happened this time? My head feels like its cracked open." John asked putting his hand up to his head.

"You were thrown into the wall. Hit your head. But I think I have something for that." Rodney said reaching into his pocket and pulled out a field dressing. "Here sit up".

John let Rodney help him sit up against the wall again and then let him put the bandage around his head. When Rodney was finished he put up two fingers in front of Johns face.

"How many am I holding up?"

John squinted at Rodney's fingers. Everything was a bit blurry but he didn't think it was too bad.

"Um … four?"

"Wrong … two. How are you feeling?" Rodney asked looking really closely at Johns face.

God … Not so good then. And why are there now two Rodney's? John thought

"Umm …. Mmkay. Where's Maul gone?" He slightly slurred

"Maul?" Rodney asked slightly confused "what?"

"You know Darth Maul. The guy that just through me into a wall." John explained.

Rodney didn't like that fact that the Major's eyes weren't entirely focused. Maul? Rodney thought to himself

"Major I think you hit your head a little too hard," Rodney told him as he got up to start pacing "and as for our lovely host he left saying that we aren't allowed to leave."

John watched as Rodney paced back and forth, back and forth, back and forth …

"Rodney!" he shouted then winced.

"What? What's wrong?"

"Stop pacing you're making me dizzy!" John ordered. After a minute he decided to elaborate on his name for their host.

"I thought he kind of looked like Darth Maul from Star Wars. You know with the horns on his head."

"Darth Maul had red and black skin." Rodney corrected from where he was standing.

"Yeesss but besides that he looked like Maul and he didn't decide to really introduce himself so that's what he's gonna be called." John said sounding all but ten years old.

Five minutes later neither of them had said a word and John was finding it hard to keep his eyes open. He was pretty sure he had a concussion and he didn't think it would be too good if he fell asleep. His vision was still a little bit blurry but not as bad as it was when he first came to. He didn't know what was worse a Rodney McKay that wouldn't shut up, or a Rodney McKay that was being way to quiet. But he knew that if he didn't strike up a conversation soon he would probably fall asleep and how was he going to get himself and Rodney out of here if he was asleep.

"So Rodney," John asked. He was answered with silence.

"Rodneyyyy," he tried again

"Hmmm?" Rodney answered distractedly

"Rodney!" John said a little louder, this got Rodney's attention.

"What?" Rodney asked looking over at John and was concerned when he saw how pale he looked. He also looked like he was having trouble keeping his eyes open.

"Major you shouldn't fall asleep, you probably have a concussion." Rodney told him seriously.

"No kidding." John gave a little laugh.

Rodney moved over and sat next to him. He didn't like this one bit. He hated sitting here doing nothing. There was absolutely nothing in this room, not even a mattress. Rodney felt useless. At least most of the other times that they has been captured or in trouble Rodney had been able to fiddle with things to help try and get them out of trouble or at least keep his mind occupied while one of the others came up with a brilliant idea. Besides this was all his fault. It had been his idea to come out a have a look and he had been so careless when he actually found the device. Maybe if he had of listen to the Major and been careful they could have avoided this all together. So for the last five minutes he had been standing there thinking about all the horrible things that could happen to them now that they were stuck here and Major Sheppard had a concussion. The fact that Sheppard had been knocked unconscious twice now couldn't be good for him. Looking at the Major helped that theory. Quite frankly he looked like shit. Rodney hadn't had that many friends at all really and he didn't want to be the cause of killing one of the only friends he had had.

Get a grip Rodney he thought. He had a habit of rambling on to himself but right now he couldn't afford to so put his attention back onto his friend. Johns eyes were starting to close.

"Major! Stay awake!" Rodney ordered.

"I know, I know." John said irritably. "So Rodney, how the hell did Maul manage to through me into the wall without even touching me?" He asked sounding tired.

"Actually I was thinking about that. I don't know whether you noticed but he was wearing something around his hand. It looked similar to a Goa'uld Ribbon Device."

"That's the second time you have mentioned about their technology being similar to the Goa'uld." John observed.

"Hey yeah it is. Well I don't think they are Goa'ulds."

"Why not? We came out here why couldn't they? Besides have you actually met a Goa'uld Rodney?" John asked "I've got the feeling that Atlantis is the first time you've ever done any field work which is Stargate related."

"Well no, I haven't met one in person, but I've worked very closely with people that have," Rodney answered indignantly.

"Let me guess would this be the famous Samantha Carter that you seem to idolize?" John Smirked.

"I don't idolize her! We are close friends if you will!"

"whatever, I think we strayed off topic."

"Ahh yes well anyway as I was saying I dong think its an actual Goa'uld. And they wouldn't have the power to get here either. But I guess they could have a similar technology. I mean we have met races that are similar to us."

"True I guess, but you know what?"

"What?"

"None of this information really helps us does it?"

"Not really." Rodney sighed.

Rodney looked at Sheppard. He was looking worse.

"Major maybe it wouldn't hurt if you did get some sleep." Rodney continued when it looked like John was going to interrupt. "I could wake you up every hour or sooner if Maul comes back." he suggested

John smiled hearing Rodney use his nickname for their captor but felt maybe he did need to rest if he was going to be any good.

"Okay but don't forget to wake me, its dangerous enough for me to sleep as it is."

"Of course, you can count on me Major." Rodney said taking off his jacket, balling it up and placing it on the ground for John to rest on.

"Okay then." John said laying himself down and was asleep as soon as he layed his head on Rodney's jacket.

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Ford, Carson, Stackhouse and Sergeant William Greene had been following Teyla through the forest for half an hour. They had left the two other members of Stackhouse's team and the 2 Marines that had come with Carson to mind the jumper. Carson felt weird carrying a gun. He was a doctor for Christ's sake. If only his mother could see him now. Suddenly Teyla stopped silently telling the others to stop. She crouched down tucking her auburn hair behind her ear.

"Teyla? Did you find something?" Ford asked as he crouched down next to her.

She pointed to some markings on the ground and the starts of broken twigs.

"I believe that this is where the trail starts up again. It appears that they might have been carrying something heavy." she told them as she moved on studying the trail.

"There's our proof, they were definitely carrying McKay." Ford joked.

Carson smiled as did the rest of the team. Carson didn't think that Rodney would have appreciated that comment very much though.

"Okay le'ts get going again. Teyla lead the way." ordered Ford.

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Rodney woke with a start. Realising he must have dozed of he berated himself. Now was not the time to be sleeping he was supposed to be keeping an eye out. He looked over at John and found that he was still asleep. He looked down at his wrist to look at the time but realized once again that his watch must have been taken from them. Rodney had no way of knowing how much time had passed now. He was supposed to wake the Major up in an hour. Hopefully too much time hadn't gone by. He got up and stretched his legs. Once he had stretched out all the kinks he went over to john to try and wake him up.

"Major! Time to wake up!" he said giving him a little shake.

All he got from his efforts was a groan. So he shook him a little harder.

"Go away," John mumbled. Clearly he didn't want to be waking up.

"Sorry Major no can do. Come on get up and let me check your head."

John cracked one eye open and looked at McKay.

"Go away I don't wanna wake up." he said in a childish voice.

"What are you, like ten years old? I'm not arguing with you over this. Come on and get up." Rodney said with some authority in his voice.

"What are you, my dad?" John grumbled as he slowly got up.

Besides the grumbling Rodney had to admit that john looked remarkably better. Even his complexion had improved.

"How do you feel?"

"I'm tired and still have a little headache but I feel much better than before," John answered honestly then continued "and I'm only seeing one of you thank god! Two Rodney McKay's is a nightmare."

"Well thank you very much Major. I sit here and worry about you and you insult me."

"It was a joke McKay settle down." John told him then mumbled "sort of."

"What was that?" Rodney asked suspiciously.

"Nothing. Hey Rodney help me up will ya?"

"Are you sure?"

"Rodney I was hit on the head I didn't have my legs broken. Help me up!"

Rodney helped John stand. He wavered a little a first and leaned into Rodney but then straightened up and to Rodney's surprise stayed that way. John let go of Rodney's arm and took a slow walk around the small room. He's been laying and sitting for a good while he needed to start moving around. He put a hand up to his head and pressed down on the bandaged injury and winced. It still hurt a little but it was bearable.

Rodney watched the Major walk around the room. John was a sight to be seen. With that bandaged wrapped around his head and his black hair standing up every which way. While he was observing, a thought occurred to him. Rodney was hungry. He felt around his pockets and found what he was so desperately looking for. A power bar.

"Why may I ask do you have bandages and food in your pant pockets when everyone else uses their vests like they are supposed to?" John inquired holding out his hand when Rodney handed him half of the power bar.

"Emergencies Major, emergencies and I don't hear you complaining right now." Rodney answered smugly. John just smiled as he bit into the power bar.

Just as they had finished their power bars they heard the sound of the door unlocking again and opening. Both John and Rodney backed up the back wall and waited. The captor that had been designated Darth Maul walked into the room and just stared at John, again not saying a word. John was trying to decide what to say and whether he should say a word. He wasn't exactly happy with the thought of another head injury or any other injury for that matter. But like last time the silence stretched on far too long for Johns liking and he thought maybe if he didn't make any sudden movements like the last time then he should be okay.

"Sooooo … Mr. Maul as I asked before, you wanna get around to telling us what you want us for?" John asked seeing Rodney look at him out of the corner of his eye.

He looked worried Well Duh Sheppard of course he's worried he said to himself.

Maul just looked at john for a minute longer then simply said "Follow me." Then he turned and walked out the door leaving John and Rodney looking bewildered.

John and Rodney walked towards the door and as they walked outside they noticed 2 guards outside their door. Both look to be of the same species as Maul.

They followed Maul down many hallways, always surrounding them were the two guards that had been guarding their door. Eventually Maul stopped at a door and the end of a corridor. He opened the door and motioned for John and Rodney to go through. Maul and the guards followed them inside. Both John and Rodney stopped once inside and stared in amazement. The room was massive with beautiful windows and elegant drapes and big wall hangings and one very big table in the middle of the room that was filled with a silly amount of food on it. Now John was confused.

"What? You kidnapped us and now your going to feed us to death?" he asked turning around to face Maul.

"You will eat!" Maul commanded.

"Not until I get an explanation." John answered with just as much command in his voice.

"Very well Major Sheppard." Maul agreed getting a surprised look off both John and Rodney.

"We noticed your arrival on our planet the very first time you came here. First in the ship, then you the second time." Maul explained.

"That doesn't explain why you have captured us. You do know that others will be looking for us." John told him.

"Yes the other two of your group were insignificant and provided us with the perfect opportunity when you sent them on a perimeter search. We were monitoring your radio frequencies from the moment you came to our planet so we found out who you were and of your worth to us."

"Finally we get to the part of why." John said irritated.

"We have always been immune to the wraith feeding. In return for that the Wraith were going to destroy all of us but our leaders many years ago managed to strike a deal with them." Maul explained smiling.

"You lure and collect humans to give to the Wraith." Rodney said all of a sudden realizing where Maul was heading.

"What?" John exclaimed. He looked Maul's way again "Is that true?" he asked.

"Indeed. But that is not the only reason we have captured you in particular." Maul said pointing at John as he spoke.

"The Wraith are quite interested in you Major Sheppard and anyone else from the city of Atlantis for that matter." he said his eyes landing on Rodney making him gulp.

"So you won't us to eat up so that we make a stronger meal for the Wraith?" John almost laughed. "You know what. I think we'll pass."

"You will eat Major Sheppard or Doctor McKay here dies." Maul said then motioned to one of the guards who brought up a weapon and pointed it at McKay's head.

Rodney looked at John, his eyes wide. Rodney was scared but he trusted John and John could see that in his eyes.

"Okay hold ya horses," John said looking at Maul. "I guess I might be a little bit hungry."

"Good Major. Now you boys eat up, we have our own tests we'd like to run on you before we hand you over to the Wraith." Maul told them just before walking out the door leaving the two guards stationed inside the room.

"Wait! You never said anything about any tests!" John shouted at Maul just as he closed the door. "Damn it!"

"Rodney."

"Yes Major?"

"We've got a problem."

"Thank you for pointing out the obvious Major." Rodney replied rolling his eyes.

John looked over at the guards.

"Eat!" one of them commanded as the other one set up a force field inside the room.

yep definite problem here John thought to himself and he walked over to the table where Rodney was already digging in.

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They had been walking for hours now, Carson was sure. Stopping every once and a while for Teyla to get her bearings. His mind wandering and worrying about what had happened to Major Sheppard and Rodney. All of a sudden Carson's pace was cut short when he ran into the back of Lieutenant Ford.

"wo Doc pay attention will ya."

"Sorry Lad."

Carson looked up to what had halted their progress. Teyla was standing on the edge of what looked to be a dirt road. He walked up to stand next to her and looked down at the ground.

"Are those what I think they are?" he asked looking up and Teyla

"Tire tracks? Yes I believe so," Teyla answered, then continued "The foot trail ends here. It would appear that who ever it was started using some sort of vehicle."

"So then we just follow the road then?" Ford asked

"We follow the tire tracks on the road." Teyla said with a smile

"Maybe we should take a 5 minute break Lieutenant," Sergeant Greene suggested. "We've been at this for hours now."

Ford didn't really want to stop. What he really wanted to do was find the Major and McKay as soon as possible. But they did need a break if they were going to be any use to them when they eventually found them.

"Okay guys take five."

Ford sighed. He took his hat off and ran his fingers over his hair. It was getting pretty hot on this planet. He walked over to where Carson and Teyla were sitting on a log on the side of the road. Ford took off his vest and Jacket and placed the jacket in his backpack. Putting his vest back on he took a look at the Doc. He was sweating and looked tired.

"Hey Doc! Why don't you take off ya jacket it makes the world of difference."

"Aye I think I will," Carson replied taking off his own jacket. "It's been a long time since I did this much walking."

"Well we probably have a bit to go yet Doc you think you can make it." Ford smirked.

"Not to worry Lad, I won't slow us down." Carson said earnestly.

"Never thought you would Doc." Ford Replied smiling then turned to look at Stackhouse and Greene as they made their way over.

"Lieutenant! I'm picking up some radio waves and some energy signatures on my scanner," Stackhouse told him "I think that must conclude that there is a civilization on this planet."

Ford nodded.

"Wait a second here. I've been wondering something since we got here. Wasn't this planet deemed uninhabited?" Carson asked from where he was still seated next to Teyla.

"A lot of planets have been deemed that Doc and a lot of the time it turns out they aint."

"I believe we should move out again." Teyla said as she stood up.

"Your right. Okay Teyla you got point. They it's me, the Doc, Stackhouse and you've got our six Greene. Lets head out." Ford ordered.

Everybody took their positions and started walking down the road. Carson was starting to think that after they got Rodney and Major Sheppard back he wouldn't need to work out ever again.

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John watched as Rodney continued to eat. He had known for a while now that Rodney's appetite was big but never did he think that the man could eat that much. They had been left in the room for about an hour as far as John could tell without a watch. John had eaten a little but the thought that he was eating to make him a better meal for a Wraith sort of turned him off his food. He continued to watch Rodney with nothing better to do. Rodney must have felt eyes on him because he finally looked up from his food.

"What?"

"Are you sure you're eating enough?" John asked sarcastically.

"Ha ha. You know surprisingly this stuff is pretty good. Besides I don't have anything better to do."

"I don't know how you can eat so much when we are being locked up here by crazy people who are going to feed us to the Wraith?."

"And what do you suppose I do Major? Go on a food strike? Die of Hypoglycemia? If I'm going to die I don't want it to be of starvation. Do you realize how long it was since we ate before all this food?" Rodney ranted

"No. Do you?"

"No. But it was a while so excuse me for enjoying my last meal before I DIE!" Rodney stressed the last word.

"Relax McKay we aren't dead yet." John said rolling his eyes.

"Well if you know a way to get out of this be my guest but right now I'm trying to keep my mind occupied with me eating this food rather than the Wraith feeding on me thank you."

John shook his head, Rodney and certain doom situations really didn't go well together. At this rate Rodney would probably die of and overdose of food before the Wraith got their hands on him. But John understood that Rodney had his own way of dealing with things. Just like he used humor in certain situations. He turned to look at the guards that hadn't moved a muscle since they were put in here an hour ago. They looked to be of the same race as Maul. It made him wonder how the puddle jumper didn't detect this race of people. Looking out the window he could see that their city wasn't exactly small. It kind of looked like a city you would find on Earth. Also they weren't the most primitive people they had come across either. He was also wondering what was happening on Atlantis. Had Weir sent out a search party? Of course she has you nit he thought to himself. Teyla and Ford and some of the friends were probably on their way here right now. His only hope now was that they got here in time, because right now he couldn't see how he or Rodney were going to get out of this themselves. He looked back at the guards again. It was kind of annoying how still they had been so John was going to try to do something about that.

"So … You got a name?" He asked as he walked over to the edge of the force field.

The guard stayed silent.

"Come on a little conversation gonna kill ya?"

"You have no need to know my name," The guard sneered.

"Well you seem to know mine and I think it's only fair." John stated.

The guard just stared past john with a sneer on his face. John really hated it when people ignored him. He really hated it even more when said person had kidnapped him and his friend to feed to a life sucking alien.

"Okay you don't wanna tell me your name. That's fine." John said looking both guards up and down. "I know you can be Thelma and you there can be Louise." He stated pointing to the other guard.

"Major what are you doing?" Rodney asked from his place at the table where he had surprisingly stopped eating.

"Just creating a little bit of conversation Rodney, that's all."

"So Thelma your boss said something about conducting some tests … care to elaborate?" John asked turning back to Thelma.

"You will find out shortly."

Just as John was about to reply the door to the room opened and Maul stepped into the room. Rodney stood up from the table and walked over to stand next to John. John felt he should congratulate Rodney because outwardly to everyone who didn't know him he looked quite calm. Only John could see that he was very nervous.

"Maul! I would say it's nice to see you again but in fact it's …. Not." John remarked.

"I see you haven't lost your sense of humor Major." Maul commented looking amused.

"No actually he was telling the truth." Rodney said. Maul just smiled.

"Lower the force field and bind their wrists behind their backs. We have tests that I would like to run on them before the Wraith arrive to collect them." Maul told Thelma.

"Yes Commander." Thelma replied

"So tests?" John asked "What tests did you have in mind?"

"We know you possess something within your body that allows you to use Atlantean technology. Since we have discovered some of their technology in the ruins where we found you in. It would be handy for us to be able to use it. I must warn you, our medical abilities aren't as high as we would like. I've been told these tests might be quite painful. I'm sure however that you will not be permanently damaged. The Wraith have their own information that they would like out of you before they feed on you. Giving you to them has saved us from their wrath for many months. That in itself is a rare opportunity." Maul told them as he watched Thelma and Louise bind their hands behind their back.

"Well gee we feel so honored …. Not!" Rodney said sarcastically.

"There is no more time for explanations. The Wraith will be here soon and we need to run these tests." Maul said and with that walked out the door. Thelma and Louise pushed John and Rodney forward and they had no real choice but to follow.

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Teyla held up her hand, silently telling the others behind her stop. Yet again they had been walking for another couple of hours and finally Teyla could now see the outskirts of a city. She looked back and motioned for Lieutenant Ford to come closer.

"Okay, now we're getting somewhere." he said quietly. Teyla nodded.

"Considering that these people have kidnapped our people means we don't really want them to find out we're here straight away. So everybody keep your eyes open and be very careful," Ford ordered. "… and quiet." he added as an afterthought looking directly at Carson.

"What?" Carson asked looking hurt "we're not gonna start this again are we?"

"Just a kindly reminder Doc."

"Cheeky little bugger." Carson mumbled under his breath.

They reached the edge of the city and Ford was about to proceed when they were surrounded by what Ford assumed were the natives of this planet. Ford counted at least four men, noticing that these people weren't entirely human for they had 3 little horns on their head. Ford took a quick glance at his own men and was relieved to see that even Carson had his weapon at ready. One of the men suddenly stepped forward to address Ford.

"You may go no further."

"Well we kind of have to. You see we are missing some friends of ours and we have tracked them here." Ford replied making eye contact with the man.

"I know of who you're speaking of but it is too late for them. Now you must go it is not safe for you to be here."

Ford was dumbfounded. He was expecting hostility but this guy wanted them to leave because it wasn't safe for them here.

"We will not leave without our friends," Teyla asked. "What has happened to them?"

"They will be sacrificed to the Wraith after our commander has finished with them. I do not agree with this practice which is why I sort you out when I detected your presence. You are not safe here." he repeated again.

"Excuse me you said that it was already too late for our friends. If the wraith haven't come here yet why is it too late?" Carson spoke up.

"Our commander finds their genetic coding of interest and wishes to experiment on them before handing them over to the Wraith. Now please you must leave." He emphasized by taking a step forward.

"Sorry we can't do that. We have to save our friends. Have you seen them?" Ford asked getting impatient.

"Yes I was ordered to guard them. I believe your commander called me Louise."

Ford and Teyla cracked a smile at that. Major Sheppard had a habit of giving people names if they didn't volunteer them.

"Please if you know where they are and you believe what is happening is wrong then help us save them." Teyla asked knowing it would be better to make an ally from Louise than to try and fight them off and this man seemed to have a conscience.

"To help you would sacrifice my world. That is not an easy thing to do."

"You mean that the Wraith will leave you alone if you give them sacrifices?" Carson asked shocked.

"Yes. We are immune to the feeding process and they would have destroyed us had we not made such a deal. Sometimes I wonder if what we are doing is right, no matter what the consequences." Louise explained sadly.

"You know its wrong and this is your chance to stop this. Please help us!" Ford asked hoping this guys conscience would win.

Louise stood their contemplating what these strangers had said. He knew helping them was the right thing to do because he had believed for a while now that his government had been going to far with the sacrifices. For once in his life he had to do what was right. He knew his men would follow him.

"Very well but we must be quick I don't know how much time we have. Follow me." Louise instructed.

"Thanks. Hey do you have a real name? No offense to Major Sheppard but I really don't wanna be calling you Louise." Ford smiled as he walked quickly besides the taller man.

"Indeed my name is Bowen."

"Thanks, I'm Lieutenant Aiden Ford by the way," Ford said holding out his hand while walking.

"It's nice to meet you Lieutenant. Let's just hope that we are not too late. Our medical abilities aren't as high as our weapons technology and I'm not sure when the Wraith will be here."

Ford just nodded then looked behind him to make sure everybody was keeping the pace. All the while, praying that they weren't too late to save the Major and McKay.

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John watched as the medical light shone down onto McKay's body from the machine that these people were using. He had no idea what the machine was but it sort of looked like one of the MRI machines they had on Atlantis that Carson was so fond of. Except this machine projected a light onto the patient that seemed to be causing Rodney a lot of distress. John was interrupted from his observations once again as Rodney called out in pain once again.

"Hey haven't you had enough yet?" John yelled glaring at Maul.

"Not quite. He doesn't hold as many secrets as what I would have liked."

"Well I told you before you went fussing around with his body chemistry that he wasn't born with the ancient gene. Which is why I also told you to leave him the hell alone and use ME!" John was angry now. He hated when his friends were in pain or trouble and he couldn't do anything about it.

"A few more minutes and this will all be over for Dr. McKay. We just need some head scans. You are quite different from us Major, any information I get from you both could be interesting." Maul told him with a smile as he walked around to the head of the table where Rodney was strapped down.

"Interesting? You think this is interesting? Untie my hands and I'll show you interesting!" John said angrily.

"Now, now Major no need to get aggressive. What we are doing here is helping my people to survive." Maul said as he nodded to the Doctor to set the machine for a scan of Rodney's brain.

John looked at Rodney. He was sweating and looked to be shivering and had his eyes tightly closed. Also if John listened carefully he thought he could hear Rodney whimpering. This made him even angrier. In Fact John was seething. He swore the second he got the chance he was gonna rip Maul's head off. The machine started up again, the light flickering around Rodney's head. Rodney started to moan and it only increased as the light got stronger until he started to scream. This in turn only made John struggle against the men holding him. He was so gonna kill this guy. A minute later the Doctor slowly turned down the light so it eventually was off altogether. Rodney had become quiet but he was still shivering. Some more guards came into the room at Maul's signal and started un strap Rodney from the table.

"Rodney?" John asked when Rodney hadn't really moved and still had his eyes tightly shut.

"Major?" Rodney finally croaked as his voice was hourse from all the screaming.

"Are you okay?" John asked cautiously.

"Um … I feel sick," Rodney replied before promptly throwing up nearly hitting the guards.

Once he was finished throwing up the contents of his stomach the guards grabbed him by the arms and dragged him to the barred cell at the end of the room. They unlocked the door and threw Rodney in. He landed on the floor and curled up on himself trying to keep the nausea at bay.

"He'll be fine." Maul said still smiling that smile that John wanted to wipe off his face.

"That's easy for him to say." Rodney mumbled from his position on the floor of his cell.

"Now it's your turn Major Sheppard. We'll be much more thorough with you as we know of your abilities." Maul said motioning for the guards to untie him.

As soon as John felt the ropes loosen around his wrists he lashed out and skillfully knocked down the two guards on either side of him. He reached down and grabbed one of the weapons and pointed it at Maul. Making sure that Maul wasn't going to try anything he ran over to the cell Rodney was in, keeping the weapon pointed at Maul. Just as he was about to ask maul to throw him the keys to the cell four more guards ran into the room aiming their weapons at John. John's aim however did not waver from Maul.

"Stop!" he shouted "Any of you try anything and Your lovely commander here will be dead!"

"Your out numbered Major." Maul said comfortably.

"That maybe so but if anyone makes a move I'll make sure the one shot I get off hits you! Right between the horns," John replied noticing the change in maul's expression when he told him this.

All of a sudden John was enveloped in what looked like a blue energy blast and fell to the floor. Rodney cringed as it looked an awful lot like a Zat gun discharge. Neither of them had seen the fifth man hiding in the doorway. Rodney gingerly sat up and watched as the guards dragged the semi-conscious Major over to the table and strapped him down on it. Rodney knew that there was nothing he could say that was going to change these people's minds. He looked in sympathy at the Major. If what Maul had said was any indication, Sheppard's tests were going to be a lot more thorough and painful. Rodney could still hear his own ears ringing and feel his body tingling. One thing he thought funny that their little test had negated all the eating he had done before because he had just thrown up most of what he had eaten. His mind was brought back to the present by the sound of machine being turned on once again. He trembled as another shiver ran through his body.

"Stop this. How do you know that we are even compatible with your technology?" Rodney croaked out at Maul then grimacing as his throat hurt.

"Not to worry Doctor McKay as long as the test runs its course and is not interrupted there will be no permanent damage." Maul told him then turned to the doctor in control of the machine. "Start the test."

"How reassuring." Rodney said quietly as he watched the doctor direct the stream of light onto the Major's body.

John must have just come to because he was struggling with the straps holding him to the table. Rodney saw him tense as the first rays of light hit him and then let out a gasp. Rodney looked away from his friend knowing there was nothing he could do to stop this. Suddenly he felt the nausea come back with a vengeance so he scrambled over to the corner of his cell and threw up what little was remaining in his stomach.

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"How much further?" Ford asked making Bowen turn to face him.

"Not too much further. We keep the holding cells and laboratories on the furthest side of the city because the general population does not know of the deal we made with the Wraith. In fact our people know nothing of what our government actually does." Bowen answered looking back towards the window of the vehicle they were in.

Once Bowen and his men had agreed to help, they had taken them all to a few vehicles parked on the outskirts of the city. Explaining to Ford that they would get there faster with some transportation. All the Atlantis members had become unsettled when Bowen had explained to them what had been going for hundreds of years on this planet and then what was happening to Major Sheppard and Doctor McKay. Ford was brought back to the present when the vehicle hit a pot hole. Gripping onto the side of the car hoping that they were getting closer.

"Bowen, may I ask a question?" Carson asked.

"Of course."

"Well when we first came to this planet we didn't detect any cities or life signs for that matter. I was wondering how you managed to hide yourselves?"

"We have an invisible shield starting at the road going right to the end of the city. It doesn't protect against weapons but it shields us from detection." explained Bowen.

"How would the Wraith then, know where you are?" Teyla asked.

"I do not know. But somehow they always manage to know that we are here. Over the last hundred years or so we have moved to a few different locations using the same shield, yet the Wraith still know we are here … we are here," Bowen said as the driver came to a stop.

Climbing out of the vehicle Ford looked around. This place was like a fortress. It had to be extremely well guarded.

"How are we gonna be able to get in there and save the Major and Doctor McKay without being caught ourselves?"

Bowen nodded as if sensing that question was coming and walked to the back of the vehicle and opened what looked to be a trunk. He pulled out three long Robes similar to what he's seen some of the people of this planet wear when looking out the window on their drive over here.

"Wearing these should be able to hide the fact that you are not of my people. Make sure to keep your faces hidden with the hoods," he told Ford handing a robe to Teyla and Carson also. "I only three robes, your other two men will have to wait out here."

Ford nodded then looked at Stackhouse.

"Stackhouse, you and Greene stay here in the vehicles and keep hidden we don't wanna attract attention."

"Yes Sir." Stackhouse replied following Greene back to the vehicle they had been riding in.

"So that brings me back to my original question," Ford said to Bowen while putting on his robe. "how are you gonna get us in there?"

"It is not unusual for special visitors to come to this facility Lieutenant. I will sign you in as guests and we will make our way to the labs from there."

"Sounds like a plan," Ford replied looking to see that Teyla and Carson had also donned the Robes. "Let's head out." he added following Bowen to the building.

It surprised Ford how easy it had been to get passed all three checkpoints. This place actually kind of reminded him of the SGC back on Earth. However he couldn't imagine earth doing something this extreme behind its people's back. Exploring other planets and fighting a war behind their people back was one thing but selling out to life sucking aliens was totally wrong. That would be like Earth allowing the Goa'uld to use us as hosts in order for them to leave us alone. Wrong. Although he thought some people like maybe that Senator Kinsey if left alone might have made such a deal. Thank god he didn't have command of the SGC. okay get back on topic Lieutenant. We're here to save the Major and McKay. Not to compare These people with earth Finally they were inside the building and Bowen was leading them down a long hallway made of what looked like cement. In actual fact it was amazing how much like the SGC this place was. Ford looked back at Teyla and Carson. Both had their heads down and the hoods on. This plan could work he thought. They stopped at what Ford assumed was an elevator of some sort. They all stepped in and Bowen took them down a few floors. When the elevator doors opened they heard what sounded like someone screaming. Ford looked to Teyla and both went to start running towards the sound but were pulled back by Bowen.

"Lieutenant, I know you want to get to your friends but we must appear to act like everyone else here. If we rush down there the guards will know that something is wrong." Bowen whispered to him, still holding onto his arm.

Ford stared at Bowen for what seems like an eternity. He wanted nothing more than to get down there and stop them from torturing his friends but what Bowen said had made sense. They would be no help if they got captured as well.

"Okay, okay, let's just get going." Ford finally agreed. They made all made their way out of the elevator at a normal pace but every time they heard the scream which they all knew was Major Sheppard, they all cringed and wanted nothing more to go running to him. Knowing that they couldn't.

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Rodney had to say that he was impressed. They had been working on John for almost an hour before he had started letting lose his cries of pain continuously. Amazingly enough he had hardly made a sound during the first hour. Of course every once in a while he would yell in pain but up until now he had kept remarkable quiet. And Rodney knew that what they had been doing to him had to have hurt. He could still clearly remember his experience under that machine all to well. He still felt all tingly and sick. Now for the last 15 minutes or so John no longer held the strength to hold his pain in and his screams were killing Rodney. Rodney had practically begged for them to stop. He was sure that if he and Sheppard did actually get out of this situation that neither one of them would complain about Carson again. Rodney being able to stand again couldn't get himself to turn away from John. He didn't really want watch this anymore but he just couldn't turn away. From where he stood he could see tears of pain falling down Johns face. He was just about to shout at the doctor to stop again when the door to the room burst open. To Rodney's disbelief He saw the guard John had referred to as Louise stride into the room followed by Lieutenant Ford, Teyla and one Doctor Carson Beckett.

Upon walking into the room Ford took in what was happening. McKay was locked in a cell looking a little green and Major Sheppard was strapped to a table with some sort of device projecting some sort of light over different parts of his body. If he couldn't tell by the Major's screams that he was in pain he could tell but the tears of pain rolling down his face. This had to stop now. He pointed his P-90 at the contraption and fired. The machine fizzled and the light went out. Teyla went straight over to him and undid the straps holding him down. He was still crying out and folded into himself as soon as he was lose, nearly falling off the table. Carson strode over and took Teyla's place to get a better look at John. Knowing that Bowen and his men were keeping guard, Ford stalked over to the commander and grabbed him by the collar.

"What did you do to him?" he yelled in the mans face.

"You're the one who have hurt him more. As I told Doctor McKay if the test is allowed to run its course he would recover. YOU cut it off prematurely, now there could be permanent damage to his body."

Ford just stared at him for a moment realizing what he had just done. He looked back to where Carson was trying to hold the Major still. Sheppard was shaking so badly that Carson was having a difficult time of it, so Teyla moved back in to help.

"Hey is someone gonna let me out of here?" Rodney made his presence known. Ford nodded to one of Bowen's men telling the man to let Rodney out.

As soon as he was out he made his way over to John who was still moaning, shaking and trying to turn himself into a ball. Getting Rodney to take his place, Carson got up and walked to where Ford was still holding Maul by his jacket collar.

"Son!" He said getting Ford attention "I need to know exactly what that machine was doing to the Major if I'm going to help him."

"What was that machine doing to him?" Ford yelled at Maul.

"If you must know it was changing his molecular makeup, sorting through it. If given a chance to complete it returns everything to its rightful place." Maul sad starring into Ford angry brown eyes.

"What will happen to him now?"

"Going by past experiments he will feel sick and be in pain before he goes into shock when his internal organs start shutting down one by one." Maul explained as Ford face drained of colour. "When the Wraith get here and discover that I do not have Major Sheppard to give to them they will destroy all of my people. YOU have destroyed this planet!" he yelled back and Ford pointing a finger at his chest.

Disgusted, Ford threw Maul away from him and walked over to Carson who was back with Sheppard.

"Lieutenant we need to get him back to Atlantis. His pulse is racing and he's starting to hyperventilate." Carson told him.

"Okay we'll get going then," Ford said then noticed McKay looking a little worse for wear. "How are you doing McKay?"

"Terrible Lieutenant," Rodney answered his eyes still glued to John who was still moaning and trying to curl up.

"You can't leave us here alone, your destroying the whole planet." Maul shouted.

"Right now I don't give a damn." Ford said then pointed his gun at Maul and the Doctor and forced them into the cell that Rodney was in moments before. Locking the cage he turned around to see Major Sheppard with an arm over both Rodney's and Carson's shoulders. Just as they were about to get going one of Bowens men came running into the room.

"Sir we just got reports that a Wraith ship will be here within five hours." the guard told his C.O

"You must leave then," Bowen said addressing Ford "I will help you to get out of here and back to the forest beyond the shield and then you are on your own."

"Thank you! … Your welcome to join us back on Atlantis." Ford offered.

"I appreciate that but I brought this against my people I should at least be here and help fight … what little good that will do. Come on we must go now." Bowen said heading out the door.

Ford wasn't going to disagree. Once they got to the Forest it would take a while to get back to the Jumper with Major Sheppard in the condition he was in.

"Are you right with him McKay?" Ford asked seeing that Rodney was still a bit shaky.

"I'll be fine." Rodney answered. After all this there was no way Rodney wasn't going to help Sheppard out of this. He could do his part just like anyone else.

"Let's go people." Ford ordered. They all filed out of the room.

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The group managed to get back to the vehicles with out too much trouble. Once outside they didn't waste anytime getting into the vehicles and heading off Bowen and the rest of the Atlantis team squeezed into one vehicle and left the rest of Bowens men back at their secret little base. Teyla could see that Bowen was driving as fast as he could and she just hoped it would be fast enough. Major Sheppard was going downhill fast and she would be more comfortable with them being off the planet and Sheppard in the infirmary. She thought that Carson was an amazing doctor and she was confident that he would be able to help the Major once they got there. Teyla was squeezed up front in between Bowen and Lieutenant Ford. She looked behind her where Carson and Doctor McKay had Major Sheppard situated between them. She was surprised to his eyes open slightly albeit a bit unfocussed but she thought that, that might be a good sign.

Major John Sheppard felt as if he was flying. He opened his eyes slightly to find that somehow he was no longer strapped to that damn table but he was in what looked like a car with the rest of his team And was that Louise driving? he thought to himself. He was wondering what the hell he had missed when his body was wracked with incredible pain. He closed his eyes tightly and groaned it out. He realized then that he couldn't stop shaking and every once and a while he felt like a wave of pain pass through his body like when Maul was conducting is experiment. He was freezing cold but was also sweating like a pig. He opened his eyes again and saw two Rodney's looking at him. God now I'm seeing things he thought.

"Are you okay Rodney?" he asked but it came out more slurred and quiet than he would have liked. He wasn't sure for a moment if Rodney had heard him.

"Am I alright?" Rodney asked bewildered. "Surprisingly I think I'll live."

"Goooood!" John ground out as a wave of pain passed through him again.

He felt arms around him tighten. He turned to the other side of him and saw Carson next to him. The Doc was asking him something but he couldn't hear anything because the rushing sound in his ears had gotten too loud. He nearly doubled over again as another wave rushed over him and he felt both Rodney and Carson tighten their hold on him.

Ford could hear Sheppard's fast breathing behind him and was just about to tell Bowen to step on it when he realized that they were on the dirt road. Once they hit the spot Bowen, Teyla and Ford got out. Ford opened the back door letting Greene and Stackhouse out first, and then he helped Rodney and Carson with Sheppard. As soon as he saw that Carson and Rodney had a good hold of the writhing Major he turned to Bowen.

"You sure you wont come with us?"

"Yes I am sure. Staying with my people is the least I can do. The general public had no idea this was going on, those are who I am staying and fighting for." Bowen replied and repeated Ford gesture from before by extending his hand.

"You're a good man Bowen and we thank you," Ford said accepting the handshake "And we better be going."

"Good luck."

"Thank you." Teyla said as she passed him.

Bowen watched as the people from Atlantis made their way into the forest and hoped that his good deed hadn't been made too late and he also hoped that he hadn't made it in vain. Making sure that they made it all the way into the forest he jumped into his vehicle and headed back towards his city knowing that he had done the right thing no matter what the ramifications were.

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The going had been slow with Sheppard stumbling and doubling over on more than a few occasions and Ford was glad that they weren't trying to be quiet because Sheppard would have given them away ages ago. Not that it was his fault. Ford was just hoping that they didn't get him back to Atlantis too late. All he could here now from the Major now however was his harsh breathing for he had collapsed into unconsciousness 10 minutes ago. Ford didn't know whether that was good or bad. Thankfully the Puddle Jumper was just coming into view. Ford and Teyla ran the rest of the way to the Jumper and met up with the airmen who had been assigned to wait with the Jumper.

"Lieutenant, you've been gone for a long time. The sensors just picked up a Wraith Ship entering the atmosphere."

"We ran into a little bit of trouble but we need to get back to Atlantis as soon as possible and put the Jumper into stealth." Ford ordered as he heard the rest of the team reach the Jumper.

Once everyone was inside the Jumper the pilots took off for the gate and Carson and Rodney laid the Major down on the side seats of the Jumper. Rodney looked dead on his feet but he still sat there holding onto Sheppard as he twitched from painful muscle spasms. Carson looked extremely concerned as did Teyla. Ford looked up and saw that they were approaching the gate.

"Sergeant dial the gate and radio Atlantis and tell them we have a medical emergency incoming." Ford ordered then returned to the back of the Jumper to wait with his friends.

As soon as they made it through the gate and the Puddle Jumper landed in the Jumper bay the back hatch opened, medics came pouring in with a stretcher and other equipment whisking Carson and Major Sheppard away before any of them could blink.

Elizabeth made her way through the commotion and watched as they wheeled a very sick looking Major Sheppard away with Carson hot on their heels. She made her way up the ramp and into the jumper where the three remaining members of SGA-1 were still standing.

"Is everyone alright?" she asked looking very concerned

"Umm ... I don't know," Rodney answered before going an even paler and suddenly collapsing in a heap, Ford just catching him in time for him not to hit his head on the floor.

"We have another medical emergency in Jumper-1", Elizabeth called into her radio while kneeling down and putting a hand on Rodney's shoulder. Looking at Ford and Teyla she asked. "What happened to him?"

"We are not entirely sure Doctor Weir but we believe he experienced the same as Major Sheppard to a less degree. We do not have the full story as yet." Teyla informed her while they all moved out the way for the medics to put Rodney on his own stretcher. They all watched in silence as he was wheeled away.

"I assume we are all going to the infirmary?" Elizabeth asked receiving nods from both Teyla and Ford. They all headed down to the infirmary to wait on news of their friends.

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Doctor Rodney McKay felt extremely tired, like he hadn't slept in weeks. Although he knew that wasn't true for here he was waking up to the sounds of the infirmary. He really didn't want to open his eyes. He would have definitely preferred going on back to sleep but he felt as if there was something he needed to know. So he slowly opened his eyes. Yep that's the infirmary ceiling alright he thought. He looked to the side and found that Teyla was sitting next to his bed sound asleep. She looked peaceful when asleep. He was wondering what had happened to him when it all came rushing back to him. Getting kidnapped, doomed to be Wraith food and the horrible tests they were conducting on him and Major Sheppard. Then he remembered that the Major had been in pretty rough shape the last time he remembered seeing him. Figuring that he wasn't going to find anything out until he spoke to someone he supposed he should wake Teyla.

"Teyla!"

At hearing his voice Teyla opened her eyes. Realizing she had fell asleep she sat up straight and looked at Rodney. He looked a little better.

"I'm sorry Doctor McKay I must have fallen asleep. I was with Major Sheppard most of the night." she explained standing up to stretch the kinks out of her back from falling asleep in the chair.

"No, no that's okay. How is the Major?" Rodney asked but he didn't think he was going to like the answer when he saw Teyla's expression change.

"Not good. Aiden is with him now. Doctor Beckett is still hopeful that they will be able to help him but as yet they have found nothing." Teyla explained sadly.

Rodney didn't know what to say. He had been sure once they got the Major back to Atlantis that Carson would be able to work his magic and fix what ever was wrong with Sheppard.

"Surely there's something that can be done." Rodney exclaimed.

"Doctor Beckett and his team having been working ever since we got back. Doctor Zelenka and Aiden have been going through the Atlantis mainframe to see if we might have the same machine used on you both, here."

"Why would we have one here I thought that was Maul's technology?" Rodney asked confused.

"Maul?"

"Major Sheppard called the Commander guy Maul because he thought he looked like Darth Maul from Star Wars," Rodney explained but still got a blank look from Teyla.

"Right, you wouldn't know about that. Anyway I thought that was their technology."

"Both Aiden and I agree that the machine looked like something we had seen here in Atlantis. We are not sure where or what it is but they are checking just incase. It may be possible that could be Major Sheppard's last hope." Teyla told him grimly

"Why wouldn't I have noticed it was an ancient machine?" Rodney asked both himself and Teyla.

"I think you were a bit preoccupied at the time Doctor McKay." She said with a small smile.

Rodney nodded. Getting your molecular structure fiddled with could do that to you he supposed.

"How long have I been out?"

"Almost a day."

"What's the Major's condition?"

"Doctor Beckett is considering putting him on a respirator because his breathing is getting more labored, he is running a high fever and he starting to show signs of kidney failure." she told him.

"Can I see him?" he asked hopefully.

"I am unsure I'll go get Doctor Beckett for you," Teyla said getting up to go in search of Carson.

Rodney laid his head back and shut his eyes. God he was tired still. But he had to get up and see Major Sheppard. They had been through a lot together and not just this last mission. The whole team had been through a lot together and had become almost like family to one another. This had at first surprised Rodney because he had never had the greatest of Family structures. Even he and his sister had never really been close. So getting use to caring about people and those people actually caring about you right back was a little difficult at first. So he absolutely must be allowed to go and see Sheppard regardless of what Carson said. He was ready for the fight because John Sheppard had been one of the best friends he had ever had.

"Rodney?" Carson's voice brought him back to the present and he opened his eyes.

"Carson."

"How are you feeling?" Carson asked looking at him skeptically.

"I'm tired but otherwise fine." Rodney answered.

"I hear you want to go see Major Sheppard."

"Yes and I'm fine so …" Rodney said ready to argue.

Carson studied him for a few minutes and just when Rodney was going to argue his case he made his decision. If wasn't like Rodney to lie about his health. If Rodney McKay was sick the whole of Atlantis would hear about it.

"Okay Lad on one condition, you take it easy and if you have any symptoms you come straight back here." Carson told him sternly.

"You have a deal." Rodney smiled and put his legs over the side of the bed. Looking down he realized he was missing something. Carson Knew what he was thinking before he even said it.

"I just sent Teyla to get you some clothes. She should be back any minute," Carson said just as Teyla entered the room holding a stack of clothes. "See told ya."

"Thanks." Rodney said as he motioned for them to give him some privacy. Closing the curtain around his bed.

Rodney came out from behind the curtain a few minutes later fully dressed.

"Okay all set."

"Very well. The Major is this way." Teyla said leading him to the other side of the infirmary.

Once in front of the Major's bed Rodney couldn't believe what he was seeing. John looked as white as a sheet besides his cheeks that were pink, indicating fever. He had an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth to help him breath and was hooked up to a dozen different wires and tubes and machines. Rodney looked to the heart monitor and saw that his heart was still beating. Even when John had that ugly Wraith bug thing stuck to his neck did he look this bad. Rodney walked up to the head of the bead and put a hand on Johns forehead and was shocked at the amount of heat radiating off it. He pulled his hand away and went to stand back next to Carson again. Teyla moved in and sat down next to John's bed. Rodney watched as she got a wash cloth from the bowl next to his bed and began wiping his face down.

"What are you doing for him?" Rodney asked turning to look at Carson.

"There's not much I can do for him. I thought it was safe enough to give him something for the pain and something to help bring down his fever but his body is shutting down Rodney and there is nothing much I can do about it." Carson told him looking tired and frustrated.

"So what we're just gonna let him die then?"

"We're not letting him do anything Rodney. Do you think I like this?" Carson asked looking hurt.

"Sorry."

"That's ok Lad we're all frustrated by this. Lieutenant Ford hasn't stopped since we got back. I think he is blaming himself for the Major's condition because he stopped the test prematurely." Carson sighed.

"It wasn't his fault." Rodney exclaimed.

"Aye I know but try telling him," Carson said as Ford and Zelenka came rushing into the room with big smiles on their faces.

"Doc I think we found it!" Ford exclaimed excitedly.

Both Ford and Zelenka didn't stop to explain. They walked straight through to the infirmary and opened up a door that Carson hadn't realized was there all this time. They walked in and a few minutes later walked out wheeling a machine that looked the same that they had seen on the planet.

"If we hadn't been looking through the database we would never of known it was here." Zelenka said turning to look at Carson who was standing there with a shocked look on his face.

He couldn't believe that there had been a room there and he hadn't realized. They had been here eight months and no-one had known. Amazing.

"Well that's the machine alright," Rodney said walking up to it. "Can you fix him now?"

"I'm not sure Rodney. I'll have to take a look at it. Maybe there's a way to finish off what it was doing to him," Carson told them looking closely at the machine. "I'll try to be as fast as possible." Carson said rolling the machine away Zelenka following him close behind. Leaving the four members of SGA-1 alone. Rodney walked over to the other side of John's bed and looked down at him. The oxygen mask was all fogged up and he looked like his breathing was getting worse. Looking at the machines around the Major's bed he could see that his heart rate and blood pressure were both elevated. Teyla continued to wipe down his face with the wet wash cloth. Ford looked like he didn't know what to do, standing at the edge of John's bed. Rodney not being the normally the sentimental type wasn't sure what to do either. Eventually after a few minutes of just starring Rodney picked up Johns limp hand.

"I am sure he knows we are here Doctor McKay." Teyla smiled approvingly.

"Maybe I should go …" Ford stumbled. Getting an exasperated look from Rodney.

"For Christ's sake Lieutenant, grab a seat and sit down. This is not your fault!" Rodney snapped.

"Tell that to him." Ford snapped back.

Teyla couldn't believe they were arguing at time like this and was going to tell them to stop when she thought she heard something come from the bed. Looking down at John's face she saw that his eyes were half open.

"Major?" she asked getting the attention of Rodney and Ford. They all leaned in more Rodney keeping a firm hold on John's hand.

John just nodded. He figured he must be dying, Rodney was holding his hand. Besides he had never felt this bad ever.

"How do you feel?" McKay asked.

dumb question McKay how do I look he thought as he slowly turned his head in McKay's direction. Seeing the look of concern on Rodney's face, he squeezed his hand.

"Hot … sick." John said looking back at Teyla.

She had to lean in to hear him because his voice was so weak and it was hard to hear it over the oxygen mask. But she got the message.

"I know you are Major but you'll be better soon." she said soothingly wiping his damp hair away from his forehead. The only response she got was a tiny shake of his head. Then his eyelids fluttered closed. Somehow he still managed a good grip on McKay's hand. So Rodney held on even more.

Elizabeth walked in the room to find Ford, Teyla and Rodney hovering over the infirmary bed.

"I just got word from Doctor Beckett. They think they might be able to reverse the test." she told them with a smile on her face. They looked like they needed some good news.

"That is wonderful." Teyla stated. Ford and McKay just sighed. It wasn't over yet, this actually had to work.

"Carson said he'd be ready in a minute so I thought I'd like to stay with him too." Elizabeth told them.

They all just nodded at her and the four of them fell into a silence and watched as John struggled harder and harder to breath.

It didn't take long for Carson to come barreling into the room pushing the machine.

"I'll need everyone to move out the way and I need to get him unattached from all this equipment," Carson ordered Moving in on John and started removing tubes and wires and then he slipped off the oxygen mask. Without it, his breathing seemed even worse.

"Wont he die without all that stuff Doc?" Ford asked anxiously.

"Hopefully this wont take long." Carson said distractedly while getting the Major ready.

"Okay. I'm not 100 sure that this is going to work but there is nothing else I can do for him so this is our last chance." he turned to look at his four friends. They all gave him a nod as if to say go ahead.

He turned to the machine and positioned it next to the bed.

"Okay here goes," Carson said and switched on the Ancient machine.

They all stood still, their eyes glued to John, who's body had become tense as soon as the light hit him. Thankfully though he was too out of it for it to cause him too much pain. He let out a moan now or then but otherwise was silent. It only took 10 minutes until the machine stopped what it was doing and shut itself down. Carson moved it out the way and grabbed John's wrist while putting a hand on his forehead. Carson smiled his pulse was still racing a bit but was better than before.

"I think it has worked but I need to run some tests on him to be absolutely sure. I recommend you all go back to your quarters and get some sleep." Carson told them.

"I'd rather wait here Doc." Ford told him.

"I could make it an order son," Carson warned him. "This could take a while and you all look dead on your feet, now go."

They all reluctantly left the infirmary but they all doubted that they were going to get much sleep until they knew that Major Sheppard was going to be alright.

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It had been a week since Carson had confirmed that Major Sheppard's body chemistry was returning to normal. Since then they had taking shifts sitting with him to make sure that he was never alone when he woke up. During that week John had woken up a few times but never for more than a couple of minutes and has Rodney had said, he was really awake when he did wake up.

It was Rodney's shift to sit with John. He had his laptop out and was deep in thought when he heard something from the bed. Looking up he noticed that John was awake and for the first time in a whole week his eyes weren't glazed over.

"Major your awake." Rodney said moving closer to the bed.

"No kidding," John said quietly realizing he obviously hadn't used his voice in a long time.

"How are you feeling?"

"Like a was hit by a truck," he answered "what happened?"

"You don't remember?" Rodney asked surprised.

"Rodney." John sighed "Why would I ask you if I did."

"Oh right well we were kidnapped, fed, experimented on and escaped." Rodney told him quickly.

"Oh well that explains it then," John said sarcastically. "Oh wait I remember Darth Maul."

"That's right, what else do you remember?"

"It's all coming back to me! How the hell did we get out of there?" John asked as Ford and Teyla walked into the room.

"Ford, Teyla and believe it or not Carson came after us with a team." Rodney said smiling.

"Thanks guys." John said giving a little wave to Ford and Teyla.

"No Problem Sir." Ford answered for them both.

"Hey I remember being in a car or something and Louise driving." John remembered.

"Yeah he helped us to get you out of there. If it weren't for him we might not have made it," Ford told him "Oh and his real name was Bowen."

"Really?" John said "I think he looked more like a Louise."

Teyla raised an eyebrow and Rodney just had a silly grin on his face.

"What happened to Darth Maul?" John asked suddenly.

"He was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi Sir." Ford answered looking confused.

"What?" John asked equally confused.

"I believe Major Sheppard is talking about the Commander." Teyla explained giving a knowing look to Rodney.

"Oh well we locked him up in the cell and left him there. As we were leaving in the Puddle Jumper we picked up a Wraith ship entering the atmosphere." Ford explained.

"Oh." John said looking a little tired now.

"Well now that we know you're gonna be alright I guess we'll get going. I need something to eat." Rodney said getting up and packing up his laptop.

"You always need something to eat Rodney." John smirked.

"Ha ha very funny," Rodney said but then sobered before he left "it's good to see you feeling better Major. It was close."

"Thanks Rodney, see you guys later."

"Ford you coming?" Rodney asked when Ford hadn't moved yet.

"You go ahead; I'll be along in a minute."

"Okay." Rodney answered then left the room with Teyla following him.

John could see that Ford looked uncomfortable and wondered why he was possibly feeling like that.

"Lieutenant?"

"Sir … I wanted to apologies. It's my fault you nearly died. If I hadn't shot that machine you would probably better by now." Ford told him suddenly finding his shoes extremely interesting.

John sighed.

"Ford I'm only gonna say this once. It wasn't your fault. Had I been in your position I probably would have done the same thing. You couldn't have known." John was glad when he saw Ford lift his head and look at him.

Ford nodded but still looked unsure.

"Think about it this way Lieutenant. I order you not to feel guilty!" John ordered with a smile on his face. Ford returned it by a smile of his own.

"Yes sir. I hope your feeling better." Ford told him and turned around to leave but changed his mind.

"Sir one thing I have to know."

John opened his eyes and looked at Ford waiting.

"Where the hell did you come up with Darth Maul? He looked nothing like him."

"He did too," John stated.

"I think he looked more like someone from Star Trek."

"And I thought we agreed we weren't going to let you name anything," John said seriously "He looked like Darth Maul." he added.

"Didn't Sir." Ford said as he made his way out of the Infirmary.

"He did too" John called out after him, sounding more like a croak because of his unused vocal cords. John nodded to himself as if convincing himself that he was right. Then he closed his eyes and tried to get some sleep.

Carson smiled as he watched from the doorway as the two friends argued over the name. Some things never changed.

The End.