Title: DOWN CAME A SPIDER
Disclaimer: Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: SG-1 and their characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story was created for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s), not me. Thank you to the amazing writers, producers, actors, crew and directors who bring these shows to life.
Rating: Gen/T – action/adventure, angst, crossover
Status: Complete in 11 parts (or so)
Characters: McKay, Carter, Sheppard, Beckett, Zelenka, Teyla, Ronon and Weir...in about that order of weight.
A/N – This is a Season Three Story in terms of timing, but it is NOT A TAG. Just an idea I had for something which could occur soon after the resolution of Allies. I have no idea how they're going to resolve that, or the cliffhanger on SG-1, so I'm avoiding that altogether (Horrible, horrible cliffhangers, both!). But this stray thought would not get out of my head...so I wrote a story around it.
Oh, the stray thought? The fact that our friend Rodney McKay is now, most probably, the foremost (human) expert in two galaxies on Wraith technology. I'd wager a guess he's the only human with first hand knowledge of the inner workings of a Wraith ship—you know, seen it, hacked it, blew it up (hopefully)...
Obviously, there are NO SPOILERS FOR SEASON THREE. I haven't even read the episode descriptions, so...no worries there. This is all AU. The only assumption I'm making is that they manage to blow up the formerly allied hive ship. So, really it could take place in the second season except for the aforementioned stray thought.
Description: Crossover with SG-1. The Wraith target their most dangerous human enemy...but they didn't count on the bull-headed resilience of his friends.
CHAPTER ONE: THE UNINVITED GUEST
Zelenka leaned forward, staring curiously at the laptop screen attached to the main console in the control room. He had been attempting to find ways to fine tune the long range sensors, and was thus the first to see the tiny blip on the screen. The sensors weren't normally calibrated to "see" anything that small, so it was mostly luck that he spotted it at all.
And tiny it was. If the readings were right…it wasn't bigger than his fist. Looking down, he noted his right hand had unconsciously formed said fist, and he released it, so he could type.
Brow furrowing even more deeply, he typed some orders into the computer and called up a different screen, zeroing in on the object. A moment later, he overrode the current information scrolling on the large, hanging screen behind him and sent the information there.
Next to him, the Canadian tech looked up and turned around in his chair, having heard the distinct beep of new information being sent to the big screen. Others also turned their heads, watching as Zelenka got up slowly from his chair and limped over to the screen, hobbling a little on his casted leg. He leaned against the upper console, eyes scanning the information scrolling down the screen.
"What is it?" the Canadian tech asked, coming up alongside the Czech. For a moment, Zelenka didn't answer, then, with a frown, turned to him.
"You'd best get Doctor Weir."
"What is it?" Elizabeth asked, leaning into the screen as if she could make better sense of what she was seeing by getting closer to it. "A ship?"
"Good lord, no," Zelenka replied. "Not unless a Wraith has learned to fit himself into a six centimeters by eight centimeters wide container."
Elizabeth's eyes widened, and she peered more closely at the red markings on the screen. "You mean...that's it's actual size? I thought they must be percentages…but that's tiny!"
"Yes," the Czech gave a small, unsettled sigh. "It's very strange. I doubt the sensors would even have picked it up if I had not been fiddling with them."
Elizabeth tilted her head, squinting her eyes a little. That didn't help her make sense of it either, and, with a snort, she looked again to the Czech scientist.
"So, what is this tiny object doing?"
Elizabeth's brow lifted again, and she turned to face the scientist directly. "What? On purpose?"
"Yes. Without question."
Elizabeth grimaced, "Well, if it's not a ship, then what is it?"
Zelenka shrugged, looking against to the screen. "It's metal—made of an alloy designed to withstand temperatures caused by atmospheric burn. Near as we can tell, it has its own power source and propulsion system—include hyperspace technology—and…it's making a beeline for us. At least, for this planet. I have not been able to discern if it actually knows where we are."
"Is it a scanning device of some kind?"
"I don't know."
"I don't know that either."
She tried not to look frustrated, but as she turned again to the screen, to see that the dot had moved quite quickly across the screen already, which was amazing considering the distances, and shook her head.
"Well, what do you know?"
"Nothing. I can't do more than tell its basic schematics from this distance. But I'll know more in half an hour."
She frowned, glancing at him askance, "Half an hour? Why?"
"Because that's when it will reach us. It's moving almost as fast as light itself."
Halfway up inside a massive cylinder in the central heart of Atlantis, the chamber three times the size of the Gate room, and surrounded by pipes, wires, tubing, and blinking control panels, McKay struggled with the guts of the City's propulsion system, trying to fix some water damaged piping that connected the system to the City's fuel cells—meaning the ZPM room. Not that it meant they could possibly get the City to fly if he did this, not without two more ZPM's handy, but it was a great excuse to get a real look at Atlantis' engines and also…damned fun.
Like getting your hands on the engine of a Nascar stock car.
And he wasn't the only one interested.
"What do you think this one leads to?" Sheppard yelled down to him, leaning over a massive, long piece of rubber tubing hanging about twenty feet over McKay's head. The scientist leaned back on the balcony he was standing on to look up, peering curiously up at what Sheppard was inspecting on the next balcony overhead.
"Not sure; what does it look like?"
"A hose. Like to a radiator."
"Then it's probably a hose to the cooling system. Is it damaged?"
"Yes. Got several big, honkin' holes in it."
"Can it be patched?"
Sheppard disappeared for a moment, then returned. "I think, if we're going to fly this thing in outer space, we should probably try to get a new one. Just thinking about not wanting to, I don't know, explode while in hyperspace, you know?"
McKay grimaced at the unscientific notion, then shrugged and grinned. "Okay. Tell you what, why don't you go give your girlfriend over in the other Tower a quick call, see if she'll give us theirs. Better yet, you could steal it from her," he grinned, "she'd probably even love you more if you did. What's her name again? Maid Marion?"
"Mara," Sheppard sneered, eyes narrowed as he glared down at the scientist. "And she's not my girlfriend, McKay."
"Oh, right. And why was that again?" McKay's eyebrows lifted in mock curiosity. "Oh right!" he said, pointing upwards."Because she's not ascended!"
"You're such an ass!" Sheppard disappeared from sight again, to look at something else.
"Oh. Colonel Sheppard, don't go!" McKay sing-songed, and slapped a hand to his chest. "You'll break my heart if you do! Whatever will we do without you!"
"Yeah, yeah," the colonel said, leaning over the pipe again and grinning his best leering grin, "At least I'm getting some!"
McKay grimaced, and put his head down to look again at the schematics on his datapad. He had no good comeback for that one.
"I could get some," he muttered defensively, eventually. Up above his head, fully aware he'd just won that one, Sheppard started humming...again. He'd been humming a lot. It was incredibly annoying.
"Do you have to do that!" McKay yelled up, finally.
"Do what? Get in the last word? All the time!"
"Ha ha, very funny."
"I try. Look, what do you want me to do about this radiator hose?"
"How about sticking it up your—"
"Okay, okay. Take the specs of the hose. We'll include a request for something built to match in the next check in with Earth."
Sheppard snorted, looking down the hose, then gave a short laugh. "Man, I'd love to see the face on the contractor's faces when they get this manifest. Can you imagine? One 30 inch wide black rubber radiator hose pipe, several hundred feet in le—"
"Doctor McKay? Colonel Sheppard? Do you copy?" Zelenka's voice echoed tinnily over the radio, the connection a little spotty considering how far down they were. "McKay, Sheppard," he repeated, "do you read? Please come in."
"We're here," McKay called, raising his voice a little as, somewhere else, one of the engineers with them dropped something with a clatter. "Be careful, for Christ's sake!" he shouted into the air. "Delicate equipment, remember?"
"What?" Zelenka asked.
"He said, we're here," Sheppard said cheerily, humming as he took down measurements.
"You're way too perky, today, you know that?" McKay called up to him.
"I like engines."
"I know. Does that mean you have to hum 'Life is a Highway' while you work!"
"You can tell what I'm humming?"
"Despite what is obviously a tin ear on your part, yes I—"
"McKay, Sheppard, please!"
"Oh, right, sorry, go ahead, Radek."
"McKay, there is an object entering our atmosphere. We've cloaked the City, but it's still coming. I don't know if it's because it can see through the cloak or what, but—"
"Wait, object? What kind of object? And why am I only hearing about this now?" McKay was already moving, unhooking his datapad from the console and scooping up his laptop off the ground and snapping it closed. Above him, he heard Sheppard's footsteps already jogging along the upper metal balcony aiming for the stairs.
"It's very small," Zelenka continued, his tone a touch defensive, "smaller than a tennis ball. We didn't even detect it ourselves until it was practically on top of us."
"What is it?" Sheppard asked, clanging down the metal steps from above just as McKay reached them on his level, and the scientist started following the colonel down to the base.
"We're not sure. I think it is a scanning device. It dropped into the atmosphere of the planet not far from our location, then stopped. For a moment it hovered, then it started to make a beeline straight for us. In fact…oh my God…."
"If it knows where we are, don't let it in!" McKay ordered. "Raise the shield, Radek! Now! It could be a bomb!"
"Oh dear, I don't think..." Zelenka suddenly started muttering quickly in Czech, a sure sign he was worried or frustrated...or scared.
"Radek?" McKay gripped his equipment tightly, focused only on getting down and back to the control room as fast as possible. "Radek! What's happening?"
"It's too late—I did not think it would be so fast." The fear in Zelenka's voice started to grow. "Oh my God. It's like an incredibly fast moving insect—we never even saw it move. It's… It's inside the cloak." The Czech's voice was almost frantic now. "It's heading straight for the Control Tower! And it's emitting some sort of high pitched noise. The sensors are going crazy."
"Lock Atlantis down! Lock everything down!" McKay shouted, running down after Sheppard out of the massive engine room towards the transporter. "And sound the alarm!"
Zelenka didn't have to be told twice, and the claxons echoed through the corridors. Sheppard swore as he reached the transporter in time to see it close in front of him. McKay never paused, racing past him in another direction, still clutching his laptop and datapad close to his chest.
"Where are we going?" Sheppard yelled after him.
"Auxiliary Power room!" He tapped his radio again, "Zelenka, we just passed Transporter North Red, open up a route for us!" He glanced at Sheppard again as doors started opening before them. "I can reroute the sensors into there, and free up the ones in the control room." McKay swung down a corridor, then another, coming to a different set of metal stairs. Bounding up them, he tapped his radio again, his breath now coming in heavy gasps. "Zelenka, what's the status?"
"It's circling the Tower."
"Is it Wraith?" Sheppard asked, just a couple of steps behind McKay.
"Yes. We believe so."
"Damn it. Lorne!" Sheppard tapped his radio again, connecting into the security line, "Where are you? Is there anyone out on the balconies who can see this thing? Maybe take a shot at it?"
"No, sir," the major replied. "I'm in the control room with Doctors Weir and Zelenka. We have the civilians covered, but if that thing is a bomb and it decides to just break through—"
As if reading his thoughts, the horrible sound of glass exploding echoed over the radio connection.
"It's broken through the window overlooking the stairs!" Zelenka shouted, barely audible over the screams and shouts that surrounded him, as the other people in the Control Room and Gate room below obviously panicked. In the background, they could hear Lorne yelling at everyone to "Get down! Find cover!"
McKay stopped climbing on a floor about three levels up from where they were, and started running down a new corridor. "Radek! Divert Power to auxiliary!" he yelled, "Now! I'm almost there!"
"Done!" Zelenka called back.
"Major, take it down!" Sheppard yelled, the order unnecessary as he could hear the sound of gunshots over the comm.. He was soon side by side with McKay, easily keeping up with the other man.
Suddenly, the firing stopped. The abrupt quiet filled the static-filled connection.
McKay shot a terrified glance at Sheppard, then turned into the main doors leading into the large auxiliary power room. Anticipating him, there were a couple of winded looking scientists there already – a gate tech and another engineer. They waited for orders as McKay started plugging things in. The room itself was already alive with light and power, humming away happily. Meanwhile, Sheppard kept trying to raise someone on the radio.
"What the hell is happening! Someone answer me!" he called into the radio.
"It's," Zelenka's voice was shaking as he answered, his tone barely above a whisper, "It's right in front of Doctor Weir."