TITLE: It Doesn't Pay
AUTHOR: Wraithfodder
CATEGORY: Drama and humor and hefty doses of Sheppard whump
SPOILERS: Second season, no spoilers
NOTES: Big thanks to KodiakBear for her betaing and assistance.

Copyright Disclaimer: The Stargate Atlantis characters, as presented on the series, belong to MGM, Sci Fi, and other registered copyright holders. No copyright infringement is meant or intended by the writing and posting of this material. I'm just borrowing the characters and the universe for a piece of non-profit 'fan fiction' and will return in one piece (well, usually). However, all original characters and story material are copyright to author. Please do not repost this fiction, in whole or in part, anywhere, without expression written permission of the author.

SUMMARY: A trade mission is going well, until Sheppard is brutally attacked by some locals.


Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Or even wake up.

John Sheppard fervently hoped that he would have a tomorrow so he could regret today, and in particular, the last half hour or so.

After the surprise attack, they'd taken his guns, his knife - hell, if it wasn't bolted down on him, they'd taken it. He'd been lucky his arm hadn't come off with the watch, as apparently they didn't understand the concept of watchbands. So as the sky rapidly turned black above, he had no idea how much time had really passed; it was like when you were in a car wreck: the most awful thing in the world was happening to you and something inside your brain goes wonky and you see everything happening in slow motion. It had been very slow when they'd decided to search all his pockets - too eagerly for his taste - and rummaged through his pants. Talk about a few long tense seconds…

He was pinned to the ground and couldn't budge an inch. They definitely saw to that with almost sadistic glee. His radio was now in the hands of the enemy, which wasn't too awful as they had no idea how to operate it, and English sure as hell wasn't their first language. But they also had his guns. The last thing he needed was for one of them to find the safety on the P90 or the .9mm and then accidentally shoot him. Unfortunately the concept of a knife was familiar to them and it didn't take them long to use it on his vest – again, they seemed unfamiliar with zippers so that was one vest down the drain, but at least they hadn't sliced him open in the process.

The leader of his attackers did little more than stand over Sheppard's head, which in itself was a threatening act, since he'd acquired the .9mm gun. He also asserted his dominance over Sheppard with that stance, one that his gang certainly recognized and obeyed. Sheppard had tried a friendly smile but discovered that got nothing more than a hostile grin directed at him, and he sooo didn't want to go in that direction, so he kept his mouth shut, literally. Sheppard really didn't care for stuck in a vulnerably submissive position, with legs and arms spread-eagled and pinned firmly to the dirt by dozens of assailants if not more, especially with the leader waving the .9mm carelessly in his face.

He was really hoping they'd eventually lose interest since nothing on him seemed to be of value to them, unless of course, he was the valuable thing they wanted, and in that case, he might want to conserve all his energy for a burst of sheer unadulterated blind panic when he made his suicidal bid for freedom.

The radio crackled several feet away. Sheppard's eyes immediately darted in that direction, and he noticed that everyone's vision shot in that direction too, although alarm glittered in their large eyes. The radio crackled again – someone trying to reach him – and his assailants' grips intensified on him in reaction.

"Colonel Sheppard? Hello, are you on the way back yet? Hello?" sounded McKay's irate and rather loud voice.

A second later, Sheppard truly wished he was dead.

End of part 1 of 6