Title: Botanical Aggravations
Summary: John's report from a mission with the team, a botanist, and strange alien plants that were very much alive.
Series: The prequel of of my new Lorne-centric Botanical series (being written now) except this one is Shep-centric.
A/N: This fic was triggered by the SGA Flashfic Mission Report Challenge. I went with a 'Report That Will Never Actually Be Filed Because Elizabeth Would Freak Out And Such' except mine isn't all that crazy. Well… yes it is.
I had John using 'Emmagan' and 'Dex' strictly because it is a mission report. Apologies for any out-of-character moments as I wrote this up all at once in the wee hours of the morning.
Mission Date: 12 May 2006
Report Date: 12 May 2006
Preparer: Lt. Col. John Sheppard
Offworld participants: AT:1 (Lt. Col. Sheppard, Dr. McKay, Teyla Emmagan, Ronon Dex), Dr. Parrish
Departure: 0900 AST
Return: 1926 AST
The planet was the usual temperate forested landscape, at least so we thought, with the almost-pine trees, deciduous tress, and field of pretty little wildflowers that Parrish insisted on stopping to look at every five seconds, much to the dismay of McKay.
The botanist was coerced by Dex and me to get his ass moving so we could get to the semi-ruined structure at a reasonable time.
Our coercion lasted three minutes, then Parrish was right back at it, stopping to look at a petal, a leaf, or a stem. We were stuck in the circle of Parrish stopping, Dex grunting, McKay snipping, Emmagan sighing, and me trying to keep the team together and moving.
McKay isn't even that bad as Parrish with those power readings he just has to be making up.
The last time Parrish stooped to look at a plant, Dex pulled him up by his arm and turned him back in the correct direction, something I was thinking about doing myself.
McKay spouted off his usual snarks at the sight and Emmagan attempted to politely get Dex to let go of the frightened Parrish's arm.
He refused citing that if he did, we'd never get to our destination. She shot him a glare that would've blown a X-302 out of the sky if aimed in the right direction.
I had to step in, finally getting Dex to let the man go.
We didn't have any trouble getting to the structure after that, if you don't call Parrish starting to veer off after a strange slightly-purple tree trouble.
The structure was mostly intact on the outside, aside from the caving in roof and beams, with the lower level almost completely non-weathered from the years.
Parrish ran off to look at what was left of the greenhouse with Dex on his tail as McKay strolled down into the depths of the structure seeking a source of the 'power readings.'
The ruins were obviously not of Ancient design and the 'power readings' led completely nowhere, these facts eliciting more than a few loud comments from McKay, including that he's going to hurt AT:4 for 'falsifying reports' of the planet, so he ended up as bored as the rest of us.
We headed back up the greenhouse to find Dex leaning casually against the doorway, staring blankly inside at Parrish and the plants that were still thriving uncontrolled.
Parrish looked like he was Disneyworld. Or Land. I forget which one is better.
McKay started bitching and moaning in the way only he can about there being absolutely nothing of value and his day being wasted, to be contradicted by Parrish.
It started out pretty calm until McKay started bragging about what his PhD's are in. Then Parrish pointed out how theoretical astrophysics isn't used nearly as much in everyday life as botany and cited numerous and detailed examples ranging from foods to medicines to untraceable and fatal toxins.
Bickering and threatening ensued to the point Emmagan was holding McKay back from ripping Parrish's head off.
I sent her and Dex off with McKay to keep the two scientists separated and I stayed with Parrish in the ruined greenhouse of some long past society.
The yelling had given me a headache, so I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples for what was only a second or two, I swear. When I looked up, Parrish was gone. Vanished. Disappeared. All that was needed was the cloud of smoke.
I ran over to where Parrish used to, found no sign of him among the impossibly-flourishing plants, and saw an exit. Or what served as an exit since the glass-like wall had broken away there enough for a person to get through.
Parrish was not answering my radio calls, I could still hear McKay ranting about the 'worthless so-called-science of botany' from the part of the structure he had been dragged to by the others, and a vine had crawled up my arm, thinking I would make a nice trellis.
I yanked my arm away, the vine whipped, starting moving around like it was a goddamn arm, and hissed at me.
A couple of gunshots later, it stopped hissing.
The others came flooding into the greenhouse, McKay giving some nice snarks, Emmagan looking worried for my mental health over the fact I had shot a plant (it was attacking me!), and Dex nodded in approval.
Dex and I set off to look for the wayward botanist, following his loopy path through the woods and constantly trying to radio him.
Four hours later we found him in one of those slightly-purple trees. A branch was wrapped around his mouth, making him unable to make any sounds beyond 'mmmph.' More branches encased him so only his feet and head were visible.
I radioed McKay and Emmagan to get their asses to our location and asked Dex if he had any possible clue as to how to get Parrish out of there.
He shook his no.
I spoke as many calming words as I could to Parrish as I wondered how the hell he got himself in that position.
It was a big, oak tree with a purple tint to the bark. It even had the same shape of leaves and acorns. The only difference, besides the color, was that it used its branches like arms and ensnared people.
There's a pattern among the plant life.
Dex shot the tree and only made it mad. It groaned a creaky, woody sort of moan and tightened around Parrish, whose eyes widened more than they already were.
The rest of the team arrived just as the tree's branches started to move against Parrish in a very, very, wrong way.
His eyes shot up in alarm and started kicking his feet to try to get himself out of the situation.
It didn't work.
But the tree did stop whatever the hell it was doing and I prefer to not think about it.
After much consideration and a few insane ideas, we settled on Emmagan's least-insane of idea of talking to the tree.
She went up to the trunk, below where Parrish was dangling, and calmly sweet-talked it into dropping Parrish on the ground.
He was sticky and smelled like stomach acid, which he promptly explained was because the tree was in the beginnings of eating him like a Venus fly trap does with bugs. He went on to say the movements of the branches coincided with the excretion of said digestive juices.
He calmed down once the purple tree was out of sight and we were on our way back to the Gate.
Then as we were walking cramped together between two rows of hedge-like bushes, he stopped to look at a cluster of bright pink flowers, somehow triggering them to explode a cloud of white powder in the air.
Next thing I knew, I was waking up two hours later in a heap of Athosian, Satedan, Astrophysicist, and Botanist.
The cluster of pink flowers was gone. Apparently it walked away, which shouldn't surprise me since I had a vine attack me and a tree tried to eat Parrish.
Once everyone regained consciousness, we resumed the walk back to the Gate, everyone smelling like stomach-acid where they touched Parrish during our little mid-mission spore-induced nap.
Parrish continued to try and venture off on his own, and when Dex latched on to his arm, even Emmagan didn't protest.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Block the address to MPX-585 from DHD and assign all future details with a certain botanist to AT:2 (Lorne's team).