Chapter twelve

The Marine lands hard on his back before anyone can react. He screams and his gun flies through the air as he gets pulled under by an ocean of red and green. The vines wrap around him as soon as he touches the ground, tightly holding to him, even as the others dive in to battle the foliage.

The Marine keeps fighting as do the others, even the unknown Major who tries to get the abused door to close again, but it doesn't work completely.

Most of the geologists haven't even managed to get into their hazmat suits completely and stand there as easy targets as the plants dash into the room, snatching one after the other.

The Major tries to hold to one of the scientists as the vines grab for them, but they don't have much of a chance, so he falls as well. Ironically enough the hazmat suits indeed protect them to a certain degree, just enough so they live longer under the attack of the vines and the Acid.

Weir can't watch what's going on and closes her eyes in face of the screams - than there is gun fire rattling and her eyes fly back to the screen in time with a following explosion.

"What the…?!"

The whole hall is a single cloud of flames for a second, every last inch of room burning, than it clears out for the smoke.

"The fumes must have caught on fire…" Zelenka grimaces.

"Get the water going!" Weir orders and the Czech does so, Parrish helping along. They have returned to simple water for the fire extinguishing after the whole Peobes- body-possession ordeal last year, what in hindsight, was exactly the right thing to do.

The water starts to fall in and drowns out the smoke. Some of the people on screen are still fighting against the vines and suddenly the green stops fighting back, stops spitting and falls lifelessly to the ground.

o

"What kind of samples are in these stasis pods?" Rodney asks next and the hologram changes the feed on the screen to a pure list of numbers that come in sequence, running over the screen in reference to one pod at a time. Sheppard blinks, he don't knows half of the ancient symbols and numbers running over the screens, but by the face Rodney makes the scientist does neither

"Information…" The hologram explains. "Saved by Deucalios and his sons to be stored and preserved for future generations."

"Deucalios?" Suni is now up and over most of the shock, too. "Sounds a lot like the Deucalion the Greeks talked about."

"Deucalios, member of the high council, and his three sons were assigned to preserve the seed of life and save the information for future generations." The hologram explains with something like pride. "I am formed after his picture."

"This is sort of an ark," Rodney declares after several moments gesturing at the screen.

"An ark?" Ronon asks, by now standing beside Sheppard.

"Part of a story from the bible in which a guy named Noah heard from his god that he had to get a female and a male of every species on his ark…" Cadman explains from her position further back.

"His ship…" Sheppard clarifies. "He had to do so before his god would flood the world in order to preserve the animals and repopulate earth afterwards. Noah and his family were the only human beings on board…"

"Do you think this Noah was an ancient?" Teyla, who still sits beside her friend asks as next one. Lorne thinks about Ori and their use of their own kind of bible, and that this wouldn't be the first story of false gods in the history of men.

"Possible…" He says.

"Oh, not really. " Rodney frowns at the screen. "I mean it's possible the story was influenced somehow by a ancient named Deucalios, which is – I admit - pretty close to Deucalion from the greek mythology - who has a few similarities to the Ark story. But this is clearly not the ark in the bible sense, we don't have a male and female of every species but a couple of millions of stasis pods full off their genetics," Rodney explains and shakes his head at the readings, pressing a few ancient buttons. "I thought so…"

"You thought what?"

"This crazy flower out there…" Rodney holds up his finger and points into the air above him, wriggling his hand for emphasis. ",crawled out of one of this pots as a entire section of tunnels collapsed. It doesn't belong here but found the perfect surroundings to grow and kill the villagers..."

"But isn't that impossible? You just said the pods would merely contain their genetics?" Cadman asks.

"Well seemingly they thought it would be easier to keep the seed of the plants in the pods instead of the DNA samples they used for most of the other creatures…" Rodney snaps, and Lorne decides he doesn't need to understand anything the ancients did to know they really were not that wise and all-knowing like they had seemingly loved to pretend.

o

"Would somebody tell me what is going on?" Weir asks and frowns at the screen. The water falls on the plants and they hold still, even release their victims - or what's left of them.

"They don't like water?" Chuck says and frowns as well, he has jumped up too as the explosion occurred.

"What kind of plant hates water…" Elizabeth wonders, more than just confused.

The remaining scientists can just walk thought the green, with almost no harm from the acid thanks to the water and their hazmat suits – it's too late for the bigger part of the rescue detail though.

"Of course!" Parrish calls out. "Of course! That's only logical!" He beams brightly at the people around him, they just stare back at him in confusion. "The Water…"

They still stare.

"It rained as we went on that planet, it wasn't the temperature it was the rain. It's only logical; the rain thins out the acid to the point where an effective hunt or defence is impossible for the plant, so they hold still when it rains and hope nobody eats them." He explains grinning brightly.

"And we shall wait till it rains on the planet before sending a search team, yes?" the Czech scientist asks. "We don't even know when it rains without sending a MALP through."

"It doesn't need to rain, it just needs to be wet. And we need more of the hazmat suits." The typical Parrish enthusiasm is back, hunting the helpless feeling away.

"What do you want to do? Throw water balloons?" Chuck chuckles.

"Not quite…" Parrish grins.

o

"That's all really great, but how do we come out of here now?" Lorne asks and shifts his leg painfully, Lathia is moaning in Pain even while being out cold and that just isn't right. "We have to leave…"

"The base is in lock down modus three, leaving is not recommended." The hologram repeats its former statement firmly.

"Yeah, yeah!" Rodney makes a dismissive hand gesture at the hologram. "Okay, we aren't so far away from the gate right now. I deactivate the shielding than we should be able to leave even with the lock down modus," he types something and the screen changes back to the schematics. "The shielding is off, and there we have the door…" It shows a tunnel that leads away from the control room and ends just 100 or 200 meters from the clearing with the gate in between some of the stone pillars standing around - a distance which is still awfully long if the plants were taken into account.

"We can't run that far with Lathia and Lorne, not with the vines…" Ronon is the one to voice his protest, and as strange as that sounds, the former runner is right with that.

Sheppard bits his lip hard for a moment, that's correct, the stupid plants are damn fast and damn strong, not to mention the acid and the way the foliage has crawled all over anything out there even before the crap came alive to start eating his men.

"Okay, any suggestions?" He looks at Rodney.

"What? Me again?" Rodney blinks. "Why is it always me anyone turns to?" Sheppard glares. "Okay, fine…" He sighs and returns to his screens muttering.

"Sir, I still got some grenades with me, we could get us a hall closer to the gate and blast a hole in the roof, than try and run…" Cadman suggests and searches in her vest for the mentioned explosives.

"Yeah and they can eat us in the time we need to get our asses out of the hole…" Rodney snaps from his spot on the console, shooting a fast glare at the blond woman. "You can blow us all up later."

"Rodney…" Sheppard sighs.

"Here is Atlantis, SGA-1 do you copy!" I crackled over the radio a second later.

o