ATTENTION! This is not a part of the sequel to 'Retribution!' Instead, this tale takes place after the events in the currently in progress 'Retribution! Revisted' and stands as a one shot vignette-y thing. The sequel covers all of Lydia Winter's adventures (let's be honest, this is Lydia we're talking about here, misadventures) on Earth, which get a mention here. This is just a nice little gathering of the four Atlantis Sues who seem to make an appearance in each other's stories on a regular basis.

It tends to happen when we're all so bloody similar and steal each other's thought patterns -glares at Nenya, Reefgirl and Bartlett while adjusting her tin foil cap-

The stories and characters/stories/authors are as follows, consider this to be required reading...they're all really good. Seriously..would I allow these people in one of my stories if they weren't?

Lydia Winter: Pyhsicist (how that happened, I'm not sure)-Retribution!-Well, by me...doi.

Crysta Santella: Biochemist-Travels Of An UnSue Mary Sue-NenyaVilyaNenya

Alex Ramsey: Chef-Cooking With Blue Mary Sue-Reefgirl

Maxine Wainwright: Teacher-Not Your Normal Teaching Job-Elizabeth Bartlett

Ok, there's one other thing (this has to be the longest PREfic author's note in the history of my prefic author's notes, and that's saying something, since, as you can see already, I'm a very long winded person)...since in my perfect little bubble of a universe, McKay and Beckett are single, I'm doing this just a tad bit alternate universe from Elizabeth Bartlett's timeline. Nenya, Reefgirl and I all seem to have written our stories in the same time frame, (seems about like mid-season two), but Bartlett's takes place sometime in the future, when McKay and the lot have children of kindergarten age. So, to explain away her presense on Atlantis, let's just say..uh...she's here to educate the Athosian children in the ways of Earth so that there's less of a culture clash?

It's just funnier if Beckett and McKay are unattached and since she paired them off (not with each other...you people, oh my God..slash on the brain, I swear). I had no choice but to tear asunder what she put together.

Don't hurt me Bartlett...pleasekthanx.

She is gonna hurt me...I can feel it. -bemoans her fate-

Meanwhile, most of this has been finished since...um...sometime in August (sad, isn't it?) and I only just got off my butt to finish it. You can thank Reefgirl for the poke/prod in that direction.

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My quarters are a mess. There's papers, boxes and clothes strewn everywhere. So I'm currently dashing around trying to make the place presentable enough for girls' poker night.

Hey, I have an excuse, shut up. I only just got back from Earth like, twelve hours ago and all my stuff is in the process of being unpacked here, there and everywhere. Ordinarily, I would have left it for tomorrow..or...you know, next week when I'd have time to deal with organizing everything, but today has just been a whirl of one disaster after another, each of which could only be solved by items in my luggage.

First there was a set of notes missing in the lab, which meant I had to search around for my backup copies (which begs the question of what happened to the backups of the backups that I left here in McKay's most capable hands). That took about half an hour, before I finally found them buried under about three months worth of Wizard, InQuest and Toyfare magazine in one of my suitcases that I still haven't finished catching up on. Then I had a briefing with Weir in which I relayed all the information I garnered while back on Earth about the ZPM regeneration project and then I had to grab all of my notes and research and get situated back in the lab where I belong.

Did I mention that McKay seems to have forgotten that I belong in the lab? He's totally taken it over...

You know...again.

I swear, I can't leave that man alone for five minutes, much less six months.

Anyway! Once word got around that I was back, I was quickly descended upon by Santella, Ramsey and Wainwright, all of them insisting that we just had to get together tonight and celebrate my return.

I think it just might be possible that they missed me...

Either that or they could smell the chocolate bars I brought back with me and only want to get close enough to tie me up and then relieve me of my stash.

I wouldn't put it past them. Seriously, it gets wild around here when the chocolate supply dwindles, especially amongst the female crew members. I heard that a marine rushed McKay for the last bar in the mess hall last week. They said she plowed him over like she was a line backer. Almost broke his back.

Poor guy.

Wish I could have been there to see it.

What? We might be on speaking terms but I'm not exactly in love with the guy, yeesh.

Anyway, I have three guests coming over who're expecting fun, games and general girl talk.

Hence the fact I'm running around like a headless chicken shoving things under my bed in hope of making the place somewhat more habitable.

Did I mention that it's not working?

Knock at the door just as I'm shoving an...actually, I have no idea what it is, but whatever it is I'll just stick it under the bed for now. Hopefully it won't crawl out later on it's own or anything.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Knockknockknockknock.

Boy, somebody's eager.

"Coming!"

Glance at myself in the mirror right quick. Hair is doing a fair impression of a gorse bush. Pat it down a little.

Still look like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. Oh well.

Door slips open, ready to greet bestest buddies on Atlantis.

Am confronted by most annoying man on planet instead.

"McKay."

"Winter."

"Are you here to talk to me or are we going to have an impromtu staring contest all night?"

"I've been waiting for your reports on the progress of the ZedPM regeneration project back on Earth." His foot is tapping impatiently, "You promised them to me six hours ago, remember?"

Slap forehead. "Right, right. I totally forgot. Uh...hang on. It'll take me just a minute to find them."

Look back at my quarters, scanning every suface that has paper on it. The files are in a folder with a hot pink plastic tab. Looking for any hint of pink..any at all and-

Ah ha! Halfway under my suitcase that's open on my bed.

The file folder has a pretty sharp crease in it, but the files are alright. I think.

"There you go."

Alright, ok...go already. Don't stand in my doorway reading.

"Uh...McKay, I'm kinda expecting some people, so if you could like...get lost?"

"Shove over, McKay!" Comes a familiar accented voice from behind him.

"And there's one of them now."

McKay steps aside and there's Alex, huge platter of snacks (most likely freshly made, knowing her) in hand, rushing through the door.

"Move, move, move, heavy, heavy, heavy."

Barely have time to step out of the way and avoid being knocked over before she plops the platter down in the center of the card table I've got set up.

"What, are you having a party?"

"It's girl's night," Santella says as she pops her head around from behind McKay and then squeezes past him with her own, much smaller tray of snacks.

Maxine Wainwright isn't far behind with a tray of her own, this one full of mouth watering looking baked goods.

"Good God, Alex, did you spend all day in the kitchen?"

She glances at me with that look of, 'Are you daft?'.

"I am head chef, my dear. That's usually what the job entails."

"I know that," I reply, covering up my 'I'm too tired and worn for my brain to be functioning on all eight cylanders this evening' moment, "I just meant it looks like you spent all day working on food for tonight, that's all. I'm starting to wonder how you managed to feed the rest of the crew."

The man in my doorway is suddenly very interested in what's going down in my quarters tonight. McKay is incredibly predictable when it comes to food, you see.

"Are those...are those cookies?"

Roll eyes. See, I told you, typical McKay.

"Why, yes they are, McKay," Alex answers him, quickly making sure that all of the snacks are arranged properly on the platter for the best asthetic value, "Lemon cookies. There's lime squares and orange bars too, if you're interested."

Ahaha. The look on his face is priceless. Hers too. She's doing the innocent eyes, mixed with a rather wicked looking grin. It's an odd combination, but it works on her.

He lets out a huff.

"Fine. Keep your snacks," McKay grouses before turning to me, "I'll see you in the lab first thing tommorow morning."

Mock salute. "Aye, aye, sir."

Alex waves a hand dismissively, "Off with you."

Brave woman.

Can't help but smile before turning back to Rodney. "Night, McKay."

He looks a little bitter, "Goodnight, Winter."

And now he's gone.

Turn on Alex, "They're not all really citrus, are they?"

"The ones that Max has are." She points at the platter Maxine just set down.

"Just a precaution," the school teacher says as she plops down at the little table that's for eating meals and playing cards, "Alex figured McKay would sniff us out eventually and that he'd be less likely to gate crash if there was something citrusy on the menu."

"Looks like she was right," Crysta adds as she too sits down at the table.

Alex has taken out a package of paper plates (I have no idea where she was keeping them. Probably had them in hand underneath the platter or some such) and is loading up a plate for each of us.

She hands me mine and shooes me towards the card table. She can be such a mother hen sometimes. Somehow she's also managed to set out a drink for each of us. How she managed it, I'll never know...

"Soooo, Lydia-"

Uh oh. Here it comes.

"How was Earth?"

I hate this question. I've been dreading this question. I've been praying that they wouldn't remember to ask this question.

"Earth was...I don't know..."

Stall. Stall. Stall.

"Earth was Earth, I suppose. Same as when I left it.

Shove cookie in mouth. Hopefully, out of courtesy, they won't press for more answers if my mouth is full.

Santella looks skeptical so apparently, no such luck.

"You're telling me that you've been gone for six months, six months and nothing happened? Nothing at all?"

You know, she's got this unnerving way of looking at me like she knows when I'm lying.

I hate that. It's like my skull is see-thru or something.

Chew. Chew. Chew. Swallow.

"Nothing interesting..."

Three incredibly doubtful looking friends glancing at each other and then back at me.

"What?"

"Lydia..."

I hate it when they speak in unison like that. It's creepy.

I stutter. "Well...erm...uh...um-"

"What happened?"

Boy Alex is scary when she shouts. No wonder McKay is terrified of her.

"Alright, alright! A lot happened! A lot of horrible, terrible, embarrassing things happened!"

Shove another cookie in my mouth because chocolate just makes the world better when you're about to be mercilessly grilled for information.

There's a bit of excitable hand flapping going on between my three friends.

"Well? Are you going to leave us wondering?"

"I might..."

WHACK.

Lemon bar to the forehead. Ew, sticky.

"Oh for cryin' out loud..." Sigh heavily. These particular memories are not the sort I wish to revisit at this particular point in time. "I got stuck in an elevator."

Maxine waves her hand dismissively, "I've done that already."

Wince. "Not with General O'Neil...and not for six hours."

"Still, that's small potatoes." Crysta picks up a small tea sandwich and takes a bite, "What else?"

"I broke my knee..."

"On what?"

"General O'Neil."

I think Crysta is choking.

Oops?

She forces down the bit of sandwich that was lodged in her throat, while Alex looks at me funny. "Is there something you'd like to tell us?"

My God that woman...filthy, filthy minded thing. "It wasn't like that."

"How did you manage to break your knee on him then?"

"Uh...well...the elevator wound up falling when a cable snapped and I kinda...landed on him." Cover face with hands.

Maxine is having trouble keeping herself from giggling. I can hear it. "You didn't hurt him, did you?"

"Not...erm...not in any way he didn't recover from...but lets just say that a particular area of his anatomy was sore for a few days."

Alex just snorted some of her drink up her nose.

Crysta is grimacing, she's trying so hard to keep from laughing, "Anything else we ought to know about?"

Answer slowly, "No..."

"Oh come on," Alex prods, "There's got to be something else."

Make a face. "Alright, so I...kinda...got held hostage."

Slam head on table.

"Again?" Crysta asks, eyes wide.

Alex is laughing, "That's a specialty of yours, isn't it?"

"It would seem so...but that's not the embarrassing part..."

"What is?" Maxine inquires, looking like the cat that got the cream.

"I got held hostage by-"

Do I have to say it? Don't make me say it...

"Held hostage by who?" Crysta asks, really interested.

Groan. "Not who so much as what."

Maxine is chuckling along with Alex, "What then?"

Suppress urge to say it with a sobbish sound accompanying it.

"Intergalactic...space...slugs."

Stunned silence descends on the room for a few seconds before the place explodes with guffaws.

"Slugs?" Maxine roars, nearly falling off her chair, "SLUGS? Like Jabba the Hut?

Frown. Stupid fair comparisons. "Kinda."

"If you say there was a metal bikini involved, I'm going to wet myself."

Alex is stomping her foot on the floor, laughing like a mad woman.

"You think I'm kidding?"

"Aren't you?" Crysta replies, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, still laughing.

"I wish I was..."

"What happened?"

"Erm...well, the Daedelus kinda blew up one of their scout ships and apparently, they get cranky when that happens."

"I should think so," Maxine answers, "But why keep you hostage?"

If ever there was a question I didn't want to answer...

"I don't wanna talk about it."

Is that an alarm?

IT'S AN ALARM!

Saved by the bell!

Literally!

All four of our headsets have managed to hum to life. I have no idea what message everyone else has gotten, but mine sounds suspiciously like Rodney McKay ordering me to get down to the lab ASAP and the girls are lookin' like they've got places they need to be as well.

"Have to take a raincheck on the snacks and cards, ladies," Alex says, getting up from her seat.

Fine, yes, wonderful, lets all get out of my quarters and to our stations as quickly as possible.

Mostly because I don't want to have to-

"But you still have to tell us about the slugs when the crisis is over."

Aw crap.