Disclaimer: insert the standard babble here
Raiting: PG-13 (just to be safe)
Notes: Written for a challenge over at sgainspreme on LJ. Lorne centered snap shot story. It's note happy and it's not really pretty.
The War No One Spoke Of
It was as though time was crawling to a stand still, giving him what he needed to make his choice. It was an endless moment where he thought that he might actually be watching the entire scene from outside of his body. He wasn't though. He was just trying to view the situation from every possible angle. Because the world was falling down around him, and Lorne had to decide if he was going to through himself off the edge and out of danger, or go crashing head first into the chaos that was sure to follow.
An endless moment that was centered on the frightened eyes of a woman he hardly knew. A woman he had only met when he came to this planet. A woman who was waiting for him to decide. There was no pleading in her eyes. No request, no question or demand. Just the stillness of waiting. Because everything hinged on Lorne's choice.
He could see it now, the impossible situation they were in. There was no way he would be able to get them all out alive. They were out numbered, out matched, and at a serious disadvantage with the terrain. There were hostages and cannon fodder filling in the gaps, bound to get in the way. It was hopeless, they couldn't win. They had to back out.
And he saw the instant that the woman recognized that same thing. A brief flash of resignation in an otherwise empty face. She had known from the start that there was no way out, no way to win. She'd known, and Lorne realized that she had allowed herself to hope, for just a heartbeat in time, that Lorne would offer her an opportunity to lash out against a cruel fate.
They were out gunned, out numbered, out matched in every possible way, and all she wanted was a chance. Just an instant in eternity to fight back. She knew she couldn't win, but she didn't want to go without a struggle. She didn't want to submit to what Fate had dealt for all of them in this moment.
If Lorne did nothing, if he backed away from this, they would live. They would be captured and harmed, but they would live. That had to be important for something. But if he had learned anything since coming to Pegasus, it was that living wasn't everything.
He had walked out on a war between Earth and its enemies, and come to Pegasus to pick up and submerse himself in an even larger one. At least on Earth the enemies had been clear, and they had been flesh and blood. In Pegasus there was the war with the Wraith – a physical enemy that with some ingenuity and a great deal of luck could be defeated – and then there was the war no one spoke about. The war against Fate. From the moment the original Expedition had stepped foot into the failing city and survived, they had tossed down the gauntlet to Fate.
They survived when they had no business surviving. They excelled where they should have failed. They soldiered on when they should have been crushed in the ground. Lorne had become a part of both wars – one knowingly, and one blindly – by choice. He had raised his own fist against Fate and it would be stupid now to back out when he was being faced with just another skirmish in a war that had no real end.
The woman wanted a chance, just a chance to take her own swing at Fate.
Lorne could give her that.
He just hoped she would understand what it was going to cost her. Hoped she understood that once she tossed her challenge into the fray she was never going to be able to back out. Because someone else somewhere was going to look at her like she was looking at him. And she was going to decide to do the same thing he was going to do.
He would give her the chance to fight back.
But it wasn't going to be enough to save her.