Author's note: Many apologies to anyone who thinks I have abandoned this and my other unfinished stories. I haven't been well and so have not been writing, but I've written close to 3000 words this week on this and other things so hopefully postings will be coming much more frequently. If you've been waiting and are now reading this, thanks for your patience. I hope you like it. Let me know- J

Chapter 6 :

The explanation was brief, mainly because they knew little more than Weir already knew. They could tell her the whats of what had happened but not the whys and without the reasons behind his behaviour they all knew that they were along way from being able to help Sheppard.

"I'm joining the search," Ronan stated calmly, not really waiting for but acknowledging the nod he go from Weir. She as surprised he'd held his patience long enough for them to fill her in.

"I too will go," Teyla stated, following the Satedan, she paused long enough to rest her hand on Weir's arm. "We will find him," she stated confidently, giving a slight squeeze.

Weir met her gaze. "Yes," she stated, "We will," accepting and reciprocating the mutual need for comfort. It was a sentiment exchanged far too often between the Atlantis group and based more on faith than anything else but thus far faith had always been rewarded and neither woman was prepared to stop believing in their team until there were no other options.

Weir turned long enough to watch Teyla's gracefully assured exit before turning back to the doctor. It only took a couple of seconds for Jennifer to feel slightly uncomfortable under the scrutiny.

"I'm going to chase up those test results," she stated the nervousness still clear.

Weir knew her job, knew that Keller had nothing to feel uncomfortable about and knew that like the good doctor she had replaced that Dr Jennifer Keller would do everything in her power to help her patient, but she also knew that Keller despite all the evidence was still unsure of the signs of brilliance that had brought her to a position only occupied by the best of the best. Chief medical officer for the Atlantis expedition was no mean accomplishment. All that Keller needed to do now was accept that she deserved it. Weir gave the younger woman a reassuring smile. "You'll figure it out," she stated confidently.

Keller's eyes dropped to the floor she wasn't as confident about that, not as confident at all, but that didn't mean she wasn't going to try She met Weir's gaze again. "I'll let you know when I have anything."

Weir's hand moved to squeeze the young doctor's arm, the warmth and reassurance flowing from her. If Weir had a gift it was in inspiring confidence, in convincing everyone that a solution could always be found. It was what made her a good negotiator. What made the gesture work now.

Another significant glance was exchanged and then Weir watched Jennifer leave the room before turning her attention back to Rodney. "Rodney. . .?"

"Working here," Rodney stated, all of his considerable powers of concentration centred on his laptop as he read information and pressed keys.

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Weir offered.

For a moment she thought he wasn't going to reply and then he looked up the anguish clear in his eyes. "Take the clock back two hours so that none of this happened, so that he was. . he was all right?" Tears glistened for a moment and then his eyes dropped back to the computer, his fingers frantically tapping keys again.. "But since you can't do that, not even a brilliant physicist could. . . No, sorry Elizabeth but until I've broken through whatever he's done there's nothing you can do." He looked up again. "I'll let you know when I have something."

If only she had a dollar for every time she had been told that in her time in charge.

Happy that her people were together enough to function she took her leave, waiting until she was out on the corridor before contacting Radek. She hadn't been put in charge of the Atlantis team just because she inspired confidence. She had a few ideas of her own. "Zelenka, there's something I need you to do for me. . . ."


Ronan swung round into the doorway his gun in place and pointed instantly at the figure there. He lowered it almost as quickly when he recognised Lorne, who lowered the weapon that he had brought up to face the sudden movement. The disappointed 'oh, it's only you' expressions graced both faces for an instant.

"Too late, he's been here and gone." Lorne stated, turning his back on Ronan as he went back to checking the inventory. "He took a Zat gun, I'm hoping that means he's not so far gone that he wants to hurt people."

Ronan followed Lorne's gesture to the empty place in the weapons rack. "What else did he take?" he asked, picking up something in the Major's speech pattern, or maybe it was his body language, the concern of one soldier for another, of a subordinate for a commanding officer, of a friend for a friend. There was definitely something else.

Lorne had been in the process of opening another box to check its contents. He paused but did not turn around, his voice slightly gruff as he answered. "He took four blocks of C4 – not standard, shaped charges, and some detonators." He lifted the lid on the box and checked its contents blowing out a breath of relief that all of the grenade launchers were still in place before dropping the lid down again. "Doesn't look like he took anything else."

"Sounds like he's planning to build himself a perimeter." Ronan stated.

Lorne turned to look at him again, shifting his P90 on its clip as he turned. "That'd be my guess. Any idea where?"

Ronan's eyes narrowed as he considered. "He knows you, knows where you'll deploy the search teams."

Lorne nodded. "So we should look in all of the places I wouldn't look."


Sheppard breathed a sigh of relief when he finally reached his destination. It had been a long trip, he'd had to head well out into the unused areas of Atlantis to skirt around any search parties and then move cautiously back in. He leant back against the wall, taking a moment to brush the sweat out of his eyes, mildly annoyed that the creature he had become still had such problems, he'd always kind of assumed that part of it was due to the hair which he insisted on keeping at a length that all of the marines he met frowned at. At least the ones of higher rank than him did. The lower ranking ones were smart enough only to let their disapproval show when they thought he wasn't looking, but pilots had never had such restrictions so he was used to it, but during heavy exertion it's tendency to wilt and drip gel into his eyeline did at least give him an insight into why the military still insisted on keeping it short.

His delusion wouldn't let him feel the hair that he pushed back as he wiped his hand and arm across his forehead, instead he felt leathery flesh brush across leathery blue flesh. He felt moisture wipe away, not the slick of blood from his torn wrists leave a smear. He drew in another deep breath and pushed his weakened body away from the wall. Time to get this done.

Checking the life signs detector held level with the Zat gun, he moved round the corner and cautiously forwards.


He froze in place, cursing silently at Teyla's voice, a strange mix of concern and command in her tone. Very slowly he turned, not lowering his gun, "Teyla," he acknowledged, slightly surprised that he could still speak. He knew he shouldn't be surprised. She had been waiting for him, standing just beyond where the life signs detector would pick her up. He should have allowed for how well she knew him.

Now she took slow cautious steps towards him. Her own pistol drawn and pointed at him, her other hand with its still drying cast held protectively against her chest.

"John, please," her voice hitched slightly as she spoke. "Put the gun down and come with me back to the infirmary. We only want to help you."

John swallowed, he knew that she meant what she said, knew that she believed it, despite what he had done to her she would never accept how dangerous he was, would never take the precautions needed.

"I don't want to have to shoot you." Teyla stated.

John met her gaze, lowering his gun slightly, tilting his head to the side. "I know you don't." He waited, waited for that telltale relax that the lowering of his weapon would lead her to, waited to use her own trust of him against her. "But you should," the words came simultaneously as he raised his arm and fired, and her eyes just had time to register the betrayal for the second time that day before the exploding sparks from the stun dropped her to the floor.

Sheppard turned quickly to face the two marines coming at him from behind and two more shots sent them down to the ground but not quite quickly enough as he felt the dull thump hit the top of his leg, spinning him slightly off balance so he staggered into the wall. He ignored it. There were two more guards posted to this area and he had to get to them before they had chance to raise the alarm. Taking another deep breath he pushed himself upright, raising the lifesigns detector before moving forward.