Chapter Twenty Three

Mohinder Suresh's Apartment

New York, Sometime Later

Mohinder Suresh sat silent in one of the overstuffed chairs in the living area of his apartment, the note Sylar had so kindly left him still in his hand. He wasn't able to stop looking at it and facing the damming knowledge that he had given one of the vilest, most evil men that he had ever had the misfortune to know the tool that would enable him to hunt down and kill everyone with a special power that he wanted.

For the first time in his life Mohinder felt like having a drink or taking drugs, anything to wash the guilt and horror of what he had done and what he would now be an accessory to away. But having been strictly t-total his whole life – not even drinking when he was in university doing his doctorate in genetics, despite the best efforts of many of his then-time friends – there were no alcoholic beverages of any kind in the apartment, and he didn't know where in the city he could get narcotics from. Enough moping, Mohinder, he thought mentally shaking himself, or trying to. Sylar deceived you yes but you can still get a warning out, at least tell Nathan, you know where he is you can warn him that his life is in grave danger.

Determination replaced his despondency and he got to his feet and made his way over to the phone. Picking up the phone he dialled Nathan's campaign office number with quick determined movements, Nathan had given it to him just in case Peter came to see him at some point. Raising the phone to his ear he was stunned when he didn't hear it ringing or even a dialling tone. What's wrong with this thing, he thought looking at the base station for the cordless phone.

And groaned at what he saw.

The telephone point was on the floor whereas it had once been on the wall, broken wires hung limply and chips of plaster showed where it had been violently pulled free of the plasterboard wall. Mohinder stared at it for a moment then growled in frustrated annoyance, it hadn't been like that before so he could only assume that Sylar had done it, ripped the phone off the wall with his telekinetic powers making sure it would be useless. If he wanted to stop me calling for help or issuing a warning then why didn't he kill me, he wondered, unless he wants to torture me with the knowledge of what I've done, though that seems cruel even for Sylar.

With a yell of anger Mohinder threw the useless phone away, it slammed into the living room wall and shattered into fragments of plastic, wiring and circuitry as it fell to the floor. Now what do I do, he thought running a hand down his face as he struggled to think of what his next move should be. Hopefully it would not be one that Sylar had anticipated and countered.

It was at that moment that someone knocked on his apartment door. Mohinder froze for a moment and the knock came again. Taking a deep breath to calm himself and banish his anger he went to the door and opened it.

A beautiful, blond haired woman in a deep blue uniform and holding a metallic briefcase stood in the hallway two fit looking young men behind her wore similar uniforms thought they lacked briefcases. "Doctor Mohinder Suresh?" she asked.


"I'm Colonel Samantha Carter of the United States Air Force, is it possible that I could have a word with you please," the woman answered.

"Now," Mohinder asked wondering what on Earth the United States Air Force would want with him.

"If possible, though I can come back later if this is not a good time."

"That depends, what is it you want to talk to me about?"

"You've been conducting research into advanced Human genetics correct; specifically with regards to individuals gifted with what can only be described as super powers."

Mohinder stared at her in shock and a hint of horror. How had the American military found out about superhumans and how had they found him? He could only imagine what they would do with people who had powers. Probably kidnap them and turn them into weapons, he thought in disgust, that's all the military ever cares about is how something can be used as a weapon.

"It's okay we have no plans to turn metahumans into weapons," Sam said seeing the expression flash across the handsome Indian man's face. "But we do need your help, in fact it was a metahuman you're familiar with who suggested that we contact you."

Mohinder frowned. Metahuman, he had never heard that word before though it did perfectly describe individuals like Nathan, Peter and Sylar who had abilities far outside the Human norm. "Who was it," he asked. "Who told you to contact me?"

"Peter Petrelli."

Mohinder's eyes widened. "Peter! You've seen him? Where is he?"

"London, England getting guidance on how to control his abilities apparently," Sam replied. "But standing out here is not the best place to have a conversation like this."

"No, no it isn't," Mohinder agreed and stood aside. "Please come in."

"Thank you," Sam answered and stepped inside, with Airmen Dave Turner and Paul Tomlinson following her inside. Mohinder closed the door after them and led them to the sitting area. As they walked Sam looked around and noticed the tell tale signs that there had been a fight here, quite a vicious one by the looks of things. Yet strangely aside from a few bruises visible on his face Dr Suresh seemed to have sustained no injuries. Something strange is going on here, she thought, but then where this metahuman thing is concerned we're all novices.

"Please take a seat," Mohinder said gesturing to the couch.

"Thank you," Sam replied smoothing the dress of her dress uniform as she sat down. Her two airmen escorts remained standing, listening in interest to what was going to be said next.

"You said you needed my help," Mohinder said sitting down in one of the chairs with a relieved sigh as some of the pressure was taken off his bruised back, being slammed into the wall and then the ceiling by powerful telekinetic attacks had that effect. "And that Peter was the one who told you to contact me."

"That's correct. In exchange for your help we're prepared to offer you as much funding and equipment as you need to pursue your studies of metahuman genetics and what the manifestation of such advanced abilities means for the future of the people of this planet."

"A generous offer," Mohinder replied a little stunned, more funding and better equipment for his research would be like a dream come true; he wouldn't be struggling with some of the outdated equipment that his father had been able to acquire before Sylar murdered him in cold blood. Who knew what breakthroughs he could make with access to state of the art equipment? "What is it you want from me?" he asked.

"Before I do I have to advise you that what we are about to discuss is classified as top secret and must not be repeated to anyone. The world is not ready to know what I am about to tell you, if you agree that is."

Mohinder raised an eyebrow and studied the blond haired woman for a moment. He got the impression that something truly momentous was in the works, that what Colonel Carter had come here to see him about was going to turn his world upside down and inside out. Part of him wanted to say no and ask Colonel Carter to leave but he was so curious to know what was happening, the scientist in him wanting to know.

"Very well, I agree," he said at last and a look of relief passed across Colonel Carter's face as he spoke.

"Thank you," she said. "There will be some paperwork to fill in later to formalise the arrangement but let's save that to last shall we?"

"Good idea, I hate form filling," Mohinder answered.

"In my experience no one likes filling in forms," Sam replied, "except the bureaucrats of course."

"Of course," Mohinder said with a grin remembering his own battles with university administration bureaucrats back in his native India, and the battle he'd had with US embassy diplomats in New Delhi when he'd gotten his visa to come here.

"What I have to tell you is going to take some time, so I would ask that you hold off on any questions until I'm done."

"Fair enough," Mohinder replied inwardly worrying about how much time this could take. He didn't have long to get a warning out to Nathan about Sylar, though the serial murderer would have to be very brazen indeed to go after Nathan Petrelli right now when he was surrounded by guards and the media – attention that was only getting worse as polling day drew closer. Hungry as he was for abilities Mohinder doubted that Sylar would be foolish enough to go after Nathan right now.

Sam nodded. "It begins back in the late nineteen twenties Professor Paul Langford recovered a large ring shaped artefact from the Giza Plateau in Egypt, it has been in the custody of the US Air Force since the late nineteen thirties. The artefact turned out to be a highly advanced piece of alien technology called a Stargate; now the Stargate is a device that allows transport to other planets in this and other galaxies via a subspace worm…"


That Same Time

Heimdall calmly made his way through the hustle and bustle of the corridors in Atlantis' main tower heading for the infirmary. He paid no mind to the surprised looks he was getting off some of the Humans who were milling about the city going about their business, Humans who were not used to seeing an Asgard wandering through Atlantis. Though Asgard working in the city had become a common site for the cities denizens over the last few days what with technicians from the orbiting Asgard battleships Mjolnir and Valhalla installing Asgard designed ground to space weapons to assist in the cities defence – supplementing the defensive grid they were deploying in orbit and the cities own formidable array of drones – few Asgard had ventured into the cities core areas where the bulk of the expedition team sent from Earth was based.

As he walked Heimdall couldn't help but eye his surroundings curiously, he had never been to Atlantis before. By the time his own life had begun the Ancients had already lost their war with the Wraith and been forced to abandon the city and this galaxy to its fate. Atlantis truly was an impressive site and an enduring testament to the absolute mastery of technology the Alterans had possessed. If the genetic problems of his people hadn't been so dire Heimdall could have easily devoted himself to probing the secrets of this cities technology – technology that in many cases was still many thousands of years ahead of what his own people possessed. As it was he had more important things to do, like finding a cure for the genetic degradation that had brought the Asgard race to the brink of extinction.

It was those genetic problems that had motivated him to head to the infirmary. He'd been aboard the Daniel Jackson going over his initial genetic scan results of both Doctor Beckett and Major Lorne when he'd got a call that Doctor Beckett wanted to see him in the infirmary. Apparently the good doctor had discovered something that he wanted to show Heimdall but was reluctant to leave the infirmary at this time due to the condition that had developed with Doctor Weir earlier this morning. While I'm in the infirmary I'll ask Doctor Beckett if he'll let me scan, Doctor Weir, Heimdall thought, considering her powers – whatever they are – have just manifested it might reveal some interesting data that would be of use to me in my quest to save my people.

It took only a few more moments for Heimdall to reach the infirmary and step inside. The facility was quieter now than it had been, most of the wounded from the explosion last week having been taken back to Earth by the Daedalus. Only a handful of the less severely wounded remained in medical care and Heimdall knew they would be released to continue with their mission of probing the secrets of Atlantis within days.

For a moment Heimdall looked around trying to spot Doctor Beckett in the infirmary, it wasn't easy with all the other Humans about along with the medical equipment that partially blocked his view.

"Heimdall over here," Doctor Beckett's voice abruptly said from somewhere to Heimdall's right, prompting the Asgard scientist to turn and follow the sound. Sure enough he soon spotted where Carson Beckett was standing, checking the vital signs of one of his patients and made his way over.

"You asked to see me, Doctor Beckett," Heimdall said.

"Yes," Beckett replied. "Wait there one moment while I finish this then we can take our discussion to my office."

Heimdall inclined his head slightly in acceptance. "Very well," he agreed and watched as Beckett continued checking his patient, using a combination of Earth medical instruments and those Lantean made medical instruments that the expedition had so far been able to interpret well enough to safely use.

Within a few moments Beckett was finished with his checks, he stepped away from the bed and turned his full attention to Heimdall. "Please, Heimdall come this way," he said gesturing towards his office door.

Without waiting for a response from the Asgard Carson started walking across the infirmary, to his office, waving a hand over the crystals that controlled the door mechanism as he did so – so the door obediently slid open for him. Heimdall followed closely behind him, having to practically run in a subtle, Asgard fashion to keep up with the Humans much longer, faster strides. He knew Beckett didn't mean to outpace him, it was just the massive differences in their two species biology that made it very difficult for an Asgard to match the strides of a physically mature Human – especially as a adult Human male or female was taller and considerably bigger than any Asgard had ever been, even before they had started manipulating their own DNA to 'improve' the Asgard race. Something that Heimdall had to acknowledge had been a stupid thing for his ancestors to do – and history records showed that the Ancients had tried to warn them to be careful and to think about what they were doing. But those ancient Asgard hadn't listened to the Ancients warnings and it was their impatience with the natural pace of evolution of their species that had ultimately led the Asgard race into its current fix.

Heimdall shook off the thoughts about his ancient ancestor's foolishness as he stepped into Beckett's personal office. "What is it you wished to see me about, Doctor Beckett," he asked in curiosity.

"I've been going over the data you gave me about your species genetic problems," Carson replied as he settled down in the chair behind his desk. "I've run it through the cities medical database and combined with my own knowledge of metahuman genetics, I've come to some conclusions about why your clones are failing at increasing rates and I believe I might have discovered which meta gene sequence you need to at the very least buy yourselves more time."

"Go on," Heimdall said in interest starting to feel the first twinges of hope. Anything that would buy his species more time to find a solution to their genetic degradation would be of great benefit.

"Take a look at this," Carson said pulling up his results on his computer tablet and turning it so Heimdall could look at it. Awkwardly Heimdall took the alien device from the Human and examined the readings displayed. "As you can see the problem with your clones is that the cells in the clone body are dying faster than they can be replaced," Carson explained as Heimdall read through. "The DNA itself at this time is still mostly viable thanks to your controlled mutational process. What you need is something that will heal the damaged cells as they are dying, or which will instantly replace them when they do die – it should also increase genetic viability as it will introduce new factors into the Asgard genome, though the exact mechanics will take quite some time to sort out and would require more precise means of genetic manipulation than what we have here in Atlantis. At least what we've found so far."

"My people have the ability to do what you suggest," Heimdall replied. "There are such devices aboard the Daniel Jackson. I will to have to confer with Supreme Commander Thor and the Asgard High Council before I can allow you access to them. It is likely that they will approve me giving you access to them, Doctor Beckett. The information that you have already unearthed will be invaluable."

"Thank you," Carson replied. "It wasn't that difficult, it helps to have access to the cities medical database. We cracked the passwords on that part of the database soon after we got here, it helps that its slightly more user friendly than the rest of the database, though I do wish the Ancients had heard of such things as search engines."

Heimdall smiled in a subtle Asgard fashion as he heard a note of exasperation in the metahuman doctor's voice. He was familiar with it; the Asgard had been studying a part of the Ancients database that they had downloaded many millennia ago from one of the many repositories that the Ancients had left scattered across a number of galaxies in the local group for longer than he could remember. They had learned a great deal from it, but there was still so much more of it that they did not comprehend, the fact that the database wasn't very user friendly – to borrow a Tau'ri term – didn't help with probing its secrets. He could only imagine how difficult getting information out of the even more complex, even more complete database in Atlantis' computers was.

"You mentioned that you had identified the metahuman gene sequence that is the most likely to help my people, Doctor Beckett," Heimdall said prompting the Humans memory.

"Yes I have, it's for an ability that is extremely rare amongst my kind," Carson replied. "It's perhaps the rarest ability of all, aside from empathic mimicry."

"Empathic mimicry," Heimdall asked having no idea what kind of power Beckett was referring to. "What ability is that?"

"It's a rare ability, but people with empathic mimicry can copy the powers of other metahumans," Carson explained. "All they have to do is be near another metahuman to first gain their power, then they can use that power and any other abilities they've copied whenever they want to."

"Fascinating," Heimdall answered and he meant it. That kind of ability pointed to a DNA sequence that was incredibly adaptive, capable of seamlessly and effortlessly reconfiguring itself. Maybe it would be something that could help the Asgard race in solving their problems. "It might prove useful to my people as correct me if I am wrong but someone with empathic mimicry would have very adaptive DNA."

"They do but it's not the ability that you really need, plus empathic mimicry is very difficult to control – but that is beside the point. The DNA sequence that you really need is the one for rapid cellular regeneration. A metahuman with that power can heal from almost any wound save for one that damages the brain, anything else even the most severe burns they can heal from."

Heimdall blinked the characteristic big pure black eyes of his race in astonishment. The Asgard had never heard of a power like that outside the Wraith's ability to regenerate – which itself was linked to their need to feed on the life force of other beings. Something that they only knew about from SGC mission reports as to Heimdall's knowledge the Asgard had never come to the Pegasus Galaxy before now, not even when the Lantean-Wraith war was in full swing – though they would have come if the Ancients had swallowed their pride and asked for their help. At least officially they had never been here, Heimdall like many other Asgard had heard rumours that the Vanir tribe of Asgard – with the exception of Loki and Freyr – had come here during the war, but there had been no proof of it.

"Incredible," Heimdall said softly. "Have you ever seen this ability?"

"Not directly no, as I said it's a very rare ability. But I know of cases of people who have that power," Carson told him. "There have been only one or two instances of a person manifesting that particular ability, all of whom would be back on Earth."

"I see, that will make things difficult," Heimdall said knowing that finding one or two individuals with a specific power out of the six billion people on Earth would be next to impossible even with his peoples scanning technology. As powerful and as advanced as their sensors were even they had their limits.

"But not impossible," Carson replied with a smile. "There are people I know on Earth who could help us, people outside the Stargate program but they deal with beings like me and Evan all the time. I'll probably need to take Elizabeth to them anyway so they can help her with her newfound telepathic abilities."

"I see. That reminds me with your permission, Doctor Beckett I would like to run a scan on Doctor Weir," Heimdall said. "I believe a comparison between the current configuration of her DNA and the way it was previously may provide some valuable data."

"It might do, but it's not my permission that you need. You will have to speak to Elizabeth when she wakes up."

Heimdall inclined his head in understanding. "Very well, I will ask her when she awakens," he said. "Do you have any idea when that will be, Doctor Beckett?"

Carson shook his head. "Unfortunately no," he admitted. "As I told Colonel Sheppard, her mind has had one hell of a shock and will need time to recover. And the fact that she was on the borderline of total exhaustion to start with doesn't help. She'll sleep as long as she needs to."

"I understand."

"I'll let you know when she wakes up."

"Very well, in the meantime I will return to the Daniel Jackson, I must speak with Thor and the High Council. Will you arrange for a copy of your findings to be sent to me, Doctor Beckett?"

"Certainly," Carson replied. "I'll have to think about how we can get our hands on the DNA of someone with rapid cell regeneration, it's doable but it will be difficult."

"Any assistance you can provide will be most appreciated, Doctor Beckett," Heimdall replied before operating a small remote device that activated the Daniel Jackson's transporter which whisked him away with the familiar silver-white flash and faintly musical tone of Asgard transporter technology.

Alone once more in his office, Carson sighed and leaned back in his chair deep in thought. After a moment he toggled his headset. "Colonel Sheppard can you come to my office please," he said. "I'm going to need your help with something."

"On my way, doc," Colonel John Sheppard answered immediately.

Puddle Jumper

Lantean Ocean, That Same Time

Major Evan Lorne was cautious as he guided the puddle jumper towards the long crashed Wraith cruiser. He had never flown a puddle jumper underwater before and he didn't like it one bit, it felt well odd. Through the neural interface between his mind and the puddle jumpers systems he was aware of the resistance of the water as they travelled – it felt almost like trying to fly through treacle, and the immense weight of the entire ocean pressing against the thin shell of energy that was the jumper's shields. It was disconcerting to say the least, especially as he was fully conscious of the fact that the shields were the only thing that was preventing the pressure of the depths from crushing the ship down to the size of a thimble.

"There it is," Rodney McKay abruptly said from beside him where he had been monitoring the sensors. As Rodney spoke Lorne was aware of Rodney giving the puddle jumper a command through the co-pilots neural interface, bringing up the holographic HUD. The HUD showed a three dimensional image of the ocean floor, though might as well have been the surface of Earth's moon for its total, stark lifelessness. All around there was nothing but a featureless expanse of mud and silt that seemed to extend into infinity.

Sticking up out of the silt and mud of the abyssal plane was the rear end of a Wraith cruiser, surprisingly appearing to be intact until Rodney directed the sensors to scan the crashed alien warship in more detail. The results immediately popped up on the HUD and revealed that there was extensive damage in the cruisers aft compartments, both its twin sublight drives and the hyperdrive system had been completely smashed.

"Hmm that explains how it got down here," Rodney said thoughtfully as he studied the damage with an expert eye, his secondary doctorate in mechanical engineering coming to the fore. "Sensors indicate that the cruisers propulsion systems have been completely destroyed. My guess is they either took a full salvo of particle cannon fire or caught the last dregs of a drone salvo on their aft sections. The ship would have become caught in Lantea's gravity and pulled down. They must have hit pretty hard as well – I'm reading massive damage in all forward compartments, those that I can scan below the mud. I'm surprised they didn't break apart when they hit the water let alone the ocean floor."

Lorne nodded. "It is impressive," he admitted, "that Wraith ships can take that kind of an impact, most spaceships I know of can't. Any trace of that life sign, Rodney?"

Rodney shook his head. "No the cruisers hull is heavily encrusted with silt and muck, that combined with the depth of the water is making it difficult for our sensors to penetrate the undamaged areas of the hull," he answered with a clear note of annoyance in his voice.

"So we have no idea what we're going into," Ronon said from where he was sitting directly behind Rodney.

"Well it looks that way," Rodney replied with the usual exasperated tone for someone stating the perfectly obvious. Ronon for his part just smiled softly, he had gotten used to McKay and his seeming lack of patience long ago. That didn't mean he liked it but he never did anything about it, and he had to admit he did admire the way that Rodney always spoke his mind. Even if it was to say something that you didn't particularly want to hear.

"What about power readings, Rodney," Lorne asked.

Rodney checked the sensors again. "Minimal power readings," he said. "My guess is the cruisers main power plant is off line and its running on the last dregs of its emergency power supply."

"Hmm," Lorne said. "So we got a decision to make do we go aboard, or do we just fire a few drones at the thin crust under the thing and send it to its doom in the mantle? I don't like going into a situation that we know next to nothing about."

"I'm not exactly thrilled about it myself," Rodney admitted feeling a profound sense of relief at Major Lorne's caution. It was such a sharp contrast to Sheppard who had this habit of rushing in where angels feared to tread, and seemed determined to make Rodney go grey years earlier than he should do with his daredevil antics. "But we have come this far," he added. "It would be a shame to let such an opportunity to get a decent look at some Wraith technology go."

"True though this cruiser has been here for ten thousand years the intel we could gather would be invaluable," Lorne agreed with a sigh. "Start looking for somewhere for us to dock, Rodney."

"Right," Rodney replied and started working the sensors to find a place where they could dock with the cruiser.

It took a few moments but he was soon able to locate a likely point of access. The cruisers aft portside airlock was still intact; they would be able to achieve hard lock there. With a mental command to the jumpers systems he brought the location up on the HUD.

"There," he said. "The aft port airlock is still intact; if we connect to it we can extend our shield to form a hard seal."

"Right," Lorne replied and started working to guide the jumper to the location Rodney had indicated.

A Few Moments Later

The puddle jumper shivered as Lorne made contact with the Wraith ships airlock. The airlock was strangely designed, oval in shape like many Wraith doorways were, but it was just wide enough for the jumper to get into.

"Okay extending shield," Rodney said softly as he operated the controls in front of him. Through the pilot's neural interface Lorne felt a shiver in the shield as it extended from a tight bubble hugging the jumper's hull, expanding to fill the airlock cavity of the Wraith ship – creating a pressure wave as it pushed the ocean water out of the way. "Done," Rodney said.

"Okay lets get in there," Lorne replied powering down as many of the puddle jumpers systems as he dared to. Though the subspace batteries that powered the jumper held enough energy to run the jumper for days – even under these conditions – he wasn't about to take any unnecessary chances.

As soon as he was done he stood up and picked up his P90 from the side of the pilots chair. Rodney, Teyla and Ronon did the same, though in Ronon's case it was simply to draw his blaster out of its holster and power it up. In the rear compartment the four marines and two scientists that they'd brought along did the same thing, though the two scientists only had Beretta semi-automatic pistols as opposed to a P90 rifle. Not all the scientists assigned to Atlantis were as proficient with weapons as Rodney – though he'd only learned out of necessity due to his position on Atlantis 1.

Moving to the rear of the jumper, Lorne operated the hatch and as the ramp like door slid down they came face to the face with the dull blue-grey bio-material that the Wraith grew their ships from. It was encrusted with dirt and the shells of small invertebrate animals – very similar to the barnacles found on Earth, but it still seemed to be intact. Searching round Lorne found the Wraith airlock controls and hesitantly tried to operate them.

Nothing happened.

"Great," he said softly.

"Let me try, major," Teyla said easing past him with an easy athletic grace that spoke of a lifetime of physical conditioning. Reaching out she touched the control, the control glowed as it sensed the small amount of Wraith DNA in her genetic makeup and obediently the outer door opened, jerkily as it was all silted up, but it opened, revealing a dimly lit compartment that had the characteristic organic appearance of Wraith technology.

Cautiously the team advanced into the airlock chamber, where Teyla once again operated the inner door. The interior of the Wraith cruiser was as dimly lit as the airlock chamber, the air was bracingly cold as the ships environmental support system was barely operating, and the air had the characteristic half dead smell of the interior of a Wraith ship.

"Jameson stay here and guard the jumper," Lorne instructed to one of the marines.

"Yes sir," Sergeant Jameson answered.

"Everyone else do remember to be on your guard," Lorne continued "remember this is still an enemy ship, some of the crew are likely to be stiff alive. The Asgard only picked up one life sign from orbit but that doesn't mean anything; especially if the Wraith are hibernating."

One by one everyone nodded in agreement; most of the marines like the rest of Sheppard's team had regularly encountered the vampire-like aliens on a number of occasions over the last three years. They all knew to be very careful around the Wraith, especially when the Wraith were hungry – as any on this ship were likely to be – as a hungry Wraith was much more unpredictable and therefore more dangerous one than one who had just fed off someone. The only blessing about hungry Wraith was they died quicker.

"Okay which way, Rodney," Lorne asked as Rodney took an Ancient hand scanner from a pocket on his flak jacket and scanned the area.

"They strongest energy reading is coming from that way," Rodney said pointing down the left hand corridor. Lorne nodded and started walking, keeping his P90 at the ready position as he advanced. Ronon walked beside him keeping his own energy blaster ready as slowly, cautiously they all began to make there way down into the stinking bowls of the crashed Wraith cruiser.

Unknown to Major Lorne he was right to be concerned. Deep within the core of the half wrecked ship a single solitary officer Wraith moved towards the one remaining operational hibernation chamber. His features were gaunt with hunger as he hadn't fed in weeks, all but a handful of the warrior drones had been sacrificed to sustain him and the others as they took it in turns to stand a lonely vigil waiting for a rescue from this place that had become their prison.

And now at last it seemed that freedom was once more within their grasp. He had observed the approach on a small craft of Lantean design and construction on what few external sensors still operated, and had seen it dock. The internal sensors had detected the presence of Humans, of prey fresh with life force, boarding the ship through one of the aft airlocks. Enough to feed them all and the prey had been kind enough to bring them the means to escape this prison after ten thousand years.

Arriving in the hibernation chamber the weakened male Wraith moved over to the control console and started the revival sequence. Around the room a number of the hibernation cells in the honeycomb like structure began to glow from within. Inside each active cell a dark shape began to move as the remains of the cruisers crew and their Queen began to stir from their long sleep.

The Wraith smiled as his Queen and fellows began to awaken from their slumber. Soon, very soon now they would all be awake. And they would finally be able to sate their hunger and escape back out into the galaxy once more.

It would be glorious.