"Do not argue with me John." Teyla threatened.
"You're not coming Teyla...There's no reason for you to be there!"
"If you are negotiating for help with finding my people-"
"I'm sure Dr. Roslyn can handle it!"
As Lorne stepped in to reassure Teyla, Rodney shot Ronon a knowing look. Though Teyla and John had mended some fences, they continued to have these spats prior to every mission.
Lorne continued, "It'll be okay Teyla...The Genii know better than to create problems given their situation."
Teyla seemed to weigh the facts and her feelings, and from her posture, they knew common sense had won out.
"I know Evan."
Far from happy, she turned and slowly left the locker room.
"Want us to talk to her Sheppard?" murmured Ronon.
"Yeah like it'd help! One minute she wants off a mission, then on one, and then off again."
There was a moment of silence.
"...Anyway, lets do this."
As the teams arrived on the Genii homeworld, McKay found himself thinking back to the first time he'd stepped foot onto this seemingly placid world, inhabited by aliens that were almost Amish in their ways and appearance. They'd been met by supposed friends, invited to a harvest festival, only to discover these gentle, simple people were fanatics and warmongers, driven crazy by millennia of Wraith domination.
"Hello..." whispered Lorne with a measure of surprise when he saw the uniform-clad figure of Ladon Radim standing a distance away.
"So no Amish welcome this time?" Sheppard commented.
"What's an Amish?" asked Ronon.
"Never mind Chewie."
The team became wary as they approached Ladon Radim, who seemed to be on his own until Sora stepped out from behind him, her expression distant and unreadable.
"Colonel Sheppard, Dr. McKay, Ronon Dex, Major Lorne." Ladon stated by way of greeting.
"Ladon, Sora. This is Captain Young, Lieutenant Smith, and Lieutenant Phillips." Sheppard introduced Lorne's team.
"It is a pleasure." Ladon replied.
"I'm afraid we have little time for introductions." Sora stated, the edge of venom audible in her voice.
"Yes...There have been several more killings since we contacted you...The situations gets worse by the hour, so if you'd like to follow us"
The team had walked only a few hundred yards, and rounded a cluster of trees, when they saw a site they hadn't been expecting...
Sheppard turned to Ladon. "Didn't your city used to be underground?"
The mesh of rock that had hidden the Genii capital from sunlight had been removed, leaving an impressive crater in the ground. It had taken a long walk down a steep hill, and a climb down several ladders and steep flights of stairs to reach one of the city's entrances. When they finally made it to the entrance of the Genii Nuclear Facility, Ladon turned to Sheppard.
"We had transparency issues."
Rodney registered his surprise at the 'joke'.
"We found it harder and harder to gain allies while remaining secretive. And because we have not suffered a culling in some time, our population has grown to near the city's capacity. We realized we were better expanding up than out, and that removing the ceiling would make better use of our resources than digging yet more tunnels."
The doors to the complex opened, and six guards let the teams through.
"Still not got round to decorating huh?" Sheppard remarked, looking at the radioactive grime clinging to the walls.
"These are slides of some of the men who have been murdered in the past few weeks" Ladon said, inserting a crude negative into a rudimentary projector.
He clicked through a few slides, and some of the faces were familiar.
"And these, are pictures of some of the men we suspect of carrying out these terrorist acts."
Ladon loaded more slides, but this time the faces were unknown.
"If you suspect these men, then why do you need our technology?" Ronon said.
"Our legal system is complex. We require substantial proof to back up our findings." Sora stated.
Rodney looked around the dingy room he and the teams sat in. Rusty trails of water trickled down the walls, leaving behind smears of grime. He dreaded to think what of radiation he was being exposed to at that moment, and his stomach grew queasy. He looked down to the plate of some dead animal that was sitting before him and felt all the worse.
"Is Pecker bird not to your liking Dr. McKay." Sora smirked arrogantly.
Rodney looked up to meet the girl's eyes. He hesitated a look at Sheppard who rolled his eyes in mild annoyance.
"No no no...It's quite uhm...adequate...tastes like Chicken."
His stomach felt even worse, but attention returned to the talks at hand, and he forced his mind to focus on them.
"What exactly do you have in mind for our surveillance systems?" Sheppard asked.
Ladon glanced at Dr. Roslyn and her team.
"The Genii want the immediate implementation of surveillance devices in all public meeting areas: The residential quadrants' council offices; Water collection areas; Bars and other recreational areas; Military chambers, as well as the homes of key Government and Military officials."
"Those that are believed to be at risk, plus some of the suspected collaborators...No-one else." Ladon attempted to reassured.
Sheppard looked at the grain of the table for a few moments before nodding and looking back at Ladon's gaze.
"Okay, but what are you giving us in return?"
"We will increase the percentage of crops we give you from 2 percent to3 percent. That's an increase of 4 tonnes of root vegetables and a tonne of Tava beans. We will also divert more manpower to looking for the Athosians. As well as that, we will also share a Wraith data unit we've procured."
"Sounds fair...I propose my people be split into teams of two and be accompanied by your people to the facilities where you like us to set up our cameras."
"We propose the same." Ladon smiled.
"Okay. Ronon, Lorne, you form one team...Smith, Phillips...Young, you stay here with Dr. Roslyn and report back to Colonel Carter. McKay...you're with me."
"The medical building? Why are we going here?!" McKay whined in protest. "I don't wanna be surrounded by sick people - "
"- I thought it'd make you feel at home McKay..." Sheppard remarked.
"...breathing their germs all over us...We've already got radiation poisoning or worse - "
As Sheppard chided Rodney, Sora glared at the physicist. Feeling her anger directed at him, McKay took the hint and shut up.
"Colonel Sheppard...I will leave you and Dr. McKay alone now. Please fit your devices where you see fit. On inspection at a later date, our people will point out which areas aren't monitored...When you are finished, please contact your men at the Nuclear Plant, and I will return to escort you. If you are approached as to your reasons for being in the hospital, you will claim to be looking at increasing air circulation as part of our ongoing trade agreement. Any further problems, request that the person questioning you contact the Offworld Liaison Bureau."
Sora glanced quickly at the pair, and turned to leave.
"Wait-wait-wait!" Shouted McKay. "Don't we get a map of this place?"
"We do not create plans of any of our buildings, in case one of our enemies used them against us."
"Oh...right." McKay grimaced, letting Sora leave.
Once she was out of sight, Rodney turned to Sheppard.
"I don't like this. Not one bit."
"Me neither McKay..." Sheppard trailed off, pressing two fingers to the wall. "...If Keller saw how filthy this place was, she'd have a fit."
Screwing up his face, McKay turned to go down a corridor. Sheppard pulled his fingers away from the wall, to find them covered in a greasy, salmon-pink substance.
"...Think I found a set up point." McKay shouted, pointing to a corner near a Genii fusebox.
"Okay...we'll set up one, run a test, and go from there."
Eldran watched Lorne and Ronon from behind a veil in the Welfare building. His plan was slowly falling into place.
"Sora...please come in." he whispered into his radio.
"Sora here." her voice crackled in response.
"Major Lorne and the Runner have been left in the Welfare building, Phillips and Smith are in the Water Treatment plant."
"I have left Dr. McKay and Colonel Sheppard on the isolation level of the hospital. They do not suspect a thing."
"I suggest we begin stage three immediately."
Eldran grinned, hearing the vengeful edge in the girl's voice.
"Instruct our men to proceed as planned then Sora."
"Yes sir. I would be an honour, sir."
Eldran took one last look at the 'Lanteans, stupid, trusting creatures that they were, before he made his way to the exit.
Sora allowed herself a small smile as she clicked off her radio. Taking a few moments, she changed the radio frequency before bringing the radio up to her mouth...