The relocation of Atlantis to escape the Replicators had set forth a series of traumatizing events both for the city and its inhabitants. Their new planet was begging to be explored, but the damage to the main tower from the replicator's beam mixed with the loss of Weir and the incorporation of Carter had delayed any outings until repairs could be made to the city and to themselves emotionally. But today turned out to be the day that a field trip finally seemed possible…both McKay and Radek were in the uppermost section of the main tower repairing the last vestiges of rerouting conduits to the communications array leaving McKay available to head out with his team at last.
"Yes, McKay just reported in that he and Zelenka were testing the final connections," Carter said as she noticed a twinkle in John eyes as he fidgeted at the corner of her desk, waiting for the next words. "You can go…but I want you to be extremely careful and report in every 4 hours."
"Will do…I'm going to go grab McKay right now," John said as he bounded from the control room. He was too excited, his team finally got the go ahead to explore the main land. First stop, head up, past the Jumper Bay and retrieve McKay.
It only took John a minute to make it to where McKay and Zelenka had been camped out for the past few days.
"McKay!" shouted John as he stopped inside the doorway of the room Zelenka had said McKay went in.
"Ouch! Dammit, do you mind," Rodney sat rubbing his head from where it had made contact with the underside of a control panel.
John grimaced. "Sorry, didn't mean to startle you but hey, we got the go ahead to see the sights…so get your gear…we're leaving in ten."
"What are you talking about, what sights?" Rodney had been so wrapped up for the last two weeks making repairs that he really had forgotten about the excitement of exploring a new planet, let alone the one they now call home.
"Um…hello, have you taken a step outside lately?" John joked. "How long have you been cooped up in this tower anyhow? I'm talking about searching for new and cool things on the mainland Rodney…jeesh."
Rodney's eyes brightened as he realized what John was talking about. "Really, Carter said we could go?"
"Yep, she said you were pretty much done up here; now get your stuff together. I've already contacted Ronan and Teyla, they'll meet us in the jumper room," John bent down to give Rodney a hand up.
"Ok…hang on, all I have to do is make this final adjustment then the communications array will be comp…" Rodney's quick typing was cut short as he noticed a blip on the laptop screen. "…what's this?" Rodney's eyes squinted to make sure he was reading correctly.
"What?" asked John, as he dropped beside Rodney to see what was so interesting.
"There seems to be what looks like a faint distress signal coming through," Rodney said engrossed in his findings.
"Where's it coming from?" John looked perplexed.
"Its not anywhere in the city…its coming from…here," Rodney said as he tilted the laptop and pointed to a place on a map. "…about ten miles inland…so after the distance of the ocean…would probably be about 120 miles away from the city," he continued.
"Well…that's even more of a reason to go check out the mainland," John said as Rodney looked up to John's face. John tapped his earpiece, "Colonel Carter…this is Sheppard. Rodney has found a distress beacon coming from the mainland."
"A distress beacon?" Carter said worriedly. "How far away?"
"It's about five miles inland," John said.
"On the mainland?…Rodney do you think its strong enough to signal any Wraith or Replicators to our new location?" Carter began to pace.
"I don't think so, its very faint…it doesn't seem to have the power to penetrate the atmosphere of the planet," Rodney said quickly. "But I'll have a better idea once I've had the chance to examine the device up close."
"Ok, John gather your team as quickly as possible and check out this signal," Carter stated.
John and Rodney had already started down the hallway to gather their equipment. "Teyla and Ronan are already in the jumper bay…we'll be ready in ten minutes," John said as he nodded to Rodney.
Ten minutes later the team was embarking in the puddle jumper headed toward the mainland. They had been so excited to finally check out their new surroundings but now it had been spoiled by the possibility that their location may not be so safe after all.