The city sensors were offline so they never picked up the vessel that had just managed to land in the underwater docking bay. The three men slowly exited the docking bay room and made there way to the science lab.

It was 2am and McKay was still up as per usual working on one of the gadgets they had found in one of the lower level labs. It seemed to be some sort of medical device, but he could not get it to work. Must get Sheppard or Carson to try it in the morning, he thought to himself. He placed it back onto his work counter, switched off his laptop and started to leave the lab. He just got out of the door, when he thought he heard a slight sound to his left. He turned to see what it was and was rewarded with a blow to the jaw he was unconscious before he hit the floor.

The three men stopped and listened to see if anyone had heard the sound, but after a few minuets no one came to investigate. Two of them picked up McKay and they started to carry him back to the docking bay. Suddenly the man in front stopped and motioned for them to go back, he could see a marine patrol heading towards them. They silently made there way back to the lab and quickly shut the door and waited to see where the marines went. The patrol was near the end of its shift, and was glad to be handing over to the next squad, but first had to check the labs. Each door was opened and one marine would go inside and check to make sure everything was ok. Just as one of the marine's opened the door for Rodney's lab the intruders opened fire. The first marine did not stand a chance as the projectiles flew into his body at close range; the other three dived for cover as the intruders sprayed the corridor. They laid down fire as one of them screamed into his radio for someone to wake Colonel Sheppard as Atlantis had intruders in McKay's lab. One of the intruders shouted out "If you wish to see Dr McKay alive again, you will let us go". The marines stopped firing as the door to the lab slammed shut. "Update on the intruders Sir, they have Dr McKay, I repeat they have Dr McKay as a hostage".

Sheppard was woke up by one of the marines knocking on his door, "Sir, we have a situation down in the labs, we have intruders" Sheppard quickly jumped out of his bed and threw on his pants and t-shirt and his tact vest. He checked his P90 was fully armed and put in his radio just in time to hear that McKay had got himself in trouble again. "Dam it how the hell did they get on Atlantis undetected, I want three teams of marines down there now every exit must have a marine no one gets in or out and I mean no one" "Yes sir" the marine said as he ran off to mobilise extra ammo for the marine's. Sheppard started to run down towards McKay's lab, thinking what trouble have you got yourself into this time Rodney.

Now right at that time McKay was slowly regaining consciousness and was not happy about it either. He slowly cracked one eye open and then could not help but moan softly as his head started to pound. "I see your awake Dr McKay, please do not try anything stupid or you will get hurt" said a voice from the corner. "Who are you, what do you want" asked McKay.

"Why Dr McKay, what we want is you" was the reply. McKay's eyes widened in fear as he realised he was in deep shit. "You realise they will never let you off Atlantis" McKay whispered as his mind worked out a way to get out of this mess. "I'm sure they won't McKay, but I'm sure a little persuasion will make them change there minds" replied one of them. "Don't count on it, they will never give in to your demands" replied McKay with his head held high. "Oh they will Dr McKay; it just depends on how much pain you can take, before either they let us go or you die" With that he nodded to the other two men and they grabbed McKay and then pushed him against one of the machines. He struggle was rewarded with a sharp blow to his midsection which knocked the wind out of him. They then threw a rope over the machine and attached the rope to McKay's wrists and pulled until McKay was forced to stand on his tiptoes to take the pressure off his wrists.

"Now let's see just how much pain you can take McKay"

"Get the camera's in Rodney's lab online now and get the city sensors up and tell me how many are in the room" yelled Sheppard as he reached the gate room "and patch it through to Zelenka's lab, that's where I'll be when Elizabeth asks" The technician switched on the camera's one by one, and patched them through to Zelenka's lab, it was the third camera that was focused on McKay tied up and strung up. "Shit" was all Sheppard said when he spotted McKay tied up. "Zoom in on him I want to see if he's injured in anyway" Sheppard could see no obvious signs of injury to McKay but knew that could soon change.

"John, what's the situation with Rodney any idea as to how the hell they got on to Atlantis without us detecting them" asked Weir as she walked into the room. "We think they must have come in through one of the underwater docking stations just like we did to fight off the replicators. I've got a team on there way down there now to check it out. As for Rodney, he seems unharmed so far".

Sheppard put his hand to his radio as a message came in. "It seems they want to talk after all, they just put in there demands and it involves McKay leaving with them".

McKay looked at the men in the room and said "why are you doing this"? "You have a very nice price on your head Dr McKay a price we intend to collect" replied one of the men. "Your bounty hunters" gasped McKay in surprise "so that means you need me, come on then just how much am I worth to you"? "Not enough to stop us from hurting you so shut up" yelled the one closest to McKay. "What, all I'm doing is asking you how much I'm worth, come on tell me that much" The man closest to him got up and swung his gun butt into McKay's midsection, expelling all of the air out of his lungs, before McKay could yell out in pain the man hit him again this time on his ribs. McKay heard his ribs crack and screamed out in pain before the darkness took hold and he passed out. One of the men then yelled, "every time you delay your decision we will hurt McKay a little more the choice is yours"

Sheppard was pacing up and down the lab as Zelenka tried to find another way into the room. "Come on Zelenka, I need to get Rodney out of there before they kill him". "I have a suggestion" Teyla answered from the doorway, "How long before the deadlus get's here, we could get them to beam Rodney out of there" Sheppard smiled at Teyla and asked "how long before it gets here"?

"The deadlus is due here in about an hour" replied Zelenka. "That's too long, get in touch with them and tell them to get here ASAP" Weir said as she looked at the monitor.

McKay groaned as he slowly came to, he was finding it hard to take deep breaths as the pain in his ribs was made worse by the fact that he was hanging by his wrists and it was stretching his body. "Your awake McKay, just in time for more pain, you see your friends have refused to let us go and I must show them we are serious" He then took aim with his gun and calmly shot McKay in the leg. McKay watched as a fine spray of red exploded from his leg and started dripping down and onto the floor. McKay's scream echoed out of the room and onto the corridors of Atlantis. "You have 15 minuets before the next one, so please do not force me to harm him again"

"Dr Weir, the Deadlus will be here within the next 20 minuets"

"Thank you Zelenka, I just hope that soon enough" replied Dr Weir.

"I can't just stand here and do nothing Elizabeth, he needs help now" "Then I suggest John, that you, Ronan and Teyla get ready to be beamed into the room as soon as they've beamed McKay out" replied Dr Weir.

"Ok, your time is up, are you letting us go with Dr McKay" yelled on of the men inside the lab. He waited for a few seconds and then raised his gun and fired at McKay hitting him in the shoulder. The only movement from McKay was a slight flinch as the bullet entered his body. The three men then watched as he disappeared in a bright white light. A few seconds later an other bright light appeared and 3 figures emerged guns pointing at all three men. "Drop your weapons or we will fire" yelled Sheppard. He made eye contact with the man that had shot McKay and realised then that surrender was not an option to this man.

"Don't do it"

All three men raised there weapons to fire and where instantly cut down by the team. Sheppard opened the door and in rushed a medical team. "They gave us no choice, they would not surrender" All three men where dead.

"How is he Carson"? asked Sheppard as all three rushed into the infirmary to check on there team mate. "He's going to surgery now, I will let you know as soon as he's out" as he went to scrub up for surgery.

Sheppard leaned against the wall in the corridor and slowly slid down to the floor and buried his head in his hands.

"Are you alright John" inquired Teyla with concern in her voice. "I'm fine Teyla, just keep thinking what more I could have done, they tortured him and I just stood there and watch"

"You know there was nothing we could do, as soon as we tried to open the doors they would of killed Rodney, we were lucky the Deadlus arrived when it did or we may have never of gotten him out alive"

Sheppard looked at Teyla and Ronan and slowly lifted himself off the floor. "Let's go see how our boy is shall we"

Two days later Sheppard was sitting next to McKay in the infirmary trying to stop him from tapping away on his laptop. Mind you it was amusing watching McKay cursing at the keyboard as he could only type with one hand. His arm was bandaged up and in a sling restricting his movements so he did not rip the stitches out. "McKay, you're meant to be resting. If Carson catches you he'll skin you alive" Sheppard said as he sat and watched with a slight grin on his face as McKay's predicament. McKay spun around and instantly wished he had not as his ribs protested at the sudden movement.

McKay's face twisted in pain and he let out a slight groan as he settled back into his bed.

"Easy there McKay, busted ribs remember. Do you want me to get Carson for you"?

"No, I'll be fine just give me a few minuets" whispered McKay.

Sheppard dropped his head to chest and whispered "I'm so sorry that I could not stop this happening to you Rodney" McKay looked at Sheppard with disbelief in his eyes. "What, there was nothing you could have done. If you had of come through the door with guns blazing I would not be here now. You had to wait until a situation presented itself to you" Sheppard lifted his head and slowly nodded, "Besides, I had a plan all worked out in my head to get out any way, you came busting in just as I was about to make my move and spoiled the whole thing" snorted McKay.

Sheppard looked at McKay and burst out laughing which in turn made McKay start to laugh and then crease up in pain.

"P… don't do ……… that again, don't make me laugh it hurts"

Dr Weir who was standing outside the infirmary doors listened to the exchange of words smiled and walked back to her office. Thank god everything was getting back to normal.