Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis and no infringement was intended, just having some fun with the characters

Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis and no infringement was intended, just having some fun with the characters.

Spoiler Alert: This story is set after Outcast and anything from a previous episode is at risk for spoilers, but Outcast is the only one, which has major spoilers.

Summary: John Sheppard goes on a mission, but gets captured…whump and angst ensue.

A/N: A previous mission mentioned in this story involving the character Bric'ien is my own creation and any information you need to know about it is contained within the story itself.

Brought to the Brink

"McKay I just think that the Fantastic Four are the greatest superhero team ever!"

"Au contraire, Colonel, Batman is the ultimate superhero and thus when he was teamed with Robin that was the greatest superhero team ever."

"Listen McKay, I'm not saying Batman isn't great, I'm just saying that Batman and Robin are NOT the greatest superhero TEAM."

Before McKay could come up with a snappy comeback Colonel Carter interrupted McKay's and Sheppard's vital debate.

"Excuse gentlemen, we need to get started on the debriefing and everyone else is already here."

Sheppard and McKay quickly made their way over to the open seats at the end of the room as they saw that Ronon, Lorne, and four other marines: O'Brien, Kent, Weston, and Conner were already sitting around the table. They turned their full attention to Colonel Samantha Carter as she began the debriefing.

"As all of you know Bric'ien and his men have been targeting Atlantis teams ever since the Atlantis flag team freed all their prisoners, and destroyed their main base of operations two months ago.

"Well we have a new lead on Bric'ien's position. Apparently he has set up another lab on the planet M1732 and is working to make a biological weapon he can use against Atlantis."

When Carter paused, McKay broke in to ask "where did we get this information? And how do we know it is not a trap?"

John was the one to answer the question saying, "we got the information from the Genii, and the truth is we don't know if it is a trap or not. However, we do know that it is at least partly based in truth. Many of the prisoners we rescued had been experimented on in an attempt to develop some sort of biological weapon. Plus, we know that before we destroyed his base, he was able to get out a lot of his research on the biological weapon. It would not be difficult to assume that after two months he is beginning to get it up and running again."

"We need to hit him before he gets a chance to harm more of the members of the Atlantis expedition. Also, according to the Genii, Bric'ien is getting close to being able to stage an attack against the Atlantis base" Carter explained.

"So basically, we think it is worth the risk of being a trap, considering the potential benefits. The Genii have given us a basic outlay of the base, and I think that with a small team we can get in, destroy the weapon Bric'ien is making, upload a virus that will wipe clean all of his research, and if we are lucky maybe even capture Bric'ien himself" John said.

"Yeah, but even if we destroy his research at that outpost, won't he have the information at another one?" asked Lorne.

"No, he won't" replied Sheppard. "He's too paranoid for that. He does not want to risk other people getting a hold of all his research and using it against him, and he figures the fewer places he keeps it the better. Especially since not only his he worried about the Genii or us getting our hands on it, he does not exactly trust all the people that are working for him."

"Alright" replied Ronon, "so what's the plan?"

Colonel Carter answered the question, "All of you will infiltrate the base. Sheppard, Lorne, Kent, and O'Brien will seek out the weapon to destroy it, since Sheppard was the one who saw what the prototype looked like at the previous lab, while Ronon, Weston, Rodney, and Conner will go to upload the virus."

"Any other questions? Alright everyone look over the diagram of the base and be ready to leave at 0700 hours tomorrow morning, which will correspond with twilight on M5G-173. Okay, I am going to leave all of you to work out any remaining details while I take care of some other business. Good luck!" Colonel Carter said as she left the briefing room. The next hour was spent with everyone going over the details of the mission.

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The plan, as always, worked great at first. Sheppard, O'Brien, Lorne, and Kent had only encountered a few patrols on the way in, and easily incapacitated all of them. They quickly found the weapon and began placing the C4 to blow it up. Suddenly the radio interrupted the silence.

"Sheppard we have trouble!" Ronon all but shouted over the radio.

"What's happening?" Asked Sheppard as he was already beginning to head to their location.

"Rodney and I separated from the others after Conner was stunned, so that Weston would have a chance to hide him in a side room. They are holed up and can't get out without assistance. I believe guards are too close to their position for them to radio you themselves. Rodney and I are unable to get to the computers as well at this point as too many of these guys are chasing us."

"Where are you headed right now?"

"We are headed in the direction of the stargate at this point."

"Alright, keep heading that direction, but don't actually exit the complex if you can help it, because when we get Weston and Conner, we will need you to double back and use the virus. Lorne and Kent, finish blowing up the weapon. O'Brien, you and I will head over to help Weston and Conner." Even as Sheppard said all this everyone was springing into action.

It did not take them long to reach the area Weston and Conner were hiding in, but it felt like an eternity. Sheppard watching the life signs detector saw that there were four guards walking towards were Conner and Weston were hiding out and realized that they would need to take the guards out if they were going to help Conner and Weston.

"Lorne, we are right by Conner and Weston's position. Are you almost done setting the weapon up to blow?"

"Yes sir! We are just about finished."

"Excellent! Alright, I need you to blow it in 30 seconds. I think that should be just the distraction we need to take out some guys in our way."

"Understood" was Lorne's quick reply.

Sheppard and O'Brien got in position so that they could take out the guards as quickly as possible. Both of their guns at the ready, they watched the life signs detector and were ready when there was a sudden explosion that made the entire facility shake and tremble. Not wasting any time O'Brien and Sheppard jumped out of their hiding place and began shooting towards the guards. They took them all out in less than a minute and headed to the room where Conner and Weston were hidden.

Opening the door, they found Conner lying unconscious on the ground and Weston kneeling over him with his gun pointed towards Sheppard and O'Brien. As soon as Weston saw who was at the door he lowered his gun and O'Brien and Weston pulled Conner's arms over their shoulders and began to exit the room after Sheppard had checked the life signs detector to ensure that no guards were near.

"Lorne, we have Weston and Conner, head to the gate with Kent. We will meet you there."

"Rodney, Ronon, double back to the control room and release the virus while everyone is still distracted by the explosion."

As they began to go slowly down the corridor Sheppard took point and led them carefully towards the gate trying to make sure that his men would get out of the facility safely.

They managed to avoid patrols until they were almost outside the complex. At the exit closest to them there were two guards standing watch.

Waving Weston and O'Brien back, Sheppard crept slowly forward and took aim taking out both guards before the second could realize the first had been hit.

By this time, night had fully descended upon the planet, and Sheppard kept glancing at the LSD to make sure there was no one about to jump out at them. However, before they could make it far outside, Ronon's voice broke the silence once again.

"McKay's been hit, and is bleeding a lot. I need to get him out of here."

"Understood, get him to the gate," said Sheppard even as his heartbeat began to race over how badly Rodney was injured. Trying to force his mind back on the task at hand he asked "did he manage to infect their computers with the virus?"

"Negative."

Sheppard knew there was not really any choice in the matter. On the one hand, he could get through the gate without destroying all the research, but if he did that he knew that Atlantis could be eventually breeched with the horrendous weapon Bric'ien had developed. On the other hand, he could destroy the research, which would remove the threat of that weapon ever being rebuilt, but would also insure his own capture or death. Without hesitation Sheppard ordered Weston and O'Brien to continue towards the gate with Connor as he began to race away from the gate and towards the lab. He then radioed the rest of the team, telling them to go through the gate with Rodney and Connor as soon as they got to the stargate and to raise the shield to prevent any unwanted visitors.

"What about you Colonel?" asked a clearly reluctant Major Lorne, as if he already knew that Sheppard was planning to sacrifice himself for everyone on Atlantis.

"Just get everyone through the gate when everyone shows up Major! And that means you to Ronon. That. Is. An. Order."

Despite the reluctance everyone was feeling they knew they could not disobey Sheppard when he spoke in that voice and knew they would have to go through the event horizon when they reached the gate.

Sheppard made his way stealthily down the corridors of the base retracing the route to the lab he had studied on the diagram back on Atlantis. Apparently the explosion was still tying everyone up and he was able to make it to the control room without any trouble. Just as he was reaching it Lorne radioed that everyone else was through the gate.

"Alright, go through yourself Lorne and put up the shield. I'll come when I can," said Sheppard even knowing that he would not be coming through the gate.

As he began working on infecting the computer with the virus he knew that he did not have long before guards swarmed his position. He had made sure that all who had come on this mission knew how to initiate the virus incase something happened to McKay, and as he raced to finish the sequence that would set off the virus he was gladder than he could say over that decision.

Once he pressed the equivalent for enter on the computer, he rapidly detached the data unit used to upload the virus and shot it to pieces to make sure there was no chance Bric'ien could reverse engineer a solution for the virus that was destroying all the information on the computer network at this facility.

Sheppard knew that there was not a chance that he could get to the gate before he was captured or killed, and he figured everyone would assume that was the direction he would head, so he hoped going away from the gave might throw them off, and give him a chance to find a more defensible location. Even though he knew this would not end well for him, there was no way he was going down without a fight.

As he sought to remember the layout of the building, he kept glancing down at the life signs detector to see if anyone was ahead of him or was following behind.

Far too soon for his liking, he saw that he was being followed by a bunch of guards and that there was more up in the passage in front of him. Sheppard knew that Bric'ien was trying to box him in, and was doing a pretty good job at it too. Bric'ien had guards at all the passages that led outside, and there were too many of them at each location for Sheppard to have a chance at getting out.

Sheppard realized as the guards closed in on his position that he no longer had the option of running and turned down a hall that dead-ended, which would at least ensure that no one could sneak up behind him.

Not that it was much of an advantage, considering that almost all the guards in the base were racing to converge on his position.

Quickly wiping his sweaty hands on his pants he again gripped his P-90 tightly in his hands, wishing that he could hold the P-90 steady and ready to shoot and the LSD in his hands. Instead he would have to rely on more primitive methods to know if anyone…or everyone was approaching his position.

As he kept his hearing closely attuned to his surroundings, so he would notice the slightest change and be alerted to approaching guards, he felt like laughing at the humor of the situation…'Sheppard's last stand'.

In all actuality, it was not too different from the ending he had always thought he would face; alone in an enemies facility that he had infiltrated as guards descended upon his position was exactly what he had expected ever since he had joined black ops. However, the location was definitely different. Instead of some Middle Eastern country on earth, he was in the Pegasus galaxy on a world with two moons. Although, at least he was facing humans, not, life-sucking vampires or tiny robots that formed look-alike ancients from some science fiction idea gone wrong.

Suddenly his rambling thoughts were interrupted as he felt a slight change in the air and smelt a faint odor of sweat.

He barely heard a sound, obviously these men were trained to go quietly, and they knew he had to be somewhere near. Of course they still didn't know his exact location, and he planned to use that advantage to the best of his ability.

Waiting a minute to let them get closer…he attacked jumping into the intersecting passage and gunning down with his P-90 the men who had crept up to his position. Three of them were dead instantly, and another two were injured, but a sixth man managed to help get them to safety as two others began firing at him from further back forcing Sheppard to retreat back into the hall.

Sheppard felt a slight thrill of victory that he had survived the first encounter even as he knew that they now knew his exact position.

He did not have long to wait before their new strategy was revealed. A canister was hurtled into the hall and on impact exploded releasing some type of gas. Sheppard took a deep breath of the still mostly clean air and held it as he dropped to the ground hoping that they would be hasty in coming after him, and he would still be conscious when they arrived allowing him to take out a few more of them.

A few minutes later just as his lungs began to demand oxygen and his vision began to gray at the edges, he saw some guards coming towards him. Before they could react to the fact he was not unconscious, he shot them driving them to the floor.

However, the recoil of the gun caused him to take an involuntary gasp of the air that was still heavy with the gas. Sheppard felt his grip slip on the P-90 and his head fall to the floor…and then he knew no more.

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To be continued…

A/N: Reviews are greatly appreciated, both positive and negative.