Yes, I've finally updated- you aren't dreaming. This is officially the thirteenth chapter but WILL most likely be re-posted/replaced once I sort out the story. I've re-written up to chapter five so far but this is how it's going to go. Nothing much will change with the story, just fixing the plot- now that I finally have one.

Chapter 13: Four Minutes 'Til…?

"What are you doing here?" Rodney looked to Sheppard and the others as they entered the room. "I thought you went to check the signal-."

"We did Rodney." John says roughly, his face covered in dirt from the collapsed ceiling.

McKay follows Sheppard and his men as they make their way towards the infirmary, one of the only places left in one piece after the attack. Medical personnel approach the team, and Sheppard walks over to Weir.

The Atlantean leader stops and her eyes become dark. Weir glances from the broken team to Shepard and takes a deep breath.

After a moment, she says, "What happened out there?"

"Tanner and Locke are gone," Sheppard's eyes betrayed his words. "Collins is in pretty bad shape, and the rest of us aren't without some scrapes and bruises. There was an ambush at the site of the energy source McKay found for us. There are about eight Wraith on the north side, and maybe more in other parts of the city. I'm guessing the Wraith left here are ones that had either crashed or abandoned by their Hive."

Sheppard looks away from her to McKay, then back to Weir.

"We didn't find the source of the energy, but we did find the missing girl." Sheppard pauses. "She was under a couple of beams, Ronan managed to get her out before the Wraith closed in."

"Where is she?" Weir asks.

"She's in the ICU with Carson," another pause. "He's not sure if she's going to make it."

The three are silent for a moment. Weir is the first to move, she looks over to McKay solemnly.

"What about the energy signature, are you still picking it up?"

McKay picks up his scanner and rapidly presses a few spots on the screen. His gaze meets Weirs.

"There are three now." McKay steps away from the group quickly, turning to another side of the room.

"Where are they?" Sheppard asks hurriedly.

"Two in the same location as before and the other one is…" McKay stops as he reads the screen a second time. "Moving towards…?"

"Where Rodney?" Weir asks, "How long until they join?"

Rodney looks down to the screen again, suddenly his eyes widen.

"If I'm reading this correctly, four minutes." The scientist says abruptly.

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"Just where did they go?" I ask myself as I wander through the corridors.

Ronan looked like he was carrying someone, so they wouldn't be able to go too far…

I shuffle forward a few feet, changing my direction as another thought enters my mind.

The infirmary would be most likely. But what about the Wraith, shouldn't they be dealt with before they had the chance to reach Earth?

I look up as I hear voices; quickly- I make my way towards the sound. Both the ground and walls were about half-covered in some kind of red, organic stuff. Atlantis was slowly being taken over by the Wraith environment, as the metal-like floor ended and the rough organic mess began. The walls had a number of string-like strands of the strange growth covering them from the wall up in places and the ceiling was not unaffected.

I step around the corner and freeze as three of the Wraith come together in front of me. I watch as one, presumably the leader, who had several wisp-shaped markings on his face, begins to speak.

"The incursssion iss almost complete." He pauses, seeming to glare my way then back to the other two. "The fleet has almossst arrived at the Atlanteans' ssupportersss home world. Onccce they are dessstroyed, we ssshall head for thiss 'Earth'." His words echoed eerily. "I want the location of the humansss' home world retrieved from the databassse immediately, and then we ssshall further the location to the Hive."

The leader pauses once more, looking away from his inferior crew; he folds his hands behind his back and inhales. "I want Ssheppard and his companionsss left," he turns back around. "Ssso I may finissh them myssself."

I back away from the scene slowly, watching as the two lesser Wraith step away from their master to carry out his command. They were going to hack the Atlantean supercomputer, but not if I could get to it first.

The Wraith commander moves to leave the area and I catch the fierce look he throws vaguely my direction as he turns to go. I believe he could feel my presence in the room, even though I was pretty sure he couldn't see or hear me. I hear the hushed tap of his footsteps as he makes his way down the abandoned corridor.

I turn away from the encounter and begin to run towards the infirmary, I had to catch up to Sheppard and the others to warn them.

How though? I've already proved that I can't communicate with them in this form. All I really need to do is get their attention.

I finally near the infirmary and can hear the voices of the Atlantean crew nearby. I reach the entrance to the infirmary and feel a strange connection of some kind. The feeling is put aside, however, when I enter the medical center of the ancient city. I remain silent as I step through the crowded area, nurses pass me and I see the effect of the Wraith attack a short while ago.

There were men, soldiers of Atlantis, that were lying on a number of white beds in the medical wing- they all were injured in some form or another. Several of them were unconscious and the rest had bandages around their chests, those few had small flecks of gray in their hair and the occasional wrinkle. The few that had survived feeding were lucky.

Atlantis had been wounded and if the Wraith chose to attack at the moment, the city would fall and the Earth would perish with it. They would all have to be removed from the city; they were in no condition to fight.

I overheard the nurses as they replied to the questions that their wards asked occasionally. It was always the same- Where is Colonel Sheppard? Or Where is Commander Weir? After a moment, the answer came- In the ICU with Dr. Beckett and the visitor.

"What visitor?" I mutter to myself as I turn to the intensive care unit where Beckett and 'the visitor' were supposed to be.

Eventually I locate the room and enter.

Weir, Sheppard, Ronan, McKay, and Beckett were gathered about the center of the room. A bed was visible, along with the torso of the body it supported. I could hear the abnormal beeping of the heart monitor, which had started to slow. The beep of the machine had settled to a somewhat steady, but sluggish rate.

I make my way towards the bed and freeze; there I was lying underneath the white sheets. There were several places on both my arms and face that had dry blood on them. My gaze scanned up to my face. My eyes were both closed… and open. I gave an involuntary shudder; this was a bit different.

Am I... dead?

"Is she going to be okay?" McKay asks, breaking the silence.

Carson looked over to the scientist, a serious expression on his face.

"I honestly don't know, lad." he says. "She'd shown a healing gift before, but with nothing this serious. I don't see wha's wrong."

"Carson, you did what you could." Weir says, looking down to me. "We need you, Atlantis needs you."

"I'm right here!" I shout, stepping in front of Sheppard and Weir.

I waved my hands through them; there was no confirmation that anyone had noticed me. I move to the bed and sit alongside the body beneath the sheets. Looking up to the monitor nearby I notice that I was still alive, even though I was in a different state- I suppose it could be called.

Weir moves to the door and the others follow.

"I don't understand! I'm right here!" I look to McKay and the others as they leave. "Isn't there anyone who can hear me?! Who can see me?!"

"I can."

xXx

That's interesting isn't it? Someone can communicate with her now, that's a good sign I guess. At least she has someone to talk to now.

~Amethyst