Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. No profit is made from this.

AN: This is set in season 5, it was started before the season began, but may include some speculative spoilers. Anything up till the end of season 4 may be referred to.

"You know I don't mean to offend, but in some ways life was much better before Earth re-established links to us."

Richard Woolsey looked up from his mounds of paperwork with a questioning look to which John responded, "Well the IOA couldn't interfere and they never came to visit, paperwork was not so important, we could, "

"Do what you wanted?" Offered Woolsey.


"Rule the galaxy? Start a war, blow up solar systems?"

"Yes. No that is not what I meant. It was just simpler."

Before Woolsey had a chance to finish they were interrupted by the gate activating. When they had moved from the leader's office to the control room Chuck said, "We are getting Captain Gilbert's IDC."

Woolsey nodded and said, "Lower the shield." Then spoke into the radio, "Captain Gilbert. This is Richard Woolsey Is everything ok? We weren't expecting to hear from you for another seventy-two hours."

"Everything is fine sir. We just have some intel we thought you would like to hear in person."

"Ok then park the jumper then report to me as soon as Dr Keller has cleared you."

"Yes sir."

"Were you expecting good intel?" John asked.

"Not really it was just a routine scout to MX3454." Replied Woolsey.

"MX3454? Of course." John said before adding after a brief pause, "Which one is that again?"

Woolsey, looking less than impressed said, "It is a planet we found in the database. There was a dense forest round the gate so Gilbert's team took a jumper to see if there were any civilisations further out."

The two moved into the briefing room debating what the intel could be. They were soon interrupted by Gilbert knocking on the door. "Captain that was quick. I was expecting you to be with Dr Keller for longer." Woolsey greeted.

"Yeah, how did you manage to escape so quickly?"

"Well I explained that I had important intel to relay as quickly as possible and she said she would run the tests on me first, then work on my team when I reported to you. I think it was also helped by the fact it was pretty quiet down there and the only other patient was Dr McKay."

John barely stifled a laugh before Woolsey said. "So what was the intel?"

"We found a civilisation about thirty miles from gate, five from the edge of the forest. We asked if they had been victim to any Wraith attacks recently and they said they had about a month ago. But they were spared."

"Spared?" Asked Woolsey.

"Yes. Apparently the Wraith suddenly stopped the culling and left. One wraith actually stopped mid-feed."

'Did they have any explanation?"

"Well they claim to have a plant that if they bathe in makes them immune to the wraith."

"And you believe them?" Asked a sceptical John.

"I'm not sure sir. Their population is still very large and one of the groups showed the feeding scar on his chest, but he had barely aged. Something definitely caused them to stop and if it is a simple plant it could save thousands of lives."

"Would they be willing to let us have some of the plant?" Asked Woolsey.

"They wouldn't let us take a sample but they said we could bring back our doctors to look at the plants and then if we want to they would discuss a trade."

"Good work captain. Tomorrow morning at 09:00 go back to MX3454 and take Dr Keller with you. If she thinks the plant is special start negotiations."

"Yes Sir." Gilbert replied as he was dismissed from the briefing room.

"I take it you didn't want to go on the mission?" Asked Woolsey.

"No offence, but plants with magical bathing powers? Sounds like a bit of a waste of time."

"I agree it is unlikely, but worth investigating. Perhaps if you can get McKay out of the infirmary, you could get him to look at long-range sensor records and see if with have any data corresponding to their withdrawal."

"Out of all the things you could have asked like defeat the Wraith and Michael, find some new ZPMs, build a new wing, you ask me to do the impossible and get McKay out of the infirmary!" John complained.

"If you would prefer to go on the mission."

"No that is ok. Thanks all the same." John replied before he headed towards the infirmary. As he approached he passed a couple of the nurses and overheard them saying.

"I don't know how she stays so calm. Poor thing."

"Maybe they could ration his time in the infirmary."

"Evening doc, McKay." He greeted as he entered.

"Colonel." Keller replied, whilst McKay grunted, unable to speak as he was having to keep his mouth open so Keller could examine his throat. "Is there something I can do for you?"

"Yeah. I was actually hoping to take McKay. Unless he is dying or you really want to keep him here."

"No that is ok. You can take him. There is nothing wrong with him." Keller said as she finished examining McKay.

"How can you say that?" cried McKay when he was able to move his tongue. "My hand is shaking. And what about the rash on my forehead."

"The shaking hands are due to too much caffeine and the rash is from where you fell to sleep and rested your head on your arm. "

Seeing that John was finding the whole situation amusing McKay said. "That's right. Laugh at me. But when I can't save Atlantis and the whole galaxy because Dr Voodoo didn't do her job you'll be sorry."

"McKay I have run lots of tests and they are all normal. As soon as the blood work gets back I will let you know."

"In the mean time I need you to save the galaxy McKay. So say goodbye to Dr Keller and come with me."