The drones led Teyla to the throne room, where a wraith queen was waiting for her

Spoilers: Set sometime after 3x18 'Submersion'. Slight John/Teyla UST at the end if you're looking closely.

Author's Note: Okay, this still isn't the long piece I've promised some of you, but apparently all of your reviews inspired the Muses.

Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis or its characters, but maybe if I invent a time machine and go back to about 1995...

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mind's Eye

The drones shoved Teyla along the corridors of the hive ship to the throne room, where a wraith queen was waiting for her.

"Leave us," the queen hissed, not looking up when the drones and two male wraith quietly walked out. She then started in a slow circle around Teyla, hissing and sniffing. For her part, Teyla stared straight ahead and tried not to flinch despite the cold, dark pressure pressing down on her mind from the presence of so many wraith.

"You are different," the queen finally said, leaning in close to Teyla's face. "What makes you so different?"

Teyla continued to stare forward until she felt a compulsion to answer. The queen was demanding it. However, instead of giving in to the urge straight away, Teyla found that something possessed her to follow the 'John Sheppard Handbook of Sarcasm'.

"My mother always did tell me I was special," she said. "She told me everyone is unique."

Teyla could not react fast enough to block the blow that struck the side of her head. She panted for a moment, waiting for the room to stop spinning. She was definitely spending too much time with her teammates.

"You are spirited," the queen said gleefully. "I will feed on you, but first you will amuse me."

Although she was normally a very calm person, Teyla could feel panic rising. 'Please,' she silently prayed, 'do not allow them to make me a Runner.'

The queen walked around the room, her hand trailing across the back of the throne as she passed. "We have learned much about humans in our time. Humans are such … emotional creatures. It gives me great pleasure to watch as they alternatively fear death and futilely try to save one another from it."

A drone entered, carrying a sidearm in its holster. Teyla was certain it was Rodney's. To her surprise, the drone handed her the gun and she felt instructions in her mind from the queen to put on the holster.

Teyla's mind raced as she fumbled to buckle and shorten the straps. If they were giving her a gun, it must mean they planned on her doing their bidding. And doing their bidding could not end well either for her or her team. However, there was no way she could shoot her way out of this throne room. Maybe with a P-90, but certainly not with a 9-mil.

Once she finished with the sidearm, Teyla stood and took a deep breath, facing the queen. The queen hissed in pleasure, and then suddenly Teyla could feel a mind pressing in on hers, bending her to its will. She gasped.


The queen watched as the human woman before her suddenly took on an empty look in her eyes and continued to stare without blinking. Closing her eyes to watch the events through the eyes of her prey, she turned the woman around with a thought and sent her out through the door. The corridors of the ship were empty, the wraith having retreated to inner rooms while the queen enjoyed her sport.

The queen breathed deeply as she watched the walls of her ship pass by through the eyes of her human plaything. She relished the feeling of the human woman as she struggled against the queen. But humans were too weak. While this one was indeed different, she was still no match for the power of a queen.

The human turned a final corner and the queen could feel first her struggles and then her pleas. The queen smiled.

In the cell before her stood the other three humans who had been captured with the woman. They all stood as she approached.

"Hey, how did you get away?" one of them asked, talking quickly. A tall man with long hair stood next to him, studying the woman silently.

On the other side of the cell, a third man stood. "Teyla, are you okay?" he asked, looking her over as if he could tell something was wrong. "Teyla?"

The queen sneered at their intense gazes, and that gesture transferred itself to the woman's face.

Through the woman the queen could feel the cool metal of the gun as she pulled it out of the holster. Slowly, she removed the safety and raised it toward the cell.

The tall man moved quickly, pushing the loud one to one side of the cell, out of the line of fire. But the other one, the one with the spiky dark hair, stood rooted to the spot, a shocked look on his face.

The queen slowly began to force the woman to press the trigger. The flood of emotions was intoxicating, just as she knew they would be. The woman fought, alternatively begging for the men's lives and silently sending her remorse to them for what she was about to do. By denying the woman the chance to vocalize her regret, the images and feelings became all the more intense.

Finally, the onslaught of images and emotions reaching a pinnacle, and the queen forced the woman to look once more into the face of the man who stood in front of her gun. Hazel eyes met hers, resigned but pleading. She squeezed the trigger.

Shots rang out.