Temman dropped to the ground, helpless. His body went numb from the Wraith stun blast that had hit him dead center, and he fell backward onto a rock so that his chest lay higher than his head. His line of sight was fixed back the way the shot had come. Upside down he saw three Wraith abandon their cover in the forest and come towards him.
He wanted to yell for help, but he could not. His partner had already gone down a few seconds before he did. Her hit had prompted him to stand up from cover to see what was happening, which had got him shot. He had been stupid. Ronon had taught him better.
The Wraith passed out of view, either standing over him or moving on past. His head was set in a fixed position, and Temman couldn't so much as wiggle a finger…yet he hadn't passed out, which gave him a slight advantage. When stunned in training drills, he had discovered that if one worked constantly to fight past the numbness then it would dissipate quicker than normal. He fought with all his available concentration and hammered against the neural block.
Suddenly one of the Wraith stepped back into view and fired his weapon into the forest. Temman just made out a figure on the periphery of his vision as the Wraith adjusted his aim and fired repeatedly. The more the figure moved into line the better Temman could see him…or in this case, it.
The figure hesitated each time it was shot, but then continued on undiminished.
The combat model replicator ran forward and latched onto the Wraith's weapon, tearing it from its grip and breaking the Wraith's arm in the process. It kicked the Wraith to the side and fired several blasts over Temman's head.
Though he couldn't show it, Temman was incredibly relieved. He didn't know whose replicator it was, but it had apparently been close enough to respond to the attack and would kill or drive off the Wraith, preventing them from dragging him off helpless to be fed upon.
The replicator held position near Temman and fired off stun blast after stun blast, getting hit by several itself, but never more than momentarily affected by the incoming fire. Behind it, Temman saw more Wraith approaching, but couldn't cry out a warning. Of the new Wraith, one held out a small pistol and fired a green blast at the Replicator.
Temman saw its left shoulder disintegrate into melted droplets that fell to the ground in front of his eyes. The tiny bits smoked on the ground, falling apart as if they were nothing but burnt sand. They lay directly in front of his eyes, smoldering as they further disintegrated.
The Replicator, when hit, calmly turned around, shifting the Wraith weapon to his other arm and fired precisely into the Wraith's torso, dropping it to the ground. More blasts ensued from the damaged Replicator, keeping the Wraith away from Temman as he worked a slight sensation back into the thumb on his right hand.
The Replicator took two more stun blasts, then, without reason, abandoned Temman and ran off into the woods. If he could have screamed, or pleaded, or cried out in any fashion he would have, but he couldn't. He lied frozen in place as he saw the injured Wraith slowly rise to its feet and walk toward him.
Step by step it approached, its arm limp at its side, all the while staring at Temman through its bony faceplate. It knelt down next to him and just before it touched him Temman could see the feeding slit in its hand pass over his face.
The stun blast couldn't dull the pain that came. Temman's life drained from him as the Wraith healed its injured arm. When finished it stood up and returned to the fight, leaving Temman's withered body behind. Within a few minutes the stress of the feeding overloaded his heart and he died, frozen in place on top of a rock.
A quarter mile away from Temman, Teyla hid behind a fallen tree waiting to ambush a group of approaching Wraith. She had with her one of three 'regulars,' which they'd come to call the Pegasus recruits that they'd been training. This regular's was named Inis, and she was hunkered down behind a thick tree trunk ten meters away.
The plan was to draw the Wraith out of the forest base with a distraction further down the ridge. Sheppard and his team had drawn that duty, while Teyla's five man squad had ambush duty at the complex's south entrance.
Her three regulars were equipped with basic stun rifles similar in design to the P-90 that she still carried. With the vast array of weapons that Stevenson had made available to her, Teyla had been trying out many different varieties, but to date she hadn't found one that she liked and wasn't proficient enough for her tastes with any of the new weapons so, like Sheppard, she had decided to stick with the P-90 until she could find a suitable replacement and get in enough target practice to grow comfortable with using it.
The regulars that they'd brought with them, nine in all, had proven themselves enough to be added to the mission rosters, but they hadn't yet rated lethal weapons. All of them carried stun rifles or pistols, and would continue to do so until they proved that they could fight without their commanders worrying about friendly fire…which had been a continuing problem in training missions.
This mission, however, was not a training scenario. It was a real assault on a small Wraith production facility hidden beneath the canopy of a very high forest. The Wraith base extended underground and was thought to be a small arms factory. It had come to their attention via Stevenson and his ability to monitor all current gate travel from the gate center back in Avalona. He'd written a program to monitor and transfer all Pegasus gate data to Atlantis daily via the subspace 'fax' technology that the Ancients used to send one way text messages over great distances.
By backtracking known Wraith movements they'd discovered this small, cozy, out of the way system that had abnormally high gate traffic and was a stop off location for Wraith ships from time to time, confirmed by Atlantis's long range sensors when they'd been focused in to monitor the planet in question. Addition recon had provided all the pertinent data to add this planet to the hit list for Sheppard and his crew.
With the painfully slow Tria being the only option for transit aside from the gate network, and with this particular system lying well away from the two remaining supergates, it had been determined that they would make the strike on foot, given that the puddle jumpers, or navicula porta as Stevenson called them, couldn't maneuver through the trees that surrounded the gate.
After using the built in surveillance equipment that Stevenson had kindly showed them how to use after hooking up a standard display in Atlantis's control room so they wouldn't continuously hound him to mentally check off world status through the gate, three teams led by Teyla, Ronon, and Sheppard headed out to hit the Wraith factory, accompanied by one replicator each.
Teyla had ordered her other two regulars further back along the path they thought the Wraith would take from the south entrance to get to the disturbance that Sheppard's team was going to create. She had ordered the replicator to quietly patrol the area and make sure that the Wraith didn't sneak up on them from another direction. So far everything had been quiet, but that wasn't going to last for long.
Off in the distance she heard the gentle boom of the Wraith's forward watch tower. Apparently Sheppard had succeeded in overcoming the guards and detonating the small building…but not before letting Ronon's squad by with the big fireworks, which they would attempt to plant inside the facility while the Wraith were busy outside.
To that end, the southern entrance opened up and over a dozen Wraith flooded out, heading west southwest…and not on the well worn path that Teyla thought they'd be on. Instead, they were heading through the underbrush in a direction that would bring them directly on top of Teyla and Inis, instead of on the path through the gully directly below them.
"What now?" Inis mouthed to Teyla.
She signaled for her to stay put while she thought hard about what to do. Meanwhile the Wraith hurriedly crunched their way through the forest undergrowth, heading towards what had been their watchtower.
Teyla pointed along the ridge, ordering Inis to move down and fire on the Wraith well away from her. Once they redirected on Inis, Teyla would hit them from the side.
"Then run back," Teyla whispered, pointing to the direction of the other two regulars. Inis nodded and crawled away.
Teyla steadied herself, hidden behind the log. When she heard Inis open up, she would give it a count of three then jump out of cover and lay into the Wraith while they were distracted. Then they would both fall back and draw the survivors to the rest of her squad, as planned beforehand. The replicator would join the fight once the regulars opened fire, so as not to blow the ambush.
Teyla heard Inis's stun rifle fire three quick burst and she began counting.
She stood up behind her log and took one step forward, but stopped in her tracks. She fired on the nearest Wraith, downing it with a hail of P-90 fire. She turned to the next and downed it just the same, but by then the other Wraith had noticed her presence and began firing on her.
Teyla dropped back behind cover, cursing herself. She had planned to run and gun, but when she'd stood up she'd froze. Now she was in a bind.
"Teyla!" she heard Inis yell as she crouched behind a thin tree, surrounded by a hail of stun blasts. One of them impacted the trunk and her shoulder.
Her rifle dropped from her limp arm. "Teyla! Help!"
Teyla knew she had to do something, but she also knew that if she stood up the other Wraith would shoot her on the spot. They were approaching her position, she could feel them as hazy spots within her mind. Three of them, approaching cautiously.
She raised her gun up over the log and fired wildly, hoping to hit something. The Wraith ducked behind cover, buying a few more seconds for Teyla to do something.
Reluctantly she activated her wristband. "Achilles, recall now!" she screamed, ordering her personal replicator off patrol duty and back to her position immediately.
Teyla knew she couldn't call up her other regulars, they'd be target practice moving through the woods. They had to stay under cover if they were going to do any good. Teyla and Inis had to pull back to them.
Just then Teyla heard a faint hum and zap, and she felt one of the Wraith fall dead, with the others confused. She knew this was her chance and jumped to her feet. She fired her weapon at the other two Wraith, hitting both but not killing either.
Another tiny glowing light zipped between the trees and hit one of the Wraith. It slumped out of cover, dead.
"Thank you, Ronon," Teyla said to herself.
Off from her left several stun blasts zipped through the trees and she automatically ducked to the ground…but they weren't aimed at her. They hit the other cowering Wraith, and he too slid into sight.
Teyla ran forward and filled the stunned Wraith with bullets as her replicator sprinted towards her through the woods with inhuman speed. When it got to her it didn't need additional orders. Its programming sensed the other Wraith and responded to the threat immediately.
The replicator named Achilles ran past Teyla in a blur, firing its captured Wraith weapon with precise, yet rapid shots. Teyla ran behind it, failing to keep up. She heard the sounds of battle ahead as the replicator manhandled the Wraith, snapping limbs and necks with ease.
Teyla shot one Wraith as it tried to limp off through the underbrush, and made sure to put at least two bullets into every one lying on the ground. She caught up to Inis with the replicator pacing around the immediate area, keenly alert.
"Inis, I'm so sorry. Are you alright?"
"Can't feel my right arm," she said, clearly afraid.
"Can you walk?"
"I think so," she said, struggling to stand up.
"Achilles, take her back to the rest of the squad. Hold there and protect them. I'll lead the rest of the Wraith back to your position."
The replicator simply nodded, then began to pull Inis along by the arm. When she stumbled, it simply picked her up, swung her over its damaged shoulder, and carried her at half a run back through the woods.
Teyla turned her attention back towards the complex as she sensed more Wraith coming out…but this time they weren't coming towards her. They were headed towards what she guessed was Ronon's group, based on the direction the mini drones had come from.
Pissed off at her own incompetence, she sprinted forward toward the emerging Wraith, intent on killing as many of them as she could before they could outflank Ronon's squad.