"It's freezing down here!" Reece complained, rubbing his hands together.
"Well, we are in Antarctica," Muki replied sagely, a smile on her face as she played with her purple fleece, which trailed just a bit over her hands.
"I don't understand how you can even look at that color, let alone wear it," the major said, shooting Muki a dubious look.
"Well, it's not like it was our fault or anything that everyone's hair turned purple," Kira commented, her voice neutral. "Besides, Dr. Fraiser found an antidote within the week anyway."
Reece stared at her. "What's up with you, Feldin? You hate the cold at least ten times more than both of us put together, but you've barely said anything since we got here!" The redhead gave no reply, simply looked away pointedly.
"A ninja does not complain, does not show weakness," Feldin recited tonelessly.
"She's just upset that Dr. Jackson's off the base's bachelor list now," Muki imparted to Tyler, who grinned.
"Ah, so that's why! Well, Feldin, it's probably about time you moved on, you know. I mean, you practically stalked the guy, and-" He cut off as a kunai flew past him, barely grazing his cheek. It 'twanged,' firmly stuck in the wall behind him.
Kira turned, her pale blue-grey eyes icy. "I thought we agreed never to speak of that again," she said quietly. "And for your information, I did not stalk him." Striding past her CO, she pulled the knife out of the wall, and then twirled it. "I merely happened to see Dr. Jackson drink coffee many times. There is such a thing as coincidence, after all." The weapon then disappeared somewhere on her person. "Now come on, didn't Muki say Dr. Beckett wanted to see us?"
Tyler shivered as Kira brushed past him; her infamous dark side making the air seem even colder. "What did we do to get on the Atlantis expedition anyways?" he muttered under his breath. Well, it's not exactly like we have anything better to do in the first place; the only people I really see or talk to on a regular basis are Feldin and Muki, thought the major. Still, I have the feeling that General O'Neill had something to do with this. Geez, just 'cause the guy's hair gets turned purple on accident, he has to take it out on us? I didn't even know he hated purple!
"Oi! Earth to a-pa-shousa, Earth to a-pa-shousa!(1)" Reece was jarred out of his thoughts by the dulcet tones of his 2IC, who was currently scowling at the moment. "Are you just going to stand there till I dye your hair rainbow?"
"You know, it's very unbecoming to threaten a superior officer, Feldin," he huffed, hurrying to catch up to his two female teammates. "You could get court-martialed for it someday."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," the redhead shrugged, looking at him through half-closed eyes.
"Hey, I think I found the infirmary!" Muki interrupted their banter.
The team entered the room, which was decorated rather sparsely. Aside from the medical equipment, there were a few cots, but that was the extent. At a desk in the corner sat a man wearing a blue fleece, and slight stubble decorating his chin. At the sound of the three entering the room, he looked up.
"Ah! Ye must here for your blood test results," Dr. Carson Beckett announced, his voice permeated with a Scottish brogue.
"Yup, that we are, Doc. Well, I assume we are, since all Muki told us was that you wanted to see us." Tyler sent her a look, his eyebrow raised.
"You know me! Things go in one ear and out the other!" the girl defended herself, almost, but not-quite pouting.
"Well, in any case, that is why ye are supposed to be here," Beckett interrupted. He rifled through some files in the piles of papers on his desk. "Ah! Here they are," he said, plucking a couple of papers from one of the overly tall piles. Looking the results over, he smiled, then looked at Kira. "Congratulations, Lieutenant Feldin, you have the active ATA gene."
"Great! Why am I supposed to be excited again?" she asked, a slightly confused expression falling over her face. Reece sighed sufferingly.
"Don't pay her any mind; she's always like this," he told Beckett, who nodded, then turned back to the paper.
"As for you, Major, you do have the gene, but it's recessive, and Ms. Huzanaka does not have it at all. However, I am working on a therapy that will allow people without the gene to gain it through artificial means."
"Carson!" A man wearing an orange fleece marched purposefully into the room, barely even glancing at SG-13 as he brushed past them. "I need you to try the control chair."
"Rodney, I've already told ye, I'm not going to sit in that bloody thing," the Scot protested. "Can't you get someone else to do it?"
"I've already tried everyone else," Rodney said. "You are the only one who hasn't even so much as sat in it yet!"
"That is not true!" Carson seized what Rodney just said like a lifeline. "Lieutenant Feldin here has just arrived, and she has the ATA gene."
Kira looked up as if she was suddenly realizing where she was. "Wait, what? You're offering me as a pig?" she questioned incredulously.
"A what?" McKay asked, baffled.
"Um, Feldin, I think you mean guinea pig?" Reece confirmed.
The redhead snapped her fingers, pointing at him. "Yes! That's the English term, a guinea pig, and I can't believe you're throwing me to the wolves!" she broke into a rant at Carson.
"I think he strikes me more as a wolverine, neechan," Muki input. They all stared at her, trying to absorb the teen's random comment.
"Not even going to ask what that was about," the scientist muttered under his breath, "but you-" he pointed at Kira, "are going to sit in the control chair, as well as you, Carson!" The doctor grumbled something in Gaelic, most likely insulting the Canadian.
"And just why to I have to sit in this chair thingy?" the lieutenant inquired while raising an eyebrow, her voice deceptively calm.
"Because, since you three are on the expedition, you're going to have to get acquainted with Ancient technology sooner or later, and it's better sooner than later. Besides, we haven't determined the strength of some people's ATA genes, and it's easiest to find it by interfacing with Ancient tech." The scientist finished his explanation, a smug 'Ha-you-can't-get-out-of-this' look on his face.
"Fine, but a word of caution," Feldin warned. "You annoy me anymore after I try out your precious chair, and I will dye your hair the same color as your jacket." And with that ominous statement, she left the infirmary.
Rodney and Carson stared the way she'd gone. "W-would she really do that?" the scientist asked nervously.
"Yeah, she would," Tyler nodded. "Feldin doesn't make threats lightly."
"If it makes you feel any better, I think you would look nice with orange hair," Muki smiled. Somehow that didn't make Rodney feel very reassured.
* * *
General Jack O'Neill (two 'l's, as he constantly reminded everyone), was not a happy camper. Oh, no, he wasn't. He was currently in a helicopter with an almost enthusiastic (for the Air Force) pilot. One simply wasn't enthusiastic if one was an Air Force pilot.
It also didn't help that he was in Antarctica, the one continent that he'd hoped to never set foot on again, seeing as how he'd nearly died both times he'd been there. As statistics go, that was a 100% rate on the chances he was going to die. When he told that to Daniel, though, the archaeologist had merely replied, "Yeah, sure, Jack. I gotta go, Sam's got coffee."
And wasn't his best friend such the lucky person, to actually have someone to make him coffee? Even though Jack was a general now, he didn't get all the perks that he thought he'd get. What was the fun of being a general if you had to make your own coffee?
* * *
"I break things like this!" Carson had protested as Rodney manhandled him to the control chair.
"My track record with things millions of years old isn't too good, either," Kira put in as she reluctantly trailed after the two.
"Feldin, what track record?" Reece asked, rather confused.
"Well, I count you in that category," she replied without so much as a backwards glance.
"Hey!" the major protested, offended. "I'm only about a year and a half older than you! How do I fit into 'millions of years'?" She merely hummed knowingly. Muki, for no apparent reason, smirked, a sight which scared him immensely for reasons unknown.
"This chair has survived the past few millennia intact, I'm certain it will survive both of you," McKay replied rather caustically. "Now, Carson, sit down, close your eyes, and concentrate."
Reluctantly, the doctor did so, sitting in the chair for a moment with his eyes closed before he opened them and said, "You see? Nothing," as he made to stand again.
"Look, this time, just try to imagine an image of where we are in the solar system," the scientist pushed Carson back into the chair. Sighing, the Scot did so.
"I think I feel something," he said after a moment. "It could be lunch-related."
SG-13 snickered while Rodney merely looked annoyed and said, "Shut up. Just concentrate, okay?"
Carson did exactly that. For a short time it seemed like nothing was going to happen, but then the head of the chair lit up, the whole contraption plus him leaned back, and all hell broke loose.
* * *
Oh, yes, someone is going to answer to me, thought O'Neill as Major 'I-think-Antarctica's-kind-of-nice' did some loopy maneuvers to keep their helicopter from being blown out of the sky by a rogue drone. I save the Earth from being screwed over, what, seven times now, I think? And this is the thanks I get?? Oh, yes, there would be hell to pay for whoever was messing with one Jonathon 'Jack' Patrick O'Neill (with two 'l's, don't forget).
* * *
"Okay, Carson, concentrate on shutting the weapon down before it hurts someone," Dr. Elizabeth Weir counseled the doctor, who was fretting over what to do.
As he tried valiantly to turn the drone off, it didn't seem to have any effect, as it came in over the radio that General O'Neill's helicopter was still being pursued.
Unable to stay still any longer, Kira growled, "Screw this," slapped her hand on the arm of the chair over Carson's, and thought very violently, 'OFF!'
The entire outpost plunged into semi-darkness as all the Ancient tech and equipment suddenly shut down.
"Um, oops?" the redhead's voice held a nervous tone that Reece had never heard before. Was it bad that some part of him inside was chortling gleefully at this evidence his 2IC was not always a sadistic self-proclaimed ninja with height issues? "It was an accident!" she continued in a somewhat pleading tone, something he'd never heard beforehand either. Well, you learn something new everyday, Tyler thought.
"An accident? How do you shut down an entire outpost by accident??" McKay seethed. Tyler's internal maniacal cackling was stifled as a foot slammed down on his. Hard.
"Ow! Crimaniddly, Feldin, that was my foot!" he cried, hopping up and down as he held the offended appendage. "McKay's on the other side of the chair if you want to play the bodily torture game!"
Even in the darkness, Tyler could make out the scientist's face paling visibly at the implications of his statement. Ha, take that! he thought, a little undeservedly vicious.
"Here, I'll turn it back on!" the lieutenant said quickly. However, when the lights came on, Feldin was gone.
"Damn ninja," Reece muttered as he rubbed his sore foot, ignoring the strange glances the others, minus Muki, gave him. Speaking of which, where did she go? "Little ninja-in-training hellion," he added the description of his other teammate, again ignoring the looks given him by the (more or less) sane members of the expedition.
* * *
Said ninja and ninja-in-training hellion were currently fast tracking away from that particular part of the outpost as fast as they could.
Great, just great, the redhead thought to herself. Barely the first couple of days at the outpost, and not only have I managed to make a gigantic baka(2) out of myself, but these are people I'm going to have to put up with for an indefinite amount of time since apparently General O'Neill has screwed us over just 'cause his hair accidentally got turned purple! And she was still convinced that particular incident was entirely Reece's fault. Honestly, the man attracted trouble like flies to rotting meat!
"Neechan, are you okay?" Muki asked, interrupting Kira's fuming stew. "You've got kind of a scary look on your face. Scary like you're going to cause permanent bodily harm scary." And somehow her adopted imouto(3) had managed to say that with a completely straight face.
"Muki," Kira told her, sighing, "one day you're going to be one hell of a poker player."
Finally, the day had come for the Atlantis expedition to take what could be a one-way trip to the Pegasus Galaxy, and what was hopefully the City of the Ancients.
"Hey, Muki, Feldin, you suited up and ready to go?" Reece asked his teammates.
"Yup yup yup!" the alien teen grinned, excited to go on this journey with what she considered to be her family.
"Ready as one can be when one's about to go on a dangerous mission to another galaxy, maybe with no way back," Feldin drawled, smirking.
"Yeah, yeah, drown the rest of us in your pessimistic ninja ways, will ya?" Reece replied, resisting the urge to stick his tongue out at her because, dammit, he was older and supposed to be more mature here!
"You got your 'medicine,' a-pa-shousa?" his 2IC inquired, her voice all sugary and sweet. Gritting his teeth, he resolved not to rise to the bait. Could he help it if energy drinks calmed him down some? No, he couldn't, it was just a part of nature! So with great dignity, Tyler huffed and pointedly ignored the redhead.
Everyone gathered in the gate room as Dr. Weir gave an inspiring speech about how the people going on this mission were some of the best, brightest, bravest, etc. As she said that this was the last chance for anyone to withdraw their involvement, she was met with silence. With a proud smile, the brunette said, "Begin the dialing sequence."
As the outer ring began to turn and the chevrons started to lock, Reece heard Colonel Sumner, the military head, say to a man he hadn't seen before, "Let me make myself clear, Major. You are not here by my choice."
"I'm sure you'll warm up to me once you get to know me, sir," the messy-haired major replied with a slight smirk.
"Just as long as you remember who's giving the orders," Sumner replied.
As he turned to go join a group of his Marines, the major said, "That would be Dr. Weir, right?"
Reece decided that he liked this guy as he and Sumner held an impromptu staring contest, a smirk plastered on his face. Reece went up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. "Major Tyler Reece," he introduced himself.
"Major John Sheppard," Sheppard replied.
"Ah, so you're the uppity second-in-command," Tyler smirked.
"Technically, we are the same rank," Sheppard said.
"But you're the senior officer," Tyler replied.
"True," Sheppard admitted. He gestured to the Stargate. "Have you ever had…previous experience with this?"
"Two whole years with my own team," Reece informed him, pointing a thumb at Muki and Feldin. The former gave Sheppard a grin, while the latter gave a little nod. The messy-haired major wisely decided not to comment on the fact the rest of Reece's team was female.
Just then, the gate tech announced, "Chevron eight, locked!" and the wormhole established itself with the usual 'kawoosh' of the vortex. SG-13 and Sheppard both gave themselves a last check over on their immediate equipment as Sumner started to bark out orders.
"Hold it, Colonel!" Weir ordered as she came back into the gate room, slinging her pack on. "We go through together," she told him stubbornly.
Sumner gave her a glance, then nodded slightly. "Fair enough," he said.
The first group of Marines, plus Dr. Weir, stepped through the gate, the soldiers' guns raised in precaution. Sheppard and a young Marine went up the ramp to the event horizon, standing guard. After a moment, Sumner's report came back through the radio: "All clear. It looks good."
"Expedition team, move out," O'Neill told the Atlantis crew.
"What's it feel like?" Sheppard asked the lieutenant as, already, more people were coming up the ramp after them.
"Hurts like hell, sir," the young man informed him seriously. His somber statement was ruined after a moment, though, as he grinned and gave a small, joyous shout as he propelled himself through the wormhole.
"Hey, there's nothing to it," Reece informed Sheppard as SG-13 followed after them, calmly stepping through.
"Yeah. You would hardly know you're being demolecularized into millions of tiny, itty-bitty pieces," Kira added nonchalantly, though her lips were twisted into a dangerous smirk.
"It's fun," Muki said simply as she followed her teammates.
Sheppard took a breath in preparation. How did I get myself into this one? he asked himself briefly before he was whisked away through the whirlwind ride that was the Stargate.
One the other side, they entered into a dark room that was lit only by the thin beams of light coming from atop the P-90's targeting scopes. "Teams One and Two, secure the immediate area! Everyone else, find an open space and park it until instructed otherwise," Sumner ordered. The soldiers that were coming through the gate acquiesced to their CO's orders, spreading out to make sure there were no immediate threats to the group's safety.
As people began to explore the immediate area, lights came on and doors opened of their own volition, startling the expedition. "Who's doing that?" Elizabeth wondered.
"Security teams, any alien contact?" Sumner inquired over the radio.
"Team four, negative, Colonel."
"Huh. The Ancients had saran-wrap?" Tyler wondered as he examined what seemed to be some sort of mechanical pillar that was wrapped in something looking quite similar to the Earth product.
"Apparently so," Kira replied, her sharp gaze taking in the entire room and committing it to memory.
"It's so much different from the Goa'uld technology," Muki observed, gazing at the objects around her in fascination. "It's like the designs are…graceful, almost, no unnecessary decorations or anything."
Down below, the last people came through the Stargate. Weir took her radio and said into it, "General O'Neill? Atlantis Base offers you greetings from the Pegasus Galaxy. You may cut power to the gate now." Just before the blue portal disappeared, a bottle of champagne was rolled through from the other side.
Never ones to stay still for long, SG-13 soon started to explore. "Geez, aren't there any windows in this place?" Kira muttered, glancing around.
"Well, it could be this place is underground, like the outpost in Antarctica," Muki offered a rare moment of sane advice.
"You could be right there, Muki," Reece agreed. The door to the room they were about to go into opened automatically, something which was really giving all three the willies. "Well, Feldin, you got your window," the major said in a soft, awed tone as he saw said window.
His teammates came up behind him, shock entering their expressions.
"Chikuso(4)," the self-proclaimed ninja murmured.
"Well, it'd be a good bet this is Atlantis," Muki stated.
The other two nodded as they stared out the window at the rest of the city underneath the waves.
* * *
"Hopefully that shield is pretty strong," Reece grumbled. " Death by drowning and/or suffocation is not very high on my 'To-do' list."
"Nor anyone else's, I'm sure," his 2IC drawled.
Suddenly, Sumner's voice came over the radio. "All security teams, fall back to the gate room."
"Hey, this is not my fault, so don't even try pinning it on me," Reece warned.
"You're the main catalyst for Murphy's Law, no offense," Feldin replied as they hurried back to the gate room.
As McKay dialed the gate to a random planet from the database, Sumner picked a group of military personnel, including Sheppard and SG-13, to accompany him to the planet to scout it for possible ZPMs.
As they stepped through the Stargate, Reece hoped that they'd be able to find something to help the city, because even as short a time as they'd been there, the city, Atlantis, felt like home.
(1) Major Airhead
(3) little/younger sister
A/N: Hopefully I'll have the next chapter up next weekend. Sorry if the ending's kinda crappy, I'm sick right now, so my writing is kinda suffering. Don't forget to review!