Radek clutched his P-90 and looked around uneasily. "I hate going offworld," he mumbled to himself.
Once again they had investigated a rumor of Ancient technology only to find a village in ruins. The Wraith had been here very recently. Clothing hanging on lines was still damp, and iceboxes still held a few solid cubes floating in puddles of meltwater. Rodney had found stew simmering in a pot and had proclaimed it warm and edible before Colonel Sheppard smacked him upside the head to make him stop.
Radek peeked into one of the empty cottages. The family who lived there had obviously been surprised during some quiet time together. A child's toy lying forgotten on the ground and the book on a chair were mute testament to that. It always amazed him that people in Pegasus were able to maintain normal lives in the face of the constant threat of the Wraith. He wasn't sure he'd be strong enough to do the same.
A sudden noise behind him made him jump. "Do prdele!" Radek swore, glad that no one was around to hear his voice squeak. The sound came again: a tiny whimper of pain. "Hello?" he called.
The whimper became a forlorn cry. It sounded like it was coming from one wall of the house. At first Radek didn't notice anything, but as he approached he saw a small, furry animal lying under a bush. It opened its eyes and mewed at him.
He bent down to get a closer look. "Ahhh," he breathed sadly as he saw the long gash in its side. "What happened to you, little one?"
The kitten squeaked again and stared at Radek with soulful eyes. In addition to the gash, it had several broken ribs. Its hind limbs were paralyzed and it seemed to have trouble catching its breath. Radek sighed, sat down, and began stroking it.
"Radek! Where the hell are you?!" Rodney's voice could be heard long before he came into sight. "Radek…. Oh." A wistful expression crossed the Canadian's face as he watched his friend pet the kitten. He covered it up by blustering loudly, "Did you find anything, or have you just been sitting here the whole time?!"
Radek smiled back, not fooled by the act. "I know you miss your cat, Rodney. Would you like to…?" He gestured toward the kitten who, incredibly, had started to purr even in the face of its injuries.
Rodney ranted for another minute, then started to stroke the silky fur.