A/N: Many thanks to my beta The Wishyles! All remaining mistakes are mine.

The man with the knife

"How does it feel

To treat me like you do

When you've laid your hands upon me

And told me who you are"

(Blue Monday by New Order)

It's not that I don't have a heart but I had an order, and if it was to drive a knife into the arm of the enemy, well then, I knew what I had to do.

Of course I had sympathy – almost compassion – for the scared man who stood next to my commander, Kolya. All the more when the man, full of horror, stared at me – or, more precisely, at my knife.

But these people were our enemies. They wouldn't hesitate for one single moment to hand us over to the Wraith if they expected to benefit. Cowen assured us of that. Whether our people lived or died didn't matter to them. They pretended to form an alliance and then double-crossed us. And this man, who now stood in front of me with beads of perspiration on his forehead, was one of them.

I have to confess that I imagined the Lanteans to be different. More callous. Harder. More ferocious. But the man in front of me seemed as if he was about to cry and fall to his knees to beg for mercy. I gave him my fiercest look, hoping to frighten him to such an extent that he would talk without me having to hurt him.

Two of my comrades grabbed him, gripping him tightly. Kolya walked back one, two steps and looked directly into the man's face. "McKay, I'm listening."

The man looked alternately at Kolya, then at me, then at my knife. He shook his head, yelling with the power of desperation. "I've already told you everything. There are no plans to save the city. We… we are just getting ready to leave. Please, please, please believe me."

I looked over at my commander, who subtly nodded in my direction. Time to start. I took the right wrist of the Lantean with my left hand noticing how nervous he was. I couldn't blame him for that.

I'm not a sadist. It doesn't give me pleasure to cause pain. I know some men in my position who gloat over the misfortune of other people, enjoy it, drag it out. Not me. I'm fast and efficient. That's why I thrust the knife with full force into his forearm. Aghast he focused on the knife still stuck in his arm. I turned it once in the wound and he cried out loudly. I pulled the knife out quickly, I couldn't let him get used to the pain, I couldn't let him realize that it was bearable.

The man from Atlantis moaned and whimpered. I could hardly endure the noise. It's not in my nature to torture anyone. I understand the necessity to do it – after all he was an enemy of my people and doesn't that justify everything? But in moments like these, when fear and torment and desperation emerge openly, I start to wonder if an unbiased observer had to think that I – and not this man – had done an injustice.

My comrades let him go and instinctively he grabbed his wounded arm with his left hand, although it must have hurt at the slightest touch. He raised his head and his gaze spoke volumes.

I took a cloth and wiped my knife clean. I wouldn't need it again today.