Title: The Third Day

Claim: Table 3/Ronon Dex

Prompt: #14 Surface

Lungs burning, adrenalin pumping, Ronon raced through the forest, trying to circle back towards the gate. The damned Wraith was still right behind him, though.

He hadn't been able to shake this one, or kill it. After three days of constant hounding, with little sleep and even less to eat, Ronon knew that his only chance of surviving this hunt was to get to the Gate and make it through before the Wraith caught up with him.

He leapt over a log, landing badly and ending up sprawled on his belly. Scrambling up, he took off again, cutting left through the trees. Ahead of him, a soft rumble grew steadily towards a roar.

Ronon recognised the sound: waterfall.

He'd crossed a wide, shallow river on the first day, but it had rained since then. Now, a thunderous torrent obviously stood between him and the Gate. Although... he was upriver of the point he'd crossed.

If the water wasn't running too fast he could maybe ride it down-river for a distance...

The thought spurred him on and he ran for the rumble of the water.

Running at full tilt, he didn't realise the ground had disappeared in front of him until it was almost too late. Only grabbing onto a well-placed tree stopped him from tumbling down the steep incline of the river ravine.

He grunted, pulling himself up, climbing to his knees. A cold smile pulled at his lips as he shot a look back over his shoulder. Maybe the Wraith wouldn't be so lucky. Maybe the Wraith would end up in the river...

It was running faster and higher than Ronon would have liked... but a blaster shot hit the tree branch above him and he knew he didn't have a choice. He slid down the steep ravine as fast as he dared, scrambling for purchase, slowing himself by grabbing hold of branches and saplings, not wanting to hit the water while sliding out of control.

Above him, the roar of frustration from the Wraith echoed along the ravine.

He grasped at another sapling, hanging on to it, bringing himself to a stop at the edge of the water. He hung on for a moment, gauging the flow, glancing back up the top of the ravine.

He swore, turning to jump as a flash of black moved above him... but something made him hesitate...

And then the Wraith tumbled past him, crashing into the roiling water and disappearing.

Ronon held onto the sapling, scanning the water further down-stream, waiting for the Wraith to surface. He waited a full minute, then another...

Then he sighed softly, resting his head back against the ground, closing his eyes for a moment. Turning carefully, he moved onto his knees. Checking the river once more, just to be sure, he began the long, slow climb to the top.