I'm back! Sorry to everyone that was following my other story "The Other Side". I won't be returning to it for a while at least, too much came up and I have lost any inspiration I did have with it. Maybe someday I'll continue.
But, anyways this is my new one and I hope you all will like it. I'm hoping to update every other day or so, but don't hold me to it, and I'm hoping the chapters will be of decent size. Well, hope you enjoy it. Not much whump in this chapter but we'll get there.
Taken by Storm
Sheppard groaned as he rolled over in his bed, the blanket bunched up to reveal his bare feet which , as usual, were dangling off the end of the mattress. Both Ronon and he had decided the Ancients had been a short race because all the beds were a good four inches shorter than standard on Earth. The Dedalus was now making regular runs in between the two galaxies and John's first request was for new bed frames and mattresses to fit. His second simply another case of popcorn since Teyla had eaten his last bag. He regretted ever inducing that woman to the salty snack, as she all but inhaled each kernel.
Slowly, an arm emerged from the blankets to fumble along the bedside table in search of the alarm clock which was emitting the highly offensive noise that had roused him. Normally the Colonel was an early riser, getting a few miles in before breakfast but today was the day his reports were due. Reports which were stacked in a rather large pile, untouched on his desk. Though many would call him crazy, the thought of the hours of paperwork sitting there, waiting for him, was more intimidating than facing down an army of wraith. Paper cuts were painful after all.
Groaning, Sheppard pulled the covers off his body before shuffling over to his bathroom, thinking it best to get the torture done as soon as possible, but that was only if he could get Elizabeth to let it slid for a couple more days.
"No, John." Weir's voice was unwavering as Sheppard entered her office, a familiar lazy grin on his lips.
"Why do you think I was gonna ask you something?" He replied, sitting in the chair in front of her desk. "Can't a guy just say good morning?"
"Not when the monthly reports are due tomorrow. So, no. I need those reports today." Elizabeth replied, sitting back in her seat and crossing her arms.
"Come on, Elizabeth. I just need two more days. That's all." He attempted to give her his best kicked puppy impression.
"No, Colonel, I need those reports by midnight tonight. That gives you the entire day." Elizabeth held up a hand, stopping John as he opened his mouth to speak. "And there will be no missions until those reports are in my inbox, completed and filed correctly."
John sighed, realizing there was no way out of this. Weir could not help but smirk as he rose and slowly walked out of the office, mumbling under his breath about the Geneva convention as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
He had only made it a few steps from the door when the 'gate erupted into activity and the alarm sounded.
Weir sighed as she pushed herself out of her chair, following John to the control room. "What do we have, Chuck?"
"It's Lorne's team, ma'am. They're sending us a transmission." The technician stated, fingers flying over the console.
"Bring it up." Elizabeth said, even as the screen in front of her sprung to life, showing a very grim Major Lorne.
"Dr. Weir, I'm afraid we have a bit of a situation here" His voice echoed slightly over the speakers.
"What kind of situation, Major?" Sheppard cut in instantly, unable to disguise the concern for him men in his voice. He took his position seriously and while most commanding officers were only concerned about climbing the ladder, John did and always would put his men first.
"Guerilla warfare, sir." Lorne answered. "Seems some of the locals don't appreciate outside help. They're afraid it will attract the attentions of the wraith."
"I don't think I like where this is going.." Sheppard mumbled.
"No, sir. You won't." Evan answered. "They attacked us, grabbed Clarke and disappeared into the jungle."
"Did you try and track them?" John asked, shifting from back and forth on the balls of his feet, anxious to get to the planet and find the lost lieutenant.
"Simmons and Lawson are on it now, sir."
Elizabeth's frown deepened when she heard this. "You sent them in without backup?"
Lorne quickly shook his head, not ever wanting to be on Weir's bad side. Everyone had seen and felt the effects when one of the marines decided to bring a potentially dangerous marsupial to Atlantis, claiming it had climbed into his backpack unbeknown to him. The man still back away slightly whenever in the same room with her. "No, ma'am. They are just scanning the perimeter until told otherwise."
"I'll be there with a team by 0900, Major." Sheppard answered before signaling for Chuck to cut the transmission.
"Take Garrett's team, Colonel. Lt. Peters was just released to active duty."
Sheppard nodded, quickly turning on his heels before spinning back around when she called him.
"And Colonel, looks like you got out of that paperwork, but I expect it the instant you're back." She said, crossing her arms in front of her, a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.
Sheppard's own sideways grin broke through his lips as he realized the unexpected escape that had been thrown in his face.
"I'll give you a call when we get him." He told her before running down the stairs. She was about to stop him, reminding John that she needed a few more check-ins than that, but he had already disappeared.
"Alright guys, stay sharp." The Colonel ordered his men as they carefully trekked through the jungle, each man looking for any sign of their missing companion. The rather large group slowly picked their way through the dense vegetation, making as little noise as possible so as not to attract unwanted attention. Ronon was only a few yards away from Sheppard, attempting to glean any clues from a jungle that seems insistent to keep her secrets to herself.
"This would be easier if it hadn't rained." The Satedan grumbled and he lifted the leaves of a fern-like plant to peer at the mud slicked ground.
"Wouldn't the mud make it easier, you know, tracks and all?" McKay snapped sarcastically.
Ronon straightened and turned towards him with a glare, before growling. "When it's a typical rain, yes, but not with a torrential down pour. Washes away all the tracks."
"Remind me again why we can not just track Clarke by the sub-q transmitter?" Teyla asked, delicately stepping over a very unpleasant pile of rotting leaves and mud.
Rodney gave a very exaggerated sigh as though he had explained this many times before. Which he had, to Sheppard many times. In truth, John just knew how to irritate the snot out of the scientist and really tried his best as a simple hobby.
"Because..." McKay answered, drawing a few more syllables from the single word with annoyance. "The atmosphere in the forest is charged with enough electricity, generated by the ever present storms clouds is enough to scramble any frequencies. Stupid that the so-called all-knowing ancients couldn't even figure how to work around that in their ships." The Canadian finished grumbling.
"It's not like you could do it either." Sheppard mumbled, without looking up, instead watching the littered terrain for clues.
Rodney stopped suddenly in his tracts and point a finger at the Colonel. "That's not my point!" He snapped, his pride wounded. He would have continued if not for Teyla setting her hand gently on his shoulder.
"We know what you mean, Rodney." She said while sending a warning glare towards Sheppard, who quickly tried to hide his smirk.
The teams searched in silence for near two more hours, finding their way deeper into the dense jungle. Though they had began as soon as possible, which had still been fairly early in the afternoon, they now found themselves in the high heat of the day. The air hung thickly around them, a person's lungs protesting even the shallowest of breaths.
"Maybe it's time to head back" John mumbled, discouraged at the lack of progress. "We'll try the other area around the 'gate to the north." Like most planets in the Pegasus galaxy, local villages would set up far from the stargate, hoping to escape a wraith culling.
Slowly the group turned back to the path they had been following, their guard down, seeing as they had already scanned this area.
"Stupid electric storms and their stupid rain." Rodney mumbled as the clouds suddenly burst open and a mild shower began to fall around them.
"Stop your grumbling McK-" Sheppard was cut off by Ronon, who raised a hand staring into the underbrush in front of them.
"Someone's out there." The Satedan managed to hiss under his breath seconds before the air broke out with the clatter of gun fire. The team scattered, diving for cover while simultaneously raising their weapons.
"Where are they?" Rodney's voice was strained to be heard over the weapon discharge.
Ronon grunted, aiming into the trees in front of them then shot. The red flare did not miss it's target and a well camouflaged man fell from the underbrush. "Our 12 is clear." He growled.
"Alright, go!" Sheppard ordered, waiting as Ronon, McKay, and Teyla scrambled through the trees, crouched so as not to be hit.
"Sheppard to all teams, fall back. Under enemy fire, repeat. We are under enemy fire-" John shouted into the radio, hoping his message would break through the highly charged atmosphere. He was close behind his team when a stunner caught his leg, causing him to fall face first into the leaf strewn ground.
"SHEPPARD!" Ronon's gruff voice seemed to echo through the forest over the weapon's clatter.
"GO!" John shouted, waving a hand to motion them forward, before another blast hit his shoulder, effectively immobilizing him.
"Ronon! We must go." Teyla insisted, pulling the large man by the arm.
"No, we need to get Sheppard!"
Teyla tugged harder, her nails digging into his flesh. "We do not know how many there are. We will come back!"
Laying there, his face in the mud, he could only listen and hope his team escaped safely as their voices faded. Large, mud-covered boots were the last thing the Colonel saw, before darkness overtook him.
Well, there you have it: the set up. Now review so I know people are listening!