Becca's lungs burned as bad as her legs were. Water pooling on the ground splashed whenever her boots landed in it. Her jeans and shirt were torn and she was sure she was a mess, but she forced herself to keep running.
The stolen earpiece in her ear chirruped. "Colonel?"
"Teyla? What's wrong?"
"I'm sensing Wraith in the tunnels."
Becca cursed the same time Sheppard did, but for a different reason. She should've remembered the Athosian's sensitivity to the Wraith before now. This made everything a thousand times more complicated.
Ducking into a recess, Becca dug out the Tok'ra communicator and clicked it four times.
"Please tell me you're at the shuttle," came the voice she'd been waiting for.
"Sorry, can't do that," Becca replied breathlessly, leaning against the wall.
The curse was easily transmitted. "Why not? They're closing in on your position!"
"I know, I know. Teyla's sensing you. As soon as they realize where I'm going, they'll split up and take you guys out first." A cough burst its way out of her chest, echoing painfully loud against the walls. "Kade, you need to leave now before they find the ship."
"Absolutely not!" Two other voices joined Kade's in stubborn defiance. "If you hurry, you'll just make it," Kade added in a rush. Desperation practically drowned out any Wraith-timbre in his voice. "Becca, please."
She'd just pressed the button to speak when a gun cocked close by. "Becca, drop the gun."
Remembering she still had the 9 mm in her hand, she belatedly raised it. "I can't, Evan. Kade and the others are escaping as we speak, and so the longer I make you stand here, the farther away they get."
"You realize two of them are Wraith, right?" Evan Lourne countered. "The uber bad guys of the Pegasus Galaxy?"
"Right now the only bad guys I see are you and the rest of the Air Force." Please get the hint, guys, she prayed. I can only stall my brother for so long. "Have you seen Kade hunt down a person or Shayne point a gun at your face?"
"They killed four Airmen, Becca."
"Oh, come on, Evan. It was self-defense and you know it. How else did you expect them to react to an ambush?"
Evan paused and his P-90 wavered. "Why are you doing this? The Wraith are more dangerous than the Goa'uld ever were, yet you're hiding two of them like they were innocent."
Becca knew he changed his approach whenever he felt he was loosing, so she was careful in how she responded. "True, Kade and Shayne have done awful things before Kelsha injected them. I don't ask them and they won't tell me if they don't want to, which is understandable, I think." She paused and bit her cheek. "Thanks to Kelsha, I got a second chance to live, Evan, and I think everyone needs it, too."
"They've been Wraith for thousands of years, kiddo, and it's only been a few months since their 'therapy session.' Do you really think they'd change that quickly?"
"We have changed, Major, otherwise I would have shot you by now." Kade stepped out from the side tunnel, having moved so silently that Evan hadn't heard his approach.
She wasn't sure what she was angrier at: the fact that Kade had run the opposite direction she'd ordered or the zat pointed at her brother's head. "What are you doing? You're supposed to be gone by now."
Making sure Evan had his weapon lowered, Kade moved over to Becca's side and put a protective arm around her shoulders. "I was not about to leave you to your military's tender mercies, despite your brother's good intentions," he replied smoothly, though a ghostly feeling entered Becca's mind. [I would rather die than leave you again, Becca.]
Torn between angry frustration and the overwhelming surge of emotion triggered by Kade's intense feelings, Becca decided to settle between them. "You're still an idiot," she grumbled, lowering the pistol. "Let's get out of here before everyone else shows up."
"I don't think so," came a new voice and the hallways lit up with flashlights, accompanied by the clicks of loaded weapons…and the rest of the Atlantis team.