Killing The Dragon
Shepherd jumped back with a curse. McKay practically screamed, tripping over himself to get away. Ronon didn't understand why, thinking for a moment the young woman was still alive, but there was something unnatural in her eyes. Something wolflike, predator.
She flowed to her feet with inhuman grace, moving like fast flowing water. Then her top lip curled back, revealing a pair of sharp toothed fangs. Hissing she pulled back, floating a couple of inches from the ground.
Ronon had been a Runner, before that a member of his world's special forces. A world that prided itself on it's warrior culture. Nothing scared him. He'd faced Wraith, Replicators and been stalked by things that didn't have a name, but this small etherial girl was terrifying. Teyla reacted first, pulling up her P90 she opened fire at full auto.
At this range the compact machine gun should have shredded her target. The floating girl screamed, her voice like some howling banshee as she writhed under the hail of bullets. Instead of dying she began to laugh, a horrible sound devoid of mercy. As the torn tatters of the rags she wore drifted down she smiled crookedly. She was unharmed, bullet wounds healing as soon as they were made.
Ronon, in a single practiced move, drew and fired his pistol. Again nothing. He spun it in his hand, making sure it was set to kill, and fired again. The girl's smile became a grin, almost as if she was seeing him for the first time.
In a blink of an eye she was right next to him, her slender fingers around his wrist. With a sharp twist she snapped his hand, it was like she was breaking a twig. Grunting Ronon collapsed to his knees, the death grip she had was unbreakable. Teyla opened fire again, but it was hopeless.
Then Ronon saw the Girls eyes, they practically glowed. Sparkling as if all the stars in the sky were trapped there. Helplessly Ronon stared into the eyes of infinity, everything, even the pain from his wrist, faded. He felt light headed, almost concussed. Somewhere, infinitely far away, Teyla shouted at him words he couldn't hear.
Then the girl screamed again, releasing him. Shaking of the stupor the former Runner watched as Shepherd swung a burning log with all his strength. The girl recoiled, but it was too late. He had already set her alight, flames flickered from over her shoulder and she flew up, trying to get out of reach.
The fire spread quickly, catching her like kindling. The girl, now ten feet in the air, screamed again. As she did a great gout of flame came from her mouth. Like a puppet with her stings cut she fell to the ground, the fire going out as she hit.
Struggling to his feet Ronon nursed his hand. One glance to Teyla told him she was just as disturbed as him. It had all happened so fast and it was only one of them. The pair of them looked to where their attacker had landed. Rather than the burnt corpse he expected she looked more like a statue made of ash.
Out of nowhere a howling wind blew the ash away. It sounded like the death cry of some giant, ancient, beast. The wind died as quickly as it came, leaving only bleached bones. After a heartbeat the bones collapsed in a pile, becoming a revolting yellow. 'Well, looks like fire works.' Shepherd said in a quiet voice.
'John, what was that?' Teyla asked, sounding more than a little worried.
'A horror story.' Shepherd said cryptically. Ronon didn't bother trying to ask what he meant. He knew the only thing he needed to. Not too far away there was another fire, using his good arm he picked a heavy beam out of the blaze, making sure to keep the fire burning.
'Anymore of those things?' he asked
McKay crept back, closer. He was carrying a pair of sticks in a straight cross in front of him. 'I don't want to find out. What do you say we get out of here, Fast!'
John hefted his own burning brand. 'I'd say that was a good idea.'
Half a galaxy away Iain jumped to his feet, he felt a great wrenching inside. Back home, in the presence of the entombed master, the Sisters wept as his Childe died. It's death-scream echoing from the furthest star. 'No!' he exclaimed. 'That's impossible!'
'My Lord?' The former Queen asked quickly entering his sanctum.
'Impossible.' he muttered again. Reaching out with his mind he tried to sense the latest member of his family. Nothing, a complete absence. His daughter was gone. 'Reverse course.' he ordered. 'Take us back to the last world we harvested, immediately!'
He was in no mood to banter with the pathetic insect. Lancing out with mental force he rendered her pathetic shielding useless. She screamed, falling to her knees. 'I am not in a good mood.'
'No, my Lord!' she wailed, clutching her head as the force of his anger began to boil her mind.
'I don't explain, even when I am. Do not push me, you are not irreplaceable nor am I particularly fond of you. Now do as I say.' Iain simply suspended her higher consciousness and forced the Queen to her feet. propelling her out of the room he looked back at the wall.
A thousand light years away the Sisters still wept. Iain growled, there would be a reckoning.
Elizabeth Weir watched as John and his team came through, three of them were carrying burning torches and all four looked as if the hounds of hell were right on their heels. Rodney was carrying a big blue-ish crystal instead of fire. 'Lock it down!' John shouted, throwing the burning stick to the nearest airman. 'And someone get Rickman down in supplies. I want them up here, right the hell now!'
'John? What's wrong.'
'What?' she asked, not sure if she had heard him.
'Vampires, you know; creatures of the night, "vhot musik they make"!' he said in a bad accent straight from a bad Dracula film. 'The Count, and I'm not talking about the purple muppet one.'
'No Elizabeth.' Teyla added. 'The creature we encountered was very much like the legends John has described.' she was more than a little wide around the eyes. So were the whole team, then she noticed Ronon holding his arm carefully, looking paler than usual.
'What happened?' she asked him.
'Broke it.' he admitted uncomfortably.
She didn't hesitate, touching her headset she called Becket to the Gateroom. 'Now can one of you please tell me what the hell happened?' Something had freaked out the whole team and even broke Ronon's wrist.
'It's a long story Elizabeth,' Rodney said. 'And I'd love to tell it to you, but I'm afraid I'm going to be far to busy sealing myself in my quarters with every bit of garlic I can find.' with that the self appointed smartest man in the city literally ran from the Gateroom, almost bumping into Becket as he came in.
By now the Quartermaster, Lieutenant Rickman, had made it up. 'Good.' John turned to her. 'Lieutenant, I want every round of tracer ammunition you've got. Flame throwers, incendiary grenades, flare guns. Anything that burns and I want it loaded and ready to go at a moments notice.'
'No questions, get it done.'
'Yes Sir.' Rickman saluted and dashed off.
Elizabeth could feel the situation was more than slipping out of control, before she could ask John again Becket spoke up, 'It's a clean brake, but a bad one. I'll have to set it in the infirmary. What did this.'
'A girl, couldn't have weighed more than eighty pounds.' John explained. 'Snapped it like kindling.' He was honestly scared by what ever he saw. It might not be a vampire but it was probably close enough to be mistaken as one.
After all, there was no such thing.
Iain stalked the wreckage, the sour smell of unwashed humans tainted the air far worse than the smouldering wood. He wasn't interested in them, more the loss of his Childe.
Her bones were yellow and he could still taste the fire that had consumed her. Growling under his breath Iain picked up the hollow skull. 'Young fool, stray too close did you?' he asked rhetorically before letting the bone roll from his hand.
He had decided, very early on, to sire a Childe with every harvest. If the master was to reclaim the universe he would need servants. Servants more worthy than the pathetic mutated accidents of the first humans. He was the vanguard, were any humans, or Wraith for that matter, trying to follow they were his insurance.
As he snarled in anger he caught the faintest whiff of fear. A humans fear, fresh fear and clean, people. Carefully, as to not lose the trace, he tried to sort the chaotic mess of scents. Then he caught it, the smell of cordite, burnt ozone.
A handful of steps from the bones he found a pile of copper casings. Weapons, alien to this world. Someone had come, she had awoken too early. Unprepared for the fight.
Sorting out what his senses were telling him, a good image of what happened came to him. She was outnumbered, surprised. Awoken a scant few hours after being sired. She could have fought off one, maybe two, but there were more. At least three, more likely four.
Hissing in anger Iain glided down the mountain, all the way down to the transport device. There the Wraith scientists he'd brought down with him were scrambling over the device. 'So, what of it?'
The closest one cringed, trying to hide behind the pedestal. 'It's been taken, the main crystal. There's no way to find out where they went.'
'Then reason it out!' he sighed. These creatures were so limited. 'What people know enough about this… technology,' he spat the word, 'to do this? Which ones use weapons that fire these?' he threw the casings at their feet.
The Wraith looked at each other. 'Atlantis.'
'Very good.' he praised them, on the principle that these so-called men of learning had all the wit and intelligence of the insects they had mutated from.
He watched the monster give a long suffering sigh and hid behind a rock again. It hadn't been easy to creep onboard the cruiser, he couldn't even let the other wraith know about it. The monster could pluck thoughts from the air itself, after it had maimed him he knew there was no such thing as being too cautious.
He had to find someone, warn them. Arrange some sort of alliance with whoever did this, even if they were human. If the monster wasn't stopped he could destroy everything.
Elizabeth had finally been able to collect her flagship team and get a proper debriefing underway. By the time they had finally coxed Rodney out from his quarters Ronon's wrist was in full plaster and John had calmed down noticeably .
What worried Elizabeth was what it had taken to John was just as paranoid, not only was he armed but her chief military advisor had both his pistol and what she could have sworn was a flare gun fully loaded8. Like he was ready for trouble, even in the city.
He had already given another flare gun to Ronon, who was busy practicing spinning it with his left hand. If anything the tall Satedan was more concerned than John. Elizabeth didn't think anything could ruffle the former Runner.
Then Teyla told her the full story, interspersed with points from Rodney and John. It certainly sounded like a vampire, but it couldn't be. 'It does sound like like it's a real vampire.' She admitted reluctantly.
'You don't believe us?' Rodney half shouted. 'This thing could fly and was dead.'
Elizabeth tried to believe them but it just didn't sit in her view of the world. 'I'm sorry, I just can't.' she tried to explain.
'Hey, five hours ago I would have agreed.' John pointed out. 'Then I took a burning two by four to the back of a floating girl that was going to drink Ronon dry!'
'Look we've all seen some pretty strange things.' She began. 'It could have just been something that was like a Vampire…'
Rodney looked at her incredulously. 'Elizabeth, you didn't see this thing. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it probably is a duck!'
Elizabeth laughed. 'Alright, until we have a proper name for these things we'll call them Vampires.'
'I don't understand.' Teyla spoke up. 'What, exactly is a Vampire, and why was it so hard to kill?'
Elizabeth winced. 'They're said to be undead creatures, that supposedly drink blood and can live forever.'
'And you do not believe that was what we saw?'
'They're just stories, told to scare people and entertain each other' Elizabeth explained.
Teyla looked at her, 'I see, this is why you refuse to believe the evidence.'
'It's just not possible.' Elizabeth insisted as her headset crackled to life.
'Dr Weir.' It was Chuck, the gate technician. 'We've got an incoming wormhole.'
End Chapter One