The moment the colonel ordered the military personal to return to the Gate Room, John Wraith, or Kestrel, teleported himself and Zero there, just out of sight of the rest. A few dozen civilians with a handful of soldiers milled about, setting up a command area and paying their entrance no minZero wasn't much of a talker, and Kestrel didn't much like him, a mutually understood fact. Rather than stand next to him in uncomfortable silence, Kestrel went up to the main control room to find out what was happening. Creed was already there, and he did not look happy. Usually, the volatile mutant was in an almost constant state of calm amusement which could turn into almost serene moments of homicidal mania. But if he was unhappy, then everyone in his general vicinity should tread lightly.

The civilian scientists were worrying about power sources for the city. On one of the HUD screens, Kestrel saw what he assumed was a layout of the city, one section blinking orange, and that probably wasn't a good thing. They talked about several things he didn't understand simply because he came in at the middle of the discussion. He did, however, understand the gist of it when the more panicked scientist quietly muttered about 'using power' when a younger one started up the Stargate.

Dr. Weir ordered Colonel Stryker to assemble a team and send a team through the Stargate to find a power source or a new base of operations, whichever came first. He did, if only because he was going to anyway. As John and Creed followed their chief officer out of the control room, they heard Dr. Weir tell Major Sheppard to go with them. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that Colonel Stryker heard as well and appeared to be even more unpleased than usual.


In short order, Weapon X, an extra team, and Major John Sheppard had stepped through the Stargate to another world of pitch black night. All but Victor and Logan wore night-vision goggles as they spread out over the area surrounding the now inactive gate. The field they found themselves in was clear, and they proceeded to the forest at the edge of it.

A movement from the forest caught Wade's attention a moment before the major signaled for a halt. Sheppard signaled again for them to advance cautiously and for Wade to come with him towards the trees. As they near, a small person darted out, saw them, and froze like a deer caught in front of a Mack truck. Or a boy caught in front of two soldiers with assault rifles.

Five seconds after the first boy, another came flying out of the forest and tackled him, apparently not noticing the strange men with weapons all pointed at them. Soon after that, yet another person came running out of the woods, this one a full grown man. After clearing the situation up, Colonel Stryker had the man happily leading them to their village to discuss 'trading'.

Wade was a curious fellow, in every sense of the word. It was a selective curiosity in that he didn't want to know the deep, dark secrets of the universe. Once, he did want to know how long it'd take a man to bleed out of a single, deep cut properly cleansed in alcohol and blood thinner; the Weapon X project good for inquiring minds like his. Other times, he merely wanted to know what a guy with such fluffy hair – the military as a general rule frowned upon hair– who was supposed to be Air Force major - judging by his patches - was doing in the Pegasus Galaxy.

He picked up the pace of his march and all but shoved the boy – Juno or something – who was gazing up at Sheppard with unbridled curiosity away. Unknowingly, the look he gave the startled major mirrored the child's almost completely.

"So how'd you get stuck with this gig?"

"I sat in a chair," he said ruefully. "You?"

"Well, it's a long story actually. It started when I was in Morocco for my ex-girlfriend's wedding. You ever been to Morocco, Major?"

"Yeah, it was…okay. I wasn't exactly there for a wedding though."

"I gotcha. See, the day my father Odin banished me from Asgard, I was bitten by a vampire – not a sparkly one, mind you - and my mutant ability to control blow stuff up activated just as I was hit by a blast of gamma radiation. Nah, actually, I volunteered for this whole Weapon X thing and when the colonel says jump through a wormhole... I did get cake though."

Wade finished his story with a happy grin, reminiscing on the experience. John stared at him then turned away slowly. The cowboy walked by, scanning the area.

"The less you talk to him, the longer you stay sane," he said and kept on walking.


Halling introduced them to Teyla Emmagan, the apparent leader of these people who seemed to be something like nomads if the tents were any indication. The colonel clearly exuded the idea that he was less than impressed with them as a whole, and Sheppard seemed to take it upon himself to try and keep things civil when Teyla informed them that they didn't trade with strangers.

"Well, then, we'll just have to get to know each other. Me, um, I like Ferris wheels and college football. Oh and anything that goes more than two hundred miles per hour."

Wade was blatantly amused by the fact that Sheppard threw out words that must seem like random nonsense to these people. He told Sheppard as much, quietly and barely moving his lips.

"Anytime you wanna jump in here. Just tryna break the ice."

And since he'd been given permission to talk, of course he was going to take advantage of the situation.

"In that case. I like Dragunov rifles best because of the name. I mean seriously. Dragunov. I like green Skittles best, and even though Bea Arthur owns my heart, I am still very available," he added suggestively.

Colonel Stryker gave them both a narrow-eyed look when Teyla came to a decision.

"Each morning before dawn our people drink a stout tea to brace us for the coming day," she said. "Will you join us?"

"I love a good cup of tea," Sheppard smiled. "Now there's another thing you know about me," he grinned at Stryker and Kestrel who rolled his eyes. "We're practically friends already."

She invited them all to sit and the discussion went on from there.


The next morning, Colonel Stryker, Major Sheppard, Kestrel, and Wade met with Teyla and one of her men, Toran. The younger man kept glaring at him, and Wade hoped more than a little that he'd make a move. So far, aside from Teyla and Shamu world, he wasn't that impressed with the Pegasus Galaxy.

He sat cross-legged on a plush cushion, talking as little as he could manage. Whenever he began to ramble on, Stryker would signal Kestrel who would subtly dig the knife he'd palmed into Wade's side. He'd quickly clamp his mouth shut and squirm away, glaring at his stoic comrade. Unlike some freakish members of his team, he didn't have a healing factor. So he sullenly slurped his tea as obnoxiously as he could.

"What can you tell us about that city down in the valley?" Colonel Stryker demanded.

"It has been abandoned for generations," Toran answered. "The Ancestor's city is not safe."

"I'm sure we can handle it."

"Not if the Wraith come."

"Kestrel's family?" Wade couldn't help but ask. "Ow."

He winced, sure Kestrel had nicked him that time. It stung like a paper cut.

"Who are the Wraith?" Stryker asked.

Toran blinked and looked at Teyla, both shocked.

"We…have never met anyone who did not know," Teyla said slowly.

The colonel only shrugged.

"If the Wraith have never touched your world, you should go back there."

"There's the problem, ma'am," Kestrel said. "We can't and now we've gone and gotten ourselves into some trouble. Might need a safe place to stay."

She considered them all a moment before answering.

"We have long believed that the Wraith will return if we venture into the old city, but it is a belief we have not tested in…quite some time."

Condescension fairly rolling off of him, Stryker turned his lips up into a quick, false smile and nodded. Standing, he clearly dismissed the conversation as over.

"Gentlemen."

Sheppard and Kestrel followed the colonel out of the tent, but Wade chose to decide that he hadn't been addressing him when he'd spoken. Now no longer under threat of a thousand cuts of death, he smiled happily at the two Athosians.

"I thought they'd never leave. So what kinds of weapons do you guys have?"


Teyla told him of the banto rods, swords, and knives they used, but she truly wished to speak of other things with him. Out of them all, Wilson seemed more likely to let information slip, information that could be important that the colonel would not tell her.

So while Sheppard, Stryker, and Kestrel talked outside, Teyla took the opportunity to speak with the more talkative of the strange men. What she did not know was that Wade Wilson was most definitely the strangest of them as well.

"And all of your people. They are military?"

"A lot of us on the expedition, yeah. I can't tell you the exact number 'cause of security reasons and I wasn't really listening if they said how many."

"As I understand it, the military has different ranks, different titles having different responsibilities and power. What is your rank in this military?

"I technically don't have one. See, me and my team are a little different from these guys. I guess we could be called agents probably…that part was never really clarified during orientation."

"Please, tell me about your team."

"Well, our John's cool, uh, Kestrel. He's like Clint Eastwood mixed with Shaft except he's not bald, but he's still a bad mother-shut-yo-mouth. Then Chris is the new kid who is slowly but surely becoming less of the gullible, wide-eyed pansy he was when he first came to us. Zero is that one emotionless Asian guy…he's…he just needs to die in a fiery helicopter explosion already."

"I…see."

"Yeah. Do you have any sugar to go with this tea?"

"I am sorry, we do not."

"Oh. There's Logan and Victor too. They're what the Bash Brothers would be if they were war-mongering, immortal Homo superiors instead of Mighty Ducks."

She looked at him as if she were trying to assimilate his words into something sensible, but it was only half-working. Still, Teyla smiled politely.

"Enough about them. Let me tell you about me."

Her smile became slightly strained. She was almost happy when John Sheppard returned, wanting to go to the Ancestor's city. Unfortunately, Wade decided that he was coming with them.