- Death-Minor Character
- Explicit Sex
- Science Fiction
– – – –
John’s hands trembled just a little as he pulled Rodney closer. There had been some worry that it would be awkward—that he would falter in action despite his intent. McKay’s mouth was eager yet languid against his as their bodies settled together on the cool cotton sheets on his bed. Post-integration his interactions with Gaius had deepened mentally, but there were times when the Revenant’s thoughts were bright in his mind. He’d thought it would be intrusive, it wasn’t.
“John.” McKay’s voice was as wrecked as Sheppard felt. “Please.”
John nuzzled against Rodney’s jaw, stubble scraped together. Neither had bothered to shave before they’d gone to bed. “I’ve never wanted anyone like this in my life.”
“Is it Gaius?”
John hummed under his breath. “It’s you—I want to crawl inside you.”
“Fuck, yes, where’s the lube?”
Sheppard laughed softly and took a deep breath. Reluctantly, he released Rodney and rolled slightly to reach out to the small dresser he’d placed by his bed. The lube was in the top drawer—he snagged a condom as well. They hadn’t a conversation about it, but he didn’t want to assume they could go without despite the fact that Gaius appeared to hate them.
“I can…” McKay trailed off as John slicked up his own fingers. “You want to then.”
“Yeah,” John murmured. “Unless you’d prefer to do it yourself?”
“No, I’m on board with…” Rodney spread his legs. “Anything you want.”
John slid his fingers under McKay’s balls and brushed over the rim of his asshole. “What a thing to tell a man with two thousand years of experience.” He grinned when Rodney’s mouth dropped open. “Relax.”
Rodney took a deep breath as John slid a single finger inside him to spread the lube. “That’s good.”
“Yeah,” John agreed. He slid a second finger in when McKay rocked down on the penetration. “Do you need a third finger?”
His breath hitched, and John pressed in to graze his lover’s prostate. “How do you want it?”
“Just like this.” Rodney spread his legs further. “Now.”
John pulled his fingers free and grabbed the condom which he opened as quickly as he could. Sliding between Rodney’s thighs was a heady experience. He felt like he was starving, but perhaps that was more Gaius than himself. John braced himself with one hand used the other to position his cock until he could rub the head against Rodney’s hole.
“Fuck, John,” McKay’s hands curled over Sheppard’s shoulders.
He pressed in with one long slow stroke and Rodney shuddered then lifted his legs up as high as he could, tucking them against John’s body.
“Amazing,” John whispered.
The pleasure was so intense that he could barely breathe for it. Since anchoring, everything was brighter, deeper, and more vivid; sex wasn’t an exception. He moved slowly—the luxury of being inside another person had never been more clear to him.
“Yes, John, yes…that’s…oh fuck. Harder, please.”
John met the demand as Rodney slid his hands down John’s back and cupped his ass. He already knew that McKay would be bossy in bed, but he was surprised by how challenged he felt.
“Fuck, wait,” Rodney demanded and took a deep breath as John immediately stopped moving. “I need to turn over.”
John laughed softly and pulled free. “Okay.”
McKay glared at him briefly, but there was no anger in the expression as he shifted to his knees and turned around. “I’ll ruin your life, Sheppard.”
“Don’t threaten me when we’re naked,” John retorted.
“Stop talking and fuck me,” Rodney ordered huffily.
John slid a hand down McKay’s back as he got into position. “Your ass is perfect.”
“Are you objectifying me?”
“Yes, of course, I am,” John responded as he positioned himself and slid right back in before McKay could respond. “I’ve wanted this ass since Antarctica.”
The only response he got was a low groan, so he took it as a win. He cupped McKay’s hips as he moved. Rodney met him for each thrust—their skin smacked together as their bodies met repeatedly. Orgasm was edging closer and closer with each thrust, trying to push it back wasn’t working so John shifted forward, grabbed the headboard of the bed with one hand and wrapped his free hand around McKay’s leaking cock.
“We’re so close, Rodney. Come for me.” He leaned down and pressed a fleeting kiss to McKay’s shoulder.
“I.” Rodney arched his back with a shudder. “I don’t need a hand. Just fuck me. Hard.”
John groaned. “God.”
He shifted again, hands sliding down Rodney’s back hurriedly before he gave in and just took. It felt primal, and kind of mean but McKay only encouraged him with groans and hoarse demands for more until the scientist sank down the mattress. John followed him, his hands grasping at sweat-slick skin. Finally, he gave into the pleasure that was rushing inside him and came.
“That…” John took a deep breath and rubbed his face against McKay’s shoulder. “Did you come?”
“Yeah,” Rodney laughed a little. “Harder than I have in years.” His breathing hitched when John pulled free from his body. “How did Gaius like…how does that work?”
“If he had a cigarette he’d be smoking it,” John said wryly and left the bed when Rodney shot him a grin.
John hesitated only briefly about tossing the condom into the recycler in the bathroom. He wasn’t entirely sure where else he could’ve disposed of it. By the time he rinsed the soap from his hands, McKay had entered the bathroom and was fiddling with the shower controls.
“Because the city is in love with you—the rest of us have to do it manually in order not to be half-frozen,” Rodney said gruffly. “Join me?”
“You think she’ll be nicer to you if I’m in there?” John questioned and grinned when McKay frowned at him. “You know most people smile at me more after I make them come.”
“I’m going to need at least ten more orgasms before smiling at you is a regular thing.”
“Challenge accepted,” John murmured as he crowded McKay into the stall with a laugh.
– – – –
It was proving difficult to keep a smile off his face so shortly after lunch he just gave up. He wasn’t a sour person by nature, so he wasn’t getting a lot of attention anyway. Bates had given him the side-eye several times during a meeting where they were supposed to be lecturing two Marines for a fist fight but other than that he’d managed to skate by on an immense amount of afterglow. He mostly blamed Gaius, and the Revenant didn’t appear to be at all bothered by that.
Beyond his own fantastic mood, the rest of the city had relaxed as they’d settled into the bay close the mainland. John didn’t know if it was because they could land or if it was the ability to leave the city. There were many civilians on the city that wouldn’t see field work so going to the mainland was their only outing. The beach was lovely, and because of the way the city was situated, the pier extended straight out across the swimming area all the way to the sandy beach.
The biology and botany departments were exploring the land near the city with the Athosians. John had seen several reports concerning soil samples, but he’d skipped most of it in favor of the summary of results. He figured he’d read more than Rodney had so he was okay with his progress regarding the immense amount of scientific data that had hit his lap top shortly after breakfast.
“Colonel, do you have a minute?”
John looked up and found Peter Grodin standing in the doorway of his office. “Dr. Grodin.” He waved him in. “Is there a problem?”
“Just logistics,” Grodin admitted. He sat down in one of the chairs in front of John’s desk. “Dr. McKay looked at me like I was insane when I tried to present him with the new work schedule for the administrative staff, and Captain Bates told me that I’d have to speak to you before he’d accept the schedule as part of his own. I’m not sure, honestly, where my department fits in the big picture for the city.”
John blew out a breath. “Honestly, Dr. Grodin, I’m not even sure what you do on the city.”
The British science took a deep breath. “That’s the thing—we aren’t doing anything of substance. And we’re at loose ends. Our main focus before Dr. Weir’s injury was researching ascension and working on the organization of the Ancient database.”
John couldn’t help but frown. “What are you supposed to be doing?”
“I’m a linguist, Colonel Sheppard. I speak ten languages and have a working knowledge of Ancient. We have three highly accomplished diplomats in the department, and they’ve been reduced to electronic filing within the database after the translation program works since they don’t read or speak Ancient. I’m on the mission officially as Dr. Weir’s scientific liaison and administrative coordinator. I was supposed to be her buffer—from Dr. McKay. As it turned out, I wasn’t needed for that job because McKay started ignoring her as much as he could outside of official meetings that he had no real choice but to attend.”
John nodded. “Okay, McKay doesn’t need that level of management from you, but I figure you already know that. What would you like to do for the expedition?”
“I’d like to work with Bates on our off-world relationships. I’ll take on anything he wants in that regard. I’m trained for the field and qualified to carry both a 9mm and a P90. Dr. Weir segregated the civilians on the city in a way that the SGC never did so it’s been a difficult few months for some of us. We’re isolated on the city and trips to the mainland were severely restricted since we had to use jumpers to go. Of course, now things are a little better on that front.”
Grodin took a deep breath and pushed on. “We’re explorers, Colonel, just as much as anyone else, and we’d like to be included.”
“Okay. I’ll send an email to McKay and let Bates know that your people can join his efforts. You should know that beyond trade and alliances that Bates is seeking intelligence on the Wraith and their movements. We need to know where they are and what they’re up to, Dr. Grodin.”
Peter nodded. “Yes, I agree.” He relaxed. “Thank God, I was…Elizabeth wasn’t worried about that situation at all. I think that’s why she argued with Lt. Ford during the incursion. She’d have not been hurt at all if she’d done as she was told.” He slouched slightly in the chair. “It’s been difficult to support her since Sumner died and you anchored his Revenant. She was furious over your situation and ranted about it to me often. She called you ruined and believed that you’d destroyed her plans.”
John frowned. “Personal plans?”
Grodin shrugged in a way that looked helpless. “I honestly don’t know. She never gave me specifics, but as much as her condition is a tragedy, I am relieved that she’s no longer in charge. Her fixation on ascension was frustrating, and she saw no problem with how much of our time she was wasting with a project that didn’t serve the expedition in any single meaningful way.”
John sighed. “Do we need to look at her personal work, Dr. Grodin?”
“I think so, Colonel. She didn’t share anything nefarious with us, but that doesn’t mean… Her anger toward you was unreasonable. It stretched far beyond what I would even consider bigotry. There are several people on the city who find your circumstances horrifying. I’d personally never consent to anchor a Revenant, but I was raised in the Catholic Church which considers anchoring a sin on par with suicide.” He flushed. “But I’m not horrified or disgusted by you, Colonel. I understand the science and I know that the Revenant you carry wouldn’t force someone to anchor him. I’m not afraid of his presence.”
“But Weir was?” John questioned.
“No, she didn’t fear you or the Revenant. She said once…” Peter sighed. “Colonel, Dr. Weir’s interest in you was personal. On Earth, she confided in me that she found you very attractive and that when you agreed to join the expedition that she decided not to request a place for her fiancé on the mission. She left him behind with just a good bye video.”
John flushed. He hated that McKay was right about the situation with Weir. “Wow.”
“And,” Grodin continued and grimaced. “She mentioned more than once that she wanted children with the ATA gene. Since you have the strongest representation of the gene…you were probably the ideal candidate to father those children.”
“Dr. Grodin.” John frowned. “Stop trying to give me nightmares. I’ll tell McKay.”
“Well, at least anchoring prevented her from launching her seduction campaign in your direction.” Grodin smiled cheerfully. “Which honestly probably saved her life since McKay would’ve certainly shoved her through a space gate.”
John laughed. “Why don’t you go visit with Bates? Has he finished moving his office to the gate room?”
“Yes.” Grodin stood. “I’ll go inject myself into his day in a way that I’m sure will make him unhappy. He’s such a creature of habit that it’s actually a comfort. We always know exactly where he is and what he’s doing when he’s on the city.”
John just nodded because he found Bates steady-as-he-goes routine soothing and shooed the civilian away before he was told something more horrifying.
“Beckett to Sheppard.”
He honestly considered ignoring the call, but that would just lead to another person invading his little tower of solitude, so John activated his radio.
“This is Sheppard.”
“I’ve finished the autopsy of the wraith queen. Did you want an oral report as well as the written?”
He really didn’t. “Does anything stand out that needs an immediate discussion?”
“No, she’s on par with other records I have from the Ancients,” Beckett said. “I’ve allowed various samples to be removed for further study. Did you want to keep the body?”
The thought was kind of horrifying, and he really didn’t know. “Why are you asking me instead of McKay?”
“He told me he was too busy.”
John glanced at this lap top. He had forty-five emails in his inbox that he hadn’t opened. “I’ll be down shortly, Doctor.”
“Thank you, Colonel.”
– – – –
The issue was that Rodney didn’t have time to handle the administration part of the city when he was too busy keeping the place afloat. He’d been ignoring his email all morning because he was elbow deep in a grounding station replacing the conduit system. The super storm was lurking on the horizon per historical data, and they couldn’t take any risks with the safety measures the city had in place.
“I don’t even know what she was doing,” McKay griped. “Beyond looking for ascension experiments.”
“That’s all she was doing,” Miko said as she took apart the power relay so that it could be cleaned. “Sheppard and Bates have been managing our resources and making sure we’re fed. They handle security. They put together missions for trade. They’ve negotiated alliances with the Athosians and other worlds.” She huffed. “Weir just swanned around. Her departmental staff doesn’t have any sort of standard work schedule because she gave them assignments every morning and they only ever worked with the database.”
“The database is corrupt and unsearchable,” McKay muttered. “So they’ve been doing nothing for months.”
“Nothing valuable since she wasn’t even focusing on disciplines that would be beneficial within the database. They didn’t even have a plan for sorting through the data. She’d just pass out downloaded sections that she found interesting. All of it was historical data on the Ancients on the search for ascension. Plus she was pressuring Carson to figure out why the gene therapy didn’t work for her and to create a version that would work for her.”
“We’re lucky he was able to create one that didn’t kill anyone, to begin with,” McKay said and groaned. “I guess we need to schedule a meeting with Sheppard and Bates—to see if we can’t figure out a system that will work for us. It’s not fair for me to throw it all in John’s lap.”
“Agreed, besides I think we’d actually be in violation of the expedition charter if we made them take care of everything,” Miko grimaced as she finally pulled the casing apart. “No rust but it’s filthy.”
“I think this section was flooded for quite a while,” Rodney said. “We’re lucky that their technology appears to be rust proof. I’ve not found any corrosion of any sort actually which is more surprising that not. Even Goa’uld technology could break down.”
“Only if they used metals besides naquadah,” Zelenka interjected as he placed a tool box near McKay’s feet. “Most of their technology was stolen, and they haven’t always been picky about what they stole.”
“True,” Miko agreed. “Rodney thinks we need to meet with the military and figure out how to run the city.”
“Well, he doesn’t have the time to do it, and Weir obviously wasn’t doing much of anything. She certainly made it appear as if she were quite busy but I’ve been looking at her server access—she hasn’t opened a single report out of the science department regarding our settlement. She focused entirely on exploration reports and historical data.”
“I was telling Rodney about the historical data.”
“She wasn’t reading Bates’ mission reports regarding food trade and alliances either,” Radek pointed out. “She also put every single email she received from Colonel Sheppard in a folder, unread. She didn’t read anything he sent her—not even reports on city security. I think that’s part of the reason she fought Ford on seeking shelter. She didn’t even know we had arranged safe rooms throughout the city in case we’re invaded.”
“If she wakes up, she’s going to blame John for her injury,” McKay muttered. It made him furious to even think about it.
“I’ve already filed a report regarding the fact that she’s been ignoring his emails since he anchored,” Radek input. “Plus, I’ve secured all of the reports regarding the wraith incursion and made a copy of them so they can’t be altered without my knowledge. Weir had confederates on the city, but her foolishness regarding the Wraith situation may have made them question her. Still, I wanted to ensure that no one would try to make the situation look worse than it actually is.”
The air around them filled with a series of whistles. Rodney slid right out of the grounding station because any kind of noise was bad when you were in a machine that was supposed to be powered down. More whistles were followed by what sounded like whale song. Rodney shared a look with Miko who scrambled to her feet beside him. The three of them slowly walked to the railing.
“Holy shit!” Miko exclaimed.
A fish surfaced, and the song resonated out of the water before it submerged again. “That is the biggest animal I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Rodney muttered. He clicked his radio. “McKay to Sheppard.”
“This is Sheppard. I’m in your lab—where are you?”
“Grounding station number six—we’ve got…” He trailed off when several more whales broke the surface briefly. “We’ve got whales.”
“Yes, hmmm, well whale-like certainly. They’re huge, and they’re singing.”
“The biggest one appears to be about four hundred feet long,” Rodney said.
“For the love of God, Rodney, get away from the railing,” John snapped from behind them, and the radio clicked off.
McKay turned and found Sheppard, Bates, and several armed Marines. “They aren’t hurting anything.”
“Currently,” John interjected.
“I think they’re just saying hi,” Miko said as she leaned forward a bit.
Bates grabbed a fist full of her jacket and pulled her back gently from the railing. “Come on, Doc, you don’t want to be an appetizer, right?”
Rodney spared a glance John’s way and found him frowning. “Oh, come on, stop giving me that face. It isn’t like we were going to crawl over the railing and try to pet them or anything.”
“Why don’t you call the people from biology out here to check them out?” John suggested. “Maybe there are records for them.”
– – – – –
“They’re called Flagisallus.”
John looked up from his sandwich as Rodney sat down at the table across from with a tray of food. “Yeah?”
“Not a mammal despite their whale like appearance. They’ve already wandered off. Speculation is that the species took note of the city during the move and was checking out the new location. We’re retrieving biological data though there isn’t much at the moment. The real problem, of course, is that we’ve also discovered that those particular animals gather around the city every fifteen thousand years.”
John frowned. “I’m really not going to like this, am I?”
“So,” McKay began as opened his milk. “Every fifteen thousand years, the star in this system has a coronal mass ejection.”
John took a healthy bite of his elk burger and chewed slowly as he processed that. He swallowed and held up one hand when McKay started to say more then he picked up his water bottle. “Do you have any idea what is so special about this fucking planet that would make the Ancients stay on it?”
“Super storms, extinction level clouds of solar plasma, giant fish that probably eat people—I mean why terraform that big bowl for swimming in the inlet if Flagisallus weren’t dangerous?”
“It stands to reason that the Flagisallus has a natural predator,” John said mildly and raised an eyebrow when Rodney stared at him in horror. “Nature must have a balance or an ecosystem will fail.”
“You’re…” McKay’s gaze narrowed. “Are you hiding some ridiculous degree in oceanography or something?”
He laughed. “No, but I did take several classes in undergrad—environmental science and biology. They’re required, you know.”
“I took environmental physics,” Rodney said. “It wasn’t terrible. Actually, it was terrible, but it could’ve been worse. Regardless, I have no idea why the Ancients were so enamored with this planet. And we haven’t even started looking at the animal life on the mainland. It’s probably full of snakes, dinosaurs, and giant spiders.”
“Ask Carson’s people to start looking at medical records,” John suggested.
“Because—if one of their people was attacked or killed by an animal on planet or off then it would likely be listed in the medical records.”
“I’ll send an email.” McKay picked up a vivid purple French fry. “Look at this.”
John grinned. “It tastes okay.”
“Whatever.” Rodney rolled his eyes but stuck it in his mouth.
“How did the Ancients survive the last mass ejection?”
“They extended the shield to cover a large portion of the planet to deflect the plasma cloud,” Rodney said. “And before you ask—no we don’t currently have the power to do that.”
“I’m working the numbers,” Rodney said. “Miko has suggested that we extend the solar panels out onto the piers.”
“Would still be able to walk on them?”
“Yeah, of course, they’re very hardy.”
“And the output?” John questioned.
“The historical data is pretty exciting—we’ll be able to store about ten thousand watts a day with the current configuration. Miko thinks we could double that in about two months if we install more panels. In our current position, we’re going to get about six hours of full sun a day—it’ll vary based on weather conditions.”
“And what we need to launch a shield over the planet?” John questioned.
“We’d need nearly a terawatt to launch it another three hundred thousand watts to maintain it for an hour against the plasma cloud.”
“It is doable provided that we can get enough power together to protect us, the settlement, and the solar farm we need to build before the storm gets here. That’s our first goal. People are asking about dialing Earth as well.”
“Well, we need a full terawatt to dial Earth.”
“We need that much to create a traversable wormhole, but we could create an Einstein-Rosen bridge so that we could transmit a message. Miko and I are working on a program to compress data. We could make a data packet and send it through. The connection would be brief, but the SGC is set up to automatically record any data received through the gate to an isolated system.”
“A few seconds,” McKay said. “But we could pack a lot of data into those seconds.”
“And how much power would that take?”
“A traditional wormhole would be expensive even if we only managed to lock in for a second, but a bridge may cost as little as dialing a local gate. If it’s possible—we’ll send the programming to the SGC so they can respond. We’ll also work on maintaining such a bridge long enough for a conversation. It can’t be our first goal, either.”
“Understood.” John sat back in his chair. “We should start doing some on-planet exploration. Obviously, there’s something here that the Ancients were keen to keep.”
Rodney frowned. “Every time I give my people an on-planet project they discover another thing that will kill us all.”
“We’re living on the Australia of Pegasus, and you’re laughing like a donkey. Great!” Rodney threw a fry at him as John continued to laugh. “How can you still be hot sounding like that?”
– – – –
John left the transporter at a near run and entered the gate room as the wormhole winked out.
“Sir,” Dean Bates began and turned to face him. “We have confirmation that the Alpha site has been compromised. Two dead, and Lt. Ford is currently being held hostage by the Genii.”
“How the fuck did they get our Alpha site address?” John demanded. They’d been using a Beta site for gate missions with the Alpha site as a stop-gap between various worlds and the city.
Dean shared a look with Teyla Emmagan. “Lt. Ford managed to report in briefly before he was taken hostage—Halling is dead. He was tortured for the address. They have Jinto as well—apparently, they threatened to kill his son, and Halling gave in.”
Gaius stirred inside him, and John took a deep breath. “What do they want?”
“The weapon you used to destroy that shed on their fake home world.”
“They want a weapon they can’t actually use,” John said flatly. “Has Ford given up the city address?”
“No, sir, but he’s young.” Bates took a deep breath. “I don’t know that he’ll hold out, sir.”
“Dial them,” John said grimly and turned to Rodney who was sitting next to Chuck at the command console. “McKay?”
Rodney turned in the chair. “It’s your call, John. I can go build a big bomb to send them as a present if you’d like.”
John smiled briefly, he couldn’t help it, and he noted that the offer had earned McKay quite a few looks that looked grade-A fondness from the Marines around them. It probably wasn’t good as McKay with Marines at his back was capable of an unholy amount of destruction. The wormhole splashed and stilled. He waved a hand when Chuck motioned toward the radio.
“People of the Tauri, I demand to speak to your leader!”
John activated his radio. “This is Colonel John Sheppard, and I’m the leader of the Tauri military.”
“I’m Commander Acastus Kolya. We’re ready to negotiate for the release of your soldier.”
“As I explained to Cowen some weeks ago, Commander, Kolya, we don’t negotiate with enemies. You’ll release Lt. Ford immediately and leave our Alpha base without harming him further.”
“Administrator Cowen isn’t a soldier—he doesn’t understand how soldiers think. You and I can come to an agreement. I have no wish to kill this very young man in my custody, Colonel Sheppard.”
“And the two very young men you’ve already killed?” John demanded. “Any hope you had of an agreement died with them. You’ve made yourselves our enemy, Commander Kolya.”
“I imagine we have a lot in common, Colonel. I am the leader of the Genii military.”
John grimaced, and he clenched his fingers into a fist when he noticed they were starting to glow. “Are you sitting at the communication center?”
“Your soldier is nodding yes.”
“There is a large black button on the side of the console—it activates the camera. Turn it on.” John turned just as the large viewing screen in the command center flickered on. With a little prodding, Gaius shifted inside as warmth filled him. Blue light poured out of his skin in waves. “You’re not a damn thing like me, Commander Kolya.”
The older man stared at him, slack jawed. “What…what are you?”
“Dangerous,” John said evenly. “Utterly furious with you and prepared to step through the thing you quaintly call the ring of the ancestors and rip your fucking head off.”
“Your technology is much more advanced than Captain Bates has led others to believe.”
“Like you aren’t hiding a federation of worlds, underground bunkers, weapons of mass destruction, and a secret home world full to the brim with enough people to keep a hive fed for a decade?” John asked and smirked when Kolya lurched forward slightly. “That little bomb your building on your fake home world—my people mastered that technology decades ago. How would you like to fight two wars, Commander Kolya? How would you like to fight an enemy that can blend in with your allies, who can buy information about you from them easily? You’ll never see us coming.”
Kolya glared. “We just want weapons to fight the Wraith.”
“You’ve already proven that you can’t be trusted and your actions today just prove that further. You’re callous with the lives of everyone around you, including your own people. We heard about the living bombs you created and allowed to be culled. Were they even volunteers or did you force them to do it? Did you threaten to murder their children like you did Halling? How often do you make people choose between the lives of their children and certain death?” John leaned forward slightly, and the light around him darkened almost black. “Get the fuck off my base, Commander Kolya and if you hurt anyone else—I’ll hunt you down and skin you alive.”
The wormhole disengaged abruptly, and John glanced toward Rodney.
“Impact,” Rodney said simply. “There was no need to give him a chance to respond. Also, I want you to find him and kill him. We’ll get footage from the base. You should kill every single soldier who participated in his little invasion, too. Administrator Cowen needs a lesson in diplomacy.”
John nodded and focused on the gate. No one said anything in the ten, long agonizing minutes they had to wait. When the chevrons started to light him, he relaxed just a little. The wormhole settled and Chuck exhaled sharply. “It’s Ford’s regular IDC not his emergency one. We’re clear, sir.”
“Drop the shield,” John murmured and said nothing as the men guarding the gate raised their weapons just in case.
Ford stepped through carrying Jinto. He looked a little roughed up but essentially uninjured. Gaius calmed down inside John, and at that moment he resolved to send Aidan Ford back to Earth the moment he could. Being around the kid was compromising his judgment, and he didn’t know how Sumner thought he could do it—not with the way Gaius felt about the kid.
John turned and left the command area in favor of the large balcony just off the gate room. The sun was setting, and its beauty wasn’t really comforting at all since it looked nothing like earth’s.
McKay leaned on the balcony beside him. “What’s your thoughts on a response?”
“I’m going to go to their fake home world and destroy every bit of it—including their underground bunker and their weapons research,” John said. “Bates assured me that it’s just a front, and they don’t keep women and children there, but I’ll do verify that before we begin. I have four pilots who can handle the jumper in a combat situation.”
Rodney nodded. “Okay.”
“Are you agreeing with me because of our personal relationship?”
“No.” Rodney took a deep breath. “Halling was a good, strong man and they murdered him in front of his son. Jinto is never going to get over that—watching his father tortured to death, and they deserve as much justice as Corporals Waverly and Phelps. They were just doing their part to keep the expedition safe, and they were gunned down like…their lives were worth nothing. Cowen and his people need to pay for what they’ve done. They need to know that if they come at us again that they will suffer further.
“I wonder how many worlds in their so-called federation were just places they took over and started to control. How many people in Pegasus are being hunted to death by the wraith and subjugated by the Genii? If they’re really only in this to fight the Wraith then why was their first act with us one of hostility? They never really even tried to make friends with us, you know. You were right to call them terrorists and people that radicalized can’t be reasoned with. If the Wraith were gone tomorrow, the Genii would still be a threat to us and probably dozens of other worlds.”
“Bates.” John turned and found his second in command standing at parade rest in the doorway. “We’ll secure the Alpha site, retrieve our men and pack up our equipment. We’ll need to pick a new base from the list you made. Then we’re going to the Genii’s fake home world and…destroy the place.”
“Sounds like a plan, sir.” Bates nodded, turned on his heel and started shouting out orders.
“This isn’t a step the people at the SGC would take, you know,” John said roughly.
McKay shrugged. “They shouldn’t have let Gaius come on the mission then. Sumner wasn’t the only choice—hell he wasn’t even the IOA’s favored choice. O’Neill picked him for the mission.” He stretched. “I’m going to go prep your jumpers.”
“Thanks.” He took a deep breath. “265.”
Rodney patted his back and left.