- Action Adventure
- Alternate Universe
“Rodney, this is Pase,” Teyla said, introducing the young man she had brought with her. “He needs something to do, and I think he could help you here.”
Rodney eyed the — teen-ager, he decided — speculatively. He was taller than Teyla, but nowhere near as tall as Ronon, although with time, that might be possible. He was clean looking, and looked reasonably well fed.
“Can you follow directions?” Rodney snapped at him. Might as well get the kid used to it sooner than later.
A shrug. “Sure.”
“You want to learn about this stuff?” Rodney waved a hand at the chaos surrounding him in the shield building.
“Yes!” Pase stood taller, eyes were bright.
Rodney debated for a minute, watching the kid shift nervously in place.
“I’m a bastard to work for and with,” Rodney warned him. “I’ll answer questions all day long, as long as they aren’t too stupid. I won’t yell if you’ve done something wrong, something that you didn’t know about, but I’ll make you cry if you do something wrong when you could have asked questions.”
“Got it!” Pase responded eagerly.
“Pase is one of the best students in the settlement and I had hoped he might be useful to you,” Teyla added. “He needs to be home in the late afternoon to help with the younger children.”
Rodney pointed at the young man. “Then you need to remind me,” Rodney stated. “And it’s also your job to make sure I take a break for lunch. I need to eat regularly.”
“There’s a little one I know who needs to do the same,” Pase repeated. “I can do that.”
Rodney somehow knew he should be insulted for being compared to a ‘little one’ but he’d take what help he could get.
[Another 500 words on Rodney building the shield with Pase’s not-quite-incompetent help]
“Rodney?” John asked a few days later at dinner. “Ronon wants to check some things out from a Jumper tomorrow, want to come with us?”
Rodney debated for a moment. “Sure,” he finally responded. “Pase has something he has to do with his family tomorrow, so I’d be working on my own. And, well, I could use a break.”
John laughed. “Who are you and what did you do with Rodney McKay? Take a break?”
Rodney grinned. “It’s part of my effort to be sensible,” he admitted. “We have a long way to go, and while this isn’t perfect, it’s actually the least danger we’ve been in, for like, well, since we came to Pegasus.” He grinned. “It’s maybe even safer than we were on Earth!”
“Too true,” John agreed. “Maybe, once you get that shield up and working, we can take a real vacation. We should be able to find someplace we could go surfing.”
“Oh, I don’t know if I’d take it that far!” Rodney laughed.
“Darn, and I thought maybe I’d get a couple of days alone with you,” John leered.
“Well, for that, maybe I could take some time off,” Rodney smiled. “Although surfing would be pushing it.” He leaned in for a kiss. Then yawned.
“Okay, off to sleep,” John ordered. “Ronon wanted to get started early.”
“You coming to bed?” Rodney asked. “Or sitting up with Ronon?”
“Right behind you,” John promised. “He’s calling it quits early tonight, too!”
It wasn’t quite dawn when John’s alarm went off. He got up and was dressed quickly, waking Rodney with a small nudge.
“Breakfast in a few,” John said.
“Coming,” Rodney grumbled, stretching in place. “Tell me again why I agreed to this?”
“For the adventure?” John teased.
“Bah humbug,” Rodney said with a frown. “Be there in a minute.”
John went out to the kitchen where Ronon had tea brewing and the usual porridge cooking on the stove.
Rodney came in a minute later, dropping into a seat at the table. “You know, I’d kill for some eggs. And toast.”
“That’s actually part of what I’d like to look for,” Ronon said. “There were larger farms outside of the city that provided not only fresh produce, but also eggs. Also grains and other crops.”
“Okay, that makes sense,” Rodney agreed. “You would need a reasonable agricultural base to support a city of that size.”
“And heaven only knows what still might be growing out there,” John said. “A lot of plants are self-propagating and there might be something we can work with.”
“Since the Wraith were blasting the city from the air, we’ll have to go a good distance to find anything,” Ronon pointed out. “It’s too far to walk in a single day and there’s been too much to do here to be able to leave for the couple of weeks that would be needed. With the Jumper, you can take me further than even a single person, traveling light, could get in several weeks.”
“Makes sense,” Rodney agreed, finishing up his breakfast. He wiped out the bowl and rinsed it, to be ready for the next use. Unless there was a group, everyone was responsible for their own dishes. If you used it, you clean it. Ronon had been preparing most of their meals, so John and Rodney had fallen into doing the pots and pans as needed.
“We can afford to break into MREs if we take more than half a day,” John said. “We just need water.”
“Fill those thermos’ with tea,” Rodney said, reminding John of the thermoses he had found in the Jumpers. “That will be good later.”
“Good point,” John replied. “Let me get both of them.” He went out to the Jumpers to retrieve the thermoses from under the seats.
Ronon heated more water, and they made more tea for the trip. They also took a couple of jugs of water with them. Better safe than sorry.
John left the cloak on as they lifted off. “Don’t want anyone to see where we’re going just yet,” he admitted.
They flew back to the city and then followed Ronon’s directions to the other side from where the settlement lay.
“Biggest farms were off this way,” Ronon said. “I didn’t pay much attention to exactly where they were,” he admitted. “But I know this is the right direction.”
Once they reached the far outskirts of the city, the devastation lessened, but never really went away. Anything that looked like it was more than a handful of buildings had been attacked. It wasn’t until they were just over an hour from the Gate that the devastation became less noticable.
“Now that I’ve seen this,” John commented, “I’m really surprised your settlement area didn’t get wiped out.”
Ronon shrugged. “No telling why anything happened, at this point,” he admitted. “I’m just glad we have that space.”
“I agree,” John said. “Okay, looks like some buildings up ahead. Want to check them out?”
“That’s what we’re here for,” Ronon said.
“Rodney?” John asked.
“No human sized life signs,” Rodney decided. “Lots of smaller signs, so I’m assuming animals of some type or another.”
“There may be herds of tomil beasts,” Ronon said. “Raised for eating. If we find any young ones, we should consider taking some back for breeding. That would be a welcome addition to meals.”
“Good to know,” John agreed.
They landed a short distance from the buildings, just to be careful. John and Rodney put on tac vests and took weapons. Ronon declined the vest, and still had his ‘ray’ gun. Rodney figured he’d have to reverse engineer that at some point. For science, of course. Not that John lusted after one for himself.
They approached the buildings slowly, not wanting to disturb any animals that might be of interest.
They got to a less overgrown section of ground as they got closer to the building. Suddenly, a flock of birds exploded from the ground, startling them.
John and Rodney dropped into a crouch, drawing their weapons.
“Relax, it’s only some calabs,” Ronon said. “Birds, probably like your chicken. They’re good eating in a lot of different ways.”
“Eggs?” Rodney asked, re-holstering his gun.
“Yes,” Ronon agreed. “You’d get eggs from them, too!”
“That was a pretty good size flock,” John said. “We’ll take note of this place and see about coming back to get some to take back with us.”
“They’re pretty stupid, as far as birds go,” Ronon added. “We could just sit still for about fifteen minutes and we could get a few to take back with us today.”
“Let me go back to the jumper and get a gun with a smaller caliber,” John replied. “Then we won’t lose too much of the bird to gunshot damage.”
“Good idea,” Ronon said.
John quickly went back to the Jumper and came back with a shotgun. In the meantime, Ronon had found a log behind some brush that they could sit on while they waited for the birds to re-group.
It took closer to half an hour, but a good size group of birds came back to the same area. John sighted his shotgun and quickly took down four birds before the flock flew away again.
Ronon gathered the birds and put them in the sack John had thought to bring back with him.
“Good dinner tonight!” Ronon grinned.
“Just don’t ask me to pluck feathers! I know better!” Rodney interjected. “Okay, what else are we looking for?”
“Let’s go up a little higher for a moment,” Ronon suggested. “We can see if there are any fields that might still be growing something.”
They went back to the Jumper, and were quickly in the air. Ronon scanned the ground below them as Rodney looked for life signs.
“Something large-ish that way,” Rodney pointed. “Maybe those tomil you were talking about. It’s cow-ish sized signs.”
“No, that way!” Ronon pointed off to the other side. “That’s what I was looking for.”
John set the Jumper down on the edge of a field with green and purple growth. It definitely had been a cultivated field grown wild. Ronon jumped out of the Jumper and reached down to pull up a plant.
“Tormack!” He grinned.
Rodney looked across the large field. “An entire field of tormack?” He was stunned.
“The farmers worked with the scientists and had just figured out how to grow it here,” Ronon said. “I wasn’t sure if they had planted it outside of the laboratory, but I was hoping…”
“Wow!” John said. The settlement could trade for an amazing number of things if they could harvest even a part of this field. Tormack was always a high priority trade item on any planet, since everyone that had it available implied it was delicate and difficult to grow. The fact that there was an entire, wild, field of it here meant the Satedan farmers had figured out something important.
“We’d need a good group to harvest enough to be worth trading,” Rodney pointed out. “But even a dozen bushels of this would be worthwhile.”
“And we’d have to leave some here,” Ronon said. “We can’t harvest it all, since it needs to re-seed itself, or whatever it does.”
“True,” John said. “But there’s plenty here to get started with.”
“How much do we want to take back for dinner?” Rodney said, bouncing on his toes.
Credit for ‘tormack’ (it’s fanon, and not canon) goes to The_Cephalopod. She described it as a tuber, purple in color and a cross between a turnip and a parsnip; it’s delicious any way it’s prepared.