Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis/Stargate: SG-1
Summary: The IOA calls Team Sheppard in for a little chitchat on Earth, where it is completely safe and they have no enemies. Right.
Rating: R for violence and language.
Word Count: ~ 12,000. In 2 parts due to length, not flow.
Warnings: Torture, violence
Disclaimer: Not Mine
Author's Note: Set in early season 5 - spoilers for 5X01. Feedback is delicious.
It began almost, sort of like a vacation. Ronon and Teyla had never been to Earth for reasons other than their own interviews with the IOA and Ronon had been there for other uniquely shitty events like Sheppard’s father’s funeral with a side of replicator fun and when Jeannie Miller got kidnapped. This time, there wasn’t anything explicitly dreadful on the agenda for Ronon or Teyla. Only Sheppard and McKay had been called before the IOA.
The trip home on the Daedalus wasn’t too bad. Teyla was already regretting not bringing Torrin, talked a lot about how much she missed him. She had good reasons for leaving him behind with his father, though if it was bothering her this soon it was going to be a long month. But she was considering it an opportunity to teach Kanaan how to get their son to sleep without her help. Ronon was a little unsettled. Probably mostly because he didn’t seem to believe that there was anything good about Earth and assumed there was something bad on the horizon that they just didn’t know about yet.
Unfortunately, Rodney was agreeing with him. He wouldn’t stop pointing out that when the IOA had called Samantha Carter before them for an evaluation, it’d ended with her losing her job.
The thought had crossed Sheppard’s mind. But he’d got an assurance from Richard Woolsey prior to departure that it was mostly because the IOA hadn’t seen Sheppard or McKay personally in a while and wanted the opportunity to be small-minded bureaucratic deskjockey civilian douchebags to their faces.
Possibly Woolsey hadn’t phrased it that way.
Sheppard believed Woolsey. The man had no reason to lie and he’d volunteered the information that even if the IOA wanted to, they really didn’t have anyone to replace Rodney with, anyway. Sheppard also figured that if the IOA intended on doing anything unpleasant to him personally, they wouldn’t have permitted him to bring the two Pegasus aliens everyone knew obeyed Sheppard first and the IOA maybe along with him.
So, really, it wasn’t looking to be that bad.
McKay’s paranoia about being fired, coupled with the fact that he was still pissed off at the IOA for ending his ability to see the light of his life – Colonel Carter – everyday meant he was accumulating a good amount of self-righteous indignation. It was annoying, now, but Sheppard was also counting on it making Rodney’s evaluation such an experience that the IOA wouldn’t want to see either of them in person again for quite some time.
Things went a little unexpected once Daedalus reached Earth. Sheppard thought they’d be beaming directly into DC for the interviews. That would have been the sensible thing to do, anyway.
Instead, Sheppard and his team were beamed into the SGC.
General Hank Landry told them not to get comfortable; Sheppard’s team would be joining SG-1 on a flight to DC.
“Flight?” asked Sheppard, confused.
“Not on the Daedalus?” asked Teyla.
“SG-1?” echoed Rodney, and looked around hopefully.
“They have an appointment with the IOA as well,” Landry said. He looked amused for some reason.
Sheppard didn’t understand why the Daedalus hadn’t just beamed them on board. He pointed up with his index finger. “Why not?” he asked.
Landry shrugged. He was still grinning like the Cheshire cat. “IOA’s prerogative, colonel.”
“What’s going on?” asked Ronon, already suspicious.
“We get to take a plane to DC,” Sheppard said. He would explain exactly how stupid that was when they were outside the general’s presence.
“An X-302?” Teyla asked.
“No,” Sheppard said. “Bigger than that. And slower. Way slower. And boring.” A thought occurred to him and he glanced at Ronon. “Chartered or military,” he said to Landry. “Right?”
“Good,” Sheppard said. “Airport security would not go so well.”
“Otherwise he,”- Rodney jerked a thumb at Ronon-“would end up in Gitmo.”
“What’s Gitmo?” Ronon asked. He was looking at Sheppard with the your-planet-is-so-stupid expression on his face.
“You don’t need to worry about it,” Sheppard said.
Landry continued to look amused. “Your flight leaves in about an hour. There are drivers at the exit to take you to the airport.” He glanced at his watch. “As soon as SG-1 gets here.”
SG-1 showed up shortly after that. Well, SG-1 minus Teal’c. The jaffa wasn’t there. Neither was Vala Mal Doran. Sam Carter greeted them, smiling, and seemed fairly placid. She even hugged Rodney, which would only encourage him. But Cameron Mitchell and Daniel Jackson were both pulling petulant, pissed off faces.
“Hey,” Sheppard said, curious what the story behind that was.
“Hey,” Cameron said. “How’s it going?” He didn’t look particularly interested in an answer, and he was almost overtly scowling at Landry.
He didn’t get an answer, because that’s when Vala Mal Doran arrived. She was carrying a giant powder blue suitcase, the hard plastic kind Sheppard hadn’t seen since the ‘70s. And she threw it into
“I’m here!” she announced.
The next thing happened so quickly Sheppard wasn’t entirely sure it made sense. One second she was standing opposite him with her arms crossed. “Hello,” she said, in sweet and kind of scary way. “I didn’t know you were coming.” And then she had one arm snaked across his back and jumped into him. His arms came up out of instinct, half to protect himself. But Vala settled into them, snuggling against his chest, with her other hand sneaking towards the waistband of his pants. “I love a man in uniform.”
Sheppard had changed into his dress blues. Sometimes it paid to look like you were trying. Other times it got you sexually assaulted by SG-1’s resident crazy alien chick.
Ronon rumbled in amusement. Teyla’s eyes were huge, but she also looked like she thought it was funny. Rodney wasn’t even watching, focusing on Carter.
“Get off,” Sheppard growled, dropping his arms and removing the hand playing with his belt. Nothing happened except Vala’s arm locked like steel around his neck and the other hand came up to hold herself curled against his torso. She was actually really fucking strong.
“Oh, leave him alone.” Mitchell was unhooking her hands and pulling her away.
Sheppard shook himself free, glared at her.
“Sorry,” Mitchell said. He was still holding Vala by the arm, shoving her towards
For some reason,
Landry didn’t even seem to have noticed. “You all should get going,” he said, clapping his hands. “You’re going to miss your plane.”
Fortunately, he didn’t accompany them to the Mountain’s exit, enabling some more candid conversation.
“Where’s Teal’c?” Ronon asked Carter.
“He didn’t have to come,” Carter said. She looked jealous.
“The IOA is afraid of him,” Mitchell supplied.
“They are not,” said
Mitchell looked at him. “Wasn’t my fault, either.”
“What’d you guys do?” Rodney demanded.
“Nothing!” In stereo from everyone except Vala, who waited until her companions were done. “Absolutely,” she added, grinning.
“It have anything to do with why we have to take a plane for six hours instead of using the gigantic advanced space ship beaming technology that would get us there in milliseconds?” Rodney snapped.
“Six hour flight’s probably ten times cheaper than the Daedalus doing anything for half a second,”
Apparently, he wanted to start a mathematical fight between Carter and McKay over the relative cost of the Daedalus’ operations in orbits versus a chartered government jet flying across the country, because that’s exactly what he did.
“This is going to be a really, really long flight,” Mitchell said, miserably, when Rodney started with the air equations
“It’s to make you suffer, isn’t it?” Sheppard whispered.
Mitchell dipped his head, then whirled to yell at
There were three SUVs at the Mountain’s entrance. More than enough to fit eight people, even if one of them was ridiculously tall. Sheppard was planning on getting into the rear of the first one he saw and grabbing the least annoying person and putting them next to him, but he wasn’t the only one plotting. Carter pretty much literally dived into the middle SUV’s open backseat, somehow managing to pull Teyla in after her. Rodney tried to climb in after them and immediately got shoved back out.
“Don’t make Teyla sit bitch,” Carter snapped. Rodney made a face and opened the door to shotgun.
“What is ‘sit bitch’?” Sheppard heard Teyla ask curiously, before the doors slammed.
Sheppard climbed into the first SUV’s backseat. He could hear a commotion outside, looked up to see Daniel Jackson in the front passenger seat, slamming the door in Vala’s face. He hit the lock-all button on the door and a mechanical click rang out in the vehicle.
Vala pounded on the window, yelling.
Daniel turned to face the driver. “You can go,” he said, mildly. “Now would be good.”
The driver glanced at him, shrugged, and started the engine. Sheppard appreciated not having Vala in the back with him, suspecting she’d probably be insinuating herself onto his lap in the first thirty seconds. But then he realized that left Ronon with her.
He felt sort of bad, but decided that Mitchell could probably corral her. And maybe Ronon wouldn’t mind the sexy yet crazy lady sitting on his lap. Or maybe Vala had finer judgment than that. Sheppard turned around and gave a wave at his teammate. Ronon was standing outside the last SUV, looking not all that happy.
Traffic was shitty. Or maybe it seemed that way because it’d been ages since Sheppard had actually had to be in any. They lost track of the other two SUVs pretty quickly. It was vaguely worrisome, but Sheppard decided Ronon wouldn’t try to jump out of a moving vehicle at 75 mph or throw anyone else out. Hopefully.
“What’d SG-1 do?” Sheppard asked
Before Sheppard could persist, there was a loud and metallic clank from the front of the vehicle.
The sound happened again, louder. And then again and again, each time faster and louder.
“Pull over,” Sheppard ordered.
“Yes, sir,” said the driver.
But he didn’t pull over, he took the next exit ramp and steered the SUV on to the grass.
“You might miss the plane,” the driver said, frowning.
“That would be very tragic,”
“It’s a car,” Sheppard said, understanding that
“What is it?” he asked, standing next to Sheppard. He was looking at the engine, too, but Sheppard figured this might be the first time he’d ever looked inside a car.
“Looks fine,” the driver said, helplessly. Sheppard didn’t see anything wrong, either.
“That was a bad noise,”
Sheppard glared at him, even though he was right. He’d have used more sophisticated language, but they probably shouldn’t get back in 80 mile per hour traffic.
“Call the SGC,” he instructed the driver, pulling the hood shut and latching it. Sheppard dropped his weight on the bumper and glanced at
Their driver produced a cell phone and walked a few meters away from the vehicle to make the call.
Sheppard said nothing.
“No thanks,” Sheppard muttered.
The driver came walking back from where he’d stepped aside. “Call’s not going through,” he said, waving the cell phone. “Must be a dead zone.”
“This is our lucky day,”
Sheppard stayed silent but he thought a couple obscenities.
“I’ll try mine,”
“What?” asked Sheppard.
“I can’t find my cell,”
“Did you pack it?” Sheppard suggested.
Sheppard squinted at him. “Why?”
He was beginning to understand the astounding amount of trouble SG-1 managed to get into.
“She likes to –”
“Steal?” interrupted Sheppard.
“Try my what?”
“I don’t –“ Sheppard growled. “They haven’t built any networks in Pegasus yet,” he said, scowling.
Comprehension dawned on
“Sirs?” Their driver looked nervous and upset. He was probably going to get in trouble for this.
Sheppard gave him a wave of his hand. “Not your fault,” he said. “Nothing we can do.” He shrugged. “Gonna miss the plane.”
“Oh, I think Mitchell will hold it for us,”
“That’s considerate,” Sheppard said, sarcastically.
As he spoke, a black van pulled on to the exit ramp that had been empty since their own SUV stopped.
“We could wave them down,” Sheppard suggested to
Sheppard was watching the vehicle, and watching
He heard the man move, footsteps suddenly loud and fast against the grass. Sheppard turned his head toward the sound, mostly out of instinct.
In the next second, Sheppard was flattened against the hood of the SUV, the man’s hands locked around his neck and his shoulder. It was a quick but totally artless attack; Sheppard bent one leg up and caught the driver in the gut with his leg. The man gasped and staggered backwards, but not before something pinched and stung Sheppard’s neck right under his chin.
The SUV bounced as
Sheppard sat up, rubbed at his neck gingerly. “I don’t know what the hell," he answered, eyes on the driver.
The man was on his knees a meter or so in front of the car, where he’d staggered backwards from Sheppard’s kick. He had one hand on his abdomen, the other braced in the ground. More suspiciously, he was neither attacking again nor fleeing.
Sheppard glanced at the van, at the four men now approaching. He rubbed at his neck again, suddenly feeling an icy, medicinal sensation filling his veins.
“He injected me with something,” he mumbled to
“You should run,” Sheppard said, but it didn’t come out very clearly. He could feel himself falling backwards, couldn’t do anything to stop it until his back smacked into the hood and he slid forward. A giant, invisible weight pressed down on Sheppard, knocking him off the vehicle entirely and dropping him into the grass. “Run,” he said again, to
The next thing Sheppard knew, he was being grabbed and hauled off the ground. At first, he thought it was
“I said, go!” Sheppard slurred, hearing it come out totally incomprehensible. For good measure, he tried to shove at the guy and get loose.
It didn’t work, and
Sheppard tried to open his eyes, abruptly frightened that the blackness wasn’t going away because they weren’t closed, he just couldn’t see. But finally his lids rose and the brightness of the world flooded in, blindingly. The part that wasn’t bright was the barrel of a gun, though, level with his face. In the next second, it was pressed into his forehead so hard Sheppard yelped in protest and squeezed his eyes shut again.
There was a guy holding him up, not even needing to pin his arms down since Sheppard was too loopy to even remember he had limbs. With his free hand, Sheppard’s captor had that lovely gun he’d seen and was now feeling.
“Doctor!” The guy was yelling right next to Sheppard’s ear. It was deafening and when he shrank away from the noise, the arm holding him up squeezed so tightly it made him almost puke. “Doctor!” again.
“We will shoot him!” Someone else whose mouth wasn’t against Sheppard’s head was also yelling. “You come out!”
“Doctor! We kill him!”
All of them had accents, sort of like Zelenka’s, except Sheppard had never heard Zelenka threaten to kill anyone. Except McKay, and he was usually kidding about that.
The men kept yelling, but now it sounded more like instructions than threats. Sheppard used all his remaining energy to lift one eyelid. He saw
The gun against Sheppard’s head suddenly vanished, as did the arm holding him up. The support gone, he felt himself crumple to a heap on the grass. His vision spiraled and then everything was black.
Sheppard woke up cold, half-naked, and with a bitch of a hangover. Before he even opened his eyes, he assessed that the even colder things around his wrists were handcuffs and the stinging pain in his upper arm was probably the incision where the subcutaneous tracker had been removed.
All of those things really sucked.
But the handcuffs weren’t nearly as tight as they could have been and his arms were definitely not behind his back, both of which were comparatively nicer things.
He hadn’t moved or made a sound, careful to keep all signs of his return to consciousness hidden. Carefully, Sheppard cracked one eye to take in his surroundings. His secrecy was pointless; he was in a small, dimly lit windowless room alone except for Daniel Jackson. And a bucket in the corner.
“Hey,” Sheppard said, hearing his voice sound hoarse. He struggled to sit up from the floor.
“Oh, hey,” he said, scooting on his knees until he was closer. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” Sheppard cleared his throat. “It was just a tranquilizer, I think. You okay?”
“What I’d miss?”
“I ran away and they threatened to shoot you in the face,”
“Shouldn’t have,” Sheppard said, which made
“There was some face-punching for running away,”
“Sorry,” Sheppard muttered, not sympathetic. He looked around the room, ascertaining a second time that they were totally alone. There weren’t even any cameras, at least not visible ones. “How long was the drive?”
“I don’t know,”
“Great,” Sheppard said.
“I think they shot our driver,”
“The guy who knocked me out,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard didn’t have any sympathy for that asshole, either.
“They say anything?” Sheppard asked. He thought it was probably time to get up and announce that he was awake to their captors. But standing might result in swaying, so maybe he should wait a bit.
Sheppard did like that
“Know where we are?” he asked. The concrete, unpainted walls mostly just looked like a basement.
“Fingers over my eyes,”
“Seen anyone else?” Sheppard wasn’t talking about the thugs; he wanted to know if anyone from SG-1 or his own team was here.
“Yeah,” Sheppard agreed. Especially when Ronon was one of those seven people.
“Even if they went down as easy as you did,”
“They tranqed me,” Sheppard retorted.
“Russian Empire, more likely.”
“What?” Sheppard wasn’t following.
“Their accents definitely aren’t from
“Okay,” Sheppard said. “What does that tell us?”
“They say anything helpful during the ride over?” Sheppard tried.
There was a lot annoying about this situation. At the moment, the fact that they’d taken his pants was at the top of the list. It was cold in their little prison.
“My balls are retracting into my body,” he shared.
Eventually, they got a meal.
Sheppard wasn’t sure how long it’d been since he woke up. It was hard to measure time, other than the fact that he wasn’t feeling as doped up anymore. Also,
The door opened and a large McDonald’s bag and a jug of water were thrown through. Then the door slammed. It happened so fast Sheppard didn’t even have time to get to his feet and make an ill-advised escape attempt. Instead, he got up and retrieved the bags and the water and sat back down, closer to
“Lunch,” he said.
“This operation’s looking more sophisticated all the time,” Sheppard muttered, opening the fast food bag and peering inside. “Two burgers,” he told
“That’s our bathroom, right?”
Sheppard nodded. “Yep.”
“Don’t waste it,” Sheppard said. “We might not get anymore.”
“That’s not the point,” Sheppard snapped. He handed
“I miss these,” Sheppard said, his mouth already full. “A lot.”
For some reason,
“Eat it,” Sheppard ordered. “Be glad they’re feeding us.”
The torture didn’t happen until several hours after the burgers.
Nothing had happened since lunch. Their kidnappers hadn’t even returned to take the trash. If they were even around; the place was silent. Sheppard had poked all around their prison. The walls were concrete and the door was metal and thick. When he pressed his ear against it, he heard nothing. There was nothing to do. The ceiling was too high to get to the old flickering fluorescent light fixture and Sheppard wasn’t sure what he’d do with it even if he could reach it.
It was boring. Boring and cold.
Unfortunately, it turned out Sheppard couldn’t have picked two worse adjectives. Because their captors came back and it suddenly became both much less boring and much less cold.
It was only two guys. But they moved quickly and with purpose, and Sheppard’s limbs were too chilled and stiff from sitting in one position for a few hours to react fast enough to accomplish any kind of resistance. He wasn’t sure if
Thug number one had
Thug number two switched from hair-pulling to slapping in the next second, which wasn’t any more fun or manly, for that matter. Then the arm came off from around Sheppard’s throat, the thug grabbed him by the shoulders with both hands, and hurled him against the metal door.
Sheppard hit it hip first – that fucking hurt – then bounced off and landed on the floor. Instinctually, he curled into a ball and wrapped his arms around his head in case kicking was on the agenda.
But nothing happened. Thug number two didn’t immediately come after him. From behind his own arms, Sheppard could hear
“Can we talk about this?”
“Sheppard,” snapped the guy doing the beating. “Play nice and no hurt.”
Cautiously, Sheppard lowered his arms from his face. Thug number one had a really thick accent and not the greatest grasp on the English language.
“I was playing nice,” he said softly, reasonably.
Slowly, in case the guy hadn’t gotten all the violence out of his system, Sheppard unfurled himself and sat up. There was really absolutely nothing he could do while the partner was choking
“Okay,” he said, rubbing his side where he’d impacted the door. “You know who I am. Do you have a name?”
“No!” yelled thug number two.
Sheppard glanced over at him, noting that maybe he was in charge here.
“No!” echoed thug number one.
“I’m going to call you Boris, then,” Sheppard muttered, maybe too low for either of them to here. “And your friend Ivan.”
He kind of expected to get slugged for that, but instead Boris reached into his jacket. Sheppard flinched; he wasn’t expecting to get shot for it.
It wasn’t a gun. Boris was holding something chunky and square-shaped. He leaned over and placed it very gently one the floor next to Sheppard. Then, he stepped back and out of reach.
“You make work,” Boris ordered. “Now.”
Sheppard looked down at the object. He recognized the origin immediately. Ancient. It looked like a piece of a dismantled Ancient component – the part that usually plugged into a power source of some kind.
“Where’d you get this?” he asked, keeping his voice friendly. The situation really didn’t need to get any more intense.
“Make work!” Boris said. He looked hesitantly at Ivan.
“I don’t know what it is,” Sheppard lied.
“You make work,” Boris repeated. “With blood.”
“Blood?” Sheppard echoed, playing dumb.
“You make work.” Ivan had decided it was his turn to contribute. “Or I hurt Dr. McKay.”
“McKay?” Sheppard demanded.
“Wait a second,” Sheppard yelled.
Ivan moved the hand holding the stick – stick with a red glowing tip, now – and brought it behind
“I thought you were going to hurt McKay,”
In response, Ivan’s arm moved again. Although Sheppard couldn’t see it landing, the red hot tip must have touched
“Stop it,” Sheppard ordered. He rocked on his knees as if to get up and Boris took a warning step forward.
“You make work!” Boris repeated, loudly.
Sheppard didn’t even try. It was just a component to a larger device. He was certain they couldn’t do anything with it – unless they had the rest of components. Which – shit – he couldn’t discount.
“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about,” Sheppard said, evenly.
It was hard, because Ivan had moved the stick – what the fuck was that thing? It didn’t look Ancient or even all that extraterrestrial. Maybe a cattle prod – and was bringing it against
To his credit,
“Stop it!” Sheppard tried again. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re hurting him for no reason!”
“You make work,” Boris retorted.
That was when Ivan decided to hold the end flat against
Sheppard picked up the Ancient square. He expected it to light up in his palm. It didn’t.
“It doesn’t work,” Sheppard yelled. “It’s broken!”
Boris looked confused. He glanced at Ivan for direction, finally causing Ivan to lift the stick from
“You lie,” Ivan said. He moved the stick back towards
“I’m not lying!” Sheppard said, loudly and clearly. He turned the component over between his bound hands. “It’s broken. It doesn’t work by itself. Do you have any more? Any more of it?”
Now, both Boris and Ivan looked confused. Ivan, at least, dropped his hand so the tip of the cattle prod-like thing was away from
Finally, Boris stepped forward and carefully took the square from Sheppard’s hands. He said something very short to Ivan, who retorted in clearly displeased Russian. But Ivan let go of
Sheppard crawled to his side, eyes traveling over the red, marked plane of his back. Hesitant to touch him, Sheppard put the fingertips of one hand the top of
“You okay?” he asked, even though it was a totally stupid question.
“Yeah,” Sheppard said. He peered at the red wounds on
“Don’t touch it,” Sheppard said, shoving the man’s cuffed hands away. “Infection.”
“It doesn’t work,” Sheppard said, sitting back on his own knees.
“What is it?”
Sheppard glanced at the door. Even though he didn’t think they were being monitored, he leaned in to
“Shh,” Sheppard muttered. “Part of one. It doesn’t work.”
“They might not believe you,”
“Yeah,” he said. “Wherever the fuck they got it.”
“Toaster,” was all
They got a reprieve for all of ten minutes. Then Boris and Ivan came back.