Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. No profit is made from this.
A/N: This is set sometime after The Lost Tribe and a few weeks after Beginnings left off.
A/N: A huge thank you to Bailey1ak for all your help with this story.
"Is this really necessary?" McKay complained as he stood with the rest of team and Woolsey in the Control room.
"We've been through this." Sheppard pointed out.
"And you didn't come up with any good reasons for why my research should be interrupted."
"Yes I did." John argued.
"Regardless of your previous conversations I think you'll find that as leader of the expedition my asking is good enough reason." Woolsey pointed out.
"This isn't a dictatorship." McKay argued.
"Not what Zelenka says." John interjected.
"What exactly does Zelenka say?" Rodney asked, turning to face John.
"Just that he can now relate to the inmates of Mavrino."
"He is comparing my leadership to that of a Russian sharashka?" McKay asked indigently.
"Don't remember him using the term leadership." John said as Teyla asked.
"What is a sharashka?"
"They were top secret research and development laboratories in Russia during the cold war where the workers were all prisoners." John said.
"There is a very good book written called the First Circle, which I can lend to you if you like." Woolsey offered causing Ronon to whisper dryly to Teyla.
"Glad you asked?"
Before Teyla could answer Caldwell's voice came over the radio.
"Atlantis, this is Caldwell."
"Go ahead Colonel." Woolsey said.
"Are you ready for the delivery?"
"Beaming them down now." Caldwell stated before the familiar glow of the Asgard beaming technology lit the space in front of Sheppard's team and Woolsey.
"Colonel Mitchell, Dr Jackson." Woolsey greeted as the light faded before, with a slightly less warm voice, adding, "Vala."
"Woolsey." Cameron responded for the group. "It's nice to be back."
"Dr Jackson, with the number of visits you are gracing us with people might suspect you are trying for a permanent move out here." Woolsey added.
"This trip wasn't actually my choice." Daniel smiled. "Not that I'm complaining about having another chance to look round."
"A shame you didn't make it out here before Rodney broke the ZPM." John said. "Now you'll have to take the slow boat back."
"How exactly did you manage to destroy a ZPM?" Cameron asked the physicist.
"I did not destroy it, I just drained it." McKay huffed.
"Ok, how did you drain it?" Cam rephrased the question. "And why didn't you stop the flow?"
"You think I didn't try?" Rodney asked.
"Well, ZPMs have a fair amount of energy and that, I would imagine, drains quite slowly, giving people time to stop the drain." Cam said. "Unless of course it was a recklessly dangerous experiment, in which case the question is why'd you try?"
"Look, it was a vital experiment and had it worked, the Wraith would be a thing of the past. It had a high chance of success."
"Not what Sam said." Cam threw in.
"Perhaps we should go straight to the briefing room and discuss your reason for being here?" Woolsey interrupted, not wanting to hear McKay's version of events again. Cameron, having had enough of goading McKay, was going to agree when Vala suddenly hijacked the conversation saying.
"Before we do, I think that it is important that we clear the air." Her words caused Daniel to cringe and Cam to roll his eyes.
"Clear the air?" Woolsey asked confused.
"Over what happened on Earth." Vala explained. As she did so the interest of Sheppard's team suddenly rose.
"Earth?" Woolsey questioned growing evermore confused.
"Yes, when you made that highly inappropriate offer." Vala said, her face not showing any emotion.
"Inappropriate offer?" John asked, now fully engaged with the conversation. His question causing Vala to smile, loving the fact she now had a captive audience.
"When I was being assessed to see if I could stay on Earth he said that I could only stay if I agreed to sl-"
"Vala." Daniel cut her off. "I thought we had talked about this?"
"We haven't." McKay pointed out, as curious as Sheppard to see where the conversation was going.
Vala turned to McKay and was about to continue when the gate burst into life. Immediately forgetting the conversation John strode over to Chuck and asked.
"Who's off world?"
"SGA2 and SGA4." Chuck responded. "Neither are due back, but I'm getting an IDC….It's SGA4. I have activated the radio Sir." Nodding Sheppard ordered the marines stand by before he asked over the radio.
"Something wrong Captain?"
"We are under attack from the Wraith. We are coming in hot and we have injured."
"Understood." Sheppard replied as Chuck radioed the infirmary. A few metres away McKay muttered.
"Can her luck get any worse?"
"Whose luck?" Cam asked, getting a bad feeling about the word, 'her'.
"Jennifer's." Rodney replied.
"She's on the mission?" Cam asked as an injured soldier crossed the event horizon dragging an unconscious team mate. McKay did not have time to answer the question before an energy blast came through the event horizon, impacting on a far wall. As everyone took cover John radioed.
"Speed would be good captain."
"Doing our best." The leader of SGA4 radioed back as another blast came through the gate, shortly followed by a flying airman who immediately rolled off to the side, clutching his arm. Seconds later the control room heard the Captain shout.
"Keller get through the gate now. I have this." His words causing everyone to look at the event horizon in anticipation. For a moment nothing happened, then they heard the Captain exclaim. "Crap." A second before Jennifer fell through the gate and landed unconscious on the floor. With the Wraith blasts still peppering the control room no one could go and help.
Seconds later the Captain dived through the gate landing on top of Jennifer.
"Shield." Sheppard ordered, although Chuck was already activating it.
The moment it was in place the infirmary staff swarmed to the injured as Cam watched. Hating feeling so helpless he approached the Captain who had waved off medical attention.
"What the hell happened?"
"Wraith attack." He said as his men were loaded onto gurneys and wheeled off. Noticing Cam was looking at Jennifer, who still lay unconscious on the floor with a doctor hovering over her, the Captain said. "It's ok, it was just a Wraith stunner."
As the doctor stood and looked straight into Cam's sceptical and concerned eyes he explained. "It is fairly routine round here. She is not in any danger, I've called for another gurney."
"No need." Cam said, swooping down and picking Jennifer up. "I'll take her." With her cradled in his arms he left the gate room as everyone else watched on perplexed.
"I hope this is not an omen for the rest of your visit." Woolsey said to Daniel.
"I'm sure it's not." Daniel smiled.
"What could possibly go wrong?" Vala beamed.
A/N: Thanks for reading, next chapter up tomorrow