ENEMEY AT THE GATE
"In coming wormhole. Signal's coming in now."
Emily looked at the screen and blinked. "Todd?"
"Don't sound so surprised, my dear," said Todd. "I told you I'd keep in touch."
"You said the treatment might not have worked," Emily said.
"Well, it worked, although it was excruciatingly painful."
"You're just saying that to make me feel better," Emily said with a coy smile.
Todd smiled too. "I was able to return to my position as leader of the Alliance, but I have had a recent set back. Perhaps you can see what remains of my ship?" He turned away and they all saw a smoking pile of metal.
"Nice landing," said Emily.
"Don't be so critical," Todd chastised. "It wasn't so long ago that my flying capabilities saved both you and your team. It was a pilot error; I was attacked by one of my underlings."
"You'll excuse me for being blunt," said Woolsey, "but why should we care?"
"It isn't the fact that he attacked and temporarily defeated me that should concern you, it's rather how he managed to do it."
"And how was that?" Emily asked, readying herself for a blow.
"He acquired a very rare and valuable piece of technology; one I very well think you are quite familiar."
"A ZPM, are you kidding me?"
"Ah, that's what he said," Emily confirmed.
"I don't buy it," said Ronon.
"Why not?" asked Woolsey.
"Well, for one, they don't exactly grow on trees," offered Rodney.
"He got betrayed by his own people," Ronon continued. "Now he wants us to help him clean up the mess."
"He's volunteered to place himself in our custody," Emily said. "I know he wouldn't do that if there wasn't some truth in his words."
"Well, you can bet that there's something he's not telling us," John interjected.
"Hm, too true," Emily agreed, "but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's lying about the ZPM."
"If this is true," said Rodney, "it could be very, very bad."
"It's a threat we can't tolerate," said Woolsey. "And we won't."
Todd watched as Emily walked into the Isolation Room and sat down opposite him.
"Well," she said, "here we are again."
"Indeed," said Todd. "This city has become quite familiar to me, almost a respite for daily life. It would be a shame to see it destroyed."
Emily raised her eyebrows. "Are you suggesting that if we don't help you that would be a likely outcome?"
Todd shrugged, unconcerned, at least trying to hide it.
Emily sighed. "Alright, let's start at the beginning. Where did the ZPM come from?"
"You recall the few modules I recovered from the Replicator City before it was destroyed?"
"Yes," said Emily. "They were lost when we took out the cloning facility."
"Not all of them," Todd corrected.
Emily tensed. "Excuse me?"
"I may have acquired more than I let on."
"How much more?" Emily asked.
"Let's not get caught up in unnecessary details," said Todd evasively.
"I like details," Emily said forcefully.
"Even if I gave you a number, you'd have no way of verifying it," Todd argued. "You certainly wouldn't take my word for it, so what's the point?"
"Alright then," Emily sighed, "then tell me this; why now? You've had those ZPM's for over a year."
"Wraith Hives have a certain incompatibility with Ancient technology," Todd explained. "These had to be overcome before the modules could be put to work."
"You managed to do it with the cloning facility," Emily shot back.
"A Hive is more complex," Todd argued. "I put my best scientists to work on this project and recently one of them succeeded."
"Only he didn't want to turn it over to you," Emily finished. "And now you want us to help you kick him to the curb."
"It would be in your best interest," Todd agreed. "This Hive is a working progress. It has yet to reach its full potential, which means that if you attack it now, you'll be able to destroy it, but if you hesitate then it will be too late and this Hive will be unstoppable."
Megan accompanied John to where Todd's quarters were on the Daedalus. She was glad to see the Wraith, but her fondness for him had dulled since he'd kidnapped her.
"Hello Megan," Todd greeted as she walked in. "You've grown."
"It's good to see you, too," she said. "You're looking good."
Todd turned to John. "Was it really necessary to remove my subspace transmitter and force my to wear this ridicules outfit?"
"Well, after what happened last time, can you blame us?" said John.
Todd smiled. "So I assume my request to be on the bridge…?"
"Denied," John said.
"Here's the problem," said John, "every time we get involved with you, I feel like I'm walking around with a live grenade in my pocket, just waiting for it to all go wrong for that one thing you forgot to mention."
"I assure you, in this case…" Todd began.
"Save it," Megan cut across him. "We've been down this road before."
"If you really feel that way," Todd said, "why was I let go after our last encounter?"
"We had a deal and you kept up your end of the bargain," said John. "And to be honest, I didn't think you'd live. If I find out you're playing us, I'm not going to wait for authorization, there won't be any paperwork, I'm just going to kill you."
Todd stared after him then turned to Megan. "And what are your views?"
Megan shrugged. "I'll probably feel bad at the time and Ma will probably kill him afterwards, but I kind of agree with the colonel."
Emily entered the Isolation Room with John after he got back from the failed attempt on the Daedalus.
"Well, things didn't go exactly according to plan," said John, leaning over the table to glare at Todd.
"So I heard," said the Wraith. "Do you intend to hold me responsible?"
"All I know is that everything went sideways, the way it always goes when you're involved," John growled. "Are you going to tell me that's a coincidence?"
Todd bared his teeth. "Then you've come to make good on your threat."
Threat? Emily narrowed her eyes at John, but the colonel just sat down. "Where are the other ZPM's you talked to Emily about?"
"Tell us where they are and maybe it'll improve your situation," Emily said.
Todd raised his eyebrows. "Am I supposed to be enticed by this offer?"
"No," said John, "I'll probably kill you anyway."
"This Wraith betrayed you and got away with it," Emily pressed. "For no other reason, you might want to do it out of pure spite."
"You both know how to talk to me," Todd said and laughed.
"We got them" said Lorne as he walked back thru the Stargate with a box. He unlocked it and showed two ZPM's.
"He actually came thru for us," muttered Woolsey.
"Never underestimate the spite of a Wraith," Emily said. "Have Radik install them immediately."
"Maybe he's turning over a new leaf," said John. "Or maybe they're gonna blow up when you plug them in."
"Have Dr McKay check them first," said Woolsey.
"Right," agreed Lorne.
"Okay," said John, "I'm heading to the Chair Room."
"Actually, Colonel," said Woolsey, "you won't be flying the city for us. In fact, you won't be coming with us at all."
"What are you talking about?" asked John.
"General O'Neill wants you in the Chair on Earth," said Woolsey. "You have half an hour to pack before you Gate back to Earth."
"Okay," said Rodney. "Chair functions are up one hundred percent. Radik, how are things at your end?"
"ZPM's are fully functional," repliedRadik.
"Okay, who's flying this puppy?" Megan asked.
"That would be me," said a Scottish voice.
Rodney and Megan looked up to see Carson Beckett walk into the room. "Rodney, nice to see you again. Megan, you look lovely as ever."
"They called you in for this?" Rodney said. "Wow, you must have a higher CIA than I thought."
"Excuse me?" asked Carson.
"Chair Interface Aptitude," Megan explained. "It's our ranking system."
"Well," said Carson, "after Colonel Sheppard, I'm number 2."
"Really?" said Rodney. "Huh, I'll have to look into that."
"Well thanks for the vote of confidence," said Carson.
Megan reached up and kissed Carson's cheek. "I'm sure you'll do fine."
"Right," said Carson, sitting in the Chair. "I guess I'm ready."
"Dr Beckett," saidWoolsey. "Take us out."
Carson scrunched up his face and the city gave a small jolt upwards.
Todd looked up as Emily walked in, wearing combat gear. "What's going on?"
"The Hive's attacked Earth," she replied. "The ship has a Stargate onboard that makes it impossible to dial Stargate Command. Ronon, Teyla, Rodney and I are going to cripple it."
"That's suicide," Todd said, standing up. "I can't allow you to do that."
Emily smiled. "You don't have the power to keep me from doing this mission. Besides, you're coming with us."
Todd watched as Lorne rolled a few grenades into the wormhole.
"Do you think that cleared the way?" Rodney asked.
"Only one way to find out," replied Lorne and he walked thru the gate.
Todd followed Emily and Teyla thru and saw that the Wraith guards were dead. Well, they should've known better than going up against these humans.
Megan caught up with Woolsey in the hallway. "I've been meaning to talk to you about something." She handed him a tablet. "It's something that Rodney and I've been working on for some time. It's an adaptation of Ancient technology that was abandoned because of instability and enormous power requirements. It's essentially a Wormhole Drive. It's instantaneous travel across enormous distances. If it works, we can be at Earth in a matter of seconds. Radek and I think we can do it."
Todd followed close behind Ronon and Lorne and was sure to keep Emily behind him. If anything were to happened to her…
"Which way?" Teyla asked.
McKay inspected his tablet. "We should go for the ZPM and create a fatal overload. We can destroy this ship in one shot."
"I like the sound of that," said Ronon.
"The problem is that I'm not sure if we can get off the ship in time," McKay continued.
"And you're just telling us this know?" Emily hissed.
"I'm thinking on my feet here," Rodney said defensively.
"What choice do we have?" said Todd. "If we can take out this Hive then we should do it, no matter the cost."
"I hate to say this," said Ronon, "but I agree with him."
Emily sighed. "Lead the way, Rodney."
They walked a little farther when they were ambushed by multiple Wraith. Todd snarled as he ducked behind a pillar with Emily.
"Is there another way out?" Ronon shouted.
"I think so," McKay yelled back.
"Go!" Teyla shouted.
Emily covered Todd and McKay as they ran to a more secluded position, but more Wraith came. Todd roared and attacked one of them while the other unarmed Emily with a blow to her stomach. She kicked him multiple times until he stumbled backward. Emily ran to help Todd and they killed the Wraith. But the other took out a knife and stabbed at them.
Emily screamed as the blade cut up into her lung. Todd picked up her weapon and fired at the drone, which dropped dead.
Emily collapsed to the ground and whimpered, blood trickling down her lips.
"No!" Todd yelled, holding her in his arms. "Emily, stay with me!"
"Just go!" Emily croaked out. "You've got to destroy this Hive! You've…got to…"
"Emily!" Todd cried. "Emily, don't leave me!"
Emily held his gaze. "I love you, Todd. I always…have…"
Todd felt her last breath leave her. "No!"
"Come on, let's go!" said Lorne. "Come on!"
With one last agonizing look at her face, Todd set Emily down and left her there.
Todd felt his heart grow heavy with each step he took away from Emily's body. She'd loved him and he'd let her die.
They rounded a corner and found Sheppard there. "You're the last people I expected to see on this ship."
"Same here," said McKay. "Give me a damn minute." He ran off to the 3O2 that Sheppard had flown.
"Where's Emily?" asked Sheppard.
"They killed her," said Todd and they were surprised to hear his voice crack.
Emily gasped as air flooded thru her body, giving her life. A Wraith commander stood over her. "I've given you life, human, and bound your wound."
"That was real nice of you," Emily said sarcastically.
"Now you will answer my questions," the Wraith hissed. "How many humans are on my ship?"
Emily stayed silent. The Wraith raised his boot and pressed down on her damaged lung. "Where are they?"
Emily smiled thru her pain. "Behind you," she whispered just before the team killed them all.
"How are you doing, Em?" John asked, helping her up.
Emily groaned and held her side. "I'll be a lot better when you guys blow this Hive."
Todd pushed forward and hugged her. "I thought you were gone."
Emily sighed and kissed his cheek. "I'm hard to get rid of."
"Okay," said John. "Less kissing, more leaving."
Todd lifted Emily up into his arms and carried her until they reached the Stargate.
"We're picking up another ship," saidColonelCarterovertheradio. "It's Atlantis, they're engaging the Hive!"
"About freaking time," Emily sighed.
"Okay, Rodney," said John. "Do your stuff."
"On it," said Rodney.
"We've got company!" shouted Lorne as the Wraith attacked.
Todd set Emily down and fired at the oncoming Wraith. Emily pulled out her handgun and started shooting, too.
"How's it coming, Rodney?" asked John.
"It's done!" called Rodney. "Dialing Atlantis!"
Todd picked Emily up and they ran into the wormhole and landed in Atlantis.
"You're timing could've been better!" Emily groaned as Megan came running to greet her.
Megan froze at the sight of Emily's blood. "What happened?"
"It's superficial," Emily lied. "I'll be fine."
"I'll take her to the Medical Bay," Todd said.
They were in the main hallway when the Wraith Hive exploded in a blinding flash of light.
That was when Emily lost consciousness.
Megan paced outside the Medical Bay, waiting for her mother to get out of surgery. Superficial, her ass!
The doors opened and Jennifer came out. "She's out of surgery."
"Will she be okay?" Megan asked.
Jennifer shook her head. "Only time will tell. She's pretty banged up."
"Can we see her?" asked Todd.
"Not yet," said Jennifer. "There's something you both need to see."
Todd stared at the screen with wide eyes, still unable to grasp what he was seeing. It was true the Wraith and human DNA were similar, but this…this changed everything.
Todd walked over to where Emily was laying and sat down next to her. "Emily? Emily, please try to make it." He took her hand and brought it up to his face. "I can't bare the thought of loosing you now. Please…please come back to me. I love you too much to let you go."
"Who says I'm going anywhere?"
Todd looked up to see Emily open her eyes and smile lazily at him. "Hey."
"Hello," he said. "Welcome back."
Emily blinked. "Wow, that was some wild ride, wasn't it?"
"It was," Todd agreed. "All is well; your planet was saved, you and your friends survived all thanks to my zero point modules."
"You won't let me forget that in a hurry," Emily sighed.
Todd laughed and hugged her tightly to him.