Sheppard's team welcomed Kate as if she had always been a part. Teyla was beyond thrilled to have another female on the team, even if she showed it in her usual stoic way. Kate had a very boyish sense of humor and hit it off with Ronon almost instantly; even Rodney liked her, though he hid it very well. All in all she integrated very nicely, much to the pleasure of John and Elizabeth.
A week after Kate joined SGA-1 Elizabeth called John into her office.
"I've decided that it's time you guys went on a mission. I'm sure you've been enjoying your down time, but I feel convinced that Kate has adjusted well and is ready to go on a mission."
John smiled. "I thought you'd never give us the go ahead. She's been bugging me like crazy to go on a mission."
"Well, now's her chance, you'll be heading to M5R-279."
"Didn't Lorne's team already go there?"
"Yes, but they detected some readings that should interest McKay, and there's an unknown form of writing in the cave that the readings are coming from."
"Well all right then, sounds like fun," he said with a hint of sarcasm.
She smiled at him. "I know it's not your kind of adventure, but I'm sure you'll find something to keep yourself occupied. Pick on Rodney, you always enjoy that."
"Oh, you know me so well."
Roughly thirty minutes later Sheppard's team was ready to go. Kate and John had gotten into an argument about weapons. Kate wanted a P-90 but John seemed to think it was unnecessary; naturally Kate assumed it was because she was his baby sister, and things got a little out of control. It took them 15 minutes to stop arguing in hushed tones, as if no one knew what they were doing.
"Have fun," Elizabeth said to them with a hint of amusement.
John looked grudgingly at his sister as she clipped her P-90 to her vest. He never won fights between the two of them, and this wasn't exactly how he wanted to start her first mission. He shrugged off his tension and stepped through the gate.
Kate walked up to the shimmering blue surface and touched it. It was an odd sensation, cool ant wet, and at the same time not. She took a deep breath and stepped forward into the unknown. It was the most amazing thing she had ever experienced. It felt like eternity was stretching out before her and she spent the rest of her days zipping around space, and then at the same time it was only seconds before she was stepping through the other side to a place that looked like it could fit anywhere in middle America. There were plenty of deciduous trees, shrubs, and grass that pretty green color that meant it got lots of rain.
John looked up as the gate closed behind Kate and she just stood there. "Was that your fist time?" he asked with a smile.
She nodded. "I—" she started but her voice faltered. She cleared her throat and started again. "I hadn't ever gotten a chance to go through when I got this assignment, then I came here on the Daedalus, which was an amazing experience all by itself, but this…"
"Yeah, it sometimes has that effect on people."
He laughed. "Come on, there's more fun to be had. Right Rodney?" he yelled to McKay, who was a ways ahead of them.
"The readings are coming from this direction," he said, and headed off to the right.
"See? He's so excited he can barely contain himself."
Kate laughed and walked off in the direction Rodney was heading. They followed the readings back a trail to the mountain range. Rodney was standing at the entrance to a cave when they caught up with him.
"Well, the energy readings are definitely coming from in there. They're very unusual also. They seem like Ancient energy outputs, but something's not right."
"Well, let's find out," said Kate, and she brushed past him and into the cave.
"Katie!" John ducked in after her. "God only knows what could have been in here, never just stroll into a place; you always have to look around."
"Oh please, John. If there was anything dangerous here Major Lorne's team would have told us."
"That doesn't mean that something couldn't have come in here since then."
She glared at him. "Fine, sorry. Can we work now?"
"Fine. You and McKay poke around, do your nerdy stuff. Ronon and I are going to look around. Teyla, keep an eye on them."
Teyla smiled slyly, but didn't say anything. John took one last look at his sister, then stepped out of the cave, mumbling under his breath.
Kate smiled, then turned back to the cave wall. It was truly intriguing. She recognized the writing as some form of Ancient, but there was something different about it. She moved along the wall, following the writing back to where it all seemed to flow out from. At the very back of the cave wall there was a section of very heavy writing. McKay had been circling the room the other way, following the readings and ended up in the same place.
"There's something here," they both said at the same time, then looked at each other.
"The readings are the strongest right here," said Rodney.
"That makes sense, these markings seem to indicate something of importance here, but it's difficult to decipher what it means. This writing is unlike any Ancient I've seen before. And yet, there's something strangely familiar about it."
"Like how the energy seems to be Ancient, and yet also seems not to be?"
She nodded. "I just can't figure out where…" she trailed off as her eyes fixed on a specific part of the writing.
"Dr. Sheppard?" Rodney said.
"…where I've seen this before." She gave a little laugh.
"What is it?"
"This isn't possible, it can't be possible," she whispered.
"What can't be possible?" Rodney asked, frustration seeping into his voice. He wasn't used to people other than himself being this cryptic.
Kate reached out her hand to touch the wall, and found nothing. Her hand went right through the wall with enough momentum to throw her off balance. She had enough time to grab Rodney's vest in an effort to steady herself before both of them fell through the wall into blackness.