A/N: Those of you who reviewed, thank you so much
Sheppard woke to feelings his arms yanked viciously behind his back and then bound tightly with rough ropes. The ropes dug into his skin and cut off circulation to his hands.
"He's waking up," a harsh voice called out.
"Good!" answered a voice equally harsh as Sheppard felt a sharp, painful kick to his stomach.
"I cannot tell you how happy Bric'ien is going to be when he knows that you are captured. He has desired to have some talks with you for quite some time." Sheppard looked blearily up at the source of the voice as he tried to catch his breath.
"And let me assure you he desires to speak with you even more after what you did today, in fact" he continued with a vicious smile, "many of us do".
The goons yanked Sheppard to his feet, but his legs were unsteady and he would have fallen if not for their ruthless grips on his arms. Before he could get his legs to cooperate and the corridor to stop spinning around him, so that he could walk on his own, the guards began moving him forward.
His feet kept catching on the uneven ground of the complex, so he kept being dragged instead of walking. It took Sheppard a few minutes to focus enough to realize that they were heading back towards the stargate, which meant they must be taking him to a different world, probably one the Atlantis expedition had never heard of before considering his current luck.
By the time they reached outside, Sheppard could finally walk on his own, and instead of tight bruising grips on his arms dragging him forward, it was the hard pressure of some sort of rifle being prodded against his back periodically that encouraged his forward momentum.
The gate was already dialed when they reached it, giving Sheppard no chance to see the gate address. He only hoped that McKay or Zelenka could work some of their magic and collect the last gate address dialed from the DHD, so that they could find out where he was taken.
As the rifle prodded Sheppard up the steps leading to the dais he almost tripped as his gaze took in the large amount of blood that he assumed must have been left there by McKay.
He swallowed hard and prayed to a God he barely believed in anymore that McKay would be alright. He glanced about himself looking for any way he could escape the guards and remain on the planet that his team…no his family…would look for him first. Yet, the stern faced guards that surrounded him and their weapons trained on his head, quickly silenced that notion.
He hesitated a moment before stepping through the event horizon, but a guard, impatient to get him through, shoved him forward causing him to be off balance when he came through the other side. Since his hands were still tied tightly behind his back, he found it difficult to catch his balance and almost took a nose dive.
"Ever thought of letting someone move on their own?" asked Sheppard as he glanced back at the man who had pushed him through. The guard simply smirked back at Sheppard as they stargate shut down. Sheppard glanced around him and was surprised to see that it was a barren wasteland. Any direction he looked for miles there was nothing. Yet, before he could come up with some smart ass remark that might get him information on where the outpost was…or a fair bit of pain from a guard who thought him nosy, a guard called out, "Alright, dial the next address."
'Of course,' thought Sheppard bitterly, 'they want to make it as difficult as possible for Atlantis to find me'. Now not only would they have to deduce the gate from the previous world, they would also have to figure out where he went from this world, and probably a few others they would take him too in the future. Sheppard felt the hope of his team finding him lessen and wished he could take out his frustration on a punching bag back at Atlantis…where he would be safe with his team.
Though, he did not regret in the slightest his decision to destroy the information on Bric'ien's computer. He knew that Atlantis was safe and it would take Bric'ien years to gather all the research he had previously collected to form the weapon, and hopefully before that time, Bric'ien could be taken out for good.
Sheppard was pushed through a quick succession of gates, though he was forced to look away each time a new gate was dialed. Finally they stopped on a planet only lit by a thin crescent moon. A bitter wind was blowing and Sheppard shivered in the cold. The planet looked desolate with craggy mountains and only a few tough shrubs scattered across the landscape. It was a world that looked undesirable and uninhabitable; thus, a perfect place for Bric'ien to have a backup outpost.
Sheppard was shoved forward by a guard obviously ready to get out of the biting wind. For the next hour or so they moved in a seemingly random way, further from the stargate and into the hills. There did not even seem to be a goat's path, and Sheppard realized that Bric'ien was insuring that if someone came to this world they would assume it was deserted and leave before they discovered Bric'ien's hideout.
Due to the uneven ground, loose dirt, fast pace, and having his hands tied tightly behind his back, Sheppard often slipped and fell. The last time it happened he smacked his right knee against a rock as he fell and almost cried out in pain. He already had had a difficult time standing up again after each fall, since he could not use his hands to get up, and the guards form of help was either to glare at him and threaten him with their rifles, as if getting shot would help him stand, or kick him sharply in his stomach with their boots, which he had to admit definitely caused him to keep his time on the ground to a minimum.
Unfortunately, this time when he sought to stand up his right leg buckled under him and he found himself in the same position he had started from. He tried standing again quickly in hopes that the guards would not practice their fighting techniques on him again, but found that without the use of his hands and the sharp pain in his knee, he just could not stand at the moment on his own.
The guards, however, seemed to think he was just doing it for kicks and Sheppard felt the butt of a rifle impact against his shoulder and heard a harsh voice saying to get up. Sheppard gasped through the sudden pain and replied in anger, "It's not like I'm doing this on purpose! If you would just untie my hands than…I don't know…maybe I might be able to stand up!"
The guard apparently was unappreciative of Sheppard's idea and instead of freeing his hands; two guards hauled him to his feet. Sheppard stood glaring at the guard who seemed to be in charge of this little outfit as he tried to not put much of his weight on his leg.
The guard glared right back at Sheppard and then growled, "When I say get up, you get up!" He punctuated this by burying his fist into Sheppard's abdomen knocking the wind out of him.
Sheppard bent as far forward as the unrelenting grips on his arms allowed, and tried to catch his breath and recover from the pain the blow had unleashed. Before he had fully recovered, the guard, whom Sheppard decided to name George, called for them to start moving forward again. Sheppard probably would have fallen again if it wasn't for the fact that George probably thought that he could get to the warm outpost faster if he did not have to stop every ten minutes to pick up Sheppard. So, the guards on his sides held on to Sheppard dragging him onward.
It was not long after that, that a door was revealed leading into one of the hills. A person would not see the door until they were almost on top of it as the door was the same color as the hill and easily blended into it. The door was opened from the inside before the first guard reached it, so Sheppard figured they must have some type of surveillance of the entrance.
Sheppard was glad to get out of the cold wind and enter the heated bunker. Though he was less pleased at the idea of what he would face in said bunker, especially since he knew it would take them awhile even with McKay heading the research to find him…and he was not even sure if Rodney was alive.
'NO!' Sheppard told himself. 'There is no way I am giving up on Rodney. I will not believe he is dead until I see his rotting corpse. Besides someone who insists he is dying or about to die as much as Rodney always does, could not actually die any time soon. Irony would simply not let it happen.' Sheppard let himself show a slight smile at the thought, though it did not last long as he was taken further into the hill.
The place reminded him of the genii facility, he had been kept in when Koyla had a wraith feed on him, and that thought did nothing to relieve his apprehension. Sheppard struggled to keep his breathing under control, and ensure the guards did not know he was at all affected.
Finally, they entered a short hallway with cells lining one side. Though there were thick walls between the cells, they were shut off from the hallway itself only by prison bars. Probably to ensure that there was no privacy for the person within the cell, Sheppard thought grimly.
The cells were also uncomfortably similar to the Genii ones, though they were dissimilar enough to assure his mind this bunker had never been controlled by the Genii. All of the cells were empty Sheppard was thankful to notice as his thoughts kept racing back to his time with Koyla. Though with the help of Todd, he had managed to escape last time, he seriously did not want to experience the pain from a wraith feeding ever again. So, he was more than willing to forgo the idea of help from a fellow prisoner for the peace of mind he gathered from knowing there was not a wraith in the next cell over.
Sheppard was shoved into a large cell and with his knee crying out in pain was unable to recover his balance before he hit the ground. Two guards and George followed him into the cell, while another three waited outside with their guns trained on him. Sheppard thought it was a little overkill. Sure he might think of taking down four guards, but definitely not five or six…unless he had a weapon of course.
Sheppard was yanked to his knees by one of the guards while the other cut the ropes binding his wrists. Then without warning the guards began to roughly pull his jacket off of him, since back on the planet they had relieved him of his vest. As soon as the bare skin of his arms was exposed to the air of the cell he fully realized, though he had noticed before, that Bric'ien did not waste any energy on heating the cell area.
"Hey, it's kind of cold in here, so I'd really appreciate it if you let me keep my jacket, besides it really isn't your color."
George just laughed and then commanded the guards to confiscate Sheppard's boots and socks. "That isn't exactly what I had in mind" muttered Sheppard as his left boot and sock were harshly removed from his foot. When they went to do his right boot Sheppard could not help but give a small growl of pain as in their haste to remove the boot, they pulled on his already throbbing knee.
When they were done George had the two guards pull him to his feet, and then looked him squarely in the eyes. "I just want to give you a small taste of what you will be facing when Bric'ien arrives" said George. Then George slammed his fist into Sheppard's stomach. The guards holding Sheppard up prevented him from curling into a ball as George's fist came down again impacting with Sheppard's face. Sheppard looked up at him with fury in his eyes, but before he could find the words to articulate his disgust for the man, he once again found the fist brutally impacting with his face. This time as he tried to sink to the ground in pain the guards let him.
As Sheppard tried to focus his eyes George knelt down next to him and whispered, "Remember this is just the beginning." Following this statement, George led the other guards out of the cell area and then turned off the main lights in the area, so that the cell was only illuminated by a pale blue emergency light in the hall.
Sheppard trying to focus his thoughts past the throbbing in his head curled up in a ball to help preserve heat. 'Positive thinking, John' he told himself. 'That is what you need to do now. Remember your team will never give up looking for you, and some of the best minds of two galaxies are working on it.' He remembered all the other times his team and found him and smiled. "Yeah, they'll find me," Sheppard said aloud to himself, "they've never failed before."
To be continued…
A/N: Please review and tell me what you think. Is there any part you really liked or disliked? Let me know! I should be updating again in just a few days…