Chapter 13 First Blood
Disclaimer: I don’t own Stargate Atlantis.
Warning: contains violence and spoilers for Season 4.
The neckline of the jacket revealed the neck, a big part of the upper chest and the breasts. The low-cut neckline reached the midriff, leaving exposed the very part of the breast and throat. Blue strips from the shoulders to the bottom of the low-cut neckline attracted the eyes to the naked flesh.
“This is some kind of a joke, isn’t it?” Miranda asked, staring in shock at the mirror.
“This is the new Atlantis’s uniform for the female members of the expedition”, informed her Colonel Carter. She was wearing the same kind of a jacket with black strips on the shoulders. In the room was full with women, looking confused in the new uniforms.
“But this….uniform is too….” Miranda paused, trying to figure out the right word. She hesitated between ‘unprofessional’ and ‘distasteful’, “it reminds me for the first episodes of Star Trek”.
“I decided to change the old uniforms. They were too casual, too featureless. I think we will be much more comfortable in these” Samantha Carter ignored her comment and smiled to the annoyed faces of the women. “So, the color strips on your shoulders mark your status. The blue ones are for the scientists, the yellow ones for the medicals, the black ones are for the military, and the red ones are for the administration. Any questions?” She looked around but no one said anything.
‘I think we are too stunned by the new ‘comfortable’ uniforms to ask questions’, thought Miranda, still didn’t believing that she will have to wear such kind of an uniform. The trousers were more tight-fitting to the legs, with fewer pockets. Instead of the T-shirt with high neckline they now had new ones, even lower-cut than the jackets.
‘What will be next to make our uniforms more personal? Short skirts?’ Miranda just signed and focused her attention to the speaking Carter.
“Doctor Langner, I want you to come to the Briefing Room for instructions about a mission.”
‘I have an important task already. I am writing a new definition for the ZPM…’, Miranda hated going to off world missions. She felt great in her laboratory and working with McKay and Zelenka.
Three hours later, Samantha Carter, Teyla, Dc. Keller and Miranda were sitting in the Briefing Room.
“This will be just a short trip to New Athos, the world that we had evacuated the Atosians, Teyla’s people. They didn’t answer to the last messages and we believe that something in their communication equipment has gone wrong. I am sending you to check out the situation” Carter said, looking at Teyla and Dc.Keller. Then she moved her eyes to the silently sitting woman next to them, “And you, Dc. Langner will go with them and check the listening sensors we have left there. They are not responding. May be this is in a result from the sun winds in the system. I want to go there and to fix them, as well as the communication devices of the Athosians”
Miranda was listening to Carter, when a sudden feeling crossed her mind. She looked at Teyla. After the last time Miranda had died she could now sense all the people in Atlantis and she could tell that Teyla was different. Her presence was similar to that of the Wraith’s but like a pale shadow. Wraith presence was like a fire, humans were like ice. People with Lantean’s genes were like sharpen steel. Teyla’s was like a smoke, left from the burning fire. Now she could feel her worry for the evacuated people, her anger that she had not been with them and….something else that Miranda couldn’t tell what exactly was. Like there was another creature in Teyla’s body. Her belly was sending emissions like a melting iron.
‘Could it be?’, Miranda wondered, but could not go on because Carter finished her speech and stood up. Rising from the seat, Miranda took a second look at Teyla and saw that the Atosian woman was glaring at her, knowing that Miranda had felt her emotions.
“All right. This is the simulation for the new ZPM definition. Do NOT touch or turn off the computer till I return.” Miranda told Zelenka, without stopping her preparations for the coming mission. She has put a defending vest on her chest and was taking a life-sign detector in one of the vest’s pockets. Another equipment and a tablet were packed in the grey rucksack nearby.
“Don’t worry! I will keep your simulation safe.” Said a little tetchily Radek.
Miranda sensed that she has insulted him and paused, looking at him, “I am sorry, Zelenka. I know you can maintain the whole Atlantis, just….I am nervous when it comes to go off world.”
“I know, Miranda. Rodney behaves the same when he had to leave the lab”, Radek tried to hide his smirk, unsuccessfully.
“Do you know when McKay will come back from Earth?” she asked, zipping the rucksack and heading towards the door. Radek followed her and they went into the transport.
“As far as I know after 2 days. I am receiving everyday messages from him with warning not to touch his things in the lab”, he smiled, as they exited from the transport near the door of the Gate Room. The unspoken words ‘like you’ hang up in the air.
Miranda signed and just nodded her head, “Sometimes we scientists are very much alike..”, she wave her hand for good bye and entered in the Gate Room.
They emerged from the Stargate in the early morning. The down has just begun. The sun was rising from the east and lighting the forests in red. Even the nearest lake seemed like full with blood.
“Dc. Langner, I and Jennifer will go the summer camp of my people to check what is going on there.” Teyla pulled out a map of the surrounding area, point a finger at the mark of the camp. “We shall meet there after 4 hours”
Miranda pulled up her own tablet and activated the virtual map. “Ok. 4 hours” She saw how Teyla and Keller went to the forest and she headed to the lake. ‘I hate the forests; you can never be sure what is hiding in them.’ According to the reports there were no big predators or any other treats on New Athos, but somehow Miranda didn’t trust the reports.
She had the feeling that someone is watching her, although she couldn’t sense anyone.
Ten minutes later, the feeling that someone is watching her became unbearable. All her new found instincts were screaming in alert. Miranda felt how with the treat, unknown aggression got out. ‘Now I know how the Wraith feel when they are fighting or someone is trying to endanger them.’
She didn’t slow her walk, pretending that nothing happened. Her mind was hectically searching for a way out of this situation. ‘What I have to do? I can’t sense them. They somehow managed to escape me’, she continued walking to the lake. Then a wild idea hit her, ‘I will do what a Wraith would have done in the same situation!’
Miranda ran to the nearest trees and sensed how the distance between her and those who were watching her extended. A new and strange energy was flowing in her body, forcing her to run faster and faster. Just for seconds she covered almost a hundred feet to a very high tree and with unsuspected strength, Miranda jumped up a ten feet over to the top of the tree and grasping the wide branch, she removed her rucksack and the vest and put them on the branch. Her instincts were dictating her to do.
Her breathing wasn’t change, nor did she feel weak or tired. Standing motionless, she noticed three figures approaching the forest. Coming closer, she recognized they were humans, but with weird masks and helmets, wearing dark chest-armors and big and wide swords. They began searching around the tree, noticing that her steps disappeared there. Strange, but she could not feel them. Like they weren’t close.
‘Shielding technology?’ Miranda thought, remembering the reports she had read about the shielding that Michael, a Wraith, had created in his lab in the Terranen planet. She looked carefully at the three men and noticed that one of them was wearing a different kind of breastplate from the others. In the center of the primitive metal armor was fixed a device, looking alike the personal shield McKay has found in Atlantis three years ago. ‘Lantean technology?’
She focused and tried to hold down the aggression that was burning in her. The man with the device stood to the tree and the other two went to the bushes, searching for her.
Gathering her strength she jumped from the tree and with a nimbleness movement landed on the ground behind the man. She stroke and hit him, stunning him. He tried to back up, but she was faster. With a single movement she reached and broke his neck, throwing the body away and leaping to the other two. Her instincts overwhelmed her mind; the kill was done for a blink of an eye. A second and another one laid dead, while the third one was agonizing from his own sword, stacked into his throat. Desire for killing, aggression, a predator hunting the weak prey were whirling in her. The smell of Lantean blood was intoxicating. ‘I know how the Lantean blood smells. No wonder the Wraith could have recognized me immediately’
She stood up, wiping the blood from her hands over her jacket, when she realized what has happened, ‘I killed three men!’ The shock made her freeze; she has never killed anything but a mosquito.
Something new emerged in her and replaced her terrified look at her covered with blood hands, ‘I had to do it!’
Miranda forced herself to calm down and went to the man, she had killed first. She wringed the device from his armor and thought ‘Deactivate!’
Suddenly she could feel the surrounding area. ‘Oh, no…!’
‘The shield has been stopping me sensing the others in the forest’, realized Miranda, when a blue stun hit her chest and she fell, passing away.
Slowly, with dizziness, Miranda came to her senses. Lifting her head, she noticed a man with the same armor as the ones, she had killed. He was without the mask and helmet and staring at her. She saw the ugly scar on his face and the cold black eyes that were monitoring her. He was middle aged, with bald head.
Ignoring him, Miranda looked around. Teyla was captured too, tied up and hanging from the ceiling’ boards. Miranda was tied to a chair. ‘We are in the summer camp of her people’, Miranda understood and focusing, tried to reach the mind of the Athosian woman.
‘Teyla, don’t look at me. Pretend you are feeling sick.’
She felt the answer, ‘No need to pretend. I am sick’
‘Where is Keller?’
‘I told her to run and bring help. So far these monsters haven’t got her, so I hope she has reached the Stargate’
A strong blow forced her to shut down the link and to look at the man.
“So, what have we here? A full blood Lantean and..” he turned his head mockingly at Teyla, “the Leader of the Athosians”
Miranda didn’t like his gloating, “What do you want from us?” She asked, interrupting him.
“Me? I want nothing. I have already have been paid too generously.” He said and nodding at one of the soldiers in the tent, he sat down on a chair and took out his dagger. Playing with the shining blade, he smiled at her, “I informed my employer that we have captured her”, he nodded to Teyla. “This is just an appetizer for him, till we capture McKay and Sheppard, and the Runner” He stopped playing with the blade and stood up, coming closer to her. “But I have not been paid to deliver you. So I think to keep you for myself. I have heard that the Lanteans have many secrets and a large knowledge. I saw you how you turn off the device of the Ancestors” he slided down her neck the blade, leaving a thin line of blood. “You killed my soldier who was the only one who could activate this device, so it’s fair if I keep you in his place. I gave a lot of money for this device and I intent to use it.” His smirk was disgusting, as well the way he looked at her. He noticed that the wound was healing very fast. “It seems that the Lanteans have and other amazing abilities, except their knowledge”, he said with raised eyebrows.
‘Why I always meet the idiots in this galaxy? First Tyre, now this jerk!’, thought Miranda angrily.
“I won’t tell you anything. And you will die when the others come for us” she whispered, with a cold wrath, looking at him.
“You will…. and when I finish with you, you will beg me to tell me everything.” He sneered and in this moment the man he had nodded before, entered in the tent with a glass vessel in his hands. The glass was full with light blue liquid. He gave it to his leader and left the tent.
“This is the ‘liquid of truth’”, informed her man and dipped the blade into the blue thing. “One drop of it and every man or woman willingly began speaking. It was made by the Genii a decade ago. One of them, my friend Kolya sold me this. The original purpose of it has been to be used in the interrogation of the captured Wraith, with whom your leader Sheppard had escaped a year ago. Some of the Genii scientists had found that this drug cause a severe pain and hunger in the Wraith’ body, forcing him to answer to their questions. Later the Genii discovered that it is the ideal drug if you want humans to tell you the truth. I don’t know how much is needed for a Lantean to take effect. Actually you will be the first Lantean, exposed to this drug.”He pilled out the blade and glided it to her neck, cutting the skin and mixing the liquid with her blood. He stepped aside and stood up sneering.
Miranda felt a slight ache at the place he had cut the skin, and then the feeling grew stronger, turning into a burning, like a collar of fire around her neck. The pain was beyond description, sucking her strength and energy. It began quickly to spread through out her body. Soon she was burning, trembling and sweating. She clenched her teeth, trying not to scream. Hunger clouded her thoughts, storming in her.
“Well? Are you ready to speak?” he asked, with a wide smirk on his face.
Panting heavily, she looked at him, “Yea. Do you want me to tell you what a thundering idiot, are you?”
He stopped smirking and dipping the blade again he cut a new line on her neck. Terrifying pain stormed in her head. The whole world began spinning. Miranda felt how something in her mind opened and after a gleaming flashing, she found herself in a dimly lit place, staring at a hologram.
‘I am in another mind’ she realized, and lifting her/someone eyes she saw a Wraith with a familiar tattoo on his eye and cheek. He saw her too. ‘I have seen this Wraith before,’ she became aware, remembering the records she has seen in Atlantis, ‘this is Sheppard’ Wraith, the one that gave him the Gift of Life! But in whose head I am?’ she tried to find out, when she understood this is the mind of her Wraith. He sensed her too and a mental wonder came to her, ‘You!’ There wasn’t any attempt to fight her, just an overwhelming feeling of surprise and a warm, bright emotion, directed at her that she could not identify. The pain and hunger was depleting her energy fast. Miranda sent him the images of the men that had captured her, New Athos, the blue liquid, the tent. She couldn’t think clearly, everything was in chaos in her head. The link between her and him began to fail. Feeling that she is out of energy, that she is going to die, Miranda with a last strength thought ‘Help…’ The link broke and she started to fade away, when a dump thought crossed her mind, ‘I forgot to send him the Stargate address…Oh, crap…’
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