scherryzade: (pacific ocean)
[personal profile] scherryzade
Title: Newcomers: Leader
Rating: PG-13 for language
Character: OCs, Teyla, Sheppard
Disclaimer: The context isn't mine (AR-27 are), no harm meant.
Summary: Bad decisions. Close calls. Unknown enemies. Uncertain friends. Welcome to Pegasus.
A/N: Sequel to Medic, Soldier, Traitor, Coward - the final part of 5. Spectacularly delayed, because I was taking it in completely the wrong direction...


There's something she's forgotten. She has to remember, because if she doesn't, there's no way she can fix this. But she can't remember, because she can't concentrate, and she can't concentrate because the pain in her chest isn't the raw panic she's been carrying with her all day, it's real, and she can't breathe -

Oh. Right. Remember how to breathe.

Anna gasps for air, and it hurts, but the pain is blunt, not sharp.

The mercenary who shot her has reached Janel, slinging his arm around the medic's neck. He grins. Anna tightens her grip on her sidearm.

Someone says her name. Yells her name. Someone drops down beside her. "Anna." Softer. Fingers flutter on her tac vest, tugging on the ragged remains of the bulletproof material. "Anna. Anna-M." Nate.

She reaches for his hand, and hears his sharp intake of breath. She hushes him, and he stills, his fingers still tangled in her tac vest.

The mercenary has moved closer, pushing Janel ahead of him. The others won't have a clear shot, but she does.

She lifts her weapon, aims. Her finger's tightening on the trigger before she realises her arm is shaking. She tries to steady it, ignore the pain from Janel's strike. (Scissors. Who the hell starts a fight with scissors?)

Her arm's still shaking when the mercenary sees her. He doesn't bother to reposition himself. "You want to take that shot, Lantean?"

Beside her, Nate shifts. She thinks he's about to take her weapon, and flinches away. But instead, he eases his hand under hers, steadying her aim.

"Let her go," says Anna.


It's not until Captain Rodriguez speaks that Janel dares open her eyes. Rodriguez isn't dead.

The conducat shifts behind her, and his knife presses closer on her throat.

"Hurt her, you're a dead man," says Rodriguez.

"Isn't that her line?" asks the conducat. "Or is that what all the Lanteans say?" Suddenly the knife is gone, and he pushes her away. She stumbles, falls, can't hold herself upright any longer. "Don't hurt us," he says, in a mocking, sing-song whine, "Or the big bad Colonel will get you." He laughs. "Got the Rings singing scared, ain't you?"

Janel starts to crawl away.

She freezes when a hand touches her shoulder. "Sorry -" It isn't the conducat, it's Rodriguez' young soldier, Wright, a hand outstretched to help her stand.

It's enough to make her stand on her own, but when she tries to back away from him, he says again, "Sorry," and she follows the line of the small, aborted gesture he makes.

The market at Ordan is always busy, with people from many worlds. It's busy still, even with these weapons drawn, and it takes her a moment to realise that the crowd around them aren't watching, they're waiting.


They're surrounded.

Tom counts fourteen that he can see. There'll be more - there always are.

Tom shifts to keep Janel between himself and Mark, and turns to watch their six, but can't help but keep one eye on the others.

Teyla steps forward to catch their leader's attention, giving the captain a chance to stand. She does, and Tom can see Mark relax, but Dr Gibson stays close at her side. Captain Rodriguez' sidearm is back up and aimed at the mercenary before Teyla even starts to speak.

"We are -"

"Lanteans. You're Emmagan. The others I don't know, except by their uniform. And I believe you met some of my men on Ushant. A woman officer and a Five Towns medicat, they said, and you'd have thought a Wraith queen had turned on them, they were so pale."

"What do you want?"

"You. Alive, although I'll settle for dead."

"You will get no ransom -"

"Oh, you're not so naive as to think there is no bounty on your head, Emmagan? Half the Rings think you're a traitor. I could retire on what I'd get for your head alone -"

"I'd like to see you try," says Captain Rodriguez.

The mercenary grins, and makes a sweeping gesture that includes Teyla, Janel and the captain. "Thought the Genii were exaggerating when they said all the Lantean women were Wraith-blooded whores." One of the mercenaries sniggers.

Mark takes a step towards the mercenary, weapon raised. "You shut your fucking mouth."


He stops, and steps back, weapon still raised. "Captain," he says.


"You won't make any profit from us, Yanek," says Anna. It's a guess, and a good one, but while he's surprised she knows his name, it doesn't worry him.

"Ress," he says instead, with a shake of his head. "Sorry son of a Wraith never could keep a secret."

"He told us you've been hired to capture 'Lantean' personnel."

"Among other things."

"Who hired you?"

"A liber of rare metal, a season's ruus wine, and market credit." Janel makes a soft sound of recognition, but Anna can't risk taking her eyes off Yanek.

"Who hired you?"

"Who hired you?" Yanek asks back. "Was it the Black Colonel? He seems to have a taste for women like you."

He leans towards her, and doesn't even look at her weapon. "Is it really true, what you all say? That Colonel Sheppard will seek any Lantean I take?"

Anna looks him straight in the eyes. "Yes."



"You want Sheppard? He'll come for any one of us. Take me, let my people leave."

Rodriguez' teammates bristle at that. They say nothing, but if Janel can see it, so can the conducat.

"Wouldn't like to separate you," he says, nodding to where Dr Gibson supports the captain's weapon.

"Let the medicat go, then."

"I can get double for a Lantean doctor." More credit - Seracii, she's sure of it. But liber would be -

"She's not one of our scientists. She's just a medic." Rodriguez puts the weight of scorn behind the word, and Janel angers. Then she sees the tension in the way Rodriguez stands, the hard line of her jaw. The captain is holding her pain and her fear close, and Yanek may see the way Rodriguez' men inch closer, but he doesn't see that.

Just as Janel didn't see it on Ushant.

Yanek makes a point of looking at Rodriguez' injured arm a second time. "You might need a mere medicat," says Yanek. "Even if only to undo the harm she did you." Janel feels herself flush, but Rodriguez doesn't waver.

"On my planet, medics are -"

"This is not your planet, Lantean."

"Ordan is not your planet, either, Seracii," says Janel, "And killing Lanteans for credit will not make it so."


Yanek doesn't like that.

"Serace, of course," says Teyla. "I could not place his voice. But liber would be -"

"Kelos, right," finishes Janel.

"Seracii working for Kelan?" Teyla sounds surprised, which Mark is fairly sure never happens.

"What are the Rings coming to?" Janel copies Teyla's tone, and Yanek doesn't take to either.

"You'll find out soon enough who I work for."

"Yeah, that's the idea," says Rodriguez.

"You're worth more to me alive," snaps Yanek, "but they won't mind if you're a little broken."

"Well, there's were we differ. You're not worth anything to me alive or dead, but for every one of my people you harm, the longer you'll hurt."

"There are fourteen of us, and six of you. How do you expect to survive if you make us fight?"

"Well, I'll start with you," says Rodriguez. "Collins?"

It's a split second before Mark realises what the captain's asking. "Little guy with the crossbow."


"Genii rifle, 11 o'clock."


"I believe I will teach a lesson to the gentleman who laughed when their leader called us wraith-blooded whores."

"Nice. Janel, you still have those scissors?"

"Yes, captain."

"Good." Rodriguez turns to Yanek, and says, "I'd say we're pretty evenly matched, here."

The crossbow that was aimed at Janel is now aimed at Mark. The rifle is still pointed at Rodriguez, but the shooter's attention is on Tommy. The man who laughed at the women is standing behind two others, and they've both realised that Teyla will go through them to get to him.

Everybody else is looking at Rodriguez.

Yanek doesn't back down. He says, "I have twice the men waiting on my command."

And Anna smiles.


If she's wrong, if she's mis-timed it -

"What, you didn't think we came here for you alone, did you?" Anna says.

"Why, is the Black Colonel waiting behind the dye-seller's stall?"

If she's wrong -

"Why don't you ask your men?"

Yanek pulls out a radio, somewhere between Genii and Traveller tech, and thumbs it on. Scorn palpable in his voice, he says, "Garrison, report."

If she's mis-timed it -

Yanek's radio is silent, and he shoots her an angry look. "Karden, report."

He slaps the radio against the heel of his hand, and says, "Damn you, Karden. Report."

The radio buzzes with static, and Anna steels herself.


"Is this -" Tap. Tap-tap. "Is this thing on?"

Janel recognises the Colonel's voice, despite the static. She sees Rodriguez' smile shift into something more sincere, sees the relief in her eyes. Yanek misses that, too, because he's staring at the radio in disbelief.

"Who is this?" snaps Yanek.

"This is Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, US Air Force, lately of Atlantis." The Colonel's voice is measured. "All your base are belong to us."

The crowd shifts.

Once, Janel would have been one of the crowd, would have shivered at the mention of the name. Now, she sees the way Teyla rolls her eyes at the oddly formed phrase, hears the startled, cut-off laugh torn from Wright.

Now she sees how they stand together.

Now, she sees how they stand at four corners of a diamond, so that she is between them, protected. Now Janel sees how they stand firm, weapons held high and steady, even if it takes two of them. She thought it was arrogance - no, she knows it is arrogance, but now she sees the strength of their defiance.

She sees this, and almost misses seeing Yanek fling aside his radio and launch himself at Rodriguez.


Nate feels Anna shift her arm.

He doesn't expect her to fire any more than Yanek thinks she'll hit him, but the mercenary's howl as he clutches his thigh covers the undignified noise that Nate makes.

Yanek falls heavily, cursing, and Anna shifts her aim once more. It's all Nate can do to stop himself from pulling away. She doesn't fire.

"What happens if you fail, Yanek?"

"Kill them," hisses Yanek. "Kill them all."

The mercenaries shift uncomfortably. Their weapons are raised, but none seems prepared to take the first shot.

"See, that's the problem with mercenaries, Yanek. There's plenty of folk willing to kill for money, but very few willing to die."

"We outnumber them, you fools," snaps Yanek.

"So do the Genii," says Anna.

"So do the Wraith," says Teyla.

"So did the Asurans, before we wiped them out."

"So did the Goa'uld," says Mark.

"What go-a-uld?" says Yanek.


"The Goa'uld ruled our galaxy for millenia." says Anna. "It took us, what, ten years to destroy them?"

"Nine," says Mark.

Anna shakes away Nate's arm, and crouches beside Yanek. She speaks to him, but her message carries to the whole crowd.

"You don't want to be our enemy."


Yanek's men don't fire, but they don't leave, either.

Anna stands, and looks them over as slowly as she dares. Then, equally slow, and as steadily as she can with her arm still throbbing from Janel's cut, Anna holsters her sidearm.

"We're not here to fight you."

There's a mutter from the crowd, nothing more.

"We're not looking for enemies."

Yanek scoffs.

"If you cross us, if you threaten our lives or the lives of our friends, we will fight back. If one more Marine is killed, if another scientist is captured, if our people suffer the slightest hurt at the hands of the conducat, we will find you.

"Tell that to the men who hired you. Tell them we're coming."

"Does that come from the Black Colonel?" Anna doesn't see who speaks, and the other mercenaries look abashed.

"Tell them -" Anna grins. "Tell them they better hope the Colonel finds them before I do."

She rests her hand on her sidearm, and waits, and the mercenaries slip away to the sound of Yanek cursing their parentage.


"Tie him up, Collins," says Rodriguez.

"Yessir." Collins ties Yanek's arms behind him, and the conducat growls, breaking off with a hiss of pain.

Rodriguez has stooped to pick up Yanek's radio, but she pauses, and her gaze flickers between Yanek and Janel.

Janel huffs, and crouches beside Yanek.

"I'm sorry."

Janel looks up to see Rodriguez, twisting the radio through her hands, her expression suddenly raw. Janel shrugs.

"It's my job." She moves to cut Yanek's trousers away from his wound, and can't help but laugh when he flinches at the sight of her scissors. "You're hardly hurt, man. She could have caught you far worse."

She looks up at Rodriguez. "You will always make work for me." She smiles to soften it, but she knows it's truer than she intended.

Rodriguez smiles, just, no longer the sharp bright smile she gave Yanek when she put her weapon to his head. It's small and twists out of her, but it's still this side of broken.

Janel turns back to the conducat's wound, and hears Rodriguez speak into the radio.

"Sir, this is 2-7. We have Yanek."


There's probably an epilogue/coda/ohgodwillitneverend bit to follow, plus a load of deleted scenes that don't fit. Sheppard was being totally badass, but he was too distracting, so Anna stole all his dialogue. Ronon was there. McKay had explosives. Also there's that whole scene where I explained why Janel really had those scissors with her. And finding out what's going on with Lorne & Parrish...


(I didn't realise quite how fun it would be to subvert the trope where a civilian is taught to fire a weapon by their instructor standing way too close and improving their aim by manhandling them. Mmm, shippy. Which is awkward, because she's really not his type...)


Date: 2010-03-18 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You still will totally write that "improving their aim" story (because I can say from experience that they're fun... and they called it The Whole Nine Yards - in my defense it was SO [ profile] mackenziesmomma's fault!). I'm sure of it.

Also... more of Anna kicking ass an Collins being loyal and Nate being worried and Tom being... uh... young? Yes?

Date: 2010-03-19 12:05 am (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Heh - I see what you mean (mm, slinky...)

I need to work on Tom a little, I think...

Date: 2010-03-19 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay :D (also, there's a sequel that deals with the camera footage: I'll Be Watching You - one of the very rare occasions where I wrote from Ronon's perspective).

Well, a new story would be a good way to do that, wouldn't it? ;)

Date: 2010-03-19 07:41 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hee! Is there anyone that Ronon hasn't acquired blackmail material on?

I could do with a shoulder massage *slumps*

Date: 2010-03-19 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He's certainly in one of the best positions to do so :D

Been a hard day?

Date: 2010-03-19 07:58 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
He's stealthy for a big guy ;)

(Not so much for me, just everybody else, which has a knock-on effect - plus I just started working full time after several years pt, and my mind hasn't readjusted yet :/ *pities self* )

Date: 2010-03-19 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Exactly. And some people *coughrodneycough* tend to underestimate him :D

(Oh, I see... you need a Lorne clone!)

Date: 2010-03-19 08:07 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Who doesn't need a Lorne clone? (Michael's priorities were all wrong :)

Date: 2010-03-19 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, obviously... if he'd tried to clone Lorne he'd have been the hero of a bunch thousands of fangirls and he probably wouldn't have met such a tragic end... or something.


Date: 2010-03-19 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*releases a breath which has been held since "Coward*

*sends out for bunny food*

Julia, all my base are belong to this storyverse

Date: 2010-03-19 07:37 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]

They eat almost anything, these bunnies...

Date: 2010-03-20 01:24 am (UTC)
goddess47: Emu! (Default)
From: [personal profile] goddess47
"All your base are belong to us."


I love your OCs.

::throws more alfalfa at the bunnies::

Date: 2010-03-20 09:08 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]

*stares in horror at bunnies*

Date: 2010-03-20 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow. Loved this! Love the teams, love the way they all know each other so well, will fight for each other, even Janel. Love 'The Black Colonel'! *LOVED* All your base are belong to us. it made me laugh out loud in the middle of the tense moment!

Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it!

Date: 2010-03-20 09:09 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

Trust Sheppard to find the most inappropriate thing to say (assuming Rodney isn't holding the radio ;)

Date: 2010-03-22 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's probably an epilogue/coda/ohgodwillitneverend bit to follow, plus a load of deleted scenes that don't fit. Sheppard was being totally badass, but he was too distracting, so Anna stole all his dialogue. Ronon was there. McKay had explosives. Also there's that whole scene where I explained why Janel really had those scissors with her. And finding out what's going on with Lorne & Parrish...

Don't tease me so my dear. Now I really want to see McKay and his explosives...and yes, is poor Lorne going to survive? What will Parrish do if he doesn't?
Will Anna-M be fine?

I read all five parts in one reading this time, and I have to say they all fit really well together (like they were supposed to I believe :) ) I really enjoyed it! I especially like the fact that Teyla and Janel as Pegasus natives have another insight into the Pegasus way of life. The fact that you just throw these little tidbits in to the story is something I like. Thank you!
Now I want to know what's going on with Mark and Nate... :)

Date: 2010-03-22 10:23 pm (UTC)
ext_72718: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I have to remind myself that the reason I introduced Janel is to get that Pegasus perspective...

As to the rest - I really need to cut 2-7 some slack - they need some down-time... but then I guess I'll only end up writing that, anyway ;)


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