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As my first official cross-posting act, I'm trying to get all my fic to my journal pages. I'll start from earliest and work toward the present. If anyone knows of a way to do this without a gazillion entries, please let me know.

This was my first Atlantis story, wherein I decided I could write part two to The Storm. Of course, it's AU out of the gate. It was fun, though and helped me to get to know the characters.

Title: Storm Surge
Summary: AU continuation of the 1st Season Episode "The Storm"
Characters: all the usual suspects
Rating: PG-13 ish
Word Count: 15,000
Status: Complete
Other Notes: There be Shep Whump here.

"Kolya!! John yelled the words into the radio, fear and fury raging through him equal in power to the storm that was bearing down on the city. He had watched Sumner die; another commander would not be lost on his watch. Especially not this commander, not Dr. Weir.

The quiet across the radio link stretched for impossibly long moments as lightning flashed, and the rain started, beating down a punishing assault. Then a booming eruption of thunder sounded, vibrating the very air around him. For one terrifying heartbeat, he'd thought he'd caught the sound of Kolya's weapon firing, tearing through the flesh and bone of the woman that he had come to respect as the true leader of Atlantis. But then, he heard something else.

I want you, unarmed and in front of me in five minutes. It was Kolya's voice, the cold tone leaving no margin for error. If you're not here in the allotted time, I'll kill her and the deal is off.

John closed his eyes, nearly sagging against the railing in relief. Then, pulling himself together, he depressed the button to speak. I'll be there. Moving in from the cool spray of the rain, he started back toward the inner corridor at a run. Kolya was not to be trusted, and he had less than five minutes to come up with a plan.

-- -- --

Elizabeth steeled herself to show no emotion as Kolya lowered the gun that had been pointed at her heart. A tiny smirk lit the corner of his mouth as he turned away from her and spoke in a low tone to one of his men. She recognized the gleam she'd caught in his cool gaze; it was the thrill of the hunt. With a flash of insight, she realized that he was enjoying this game of cat of mouse with John. As a military leader, and one who had already bested Genii's own leader, Kolya saw Major Sheppard as a worthy opponent. She wondered how she might use this new information to her advantage.

Dr. McKay, Kolya turned back toward the two non-Genii. You mentioned something about reactivating the shield. Surely you're up to the challenge.

I couldn't possibly come up with something in the time remaining. Don't you realize what - Elizabeth could see the signs of oncoming panic in Rodney's eyes. She could also see the lack of patience in Kolya's. She didn't want to give the man any excuse to think that the scientist wasn't of any use to him alive.

Rodney, focus, she spoke calmly, but firmly, looking pointedly at him. That fourth grounding station can't help us, now. There has to be a way to work around it.

Rodney looked as if he was preparing for round two of arguments as to why there was nothing that could be done when suddenly he paused. That's it! And suddenly his expression cleared as he began the rapid-fire speech which spoke of his excitement.

I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, he said, then continued thoughtfully, Must have been the pain and an impending hypoglycemic reaction - speaking of which I'm going to need something soon if this is to continue . . . .

The Genii soldier who had delivered painful reminders earlier moved forward to grab at Rodney's damaged arm. But the scientist, seeing the intent, drew away, shooting a sharp glare the man's way. Don't you understand that isn't helpful? Do you want to die here?

At a gesture from Kolya, the man backed off.

Rodney turned on Kolya. You understand I need food? It is very difficult for me to work under these conditions. I -

You're running out of time, Dr. McKay, Kolya interrupted. If I am satisfied with your performance, we will discuss refreshments.

Rodney was brought up short, clearly not used to being denied food. Fine, he stated, then with a small sniff he continued with his explanation. We need to remove the fourth grounding station from the circuit pathways of the rest of the station.

And how do we accomplish that? Kolya asked.

I was getting there. The city wasn't built as a single structure, but is composed of several different sections that were then pieced together, something like a gargantuan jigsaw puzzle. The channeling rods that run through the corridors have break-away sections that can be retracted. We'll need to go to each section and manually retract them.

What'll that do to the city? Elizabeth asked. Will the section connected to the fourth grounding rod then be independent?

No, not in the true sense of the word. It'll be electrically isolated, though. If my theory is correct, the first bolt of lightning will overwhelm the fourth grounding station and blow it apart, effectively separating it. We reconnect the channeling rods and the original plan is back on track.

How many channeling rods? Kolya asked.

Rodney turned away and moved toward one of the consoles and brought up a data display. After several moments he looked back toward the group. Five. All in this section. He gestured toward the portion of the city in question.

Sounds like a helluva plan. A familiar voice sounded from a corridor leading up from near the gate room. All eyes turned toward John Sheppard who stood, hands held high in surrender, a look of amused insolence plastered across his features.

You're right on schedule, Major, Kolya said.

Wouldn't do to make a bad first impression, John shot back as he was urged in a less than gentle manner up the stairs.

Dr. McKay, Kolya spoke, not looking away from John, You will direct Dr. Weir in the retraction of the channeling rods. Major Sheppard and I have some business to attend to.

Part 2

A significant look passed between John and Elizabeth as he watched her walk from the command center with Sora and two other soldiers at her back. He could almost hear the words that she was quietly communicating to him. Don't get yourself dead. Atlantis needs you. He could easily have told her the same thing, though he felt marginally better to have her being in Sora's presence than that of Kolya. From the moment he set eyes on the man, he'd pegged him as a heartless SOB with delusions of ruling of the galaxy.

Once the two women were out of view he rolled his gaze in McKay's direction. The physicist was pale and almost visibly shaking. No fear, he tried to communicate in a quick glance before focusing on Kolya. Rodney seemed to understand, and pulled himself up taller.

I'm curious, Major Sheppard. Why did you decide to surrender? It is a clear tactical disadvantage. Kolya's tone was almost conversational.

It's good to be curious, John replied, having no intention of making this easy on the invader.

Kolya seemed to contemplate that answer, and then casually, he pulled a gun from his jacket and pointed it toward the center of John's head. I could kill you right now.

John didn't allow himself even the luxury of a blink. Instead he raised his lips in the smile that he'd perfected during some of his more covert assignments. You could, he agreed, allowing the cold fury to show, if only in his eyes. But I'm the only person in this city who has the ancient gene necessary to run this place. I'm the only one who can even activate a jumper, and I'm the only one that knows where the C4 is. Oh, and, the tech doesn't work if you're dead.

Kolya re-holstered his weapon, emotionlessly. You have items to bargain with.

John shrugged, noncommittal. He knew this game.

Where is the C4? The tone was quiet, cold.

Like I said, it's good to be curious.

John caught a slight shift in Kolya's eyes just as he heard Rodney yell his name. He turned into a brilliant burst of pain and light before the room tilted. His last view was of the floor rushing up to meet him.

-- -- --

Dr. Carson Beckett watched as Teyla moved into the passenger section of the puddle jumper and spoke quietly with each of the Athosians on board. He did not understand how she could be so calm under the circumstances. They were literally in the middle of a hurricane the likes of which none of them had ever seen before, and she seemed to be reacting as if this was something she dealt with on a regular basis.

With an inward sigh he turned away, and looked again through the reinforced view screen, consciously attempting to relax tension-tightened muscles. It was no use. The downpour seemed relentless, and worse, he was starting to have doubts about flooding. The puddle jumper wasn't exactly an ark.

Something is wrong. We need to go back, now! Lieutenant Ford's voice sounded more loudly than before as he all but pounded a fist against the inactive console.

Lad, have you not been looking out of this window lately? Carson asked as he pointed impatiently toward the wide view ahead of them. If we fly in this we'll die and Major Sheppard will never get any help.

We've got to do something, Ford insisted. We're the only back-up he has and it's been too long since we heard anything at all from him! They probably hate him as much as they hate Teyla!

I understand that, he said, striving to be patient in the face of the other man's obvious anxiety. But getting ourselves killed won't help them! Everyone knew that Ford had developed a sort of hero worship for John Sheppard, which made it even more difficult for him to sit and wait.

They both turned as Teyla appeared between them. Instead of her usual efforts to resolve the disagreement between them she moved closer to the view screen. Are not the winds lessening? she asked.

Carson focused more intently on the weather outside, attempting to see beyond the downpour that nearly obscured the view. Apparently the ancients hadn't thought to install windshield wipers when they'd built the puddle jumpers.

Suddenly with that thought, something happened and the window turned completely black.

Carson's mouth dropped open. Before he could get far along the path of worrying about how he'd managed to break the shuttle, a display screen flickered, covering the whole of the window as a real time display appeared. This time though there was no flood of rain, and their vision of what was taking place on the outside was much clearer.

I did that? he asked half to himself.

What'd you do? Ford asked almost simultaneously, clear amazement in his gaze.

I don't know. I was just thinking that windshield wipers would have been a nice addition, he confessed.

Perhaps you should think of what remains of the storm in this area, Teyla suggested, ever focused on the situation at hand.

Or a way to fly us safely back to Atlantis a little sooner, Ford put in, his intentions equally as clear.

Carson looked between the two of them. Even in light of his apparent success with the viewer, doubts surfaced. Last time he'd played around with the thought component of ancient technology, he'd nearly shot General O'Neill and Major Sheppard out of the sky. He wasn't at all sure he could do this. But they needed him. With a nervous sigh, he settled back into the seat and closed his eyes.

At both their surprised reactions, he looked up and saw that the screen had changed again. This time an animated display appeared showing a route from the current location to Atlantis, including current wind speed and the location of the storm in relation to both the jumper and the city.

Wow, he breathed, proud of his own effort.

Looks like you were right, Ford told Teyla. The winds have died down to about 80 miles per hour. That's definitely better than it was before.

Still too dangerous, Carson felt obliged to volunteer.

And it appears that we still have this section of the storm remaining, Teyla pointed to the swirling tail end of the big formation which had its beginning fringes bearing down on Atlantis itself.

But we have a route displayed for us, Ford pointed toward the flashing green lines. Why can't we just follow it - like an autopilot? We don't need to be able to see where we're going.

It won't be an auto pilot, Carson argued, all his previous confidence in the technology fading. Someone would still have to fly this bird.

Well it flies through space and automatically docks in the jumper bay when we come back through the gate, how do you know it doesn't have an auto pilot? Ford challenged, his voice rising again.

I didn't say it doesn't have one, Carson argued, thoroughly exasperated. I don't know if it does or it doesn't. I just wouldn't bloody know how to use it!

Teyla's calm voice broke into their argument. What is auto pilot? she asked, her face creased in confusion.

Carson turned toward her. It's a device that allows an aircraft to fly on its own without the constant attention of the pilot.

The ship would fly itself? she pressed.

Yes, Ford insisted.

No, Carson disagreed. That is an oversimplification. A course would have to be set, such as this one, he pointed to the one still display on the screen. And then the system would have to be turned on. After that someone would have to. . . .

A slight vibration began beneath their feet, causing Carson to lose his train of thought completely. Utter dread shot through him as he wondered what he'd done this time. Suddenly the route on the screen began to flash and the console lit up.

Oh crap, Carson whispered as the ship began to rise into the air, buffeted slightly by the force of the winds.

Part Three

Elizabeth moved along Atlantis's corridors, her silence matching that of her escorts. Though Sora remained watchful and cautious, as did the other two soldiers, Elizabeth thought there was something more in the Genii woman's demeanor.

Sora cut her eyes toward Elizabeth, catching her observation. Her expression hardened and coldness glittered from her eyes, but instead of being reminded of the woman's useless vendetta against Teyla, she became thoughtful, an idea percolating in the back of her mind.

How much farther? Sora questioned, the words echoing over the sounds of four booted pairs of feet.

Not very much, Elizabeth replied, seeing ahead the area where the wide corridors narrowed slightly and were less ornately decorated. Many of the scientists hypothesized that these areas were mostly used for maintenance functions and were thus less adorned. But Elizabeth thought that every section of Atlantis that her eyes had touched was beautiful. It would be an injustice on a mammoth scale if it should fall into the hands of people who only wanted it for the purposes of war.

She came to a stop outside of a door with a small irregular symbol on its outer surface. It slid open when she touched the panel on the wall alongside it which bore a matching symbol.

Dim lighting, illuminated at half-level, revealed a narrow area beyond. It hardly seemed fair to call it a room as its width was little more than three feet across. It extended several yards to a darkened control panel at its opposite end. On a side wall near the panel at roughly chest height was a round metallic object which vaguely reminded her of a steering wheel.

It's pretty tight in here, she told Sora, stepping slightly to the side to allow her to see the close quarters.

Sora peered past her then turned toward the guards. Remain here, she ordered brusquely. The guards obeyed without question, stationing themselves just outside of the open doorway.

At the far end of the wall, Weir came to a stop, taking in the console. She reached automatically for the communication device at her ear before remembering that Kolya had taken it.

Resigned, she took the walkie-talkie Sora extended in her direction. We're here, she announced after depressing the talk button.

Silence greeted the statement for several moments before Rodney's voice sounded across the connection. Weir noticed the more highly pitched tone of his voice and immediately feared the worst.

Yes the panel is lit, she answered his original question quickly, and then pressed on to the more urgent worry. How are things going there?

Oh, you know, big -. Rodney's voice ended abruptly and was replaced by Kolya's.

Focus your attention on the task at hand, Doctor. Both of you. The last of the menacing words were obviously intended for Rodney.

Hurting us doesn't help your people's cause, she said, hoping still to reason with the man.

I determine what helps my people's cause, he replied, unmoved. What does not help will be eliminated. Continue your work.

After a moment, Rodney returned to the link. Dr. Weir?

She tried not to sound defeated. I'm here, Rodney. What do I need to do? She listened as he explained the simple procedure that needed to be accomplished at each of the stations. When she was sure she understood, she handed the walkie-talkie back to Sora.

Kolya can't be trusted, she told the other woman quietly as she punched in the few keystrokes on the console, and then moved toward the wheel and began to turn it counterclockwise as Rodney had outlined.

You do not understand my people, Sora sneered.

What if he decides you aren't good for the cause? She pushed just a little more, testing the other woman. What if he decides that he's better qualified to lead your people, and that Atlantis should be his only? What then? Will you follow him, or will you be eliminated?

Sora's eyes widened and Elizabeth wondered if the Genii woman hadn't already asked herself those same questions.

You will not talk! Sora's voice rose bitterly, and she hardened her stance and pointed the weapon more directly at her.

Elizabeth stiffened, and worried that she had gone a little too far, but then the weapon was gestured back along the narrow area.

You are done here and we will go to the next position.

Elizabeth nodded and stepped around the muzzle of the gun and led the way out. She caught the gazes of both guards as they stared intently at the two women.

-- -- --

Relax, Doc, we're almost there. Ford's almost cheery voice rang through the cabin of the bucking puddle jumper.

How can I relax? Carson demanded. We're in the middle of a bloody hurricane! His eyes hadn't moved from the display during the entirety of the journey from the mainland. He was half afraid to think, least he cause some chronic system failure. And worse of all, the theme song from Gillian's Island kept playing through his mind taunting him to the follow the thought to its conclusion - the lot of them lost for all time in some freak storm created by some random technological failure as a result of his misuse of the ancient gene.

Yeah, but only for about five more minutes, Ford replied. Then we can get in and help the Major.

And how are we supposed to do that? Carson demanded. We have villagers and children on board.

Ford grinned at him as a side panel opened and the portable life-signs reader appeared near the pilot's seat. Carson grabbed the device and gave it to the lieutenant with a dirty look. All this ancient mind-operated technology made him feel out of control and in over his head. And now, what's the rest of the plan? he demanded.

Ford looked him over in a measuring way. You stay with the villagers and the jumper. Teyla and I will go give the Major some back-up.

He looked between Teyla and Ford. They were both warriors in the true sense of the word. But he, Carson Beckett, was a doctor. He didn't walk around with a gun and shoot the bad guys. It wasn't his thing and he wasn't good at it. He also wasn't good at letting his friends go out and fight alone when he might do something to help.

He grimaced and sighed internally. No, I'll go with you.

Good man. Ford seemed pleased.

Are you certain? Teyla asked, her gaze pressing into his.

Of course, I'm sure, he responded, hoping she wouldn't call him on it. All of us have had some training in the use of the weapons and self-defense measures. Besides, if it comes down to it, I've got a healthy supply of hypodermics and I'm not afraid to use them.

-- -- --

John woke with a start, gasping and sputtering. A smell, bitter and heavy seemed to sear a path through his nostrils and into his skull. He coughed, trying to clear away the noxious fumes, but it only added to the sudden pounding ache in his brain. Instinctively he tried to move away, to see what it was that was causing the problem, but his body wouldn't respond to his commands and it took several moments before the hazy world resolved into something recognizable.

Coughing a few more times, he allowed his eyes to focus on Kolya. The man was seated across from him, closing the lid on a small metallic canister.

Great, John thought, as the container disappeared into one of other man's pockets - probably the Genii equivalent of smelling salts. Only worse. As the scent made its way out of his nasal passages, other things registered, like a near loss of feeling in both arms. He looked downward, and found that both his forearms were strapped tightly to the chair's armrests. Flexing his fists, he tested the bonds before checking to see what means had been used to secure his legs and feet.

Sorry I fell asleep there, he said, glancing back up at Kolya. Don't think it means that you're boring or anything. He looked beyond the Genii soldier as a brilliant flash of lightning illuminated the darkened skies outside. The rain was sheeting against the windows as the storm bore down on them near full force.

Kolya ignored the remark, and leaned forward slightly. Where is the C4, Major? he asked in a low-toned voice.

John craned his neck, hoping to see the rest of the Command Center which was situated behind him. A couple guards were still there, as was McKay, punching something frantically into a handheld device. Sheppard knew that look. The good doctor's plan was working and he was heavily engrossed in some calculation or another. Weir was nowhere to be seen.

He turned back to Kolya. Storm is getting pretty rough out there.

One of the guards approached rapidly and buffed him alongside the head. It wasn't an especially hard hit, a love tap, really, but the quick tilt of the room and the sharp spear of pain reminded him vividly that he'd recently been hit in that same spot.

That is not an acceptable answer, Kolya explained.

I sorta got that, John responded, wishing he could wipe away the itchy feeling that began as blood trickled along the side of his head. The dry patchy sensation near his temple told him that this wasn't the first blood he'd bled that day.

Where is the C4? Kolya asked.

John glared at him. I forget. Head injury, you know.

The soldier who'd whacked him in the head stepped to his side. There was a deep grinding sound as the man pulled what looked remarkably like an M-9 bayonet knife from its holder. A noise echoed from the opposite side of the Command Center and Sheppard had a sneaking suspicion that McKay had just dropped whatever handheld device he'd been holding.

Dr. McKay. Kolya looked beyond John to speak to the gifted scientist. Please explain the status of your plan to Major Sheppard.

John had to turn his neck into a painful position to see his comrade. The look of complete absorption in his work was gone, replaced by dread and uncertainty. He obviously didn't want to be a participant in whatever Kolya had up his sleeves.

Th-the re-grounding process is nearly complete, he explained, looking uncomfortably about the room. A lightning strike took out the fourth grounding station as I suspected. I have to keep refiguring the equations, but it appears that the plan is working.

You may go back to your work, Doctor McKay, Kolya told him.

Sheppard was buoyed by the sarcastic retort that he knew McKay had bitten back. It brought the hint of a smile to his features as he turned back to face the Genii.

Dr. McKay is quite an asset, Kolya stated.

Yes, we tell ourselves everyday how lucky we are to have him, John replied, trying to ignore the knife moving in closer, taunting.

Kolya reached for the walkie-talkie and spoke into it, asking Sora if she could complete the reconnection of the final channeling station. Sora's affirmative answer started a warning bell in the back of John's mind.

Have the guards return Dr. Weir to the Command area while you finish the task, Kolya ordered. After ending the communication, he looked at John. Where is the C4?

Go to hell.

The hand with the knife moved."


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September 2010

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