Author: Rhiannon - rhian_morwenna
Characters: John Sheppard, Teyla Emmagen, Ronon Dex, Radek Zelenka, Elizabeth Weir, Carson Beckett, other
Pairing: none, team
Summary: It was supposed to be a simple trading mission. Why are simple missions never simple?
Word Count: 1,609
Genre: Drama, Action, Team Fic
Timeline: General third year of Atlantis Expedition
Sequel To: Never Again
Series: The 7 Sins of John Sheppard – Saints and Sinners Universe
Disclaimer: If I owned Stargate, the characters wouldn’t have time to get anything done.
Author's Notes: OMG, it’s not slash! *grin* So, I wrote gen instead. Thanks to lvs2read for the speedy beta. I couldn’t do it without you.
John wondered exactly when the mission had gone completely to hell as he stood between his team and the cluster of unhappy villagers. It was supposed to be a simple trading mission. Meet with the locals, determine what they wanted in exchange for whatever foodstuffs and seed they could spare, and go back home. Why are simple missions never simple?
John was already in a foul mood when he piloted Jumper 1 through the Gate. It was the first mission as a member of SGA-1 for Radek and he was nervous, really getting on John’s last nerve. He landed the Jumper in a clearing near the village so they wouldn’t have far to carry the supplies they hoped to return to Atlantis with. The oppressive heat of M3X-427 that hit him when he opened the hatch did nothing to improve his mood.
“Well, we won’t be needing jackets here,” he growled. Fortunately no one commented on his obvious statement.
Once everyone had shed their jackets and geared back up, they headed to the village. It looked like half of the villages he’d been to in the Pegasus Galaxy – small, primitive, and ripe in the summer heat. John forced a smile on to his face as they were taken to meet the village leaders.
The negotiations seemed to last for hours. The bright side was that the villagers had a surplus of food from a recent harvest and were more than willing to trade. In the end the village leaders decided that Radek’s suggestion of an aqueduct and waste removal system for the village was an excellent trade. John and Ronon inspected the goods they were being offered while Radek and Teyla met with craftsmen to determine the best location for the project and to draw up plans for construction.
John was impressed with the quantity and variety of goods they were given. There were preserved meats, some sort of cheese, fresh produce, and even seeds so they could add to the crops growing on the Lantean mainland. His mood improved when he learned the locals would be happy with the knowledge Radek could give them and didn’t want anything material in trade.
John and Ronon were loading the last of the supplies on to the Jumper when Teyla’s voice crackled over the radio.
“Colonel, we are on our way back to the Jumper! There has been a misunderstanding. Doctor Zelenka has been injured.”
A moment later Teyla and Radek were running toward the Jumper, blood streaming from a gash on Radek’s forehead. John saw he was keeping up with Teyla, despite running with a limp. Radek ran past John and Ronon, who both had their weapons drawn and pointed at the pursuers while Teyla turned to face them.
John took a couple of steps forward, staring down the crowd, keeping his P-90 aimed at them. He noted that while a few held crossbows, they were mostly armed with what appeared to be short swords.
“What seems to be the problem here?” John demanded.
“We know you are from the City of the Ancestors” the village leader yelled. “Why have you not protected us from the Wraith? You have returned, yet you allow the Cullings to continue!”
“The City of the Ancestors was destroyed by the Wraith, and the Ancestors along with it,” John replied with a deadly calm. “Now, which one of you hurt Doctor Zelenka?”
“You lie! Only the Ancestors and the Wraith have ships that fly through the Ancestral Ring, and only the Ancestors can fly their ships,” the village leader accused. “The penalty for such a deceit is grave among our people.”
John felt rage building in him and a sickening feeling of déjà vu. Be damned if I let another one of my scientists get killed.
“Get in the Jumper, we’re leaving this party,” John said quietly to his team.
“I’m staying with you, Sheppard,” Ronon muttered.
“Dammit, that’s an order!”
Ronon reluctantly left John’s side and followed Teyla and Radek inside the Jumper, keeping his aim on the villagers until he was inside.
“Now, I hate repeating myself, so I’m only going to say this one more time. The City of the Ancestors is gone,” John shouted at the crowd as he slowly pulled a metal cylinder from his vest with his left hand. “Which one of you hurt Doctor Zelenka?”
A tall man stepped forward with a deadly confidence, holding a short sword. His eyes darted from John, to the Jumper and back again.
“I am the one who attempted to punish the deceiver. Your woman interfered with our justice.”
“Justice? You want justice? I’ll give it to you,” John said calmly. Come on, baby. Listen to me, open up the drive pods, John thought at Jumper 1. To his relief and mild surprise the Jumper responded to his mental command.
The villagers shuffled nervously at the movement but didn’t back down. The man who had injured Radek continued to stare at John, not backing down.
“The City of the Ancestors is gone, but you are right about one thing; not all of the Ancestors are dead! I am the last of my people, and the protector of my friends. I am Vindictus, and you picked the wrong day to piss me off!” John yelled. Fire one drone behind the people, he thought at Jumper One, at the same time he pulled the pin on the cylinder in his hand.
John threw the flash-bang amidst the group as the drone launched. Confusion erupted at the dual explosions. John ignored the ringing in his ears as he let his P-90 dangle from his tactical vest, drew his combat knife and charged the man. In a single swift strike, he thrust the blade into the man’s upper chest. Hot blood sprayed John as the other man fell dead at his feet.
John deliberately wiped the blood off of his knife and sheathed it while watching the frightened crowd. He waited a moment before speaking.
“Does anyone else want to attempt justice?” he demanded.
“Please, Vindictus! We apologize for the assault on your friend,” the village leader begged, falling to his knees.
Radek needs to get back to Atlantis. John spat on the ground before turning toward the Jumper, thinking the command to open the hatch. He stormed up the ramp without sparing a glance at the people cowering behind him. Inside the Jumper everyone stared at him as the ramp closed automatically and he took his place in the pilot’s seat. Radek’s head was bandaged and Teyla was putting away the medical kit.
“Colonel, John, you are…” Radek began.
John cut him off. “I’m fine. We’re going home. Dial Atlantis when we get close to the Gate and let them know we need Beckett.”
“We heard explosions and the Jumper’s door would not lower for us. Care to tell us what happened, Sheppard?” Ronon asked.
“I cleared up the misunderstanding.”
John refused to elaborate and the trip back to Atlantis was uncomfortably silent.
A solitary figure dispassionately observed the scene unfold outside the Jumper, unseen by everyone. He closed his eyes and bowed his head when John stabbed the man. He watched again as the commotion died down, studying John as he stalked off into the Jumper. The figure faded away as the Jumper flew toward the Gate.
Elizabeth was waiting with Carson and his medical team when Jumper One landed in the hanger. Radek was the fist one out of the Jumper and immediately placed on a gurney.
“What happened?” Elizabeth demanded as Teyla and Ronon exited the Jumper.
“I think Colonel Sheppard would be the best one to answer that,” Teyla responded, sounding confused.
Elizabeth gasped as John emerged from the Jumper.
“John, are you injured?” she asked.
“I’m fine. It’s not my blood.”
“Colonel, what the hell happened?”
“The locals on M3X-427 decided they didn’t like our cover story of Atlantis being destroyed by the Wraith. They used Doctor Zelenka to express their displeasure. I taught them some respect,” John’s voice was laced with sarcasm. “You need to get some people in here to unload the Jumper. Now, if you don’t mind, Doctor Weir, I’d like to get a shower before I write my report.”
John started to walk out without waiting to be dismissed before turning to face Elizabeth again.
“Oh, for future reference, I need to be on any teams returning to 427. I don’t know how the locals might react to any teams that don’t include me and I may have started a new religion,” John said with a smirk as he sauntered off.
The unseen figure from M3X-427 waited inside Atlantis’s Jumper Bay as Jumper 1 landed. He walked among the people gathered there, studying their faces. He paused in front of Carson, staring directly into his face.
Carson fidgeted nervously, anxious to see for himself what sort of injury Radek had suffered. He stared directly through the invisible figure in front of him, worry etched on his face. He sighed in relief when he saw Radek walk out of the Jumper under his own power. He focused on Radek, ignoring everything else, not even noticing John’s condition until Elizabeth commented on it. He glanced at John, his eyes narrowing, before returning his attention to Radek.
“Go easy on him, Carson. John needs your support right now,” the figure said quietly, his hand trailing unfelt across Carson’s shoulder.
The figure watched sadly as those he cared about drove themselves to self-destruction. Rules of non-interference be damned, he would protect the residents of Atlantis from themselves. He smiled to himself. He never had been one to follow the rules.
Author’s note – Vindictus, name, masculine, from the Latin noun vindicta – vengeance, punishment. If you like, it can be Ancient instead of Latin. *grin*
Bonus, because I was bored:
Vindictus, written in Ancient.