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18 August 2005 @ 08:58 pm
We are sad and pathetic, but also talented!  
Author: crazy_nickels and lainey_chan
Title: The Other Guys
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: Still none yet
Rating: PG-13 due to swearing, a naughty word, suggested violence, and actual violence..sort of

This is the long-awaited chapter two.





Without Captain Heggie breathing down her neck, she found herself in a much better mood. Sure, it was a little disconcerting that they had lost contact with their teammates, but it was probably just a technical glitch with the radios. Judging by the quality of the light, it would be getting dark soon and Lieutenant Parrott-Sheffer would fall back to the ‘gate before nightfall. There was no real reason to be concerned. McKay’s scans had shown no form of settlement or a native population, just crumbling ruins. Besides, there was only so much ground you could cover on foot, especially with Dr. Frett’s tendency to find some sort of archaeological value in everything. He could find what looked like an ordinary rock and then babble on relentlessly, telling you why it wasn’t. During the time they had spent working together she had gotten used to it. She even found a lot of what he had to say interesting. They had developed a dichotomy where Frett did a lot of the talking and she kept pretty quiet. And, you know, broke things a lot, but not on purpose.

In a way, field missions were a test of patience for the ‘goon squad’. It was an understanding among the military in their team when it came time to split up during field missions: you either got stuck with Frett’s incessant talking or the ‘Nelson curse.’ Usually she was paired up with Heggie. Since Heggie was the ranking officer and therefore got first choice when it came to picking a geek, it gave her a little self-esteem boost that the Captain picked her. She felt like a big enough black sheep as it was without ranting at length on a regular basis (a trait that wasn’t just isolated to Frett, but that many of the scientists on Atlantis seemed to have). Besides, most of the time people talked over her when she opened her mouth, so she had grown accustomed to being the quiet type. Heggie, on the other hand, was more of the loud angry type when the occasion called for it – and even when it didn’t.

The Captain was probably was having a hell of a fit right now, and the thought of it brought a smile to her face. She liked Heggie, she really did, but sometimes she found the Captain as equally annoying as the Captain found her. So every now and then she played her geek card and was as irritating to the marine as she could possibly be. After all, Heggie was the one who had ever so politely advised her to get out of the way, so she was just doing as she had been told. It was especially poetic because she had turned off her radio shortly after entering the forest. She hadn’t done it solely to spite Heggie (although that was a big part of it, to be sure) but because as she wandered deeper into the trees, the radio started emitting a high-pitched whine. Though the noise wasn’t that loud, it only seemed to grow in intensity the more she tried to ignore it until eventually she got fed up and shut it off. It was kind of like McKay in that respect, minus the convenient ‘off’ switch.

Her back was aching and her shoulders were sore, so it seemed like a good time to take a break. She had spent most of the afternoon crouched among the crumbling stones of the ruins, sifting through debris and copying inscriptions and symbols into her field notebook. With a small sigh, she sat down on the trunk of a fallen tree. Pulling out the notebook, she flipped through the pages of notes made earlier. As far as she could tell, there was a ZPM here, there had to be. But many parts of the inscriptions had been missing, and there was a lot more to the story than just a ZPM. The inscriptions had also made mention of the Wraith…a fact that she wasn’t quite willing to share with anyone just yet. Once the Wraith became involved, the military took over and she would be whisked back to the lab with a loudly protesting Frett, no doubt, to sit and do her geek thing from a distance. Colonel Sheppard tended to be very protective of the geeks. Normally she would appreciate such a thing, but this was her mission, and this was her ZPM, and no one was going to get in her way. Filled with renewed determination, she stashed her notes and resumed following the faint trail. She had barely gone two steps when she tripped over a protruding tree root and fell flat on her face. Hard.

“Son of a bi…”

Her voice trailed off she caught sight of something lying about a foot in front of her face. Half hidden under dead leaves, it was black, rectangular, and definitely did not belong in the surrounding landscape. With a trembling hand, she reached out and picked it up. It was a radio. A field radio that was identical to the one she had, which could mean only one thing. One of her teammates had dropped it here. But why?

She pulled herself up into a sitting position, anger at the offending tree root forgotten. The radio was emitting a faint buzzing noise, so she turned the knob to raise the volume. The high pitched whine that had come from her own radio earlier was there, but it seemed meek and feeble compared to the angry voice that erupted out of the device.

“…and I swear that when we get back to Atlantis I will lock you in a room with Kavanaugh and a stack of mission reports so he can explain to you in exquisite detail where and why every one of them went wrong!!”

“Now Captain, I thought we didn’t believe in cruel and unusual punishment.” She replied into the radio.

“NELSON! Where the HELL are you!?”

~~~~~~~~

Nelson was going to be a dead woman when she found her.

Tromping through a jungle, looking for yet another missing member of her team was not the way she expected this mission to go. It was supposed to be easy! Stand around, listen to Frett babble about the rocks and how they proved some completely inane theory about the evolution of other cultures, and maybe get a nice tan. No big deal.

And could she make it any more difficult to find her?

I'm by the big tree, uh, near some ruins.

Either Nelson was being deliberately vague, or she lacked any sort of observational skills whatsoever. The ruins spread throughout the forest and there was a profusion of trees that would fall under the narrow description of ‘big’. Imagine that, big trees in a big forest. Her grip on the P-90 tightened with each step, and she could almost hear Dr. Beckett lecturing her about her alarmingly high blood pressure. After a few minutes of looking at several large trees and ruins, she finally gave up and picked a direction and started walking. The urge to shout: "Marco!" was a bit too strong for someone of her rank and age.

“Marco!”

She paused and waited for a response.

Nothing, damn.

Great, working with the brightest minds of Earth and it was causing her to revert back to adolescence. It was highly reminiscent of her baby-sitting jobs back in the day. Now that she thought about it, Frett and Nelson were a lot like the kids she had looked after – talking incessantly, breaking things, never doing as they were told, even pouting occasionally when things didn’t go their way. All that was missing now was for one of them to vomit on her. Since this mission was going steadily downhill, it wouldn’t surprise her if one of them did. And they wondered why she lost her temper all the time.

At least spotting her wouldn’t be a problem, Nelson’s vivid red hair stood out no matter what the scenery. And speak of the devil there it was now. Thank god. Losing a scientist would be a bit difficult to explain to her superiors. Although, McKay might host a secret celebration when he discovered it was Nelson who was missing.

“Nelson!” The anthropologist jumped when her name was shouted. Good, it was nice to see that she wasn’t losing her touch. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?! You can’t just wander off like that, there could be, uh, monsters of some sort.”

“Monsters?” The anthropologist said the word slowly, like she was talking to a small child.

“Hello? Different galaxy! I have no doubt that there are things here that would find an errant scientist to be a delicious meal.”

“But…monsters?”

“Oh shut up! It could happen!”

Nelson just smiled condescendingly and gave her a nod that one generally reserves for people that are believed to have lost their grip on reality. Aggravation began to replace the feeling of relief she had at finding her geek in one piece, but she pushed it aside. Patience, Colonel Sheppard had suggested when assigning her this team. If the geeks teach you nothing else, it will be patience. Or, they will give you a heart attack. Whichever comes first.

“Just, don’t wander off like that, okay? Colonel Sheppard will have my ass if I screw up again.”

“If you just learned to stay calm, then I wouldn’t have had to walk away.” Nelson said it in a way that suggested it was a strategy she had used on many other occasions. Given McKay’s talent for exploding into scathing, snarky rants at the drop of a hat, it really didn’t surprise Heggie in the least.

“What are you talking about? I was calm. Cool as a cucumber one might say.”

“Clearly you and I have different definitions of ‘calm’. You see, screaming into a radio and holding your gun in a threatening manner does not, in fact, mean calm. One could say that such behavior would be the antithesis of calm actually.” She turned away and then muttered to herself, "No wonder you need anger management."

“I do not need anger management!”

“Tell that to the ambassador from M2X-579 whose jaw you broke.”

“He deserved it! Grabbing someone’s ass is not a sign of friendship; I don’t care what planet you’re from.”

“Ah, the dangers in the life of a marine…” Nelson said airily.

She was well aware that pouting did nothing to lend her credibility in the argument, but she couldn’t help herself. At least she had conducted herself with a little more dignity while being reprimanded by a very angry Dr. Weir, who had gone on at length about the impression they were trying to make here in the Pegasus Galaxy. Sheppard had been a lot more succinct, and though he had been angry, she could have sworn he had hid an amused snort under a loud cough as Dr. Beckett and his team carried the obnoxious and smarmy little man to the infirmary on a stretcher. The whole incident had made her a bit of a legend in the city, but not exactly in the way she would have liked. You knock out one guy and you’re labeled for life! Not to mention it seriously killed a chance of EVER having a love life. Guys tended to back away quickly if she smiled at them, let alone flirted with them. Pussies.

“Come on, we need to get back to Stargate before it gets darker, Parrott-Sheffer and Frett probably went back there.” Then under her breath, “Unless Frett finally babbled himself to death.”

“What about this?” Nelson held up her field radio, an expectant look on her face. Whatever the scientist was getting at, she didn’t follow.

“What about it? Unless you care to explain why you turned it off, because I would be really interested to know the reason behind that act of brilliance.”

“First of all, as I’m sure you probably noticed, there’s this.” Nelson turned up the volume on the radio she held, and a high-pitched whine became audible. “Has yours been doing this too?”

“Yeah, so?” The whine had begun as soon as she started searching the woods, but she had merely thought it was some sort of glitch with the equipment and turned down the volume. She was too distracted by her missing team to give it anymore thought.

“Well, mine has too. I think it has something to do with this forest, there must be some sort of natural phenomenon here that interferes with the signals. Something tells me it’s only going to get worse the deeper we go in. So-”

“And you figure this how? Did you gain a new degree when I wasn’t looking?”

So therefore, totally not my fault that communications got disrupted.” Nelson finished with a glare.

She rolled her eyes, what was it about scientists that they always had to go out of their way to prove themselves right and the military wrong, wrong, WRONG?

“Okay, fine, it wasn’t you. Can we go now? They’re serving spaghetti tonight and you know that if Ronon gets there first there’ll be nothing left-”

“No, Captain, you don’t understand! This isn’t my radio.” Nelson tossed it to her and she caught it easily. The scientist then pointed to where her own radio was attached to the lightweight jacket she wore. “I have my radio. I found the one you’re holding here on the ground, half-buried under the leaves. Either Dr. Frett or Lieutenant Parrott-Sheffer must have dropped it.”

Oh, no. This was bad. This was very, very bad.

“Damn it, Nelson! Why didn’t you say something earlier?”

“I don’t know! You were yelling a lot!”

With an aggravated sigh she turned back towards the direction of the ‘gate. “Come on, if we’re dealing with hostiles, we need to get reinforcements from Atlantis.”

She should have known something like this was going to happen. Nothing on the Atlantis expedition was ever easy. There was never a question of if something went wrong, it was only a matter of when. Every other day there was a crisis, whether it was an energy-sucking blob, the Wraith, space bugs, the Genii, or the cafeteria running out of coffee and that one over-caffienated scientist nearly having a nervous breakdown until more could be sent from the stores on the Daedalus. Well, that one had actually been pretty funny after they got the C-4 away from her.

“Hey, you remember that time…” But then she realized that Nelson wasn’t following her. Not again. She whirled around angrily and saw that the scientist hadn’t moved at all, but was staring apprehensivly out into the deep woods. They didn’t have time for this. “Dr. Nelson, we are leaving. Now.”

“But, wouldn’t it be faster to just look for them ourselves?” Nelson asked with an anxious look on her face.

“My god! Why didn’t I think of that? Oh wait, now I remember, because it’s completely idiotic.” She grabbed the scientist’s arm and began leading her toward the Stargate, “Are you really that anxious to get in a firefight? Because, if you’re my only backup, I think we’d be screwed.”

“But then Colonel Sheppard and his team will take over the mission!”

She snorted, “Oh, I’m sure you’d love that. ‘Oh Colonel Sheppard! Take me you big sexy man you!’”

“Shut up! I never said that!” Nelson squeaked back, her face turning a rather interesting shade of red.

“Oh, but I’m sure you were thinking it.”

“Yeah, yeah, well at least I have good taste in men! Don’t think I didn’t notice you checking out Dr. McKay!”

“What can I say? The man has a nice ass.” She replied, a lewd grin gracing her features.

“Oh ew! EW! That’s my boss!”

She stopped walking for a moment to check their surroundings, still chuckling at her companion’s discomfort. Teasing Nelson about her painfully obvious attraction to Sheppard (to anyone who had ovaries at least) never ceased to amuse her. From the moment they had arrived on Atlantis, the scientist had had the equivalent of a lovesick teenage crush on Colonel Sheppard. It was understandable, because he was an attractive man who could probably charm the pants off of anyone if he worked hard enough at it. She accepted him for what he was – a giant flirt – and didn’t let it affect her in the least. McKay on the other hand, was arrogant and irritable, but brilliant. He also happened to have, as she never got tired of saying, a really nice ass. Though he wasn’t attractive in the pretty boy way that Colonel Sheppard had, he was still good-looking, especially since he had slimmed down and started working out a bit. But for those who worked under him, he was a living nightmare, and he often inspired crazed ranting when at a safe distance, much like Nelson was doing now.

This was something she had learned to tune out a long time ago, and instead she focused more on their surroundings as a nagging feeling crept over her. When they had first arrived they noticed the Daffies, small black duck-like things that lisped like the cartoon character. Lieutenant Parrott-Sheffer had given them the name, and had even jokingly suggested that after the mission they should come back and hold open hunting season. She had been inclined to agree with him, because the birds seemed to make up for their small size with relentless quacking. As time wore on, the noise had thankfully faded into the background. But now it had become mysteriously absent.

“...I mean, the man has no redeeming qualities! I have no idea how you could even find him attractive-”

“Nelson, shut up.”

“Don’t tell me to shut up! You never shut up about Sheppard so why shou-”

“NELSON!”

“What?!”

“Listen.”

“I don’t hear anything.”

“I know.” She clicked the safety off on her P-90 and circled the scientist, looking for whatever had silenced the Daffies. Nelson watched her apprehensively, her face now paler than usual. A hand hovered hesitantly over the pistol in her holster, but she didn’t make a move to pull it out.

“Should I use my gun too? I mean, I know I’m not the best shot. Well okay, that’s the understatement of the century, but I could still help. Should I? Huh? Captain?”

“Just stay behind me and-” A sharp sting on the back of her neck interrupted her. She might have thought it was a simple bug-bite if it wasn’t for the numb, tingling sensation that was now spreading throughout her body. With a trembling hand, she grabbed her neck and pulled out a feathered dart. “What the fuck?”

“Captain Heggie?!”

The last thing she heard before she lost consciousness was Nelson’s scream.



 
 
Current Mood: geeky
Current Music: "Kids in America" by LEN
 
 
 
doom_appledoom_apple on August 19th, 2005 02:55 am (UTC)
BUM BUM BUM!!!!!

Good stuff. I sound so delightfully obnoxious, woo!
Elainelainey_chan on August 19th, 2005 03:07 am (UTC)
Babble on, Dr. Frett! Babble on!