Episode Two- The Fires- Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight

Kenmore eyes the door.  Apparently no one’s gonna come in and tell her to either shut up or just flat out guard her to her face.  Oh thank God, Kenmore breathes a sigh of relief and promptly jumps her legs off the other chair’s seat and back onto the floor.  She leans on the table with Sheppard’s radio in her hand and starts retuning the thing to a frequency not normally used either for regular team service, multiple team service, or even emergency service.  It was perfectly convenient or at least as convenient as she needed it to be.  Then she stood the radio on the table in front of her.  She glances at the door again.

“I can’t believe you people’d do this,” she yells at it, distinctly reducing her volume to sound more like she’s frustratedly venting, “All this crap to me, me, about helping others.  Good God!  The hypocrisy of you people.”

The Lieutenant reaches down beside her and pulls the radio out of her pant’s pocket and starts retuning it as well.  She was hoping someone could here this.  She heard Sheppard put someone out there, she just wasn’t sure who yet…but she had a pretty good guess.  As soon as the radio was calibrated, Kenmore gets up and walks over to the window.

“Of course, what could I expect from people under Woolsey’s command.  If you can put a price tag on a doctor’s life,” Janet Frasier, the bastard…, “what sort of price tag do you put on a whole village,” she calls back over her shoulder to the door.

Her eyes stay intently on the window.  She hoped she was right about this.  She reaches up like she’s about to lay her palm on its pane…and her hand goes through one of the spaces between the quadranted opening in the wall to feel the cool breeze just barely blowing now outside.  The village didn’t have glass, just the idea of windows.  It was what she had figured going from hut to hut glancing up at their windows last night and seeing no glare of her reflected self staring back at her from the black that should have been on the window’s other side or this morning when there hadn’t been a reflection cast on it by the day’s light.  The hole was divided by woven cording like the sort that held the thatch of their roofs together.  Kenmore pulls out her pocket knife and easily cuts the cords.  Who ever heard of locking up a prisoner and letting them keep their gear?

“Oh, of course, let’s not muddle up an already bought and paid for alliance with something so benign and trivial as tribal genocide,” she kept up the charade, “No.  Gee, what the hell was I thinking?  So how big a price did Woolsey pay for you guys!  A village here, a city there…”

 

 

Oh, that one got to him.  Ronon was not a man to be bought and paid for.  Neither was anyone else from Atlantis.  Ronon’s smile disappears.  They were all kind people.  Like the kind people Ronon had met when he was a Runner.  Random worlds, random villages filled with people leery of strangers, but there was always a handful that felt, believed with every fiber of their being that everyone needed to help others because, after all, they were all victims of the Wraith.  Teyla was one of those people, and so had been Doctor Weir.  They would die before they’d ever hand someone, anyone over to death.  Ronon remembered villages like this, ones that reminded him so much of the Athosians, and the villager who would always come out of safety to help him, usually a woman.  Women it seemed never feared anything, they always had large hearts that could take in anyone no matter what might eventually happen to themselves…Death, it was always death.  Death would come for the women who would help him.  And always he’d be reminded of his fiancé, Melena, on Sateda…and he’d remember the fire from Wraith weapons shatter the window that had been behind her and it’s fire engulf her, taking her away from him…The way the Replicator’s weapons had taken Doctor Weir.  She may not have reminded him so strictly of Melena, but she had a maternal quality to her that brought back memories of Melena being a nurse and, of course, his own mother…Ronon’s lips pucker.  That was a sour memory.  His mother had been taken by the Wraith.  Ronon had been about the same age as Teyla had been when her father had been taken.  It was terrifying to see his mother be swept up by the culling beam after shoving him into the safety of a storefront’s doorway.  He had reached out to her, but she had shunned his reach and screamed for him to stay down, stay away, stay safe.  Ronon blinked, there was stinging pricking at the back of his eyes.  He’d stayed there, small and frightened and crying in the shadows, not knowing what to do next except to live for the strong woman that had sacrificed herself in order to ensure that her son survived.  Always the strong women died first, died young…and now there was this little brat, who couldn’t care about that, didn’t care about anyone but herself, her own selfish attitude.  He shifts from foot to foot, Didn’t Sheppard say I could shoot her?  He did say I could shoot her…

 

 

Kenmore steps up on the surprisingly strong shelf, it holds her weight for the moment she needs it to, then she sits on the thick sill.

“…a weapon somewhere,” she finishes her sentence.

She reaches into one of the pockets on her tactical vest and comes out with a small roll of duct tape.  Quietly and quickly, she pulls and tears off a couple of inches, leaving the strip to dangle off the edge of her pinky’s fingertip as she used her index finger and thumb to smooth the roll over and slip it back into its pocket on her vest.  She slowly spreads the small sticky strip across the transceiver button on her radio, pinning it open.  It lets off a screech that causes Kenmore to wince and cringe, Aw, damn it.  She was too close to Sheppard’s radio on the table.  She shoves her arm as far out the ‘window’ as she can while her cringing body braces against the hole in the wall’s sides.  The screeching subsides.  Her radio was out of range, but there was no way in hell someone didn’t hear that…

“Ow.  God damn it, Sheppard, you bastard.  Did you do that?  Did you change the frequency so I can’t call anyone?  Sheppard?  Sheppard!”  Hopefully that covered enough for her.  She waited…nothing; yep, it did.

She slowly slides her hands on to the wall acting as the window’s frame like a tree frog gripped wood and leans herself out to the radio.  She carefully slips it only halfway back into its regular pocket on her tacvest’s shoulder, making sure to keep its speaker wide and clear and as close to her mouth as to practically make the thing a microphone.  Now, at least, she didn’t have to yell herself hoarse anymore.

“If you think that’s gonna keep me quiet,” she said in her regular volume of voice, “you’ve got another thing coming.  I can yell a lot louder than a radio can pick up!”

Kenmore heard her voice echo slightly over Sheppard’s radio on the table

…and smiled.  It may have sounded weird to her right here in front of the thing, but through the density of the wood door, the half a heartbeat lag time would have been more than muffled enough.

“You bet your ass I can.”

And she slides the rest of her body gingerly out the window.  She slips down to the ground, keeps low, and runs away from the hut, using the tree line as cover.

*                      *                      *

Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard storms down the main avenue of the village with Teyla Emmagan trailing a few steps behind him as Major Evan Lorne and Doctor Rodney McKay run up to them.

“What is it,” McKay asks, “What happened?”

Sheppard storms right between the two men.

“Kenmore,” he growled and the way he did it did not invite anyone to ask him anything further.

They look back at Teyla, she catches their eyes, but doesn’t answer.  They keep pace with her, watching Sheppard’s back.  After a few steps, McKay leans over to her…

“Okay, so what exactly happened?”

Sheppard suddenly rounds on them.

“What exactly happened, Rodney, is what always happens.  Kenmore started crap with Shiana and I finished it.  Now I have to go and fix more crap I wouldn’t have had to deal with if that,” he points back the way he came from, struggling, fighting to control his anger, “brat,” he spits, although he wanted to say something else that started with a ‘b’ but he wasn’t going to go that far with Teyla in front of him, “weren’t here!”

Sheppard turns and continues storming down the avenue.  McKay stares after him, slack jawed and wide-eyed.  John’s never yelled at him, he’s yelled at John, but—well there was that time John had the bug stuck to his neck.  But even then John hadn’t really yelled at him.  John Sheppard, although he had had plenty of times when it was totally called for over the past almost six years, had never yelled at Rodney McKay.  It just wasn’t the man’s style.  Rodney remembered when John took him to task over reactivating the nannites in Elizabeth Weir’s body in order to save her life, there had been a few shouts, but even then John’s anger, rage even, had been cool and frosty and rather calm in its intimidation, strict and stern but still calm.  He’s never seen John Sheppard like this.  He looks over at Teyla.

“What did she do?”

“Apparently Lieutenant Kenmore offered some food to a child.”  Inside Teyla started at her own words…

It sounded so benign when put that way.

Lorne nods, “Sounds like Urs.”

Teyla and McKay look at him.  It wasn’t like any Ursula Kenmore they had seen or met yet.  Teyla looks back at Rodney.

“Shiana objected,” she went on, “She believed Lieutenant Kenmore was trying to poison the boy.  Things…got out of hand.”

“How out of hand,” Lorne asks.

“Some villagers came to Shiana and the boy’s defense armed.”

The three of them look back at Sheppard’s quickly fleeing back.

“This is not going to go good,” Lorne says, “Is it?”

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