Episode Two- The Fires- Chapter Nine

Chapter Nine

Kenmore creeps up behind the edge of a hut that has its back against the forest and peers out on the street from between it and another hut a few feet across from her.  People were milling about.  Some going about their business.  Some providing care.  Others, yeah, she recognized those guys, eyeing the hut she had just vacated…Kenmore looks over.  Just like she’d expected Sheppard had appointed the big guy to guard her door.  That explained why there had been enough resistance behind it to break a chair; Damn, King Kong was hard to move.  But with the comfort of the two radios playing telephone between each other, Kenmore had no problem speaking her mind about it, although she does maintain a far quieter volume in order to not draw attention to herself while she was out and about…

“Oh please big guy like you’re really enough to shut me up.”

She saw Ronon’s scowl deepen and allowed herself the smile of knowing the radio trick was actually working.

Kenmore turns her head and looks around at the village outskirts on the left.  She saw those guys run off and come back with weapons from somewhere over there.  She’d have to take her biggest risk here while she’s waiting:  she keeps talking.  If she didn’t, the big guy might get suspicious.

“All I need is a weapon.  Anything’ll do.”

Kenmore watches the villagers, those same itchy trigger finger guys, eyeing her vacated hut like they were just waiting to break out the torches and pitchforks again.  They were going to be her key.

“Come on.  Just look.  Just one look to tell me where to start.”

And she gets it.  One of the men, the tallest, thinnest, and the one that had been the most at the beck and call of Shiana, glances over at a hut, the exact copy of the storage one, far off to his left then returns his eyes to Ronon.  Kenmore smiles and sneaks across the gap to the back of the other hut and continues hurrying along the perimeter of the village’s back.

“Well that was a big help, make it easy for me why don’t ya’.”

Kenmore keeps silent count from hut to hut until she comes up on the back of a hut that has a window, just like the storage one had.  They really had made it easy for her.  All the other huts didn’t have windows onto the forest, probably a security feature for huts that contained people rather than food stores.  Although you never know…Hopefully this indicated her count had been correct and this was the hut she needed.

“Okay, have to make this good,” she says into her microphone/radio.

Kenmore squats down even further and slips across the ground to come up underneath the window.  The window’s paneless but not frameless, and it’s got cording quadranting it off.  Just like the storage one had.  Please let it be just like the storage hut…She turns her head and presses her ear against the hut’s exterior, just on the off chance someone was in there.  She holds her breath for a few seconds; Lord knows SG personnel had crappy luck like that with harebrained schemes like this.  She doesn’t hear anything even vaguely trying to scurry around inside.  She angles her head back at what she personally considered to be a contortionist’s angle and lifts up a little on the balls of her booted feet to look inside.  Initially, no one.  A brief scan, God this was hurting, still no one.  Kenmore comes out of her extremely uncomfortable position and turns around, making sure to get a quick look around her as she did so…

“All clear.  Here we go.”

Kenmore stands up, pulls out her pocket knife, and cuts the cords, still keeping an eye out.  Then she heaves herself up on the window’s sill.  There was a chair stationed right under the ‘window’, good enough…and convenient.  She takes one last look around outside then swings her leg over and steps onto the seat of the chair…and her leg goes straight through the thin wooden weave with a loud crunch that she knew just had to have been heard over the radio.  So she tells Specialist Dex exactly what she thinks about that too…

“Oh, God damn it,” she hisses, “That hurt.”

Then she waits.  Nothing happens over the other end of the radio that she can hear and there’s no roar of indignation echoing around the village outside, so…She figured—hoped—he’d let her stew with her owwie and not lift a finger to check on her, barely shifted a finger standing outside probably except for maybe a grin showing up on his face.  Thank you Big Guy.  She grins for a moment too then swings her other leg as well as the rest of herself clear of the mess of the no longer usable for sitting chair and hops her somewhat stuck leg out of it.  She shakes off broken woven seat remnants for a moment as she looks around the hut.

Although it did have a look-alike table and chairs in the middle of the space, probably someone’s attempt at a war room, this hut didn’t have shelves all over the walls like the other one had.  But what was proving to be universal of armories, no matter where in what galaxy, is the perimeter of the hut’s walls are lined with racks of the weaponry she had expected to find here:  bows, quivers of arrows, spears…yadda, yadda, yadda.  And on the floor sitting against the walls beneath the racks are trunks.  She looks over to her left.  One of the trunks over there has a lock on it.  It’s made of a slim crescent of silvery metal and a big ole hunk of scarlet wax, but it’s still a lock and the only trunk she could see, she takes another glance around the room just to be sure, with one on it.

“Well what do we have here.”

She walks over to it and squats down for a closer look.  She turns the thick clunky lock in her hands as much as it can turn while still attached to the trunk.  There’s a lone symbol that meant nothing to Kenmore raised in the wax on both of its sides.  She lets the lock fall lazily out of her hand to continue its dangling on the trunk’s front.  Then she stands up and takes a moment to analyze the degree of angle required then slams her foot down on the lock and its latch.  The leather of the trunk easily tears down with the force and angle of her stomp.

“Aww, sukey, sukey now.”

Kenmore opens the now relatively useless lid—and basically the front for that matter—and looks inside.  There are Wraith weapons.  A store of highly precious Wraith weapons and ammo nodules to be exact.  No wonder there was a lock.  These were ‘in case of special emergencies’ weapons most likely collected from Wraith they actually managed to defeat over the hopefully recent years.  She reaches in and pulls out the most familiar weapon to her, a Wraith pistol, and a few of the smaller energy cell nodules.  She pockets the nodules in one of the breast pockets of her tacvest then stands up as she looks the pistol over in her hands. Casually, she walks over to the table.

“Well, you’re certainly familiar.  I think you might be able to help me.”…And hopefully that didn’t just trigger Big Guy’s curiosity enough for him to actually look in on me.  She’d feel really stupid if she’d managed to get this far only for something like her word choice to shoot her in the foot now.

But there again, she wasn’t hearing anything over her radio and no barbaric roar of rage bouncing off the trees outside the hole in the wall, Sooo.  She quietly sits down on the edge of the table and reaches for one of her lower vest pockets.  She thumbs the Velcro holding the pocket’s flap closed over its contents apart and pulls out a thin, black, plastic box, kind of like a wide cigarette case.  Kenmore easily pops the case open, revealing the set of small screwdrivers, the sort meant for eyeglasses, inside to her fingertips.

“Let’s hope we might be able to pry you open.”  Again there was no disturbing news coming from the other end of her radio, apparently the big guy didn’t think there was anything in the storage hut that could pose a substantial threat as a weapon or be made to be one.  And he would have been right, what was she going to do?  Assault him with alien eggplant?

Kenmore lays the screwdriver case on the table beside her and blindly digs one of the screwdrivers out with her right hand as she runs her left thumb over the pistol.  Her eyes focused intently on the weapon.  Every sinew of its organic components.  Every curve of its bone matter.  Every possible facet of the mechanical elements that normally glowed beneath a thin film of organic material.  But there just isn’t anything standing out to her as a means of opening this thing up.  She turns the pistol over in her hand and runs her eyes and thumb along the weapon’s side again.  There’s nothing on this side either.

“Okay, maybe not.”

She runs her thumbnail along it.  Maybe all the biological elements on the thing make it so that it can only operate when it recognizes fellow Wraith DNA.  Like the Ancients had their Ancient Touch Activation.

“Okay I don’t have that, Glenda the Goodwitch of Atlantis has that, but I don’t have that.”

But it was reported in numerous missions that Sheppard had handled one pretty well and another team member, Lieutenant Aiden Ford, had as well on countless occasions over the Expedition’s five, almost six years now…as well as their fellow Atlantis Expedition members.  And Sheppard has the so-called Ancient gene and Ford didn’t have any Ancient gene at all, he hadn’t been born with it and his body had rejected the gene therapy that might have been able to activate that particular part of his genetic code, let alone either one of them having any Wraith DNA between them.  So…she should be able to operate this thing.  She looks it over in her hand again.  But operating the pistol and being able to get inside it are two different things, apparently.  Well…if she had to carve into the bio-elements, would the thing still be able to work?

“Wow, this is tricky,” she was genuinely shocked by this.

She runs her thumb past the larger rim of the weapon next to where the nodules were supposed to go and digs her nail into the slight groove she felt there.  It does give a little at her attempt.  Okay, I’ll start there, but…Before moving on, she takes one last glance over the weapon.  As harebrained schemes go, this one was one of her least well thought out, which was the backbone of harebrained schemes, no well thoughts involved except for the loose cannon kind, but this was also one of her least knowledgeable ones, which wasn’t a part of harebrained schemes at all and never should be.  One should never plan on utilizing a plan where they had no clue how half of the crap they were relying on was supposed to work.  Perhaps she had been spoiled by Goa’uld technology; flick button, snake snaps open, press button, snake fires, flick button again, snake recoils.  Easy-peasy.  There was another opening at the tip of the Wraith pistol exposing how the unit converted the energy it generated into the focused stun beam it emitted…and it looks like the only way to get to that part of the gun was to dig in right here.  Kenmore finally nods to herself.

“Well here it goes.”

And she pries the screwdriver’s small tip in underneath the bony rim where her fingernail had managed to split a big enough gap for the slim wedge of metal to just barely fit into.

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