Episode Two- The Fires- Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

Keller didn’t believe in keeping too many people in one tight space; she feared disease outbreaks that, in these rural areas, she might not be able to control.  And so John Sheppard continues on down the line of triaged locals now lining the main avenue of the village again.  His gait is still strong and determined and he’s still pissed about Kenmore, but his temper has cooled a bit.  At least Teyla wasn’t acting like a frightened cat around him anymore.

Walking it off always helped him like that, he remembered walking for hours after Nancy told him she wanted a divorce and simultaneously handed him the papers for one.  He actually remembered it quite clearly.  The air was crisp and cold and the sky was a frosty shade of clouded over silver, perfect for the autumn day so near to winter it had been.  His boots crunched on the sidewalk.  Leaves, yellow, orange, and red, were falling from the neighborhood trees with almost every pissed step he took…and that was a fast as hell pace.  He’d honestly believed that if he walked quickly enough it’d be like that one scene in the first Superman movie and he’d somehow manage to reverse the rotation of the planet, go back in time, and stop the bad thing from happening.  He wouldn’t have had to reverse it long, just twenty minutes back or so.  Then he would have been able to stop Nancy from handing him those damn papers in her hands and saying what they were for before John could even think.

What a welcome home?  She’d given him enough time to set down his duffel bag and go into the kitchen to get a nice frosty beer—God after that damn desert that was the best sounding thing in the world to him—out of the fridge before she’d come downstairs and did what she did to him.  He’d just stood there for a moment, the beer just freshly tapped and waiting in his hand, then he just dropped it, walked right past Nancy, and out of the house.  Now—then—he was freezing his butt off.  No jacket, just anger and that wasn’t burning hot in him, it was burning god damn blizzard cold…Sonuvabitch, he’d thought then.

He was a soldier when they married, why now was she—then—had she suddenly become overwhelmed by that?  Why?  How?  When his gritted teeth started chattering uncontrollably in his skull and that wasn’t giving him a headache anymore but giving him the biggest friggin’ migraine ever, he’d decided to head back.  The house had been empty.  She’d must have been packing when he’d gotten home the first time.  Sonuvabitch, he’d thought then.  He’d just gotten back from Iraq that morning and two hours after he’d stormed around the neighborhood and two hours later of him stewing and storming laps throughout the house, there was a knock at the door.  He’d thought she’d come back, come to her senses that this was what she had signed up for when she uttered the words “I do” and put the ring on his finger and he put the ring on hers.  When he opened the door, there had been a thickly-built, dark-skinned guy his height on the other side dressed in a crisp neat blue uniform:  Air Force.  And he handed John an envelope, signed, sealed, stamped, and now—then—delivered.  Then the man saluted and walked back to his black non-descript sedan and drove away.  John opened the envelope and read the letter inside, he had just been given the word that he was going to Afghanistan.  Sonuvabitch, he’d thought then; God damn it, he thought now.

But that was beside the point.  What he needed to do right now was keep himself busy, keep the hell away from Kenmore, and put on a good show for Shiana, especially Shiana, and her people.  Be the good little soldier.  But John wasn’t sure he could recover anything from this.  Villagers wielding pitchforks at them was about as bad as it could get, they were just a step down from pitchforks and torches, but he’d try anything and everything right now.  John suddenly paused, okay maybe he’d draw the line at groveling which he figured wouldn’t be entirely out of Shiana’s realm of thinking, it’d probably be her preference actually.  But anything and everything else, sure.

He starts walking again; his eyes never left up ahead of him, it was part of the whole ‘walking it off’ thing.  But it suddenly dawned on him if he kept going straight, he’d walk the villagers’ path right up to the Stargate.  Did he really need to go report this now?  He would have to make his usual report in a couple of hours anyway, Sooo…John immediately turns and walks into one of the huts.  No.

*                      *                      *

Kenmore examines the Wraith stun pistol in her hands.  It doesn’t look any different.  She puts her tools’ case back in its pocket on her tacvest then walks back to the ‘window’ she broke in through.  She takes a peek into the outside, left and right and basically everywhere in between a couple of times.  But no one was there.  Slipping the pistol underneath the back of her tacvest and beneath the lip of her pants where she normally kept her Beretta, she’d long ago ditched the sidearm incase a patient got physical with her and she didn’t need someone pulling her own weapon on her, Kenmore hefts herself up onto the ledge of the window again.  She had had a zat with her, but apparently Sheppard had stripped her of it when she’d passed out…which actually made this easier…She glances back at the door.  Guess no one was coming…on either end.

“Okay, fine.  I’ll shut up…now.”  Hopefully that sounded enough like she had finally run out of steam.

Kenmore slips her legs back out of the storage hut and drops out of the window, falling low to the ground.  She looks left then right once more.  Still clear.  She moves forward, slipping into the dense forest and disappearing into it.

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