The wormhole ride was as smooth as ever. They arrived during the planet’s daytime. It was beautiful here like a cross between the forests of Endor and the most luscious waterfall spot on every poster supporting a long vacation in Tahiti ever seen, especially since said gorgeous waterfall was roaring down it’s cliff a mere twenty yards behind this planet’s stargate. What a welcome! Sheppard takes a deep breath. Well there was another good thing about this planet. The air was clean and fresh and vibrant as the smooth breeze travels through and with the waterfall’s fine spray. John is liking this place for a Beta Site already. Right now, he looks around, he is sooo willing to throw this planet’s name into the ring for the Alpha Site. Sheppard turns back to the rest of his team and Kenmore.
“All right kids, nice wide spread. Don’t want to get too close to each other but not too far in case anything happens,” he slips on his sunglasses with a smile, turns back around and starts off down a naturally worn path in the knee-high tall, bright green grass, “And remember keep your eyes peeled for any spot that would make a nice putting green.”
The place is beautiful, giant bright orange alien hibiscus were going from vines wrapped around the trunks of a couple of the nearby trees, little white flowers with petals in the formation of the Star of David dotted the ground here and there through the grass, and Sheppard feels himself slip into a casual saunter like he hadn’t done in a long time. God this was great. And why exactly did they not do it more often. About twenty yards behind him, Teyla falls into step and McKay, ignoring the ‘nice and wide’ direction, is right on her heels.
“Teyla, you’re a farmer, trader, do you recognize any of these plants? Are any of them citrus? You know I’m deadly allergic to citrus. Why are smiling like that? I’m serious.”
Teyla and McKay continue on, Teyla smiling in demure silence as Rodney continues to ramble on about all the things that threaten his health, which they all had learned a long time ago was an extensive list, and Ronon, using the excuse of double-checking his gun, lets thirty yards pass before he chances a look back at Kenmore, the real excuse for his lagging behind. He catches her kneeling down tying her boot laces then having some trouble standing up underneath the quickly and easily shifting burden of the surveying gear that Woolsey had ordered to go along with them on her back. She had shocked all of them when she’d volunteered to carry it all on the embarkation floor but none of them had stopped her or even tried to step in to talk her out of it. Ronon allowed himself a Rodney McKay-grade smirk at her expense. Maybe letting her be the team pack mule will help get her off our team quicker, Ronon turns and walks on with a not-too-often-seen smile on his face as Kenmore continues to struggle under the gear, she deserves it.
When Ronon is about thirty yards away, Kenmore suddenly stands up solidly without any struggles and she shifts all the gear quickly and easily into more comfortable positions. She stares at Sheppard’s teams’ backs, Like I’ve never carried crap like this before. She let’s Ronon gain about another thirty or so more yards before she turns and walks over to the DHD and begins dialing.
The gate starts turning.
Sheppard freezes and turns as do all the others. Even from his distance, Sheppard can see the blue lights of the gate symbols chasing themselves around the gate and the chevrons were locking in fast. Holy crap.
Ronon just flat out bolts for her but both the Satedan and the Lieutenant had put too much of a spread between them. Teyla, McKay, and Sheppard make a run for it too but John can see the distance is just too great. Perhaps he should have rethought the wide part of his orders.
The seventh chevron locks into place, the stargate flushes into life, and Kenmore casually walks through it. Ronon’s strides are long but he only manages to make it to the DHD before the gate shuts off then the DHD goes dark too. They catch up to Ronon.
“Did you see which symbols she used,” Sheppard asks.
Frankly he wouldn’t put it past Kenmore to have just dialed back to Atlantis, leaving them to hoof it around here on their own and without, according to Woolsey, the proper equipment, and telling Woolsey he could stuff it too.
“She picked that one,” Ronon points to a symbol, “that one,” points to another symbol, “that one,” points to another, “that one,” points, “that one,” points, “that one and that one.”
Teyla suddenly looks up at Sheppard.
“It is my homeworld’s gate address.”
Sheppard looks up at the silent gate. Well, here they go again.
The gate shuts down. Kenmore looks back at it. She really had expected them to have managed to follow her through the gate, at the very least the big guy, but no one had…or no one wanted to. They probably figured they could lose her here for awhile, wander around over there and do their mission then traps back to Atlantis and tell Woolsey ‘Sorry, she got lost in the woods’ and leave it at that, life moves on in Atlantis. Kenmore goes back to looking at Athosia stretched out before her. Tree lines starting in a V-shape from behind the gate spread out on either side of the gate and nothing but sparse, short-growing grass in front of her. One massive field, you could get a couple of pretty decent rugby matches goin’ here, although Kenmore was sure Sheppard rather have football games. The big ole hunks of what looked like random pieces of driftwood, probably just dead tree stumps cut down and left to petrify, would make effective boundary line markers. It could work, she could kinda see it. She looks up. There isn’t enough sun in the sky yet. It must be dawn. It’s still grey and a little foggy and misty from the night, but not exactly a hindrance. Kenmore starts walking and follows the tree line on her right until she finds a wide opening in the line, a small lane, although it could also pass for a two-lane dirt road to her, just like the reports had said. Without missing a beat, Kenmore turns onto the lane and disappears into the forest.
It isn’t exactly a long walk. Pretty cut and dry. The lane cuts through the forest and then eventually, off to the right, there’s another gap in the tree line guarded by what might have been metal drums but they had become rusted and fairly stripped by the weather. Kenmore walks into the guarded gap and sees that the gap itself is opened by two tall metal pipes sticking out of the ground like thin spindly trees themselves. One of the metal pipes had fallen over and torn up some ground with it, obviously pushed over by winds or wildlife, again the metal was beginning to rust and was stripped. Kenmore continues steadily on beyond the pipes and down the main avenue of what remained of the village.
There were dozens of semi-dome-shaped, layered huts, their entrances and, Kenmore guessed, windows covered by what remained of metal grates shaped like the hood of an eyelid or in some cases just capped by giant rounds of the metal, that were either blown to bits by weapons fire, Swiss-cheesed by the weather, or just plain reclaimed by the forest itself. Kenmore passes by one particularly large hut, still intact, with a double-wide entrance, signifying that that was the main meeting hut the reports had mentioned where the envoys of the Atlantis Expedition had first met Teyla Emmagan, leader of the Athosian people or at least of this particular group of them. Now in which direction was that cave Emmagan had taken Sheppard to? Without hesitation, Kenmore angles her path off the main avenue, passes between two broken huts, and slips back into the forest. Her step hasn’t faltered for a second on Athosia.