Kenmore and Ronon watch McKay. He pulls his computer tablet out from behind him again, sets it up on the smooth panel, and brings up the lifesigns map on it again. Two of the dots have met paths, close to the third. McKay taps a few times on the tablet’s smooth surface.
“They’ll stop you,” Ronon spits, gritting through the pain, at the Goa’uld.
“Oh really,” the Goa’uld mocks back with a sardonic and sarcastic wry grin that they’ve, even with Kenmore’s limited experience with him, seen Rodney give on several occasions when any of them dared to insinuate that the genius astrophysicist couldn’t possible pull off the impossible.
At hearing the start of a Manly Man pissing match, Kenmore returns her attention to Ronon and his wound. God, she had no time for this…
“They’re getting to you,” Ronon tells him.
The Satedan’s urge to take advantage of Goa’uld McKay’s frustration and goad him into making more mistakes, the self-indulgent movements causes Ronon’s wound’s flow to increase.
“Specialist, stop it. You’re hurting yourself,” Kenmore tells him.
But Ronon can’t resist finally having the ability to help Sheppard and the rest of his team while Kenmore refuses to pick up a gun using him as an excuse…
“They’ll strip away every advantage you have,” he presses.
“Specialist,” she warns him.
McKay’s tablet screen starts to faze a little then suddenly goes black. He no longer even has the lifesigns map. McKay’s fingers scramble harshly across the tablet’s touchable screen. Nothing. In his frustration, McKay slams the computer down on the Goa’uld computer panel then hurls it with a God’s strength across the room. It explodes against the wall. Shattering into broken bits of severed wiring, snapped plastic, and scorched remnants of motherboard onto the black shiny lacquered flooring. McKay looks around, breathless and infuriated. Ronon allows himself to smile.
“We know McKay,” he gloats.
“Dex,” Kenmore warns.
McKay turns around to face Ronon’s front and Kenmore’s back.
“You know McKay, do you?” The Goa’uld mocks sarcastically, taking a few steps towards them.
Ronon nods, the taunting smile still on his face.
“Ronon,” the Lieutenant hisses.
The Goa’uld smiles back. It seems more like the leer a cobra gives a mongoose.
“I know McKay. And I know how little you all care about her.”
In one fluid, flawless motion, McKay pulls out his gun, raises it at Kenmore, and fires. Ronon flinches when her blood splatters across his face. The blasts pushes Kenmore forward and she sticks out her left arm. Her hand braces her against the wall right beside his head. Her own head slumped forward. Hair pooling around her face. Ronon stares at her. She doesn’t scream. It was all so terrifyingly familiar. Ronon in front, egging someone on, a woman in front of him whose done nothing but care for him, and the enemy behind her… and they open fire, and she takes the hit right in front of his face. Melena, she hadn’t screamed either when the Wraith took her from him… Slowly, Kenmore lifts her head. Hair pulling back away from her face. She works her mouth and fights her gasping, pulling in strong, loud inhales through her nose. She withdraws her arm from the wall. Slowly leaning back on her heels again. There’s a cool, collected calmness in her eyes and demeanor that Ronon has never seen before and, frankly, admires. She straightens her back up and looks straight ahead of her.
“Golly gee willikers Batman,” she says, “you suck at this.”
* * *
Sheppard, Teyla, and Carter run through another corridor.
“At the end turn right,” Jacob tells them, “So when did you come up with blowing out the computer systems?”
“The assassin in my head took out Ronon and tried to take out Teyla using their trust in me. It’s my advantage, I’m their friend. So I had to take out McKay’s advantage. That, and I remember the assassin shooting the crap out of our ZPM podium powering the city.”
Jacob nods. He approves of Sheppard’s tactics, Selmak does too. They make their turn and Jacob outpaces them to the third corner on the left in the new hallway. He digs his nails in between a tiny break in the paneling and begins to pry the door panels apart. Sheppard and Teyla catch up and help him. As they work they can hear the disturbance they caused over the radio.
“We know McKay,” they hear Ronon say. God, he sounded more seething than he usually did when trapped.
“Specialist,” Kenmore’s voice warns.
“You’re friend doesn’t understand when to back off does he,” Jacob comments.
“No, not really,” John answers, straining to pull his side of the panel off the wall.
“You know McKay, do you,” the Goa’uld asks and Teyla’s blood runs cold. She feels her fingers slipping slightly in her pulling on the other half of the panel door. There’s something in the tone of his voice…
“Dex,” Kenmore warns again.
“Doesn’t listen to her does he,” Jacob asks.
“No,” John doesn’t have trouble admitting, “he doesn’t like her all that much.”
They get the doors open and stare at an obsidian maintenance ladder leading both up and down.
“I know McKay. And I know how little you all care about her.”
Carter gets on it first. The explosive gunshot over the radio freezes all three of them. They can hear her gasping. Selmak silences the urge of his body to run as Jacob swallows down the urge to scream Ursula’s name. Jacob looks back at Sheppard.
“Just how much does your friend not like her,” he asks instead.
Sheppard doesn’t know what to say, but the shock on his and Teyla’s faces are enough of a reply. They did know their friend hates his friend, but they clearly didn’t know their friend hated her that much. Then it comes…
“Golly gee willikers Batman, you suck at this,” Kenmore says strong and smoothly.
Jacob smiles, “That’s my girl.”
He begins to climb down to the computer room’s level. Silently, Sheppard follows him then Teyla.
* * *
Kenmore braces her wounded arm up against her body. Her hand cupping her opposite side’s breast. She reaches down and undoes Ronon’s belt with her good hand. She snakes it out of its belt loops and pulls it free of his body. She threads the tip through the buckle and holds onto both making the belt form a giant loop like a noose. She turns her wrist and dangles the loop above her head. Then she lowers it down around her. When the loop lines up just under her breasts, after some painful wriggling, Kenmore lets the belt buckle slip out of her hand and slide down the length of the strap she’s still holding onto, tightening the circle around her. Then she yanks the strap off to the side and the noose suddenly clamps around her. Her hand leaves her breast, twists at the wrist—she fights the urge to hiss at that—, and grabs the belt. Kenmore finally drops the strap and brings her good hand to the buckle. Working with both hands, she gives the strap another hard yank, her body wincing and suddenly trying to recoil at the sharp intense feeling of its own pain, then feeds the buckle’s prongs through the holes in the belt—Thank God the Big Guy is so skinny—then threads the strap through the rest of the buckle, and knots the excess the same way she had with her own belt on Ronon. She reaches over and grabs one of the remaining two gauze pads nudged a handful of inches further away from where they had been before by her and Ronon’s attempts to get the giant Satedan on his back, tears it free of its wrapper with her teeth, folds it in half between her fingers, and, with a grimace, wedges the pad in and stuffs it over her wound then she pulls her bra strap over it, tightening it with her slippery bloody fingertips, as a sort of makeshift tourniquet over the bleeding injury.
McKay just stares at Kenmore’s back. An approving, leering smile across his lips. He licks them with a nod of considerable approval as his eyes trace down her body then back up it. Perhaps, this one would be a better choice for a Queen. He had only had need of them before as simple breeding stock. Just barebones DNA. But perhaps, with this woman’s ingenuity… if he could pass on such knowledge to her offspring… yes, she would indeed make a much more useful host for a Queen than that other human female. Much better— He feels the fringes of darkness closing in on the outskirts of his consciousness; the host is fighting him again, or at least threatening to— However, her disobedient streak…
“Batman,” the Goa’uld says, “All you come up with is Batman.” And he feels the darkness ebb.
Kenmore winks at Ronon.
“We know McKay,” she says.
That disobedient streak. Why did all of these Tau’ri humans have such rebellion in them…
“You know McKay,” he retorts, “What do you know about any of this team,” he snarks.
Suddenly the door opens and a single blue shot slams into McKay’s side followed almost instantly by another. He crumples to the floor. Kenmore looks back at him.
“They don’t give up,” she says, “So kree shac, shel nok.”
Sheppard steps into the room, the Wraith pistol he has a tendency to carry with him trained on McKay. Teyla rushes in, heading straight for Ronon and Kenmore’s side. And Jacob Carter runs to the Goa’uld computer panel. He double-checks as much as he can, he smiles as he jabs his fingers at the buttons, and nothing responds to his touch. Their plan, Sheppard’s plan worked. Teyla puts a hand on Kenmore’s wounded shoulder.
“Don’t,” the Lieutenant tells her, shaking off the Athosian woman’s attention, “Take the last gauze pad and give it to Specialist Dex. He needs it more than I do right now. He had thirty minutes from the time McKay shot him, he’s got ten minutes left.”
Teyla nods at her and does what the Lieutenant told her to do. Sheppard looks over at Kenmore.
“We don’t have that kind of time to get him back to Atlantis.”
Even wounded herself, Kenmore is still trying to help Teyla tend Ronon as much as she can. Holding the already drenched gauze pads in place so that Teyla could slip in the fresh one she just tore open from its sterile wrapping in place without disturbing the rest and running the possibility of doing more damage to Ronon.
“We don’t have to,” the Lieutenant tells the Colonel, “Remember I told you these things have their own Stargates. Jacob, get down to the sarcophagus room and start dialing home. You know…”
“Yeah, yeah, I can pilot this thing to orbit that planet we gated to to get here from there and use it as the base chevron for this thing’s gate.”
“How long will that take,” John asked watching the medical activity going on on Ronon. It was bad. He had heard in Kenmore’s voice over his radio, but now he realized she must have been softening her a analysis a bit for his friend’s sake. Ronon was sweating so profusely John would’ve sworn he’d just gotten out of the shower or a bath or something and there were heavy dark circles coloring the flesh underneath his eyes. Even they, Ronon’s normally alert dark eyes, were becoming more and more unfocused by the minute. His friend was here, his mind was here with them, but Ronon’s eyes made it look like he had no clue where he was or what was going on. They were losing him. And fast.
“Five minutes,” Carter states.
“Better than ten. Do it,” Kenmore orders.
Sheppard doesn’t argue. In five minutes Ronon would probably be unconscious and Kenmore was right, five is better than ten. In ten minutes, Ronon would probably be a lot more out of it than unconscious. He’d be dead. Again. Permanently maybe. If they couldn’t get this tub moving right, if they were running out of time quicker than they thought, maybe they could find a sarcophagus here and power her up. But that was only if this ship still had her sarcophagus. John watched Ronon furiously blink his momentarily crossed eyes back into focus as he continued to stare at Kenmore. They had options. John liked options. Options are good. John looks down at the problem at his own feet. He reaches into one of his vest pockets and fishes out a couple of flexcuffs.
“What was that you said? That last bit,” he asks as he kneels down and starts to restrain McKay, starting with his hands.
“The Goa’uld stuff,” Kenmore clarifies.
“Well, directly translated,” Carter shoves his hands into the nest of crystal slats Rodney uncovered, starts grabbing slats left and right, and quickly begins reorganizing their placements. A few systems reactivate, just enough to coax the ship as far as they need it to go, “it means—“
“Bite me,” the Lieutenant finishes sharing a smile with Jacob before returning to her medical duties; Sheppard catches the old hat exchange.
Kenmore and Teyla continue jointly tending to Ronon. And the wounded Satedan can’t take his eyes off of Kenmore.