Episode Ten- The Games People Play- Chapter One

Chapter One

Atlantis Expedition Military Leader Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard and his friend and teammate Satedan Weapons Specialist Ronon Dex walk down one of Atlantis’ many hallways. A nice, uncommonly leisurely stroll made possible by the fact that there’s only the two of them in the hallway. That would be considered either a cause for concern, i.e. Where is everybody? What happened?, or a rarity. But since it’s right after the start of the new shift, it’s not worrisome at all. So rarity it is. Everybody’s already gotten to where they want to be whether that’s the mess for a long lunch or breakfast or dinner or whatever mealtime it is for them, settling into the comfortable privacy of their own quarters for some downtime either for sleep or rest or, again, whatever, or digging into their work wherever in the city that is. For one of the men taking a walk, it makes for a nice change of pace.

“You ever notice how much easier it is to walk around the city during the day,” the Colonel muses. His eyes glossing over the ceiling of inset lights of honeycomb-like groupings of pyramid shapes down to the patina walls with textured silvery naquadah chiclet sconces and the gridwork of bands of the same textured copper framework all over the walls on down to the dark brownish marble unusually accented with nothing. His boot heels make a small scuffing sound as his lackadaisical swagger makes one of his feet not quite rise as much as it should to clear the floor in his stride with absolutely no sound at all.

“You know it’s not like we’re walking around the main area of the city. And it also helps that we’re right in the middle of basically everybody’s shifts so nobody’s around,” Ronon remarks with a glance over at his friend. Sometimes when Sheppard gets all philosophical, it’s pretty hilarious. The tall handsome Satedan smiles as he plucks at part of his vest’s bands; the chocolate brown textured leather loosening slightly from the cornflower blue creped fabric beneath it.

“Yeah, that too.” Sheppard looks over at his friend, who’s starting to trail behind him by a couple of steps… and notices the alien man’s smile, “What,” John asks.

Suddenly Sheppard catches fast movement out of the corner of his eye at the end of the hallway, a quick blur of bright color unlike any color of their surroundings. Ronon catches it too. Both men suddenly stop. Their attentions snap to the end of the hallway.

“Did you…,” Sheppard asks.

“Yeah, did you?”

Sheppard nods, “Uh-huh.”

Running bootsteps definitely not anything like the sounds of Sheppard’s boots comes to their ears. Immediate they bolt to the end of the hallway and look down the direction that their ears tell them the colorful blur had taken, the left. They don’t see anything, but they definitely keep hearing running bootsteps… coming from the end of the left side hallway. Ronon starts to charge after the sound again, but Sheppard’s hand reaches out and presses firmly against the Satedan’s chest. Stopping his friend. Ronon’s about to ask him why when he notices Sheppard fixated by the end of the hallway. Slowly John takes his hand away from Ronon’s chest and reaches up and taps his earpiece.

“Sheppard to the Gateroom,” his voice quiet, cautious, and tense.

“What are you asking them for,” Ronon hisses at him.

“To make sure this isn’t something the Ancients are doing like last time.”

Okay, Ronon nods, he’ll settle for that reason.

No answer. John’s anxiety ticks up a notch for every second he thinks is going by them in silence from Operations. His mind starts racing through all the bad possibilities in the milliseconds. If this is an attack or an intrusion by the Ancients trying to kidnap Kenmore out of the city again, he’d effectively take out Ops first and use that distraction to do whatever dirty work he’d come here to do in the first place. Answer damn it, answer.

The morning technician’s perky radio voice comes over his earpiece, “Gateroom here. Is there a problem, Colonel?”

“Are you saying there isn’t one already?”

Pause, then the Technician’s radio voice comes again and this time it’s beyond-a-doubt confused. John can imagine the look on the woman’s young face, she already looked like she was maybe, maybe eighteen years old. Barely. Shoulder-length brown wavy hair constantly pulled back into a tousled ponytail surrounding her porcelain smooth skin like a college freshman ready and waiting in the front row in the very middle most seat on the first day of the first class in her major, all uncertainty quickly overrunning what confidence and hope she’d walked in and sat down with and probably a little tension in her shoulders and a thought or two that she should start speaking slowly and simply the next time the teacher, in this case Sheppard, calls on her so as not to embarrass herself or, most likely, not to spook the crazy guy on the other end of her radio line, “Uh, no, Sir… Are you having a problem?”

Sheppard’s eyes remain keenly on the end of the left path of the hallway intersection. The sound of running bootsteps growing more distant in his free ear.

“I don’t know yet,” he answers simply. Undoubtedly his cagey response isn’t going to change the expression on the young female Technician’s face, but maybe this will, “Ronon’s with me. Stand by.”

“Yes, Sir.” The Technician’s curt and customary response makes it sound to him like it might have.

Sheppard breaks the radio link.

The Technician frowns for a moment at her station on the upper deck’s right side in the Operations Center standing guard over the Gateroom below. Her bright brown eyes stare down at her computer panel’s various assortment of piano-like keys with embedded circuitry running through them elegantly like a dew covered spider’s web and a smaller glass surfaced panel embedded with honey white round buttons the circumference of the human fingertip at the tri-leveled panel’s base level. She eyes each assortment and more and more the perplexed frown on her face deepens, becomes lopsided. Finally she goes to work on the fingertip buttons, splitting his hands’ efforts between the hexagon-shape formation of buttons on the left side and the simple, tilted trapezoid formation of tightly aligned buttons on the right.

Having overheard the rather interesting communication from the vicinity of Chuck Campbell’s DHD station just a handful of feet away on Operation’s lower deck, Expedition Commander Richard Woolsey walks up to the internal sensor station.

“Is there something wrong,” the Administrator asks.

“I’m not sure, Sir,” she answers without looking up at him, focusing her perplexity on her work, “Colonel Sheppard and Ronon are checking something out.”

Woolsey nods and stays by the upper level station, looking down at the Ancient technology in front of him. Not sure what exactly is going on and not willing to stray too far whenever the Colonel or Ronon radio in again. The former attorney’s heart flutters and his mind straight away goes to the near disastrous in-house mission that involved the Ancient commonly known on Earth as Morgan LeFay making space and time warping incursions into the city and kidnapping some of his top personnel. So soon? Would she really pull something like that again so soon? Or is it some new form of incursion by the Others that Morgan had mentioned to her kidnap victims? Richard’s fingertips quietly tap an edgy cadence on the textured metal surface of the computer console’s edging. Waiting.

John and Ronon ease down the hallway with slow and cautious steps. Their bodies tense and ready for anything if the blur of color they’d seen turns out to be the beginnings of an even bigger problem. Suddenly they hear the bootsteps change, more scuffing. Are the steps picking up so much speed that they’re not clearing the floor enough? The men rush to the end of the hallway. Ease up to its corner. Peer around it. And see Kenmore… in a, in a—

“Is she wearing a dress,” Sheppard says. He squints to make sure, but, yeah, he is seeing what he’s seeing.

Ronon can’t believe his eyes either, “A really, really short one,” the Satedan nods.

The men stare at the younger fifth member of their team. Her long, naturally curly, brown hair is down like she occasionally wears it, but with part of it up and styled to look like something a ‘40s or ‘50s pinup would wear. From the back Sheppard can’t decide whether or not he’s getting visions of Betty Page or some other bombshell featured in sexy fantasy cards slipped into the cherished wallets of helmeted WWII GIs. And the hair’s just the start. Their eyes can’t help but notice she’s wearing a mustard yellow, micro mini-skirt length dress with a single thin band of ornately braided trim around her cuffs in a brighter gold color than the mustard of the dress. The further down their eyes travel, the further their eyes get more surprises from the Lieutenant in the forms of near-black, sheer pantyhose then plainly designed, black, leather boots going up to just below her knees and polished to a wondrous gleam. Both brown eyes so dark they appear almost black and green eyes so pale and enigmatic a color that at times they appear grey watch the incredibly short-short skirt swish dramatically from side to side as Lieutenant Kenmore rushes down the hallway farther away from them. Her boots hitting the matte finish marble making the scuffing sounds still ringing in the men’s ears.

When she nears the end of the hallway, she finally skids to a halt, her boots making one long scuffing sound. Then she kneels down. John hears Ronon’s already quiet breathing go still and Sheppard himself hopes that his friend can’t hear his own breathing catch in his throat as both men observe the ever so slight peek-a-boo of black brief-style panties peeking out from underneath the very short hem of her skirt while it’s risen with the efforts of her bending over. She pulls up on the tops of her boots, first the right then the left, to hike them back up to their original heights. With her loudly discomforting adjustment made, Kenmore straightens back up and slides her hands down her outfit. Smoothing the minor ruffles it got back out of it. Although truth be told, the petite dress is so formfitting that neither man is sure what if any ruffles there were to smooth out exactly.

Ronon leans closer to Sheppard and quietly asks, “Where’s she going dressed like that?” He’s never seen anything like it in Atlantis.

John shakes his head. He has absolutely no clue, but wherever it is, he’d like to know if any other female members of the Expedition are going to be there dressed like that. There have been a couple of civilian scientists that have caught his eye over the years and he’d definitely like to see how they’d look in one of those outfits. Especially considering that even Kenmore looks like she cleans up pretty nicely in it herself and he doesn’t have anywhere near the same thoughts about her as he does some of the ladies of science around here.

Suddenly a light blue clad arm reaches out from the left side adjoining hallway. Swiftly latches onto unsuspecting Kenmore’s arm. And yanks her out of sight. A shocked yelp escapes her mouth as she disappears.

Sheppard and Ronon race after her. They zip around the corner… and end up nearly running into Kenmore herself. McKay’s there too, the blue clad arm. He stands a few feet away from her in front of the closed doorway to one of the city’s many holorooms. Ronon speaks up first while John’s just glad it isn’t the holoroom he’d been dreading; so far, at least, no Morgan LeFay.

“What are you two wearing,” the Satedan ridicules the two of them. His brain searches and in all of his experiences in Sateda’s military and all of his time as a Runner going from civilization to civilization and his years with Atlantis, he still comes up with the same thing. Those aren’t their normal uniforms. Those aren’t anyone’s normal uniforms. Those aren’t uniforms at all. He’s not even sure what the hell those clothes are, but he’s sure that they’re not normal. Not anywhere he’s ever been at least. He’s not sure what disturbs him more. The unnecessary aesthetic appeal of the outfits or that anyone wearing them’d be picked off as targets in less than a heartbeat if the city or any of it’s currently offworld teams came into any sudden trouble against anything. No armor. No place to conceal weaponry. As far as he can tell, no place for unconcealed weaponry whatsoever. How do McKay or Kenmore plan on fighting in those things? Can they even fight in those things?

John was about to ask the same question. Let alone is Kenmore’s appearance startling in that really short dress, those sheer black nylons, and black leather boots, but also her really, really sexy—feminine, he amends himself sternly, styled hair cause for the query. But so is McKay’s appearance. The Canadian’s wearing black pants that stop a few inches below his knees and the silhouette is carried on by a pair of plain designed, black, leather boots the same style as Kenmore’s. The man’s shirt is light blue with two rows of that gold braiding on his cuffs and a black collar similar to the one on Kenmore’s dress, which John hadn’t known before. Kenmore’s back had been to them the entire time and her long hair had obscured the top part of her dress from their view of her when she was smoothing herself out. Her collar is more angled and feminine in style to match her dress while McKay’s has a more masculine vibe to it, if you could call any part of what he’s wearing masculine. There’s a chevron-shaped gold patch over his heart and hers too—well, hers is just over her left breast with the bottom points of the chevron pointing like parallel twin arrows at the distinctly female anatomical feature.

Sheppard blinks a few times to distract himself away from staring where he’s apparently meant to. He quickly moves his eyes on up to the black embroidered symbols at the centers of their patches. They’re very different from each other, Rodney’s is a sort of atom-like ball looking shape/design thing while Kenmore’s symbol is some sort of star with an extremely elongated top point that made it look almost like a spike. Actually it reminds him more of a comet. Well, at least a representation of a shooting star with its tail indicating that it’s falling straight down. It also isn’t escaping John’s notice that Rodney’s carrying some sort of metal rectangle thing with a long purse strap over his shoulder. Seriously. A purse? And he’s got pointed ears too!

Instantly it all connects in his head, John Sheppard rolls his eyes. He should’ve guessed earlier…

“Why are you two wearing Star Trek costumes,” he sighs. This? This is what had him worried about intruders in Atlantis? Gees, he hopes that Technician doesn’t tell anyone about any part of this. Well, actually John hopes that the woman doesn’t ask for details when he radios in that it’s a false alarm. Hopefully that’ll be enough and he can safely avoid any embarrassment at overreacting to whatever it is Rodney and Kenmore are doing.

Ronon looks over at him, “What’s Star Trek?”

“No, no reason,” McKay tries to dodge Sheppard’s question.

John’s not buying that for a second. The expression of being caught red-handed by the Principal, nope, not a second. And John has no problem playing the role of School Principal or Teacher or Daddy or whatever like this right now. The last thing they need is two of the Expedition’s senior people stopping whatever important things they should be doing to run around the city playing sci-fi make-believe. Sheppard stands his ground and crosses his arms over his chest, “Come on. Tell us why.”


“Rodney,” John warns.

“We’re playing,” Kenmore pipes up casually like Rodney had tried to play off the question in the first place.

Sheppard and Ronon stare at her.

Rodney quickly jumps in at the expressions on the men’s faces to save both he and the Lieutenant from the coming explosion, “Not like that.”

She looks at McKay, face pinched in confusion, then at Sheppard and Ronon then, “Oh for God’s sake, what sex play are you going to do wearing Star Trek outfits,” she exclaims. Jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Suddenly her expression shifts, no pinch, no confusion. Simply the realization of something incredibly stupid slipping out of her mouth so easily. She and Rodney exchange looks at each other and there’s a silent communication between them.

“Okay, so, that was a dumb question,” she corrects.

“Why,” Ronon asks.

“Comic Con,” Rodney and Kenmore answer in unison.

“And Vegas,” she goes on, thinking about it further, “L.A. Parsippany. Really any Star Trek convention or any sci-fi convention at all anywhere. Anyways,” she swiftly changes back to the main subject, “we’re not doing that. We’re just playing Star Trek. No sex part.”

Rodney nods emphatically.

Sheppard and Ronon are both still looking at them like ‘What the Hell are the two of you doing exactly if Kenmore’s first conclusion was to jump to sex roleplaying?’ But Sheppard decides to switch his expression to err on the side of ‘You’re wasting valuable Expedition time doing this crap!’

“Come on,” Kenmore groans with her face and eyes looking up at the ceiling at the sight of Sheppard’s switch to semi-seething. She turns and swipes her hand in front of the door’s sensor. It fans open.

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