Episode Ten- The Games People Play- Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven

The elevator starts to slow. Let alone can they feel it, they can hear it. That blaring whine of power indicating how obviously fast they’re plummeting is easing back into a baritone note. Their artificially rocky room comes to a stop with a few trembling shakes and the door opens. Another incredible hot woman scantily dressed in yellow orange is standing there. Waiting for them. Clearly tripping the trap also somehow sent out a signal. Great, that’s all they need is for an entire facility that of the group of them only Radek knows how large it is bearing down on them in waves or all at once or however they want to really. It’s four, well three and a body with a remote control, against, again, only Radek really knows how many. Overwhelming hordes’ choice.

Standing in the weirdly colorful hallway broken up by beamed frames into sections the hues of child’s crayon box, it’s clear she’s shocked to see them as much as they’re shocked to see her. Her blue eyes peer at them, mouth ajar. Without any other recourse, she reaches for her wristband.

“Oh no you don’t.” John very vividly recognizes the gauntlet.

He acts quickly. Reflexively clenching the phaser pistol still in his hand. The wide stun beam engulfs her and the central burst of bright green hits her squarely in the chest with its apparently usual screeching echoing sound. The beautiful woman goes down in an elegant heap onto the floor. Does everyone have to be so melodramatic here? Really? They even fall like that.

Sheppard rushes out of the cave over to the fallen woman and snatches the wristband off of her while looking for anyone else in the halls. It isn’t as bad as he thought it was going to be, the odd assembly of colors seems to diffuse a lot when you actually step into the hallway. The new environment is actually more beige and pale mauve with accents of a really, really pale lavender. Good, John wasn’t sure how he’d handle forest green and bright prom dress pink or white, red, and indigo coming at his senses all at once. Moving silently, he tests the ground beneath his heeled Starfleet boots. Concrete, another good sign even if it is the color of a deep mauve. His grey-green eyes scan the ways as Carson hands Rodney’s remote over to Radek and hurries to the fallen woman’s aid. Sheppard sees that the walls are concrete too, colored pale mauve, and, as his eyes travel further down the hallway, the doors are the same as the one in the cave/elevator just pale beige-yellow rather than light blue. Radek follows them out, guiding Rodney to follow after him, as John plays lookout for a few moments more.

“Carson, use the silver cylinder in your tricorder case,” Radek instructs as he gets Rodney to plod the last few steps over to he and Carson.

Beckett looks up at him, “The what?”

Finally Rodney’s by them so Zelenka turns to his friend, “The rectangle device with the leather strap that you thought was a metal purse. It is hanging from your shoulder.”

Carson grabs the metal box dangling by his side, remembering all too well the rather comical conversation he and Radek had had when Carson discovered the science fiction device had replaced many of his tools. The Scotsman had thrown a fit, how was he supposed to work without all of his regular tools? What was he supposed to do with this thing? At that point, Radek had snorted behind his hand trying to cover up how hard he was laughing at Carson’s rather Bones McCoy-like anti-technology tirade. It was then that both agreed that Rodney would have found it both so hilarious that he would never let Carson live it down as well as so staggeringly uninformed of Carson that let alone would Rodney find it personally insulting but also would not let Carson live it down for as long as both men live. Live… In a panic, Carson looks the device over and over and over.

“How do you bloody well get into this thing?”

“Carson,” Radek sighs and holds out the remote to Beckett, “Here, give it me.”

Beckett eagerly makes the switch and with an easy finesse that leaves no doubt whatsoever that Radek Zelenka has an identical toy of this very object in his possession most likely in Atlantis with him, he easily opens the front panel and slips out the syringe-like ‘23rd century’ hypospray. He closes the tricorder and hands both back over to Carson in exchange again for Rodney’s remote control. The medical officer slips the tricorder’s strap over his shoulder again, but he stares at the silver cylinder in his hand. It’s solid metal, he can’t see a single detail of what’s inside and the outside has only four slender grooves running down the main shaft of the thing. There’s only a single finger tip-sized button. That disturbs Carson again; he can’t tell whether this is a measure of ’23rd century’ medical practice confidence or over confidence? It doesn’t look like any of his syringes back in the Infirmary and he doubts that its operation is just as simple as it looks.

“Place the end of the main shaft against her bicep and inject her,” Radek tells him.

“Now wait just a minute, Radek, I don’t what’s in this bloody contraption.”

“Neither do I and it does not matter, Carson.”

“But—“

“Carson,” Zelenka warns, “I promise you it will not harm her. Now press the button and inject her.”

Beckett eyes the hypospray again. He doesn’t like this. This entire day has been one nasty surprise after another. First, he finds out about the Expedition’s new Lieutenant Kenmore and her little Michael. Then all this calamity. But like Ronon he trusts Radek, and this is after all for Rodney.

“God help us,” Doctor Carson Beckett prays and presses the free end of the cylinder against the young lady’s her upper arm and injects whatever he can’t see into her bloodstream. At least he hopes it’s into her bloodstream.

She comes to instantly, all elegantly gorgeous red-haired, porcelain-skinned, and covered up with a halter top of metallic gold lame with matching gartered thigh-high tights/boots and a very micro mini-skirt of some sort of orange and canary yellow patterned piece of soft material. Carson helps her to her feet as she utters her lines.

“You do not belong here. You are not Morg.” Her voice sounds so innocent, so sweet and child-like.

He’s not falling for this crap. If he didn’t fall for it from someone just as hot although wearing considerably more clothing in a Wraith holding cell years ago, then he’s sure as hell not falling for it now. Immediately Sheppard charges over and yanks her out of Doctor Carson Beckett’s kind hands. He spins her around to face him. Her hair making a classically beautiful sweep like something out of a luxury shampoo commercial. His grip on her biceps tightens.

“Where is he? Where’s Rodney?”

She’s the right sort of confused, but her words are paraphrases. The city yet again adapting to the differences in the situation.

“He? What is he? You are not Morg or Eymorg. I know nothing about a Rodney.”

“Where is she,” John switches tactics through gritted teeth.

The woman’s speechless. Torn between absolute confusion and absolute fear. Radek steps in before Sheppard starts shaking her like a ragdoll in frustration and determination to save Rodney in time. Being so close to an answer… This seems to be the place. The city pointed them here. Put them here. Where’s the God damn answer?!

“She does not understand you, cannot understand you, Colonel” Radek pleads with him, “Her mind is that of a child and so is her reasoning. Luma is telling you the truth.”

“I am Luma,” the woman picks up on the opportunity given to her, making Radek’s comment about her childlike behavior and mentality accurate, “I am Eymorg. You are not Eymorg. You are not Morg. What are you?”

Sheppard’s at a loss in the confused and frightened eyes of Luma, these big puppy things that keep narrowing and widening trying to make sense of everything that’s suddenly happened to her. To them all. Radek and Kenmore believed this place is it. Their final stretch. It’s getting to him, this whole thing is getting to him. His team’s made close calls before and usually getting to the final stretch is where the smooth sailing part comes into play. Somehow everything suddenly just clicks into place and it’s go on all cylinders till you reach the end, but that’s not happening here. That’s not happening with Rodney McKay’s life on the line. Not a second time. He watched him slip away from them to a parasite that brought Alzheimer’s into his friend’s mind last year. It forced him to say good-bye to the man over some beers on a pier one night, he still remembers… fondly, the… Rodney called him Arthur, laughter, he remembers their laughter, Rodney’s laughter. He’s not going to watch Rodney slip through their fingers as nothing more than a remote-control robot. He’s more than an RC car to John, he’s his best friend.

“Okay, okay, I’ll buy this,” John gives in, “What do we do now, Radek?”

Zelenka gets out his communicator and starts adjusting it, Sheppard notices. The little electronic device starts emitting a high pitched piercing whirring as Radek’s finger keeps pressing the right side of the two buttons on the communicator. Carefully tuning, switching through channel after channel.

Suddenly Luma tries to make a break for it, but Sheppard’s grip on her tightens and he easily tugs her back the two steps she’d managed to get away from his body but not out of his hands.

“Incredible. This is really amazing. There is so much going on and I’m not even thinking about doing any of it. It’s just happening,” Rodney’s elatedly prattling fills the air.

It sounds like pure golden music to the three men’s ears. Sheppard and Carson react. Smiles, relieved smiles all around. Radek grinningly hands the communicator over to Sheppard who grabs it eagerly, passing off Luma to Carson.

“Rodney?”

“Sheppard? Is that you? You’re playing too?”

“Not by choice.”

“What? What do you mean? What’s happened?”

Really? He doesn’t realize what’s happened? “There was a malfunction. Atlantis took control of the holoroom and expanded Kenmore’s and your holodeck,” God, what a stupid word, “to include the entire city. We’re all playing along.”

“Holy crap,” Rodney’s radio voice freaks out.

John starts nodding, “No kidding. Now we’re here trying to fix this.”

“The city has designated some of us specific roles. I am Scotty, Carson is Doctor McCoy, Colonel Sheppard is Captain Kirk,” Radek cuts in.

“Of course he is,” Rodney comments.

Sheppard simpers at the communicator in his hand. But feels completely relieved to be doing it, old hat is exactly what he needed. The first click of the final stretch turning into smooth sailing. All they need now is more clicks. More clicks and they’ve got it. They’ve got him.

“Rodney, for God’s sake,” Carson loses it, “we’re running out of time. You’re body’s running out of time. Now tell us where you are so we can finish this and save your life.”

“My body?! You mean this is for ‘real’ real?!

“Yes,” Carson nods. Finally the man gets it.

“Oh my God,” Rodney starts freaking out again, taking his panic to another level, “um, uh, I’m hooked into a computer in a room somewhere. Radek, you know this episode?”

“Yes, Rodney. I know exactly where you are talking about. We are coming to you.”

Sheppard looks over at him, “You know where to go?”

“I am supposed to be Scotty, am I not?” Radek declares proudly.

A part of John releases what he can only feel as a ‘sigh’ of relief. Another level of tension easing out of his body. Click. Click. Sheppard holds the communicator up to his mouth again, “Hold on, Rodney.”

“Like there’s anything else I can do.”

Sheppard snaps the communicator closed. Even with the usual attitude, he’s glad to have the Rodney McKay he knows somewhere near him in all of this snarking away at them. “Okay, Radek, lead the way.”

Zelenka nods and leads their group further down the corridor, remembering to use the remote to bring Rodney’s body along with them. It slows their pace considerably, but he knew it would. It could not be helped though, this is how the story goes. To push either the makeshift mechanism or Rodney’s body any harder than its slow plodding pace would be out of the question. Carson had already deemed it absolutely harmful back in Atlantis’ Infirmary and Radek had to err on the side of the Medical Officer’s caution.

John checks their six again as they round a corner. Why haven’t they seen anyone else so far other than the child-like minded Luma? Radek keeps leading them to the end of the short corridor towards another corner. It’s only a split second for Radek’s brain to register shadows. The Atlantis group stops at the sight of the woman in purple and the two uniformed Morg men flanking her as they come round the corner ahead of them. The two groups stare at each other then John Sheppard charges past Rodney’s body. Past Radek Zelenka. Radek may have said something, but John doesn’t hear him as he shoves past Carson and his captive.

“Where’s Rodney’s brain,” John shouts at the purple lady, “Where is it?”

Purple hits a button on her wristband, reflex in the face of her intruder’s charge. Boing.

Pain clenches Sheppard’s gut like a deft sucker punch. John tries not to, but he curls in on himself. Staggers back. Falls back. He feels himself go down. He can’t stop it. The pressure increases as though his stomach is collapsing in on itself. He can’t breathe. He can’t. Tight pressure grips Radek’s right arm, he drops the remote control. It clatters to the floor. If it were his left, he’d fear a heart attack, but— agony swiftly overtakes the intense pressure. Radek lurches forward. His shoulder hits the cold concrete wall. Every sense he has is overwhelmed in rapid succession. Radek Zelenka blacks out on his way down to the floor. Carson Beckett feels a knife in his back, he hadn’t known a group had come up behind them as well. They’re vicious bastards too, he feels the deep penetrating wound suddenly twist. All the wind’s sucked out of his lungs. His back arches. He crumples to the floor with his friends. Turning as he does, he realizes that there wasn’t anybody behind them. No knife, small comfort. His back hits the floor. His head. Unconscious. All three of them.

Leaving Rodney McKay’s body standing alone among enemies.

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