He can feel himself sitting up. Why, he doesn’t know, but he can feel himself propped up somehow on a, John Sheppard opens his eyes, stool of some sort. Beyond his rounded boot tips, he sees floor. It’s pale purple-grey like the walls of the hallway before. Still concrete though. He wiggles his foot a little, pressing his toes down hard to feel through the thinner than he’s used to sole. Yep, definitely still concrete. So he supposes that’s a good sign. It means he’s still in the episode since he’s never seen anything like it in Atlantis and he’s been there for six years, he’s covered a lot of ground in the place over that time.
Slowly he lifts his head. Right off the bat his eyes note that Carson Beckett’s beside him and Radek Zelenka’s on Carson’s other side. Both of the other men lift their heads a heartbeat after Sheppard does, apparently they’d been waiting for his cue. Good boys. The second thing they notice is that something’s been added to their outfits. All three of them are now sporting silver belts with large round green buckles around their waists. Yep, it’s definitely tacky and cheaply made prop stuff right here around their waists. John thanks God that it’s only them in this part of the episode and no one can see him wearing this embarrassing getup. Third, they’re sitting at a large, T-shaped table, Easter pastel green with a black lacquer top and jaggedly cut rock with pearlescent shine for it’s just as large pedestal, with Rodney’s body sitting on John’s other side at the table. And that’s another good thing, Rodney’s still with them so whenever they get done with this part they can get Rodney’s body to wherever it is Rodney’s brain is at as quickly and easily as possible. Click. Number four, they look around at their new surroundings and see that the room’s guarded by what John can only assume are Morg men. One sitting at one end of the oddly shaped table with a bowl of something next to him, the man’s chewing and there’s another of the Eymorg, if he remembers the name Luma had said correctly, sitting at the table next to him. As John watches, the as-gorgeous-as-all-the-others-like-her woman reaches out and pets the Morg man next to her. Pet. Okay, now he gets it. Sheppard sits up straighter and confidently faces the eyes of every beautiful woman equally scantily clad in a rainbow array of colors sitting at the table across from him. Still the same arrangement of metallic halter top that’s barely holding their more than adequate cleavage in paired with a micro mini-skirt and matching thigh-high, gartered stockings/boots. And at the center of the rainbow is the woman in purple. Obviously the leader, her micro mini sporting an additional panel on it that acts almost like a sash, the embellishment normally reserved for leaders.
“What are you? Why are you here?” She asks in a beautifully soft and melodic voice that almost makes him get smiley and goo-goo eyed at her again. He must have shown a little bit of that because her gorgeous face suddenly lights on him specifically, “You have something to speak?”
If this weren’t a dire circumstance, John willingly admits to himself that he would and they wouldn’t be bitter or unhappy words either. But that’s not the circumstance and now is not the time for him to try playing the field. “Okay, Radek,” John asks in a low tone, “what now?”
“Kara took Rodney’s brain and you’ll discover she’s as informed about any of this as Luma is.”
“How is that possible,” Carson doesn’t think his mind can take much more of this, “If she took Rodney’s brain, then how can she not know about any of this?”
“The Controller,” Radek says simply.
Kara reacts. Her perfectly formed eyes widen. Her cheeks tightening as her mouth forms the gentlest of ‘O’s. “Controller?” She latches on.
“Yes,” Carson sees light at the end of the tunnel, but John notices Radek’s grim expression as the Czech’s eyes close and he starts shaking his head while Carson goes on, “Take us to your Controller, lovely girl.”
“No,” she snaps, shutting down his ‘lovely girl’ idea, “It is not permitted. Never!” Then it’s like something snaps in her, she becomes manic almost, “Controller is alone, apart. We serve Controller. No other is permitted near.” She comes around the table. Intentionally putting herself in between her fellows and the people that Sheppard easily surmises she’s coming to quickly view as enemies. This isn’t helping and it’s definitely not going to be easy.
John frowns. Surrounding himself with beautiful women to serve his mind? Like Kenmore said, that sounds exactly like Rodney. Damn him. And they’re even paranoid to be apart from him, willing to fight to keep him with them and them alone. Frustration sighs out of John Sheppard’s nostrils while his mind races for other ways of not detonating any hair-triggers.
“Please, love, we have to meet with him and get his brain back in his body.”
“Brain and brain! What is brain,” she roars at them. The picture of beauty crinkling into a fierce rage, a defensive rage. Not quite so attractive anymore. It vaguely reminds John of old artistic renderings he’d seen of the mythical Harpy. Suddenly Kara’s expression shifts again to one of wide, wary eyes. Her whole body seems to tense with her face like a cat coiling itself in the tall grass while it’s eyes keep trained on the possible prey in its sights that might well put up a decent fight for its own life, “It is Controller, is it not?”
“Aye,” Carson starts nodding, Radek keeps shaking his head with his eyes still closed, “aye, in a way it is. The human brain controls the human body’s functions. It’s what makes us who we are.”
Radek sighs noticeably. No longer shaking his head and finally opening his eyes.
“You’re not bloody well helping, Radek,” Carson’s desperate, “Rodney’s running out of time.”
“I know that, but this is not the way.”
“If talking with this woman isn’t the way, then what is?”
Radek’s piercing blue eyes fix on their judge and itchy-trigger finger executioner standing in front of them. “I believe you should play along, Colonel.”
Sheppard nods, “Okay, how do I do that?”
“In the episode, Captain Kirk falls on his knees before Kara and starts dramatically imploring her as a Great Leader and tells her that we have come from a far place to learn from…,” he trails off. Wary of prodding that particular hornet’s nest in the young woman.
“I’m not doing that.” John can instantly imagine how ridiculous William Shatner might have looked doing all that and he’s sure as hell not going there. Next. “What else did he do? That can’t have been the only thing he tried.”
Zelenka winces. He knows what’s coming next. He considers telling them, but decides to err on the side of the least he tells the Colonel and Carson, the better. Radek leans over and tries the best way he can to make amends for his omission, he warns Sheppard, “Colonel, you should tell her that we are his friends.”
John has no problem doing that; it’s the truth after all, “We’re his friends. Please, take us to him. Look, I’m begging you. You have to take us to him. He’s running out of time.”
Suddenly Luma gets to her feet on the other side of the table. “Do not take them, Kara. Do not take them to the Controller,” she begs. Imploring in genuine heartfelt distress. Dear God, she might actually lay down her life to keep Rodney’s brain with them.
“They will be prevented,” Kara condemns grimly. She reaches for her wristband again.
Whoops, John may have taken that a little farther than he was meant to. Apparently jumped too far ahead in the story? John gets to his feet, “You have to take us to him.”
Before John can try to reel things back, if he can, Kara pushes the thin green button on her wristband. Boing.
There it is, searing fire. Agony forces all three men to abandon their stools entirely and collapse onto the floor. Kara mutters something, John sees her mouth move between the squinting of his eyes. He can’t hear it. None of them can. John grits his teeth. Gnashes. Fighting off the consuming pain. Squeezes his eyes shut. When they open next, through the slits of his sight he sees she’s left with her fellow Eymorg and pet Morg. Only the guard Morg are left watching the three Lantean men writhe on the floor before mercifully passing out.
* * *
Richard Woolsey smacks his fist down on the armrest of the Ancient chair. Frustration, unusually, getting the better of him. Lieutenant Kenmore and Teyla Emmagan startle at the sharp smacking sound. Their eyes snap to him, surprised expressions on their faces.
Richard doesn’t bother to hide it, “Where are they? What’s taking them so long?”
“This is how the episode goes,” Kenmore tells him.
He turns the chair to face her. “I’m starting not to believe that.”
Kenmore glares at him. Woolsey is just as unrelenting. She opens her mouth—
“Us getting knocked out then finding the planet where Spock’s brain’s been taken to actually only takes up the first thirteen minutes of the episode,” the faux-hawked Technician cuts in.
Woolsey stares at the young Asian- American man then rises from the Ancient chair. He approaches the Technician’s upper deck station.
“Really,” Richard’s amazed, “Only that small an amount of time?”
“Yeah,” the Tech nods, his black faux-hawk not budging an inch from the movement, “The majority of the episode is this. All this.” He gestures around the Operations Center.
“We hold down the fort and they get the job done. It’s all them and we wait,” Ursula finishes.
Richard looks at her. Then his brown-eyed gaze travels back over Operations returning to rest upon the Gateroom and its monolithic standing ring of naquadah. Ironically, since taking this job, he’s never been good at simply waiting.
Ronon glances at the sealed door again and Lorne and the other marine blow on their steadily freezing hands. The three men huddling close to the rock face for what little protection it provides them.
“Do you think one of us should go find some of the locals and make contact with them? Their clothes looked warm, maybe they’d share?” The marine asks.
Lorne shakes his head, “Nope, we stay right here in case either Colonel Sheppard or Carson or Radek call us or this door opens.”
Ronon keeps vigil on the sealed door.