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beth writing 30 days without

FIC: "Indy in the Pegasus" (1/1) PG - Writen for LFWS #2 - Round 9

And this was written for the semi-final round of the LFWS #2.  This was where I was voted out of the competition but was excited that I'd gotten this far.   This competition was a great deal of fun and challenging. 

Title: Indy in the Pegasus
Author:  maddie_amber
Theme: Cliffhanger
Word count: up to 1010
Characters: Any, but the full team is a must
Description: Write any story you want, with any characters plus the whole team, but it must end in a cliffhanger.

 

 Indy in the Pegasus

 

Heart pounding against his ribcage, sucking air into his aching lungs, he raced the length of the slick stone corridor as though the hounds of hell nipped at his heels.  Closing in behind him the angry hiss of energy criss crossed his path, the onslaught of the beams splattering stone into chunks and raining pieces to the floor.  Skidding to a halt he slammed into the wall at another dead end. 

In front of him a flat plate was set into the stone.  Carved into the plate was a series of numbers.  A puzzle.  His mind raced to solve the pattern and ignore the searing stench of scorched air and the shattering crack of granite. 

“16….9….43…”  He punched the numbers into the recessed plate.  “Come on, come on…” 

Through the soles of his boots he felt the vibration.  “Yes,” exclaimed triumphantly. 

The stone bulkhead lumbered aside eerily silent for so massive a door.  Poised to sprint to the next obstacle, the next puzzle, he drew in several deep breaths, taking in as much oxygen as possible.  As soon as the opening was wide enough to allow him to pass, he squeezed through.  Ahead lay another long corridor, dim lights snapping on ahead of him as he raced its length. 

This time the corridor branched to the left, left again and then right.  He dared to glance at his watch.  He had only been running for 30 minutes.  It seemed like hours.  Again the corridor ended in a solid stone face and yet another enigmatic number puzzle.  Anger and frustration were beginning to erode his focus.  He tapped in the answer.  A section of wall slid sideways.  Pushing through the opening he saw a short corridor at the end of which shone a dimly lit doorway. 

Despite the urge to run, he moved forward with more caution, approaching the brightened door ahead. 

“Congratulations,” said a surreal voice that seemed to emanate from the stone like the sound of the unlocking the door mechanisms.  He reflexively reached for the P90 that was no longer clipped to his tac vest. 

“John.”  “Sheppard” said Teyla and McKay simultaneously.  He could sense their collective relief. 

It was a relief he could not share.  Recessed into the stone wall were four iron barred cells.  Three were occupied.  Ronon’s face was pale, a broad scorch mark across the front of his tunic hinted at similar damage to the flesh beneath and his left arm hung limply at his side.  Teyla was covered in fine scratches as though she’d battled a dozen ferocious cats and Rodney was disheveled, muddy and wet.  Apparently they had all faced their own trials before ending up here.

The fourth cage remained open.  He knew quite well what it was for and he had no intention of entering it voluntarily.  Sheppard scanned the room looking for any thing he could use for a weapon, but the chamber was bare except for the cells containing his team. 

“There is nothing useful in here.” Rodney said an edge of panic in his voice.  “No control panels.  Not even a padlock to pick.”

“Do any of you know who or what is behind this?” Sheppard demanded as he prowled the room a second time.

“No,” McKay said.  “I think we all blacked out as we came through the gate.  We hit an energy field or gas or something, I’m not sure.  I woke up in a locked submersible in the middle of a swamp, sinking…” 

Sheppard could see him shudder. 

“It was a test,” Ronon’s voice was tight with pain.  “Pass the test and you end up here.”

Teyla nodded. “It appears we all awoke to a unique challenge.  And when that challenge was successfully completed, we found ourselves in this room.”

“Where ever here is,” McKay added. He seemed to have calmed slightly. “Which is not good but better than sinking into a swamp.”

Sheppard thought back to his own ‘test’.  It made no sense, and he was getting tired of the bizarre Indiana Jones aspect of this mission.  He began to examine McKay’s cell more closely. 

“There’s no obvious opening.”  McKay said.

Sheppard glanced at the single empty cage.  As though something had sensed his shift in attention, an unseen force slammed against him, tossing him into the waiting enclosure.  He was stunned as he struck the wall and struggled to drag himself to his feet, but the bars had seamlessly sealed.  Before the curse escaped his lips, his headpiece crackled to life.  From the look on the other’s faces, he knew they were receiving the same transmission. 

It was Atlantis. 

“Sheppard?”  Woolsey’s voice was distant and static filled but recognizable. 

“Yeah,” Sheppard answered tentatively. 

“What is your status?”

“Not the best.”  He did not think they were close enough to the gate to receive a transmission.

“We’re not receiving you through normal communications frequencies.” Woolsey said as though reading his mind.  “We’ve picked up a broadcast detailing your supposed trial?  We can’t pin point the source.  But apparently you’ve encountered another civilization that feels you need to be reprimanded for your intrusion into this galaxy and the subsequent problems.

Crap, Sheppard thought and glanced at his teammates who waited expectantly for Woolsey to continue.  How many times would they have to prove themselves to tribunals of people they had never met?  How many times would he feel the gut wrenching quilt of knowing he was responsible for new rise of the Wraith and the ensuing troubles besieging the Pegasus Galaxy?

“They’ve given me the option of rescuing one of you.  They implied the alternative for the rest would not be pleasant.” 

Sheppard did not like the sound of that.  Then he felt the now familiar vibration of moving stone.  Only this time no doors opened. 

“Geez,” yelped McKay, “The damn ceiling’s dropping.” 

Sheppard glanced upward.  McKay was right.  The stone ceiling was lower by a good six inches and dropping fast. 

“They’ve given me five minutes to respond,” Woolsey continued.  “You know the IOA’s policy is to not negotiate in hostage situations.  Colonel Sheppard?  Dr. McKay?  Anyone??”



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