Title: Kusanagi's Hammer

Author: linda.ljc

fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Date: 8/21/2017

Summary: SGA-1 plus one on a science mission with difficulties.

Warning: NONE

Spoiler: After Runner and before Ghost in the Machine.

Characters: Dr. Miko Kusanagi, Dr. Radek Zelenka, Dr. Elizabeth Weir, Colonel John Sheppard, Dr. M. Rodney McKay, Ronon Dex, Teyla Emmagan.
Category: Drama

No Beta

Disclaimer: The characters and settings of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis belongs to Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Film Corporation. All other publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis or any other media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

This story was written by linda.ljc with the love of the show in mind.


Czech word for influenza: chřipka.

Czech for “good morning”: Dobré ráno

Japanese for “good morning”: Ohayou


<><><>


Dr. Miko Kusinagi had seen rain this heavy in her own country, but living in Nevada at Area 51, and then near Cheyenne Mountain had dulled the memory a little. She stood hidden in the corner of the balcony in her quarters and just stared. It was amazing to be here on Atlantis. This downpour didn't change that feeling. Maybe it made it more intense. They didn't use the shield for the heavy rains that were inevitable in the middle of a vast ocean and so the sound of the rain pelting down on the entire city was almost overwhelming. The city itself was impervious to the rain and from inside you wouldn't even notice it. She knew that because she'd been surprised more than once by it when she'd intended to get some fresh air. Today she felt like she could stand here for hours, lost in sound and cool dampness. It was relaxing and she needed that today.


It had been a very difficult month. The Pegasus version of a flu-like illness had knocked everyone off their feet. Most people were bedridden at least for a few days. Some were quite serious.


She didn't usually attend morning briefings but she had gone every morning for almost a week because Dr. McKay had been one of the first to become ill and Dr. Zelenka soon after. What she remembered most was the increasing tension as more and more people became ill. Finally, someone recovered. It was like a weight off everyone's shoulders.


But she herself had come down with it, too, eventually. She had hated being in the infirmary where every cough sounded like someone's last breath. But lucky for everyone, there were no deaths. She could see how relieved Dr. Beckett was after the last person was released from the infirmary. Most people were back on scheduled missions or lab work. It was beginning to feel normal again, at least for Atlantis.


Miko was one of the last in the labs to recover, and she still felt tired. Maybe it was because of her illness that she had made some elementary mistakes. It was unfortunate that Dr. McKay had discovered them before she did.


She enjoyed working with Dr. McKay. She felt that his uncompromising pursuit of perfection was admirable even if sometimes she herself fell short of that goal. But Dr. McKay's brilliance sometimes left her scrambling to keep up. Yesterday had been one of those days. What he said was so upsetting. Just remembering made her wince in embarrassment.


Kusanagi, there is no crying in this lab, unless you blow something up.”


I – I was not going to cry. I will do better. I will work very hard.”


Then go over those figures and find out what's wrong with them. You shouldn't have a problem with actual math. I know you have a degree in it, though today I don't know why.”


And so she had gone over the figures three and four times. Finally she thought it was correct. But no, there was still an error that McKay had to point out to her. It was embarrassing. That's why she had retreated to her balcony today to get some fresh air. She was actually glad it was raining. It always soothed her, and she was grateful for the respite.


She needed to gather her wits about her to return to the lab when her break was over. There was still endless work to do. Schedules had been disrupted for weeks but that hardly mattered, because here, there would always be challenges. For that, too, she was grateful. Worthwhile work was a gift especially if it led to the defeat of the Wraith and the Ori.


She took one more deep breath and let it out slowly then straightened up out of her corner and shivered a little. It was very damp and getting colder as the evening grew closer and darker. There would be no moonlight tonight and it would be pitch black.


She closed the balcony doors behind her and walked over to the tiny plants that Dr. Brown had given her. She sighed at their pitiful state. They got enough sun even sitting in the poor light of this rainy day. They weren't too wet, nor too dry. But they were still struggling. She would have to ask Dr. Brown for help. She just didn't have a green thumb. She had even killed the little cactus she had in Nevada. Well, they wouldn't be fixed today.


She was glad she'd had these moments of privacy. She felt better now and decided to head to the mess hall. A hot meal would be welcome, especially after the weeks of thin broth and heartier soups that had been the mainstays for the sick, and their cooks, who also had gotten ill. After supper she'd take her tea back to the lab to review those figures again. She was sure she knew where she'd gone wrong, she just needed to make sure she knew why so she didn't do it again. Like Dr. McKay said often enough, “there's no time to be a moron”. She straightened her shoulders. The Doctor was right. She had no time to be a moron.


<>


The next morning dawned cool and damp but the fog would burn off quickly. Miko had arrived early in the lab and reviewed her figures once again. She didn't know why she'd made such an elementary mistake, but she vowed to herself to be more careful. Being under time constraints or being exhausted were not acceptable reasons. They were excuses. She tempered her embarrassment at the errors by reminding herself that learning takes place even when one makes errors. If she didn't learn from mistakes, then shame on her.


The door swished open and Dr. Zelenka came in balancing a muffin and a large cup of coffee along with his laptop.


Ah, Miko. Dobré ráno.”


Ohayo. Dr. McKay is scheduled for a mission with his team today.”


Yes, yes.” He grinned conspiratorially, “it should be quiet today, at least. Now almost everyone is back to work full time and we should be able to get much work done. The science schedule is in disarray all thanks to that horrible chřipka when we did nothing but cough and try to bring down our fevers for weeks.”


I hope they will not run into trouble. They seem to have bad luck on missions.”


Radek took a sip of his coffee. “Rodney was complaining after yesterday's briefing. He said there were too many missions scheduled for the next few weeks to make up for those that were postponed. That we wouldn't be able to scrape together a decent rescue party if they needed one.”


I suppose he was right to be upset. Their missions are usually the ones that run into trouble.”


Yes. I remember. Rodney reminds me frequently since I have not been offworld very much. But even I know it is comforting to know that rescue could arrive with a spaceship... pardon... Puddle Jumper for emergencies.”


Miko nodded but she cleared her throat. When nothing was said Radek took another sip of coffee.


Miko then took a breath. “You remember Dr. McKay was not happy with my work yesterday?”


Radek shrugged. “Not unusual for Rodney. A little unusual for you.”


Miko grimaced. “I have my calculations from yesterday. I have gone over them many times. I believe they are now correct, but...”


Radek raised one eyebrow in question.


Could you please check this last section over. It seems clear to me now, but I missed it more than once.”


Of course. We know we are not morons, but sometimes Rodney has truly brilliant ideas. He sees to the heart of something, sometimes without the math to lead him there.”


Yes.” She finally grinned and ducked her head. “He is not a moron.”


Radek grinned back. “No. Neither are we, but it is hard to keep up with him sometimes. Send me the file. I will check it first thing.”


<>


Miko allowed herself to relax after receiving Dr. Zelenka's review. Everything now seemed to be in order. Now if only Dr. McKay thought so too.


Dr. Weir's voice came over her radio, startling her so much that Radek looked at her questioningly. She reached for her radio and clicked to send. “Dr. Weir. What is it you need?”


Radek stopped his work for a moment. When Rodney was on a mission and there was any kind of emergency it was usually Radek that was called. From what he could hear of the conversation he began to be concerned.


Yes. Yes. I can be ready in fifteen minutes. I just have to gear-up.”


When she clicked off she looked very solemn.


What is it? Did Colonel Sheppard's team get in trouble again?” His eyebrows rose in surprise. “You are going to gear-up, you said.” If it was a rescue they needed, then this wasn't the kind of mission that Miko would go on.


There is equipment that Dr. McKay's team needs. Sergeant Bates' men will soon have it secured in Jumper 1. I will bring it to the team in the Jumper as it is too heavy to carry very far.”


Radek pushed his glasses up. “That's right. Rodney said they were not taking a Jumper. Myself, I would like a Jumper on any mission I go on. I can understand why Rodney complains.”


Miko looked embarrassed for a moment before she added, “I have the natural ATA Gene. I practice as often as I can with the Jumper in case I am needed, but they always seen to forget that I have the gene, too.”


Radek asked, “I didn't think you liked missions offworld.”


Miko sighed. “You're right. I don't. I shouldn't be upset with them, but I am always the last chosen. Do you understand? Even Dr. Beckett goes offworld more often.”


Radek just shrugged. “I get enough excitement right here, working with Rodney.”


Yes. I find it quite stimulating, too.” Miko glanced quickly around her work space. “Oh, I really must go quickly...”


Go. I will close down your programs. Just be careful.”


She took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes.”


<>


Miko came into the control room walking quickly, with her backpack on, and holding her P-90 to her chest. It had taken just a few minutes to retrieve it and her hand gun from the armory. She wasn't sure if she'd need the larger weapon but whatever team leader she was with usually insisted that she carry it. She'd managed its recoil after much practice and now considered herself a good shot when it was on single fire. On full automatic it was a bit daunting, but the thought of facing a Wraith with just her 9mm was worse.


Dr. Weir called her name from the operations area of the Gate Room. “Dr. Kusinagi, could I speak to you before you leave?”


Miko nodded once and changed direction heading up the stairs where Dr. Weir gestured toward her office.


Once inside, Dr. Weir stated, “Dr. Kusinagi, you're comfortable with the workings of the Jumper, correct?”


Miko nodded once, a little confused.


Dr. Weir smiled, “Sorry, I just want to know if you feel comfortable with taking the Jumper out alone. We're still a little short-handed. Of course, the Colonel's team is on the other side of the Gate so there's really no difficulty.”


No problem, Dr. Weir. I have made a few trips to the mainland without a copilot. I am not worried. Unless...”


Unless...

Is the situation dangerous on the other side?”


Oh, no. It was reported all clear. There is an abandoned village between the Gate and the outpost site, but they've seen no activity or any use of the properties or the land. Dr. McKay said you were the most experienced with the Ancient device, so he requested that you come with it and stay to help.”


Miko smiled and ducked her head. Perhaps Dr. McKay did not really think her a moron after all. “Good. I shall go now if that is all?”


Dr. Weir smiled. “Good luck to you, Miko.”


<>


As she sat in the co-pilot's seat, she clutched the controls of the Jumper until her fingers turned white. She sat for a moment and tried to calm her thoughts. There was a protocol to follow before flight, so she set the computer to work on that and read through the details on the HUD hovering just before the pilot's station.


She thought the Colonel was right. It was very cool to manage the Jumper with your mind. The Jumper was purpose driven and much less complex than the artificial intelligence that controlled Atlantis. Connecting with the city was on a different level altogether.


She whispered to herself, “I can ease my grip a little. I'm not even moving yet.” She was a little embarrassed by her anxiety. She released one hand and then the other and shook her fingers to loosen them a bit.


She felt the anxiety wane and the excitement build. It was just a trip through the Gate. Alone. But it was her command this time. “Dr. Weir. I am ready.” She smiled when she finally got to say, “Chuck, dial the Gate, please.” After the Gate activated and received clearance, she lowered the Jumper down and through the wormhole.


She had a bit more anxiety as she approached the Gate. She thought, //Please, do not scrape the Jumper on the Gate! Dr. McKay would surely remind me about it, often. And, oh, what would Colonel Sheppard say? I must not hit the Gate!// But in moments it was through, safely, and she could breathe again.


She took another relaxing breath when she saw Dr. McKay's team waiting for her. She hadn't been worried, not really, but so many strange things had been known to happen to Gate teams before, both here and in the Milky Way Galaxy.


It might seem odd to someone else, but one way she relaxed was to read mission reports, not just for Atlantis but also those available from the Stargate Command teams. Some of them did not induce pleasant dreams.


There was the abandoned village, a small town really, set on the edge of a vast freshwater lake that would rival Lake Bakal on Earth. It was beautiful, but sad, too. What had happened to the thousands of people that had lived here? In Pegasus there was an all too ready answer.


She settled the Jumper onto the flat area in front of the Gate and lowered the ramp. She then closed down all functions still running and exited at the rear.


Hey, Doc.” Colonel Sheppard greeted her.


Colonel. I am pleased to join you for this mission.”


Yeah, sorry for the late invitation but McKay figured you'd be a big help on this side of the Gate once we got a look at the scans for the site we found. It's packed with consoles and from what we've seen they hold a tremendous store of data.”


McKay interrupted. “Yes, yes, yes. Talk later. Let's get back to the site.”


So they all entered the Jumper and Miko took the copilot's chair without a second thought.


Colonel Sheppard stood behind her and pointedly cleared his throat.


Miko turned a little pale but she was quick to stand. “I'm so sorry. Usually I travel with another pilot. I'm sorry. Dr. McKay is also a pilot, and I should not have taken his seat.”


Sheppard ducked his head. “Well that isn't the reason exactly. I figured you don't pilot the Jumper very often, and since you started out as the pilot you should continue.” He leaned closer and whispered, “McKay can take a back seat.”


Miko bit her lip and leaned to look around the Colonel. When she leaned back she was smiling. She turned and took the pilot seat and Sheppard took the copilot's.


McKay finally turned away from checking over the device Miko had brought and stopped in surprise. “Hey, what's going on here.”


Sheppard leaned back, sprawled comfortably in his seat. “Ask the pilot.”


But... I'm the copilot.”


You want this seat?”


McKay glanced quickly at Miko and back. “Well. No. Sheppard you know I'm a lousy pilot. If something goes wrong we should have someone in the copilot's seat that can help... her.” He sighed. “I guess that would be you.”


Sheppard just grinned and McKay settled in behind him. Ronon and Teyla settled in the back and chatted quietly on the short hop to the site in the Jumper.


<>


Arrival at the site was uneventful. Colonel Sheppard and Ronon, with instruction from Dr. McKay, were able to unload the device and carry it to the outpost.


McKay told Miko to go ahead of them and open the door. They'd already been inside but had locked up when they'd left to send a message to Atlantis.


Miko walked up to the door carefully. She could sense the AI in the outpost. It was not as clear or as strong as Atlantis, or even the Jumper, but she wouldn't have expected it to be. It was just different.


Teyla had come with her. “Can you open it like Colonel Sheppard?”


Miko nodded. “I think so.” Her eyes fluttered almost closed as she concentrated and the door slowly slid to the side. Miko grinned at being able to accomplish this. She found it to be more difficult to make the outpost do her bidding than using the Jumper. She wondered if the Jumper was tuned to more general use than an out-of-the-way outpost. It might contain what the Ancients thought of as high security materials. The previous outposts they had found were often too damaged or degraded from being without power to maintain their systems to offer much information they needed.


Come on. Out of the way, Dr. Kusinagi. Let them get it through the door.”


Miko glanced at Teyla. They were both trying not to grin, because Rodney was more hindrance than anyone else.


Hey, McKay! Why don't you take a corner of this. It's pretty heavy.”


I don't think I'd be much help lifting and toting it. You know you'll be lucky to get the two of you and that device through the door at the same time.”


Well, first we have to get it to the door. Why didn't the Ancients invent something useful like an anti-grav sled?” Sheppard muttered in exasperation.


Ronon barked a chuckle. “Don't worry Sheppard. As soon as we drop this in there we're done until we leave.”


McKay snorted, “Of course. I wouldn't expect Conan here to help with the information download. That's what Kusinagi's here for. She's the expert on information systems.”

Miko gulped at the confidence in his tone. She only hoped she could do the job he required. The device that she'd brought was a mini-mainframe with its own power source which was not like a zpm, but more like a battery, hence the weight. She had been researching this for several months in spare moments between other projects, and she thought it could work, but it was still Ancient technology, and they often did not work reliably.


Privately, she thought the battery would be more useful to them mainly because the compression algorithms used in this device were not very compatible to Earth-based devices. There was always a sacrifice of volume or speed. And unfortunately she hadn't found a way around that. But connecting to an Ancient system would be different. Of course, it could be a totally different system. They had had thousands of years to make upgrades, after all.


Kusinagi, don't just stand there. The control room is straight ahead. Tell them where you want the device so they can get out from underfoot.”


Yes, of course.” She moved to pass the Colonel and Ronon and both gave her a friendly nod, which she returned. When she saw the control room it was obvious where Rodney had been working and so she set about looking for a place to connect the device.


It can be plugged in here, Colonel Sheppard. This should at least be faster than trying to use Earth-based equipment to force a connection.”


Sheppard muttered, “That's good because I'd hate to have to move this thing much farther.”


I'm sorry it is so heavy.”


Ronon grinned. “I doubt you had anything to do with the weight of it, besides, he can take it. He's been working out with me.”


Sheppard grumbled, “And I still have the bruises to show for it.”


You do know I pull my punches.”


Sheppard's double-take left Miko fighting not to smile. Colonel Sheppard's team mates were all good friends. She knew Dr. McKay complained so much because it was his nature and not because they were not friends. Just like in the lab. She knew her own mistakes were forgotten by him much sooner than she forgot them herself.


It didn't take long for Drs. McKay and Kusinagi to be deep in geek-speak. That had Sheppard edging toward the outdoors, with Ronon and Teyla close behind.


<>


As they settled around a campfire that needed stoking, Teyla asked, “John, Rodney said we would settle in for the day, but will they be ready to leave by sundown?”


Well, it depends.”


On what?”


Well, if the device works the way they want it to work, we'll sleep in our own beds tonight.”


Ronon looked skeptical. “How often does that work out?”


Sheppard just chuckled.


Teyla offered, “I will gather some more wood.”


<>


The next morning started with a heavy fog that slowly dissipated. The Doctors grabbed a quick breakfast of MRE's and disappeared into the outpost, never to be heard from again until lunch, which was a repeat of breakfast. That left three very bored members of the team.


When Rodney emerged for a break, Ronon was quick to offer a suggestion. “Sheppard, why do we have to stay here? Can't we go hunting or something?”


Sheppard looked at Rodney speculatively. “So. Just how bad is it going in there?”


Rodney slumped. “It's not going anywhere. That's the problem. It connects but it's not downloading. Don't ever let me say the Ancients were great engineers again, will you? I'll have to eat my words.”


So, do you want to stay another night? We have nothing to do, so we could hike over to the DHD and send a message through to Atlantis. We need to check in anyway.”


Hike? Really? You've got the Jumper right there.” And Rodney gestured to it, as if it was invisible, which it could be when it was cloaked.


Well, we didn't get in a run yesterday or today, so some exercise would feel good.”


Rodney got a look on his face like he didn't even know this person.


Yes. Exercise. Don't look so horrified.”


Fine, fine, fine. Go do your thing. Don't forget where you left us.”


Sheppard muttered softly, “As if I could.”


I heard that.”


Won't hear any more, we're leaving.”


Good.”


Good.”


Ronon and Teyla gathered their traveling packs and joined John.


<>


When Rodney and Miko exited for a dinner break Miko stopped as soon as she went out through the outpost's door.

“What did you stop for? I can't get out unless you move, you know.”


Dr. McKay. Where is your team?” She moved to the side to allow Rodney to exit.


What?” He glanced quickly around the camp area that they'd set up. “They're not here.”


No. They should be back by now, shouldn't they?”


If I know Sheppard he forgot where we are.”


Miko looked at him questioningly.


I know. I know. He's too smart for that. Just trying to … you know … lighten the mood, I guess.”


They did not signal with their radios either. We would have heard them in the outpost.”


Rodney was becoming upset, but Miko could see he reigned himself in. Dr. McKay worked hard to be a good teammate, and a good friend.


Their life signs.” He took out the LSD and checked. He let out a breath in relief. “They're here. They're still on the planet anyway, and are closer to the Gate. We should head out after them. See what happened.”


Miko spoke up, “We will take the Jumper. It will be faster.”


Uh, you'll fly it, right?”


She wasn't surprised. She had heard the stories of how terrible Rodney was at flying even if he acted as copilot for Sheppard. “Yes.”


Rodney set out immediately for the ramp at the rear. “Well, come on, Kusinagi. Get the lead out.”


Miko went through the preflight and lifted off in minutes. “I will cloak until we know what is going on.”


Rodney nodded but kept his eyes on the scan results on the HUD, comparing it with the LSD. “Oh, no. There are probably a dozen life signs around them near the Gate. Near that village.”


Miko looked worriedly at Rodney when he glanced up. “Are they human? Do they have weapons? Did Teyla say anything about the people that used to live here?”


I can't tell about the weapons. If they were advanced weapons, sure, but they could have knives and clubs, and whatnot, so no. And this was an address we got from the Atlantis database. Ten thousand year old information is sometimes worse than no information. Can you hover near them? Maybe we can find out something useful.”


Yes. The HUD, it shows more people in the village itself.”


Rodney looked up in surprise. “What other people?” He poked the screen of the LSD, widening its focus. “Oh. Yeah, there are maybe twenty more.”


Miko nodded her head toward the other side of the village square. “I think there are women and children. I saw movement in the alley of the large building on the east side of the square. They could be family groups. Maybe the whole village evacuated for some reason and some have now come back.”


Like a culling?”


Miko sighed. “That is one possibility. The village would have been able to hold many more people, two thousand or more. The others are staying well back from the entrance to the village.”


Oh, oh. They're moving Sheppard, Ronon, and Teyla across the square.”


Do they still have their radios?”


Not from what I can see.”


Rodney reached up to click on his radio but he didn't even bother to transmit. One of the villagers had heard the click and lifted up a radio he held in his hand. Rodney clicked off again.


Miko asked, “Do you think they would talk to us over the radio? We're going to have to contact someone to get them free.”


Wait! Did you just see Ronon try to take that guy by surprise. Three of them jumped on him! We have to get them out of there. We're going to have to get help from Atlantis.”


I do not think that is a good idea. To get help from Atlantis, or even just send a message, would mean opening the Gate. They would know immediately, and that might be dangerous for your team.


Would a distraction help? I have an idea.”


<>


Are you sure this will work?”


Miko took a deep breath. “Well, I think I've figured the correct force. It will certainly distract them. I will have to land close to your team immediately after and then decloak long enough for them to make their way to us. Perhaps with your 9mm you can shoot over the heads of the villagers so they'll know we could harm them if they try to stop our people.”


Fine. Fine. But don't decloak. Just lower the ramp and I'll go out. Sheppard will know it's a diversion and be ready to make a move to escape. It isn't like we haven't been in situations like this before. Go on and do it.”


With that simple order Miko lowered the cloaked Jumper into the middle of the freshwater lake. She quickly uncloaked and initiated the shield. She'd calculated the speed she needed and increased the shield from permeable to solid and pushed. The weight of the water in front of them built up fast along the whole length of the shield, but the Jumper had no problem with the force required. It built into a sizable wave quickly, but it was barely noticeable away from shore. As the wave reached shallow water the height rose to a point that it swamped the deserted pier and rushed up on shore.


Miko switched the shield off, the cloak on, and held her breath. The effect was closer to a rogue wave than a tsunami but it was still destructive. She could hear the men surrounding the team yell warnings as they tried to run from the wave before it struck, but the water flowed after them into the town knocking some of them down until it stopped at the far edge of the central square, right where she'd planned. She could hear voices and screams of panic but couldn't let herself be distracted. The wave should not be destructive enough to cause more than washing people off their feet. She could do nothing about their fear.


As Rodney directed, they were still cloaked when they landed near the team. Rodney ordered, “Drop the ramp.” As soon as it was open Rodney pulled his 9mm from his thigh holster. “If they try to board, close the ramp. Do whatever you can to stop them.”


Yes. Do you see them?”


Yeah. But there's like six men between me and them.” Rodney took another step out on the ramp. “Too many. Don't uncloak.”


He looked unsure just what to do. He wasn't the type to go in with gun's blazing against overwhelming odds but this was his team. One more step and he would be out from under the cloak and be visible.


Miko wished frantically for another plan.


Dr. McKay, wait. I – I think I have another idea.”


You think? Or you do?”


She whispered. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” *


Oh, don't tell me you're quoting Yoda, of all things. He's not even real.”


You're right, of course. But the sentiment is the same.”


Wait, you don't mean to shoot drones at them do you?”


Miko looked horrified. “Of course not, Dr. McKay. I know I could if I have to, but they haven't hurt our people. Drones would be devastating, and could hurt the Colonel, Ronon, and Teyla.”


I know. I know. But the last plan didn't work the way we wanted.” He rubbed his face with one hand. “Okay, what's the plan.”


<>


You know this is crazy. Crazier than your last idea. I still think we need to get help from Atlantis.”


What will be their options if they come?”


More people would help. We're outnumbered.”


Really, Dr. McKay? We have the advantage with the Jumper.”


Alright. I know. But being outnumbered is my least favorite thing.”


She turned around to look at him. “You can speak to them.”


And what am I supposed to say? What if they start shooting? They have handguns. Probably Genii by the looks.”


They might start shooting. It could happen no matter what we do. But this will not endanger the team, and we are protected by the Jumper. If talking doesn't work, then we can open the Gate to call for rescue.”


Rodney thought hard for several minutes.


Miko suggested, “You need to sound strong and fierce. Commanding.”


Fierce, huh?”


Miko nodded. “Very fierce.”


And commanding. I can do that.”


Miko said, “I know you can. Just think of them as your scientists that have made a truly stupid, life threatening, mistake.”


Okay, take it up.”


Miko nodded, closed the ramp on the still cloaked Jumper, and raised it to well above the height of the buildings surrounding the square. Then she set the loudspeaker for Rodney's control and took a deep breath.


Rodney took a couple of deep breaths of his own before he could start. “Who are you people? Why have you detained our explorers, our traders? What do you think you'll gain from holding them against their will? We came here in peace. You think you outnumber us. You think you can hold us against our will. You think you can threaten us. You know what I think? I think you've underestimated us. Which one of you will be held accountable for this idiocy?”


All of the villagers flinched at the unexpected sound. “Who? Who said that?” They looked to Sheppard.


The Colonel stood a little straighter. “You don't know much about us, Garance. You think we were all that came here? Obviously there's more than you see. And we don't negotiate with people that threaten us.”


The man who must be “Garance” waved his pistol in the air threateningly as he tried to glare at an unseen enemy. “I will kill them.” he threatened to the air. “All of them. Show yourself.”


Miko knew that now was the time to act. Several of the buildings on the square were empty. She picked the one that was farthest from all the people, especially the team. She directed the still cloaked Jumper to hover over a sturdy looking peaked-roof building. She knew the structural integrity of the Jumper from top to bottom. The wooden building would be no match for the Jumper. She quickly lowered the Jumper to within three feet of the ground, and the building exploded from the pressure in a shower of large and small bits of wood. It was quite a satisfying effect for not involving a brick of C-4. Pieces of wood as small as kindling flew in all directions causing many to dive for any cover they could reach.


McKay looked impressed. “Wait till I tell Cadman. She's going to be so sorry she missed this.”


She nodded toward McKay, and he spoke to the villagers again. “As he said, we do not negotiate with those who threaten us. Do you wish this action to be repeated?”


Garance was furious. He lunged at the Colonel and both of them hit the ground and rolled.


Miko quickly picked another building and executed the same maneuver. Again the square was rocked by an explosion of debris. The villagers had cowered back, but the Colonel still struggled with Garance, and he was a big man. His huge hands gripped the Colonel's neck while Sheppard tried to work his hands up between their bodies to try to knock them away.


One of the men near Ronon grabbed him from behind when he moved, but it was like he was a gnat. The man was dragged along like he wasn't a full-grown man until Ronon shook him off as he headed for Sheppard and Garance.


Ronon wrapped his bound hands around Garance's throat until the big man had to let the Colonel go. Sheppard was out of the fight now but Ronon, with Garance in his grip, heaved them both backwards onto the ground. It was then that some of the villagers finally came to the rescue. They pulled Ronon and Garance apart. Ronon was left alone but Garance was dragged to the far side of the square.


Miko thought in relief that the villagers were not morons. Even though they were still angry, the destruction of their buildings had proven to them that this was an impossible fight. They couldn't fight an enemy they couldn't see. And that, more than anything, was her plan.


Sheppard and Ronon were out of their bonds with Teyla's help. The Colonel bent to scoop up their radios while Ronon grabbed his big blaster.


Rodney saw the Colonel put the radio in place. “Sheppard, are you okay?”


Yeah, McKay. We're just fine. Was that your idea?”


Uh. Not exactly.”


Oh, really. Well, Dr. Kusinagi, we need to sit down and brain storm some new tactics. I, for one, never thought of using a space ship for a hammer.”


<>


The Atlantis team was lined up on one side of the square, and the villagers, with Garance, were on the other. The Jumper, with Miko and Rodney, was still cloaked. Just in case. The team had reclaimed the rest of their gear without even token resistance.


Garance was the first to speak. He glanced around at the other villagers before he straightened, still defiant even in defeat. “What do you require of me?”


The Colonel looked a little puzzled for a moment. “We don't require anything.”


Garance looked confused. “But we tried to harm you. The voice asked who is accountable. Then your people came with that … hammer of destruction.”


Sheppard managed not to smirk. “Ah, the Hammer. It's a very effective tool. The best thing about it is that it can be used in a way that it inspires people to talk, and not fight. If you allow it, we'll come back and help you rebuild those buildings. Maybe we can talk about becoming allies.”


This Hammer... you will take it with you when you go?”


Colonel Sheppard managed again not to smirk and said, “I don't think we have need of it anymore.”


Garance thought for a moment. “We can … talk … about an alliance.”


Good. When can we return to help rebuild?”


Garance looked tired. “Rebuild?” A child stepped forward and slipped an arm around his waist. He looked down as he wrapped his own arm about her shoulders. When he looked up again toward the people from Atlantis he nodded. “We will make plans.”


<>


The gathering around the square broke up finally without blood being shed. That was a step in the right direction. Now Sheppard, Ronon, and Teyla walked side by side in exhaustion. Luckily it wasn't far to the Gate. They didn't seem to have much energy for talking but a few comments were heard over the channel they'd kept open until they were through the Gate to Atlantis.


McKay could be heard to mutter to Miko, “Well, you better not have broken the Hammer.”


Sheppard cautioned, “McKay... ”


What? This is the Jumper you like the best.”


I know. But she may have just saved our lives. And... if she put a scratch in it I'd be surprised. You have to admit, Kusinagi's Hammer was quite impressive.”


Miko spoke after hearing Sheppard's comment. “I am not a moron, Colonel. It is not broken.”


McKay snorted, “It better not be.”


Miko definitely felt relieved. “I know. It is his favorite.”


<>


It was another rainy day on Atlantis, and Miko was on the balcony once again enjoying the sound of the rain before her mission. She smiled down at the little plants. Moving them outside even for a few days had done them a lot of good. She'd learned from Katie Brown that Atlantis' glass blocked harmful rays of the sun, and therefore, they weren't getting the nutrients that were needed. They had learned that the greenhouse they had found could do that selectively. It was going to help with food production.


She drew in a deep breath and listened as the radio clicked for her attention.


Kusinagi, we're ready to go. Where are you?”


She grinned at the sharpness of his voice. She knew him very well, and knew he would be annoyed that she wasn't intimidated by his words. “I am geared-up and on my way, Dr. McKay.”


Well, you're keeping us waiting.”


She walked briskly to the Gate Room. A medical team, a two-man structural engineering team, as well as half a dozen other volunteers, were all waiting with SGA-1.


Sheppard looked her way. “Ah, you made it.”


Miko nodded quickly. “It was my actions that destroyed those structures. I should help rebuild. We have a treaty now. We made plans to help rebuild so we should keep our promise. It is the honorable thing to do.”


Agreed. Chuck, you heard The Hammer, dial the Gate.”


<><><>


End


Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Yoda quote from The Empire Strikes Back. *