Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate Atlantis, etc.
Summary: Feeling angry and betrayed by the Atlanteans, Michael exacts justice in the most poetic way possible: by turning Sheppard into a Wraith, as he was turned into a human.
Chapter 1: Conversion
“I told you last time, and I’ll tell you again. We are not going to relocate any gate if there’re local communities that might be using it. The MALP detects life signs, we go check them out. End of story.” Sheppard curtly reminded McKay, who insisted on whining the entire jumper ride to the planet.
“I’m just saying,” he huffed, “the last time we did check out a backwater hamlet, it didn’t turn out so well. Personally, I’d like to keep my very important brain pheromone free and fully functional.”
“Shut up McKay,” Ronon grumbled, smacking the man upside the head as he had seen Sheppard do several times. McKay grimaced, and rubbed his head. Ronon hit much harder than Sheppard.
Fortunately for him, this backwater hamlet was little more than a small band of people living in tiny grass huts who fled at the sight of the strangers. “Well, at least they didn’t attack us,” Sheppard offered. They set out to try and make peace, hoping the natives would calm down once they realized they weren’t in danger. After an hour of Ronon trying to track them down and failing, the team gave up on making contact.
“Well, as entertaining as that was, I think we’re done here. These people obviously won’t be looking to use their Stargate any time soon.” McKay was far too pleased with himself and more than ready to leave this world.
“I agree that we have seen all that we need to. These people are far from having access to a gate located in space.” Teyla added.
“Alright, then.” Sheppard whistled, “Let’s report back to Weir and head back out for the next one on Rodney’s list.”
They had just begun to walk back to the puddle jumper when Teyla’s head shot up. “Wraith!”
The team broke out into a run as three darts swooped from the sky. Sheppard and Teyla fired their P-90s and Ronon shot with his blaster, but the Wraith were adept at avoiding hits. The culling beams appeared from all three darts, surrounding them and cutting off their route to the jumper. “Make for the trees!” Sheppard ordered.
Rodney was the first to break the tree line, followed closely by Teyla. Ronon and Sheppard took their time as they continued to fire upon the Wraith. The darts ignored the disappearance of half their prey and continued to focus their attack on the two remaining in plain sight. The beams continued to move around the clearing, but the Wraith weapons only fired when the men tried to back up to the trees. The shots missed them, as they had clearly intended to, and kept them out in the open.
The Lanteans kept firing, hearing McKay and Teyla doing the same from behind the trees. One dart finally started smoking, and Sheppard concentrated on that one, trying to finish it off. “Why aren’t they splitting up and going after Teyla and McKay? They’re only keeping you and me out in the open. This isn’t exactly their usual pattern.”
Ronon just grunted as he continued firing. “They’re after us in particular. Or one of us, at least.”
The smoking dart finally crashed and exploded, and Sheppard and Ronon used the distraction to make a run for it. Teyla and Rodney continued to lay cover fire as the other two ran for the trees. The ominous white beams were searching for them again.
“Colonel, look out!” McKay shouted.
As Ronon broke though the trees, the culling beam descended on Sheppard as he disappeared from sight. Instantly the Satedan turned around with a roar and began firing in earnest at the ship that had taken his leader, Teyla and Rodney joining him. The darts immediately began withdrawing, showing no interest in the remaining humans.
“Why are they leaving?” McKay shouted. “We’re still here.”
The team looked helplessly as the darts disappeared into the sky, taking Sheppard with them. “We have to get back to the jumper. Maybe we can catch up.” McKay broke out into the fastest run the other two had seen from him yet. It didn’t stop them from reaching the jumper first, but they had to wait for McKay to pilot it.
He sat in the pilot’s seat sweating, but adrenalin made him completely unaware of his perspiration. Shakily he got the jumper running and flying towards the space gate. They broke orbit in time to see the hive-ship powering up and taking off.
“We’re too late,” he whispered.
“What do you mean, he’s gone?” Weir demanded, squinting her eyes and cocking her head. Why couldn’t just one of this team’s missions go right? They had returned through the gate not five minutes ago, uninjured, but down one teammate.
“The Wraith found us on the planet, and culled Sheppard. That’s what I mean,” McKay snarled in his not-quite-as-intimidating-as-Ronon way.
“They were after him specifically,” Ronon supplied. “They never went after the locals, they zeroed in right on us. Teyla and McKay took cover in the trees, and the Wraith didn’t even try and go after them. They kept aiming their beams at Sheppard until they nailed him, then took off.” And he’d failed to protect him. He would have gladly jumped into the culling beam with him if he could have.
Weir looked between the three of them incredulously. “Do you have any idea why?” All three shook their heads no. “And we have no way of trying to find him.” McKay shook his head again.
All of them felt lost, not knowing what to do. The Daedalus was still two weeks away, if they could even help. Elizabeth wanted to cry, but was unable to accept the idea of John being gone. They had to find him. Rodney could do anything… if anyone could find Sheppard, it was him.
“I don’t know what you expect me to do,” he muttered, defeated.
“You’ll think of something, Rodney. Colonel Sheppard is depending on you,” Elizabeth told him. She was too.
Pins and needles were sticking into his arms and legs all over, making them ache along with his head. Searing light was burning a hole in his brain, and his heart was beating quick enough to make his chest hurt. This stunning thing was becoming a far too familiar nuisance.
“I know you’re awake Colonel Sheppard,” sounded a familiar multi-tonal voice of a Wraith.
Immediately his eyes flew open, and he was alarmed to find himself resting supine with Michael standing over him. He tried to lash out with his fists, only to feel the harsh tug of restraints. He was strapped to a hard table on a hive-ship, bound at his wrists, ankles, and waist. Michael laughed as Sheppard seethed. This was not good.
“What is this?” Sheppard demanded. “What’s going on?”
Michael continued to smirk as he watched Sheppard struggle against his restraints. “This Colonel Sheppard, is sweet revenge… poetic justice, if you will. You had me at your mercy time and time again, and now I am repaying the favor.”
Sheppard did not like where this was going. Michael had proven long ago that he was capable of anything. Why was he on a table and not in a cell or cocoon? “What are you going to do to me?”
“The same thing you did to me,” Michael watched Sheppard with hard eyes filled with hatred and betrayal. “You took away my identity, my memories… even my species. I want you to know exactly how that feels.” He held up a loaded syringe for Sheppard to see.
Sheppard’s brow furrowed in confusion. Was Michael going to give him Beckett’s serum? The only problem with that was he was already human. Would it strip his memories away anyway? Was that what Michael wanted? That seemed a little far-fetched when a simple head wound would have done the same thing. When in doubt, turn to sarcasm. “You know, you shouldn’t play with pointy objects. Someone could lose an eye.”
Michael smiled at Sheppard’s defiance before roughly grabbing his arm and sticking the needle in the elbow. Sheppard grunted and Michael depressed the plunger, patting Sheppard’s arm when he was done.
“What was that?” Sheppard demanded.
“Do you enjoy being human?” Michael countered. “Do you enjoy the weak body, the vulnerable flesh? Do you like having to eat dead food three times a day, everyday, and excreting it back out again? Are such tasks truly worth being the prey in this eternal hunt of ours?
Aside from what few Wraith who escaped with me from that miserable planet you left us on, I am probably the only one who can answer those questions truthfully. I have been both hunter and prey, twice. I assure you, it is far better to be the hunter. I have done you a favor.”
“You’re turning me into a Wraith?” Sheppard was incredulous. Was that even possible?
“The good Doctor Beckett and I had a great deal of time to get to know each other. He told me all about his formula. It was simple to reverse engineer it to do the opposite.” Michael shrugged. “In a few hours, you will be a Wraith, and you will forget your human life. You will feed, and you will know what power is.”
“That’s a bad plan,” Sheppard offered. “What’s the point of making more Wraith when you’re already overpopulated?”
“We still have your gas to turn other Wraith into humans, so population won’t be an issue much longer. You are the first to undergo this treatment, and I doubt many more will follow. It is something we reserve for our special enemies. Dr. Beckett will follow you I’m sure. Perhaps even the runner. I do appreciate irony. That’s probably it.” Michael explained.
Sheppard was about to let Michael know exactly what he thought of this plan when he felt the first hot spikes tearing through his veins, making him forget the outside world. He arched of the table with a gasp, although he didn’t get very far with his waist strapped down. He clenched his jaw, feeling his teeth grind, as more and more waves of agony encompassed his world.
Every last part of his body hurt, including parts he was sure he didn’t have. His bones felt like they were on the rack, being pulled apart and stretched more than they were ever meant to. His nose felt broken as it was smashed into his face, making it hard to breath until he felt his cheeks stretching and tearing, forming air holes like a fish. His eyes were on fire, destroying his vision, and melting into the back of his sockets.
Everything was on fire, and he was restricted from rolling and thrashing in his pain. His stomach turned in on itself, and began eating his other organs. His chest heaved as he screamed in pain. His vocal chords compressed, deepening his voice. His throat burned as more flaps grew next to his original vocal chords, giving his screams the multi-tonal sound of a Wraith’s.
Then the worst of it happened as he felt someone take an axe to his hands and split them open, gouging his palms in half as the little life-sucking mouths added to his agony. The pain encompassed everything, and it was all he knew.
Michael watched in satisfaction as Sheppard squirmed and wreathed for hours. He hadn’t screamed that much in the video the Lanteans had made of his transformation, he was sure of it.
Sheppard’s skin turning green was the first obvious change Michael could see. Next his hair turned white, and his eyes, when open, were a fierce blue. Overall, he considered it a much more attractive look. Sheppard did Wraith well.
The last change to occur was the feeding mechanisms in the hands. Michael was surprised at that… he had thought it would happen sooner in the process. With a shrug, he dismissed it. As long as they were there, that was all that mattered. He couldn’t wait to make Sheppard feed. Once he did that, there’d be no going back to the innocent human.
Finally the screams stopped, and Sheppard lay dazed and panting on the table. Taking his cue, Michael entered his line of sight. “Welcome to the ranks, Sheppard.” He saw no reason to change the man’s name; it would add to his shame later.
Sheppard’s confused ice blue eyes locked on his. He felt wisps of fingertips on his mind and knew that Sheppard had instinctually felt the mental connection. Michael grinned. Good. He invited himself into Sheppard’s mind and was please with what he saw. Confusion, disorientation, fear, and best of all, hunger. No memories, no hatred, just a normal, innocent Wraith mind.
“Where am I?” Sheppard rasped with his Wraith-voice.
“Home,” Michael answered, enjoying being on the controlling end of the game this time. “You were injured in a battle with another hive, that is why you feel so strange. Rest assured, our enemy has been taken care of.” Michael placed a concocted picture of the battle in Sheppard’s mind to convince him of the truth. Having nothing else to go on, Sheppard accepted it.
“You must be famished,” Michael commented as he undid the straps tying Sheppard to the table. Sheppard watched in confusion as he did so. “You were thrashing quite a bit in your confusion,” Michael explained. To Michael’s disappointment, Sheppard meekly nodded. Michael hope this meekness would disappear once he became more oriented; there was no point to this if Sheppard lost his spirit so soon.
Helping his fellow Wraith to rise, Michael guided Sheppard down the dark corridor which was perfectly lit to their nocturnal eyes. They walked until they came to the nearest cocoon. Inside was a human male, watching them dully. “Feed,” Michael encouraged Sheppard.
Sheppard stared at the human, feeling unsure and hesitant. Something about this felt wrong, though he had no idea what. There was a strange reluctance in him, making him not want to feed. The man’s defeated brown eyes watched him through the webbing of the cocoon, knowing he was going to die. The more Sheppard stared, the more he wanted to rip the man free of his prison and get him out of there.
Michael watched in annoyance as Sheppard stood staring at the creature. What was the delay? Did he not know how to feed? He lifted Sheppard’s unresisting arm while simultaneously driving images of feeding into his mind, silently compelling his to consume the morsel.
Sheppard felt his hand resting on the human’s chest, felt the heart beating sluggishly beneath it. Images assaulted his mind, telling him how good this would feel, how natural, how right. He shook his head no, trying to understand the source of his reticence. His hand twitched as he wavered.
The man moaned as his sharp nails raked lines into his vulnerable flesh. Sheppard had barely flexed his fingers and yet the human was torn and in so much pain. How easily he broke. It was laughable.
It was weakness.
He felt his hand clench, injecting something into the human to toughen him up as he began to draw his life. Sweet bliss flooded his hand, up his arm, and into the rest of his body. An ache he hadn’t even realized he felt disappeared with the power coursing through him. He closed his eyes in contentment and through his head back as he was filled with ecstasy. This was right; this was how things were supposed to be.
He felt the moment the human died and the bliss ended. “No,” he moaned. He wanted it back, wanted more.
Michael’s hands rested on his shoulders. “Next time you must feed slower, and make it last.” He laughed triumphantly as Sheppard projected his need for more. “Soon, Sheppard. As we speak this ship is making its way to a feeding ground. Do you want to help cull the herd?”
Michael’s life was complete when Sheppard eagerly nodded yes.
So, my 14-year-old sister had to show me how to post this story in some at least semi-organized fashion. So sad. Once upon a time I was considered computer savy. Hah.