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.
Genres: Action-Adventure, Angst, Character Study, Drama, Team
Spoilers: Up to Misbegotten, definately before Common Ground
Chapter 1 of 8 , Chapter 2 of 8
Chapter 3: Guess Who
“You still have no idea what it does?” Dr. Weir asked forlornly, looking at the Ancient device in Rodney’s hand.
“No… I can’t even get it to turn on,” Rodney grumbled. “I’m sure if we had Colonel Sheppard here, he’d have it up and glowing in a heartbeat, but the situation as it is… no, I have no idea. Yet.”
And once more something appeared in their everyday life to rub the loss of John in their faces. Neither Rodney nor Elizabeth had realized how much they’d come to rely on the man until he was gone. “You’ll think of something,” Dr. Weir assured.
Rodney nodded dejectedly, and turned to leave her office, no doubt heading for his lab, when one of the gate techs announced, “Unscheduled off-world activation!”
Dr. Weir ran out of her office, joining McKay looking over the tech’s shoulder. “No IDC,” he reported.
“Dr. Weir,” transmitted a familiar, if unwelcome voice.
“Michael?” Dr. Weir queried.
“It is indeed.” Michael confirmed.
“What do you want?” she demanded. Apparently Sheppard hadn’t killed him on the planet. What mischief was he up to now? Last time he had brought the most disastrous alliance she had ever negotiated with him.
“I have Sheppard,” Michael said to everyone’s surprise. “He wants to return.”
Elizabeth and Rodney exchanged looks. Something about this whole situation screamed ‘trap!’
“And what do you want?” Weir demanded. He wouldn’t have gone through all the effort to kidnap Sheppard for no reason.
“I want to let him, of course. I know you do not trust me, Dr. Weir, and I will not ask you to. I will leave this planet and Sheppard will remain. Feel free to lower the shield for him, or pick him up at your leisure. Or leave him entirely, I don’t care which.”
“Why would you do that?” Trap was beginning to sound like an understatement.
“Because my task is complete. I am going now. His future is in your hands.” With that, the gate promptly shut down, leaving a deafening silence in its wake.
“We have to go get him!” McKay immediately decided.
“Wait Rodney,” she cautioned. “Nothing is right about this situation.” She tapped her radio. “Major Lorne, I need to see you in the Gate Room double time.”
“I’m here, ma’am.” Like magic, Lorne appeared from the door right behind them.
“Did you see what just happened?” Dr. Weir asked.
“I did, ma’am,” he nodded. “We should send a MALP to check it out. If there’s even a chance that he has Sheppard, we need to check it out.”
“Alright,” that sounded safe enough, “send one through.”
Minutes later the MALP began transmitting a rather disturbing image. There was a lone Wraith waiting calmly behind the DHD, dressed in an Atlantis issue uniform. “What game is Michael playing now? That’s a Wraith!” Dr. Weir’s suspicions were going through the roof.
“The MALP isn’t picking up any other life signs,” McKay offered.
“That’s good enough for me,” Lorne agreed. “Permission to take a team and check it out, ma’am?”
“It’s a Wraith, not John,” she said flatly.
“He’s wearing the Colonel’s uniform,” Lorne pointed out. “He may know where he is. We should definitely check it out.”
“And if there’re darts, waiting to cull you as you go through the gate?” Weir countered.
“The MALP would have picked up any nearby darts. If any approach from farther than the MALP can detect, we’ll have time to return through the gate before they can get us.” Lorne explained.
“And if they come through the gate?” Weir still wasn’t buying it.
“So we take a jumper with us,” McKay said impatiently. “The point is, that Wraith knows where Sheppard is. We can’t let our only hope of getting him back just walk away without trying something!”
Dr. Weir looked between the two resolute men before capitulating. “Fine. But be careful.”
“We will,” they both assured her as Lorne called over his radio for a team to man a cloaked jumper. He called another team to meet Dr. McKay and himself at the gate, wanting to hide the fact that they were even bringing a jumper from the Wraith.
The tech dialed the coordinates to the planet Michael had just messaged from, nodding good luck to the heavily armed team below. Teyla and Ronon had joined Lorne and McKay, along with two marines. Without hesitation the six went through, instantly training their P-90s on the Wraith upon emerging on the other side.
“Throw down your weapons and raise your hands in the air where I can see them!” Lorne ordered from a safe distance.
The Wraith looked at them strangely for a moment before slowly raising both arms. “I’m unarmed,” he called. The voice was Wraith, but McKay thought there was something disturbingly familiar about it.
The team cautiously stepped forward, keeping an eye out for the inevitable traps. The Wraith watched them, but otherwise made no movement. McKay was grateful for the jumper he knew was somewhere, silently watching their backs… and the tops of their heads.
“Where’s Sheppard?” Ronon asked when he was no more than ten feet from the Wraith. He held his stunner threateningly, longing to blast the hated face into pieces.
They were close enough now to confirm that the uniform was definitely Sheppard’s, down to the slight burn on the left sleeve he’d earned on a previous mission. He hadn’t replaced the jacket, claiming he was out of spares from all his many infirmary-worthy injuries over the past two years. McKay was suddenly glad he hadn’t gotten rid of the thing, despite how often he’d teased the man about it.
The Wraith’s brow furrowed in confusion. “I am Sheppard.”
McKay’s wanted to do the same, but his damn over-active brain was cataloguing every minor detail he saw whether he wanted to or not. The Wraith had the same unique hair cut that McKay though made up for ninety percent of Sheppard’s charm with the ladies. It even held itself like Sheppard. He was no artist, but he could allow himself to imagine… if the skin wasn’t green, if the eyes were hazel… they were the right shape… if he were, oh, human… the Wraith did look alarmingly like Sheppard.
“If you’re Sheppard, how’d you suddenly become a Wraith?” Ronon demanded.
The Wraith’s confusion seemed to grow, and the soldiers were well aware of the way its body tensed. “What do you mean?”
“Colonel Sheppard is human. You’re a Wraith,” McKay said as if he were patronizing a child.
“You’re McKay,” the Wraith said, as if that were some surprising discovery.
McKay just rolled his eyes. “Very good. Now answer my question.”
The Wraith seemed to be smiling, if that were at all possible. No not smiling – smirking -- just a half-hearted raising of one corner of his mouth. It was a very Sheppard smirk. This situation was getting stranger by the moment.
“I do know you,” the Wraith said as if it had been in doubt. He seemed to come to a decision, and his body relaxed again. “I woke up strapped to a table on the hive. Michael told me I’d been injured. I felt fine, but I had lost my memories. He gave me a shot every night; he said it would help me heal. I think it was just keeping my memories suppressed. He didn’t give me on last night, and I’ve started remembering bits and pieces. He said he would leave me to you to explain the rest. Can you?” he challenged.
McKay exchanged appraising looks with his team. It sounded like a backwards version of the toxin they were using against the Wraith. What this Wraith seemed to be suggesting was that the Wraith were now fighting fire with fire. But that didn’t make any sense.
“How do we know Michael didn’t just find a Wraith who looked like Sheppard and told him some details to make the acting convincing? He knows the effects of the toxin better than anyone,” Lorne asked quietly.
“If he’s telling the truth, and I’m not saying he is, then if he stops receiving the treatments he should start becoming human again within a day… hence the nightly injections.” McKay contemplated. “We could take him back to Atlantis and see if he changes.”
“That’s a rather big risk, McKay,” Lorne mentioned.
“Wraith,” Teyla called sharply. The Wraith’s attention zeroed in on her. The two stood staring at each other silently before the Wraith looked away and Teyla shook herself out. “This Wraith feels different,” she offered. “He honestly thinks of himself as Sheppard, and I sense no ill will.”
“You sure about this?” Ronon asked, looking between Teyla and McKay. They both nodded, and before the Wraith could even twitch Ronon had him stunned.
Sheppard watched the humans walking through the gate in fascination. These were them; the people in his dreams! But unlike in his dreams, their faces were expressionless, and their movements hostile. They had not come to greet a friend.
“Throw down your weapons and raise your hands in the air where I can see them!” one of them ordered him. The order confused him. He wasn’t armed and never had been. Come to think of it, he hadn’t held a weapon at any time during his stay aboard the hive. He hadn’t even noticed before, but now that he thought of it, he felt naked without a weapon.
“Where’s Sheppard?” What was with the annoying questions? Wasn’t he the one with Amenesia? He was Sheppard! Weren’t they supposed to know him?
They continued to ask him questions that made no sense, and he could feel a tension headache building. His temper might have been less if he’d only been able to sleep the night before. He could feel the hunger demanding he lash out at these insignificant walking meals for threatening him. He fought the urge, reminding himself that he had summoned them, not the other way around. He was beginning to wonder why, and the hunger made it hard to concentrate.
One human in particular kept throwing questions at him. It was grating on his nerves, yet it felt far too familiar. McKay was always badgering him about something. That’s it! That was his name. They had names like he and Michael did. “I do know you,” he told the human, releaved to finally have some proof that these people were indeed more than a fragmented dream.
McKay didn’t seem to understand what he meant, but that was okay. He was finally starting to sound like he would give Sheppard a chance… which was really all he was asking for.
But what did he mean when he said Sheppard was a human? He was a Wraith. He might be a little lacking in the memory department, but he could still tell the difference between a human and Wraith. How could whatever medicine Michael had been giving him turn him into a different creature altogether?
“Wraith,” the female called. He felt the words echo ever so quietly in his head. He could feel her just outside his mind, demanding entrance, yet unable to force her way in like his fellow Wraith did. How could she communicate this way?
To his own surprise, he found that he trusted this woman, and he allowed her to look inside his mind. She scanned his surface thoughts, understanding his confusion, before digging deeper. He tried to hide the hunger from her, but she must have sensed it even if she did not mention it to the other humans. More importantly, she recognized his genuine need to reconnect with these people.
He was relieved when she withdrew and spoke in his favor to the others. He also was starting to feel embarrassed for some reason. He didn’t like appearing weak in front of these people, and he knew he was. Every bone in his body screamed that he did not want them to see him like this, whatever this was.
Caught up in his shame, he didn’t even see the angry one fire a red burst at him.