Of Bombs and Men – Chapter Six

Chapter Six

They were both silent while he stood there and reined in his temper. “Firing” them both had felt pretty good.

“If you’re finished playing Donald Trump – perhaps we could move on to the saving our asses portion of the program.” Rodney poked them in the arm but John ignored him.

“It was a Trojan Horse.” Laura stared at the smashed tracker with disgust. “He knew if we managed to keep the Bola Kai on the ground that we’d strip that ship for parts. He set us up.”

John didn’t ask who she was referring to, he figured they were all on the same page and paragraph when it came to this matter. He tapped his ear piece. “Mr. Woolsey, we have a situation and I’ll need to meet with you in the briefing room.” He turned to Rodney. “The shield, Rodney. We’ll need all the power you can give it.” He waited until the scientist hurried out of the room, shouting instructions of his own over his radio before he turned to her. “You’re going to have to learn to refrain from calling me John in stressful situations. It’ll make our little distraction here pretty obvious to anyone who is paying attention.”

Her mouth tightened into a thin line. “Shit.”

He walked to her then, cupped her face with both hands and kissed her full on the mouth. They both took a deep breath when he pulled away. “Not a mistake, I’m definitely working for it, and right now I need you down in the ancient armory prepping the drone bays for the chair. Bring in anyone you need.”

“You know if all of my CO’s gave me kisses like that with orders I figure I might not be such a discipline problem.”

John laughed and leaned into her a little. “Go. I’ve got scientists to yell at, a recon mission to conduct, and a Czech madman to pry free of a ship he no longer gets to play with.”

“Be careful with Radek he’s fiesty when he’s separated things he’s passionate about.”

* * * *

“At this point can we just set aside the notion that Michael isn’t trying to take my wife?” Ronon asked through clenched teeth and glared at Woolsey when he started to speak. “Two different missions in less than a year—two scheduled medical missions where persons unknown targeted Jennifer.”

“These were Bola Kai.”

“There were Bola Kai on Teyla’s planet after her people were taken,” John said. He leaned back in his chair. “We let ourselves think that they were there as scavengers long after the fact but maybe they were there working with Michael. Which could be the first time he tried to take Jennifer. Teyla was his eventual target, yes, because of the baby. But – Jennifer has the gene and she’s one of the few women on the base that has the gene naturally. Two scientists, three nurses, Cadman, and Keller. That’s it; the rest are all products of gene therapy. We’ve already discovered that women with the gene are very rare.” He looked to Rodney. “That device you found on the men who attacked Lorne, Ronon, and Keller… the one you said found women. Did you take another look at it?”

“I put it on the research schedule. We got her back…” Rodney pushed out air roughly as he stood. “I’ll go now.”

John’s eyes glinted as he stood. “And while you’re down there—get Radek up to speed on all the lovely things he missed and tell him if he punches one of my marines again I’m putting him in the sparring rotation so we can work out all of his aggression in a more regulated situation.”

“Right. Whatever.” Rodney waved him off. “Stackhouse had it coming.”

John waited until the doors slid closed behind Rodney. “For the sake of argument, say he is targetting Jennifer. How is getting the information on missions?”

“It’s obvious that we have a personnel problem of some kind,” Richard said and held up his hand when John started to protest. “If we count the first time someone attempted to take Keller – that’s three attempts to capture, two very near successful I might add– the Chief Medical Officer of this base. A woman who just who happens to have the Ancient gene and a working knowledge of Ancient medical technology. A woman who has the same basic skills as Carson Beckett when it comes to that technology and also happens to be a ‘artist with a scalpel’ – that was the way her mentor described her.”

“I’d like to ground all the women with the natural gene – no more missions through the gate.”

“You’ll catch hell for that,” Woolsey said idly.

“You don’t agree?”

“Oh, no, I agree. The last thing we need is to give Michael the access he needs to use them for what ever purpose he has in mind whether it be selective breeding or cloning. We’re already dealing with one severe medical ethics situation thanks to his interference. It won’t stop him for searching for women who have the gene in the populace planets in the galaxy –but at least he won’t gain an asset with information we can’t afford for him to get access to.”

“How is Carson?”

“Two years of captivity, forced to develop a drug that has wiped out entire civilizations, the realization that he’s a copy of a dead man, and frankly it didn’t help the IOA pulled him out of Atlantis – the people on Earth treat him like a clone and not like Carson Beckett. I’ve tried repeatedly to bring him back but they keep brushing me off and saying he’s a security risk because of his connection to Michael. O’Neill told me he was much better now that Teyla and their son have joined him.” Richard leaned forward on the table. “I’m still working on it.”

John winced. That particular bit of news had been unsettling. But it marked the first time that Michael had used someone with an ancient gene to create a child and it had changed so much and it had taken both Teyla and Carson from Atlantis for an undetermined amount of time.

* * * *

He’d called everyone but Cadman and Keller into the conference and told them all at once. They took it in stride, thanked him for his concern, shared looks of relief, and left without a backward glance. John sat back in his chair and shared a glance with Ronon as the two remaining women took seats at the table.

“We’re grounding all women on the base with the Ancient gene – the natural Ancient gene – which means from here until which time we have neutralized Michael as a threat or we have determined how he is getting information from us you’ll not be leaving Atlantis for off-world missions.”

Jennifer paled and Laura went from calm to furious in a second and would have jumped up if Jennifer hadn’t placed a hand on her. “It’s my fault then? It’s my fault those villagers were killed yesterday—my fault that he dropped that biological weapon and killed over five hundred people. He’s trying to draw me out of Atlantis so he can take me?” She lifted her hand away from Laura’s, and it visibly shook. “Right. Okay. You’re going to announce that we’ve all been taken off the table for gate missions and file a report? I mean—he’s either getting information from a person or he’s culling the information from our system in some fashion.”

“Yes – that’s the plan.”

“You can’t be okay with this,” Laura snapped.

“Jesus Christ, Laura have you forgotten carrying dead children to that horrific fire in the middle of that village? Is it so easy for you to set it aside?”

Laura jerked back as if Jennifer had smacked her. “You know better than that.”

“Ladies.” John stood from his chair. “I think you both need to calm down before you say something you’ll regret.”

* * * *

He found her curled in their bed crying like a child. She’d been through so much and yet he’d only ever seen her in such a state once—long before they married, and after being nearly killed. He jerked his boots off at the door and dropped them on the floor beside hers.

Ronon slipped into the bed behind her and sighed she turned and buried her face against his chest. “It’s not your fault.”

“It is.”

“No, little one, it isn’t. You weren’t here when we made this mess. You’d never even heard of Atlantis when Michael was created. You never participated in any decision process that let him live – you didn’t stand by and let him get away when you knew what kind of destruction a thing like him could cause. All the viciousness of a Wraith combined with all the ambition and meglomania that can exist in the average human being.” He kissed the top of her head. “He is the worst of us; the worst of them.” The door chimes rang—the gentle sound of them made her groan. “Come on. You know you don’t want to stay mad at her.”

“Yeah.” Jennifer looked towards the door and unlocked the door with her mind—something she rarely did. Using her gene outside the infirmary had never sat well with her. “Come in.”

Laura edged into the room and glanced over her shoulder. “I’m not alone.”

“It’s okay.”

John engaged the privacy lock on the room with a brush of his finger tips on the panel and leaned back against it as Laura pulled off her boots, crossed the room and crawled into the bed with Jennifer and Ronon. “Now that’s a wet dream half this base has had more than once in the last six months.”

Ronon laughed and let his wife go so she could turn to look at Laura. “I know.”

“I’m an asshole.” Laura said without preamble. She crossed her legs at the ankle and stared at the ceiling. “I was more concerned about how this would make me look to the other soldiers on the base.”

“I shouldn’t have accused you of being heartless.”

“Yeah, you suck.” Laura snagged Jennifer’s hand in her own and held it. “I can’t believe I’m in bed with the two of you and I’m not going to get any.”

Jennifer sighed. “Yeah. Yeah. You know we can’t even kiss each other properly I can’t imagine how you’d think we’d manage to fuck.”

Ronon sat up and looked them over. “You two kissed?”

They both blushed.

John appeared at the end of the bed, hands on hips. “Answer the question, and details would be nice for, you know, later.”

Laura laughed and sat up. “Once we were on a mission, we were in this village and one of the elders decided that I would make him an excellent third wife. Jennifer and I pretended to be mated to get around insulting him. To prove it, she kissed me right on the mouth. It was her first off world mission.” She tucked her legs underneath her and flashed Jennifer a grin. “That’s when I started betting she’d stay in Atlantis. Anyone that could think that fast on her feet would adapt well enough to do her job here.”

Ronon nudged her. “Have you kissed anyone else on the base?”

“Well… I kissed Rodney after he got us out of the hole but I got him a little drunk first. I think I was probably like only the third woman he’s ever kissed for real in his whole life.” Jennifer laughed softly. “It was a ‘thanks for saving my life kiss’. John, why don’t you sit?”

John glared at the three of them. “I’m pretty sure that crawling into the bed with all of you would be a serious breach of protocol.”

“We won’t molest you.” Jennifer made the motion of crossing her heart with one slim finger. “Not even a little.”

“Sort of takes the excitement out of the whole thing then.” John pulled off his boots and slid up beside Cadman. “Where the hell did you two get this big bed?”

“It’s three put together.” Ronon slid up so he could rest his back on the wall. “I need room to… sleep and play.”

“Yeah.” John glanced at him ruefully. “I bet.”

“We have someone on the base feeding Michael information?” Jennifer asked softly and then as if the thought was too disturbing she slid up the bed and curled against her husband’s chest.

“No. I think a data leak. I’m going to set Rodney on the project as soon as he and Radek finish up with that device we pulled off those men that ambushed…” His voice trailed off when Jennifer lifted her head slightly. “The one that finds women. At the time I thought it was useless- but I’ve been thinking about it and it makes sense if he’s been doing it for a while. If it’s gotten around that he’s hunting for women – the villages might have started to hide their women or try to make them look like men at least without a thorough inspection. A device that would seek them out would save them from searching villages and stripping down the inhabitants.”

“If it’s a data leak why would he need to put a tracking device on something he figured he’d take home for research?”

“I don’t think the leak is coming from us,” John closed his eyes and leaned against the wall the bed was flush against. “You know we should conduct all of our meetings in your guys bed – it’s relaxing.”

“Probably not a good idea,” Ronon ran his fingers through Jennifer’s hair thoughtfully. “I’m normally of the opinion that I get to fuck who ever ends up in my bed.”

Jennifer laughed out loud. “Such a bad man.”

“Okay, so not so relaxing any more.” John sighed. “I think the leak is on the Daedalus. We send all of our data bursts to them and to the SGC. Since it’s gate to gate transmission to the SGC and Michael did not know where we were—I don’t think he’s found away to use our gate in that fashion. That leaves the Daedalus but I’ll leave the actually leg work of that to Rodney – he’ll find the evidence we need and then we’ll have another set of problems.”

“How so?”

“If Michael has a follower on the Daedalus—that he means he knows where Earth is. Granted he no longers needs to feed but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t use that information against us and the other Wraith to escalate conflict between us – the less we can all focus on him the more he can accomplish.” John reached out and picked up one of Laura’s hands. “How is the work in the drone bay going?”

“We’re full to capacity and we’re almost ready to start a production run. I’m waiting on the refined naquadah from Dr. Whitmore in Chemistry.” She turned his hand over hers and traced the palm. “I’d like to make a few special drones.”

“Do tell.”

“I want to request plutonium from Earth.”

“You want to make nuclear drones. Aren’t the ones with naquadah more bang for the buck?”

“Yes – but with the possibility that we’re fighting Wraith/human hybrids – it occurs to me that we might want to damage them in other ways. Pushing even a small nuclear weapon into the hive environment would kill or severely damage the ship’s ecosystem. I’m also working with Dr. Channing in botany on a few chemical options that we can use to outright destroy the organic parts of the hive ships.” She traced a scar on his wrist with one finger tip. “I can do a lot of damage with the drone delivery system if given the right materials. We’d just have to be careful how we used the nuclear ones – nothing within the atmosphere. But with you in the chair, we don’t have to worry about a misfire.”

“You know… you’re really hot when you talk about blowing stuff up.”

Laura laughed. “I know.” She curled her fingers between his. “We’re still not able to reproduce the explosive that the Ancients used in the drones. We get the chemicals right but somehow it breaks down before we can stablize the composition. I need a better lab—more equipment, a specialized team. That we were able to start the production line at all is something of a miracle. A Radek Zelenka kind of miracle that even made Rodney pause for like two whole seconds in admiration.”

“So what’s your wish list for city defense?”

Laura grinned. “Why, are you going to run out and get me some big guns for my birthday?”

“I’d like to make a comprehensive demand of the SGC for materials and weapons when I start my next volley for a weapons development department.”

“Five rail guns—one for each major section with individual shields to prevent them being taken out from orbit. Two of those Asgard laser cannons for the main tower and I’d like to start stock piling C4 and ammunitions in the lower levels in event that we are cut off from Earth for whatever reason. It would take them a year to build a new ship for us if the Daedalus was damaged or destroyed – and they don’t have the power to dial the gate to contact us at least not currently.”



Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.

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