[identity profile] gateruner.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] beckett_cadman
Title: Hunger Strike, (Part 8/?)
Author: Shelby (gateruner)
E-mail: gateruner2000 at yahoo.com
Feedback: yes, please!
Archive: LJ, my website. Any place else, just ask.
Category: Beckett/Cadman, Angst, Drama, WIP
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Up to the ending of S3, EXCEPT that “Sunday” didn’t happen! No, no way, no how.
Summary: Laura Cadman is abducted off-world and rescued, but her nightmare has only begun as she starts to remember exactly what happened to her and what evil plans the Wraith have in store for humanity.
Warnings: This is darkfic people. Beware! If you don’t want the angst, don’t read on.
Disclaimer: They aren’t mine, I don’t own them, don’t make any money from them, just playing, honest.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Hunger Strike
Part 8

Laura rubbed her forehead and moaned. She had a killer headache, one that seemed even worse than any Wraith stunner could inflict. She opened her eyes and winced, trying to give her body time to adjust. Whatever was happening to her, it was getting worse.

She rubbed her eyes again, trying to shake off the grogginess as well as the pain. It was difficult -- Too many thoughts, too many emotions, too much information all at once. Laura found herself wondering for the first time what it must have been like for Teyla to make connections with the Wraith. If this was any indication, it was pure hell. There was a level of hate and discontent that was unlike anything she’d ever felt before, and Laura could feel them pulling at her own mind, trying to find a way in.

She lay against the wall of the dark hallway. Technically, she knew there was no way she was on a Wraith Hive Ship. She knew her body was lying on a bed in the infirmary back on Atlantis. Laura remembered when she was a child, and how she would be waking from a wonderful dream. Those brief moments between consciousness and sleep – aware that her body was asleep, but her mind alert enough to alter and control her dream reality.

But this was no dream, and there was no way to escape. She had already tried to wake herself up, but she couldn’t. Laura realized that Carson must have her sedated. If she could scream out, she’d tell him to stop the drugs, stop everything. Whatever he was doing, was not working.

The child was gone, her child, and her heart ached for that. But so were the dried up corpses, and for that part, she was grateful. Once she realized it was all an induced dream, things stabilized. Michael seemed to disappear, and now she was left to…. what? Wait out her death? Not likely.

Laura hoisted herself off the floor, and started walking down the hallway. She was dizzy; no doubt her dream consciousness was being altered by the drugs coursing through her veins. She tried to focus on the images and thoughts racing around her. It seemed to come from everywhere.

She reached the end of the hallway and stood at the webbed doorway. It was similar to the one she had been imprisoned behind earlier. Laura studied the control panel, trying to decide where to begin when the lights blinked and she homed in on a particular pattern. Suddenly the door retracted and Laura took a step back. On instinct she expected to see a Wraith walking towards her, but there was nothing. Holy Crap! She’d opened it with her mind. She could control Wraith technology now?


“I don’t know how else to say it, but it WON’T WORK!” Carson paced the floor, feeling the stares of twenty or so colleagues. It was bad enough that he was exhausted, but now he was getting emotional as well.

Dr. Biro cleared her throat, “If we use the research from the embryonic stem cells that were utilized in Col. Sheppard’s case…”

Carson cut her off, “I’m telling you it won’t work. That particular gene therapy was engineered for the very specific purpose of eliminating the Iratis bug retrovirus. This one is completely different in composition and character. And once again, we don’t have the time to artificially reproduce a gene therapy of that magnitude.”

“What about human stem cells?” Dr. Keller offered.

“And what about them?” Carson’s voice dripped with sarcasm, “They won’t do us much good if we can’t isolate the bloody sequence of the virus now will they?” Dr. Keller slid down in her chair and the room went silent once again as Carson continued to pace the floor. “I need Michael’s research. I need to know what that bastard has created.”


After the initial horror of learning about her newfound abilities wore off, Laura realized it might be advantageous. An Achilles’ heel. One that she could exploit at will. She began to move more freely around the ship, easily slipping from one corridor to the next, making a mental layout of the hive.

The Wraith still seemed disinterested in her. Laura reached out a few times to learn that they felt she was lost. Simply wandering around, hopeless and frightened. Good, her plan was working. Although she wasn’t sure she could exactly call it a plan.

Laura watched a few Wraith pass by her and she pulled in on herself, trying to give her best pitiful, puppy dog persona. It worked on Carson; surely she could con a few Wraith. It worked, one sneered at her and the others didn’t even glance her way.

She made her way to what seemed to be a central control room. Laura pulled back and watched in the shadows as the Wraith moved about. There was no way to enter without drawing attention to herself. She surmised that it was the bridge, and the center console was navigation and helm control. Laura perked up when she saw a Wraith step up to the control and began to activate a heads-up display. It was all written in Wraith of course, but she could make out a series of symbols, six of them! A gate address! Laura burned the images in her mind, making sure she remembered the order.


“Dr. Beckett?” Nurse Lisa called from the isolation room.

They had moved Laura to a more secure area. Carson wasn’t sure if it was for medical or military reasons, but he couldn’t argue the point. Whatever was happening to Laura, it wasn’t slowing down and the treatment he’d administered seemed to be backfiring. So he’d pulled back on the treatment and turned to a viral inhibitor. It wasn’t a cure, but it bought him some time, or so he hoped.

He walked into the isolation room, giving a weary glance at Laura. Her entire body was being recorded and measured in some manner -- A series of tangled lines and tubes covered her, almost making her unrecognizable. Carson shook his head, and focused on the nurse, “Yes, love?”

“Look at Lt. Cadman’s EEG readings.” The nurse handed him a folded sheet of paper.

Carson took the paper and scanned the data, “How long?”

“About ten minutes.”

“Call Dr. Weir and Col. Sheppard, I think we need to talk.”


“So she’s dreaming?” Dr. Weir studied the data sheets before her, but it didn’t make much sense to her. Rodney peered over her shoulder, studying the graphs as well.

Carson shook his head, “If it is, it’s one hell of a bloody dream if I ever saw one. There’s no way she should be having that kind of reading with the amount of sedatives in her system, no way.”

“Maybe not before, but we have no idea what it could be now, do we?” Elizabeth was still trying to understand what it was that Michael had done to Laura. She didn’t appear to be a Wraith, at least not on the surface anyway.

“Not only that, but I took a brain scan earlier. She had a mini-stroke that affected her motor cortex. I redid the scan about a half hour ago and all the lesions are gone. It’s incredible, it’s as though she never even suffered the stroke now.”

“What if you brought her out of sedation?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t a clue. With that amount of brain activity, I don’t know what would happen. She could suffer another seizure, or worse, another stroke.”

“What if the Wraith are probing her mind in some way? Have you considered that possibility? She has a hell of a lot of knowledge about explosives, recon, artillery, not to mention IDC codes to the city.” Rodney added.

John shook his head, “We’ve already locked her codes out, so there’s no risk in that. And whatever military intelligence they gain from her, we have no control over. That was already assessed when she was first brought back.” This wasn’t looking good at all, “So Doc, what do you think?”

Carson glanced between Elizabeth and the Colonel. Elizabeth nodded, “I say it’s worth the risk to try and bring her around. Whatever is going on, we need to find out.”

“Just give me a wee bit longer, please,” Carson still wasn’t sure it was a good idea.

“One hour,” Elizabeth conceded.


Laura continued her assessment of the ship unaided. It was truly amazing what she had discovered on her little walk, and she was quickly making a catalog of strengths and weaknesses.

She moved back into the darker areas of the ship, where there was less traffic. They still seemed to care very little for her, but it was best not to push her luck. Laura passed a hallway, then stopped. She turned back and stared down the corridor. It was way too dark for her human eyes to adapt, but something told her to move forward.

Taking long and careful strides, Laura headed down the darkened hallway, ending at what seemed to be another door. This one was different from the others, it was more solid and had a different control panel. She studied it mentally, trying various combinations with her mind, but nothing happened.

Just as she began to reach out and touch it, the door slid back and a large Wraith walked by. Once again, she went unnoticed and managed to slip inside before the doors retracted. It was a lab, a science lab by the looks of it.

Laura watched as the Wraith bustled around the large room. Off to one side, there were a row of beds, or what could be called beds anyway, jutting from the wall. A human woman lay on each one of the beds, all unconscious and hooked up to some sort of machines.

Laura recognized one of the women instantly. It was the same girl that she had met when she was first captured and cocooned. She was splayed out on the table, her arms and legs bound to the surface. But what caught her attention the most was the large bulge in her belly. She hadn’t been pregnant before, had she?

She continued to survey the room, looking for anything that might help her cause. It wasn’t long before she noticed a table in the corner that seemed to house a large array of bottles and syringes. Slowly, she made her way over to the table, trying to remain as innocuous as possible. Laura picked one of the bottles up and studied the amber liquid. It looked cloudy and she shook the bottle, watching small particles float whip up and then settle back down to the bottom.

Laura went through all the bottles, eyeing them, and giving them a thorough inspection. Everything was written in Wraith, all the coding, all the notes. She sighed in defeat, about to give up when she spotted one more bottle near the edge of the table. She grabbed the vial and noted the writing. Most of it was gibberish to her, like all Wraith, but there were a few words she could understand. Her name for one, and another one “ATA-25”. She scanned the bottle further and found more, “R-TCR 43: RNA factor Ref1”

What the hell did that mean? Even though her mind couldn’t formulate what she had, her instinct told her she had a cure in some form or another. She didn’t want to let go of the bottle, even though she knew logically there was nothing to be done with it. Destroying it wasn’t an option, but misplacing it was.

Laura took the bottle from the table and slipped out of the room unnoticed. She was ready to be confronted at any moment and she felt her heart begin to beat faster. If she ran, she’d attract more attention, so she managed to keep a steady pace until she was clear of the darkened hallway and emerged into the other corridor.


Carson stared at the screen, scrutinizing the latest lab results. After a few moments, he sat back and rubbed his eyes. Nothing had changed, and the burning ache in his muscles told him he’d been up way longer than he could tolerate. There had to be something missing. Some piece of the puzzle he wasn’t seeing clearly. All the lab results were the same. The retroviral treatment was being rejected, just as her body was now rejecting her own make-up.

Time wasn’t something Carson liked to play around with. And the viral inhibitors were only going to give him so much of it. Michael’s virus wasn’t a complete success either, but instead of just leaving Laura’s system and her reverting back, something else was happening. Her body had become confused, trapped in its own genetic tug-of-war.

He needed a basis to work from - A point of comparison, or part of the viral RNA to code from.


Laura made sure she had the bottle hidden away carefully before she moved back towards the area she first started from. She sat back down in the hallway, giving off her best “I’m defeated” persona. Laura closed her eyes and steadied her breathing. She needed to wake up, and fast. Slowly she drifted her defenses away from the Wraith and towards her own body. Slowly let it out. Slower and slower. Her breaths began to diminish, longer in between. Her chest began to burn and her head pounded. Laura could feel her hand and mouth tingling, the lack of oxygen was beginning to become pronounced. Steady… steady. Panic began to mount and she could feel her heart race in her chest. C’mon Carson, she though, C’mon, I know you are there.

Blackness surrounded her and Laura felt like she was falling. Distant voices were becoming clearer, machines were beeping around her. She heard a familiar whining noise and Carson’s voice directly by her side, “Clear!”

The next thing Laura knew, she felt a jolt of electricity surge through her body, causing her arms and legs to spasm against their will. That, coupled with the adrenaline that was already surging through her heart, Laura jerked herself upright in the bed and screamed out.

The room had gone silent in an instant. Laura coughed and gasped, pushing away the hands that tried to help her. An oxygen mask was slipped over her head and she felt a pair of familiar arms coaxing her back onto the mattress. When she finally focused her eyes, she found Carson staring down at her, eyes full of concern. Laura grasped his hand and squeezed it tight, and she watched as he looked down and kissed her hand in his.

Laura would have liked a moment to be alone with Carson, but there wasn’t time. She ripped the oxygen mask from her face and began to sit up, yanking at the various cords along her chest and forehead, “We’ve got to go. I know what we need to do.”

Voices all around her rose in protest, but she couldn’t listen. Quickly, she kicked the sheets back and tried to stand up. Laura felt her knees buckle beneath her and Carson was by her side, lifting her back up onto the side of the bed. “Carson, please, we have to move. I know where to go, I know what to do…. I know….” Laura brought her hands to her head as a wave of dizziness washed over her.

“What you need to do, love, is lay back down and let us try and help you.” Carson tried to soothe her.

“No! Damnit, no!” Laura shook her head, as though she could shake off the affects of all the medication, “What I need to do is get all these damn drugs out of my system so I can think better.”

“Laura, please, you need to rest,” Carson tried to argue.

Laura looked up and spotted Col. Sheppard looming in the background, “Colonel, please listen to me. I was on the Wraith ship, I saw…” Laura took a deep breath and shook her head, still trying to hold on to what she could, “I saw everything. I know how to move around that thing, I know its strengths, and I know its weaknesses. And I know where it’s headed.”

She turned her attention back towards Carson, “You’ve got to get me off all this medication, we don’t have time for this. That ship is on its way to that location right now.”

“But the medication is the only thing keeping the retrovirus from completely taking over. We don’t know what the effects will be in the end.”

“That’s my point; you have to let it happen, at least for now. I saw something on that ship Carson, something that I think can cure me.” His expression shifted from horror to disbelief. But Laura continued, “If we can get to that ship, then I can get in there and get out. With the retrovirus I can control their technology - I know how to get around their defenses.” Laura scanned back over the faces until she found the one she was looking for, “Please, Dr. Weir, I know I’m asking a lot, but I swear to you, that I’m telling you the truth. We have to go, and we have to go now.”

End Part 8


SGA's Carson Beckett/Laura Cadman

August 2009

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