[identity profile] gateruner.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] beckett_cadman
Title: Hunger Strike, (Part 10/?)
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 | Part 8 | Part 9



Hunger Strike, Part 10

Laura maneuvered the dart out of the bay and headed towards the planet. She knew there would be company soon enough, so she needed to drop the team and then land safely so they could all dial out before any Wraith showed up. She had sensed when the Wraith began to realize their Queen was dead. She could also sense them beginning to organize their thoughts and it wouldn’t be long before they followed her and the team to the surface.

She veered through the atmosphere and broke through the clouds. Laura set a course for the Stargate and began the rematerialization process in the clearing off to the right of the Gate. “Here goes,” she sighed as she pressed the button, praying that everyone would be whole and accounted for. She looked out of the corner of the cockpit and sighed as she saw the team scattered on the ground behind her.

John Sheppard blinked quickly and adjusted his eyes as he was rematerialized on the surface of the planet. It was an odd sensation, much more so than gate travel. “Everyone alright?” he asked. He assessed that everyone was present and accounted for as everyone replied in one form or another.

Once his vision cleared he looked up towards the sky and watched as Laura banked left in the dart. She really did know how to fly that thing, almost as well as he did, John thought as he watched her turn around and attempt a landing approach. As she started her descent, a drone appeared to her left hitting the tail of the dart. Suddenly a puddlejumper appeared and he watched in horror as the dart began to waiver, almost spinning out of control.

Cadman regained control quickly, pulling up on the throttle and heading towards the clouds with the jumper in pursuit. “Son of a bitch!” Quickly, she tapped her headset, “Rodney, can you hear me?”

Everyone on the ground was stunned as they watched the puddle jumper race into the clouds behind the dart. Rodney snapped out of his reverie as his headset crackled to life, “Rodney, can you hear me?”

“Cadman?!” Rodney exclaimed as he reached for his radio, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” came the quick reply, “Look, I don’t have time to explain. I need you to help me get around the jumper’s defenses. Can you do that?”

Rodney tossed his hands up, “Well, of course I can. But what is it that you want?”

“I need some way to disable it, I don’t want to blow his ass up, I just want him grounded.”

Before Rodney could reply, the dart reappeared through the clouds on a rapid descent before banking once again, passing dangerously close to the ground and the team. Rodney flinched as the whizzing of the dart screeched in his ears, “Cadman! Have you lost your fucking mind?!”

“Sorry about that,” Laura rolled her eyes as Rodney continued to ramble on about her flying abilities. “McKay, are you done yet? I could use a little help here!”

Cadman fumbled around the dart controls, her sights finally landing on the switch she was seeking. It was the Wraith equivalent of an emergency brake, so she grasped the handle and watched the display closely. Laura waited until the jumper was directly behind the dart. She pushed the throttle down and forward making a quick plunge before engaging the brake. Her body jerked in response to the g-forces, causing her to slam back into the seat as she watched the jumper fly overhead. “McKay, I need something, now!”

“I’m working on it!” Rodney fumbled with his laptop, his fingers frantically punching the screen. “Okay, okay! I think I’ve got something.” He looked up in horror as he watched the dart take a sudden plunge and then immediately come to a halt. For a brief moment he thought the Lieutenant had lost control and was going to crash. However, the puddle jumper sailed directly over her, unable to maneuver as quickly as she had.

Rodney heard his headset crackle and Laura’s frantic voice, “Okay, I’ve entered a modulation on the shield that should allow your firepower to get through.”

Laura gripped the firing trigger and took a deep breath, “I sure hope this works.” She fired on the puddlejumper and watched the energy beams dissipate without any affect. “Dammit! McKay, that did nothing!”

“I said it was a modulation! You have to keep firing for it to get through, just keep trying. Trust me on this!” Rodney watched as the jumper began to turn around and the arms begin to extend further.

Sheppard clicked his radio, “Cadman he’s about to fire on you, pull up!”

Laura pulled back on the throttle and engaged the drive once again, forcing the dart on a ninety degree climb back into the clouds, momentarily avoiding another drone.

“The Gate has activated!” Teyla called out as she watched the Stargate come to life.

The team watched as the puddlejumper began an approach towards the active stargate. Out of desperation, everyone began to fire their weapons at the approaching craft;
it had very little affect, even in light of the shield modulation.

“Cadman, he’s dialed out and is making is way towards the Gate,” Sheppard relayed as he motioned Rodney towards the DHD. “We’re getting the address, just let him go for now.”

“I’m going after him.” The dart appeared out of the clouds and aligned itself directly behind the puddle jumper.

“We’re getting the address, there’s no need.” He watched as Rodney noted all the activated symbols on the dialing device.

“I’m still going,” Laura was determined not to let Michael out of her sights. Besides, he still had the damn retrovirus. And without it, she didn’t have a chance in hell of ever being the same again.

“Lieutenant, stand down. That’s an order!” Sheppard roared into the radio. He waited for a reply, but there was nothing. Silence. “Cadman! Do you hear me? Stand. Down. Now!”

The team watched as the jumper disappeared into the event horizon, quickly followed by the dart, the wormhole disengaging behind it.

--------------------

Carson stared at the table, trying to follow the debriefing as best he could. His mind was still in a fog, his heart pounding, stomach churning, and an odd sense of detachment. If it was anyone else, he would have had their ass in the infirmary being treated for shock.

He’d been reluctant to leave the planet, arguing that Laura would return. But it was a futile attempt. Besides Rodney looked like he might have an aneurysm right there in the field and the Colonel’s body language thrummed with tension and anger. He wasn’t sure how much of that anger was directed at Laura or the situation in general. Still, he felt he needed to stand his ground and make a point. The Colonel, however, disagreed. And they all returned to Atlantis, minus one member. The one member that Carson felt mattered most in this situation.

“And how many planets are we talking about?” Dr. Weir asked as Rodney walked around the briefing table to settle in next to Col. Sheppard.

“Five. We were only able to extrapolate five viable addresses out of that particular combination of symbols.” Rodney pressed the remote control, displaying the five addresses on the screen behind the table, “And one of these we already know.”

“We do?”

“Yes, this one here.” Rodney scrolled down and clicked on the third address, activating another file to display on the screen. “P24-543. It’s the planet where we relocated the Turanians.”

“The people from the volcanic planet?”

“Yes, them.” Rodney scrolled through the file, “Our last contact with them was approximately 2 weeks ago. Everything checked out, they were settling in with minimal problems.”

“So we don’t think this is where they went?”

“Highly unlikely. If Michael was frequenting that planet, it seems like they would have mentioned it during one of our check-ins.”

Dr. Weir shook her head, “Okay, so that one is out. What about the others?”

Rodney was about to speak when the intercom came to life, “Unscheduled Off-World Activation. Dr. Weir, report to the control room, immediately.”

--------------------

The Stargate came to life, filling the control room with the glowing blue light. “Unscheduled Off-World Activation. Dr. Weir, report to the control room, immediately.”

Dr. Weir appeared along with Rodney and Colonel Sheppard, “Report.”

“We’re receiving Lieutenant Cadman’s IDC Ma’am.” The computer display flashed, “unauthorized code”.

Dr. Weir took a deep breath, “Open a channel.” She waited a moment before she began to speak, “Lt. Cadman, this is Dr. Weir. I hope you understand our reluctance to lower the shield.”

There was brief moment of silence, then, “Yes ma’am, I do. But I assure you it’s me. I have retrieved the puddlejumper. Please lower the shield and allow us through.”

“Us?”

“Yes. I have Michael.” There was another pause, “And I have the retrovirus cure.”

Dr. Weir looked towards Colonel Sheppard and McKay. McKay seemed eager to let her through, but Sheppard looked a bit weary. “Just one moment, Lt.” She disengaged the comm link, “What do you think?”

“If we let her through and she really has Michael, we need serious manpower. He can’t get away this time.” Sheppard replied.

“Agreed. Make sure there are several teams standing by in the jumper bay. I want it surrounded the moment it docks.”

“Absolutely,” John nodded as he reached for his headset. “Bates, this is Sheppard, do you read?”

“Yes sir, this is Bates,” came the reply.

“I need four marine units stationed in the jumper bay, ASAP. We have Lt. Cadman and Michael returning through the gate right now. Let me know when you are in position so we can proceed.”

“Copy that, sir. Will do. Bates out.”

Dr. Weir motioned for the communications link to be activated again, “Lt. Cadman, we are preparing for your arrival as we speak. We will continue to broadcast a signal to ensure the gate remains active until that time. May I ask what your status is?”

“Thank you, ma’am.” Another pause. “I have Michael ma’am, and the cure. Please let Car- , Dr. Beckett know.”

“Understood.” Elizabeth nodded as John gave her a thumbs up, still talking on his radio, “We have a go Lieutenant. We are about to lower the shield.” She gestured to the controlman and watched the shield lower.

A moment later the jumper emerged in the gateroom. Elizabeth took a step back from the control console as she stared into the cockpit of the jumper. Michael was actually piloting the ship. However, Lt. Cadman was wrapped around the back of the seat her left hand holding his head back, exposing his neck, with a sharp knife against his skin. Elizabeth could even make out a few drops of blood seeping from beneath the blade. She looked up and locked eyes with the Lieutenant, “Lieutenant, nice to have you back.” She tried to keep her voice calm and steady, “Please dock the ship and comply with the men in the jumper bay.”

“Understood, ma’am.” Laura tugged on Michael’s head, the blade of the knife digging in a bit deeper causing him to hiss before he began to move the jumper up and into the bay.

------------------

Once the jumper landed and was powered down, Laura jerked Michael from the pilot chair, forcing him to the back of the ship. She continued to keep him at knife-point, fumbling for the door hatch. As the back door slid open, she found herself surrounded by a crowd of menacing marines, co-workers, people she considered to be friends, their guns poised and ready to fire. She also spotted Carson towards the back of the crowd. She locked eyes with him briefly and gave a small nod. He responded to her gesture by doing the same, but otherwise remained impassive. Laura felt a pang of disappointment in her stomach. It wasn’t the homecoming she’d expected, but she couldn’t say she was all that surprised.

The marines moved in and motioned for her to release Michael. She nodded and removed the knife from his throat, pushing him forward. Several soldiers surrounded him and began escorting away from the jumper bay. He remained silent as he was taken away, and Laura assumed they were taking him to a holding cell. She watched Michael until he was out of her sights, satisfied that the marines had the situation well in hand. There was the all to familiar sound of guns being primed that caused her to revert her attention back to the group before her. The remaining marines had her well surrounded. One cleared his throat, “Drop the weapon, Lieutenant. That’s an order.”

Laura nodded, realization dawning as she dropped the knife to the floor, the metal sound reverberating around her. She raised her hands up in surrender as she was ‘escorted’ from the jumper bay. As they made their way towards the door, she stopped abruptly, “Wait!” They group turned to her as she motioned towards Carson, “I need to give him something.” The marines raised their guns as she reached for the pocket of her tactical vest. She removed the small vial, identical to the one she’d given Carson earlier. She reached out to pass him the vial, but was intercepted by one of the guards. He took the vial first and inspected before handing it over to Carson. She had never in her life been considered the enemy among her own people and it was hurting more than she wanted to admit.

Carson took the vial and studied the label, “Is this really it?” His eyes were glistening, but his voice was steady and sure.

Laura choked back a sob that threatened to come forward, “Yes.” She was afraid to say more, afraid of what might come out.

--------------------

Laura couldn’t believe it at first, it didn’t even register when she was first tossed into the cell beside Michael. It wasn’t until the force shield activated and the marines stepped away that she realized just how serious the situation was. They thought she was a threat. They honestly thought she was a threat to the city, to her friends, and to anyone she may come in contact with.

She paced the floor momentarily before sitting down on the floor next to the bench. Laura could hear Michael in the cell next to her, chuckling. She closed her eyes, trying not to let her anger get the best of her.

“How does it feel, Lieutenant?” His voice was raspy and almost giddy.

Laura wanted to slap that smirk right off his face as she looked across the bars of the cells. “Excuse me?”

“I said, how does it feel? How does it feel to be outcast from your own kind? To be treated as a criminal, something to be feared, rather than loved and accepted.”

“I wouldn’t know, why don’t you tell me?” Laura suppressed the urge to yell.

Michael laughed, “Have you looked at yourself lately?” He rose from his bench and walked towards the cell wall that separated them. “You look more like a Wraith with each passing day. Is it any wonder they fear you?”

Laura looked down at her hands. Her skin had become white, almost translucent, fingers that were once long and delicate were starting to look twisted and dried up. Her hair, which had long since fallen out of her bun, was laying flat and limp against her shoulders, dry and coarse and white. Tears began to fill her eyes. Laura took a deep breath, curling her legs up to her body and laying her chin on her knees.

Laughter erupted from Michael once again, “Pitiful. You held such promise.” He moved around the cell as he spoke, “I thought you were worthy of this experiment. Dr. Beckett held you in such high regard, was he so wrong?”

Laura remained silent as Michael continued, “I could feel how much he cared for you, how he admired your spirit and courage. And yet he doesn’t really know you, does he? He’s never seen the dark recesses of your mind. The places you can go, the limits you can tolerate.”

Laura clenched her fists, her breathing becoming deeper and more erratic with each passing word, her anger beginning to surface.

“Does he have any idea what you are truly like? How responsive you are? How I managed to play your body exquisitely? Or perhaps he’d like to know how you were rendered unconscious by a mind-shattering orgasm while being bound to a table?”

“SHUT UP! JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!” Laura cried out in horror, covering her ears as Michael continued to torment her. She glanced up at the corner of the room as the tears slid down her cheeks, the red light on the camera flashing steadily, reminding her that every word was being recorded.

----------------------

“Get her out of there!” Sheppard roared to Colonel Caldwell, “For god’s sake, he’s torturing her. Hasn’t she been through enough?”

Dr. Weir covered her mouth as she watched and listened to the scene in the holding cells unfold. Michael was baiting her, trying to get her to turn on herself and Atlantis.

Colonel Caldwell held his ground, “I understand your upset Colonel, but we need to see if he will talk. And the best way to do that is to place her with him.”

“Oh he’s talking alright, talking her right into the nuthouse. And if you don’t put a stop to this, I will!” He motioned for Bates to approach.

“You don’t have the authority to override my decision, Colonel. I suggest you stand down.” Colonel Caldwell stared Sgt. Bates down.

Sheppard ignored him, “Look, go down there and move her. I don’t care where; just move her to another cell away from him.”

“Understood, sir.” Bates moved before Caldwell could even object.

“We don’t subject our people to torture, Sir.” Sheppard made sure to put an emphasis on the title.

Colonel Caldwell gave Sheppard a cool but steady look, “You are out of line, Colonel. And unless you want to take up a cell next to the Lieutenant, I suggest you keep comments like that to yourself. Are we clear?”

“Yes Sir,” Sheppard balled his fists up and clenched them methodically. His attention was diverted as he heard commotion on the video feed. Sgt. Bates was releasing Lt. Cadman from the cell next to Michael and motioning for her to go to another room. She nodded, wiping her eyes as she exited the cell, seemingly grateful for her reprieve.

“If this backfires in any way, I mean in ANY way, I will hold you responsible.” Colonel Caldwell turned and exited the room.

“I’m sure you will, sir. I’m sure you will.”


End Part 10.

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SGA's Carson Beckett/Laura Cadman

August 2009

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