Rating: PG-13, K+ for a few swear words
Part: 1/1-*for now*.
Characters: John, a little Teyla, even less Ronan, Lorne, Elizabeth, Zelenka, and Kusinagi.
Archiving: Sciencefiction Buzz site, Pink's site and Suz's sites. No place else, please, unless I upload it there. Thanks!
Warnings: Possibly scary.
Disclaimer: This is written just for fun, not for money. I own nothing. Literally.
Summary: Written for Sciencefiction Buzz's SGA challenge: Use their opening line, scissors, a deflated beach ball and write for 22 minutes exactly.
Plot: John's R&R becomes a lot more.
AN: Thank you to my wonderful betas: SelDear, Suz, and Jeanine
Feedback: yes, have feedback sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bio: I'm a longtime writer. My favorite SG character's are John Sheppard and Vala. One of my favorite characters of all time is Han Solo.
Bewildered, John stumbled and slipped through the deep forest - sliding unexpectedly down a dew-ridden, grassy slope that opened into a bright clearing. The sudden sunshine nearly blinded him; its warmth a welcome contrast to the cool, damp mustiness of before.
He clutched the deflated beach ball to his chest like a life preserver, fell to his knees on the edge of the sheer cliff that cut off the narrow clearing. Horrified, he stared at the panorama before him. Below lay a glistening lake, lime green trees with draping branches spread as far as he could see. A lavender sky hung above him. It all seemed almost normal, almost like Earth, except that the clouds were red.
A naturally occurring and harmless chemical Rodney had said.
Harmless. Yeah, right. Who knew it caused the rain to fall red and made those it drenched turn into raving lunatics.
He swallowed hard and held his breath, instinctively cocking an ear to the woods behind him. Were they still following him, those rabid friends of his?
The only sounds that came to him were the rustling of the leaves and the distant scream of the weird, pterodactyl type birds that lived on this planet. No wonder the few humans here lived underground. Nothing sane could survive on this planet, least of all fragile, ignorant humans who had no business being on this world.
Heckuva place to choose for R&R. Teyla and Ronan could survive here, he was sure of it, because their instincts were so good. Well, before the rain morphed them into Day of the Dead. They weren't dead. No way. No, they couldn’t be. They were drugged or delusional. That was all. Yeah, that was it.
The others? Elizabeth? Zelenka? Even sweet, quiet little Dr. Kusinagi had been caught out in the sudden storm. Only sheer luck had him inside the cave sawing at duct tape with those damned scissors to repair the popped beach ball.
So much for volley ball.
Good thing the scissors were dull or he'd have been out there too, his sanity frothing away like bubbles in a soda.
He caught his breath and remembered how they'd all stood there when it happened, soaked, blood red water streaming over their faces and Hawaiian tourist shirts like some macabre accident scene. He had known he was in trouble the instant they had all stopped laughing -- so suddenly -- confusion fading to blankness, crimson rain dribbling over their faces...forgotten.
Slowly, they had turned on him and cold certainty drained from his head to his toes.
Without a thought, he'd dropped the scissors and run for his life.
Even now, they howled and screamed behind him, thrashing and shredding the woods. If he didn't know better he'd swear they were hungry, searching for him because he wasn't like them.
John crawled closer to the edge, he still had that damned popped ball in his hands, and looked down. Below him was a lake--a purple lake--the rain mixed with the bluish water. Halfway around it, on the sandy shore was the Stargate.
Hope surged through him. It was so close! All he had to do was get down there. It was only twenty-five feet or so. Easy. Simple. He could just dive into the water, swim across and be there and....no.
Whatever the hell had changed his friends must require direct contact with large amounts of water, contact the damp ground and leaves hadn't changed him at all. He couldn't land in the lake.
Behind him, the bushes shook. He stiffened. The sounds that came from behind the canopy of leaves were inhuman, like cats in pain, but he knew what they meant.
They had found him. His team. His friends. His family.
Teyla, Rodney, Ronan, Lorne, Elizabeth, Zelenka, Kusinagi...twelve others. He alone had stayed dry. Shit!
Fear pierced his belly. He couldn't let them find him, corner him here on this cliff like a deer in a hunter's sights. Gruesome possibilities flashed through his mind and he swallowed hard in a dry throat.
He leaned out further, peered down, cast his gaze around. Too few handholds, too steep a drop, too far down to jump--unless he could aim just right and hit the narrow strip of beach that angled like a sidewalk straight to the distant Stargate.
He could make that run. He just wasn't sure he could survive the drop off the cliff.
He rolled over and took stock of the clifftop, gaining his feet. Some weird stroke of luck perched several trees on the precipice near him, their lime colored branches draping over the edge like a clown's wig.
A nearby shriek broke the silence.
He shivered involuntarily. Goosebumps wriggled up his arms.
Something broke through the bushes, barreled toward him. A small flash of brown--Teyla.
He was out of time.
He threw the ball in her face and leapt for a branch, his momentum carrying him out over the cliff, over the lake in a wide arc.
He cursed as he swung back toward her, her face still stained with crimson like dried blood, teeth bared, brown eyes glassy and wild, hands bent like claws. On a normal day, she could hurt him.
Today, she could kill him.
Swinging...curving back toward the cliff.
He wasn't going to make it.
Damn! He didn't want to have to hurt those he cared about in order to survive. He had no weapons save his bare hands.
John looked down. He was over the beach. So far down.
"Teyla," he called and their gazes met. She stopped her advance. "Be safe."
She cocked her head and for a moment he swore she understood, then a shadow darkened her glazed eyes and he felt deep down that she was trapped inside herself. She was going to jump for him, unmindful of her own safety or his.
So he let go, plunged toward the beach and rocks and water.
The face of the cliff raced past, the wind whistling in his ears.
He hit soft sand and pain exploded in his ankle as it twisted. Not broken, he automatically thought. He rolled and gained his feet, nearly crying out with the fire that shot from his ankle, but he couldn't stop. He hobbled as fast as he could along the beach toward the Stargate, slipping in the sand. Grit made his fingers itch and he cursed the sucking sand for slowing him.
Behind him the water splashed--like someone had jumped into it from the cliff.
His lungs burned.
His vision blurred.
He dared a peek at the cliff behind and above him. Elizabeth, Rodney, Zelenka, Kusinagi, and others were gathering.
He didn't look at the water. He knew it was Teyla, Ronan and Lorne swimming after him. Teyla was fastest, Ronan the strongest, Lorne the unknown.
Ragged gasps ripped at his chest as he hobbled to the DHD. He hit the sequence so fast he wasn't even certain he got it right, but anywhere was safer than this--at least as long as it would take him to redial.
Something splashed ashore behind him.
The wormhole engaged and he dashed up the steps, slipped onto his belly. Pain wracked his ribs.
Crap! He cringed, waiting for a moment for the hunter to fall on him, for the hellish images circling his brain to come true.
He rolled over to face his nightmare.
Teyla's hair hung limp, dripping against her shoulders. The curve of her breast had an oozing scrape, a purple bruise. He swallowed his fear but scrabbled backward, dragging his injured leg, then lifted his chin defiantly.
"Teyla," he said softly, standing, his hands out to ward her off and placate her, "I'll save you."
Recognition flickered in her brown eyes and for a second he thought she looked afraid, then the expression evaporated into madness.
In that second of reprieve, he whirled and dove through the wormhole to safety.
It snapped closed behind him.