In The Genes

Sarah Thompson is 24 years old, and for most of her life, she's had it rough. From being a young orphan to a teen runaway to a lost baby, she's never known what happiness truly is. But now, with a PhD under her belt and a brand new, off-world job, she's about to see just what life has in store for her. And with a handsome Major Sheppard by her side... she's in for the ride of her life.

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3. Wormhole Travel

The abandoned city of Atlantis sat silent, cold and dark on the planet of Lantea. Nothing moved; indeed, nothing could, for there was no life here. From within a chamber at the top of the city’s magnificent tower came the sound of mechanical firing, pistons and computers long dead working to revive themselves.

The Stargate moved, it dialled, and slowly started to turn.

In the centre of the Gate, a wormhole started to form, growing bigger by the second until it covered the interior. There was a flash of light as a man in military uniform appeared, gun at the ready as he scoured the room, searching for signs of danger. He moved forward quickly, allowing more people to follow behind…

… I took my first breath of Lantean air as I emerged from the wormhole, Major Sheppard on my heels. I almost tripped over my own feet, unsteady after the sickening feeling of wormhole travel, and found my elbow clutched by a strong but gentle hand. “Thanks,” I said shakily, smiling up at Major Sheppard. He smiled back at me, a small moment of calm in the madness of our arrival.

Major Sheppard slowly removed his hand, making sure that I wouldn’t trip over if he let go too soon. Looking around the room, it appeared to be that we were in what the ancient used as their control room. Sheppard left me wondering around near the gate as he and Dr. Weir walked up the stairs to the controls, where Dr McKay had already made himself a nest of technology.

“According to the reader, we have power in the top twenty levels, but the rest of the city is in darkness,” he informed us all; “There’s a main power breaker in the basement of the tower, it needs to be turned off in order to wake up Atlantis.”

Dr Weir nodded and turned to Lt Ford. “We’ll need volunteers. At least four people-“

“I’ll go,” Sheppard volunteered, raising a hand in the air. Ford nodded at a pair of marines and they broke off to join Sheppard, a little team being formed in the middle of the control room. I looked up at the action, waiting a second or two before walking closer.

“I don’t like odd numbers,” Dr Weir mused, frowning a little. She gave the security team another glance; there was only four of them left, and the team in the tower needed some protection too. If they all left, McKay, Weir and Ford would be on their own.

I glanced at Sheppard, and decided to seize my chance. “I’ll go,” I said, stepping up beside him. Weir looked uneasy about letting the closest thing to a medical professional- until Carson arrived tomorrow, that is- go on a mission so soon. I knew I was a vital part of this team, but surely it’d be better to send me out with them than keep me up here? “I can fight,” I added, hoping to win myself some points.

Weir shared a look with Ford, and the man shrugged. “They’ll be better off with med-assistance,” he said finally, as reluctant as Weir. He unbuckled a little handgun from his belt and tossed it to me. “Think you can handle that, kid?”

I gritted my teeth. “I’ll manage, sir,” I sniped back, almost wishing for something to happen so I could prove myself. Did they think that because I spent my time in school studying how to help people that I couldn’t fight as well as his hardened marines? I might not have been in a warzone or purposefully killed someone, but I was no fragile little daisy, either.

“Alright then. Move out!” Ford ordered, and under the watchful eyes of the people remaining behind, Sheppard lead our small contingent into the hall, guns at the ready. It wasn’t so bad up here, but as soon as we reached the darkness we’d be on our own. I knew McKay had run a scan for lifeforms- but there could be things lingering here that didn’t register. The thought didn’t sit well in my stomach and I adjusted my grip on the handgun, thinking longingly of the automatic rifles Ford had conveniently ignored.

“Relax,” Sheppard muttered to me out of the corner of his mouth. I glanced up to see him grinning and rolled my eyes. “Seriously, you’re freaking me out. Ford’s scarier than anything we’re gonna meet down here.”

Despite myself, my nerves lessened and I smiled a little, my knuckles fading from white to their normal pink as my grip on the gun slackened. “Thanks,” I mumbled back, hoping the marines behind us couldn’t hear. I didn’t want anybody to think I couldn’t handle this; but somehow, I didn’t mind if Sheppard knew I was nervous. It was just something about him that put me at ease.

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