Finding Home

Ronon has to decide where his home truly lies - with a blue-eyed doctor or a village claiming to be his people.

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After having been given a direct order to open the Star Gate, the new recruit scrambled back up into his chair and resumed his post. He was still a little stunned after being shoved out of the way and onto the floor by some big burly guy he'd never seen before - and hoped to never see again. Gathering his wits about him, PFC Redmond entered the code to do as ordered and open the gate. However, the damn thing didn't seem to be working properly. He entered the code again. Then again and again. Nothing. The ring remained silent.

Redmond was confused. Each time he entered the code that was meant to bring up the last known coordinates, his computer screen showed the day's last off-world jump. An off-world jump from twelve hours ago. The system shouldn't be doing that, Redmond thought. It shouldn't be trying to initialize a jump from earlier in the day when Dr. Keller, along with the stranger, had left just moments ago.

Flustered, Redmond tried a different code, but with that the panel before him now flashed a systems error – a rather strange error. DESTINATION NOT FOUND. What the heck?! Something wasn't adding up. There had to be a glitch in the system because he knew that he was doing everything right. So why wouldn't the chevrons repeat the sequence and initialize the gate?

"Private what's the hold up?" the Colonel demanded as he stood looking up at the new tech on duty. "Why isn't the gate open yet?"

"Sir, I…uh…I don't know. The StarGate seems to be malfunctioning." Redmond answered nervously. This was his first time at the controls. It was the night shift and it was supposed to be quiet. If this was quiet for this place, he'd hate to see what chaotic was like.

"What do you mean malfunctioning? You can't dial up the gate?" Sheppard questioned as he bounded up the stairs and now stood next to the Marine.

"I'm sorry Sir, but I can't bring up the last known coordinates. I mean I can but the coordinates that the other guy entered…they just don't show up. The system only shows the last five off-world jumps. And as you can see," Redmond pointed to the screen as proof, "the very last one was the jump headed by Cpt. Smythe nearly twelve hours ago."

"What? That's impossible!"

"Sir, I can tell you where the guy…"

"Ronon."

"Beg your pardon, Sir?"

"The big guy. His name is Ronon Dex."

"And he's a part of Atlantis?" asked skeptically.

"He is for the moment." Sheppard mumbled under his breath. "Continue." he urged the young Marine.

"Um…well as I was saying, Sir, I can retrieve the address of the planet the guy…uh…I mean Mr. Dex jumped from to get here. I can't, however, pull up the location of where he and Dr. Keller jumped to. The system is showing an error."

And with that Redmond entered the code and just as before the DESTINATION NOT FOUND flashed upon the computer screen.

Sheppard was about to ask what planet Ronon had jumped from when his team - Rodney, Teyla and Evan - entered the gate room. Even though it was only zero two hundred hours, Teyla and Evan were suited up and ready to go. Rodney, on the other hand, looked like he had just rolled out of bed, grabbed his gear and slept-walked here.

Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Rodney spotted John standing at the control panel on the second tier. Crossing his arms over his chest, he frowned at the Colonel.

"This had better be important." he said through a yawn. "I was having the most wonderful dream about a swimming pool filled with, of all things, blue jell-o. Can you imagine that." The scientist spoke dreamily. "There was this really pretty technician there too." McKay smiled broadly, unfolded his arms and held out his hands, "She had these really big…"

"Rodney!" Sheppard scolded.

"Hmm?…What?!" Looking up at John and the warning look in his eyes had Rodney exclaiming, "I was going to say snow globes. Large snow globes!" Frowning and tapping his index finger on his chin the scientist wondered out loud, "Blue jell-o I get, but I don't know why I was dreaming about globes?" he mused. "So strange."

"McKay, we don't have time to analyze your jell-o dream." John stopped for a second. There was a joke in there somewhere but he was too pissed off to follow through with it. Instead he stated, "We've got a major problem here."

Teyla rolled her eyes at Rodney while Loren snickered. Both turned their attention towards John. Teyla was the first to ask, "Colonel, what has happened?"

"Ronon happened." was John's vague reply.

"He's showed back up?" Major Lorne inquired.

Everyone on Atlantis had been curious as to what had happened to the Satedan. He'd been gone for so long. They wondered where he had went off to because it was as if he'd just disappeared.

"Yeah he showed back up, and then left again it seems." Col. Shepperd stated as he paced back and forth next to the control panels, "and this time he took Dr. Keller with him."

At that precise moment Kyle stumbled into the gate room holding his hand over his still bleeding nose.

Teyla had seen the lieutenant enter and immediately went to where a first aid kit hung on the wall near the stairs. Retrieving it she rushed over to him. "Lt. Masterson," genuine concern etched upon her face as she asked, "What happened? Who did this to you?"

"I don't know; some big ass guy." Kyle said as he leaned his head back to try and stop the bleeding. His voice came out nasally sounding as he pinched his nose shut and said, "I tried to stop Dr. Keller. I tried to keep her from goin' but then the asshole sucker-punched me." Kyle was still seeing stars. The man had a fist like a 9 pound sledge hammer.

"That would've been Ronon." Rodney interrupted as a matter-of-factly.

With the look Teyla gave him, Rodney said defensively, "What? Ronon is rather big and Jennifer was with him, so you do the math."

Turning her attention back to the lieutenant, Teyla fished out a small pad from the first aid kit and handed it to Kyle. The pad was infused with CELOX granules that helped stop nosebleeds. He took it, put it up to his nostrils and applied pressure. Within seconds the bleeding had stopped.

Seeing that Lieutenant Masterson wasn't in dire need of attention, John turned his attention to the more pressing matter at hand. "Rodney get up here and see what you can make of this." Sheppard ordered.

"What is it?" McKay asked annoyed as he climbed the stairs.

"The Private here keeps getting some sort of systems error when he tries to dial up Ronon's off-world location."

"System error? What system error? It has to be an operator error if anything."

PFC Redmond took offense to that statement, but kept quiet and stood so Rodney could take over.

After several minutes had passed Rodney turned to Sheppard asking, "Which do you want first – the good news or the bad news?"

"Let's go with good just for the hell of it." John said.

"Okay. The good news is that I can tell you where Ronon jumped from in his return to Atlantis. It's some sort of backwater planet in the Carina Omega sector. NRI-4."

Redmond thought, I could had told you that.

"And the bad news?" John closed his eyes waiting for it.

"The bad news is that it isn't a system error that Private Redman..."

"Redmond."

"What?"

"My name. Redmond."

Rodney waved his hands dismissing the Marine. "Yeah well whatever. Anyway, somehow Ronon has erased all traces of his travels." Rodney had sounded very impressed at that aspect.

"What? How? So what your saying is that you have no idea where he and Jennifer went?"

"Uh..yeah pretty much. Whatever Ronon did, the system has no record of his latest jump and so we can't follow."

"Then fix it Rodney. Find a way to figure out where he went so we can go after them."

"Oh, okay!" the scientist answered indignantly. "Let me just wave my magic wand and…oh wait a minute...I forgot this kid stopped by a couple days ago and I loaned it out to him. You might know him. He wore round rimmed glasses, had a scar on his forehead, and talked with a cute British accent. Went by the name of Harry I think."

"Ha. Ha. Very funny."

"Look, if I knew what was wrong I'd fix it." Rodney huffed, "But I can't. The address Ronon punched in before they left is not in the system. It is not in the archives. It's as if it had been erased or something! There is no way of following them"

John thought out loud, "I wonder if it had anything to do with the event horizon turning red?"

"Red?" Rodney's curiosity was peaked.

"Yeah, it went from blue to red before Ronon and Jennifer went through."

"You didn't say anything about it being red. Interesting."

"Why? Is that important?"

"It might be." Rodney was already scrolling through his handheld computer, inputting data and ignoring everyone in the room.

"Well, figure out what's going on and fast! Ronon doesn't know that Jennifer is sick. She might have one of those attacks again and we have no clue as to where she's at to help her."

 

~~~~~ooooo~~~~~

Nearly an hour later, Rodney slammed his computer shut; frustrated that he hadn't even come close to figuring out why the gate had turned red or why Ronon's coordinates didn't show up.

Seeing the defeat on the scientist's face, Sheppard made an executive decision. He gathered the small team together and told them the reason why Ronon had left Atlantis weeks ago without telling anyone. Teyla, Evan and Rodney were all in shock when John informed them that Ronon had gotten word about survivors from his home planet and that he'd gone in search of them.

John told the team that he'd bet a months wages that Ronon had succeeded at finding what he'd been looking for. Now as to why he'd taken Jennifer forcefully off-world with him was still a mystery within itself. One John was determined to solve.

So at the moment the only plausible plan Sheppard could come up with was to travel off-world to NRI-4 and wait. Wait for Ronon to show up.

As soon as the order was issued, Rodney piped up in that whiny voice of his which grated against Sheppard's last nerve, "But why do we have to go there? This planet is probably infested with some sort of man eating leprechaun or something!"

Everyone in the room looked at McKay like he'd gone insane.

"What? I've only had a few hours sleep okay. It was the best analogy I could come up with on such short notice. Besides I'd watched that B-rated flick a couple nights ago. It was rather scary!"

Shaking his head, John asserted, "Look, it's the only lead we have. Ronon jumped from NRI-4 to get to here. The odds are he'd have to do it again. When he does, we'll be there to see what the hell is going on."

"So Colonel is it only the four of us going?" Teyla questioned.

As if on que, six well armed Marines entered the gate room. Earlier Sheppard had taken Maj. Lorne off to the side and ordered him to call in a few more men to add to their team. John wasn't taking any chances. He didn't know what he was getting into and he'd rather play it safer than sorry.

PFC Redmond was ordered to immediately let the team know if Ronon and/or Dr. Keller returned through the gate while SGA-1 was off-world.

John was going over his gear when Kyle stepped up to him. "Colonel Sheppard permission to come along."

John looked at Lt. Masterson. His nose had stopped bleeding, but from the looks of it Ronon had done a number on the poor guys face. "Don't you think you should get to medical and have" John grimaced and pointed to Kyle's face, "that looked at lieutenant?"

"I will Sir on our return. Permission to speak freely Sir."

"Yeah sure."

"I fee like it is my fault that this Ronon took Jen...I mean...Dr. Keller off-world against her will."

"I don't see how that it's your fault lieutenant."

"Please Sir."

John sighed. The look on the man's face had him nearly begging and John wouldn't put it past the kid to fall to his knees pleading to come along.

"Okay. You have less than a minute to suit up and get back here. We're leaving in two minutes."

"Yes Sir! Thank you Sir!" and with that Kyle left and returned in record time ready to go. Ready to get Jennifer back. Ready to beat the shit out of Ronon.

Finally when all the members were assembled and their gear triple checked, John gave the go ahead to open the gate to NRI-4.

It was mid-day on the planet when they stepped through the gate.

Rodney scanned the area for Ronon and Jennifer via their locator chips, but nothing showed up on his hand held device. The planet had no magnetic resolution or any other type of disruptive properties to interfere with his equipment. The two were not on the planet.

Since the couple wasn't on NRI-4, Sheppard decided to follow a well worn path which lead them into a fairly large bustling city. John let his crew leisurely roam the city, but reminded them to keep an eye out for the pair and to report in every half hour.

John didn't know what had gotten into Ronon for him to act the way he did, but he was as sure as hell going to find out. He would either sit the big guy down and talk with him or if he had to John would put him into a cell until he got the answers he sought.

Either way Ronon had a lot of explaining to do.

 
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