He knew it. He’d just known it deep down inside his very being that it would all end badly: the fake ATA inoculation scam, Beckett showing up to help save Atlantis. It had all been a ruse to get him off his guard. He’d passed out in his room and the next thing he knew, several Marines just snatched him and dragged him back to the Wraith cell, tossing him in without a care. Hours passed before Lucius showed up with Beckett in tow like an obedient little lap dog, just beaming in disgusting adoration at the nutjob who was compromising all of Atlantis.
Sheppard’s stomach had bottomed out when several Wraith came through that door behind Lucius, their pale and thin forms looking like specters of death. They fanned around, standing to either side of the men, smiling at him with evil intent. Beckett had grinned and offered himself up as a literal happy meal when one of those Wraith grabbed him. “Anything for Lucius!” he’d shouted cheerfully a second before the Wraith slammed his hand into the doctor’s chest.
Sheppard awoke with a start, tangled in damp sheets. He sat up, realizing a second later it had just been a nightmare. Right, right, just a nightmare. Right? He felt himself for damage, then became aware that his uniform was gone. He could have sworn the last thing he’d done was taken some antihistamines for his clogged head. He had on his boxers and that was it. He rubbed a hand against his cheek, finding a fine growth of beard. How long had he been out? A glance at his watch, then at the window behind him, confirmed he’d been out a while because he sorta remembered it being daylight and now it was darkening. Did this mean he’d actually gotten a few hours sleep and things were fine, or had the entire base just gone insane during his unconscious state? No no, that was just being paranoid. He’d left everything in Lorne’s capable hands and he trusted the man implicitly to follow his orders and keep the base safe.
He swung his legs over the bed and two things struck him: his sinuses actually felt better and his headache was gone. He hoped that this wasn’t a dream as the headache had been a downright nuisance, but oddly enough, his cold had been a lifesaver.
After a hot shower and shave, he got dressed. He put back on his weapons belt but decided the P90 might be overkill. He stashed it under his pillow as nobody would think to look for it there, and in an action that wasn’t routine, he hid the stunner pistol just inside his jacket. No, he wasn’t being paranoid, just cautious. He stared at the door as though it were the gate to Hell. No, the dream had been just that - a bad dream, Things were fine, just fine. He took a deep breath and opened the door.
What the hell was a soldier doing standing outside his door? The young man was obviously guarding the door, and despite the fact that he looked no older than nineteen, he remembered this particular Marine coming off the Daedalus a couple months back. Deceptively small, he was lightning fast when it came to hand-to-hand combat and actually gotten out of Ronon’s grasp once.
But right now, Sheppard wasn’t sure if that bode good or bad for him. “Corporal?”
“Colonel.” The young man looked rather relieved.
“What are you doing?”
“Dr. Beckett said you needed your rest after the, uh, situation.” The young soldier coughed, looked slightly ashamed as he too had fallen under Lucius’ influence. Who hadn’t, it seemed, except him?
Okay, well, that was nice. He knew Beckett was probably taking it harder than the rest. After all, he’d brought Lucius back to Atlantis. “Um, you’re dismissed.” For a split second, the horrible thought occurred that the young man would turn into a Stepford clone and not leave, but instead, the man simply nodded and left.
Sheppard glanced down both ends of the empty corridor. His stomach growled accusingly. Yeah, food was the first thing on order. He’d check in with Lorne after he’d eaten.
TO BE CONTINUED…