The teams learn a little bit more about their blond sniper during a SNAFU hot call, but will they get any answers or will it only lead to more questions?
“Shit!” Sam cursed as the door slammed shut behind him and his partner at the same moment as some kind of white powder exploded into their face. “Fuck!” he cursed again for good measure.
“What’s going on? Sam? What happened?” Greg Parker’s worried voice spoke hurriedly into his headset.
“It’s a trap.” Sam reported in to his superior calmly, none of his apprehension of the situation detectable in his voice. “We’re locked in and we’ve inhaled some kind of unknown substance.” Cursing could be heard over the wire at the same time as Sam watched the techie he had been partnered with today fervently trying to get rid of the powder that had settled on him. Sam knew that the actions would not do them any good; they had already inhaled a significant amount of the unknown powder and Spike was only disturbing the white particles further with his rushed motions.
“Calm down Spike. That won’t help.” Sam placed a calming hand on the Italian’s shoulder and Spike did stop waving his arms around, but the near panic in his big brown eyes was not hard for the sniper to see. “Wet paper or cloth works much better.” Sam gently explained as he guided his friend towards the water-dispenser he had taken notice on his first survey of the conference like room they were now stuck in.
“Right.” Spike jumped on the task at hand and quickly started cleaning both their exposed skin thoroughly, before drenching their cloths with the remaining water. Sam patiently followed the older man’s directions, knowing that this was something the techie needed to do right now to keep his fear at bay.
Sam almost didn’t notice the colors starting to appear in his line of sight, but when he did he groaned out loud. “It’s some sort of hallucinogen.” Sam reported to the worried voices outside in the wan. He was grateful that it was not some other biological containment, but he knew from experience that any kind of hallucinogen could be a pain in the ass.
“We’ve got to get rid of our weapons.” Sam told Spike forcefully as he started to disarm the other man. “’Cause let me tell you. Guns and drugs? They. Do. Not. Mix very well. It’s not fun to get shot in the ass. Or an arm. Or the stomach. Actually it’s not fun to get shot at all, I can tell you, but I think being shot in the ass would be worst scenario of them all. Can you imagine not being able to sit or lie on your back for weeks? Or the pain walking would cause you? Man I feel sorry for the Doc now that I think about it.” Sam babbled on as the voice of reason, that had told him that he needed to do this, became smaller and smaller. And by the time he had disposed both of them of all their combined weaponry and hid it behind one of the sofas in the room he wasn’t completely sure why it had been so important in the first place.
“I am stoned.” Sam suddenly stated seriously. “It’s been a while now since last time this happened.”
“Oh? You usually get drugged up regularly?” a voice spoke into his ear. That had actually happened regularly during his current imprisonment. He had a feeling he should know who the voice belongs to, but at the moment he was too happy to care. It was far more fun to watch the colorful lightshow in front of him.
“Yes. No. I love the happy drugs the doctors give me. Don’t you? Then there are the food or drinks that some of the locals have. Last time I was on a trading mission I lost two days and ended up married. But it’s been a while since I got hurt. Not everyone can come and say that they’ve married two teammates and their military CO. Of course neither Jess, Alice or the Colonel remember much from those two days. I wish I did; it would have been great blackmail material.” Sam frowned for a moment, he wasn’t sure that had come out correctly. But then again, if the voice was in his head wouldn’t he understand him anyway?
“Who’s Jess and Alice?” the voice in his ear asked and broke him out of his philosophical thoughts about voices in the head and whether or not they could read his mind.
“My team leader and our brilliant scientist.” Sam happily informed him, or maybe he was an it? Then again; did mental voices even have genders?
“Are you still married to them?”
“Nah. Carter annulled it as usual after reading the rescue team’s report.” Sam believed he might have heard a disbelieving ‘asusual‘, but he could hear someone approaching the room and all his attention got directed towards the possible threat. In a moment of clarity he remembered that he had been drugged on a mission and realized that the ‘voice in his head’ probably was mission control.
“Possible tangos approaching.” he quietly reported in, his military training taking over and temporarily overpowering his drugged up brain when he saw the unknown armed men come into the room. “Four hostiles.” His statement caused smothered cursing in his ear, but Sam expertly ignored it in favor of focusing on the four men that had dropped in uninvited.
They were all clothed in black and had their faces covered up, but Sam could see it in the way they walked that they were proud to have captured him and his teammate. He remained silent while the men started to discuss what to do with them. He could see that they were all armed while he was not, and he did not want to take any unnecessary risks with his friend’s life. But he immediately grabbed the chance when he heard them start to talk about killing them. Whomever these people where, they had made a big mistake when they assumed him to be harmless just because he was drugged. He was a gate-veteran and had learned to fight no matter the circumstances. It was either adapt or die quickly when you are a part of an active gate team. So with accuracy and efficiency that came from painful hours spend sparring with people like Teyla and Ronon, Sam attacked. Moments later he was the only one left standing, or more correctly swaying, in the room and the four men lay still on the ground. Only one shot had been fired and that had gone wild.
“Subjects down.” Sam answered the frantic voice in his ear. Another small insistent voice in the back of his head told him to gathered all the discarded weapons and place them under the sofa next to him. He did not see anything wrong in doing so, and his gut told him that it was important, so with a shrug he did it. With that task successfully accomplished and four men secured with the cuffs he had found, not that it had been necessary with two of them, Sam looked over at his fellow SRU officer and found him trembling in one corner.
Bad reaction to the drugs. A part of his mind told him and Sam could vaguely remember that it had happened to him once; it had made him remember both his worst memories and nightmares. Sam seemed to remember that it had helped to have his friends close by and this man – Spike, the same voice informed him – was his friend.
“Spike. It’s Sam. Everything is okay. There is nothing to be afraid of. It’s not real.” Sam spoke gently as he crawled closer to the fellow police officer, but the man’s brown eyes didn’t focus on him before he reached out and touched Spike’s arm. Then things happened quickly and the other man practically jumped into his lap.
“Everything is alright. You’re not alone. I won’t let anything happen to you.” Sam murmured as he hugged the man reassuringly. A part of him knew he was not normally one for PDA, but this was his friend and he needed it right now, just like he himself had once needed it. Besides it felt good and at the moment that was all the justification he needed.
“Sam! What’s going on?” the man in his ear sounded frustrated and Sam thought that he might have spoken his name many times, but he had been so focused in reaching the techie that he had blocked out everything else.
“Spike. Bad reaction.” he answered shortly.
“Okay. We’re getting closer and will soon have you out. What happened to the men that came?”
“Huh?” At first Sam didn’t understand what the man was talking about, then his gaze settled on the four forgotten men a few feet away. “They are secured.”
“Good. But what happened to them?” the man sounded frustrated again.
“Dead and unconscious.” A whimper from the man in his arms cut of any additional information Sam might have felt like giving the voice.
“Everything is okay.” Sam desperately tried to remember what had helped him that one time, but it was like searching for a needle through mud-water in a storm now that the adrenaline was starting to disappear from his body. Then it struck him; song. He had always calmed down when Alice sung to him. Without thinking much about it, Sam immediately started singing one of the Satedan songs Ronon had taught him when he asked about Sateda. Apparently, it was tradition that most of their history was converted into ballads. It probably made it easier to remember and much more fun for children to learn about instead of reading a bunch of moldy books. Maybe they should try to do the same here on Earth? He could mention it to Jeannie the next time he visited. Learning through songs would sure beat reading boring books.
Sam was not sure how much time had passed when three familiar figures stepped into the room, it could have been minutes or it could have been hours. The only thing he knew was that he recognized them as teammates and that his singing had kept his friend relatively calm.
“Damn.” One of the men that had entered whistled lowly as all three surveyed the situation. In one corner Sam sat with Spike in his arms while singing some king of song none of them could make heads or tails of. Mostly it was the rest of the room’s inhabitants that made them stop and stare; the four men on the ground seemed to be lying where they had fallen if you didn’t factor in the restrains that somehow tied them all together. One obviously dead because of a broken neck, two of the others also had various broken bones if the unnatural angels were anything to go by. There was also the matter of all the weaponry they could barely see, stashed under an ugly couch farthest away from everyone. But it didn’t stop them for longer than a second before the tallest man started issuing orders and slowly approach the two conscious men while the other two took care of the subjects on the floor.
“Hi Sam. Can you tell me how you and Spike are doing?” the man asked gently as he kneeled down a couple of feet from them. Sam frowned slightly as he stared at him. He knew that he knew the man, but he could not match the face with a name. Yet the feeling of the answer on the tip of his tongue was irritating.
“Sam?” the man prodded as he inched forward slightly. The moment did not aggravate Sam the slightest. While he did not remember who the man was, he knew that he was a good guy and someone Sam could trust.
“He seems confused Sarge, but I do not believe he will harm anyone of us.” The man spoke into his radio, and in a flash Sam saw a bald man with a kind face. He tilted his head slightly as tried anew to drag up the memory of the man in front of him. Ed. Team leader. The voice in the back of his mind said, and was it his imagination or had it grown stronger? Looking at the other people in the room the voice supplied him with more names; Lou and Wordy. It was right that they were there, yet his gut told him that someone was missing.
“Sam. You in there kiddo? Look at me, please.” the man, Ed, once again caught his attention.
“Yes Sam.” Ed’s tone of voice sounded relieved as he sent him a small smile, but Sam could still read worry in his eyes. “Can you tell me who you are and where you are?”
“Master Corporal Sam Bra…” Sam stopped and frowned. That was wrong; he was no longer in the military. “Constable Sam Braddock and I am…” he had to stop and think again. He was probably back home in Canada since he had quit the military. He also had a quick flashback to a blonde woman sitting behind a desk. “Canada. Toronto. Hot call.” Sam sighted in frustration, why was this so hard? His agitation had unsettled the man in his arms, so Sam quickly threw away the irritating thought and concentrated on soothing his friend’s fears.
“Sam. Can you tell me how you and Spike are doing?” Ed had come closer and his voice held an urgency that caught Sam’s attention.
“Got drugged. Everything is… muddled. Spike reacted badly. Nightmares.” Even Sam could hear that the explanation was lacking, but it was almost like the outside world was out of focus. All the pretty lights did not exactly help any either.
He must have gotten lost in the beauty around him, because suddenly there were more people entering the room. He scowled at the sight of what they had brought with them.
“No.” Sam tried to look at Ed sternly. “Not rodeo first. I’ll walk.” His scowl deepened when he caught the flash of amusement that flew over the man’s face.
“All right.” Ed consented. “But I don’t think Spike is ready for the exercise yet.” The man pointed out and Sam let out a sight as he contemplated the man that was currently using him as a teddy bear. He sighted once more when he realized that Ed had been correct in his assessment. But that only meant that one of them needed to use the gurney. With a stubbornness that had managed to get him both in and out if sticky situation, Sam managed to convince his friend to move off his lap and onto the stretcher the paramedics had brought with them. Spike refused to relinquish all contact with him and kept a steady grip on Sam’s arm. Something Sam was actually a bit thankful for when they started to move, since it meant that he could steady himself on without making it too obvious. Still he feared that he had failed hiding his difficulties, when Ed quietly slid up beside him and took hold of his other arm. But there were so many other things to concentrate on instead of the act of walking. The lights almost seemed to wanting to tell him a story at times.
“Sam.” He looked up and saw two people that were dressed similar to Ed approach them. Greg and Jules. He giggled slightly as the purple and violet sky behind them caught his attention. Alien scenery had always fascinated him. That had probably been one of the reasons why he had fit in so easily in the program.
Sam huffed tiredly. He could understand why all the strangers were examining Spike, he was after all the one that something was wrong with. However, why did he have to go through the same tests? There was nothing wrong with him. This was Boring. With capital B. Not even all the nice colors were enough to lighten the situation.
“Hi Sam, what are you doing?” Greg asked gently. He had sent Jules and Lou with them to the hospital, while the rest of the team arrived shortly thereafter.
“On na matta netario. Ego deserdi fargit.” Sam whined without taking his eyes off the pad he had been doodling on.
“What was that?”
“On na matta netario. Ego deserdi fargit.” Sam repeated slowly, pointing at each letter as he said it. Had the Sergeant not heard him the first time, or could he not speak English properly? No, wait a moment. Sam squinted down at the words he had written on the pad. There were something hinky about them. But wha…. Oh. He had written it in Ancient. But he did not know more than the basics and what you picked up living in Atlantis.
“Can you translate that for me?” the older man asked, sounding a little choked.
“This is really unnecessary. I seek to be finished.” Sam answered distractedly. He was too busy entertaining the idea that the alien city-spaceship he had been living in might have been a bit more alien than he had first assumed, or that genetically changing his genome might have had some unforeseen consequences. Of course there were also the possibility that he just were smarter than he had thought. He was too busy with his thoughts that he did not notice when he had closed his eyes or that the world was moving sideways.
“SAM!” the urgency in the voice made him collect enough energy to open his eyes and see most of his team, plus a couple of medical personnel, crowding around his bed.
“Tired.” The mumbled before losing his will to keep his eyes open a moment longer. At least he thought that was what he said. For all he knew it might have been ‘dormata’, the Ancient equation. Sleep would probably help. Everything would be clearer after some rest. Between one heartbeat and the next Sam surrendered to the approaching darkness, only slightly disappointed that all the colors had started to vanish.
Sam hesitated for a moment before ringing the doorbell before running a hand through his hair in a nervous gesture. He had manages to talk his way out of the hospital only hours earlier. Spike, the lucky bastard, had been sent home in the early morning when the tests showed that the drug was out of his system. He on the other hand had been subjected to a truckload of additional tests. In the end the doctors seem to come to an agreement that the reason why he had fallen unconscious and been unresponsive for most of the evening and night was because he had been more active while under the influence, and therefor exhausted his body and energy reserves. Something about the drug enhancing a person’s natural metabolism and whatnot. He had not really been paying much attention at that point, too busy coming up with what kind of damage repair he’d need to take care of once released.
He had only vague memories about what had happened the day before. And from what he could remember he thought he should praise himself lucky for not saying or doing anything too incriminating. Of course he could tell his friends that it is classified when they ask – and they would ask – but it did not feel right to him. They were his team, his friends. And they deserved the truth, or at least as much as he could tell them without being charged with treason. That was one reason why he was here now, instead of in bed at home.
“Yes?” a beautiful older woman had opened the door while he had stood there woolgathering and now looked up at him expectantly.
“Mrs. Scarlatti, hi. I don’t think we’ve met, Ma’am, but I am Sam Braddock. I work with your son. I was hoping I could talk with him?” the last part came out more like a question than a statement and Sam felt like awkwardly shifting his feet while his cheeks turned crimson.
“Of course. One momento.” Spike’s mother said after assessing Sam for what felt like an eternity. He did not know what she was looking for, but if the pleased smile was anything to go by she had found it.
“Sam.” Spike sounded surprised to see him, but also a bit hesitant. “Good to see you up and walking. You were quite out of it last I heard. But shouldn’t you be at home? What are you doing here?”
“Yeah. I’ve broken out of worse places, so they decided to let me go before I had to do something drastic.” Sam chuckled, tension he had not known he had been carrying lifted at the sight of the techie whole and well. “As for why I am here…” he paused for a moment before deciding to jump straight in at the deep end of the pool.
“I know what you are going through. And I am not talking about yesterday. I mean that I have literally been in your shoes before. The only reason why I knew what might help you yesterday, was because I remember my team staying with me while I was confined to the infirmary, and Jessie’s voice keeping most of the nightmares away. Of course she has a better voice than me, but I don’t think I did too bad considering I was also drugged out of my mind.” Sam took a deep breath before looking up from the carpet he had been studying in detail while talking. “You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to, but I’ll always be there if you need someone to talk to that will understand. In the meantime…” Sam held up the two items he had brought from home after a quick meal and shower. “…I’ve brought popcorn and movies.”
“What kind of movies?” Spike asked interested as he opened up the door that lead to the basement and his inner sanctum.
“Oh, the usual. Star Wars, Star Trek, Lethal Weapons, Transformers, Die Hard, etc. I am sure we’ll find something to watch.” Sam grinned as he waved his compact DVD wallet full of movies, not the least bit bothered that Spike hadn’t mention his other offer. They were both guys, and as much as he wanted to be there and help his friend, guys were not prone to talk about their emotions. Therapy in form of junk food and action movies worked just as well. Or perhaps if the stories he had heard from Lou had any truth in them it would be homemade Italian food and movies.
“I heard you had some action yourself yesterday Samtastic.” Spike grinned while looking through the selection of DVDs.
“That was nothing.” Sam scoffed. “I could probably have taken those amateurs out blindfolded.”
“Sure, sure.” Spike’s grin grew wider.
“Are you doubting me?” Sam sent the other man a mock glare. “You’re doubting me!”
Neither men paid any notice to what happened behind them, but if they had, the bickering duo might have seen the soft smile that graced the face of the Matriarch before she closed the door softly behind her.