Title: Sentinel Moments
Series: The Unlikely and Unwilling
Atlantis was a treasure trove of shit that wanted to kill them. Really. Why in the *hell* were they here again?
John had very few things that he did every day, but taking the time to do a physical tour of around the inhabited areas of his new city was one that was quickly becoming a habit that he could live with. While he was doing this, he tried to touch each and every person settled within the walls, using the action to get an update on how they were doing and how they were handling the stresses of their new homes. So when one person suddenly moved from within his ‘safe area’ to somewhere that his men hadn’t cleared, he had to act.
“Hang on Rodney,” John said as he raised a hand to quiet his Guide. “One of the kids’ heartbeats just disappeared and reappeared across the City.”
“Across the City? How? And which kid?”Rodney asked as he made his way over to the console that controlled the City’s internal sensors. They had stopped in on the main city control center and the Guide had been doing his own version of monitoring the emotional temperature of the Expedition members. Thus it was the work of only a moment for him to log into the laptop that was slaved to the Ancient console and even less time to bring up the life signs monitor. “Right. Most of us are here in the City center and we have one life sign outside of the cleared area, about three klicks from here, on a north/northeast heading with the Stargate standing in for North. Major, since I am not able to get more detail out of this, please come here and get the system to zoom in to where the kid is and tell me if there is anything dangerous near him.”
John quickly crossed over to the same console and using the Ancient system itself, started to expand the search parameters. “Rodney, the kid is Jinto and his heart is beating like a trip hammer, but he is staying still. If I am reading this right, the room he is in is a lab and it has that sigil you said meant ‘Danger’ in Ancient.”
“Crap,” Rodney said with feeling. Flicking a glance over the information now on the computer screen, he looked at the looked at the Duty Officer. “Chuck, have you managed to get the PA system working? Whatever. Tie Major Sheppard into the PA system so he can talk to Jinto.”
“We got the system working this morning, Doctor,” he said and kicked his chair over to the correct console. Quick fingers tapped out a series of commands into the Ancient communications net. “Major, your headset will be tied into the PA in three…. Two… One.”
“Attention Atlantis, this is Major Sheppard. We have a missing child. I want everyone to be quiet until informed otherwise.” Taking a deep breath, John stretched out his senses and tried to focus on the child that he had met under such trying circumstances. “Jinto? This is Major Sheppard. We know that you’ve taken a little trip somewhere. All you need to do is talk and I’ll hear you. Can you tell me how you got to where you are? What is near you?”
Rodney took a quick look into the ‘closet’ and came to a decision. “John, I want you to dial down your hearing, touch and sight to level one. I have no idea how this is going to feel when we go through.”
John tilted his head to the side as he listened to what Jinto had to say and smiling at the concern in the boys voice looked over at his Guide, “Jinto says that there was a mild tingling, a bright light and no sound that he remembers.”
“Thank you Jinto! Very good job. Now lock your senses down Sentinel.” Rodney said with steel in his voice. He had been nothing but kind while talking to Jinto and John knew that some of his scientists were going to be testing the length of their leashes after this. No matter how nice Rodney was deep down, he was still a bastard to work with and for. Hopefully the minions would relearn that lesson quickly. It would cut down on the chaos and mayhem out of the labs.
The trip wasn’t uncomfortable by any means, and John was pleased to find that he was able to reorient himself quickly. Stretching his senses out, he quickly took a baseline of Rodney and found that while his heart rate was a bit elevated, he smelled as sweetly smug as John had ever sensed. Moving beyond his Guide, the Sentinel quickly found Jinto and everything seemed to be okay with him. The room he was in however… Not so much. There was something humming in there. And it wasn’t Jinto.
“Jinto? We are here. You can come out now.” John called softly. Whatever was humming in that room was causing his nerves to twist tighter and tighter in dread.
A head full of tousled brown hair peered around the corner ahead of them and when Jinto saw who it was, he ran towards the two men. “Major Sheppard! It is good to see you.”
“I’m glad to see you as well Jinto,” John said as he did another scan of the boy. Nothing was wrong with him. Thankfully.
Clearing his throat, Rodney threw his Sentinel a faintly embarrassed look before taking a deep breath. “Jinto, I know that you are anxious to get back to your father, but I need to know a couple of things before you head back. Okay?”
Nodding briskly, the boy turned to the scientist and gave him a hug. “Yes, Dr. McKay. I am glad that you are here too!”
Rodney awkwardly patted him on the shoulder and John could feel him sending out calm to the excited boy. “Jinto, I need to know, did you touch anything when you left the closet? Did anything light up when you walked into that room?”
“I didn’t touch anything, Dr. McKay. I remembered what you said about how some of the things here on Atlantis are dangerous and we can’t always tell just by looking. And the only thing that came on in that room is the light. It was really dark in there.” Jinto said. The words were muttered into the scientist’s chest, but John could hear them clearly.
“Good! I am glad that you learned that lesson. Do you think you could pass it on to some of my minions?” Rodney said with a wry smile. “Now I want you to go back into that closet, and touch the central tower icon. Your dad should be on the other side of the door by now. Okay?”
“Yes, Dr. McKay. I didn’t cause any problems, did I?” Jinto asked as he let go and walked back into the transporter.
“I don’t know Jinto.” Rodney said honestly. “But I will let you know as soon as I can. Off with you now. Your dad is very anxious to get you back. Now tap the main tower icon…”
As soon as Jinto had touched the map, the doors had closed and John heard a brief hum and then they were alone in the corridor.