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Wraith Dreams

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by KJC



Major, there’s another wraith in this room!


Major John Sheppard hit his radio button, sighed, and replied, “There’s nothing there.  He’s making you see things.  Just ignore it.  He’s trying to play mind tricks on you boys.”


The Major flopped back onto his bed, every bone in his body feeling weighted down.  He was utterly exhausted.  It really drained a person when you were arguing at your top capacity, and he had been going at it earlier, trying to convince Perna and Chancellor Druhin to stop the inoculation of more Hoffans.  Beckett finally had to almost physically push Sheppard down and out of the room in order to avoid any more conflict, and Sheppard knew that the doctor had been right in doing so.  John knew how to blow off steam, but he could never do it in a good way.  He hated to think about what McKay would have been like had he been there.  Having a certain doctor and Major mad together would not have been a good mix.  Thankfully, the doctor had had the good sense to stay out of the room, otherwise there might have been a slightly bigger conflict going on at the moment.


Weir wouldn’t be happy once she found out.


John flung an arm across his head, sighing heavily.  His chest felt tight.


Suddenly, his radio crackled again, and the frantic voice of the officer on guard duty hailed the Major once more.  Major!  Are you sure this guy’s just playing mind tricks?  These things look pretty real.


Sheppard rolled his eyes.  “I’ll be down there in a few minutes, Lieutenant.  Just act calm.”


Rolling off the bed, he grabbed his jacket and sauntered out of the room and down to where Steve, the captured wraith, was being kept.


No one was in the room when he entered.


“Lieutenant,” Sheppard called.  “Lieutenant!  Why have you left your post?”


There was no answer.  Sheppard walked further into the room, and then noticed that there was no occupant in the cage.


“Crap!” he exclaimed, and doubled back towards the doorway.  The door, however, would not open at his touch.


He slammed on it with his hand, and then jumped when a brisk breeze swept by him.  Whirling around and eyes wide to the darkened room, he inched away from the door, soldier instincts instantly turned on.  Stealthily he made his way to the opposite side of the room, knowing the other door was on the other side of the room.


That door, however, seemed to have disappeared.


Sheppard froze, crouched like a cat.  Was the wraith playing with his mind?  He knew there was a door here.  He looked away, then checked again.  No.  There definitely was no door.


“All right, Steve,” he called out.  “No more tricks.  I know what you’re up to, and it isn’t working.”


The cold breeze swept through the room again, sending chills up and down Sheppard’s spine.  He turned to where the hidden door was, hoping that this time he could see it, and to his surprise, it appeared, looking untouched.


Afraid to take his eyes off the door, he opened it and pressed through, then looked behind him into the room to see if the wraith had bothered to reveal himself.  Unfortunately, it was too dark in the room to see much of anything.  It was not dark enough, however, for Sheppard to see that the cage was still empty.  It was starting to look as though the wraith was no longer playing mind tricks, or else this was one whopper of a hallucination.


Doubling back to the other door, Sheppard tried to open it, but it refused to budge.  Pressing back protectively against the wall, he hit his radio button and said quietly, “This is Major Sheppard.  We have a potential breach in the holding area.  All personnel on high alert for wraith infiltration.”


Glad for the sidearm that was kept constantly at his side, Sheppard drew the small weapon and crept back down the hall towards the door that led back to the main level.  It seemed as though everything had gotten darker.  When he reached a light panel, he tried to turn the lights up, but to no avail.


He touched his radio again.  “Sheppard to control, the lights aren’t working down here.  Is there something going on up there?”


Silence answered him, even when he repeated his message.  Dread began to build in the pit of his stomach, and he resumed his creeping motion down the hallway, making his way to the gate room.  He met no one on his way, and when he stepped through the doors and scouted out the steps leading down to the silent Stargate, he saw that the room was entirely empty of life.


Slowly, he made his way down the stairs, his gun at the ready.


A shadow flickered just out of his main line of sight behind the Stargate, and he whirled towards the movement, gun aimed in a steady hand.


“All right,” he whispered to himself.  “What’s going on here?”


Suddenly, something struck him with the force of a train, and he was forced half a flight down the stairs and landed heavily on the ground, flat out on his back.  The resounding crack of his head hitting the floor echoed throughout the room, and he lay with the wind knocked out of his lungs, stunned and fighting for breath.  Something leapt upon him, capturing him around the neck and hauling him upright, and he stared into the eyes of the captured wraith known only to the human as Steve.


“Our positions have reversed, human,” Steve snarled.


Sheppard choked, fighting for air and struggling beneath the wraith’s hold.  The alien was stronger than it looked.


“What . . . what did you do?” the Major managed to choke out.


“I’ve satisfied my hunger,” the wraith smiled.  He leaned closer, and Sheppard could feel his hot breath against his face.  You’re next.”


With a shout, Sheppard struggled upward, fighting off an unfamiliar feeling of claustrophobia as he realized his sheets were firmly wrapped around him.  Panting, he dislodged the hot and sweaty blankets and stumbled out of bed, wiping his brow with a shaky hand.


His alarm clock was beeping faintly under a blanket that had swept it on the floor, and his bed was in total disarray.  Sheppard scrambled for the alarm clock, glanced at the time, threw a curse, then leapt for his clothes.


“Why is it that I’m cursed with such vivid dreams?” he muttered to himself as he pulled on his casual uniform.


It was time for another talk with the wraith.