wildforce71: (Mal not lost)
[personal profile] wildforce71
Chapter 6. Still not owned by me.





Agent Murphy closed his cell, looking troubled. “That was a contact in Homeworld...and we’re both risking prosecution just talking about this. They’re planning on retaking the City; they’ll land on it within the next hour.”

“That’s not enough time,” Piper protested. “We’re not ready.”

“There’s no way for me to stop them. Tell your people – whoever they are...” He glanced at Piper, who didn’t react, and continued, “...they have an hour. Tops.”

Leo nodded, looking away and concentrating.

“Your people don’t have much patience, do they?” Paige asked.

“This base is very important to them.”

“They’re not listening to me,” Leo said abruptly. “Something’s happening.” He glanced at Agent Murphy, who shrugged.

“I can’t stop you, but if you’re going, can you take me back to my office first?”

“No, you need to come,” Phoebe said.

“What? No.”

“Yes,” Paige agreed. “These Homeworld guys find us, you can talk them down.”

“I’m not even on their radar! They have no idea who I am.”

Paige gripped his arm, smiling. “Then you’ll have to talk very fast.”

“Piper, you can’t go,” Leo said softly.

“Excuse me?” Piper demanded.

“Someone has to stay with the kids.”

“You need the Power of Three to defeat Cantus,” she reminded him.

“They haven’t even found Cantus yet. Let your sisters go and look; they’ll call when they find him.”

“How about you stay with the kids, and I’ll go?”

“I can’t.” He gestured vaguely overhead.

“You’re going to the Elders now? Leo!”

“They have information. About Cantus. They’ve been calling for hours. I didn’t want to go while Chris needed to talk to us.”

“Leo, go,” Phoebe ordered. “Piper, if we need you, Paige will come and get you straight away. Promise. Paige, let’s go.”

Paige looked at Piper, shrugged, and orbed their group out. Leo started to apologize; Piper waved him away, resigned, and he reluctantly orbed out.



John had stepped out of the doorway and his gun was still pointed firmly at Chris, but he hadn’t come any closer and seemed resigned to being unable to communicate with them.

“Chris? Any ideas?” Coop asked softly.

“Not really. What does Radek say?”

“I turned off the radio.”

“Turn it back on!”

“You want me to do that while the guy who can’t understand us, no matter what we do, is pointing a gun at me?” Coop asked pointedly.

“So go back to the infirmary.”

“And leave you here? You know what Piper would do to me if I let you get hurt?”

John took two steps forward, gesturing sharply with the gun. Chris raised his hand, flicking one finger, and Coop startled as his radio turned itself back on.

“Radek, we’ve got a Colonel here...Sheppard. Ok.”

“His name doesn’t help, he can’t understand us.”

Coop listened. “Radek doesn’t think we could talk him down even if he could understand us. He says we should just go. But together. Fast reflexes.”

John swung the gun from Coop to Chris, who nodded quickly, hands still up.

“One...two...”

They vanished together, orbs briefly lighting the dim corridor. John startled, looking around.



Radek looked up as Chris and Coop appeared in the iso room. “We have company.”

Paige and Phoebe were fussing over Little Chris. Agent Murphy, eyes wide, was in one corner, as far from everyone as he could get without actually leaving.

“What’s up with him?” Coop asked, leaning over Phoebe.

“He’s afraid he’s going to be court martialed just for being here.” Phoebe leaned up, kissing him thoroughly.

Chris looked away, going to join Paige with his younger self. Radek looked down at his pad, tapping away very deliberately at it.

“They don’t do courts martials in Homeland, do they?” Chris mused.

“So, no luck with Cantus, then?” Paige asked loudly. Phoebe and Coop didn’t react.

“No.” Chris echoed her volume. “He’s around, but we couldn’t run him down.”

“He’s in the circle room,” Little Chris said.

“The what, little man?” Paige asked.

“The circle. With the circle.”

Chris and Paige looked at Radek, who nodded grimly. “Chris, are you sure?”

“He’s in the circle room,” he said impatiently. “Where’s Wyatt?”

“Wyatt’s at home, sweetie, and we’re going very soon. Promise.”

“Where’s this circle thing?” Chris asked Radek. At the same time Coop said, “What’s this circle thing?”

Radek glanced from one to the other, opting to focus on Chris. “The room is here. Look.” He tilted his pad to show him.

“Guards, defenses?” Chris asked, studying it.

“Guards yes. Or, when lockdown went into effect. Now? Who knows.”

“And the circle is what?” Coop asked again.

“Is a circle. You know.” He drew a circle in the air. Chris grinned, looking down at the pad to try and hide it; Coop scowled.

“Coop, he can’t tell us,” Chris reminded him. “I’ll go.” He held out a hand and Coop tossed him the radio.

“I’ll come,” Paige offered.

“Yeah,” Chris said absently.

“Don’t hurt anyone!” Radek said half an instant too late. They’d gone before he finished. Sighing, he turned to Agent Murphy. “It’s hard to keep up with them, yes?”

“He doesn’t keep up with us,” Phoebe said absently, moving to sit with Little Chris.

“I’m just useful when they want something,” Murphy added.

“This is often the way,” Radek agreed.

“Uh-huh, you’re so hard done by. Radek, where are we?”

“San Francisco Bay.”

“Not exactly what I meant...” Phoebe muttered.

“They call it Atlantis,” Coop told her. Agent Murphy looked up, alarmed, but Radek didn’t react, watching the others’ progress on his pad.

“Like the city?” Phoebe asked. “Atlantis that sunk?”

“Yeah.” Coop was watching Radek even as he answered Phoebe. “Like that.”




Chris and Paige orbed into the centre of the Gate room. Two guards were slumped at the foot of the stairs, but the ’Gate and Control rooms were empty apart from them.

“Huh. Circle,” Chris murmured.

They eyed the ’Gate for a moment before turning to look around. Chris fitted the radio on, tapping it, while Paige went to check on the two soldiers.

“Radek? Got a read for us?...ok.”

He caught Paige’s eye, gesturing upwards to Woolsey’s office. Paige nodded, orbing to the top of the stairs and looking around. Chris stayed on the floor, wandering across to the ’Gate and reaching up to touch it lightly.

“It’s so old,” he whispered to himself.

“Chris!” Paige whispered from the balcony. He orbed up beside her; as he materialized she yanked him down and a fireball shot over their heads to hit the wall behind them.

“I guess he’s here,” Chris said a little breathlessly.

“Yeah, he’s in the office.” She gestured towards it and Chris rose, looking towards the office. Cantus, in a demon-standard dark hooded cloak, was standing in the entryway, watching them.

“Mine,” he said when he saw Chris.

“You’d think the demon of language would talk more,” he noted.

“You’ve just been spoiled by Barbus.”

“He does like to talk,” Chris agreed. Looking at Cantus, he added, “Don’t suppose you want to stand still while we take a bit of flesh?”

Cantus shot another fireball. Paige hastily redirected it, sending it shooting back against him. It exploded against his cloak, but he didn’t seem affected at all.

Chris frowned, watching him.

“Any time you want to help!” Paige yelled.

“Hmm? Yeah.” He gestured and Cantus was sent flying backwards, but he was back on his feet before either could take advantage to get the flesh.

“Oh, that’s not good,” Paige muttered.

A door down in the ’Gate room opened jerkily; Chris took a step to the side, leaning over the rail. John stepped into view, gun still in his hand, staring at the fallen guards.

“Crap,” Chris muttered. “Paige, go back to the others.”

She orbed out. Chris jumped the railing, landing easily just behind John. The Colonel spun, but Chris already had a hand on him and they orbed out just as another fireball flew through the air.

John yanked away as they reappeared in the Iso room. Radek dropped his pad, crossing to catch John’s attention.

“He doesn’t understand.” Radek was looking at John, though the words were for Chris. “But he still trusts me.”

“Does he?”

Radek carefully took John’s gun. John scowled but let him do it. “Well, more or less. Close enough. Colonel?”

He guided John to the counter, showing him his pad. John studied it, though it clearly meant nothing to him.

“What happened?” Phoebe asked.

“Well, we met Cantus,” Paige told her. “Talkative chap.”

“No flesh?”

“No. He’s quite happily set up in that room, though.”

“Our people will begin there, when they come to retake City,” Radek said.

“I don’t think he’s going to let them do that,” Chris murmured.

Coop shifted, trying not to disturb Little Chris who was leaning against him. “Phoebe, can’t you and your sisters...”

“Mmm, not for an upper level demon. We need the potion.”

Chris sat up suddenly, realizing something. Paige looked over, curious, but he waved her off and kept thinking.

“I can go...” Coop offered.

“Sweetie, if Paige and Chris...”

“Perry,” Coop interrupted her pointedly.

“Perry?” Phoebe repeated. “Perry. If Paige and Perry couldn’t get it...”

Coop shrugged, accepting that – he hadn’t really expected her to let him fight - and glanced over at Radek. He hadn’t reacted to the conversation, still showing John different things on the pad, but Coop was fairly sure he’d heard it.

“Perry, can you attempt to heal Colonel Sheppard?” Radek asked. “Perhaps, if aphasia can be healed...”

“I’m not...”

“I’ll do it,” Paige interrupted him. “You save your strength.”

Radek nodded quickly. “Forgive me, I did not realize you could heal.”

“Yeah, it’s sort of a recent development. Is he likely to hit me if I touch him?”

“Colonel Sheppard does not hit women. Don’t threaten him.”

Paige approached John slowly, one hand held out. He tensed but allowed the touch, eyes flickering from her to Radek and back.

The healing glow appeared; John jerked, but stayed where he was. Paige frowned, eyes closed.

“I can’t...there isn’t an injury, exactly. It’s more like a block, like a wall.”

“Can you dissolve it?” Chris asked. “Break it down?”

“I’m not sure, I...gah!”

The glow flared abruptly and she was thrown backwards. Chris caught her neatly, and Coop stepped in to help her up. John slammed into the wall, grunting, but he didn’t go down.

“Colonel!” Radek cried. “What is happening?” His pad beeped a warning and he turned towards it.

Chris glanced up at the ceiling, eyes flickering as though he was tracking something. “Cantus didn’t like that.”

“You ok, sweetie?” Phoebe asked Paige, still clinging to Coop’s arm.

“Yeah. Ow.”

Coop let her go as she regained her balance, watching for a moment to make sure she was ok.

“Radek,” Chris said abruptly, “we need somewhere Coop can take Min - Chris, away from Cantus.”

Radek nodded, taking his pad back from John. “And you?”

“Slow him down. Try and get the flesh for the potion. C’mon, c’mon.”

Radek tapped more hurriedly; Phoebe and Paige shared a concerned look. “’Perry’?” Paige said pointedly. “You wanna calm down a little bit?”

“No, the Homeworld people are going to be here soon. We don’t have any more time.”

“Here,” Radek said. “Here, is empty living quarters...cleared, but not in use. No one there when lockdown began.”

“Good. Coop, can you take Radek and Agent Murphy with you?”

“I can fight,” Agent Murphy offered half heartedly.

“With bullets? No.”

“What about him?” Phoebe gestured to John, watching them suspiciously from his corner.

“Not all three,” Coop said, talking over Chris. “Chris and two, at the most.”

“Point Colonel Sheppard at Cantus, he will fight,” Radek told them.

“He’ll get himself killed,” Chris protested.

“He is...surprisingly resourceful. Also, is less likely to hunt you down afterwards if he has proof you’re the good guys.”

“For all he knows we started this,” Phoebe pointed out.

“We did start this,” Chris told her. “And we’re going to finish it.”

He picked up the gun and offered it to John; he studied it, suspicious, but took it from him.

“He can’t understand even gestures,” Radek reminded him. “You must take him to Cantus...there is no way to explain to him.”

“Right. Coop, go,” Chris said.

Coop swung Little Chris up into his arms, gesturing to Radek and Agent Murphy. They vanished together; John frowned, studying the gun a little more suspiciously, but he didn’t try and aim it at anyone.

Chris turned to find Phoebe and Paige standing, heads together, watching him. “What?” he demanded.

“Ah, it’s just like old times,” Paige told him.

“Yes, except for the part where people are actually listening to me.”

“Oooh! This one’s more snippy than the last one.”

Chris grinned at Phoebe, holding out a hand. She took it, and he looked at Paige. “Ready?”

“Ready,” she agreed.




Coop’s light briefly illuminated the room. When they faded, it was pitch black. “Radek?”

“Yes...”

Radek’s hands lit up. Agent Murphy watched, surprised, as the globes of light separated from his hands to float in midair, throwing shadows over them.

“You’re a witch too?”

“I don’t practice.”

“You look pretty good at it to me.”

Radek smiled politely, looking back at his pad.

“What’s it say?” Coop asked.

“It says cloak fails in two hours at most. Your friends are fighting, I cannot tell who is winning, and the reinforcements will be here in less than half an hour. There is nothing I can do.”

There was a sudden thump at the door, and they looked up, surprised. The light dimmed as Radek’s concentration faded, barely enough to see by; whoever was outside thumped a couple more times before turning away.

“I thought you said this section was empty!” Murphy hissed.

“I said quarters were empty,” Radek corrected him. “City holds several hundred people.”

“I haven’t seen anyone but your Colonel,” Coop said.

“Yes, because most are locked away. But even with no language, some are smart enough to move around City.” The light strengthened again and he glanced at his pad. “Ronon.”

“Ronon?” Coop repeated.

“One of our men. Very territorial, very skilled. Is lucky he did not find you here.”

“You had a Whitelighter, right?”

“Jannah,” Radek agreed softly. “Lost in Titan’s rampage, trying to help another charge.”

“Titans...?” Murphy asked uncertainly.

“They attacked the magical community about four years ago,” Coop said absently. “Killed a lot of the Elders and Whitelighters. The Charmed Ones stopped them, with Perry’s help.”

“Oh.”

“Didn’t the Elders assign you another Whitelighter?” he asked Radek.

“Two months after the rampage I was here. And no magic. No Cupids, no Whitelighters. Nothing.”

“Noth...you couldn’t do magic?”

“This does not help me work!” he snapped.

“It helps me understand. Your Cupid will be arriving soon, now that I’ve met you, and if you want me to intercept him, I need to understand why I’m doing it. You couldn’t do magic?”

Radek sighed. Murphy quietly backed up a couple of steps, sitting with Chris and trying not to be noticed.

Radek gestured to the lights hovering overhead. “I could do only that, and only very small. No scrying, no potions, no spells.”

“Those are basic powers,” Coop protested. “How far away was the City?”

“Let us say, there was no mail.”

Murphy cleared his throat. “Just so you know, I can hear you, and discussion of this base with non-military personnel is technically a court martial offence.”

Radek and Coop both turned to look at him and he grimaced, looking away. “Actually, now that I think about it, I can’t hear anything from over here.”

“Good call,” Coop agreed. “Radek, have you tried any of those things since the City’s been here?”

He gestured to the lights again. “That is stronger. I imagine my other powers are too, but no. I have not tried; I did not wish to. I do not want another Whitelighter, and any magic only draws the Elders’ attention.”

Coop started laughing, looking away.

“Laughing now. I have missed the joke?”

“No, I’m sorry, it’s just...never mind.” He shook his head, clearing his throat. “How long were you in love with Jannah?”

Radek stopped dead, staring at him. “Jannah was my Whitelighter. You live with Charmed Ones, so maybe you forget, but before Titans, witches and Whitelighters do not fall in love.”

“I’m a Cupid, Radek. Rules never stop anyone falling in love. How long?”

Radek shook his head, staring at his pad. Coop waited patiently.

“A long time. But she did not feel same way. No more talking, please.”

Coop nodded, satisfied, and turned away.

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