[identity profile] ice-tealc.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Overload (The Big Battle Remix)
Author: paranoidangel
Summary: A simple mission goes horribly wrong
Beta: by Tanaqui without whom this would not be nearly so good
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Disclaimer: Not mine
Original story: Overload by Shunda

Sergeant Ben Callahan breathed in the fresh air as he walked alongside Dr Weir, savoring the fine weather this planet offered them. It had been an easy trip and he was enjoying the chance to relax off world.

However, the place had taken a little getting used to: with its bright colors it looked like something his five year old nephew would paint. It hadn't seemed quite real to him at first, and then the clash of the bright green grass and the purple earth beneath made him feel ill. It was only now that they were headed back that he realized it had stopped bothering him, and he found he had forgotten what the countryside back on Earth looked like. Although perhaps that could be due to living in a city in the middle of an ocean for the past year.

The first he'd heard of this mission to escort Dr Weir during her negotiations with the Teurians was at the official briefing she'd given them that morning. Which had been followed by an unofficial briefing from Colonel Sheppard. Callahan was not going to admit it, but he had gotten lost during Dr Weir's briefing as to the specifics of what she hoped to accomplish. Since he was just the grunt it didn't matter too much. And he'd had no trouble understanding the Colonel's aims: make sure Dr Weir came back alive.


"Elizabeth doesn't have any combat experience, remember that," Sheppard said, looking closely at each of them in turn.

Major Dean straightened his shoulders and answered for them. "Don't worry, sir. I'm sure we can keep an eye on her between us." They were marines, after all, and that was what they were trained to do.

Sheppard brushed his fingers along his handgun. "Maybe you should take Ronon with you?"

"If you think that's necessary, sir." Dean's answer was diplomatic enough, but he scowled as he said it.

It was obvious that Sheppard didn't trust them. Which was unfair, because they'd only had that one screw-up, and that was months ago. Besides, no one actually died. Well, they were alive now, at least.

Anyway, they'd been on plenty of missions on their own without needing any help from an outsider. Especially from someone who might've demonstrated his ability to take any of the marines out in unarmed combat with one hand behind his back, but where it was impossible to tell whose side he was really on. Though Callahan certainly wouldn't want to find Ronon as his enemy.

Sheppard coughed and took his hand away from his gun. "Well, I'm sure you'll be fine without him." He didn't look convinced, though. "I think he has plans anyway."

After Sheppard let them go, Callahan wondered why he had bothered with the briefing at all. Only last week they'd accompanied some scientists off world just fine. Some of the doctors had been edgier than others, but no one had suggested their team couldn't handle the mission on their own.

One of them, a cute red-head called Maria Bennett, had constantly speculated about the relationship between Sheppard and Weir. Maria apparently knew it all, but he'd dismissed her tales as idle gossip. She'd even gone on about it when they'd had dinner together, although he'd quickly found far better things to talk about with her.

He'd put the whole thing out of his mind - until now. He was reminded of it as they waited for the Gate to dial. Sheppard was leaning over the balcony, the fingers of one hand drumming against his 9mm and he only stilled when Dr Weir looked up at him. From behind her, Callahan couldn't tell exactly what she said or did. When she turned back to face the gate, he took to drumming his fingers on the rail instead.

Now, Callahan wondered if there wasn't some truth to the rumors after all. He could ask Maria tonight. As he stepped through the gate with Dr Weir and the rest of his team, he smiled in anticipation of their date.


Following Sheppard's directive seemed simple enough, since all they did was sit around while Dr Weir negotiated - whatever that involved. Callahan didn't know, because they weren't allowed in. Turned out Teurian women made the decisions, and the men weren't allowed in on the deliberations. Dean had been unhappy about it at first, but Dr Weir reassured him she would be all right on her own. In the end, Dean made the rest of the team give their word not to volunteer information about this particular aspect of the mission to Sheppard. Callahan had no intention of telling the Colonel - explaining to the CO why you hadn't obeyed his orders to the letter never ended well. His future plans certainly didn't include demotion.

The only other excitement the whole time had been when Lieutenant Guthrie managed to accidentally annoy the locals. All he'd done was pick a flower, but the abrupt silence had immediately told them it'd been a bad idea.

Major Dean had managed to clear up the misunderstanding without having to interrupt the negotiations. But only by promising them all sorts of other plants from Earth, some of which Callahan was not even sure they had on Atlantis. It seemed to keep the Teurians happy enough, though, and Dr Weir could shout at them later.

Afterwards, on their way back to the Gate, the mood was easy-going, helped in part by Dr Weir telling them the negotiations had gone well. Guthrie even turned to walk backwards and joke with her.

"So, they've agreed to trade for shoes?"

Dean rolled his eyes, but Dr Weir saw the funny side. "The Teurian women take their shoes very seriously." She put her hands in her pockets. "In fact, the Teurian leader particularly admired yours, Lieutenant."

Guthrie's eyes flicked down briefly to study his sensible boots, before he turned back, suitably beaten. They were still laughing when they approached the Gate and Dean told Callahan to dial Atlantis.

He'd only managed the first chevron when Stubbs shouted, "Ambush!"

In the blink of an eye, Callahan had his P90 out and pointed at the enemy: Teurian warriors. Armed with only knives, but still dangerous. And so many. Always more to replace those that fell. It was impossible to tell how many more were lurking in the long grass. They seemed to spring up out of nowhere, their clothes - the same green with purple splotches as the landscape - camouflaging them much better than the Atlantean team. Bullets rained from their P90s but their ammo would soon run out. They had not been prepared for a battle like this.

One of the Teurians got past Callahan's guard while he was trying to aim in too many directions at once. He squeezed off a killing shot at the last minute, but the Teurian stuck his knife in Callahan's leg as he went down. Callahan had to grit his teeth to keep from crying out while he struggled to stay on his feet.

"What the hell?" Dr Weir's voice came from the other side of the DHD. Glancing sideways, Callahan saw her crouched beside it. She was low enough to protect most of her, but high enough she could still see what was going on. As he focused on her, he saw a Teurian racing towards her. Callahan turned and shot past her to take him out. Dr Weir dropped to the floor, her hands over her head.

"Stay down, ma'am," Callahan shouted back, over the noise. The Teurians screamed louder than the rattle of their P90s.

No time to look round to see if she was doing as she was told because, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Dean go down quite spectacularly, his guts spilling out of his stomach. His body hit the ground with a thud, making Callahan wince.

"Man down!" That was Stubbs. Dr Weir scrambled across the grass to the Major, fell to her knees and pressed her hands to his wound. Callahan expected she knew as well as he did it wouldn't make any difference, but it was hard to stand idly by and watch your colleagues die.

The red blood mingled with the bright green of the grass and Callahan could see it was not just Dean's. No way to win this; they had to get out of here. He shouted to Guthrie to cover him and turned to dial home.

He slapped his hand down on the DHD but only got as far as the second chevron. A sudden, sharp pain in his back forced him to his knees. He gripped the DHD, and his knuckles went white as he struggled to hold himself up. He wondered where Guthrie was but didn't have the strength to call out to him. Looking further down, he felt sick at the point of a knife sticking out of his stomach.

He wished the Teurians would leave him be, but could feel his skin crawl as he heard more massing behind him. Grunting with the effort, he lifted himself to his feet. One hand still gripping the DHD, he dialed with the other. There were cold knives against his skin, slashing through his clothes. The blood that dripped down his legs was warm and wet.

It felt like an eternity, but finally he punched the center crystal. Distantly, he heard the gate whoosh open. Job done, he let go and dropped to the floor. Rolling onto his side meant narrowly escaping a killing blow. His hand grasped his 9mm; the Teurian never saw him coming. He had to roll again to avoid being crushed when the Teurian fell.

He tried to take a deep breath, but the pain made him cough. The blood from his mouth added to the pool on the ground. But there was no time to stop. Looking up, he saw another Teurian standing over Dr Weir. He no longer had the breath to shout.

Stubbs was there, but three others were quickly onto him for his troubles. Dr Weir was too busy vomiting on her shoes to notice.

Callahan turned to Guthrie - his last hope. But he wasn't doing so well. As Callahan watched, the blood that spurted out slowed and stopped.

Callahan shut his eyes, his ears ringing in the sudden quiet. How could the Teurians possibly justify this?

He knew it was up to him. With a super-human effort he didn't even know he had in him, he rose to his feet. He stumbled over the bodies that littered the ground as he made his way to Dr Weir. She didn't protest as he scooped her up. The Gate was only a few steps away, but each step was a struggle. A cry behind him was repeated by the crowd of Teurians still alive. He shivered at the sound as he flung Dr Weir through the Gate and dived through not far behind her.

He got a brief glimpse of Atlantis - home - and Colonel Sheppard running towards them, before everything went black.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-23 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sheafrotherdon.livejournal.com
I really liked this! I love 'outsider' POV fics, and this is a great one - you explain why someone would be gutted, you give a possible explanation for the violence in that picked flower, and you draw such a crisp, sharp picture of the senselessness of it all. Great stuff!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 05:00 pm (UTC)
paranoidangel: PA (Atlantis OTP)
From: [personal profile] paranoidangel
Thank you - that was exactly what I was trying to do with this fic.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-24 05:11 pm (UTC)
ext_2193: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sugargroupie.livejournal.com
This is very cool! I like what you've done here - giving Callahan a voice, a presence, and filling in some of those spaces I purposely left blank in the original. Even though it's not technically for me, thanks! I enjoyed your interpretation.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 04:59 pm (UTC)
paranoidangel: PA (Sparky)
From: [personal profile] paranoidangel
Thank you, I'm glad you liked it. Those blank spaced nagged at me when I read this, so I just had to fill them in!


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May 2007

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