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"Finally," Rodney growled, striding in. As the others followed, John stepped to the window. It was curved outward into a bubble, the outside streaked with red dust. He didn't have much perspective on how big the structure was from this vantage point. The dark curve of the building was like a stadium, the Quantum Mirror the playing field.

The black surface of the Mirror itself wasn't visible, which was kind of a relief. The dull silver-gray wall of the naquadah frame was high enough to block any view of it. John could see the frame was jointed, as if it had been laid down in sections, each about the length of a train's boxcar. Surrounding it was a large open plaza of dark blue pavement. Rodney stepped up beside him. "Yes. Yes, yes, yes. This could be the control center." He turned back toward the banks of consoles.

"No, no, this is for monitoring," Zelenka was saying, pacing back and forth between the consoles and the port, as if torn between which he wanted to examine first.

John noticed that the roof of the structure had some kind of narrow projection sticking out over the inner area. He put a hand on the top edge of the port and leaned out into the bubble, trying to get a better view. It looked as if it was just an extension of the roof. He thought he could see silver ribbing embedded in it and wondered if it was recording data of some kind from the Mirror, or if it was somehow part of the energy shielding. He made a mental note to direct Rodney's attention to it once Rodney was done exclaiming hysterically over the consoles.

Then Ronon said, "What's that?"

John pulled himself out of the bubble. "What?"

"Right there." Ronon leaned over to point, so John could sight along his arm.

It was a structure, standing on the plaza about midway around the Mirror, a couple of hundred yards from the frame. It was dark-colored like the stone, making it hard to spot. It had curving sides, the walls shaded from black to blue to near purple at the round base; John judged it was about the size of a two story house. It looked like a giant inverted tulip. He shook his head. "I don't know. Some kind of observatory?"

Miko stepped up beside him, adjusting her glasses to peer at it. "It could be, but it doesn't resemble the main structure. The shape is very.. and…" She trailed off, leaning forward to stare intently at the little building. "Dr. McKay, Dr. Zelenka, please, look at this."

John's brow furrowed. "What?"

Zelenka stepped up beside Miko, peering uncertainly. "That…is a spaceship."

"What?" Rodney's annoyance fled as he stepped up to the port. "Right, those are drive pods. It's just hard to tell because they're vertical and-" He stared, his jaw dropping. "Wait, wait, what?"

"But it doesn't look anything like the jumpers," John said. He was beginning to get that feeling, that feeling that things were about to take a very bad turn. "How do you go from square box to giant tulip?"

"There could be variations, among different Ancient cultures, as there is between Atlantis and some of the other sites we have found," Zelenka said uncertainly. "Corrigan or one of the other archeologists might be able to say."

"Or it could be alien," John said. Yeah, he had a bad feeling about this. Rodney was still staring at the ship, his face rapt.

Teyla was trying to listen while keeping an eye on the corridor. "But it has been here since this place was abandoned." No one answered her and she added with some concern, "Has it not?"

Rodney, Zelenka, and Miko didn't answer, and Ronon was watching John, a wary line between his brows. Then something flashed along the Mirror's frame, and the port suddenly grayed out into an opaque metal shield. John stepped back, startled. "What-"

"That was a discharge from the Mirror," Rodney said, looking toward the consoles. "The port must be responding to it. But it doesn't seem to be-"

John looked up at a muted rumble, like thunder; he felt it roll through the structure, shaking the stone and metal underfoot, vibrating through his bones. Ronon twitched uneasily.

Nervously, Rodney finished, "-serious. On the other hand-"

"Okay, that's it," John began, "We're-"

An alarm klaxon blared and John jerked up his P-90 in pure startled reflex as everyone else flinched. "-leaving," he finished. "What the hell?"

"It's a security system," Rodney bellowed over the noise, looking around the room in frustration. "Did one of you touch something?"

Teyla shook her head, wincing at the noise, and Zelenka and Miko held up empty hands. Ronon was staring back down the corridor. John had been facing away from the port, and he knew none of the others had moved. He said, "Nobody touched anything. We need to get out of here, move, now!"

Teyla headed for the corridor as John swept out an arm to herd Zelenka and Kusanagi after her. But Ronon stepped into their path to stop them, his face urgent. "Do you hear that? That crashing?"

Teyla's face went still with concentration, her head tilted as she listened. Rodney was looking at the detector, saying, "Still no life signs. The system must have been on some kind of delay. Opening the outer door should have triggered-"

"Shut up for a second!" John told him. In another moment he heard it too: in between each deep blare of the alarm, there was a heavy metallic thud. "Oh crap," he breathed.

Rodney was looking at him, eyes wide in alarm. "Blast doors. The blast doors are closing!"

John ducked out into the corridor. The nearest blast doors hadn't shut, but the metallic thuds were closer, the echo carrying all through the building. "Ronon, which way is it coming from?" he shouted. If the doors were closing sequentially in one direction, they had a chance.

Ronon went still and cocked his head. "That way," he said a moment later, pointing to the right, the direction they had come from. The direction of the nearest stairwell. That really wasn't what John wanted to hear.

He yelled, "Run the other way, go, go," and gave Ronon a shove to tell him to take the lead.

Ronon bolted and John waved the others after him. He took their six, wanting to make sure Miko didn't fall behind. But she took off like an Olympic sprinter, keeping up with Teyla and Rodney easily, and it was only Zelenka that John had to worry about.

Another discharge shook the floor underfoot, slowing them down. They made it about fifty yards down the corridor when John heard the metallic thuds become exponentially louder. He threw a glance over his shoulder in time to see a green metal blast door slide up to hit the ceiling, just at the curve of the corridor. He swore, turning back, and Zelenka panted, "What?"

"Just run," John said, but he didn't hear the next thud until ten seconds later, and that was just after Ronon shouted, "Stairs!"

We can make it, John thought, and grabbed Zelenka's arm, urging him along.

Then a green wall slammed upward just in front of Ronon, so abruptly he bounced off it before he could stop. The others slid to an abrupt halt, and John whirled around in time to see the blast door just behind them thumping into place. Rodney was shouting, "They closed out of sequence! Dammit-"

"Rodney!" John said through gritted teeth. "Think of something."

Breathing hard, Zelenka stepped to the blast door, pulling out his tablet again, studying it intently. "Door is solid mass. This is not good."

John looked back. Miko was frantically running her hands over the other door. She said, "There are no controls here-" Ronon growled and slammed his hand against the stone.

"Wait, wait, wait!" Rodney bellowed. In the immediate silence, he pressed a hand to his forehead and said thickly, "This is a safety feature."

"Yes, but we did not know what to do, where to go, when the alarm went off," Teyla said, turning to study the walls uneasily.