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Ronon nodded, unsurprised. "Think they will?"

John started to give him the same answer, but he had a weird feeling, so he just said, "You never can tell."

John was used to scientists having conversations while he was trying to sleep. On missions that required long hours in the jumpers or camping on alien planets, it was impossible to avoid. Unfamiliar noises would wake him instantly and have him reaching for his pistol, but familiar voices didn't disturb him, and if they did, the conversations were usually easy to tune out. In this camp site, where the scientists were sleeping in the jumpers and John, Teyla, and the off-duty Marines had put their sleeping bags near the open ramps, it was unavoidable. This particular conversation seemed to be about energy signatures, and distances, and triangulation, but it also seemed to be taking place at very close range. Unusually close range. John opened his eyes to see Rodney and Zelenka in the faint light from the dimmed battery lamp. They were crouched over him on opposite sides of his sleeping bag.

Zelenka was saying intently, "-if the source is intermittent, and the calculations are correct-"

"Of course the calculations are correct!" Rodney broke in. "This could explain-"

"What the hell?" John asked evenly.

Rodney waved impatiently for him to shut up. "-all our anomalous readings-"

"— everything that has puzzled us, the consistency of the signal yet the inability to determine direction-" Zelenka waved his hands excitedly.

"Exactly!" Rodney finished. He looked down at John. "Now what did you want?"

"I want you to get off me," John said, and thought he sounded very reasonable under the circumstances.

"The jumper," Zelenka reminded Rodney. "We need you to take us up in the jumper," he explained to John. "Quickly, before we lose signal."

"Right, right, the jumper," Rodney agreed. He prodded John in the side impatiently. "What are you waiting for?"

"I'll give you a thirty-second head start," John promised him. "And I won't use the P-90."

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Rodney demanded, outraged. "We've been looking for this energy source for days, and you want to-"

"Wait, what?" John pushed himself upright, fully awake now. "You found it?"

"The crystals beneath the central complex, the ones we thought were drained," Zelenka tried to explain, "they are a relay, the source is intermittent-"

"It's on the other moon," Rodney hissed, prodding John again. "Now will you get up and get the damn jumper ready?"

"Why didn't you say so?" John asked him, reaching for his tac vest and gun belt.

"I will come along as well," Teyla's voice said from the next sleeping bag over. "I am quite awake now."

"Immediately" wasn't possible, no matter how loud and imperative Rodney got. The jumpers only required a brief pre-flight, but there was a rule on all offworld missions that anything essential, or that could be identifiable as Atlantean if found by the Wraith, had to be stored onboard when not in use, so it wouldn't have to be abandoned in an emergency lift-off. Since that described pretty much everything they had here, that meant there were several cases of equipment and tools that had to be shifted out of Jumper One to Jumpers Two and Three, in case it was needed while they were gone. The five cranky scientists sleeping in Jumper One also had to be shifted to Jumpers Two and Three to join the equally cranky scientists sleeping there. It all took under twenty minutes, despite Rodney's insistence that this was an emergency and they should just take off with the equipment and extra passengers aboard.

Rodney had wanted Zelenka, Chandar, and Kusanagi to accompany them, but Chandar had volunteered to stay here and monitor the device on this end, rather than leave it to the techs. John felt compelled to point out, "Kusanagi and Zelenka don't have much offworld time. And it was hard enough to get him to come here." This was only Zelenka's second off-world mission, and he wasn't exactly a natural at it. The first one had been a brief foray to a culled planet, to try to get Rodney and Lieutenant Cadman out of the storage buffer of a downed Wraith dart. It hadn't exactly gone well.

Rodney waved the objection away. "Yes, I know. But he needs to get over it, and if Kusanagi's going to advance, she needs field experience." He hesitated uneasily, rubbing his hands together. "Are you thinking about Irina?"

And about every other scientist John had taken through a Stargate and not brought back. "You're not?"

"We all know what the risks are." Rodney looked away, grimacing. Just then, Ronon came walking down the ramp with a crate, and Rodney jerked his head toward him. "And speaking of which, why are we bringing him?"

"Because he needs more mission experience if he's going to be on the team." John knew Rodney was still holding the whole "hanging upside down from a tree" thing against Ronon. It was hardly surprising, since John had stolen a handful of Rodney's popcorn ration once last year, and Rodney was still holding that against him.

Rodney said pointedly, "Nobody thinks that's a good idea but you."

"I think it is a good idea," Teyla said, calmly sorting through her pack.

"We're not voting," Rodney told her. "We-"

"That's right, we're not," John cut him off. What they were really arguing about wasn't bringing in Ronon, but replacing Ford, and he didn't want to hear about it. It had been hard enough to make the decision; he wasn't going to reconsider it now.

John had put off adding a fourth member to their team, put off even thinking about it, about anything but getting Ford back. Until they had found him on P3M-736, out of his head from the enzyme, and John had watched him jump into a Wraith culling beam.

There hadn't been a lot of options to replace him at first; John had wanted to make certain that all the teams had at least one, preferably two, Atlantean veterans to go along with the new personnel, and now they were all assigned and working together comfortably. And he just hadn't wanted to put a shiny new Marine in Ford's place. Ford had been young, but he hadn't been inexperienced, and it still hadn't saved him. Ronon had survived seven years running from the Wraith with no support network whatsoever; he was ideal for a `gate team, if they could just teach him how to work and play well with others again. "We're bringing Ronon," John said, and Rodney flung his arms in the air and stalked off.

John also took the time to arrange a check-in schedule with Major Lorne. "Think you can handle the excitement?" John asked.

"Yes, sir," Lorne said, his expression wry in the light from the battery lamps. Lorne was Air Force and John's newly assigned 21C, and John had been a little surprised that he was fitting in so well on Atlantis. But then Lorne had been in the SGC for a few years, and was probably used to the crazier aspects of offplanet life. He also had the Ancient gene, so he could fly the puddlejumpers if necessary. Lorne added, "If the scientists start fighting again, I'll just use the Wraith stunners."

"Fire a warning shot first," John told him. After that, they were ready to leave.

"Finally!" Rodney snarled as the jumper lifted off. He was in the left hand jump seat, connecting his laptop into the jumper's systems. "If we lose this trace-"

"Did you lose it?" John asked, guiding the jumper rapidly up through the dark sky, the sensor image of the gas giant outlined by the holographic Heads Up Display.

"No, but-"

"Then shut up."

"Everyone moved as quickly as possible," Teyla pointed out from the co-pilot's chair, her tone placating. She had called the shotgun seat before Rodney, which John suspected was also pissing him off.

"How long will it take to get there?" Zelenka asked warily from the other jump seat. Miko was sitting in the back with Ronon. She seemed more excited than nervous, while Zelenka seemed mostly nervous.