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The HUD popped up a projected ETA in response to John's thought. John mentally converted the figures from Ancient. "About forty-five minutes, give or take."

Rodney nodded, his mouth set in a grim line. "I just hope the signatures are still traceable by then."

John rolled his eyes. "Why don't you get the cakes out from under the medical kit?"

Zelenka looked up, startled. "Is that where they are? I thought they had run out."

"Chandar's techs were eating them," Rodney explained darkly, standing up to head into the back.

"Bastards," Zelenka muttered.

The other moon looked red from orbit. When John took the jumper down toward the surface, following the energy signature, they skimmed over a wide open plain with pink and brown soil studded with patches of tall grass and scrubby bushes. The light had an odd quality; bright but tinted by the gas giant filling the sky, unchangeable and undimmed by the few wispy clouds.

"The jumper's detecting a low oxygen content in the atmosphere," Rodney said, sounding preoccupied. "The levels vary between twelve and fifteen percent. Being out on the surface unprotected would be like trying to jog around the top of Mount Everest." He looked up, his mouth twisted. "That's odd."

"Why is that odd?" Ronon asked, standing to look through the cabin doorway.

Miko, sitting on the floor between the two jump seats with her laptop, pushed back her glasses to look up at him. "We've never found an Ancient occupation site on a planet or moon that couldn't support human life."

"I think perhaps what atmosphere is there is artificial," Zelenka said, studying his own laptop.

Teyla twisted around in her seat, startled. "That is possible?"

"Very much so, with Ancients' level of technology," Zelenka assured her. "If it was done here, there was perhaps not enough plant life and bodies of water to sustain the atmosphere, without whatever mechanism that supplied or created it. Since this moon was abandoned, the atmosphere would have gradually leaked away, until it reached a stable level that the surface could support."

"It's a distinct possibility," Rodney added, studying his own data. "The jumper's orbital scan picked up few open bodies of water, minimal plant life, small amounts of ice at the poles, but no sizable life signs, which means no humans, no aliens, no large fauna-"

"No Wraith," John put in, though he wasn't sorry to hear about the lack of large fauna, either. Since the planet with the thing that looked a lot like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, he was sensitive on that point.

"No Wraith, always a plus," Rodney agreed. He looked up, wide-eyed. "Oh, oh, oh, here we go."

The jumper's HUD was picking up a group of manmade structures, standing out against the flat terrain. Despite the lack of life signs, John kept the jumper cloaked.

As they drew nearer, John slowed the jumper, bringing it down for a closer look. There were several large low buildings, with flattened domes, surrounded by stretches of pavement that were mostly covered by sand. One dome was partially open, showing that at some point it had been able to retract, allowing access to the building for air or space craft. "I think we found the spaceport," John said, and had to think, I love it when I get to say things like that.

Rodney was on his feet, gripping the back of John's seat and pointing over his shoulder. "Get closer!"

John lifted a brow. "You think that's a good idea? If that thing snaps shut-"

Rodney snorted. "Oh, right. This from the man whose last words were almost `hey, I want to get a better look at the big thing with the tentacles down there."' He waved a hand. "This dome must operate like the outer doors in Atlantis' jumper bay, and it's probably been stuck open for ten thousand years."

"Okay, fine. But I get to say `I told you so' if the building eats us," John said, though he thought Rodney was probably right.

"I will make note of that," Teyla commented dryly.

"How comforting," Zelenka added, sounding uneasy.

John guided the jumper down toward the half-open dome. This close, it looked reassuringly stable; red lichen or moss had crept up the sides and was growing in cracks in the dark material. Still, he didn't intend to go all the way in. As he hovered over the dark opening, the jumper's outer lights came on, playing over the building's interior, illuminating a metallic floor and another set of bay doors leading to a lower level, also wedged partly open.

"Look," Teyla said softly, pointing. "The far wall."

John adjusted the angle, tilting the jumper downwards for a better view, and the lights swiveled to better illuminate the area. He saw the racks and walkways for a jumper bay, all empty. Now this was a cool find. "This is the spaceport, all right."

His voice tense with excitement, Rodney said, "We need to check those other domes. If they left even one jumper behind, or if there's a repair facility, or spare parts-

"It would come in handy," John finished. They had lost a few jumpers over the past year. With the Daedalus making regular supply runs, it wasn't as desperate a situation as it would have been before resuming contact with Earth, but it wasn't like they could manufacture them yet. He thought this was a damn good day's work.

"But there is no city here, no Stargate as far as we know. Why would they put the jumper bays in the middle of nowhere?" Teyla wondered, her brow furrowed slightly.

"The city could be underground." Rodney stepped back to study his equipment again. "And actually that makes more sense. If this power source is shielded-"

"Rodney, I don't think it is here," Zelenka said, shaking his head at his laptop's screen. "These readings are almost identical to those on the other moon." He looked down to check Miko's screen, then turned his chair, watching Rodney intently. "I think this is also a relay."

Snarling under his breath, Rodney lunged over Miko to look at Zelenka's screen. Zelenka leaned sideways to avoid being shoved out of his seat and Miko smashed herself back into the doorway. John looked earnestly at Teyla and said, "It's like a scavenger hunt."

She lifted a brow and her lips quirked. "I hope that is not what it sounds like."

Rodney turned back, stabbing a finger at the port. "He's right. Keep going, that way!"

"What, you don't want to stop and explore the spaceport?" John protested. From the readings, they wouldn't even need to use the awkward environmental suits, just the SCBAs that were part of the jumper's standard equipment.

"You have a spaceport at home. Right now we need to find the energy source." Rodney leaned between the seats, nearly elbowing Teyla in the head as he pointed at the HUD. The jumper's longrange sensors were busily assembling a rough map display. "Now go that way, toward the mountains."

"We can always come back," Teyla pointed out practically, fending Rodney off. "The spaceport does not appear to be in any danger of vanishing."

John began, "Yeah, but-" Rodney was turning red and Zelenka was waving erratically toward the readings on his screen, and Miko was gazing up at him in mute appeal. Ronon stirred restlessly but didn't weigh in on either side. "Okay, fine." Disgruntled, John lifted the jumper out of the dome and guided them away toward the distant mountain range. "But next time we stop and look at the thing I want to stop and look at."

After about fifteen minutes of flight, the mountains were beginning to loom larger in the port.

"Dr. McKay, Dr. Zelenka!" Miko said suddenly. "These readings-"

"Rodney, Miko, do you see this?" Zelenka demanded.

Rodney snapped, "Yes, yes, shut up, I'm trying to-"

"It's spiking!" Zelenka yelped.

"Kids." John kept his voice calm. "Share with the rest of the class. I'd kind of like to know what I'm flying directly into."

"It's a power signature." Rodney, who was obviously in the midst of a science-gasm, laughed a little erratically. "It has to be something enormous. It's showing fluctuations, as though it's in use-"