John stepped quickly off the raised stone steps that the stargate was standing on, his weapon raised to eyelevel and trained on his surroundings. Thick undergrowth and tall, lush trees made a nearly impenetrable wall around the small clearing except where the overgrown path leading to the settlement broke the monotony. Hardly any light reached the ground through the thick branches at the top of the trees, covering the silent, forest floor with only scattered spots of afternoon light.
His hands tightened around his P90, knuckles whitening as his ears perked. The clearing was silent. Blinking once at a particular dark spot beneath the stone steps, John heard the rest of his team exit the wormhole with soft steps of cold-headed anticipation.
â€œSpread out,â€ he ordered immediately, his voice low, sparing them a quick glance as he descended the last step. Their weapons were raised and their eyes peeled. They quickly made a perimeter around the stone steps, approaching the undergrowth cautiously. Some glanced over their shoulders. Not even a bird made a sound.
A battle-dressed Ronon jumped off the steps next to him, the ground reverberating with his weight. Neck tense, John turned back and approached the shadow he now saw was the unmoving figure of something humanoid. Taking a quick look around and keeping his weapon trained on the forest, John hooked his foot cautiously underneath the figure and flipped it over into a ray of light.
The wide-eyed, frightened look upon a white-haired husk of a human stared up at them.
â€œWhoa.â€ John flinched and grimaced. He could never get used to the sight.
â€œWraith.â€ Ronon growled lowly, snapping his chin up to sneer ferally at their surroundings beneath dark, low eyebrows. He kept his particle magnums close to his sides. John thought he looked like a wolf ready to pounce.
â€œThereâ€™s three more by the DHD, and one of them was carrying the settlementâ€™s IDC,â€ mumbled Major Lorne, who had come close to them. He held the black remote in his hand; it had been fried by some kind of energy weapon and rendered useless.
John eyed their dark surroundings, narrowing his eyes at the shadows and determining whether he was looking at trees or something else. Blood was pounding through his veins. They already suspected the Wraith were somehow involved in the interrupted distress call from this planet, but this confirmed it. He looked back at the stargate, seeing the last of his groundpounders exit. The rest were approaching the border of the small clearing in a perimeter, eyes out on the dark forest, weapons at the ready.
â€œWe shouldnâ€™t linger too longâ€¦â€ said John deliberately, glancing at two lone soldiers peering into the forest above the dark, thick undergrowth to his left, their weapons held high. Staring in the same direction as them, he addressed Lorne. â€œMajor, take your teamâ€”â€œ
Blue shots suddenly blasted into the small clearing from the forest around them. One connected with the face of an attentive marine, dropping him like a sack of potatoes.