Two of the typos featured in this collection were suggested by leesa_perrie, but since she did so over a year ago, she's probably forgotten all about it. Fortunately I have a good memory for entirely useless things like amusing typos, so I remembered. :-)
The strained voice dragged Rodney slowly back to consciousness. Groaning, he began to roll over, then froze, his heart pounding. What if he'd been hideously injured? Oh God, what…?
"Movere non possum. Eheu!"
And now some idiot was babbling gibberish in some barbaric alien language! "Could be dying here!" Rodney reproached. He moved his hand, moved his arm, moved his foot. He remembered Sheppard turning grim and silent as he desperately fought the controls of the jumper. He remembered crashing…
Oh God, Sheppard!
"Surge! Fatuus es, serve!"
Rodney opened his eyes, and painfully sat up. Ronon and Teyla were stirring behind him. Pressing his hand to his throbbing brow, Rodney peered into the tangled wreckage that had once been the front of the jumper. A pair of sandaled feet kicked angrily, and a body squirmed imperiously in a purple-lined toga. And Sheppard…
"Oh God!" Rodney turned desperately to Ronon and Teyla. "It's Sheppard… He's sprawled lifelessly across the consul."
"Here's another one." Chuck knew the drill by now. He flipped the switch that made Kolya's voice fill the entire room. He saw Major Lorne stiffen as he gripped his gun. Doctor Weir assumed her mask: the mask of a leader who was hurting inside.
"I presume I have your attention," Kolya's voice said. "I will kill Colonel Sheppard and his team in one hour, unless…" His voice faded away, and there was a faint sound of rustling paper. "Unless you send us… twenty-three bananas and a… a dancing spaniel!"
Doctor Weir sagged. Doctor Beckett cleared his throat. "I… er… I might happen to have a West Highland terrier somewhere about, if that will do?"
"It won't do," Weir said wearily. "It never does." Her face grim, she gave the necessary orders.
"With respect, ma'am…" Chuck heard Major Lorne begin. He knew what Lorne was going to say. It had half killed his team, tracking down the dynasty of tribbles that had been demanded in the morning. Doctor Zelenka was in the infirmary, screaming in Czech about snakes and sausages.
"We have no choice," Weir said, as the communication channel crackled into life again, and Kolya said, "…and I want it with frills on."
Damn you, Kolya, Chuck thought, pressing a clenched fist against the console. Damn you all, you kidnapping Genii, with your random demands!
Sheppard shouted something. Rodney froze in horror, feeling his face flood red.
A bullet flew past him, so close that he almost felt it. I'm going to die, Rodney thought. He fell to his knees and hunched forward, protecting his head with one hand. With the other hand, he gripped his pistol, aiming it falteringly at targets he couldn't see.
"Rodney!" Sheppard shouted. Rodney could see him out of the corner of his eye, half hidden by his own shielding arm. Sheppard was behind a rock, but was rising up now to cover Rodney. "Come on!" Sheppard urged him. "Get into cover."
Rodney cowered even smaller. I won't, he thought. I'm not. Not with him. Not now. A bullet tore at his jacket. He screamed with the shock of it, though it hadn't broken his skin.
"For God's sake, Rodney…"
To Hell with it, Rodney thought. I can always say no.
Keeping himself small, he scurried crab-like to the rock. As soon as he was safely behind it, Sheppard crouched down again. He was breathing fast, blood seeping out of a hole in his sleeve. "Why didn't you come?" he gasped, dust staining his face. "I said we could both duck behind this rock."
"You didn't," Rodney had to tell him, as he pulled at Sheppard's sleeve with anxious fingers. "You didn't say duck. The author's finger slipped, and she started the word one letter to the right."
Sheppard said nothing at all for a while, as bullets smashed into the ground around them. Then he spoke, his face unreadable. "Oh, duck!"
"Um…" Rodney said, as he came panting up to join the rest of them.
John let out a weary breath. He had seen that look too many times before. "Rodney…" he began.
"It wasn't my fault!" Rodney looked anxiously over his shoulder. "These natives have such ridiculous superstitions. All I said was--" He broke off, biting the words back. "At any rate, there was no reason for them to over-react like this. I said sorry."
"So what is it this time?" John asked. "Peasants with pitchforks?"
"Um…" Rodney said, but then John saw them. There were hundreds of them, surging out of their houses, racing unerringly towards the place where the four of them were standing. Their leader held a long knife. Behind him came a crowd of people with brown paper bags and plastic boxes. Following them, moving more carefully, a group of children came with silver platters, and at least three were carrying chocolate cake.
John looked over his shoulder, studying the path that led to the Gate. The mob was close now, their voices audible. "…care for a flask of tea?" he heard, and, "No, please, take two." The cold-eyed leader smiled, dipping his knife in a pot of honey. The mountain of sandwiches on the nearest silver platter was terrifyingly large.
He swallowed. "I… Uh… I think the phrase is: run away!"
As they fled, he turned accusingly to Rodney. "One day, Rodney, it would be nice to visit a village without being chased out by a lunch mob."
They had all heard Colonel Sheppard say the words. "On my command authority--" he had shouted, before the transmission had ended in a scream of static. He wanted Richard to give to order that would condemn him to death. He wanted Richard to give the order that meant that Atlantis would live, even if Colonel Sheppard and his team did not.
Richard knew that everyone was watching him, waiting for his decision. Oh Lord, he thought, how easy it was to sit back on Earth and tell people that they had made the wrong choice. How hard it was to be here, having to make a choice like this.
Perhaps the situation wasn't as desperate as Colonel Sheppard believed. Richard pressed his lips together in a tight line. Let four people die, so that hundreds could live. Or refuse to give up on those four, on the wild, impossible chance that you could get everybody out of this alive…?
"Sir?" Amelia asked, her hand poised over the button that would transmit the order.
Richard let out a slow breath. His hands rose to his collar, and he began to undo the fastenings, but his fingers fumbled, refusing to co-operate. Removing the jacket was hard, and removing the shirt was almost impossible, but he managed it. Sitting on the floor, he worried at his shoes and his socks until they came off. When he turned his attention to his pants, he got them almost down to his knees before his hands froze entirely.
"I can't do it," he said at last, admitting defeat. "I can't bare to give that order," he told them all.
The ripple of relief that ran through the Gate Room was audible, and Richard smiled.
"I can't see him." Rodney cowered in the field of pits and crevices. "He must have fallen down. He's dead by now. Sheppard!" he shouted. "John?"
Ronon and Teyla were still searching, their faces set and grim. As Rodney watched, Teyla leaped nimbly over a long straight crevice, then paused to look down the deep round pit at its far end. "He isn't here!" she called.
"Sheppard?" Ronon shouted, jumping over a fissure that curved in a near semi-circle, then went straight towards another deep pit. "Sheppard? Buddy?"
Rodney started to move falteringly. "What if…" Plucking up his courage, he jumped across a small pit, then another, then another. "I can't…"
"John." Teyla said it quietly, almost under her breath. She sank to her knees, looking down a pit that had a curious curving tail. "It's John," she told them, looking up. "He's fallen into a comma."
Jennifer had never seen so many lacerations. People were coming in from all sides, some of them walking while they clutched their bleeding wounds, and some of them lying still and silent. She did what she could, but soon they ran out of beds.
"What's doing this?" she asked, when she could. Pulling off her surgical gloves, she scraped a hand across her flushed face.
"Don't be obtuse," Rodney snapped. He had been relegated to a chair, and was clearly furious about it. "It was a Wraith."
They brought Ronon and Colonel Sheppard in together, pale beneath the makeshift bandages. All anger left Rodney's face as Jennifer hurried to deal with them. Much later, when she finished, she found Rodney at her side. "They'll live," she told him, answering his silent question. "Their blood loss was acute, but…"
"Acute," Rodney said bitterly. "Right. Of course it was."
Jennifer leant back, pushing her hands into the base of her spine, feeling the muscles stretch. "What sort of weapon is the Wraith using?" The wounds were inconsistent, some clearly made with a sharp but tapering implement, and some with an object much blunter. Some looked more like the bruises you would get if you walked hard into a rather substantial table.
Rodney pulled up a chair and sat down heavily next to Colonel Sheppard's bed, and sighed wearily. "You see, it descended upon us like an avenging angle..."
"You're looking rather lovely tonight."
John froze with his hand on the door. "Who's there?" But he already knew there was nobody there, of course. Drawing his gun, he covered all the empty corners of the room.
"Quite dashing. Sleek and smooth. I do wish I could master that look, but, then, my options are limited."
"Who…?" John faltered. The voice appeared to be coming from the floor. "Are you--"
"Talking to you? The old Robert De Niro thing in front of the mirror? No-one else here in the room? But for the record, pal, I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to your rather attractive tight black t-shirt. You, I'm not interested in. And as for your hair…"
John gripped the gun tighter. Getting down on his knees, he peered under the bed. There was no-one there.
"Some people like your hair. Apparently." The voice sniffed. "Never seen the point of it myself. All that carefully studied negligence: quite ridiculous. But I'm forgetting myself." The voice cleared its throat. "I do love the way you frame his muscles. Your cut is quite fantastic."
Crouching there with his ear so close to the floor, John was fairly sure that the voice was coming from his boots. Some sort of transmitter… "Rodney?" he attempted. "Is this some kind of joke?"
"Course it isn't, John," the voice said, sneering his name. "I'm just doing what it says in the narrative. 'His uniform was complimented by a pair of military boots.' So go away and let me get complimenting." The voice changed, turning lower and more sultry. "You doing anything later tonight?"
John fled. The voice fled with him, grunting an "ow!" with each step.
"I will have you know," said Rodney painfully, "that it is - oof! - quite impossible to - ow! - do my usual save-the-galaxy-through-the-power-of-my-i
Sheppard's voice sounded muffled. "At least you can still think. I'm supposed to fly a jumper, remember?"
It was a good point, but Rodney had no intention of acknowledging it. "It's all right for Teyla, I suppose. She's small."
"But spare a thought for Ronon," Sheppard said as sharply as someone could speak when confined in a narrow metal cylinder. "You still with us, buddy? Buddy?"
Ronon gave an inarticulate grunt.
Rodney squirmed, managing to twist himself around a little in the tight space. His head stuck out of the end of the metal tube, but it didn't really help. "Zelenka?" he called, hearing footsteps behind him. "Can you…?" Oh! Was that the smell of gunpowder? Was that…? Oh no, no, no, no, no! "Don't light the fuse!" he squeaked. "Radek, don't even threaten it. That's not funny!"
"Ronon?" Sheppard said urgently. "Damn it, get me the author! We need to depart from cannon now!"
All typos are genuine. Although I've sometimes tweaked the phrasing to suit the story, these are all things I've either seen in fanfic online, or committed myself. The vengeful angle is one of mine, as is the lunch mob, and the kidnappers sending a random note. I even made the "duck behind this rock" error, but luckily I noticed it before posting, or my status as a gen author would have been seriously undermined.
Apologies for the dodgy Latin. I blame it on the consul's squashed state.