“Get us someplace with medical care!” Simon shouted.
“Someplace with advanced technomagical medical care.” Aerich’s aristocratic snarl sounded panicked.
“Someplace they’re not going to shoot at us.” Cole’s voice was calm. But Cole, who had Josie in his arms, also sounded serious.
Alexa was trying not to panic. She waited until there were hands on her shoulders and she grabbed the door handle. Medical care. Medical care. Not going to shoot us. Medical care.
She yanked the door open.
The door irised open in front of them and they tumbled out onto a metal gangplank. A wide metal gangplank.
There were people with guns pointed at them in a very serious-looking military circle. Their uniforms were desert camo and their expressions were — surprised, Alexa realized.
She was a diplomat. She put her hands up. “We are here in search of medical care for our teammate. We mean you no harm.”
A general strode forward. He was a short, solid, bald man, and he was angry. “How did you open the iris?”
Alexa did not turn around. “Simon?”
“A large circular gate with runes circling it, closed with some sort of irising shield. Not a doorway.”
Alexa took a breath. “What I do is walk through doors between worlds, General. I am Alexa Bianci, and I am the United States ambassador to the doorway worlds. I am going to reach for my identification now.” Carefully, she opened her coat and pulled out her credentials.
“General, for what it’s worth—” the woman speaking read military all the way through, short-cropped blonde hair and a serious expression; she was also gorgeous. ALexa wondered if it would be her or Josie or Cole who ended up in bed with her first. “-the gate reads that they came from here. That is, their coordinates—”
“I understood ‘came from here,’ Major Carter. Thank you. Now — why exactly did you come here?”
Surely he could see Josie, unconscious, pale, bleeding all over COle, her leg barely attached to the rest of her body. “We came seeking medical care for our teammate,” she repeated.
“Yes, Ambassador, but why here?”
“Oh.” She ducked her head. “The Doorways are not an exact science — they may not be a science at all—”
“Calm yourself, Major Carter,” the General cut in.
Alexa continued as if he hadn’t interrupted. “So I asked the door for someplace that would help us.” She smiled crookedly at the General and hoped she was making the right choice. “And not shoot us. Sir.”
“Right. Alvarez, Brown, get a stretcher for the young lady there. Sir, I’m sorry, you’re carrying too much weaponry to go with her. ONe of the other gentlemen can go with her, provided they’re not armed.”
“That would be me, then.” Simon handed his sole gun to Aerich and stepped forward. “I’ll keep a good eye on her, I promise.”
“Now,” the General continued, as two privates wheeled Josie away, “why don’t we sit down, the four of us and Major Carter, and talk about what you are doing walking through our Stargate.”