"Know my meaning?" the girl is saying.
The boy follows the question with a slow cut across Sheppard's stomach where his shirt is already sliced to ribbons; a shallow wound, harmless but painful. The hand pinned against Sheppard's face closes into a fist, and Sheppard jerks but he doesn't cry out, eyes squeezed shut and jaw clenched tight, as if worried that his screams might distress his young tormentors. "No," he says, "no, please, let me--"
The boy answers in the children's alien language. The girl's brow furrows. "This how you learn," she says. Sheppard murmurs something that Kolya doesn't catch, and the boy replies and the girl says, "No change. This how things are. No going home again."
The boy cuts across Sheppard's thigh.
"Damn you! He's done nothing to you!" Dex shouts at the children, leaning into their blades. His voice is shredded, as if their knives had already pierced him. "He came to save you from the Wraith!"
Kolya shakes his head. Truth isn't revealed, it is discovered. The children won't be swayed.
The knife glides over Sheppard's thigh like a caress. The snow under Sheppard is bloated and red. The girl sighs, confronted with an uncommonly stubborn specimen, and the boy shrugs, twirling the blade in his hand. "Not save," the girl enunciates carefully. "Not save. We choose."
Utterly, utterly brilliant.