- Action Adventure
- Alternate Universe
John heard his name being called, as if from a long distance away.
He blinked several times, briefly dazzled by the lights in the room.
“Okay, that’s better,” Rodney said softly. “Come back.”
John tried to move, feeling stiff from having sat in the chair… how long?
“Almost five hours,” Rodney said. John realized he must have said that last part aloud.
“Water?” he asked.
“Can you sit up at all?” Rodney asked. “It’ll be easier.”
John blinked his eyes again, then forced himself to move. The chair sat up and he saw Rodney’s worried face peering at him. Ronon and Teyla looked faintly worried at him from behind Rodney.
“How are you?” Rodney asked.
John shook his head to clear it. “Okay. I think.”
“Drink,” Ronon handed him a thermos. “And you probably should eat.”
“Thanks,” John carefully took the thermos and took a sip of the tea to moisten his dry mouth. He took several drinks of the tea after that. “Food would be good.”
Rodney handed him a power bar from his backpack. Whoa. One of the chocolate chip ones. Rodney must really be worried to part with that without complaining. “We weren’t going to leave here until you came up,” he said. “That’s the best there is.”
John unwrapped the bar and took a bite. “This will get me started. Thanks.”
Rodney waited patiently as John ate the bar and washed it down with more tea.
“What happened?” Rodney asked when John finished eating.
“It’s bigger than Atlantis, and it was actually built after Atlantis,” John said. “They learned a lot building Atlantis and when they built… Athena, is the best it translates to, they fixed some of the problems they knew they had. Like using four ZPMs at its core, instead of three. And they used separate ZPMs for other sections of the city, kind of like the Asurans did on their world.”
Rodney frowned at the mention of the Asurans.
John quickly understood where Rodney was going with that. “No, they didn’t know anything about this city, just the parallel struck me. But this city was built shortly after Atlantis was completed.”
“Which is why the cities look so much alike,” Rodney nodded. “There’s a number of systems online that we never saw in Atlantis, and it seems to have been preserved better.”
“This was abandoned as the Ancients worked on Ascension,” John nodded. “And the Gate in Atlantis was the only one with access to the Milky Way, so everyone from here moved there. That was a deliberate, but political move. The people running Atlantis wanted to be the funnel point for Earth. If you had the crystal from the Atlantis Gate and brought it here, we could safely dial Earth.”
“That’s an experiment for another day,” Rodney said. “Why did it keep you under for so long?”
John shrugged. “It didn’t seem like that long, while I was under. We were trading information and it didn’t realize I needed to take a break.”
“When I tried to interact from the console, it gave me your health information to indicate you were okay, but, well, we figured we’d insist at this point,” Rodney huffed.
“What do we do now?” Ronon asked.
John grinned. “Would we freak people out too much if Sateda suddenly had a moon?”
They all looked at him.
“What? It has a star drive, just like Atlantis,” John said. “We have plenty of power, and we can just as easily move it to Sateda as keep coming here for anything we want to get.”
“If we put it in geosynchronous orbit above the city, it should be abel to defend the entire area!” Rodney said. “We could rig up some remote controls for the defenses if the Wraith come calling.”
“There’s a drone building facility somewhere, full of drones already,” John said, “so that would definitely work.”
“Any defense satellites?” Rodney asked.
“Didn’t come up, but there may be some,” John said. “Although there’s a bay on the other side with more Jumpers and at least one warship.”
“We could make Sateda the safest place in Pegasus!” Rodney said.
John shrugged. “Don’t get too excited until we get it organized, and do some tests, but it could be cool.”
“Sateda would be able to take in refugees from a number of worlds,” Teyla added. “I know of many peoples like the Athosians, who are not as many as they once were. They would be glad to come to a safer area.”
“D’oh!” Rodney smacked himself on the forehead. “We could get teachers and mine workers from M4D-058!”
John rolled his eyes. “I suspect Nola and Baden would have some people interested in working with us,” he agreed. “Especially if we can send them workers for their projects in return.”
“Do we move this today?” Ronon asked.
Rodney shook his head. “It’s been too long to just turn it all on and hope it works,” he replied. “I’d like a chance to take a look at the systems and see if there are any problems that need addressing.”
“And I need some sleep before we try anything,” John admitted. “That took a lot out of me, and I need some real food before long.”
“Can you shut it back down?” Rodney asked. “Or do we leave it running?”
“Let me set it to doing some diagnostics for you, and then to shut down what it can,” John said.
“We’re not going to leave you under for too long,” Rodney warned.
“Got it!” John agreed. “In and out.”
On the console, Rodney could see systems in various parts of the city being shut down while he watched. It was another twenty minutes before John came back, this time on his own.
“I think it’s set,” John said, then yawned. “It’ll be fine for a while, at least.”
“Do you need a break before we go back?” Ronon asked.
“I should be okay to get to the Jumper,” John said. “I know there is food there, that will help.”
Ronon gave John a hand getting out of the chair and hovered for a moment to make sure John was steady on his feet. Teyla helped Rodney shut down the control room, so that they were ready to go in just a few minutes time.
The trip back to the Jumper was easier, with more lights along the way. The air felt fresher — “More CO2 scrubbers online!” Rodney said — and soon they were settled into the Jumper.
Teyla handed out sandwiches and Rodney made sure John had a comfortable seat before they started eating.
“Next time we go anywhere, we take the food with us!” Rodney said, mouth full of his sandwich.
Ronon shrugged. “You said we weren’t going to be here too long! Or I would have brought the food along.”
“And something always goes sideways,” Rodney sighed. He took another bite of his food. “Good sandwich, by the way!”
“Glad you like it!” Ronon grinned.
As happy as John was to be back in the Jumper, he said, “Finish up, so we can go back to Sateda. I’m going to crash at some point, and I’d rather be there than here when it happens.”
“Teyla and I will clean up,” Ronon said. “Go ahead and get started.”
The trip back to Sateda didn’t take long, since the Gate was just above the ‘moon’ and they were only making a quick side-trip through their usual space Gate.
John set the Jumper down in its space and sighed. “Good to be back!”
“Glad you got us here in one piece!” Rodney teased.
“Sleep well, John,” Teyla said. “I will see you in two days.”
“That works!” John said. “Good luck with your traders.”
Rodney hovered as John cleaned up and they both went off to bed.
John slept most of the next day, waking to use the bathroom and eat, then going back to bed. Rodney came in and out to check on him, but John figured Rodney had plenty to do with all the new information he had from Athena.
By dinner time, John was relatively wide awake and knew he should stay up for a bit so he’d sleep through the night.
“What did you find interesting?” John asked as he watched Ronon prepare dinner for the three of them.
“There may actually be a proper search engine in the database,” Rodney said. “I have to work with it some more, but there’s a hint of that.”
“There’s an interface, oh… somewhere,” John said. “Like the VR room, a holographic interface. It’s in better condition than the one from Atlantis, and might be a real help.”
“I’ll put that on the list,” Rodney said.
“It’s probably a pretty long list, isn’t it?” John grinned.
“You know it is!” Rodney laughed.
John was yawning soon after dinner, but forced himself to stay up until sunset.
“At least if it’s dark, I don’t know how early it might be,” John said.
“That makes, like no sense,” Rodney admitted.
“Come to bed with me,” John said.
“What! No! It’s too early!” Rodney protested.
“Well, once I fall asleep, you can get up again!” John leaned in for a small kiss. “Maybe you can help me fall asleep!”
“Oh! Well! Right… i can do that!” Rodney followed John off to their room as Ronon laughed.
It took Rodney another five days before he had a preliminary analysis of the information he had gotten from Athena. They lay out plans for moving the city to Sateda, and Rodney drafted Pase to help with some of the testing that needed to be done.
It was a month before they felt comfortable in attempting to move the city. Rodney did multiple tests, and he and Pase worked their way through endless checklists.
While Rodney and Pase were checking on the star drive, John and Ronon took a team through parts of the city, to double check that there really were no others there. It also gave them the time to clear space for living and meals, for anyone that would be staying on Athena for any length of time.
It was faintly anticlimactic when Athena worked as planned, going into hyperspace and traveling to Sateda. John was in the chair as Rodney helped navigate to the new location, just above their settlement.
“We need more people with the ATA gene,” Rodney said.
“We know there are folk from the Tower. We helped them turn on their gene,” John said. “Anywhere else?”
Rodney shrugged. “Scattered in a lot of places throughout Pegasus,” he groused. “We could make a real difference with more help and more people who were ATA positive.”
“Did you find anything in the database to see if the Ancients had any way to help the Pegasus natives turn on their gene?” John asked.
“I did, but I didn’t get a lot of good information,” Rodney said. “The Ancients weren’t known for their philanthropy.”
“True,” John replied. “When we’re ready to reach back out to Earth, that will be on our list.”
“Hopefully, they can spare us some help,” Rodney said. “We have another few months on our deadline, before I’m willing to go back to Atlantis. It’s not that much of an emergency, but would be nice.”
“And better safe than sorry, especially now. We’ll just have to make do with what we have,” John said. “You’re doing good, so far.”
“We could do so much more,” Rodney sighed.
“We’ll get there,” John promised. “Think about how far we’ve come! We’re safe, alive and have a new Ancient city to work with.”
“That is true,” Rodney agreed. “I have to admit that I wasn’t sure we’d get this far, when we first left Atlantis.”
“We go off to Geldar and Halonna tomorrow,” John said. “We have teachers and soldiers to recuit for Sateda. Let’s get some sleep, tomorrow’s going to be a long day.”