Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognise.
Apologies for all my grammar mistakes.
Evan Lorne POV
I always thought that weird stuff would happen off world, especially if I’m with Sheppard’s team. Not by myself while on leave back on Earth.
We only get two weeks of leave on Earth a year so I spent the first week with my sister and the second in Australia, doing some hiking and diving spots a old Air Force buddy recommended. On my third day there I was planning on doing some diving on a popular reef, but change my mind at the last minute and head to Mako island.
Not that it was a decision really, it was like I was pulled there.
I spend the whole day hiking and swimming and before I knew it was dark, but I felt like I had to go on one more dive. (I’m not sure what I was thinking considering I was alone and our always supposed to have a buddy. But it just didn’t feel like it mattered.)
So I swam into a cave, right in the centre of the volcano, and immediately was surrounded by strange lights and the water bubbled.
Now its stopped and my head has cleared. “Great the docs back at base are gonna keep me for days” I sigh, face palming.
It’s that moment someone swims in. a little girl maybe 7 with blonde hair, blue eyes and a TAIL. Her eyes go wide when she sees me and she dives back under.
“Wait!” I call, gently grabbing her arm.
She sticks her head back out of the water and looks at me with fear in her eyes.
“I’m not going to hurt you” I tell, with a kind smile. “I’m Evan, any chance you speak English?”
She nods. “I’m Sirena” she looks up at the sky and eyes go wide. “You were in the Moon Pool when the Full Moon was over head.”
I nod. “I’m guessing that’s what all the lights and bubbling water was about? Mind telling me what this place is?”
“A place of the Ancestors magic” she answers.
“The Ancestors? Of course,” I mutter, rolling my eyes. It’s always the Ancients. “What does it do?”
“According to legend, the Ancestors made my people by accident. Moon pools and Rings were made so the Ancestors who accidentally turned themselves into my people could have legs again. But they did not watch the Pools and Landpeople, that they made found it and turned themselves, making the first Pod.” She tells me, like she’s reciting a lesson.
The Ancients made Mermaids by mistake? I should really stop being surprised by what they’ve done at this point……. Wait a minute. “That means it turned me?” I ask her.
She nods, looking really nervous. “12 hours from now you’ll grow a tail whenever you touch water and have our powers. This is really bad.”
I take a deep breath and try the calm down, just like when I found out I had the ATA gene, alien DNA. Just calm down, there’s nothing I can do change it (obviously if the Ancients only found a way to half undo it.) I need to adjust, it’s a part of me now.
In front of me Sirena is still looking nervous.
“What’s wrong?” I ask her.
“Aquata, my older sister, she’s supposed to be on Moon Pool Judy, watch the Pool stopping Landpeople from coming in. She was saying she wanted to be on the reef tonight with her friends, but I didn’t think she would skip. The Pod is not going to be happy, she will never get a Moon Ring now, Ancestors! They might cast her out.”
I put my hand on her shoulders and try the calm her down. “Hey, hey it’s okay. Why don’t you tell me why she would be casted out and I’ll help with what I can.”
She nods, taking a deep breath. “The Merpeople went to war a long time ago, the men against the woman. The woman won……. barely but sine them we’ve stayed apart. When the Pod finds out about you, we’ll have to leave Mako and Aquata and Maya will be casted out for failing!”
This goes against all my training…… “We don’t have to tell them” I decide. “I don’t live around here and I’m going very far away in a few days. I won’t tell anyone about your Pod, but that means you can’t tell anyone me.”
She smiles and wraps me in a big hug. “Thank you! Thank you…. Wait what about Aquata and Maya? When I tell them about their mistake, they’ll tell the Council out of loyalty.”
“So don’t tell them” I tell her, while the voice in my head that sounds like my sister yells that it’s bad to tell kids the lie to their elders. “Sirena if it was the other way round and you and your friends and had accidently let a—landperson in do you have any doubt that Aquata would help you? Would keep it secret?”
“She’s all I have. She would do what she had to too protect me” she nods. “Thank you Evan…… wait here a few minutes, I know where some books on our powers and history are, they could help you while you’re on your own.” She swims out of the cave.
I decide to take this moment to figure out what I’m going to do. The Pod obviously wants no contact with humans otherwise we’d know about them, I can’t tell command without breaking my promise to Sirena. (besides the big hats might be ready for ‘were not alone in the universe’ but I’m not sure how they’ll feel about not being alone on this planet) But I have to tell Dr Keller something, being a fish is going to show up on her scans…….
Sirena swims back in carrying two old looking (strangely waterproof) books. “I can’t read them, no one can but maybe the drawing will help.”
I take the books and open one of them and immediately see Ancient (which thanks to two years with the SGC and four on Atlantis I’m fluent.) Looks like research notes about the original project, I open the other one, it’s a manual for how to use powers. Weather, water, invisibility!
“You can read it?” Sirena asks with wide eyes. “How? The language of the Ancestors has been lost for too many years to count?”
“This isn’t the first time I’m come across something the Ancestors have left behind” I admit. “I should go, before someone comes to check on your sister or find you.” I tell her, to get of having to explain.
“Okay” she nods. “Goodbye Evan and thank you…… one more thing, be careful of the full Moon from now on, if you don’t learn to control the moon spell (it should in the book) you could hurt people.”
“I’ll learn” I promise her before swimming out of the cave and back to my boat.
The next morning, I momentarily forget what she said and end up on the floor of the shower with a blue-silver tail.
I put my hand out and try to grab the tab so a can turn it off and the water starts floating. With a grin a play with it a bit, making the water take on different shapes and freezing it and boiling it. With help of the books I also start on weather control.
I end up spending the rest of my leave reading the books, practising everything I can and gathering supplies so I can try my hand at potion making. But I don’t go back in that water, I can’t risk any of the Mako Pod seeing me.
I spend the 14-day trip back doing my job and planning what I’m going to tell people.
When I get back I use my codes to change my next planet survey, to a world, that according to the book has a experimental Moon Pool that’s run by a ZPM instead of the moon.
“Another planetary survey” Jones says rolling his eyes.
“What would you rather be running from the Wraith or attacked by the Genii?” I ask sarcastically.
“No Sir” he response.
“It’s not that bad” Parrish smiles, starting at a rose plant the size of a tree. “There is some truly remarkable plant life here.” He then stops and starts scanning and taking samples of the tree-rose.
“Gomez you’re with me, Jones stay with Parrish” I order.
Gomez and I walk around for a while in a seemingly random pattern, till I see the doorway I was looking for.
“Looks Ancient” Gomez tells me, looking at the obviously doors.
I turn my radio on “Jones this is Lorne.”
“Jones here Sir.”
“We found what Ancient doorway, going in now.”
Gomez and I walk in together but quickly, separate with me sending her to check out another room. I quickly find the lab I’m looking for, it’s nothing like the Moon Pool. Walls and consuls, no big pool of water. But I expected this, with this one I just have stand in the centre of the room.
I walk into the middle of the room (it shouldn’t affect me since I’ve already been turned) and I’m immediately surrounded by a forcefield and I can hear the machine powering up. “Gomez, I’ve some kind of tech in here powering up and I’m a forcefield, think I’m about get zapped.”
“On my Wa-” I don’t hear the rest because the thing goes off.
I’m still blinking the light out of my eyes when Gomez comes running in. “Major are you alright?”
“I’m fine, but I’ll probably have to spend the next two days being poked and prodded by Keller.” I tell her stepping out of the circle when the force filed goes down.
She nods and radios the others “Jones, can you take the Major back to Atlantis. He got hit by some kind of Ancient beam.”
“Sure Doc, on my way.”
Gomez plugs her pad into the main consuls and starts what promises to be weeks of research.
When Parrish and Jones arrive, Jones Stays with Dr Gomez and Parrish walks with me back to the Gate.
“Are you okay Major?” Parrish ask, looking worried.
“I’m fine” I reassure.
He nods, not looking like he believes me before dialling the Gate. “Atlantis this is Parrish.”
“Dr Parrish is everything okay? Your team isn’t due to check in for three hours.” Chuck tells him.
“I know, but Major Lorne was hit by some kind of Ancient device, he says he’s fine but I think we’d all feel better if Doctor Keller checked in out.” Parrish tells him.
“Understood. Keller’s not available right now but Dr Beckett will be there in a few minutes to make sure he’s not carrying anything contagious” Woolsey tells us.
Within 15 minutes Beckett is there checking me over.
“This isn’t necessary Doc, I’m fine” I tell him with hand gestures ‘accidentally’ (purposely) making a part of a nearby river float. When I see it, I immediately drop my hands, putting a fake freaked out look on my face which I cover with a mask of calm. “Okay maybe there’s something up with me.”
“You don’t appear contagious, we’ll take you back to Atlantis and run some scans. I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about.” He smiles.
“Probably another Ascension machine like the one McKay found a few years back, you’ll be fine” a nurse tells me.
It that exact moment when it starts to rain and I end up face first on the ground with everyone staring at my tail. I fake a freaked out look. “Doc…….”
“Aye lad, I see it” he says with a surprised look on his face, before turn to a nurse. “When we get back go find a marine biologist.”
She nods them helps Beckett drag me through the Gate. When we come through I can see some of the Marines laughing and I can hear whispers of ‘Ariel’.
“Looks like you a had fun trip” Sheppard smiles, looking like he’s about 2 inches away from laughing.
“Yes Sir” I nod “lots of fun” I says, sarcastically.
He grins while a nurse brings in a wheelchair (since I can’t walk with a tail and I can let them know I know how to dry myself) they wheel me to the infirmary where Doctor Baker from Marine Biology is waiting, practically jumping up and down with excitement.
I spend the rest of the day being scanned and having blood tested with Baker running around excitedly babbling about my tail and everything else.
“So” Sheppard asks walking in. “Figure out how to reverse it yet Doc?”
“I’ve going over what everything the database and it looks like this was an attempt to reverse it” Beckett tells him. “According to this the Ancients had been trying to make a device that would turn you into a merperson when wearing it. To make deep sea work safer, but there was some sort of accident and hundreds were turned permanently. The device Major Lorne walked into seems to be as far as they were able to get at revering it. Anyone who is exposed to the beam will have legs when dry and a tail when wet.”
So I’m stuck like this?” I ask.
“I’ll keep working on finding a way to reverse it, but for now it seems so.”
“On the bright bide your team found a ZPM while searching the lab. It’s almost 60% charged.” Sheppard tells me.
I nod and get out of bed.
“Were do you think you’re going?” Beckett asks.
“You just said I’m stuck like this, might as well go learn to swim with a tail” I smile, I’ve been wanting to go on a swim since I got this thing.
“Fine, but start in shallow water near the mainland” he sighs, knowing he can’t talk me out of it.
Two weeks later I’m nervous, the moon is full tonight. There was nothing in the database about the Full Moon but I trust Sirena wouldn’t lie to me.
I know it’s a risk, but if I do something bad tonight I want to be somewhere full of people so they can take me down if they have to. So I’m going to Movie night.
“What moving are we watching?” I ask McKay, stealing his popcorn.
“Sweet” I nod, looking as Lorne walks in and takes a seat next to me.
“Sir.” He nods.
“Major” I nod back. “How are you doing?”
“A little sick of the Ariel jokes but otherwise fine Sir.”
I grin. “Hey, I’m just glad I won’t be winning the “Weirdest Ancient technology disaster” award this year.”
“There’s still three months left in the year Sir, I wouldn’t count you or Doctor McKay out just yet.”
Rodney glares at him. “You’ve been permanently turned into a fish I don’t think anything could happen to us that’s weirder than that.”
Lorne smirks back. “Still upset Gomez found a ZPM when I got turned into a fish and you didn’t?”
“That room was well hidden! Anyone could have missed it” McKay argues.
“The door was red, Rodney” I tell him, with a smirk and look up at the screen noticing that the reflection of the moon is unnaturally clear on it. Next to me Lorne goes stiff, starring at the reflection.
He stands up with a blank look on his face and heads to the door. A Marie-Daniels grabs his arm “Were you going Ariel? The movie hasn’t started yet.” Daniels let’s go with a cry, grabbing his hand which is now burned.
I jump up “Lorne, what are you doing?”
“Going from a swim” he answers, walking again.
I glance at a nurse whose looking at Daniels hand before running after Lorne. “Maybe we should go to the infirmary, have Keller look you over.”
He pouts like a child. “But I wanna swim in the moonlight, the moon is beautiful tonight.”
“Okay…….. you can do that but Keller should check you out first.”
He crosses his arms and still pouting, nods and follows me to the infirmary.
Keller shows him to a bed and puts a hand on his but immediately pulls back and grabs a thermometer.
When she checks it her eyes go wide. “He’s boiling and I don’t that metaphorically his skins hot as fire, he could give someone 2nd degree burns with a touch.”
“Can I go swimming now?” Lorne whines like a inpatient child.
With his attention on me Keller injects him with something. “Sorry” she tells me when he’s asleep. “But I saw this taking a horror movie turn fast.”
I nod. “He was acting like a kid.”
“I saw. We’ll keep him sedated tonight and try waking him in the morning.”
She wakes him up the next morning and he looks around confuse. “What am I doing here Doc?”
“What’s the last thing you remember?” I ask him.
“I was with you Sir, the moving was going to start it soon and I looked screen and there was a big full moon……. Then I’m waking up here.”
“Your skin went super-hot, you burned Daniels and you were acting like a kid and keep talking about swimming.”
“Is Daniels alright?”
“He’ll be fine” Keller reassures.
Lorne closes his eyes. “ I should have listened to that stupid book.” He mutters.
“What book?” I ask him.
His eyes go wide for a second. “Um well I said thing about mermaids as a joke to my sister and she send me some books on Merpeople some found at a flea market…….. the books were in Ancient but they read like mythology, I was going to email a copy to Dr Jackson and ask his opinion but it slipped my mind.”
“What did the books say?” I ask.
“Like I said Sir, it reads like a fairy-tale. Talks about how the full moon can make Merpeople do crazy thing, gives them more power but they don’t remember it when the moon sets. It said the merperson can learn to control it with time though.”
“Yeah……. send it to Doctor Jackson” I tell him before leaving. This city gets crazier every day.
Evan Lorne POV
I get back on duty two weeks after the full moon and after four full moons I have it under control. Things go back to normal (or as normal as it gets in the Pegasus Galaxy.)
Fives years after I turn into a merman and ten years after the Atlantis expedition began we declare independence from Earth and become a colony and five years after that I go back to Australia on my ten-year anniversary of becoming a fish.
I walk into the Ocean café with a smile planning on getting a couple bottles of water before going hiking on Mako.
“Evan?” a voice asks behind me.
I turn around and see a blond, blue-eyed teenage girl. “Sirena?”
She smiles brightly and wraps me in a hug. “It’s so good to see you!”
“You to, so what are you doing on land? I thought your Pod didn’t leave the water?” I smile.
“They don’t” she tells me. “A Land-boy turned while I was on duty. Aquata and Maya told the Pod, we were outcasted two years ago. but it’s fine, the Pod is okay with Zac now and we’ve been excepted back in.”
“I’m sorry that happened to you and your friends” I can’t believe her sister told on her.
She smiles. “It’s okay, if it hadn’t happened I wound have never come to land and see this world, it’s incredible.”
I smile “I know what you mean, I’ve seen things in the water I never would have seen if I hadn’t gotten turned.”
“Sirena who are you talking to?” a teenage girl with brown hair asks walking up to us with a boy the same age.
Sirena smiles. “Mimmi, Zac this is Evan, Evan this is Mimmi and Zac.”
Zac looks at me. “Are you military?”
I nod. “US Air Force.” Well technically I’m in the Lanterning military now.
“Sirena, how did you meet someone in the US Air Force?”
She smiles. “He fell in the moon pool when Aquata and Maya were supposed to be on watch ten years ago and I explained everything to him.”
“And I agreed to keep it secret and not swim around here while on holiday so her sister wouldn’t get cast out.” I add.
“Aquata let a landperson in the Moon Pool?” Mimmi asks, with wide eyes.
“Have you told anyone?” Zac asks me.
“Some of it” I reply. “I’ve told some of my friends what I am but I didn’t tell them how it happened.”
“Why not tell them all of it?” Mimmi asks. “I mean, if you trust them enough to tell them what you are, why not tell them the whole story?”
“The place I live is so classified I could get locked up for telling you the name. and most of the people there are scientists, telling my scientist friends meant months of tests for me, if I told them about the Moon Pool they would want to check it out. Which I doubt would go over well with your Pod.” I explain.
I don’t like keeping secrets from the people I care about, but it is necessary. Earth isn’t ready to know about aliens, just as much as it’s not ready to know about the Pod. Maybe someday Earth will be but today is not that day.