The day the strange blue police box appears on Atlantis' west pier is the same day they find out the Wraith are three days away, with hive ships numbering in the tens.
"Um, Samantha? We've got something strange on the West Pier. It materialized out of nowhere but it doesn't seem to be attacking us," the security monitor reports, fingers pointing out a strange bright blob on the map.
Samantha taps her comm, "John?"
John Sheppard is eating in the cafeteria with the rest of his team. "Go ahead."
"We've got an unidentified object on the West Pier. It apparently appeared out of nowhere and hasn't made any aggressive moves. It could be another Ancient surprise, but I'd like you to check it out."
"On it," he closed the link and turned to his feasting team, "All right, guys, we've got something wonky going on the West Pier, let's go check it out."
"Did you really just say 'wonky'?" McKay mumbled around a mouthful of almost-peas.
"Wonky is as wonky does, McKay. Put your tray down and come on."He left the mess hall with McKay muttering behind him.
"What does that even mean?"
Halfway there, Samantha Carter tells John "We've just had two new energy signatures exit the object. One is decidedly human, the other is neither Ancient, Human, nor Wraith. They're headed down the corridor towards you."
"Hold your position, team," John directs Ronon to hide behind some Ancient art piece. He and Rodney take point around a corner. Teyla falls back, against the wall. They hear voices, far off and echoing, behind the door in front of them.
"So where is this place?" A female voice with a British accent.
"Oh, you know, 21st Century and all that, only a year ahead from your time-line. A lot can happen in a year, you know. And this is actually the Lost City of Atlantis." This from a man with a Northern accent.
"Are you telling me," the woman said slowly, as if trying to comprehend, "That this? Is Atlantis?! As in, the submerged city?"
"Well, Donna, it must not be submerged, we were just outside. And it's not actually a greek city, as most legends would have you believe. Actually it's almost of Time Lord design, sort of a mish-mash of Time Lord and something else. See these doors? Aw, amazing, you just pass your hand right over these crystals here and...voila!" The door directly in front of them opens and reveal a slim man in a tailored suit and trench coat and a woman in ordinairy clothes.
"Oh, hello!" The man sees John and Rodney. He sees their guns pointed at him and raises his hands, "didn't mean to startle you, I mean no harm! I'm The Doctor and this is my friend, Donna."
"'Ello, I guess," Donna smiles nervously, her arms up as well. "You can stop pointing those guns at us, we're unarmed."
"Who are you? How did you get here? Why?" Rodney lowers his gun slowly.
"I've already said. In the Tardis. And why not?" He smiles then, brilliantly, and Teyla walks forward to lay her hand on John's P-90.
"I believe we can trust them, John. They are, as Donna said, unarmed. I do not believe they intend us any harm." John huffs and lowers his weapon, nodding to Ronon to do the same.
"Thank you kindly,...?" The Doctor raises his eyebrows.
"Teyla Emmagan, of the Athosian people."
"Athosian, aye? I know a bit of your people." At Teyla's raised eyebrow, he continued, "I know a bit about every people. It's what I do."
"And the Satedans?" Ronon asks gruffly, suspicious. The Doctor turns to him and his eyes are sad.
"Ah, yes. Sateda. I'm so sorry. The best sunrises in the Pegasus Galaxy are on Sateda." And Ronon has to nod, to look away and grunt.
"John, report," Samantha's voice in John's ear.
"Er, we're fine. Looks like Atlantis has a pair of guests for an unknown amount of time. Nothing to worry about. We're coming to you."
"Oy, tall dark and crazy-haired, are you trying to tell me this is the 21st century? MY 21st Century? This crazy alien stuff's been going on in 2008?!" Donna prodded John in the chest.
"Well, yeah. Longer, even. And it's 2009 right now. Could you please stop poking me?"
"Donna," The Doctor said warningly, "I told you, a year ahead."
"Look," John interrupts whatever acid thing Donna was about to shout at him, "We need to take you back to the control room. Follow us, okay?"
"So you're trying to tell me that that object on our West Pier is a time machine?! And you travel time on a constant basis? And you're from the future?"
"Not time traveller, Time Lord. And I'm from the past actually. Well. And future. Well," The Doctor made a face, "All at the same time. But aye, mainly the past."
"And you're all trying to tell me," Donna crossed her arms and leaned back in her chair, "That this is an alien city in a different galaxy, battling aliens and whatnot, but almost all of the people here are from Earth?"
"Basically, yes. We're an international contingent on a base in a distant galaxy to discover different technologies to defend Earth with. And more recently, to save the peoples of this galaxy from a formidable nemesis we accidentally released in our early years here."
"These Wraith, yes? That's what you call them?" The Doctor leaned forward.
"And what they call themselves. They are a failed evolution of humanity, cross-bred with-"
"Iratus bugs. Yes." The Doctor finished. "I'd heard of this back on Gallifrey. Experiments. We should have done something, but we were too involved with ourselves, with our self-importance, to take much notice. It was assumed the Asgard would take care of the problem."
"You know of the Asgard?" Samantha stopped pacing and sat down in front of The Doctor.
"Oh, who doesn't? The Asgard, noble grey-skinned clones and early colonialists of the universe. Everyone knows the Asgard, they're the butts of jokes the multi-verse over. How many Asgards beamed into a bar?" The Doctor trailed off into laughter. "It's great stuff, the Asgard."
"If that's the case, then surely you must know about the Ancients?"
"I'm not familiar with that name."
"That's a first," Donna elbows him.
"I'm not omniscient," at Donna's glare, "I'm not! Well," he makes a face, "Sort of."
"That's what the people of this galaxy call them. They also were early colonists of this galaxy. Or even of the Milky Way Galaxy as well. We believe humans to be the third evolution of them."
"Oh! Them. Well, actually, their real name is-"
An alarm went off. Samantha opened the doors from the briefing room.
"What is it? What's happening?"
"We've got fifteen hive ships on the long-range sensors. They'll be here in three days."
In the Briefing Room, The Doctor turned to Donna, "Well. Now we know why we're here."