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A is for Atlantis

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A is for Atlantis.

B is for bear, not that we have any in the Pegasus galaxy.

Rodney, don't help. B is for book. This book is for you -- Torren John Emmagan -- because you're the first kid in Atlantis who's needed an alphabet book in about ten thousand years.

C is for city. There are lots of cities, but you live in the best one.

D is for DHD.

I suppose he's lucky A wasn't for ATM. Or better yet "ATM machine."

Says the man who suggested bears? D is for DHD, which is how you can always find your way home.

E is for ... elephant. Not that we have any in the Pegasus galaxy.

Both of you knock it off with the Earth stuff. E is for egg:

round like the curve of a hand
empty and waiting

… Ronon?

Just do the next letter, Sheppard.

F is for fly, which we do in the puddlejumpers.

G is for ...

I suppose "giraffe" has the same problems we've already covered.

G is for gate room, where we keep the stargate.

H is for hover, which we can also do in the puddlejumpers.

This is going to turn into My First Air Force Training Manual at this rate. Here, let me:

I is for infirmary, where Dr. Keller can take care of you if you get hurt, not that I'm suggesting that getting hurt is a good idea, because even Dr. Keller can't fix everything.

Rodney.

Er, yes. I is for infirmary, where at least you get the good jello cups.

J is for jury-rigged, which is what most of our systems are most of the time. It means that they probably work.

K is for Kelvin scale, which is a thermodynamic temperature scale measuring from absolute zero.

What is this, "My First Book of Nuclear Physics"?

Oh, please, learning the Kelvin scale isn't any harder than learning degrees Fahrenheit, and in fact it makes considerably more sense.

L is for lemon. Or will that make it too scary?

Very funny.

M is for mother. Your mother is a brave woman. She loves you.

N is for nanotechnology. Don't mess around with it unless you're sure you know what you're doing.

O is for octopus. Which, I know, is another Earth animal, but I can't think of anything else that starts with O. And there are octopuses in the Pegasus galaxy. They tried to eat us, once, but your mother didn't let them.

P is for puddlejumper. Might as well get that over with.

Q ... is always a hard letter. There's "queen," but under the circumstances that's a little weird, and I can't really explain "quantum" on a pre-kindergarten reading level.

Q is for questions. You can ask a lot of them if you want. People here are good at figuring out answers.

R is for radio, which is how we keep in touch. Also back home you can listen to music on the radio, but that's probably not going to happen here. If we're ever back on Earth, I promise we'll crank up the radio and drive as fast as your mom says we can.

S is for stargate. It's how we got here. It's how we know you.

T is for tree. Even in Atlantis, there are trees, even if they're in pots.

fingers spread against the sky
drawing without ink

U is for underwater, which the city was when we got here. We were in a lot of trouble, and your mom helped us out. That's how we met.

V really tends to be for violence, but that's probably inappropriate, so we're going to go with vegetables, here. You should eat yours, at least until you're big enough that no one can make you.

W is for whales. You know it's a weird day when the whales show up.

All right, X: there are only ever two choices, xylophone and X-ray. I'm thinking X-ray is more useful, but xylophone may be more age-appropriate.

X is for X-ray, which is a way of looking inside of things to see what they're really like under the surface. It's not the only one, though.

Y is for you. This book is for you.

I suppose Z can't be for zebra?

Z is for zero. It's where everybody starts. But after that, you're the one who gets to decide where you go.