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ACT 6 ACT 1: Missing the Lighthouse

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EARTH DATE: JUNE 23RD, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/01/0005.

Your name is Daniel Jackson, and you're grieving something fierce as you look through a pile of old containers and all sorts of other ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ARTIFACTS that the Langford Family had kept in its possession from the Giza Dig that had uncovered the Stargate.

The memorial service was all the things it was supposed to be, and more. Amusingly enough, a burial at sea. Catherine liked the idea of her ashes disolving away in it similarly to how one steps through the Stargate.

And now that she's gone, you can head back to the place you're meant to be- Pegasus Galaxy, and the City of Atlantis.

Before you can return to Atlantis, though, you have so much to work through.

Your "Inheritance" as it were.

Between you and the Harleys, there's a lot of old stuff to search through.

"Daniel?" Jake Harley speaks up from around a small hallway of shelves and bins. "Come look at this for a moment?"

And so you reluctantly do.

"What is it?" You ask.

"Odd Canopic Jar," Jake holds it up. "The Hieroglyphics on this look off to me. Like it's not quite Egyptian."

"That'd be because it's badly written Goa'uld," you frown. "...Another fucking Corruption Cipher." You get out a notepad and start correcting it.

"A what now?" Jake asks. "What does it say then?"

"...Contents: One Video Camera. Sincerely..." you read after a moment, and blink. "SG-1."



Breaking the seal was one thing- finding a cable to charge it is another. The exact type of port doesn't seem to be manufactured yet except on some high-exclusive next-gen camera being sold out of Japan. A trip with the Daedalus' transport beams gets you there and back to the SGC pretty damn quick.

From there, you and Jake go to Jonas' office, plug the camera into the first available computer, and replay the footage.

And then there you are- except in Ancient Egyptian Robes. He speaks, "Okay, uh, my name is Doctor Daniel Jackson. I'm part of a team called SG-1, and we have just traveled back in time 5000 years."

You stare at yourself. He looks so different. More confident, for one thing.

"You see, the thing is, we're not sure we're gonna make it back. Um, the chamber where you discover this tape should be discovered shortly before we're set to leave. Hopefully the timeline hasn't changed at all. Let's see, what are some recent major events. Uh, communism recently failed in Eastern Europe. Um, they should be well on their way towards democracy by now. Henry Hayes is President. What else... Sam, help me out here?"

And then Carter steps into view, and the other you introduces her, "Um, Samantha Carter, Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force, and a member of SG-1."

"My God," Jake whispers. "It's them. The other SG-1 that Joey was talking about from Giza."

"What, uh, I suppose we should tell them about the Stargate," Carter says.

"Or some of them, at least," you say. "Multiple teams, remember?"

Other you continues on, "Right, um. Colonel Carter and I work for an organization known as Stargate Command. It is located under Cheyenne Mountain. Now, for the past eight years, we've been regularly traveling through a large, ring-shaped device known as the Stargate. It should have been discovered in 1928, somewhere near where this tape was found."

"Now, by means of these off-world missions, we've managed to acquire a lot of advanced technology which has helped us defend Earth against several alien attacks," Other-Carter says.

Other you continues, "If for whatever reason, the things we're talking about are not true, then it is possible that we have somehow inadvertently changed the future. Now the purpose of this tape is to provide you with the tools you will need to go back in time and set things right. If, for whatever reason, the Stargate has not been discovered, you will have to find it and get it up and running. Uh, Jack, you should say something."

You pause it. "Well, at least we have the Stargate and things seem... mostly intact? Or at least, circumstantially parallel enough."

"Yeah," Jake nods. "Seems close enough to me."

You resume the tape.

"No, uh, I'm good," says Jack from off screen.

"We should all appear on the tape," Other You says.

"We have no way of knowing how things could have changed," other Carter says.

And then another Jack O'neill steps on screen.

"Uh, General Jack O'Neill, United States Air Force. How ya doin'?"

"Tell them about the future," other you says.

"...Uh, college football is played on Saturdays, pro on Sundays, and there are no fish in my pond... at all... where I fish." Other Jack glances at other Carter and other you. "I think that covers it."

"Didn't the others go fishing recently?" You pause the tape. "I could've sworn they said Mitchel and Teal'c reeled in a really large fish."

"I'd take that as proof they're from an alternate timeline, then," Jake says.

"I need to let the others know about this," you say. "...Also, we need to check what else was buried with the rest of this stuff."

"I'll check through the rest of the tape, and compare with the manifest," Jake says.

"Thanks," and with that, you head off.

...Damn it all. Time Travel. It's always Time Travel.

You miss the simpler days when you were just on Atlantis dealing with the Wraith...

You can't wait to go back.

Chapter Text

"MARTIN LLOYD!"

"MARTIN!"

"DIRECTOR LLOYD! OVER HERE!"

The man called Martin Lloyd slammed the door to his trailer shut behind him, exhaling as he did so. For a moment, he stood there, silently, and then, his eyes crack open and look directly at the Audience

"What? Oh. You guys again." He sighs. "Let me guess, you guys are all lost and confused about everything, aren't you? Continuity lockout? That sort of thing?" He nods knowingly. "New viewers ahoy. Welcome aboard. Right..." He stands up and throws his arms out wide. "Well, welcome to Casa De Martin!" he pauses. "I hope I said that right. Right. Anyways." He motions at a seat. "Sit, sit! I'll get you something to drink... Water?"

The point of view of the audience nods, then sits down in a chair, and watch as Martin gets something from a minifridge.

"You have NO idea how crazy things have been around here since Disclosure!" he returns with a bottle of water, and a bottle of chocolate milk for himself. He hands the audience surrogate the water bottle.

"God, the Papparazi have just been insane! I tell you, I don't know how they get past security..." He pauses. "I'd ask how YOU got past security, but I think that's a moot point at this point."

Martin takes a hefty swig from the bottle of chcolate milk, then, capping it and placing it on an end table that appears out of thin air between the audience and himself.

"Ah, Captchalogue technology. Wonderful, isn't it?" Martin grins. "Okay. So. Let's start at the beginning shall we? The Story behind the Story of WORMHOLE!" He throws a hand to the air, "X!" he waves it through the air. "TREME!!!"

He grins at the audience. "Oh, yeah. We're going there."

He gets up, and then goes for the trailer door, opening it, and unveiling a vast desert on the other side. "Come on!" He hops through the doorway, and the audience surrogate follows through.

Martin is suddenly dressed differently, more suited for the desert.

"Welcome! To! ABYDOS!" he yells, throwing his hands out far and wide. Then, he stage whispers, "Turn Around!"

The POV does such, and sees a large shadowy entrance to a stone building.

"Annnd Pan up!"

The POV pans up.

And Up.

And UP!

Dramatic music swells as the view takes in the MASSIVE Abydos Pyramid and the three moons over head.

The POV then pans down,back to Martin, now sitting on the steps of the Abydos Stargate ramp, inside the Pyramid.

"Abydos is where it all began, it's easy to argue," Martin says. "In 1994, the U.S. Airforce was running a project to figure out this strange, ring shaped device behind me. A Stargate. Running that program was one Jake Harley and one Catherine Langford, who brought in a Doctor Daniel Jackson to decode the language and unlock the Gate. Doing such brought an expedition team here, to Abydos, where they met the locals-"

On cue, a group of children run past, chasing a ball.

Martin smiles, standing and walking along past a series of standing chalk baords with diagrams and pictures drawn on them. "The Abydonians are a friendly bunch. Though, they were a little superstitious at the time, given their planet was ruled by a powerful being, claiming to be the God RA."

Martin says, "Now, I'm sure you've all gotten used to hearing about 'Goa'uld' and such, but, the thing to keep in mind? The REAL Ra, of the Goa'uld System Lords? He was DEAD! The woman who had been running his empire in his place?"

Martin pauses at a certain chalk board, which instead had photographs pinned to it.

"She was an Alien, yes, but one foreign to this Galaxy- And Time- entirely." Martin takes a piece of chalk, and writes under the picture of a grey skinned alien lady three Aliases.

"MEENAH PIXIES, also known as HER IMPERIAL CONDESCENSION," Martin reads, "later to be known as The False Ra, KHEPRI." He then spins the board around, revealing the BETTY CROCKER LOGO pasted to the back. "She also was a notorious baked goods baroness."

Martin nods to the viewer, and says, "And we're walking."

He walks past a stone pillar, and emerges on an ALTERNIAN CRUISER. Martin's skin has been painted grey, and he's now wearing a headband with fake candy corn horns on it. He's also wearing a military uniform with a blood red PYRAMID AND SUN sign over his heart.

All around him are a bunch of Alternian soldiers ignoring his presence as they do SPACEY THINGS.

"Khepri was the ruler of a VAST empire in another Galaxy," Martin narrates,  "The Alternian Empire- in the Alternian Galaxy- and her people, the Alternians, hailed from a planet called Alternia."

He pauses at a throne chair, which rotates around, revealing a Seadweller female troll wearing what's obviously a fake set of Horns to make her look like The long horned Empress herself.

"Now, Khepri was immortal, and had a vast array of powers thanks to a mysterious Ascension device used by her Empire to select new Empresses," Martin says, as the fake Khepri inspects the replica BRACELET on her wrist. Its white body was home to seven rainbow hued crystals. "She'd ruled for THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of years! How or why would she leave it all behind?"

Alarms suddenly sound, and Fake Khepri snarls as a team of heroes barge onto the stage.

All of them are Alternian, but clearly wearing costumes and fake horns over their real ones to pretend to be real people.

"She was forced into exile through a daring scheme of time travel and espionage," Martin narrates, "and in doing so, Khepri was sent into our past to fulfill the role she had already fulfilled."

Martin steps off stage, and the POV camera follows, this time with the sound of a Stargate "SCHLORP", bringing us back to Abydos where the Fake Khepri, dressed now in royal robes of Goa'uld prestige, stands on the deck of a Ha'tak, confronting Abydonian actors and people pretending to be USAF Soldiers.

Martin stands in the same desert uniform from before as he narrates, "The team sent from Earth confronted Khepri, and using the bomb she herself had planned to send to Earth after one of her agents on Earth had SENT IT TO HER, the people who would go on to become known as the team SG-1 detonated a nuclear explosive enhanced with the Naquadah element in her FACE."

The fake SG-1 throws a grenade ball into Khepri's hands, and she screeches in dismay as the device lets loose a blinding flash of light.

When it fades, Martin stands at the base of STARGATE COMMAND's Stargate ramp.

"Returning to Earth, our heroes prepared for the most noble mission imaginable. To seek out new life, and new civilizations! To boldly go where-!" Someone steps in from off stage and whispers in his ear. "Oh. What do you mean we can't use that quote!? Oh. Whatever!" Martin, annoyed, huffs and walks out of the room.

The camera follows- and we find Martin standing in an old attic, behind him resides a tarp covered ring shaped device- clearly a Stargate.

"Khepri's agent on Earth had one mission left to fulfill with her demise," Martin narrates as two children run into the attic and pull the tarp off of the Gate. "Jude and Joey Harley- children of Jake Harley- were attacked during the funeral wake of one Betty Crocker- their estranged Grandmother, and the very same Khepri who had just died a firey death. Using information that had been given to them through a stable time loop, they dialed a Stargate to the planet Alternia-"

The fake stargate behind him errupts with the same visual and audio based effects seen from the show WORMHOLE X-TREME.

VRRRR  VRRR KASPLOOOSH-SIZZLE-SPARK!

"And Joey Harley was forced through the Stargate in order to survive sudden death," Martin says, as the Joey-lookalike throws herself through the gate.

Martin follows her through, once again dressed up in the Alternian Soldier makeup.

"Here, Joey Harley got involved with the Rebellion- a group of children fighting to overthrow the Empire." Martin narrates, walking through a series of hallways after the Alternian Actors from the last ship scene, now including the Joey Look-alike among their number.

"They would make allies, fight enemies, travel through time, and most importantly of all, during the climatic battle of Karfin outpost..."

Desert Martin stands once more in the Abydos desert, though standing in for elsewhere, as a CGI ship crashes into the desert, and with an explosion of rainbow light, the Joey-alike actor raises into the air on glowing wings, wielding the bracelet on her left wrist.

"Reclaimed the Heiress Bracelet for their own use." Martin raises his own bracelet replica with a smile as he walks into the desert.

Behind him, as he narrates, images of the crystals and what they do appear in the air.

"The base of the Bracelet itself grants its wearer incredible strength," Martin narrates. "The ruby red crystal is called REAPER. It grants its user the power to commune with the souls of the deceased, rip them out of peoples bodies, or store souls within itself, in addition to granting some incredibly potent telekinetic abilities."

Martin steps past a rock and emerges, dressed in hiking clothes, in a forest.

"Next are the Crystals of COMMUNION- Bronze Orange- and HYPERBEAM- Electric Yellow." Martin smirks, "Communion allowed communication with the bio-mech machine known as  Royal Lusus. Hyperbeam? Exactly what's on the tin, there." He hikes along, continuing.

"Following that is Administrator, the Lime Green crystal, who allows the controlled use of every crystal in the Bracelet," Martin pauses, emerging into a stonework hive area, where a lone Alternian girl sits, meditating, as dozens upon dozens of ARAI BEETLES swarm around her.

"On its own, it also grants its user the abilities to psychically network multiple minds. Use of this ability was made of excessive use during the Rebellion's War with the Alternian and Mofang Empires."

Martin walks on past, continuing on. "Now, the heavy hitters. The Jade Crystal, REJUVENATION, RESTORATION, REINCARNATION!" Martion stands atop a hill overlooking a crashed ship. "Rebirth at its most primal."

A clown actor chases the actress who had played Khepri before, now wearing a different outfit, and swings a club at her head.

The girl fake-collapses to the ground, but a moment later, there's a burst of green light, and another girl stands there, helping the Seadweller up to her feet, before they both take down the Clown.

Martin walks on.

"Following that is REGENT, the Cerulean Crystal. It allowed its user the ability to mind control a countless number of people..." Martin pauses, shakes his head, and enters a medical lab.

"And finally."

He approaches where the Joey-lookalike helps a puppet!Asgard to sit up.

"SHAPER. The Royalty Crystal. The ability to manipulate Genetics on a fundamental level," Martin looks to the camera. "Combined these bracelet crystals were a source of great power."

Martin steps away from view, and the camera pans to follow, back onto the Alternian Bridge with the Khepri versus the Rebellion actors.

"Eventually, they confronted Khepri, and exiled her, as previously described. A villain vanquished, you'd think..." Martin shakes his head. "She was but a puppet, fated for death."

The POV focus down on Martin's feet as he walks off of the metal deck plating, and onto a candy coated, red and green spiral.

The camera pans up, and behind Martin, images of two ominous specters appear behind him.

"ANUBIS, a Goa'uld who had achieved ascension, and sought to end all life in the galaxy," Martin narrates as a cloaked figure appears.

"LORD ENGLISH, a Cherubic Semi-diety who thought himself the Lord and God of TIME itself." A green skinned, skull faced creature appears following.

"And... the most menacing of all..."

The sound of mechanical chittering draws the camera back down to Martins feet as a horde of CGI-made REPLICATORS run by in swarm.

"The Replicators."

The camera follows the bug swarm as they start swarming up onto a table, where the SG-1 Actors stand across from a set of other actors, all of them, save a panicked girl, looking extremely angry.

"The Replicators are a hybrid menace. An Android named Reese created these bugs as toys, originally. Simultaneously, the Mofang Empire, developed the bugs as Construction Drones. During Karfin Outpost's battle, Replicators from one Galaxy were hurled to another, where they merged. One of these human form Replicators, though, decided to take a stand, and helped SG-1 in postponing the Replicators from taking over the universe."

The actress playing POLENDINA, with orange hair and green eyes, talks to the SG-1 actors silently, as Martin narrates more.

"She gave SG-1 knowledge, and information, and in turn, stayed behind in a time dilation bubble to kill Reese; she herself died in the process. We honor her wishes, and call her Polendina in memory of her sacrifice." Martin walks off screen, and the camera fades to black as the sound of swords clashing plays.

Martin steps back into Abydos' desert. "English and Anubis were allies of a sort. A Tense pair who would turn to backstabbing each other at the earliest convenience. Anubis came to Abydos, attempting to gather six mystical artifacts called the EYES..." Martin steps aside, revealing the Abydos Pyramid in its entirety behind him.

A beam of red falls from the heavens- only to be intercepted by a massive metal dish, and blasted back into space as green light.

"Using that information from Polendina, Anubis was pushed back, and back, until finally..."

The camera follows the beam of light as it shifts from green to golden, and then crashes into the front face of a Goa'uld mothership, high in space.

"...He was defeated in orbit over Earth. As an Ascended being, we knew there was a high chance that this would not kill him permanently, and so we prepared a plan for if he showed his face again," Martin says. "In the end, that plan came to a head with the Replicators, and Lord English himself, came to Milky Way to wage war. Anubis did show up at some point, possessing a plant possessing a ship, with intent to take English's body..." Martin shakes his head as a wave of energy washes over the debris field.

"It took a coordinated, multi-front effort, but they were all defeated in a single blow."

And thus, space fades back into the interior of Martin's Trailer, and Martin is back in his directorial clothes from the beginning of the skit.

"Now, there are far, far too many adventures beyond what I've named to retell in the short amount of time I have to talk to you today," Martin smiles, apologetically. "But, maybe in future visits, we can talk more about it. Have some teasers to tide you over until then."

Martin decaptchalogues a notebook, and opens it.

"Ah! Here's a fun little tale! The time Samantha Carter blew up a sun! Ah, and here's another interesting one... The Royal Lusus versus a horde of Replicators! Oooh, and here's an even more interesting story! The lonely alien with amnesia problems!" Martin grins. "Now, I could go on and on about that one! It's a story that hits close to home for me, and--"

There's a knock at the trailer door. "Director Lloyd, you're needed on set."

"Ah! Dang it," Martin sighs dramatically. "Break time's over." He stands up, and offers a hand to the view. A gloved hand reaches out and shakes it. "We'll have to do this again, some time. Maybe next time we can talk about the City of Atlantis, huh?" Martin winks, and then decaptchalogues a baseball cap that reads "DIRECTOR/WRITER" on its front, and heads for the door.

He pauses, and turns back as if remembering something.

"Oh! And if you see a guy named Niel around anywhere on set, tell him Mozzie said that We are SO on for that New York Visit next weekend!"

And with that, Martin Lloyd exits his trailer.

...

...

...

You have no idea what the hell you just watched and understand JACK SHIT about anything.

Chapter Text

"I'm Emmett Bregman, here with Keiko Ayano, of the Atlantis Expedition. Miss Ayano, thanks for doing this interview with me."

"It's my pleasure, really."

"Before we begin, how has work been going here in Atlantis so far?"

"It's been good, Mister Bregman. I'm a little annoyed by the power system not accepting our ZPMs, but it's all been good otherwise."

"So, you're something of an oddity among the Expedition. Like a large potion of the expedition team, you're not from Earth, but at the same time, you are. Sort of a single solitary paradox among others. What can you tell us about that?"

"Well, I'm from a version of Earth that, thousands and thousands of years ago, was besieged by the Goa'uld. However, where your Earth was subjugated by them before eventually over throwing them, mine never got that far."

"What happened?"

"We're not exactly sure of things like, who said what, but we're certain of one fact. The City of Atlantis that we're going to in this reality came to our aid in mine."



Settled at the seat of the head command ship, the one called RA smirked an alien faced smirk as he stares down at the blue Jewell of a planet. A perfect mix of sapphire blue and emerald greens. A garden planet.

And then one of his servants cries out- {"MY LORD! A SHIP APPROACHES!"}

{"What Kind of Ship?"} Ra inquires.

{"It's... it's...!"}

And then a Mothership to Ra's immediate right is blown to pieces by a string of golden fire- alas, the one who would be called Anubis had perished in the explosion.

{"WHAT!?"} Ra turns his head and stares, watching as the strangest space ship he'd ever seen bursts through the remains of Anubis' mother ship.
It looks like someone took a city, and made it FLY.

The strange city vessel swoops forwards and takes up center position between the Goa'uld fleet and the planet they sought to conquer.

And then a transmission comes over the communications array.

{"Halt there, Parasites!"} a scowling, human face glares a death promising glare from behind her rounded glasses. {"We are the owners and protectors of this planet. Leave at once or face the consequences."}

Ra laughs, getting to his feet and glaring back. {"And just who the hell do you think you are to challenge the full might of the Goa'uld Empire with but ONE ship?"}

The woman laughs, turns to her side, and asks something in a language Ra is unfamiliar with, it sounds... oddly familiar though in a way. Like an ancient relic of a forgotten piece of the past. Then, receiving a response, the woman turns to look back at Ra, and declares, {"We are Atlantis. And you have thirty seconds to retreat before we blast you out of the sky like the locust you are!"}


 

"So what caused this divergence, do you think?"

"We're only working off of conjecture at this point, but, our best answer is time travel. A previous version of this expedition failed to survive the city flooding, save for a few fortunate souls, who went back in time and changed things. In one reality, they convinced the Ancients to raise the city when the shields failed- this one- and in another, they returned to Earth- mine."

"Naturally with such a huge divergence point, there has to be a lot of differences between our two worlds."

"Of course. The repelled assault of the Goa'uld lead to the planet being heavily damaged. Our Ancestors, both human and Ancient, ended up setting up massive versions of Atlantis- huge, sprawling, hundred floor things we call Castle Ships. Each one has a base floor size of ten thousand kilometers! And then they just, gradually get smaller and smaller as they get higher."

"That sounds incredible."

"That's not even the best part. They all FLY. High up above the surface of the planet! They're suspended in place by way of a series of metal plates that form a shell around the planet itself called the Magneto-sphere. Going by the name you can probably tell that it's like, a lot of high rise magnetism tricks, to keep everything floating. My Castle is called AINCRAD."



Sunlight glints across the clouds, disturbed only as a long, round shaped flying ship bursts across its surface, heading directly up towards the massive CASTLE SHIP: AINCRAD.

The small Castle Jumper flies above the clouds, tilted in such a way that the sunlight doesn't glare into the front window. Not that it mattered too much, given the countless gleaming bursts of reflected sunlight off of the castle's shiny, metal surface.

With a tilt, and then a turn, instead of diving up towards a higher point on the Castle, the tiny Jumper went beneath Aincrad, beholding its multiple, light producing engine drives that were keeping it afloat.

 

 


 "So, how did you get involved with traveling between dimensions?"

"Oh, that's a fun story. Basically, one day, my Sister's boyfriend- Kazuto- wait, hold on. Right, so, my Mother is best friends and co-workers with the family nearby us. The Kirigayas. Suguha is their daughter, and Kazuto is her cousin. Shiori's my sister. Anyways. Kazuto was out doing flying practice in a Castle Jumper with his Aunt, and she noticed something off about how the Castle was floating in the air."

"And for the record, a Castle Jumper is...?"

"One of the Puddle Jumpers we have here on Atlantis, just without a built in DHD. Like, the exact same shape and size and everything."

"Right, continuing on?"

"Right, well, on the way back, His Aunt had him check the other Castles, and found that Aincrad was definitely floating weirdly- a lot like it had when Kazuto's parents had died in a Jumper accident."

"How terrible."



"Midori," your mother begins, "how was the trip?"

"Concerning," Midori says. "I spot checked the engines. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with them that I could see, which is even more concerning. External scans also matched what we were reading from inside- the engine output is so much lower than it should be."

That doesn't sound good.

"There's something else, though," Midori says. "Kazuto ran into some interference keeping him from righting the Jumper properly beneath Aincrad's engines. We didn't have that problem over at the other Castles."

"That's... that's worrisome," your mother frowns. "What do we do about that?"

"I don't know, but I think we need to spot check the Magneto-sphere itself," Midori says. "I think there's something wrong with it, maybe."

"If that Magneto-sphere is breaking down..." your mother grimaces. "This could affect more than just Aincrad."

"Let's double check the Jumper's Flight Logs before we head out again," Midori says, and with that, the both of them walk into the Jumper, and close the door behind them.



"Yeah. Anyways, my sister Shiori's a bit of a history nut, and has this huuuuge thing for going and exploring dangerous places. So, like, completely unrelated to this whole engine trouble, she was planning a trip into a nearby support structure- one of the emergency stairways to the next floor up, basically. Anyways, they went exploring there and I tagged along and, well... while they took a- ahhem- Food break... Pina got distracted chasing something, so I had to run after her, and... that's when we found the secret, hidden away Mirror Lab Shiori had us hunting for to begin with."

"How exactly did you find it?"



The wall suddenly slides open behind you with an enchanted HISS because of COURSE you would have the luck of leaning against a hidden door of all things.

"Ow..." You mutter as Pina releases her destroyed target and flutters over onto your chest.

"Kyuu?" She inquires, likely wondering if you were hurt.

"Nothing but my pride, Pina," you smile at her, giving her a tender pet down the neck before getting up to your feet. Pina shuffles onto your shoulders in the process so smoothly you didn't even notice, so you're surprised when she gives your right cheek a tender lick. "Aww, thanks."

"Kyuuui!" she chirps as what's probably meant to be "you're welcome!" Either that or "Feed me fish when we get home!"


"Oh, well. I just sort of activated the door by touching it. ATA Gene Key. Y'know?"

"I see. Continue on?"

"Inside there was a bunch of stuff like a flight training console that had been cracked by, though I didn't know it at the time, a Fae named Sakamoto who was a royal guard for Alfheim's princesses. Astora put him under orders to keep her younger sister safe from their father, Oberon. They'd fled through the Mirror and came to Aincrad."

"So this Sakamoto had come to Aincrad to hide away from the king?"

"Yep. That was a whole adventure and a half tracking them down. Like- a whole year of trying to figure it out, basically."

"Story for another time then."

"Yeah. Anyways. So, I turned on the Mirror and that's when I saw her- Silica! The cat girl Fae version of me!"



You don't even need a mental command to turn it on. You just press the blinking red button.

The mirror makes a weird whining sound, and then the black colored parts burn away with fire made out of static before resolving into a flickering image of yourself... except NOT.

Sure, she has a Pina on her shoulders just like you do, and sure she has your face and eyes and hairstyle, but... Her clothes look nothing like yours, and beyond that... You're reasonably quite certain that YOU do not have CAT EARS or a CAT TAIL.

The image flickers and warps for a moment before stabilizing.

"What the hell...?" You mutter as you watch your odd, be-cated twin do the same.

You tilt your head to your right, and she does the same to her right- that is to say, your LEFT.

You raise your left hand and give a wave, and she does the same, but whole seconds later.

It's not a mirror image! It's... it's... it's like a video screen??

She turns around to face someone off screen, and you see her mouth moving, but you don't hear the words. A second later, a boy and a girl walk into view... you'd say they look like some kids you know from class, except they're different too!

Like, you're quite sure that the boy you're thinking of is wheelchair bound, and for that matter, doesn't have wolf ears or a tail. The girl, also, you're reasonably certain doesn't have green highlights in her hair, or pointy elf ears for that matter!!

They're talking about something, quite excitedly, but it's impossible to tell what with the audio muted... You really need to learn how to read lips one of these days.

You see your alternate self's cat ears flick side to side in response to something, and you wonder if they're covered in actual cat's fur, or if it's just short hair like on her/your head?

You kinda, just want to reach out and--

Your hand brushes against the glass right as the image sort of warps with static and you scream as an electrical charge runs through your arm.

You scream, and then you hit the floor.



"The Mirror on their end was in a state of half-repair, though, so... it kinda fried the moment I went through. Silica and Minori went to fetch replacement power crystals while I stayed with Touya while he worked on repairs."

"That must have been quite a shock for them."

"Not as much as it was a shock right to my own heart- Literally! I was out cold for a while there after I touched the mirror."

"That sounds painful."

"It was! But Fae magic is pretty powerful. Healing magic works wonders! ...I can't begin to tell you the amount of times I've had to use it. I've got some nifty scars from the rapid healing, even if you can barely see them most of the time."

"...I get the feeling I'm going to be doing a whole series on your misadventures through parallel worlds, in the near future."

"Hahah! Probably. Anyways, as it turned out, Silica, Minori, and Touya were on a mission from the same Princess Astore to find Sakamoto. So once the Mirror was repaired, they came with me back to Aincrad. But that's when everything went to hell."


 

Your name is SILICA, and FINALLY, after years of work, you've got the WORLD MIRROR working again. All Powered up, turned on, and not flickering with static, you can see the same lab that Keiko was standing in before she touched the mirror. Beyond that, you can see two other people in the lab, who jump in surprise when the mirror turns on.

Funnily enough, one of them looks like Kirito, except... younger somehow? In the eyes, at any rate, he seems younger. Also, definitely not Fae.

Still, the Mirror is on, and Keiko heads back through first to explain the situation, and also as a test of the mirror to make sure it won't fizzle out again on its first use. FWASH! It doesn't break, and so Minori heads through next with a large bag full of all the personal shit you three have been storing in this lab since you started this project. FWASH!

You turn to Kirito and Yui, and say, "Good luck, you two."

Kirito just nods, while Yui echoes the statement of Good Luck.

Then, Touya heads through- FWASH!- and you take a breath, make sure the bag with the remaining Power Crystals are secured on your back, steel yourself, and then touch the mirror as well.

FWASH!!

And you emerge, feeling light headed to the point of everything trembling from the sudden change in altitude, into the middle of a conversation between Not-Kirito and a girl who Keiko keeps calling "Shiori Onee-chan"-- Big sister?

In this world you have a big sister?

Huh.

Oh, also, you feel very off balance. That's not due to being light headed from the altitude difference. The room seems to actually be shaking. Earthquake? No, can't be. A castle in the sky doesn't have earthquakes.

"We weren't just going to leave you here in the Dungeon like that!" Keiko's sister- Shiori, you guess- says rather loudly for the room space. "We were so worried when everything started shaking and you weren't here and-"

"When did everything start shaking?" You ask, and not-Kirito and Shiori turn and look at you, surprise in their eyes.

"Uh, about five minutes ago?" Not-Kirito says.

"Does it matter when it started shaking?" Minori asks as a bit of dust from the ceiling falls down on her head. "We should get out of here now that we're all together, right?"

"Yeah, good point," other you says, nodding. "Let's go!"



"What happened next?"

"What happened was utter chaos. A Goa'uld had gotten onto Aincrad and was sabotaging the engines in a hope to crash the Magneto-sphere to pieces. Had been trying it for long enough that it killed Kazuto's parents. It took my mother, tried killing Kazuto's Aunt, and went to finish the job. We had to stop it. So we followed it into the Engine Core."



SKREEEE! The ring around you chimes out as Kazuto hops over it and stands in the center with you. BRRRMM--

"Is this going to hurt?" You ask as the ring on the floor opens and ejects MULTIPLE MORE RINGS (VRRM X8 COMBO!) that rush upwards and FLOAT IN PLACE somehow!?

"Oh, definitely," Keiko says, tone definitely-- VARRROOOOOOSH!!! --serious but apparently joking as a beam of light washes over you pain free and then the Rings descend.

VRRM VRRM VRRM VRRM VRRM VRRM VRRM VRRM - RRRMMM- SHNKT!

There are a lot of either dead or unconscious bodies on the floor surrounding the transportation rings.

You and your duplicate draw your daggers, your twin pet dragons ruffle their feathers in anticipation, Minori her staff, Touya and Kazuto their swords, and Shiori readies her claw-gloves.

"When in doubt," you mutter, "follow the dead body road."



"That sounds like a lot to put on the shoulders of kids your age."

"It... kinda was? I was only... eleven or twelve at the time. For reference, I'm eighteen now, almost nineteen. It's terrifying what we went through, looking back on it, but... there was nothing else that could be done. We were the closest ones to do anything who knew the full situation and there just wasn't time to bring anyone else up to speed."

"So you confronted the Goa'uld on your own."

"Not that we knew what that was at the time. Kazuto went in with his sword, trying to distract her."



You draw your sword, and then run into the room, "Miss Ayano! Back away from the console right now and put this Castle back right where you found it!!"

She laughs, not even looking up from her code-typing work. Her voice is... it's different. It's echoing. Well, chalk one up for DEMONIC POSSESSION, you guess. "Oh, Kazuto," she says, "you poor, naive boy."

"Stop typing!" You growl, pointing your sword at her and stepping forwards. "Stop typing and back away right now!"

"Or you'll do what?"

"Or... or I'll cut your head off!!" You bluff.

Still... Bishop Ayano, or whatever it is possessing her, hits the enter key, and then backs away from the console, turning around and putting her hands into the air.

Her eyes flash, and she smirks. "I was prepared to die when I first started this mission. I knew I'd never make it off of this Castle alive. Go ahead. Kill me. It makes no difference. Nothing you can do will stop the destruction of this Castle and the Magneto-sphere holding it and the other Castles in orbit."

"Why!?" And then the last person you wanted barging in here does so. Oh, Shiori, you so wish she didn't have to see this. "Why would you do this, Mom!?"

"News flash, Shiori," the woman's eyes flash again, this time seemingly out of annoyance. "Your mother isn't home right now. Hasn't been for four years. You can call me... The Administrator Cardinal."



"That sounds like a Goa'uld, alright."

"Yeeep."

"So, what did you do?"

"Silica used a phasing spell to incapacitate her, but it was too late. The Castle was accelerating into the upper atmosphere already, ready to drop down on the Magneto-sphere and pop it like a bubble."



"...Okay, so in three minutes we're being thrown at the thing we're not supposed to be thrown at," Touya summarizes. "Our other option is rebooting the entire system, which has us falling to our doom uncontrollably? Is that the difference?"

"Well, yeah, but-" Shiori pauses. "Wait, yes, rebooting everything shuts down the engines and Aincrad falls, but we're falling thanks to gravity, not the engines being thrown in reverse!"

"So we reboot the engines and then throw the engines back on after the reboot is done to control our descent!" Keiko says.

"I- I guess??" Shiori frowns. "But there's no telling how fast we'll be falling due to gravity! We might hit the Magneto-sphere anyways!"

"Quick question because I might have a stupid idea!" Minori raises her hand. "This Magneto-sphere, is it a solid thing or an intangible thing?"

"It's solid," you say. "A bunch of giant, interlocking, magnetic plates that encircle the entire planet."

"Right, so..." Minori looks at Silica, "Silica, that spell you just used to sneak in here, if we change out the self-target component for a scaled item target...?"

"Oh! Yeah!" She snaps her fingers. "We could make the entire castle and everyone on it intangible for a few seconds! If the engines haven't rebooted by the time we're about to crash into it, that is."




"You made the castle intangible?"

"We made the castle fucking intangible."


 

[Attention Citizens of Aincrad,] you start speaking to everyone in Aincrad by means of triggering the female voiced Automated Broadcast System all across the Castle. [Due to engine sabotage, we're about to crash and explode. So we're going to try something that should get us back into a safe position... but it might make us crash and explode just the same... Either way, you're going to want to hold on tight to something because this is going to be a bumpy ride.]

"Nice speech, Kazuto," Shiori smiles at a camera, knowing you can see her through it. Then, you feel, more than see, her press a certain key combination. "REBOOTING SYSTEMS!"

And then you feel everything go dead, and yet, you're still connected to the Castle Aincrad itself.

You feel all the upwards thrust cut from the engines- the STAR DRIVES, as the Castle helpfully supplies- and only forwards momentum keeps you going up and up and up.... and then it slows.

You feel it slowing as the sheer bulk of Aincrad gets pulled back down by the planet's gravity.

Soon, the shaking you'd felt omnipresent and gotten used to disperses, and everything is still.

Absolutely still.

AND THEN YOU FALL.

[0:05]

Inside your minds eye, you see the three other worldly visitors put themselves in a triangle formation around a bag full of Z.P.M. crystals, all resting on top of the power generator. Minori casts some kind of spell that seems to link the three of them with mystical bonds of energy, and then, they wait, standing impossibly still as gravity takes hold elsewhere.

You watch as Shiori holds herself tight to the console, watching a progress bar of the Castle's Operating Systems rebooting. You watch Keiko throw herself onto the back of the chair you're sitting in, using one hand to grab you by the shoulder and keep you sitting in the chair.

You see everyone who can grab onto something do such, even as gravity threatens to pull and whip them up onto the ceiling above them.

[0:12]

If this were a Jumper, this would be where the inertial dampeners kick on... and it seems, that's the case as they too reboot for all of Aincrad.

You feel the entirety of Castle Aincrad as it hurtles down through the atmosphere, picking up speed and falling, falling, falling.

You're not so high up that you begin burning in re-entry, but you feel the heat of acceleration against the Castle's armored skin regardless.

[0:30]

You can only wonder what this looks like from the outside- a giant tear-drop shaped beast of metal hurtling down from above, breaking MACH SPEEDS and threatening doom for everything else.

The external feeds, and the acceleration sensors kick in as they become the first system to reboot, and you get a picture of how fast of an approach you're making towards the Magneto-sphere.

"ENGINES WON'T REBOOT IN TIME!" Shiori yells, "CAST IT NOW!!"

"RIGHT!" Silica yells back. "LET'S DO THIS!"

"RIGHT!" The others nod.

[1:00]

Their spell craft spills forth from their mouths then, sounding like music as you FEEL the flow of power from their foreign Power Crystals draining away into those three mages, and then redirected through out all of Aincrad through the Z.P.M. console.

You feel the magic takes hold, spreading rapidly across every available surface, and then, once it had a grip on everything, ALL of Aincrad's solid mass suddenly becomes OUT OF PHASE with the rest of reality some how.

Your world becomes shadow, and then CLOUDS as Aincrad falls through the cloud layer, and then a moment later--

[1:33]

You can only wonder how it looks from below. A massive ball of shadow piercing through the Magneto-sphere and falling like the ominous herald of doom.

Except, as you feel the three Fae collapse to the floor from exhaustion, the shadow would flickers, and suddenly a silver Castle appears, falling down so fast it seems impossible.

[1:41]

You're back to reality, and, naturally, that's when the MANEUVERING ENGINES Reboot. Not the STAR-DRIVE, though. It's not enough to slow your descent if you turned those on just yet. But...

You throw the Engines on anyways, hoping to change your descent towards a rocky demise into a WATER LANDING, because while there's nothing but crust beneath you right now... in the distance you can see the ocean.

And so you tilt Aincrad as best as you can to use your current momentum to overshoot the continent below you and land in the ocean.

You watch as whole mountain ranges, snow covered and beautiful, whirl past beneath you, giving way to plains of grass and wild fields of flowers, and then there are... there are miraculously signs of civilization. People... people have been surviving down here after the Castles were launched??

[1:55]

It doesn't matter.

You FOCUS on making it over the ocean as best as you can, and then once you do... well, you're going to have to-

"LEVEL OUT!" Shiori cries out. "WE'RE GONNA CRASH IF YOU DON'T LEVEL US OUT!!"

"...Thanks for the reminder!" you grit out, wrenching your real eyes tighter.

The continent below continues to blur past, and then- then- YES! OCEAN! OCEAN AT LAST!

And wouldn't you know it? That's when the STAR DRIVES finally Reboot and turn on and you throw everything you can into stopping while still leveling out as best as you can.

[2:25]

Fast! Too fast! You're still going too fast!

You can see a timer flashing down in your eyes, counting down to the moment you finally touch down on the ocean's surface, and if you do it wrong, the whole castle will CRASH and probably EXPLODE.

So you're going to do it right. No pressure, RIGHT????????

You can feel the waves and the sea itself misting up beneath Aincrad as you skim over its surface- slowly, surely, leveling out, but is it enough?

IS IT ENOUGH!!?

It's going to have to be! You've leveled Aincrad out as well and leveled as you're going to be able to get and--

[2:53]

You feel the ocean crash into the castle, and you feel your heart skip as all power cuts for a crucial moment- your world is nothing but blackness with only the sensation of water crashing into you from all sides.

[2:58]

But then, your awareness comes back, and you feel Aincrad is still there. Still level. Sliding to a halt on the water's surface as the displaced ocean rains down around you in your wake.

You're here.

You're all here.

Everyone is ALIVE.

Bruised and battered, but alive.

[3:19]

...And the average citizen is applauding and cheering as everything seems to stop moving so drastically.

---

"...Words don't quite do it justice, really."

"I can only imagine."

"After that... well, things went about as back to normal as they could be considering we'd crashed into the ocean with a full Hundred floors of structure and people. There was a lot of rebuilding, and a lot of politicking with the management... and there was a lot of searching for more Goa'uld possessing people... But those are stories for another time."

"Thank you again for taking the time to talk with me, Miss Ayano."

"Any time, Mister Bregman. It's... really fun to be able to talk about it with someone after all these years."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MARCH 13TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 09/20/0004.

"Sugu, are you serious!? We're on the Ocean!?" the girl who looks like Minori-- Miri, wasn't that her name?-- exclaims.

"I'm serious! Kazuto went on a flight around and there's nothing but ocean for miles!!" A flight Suguha's big brother already filled you in on the details of. "I wanna go swimming but Mom says it's a bad idea! But it's the OCEAN! I've never been in an ocean before!!"

"That sounds dangerous, Sugu," you say, hugging Pina close. "I think your mom has the right idea."

"It seems so weird, though," the boy in the wheel chair- Tony, you think- remarks. "What about getting us back in the air? The other Castles have to have noticed what happened!"

"I don't think that's going to happen any time soon at all," you speak before you realize it. "The ZPMs aren't connecting to Atlantis' systems and- Wait." You frown. Atlantis? No. That's not right. Aincrad. Isn't it? It's... It's...

Pina licks you impossibly across the nose- somehow having gone from your arms to your head and- Ah.

Right.

You blink awake as your little friend continues to serve as the best alarm clock ever.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you've left Aincrad far, far behind.

"Morning, Pina..." you sigh, and then giggle. "Time to get up, right?"

"Kyuuu!" your dragon purrs, and nuzzles your neck.

It's time to get up, and get dressed.

You'd lament the decision to skip showering, but they're still refilling the city's water tanks with desalinated water. Not that you could anyways, given your poor choice in room selection.

Sure, being next to a swimming pool is nice and all, but... you missing having your own shower. A sanctuary away from your sister and her boyfriend whenever they- Well.

That's in the past now. You have the future to worry about.

It has been about a week since the Atlantis Expedition arrived in the Pegasus Galaxy, and... Well... Things have never gone according to plan since you arrived.

Already, an unstable time loop seems to have happened to divert disaster right on the very first day. Then you kicked over all sorts of trouble in the form of pissing off the WRAITH- the local dominant life form atop the food chain. Oh, but atleast you made friends! And... find yourself unable to dial back to Earth to make a scheduled check in because the City won't accept any of the ZPMs you brought with you.

Atleast the Naquadah generators work to keep the city powered, but it's nowhere near enough to power the Stargate for an extra-galactic connection.

You think you've figured out the work around by now, though.

As you exit your room, dressed up in your work uniform, you pause in the hall, running almost face first into your neighbor- an Alternian troll named Mallek Adalov.

"Ready to give the Gate a try?" he asks, and you nod.

He might not look like much at first glance- just some punk in a hoodie with a lot of ring piercings along his face and horns- but he's a fairly competent programmer/hacker/coder/what have you.

Most of the people on this Expedition are smart- they wouldn't be here if they weren't. Well, okay, maybe that's an understatement. There are the military minds and those with super powers, and of course, the civilians who are there to fulfill other such roles as COOKING, CLEANING, or who knows what else.

You come from all over. Tok'ra and Humans from Milky Way, Alternians from the Alternia Galaxy, you and Pina, from a whole completely different universe. One where EARTH came under Goa'uld attack, and was defended by the CITY OF ATLANTIS...

This very same city that you're in now, just under different circumstances.

For thousands of years, your version of Earth was home to countless floating castles- each one a hundred times taller than Atlantis itself, but based on the same technology. And then you found a Quantum Mirror in a maintenance dungeon, and got involved with the world of ALFHEIM- where another you and other people from her world gathered together to fight back against a tyrannical king, rescue a couple of princesses, and... well... Eventually made contact with the people of Stargate Command- from the Earth of this dimension.

Things got really complicated after that.

That's really all there is to say on the matter.

Lost in your thoughts as you are, you arrive at the Atlantis Control Ops room sooner rather than later.

"Miss Ayano, Mister Adalov," Doctor Elizabeth Weir, leader of the expedition, greets you as you arrive. "Good Morning."

"Good Morning, Doctor Weir," you greet.

"Mornin'," Mallek nods.

"So then, are we ready for the attempted dial out?" Weir asks.

"Where's Doctor Mckay?" You ask, looking around the room. "I thought he'd want to be here for this."

"He's in the infirmary receiving the first human trial test of the ATA Gene Therapy," Weir explains. "Doctor Beckett assures me that if Rodney can permanently recieve the gene, he'll be prepared to hand it out to anyone who volunteers."

"Sweet," Mallek grins. "They're doing it without the Shaper Crystal, right?"

"Yes, Kanaya Maryam and Rose Lalonde are off world right now with Teyla, trying to secure some food trade through one of the Athosian's friendly contacts," Weir says. "I think Carson mentioned something about a mouse retrovirus and a lack of FDA testing out here in passing."

Ah, the Athosians. Some local humans native to this Galaxy that got their village raided by the Wraith. And... a mouse retro virus? You have no idea what "FDA Testing" is either.

Mallek seems to have some idea, though, because he laughs.

"Well, whole brave new frontier out here, isn't it?" He asks. "Wonder if it'll work on Alternians?"

"Something that'll have to wait after we see if it works on humans first," Weir smugly decides, then motions to the DHD. "Shall we begin?"

"Right," you sit down at the DHD, decaptchalogue your laptop (Thank you, ancient (In time) Alternian Technology!) connect to the Ancient (Species) technology and begin the Dialing program.

Atlantis' DHD has refused to dial out past six chevrons if the seventh symbol isn't the Point of Origin. It seems like a security measure, really. In addition to trying to work past SIMIILAR restrictions on the ZPM RECEPTICLES in the power core, you and Mallek think you struck upon the magic number for getting past said security block, in the Stargate, at least.

While Mallek heads down and ensures the Stargate is hooked up to the ZPM repository you'd brought through from Aincrad, you double check everything.

This is your technology. Sure, it's a ANCIENT RELIC (In terms of time and species), but it's still YOUR TECHNOLOGY. It's a precursor to everything that runs and ran on Aincrad. You can DO THIS.

Mallek gives a thumbs up as he returns from checking the connections, and with that, you nod to Weir, who goes on the city wide intercom.

"Atlantis, this is Doctor Weir speaking. We're about to attempt to make one more attempt at a  connection to Earth. As always, please shut down or disconnect any non essential equipment to protect it from possible power surges. Thank you."

Then, she nods to you.

"Dialing Earth," You breathe out, and then run the program.

You're bypassing the Atlantis DHD entirely and instead using a home brewed program. This time, it should work. Hell, you're not even dialing using spatial coordinates. You're using the tried and true Nine Symbol MAC Address for the Stargate at the SGC. This connection should make it no matter what!

The Gate lights up- a symbol appearing in the top center chevron, and then spinning down along the digital tracks in a large, counter-clockwise circle before locking into place under the first chevron.

Another glyph appears, top center, and spins clockwise into the second chevron. A third, counter clockwise, to the third. Another chevron, clockwise, to the fourth. Again counter to the fifth. Clockwise again to the sixth...

And then the Gate shuts down as the next input symbol is rejected.

"That shouldn't have happened," you frown. "That should have worked! We were inputting the symbols into the Gate directly! There shouldn't have been any security protocols in place to stop it! We checked the Gate's programming! This should have worked!"

"What if it's not a programming protocol?" Mallek asks.

"What do you mean?" Weir asks.

"What if, and, just hear me out here because this is crazy..." Mallek looks at the Gate. "What if there's a Physical Limiter installed within the Stargate itself that shuts down all functionality if the last symbol isn't the Point of Origin?"

"The Ancients wouldn't want the Wraith to be able to dial outside of the Galaxy, so they locked out Eight Symbol Addresses," Weir rationalizes, "But by doing so they also prevented the ability to dial a Gate's Nine Symbol MAC address."

"Which is something even the Ancients likely didn't use that much," Mallek says.

"So... that leaves us with one big question..." Weir begins...

"How do we bypass that limiter?" You finish, thinking the same thoughts.


 

O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

Your name is Elizabeth Weir, and it's been a hell of a day so far, considering it's not even Nine A.M. local time.

The Planet is being called LANTEA or some varriation of that so far. The Athosians started calling it that, and, well, the name's spread among the Expedition staff.

Fresh Water won't be a problem, Grodin is telling you, as the tanks are nearly full and should automatically continue desalinizing the seawater as the usage drains it.

"It seems some Ancient technology requires the user to have the gene. Other things merely require initialization. Once activated, like the control room, anyone can push the buttons to make them work," Grodin rambles a bit as you pass by a trio of Athosian boys, Jinto among them, who pause in their run to bow in greeting.

"Good Morning, Doctor Weir!" Jinto greets.

"Morning," you smile, "Be careful in the halls!"

"We will!" And with that, they run off.

You look to Grodin, and say, "I think we need to designate some specific recreational areas. Wouldn't you agree?" Especially if the rumors you're hearing are true and some members of the expedition have either hooked up prior to or been hooking up since arrival. Unprotected. A few cases of "Just Allergies" have surfaced already among certain staff members.

Even if the Athosians find a new home and move out of the City... Atlantis is sure to have some kids running around it in a few years.

"Yes," Grodin nods in agreement. "I think that's for sure."

"And we certainly need to clear more of the hallways of our supplies and get everything put away as soon as possible, and can we lose the ten-thousand-year-old dead plants?" You glare at a pile of dead plants in a planter that still have yet to be cleared out.

"Of course," Grodin says. "We're still in the process of making sure everyone's been assigned living quarters. Major Sheppard seems to be taking his time okaying enough space."

"Well," you say as you finally arrive in the Gate room. "The Safety and Security of this expedition are his top priorities with Colonel Sumner now dead."

"Well, that's-"

"Okay! I'm Ready!" Mckay's shout interupts whatever Grodin was about to say.

And then Mckay falls off of the balcony above and lands on the ground next to you.

There's an odd FWASH sound as he hits the ground though.

You look up and see Sheppard staring with an odd sort of mischief in his eyes. "Did it work!?" He asks.

Mckay then leaps to his feet, and cheers- "Did you guys see that!?" He grins.

"Yes- What just happened??" You ask.

"I'm fine!" Mckay grins, and Sheppard marches down the stairs to join you. "Look, Beckett's gene therapy worked. I was able to activate this," He points at a device somehow attached to his chest. "It's a, uh, personal shield, acts like a, uh, protective skin, and it must have inertial dampening properties, too, because I didn't feel a thing. Watch this." He turns to Grodin, and demands, "Hit Me!"

Grodin does so- it's a fine right hook that should knock anyone out.

It stops short of a green forcefield a few inches away from Mckay's face- which flares up and causes Grodin to stagger backwards with a yelp.

"You didn't have to swing so hard," Mckay taunts. "Also," he looks to Sheppard, "Notice that he didn't even hesitate? It took me like three minutes to convince you to even slap me!"

"Yeah, well, I didn't know it was going to actually work," Sheppard remarks.

"I'm still trying to understand how you thought it was a good idea to test this device by having someone throw you off a balcony," you inquire.

"Oh, believe me, that was like, the tenth thing we tried," Mckay says. "We worked our way up!"

"Like?" you ask, glancing to Grodin, who's still nursing his fist and muttering curses promising Mckay a swift death by way of vampires of the normal, earth-born varriety. (Although isn't there an interesting question regarding where Earth's vampire myths came from?)

"I shot him- in the leg, of course," Sheppard answers, a little bit smugly. "And Jade flung a couple of marbles at him. Stopped them cold despite how fast she'd thrown them! Not even a tiny bit of nuclear fission from the impact either!"

"I find it rather concerning that you decided to test a possibly nuclear reaction before throwing someone off of a balcony!" You remark.

"Oh, we took a Jumper out over the ocean for that part," Sheppard says. "We're not THAT dumb, Weir."

Wait.

"The OCEAN??"

"Oh, yeah, Mckay figured out how to retract the Jumper bay roof," Sheppard says. "But that's not important."

"What is is that I'm invulnerable!" Mckay grins, sounding about as excited as you've ever heard him sounding.

"Aren't you the one who's always spouting off about how proper and careful scientific procedure must be adhered to?" You ask.

"In~vul~ner~a~ble!" Mckay sing-songs, bopping up and down on his feet a little.

You sigh. "Alright, fine. Just take it off."

"You're just jealous," Mckay sticks his tongue out.

"Oh, yes, green with envy," you dryly return as Mckay reaches for the device and--

VRRRRRR!

"...Uh..." Mckay keeps gripping at it, only for the forcefield on the hand and chest areas to keep flaring up and prevent him from grabbing the device. "...Atlantis, we might have a problem."

Sheppard reaches for it, but is similarly repelled. Mckay glances at him, with a 'Really?' sort of look.

"I had to check," Sheppard says, a bit quietly.



Your name is RODNEY MCKAY...

"Oh, yeah," Keiko nods. "I've seen these before."

"And??" You ask.

"In a museum," She answers, prodding at your shielded chest. "Looong after the batteries died and they were useless to anyone. Nobody ever could figure out how to recharge them."

"So no idea how to shut it off?" You ask.

"Nope!" She grins.

...And you are NOT amused at all.

"Well, thanks for that," you lament.

"Sorry," Keiko shakes her head. "Anyways, I'll take a look at the documentation and see if I can find anything."

"Well, thanks," and with that, you make your way to the conference room.

You can't even eat or drink. You'll starve within a day!! Okay, so Carson says you can last longer than that- maybe atleast 3 days without water- you weren't exactly paying attention, too busy Moping....

Why do the awesome things have to borderline on deadly?

You arrive in the conference room as the security briefing you skipped out in nears its end. Better to atleast put in an appearance near the end before you starve to death.

"Do you not trust us?" Teyla is in the middle of asking.

"It's not a matter of trust," Weir consoles, "it's a matter of safety. We had ten incidents yesterday, three Athosians, two SGC Military, three Alternians, and two Civlian Scientists who all encountered Ancient technology that misfired before they could be safely moved or turned off and had to be taken to the infirmary. And that's just yesterday, within areas of the city inside the areas we'd rushed through clearing only to have them be stumbled upon by accident by people who weren't on patrol. That's ten people too many and I don't want to see anyone else getting hurt."

"She's right on that," Sheppard says, "it's not that we don't want to include you guys in the perimeter searches, it's that the more people we have going through the city at the same time, the more chance there is that we start triggering multiple disasters that might chain react into something we can't stop easily."

"Very well," Teyla nods. "I can see the logic within that. Unfortunately I've already had to chastize those who touched things without checking if they were safe or not for acting like children in the forest. I will inform those that wish to help on the reasoning behind it. Perhaps their annoyance will carry through the message to look and not touch."

"Let them know we'll try to work in some of the Huntersinto future patrols once we've gotten a better idea of what we're dealing with," Sheppard says. "In the mean time, if there's anyone who has some mild water-telekensis powers or something and they want to help, we do have some jobs for them helping to clear out some flooded sections of the city we just came across. Gotta deflood it before we can make it safe."

"I'll pass that along as well," Teyla agrees, "I'm sure it will help aleviate some of the anxious desire to do something among my people."

"Just to hammer the point in, I'll be issuing a base wide statement later today," Weir says. "Everyone needs to remember and take it to heart to not touch anything unfamiliar."

"Yeah," you say, "That's very important. I mean you never know. Even a tiny, little, innocuous-looking thing can…can kill you." All eyes look towards you, and you riase your hand, adding, "Dead man talking."



"So... What is this 'ATA Gene' thing?" Emmett Bregman asks of Carson Beckett in front of a Camera. "And why is this gene therapy so important?"

"So, the A.T.A., or Ancient Technology Activation, is a single gene that's like a master key of sorts. It instructs various cells in the body to produce a series of proteins an enzymes that interact with the skin, the nervous system, and the brain," Beckett elaborates. "Now, a part of our research into this is based on the gene therapy that is used in Keiko's world to give people who did not inherit the trait from their ancestors to gain the ability to use certain pieces of technology."

"How are you delivering it?" Bregman asks.

"Well, you see we couldn't exactly reproduce the methods used in Keiko's world- their scientists refused exactly to let us see how the process worked in a repeatable environment due to security concerns- entirely understandable, mind you- but they did give us enough of a head start that we were able to figure out a way to deliver the same gene to the human body through use of a mouse retrovirus."

"A- a mouse Retrovirus??" Bregman inquires, sounding very off put. "Is that safe??"

"It's one that's been deactivated," Beckett nods. "So yes."

"Are there any side effects to it?"

"Dry mouth, possible headaches, a craving for cheese, the irresistible urge to run around on a small wheel," Beckett answers with a cheeky grin.

Bregman laughs. "Funny! So, how long does it take before it starts working?"

"Going from the time I injected Doctor Mckay earlier this morning to the time he activated the shield device?" Beckett muses on the timing. "A surprisingly short five minutes."

"Speaking of Doctor Mcaky, do you have any idea why he's been unable to take the shield off?"

"Oh, I've discussed it with many people so far, Miss Ayano, Doctor Weir, Major Sheppard..." Beckett muses, "We're pretty sure on some subconscious level Rodney just doesn't want to shut it off- afraid for his own life within a city sized spaceship we're only days into understanding."

"So... it will shut off then, right?"

"Either when Rodney feels like taking it off, or when a built in safety protocol shuts it down," Beckett answers with a nod.

"So, ah, one more question."

"Of course."

"...Why wait until now and not before we left Earth? I mean, if it's possible, we would  need as many people with the gene as we could get, correct?"

"Well, honestly..." Beckett winks conspiratorially at the camera. "The main hindrance was FDA approval. They wanted us to test it on mice and monkeys for a solid two years before moving onto human trials. Which, honestly, is pretty useless on an expedition like this, wouldn't you agree? What good would mice and monkeys able to use Ancient Technology do for us? We'd be more likely to set off a city wide self destruct than turn on a light switch!"

"Oh, definitely," Bregman agrees. "And it's completely safe so far?"

"As far as experimental gene therapy goes, yes," Beckett says. "That said, I've not encountered any serious side-effects from those who have volunteered thus far. The results are promising!"



"Alright," your name is Elizabeth Weir, and you've got the most important people on Atlantis gathered together. "As far as we know, there is no way to dial out back to Earth from Atlantis, however, just in case there IS something we're missing and this is the ONLY Stargate in Pegasus that's capable of dialing extra-galactic, we are making this our last line of defence against the Wraith. That's why we're establishing a tried and true method- a base self destruct."

"The Self Destruct system requires two separate codes," Grodin explains to the crowd. "Now each person here is going to be required to memorize their code."

"Don't bother giving me one," Mckay interrupts.

Tyzias Entykk elbows him in the side- triggering the shield flash.

"...Sorry," Mckay apologizes.

"Anyways," Grodin coughs. "Once both codes are properly entered, every Naquadah Generator in the city will overload within thirty seconds, causing... well. One very large bang."

"Polypa would approve," Jimmyy O'neill remarks.

"That she would," Daraya Jonjet nods.

"Are we sure it'll do enough damage?" Lieutenant Ford asks.

"You ever seen a twenty kiloton nuclear explosion fueled with naquadah before?" Tyzias  asks.

"...No?" Ford answers.

"What about a Naquadria detonation event that terraforms the entire surface of a planet into a molten ball of blue flames?" Tyzias continues.

"...Not that either," Ford answers.

"Good," Tyzias answers. "Keep it that way. It's terrifying."


 

Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you yawn as night falls on LANTEA.

Who would have ever thought when you were a grub that you'd have gotten used to a Day-light based sleep schedule? Hell, who would have thought you'd HAVE a sleep schedule at all?

You're wandering through the presently open halls of the city of Atlantis, bemusing the day's events.

The ATA Gene Therapy has been working on the humans, and you're debating whether or not to be the guinea pig for Alternian use. If it works, neat. if it doesn't, well... No big loss, although...

There IS  one very easy work around for that- the Shaper crystal Kanaya wears on her forehead.

Eh.

Doesn't matter.

It's not like you're going to be flying a Jumper any time soon, anyways.

Though, you'll be flying in one.

John's put together a list of three initial teams under the "Atlantis Recon" designation- His team, your team, and an other one. Yours is going to be taken up by the positions of yourself, your Matesprit Daraya, Mallek, and Keiko.

You're somewhat glad John is keeping the "band" together, as it is, from Alternia. But you're apprehensions to a degree. Are you sure you want to get into the field work again? Maybe you could take up a hobby, like... model kits?

...You're exactly one galaxy too far removed for that to even be possible, and it kind of just makes you sad.

You pass by the Athosian hallways, and that's where you find the whole village's worth of Athosian kids sitting around in one of the larger rooms as John, Argo, and Jade tell a story to them.

"And that's when the evil Darth Maul unhooked his laser sword and ignited not one, but TWO plasma beams from either end of his weapon!" John exclaims, and all the kids start gasping in surprise and/or terror.

"That's amazing!" One of the kids exclaims.

"It's terrifying is what it is!" Another kid counters.

"So the two Jedi Knights retrieved their swords and activated their weapons, preparing for a Duel... Of the Fates!!" Jade continues from there.

And with that cue, Argo presses the play button on her MP3 player, and it starts playing a chorus track from some movie through a set of nearby speakers.

You smirk, and turn to leave, only to see Teyla motioning for you to follow her out a ways.

"Miss Entykk," she greets once the sound of music and excited story telling is a bit more muted by distance.

"Just Tyzias," you say, "everyone calls me that except Doctor Weir."

"Right," Teyla nods. "How are your people finding the city?"

"Fine, save for the ever present fact that we're over water," you say. "We didn't bring that many Sea Dwellers with us on this trip, so everyone who's used to being on solid land is a bit uneasy about it."

"I see," Teyla then inquires, "I heard mention that your world had terrifying monsters living within its sea, and on its land as well."

"Alternia definitely had a death world vibe to it, yeah," you laugh, hollowly. "Even the plants wanted to kill you. The rain was acidic, and the sun could boil your eyes red-dead-blind within a few seconds. But... it was home for a lot of us, nasty as it could've been." You chuckle, genuinely this time. "I suppose it makes sense we chose worlds with more tame wildlife and less harsh suns for our newer settlements... and they're all suspiciously far inland, although I'd say most of that has to do with centering ourselves around a Stargate."

"I see," Teyla hums that phrase again. "So much like life here in Pegasus, the threat of death hung overhead?"

"Yeah. Constant companion that Death guy," you say. "Remind me to tell you about Karfin Ourpost some time. That was a close call I don't ever want to repeat."

"I will have to, at some point." Teyla glances back at the room with the kids as they all yell out various exclamations of surprise. "...There is much I am still unsure of with regards to your Galaxies. That you come from two separate ones is astonishing enough- but that you would venture forth to a third is..." she trails off.

"Technically, this is our fourth galaxy visited," you say. "Well, for some of us, at least. It ended up being a relatively small expedition team that time, and we haven't gone back since."

"The Ancestors must have visited many Galaxies, then," Teyla muses.

"Yeah, something like that," you say with a shake of your head. "We never saw any of the Ancients in person in our Galaxy. Just a couple of ships that our old Empire had captured and begun using to install Stargates everywhere."

"That sounds..." Teyla pauses. "Truthfully, it makes me very confused."

"Yeah, don't I know it," you shake your head. "Anyways, I gotta get going. Have a good night, Teyla."

"To you as well," She bows, and lets you walk along the way you were going.

You soon find your way to the room you and Daraya and Barzum had claimed as your own. You swoosh your hand over the door console, and the door glides open as if it were brand spanking new.

Daraya's lounging on one of the two beds in the room- truthfully, why you hurried to claim this particular room- and Barzum is sitting on the other in a medatative pose, stairing out the window at the starry sky above.

"The stars are so different here, Tyzias," Barzum remarks when you slide the door closed behind you.

"Eh?" You ask, "How's that?"

"They're scared," Barzum says. "I can feel it. It's not like back on Haven. Or even Alternia in the past... They're so scared."

"Yeah, I think I can figure out why," You say, glancing at Daraya, curiousity brimming in your eyes as to how long Barzum's been going on about this. She glances back with a "Don't ask me, she's your Moirail" look. "It's the Wraith, right?"

"I'd guess so," Barzum nods, not tearing her eyes off the stars. "There's the same sort of fear here, too. From the Athosians." She finally turns to look at you. "Though... tonight there's more of a fear of double bladed swords than of the Wraith."

....Huh.

"Hey, Barzum," you ask, moving to sit down next to her. "It's been about a week since we got here. How are you holding up with everyone being so close by?"

"It's loud," She answers. "Louder than Haven, but... none of them are trying to get inside my head."

You put your hand on her far shoulder and drag her in for a hug. "You ever feel overwhelmed, just let me know. Alright? We'll go find a nice quiet planet to explore for a while."

"Thanks, Tyzias," she rests her head on your shoulder.

You take in a deep breath, squeeze a little bit tighter, then let go so you can get ready for bed.

First step first, a shower.

As you gather up your shampoos and towels from your TRAVEL CAPTCHALOGUE DECK, separate from your usual day-to-day one, Daraya puts her book down and gets up to do the same.

Shared shower? Yeah, looks that way.

You both head into the Bathroom adjacent from the room, and while you start making sure your stuff is all situated on an unfortunately small shelf in the shower, Daraya starts wiping off her eyeliner makeup.

"So... we're what team designation?" Daraya asks.

"AR-2," you answer.

"ALT-2 to AR-2," Daraya 'heh's, "John sure has a sense of humor, doesn't he?"

"It's a lot of twos," you agree, before stripping down, stepping in, and turning on the shower.

Another thing to chalk up to your new circumstances- the persistent amount of salt water in the air. Your hair just isn't used to it. You end up scrubbing for something like five minutes before realizing you've essentially brought the wrong kind of shampoo for this environment.

By the time Daraya joins you, you think you've gotten most of the damage to your hair under control, and so while she checks over your work, you check over her hair. How she's managed to keep it in better condition is a mystery. One you'll have to ask about, regarding what shampoo she uses or not.

When you both step out of the shower a while later, you're both well and truly ready to go to bed and sleep 'til morning.

Unfortunately, life has other plans.

There's a furious knocking at your door, and so you hastily throw a towel around you, and answer it.

"Jinto's gone missing," Jade informs you.

"...Which one's Jinto again?" You ask, frowning.

"Halling's kid," Jade says.

"I'll be out in a minute," you say. "Just gotta get dressed first."



Your name is Mallek Adalov, and your work on examining the Stargate blueprints stored within the Atlantis Database is interupted by a search for an Athosian kid who went missing.

It was about time for a break, at any rate.

You close your eyes and lean back in your chair as you let the world move around you.

"Can we find him with the sensors?" Weir asks.

Sure, if you could power the danged City with the ZPMs you brought with you.

"We don't have nearly enough available power to activate the whole city at one time," Mckay shuts it down.

"Even if we could, the sensors don't distinguish-" Grodin stops talking suddenly as you hear the telltale sound of power fuzzing around. "...Individuals..."

You crack an eye open, watching with everyone else as the lights flicker for a few moments.

"And beyond that," Mckay says. "for all we know, he could be in a shielded area, or the, ah..." The lights flicker again. "Sensors could be malfunctioning. Though..." He brings up a laptop- you hear telltale little fwishes of his forcefield as he types. "We are getting a pretty strange energy reading in an unexpored area of the city."

"Activate the communication system," Weir orders.

You close your eyes again and listen as Weir starts talking to Jinto, asking the whole "If you can hear me please respond" thing.

She's just getting warmed up when- PCHUUUUuuuuuuu.... The subtle glare of lights against your eyelids dims sharply.

"We've lost power," Grodin observes.

"Still got battery powered stuff, though," Mckay says.

"I don't know why that happened," Grodin says.

"Maybe the kid's stuck somewhere and he's trying to turn on the radio?" You put forth the option. "Could be he's just hitting things he doesn't know are messing with us."

Right on cue, the BZZZHMMMM of the Stargate shield kicks on.

"That wasn't me!" Grodin quickly shuffles the blame off of himself.

"Of course it wasn't," you say.

The shield shuts down, and then the Gate starts to dial out all on its own.

"Shut it-" Weir starts to order, but you're already on it.

One swift spin in your chair and you palm your hand down on the "Cancel Wormhole" button. Yeah, the Ancients put one of those on there and noth much else.

"...Down. Thank you Mister Adalov," Weir says.

"Yeah, yeah," you say.

"You know," Mckay begins, "Either this stuff is so old it's breaking down after only a few days of use, or there are ghosts."

"Not you too," Grodin laments. "I've heard enough of that from the Athosians! This city was abandoned, not murdered to death!"

"Control Room, this is Sheppard," John's voice crackles over the radio. "The lights just went out."

Weir replies, "Sorry, Major, we're experiencing some technical malfunctions. Adalov seems to think Jinto might be trying to signal us, some how."

"That," Mckay interjects, "or it could have anything to do with the interfaces between our naquadah generators and the city. Well, that, or the way we isolated certain systems could be causing erroneous operations in the Ancient programming..." He pauses. "Or, hell, it could be ghosts."

"I'll run a diagnostic on the power flow," Grodin heads off to deal with that.

"I didn't think you believed in Ghosts, Rodney," Weir observes.

"I didn't, then we learned about the Wraith who can suck the life out of you with their hands," Mckay holds his hand up for emphasis. "So what the hell, universe? Why not ghosts!"

"Ghosts do exist, you know," you voice.

"...They do?" Weir asks, looking at you while Rodney laments "You just had to say it!"

"Of course they do," you say. "Rust Bloods have two psychic abilities- telekensis and communion with the dead. Plus, there's that whole 'Reaper' Crystal from Joey's old bracelet that literally lets you rip someone's soul out of their body."

"Fair point," Weir pauses, spotting Teyla entering the room. "Just a moment, Teyla." She turns to Mckay, "Do what you can, Rodney," and then she heads out with Teyla to the stairs leading down to the Gate Room.

Nothing better to do, you follow.

So much for your nap.

"Doctor Weir, this is Marta," Teyla introduces a teenaged girl to Weir.

"Please to meet you," Weir says.

Marta nods, very nervous, glancing at you.

"Sup," you greet. "I'm Mallek."

"It's alright," Teyla tells the girl. "Tell them what you saw."

"A shadow," Marta says.

Weir goes to say something, but you interject- "What kind of shadow?"

"What?" The girl asks.

"I mean, was it kind of thin and whispy like the Wraith Illusions?" You ask, "Or was it more like... sort of thick and omnipressing? Kind of... like a cloud, maybe?"

"Cloud like," Marta says. "But... sort of... thick? Like Congealed Soup?"

"Like Jelly or Oil?" You ask.

She nods.

Shit. Fuck. Damn it.

"Did you hear any sounds like a whale crying out?" You ask.

"What's a whale?" Marta asks. "I don't recognize the word."

"Um, sort of like a big giant fish that goes, um..." You try to emulate the sound best as you can. "EEEEE-OOOO?"

"Oh," Marta nods. "I know the animal you speak of. No. I did not hear it."

"Good," you say, then to Teyla, "If your people see any shadows like that, or hear any whale-calls like that, let us know immediately."

"You sound like you recognize this creature?" Teyla asks.

"Or something like it," you run your hand through the back side of your hair. "Some of us found an old abandoned research facility on a snow planet a few years back. There were two creatures being stored there- sort of energy based creatures that fed off of a person's psychic and other bodily energies." You explain, "Now, this crazy chick, Shadre, took one of them as a pet, and left the other one to kill everyone left on the planet. It killed just about everyone there, except for a few survivors. One of them had gotten like, brushed by it and was hovering near death."

"And you think it may be the same kind of creature?" Weir asks, sounding incredulous.

"Maybe. I don't know for sure. The creatures take on different appearances, but they've got two major distinguishing traits," you say, "one  is that they have a sort of oil-infused jelly-like appearance. Shadre's absorbed a lot blood into it, though so its possible whatever this other thing is, its nature changed by being stuck under the ocean for a couple thousand years. The other defining trait  is that they have a whale cry- if we start hearing that indoors we've got a huge problem."

"How did you defeat these creatures?" Teyla asks.

"Stargate Kawoosh," you answer. "Dialed it up, and shoved them into the vortex as it formed."

"I'll put the word out, then," Weir goes for her radio. "Major Sheppard, this is Weir. One of the Athosians is claiming to have seen what she's calling a shadow. Adalov's recognition of the description pins it as a possible energy based creature his people have encountered before."

"What kind of energy based creature?" Sheppard asks.

You take the radio from Weir, and explain it for yourself. "John, it's Mallek. You remember the mission reports on Shadre's pet monster?"

"Shit," Sheppard swears. "You think it's one of those?"

"Maybe," you say. "We've only got one sighting so far, but we might see more before the night's out. Just, keep your ears open for any whale cries."


"Got it," Sheppard replies. A moment later, there's a click of changing channels, and, "All teams, this is Sheppard. Fall back to the Gate room and wait for further instructions. We may have a starved, hostile energy monster loose in the city."



Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you frown at Mallek as he tries to reconfigure some of the city's sensors. He looks tired.

"We've secured access to all the control towers and living quarters," John reports as he joins you all in the Control room. "What've we got?"

"Two more Athosians have reported seeing the shadow," Weir tells him. "Their descriptions have it as moving around rather unlike a Wraith illusion, and closer to what Mallek described."

"Thick and Oily and moving around in the air?" John asks.

"Yeah," Weir nods.

"Any whale cries?" he asks.

"None yet," Weir shakes her head.

"Whatever this thing is, if it's a cousin to the Psy-jellies," you say, "it might not be an exact one to one match for vocalizations."

"What, you think it's like some sort of weird, intergalactic cousin?" John asks.

"In as much as any creature like this could be," you say. "From what we know the ones in Alternia were home-grown. Could be the Ancients were doing something similar to attack the Wraith... or it could just be some Ascended being puttering about."

Teyla and Halling arrive, then.

Halling wants to speak to Jinto through the city, and you turn to check on Mallek. "Yo. Dude. You've got that look in your eyes," you whisper to him. "You know. The one that Daraya had to drag me out of, basically?"

"I'll sleep when we've got a way to track it," Mallek says.

"I know the energy signatures like you do, Adalov," you say. "Go get some rest. I can finish up here."

And then Halling starts praying aloud in Ancient, before raising his arms and saying, "If you are angry that we have unrightfully inhabited your great city, we humbly apologize. We mean no harm. We will leave if it is your wish, but I will not go without my son!"

Then, the lights snap off again in response, and...

THWUMP.

You and Mallek turn to look at Doctor Mckay lands face first on the floor.

"...Also," Mallek says, "I'm nowhere near as ready to collapse as he was just now."

You ignore that to go check on the guy who literally just collapsed.


 

EARTH DATE: MARCH 14TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 09/21/0004.

Your name is Elizabeth Weir, and...

Last night, Sheppard and Grodin saw the shadow monster on their way back from escorting Mckay to the Infirmary. (Mckay himself had "Passed out from Manly Hunger" or rather... simply fainted.)

Sheppard got a photo of it as it went for a Naquadah Generator and started siphoning energy off of it.

And then it grew.

Thankfully, Sheppard's following  order to remotely shut the generator down made the creature go away.

Still.

The morning sun's light never felt more like a spotlight being shined down from above, focused by a magnifying glass.

"So, it's an energy vampire similar to the Psy-Jellies," Entykk says after absorbing all the information. "But its first inclination is Naquadah Generators rather than the psychic energies of people."

"For now," Mckay interjects with a pointed wave of a sealed power bar in hand- just waiting for the shield to drop so he can eat it. "It's happy with the Naquadah generators, but it's probably been stuck here for thousands of years. It's starving- and I cam empathise- which is exactly why if we cut off the Naquadah generators for long enough, it's going to start going after people. Because, psychic or not, a living organisim puts out a lot of bio-electric, heat based energy. And it's nowhere near as much as a Naquadah Generator, but it'll have no other choice."

"And if we let it feed off the generators, it'll just keep growing," Entykk agrees. "And then it'll grow so big it won't be able to be fed on just Naquadah, or even a ZPM,  anymore."

"And by now it's too big to just Kawoosh away," Adalov agrees, looking over the photo. "What's bugging me is that it's got no coherent form. Both Psy-Jellies we ran into before held onto a barbell shape when out in the open."

"It's possible that was the result of the Bracelets within them," Entykk suggests.

"Or maybe they're completely different species?" Mckay offers.

"Whatever it is," you look to Adalov, "how goes the tracking program?"

"We've almost got the sensors reclaibrated," Entykk says for him. "Now that we know what we're looking for, it shouldn't-"

"Hello???" Jinto's voice suddenly echoes through the room. "Can you hear me? Can anyone hear me?"

Over the radio, you hear Sheppard ask, "Jinto?"

"Major Sheppard!"

"Are you okay?" You ask into the radio.

"I'm scared," Jinto answers and of course he would be.

"Jinto," Entykk radios, "this is Tyzias. Can you start from the beginning and tell us how you got to where you are?"



Your name is Jade Jackson, and you feel a bit miffed that it was Jinto who had found a Transporting Elevator chamber and not you. Teleporting feels like it should be under YOUR purview.

It's like a ring platform of sorts- Mass Transit for the City. They go up, they go down. They go north west. They go south east. They go all over... And "Someone" clearly thought it would make a nice storage closet without reporting or calling in the OBVIOUSLY glowing wall pannel on the back that opened up every time you opened the doors to the chamber.

Jinto had gone playing hide and seek with Wex late at night, and searched in there, then activated the pannel.

He'd gotten stuck in an Ancient lab and started messing around with buttons and everything else in an attempt to get himself noticed, or turn on the radio, at any rate. Mallek was right about the random power fluctuations and Gate activities.

Everyone else is worrying over the fact that one such device had, when shut off, let loose a burst of shadow that quickly vanished.

You?

You're searching through the boxes of stuff to find out who catalogued it and hid it in that specific "Closet."

Chances are, they're either the dumbest person alive for not reporting the control console on the back wall, or they're TRUST. You're leaning towards the latter, given the fact that none of this stuff was stored where the reports say it was.

You're just glad Rose and Kanaya came back yesterday to help you with this. This is really more their kind of thing than yours.

"Bluuuuhhh-" you slump forwards against the conference room table and lean your head on its side. "This suuuuuucks." The lights flicker somewhat as you say that. The creature, no doubt, being lead in circles around to the various Naquadah generatiors.

"You did realize that there was a good chance we'd be stuck doing this sort of thing most of the time, right?" Rose has that 'I'm not really asking' tone of voice to her question.

"Paperwork? Yes," you say looking at her sideways and upwards from your weird positioning. "Doesn't mean I can't complain about it sucking, though."

"Well, that's true," Rose nods. "Changing subjects, hows your father doing?"

"Daniel?" You huff, pushing yourself back up to sitting. "Reading some fascinating Ancient text, no doubt. I've barely seen him all week. It's like he's double timing it here and at the SGC or something."

"With time travel I suppose anything is possible," Rose remarks. Then, she frowns. "Jade, read this for a moment?"

She hands you a thing, and you read it and...

"What? But that doesn't make any sense," you frown. Apparently, the creature isn't the only one going in circles.

"I feel as if whichever Trust agent is behind this has crafted a major circle for us to follow it around in," Rose laments. "It just loops right back to the beginning."

"Bastard," you swear.

"Agreed," Rose nods.

....And then you hear a pair of screams from down the hallway.

"...I'll go check it out," Rose says, and then vanishes into thin air- or rather, out of phase with reality.

You quickly hit the button for the room door to open it, and then close it again once you're sure Rose is through.



Your name is Rose Lalonde, and you spot the creature rapidly retreating down the corridor past you.

Out of phase with the rest of reality as you are, it doesn't even notice you,

That means you can observe it in ways you're sure you were never meant to see.

Instead of being made out of pure darkness, you see a blinding blob of a cloud of little tiny orb particles, held together by a vast array of electromagnetic impulses.

At the center of it all is a slightly larger orb than the others.

It almost looks like a living organism's nervous system.

And then it's gone, and you hurry back down the hallway in the other direction.

That's where you find Ford and Stackhouse on the ground- exposed skin smoking like they'd just been shocked with lightning.

You phase back to reality and radio, "Men Down! Ford and Stackhouse! We need a medical team stat!"



Your name is Rodney Mckay, and you laugh nervously as you figure it out, and brief Doctor Weir and Major Sheppard on the DEVICE that the shadow had emerged from.

"The Ancients were researching Ascension," you tell them. "At some point during their evolution, the Ancients reached an advanced stage of being where they were able to rid themselves of their physical bodies and rise to a higher plain of existence, one in which they live as pure energy. Atleast, that's what we thought. This is all indicating that they were researching how to get there."

"So, big creepy ghost out there is either... what? Naturally occurring energy vampire or someone they forced to Ascend?" Sheppard asks.

"I haven't read that far into it yet, but it's looking like a naturally occurring creature," you answer. "Also, the notes say its sentient. So... not exactly discounting the possibility it's a half-ascended Ancient or something."

"Well... I suppose that means it would get mad if we ran it around in circles," Weir grimaces.

"I know I'd be pissed," Sheppard says.

"And hungry," you say, feeling a twang of sympathy for it. "Point is. I think the device Jinto released it from is an attract-and-contain device. I might be able to get it working again, but I need some time."

"We'll let you be, then," Weir nods, and lets you be.

Why. Why you? Why did it have to be you who got stuck in a near similar situation to this creature???

What cruel thing did you do, Universe, to make you deserve this kind of punishment?



By the end of the day, Mckay figured out how to trap the creature... and right as he did so, the shield came off. Since the device wasn't working for anyone else, "Bonded to him" according to Keiko and Doctor Jackson, you, One ROSE LALONDE, have volunteered for this mission, given your ability to phase out of reality. The creature seemed to ignore you before, so it should continue to do so...

You turn on the trap, they turn off all power in the city, the creature comes to you and it shoves itself into the pocket dimension within the device.

As simple of a plan as any.

It should work!

Except the thing is smarter than anyone expected it to be. Cloaked in a parallel dimension as you are, waiting for it to go into the device...

Well, you get to watch as the cloud of 'neurons' inside of it flare red in anger after a few moments of observation,  and then back away rapidly from the device.

It recognized the device and fled.

The thought that this is going to make this so much more difficult crosses your mind as you shut down the device, return to the control room via your cat form's wormhole powers, and report in.

Weir is not happy with the news. Neither are anyone else for that matter.

The argument that ensues makes you want to tape your cat-ears closed, or at least shift back to your human form.
 
Except that form has no bio-luminescent fur to light up the room with. And you quite like lighting up the room, It lets you see all sorts of things! Namely, walls, floors, ceilings... people's expressions.

Stuff that a tiny little orange candle can't really hold a flame to.

Why, your light positively snuffs it out in comparison!!

Wait.

"What if we snuff it out?" You ask.

The room goes silent.

Eyes turn to you, and you elaborate.

"Like, why not dial a space gate, shove a MALP through with a Naquadah generator, and let the creature chase it into the void?"

"That seems a tad harsh," Weir says.

"Maybe," John says, "but it's what we tried to do to Shadre's. Almost worked too, if the Carapacians hadn't picked her up again."

"Perhaps we should just send it to an uninhabited planet?" Teyla suggests. "The creature may simply wish not to be here any more than we wish it to be here."

"There's no telling what will happen if it interacts with a Stargate," Mckay says. "It could feed off of the power from it or whatever generator we use indeffinitely until it grows so large it covers the entire city."

"Regardless of where we send it, pushing it through the Stargate sounds like the most sane option we have," Tyzias says.

"Agreed," Weir nods. "Let's get this plan into motion. Get a MALP and a Naquadah Generator prepped and ready to go. And someone get me sensors back online, I want to know where the hell this thing is."

"I'm just going to say for the record that I think this is a very bad idea," Mckay voices his opinion.

"Noted," Weir says, "but unless you've got a better idea?"

Mckay says nothing, clearly unhappy about the fact he has no idea what to say as an alternative.

So it's set up. A MALP is brought in, loaded with an active Naquadah Generator sealed inside a case, and the Gate is dialed out to M4X-337- a barren wasteland that Teyla suggested.

KAWOOSH.

The cloud enters the Gate room, and the MALP starts trudging towards the gate.... but then the cloud overcomes the Gate and the MALP and nobody can see a thing.

...So you switch forms and go ghost and lookie lookie.

You pop back to reality, and report, "MALP is stuck infront of the gate."

"It must have drained the battery," Tyzias says.

"And it's growing," Mckay sounds angry. "Look! It's clearly feeding off the Generator or the Stargate, just like I said it would!"

"Shut down the gate," Weir orders.

"I can't," Grodin reports. "The console is dead!"

The cloud continues to grow. You phase out of existence again to get a better look. Oh, yeah, that little central orb is hovering over the Naquadah generator case and all that energy is just being fed out into the rest of the cloud and- wait, is that Mckay running down the stairs into the cloud??

"MCKAY!" John yells, too late.

Mckay runs into the cloud- stops for a moment- then trudges his way forwards towards the MALP.

He grabs the case off of it, rears back, and flings the case through the Gate.

The orb of energy that's the center of the creature less follows it and more unintentionally is dragged through the wormhole through the motion- apparently having affixed itself to the generator to feed more efficiently.

Regardless, the result is the same- the cloud's mass funnels through the gate's eventhorizon and then vanishes.

You look back to Mckay and see that he's fainted.

You pop back into reality as everyone else rushes down to check on him, and instead of following, you shut down the Gate just incase the creature can travel both ways through a wormhole.

And hey, Mckay is fine, getting back up into a sitting position even as the medical team rushes in at Weir's command.

On a whim, you check the one watch you keep synched to Earth time and--

EARTH DATE: MARCH 15TH, 2001.

Oh.

Whoops.

You think the Gate was active during the time the SGC was supposed to try to re-establish contact.

...It's probably fine. They'll just send the Prometheus to come find you now, is all.

Just another week of isolation.

You'll all be fine. It's not like the Prometheus will get Grand Theft Spaceship'd or anything.

Chapter Text

"Doctor Mckay, thanks for sitting down with me."

"Beckett has me on bed rest. It's not like I'm going anywhere."

"Right, well... I just thought I'd ask. What was going through your mind when you went into the cloud monster?"

"Mostly 'Oh god oh god I'm going to die and they'll never find my body'?"

"I see..."

"Also, 'If Mallek left that ZMP plugged in and it's feeding off of that, we are SO screwed!'"

"Right..."

"Oh, and 'If they survive this and I don't they'd better sure as hell make one damn impressive statue. Or at least name a planet after me. Something like that.'"

"...Okay."

"Also, I did think, just a bit selfishly, 'What if this thing never comes off again? I'm probably going to starve to death before it falls off again.' But, it did. Look, Ma. No shield!" SLAP! " .... Ow. Why did I slap myself so hard??"

"Are you alright, Doctor Mckay?"

"...I'm not entirely sure. I think Doctor Beckett put me on some preeeety weird pain killers. I think they're either Athosian or ones he made himself."

"...I see. I think I'll leave you to your rest and recovery then."

"Thanks!"

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 25TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/03/0005.

Your name is Joey Claire, and you awaken in your bed back on Diaspora with two warm bodies curled up next to you. Skin against skin- slight differences in warmth between them enough to tell you who's who without even looking. Polypa runs hotter as a general rule of thumb, and she's on your left, pinning your arm against her chest with her own arms and having her legs wrapped around your own. Mierfa is a bit chiller in comparison, and she's on your right, tucked up into a ball from how her back arches against your side.

These are the mornings that you just don't want to get out of bed. You just want to stay beneath the sheets with your Matesprit and Kismesis and not even bother getting dressed.

You could get away with it too, really. The whole just lounge around your house naked all day thing. You and your whole teame are  all on leave for ateast another solid month. Doctor's Orders for you, and Okurii applied it to everyone else because "You've earned it!"

There's only one problem with your desire to be lazy today. Well, two, really, but first and foremost is one glaring issue.

...You have to go to the bathroom.

"Nngh," you groan, opening your eyes,  and shrugging your entrapped arm at Polypa. "Lemmego, Poly..."

"Nooo..." She snuggles her face up against your neck. "Too perfectly warm."

"But I gotta go to the bathroom," you whine as quietly as you can so as to not wake Mierfa.

"So?" Polypa cracks an eye open at you.

"So I'd fight and break loose but I'm not sure I'd have the energy to even walk after last night," You tease. "At least get me my crutches so I can walk?"

"Fiiiinee..." Polypa giggles, and then untangles herself from you before searching around for your crutches while you try your best so sit up.

You really did a stupid thing, powering the Ultrazord with your own body like you did.

Not only did you burn down whatever battery of psiionic energy you had built up inside your very being, but you pretty much did the equivalent of frying all the circuits that let you channel that energy, to continue the metaphor. Since you woke up back at the SGC, your legs have felt like you haven't walked on them in years and you can barely even get your wings to manifest for more than a few moments at a time. It's frustrating,

"...Ah." Polypa says suddenly, and turns to look at you with an apologetic look on her face. "I Can't find them."

"Ugh," you grunt in annoyance. "I'll try to make due without 'em, then."

"Or I could help walk you?" Polypa offers.

"...Or that, yeah."

And so you slip out of bed- barely able to hold your own balance until Polypa swoops in and helps support your weight.

"Easy there," Polypa says.

"This sucks," you lament once you've hobbled out of the bedroom and started down the hall.

"For you, yeah," Polypa teases. "I dunno, I kind of like having you all discombobulated. Usually you're the one making me all out of sorts."

"Pft," you feel a bit better hearing that, for some reason. "Yeah, the tables have really turned for us, haven't they?"

"Yeah," Polypa nods as you reach the bathroom. "It really has turned around."

Wasn't too long ago, it feels like, that you helped her into your room, healed her burns and... well...

It really was a while ago, though, wasn't it? Back when the All Your Base was still your home and...

Now it's gone for good.

Your home gave all it had to beating English over the head into the Supergate. both the ship and the planet and... isn't it weird how you'd come to thought of Alternia as 'home'?

It wasn't a very pleasant home, but it was better than Earth in some vague, indescribable way.

As you finish up and then head back to the bedroom, you ask, "So... think we can find those crutches before we head out to the Caverns?"

"Yeah," Polypa nods. "I don't think we did anything too extraneous with them. They probably just got knocked under the bed or something."

"Probably," you agree.

You're really going through with it today.

You're taking two captchalogued buckets full of genetic mix to the Mother Grub and 'commissioning' a grub of your own to raise.

After everything that you've been through... all the challenges you've overcome...

Now you're moving onto something that even Okurii's beaten you to trying.

Parenting.

You've been so afraid that you'd screw something up or become like your Pa. Just... absent absent absent...

Well, if this inability to walk without crutches carries on for any longer than another month, you're pretty sure that last part isn't going to be a problem.

"Hey," Polypa jostles you in an annoying, but reassuring way. "C'mon. Me and Mierfa've been your legs with Kyoretsu. We'll be 'em here too and we'll get through this."

"Thanks," you smile.


 

Your name is Mierfa Durgas, and you and Polypa sit and stare, watching as Joey snoozes once again. You're not due to head to the caverns for a while more, so you'll let her rest.

You glance at... well. You're pretty certain you and Polypa have somehow wound up as Moirails in this entire weird ass situation. You just haven't put a name to it yet. Your Matesprit's Kismesis is your Moirail. That sounds both incredibly weird and also sort of just... Right at the same time.

Go figure.

You've got your phones out for texting while she's sleeping so you can talk.

"So what did we do with those crutches again?" Polypa asks. "I swear they've just up and vanished *| Like poof *| just gone into the ether *| I even checked under the bed and everything!"

You frown, racking your memory.

"We had dinner... we went to the bedroom..." you reply. "We.... put her down on the bed and then..."

What had you done with the crutches?

Joey had handed them to you and you'd...

You quietly, carefully, slip out of bed and tip toe over to the closet.

"Found them," you text after checking inside. "I hung them up on one of the jacket wall hooks."

"Good *|" Polypa replies, "one less thing to worry about. *|"

"Yeah," you reply, and return to the bed, carefully carrying the crutches with you to place next to the bedside.

"Hey *|" she says after you've climbed back into bed. "I'm kinda worried *| you know?"

Yes, you know exactly what she means. It's been just a little shy of two weeks since the Ultrazord battle with English, and it's been an exceedingly slow amount of time for Joey's energy reserves to rebuild.

It ain't Void Rot, because that'd imply her energy levels were constantly draining. But... they're simply just not regenerating as fast as they should've been. And given the damage to her DNA...?

"Yeah, I am too," you reply. "Do you think maybe we should have waited to do this until she was feeling better? Or atleast, more energized?? And what if the kid's genetics are screwed up because a burnt out chunk of her DNA doesn't get filtered out by the Mother Grub?"

"No *| it's not that *| if anything last night was the most energized I've seen her since we shoved English through the Gate *| And the mother grubs can filter out even the worst of recessive genes so I dont think thats going to be a problem mierfa *|"

"Then what are you worried about? >:?"

"...Nevermind *| It was a stupid question *|"

"Come on, just tell me."

"I... I'm scared that Lynera and Elwurd are going to try something that takes one or both of us away from her. *| Or hell *| What about Xefros??"

That's... a rather terrifying concept indeed. More so than what you were worried about.

"Like," she continues on, "even if we retire *| what if they pull something and the teams on duty can't stop it and we get hurt? Before I'm sure she'd bounce back but..."

After the Ultrazord and all of this...

You look at Joey, all sound asleep and lying flat on her back, looking just... so cute and tired...

And vulnerable too... damn it.

"I just..." Polypa has a look on her face that's hard to place. "Fucking don't know what to do *| and it makes me so mad that I'm even worrying about this shit *|"

Well, you guess it's time to put your assumptions to the test.

"Hate or love, we still both care about her, Polypa," you say. "And... we care about eachother too. We'll get through this."

And then you punch in two simple characters that could make or break all of this.

"<>"

Polpya's eyes blink at her phone's screen, then jump up at you.

"Wha...?" She doesn't type that, but actually says it out loud. Well, whispers, really, but still. Verbal rather than text.

What she does text back, half blind while staring at you, is "Seriously? Like *| Are you being serious about that sign here?"

You reply back, hoping you haven't just totally ruined something here... "I am." You even nod for good measure.

And then she cracks a grin and thumbs down two characters in return.

"<>"


 

Your name is WANSHI ADYATA, and as odd as it sounds, you miss the simple days of when you were FIVE-AND A HALF SWEEPS. When everyone treated you with kid gloves, and peppered you with what few books they could sneak away from the town some distance away from the Caverns.

Of course, as you got older, the kid gloves came off and you got embroiled in the tending duties and the care of everything and...

And then the day came that the All Your Base came crashing down into the desert, and Joey Claire and company walked into your life.

You'd watched from the background as the Matrons and Seers all talked with them- the outsiders and the Alien girl.

They were rebels!

You loved the SOLDIER PURRBEASTS Books that you'd gotten at one point, but you never got enough to have a complete picture. It was all scattered about. Were there ever rebel Purrbeasts who fought against the fighting and clan-caste dynamics? Probably, you'd rationalized, just not in the volumes you had.

The day came soon there after that you all moved to Diaspora. Then Bronya, and Daraya, and Sumara decided to go work for the Rebellion and- of all the things- they included you in on the discussion and decision making and--

While you readily accepted, you knew in that moment that your days of youthfull innocence had completely ended.

And GLUBBING HELL. Lynera. She'd been so protective of you. To think that she'd go and--

Daraya had left the Alternia Galaxy entirely for Pegasus, and Kanaya had gone too because Rose was going. Bronya and her lover Skylla have basically gone off the radar since the incident. And Sumara and Lanque were the only ones left of your generation...

So... you came back to the caverns pretty much full time.

And at any rate, it's not like you were ever really that involved with the major fighting stuff. That was Daraya's thing. Sure, for a while there you were all gathered together as a group but...

Everyone went their own ways then, and they've done it now.

You've got shoes to fill, especially with Lynera just...

The thoughts just keeps rattling through your mind.

"I should have seen it. I should have been here. I should have done something."

But you didn't, you weren't, and couldn't. So... you'll do better now going forwards. You'll be there to see it and do something. You'll make sure another Lynera doesn't happen again.

It's with these thoughts all in mind that when you found little Tirona Kasund crying behind a tree near the cavern entrance. Apparently Lynera was letting the girl stay with her, but with Lynera now gone... Nobody else wants her- she's too old- and tainted by exposure to Lynera, socially speaking..

You decided to take her under wing and give her a place to stay.

It's with all of these thoughts that when an egg of indigo  shell color hatches into the wrong color entirely, and the Matrons all recoil in fear because- after all of the grubs that have hatched since the migration that were of every hue except purple- to now have a little grub with Purple as his hue especially right after the Death of English?? And the grub was from one of Lynera's batches as well, adding to the shock and surprise and---

You put it aside.

You drag up your inner Bronya and take the grub under your wing as well. Even if, you tell the Matrons, only for long enough to ensure he's healthy while  you try to find a set of parents for him... Honestly, the only person you'd trust enough at this stage would be Bronya, but she's off in the wind.

And when Joey Claire and her Matesprit and Kismesis come along with buckets of genetic material requesting a commission... an idea strikes you.

"Hey, could you see if you could pass along a message to Bronya?" You ask Mierfa while Polypa and Joey deal with the main reason that they're here. "I have a problem I need to speak to her about."

Oddly enough, by the end of that night, your phone rings, and you hear from Bronya in the first time in ages. You're not sure how Polypa managed it, but you'll thank her later.

"...A Purple Blooded Grub hatched?" Bronya asks for confirmation once you relay the situation to her.

"Yeah, and... I'm worried. He was from Lynera's latest batch and considering that whole fiasco, purple blood color aside, everyone's looking at him like he's an omen of disaster and- I can't let anything happen because of people hating on him." You sigh. "Beyond all of that, I've got the grub at my place for now, and I can tell there's something off with him already."

"Off?" Bronya asks. "How?"

"His grub speak is just... non existent," you explain. "Like, he tries to speak, and then... nothing. Like he can't make it work. I'm worried whatever mutation caused him to change in his shell from Indigo to Purple might be effecting him."

"Listen, I'll be back from the Villein village in the morning," Bronya tells you, "we've been working on some defense mechanisms and- well. Anyways. We've finished with that and were going to be heading back later this week anyways. I'll travel ahead of time to help you deal with this."

And she does.

When morning rolls around, Bronya is back, and she's looking at the grub you've taken a keen eye on and she agrees with you.

"Yeah. It's probably a result of the indigo-to-purple  mutation," she deduces. "I can tell, something with his vocal chords haven't formed right. Hopefully they'll fix themselves properly when he molts, but..." She frowns. "The Matrons are pressuring you to find someone to take care of him, aren't they?"

You nod, grimly. "They are. Yeah."

"Then I'll take him," Bronya says, scooping the little grub up into her arms. "I'll be his guardian."

It's a huge relief off your shoulders- but then you remember, "Oh- what name should I put him down under? I think the Matrons might throw a fit if I use Ursama or Koriga as a last name. At the very least, they'd tell me off for trying to pin the name to someone who they haven't even spoken to since Lynera left..."

"...You're right," Bronya frowns. "Karako Pierot. That'll be his name."

And so it was that you returned that morning to the caverns and informed the Matrons that you'd given Karako Pierot off to a loving mother.

You didn't get a chance to see Bronya again, but Skylla arrived later that day with some Villein, and began setting up VILLEIN-TECH DISRUPTOR WEAPONS around the settlement as defensive devices. Apparently, they were targeted, single focus laser beam based weapons that served the same function as the waveform-based Replicator Disruptors.

Hopefully, nobody would need to use them.

And then Skylla went through the Gate to the BELTUS with some disruptors and you didn't get a chance to see her again either.

Still... you think you know where they've moved to now. The Villein settlement... you might be able to swing some vacation days and visit them, some time in the future.

Chapter Text

Your name is Jake Harley, and you feel emotionally drained knowing that one of your oldest friends is gone. After all the work has been done and all the sorting through Catherine's "inheritance" for the rest of you has been handled...

You find yourself in a hotel room with Chixie at your side, just staring blankly upwards at the ceiling. Just, musing.

Death comes to everyone multiple times- always through someone else, rarely yourself that you survive the encounter... Sometimes its a struggle to continue going on. Other times, it comes on so suddenly from an outside source and then it's gone.

You've had so many brushes with death that it's staggering. A whole century's worth of adventures, just about. All sorts of life and death skirmishes all leading to a final confrontation in a basement.

It should have ended there for you, but didn't. You got a second chance. A way to continue living. Some times you came close- like when Anna died- to losing yourself entirely to the weights and pressures. But you found a way somehow. Your will to survive another day has always tilted the tide in your favor.

You are an exception to the rule. Not the only one, mind, but an exception never the less.

Catherine Langford wasn't.

It was her time, yes, but you feel like it shouldn't have been.

And isn't that always the crux of the matter?

You can't keep wallowing in your misery now, though. To do such would be to waste this second chance you've been given. You're sure there will be tough days to go with the easy ones, but... As much as some distant part of you wants to retreat into the ether and never be heard from again, you can't let that happen. You can't give up.

Not now, not ever.

You have a family and people who care about you. Chixie's warm body next to you reminds you of that. Time may march on, and you may lose everyone you know now to the marches of time... but there will always be more friends to make and family to have in the meantime. And one day, you will meet them all again, Catherine included.

You are not alone. You won't ever be.

Endings are just a form of beginnings, and for every FINAL PAGE in a book, you'll have HOPE to turn another one in the next book! The end of one Adventure just means the start of another.

And You will be there for every single one of them, or else your name isn't JAKE HARLEY!!

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MARCH 25TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/02/0004.

WWEEE~EEEE~EEEE~OOOOOOOO! cry the engines of a Puddle Jumper with a sputtering cough to them that was audible to everyone inside the Jumper, even all the way up at the front seat.

Your name is JOHN SHEPPARD, and you know, your ship is hurting. Those mean nasty Wraith shot at something and she's barely holding together. But you'll get her through to Atlantis in one piece- her and her precious cargo.

"Get this Damned thing off me!!" Keiko's voice yells from the back.

"Daraya!" you call back into the jumper, "How's the situation back there??"

"It still won't come off!!" Daraya shouts back. "Oh, sweetie, we're trying..."

"There has to be something we can do," Mallek adds.

"Emergency first aid kit," Mckay says, "Behind the pilot's seat!"

"Right!" Mallek runs into to the front of the Jumper, grabbing the med kit from behind you and returning to the back.

"I think we're in range of the Gate," Mckay says from behind you.

"What am I looking for?" Mallek asks.

"Teyla, dial Atlantis," you order.

"Something for the pain!" Daraya answers.

"Right," and Teyla starts pounding in the keys for the City.

"Ford, you do the talking," you say, "I've got a ship to keep steady!"

"Right," Ford takes to his radio as you do the mental equivalent of defibrillating the Jumper's engines to keep the thing going.

"I don't think Earth-brand Headache reliever's going to do it!" Tyzias remarks.  "How much longer??" She yells to the front.

"Done," Teyla reports once the light of an open Stargate flares infront of you. "...Can we not go any faster?"

"Almost there!" Ford reports, then starts to Radio, "Atlantis Base, this is Ford. Jumper One is inbound with a medical emergency. Please respond."

"Sure, if you want to get us home in five billion smoking pieces!" You grit your teeth as the Jumper's rear engine pods struggle weirdly for a moment. Shit. That's not good.

"This is Weir. What's the nature of the medical emergency?"

"Some sort of funky alien bug attached itself to Miss Ayano's neck. She's completely immobile."

"What's it doing to her?"

"We don't know, but we can't get it off and everything we've tried has failed."

"You do understand the risk of bringing something like that back to Atlantis, don't you?"

"Yes, ma'am, but we really don't have a choice in the matter!" Ford says. "The Jumper's barely holding together as it is."

"Understood, Lieutenant, Good Luck," Weir says, and then the radio goes silent as the Gate looms ahead. You'll pass through any second now. Home sweet home awaits.

You retract the side pods.

An error message flashes on your dash moments before you realize what it means.

"Oh SH-"

SCHLORP!



O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you groan as you pick yourself up off the floor after the Jumper suddenly ground to a halt.

"Oh no," you swear, staring at the rather prominent sight of the event horizon framed through the doorway in the middle of the Jumper.

"Ngh... what happened?" Mallek asks, getting to his feet.

"The drive pods," you realize. "The, like, wing things that stick out when we're flying. They must have failed to retract. That's the only thing it could be."

"This is a big problem..." Mallek trails off, before pointing at the eventhorizon's floor. "There!"

You and he both rush down and grab at a pair of familiarly booted feet, before dragging Daraya out of the Eventhorizon.

She gasps as soon as she's completely out and jumps to her feet. "Holy Shit! What the fuck!?"

"That-" you point at the eventhorizon. "Would be the latest problem of the week."

"...That scraping sound before everything jolted- was that--?" Daraya looks at you for confirmation.

"We're stuck," you inform her. "The side pods must have failed to retract in time. Rectangular brick, meet round Stargate."

"John and the others-" Mallek begins.

"We'd dematerialize as soon as we crossed the eventhorizon," you cut off that train of thought. "There's no way to reach for them at all."

And then you hear the clicking hiss noises of that damned bug, and all three of you turn to look at your teammate, who has that fucking bug still wrapped around her neck.

"Ow..." Keiko groans awake. "Anyone get the number of that Jumper?"

"It's the same one we've been in," Daraya says, kneeling down to check on her vitals. "We're stuck, we think."

"Oh, lovely," Keiko grimaces.

"Jumper One, this is Weir, what's your status?" Your radios buzz.

Mallek takes to the radio, "This is Adalov. Good to hear your voice, Atlantis. AR-2 is still here, in the back of the Jumper. AR-1 is inside the event horizon."

"...Say Again?" Weir asks.

"Ma'am," you radio, "Jumper One is lodged in the Stargate. We're pretty sure the Jumper's engine pods failed to retract in time. The front half of the Jumper along with Major Sheppard, Teyla, Lieutenant Ford, and Doctor Mckay are all inside of the Stargate."

"If I'm understanding you correctly, you can't access the flight controls," Weir says.

"No, ma'am," you say. "And it's a really extremely intriguing conundrum that I'd love to discuss in detail with you all until the Stargate Shuts DOWN and the ship is cut in two!"

"Miss Entykk, I understand you're stressed, but I can't help if I'm not caught up to the current situation," Weir says. "Walk it back for me."

You let Mallek handle this, and focus on helping Daraya check on the Bug Situation.

"We couldn't I.D the Wraith base of operations from space, like Major Sheppard  did the last time he was here, So we went to the same landing coordinates as before to get a closer look," Mallek reports. "But it was gone."

This creature is unlike anything you've ever seen on Alternia or in that Galaxy at all. It's... it's horribly efficient at what it's doing.

"Gone?" Weir asks.

Glubbing hell, if Khepri had ever gotten her hands on this kind of insect...

"Yes, just a big huge crater where a mountain should have been," Mallek clarifies.

Damn it! You can't focus on this!

"I don't think she needs to know that, Mallek!" you say.

"It's intel she needs to know!" Mallek protests.

"And we have LESS than THIRTY EIGHT MINUTES!" you stand up, hammering the point in by jabbing at Mallek's shoulder.

"Wait- what happens in Thirty-Eight Minutes?" Weir asks.

You sigh- exasperated. How the HELL does she not understand this? How does NONE OF THEM UNDERSTAND THIS!? "Thirty Eight Minutes is the maximum amount of time a Stargate can remain open outside of a Black Hole affecting it. It's one of the most immortal and unchangable laws of Gate Travel and OH! WOW!" You glare at the wormhole, hoping it carries through to the other side. "Look at the time! It's probably more like thirty five minutes! Can we move ON?!"

Mallek flinches back against a wall from how loud you got there, and Daraya makes a shooshing sound at you, before pointing to a clearly disturbed Keiko, grimacing in pain.

"Okay," Weir says. "I get it. What do you need?"

You run your hand through your hair. "We need help. I'd ask for Doctor Mckay but he's stuck inside the Gate right now."

"All right," Weir says. "I'll get as many people in a room as I can."

"That's good," you say, then snap your fingers. "And the Czech guy who was talking with Mckay this morning in the cafeteria."

"Doctor Zelenka?" Weir asks.

"Yes, him. I'm pretty sure he was talking about mapping out a Jumper's control circuits. Get him in a Jumper and on that ASAP."

"Anything else?" Weir asks.

"No, we'll call you," you say, and then tab off the radio.

You look to Mallek, and say, "I'm going to scream into the Gate now. Please hold onto the back of my jacket so I don't get sucked in?"




Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you can't feel your legs.

That's not a good sign, really, especially not after everything you'd just gone through.

Tyzias finishes her screaming into the Gate, and Mallek pulls her back out.

"So..." You try dry humor. "Did that help any?"

"Not sure yet." Tyzias answers, frowning. Then-  "Oh!" she snaps her fingers. "Keiko, the Jumpers here are similar to the ones back home, right? Is there a way to manually retract the drive pods?"

"Cockpit, on the left," you unhelpfully answer, staring at the eventhorizon. "...I don't know if there's a manual control for it back here or not."

"Right," Tyzias frowns. "Okay, then if you'll excuse me I'll be a foot over that way trying to run a system diagnostic. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves."

"Sooo..." Mallek sits down next to you. "How's this mission ranking up so far?"

"Eh..." you grunt. "Pain wise About as bad as the time we had a bunch of giant bio-mech spiders break out of a containment lab on the 25th floor thanks to Aincrad crashing like it did."

"Do I even want to know why you ranked that as 'pain wise'?" Daraya asks, squinting at you.

"Their bites were mutagenic," you answer. "I've got a scar on my shoulder from one grabbing me."

"There was a cure, though, right?" Mallek asks.

"Obviously," you grunt an affirmation. "Turns out they were a pet project of an Ancient who was using creatures from other worlds for research trying to repopulate the planet. The bugs got hidden away in Aincrad, and the cure hidden away in another universe through the mirror. The bastard.  I was sort of pre-occupied at that point what with the horrible pain of a mutagenic substance transforming my body and what not."

"I feel like I need to ask, but did they have any relation to this little clinger on your neck?" Daraya asks.

"...Probably not," you say, grimacing as the bug tightens its limbs  just a little bit tighter around your neck. "Just because they were called 'Life Stealers' didn't mean they actually stole your life. Not like this..."

"Let me guess," Mallek jokes, "'Life Stealers' because they stole your old appearance and turned you into monsters, right?"

"Yeah," you try to laugh, and fail. "Also. They liked hanging prey up in cocoons from high places and letting it drop to the ground. We lost a lot of cows to that."

"Well, that's one way to make ground beef," Mallek jokes.

"...Vindictive," Daraya says, "also. Ew, Mallek. So not the time."

"What? I'm just saying..."



Your name is JOLINAR of the future, and you're doing your best to observe the scientists while Sam-- rather, Morgan Carter-- works on helping solve the situation.

Kavanagh, Grodin, and Simpson, along with a few other scientists you've yet to properly be introduced to, are all working on the problem.

Kavanagh is rather confrontational about everything.

Grodin has to explain basic gate mechanics to those who really should know more by now- the simple things like the Gate transmitting in whole units and not in parts.

As of 29 minutes, the only solution they've come up with is to buy more time by closing the bulkhead doors to prevent the Jumper from instantly depressurizing the moment the wormhole cuts.

Sure, "it would leak atmosphere like a sieve" but it's the only option they've come up with so far. Mount a rescue mission AFTER the gate's shut down? Seems... impractical, to you.

At least Doctor Zelenka is actually working on a Jumper trying to figure the problem out that way.



Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you get up and slam shut the mid-section doors because- OH. YEAH. That's probably a good idea.

"What?" Mallek blinks. "Why'd you do that for?"

"Air pressure," you say. "If it shuts down, at least we won't immediately be exposed to the harsh, airless void of the deep, deep black of space."

"...Ah," Mallek nods. "Fair enough."

Of course, your radio buzzes then. "Jumper One, this is Atlantis," Grodin speaks.

"We're still here," you radio back.

"We recommend closing the-"

"Bulkhead Door?" You ask. "Already did that. Anything else?"

"...We're still working on it. We'll get back to you. Atlantis out."

You roll your eyes, "Well thanks for the call!" You sigh, and look over your team. "So. Anyone else feeling extremely claustrophobic all of a sudden? Because I'm not handling this well, in case you haven't noticed."

"Will it hold air?" Keiko asks.

"Like a bug net catching a bucket full of water," you reply. "The air'll get reeeeeal thin at that point, but atleast we'll have, probably, a few minutes before we suffocate to death?"

"Tyzias," Keiko grunts.

"What???" You ask.

"Calm down," she orders.

"Well I-" You want to snap, but she's right. God damn it, she's right. UGH. Fucking. Just. You run your hands through your hair. "You're right. Damn it. I just... I feel like I'm the only one who understands how fucking screwed we are."

"Yeah, well..." Keiko scoffs. "I'd be one to talk."

"...I guess, fair enough," You say.

"Also," Keiko narrows her eyes. "John has to make it back in one piece for time loops. We'll get out of here."

"HE. Will get out of this," you say. "There's not telling about the rest of us."

"Let's not give up on them just yet, alright?" Keiko asks, narrowing her eyes at you. "Just... figure this out and get us the hell out of here."

"Alright," you nod. "Right. Okay. There has to be a circuit that passes through this rear section to close the pods if there's a manual control in the front. So. Just have to find it." And so you pry open one of the ceiling boxes, and start looking at all of the crystals. Better get a head start and all that...

"You seem stronger," Mallek says.

"No, it just the pain isn't so bad now," Keiko says.

"That's good, right?" Mallek asks, and you can hear Darara shaking her head while Keiko grunts.

"Not really," Keiko says. "I can't feel my legs. Arms down to my hands are numb... I can barely move it and it's creeping up further."

You pause to look at her, and deduce, "So what you're trying to say is that if we don't get that thing off of you...?"

"I've got even less time than you do," Keiko says, grimly.

And you get back to work.


 

Your name is RADDEK ZELENKA, and your work in mapping all sorts of things inside Jumper 2 is stalled as you find exactly the wrong circuit when Doctor Weir enters the Jumper. The lights all turn off.

"Oh! Yes! Thank you for that, Jumper Two," you scold it. "I really needed the rear lights instead of the engine pods."

"[Doctor Zelenka?]" Weir asks in English.

Oh of all the- You do not have the time for this.

"[I am rapidly short on time, Doctor Weir,]" you say in the same.

"[I don't want to slow you down, but I need to know what progress you've made,]" Weir says.

Slow down? SLOW DOWN??

"You're slowing me down just by talking to me," you mutter, twinging the circuit you just failed, and turning the lights back on. "[Well, as you can see I just found the light switch. Very handy, that.]"

"[So no progress on the drive pods?]"

You don't waste the time turning around to glare at her. "[No! Not really. Oh, there's much redundancy in ancient technology making it dangerous for them to experiment in this way.] What a lovely day, I'm having today. Really. Just lovely."

You just love doing rush jobs. Really. Couldn't just take your time to do this. No. Had to blindly stumble around in a rush. Twenty something minutes now- you don't even bother being exact with your watch.

"[So they might accidentally open the rear hatch or shut life support off entirely?]" Weir asks- damn it won't she just go away??

"[Yes. Yes, yes. Which is why we are attempting to isolate the correct control pathway!]" You tell her, rather curtly.

"[Understood. What could I do to help?}"

"[Stop Talking, Please!]" You try another circuit, and- ZPARK! "OW! Why you over excited little fuse!"

Nearly defibrillated yourself there.




"Mallek," Keiko orders. "Cut this thing off me. It can't hurt as much as it did last time."

Your name is Daraya Jonjet and you're incredibly against that idea.

"Keiko, the last time we tried that, we almost lost you," you remind her.

"You're gonna lose me anyways if we don't get it off me," Keiko reminds you in turn.

"Keiko, we tried to get it off you back on the planet. Remember? Ford even shot it?" Mallek reminds her. "Everything we've tried just hurt you more. It just heals itself!"

"It's like a Wraith," you deduce. "Actually..." You radio. "Jumper One to Atlantis. Could you get an Athosian on the line? I need to ask them about bugs like this."

"Roger that, give me a moment," someone unfamiliar on the other end says. There's a pause, and then- "Oh! Doctor Beckett just arrived."

Lovely!

"This is Doctor Beckett, how's our patient?"

"Good timing, Doc," you radio. "This is Daraya. Keiko's conscious but the creature's still latched onto her neck."

"Can you make house calls?" Keiko asks in a slightly childish whine.

"Would if I could, Miss Ayano, but you'll have to settle for long distance." Beckett answers. "Now then, what's this cling-on look like?"

You feel he's making a pun, but you're not going to bother with trying to figure it out. "It looks like the ugliest damn tick you've ever seen, and that's saying something considering some of the ugliest damn ticks I've seen," you radio back.

"Handy, but I meant, description? Anatomy? Something else?"

"Right, uh. It's about two feet in length, including the tail," you say. "The tail is, ah, wrapped under Keiko's shoulder. It's got two spikey spines coming out of its mouth going to the..." You wrack your brain for the earth terminology. "Carotid Artery, I think."

"What else?" Beckett asks.

"It's forelegs are wrapped around Keiko's throat. No eyes that I can see. It's got a hard shell like a beetle, but there's soft, squishy stuff below it."

"How did it attach itself?"

"We were on our way back to the Jumper when we were ambushed by Wraith," Keiko responds. "I got split off from the others for a moment by a shadow projection and ran face first into a web. Then this thing grabbed me."

"I see, and physical symptoms?"

"Well, at first it was like I got bitten by a Visorak," Keiko says. "Everything hurt and I felt like my blood was on fire. After that, I've lost feeling in my arms and legs. I can't move."

Beckett mutters into the radio about it incapacitating with pain, then paralyzes.

"I also can't interface with the Jumper like this," Keiko says. "I'm pretty sure I could get us moving, but I can't... reach it, if that makes any sense? It's been like that since take off, so it's not because we're stuck in the gate."

"So some sort of cognitive issues as well, related to motor functions or skills?" Beckett sounds like he's tapping his finger on a console. "Alright. What have you tried?"

"Cutting, burning, shooting," You relay back."Ford used his nine-mil, point blank. There's not much worse we can do without killing Keiko along with it."Then, you add, "We think it might be related to the Wraith since it was on their planet. I asked for an Athosian to confirm if there are any related creatures."

"Why is that?" Beckett asks.

"The creature's healed itself after each attempt to remove it," you report. "Like it's sapping Keiko's lifeforce away, like a Wraith."

Tyzias remarks, "I suppose the Wraith had to evolve from something. If it's a natural evolution, I mean. Ancients sure do seem to love mucking about with alien genetics."

Keiko laughs at that- then groans. Mallek grabs her hand and squeezes tight.

"I can barely feel that," Keiko tells him, grimly. "Squeeze harder."

"Look, Doc," you say. "Keiko's not going to get better unless we do something now."

"You said the creature has an underside of soft tissue?" Beckett asks. "Sort of like a leech, perhaps?"

"...Yeah, I guess so," you say. "Cutting into it just made it nearly strangle Keiko to death."

"That's because you don't cut or burn leeches off, you put SALT on them!"




Your name is Doctor Weir, and you find the room full of scientists arguing as you return.

"If you activate the shield, they'll DIE!" Simpson is arguing.

"Hey, we can always open it again if they fix the problem-" Kavanagh is interrupted by Carter.

"They might not have time!"

"If they don't," Kavanagh yells, "they could destroy this entire facility!!"

"Well, that's completely-" Simpson starts.

"AHHEM," you loudly announce your arrival. "I thought you were working on solutions, not bickering?"

"We think the jumper must be damaged for this to have happened in the first place. Ancient systems are too advanced for this to have been pilot error," Kavanagh says.

"So?" You ask.

"So depending on the extent of the damage, we can't rule out a catastrophic power feedback in the drive manifold."

The- what??

"Without the Technobabble, please," you demand.

Carter, thankfully, supplies, "Doctor Kavanagh was implying there's a very slim chance that with the drive controls interupted and the pods damaged, the main engine drive could explode."

Kavanagh scoffs. "Especially if Mckay starts nosing around in there. And he will."

"Need i remind you Doctor Mckay is presently inside the Stargate?" you tell him.

"I-- wait, he is?" Kavanagh goes pale. "I hadn't heard that."

"Because you refused to listen to us!" Carter and Simpson yell simultaneously. "We've corrected you five times already!!"

You frown at Kavanagh, who looks mightily unsteady.

"Alright, say it does overload. What happens?" You ask.

Kavanagh says, "The full force of the explosion will break up the jumper, follow the burning fragments through the stargate like a bomb."

"And this is a minimal risk?" you ask of Simpson and Carter.

They nod.

"Extremely slim," Carter nods.

"So small as to not even be needing mentioning," Simpson says. "If it were going to happen, it would have happened already."

"You all agree?" You ask everyone else. They nod. "Then we take the chance and leave the gate shield Down."

"I thought it was important to point out the risk," Kavanagh says, stubborn.

"And you did. Now stop focusing on your own ass, and focus on saving TWO TEAMS worth of lives," you order him, and then remind the room. "Twenty-Three Minutes."

With that, you turn and leave down to the Control room. You nearly run into Halling on the way.

"Doctor Weir," he greets.

"I'm sorry, I don't have time right now-" you try to tell him.

"I was asked to converse on the matter of the bug wrapped around Major Sheppard's neck?" Halling says.

What?

"What? No, it's around Keiko Ayano's neck, Not Major Sheppard's," you say. "But if you were asked to converse, that's fine."

"Odd," Halling frowns. "The man who told me to come here was quite certain it was Major Sheppard."

What??

"Regardless, I'm glad you came to consult," you tell him.

"I am concerned though," Halling says, following you into the control room. "Why has Telya not talked to them over this matter?"

"Teyla is inside the Stargate along with Major Sheppard, Lieutenant Ford, and Doctor Mckay," you tell him.

"...What?" Halling blinks. "I was told Teyla was outside the Stargate, not inside. I was prepared to read her her last rites if she wished them to be read."

"...Halling," you look him in the eyes. "Who told you this?"

"Does it matter?" he asks.

"It very well might," you say. "But later. Tell me later. We've got more important things to deal with."

"Indeed we do," he nods.


 

"Yes, that sounds like a creature we've heard about in legend, a precursor to the Wraith in a time before they began culling our people," Halling radios over through the Gate after hearing the creature's description.

"Anything about removing them?" You're still Daraya, and you have to ask.

"Beyond a swift death of the person afflicted?" Halling sighs, "Unfortunately, no."

"Thank you, anyways," you say.

"If you would like me to read you an Athosians' last rites, I would be honored to," Halling offers.

"Ask again closer to the shutdown time," you defer. "We Alternians don't like to give up without a fight."

"Understandable," Halling says, likely nodding. "I will return then."

"Thank you," you say.

A moment later, Beckett radios, "All right we've got everything from the jumper manifest already laid out here. What's your personal inventory?"

"Swiss Army Knife, Chocolate, matches, emergency kit," Mallek radios over, "Water, alcohol, iodine, painkillers... Ah. Portable Defibrillator."

"Already thought of that," Beckett says, "Miss Ayano would receive the same shock and it would likely kill her."

"Right, we'll have to try everything one at a time, then," you say, taking a breath.

Keiko says, "I'd give you a thumbs up but I can't move my hand."



"Doctor Weir!"

Emmett Bregman's crew pause in their walk to the control room through the gate room itself, and quickly turn on their cameras to pan up at the overhead bridge to Doctor Weir's office.

"Kavanagh, I hope you've got something important to tell me," Weir says, exiting her office to meet Kavanagh.

"I do!" Kavanagh starts. "What the hell was that??"

"Excuse me??" Wier asks. "What was what?"

"I left the SGC because I'd had it up to HERE!" He motions above his head. "With all the military running things, and you just busted me like a Private!!"

"I'm not the one who was ignoring my fellow scientists pointing out that I had the wrong team-members trapped inside the Stargate!" Weir counters. "Besides, don't be so dramatic. The Air Force doesn't even have privates."

"Neither do I!" Kavanagh snarls. "You just cut them off, right in front of My Research Team!"

"YOUR Research Team?" Weir asks. "I could have sworn I put Morgan Carter in charge of that particular group."

"Oh- Yes, Major Samantha Carter's Clone! Yeah! As if I didn't have enough of HER bullcrap at the SGC too!" Kavanagh sounds extremely angry.

“What is this about, Kavanagh?” Wier asks, “Are you embarrassed??”

“Humiliated is more like it!” Kavanagh says, completely unaware of the camera crew and everyone else that’s stopped to stare at the encounter.

“Oh, I haven’t worked up to Humiliation yet,” Weir says, her tone growing dangerous.

“I just assumed that with a civilian in charge of the expedition, things would be more-”

“A Civilian IS IN CHARGE,” Weir interjects. “And we are CUT OFF FROM EARTH. Which makes us more of a Colony than an Expedition, doesn’t it?”

“I... Suppose?”

“Well, that makes me Governor of this Colony,” Weir says.

“Well, that’s all very well and good but-”

“Do You Have A Problem With That?” Wier asks.

“You’re missing my point, Doctor Weir!”

“No, you are missing MINE.” Weir says. Her tone of voice was that of which that made three dictators wet their pants once before during a meeting which had dictated the fate of several African villages.

It was that which had made a few leaders of the United Nations pause their pety bickering during the founding of the Atlantis Expedition and stop trying to one-up the other in terms of who got their hands on what technology first.

It was the tone of voice that had made a whole group of angry, Confederate-sympathiser teenagers literally stop their harassment of a young black girl outside of a coffee shop in New Orleans and seriously fear for their lives because the woman infront of them was anything but that.

And Kavanagh felt so very small as Weir continued.

“If You continue to waste any more precious time which could be used to help save my people, and they DIE because of your EGO? I promise you, I will dial that gate back to the cold black void of space you consigned their fates to, and shove you through the Wormhole’s eventhorizon with a swift kick to your groin!”

“...You... You wouldn’t-” Kavanagh falters.

“You think I’m Kidding?” Weir asks.

“You’d never do that-” Kavanagh tries to call her bluff.

“Kavangh,” Weir begins, “Get back in there, or you’ll find out whether or not I would or would not do something.”

Kavanagh turns to leave with a “We’ll talk about this later.”

“No. We won’t,” Weir glares at him. “Now. GO!”

 

ZPARKS!

“OW! Of course you’d-”

WRRRRRHH-CLINK-THUND.

“OH! Oh! Did it-- Yes! Yes It Did! [Doctor Zelenka to Control Room! I have something!]”



“Jumper One, this is Weir. Doctor Zelenka’s isolated the control systems in the port side of the Jumper that retract the drive pod. Do you have any devices that can receive schematics?”

“Yes!” Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you decpatchalogue your Grubtablet and ready it. “Ready to receive.” It beeps once you’ve gotten the data. “Thank YOU, Zelenka! Noe we’re cooking!”

“What is it?” Mallek asks.

“Zelenka’s narrowed this down from chances of one in a million to one in a thousand,” you pause. “Though, uh, Atlantis?”

“Yes?” Weir asks.

“We’ll only have seven or nine seconds to worn you if we accidentally trigger an overload,” you say. “So if I call for raising the Shields... Don’t hesitate.”

“Understood. We’re aware of the risk, Tyzias,” Weir says. “Do your best.”



"Excuse me, Doctor Weir?"

Your name is Argo Lalonde, and you're panicking on the inside, arms wrapped around your stomach protectively and wings fluttering anxiously.

"Yes, Miss Lalonde?" Weir turns to face you.

"I've been hearing a bunch of conflicting reports," you tell her. "What's going on?"

"John, Teyla, Mckay, and Ford are stuck inside the Stargate. Keiko has a bug wrapped around her neck, Mallek and Daraya are trying to get it off, and Tyzias is trying to get the Jumper moving again," Weir answers succiently to you, forgoing titles and ranks for ease of communication. "We're short on time, about less than Twenty Minutes before the gate shuts down."

"Is there anything I can do to help?" You ask.

"I'm not sure there's anything you can do from this side," Weir says. "I know you could slow down time for people here, but-"

That's when there's some muted screaming and shouting over the radio from the nearby console.

"What happened?" Weir rushes over to check on it, and raising the audio level so you can hear it.

"Salt Water made the creature react badly," Daraya's voice reports. "It made Keiko knock Mallek across the pod into Tyzias. Everything jolted..."

"Ma'am," Tyzias radios, "I hit the jumper engine controls by accident. They fired for a micro second. We slid in further and the eventhorizon's breached the bulkhead wall."

You don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound good.



Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you feel at a loss for all of thirty seconds before you throw yourself back into it.

There's only so much time to waste on this feeling sorry for yourself. Thirty seconds is all. And you've spent it.

You have lives to save and to symbolize that, you open the bulkhead doors because the reason for closing them has been rendered moot.

So much for Plan A. It's time for Plan B.

The light of the eventhorizon flooding the room makes you squint for a moment before your eyes adjust, and you continue working.

"We'll figure this out!" You tell your team. "We'll solve this! We'll get out of this alive! We have to!!" You grit your teeth.

"You sure... about that?" Keiko asks.

"Of course I am! We'll all get through this!" You're not going to let any of this get you down any further. You sure thought a rebellion was a longshot at first, but look at what you all accomplished?

Khepri- Exiled into the past by thousands of years!

The Royal Empire- CRUSHED and SCATTERED!

"Then why did that Wraith let me go?" Keiko asks. "He saw me as good as dead and walked away."

"Yeah, well, that's his stupid mistake!!" You declare, turning around to face her. "We're going to live, Keiko. We're GOING TO LIVE, DO YOU HEAR ME!?"

"...What happened to bemoaning the inevitability of our deaths?" Mallek asks.

"Clearly, that shock from the Jumper drive knocked it right out through the Eventhorizon," Daraya smiles at you.

"Wait," Mallek has an idea. "What if we throw Keiko through the Gate? It'd be like holding her in suspended animation until we make it to the other side."

"I wouldn't risk that," Beckett radios. "If the creature reacted that violently to a few drops of water, what would it do to Gate Travel?"

"So we can't send Keiko through the Gate with the creature on her..." You grin. "So we take it off and THEN send her through."

"Hit me with the Defibrillator," Keiko says.

"That might work," Beckett says over the radio.

"But you said that'd kill her!" Mallek protests.

"That's the idea," Daraya says, snapping her fingers. "This creature is like a Wraith, right? And Halling said the only thing their lore said to how to get it off was a SWIFT DEATH! It stops feeding when the host dies!"

"So how do you think it would respond it Miss Ayano died right here and now?" Beckett inquires.

"So we trick it into thinking Keiko's dead by stopping her heart, and then we re-start it once it's let go," you summarize, "and if it doesn't work on our side, we send her through the Gate until I get us home."

"Keiko," Weir begins, "Are you sure you're okay with this?"

"I want this bug off, Ma'am," Keiko answers.

"Miss Jonjet, do you know how to use the Defibrillator?" Beckett asks.

"Yes, Sir!" Daraya pauses to grab a pair of scissors from the med kit and toss it to Mallek. "Cut her shirt open while I'm prepping it!"

"What?" Mallek asks, catching and fumbling with the shears.

"Cut her shirt open, idiot!" she repeats, charging the defibrillator and greasing the paddles. "I need exposed skin!"

Mallek looks to Keiko, and she laughs- "Tell you what, we make it through this and we'll go for a swim at the pool some time?"

"I- Uh- Sure!" Mallek nods, and then gets to work cutting her shirt open.

You can't help but snort, and quickly turn to check a few more circuits. Hoo, boy, would this all have some rather funky connotations if this weren't a life or death situation.

"Bra too!" Daraya orders.

"Wha-?" Mallek sputters.

"It's okay, I didn't like pink as a color anyways," Keiko tries to inject some humor into the situation.

Oh, hello- that's definitely not the circuit you need. Definitely don't want to fire off a drone straight through the Stargate, nope. No sir.

"Ready to go," Daraya says. "Once the bug's off, Tyzias, kill it while I recharge the paddles!"

You pause in the circuit work, and decaptchalogue a Zat gun that you definitely were not allowed to take with you on the expedition. What Zat Gun? You see no Zat gun.

"Mallek," Daraya begins. "You or me, who carries her through the Gate if this fails?"

"Me," Mallek nods without hesitation.

The Defibrillator beeps in announcement of it being ready.

Daraya places the paddles over Keiko's torso in the requisite positions, and she pauses to ask, "On Three?"

"THREE!" Keiko yells, and Daraya punches the paddles.

CHUUUNCH! Goes the discharge, and Keiko's eyes roll back into her head.

Daraya sets the paddles to charge, and checks for a pulse... "No Pulse!"

You hold your definitely not a Zat right at the bug and wait--

"It's not coming off!" Mallek hisses after a tug on the bug.

"Settle!" Beckett warns. "It may take a moment..."

There's a pause... a pause...

And then the Bug makes a very discontent sound and releases its grip on Keiko.

Mallek throws the thing to the floor and you shoot it about four times with the Zat for good measure.

The shriek it makes is ear rattling, but a moment later it gives off a lovely, satisfying puff of smoke.

Daraya shrugs off her jacket and tosses it to you, and you wrap it up before tying the sleeves into a knott.

"CLEAR!" Daraya says a moment later- CHUUUNCH! "Still no pulse!"

Daraya and Mallek heft the unconscious Keiko up and drag her over to the Wormhole.

"Good luck," Mallek says, giving you a nod, before he secures Keiko within his arms and then steps back through the gate.

As they vanish- you can't help but catch a glimpse of what look like claw marks along Keiko's stomach. What the hell kind of adventures has she been going on to get THOSE?

"Okay!" Daraya radios, "Keiko and Mallek are through the Gate. The creature has been removed, but we could not revive her."

"And it's time for me to get back to work," you nod, and get back to checking the circuits.

"Thank you, Daraya," Weir reports, "Tyzias, you've got seven minutes."

You keep at it, plugging away the minutes.

You're only about half way through the possible circuit pathways, and you tell Daraya, "You should go through the Gate. Incase this doesn't work, that's a whole lot of a better way to go."

"What happened to miss positivity from earlier?" Daraya asks.

"Adrenaline shock wore off," you grunt.

"Either way, not leaving you," she says. "...You did make sure the creature was dead, right?"

"Four hypothetical shots with a hypothetical Zat should be dead, right?" You hypothetically answer.

"Hypothetically, you'd think so," Daraya says.

"Tyzias," Weir radios. "We're down to two minutes."

"I know the time," you answer, "I've still got over two dozen circuits left to-"

Whatever circuit you tried makes a familiar whirring clunk sound. The whole back section shakes from the movement.

"...Oh! That was it!" You grin.

"...Then why aren't we moving?" Daraya asks.

"...We've bled off all the forwards momentum," you groan. "Shit!"


 

"What now?" Your name is Daraya Jonjet, and you radio Atlantis. "We've retracted the pods but we're not moving."

"One Minute," Grodin reports.

"Wait!" Someone else interjects- Kavanagh, you think? "The Rear Hatch! Blow the Rear Hatch! It should give you enough thrust to make it through!"

"That could do it," Tyzias snaps her fingers, "but the only mechanism to blow the hatch is back here." She points at the wall.

And you make a decision.

"Go through the Gate," you tell your Matesprit. "I'll see you on the other side."

"What?" before she can react, you're grabbing her into a kiss and dragging her towards the puddle.

"If I start glowing and thirsting blood after this," you smirk once you've broken the kiss, "then I'd consider that a win, at any rate."

"I-" And then you push Tyzias through the Gate, and then climb up onto a seat, grabbing at the overhead luggage netting, and radio- "I'm blowing the rear hatch!"

You then grab the lever with your free hand, and take a large ass breath.

"Thirty Seconds!" Grodin radios.

That's when you hear a god-awful chirrrrrrrup from your jacket.

You slam the lever with extreme prejudice.

The sudden rush of vacuum sends your jacket and the bug tumbling out the back and brings the puddle of not-water rushing up to meet---

SCHLORP!

---You and then it's gone and you're falling to the floor as gravity takes hold again.

Ow.



"-HIT!" You finish swearing, only to emerge on the other side of the Gate, the alarm message clearing up in a moment.

"Oh My God!" Mckay yells from next to you.

Your name is John Sheppard, and you spare a glance backwards to see Mallek holding Keiko, sans Bug, lying on the floor of the Jumper, with Tyzias rapidly climbing off the ground next to them to run in to the back of the jumper to check on Daraya.

You can see the stargate shutting down behind you- because there is no back door to the Jumper anymore.

"What just happened?" Teyla asks, as you return your attention to flying up into the Jumper bay as quickly, and safely as you can.

"...I think we were just trapped inside the Stargate," Mckay answers, grimly.

"What?" Ford asks. "That can happen??"

"Remind me to tell you about the time Teal'c was trapped inside a Stargate for several days," Mckay answers curtly.

You land the Jumper, and medical teams rush in.

Mallek sits there at Keiko's side as Beckett works his magic with a defibrillator to zap her back to life.

"She'll be fine," Someone says of Daraya, who gets to her feet with some unsteady ease to sit down next to Tyzias....

"Good work, Tyzias," you're barely aware of Weir joining you in the Jumper- you're more focused on Argo being right behind her and having an extremely relieved look on her face at seeing you alive.

"Don't thank me yet," Tyzias says, worried...

And then--

"We've got a pulse!" Beckett announces.

And everyone sighs in relief.

"Getting stronger!" Beckett confirms, placing a stethoscope to her chest and listening. "...Breathing is regular. She's going to be okay."



Your name is Argo Lalonde, and you, John, and Jade head to the infirmary during the late hours of the evening.

Keiko is lying in a bed, Mallek sits next to her, holding Pina in arm so that way the little Dragon doesn't mess up any of the monitoring vitals.

"Hey, Keiko," John greets. "How're you feeling?"

"Starving," she answers.

"She's got quite the hickey," Mallek says, "but Beckett says she'll be fine in a few days."

"We thought as much, with the food," Jade says, decaptchaloguing a cafeteria tray full of food. "So we brought food!"

"It was fried chicken night," you elaborate. "But we also got pudding and all sorts of other things."

"Thank youuu..." Keiko grins.

"Here, hold this for a minute," Mallek hands Pina over to you, and then takes the tray from Jade to attach to Keiko's bedside.

Pina squaks indignantly at you for being denied food, and you say, "Well, I don't like this any more than you do."

Your feathery companion ruffles her wings in agreement.

"So," John looks to Mallek. "Tyzias and Daraya drop by yet or did we miss them?"

"They left after Beckett gave Daraya the once over and cleared her again," Mallek syas. "Tyzias said something about taking off all her clothes and work to do?" he shrugs as you all share a laugh- save for Keiko, who's too busy chowing down on a large piece of fried chicken.

"Ah," you giggle. "The tried and true, age old stress reliever."

"Anyways, if you see them before we do," Jade says, "make sure to tell them we are all having a group 'yay, we survived' breakfast the minute Keiko's out."

"I'll let them know," Mallek says with a nod.

"Anyways, we should get going," Jade says. "Let you two rest, right?"

"Right," You nod, then hand Pina back over to Mallek. "Have a good night, you two."

"Night!" Keiko says in return before chowing down on another piece of chicken- the last one having been basically inhaled already.

"Later," Mallek says.

And with that, you three head off for your room.

"I'm really glad everyone made it out alive," you say.

"I'm just annoyed I was stuck in the library helping Dad sort through Ancient Books," Jade huffs, summoning her wolf ears just to droop them in an adorably sad manner. "I didn't know anything was happening until it was all over."

"It's not like you could have done anything anyways," John says. "I don't think your powers can reach through a Stargate like that."

"I'll just have to practice then," Jade says, determined- her ears perking up.

"Just don't practice so hard you crack any planets we care about open," John warns.

"Speaking of, it's a shame we won't be there to see Alternia go boom," you say. "I really hope someone thinks to record it. I wanna see the look on English's face when they lazer him with the Ultrazord's Naquadria lasers!"

"Who's to say we won't get back before it's time?" John says. "Prometheus should have left already, or left today. One of the two. They'll find us soon enough."

"Unless, god forbid," Jade laments, "they got boarded by space Pirates or something."

"Come on, what are the chances of that happening?" you ask.



Onboard an Al'kesh in the Milky Way Galaxy, a woman named Vala sneezed.

Chapter Text

Your name is Mallek Adalov, and you're escorting your hallway neighbor, Keiko Ayano down to her room from the infirmary.

"I am just," Keiko starts, "SO looking forwards to sitting down at a computer for a few months and not going out into the field at all."

"Yeah, that was just... rough," you cough, trying hard not to think about what had happened the other day.

Pina chirrups in annoyance from atop Keiko's head.

"I know, I know," Keiko laughs. "I'll spend more time with you too, Pina."

Appeased, the Dragon huffs a "Kyuii!"

"So... Dragons, huh?" You ask.

"Oh? Pina?" Keiko nods. "Feather Drakes are native to Alfheim and Aincrad, somehow. Honestly, I think a bunch of them got migrated to Aincrad and other castles through the Quantum Mirror. The Ancients did a lot of weird shit."

"Like giant spiders who mutate people with their bites?" You ask.

"Ah..." there's a flicker of something in her eyes, not quite pain, but something close. "Yeah. Stuff like that."

And just like that, the conversation dies, pretty much.

You arrive at your section of the hallway in silence and, you go to make your excuses to go lock yourself in a lab for a while, but-

"Hey," Keiko begins, "would you mind coming in for a while?"

--Your think-pan freezes over.

"I mean, I just... I'd like to talk about that, if you're up for it?" She explains.

Oh, well.

"Yeah, I can stay for a while," you nod.

And so she opens up the door to her room and you follow her inside.

The first thing you think is: "It's like a dragon's nest in here." Because, it's messy, but there's an order to it.

There are a few large, translucent plastic bin stacked into a closet with all sorts of childhood mementos peeking out from within. There's suitcases on the floor in a corner, one left brazenly open, showing atleast a top layer of a bunch of identical shirts exposed to the air.

Then, there's a Cat-tower-home that Pina immediately lifts off towards and settles down in a literal nest of towels up top.

Beyond that, there's a bed, a small red fabric sofa, a window, and a door that you assume leads to the Ancient version of a restroom... there's not much else in here. Hell, it's practically an exact mirror of your room.

It's small, cozy, and everything is clearly exactly where Keiko wants it to be.

"Sooo." She sits down on the edge of the bed across from the sofa, tucking her legs up against her chest. "Visorak. Life Stealers."

You sit down on the sofa. "Nasty giant spider bugs, right?"

"Yeah," She nods. "So, about a month after Aincrad crashed into the ocean, everything was going... moderatley well, I guess? We were trying to re-establish contact with the other Castles above us, but weren't having much luck. Mom was... in isolation after having that Goa'uld in her, so Shiori and I- oh, Shiori's my sister, by the way- we were left on our own, basically."



YEARS IN THE PAST, BUT NOT MANY...

ALSO, A PARALLEL WORLD AND A GALAXY AWAY...



Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you're a little bit miffed at your sister.

"Shi~or~iii!!" You're just about close to screaming.

Okay, maybe miffed isn't quite the right word. Angry? Enraged??

Whatever, the point of the matter is- she hasn't done the laundry.

The big sister should be doing the housework when the mother is away! Not the little sister!! And of COURSE she'd be out in town shopping for who knows what- but it almost certainly isn't going to be food, you'll bet.

UGH.

Well, fine. you'll just get someone else who can reach the detergent bottle off of the top shelf so you can do it yourself then.

With that, you stalk out of the house and head out to the small add-on building that was being built up to serve as a new lab for researching the stuff found in the Mirror Lab.

The living quarters were finished, at the very least, and that meant that your Fae-counterpart who can FLY lives relatively close nearby.

Months of accidentally walking in on your sister and her boyfriend while making out has lead to your rightfully paranoid habit of knocking before opening any doors.

It's not anyone you'd expect to open the door, though. Midori Kirigaya lets you in, and gives all sorts of pleasant smiles and greetings, before elaborating, "The Aincrad Council has agreed to let the Fae live here, and give them real-enough fake identities to use with their human form disguises so as to not alarm anyone about the existance of parallel worlds, just yet."

"Everyone's freaking out over the ocean crash still, right?" You ask.

"Mmh," she nods. "That, and some odd gravitational issues on floor Twenty Five."

"What's going on with Floor Twenty Five?" you ask.

"An increasing number of cattle are being found splattered on the ground," Midori tells you, leading you to a kitchen area where Touya and Minori reside, presently eating away at lunch. "As I was just telling our new friends here, I was about to come looking for you to see if you'd want to come with me to investigate."

A chance for an adventure while leaving your sister out of it? Hell yes. Sufficient payback for a lack of laundry done!

"I'm in!" You say.

"Kyuiii!" Pina chirrups in agreement, landing on your shoulder.

Wait.

No.

Not your Pina.

Her coloring is off. Her blue feathers are a lot more silver, and her red eyes are golden. This isn't your Pina.

"Okay, I'm back-" And then Silica enters the room from somewhere else. "Oh! Hey, Keiko."

She doesn't look at all like a Cait Sith at all. She's missing her cat ears and tail, and her eyes and hair are colored gold instead of the respective red and brown that she usually has (and makes her look a lot more like a you with cat ears and tail).

Faction Disguise, you realize a moment later. The spell that she, Touya, and Minori used on Alfheim to turn themselves, visually speaking, into other Fae races to sneak around unnoticed. Physically, it just makes certain attributes invisible, but not intangible. If you were to reach out and grab at Silica's head, you'd be able to find her ears rather easily.

"Hey, Silica," you greet in turn. "New look?"

"Yeah," she nods. "Took me a while to get the Human ears down right. I had to heavily modify my Puca appearance, but- well, I was never using that one much anyways."

"Oh, if anyone asks," Midori says, "Silica is your distant cousin from Floor 75."

Ah, right, the floor nobody really likes going to if you weren't already living on it. What with the giant skeleton monsters that roam the access tunnels and fields. People have been leaving it en-mass since the crash landing.

Rumor has it lately that a particularly nasty one has taken up root in the tower leading to Floor 76 since the crash, but nobody's been able to confirm.

"Cousin, right," you nod. "That'd explain the uncanny resemblance."

"Well, that happens sometimes, doesn't it?" Silica shrugs. If you squint you think you can see a reflection in the air where her ears are wriggling in amusment.

"At any rate, we should probably get going," Minori says as she gets up from the table, and casts Faction Disguise herself. The Sylph's appearance of blonde and green coloring shifts rapidly- her hair turns red, and her eyes grow pink. Her ears also round down in sharpness, and her skin takes on a somewhat more bronzed coloring tone to it. "Human form achieved!"

"Awh, you mangled your Salamander appearance?" Silica pouts. "I liked that one."

"I happen to think the round ears looked cuter on the Salamander disguise," Minori counters.

"If you girls don't mind," Touya says, "I'll stick around here for a while. I've got work to do with cataloging the lab contents."

Minori translates for you, "He means he hasn't gotten Faction Disguise to work on any form without a tail yet." Meaning, he's stuck with a Cait Sith disguise as his only alternative.

"What I mean is I have work to do cataloging the lab contents!" Touya protests- wolf ears and tail flaring out in annoyance.

"Whatever," Silica shakes her head. "Shall we head out?"

And so you do head out, all thoughts of laundry forgotten.



Cu Sidhe, Cait Sith, and Sylph- three races of Alfheim's ten "common" factions. The wolves, the cats, and the air elementals.

Cu Sidhe weren't nominally a recognized faction, apparently, being a mutation caused by some wayward magic or something like that. You've had Touya explain it a bunch of times, but you're not quite sure you still understand it that well. There was something about how changing factions literally rewrote a Fae's genetic makeup to some wild degree, which you can't understand how that's possible at all.

With your Pina settled on your shoulder properly, and Silica's Pina resting atop her head, you both climb into the back of the Castle Jumper, while Minori and Midori sit in the front, continuing on with some meaningless conversation you don't really pay much attention to.

"So... flattened cows?" You ask.

"Yeah, apparently they're all ground beef now," Silica jokes.

"...Ew," you can't help but giggle.

"What? It's true," Silica sticks her tongue out at you.

Even with the hair and eye color differences, it really is like staring into a mirror image.

Cousins? Really? You could pass for twins.

There's no way the kids in school are going to buy this.

Miri and Tony especially are going to suspect something's up when they spot their own dopplegangers running around.

"I'm thinking one of us should change hair styles," you begin.

"Huh?" Silica blinks. "How so?"

"Well, we're both wearing our hair in twin tails," you point out by way of tilting your head left and right, and feeling the braids bump against your ears from behind. "It's... pretty obvious how alike we are, like that."

"Hmm," Silica muses on it. "You're right, even with the color changes, we're basically pallete swaps right now." She plucks Pina off of her head and undoes her hair ties before strapping them around her wrists. Then she shakes her hair out and then ruffles up her bangs a bit so they're not in the same shape that you have yours in. "That'll have to do for now. We'll work out something better later."

"Yeah, I guess that'll do for now," you nod. "Though, I'm thinking, when we're together, I might just change up to a single pony tail instead of two."

"Oh?" Silica blinks. "How come?"

"I always have a hard time getting them centered evenly. And you always get them perfectly balanced!" you admit, which makes your interdimensional twin snort.

"I'll admit, I cheat a little using my ears as a guide," she also admits.



The 25th floor of Aincrad had suffered some major structural damage during the crash- fissures rent through the earthen surface, and trees colapsed over on their sides.

It very well may have been the aftermath of an earthquake, given the damage.

Aincrad clearly had never been meant to handle such a rough landing in one piece, even when smoothed over by a pilot. And yet... It spoke wonders to how thoroughly well designed the place was that it HAD landed so intact otherwise.

And then that image was ruined by the sight of a cow falling through the heavens.

MOOOOOOO....

THUD.

"They just keep coming down where-ever," the Farmer who owned one of the herds being gravity tossed remarked. "I've been keeping an eye out on them but sometimes they just vanish during the night and I find 'em squashed in the mornin'."

As gross as it was, though, Silica had to investigate the scene of one personally.

Cait Sith seemed to be expert hunters/trackers/beast tamers, from what Minori explained to you as you tried very hard not to look at the splattered remains of a cow.

(You swore to never eat another hamburger for at least a year.)

"There's webbing on these cows," Silica reports, bringing it to your attention. "Barely intact after the fall, but, I found a piece inside the cow's mouth."

It's stringy, and sort of slimy looking, and it has these translucent barbs poking out of it.

"...What kind of spider spun that?" Minori asks.

"A very big one," Silica says.

You're not sure you're happy about this revelation.



BACK TO THE FUTURE...

AND A DIMENSION AND GALAXY OVER...



"I don't really remember much after that. We started investigating the nearby Stairway tower..." Keiko shakes her head. "And I know we found a den full of giant spiders had taken up root inside all of it. We tried to escape, but one of them jumped me and bit me in the shoulder and after that, it's just even more of a blur."

You're once again Mallek Adalov, and you exhale as she continues.

"But... I can never forget what it looked like," she says, "it was as big as the back half of a Jumper. Four legs. Armored like a beetle, except it had a flat section in the back that was flat and round." She looks you in the eyes, and says, "The whole thing was a slick, rust blood red, and its eyes were glowing green. It had these ridges between them that stuck up in the same shape as the pincers that stuck out well past its mouth."

"Sounds like a real monster, alright," you say.

"That's nothing compared to being knocked onto the ground and having it biting through my jacket into my shoulder," Keiko says, shrugging her left shirt sleeve down her arm enough to reveal some faded, jagged shapes that angle downwards towards the heart. "There's a matching set on the back side. Four fangs, four injection points, four doses of venom at once."
Pina leaps from the cat-tree over to Keiko's shoulders, and wraps herself protectively around Keiko's neck.

"Kyuuui..."

"Heh, thanks, Pina," Keiko smiles, reaching up to scratch the dragon behind the ears. "At any rate, Silica says she shot the thing off of me with a Zat she'd taken off of the Goa'uld that'd been in Mom, and they took me back to the First Floor. Apparently the venom mutates whatever's been bitten into a hybrid creature with whatever else the last thing they touched was- that wasn't a Visorak, I mean."

"So..." You glance at Pina. "Feather Drake?"

"Yup," Keiko nods. "Growing wings is about as painful as it sounds. The feathers? Like a bunch of needles all over my skin at once. Claws? Like my bones were bursting out of my skin." She shudders. "The tail was the weirdest, because it honestly didn't bug me that much... but the pain was just... it was so bad I blocked out the next few days until it was all done and they'd found a cure and were able to turn me back."

"...How long were you affected?" You ask.

"I'm not sure exactly," Keiko frowns. "I think... Three? Four days? But, the problems didn't end there after they cured me."

"Let me guess, the spiders got out and started mutating people?" you really hope you're wrong.

"Yeah." Keiko nods. "The whole 25th floor ended up quarantined and sealed off during the whole time. People were attacked and transformed and... the whole thing went on for a month before we got it all settled..."

You're not really sure what to say to all of that.

"In the end, we stunned or killed the Visorak, and shoved every single one through the Mirror to a world we were sure was uninhabited," Keiko concludes, in absence of you saying anything else. "...Though,that wasn't what I meant to begin with."

"What did you mean then ?" You ask.

"Feather Drakes don't grow exceptionally fast," Keiko says. "Pina's just about as old as I am and she's barely grown out of her hatchling stage... We thought the curative mucked up my growth cycle, but as it turns out, I just had a little bit of Feather Drake left inside my DNA."

"Well, you certainly look a lot more grown up than you were back when you started contacting the SGC, so, something happened to fix that, right?" You ask.

She laughs. "Yeah. Something happened. About a year or two after that- in a whole completely different adventure- well..." She shakes her head. "That's a story for another time, but suffice to say, the slow aging stuff got flushed out of my system. I'll tell you about it later."

"Fair 'nough," you say, standing to get up.

"Wait-" She interjects once more.

"Yeah?" You pause, half standing.

"....Do you think scars are cool?"

Ah. Now that's a question you don't think you'd ever expect to hear. You sit back down and think on it for a moment.

"Speaking as a person who has thirteen piercings and dabbles in tattoo work? I'm not really a person to judge..." You muse. "I think... It depends on how you got them. "

"On how you got them?" her head tilts to the side curiously.

"Like... say someone hurts themselves intentionally for a scar just because they think it's cool... Then, no, I'd say those kinds of scars aren't cool." You elaborate, "Or did they do something stupid like running in the street buck ass naked, trip, fall, and roll so badly they scrape up their sides and get road burn on their butt? Depends on why they were running. Was it from a wild animal that broke into their Hive while they were taking a shower? I guess it could be kinda cool. Was it because of a dare? No way in hell is it cool."

And then she asks, "And surviving a bunch of monster attacks?"

"A 'bunch', huh?" You consider it. "Gonna need more context for that."

"Topic for another time, then, I guess," she sighs. "Sorry for holding you up then."

"It's fine," you say. "Any time you wanna talk about that kind of stuff-" Wait, isn't that way more Pale than you were intending?

"I'll keep that in mind," and then Keiko stands up and... "So, uh... About that date I said we should go on..."

"...Date?" You ask, blinking.

"The, uh-" She scratches at her nose. "When we were in the Jumper, and you were cutting my shirt open, I said something about a date?"

You rack your memories, replaying that conversation to the best of your ability.

Wait.

A tired laugh. Then- "Tell you what, we make it through this and we'll go for a swim at the pool some time?"

"The swim at the pool?" You ask for clarifying. "You meant that as a date invitation??"

"I... Uh..." She nods. "Yeah?? Did I not say it right?"

...You'll be honest, you thought it was just a 'I'm literally going to  die soon' kind of joke??

"I..." You blink. "The word 'date' itself never actually came up, to my memory. But- uh-"

"Oh, geeze... I'm sorry, I thought-" She blushes and glances at the window- anywhere but at you. "I'm such an idiot. I've never done anything like this before and I- Gah! Why did I have to be so bold back there for!?"

Ah, shit. She's going on a self-berating rant now, going fast enough you can't pick out enough words to make coherent sentences.

Pina's crimson eyes afix you with a "FIx This, You Idiot" kind of look. Who knew tiny dragons could do something like that?

"I wouldn't be opposed to it if you're seriously asking me on a date," you manage to squeeze in.

Keiko glances back at you, somewhat shyly. "A... Are you serious?"

"I mean, we did sort of just go through a huge life or death situation," you say. "I don't see anything wrong with just... trying it and seeing where it goes?"

"R-Right!" She nods, turning back to face you. "Then- Ah. Tomorrow? At seven??"

"Morning or Evening?" You ask.

"Mor-Ev-!" She stops, takes a deep, calming breath, then says, "In the morning."

"Sounds like a date, then," You get up and...

Okay, what's the right option here?

...Fuck it. Go classy.

You take her right hand in yours and give the back of it a brief kiss.

"I'll see you at the pool tomorrow at seven," you say, and then quickly abscond across the hallway before your think-pan melts down into an explosive mess of incoherence.

As it is, what could only be a hybrid squeal of Delight/Anxious Terror resonates across the hallway by the time you've secured your room's door behind you.

Well. This could either be the Beginning of Something Really Excellent or a complete disaster.

Chapter Text

Chapter Text

"Excuse me, Miss Lamati?"

"Yeah?" You turn to look at the Earth-born chef/baker/food prep-er as you set up shop in what was almost certainly Atlantis' original mess hall. What was her name again? Mari... Marie...? You glimpse into her mind. Ah. Marinette Dupain-Cheng. Okay. For politeness sake, you ask, "What's on your mind, Miss... ah...?"

"M-Marinette, ma'am" she answers. "...And, um... Why is there an order signed from General O'neill AND General Leijon insisting Diemen Xicali never be allowed to cook hot dogs?"

...Ah.

"Well, the answer is he doesn't cook hotdogs to safe temperatures- even by Alternian standards," You tell her.

"Why?" Marinette asks.

"I've got two theory-answers for ya, Miss Marinette," you say to the Civilian. "One theory is Family tradition that has him cooking them a specific way that only he finds appetizing."

"And the other?" She asks.

"The other is that due to losing his lussus at an early age, Diemen went around scavenging meat stores and took to favoring under cooked hotdogs, thinking they're the only way to eat them," you answer in a dead serious tone of voice.

"...Oh- oh, God, that's horrible!" Marinette gasps, covering her mouth.

"Relax, I'm just messing with you," you smile. "If you wanna know that badly, go ask Diemen himself."

"...I... Sure, I'll think on doing that..."

And then Marinette proceeded to avoid asking Diemen directly for the next three months. But, that's another story.

"Who The HELL brought three dozen frozen assorted bird-meats and forgot to pack them in the FREEZER CRATE!?" Diemen yells out in a panic as he opens a bog standard refridgerator crate. "Shit! We're going to have to cook these tonight!"

...Fortunately, there was a party that night to celebrate the successful rescue of those captured by the Wraith.

...Unfortunately, there was a rather large shortfall of bird-based meat over the next few months.

Chapter Text

"Ah. I screwed up."

Those are the words I started my last journal on.

My last journal that I've now lost, thus prompting the repeat of those words just now.

I suppose introductions are in order, as well as a summary of contents of the previous Journal. Aaaah. That took so many years to write and now I've lost it.

My name is Sakamoto. I am, or more accurately was, a Royal Guard of Alfheim. I am a Cait Sith who was serving specifically to protect the Princesses- the daughters of King Oberonn and Queen Titania. Princess Astore however, being the eldest at the time, was ostensibly my boss, despite the fact I was supposed to be her guard.

But that's neither here nor there. Not just yet.

I.... also had a lot of unrestricted access to a World Mirror. So I... took some rather long and enthusiastic walks... to other worlds.

I had this fondness for one world in particular- a world with a floating castle up in the sky. A hundred floors of territory to explore...

I soon got distracted by a very beautiful scientist who had set up shop within a laboratory that the matching World Mirror. It was about a few months into my walks of that world. I unfortunately never got to take a solitary walk on my own ever again.

Thus, prompting my original "Ah, I screwed up," I fell in love. I slept with her. I didn't think of consequences. I didn't realize that the ongoing decline of birth rates on Alfheim was related to a curse on our world and not this one.

We had a daughter- thankfully taking after her mother rather than her father. Oh, yes, I could feel the aura of Fae magic within her soul waiting to be activated. Surely then she may grow ears and a tail matching my own... But I refused. I let her have her own life in her own world. I came to visit now and again, as any father should.

And then Princess Astore teased the truth out of me. It was not the disaster I thought it was. The Princess wanted me to take her infant sister to that other world and hide her away from her Father. King Oberonn wanted...

"He wants to do horrible things to my sister," Astore told me, hoisting the infant into my arms. "When she grows to age.... he plans to... to..." She was near tears. "Take her, and hide her away far from our Father's reach!"

And so I stepped through the mirror, and watched helplessly as Astore sabotaged the mirror on her end, even as more Royal Guards surrounding her father barged into the room.

I'll never forget the look of rage in the King's eyes as he saw me vanished from sight with his daughter. That was the look of a man who should never be a parent.

I worry for Astore. I do. But her sister... She is the more important soul to guard.

I never dated the other journals for security reasons, but I feel that I should say it here for the record. That was eight years ago.

Admittedly, I hadn't written in the journal I'd lost for atleast a year. It'd been a slow one- alright?? A Cat has to take time off to manage his life- right? But still, it was my observation log of checking the Mirror.

Astore had told me that when she could manage it- when the time was right- she would be sending a team of Fae- specially chosen by herself- to come to Aincrad and find me and the other Princess. So, I checked back on that lab every other week.

Thus, prompting the "Ah. I screwed up" that opened this journal...

While I was checking on the Mirror, a proximity alarm went off. Children from nearby had entered the Dungeon Stairwell, and were searching through it. I spied on them using the Beast Form spell to take on the appearance of a tiny kitten- as I felt was my job to secure the lab. The lab they were searching for. THAT LAB. The Lab I left my journal in.

The Lab I tried to retreat to, but was chased by a feather drake. I got caught up inside some old cloth toy and... AHHH. I Screwed Up.

The feather drake had me pinned and I had to escape using a phasing spell through the floor below.

By the time I'd made it back up a level to the Lab, my journal was gone, and the Mirror had been used. There was no telling where the owner of that Dragon went. The chances of it being Alfheim were slim to none.

It was with defeat, tail between my feline form's legs that I returned home to my wife and daughters on the 25th floor.

And then the world shook to its core. Aincrad raised itself higher and higher and then- FELL!!!

We were dead. We were so dead! Oberonn had clearly found us and was trying to kill us! That was what I thought at any rate.

Except, if that was the case, it then made no sense for them to then phased the entirety of Aincrad into a ghost form so that we could pass through the shell Aincrad balanced atop of normally.

We crashed into the ocean- we survived, somehow. Except the exposure to that massive phasing reality spell, my daughter grew her cat ears and tail.

That was a very awkward conversation. My wife was not happy.

Aaaah. I'm in the dog house tonight!! (Ah. Well. Cat house, technically. But we don't have outdoor houses for cats here on Aincrad. We do for Dogs. You get what I mean, me! Or, well, if someone has similarly stolen this journal like my last one. (AAAAH. I SCREWED UP AGAIN, IF THAT'S THE CASE!!) You know what I mean, right? Please tell me you know what I mean. That's weird, right? That Cats don't have their own outdoor houses like Dogs do?)



Update. Wife did not actually make me sleep outside. Instead, she's insisting I teach our daughters how to use magic. We haven't told the Princess about where she actually comes from yet.

A project for tomorrow.



It's been a few weeks since Aincrad Fell.

Our floor was invaded by strange, bio-mechanical spiders. I could tell they were somewhat robotic. They failed to show up on a 'detect life' spell, but did on a 'detect inanimate objects' spell. Their bites could turn people into monsters. One of them tried attacking our home. I killed it, and ruptured its venom sacs. Opportunity knocks!

Allowing myself and my Daughter to retain our more obviously feline features, when we moved down to the First Floor, we were able to pass off our appearance as being due to minor splash back from the venom sac I ruptured in that dead spider. Providing it as proof to the team of children researching for a cure, they were able to trace down a cure to it for those more heavily afflicted.

Of course, I and my daughter turned it down. We were not actually afflicted, and like some people who ahd been legitimately afflicted, our 'changes' were not so obtrusive as to interfere with our lives, unlike that poor girl who had been turned into a Feather Drake.

I have my suspicions about those children. Three of them smelled like Alfheim. Faded, but... still recently from there enough to have its scent upon them.

Are these the ones Astore sent? Are they Oberonn's?

This requires further investigation.



UPDATE!! My daughter transferred into the school these children are going to! This could be a disaster!!!!

Well. if they're Oberonn's spies. If they're Astore's...

The life of a bodyguard is terrifying.



My Daughter has made friends from her class! Oh! Lovely!! They're clearly not even the ones from Alfheim. One of them was something of a klutz but she's so earnest and honest and it's endearing!!

She doesn't even care about the ears or tail! She said my daughter is my daughter no matter what accessories she has sprouting from her body! ...I know that sounds weird out of context, but she'd said that even if my daughter were a robot with a windup key on her back- she would still be my daughter!!  The others echoed that sentiment with more polite ways of speaking but-- AAAH!!

Such earnest girls my daughter has become friends with!!



The Spiders have been dealt with. They've either all been killed or "disposed of" which I suspect involves a World Mirror.

One of the girls from Alfheim who was investigating the spiders looks just like a pallet swap of another girl- the one who had been turned into the Feather Drake- thus confirming my suspicions.

There are Fae locally out and about. I need to discern who they are and what they're doing here.

...In the mean time, my Wife has suggested a vibrant idea of exploring a nearby continent using a Castle Jumper. She's already begun recruiting people to start exploring the nearby landmasses. Aincrad, it seems, may have too much structural damage from the crash to be livable long term.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: APRIL 12TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 10/20/0004.

There was a continent out there waiting to be explored, thanks to Jumper Travel. There were beaches to be surfed and crops to be planted and--

And the one place everyone seemed to want to be instead for their time off was the large indoor pool that Atlantis had for some inexplicable reason.

Your name is Jade Jackson, and you're very miffed over that.

It's a bright sunny day, and instead of enjoying it, like the bunch of shut ins the scientists here are... everyone's choosing to stay inside.

You can't blame them, but... damn it.

You and John look at Argo, sitting on a lounge chair wearing a large sweatshirt over their torso and absolutely looking miserable, refusing to take it off and get into the water for the clear and obvious reasons that they were pregnant and getting obviously so at this point.

It was April, now. Four months since January. A little while longer now and the hoodies weren't going to cut it.

People were going to find out sooner or later, that was true, but you'd been able to avoid prying eyes thus far by timing your visits to the pool to inactive times of day.

A time that should have been today and wasn't.

And so instead of swimming, you, John, and Argo are sitting out of the pool because there are so many people in the pool.

So many eyes.

So many ways for people to notice.

Most people are fine and good and awesome at minding their own business.

Aradia Megido is not one of those people.

"Come oooon! It's not that crowded!"

"We'll wait for it to get less crowded, thank you very much," you deflect.

"Other people aren't waiting!"

"That's why we're waiting, it just keeps getting more crowded!" Argo counters.

"But that's so boring!"

"Aradia, can't you just let us choose to not swim for now and go bother someone else?" John asks.

Aradia considers it, humming a tune as she does so, and then says, "Oh, fine. Okay. I'll talk to ya later then. But I'm not leaving this room until I see you guys going swimming!!"

And then she absconds to go harass Roxy Lalonde, Jimmyy O'neill, and Morgan Carter- who were playing around with up sized children's toy fishing rods you'd seen Roxy conjure up to annoy people who got too close to them.

The "hooks" as it were seemed to be some sort of magi-tech magnet shit that was drawn in towards people's foreheads.

You have no idea how it works, but with a slight strain of your ears, you can hear Roxy excitedly talking with Carter about taking one of them apart to figure out how it works.

O'neill seems amused only in that he keeps hooking and reeling in passing by swimmers like fish- nobody else is quite so amused.

You make a mental note to not go near them with such potent fishing technology.

Sure, those three (Five? Technically five, given Lantash and Jolinar) know- and arguably they could run distraction for you if you so chose to...

But you're not going to push things.

They've got enough on their plates right now.

Plates.

Food.

Your stomach growls.

Aradia seems to have forgotten about her promise to keep an eye on you three, focused more on the fishing rods now. So...

You suggest, and John and Argo nod in acceptance of, the idea of going to eat some early lunch.

You all do want to go swimming still, and maybe the pool will be less crowded when you get back, so you don't bother going back to your room to change. Instead, the three of you just gather up your stuff and head on along to what had been claimed as the dining hall/cafeteria.

"It was so loud in there," Argo laments once you're out of the immediate noise radius of the pool. "I didn't even realize how bad it was until we got out of there."

"It'll be okay," John puts his hand on their shoulder. "We'll get a chance to go swimming later."

You pass by Mallek and Keiko on the way to the pool, both dressed for swimming, and chatting about something to do with the ZPMs. You do a double take as you pass them- since when did Keiko have that many scars?? No, it has to either be a trick of the lighting or some of Mallek's tattoo work.

Surely a girl that age should never have that many severely fatal looking marks along just about everything except her face.

It can't be real, can it?

Thoughts of that troubling nature whirl around your head as the three of you arrive in the cafeteria.

It looks like Boldir, Diemen, and a couple of Earth-born chefs are working the shift right now. John and Argo give you their orders then go claim a seat while you go to place everything.

"Greetings, Miss Jackson!" An Asian-looking woman with a French accent greets you. What was her name again? Marinette, you think? "What can I get for you?"

You place the order off of the day's menu, and you spot Diemen get to work immediately getting it all together.

You return to Argo and John's side and wait for your food to get brought out.

The cafeteria, conversely to the pool, is pretty much empty. It's a relishing quiet you can appreciate.

Argo appreciates it too, judging from how they're leaning against John, eyes closed and trying not to look like they're falling asleep.

You sit on John's opposite side- his exposed left side- and then lean in to do much the same.

"Heh," you hear him chuckle, and can feel the rumble through his body.

An unknown amount of time passes before your food gets brought to your table by Boldir, who makes it a point of bringing her own plate of food and sitting down with you, citing, "It's my break."

"So," she begins, doing most of the talking while the rest of you eat. "Did you hear the Athosians are moving to the mainland?"

"Yeah," John answers. "Teyla said something about cities in general feeling too tight and constrained for them, long term, given the Wraith."

"I can relate," Boldir muses. "This city is... tight living despite being a city. It's very... how do I put it?" There's a pause of silence filled as all of you focus on eating for a moment. "It's like being on the All Your Base, then setting up shop on Diaspora, before having to go back to the inside of a spaceship."

"Maybe once we spread out and secure some more places, we'll be better off space wise," you say.

"Maybe," Boldir eyes you, and then Argo. "I can certainly see you three moving up to a bigger room at least."

John and Argo grow indignant at that- you just sigh. "Right, that." [Mind reading. Right?] She nods. "Out of curiosity, have you seen how crowded the pool is?" [How long have you know about that little fact?]

"I knew the moment I was in the SGC Gate room with everyone at the same time," Boldir answers- pausing dramatically to chew some lunch. "We were gonna have crowds, Jade. All the crowds. All of them."

"Well, the pool is quite a popular place right now." And then Doctor Weir joins your group with her own plate of food, and a mild, "Mind if I sit with you?"

"Sure," Argo nods.

"So, overly crowded pools, huh?" Weir asks. "I bet it won't last. Not once the shores are checked and cleared for safety. That's when surfing season starts."

"Saw that," John says. "The waves look pretty good from the air."

"Some beach time would be nice," Argo agrees.

"Oh, by the way," Boldir suddenly interjects. "I think Beckett's getting the Gene Therapy working for Alternians finally with Rose's and Kanaya's help. You should consider going and checking it out."

You squint suspiciously at her. [You mean for Argo to talk with Beckett?] "You think that's necessary?"

"Yes," Boldir nods. "Definitely. Absolutely. We need more ATA capable people around here with this city."

"Don't feel pressured into it, now. Taking the gene therapy is a huge responsibility to be placing on yourselves," Weir says, seemingly missing the real conversation going on here. It's all inferences and such, after all. Mind readers can be tricky.

Boldir laughs. "I'm just saying they should Talk To Beckett," and there's a stress there. "See if the Gene therapy's Right For Them, you know?"

"Yeah, sure," you say. "We'll take a visit to the Infirmary later."

"Cool," Boldir nods.

Weir seems off put, but says nothing. She's clearly aware that she's missing something.

You'll have to make it up to her somehow. Later.

The conversation turns to other ways. Reaching out to Athosian allies and seeing who's willing to trade. Figuring out a way to reach Earth again. Figuring out Wraith movements.

And, under the hushed veil of secrecy, hunting down Trust agents within the city. There's been some progress in identifying them, and you've been able to figure out how to work around some of their more obvious ploys so far.

There's still one person going around using false names for everything, and talking to people with names that they don't actually go by. Several times, in fact, including disguises.

You'll give the Trust credit where it's due- they're sneaky bastards.

Atlantis doesn't have cameras, unfortunately. Not in the strictest sense of "This is a video recording device" cameras. There are sensors and stuff but never anything that records positioning. It's a severe oversight on the part of the Ancients, really.

That makes tracking down the Trust agent all the harder. Conversely, it also makes it a bit easier to get Argo around without people noticing.

You return to the pool, find it emptier to the point you can find a secluded spot where nobody is watching, and Argo can finally shed the sweater they'd been wearing and get into the water.

You and John cling close to them. Thankfully, the only people still around close enough who might have noticed how exposed Argo was in that short span of time seem to be Keiko and Mallek. And them? They're too busy splashing each other with water to notice.

"So... Boldir thinks we should go see Doctor Beckett, huh?" Argo whisper-asks.

"Mmh," you nod. "We really should have gone to tell him sooner, I guess."

"Weir's going to find out," John says.

"She always was, at some point," you say. "If she doesn't have an inkling already. I over heard a couple of the nurses complaining the other night that the birth control supplies have been running low faster than expected. Some of the female scientists have also apparently trying to write off their morning sickness as bad food reactions or allergies to something."

Argo snorts. "Some people are just hornier than rabbits. And also bad liars."

"My only reservation with Beckett is his, ah..." John glances around. "Well. To be honest he almost killed us in an elevator. And he's been taking a lot of risks out here lately without oversight."

"Yeah," you shake your head at all of the "lack of FDA oversight" mumbling over the ATA Gene Therapy. "Still, he's head of medicine here for a reason. Right?"

"I'd just feel more comfortable with Fraiser or Lam," John says. "Or, hell, what's that Alternian Doctor's name? The one who's worked on the Base and Beltus?"

"You mean the girl Okruii started dating on the other side of the Paradox and they've both thought they've been secretive about it?" Argo asks. "That's Marsti Houtek."

"Huh?" John asks. "What? Where did I miss that?"

"I feel like I'm missing something too," you say. "What about the paradox?"

"Did I not mention it?" Argo blinks. "Ah, anyways. I'm pretty sure it's a paradox change, at any rate. Though, I did only notice it after, so who knows... Er, either way. I saw Okurii and Marsti hanging out all private like in Okurii's office on the Beltus one day before we left for Atlantis. All cozy like."

"Huh," you blink. "That's news to me."

"Marsti Houtek," John blinks. "Yeah, that sounds right to me. Sort of slicked back looking horns and hair?"

Argo nods. "Yup!"

"Right," John says. "I'd still prefer her over Beckett's... enthusiasm for bending the rules any day."

"Little weird, that, considering all the rule bending we've done before," you joke.

"It's a little different now," he says, getting a lost look in his eyes. "It's so much more pressure being in charge of everyone's safety- not just me and mine but everyone."

"Aww," Argo cuddles in close, forcing John to change how he's swimming/floating just a bit. "Good John. Best Friendleader."

"Agreed," you grin at him- only not drawing in closer due to not wanting to accidentally drag both of them under water.

"Thanks," he smiles back.

You three float in silence for a while. Time ceases to have all meaning, it feels like.

"You know?" John begins suddenly. "I had a moment of panic, right before the Jumper got stuck. 'Oh, Shit!' I'd thought. There was a safety alarm and I realized we were going to get stuck in the Gate. Except- thirty eight minutes later- by the time I'd finished that thought, we were out."

"Everyone was worrying and working to get you all out," Argo says.

You still feel bad that you didn't even find out about it until it was over. Just another failing of the Trust's manipulations, as it would turn out. You personally confronted the woman who'd been sent to fetch you, and she confessed to a face full of wolf teeth and claws that an "unidentified" superior in the Trust had told her to not come fetch you. For her honesty, she'd been put on latrine duty and pulled from any places of vital importance.

As for the unknown superior... Well...  Whoever that is, you're going to rip their throat out, come the time.

...Okay, maybe not go that violent. Maybe just... claw up their stomach a biiiii....

You glance back at Keiko as she climbs out of the pool and gingerly walks over to an Ancient recliner chair with a fluffy towel laying on it.

You do some quick visual counting...

There's... a LOT of groups of three, four, and five lines all following along the same angles of attack.

That's what it is.

Angles of attack.

At some point in her life, Keiko had gone up against what you'd be willing to bet was a Fae Werewolf. A Cu Sidhe, the same faction as Touya, the Fae Werewolf who'd helped you get your powers under control.

But... wait.

"John," you venture, cautiously. "Wasn't helping me the first time Touya helped someone get used to controlling their werewolf form?"

"I think so, yeah," John nods. "Why?"

"Just... something occurred to me, is all," you answer, staring at Keiko as she wraps a towel around her torso to dry it off, obscuring the claw marks from sight.

If Keiko had been attacked, there was a high chance she'd been turned, right? Especially if it were a Fae Werewolf. You distinctly remember John mentioning that Touya could turn him if the situation arose. That implied some certainty in the knowledge he had in that ability.

That raises a whole lot of questions you really don't want to be thinking about right now.

You're going to have to talk to the expedition's Resident Ancient Descendant about this- if only to sate your own curiosity.

At least you're not a cat-girl, then it might just kill you!

...

...

You make a mental note not to mention any of this to Argo or Rose until you've gotten the answers you need.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 2ND, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/09/0004.

VEEEE, VEEEE, VEEEE, VEEEE went the Atlantis City Alarms as the gate dialed in, and the camera crew's lenses turned to view the action.

KAWOOOSH!

"Receiving AR-1's IDC!" Grodin reports.

"Lower the shield!!" Weir orders.

The shield lowers, and a barrage of Wraith stunner blasts shoot through the gate, forcing anyone caught unawares to dodge for cover.

None of Bregman's cameras are forced to do such, however.

And then AR-1 comes running through the Gate- Sheppard, Ford, Teyla, then Mckay- who takes a stunner blast to the face as the shield raises again.

A medical team rush in to check on them, and the cameras focus in on Sheppard and Weir as they exchange knowing looks.

A counter fades onto view of the edited footage- "The Fifth Wraith Attack within the last Six Missions."


 

O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

A hidden camera records the briefing as Weir talks to AR-1, sans Mckay, and instead, Lieutenant Bates is joining them.

"Five attacks in six missions, this is not a coincidence," Weir says. "We're fortunate that Doctor Mckay is only suffering mild paralysis and should be released soon. That said. we need to figure out how our security has been compromised. That last planet was uninhabited. There should have been no reason for the Wraith to show up."

"It's clear to me the Wraith have a spy in the city," Bates says. "Every single compromised mission nso far has been preceeded by an attempted negotiation mission with an Athosian ally."

"If you're claiming the Athosians are compromised, that is extremely unlikely," Teyla says, indignant. "I know my people well, and each one personally. None of us are fond of the Wraith."

"Maybe you don't know them as well as you think," Bates accuses.

"Or," Weir proposes an alternative. "it's the Trust we have to worry about and not the Athosians."

"Excuse me?" Bates asks- shocked. "The Trust? What? Now you're just making things up. Colonel Sumner ran a background check on everyone to prevent that."

"And yet we've identified no less that four Trust operatives within the city so far," Weir tells him.

"Even if that is the case," Bates begins, "why would they willingly compromise our missions to the Wraith? It's absurd is what it is. It doesn't follow their line of thinking at all."

"Or maybe the Trust lost their leader and they're all operating independently," Sheppard proposes.

"...What are you insinuating?" Bates asks, eyeing Sheppard suspiciously.

"What I'm insinuating is that someone in the Trust decided to cut their losses and work for the Wraith instead of the Trust," Sheppard says.

"Besides that," Bate scowls. "They lost their Leader? What do you mean by that?"

"We have reason to believe Colonel Sumner was working with the Trust," Weir says. "As you said, he ran background checks. He would have been in the prime position to put his own people on the Expedition."

"You're slandering the name of a good man! A dead man!" Bates says.

"What if it's not an intentional leak?" Ford interjects, before things get out of hand. "What if the Wraith planted a tracking chip in one of the people they captured and we rescued? We could be unintentionally broadcasting our locations to the Wraith whenever we step through the Gate."

"Good point, Lieutenant," Weir says. "I'm ordering everyone who was on that mission- Rescue Party included- to have an examination performed by Doctor Beckett."

"We checked for it when we came back," Bates says. "We came back clean and we've only started running into trouble recently. This is a spy."

"Wraith tech is part organic, Bates," Sheppard reminds him. "We could have breathed something in and it grew inside us to become a transmitter that only just recently came online."

"I would not be surprised if a tracking device were implanted while we were unconscious," Teyla says. "The Wraith have been rumored to have a tradition of setting up moving targets with tracking chips. Runners, I believe they are called."

"Everyone gets examined," Weir says, "and that's an Order, Bates."


 

"Well?" a camera is focused in on Weir's office door as she enters the room, and seals the door shut behind her.

Another fixed angle shows Boldir raising herself up from behind the desk. "He confirmed what we thought in his head," she says. "Sumner was Trust and supposed to lead this whole operation. With him gone, Bates is floundering and failing to pick up the pieces."

"And of the Wraith?" Weir asks.

"He's dead sure it's an Athosian, so if he's our security breach, he's either Partitioned it really well, or he doesn't know he's leaking it," Boldir answers. "Quite frankly, he's panicking over the idea he's got a leak in his forces. He'll co-operate. Hell, he's already making moves in his head to get his people in line. Only problem is he doesn't have the complete list. Only Sumner did, and it was all inside his head, apparently."

"Good," Weir says. "Let's pray that Ford's right and it's some tracking device the Wraith implanted while they were captured and not anything more unsavory."

"What are we going to do about Bates and the Trust, Ma'am?" Boldir asks.

"We'll use him to fish out the agents he knows about. Convince them to turn, if we're lucky," Weir shakes her head.  "Hopefully, whatever agent is going around with all the disguises is one of them."

"And if we're not lucky?" Boldir has clear concern etched on her face.

"Then we do things the hard way and force them to go to ground," Weir decides.


 

Bregman's camera crew position their cameras up, and start filming once Mckay gives them the signal.

"Right, for the record, I am Doctor Rodney Mckay, and we've identified a subdermal transmitter that the Wraith have implanted inside the right arms of every human we rescued from that first mission." He brings up an image of an X-ray on his laptop. "It's a small, seed sized device, slowly ramping up in its broadcasting power over the, ah, last three-ish months? Basically, for now they're only transmitting on worlds with what we can only assume are signal boosters. But, ah, if we don't remove them now the signals may become strong enough to start transmitting into subspace from Atlantis."

"Is it safe to remove them?" Bregman asks.

"Oh, should be," Mckay nods. "It's not like they're wedged deep into the bone or muscle tissue or anything. Quick incision here, some pliers there, and stome stitches later and the devices will be out and we can destroy them safely. Well, all except for one."

"Why leave only one intact?" Bregman asks.

"We're going to set a trap and capture a Wraith," Mckay smiles smugly.



"I had no idea I was chipped! You have to believe me!" Bates protests in the infirmary as he nurses a bandaged arm.  "And is the camera really necessary??"

"I do believe you on that, and yes it is," Weir says, to the side, just barley in frame of the camera recording the conversation, and was focused dead center on Bates. "However, we need to talk about the potential security risks this poses in the future. We have no idea what these chips may have transmitted beyond location. Secured Passcodes, Secrets kept from dear family members, Classified Information, anything at all could be at risk to the Wraith knowing about now."

"My mind is a steel trap," Bates boasts. "Not even that Psychic Mind Reader Alternian can get her claws inside my head."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that," Weir says, and then quotes, "February Fourth, 2001."

Bates stills. "What?"

"The day Colonel Sumner approached you to work alongside him in the Trust operation that was to be centered on Atlantis," Weir clarifies. "Miss Lamati is very good at what she does, Bates. If she can pry information like that out of your head just from watching you get a chip pulled out of your arm? Who knows what the Wraith know."

"...What do you want from me then, huh?" Bates asks, expression growing cold.

"Honesty. I want you to turn in everyone you know is also a Trust Operative," Weir demands. "Co-operate and renounce the Trust as your bosses, and we might be able to rebuild the, ironic, trust that you've lost from me by working for them."

"And if we don't?" Bates asks.

"Then I might just have to exile you all to the planet we sent the Psy-jelly cloud to," Weir answers. "Ford tells me the feeding experience is shockingly unpleasant."


 

"To think that the Wraith had me marked like cattle, and I was unaware," Halling growls as he and Teyla rest their arms elsewhere within the infirmary. "It makes me angry to no end."

"Fortunately for us, we will be able to turn their trickery on them," Teyla appeases the man. "In but a few days, we will use these tracking devices and lure them into a trap. Their arrogance will be their undoing."

"Let us hope they will regret their choices as painfully as can be done," Halling grunts.



EARTH DATE: MAY 4TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/11/0004.

VEEEE, VEEEE, VEEEE, VEEEE went the Atlantis City Alarms as the gate dialed in, and the camera crew's lenses truned to view the action.

KAWOOOSH!

"Receiving AR-1's IDC!" Grodin reports.

"Lower the shield!!" Weir orders.

The shield lowers, and through the Gate exits AR-1 and AR-2, with a male Wraith Commander tied to a stretcher.

"Major Sheppard," Weir rushes down to greet them. "I take it your mission was a success?"

"Yes, Ma'am," Sheppard says in confirmation, hefting a Wraith Stunner over one shoulder. "One Wraith Commander tied up and stunned. Now we just gotta dump him in the holding cell before he wakes up and turns into a pumpkin."

"Good," Weir nods. "We'll debrief after he's secured."

And thus AR-1 and AR-2 carried the Warith away, accompanied by armed escorts.



A security camera poised at a metal cage surrounded by a force field records as Sheppard enters the room outside it. The Wraith inside the cave bristles. "You again," he hisses. "Your kind is persistent."

"Yeah, well," Sheppard smirks. "We have all the time in the world. You? Not so much."

The Wraith reaches out for a gap in the cage only to run into the force field. "HIISS!" he snarls as he snatches his hand back.

"The Ancients were pretty good with shields, y'know," Sheppard smirks. "Personal version of one of those could tank some pretty heavy fire power."

The Wraith grunts.

"I give you a week, two tops, before you crack," Sheppard summarizes.

"You waste your time. I will tell you nothing of importance." The Wraith counters.

"I wonder what hurts more, actually," Sheppard muses. "The gunshot wounds Teyla gave you. The utter beating with a couple of broken branches that Teyla gave you. ...Or could it be the hunger?" Sheppard leans in, and says, "We'd love to help you out on that regard, but, ah, how did McKay put it?" There's a pause. The Wraith stares him down. "Oh, right. 'We can't meet your dietary requirements.'"

The Wraith snarls. "When I am free, you will be the first that I feed upon."

"Charmed, but I actually have two someones feeding off me on a regular basis," Sheppard counters back. "So pick someone else. I'm taken."

The Wraith snarls- but it's a confused snarl. "What??"

"Okay then," Sheppard grins. "I think I'll go make myself a sandwich."

"Impudence!" The Wraith decrees.

"No, I was thinking Tuna," Sheppard counters.

"You think you've won a victory by my capture? By bringing me here you've only hastened your own doom!" The Wraith growls. "It is only a matter of time before my kind comes to rescue me, and when they do, there will be nowhere in this universe that you can hide!"

"Awh, Stay positive now," Sheppard says with a mocking tone of sympathy, before turning to leave.

Chapter Text

The expedition is planned to last a few months while attempts are being made. Wife is going, I am not. I expect to see many videos and photos when she gets back.

I know I'll worry about her, but I'll try to be calm for the girls.



Are those Fae using the Mirror to explore worlds? Why? It makes little sense to me, but I can feel the repeated tremors in reality as they use it. Something is not quite right.

I feel on edge without her around. I fear something else has gone wrong.



I'm sure of it! Those Fae children are traversing mirror worlds!! We just had an incident where a herd of Horse-sized lizards with tiny arms, massive legs, and over-sized heads got loose and rampaged through Star City!

They ate a whole bunch of fruit from stalls!! That's what they did! And to say nothing of the parks worth of grass fields stripped bare!

People are calling them Guars.

Yes, that's cute, but what do we do with them now!?

Still no word from Wife.



Update: Overnight, the 'Guar' were rounded up mysteriously and vanished into thin air....

Still no word from Wife. Worry grows.



Wife has returned, her story in summary:

"Adventure, adventure, adventure. Giant monsters, giant plants, giant mountains."

"Earth" as the planet is being called is... very unsettling. If everything that's considered giant sized back on Alfheim were brought here? They'd barely reach to half the height of the things here on the nearest continent.

Even Yggdrasil, the great world tree, is but a sapling compared to the monstrosity of a tree they uncovered. It's tall enough that its upper branches brush the visible edges of the Magnetosphere above us.

If I did not have the video and photos, I would not believe it myself. There were Aincrad-castle sized fruits growing from its branches.

Massive. Utterly massive.

Truly, as my wife called it, deserving of the title of "The Great Tree."

This is the only one like this that we've discovered so far. It's sprouted up from beneath the surface of what appeared to be a desert at one point. It's at least ten thousand years old if not more.

There are people living in its uppermost branches.

She says they dared not approach just yet, and the people there seem incapable of flying.

The Aincrad council, My wife says, is voting we focus on repairs to the Castle and we leave the giant tree and its people alone.

Aincrad is far enough away that the curvature of the planet means we don't see the tree at distance, meaning they can't see us either...

What terrifying neighbors we have. To think we never knew what was growing beneath our very feet...


There are skeletal monsters on the 75th floor that are rampaging out into the 76th and 74th floors.

The floors in question are all being evacuated and their maintenance tunnels are being sealed off.

The higher floors above it are being evacuated as well- moved to lower and lower floors.

Wife has gone off to help investigate.

I fear I may be over-reacting if I lose her, and yet...

I cannot help but to be scared.



An "Incident" happened. I haven't heard from her in days and that's why. An "Incident" happened. But there are reports of so many dead or grievously injured and---

I'm scared for her, I'm so scared to the point I'm joining a team to go investigate and check for that last group of survivors.

The Fae I've been suspicious of have joined as well. I will put my suspicions aside for now and work with them to help find my wife.



Update: They have my old Journal!! I saw the one girl native to Aincrad who's working with them using the device I stored it on!

Trying to ignore the desire to steal it back from them.

I have more important things to deal with.



Update: Still no sign of Wife. Fae children have blatantly discarded their Faction Disguise illusions in aid of fighting against the skeletal monsters running rampant.

I won't tell them my ears and tail aren't from mutation yet. Not unless it comes to it. My stomach continues to churn with worry for my wife. Where is she? I must find her alive and escape similarly intact or else our Daughters will be parrentless!!



The Skull Reaper has set up home in the center most city of Floor 76.

He is massive. The city is in ruins.

How can we even stand a chance? No- a more important question is where the hell did something like this even come from? How is it alive? It's massive, it's metal and its bone and it has no organs to speak of. Is it a machine? Where was it made, if so?

My gut continues to churn with worry. Where is she? We should have found her by now.

I'm scared for her, I'm scared for us. How do we defeat such a thing??



We've found her backpack, bloodied, torn... and her lab coat. Oh by Yggdrasil, please let her still be alive, please let her be alive please let her be alivepleaseletherbealive!!!!!!!



We're retreating!? Just like that!? JUST LIKE THAT!?!?!

NO!

WE CAN'T

I REFUSE TO LEAVE WITHOUT HER



They left me behind. I have to search for her still.

Cowards. Cowards the lot of them!!!!



Castle Jumpers.

Of course.

What better way to destroy a giant monster with minimal risk of life?

Get out of its weapons range and blast it with drones.

The beast didn't stand a chance.

The rest of his bone-shaped minions have all colapsed without him.

Must Find Wife. Cannot give up hope.



SHE'S ALIVE!!!!!!

It's been days since we found eachother and got back down to Floor One. My darling wife was busy saving lives and dodging death.

I feel as if a great weight has lifted from my shoulders!!

Oh she's a lovely darling, my wife and- well. We'll see if there will soon be a third set of tiny feet running around out house in the near future.

Regardless... Wife told me that there was an experiment the Ancestors had left running. Nanomachines of a weird sort that... well. Needless to say they over bred and became that monster of a beast.

We've talked it over. I'm going to confront the Fae about who their master really is and--

Oh. There's been a knock at the door and it's not my daughter's friends to see her.



Update: They confronted me first. They're Astore's chosen. That's a relief.

What's not a relief is finding out that all the ripples in reality I've felt haven't been from the mirror itself, but bleed through from worlds they've visited. Worlds that Oberonn is searching like made for his youngest daughter.

We've agreed to keep her out of the loop for the time being.

Now? Now we're preparing for the worst case scenario. And I... I've got more spells to teach children besides my Daughter.

Life, as always, is a frantic roller coaster. I simply hope that the events to follow donot mark the end of more childhoods than strictly necessary.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 13TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 11/20/0004.

"You STOLE a ZPM!?" Your name is Elizabeth Weir, and you're frankly outraged.

"Not stole!" Mckay protests. "Replacing! Upgrading an old, nearly depleted one with one of our fully charged ones that we can't use!"

"You still took a ZPM from the ONLY shield generator protecting a PLANET FULL OF CHILDREN without asking!!" you remind him.

"And I'd be having it back online right now if you weren't holding me up!" Mckay says, gingerly holding one of the Expedition's ZPMs like a defensive shield. "So- Clocks ticking? Can I go now and make sure that nothing bad does happen??"

You run your hands through your hair. "Fine! Go! Replace it! But we are having a SERIOUS talk when you get back, Rodney."

And then he scampers off, leaving you, Keiko Ayano, and Mallek Adalov alone in the ZPM power room.

"Well?" You turn to them, "Was Rodney's little stunt worth it?"

"Well," Keiko says, turning around in her chair to look at Mallek, who nods. "I think so. Atlantis accepts the ZPM as valid."

"From what readings we've gotten," Mallek says, "The ZPM that was powering that shield generator was only going to last a hundred more years at most. Maybe two if they were lucky. For us? We'll have sustained shields for a few minutes."

"How many is a few?" You ask.

"Eeeh..." Mallek looks to Keiko.

She sighs. "Four Minutes and Thirteen Seconds."

"That's... not quite as useful to us," you say.

"What is useful," Keiko interjects, "is that at the very least, we now know for sure why the City wasn't accepting our ZPMs."

"Why, then?" You ask.

"In Layman's terms?" Keiko smiles meekly, "It's got the right identification key built into it."

"You're saying Atlantis will only accept ZPMs with a certain key?" you ask.

"It's specific particle frequency inherent to where the ZPM was manufactured and what machines made it and tuned it; A manufacturer's mark, to be exact," Mallek says. "Specifically, Atlantis only accepts ZPMs that were made here in Atlantis."

"That's..." you blink- processing that information. "Wait. Are you saying that Atlantis has the capability to MAKE its own ZPMs?"

"We're not sure where exactly yet," Mallek says, "But yeah, basically. Atlantis somewhere can make its own ZPMs."

"It's probably a security measure in case the Wraith got their hands on ZPMs from other sources," Keiko says. "If the Wraith got a ZPM and Atlantis, they likely couldn't use that ZPM to power the city again to start making more ZPMs."

"Can we make them then, with this four minutes of power?" You dare to ask.

Both Mallek and Keiko share a look, then simultaneously reply, "No."

"Not just because we don't know where they're manufactured at," Mallek explains, "but there's something else missing. The ZPM serves as a key, basically, but nothing else. The raw energy and power has to come from somewhere else and the City is complaining that that specific alternate power source is currently disconnected."

"Also likely done by the Ancients to keep the Wraith from getting control of the city, before they left," Keiko says.

"Why are we only just finding out about this?" you ask.

"The Ancients scrubbed the info from the common systems," Keiko answers. "Certain conditions had to be met before we could unlock the one server that contained the data, and even then..."

"We still don't know where it is," Mallek shrugs. "It's not listed on any map data that we've been able to find so far."

"So they hid it," you sigh. "Because of course they did."


 

You find your way back to your office just in time to watch a Jumper head back through the Gate. Mckay and Ford returning to the planet full of CHILDREN. Of all things...

You seriously hope that Sheppard can enact some sort of change there. It's all kinds of messed up; a Suicide pact to keep the wraith away...

You sit down and write up some paperwork in the mean time...

After a while, there's a knock at your door.

"Enter," you allow.

Argo Lalonde enters your office, closing the door behind her a moment later.

"Doctor Weir, can we talk?" She asks.

"Of course, Miss Lalonde," you nod. "Take a seat."

She does, sitting down across from you, looking nervous, and also, slightly annoyed.

"I..." She pauses. "I'm not sure where to begin."

"Doctor Beckett did advise me you'd mentioned coming to visit me soon about something important," you say. "So. I would say the beginning?"

The girl's cat ears twitch as she takes some deep breaths- you can see her wings flickering between unglowing and glowing.

"I'm pregnant," she announces, much to little surprise.

"I'd figured as much, honestly," you say. "And you're not the only one at this point. Some people think that just because we're in another galaxy means they can fool around without consequences. Maybe for the Alternians, that's true, but..." you shake your head. "At any rate. I suppose I should ask how far along you are?"

"Since January," she answers.

Let's see. It's now May... "Five months?" She nods. "And I suppose Major Sheppard and Major Jackson are aware of this?"

"They are," she nods again.

"I can appreciate you coming to tell me this, however, I have to ask... did you know for sure before agreeing to come to Atlantis?"

"We only knew for sure the day we departed from the SGC," she answers. "It was a bit late to back out at that point."

You want to feel angry, and at the same time.. You know you can't let that surface here.. "So let me understand this right... You're saying the three of you chose to come to Atlantis despite knowing how your condition was going to change things for you? That instead of settling down somewhere like Diaspora to raise a child in peace and relative quiet, you chose to come here to Pegasus Galaxy?"

"That's right," she nods. "We knew we had to be here. Jade's already saved us through time travel and John has a prophecy about him being here. Rose was coming regardless, so... I had to come.  We're a complete set."

You really have no response to that except...

"Alright. Why come to me now then?"

"...Because we'd decided we'd hid it from you for long enough and it wasn't fair to you to keep doing that. And I'd like to find some way to make it up to you."

"I see. I can appreciate that." You mull it over. "I could use an assistant. A secretary of sorts, even.  How would you feel about that?"

"I'd be honored, Ma'am," She nods. "Though... if I'm going to be working for you. One thing."

"And what's that?" You ask.

"Could you use gender neutral pronouns instead of feminine ones? I... didn't really know what to say sooner."

You blink, and review your own internal dialogue.

Huh. Okay then.

"I'll make the change then," you say. "You can have my apologies in advance if I slip up at some point. Please point it out if I screw up."

"Thank you," She- no- they say, nodding. "Then the only other thing I have to ask is: When can I start?"



Your name is Boldir Lamati, and the staring game you're having with the Wraith prisoner you've all started to call "STEVE" to annoy him.

He was right, he wasn't going to spill any intel to you guys.

The problem was the reason that was true was because he just flat out didn't KNOW anything.

He was so low down in the rankings that he'd been dispatched again and again to track down tracking signals without explicitly being told why he was supposed to be capturing the tagged targets ALIVE. Something ol' Steve was angry about.

...He also knew that the chances of him actually being rescued were zilch. He was just that low down the totem pole.

"You think staring at me will lead to me cracking and spilling my secrets?" He hisses. "Commanders such as I are well too trained for that, Alien."

His attempts to break into your mind were rebuked easily by your own inherent psychic resistance as an Olive Blood, but also bolstered by the Regent Fragment.

It was frustrating him to no end that he couldn't get inside your head, leading to much concern and confusion over just what kind of monster you were. Heh. Monster. First time you've ever heard an Alternian be called that by someone who had no idea about Alternia's former military might.

'How confident are they to send an alien child to interrogate me?'

Heh.

Hehehehe.

You start laughing.

"...What?" 'Steve' glares at you. "What is so amusing?"

"You think I'm a child?" You ask- unnerving the Wraith to no end. "Oh, no. Hahaha. No. Noooo. Hehehehahahah... I haven't been a child in years."

"How did you--?" He stares, eyes going wide. "Get Out of My head!!"

"Nah," you say.

["YOU WILL GET OUT OF MY HEAD!"] he tries some freaky psychic shit, but.

"Hmm. Compelling argument, but no."

"LEAVEEEEEE!! MEEEEE!!" He hisses, oh so very ANGRY.

"Nope."

"YOU- WHAT ARE YOU!?" The Wraith demands.

"I'm just your common, average pickpocket of secrets," you answer cheekily.

"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!" he cries out in torment.

You just laugh in amusement.



Your name is Tagora Gorjek, and you're busy writing up some potential trade contracts to offer with your potential trade partners here in Pegasus.

Look at you now, immigrated from another dimension and wheeling and dealing trade contracts to get food in trade for other things.

They're all basically dummy trade contracts for the moment. Samples to provide.

You're a little bored.

A lot tired.

And you've got a sore shoulder, too. You must've strained something, and all the contract writing wouldn't help matters either, if you were doing it by hand. But you're typing.

Typing is good.

Typing is easy.

You're still tired.

And a break from the work comes in the form of Tyzias Entykk knocking on your door and saying "You have to come see this."

And so you follow a parallel universe version of your classmate to the Gate room to watch as AR-1 returns from off world- everyone's smiling and grinning except for Mckay, who bares a face covered in paint and markings with a slightly annoyed, slightly smug 'Yeah, I got face painted. What's it to ya?' sort of look on his face.

"What happened to him?" You ask.

"Planet full of kids," Tyzias answers. "They decided to thank him for expanding the range of the EM-Bubble field protecting their villages from the Wraith by about five times."

"I see," you muse, mulling over it. "...Good for him I guess... Reminds me a bit of Alternia in concept, a little bit."

"Heh," Tyzias grins. "I'm sure they'll be huge fans of ours going forwards."

As if there'd be any doubt about that ever.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 28TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/06/0005.

Your name is Charun.

You like to make art.

That's really all you do, these days. Art art art art art.

You don't paint like Amisia did. You don't craft legal or scientific notions like Tyzias does.

You sculpt

You put together parts and junk and make models and sculptures.

Recently, you've taken to sculpting prototypes for a model shop on one of the settlement worlds. You make a giant thing, they scan it, and make a 3d model at a smaller scale- break it up into chunks and print them up then polish them up to get the lines out and then make molds of it all.

Then they make and sell miniature, build-able versions of your art.

It's oddly satisfying to see people putting up yard decorations you designed, or taking home boxes full of stuff you know will be made into your own artwork reborn.

Yes, life is good for you.

And then you're called into Okurii Leijon's office- well, called up to it. You don't get inside the danged thing before the General leads you out with a "Follow me."

She explains that the Quantum Mirror from that bronzed/metallized forest and temple world had been planned to be moved to a more secure location. It had been loaded onto a ship and was launched into hyperspace.

When it arrived at its undisclosed destination an hour behind schedule, the ship had been found to been raided mid flight, the crew subdued, and the Quantum Mirror stolen.
That begged the question of why you were brought in.

The answer, as it turned out, was on a security camera tape.

Lynera and Elwurd lead the charge of a crew made up of Carapacians and some renegade Clowns, plus a stray Mofang here or there. They'd come up to the mirror and begun cycling through worlds before a single image became settled upon. That was when a butt-load of Clowns came through the Mirror, looking like the world's most impressive clown car prank framed with a mirror.

There was one girl among that group who was not a clown, but instead a tiny, child-sized version of someone you once knew all too well.

"Amisia Erdehn.." You stare at the tiny, cowering girl riding the shoulders of a towering giantess of a Troll Woman.

She's the spitting image of the girl you knew back when you and Tyzias were so much younger.

"We matched the woman she's riding on the shoulder of to be a near identical match to someone Joey killed in the distant past," General Leijon tells you. "Chahut Maenad. As for the ringleader of the group, we aren't certain who he is. He's not wearing a sign on his clothing, and the only facial recognition match we're getting from the Empire's old records is to someone named Marvus Xoloto from about a hundred sweeps ago. He was still serving on the Destiny when Joey's group took it back in time and exiled Khepri."

"Huh," you blink. "Think it's the same guy?"

"Who knows at this point," she shakes her head. "Anyways, point is. We have Amisia."

"How?" You ask after a lengthy pause to process that.

"Long story short, looks like this version of Chahut was only working with the other clowns that came through to get off of whatever the hell was going on with Alternia in their timeline," General Leijon pauses. "She's currently in a medically induced coma due to her injuries."

"She fought the other clowns?" you ask.

"We don't know what happened, most of it seems to have taken place onboard the ship Elwurd and Lynera used to board the carrier, but all we know for sure is they re-boarded the carrier moments before the raiding vessel detached and jumped to hyperspace. Miss Maenad reinitialized the carrier's hyperdrive and the ship continued on its course. We found her struggling to stay conscious while keeping Amisia from panicing."

Damn.

That's heavy.

"And you want me to talk to her?" You ask.

"With Tyzias on Atlantis, you're the only troll we know who knows Amisia- or atleast, should have a general idea of how she thinks." General Leijon looks you in the eyes, and stresses, "She's young. I need to know if she's young enough to turn away from the course the her of OUR universe took."

And so you find yourself visiting a small bunkroom  on the Beltus.

And there's Amisia. She's so small, and what's odder still is her lack of paint apron. At that age, you remember her wearing it all the time.

"Are you the minder they sent to check on me?" She asks, looking up at you with zero recognition at all.

You nod. "Charun."

"Amisia," she greets in return.

Silence falls between you.

"...Do... do you know how Chahut's doing?" She asks. "Is she... is she okay?"

"She's in a medically induced coma while she heals," you say. "That's all they told me. Sorry."

"I..." She sniffs. "Okay. I..." Tears start bubbling in her eyes. "I..."

Oh boy.

"Why...?" She asks, before wailing out, "WHY DID THEY ATTACK US!?"

You sit down and pull the girl into a hug, letting her sob away.

"What happened?" you ask.

And so she explains through choked sobs and blubbering tears. Two heiresses had emerged in secret, and double teamed the Condesce- eliminating her and then launching the Empire into a massive civil war. Chahut had wanted Amisia to have no part in it, and so hedged her bets on a rumored mirror to other worlds.

They'd joined Marvus' group, found the mirror, and escaped into your world.

That's where they met Lynera and Elwurd, and Marvus tried to bargain... And he succeeded. Up until Elwurd got a clean look at Amisia on Chahut's shoulder and recognized her.

Chahut did not take Elwurd's demand that Amisia be left behind kindly, and Marvus decided to cut his losses and ordered his men to attack.

At that point, she stops being able to even form coherent sentences, and you tell her she doesn't have to tell you anymore. You've got the picture.


 

Tyzias..

Like the others, I don't know when you'll get this letter, but I'm flagging this as important so hopefully you'll read it first..

Another Amisia came through the mirror.. She's so small and tiny..

.. .. .. It's terrifying, Tyzias. She's so scared and so different- but still the same from what I remember..

.. .. .. .. I'm scared for her.. I know you'd sooner rather never see her face again.. but I think she needs support and friends.. Friends and support I'm not sure she can get here.. The girl who brought her here.. I heard the nurses talking.. They're not sure she's going to make it.. The clowns did a real number in on her, Tyzias.. She's.. If she survives, it'll be a miracle.. Pun not intended..

But if she dies? The first chance I get, I'll be taking Amisia to Atlantis.. I'm not sure I can keep her from falling back on old habits on my own..

..Charun..



"Classic version Model Kit Voltron, huh?" Tegiri asks as he sits down next to you on the porch of your own personal hive on Diaspora.

Your name is Polypa Goezee, and you smile as you hold up a completed Green Lion. "Yup! I figured since they came out with it, I might as well try it."

"Awesome," he says. "New hobby?"

"Yeah," you nod. "I figured since we beat English and Anubis to the curb, and I'm on leave as long as Joey and Mierfa are... I might as well indulge in some pass times that aren't blowing shit up or killing people with knives or... whatever. Plus, grub on the way, so... probably a good idea to dial back on the destructive tendencies for a little while."

"You? Not being destructive?" Tegiri laughs. "As if."

"...Okay, fineeee." You admit. "I'm totally going to scratch it to hell and back then paint it to make it look battle damaged."

"Now that's more like it," Tegiri smiles. "So... why Green first?"

"Because Green is the best, Duh!" You roll your eyes.

"Okay, okay, fair enough."



"So, wait. Let me get this straight," Your name is Callie Ohphee, and you feel extremely unnerved. "So first they steal some Mofang tech. Then they use it to steal an Ultrazord's worth of Naquadria. And NOW they've stolen a Quantum Mirror too?!"

Okurii nods from behind her desk. "Yes, that's exactly it."

"Let me just say, Fuck Lynera, Fuck Elwurd, and fuck whatever fucked up plans they've fucking cooked up," You massage at the bridge of your nose. "This is not good."

"So, what do we do about this?" Dammek asks, leaning forwards in his chair.

"I think the question we should be asking is what do they want with what they've stolen?" You ask instead. "Naquadria? A Mirror? Unknown amounts of Mofang tech? I can't figure out what they're planning for this. It makes zero sense."

"First thing that comes to my mind is a bomb," Dammek says. "Second thing is a rift generator to send said bomb through. Third thing is... well. Let's pray it's not that."

"Let's hope it's neither of the other things as well," Okurii says, then orders, "Go to the SGC, use their mirror, and track down the one we just had stolen out from under us."

You and Dammek stand up and nod in acceptance, "Yes, Ma'am."



WAAA WAAA! KAWOOOSH!

The connection to Earth established, you and Dammek wait for the all clear by Zebede that the Iris on the other end is open.

It's taking far too long to do such, you realize, and turn to look at him. "What's going on?"

"...Uh... They're not responding to the Iris code beyond a generic Iris is Raised, Do Not Proceede."

"That's not right," you say, heading over to the console to punch in your own Iris code. "...The hell?" No response. You take to the radio. "Beltus to SGC, please respond."

...Only silence is returned over the radio.

"The SGC isn't responding to radio either," you frown, and then send a specific signal code you put in place with Then-Major Carter incase of something like this happening.

...Impossibly, nothing returns.

"Oh, that's not good."

"What is it?" Dammek asks.

"I sent a specific file request to the SGC computers to check what the base status is, incase of a situation like this," you answer. "The computers failed to return any data."

"Which means what?" Zebede asks.

"Which means that the computer on the other end of the connection we're talking to isn't the SGC's," you answer.

"Then who the hell did we call?" Dammek asks, glancing at the Gate like you are.

"I have no idea," you frown. "Let's find out."

A simple drone is prepped- a button camera mounted to a small rubber ball- and you hurl it through the gate.

Much to your not-surprise, it makes it through unscathed, bouncing down stone steps before rolling to a halt under a table, getting a perfect view of the active Stargate. It's resting in a small, grey, stone room. It barely fits, even! There's a lot of equipment strewn about across tables and such.

"What was that?" Someone's voice asks.

"What was what?" A Goa'uld's voice asks.

"I swear I just heard the gate make a sound," First person says.

"It's active, of course the Chappa'ai would make noise," the Goa'uld says.

"No, but, like, something came through, but I didn't see anything," First person clarifies.

"Who dialed in?" the Goa'uld asks.

"Alternia." And with that, you and Dammek are rushing for the gate, Zats at the ready.

"Do we have the Iris controls yet?" The Goa'uld asks.

"No, I haven't managed to-"

SCHLORP!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

"-to the Iris co--OH MY--" PCH-ZYU! "-GYAAAAH!"

Dammek takes out the man who'd been talking, and you...

PCH-ZYU!

You take down one former Vice President Robert Kinsey.

You and Dammek take up position to look for anyone else who might barge into the room...

There's no-one else in here, and only one other door in besides the Stargate exists.

Dammek radios over, "Zebede, shut the connection down and then reconnect using the SGC's Alpha Site address as soon as the power source is recharged. Let them know we've made landfall."

"Roger, that. Good luck, Dammek, Callie," he radios back, and a moment later, the gate shuts down.

Somehow, you get the feeling today is going to be a very long day.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 28TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/06/0005.

Your name is Walter Harriman, and you're on the graveyard shift.

The galaxy has been in quite the... well... mostly quiet and peaceful state since the defeat of Anubis, Lord English, and the Replicators.

Ba'al and the remaining System Lords have been lying low, and the civilizations across the galaxy have been slowly started to rebuild themselves  with their newly earned freedom.

A technician yawns as he enters the room. God, now you want to yawn.

"What's going on?" The technician asks, sitting in the chair next to you.

"Not much," you answer.

"Man. I hate the graveyard shift. Nothing exciting ever happens on it anymore," the man laments.

"Just because its three A.M, here doesn't mean it's not day light on another world." You decide to toy with the man to fight off your impending yawn-fest. You lean forwards, "A team could be coming in hot any second now. Or we could suddenly receive contact from the Atlantis Expedition."

"That's true..." The Technician glances at the Gate, and you look to follow.

Then, you yawn.

Damn it.

"So, uh... coffee?" The technician asks.

"Yeah," you nod, and both of you meander over to the coffee pot.

"Can I ask you something?" The technician asks as you both pour out cups of coffee. "When it's late at night and there's not that many people around do you ever get the urge just take the gate for a spin and check out another planet, just for a few minutes?"

You squint at him as you turn back to face the Gate. "That'd be a hell no."

"I.. Uh..." Techy turns around with you to stare at the Gate. "Yeah, me either."

And then there's a flash of crimson light surrounding the Stargate along with an eerily familiar sound that distorts in a very wrong way.

PVVVVMMM-VARRROOOSH!!!

And then it's gone.

"Th... the gate's gone." The Technician points out the obvious.

"I can see that," you say.

"At least the alarms didn't go off."

And then the alarms go off.

"Oh you just HAD to jinx it!" You lament.

"Sorry..."


 

o<--STARGATE SG-1-->o


 

Your name is General Jack O'neill, and you massage at the bridge of your nose.

"So... Anubis' version of the Asgard beam tech?"

"Yup," Samantha Carter nods.

"And we're sure there were no cloaked ships in orbit?"

"As sure as we can be," she answers.

"...Do we know HOW?" you ask.

"We started picking up an anomalous reading around the Gate a couple nights ago after a routine maintenance pass, we just figured it was one of the super conductors we replaced causing it, but..." She shakes her head. "We think it was a transponder signal."

"We need to find out who placed it then," you sigh. "What teams are off world again?"

"...SG-5, SG-13, SG-3..." Carter pauses. "SG-1."

"Well. Shit."



"So I'm just saying, Jude and Cassandra share a house. Jonas needs a house that isn't on base, and I've got a spare room-" Cameron Mitchel was rambling as SG-1 walked through a field back to the Stargate after a successful mission to negotiate some trade deals with a village. "It's symmetry! SG-1's four team members split across two houses!"

Your name is Jude Harley and you crack a grin as Jonas says, "As much as I appreciate the offer, Mitchel, the last three places I've tried off base have had something go wrong within days. Let's face it. I've been cursed to stay on SGC base for the rest of time and there's nothing any of us can do about it."

"Trust me, Jonas, you're not cursed," you say. "It's just bad luck."

"And I think it's a good idea!" Cassie says, grabbing your hand and squeezing tight. "I've got no bad vibes at all about-" and then as the Gate comes into view, she stops so suddenly you're dragged to a halt by her hand squeezing even tighter around your hand.

"Cassie??" You ask.

"Okay, see?" Jonas says to Mitchel. "Even her vibes are picking up on how disastrous it'd be for me to move in."

"No," Cassie says. "Not that. I... I just felt like something weird is happening on Earth. I can't place what yet."

"Better head back then," Mitchel says, heading over to the DHD and punching in Earth's address.

"I... I don't know what's going on," Cassie says. "It's weird. it's like... someone's trying to do something bad but there's time to prevent it...? Yeah, that feels about right."

The gate refuses to connect on the seventh Chevron.

"That's not good," Jonas says.

"Try it again in a minute," Cassie says.

And so you wait, brainstorming reasons for why a connection couldn't be made. The chances are that it was the SGC dialing out were slim given that the SGC knew this was your scheduled return time.

Which means... an emergency connection from elsewhere?

"Try it now," Cassie suggests, and Mitchel punches the coordinates in...

This time, it locks.

WAA WAA! KAWOOOSH!

You take to the radio. "This is SG-1 to SGC, please respond."

Surprisingly, instead of Walter radioing back, you get Callie Ohphee radioing in return with a whisper.

"Jude?? Oh thank goodness. Hurry through the Gate we need help."

You look to Cassie, and she nods. "Best outcome if we go help."

Jonas nods to Mitchel, and he radios over, "Yeah, we're on our way through. Iris is down, right?"

"Yes, it is," Callie answers, and with that the four of you step through the Gate.

You arrive in a small stone room with only one door heading out, Callie stands guarding it, a Zat in hand. Nearby, being tied up to a large crate by Dammek is someone unfamiliar and---

"Kinsey!?" Mitchel asks, shocked. "Isn't he dead!?"

"Apparently less than we thought," Dammek answers, tightening a rope. "Dunno how, but I'm guessing it has something to do with how that-" he gestures at the Stargate as it shuts down, plunging the light levels in the room down to the barest of emergency lighting. "Got here from the SGC."

"Somewhere on Earth if the coordinates still work," Jonas says. "But where are we on Earth?"

"No idea," Callie says, "But the temperature's lowering fast with the Gate off."

"So somewhere cold then," Mitchel answers Jonas' question. "Let's make this fast, then."

Cassie orders a break up of the team. Jonas and her stay to guard the prisoners, and the rest of you search the facility.

It's some old cold-war styled bunker. Theres signs of old signage everywhere that's been painted over or removed. There's... something off about the atmosphere though. Something familiar. You feel as if you've been here before.

Its when you find a room storing a bunch of glowing blue bottles that you place it. The specific layout is...

"What is this stuff?"  Mitchel asks, ignoring you kneeling down and examining a place on the wall.

"Nerve Gas of some kind," Dammek guesses. "If I had to guess from the color, refined Tok'ra symbiote poison."

"Didn't that require two chemicals to be mixed?" Callie asks.

"...I was helping the SGC and Tok'ra develop a means to make it without mixing two separate mixtures," Dammek says. "But...  we stopped working on it when the Trust started digging their noses into it. I'll bet you Goa'uld Kinsey back there got his hands on the recipe and has been trying to make it work."

"And I know where we are," you say, getting to your feet. "This is an old Military bunker in Alaska my Pa visited once when I was a little kid during one of his adventures."

"How sure of you are that?" Mitchel asks.

"See that bit of the wall there? Pa carved his name into it when he was captured and held hostage here, just so people knew he'd been here if they killed him before he could escape," you say. "It's not just any military bunker either. It's one that doesn't officially exist. A Black Site."

"Of course the Trust would get there hands on THAT," Dammek gripes.

"At least we know where we are now, though," Callie says, "and knowing that is half the battle ahead of us."

"Whats the other half?" Mitchel asks.

"Safely securing this facility," Callie answers matter-of-factly.

"Oh, well, I thought besides that?" Mitchel offers.

"Ah. Then I suppose the other part would be to find a way to contact the SGC?"

"Now That's more like it!"

You can't help but smile at Mitchel's oddly placed enthusiasm.


 

Your name is Dammek.

This place gives you the chills the more you explore and that has nothing to do with how far north it is. Alaska? Was that what Jude said? Isn't it supposed to be WARM there this time of year?

You gotta be pretty far north if that's the case.

But that's not the only thing giving you chills. Half-assembled Short-range missiles. They wouldn't go far unless mounted to a plane... or sent through a Stargate.

It looks like all of this operation had been scooped up and hastily moved to here from somewhere else, given the presence of all the crates. You don't want to know what worlds the Trust were planning on sending these to.

It looks like they decided to risk stealing the Stargate before everything was fully assembled for some reason- probably due to the cold. You'll place good money on the temperature not being good for the Poison.

The Goa'uld inside Kinsey probably figured it'd be easier to relocate to another planet using the Stargate. This whole place is so cramped and tight quarters...

And the staff of Trust agents here are at about the bare minimum.

Over the last twenty minutes of searching this place, you've only come across three other people.

Finally, though, Cassandra gets a vibe, and directs you to a control room. With a hand signal to indicate where to shoot at, you all ready your Zats and charge the room.

A Rally of PCH-ZYUs rattles through the room and the greatest concentration of men you've encountered yet fall to the floor- a measly five people.

"Callie, Jude, get the radio working. Mitchel, you secure the room while I secure the prisoners," you order.

Nobody argues.

Good.


 

Your name is Cassandra Fraiser, and you smile as the first of your prisoners awakens.

The Goa'uld within Robert Kinsey flashes his eyes. "You should have killed me instead of capturing me. I will-"

"Have your revenge? Yeah, no, not happening. Heard the spiel already, probably will hear it a million times more-" you turn and grin at Jonas. "Hey! This is kind of fun! I see why General O'neill did it all the time!"

"Oh, yeah," Jonas says with a nod. "Nothing quite like a good spiel interupt with casual humor."

"And besides," you turn back to the Kinsey-Goa'uld without missing a beat. "Who's to say we're not just going to shove you through an opening Stargate the moment we're done interrogating you?"

"You wouldn't," The Goa'uld taunts back. "You are too weak to perform such an act with an unwilling prisoner."

"You'd think," Jonas says, "but we literally just came off of a huge mission involving shoving a giant mech and its pilot backwards through a Supergate into a Black Hole."

"Also," you add, looking the Goa'uld in the eyes and showing no fear. "Same mission? I navigated the debris field within the acretion disk of a black hole and escaped the pull of the singularity without a single scratch on my ship. The Ha'tak chasing us couldn't say the same. So. Just try me and see what I will or will not do to get the best outcome for my family and friends."

The snake has the dignity to swallow whatever words he has to say. Infact, he swallows his words so hard that the next ones that come out of his mouth are pure Robert Kinsey.

"What do you want to know?"

Perfect!

"What was your plan?" You ask.

"Steal the Stargate, escape to another world. Set up shop and launch missiles loaded with Symbiote Poison to Goa'uld controlled worlds," Kinsey answers. "Take over as rulers of the Galaxy in the aftermath."

You Tsk at him. "Now, Robert. Why would you want to do such a horrible thing?"

"Because we deserve it!" Kinsey hisses at you. "We're supposed to be God's chosen! We're meant to rule over all that He places infront of us! Our dominion is His given mandate! It's ours to take and to rule and to govern and NOBODY ELSES!"

...What an idiot.

"...Wow," Jonas breathes out. "What an idiot."

"My thoughts exactly," you agree, stepping away from the man. "God? You mean to say you think that a CAPITAL. G. GOD. Of all things is playing the cards to put you on top, Kinsey?" you glare at him. "If there is such a god, then he's a cruel one, Robert Kinsey. He's a god who'd let the Goa'uld exist in the first place. He's a god who'd let Anubis roam free. He's a god who'd let English come into existence at all."

"All trials and tribulations to beat," Kinsey boasts. "And we WILL beat them! The Trust and Nobody else!"

You can't help it.

You laugh.

Kinsey stares at you. "What's so FUNNY?!"

"...I reiterate," Jonas says. "What. An. idiot."

"The guy in the mech?" You laugh. "ENGLISH. DEAD. SPHAGETTIFIED." You stomp your foot. "ANUBIS! He went through it just minutes before! WOOSH! Gone! Sucked into a Black Hole!!" You crack a wide, mile long grin at the former Senator and former Vice President. It unnerves him greatly. "You've already lost, Kinsey. And you were so busy brooding and trying to set up your victory plan that you missed the finish line already being crossed! You have NOTHING left to prove. Nothing left to WIN. The System Lords are all in hiding. The Replicators are DEAD. The Tok'ra and Jaffa are rebuilding civilization and YOU? You'd throw a stone into a calm pond!" You take out a pocket knife and flick it open. "So... let's see what happens when you've got nowhere else to RUN!"

...The bastard's eyes roll up into the back of his head and he faints.

"...That was oddly underwhelming," you complain, folding the knife back up. "I thought for sure he'd scream like a baby."

"At least we've stopped the Trust from whatever they were planning on doing," Jonas says. "It's still a win."


 

"General O'neill!"

Your name is Jack O'neill, and you jump to attention from your desk as Walter knocks rapidly on your door.

"Yeah- what is it?" You ask.

"We're receiving a radio transmission from SG-1," Walter answers.

"From Where!?" You ask, incredulous. But if anyone would pull it off...?

"Alaska, Sir."

"...Why is it ALWAYS the cold places?" You lament, heading for the control room.

At least it's not Antarctica this time.

You relay through Prometheus, and within a few short minutes, the Stargate has been returned to its rightful place in Level 28 of the SGC. The successful re-arrest of Robert Kinsey is just icing on the cake.

...You're going to have Carter install signal jammers ASAP to keep anyone else from ever stealing the Stargate again.


 

"Annnd that's a fail to establish a visual with the Alternia Galaxy Mirror," Silica reports with a sigh.

Your name is Callie Ohphee, and you frown at the static displaying on the Mirror before you.

Shit.

Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.

That there's an active connection enough to get static means they've only taken apart the Mirror apart to a level that the visual connection- the mirror portion itself- is no longer working. But the rest of it? There's static. They've got the rest of it intact.

"They're experimenting with the Mirror," you say aloud.

"Fast at it, too," Silica agrees. "I have no idea what those people are doing, but... Naquadria? A Mirror? Mofang Tech?" She shakes her head. "It's dangerous. It's sounding a lot like they're trying to build a rift generator like Oberonn and English were using."

"Or worse," you offer, "A Ship that can travel between universes."

"Yeah... there's that too." Silica frowns.


 

Robert Kinsey was beamed into a secure holding cell in a hospital's examination room- bound and sedated and lying flat on the bed of the MRI scanner. All safety and security protocols were being followed and checked by the doctor running the operations from the control room next door...

Unfortunately, he paused in that moment to notice the slight trail of blood trailing from the former Senator and Vice President's mouth.

Alarms would be sounded, scans would be taken, footage would be reviewed, and Cassandra and Jonas were checked for possession- and were cleared.

Nobody could tell where the Symbiote had gone. It had simply left Kinsey behind in the dust and vanished into the ether.

Chapter Text

"Thank you for speaking with me, Lantash. Your host is... ah, just as evasive as the man he was cloned from when it comes to giving interviews."

"Yes, I know. It's a sentiment I can agree with, most of the time. However, I know that we can't avoid it for too long, given... well. It's a huge city, but it's still one city."

"Indeed. So. Lantash of the Tok'ra. Tell us a bit about your life here in the City. How does it differ from life as a Tok'ra agent, and different from living a quiet civilian life in the Alternia galaxy?"

"It's refreshing, and also terrifying. Even with our place on the lake back on Diaspora, we've built some underground areas. Old habits dying hard, and such. Being here on the ocean is... it's very different."

"I've heard similar sentiments from the Alternians."

"Yes, as have I. Jolinar loves it, though. She's always been more of a lover of the surface than the underground. I'm coming around to that view as well. It's nice not having to hide."

"I can get behind that view point."

"Mmh. Beyond that... I echo O'neill's feelings that it's nice to not be directly in-charge of the fate of everyone and everything on a planet. There are other people doing that job now and... It's refreshing just to let someone else make those decisions."

"What are you and the Tok'ra expecting out of the Atlantis expedition, long term?"

"Personally, answers. There's been some theorizing among the Tok'ra over the years that it's... concerningly likely that some branch of the Ancients caused the Goa'uld to become what they are. This was a theory... not quite confirmed but pushed when the SGC uncovered a world where Primordial Goa'uld existed without Naquadah within their bloodstreams and seemed to have lesser intelligence."

"And what would you do with this information if it proved to be true?"

"I'm not certain, really. I'd just... like to know the truth. Were the precursors of life in Milky Way behind the chaos of the last several thousand years? If so, why?"

"I see."

"Beyond that, I'm just along for the ride to see what we can discover about the Ancients."

"Aren't we all?"

"Yeah. I think we are..."

"Okay. Next question. Just what is up with the fishing rod you've got on hand?"

"Aha. That's Jimmyy's desire for always being fishing melding with Roxy Lalonde's ability to generate random objects from thin air. It's got some funky forehead sticking properties they're researching. Maybe we can turn them against the Wraith or something."

"Speaking of... what are your thoughts on the Wraith?"

"They deserve to all die in a fire. Preferably a super nova-ing sun."

"I think we can all agree on that as well."

"Yes. Definitely. Absolutely."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 29TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/07/0005.

Your name is Daniel Jackson, and you're finally gotten everything settled into place to head back to the future. It's only a few months away, really, but...

Future is as future does. It's still just ahead of you.

Except for the stuff that's already happened. Like the Storm. Like the Genii. Like...

Like a gunshot in the dark you can't do anything else about. And that's even with the Siege lying ahead of you...

You head back to P4X-639 expecting things to be much the same as when you left it.

...You weren't expecting there to be TWO Time Jumpers and an Ancient Scientist hurriedly manufacturing a set of stone tablets off of reference photos.

"...What's going on?" You ask your daughter as she meanders over towards you.

"Oh, Janus is hurriedly manufacturing tablets that he was hired to 'translate,'" Jade answers. "He signed about half of them, apparently. And they're just gibberish. Untranslatable because there's no actual translation."

"...He did, did he?" you stare at Janus, remembering... Well. you remember a lot that you didn't before after your recent Ascension and return to the mortal realm. "What about the other half?"

"Unknown signer," Jade answers, a little sadly. "There's talk about vast treasures and all sorts of important stuff. One of them talks about the Ori, actually, and a weapon to defeat them. Bit late for that, though, isn't it?"

Right. If that's what you think it is... but what is it you think it is, exactly? Something's changed...

"...Out of curiosity, who hired him to translate the tablets?" You ask.

"Someone named Vala," Jade says.

Vala.

Vala.

Vala.

Vala Mal Doran.

And then you REMEMBER.

"Shit," you say, "I think I was the one who originally gave her those tablets."

"What? Why?" Jade asks.

"Because I was being a coy bastard who thought he was being especially clever," you answer with a groan. "Hans Olo. What a fucking. Stupid. Alias. What was I thinking?"

"You probably weren't," Jade giggles. "Anyways. We've got the Jumper working again so we're ready to head back."

"Working 'Again'?" You ask.

"Oh, well, there was some problems with the engine not working and then we short circuited some stuff and..." Jade sighs. "Long story short we were actually waiting along the ride for just about as long as you have."

"But it's safe now, right?" you ask. "We're not going to wind up in the Triassic era or something?"

"No, we're good to go," Jade smiles.

"Alright then..." You pause, and look at the two Time Jumpers- nearly identical from behind. "Which one's ours?"

"This one," Jade leads you to the one on the right.

In the front end of the Jumper, John and Boldir are talking over something regarding a mission report- and Mckay is checking on the Jumper's back-end circuits.

"So. We're all set, right?" You ask, as Jade heads up front to rejoin that conversation.

"Yep," Mckay says. "We're all set. Janus' fixes are in place and everything else is intact. We're all charged up and ready to head back to the future."

"Good," you say. "I was not looking forwards to taking the long way back."

"None of us were, really," Mckay says. "To be honest, I've been missing the simplicity of Pegasus during this trip."

"Same," you answer, taking your bag and settling it down on the floor.

"So, just out of curiosity, was there a ZPM to find anywhere?" Mckay asks.

"Yep," you say, sitting down in one of the seats in the back. "The one Joey's group helped secure back in Giza."

"Huh. Good to know," Mckay shakes his head, and then collapses the exposed tray of crystals back into the ceiling.

You close your eyes, and doze off during the wait for take off.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: MAY 28TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/05/0004.

Your name is Doctor Elizabeth Weir, and you feel a grim pit in your stomach as the address for a planet called HOFF is locked out of the dialing computer.

This did not go as planned.

This did not go as planned at all.

Doctor Beckett had helped their scientists create a drug which would kill the Wraith should they attempt to feed on a human who had consumed it. A great idea, except that it had a fifty percent mortality rate, discovered only after one human trial and the drug had started to be handed out.

Just slightly over ninety percent of the planet's population was fine with that risk. A fifty fifty split of death and... And beyond that, there were the concerns that the Wraith would discover their inability to feed on a group of people and just wipe out the civilization entirely.

They didn't care about that risk either. And then they dared assume that the rest of the Galaxy would be fine with that? Worse, asking Atlatnis to become the main distributor of it??

While ignoring all attempts at negotiating to reduce the mortality rate even further???

And Carson was sure there were other things that he'd missed because of it. A genetic cause perhaps, or even...

It doesn't matter now.

They'd started a planet wide inoculation plan before talks could ever be finished.

They didn't care for the fact that the deaths were slow and painful and...

The didn't even care that the Wraith Testsubject you'd provided- "Steve"- had loudly proclaimed them fools for it in his dying breaths.

"The hives will all come for their preferred feeding grounds before regrouping," he had threatened, bluffing out the most likely scenario that Boldir had already pulled from his head days ago. "Then they will destroy everything- including Atlantis!!"

It was highly likely the Wraith, if they were at this stage of awakening, were going to come for Atlantis sooner or later.

You need to be prepared.



You summon just about every major player in the City. Sheppard's team, Ayano's team, Carter, O'neill, Doctor Beckett, and Doctor Jackson. Jade Jackson, Argo and Rose Lalonde... Plus yourself. That's just about everyone who can fit inside the conference room at maximum capacity.

You nod to your Secretary, Argo, who turns on a tape recorder even as you seal the doors to the room.

"I think we're all in agreement here that we are royaly screwed?" Mckay starts the meeting before you can say anything, using the closed door as his cue to speak. "Prometheus should have been here already, even with delays. Let's face it: Something went wrong on the Milky Way side of things."

"Yes, thank you, Rodney," Entykk gripes. "We're well aware that something's happened to keep them from showing up, but that's being a bit presumptuous, don't you think?"

"Last I was aware, Milky Way had Ba'al, Replicators, and Lord English dueling for supremacy," Mckay says. "Plus the possibility that we didn't completely annihilate Anubis with the weapons platform does exist too!"

"Hey!" Ayano protests. "I threw a whole stream of Drones right in his fucking face! He's Dead!"

"Besides," Jade says, "It's entirely possible that the ship got hijacked by some pirates, or the engines stalled in the middle of the void between galaxies, or- Whatever!"

"Personally," Doctor Jackson remarks, "I'm placing my bet on pirates."

"Pirates," O'neill agrees.

"Definitely pirates," Carter also agrees.

"Whatever the reason is," you interject, "We can't count on reinforcements from Earth showing up any time soon and we'll need to plan accordingly. Our food reserves are nearing depletion, and the farming on the mainland won't produce crops for another few months. So. Options?"

"I know of a few worlds whose harvest cycles should be starting soon," Teyla begins. "One group of people, the Genii, are farmers who we've observed to have produced a vast amount of crops well beyond their means of consuming. The Athosians have had many successful trades with them in the past."

"I'm game for a little diplomacy," Rose Lalonde speaks up.

"We'll schedule a mission for that and whatever other worlds Teyla thinks is best later this week," you say.

"I want to scour the Ancient Database for weapons or defenses," Carter voices. "We need to see if there's anything local to this system, or adjacent ones. If the Wraith are going to come to attack us, we need to be prepared. The only problem is my Ancient isn't that fluent."

"I can help with  that," Doctor Jackson says.

"Thanks," Carter nods.

"Good," you say. "Anyone else?"

"Tyzias and I have been designing a workaround for the Gate problem," Adalov says.

"We think that there should be a control crystal in the DHD that overrides the Seventh Chevron hard limit," Entykk says. "But we'll need some materials we didn't bring with us to make it."

"Lantash and I can lead a team to look for that," O'neill says.

"Just, fair warning," Adalov says, "it might be a one shot connection and could potentially fry out after a few seconds."

"Either way, get on that," you decide. "At the very least we need to send a macro burst of information to Earth letting them know what we've seen and done here."

Mckay opens his mouth.

You interject- "Whether or not Earth is still around or not, we need to send heads up."

He closes it, seemingly satisfied.

Good.

"Any more suggestions or ideas?" you ask.

"We should also look for an Alpha or Beta site," Jonjet says. "If we're forced to destroy Atlantis, we'll need to relocate somewhere else, permanently."

"Right," you nod. "Is there anything else?"

Nobody says anything, and Sheppard says, "I think that about covers everything."

"Alright then," you nod. "Let's get on it. Meeting dismissed."

Chapter Text

"Hey, Keiko, can I talk with you about something?"

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you turn to look to your left as Jade Jackson falls into step next to you as you both exit the conference room.

"Uh, sure," you smile. "What about?"

"It's, um, something that's been bugging me for a while," she says, a bit nervously. "If you're not angry with me asking, um... how did you get those scars on your stomach and chest?"

You take a steeling breath.

Right.

"Well, I already told Mallek, so, I guess... I've already got it all out once, what's another time?" You look around, then say. "Somewhere private though."

"Argo and John are coordinating with the others about the Alpha Site projects, so..." Jade grins. "Our room sound good?"

You nod.

Jade leads you through the halls to a more upscale housing section of Atlantis. Larger rooms and such when compared to your rather tiny apartment sized room near the pool. And really, it's a whole different section of the city as well.

The room she's sharing with John and Argo is technically one room with small waist-sized walls blocking it off into three obvious sections. A small kitchen, presently being used for box storage; a moderately sized living room, home to a large sofa; and a bedroom filled to the brim with suitcases of clothing and a couple of beds shoved together.

Jade settles you down at the couch and quickly fetches some glasses from a box that she fills with water.

You get one painted up with bird feathers, she takes one with dog-paw prints.

"So..." She begins. "I guess I should rephrase my question better. Um. So... Touya said that- uh- something along the lines of him helping me through the werewolf stuff was the first time he did that?"

"...Right," you nod. "Silica and Minori said something similar."

"And Touya said to John he could turn him into a wolf, which means that the Lycanthropy that turned him could also be transferred to a human, right?"

You nod again. "I think I see where you're going with this."

"...Right, so..." Jade hesitates, and you inhale, and hold your breath. "I... if I'm not guessing wrong, a Werewolf from Alfheim attacked you?"

And there it is.

You exhale. "Yeah. Sort of. That's pretty much it, I guess..."

"What happened?" Jade asks.

"...It was actually just before the time I ended up seeing Jude and Cassandra through the mirror for the first time," you explain. "I... I got really upset with my sister over something stupid and I went to the Mirror lab to cool off. Except... Well, Silica accidentally got me even more mad."



YEARS IN THE PAST, IN A PARALLEL WORLD, BUT LESS A YEAR AND SOME CHANGE...

THAT IS TO SAY, JANUARY OF 1997, OF THE EARTH WE KNEW WELL.



"Y-You and Minori!? Since when the hell are you two k- Kii-"

"Kissing?" You cat eared duplicate asks, surprisingly innocently as she re-affixes her hair ties into her twin tailed fashion.

"YES! THAT!" your name is Keiko Ayano, and...

You Did Not Need To See That Today.

You glance at a mirror so as to not look anywhere else and take in your own reflection.

You're fourteen or so years old, not that you look it. Your aging has basically halted to a dramatically slow pace after you got bit by that Visorak. Everyone else except for the Fae have... well, they're growing. They're growing and growing at a pace fast outstripping yours.

Outstripping? UGH. PHRASING!! First your stupid sister and her boyfriend, now Silica and Minori???

At least Touya wasn't in on it too. You're not sure you could have survived the shock to your system if THAT happened... the three of them together??

It's less the idea of three people hooking up that's grossing you out, and more the idea of Minori and Touya together before even adding in a mirror-verse duplicate of yourself. And the less said about how the faction change between Fae races changes their genetic structure the better. You could really have done to live without the knowledge that Touya's DNA looks nothing like Minori's anymore. No. You really don't want to go down that road, imagination!!!

"I should go so you two can talk this out," Minori says, walking behind you and casting her own reflection in the mirror. "I get the feeling things are going to be really awkward if you don't-"

"NO!" You say, "It's fine! Stay! Keep squishing your faces together and- and- just ignore me! Forget that I was even here!"

Pina curls up around your neck as you hurriedly spin around, and storm into the room that houses the World Mirror.

"Keiko-" Silica tries to grab at your shoulder but instinct has you dodge it out of her grasp. "Wait-!!"

You slam the door behind you and hastily throw the multitude of locks on.

You're sure Silica will have them open soon enough given that the heftiest locks of all are on the outside, but that's besides the point.

You grab the mirror remote, flick the damned thing on, and traverse through to whatever world you had it on last.

Safely on the other side, you find the matching remote on a workbench, scramble the destination, and huff through the mirror again. Pina squaks in annoyance as you then repeat the process a few more times.

"This isn't helping!" She's clearly trying to tell you but-

DAMN IT ALL.

YOU NEED YOUR PRIVACY!!!

You need to- Not- Be- Fuuuu---

FRRR...

FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!

You throw yourself through another mirror. FWASH!

You can't even rant with internal dialogue without being reminded of the simple fact that you just walked in on Shiori and Kazuto fucking like rabbits because they "FORGOT" to lock the bathroom door!! And then you try to escape and blanch the thought from your mind only to stumble on Minori and Silica making out!!? Thus FURTHER RUBBING IT IN that you are NEVER going to get a boyfriend ever at this rate even if, miraculously, you somehow started ageing at a normal rate again!?

You're FOREVER going to be stuck years behind your peers in appearance- maybe worse!!!

Keiko the forever-twelve-year-old! Oh, sure, there's probably going to be plenty of weirdos out there who are into that, but you're sure as hell not!! And neither- Neither are the boys in your Class. Everyone's looking at you with pity now, or humor, or---

You Don't want to even THINK about it.

You--

You stop as you realize you can't find a remote on this side of things.

"...Well... shit," you sigh. You guess you've ran as far as you can on this track. Might as well stay put.

Pina huffs in annoyance.




BACK TO THE FUTURE...

THAT IS TO SAY, EARTH DATE: MAY 28TH, 2001.



"I set up camp and stayed put for a few days," you continue on. "That place was weird. Like, it was allways overcast with an orange light even though the sky was deep, night time blue, and there was never any sun in the sky. Just stars everywhere. The plants were neon blue or orange, and... it was just weird!! But in a good way."

"So... did anyone come looking for you?" Jade asks.

"Yeah, Silica told me later she panicked after she found I was gone and they all searched the world that Mirror was connected to," you say. "They didn't find me, of course."

"Yeah, you basically did what Callie did," Jade nods. "Ran through gate after gate, scrambling locations..."

"She told me about that once," you say. "I.. didn't say anything about it. I thought... well, it felt like I was just making light of her own troubles at the time." You shake your head. "Anyways. I... I grew complacent. I Stopped keeping watch of my surroundings and I let my guard down when I went to take a shower in a waterfall... I got ambushed by a nasty looking werewolf. Most of the marks on my back are from them. But the one that got me on my stomach..." You lift your shirt up to show those specific marks along your stomach. "I almost died right there. If someone else didn't save me." You let the shirt fall back down over your stomach.

"Someone else?" Jade asks, frowning.

"Believe it or not, the same Fae wolf who turned Touya," you smile. "She smelled his scent on me, faintly, from just us hanging out in proximity for a few months, you know? Really powerful nose. Started tracking me down the minute I arrived in that world."

"Did we ever meet her?" Jade asks.

"No," you shake your head. "She likes her solitude, and she spends most of her time on Alfheim these days. Maybe some day we'll introduce each other."

"Maybe," she nods. "So... she saved you?"

"Yup, cast a whole bunch of healing spells," you smile, grimly. "Unfortunately, the wolf who attacked me liked to poison their claws. A mild hindrance to werewolves in that world, something deadly to anything not. I was going to die even with all that healing... But atleast I was consious enough to have her ask me if she could turn me. Save me from it. So I let her."

You pull back your left shoulder on your jacket and shirt to show the line of marks starting beyond the Visorak bite scars. "These ones are hers."

"So why did her claws turn you but the other one didn't?" Jade asks, her own wolf ears sprouting at will and whim to position themselves into a confused stance.

"Different worlds, different rules," you answer simply. "Cu Sidhe turn with claws and teeth. Whatever that jerk was who attacked me worked off of blood consumption. As in, you had to drink their blood like a vampire. Bleh."

"Huh." Jade blinks. "That's weird."

"Says the girl who was born a werewolf and didn't know it," you point out.

"Okay, okay, fair point," Jade relents, ears flattening. "But... if a Fae turned you, why don't you have ears and a tail visible all the time like Touya does?"

"That's just a matter of species," you answer. "Fae bodies display a whole wide range of visible differences depending on their Faction. The wolf ears and tail for a Cu Sidhe are perma-displayed cause of that. Humans? Hah. It ended up working differently. I can't do that on-a-whim transforming thing you can. Alfheim? Sure. But not here, or on my world."

Jade blinks, and reaches up to feel at her wolf ears. "Seriously? Why not?"

"The key difference between our versions of it is Magic," you say. "Alfheim and that world I was on? Saturated with it to the point you're breathing it in and breathing it out every second of every day. It's not quite as abundant in this universe or in mine- which makes sense given mine's a branch off of this world."



BACK TO THE PAST...

NO SAMURAIS OR JACKS HERE...


A whirl of scents and sensations- prime among them pain- swirls through your mind as you come back to the land of the conscious.

Sunlight streams through a curtain of vines into your face, and you squint upwards, realizing they're suspended by a rough cave shape of rocks that looks way too artificially shaped to be natural.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you realize you're lying flat on your back in a bed of hay beneath a rough hide blanket.

You try to move, only for a surge of pain to run across your whole everything.

Eh.

It's not that bad compared to the Visorak Venom, really.

You slowly sit up, pulling yourself out of the tarp and- Oh. You're wearing some kind of night dress. That's nice.

And with a KYUII, Pina then soars into the cave and lands on your lap, looking up at you with concern in her crimson eyes.

"Hey, Pina," you smile, and give her a small scratch behind her ears.

Your ears pick up the sound of ground crunching and your nose picks up the scent of someone familiar.

You turn on a dime- reacting a bit too fast for your muscles to NOT complain about it.

"Oh! You're up," greets a purple haired, crimson eyed wolf girl wearing a similar dress to the one you are. "I wasn't expecting you up so soon."

"It's not the worst pain I've ever felt... uh..." you draw a blank on her name. "Sorry, what was your name again?"

"Yuuki," the girl says, sitting down across from you. "I didn't quite catch your name either, actually, in all the rush."

"It's Keiko," you say.

"Keiko, huh?" She offers a hand. "Nice to meet you."

"It's nice to meet you too, Miss Yuuki."

"Just Yuuki, please," she smiles. "So... How much do you remember from the other night?"

"The other night?" You ask, frowning.

"It's been three days," she answers.

"Ah..." you frown. "Well. I remember being in the waterfall, and I got jumped... and you saved me?"

"Right, because you smelled faintly of someone I turned, once," Yuuki frowns. "Does the name Touya ring a bell?"

You nod. "Yeah. Minori's his sister? They hang out with a girl who looks sort of like me except, cat-ears and tail?"

"Huh..." Yuuki smiles. "I'm glad they reunited after all that."

You're tempted to ask what happened, but you're not even sure to what "what" you're referring to, and it'd probably be rather awkward for conversation.

"So... how did you get here?" You ask instead.

"Ah, well, that's a long story," She closes her eyes, and you can watch her wolf ears twitch. "Basically, the long and short of it is, I stumbled on an experiment the King's men were performing near where I'd made myself home. They tore open a rift and I fell through, winding up here."

"Yikes," you blink. "That sounds... eerily similar to what we've been dealing with in other worlds."

"Other worlds?" Yuuki blinks, sitting to attention. "Now I've gotta ask you. How did YOU get here?"

"It's embarrassing but... uh... I got mad and ran away from home through a Mirror that teleports to other worlds."

"And there's a mirror on this world that let you here?" She gets rather uncomfortably close... but there's hope in her eyes.

"Yeah," you nod.

"Take me back with you- where-ever you came from!" She begs, pleading. "I hate it here!!"

"...Sure. But, um... One question."

"Sure!"

"Where is 'here,' exactly, anyways?" You ask.

"...Right," Her ears fall to the side. "This is the Hunting Grounds. It's where people come to hunt for eternity, if that's what they want."

She gives you the pitch- this place is a pocket dimension to a larger universe, one you suspect your team visited in the last few months, somewhere along the line. Probably the one with the Guars. When the people who worship this deity who runs this place die, they come here for a very long time. A vast majority of them are Werewolves, or other were-type creatures. Others... rarely, are adventurers who come for the challenge... and stay because the hunt called out to them.

And in this world... the hunt's endless nature has more to do with the fact that people who die here stay here and keep coming back. And back. And again and again and again.

You really don't want that at all. No. Not at all.



It was a long, few days walk back to the small temple that housed the mirror, on two feet, that is. On all fours running at speed, chasing down your own scent trail? Much faster. Less than a day, at that.

It barely took all of a minute to locate the place where you'd hidden your gear near that waterfall that had kicked off this entire mess. After that, you found the cave and went through the mirror and-

You could feel the difference as you went from wolf form to human again.

This world was missing SOMETHING. You felt like you were choking going from such a highly saturated environment to one without any.

Yuuki explained it as a lack of magic saturation.

You push past it, grab the remote, and start fiddling with the settings to try to find the path you took to get here... Or, at least, any world you recognize.

Unfortunately, after about two hours of searching,  all you see is the unfamiliar.

...So, you make a sign, asking if someone has seen a cat-eared version of you elsewhere. Silica's almost certainly been trying to find you.

Another hour into your continued random dialing of the mirror, you hit pay dirt.

A bunch of people waiting on the other side of the mirror for someone or something to come through. The boy in glasses recognizes you.

You hold up your sign.

He makes his own, telling you how many clicks back it was that he'd seen Silica.

On a hunch, you shut down the connection, and wait. Instead of reaching out to other worlds, you're sure she'll connect through soon. Soon. SOON.

About a minute later, Silica appears infront of you, and relief fills her eyes.

You and Yuuki head through the mirror, and you're immediately tackle-hugged by your dimensional twin. Ow. You wince at the pain flaring up through the new scars you'd gotten.

"Don't you DARE do that again!" She hisses in a really upset tone of voice. "Do you know how dangerous that kind of stunt is!?"

"Yeah... I know." you hug her back.

"Woah," And then Touya speaks up as he enters the room. "You found Keiko! Awesome!" And then- "Wait. Yuuki!?"

"Oh, hey Touya!" Yuuki's grin is just about audible. "Fancy meeting you here!"

And then Silica breaks the hug, notices Yuuki, looks to you, and then asks, "What the hell have you been up to!?"

"That's a long story," you answer, and prepare to tell the story over from the start for the first time...



AND ONCE MORE BACK TO THE FUTURE.

...STILL NO SAUMRAIS, BUT THERE IS A JACK-CLONE...



"A little while after that, Silica and I decided to reach out to Earth to thank Jude for helping us get together," you answer. "The rest is sort of history."

"Huh," Jade stares up at the ceiling for a moment. "To think that a coincidence like that lead to all of this?"

"Yeah," you laugh. "I definitely had no idea that a city from my past was lying in my future."

"Well, I don't think I ever expected to be living my own future in the past, and changing the timeline at all," Jade smiles, a little sadly. "I'm glad it all worked out, but... I hate that I had to live in that timeline to begin with."

"Yeah, the Aschen suck," you agree.

Jade smiles. "So, ah... should we go get lunch or dinner, or...?"

"Hm... Yeah, that sounds good. I'm a bit hungry, actually." You smile.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 1ST, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/10/0004.

Your name is JADE JACKSON, and you feel unnerved.

These people Teyla knows- the GENII (Gen-Aye as far as pronunciation goes) are supposedly simple farmers.

And yet...

You sense a LOT stuff you shouldn't be sensing for a simple farm world. LOTS of high energy leaking up from underground,, for starters, that you've been sensing since the moment you stepped through the Gate. And beyond that you're quite certain you can smell the smells of metalworking emanating from underground. It's just leaking up from beneath the surface.

Teyla and Ford are too busy negotiating for food for either of them to notice your distress.

You wish John was here but he's off on another world doing more negotiation stuff. Also, keeping an eye on Bates who is "slowly" re-earning the trust he'd burned by being a Trust agent. He'd made some major progress on that front by getting the other Trust agents he knew about on Atlantis' side as well, but...

Well, there's now a major rift in the city's dynamics at this point.

Still, besides the point.

The Genii man negotiating with Teyla and Ford- TYRUS- is speaking about potentially using C-4 to clear tree stumps and WAIT A MINUTE when did C-4 become a thing on the negotiating table??

As Ford starts to prepare a demonstration, you grab Teyla aside to a private area and ask her, "Hey, so.... these Genii people are farmers, right?"

"They are, yes." Teyla nods.

"Any idea why I'd be sensing a huge amount of energy beneath our feet?" You ask.

"Through your powers?" Teyla asks. "But I thought your abilities weren't strongly attuned to-?"

"They Aren't," you confirm. "That's why I'm freaking out a little. How strong of a power source does this have to be if I'm able to sense it from all the way up here with powers that aren't focused on that sort of thing?"

A C-4 explosion clears a tree stump, and you head back to Atlantis to deliver the "Good" news.

Weir isn't happy at all.

"Explosives!? This is a scientific expedition, Lieutenant! We are not arms dealers!" She rants and raves and Ford tries to talk her through the benefits of it and... NGH. This sucks this sucks this sucks.

You make sure to grab a scanner device from a Jumper on the way back to the Genii home world, and ask Rose to come through with you- cloaked in that half-out of phase with reality way she's able to do in her human form.

On the way back to the village from the Gate, you double check and...

Oh.

Oh what the fuck.

Radiation readings in what's supposed to be the local equivalent of an Amish village. That's definitely not right at all.

You have Teyla and Ford return to the village while you sneak off and investigate. Distract them and all that. You've got a bad feeling about all of this.

You trace the radiation readings to a barn with a metal hatch hidden beneath a hay pile. It's a very well oiled hatch. It doesn't even creak as you open it.

Down down down you go, and what you find...

What you find is a massive civilization hidden underground. There are waterfalls and a lot of fancy, futuristic buildings everywhere. It's... almost Aschen like and for a moment you nearly have a heart attack.

But then Rose pops into reality, grabs you, and POP. You're out of phase with everything else just in time as some guards with guns come running in to investigate what must have been a silent alarm you tripped.

"Well," Rose says, "I think these Genii are a bit more than meets the eye."

"No duh," You double check the scanner device and... "Oh. That's really not good."

"What's not?" Rose asks.

"Out of phase like this the scanner's got a better read. It's Neutron Radiation," you swallow. "Along with a hefty dose of Neutrinos, too. And a little bit of a mix of Naquadah and..." You pale as you see a certain wavelength run past. "...Naquadria!?" The Scanner can't quite place exactly what it is, but you've studied those wavelengths enough to recognize that, even if there's some slight deviation (A different production method?), it's still Naquadria.

"What?" Rose asks. "...Pardon my language, but how the fuck did the people in Pegasus get their hands on Naquadria!?"

"Who knows, but we need to find out," you frown. "...We're safe from radiation poisoning out of phase like this, right?"

"Even if we're not, I'll have Kanaya give us a once over with Shaper when we get back," Rose promises.

And so you investigate, out of phase with reality. You stick to the easily walk-able paths, and have to wait for doors to open or close by other people using them. Any hopes of these people being a divergent culture are dashed as you hear a couple of soldiers referring to themselves casually as "The Genii Legion"-- namely in reference to one of them being promoted recently.

You track the Naquadria signals until you find labs. Lots and lots of labs. All of them devoted to developing bombs, and all of them using woefully inadequate shielding.

"It's Kelwona all over again," Rose laments.

"Let's not tell Jonas next time we see him, alright?" You offer.

You keep searching- and then you find a lab working on.... what seem to be quite a number of data storage devices. They look Wraith in origin. You give Rose a nod, and with a quick blip back and forth, she snags one of the data storage devices with a quick Captchalogue. They really shouldn't have left that lying around out in the open alone and unguarded or unsecured in a cage like all the others are. Who knows what they're planning on doing with it, but it sure is careless to leave it be like that.

Finally, you find the greatest source of the Naquadria readings- a large mine shaft going straight down into the core of the planet.

"...Definitely Kelwona all over again," you whimper. "We need to get back to the surface and find the others."

"Agreed," Rose nods, and so you head back the way you came.

On the way, you pass by a patrol of Genii villagers from the surface, all armed with the same weapons of the people below, and guiding Teyla and Ford along to a place near the labs- they seem rather confused and shocked by this turn of events.

"What happened?" You frown as you both immediately begin following the group.

"The Genii likely realized we were sneaking around down here and thought they were the distraction- which they were," Rose sighs. "We're going to have to perform a jail break, aren't we?"

"Definitely," you nod, and then eavesdrop into the conversation as a girl Teyla was friendly with back in the village motions for Teyla and Ford to enter a room.

"Sora, please, there is no need for any of this," Teyla tries to reason.

"You sent spies down into our home while we were distracted by trade negotiations," the red-haired girl, "Sora" counters. "There's every reason for this. Traitors." And then with no room for talk back, she leaves them locked in a room with nothing but a table and three chairs.

"What's our move then?" Ford asks.

You look to Rose, and she nods- dropping back into phase of reality, grabbing Ford and Teyla, and POP- back out of phase where you're still waiting.

"Woah-!" Ford reacts wildly, not expecting it.

"Rose, Jade," Teyla greets with a bit more grace. "What have you found?"

"A whole lotta bad," you say. "They're building atom bombs, and we're pretty sure this planet has a Naquadria core."

Before Ford or Teyla can ask- because they clearly want to- the doors open and a man Teyla had called Cowen back during the negotiations enters. "What the-!? HOW!? Where did they go!?" He turns to the girl, enraged, "Sora! I thought you locked them in here!"

"I did! I don't know where they went!" She answers.

"Well FIND THEM! We need to know what they know and who they've reported to!" Cowen yells, and Sora scampers off. He turns to stare into the empty-to-him room. "Damn it. I knew those Athosians couldn't be trusted. It was only a matter of time before they showed their true colors. Atlantians. Pah. As if the Ancestors really have returned. To even dare try pull our own deception on us... Idiots and fools!!!" He shakes his head and storms off, leaving the door open.

"That... was a very Paranoid reaction," Teyla frowns, "and very concerning."

"Yeah," you huff. "Paranoia comes par the course for long term Naquadria exposure."

And then the four of you just leave the room through the kindly opened door and head back to the surface entrance you were brought down through.

"I read the reports on Kelwona," Ford talks on the way, "how the HELL does it exist here in this galaxy too?? Did the Ancients try and use it as a weapon against the Wraith?"

"Given all the time travel we've been involved in, I'm not even going to try to guess right now," Rose answers.

"Yeah," you sigh. "For all we know this is a result of the alt-me that got stuck in the past. Maybe I-Me-Her needed Naquadria and chose a random ass planet to transform the core of? I don't know."

"Whatever the reason," Teyla scowls, "the Genii's Paranoia and hard to earn Trust suddenly makes much more sense. They hide their true civilization underground to prevent cullings from the Wraith."

You manage to get to the entrance hatch, but run into the little problem of the Genii having closed it and put a lot of guards around the ladder leading up to the surface.

"So," Rose begins, "how do you want to do this?"

It'd be a real problem if you couldn't interact with the guards or the hatch. Fortunately for you, though... your restriction of not opening doors and stuff? That's all for the sake of stealth and getting through doors only other people can open.

Much like when Rose took you, John, and Argo on a mission to destroy the Aschen- you had to do it through Stargate.

Sure, it had to be powered manually, and John did the heavy lifting rotating the Gate, but...

Well. You're pretty sure you're getting closer to that Arm-band boosted power level.

You reach up at the hatch with your powers and yoink out the hinge pins by trying to compress their atoms just enough to make them easier to glide out.

You accidentally compress them a bit too much though, and they pretty much spontaneously combust into tiny little explosions of molten metal.

The Hatch goes flying upwards- the shock wave comes flying downward- and the Guards get thrown by an explosion they never could have seen coming.

Teyla looks impressed by your display of power. Ford looks a little scared. Rose just laughs as she starts climbing the ladder to the surface.

Getting to the Gate is easy enough. The Genii weren't expecting you to even get as far as the hatch. Hell, they likely don't even know what the hell they're up against yet.

That said, they were smart enough to plant guards at the Gate. Dial out and they open fire at the DHD.

Teyla takes the initiative this time, though. She grabs a tree branch and starts wailing away on one of the guards- beating them with a literal stick into submission. The rest of you follow suit. It's not like they can fight back. From their perspective, you're all invisible ghosts.

Finally, you dial Atlantis, send the IDC code after popping back into phase, and head through the Gate once the all clear is given.



What goes up must come down.

And unfortunately, that metal hatch decided to come down right ontop of Sora's father- the man called Tyrus.

He never felt a thing.

Sora, on the other hand, felt all sorts of thing. Emotional Pain- Loss- Desperation- Anger- Revenge.

By the time the data storage device had been found to be missing, it was clear to the Genii that the "Atlantians" were clearly behind it all. The Atlantians who were very clearly just Athosians who were pretending to be nowhere near as advanced as they actually were.

Cowen would not let their own tricks stand to be turned back in their faces. A Thorough re-examination of every Genii ally would be in order. Any "allies" found performing similar subterfuge would find their trade agreements null and void.

The Athosians would give the Genii their "C-4" and return the stolen data storage device to them one way or another.



"...On the one hand, I'm glad that this trade deal fell through. I was NOT looking forwards to becoming an Arms Dealer." Your name is Elizabeth Weir and you find yourself in Atlantis' infirmary as Kanaya Maryam looks over everyone from the Genii trade team using the "Shaper" crystal to ensure no side-effects from... Well....  "On the other. Naquadria? Are you sure??"

Jade nods, even as Kanaya lays a hand on her exposed shoulder. "Pretty damn sure. It might be a different strain made from a different production method, but even with that aside... the amount of raw, unshielded radio active materials they're working with is... well... I really wouldn't want to have long term exposure."

"At least Sheppard and Bates managed to perform a successful negotiation with the Manarians," you say. "We won't be going hungry any time soon. That said... I'm annoyed and concerned that this fell apart so badly. I feel like I should have been there."

"Don't worry about it. Radioactive Naquadria exposure can cause a LOT of paranoia and delusions," Rose Lalonde says as Kanaya moves over to do the same hand on shoulder touch. "I wouldn't be surprised if any little thing would have turned them against us."

"The Genii have been... very firm trade partners in the past," Teyla says. "The deals we made were fair, but... I've never given it much thought as to why they were so insistant on making such balanced deals."

"Hopefully that Wraith Data Device will come in handy," Ford remarks as Kanaya touches his shoulder next. "Mckay seemed eager to get his hands on it."

"Speaking of that..." you look to Rose. "What were you thinking, stealing that!?"

"I'm a real hoarder of a kitten, Doctor Weir," Rose answers, watching Kanaya as she moves over to Teyla. "And besides-"

"It was my idea," Jade volunteers. "There were a bunch of them just all locked up in a cage and they left that one alone and unguarded so I figured... they wouldn't notice it go missing."

"Let's hope they don't," you say. "The last thing we need is them needing a reason to try attacking us with a Naquadria enhanced warhead. As soon as Rodney's copied the data, we're returning it as quietly and unremarkably as we can."

"Right," Jade nods.

"Speaking of Naquadria," Kanaya speaks up as she takes her hands off of Teyla's shoulder. "I've just purged the last of the radiation poisoning from their bodies. Fortunately the Naquadria exposure was as minimal as a brief encounter could be. However, I'm afraid for the Genii's mental and physical health. Especially if their shielding is as inadequate as it seems from the exposure levels I treated."

"You'd think they'd have been more interested in the medicine we were offering," Ford remarks.



EARTH DATE: JUNE 2ND, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/11/0004.

You're still Doctor Elizabeth Weir, and...

"The device Jade and Rose stole contains a map of atleast Sixty Wraith Hiveships local to the Genii's section of the galaxy," Mckay reports to you the next morning, as he shows you a starmap full of red and blue dots on a laptop.

"What's the color difference?" You ask.

"Red means they've been destroyed," Mckay answers.

"...Destroyed??" You ask.

"They're planets Hiveships hibernated on with ground based Stargates," Mckay clarifies. "Namely, planets with Gates we can't connect to. One of them was pretty close to a space gate, so I took a jumper and went on recon, cloaked."

"You went on a solo flight mission?" You ask.

"Relax, the Wraith abandoned the place for good reason," Mckay clicks a key to change images. "The area the Gate and the Hiveship should have been in was nothing but a crater. Unlike the site where Keiko got a fancy organic necklace, though, I could run a scan and detect a lot of Naquadria radiation."

"The Genii are blowing up Wraith Hiveships they have ground access to with their prototype Naquadria bombs," you summarize. "It's a smart move, save for one problem."

"And what's that?" Mckay asks, rhetorically. "The fact that most of the Hiveships in this part of the Galaxy are only accessible by Spacegate or the fact that the Hives are moving?"

"Moving?" You ask.

"I also checked out a few of the other Hiveship sites that weren't destroyed, and they'd left the planets already like the one we know of. The data on the drive is Months out of date," Mckay answers. "Since before we arrived, out of date. The Genii probably thought they had centuries to work out a means of Gate-based space travel. Except for our arrival."

"And even if we didn't steal the drive, the moment they found out that our arrival woke the Wraith, they'd turn hostile," you lament.

"Exactly," Mckay sighs. "It was going to be a lose lose scenario with them no matter what we did."

"Let's just return the drive as soon as we can," you say. "And, in the future, Rodney? No more unauthorized middle of the night solo missions. Tell me or Major Sheppard first if you have an idea you want to check out."

"I promise, Elizabeth, you'll be the first I notify in the future," he promises.

"Good," you smile at him.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 9TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/18/0004.

"So another world full of plants and trees and nobody around for miles," Your name is JIMMYY O'NEILL- once long ago one JACK O'NEILL, cloned by a rogue Asgard scientist- and you're a little bored. "Think it'd be a good Alpha Site?"

"Probably," Tyzias Entykk says as she looks at one of the funky ancient scanner devices. Apparently the ATA Gene thing DOES take in Alternians. You'd honestly been out of the loop on that until today. "But that's not why we're here, remember?"

You remember, though you don't want to. Lantash repeats the mission briefing to you in your head, and you tiredly exhale it out as you hike through a forest. "We're hunting for the energy source that's giving off the readings we're looking for because it indicates the presence of-" Lantash tells you a specific name, but screw that. "-Whatever weird type of crystal it is we're hunting for so we can dial back to Earth or at least radio ahead and let them know about the life sucking vampires we've stirred up and-"

[O'neill.] Lantash chides.

"Whatever," you shake your head.

"Yeah, whatever," Daraya Jonjet says. "I'm more interested in the Alpha Site properties. This place looks pretty solid and safe. No major monstrous wildlife out to kill us, that's for sure."

"Watch as you've jinxed us now," Jade Jackson remarks with a giggle.

"What?" Daraya asks. "Come on! This is Pegasus, not Alternia! It's not like that world Trizza and Baizli ran into that one clown that got eaten on."

"I'm just saying!" Jade laughs.

"Woah, hold on-" Tyizas interjects. "...Readings... readings... Ahha!" She takes off in a direction.

"Well, I guess we're going that way!" you say, and trudge off after her.

[Feeling left out not being in the lead?] Lantash asks.

'No. Not really, 'Tash,' you answer. 'Just wishing Carter was here.'

[Agreed,] Lantash muses- giving the impression of a mental nod. [Jolinar's presence would be greatly appreciated right now.]

'Hope she's giving Kavanagh a hard time.' The thought gives you a pleasant smile.



In a few minutes more of hiking, you find the most obscure sight of all time.

"Oh, joy," Tyzias snarks, "another giant frog temple."

"This looks like the ones that used to be in the desert on Alternia," Daraya says. "Like, suspiciously like the same style."

"What do you think the chances are the other me was behind this?" Jade asks.

"Suckers bet," you say.

"Well, whoever built it, the energy signal we're chasing is inside," Tyzias says, double checking her readings. "We've gotta go inside."

And so Jade orbit-power-throws a grappling hook and rope up to the high up entrance in the side of the towering structure, and you all climb up.

"Well, this is familiar," you say, spotting decorations of Wraith Cullings in the same style as the ones from Athos that John and Kanaya got pictures of.

"Other me definitely designed all of this," Jade says, touching a familiar depiction of the Atlantis Gate Room flooding.

You head deeper into the ruins, chasing after whatever signal Tyzias is chasing down.

Finally, you find a large circular platform that Jade says her powers are reacting with.

It's an elevator- powered for sure by Jade's orbiting abilities.

Down you descend, deeper and deeper through the center of the ruins until you find a laboratory, hybridized between scavenged Ancient technology and stuff that looks like it once belonged in an SGC or Alternian based lab.

That tech, however, seemed to have fallen into disarray long ago. Only the Ancient technology was left running in silent mode.

As for what was powering it?

"Is that what I think it is?" Tyzias asks, staring at a cylindrical pillar with something bright yellow glowing from within a domed portion at the top.

"Only one way to find out," you say, not daring to believe it's a ZPM.

The four of you approach that pillar, and peer into the dome.

"...Oh GLUB," Tyzias breathes out. "Is that Hyperbeam?"

"It is," Daraya nods. "That is definitely that yellow beam crystal from Joey's bracelet."

"Well, I guess now we know where it wound up," you say. "...So, what now?"

"Now we figure out what the other me was doing with it," Jade says, moving over to one of the Ancient computers- bringing it to life with just a touch. A password screen pops up on screen, or, atleast, it's what you assume is a password screen. "....Alright, Hyperbeam is the obvious choice." She types at the console's replication of a QWERTY keyboard.

And it goes through.

What appears next is a string of text, written in Alternian.

"I'm Jade Jackson, and if you're reading this specific message, I'm guessing you're someone from the Alternian side of the Atlantis Expedition," Jade narrates the text. "I'm going to keep this short and simple. After months of attempting negotiation, I failed to convince the Ancients to go back to Earth with Atlantis, and instead, Weir's plan succeeded in making sure the City rose to the surface instead. To ensure the Wraith never got to Earth or Milkyway, the Ancients took the control crystal from the DHD with them as the last of them returned to Earth-"

"Well, at least we know where that went," Tyzias remarks.

"-However, I have blueprints and materials left spare to manufacture a replacement," Jade continues reading. "If you're reading this and are in search of those specific materials..." She lets out an 'Ah!' and then decaptchalogues a note pad.

"What is it?" You ask.

"Other me hid things on different worlds so the Wraith couldn't get their hands on everything in one go if they found this place," Jade reports, writing things down. "I'm writing down the Gate Addresses."

"What's to stop the Wraith from figuring it out from those?" Daraya asks.

"Other me used Alternia's Gate Symbols," Jade answers. "Even if the Wraith somehow found a database with Milky Way's Gate symbols somewhere, they wouldn't be able to figure out the symbols for local gates with it."

"Clever," you say. "It's like writing in code the Wraith have no point of reference for."

"Exactly," Jade nods. "Whcih is also why I-she wrote it in Alternian instead of anything else."

"So what's here on this planet besides Hyperbeam and a Gate Address?" Daraya asks.

"Looks like Hyperbeam and a device to compress raw materials into a crystalline form, plus..." Jade stops suddenly. "Uhoh."

"Uhoh?" You ask.

"Daraya, Tyzias," Jade points at a certain line of text. "Does that say what I think it says?"

Tyzias takes one look at it, then turns to look at Daraya, "You jinxed us."

"What do you mean I jinxed us?" Daraya asks. "It says we're perfectly safe as long as we leave Hyperbeam in place!"

[That doesn't sound good,] Lantash laments.

No shit.

"What exactly are we safe from as long as we leave the glowy crystal in place?" You ask.

Jade answers, "This planet is an Ancient Zoo they put a bunch of animals from Earth onto for research purposes."

"...Let me guess," you close your eyes and massage the bridge of your nose. "It's Ancient Jurassic Park?"

"It's Ancient Jurassic Park," Jade nods with a wince.

"How's about we leave the glowing crystal to power whatever it is that's keeping us from being T-Rex chow alone for now and head back to Atlantis to report in?" You offer.

"Yes," Jade agrees.

"Definitely," Tyzias nods.

"Absolutely," Daraya sighs.

[I am using that in the next interview I do,] Lantash chuckles.

Whatever, dude.



"Ancient Jurassic Park!?" Weir asks, shocked. "Seriously!?"

"Hyperbeam's serving like a sort of ZPM-standin for an invisible electric fence the Ancients put in place to allow their zoo to function," Jade explains. "Past me built a Frog Temple over it so we'd know to investigate, and left Hyperbeam to power the thing until we found it."

"So, not a good Alpha Site replacement?" Weir asks.

"No, ma'am," Daraya shakes her head.

"Turns out the Gate itself is near the edge of the bubble, so Lantash and I took a quick look before we left," you explain, taking out your field-camera and turning it on to review the last set of pictures you took. "Turns out Jurassic Park had it wrong and T-rexes have feathers."

Weir takes a look at the camera, cycling through photos in silence for a minute, before responding, "Well. If we ever get back to Earth and find a way to permanently power this shield generator, I could see us charging admission."

"Funny," you smile, wryly. "Bad idea, though. Pretty sure the movie was right in that aspect, at least."

"We should be able to replace Hyperbeam with an actual ZPM," Tyzias says, "but otherwise, I think we should leave it unless we absoluetly have to. There's no telling what else Hyperbeam is powering besides the fence. In the mean time we go get the parts Jade left for us to make a replacement Control Crystal. Dial Earth, and see where the future leads us."

"Very well then," Weir nods. "Let's get on that and hope we don't run into any more complications." She nods a "Dismissed," and then exits her office, handing you your camera back as she leaves.

"Well," Jade says. "That could have gone worse."

"Hey, Jade," Daraya begins.

"Yeah?" She asks.

"If things get worse I'm paying back all the jinx talk from earlier, alright?"

"Sure thing," Jade answers with a nod.

"I'm not touching this conversation with a ten foot pole," Tyzias answers, turning to leave.

"Yeah, me either," you say, turning to leave as well.

[Watch as whatever goes wrong next is completely unrelated to Jurassic Park's plot line entirely,] Lantash suggests. [Wait. What exactly was the plot of that movie again?]

'Oh, Lantash, we're going to do a movie night, bud. Just as soon as I find out if anyone brought a copy of the movie with them.'

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 11TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/20/0004.

Your name is Teyla Emmagan, and you're heading out to the mainland once again.

"I haven't been to the mainland in a while," your pilot, one John Sheppard, starts. "So how's everyone doing over there? Everyone settled in alright?"

"Halling believes the first crops will have a good yield," you inform him.

"Everyone missing home, I'm guessing?" he asks.

"Yes, there is still talk of returning, even with those of us who have seen the destruction the Wraith wrought on the landscape in revenge for our resistance," you sigh.

"Well, maybe soon enough they'll start seeing it as..." John trails off, going silent, and gazing at the horizon.

And then a moment later, you see what he almost certainly felt through his powers. A massive cloud formation, to the right, covering the entire horizon.

"What is that?" You ask.

"That's a storm but... it's stretching across the whole horizon," he mutters. "No, that can't be right."

"I have never seen something like that from this height," you tell him.

"I've seen a lot of things from this altitude, but nothing like that," he frowns. "This isn't right. I've got to be imagining things. There's no way it's that big." He tabs the radio, "Atlantis Base, Jumper one. We're changing heading to investigate a storm."

"Maj-" The radio crackles with static over Weir's voice. "-eir. We didn't copy that. You-srrrk-eaking up."

"I said," John radios back, "there's a massive storm and it's heading towards us. I'm going to see where it's going and  do a little weather forecasting."

And so the Jumper heads upwards, and upwards, and upwards...


And then you're tilted down to look at the storm from high orbit.

"Do all storms look like this from above?" You ask.

"...Shit," John swears. "Not like this, not. That thing has to cover at least twenty percent of the planet."

"Where is it heading? The mainland?" You ask as John brings up the tracking readout.

"As large as this thing is it's tracking to swallow the whole continent with room to spare for about twenty Atlantis-es," John answers. "One bad thing about all of this."

"What's that?" you ask.

"There's only one Atlantis for it to swallow once it's done with the mainland," John answers grimly.


 

O<--STARGATE ATLANTIS-->O


 

"So, while this planet is basically the same size as Earth," your name is RODNEY MCKAY, and you feel a little queasy as you lead the briefing, "Hurricanes on Earth never get as big as this bad boy because of all the extra landmass to put the breaks on. Here? It just gains speed and momentum."

"Yes," Zelenka says, "both of them are."

"Both of them?" Wier asks.

"We only saw one," Teyla says.

"It only looked like one," you say, bringing up a diagram of two galaxies coliding together and merging into one. Oh. Wait. That's not galaxies. That's TWO HURRICANES. Easy mistake, any person can make. "Now, according to the Ancient Database? Every twenty or thirty years, the sea gets unseasonably warm, and for that reason, for reasons far too boring and time consuming to get into, that means hurricanes are much more likely to occur."

"Yes," Zelenka says, "even on Earth we've noticed some increasing strength in hurricanes as the years get warmer--"

"Like I said, Too Time Consuming To Get Into," you wave it off. "The short of it is, if you have a situation where a lot of hurricanes are forming, the chances of them coliding is basically exponential."

"More like merging that colliding," Zelenka says. "They are intersecting and combining their power."

"So like the Megazords coming together into the Ultrazord." Sheppard summarizes. "That'd explain the feeling I got from it, then."

"What was it?" Rose Lalonde asks.

"Like an unstoppable force breaking the unmovable rock, and blatantly ignoring its parents telling it to go to its room and instead blowing up the entire house," Sheppard summarizes. "I can't just snap my fingers and make this thing go away."

"So, hold on," Weir looks to you. "You just said the Ancients experienced these storms every twenty to thirty years. Atlantis must have some sort of precautions put in place?"

"Sure, in the Past the Ancients may have submerged the city or raised the shield," you say. "And while we could use the ZPM we have to raise the shield, there's no telling if we could outlast the storm itself."

"So striking those three options, what do we have to work with?" Weir asks.

You look to Zelenka, and he answers, "Nothing. The high winds alone are a high threat and will wreak havoc. Let alone the rain, potential tsunamis... Flooding will be a major issue. It may sink the city entirely."

You continue, "Not to mention the fact that by moving over a land mass just before hitting us, the likelihood of tornadoes and electrical activity is greatly increased. And we're not even taking into consideration the fact that if Sheppard and Teyla hadn't discovered this when they did? We'd be in a whole lot more trouble than we're already in."

"Alright," Weir breathes out. "What's the plan? How long do we have?"

You exhale. "By my calculations, we have just under twelve hours until the storm reaches the City. At that point, if we don't have a plan beyond evacuation? Well... we don't have a plan beyond evacuation."

"Get every science major in the city working on this," Weir orders. "I want a solution we can put into play. Everyone else, focus on evacuating the Mainland to the City, and also finding us a location we can move the City's occupants to, and stress that it's temporary, and only for the immediate future. The worst comes to worst, we make Jurassic World our next staging ground."

"Oh, joy," you lament to Zelenka as you and he go to find as many people to work on this as you can. "If we don't figure this out, chances are we'll be reliving THAT movie too."



Your name is Keiko Ayano, and, well, your skills as a pilot ended up being in far higher demand than your sciency skills were in solving the City's imminent storm problem. Already, there's a tense breeze blowing over the fields of the mainland.

The Athosians are packing up their settlements, and you and your team are helping.

"I'm telling you," you hear Beckett complaining to Teyla, "i don't really have the right boots for this. I was just meant to innoculate some wee babies, not tear down settlements!"

"We need all the hands we can spare before the storm comes," Teyla says. "Plants can be replanted, and settlements can be rebuilt, but people are a precious resource that cannot easily be restored."

"Fine!" The doctor agrees, and trudges off.

You head over to Teyla, and say, "That was well handled."

"Thank you," Teyla nods. "You seem concerned. How are you holding up?"

"Yeah, I'm concerned," you frown. "I'm worried something we did set this off early."

"Why's that?" Teyla asks.

"This whole storm thing seems too sudden, honestly. So soon after we raised the City to the surface?" you shake your head. "I don't know. Honestly, it feels like we shouldn't have run into this for a few more years. Just, a gut feeling."

"Let us hope if any of our actions could cause such a thing, it was the unavoidable action of the City raising to the surface," Teyla says.

"Hey! Keiko! Help here, please?" Daraya calls out.

You nod to Teyla, and quickly go over to where Daraya called for your help.



Your name is John Sheppard, and you've managed to secure housing for atleast a good portion of the City's population with the Manarans- negotiated through the sort of smug guy named Smeadon. Still... Weir's in a good mood upon hearing that, but is waiting to hear back from some other potential resettlement sites for the night.  

"Right! If only we had a magical tool that could slow down time! Oh! Wait! I left mine on Earth! Did anyone bring theirs!?" you hear Mckay yelling as you pass by the conference room.

You get the feeling it's going to be a long day.

"You know, I'm beginning to see why people were so annoyed with me back on the Jumper," Tyzias remarks as you enter the conference room.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Mckay asks.

"Hey, kids!" you greet, trying to diffuse the situation. "We've got a grean light from Smeadon for a vacation on Manara. I'm not sure how happy he'll be if we're stuck there, though. That's not going to happen, right?"

"Of course it's not," Mckay dismisses it. "We'll set up an Alpha site and move there if the city's sunk."

"Comforting, that," Carter grumbles.

Ford, who'd accompanied you from the Manara mission just now, takes the question to ask, "Are we sure there's no part of the Mainland we can stay on?"

"YES!" Every scientist in the room yells out at once, along with a "SHUT UP, FORD!" from Kavanagh.

"...Eesh," Ford recoils a little. "Hot button topic?"

"Even if there was a part of the Mainland that WASN'T going to get hit by the storm- which there isn't," Mckay stresses, "The moment the storm sinks Atlantis, we're stuck without any Stargate Travel."

"You guys will think of something," you say.

"Sure, I'll try, but despite what all of you may think, I'm not Superman," Mckay gestures at you. "Now you? Sure. But even your super breath can't stop this thing so go rotate around the planet counter-clockwise or something a few times to see if you can buy us a few days."

Ford chuckles at that, you, on the other hand, have to ask, "Is that, like... a common thought among you sciencey folk these days?"

You get a chorus of "No," "Never," and "Mckay? Superman? Don't make me laugh," followed by a laugh.

"Oh, ha Ha, very funny," Mckay gripes. "He was asking about himself there, clearly. Can we get back to work now?"



"This could really be going faster," Ford gripes as he helps load up a Jumper with supplies and people. The wind is getting heavier and harder. A flash of light is distant in the horizon.

"Our people are hunters, Lieutenant," you are once again Teyla Emmagan, and you remind him of this simple fact, "Many returning from great distances. Others do not want to leave the settlement."

"They know how serious this is, right?" Ford asks. "I mean, they're all carrying radios, right??"

"They know, and even I would have a hard time believing in the strength and size of this storm if I did not see it from space," you tell him.

You spot Keiko standing near Mallek and Daraya as they point at a growing cloud in the distance. There is a distant rumble of thunder- closer in proximity to its flash than the last one.

Then, you hear Keiko yell- "THAT'S IT!" and grab her radio.



"[You know, in the Czech Republic, we don't have to deal with Hurricanes,]" your name is Raddek Zelenka, and you feel rather tired. Most everyone else has gone to take a break either helping to evacuate the Mainland or catch up on some missed sleep before the storm hits.

"[Yeah, well, we don't get that many in Canada either,]" Mckay gripes. "[Only thing I can remember is something called Hazel.]"

"[Hazel?]" You ask.

"[Forty years ago,]" he answers.

"[That's interesting,]" you say.

"[No, not really,]" Mckay answers. "[It really isn't.]"

"Rude, ignoring my olive branch like that..." you mutter as you hear a faint rumble of thunder.

"[...You know,]" Mckay ventures. "[I was once almost struck by lightning. In the wild, I mean. Twice, maybe, if you count the time we had an EMP generator go hog wild in the SGC.]"

"[Lightning?]" you blink, an idea starting to form.

"[Lightning...]" Mckay similarly gets the idea.

And then your radios buzz, and Keiko Ayano shouts over static, "[LIGHTNING! WE USE LIGHTNING!!!]"

You rush to the control room to find Weir conversing with- what's his name, Chuck? You think it's Chuck- but that doesn't matter.

Mckay nudges you aside- and starts- "[What is the one thing keeping us from having a shield?]" He gives Doctor Weir no chance to reply.  "[Power. And what does a mega-storm from hell have lots of? Power! In the Form of Lightning!]"

You chime in with. "[Atlantis is designed to withstand substantial lightning strikes. There are lightning rods all over the city that are-]"

Mckay interrupts you again. "[All those rods are channeled into four main grounding stations.]"

"Rude much, [Yes. And in turn those grounding stations discharge electricity back into the ocean, keeping Atlantis safe from massive electric shocks due to lightning strikes! And the Hallways in Atlantis are lined with a superconductive material to allow a safe, low-voltage transfer of power throughout the city. Which of course means-]" And you're interupted again.

"[I'm getting there, I'm getting there. Let's say the grounding stations weren't around. Every time lightning struck the city, those halls would become supercharged!]' Mckay steals your metaphorical thunder.

"[Wait, so you're saying-]" Weir tries to finish that thought, but Mckay interupts it again.

"[If we can disable the grounding stations, every time lightning struck the city, Atlantis would experience power surges, and that energy-]"

"[If It's Channeled Correctly-]" you try to get a word in edge wise.

"[Yes, of course if channeled correctly— could conceivably be used to charge up the shield generator. Now, the more severe the storm, the more energy is produced and the longer we can keep the shield running.]" But alas, no. It is not to be.

"This is the problem with ideas when three people have them at the same time," you remark to yourself. "Bolt of Lightning! Stroke of inspriation! Pvsh!" You ignore the looks Chuck is giving you while Weir processes the idea.

"[Alright,]" Weir says. "[It's a smart idea. Good plan. What are the downsides?]"

"[We have no way of storing all that energy long term, save, possibly, for funneling it into the ZPM from the children's planet,]" you tell her. "[If we cannot, the moment the lightning stops striking and the storm passes by, we have no way of charging up the shield generators.]"

"[And back to square one,]" Mckay says.

"[But the city would survive?]" Weir asks.

Mckay gives better than Ninty percent chance- you interject with Seventy, he counters with Eighty.

Weir then asks if evacuation is still necessary, and Mckay?

"[Yes, but not just because of Zelemka's pessimism.]"

"Should I call you Roddenberry? [It's Zelenka. And if this plan works? The City will become highly charged with electricity. Really, the only safe place to be once the lightning begins to strike is in the control room.]"

"[So we evacuate everyone offworld until the storm passes and execute the plan with the smallest team possible?]" Weir asks.

"Basically, Yes," you tell her with nod.

"[Right then,]" Weir says, "[Get on it.]"

"[Grounding stations first or-?]" Mckay actually asks you for your opinion!

"Wonders never cease, [No. Power Distribution centers first, and we should radio Keiko again and see what she knows about recharging Zero Point Modules.]"

"[Ah, good point. Good call. I tend to get ahead of myself...]"

"Uh huh. Sure you do. Bloated Ego the size of a balloon. [Right, So...]"



On the Genii homeworld, Chief Cowen received a transmission through Relay Station 2 that Smeadon of Manara had information about Atlantis to trade.

Not too much longer after that, a man training Genii soldiers in the art of fighting with staves, Sora included among them, is summoned to see Chief Cowen. He was not happy about being disturbed, but goes regardless.

The man, one Commander Kolya, entered Cowen's office and listens to Cowen's mission statement, and then is asked of his opinion.

Kolya responds, "They are not ready."

"Of course they are," Cowen says.

Kolya shakes his head. He explains all the ways his men are not ready for such a mission.

Cowen counters, "Within the next few hours, there will be less than ten people on this so-called Atlantis. If it is real, the Athosians are fleeing because of a simple storm. You get in, get out, and it is that simple."

"If all goes well," Kolya frowns, "but I do not train my men assuming all will go well."

"Even among our most paranoid, you are the most paranoid, Commander Kolya," Cowen says. "However, we cannot afford to pass this opportunity."

"You wanted my opinion, this is it," Kolya says. "My men are not ready. Their minds are infirm. Unsure of themselves."

Cowen calms his voice, but his eyes gleam dangerously, "And I value that opinion… But the Athosians are in possession of materials that are vital to our goal of defeating the Wraith. We need this C-4 they have developed, and to recover the data device they stole. Ready your strike force."

Kolya doesn't bother pointing out the fact that the misplaced data storage device had shown up without incident beneath a desk in the same lab it had gone "missing" in.

Naquadria poisoning alone has everyone else convinced the device was sabotaged in some way. Kolya? Kolya's paranoia wraps so far around into insanity as to become sane again.

He knows the device never went missing to begin with.



Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you frown as the last group heads through the Gate.

"Tyzias? You going?" John asks as the Gate shuts down.

"No," you say. "Not until my team gets back. I'm not leaving with out them."

Jumper Three, including Keiko, Mallek, and Daraya, plus Teyla and three missing Athosians have yet to come through.

"Alright. In the mean time, want to help us unplug the City?" John asks.

"...Sure," you nod.

"Alright then," John says, then turns to the guards left to man the Gate Room. "Let us know when Jumper Three arrives, or if there's any Gate Activity."

"Yes, Sir," one of the guards nods.

You and John head to Mckay's Lab.

"Nervous?" you ask.

"Yeah," he nods. "Kanaya, Rose, Jade, and Argo all decided to go to Jurassic World with a research team to study the lab the other Jade left there to wait out the storm instead of going with everyone else to Manara. Honestly, I'd rather be there with them instead of here."

"Why are you here, then?" You ask.

"You remember way back when the Seers on Diaspora gave me that sign?" he asks. "They said something about shielding a city. Jade and Argo's prophecies ended up being about Abydos, we're pretty sure, so... Besides that, Terezi insists I'm here to wreck plans. There's a storm with plans to wreck a city, so..." He shrugs. "Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I think I'm supposed to be here. And at any rate, if the plan fails, we head off world."

"I vaguely remember all of that," you muse. "Good of a reason as mine to stay, I guess."

"Suppose so," John nods. And with one quick transporavator ride later, you're at Mckay's lab.

Weir and Mckay are already discussing WHY the city has hundreds of thousands of lightning rods when you arrive.

"Okay, one question," you interject once you see a place to. "Did Keiko okay the attempt to try to recharge the ZPM before we lost radio contact with the mainland?"

Mckay does a double take, then answers, "Ah, right. Yeah. So. We're a no-go on that, unfortunately. Keiko thinks the risk of a catastrophic containment failure is too high."

"Solar System turned to nothing kind of catastrophic containment failure?" John asks.

"Ah, more like a forty-two  mile radius circle of the entire planets surface chunk bitten out of it catastrophic containment failure," Mckay answers. "There's not nearly enough energy for the full planet, by my calculations, let alone the whole solar system."

"Still enough to vaporize Atlantis, though," you sigh. "Alright. Fair enough."

"Right, anyways," Mckay turns to a diagram of the city. "So, four grounding stations. Here, here, here, and here." He points at four very distant points. "Since there's four of us, we can each take one. Elizabeth, take station two. I'll take station one. Major, take station three, and--"

"I'll take four," You decide. "Just one question. Which one is four?"

"And which one is three?" John asks.

"...Here and here," Mckay points at the two furthest ones out from the center of the city.

"And we are....?" John squints at the map.

"Here," Mckay points at a spot on the map and quite clearly, he's chosen stations that are a lot closer for himself and Doctor Weir. "Yes, I know. Much closer. I need to get done quickly so I can finish the subroutines, and Elizabeth was complaining about her knee the other day, so-"

"Wait wait," you interject. "Where's the nearest teleporters to ours?"

"...Just a brisk walk away," Mckay answers.

"And by brisk you mean far?" John asks.

"By walk I mean run," Mckay admits.

John puts a hand on your shoulder and says, "I'll take the furthest one."

"How chivalrous of you," you joke.

"Nah, I'm not a Knight," John answers in turn.

"Right, we've got four hours now until the storm hits," Mckay says, clapping his hands. "Let's get on with it. Shall we?"

---

"Hurry!" Teyla yells. "Move! This way!"

Your name is Mallek Adalov and you watch as three hunters emerge from the forest, lead by Teyla as they rush through the foliage to the other side of the Jumper. The wind buffers past, along with a hefty dose of 'light' rain.

"They're here," You look to Keiko. "Finally, we can get out of here."

"Maybe," Keiko frowns, glancing back into the rear as Daraya lowers the hatch so Teyla can get the hunters inside the Jumper's back. "The storm's getting pretty bad now and I'm never flown in anything this bad before."

"Do you really think it'd be better if we wait it out?" Daraya asks as she raises the back hatch again and joins you in the front.

"...I don't think even Kazuto or John could fly out of a storm like this," Keiko answers.

"They are settled in," Teyla says as she joins you in the front as well. "We are ready to go when ready."

"That might be a while," Keiko says, glancing up at the storm outside. "I'm not sure the Jumper can handle the winds if we take off. We should be safe as long as we're on the ground."

"Well, it'll be cozy," you say.

"Yeah," Keiko agrees. "...I just hope someone remembered to get Pina off the city in time."



Your name is John Sheppard, and you finally arrive at the door to the first station. You open the door and get buffered by wind and rain. It's strong, very strong. Your powers try to get a glimpse of control and fail to get any sort of grip on the wind surging from the storm.

You take a ragged breath as you feel your powers straining.

You grab your radio, and broadcast, "I'm at Station Three!" You have to yell over the wind.

"What? Already?" Mckay asks, sounding way too calm and chipper.

"Seriously?" Tyzias radios back. "I'm stuck half way. I ran into a door that wouldn't open and had to detour. I think I'm lost."

"Really? I've already done mine," Mckay remarks.

"Oh, good for you! Great, even!" you approach the control console that should open the grounding thing.

"Me too," Weir reports.

"Yeah! Great!" You grunt, glancing at the large metal pillar out in the water serving as the grounding tube.

"Where are you now?" Mckay asks.

"NO IDEA!!" Tyzias radios.

"At the damned grounding station!" You yell back,

"No, not you two- Weir!" Mckay answers.

"In the transporter," Weir reports.

"Oh! There you are!" Mckay sounds cheeky.

"There I am," Weir is similarly cheeky.

"Glad everyone's having such a good time out there!" You yell over the wind as it picks up in strength. "WHAT DO I DO NOW?!"

"Oh, right," Mckay says, "there's a keypad on the console of the station."

You look for it. "Found it."

"Punch in the Ancient Equivalent of 0-3-1..." Mckay pauses as you punch in the symbols. "5-4-7."

And with that- the large metal pillar out in the sea splits in two and it's disconnected.

"That did it!" You report.

"Good, three down, one to go," Mckay radios. "They all seem to have the same separation code, so, Tyzias, get to the next one, repeat the procedure, we'll meet you in the control room."

"Door! Locked! Lost! Still!" Tyzias answers.

"I'll come help get you through, Tyz," You radio, heading back inside and closing the door behind you. "Since SOMEONE else decided to make us go to the two furthest stations away from any transporters!"

"Whatever, whatever," Mckay remarks. "Just get on with it."

"On my way, Tyzias," you radio.

"Thanks," she returns, and you head back to the transporter.



"Bacon? The one thing you wish you'd brought with you is bacon?!"

"It's the food that makes other food worth eating."

"You wish you brought BACON to another galaxy!?"

"Hey! Someone packed like, three months of turkey and chicken in a fridge instead of a freezer!"

"Well, just because of that it's-"

VEEEE. VEEEE. VEEEE. VEEEE.

The Atlantis gate dialed in.

"Off world activation," The first guard begins at the KAWOOOSH.

"Doctor Weir said nobody should be back until tomorrow..." The second guard pauses as an IDC comes in. "...Athosian IDC?"

The radio buzzes, "There's been an attack on Manara. We have wounded incoming! Lower the shield. Please! Before it's too late."

"Lowering the shield," the first guard begins to press the buttons.

"Wait," Second interjects. "They're not broadcasting the red alert-"

The shield goes down.

The First Guard radios, "Doctor Weir, there's been some sort of attack on Manara. We have incoming with wounded."

Weir radios back even as people dressed as Athosians emerge through the gate. "We're on our way."

The two guards head down to the gate room...

"What happened?!" one asks a girl who takes off her hat.

"They were everywhere!" By her voice, it's the girl who radio'd in. "I can't believe they didn't kill us!"

"Who??" The other guard begins-

Only for Kolya to reveal his disguise from one of the wounded's stretchers, and fired his gun off twice.

BANG BANG.

The guards fall to the ground, and the girl, Sora, stares on in horror.

"Those men could have been overpowered!" She states.

"Secure the room," Kolya orders, calmly.

"We need the Athosians to tell us where everything is! If we kill people-" Sora tries-

"Secure. The. Room." Kolya repeats, tone growing colder.

Sora sighs. "Cover the entrances!"

The Genii men spread out as the gate shuts down.



You're Tyzias once again.

"Wait," you radio. "Wounded? What's going on? Was it Wraith?"

"We'll ask them ourselves in a minute," Weir reports. "Hold on. Line open..."

A pause.

"What the hell is going on?" Weir asks, sounding rather startled.

"Doctor Elizabeth Weir?" An unfamiliar man's voice asks, muted voice by distance from Weir's and Mckay's radios.

"Yes." Weir answers, cautiously.

"And who is this?" the man asks.

"Rodney Mckay, what's it to you?" Mckay answers, sounding nervous.

Shit. Those aren't Athosians, are they?

"Where are Jade Jackson, Teyla Emmagan, and Aiden Ford?" the man asks.

"Oh HELL no," you hear John gripe. You're inclined to agree.

"You seem to know a lot about us," Weir says. "And we're at a disadvantage. Who are you?"

"We are of the Genii, and beyond that, there's only one thing you need to know, Doctor Weir. As of right now, we are in control of Atlantis," The man says, then orders, "Secure them."

The line then goes silent as if cut. Mckay and Weir's Radios likely were taken from them.

You immediately change channels to the next frequency over, and radio, "John? What now?"

"Meet me in the Jumper Bay," he says, and you take off running for the Transporter.

It takes a few minutes, but you get there at about the same time as John.

You head to Jumper One in silence, and while John starts stocking up on supplies, you go for the Jumper's Radio, praying to get a signal.

"Jumper Three, this is Tyzias, come in Jumper Three."

...

...

"Oh thank g-snnnrk-!" Miracle of Miracles, a reply!! "This is Keiko. We decided to wait out the st--krr- in the Jumper."

"You're still on the mainland?" You ask.

"Yeah," Keiko replies.

"We've got a situation," you tell them. "From what John and I heard over the radio, a Genii strike force has gated in."

"The Genii?" you hear Mallek ask. "As in the fuckerssssssssss-re messing around with Naquadria bombs?"

"Yeah, that's them," you say. "They've got Weir and Mckay hostage, and are holding the Gate Room."

A pause.

"-VVVVVRRRKKKR-king up, Tyz," Daraya's voice fills your heart with joy for a moment. "Did you just say hostage??"

"Affirmative," you reply.

"Alright," Keiko says. "We're on our way as soon as we get -vrrrrkkkarrrrrrr--"

"Repeat that?" you ask, to nothing but static for a moment.

Then, Teyla speaks. "Miss Entykk, this is Teyla. The hurricane is in full force outside. We-VRRRRRZZZZZZZZZ-is doubtful that we would make it back to Atlantis. And we have three young passengers, as well."

"Well, that's bad news," John gripes.

"I am sorry," Teyla says.

"Don't worry about it," you radio back. "Keiko, stay put until it passes over. We'll manage here on our own until you get a break."

"Good luck, Tyz," Daraya says. "-Vrrt-ove you."

You smile. "Thanks. Love you too, Daraya. Atlantis out." And you thumb off the Radio, turning to John. "What now?"

"Now? We secure the C-4 somewhere they won't find it," John says, handing you a P-90 and a bulletproof vest.

"Why C-4?" you ask, taking both and equipping them.

"Just... a hunch. Jade said the Genii were really interested in it, and I'd rather they not get their hands on it."

"Fair enough," you nod. "Lead the way."


Your name is Rodney Mckay, and you're trying to downplay how science-y you are in an attempt at playing dumb.

"Who are you?" Weir asks as you're rudely shoved into chairs in the control room.

"I am Commander Acastus Kolya, of the Genii," the man who's leading them says. "This Atlantis..." he looks around the room. "It's extraordinary. To think that Cowen believes it to be fake."

Naquadria poisoning, you want to reflexively state, but manage to restrain it.

"What have you done with the rest of my people?" Weir asks.

"I assure you, save the one poor fool we liberated his code device from, none of them know we're even here," Kolya answers. "If you're confused, it's as simple as the time-tested combination of a strong drink and a weak mind."

"There was a time our people were considering being allies," Weir says. "Then you kidnapped two of my people with intent to lie to us that the Wraith had taken them. Now this? What do you want?"

"Yes, we're still puzzling over how Teyla and Ford made their miraculous escape from a locked room," Kolya smirks, "however, what we want is simple. The C-4 you demonstrated both in clearing the tree stump, and in blowing loose a metal hatch."

"What metal hatch?" you ask, genuinely confused.

"The one that flew sky high and landed on my father!" a girl among the men interjects. "Teyla must pay for the murder of my father!"

"...Oh." You blink. Jade's attempt at hinge breaking gone wrong had consequences of death. You can already see Weir' vowing not to mention that to the girl. "That metal hatch..."

"Beyond that, we desperately need your medical supplies," Kolya continues. "Hand them over and we will leave peacefully."

"Or?" Weir asks.

"We're both intelligent people, Doctor Weir. I'm sure there's no need for me to demonstrate once again the strength of my resolve for a second time," he motions at the stretchers being carried off to the side- a guard's arm hangs limp down the side from beneath a cloth.

Damn it, you never even got their names.

"So, C-4, medical supplies... anything else you want to take from us?" Weir asks.

"I am under orders to demand you hand over a Wraith Data Storage Device I am quite reasonably certain you never even had your hands on," Kolya says. "As well as one of your space faring ships that your people have been seen gallivanting about on."

"Is that all?" You ask.

"No, as previously requested," Kolya says, "Jade Jackson. Aiden Ford. Teyla Emmagan. Where are they?"

"Offworld, Offworld, and unknown, last presumed on the Mainland, in that order," Weir replies smoothly.

"They were not among the people on Manara," Kolya says.

"Manara only holds about one third of the total expedition staff," Weir tells him. "We split off to other worlds- ones you're clearly not aware of if you have to ask. And before you ask? No, I'm not telling you where. One of those worlds is our backup Alpha Site incase the City sinks from the storm. I'm sure you can understand why I'm hesitant to share such information."

"Of course," Kolya smirks. "Now, about those materials and supplies?"

"What you're asking for isn't that easy. We've had to divert a lot of power in order to prepare for the storm. The armory safety doors have shut, which means we can't-" Weir gets cut off by Kolya smirking.

"Just so we're clear, you have a terrible lying face," Kolya says.

"Really now?" Weir asks. "I was told I had the best poker face this side of Las Vegas."

"I have no idea what that is," Kolya says, leaning against a control console and-

Oh. What luck. His Butt has hit the button to activate the city intercom.

"Look, Elizabeth," you say, loudly, playing up the panic. "Just give him what he needs! If he needs the C-4, med supplies, and whatever Ships he wants, then we just give it to him! None of it's worth dying for!!"

Kolya smirks, and stands up from the console. "See, Rodney here is a reasonable fellow. He can see where a need is needed to be met."

"Look, your request is really unreasonable. We can't give you all of our medical supplies," Weir says.

"You're in no position to tell me reasonable from unreasonable, Doctor Weir," Kolya says. "My people are sick. More and more die younger and younger from reasons we cannot pin down and-"

"Oh come on, you can't be that stupid!" your mouth gets ahead of you.

"...Excuse me?" Kolya's eyes narrow at you.

"...Look, it's no secret that we had someone rescue Teyla and Ford, right?" you say. "They had a scanner device with them. Can I use a console for a moment? It's easier if I show you."

"Very well," Kolya permits it.

You bring up the scanner results on a large computer monitor, showing the radiation levels Jade recorded from the Genii planet.

"Your planets core, not to mention the bombs you're pretty clearly making, are HIGHLY radioactive," you point at the Naquadria readings. "THAT? That is what we call Naquadria. It's even MORE Highly unstable than all the other elements on this list, all of which have their own nasty side-effects to exposure. Direct physical contact to active Naquadria results in a person dying within a day. Continued, prolonged exposure to it causes dimentia and paranoia and vast halucinations. And let's not even get started on how piss-poor your shielding is if we could detect this from the SURFACE right at the STARGATE."

"What are you saying, Doctor Mckay?" Kolya presses- and damn it, he's called your bluff. Shit.

Well. Time to dig your grave.

"How long have you been making your bombs? Digging into the core of your own planet for raw materials?" you ask.

"...Countless Generations," Kolya answers, reluctantly.

"Congratulations, then," you say, "you've literally been Poisoning your own people with prolonged radiation exposure for long enough that it's a miracle you all haven't died off from it yet!"

"I see," Kolya considers it all heavily for a few minutes. He broods, silently, and you're forced to take a seat while he stares at the data before him. "Weir," he finally says, "Show my men where they can find what we're looking for."

The girl and two others lead Weir away.

Kolya turns to look at you, "What are you doing here?" he asks.

Defiantly, you answer, "Well, I was minding my own business, then got held hostage by you guys."

"I mean here, in Atlantis. Why did some of you stay behind?" Kolya asks.

"You know, keep an eye on things, tie up loose ends, see what happens when the storm hits and if the City survives," you tell him. "Honestly, we're not optimistic. But, you know. Captains going down with their ships and what not."

"Isn't that the work of someone far less important than yourself?" Kolya asks.

"What makes you think I'm important?" you ask.

"Please, Doctor Mckay," he presses again. "I am not an idiot. You have a plan to save the City, don't you?"

"Who said anything about saving the city?" you ask.

"You will, in just a few minutes," Kolya says, drawing a knife from his waist belt.

You swallow, tensely.

Oh boy this is going to hurt.



EARTH DATE: JUNE 12TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/21/0004.

Your name is Elizabeth Weir, and oh, god, this is not going right at all.

You lead the Genii to the armory, going the long way around.

"Where is Teyla really?" the girl asks.

"I never did ask your name," you say. "I'd like to know who's asking."

"Sora," she says.

"I see," you say. "Teyla is really on the mainland, or was, last I knew. She was waiting for the last of her people to evacuate when we lost radio contact."

"She will pay for murdering my father," Sora says.

"Teyla had nothing to do with his death," you say. "It was another team member who triggered that explosion."

"She is still culpable," Sora insists. "She will PAY."

And then you find that Sheppard and Entykk beat you all to the punch-- The C-4 boxes are gone, and in their place, a single radio.

You're taken back to the control room with it.

While Sora converses with Kolya, you head over to check on Rodney, whose right arm is horribly bloody!!

"What happened?" You ask.

"They cut me until I told them about the plan to recharge the Zed-P.M. with lightning strikes," he tells you... a Lie.

A lie that's very dangerous and could evaporate the entire city.

"What's the meaning of this?" Kolya asks about the radio- with a sticker on it in Alternian font reading "Push to Talk" and an arrow pointing at the talk button.

Tyzias Entykk! Seriously?!

"It's a radio," you say. "You push the button the arrow's pointing at to talk."

Kolya does so. "This is Commander Kolya of the Genii."

A pause, and then, Sheppard replies, "Cole-ya? That's a hard name to pronounce. Is that a first name or last name?" Kolya bristles as Sheppard continues. "Nevermind. I'm Major John Sheppard, and I have hidden the C-4 where you will never. Ever. Repeat NEVER Find it. It's so well hidden, infact, that you might even have to go back in time to before I took it just to find it. Did you bring a time machine? No? Too bad."

Mckay smiles at that.

"What do you want, Major Sheppard?" Kolya asks.

"Confirmation that the prisoners have been safely released and allowed to Gate offworld. At that point, I give you the C-4."

Kolya says, "Your offer is very generous, Major. However, Doctor Mckay recently shared with me the plan you have to save the City."

"He DID now, did he?" Sheppard sounds surprised.

"He did," Kolya smirks. "My understanding is that to recharge this "Zed-P.M." you need to uncouple one final Grounding Station- Four, wasn't it? At that point, you help with the shield restoration, and you and your friends can leave here, unharmed, and never step foot onto Atlantis again."

"...You're TAKING our CITY?!" Sheppard asks, annoyed.

"Yes," Kolya answers. "Why raid a city when you can seize it, Major? Atlantis will be ours or the ocean's… You choose." He turns off the radio.

Well, screw that.

"Kolya?" You venture. "May I speak with you in my office for a moment?"

"Very well," Kolya allows. "Lead the way. But no funny business."

You take him to your office.

Kolya approves, "I will make this mine," he says, taking your seat immediately.

Bastard. The next time a man sits in that chair it'll be someone from your expedition team, you can promise him that much.

You lay it out flat for him: "Look. This city was designed to be inhabited by the Ancients and their direct descendants and although, yes, while there is limited functionality for those who do not posses the Ancient gene, it is only those who have it who can revive this city to its true potential."

"And you all have this Gene?" Kolya asks.

"No, but many of my team do." You continue to lay it out for him, "The Wraith are waking up. I don't know what plans you had for defeating them, Kolya, but the Genii are too late. Soon this entire galaxy will be embroiled in a war the likes of which our generations have never seen."

"Let me guess," Kolya takes a stab in the dark, picking up one of your pens and clicking it open. "You killed a queen slowly and painfully rather than quick and instantly?"

"Does that even matter?" You ask. "Yes, we may have expedited their awakening, but your own actions might just as well have hastened it too, for all we know."

"Potentially," Kolya muses. "Continue."

"Disagreements like ours will no longer matter in the long run. The only thing of any consequence will be how prepared we are, and what defense we are able to mount. Now, this city holds many secrets which could help us win that war… But only if my team are here to discover them. So fine, take whatever you need for your people, but if you don't leave us this city, you're only hurting yourselves in the long run."

"And why is it you believe your people, who by your claim are not even of this galaxy, are closer to the Ancients than we are?" Kolya asks.

"Because we have living descendants of the Ancients on our team," you bluff. Bigtime. "One of them is a pilot, on the mainland, right now, with Teyla, just waiting to fly back the moment the storm lets up. She's lived her entire life in a Castle ship a hundred times taller than Atlantis. She helped us discover this City's location, and believe me when I say that she is as possessive and vindicative as a cat ready to scratch the face off of whoever stole her favorite historical artifacts."

Kolya smirks. "Your arrogance is astounding if you think I would believe that, Doctor Weir. We will take this city, mount a defense against the Wraith, and we will win. Without you or your expedition's help." And with that, a knock at your office door interupts the conversation.

"Sir," a Genii Private says, "He's at the grounding station... But he's stopped."

You're taken back to the control room, where the Genii have set up their own little cameras to watch the Grounding Station.

"The Commander is here," one of the men says into the radio.

"He's just standing there, Sir," one of the men over the radio reports. "He keeps glancing at this device for some reason. I think he knows we're here."

"Hold your fire, do not approach until he's finished," Kolya orders.

"Yes, sir," is the reply.

"Yes lethal force only if necessary," Kolya continues.

Sora sounds concerned as she says, "You said he would be unharmed."

"Let us hope he doesn't give us reason to fight, then," Kolya says, watching the scene play out.

Sheppard approaches a door, and heads outside, approaching a control console for the grounding station.

Even from here you can see how much worse the wind and rain is.

Sheppard goes around the console, and peers out at the storm. From that direction of the city, he'd be staring right in the face of the storm.

You can already hear the wind from outside buffeting the windows.

Sheppard raises his P-90, and then stalks out of view of the cameras.

"We've lost sight of him!" a man on the other end gets antsy. "I'm going in!"

"Hold your fire!" Kolya orders.

"Those controls are pretty fragile," Rodney warns. "Don't go firing or-AH!" Someone grabs him by the arm, and holds him tight.

You refocus your sight on the screen.

One of the soldiers steps out of view and starts opening fire wildly- Mckay groans as he sees sparks fly from the console- suddenly, though, there's a double flash of blue lightning and the man falls to the ground, dead.

"Private Caryen?" Kolya radios. "Report!"

"I- I don't know, sir! There was this weird- Zyuuu Zyuuu sound and he fell over!"

Zyuu Zyuu? If you didn't know any better you'd say that were a ZAT GUN.

"Move in!" Kolya orders, and two more men rush in, a bit more cautiously...

And Sheppard pops up into frame from a lower, unseen level, and shoots one of the men dead.

The other man takes aim and fires at John and---

And then he's simply not there.

There's a burst of blue smoke and suddenly John Sheppard is standing behind the shocked Genii soldier swinging a massive hammer into the man's back and he goes flying off screen... directly towards what should be open ocean.

Tyzias steps out into view, hurriedly examining the busted control console- which makes every Genii in the room tense up- while John grabs his radio, Yelling:

"Let me tell you what you did WRONG here, Kolya!!" Somehow, he turns to face a camera, and glares. "A! You lost two of your men to a stupid fire fight, and a third now drowning in the ocean. B! You damaged the switch before we could disconnect the grounding rods, which I'm SURE you're going to get an earful from Mckay over!"

Still held by the Genii man, Mckay chimes in with, "Hell Yes You Are!"

"And C!" John Sheppard concludes, "You just lost all of what little credibility you had with us."

"You KILLED three of my men," Kolya growls.

"I'd say that'd make us even, except, OH. WAIT. NO IT WOULDN'T!" John replies. "And I am NOT a fan of even! Not today!"

"Neither am I," Kolya growls, drawing his gun.

"I'm not FINISHED yet!" John continues.

"And you are harboring a foreign alien! You are no worse than the Wraith!" Kolya says, turning on you, aiming the weapon your way. "Now say goodbye to Doctor Weir."

"This city has a self-destruct button. If you hurt her, I'll activate it. Nobody'll get Atlantis!" John threatens.

"Even if it exists, Major," Kolya smirks. "You'll need two senior personnel, I'd wager. And I'm about to remove one of them from the equation."

"Miss Entykk has a self destruct code!" You tell Kolya, hoping to spare yourself time.

"I sincerely doubt that, Doctor Weir," Kolya says, and pulls his finger back on the trigger with a Click.

"Wait-" you hear Mckay-

BANG!

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 12TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/21/0004.

The BANG transmits over the radio, and then there's silence.

"KOLYA!" You yell into the radio. "KOLYA!!!!"

There's no reply.

The wind, waves, and rain bashes against the still locked grounding station.

"SHIT!" You turn back to look at Tzyias, who pulls away from the busted console. "Damn it!! They fried it! They severed a bunch of lines and- Gaaaah! IDIOTS! Naquadria poison brained idiots!! I can't fix this! I don't even know if Mckay could fix this!"

The City of Atlantis was an Ancient Relic, as far as Keiko was concerned. The systems were archaic compared to Aincrad's and the amount of hack-job security measures that were put in place during the war with the Wraith was something you were all still fighting to overcome every day.

A broken control console for the grounding station? This is not good. Not good at all. That grounding station is as good as locked.

"How's this for Resolve, Major Sheppard," Kolya finally radios back. "Weir is dead."

"...Rodney?" You radio back, voice quiet and grim, and barely hearable over the wind even to yourself.

Still, you hear Mckay's voice come through, panicking- "He shot her in the head, Sheph-AH!! WATCH THE ARM!"

"Doctor Mckay will remain alive so long as you and your alien compatriot STAY out of MY WAY and do not kill any more of my men," Kolya boasts.

You growl, "I am going to kill you, Kolya."

"Maybe you will. Maybe you won't. I'd suggest you leave before my next force of men arrive and force another potentially fatal confrontation."

There's a storm rapidly baring down on you all. You've got no shield, crazy invaders running all over the place, and essentially trapped in a City on the Ocean without a Lighthouse in sight to signal the end of this crazy nightmare.

You signal for Tyzias to follow your lead. You captchalogue your giant war hammer for your P-90 again, and head back into the City, and are well on the way for the second closest transporter by the time you talk again.

"What do we do?" Tyzias asks. "Weir's dead... we can't actually set the self destruct without her, can we?"

"We won't have to," you say. "If Rodney's smart, he'll actually set up for the ZPM Superchage plan and we have until then to get the Genii out of the city."

"So what do we do 'Until then'?" Tyzias asks.

"Naquadah Generators," you decide. "We shut as many of them as we can down, and blackout the City. We make this as hard as we can for Kolya."

Your name is John Sheppard, and you get the feeling this incredibly long day is about to get even longer.



O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O

 



"How much longer until the storm passes?" Teyla asks.

Your name is Daraya Jonjet, and to be honest... "What do I look like? A weather girl?"

"If I had to guess," Keiko says, "I think we're barely halfway through. There's no way to know until we reach the Eye, though."

"The eye?" Teyla asks.

"The big swirly hole of calm at the center of all this raging wind," you answer. "It looks like an eye."

"Ah, I see..." Teyla nods.

And then as if on demand...

The rain and wind suddenly stops.

"...Huh," Mallek says. "Looks like you were right, Keiko. Half way through."

"Not even going to waste time checking," Keiko says, dialing up the Jumper's engines and lifting off. "We're going up and over."

You sit up to attention, "Good. Let's hope things haven't gone to hell during the time we were out of radio contact."



You're still John Sheppard, and you and Tyzias divert course from the transporter for the Naquadah Generator powering this section of the city- lifesigns detector beeping away.

"So, are we going to talk about what happened back there?" Tyizas asks.

"What's there to talk about?" You ask, pausing at a corner, and peering around. Nobody so far.

"The fact that you got shot and and turned into a big blue cloud of smoke?" she clarifies.

"...Right, that," you move along down the hallway.

"Well?" Tyzias asks. "What the hell was that?"

"This storm is doing weird things to my powers," you answer. "I think... for a moment there it felt like I was the wind itself. It was weird."

"No duh, it was weird," Tyzias snorts. "Think you could do it again?"

"No idea yet," you say. "We'll find out, I guess."

You come to a room with a circular platform, and head down the nearest set of steps.

You look around a bit more... ah. "People that way," you whisper through the breeze itself. You're not sure if you even actually vocalize the words.

...Now there's an idea.

As you and Tyzias go a different route, you send some breeze their way to whisper a few taunts their way.

"Hey! Cheese breath!"

The sound of wasted gunfire makes you smile, a little.

You emerge onto a balcony part of a stack of balconies, overlooking an indoors plaza of sorts. It reminds you of a hotel loby, even. There's another stack of balconies opposite you by some way.

Your life signs detector says there are dots heading your way... a check with the Breeze shows them being a level below you.

You and Tyzias proceed silently.

"...Are you sure we're on the right level?" A soldier asks.

"Sssh, they can probably hear your stupid questions," another answers.

You focus with the breeze, and make a racket on the far side of the gap. The Genii turn to face it, some even wasting more ammo, firing off in that direction.

"Did we get them!?"

You activate a smoke canister, and use a sharp jab of breeze to make it fly backwards as you heft it over the railing.

Gravity and that nudge make it land admist the Genii, making it seem like it flew from the other side of the gap.

PFOOOOOM!

"POISON!"

"SHUT UP! IT'S JUST A  SMOKE GRENADE! AND STOP POINTING THAT GUN AT ME!"



Your name is Rodney Mckay, and you lament the sight of a busted apart control console. "Oh, Look at this! That is just never going to be useful again!" You peer at the hail of bullets lodged into the mess of severed fiberoptics. "...I could be able to bypass the switching station... maybe. Fifty Percent Chance. Really."

"How Long?" Kolya inquires over the rain.

"...Fifteen? Twenty Minutes? If I can do it, that is," you over estimate your chances. "Your men REALLY should know better than to shoot at anything that isn't an actually moving target!"

"Belive me, Doctor Mckay," Kolya seems just as disgruntled. "I. KNOW. I told Cowen they were not ready for this mission. He insisted."

"AND FOR THE RECORD!" you yell over a large burst of wind, glaring at him. "I put most of the blame on that decision on YOU for not fighting harder against it! Not the least bit for the fact that this whole endeavor is going to be a lot harder with Weir Dead. I needed her command codes to activate the Shield. You better sure as hell hope Sheppard and Entykk aren't killed, 'cause I'm going to need THEIRS to bypass Weir's codes!"

And that pisses you off to no end.

You're never going to get the image out of your head. The spray of blood. The- the red mark on her forehead as Weir's body collapsed to the floor.

The...

"I sincerely doubt that," Kolya says, "but if that really is the case, we will leave the City to sink and you will help us cure our people of this Naquadria poisoning."

"That's nowhere near as simple as fixing this could be!" you say. "Your problem is baked into your genetics at this point! There's nothing to FIX! Radiation has scrambled your genes to the point your quality of life is failing! I doubt the Wraith would even want to feed on your people at this point. You'd probably taste rancid to them!"



Your name is Mallek Adalov, and you whistle as you peer down at the sight of the Eye from just above it.

It's a massive circle of grey clouds forming a wall.

"Yeah. That's the eye alright," you say.

"Dead center of the storm, a single twenty-to-forty kilometer area of perfect calm, protected by pure chaos..." Keiko closes her eyes for a moment. "I'd say if we'd stayed, we'd have had about ten minutes before it picked up again."

"Well, let's not wait then," Tyzias says, pulling back the lever of a rifle with a CHA-CLAK. "Get us to Atlantis."



Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you watch from your position on the ceiling as John Sheppard's body dissolves into a large cloud of blue smoke.

Within moments, a small squad of Genii soldiers approach the room's entrance.

"Oh... oh what is this? There's so much smoke in here...?!"

A radio buzzes. "Five feet. They're right infront of you."

"Which way?" A Soldier asks.

"You're right ontop of them!" the radio buzzes again.

"Yeah!? I think I'd see them if i were!"

And then The cloud of blue mass suddenly whrils into action- swirling suddenly into a miniature cyclone.

"GAAAAAAAAAH!" The squad of men cry out in shock and surprise, being flung bodily out of the cyclone and into the far walls.

Before they can recover, you shoot them from above with your Zatgun with single shots.

PCH-ZYU! PCH-ZYU! PCH-ZYU!

They're stunned, and going to be out of it for a while.

You start climbing down from the ceiling as the cloud of blue-- whatever-- merges back into the solid formof John Sheppard.

The radios buzzes, "Do you see them!? Did you get them!? Report!!"

John picks it up, and radios, "Yeah. I got them. And you really need to tell your people to open your eyes better."

He pockets the Genii radio, and the two of you move on before more men can be dispatched to your location.

"So... You can do it on demand?" you ask.

"Holding it is really tiring," he answers. "Cycloning up was even more tiring. I think it's more of an emergency quick move thing, if this were a game."

"Gotcha," you nod.

A girl reports over the radio, "Commander, Ladon has been leading three of our men on a reconnaissance mission. Sheppard and this Entykk girl have lead them on a chase, and seem to have subdued them."

Kolya replies, "Understood, Sora. Tell everyone to move back to the control room. We will have this grounding station fixed shortly."

"Not if I have anything to say about it," John mutters.

There's a pause- then- "Radio Chief Cowen," Kolya orders. "Tell him to send reinforcements.  A full company."

You and John stop, then make a decision.

"Split up to take different generators," you say. "I'll take Generator two.."

"I'll handle the Gate Room's generator," John nods. "After you get two, grab Generators three and five. I'll take four once I've disabled one." Plan made, you head your separate ways.

You're able to make it to your generator first, and radio, "On your mark, Major."

"Made it," he reports soon after. "On three..."

You proceed to ignore the multiple signs in multiple languages- one of which you wrote yourself- reading "Really Dangerous- DON'T TOUCH!" and pull the key from the Naquadah Generator on a three count.



Your name is still Rodney Mckay and you are still alive...

Well, until the power suddenly goes out.

"What the--?" You grimace. "No nononono!" They cut the power.

Why would they do that!?

"Commander," A man radios. "Major Sheppard has cut power to the control room."

"We noticed, Ladon," Kolya returns. "We've lost power at the grounding station! How did he do this?" He directs that part to you.

"How should I know!?" You ask. "There's any number of ways to shut down power across the city, including, but not limited to setting the self destruct." You bluff. Or, atleast, you hope you're bluffing.

God, if Sheppard and Entykk are taking the Generators somewhere and rigging them to explode....

'Ladon' speaks, "It looks like Atlantis is being powered by five small generators, each responsible for a separate area of the city. Major Sheppard has just disabled the one generator that powers Stargate operations in this tower. Now, we still have most primary operations, but we have definitely lost all secondary systems, including the tracking sensors."

"Does that same generator power this section of the city?" Kolya asks, looking at you.

"No," you answer. "Which means they took out two generators simultaneously, and are probably going for the other ones as we speak." You push the bluff again, "Look. Sheppard TOLD YOU he'd set the self destruct. That's probably what this is. Even without Weir's codes, you can still rig the generators to explode manually. It's just probably going to be a much more concentrated bang than it would have been otherwise."

"Where would he set up these generators to explode?" Kolya asks.

"How should I know? Do I look like I've talked with Sheppard since you SHOT WEIR!?" you ask.

"...Can you fix the grounding station without power?" Kolya asks.

"No," you answer.

"Sir," Sora begins, "I suggest we sent some men to guard the remaining generators."

"No," Kolya says. "They're trying to divide us into manageable numbers. Just hold the Gate until reinforcements arrive."

"Understood," Sora answers.

"Look," you tell Kolya, "as much as I'd LOVE to stay out here in the rain with nothing to do- you still need me in prime condition to fix this thing when power does get restored, so- could we go inside!?"

Kolya smirks. "With what power to open the door with?"

You look back and- "OH COME ON!!"

Stupid automated storm doors closing when the power cuts out.

"Sir!" Sora sounds close to panic over the Radio. "The storm is not slowing its pace and we've lost power to another section of the city! If we can't activate the Shields, we should re-evaluate and-"

"We still have more than enough time to complete our objectives, Sora," Kolya cuts her off.

"Then I STRONGLY advise that we send men to repair the deactivated generators and guard the-" Sora growls, sounding REALLY fed up- "And there goes the next one one. We only have one left."

Kolya considers it. "Fine. Go send men to restore the different generators, and guard the remaining active one. Teams of Two. But, I want you and Ladon to watch the Gate and hold for reinforcements. Then, have them take Sheppard and this Entykk alien with overwhelming force."

"Understood."

You hunker down under the most available shelter that you can and make yourself as small as you can.

You pretend the water running down your cheeks is from the rain as you mourn the death of Elizabeth Weir.



The Jumper has landed. Your name is Keiko Ayano, and as you take a gun from Daraya, you consider the state of things.

The city was mostly dark. Whole sections of it were without power on your approach.

"Remain here, and be still," Teyla advises the Athosian kids. "We will return for you once the situation is calm."

And with that as a nod, they close the hatch to the Jumper once the four of you have exited it.

"What now?" Mallek asks. "Armory?"

"Yeah," Daraya nods. "Wraith Stunners. We need some so we don't accidentally shoot to kill Tyzias or John."

None of you dare suggest contacting them. The Genii might be monitoring radio frequencies and nobody wants them to know you're here.

You take up the Lifesigns detector from the Jumper and pan around. "Alright... so these dots are only telling us people are around. How do we know who's who?"

"Tyzias and John will be the dots getting rid of the other dots," Daraya cracks a grin- though there's no humor in her voice.

"Lovely, that," you say.

You lead the way for the nearest transporter, pausing only when you hear conversation echoing upwards from the stairwell connecting the Jumper Bay to the Control Room.

"How many should we expect?" A girl asks.

"Full company, sixty or more," a man answers. "I don't know how we were expected to take a facility this size with any less."

"It was supposed to be a RAID to retrieve what was rightfully ours. Not a capturing of a whole complex!" The girl answers.

Teyla tenses up, and the lot of you move on to the transporter before you get heard.

Once inside, and safely wooshed away to another part of the base, Teyla says, "That was Sora. I knew her well. To think that she's here..."

"We'll worry about that later," you say. "Let's get armed up."



Your name is John Sheppard, and you wisp your way through the city like a ghost.

Your strange air-form is... well...

It's strange.

It's like being spread out all over and yet still being a solid mass.

You don't know what the HELL kind of genetic transformation your body is undergoing to be like this, but it's sure as hell WEIRD.

Whatever "Project Heir" was, if it was meant to be you at all, Nirrti and Jayni were sure desinging you with some interesting ideas of what a biological super weapon could be.

You arrive in the control room, just in time to watch the Gate activate and Sora head down to the Gate to meet the men coming through.

Only this "Ladon" guy is left to guard the control room.

You form solid with your arms around his neck and make him COUNT SOME SHEEP by stilling all the air flow to his lungs, before lying him down on the ground quietly, and start inputting a lockout on the Gate Shield.

Heh.

Shielding the City from a storm, huh?

The shield raises suddenly after only a few men have made it through.

The resounding sequence of splats is disturbing and you quickly shift to cloud form again and hide before the bullets start flying.

"LADON! SHUT IT OFF!!!" Sora yells. "LADON!?"

"Oh My God!" A genii cries out.

"THIS IS SORA! Stop sending reinforcements! The Shield went up! I repeat the-" she stops as the sequence of blasts against the gate stops, mainly because the whole thing shuts down.

Well, that's that done.

Sora takes a stilling breath, then radios, somberly. "Commander, Sheppard raised the Gate Shield. Only five men made it. Five of Sixty. I have no idea how many were shattered against the shield before the other side closed the connection."

"Can you disable the shields?" Kolya asks.

"...No. Some sort of lockout has been initiated. I can't even access the DHD," Sora answers.

Yeah, you're not getting through that shield at all, you think to yourself as you head for the transporter, and reform in the safety of it.

You just did that. Yes you did.

You listen to the radio, waiting for Kolya's inevitable response as you catch your breath.

"Mckay says that it would be one of Sheppard's or Entykk's personal codes, or something randomly made up on the spot," Kolya says. "Ladon?"

"Unconscious, but alive," Sora reports. "I have a medic rousing him."

"...Good." Kolya says, grimly. "Have him working to break the code as soon as he is awake."

"Understood," Sora answers.

"...Did Athor's son make it through the Gate?" Kolya asks.

"I'm sorry?" Sora asks.

"His name is Idos. Did he make it?" Kolya asks.

"He is not on our side, he was either shattered against the shield or still on the other side waiting to be redeployed," Sora answers after a pause.

"...So at worst count, over Sixty men killed by these savages," Kolya remarks.

"Defending their home and their people, Commander! As we would!" Sora... defends your actions? Well, that's a surprise. "We ARE the aggressors here. And you DID kill their commander. That Ladon is alive still shows a lot more leniency than I would expect in this situation. They want us GONE and not dead."

"...Yes, you are right on that," Kolya grunts. "When can we expect more reinforcements?"

"If we can even restore contact with our people, perhaps an hour, maybe less depending on how many men survived," Sora answers.

"Unacceptable!" Kolya growls.

Sora actually snaps back, "Yes, Commander, it is unacceptable, because by then, we will be in the full force of the Storm!"

Breath caught and stamina recovered, you transport across the city to the last generator that Tyzias shouldn't have disabled.

Though, she's probably heading to it, too... So...

You find a staircase and start heading down it.

There's radio chatter- "We can't reactivate the generators. Parts are missing."

"I see." Kolya stops talking on the Genii radio, and instead...

"Major Sheppard," Kolya begins speaking through the Radio you left for him. "I have a proposition for you."

You pause at a landing, "Kolya? I'm having a hard time keeping up. What's the score again?"

Kolya remarks, "I have been informed that not only have you disabled the Naquada generators, you've stolen the key components which make it impossible to reactivate them."

"Did I? I guess that was me." You answer.

"There are two flaws in your plan to make me believe you'd destroy the city," Kolya begins.

"Such as?" You ask.

"First. You didn't take the generators themselves," Kolya begins.

"Maybe I left some clever decoys behind, huh?" You ask.

"Perhaps. However, The Second thing. If and when I determine Atlantis unsalvageable, Doctor Mckay becomes obsolete, and he goes the route of Doctor Weir."

Your heart skips a beat.

Shit.

SHIT.

"You wouldn't," you start-

"You're the one threatening to destroy the city in vengeance of Weir's death," Kolya says. "Now, we have less than one hour before the storm hits full-force. If the power is not returned to grounding station four within the next ten minutes, Doctor Mckay dies."

"That's not enough time," you stress. "I can't make it there in time."

"At that point, we leave the City to the storm," Kolya says. "You don't even have to cause any self destruct. Your time starts now."



Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and damn it, you can make it to that generator but John can't.

You palm the activation key for that Generator in your hand. What to do, what to do...

"Fine," John declares. "I'm going. I'll get it started. Tell your men not to interfere at all."

"That will be done," Kolya says, and... you have no idea if he's going to actually do it or not.

Fuck it.

You head for the generator.

It's going to be am ambush, sure. But...

Damn it.

Ten minutes is not enough time. Shit Shit Shit Shit SHIT.

Soon, you arrive at the generator for Station Four and prepare to put the key into-

"STOP!"

Genii soldiers emerge from out from cover, you raise your hands.

"Look! Your boss wants this thing turned back on. I can do that. Let me do it," you bargain.

"Be quiet," the guard then speaks to his radio, "Sora, we have the alien."

"Keep her alive for now. I'm on my way. We will get Sheppard when he comes to rescue her and restore power, then we kill them both and leave the city to the ocean," Sora replies.

Shit...

"Look, I'm sort of on a time limit here..." you start.

"Shut up, Wraith," the guard growls.

"Okay, for starters, I'm NOT a Wraith," you say. "I'm an Alternian from another galaxy, I came with the expedition team. I'm just a scientist."

"He said shut up!" another guard growls. "We won't let you eat us, Wraith!"

"I'm not a Wraith!" You close your eyes, praying that John gets here soon...

"We don't really care!" The first guard says, and you hear a click of a hammer in a gun. "Now shut up!!"

"...Look, I don't mean to be a bad prisoner, but, Kolya is going to be pissed if I don't turn this thing on, so-" You're cut off.

"TURN AROUND!!" both guards yell, slightly desynched with eachother.

You do so.

And then you smile at what you see.

"Wh- What are you smiling about, Alien!?" One of the guards asks.

"You turn around and see for yourself," you say.

"What!?" The guard who asked asks again.

"Well, I turned around and saw something I liked, so should you!" You say, and then on that demand, Daraya fires off a wraith stunner, causing both Genii guards to fall to the ground.

"Oh thank god we got the right one," Daraya says, rushing over to swoop you up into a hug.

"Took you guys long enough!" you say, giving Daraya a quick peck on the cheek before turning around to reactivate the Generator for the Grounding Station.

"Well, there's the storm and all that," Keiko starts talking as- oh, lovely timing, here comes John running up to join you.

"Woah. You guys made it!" he grins.

"Major Sheppard," Teyla greets. "We came to assist with the situation."

"What's the situation?" Mallek asks.

"Weir is dead," you answer. "Commander Kolya of the Genii killed her."

The room goes silent.

"Well, we need to get moving," John says. "Sora's on her way down. We gotta leave before she shows up."

"Right," you nod. And with that, the six of you rush off.

John explains what he thinks the plan is in the mean time, "Mckay's bluffed the Genii with a recharge the ZPM plan."

"We're not actually going to do that, are we!?" Keiko asks, shocked.

"No," John shakes his head. "Atleast, I hope he's not! I think he's going to go through with using the lightning to run the shields and that's that. But the grounding station got busted in a firefight."

"I don't know if it's fixable, but if it is, he's got less than an hour to get it running," you elaborate. "After that, Mckay needs to activate the shield program from the control room, and needs Weir's codes to run the shield itself in this mode."

"That's where he runs into a problem," John says. "No Weir, no Shield. Mckay's probably repeating that point now while he's fixing the station."

"Kolya isn't going to believe it, if his behavior tonight is any indication," you say, "which means they're going to try to run it anyways."

"From the Control Room," Teyla surmises.

"Exactly where we're going, right?" Daraya asks.

"Exactly," John nods. "Now, the shield's a primary system, so they can run it even without us returning power to it. But once the grounding stations' been deactivated, we're sitting ducks in the hallway."

"Lighting strikes are going to flood the city," Keiko nods. "The Genii are going to pull back if they believe Mckay."

"And if they don't when the lightning starts to hit," John finishes, "anybody left in the hallways are as good as dead."

"Will the hunters in the Jumper be safe?" Teyla asks.

"Jumper bay is part of Stargate Ops," you answer, "they'll be shielded."

"Maybe we should be heading there, then," Daraya says.

"We are, but not for hiding," John says. "If the shield goes up, Mckay's expendable. We take the control room."

"How?" Keiko asks.

"Still working on it!" John answers, a bit curtly.

You continue in silence for a few moments, and then Kolya asks over a Genii radio- "Sora, Where are you?"

There's a hissed, "She's here, Commander."

"Who?" Kolya asks.

"Teyla!"

None of you slow your pace, though you do glance backwards down the hallway. No sign of her. She must be pretty far back.

"She and three others have joined Sheppard and Entykk. If I am patient, I can-"

"The Storm is upon us, Sora. The City is no longer safe," Kolya says. "Return to the Control Room."

"I don't care."

"Fall back. You have my word, your father will be avenged but-"

"BY. ME." And then there's a harsh click.

"Sora! Sora?? Damn it."

"Okay, we're working with that," John's voice is a whisper in your ears next he speaks. "Teyla, this Sora girl has a bone to pick. You and Daraya split off to subdue her. Keiko, Mallek, take a Jumper and on my mark, lower it into the Gate Room, drone bays open and ready to fire. Say something about putting in a new window over the radio or something, for emphasis. Tyzias and I will get Mckay with you distracting them. Then we raise the shield, save the city, take the rest of the day off."

You dare say a "Yes, Sir," and find it pleasantly muted to a whisper.


 


You are still alive, and still Rodney Mckay.

Though, for how much longer, that's a question of doubt. Atleast you're in the control room again.

"Look, I'm telling you, I can't run this without Weir's codes," you tell them again.

"And why would you bind yourself to her security pass codes?" Kolya asks, "it makes no sense."

"Look, this plan has a fifty fifty percent split of succeeding or catastrophically failing," you say. "If it works and the Zed.P.M. charges, the shield raises. If it doesn't the City's Toast. Not just from the storm. The Zed.P.M. could explode!!"

"Yes, as you mentioned," Kolya smirks. "I still don't believe it."

"Then you're as Naquadria poisoned as the rest of your people!" You scold him, figuring you might as well do it with what little breath you have left."

"Excuse me!?" Kolya asks.

"I'm serious! You're so fucking stupid I can't even believe it!!" you rant your frustration out. "Your people poison themselves with radiation! You come to this city for supplies, then try to take the whole thing wholesale, and MURDER ANYONE who might be an inconvenience or just out of pety revenge! Your own men just fucked up a control station firing BLINDLY after you told them to let Sheppard work in peace!! And now you had one of your own go off half cocked after Teyla because a METAL HATCH fell from the sky that Teyla wasn't even involved with putting up in high orbit to begin with!" you then lay on with, "And let's be honest, the IRONY of this entire situation has flown just as high over your head as the joke I'm making probably is!! You say Weir's Codes aren't needed!? THAT!? THAT IS JUST BEING SO FUCKING STUPID AND TRYING TO PRETEND THAT YOU DIDN'T MAKE A HUGE MISTAKE BY COMING TO THIS CITY IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! HONESTLY, I SHOULDN'T EVEN BE SHOCKED IF, BY SOME MIRACLE, I *DID* MANAGE TO GET THE SHIELDS UP THAT MOST OF YOUR MEN WOULD RUN OUT INTO THE HALLWAYS THINKING THAT MEANT THEY WERE SAFE!!!"

You huff, and puff, and glare at Kolya and everyone else pointing a gun at you now.

"What?" You ask. "Going to SHOOT me now?? Just go ahead and put me out of my misery because at this point you're never getting what you want in a million years."

"Raise the shields, Doctor Mckay," Kolya says, firmly.

"I. CAN'T."

"Raise. The. Shields." Kolya orders, taking out his gun.

"What part of "I" and "CAN'T" don't you understand!?"

"Look, you want me to try and fail? FINE!" you tap the enter button on the keyboard nearest to you. A loud buzzer sounds off. "See! Nothing!!"

Kolya pulls the hammer back on his gun, and then swings and shoots at one of his own men.

"SIR!" Ladon yells out in shock and betrayal.

"Do it, Mckay," Kolya demands.

"There's no negotiating with you, is there!?" You ask.

And then you see your saving grace.

"...Commander...!" Ladon starts, seeing it too.

"Silence, Ladon, or I shoot you next for insubordination," Kolya demands, aiming his gun at the man.

"You really ought to turn around," you say.

"Stop stalling for time," Kolya says.

"ATTENTION!" And then Keiko's voice booms through the City's internal radios. "GENII COMMANDER KOLYA. PUT THE GUN DOWN OR WE'LL PUT A NEW WINDOW IN THE CONTROL ROOM WALL."

Kolya slowly turns around, turning to aim the gun out the window at the Puddle Jumper hovering outside the control room- engine and weapon pods extended.

"And just who are you?" Kolya asks.

"Keiko Ayano," you see the girl's eyes narrow through the Jumper's windscreen. "And you're: IN! MY! CITY!"

Kolya has a moment of realization then. "You're the Ancient descendant Weir was talking about, aren't you?"

It was in that moment, Commander Acastus Kolya knew he fucked up.

PCH-ZYU!!!

A Zat shot races out from the stairwell and strikes Kolya flat in the back. He colapses to the floor and the other Genii soldiers all immediately throw their hands into the air as John Sheppard and Tyzias Entykk barge into the room, weapons raised.

"It's ABOUT TIME!" you exhale in relief.

"Rodney, you okay?" John asks.

"No!" you state chipperly. "I'm not! Can we please end today already?"

"Sure thing, I've got Weir's code," John says.

"Wait- you do!?" you ask, surprised.

"Of course I do! Argo's Weir's secretary!" he gives you a look. "Now get typing. Seven, Nine..."

You start typing the rest as he narrates it. 4.2.1.0.3.2.4.5.

And then you get access to the shield protocols.

"Ready to raise the shield," you say.

"Daraya, Teyla," Tyzias radios. "Status?"

"We're here," A moment later, Teyla, Daraya, and Sora come up the stairs into the room. Sora looking vastly defeated, and Teyla looking as if she'd settled a great wrong. Daraya just looks like she got hit over the head with something heavy, from the way she's nusring a bump on the side of her face.

"GIANT WAVE INCOMING!!!!" A Genii soldier who'd been looking out the window yells unnecessarily loud.

"THEN RAISING SHIELD!" you yell in return, punching in the command sequence to channel energy to the shields.

You watch as the lightning strikes hitting the city's lightning rods send massive amounts of energy through the city's hallways into the Shield Generator.

And then you hear the glorious grinding KEEN of the City's shields raising.

Seconds later, you hear a SPLOOOOOOOOOOSH as water crashes against the shields, even before the whining keen completes.

You take the moment to go over to the window and look outside.

The sight of a massive wave being cut in two by the presence of Atlantis' shields is definitely a sight to behold.

Lightning strikes within the shield still, hitting the rods and continuing to power the shields through and through.

"Well," you say, turning back to face the room. "Is it too early to put in for a two month vacation? Because I think I need a two month vacation. Preferably, somewhere warm, dry, and sandy, and not at all with flooding dangers."



Your name is John Sheppard, and you glare at Kolya as Tyzias secures him with a set of zip ties. The light of the active Stargate lends to a strange atmosphere as he glares right back at you.

"You killed our commanding officer," you say. "The rest of you may have just been following orders or disobeying and acting paranoid from radiation poisoning, but you? I think you're sane enough to have thought that through and just didn't care, Kolya. If I ever see your smug ass face again, it'll be too soon. And you'd better sure as hell hope I'm not in a mood to put you six feet under when it happens."

"The Genii will not tolerate this," Kolya says. "Commander Cowen will-"

"Oh Shut UP!" Sora growls, grabbing the man by the collar and dragging him in close. "I've had it with you, Kolya!! When Commander Cowen hears my report about how you went off the reservation killing ONE OF OUR OWN SOLDIERS!? You're through. You're so through that you'll be lucky to ever see day light again."

"And to think you'd fallen under their sway, Sora," Kolya glares at her. "What did Teyla promise you? The power of the Ancients?" He glances up at the Jumper still hovering above you all. "You're just as weak as your father. He deserved such a pitiful--!!"

Sora slaps him. Hard. Hard enough to send a tooth flying out of his mouth with a spurt of blood.

"And you've lost all credibility and respect I ever had for you, Kolya," Sora hisses. "As for what Telya promised me? She promised me the help our people need to recover from our own stupidity! A healer who can purge the damage from our bodies caused by the bombs, and the means of adequately shielding ourselves from further exposure."

"A fools wish," Kolya dares say before Sora stomps on his foot. Hard. Hard enough to make him wimper at the cracking sounds that echo out from what looked to you to be a steel toed boot.

Yikes.

And with that, Sora hands Kolya over to Ladon, and he hefts the man through the Stargate.

She turns around to look at you and says, "I'm sorry. For everything we've done to you. The Genii have made a grevious error and we'll never be able to make it up to you. That your people even have it still within you to try to help us is..."

"It's what we do," you grunt. "And for what its worth, Sora, I'm sorry about the men we had to kill. Especially the guy I knocked into the ocean. I... He didn't deserve that. And I'm sorry we can't get his remains back."

Sora nods, reluctantly. "I understand, Major Sheppard. This whole incident was avoidable... I'm just sorry that it was as bloody as it was."

"We'll give you a call in a few days once we've settled things here," you tell her. "Gotten our affairs in order. And... if by some miracle we do find that man's body, we'll return it to you as soon as possible."

"Doubtful that he could be found given the weather, but..." She nods. "The thought is appreciated."

And with that, she and the last of the Genii soldiers turn and head through the Gate.

The Jumper retreats up to the hanger bay as the Gate shuts down, and you just stand there, staring at the Gate, even as Mckay... Rodney meanders over to you.

"The storm should last for another few hours," he reports. "The shield is holding strong and we should have enough of a charge to last us through the Eye, if it passes over head."

"Good," you say, throat feeling dry.

"...The Genii put Weir's body with the guards Kolya killed," Rodney adds. "Do you know what we're going to do with-?"

"Argo has a copy of Weir's will," you tell him. "We'll figure out the guards after the storm's passed."

"Right," he nods, staring silently at the Gate. "...I would have thrown myself infront of her if I could have, you know."

"Don't," you tell him. "There's nothing you could have done. Kolya was going to kill her no matter what either of us said."

"Right... Oh, uh, the East Pier flooded," Rodney changes subjects. "The sea got to it about an hour ago. Looks like it was damage from when the city rose to begin with that let the water in. I guess there's some structural damage we didn't get to look at..."

"That's a problem for another day," you say. "Right now... I just want to sleep for a week."

"...Yeah, that's fair enough." Rodney says, and then turns to leave.

You continue to stand there, staring at the Gate.

In some respects, things may have gotten better. In others, they just got a whole hell of a lot worse.

You wonder what the hell Joey's up to right now? Probably nothing nowhere near as exciting as all of this was, you'll bet.

You close your eyes, and listen to the wind howling around the city's shields.

You're ready for tomorrow.

Chapter Text

SUBJECT: ATTN: In Case of Untimely Demise.

TO:  Gen. J. O'neill; Gen. O. Leijon;

FROM: Dr. E. Weir

General O'neill, General Leijon, I have no idea when you'll be able to read this, if ever. However, if you are reading this, the vast probability of events implies that I am Dead. I have no idea if you will be able to read the attached the mission reports for the first few days of activities the expedition, so I'll provide a brief summary below.

We arrived in the City of Atlantis and discovered that it was submerged beneath the ocean with rapidly failing Shields.

I dispatched Col. Sumner's team along with Major J. Sheppard and K. Maryam to seek out a planet to settle on incase we could not restore power to the shields, during which time they met with the people of Athos- the Athosians respectively. They were attacked during this visit by creatures known as the Wraith. Col. Sumner and his 2IC Bates were captured by these creatures along with several other people.

Maj. Sheppard destroyed a "Wraith Dart" with his wind abilities, and returned to Atlantis, which we had been unable to restore power to. The Shield colapsed, and in the last vestiges of power the Z.P.M. installed had, the City rose to the Surface of the ocean.

Lt. A. Ford managed to note the Gate address the Wraith took our people to, and we sent a MALP, discovering it to be a Space based Stargate. Using a local version of a spaceship native to K. Ayano's world, which we've taken to calling a Puddle Jumper, Maj. Sheppard took a team through the Gate to mount a rescue mission- included on his team was Maj. J. Jackson.

They infiltrated what the Athosians call a "Wraith Hive" and rescued all but two of the prisoners, an Athosian, and Col. Sumner himself. The Athosian killed by the Wraith Queen, and Col. Sumner under interrogation, being forced to disclose Earth's Location. Maj. Sheppard was forced to kill the Colonel to prevent such informaton being released to the Wraith.

A fight ensued, Maj. Sheppard killed the Wraith Queen, and Maj. Jackson freed the Prisoners. They retreated to the ship, and took off for the Stargate. The Gate was blockated by more Wraith Darts, which were swiftly destroyed and the Rescue Team returned to Atlantis.

While I include my own Mission Report in this email, I feel it is important to note separately, reiterating the fact here that we have awoken something dangerous, and likely is the source of my own demise. The Wraith are an enemy unlike any other we've seen before, and they gave the Ancients a run for their money. They can literally suck the life out of your body through a feeding port on their hands- an oddity given the Wraith share a common humanoid form with us.

Doctor Beckett says that a creature like this would never die of natural causes or old age, if properly nourished. I cannot stress enough how devastating it would be if these creatures were let loose on the Milky Way or Alternia Galaxies. As it is, we fear the Wraith already know about the sheer scale of our galaxies respective populations, given the warning the Queen gave in her dying breath.

We believe the Wraith, which had been hibernating for centuries, are awakening in mass to a Galaxy that has not yet recovered from the last great culling.

If we can establish radio contact through the Gate, we will likely have this conversation voice to voice, at least, but if that is unable to happen... If this mission report is ALL that ever crosses your desks? DO NOT SEND REINFORCEMENTS.

Keep the door closed. If we're lucky, the Wraith will never know where to look and starve themselves out.

In the event of my untimely demise and you choose to ignore my request that you do not send reinforcements, I am nominating Doctor Daniel Jackson to lead the Atlantis Expedition until such time you find a suitable replacement.

I think that's all that needs to be said.

Sincerely,

---Elizabeth Weir



Hello, Simon.

We face death here near constantly, these days. Massive, energy absorbing shadows, and all kinds of...

There is so much I want to tell you, and will in other mails, however...

If you are reading this, then I am dead.

And I am so. SO. SO Very sorry that whatever the reason you're reading this is... I have no idea. I have no idea what killed me or why or how but I-

I am sorry. I love you so much and I'm.... I'm regretting that I never got a chance to see you again in person. I'm regretting that I never...

I'm not regretting that I didn't take you with me. If I died from what I think I will... I pray that you never get to meet a Wraith.

If the reason I am dead is not because of them....

I don't know what else to say.

I'm so very, very sorry, Simon.

I hope you can find it in you to move on with your life.

I love you.

I'm sorry.

Goodbye.

---Liz



Argo.

If you're reading this then that means that I am dead and you're opening this as part of my Will.

I have no idea when or if you'd read this, however, I am writing this just shortly before the storm is due to hit the city. I've written versions before, but I felt it prudent to update this given current circumstances.

Call it a sense of foreboding brought on by such a massive storm, but I feel it necessary, if the City survives or not, to name my replacement ahead of time should some unknown disaster befall me.

In the short time we've worked together, you've made managing the city a lot more of a manageable job. I couldn't have asked for a better, or efficient assistant. I'd like to ask you to carry on and keep serving the job for my replacement.

I've debated who should take over the role.

I've debated instituting a council, or...

In the end, I'm nominating Daniel Jackson to take over as leader of the Atlantis Expedition until either contact with Earth is restored, or he finds someone as a more qualified replacement.

I know this is a lot to ask, but please deliver the next letter to him personally.

As for your child, if I am dead before they are born, know that I've left you, John, and Jade a sizable portion of my own estate in the Will to help aid you in child care, once contact with Earth is re-established.

Please, take care of yourself, and... I know John will likely blame himself for failing to save me regardless of what circumstances lead to my death, so tell him not to. Atlants will need him to stay strong and help lead the fight against the Wraith.

I'm sorry it's come to this.

Thank you, and goodbye.

 ---Elizabeth Weir



Doctor Jackson.

I am writing this letter in case of the event of my untimely demise. If you are reading this, then I am dead.

I've given this a lot of thought since the beginning of this Expedition, and given recent events with the Trust agents within the city, and the Wraith situation, I feel you are the most qualified civilian in the City to take over position of Leader of Atlantis should I die before contact with Earth is re-established.

I know it's a lot to ask of you, but I believe you can do this. I am not asking you to stay on permanently, God forbid. Only as long as it takes to restore contact wtih Earth. I am sure General O'neill and General Leijon will have another replacement in mind sooner or later.

Please, hold this City together in my absence. I've requested Argo Lalonde stay on as Secretary to the position. They can help you get settled into the position quicker, I'm sure.

I feel as if I should say more, but... I have no more words to say.

I'm sorry for putting you under this much pressure under such short notice.

---Doctor E. Weir.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 1ST, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/09/0005.

Your name is Joey Claire, and you open your eyes from another meditation session to lock eyes with your Moirail.

"Well?" Xefros asks.

"It's gone for good," you answer. "I can't find the mental version of this bracelet anywhere." You take the black bracelet with the switch on it off and place it next to your replica of the white bracelet. "I'm as depowered as I'm ever going to be, I think."

A few Arai Beetles flutter their wings from their perches around the room, and you glance up at them with a smile.

"Still," you continue, "Arai networking and glowy wings isn't a bad trade off to finally have all that Scratch stuff out of me."

"Mmh," Xefros stands up and grabs your crutches to hand to you if you need them.

You're going to try to go as long as you can without them, today.

You spread your wings, fluttering them into a solid existance and use them to balance as you try to get to your feet.

Your legs shake and tremble but you manage to stand. You take a few steps forwards and- shaky as it is- you manage it.

You dismiss your wings and try to stay standing.

...

Okay. You think you're good.

You try walking.

...

...

...

You spread your wings again before you tumble to the ground and grab for the crutches.

Xefros hands them over quickly and without hesitation.

With firm support holding you to the ground, you drop your wings again, and sigh. "Damn it. I thought I had it."

"You're doing better," Xefros says, smiling.

"Yeah, yeah," you sigh. "I know. It's just... I'm tired of this."

"It's barely been half a month, Joey," Xefros puts a hand on your shoulder as he moves to your side. "It's slow and steady wins the race. You'll get there. It just takes time."

"I know, I know..." You close your eyes.

"C'mon," Xefros moves his hand to the other shoulder to pull you into a one armed hug. "We've got lunch to go to, remember?"

"Yeah, you're right," you nod.

You use your wings to cheat a little when it comes to the long 'walk' back to town.

Okay. More like you use it a LOT to get back to town. It's easier to float down the road than it is to use the crutches to hobble down the road.  

You're still trying to walk to get strength back to your legs, though, so it's not like it's completely cheating. Marsti says the exercise is good for you, so you're not just going to fly the whole way like you've been tempted to.

It still takes a lot longer than it would have without all of this stupid legs-not-working jazz.

"So, how're things with Baizli going?" you ask.

"Ugh, she's being so insufferable lately," Xefros remarks. "She's actually saying things are too quiet around here even WITH all the shit Lynera and Elwurd are doing."

You laugh, though it turns to a sigh, "I wish I was able to help more with that."

"You're still on leave," Xefros says. "And we can handle it without you while you heal up, Joey. Everything else is quiet here and in Milky Way."

"Still wish I could help with it," you say.

"Hey, using Arai Beetles as cameras is a smart idea," Xefros says. "And with four new Polyarchs helping spread the load now, that just means you can focus more on getting better!"

"Mrrrrrh. Sure, I guess," you still feel a bit miffed that you can't do more like you're used to, about that and... some other things.

A few days ago, you had to supervise multiple Arai Beetle-to-Polyarch evolutions within the same sixteen hour span of time. Within a single day a bunch of Beetles that had been born during the whole time you were in Milky Way hunting down English's ships, just all evolve into Polyarchs.

You honestly feel like the universe is just mocking you at this point.

You've been waiting and waiting for Fey-two to transform into a Polyarch, and she hasn't. Rather. Your her hasn't. The one from that other you from that other timeline who died during the fight to exile Khepri... Yeah, that Fey did. But...

Yours still hasn't. And you're not sure if that's a result of the timeline paradox hiccup that resulted from Ganos' death or what.

"Hey," Xefros jolts you out of your thoughts. "Sorry. I didn't mean to make you dwell on that."

You sigh. "How long was I staring off?"

"About five minutes," he says.

You sigh again. At least you're five minutes closer to town.



Lunch is a quiet affair sequestered at an Alternian!Itallian place that brings back uncomfortable memories of the last time you had Earth!Itallian. The thematics of the place are just- so vaguely close to the same style, and yet so utterly alien and wrong in the same ways- it's like...

Like going to the same restaurant itself, except they've totally changed their aesthetics and changed out the soft cushy rolly wheel chairs for static, wooden things that have no padding at all. And all the bright, comforting, pale yellows have been traded out for harsh oranges and and burnt reds.

It's a new place. That's really all there is to why you're here. Just seeing if it's worth eating at long term.

The food is alright. The atmosphere, though, makes it hard to focus on that fact.

It's just you, Xefros, Okurii, and Nepeta right now. Polypa and Tegiri are off on a date elsewhere, and Mierfa is volunteering with the Grub Cavern and the Jades to help learn how the howtos of grub-raising.

You'd be there with her in a heartbeat if not for your legs still being so... so...

So freaking floppy.

You've thought heavily recently about returning to tap dance and ballet, but... how can you ever do that if your legs don't get better?

As for studying medicine...

Well. Marsti's said a lot about that being a years long endeavor. So...

"I'll be right back," Xefros says,  suddenly, jolting you out of your thoughts. "Biobreak."

"Okay," you nod to your Moirail, then turn your attention back to Okurii, who's ensuring that Nepeta has some headphones on and is scribbling away at a kid's menu with a crayon.

"Hey, while he's gone, I want your opinion on something," Okurii says, locking eyes with you.

"Yeah, what?" You ask.

"So, we've had Cassandra try pinpointing Lynera and Elwurd's merry band of chaotics off and on since the faked murder and more frequently since the Naquadria theft to no success. What do you think you would be doing if you were leading them to do that?" Okurii asks.

Finally. Something to sink your teeth into.

"Honestly? I'd leave charted space," you answer. "Set up a base on the outside edge of the Galaxy and just gate to it whenever I wasn't doing whatever it is I needed to do within the Galaxy itself. Other than that..." You frown. "I'd get a ship and risk traveling the void and head for another Galaxy." Thinking on it a bit more... "Although, if I really wanted to be off the grid, I'd build a base in the middle of the void itself, and figure out a way to Gate to it safely without drawing a lot of power." An idea strikes you- something you heard from Mckay during his brief visit to the SGC following the success of Plan D. "Maybe a Gate Bridge."

"A Gate Bridge?" Okurii asks.

"Mckay's idea. String a bunch of Stargates together, link them up with DHDs and forwarding macros, with a resting point midway through." You say, "He said that way a connection could be established between galaxies without having to use a ZPM to power an extra-galactic connection."

"I see," Okurii muses. "If they did steal enough Naquadah from off world, or borrowed one of the Empire's old production facilities..."

"Who knows if that's what they did or not," you say. "It's just me spitballing things, really."

"Still," Okruii says, "it's something I'll check with Cassandra about. Maybe an expanded star map will work out better than local charts. Thanks for the ideas."

"Sure," you shrug, "but I'm sure Callie or Dammek could have come up with it, probably."

"They're more busy working on trying to figure out what's going on with the Quantum Mirror Lynera and Elwurd stole," Okurii tells you. "So, while they could have, they're busy. And besides, I wanted your opinion. Not theirs." She smiles. "I'm not just going to let you languish away feeling useless, Joey."

"Gee, thanks," you snort, and grab a bread stick from a basket.

...Even the taste is off. It's too salty for what a universal parallel should be.

"There's something else I wanted to ask you about," Okurii continues.

"What's that?" You ask.

"Marsti mentioned you're wanting to go into medicine," Okurii begins, "are you really serious about getting into it?"

"Not sure yet," you frown, "why?"

"Just wondering, really," Okurii smiles. "Truth is. I'm considering retiring now that we've dealt with English and Anubis. Lynera and Elwurd aside... Things are quiet here. I think everyone's just happy that the galaxy isn't constantly at war anymore."

"They are," you nod, though you're not sure where she's going with this.

"And, really, I'm sort of anxious to just settle down and not have to balance galactic endeavors every day. So..." She sighs. "I don't know, Joey."

You both watch Nepeta for a few moments, happily coloring a tomato-mascot with a blue crayon.

"...Are you asking me if you want me to take your place?" You ask.

Okurii looks shocked for a moment- then- "No! Glub no! I'm not-" She shakes her head dramatically. "No. Joey. I'm just... trying to figure out where everyone else is going in their lives before charting my own path."

Whatever response you have to that is forestalled by Xefros returning.

So, instead, you say, "I'll get back to you on that, Okurii."



After an otherwise nice lunch and a discussion over romance- Xefros admitting that he was going to ask Salazl out on a date sometime soon- you ended up going for a walk around town with Okurii and Nepeta as they did some grocery shopping for the week.

Your topics of conversation stray mainly towards the casual, or food related, topics. But after that, you're back at Okurii's place after dropping Nepeta off for a playdate with Equius at Konyyl's.  Your thoughts still whirl in the background, though.

Thus, while Okurii packs up food where it belongs and you sit down at the table, your conversation resumes.

"So. I'm not really sure what I'm going to be doing, Okurii," you say. "It all depends on if I ever get full use back to my legs."

"I suppose that's as good of a reason to wonder as any," Okurii frowns as she stacks some cans in a cabinet.

"To be honest, I've never even really given any thought to a long term plan," you admit. "When I was a kid I thought... I'd be a tap dancer or a ballet star, like Mom. I thought by now I'd be in college and have learned to drive and never... just... have to see Pa again. And then I ran through that Stargate and everything has just been day to day and week to week. Now that we've dealt with almost everything... I just don't know what I want to do with myself. I feel like I've run out of script to follow. I've completed all the quests and I'm left with nothing left to do."

"That's sort of the same feelings I've been dealing with," Okurii says, turning to face you, a frown on her face. "I didn't ask for any of this. None of us did. And yet... here we are." She takes a moment, then says, "You know? I knew Mierfa was a Rebellion spy to begin with."

"You did?" You ask, staring. "You never said anything."

"I just..." She shakes her head. "Before we even went looking for that stupid bracelet and you came crashing into our lives. It was like, days after meeting her, I just... Knew about it somehow and... I just figured it wasn't my problem. I figured it was just a wild guess that, if I was wrong, would cost me the job I had. Go to some wild places, and ancient ruins, find some old jewlery... Get paid. Get a head in on maybe a comfy job come Exile. Be a background character everybody ignores."

You both laugh at that.

"We got exiled, alright," you say. "But background? You? No way that'd ever happen."

"Yeah..." Okurii looks out the window. "By the time we'd crashed, and Trizza had betrayed us like that, I thought to myself, 'So what if she is Rebellion? So are we at this point.' So after that I didn't have any reason to say anything. I don't know if Sal knew or not. I never said anything. And after all of the things we've been through... does it even matter anymore? We're all so different from how we were back then."

"Yeah," you nod. "We're not kids anymore."

"No, but we're not adults either," Okurii says. "...And maybe there's nothing wrong with that."

"I think you're right on that," you smile. "Just because we've done all of this crazy stuff... that was basically highschool as far as Earth is concerned. Stress and tests and final exams that determine your entire future, but by the time you graduate... you're left not knowing where you're even going anymore or what options you even have..." You sigh. "God, that just made me so depressed just now."

"Honestly," Okurii laughs- a sad, bitter laugh. "Yeah. Same."

You're both silent for a moment, then Okurii says, "By now, if things had stayed the same, we'd all be exiled and up in space fighting for the empire. But it's... not. We basically blew up the whole war machine and dismantled it and now people are going off making their own lives everywhere else. And yet... with all that choice? All that freedom??"

"Mmh," you nod. "It's daunting to even try to figure out what we do with ourselves."

Okurii starts to say something in response to that when the phone rings.

"General Leijon," she answers. "...What!? ...Yes, she's here. ...Okay. I'm on my way." She hangs up, grimacing.

"Well?" You ask.

"Chahut Maenad is awake," Okurii answers, "and she wants to talk."

"Well, good luck with that," you say.

"Not just to me," Okurii tells you. "She wants to talk to you too."

"Me?" You ask.

"She asked for Joey Claire by name," Okurii clarifies.

"Lovely." You sigh. "Where'd I put my crutches?"

Chapter Text

"FOR QUEEN FEFERI!!!"

"FOR EMPRESS TRIZZA!!!!"

The amount of battling going on was completely ridiculous.

Chahut Maenad frowned as she watched the absurd amount of bloodshed filling the streets, and grimaced as she closed the blinds to the abandoned hive window. She turned back to look at the impossibly slumbering Amisia, and sighed in relief as her own chucklevoodoos managed to keep the nightmares at bay.

Then, she turned to face the two intruders who had sneaked in admist the chaos.

"So." Chahut begins. "You're serious that this is a thing? A gateway to other worlds. A way to escape to other planes of existence? It's real?"

The bronzed skinned, hornless alien, Joey Claire, nods, "That portal is how I came here. We need a way to capture it back from Trizza's forces."

The Jade blood, Daraya Jonjet, speaks next, "Marvus is getting a group together to break through Trizza's forces. We want you to infiltrate their group and follow through to the capture of the Portal. Once you're through to the other side, you're welcome to break free from them or do whatever it is you want." She glances at Amisia. "Believe me, I know what it's like to want to be free of these chains."

"And you're not just going to use this to expand Feferi's group's reign on other worlds?" Chahut asks, skeptical.

"The group we represent is just tired of the fighting, and refuses to take a side," Joey Claire says. "We just want a world of our own. Away from English's gaze."

"The bastard's gone missing," Chahut says, "some god he claimed to be."

"He may be gone, but Trizza's faction represents more of his ideology," Joey Claire says. "Feferi's faction is fighting that, sure, but... what we seek most is a world where we just don't have to fight any more."

"And while Marvus' group is seeking an escape from this fighting," Daraya Jonjet says. "We have reason to believe he's putting his money on a combative force in another world. If you choose to break free from his group after you've escaped through the mirror?"

"Sabotage him?" Chahut summarizes, and receive two nods in return.


"Yoooo! Whaddup sistah?" Marvus Xoloto leers at Chahut's shoulder more than herself. "Cute pet U got there, Chahut."

Amisia curls up against her horn and tries to hide behind it.

"Leave her alone, Marvus, or I walk," Chahut says. "I heard a rumor through the grapevine. Is it true you've found a way to another world?"

"Hell yea, we found anotha' whole fuckin' plane of existential existance!" Marvus's whole non-chalant, flippant way of speaking makes Chahut uncomfortable. His eyes continue to stay focused on Amisia. His pants seem tighter than absolutely necessary.

Chahut really just wants to chop his whole everything in half from face to rear, in that moment... But she needs him to get that mirror.

"Ol' Heiress Trizza found this fuckin snake machine with a swirly portal on it," Marvus explains the facts you have to pretend you didn't know. "Now, she'd need a fukin key ta make it run. But. Here's da real kick'r of a twist." He leans in all conspiratorial like. His breath smells like shit. When was the last time he brushed his teeth? "I got my peeps who made a computer that'll bypass dat key. Like it's just bare bones, but dat's exactly why it works. A skeleton key, ya followin me?"

"I'm following," Chahut says. "How do we do this?"



The fight was over faster than expected. Trizza's forces guarding some old abandoned hive in a culled neighborhood went down like wet tissue paper.

The machine was not what Chahut was thinking it would be from the description. It was round and bronze, and the two giant mechanical snakes on the sides were imposing as they pointed up at a metal iris they'd added in the roof.

There was a metal shield infront of the center point, painted red and green, and sure enough, there was a key hole in the center.

Marvus' 'hacker' person took out a husktop, plugged in a cable sharply into the key hole, and typed a few keys.

The whole machine sparked, keened, and whined, and then the metal iris spat out the cable, and it split open, revealing a shimmering silver surface that had a rectangular section stabilize into a view that looked like the inside of a ship.

There were Trolls and other aliens Chahut didn't recognize on the other side.

"GO, MAH BOIS! GOOOOOO!" Marvus orders, and everyone starts piling through the surface of the portal.

Once upon the other side, Chahut checks on Amisia on her shoulder, and, satisified the girl was unharmed, looks over what she'd come out of.

A mirror?

Like, an actual, normal person sized standing mirror.

"Welcome, Marvus," the Cerulean Blood greets the clown as he steps forwards, "to our little corner of the multiverse. I see you brought the reinforcements you promised."

"Whaddup, Elwurd mah Sistah from anothah Universah?" Marvus cracks a grin. "Yah, I brought 'em. Shall we ace this place and deal somewhere a bit more... quiet and personal like?"

"Of course, of course," 'Elwurd' says, turning to lead everyone away. "Yo! Move Squad! You know what to do!"

A group of pre-defined people start to do stuff to the Mirror while the rest follow Elwurd through the ship, through an airlock, and into another ship, where she starts to talk shop, using a dialect of Alternian that Chahut knew Amisia never learned. From the looks of confusion of most of everyone else. she could tell they didn't know it either.

"So, we've got the power source, and the gravity generators secured. Your coder bring what we need?" Elwurd asks.

"Course 'e did. Once we get dis show on da road, we'll start with the plunderin' and pillagin', right?" Marvus asks.

"Of course, of course," Elwurd grins, her voice gaining a dangerous sounding tone of voice. "The Multiverse is going to be ours, now that English is out of the way."

Chahut frowns as Amisia cowers on her shoulder at the dark tone of voice alone.

"Actually," Chahut dares to speak up as the Mirror is brought in behind her. "I think this is where we're going to have to part ways."

"Aww, Chahut, mah sister!" Marvus's eyes gain a glean of a decidedly non disappointed tone of voice, even as he tries to impress that feeling through his voice. "Ya really shoulda said somethin' soona."

And then a fight breaks out.



EARTH DATE: JULY 1ST, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/09/0005.

"I escaped through the airlock, breaking the controls on the way through... went to the bridge... And then I woke up here," Chahut Maenad finishes. "That's it."

Your name is Joey Claire, and you exhale in disbelief as Chahut finishes her story.

"This... is a lot to take in," you say. "But it clears up a lot."

"Elwurd wants to rule the multiverse?" Okurii frowns. "That... is a really scarry thought."

"Now that I've told you about that," Chahut eyes you, "can I ask something about this world?"

"Sure," you nod.

"You look at me like you see a ghost," Chahut then asks, "did you know a me of this world?"

"Through time travel," you answer. "It was a brief thing. A girl who had your name and looked like you, back during the Summoner's time."

"...The who?" Chahut asks.

"The Summoner?" Okurii clarifies, "The rebellion leader who almost succeeded and forced the Empress to exile all Adults off of Alternia."

"...Wait," Chahut asks, "that's a thing?"

"It wasn't in your world?" You ask.

"Nope," Chahut answers.

"Well, that's different," Okurii says. "Er, anyways, he lived thousands of Sweeps ago, and so did the you of this world."

"She tried to kill us," you admit. "We had to kill her in turn."

"Shit, doesn't sound like me at all," Chahut remarks, a pensive look on her face. "I guess she didn't have an Amisia to look after."

"No," you answer. "Amisia was local to our time... She, uh... stabbed herself with a poison knife during a fight where she was trying to kill someone for blood-paint."

"A shame," Chahut says. "...Though, maybe that means we'll both be able to settle in peacefully here." A pause, then, "Where is here, anyways?"

"You're in the medical bay of the Battle Cruiser 304, 'Belongs to Us,' or BELTUS for short," Okurii explains, "We're in orbit over the remains of Alternia."

"...The Remains?" Chahut asks, raising an eyebrow. "What do you mean the 'remains' of Alternia?"

Okurii gives you a look that says "you handle this one" as she says, "I'm going to go notify Charun and Amisia that Chahut is awake."

"Thanks," Chahut says as Okurii leaves, then affixes you with a gaze. "What's going on?"

"That's a really long story," you say. "The short of it is... We rebelled against the Empire. We killed the Scratch Doctor-"

"Who?" Chahut interjects for clarification.

"Uh... sort of short guy, white cueball shaped helmet for a head?" You elaborate.

"Oh, the Man on the Moon," Chahut blinks. "Wow. That Lamati girl was actually right that he was a thing. Right. Continue on?"

"After that, we banished Her Imperial Condescension back in time to another Galaxy," you continue on as requested. "She got blown up in her own ship with a bomb she tried to use on other people."

"Fitting end for the bitch," Chahut remarks.

"Yeah. Anyways. We found out the moons of Alternia were colapsing in their orbit," you continue, "so we evacuated to other planets in the Galaxy. And then once the planet was abandoned and dead... well. We blew it up in Lord English's face to shove him into a Black Hole. He's dead now."

"So the sun turned into a black hole?" Chahut asks.

"No, we used a massive, ship sized portal device called a Supergate to connect to a black hole in another galaxy," you clarify. "It... was a really big thing. Only last month, actually."

"...What date was it?" Chahut asks, frowning.

"...Which planet's standard?" You ask in turn.

"...Okay, fair enough," she says. "Uh... Shit. How long have I been out for?"

"Since you arrived," you answer. "Uh, four days ago? Today's the first, and you showed up on the 28th."

"How long before that did you fight English?" Chahut asks.

"It was the 12th," you answer.

"...Sixteen days..." Chahut muses. "That fits with the time line."

"What time line?" You ask.

"The time line it took for the Empress to fall, and the two Heiresses to start fighting each other for the throne," Chahut answers.

"...Well, shit," you say. "That's pretty weird timing."

"Marvus was saying it was because one of our Gods had died," Chahut says. "I never was a fan of the religious bullshit my cast was forced into, but- if one of our gods was this English guy? And that Elwurd chick mentioned him too..."

"He was expanding out into other dimensions for the last few years," you admit it, "chances are pretty high it's the same English."



"CHAHUUUUT!"

"Ami!"

Watching the young Indigo blood hug the giant purple blood was adorable.

"You're okay!"

"'Course I am."

Your name is Okurii Leijon, and watching them act so... care free? Family like?

Little girl wrapped up in the strong arms of a caring maternal figure...

It reminds you of Nepeta.

It reminds you of everything you've been debating what to do and what not to do.

...You've got to stick with it and see this through.

You head to the bridge, and order Zebede to dial the Gate to Earth.

You've got a Stolen Mirror to find.



EARTH DATE: JULY 4TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/12/0005.

Your name is Lynera Skalbi, and you feel a sense of ant-in-your-pants sort of itch as the device gets its finishing touches.

"You look nervous," Elwurd settles in next to you as you stareat the device- The Rift Generator. The thing that will allow this space ship of yours to travel from universe to universe with a single press of a button.

"Of course I'm nervous," you say. "The Naquadria core could explode and do who knows what."

You're not even sure if your current mood is tied to the potential Naquadria explosion specifically though.

"Actually," you voice your concerns, "I'm worried about retaliation for us stealing the Mirror."

"Please, Babe," Elwurd puts her arm around you. "Stop worrying about it. IF they could have found us out here, they would have already. We're SAFE from their little psychic Cassandra girl."

You want to accept her words as truth but--

That's when the ship shakes suddenly as an explosion rocks its surface.

A Carapacian radios from the bridge- The Delta and Slayer Megaships had emerged from hyperspace from the Alternia side of the void, Astro Mega and the Prometheus emerged from the Milky Way side of the void.

And they were opening fire.

"STATUS ON THE GENERATOR!" Elwurd roars out rather than asks.

"NOT READY YET!" Came a Mofang scientist's reply. "WE HAVE NO DESTINATION CONTROL!"

"DON'T CARE! GET US OUT OF HERE!" Elwurd orders.

And then they activate the device- the Naquadria core hums rapidly- the ship shakes with even more gunfire, and then there's a blinding flash of light.

FWAAAAA.... The device keens.

"Please, Babe," Elwurd puts her arm around you. "Stop worrying about it. IF they could have found us out here, they would have already. We're SAFE from their little psychic Cassandra girl."

You want to accept her words as truth but-- Wait. No. This isn't right.

That's when the ship shakes suddenly as an explosion rocks its surface.

SHIT.

A Carapacian radios from the bridge, and you repeat the report aloudd word for word. The Delta and Slayer Megaships had emerged from hyperspace from the Alternia side of the void, Astro Mega and the Prometheus emerged from the Milky Way side of the void.

And they were opening fire.

"STATUS ON THE GENERATOR!" Elwurd roars out rather than asks.

"NOT READY YET!" Came a Mofang scientist's reply. "WE HAVE NO DESTINATION CONTROL!"

"DON'T CARE! GET US OUT OF HERE!" Elwurd orders.

"NO!" You yell.

And then they activate the device- the Naquadria core hums rapidly- the ship shakes with even more gunfire, and then there's a blinding flash of light.

FWAAAAAAA..... It's worse.

"Stop worrying about it. IF they could have found us out here, they would have already. We're SAFE from their little psychic Cassandra girl."

"NO!" you jump to your feet. "They're attacking!!"

That's when the ship shakes suddenly as an explosion rocks its surface.

"STATUS ON THE GENERATOR!" Elwurd roars out rather than asks.

"DON'T RUN IT!" You yell. "IT'S NOT WORKING!!!"

Then the console explodes against the Mofang Scientist's face and the device activates anyways.

FWAAAAAAAAAASSS....

"Stop wor-"

"IT KEEPS HAPPENING!!" You yell as the ship suddenly shakes from the Naquadria core overloading from the energy from the previous attempts carrying over.

Why!? Why are you the-

FWAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSS---

-Only one remembering what's---

FWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSHHH!!!!



Your name is Karkat Vantas, and you stand on the deck of the Delta's bridge, watching as the Hyperspace window whirls on infront of you.

"Time to destination?" You ask.

"Less than two minutes," Stelsa reports.

"Good," you grimace.

Terezi insisted you staff the Slayer with as few people as possible.

Infact, she downright ordered it to be remotely piloted. So it is. No crew at all. Everyone transferred over mid flight to the Delta.

You have a BAD FEELING about this.

"It's happennniiinnnnggggg..." Terezi starts to cackle from her curled up spot in the corner of the bridge. "Boom! Boom! Again and again! Hahahahah! We're SO FUCKED!!"

"Lieutenant Vantas!" Stelsa reports suddenly- "We're picking up a large burst of energy at the target coordinates."

"Drop us out now," you order, "let the Slayer go in to investigate."

The Delta Megaship drops out of hyperspace in the void between galaxies, hanging near a small Stargate that only held eight chevrons instead of the usual nine. A custom made hack job if ever there was one.

"Broadwave from Astro,"  Stelsa reports. "Audio only."

"Put it through," you order.

"Yo! Vantas! We dropped out of Hyperspace. You reading what we're reading here?" Ashler Dering asks.

"We are. Huge energy spike of rift energy. Not sure yet what's causing it," you answer. "Well, besides the obvious."

"Slayer arriving," Stelas reports. "Visual transmission automated."

"On screen," you order.

...What you see is very disconcerting. A blinding white star of exotic energy that vaguely holds the shape of a Mofang cruiser.

And then the feed cuts to static as Stelsa reports:

"Energy wave peaking!"

"HERE IT COMES!" Terezi yells out. "BRACE FOR IMPACT!"

"Brace for Impact!" You broadwave through the ship and to the Astro, and likely Prometheus as well.

And then you see a blinding burst of white light explode in the not too far off distance through the bridge windows- filling up the entire view of the Milky Way Galaxy, blocking it from sight.

It's one hell of an explosion...

And then the shockwave hits.

Despite your best efforts, you find yourself on the floor, and groaning as you pick yourself up to your feet. "What the hell was that!?"

"No idea..." Stelsa groans, similarly climbing off the floor back into her chair. "...Huge burst of Naquadria radiation.... Some temporal residue artifacts similar to the P4X-639 Time Loop Device... What the fucking..." She trails off, horrified. "I can't even identify half of these readings. They're exotic to the point the scanners are labeling them things like 'popcorn kernels' or 'giant candycorns'!! Wavelengths are not native to our dimension in any reasonable way."

"Terezi?" You ask, glancing back at the girl. "What the fuck just happened?"

"Temporal Feedback loop," Terezi answers, her glasses missing from her face, and her red eyes staring at the ceiling unflinchingly. "Naquadria Went boom. Stargate on their ship went boom right after... And then it kept happening. Again and again and again. Backwards and backwards and..." She giggles, and you can tell it's not an amused one. "The Slayer got taken for a ride."

"Did anyone survive the blast?" You ask.

"...What blast?" Terezi asks.

"The one that just happened!" You point out the window at the still white hot glowing field of utter nothingness infront of you.

"It never happened, though," Terezi says, turning to look at you. "The thing that exploded was supposed to explode when we shot at it but that never happened. It fell between the stitches of a paradox and got lost between the couch coushins." She then reiterates her previous question, "What Blast?"

...

...

"So you're saying that there never was an explosion to make THAT and never will be one to make it?" You ask for clarification.

"Yup." She answers.

"Then what the hell are we looking at!?" You ask.

"...The background of a web page, or maybe just the blank void between paragraphs in a text editor?" Terezi cheekily answers.

God, you hate this fourth wall breaking meta bullshit.

Wait.

What?

You shake the thought out of your head.

"Very funny," you gripe, turning back to look at that endless white expanse. "Pull us back for a better view."

Stelsa does so, slowly drawing Delta into reverse away from the void.

Slowly, surely, an EDGE comes into play, and as you stare at the jagged, broken edgies of the usual BLACK of space.

You can see the Milky Way, unharmed, behind it. And once this massive thing is no longer taking up your entire viewing space... Well...

Honestly, the feeling you get when looking at it is...

It's just utterly TRANSPARENT.

You should be able to see through it, it feels like.

"This... is not good," you finally allow.

 

 

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 5TH, 2001.


DIASPORA DATE: 01/13/0005.

"Annnd... another fail to connect," Zebede reports.

Your name is Okurii Leijon, and Milky Way is inaccessible.

Whatever this "rift" that the Delta Megaship radioed you back about is? It's preventing wormholes from passing across the void between your two Galaxies. Supergate or Stargate, it doesn't matter. That "rift" keeps intercepting whatever connection a wormhole needs inorder to form to begin with.

"Shit," you swear. Then, you make a decision, "Tell the Supergate crew to try another connection attempt, but this time, to the Ori Galaxy."

"And if it works?" Zebede asks.

"Then send a ship through, and reroute back to Milky Way through their side," you add. "If we have to piggyback relays through the Supergates, then we will."

"Right," Zebede nods, and with that, you leave him to his work.

It's always something.

It's ALWAYS something.

Elwurd and Lynera's piss-poor attempt at- you randomly roll up a randomly generated theory- supercharging a quantum mirror to open a portal to Troll McDonalds, you guess, has landed them firmly in a frying bucket of a Troll Burger King's fry oil and torn open a huge freaking gash in space-time that is leaking only an Assistant Manager knows what into the surrounding space.

You've already started picking up trace radiation particles of some kind reaching as far into the galaxy as old Alternia itself. Milky Way is likely being flooded too, and who knows what else is reaching where- like, say, Pegasus.

And now you're cut off from direct contact with Earth. What fun.

What. FUN.

Bleh.

You slump into your chair in your office and massage at the bridge of your nose.

And ontop of all of this? Your back is slowly killing you with a lot of aggravating pain between the shoulders for the last few hours.

Plus, there's the itching at the skin level that's just... UGH.

Then, there's a knock at your office door, and Marsti barges in, a panicked look on her face. "We've got trouble."

"Okay." You sigh, getting up from your chair. "What is it?"

"It's Salazl."

...Shit.

You follow your Matesprit/Chief Medical Officer to the infirmary and... There's Salazl and Xefros.

Salazl's laid out face down on the bed, groaning from the obvious cause of pain.

"Are those WINGS!?" you stare at the spiky, translucent gold-blood hued things sprouting from Salazl Captor's back.

"Uh... yeah," Xefros answers, scratching at the back of his head. "We were out in town when his back started to hurt really bad so we came in to get it checked out and then..."

"The wings burst through his skin and blood was coating his back, we weren't sure what we were looking at, at first, so we had to cut the shirt off to get at the wings," Marsti explains.

"...Marsti," you turn to her, "I know this is going to sound weird, but I need to take my shirt off so you can examine my back too."

Marsti's reaction is to guide you to a chair as she helps you take off your jacket and shirt and bra too because, well...

"I'm growing wings, aren't I?" You ask with a wince as Marsti prods at some rather tender skin on your back.

"Well, at least we caught it before they burst," Marsti remarks with a side of clinical curiosity. "Someone get me a camera so we can record this for the record."

You look to Xefros, and say, "Go to the bridge for a minute, would you, Xefros? Tell Zebede to put out a broadwave to every settlement and ship. Anyone who's getting sudden back pains has to go to the infirmary immediately before they get into serious trouble."

"Right," Xefros nods, then says to Salazl, "I'll be right back" before heading off.

Salazl just turns his head to face you aftewards, and says, "So. Wings huh? Wonder what That's about..."

"I have a few good guesses," you remark before you feel a large burst of pain from your back and OH.

OW.

FUCKING OW.

You think you're going to pass out now...


 


You are now CALLIE, onboard the ASTRO MEGA, surveying the RIFT.

Things are weird.

Prometheus had returned to Milky Way, to inform the SGC of what was happening.

Delta, and likely the Slayer, were on the other side of that... that...

SHEER ABSENCE OF ABSENCE.

It's a void within the void.

And it's leaking particles of exotic kinds... almost like... Well. You hesitate to invoke the aspects of Troll!Pocket Monsters, but...

Among the Astro Megaship's crew, three trolls have already started sprouting transparent, butterfly type wings out of exposure to the particles. Another five have grown tails and had their ears turn long and get fluffy fur along the tips. Atleast two others had a combination of both.

Others have had... slightly more unique reactions.

So far, one case of growing lizard scales that the troll claimed were reminiscent of their Lusus, and one case of bird wings similar to a Cla'dian's wings rather than the butterfly wings.

And after days of exposure, you're among the majority of those who haven't had a single extra aspect of transformation overtake your body.

You're feeling a bit left out, which is why you've set one of the collector arrays to siphon up a large amount of the particle you suspect is behind this- what you're dubbing ZILLYUM- and plan to expose yourself to it.

You suspect this particle is something along the lines of an epigenetic trait rather than something akin to mutation or 'evolution' or whatever. There haven't been any signs of negative reactions such as cancerous growths or compromised immune systems. You think- whatever this ZILLYUM particle is- it's just a means to express repressed traits.

The transparent butterfly wings are the same as what The Summoner had- and that was claimed to be a "Mutation" but it's clearly not. It's something thats been repressed deep within the Alternian Genetic structure!!

Dammek would surely throw a fit if he knew what you were about to do, but he's gone back with the Prometheus to try to regain contact with Alternia. So. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. You'll just claim it happened over time like everyone else has transformed so far.

You strip down and step into the chamber in your lab you plan on flooding with ZILLYUM, and set the timer.

Your logic is thus:

You've not changed in appearance any yet. You've got your DNA on reccord from your last exam after the fight against English, and you've taken a sample from just before you've gone into the chamber- those match.

Now? You expose yourself with as much concentrated ZILLYUM as you can and see if that holds true on the other side.

The timer hits zero and you feel a warm breeze brushing out of the vent above you...

...You wait.

...And wait.

...And wait some more.

...After a solid minute of continued exposure, it stops, and you feel utterly unchanged.

You frown.

Is it just that you don't have anything within your DNA that's a hidden traaiiiiiiiiiiiiii---

...

...

...

...

By the time you're conscious again, you're lying belly down on the floor, half way to the lab's door from the chamber, and your back feels extraordinarily heavy.

You pick yourself up and look over your shoulders and...

Welp.

You got wings alright.

Bright, white, feathery wings that are coated with a slick, lime green--- Wait, no. That's your blood, sticking to it.

You manage to get yourself to a mirror and look yourself over... Wings are the only real change, it seems.

You take a blood sample from the source on your back and compare the DNA...

The system checks back a few minutes later, confirming your suspicions.

Your DNA is completely unchanged. This was just the potential trapped inside your genetics all along.

...And if this Zillyum is radiating out everywhere in the universe that it can reach?

...Hoo. Hooboy.

You sincerely hope that it's only affecting Alternians, but chances are that it really... really... isn't.

Also.

You're feeling really light headed.

Probably blood loss.

...You call the Medbay and request a doctor to come help.



Your name is Jack O'neill, and you've got to deal with an isolation room full of people suddenly manifesting wild abilities similar to the kids. Namely, people who were off world, closer to the direction of the Alternia Galaxy when compared to Earth.

That galaxy, and that RIFT that apparently got opened between you and them.

The particles from this rift causing this haven't hit home yet, but it's only a matter of time before it does. Even so, the speed at which they're moving flies completely in the face of normal physics, or that's what Carter said.

Personally, you're fond of the metaphor that these particles are more like water, and a valve has been turned on and it's flowing out into the vast, otherwise empty bucket that is your universe.

The President's already been briefed, and he's spread the word to other countries and they're all preparing for this unavoidable outbreak.

Outbreak.

You say the word like this is a disease or a plague or some kind of sickness.

Honestly, in a way that's what it could be, and at the same time...

Nirrti and Jayni experimented with genetics, and through genetics, came powers. Physical changes. Abilities like out of a comic book. But those required direct meddling to rise to the surface, didn't they?

...Well, here was some direct meddling, except from an outside source.

You're reminded of that one world that tried to drown Teal'c because they thought he was a Witch. (And wouldn't Warlock or Wizard be a more appropriate term anyways?) You're reminded of that, and you''re afraid of what's going to happen when this hits Earth.

How did you even break the news of something like this to a planet? Several planets? A Galaxy? A universe?

Some idiots were messing around with a powerful explosive power source and a device that was designed to access parallel worlds and now they've released some kind of... of...

MAGIC PARTICLE that's making people develop powers.

The Stargate dials in, and you're called to the control room.

"Message from the Tok'ra Supergate guards," Walter reports. "They're relaying a message from an Alternian Cruiser that's come through the Supergate."

"Put it through," you say.

"This is Captain Somura of the Fresh Caught Guppy," comes through a female voice. "Relaying a message to General O'neill of the SGC from The BC304 Beltus. Message follows: Due to the incident between our Galaxies and the rift produced, all direct attempts to dial Milky Way have failed. Rift appears to be intercepting and preventing intergalactic gate connections from regular and super gates. However, we were able to connect to Ori Galaxy Supergate, and from there, reconnect to Milky Way. What is your status? Message ends."

You tell Walter to record your reply, and Walter breifly replies back over the gate with "Reply incoming." Then, with a nod to you from him, you start.

"General Jack O'neill replying to BC304 Beltus. Message received at oh-seven-thirty-six. We have a bit of a situation here. The Rift that opened is causing odd reactions in people exposed to the radiation coming through. Power reactions. You know what I'm talking about. Earth not yet directly affected, but we expect the wave to come crashing down sooner or later. What's happening on your end? Similar or worse? Message Ends."

"Transmitting message for relay," Walter says. "And the message is received."

The gate shuts down, and thus begins a game of Phone tag.

Five minutes later, it activates again, and you receive a transmission from Alternia.

"SGC, this is Xefros Tritoh, message received at Oh-seven-thirty-eight. Message begins. We've got physical mutations on our end. At random, in general Troll population, we have wings sprouting and transformations of the ears and the growth of tails into something feline-esque. Some specialized cases are appearing, no confirmed linking theme yet. Unconfirmed reports of possible similar power based abilities from settlements and off-world allies. Be prepared for similar. Requesting Alfheim expertise regarding one confirmed case of full blown Lycanthropic transformation among the Diaspora Settlement, possible further cases may yet still surface. Message ends."

You send a reply.

"Received at oh-seven-forty-one. We acknowledge the warning and appreciate the heads up, Xefros. Please keep us advised of future developments and updates. We will message Alfheim and Aincrad and let them know about the situation. Will keep you advised of developments. Message Ends."

And while Walter sends that off and the gate shuts down again, you head to the Mirror Lab and prepare to make another long distance call.



Your name is Joey Claire, and honestly?

You feel like the universe is taunting you at this point.

"Tirona! Please! Come down from there!!" Wanshi calls up at the wolf-ized troll stuck up the top of a tree.

Said wolf-ized troll girl shakes her head rapidly side to side, growling all the time. It looks ridiculous, given that the hair on her head is still tied up into six micro tails.

"Well," you say, staring up at the teal-blood. "Atleast she's not showing signs of gravity warping powers like Jade did."

"Yeah, there's that," Mierfa replies, snaking her left hand around your right wrist- because the rest of your hand is busy gripping onto the crutch. "But... I'm just glad it wasn't you again."

"Hah," you scoff. "Yeah." That was an unpleasant experience and you don't want to repeat it. Not ever. That loss of control was...

Well, quite frankly, it was terrifying.

You can only imagine what Tirona is going through right now.

"Tirona! Please! Won't you come down??" Wanshi tries again. "I'll get you meat? Do you want meat? I- is it candy!? I can get candy too??"

Finally, though, you hear your radio buzz, and Xefros transmits through, "Joey, we've finally got contact from Earth. Silica's team have come through the Supergate, and they're bringing with them an extra set of hands who can help with any other werewolf transformations. They'll be there in a few minutes of flight time."

"Thanks, Xef," you reply, turning to squint at the direction of the Diaspora Stargate. "Ah! I think I can see them now. Four glowing dots in the sky."

"That'd be them," Xefros answers. "Good luck, Joey."

"You too, Xef," you answer.

And then the radio goes silent as the Gate likely shuts down.

"So... do we hang around, or...?" Mierfa asks.

"I'll go wave them down," you say, spreading your wings- actually legitimately summoning them unlike when compared to how others were now permanently getting them- and you give Mierfa a kiss on the cheek as you hand her your crutches. "Be right back!" And with that, you push off the ground with your wings.

You feel light in the air- lighter than you have in a while. Your legs dangle down beneath you without much fuss and for a moment, you can forget that they're even giving you any problems.

You wave your arms through the air, and the four glowing dots turn towards you, slowly resolving into the forms of Silica, Minori, Touya, and...

Huh. A purple haired Cu Sidhe? That must be the extra help Xefros mentioned.

Soon enough, they come to a hover next to you, and together, the lot of you descend down a bit, pausing next to the tree that Tirona climbed into.

Tirona growls at you, and Minori says, "We should probably back off."

"I'll try talking her down," Touya says. "What's her name?"

"Tirona Kasund," you tell him.

"Cool," he nods, and then he stays floating while the rest of you touch back down. You take your crutches back from Mierfa, to a concerned reaction from Minori.

"Is the air here usually this full of Magic?" the girl you've not met asks before Minori can say anything, though.

"Eh?" Silica asks. "What do you mean, Yuuki?"

Yuuki, okay. Yuuki rolls her eyes, "Come on. How many times have me or Keiko brought this up, Silica? Can't you feel it in the air?"

"Not really?" Silica frowns.

"I think I get it," Minori says. "I couldn't quite place it before, but there is a difference in the air. It wasn't noticeable at the SGC, but when we gated through to board the ship onto the Supergate, remember how I staggered a little? It was like how Keiko said she felt when changing altitudes way back when."

"Huh," Silica muses. "I just chalked that up to traveling to a world we'd never been to before. The pressure... But now that you're saying it, yeah, Diaspoira feels... I dunno. More like Alfheim than it used to?"

"...Wait," you start, "are you saying that whatever particle the rift is pumping out, you can feel it?"

"Pretty much," Yuuki says, "It's like the difference between breathing pure oxygen and a mix of other gases. Depending on the world, there's different magicka concentrations. Aincrad's got just a tiny amount of it in the air. Ambient stuff from Fae living there for a few years and generating it into the air. But it's nothing like Alfheim, where the World Tree is basically exhaling it all the time. Actually, that's prety much why the Fae of Alfheim have perma displayed traits, and those who are half-fae only develop those traits after being exposed to a huge burst of magic, but can actively suppress it if they're not constantly exposed to it."

"You're talking about Nano, right?" Minori asks.

A thought occurs to you. A dangerous, horrifying thought. "So... you're saying that people with the potential for power are developing the actual abilities after being exposed to magic??"

"Yeah, pretty much!" Yuuki nods- then stops, eyes widening. "Oh. Fuck."

"Oh..." Silica's eyes likewise widen. "Shit!"

And then together, they both exclaim, "KEIKO!"

Chapter Text

"Kazuto?"

"Yeah, Keiko?"

"As much as I appreciate you teaching me how to fly a Jumper, I was really hoping Mom would be the one to do it."

"...Yeah. Me too." He sighed. "Aunt Midori's a great pilot, don't get me wrong, but... I'd always hoped it'd be my own Mom, you know?"

"Mmmh. Yeah. ...Do you think they'll be letting her out of isolation any time soon?"

"It's been four years, Keiko. If they were going to let her out after being possessed like that, they would have by now."

"Shiori's going to be pissed she's not here for the baby."

"Yeah, she is.... Anyways, let's get back to it."

"Right!"

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 14TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/23/0004.

"Ah. Hello? Is this on?" A pause, as the voice echoes through Atlantis' halls. "Right. Hi. I'm Doctor Daniel Jackson. As of today I'm... well. I'm officially taking over at the head of the Atlantis Expedition, as Doctor Weir declared in her will."

People look up or around at the nearest speaker, all across the city as the new head of the expedition speaks from the Atlanitis Control Room.

"I'm not much for speeches so I'll keep this quick."

Tyzias cracks open one of her eyes as she rolls over in bed. Daraya snuggles up next to her a bit closer, following the motion..

"We're all hurting, some inside, some outside. I know it's hard to even think about how we'll even begin to move on from a loss like this..." Daniel pauses, staring out over the empty Gate room.

"But we have to keep moving. We have to keep living day to day. It's what Doctor Weir would have wanted and has asked of those few of us has directly addressed in her letters."

Argo sighs, closing the door of a metal safe within what had used to be Elizabeth Weir's room. Their hands fall to their stomach protectively.

"If anyone wishes to come, we'll be holding a memorial service in the Gate room at One P.M."

In the hologram room, Roxy looks up from her laptop, staring idly at the star map above her.

"It's Weir's family tradition to cremate, but, knowing we don't exactly have any easy means to do that here in Atlantis, she stipulated that we follow the Tok'ra tradition instead."
Walking down the hallways to the mess hall, Lantash and Jolinar pause, turning to look at each other- obviously not having realized that Weir had asked of such a thing.

"Other than that," Daniel turns back to the console broadcasting his voice to the city. "We keep on with the jobs Weir assigned us to do. We restore contact with Earth, we fight off the Wraith if they come for us, and we survive, in the worst case scenario. I... think that's about it...." He reaches for the off button, "Doctor Jackson, out."



"What's the Definition of a Will?"

Your name is Tagora Gorjek, and you frown at the question poised to you by a certain Rust Blooded girl. "I don't know, Megido. Determination? A testament? A Way of life???"

"C'mon," she cracks a grin, "It's A Dead Giveaway."

"A--" You stop, and face palm. "Good grief, Megido! That is a groaner of a pun!!"

Aradia Megido- a girl from a parallel world through a Quantum Mirror, just like yourself. The serious amount of parallel worlds crossing over into this universe is just an oddity of quantum circumstances. And yet here's this girl. Aradia Megido- someone who would make a pun about death the day of a memorial service.

You'll admit, the idea of a service to memorialize the dead is an odd one. The Alternia you knew simply didn't do such things in such grandiose fashion.

You knew one troll- someone you've seen atleast once since you've arrived here in this dimension working on laying pavestones- who dug graves back on Alternia... A LOT of graves.

He made a whole park out of it. Something about happy pits and...

Well. Needless to say, it was odd to see such a grumpy individual compared to the smiles and grins of the one you'd met once out of sheer random happenstance. Much the same, it's disturbing to see so many sour and sad faces that are usually all so enthusiastic and excited.

A small wooden frame supporting a cloth wrapped body rests infront of the Stargate.

People cycle back and forth, giving brief speeches and the like. It's all brief stories of times had while working with Weir. Retellings of some of her accomplishments. Finally, at the end of it, people all stand well clear of the Stargate, and Major Sheppard calls out- "CLEAR!"

The Stargate dials up, and goes KAWOOOSH, before shutting down.

And like that... the framework and Weir's body are gone.



EARTH DATE: JUNE 15TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/24/0004.

Your name is Argo Lalonde and the city is a mess in the wake of the storm. Not just physically- like. There's the damage from flooding sure- but in the people and the emotions and....

It's all a mess.

Jade's been busy going over all the data you both copied from the computer lab on Jurassic World, you've been helping her dad settle in as the new head of Atlantis, and John...

John's been helping Daraya and Tyzias in their hunt for supplies to manufacture a new control crystal for the Atlantis DHD. Atleast he's got something to focus on. Like you should be focusing on this paper work.

"Wait." Daniel starts suddenly. "We seriously have an Olympic sized swimming pool in the city?"

"Yup," you answer with a nod, looking over a series of requests Weir hadn't gotten to signing. Jeeze. Kavanagh sure does talk a big game. You're pretty sure half the things he's requesting weren't ever actually packed to begin with. (Mark two Naquadah Generators? Weren't those super unstable to the point of their power output coming from running in a state of sustained overload?)

"Well, I guess this request for more hires for lifeguard duty makes sense..." He mutters, and then scribbles a pen on the paper. "Approved to that."

You peer through the paperwork, dismissing most of Kavanagh's with a scowl. FIVE EMP Generators? You know Mckay brought ONE but you're pretty sure that was the only one. Seriously... Why would he even need FIVE for?

Paperwork requests done, you check Atlantis' Email server...

Ah, there's a request from Bates for a meeting with Weir about the Trust Situation...

You shake your head and prep a reply inquiring if he still would like to meet with Doctor Jackson instead. You're just about to fire it off when there's a knock at the office door.

You look up and see O'neill and Carter, or Lantash and Jolinar, or any combination of the four, really. "Come in," you say.

Carter has the look of someone who just discovered something important.

You nod for them to come in and O'neill idles next to you while Carter heads over to talk with Daniel.

"Daniel," Carter greets.

"Sam- er. Morgan?" Daniel greets. "What's up?"

"We've identified a defense satellite that should still be intact," Carter starts. "I'd like to take a team out to investigate it if that's alright?"

"How far out is it?" Daniel asks.

"Edge of the solar system," Carter answers.

"...Tomorrow," Daniel says. "Get your team chosen and tell them to get as much rest as possible before you head out."

"Alright, thank you," Carter nods. "And, um. Even if I wish it were under better circumstances, congrats on the promotion, Daniel."

"Thanks," Daniel nods.

"Same here, Danny," O'neill remarks.

"Thanks, Jack," Daniel answers.

"Jimmyy," he corrects.

"Isn't that what I said?" Daniel asks.

Needless to say, there's some half-smiles in response to that.



Your name is Jade Jackson, and you blink away from the horrifying events of your other self's life  as a blanket is placed around your shoulders, and a kiss planted on your cheek.

"How's it going?" Argo asks as you turn your chair around to face them.

"Oh,you know," you smile tiredly. "Been reading through my other self's journal. I think she was responsible for energizing the Genii planet's core into Naquadria before anybody settled on the planet."

"Which we sort of figured. Why?" Argo asks. "Wait. No. Let me guess. Blowing up the Wraith?"

"Trying to blow up the Wraith," you nod.

"Well, I say it's break time from that, then," Argo says, sitting down on your lap and putting their arms around your shoulders while nuzzling their face inbetween your shoulder and neck.

"Long day?" You ask, putting your arms around them.

"Mmmh," they nod.

"Want me to carry you back to our room?" you ask.

"Yes please," they nod again.

You make sure your laptop is shut down and your work is saved before flexing just enough of your wolf transformation to reinforce your arms, legs, and back. Then you lift Argo up in a bridal carry, and exit your lab to head towards your shared room.

You pass by a few people here and there still wandering the halls. Nobody really says anything, but Argo clings tight to you, one of their wings flexing tight around your back to hold on tighter.

You arrive at your room, and Argo moves a hand for all of a moment to activate the door's hand sensor. You carry them in, flick at the door sensor with your tail to close it, and then sit down on the bed.

Argo nuzzles at your neck again, and whispers, "Thank you."

"Any time," you smile, planting a kiss on their forehead.

Argo disentangles from you to lie down, and you lie down right next to her.

"So..." They start. "I'm thinking if it's a girl... We name them Elizabeth? Liz for short, maybe..."

Ah.

"I think Weir would like that," you say.

"Mmh," Argo nods, cat ears twitching.

"What about if its a boy?" you ask.

"Mmmh..." Argo thinks on it for a moment, then answers, "Quinn."

"Like Jonas?" You ask, a little confused. "How come?"

"Yeah," Argo says. "But, it's not just Jonas' name either." There's a far away look in their eyes, one you haven't seen since...

Well. Since you saw her again for the first time way back when you all met up at that tour in the SGC so Uncle Jack could steal away a Zat gun.

It's a look you all associate with the Aschen, and the deaths they caused.

"There was this place Jolinar and I were staying at while we were on the run, a few days before Rose messaged me," Argo elaborates. "Just a bed and breakfast run by this guy- Quinn was his name. He kept his head down, made sure he was clean of anything that could get the Aschen mad at him. On the surface, anyways. He'd seen some of what they were doing personally to people he knew who were against them. Someone else at the B-N-B recognized me, I don't know who. Called in the Aschen. Quinn... he found out and bought enough time for me to escape." They sigh. "He died. I could hear him screaming. The Aschen ended up burning the place down to cover the crime."

"That's horrible," you whimper.

"I owed that guy so much," Argo answers. "If he hadn't... then I wouldn't have been able to get back to you guys when i did. We wouldn't have gotten back here. We wouldn't..." They reach out with their hands and grabs both of yours in a tight squeeze. You bring your own head in and nuzzle up between her neck and shoulder like before.

"It's okay," you say. "They're gone now."

"Maybe from this world," Argo answers, tears in their eyes. "But they're still in the one we came from. They're still hurting people. They're still..."

"We can't do anything about that," you say. "We can't."

"...I know," they sniff. "But what about Weir? If we could just find a solar flare..."

"No!" You pull your hands free and wrap your arms tightly around Argo's shoulder. "No. We can't! That's... that's how the other me got stuck in the past."

"What?" Argo asks.

"You didn't come with us to Atlantis. You weren't there because we decided it was too much of a risk. Then the city flooded and the other me took John and Rose to the Gate and we replicated what we did when we had those armbands and dialed the gate out, but Rose stayed to find Kanaya and then..." You whimper. "It was just the two of us, and we'd found Athos, but then the Wraith came and John-" You swallow. "So the other me decided to do a Solar Flare trip to stop it all but she over shot. She really over shot."

"What happened?" Argo asks.

You hesitate, but you explain what you'd read. "But she...she found Atlantis in the past. The Ancients... The other me tried to convince them to undo everything by taking Atlantis back to earth. Just... upend everything. But it didn't happen. Another time traveler showed up, and the Ancients just left through the Gate and left the other us behind. And I... I don't want that to happen to us again. Just... randomly taking the first solar flare we can identify and not even figure out how far it sends us back!? No!" You shake your head. "I won't... we can't just keep resetting whenever some tiny little thing doesn't go our way! It's too unpredictable! There's no telling..." you whimper. "There's no telling what might go differently because of us trying to change just one thing- to save just one person... It has to be all or nothing."

Argo turns over onto her side to stare you in the eyes, "Oh, Jade..." They kiss you, mouth to mouth, and you kiss back and for a moment, you manage to forget all about your troubles pinned firmly to the here and now in a moment that stretches out for what feels like eternity.

Then it breaks, and Argo says, "I'm here, and so are you. No more solar flares for either of us. Not unless everyone else is dead or dying. I purr-omise!"

You can't help but giggle. "Really? Purr-omise? A cat-pun?"

"Hehe... it brought up the mood, didn't it?" Argo asks, ears wiggling in amusement.

"Little bit, yeah." You nod in agreement. And with that, you kiss her again. "Thanks."

"Any time," they answer, kissing back.

Chapter Text

"Orlin."

Your eyes open, and instead of your hut on Abydos, you find yourself in an Earth-based diner.

You smell... waffles.

A woman stands across from you, whom you recognize immediately.

"Oma Desala," you greet, a little warily. "To what do I owe the honor of this visit?"

The last time you saw her, she forcibly descended you after you freed her from Anubis.

"I was sent to make amends for my inhospitable reaction so long ago," she explains. "I have been approved to allow you to re-ascend, here and now, and to guide you back among our fold."

"...Only now, after Anubis is fully dead?" You ask, frowning at her. You'd heard the story from Jade Jackson herself during a brief visit not too long after the event had transpired. Shoved into a black hole- not a pleasant way to go at all, especially for an Ascended being like Anubis.

"Only now was it considered safe to do such," she says.

...

You don't buy it.

You say as much.

She frowns. "It is the truth, whatever you may think of it."

"Ah, whatever, dude," a girl- a familiar girl, blond hair and green eyes- speaks up. "Are you going to take up the offer to rejoin us or not? The Andromeda Ascendants need all the help we can get."

"I refuse your offer," you say, flat out. "I have no need to rejoin the ranks of the Ascended, Andromeda or otherwise."

"...Very well then," Oma says, looking a bit somber. "I have other duties to attend to, then."

She vanishes, and the girl- Mordred- eyes you. "...Why would you not want this? Why turn your back on the power? Just when we're about to make waves and change the universe for the better??"

"That particular brand of power has brought me and others like me no end of trouble," you say. "I am done with it."

Mordred frowns-

DING DING! Goes the diner door's bell.

-And then you wake up.

The contents of your odd dream confuse and concern you for many days.

And that's when the wave of energy washes over Abydos, unlocking the untapped potential in those who had not yet begun to develop their genetic powers, and actively amplifying the abilities of a few others who had already done so, while leaving the rest alone.

As for you?

You find yourself able to tap back into some of your formerly Ascended abilities again- despite the fact you didn't take any steps towards the process itself.

And you frown once more, wondering just what Oma Desala and the group she's allied herself with are up to? Are they behind this, or is it completely unrelated?

...You suppose that's a question you may never answer.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 16TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/25/0004.

"And there it is," your name is Morgan Carter, a clone of Samantha Carter now off doing her own thing in another galaxy. And you smile as your Jumper approaches the ANCIENT DEFENSE SATELLITE.  "It looks remarkably intact."

Mckay radios from the other Jumper, "We'll search for the airlock on the north side, Jumper 2."

"Roger that, Jumper 1. We'll take the south then," you reply. Then, you look to Jimmyy, and say, "Take us in closer."

"Right," he nods, and with that, your Jumper moves in closer.

It looks like a snowflake or a star, frozen in metal. The Ancients had a thing for their geometric designs, that's for sure...

Jolinar nudges you, and you let her speak. "We're almost half a mile away and it's filing the windshield. It's huge."

While Jimmyy focuses on flying, Lantash speaks, "Agreed. It's as large as a Goa'uld mothership. Hard to believe it's just a defense satellite."

"Ah. Jumper 2?" Shepard suddenly radios from the other jumper. "Are your sensors picking up a signal in the-?"

"Ultra low frequency range?" Jimmyy answers as the Jumper brings up a visual on the HUD. "Yeah. We are."

The audio plays. It's static, but rhythmic

"Where's it coming from?" You ask.

"Looks like..." A projected HUD screen shows a nearby planet. "That planet."

"It's a distress call," Mckay radios. "A Wraith Distress call."


 

O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

Your name is Daniel Jackson, and you massage at the bridge of your nose as you hear the report.

"And you're sure it's Wraith?" You ask.

"Celestially speaking, it's right in our back yard," Mckay answers. "Not the most comforting thought, but... we figure the Ancient Satellite shot a ship down and it crash landed during the war."

"It's a very weak signal, Daniel," Carter answers, sounding a lot like her older self there for a moment. "If any part of that ship is intact, we need to examine it. The knowledge we could acquire from it could prove the turning point we need when the Wraith come."

You sigh. "Alright. Fine. Split up. Jumper 1, go to the Satellite. See what can be done to fix it. Jumper 2, go check out the planet. If you run into any trouble, or fail to check in after three hours, Jumper 1 goes to help. Got it?"

"Three hours? That's hardly enough time for either of us to-?" Mckay gets cut off.

"Aye, aye, Captain Danny," O'neill replies. "Jumper 2, out."

"Yes, Sir," Sheppard answers. "Jumper 1, out."

And then the radio goes silent.

You return to your office- Weir's old office- and settle down at the desk.

You're still playing catch up.

Now there's this.

They're fifteen hours out, and going to search a crashed Wraith Hiveship.

And now you've got a meeting with a former Trust agent. Wheee. What fun.

Bates appears at your door soon enough, and with a nod from you, Argo lets him in.

"Doctor Jackson," he greets you, a bit stiffly.

"Bates," you nod for him to take a seat. He does.

You sit uncomfortably in silence for half a minute.

"Alright," you start. "So, I've read over the deal you made with Weir."

"Of course," Bates nods. "And?"

"And I can't really think of anything that Weir didn't already think of," you say. "I'm not changing anything. Your people keep supporting the expedition and not negatively impacting it, and we shouldn't have any problems."

"Thank you, Sir," Bates nods.

"All of that said, though,  I'm still concerned over the one agent we haven't identified," you say, grabbing at a sheet and squinting at it. "Weir was calling them the Pretender? I feel like that's a reference to something."

"A TV show, I think," Bates answers. "One I never saw, but Weir seemed fond of the reference."

"Right," you shake your head. "Have we had any progress on figuring out who it is since Weir's last report on this?"

"Yes, actually," Bates nods. "That was what I'd scheduled a meeting with Weir for to begin with."

"What can you tell me then?" You ask.



Your name is Jimmyy O'neill, and every single dead Wraith body you and Carter have come across so far have shown signs of the same cause of death. A certain, jagged tear in the front of their chest-area clothing, exposing their rib cages beneath.

This hapless little warrior in the hallway of the crashed ship? Still with enough fleshy flesh on his bones to show the fatal wound itself.

"Well, somebody became Lunch," you grimace.

"The Wraith were cannibalizing each other to survive," Carter remarks, a bit coldly. "I'm glad its just the two of us right now. If there's any Wraith still alive here, it's easier for us to stick together."

"Agreed," you say, fetching the life signs detector out of a pocket. "Just us and those glowy bugs we saw before."

"I'm actually really curious about those," Carter says, trying to push her fear aside as the two of you head for what should be the bridge. "They look and act just like the ones from that moon planet."

"The ones that killed people by running through 'em?" You ask. "And hated Zat shots?"

"Those ones, yeah," she nods.

"Did we bring any Zats?" You ask.

"...No? Of course not," Carter says while decaptchaloging a Zat. "We weren't allowed to, remember?"

"Uhhuh," you say, decaptchaloging your own Zat. "Just like I'm not allowed to stow away like... three Zats in various desk drawers in case of emergency."

"Which we all know you'd never do, in a million years, right, General?" Carter winks at you.

"Absolutely, Colonel," you answer with a return wink.

Lantash requests to speak, and you let him. "You do realize, of course, that it's just the four of us here and there's nobody else to buy those ridiculous excuses of not having Zats?"

"Oh, let them have their fun, Lantash," Jolinar chides a moment later. "This habit of stowing away Zats that we shouldn't have has saved us quite a few times over the years. Not just in this timeline, mind you."

"Fine fine," Lantash says. "Let's just raid the data storage center and get out of here. I'd rather not be fed upon."

And so, you search.



"Excuse me, Lieutenant James?" Argo asks, tapping on the edge of the Ancient Console that a certain someone is working at.

"Yes?" The lightly bearded man looks up.

"Could you run this folder down to Kavanagh's lab?" Argo asks, handing over a bright yellow folder with a red CLASSIFIED stamped on it. "Top priority."

"Right," and with that, Lieutenant James nods, takes the folder, and heads off.

Your name is Rose Lalonde, and you follow behind the errant Lieutenant from your slightly out of phase state.

He ducks into a teleporter room, and you follow inside.

He taps the button to close the door, but doesn't activate the teleporter to anywhere. Instead, the Lieutenant takes the time to change outfits.

And also rips off their beard with the tearing sound of Makeup, transforming a rather masculine jawline into something more androgynous. A quick flury of Captchalogue cards, and a pair of fake breasts stuffed into a bra goes on underneath the shirt, and the Jacket is changed from the Military coloring to Civilian coloring. The baggy cargo pants just seem to be some quick-change magician act bullshittery that were covering some more form fitting leggings, and a skirt. And then with a flick of a Captchalogue card, a long, blonde wig goes on over the former man's short brown hair. Finally, a pair of colored contacts come out of the eyes, and a set of glasses go on.

You check your tablet computer, and find that the fictional American male Lieutenant Aaron James has transformed into the equally fictional Canadian female Scientist Janet Fisher.

While adjusting the tone of their voice by coughing a few times, the Trust spy opens the "CLASSIFIED" folder, and reads its contents.

You already know what it says.

"YOU'RE BUSTED, ETHAN."

And then you drop into phase, switching to cat form, and grab the Spy by the shoulder before POP-WOOOOOOOSH!

You deposit them into the holding cell that Dr. Jackson and Bates are already waiting outside of.

You back out of the cell as Bates punches in the code to close it.

And thus, the job is done.

"So," Bates begins, "Ethan James. Spy-for-hire turned Trust agent, and a Master of Disguise. Known among certain corporate espionage circles as 'The Defiant One.'"

"I don't know what you're talking about," The spy with many names starts, with their female pitched voice. "What's the meaning of this!?"

"You know exactly what the meaning of this is," Bates says. "Did you really think that with Colonel Sumner dead that I wouldn't find out about you acting up and sabbotaging things while I was trying to get us accepted back into a trust-worthy position??"

"...What?" The Trust spy stares.

"Did you really think Sumner only recruited you into this?" Dr. Jackson starts. "I mean... that's kind of egotistic, isn't it?"

"Fifteen incidents in the last month alone," you speak up, reading from the list. "A good dozen of which were actually us trying to pin down just who was the initial source of all this trouble and misinformation being brandied about like a kitten playing with a loose ball of yarn." The Spy turns to look at you, and you say, "You can drop the act, by the way. I saw your quick change act. Pink and white spotted bra? Really? Don't you know that clashes horribly with your eye color?"

The spy grunts, and takes off their wig- then speaks with a delibrately put upon Russian accent that sounds like it was ripped out of a spy film rather than any actual native Russian dialect. "So. You really figured it out."

"Oh, drop the act," Dr. Jackson says. "That's some impressive range, but we know you're really from Florida."

"...How?" The spy drops the accent, sounding pretty much like your average every day, native born Floridian.

"You forgot that Boldir Lamati can read minds," Bates answers. "To be fair, so did I. It's an easy thing to forget about."

"Damn it," The spy curses, reaching under their shirt and removing the fake breasts and bra. "Five years of Acting School and ten years of corporate espionage and I get foiled by a fucking Psychic!? That's not fair."

"Now then," Dr. Jackson starts, "Let's get talking about how you can help us help you."



Your name is Jolinar and while your long time partner/host/companion works on prying loose a Wraith Data Storage device, your mutual mates stand guard with a Zat gun in one hand, and a lifesign detector in the other.

"...So either the Wraith are all dead, or whoever killed the guard back there is out hunting," O'neill remarks.

"Hopefully he won't find the Jumper," Sam- and really, you'll always think of her as Samantha Carter to some degree or another- says, prying at something. "You did cloak the jumper, right?"

"Yes, I did," O'neill answers.

"And you- ngh-" She tugs at the device a bit harder. "Raised the ramp, right?"

"Of course I did," he replies.

Then, another tug, and Sam pulls the data storage device free.

"There we go!" She grins, and captchalogs it.

"Let's get going, then," O'neill says, and with that, you head down the hallways you came back for the entrance.

And so you walk with purpose, until you exit the Hive ship. Until you're half way to the Jumper and the lifesigns scanner starts beeping at an incoming life sign.

With a nudge, you ask, "Is that the bugs?"

"No, it's much stronger than that," O'neill answers. "Wraith, I'd say."

And so you take up position behind some rocks and wait.

Sure enough, a Wraith Commander marches into view, looking thin and wimpy, and there's a large, struggling creature over his back. Some kind of sand lizzard.

O'neill raises three fingers, counting down from three to one.

And then he and Sam spin around and fire the Zats at the Wraith.

PCH-ZYU! PCH-ZYU!!

Two shots, and he goes down, tumbling down the hill and losing the lizard creature- which burrows into the sand the first chance it gets.

PCH-ZYU! Sam shoots the Wraith again for good measure.

O'neill looks to the life signs detector, and scowls. "How the hell is he still alive after three shots!?"

"He must have just fed," you guess. "Probably on another of those lizzards."

"Let's get to the Jumper," O'neill says. "If Zats won't kill him, then a drone will."

And so you run.

Within two minutes of running, you hear the Wraith yelling in frustration- definitely still alive.

Another five minutes later, you get to the Jumper, still cloaked and still sealed up, thankfully, and O'neill gets it into the air, dismissing the cloak in the process.

Just in time, too, because the Wraith comes over a hill, and pauses at the sight of the Jumper. He probably recognizes it.

You wonder how long its been since this Wraith has seen a Puddle Jumper?

Lantash, for whatever reason, is the one who quips, "Here's something you can't do."

And then one or both of them fires a drone straight at the Wraith.

POOOM!

Sand and rocks and flames go into the air.

...So does a piece of severed arm.

"You know, Tash?" O'neill remarks. "I'm beginning to think I'm a bad influence. That was a wholly inappropriate one liner."

There's a pause, then a scoff. "Oh, yes, I'm sure Egeria would be appalled at how I stole such a perfect opportunity from you."

"No, no," O'neill answers rather quickly. "See, the timing was good, just the one liner made no sense at all."

"But it's true. The Wraith couldn't shoot back at us at all," Lantash counters.

Sam laughs. "Boys. Stop arguing with yourself."

"And besides," you chime in as Sam gives you the opening. "You could just have that conversation inside your own head, so it was clearly for our own amusement anyways."

"Damn it," O'neill says, "they caught us, 'Tash."

A pause.

"Yes, I suppose they did."



"Jumper 2 to Jumper 1, checking in," O'neill's voice breaks over the radio.

Your name is John Sheppard, and you quickly sit up in your chair as you reply, "Jumper 1, receiving. What's your status, Jumper 2?"

"...We blew up a Wraith, stole a Data Drive, and got back before two hours even passed," O'neill says. "I'd say we're pretty peachy keen. What's your status?"

"...Did you say you blew up a Wraith?" You ask.

"Shot it with a Drone, yeah," O'neill answers. "Repeating, what's your status, Sheppard?"

"Mckay''s having a ball examining the satellite," you answer. "Apparently it took some damage in the war which drained the batteries. He thinks it could be fixed if we get some Naquadah generators in. Personally, I think we could fix it up with Hyperbeam. But Mckay doesn't want to believe it'd be that simple. So. Here I am, sitting inside an empty jumper while he, Gall, and Abrams run around in space suits inside an empty satellite."

"We'll be over there in a few minutes to relieve you of duty," O'neill says. "Jumper 2, out."

"Glad to hear it," you say. "Jumper 1, out."

And with that, you close your eyes, and think about just lying in bed with Argo and Jade for the rest of tomorrow.



"So, to summarize today in a nutshell..." Your name is Kanaya Maryam, and you find the latest series of events to be very confusing. "We've begun the process of restoring a defense satellite. We've stolen a Wraith Data Storage Device from a crashed ship with intent to study Wraith Technology more closely. We've also killed the sole surviving Wraith from that crashed ship. And... that is somehow all piecemeal and barely worth mentioning above the fact that we finally captured that Trust Spy who was changing appearances every day with intent to steal technology and classified information with intent to take it back to the Trust and cause us political trouble?"

Rose nods. "That about sums it up, yes. Though! You're missing the most important fact of all!" She grins, elaborating, "By flipping the spy we now have concrete evidence of who the last few people managing the Trust even are. The ones who kept their heads down and avoided tying themselves to the movement at all!"

"Right, of course," you nod. "And, just to ensure that we're all on the same page here. Part of the deal in flipping this Trust agent is to utterly transform their entire body one final time using the Shaper Crystal into an identity they can't be tied back to by the Trust, then we say they died during mysterious circumstances yet to be put to pen or paper?"

"Exactly!" Rose nods. "We help them, they help us. Everyone's happy!"

"Very well then," you smile. "Where's the soon to be dead patient?"



To: Gen. J. O'neill.

From: Dr. D. Jackson.

Subject: Another one bites the dust.

Hey, Jack.

Well. Uh. Unfortunately, one of our soldiers, a  Lieutenant Aaron James went on a mission with your other self and other Sam and, well... they found a crashed Wraith Ship. The full mission summary is attached below. TL;DRing it...

Lone Wraith Survivor killed the guy, He's dead. As a nail that got caught between two hooks of a hammer's rear end and twisted into an almost unrecognizable form.

So. Yeah.

Other you blew up the Wraith from under cover. So there's that.

Anyways, Lt. James had some family connections to some folks mentioned in the attached "MessageToFamile.DOC" file.

You should know what to do.

I Trust you'll know how to make the Connections right.

_Daniel Jackson



"So..." Your name is Boldir Lamati, and you look over the transformed former master of disguise. "'Chloe' is it?"

"That's right." She nods. Blonde hair frames blue eyes, and your powers pick up the gratefulness of having gotten a second chance of life.

"Alright then," you smile. "Let's get you settled in. But just as a reminder? No funny business. Hotdog craziness aside, Diemen's a pretty firm stickler for food safety."

The double meaning of your statement hits home in both ways as intended.

She nods once more. "Understood."

"Good," you smile.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 7TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/15/0005.

Your name is Baizli Soleli, and you awaken one fine Saturday morning feeling as if your whole world has been turned over on its head.

What? The Rift thing? No. Not that.

Something different.

Deeper.

Fundamentally as if the universe itself has changed in some way and is reaching out to slap you in the back of the head with it.

Last night, you had a dream of your past.

Except.

It was of an Alternia you never lived on.

And. For some reason. You both tiny tiny kids. And there was this weird alien who claimed to be human but... just... didn't quite look it?

It was weird.

It was weird and for some weird reason you woke up with a Gate Address in your head.

With all the shitty shenanigans going on right now with people growing wings or tails or What-The-Fuck-Ever, you've decided to follow up on it because hey?

WHY NOT?

So, you gate through into a forest, and immediately feel a PULL.

There's a bit of the mental connection you used to have with Barzum flaring up, pulling towards a certain direction.

You follow it.

You follow it and you follow it and you follow and follow until finally...

You find an old dilapidated shack-styled mansion in the middle of a swamp.

The pull is STRONG.

Really strong.

You try the door, finding it locked. Hrmf.

*CRACK*

Oh! Whoops! How careless of you! The rotten Wood making up the door just came right on out when you tugged on the door knob.

You pry the frame open, and call out- "HELLO??"

Once inside, you can feel the psychic link- because that's what it is- flaring up loudly.

You can hear the panic and the fright suppressing curiosity. Fear. There's fear and lots of it too. Fear of death- starvation, thirst... Fear of Clowns.

Well, it's a good thing you've ditched the makeup a long time ago, right?

"I'm not here to hurt you!" you say. "I'm here to help! I got your message? The Gate Address??" You frown, stepping into the shack-mansion and looking around. "That was you, right?"

The fear along the link shifts to confusion, and you're able to track it through the house to... to...

Oh. Fucking hell.

There's a large wooden crate that's been nailed shut with an excessive number of nails and staples.

The psychic link you're feeling is going right inside of it.

"Shit!" You swear, decaptchaloguing a crowbar, and starting to pry the crate open. "Don't worry! I'm getting you out of there!"

It doesn't take long to break the lid loose, and then... then you're staring into two familiar, terrified faces.

The young young, tiny tiny kid versions of you and your sister from your dream.

You hurriedly scoop them out of the crate, and make a bee line for the entrance of the place.

Once you've got them as far away from that box as possible, you check your sylladex for water bottles and food. You've got a bunch of hiking snacks, so that'll have to do in that regard. You also have a few bottles of water. You briefly thank your time on the run with Trizza for nailing it into your head to stock up on water every chance you get.

The two kids guzzle down the water and snacks like their lives depend on it.

As they do, you focus on the link for a moment...

Your connection point is somewhere in between the both of them.

Shit. This is just like when it was you and Barzum, wasn't it? Except... different. You're not sure how but you can just tell it's different.

"Alright," you start. "I'm Baa..." Shit. Using your real name might scare them. Quick! Grab a name at random! "...izel. Baizel Soleli." Close enough. The last name garners some interest, and hopefully in a positive way. "What's your names?"

One speaks with a tiny, timid voice, cracking with all the dryness of a dehydrated throat. "'m Barzum."

"BAI-" the other starts to say, louder- except it quickly devolves into a coughing fit, and they're forced to speak quieter, "Baizli."

Well, shit. You're actively dealing with a mirror-verse version of yourself and your sister.

"I know it's hard to talk right now but can you tell me what happened?" You ask, not daring to dig into their minds like you'd done with your Sister.

"We stowed away," said alt-verse version of her explains.

Alt-verse you continues. "In a box they carried through a portal."

"Then we were on a ship." / "There was a fight."

"We stayed quiet." / "Then we landed on a planet somewhere."

"Then they started opening boxes." / "And this blue haired lady found us."

Elwurd. Shit.

"She was mad."/ "Said something important was missing."

"Because we were inside it instead." / "She locked us up inside that box."

"And left us to die." / "We couldn't get out!"

"We were so scared!" / "Thank you for finding us..."

...

...

...

"I swear to whatever gods exist out there," you growl, massaging at the bridge of your nose. "If Elwurd is alive anywhere out there in the multiverse, I am going to fucking strangle her to death."

"Who's Elwurd?" They ask in a perfectly syncrhonized way.

Wow, that's actually kind of creepy from the outside.

"The mean lady who left you inside that box," you explain, looking up at the building. "She should be dead now, but... we never confirmed it with a body."

Shit. This was one of their staging grounds, wasn't it? Whatever plans they'd been making should be here, if they were dumb enough to leave it behind.

The bastards likely landed their ship here to offload the supplies Marvus' group brought through the mirror, then took it all through the Stargate to their ship...

Where it then exploded.

These kids have probably been stuck in that crate for days. Purple bloods are tough and hardy, but to survive that long, locked up alone?

...Shit.

"Alright, listen," you say, smiling at the two of them. "I need to talk to some people who are far away. Do you think you two are up for walking with me?"

They nod.

"Once I'm done talking with them I'm going to take you to the ship I work at, and we'll have some nice doctors look you over and make sure you're not hurt, okay?" You ask, and they nod again. "Okay. Good. C'mon."

And so you walk them back to the Stargate, you tell them to stand back away from it while you dial the Beltus.

WAA WAA! KAWOOOOOOSH!

Unsurprisingly, they both stare on in awe as the Stargate activates. You don't think they ever saw it before.

"Beltus, this is Baizel Soleli  reporting in. Sending IDC to confirm identity," you start talking into the radio before punching in your IDC code.

"Er, roger that, Soleli," Zebede replies, sounding confused as to why you used your real last name and a fake first name in conjunction with the IDC code. "What's your status?"

"I found one of Elwurd and Lynera's staging grounds. Along with some kids who stowed away inside a crate and got locked inside when Elwurd found them." You look at them, still staring at the amazing wall of standing not-water. "I'm gonna need some medical assistance on the other side. Their names are Barzum and Baizli, and they're suffering, best guess, from dehydration and starvation for a few days."

"Uh. Right. Roger that, Soleli," Zebede pauses, likely to make the radio call on his side. "Should I dispatch a team through to your current address?"

"Yes, please," you say. "There's no telling what Elwurd or Lynera left behind here."

"Alright," Zebede says. "You're cleared to step through. Med team is on its way."

"Alright," you reply, then turn to the kids. Yourself and your sister. Glubbing hell, this is weird. "Okay, we're going to step through the Stargate now." You offer them your hands.

Baizli takes your left hand and Barzum your right.

This is so freaking weird.

You lead them through the Stargate with surprisingly little resistance.


"If I ever get my hands on Elwurd, I am going to shove her face into a bucket full of soapy water, and keep it there by shoving a mop in after it!!"

Your name is Marsti Houtek, and you are PISSED OFF.

"That bad?" Okurii asks, staring as you slam the door to her office closed once more. She's sitting in a backless chair for the moment, due to her wings being sensitive to being squished up against the old one's back.

"Not only has there been all this shady business with the fucking rift and people being transformed? But NOW? Now I had to examine two kids and find out they've been basically tortured to near death!" You tell her. "They're lucky to be alive at all."

"Yikes," Okurii grimaces.

"They're extremely malnourished, too" you continue. "And that's from before they were locked up in a crate."

If Baizli hadn't- well, Baizel for the moment- found them through some kind of psychic dream? Not even their purple blooded physiology could have kept them alive for much longer.

"Good grief," Okurii sighs. "That's... that's horrible."

"It is," you agree, crossing your arms over your chest.

"So. What are we going to do with them?" Okruii asks.

"Baizli- Er. Pardon me. 'Baizel' says she's going to take them in just as soon as I've cleared them to leave." You grimace, "God, this is going to be so confusing for them."

"I can only imagine," Okurii sighs. "She's sure she shouldn't tell them who she really is?"

"Once I did my examination, yes, she's sure," you say. "They're split gender."

"Er, phrasing?" Okurii asks.

"What I mean is," you clarify, "our Baizli and Barzum Soleli were twins of the same- female- gender. The Barzum and Baizli Soleli from Chahut's world are twins split down the gender divide. Barzum is female, and Baizli is male."

"Ah," she nods. "Got it."

"And that's not even touching on the OTHER mastodon in the office," you continue.

"...What Mastodon in which Office?" Okurii asks, frowning.

"Unlike our Bazrum and Baizli, who were two minds connected with a psychic link... these two are one mind split across two bodies," you explain.

"...How is that even possible?" Okurii asks.

"Like ours, they hatched from the same egg," you say. "If I had to guess, though, unlike ours, they didn't split in development until a lot later down the line, closer to hatching."

"So it's just a matter of timing?" Okurii asks. "Ours split inside their eggs early enough to form separate identities, and theirs didn't split until later on?"

"It's the most solid theory I have right now," you say.



Your rank and name is MAJOR, KARKAT VANTAS, and you've been expecting this call up to General O'neills office. Not out of any sense of predictive measure. No.

You just know what this is about. He's not going to like your answer any more than you like it.

"Karkat," he begins once you enter his office. Cordially, friendly. The Jack persona more than the General one. "Let's not beat around the bush here. What happened with the rift the first time?"

"It didn't happen the first time, Sir," you answer. "I didn't remember that rift exploding at all until past me had it happen right infront of his face and not a second sooner."

"That's unnerving," Jack says.

"Tell me about it," you agree. "I'm getting real time memory updates as my past selves see things happening. You know what I was supposed to be doing today? Youngest me was eating ice cream. Instead he's too awestruck by his friends growing wings to sneak into the kitchen and find it. Medium age me was supposed to be lounging in a chair, listening to music, and occasionally helping watch the grubs from the cavern. Now he's on the Delta dealing with this rift shit. Oh, and Lynera and Elwurd were supposed to be in jail, and we'd have their ship for study. Need I go on?"

"What were we going to do with it, obviously since things aren't going to happen that way now?" Jack asks.

"Mckay was going to work the quantum drive into the Daedalus in about three years time," you answer. "Then there'd be a drive error, the ship would be evacuated, and it'd vanish into the void, never to be seen again."

"Well, that sounds like a wonderfully stupid idea," Jack shakes his head. "Who approved that one?"

"You did, Sir," you answer.

"...Ah. Funny. I should have seen that coming." Jack grunts. "Unfortunately, given that this rift is retconning everyone's personal history, I'm pretty sure I can safely blame it as a reason why I didn't."



"So... you went with 'Baizel'?" Your name is Xefros Tritoh and you find it incredibly funny how your Kismesis has basically changed her name in response to the previously elaborated upon shenanigans.

"Yeah yeah, Tree-toe," She sticks her tongue out at you. "Laugh it up while you can, but I am going to OWN it, just you wait and see!"

"How are you going to own it?" you ask. "You changed your name to a cooking garnish!"

"That's the point, and the reason why're out food shopping," she rolls her eyes. "Also, cooking tools shopping too."

You're at a basic market store on Diaspora. Baizli- well, Baizel- dragged you along to get a whole set of proper cooking supplies for any proper hive. A hive that she's already putting in for purchasing here on Diaspora rather than sticking with a bunk on the Beltus or crashing with you for the night.

You're meandering the aisles, looking at all the PRICES AND VALUES of the wide and varried SELECTIONS. You don't even have a list. You're just stocking up on shit that comes to mind as you pass by it.

"Do you even know how to cook?" You ask, pausing to grab something off the shelf and throw it into the cart.

"Of course I do," she replies as you move onward. "I've watched you a million times now. And I tended to do most of the cooking while me and Trizza were on the run too. So. I'm good on that front. I just never bothered buying shit to cook with 'cause I could mooch off of you or the Beltus cafeteria."

"Well, alright," you let the subject go. "I've got nothing to argue back with on that one."

"Gee, thanks," Baizli... Baizel, you mean. She's going through all the trouble of changing names to avoid confusion with the kids. The kids that are herself and her sister except from another world.  At any rate, she rolls her eyes. "Glad we had this talk."

"...Hey, can I ask you a question? With a honest and non Kismesisitude tainted response?" you ask.

"I guess," she nods.

"You could foist them off on just about anyone. Why are you taking them in?" You ask.

"...Because I screwed up with my Sister, and didn't realize it until it took me dying and coming back from beyond the grave to shove it in my face," she admits, stopping in the middle of... uh, apparently you're in the Pasta aisle. "And... when I saw them there, starving, thirsty, scared? Locked in a fucking crate?? I... I couldn't let them suffer like me and Sis did. I... I know it's pathetic, but I can't let them go through that."

"It's not pathetic to want to help people," you tell her.

She gives you a look. Then, sighing, "Besides. There's the whole psychic link thing. Outside of Joey and her Arai beetles I'm probably one of the only people alive right now who can keep up with them."

"...That's also a good reason, I guess," you scratch at the back of your head.

"...Did you ever expect that we'd be dealing with this kind of stuff, way back when you guys first started this rebellion shit?" she asks.

"Honestly? I don't think anyone could have predicted any of this to every exact and tiny detail," you say. "Well, except for Terezi, probably. Out of every Seer, I get the feeling she's one of the only ones who could do something like that."

"...Hrm, fair enough," and with that, Baiz' pushes the cart forwards once more.

You follow, grabbing some pasta boxes and throwing them into the cart.


 

"Lanque? Can I ask you a question?" Your name is Wanshi, and you're on a lunch break with one of your old friends after a few hours of helping tend to the grubs.

"...I guess," he answers, sipping at a glass of water. "What's your question?"

"Do you blame Lynera for what's going on?" You ask, looking him in the eyes. "With the Rift?"

"What makes you think I blame her for what's going on now?" He asks, looking back at you.

"You've been really grumpy and snippy since the rift happened," you point out the obvious. "Honestly, you kinda seemed like a completely different person some times."

He sighs. "I suppose I can't keep wearing a peaceful mask all the time around you, huh? You're growing up way too fast, Wanshi."

"I wouldn't know about that," you say. "I'm just worried. You know? Usually you're one of the calm ones. So it's weird seeing you all upset."

"Truthfully," he answers, "I'm always sort of mad about something or another. There's just other stuff to channel it into on my own time away from everyone else. My shifts used to end sooner and I could go hang out at a bar, or go to a party, or something like that. Stress burning helps when you have hobbies, right?"

You nod, "Yeah, I know what you mean."

Lanque takes another sip of water. "But lately things have been going so off the rails... Lynera ran away. Honestly, I didn't think she had it in her. She didn't seem the type to do those things. I mean, hell, if she even went around bad talking people, maybe... but..." he shakes his head. "I could accept that, even if it lead to everyone else going off in their own ways. After we were all stuck underground for so long, being able to break free from the rules holding us stationary has to be such a relief."

He sounds bitter, saying things like that. During the brief lull in conversation, you find you don't quite know how to reply to that.

"Did you know that in other brooding caverns," he starts suddenly, "the ones not having to hide away like ours were. The ones that the Government knew about? The jades there weren't allowed to have relationships with anybody outside the caverns? They were just as sequestered away as we were, just for different reasons."

"No, I hadn't heard that," you say, surprised.

"In that kind of environment, I know I'd have chafed even more," Lanque says. "Given a chance to escape, I'd likely have ran away and never come back... or, at the very least, broken some of those rules." He frowns. "Another stupid thing that they used to do was keep Jades out of the Military."

"Wait, what? Seriously?" You're shocked at that one. "That seems so weird!"

"Worst of all, Jades exiled after they came of age weren't to be allowed to contribute genetic material to the overall population," Lanque continues. "Of course with the Empire dead, that's not a thing they have to worry about now. And I heard from some of the Matrons that some of the older, exiled Jades who missed working in the caverns are planning on joining us here to help fill out the missing rosters, so... this stress I have now won't even be a problem for much longer."

"That's good," you say.

"You know what really pisses me off more than anything else, though?" Lanque asks.

"No, what?" you ask in return.

"I bought drugs from Elwurd once," he says. "Some high strength sleeping pills to help me get to sleep a few weeks before Lynera snapped. I was having stupid ass nightmares out of nowhere and just wanted to sleep." He scowls at a wall. "It just makes me wonder how much of that was her doing, or Lynera's, or... hell. Who knows what could have even been behind it, but it makes me mad that I even had that interaction at all at this point. I feel like I got used."

You mull that over, and then say, "Yeah, I can see where you're coming from there, Lanque."

"But to answer your question..." He says. "No. I really don't see how I can blame Lynera for what's going on right now with the rift energy. There's no way she, or any of them, planned for that to happen. It'd be easier if I could blame her for it. But... She made her bed, laid in it, and paid the price for it. So... that frustration has nowhere to go."

"That's kinda sad," you say.

"That it is," he sighs, "but maybe that's for the best. I should let it go, rather than let it fester. I might end up saying things I regret, otherwise."

"Mmmh," you sigh, tiredly. "That's a lesson a few people definitely need to learn for sure."

"Agreed," he nods.


 

Elsewhere in the universe. A Genii commander by the name of Kolya sneezed.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JUNE 22ND, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 12/31/0004.

Your name is Teyla Emmagan, and you find that training is a wonderful way to work out the stress of a day. Or a week. Or several months, for that matter.

Of course, solo practice can only go so far. So, when John Sheppard asked to learn an Athosian fighting style? Who were you to turn down the opportunity?

CLACK- WHAM! A blow to the arm that staggers the man.

"OOOH! That's gotta hurt!" Jade states the obvious.

"Quit slacking off, John!!" Argo demands.

Of course, having John's... Matesprits, you believe their chosen term was, observing from the side lines is a whole new layer to it that you never really expected to deal with. An audience? An audience is a wonderful thing to show off to...

And in showing off, get distracted, allowing you to sneak in past John Sheppard's defenses and lay down some well-timed stick smacks to his legs. He crumples to the floor.

"Ow... Okay." John glances up at you. "I thought we'd agreed warm ups would have us going easy on eachother?"

"This is me going easy on you," you tell him. "You're simply still unused to fighting without a gun, or that absurd war hammer of yours."

"Yeah, well, 2XStick-Kind isn't really something we've had to practice with, back home," John remarks, getting back to his feet and readjusting his grip on the staves. "And it's NOT an 'Absurd' war hammer! It's a perfectly fine weapon to use!"

"The thing weighs twice as much as you do," Jade reminds him. "She's right on it being absurd!!" And with a stick out of her tongue, John turns to complain.

You whack him in the thigh.

John yelps, then turns to glare at you. "Okay. Fine. If we're going that way then I'm going to stop holding back."

"Are you now?" You smirk, teasingly. "Let us see if that is truly the case."

John then lashes out, and you block the strike- he's left himself open again. Sloppy. And here you thought he was going to stop holding back.

You lash out with a strike to the chest.

A moment before it connects, he smirks, and his eyes flash as blue as the sky and-- WOOSH!

Suddenly, he is simply not there. Your attack passes through nothing but air.

Where--?

The floor squeaks behind you and you whirl around and lash out on instinct- managing to barely block an incoming overhand double strike from behind you.

You lock eyes for a moment- Teleporting? Really, John?

You thrust your free arm out and- POOF.

Gone again.

You whirl around behind you again- and he's done the same trick for sure. Another successful block from you. Surprisingly, John looks... proud of this?

And then suddenly he's gone again before you can attack.

You look around the room- chasing after burst after burst of breeze blowing about the room, forming solidly into John only long enough to put out a defense testing strike.

Again, and again, and again.

Now you're on the defensive. He really isn't holding baaa-

"WAAH!"

And then you find your legs swept out from under you, and you're out on your back to the sound of clapping and cheering.

John stands over you, offering a hand to help pull you to your feet. "So. Was that any better?"

"It was not a traditional victory," you say, taking his hand, "but yes. Much better."

As you're brought up to your feet, though, Doctor Jackson's voice broadacsts over the City's internal communications.

"Attention, Atlantis. We're, uh, undergoing a mandatory quarantine for the moment. Uh... A containment lab down in the flooded sections may have burst, releasing something. We've had a death already down there, so until we know if it's airborne or contact driven, everyone is to stay exactly where they are, alright? We've got people working on it and we'll keep you notified of any developments."

John frowns. "Did any of us bring radios?"

After some searching of pockets and sylladexes- that technology continues to amaze you no matter how many times you witness it- a radio is procured, and John radios out to the command room.

"This is Sheppard to Atlantis Control, what's going on?" he asks.



Your name is Kanaya Maryam, and you're pretty readily able to identify the problem thanks to the Shaper Crystal that you've found is able to scan people even through a Hazmat suit's protective covering. Apparently the Furlings who originally designed it had the foresight to consider such a thing... even if the whole Bracelet concept itself was a wash.

"There are microscopic machines inside each of your heads," you inform a room full of concerned scientists and soldiers. "This is what the "Virus" that's killed Johnson and Wagner really is. It's not organic, or anything of the sort. It locates itself into your visual cortex, triggers halucinations similar to the Wraith projections, and then an hour after exposure, it sets off a fatal rupture within the brain."

"Aye, that's a nasty piece of work, isn't it?" Beckett asks rhetorically, standing up from his check of another scientist. He, too, is wearing a Hazmat suit, among a few others from the Medical team.

"Can you clean it out of us?" Ford asks.

"Unfortunately, no," you shake your head. "Every time I've tried, I've gotten the equivalent of it asking me for Administrator credentials the Shaper Crystal doesn't have."

"Okay, so it's a tech problem," Doctor Mckay rationalizes. "I can work with that." He offers his arm, "What can you tell me about the nano-bots, Miss Maryam?" You touch his arm and look at the machines.

"They're simple machines, very simple," you say. "They don't even have the ability to self replicate. Instead, they transfer body to body in bulk, leaving only a few small machines behind to perform the desired purpose. A large majority of their bulk seems to be a receiver device of some kind, the next larges portion is the actual device designed to attack the brain, and the rest is movement and logic board related.."

"A receiver but no transmitter?" He asks. "Would it happen to be tied into the brain attacking portion?"

"It seems to be, yes," you nod.

"Probably an ATA failsafe, if the Ancients designed this," Mckay muses.

"It would make sense to give themselves an antidote," Zelenka remarks. "An ATA check just before the detonation trigger. If Ancient, Shut Down. If Wraith, Human, or otherwise, Detonate."

"Right," Mckay nods. "Now. Do they show any signs of electro magnetic shielding on them?"

"No," you say. "They're wrapped in a single layer of a synthetic organic material mimicking neural tissue."

"Just what I was hoping for," Mckay withdraws his arm and goes for his Radio. "Atlantis Control, this is Mckay. I think I know how to cure us in bulk without risking the rest of the City. To save time, I need someone to suit up in a Hazmat suit, go to my lab, and bring an EMP Generator down to this section of the city."

"Uh... repeat that?" Doctor Jackson radios back.

You take over the radio, informing him, "The Contagion is actually a nano-scale machine. It's a mechanical-weapon disguised as a bio-weapon."

"And you, ah, think an EMP will take care of it?" Doctor Jackson asks.

"Yes," Mckay answers. "I'm sure. Now time is of the essence. Who's close to my lab right now?"

"That'd be me, Teyla, Jade, and Argo," Sheppard answers.

"Sheppard's got the right weight lifting perks," Mckay says, "he should go get the EMP generator and bring it down to us ASAP before we lose anyone else to this thing."

"...I can't really argue about that," Doctor Jackson says. "Major Sheppard, you've got a go."

John gets down to you quicker than expected, less than five minutes.

"Kanaya? Stand somewhere with lots of clear space," your radio buzzes with Rose's voice. You do such, by moving out into the hallway outside of the broken lab.

POP- WOOOSH!

And then both of them are standing nearby- John and Rose, that is.

Rose's cat form transporting ability sped up the process considerably. She looks fairly cute inside of a Hazmat suit.

"Alright," Mckay exclaims from the lab. "Let's get this thing powered up and blasting!!"

Mckay handles the charging of the EMP device, meanwhile, you use Shaper to monitor the status of the nanomachines inside Ford.

Once the EMP generator goes off, you watch as the machines simply go silent and dead... and you're safely able to flush them out of Ford's body.

You repeat the process for every scientist and soldier infected.

Fortunately, nobody ran off and broke the quarantine thanks to this speedy resolution.


 

EARTH DATE: JUNE 25TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/03/0005.

Your name is Rose Lalonde, and you and Kanaya have joined Jade and Argo as observers of John getting his butt kicked three ways to Sunday by Teyla.

"Go Teyla!" Jade cheers as Teyla generates a small burst of fire at the end of each of her staves and jabs them into the cloud burst form of your brother.

"Ow..." He grunts, materializing on the floor. "Fire hurts, you know!"

"Yes, I'd imagine it does," Teyla rolls her eyes, offering her hand to help John back to his feet. "It took me a while to find a suitable way to counter your dispersal ability."

"Fun, that," John gripes.

"You know," Kanaya begins, "this looks rather fun."

"Oh?" You smirk, "I agree. Beating John at his newly discovered teleporting wind magic skills with our own innate abilities does look like fun!"

"Ha ha," John rolls his eyes.

"I think we should learn too," Kanaya says.

"I'll pass for now," Argo says. "Maybe next year!"

"Heh," Jade grins. "I'm game for some stick training!"

Teyla smiles, while John hangs his head in defeat. Simultaneously, they speak:

"I would be happy to help train you."

"Great, I'm going to be a training dummy now..."

You can't help but laugh.

You get the feeling that you're going to be needing all the laughs you can get in the days to come.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 4TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/12/0005.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and on a random ass desert planet in a far flung corner of the Pegasus Galaxy, you and your team, AR-2, are out and about hunting for Crystal materials.

You're miles away from the Stargate, having flown by Jumper to a place on a map drawn thousands of years ago.

The whole place is a sandy, vaguely bumpy sort of mess.

The ground is pockmarked with all sorts of weird, almost tree stump like fixtures, except they look more like scar tissue all bundled up and blistering.

What's more? The alternate timeline Jade stole giant bones from the Jurassic World and made a huge tent structure out in the middle of nowhere. There are supposedly flags out and about but you'd be really surprised if any of them are still here intact if the remnants hanging from the tent and a set of nearby bone-posts are anything to go by.

Finally.

The most excruciating fact of all?

There are three fucking suns. All of them meandering down towards the horizon, meaning night time is coming.

It's HOT. But it's going to get damn cold soon enough.

"Damn it all," Mallek swears from next to you. Both of you are hiding away behind the shade-given shelter of the Puddle Jumper's far side. "Why the hell didn't Jade give us something easier to work with!?"

"Because she didn't want the Wraith getting their hands on it even if they managed to find their way out here?" Daraya answers from atop the tent structure, peering out into the distance, looking for any sign of the flags Jade supposedly left behind.

"Okay! I think I've got it!" Tyzias exclaims from inside the tent itself- having managed to squeeze past an opening in its rope-based support structure. "This stone tablet left inside here is definitely a guide post Jade left for us to find. There's five bundles of directions, going by compass rose navigation. Plus some distance markers attached to each direction step. We should be able to chart a course out and find... well. Whatever we're supposed to find at the end of all of this."

"What was it supposed to be again?" You ask.

"A silica powder based conductive element," Mallek answers from rote memory. "Probably been split up into five parts just to mess with us."

"Mrrh," you grunt.  "Let's just get this over with." You turn to look at Tyzias as she extracts herself from the tent. "So are we running this or flying this?"

"Walk-slash-run. Jade didn't have access to a Jumper as far as we know, so..." Tyzias answers with a mild shrug. "Though I wouldn't be opposed to a little overhead shade during it."

"Great," you sigh. "How long is this going to take?"

"Not sure," Tyzias answers, "but I'm fairly confident it shouldn't take us any longer than two days."

"Let's not jinx ourselves again, please?" Daraya asks from atop the tent.

"Fair, fair," Tyzias then looks up and says, "Hey! Don't climb down just yet. We'll need someone to stay in the center to help us navigate incase the compass goes funky."

"Fine." Daraya answers. "It's actually kinda nice up here. I was getting to feel a little homesick, I think."

"If someone can be homesick for an unforgiving desert environment, then sure," Mallek remarks, "I'll buy that as homesickness."


 

An Hour passes, and after Tyzias made a misjudgement on the specific walk/run speed, as well as made a wrong turn on a specific directional axis, you finally found the first of five caves- ironically not all that far from the tent itself.

You honestly don't know how you missed it on the flight in. And, even knowing that it's there, you're still having a hard time spotting it from above.

It just looks like any other scar in the landscape. Except this one is hollowed out and has a ladder going down into a small cave.

You land the Jumper and go down to investigate it yourself.

Tyzias is studying another stone tablet full of inscriptions, and Mallek is rummaging about inside the storage containers left inside.

As for you?

You find a sealed box with a Captchalogue card inside. Contained on it seems to be a pile of fluffy looking jackets. Hand made, if you had to guess by the image alone.

You withdraw the stack from the card, and hold one up for Mallek and Tyzias to see. "Looks like Jade thought ahead if we were here at night."

"First the oppressive heat," Mallek laments, "now it's going to be freezing cold."

"Heh," Tyzias smirks. "How many did she leave?"

"Five jackets," you say, tossing the jacket you're holding to Mallek, and then send Tyzias another. "One for each, and one spare incase of damage."

You captchalogue the remaining ones and climb out of the cave into the twilight sky.

The suns will be going down soon.

You can already start to see some stars peeking through the sky.

You march over to the tent that Daraya's still on top of, and find the set of impossible solid ropes that serve as a ladder to the top.

You climb up, and join Daraya on the top. She's sitting cross legged in the center in some sort of meditation pose.

"Here," you hand her a Jacket. "For when it gets cold."

"Thanks," she takes it and captchalogues it without even getting up.

You decide to sit down next to her.

"So..." She starts. "How're you holding up after this whole 'Weir is dead' thing?"

"I dunno," you answer. "I think probably about as well as I did when we found out Mom got assassinated by a Goa'uld spy while she was in custody and Aincrad's council kept pretending they just had her in a really extended isolation treatment."

"Yowch, much," Daraya grimaces. "How long did that last?"

"Four-ish  years, maybe five?" You shrug. "Honestly, after Shiori had her and Kazuto's little tyke, we just pushed and prodded until they finally told us. Aunt Midori was... understandably pissed at being kept in the dark."

"Shit," Daraya remarks, "that sounds just as bad as Alternia was, sometimes."

"Mmmh," you nod, not really knowing what else to say.

One of the suns is fully beneath the horizon now, the sky dims considerably. More stars appear- though, oddly, mostly in one direction compared to the rest of the sky.

Hrm.

"Honestly." You sigh. "I... I kinda just want to go over to the Genii and actually shoot Kolya in the face. Or maybe stab him in the gut with a knife. Or... or..." You glance at Daraya, and ask- "Promise you won't get weirded out?"

"Promise," she nods.

"A part of me wants to turn into a fucking werewolf and just rip him limb from limb."

"Hahah!" Daraya grins- a savage, savage grin. "I like that. I like that a lot." Then, she looks you in the eyes, and says- "You ever go wolf? Make me one too so I can join in the fun of ripping that bastard to shreds."

"Sure," you grin in return.

Another sun below the horizon- the sky dims enough that you start to see something swirly in the heavens above.

"Hey," Daraya begins, "do you think we're close enough to the edge of the galaxy that those cloud things up there are other Galaxies?"

"It'd be weird if we were, but," you squint. "They kinda do look like galaxies, actually."

And... that WOULD explain the directional difference of the stars...

The wind blows against you, feeling colder than before- and much stronger than before too.

Sand brushes through your hair, and your hair tie suddenly gets dislodged.

You and Daraya turn to catch it, but the wind has already carried it far, far away.

"Shit!" you swear. "That's the fifth one I've lost since we came to Atlantis."

"Get better hair tyes," Daraya suggests. "Those Multi Pack ones just snap at the worst times."

And then the final sun sets, and the skies turn dark...

And yet there's still light to see by.

You and Daraya look over at the swirly things and oh.

"Those are definitely Galaxies," you whisper, caught in awe.

Of course Jade Jackson- given the title of Witch of Space by the seers of Diaspora- would choose this planet for this trial of hers.

"Holy shit," Daraya whispers as well. "I think that's Alternia and Milky Way."

Of the two Galaxies, one is obviously closer- and it's recognizable in shape as Milky Way for sure. The further one... well. You're not as familiar with that Galaxy's shape- especially not at that angle- but it does look familiar.

And then there's a flicker of light between those two galaxies.

"Wait, what's that?" Daraya asks.

"I don't know?" You frown. "Probably some phenomenon from thousands of years ago--"

Then that flicker suddenly explodes open- tearing through the void of space like- like--

Like a pair of zippers, being pulled in opposite directions- with the gap widening and widening in the center until there's this sort of ragged, jagged sort of...

Void.

Just in the black of space.

Worse- and you're not sure if it's your mind imagining it or what- you swear you hear the sound of glass shattering as space-time itself gets violated.

"What the hell was that!?" Daraya exclaims- pointing up at the now... just sort of... completely bright white tear in space. No. It's not white. It's... it's transparent it feels like. Like you're not seeing the tear itself, but seeing through it into something else on the other side.

"I don't know!?" You stare at it, horror dawning within your soul. "Light doesn't travel that fast! It shouldn't have happened that quickly- whatever THAT was!?"

Daraya goes for her radio- "Tyzias! Mallek!! You gotta come see this!!"


EARTH DATE: JULY 5TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/13/0005.

Your name is Barzum Soleli, and you feel the fears and hopes of the City of Atlantis. You can feel the dismay, and the mourning being shoved aside in favor for the dedication to the research and the world's advancements.

Your Moirail and her Matesprit are off doing their job doing... crystal manufacturing, you think it was. So, that leaves you meandering through the City of Atlantis, soaking in all the various feelings and emotions- as you usually end up doing. You don't have much to do in the way of anything else.

If anything, that's really mostly what your "job" is, as much as a civilian can have a job here in this City.

Doctor Weir had privately interviewed you shortly after that day when Tyizas's team had gotten their Jumper stuck in the Stargate. And then again in an effort to try to help catch a certain Trust spy.

Of course, unlike Boldir, who can actually read minds and thoughts, you just get emotions. And only emotions.

And now with Weir dead, what is there for you to do?

That's when you feel a great source of anxious anxiety disguised under layers of polite emotions- from the Gate Room, heading to...

Medical, huh?

You find a woman being examined by Doctor Beckett- the source of this anxiety. She's afraid of being discovered, but not just by the people of Atlantis. Someone... something else?
No.

'Others.'

Others? What Others?

You keep an eye on her through the rest of the day, and when she activates some kind of device- apparently having the ATA gene- you feel her panic levels surge briefly.

That night, you hear from Tyizas that apparently she's from a world that has some kind of protective device that keeps it safe from Wraith ships, but ignored the Puiddle Jumper.

You poke and prod at the woman's fears a bit more closely during the night, and then you realize the truth.

She's an Ascended being pretending to be mortal.

She's literally an Ancient.

Once that piece falls into place, you're able to grasp at other emotions a bit more certainly. There's this undercurrent of curiosity- wanting to see who exactly is Inhabiting Atlantis now.

That... and...

You pick up a twinge of Romantic feelings towards a certain Lieutenant Ford.

Huh.



You're still Keiko Ayano, and you feel the rising pressure of a wave of something familiar crashing down upon you.

Either, the nights here are extraordinarily long for as short as the days themselves seem to be. (IE: The planet is a fuck ton larger than you thought it was. Which is the preferable thought.)

Or, something's gotten fucked up thanks to that tear in the sky that just won't go away. (Less preferable. Please go away you unpleasant thought.)

It's taken you all of another twenty four hours to locate the next three caves in succession, leaving you with just one final one to uncover...

After dinner.

A dinner held under a night sky filled with stars and galaxies and...

That. Fucking. Rift.

It reminds you of that Quantum Mirror that was broken, for some reason. Unnatural light from another dimension leaking through into this world.

Whatever light is pouring through it makes you feel... energized.

Like you were suffocated all this time from an air that had no oxygen. And now you're practically swimming in such pure mana... such--

Such.

SUCH PURE MAGIC.

You place the feeling in that moment.

The inverse of that time just after you escaped from the Hunting Grounds with Yuuki.

The same one you feel every time you step through the Mirror onto Alfheim's soil.

And then your stomach growls despite the food already in it and you barely have any time to warn your team before your body reacts to your reaction of realizing just what's pouring through the rift up there.

Magic.

The raw element from Alfheim that lets you pretend to be a Fae on their world because Yuuki turned you into a Cu Sidhe Werewolf.

A transformation that you haven't undergone in years suddenly rears its head again as your body erupts in pain.

You give a very wolf-like cry of absolute terror in response to that pain.



"This. Is. Not. Good." Tyzias states the obvious.

Your name is Mallek Adalov, and you just watched your teammate, and your main romantic interest suddenly transform into a Werewolf.

"This is really. REALLY. Not Good!!" Tyzias continues to state the obvious.

Sure, Keiko's transformation? You got the lowdown on that ages ago. That's explainable as to WHY.

*Daraya* On the other Hand!?

"WE LOST OUR BEST PILOT!!" Tyzias cries out the very much obvious.

Daraya stared on for like three seconds as Keiko yelled out in pain before hunching over herself and undergoing a similar transformation.

Keiko seemed to have everything under control once it had finished, but Daraya?? Daraya jumped off the tent's top and ran off into the night and Keiko went off after her with a growl you could only interpret as "Stay Put, Guys!"

"Why!? What Even--!?" Tyzias stares on. "I don't understand how this is even POSSIBLE!?"

"Well, Keiko's scars came from something, right?" You finally say, even as you gather up torn up clothing before it can be blown away in the wind. "Her, I get how she can do that. Something triggered the transformation." You glance up at the glowing fucking tear in the sky. "I'd say that probably has something to do with it too."

"Well, sure, there's that," Tyzias says. "But Daraya!?!?"

"...Admittedly, I'm drawing a blank on that too," you say. "But for now, let's just get in the Jumper and hunker down for the night. Keiko'll bring her back."

"How can you be so sure about that?" Tyzias asks.

"I'll tell you a story she told me," you say, captchaloging all of the torn up clothes and sighing. "But not up here, alright? In the Jumper."

"Fine."

You get the feeling it's going to be a long night.


 

EARTH DATE: JULY 6TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/14/0005.

Your name is Daniel Jackson, and you honestly weren't expecting Barzum Soleli to be waiting for you inside your office when you arrived there fresh and early in the morning.

"What can I do for you, Miss Soleli?" You ask, closing the door behind you.

"The woman who came through the gate- Chaya," Barzum starts, "I'm fairly certain she's an Ascended Ancient."

...

Well. Shit.

"I can honestly say I wasn't expecting that kind of thing this early in the morning," you say. "Boldir didn't say anything about it?"

"Because Boldir looks at people's minds. An Ancient could probably mask her own thoughts from a mind reader if she had enough forewarning," Barzum clarifies. "I see emotions. She's afraid about being discovered."

"And You're telling me about this why?" You ask.

"It's something I feel you need to talk to her about," Barzum says. "You specifically, Doctor Jackson."

"...Right, because of the whole formerly Ascended thing," you frown. "I suppose telling her that they've been a bit lenient in their rules lately might be a good thing, if she's been out of contact with them." A thought occurrs to you. "Why did she come here then?"

"You'd have to ask her," Barzum answers. "I'm not a mind rea-"

And then suddenly she clasps her hands to her head, gasping for breath. "Oh no."

"What's wrong?" You ask- mere moments before the Stargate suddenly activates, and a glowing burst of whtie light- an Ascended being- shoots up through the floor and dodges into the Gate before it shuts down.

"Her planet wuh- was being attacked," Barzum answers, still grasping at her head, stumbling over her words and gasping for breath. "She had to g-go and save them from the Wra-ngh-Wraith- but that's- that's not all!"

That's when Atlantis' general purpose "Something's Wrong" alarms siren off, and you look to the girl in your office for advice.

"Go!" She nods. "I'll be fi- Fine! NGH."

You rush into the Control Room, "Grodin! What's going on?"

"Atlantis' Short Range Sensors just activated," Grodin answers. "There's a wave of unknown energy rushing towards the planet at an impossible rate of speed."

"Oh that's just great." You ask, "What kind of energy?"

"I don't know!" Grodin answers. "It's moving too fast to get a direct read on."

Shit. Is this the Others intervening just because of Chaya getting discovered??

No. Somehow this seems too indiscriminate of them.

"The wave will hit the City in five-!" Grodin starts counting down. "Four, three, two..."

...Nothing seems to change, except that the City's alarms go silent.

"Processing data..." Grodin reads. "...Atlantis' systems don't recognize it, and neither do any of the Earth or Alternian based systems. But they've decided it's non harmful for the present moment."

"Is it harmful?" You ask.

"Too early to tell," Grodin shakes his head. "it's nothing like I've ever seen before. Now that the wave of energy has hit us, the City is no longer even processing it as a foreign threat... But there's no telling if it's non-harmful for an Ancient specifically. It could very well be dangerous to the people here in the City."

You think on it for a moment, then decide, "Reach out to offworld teams and have them stay put for the moment unless it's an emergency. And..." You take a breath. "If people start feeling weird, have them report to the infirmary right away. Tell Kanaya to keep an eye on anyone feeling weird."

"Got it," Grodin starts going through the motions while you return to your office.

"Well, that wasn't fun," Barzum remarks, sounding a lot more collected.

"What happened?" You ask.

"Whatever just hit the city had a lot of terror riding before it as a shockwave," Barzum answers. "Someone was VERY scared right before whatever tripped the alarms, well, tripped the alarms."

"It was some unidentifiable wave of energy," you tell her.

"Well, that's..." Barzum sighs. "Whoever that was was really, really scared about something exploding. Repeatedly."

"Could it have been a group of people like the Genii or the Wraith?" You ask.

"No," she shakes her head. "It was one person, I could tell that much."

"Well, that's not good," you grimace.

"No, it's not," she agrees.


 

["DARAYA!!!"]

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you're a werewolf again.

Stupid rift. Stupid fucking rift.

Not only did it turn you- for some stupid reason it turned Daraya too!! God, this is just like when Jade's transformation kicked in, isn't it? Some hidden piece of genetic code that got flipped to 'on' after being exposed to Magic.

You don't even know if you CAN talk Daraya down. This could be nothing at all like how Jade's transformation went.

You wish Yuuki were here. Or Touya, even. They'd know what to do.

If you were following Daraya's trail of footprints in the sand, or her scent alone, they're blowing away pretty quickly in the mild wind to make that impossible. The others couldn't catch up at all.

Even at full speed running, you're only just barely keeping her in your line of sight.

["DARAYA!!! STOP RUNNING!!!"]

Why the hell is she even running for anyways!?

At this rate you're not going to catch up with her unless something changes. Maybe you could try--

"YIPE!" Daraya suddenly trips over the edge of a scar and falls down into a cave beneath with a thud.

--Never mind that thought then.

You wince as you hear a whimpering cry coming from the cave, and slow down enough so that you don't follow the same fate.

["Daraya?"] You look down into the cave, and get a pair of glowing, jade eyes glaring back up at you. ["Are you okay??"]

["No."] She answers in turn, with a whimper. ["Everythings loud and it's too bright and all I can smell is sand and- and-"] She takes a large breath of air. ["Everything hurts, but one of my legs hurts alot more right now..."]

["I'll be down in just a minute, okay?"] You say, and she nods an okay.

You try to figure out how to climb down into the cave given your modified form, and try to do such without breaking the ladder in the process. You manage it somehow, and then come check on Daraya up close and personal.

You couldn't really tell in the dark, but boy, does a Werewolf look weird with troll horns on their head. They seem to have grown out a bit more than they're usually sized too- like deer antlers?

Then, you catch a whiff of blood in the air, and find that Daraya definitely hurt one of her legs in a serious way.

["Where are we?"] Daraya asks while you take it in your hands and give it some gental prodding. ["I don't- NGH. I don't remember how we got here? You starte-AH! OW! OWOWOWOW!"]

["Sorry,"] you hiss. Yeah. She broke her leg. You try to set it as best as you can. ["I'd guess the fifth cave,"] you answer her earlier question. ["As for how we got here? You transformed and then took off running."]

["Transformed?"] She asks, tilting her head to the side. ["Wait-"] her eyes widen- half from pain and half from shock. ["Are you saying I'm aAAAAAAA! OW! FUCKING HELL THAT HURTS!!!"]

["Easy, easy,"] you think you've got the bones as straight and in place as you can. ["Try not to move. I'm going to try something."]

Welp. No time like the present to see if that really IS Magic pouring in from the rift.

You close your eyes, and try to remember the words for a basic Fae healing spell that Minori taught you during one of your trips to Alfheim. Right. If this works, then you've definitely got Magic powering your werewolf form and not anything else.

You place your hands on Daraya's leg, close your eyes, and then HOWL.

A surge of golden light fills the cave- bright and blinding enough to pierce through your eyelids. Once the light fades, you poke at Daraya's leg and...

["It... it doesn't hurt anymore?"] Daraya blinks. ["What was that?"]

["Contact based Fae healing Spell,"] you tell her. ["That rift that turned us is pumping out Magic."]

["Magic?"] Daraya asks. ["You're kidding, right?!"]

["I wish I was,"] you say. ["I shouldn't be able to use that spell- wolf form or not- anywhere but worlds saturated with Magic, like Alfheim."]

["But the others could use it just fine,"] Daraya protests.

["Yeah? And I'm something of a special case given how and where I got turned,"] you resist the urge to roll your eyes. ["Trust me. I've tested my limits before. This shouldn't be possible unless Magic is pouring through that rift."]

["Wh... What do we do now?"] Daraya asks.

["First and foremost? See if we can turn you back to normal,"] you decide.

["And after that?"]

["I..."] you huff. ["Okay, I haven't thought that far ahead just yet. I'll work on that while we see about turning you back."]


 

"Oh My God! Go DOWN you stupid ears!" Your name is Jade Jackson, and for some stupid reason, you can't quite make your wolf ears transform away like you usually do.

You glare at your reflection in one of Atlantis' hallway windows. Those stubborn ears refuse to lay flat. It's really too loud in the city to keep them up all the time but- oh well. Maybe it's related to that mystical mysterious energy wave?

If that's the price you have to pay for being exposed to it, then, well, you suppose there were worse outcomes in existence.

Worse outcomes like some of the people in the Infirmary are lamenting about.

Back pains from a few Alternians; a couple of power enabled Athosians complaining about their abilities flaring up wildly; and a few humans from Earth spontaneously developing abilities they never had before.

Among those who were already super powered... well...

You only have to look as far as Roxy Lalonde's room and see it full up of PERFECTLY GENERIC OBJECTS that just keep spawning and despawning around her like a deranged popcorn oven to see a case where things have gotten a little bit...

Over exaggerated.

And then you come across Aradia Megido, leaning against a wall, looking bloody damn tired.

Also, bleeding from her back.

"Heeeey, Jadeee..." She grins tirely at you- pain dazed, if you had any guess. "Could youuu help meee to the iiiinfirrrrmary?"

You nod, and then help get her to the infirmary. Immediately, Kanaya rushes over and starts examining Aradia with Shaper- then, suddenly, calls out for a pair of scissors.

Before Aradia can react to that, Rose pops over, deposits a pair of scissors into Kanaya's hands, and then holds Aradia steady while Kanaya cuts open the back of her shirt.

Moments later, a pair of gorgeous, ruby-red translucent butterfly wings burst free from their cloth prison.

"Wh- What the heckin fuck!?" Aradia stares over her shoulder at it. "I-I'mma butterfly!?"

"I guess now we know what to expect from everyone else's back pains," Rose remarks to Kanaya, who nods grimly, before looking to you.

"Jade? Is there anything you're feeling that's different? Just checking to be certain."

"Can't make my ears transform away," you answer. "Otherwise, everything's the same."

"Hmm, weird," Kanaya muses, then turns her attention back to Aradia, asking her a bunch of questions while Rose steps over to you.

"This day is getting weirder and weirder," Rose says in a stage whisper.

"That it is," you nod in agreement.

Then- you sneeze.

"Heh," Rose smirks, "someone's talkin' about ya."

"I kinda doubt that, Rose, but whatever."


 

With a brief surge of sensations you can only describe as 'shrinking'- your name is Daraya Jonjet, and you find yourself back in your good, old, Alternian troll form.

Except for the fact that, like Keiko next to you- you seem to have gained the permanent presence of wolf ears and a wolf tail.

It's also a startlingly lot colder inside the cave without all that fur covering you.

"Jade thought ahead," Keiko says, breaking open a crate and retrieving a captcha card containing yet more jackets. She dons one while handing you one.

You eagerly put it on, and relish in the surprising amount of warmth still within its fabric.

"I'm going to check your leg again, alright?" She asks, and you nod.

She pokes and prods and generaly feels the whole length of the leg that you broke falling down into a cave because you were running in some kind of panic induced haze.

"...You know, I was actually expecting you to, like, scratch me or bite me or something," you say. "When I asked what I did the other day."

"Heh," Keiko laughs. "Me too, really. This whole rift thing is just insane." She stops checking your leg, stands up, and smiles. "Your leg feels like it healed up good. Though, we should really get Kanaya to check it out when we get back."

"Fair enough," you nod. "So... Uh... Changing subjects. Did you figure out what we're doing next?"

"Yeah," Keiko nods, checking through more crates for captcha cards. "We know Jade left some radios in the other caves, right? If there's one here... we can Radio Tyzias and Mallek, and Tyzias can fly the Jumper over to us."

"Alright," you nod, and take a few cautious steps over to another pile of crates.

It takes about a minute of searching between the two of you, but you find it quickly enough.

"Tyzias, Mallek, this is Keiko, over," Keiko starts after fiddling with the frequency knob. No reply, more fiddling.  "Tyzias, Mallek. This is Keiko, over?" No reply, another fiddle, "Tyzias, Mallek, I've found Daraya and we're in the fifth cave, over?"

Finally, a reply. "Keiko! Great news!" Mallek talks all relieved, "Glad to hear you're alright. And, um. Human again, I guess?"

"I ended up more Fae than Human, but yeah," Keiko shakes her head- and you see her tail swishing in response.

Tails.

You feel your own bashing against your leg, and you realize that's going to take a lot to get used to now.

"Is Daraya alright?" Tyzias asks.

Keiko makes an "Eh" sound before replying, "Beyond a broken leg I had to heal up, yeah. She's fine too."

"A broken leg!?" Tyzias' shout makes you wince as the tiny radio's speakers fail to play the audio right.

"It's fine! It's fine!" Keiko says. "I fixed it."

"...Okay. Fine. What's the plan?" Tyzias asks, sounding a bit curt and eager to see you again.

Your tail swishes at the thought, and you try to grab it with your hands to keep it from swaying around. But- that just sends a weird sensation up your spine. Like a phantom limb that shouldn't be there but is.

SO. FREAKING. WEIRD.

"I'll go stand ontop of the cave entrance, and you fly the Jumper down to us," Keiko says. "We'll load up the cave into the Jumper like we did everything else from the other Caves and I'll fly us back to Atlantis so we can report in."

"Alright, fair enough," Tyzias answers.

"See you soon," Mallek says.

"See you soon," Keiko answers, and then smiles. "So. Do you wanna go up the ladder first or should I?"



The City's gate alarms go off, and you, one Kanaya Maryam, are called up to the Jumper bay to take a look at the returning AR-2.

You nearly stop in surprise upon seeing Keiko and Daraya both sporting wolf ears and tails similar to Jade's- except with fur colors matching more their usual hair color than how Jade's look.

"I'm fine," Keiko says, brushing away your hand as you reach out to use Shaper on her. "Daraya's the one who needs a check up on her leg."

"Right," you take it at face value, and check Daraya's health status...

One of her legs was definitely broken very recently. But it was also very rapidly healed up again.

You sigh, and tell her, "Take it easy over the next few days, and no strenuous running. It's still in a delicate state, but should be fine otherwise. Come see me again in two days or if it starts hurting."

"Got it," Daraya nods.

That done, you tag along with the team down to Doctor Weir's-- Doctor Jackson's office.

Surprisingly, Barzum Soleli is there too- though, given how she immediately goes over to give Tyzias a hug, you probably shouldn't be too surprised.

"So," Doctor Jackson begins. "What the hell happened out there?"

And thus the story is told.

A rift opening up between the Milky Way and Alternia Galaxies that Keiko claims is putting out pure, raw, unfiltered Magic into the universe. Magic that resulted in the transformations she and Daraya underwent. The rest of the mission's detailing is irrelevant after that.

You take center stage then, explaining that Shaper has confirmed that this is NOT a mutation event, but rather just the stimulation of genes hidden within existing genetic code to become active rather than inactive.

Everyone thus caught up to speed, you're all dismissed for the night.

Honestly, though?

As you go to bed and settle in with Rose for the night, you have the sobering realization that this whole event is affecting three galaxies- if not more in the days and weeks to come.

There's no telling how the locals of Pegasus are going to react to this, let along how the locals of the other two galaxies are already reacting.

And then there's the concern over what exactly that rift WAS.

You suppose you'll find out eventually but...

Just what is it? What caused it? Why is 'magic' being put out into the universe through it?

...But that's irrelevant.

The thought that keeps you up for hours later than you should be up for is...

What about the Wraith?

Chapter Text

Your name is Davis Strider and you've begun to find yourself in a state of constant temporal flux.

That is to say.

There are three of you working in your office at the same time.

One of you is working on paperwork. One of you is playing chess with Nepeta. And one of you- the current you- is wondering how the hell you even make it happen.

"What. The hell. Strider?"

All three of you glance up to look at General O'neill as he stands in the doorway to your office.

Damn it, you're not ready to talk to him about this yet. You don't even know how it's even happening yet--

POP!

And now there's a fourth you.

"Yo, General," that you starts with a grin. "It looks like I've got the power to Time Travel."

What? So these aren't clones?

"Time Travel," O'neill repeats carefully.

"Within a limited span of time," Next You answers. "In order once he-" he points at you. "-Is gonna come back and be me to explain this, then I'll go back and keep Nepeta distracted then go back and do the paperwork. But we're only able to loop back the same amount of time each time so..." He blips away.

You get up and walk over to where he was standing.

"I've gotta try this," you say.

"Seriously?" O'neill asks before-

POP!

He's suddenly several moments in the past.

"Yo, General," you can't help but grin. "It looks like I've got the power to Time Travel."

Chapter Text

The multiverse was a wide, normally untransversable thing.

The primary thing that made the untransversable actually transversable that anybody on Alfheim or Aincrad were aware of was a Mirror.

A Quantum Mirror.

And while these two worlds were avoiding contact for the most part at this delicate stage of operations... circumstances required it happen.

And so it was that the human boy, Kazuto Kirigaya, wound up staring face to face with his Fae-verse duplicate, Kirito.

The ancient Fae held up a sign reading, "We need help on this side."

And thus, the message was delivered, and Silica's team returned to Alfheim.



"Maaaan!" Your name is YUUKI, and you're stretching as the warm feeling of Magic washes over you once more. "It's nice to be back home."

Keiko just nods in agreement, despite wincing and covering her newly returned Cu Side ears.

"It's still bugging you?" You ask, trying to keep your voice down to a whisper.

"I didn't exactly get a chance to get used to it before we got back to Aincrad," She answers, wincing even at the sound of her own whisper level voice. "Everything's loud. Even my own voice."

"Sooo... You can hear what everyone over there is talking about too, right?" You gesture over at the meeting Kirito and a Cait Syth woman named Alicia are running.

There are other people you don't recognize, but of those you do?

From your side is Silica, Touya, Minori, Sakamoto, and Kazuto- who looks extremely out of place. The Cait Syth, Alicia, is, or atleast at some point was, the leader of their faction. Beyond that is an Undine man styled as a Mage. Shiro? Shiroe? Something like that. You swear that his Assassin body guard looks familiar, too, although you can't place it.

You'd join the meeting but so far there's just a lot of catch up going on from both sides- starting with the Aincrad shenanigans as of late. Sakamoto, really, is the one doing most of the talking from Aincrad's side of things.

You'll pay more attention when the Alfheim side starts talking more.

Keiko nods. "Every last word."

"Alright," Kirito speaks up then. "Thank you for the report. Now for our side of things...." And you guess that's your cue to synch back up with the conversation.

He starts on about modern events... You're still completely lost- about as lost as Sakamoto is. The recap is mostly for Silica, Minori, and Touya. Something something, active acts of rebellion against the king- wait, what?

"As for your mission," an Undine man- Shiroe, you're pretty sure his name is- speaks up.. "Earlier today we discovered that Oberonn is planning on transferring Princess Astore out of her prison-room in Yggdrasil for a higher security prison cell in Jotunheim. One of our spies down there has confirmed that she is to be sent to the King of the Jotuns, in the frozen palace beneath the World Tree in three days time."

"We want you to intercept Princess Astore and take her back with you to Aincrad," Kirito continues. "From there, whatever plans Oberonn had for Astore in Jotunheim can be foiled while we research into what it is he intends to do with her."

"We accept the mission," Sakamoto says with enthusiasm.

Keiko whimpers, and you sigh. "Alright, guess we're training as fast as we can then, huh?"



"Faster! Faster!!" Your name is Silica, and you've got your alternate self able to generate her mystical wings just fine. The hard part is getting her to move them fast enough to actually fly. "You've almost got it!!"

From either side of your head on your shoulders, two itterations of Pina chirp in encouragement.

"I-!" Keiko's wings vibrate just a bit faster and then- "I think I've got--"

And then she's rocketing upwards and upwards and upwards.

"IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Shit!!

You take off after her before someone sees her out above the forest that nobody is actually supposed to be in..



"Alright," your name is Minori, and you take a knife and lightly cut open the palm of your hand. "Now heal it."

Keiko nods, takes your hand, and chants the spell.

You watch as the golden runes swirl to life around her arms, and then---!

You grin as the cut closes up.

"Congratulations, Keiko!" You say, "You can now cast the basic contact based 'Cure Wounds' healing spell!"

"It only took me what? Ten tries?" She asks, a little sourly.

"It took me twenty-four," you admit. "So you're on a faster learning curve than I was."

"Maybe..." She sighs.

"Alright, let's work on Faction Disguise next, okay?" You ask.



"Alright, here they come..." Your name is Touya, and a nondescript looking flour cart is being escorted down the streets of the city beneath the branches of the World Tree Yggdrasil.

Nondescript, except for the fact that there are ten fucking guards escorting a single cart. They're not even disguised as flour merchants.

Suspicious to anyone to say the least, but it's clear that nobody is going to do anything with that many guards.

It's a show of force...

But you can smell her Scent.

Princess Astore.

She's in there.

"It's go time. Minori, send the signal," you order, and Minori takes out an enchanted flute Shiroe-san gave her and plays a quick series of notes that sound like bird chirps.

Then and there, Keiko, Yuuki, and Silica come stumbling out from around a corner, Yuuki pretending to be flat out drunk, while Keiko and Silica support her. They're all disguised as Salamanders for the moment.

"HEEEEYYY!" Yuuki cries out, disentangling herself from Keiko and Silica and quickly meanders over to the guards. "ICECREAAAAAAAME MAAAAANN!!"

"No! Mikari!" Silica pretends to call out in dismay. "Leave them alone! That's not an ice cream cart!" She and Keiko rush after Yuuki, all according to plan.

Yuuki, though, crashes up against one of the guards 'drunkenly' and starts rambling on about wanting ice cream.

Most of the guards are amused at the one's misfortune- he, of course, is very annoyed. "Ma'am, please! We have a job to do here! Back away!"

"We're so sorry about her!" Keiko says, bowing profusely. "She just had a bad breakup!! Please forgive her!"

And thus, as Keiko and Silica drag Yuuki away, the Guards never question how Yuuki clings to the one, crying out in her demand for ice cream.

They never see Yuuki slipping a paper talisman into the one guard's robes.

And once the trio of them have left sight, they're out of mind.

Minori uses the flute to chirp out a different sequence as the guards move along, then puts the flute away to ready her magic-staff.

Likewise, you ready to transform into your wolf form, and wait for the signal.

Shiroe-san's ninja bodyguard casts a smokescreen spell, suddenly obscuring the whole street.

You make your move- transforming and leaping off of the rooftop you were hiding on into the street below while Minori starts casting her spell.

You land on a guard's shoulders, feet first, knocking them to the ground, before you barrel forwards in the darkness towards where you can smell another guard's  armor. They're knocked down, and then you jump onto the Flour Cart.

It's all reinforced, sure, and the guards will quickly get back to their feet because of similar enchantments, sure sure... but...

Not For Long.

And then with a bolt of lightning from the heavens, of Minori's spell striking the guard Yuuki had tagged and then branching out to hit the rest of the guards, the cloud of darkness shatters, revealing yourself standing atop the flour cart, and that Shiroe, Sakamoto, and Shiroe's assassin bodyguard have appeared. Plus, Yuuki, Silica, and Keiko have returned as well, though back in their usual appearances.

The Guards are all surrounded.

"Wh-" The guard Yuuki tagged stumbles, numbed slightly from the lightning. "REBELS!!"

"If you know what's good for you, you'll stop moving and surrender!" Shiroe points his magic staff at them.

"LIKE HELL!" One of the guards growls, glaring between them and you. "You think you can beat us and our enchanted armor!? Your lightning attack didn't even hurt us!"

"No, it didn't," Shiroe says. "But that wasn't the point. Akatsuki."

That non sequitur prompts the Assassin to leap at one of the nearest guards- knee him in the face, and send the bastard flying into a wall.
While the other guards stare and watch, the Assassin returns to Shiroe's side. The guard she attacked doesn't get up.

"Wh-What the!? She bypassed our armor!?" A different guard asks, shocked. "HOW!?"

"How is simple," Sakamoto says, stepping forwards, drawing a pair of swords. "You haven't changed your enchantment protocols in the twenty-five years since I left."

And then everyone  leaps at the first appealing  guard and utterly humiliates them.



The Fae King Oberonn was not a happy man when he heard the news.

Oh, no. Nor would the King of the Jotuun be happy either when they found out.



"Thank you for freeing me, my friends," Astore smiles as she hugs Silica and Minori and Touya tightly once you were all safely hidden away in an underground safe house. "But I'm afraid we've got a much bigger problem."

"What kind of problem?" Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you've got the feeling this three day side mission is about to get even longer.

"The Sword Caliburn lays entrenched within a root of the World Tree," Astore answers, fixing you with a curious gaze. Her blue eyes sparkle almost. "With that root severed, the Tree, Yggdrasil, slowly finds itself water starved. My father wanted the sword for his own means, as well as to keep the tree alive so he could power whatever foul monstrosity of a machine he has been running. So I was traded to Thrym for the sword. Now that I'm free, however..."

"Without the Princess, the King of the Jotuns won't give up the sword," Yuuki summarizes.

"We can't let Oberonn get his hands on the sword either, but..." Silica frowns. "The World Tree. If it dies, then..."

"Then the roots spanning the continent die as well," Astore says. "They will rot and wither away and then the entire continent will start to collapse and drift apart as the tectonic plates finally shatter from the presence of Jotunheim beneath us."

"So," Minori summarizes. "We need to get that sword."

"Only question is, how do we go about doing it?" You ask.

Chapter Text

The frozen palace of ice suspended beneath the World Tree's roots above a massive subteranean cavern called Jotunheim; a rich place once full of lush life, now covered in nothing but ice.

And what's more, the Castle's only entrance resides far, far away from the bottom of the staircase that emerged through the roof of this massive cavern. Impossible to reach by any means but flight- and in this space... A Fae's wings are impossible to manifest. A curse, Silica claimed, and one unique to Alfheim's world space.

There were Yggdrasil roots all over the surface of the cavern which spread as far into the distance as the continent itself was wide, and the severed remains of many roots could be seen laying on the ground below... where there was ground, that is.

At the center of it all was a massive pit, directly beneath the tree. Where once there was a massive lake from which Yggdrasil drank from... there is now nothing but the void.

Your name is Sakamoto, former Royal Guard for the Princess Astore, now adoptive father of the Princess Hakase, and it saddens you to see this place in such a state.

After so many years... to think that it had come to this state.

Oberonn's projects must really be important to him to finally intervene in this state after so long.

"This is even worse than the last I'd seen of it," Astore remarks, wrapping a warm jacket around herself.

You'd objected to her joining you on this mission, but she insisted on joining this Raid Team.

Shiroe had gathered many rebels and fighters to aid in charging into the frozen castle- Thrymheim. Home to their insidious leader, Thrym.

"So," the other one you'd objected to joining starts speaking. "How exactly are we getting over there?"

Kazuto- the boy who was human and so very young compared to the counterpart of his in this world- Kirito.

He has no reason to be here- he's not even part Fae like Keiko has become- but... his relationship with Keiko's sister has brought him here just the same.

You can respect that, even if you fear for his safety.

Still, the sword on his back is sharp, and any extra blades in this fight will be needed.

"We have to wait for our contact to join us," Kirito speaks. "She should be here soon with our ride to the Ice Castle."

And then there's a wailing cry, and a flying Beast known as an OLD GOD emerges from a cloud layer- drifting closer and closer to the stairway.

Standing atop the beast is a heavily armored girl with blue eyes like stars and hair as golden as the sun itself.

One of the warriors Kirito had recruited for this fight- a Salamander man named Klein- grins as he sees her. "There's Skuld now!"

Skuld, huh?

The flying beast approaches- its jelly-fish like limbs drifting around beneath it.

"It's amazing," Keiko remarks- her Pina chirping in amazement.

And then it lands opposite the end of the stairs. "Yo-hoo!" Skuld waves. "The Tonki express is here to help!" And the beast- 'Tonki'- extends its nose/limb out towards you to serve as a staircase.

Klein, as a matter of course hops over to talk with the Jotunheim native.

They're rather friendly with eachother- in that sort of way that makes you heartsick and eager to return to Aincrad and your wife and Daughters.

"Let's get moving," Shiroe speaks. "We need to hurry before we're noticed."

And so your 'Raid Team' boards the flying beast's back.

You take stock count of everyone you know. Kirito, Klein, Shiroe and his Assassin, Kazuto, Keiko, Silica, Touya, Minori, Yuuki, Astore, yourself Sakamoto, and this Skuld woman. Four names starting with K and S. A double whammy of Fours. An ominous gathering, for sure. The rest are men and women you haven't been introduced to yet, and you doubt you'll have the time.

"The plan is simple," Astore takes the lead on the mission briefing as you then take flight towards the castle. "We strike hard, and we strike fast. Thrym is sure to have elite guards stationed at specific choke points. We will have to break up our party as we push through the castle. Smaller groups, one at a time, to stall the guards while the rest of us push ahead to reach the point where Caliburn is stabbing into the tree roots. At that point, someone must pull the sword, regardless of how many of us have regrouped. At that point we will likely have to either fight our way back to the entrance, or the Castle itself will collapse."

"Collapse?" You ask. "That doesn't sound very safe."

"It all depends on if Thrym feels like risking his own life to drop everything into the void below," Astore tells you.

"I really don't like the sound of any of this," you say. "But I know it's a necessary fight to be had."

Soon, you arrive at the castle, and Shiroe casts the largest door knocking spell you've ever seen.

It literally blows the doors of solid ice off their frozen hinges and scatters the hallway beyond with chunks of ice.

"Knock Knock," Kirito draws his swords. "It's raid time."



Your name is Yuuki, and your group has pushed past a pair of two giant monsters as tall as a house, leaving about half of the remaining raid party behind to keep them busy.

Considering those two as a single checkpoint, this was just the second you've encountered so far. The group had already been split up somewhat more from that first one.

So, since Kirito's and Shiroe's groups already have stayed behind, and Sakamoto with them. It's just the bunch of you- you, Keiko, Silica, Touya, Minori, Kazuto, and Astore.

This could end so badly if you run into another set of guards or-

"Is someone there!?" A girl's voice cries out, and you all slow to a halt as you round a corner.

There, stuck in a cage of ice, is a blonde haired girl.

"Heroes from Alfheim?" The girl stares. "Please! You have to help me! I am Freya! Thrym stole a powerful artifact from my family's vault! I sneaked in here to take it back but he caught me and left me here to freeze until I'm 'thoroughly punished'!"

"Said artifact wouldn't happen to be glowy and golden?" Astore asks.

"Yes! It would be! It's an enchanted hammer!" the girl, Freya, nods.

"It's not Caliburn, but we'll have to get it back from Thrym just the same," Astore decides, and then casts a spell to melt the ice bars of the cage.

"Thank you!" Freya nods.

And thus, your group of six just became seven.

"Where does he keep your hammer?" Kazuto asks.

"In the treasure vault," Freya answers.

"That's probably just outside where-ever the sword we're after is," Kazuto deduces.

"Let's not waste time, then," Keiko says.

"Agreed," Silica nods, then, to Freya, says, "Lead the way."

And so you run along.

Suddenly, though, there's a woosh of a disguise spell dispersing, and Shiroe's Imp assassin appears next to you. And for the first time in days, she speaks, "My master has sent me to help you with this fight. I was not useful against either of those monsters."

There's something about her voice that's nagging at you. You recognize it. But behind that face mask...

"Glad to have you with us, Ninja-san!" Touya answers.

"Akatsuki," she says. "That's my name."

You round a corner, and some ice golems appear to block your path.

Before any of you can do anything- Freya casts a spell, and lightning bolts break free from her hand, smashing into the golems and shattering them.

"Nice shot," Minori appraises.

"Thank you," Freya nods.

And then you arrive at the treasure room, and Thrym glares down at you from above. He himself is massive, and sits in his even more massive throne, elevating him higher than anything else.

There is a staircase from which he could walk down from to ground level, that would allow him to walk in- to him- ankle height treasure piled up everywhere.

As for you all? That treasure is stacked up to your shoulders.

But the important thing is- there, at the base of the giant stairs, is a normal doorway with a normal sized stair case of ice going down. The Sword room, no doubt.

"ASTORE," Thyrm booms- his voice echoing through the room. "SO. YOUR NO GOOD FATHER BREAKS THE DEAL AFTER ALL. I KNEW HE COULDN'T BE TRUSTED. HE WOULD RECEIVE THE FAKE SWORD INSTEAD, HAD HE ACTUALLY DELIVERED YOU TO ME."

"Give us the sword Caliburn, and we will leave without a fight!" Astore says.

"NO." Thyrm booms.

"Then so be it!" Freya demands.

And then things went from bad to worse.



Unseen by anyone within the ice castle, there was a spark of interdimensional light, a flare up and a FWOOOOM!

And then a Mofang Cruiser appeared out of nowhere. Gravity drew it in towards the side of the ice castle, where it tore a gouge through the side of it before-
FWOOOOOM!

-It vanished again, taking some more chunks of ice with it, and leaving behind a small tear in the fabric of reality behind it. A tiny, super small tear that already was starting to close up due to it being too small to be self sustaining, but one that was open and pouring out a ton more magic into the atmosphere than would normally be available to the cavern of Jotunheim.

That said, while nobody had seen what had happened, the inhabitants of the castle definitely FELT the impact and the destruction of some support structures.



Thinking the other side responsible for the shaking and trembling, a fight begun between the Titan Jotun, THRYM, and the small crew of fighters leaped into battle with eachother.

> [S] Bright Burning Shout

Freya cast a lightning spell into the treasure piles- electrifying the room, but causing one spot in particular to flare up, and a golden hammer to come rocketing out of it into her hand.

"FREYA!?" Thrym glared- "NO... YOU'RE...!"

And then the girl's faction disguise dispersed, and... a boy stood there instead. He got no taller or even seemed to be wearing different clothes, but her facial features had hardened for sure.

"That's right! I'm THOR you frozen idiot!" The boy grinned, twirling his hammer.

['Once more, the actors disappeared,']

And then he leaped at Thyrm and slammed the hammer into the Titan's nose.

[Without discipline who am I? is being tempted slowly, Without any mercy, Endlessly,]

Astore and Minori began casting support spells, and Touya and Keiko shifted to wolf form, and leaped at Thyrm's legs- starting a savage climb up his limbs towards more fragile areas.

[If Nameless Solitude is not born by any means, then it will be forcefully thrust in-]

Silica, Kazuto, Yuuki, and Akatsuki began strafing runs with their various bladed weapons against Thryms ankles. The giant stomps his feet in anger--

[By this empty landscape.]

And in response- the castle's ice began to crack, and it began to slip free somewhat from the tree roots holding it in place.

[Anyone tries to find a reason! Without doing anything! As there is no way to oppose this-]

Astore narrows her eyes, and gives one final huge health boost spell, before turning for the stairs, and taking off in a run with a "I'M GOING FOR IT!"

[-Bad Trip! Now then is there any worth in a wish not born out of superiority?]

"GO!" Minori encourages, before targeting Thrym with lightning, and firinng off at the same time Thor does the same, channeling it through his hammer.

[Awaken BRIGHT BURNING SHOUT!]

Astore dodged through ice bursting from the ground, and around treasure getting brandied about from the fighting.

[Even in a world that is so cruel, shall we turn this hope that we voiced into reality?]

Touya got knocked loose from a kick meant to throw Silica to the side, but they land on a wall and rebound at Thrym- managing to land savage blows against his right knee.

[Show the way, BRIGHT BURNING SHOUT!]

Keiko rears back and then bites down hard onto the inside of Thyrm's left knee- causing the Titan to yell in pain.

[I scream as I want to live! Glaring at the endless sky!]

Astore finds her way to the stairs heading down and glances back just in time to see Akatsuki and Yuuki deliver a double slash against Thyrm's chest that sends an explosion of cerulean colored blood into the air.

[If it's you walking together with me...]

Yuuki and Akatsuki land on the ground, and lock eyes with eachother, grinning.

[Then the fire of fate will surely...]

The raid force regroups, glaring up at Thyrm as he glares down at them.

[Light Up!]

And then they all return to the fight with gusto.

Astore meanwhile hurries down the stairs- skipping whole sets of three steps at a time with carefully timed leaps that carry her down faster and faster until finally she reaches the chamber with Caliburn, stabbed into a frozen chunk of ice holding two ends of a tree root apart from eachother.

Astore takes a single pause to catch her breath...

And then she moves to grab at the sword by its glittering, golden handle.

['The veil was revealed, once more?' Only the question coldly echoing is-]

Her hands wrap around the handle, and golden energy flares up from the magic sword into and around Astore.

[The dance hall of the unconscious mind- The Authenticity of the memories that keep piling up-]

A vision before Astore's eyes show her what she must do. She twists the inner grip of the sword-

[Is already an indistinct rubbish.]

-A part slides and locks, and the ice block shatters-

[ It's very likely, however... With destruction that doesn't get weary of revenge-]

Then, it reforms around Astore as armor and cloth, super-ceding her own clothing and armor for the moment.

[Anger that overflows wanting to protect!]

Even her eyes and hair are temporarily changed in appearance; her hair to platinum blond rather than brilliant orange, and her blue eyes replaced with a green glow.

[Choose Which-]

The Tree roots snap back together.

[And now, in order to keep faith...]

The battle above suddenly slows as a golden burst of light shoots out from the staircase leading to the root chamber.

[Can you see the Difference?]

And all eyes lock on Astore as she comes swinging out of the tunnel- bringing the glowing sword Caliburn to bare against Thrym.

"NO!" He bellows- before raising his arms to block the rapid flury of sword strikes.

[Shine BRIGHT BURNING SHOUT! A Vision of the future that doesn't rust!]

"Retreat!" Thor yells. "The Sword's Magic is unleashed!!"

"That's Bad!?" Kazuto asks.

"It's EXPLOSIVELY BAD!" Thor confirms.

[Even if you cannot see that prayer, you'll probably push your back!]

Astore swings and swings- brilliant bursts of golden energy breaking off with every strike- spearing out and smashing through the castle's ice walls.

[Believe BRIGHT BURNING SHOUT! Because I still want to live I will shout!]

With chunks of ice falling from the ceiling to the floor below, and walls crumbling apart across the various floors of the ice castle, everyone runs for the entrance because its clear, that the castle is falling to pieces.

[Follow the raging path!]

Down below, Astore and Thym stand opposite eachother as Astore raises Caliburn above her head, twisting the handle, and causing a massive golden glow to pierce upwards like a beam from the sword's hilt.

From the rift, golden energy pours out in mass- and all across Alfheim, golden light can be seen pulsing from the World Tree.

"EX...!" Astore intones, even as the raid team leap off of the collapsing Ice Castle and onto Tonki's back.

"NO!" Thrym yells- realizing he's directly in the line of fire. "DON'T!!"

The beam of light pierces through every floor of the castle, and all eyes turn to watch it, even as Tonki moves to a safe distance.

[Everyone is looking for a reason-]

Astore shifts her stance.

[It's inevitable- There's no way to Oppose a Bad Trip!]

Thyrm in that moment realized he should have just given them the sword and let them leave.

[And now, with no regrets at this last moment, shall I go meet you?]

"CALIBUUUUUUUUURN!!" And Astore swings the sword- bring its golden blade of light down on Thyrm. He futility raised an arm to block it, as if it would save his life for longer than a few seconds.

[Awaken BRIGHT! BURNING! SHOUT! Even in a world that is so cruel!]

With a massive, triple explosion of golden light and incredible heat- a shockwave tore apart the Ice castle and washed across Jotunheim, melting the ice that covered everything.

[I spoke of my wish-]

Through the shattered remnants of the castle's icy remains-

[That will come true!]

One could see Astore on giant, glowing wings of radiant, golden light, bringing the massive sword down onto the still somehow alive Thrym.

[Awaken BRIGHT BURNING SHOUT! Even in a world that is so cruel!]

Astore impaled Thyrm through the chest and drove him down straight into the pit below his castle- now rapidly filling up with water once more.

[That Prayer makes it worth it- You don't believe me?]

And then, Astore yanks the sword free- and there's another explosion of light, centered on Thrym as he splashes down into the lake- sending water and steam into the air, obscuring sight for a few moments.

[Push forward, BRIGHT BURNING SHOUT! Because I still want to live, I will shout! Follow the Raging path!]

But when it falls away, Astore remains in the air, holding Caliburn in hand, and looking determined to do what it takes to dethrone her father from power.

[It's you, and we can finally reach...]

And yet, as she turns and sees Tonki approaching with everyone from the raid team onboard...

[What kind of future is waiting for us?]

She smiles at them.

[The flame of faith will surely...]

And as for that tiny rift?

[Light Up!]

-It seals shut with nobody the wiser as to its presence at all.



"I'm not going to leave Alfheim," Astore decides stubbornly, lodging the tip of Caliburn into the floor infront of the Quantum Mirror. "The Sword of Rule has chosen me to take my Father's place as the head of Alfheim. I intend to see it through."

"But we have to ensure that-" Alicia begins.

"No! I will not run in fear of him any longer! Oberonn must die, and I will see that it happens by my hand, with this sword!" Astore declares. "I WILL be queen!"

Sakamoto and Kirito try talking her out of it, but...

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you sigh. "Well, so much for that idea. She's not budging on it."

"Agreed," Silica nods. "I don't think even I can talk her out of this, now."

That's when a different commotion draws eyes across the room.

"SIS!!" Yuuki throws her arms around Shiroe's assassin- who's removed her face mask revealing a face rather similar to Yuuki's. "You're alive!!"

"Huh," Touya remarks. "I wasn't expecting that."

"Really? Why's that?" Minori asks.

"Yuuki told me that she was turned only a few days after her sister threw her off of a boat just before it exploded," Touya answers. "She always figured her sister had died in that explosion."

"An explosion?" You ask. "Really? I don't mean to sound disbelieving, but... how does something like that even happen?"

"Battle between the Salamanders and the Imps over trade routes gone wrong," Touya answers.

"Ah," you say. "Right. Politics. Got it."

"But how!?" Yuuki asks. "And what's with the other name??"

"My Lord saved my life when I'd drifted into an Undine village," you hear Akatsuki telling Yuuki."I've been working for him to pay off the life debt I owe ever since. The name is my badge while I serve that role."

"I get the feeling Yuuki's going to be staying behind for a while," Minori smiles. "Shall we get back to Aincrad?"

"What?" you ask, surprised. "You guys are coming back?"

"Of course we are," Silica says with a nod. "We've still got unfinished business there, remember?"

...Right.

"I'd almost forgotten about that in all the rush of the last few days," you sigh. "It was almost like a dream where it didn't exist at all. Why did you have to remind me?"

"Hey, it'll all work out," Touya says, planting a hand on your shoulder and giving it a quick, reassuring squeeze. "We'll figure out who's sabotaging the repair efforts and we'll get your mom out of solitary finally once we can prove without a doubt that she's not involved with any of it! You'll see!"

"Yeah," you smile. "I'm sure it will..."

Sakamoto gives one final huff of annoyance over Astore's decision, and heads through the Mirror.

"I guess that's our cue to get going," Silica says, then looks around. "Now where's Kazuto at?"

"I saw him go through the Mirror already," Touya answers. "He looked pretty peeved off at Kirito for some reason."

"It's not always easy to get along with an alternate self," Silica says, pulling you into a one armed hug. "Sometimes it's like cats and dogs! Right, Keiko?"

"Ha ha ha," you say with an intentionally flat tone. "Punny. Very punny." Then, you grin, and say, "It's a good thing we get along so well then, huh?"

"Yup!" Silica nods.

Chapter Text

"In trying times such as these, Master Bra'tac, I find it important that we keep our humor and spirits high."

"Is that so, Teal'c?"

"To that end, I have crafted a new joke."

"I see. Very well. Let me hear it."

"At the Battle of Dakara, the Replicators had all at their Mercy. The Jaffa would fight to their last breath. The Tau'ri would scatter the Replicators to the wind. Ba'al... Bounced."

A pause, and then both Jaffa began to laugh heavily.

"Yes! That is a finely crafted joke, My friend! We must spread this far and wide!"

"Indeed!"

Chapter Text

O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

EARTH DATE: JULY 13TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/21/0005.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and not for the first time since the rift in the sky over Minkata opened, you've had a dream of that day.

Of Astore swinging Caliburn for the first time.

Of her declaring her intent to be Queen.

Of seeing Yuuki reunite with her sister.

Of the hope that you'd ever see your mother alive again.

Of those four things, three had been ruined irrevocably.

You wonder how Yuuki and her sister are doing these days?

With a tired huff, you push yourself up in bed, and squint your eyes to shield them from the sun peering through the window.

"Mrrh," comes a tired groan from next to you, and you look to your side as Mallek throws an arm over his eyes, muttering. "Morning already?"

"Yeah," you nod, and then slip out of the sheets.

The warm sunlight clashes against your skin and the faint chill to the air that always seems to accompany not being covered in fur even when you were perfectly fine with it before.

You grab at your swimsuit off of where you'd hung it up to dry, and get dressed for swimming.

"You going to join me in the pool?" you ask Mallek.

"In a few minutes," he grunts an affirmative.

"Alright," you say, and then stand up on your toes to peer at Pina's nest atop her cat tree. "Morning to the Pina over here," you smile, and give her a little scritch behind the ears. You get a content Kyuii in response.

Right then, time for a swim and a shower.

A brisk walk down the hallway, towel over your shoulder, and then discarded to a chair. A moment later: you dive into the pool with a SPLASH and run a few laps.

By the time you finish with the first two laps, Mallek's joined you for the early morning exercise and subsequent showering. What started as just an excuse to hang out due to your apartments respective lack of showers has become something of a firmly set morning ritual.

With all the chaos that's struck Atlantis since the Expedition began, it's nice to have such a thing as a set ritual.

By the time you're almost done with your laps, though, your name gets called over the city's intercom, forcing you to cut it short and take your shower fast.

What could it be this time, you wonder as you get dressed for a day of work a few minutes after that, as quickly as you can.

Not quickly enough, though, because Rose comes to serve as transport.

With a pop and a woosh, you're taken to a distant part of the city where... Where there's a really old woman stuck in a stasis chamber.

Well.

This is different.



"So. To summarize. We've got an Ancient lady stuck in a stasis pod that's stuck in a cycle of trying to defrost her but can't?" Your name is Rodney Mckay, and you're looking at the frozen woman with some odd sense of... familiarity.

"Yes, it looks like when we arrived in the city, we triggered a defrost protocol," Keiko says, frowning as she looks over the diagnostic log. "It looks like a system error happened, though. The Timer mechanism is trying to override the arrival protocol, and they keep fighting over which to implement, preventing either system from defrosting her. Thankfully," she smiles, "that means she should be in better health than if, say, we accidentally interrupted the process mid-thawing."

"So this woman is still alive?" Teyla asks. She and Ford found the lady, so they're still here.

"In a state of metabolic stasis, but yes," you explain. "Her aging has been slowed considerably, but not suspended."

"She's still almost a hundred years old," Beckett remarks. "Defrosting her could kill her."

"She could still die just from being on ice for this long," you interject. "We need to defrost her to ensure we can save her life, along with whatever knowledge she was supposed to give us when we arrived."

"At any rate," Doctor Jackson finally speaks up, "if we defrost her, let's get Kanaya down here to keep her vitals stable in case she crashes."

Kanaya gets brought in, and so the lady on ice is defrosted. You find in her hand a piece of paper with several Gate Addresses on it. Obviously a message in case she died while in stasis.

Then, she wakes up. She stares blankly for a few moments once she's awake, then, she looks out at a window overlooking the city and remarks "It worked" before passing out.

Well, you think you've got an idea as to who she is.



"Rodney's hunch was right," your name is Carson Beckett, and you can't believe you're saying this. "Her DNA results came back as a 95% match for what we have on record for Elizabeth. Close enough for me to write off the deviance as due to aging, or whatever temporal shenanigans that brought her here."

"So, she's the Weir mentioned in the other Jade's journal," Doctor Jackson summarizes.

"Aye," you nod. "That's about the short of it, yes."

"So I guess we can predict what she's going to try to tell us about," he guesses.

"It's very likely," you say. "Though we have no idea how different her time was compared to Jade's."

"I want a camera on her at all times then," Doctor Jackson says. "When she wakes up, anything she says might not ever be repeated."

"I'll get one set up," you agree.



Your name is Daniel Jackson, and Weir's reaction to you being the acting leader of the Atlantis Expedition was "Miss Jackson must have succeeded in changing something," with a pale smile. She didn't ask why her other self wasn't in charge, instead opting to tell you about how her Expedition started.

Over the next few hours, she began to tell you about her experiences. And gosh, did her experiences really differ.

For starters: no Alternian contact, no Tok'ra, and apparently her Major John Sheppard was there through any timeline shenanigans, but rather an Air Force pilot who O'neill had hand picked after seeing he had the ATA gene from randomly sitting in the chair at the Antarcitc Outpost.

Also. Apparently their Earth's timeline was a few years delayed compared to yours.

This Weir's expedition had left for Atlantis in 2004.

But, things went about as expected for their first time through the gate, compared to Jade's experiences. The City failed to power up and rise, and it flooded.

Everyone except for Weir, Sheppard, and Zelenka died, as they escaped through a Time Machine enabled Puddle Jumper...

Which got shot down by Wraith over Atlantis during the siege.

Weir had awoken to an argument between the other Jade and the Ancient called Janus- where she was apparently calling him out over inventing a TIME MACHINE and not telling her.

Jade had been there for weeks, months maybe even, and had been attempting to talk the Ancients into returning to Earth with the City of Atlantis itself. Of course, Weir's appearance meant that failed, and they instead Gated home.

Janus had taken to Weir's idea of setting up a fail safe, and rigged the City to ascend when the power ran dry.

And with her final breaths, Weir told you that the list of Gate Addresses were to planets with ZPMs.

And then she slipped into a coma, and didn't wake again, because her heart stopped a day later.



EARTH DATE: JULY 15TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/23/0005.

The Athosians had the time and space to prepare a funeral pyre on the Mainland this time. And so, you are Argo Lalonde, and you're locking an urn full of the older, alternate Weir's ashes into the safe that used to be in Weir's room.

Regardless of how long it takes for contact with Earth to be re-established, well... at least *A* Weir is going to be sent on her way home.

You take a breath, and rest your hands over your stomach.

John's team and Tyzias' team are heading off world for the rest of this week to check out planets with ZPMs. Apparently one of the ones on the list was the Kids planet.

You wonder how it's all going to turn out, in the end? You hope they can find some ZPMs. Maybe then contacting Earth won't be as much of a problem.

Chapter Text

"Okay. Right." Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you can't believe you're actually doing this. Standing out in the fields of the mainland nearby a small lake, you're about to give flying lessons.

"We're going to do this the trial-by-fire way." You look at the small group of Alternians who had grown wings, and smile encouragingly. "I'm going to assume that there's some similar lift mechanics to your wings that there are to mine for this first exercise, and if this doesn't work, then we'll try something else, but... that's for later. This is now."

You focus on those phantom limbs you've not thought of in a long while, and bring your wings out into existence.

"So! The goal here is to get a feel for your wings as extensions of yourself. The muscles that make them work should be somewhere between your shoulders, but could rest anywhere along the spine. Where-ever the dead center of your wings rest on your body, really." You say. Some of them have really large wingspans conpared to others. "Give your wings a few slow and steady flaps, like so..." you demonstrate the motions, slowly, steadily.

They begin to do such.

"Okay, good. Now, the idea is to start flapping them faster and faster, trying to slowly edge up to the speed where you feel like you're going to lift off."

Unsurprisingly, Aradia Megido immediately blasts off into the heavens like a rocket.

"WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeee......."

"Oh boy," you lament, watching her turn into a tiny crimson dot in the heavens. "Everyone stay here! I'll bring her down!"

And then you take off after her.

"I SAID SLOWLY, ARADIA! SLOWLY!!!"

Chapter Text

"So, Daraya," your Matesprit begins suddenly one evening in the secluded safety of your room.

"Yeah?" Your name is Daraya Jonjet, and you raise an eyebrow as you turn to look at Tyzias as she twirls one of your fake-troll-horn-bracelets around on a finger. The one that you'd been fortunate to not break during your recent transformation to a were-troll-wolf-thing thanks to a magic rift.

"So... I'd noticed your bracelets were getting kinda beaten up a while ago," Tyzias says. "And, well. I thought I'd get a set of replacements just incase they ended up breaking while we were out here in Pegasus."

"A: That's nice of you," you say. "B: There's something else, isn't there?"

"Well. They had a matching set when I checked a store, and, well..." Tyzias stops twirling the bracelet, and scratches at the back of her head. "Would it be weird if I gave you a collar to go with the bracelets now?"

You blink, processing that statement, before accompanying it with your newly given wolf-ized self.

"Well, now that's a fun little visual, isn't it?" You put on what you hope is a wolfish smile. "But, I'd really like to see it first before I make a decision."

"Alright," and so she decaptchalogues a box, offering it to you.

You pop the seal on it and open it and...

"Oooh!"

Two bracelets nearly identical to your old ones, except a lot more professional looking, reside on the far sides of the box. Sitting between them is a larger one- a necklace-slash-collar in much the same style, save for the metal clasp fixed between two of the fake-horn spikes.

You put on the replacement bracelets, and smile as you feel the familiar presence of the inner fabric on the interior. You think these were made by the same troll who made your original bracelets.

As for the collar, you lift it up and turn it around- inspecting it from all sides.

You smile at her, and say, "I love it."

"Heh," Tyzias smiles. "That's great."

"Now put it on me," you tell her, handing it over to her directly.

"I- Wha-?" She blinks. "S- Seriously?"

You nod.

And then with a flush of teal to her face, Tyzias undoes the latch and reaches up and around your neck to put it on.

Click!

And then you've got an awesome spiked collar around your neck.

"How do I look?" You ask.

"Awesome," Tyzias smiles.

"Awesome," you reply back, and then kiss her. She kisses right back.

Heh. Best Matesprit Ever.

Your tail slaps against your legs as it swishes and you don't even care.

Chapter Text

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 20TH, 2001.


DIASPORA DATE: 01/28/0005.

"Commander Acastus Kolya," Chief Cowen's voice booms across a judgement hall. "For disobeying direct orders, directly murdering not just one of the men under your supervision, but three of the Ath... Atlantians, including their commander whose codes you were directly told were necessary for your attempt to capture an ANCESTRAL CITY during a STORM that very well could have destroyed it and your men in one swoop. A Capture Attempt that you were ordered not to make, as well. Furthermore, your actions directly enraged a direct descendant of the Ancestors who created Atlantis. And in additon to your, frankly, disappointing behavior during the trial so far? It is the decision of the Genii Military Court Martial that you be stripped of you rank immediately, and sentenced to Exile or Death- your choice."

"Exile is just Death in another name," Kolya answers, glaring up at the wall of men's shadows above him. "Kill me if you must. But know that what I did, I did in the name of the Genii."

"No, Kolya," Cowen frowns, "you did what you did to soothe your own ego."

"You can't believe that the Atlantians will really begin healing your bodies and minds from this fictional poison they crafted!" Kolya protests. "Not when they unleash a plague of vile transformation across the galaxy!"

"We can, and they already have," Kolya says. "Already the first batch of volunteers are showing signs of restored health and vitality. And as for that 'plague'? They have been adversely affected much the same as everyone else has. If they were the creators of it, they would have made themselves immune."

"You are fools," Kolya swears, "The Atlantians will be our downfall!!"

"No, Kolya, we were the fools for not seeing the writing on the wall for what it was," Cowen shakes his head, and waves his hand. "Take him to the Execution block."

And so Kolya was taken away by a squad of seven men.

He never arrived at the Execution block, however.

Alarms would blare across the Genii settlement when the first set of bodies was found. And then another, and another.

All deputized citizens, or soldiers, or guards who realized that those seven men plus Kolya were bee lining for the surface and the Stargate, and attempted to intervene or join, only to be murdered in the process, regardless of their true intent.

Hours later, when Cowen got the final body count after Kolya's group had murdered the guards at the Stargate, he growled at the damnably large number.

"Get me Sora," he orders his secretary. "Tell her to prepare an envoy to Atlantis. The message is this: Kolya is in the wind. And Death? Death is too good for his crimes. He must PAY for his treachery."


 

O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

The planet Dagan was as Earth Like a planet as any planet got here in Pegasus, and it probably would have been ages before Atlantis came here in the mean time if not for one simple fact.

The Sudarian Priests of the Ancient's time were given a rare treasure, a "Potentia," to safe guard from the Wraith at all costs.

That is to say. They had a ZPM.

Your name is John Sheppard, and your and Tyzias' teams are working on this conundrum of a puzzler.

Out of all the planets besides the Kid planet, this is the only Gate Address from Weir's List that you could confirm still had a ZPM on it, because, well...

They only used it for religious purposes, and only ever brought it out for ceremony. And then the Wraith culled the planet and took the Priests who were guarding it.

This "Brotherhood" of the quin... Quint... Quind....

Something something large number of people.

Anyways, the point is. ZPM's location got lost, it hasn't been seen in thousands of years, and the people here want to recover it just as much as you do.

You brought along a "Replica" ZPM for display purposes to aid in research. It's just one of your real ZPMs that you can't use because the City is a picky eater. It's also one of the only ones thats mostly dead because Mallek left it plugged into the Stargate when the energy cloud monster attacked it. So, there's no real problem if it gets left behind here to serve as stand-in should you fail to locate the real ZPM, or can trade it to the people here in exchange FOR their ZPM, as a backup plan. That much has been discussed with the locals already and they're... well. Sort of okay with it?

As a backup backup plan, there's also just straight up sneakily trading the two ZPMs when nobody's looking. But, that's a worst case scenario. For now, it sits at the centerpiece of the table inside a carrying case.

Mckay is getting along pretty well with one of local scientists, though- a woman named Allina. She's cute, you'll say that much. Definitely more Mckay's type than yours, though.

Speaking of cute- Tyzias and Daraya leaning against each other as they pour over a volume of ancient priestly texts. Daraya's tail keeps swishing side to side in a way that reminds you of Jade whenever she cuddles with you or Argo... not both at the same time, though. That's a much faster rate of tail swishing and wagging.

You shake your head, and get your nose back to the books.

"Heh," Keiko giggles, "So, how long before Mckay realizes Allina has a crush on him, you think?"

"Eh, probably sometime next century," Ford answers.

"I'd place bets on next week," Mallek answers.

"Tonight," Teyla smugly suggests. "Because one of us will tell him, but not me, otherwise it invalidates the whole concept of placing bets."

"You wanna put money on that?" Keiko asks.

"I've got some Reeses cups back on base?" Ford suggests.

"Nah, best keep chocolate and peanut butter out of it," you say. "A few of us have newly unlocked dog-traits that might make the chocolate thing unsafe. And besides that, I'm allergic to peanuts."

"Really?" Ford asks. "Since when?"

"Since I was two and opened a can of peanuts to snack on and almost immediately found myself in Doc Fraiser's infirmary at the SGC?" you answer.

"Huh." Ford blinks. "I'd never noticed. I thought you just hated nuts."

"That's because I never eat the things," you say. "It's as bad for me as, well, coffee being spilled on a computer!"


 

"[I don't know what happened. It just stopped working. I got some of the functionality back. It still isn't doing everything it used to,]" Chuck laments.

Your name is Raddek Zelenka, and you can't believe this.

"I can't work with you actors," you gripe, before saying, "[Yes, well, maybe if people STOP insisting on having food and liquid next to the Ten-Thousand-Year-Old-Equipment we wouldn't be having problems like this!]"

"[Hey! We're very careful! That's not even what happened this time!]" Chuck counters.

"Ah. I see. Yes. Of course it is," you roll your eyes, and stand up from your examination of the console.

Suddenly, a screen behind you flares red.

"Oh, what now?" You whirl on Chuck, and ask, "[What did you touch?]"

"[Nothing! It just did it on its own!]"

"[Well then why is it--?]" You look at a laptop. And then you swear in one of the few Chineese phrases you picked up for exactly this kind of situation. "{Oh Motherless Goat of all Motherless Goats.}"

You quickly go find Doctor Jackson and inform him of the situation, only realizing half way in that you started explaining to him in Czech, but he still understood. You hadn't realized he'd known it. Still, you finish up explaining, and then, he asks, in your own language.

"Atlantis has Long Range Sensors?"

"Yes," you nod. "From what I can tell they've been running in the background along with our other primary functions."

"Alright, so why did they suddenly become foreground sensors then?" he asks.

"Something to do with a spatial disturbance in the constant energy flow from the rift, I suspect it's a ship traveling at speed in our direction but I've yet to confirm it," you tell him.

"Alright, keep me in the loop then," he says.

You crack a smile, "Well, you are the loop."



The Quindosim! That's it.

Your name is still John Sheppard and you found a reference to it in a book. The Brotherhood of Fifteen- occupation, protect the ZPM. Consisting of a Master Handler, five Protectors, and nine Stone Carriers.

Fearing that one day the Wraith may cull them all (Spoiler, they did!), they left clues for future hunters to find these "Nine Stone Markers" that would unveil the final resting place of the ZPM.

You call attention to this, and show a diagram to Allina, and she realizes that yes, they do have those, or, at least, three of them.

Mckay looks annoyed at you having found it, and takes extreme pleasure at drawing a grid out on a map based on the location of those found stones.

"You have no idea how lucky of a find the three stone was," he says. "Six and Seven go here and here, and Three up- here, forming a grid of places to search for the remaining stones."

"So, shall we we split up and start digging?" Tyzias asks, looking to you for confirmation.

"Yeah," you nod. "AR-1 will first take take corners one and nine, AR-2 take two and eight. Then we'll do four and five after that."

And so you prepare to go out on a day of digging up holes. Fun.



Kolya looked up at one of his faithful few men who had rescued him from death entered his room. "Yes? What is it?"

"Sir, we've spotted the Atlantians working here," the man says. "On Dagan. They're working with the locals to uncover something. The treasure, we think."

"The last thing they need is treasure and power," Kolya narrowed his eyes. "Keep an eye on them for the moment. Let me know if they seem near success."

"Aye, Commander..."



Your name is Mallek Adalov, and you frown as your radio pulses, and then Grodin's voice broadcasts over, "Atlantis to Recon Teams one and two, priority message. Your ears only. Please ensure you're on your own and no prying ears are listening in."

"Hey! Break time, for a few moments, everyone," Tyzias calls out, and you group up. She radios back. "AR-2, ready to recieve."

A moment later, "AR-1, ready to receive," Sheppard's voice echos out next.

Grodin then says, "Recon Teams, Be advised. Message from Sora of the Genii as follows: 'This morning, Kolya escaped custody on his way to execution. He and several other men Murdered forty-three people during their escape to the Stargate. We are unsure of his current destination or location. Be aware he may seek you out. Death is too good for him.' Message ends."

"Message received, Atlantis," Tyzias says. "We'll be on the lookout."



Your name is Rodney Mckay, and after a day of searching and of tiny stone square digging, you find yourself sitting on a bench next to allina staring at a map posted on the wall.

"It's a layout of the Sudarian villages from ten thousand years ago," Allina explains. "The walls of the monastary have protected us for just as long."

"It's very beautiful," you say, taking in every detail- including the border-outline of tiles around the edge marked in Stargate Glyphs.

"It is, and yet... My eye is drawn elsewhere." She says, and you glance back at her.

"Hm? How's that?" You ask.

"I'd like to restore it one day, but I'm afraid of damaging it," Allina says. "Perhaps you could help me one day, Doctor?"

"Ah, well, I'm not really a painting doctor, more of a math doctor," you say. "And please, call me Rodney."

"Right," she smiles at you.

You smile back, and turn to look at the wall map more.

"I don't more you, do I?"

Huh? What?

You turn to look at her. "What? No. No, no! It's not you. I'm just exhausted from all the digging and hiking we did today."

"Ah," she smiles. "But you're a scientist, are you not used to this sort of work by now?"

"Eh, it depends, really," you say. "My last job before this whole trip to Pegasus had me holed up in a lab with a mirror to other worlds."

"Like the Stargate?" She asks.

"Yeah, something like that. Ours was made by the same people, in this universe at least. In a few others, there are some Mirrors that nobody can explain who made them or how they came to be where they were." You smile, bitterly. "There was one in the Alternia Galaxy that, just... had this huge, fancy temple built around it. Older than the Stargate's placement on the planet, as far as we could determine."

"You've traveled to many places then," Allina smiles. "What was it like, Rodney? Growing up under the guidance of the Ancestors?"

"Eh?" you scratch at the back of your head a little. "I'm honestly the wrong person to ask about that. Me? I grew up in the cold, frigid northern hemisphere of my world. Canada, we call it. Now, ah, Keiko over there?" You jab your thumb over your shoulder at the table where the others are having dinner. "She's the one you want to ask about growing up with the Ancients as your role models. Her family was intimately involved with keeping this, ah..."

You snap your fingers, and quickly fish out a journal from your vest. Allina looks on in interest as you click open a pen to draw with.

"Okay, so, Atlantis is this City-sized mega structure, right?" You start sketching, first a tiny little circle with some squiggly spires- Atlantis.  "Keiko's home was Aincrad." Then you draw a giant, egg looking sort of shape. "And it's, like, massively huge in comparison."

"Amazing," Allina breathes out.

"Yeah, and Keiko's family was one of the ones who helped keep the whole thing running," you explain. "This whole expedition to Atlantis has been something of a historical field trip for her, actually."

"Really?" Allina asks. "Why is that?"

"Well, the Ancients abandoned Atlants thousands of years ago," you explain as concisely as you can. "They spread out, went to all these different worlds and did different things. A lot of them decided to up and ascend into this higher plane of existence, but some others from the time Atlantis was abandoned were the ones who designed the Aincrad systems. And there's been thousands of years of technological advancement in the mean time."

"I see," Allina muses. "And that's why this Potentia is so important to you in Atlantis. Because," she motions at the case with the Zed-PM in it. "That is a modern version. But Atlantis refuses to accept it because it is not from the time that ours was from."

"Something like that, yeah," you nod. "It's honestly a little bit more complicated than that because of security reasons but- yes. Basically."

Allina smiles, and speaks in a lower tone of voice, "I am relieved, honestly. Sanir admitted to me earlier that she was concerned none of you were really descended from the Ancestors."

"Sanir??" you look around, and spot the woman filling up a cup of water from a pitcher, and taking a sip from it. "Why would she think that?"

"She'd said something earlier about a farmer of the Genii saying none of you could be trusted," Allina giggles. "Which is silly. I've spoken with them in person even just recently. Sora vouched for you all completely and said you were helping them with some medical issues they were having."

"Oh, well, we had a bit of a rough start with the Genii because of a few bad apples. It's possible a few farmers here and there are still bitter over it," you admit. "But yeah, we've worked things out for the most part. Honestly, kind of glad we dodged a bullet there and didn't wind up with them as our enemies."

"Yes, it's quite a black mark when even farmers distrust you," Allina sighs. "It took our people many years to broker a proper trade agreement with them. They are not easy in giving their trust out."

"Tell me about it," you scoff, a little bitterly as you grab at your mug and sip at it. A yawn intercepts your drink at the wrong moment, however, and you cough a bit. "Ah! Damn."

Allina giggles. "Perhaps it's time for us to head to bed then, Rodney."

"Yeah, probably," you say, standing up. "'Til tomorrow, then?"

"Until tomorrow," she nods, and with that, you head off past the table with everyone else at it.

You get no endless amount of teasing from everyone except for Teyla, who thankfully keeps her mouth shut despite the quirked smile on it. Apparently they all think Allina has a crush on you.

...

Oh.

God.

She has a crush on you, and here you went deflecting her questions about YOUR life onto Keiko's.

...

You don't get much sleep that night.



That night, Teyla went to bed with an "I.O.U." Voucher from Lieutenant Ford for an unopened box of "Power Bar" Rations safely secured in her vest pocket.


 

EARTH DATE: JULY 21ST, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/29/0005.

Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you're watching as Mckay flubs his way through flirting Allina.

You've gotten all of the tiles except for the center stone. The other Eight stones were all together where it was thought they'd be, but this center stone is... Well.

It's not the only source of tension in the air. God, Mckay's flirting is so atrocious.

He has no idea what he's doing.

And then Ford calls out with a discovery.

You've found a hidden stone slab with Ancient writing on it.

Keiko translates with ease, "'Only the Brotherhood of the Fifteen should enter the forbidden Chamber of the Quindosim.'"

Teyla, of course, asks the obvious question of "What Chamber?"

And so with the help of a rope ascender, and Daraya and John's combined STRENGTH, you unveil the small stone chamber below.

"So, who's going first?" Mckay asks. "Seems sort of like a Sheppard thing to me."

Sanir volunteers, "I'll go first."

"Ford," Sheppard orders, "watch the ascender."

"Sir, yes, Sir," Ford answers.



"We couldn't have planned it any better," Kolya remarks, lowing his spyglass.



"Doctor Jackson!!" Your name is Raddek Zelenka, and you rush onto the exterior balcony off of the Gateroom. "I was finally able to decipher what the object heading towards us is. A small, interceptor sized fighter."

"What is it?" Doctor Jackson asks.

"It's a Wraith Dart."

"Show me," he says as you head back inside.

"There's no time for that. I think the Dart was likely modified to get here as quickly as possible, possibly traveling here from a neighboring Stargate and flying here at speed ever since the Wraith learned Atlantis was back again. It's going to arrive in less than thirty minutes."

Doctor Jackson considers that as you arrive at the control room, and then punches the City Wide Intercom. "[This is Doctor Jackson. I need three capable Jumper Pilots in the air NOW.]"



"Well, I think we can rule out a Map," your name is Keiko Ayano, and you stare at the eight stones laid out in the center of the console. The last spot is a raised platform with notches- the missing ninth stone locks in there. "So, the question is where is it?"

"Well, these eight symbols are gate Symbols," Mckay points at them. "It could be a specific address gate lock like we've seen the Ancients use for Atlantis or Praclarush."

"Anyone recognize the address as it's laid out?" John asks.

"No," Teyla says.

"Neither do I," Allina says.

"So we dial it," Mckay says, "send a probe to check for viability."

"Or it could be anything else that's appropriating the Gate Symbols for something else," Tyzias says. "Or, hell, stellar drift is a thing."

"Well, we could-" and then you hear a muffled thwump from above, followed by distant footsteps. "Just keep talking about this in circles with No Real Goal In Mind Wasting Time, Right?" You motion at your ears, and Daraya nods.

"What's-" Allina starts to ask, but Tyzias raises a finger for 'ssshing'.

"I think we should get Ford's opinion on this," you stress, motioning up at the above ground entrance that Ford was supposed to be guarding.

John gets the idea and ghosts into wind, blue at first, before fading out of sight.

You hear someone above asking "Is he dead?" and getting a response of "No, just asleep. Should be for a few hours."

Daraya growls, and you feel the same way.

You draw your primary knife from its left-leg mounted strap, and summon your wings.

"Good, now we should-"

You rocket up into the air, and snarl upon seeing that it's Kolya and his men surrounding an unconscious Ford.

"KOLYAAAAAAAAAA!" You roar, and charge at him.

The man has the decency to look like he got his hand caught in a cookie jar.

And then Ford suddenly kicks out, knocking a man down and grabbing his gun and aiming it at one of the Genii Soldiers.

Kolya goes to grab his own gun only for you to tackle him down at the same time Ford fires off- BANG!

A Genii goes down, and then John manifests again in the middle of it all as a roaring storm of blue-hued wind.

You tumble with Kolya, fighting for his gun- you manage to jam it into the ground by stabbing through the trigger area with your knife, jamming the mechanism.

You're forced to draw your other backup knife and-

And then Teyla calls out from below- "STOP!"

Everyone stills, and you find yourself pinning Kolya to the ground, and holding that blade up against his throat.

Kolya smirks, despite that. "You can't win now."

"What's going on?" John asks, forming into his human form again, holding a war hammer in a ready to fight stance.

"It's simple," Kolya answers. "The Genii can't allow you Atlantians even more power than you already have. We made a deal with the young woman down there no doubt holding a gun to her friend's head."

"What??" Ford asks. You glance over and see he's got a man held up against himself like a shield with the guy's own gun pointed to his head.

"Sa-Sanir!? Wh-what are you doing?!" You her Allina call out from down inside the chamber.

"Preventing these fakes from stealing the Potentia!" the other woman, Sanir, says.

"Put your weapons down," Kolya demands. "And you all may yet live!"

"Bold words coming from a man who killed over forty men escaping from prison, and has a KNIFE to his throat!" You growl, reminding him of that very pointy fact.

"...What?" You hear Sanir asking. "What does she mean?"

"Yesterday, Kolya was sentenced to execution for betraying the Genii," Teyla's voice echoes up from down below. "He was broken out by men loyal to him, and in the process they killed forty-three men!"

"We got informed of that when the Gate dialed in during our dig yesterday," Mallek speaks next. "Remember when we all had to conference for a moment? We were being warned Kolya was on the loose."

"If we'd known he was coming here, though, we might have just set an ambush of our own," John says.

"Kolya? As in 'Acastus Kolya'!?" Allina cries out, shocked. "Sora mentioned him when last we spoke! He killed a man last month!"

"Not only that he killed three of our people as well," Mckay interjects. "One of them was our previous Expedition leader- Doctor Weir!"

"Kolya!" Sanir calls up. "They're lying, aren't they?!"

"Of course they are!" Kolya yells. "I know no woman named Elizabeth Weir, let alone shot her in the head!"

"I never SAID her first name today," Mckay says, loudly. "Or that she was a woman! OR How You Killed Her, YOU FUCKING BASTARD!!!"

"Gotcha," you grin down, savagely at him.

Kolya flinches, "Ah... well... Maybe I did... Get confused there for a moment, Sanir..."

"Sanir, put the gun down," you hear Teyla advise.

"All of you should do the same," John says to the Genii men still conscious, and pointing their guns at you.

...Huh, you should have really taken notice of them sooner, but, well. Tunnel vision. Whoops.



"WHYAMIDOINGTHISAGAIN!?" Beckett cries out in terror over the mission radio from Jumper 2.

"Because we're a Jumper Pilot Short, Beckett!" Your name is Jimmyy O'neill, and you narrow your eyes as you lead the formation in Jumper 1. "Sheppard, Entykk, and Ayano are off world! So it's you, me, and Stackhouse. We need the best defense we can manage here."

"And what if one of us gets shot down!?" Beckett asks.

"Then you shoot first before you get shot at!" You answer. "Obviously!"

You hear Stackhouse trying to muffle his laughter. Lantash has no such reservations within your skull.

"The Dart will enter the planet's atmosphere in a few minutes, and be within range of the city in ten," Zelenka radios from the city. "Shoot it down before then!"

"Aye, aye, but what if we get shot down?!" Beckett asks, again.

"I don't know, Beckett? Maybe get some of that medical precision tunnel vision turned on so you can lock onto the Dart and blow it out of the sky the moment you get a lock before it can get a lock on you? This isn't rocket science!!"

"Aye!! But, what if-"

"Beckett, if it means that much to you then Stackhouse and I will blow it clear apart first!" You say.

"...Fair enough, then."

You steel yourself, as Zelenka then radios, "Dart is entering atmosphere."

You spot the incoming fireball in the skies above.

"Re-entry spotted. Jumpers, 2, 3, follow my lead and lock on. Follow with fire only if I miss my first shot," you give the vague thought of 'Make that fireball a little bit bigger' and-

PEW!

A drone launches out and upwards.

The heat of the Wraith Dart's re-entry disperses just enough to reveal its shape before the drone smashes right into its nose.

BOOM!

And then it's gone.

"Jumper 1 to Atlantis- the bug has been squashed with extreme prejudice."


 

Your name is Teyla Emmagan, and you feel a little bit satisfied at the sight before you. Kolya and his men sat on the ground, tied up with ropes at their ankles and plastic zipties around their wrists. Their guns and other weapons had been confiscated. Kolya had an added gag around his mouth.

This was the sight that Sora saw as she and her group emerged from the Stargate- wearing a more 'stripped down' version of their military uniforms. A sort of 'half-way' disguise in case there were those at the Gate not in on the secret.

"Teyla," Sora turns to you, a bit of concern in her eyes, as the Stargate shuts down, "nobody was hurt, were they?"

"Lieutenant Ford was grazed by a tranquilizer dart, and one of the Genii men took a bullet to the leg in the tusle," you tell her, "but otherwise, no. Nobody was hurt physically. Emotionally is another matter, however."

Mckay and Allina had returned to the Brotherhood's temple to regroup and research, and Sanir...

Sanir was still sobbing in a small corner of the Brotherhood's chamber over her actions, and nobody had been able to break her out of it yet.

"That is good," Sora says, then turns to face Kolya, glaring at him. "I see you've gagged him."

"He was getting a little annoying," Keiko answers, glaring at Kolya as well.

"We've already decided upon a fitting punishment for Kolya," Sora says, motioning to one of her men to Dial the Stargate out. "A cold, barren rock with a disabled DHD. Even the Wraith avoid that world."

You all stand clear, and KAWOOSH.

Sora and Keiko heft Kolya to his feet, dragging him to the Gate.

Sora takes out a knife, holds it up for Kolya to see, and then hurls it through the eventhorizon.

"I'm sure you can cut yourself loose in time," Sora says, and then with a nod to Keiko, they hurl him through the gate after it.

SCHLORP.

Sora turns to the other Genii men, and asks, "Are any of you so loyal as to follow hm, or will you stand trial for your crimes first?"

Unsurprisingly, none of them said anything, even despite their gag-free mouths.

"Trial it is," Sora says, motioning for the gate to be shut down and redialed for the Genii home world.



"The last stone was hidden in the wall at the temple," Mckay says as he disconnects from the rope ascender, and heads over to the platform. "The Gate coordinates on the stones were on the wall and they triangulated where on the wall the last stone was hidden." He pulls the stone out of his vest pocket as Allina follows him down the rope.

"Good," Your name is John Sheppard, and... "I think I've figured this out."

"What do you mean?" Mckay asks. "We only just got the last stone, and I haven't had a chance to look at the console yet. How can you have it solved??"

"Take a look at the hand prints on the sides, Rodney," you point at the things. "See those raised markings? I did a little breeze investigation. They're booby trapped with poison."

"...So we get this right the first try or someone dies, right. I was afraid something like that would happen..." Mckay hesitates, then hands it to you. "After you, Sheppard?"

"Right, well," you start by laying the final, fifth stone, in the center. It clicks into place. "The center one is the only one that locks, right? So... the others move around it. So, the Brotherhood is of the 'Fifteen'- and that number's shown up everywhere. The numbers one through nine can be laid in a three by three grid so that they're adding up to Fifteen in every direction."

"Oh, yeah," Mckay blinks. "How'd you know that?"

"It was on a Mensa test," you answer.

"You're a member of Mensa?" he asks.

"No, but I took the test."

"When?"

"Oh, gee, I don't know. Some time in 2008?" You answer, pointedly fixing him with a certain gaze.

"...Ah. Right. Gotcha." He nods, grimly. "Continue?"

"So, Two, Nine, Four..." you lay out the stone in rows. "Seven, Five, Three, and Six, One, Eight."

"So, who Tests the deadly poison?" Mckay asks.

"...I will."

All of you turn to look at Sanir, who stands up from her corner of shame.

"Sanir," Allina begins.

"I owe you all that much for the trouble I caused," Sanir steps forwards, up to the platform, nudging you out of the way. "If I die, this was the least I could do to pay you back."

And then before anyone can say anything, she presses her hands on the palm platforms and...

SHHHHOOOP.

A circle of wall slides open, revealing the ZPM within.

Sanir backs away from the platform, exhaling in relief, "I'm alive..."

"And now we must decide whether we should hand over this historical artifact or not," Allina laments.

That's when your radio buzzes, and Grodin speaks, "Atlantis to Recon Teams one and two. We have a situation."

You head over to the entrance to get a better signal, "Sheppard to Atlantis. What kind of situation?"

"The kind that has us hoping you found that ZPM. We just destroyed a Wraith Dart that was coming to investigate the city," Grodin answers.

"Repeat that, Atlantis. Did you just say a Wraith DART?" you ask, horrified.

You look at Mckay, Allina, and Sanir, each with various looks of confusion and horror brewing on their faces.

"Yes, and what's more concerning is that Long Range Sensors have detected a large cluster of what we suspect are Wraith Hive Ships in route for Atlantis with a rough arrival date estimated to be in two weeks," Grodin continues. "Doctor Jackson is ordering you to return to the City ASAP regardless of if you've found the ZPM or not. We are officially entering endgame mode."




Your name is Daniel Jackson, and you sigh in relief as AR-1 and AR-2 emerge through the Gate, looking tired and wary, but...

Oddly victorious?

"You eight look happy," you start heading down the stairs from the control room to greet them. "Please tell me you have good news."

"One ZPM," Mallek hoists up a case, and flips it open, revealing the gleaming crystal inside. "Fresh, fully charged, and definitely compatible with Atlantis."

"We have a shield?" You ask.

"We have a Mother Fucking Shield," Daraya answers with emphasis.

"On Loan," Mckay stresses. "Regardless of if we drain it or not defending the city, the Dagans want it back within a month. Historical artifact, and all that."

"Hopefully by then we'll have more to replace it with," you say, exhaling in relief.

Finally. Something went right.

Chapter Text

"KOLYAAAAAA!"

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 22ND, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 01/30/0005.

"We knew they were coming eventually, but now we know when and how. Two groups of three Wraith Hiveships are en-route for Atlantis," your name is Rodney Mckay, and you're feeling... enthusiastic, despite the circumstances. "They've staggered out, with likely a third group hanging back behind the first, preparing for waves. If we somehow defeat these first two, it's likely even more will keep coming unless we find a way to cut them off."

"Before we go brainstorming things, you all should know we've managed to manufacture a new control crystal for the Atlantis DHD," Tyzias says. "Even with the right materials, I'm not confident the crystal will hold for a dial out longer than one point thirteen seconds." She then says, "With the compression algorythm for messaging Earth that Salazl developed and a bunch of people myself included have modified for better data rates, we can send a whole fuck ton of data during that amount of time. "

"So we should all take the time to prepare a message for home," Doctor Jackson nods.

"I can handle that," speaks up one Emmett Bregman. Huh, you'd honestly forgotten he and his camera men were even here. They've gotten to be like ninjas lately- especially after the rift opened.

"Okay," Doctor Jackson says. "In the mean time. I'm open to ideas about the Wraith situation."

"We have a full ZPM to power the shield," you remind everyone. "We can just raise it and hold out."

"For a month," Sheppard voices. "Because it's On Loan. At best we'd have a week of Shielding."

"That's... true," you frown.

"We've got the defense satellite," Carter speaks up. "We should fast track repairs and get it online again."

"What about Alpha Sites?" Ford asks. "How are we doing on that? I sort of lost track."

"Our last Alpha Site became nonviable after the energy wave," Daraya Jonjet speaks up. "Apparently the local monkey-bird things gained the ability to throw green fire everywhere. Half the forest burned down overnight."

"So, not going well?" Ford summarizes.

"No, not really," Jonjet shakes her head.

"We should track the Wraith's progress," O'neill ventures. "See where they're stopping. Set up recon, see if we could figure out a way to blow some of those ships up ahead of time outside of the satellite."

"An SG-1 kind of plan?" Carter asks.

"Oh. Yeah," O'neill nods.

"Lovely," Kavanagh laments.

"We should also see what Atlantis' drone supply looks like," Keiko speaks up. "Now that we have a ZPM and can power the city, we should get as much of the defenses and offenses status monitors online as we can. Test what systems we need to test with the one from the Kid's planet."

"Speaking of ZPMs," Zelenka talks next, "I believe we can intentionally rig a single ZPM at the base of the tower to catastrophic overload as a replacement for our existing self destruct. If we must destroy the city, as sad an idea as that may be, a Zero Point Module detonating would be enough to eradicate Atlantis and several Wraith Hive Ships in one go. It may give them pause if they believe we have that kind of fire power."

"We should also reach out to the Genii," Teyla says. "While they are presently reworking their weapons programs, Sora has said they've safely stockpiled a few of their older explosives on an uninhabited world. If they are willing to share their resources with us, we may be able to use them against the Wraith."

"Right," Doctor Jackson nods. "I think that's it then. Meeting dismissed."


 

O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

Argo Lalonde and Jade Jackson sit in front of a camera.

"Hi, everyone!" Jade grins. "It's me, Jade!"

"And It's... It's me, Argo," Argo says, a little slowly. "Hey. So. Uh. Yeah." They motion at their stomach. "I guess this isn't so easy to hide anymore, is it? Sorry for hiding this from you, Dad." She sighs. "I was so worried that if I didn't go something would go wrong and... well. In another world it did."

"I guess the easiest way to say any of this is..." Jade takes over from there. "We got time looped. Twice. Atlantis sunk in two different worlds that had someone- a me, and a Doctor Weir respectively- go back and change things, resulting in our current world."

"I didn't go in either of those worlds," Argo says. "So. I was right. Even if I didn't know it. Please don't be mad, Dad?"

"We're doing okay here, otherwise," Jade says. "Even if things haven't gone according to plan. Like whatever that energy wave from that Rift was that made everyone go all... weird."

"We're not sure what to make of it," Argo says. "You guys got caught up in something weird over there, didn't you?"

"Please don't tell me someone broke a Quantum Mirror," Jade begs.



"They don't seem so threatening on screen, do they?" Doctor Jackson asks, even as the camera zooms in on the dots on a screen.

"Which is why we do recon and get a sense of what we're up against," O'neill says.

"So, where do we start?" Jackson asks.

Zelenka taps a few buttons on his tablet. "I've been tracking their progress. The Wraith ships apparently go in and out of hyperspace periodically, either because their hyperspace technology is limited, or, well, they're feeding on the way."  He shakes his head, the motions at the screen as it changes. "Point is, I've guessed with some certainty that they're smaking stops here, here, and here."

"Lightyears away from us," Jackson surmises. "Jumpers will take a while to get there."

"I am familiar with the people of this world," Teyla points at a dot on the screen. "Their Stargate is in the open, and is accessible by ship. If we take a Jumper, cloaked, and observe the Wraith as they pass by..."

"We should also consider evacuating anybody on that world who wants to leave," Jackson says.

"We don't even have our own Alpha Site right now," Daraya says. "How are we going to save a village of people from the Wraith?"



"Sooo..." Daraya sits infront of the camera. "Hey, Bronya. Wanshi. Lanque. How's things going back at the Brooding Cavern? You guys catch Lynera yet?"

She works her mouth in a way that implies she's running her tongue over her teeth behind her lips.

"So. Yeah. I turned into a werewolf. How's that for a lifestyle change, huh?" she laughs, hollowly. "Um, what else is there... Oh! We got stuck inside of a fucking stargate for thirty eight minutes. That was a fun thing. I had to defib Keiko to death to save her life from a bug that was sucking the life out of her! Then! THEN! I had to blow out the back of the Jumper into the hard, cold, void of space to make sure we made it back to Atlantis before we got cut in half by it shutting down!!"

She grins.

"Man, you guys are going to be so jealous of what we've gotten up to out here! It's amazing and frightening and..."

Her ears flatten against her skull in dismay for a moment, before perking right up.

"Well! Let me tell you more about this desert we were hiking through just when that rift opened."



"On the off chance you get the idea to take the Wraith ships on yourself, Jack, I'm ordering you not to," Doctor Jackson orders over the radio.

"Yeah, sure thing, Danny," O'neill says as he lowers the Jumper down infront of the Stargate, the camera focuses in on the eventhorizon through the window from his body camera. He turns in his chair, camera facing Teyla in the co-pilot's seat. "You ready to not take on an alien armada single handedly?"

"Of course," she nods.

O'neill turns back to the gate, and pushes the Jumper forwards.

SCHLORP!



"This is directed to all current and former members of SG-1 who might be watching, and also to my Father, Jacob Carter, and his partner, Selmak," Morgan Carter says, staring into the camera. "We're doing okay out here, surprisingly. I think you'd both like it out here. I know we are. Kavanagh's an ass to put up with, but that's not really surprising."

A pause, then Jolinar speaks.

"Lantash and I have been getting along fine. I think Jack... Jimmyy has been a good influence on him."

"We raided a crashed Wraith Hiveship recently," Carter takes over again. "We stole some data storage devices, oh, and blew up a lone Wraith Survivor with a Jumper Drone."

A pause, then Jolinar again.

"We've discovered so much about the Ancients here. They're really quite paranoid about security in the most obstructive ways imaginable."

"I wish you guys were here," Carter continues. "We could certainly do with some Jaffa Justice around here at times, Teal'c. And Jonas, I know you'd love it out here." She pauses. "Skaara, if you ever feel like visiting, please. Come. I miss you. I know Jimmyy does too."

A pause, followed by Jolinar.

"Selmak, you'd be impressed by how we've managed to keep everything running even with the death of our first leader. After the chaos of everything the Tok'ra went through following Egeria... it's amazing. It gives me hope for the future."

"Dad," Carter takes over again. "I honestly wish you were here some times. We could use some of your advice and guidance... I could use some advice and guidance. It's... tiring some times. Being this age again and not having you there to help with things. I feel like it's a second chance wasted. Maybe some day we could talk about all of this in person?"



The camera from O'neill's perspective focuses in on Teyla as she talks with her friend, Orin, and his family about their mission of stealthily observing the Wraith cruisers.

"We don't know for a fact if the Wraith are coming, but that is why we are here to find out," Teyla says. "Please, tell your people to take precautions incase they do."

"I will," Orin says, "but you know as well as I do, Teyla, that the Wraith will hunt us no matter where we go. Escape is not easily found these days. Not even through the Gate. Even we have taken in refugees."

"The cullings have been taking place on many worlds, it is true," Teyla sighs, grief clearly written on her face. "IF. If the Wraith do come, stay as far away from the Stargate as possible. Take your family to the far tree line and wait for us there."

"Teyla," O'neill begins. "We might not be able to make that kind of rendezvous in time."

"We must still try, O'neill," Teyla says.

"...I know, but I'm just saying... It's a matter of timing."

"It's fine, I understand," Orin says. "We will make preparations just the same. Good luck on your mission, Teyla."

"Thank you, Orin," Teyla nods.



"So that's city specs, mission reports, and tactical assessments all ready to go. What else?" Doctor Jackson asks of Tyzias.

"Well, I'm including all the data that we've been able to decipher from the Ancient Database, plus all of Emmett Bregman's completed documentary footage so far," she says. "The algorithm has been really streamlined over the years. All of this is only point THREE of a second."

"So we have a full minute and point ten left to fill," Doctor Jackson stares, in awe.

"Personal messages are definitely a go," Tyzias smiles.



"Hey,  Jeannie," Mckay sits in front of the camera. "It's me, your bro. Obviously. Uh. There's a whole lot I'm going to ramble about later, if you're interested in watching that, but. For now. Here's a message just for you."

He takes a moment to breathe.

"I miss you and the rest of the family so, so much. I put on a brave face and I act tough but, I miss you guys every day. And it's weird, y'know? I mean... we barely talked beyond the usual little things here and there trying to maybe arrange a get together on the holidays. For Christmas and New Years and the like, right?"

He sits there, silently, for a moment.

"I've been thinking about, maybe, what you'll all be doing for Christmas this year. If I'll even still be alive or not to be there. I... I've been daydreaming, if you can believe it, about you calling  me up during the middle of a highly tense programming session or something critical just to stupidly ask me if we were going to try to recreate Grandma's cheezed noodle recipe again! And, of course we would! We try it every year! But..."

He nods, mostly to himself.

"That's really the stupid thing about absence. You miss all these stupid, little, moments of human interaction because they're utterly impossible to pull off again. I never thought I'd be missing that sort of thing, you know? Something so basic as just being able to pick up the phone and call someone. Or write an email, or-"

He trails off, staring at nothing for a moment.

"I'm only going to say this once and if you ever bring it up, or tell any of our relatives, I'm going to vehemently deny it," he fixes the camera with a stern gaze. "But I... I miss our arguments, even. That's shitty and stupid but, I... I've been missing just how annoyed we make each other when we're trying to solve some stupidly obvious in hindsight puzzle and. I just miss my sister."

He holds his arms out wide. "Awkward sibling hug?"

...

...

He lowers them. "Yeah, that's probably... probably a bit much for a video. So, uh. Here's something profound, I guess."

He clears his throat.

"Family is important. I've come to realize that, because the people here have become a sort of a-" he stumbles for a moment. "A surrogate family to me. And, I know what you're thinking. I've never really been the poster child for this whole emotional kind of sentiment- see the above declaration of denial if you tell anyone- but. Ah. When you're confronting the potential of your own death? You start to see things a bit clearer."

He works his jaw.

"I really do wish you, and the family, the best, you know, and I'm sorry we weren't closer, the last few years I've been working with the SGC. I know the secrecy of what I'd been doing had to be so... grating. And now there's all of this death hanging over our heads and-"

He cuts himself short.

"If I make it out of this alive, and I can come back to Earth for Christmas this year? What'd you say to us making the biggest bowl of cheese covered noodles we've ever made, huh? I'm sure the kids would love that. Oh! Right!" he snaps his fingers. "I left Christmas presents for them. If I'm not there to give them in person, you should be receiving a key to a safety deposit box in the mail about a month before Christmas. The letter will have instructions of where, when, how, so on and so forth."

He stops, scratches at the side of his head, and says...

"I think that's about it. I guess... I'll talk to you later, Jeannie?"



"Hey, Baiz." Barzum Soleli sits infront of the camera. "What's goin' on out there? You mucking around and making people's lives diffi- No, no, that's too aggressive." She shakes her head rapidly from side to side, then stills. Her hair frames her face in a curtain like way now, which she brushes aside to look into the camera.

"Hey, Baiz." She tries again. "What's up?"



"Well, Ardata, I suppose there's a question of chaos inherent in everyone's lives that leads me to making this video," Tagora Gorjek says, leaning back in an office chair, staring up at nothing while he sips at a cup of coffee. "'Go make a video for your friends or family,' they said, and yet. I don't really have anyone I've made friends with that isn't already here. I mean, sure, there's that one team with the two speedsters and the two olive bloods, but. I can't even remember how half their names are spelled right now. How's that for friendship? I remember Rhubee's and Karren's names better. They just stick out more. And yet I'm directing this to the one other person from my world that we escaped together from."

He closes his eyes. "I suppose it's also telling that I'm one of the few people without a surprising, random mutation. Maybe our world didn't get those triggerable from whatever this weird magical radiation is? Ah, what do I know? I'm just a side character around these parts anyways."

His eyes snap open and he sits forward.

"Hey. Ardata. When you get this... if you get this. Maybe we could start up a pen-pal thing? it doesn't have to be, like, videos like this all the time or anything. Could just be emails, I guess. I hear Tyzias is doing that with one of her old friends."



"And I'm just listening to Mallek, telling me about this amazing super battle with an amazing magic super sword," Tyzias rambles, pacing back and forth infront of the camera, "and I can't help but realize- We've NEVER heard about this Astore girl or the sword before in any positive light! You'd THINK that if things ended well for her, we'd HEAR about it! But no. Nope! Not once!" She runs her hands through her hair, groaning, "And GOD! You know the worst part, Charun!? Trizza of all bitches killed off the King! Which implies some really bad things about what happened to Astroe! And I've ASKED Keiko what happens and she gets this stupidly hurt far away look in her eyes like I've kicked a puppy! Which! She even LOOKS like now! And that just makes me not want to say anything at all so I just-"



"Don't make me do this," Beckett says to the camera man. "I'm horrible at personal messages."

"Just say something like 'wish you were here' or something."

"But I Don't!" Beckett protests. "I don't even wish *I* was here!!"



"This wasn't supposed to be a rescue mission, you know," O'neill says, his camera detached and resting on the Jumper's console, peering out into space. He and Teyla's reflections can be seen overlaid.

"Orin was a good friend of my father, I would be ashamed to my dying day if I did not even attempt to help."

"I'm not saying I'm not wanting to help," O'neill says, "but we're really under prepared to help anybody if the Wraith show up."

"It is just his family," Teyla says.

"And what if it ends up being more than that?" O'neill asks. "Our Jumper can only hold so much inside, and I already captchalogued most of the loose supplies to reduce the weight. If..." he stops. "Look, I'm just speaking from two and a half lifetimes of experience here. I don't want you to be upset if we can't save anyone from this. Sometimes... the mission just doesn't work out that way."

"I... I understand," Teyla says. "It's-"

She stops, as a ripple of light appears in space above them, and SHOOP. SHOOP. SHOOP. Three gigantic Wraith Hiveships drop out of hyperspace.

"Aw, hell," O'neill swears, turning to follow the Hiveship's course with the Jumper... "Shit. They're-"

"Heading for the planet," Teyla answers, concern obvious in her voice.


"Suuuup, older, foxier me? Jojo? Sup? And Jakeeeey! Suuuuuup! You and Chixie doin' good still? Oh! And Jude and Cassie! You two better be having fun, but not too much fun out there, a'ight?" Roxy Lalonde sits in a spin chair with a grin on her face. "General questions: How's John and Rosie doin? Li'l Jade too? Penny's been a good girl too, right? Is she walking yet? And what about Nep-Nep the first? Havin' any more playdates with Nep-Nep the second and her strong muscular stallion of a budding Moirail?" She laughs.

She stares at the camera for a moment, then, speaks again.

"Atlantis is... It's just like being on one of ol' Jakes adventures again. You remember the ones, right, Me, Jakey?" She grins. "Like that suuuuuper ancient temple we went to and I got doused in that tree sap that made me glow like someone covered me in glow in the dark paint?"

She pauses, "Okay, well, I haven't exaaaaaactly been off world yet. Except for when there was a storm. But I've been BUSY! I've been recreating a memory matrix for the Ganos memorial on LOPAN. I'm attaching my work for that too. Make sure to get that INSTALLED, Jojo! I'm countin' on you to finish what I started!"

Roxy smiles, a bit more sadder this time.

"So, yeah. Jude. Cassie. I hope you two are doin' okay out there, doin' whatever it is you're doin'. Take care of Penny, alright? But, I don't have to tell you guys about all of that, right?" She takes a moment to think, then...

She summons a fishing rod. "Now! Let me tell you about my latest hobby!"



"Hey, sis! Hangin howsit-?" Barzum stops. "Wait. What? Damn it. What the fuck even am I saying??" She sighs. "Take Ten!!"



"There's a lot that's been going on here, li'l bro," Bates says to the camera. "I hope that when it's all said and done we can hang out again and go see a game like we were always talking about. I'm sure I could pull some strings and get us some front row seats, right? How cool would that be?"

He tries to maintain a hopeful face, but... it sours. "But honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do when we get through all of this. The one person I thought could get me and some others out of the trouble we landed in is dead, and... I'm not sure the guy replacing her has the same clout."

He looks past the camera's lens, directly to the boy viewing it later.

"There's a chance I might end up going to jail. If that happens, I want you to know why, Bro. They... they threatened you guys back home. Said if I didn't join in they'd hurt you all. I had to do some things and they're things I'm not proud of. But I still did them to protect you. Hopefully... hopefully the Air Force will be leniant given the circumstances."



"Ugh, No. okay. Right. Try it again." Barzum takes a moment, then smiles at the camera, "Hey, Barzzzz... No. Shit. Fuck. Barzum is me. Damn it. God Damn It how did I flub it THAT badly!? AGAIN!??"



"This is to Shiori, Kazuto, Silica, Minori, and Touya," Keiko Ayano takes a moment, then adds, "Yuuki, too, I guess. If you can get her to listen."

Her ears twitch for a moment, then she begins.

"I'm doing okay." She sits for a moment more. "I've got a boyfriend? I guess that's news. Heh... Um... Yeah."

Pina chirps, and flutters over to land on her head.

"Oh! Yeah! Pina's here too! Still doing okay!" She smiles.

"..."

"..."

"Okay, I guess, the elephant in the room, or wolf, I guess," she motions at her ears. "Cu Sidhe mode activated 'cause of a rift. Soooo. Yeah. That's a thing now too. You guys probably ran into similar already, I guess..."



"Hi Grandma, Grandpa! It's me, Aiden. Uh... Obviously?" Ford laughs. "Well. Here I am, talking to you from a galaxy far, far, away from home. I'm good though. You don't have to worry. Life here has been pretty routine."

He pauses.

"Well, I'm hoping that I'll be able to get home sometime soon, but, you should know I might be stuck here for a while. I'm not sure how much of what we're doing here is classified or not given the whole 'aliens attacking earth' thing so... I... I'll leave it at this."

He looks into the camera firmly.

"I want you to know that I'm good. I'm doing things, I'm seeing things I never thought I'd see. I wish I could tell you all about it, right now. But... When I get back. Maybe. Until then, I want you both to know-" he taps at his heart. "You're right here, always. All the time."



"Sorry, Teyla," O'neill says as the camera bounces on the console. "We're only just barely ahead of the Hives. I don't think I can make it to settle down for the-"

The Stargate comes into view, already active.

"SHIT!" O'neill pulls up just as a series of darts burst through from the Gate.

"...The Wraith Dialed in to prevent escape," Teyla realizes.

"Standard Goa'uld Tactic," Lantash remarks suddenly. "Dial in the Gate and prevent escape from the ground forces." He passes control back to O'neill.

"Looks like we're landing after all," he says, circling around towards the forest edge. "And before you say anything, I'm heading for the spot you told Orin about."

"Thank you," Teyla says.

"Don't thank me yet," O'neill answers.



"Hello, Mum," Beckett begins. "I hope this message finds you well. I trust your petunias are in full bloom by now. Oh, and I do hope you're keeping up with the ointment I gave you. If you've adhered to the regime, the fungus should have cleared up by now." He pauses, and looks off camera. "What?"

"Fungus? Really?" The camera man asks.

"It's on her-"

"I don't really want to know."

"Then what should I talk about then?" Beckett asks.

"It's your mother, tell her you lover her!"

"No, I can't do that. I'll get all emotional."

"So??"

"She's delicate, my mother. Very delicate. As sweet a soul as you'll ever find.  As pure as the driven snow. If I get upset, then she'll get upset, and I can't have that."

"It's not like we're live, Doctor Beckett. if you don't like your first take, then we can just do it again. It's not like miss Soleli hasn't done twenty takes today already."

"...Oh, well, Okay, I suppose I can work with that." He looks to the camera. "Mum, I... I miss you terribl..." His eyes water up and he wails, "AH CAHNT DO THIS!"




"Mom, Dad," John Sheppard sits in front of the camera. "I don't know how or where to tell you this, but... Well, I guess you might've guessed. But... Well. We had a bit of an accident in January. We were fooling around and then the condom broke and... well." He huffs. "We panicked. Argo's pregnant. The baby's due..." he does some mental math. "September, we think. So. You'll be grandparents by then! Yay?"

He sits for a moment, eyes closed, bracing for a yelling that isn't coming.

"I, uh. I'm sorry. We're all sorry. We really should have said something sooner but... we panicked. But being here in Atlantis has..." He takes a deep breath and exhales.

"We've had to deal with a lot. Colonel Sumner died pretty early on and I got promoted to head of Military here. That's... a lot of administrative weight I wasn't expecting to deal with."

There's a long, tense, moment of silence.

"Weir Died. We were trying to secure the City during a storm and... we got invaded by an idiot with a death wish. He killed Doctor Weir and... I couldn't do anything. I was too far away. I feel like it's my fault, you know? And I know it's... it's not? I know Rodney's been beating himself up over it too. I've even talked with Roxy, and Jimmyy, and Lantash and Jolinar but-"

His nose scrunches up as he closes his eyes.

"I still feel like it was my fault. You know?"



"On the bottom of the ocean, the City had a [Failsafe Mechanism] that de anchored the City and made it rise! Rise up with such force! We were all... we were all so scared but it was incredible as it happened! The force! And the noise! The whole city was shaking, like it was an earthquake, but we were moving! The whole city was rising and rising up to the ocean's surface and as the towers broke through the water- the spectacle! The amount of rainbows we saw bouncing across the windows caused by the sunlight and water! And the water! The waves! We were going up and the water was just... [Cascading]! Like waterfalls! Waterfalls from the top of the buildings, pouring and tumbling and falling from great heights as we hit the surface! And then the sun... It just shone. It was shining so brightly and I'm going to remember it for the rest of my life..." Raddek Zeleka smiles. "Yes, for the rest of my life."

"[...I did not understand a single thing you just said,]" says the camera man. "[But I could hear the raw emotion in there. You must really love your family.]"

"[Ah, yes, that I do,]" Raddek smiles. "I love being able to sneak stuff like this by them," he winks at his family when they inevitably watch this.



"This is getting hard to watch," O'neill laments.

"There is nothing much we can do," Teyla says.

"Well," O'neill begins to speak in a certain Jack-like way. "We could do a whole lot. But it would be the last thing we ever did."

"While I too wish we could stop this, we are far outnumbered, and the Gate is still inaccessible. As long as we can save Orin's family, though, we will have done something."

"Yeah, something," O'neill's reflection in the windshield shows him frowning heavily.



"Ah! Miss Entykk!" Mckay hurries over to meet up with Tyzias down one of Atlantis' hallways.

"What is it, Mckay?" Tyzias asks.

"Here," he hands her a cassette tape. "In addition to the interview I already did, here's a tape I did. It was just meant to be me recording my thoughts on somet things but, it, ah. Went on for a bit."

"How much is a bit?" Tyzias asks.

"I filed the whole tape."

"You rambled for an hour?" Tyzias asks, incredulous.

"I found it rather therapeutic," Mckay says. "Now, well, I'm sure I had some legitimate scientific breakthroughs in there, or valuable insights, but. Well." He shakes his head. "Just shove it at the end of the transmission. If the crystal holds out for a few extra milliseconds, then we won't have wasted the time, but it's nothing major if it gets cut off."

"Alright," Tyzias nods. "I'll look forwards to it then."



Mckay messes with his hair on camera, then stands in a rather... awkward looking strong man pose.

"In five, four, three..." he counts down with fingers, two, and one. "This is Doctor Rodney Mc-Kay," he stresses his name awkarardly as well, "speaking to you from my base of operations in the lost city of Atlantis, located deep within the Pegasus galaxy. I record this message on the eve of our darkest hour. As I speak, an alien armada of Biblical proportions is on its way, bent—dare I say hell bent, in keeping with the metaphor—on our destruction. We will do our best to stave off their attack, but I am afraid that defeat is all but inevitable. I and the other members of my team foot the most-" he stops. "Wait. Foot? Uh. Wait. No. It was supposed to be... face...? And, Uh. Oh god was I really about to go on a rant about being eaten by a Wraith? No, god no. Just cut that! Ford, or Tyzias, or whoever's editing this, just- Cut!"

He takes a moment, then recovers his poise.

"Starting again. This is Doctor Rodney Mccake and-" He immediately stops. "OH MY GOD. How did I flub my own name!?"



"Hey, Sis," Barzum sighs, tiredly. "I've tried this like, twenty times already- or more maybe? I've lost count honestly- and I've screwed it up every time so far, so. Uh. Yeah. Hi. Life here has been... hectic. Really hectic. I've just been doing idle civilian stuff, yknow? It's... it's loud here. Everyone's thoughts are just so. SO. Chaotic."

She takes a moment to think.

"I."

She stops.

"I don't even really know what to say, Sis. I've been stressing out of it and... I don't even know what to say."



"Wait, what's that?" O'neill sits up to attention as a beam from space strikes down and hits the village from above.

"I don't know," Teyla answers. "I've never seen such a thing."

"I need to check it out," O'neill grabs his camera and attaches it back to his vest.

"You may be discovered."

"I'll try not to."

"O'neill, it may be-"

"Look, I might look like a kid but I'm not, Teyla. I can handle myself. And besides, Lantash has always been good at sneaking, whether he wants to admit it or not. So. I'm going."

And with that, O'neill heads out of the Jumper's rear end, passing through the cloaking field with a P-90 in arm.



"My friends, I'm Dr. Rodney McKay of the Atlantis Expedition, and as the facts of our heroic struggle against the Wraith and our untimely demise are already known to you, in that light, I'd like to pass along some final thoughts. Now, my extensive education, training, and firsthand experience in the field of astrophysics has given me a unique perspective that few on Earth—or, well, on any other planet, for that matter—can match. I'd like to take a few moments now to pass along that perspective to you. I'll begin with a few observations on a subject that is both near and dear to my heart. Leadership."



"Hello," Doctor Jackson starts. "Dear..." "Greetings to..." "To the Attention of..."

"I am Doctor Daniel Jackson," he says. "I am acting head of the Expedition Team of Atlantis. It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that your loved one..."

"Unfortunately, Colonel Sumner died in the line of duty, in the defense of others, and his sacrifice lead to the prevention of..."

"...And her keen curiosity are just some of the qualities that your daughter displayed during her duties as scientist on my team. She and one of her colleagues died suddenly just a few weeks ago as a result of an illness that broke out.  I can tell you that during her time here, Dr. Dumais was a part of something very profound. She saw and did things she never would have dreamed of before…"

"I wish it were under better circumstances that I had to take on the role of Expedition Leader, Simon, and that Elizabeth's sacrifice won't be forgotten..."

"...You can be proud of your son, knowing that he died bravely, while defending others. I confess, I didn't know him as well as I could have, but I do know he was well liked and very well respected among his peers, and I was told of how often he spoke of his family. I wish I could offer you some more consolation beyond the fact that his killer has been punished appropriately and to the fullest extend of the local laws and ruling councils..."



"I once caught mono kissing a girl in Algebra Club. I missed an entire month of school. Still, the kiss was, uh, something, so it was probably worth it. April Bingham. Cute blonde. God, see, I love blondes. Especially with the, uh, the short hair." Mckay stops, "Er. Right. Yeah. That's probably going way too far on that particular tangent. Changing subjects! Oh! Colonel Carter! If you're watching, I've had this idea for a sort of inter galactic bridge made out of Stargates..."



Teyla's camera is pointed forwards as Teyla searches through supply boxes in the rear of the Jumper, when something makes her stop, and turn to look.

A Wraith Drone soldier stands nearby the Jumper's exit, surveying the landscape.

Teyla brings up her P-90 to bare, but refuses to fire...

The Wraith hovers for some time, turning left and right, then...

Then he leaves, not seeing anything thanks to the Jumper's cloak.



Kavanagh sits in front of a laptop, a shit eating grin on his face as he prepares to read from a prepared script.

"This is a message is for General Jack O'Neill of Stargate Command. I feel it is my duty to inform you of what I consider to be serious errors in judgment among the leaders of this expedition, most notably, Doctor Elizabeth Weir. Her actions have repeatedly and recklessly exposed the people of this expedition to extreme danger, leading us directly to the grave situation we currently find ourselves in."

"Oh, wow," the camera man suddenly interjects. "Look at the time. I have somewhere else to be that isn't disrespecting the dead."

"Fine!" Kavanagh calls out. "Leave if you want!"

Then, he turns back to the camera.

"I'll do this myself."



O'neills camera bounces as O'neill comes up to a collapsed tree, and crouches behind it.

He takes the camera and attaches it to the side of some binoculars, then zooms in with them onto the beam of light.

It seems to be carving something into the ground.

A Dart passes by overhead, and O'neill ducks for cover.



Mckay continues to ramble, laying casually on the seat of a lab bench. "Never cared for dogs. Too much work, too needy, too unpredictable. I mean, you leave one door open, the tiniest little cracks, and they're gone. You look for them, you put up flyers, it's no use. And since your father refused to pay for a license, the animal shelter has no way of tracking him. You know, God knows what happened to that little guy. Now, cats... now, that's a whole different story! I mean, cats are self-sufficient, they're dependable, you shake the box, they come running. The cynic would say it's because of the food, but my cat, see, I truly believe he enjoys my company. There's something very comforting about coming home from work at the end of the day and having a familiar face waiting for you, you know?"

A pause, and he says, "And really, there's nothing better than a Cat that comes up to you, purring, and brushing up against you, wanting attention. Cats are just as open faced as can be. If they want you to give them a pet, they'll grab your hand and drag it down into licking range and then brush their fur up against the part they just licked to reach places they can't easily reach themselves."

He frowns. "Still. Digressing again. Where was I? Uh... Right. Leadership!"



Teyla steps out from the rear of the Jumper, arms waving, going by the motion of her shadow. "Over here! It's alright! I am a friend of Orin! Please! Hurry! This way!"

A family of four come running up to the jumper, and follow her inside.

"How many of you are remaining?"

"We don't know," a woman says, "the wraith are everywhere."

Teyla hands a water canteen to a child, and another to a man. "Here, drink these. They're water. Have you seen Orin?"

"Not since the Wraith arrived, thank you, but we must be going before the Wraith find us," the woman says.

"No, they will not," Telya reassures them. "This ship has a shield which makes it invisible to them. Just wait here and rest. We will leave as soon as Orin arrives or the Stargate shuts down, whichever comes first..."



"To the families of every member of this expedition," Doctor Jackson says. "I'd like to say a few words. I wish I could go into specifics about everything we've done here, but then we'd be here all day if we did. "

He takes a moment, then continues. "You'd be amazed when you hear what we've been up to. We're all proud of each and every single one of us for what we've accomplished. Their heroism, and their resourcefulness... and in some cases, their willingness to face death head on... It's an inspiration for us all."

He closes his eyes for a moment, then says, "I wish Doctor Weir were here to deliver this message. But... that is the uncertainty we all face here every day. I want you all to know, if we are never heard from again, that your family members here did not face that uncertainty alone. We are facing our future together."



"So, I'm just saying, if either you or Dammek ever decide to come here to Atlantis for whatever reason," Mallek Adalov concludes his portion directed at Callie and Dammek. "You'd BEST bring your A game and the frutiest pair of swimsuits you can manage! Me and Keiko'll swim circles around you!"
He thinks for a moment, then...

"Ah, and I guess I'll say one more thing to Joey," he leans forwards, a serious look in his eyes. "Now, I know it's been a long time since you started dating Polypa, Joey. But if you ever decide to take up the noble art of body-ink as a job or hobby? You come train under me first. A'ight? I'll teach you your way around a needle gun."



"To Ma'ma and Pa'pa and my classmates from Paris!" Marinette spins a hand held camera around the Atlantis cafeteria, speaking in French for the recording. "THIS! Is my new work place! Part Time Job One: The Atlantis Mess Hall! Whooo!" She gets a conspiratorial wink. "Now, I know it's not any fashion runway, but this are pretty chill here. I bake bread, and then I get to help with clothing repair! And boy, there sure is a lot of clothing in need of repair when you adventure in Pegasus. But that's for later!"

She skips over to the kitchen area.

"Here's where we cook and assemble food for everyone!" Marinette focuses in on the crew on duty. "[Say hello everyone!]"

A chorus of 'hellos' echo out in English and Alternian.

"This is Diemen Xicali," Marinette says, focusing in on Diemen, currently mixing up a bowl of pancake batter. He smiles at the camera. "He's our resident waifish boy of a Master Chef from Alternia! Isn't he adorable?"

Boldir laughs at that, and Marinette turns around to face her as she lays out some cleaned plates in a stack.

"This is Boldir Lamati! She's Diemen's... Uh... [What's the term?]"

"[Matesprit.]"

"Matesprit, Right! That's basically boyfriend-slash-girlfriend for the flushed, heart-goes-patter-patter sort of relationship!"

Marinette turns to face the next person on duty, a red haired Asian man in his twenties chopping up vegetables for a soup.

"And this is Shirou Emiya. He's got a mean chopping skill and an even sharper pun-reserve when it comes to food puns! He'd beat out Adrien any day!"

The man gives a smile and a nod, then returns to his chopping.

Marinette turns the camera around on herself to smile at home. "I'd show you the newest person to join the cooking team but, she's pretty shy and doesn't like cameras much. So I promised her I wouldn't put her on camera. I hope everyone back home is doing fine! I'm having lots of fun here in Atlantis! I wish you could come visit! I love you all! Byeee!!"



Teyla looks up as she hears a commotion from outside the Jumper. She stands and heads out the door, and the camera catches sight of O'neill leading a group of survivors from the forest line towards the Jumper.

Orin's family is among them.

"O'neill! Over here!" Teyla waves.

"Go!" O'neill tells the survivors, "Run!" He slows down. Why is he slowing down?

A Wraith Dart can be heard buzzing into the scene.

As Teyla and the others from the Jumper start helping the survivors in, the Dart can be seen buzzing into sight.

O'neill turns around and faces it, glaring upwards at the heavens.

And then he yells.

"YOU BLOOD SUCKERS NEED A GOOD SQUASHING!"

And then the most bizarre thing imaginable happens.

A Massive vine bursts forth from the ground infront of him, spearing upwards into the heavens and smashing into the Dart's front nose like a bullet that doesn't fail to hit its target.

The Dart Explodes, and then a few more Darts come into view behind the explosion.

They don't last long as the vine splits off into multiple paths and impales them as well.

BOOM BOOM BOOM!!

O'neill turns around and starts running for the Jumper again. His eyes can be seen to be glowing, but not like the usual brief burst of a Symbiote's reflective actions.

No. It's a persistently glowing pale green glow, and it has not faded by the time he rejoins Teyla at the jumper.

"What-" Teyla begins to ask.

"Apparently I've got fancy plant powers now, go figure," O'neill answers, before dragging her into the Jumper past the rather large crowd of survivors. "Let's get to the Gate and get out of here."

Teyla sits in her seat and the Jumper takes to the air a moment later as O'neill sits down as well.

The Village is well and truly wrecked- but not just from the Wraith.

Large trees and massive vines have burst forth from the ground and the ruins, decorated across every available inch by crushed or impaled Wraith ships.

The Hiveship is rapidly making for higher and higher altitudes, away and away from the planet that had suddenly decided to fight back. The blue laserbeam has stopped.

The Stargate is deactivated.

Teyla immediately begins dialing for Atlantis.



"You know, Jack?" Daniel sits quietly in his bedroom on Atlantis. "I'm so tired already. I can't keep being Weir. I can pretend. I can fake it. But I'm not her. I don't have her patience or her skills at negotiating. I... I can't handle this for much longer, Jack." He looks at the camera. "You gotta send someone to take over soon."



"I know you worry about me, Mum. But somehow, we've found a way to rise to each challenge, so I wouldn't fret about my safety. It's the people here, from dozens of countries and even other planets, all connected by a single bond—we represent the people of two galaxies that've been fighting for our freedoms for years now. And if there's one thing I've discovered about we freedom fighters, we're a scrappy bunch," Beckett pauses. "I think we're more settlers here now, honestly, than explorers. There's quite a few people here going to give birth within the next few months."



Kavanagh continues on, "Authorized using a prisoner to test an experimental drug, in clear violation of the Geneva Convention. Authorized lowering the Stargate shield when the authenticity of the incoming travelers was clearly in question..."



Still lying on the bench, Mckay continues to ramble, "And that's another sight I'll die without having seen. See, to be fair, when you've traveled as much as I've traveled, you'd think that missing Niagara Falls would be no big deal. But you know what, it gnaws at you. There's a lot of movies I wish I'd seen. Won't see now. Never saw Grease, even though I had a thing for Olivia Newton-John when I was a kid. Always wanted to see Gandhi. Only saw the first half of The Sixth Sense. Always wondered how that ended,"

Mckay pauses.  "It's July right? I think I heard Disney was doing a movie on Atlantis. Shouldn't that have come out already? I wonder how much they got right and how much they got wrong compared to the real thing."

He then adds, "You know, if there's one thing I want to live to see now, it's THAT. Just to see what they did differently."



John stands infront of a camera, arms behind his back. "I'm not sure if Colonel Sumner's parents are still alive. I'm not sure he even has a family back there. Not all of us do, but if he does have family, they should know that he died with honor and courage in the performance of his duty."

He pauses for a moment.

"He was being tortured for information on Earth's location. He'd rather he died before he gave that kind of intel' up to the enemy. He gave me the order to stop it, so I did. He carried the burden of a leader, and he carried it well. Now I've got to carry it too."

He closes his eyes.

"I didn't get the chance to know him well, but I know this…  I know people like Bates put a lot of trust into him, and it wasn't misplaced. Even... even knowing who he was working for? Considering the type of man he was and what we're up against, yeah, I wish he was still here. I wish that he hadn't been put into that kind of situation to begin with."

He opens his eyes again, and looks into the camera firmly.

"There's a lot of things I wish went differently. I wish it hadn't been me who had to execute that order. But it was, and Sumner gave the order. I can only hope that sacrifice was worth it in the end, and the Wraith never find Earth's location."



"Hey. Older Me?" Jimmyy O'neill stares into the camera. "I can make plants grow with my mind. ...That's all."



"So, this is something I usually don't do," Bregman says, looking into the camera. "Speaking directly to my audience like this, raw and unfiltered." He pauses, scratching at his nose. "Everything we've done here in Atlantis is so far beyond the realm of what we could have imagined... It's chilling to the bone and makes the heart pump with excitement all the same."

He shakes his head.

"If I'm going to die in this, I'm going to die recording every last moment of this confrontation that I can," he promises.



Beckett smiles, sadly. "So take care of yourself, lots of sleep, remember your daily walks, and keep up with your prescription. Well, that's about it. I'll say goodbye now, and, Mum? I do love you."



"Bye, Grandma, Grandpa. I miss you," Ford kisses his fingers and points them towards the camera.



"Goodbye, bro," Bates says.



"I'll see you later, okay, sis?" Barzum asks.



"Bye, Dad," Argo smiles at the camera. "Hopefully... maybe you can be here for the baby?"



"In conclusion," Kavanagh stops, and then sighs. "In conclusion, I think I've just been a major idiot."



"Bye, Dad," Carter smiles.

"Goodbye, Selmak," Jolinar adds a moment later.



"Take care, Charun," Tyzias smiles at the camera.



"I love you, Shiori," Keiko has tears in her eyes. "Please take care of her, Kazuto! And Silica!" She leans forwards, looking as far into the camera as she can. "Keep Minori and Touya out of trouble!!"



"Goodbye," Tagora nods to the camera.



"Bye, guys," Roxy reaches for the camera, and with a click- the feed cuts to static.



The wormhole spirals out from Atlantis- teal hued shifting to bright green as it passes by the rift in space, before terminating at---



"Unscheduled Off-world activation!" Walter's voice calls out as the Gate dials in- WAA WAA- KAWOOOSH!

Your name is Cassandra Fraiser, and through sheer luck, you sit down at the terminal to watch as a transmission comes in.

And when it's finished, a second and some change later, the wormhole shuts down.

"Who's it from?" Walter asks.

You turn to face him, hope in your voice as you answer, "Atlantis!"



SPARK! POP! FLAREEEEEEEE!!!

"Well," your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you sigh as you spray the DHD adapter device with a fire extinguisher. "There goes THAT Control Crystal."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 25TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/02/0005.

Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you've just received a pair of messages from Pegasus.

The first one, of course, was Jolinar talking on and on about everything that'd been going on. It's a handy recap of everything in Pegasus, really...

The second one, though.

Argo.

"Hey, Mikari." They smile at the camera. "So. Uh. I dunno really what to say except that we're all facing a really tough time over here. And as much as I..., I'm... I'm really missing a bunch of familiar faces, even with the ones who came with us. Aunt Joey, and the others... Honestly, though. I'm missing you too. It's kinda weird, right? We barely even hung out or talked much after you got diplomat duty and helping things along back on Earth. But..."

They shake their head.

"I think I'm rambling at this point. Evading the real thing I want to talk about."

And what's that, Argo, dear? You can't help but wonder.

"I don't think Jade's Dad- um, Doctor Jackson- Daniel? I don't even know what to call him by at this point. But... I don't think he's going to last much longer running the show here. It's grating on him and I can tell he's wearing down. I don't know if he's even aware of it or not, but... I feel like you're the only one I can even talk to about this. Could you try and see if you can help General O'neill get someone better qualified to come in? The sooner you guys get to reaching back to Pegasus the better, I think. Not just because of the time limit we're running under, but..."

They sigh, arms wrapping around their stomach, wings folding around their shoulders like a self-given hug.

"I'm scared, Mikari. I'm scared we're already stuck in a doomed timeline. Why else would a giant rift in space appear? Why else would we end up with people suffering wild transformations? Why else would... would Doctor Weir even be dead? Why else would you guys not come for us even after you said you would? Where's Prometheus?? Why haven't you dialed in to contact us again? The Radio Silence is grating and terrifying and I-"

You stop it there, and head to General O'neill's office.



"You realize what a risk that is, right, Miss Aiikho?" He asks, staring you in the eyes and putting on his most General-y voice. "We're still building a plan to figure out how to best to defend Atlantis, and-"

"And they have no idea if we even got the message!" You say. "Argo said it themself that Doctor Jackson is running thin, and-" you stop, seeing the look in his eyes. "And he's said it too. Hasn't he?"

"That's-"

"Daniel Jackson's admitted he can't keep doing this, hasn't he?" You ask for clarification, using your best diplomat's voice imaginable.

"I'm still looking for a replacement, but yeah," Jack sighs, dropping all General-y measure. "I'd go myself, but Washington-"

"Then Send Me."

"...What?" He asks, staring at you.

"Send me now to replace Doctor Jackson, even temporarily, until you can get an actual replacement," you say. "Or hell, assign me permanently. They need fresh eyes, Jack. I'm between assignments, and you KNOW if we didn't have to go through a game of phone tag to contact Alternia right now that Okurii would sign off on it in a heartbeat."

"It's not that simple," he starts.

"Then I'll make it simple for you," you say. "I can take a Zat, stun everyone in the control room, and dial Atlantis myself."

For a moment, there's silence.

"You'd be stuck there without the Control Crystal to dial back," Jack finally advises you.

"I'm well aware of that risk, Sir," you say.

"...Go pack your things," he says. "I'll let Walter know to prep the Gate for Dialing Atlantis."

"Thank you, Jack," you nod, and then rush back to your room to get your things.



"Chevron Five, Encoded..."

It's short notice, but damn it all if you somehow didn't get a team together just the same.

Major Strider, naturally, is coming with you, as is Doctor Fraiser. And besides them?

Well. That's it, actually. You, Strider, and Fraiser.

Everyone else with reason to go is holding back until the SGC has finalized a plan.

"Chevron Six, Encoded..."

Moment of truth, now. If you can even get a connection. They seriously must have had the worst of luck here at the SGC, if every single one of their dial out attempts was coincidentally linked up with a time that the Atlantis Stargate was otherwise locked up in use.

Darkness cloud? And a Jumper stuck in the Gate? Plus who knows how many other times a connection failed to lock just because they were using theri Gate. First thing you're doing once you get there is--

"Chevron Seven, Encoded..."

--Is set up a time of day to schedule with Earth to prevent such a thing from happening again.

"Here we go," Fraiser breathes out.

"Chevron Eight..."

KA-THWUNK!

"IS LOCKED!"

WAAA WAA! KAWOOOOOOOOOOSH!

You turn to look up at the Control Room, and see O'neill moving for the Radio. "We've sent the Iris Code, and received a green light," he says. "You've got a go, Miss Aiikho. And tell them I said... well. You know."

"Of course, Sir," you say with a nod, and then take off for a run up the ramp.

SCCH--

The world rushes by you in a vortex of green, spiraling outwards into space, beyond that damned fucking rift, and then shifting to teal as it heads towards a planet covered in ocean.

-LORP!

And then you're standing in a place you've only seen in pictures so far. The Atlantis Gate Room.

A moment later, Major Strider and Doctor Fraiser step through after you, and the Gate shuts down.

"Holy Shit," you hear someone say from the balcony above. "They got our message."

"DAD!" someone else shouts just the same, in a much more familiar voice.

You look up, and smile upon seeing Argo peering over the balcony.

"Argo!" Strider shouts back, and then abuses his time travel powers to pop over across the distance from the Gate to that balcony and then they're hugging it out.
The other person who spoke, Doctor Jackson, makes his way down the stairs to greet you. "Janet? Mikari? What are you doing here?"

"We're the confirmation we got your message, Daniel," Fraiser says, smiling, "The SGC is working on a plan to help defend Atlantis, but in the mean time..."

"In the mean time, Doctor Jackson," you step forwards, and look him in the eyes. "I'm here to relieve you of duty."

A mixture of emotions runs through Daniel Jackson's face, and then he exhales in utter relief and a "Thank God."

"Now then," you smile. "catch me up on the situation since you sent your message in a bottle."

Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you've got a feeling this is going to be one hell of a week.

Chapter Text

"Well, lay it on me straight, Doc?" Argo asks.

Your name is Janet Fraiser, and you sigh as you finish checking your examination reports against Doctor Beckett's.

"Well, I'm seriously going to have to stay on here for Maternity purposes at the very least," you say. "Beckett's a fine doctor when it comes to genetics, but he can't recognize an abnormally fast pregnancy compared to a normal one."

"...I. What?" Argo blinks. "Run that by me again?"

"Your kid is growing a bit faster than expected, is all," you explain. "Possibly a result of the genetic engineering that went into making you and John in the first place, or maybe as a side effect of your own specific time compression powers? Either way, development wise, you're at least a month, maybe two, closer to nearing the end of term than you should be. I'll need to compare to a few benchmarks, but I think we should plan for you to give birth sooner rather than later."

"So on the one hand, I'll get to see the kid sooner than expected," Argo muses, "And on the other... There's every chance the universe will karmicly throw me into labor during the middle of the Wraith Siege."

"If we're lucky, you're not progressing that fast along," you say. "But, well. We're definitely in uncharted territory here, Argo. Plus, there's no telling how that energy wave has influenced things, either."

"Oh, boy," Argo laments with a huff and a flick of their ears. "Every potential for my kid to have super powers right out of the starting gate, too."

"Let's just hope it isn't something as exotic as a glass shattering power scream combined with a glass-based telekinesis," you say, sighing.

"...Was that a thing that's happened?" Argo asks, looking a little pale.

"Lieutenant Byrd from SG-9," you answer. "She's taken to making stained glass windows as a hobby, last I checked."

"Yikes," Argo's ears flatten against their skull.

"Yikes indeed," you agree.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: JULY 29TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/06/0005.

Your name is Tyzias Entykk and you and Daraya are woken up by the sharp sound of Barzum screaming.

You're up from bed and hugging her tight a moment later, shoosh-papping as a Moirail does to help calm her down.

"What happened?" You ask.

"The Wraith," She whimpers. "They're in range of my powers."

A moment later, you hear Teyla knocking rapidly on someone's door- "Major Sheppard!!"

You and Daraya share a look.

'Well. Shit,' that look says. Barzum isn't the only one suddenly afflicted by nightmares.




A few hours later, it's been checked around the City, and among the Athosians back on the mainland, and basically...

Some people had nightmares they were Wraith, or stumbled upon someone being fed on by the Wraith, or were Wraith that got fed on by other Wraith, and, well...

The list goes on. The Higher Blooded Alternians seem to be the most susceptible to the effects, while only the humans from the Expedition who were manifesting some sort of mental ability were getting the nightmares too. The Athosians were getting them from the people who usually sensed the Wraith coming.

While most everyone is willing to chalk it up to psychic powers triggering with the Wraith in such close proximity, Teyla, it seems, is investigating her own family lineage to figure out where her particular talent for it comes from.

Meanwhile, you've got an Earth doctor trying to talk with Barzum, and neither of them, and neither are you, happy with the situation.

"Why are you Alternians being so stubborn and refusing to talk to me about this?" the woman, one KATE HEIGHTMEYER, seems really frustrated.

"Well, let's see here," you say, crossing your arms. "Most of us already have Moirails for talking to about our personal issues. We don't need someone trying to force their way into that Quadrant. And Barzum doesn't take well to people she doesn't know well talking at her. So, it's no wonder she's refusing to talk to you."

"Look, I can understand that, but that's not what I'm trying to get at here," she explains. "I'm trying to see if the dreams share any common details beyond the surface level ones we've already confirmed. And to do that I need specific details and people are refusing to talk to me on that no matter how much I explain it."

"And I can appreciate that," you say, "but maybe you're going at it in too confrontational of a way? I mean, This isn't exactly the best of places to go asking people to tell you about their nightmares."

'This' being in the middle of the Atlantis Cafeteria.

People are staring, most of the ones Dr. Heightmeyer had asked are glaring.

"...I'm Sorry, you're right," she apologizes. "Ever since the energy wave hit I've been having trouble with keeping track of what's an appropriate place or not. It's hard trying not to get inside people's heads."

You say, "Yeah, Barzum has some issues with people getting inside her head too. Hey. Idea. Maybe you're the one who needs a human Therapist, Doctor Therapist?"

"...You might be right on that," she nods. "Though, I think I'm the only one who came to Atlantis. I should double check on that."

"You do that," you say, waving her off.

Barzum has more nightmares that night- this time of the Doctor herself being a Wraith.

Lovely.



EARTH DATE: JULY 30TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/07/0005.

Teyla had uncovered a Gate Address by asking certain elders. Certain people from her village originally came from another world- exiled for their hearing 'voices' after escaping from the Wraith.

Given the lab AR-1 uncovered, and then dumped the Data Storage device on your lap to deal with? You're more inclined to say that they were let go. Also, you're not too shocked to discover that Wraith is a derivative of Ancient. It doesn't take too much to have Doctor Jackson help you make a Wraith-to-Ancient translator that you can then run through an Ancient-to-English translator and after that it's... well, it's like Trollgle Translate got its hands on it, but it's mostly legible... (Okay, like, 80% legible.)

You converse with Kanaya, and get her to check Teyla, and you've confirmed the source of the Athosians' abilities to sense the Wraith coming.

"So... one of my recent ancestors was experimented upon by the Wraith, and that's why...?" Teyla asks in summary.

"Yeah, that's why you've got Wraith DNA in you," you confirm Kanaya's deduction.

"That... I will need some time to process that," Teyla says. "Thank you for looking into it."

"Uh huh," you wave it off. "Any time."

(It also doesn't surprise you to find Teyla and Doctor Heightmeyer talking on the way to the Doctor's therapy office later that night.)

That night Barzum has a nightmare of Beckett dropping a vial of gas in the middle of the Atlantis Control Room and Teyla transformed into a Wraith.

You manage to settle her down from that, but your sleep is disturbed.

Your own twisted imagination one-ups Barzum's nightmare and turns some random nurse into a tangling mess of red vines that overtakes the City and transforms everything into a Wraith Hiveship.

At least.

You seriously hope that's just your imagination.


EARTH DATE: JULY 31ST, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/08/0005.

You have less than a week before the Wraith arrive- four days, to be exact. You find yourself tagging along with Tagora and Aradia to lunch while Daraya watches over Barzum while Kanaya puts her into a Shaper-induced, dreamless sleep for a few hours to catch up on her missed hours of sleep.

You'd be there observing, but, well, Barzum told you to take some time for yourself.

So. Here you are.

Four days. Less than a week. You haven't been sleeping well either. You might try the Shaper thing later to catch up... Maybe. UGH.

You don't even have an Alpha site secured. You can't even use Jurassic World as an Alpha Site.

AR-1 just returned half an hour ago from there with Hyperbeam retrieved from the generators and the temple there, for using it with the Defense Satillite.

You should be working on that. But Mckay and Carter and Grodin have basically taken the reigns on that project and you're out of the loop.

What else do you have to work on except idle? Atleast the other day you had the Data Storage Device. But now?

Nope. Nope. Nothing. Nada.

You've been jittery and jittery since you recorded your messages and sent them out. You... You...

"Hey, Tyzias," Tagora starts suddenly, "you're looking as zoned out as the you from my world does. Er. Did. What's up?"

Aradia left at some point, you realize, and quickly locate her hassling one of the human chefs for Hotdogs.

You answer as honestly as you can, then.

"I'm aimless," you answer. "Everyone else is busy doing other things now. We know the SGC is working on something, but we don't know what just yet... And unlike some people-" Aradia's wings flutter loudly in the room. You see some glittery sparkles flint off into the air. "-I didn't get fancy powers or bodily transformations to worry about in the mean time. Despite everything, I'm still me. And my Moirail told me to take some time for my self, and my Matesprite volunteered to watch over here while she's out cold to catch up on some actual sleep. So. I'm lost and aimless and I got no idea what to do."

"Ah," Tagora says after a moment. "I see."

"Not an answer you knew what to do with, huh?" You ask, smiling faintly at him.

"Honestly, I wasn't expecting much of an answer regardless," he says with a shrug. "To be quite honest, even, I was half expecting you to glare at me and demand I perish for my impudence."

You have no idea how to respond to that, and fortunately enough, you're called to the infirmary shortly there after.

You head that way, and find Barzum panting, and wide awake, terrified.

Daraya tells you that she just woke up suddenly, and Kanaya says that it's impossible for her to have been dreaming, but...

You look your Moirail in the eyes, and ask, "What happened?"

"I was inside a Wraith's mind," she answers. "I think they want Atlantis to find Earth, and after Earth, every other planet in that Galaxy. And after that... every other galaxy we'd made contact with."


Teyla wants to replicate what happened with Barzum with herself as the test subject. The recently arrived and now new temporary head of the Atlantis Expedition, Mikari Aiikho, okays the experiment.

Doctor Heightmeyer walks her through some self hypnosis thing, and Barzum insists on sitting in, just to keep an eye on Teyla's mental state during this 'dream walk' thing.

The most you can do is sit there and hold Barzum's hand, incase the worst happens and a Wraith realizes what's going on and piggybacks on the connection.

And then Barzum squeezes your hand because a Wraith realized what's going on and piggybacks on the connection and took over Teyla's body.

You just Zat her once after the Wraith in her body only gets so far as tearing loose her restraints and kicking Ford to the ground.

PCH-ZYU.

And down Teyla goes, and when she wakes up, while she's sorry to learn she lost control of her own body, she could confirm what Barzum saw, and then some.

Of the confirmations: A Navigation Map and a Battle Plan on a Wraith computer. They're wanting Earth through Atlantis, and that's the ONLY reason they're after Atlantis. There are too many Wraith to feed with Pegasus' still recovering population, and their other problem isn't solving that problem fast enough.

Their other problem is their sudden manifestation of weird and strange abilities or bodily defects. The unchanged Wraith are killing the changed on sight. They're culling their own people and soldiers out of fear.

Lovely, that they're infighting. Not so lovely, they think heading to Earth will cure their transformation problems in addition to their woefully inadequate food stock numbers.

You hope whatever plan is in motion with the defense satellite, it works and it keeps working and you don't ever have to worry about the Wraith making it as far as Atlantis.

Hell, you hope whatever plans the SGC and Alternia are putting together, it'll be a good one. You need some sleep, but... hell. What's a few more days? You're sure you can catch up on it once everything's been dealt with. Right?

Chapter Text

"So, John, can I speak with you for a moment?" Your name is Davis Strider, and you've got a little thing to talk about.

"Uh, can it wait an hour?" The man who you remember being a boy just a few days ago (Heh. Time Travel Pun) asks. "Miss Aiikho wants me and my team heading to Jurassic World to retrieve Hyperbeam, so-"

"It'll just take a minute," you say, putting your arm around John's shoulder. "I wanted to ask if you'd had any ideas about this whole situation you, Jade, and Argo are involved in."

"...What kind of ideas are you asking about, even?" he asks in turn, frowning. "Because we've talked a lot about a lot of things."

"Alright, fine. Namely, have you kids given any thought about Marriage?" you ask

"Jade's response: Too complicated for US Taxes at this stage and time. Argo's: Maybe a Tok'ra styled thing. Me? We've already got three names as it is, and regardless of who's marrying who in what order or whatever particular ceremony is being done, I honestly think we should just keep the names the same because that's just going to get way too confusing otherwise." He rattles off those answers without stumbling. You're impressed.
Still.

"So, I shouldn't be getting a Shotgun and grabbing the first priest I can find?" You ask.

"I'd level that firmly at a 'Hell Fucking No,' now can I get going on the mission I've been assigned?" He answers and asks in one breath.

"Yeah, sure, go ahead," you let go of his shoulder.

As if to make a point, John Sheppard bursts into a cloud of blue smoke and vanishes from sight.

...Well, that's impressive. Dude could have escaped your firm, fatherly grip any time he wanted to.

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: AUGUST 1ST, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/09/0005.

"So, while Mckay, Carter, Miller, and Grodin are working to get the Satellite online, I want a full systems diagnostic run on every defensive system, along with an actual test of the systems themselves. That means we start with the most important thing, Tyzias." Your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you feel like you need to head off any potential problems at the pass. "After a diagnostic, raise the shield and run it for a solid sixty seconds."

"...Alright, Ma'am," Tyzias nods, and starts tapping away at a computer. "But why start with the shields when we know they work? We've still got the Drone situation to fix."

"Defenses first, then Offense," you say. "I didn't survive this long without being paranoid, Tyzias."

"...Right," she nods after a moment's pause. The console beeps affirmative. "Alright, diagnostic of the shield's says we're at one hundred percent capability."

You take to the City Intercom, "Attention, Atlantis. This is Mikari Aiikho. We're about to run a test of the City shields. Do not be alarmed. That is all."

You then nod to Tyzias, and she punches in the sequence.

KREEEEEE-- The grinding sound of the shields raising sounds particularly grating to your ears as you watch the wall of translucent frosty energy raise up in a bubble around the entire- EEEEKKKKKKRRRRSSSSHHHHHHHHHH.

And then it flickers like static before it even gets half way up, and then vanishes.

Because of course it would.

"What the fuck!?' Tyzias swears.

"What happened?" you ask her.

"...Shit," she sighs. "Error report's showing that there was a power failure in a fuse box somewhere, but it's not telling me where the fault occurred. The sensors for that area must have gotten damaged when we powered the shields with the lightning strikes during the storm."

"Get your team together and get it fixed, Tyzias," you order. "We can't leave Atlantis undefended."



Somewhere out there in the Universe, a Wraith hunted down a poor, defenseless human farmer. The Wraith threw them down, ripped open their shirt, and prepared to feed.

And then the farmer suddenly sprouted massive crystalline spikes from their chest that impaled the Wraith clean through.

Elsewhere across that planet, scenes like this were happening all over.

The prey began manifesting abilities that let them fight back for the first time in their lives.

This was not the only planet it was happening on, and the panic felt by the Wraith could be felt across the Galaxy by those who had developed psychic abilities.

Your name is Teyla Emmagan, and you feel as if a vast outrage has transpired, rippling across the galaxy in such a way that it changes the very fabric of reality as a whole. You can see glimpses of images just like this. Of people stomping their feet and causing giant gysers of flame to bellow florth, or for plants to grow, or for water to form from the air itself.

The Wraith coming for Atlantis are desperate. They are desperate, and they are scared.

Because for the first time, the people of Pegasus smell blood on the water that isn't theirs, and they are reacting. They are fighting back.

They are saying that THIS IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE.

And the Wraith are not fighting back as they could.

They kill their own over these abilities or physical changes.

They are scared of the upended status quo.



A section of wall sparks dramatically, spewing live energy directly onto the hallway floor. The whole section of hallway is pretty much just untransversable.

Your name is Keiko Ayano, and you sigh into your radio, "Tyzias, this is Keiko. I found the break in the line."

"Uh, this is Mallek," Mallek says a moment later. "I've also found the break in the line."

"Well, I guess that makes three," Daraya says in response. "Cause I found one too."

Tyzias groans. "Gah. No wonder the shields collapsed. Three ley lines to three piers with three emitters each... Out of six. Half strength on the same side of the city and it all popped at once."

"Yeah, this looks a lot like-" you wince at a particularly large spark. "Well. It looks like a conduit literally exploded through the wall. The Lightning strike surges probably wore down whatever safety precautions we had in place. How the hell are we going to fix this?"

"First things first, we'll have to shut down power to the City in those areas," Tyzias says, accompanied by the sound of typing. "Working on that now. Then we'll assess the damage and see what we can do to fix it."

And then the lights in the hallway shut off, and the sparking from the wall stops.

"Cool, power is down, here," you radio.

"Same," Mallek chimes in.

"Yup," Daraya confirms.

You head over to the wall that burst open from the seams and-

Ow.

It looks like someone gigantified a popcorn kernel and then popped it from inside the wall.

Boom Bloom Doom.

"Well... It looks like it's mostly just surface damage on my end," Mallek says. "Small rupture in the wall. Interior looks mostly intact, but... Ah. Crap. Nope, that looks totally busted."

"There's just a busted light sconce on my end," Daraya says. "Looks like the excess energy got shunted through it."

"Those sound easy enough to fix," Tyzias says, "Keiko? How's it on your end?"

"Popcorn," you say. "The wall looks like a giant piece of popcorn went pop. I don't think we can salvage this relay."



"Well, so much for salvaging THIS relay," your name is Morgan Carter, and you grunt within your Space Suit as you stare at the internal workings of a very shot to pieces satellite relay.

"What? What's wrong with it?" Mckay asks from the Jumper that brought you out here onto this far, far flung corner of the defense satellite in this far flung corner of the solar system in this far flung corner of the galaxy.

"It's utterly shot to hell." You frown. "Looks like a plasma bolt cut through most of the major circuitry. We're going to have to bypass."

"That's frustrating," Grodin remarks from inside the satellite. "But we need to get the power to pass from the Hyperbeam Crystal to the weapon arrays."

"I still don't get why we don't just plug it into the City and fire off the beams from there instead," Miller remarks, also from inside the satellite.

"Because we don't want the Wraith within shooting distance of the city?" Mckay answers rhetorically.

"Fair enough," Miller answers.

As you start the process of reworking things, Jolinar nudges to speak, so you let her.

"An odd observation, but 'Fair Enough' is an interestingly common phrase. I keep hearing people use it and you'd think it's something that wouldn't be said as often as it is, and yet, it does get said rather frequently. I wonder why that is?" she rambles.

"Uh..." Mckay clearly has no response to that.

"Perhaps it's simply just a thing other people end up saying because they've heard other people say it?" Grodin muses.

"I mean, that's-- Ah! See, I almost said it too," Jolinar remarks. "Just now. That's a perfectly valid theory, and my first response to say was 'that's fair enough'! What is it that makes it such a catchy phrase?"

"That's generally what they call a Catch Phrase, you know," Mckay remarks.

"Yes, but a Catch Phrase is usually relegated to one person or a team," Grodin says. "I think the term you're looking for is an 'earworm.'"

"No, that's an extremely catchy song," Mckay counters.

"I thought that was an earwig?" Miller asks.

"No, those are gross insects who deserve to be eradicated off the face of the universe," Mckay answers. "Hey. Do you think we could re-calibrate a Replicator Disruptor to specifically target them and just-- wash it over Earth to get rid of the damned things?"

"What do you think this is, Mckay?" Miller asks, "Someone's wish fulfillment Star Trek fanfic?"

"No, I'd say we're much closer to Star Wars than Star Trek," Mckay counters.

"Boys!" Jolinar interjects. "We're getting well off track here!"

"Sorry," Mckay and Miller echo. You can't help but snort.



Raddek Zelenka swears up a storm. "[Of all the ill advised, stupid, poorly thought out plans to have ever been executed why did the Ancients put a] Puddle Jumper [level transformer into this wall compared to the others!? What a stupid, dumb, idiotic idea to replace a critical part!! It's] Patchwork Mechanics, [that's what it is! This is something] Mckay [would do! No! This is something a kindergartener would do!]"

Or, atleast, you're assuming he's swearing up a storm.

You're still Keiko Ayano, and you have no idea what he's rambling about, though you can pick up a few words here and there and get a general idea of what he's rambling about.

"So, uh... do you think we can fix it?" you ask.

He eyes you with an exasperated, side long gaze. "Yes. We can fix it. Unfortunately I think we're going to have to do what the Ancients did and replace this transformer fuse box with one from a Puddle Jumper."

"...They did what now?" you stare at the burnt remains of the device in horror.

"They replaced an older transformer with one from a Puddle Jumper," Zelenka says. "I have no idea why they did, but the relay was completely incapable of handling the strain of the energy from a ZPM after we forced the raw unfiltered power of lightning strikes through the city's hallways."

"Okay, that's..." You stare at the wall, and then swear loudly.

"I am very inclined to agree," Zelenka says before echoing your statements in his own language.



"Okay, I think we've got two decent front runners for the new Alpha Site," your name is John Sheppard, and you present your findings in We- Doctor Ja-...

Mikari's office to Mikari Aiikho herself. Well, her, and Argo, who's busy typing up something at the secretary desk nearby.

"Alright," Mikari says. "Lay it on me."

"Well, first is M63-29K," you say. "It's a nice low level forest area that's similar to Diaspora."

"That's good," Mikari nods. "What about the other?"

"P69-4-" you're cut off by the sound of a sharp gasp followed by metal hitting the floor.

You and Mikari turn to look, and see that Argo had knocked over a metal cup holding a bunch of pens off of the desk, hands clutching at their stomach.

"Argo?" You ask. "Is everything okay?"

They look you in the eyes, panic flaring along with some neon glow. "I'm not sure...." They say, voice weak and suddenly so very quiet compared to usual. "But I think the Universe deicded to pull a trigger early."

"You mean--?" Mikari stands up.

Argo nods. "I think I need to go to the infirmary."

"Call Doctor Fraiser and Jade and tell them to meet me there," you tell Mikari, and then go to scoop Argo up in your arms and carry her to the infirmary. "And let Rose or Kanaya know, too!!"

"Right!!" Mikari nods.



Your name is Davis Strider, and you get moving the minute you hear a call go out for Jade Jackson to head to the Infirmary- your internal parental instincts are flaring.

Naturally, you're called for next, soon followed by Rose and Kanaya.

Shit is going DOWN. And by that, you mean you're probably about to become a grand-dad in a few hours.



Your name is Daraya Jonjet, and you yawn, tiredly, as you hold a flashlight into the wall for Tyzias to see by as she patches the busted up internal workings.

"Tired?" Tyzias asks.

"Yeah. The moon was keeping me up last night," you answer. "That, and all the stuff with Barzum the last few nights."

"You talk to Keiko about the moon thing?" Tyzias asks.

"Mmh," you nod, then, realize she's still staring into the wall. "Yeah. I did. She said she's been feeling anxious too the last few days, but she was just chalking that up to nerves and anxiety about. Well. All of this."

"Mmmmh," Tyzias hums in agreement. "Yeah, I can see that being the case. Though-" She pauses to look over her shoulder and give you a wry smirk, "if you suddenly feel like stripping down and growing fur and running all over the city during the middle of the night, give me a heads up first."

"Haha, very funny," you stick your tongue out at her for a moment. "How's the transformer?"

"Well," Tyzias turns back to inspect her work. "I think I've patched up the broken insulators and replaced the fuse. We were lucky there was a light sconce patched into the wiring here. It's not a total write off." She steps away from the wall.

"That's good," you say, clicking off the flashlight.  



"Oh, that's not good," your name is Rodney Mckay, and you swallow as the Jumper fails to dock with the Satellite's airlock.

"What's not good?" Carter asks.

"I can't get the Jumper to connect to the airlock," you take to the radio, "Grodin, Miller. One of you check on the Airlock's manual connection please?"

"On it," Miller says. There's a pause. A very long pause. "The manual controls have no power."

"Shit," Carter swears. "We must have redirected power away from it when we rerouted the power conduits."

"We'll have to fly back and fix it," you start to take the Jumper back out of the Airlock port.

"No," Grodin interjects. "The Wraith Hiveships will be here any minute. It'll work better if you go away and cloak, and we keep the satellite offline until the ships come in range and we can blast them. You can come back and pick us up after that."

"...Fine," you growl. "But we are so fixing this so it won't happen again, Grodin."

"Understood," Grodin answers.

You take the Jumper out to a safe distance, and cloak it.

Not a minute later, a Wraith Hiveship drops out of hyperspace, followed by another, and another.

They're lacking quite a lot of the smaller ships O'neill spotted. The cruisers and carriers and such. The plant army he launched off either picked off more than he'd thought, or...

Or they're holding back?

The Satellite powers up, and spears off two beams of energy from its primary cannon- one red, and one blue.

Within moments of firing, two of the Hiveships are gone with a synchronized KABOOM. The Third starts to angle around towards the satellite, and...

The Satellite fires off two more beams at the same time the Wraith Hiveship starts to open fire. It only gets off a couple shots before the beams pierce through it, and BOOM. It's gone.

The few shots the Hiveship got off go wide- only one barely clipping the side of the Satellite, and it keeps on going and going and going out into the black.

"Grodin, Miller, nice shooting!" you radio over.

...Silence beckons.

"Grodin, Miller, please respond," you demand.

More silence follows.

"Grodin. Miller. This isn't funny," you start to grow a little bit panicked.

"Rodney," Carter starts suddenly.

"What?" You ask with a snap, turning to face her.

"That stray shot clipped the Airlock," she answers, face pale.

Oh.

"Oh my God," you whisper.



"GAAAH!" Argo yelps as John lays them down on a bed in the infirmary. "YEAH! THAT'S A CONTRACTION!"

Your name is Janet Fraiser, and it seems that everything's gone pear shaped.

Of course Argo would go into labor early. The universe just loves to make worst case scenarios happen, doesn't it?

You've got a job to do.



"Atlantis, this is Jumper 1, Please Respond," Mckay's voice radios in from the Satellite, sounding grim and tired.

"This is Atlantis," your name is Mikari Aiikho, and you pick up the other end. "What's your status, Jumper 1?"

"The Satellite fired off, we destroyed the three Hiveships making up the first wave," Mckay reports. "But... the last Hiveship got a shot off. It hit the Airlock. The Ancients never installed an incase-of-air-breach force field and the atmosphere drained out."

"...Casualties?" You inquire, hanging your head low.

"Grodin and Miller," Mckay says. "We were unable to get them out before the Wraith arrived. They...."

Jolinar speaks next, "We were able to recover their bodies and the Hyperbeam Crystal. Unfortunately, the Satellite's firing systems seized during the final shot. The emitters weren't strong enough to handle more than a couple firings of Hyperbeam's lasers. It's burnt out."

You exhale in dismay. "Alright. Bring them home."

"We'll see you in fifteen hours," Mckay answers. "Jumper 1, out."

"Atlantis, out," you confirm.

The Control room is silent.

You didn't know Grodin or Miller well, but it hits hard just the same.

"Fuck," you swear, and kick at the floor.

Okay. Pity party over.

You ask for a check of the Long Range sensors...

The next wave of Hiveships is atleast two days out.

You take up your personal radio, "AR-2, status report on the shields?"

"The light sconce break was easy enough to patch and test runs show it should work fine when it comes to it," Tyzias answers. "Unfortunately the other two wall breaks are going a bit longer."

"We've had to start tearing apart a Jumper to get at a transformer to replace the worst break," Keiko says. "We still haven't gotten what we need yet. To be honest, we only just safely disconnected the Cloak Generator for the Jumper as it is."

"We've had to cut into the wall to get better access to the other break," Mallek adds a moment later. "It's taking time."

"How much time?" You ask.

"At least five or six hours for my side of things," Mallek says.

"At least ten more hours to disassemble the Jumper safely," Keiko answers. "After that, there's no telling if the part we need is all we need, or if there's anything else we'll need to fix."

"You've got fifteen hours," you tell them. "Jumper 1 is on its way back. The Satellite destroyed the first wave of Hiveships. The next wave is atleast two days out but we won't be able to destroy them in the same way. We need those shields online."



EARTH DATE: AUGUST 2ND, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/10/0005.

Your name is Argo Lalonde, and you awaken with a tired blink, trying to place where and when you are.

It's hard given the blur of drugs, but... ah. Right. Pain dilution drugs. Goooot it.

The good stuff.

The sight of Jade laying with her upper torso against the bed, head resting next to you, and of John snoozing in a seat nearby reminds you of where. You're in the Atlantis Infirmary, aaand...

And...

Ah.

Right.

There's the cradle, with your Dad standing over it like a protective Knight in a Battle Dress Uniform.

"Hey," he cracks a tired smile. "How're you feeling?"

"Tired," you answer, not quite up to trying to sit up. "Like I just ran a marathon."

"That's about as expected," he smiles back.

"How is she?" You ask of the cradle's precious contents.

"Sound asleep," your Dad reassures you. "Like you should be."

"Meh," you answer. "I slept enough, didn't I?"

"Five hours is barely anything," he answers. "Especially after what you went through."

"Fiiiine. But bring her over first. I wanna see her again," you demand as request-y as you can.

And so your Dad wheels over the cradle and your little girl inside.

The memories come rushing back without trouble, even despite the pain meds. You holding her for the first time. Her bright blue eyes just like her dad's gazing up at you.

Elizabeth Quinn, last name yet to be decided, leaning Harley.

It's months sooner than you'd had planned for, but she's here, and like Doctor Fraiser predicted, as fully grown as a baby should be at birth.

You don't know what happened or why, but you're not going to look circumstances in the eye and demand things go differently. Not when everything else could have transpired oh so differently, and for the worst.

With a tired smile you lean back against your pillow, and ask, "is this what you felt with me, Dad? That... it's a sight that'll never get old?"

"Yeah," he nods. "Something like that."

"Good," you smile, not taking your eyes off of her. "I don't want it to."

Chapter Text

EARTH DATE: AUGUST 2ND, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/10/0005.

>Mckay: Return

Your name is Rodney Mckay, and you feel exhausted as you return to the Atlantis Control Room.

"Welcome back, Rodney," Aiikho says, and for a moment, you feel like it's Weir back with you again.

But she's not Weir. She's a lot younger, and an alien at that. She's not Elizabeth Weir because Elizabeth Weir is dead.

"Where are we on the Wraith Hives?" You ask.

"Scanners are showing the next wave of hives are moving, but at a much slower rate," she answers.

"I guess we gave them something to think about," Carter remarks, joining you in the control room.

"Morgan, Jolinar," Aiikho says with a nod.

"How're the shield repairs going?" Carter asks.

"They could use some help if you're willing to lend it," the Alternian answers.

"What about Evacuations?" You ask.

"We've split off to the two potential Alpha Sites, Alpha and Beta, every non-essential personnel in the City," she answers. "Well, everyone that could be moved, at any rate."

"Right, well, that's good and all, but we should be considering arming the self destruct and completely evacuating," you say.

"I'm going to hold out for another few hours," she says. "The SGC knows what time limit we're under."

"If the SGC hasn't contacted us back by now, they won't make it in time," you say. "Even if they send the Prometheus at top speed with a ZPM array powering it-"

And then the Stargate dials in right then and there, proving your own words wrong.

KAWOOOOSH! Goes the gate against its own shield.

"SGC IDC," Chuck reports.

"Lower the Shield," Aiikho orders, and it's done.

You watch as a group of highly trained looking marines come marching through the Gate, carrying with them multiple crates that just barely squeeze through the Gate itself. And not only that- Silica is traveling with them. They called her in to help with this? Well, Keiko will be glad to see her, you guess.

"Looks like we've got backup," Carter says, before heading down the stairs after Aiikho to meet them.

You follow, begrudgingly.

"Miss Mikari Aiikho?" The man in the lead inquires of Aiikho, and she nods.

"That's me, yes," she answers.

"Colonel Dillon Everett, US Marine Corps," the man salutes briefly, before reaching into his jacket and hands her an envelope. "General O'neill sends his compliments on a job well done maintaining the situation. Your new standing orders."

She opens the envelope, and Carter peers over her shoulder to read them.

"Oh. That is a plan," she says.

"That is one hell of a plan," Aiikho agrees.

"It's a very Jack O'neill kind of plan, given he's signed off on it," Carter adds.

"You should be aware, Colonel," Aiikho says after looking up from them. "We've defeated the first wave of Hiveships."

"Good, that'll make our job just a little bit easier," Colonel Everett says with a smug grin. "Now, I assume you've evacuated all non essential personnel off world? Rescind that order and bring back the Military Assets and any Scientists willing to aid in the fight."

"Of course," Aiikho nods.

"What's going on exactly?" You ask.

"Isn't it obvious?" Colonel Everett smirks very Military-like. "We're going to defend Atlantis At All Costs."


 

O<--STARGATE: ATLANTIS-->O


 

>Mckay: Stop worrying and be the Wolf.

"Silica, I'm glad to see you, but we HAVE ZPMs from Aincrad." You are now Keiko Ayano, and you stare at the crate full of six shiny, glowing ZPMs. "None of them worked."

"Weeell," Silica starts. "The problem is Atlantis is looking for a specific energy signature in the ZPMs, right? We produced ours without thinking about that the first time. So, we just made new ones that were specifically calibrated based upon the data we received on ZPM problem," your cat eared twin explains with a grin. "The wonders of being able to look back in an archive of energy signatures and draw up and emulate an old pattern."

"Because Aincrad is thousands of years newer than Atlantis," you face-palm. "God, damn it. We didn't even THINK to check that before we left."

"Yeah," Silica shakes her head. "Anyways, we're positive these will work to power Atlantis fully, and will keep the City powered for years to come."

"Okay, how you make them work is fine. But the timing?? That's impossible," you say. "Even if you started making these the minute you got our message-"

"It would take months more to assemble and power?" she smirks. "I know. We received the data thanks to Time Travel. They were just finished an hour ago."

...

You open your mouth.

...

You close your mouth.

...

You open it again and say: "Well, okay then," not quite believing it. "If you say so. But they're kinda useless at the moment."

"And why's that?" Silica asks.

"Because we're still in the middle of trying to repair Atlantis' busted shield generator relays," you answer.

Silica considers it for a moment, then says into her Radio, "Someone unpack the contents of Crate Two One Six and have it delivered to every place where a Shield Generator was damaged or is being repaired."

"What's in crate Two One Six?" you ask.

"What do you think is in crate Two One Six?" She asks in return.

....

"Oh my god, they're Aincrad Era Power Transformers and Fuseboxes, aren't they?" You stare. "HOW??"

"Tiiime Travel," Silica grins.

"So how long until Prometheus gets here?" You ask in the mean time.

"Daedalus, actually," Silica answers, tail swishing in amusement- matching her grin. "Prometheus' little sister ship, and she's got two ZPMs powering her engines, so... at most? Four days."

"Good grief that's..." you shake your head. "That's a lot of time to hold out against a Wraith armada."

"That's not the only trick we've got up our sleeve," Silica says. "Just wait until you see the kind of railguns we brought with us!!"



>Keiko: Be like the Breeze.

"This schematic is based off of the information we got in your message, is it still accurate?"

You stop being the wolf and start being John Sheppard, and you arrive in the briefing room as Ford answers with a "Yes, Sir."

"Good," Everett turns to a Captain, and orders 'plan Alpha-2' whatever that is.

"If you don't mind me asking, Colonel, but what are we deploying?" Ford asks.

"That's what I'd like to know," you say.

"Major, Glad you could join us," one COLONEL EVERETT, by his name tag, greets. "Have you contacted the Alpha sites yet?"

"No, actually," you answer.

"Major, dial the Alpha Sites," he orders immediately before you can say anything more.

"With all due respect," you start. "As I was just about to say, I just came here from the Infirmary and haven't had a chance to do that yet, and I'd really like to know what the plan is before I'm ordering my people into what could be a death march, if that's okay with you."

Everett glances around the room, pausing on Mikari- who nods to him in a very commanding way of 'Don't make me order you, Colonel'- then says, "Take a seat, Major."

You do so.

"For starters, we brought along a few rail guns. They were originally slated for Prometheus to replace their current close-in armament on her next refit. They will deliver an impact velocity of Mach 5 at 250 miles. A standard magazine will hold 10,000 rounds."

"Woah," Ford whispers in awe.

"Beyond that," Everett continues, "Six Naquadah-enhanced Nuclear Warheads, twelve hundred megatons apiece. They emit zero EM and are completely invisible to radar thanks to some Alternian tech. Once deployed, they will detonate by proximity fuse, or by remote detonation trigger."

"Space Mines?" Ford asks, sounding like a kid in a candy store.

"That's right," someone with a tag saying RADNER speaks up. "The plan is to use Jumpers in stealth mode to place them between the Wraith Armada and Atlantis."

"Major," Everett says, "we were hoping you would help us with that."

"Sure, but I'd recommend we keep atleast half in reserve," you say. "Spread out our attacks. If we get the Hives on the first wave, we want some in reserve for future waves."

"Negative, Major," Everett shakes his head. "Colonel Fraiser insists on it being all six in the first wave."

"Cassandra said that, did she?" You frown.

You don't know why she'd okay that, but if it's the best case scenario...

"Alright, consider my objection withdrawn, continue," you say.

"Four of my men are pilots. Beckett is giving them the gene inoculation right now. Assuming it takes, you will familiarize them with the jumpers, and they will become our fighter screen," Everett continues.

"Along with me," you say.

"No, we have another job for you," Everett shakes his head. "You're to use the City's Chair and Weapons Platform like the one in Antarctica."

"We haven't been able to get that online even with a fully powered ZPM," you tell him.

"Well, it's a good thing we brought six then, isn't it?" Everett smirks.

"...My only question is why me, and not, say, Jimmyy O'neill? He's a decent shot with Drones," you say.

"Because that's what Colonel Fraiser said gives us the best outcome," Everett says.

"Alright then," you say. "This sounds like a plan."

"I'm glad you approve," Everett says, sarcastically. "Now, this is a long shot, but like I said to Miss Aiikho earlier, all we have to do is hold out until the Shield repairs are made, and the Daedalus arrives, and we can use our handy little trick card to send these Wraith packing once and for all." He looks at you, and then says, "Now. I would greatly appreciate it if you'd execute my order and contact the Alpha Sites."

"Aye aye, Colonel," you answer, standing up.

"And Major, that's the last time I'm giving an order twice," he adds.

...You have so many things to say to that.

...

You settle for "Understood."


 

>Tyzias: Accelerate.

EARTH DATE: AUGUST 5TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/13/0005.

"Tyzias? How are the shields going?" your radio buzzes with Mikari's voice.

Your name is Tyzias Entykk, and you pause in your rapid fire typing to massage at the bridge of your nose before radioing back. "The same as when you asked an hour ago. We're still rewriting the shield power outputs to accept the new transformers and fuses."

Three days of removing the old transformers and fuse boxes in each pier and replacing them with the new ones was an added time expense you really didn't see the need for doing. Especially when you'd already done so much work to fix the damned parts that had broken, and there was all that work going into disassembling a Jumper to get at parts to replace what had broken...

But, more problems upon more problems. The City could accept one or two patch jobs at a time, but not three.  You'd gotten the Jumper patch installed just enough for the City to reject running the shield protocols. Then, once you'd repaired the three busted sections with completely new parts, the City rejected the OLD transformers that were still functioning as patchwork.

And honestly, it was probably a smart idea to replace those anyways because there was no telling if they'd suffered damage either.

BUT. THEN. They were replaced and the City now refused to accept them because the energy transfer protocols were designed for the tolerances of the OLD PARTS entirely and refused to activated.

Thus, necessitating you and Keiko and Mallek working triple time to completely rewrite the shield protocols.

At this rate, you were just barely going to get the shields online by the time the Wraith arrived.

"Can you spare Keiko, Mallek, or yourself to join Mckay and Zelenka in the Chair room?" Mikari asks.

"...Why?" you ask, glancing at Keiko and Mallek, and honestly with as little sleep as the three of you have gotten you don't trust them to not just crash while you're not there to keep them going.

"Because the Chair is refusing to power up still and they're at their wits end," Mikari answers.

"Can't Carter help them?" you ask.

Wait. The same Carter who went on a coffee run? Nevermind. And probably ran into Roxy.

"No. Wait. She's on a coffee run. What about Roxy Lalonde?" you add, as an after thought.

"Busy with other things," Mikari answers. "Namely, I sent her, Teyla, and Bates to the Genii to fetch some extra explosive fire power." So much for that hypothesis. "As good as the plan is and it has O'neill's signature on it, John thinks Cassandra left room for improvisation with a few loop holes and-"

"Besides the point, do you really need me or the others to divert off of the shields??" You interject.

"Would it help sell the need if I told you there was an error message that doesn't make any sense?" Mikari asks.

You huff in annoyance. "I'm on my way. Tell Carter to hurry up with the Coffee Run so Keiko and Mallek don't fall asleep."

You glance over as you say that and sigh. Mallek already had slumped over onto his keyboard, face pressing against the keys. Keiko hadn't noticed yet, mostly because her eyes were closed as well- although she was still typing, apparently asleep.

Damn it.



>Tyzias: Examine Error

You stare at the runtime error in annoyance.

"So, uh," Mckay begins, "can you fix it?"

"No, there's nothing I can fix from here," you say. "Everything's in the green."

"Then why won't the chair power on?" Zelenka asks.

You wheel around and glare at them.

"Because you're trying to power it on while drawing power from the ZPMs through a circuit that's presently turned OFF right now because I'm having to rewrite the fucking stupid Shield Program to make use of the new fuse capaci-WHATEVERS!!!!" You then huff, annoyed, and ask, "Now. What were you trying to locate anyways?"

Mckay reels back in dismay and mutters something to himself about cats and scratching posts. Whatever.

"Primarily, how many Drones the City has in reserve," Zelenka provides the information.

"Alright," you turn and type into the console. "If you'd asked me yesterday I could have gotten you the info easily enough even without power from a ZPM. It's a simple matter of looking in Directory 816 and cross sampling the data structures there with the ones from Directory 618, and then subtracting the net loss counter from Folder 1026."

"...What?" Mckay asks. "That doesn't make any sense. Folder 1026 is the shield protocols."

"That's why I KNOW this," you say.

"Why does the shield protocols have a net loss counter for drones?" Zelenka asks.

"Don't complain to me, complain to the Ancient who tied it together like that for manual checks when not using the actual programs designed to check these things," you gripe, and bring up the numbers on screen. "There. Your total amount of Drones remaining is..."

You look at the numbers and...

Oh.

That's not good.

"Oh. That's not good," Mckay says exactly what you're thinking.

"No, it is not," Zelenka blinks.

"That's only thirty drones," you state the obvious.

"Out of what should be thousands," Mckay grimaces.

"[Oh, we are so screwed that this is not even funny,]" Zelenka says.

"Now, if you'll excuse me," you turn to leave. "I've got a shield to get back online."

You're barely halfway from the Chair room to the transporter when the city alarms go off, and your radio buzzes.

"Tyzias Entykk to Control Room," Chuck requests.

GLUB.

FUCKING.

DAMN IT.



>Tyzias: Lose More Time.

You arrive in the control room just in time to watch about a hundred dots representing probably-meteors crashing into six dots representing the naquadah enhanced mines.

BOOM. BOOM.  There goes two mines- accompanied by brief illuminations of the sky outside.

"Well, that wasn't so bad," Colonel Everett begins.

BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. And there go the rest.

"You were saying?" John asks.

"So. We just avoided a Wraith induced Reckoning, I take it?" you ask.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Wraith's ears are ringing," John quips. "Tyzias. How's it going?"

"A lot of back and forth and unnecessary delays, is what," you answer.

"What's the status of the hive ships?" Mikari asks.

"No way of knowing," Chuck replies. "The mine detonations are scrambling our sensors. There's a lot of residual radiation left over."

"That'll keep us blind for hours," you say. "And in the mean time, we're sitting ducks and I still need to get the shields back up. Was there any reason I was called up here besides to see the lightshow?" Colonel Everett looks like he wants to say something, but Mikari just glares him into silence. "No? Okay. Good. If anyone needs me, DON'T. I'll call you. Bye now!" And with that, you head down to the lab to resume your work.

Wait.

"Oh, and if anyone was curious, we only have about thirty drones left in the chair so we're pretty sunk if I can't get the Shields back up," you add for good measure, then leave.


 

>Tzyias: be like John and breeze past these problems.

"Major Sheppard to the Hologram Room."

You briefly entertain the thought of being John Sheppard, and you growl to a halt on your way back to the infirmary as Colonel Everett's voice calls over the City's intercom.

God.

DAMN IT.

You just want to check in on your girls.

You turn and beeline back to the Hologram Room, arriving at about the same time Colonel Everett does.

"You want to see me, Sir?" you ask.

"Yes," he motions for you to approach the console. "I was told I could learn a lot about the history of Atlantis in this room."

"We don't use it much because of the power requirements," you tell him, hesitantly moving that way.

"Still, I would like to see for myself how the Ancients lost the fist war and avoid their mistakes."

"There's a narrator I can turn on for that-" you start to tell him.

"No, I'd like your take on events," he says.

You SIGH internally. Damn it. You feel for Tyzias right now.

"Yes, Sir, I'll give you the summary," you activate the console and bring up a blue hued map of Pegasus. "This is the Galaxy before the Ancients encountered the Wraith. The blue stars represent systems either inhabited by or protected by the Ancients. Then… This is how it looked after they fought for almost a hundred years."

You flip the proverbial page, and the stars all turn red, save for the dot representing Atlantis.

"Until this City was all that was left?" Everett asks.

"Yes, Sir, and that's when the Siege began," you bring up a folder of various battle recordings. "It lasted for years. The Ancients were able to hold off the Wraith, relying on the city's shield and superior weaponry, including the weapons satellite system. No matter how many Wraith ships they destroyed, more kept coming here. They could win almost every battle, but they saw no way to win the war. So, they submerged the city and left." You back away from the console. "You're welcome to review everything, but I have other places to be."

"I'm sure you do, Major," Everett says, "however, I still want your opinion."

"That's the story, the picture is pretty clear from it," you say.

"You think this is a no-win situation?" he asks.

"Not at all," you say. "What I mean is that we're already following the Ancient's path with putting up defenses in space- which the Wraith Destroyed- and are preparing to raise the shield and keep the city safe from orbital bombardment. No matter what secret weapons we have on the Daedalus, it's nothing compared to what the Ancients had and they still lost the war because of attrition. Holding and defending a position only does so much. The Ancients only got out of it by leaving, and showing the Wraith they were gone. We've got to do something to convince them the same."

"You mean the cowards route?" Everett asks. "You think that no matter if we beat them this time, they're just going to come back so we should just hide our heads in the sand and tell the Wraith we're just gone?"

"No, Sir," you say. "Because they don't WANT Atlantis for anything beyond a route to Earth."

Everett thinks on that for a moment- "You blame Colonel Sumner for this situation."

"What?" You ask. "My opinions on Colonel Sumner have nothing to do with this."

"Major, you should be aware  that Colonel Marshall Sumner was a very good friend of mine. We served together a lot of years and you know." Everett narrows his eyes at you. "I cannot, for the life of me, figure how it is that you could go as far as you did and NOT save him When You Were THAT CLOSE-" his voice is raising, so you raise yours to match, and interject:

"HE ORDERED ME TO SHOOT HIM!"

Everett stops- anger clearly brewing in his eyes. "I don't believe that for a minute. And worse, youa dmit to firing the shot that killed him."

"Did you NOT watch my Body Cam footage?" You ask. "Because I made sure to include that in our transmission to Earth. He was being tortured, and the minute he saw me, he Ordered. Me. To. Shoot."

"You have no idea what he was ordering you to do with just your name," Everett counters.

"He was SECONDS away from telling the Wraith Milky Way's name, Everett," you say. "And if you don't think for a second there's a night that goes by where I don't think about how I could have done things differently--"

And then the City's alarms blare off.

DAMN IT.

"Control Room-" you go for your radio the same time Everett does.

You reluctantly take a step back.

"This is Colonel Everett, Report?"

"Sir, we've just detected a wave of darts inbound."

Everett grunts an "On My Way" before turning to you to say, "Head to the chair. We'll finish this later."

You don't bother with a response, and ghost to wind to travel faster than you could on foot.


 

>Tyzias: Stop being John.

You stop entertaining any delusions of being someone else and return to being Tyzias Entykk.

"Tyzias, status on the shields?" Mikari asks.

You growl- "Would be closer if I hadn't been delayed!!"

"Then restore power to the Chair and get us drones in the air," Mikari orders. "We have Darts incoming."

Oh FOR---

"FINE! Trying to redirect power to the Drones now! I GUESS!!" You change typing tracks and try to force the City to run the Chair. "Keiko, Mallek, keep on restoring the shields!"

"AYE!"

You hear your radio buzzing with reports from all over the city- every channel you could be tuned into you're tuned into. But you ignore it all and just TYPE, DAMN IT.

"Colonel, it's Radner."

"Go ahead."

"It looks like some of them are starting to make kamikaze runs."

You hear an explosion- lights flicker.

Grrrrrrrr.

"One of our gun positions is dark. Ferrell, why aren't you firing? Ferrell, report."

"Colonel, this is Lieutenant Ford. I'm near Ferrell's position. I'm on it!"

And then...

A beep and a green checkmarked message appears on your screen. Power turned onto the Chair.

"Mckay, Sheppard, You've got Power! GO!" You radio.

And then you hear the wonderful sound of drones firing off... and you watch as the drone count steadily lowers down.

By the time it reaches zero, there's no longer any sound of battle from outside or from the Radio.

Right.

Okay.

"Time to get back to work," you tell yourself more than Keiko and Mallek, and return to the shield program.

You've gotta get this all back online ASAP regardless of sleep needs.


 

You are then ejected from the perspective of Tyzias Entykk because she is too busy for this perspective shit.

You are now...


 

>Mckay: Report

EARTH DATE: AUGUST 6TH, 2001.

DIASPORA DATE: 02/14/0005.

"Power is out in sections of the city. The long-range scanners and the internal sensors are down, but we're working on it," your name is Rodney Mckay, and you are so. Very. Tired. You're reporting on the status in Weir's- Jacksons'--- SOMEONE'S OFFICE.

Everett demands the location and status of the Hiveships and- God.

You just gripe without thinking.

"They're coming. That's their status. Tomorrow, the day after, the day after that—eventually, they'll get here. Whether we're here to greet them or not is another matter."

"Rodney," Aiikho says in a very Elizabethy way, and you can't help but complain.

"Look. We're out of drones. How do you expect to handle the next wave if Tyzias can't get the shields online?" You ask. "We're all running low on sleep and mental stamina. And even WITH the Genii bombs, how do you expect us to get them to the Wraith Hivehsips?"

"We fly Jumpers in stealth mode right down their throats," and then Rose Lalonde enters the room, Roxy Lalonde at her side.

"A suicide mission?" Everett asks.

"No," Roxy shakes her head. "We remote control them through the chair like they're Drones."

"Can you do that, Doctor Mckay?" Everett asks.

"Maybe? No?? I have no idea!" You exclaim, loudly. "Look, you show up here with your guns and your brush cuts, but when it comes to actually saving the city you turn to the scientists… And every time, what you ask is impossible! I don't even remember the last time I slept, so if ANYONE is doing this suicide jumper run remote control project, it isn't going to be me, alright??"

"I think that's perfectly reasonable, Rodney," Aiiko smiles and- No. STOP. STOP LOOKING LIKE WEIR. God. You're hallucinating on a lack of sleep. Damn it.

"I need to take a very long nap, if that is alright with anyone?" You demand more than ask.

"Can you make it work, Roxy?" Mikari asks.

"I think I can make it work, Mikari," Roxy answers.

"And I can back and forth between the Chair and Jumper Bays faster than anyone else in the city," Rose adds.

"Good," Mikari says. "Get on it."

They head off, and Teyla arrives in the same breath.

"Miss Emaggan?" Aiiko asks, "What's wrong?"

"The Wraith are in Atlantis," Teyla answers.

Fuck it.

You do the sensible thing and faint.



>Mckay: Wake up.

You do, you so unfortunately wake up to the sound of a baby crying.

You open your eyes and see Argo cradling a baby in their arms, shooshing and trying their best to calm the infant down.

"I thought you weren't due until September," your tired mouth says before you think. "How long was I out?"

Argo snaps a glance at you even as your interjection, somehow, makes the kid stop crying. "It's only been two hours since you got brought in."

"It's not amnesia, is it?" You ask. "The last thing I remember was Teyla saying-"

"There are Wraith on their way here!" And then Jade and Major Strider come into the room, straped up in vests and carrying P-90s.

"Apparently, Rodney, the universe decided a month early was just as good," Argo says even as, like, three different versions of Major Strider appear with POPping sounds. "Especially right at the start of a Wraith Invasion."

"Oh, good," you say. "I was worried I'd missed a bunch of important events there for a moment."

"Talk later!" Jade orders, eyes glowing bright green- a glow that spreads across her gun and Major Strider's... guns.

And then the lights go out, and you hear a Strider swear- "Damm it, they took out the main generator. We have backups, right?"

"Yeah, we got backups," another Strider says.

"They why haven't they kicked on?" first Strider asks.

"Because Wraith, Duh," Third Strider says, and you realize he's a bit more beaten up than the rest.

"Aw, shit," second Strider pops away.

There's the not-too distant sound of gunfire, and a Wraith's death cry. A second later, the emergency lights kick on, and that Strider re-appears, dragging an unconscious and badly beaten Bates through the door.

"Oh god, what happened?" Fraiser directs him over to a bed.

"Wraith knocked him into a wall, was about to feed on him when I got there," that Strider answers.

"I'm dreaming, right?" You ask Argo. "There's not really three of him right now, is there? I'm hallucinating all of this, right?"

"Nope," they shake their head.

And then on some internal count down, Third Strider remarks, "Incoming Now!!"

Second Strider takes up position again, his gun regaining its glow from Jade's powers, and they all open fire at the hallway door.

The Bullets make an impossible ninety degree turn around the corner, and you hear the sound of Wraith yelling out in surprise.

One of the Wraith Warriors barely makes it through the first round of barrage, stumbling into the doorway with a stunner ready to fire-

Then, with a flash of green- the Stunner in its hand is suddenly much too big for the Wraith to even hold- it's arm gets dragged to the ground and the Wraith tumbles before there's another flash of green and it's just gone.

"I don't THINK SO!" Jade growls as she steps over to a certain spot next to the comically large stunner and takes a large, and angry stomp on the ground.  She twists her foot against the ground for good measure.

"...Did she just shrink a Wraith to the size of an ant and squish it?" you ask.

"Oh, yeah," Argo nods, looking a little star-struck. "That's my Jade!"

Jade gives a smile over her shoulder at Argo, before turning back around to peer out the hallway, and then lets loose one final burst with her P-90.

"And STAY dead!" Jade orders a probable corpse.

Interestingly, despite all the noise, the little baby in Argo's arms hasn't started crying again.

Instead? They've started giggling.

Nothing terrifying in the least about that.


 

>Roxy: Activate Plan Jumper

You're now Roxy La-fantastique-londe, and you're giving the best pep talk you can, since your other test subjects are off fighting Wraith. "Alright, Beckett? I need you to clear your mind and think about the Puddle Jumper in the bay. Just. Imagine that you're sitting in the chair in the Jumper itself and powering it on."

"Alright," Carson Beckett nods. "I'll give it ago..." He closes his eyes, and....

After a few moments...

Rose radios, "It's on!"

Thank god.

"Rose, get those Jumpers loaded up with the bombs, and Beckett!" You smile at him.

"Aye?" He asks.

"You did great, sweetie."

"...It's a tad disconcerting a lass your age is callin' me sweetie, but thanks."

"Heh, I'm older than I look, Carson!" You then take to the radio, "Mikari, this is Roxy. We got it working! We're loading up the jumpers for deployment!"



>John: Sigh of Relief?

You're once again John Sheppard, and you think you've gotten the last of the Wraith that infested the city.

You look to Teyla, and she nods in agreement as you walk up the stairs to the control room while the less wounded from the last battle evacuate the more heavily wounded through the gate.

The city is clear. Not without casualties on your side- a few good Athosians and Airmen alike- but the City is clear of the Wraith inside it.

Everett and Mikari wait for you.

"I'm sorry for the people you lost," Everett says to Teyla.

"Many have died from both of our groups, Colonel," Teyla says. "Those who died knew there was a risk when they volunteered."

"Even so, it's-" Everett's interrupted by the radio activating.

"This is Jumper Four, we have a visual on the hiveships on approach."

Everett nods at that, and then takes to the City Intercom. "This is Everett, Jumper Four has just informed us that the Wraith Hiveships are on approach. Defense Teams, to your positions!" he takes a step back, and offers it to Mikari, who steps forwards to speak as well.

"This is Mikari Aiikho. I know how tired you all are- I know I am- and how much we've asked of you all these past few days. Hopefully, the Daedalus will arrive soon, but until then, our fate is in our hands. If it comes to it, and I give the order to evacuate? Do Not Hesitate. Abandon all fights that are abandonable or otherwise make a fighting retreat to the Stargate. That's all."

She then takes to her private radio, and asks, "Tyzias, how are we doing on those shields?"

Tyzias curtly replies- "I SAID I'LL CALL YOU!"

"Head down to the Chair, Major," Everett orders you.

"Got it," you nod, and turn to leave. Teyla accompanies you for a little bit to head off to get her own team together even as you hear Everett says something to MIkari.

"We survive this, I owe you a drink."

"Sorry," Mikari answers. "But I don't think I'll take you up on that."



>John: Execute Plan Jumper

You find yourself back in the Atlantis Chair Room, waiting for the all clear to sit down. Apparently Tyzias is working on getting the shields back online which means taking the patch to make the chair work offline inorder to restore the rest.

"You okay there, bro?" Rose asks, popping into existence next to you.

"Nervous, feeling like I'm missing something," you frown.

"Jade and Argo are still in the Infirmary," Rose says. "I just checked. Jade was hauling around a comically oversized Wraith Stunner."

"Good, but it's not them," you frown. "It's something that's up with all of this. Why would Cassandra insist I be down here at the Chair? I think Everett changed things."

"And why would he?" Rose asks.

"Revenge for Sumner, maybe," you sigh. "I don't know."

"Wraith Darts incoming, another wave!" Mikari radios. "Tzyais??"

And then Tyzias radios, "The city is accepting the Shield patch. The Generator is re-calibrating and will be up and online in a few minutes. Power should be restored to the Chair."

"John, blow those hiveships out of the sky," Mikari orders.

Roxy grins at you, "You heard the lady, John. Get in the chair and fly those Jumpers!"

You sit in the chair, lean it back and focus on the Jumpers...

...

...

You can't get a mental grip on them, though.

"Nothing's happening!" you report.

"There's something wrong," Roxy growls. "Power levels in the chair aren't rising right."

You radio- "Tyzias! The Chair isn't working!"

"...Shit! The Shields are interrupting the power flow to charge up. I can't- WRAITH!!" And then the line goes silent.

"Tyzias? Tyzias??" You ask.

"Wraith have breached the City!" you hear Everett yell over the radio, and you growl, getting out of the chair.

"John!?" Roxy asks, even as you rush over to Rose and grab her hands. "You're not going to-!"

"I have to," you interrupt, and look Rose in the eyes. "Jumper Bay. Now."

Rose nods, and POP- WOOOSH! You arrive in the Jumper Bay next to a startled Zelenka.

"John-" Rose begins.

"Look, the way I see it there's two ways this plays out," you say. "Either Cassandra knows I'm about to do this and it works out fine and we continue on with the normal timeline without breaking any time loops, or I die."

"In which case we're already doomed and the constant tech failures have a cause rooted in the universe itself trying to kill us all," Rose closes her eyes, then nods. "Alright. I understand."

"Tell Jade and Argo 'I'm sorry' if I don't make it, and tell them I'll tell them in person if I do," you say, and then run into the Jumper.

"What's going on?" Zelenka asks as you raise the back hatch for the Jumper.

"John's proving a point to the universe," Rose answers before the seal gets locked shut, and you dodge around the Genii bomb and sit down in the front seat.

You activate the cloak and open the roof hatch.

"Major Sheppard, what are you doing?" Mikari asks over the radio.

"Putting a penny in the air," you answer, before cutting off all communications from the City for the moment.

You send the Jumper out through a wave of Darts, and Ascend towards the first of three Hiveships.

Four.

If this works, that'll be four destroyed.

Four, to the Japanese, is the number of death. Either way, destroying this hiveship will send that message. If you live, you've proven the Wraith can be defeated. if you die...

If you die, then you're dead and so is everyone else.

But you're willing to take this risk even if it turns out you'll die from it because...

You are MAJOR JOHN SHEPPARD.

You're about to do something incredibly stupid.

And somehow, even without the time loop hanging over your head....

Because damn it all, it's the only option you think you'll ever have in this kind of scenario, somehow.

A penny is in the air...

Time to see where it drops.

TO BE CONTINUED.

>END OF ACT 6 ACT 1.