The Return of Atlantis
As usual, I own nothing.
The Return Of Atlantis
The return of the Ancients did not happen with a spectacular bang. They did not swoop in and save the day just as Earth was about to be overrun by Ori ships. In fact Willow waited until she was sure that the solar system was completely devoid of enemy forces before bringing Atlantis back into existence.
This in itself was no easy task. What humans had yet to learn about pushing things in and out of phase with reality was that it required staggering amounts of energy to accomplish. One needed to supply literally all the energy needed to make up the mass of whatever object one wanted to push into or out of phase.
For short term effects, say those of a Sodan Cloak, or Merlin’s device, this energy could be borrowed from the universe. Those systems took advantage of several difficult to explain temporal couplings. As long as the energy was repaid by bringing the object back into phase after a few hours, or at most days, no laws of physics were violated.
Unfortunately this did not work for Atlantis. It had been pushed out of reality for so long that the energy associated with it had dissipated eons ago. As a result Willow needed to somehow create the energy herself. If this were easy to do then one of the other advanced races, like the Nox, would have done so long ago.
It took nearly two years to design a Mega-ZPM that could handle the power load and another five years to grow and program the crystals she needed. Once she had all the materials in place she had them transported via barge to the central Pacific, where she began to assemble the massive generator.
When the project was done Willow stood back from the hovering glowing ball of crystals and began the most dangerous part of her plan, the testing. After all, only a complete lunatic would turn something like this on to full power without making sure that everything worked... Well regardless Willow was still going to test it first.
The reason this was the most dangerous part of the plan was that it would alert the SGC of her presence. This generator could theoretically give off more energy than a brown dwarf if it went critical; not something easy to hide.
And so before turning her MZPM on she made sure to activate a force field similar to that used on the Atlantian seeding ships. Within minutes of the shield being activated a squad of X-308’s were hovering outside the protective barrier broadcasting on several radio channels.
Willow ignored them and began running simulations on the generator. The whole process was scheduled to take about thirty weeks and Willow didn’t want to give the SGC a chance to break through the shield. At the very least power was not an issue since the excess energy the generator created was siphoned off into the protective barrier.
As the weeks went by and Willow neared completion of her project the US and world militaries piled more and more ships up just outside her protected little bubble. Occasionally she would even catch a glimpse of the members of SG-1 on the decks of one of the aircraft carriers.
The big day approached and Willow began to feel nervous. She had many friends stored in stasis. Would they survive being rematerialized? Would they forgive her for wiping out those whom she had given immortality to? Ancient society depended on those same scientists she had killed, so much knowledge had been lost… Well not lost, almost all of it was stored in her own subconscious. At least that meant she had some value to her people.
All these thoughts rushed through her mind as she prepared herself to start the generator on it’s final power up. Willow closed her eyes and banished the thoughts from her mind, this job needed all her concentration if she wanted to pull it off.
Sitting down in front of the glowing orb that was currently the most concentrated energy source in the known universe, she mentally tuned into its controls and began bringing it on line. Outside her shield the members of the SGC began buzzing around frantically at the power spike.
The generator came to full power and Willow connected it to capacitor of the city of Atlantis. Soon raw energy began pouring into the long dormant city.
To the outside observer what happened next was nothing short of unbelievable. From the very center of the continent of Antarctica the matter of the ice and stone was broken down into its basic baryonic and leptonic components and reformed into the some of the matter that made up Atlantis. The city spread out like a wave revealing architecture that hadn’t been seen for millions of years. There were spires that reached miles into the sky and stone structures that were modeled on the first buildings that made up Atlantis. Computers took into account the shifting of the geography of the Earth and reshaped the city, melding it perfectly with it’s new environment.
The city’s design reflected the thousands of different cultures that had influenced its growth over the two million years it had been in existence. It spread out over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, covering over thirty percent of them with abandoned housing, military compounds, universities, farms, everything a civilization needed to support itself. All the Earth fleet could do was beam their people off the continent as it was converted.
When the city was finished forming, the organic storage system was activated. In a way similar to the rematerialization of prisoners from a wraith dart, the organic members of the city were returned to their world. This included not only the various species of sentient beings that called Atlantis home, but also the flora and fauna of the continent. Great forests seeded the areas of the continent that served as the lungs of Atlantis, and as homes to many of the Nox who lived in the city.
As the process was completed the Atlantian government swung into action, their first priority the protection of the roughly 10 billion citizens of Atlantis. Their military quickly began identifying potential threats in their air space and sent out ships to intersect them, and ‘ask’ them to surrender.
The next priority was to find out who had brought them back. Not a task that was overly difficult considering the fact that the generator Willow had used was still giving off massive amounts of energy even after it had been turned off.
A security force was beamed to the site just off what was now the coast of Atlantis and inspected the shield Willow had put up. Since they were unable to penetrate the barrier they landed on one of the US aircraft carriers. There was a brief conflict with the American forces before the security force raised a field that inhibited their combustion weapons as well as the few energy based weapons on board.
Willow watched all this from inside her protective bubble. When the hostilities were over she lowered her defensive field and waited. She new that the Atlantians would come to her, there was no need to make her way over to them.
Sure enough within minutes more Atlantian forces were transported onto her boat, weapons trained on her. The ranking officer demanded, “State your name and Atlantian Empire Rank or equivalent.”
Willow raised her hands in a non threatening manner. “The Empire of Atlantis dissolved many years ago as did the great alliance of four races. Our people have been in dimensional stasis for over three million years.”
The woman’s weapon did not waver, “State your name and rank.”
“I have many names, my official title is The Builder.”
The only sign of shock or surprise in any of the security force was a slight widening of their eyes as they recognized Willow’s face from their history text books. (After all the city was only taken out of phase centuries after Willow had released her plague.) After a moment’s pause the woman in charge said, “We will escort you to the city core were you will brief the ministers on the situation.”
Willow nodded, “Of course.”
24 MONTHS LATER
Willow’s ship entered the binary black hole system where she had left her research vessel before being taken into custody for attempted genocide. After the return of Atlantis, the Ori force was quickly decimated. Not giving them an inch, the Atlantian military dispatched thousands of ships to the Ori galaxy and killed all religious heads they could find, crippling the Ori faith. The only world still under Ori control was Celestis itself, and that was currently under military blockade.
It hadn’t taken long for the Atlantian government to realize that they needed Willow’s help if they wanted to avoid a recession. Since the greatest scientists of Atlantis were all dead now, a good portion of the knowledge of Atlantis had been lost. Willow had struck a deal where she would download all the knowledge she could into teaching devices in return for a full pardon. The government’s need, coupled with the fact that it was Willow who brought them back into existence was enough to get them to accept the deal.
The American government had been understandably upset by the fact that they were no longer the dominant power on the planet and made the mistake of treating the Atlantians as an invading force. As a result the Atlantians deactivated the SGC’s stargate remotely, and warned the government against attempting to expand their space worthy armada beyond a certain amount. The only reason the Atlantians didn't remove all the humans advanced technology was because the Asguard had declared them the fifth race.
It turned out that this gave the humans a certain amount of political clout when it came to Atlantian politics. Despite this, relations between the human and Ancient empires were definitely strained, but that was not Willow’s concern. She had fulfilled her part of the bargain and was now ready to find her Brothers. Not a task that was going to be particularly easy.
At least Silas was safe in his world. He had even found the child one of his avatars had fathered before being murdered. Xander, however, had managed to stir up enough trouble that he was fighting an apocalyptic war between humans and vampires. Even though Willow knew he could handle himself, she was worried for him.
Perhaps most confusing was Methos’ location. After searching at length with astral projection and other means she came to the conclusion that Methos' world had been destroyed. It seemed that reality itself had collapsed. Much like what happens to an imaginary friend when the person who thought them up snuffs it. That said, Willow did not know where her brother had gone. If he had died then there was no way he could have reached out to Daniel and made him help her. But if he were alive, she should have been able to sense him, even across the dimensional expanses. At the moment Willow’s working theory was that he had been killed, but the ring of power he had stolen was somehow allowing him to bridge the gap between Silas’s subconscious and the ‘real’ world.
It did not take long for Willow's scans to locate her long abandoned ship, and after reactivating the systems remotely she transported herself over to it. The vacuum of space had kept the ship in perfect condition. It could just as easily have been left there for three days as three million years.
It only took minutes for Willow to beam her equipment over to the research ship. From there it was an easy task to finish setting up the experiment. As she brought the systems online she couldn't help the excited tremor that ran up her spine. This was the culmination of everything she had worked for for over five million years. Even if more than half of that time had been spent unconscious in a shielded bubble, it was still a lot of man hours to put into one project.
Before creating the spacial tear she checked her supplies.
Pulse pistol, check.
Personal shield, check.
Fully stocked armory of all purpose drones, check.
Could never be too careful, after all she didn't know what had caused Dawn to open a portal without the control she needed.
Her device came on and ripped open a hole in space, time, and reality that spanned an area three astronomical units in diameter. As the tear into Limbo expanded Willow activated the program that would search for Dawn's genetic code, all the while making sure to keep the ship clear of the rift. For a chasm of where time meant nothing, it took a surprisingly long time to find Dawn's presence. That was the easy part.
Over the years Willow had used very little real magic. Some telekinesis and lighting sure, but real magic required that a world have certain properties. Properties Willow had made sure to exclude in her choices of worlds to settle on. This was a safety measure she had taken just in case she was able to use said magic to figure out how to reach into one of her Brothers' worlds before her willpower could overcome the Call.
Now standing on the edge of Limbo Willow drew in the raw chaotic power like a drowning man draws in air. As she channeled the energy she gave focus and direction to the portal Dawn had opened but never managed to complete.
Suddenly the rift snapped shut, the universe forcefully closing its gaping wound. But as Willow was expelled she pulled the portal with her. The power threw her against the bulkhead of her ship. As she recovered she saw a brilliant flash of light a just off the port side of her vessel. Not wasting time she mentally maneuvered the ship towards it. In doing so she quickly detcted a small planet that seemed to have been brought into her reality. At least that's what the sensors told her, seeing as there was no sun it was a bit hard to see anything.
Doing a quick scan for lifesigns she found only a few thousand on the planet itself, most of those were scurrying through subterrainian tunnels, most likely sewers, of one of the major cities. Well at least that would keep down the casualties when everything on the planet froze to death. There were also a few hundred ships buzing around the planet like bees circling a hive. Even as Willow watched they began advancing on her position, no communication given.
Not hesitating Willow engaged her ship's drones and tore the enemy fleet apart, their primitive technology not having a chance in hell of surviving. In seconds she had engaged her personal shield and armed herself. Two seconds after that she had beamed herself down as close to Dawn's lifesigns as she could manage. The subspace radiation had made beaming the Key directly up to the ship impossible.
There was a few second's stunned surprise when she found herself in a crowd of mutilated humans. However as soon as the first one attacked she responded.
The residual energy from Limbo had left her feeling supercharged and invincible. Throwing herself into the fight like a demented dancer she cut through the human monsters with steel, energy weapons, and magic. Before long even the insane creatures began to realize that it may be a good idea to run, but Willow chased them. Through the winding maintenance tunnels she stalked them, tearing them limb from limb or flaying them alive until there was silence.
Willow was elated, she had forgotten how good it felt to use magic and violence just for the sheer pleasure of it. Too bad she had used up all the leftover mystical energy from Limbo, it would be a while before she could get another taste. Casually she walked back down the tunnel until she found a room the Reavers had obviously been trying to open. Willow knocked politely, but there was no answer. After a few moments she got fed up and pulled a torch from one of the mangled corpse's hands.
It took only seconds to cut through the rest of the metal. Willow then stood back and watched the door fall towards her. She carefully stepped into the room and saw it's occupants. Her eyes scanned over the group and landed on the woman that had to be Dawn. While her physical appearance had changed slightly over the years there was no mistaking her. Her face held a genuine compassion that was very rare in humans.
Grinning from ear to ear Willow said, “How’ve you been Dawnie? I missed you.”
Thanks for reading, the next installment of the series will deal with the unification. A shiny quatlu to anyone who guesses Silas' Avatar. (I can't remember if I mentioned it before in an author's notes. (It's not startreck))
Thanks again to dharkcharlotte and my girlfriend HSK for betaing. I have a feeling this story would have been one big spelling mistake without their help.