A/N: Look everyone! A new chapter! Now, don’t get your hopes up. This is the only one that I’ve belted out in the last two years. I know where I want to end up, but getting there is proving to be problematic, but I wanted to let you all know that I HAVE NOT given up on it.
Buffy took the Scoobies and SGA-1 to Maerda in the Mystery Machine
since she didn't know if the shields were still operational around the Maerdin's Stargate. Like with Atlantis, the shielding of the Machine
could be calibrated to go through
the shield of the Maerdin Stargate if necessary, a little feature that they had automatically added when they built the ship.
As they flew over the planet, the Scoobies noticed that Buffy was unusually quiet.
"Are you okay, Buffy?" Dawn asked.
Buffy nodded. She still missed the friends that she had made on this planet, as much as she did the Satedans, or the Athosians. There were new friends, sure, but there were always some that couldn’t be replaced. As they flew over the ruins of the once beautiful city, Buffy let her memories of times spent having fun during festivals and celebrations.
One face in particular dominated the majority of those memories. Dalar had been many things to her in the years that they had known each other. A curious engineer awed by the splendor of Atlantis. A shoulder to cry on, on the rare days when missing her family was too much to hold inside. A friend to share her remembrances of important holidays from her old life and birthdays of her past family. Finally, a lover to share herself with, as much as she could knowing that they had only a limited time together.
When she had awakened and discovered that the entire planet had been culled, she had run to his home, in hopes that he had left some sort of message or indication that he had escaped. Inside, she found photos and mementos that he had married, and his wife had given him three beautiful children, the eldest he had named Elebet, in honor of her. He had also left her a message, but not one that she had hoped to hear.
He informed that her that, when the Wraith ships were detected by the long range sensors, the Governing Council knew that their time had come. The people, however, had decided that they’d had enough of living in fear. Instead of following the order for complete evacuation, only the children were sent away. The Maerdins rose up and fought, using the techniques that Buffy had taught their military and the advantages that they had gained from access to the Atlantian city and databases. They did a fair amount of damage but, like the Ancients, were eventually overrun by sheer numbers. “One day, when the time is right, the survivors will return, and true victory will be ours.” Were his final words after lifting his weapon and reaching out to deactivate the recorder.
Not for the first time, Buffy wondered if there had been at least one Seer in the Maerdin population.
Landing the Machine
in an open space in the dilapidated hanger in the central building, Buffy led the others through dusty and cobweb filled corridors until they reached the central control room. The building was something like the Pentagon, the White House and the United Nations all rolled into one. The Governing Council ran all of Maerda from the various floors of this one building. Buffy had come to know the building, and the systems, quite well as she helped the engineers meld Altantean technology with Maerdin technology.
“Where are we going, Buffy?” Dawn asked.
“The monitoring stations are on the eighteenth floor.” Buffy told them. “I don’t trust the elevators after all this time, so we’re taking the stairs. They’re on the other side of the building.”
"If the city is powerless, won't the monitoring stations be powerless too?" Willow asked.
Buffy shook her head. "It has a manual back-up generator that stores solar power. From there, we can see what still works, and what needs to be fixed before being powered back up."
They made their way through the vacant building. The Scoobies remained silent as Buffy was obviously lost in her memories as she led them. When they finally reached the monitoring stations, Willow and Dawn went immediately to the closest station, while Xander took up position just inside the door. He knew that he was basically useless except as a guard. Buffy, on the other hand, navigated the dark room to the back wall. A moment later, they all flinched at the high screech of rusted metal protesting movement. It went on for a few moments before lighting high overhead began to flicker. Buffy called Xander over to keep turning the one she had started and as soon as he had, she moved to another wheel crank. After another high screech, the power began cycling faster and the lighting became stronger. A few, thankfully now soundless, minutes later, the overhead lighting was fully on and they started seeing flickers of power in some of the consoles.
Willow and Dawn studied the consoles as they activated. The visual ones were simple to understand, even if they couldn't read the language. Following directions that Buffy called out from where she was, Willow manipulated the console until a 3-D holographic display of the complex of buildings that they were in constructed itself in the center platform. It showed that entire complex was completely offline, except for the one room that was illuminated and a bar was filling in next to it. It was obviously the room that they were in.
It took another hour of cranking before the room was completely powered. Buffy kept on her crank, but Willow and Dawn exchanged with Xander when get he got tired. Willow magically enhanced their strength for the job, assuring the others that it would be safe because she was drawing on and focusing on specific energies that she was already familiar with, namely, their own.
Once they got the room fully powered, they all gathered around Buffy at what looked like one of the main consoles.
"So, Buff, what's the sitch?" Xander asked.
"Actually, things look pretty good, in regards to power." Buffy told them. "Once the solar generators recharge and begin cycling again, it won't take very long for power to be redistributed to the city. Once power to the grid is at twenty percent, we can shut down the gate shield and call Elizabeth and have some people go out and take a look at the city itself, to see how much cosmetic damage has to be repaired."
"Awesome!" Dawn said excitedly. "I can't wait to get started?"
"What's your hurry, Dawnie?" Willow asked.
"Don't you remember?" Dawn looked to the others. "This is where Buffy said she got the memory photos from. If the tech is still here, and there something that explains how it works, we can maybe get it all running again."
“Keep an eye on the console while I go give Elizabeth an update.” Buffy told them. “Let me know if any of the power gauges flash full, then go out. That means that something blew up.”
A few hours later, the long abandoned planet was once again teeming with people. Even Elizabeth had come through to take a look around the world that Buffy held such fond memories of. After they made sure the teams were set with their tasks, Buffy took her to one of her favorite spots. A high cliff overlooking a waterfall and deep lake of sparkling gold-tinted water, which branched into a stream leading deeper into the woods.
“The golden color is from a natural growing algae on the lake floor.” Buffy told her. “The algae absorbs sunlight, despite the water, and keeps the pool relatively warm, except during the cold seasons. The lake is actually deep enough for cliff-diving. Want to go for a swim?”
“Swim?” Elizabeth looked at her with a raised brow.
“Sure. I’ve got lunch in the ship, and I told John and the others not to call us unless there’s a Wraith attack, so we’ve got the afternoon to ourselves.” A/N the second: The fanart Methos created for this fic has been shifted again, so the link is once more incorrect. I’m not going back into the file to change it again. Just know that the fanart is still there, somewhere. The last time I checked, it had moved to #81.