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Ghost in the Machine

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Summary: Zelenka thinks he sees her in Atlantis, but he knows it cannot be so. After all, he has seen many things in his life, but he has never before believed in ghosts.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Dawn-Centered(Past Donor)MhalachaiFR715032114,05521 Aug 0721 Aug 07Yes
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Stargate Atlantis belongs to MGM/UA, Gekko Productions et al. No profit has been made from this fic, and the only benefit to me is personal satisfaction and the creative process. I hope you enjoy.


Zelenka thinks he sees her in Atlantis, but he knows it cannot be so.

After all, he has seen many things in his life, but he has never before believed in ghosts.

Not until Atlantis.


He saw her only once, in Prague, before he returned to the Antarctic. She was young, hardly more than a girl, with long flowing brown hair and the most atrocious Czech as she tried to order a coffee in a cafe.

He stopped to watch her. After she finished her order, she slumped back in her chair. Her expression startled him. Such old eyes in a young face, hardened and alert and so, so tired.

A strange feeling crept over him as he looked at her. It was as if he should know her, as if he had known her for a long time and now he couldn't remember her name.

Then she looked at him and the spell was broken. He realized he had been standing in a busy street staring at a girl half his age, and he was embarrassed.

Someone joined her then, and as he walked away, he heard the other woman call the girl "Dawn". Although his English was not good, he knew that word, after long months in the dark in Antarctic.

Dawn. Sunrise.

When he returned to the Antarctic, he was reminded of her every time he looked at the Ancient machines. He told himself he was stressed from working fifteen-hour days, and he worked harder, but the memories would not leave him alone.

Then Major John Sheppard arrived and no one had time to think of anything else, as they barreled inevitably towards the Pegasus Galaxy and the Ancient City of Atlatnis itself.


The first time he sees the sun rise over the oceans on Atlantis, he thinks of her. When McKay and Sheppard coax the city into miracles, he remembers the feeling he had as he stared at the young girl on the Prague street.

As time goes on, the feeling only grows. With every day that passes, he becomes more convinced that she should be here, with them on this floating city of legend.

Should be, is.

Atlantis hardly makes a distinction any more, and if he were to see her here, drifting through the corridors, he would think that Atlantis has finally let a lost daughter come home.

He wonders if he is haunted. He wonders if he is obsessed.

He wonders what the rest would say if he told them of this ghost of his imagination.


After years on the city, he no longer differentiates between his brief memory of her and the city itself. They are both she, and he knows he is obsessed, knows reality cannot be so, but he has seen death, seen too many marvels, to tell himself that ghosts cannot exist.

If, one day, he were to turn a corner and she were there, he would not be surprised.

Perhaps he is mad.

The city, she does that to people.

The End

You have reached the end of "Ghost in the Machine". This story is complete.

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