Meetings and Greetings
Disclaimer: See Chapter 1
Spoilers: “Broken Ties” SG:A 5x03
Chapter: Meetings and Greetings
Dawn made her way past Ronon with just enough time to stop and put on her tennis shoes in the hallway. Then she continued at a flat out run to get to the conference room. Luckily, she arrived steps ahead of Woolsey and slid into a seat on the other side of Lieutenant Kenny Telik.
“Good to see you could join us Ms. Summers,” Woolsey said.
“What can I say?” she winked at Lieutenant Brian Henderson who tried not to smile at her nonchalance. Lorne gave her a questioning look, but Woolsey started.
“Major I’m assuming this is your entire team?” Woolsey asked.
“Yes,” Lorne said.
“Ms Summers’s temporary assignment to Colonel Sheppard’s team has been revoked,” he continued. “Is there going to any problem with this arrangement?”
“No sir,” the three men said as one. Dawn would have laughed but she was trying to resist the urge to give away toeing off her shoes under the table.
In less than a second she was on the conference table and made a leap towards the vent in the center of the ceiling. She pulled the vent off throwing it to Henderson. She jumped again so that she had her elbows locked in the duct. The duct was three by three, but it went for a while in either direction.
“Flashlight,” she said without looking down. The moment it entered her hand she flicked it into the duct.
“Ms Summers, what is going on?” Woolsey demanded.
For a moment she ignored the four curious men below her and focused her senses on the duct around her. Nothing, no breathing, or moving. With a growl she clicked the flashlight off and let herself down onto the conference table. She handed the flashlight to Lorne and took the vent back from Henderson.
“How are you going to get it back up there?” Lorne asked.
She smiled and jumped back up using magik to hold it up while she landed again on the table. Gently pushed it with her powers back into place, she made sure it stayed before releasing the power. Then she sat down and pushed her shoes back onto her feet.
“Sorry there was something there,” she said.
“Something in the ducts…” Woolsey said disbelievingly.
“Someone,” she corrected, “at least I’m pretty sure.”
“How could anyone fit in those vents?”
“They’re about three by three sir,” Lorne said, “most females or gearless men could fit in them.”
Dawn frowned and held up an ‘L,’ the major’s small nod was all she needed.
“What would anyone be doing in the ducts?” Woolsey asked.
“Actually I have asked Ms Martin to explore those types of aspects of the City,” Lorne said, “to see if there were ways for anyone to get in, out, and how many could fit, and where such vents lead.”
“Then why didn’t you tell Ms Summers?” Woolsey asked.
“There is nothing I need to clear with Dawn,” Lorne said. “Although perhaps I should have told her and Ronon as they were likely to hear anyone moving about in the ducts,” he conceded.
Dawn knew he was not being completely honest, but she wasn’t about to ask.
“Are you telling me Ms Martin was eavesdropping?” Woolsey asked.
“No,” Dawn shook her head, “I don’t think so. The noise was soft but it kept moving.”
Woolsey looked perturbed, but he simply shook his head. “Dismissed.”
Dawn followed Lorne and the lieutenants out. When they were through the ‘Gate room, she stopped him with a hand on his shoulder, “you didn’t have to do that. I have no problem with people thinking I’m crazy.”
“It’s not that,” he waved it aside, “I figured if she’s going to get herself caught Ms Sneaky gets to do the paperwork.”
She laughed, “Why Major I never realized you had a sadistic side.”
“Won’t cover for her again,” he warned.
“Well tell her that when you give her, her assignment,” she frowned, “but may I make a suggestion?”
“I don’t remember you ever asking,” Telik joked.
“Try living with too many teenagers and tell me you don’t learn to solicit your advice sparingly,” she replied. “But perhaps you should keep the findings low-key.”
Henderson frowned, “why?”
“Because given our problems with others knowing our City and its people, all we need is one thing gotten a hold of by Todd in another information transfer.”
Lorne nodded, “done. I’ll have her do it on paper, that way we have a working schematics if we need it. And with all her notes, they’ll be untouchable by any system infiltrators.”
“Okay,” Dawn nodded. Lorne and Henderson gave her a smile and headed off.
“So what was that thing with standing on the table while you put the vent back?” Telik asked.
“Magik,” she grinned.
“I am being serious,” she told him. “I’ve found I have a limited number and range on what I had back on Earth.”
“But I thought you said you had to have a power source…”
“I do, the Stargate.”
“How limited are the powers?”
“Severely in comparison to what I was able to do, but the powers aren’t dark and they aren’t as willful. It’s actually easier to deal because it takes so much to control it.”
“Found anybody who has ability with it?”
Dawn smirked, “I believe there are a few on Atlantis who could learn, but it’d be a pain to make it work.”
“Because of exactly how hard it is to pull the energy,” she shook her head, “if they had natural magik abilities that they’ve used, that would be one thing. But learning from scratch, without any starting point, not likely.”
“So not a chance you’d try to teach me?”
“Not unless we find a planet with a more abundant source,” she shook her head.
“You’re just back on the team to spoil all my fun,” he told her.
“Well it was either you or McKay, you lost out.”
He walked away shaking his head. Oh, it was going to be interesting to have Dawn back on the team.
Lexi was grudgingly moving towards Woolsey’s office, all the while thinking of ways to tell Ronon he was wrong. Nothing bad had happened, no accidents that let her retreat to the far sides of the City. So on his third day, he had demanded an audience with her. And to top it all off she owed Lorne a huge debt. She hadn’t known where Candrima was leading her, but she’d known as soon as she passed over the vent.
She stopped in the control room in front of Chuck. The tech gave her a smile and nodded towards the office. She grimaced and gave him the ‘hang me’ sign. He just went back to work, hiding his laugh.
With no support what so ever she continued through. ‘Professional,’ she thought to herself, ‘act professional, and try not to respond like I would to Rodney. Act like the adult I’ve been for way too long.’ Looking back on the last three months, she could recognize that for the first time since her family’s death, or perhaps ever, she was comfortable where she was. She was acting like a child again…
“Ms Martin?” Woolsey’s voice broke her self-reflection.
She walked completely into his office, “yes sir.”
“Please have a seat,” he gestured to the chair. “We have a lot to discuss.”
She sat down watching the balding man.
“Ms Martin your record says that you are a ward of this outpost.”
“This does not mean you are a free agent. Or that you have any inclusion unless assigned by express permission given by me.”
“I’m sorry sir but that is not the case,” she said it as evenly as she could manage. “I am a free agent of this outpost, my skills, those both intuitive and learned, are mine to dispense as needed. I may be at the bottom of the heap when it comes to the chain-of-command here, but I take my orders from Colonel Sheppard.” She didn’t let her anger invade voice, and she just managed to keep it respectful.
He seemed surprised, but for a moment hid it well, “You are not part of the military contingent.”
“Nor sir, am I a member of the science teams. Like Dawn, Ronon, and Teyla I am a specialist.”
“And what is your specialty?”
“Everything sir,” she stated plainly, “I plan on learning what everyone around here is willing to teach me or what I can read from the database.”
“You are to become a distraction for the personnel.”
“Most have volunteered to teach me.”
“Both shift techs have showed me the basics of the control room. Dr. Zelenka has walked me through various independent Ancient technologies, such as the Puddle Jumpers and life sign scanners. Dr. Keller has allowed me to shadow her in the infirmary, learning basic First Aid, she has also recommended a series of medical references to tide over any interest I have until we can get a set schedule. Major Lorne has taught me what’s in a basic off-world bag and how to stock a vest.”
“And Ms Summer?”
“Dawn has years worth of Slayer things that she needs to teach me: honing my sense, controlling my strength, using my strengths, and identifying my weaknesses.”
“And Mr. Dex?”
“Ronon?” she couldn’t think of a single person on base that called him mister. “He is determined to teach me how to win a fight without having to watch my opponent.”
“And what about Colonel Sheppard?”
“He has agreed to treat me how I act,” she told him watching the surprised reaction. “As long as I do the work that is given and train physically, intellectually, and keep to a few things my age level… He will treat me like he would any other member of this expedition, be I thirteen, nineteen, or thirty.”
It took Woolsey a full minute to process everything she had said. When he did he studied her more intently, “what are your plans in regard to this expedition?”
“Learn as much as possible from as many people as I can. In a few years, hopefully, be able to join one of the teams.”
Lexi blinked, she hadn’t thought about it, “Whatever is needed: backup, soldier, scientist, farmer, warrior, cook, medic, friend.” Family was on the tip of her tongue, but she didn’t think he would understand that yet.
“I need an assistant,” he said suddenly.
There was a long pause. It had come completely out of left field. “Sir?”
“It’s not an official position. It wouldn’t involve proofreading and research.”
“But why me Mr. Woolsey?”
“Because you honestly don’t like me,” he said without hesitation. He waved off her interruption, “but you know Atlantis, and its people better than almost anyone. You also know what they are doing, how they feel about changes made, or new policies. You are able to drift between one project and another as needed.”
“Are you asking me to spy on the people of the City?”
“No. I’m asking you to be honest with me about how things are going around here.”
“Again, sir, I have ask; me?”
“Colonel Sheppard stands on ceremony and the respect my position demands from the military. The scientists, with the exception of Dr. McKay, have no interest in stepping out of line. Ms Summers and Emmagan know how to walk the line between honesty and tact. Mr. Dex is blunt when he does speak. That leaves someone who doesn’t like me, who sees things with both eyes open, but knows when to walk on eggshells.”
“You got all of that from one conversation?”
He smiled, “yes, Ms Martin. I assume if I was wrong you would have protested.”
She nodded once, “How would this interfere with the other’s teaching me?”
“Perhaps we could arrange two afternoons a week?” he suggested. “That way it becomes a regular thing and allows other things to be planned beforehand around it.”
Lexi nodded, “may I have time to think about this?”
“Yes, of course, perhaps an answer by the end of the week?”
“Yes sir. Will that be all?” she asked.
“For now,” he nodded dismissing her, “thank you for your time Ms Martin.”
Lexi stood, gave a half smile and continued out of his office. She got as far as Chuck’s console before stopping and frowning, “What just happened?”
The tech just looked at her.
“What?” John asked that night as they sat around eating.
“He asked me to be his assistant,” Lexi repeated.
“Why?” Ronon grunted.
“That was my question too,” she admitted. “Something about not liking him and have my fingers in various parts of the operations.”
“So you’re supposed to tell him if we get out of line?” McKay asked.
“I don’t think that’s it either,” she shook her head. “John, you and Elizabeth went head to head all the time. It was rare that you didn’t say exactly what you thought in regards to the mission, her decision, your ability or inability to get the job done. With Sam being military, you saw eye to eye more times than not, but you were both willing to argue the choices. But Woolsey doesn’t have anybody around here like that. One bad word in his mission or status reports and civilian or military somebody’s head is going to roll, right?”
Teyla nodded, “I believe so as well.”
“What about Dawn who sees bluntness as the most useful tool in the entire universe?” John gestured to the Key.
“I know how to use tact and soften the truth to seem more… colorful,” Dawn shrugged, “it comes from growing up covering for the Scoobies.”
“Why not me?” McKay asked.
“Flagship team’s scientist and your view is biased.”
“You’re a scientist, physics is good, everything else is elementary art,” Dawn answered. “Lexi is learning from a lot of different people both civilian scientist and military, of all of us she has the most well-rounded point of view.”
“And without being on a team I’m least likely to show favoritism.”
There were various nods.
“I still don’t get the thing with saying you only take orders from Sheppard,” McKay said.
“It’s true,” she shrugged, “only Sheppard and Lorne.”
“Lorne?” Dawn asked, “Is that because he covered for you?”
“No,” she cringed, “though I still owe him for that. It’s because only the two of them say my last name in such a way that I feel like I’m either going to be sent on assignment or ordered to scrub the bathrooms as punishment.”
John laughed. “Really?”
She nodded, “I don’t know why, but only you two manage that tone.”
“That’s scary,” the Key said.
Lexi just sent John a look. They both knew she responded to him and Lorne because they treated her like any other marine, anyone else who had their trust, respect, and complete confidence. How they had reached that point… not a single one of them knew.
Lexi sat next to Dawn and Colonel Sheppard as various people said goodbye to Carson in the ‘Gate room. The Colonel was frowning, not in anger, but in deep thought. Without a pause Dawn reached out and ran a hand over his brow, drawing his attention.
“This is familiar too,” she said, “isn’t it?”
Slowly John nodded, “she said, ‘he blamed himself for Michael, for the Hoffan drug, so stayed to fight his guilt.’”
“That’s just Carson… that future isn’t a reality,” Lexi told him. “He’s a healer, and he created something, inadvertently, that led to the death of lot of others. No matter how we can justify it to ourselves as soldiers and warriors… he will never be able to.”
Dawn and John looked at the girl in question. She shrugged, “Spike and I liked to get philosophical about the world and our roles in it. One of the only things we ever agreed on, were people like Carson and demons like Angelus.”
“The hearted and the heartless,” Dawn said with a nod.
“It’s just too close,” John shook his head.
“Some of the things that are going to happen are events set in motion by everything before you went to the future,” she reassured him. “Carson has been kicking himself since he heard of Michael’s reign of terror. It was just a matter of time. I’m sure there are quite a few things that may result in parallels to what you learned.”
“That’s a creepy thought,” he muttered then he glanced quickly at her, a sadness flashed through his readable emotions.
The Key knew what flashed in his mind. She never spoke of what she had seen as John glossed over the possible future, the good and the bad. Only Connor had ever guessed, even dared, question her about the son that couldn’t be… She blinked, clearing her mind.
“Where’s Ronon?” Lexi asked.
“Hiding,” Dawn replied. At the Colonel’s surprised look she explained, “After suddenly losing this life,” she gestured around them, “and then in a second losing all the others…” she rubbed her chest, “finding and saying good-bye to Kathy and Les… It’s still screwing with his head.”
“What is that?” the teen asked, pointing to Dawn’s chest.
“What?” Dawn looked down, raising an eyebrow.
“This,” she mimicked rubbing her chest.
The woman frowned looking at her hand in question, “I never noticed it.”
“It’s a tick,” Telik said from behind them.
“Lime disease?” Dawn asked.
“No, it’s a compulsion you seem to repeat,” the Lieutenant explained. “We noticed when you and Ronon first got together. You did it a lot when we were on that ship over the Wraith cloning facility.”
“And when you did it just now you were talking about Ronon,” Lexi noted. Dawn just looked at all of them like they had lost their minds.
“Maybe its part of that link,” John suggested, “when he’s hurting, you hurt.”
She shrugged, “like I said, I never noticed.”
“Ronon ever say anything about it?” Lexi asked.
“Probably because he generally gets hurt outside of your presence,” Telik guessed.
“I can always feel him, he can always find me,” she said vaguely.
“That makes hiding not so useful,” Lexi said.
“Yeah it does,” she smiled, “as long as I can out run him.”
“And now I’m disturbed,” she stood and walked towards Carson.
Telik took her spot, “you did that on purpose.”
“Nah, she lived with the two most wickedly tongued people I’ve ever met. It would take a lot to actually get under her skin,” Dawn shook her head. “And if I ever reach that point I’ll end all such comments.”
“You’re just waiting for that day aren’t you?”
“She’s living on a base with better hearing than most anybody else. She listens to the marines when she’s wondering around here. And Spike and Faith really did a number on educating the girls about various things… as disturbing as that is even for me.”
John gave her a look to which her just gave an exaggerated shiver.
“So are you going to actually say goodbye to Dr. Beckett,” Telik said to Dawn, “or is sitting here your way of showing disapproval.”
“I figured it out before Woolsey’s announcement,” she told him. “I could see it in his glow. And I don’t plan on saying goodbye.”
John gave her a look from the corner of his eye.
“As much as I agree with Ronon’s assessment of ‘you could be dead tomorrow,’ I’ve found that anything said at a parting will sound like a goodbye. I refuse to believe this is the last we’ll see of Carson. Not to mention part of the arrangement is leaving a trail and dialing in every month to check-in.”
“Is there anything that will put a dent in your eternal optimism?” Telik asked.
Dawn flinched. Kenny hadn’t meant anything by it, and often she knew she came off as almost as crazy as Andrew or as unshakeable as Teyla. But it was a very safe mask she’d worn for too many months.
The Stargate activated. Carson turned to look around the room. He gave a jaunty wave and a smile. Dawn grinned as she watched him walk through the shimmering blue. In Gaelic, she whispered, “Godspeed, Healer.”
Things around Atlantis settled in fairly quickly. Dawn went out on missions with her team. It was funny how easily they fell back into their old routine or new ones. On nights either her or Ronon were home, they raced against Lexi or tested her reflexes. Lexi spent most of her days between the infirmary, gym, and various labs. Once a week she helped with dinner and the laundry.
The teen had also taken on the job of Woolsey’s assistance. The meetings generally took place in his office. Three weeks after she had taken the job Lexi believed she was starting to understand part of the hesitation on Woolsey’s part. So one day as she entered his office she had a plan.
“Ms Martin,” he greeted.
She stopped in front of his desk and waited until he powered down his computer. Once she had his full attention she carefully schooled her features. “Please call me Lexi,” she started.
He looked surprised. It was likely the first time anyone had made the request.
“May I ask what has heralded this change M – Lexi?”
“How many people do you know on this base?”
“I believe I’ve been introduced to all of the personnel…”
“I mean personally,” she explained, “with the exception of me.”
He thought a full minute.
“Sir,” she said, “I can sit here everyday for the next two months and describe everyone on base to you and make it feel like you know everyone but it would be a lie.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Take a walk with me.”
Lexi was almost certain it was curiosity more than anything else that made Woolsey stand up. He tugged on his expedition jacket. She looked down at herself for a moment; her clothes were Athosian in style. She had a few pairs of cargo pants in her dresser, but she felt much more comfortable in the hides.
He gestured for her to lead. Lexi gave a smile and started on a leisurely pace into the control room. She stopped at the first console and smiled at its occupant. Woolsey was standing two feet behind her.
“Good afternoon Amelia,” she greeted the tech.
Amelia Banks saw Woolsey and looked nervous a moment.
“Hello Ms Banks,” the leader greeted.
“Good afternoon Mr. Woolsey, Lexi,” she nodded to each of them a quizzical expression on her face.
“So Amelia,” she winked at the tech, “Are we still on for the kickboxing lesson tonight?”
“Of course, I’ve already arranged things around Ronon and Dawn’s match.”
“Good,” she smiled, “I’ll talk to you later.”
Lexi moved on, not even acknowledging Mr. Woolsey watching her as she made small talk with the other tech named Jeremy. She then crossed into the ‘Gate room Woolsey followed as she crossed to the door. Instead of walking through it she stopped in front of the Marine who was on ‘Gate duty.
“Lieutenant,” she called very few of the marines by their names unless requested.
“Martin,” he replied.
“I heard you’re finally an uncle,” Lexi stated.
“Yes, ma’am, my nephew was born on Tuesday,” he didn’t seem surprised at her knowledge of such things. “Stephen Tyson Hughes.”
“The best to your sister and nephew,” she said.
Woolsey watched as the Lieutenant met the young girl’s eyes and gave a very minute nod.
Lexi walked into the hallway.
“How did you know that?” Woolsey asked.
“Rumor mill,” she told him, “this one is really good and with Candrima I miss very little. Not to mention I listen all over this place, I heard him telling Dr. Castle about his sister.”
Woolsey studied her profile as they continued. When they reached the infirmary Lexi stopped and peered inside. She saw three patients, two nurses, and Dr. Keller at her desk. The young doctor didn’t look up as they approached.
“Hey Dr. Keller,” she said.
“Hi, Lexi,” Jennifer didn’t even look up as she studied the screen.
Lexi sighed as she caught a glimpse of the screen. “The Wraith information again?”
“I think I’ve got a few things figured out, at least as much as I can without a Wraith bio-engineering expert,” she said.
“If you haven’t left in the next six hours I’m going to send Major Lorne or Dawn to drag you out,” she warned.
“And if they’re away?”
“I’ll get Ronon to do it.”
“And if he’s away?”
“I’ll recruit Candrima and a couple of marines,” she threatened. “For a doctor you aren’t very health conscious.”
“I eat all my greens,” she returned without ever looking up.
“Yes your stomach thanks you but your sleep addled body doesn’t,” Lexi said, “six hours doc.”
Jennifer waved her off.
Lexi continued to the other side of the infirmary, “Hi Marie,” she waved at the nurse.
“Hi Lexi, Mr. Woolsey,” she returned. “What can I help you with?”
“I was wondering if we could arrange to play Mahjong Saturday afternoon,” Lexi said.
“That would be wonderful dear, 1430 hours in the rec room?” Marie suggested.
“Perfect,” she smiled.
“Lexi do you know when…” she glanced at where Jennifer was.
“I gave her six hours and then I’ll sic all sources on her,” Lexi promised.
Marie looked relieved.
Lexi waved to the other nurse Sally as she left.
“What was that about?” Woolsey asked.
“They know the same thing that you do. I’m great at getting around Atlantis. In a single day I am likely to visit all sectors of the actively used City – twice. Marie has had little luck, ever, with getting Dr. Keller to leave the infirmary when she is on an information quest. But they know that I have Candrima who can stop her from returning and I train with Dawn who keeps tabs on a few scientists who are known to work until they drop.”
“And Major Lorne?”
“Sometimes if Dawn alone can’t get her to leave, Lorne is her reinforcements,” she said, easily leaving out that Lorne and Keller were dating. Only a handful of people on Atlantis knew.
Lexi stepped into the transporter, pushing the screen for one of the science levels. She walked without a thought into a botany lab.
“Dr. Patches are you in here?” she called from the door, a jungle of plants blocking her view.
“In here,” an African voice replied.
“Marco,” she said.
“Polo,” he called back.
They continued this until she had navigated where the botanist was standing.
“Hello Patrick,” she smiled as he came into view. He was 5’9”, brown haired and brown eyed. His dark mocha skin covered in potting soil.
“What brings you down here kuckakulo?” he asked.
“I was wondering how the potting of the vegetables was going,” she said.
Patrick caught sight of Woolsey, “Mr. Woolsey?”
“Vegetables, udongo,” she caught his attention.
“Of course,” he gestured and led them around a corner. Lexi kneeled next to him.
“They don’t seem to be doing well,” she said forlornly.
“I believe it is the saltiness of the air or the purity of the water,” Patrick told her, “I have not had any luck with this batch. Dr. Thomas has agreed to retake farming samples on 392.” She glanced at her, “can you think of anything that I may have missed?”
“Nothing udongo,” she assured him. “When will somebody be able to get back to 392?”
“Ten days,” he explained, “without a crisis.”
“I’ll keep my ears open for any teams heading in that direction.”
“Thank you kuckakulo,” he smiled at her.
“I’ll let you get back to work,” she offered as she stood. “Lunch on Saturday?”
“I am looking forward to it,” he gave her a wide smile.
They made their way back out of Dr. Patches’ lab.
“What were those words?” Woolsey asked.
“Kuckakulo means squirrel,” she explained, “Patrick says that’s what I remind him of. I’m a squirrel who runs from tree to tree collecting nuts, and I believe there will never be enough. Much like my quest for knowledge.”
“Udongo,” she replied, “it means earth or soil. It’s appropriate given I’ve never seen the man not covered in potting soil, water, dirt, and leaves. I had to ask Dawn for the word because unlike her and Daniel my language skills are extremely limited.”
Woolsey frowned, “I don’t remember a Dr. Patrick Patches on the personnel list.”
“Dr. Patches’ name isn’t Patrick, it’s the closest variation on his name,” she told him.
“Ah,” he nodded.
Lexi stopped in the middle of the hall and turned towards the wall. “This is the quickest way.”
“Are you Casper now?” he asked.
The girl laughed, “No.” She opened the wall panel and led him through the back tunnels and up a level. They came out less than ten feet from Major Lorne’s office.
She stuck her head in to find the major typing rapidly on his key board.
“What do you want Martin?” he said without ever looking up.
Lexi bit her lip and walked to stand in front of his desk. “When’s your team’s next mission?”
“0830 tomorrow,” he told her. “Trying to figure how soon after I leave you can go and get Captain Deems to teach you knife handling.”
“Lieutenant Sanders,” she replied, “and gun assembly.”
“Dream on Martin,” he said sharply.
“Yes sir,” she sulked a full second before jumping subjects, “I heard Teyla was going on a trading run to M4R-973.”
“1300 hours tomorrow,” he rattled off.
“Requesting permission to join her, sir.”
“I live in the Pegasus galaxy and as much as I love this City, seeing other planets should be a part of my initiative. A trading mission is the perfect introduction, and with Teyla I can learn her cultural diplomacy,” she argued respectfully.
“Have you discussed this with Colonel Sheppard?” he asked.
“Not a word,” she promised.
“Request gr–” he finally looked up. Then suddenly he was standing at attention.
Lexi looked behind her where Woolsey was standing a few feet behind her. “Do you always have this effect on people?” She looked back at Lorne, “Major relax before you have a heart attack.”
“Please,” Woolsey requested.
Lorne relaxed, “what can I do for you Mr. Woolsey?”
“He’s just an observer,” Lexi told him. “Request granted, sir?”
“Yes,” he nodded once a frown on his face.
“Thank you, Major” she gave him a smile.
“Just do as Teyla says,” he requested.
“Always,” she smiled, “I’ll see you later Major.” She continued out of the room and to the transporter. When they were back in Woolsey’s office they both sat in silence for several minutes.
“Do you understand now Mr. Woolsey?” she asked.
“You have a lot of friends,” he said stiffly.
She shook her head then paused, “well, yes. But the thing is all those people I know their names, their profession, and at least something that they are skilled in or passionate about. I can easily engage in conversation, make plans with most of them on a moment’s notice without it seeming pitiful or forced.”
“I still do not see the point of this exercise.”
Lexi sighed and stood, “you’re a smart man Mr. Woolsey I’m sure you will find a meaning to it.” Without another word she turned and exited his office. She stopped at Amelia’s console, “please tell me,” she rubbed her shoulder, “that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
Amelia laughed softly, “You’re asking the wrong person…”
Dawn leaned back against Ronon. They had finished one of their matches. It was the first time in nearly a week that they were on Atlantis at the same time, and even close to the same schedule.
She reached back and touched his nose, “the swellings gone down.”
He nodded into her touch, “Its fine Pixie.”
She looked around the empty gym, “I’ve got to get some sleep, our briefing is at 0800.”
“We’re going to meet with the council elders, it’s a society in the middle of its industrial age,” she told him taking to her feet. “But we get to go because what they speak isn’t a variation on Ancient or Latin that any of the linguists can understand.”
“But you do,” Ronon stood up.
“Apparently so,” they went down the hall, “from the reports they are steeped in tradition even with the industry budding around them. It should be interesting.”
“Like Earth’s early 1900s,” he guessed.
She tilted her head at him.
Ronon shrugged, “Les and Alicia did a report on it.”
Her only response was a nod.
The next morning, again, found Dawn racing for the conference room. She made it without Woolsey in sight. She dropped into the chair next to Lorne.
“Cutting it a little close?” Henderson asked.
Dawn snorted and gave him a large smile, “you’ve met my husband.”
“Summers,” Lorne warned.
“Oh shut up, Evan,” she replied sweetly, “Glinda was the problem. She was sitting on top of my clothes and wouldn’t leave anything alone. And more than that, she wouldn’t tell me why.”
“Where is she?” Telik asked.
Dawn pointed at Woolsey entering, a silver streak slid past him. She jumped up to lay on the table between Dawn and Henderson, who were on opposite sides of the table.
“What is that doing here?” Woolsey asked.
“It’s Glinda,” Lorne said. “She’s Dawn’s companion.”
“She’s been sticking close to the Athosians on the Mainland,” Dawn told him, “and then while Lieutenant Creek was recovering she was in the infirmary.”
“And she is here now because…?” Woolsey waited.
“She accompanies us on missions, sir,” Henderson explained.
“Most worlds know of Kat-tails,” Telik continued.
“It’s rare that she doesn’t join me on a mission,” Dawn told him, “the only times she stays behind is if there is someone who needs companionship. Especially the sick and recovering.”
Woolsey looked between them almost disbelievingly, “why wasn’t this brought up before?”
“Its second nature for us sir,” Lorne said. “Any team that Dawn travels with is likely to have Glinda with them.”
“Fine,” he said.
When the meeting was over Dawn went to the armory with the guys as they loaded up vests and weapons. She double checked her various knives and that her lock picks holding her braided bun up were secure. She made sure her gun was set to stun and easily accessible.
“Heard Martin got her first off-world assignment,” Telik commented as he clipped his gun on.
Dawn frowned, “I hadn’t heard.”
“She’s going on a trade run with Teyla to M4R-973,” Lorne told her.
She looked at him, “Good, she should learn those types of diplomacies.”
“You’d think being Woolsey’s assistant would make her learn it in spades,” Henderson commented as he checked his IDC ban and C4.
“No, she can’t relate to him enough to learn from him,” Dawn told them. “Teyla and her have a common interest.”
“What about her and Keller?” Lorne asked.
“Please I can’t think of one person who doesn’t take to Jennifer,” Telik told him, “except Ronon.”
“He thinks she worries too much,” she explained. “Does anybody know if Jennifer left the infirmary last night?”
“I dragged her out at dinner,” Lorne assured her as they returned to the ‘Gate room.
Glinda was pacing in front of the Stargate.
“What has gotten into you?” Dawn asked. The only answer she got was an irritated response.
“PMS?” Henderson suggested.
Dawn was about to elbow him when she shrugged, “she has been on Atlantis non-stop for almost a month.”
The ‘Gate engaged. They all checked their radios quickly before continuing through.
“Is that your power Ronon?” Lexi asked as he, Teyla, and herself made their way through the forest. “You just stand around and look unmovable?”
Teyla laughed gently as the Satedan shook his head.
“I hear you made friends with some of the Athosians that have been granted a return from the mainland,” Teyla said as she shifted the basket of fruit.
“Yes,” Lexi replied adjusting the basket of vegetables on her hip, “they have some of the most interesting stories and legends. And they seem to be adjusting to Atlantis fine, but I think they are glad it is temporary.”
Ronon laughed, “Heard the shower scared Kanaan.”
“And you once stunned Dr. Garrett at your own surprise party,” Teyla reminded him.
“He spooked me,” Ronon sulked.
Lexi laughed, “I have a problem with hitting things that jump up at me too.”
“You are both incorrigible,” the Athosian told them.
“I think you and Dawn are the only people I know who like jumpy surprises,” the girl replied.
“I do not think that is the case,” Teyla said. “It is merely that we do not see a need to hit everything.”
“That’s no fun,” Ronon told her.
Lexi laughed until she saw the Satedan’s attention drawn to something else.
“Hey,” he yelled at a cloaked figure face down in the leaves, “hey.” They all set down the foods, Ronon rushed forward. He got to the edge of a small rise and smoke appeared as Ronon was knocked off his feet.
“Ronon!” Lexi heard Teyla yell as the cloak figure rose.
The cloaked figure had a weapon pointed at the warrior. He fired once as Ronon made his way to his knees. Two more shots and Ronon fell, unconscious. Teyla and Lexi watched as the man revealed his face.
“Tyre,” Teyla breathed. A single shot took the Athosian down.
Lexi had a single moment of indecision before Spike and Faith’s training advice came back to her, “follow your instincts, even if that means running. Get higher ground or find help.” Tyre pointed the weapon at her, a single blue energy ball hit her as she turned, but she didn’t feel anything more than a small shock. She felt a second blast hit her shoulder but she just continued to run for the village.