Beginning of WorldsAuthor:
PG-13; This chapter is work-safe.Chapter:
6 of at least 12Word Count:
1151; I really rather like this chapterWarnings:
Bit of a sad chapterDisclaimer:
Belong to the owners/creators of Stargate: AtlantisNotes:
Okay, you guys are all caught up, plus this chapter, which is brand new. So now that you're all up to speed, I'm expecting some comments. >_>
The next week was hard for him. He hadn’t stopped moving for more than a handful of hours at a time since he’d been captured, and now Rodney was strictly enforcing Carson’s prescribed bed rest. For the first few days, he thought he would go insane. His body, his mind, everything in him demanded that he move
It wasn’t unbearable though. Rodney kept him company pretty much the whole time, and even as used as he was to being by himself, by the end of the week he was having a pretty good time. Rodney would bring down whatever little scrap of technology he was working on, and would fiddle with it while he complained about the Ancestors and just what were they thinking? Rodney seemed to have no problem carrying on a conversation by himself, although half the time he couldn’t even tell you what they were talking about. He just enjoyed hearing the other man’s voice, knowing that, for the first time in too long, he wasn’t alone.
When he could move around a little, he started exploring Rodney’s planet, normally by himself. Rodney disdained of the outdoors, and preferred to spend his time inside. That was fine with him, he was just happy to be up and moving, stretching stiff muscles.
This went on for another week or so, until Ronon could no longer deny that he was more or less healed. He did not understand his strange reluctance to return to Sateda. He worried that maybe his years on the run had changed him too deeply, that he would never again be able to live the kind of life he’d had before. He’d managed okay with Rodney, but Sateda was a well-developed planet, and the capital city Atillan, where he was from, was heavily populated. After so long on his own, he wasn’t sure how he would survive the crushing press of the city. But he reasoned that after he went and reunited with his friends and family, he could always leave again, just for a short time. His kin would understand.
Before he knew it, he and Rodney stood in front of the Ring. Carson had taken his stitches out, and pronounced him healthy, although he cautioned him to take it easy for a while. Rodney had packed him a bag of food, of all things, and even though he told Rodney that the Ring was right in the city and he wouldn’t even have time to get hungry, the other man stubbornly insisted.
Rodney had been uncharacteristically quiet on the walk, but as Ronon prepared to dial the address, he spoke up.
“You should come back,” he said quietly. “Just every once in a while, when you have time. To tell me how you’re doing.” He crossed his arms. “I did save your life on two separate occasions, after all, and the least
you could do is reassure me that you’re still alive on occasion, and you haven’t succumbed to your own stupidity,” he finished, sounding a lot more like himself. “Or been suffocated by your hair,” he added thoughtfully.
Ronon grinned. He punched in the address, and this time when he looked back with a casual “Thanks, McKay,” they both knew he’d be coming back.
He was a wreck. There was no one left alive anywhere. He’d emerged from the Ring expecting to see the bright silver and grey square buildings he remembered. The Wraith had been attacking heavily when he’d been captured, but his people would have rebuilt, as they always had. He’d expected to see people and vehicles moving, merchants selling and shouting. Instead, he saw only rubble. Atillan was empty.
He’d moved through the city, searching the rubble for clues, even for survivors. There were none. As he searched, he headed for his childhood home. Except for a small hole in the roof and several broken windows, it was intact. He went inside and nearly choked on the dust and memories. It was exactly as he remembered it from five years ago. That couldn’t mean... he fought back the thought.
He’d searched the whole city. There was nothing alive. That was okay, though. It didn’t mean... it didn’t mean anything. They’d had to abandon the city, obviously, but that didn’t mean they were gone. He went to a public transit station and managed to get one of the fast-moving cosanes running. He would be at the next city in little more than an hour.
In that manner he’d searched the entire inhabited hemisphere in less than two weeks. It was completely deserted. He found no one. There were no small, struggling communities, no buried resistance, no city trying to rebuild. The last dates he could find in the diaries, journals, and papers he found were five years old, scant weeks after he was captured, not even a whole month. Everything he read spoke of an unprecedented attack by the Wraith. They did not simply limit themselves to culling. They descended en masse into the cities, executing those in their way.
There was no one left.
He held out hope that his people had secretly moved to one of the uninhabited continents to escape the Wraith. Three more weeks proved this thought hopeless as well. It wasn’t as though he’d really
believed it; he knew his people would never abandon their cities for so long, never mind the Ring of the Ancestors. But it stilled killed whatever tiny spark of hope was left inside him when he realized the entire planet was dead.
He was exhausted. He felt like a shell of his true self, far more empty than he ever had in his years as a runner. He was back in Atillan now, among the ruins of his old life. He went to the school where his older sister used to teach. He went to the metal shop where his father worked at the forges. He went to the bar his uncle owned, and proceeded to drink himself into oblivion.
He’d never been a big drinker even before the Wraith by choice, and afterwards he didn’t drink at all by necessity, so after just a couple of drinks he stumbled a little as he made his way across the empty room. Still, he stayed there drinking for hours, until he could no longer see straight.
His world was dead. Every person he knew was gone. He was alone.
Except he wasn’t alone, not really. Rodney, who had saved his life twice, who had freed him from the Wraith, he was alive. He knew Ronon, would care if he died.
Armed with this new realization and with the sort of determined single-mindedness that only came from an unhealthy amount of alcohol, he made his way to the Ring, and –eventually – put in the location of Rodney’s planet. He stumbled through the shimmering blue surface, and passed out on the other side.