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This takes place after the Stargate Atlantis Season 5 finale, assuming Atlantis returns to the Pegasus galaxy. And after the Torchwood Children of Earth finale.Connectable
"I don't understand why we have to keep looking for more ZPMs," Ronon complained as the premiere team for Atlantis wandered through the rich rain forest on an abandoned world.
"Because we lost a lot of power flying the ship around and fighting the wraith," McKay explained as he glanced between his data pad and the ground in front of him. "The Ancients had more ZPMs than us and didn't do that. Besides this world is supposed to have a scientific outpost that was deliberately cut off for some reason the Ancients didn't deem to mention."
"Now that is what worries me," Sheppard said as he scanned the tree tops. "The last time we came across that we found the Replicators. That was not fun."
"Indeed," Teyla agreed. "If the Ancestors cut off communication with this outpost we must be cautious."
"Look," McKay said stopping, "I went over the database several times. According to what little information was listed, this outpost was experimenting on something from the get go that they were really interested in, but was important to keep out of the city."
"Keep moving McKay," Sheppard said pulling the data pad from McKay's hands. Sheppard took over the lead, watching the data pad as it displayed the path to the outpost.
"Did you not say that the scientists stationed here did not get recalled back to Atlantis because of what they were researching?" Teyla frowned at Rodney.
"I'm sure the Ancients would have invited them to join in the evacuation," Rodney said overtaking Sheppard and grabbing the data pad from his hands. "Most of the Ancient scientists were recalled to Atlantis at the beginning of the war, but whatever they were researching here was important enough that they didn't want to stop their work. When the Wraith showed up in this system the scientists remote dialed Atlantis and said they had found another way to safety and were never heard from again. This was right before the Ancients ordered the evacuation to Earth so they didn't have anyone to come here and see what had happened."
"Fine, just hurry Rodney. This outpost is very far from the gate and it's obvious no one has come here for many many years. I do not want to sleep out here because you were taking your sweet time," Sheppard sometimes found Rodney to be very annoying. Well not sometimes, a lot of the time.
"It's right over that ledge," Rodney said pointing a little to his left.
"Great! Let's go!"
The four of them traveled down to the building in near silence. Rodney opened the doors in excitement, he loved finding new information and who knew what the Ancients had worked on here.
Rodney only took a few moment to figure out where the main lab was and get there. He grinned as he sat down as a consol to begin work, but his smile quickly became a frown as he uttered, "Uh oh."
"What?" Sheppard demanded coming up behind McKay.
"Someone has been working on this recently. Who has the life signs detector?"
"I do," Sheppard said quickly pulling off his bag and opening it.
"Colonel Sheppard," Teyla said speaking up, "I don't believe that will be necessary."
"What?" John Sheppard looked up surprised to see a beautiful woman standing in a side opening, dressed in the manner of the Ancients. Sheppard rose quickly to his feet, "Hello. We mean you no harm. My name is-"
"AAHHHHHHH!" she screamed before she collapsed on the floor.
"Um…" Sheppard looked over at his teammates who also seemed stunned, they had never had a meeting with a new people and had them scream in apparent shock. He moved cautiously forward to take her pulse, it was very slow. "She fainted."
"Could she be an Ancestor?" Teyla asked moving swiftly and gracefully to his side.
"Well she certainly looks like one," Ronon said as he took a spot where he could see all the openings into the room. "If she is an Ancient I doubt she's here alone."
"She's not alone," came a voice behind the downed woman. The team all looked at the newcomer. Check that, newcomers. Two men came closer, coming into view. One of the men glared at them suspiciously as he moved to check on the woman himself.
"She fainted," Sheppard explained. "It's not our normal response when meeting a new people.
"You're American?" the standing man asked, his posture perfect.
"Yea- Yes. How did you know?"
"The flag," he pointed towards the insignia velcroed onto his left shoulder.
"How…?" Sheppard didn't know how to ask how it was possible for anyone in the Pegasus Galaxy outside Atlantis to recognize it, although Ronon still didn't know the difference between flags.
"You're from Earth too?"
"Too?" Rodney McKay asked coming forward. The man was dressed like an Ancient but he wasn't. He also didn't appear to be armed.
"Yes, we're from Earth. Do you mind waiting to continue this conversation when Lindsey wakes up?"
The man smiled, bringing a light to his brown eyes. "There is an eating area over this way if you'd like. James? Do you need helping carrying Lindsey?"
"I've got this," 'James' said lifting up the woman with slight effort.
"You sound British!" McKay said accusatorily.
"That's because I am."
McKay and Sheppard exchanged looks before they all wandered down a hallway. They entered a room that was as simply designed as all Ancient rooms appeared to be, although there were vases of flowers placed strategically around the room, brightening it. James gently placed Lindsey into a chair, before sitting next to her. The others cautiously took seats, leaving only 2 chairs free. The other unnamed man remained standing and moved around behind them. They heard the clatter, but only Ronon turned to look at what was happening behind them. Ianto smiled as he caught Ronon's eyes. He gently place a tray at the center of the table which had several glasses on it. James reached forward eagerly to grab a cup for himself and another for Lindsey.
"So who are you?" McKay asked the man who appeared to be their leader.
"I'm Ianto Jones. Please, have a drink," When he noticed their hesitation he clarified, "It's just tea."
"You're not British." It wasn't a question. Rodney and Teyla both reached forward to take the refreshments. Sheppard and Ronon both holding back, just in case.
"Technically I am. I'm Welsh. Wales is considered part of Britain."
"Whales?" Ronon asked. "Like the creatures that gave us headaches and visions?"
"Those would be some odd whales," Ianto said looking at Ronon strangely. "Wales is also a country, that is part of Britain like Ireland and Scotland."
"Wow!" Rodney eyes closed in bliss, he cradled his cup of tea near his chest and took in a deep breath, taking in the scent of the tea he'd just sipped. "This is great! It almost tastes like coffee."
"Thank you," Ianto nodded slightly.
Lindsey blinked, once twice, her eyes slowly fluttering open, "What happened?"
"You fainted when we finally got visitors, from Earth at that."
"That's not possible," Lindsey said, pretty forcefully for someone who just woke from a faint.
"Why is that not possible?" Sheppard asked with a frown.
"Because this is purgatory!" Lindsey glared at the man before softening her gaze. "I'm sorry but you all are dead."
"They aren't dead," Ianto said before taking a deep breath. He shook his head slightly as he moved slightly to focus more on the team from Atlantis. "No matter how many times I tell her she doesn't believe me when I say we didn't stay dead."
"Stay dead?" Rodney leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. "You were dead?"
"You're a scientist?"
"I thought so. You have the same unholy look in your eyes Tosh always had when she discovered something new to take apart."
"Let me ask a couple of questions then I'll explain what I think happened to us."
"Alright," Sheppard said before Rodney could say anything. Sheppard knew McKay had a tendency to blurt out things when he was excited, he wanted to control this conversation just in case it had something to do with the enemies of Atlantis.
"What year is it?"
Sheppard blinked, "… 2010."
"Did all the children of earth speak in unison at any point in the last year or so?"
"How many truly sentient species capable of communication with humans do you know of?"
Sheppard exchanged looks with McKay. Rodney answered cautiously, "There are about 10 that I can think of. Why?"
"I just verified we did not get transported through time, that the alien species that killed us never went to earth and that we are most likely in a very distant reality from our own."
"Aliens killed you?" Sheppard asked.
At the same time McKay asked, "You're from another reality?"
"Yes. … To both," Ianto rose from the table. "If you like I can show you the data that I used to come to my conclusions."
"Yes yes. Of course," Rodeny got up from his seat and started to follow Ianto from the room, hesitated for a moment before he went back and grabbed Sheppard's untouched cup of tea from the tray and quickly followed.
Sheppard resisted the urge to roll his eyes before quietly signaling to Teyla and Ronon to stay with the other two while he watched over Rodney. It took a moment for Sheppard to catch up to the other two who had re-entered the control room. He watched as Ianto typed commands into the computer consol that the Ancient's used.
"I'm still figuring out a lot of commands of course," Ianto explained. "I worked with alien technology a lot on my earth so I knew a few things to try to figure out what these things do. The use of crystals are very interesting, I've never seen technology that relied so much on them. Figuring out their language has been a slow process, thankfully it seems similar to Latin so I've been attempting to translate the logs. I read the first several and the last several before I started working on the rest."
"I'm the foremost expert on Ancient technology," McKay said glancing at Ianto for a moment before he returned his attention to the screen in front of him. "It's actually impressive that you've figured this out without help."
Ianto chuckled, which was somewhat unusual for him, "I haven't done much else since arriving here over a year ago now. There doesn't appear to be anyone else on the planet and we don't know any way to get off. I'm just kind of glad I didn't end up here alone."
"You said all three of you died and then weren't?"
"Yes. The three of us were in Thames House in London when alien's released a virus in the building. It cause a lock down. Everyone in the building died, but the three of us ended up here. I believe it's because of what was being researched here."
"What was being researched here?"
"You've mentioned the people that built this place are called the Ancients. Well they apparently used to live on Earth, millions of years ago."
"Yes yes. They fled our galaxy to escape a plague."
"That plague is what they were researching here."
"What?" John Sheppard came forward to stand on the other side of Ianto. "This disease felled the Ancients, and it's here? Are we in danger?"
"It's all contained. And now we have the treatment for it."
"They figured out how to cure the plague?" Rodney focused his considerable intelligence on the Welshman beside him.
"In a way. They didn't really have any oversight committee so they could work on it however they wanted. There were nine scientists stationed here researching this. One of them figured let's make a machine that will scan other universes and if the cure is found there bring it here."
"A quantum mirror! There is a quantum mirror here?"
"It doesn't appear to work properly. You see, that's how the scientists left this world. They didn't think they'd be able to make it to the portal in time to return to their home, so instead they left to my reality, destroying the outgoing capability, but did not turn off the search and find and bring them here feature, although it does seem to have locked onto my reality."
"That's a brilliant idea. As long as your sure about entropic cascade failure."
"The what now?" John asked.
Ianto looked up at John who towered over his seated form, "The theory that two versions of one person can not coexist in the same universe at the same time."
"Stargate Command had this happen a couple of time," Rodney expanded, "the only way to fix it is to send them back to their reality."
"You didn't mention this before, when we were dealing with Rod."
"Well Sheppard, we were a little busy trying to save his universe. He knew it would be a one way trip. It was worth it to him if it saved his universe."
Ianto watched the two of the bicker, the sarcasm McKay was using kind of reminded him of his own past conversations with Owen. Although he suspected that John Sheppard had more of the charisma that Owen pretended he had.
"When the aliens in my world released their biological weapons on us the machine recognized the probable cure to the disease that killed the Ancients and brought us here."
"Why just you three?" Rodney asked. "Thames House is the home of MI5, the UK Security Service," he clarified for John, "there should have been a lot of people working there."
"I believe that the three of us are descendants of the nine 'Ancients' that worked here. That they journeyed to my Earth from the quantum location they ended up at. There are enough sentient species in my reality for them to have done that."
"Why do you think they're your ancestors?"
"There are some devices that we can use that we think we shouldn't be able to if we weren't identified by their systems as members of their species. It's simple enough to assume they arrived on Earth in the UK and spread out from there, after 10,000 years there could be a lot of us who are their descendants."
"Even if that's true," John argued, "you could be descended from the Ancients native to your reality."
"You see I don't think they existed in my reality. You have to understand I worked for an organization that kept track of aliens that came near Earth. I've never heard of this species before. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of species that look like humans, but none that fit what I've learned here. I've also been able to map out a sort of timeline for their interactions with this reality's Earth and during the time they were supposedly there, my Earth had a reptilian species known as the Silurian."
"I've never heard of them."
"They don't appear to have existed here. There is no mention of them in their database of evolved species. Admittedly I don't know much about them, they're going to be in stasis for another thousand years in my reality. I only know about them because my boss is a time traveler, he normally doesn't talk about things that were going to happen anywhere near my lifetime, but he did tell me some things to make the future seem a little brighter. It took a thousand years and a very popular series of books to ensure that humans would welcome them when they woke up."
"Yes. I don't know the details, only that some kid and his parents meet them before they wake up and he wanted to make sure humanity would be ready to welcome them back so he wrote fiction books to guide the way."
"Apparently it worked though."
"Like this machine?"
Ianto turned to look back at the screen, since being stuck with just James and Lindsey for the last year he'd gotten a tad more talkative. Before he'd always had Lisa and Jack to fill in the silence, but now he didn't.
"From what I've been able to determine the virus that killed everyone in Thames House neutralizes the plague that they were researching here, and vice versa, which is why we're alive. It looks like the virus shuts down the body before you actually die."
"So we don't have to worry about anyone getting sick?"
"No. The three of us seem very healthy. The system injected us with the plague and it undid the virus. Which actually makes me think the early notes about the plague and the suspicions that it was actually a biological attack against them from some people called the Ori might actually be valid."
Rodney and John just stared at him.
"Alright then!" John said. "…"
"I don't suppose you have any ZPMs?" Rodney asked.
"What are ZPMs?"
"Ancient batteries," John interrupted. It was nice to be able to describe them and not get weird looks. "They're about a foot tall, crystallish, orangish." OK, so maybe he still got weird looks, but at least he understood him.
"Oh. We have one of them powering this station. And we have a charging station for them."
"Charging station?" Rodney tried not to get too excited until he could verify if it really one was. If it was though… "I need to see it! If it really is a charging station for ZPMs then we need to get a team of scientists out here to study it. We can have them study the research station too. If Johnson can really read Ancient he could even be helpful."
"My name is Jones. Ianto Jones. Not Johnson."
"Right right. You need to show me where this is, right now."
"It's a bit away from here. It'll take awhile to get there, we should probably wait until tomorrow since it will be very dark soon. You're welcome to stay here. There are clothes left behind in the private rooms that should fit your people." Ianto really missed his suits, although he usually wore them more because Jack liked them than he did.
"Alright," John agreed. "If we get more scientists here we might be able to see if we can get you back to your reality too, if you like."
"That would be nice. I know I would like to go home if possible, I don't even want to imagine what my co-workers are up to without me. Also… If you're bringing more people would it be possible to bring coffee too?"EndREVIEWS INSPIRE ME
This story idea hit me and I had to write it. I was tired when writing it but I've decided I'm actually proud of this. This might actually be my best in character writing I've done so far. I hope my switching between first and last name didn't confuse anyone. Ianto mentions the reptilian species, the Silurian, they are taken from the Doctor Who season 5 episodes "The Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood". Couldn't think of a title, so I used a random word generator to try words until one fit. I got a kick out of it when this one showed up. ... I was tired okay?
I'm thinking about writing a sequel which will cross into the Buffy-verse. Please let me know what you think!