Now and Again 24: Where Do We Go From Here?
Now and Again 24
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters, though any other characters such as the Stargate ones aren’t mine either and real-life folks are clearly not mine. No money is involved. None are mine.
This is dedicated to those of you who watch the show.
“Sixty-six of us, sir,” Lt. Gates reported. “And we’re ready to let down the shield now that we—”
“What the—” Xander began as the shield and several other power-sucking systems shut down as the huge underwater station steadied atop the waves of the alien ocean. “Kershaw, report!”
“Automated response, sir!” she reported from the main console. “Just like our rise to the surface, it seems we’re now conserving power.”
“Sir, we seem to be alone, no approach of vessels, or sign of any activity from what my console allows.”
“Okay. Kershaw, anything *activate* when we came up?”
“Sir, we seem to have something happening on the upper mezzanine where Doctor Walsh is. I can’t be sure, but the schematic shows a console sent a signal to a section of apartments and a lab.”
“Okay, send two teams—Gates and Miller—and have them check it out. If it’s safe we’ll send the Docs to follow up. That was one of the science consoles?”
“From what we could tell, sir, yes.”
An hour later, and Xander entered the activated laboratory to see Doctors Walsh and Morris helping a collapsing older woman with white hair and in a white gown to a
“Anything else? Anyone?”
He received no further worrisome news.
“Okay, everyone, recheck your systems, and let’s see about figuring out some way other than barricades to seal this tower from the rest of the place. Who knows who or what else we might have waking up.”
An hour later, and Xander joined his ‘medical team’ in the Infirmary. They still had two dozen people in recovery, though Morris had assured him that all but six would be up within the week, and maybe only two kept beyond two weeks—General Maybourne and Colonel Makepeace, both in and out of consciousness, though healed as far as the hand device could manage. Anise was studying up as much as possible on the neural connection of the human mind, but so far, only incrementally would be able to improve patient status.
“She awake yet?” he asked his doctors of the woman with eyes closed on a bed.
“I am, Major,” the woman informed him as she sighed and made her conscious status known. “The question is, who are you, and what are you doing on Atlantis?”
“You speak English?”
“What? Oh…yes, I do. I’m Doctor Elizabeth Weir, Commander of the Atlantis Expedition.”
“Atlantis Expedition?” He looked to the others, who shrugged or shook their heads to indicate lack of information. “We just arrived two days ago. And from the covers on everything, it’s been a long time since anyone’s been here.”
“Oh.” She looked concerned, but stared at the SGC patch on Xander’s uniform. “What Earth year is it?”
“How long’s the Stargate been open, then?”
“I think time’s changed.”
“I don’t follow you, Doctor Weir.”
“I came through in 2005 with a full expedition, but … ended up back during the evacuation of the Ancients back to Earth.”
“How, how long ago?”
“Ten thousand years…and I guess what little interaction I had, changed things just enough…”
They exchanged versions of the late 1990s, matching almost completely until her unawareness regarding the ‘Eggman’ terror incidents. They compared SGC and especially SG-1 mission reports until it seemed that due to the larger NID presence off-world, instead of imploding and being hunted down, Xander realized they were here on Atlantis. He explained the differences between his group and her knowledge of the NID-Trust.
“So you’re NID,” she stated without much emotion. “What now?”
“Well, I don’t want to stay here, and when he wakes up it will be General Maybourne’s decision, because you’re here, we need to decide if future knowledge used early is a good thing or a bad thing.”
“I agree. My knowledge isn’t probably specific enough to impact too greatly. Though your success against Cronus, and the destruction of a planet, could make it more important to return to Earth.”
“So in your timeline, the NID are the bad guys?”
“Yes, and they caused many difficulties with our allies. Your Maybourne being a general is a surprise—though he with the rest of you is on the run.”
“Yeah, I know. And since we can’t restore your timeline without probably causing even more stuff to get out of whack, we’ll have to make the best of our situation here.”
“Do you intend to contact Earth?”
“Do you have the exact coordinates? Because even though Kershaw replaced a few burnt out crystals in the dialing console, we don’t know them from here.”
“Shouldn’t we be able to check through records?”
“How good’s your Ancient?”
“Not too bad. In between ZPM changes, I spent time learning the language and some of the very basic systems. Beyond that, very little.”
“I have very little—I’ve managed to figure out enough nouns so that we can tell what some of the stuff on the main consoles indicate. And on Dekara we got our hands on a lot of Goa’uld-translated tech stuff. A lot of us can read that.”
“I can help with the translations when I get some rest.”
“We’ll do what we can for you Doctor Weir. Maybe these Ancients have a way of reversing aging? Because I’d really rather not manufacture D’Argol.”
“Oh, I’ve made my peace with aging, Alexander. If I can explore and learn more of this place, with my fellow humans for company, I’ll be happy enough. I’m surprised you have the anti-aging formulae, though.”
“We had a small off-world base where we apparently kept all our Intel. So, if we find the coordinates, you said something earlier about power requirements. You wouldn’t happen to know how we can get the power to get back, would you? With the ship if it’ll really move.”
“How, yes. But we’ll need to find three of the ZPMs I told you about. Though I have an idea where we should be able to look first,” She said and reached into her gown. “I have five addresses given to me by Janis. Outposts of his time that had ZPMs.”
“Thank you, Doctor Weir.”
“Please call me Elizabeth, Alexander.”
“Okay, Elizabeth. Get some rest.”
Two days later, Kershaw and Jana reported in the morning briefing around Maybourne’s bed that they’d managed with Dr. Weir’s help to establish translation algorithms that were successfully allowing laptops to serve as alternate interfaces with the consoles to which they were attached. Maybourne nodded, pleased.
“Dr. Weir, thank you. Kershaw, Kalderash, good work. So, Doctor, Captain Newman tells me nothing but good of you. And that you’ve signed up with us?”
“So long as your group doesn’t become the danger to Earth as it did in my own timeline, General. Especially given how the Trust and Senator Kinsey on several occasions nearly caused the SGC enough trouble to where Earth was threatened.”
Maybourne looked around the room at his inner staff before responding.
“I’ve read Newman’s reports, and listened to your initial discussions with him. I can’t say I’m not almost the same man as your Maybourne. But I place the safety and security of the United States, and the Earth, as my core values and mission. And my only real problem with the SGC was that they refused to maximize the returns on their missions—they didn’t even retrieve the staff weapons or salvage tech from downed Death Gliders. We could have doubled our naquada reserves and research. SG-1 and SG-3 in particular carried out great work. Now, just to ease your mind, while I don’t have a Star Trek ‘Prime Directive’ holding us back, any exploration beyond the city will be more of a profitable version of the SGC. But Atlantis belongs to us, now. And so I want to get it back to Earth with as much technology and understanding of it as possible.”
“What happens when you get it to Earth, saying we do?”
“I hope for amnesty, pardons and promotions for my command, here. And if not desired in uniform anymore, honorable retirement for all of us.”
“Should I ask for anything else, Dr. Weir? Maybe a dose of that D’Argol and the antidote if we can make them work. O’Neill isn’t the only airman starting to feel his age.”
She stared at him a moment.
“I, I may have drawn wrong conclusions of you.”
“Of the other me? Probably not. But I’m not him. I have a proud command with great success. And I held an Interim command directly from the President for eighteen months. Only recently did that command merge into the Offworld Infiltration you see here. So, the old me was…the Evil Kirk…I’m just lucky enough to be the Not-Evil one.”
“It’s all shades of gray, Doctor. I handle the government programs that are amoral or questionable. But those on Atlantis with us, they’re actually the good guys from those commands and programs. I try to do better because of them.”
Maybourne looked around the room, “I mean it, people. We’re going to figure this place out, maybe check on the worlds we have coordinates for, and see about getting Atlantis back home. Now, I have all of your reports, but am getting a bit tired. Newman, you continue for now. Eventually, Colonel Makepeace will head the Military-Security side of the house, with you as our Field Team commander. Dr. Morris, you’ll head our R&D side of things. Lt Foster, you’ll be our temporary Quartermaster, with all the thankless tasks that entails. Dr. Weir…you will be our Diplomat, Ambassador. When not doing that, you’ll eventually be my Chief of Staff—even though we aren’t a huge operation, having someone to read through reports and suggestions, then balance priorities, will allow a different perspective that I WILL value, even though I might not decide to follow the advice.”
He watched as everybody nodded, and readied for their assignments.
“Now, Doctor Weir, I’d like you and Captain Newman to go through the Atlantis databases, and correlate all information you can on the ZPM worlds you were given addresses for. So far, all we know about the last one, is that its name was Kobol. Everyone, dismissed.”
By the time the last person exited the door, General Maybourne had passed out.