Disclaimer: I do not own anything of Atlantis and the characters of John, Teyla, Carson, Jack, Samantha, Daniel, and Teal'c.
A.N.: The second chapter to this, is to explain some of the things in the story. I would advise you to read it after reading the story so that you will not get confuse. On another note: "Don't judge a poet by her fanfiction." Malem
As the days passed, John began to sleep like a log again. He hadn't told anyone of the mysterious woman, deciding that Carsn would want to run a million tests and her didn't like needles. Besides, he still wasn't sure if she was real.
Weir suspended all off world travels so the teams could take more time looking through the city for labs weapons and the like. John led the main team to no certain part of the city. "I'm just walking where I feel like it." John had answered McKay when he asked where he was taking them. John just let his senses take him somewhere and dealt what was thrown at him. Nothing though, could have prepared him for what he would find that day.
McKay was too busy to continue the search after finding another lab, but John wanted to go on. He left McKay with Teyla and went on by himself. The long corridors were dark and seemed to narrow as he went along. "That's strange, a dead end." In all of the expeditions they had never come across a dead end. There was either another door or it was and outside wall, but those all had windows. Neither of these things were here. "Oh well." John began to walk back to the lab.
A sudden cold chill ran down John's spine. He stopped but nothing happened, nothing moved, and there was no sound; it was to quiet. "I'm here." the voice was familiar to John and soon his mind came to the mysterious woman. "I'm here." she repeated and John turned back to the dead end. "I must be hearing things." but he didn't believe himself. Watching the was at the end of the hall, it seemed to melt away. John blinked, "Now I must be seeing things." but he didn't move.
The wall had disappeared and there seemed to be a room on the other side. "Now what?" John sighed. "I'm here." There was the woman again. He raised his P90 and moved toward the newly formed door.
The lights flickered on as John walked in. The illuminated room was large and left him in awe. A large bay window looked out over the Atlantis surroundings. One single panel was set opposite of the window and was beginning to hum on when John touched it. A hologram appeared in the center of the room, it was the woman John had been seeing.
"My name is Zaber Atlantius and I am the city's keeper." John dropped his P90 and had that feeling of comfort from the first time he saw her, "You're real."
"After the Atlantis Council decided to go back to Earth they began the process of choosing a keeper. The keeper was to protect the city while submerged and if by chance our decedents found the city, make sure they didn't destroy themselves. I was chosen for the fact that my father was the military leader of the city and my mother was one of the ruling families." The hologram flickered a little then resumed. "Once chosen, my body was placed in stasis and my soul ascended. The others left and the city was safely hidden, and I began my wait."
John stood in amazement, he couldn't really take it all in. "So, do you control the city?" He had forgotten that he just asked a question to a hologram and that it couldn't answer. "This room in which you stand is a library of my time as the keeper and all of my doings. The room also houses my physical self. As you have found this room, you are a special person, to your peers and to the city. I and the city intrust that you will keep our secret. You must not tell anyone that you have found this place or what you have heard here. All knowledge will be revealed when the time is right." Again, John mindlessly talked to the nonexistent woman, "I swear I will not tell a soul." What was he doing? John shook himself and then realized that there was a podium next to the hologram. "Use this to access the library and possibly find me. One last piece of information: while in the room, the rest of Atlantis is still, so you may stay as long as you wish." The woman, Zaber, smiled and the hologram flickered off.
John stood for a moment to try to take in all that had just happened. A moment passed and he finally walked over to the podium. It was like all the others in Atlantis, so it was easy for him to use. Laying his hand on the podium, it came on and John then noticed that there was one difference, this one had no controls. "All right I guess you are supposed to think with this." John was a bit annoyed, he didn't like to think to much. He closed his eyes and the first thing that popped in his mind was Zaber's face. He heard something hum and when he opened his eyes he saw that the bay window was gone and in its place was a viewing screen, like that in the control room. With-on the screen were rows and rows of Ancient words. John moaned, why hadn't he taken McKay's suggestion and learned Ancient. "Why can't there just be one universal language?" As if the screen had heard his request, the Ancient writing changed into english. " English? How the hell is that possible?" That question didn't linger though because John was immediately interested on what the screen read.
Row after row, screen after screen , John read and read. The words he read flowed yet they described some very cruel times. Three million six hundred fifty thousand days wroth of entries; in Earth standards, John corrected himself. Most of the entries were rather short and described long, lonely days. Even noting this, John kept reading. Hours and hours past but no one called him or wondered where he was. The city was silent, like Zaber had said. When John reached that last five years wroth of entries, he saw a major change in Zaber's writing. It was then that he saw SG1 mentioned. As he read in, he learned that SG1 had met Zaber during a mission off-world and befriended her. The entries grew longer, giving details about each time Zaber and SG1 met. John also saw that Zaber's words grew happier. It seemed that once she met SG1 her life wasn't so boring and she finally had friends again.
When John came to the last entry, in which he was calling Zaber's Journal, he realized that is was the first day the Atlantis Expedition team came. Apparently Zaber had been waiting for a team from Earth to come. She watched them intently and happily. John blushed a little when she described him and Zaber went on to describe the others on the expedition team and commented on what they had done that day. When John reached the last line he understood why there were no other entries, "Ten thousand years with only the city's voice to comfort me. Now within Atlantis' walls hope has bloomed again. My time as keeper is almost up and even now I can feel myself leaving the city. The hope that I would someday unite back with my physical self, is fading with the sun. I can only pray that, maybe, Jack, Samantha, Daniel, Teal'c, or the expedition team here in Atlantis can somehow find me and bring me back among the living. I must let the waves fall upon the shore now and wait once more for my time to come." John's heart sank a little, was he to late to help Zaber.
The screen was disappearing and the bay window reappeared. The sun was starting to set. "How long have I been here?" John wondered. He didn't want to know, but he still had to find Zaber. John couldn't tell what drove him to do it, maybe it was that he felt guilty for bringing her so much trouble. Whatever it was, it kept him searching.
With his hand on the podium and eyes closed, John thought hard of Zaber and a physical form. He kept his ears sharp to make sure he didn't miss a sound. It seemed like hours while John waited for something, anything, but when he finally heard a click and a hissing noise, his eyes saw what he had feared. A large stasis chamber had risen from the floor, not far from where John stood. Laying peacefully within the chamber was Zaber and her face held the most beautiful smile and the brightest eyes. John was still hopeful that she was still alive, but when his eyes fell to the life monitor and nothing was moving, his heart sank lower than it has before, he had been to late.
John's knees gave under him and he fell. Why did her not being alive effect him so much; he didn't even know her. His hand must have hit something for the hologram of Zaber came on. John never turned, he just knelt there staring into Zaber's eyes. Her voice from the hologram rang in his ears, "My friend, I am grateful for you and your determination. I am sorry to say that my body is dead. The stasis chamber is keeping it from decaying and I would wish that is stay that way." The hologram blinked off again, but John was still to weak to move. His body felt cold and numb, the feeling of comfort that had engulfed him before, was gone.
The closing of the hologram must have activated the stasis chamber to re-descend into the depths of the floor. Before it was out of reach, John touched the glass that was just above Zaber's face. It felt like ice against his hands, but Zaber's chamber, her coffin, left John in a broken state that he didn't like.
"Get up!" he told himself, "It isn't a big deal, just get up!" John's legs though refused to move, they seemed to be frozen to the floor. He grew frustrated with himself, "Get Up!" he demanded of himself. He closed his eyes to try to relax, maybe he was just over reacting, but before he could open his eyes, he felt a hand on his shoulder. John's reflexes took over. His eyes flew open, he jumped up and turned around. When his eyes saw what had touched him, his muscles immediately relaxed, it was Zaber.
She looked like she has in the stasis chamber and like she had when she appeared to John. "But you're gone? Your body is dead?" John was relieved to see her but was confused as well. He realized that the comfort feeling had returned, he felt warm again. "As the message stated, John, my body was kept in stasis , but my soul, my mind really, ascended. Much like what happened to Thor when his mind was downloaded into Anubis' ship." Zaber's words were like music, but the reference she made didn't strike any bells with John. She smiled when she realized that he didn't know what she was talking about. "John, you and the others on Atlantis not have complete control over the city. Yes, you don't know what secrets it holds, but they will come later." Zaber smiled, it was nice to be able to finally tell someone all she knew. She had kept the secret far to long.
"But why do we have control now? I still don't understand." John's eyes washed over Zaber, she was very beautiful.
"There are many things that you will never understand and that I could hardly explain. As for your control now, it is because my physical self is gone. My body was the link that aloud me to control the city, but now that, that link is severed I no longer have control, thus leaving it to you and the others of the expedition team."
John stepped closer to her, "I thin k I understand. There is still one question I have though."
"You may ask." Zaber smiled, feeling that she already knew the question.
"Since you're not linked to the city anymore, can you stay here and if so," John's smile grew large on his face, "are you still going to help me sleep?"
Zaber began to laugh. John noted that it sounded like prue joy and it made him smile even more. "Yes, John. I will still help you sleep."