The Puddlejumper Diaries
By Andrew J. Talon
Disclaimer: Stargate: Atlantis, and all associated nouns (people, places, and things) are the property of MGM and the SciFi Channel. I don't own squat.
Jumper Eighteen: Rocks and Shoals, Part 1
It had been a rough end of the year for all of us. Dr. Beckett dead, the possibility of Dr. Weir being replaced with a new commander-All of it hung heavily over the members of the expedition. But I have to admit, despite all of this my fellow Jumpers and I had been in relatively high spirits.
The Asurans were dealt with, nuked into oblivion. Anya had done the reconnaissance over Asuras with Colonel Sheppard, confirming the destruction the Apollo had wrought. The Replicators, as the humans called them, had been wiped out. We had nothing to fear from them anymore, and the Wraith were fighting amongst themselves as usual.
It was looking like things could only go up from here.
Then the Asurans struck back. And it looked like we were, in a word, screwed thanks to their satellite weapon.
Fussbudget had contacted Dr. Weir and requested that we go up and try to take out the satellite weapon ourselves-There were few shield technologies that drones could not get through. But she had vetoed it-The Asurans had Ancient technology the same as we did, and there was no guarantee we could destroy the satellite.
So, it was decided that Atlantis would leave the planet and head for somewhere else. Atlantis herself agreed with this… Most of the Jumpers? No so much.
"Look, running away like this is dangerous," Fussbudget had tried to communicate to Doctor Weir. "With one ZPM, our calculations indicate that such a move has, at best, a twelve point two percent chance of success. Twelve point two. Do you know what that means?"
"Yes, I know," Dr. Weir had replied, sparing some time to see us in our bay. That was very nice of her, actually-She almost never comes up here to see us.
"There are other options… You could let us go out, take it down for you," Fussbudget suggested. "Domino, Violet and Hoshi and Rei have networked with me and we believe there is as much as a thirty nine point nine seven percent chance we could modify our drones to pierce through the Asurans' shields."
"I've talked to Rodney and Radek about it," Weir said, crossing her arms over her chest with a pained expression on her face. "It's likely the Asurans prepared the satellite weapon for such action."
"Yes, likely. Not for sure," Fussbudget emphasized. "There are other possibilities! You could use a 302 to hyperjump a weapon through the shield!"
"Actually, there is only a zero point zero zero zero zero four chance that that could be a viable action," Whisper pointed out in her usual flat tone. "One, a 302's hyperspace generator is not precise enough to target such a small area. Two, even if we could make it that precise, an active Stargate with that much power pouring through it is nearly as rigid as a small star. Finally, the weapon would have only a nanosecond, at best, to reach critical mass and detonate before being destroyed by the beam. Even a mark-nine needs three nanoseconds to reach critical mass."
"You didn't do the numbers correctly!" Hoshi protested.
"She did," Rei said miserably. "No matter how many times we run the numbers it will not change facts."
"It is our only viable option right now, ladies… And while I appreciate your attempts to offer alternatives…" Weir shrugged, letting a bit of her inner helplessness show. "It's all we've got."
She took a deep breath. "What I need from you is support… Can I have that?"
"Well, sure," Violet said. "You always have that, Dr. Weir."
"You're our leader, even if we aren't, ya know, officially part of the expedition," Neda added.
"You can count on us to do whatever you need us to do!" Anya declared.
"You got it!"
The smile on her face, despite her sleepless appearance, was definitely morale boosting. She'd taken so much flak for her decisions from the IOA but in the end, she had stuck to her guns and taken responsibility for her choices like a real leader should.
We Jumpers would follow her, period. Even if we were heading into Hell itself.
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Part 2 to follow