By Andie O'Neill
Summary: When Weir, Sheppard, and McKay are trapped on a planet that is pushed into another dimension, they are forced to live what could be the rest of their lives in a world cut off from everyone they know.
A/N: I was watching "Epiphany" when I came up with the idea; it's loosely based on it as well as an SG-1 episode called "Crystal Skull", you'll figure out why soon enough. I tried to resist the plot bunnies once more, but sadly their much stronger than I am. :( They MADE me do this!!!!!!!!! Thanks Stargatecrazy, for agreeing to be my beta:D
Chapter One "Alliance"
He hated it when she left home. Always had, and probably always would. There were dangers outside of Atlantis, and John Sheppard had learned the hard way just how bad those dangers could be, but of course even after saying those very words it hadn't helped get his point across.
"Colonel, it's a negotiation for an alliance, so unless I accidentally fall and break something, I don't foresee there being too much trouble. Besides, you'll be there! And like McKay said, we could use having these people as our friends. There are enough Ancient ruins there to keep us occupied for years, and who knows what we could learn? The only way they'll share that with us is if we all become friends. They are good people. I've been wrong before, but I truly don't think we'll have anything to worry about."
"That's what they always say… just before something bad happens!"
They'd been sitting for hours, Elizabeth and the village leader Kharis in deep conversation. They were preparing for a festival to 'Celebrate The Changing Home.' Whatever that meant. John sighed, looking over at McKay as he spoke with Kharis' niece, Saren, who seemed to be quite excited at the idea of learning from him. McKay had been just as pleased with the idea, love struck from the moment he'd met her… John supposed it was the blonde hair that had sealed the deal; she did look an awful lot like Samantha Carter….
"Then it is settled, you shall join us tonight to bring in the new home," Kharis said, a pleased look on his face.
"If you don't mind me asking Kharis, why exactly is it called the 'new home?' I keep hearing you guys say that, what does it mean?" John asked. He'd been wanting to ask for hours now.
"New Home, yes, it is from the ancient text you wish to examine, it speaks of a story. When the people you call the Ancients first came here, they gave this planet a gift. When the day comes this gift is apparent to us again and we celebrate its coming. It is a blessing that has brought us peace for many generations."
Kharis nodded. "We are not quite sure exactly what this gift is, as we have never truly seen a change other than the great shaking… the sky ripples and then we know the gift is there, but we do know this gift was meant to protect us. It is a blessing."
John leaned in close to Elizabeth. "Sounds like something we would definitely wanna check out," he whispered in her ear, watching her nod in agreement as he sat back in his chair.
"Colonel, head back to the gate and inform Teyla we'll be staying for the festival."
"I'd be happy to offer my home for you to stay in for the night; you can leave for your home at the first light."
Elizabeth looked over at John to make sure it would be acceptable to him. He did his best to be okay with the idea, although in reality he was just thinking about how much sleep he wasn't gonna get with him having to worry about Elizabeth's safety during the night.
"That sounds lovely, thank you Kharis, you've been too kind."
"It wasn't hard. I can tell you are good people, our two peoples will be great friends," he told her, bowing his head in respect.
Elizabeth bowed her own head, mimicking him, her smiling growing at his words.
John slowly got up. "Well, I better be off. I will return as soon as I have informed Atlantis of our plans," he announced, giving his own little bow to Kharis before he took off. He had a long walk ahead of him.
"They call this a celebration?" John asked, folding his arms in boredom as he watched McKay and Saren talk and drink.
Rodney McKay really was bad with women. John was starting to wonder how Saren could seem so interested in the guy who was babbling like an idiot about some show called "Doctor Who." Frankly John could never understand how that show could be so popular. He'd never really been much interested in sci-fi, which was ironic considering his life could be a sci-fi show if you took into account the fact that he was living in another galaxy, battling big bad aliens, with ships that could fly in space.
"Apparently they're preparing for whatever's supposed to happen before the actual celebration begins," Elizabeth explained, looking about as excited as Rodney would be in a room full of Samantha Carters.
"You know, I find it disturbing that you could enjoy this as much as you are. We're sitting around drinking alcohol and eating what seriously resembles grass while a bunch of people dance around a rock."
"Learning about ones culture can be just as exhilarating as golf, John; you just don't care enough to try."
"Hey, at least golf gives me something to do."
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at that. "Frankly, I don't even understand how you can like it! My father used to watch it on TV every weekend… best few hours of sleep I've ever had," she remarked.
John glared at her. "Well, Doctor Weir, I'll have you know actually getting the chance to be out there PLAYING golf can be just as exhilarating as learning about ones culture, you just don't care enough to try," he told her, throwing her own words right back into her face.
Elizabeth rolled her eyes, looking back at the men and women dancing and calling for the 'gift' to come. Suddenly the ground began to shake violently and just as Kharis had mentioned, the sky began to ripple, making Elizabeth gasp in wonder as the stars in the night sky changed, and some blinking out of existence while others simply moved.
"Still think this celebration is boring?" Elizabeth asked when the ground finally fell to silence and the shaking ceased.
"Uhhh… not so much," John admitted, staring at the sky with a mixture of confusion and awe.
Rodney didn't waste much time when they finally reached the gate, punching in Atlantis' address, obviously happy to be going home. John was more relieved than anything. Their time on the planet had been enjoyable enough, but he wanted Elizabeth back home, the sooner the better. Off-world travel just wasn't as fun when he spent most of the day, and night worried sick that something was going to happen to her, but to his surprise, things had gone right for a change. Everything had turned out great, and for once since his time living in Atlantis, he'd be going home after what could be his best and most successful mission yet. When Rodney hit the last symbol he glanced back at Elizabeth, before putting his hand on the middle button for it to engage. His smile soon changed into a frown though as the lit up symbols faded and the gate shut down. "What the… it didn't engage," Rodney stated as he tried again.
"We can SEE that Rodney! What the hell is wrong with it?"
"I don't know! It was working fine yesterday when you dialed Atlantis right?"
"Yeah, it was fine; I contacted Teyla and told her we were staying."
Rodney frowned when once again the gate did not engage and shut down instead. "This could be a problem."
"Well can you fix it?!" John asked. So much for nothing going wrong….
"I don't know. I'll need some time to examine it. We might be here a while longer."
Elizabeth folded her arms, suddenly looking worried. "I'm not sure I like the sound of that. How long will it take you to see what's wrong?"
"Not sure, hours…" Rodney answered, getting to work.
"So…" John said, turning to look at Elizabeth. "What was it you said about there'd be nothing we'd need to worry about? I believe that's what you said."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes, sitting down on the grass.
"It's not working ma'am, we can't seem to establish a connection," the technician explained as Teyla stood beside him.
"Could there be something wrong with the dialing computer."
"I don't think so ma'am. Something is wrong though. We should be able to contact them."
Teyla frowned, staring out at the Stargate, suddenly worried of what John could have gotten himself into this time. "Inform Colonel Caldwell. If the gate no longer works he may have to take his ship to the planet to find them."
"This doesn't make any sense! It should be working!" Rodney complained, when the wormhole to Atlantis didn't open. "I checked the DHD through and through! It's perfectly fine! We should be HOME by now!"
"Are you sure there isn't something you've missed, Rodney? I mean, the DHD is a complicated piece of technology, perhaps it's something you don't even know about," Elizabeth offered as she sat beside John on the large rock nearby the gate.
"I didn't miss anything! It's just not working! Something else must be going on, it can't be the DHD!"
"The gate then?" John offered.
"No, I checked that to, nothing out of the ordinary. It's all fine, it should be working."
Elizabeth thought for a moment, trying to figure out how the gate could malfunction this way when it seemed everything should be in working order.
"Perhaps it's not the gate at all. I mean, after last night we know this planet has… once again be given a gift. I was talking to many of the locals, apparently this 'gift' can stay in effect for over a hundred years, sometimes only a few years. We know there's a boat load of information about it in the ruins, maybe that's where we'll get our answer?"
Rodney's eyes widened. "These people have never once been culled by the Wraith, maybe this… 'gift' is more than the villagers can understand. I mean, we've seen the Ancients put in place ways of protection for some of the humans on different planets. M7G-677 for example… the children there were protected by a dampening field capable of shutting down any Wraith ship to come too close. We need to check out those ruins."
"Wait! Wait! I thought you said it could take years to read all the information on those ruins!" John objected.
"What do you suggest we do John? Rodney can't get the gate working again, and we aren't going to be able to figure all this out unless we go to those ruins."
"Once Atlantis realizes they can't contact us with the gate they'll send the Daedalus to come pick us up… what's wrong with that plan?" Sheppard asked, not too keen on having to sit around while McKay and Weir studied ancient texts that he couldn't give a damn about.
"And if the Daedalus can't do that because whatever's affecting the gate affects their ability to get us as well? What then? Hmmm?" McKay asked, his usual 'I'm smarter than you are' smirk written all over his face.
John frowned, glaring at the scientist. "Fine! Fine! Off to the boring alien ruins," he muttered under his breath, looking none to pleased as they headed towards the ruins.
Rodney on the other hand seemed quite pleased with himself, while Elizabeth simply glanced at him, an amused look on her face as she watched Sheppard sulk.
"Sir, we've reached the coordinates Atlantis gave us."
"Alright, give me a visual," Caldwell ordered, getting up from his Captain's chair. Minutes later the viewer clicked on, but instead of the planet they had expected to see before them, all they saw was space. Nothing but space.
"That can't be right… are you sure this is it? There's nothing here."
"Sir, this is it. There's no mistake… the planet… it's just… gone."
Caldwell frowned. "We need to get back to Atlantis… NOW!"
To Be Continued….
A/N: I know it's been done probably a hundred times with these sci-fi shows, someone always gets stranded or whatever, but I just couldn't resist my own version. Damn you plot bunnies! Damn you!!!!!!! Well, at least I'm almost finished with some of my other stories…. :sigh: