A/N: This is an AU story that takes place about sixteen years into the future. It's about Sonia Lorne (yes, Major Lorne's daughter) on her first few days on Atlantis.
Disclaimer: No, Stargate Atlantis isn't mine. Sonia, her sisters, and Tom are all MINE, thought. MUHAHAHA!!!
"Hello, this is Lt. Colonel Banks speaking, captain of the Oedipus. We are approaching the city of Atlantis and will touch down in five minutes. Please stay seated during this time. Thank you for your cooperation."
Looking up from my book, I listen to the message attentively. No sooner has the captain finished saying 'please stay seated' when I jump out of my chair and head towards the nearest window, eager to see the city for the first time.
My mother, sitting across from the chair I previously occupied, throws me a gently chiding look. "Sonia, the captain just said to stay seated," she says disapprovingly.
I've just spotted Atlantis, thought, and say slyly, "I can see the city. Wow, it's just beautiful. The towers are so magnificent…"
"Scoot over. I want to see." I grin as my mom leaps out of her chair and hurries to my side. She can never resist the word 'magnificent'.
As we admire the city, I hug myself tight and wonder what it'll be like to live there. I honestly can't believe that this is happening to me – moving to a new world, a new galaxy. Everyone on Earth knows about Atlantis, and many want to go there, but only the best and brightest are chosen.
My father, Evan Lorne, is a major in the army, and lived on Atlantis for around two years about seventeen years ago. He moved back to Earth, met my mom, got married, and was just recently asked to go back to Atlantis by the commanding military officer there. Apparently, he's to replace the last 2IC, who was killed in battle.
I'm not to sure how I feel about my dad replacing somebody who was killed – seems to me that it means that he'll be in risk of being killed as well. At first, he refused to go, because the military wanted him to leave us behind ('us' being my mom, my two sisters and me) which he wasn't too happy about. I guess they must have wanted him really badly, because then they said that we could all go. Even my cat, Patches, is here, stuck in a cage back in my quarters.
My thoughts are interrupted by a slight jerk as the Oedipus lands on one of Atlantis's huge decks. Cheers are heard through the intercoms, and I grin as I hear my dad's distinctive, unmistakable whistling.
"Well, I guess we should get ready to go," my mom says to me, a thread of anxiousness braided into her normally calm voice. I only nod in agreement, feeling both excited and nervous at once.
Heading quickly towards my room, which is tiny, at barely one hundred square feet in size, I am greeted by a hissing and spitting Patches. He has obviously not taken the landing well.
"Hey, Patchy, what's up?" I ask, grabbing my luggage and shoving a few last-minute items into it. Most of my stuff had been packed beforehand, but since I'm not the most organized person, I forgot to put away some of my clothes and books. I'm also a slight procrastinator, which is why I start grabbing t-shirts and magazines off the floor and stuff them into my already-bursting luggage. I have to feel sorry for the poor thing. It's brand new and is already tearing at the seams.
Patches hisses fiercely again from his cage. I wish I could let him out; he's been in that cage for two weeks. But I know that if I do he'll run off, which would, obviously, be bad.
"Just a few more minutes, Patches, and then you'll be free," I tell him, picking up the cage. I glance around my quarters one last time to check that I have everything; seeing nothing, I leave quickly.
My parents and two sisters, Jemima and Evangeline, are already at the departure area, waiting for me. People have started to get off the ship, and my family looks impatient to go. Evangeline is particularly impatient, fidgeting as she asks in her ten-year-old voice, "Can we go now? Can we go now? Let's just leave Sony behind!"
"I heard that. And the name is Sonia," I tell her, slightly out of breath as I halt besides my dad.
"All ready?" he asks me. I nod, and we step off the Oedipus onto Atlantis.
"Glad you decided to come."
"Your letter didn't really give me much choice, sir."
"No, it didn't, did it?"
The two military men regard each other impassively for a moment, and suddenly break out into grins as they shake hands and start to chat like old buddies.
Rather bemused, Evangeline and I exchanged puzzled looks at the abrupt change in attitude. "Mom, what is Dad doing?" Evangeline asks.
"Shh, sweetie, he's going through male bonding time," Mom says, as if that explains everything.
Eva looks at me, and I shrug, unable to offer any answer that will satisfy her; I'm just as mystified.
"This is my wife, Teresa, and my kids, Evangeline, Jemima, and Sonia," says my dad to Colonel Sheppard.
"Nice to meet you," the Colonel says, stepping forward to shake my mother's hand. I can't help but like him immediately for his friendliness; I know I'm right about him, too, when he shakes my hand and my sisters' hands.
"Teyla and Ronon wanted to be here to meet you too, but something came up on the mainland," Colonel Sheppard tells my dad. "I don't know where McKay went, he said he'd be here…"
"He's a busy man," Dad says.
"If I know McKay, he probably got sidetracked by the thought of lunch," Colonel
Sheppard says dryly. "Come on, I'll show you your quarters. You've got a nice little family suite – it has four rooms connected together, I think you'll like it."
As we start to walk through the city, I can't help but gape at everything we pass. It's all just so…big. And cool. I really hope I have the Ancient gene like my dad – then one day maybe I'll get to fly one of those puddlejumpers across the sea. Now that would be amazing.
Up in front, my dad and the Colonel are still talking.
"Three kids? I envy you. My wife made us have five – one boy and four girls," Colonel Sheppard says.
My dad laughs. "How are Teyla and Ronon doing? Still together?"
"Yeah. They've got two kids now…Ronon was smarter than both of us…"
I zone out on their conversation, not knowing who these people are. I am seriously excited to hear that there are plenty of kids here, by the sound of it. I can't wait to start school, see what it's like…
---Two days later---
If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong…and always at the most inconvenient moment.
"Patchy! Will you please, please come out? I only have five minutes to get ready… Patches!" I'm lying on my stomach, trying to convince my stubborn cat to crawl out from under my parent's bed. I have to lock him in my room before going to school, because neither of my parents want him in their room. He, of course, completely ignores me, resuming his grooming with barely a glance at my direction. Darn it, four minutes, and I haven't eaten breakfast yet. Well, unless you can call two scrawny pieces of toast breakfast.
Patches is still grooming himself, if I could just grab him, I could go get some real food. As if sensing my intentions, he suddenly saunters even more out of reach, with (what looked like) a smug look.
"Fine, you win this round, cat. Don't get used to it." Yeah, right, he seems to say, curling up in a ball and half-closing his eyes.
Standing and dusting myself off, I start to leave the room just as my dad enters it.
"Did you get Patches out, Sonia?" he asks.
"Oh, uh, yeah," I lie guiltily. Well, I don't have time. This is my first day at Atlantis's high school, and I don't want to be late. I'll just hope and pray that the evil little cat doesn't scratch up too many of my parent's things.
Suddenly I remember that my 'opinion statement essay' is due today for English 1, and I still haven't printed it out. Great, just great. Well, there goes breakfast.
Heading to my dad's laptop, I see Patches sneak out from under the bed and stroll into the quiet of my older sister's room. Sometimes I wonder about that cat…
At the laptop, I open my document and click the print button. I wait impatiently for it to print. It doesn't. I click the button again. Still nothing happens. "What on Earth…I mean, what on Atlantis…" I mutter, frowning at the screen.
At that moment, my dad comes up and mentions, "You know, the printer doesn't work."
He shrugs and smiles at me ruefully. "I have no idea. Maybe you can get Dr. McKay to fix it," he jokes.
I remember the grumpy-looking scientist we met yesterday, who looked so…grumpy. No thanks. "I'll just get a memory stick from Jemima," I mutter.
Memory sticks are these handy little devices used for transferring data from computer to computer. You put the memory stick into the computer and download any documents onto it. Then, you can stick the memory stick into another computer, say, one with a working printer, download the documents there, and print it out.
"I'll print it out at one of the school computers before class," I tell myself.
If it doesn't fit, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
"Hey Jemima, can I borrow one of your memory sticks?" I ask as I pop my head into my older sister's room. She is at the mirror, putting make-up on. (Why she likes that stuff, I will never understand. Personally, I think lipstick would have better use as an artist's paint and eye shadow appliers for toilet scrubbers. Poetic, isn't it?)
"Why?" she asks.
"Dad's printer isn't working. I have a homework I need to print, so I want to transfer it into another computer." Duh, I wanted to add, but I knew saying that wouldn't get me any closer to getting her stick.
"You have homework already?" Jemima says, looking disbelieving.
"For language arts, yeah. The teacher for it, Miss Morgan, told me yesterday to have it ready." This Morgan person was creepy. She reminded me of poisoned honey; seems sweet at first, but by the time you realize the truth, you're already dead. I'd only met her once, but that was my instinct on her, and instinct never lies.
Jemima turns back to her mirror and says, "That sucks. Glad I'm not you."
"Thanks for your sympathy, I feel so much better now. The memory stick?"
She gestures to her bedside table. "It's over there."
"Great, thanks," I say, walking to the table and pocketing the stick. At that moment, Patches pokes his head out from under Jemima's bed. I immediately leap at him reflexively. I'm still too slow, however, and end up grabbing at thin air.
"What are you doing?" Jemima asks, watching me with amusement and slight scorn.
"That wicked little cat is suppose to be locked in my room – never mind," I grumble, leaving her room.
Back at dad's computer, I try to push the stick into the slot. It doesn't fit. I frown. I look at the stick, then at the slot, then back at the stick. Once more, I try to shove the stick in place. It doesn't fit.
Why? Well, Dad used to have a cordless mouse, but because of some weird and unexplainable phenomenon, it stopped working even when it had batteries. And this new mouse had a cord that fit into the slot next to the stick's slot, but partially blocked it's slot, and… anyway, it just didn't look like they would both fit, okay? Don't try and make me explain further.
I spend the next several minutes taking turns plugging the mouse in, and then the stick in, with absolutely no success. And to top it all, the mouse-that-had-stopped-working was sitting there absolutely useless. Why did it seem like everything was grinning at me this morning?
"Watcha doing?" Evangeline bounces up to my chair and leans over my shoulder.
"I'm trying to get my opinion statement essay onto the memory stick, but the mouse and stick won't fit into the slots at the same time. If I force it, it might break."
Evangeline just looks at me, picks up the stick, and jams it in.
"I do it all the time."
Everything will take longer than you think.
I've finally reached the sector five of Atlantis, which is mostly dedicated to the high school and elementary school. I locate the student's computer lab quickly enough, figuring that it will only take a few minutes to get my essay printed.
Really, I should know better.
Everything will go wrong at once.
Printing my essay takes more time than I anticipated, and now I'm ten minutes late. I just have to get to room… wait, which room is English 1 in, again? I can't remember. Hey, this is my first class, give me a break here.
But now what? For a while, I wander the empty halls, listening to the sounds of talking inside the classrooms. God, I hate being the new kid.
Suddenly I hear footsteps behind me. Turning, I see a teen about my age walking – no, sauntering, much like Patches does – towards me. He has wild dark brown hair that's all over the place, in what my mom likes to call the 'just out of bed' style. His ears are slightly pointed in a way that reminds me of elves, and he's wearing jeans and a tight black t-shirt that shows off his abs.
In other words, he's, well, good-looking. I actually have to remind myself a few times that I am not into guys, and that the idea of dating one is still repulsive to me.
Then, of course, he looks at me and smiles. I'm struck by the color of his eyes – a hailstorm of green and hazel – and the natural ease of his smile.
Okay. Maybe I'm into some guys…just a little bit.
Suddenly, the guy speaks. The conversation between us was the following:
Him: "You're new here, right?"
Me: (startled) "Uh, yeah, how'd you know?"
Him: (grins again, friendly) "It's a small school. Most people know each other pretty well. Plus, you look lost."
Me: (wincing) "Is it that obvious?"
Him: (laughs) "Which class are you looking for?"
Him: "C'mon, I'll take you there."
At this point, he gallantly offers his arm to me. Trying to hold back my blush, I take it, and he leads me down the hallway. Inwardly I wonder if this is how all guys are. I really wouldn't know – back on Earth, my mom stayed home and schooled my sisters and I privately. So this is truly my first day of school, public school, that is.
Which is why I have absolutely zip experience with boys. Cousins and dad don't count.
"Here we are. Room 12," the guy says, stopping in front of one of the doorways.
"Thanks," I say gratefully, starting to walk towards room 12.
"Hey, hold on a sec."
I turn back towards the guy. "Yeah?"
He smiles at me. "I don't know your name."
"Oh, I'm Sonia Lorne," I say.
"Cool. I'm Tom. Tom Sheppard," he says. He flashes me one more smile and disappears before his name can fully register.
Sheppard! That's the name of the military commander of Atlantis – Colonel John
Sheppard. Were they related or something?
In any case, I decide that I've made at least one new friend so far. Finally, one good thing's happened to me. Maybe my luck's changed.
I really, really should have known better.
As I enter classroom 12, every student's head swivels around to stare at me. Ouch. Miss Morgan doesn't see me, as she has her back turned and is explaining some grammar on the black board. I quickly scan the room for a seat; there's only one free chair, and it's by some dude who looks really intimidating. I don't see what choice I have, though, and sit by him.
The dude gives me a sideways glance, but otherwise does nothing. He's got long dreadlocks and looks bored – it's weird, because even bored, I have the impression that he could easily beat up everyone in this room. Scary.
Trying to discretely edge my chair away from him, I get my essay out of my backpack. Just then, Miss Morgan announces that we have a quiz. Quiz? I stare at the paper she hands out, recognizing a few things but not most of it. Oh boy, I am soo doomed.
Question #1: What is the subordinate clause in this sentence: Mary ran down the road, which was pitted with potholes, to greet her father.
I stare, uncomprehending, at the question for about two minutes. Since when does Atlantis have roads? How the Lantiens know about potholes? And what the hell is a noun clause?
I spend the next ten minutes guessing the answers to the questions. Still, by the time Morgan says 'time is up', I still have a page and a half to go. Yep, I'm doomed.
Next, she says that we are going to split up into groups and discuss the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I frown, perplexed. Didn't she tell me yesterday that the class was reading David Copperfield? I turn to the caveman I am sitting by, gathering my courage to ask him about it.
"No, the freshmen are reading David Copperfield," Caveman Dude tells me.
I grow very, very quiet. "Really?"
He just gives me a look in response.
"So, I'm guessing that this isn't the ninth grade English class," I say.
"No. This is the sophomore class."
"Right." I was so going to kill Tom Sheppard. His sorry ass was mine to destroy. "So in which room is the freshman class?"
By now Caveman Dude is giving me funny looks. "It's in this room. At 10:15."
I start to stand up from my seat. "I just realized that I, uh, left some homework in my room. Gotta go," I tell Caveman Dude.
I've almost reached the door when Miss Morgan calls out to me. "Excuse me, where are you going?"
Flinching, I slowly pivot around. "Um, out?"
This earns me a few snickers from the classroom. Morgan frowns. "Aren't you Sonia? I thought you were in ninth grade."
As cliché as it sounds – at that moment I wanted nothing more than for the floor to open up and swallow me whole.
"Yeah…" I say.
"And you know that the ninth grade class doesn't start until 10:15."
Yes, NOW I know, NO thanks to you, who told me that school started at 8:30, I think. Instead I say, "Yeah, I know. See you in a few hours."
I then make my getaway, escaping as fast as I can.
Just when you think that things cannot get any worse, they will.
I'm wandering around the hallways, thinking that I've reached the pinnacle of misery. Why? Because
I went to the WRONG class!
I was never going to hear the end of it from my family when they found out.
Trust me, they would find out.
In my haste to leave the room, I had accidentally left my backpack and essay behind. headdesk
I now looked like a total and complete fool to the entire sophomore class.
I was lost.
I realize that I've been glaring daggers at the wall like it is the source of all my misfortune. I really, really want to kick something.
"Ow! Jeez that hurt! Smart Sonia; kick the inanimate object that's made of metal. One of your more intelligent moments, I'm sure." Wait, did I just talk to myself in third person?
"I didn't figure you were the kind of person to talk to yourself."
I whirl around, horrified to see that Tom Sheppard is only a few meters away, casually leaning against the wall.
"Or kick walls," he added, amused.
"Um…bad day," I say.
His eyebrows go up. "Really? Why aren't you in class?"
"Why aren't you in class?" I retort.
"Don't have class 'til 10:15. Then I get to sit through two and a half hours of long, fascinating lectures on Earth history," he said. "So what happened? English not interesting enough to keep you there?"
"No. It was the wrong class," I admitted.
Tom frowns, looking both surprised and amused. "What? I took you to the wrong class? Impossible. Room 12 is the only classroom for English."
"Maybe," I say.
"So – you came at the wrong time," Tom realized, his mouth twitching upward as he tried to hide a smile.
"It wasn't my fault! Miss Morgan said school started at 8:30…she never said anything at the right class starting nearly two hours later," I said defensively.
This time Tom does grin. "Yeah, she can be misleading like that."
"Now you tell me," I mutter.
"So I take it that you aren't a sophomore?"
"Nope. I'm fifteen – freshman. How about you?"
I can't help it – I'm disappointed with this news. Disappointed because in Jemima's old high school, the older students never, and I mean never, talked to the freshmen. For some reason I could never quite grasped, they were looked down upon.
This unspoken law is ignored by Tom, though, because instead of cutting and running like I thought he would, he's still here talking to me. "You aren't lost again, are you?"
"Me? No, of course not," I lie.
Tom raises one eyebrow doubtfully, but only says, "'Kay, guess I'll just be going, then…"
"Fine! Yes, I'm lost. Very lost. Why the heck haven't you people put up signs or directories or something?" I say.
For some reason, Tom finds this amusing and laughs. "Okay, okay. Come on. Have you used the transporters yet?"
"Um, no," I say, following him. I'd been trying to avoid having to use them. Just the idea of getting vaporized or whatever and having your molecules transported somewhere else – I wasn't too keen on it.
"You walked all the way over here?" Tom asks as we reach a transporter.
I shrug, eyeing it warily. "I like walking."
He shakes his head, stepping into the transporter. "Let me enlighten you. Walking is a thing of the past. Go inside; I promise it doesn't bite," he says, seeing my tense expression.
Reluctantly, I enter the transporter, trying not to gulp as the doors close behind us. Tom shows me the map of Atlantis that is displayed on a panel inside of it. "To go where you want to go, just touch an area," he informs me. "Try it."
I hesitate. "Erm, if you don't mind my asking, what are the chances that we might not – you know – reassemble properly in the other transporter?"
"Very slim," Tom said promptly. "Next to zero."
Slightly reassured, I reach out to touch the area where I think my quarters are, when Tom adds thoughtfully, "Then again, there was that time when one of the airmen ended up rematerializing without some of his internal organs…"
Horrified, I yank my hand away from the panel, looking at Tom. I nearly kill him when I see the grin on his face.
"Tom!" I hiss, both relieved that he is joking and angry. "You're just as bad as my sisters!"
"Sorry, sorry," he says, but his eyes are and I suspect that his isn't sorry at all.
Giving him one last glare, I apprehensively tap the spot where my room is, quickly closing my eyes tightly.
Nothing happens. Frowning, I open one eye to see Tom's very amused, very annoying face. He clears his throat, trying not to laugh. "We've arrived."
I open both eyes now, amazed. "Really? Already? No bright flashes of light?"
Tom quirks his eyebrows. "Well, you did close your eyes…"
"Funny," I say, exiting the transporter. Wow. We're here, in the hallway outside my room. "Neat."
"Glad you think so," Tom says.
"Thanks," I tell him, beginning to head towards my room.
"No prob. See you later."
The light at the end of the tunnel is an incoming train.
It's 10:15. I'm sitting in class, and I'm sure it's freshman class, because I asked two other girls if it was. Repeatedly. I feel like I'm getting somewhat paranoid, worrying that I'm in the senior English class now. Well, if there actually is one.
During class, I hear talk about a narrative essay. Err, narrative essay? Weren't we suppose to write and opinion statement? When I go up to ask after class, Mrs. Morgan clarifies,
"The narrative was due today, and the opinion statement essay next week."
I leave the room, try to resist the strong urge to go bang my head against the wall. Now I have to start working on the narrative essay over lunch, go to geometry class, and then finish it at dinner to try and turn it in on time. You would think that Morgan would let me turn in my opinion statement today and the narrative next week, but NO, she wants it in order. (By the way, I'll be changing my opinion statement from 'pollution is bad' to 'vague, ambiguous teachers are EVIL'.)
Sighing, I reach a transporter and am about to hit the area that is the mess hall (I think) when Tom and three others approach. Surprised, I hold the doors open and let them in.
"Hey, Sonia," Tom says to me.
I'm both surprised and grateful by this; I'd thought that after finding out that I was a grade below him, he wouldn't be so keen to talk with me.
"Hey, yourself," I reply, glancing at his friends curiously. The Caveman Dude is here with him, along with two girls, a blonde and brunette.
"Oh, this is Russell, Aviva and Rose," he tells me. Caveman Dude – I mean, Russell – nods in greeting. Both Rose (the blonde) and Aviva (brunette) smile at me. I notice that Aviva looks really similar to Tom.
"Are you two related?" I asked.
"We're twins," Aviva says.
"Oh. Cool," I say, slightly jealous, because I've always thought it would be so fun to have a twin.
"Not really," Aviva says, tapping the mess hall on the panel. "Now, if I had a girl twin, that would be cool."
Tom frowns, feigning hurt. "What's wrong with me?"
Aviva grins. "You don't really want me to answer that, do you?"
"No," he admitted. "Knowing you, you'll make me out as some kind of monster, and Sonia will never talk to me again."
I smile. "Too late. I already know you're a monster – taking me to the wrong class and trying to kill me in the transporter were dead giveaways."
"So you were the one to take her to the wrong class," Russell says, looking amused.
"I did not!" Tom says.
"And you tried to kill her in the transporter? For shame," Rose adds, hiding a smile.
"No! Come on, Sonia, tell them the truth," Tom says, giving me puppy dog eyes.
I give in. "Yeah, he's right, I came to the class at the wrong time…but you did nearly kill me in the transporter, I practically had a heart attack," I mutter.
Aviva's eyes narrow as she glares at Tom. "You told her the false story about the marine missing organs, didn't you?" she demands.
"Who, me?" Tom says innocently.
I've stopped paying attention to them, suddenly realizing that we are still in the transporter. "Why hasn't the transporter opened yet?" I ask, a pang of terror hitting me.
Tom shrugs. "Someone forgot to press the panel, I guess," he says, hitting the panel.
"No, I hit it," Aviva says, frowning.
"If you say so," Russell says.
"Are you going to sit with us at lunch?" Rose asks me.
"I'd like to, but my family will want me to eat with them. Actually, I should probably eat alone, considering that I'm spreading bad luck everywhere," I say, with more calmness than I feel.
Tom shoots me a quizzical look. "What do you mean?"
I point to the transporter's doors, which are open, just a slit. "The doors have jammed."
Every cloud (or storm, in my case) has a sliver lining. A very thin silver lining, but hey, did you want a pot of gold? Go find a rainbow.
Forty-five minutes later, we are finally let out of the transporter when a few of the technicians fix it.
Of course, forty-five minutes is a long time, and in that time Tom manages to persuade me to tell them about my entire day, from the first telltale unlucky incident to the last.
At the end, Tom points out, "Hey, every cloud has a silver lining. You could write your narrative about today."
"I think I'll do that," I say, smiling.
Murphy was an optimist.
Finally! School is OVER!! Now I just want to go my room and forget the whole day ever happened.
I turn around, seeing Jemima in my doorway. "Are you sure you're in the right room?" she asks, smiling innocently.
I am never going to hear the end of this.
THE END (for now, that is…)
A/N: This is actually based (partially) on a true story, a story my sister (stargateaddict) wrote about her first day of high school. It was a near disaster much like Sonia's, and it has the same humor, so I just rewrote her story with twist. (With permission!)
So anyway, what did you think? Does is need a sequel? (Whoever correctly guesses the parents of Russell wins a Wraith plushie. I'll give you a hint: Caveman. Trust me, that's all you need.) Please click the little blue button…c'mon…