AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hi all, sorry this has taken so long for me to post. We've had a continual upheaval in our home over the past few weeks. First off, a long time friend of my spouse died. Second, someone broke into my pay pal account and stole a lot of money. It's taken a bit to sort that all out and get my finances refunded. Third, dance rehearsals started. Fourth, one of my cats is on meds for either a stomach infection or there's a possibility it's cancer and another seems to have a tooth infection. Fifth, been trying to get my alternate teacher's paperwork done and turned in. Lastly, a planned surprise date for our 11th wedding anniversary. Whew!
Sadly, this is the last chapter of Left Behind Stargate Atlantis. For those of you have been following the story, thank you. I honestly hope you've enjoyed it. I know I've had fun writing it. Your many comments over the past few months have helped shape my story and were very much appreciated. Please, let me know what you think of the final installment. Thanks!
Left Behind : Stargate Atlantis
Dragonlots aka Dana Bell
Chapter 33 – How Merry!
The drone kneeled at her feet and Dorcas slowly turned to face it. Her long blue robe rustled faintly. "Speak."
"Two more have died." The drone held its breath. Its fear hovered between them.
"Their age?" She waited for the response.
"Go." There wasn't much else she could say. Dorcas had lost many when they reached that age. The drone backed away and nearly ran out of her chambers. With a weary sigh, she walked into the nursery where the newest sacks hung from the ceiling. They would hatch soon and with each group she had renewed hope.
It had been many, many years since she had left the humans. She'd taken her cruiser to the far edge of the galaxy and began breeding, trying to recapture the essence of what had made her people, the Wraith, the most feared predator in history. And with each new batch, her hope rose again and promptly died when they reached the age of maturity. Not one had shown the desire or even need to feed on anything other than fruit and vegetables.
"What did you do to us?" she asked the absent humans once again. "How did this change come to be?" Her frustration grew and she strode out of the nursery.
Then began this disturbing trend of her people dying when they reached one hundred. According to all she'd learned the Wraith were practically immortal. Her drones should not have died.
Her eyes flitted to the young queen she'd been training. The girl wasn't more than just a child yet. Still, she had seen the rebellious glances cast in her direction by her drones and knew her time was limited. And in her mind was not just the challenge she sensed coming, but also the few short years before HER hundredth birthday.
Bob proudly padded across the village and entered the McKay's hut. Behind him were several of his kittens. Long ago he'd lost track of how many he'd fathered. He dutifully brought them all home for his long time friend, Rodney to see.
"He's got new kittens!" Katie cried delightedly, slowly bending down. He worried she might hurt herself.
"Careful, Mother," Ruth scolded, as she finished drying a dish and replaced it on the proper shelf.
"Don't need you to remind me," her mother chided. She touched her once all red hair now filled with gray. "All I have to do is look in the mirror." He'd given up trying to figure out human vanity. All he needed to do was keep his fur clean and tidy. Color didn't matter.
"You're still beautiful to me," Rodney told her as he entered their hut. "Hi, Bob." He stroked the cat's head and was rewarded with a purr. Bob liked having his head scratched. "Nice new family." McKay eased himself into a chair. "If I'm this stiff now, I can't imagine what I'm going to be like at a thousand."
His wife came and sat beside him. "At least I know we'll grow old together." She laid her head his shoulder. Bob had had many mates in his lifetime. He still found the human ways of having only one confusing.
"Does take the guess work out, huh?" He chuckled. "No more worrying that I won't come back." Like in the days when McKay went on missions. Bob was glad that part of their lives was over.
Ruth turned to face her father. "Any word on Dorcas?"
With a twitch of his tail, Bob growled low in his throat. Ebony had told him how the girl leaving broke her humans' hearts.
McKay shook his head. "There are rumors floating around about sightings of the Wraith hive, but nothing really confirmed." With any luck, the hive would never return, or so the feline hoped.
"She's been gone so long." Katie raised her head and took her husband's hand.
"If she doesn't accept Christ before she turns a hundred," Ruth needlessly reminded them. "She'll be lost from us forever."
Even he wouldn't wish that on a human, wraith, or any other creature. He'd been fortunate all his kittens had believed.
"That's why we pray for her everyday." Rodney gently squeezed his wife's hand. Katie smiled at him. Bob liked seeing the shining love light in her eyes. He could tell his human did, too.
The feline raised up on his front legs and placed his paws on McKay's knee. He merowed.
"At least I can understand you know." Rodney reached over and rubbed the cat's head. "And you us." He took a deep breath. "So, what are the names of your new family?"
Bob jumped down and introduced his newest kittens.
Ebony raised her head where she rested in the sun on the windowsill as Elizabeth shuffled in, her daughter Abigail chatting excitedly beside her mother.
"Here, let me take that," Abigail offered, taking the basket of fruit from Elizabeth and placing it on the table. "Is father going to be late?"
"He wasn't sure." Elizabeth reached up to pet Ebony and sat in the rocker that now resided below the window.
"I hope not. I'm planning on making his favorite cobbler." Abigail set out what she needed and mixed the ingredients for the crust, spreading the dough out evenly. Next she took the fruit, cut it up, added sugar and lined the pan with it, topping it with the dough she just made.
"He'll appreciate it." Elizabeth smiled. "You've certainly learned to be a better cook than I ever was." The cat flowed down and sat on Weir's lap.
The younger woman blushed. "Teyla taught me."
"She misses Deborah doesn't she?"
"Always." She slid the cobbler into the oven and came to sit beside her mother. "But she hears from Deborah all the time. She's told me many have come to Christ because of their dances and then sharing their faith."
"God is certainly going to have a huge household." Elizabeth stroked Ebony's back and was rewarded with a quiet purr.
"We can only hope." Abigail picked up her knitting and worked in silence for a few minutes. "He finally asked me."
"Really?" Elizabeth smiled at her daughter. "And what did you tell him?"
"What I always knew I would. Yes."
"We're talking of waiting until Deborah comes with her dance troop."
"That's not really all the far away. Just a few months."
"I know." Abigail smiled. She had her father's eyes and her mother's hair color. "We'll have so long together, we don't really feel the need to rush."
"And I'm in no hurry to be a grandmother." Weir laughed. "I suppose that is why you're making your father's favorite cobbler." The feline half closed her eyes in contentment.
"Sort of. Figured it would make the news easier."
Aaron skidded into his parent's hut and earned his father's disapproving scowl.
"You almost stepped on Bob's newest family."
"Sorry, dad, Bob." The younger man kissed his mother's cheek and grinned at his father. "I'm gettin' married!"
Both his parents's stared at him. In all honestly they weren't surprised, but they had hoped he'd wait a bit longer.
"When?" his father wanted to know.
Bob added the same question in his feline tongue.
"Figured we'd have the ceremony when Deborah visits." He kicked at the floor. "You know, have the family all home for change."
The kittens scattered afraid the foot might have been for them. Bob watched them go, knowing they'd be back very soon.
"Only gives us a few months to plan," Katie began.
"Oh, come on, mom. We've all heard the stories of how you got married. You didn't do much plannin' at all. None of you did."
"But you're our only son!" she objected.
"We want to keep it simple." Aaron glared at his mother.
"Show more respect for your mother," Rodney reprimanded his son. "And don't stare at her in that tone of voice."
"Makes me sound like how you used to talk to Bob sometimes."
The cat stared up at the mention of his name and slowly blinked his eyes.
Ruth snorted from where she'd been listening at the sink. "All this fuss."
"You're just mad 'cause no one wants you," her brother taunted.
"How do you know?" his sister shot back.
"You're gonna be an old maid," Aaron taunted.
"There are worse things," Ruth calmly replied.
"Stop it, you two." Why did he feel like his two supposedly grown children were acting like little kids again?
"You're okay with this right?" Aaron's face reflected his need for their approval.
"Of course we are," Katie said before Rodney could respond. She cast a look at her husband. "We just didn't expect you to want to get married so soon. You have plenty of time."
"Yeah, I know." He grinned. "We want LOTS of time together."
McKay groaned. "Why do I have the feeling I'm going to have tons of grandchildren?"
Bob urped, expressing the fact that having many grandchildren wasn't that bad.
"Stop fussing," John told his wife as he came up behind her and hugged her to him.
"I want her visit to be perfect." Teyla dusted the hut again and fluffed the spare bed they'd brought in.
"She's not due to arrive until next month."
"Still." She faced her husband and put her arms around him. "It will not hurt to be ready now. Deborah could come home early."
He kissed her. The wedding preparations for Aaron and Abigail were going well and the entire village was excited for the couple. Even the cats were looking forward to it. Or so he'd heard.
"I just want to see my daughter. It has been many years since her last visit." Teyla pulled away from John and sat down at the table.
"Yeah." He sat down across from her. "I miss her, too."
"Are Samson and Peter coming for dinner?"
"Yeah. Talked to them this afternoon. They'll be here."
Teyla got up and began to set the table. "Then I need to be ready for them."
He laughed. "You spoil them." He winked at her. "Going to make it hard for some gal to catch their eye."
"I do not think that is a problem. Samson told me he has perhaps met the right woman."
John jolted up. First he'd heard about it. "He did?"
"He is not certain and that is why he has not told you." Teyla cut up a fruit sort of like a banana and mixed in some berries.
"Peter says he hasn't."
She fell silent for a moment. "I think it will take Peter longer."
"They've got plenty of time." He locked his fingers behind his now completely gray haired head.
"They do." She cast a smile at her husband. "But as you and I both know. The time will pass quickly."
"Yeah." He grinned at her. "And it gets better and better."
She blushed and kept making dinner.
Dorcas had not wanted to visit a planet already inhabited. Unfortunately, their supplies were low and thus she had no choice. Her drones threw contemptuous glances at her as she strolled the streets picking out the best produce she could find. The humans openly stared and she saw many whisper to each other behind their hands.
"We should just take what we want," her drone said. "That is what you promised us long ago." His tone dripped with resentment.
She didn't acknowledge his words, though she took the warning. Much of what she'd longed for and meant to reclaim had not come to fruition. Somehow, Dorcas knew she would not be their queen much longer.
"Return to the shuttle," she ordered her drones when she finished shopping. She turned to leave when a human approached her. She drew herself up haughtily.
"You'll die at your hundredth if you don't repent and accept Christ," the very obviously old man told her.
"Wraith don't die."
"Once." He grinned at her. "No more I expect."
Before she could answer she heard drums. Several women danced into the town, their brightly colored attire catching everyone's eye. Trumpets blasted and dancers formed a circle.
"They're here!" She heard someone shout.
Humans came from everywhere. They lined the streets and blocked her exit. Fuming, Dorcas looked around for an easy way to escape. She had no desire to be caught here with a bunch of inferior beings. Beings that should be her food, not the fruit she'd been forced to take.
"The Lord is good! Praise Him!" One of the dancers yelled.
The women locked arms and danced around, their legs moving in a familiar fashion. They broke apart and moved back then forward before forming two lines. Now stuck there, Dorcas found herself watching. She only hoped her drones would wait for her.
When the dance finished, one woman came forward. "Hear ye! Even in this time of peace and prosperity, those of you born after the time of the Christ's return, still must make a decision to accept Him. As has been promised, those who reach one hundred and have not become His, will die and will spend eternity separated from God and His much beloved son!"
What nonsense! Dorcas had never heard of anything more ridiculous!
"Many of you have seen your sons and daughters die. God has heard your weeping. Some of you," why did the woman seem to be looking straight at her? "Have seen your friends miss their chance." The woman raised her voice. "I am here to tell you that God is merciful. There is still time for you!"
Dorcas edged along the mass, trying not to call undue attention to herself. She needed to get back to her drones. The sooner she left the humans and their madness behind her, the better.
"It's been a long time."
She stopped. A woman dressed in bright blue and green blocked her path. "I don't know you. Move aside." Dorcas felt a panic rising inside. She needed to leave. Now!
"But I know you, Dorcas."
"I don't talk to food."
"God changed you. He changed all the Wraith." The dancer gracefully stepped closer. "No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try to become what you once were, you'll fail."
"I just have to keep trying." With a sinking heart she saw the shuttle soar into the sky and leave her behind.
"They don't want you anymore do they?"
"My drones are fools!"
"Not as foolish as you've been." She felt a warm hand on her arm. "Come home, Dorcas. Your parents miss you."
She huffed. "And how would you know?"
"You really don't recognize me do you?"
"Should I know you?"
"I'm John and Teyla's daughter Deborah."
Weeks later, Deborah walked into her parent's village just as Aaron and Abigail were saying their wedding vows. The graceful dancer stood on the edge of the crowd who'd gathered to share the wonderful day. Reluctantly behind her trailed Dorcas.
Deborah had spent the time they'd been together showing Dorcas the scriptures and telling her how much God and Jesus loved her. Each session with the Wraith had ended dismally, and the dancer had finally just prayed and left the entire matter in her Heavenly Father's hands. If Dorcas was meant to believe, she would.
The ceremony ended and the happy couple were surrounded by well wishers and their proud parents. Deborah avidly searched the crowd for hers and waited until people began to move away to the wedding feast before running and throwing her arms around them.
"You're home!" cried Teyla happily as she embraced her daughter.
"I tried to be here earlier, but we had to stop at a planet close by." Her eyes shone. "So many came to know Christ!"
"That's great," her father said, kissing her forehead. His eyes didn't miss Dorcas not far away. "Is that,"
"Yes, dad," Deborah replied. "Her drones abandoned her and she's been traveling with me since then."
"Wait until Grogan and Elizabeth see her!" John turned and wildly motioned to the couple.
They hurried over and Elizabeth let out an odd squeal upon seeing her oldest daughter before running to embrace the younger woman.
"Thank, God," Grogan breathed.
"She still hasn't accepted Christ," Deborah told him sadly. "But it is victory enough she agreed to come here."
"Has she spoken of her years away?" Grogan wanted to know.
"Not in so many words."
Peter and Samson saw their sister and she smiled as they came to greet her. After hugs were exchanged the three wandered away to catch up.
"She'll be staying with us," John consoled his wife. "You'll have plenty of time for girl talk."
"I am glad she is home." Teyla dabbed at her eye. "I have missed her."
The couple followed their children, leaving Elizabeth and Grogan with their daughter.
"I still don't believe in your god," Dorcas defiantly told them.
"But you're home." Elizabeth warmly smiled at her daughter, hoping Dorcas understood all the love she had for her.
"I didn't want to come." The younger woman glanced anywhere but at her parents.
Grogan gently lifted Dorcas' chin. "But you did."
"You'd rather be with your human child."
"Who is going to be very happy to see her sister." Elizabeth put her arm around her daughter and urged her to come with them to the wedding feast. "She won't begrudge your homecoming."
Dorcas didn't answer.
For the next couple of years, Elizabeth and Grogan, along with several of the Wraith believers and others of their extended family, gently showed Dorcas the deep love of God. Her parents prayed for their lost daughter almost daily.
On the evening before her hundredth birthday, Dorcas went to the lake and sat on the huge boulder. She missed the true dark of night and almost resented the constant light.
Peter joined her and the two sat in silence for a long while. Finally he spoke. "God loves you."
"So everyone keeps telling me."
"Do you really want to die, Dorcas?" There was something in his tone that caught her attention.
"What have I to live for? I have lost everything I ever dreamed of."
"Not everything." He placed his hand on hers.
She yanked her hand away. "What are you doing? You are to wed Ruth."
"And I will wed Ruth," he replied. He sighed and looked over the lake. "The genetic tests that Doctor Beckett ran showed that we are brother and sister."
Dorcas started and looked at him. She hadn't bothered to ask the results when Beckett had asked to run them. She honestly hadn't cared.
"We weren't perhaps raised in the same house." He grinned at her. "But we were raised by those love us deeply and were close enough to think of each other as family."
"I always thought that you and Samson should have come with me."
He shook his head. "We'd already accepted Christ."
A faint wind rustled the trees around them. Dorcas changed the subject. "I hear Aaron and Abigail are going to have a child."
Peter chuckled. "And Uncle Rodney is beside himself with joy. He can't wait to be a grandfather!"
"I seem to remember he was a good dad to his children."
"Uh, huh," Peter agreed. "Sis," he dared to call her. "God told your parents when you'd turn one hundred. He did it to prepare them."
"Meaning I'm lost." She jumped down and walked along the water's edge. Peter joined her.
"You still have time." He grabbed her by the shoulders. "Do you really think that Deborah found you by accident and brought you home?"
"I don't know."
"Do you really want to die?"
"Then why are you so stubborn?"
"Because it seems so," she was at a loss for words.
"That we Wraith are less than what you think we should be?"
Weakly she nodded.
"Dorcas," he took a deep breath. "We are so much more with Christ than we were as predators." He dared to open his mind to give her a glimpse. She gasped and he had to grab her to keep her from falling. "So you see?"
Slowly they sank to the damp sand. Dorcas cried and he held her. Finally she managed, "How do I accept Jesus?"
With great love he led her to the Lord.
The years passed. Aaron and Abigail had many children, all of which were enthralled by the stories told them by their grandparents. They heard about life on Earth, then Atlantis and finally the early days at the sanctuary and the many plagues of God and the constant threat of the Wraith.
Peter and Ruth married having children of their own who also enjoyed the tales of their grandparents. Samson married a woman who visited from Earth and returned there with her to live in Jerusalem. Dorcas spent her years tracking down the hive ship and bringing not just her drones, but also her many children to Christ.
Homer built many homes for those who came to live on other planets, eventually finding a woman who shared his passion and he promptly wed her. They raised their children to give of their talents as well.
For those who survived the Tribulation to the Glorious Appearing, the years passed and they grew older and older. Elizabeth considered it a gift she could still at least walk the distance of her hut. Grogan smiled at her from the rocking chair. Ebony lounged on the windowsill, sometimes lifting her head for a pet. John and Teyla had kept fit and were perhaps in the best shape of the 'Oldest Ones' as they were called. Rodney and Katie fared rather well and Bob still brought his offspring to visit.
At the end of time, God brought all his children back to Earth and they watched with their friends on Cameron's estate. Satan had been released and prowled among those who had chosen to be his and he rallied them to fight the great battle.
They heard his shout, "And now, I come to claim what has been rightfully mine since the dawn of time: the very throne of God!" (From Kingdom Come by Jenkins and LaHaye.)
His army advanced on the temple of God and each person felt younger than they had in years. How they longed to be on the front lines with Christ! How merciful God was that they could see all the events as if they were.
Satan shrieked, "Charge!"
Jesus' quiet voice answered, "I AM WHO I AM."
The clouds rolled back, the heavens opened, and mountains spewed colorful and deadly flames. Satan's entire army was vaporized, their ashes blown away by a powerful wind. Defeated, the evil one could do nothing except wait for his fate. Jesus spoke, as did his servant King David, and then Satan was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone to be tormented day and night for all eternity.
When that was done, then Elizabeth, Grogan, Teyla, John, Rodney, Katie, Homer, Dorcas, Abigail, Deborah, Peter, Samson, Ruth, Aaron, Ebony, Bob, and everyone else, were changed out of their old, aged bodies and restored into perfect and unblemished ones, like Jesus had been at his resurrection.
They were taken to New Jerusalem, and watched as everyone who had ever lived throughout time and without Christ, were brought from under the Earth, on it, under the seas and above they could see those who had died on other worlds descending.
"Look!" Grogan pointed as Jesus on his white throne came to judge the dead. He felt sorry for those who stood around Christ. Many of their faces looked shameful.
"I see the books," Dorcas breathed.
Around Jesus were the books, the Book of Life, the Book of Works, and the Lamb's Book of Life.
"The Book of Life," Grogan explained, though he didn't need to. They all understood. "Contains the names of all who ever lived. The Book of Works records all our evil deeds and our good ones. The Lamb's Book of Life holds the names of those who have trusted Christ."
"Ours is in the Lamb's Book." Briefly, Rodney sounded like his old arrogant self.
They watched as God dealt with each person individually, depending on their deeds. The lost would all suffer, but the degrees would be different. When it was done Death and Hades were also thrown into the lake of fire.
"He's crying," Elizabeth pointed out. She knew Jesus had taken no joy in handing out the punishments. Christ had wanted no one to perish.
Just as suddenly, the old Heaven and Earth were gone and Jesus created new ones. The holy city settled on the fresh world and Jesus called, with his arms open wide, "You chose to believe in Me and accept My death on the cross for your sins. My resurrection from the dead proved this sacrifice was acceptable to My Father. Therefore, on the basis of your faith, I invite you into the eternal city the Father and I have been preparing for you." (Direct from Kingdom Come.)
"It is wonderful." Teyla didn't know where to start looking. The city was filled with precious jewels.
"Like the Garden of Eden, only better," John said.
"No more sun or moon because God and Jesus will provide all light," Grogan stated.
"No need for a temple since they'll both live here," Katie added.
"And only believers." Rodney grinned at the idea.
"I'm going to like it here." Elizabeth beckoned those who had followed her for so long. "Shall we?"
"After you," Carson Beckett urged, bowing slightly as if she still held the authority to lead them.
"You've got loyal followers," O'Neill teased from where he stood a few feet away. With him were many she recognized from the SGC.
Behind the former general Corporal Henry spoke up. "You've more than earned the right to lead us, Dr. Weir. It's only fitting we follow you."
Lindsay Novak with only a slight hiccup nodded her agreement. Ronon looked smug and strong, crossing his arms waiting for Weir's decision. Tiez blinked her large black eyes as Hermiod joined her. Laura Cadman her red hair a stark contrast to her white robe smiled and stood beside Beckett. Lucy Connors also nodded and Zelinka raised up slightly on his heels. Others she knew waited for her to take the first step. Even Athar and Teer waited for her.
Well, not all. Bob and Ebony got tired of waiting and jumped from heaven into the bright streets below, the entire feline race following them.
"Just like a cat," Rodney mumbled.
With a laugh, Elizabeth stepped into the streets of gold. Grogan and the others from Atlantis following and Christ warmly embraced them all delighted they would all dwell and reign with Him and God for ever and ever.
Of course, Rodney really liked the idea they would reign together. He was after all, still quite brilliant.