Nothing is as Simple as We Hope it Will be
A/N: SPOILERS are from all of the Harry Potter books (that includes the Deathly Hallows) and up to the end of Season three for Atlantis. It contains a large amount of spoilers from the last episode, "Last Stand"
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter or Stargate.
Recap: The First Strike
The city grumbled and all of the occupants of the flying city suddenly lurched to the side as they felt the massive ship make the jump out of hyperspace. McKay was the first one to actually realize what was going on though. "We just dropped out of hyperspace," he said in bewilderment as he looked around the city as if it were going to be giving him a clue.
"Have we already reached M12-578?" Teyla asked as she looked over the control panel.
"No. There's no way. It should have taken at least another few hours." Mckay paused and then began typing furiously at his computer. "The hyperdrive just shut down," he exclaimed as he continued to search the read-outs from his computer.
"I don't know." Rodney groaned is dismay.
"Get it back up." John said aggravated.
"I just said I don't know what's wrong. I can't get it back up if I don't know what happened." McKay snapped back.
"Where are we?" Teyla asked, trying to calm her two friends.
"In the middle of nowhere. There's no planets, no moons, no Stargates." Rodney said despair filling his voice.
'"How much power do we have?" John asked urgently.
Rodney begins typing at his computer again before pausing and looking up over at John, a look of complete loss on his face. "This can't be right." He said quietly his voice cracking slightly.
"How much!" John asked again.
"At current consumption, we've got twenty-four hours of power left. After that, there's no shield. No shield, no atmosphere. No atmosphere, we're ..." He stopped not wanting to admit that if they did not come up with a plan in twenty-four hours they were dead.
"Can we use the Stargate? Teyla said, trying to come up with a solution in order to help motivate her dear friends to survive.
"In order to dial a Gate, it needs to be calibrated to a specific location. We are lost. Look, we dropped out of hyperspace way too soon. I have no idea where we are."
The End of the Beginning
24 hours left
"Well then, find out where we are." John bit out as he turned away from Rodney and reached up and turned on his intercom. "This is Sheppard. Keller, how are our patients in the infirmary?"
"Bad, sir. You might want to come down here right away. It's Dr. Weir, sir. She's dead."
"What?" John nearly yelled.
"She died of blood loss and shock before we even got her to the infirmary. I'm sorry." Keller spoke softly.
John didn't care about her soft words of comfort. He was already running down the corridors of Atlantis, ignoring the questions of his friends on the bridge. He momentarily forget all of the other troubles that they had, like the fact that they could all only survive for another twenty-four hours, or the fact that they had no idea where they were. All he had room for in his mind right now was that Elizabeth Weir was dead. He just could not seem to get his mind wrapped around that fact. That is until he ran into the infirmary and saw her just before the doctors lifted a sheet over her pale face.
"It's impossible." John said more to himself then anyone else as he stood frozen in his spot, staring off at the corpse of his good friend and leader.
"Sir?" It was Keller, the new head medic, but John made no move to response. "Look, Colonel Sheppard. I know this must be a terrible loss for you, it is going to be hard on all of us when the news hits, but action must be taken now." She paused for a moment before looking up into John's eyes. "Atlantis needs a leader, and you are head military."
That little triad shocked John out of his daze. "You want me to what?" He asked in shock as he looked over at Keller.
"Become leader of Atlantis." Keller said in with conviction as she began to move across the room. John followed.
"But, that is Elizabeth's job." John said staring back at the body as if wishing her to wake up.
"She is dead, sir!" Keller snapped at him, trying to make his see reason.
"I never wanted that much leadership. I am good at taking order...well, most of the time. I just want to be leader of my team, not the whole of Atlantis!" John blabbered on still looking in shock at the body of Dr. Elizabeth Weir.
"We are in a crisis situation! Who would you have take over in Elizabeth's place?" Keller asked.
"No one here is qualified to take over for her." John said softly back as he watched as his friend's corpse was rolled out of the room.
"Except for you." Keller placed a hand on John's shoulder and shook him softly. "Atlantis needs you."
John sighed and was silent for a moment. "I don't even know where to start." John said, his voice monotone.
"You don't have to. The department heads should know what they are suppose to be doing. You just need to give little pushes in the right direction." Keller said as she lead John back towards the hall. "Just go up there and make sure that we figure out how to get home."
John nodded as he was unceremoniously pushed out into the hallway and the door closed behind him. He quietly made his way up towards the control room, his thoughts swirling. He John Sheppard had agreed with Keller to take lead of Atlantis. He had taken on the responsibility of all the lives on the base. Their lives were in his hands. He sighed as he walked up the stairs to where Rodney and Teyla were.
"What happened?" Teyla asked as John approached.
"Elizabeth is dead." John said, his voice null of emotion.
"What?" Rodney exclaimed as he looked up from his console.
"I am taking over as head of Atlantis." John said. "How bad was the damage to the city communications?" He asked Rodney as he walked around behind one of the consoles. "Can I be put on city wide?"
"John, what are you planning on telling everyone?" Teyla asked carefully as she approached where John was standing.
"The truth. Now, Rodney, communications?"
"Yes, yes. Give me a second and I will have you up." Rodney bit out as he tinkered with some of the controls. "Alright, just a...ah. There we go. Your on."
John turned and looked back out over the darkened form of the stargate. It would not be able to get them out of this mess this time. He cleared his voice once before beginning. "Atlantis. This is Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard speaking. There are not many of us left here at Atlantis, thankfully, and I am going to be honest in saying that the damage we took from the replicators was severe. Not only did we lose most of the systems in the city, but we also lost our leader.
Elizabeth Weir is dead. I was informed that she died from blood loss after she was injured by the energy blast." John paused for a moment to let it all start to sink in. He was positive that he was beginning to fell tears begin to prick around the corners of his eyes. He took a deep breath and continued. "As the highest ranking military officer I will be taking temporary command of Atlantis until the I.O.A. is able to decide how to act," he pause, "which might be some time.
But we have a more pressing matter than who is going to be in charge of this expedition. McKay has informed me that we have dropped out of hyperspace no where near our targeted destination and our shields are not going to last much longer. We have an estimated twenty-four hours before they drop." he paused again. "Look I'm not really cut out for making speeches. You are all the best. All of our department heads are still here and we need to come up with a plan because it doesn't look like we have any neighbors around to come help us.
If you have any ideas to help get us out of this mess they would be greatly appreciated."
John motioned for Rodney to cut the intercom. He sighed and rubbed his head wearily. "Rodney?" He asked as he turned around slowly.
"Are long range sensors up?"
"No, they aren't, because that would take time away from how much longer we have to live."
"Well, can you find a planet to land on?"
"Not without cutting our time down by at least two hours if not more." Rodney said angrily.
"At this point I don't think it really matters." John snapped before turning away and pacing up and down in front of the control panels.
Twenty-Two Hours Left
Two hours after some hard work and tearing apart of two of the other minor control panels, Rodney McKay had the long range sensors back online. He was not happy with it of course. Every second they were on the time he had left to live his life was dwindling away, so he quickly made his way in front to of the readouts and began searching. "O.K. planet, here I come." He muttered to himself as he examined the star charts. He blinked looked down and looked back up again. "Where are we?" He said more to himself then anyone else. The charts that were being displayed looked nothing like the star charts for the Milkyway or the Pegasus galaxy.
"No, can't think about that now, need to find the planet." He was back on his search, looking around the nearest stars for planets that would be at just the right distance from their suns to support life. It took him almost another thirty minutes to get a match on a planet that could possibly hold life. "Sheppard!" He called over his shoulder. No one answered. He turned around to find that the bridge was empty except for a few lone mechanic's who were tyring to fix some of the consoles. "Of course when you need him, he is gone." He said angrily to himself as he reached up for his radio. "Sheppard, come in. This is McKay. I think I found something."
"You found a planet?" Sheppard asked.
"Well, I found many planets, most of which would never have helped us because he either have no atmosphere, or if they did they were too hot or too cold. But, I did find one that is close enough for us that might have a sustainable atmosphere. We are too far away for me to tell if it will be an atmosphere we can breath in, but it is the only one we can reach before our shields drop." McKay waited. There was a long pause as Sheppard thought about it before the radio came to life again.
"Alright, can you change course and get us there?" Sheppard asked.
"Already working on it." McKay said happily as he began playing with one of the control consoles.
"When you get that done, work on getting the stargate up."
"What!" Rodney asked, his hands had stopped moving over the control crystals.
"The stargate, Rodney. Big, round, sitting right in front of you."
"I can't get the stargate up unless I know where we are." Rodney said quickly.
"Well, figure it out. How hard can it be for you to have the computers reconfigure it's position by using the current stars?"
"Very." Rodney snapped back. "I was looking for planets, and none of the star positions are remotely close to what they would be in Pegasus or the Milkyway. I have no clue where we are, and I doubt the computers do either."
"If that planet does not have a stargate, we need someway to get power, which will most likely be off world. SO we need the stargate."
"I got it. I will work on it." Rodney said miserably as he went back to work on changing course.
John looked back down at Ronon who now had his chest heavily bandaged. "Looks like McKay has another chance to save the day." John said with a small forced laugh as he sat down beside the infirmary bed. "How are you feeling?" He asked as he gave a pointed look towards the heavily bandaged area of Ronon's chest.
"I can't feel anything at the moment." Ronon said bluntly.
"Right." John said before trailing off.
"How are you?" Ronon asked a few moments later.
"I'm fine." John said quickly.
"I am!" John said defensively.
"Sure you are. Then why are you sitting here when you are suppose to be off saving the city?"
"I just wanted to make sure you were okay!" John said, defending himself, "Is there a problem with that? I can't see how my friends are doing after they have gotten out of operation?"
"You mean you wanted to check and make sure I wasn't like Weir. That I wasn't dead." Ronon said mater-of-factly.
John paled. "That too," he said quietly.
"Well, you checked. Don't you have more important things to do?"
In fact, John did have things he was suppose to be doing. He was suppose to have already been at his meeting with Rodney to see how far he had gotten on discovering where they were, since they still had another twenty hours before reaching the planet.
"Yeah." John said slowly as he stood up. "Well, I am glad you are still here," he said before he turned around and walked out the door.
20 hours left
"I have been looking at these star charts for the two hours. I am telling you, I don't recognize any of them!" McKay said in aggravation as he slapped the printouts down on the table top. "I have had everyone take a look at them. No one can make any sense of it! And do you know what is worse! Do you?" McKay said shaking an angry finger in John's face. "We don't have another twenty hours of shield left. We just barely have fifteen! If we make it to the planet at all we will be -very- lucky."
"Well can we use some of our generators to power the shields?" John asked leaning back away from McKay.
"Already done! The original estimate was including the ZPM and our generators."
"Well, this is bad."
"No kidding." Rodney groaned as he walked away from John before pacing back. "I can't think of anything that we could do to save power. All secondary systems have been shut down. Even some of the primary systems have been partially shut down. We either make it or..." he trailed off.
"We will make it, but weren't you the one that said that the planet might not even be able to keep us alive?"
"Yes, but before I turned off long range sensors we were able to get close enough to confirm that the atmosphere would be sustainable." Rodney explained only looking slightly happier at his small success.
"Well then we have nothing to worry about." John said, although his conviction did not make it into his voice. "fifteen more hours and we have got ourselves on a planet."
"If the shields hold."
"They will." John said reassuringly.
"Well, I guess there is nothing left to do but sit and wait." Rodney said. "I'm going back up to the control center to monitor the ZPM levels, maybe think of some way to increase shield power."
1 hour left
In the last twenty-some hours everyone's tempers and patience had begun to fray under the stress and worry. Rodney McKay snapped at anyone who dared to even speak around him, stating that it was interrupting his concentration on how to save them all. Although, they were most likely interrupting his self-pity. John Sheppard, who had agreed to take command of Atlantis was now sorely resenting that he had, as everyone now came to him with their worry illogical ideas and complaints, none of which he needed at the moment. Dr. Keller had her hands full with seeing everyone that had been injured during the energy beam strike, and she was just now beginning to get to the end of her non-life-threatened patients.
The only ones that seemed to have managed to keep their heads cool this entire time were Ronon Dex and Teyla Emmagan. Although Ronon was able to do it mostly because he was under the influence of sedatives and pain-killers almost the entire trip.
Now with one hour left until the shields broke, Teyla, John, and Rodney stood in front of two of the last screens that they dared leave on. Across one of the screens shown the amount of power that the ZPM had left and on the other the distance to their salvation.
"We are not going to get there in time." Rodney moaned out as he looked at the screen.
"What about the puddle jumpers?" John asked.
"We would not be able to fit everyone into the remaining jumpers we have left." Teyla said morosely. "We sent to many of the jumpers through to the alpha site with supplies packed into them."
"Well, we could save some of the people here." John said stubbornly.
"Yes, but who would decide who gets to go?" Teyla asked as she looked up and over at John.
"We could fit about half of the people remaining her into the puddle jumpers and send them on their way to the planet once the shield levels reach a critical low. That way they are as close to the planet as we can get them." Rodney added as he watched the numbers on the ZPM screen slowly fall.
"It will have to do." John said slowly. "I guess I will go put together a list of people who will volunteer to stay behind."
"Hmm." Rodney murmured in agreement. John was at the top of the stairs before he called out. "Sheppard..." he paused before taking a deep breath. "Put me on that list of yours."
15 minutes left
"Teyla, Ronon. I am ordering both of you to get on that jumper." John commanded, frowning at both of his friends.
"One of the others should go on in my place." Teyla said, trying to convince John to let her stay.
"Both you and Ronon know how to live off the land. I am putting the two of you in command. And if anyone survives you have to get on that jumper!" John said pointing at the last jumper that had any room in it. "Keller is already on one of the other jumpers and if this is going to work you have to go to."
"But, what about you John?" Teyla asked with concern.
"I couldn't live on an uninhabited planet for more than a month if there were no rations. You can both do that." John said. "Now get on that Jumper!"
"They need a leader." Teyla begged.
"You have proven yourself to be a wonderful leader. You will do fine."
"Get on." John growled out. Teyla finally nodded consent and gave one last painful look at John before entering the puddle jumper.
"Ronon?" John said motioning his injured friend onto the jumper.
"I still think it should be me who stays." Ronon said before entering the jumper after Teyla.
"I know. But, I don't." John said simply.
"John, I will sincerely miss you." Teyla said, tears beginning to well up in her eyes.
"I will miss you too." John said, stepping in to give Teyla a quick hug.
"Ronon." John said as he quickly embraced him with a tight hug. "See you around then, I guess." John said a bit morosely as he stepped backwards off the puddle jumper. He raised his hand in sign of good bye, turned and walked away.
"Well, I guess that's that." Rodney said as he and John watched the last puddle jumper fly off.
John just hummed his agreement before turning away. "I need to get to the ZPM." John said.
"Why?" Rodney asked looking confused.
"Well see." John said mysteriously as he began walking quickly towards the room that located the ZPM. When they reached the room John walked quickly over to the ZPM and placed his hands over it.
"Can I ask what you are doing?" Rodney asked as he watched John close his eyes and his brow begin to wrinkle in concentration. Rodney waited for a response but got none. "Um, Earth to Sheppard. Anyone home?" As soon as Rodney spoke again a soft white glow began to emit from the ZPM. "Sheppard!" Rodney shouted out as he quickly called up the screen containing information pertaining to the ZPM. "What in the world." He muttered to himself as he looked at the screen. The ZPM's power levels were no longer falling. "John, what are you doing?"
"Rodney." John growled out his eyebrows scrunching together more and the muscles in his outstretched hand tensing.
"Right." Rodney muttered as he looked back down at the screen. "The power levels are rising." He exclaimed as he looked back up at John, just in time to see a brilliant flash of light and John Sheppard fall to the ground. "John! He shouted out as he blindly made his way over to where John had fallen. "John? Sheppard!" He checked for a pulse. There was one. "Damn it, John, wake up!"
There was a soft grown.
"Thank god." Rodney said to himself as he leaned back from John.
"Yeah." John said softly.
"What were you doing?!" Rodney cried out realising that John was awake enough to speak.
"Restoring the ZPM" John said simply as he began to sit up.
"That's impossible. ZPM works on vacuum energy, how could you restore it?" Rodney said, snapping out facts.
"Magic." John said as he stood up, leaning heavily on the ZPM interface.
Rodney snorted, "Magic?"
"Yes, Rodney, magic." John said seriously as he thought about how it was the first time he had done magic since he was known as Harry Potter.
7-26-07 - hoped you liked the beginning. R&R