We, the Sparky Army, decree 2008 to be the Year of the Spark. We pledge to post a new sparky story or chapter of a sparky story every day from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. Though the Powers that Be have removed Elizabeth Weir from the regular cast of Stargate Atlantis, we feel that she remains an integral part of the show, and that the relationship between her and John Sheppard is too obvious to be ignored. We hope that you, and anyone might happen to read these works, agree.

And if that isn't official enough for you, we don't know what is. Seriously, guys, we're just trying to have some fun--and show TPTB that Sparky is the way to go. So sit back and enjoy the 366 stories coming your way!

Note from the author (Myriad): Round two of YotS begins! Events in "Be All My Sins Remember'd" have more or less shot this storyline to hell, but I'm going with it anyway. This follows the story I wrote for Jan 1, but (I hope) it can be read alone. As with part I, this was inspired by the album One X by Three Day's Grace, particularly the song "Get Out Alive."

Reality (II)
By Myriad (Myriadragon)

Elizabeth ran.

Clutching her laptop to her chest, she skidded around a corner and into the infirmary. With a small corner of her concentration she shoved the loose gurneys and medicine cabinets behind her to block the path. The rest of her was focused on the laptop—and on running.

She dashed through the halls, ignoring the transporter. She was losing control of the city—of herself—and she didn't trust that the transporter wouldn't lead her straight into a pack of Replicators. Around a corner, through a door, hope it jams behind her, give her a few more seconds, a few more seconds, a few more seconds—up the stairs, down the long corridor, turn right, run, left, run, right, right, cut through Zelenka's lab and into Rodney's—

Panting, she stopped. Still clutching the laptop in one arm, she waved the door shut and used her free hand and legs to push everything not bolted to the floor against it.

Elizabeth slid to the floor. They would find her soon enough, she knew, and the barricaded door would only be a minor inconvenience, but hopefully she had bought herself a few minutes to rest. She relaxed her grip on the computer, shifting it from hand to hand as she tried to work out the cramps in her fingers.

It said something about her that her subconscious had chosen to shape her mind into the city of Atlantis. Just what it said, she wasn't sure. Kate Heightmeyer would know—assuming she was still alive. She'd had no contact with Atlantis since she'd faded from John's dreams a month before. Even when they had been meeting in his dreams, she hadn't asked that kind of question, nor had he offered the information. Too much of a security risk. They didn't want that information on the laptop.

John didn't know about the laptop, of course. He knew she was fighting to keep them from the knowledge she had of Atlantis, knew she was fighting to keep them from corrupting her mind until she wasn't herself anymore. But she hadn't told him about the strange façade her subconscious had erected to define her battle.

She supposed it was fairly obvious, when you looked at it the right way. She (her consciousness, her soul, whatever it was that made her Elizabeth Weir and nobody else) had the laptop (all her knowledge of Atlantis, the expedition, and Earth). The Replicators wanted it, so they chased her through Atlantis (her brain, her mind, the portion of the nanite collective she was still in control of). She fled from them, and did everything she could to hold them as far back as she could.

In the beginning, the city had been hers. She could hold them at bay for hours just by slamming a door and ordering Atlantis to keep it closed. She'd had time to rest, to plan her next evasion—to visit John.

But the Replicators were getting smarter, and Elizabeth was getting tired. She'd lost track of how many of them had their fingers in her brain. Not that they needed the physical connection. They could just as easily work through her nanites, and many of them did, but they knew she was weakened ever so slightly by the disgust she felt at the thought of their hands in her head.

Each new day, hour, minute, brought another trial, and she was slipping. Her virtual Atlantis was turning against her as the Replicators gained control. A locked door delayed them by only a few minutes. She'd lost the ability to manipulate the walls and corridors as she had in the beginning, creating hallways to escape through and building walls to trap her pursuers. And the laptop felt heavier, though she'd added nothing to her knowledge of her people.

The lights pulsed—this part of the city was still hers, warning her that the Replicators were at the door. Barely three minutes this time, she thought, resigned.

Elizabeth tightened her grip on the laptop again. There was no way out of Rodney's lab except the barricaded door, but she'd expected that. Planned for it.

She curled herself tightly around the computer and thought of John.

Cautiously Elizabeth unrolled herself.

It worked, she thought dizzily as she recognized the guitar in the corner, the Johnny Cash poster over the bed. Still clutching the computer, she dragged herself over to the bed and pulled herself up onto it.

When she'd first been captured, she'd been able to move around the city at will, teleporting from room to room with hardly a thought. Now, collapsed on John's bed, Elizabeth wasn't sure she could stand, let alone run. She certainly couldn't teleport again.

She let her head roll to one side against the pillow and caught a hint of John's aftershave. The sudden scent brought tears to her eyes. Useless detail, she thought, blinking furiously. Useless detail, like the guitar and the poster and the copy of War and Peace on his bedside table. He'd finished it their first year, she knew, but kept it around anyway, despite the fact that he'd had to throw the dust jacket away after the two of them had collided in the hallway one night and her coffee had spilled.

It hadn't been smart to come here. Hopefully teleporting would buy her more time, but they would quickly think to look for her here. They'd discovered early on how much she missed John—how much she missed everyone, certainly, but him especially. So she'd avoided this room for the most part. It hadn't been too hard, not when she was spending every other night in the neat little house his subconscious had built for them to share in his dreams.

But she was too weak now, had lost too much control to leave the laptop and visit him, however much she might want to.

Elizabeth opened her eyes and looked up at Johnny, upside down and considerably squashed by the angle she was looking at him from. She couldn't see John. She couldn't keep running. She inhaled again, drawing strength from the scent of him, and sat up.

She knew what she had to do. She'd put it off as long as she could, hoping against hope that John would make good on his promise and find a way to save her. But she couldn't hold out any longer.

The city's warning chime brought a tired smile to her lips. Even though she was now consciously relinquishing control of the city, John's room remained loyal to her.

Elizabeth stood and took a last look at the room, pulling every ounce of strength she could from the detritus of the man she loved. His dog tags were hanging from the lamp; she picked them up, coiling the chain around her hand. Then she stepped to the window, pushed it open, and stepped carefully up onto the sill.

The door slid open behind her. Clutching the computer and John's tags, Elizabeth jumped.

Find me! The words whispered through his mind, shaking him from the depths of sleep.

John jerked awake. "Elizabeth!"

Bubbles streamed from Elizabeth's mouth and nose as she sank. She didn't try to hold her breath; breathing was irrelevant at the rate she was sinking. What worried her was the pressure, building in her ears, her eyes, her nostrils, squeezing her arms tighter around the laptop. The pain grew, and grew, and grew—

She hit the roof of the remote drilling platform and released the last of her air on a relieved sigh. A slight shift in her thoughts, and she slid through solid metal to land with a thud inside the platform. She took a gulp of air and severed her last connection with the rest of her mind, heard the groan of metal as the umbilical cord that connected the drilling platform to Atlantis snapped.

There were dangers in being here, in walling herself off this way. She no longer had control of her body. The nanites now had full control of her motor functions, her speech, her breathing. They could, and probably would, use her body as a puppet—or kill her. And, cut off as she was, she would receive no information from her eyes or her ears or any other of her senses.

But the nanites would receive no information from her, either. Elizabeth set the laptop down on one of the tables. Her hand felt strangely empty without it.

She sank into a chair. There is still hope, she told herself. If the Replicators used her body, sent it out in their battles, word would find its way back to Atlantis and to John. If there was a way to rescue her, she had to believe they would find it.

Elizabeth unwound John's dog tags from her hand and slid the chain over her head. I just have to hold on.