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 (Chicky): This story takes place a few seconds after Phebus first contacts Caldwell to discuss her demands for them to hand over Sheppard. This is my take on what Elizabeth could have said to Phebus after her talk with Caldwell and what Phebus might have revealed to her. Hopefully this is in character. I really tried to say in character. I watched "The Long Goodbye" twice while I wrote this.
by Chicky (Beach Chick)
"Why are you doing this?" Elizabeth asked as calmly as she could. The expedition leader was done demanding answers. Maybe if she tried reasoning with Phebus' consciousness diplomatically, she would finally get her questions answered.
Phebus taped her fingernails on the table while she searched through the Atlantis database. "Other than the obvious reason that he is the enemy, and I have to kill him?" She continued to search the computer for other ways of wreaking havoc in case they refused to hand over Sheppard.
"You keep saying that he's the enemy, but your war must have ended a long time ago. Why are you still holding such a personal grudge against him?" Not receiving a response, Elizabeth tried a new tactic. "These are your last few hours alive. Shouldn't you be spending them in a more enjoyable way?" Silence followed her words, and Elizabeth couldn't tell if Phebus was listening to her anymore or completely ignoring her again. When she didn't get a response, she continued. "Whatever happened between your people and his…it shouldn't matter anymore. Can't you-"
"It matters to me!" Phebus lashed out angrily at Elizabeth's consciousness. Her consciousness slammed Elizabeth's fists down on the table in frustration, and Elizabeth could feel the force of that slam radiating through her fingers. "What is taking them so long? They should have Thalen by now."
Elizabeth mentally winced. She was going to be in trouble when the pain kicked in the next day. "Just calm down," she urged Phebus.
"I am calm!" Phebus yelled back at her.
Elizabeth waited for Phebus to fully calm down, and when she sensed the other woman was in a better mood to talk, she said, "Couldn't you just put this whole thing behind you?"
"You wouldn't understand." Phebus seemed to be thinking about what she has just said for a few moments because then she muttered, "or maybe you can." She was calmer when she spoke again to Elizabeth. "I'm not just doing this so that my people can win the war. I'm doing this also out of revenge. Every bone in my body hates Thalen. I want him to die painfully. I want him to suffer from all the agony he caused me. He needs to know what it feels like to be in pain that hurts so much you feel like your heart has been ripped right out of your chest. Yes…Thalen is going suffer like he never has once I get a hold of him."
Elizabeth mentally shuttered hearing and feeling the hatred Phebus had for Thalen. She may not have access to her thoughts, but she could sure feel Phebus' emotions, and her feelings at the moment were not particularly pleasant. "What did Thalen do to you to make you so angry?" She was almost afraid to ask.
"Nice try. I have my thoughts blocked for a reason. I don't want you prying through my consciousness."
"But you see no problem in freely going though mine."
Phebus' laugh was cold as ice. "I knew your history and this city thoroughly before you even regained consciousness in the infirmary. You're easy to read, but…you know what? I will let you in on a little secret," she said changing her mind and deciding to tell Elizabeth the truth about her hatred for Thalen. She thought maybe the other woman would understand.
"What secret?" Elizabeth was willing to hear any piece of information Phebus would be willing to give her if it meant better understanding the other woman's mind. If she could somehow convince her not to kill Thalen, she and John might make it out of this unharmed.
"I chose Colonel Sheppard to be host for Thalen's consciousness because of the similarities between Thalen and himself."
"I fail to see how the two of them are alike."
"Thalen has all of the qualities that your Colonel Sheppard possesses. As she spoke, she let Elizabeth have glimpses of what she was talking about. It was like she was showing her a mental visual aid to go along with her words. You could say it was like watching someone's home videos for the first time. "Thalen is strong, brave, compassionate, and even a little…how you would say it? He's a…smart ass sometimes," Phebus mentioned his qualities fondly, and Elizabeth couldn't believe how accurate that description fit John. These are just some of his qualities that made me foolishly fall in love with him. I fell in love not knowing the real person he was. After months of his companionship, we were soon engaged with a bright future ahead of us."
An image flashed into Elizabeth's mind, and she saw the two of them as a happy couple standing on a balcony over looking a massive city. The city looked even bigger than Atlantis. They were announcing their engagement, and Elizabeth could not help but feel as elated as Phebus still felt recalling the memory.
Phebus' mood turned cold as she continued. "On the night before we were to wed he decided to leave me. It did not make sense for him to break off our betrothal. I had thought that we were happy…that I had made him happy. That night he left without even an explanation, and the next morning I found out who he really was, and how he used me."
In her mind, Elizabeth saw a man talking to Phebus and her family about Thalen. Phebus explained that this man was a spy the council had sent to their enemy's home world to keep an eye on their growing armies. He had been almost captured and had to lay low for a while before traveling back to them. The messenger told them of Thalen and his family. He was the youngest son of King Duma who was their world's greatest enemy. The King would soon be leading his armies against them using the information that Thalen had stolen from Phebus' family.
The whole image disappeared, and Phebus said coldly, "I want to look into his eyes when he dies and remind him of how he made me feel when he betrayed me."
Elizabeth was bombarded by contrasting emotions left over from what she had just seen, felt, and heard. The rush of emotions were so powerful that it was almost like she had experienced everything that Phebus had just told her, and this left her exhausted and very overwhelmed. "I don't know what to say." Surely she would have felt hatred this deep when Phebus had explained her situation to her and told her how much she wanted to see her husband for the last time. How wrong she and everyone else had been about the two of them. "Why didn't you tell me this sooner?"
"So your people could lock me up for my remaining hours? You would never have let me go through with what I had planned if I had let you have full control of my mind."
Silence followed her words, and Phebus went back to what she had been doing before. Elizabeth was lost in thought.
"Go ahead and ask me," Phebus finally said after a few minutes.
"What?" Elizabeth asked surprised that Phebus was making conversation with her this time.
"I can read your thoughts before you say them. I know what you've been thinking for the last few minutes."
"If you know my thoughts, why don't you just answer me?"
Phebus stopped what she was doing and looked up. "You want to know why I've finally decided to share this with you." This time Elizabeth's consciousness didn't respond. She waited silently for Phebus to answer her question. "I thought you could relate to how I felt…how I still feel." This answer surprised Elizabeth, and she had to admit that she could relate to how the other woman felt. Elizabeth had her heart broken before, and it was something that would not be easy for her to forget. "I can relate," Elizabeth said slowly. "But not enough that I can see justice in taking the other person's life."
"I was hoping you would see it my way," Phebus sounded disappointed but not surprised. "I'm doing you a favor by killing John."
Elizabeth cringed hearing Phebus' words, and her heart did nervous flip flops. She could not let anything happen to John. She would not allow herself to think about what would happen if Phebus killed him. Elizabeth tried to suppress the feelings that were suddenly provoked and brought up to the surface by Phebus' words.
Phebus was assessing her reaction to what she had just said and when she realized that the leader's emotions were back under control, she continued.
"They're all alike…Thalen, John…Simon. I can't do anything about Simon, but I can take care of the Colonel for you."
"No." Elizabeth's consciousness said firmly. "Don't kill him. Colonel Sheppard and I aren't…" her voice trailed off unsure of how to continue and not wanting to.
"He hurts you every time he walks back through the gate, and you can't deny it to yourself."
"What?" Elizabeth was startled by her words.
"How many love interests does he have on other planets?" Phebus asked.
"I don't know."
"You probably never will. You have to admit that it hurts you when you hear rumors of his conquests."
"It's none of my-"
"And you know for a fact that he doesn't give you a straight answer when you ask him about it. He will only break your heart in the long run. Your better off without him."
"That's not true!" Elizabeth had been trying to stay relaxed and not bothered about what Phebus had been saying, but her last sentence made Elizabeth snap. "John Sheppard is the kindest, thoughtless, and courageous man I have ever met. Your wrong to think I'd be better off without him. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't still be alive."
"Your judgment is clouded. You feel for him to much to be thinking about this rationally," Phebus argued.
"Rationally?" The expedition leader was boiling mad now. "I'm the irrational one? Your talking about killing the man I love and…" her voice trailed off. "I love him," she admitted quietly as the impact of what she had just said hit her like a ton of bricks to the head.
Phebus rolled her eyes feeling disgusted. "I know," she said bitterly. "The sooner he's dead you can go on with your life."
"You're insane!" Elizabeth yelled. "I won't let you kill him." She tried taking over her body, but Phebus wouldn't let her.
"There is no way I can kill Thalen unless Sheppard dies, so Colonel Sheppard has to die as well. He has to be a casualty of war."
"You're not killing him!" Elizabeth yelled. She felt as if she was locked in a cocoon made out of her own body. She struggled to break free and regain control, but nothing was working. She was sure that if she had been able to cry, tears would have been pouring down her face.
Phebus smirked. "You can try all you'd like, but I'm killing both of them, and you can't stop me."