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 --and show TPTB that Sparky is the way to go. So sit back and enjoy the 366 stories coming your way!
Author's note (SenseOfTime):This idea came to me quite awhile ago and I thought what better place to post it than as part of YotS! So I hope you like it, please let me know what you think!
"I told you not to touch anything!"
"No, you said not to interfere with anything that I didn't understand," John replied firmly.
"That's the same thing where you're concerned!" Rodney fumed. He stalked past the soldiers who were guarding the gate as the wormhole behind them closed down. John rolled his eyes and glanced back at Elizabeth hoping that she would share his sentiments concerning Rodney's tirade, but she gave him a cool look which definitely said that she was not in the mood for jokes. John took the hint as Rodney marched the two of them down to his lab.
"You guys can probably head off," John said, turning to Ronon and Teyla. "I have a feeling that Rodney's going to yell at me for the next few hours and you guys shouldn't have to sit through that." Teyla gave him a sympathetic nod, while Ronon simply smirked at him, before heading down a different corridor.
"So," he said, calling ahead to Rodney who was talking hurriedly to Elizabeth, "how long do you reckon it'll take you to work this one out, 'cause I've got quite a bit on at the moment."
"Please accept my sincerest apologies that my attempts to get you out of this mess –giving up my free time, might I add- are going to cut so drastically into your social time," Rodney muttered sarcastically. John decided against any more conversation with the enraged scientist and looked at Elizabeth instead, she turned back to look at him as they walked.
"It can't be that much of a problem," he told her reassuringly.
"John," she replied, very obviously trying to calm herself, "at the moment I'm treating it as a very big problem." Her tone told John that any response on his part would do him no good and would probably only serve to put him in her bad books, even more so than he already was; he shut his mouth decisively and made sure that he stayed a few metres behind them
"Radek!" Rodney yelled as soon as they were at the lab.
"Yes Rodney?" Radek replied with a long suffering sigh from where he sat at his desk.
"You're going to have to rearrange your chess game this afternoon because our intrepid Colonel has once again ignored my warnings and got himself into a spot of trouble; this time dragging Elizabeth down with him all the way."
"Hey! I said I was sorry."
"That's wonderful! Has it magically solved the problem? No!" Rodney told him. "Now sit over there and let us run some tests; I dread to think what you've got yourself into this time; I mean the implications if we can't reverse this are-"
"Rodney, I know you're feeling stressed right now," Elizabeth told him calmly, "But I'd appreciate a little optimism."
"Fair enough," he said with a sigh.
"What's the problem?" Zelenka asked.
"We were looking at the research from a lab on P77-813. It was a security research base and Sheppard managed to activate the Ancients' version of handcuffs; Elizabeth was caught in the beam as well and now the two of them are stuck together."
"Handcuffs?" Zelenka asked, clearly unconvinced.
"Yes, handcuffs, and we need to find a way to deactivate them."
"I don't see any handcuffs."
"It's not handcuffs per say," Rodney said with a sigh, "it's an invisible force without a physical form that links them together and won't let them move further than 11.135 metres apart."
"11.135?" Zelenka asked.
"Ancient measurements, don't ask me," Rodney shrugged. "And not only that; they can't move any closer together than 1.371 metres.
"What would be the point of such a link?" Zelenka asked, frowning as he glanced at the two of them.
"I've been thinking about that and I think it's safe to say that it's some kind of transportation restraint for the Wraith. These measurements mean that the Wraith wouldn't be able to wander too far, but also wouldn't be able to feed on their guard."
"Well what happens if they move further apart or closer together than those measurements?"
"That's just it; we can't" John told him. "Look."
"No," Elizabeth said firmly, "I think an explanation will suffice."
"Basically," Rodney began, "as soon as they are at the maximum separation distance the link kicks in and stops them; it's like a rope; except that the Ancients had the advantage; basically anyone who has the Ancient gene is automatically made the stronger of the two. In this case the Colonel can just pull Elizabeth along after 11.135 metres. Similarly if he moves towards her, as soon as the 1.371 metre limit is reached, Elizabeth is pushed backwards."
"What does it feel like?" Zelenka asked. John glanced over at Elizabeth deciding she'd probably give a better description.
"It's hard to describe. If John gets too close a force pushes me backwards, if he gets too far away the same Force will pull me along, but if I'm walking towards him and get too close it feels like a wall is blocking my way. If I walk away it's as if a rope is pulling me back," she explained simply.
"And it doesn't hurt?"
"Not really; just kinda strange" John supplied. Zelenka glanced over at Elizabeth and she nodded in confirmation.
"Well that is something to be thankful for," Zelenka smiled.
"I'll be more thankful when it's not there at all," John replied smoothly.
"Yes of course," Zelenka coughed. "Well we can start right now; what information did you bring back from the base?"
"Nothing," Rodney sighed. "The whole place was destroyed apart from the machine; there's no information on how it worked, nothing except the wonderful live demonstration that you have standing in front of you. I took them both back to the lab after we realised what had happened, but the linking process, whatever you want to call it, ate up the last of its power and destroyed most of the power crystals in the process." Zelelnka opened his mouth to speak, "and before you say anything, no, we can't repair the machine; I didn't recognise the crystals they used, I think they may have been developed towards the end of the war with the Wraith; just thrown together as best they could be. We can't fix it."
"So we've got to find a way of sorting it out without any of that?" Zelenka asked.
"Very good Einstein; I'm so pleased I have you working with me on this one."
Zelenka headed over to the other side of the lab, muttering something in Czech, and John waited patiently for Rodney to start his next rant. He risked another look at Elizabeth, but she still didn't seem very enthusiastic about talking to him and so he inwardly sighed and waited for the tests to begin.
"Well," Rodney said, several hours later, "we've got all the data we can collect for now, and we're going to have to wait for some diagnostics."
"How long will that take?" Elizabeth asked. She got up from the chair that she'd been sitting in and came over to stand as close as she could to John without being met by the invisible barrier. Thankfully the hours of joint testing that they'd had to go through seemed to have mellowed her attitude towards him and now she gave him a reassuring nod, which he willingly returned.
"A day, maybe two," Rodney said with a shrug. John exchanged a serious glance with Elizabeth.
"And how long 'til you find a way to reverse it?" he asked.
"I don't know; we might get the diagnostics back and be able to engineer some sort of reversal process by tomorrow night."
"Okay, well that's good," John nodded.
"Or the diagnostics might tell us nothing and we'd be back to square one," he added hesitantly.
"So you're saying we could be stuck like this for awhile?" John asked, his tone hardening.
"Look; I told you not to touch it; this isn't my fault, but I'm trying to fix it," Rodney huffed.
"Thank you for your efforts Rodney," Elizabeth interjected, "and you Radek; we appreciate them. Now, are we free to go?" she asked.
"Yes, as far as I can tell, but what are you planning on doing? 11.135 metres isn't very far and 1.371 isn't that close."
"We'll figure something out," John told him with a wave of his hand, before following Elizabeth out. "We'll figure something out, right?" he repeated to her in a low voice.
"I don't see that we have much choice, John," she replied with a sigh, glancing back at him. "If you want to come to my office now, we'll discuss it."
"To be honest Elizabeth we're not going to be able to get far enough away from each other to ever be in a position where we can't discuss," he replied.