Buffy died at the end of Season 5, but she wakes up in a new universe as Lizzie Sheppard
Buffy died at the end of Season 5, but she wakes up in a new universe as Lizzie Sheppard
Buffy died at the end of Season 5, but she wakes up in a new universe as Lizzie Sheppard. This is a total rewrite of Atlantis from the very beginning with Buffy/Lizzie. Will mostly be in POV of Lizzie and John Sheppard, but may switch in later chapters.
Constructive critizim is welcome but please remember that this is a work of fiction and as such you are meant to suspend to sense of disbeleif...
She hurt. Like really uber hurt. Her bones feel like they had been ground up into powder, and Buffy was one of the few people who knew exactly how much force it took to do that. I mean HELLO did The Master ring any bells. Anyone?
If this was meant to be death then the goddamned PTB's could give her a freaking refund on this supposed 'gift'.
It took a lifetime to feel something other then pain, when she did it was the overwhelming sense of being wrong.
It felt as though she had been squeezed into a too-small container. Everything felt tight and strained, her skin tingled and even her muscles felt compressed, it was definitely not an enjoyable experience.
Opening her eyes, Buffy shut them again almost as quickly, in an effort to save her eyesight. The world was too bright, too harsh and most definitely just too pink.
My god, who in the hell would decorate a room with that much pink? It looked like a damn Barbie house, in fact it reminded her of Dawn's room when they had lived in L.A, with the whole 'valley of the dolls' motif.
Whatever the hell was going on she was sure, as in 100 sure that Whistler had something to do with it. That thought actually made her smile although it did appear to be more of a grimace. It meant that she could finally follow through on the promise to turn him into a ribcage hat.
It fact it almost made her happy to picture the little, smelly, twerp desperately trying to retrieve his ribcage from a really tall hat stand.
Deciding to risk pink induced blindness once more she managed to crack her eyes open a little, though it took much longer to adjust to the light then she expected.
"What the hell is going on?"
The question slipped out surprising her more then anything.
Instead of the voice she was so accustomed to hearing, it was high-pitched and well… girly. Ok something was most definitely wrong. Buffy found herself fighting down her own panic as it threatened to rise up and drown her.
After finally managing to shove the panic aside, Buffy made the decision to actually get up and find out what was going on. The only problem with that was the whole getting up part, the second she tried to stand her legs went out from under her and she landed heavily on her knees.
"Ow! Damn it!"
Propping herself up with her hands she noticed something that really started to send her deep into the panic-y terror zone.
Her hands where small… too small, child size. In fact, she couldn't even remember having hands this small; it had to be before she even started school.
Pushing herself up onto equally too small feet, she stumbled her way across the insanely bright pink room to a dressing table. Her head only just cleared the flat surface so she climbed onto the nearby chair to get a better look at the person in the mirror.
She's been right, she was tiny… looked to be maybe about five or six, her skin was the same. Tanned from too much time spent outside. Her eyes where the same, familiar hazel she remembered but that was where everything changed.
Her hair was no longer blonde, not even the dark blonde coming from too many hours patrolling through Sunnydale at night and not enough sunlight.
No her hair was black, pitch black, falling to her shoulders in a messy just out of bed way. The kind of black that looked blue in the right lighting, it was weird … beyond weird. She even had a very slight cowlick over her right eye, though luckily her hair was long enough and heavy enough that if brushed properly should keep it from flicking.
The more she noticed the differences the worse she started to feel, her breathing was coming fast and hard and she found herself panting as she attempted to climb off the chair. She slipped and landed hard again on her knee's this time though she must have knocked something on the dresser because her fall sounded much louder.
Crawling back towards the bed Buffy felt light-headed and the world seemed very hot and fuzzy, as though seen from a very fluffy blanket. There was a knock on the door and a male voice asking if she was all right but she couldn't find the strength to answer.
When she didn't reply whoever had been waiting for a reply opened the door and she could make out a hazy blur coming closer.
He was tall… like really tall, taller then anyone she could remember seeing, but at that moment, she couldn't seem to remember much except that something was wrong and she was scared. Whoever it was had dark hair like hers and familiar eyes but she couldn't make much else out.
"Lizzie, sweetie what's the matter?"
His voice was soft and full of concern, it reminded her of her mothers, filled with love as his arms slid underneath her much too small body and lifted her up. Resting her on his hip, he used his free hand to brush away the hair sticking to her face and she could just make out his frown.
"Lizzie, come on sweetie look at me."
It took every effort to do as he asked. As her eyes met, his she felt a giant weight pressing on her head from all sides.
The last thing she felt was what seemed like a wave a whiteness as it slammed into her and carried her away, along with the faint soft voice she knew was her own calling out for her daddy.
Her head felt fuzzy, or a least she thought it did. Everything around her felt fuzzy and incomplete, out of focus and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't seem to fix it.
She did recognise that she was in a white room, a brilliantly white room and yet it didn't hurt her to look around. She also noticed that she was still very, very small, which incidentally made her also very, very annoyed,
"What the hell? Didn't I already do the whole wake up in the land of weird once today?"
She shouted knowing somehow, there was something that would hear her.
"You have been summoned, Slayer"
A voice replied echoing around the room but no one appeared for her to actually target her annoyance at. Damn it all, they must have been paying attention to her last incident with Whistler.
"Indeed, young one"
Another voice answered.
"You know it's really rude to read peoples minds, especially when you don't seemed too inclined to make with the explain-y,"
Buffy grumbled under her breath.
"We simply are, what we are Slayer, there is no help for it."
"We have brought you here to help you understand"
The second voice finished.
"Understand what exactly? That I've been shrunk, into an alternate mini-me. I think I got that thanks."
"That could not be helped, the energies of the portal mixed with your Slayer powers and the distance between the two worlds created this effect,"
The first voice sounded faintly male, although it was hard to tell from all the echo-y-ness.
"Can you just tell me what's going on? Why did I wake up in the land of pink?"
"You died, Slayer."
"You jumped into the portal to save your sister, in doing so opened a path for yourself that we could never have anticipated"
The second voice almost sounded…proud as it spoke.
"Did Dawnie make it? And the others…please tell me they're all right"
Her voice came out much quieter then expected, something about being little again almost made her feel vulnerable.
"Your sister and friend made it through the battle alive, if a little worse for wear. They will morn you and celebrate your life, and move on with their own-"
"-As you must do also."
"What! Why can't I go back? I'm still me…well mostly I still feel like the Slayer. Why can't I just go back and move on with wit them?"
"You died there Slayer, the body you inhabit now is not the same as the one you once had"
"Yes, you are still the Slayer but you are also a child, a child that has a life and family in this dimension."
"When you awaken the memories of this life and those of your past life will begin to merge,"
"-You are being given the chance to start again, live a life free of perils of the world you knew"
"Then why am I still the Slayer. Why not just give me a completely new life? No, you want something from me. There is no way this could be as good as you're suggesting there's always a hidden motive with you people"
"That is not for us to decide, this is not our realm to govern"
"So what you're playing pass-the-Buffy now?"
What little gratitude she had been feeling at the knowledge her friends and family where safe was quickly turning to anger.
"You think you can just pass me around to whoever you want and I'll just go quietly…you can think again."
She growled out, which actually sounded strange coming from such a small child but still she did her best
A new voice entered the discussion, followed by a bright light that took the shape of a young man; he looked kind and sad all at once, as though he had seen great pain only to find peace.
"Who the hell are you?"
Even if she had wanted to sound more open she couldn't she was angry at her life being taken from her all over again.
"My name is Orlin and I am your guide, I am the emissary of those that watch this world and I have been sent to give you some of the answers you seek"
He spoke to her his voice soft and kind.
He reminded her of the tall dark haired man that had picked her up into his arms before she had landed in bizarre-o land take two.
She watched as he turned to face the whiteness that surround her and he seemed grow stronger his voice ringing loud and commanding. As he spoke again
"Your task here is completed; your Champion has passed beyond your reach and has entered a new realm. Your claim to her is null, it is now only your task to ensure that her presence is not pursued by any of those left in your domain. Remember these words for if you fail in your charge the consequences will befall you and you alone. Now be gone!"
With a final flash of light, the whiteness disappeared and a soft meadow took its place, it reminded her of the picnic's her mom and dawn used to take during the summer when dad had cancelled an outing in favour of work.
"Come Buffy… or I should say Lizzie now I believe"
He held out his hand and for some reason she found herself taking it into her own
"What's going on? Why where you all like 'Be Gone!' with the PTB's?"
He smiled down at her and for some reason she felt warm and safe
"That is not an easy question to answer…Lizzie"
She was about to protest when she simple felt the urge to do so leave her, he was right in this world, this body, whatever she was Lizzie not Buffy but it still felt strange.
"The beginning is usually as good a place as any and none of the cryptic crap the PTB's so love to dump on me"
He laughed and came to a stop before sitting down on the soft grass; he patted the ground beside him for her to join. She did so and waited for him to begin.
"You know, of where the Slayer came from yes?"
She nodded in response before he continued.
"When the PTB's as you call them helped in the creation of the Slayer line, they knew that in order to be truly successful they would require a human. One advanced enough to survive the binding with the demon aspect that created the Slayer line. Humans overall where still very primitive in your world. Those who were more advanced had gained their abilities through the mingling of human blood, with the demons of your world. They where already part of the darkness, and so would only be consumed by it if given more power. Instead they required someone advanced but untainted…they needed-"
"Someone of the light, someone who could take the darkness of what being a Slayer is but not fall to it"
She interrupted something in her mind suddenly clicking into play.
"Yes, exactly. They needed a being of light to balance out the darkness that was the Slayer essence. They petitioned our people, who at that time had already crossed the vast expanse of space, and where more knowledgeable then you can imagine. There request was eventually fulfilled, her name was-"
"Sineya, we've met once or twice now. She doesn't much resemble you though; she seemed to be kind of primitive."
"She volunteered to aid those of your world. She was young and craved adventure, many tried to warn her of the task she was about to undertake. She refused to heed our warnings. And so she fell, she lost the light of our people, but she did not become of the darkness. Instead, she became part of the twilight. Neither one world, nor the other, and so she remained until her death. However, the part of her that made her like us, imprinted into the Slayer essence. It would seek out those that would be able to become part of the darkness and yet still be of the light"
Buffy found herself whispering, Orlin nodded in response.
"Yes like you, not even Kendra or Faith had this ability and as such it makes you one of us."
"But what are you? Are you like the PTB's you know with the whole none interference front while they move people around like chess pieces anyway?"
She couldn't keep the bitterness out of her voice and so she didn't even try.
"No, we are the Ancients the first evolution of this form, but we ascended to a higher plain of existence millennia ago. In our current form we are simply guardians, we cannot interfere and we do not, it is strictly forbidden. I myself was once punished for doing so and spent many years alone before I could earn my forgiveness"
"What does that have to do with me, and why I'm all…mini-me?"
"This form you find yourself in now, is the reincarnation of your previous self. We could not simply create you in this dimension. That would be against the rules but we have given you the chance to live in this world without the pressures of your old world"
"What about my friends? And Dawnie? Will I be able to see them again?"
"In time when you have lived this life through, you will be given the chance to join us as we are now. When that happens you can observe them as you wish but you cannot interfere"
"Ok, I get the none-interference thing; I guess you guys are more likely to actually stick to that then the PTB's huh?"
She smiled slightly and watched as he sent a kind smile back at her.
"Yes, now more importantly I need to explain what you are to do here"
She couldn't help but frown at that, she knew it was too good to be true; there was always some kind of catch.
"None of that little one, your task here is simply really. You are to live, learn, and become the extraordinary person you are meant to be. The life you have in this world is different then that of your old in many ways. Your memories will merge when you awaken but you will not forget. The person you are in this new world is very intelligent, has in fact been encouraged to be so whereas your old self was not. Please remember if you even have need of me, to call and I will give you council. Remember also that you are not the saviour of this world. You are merely one of many that work towards a common goal of peace and knowledge."
He stood and helped her to her feet, before bending down on one knee to that; he was eye level with her.
"Be happy. Not everything will be perfect, as that is beyond our power. The world you go to now will help you to become something great…given time. Good luck and farewell"
He placed a kiss on her forehead, and she found her eyes closing. She felt a breeze caress her face, when she opened her eyes again he was gone and the meadow faded.
"Lizzie, come on sweetie open those beautiful eyes for me will you huh?"
That voice again. It drifted across her mind as she slowly blinked and let the blinding pinkness hit her for the second time.
Frowning slightly she shook her head, everything was all jumbled and out of place, Buffy had a life on top of a life on top of another life it was all very strange and she took a moment sort through it all.
Her life without Dawn, lying just under the surface of her life with Dawn and on top of both of them was the much shorter life of Elizabeth Ann Sheppard also known as Lizzie.
Her voice sounded weak as though from far away.
"Hey princess, you finally decided to join your old man in the land of the living huh?"
He smiled down at her his lopsided grin spoiled by the overwhelming concern in his eyes.
"I feel weird, and my head is really fuzzy" Her throat was dry and scratchy and she started to cough.
"Well that's because you've been sleeping for a long time, you had a bad fever but you're getting better now. Here let me sit you up a bit and you can have some water for that scratchy throat"
Smiling her slid her up a bit and sat down behind her letting her rest against him before carefully holding a small cup of water to her lips. Taking a small sip, she smiled up at him
"Thanks daddy, you're the best"
"Of course I am, I'm Major John Sheppard, USAF and the best daddy ever….well that what the mug you got me for father's day says anyway"
He gave her another grin before helping her lay back down after propping her pillows up behind her.
"Well I think you should be getting more sleep, if you really want to go stay at grandmas next week you have to be all better ok?"
He stood and made to move to the door
"Daddy, can you stay? Until I fall asleep…please?" she pleaded, she needed something solid right now, something that anchored her firmly in this world and at the moment the only thing that felt like it could do that was this man.
"Sure sweetie, budge over a bit and I'll do us another adventure how's that sound?" he sat down next to her on the bed and scooped her up until she rested against his chest.
Buffy though it wasn't Buffy anymore was it? No, she was Lizzie now, she was Lizzie Sheppard. Buffy Summers had dies. Sacrificed her life for her sister.
Lizzie Sheppard had a completely new life just waiting to be to live. That was all that mattered now.
Just before her dad launching into another tale of Jake the Apache, she looked around her room and grimaced at just how pink it really was.
"What is it sweetie?" He asked he his voice concerned all over again
"Nothing really, but I think it's time to change my room. Pink is so not my colour anymore"
He gave a laugh at her attempt at a grown up voice
"Now sweetie I've been waiting for you to tell me that for years, shall I begin?"
At her nod he did. She fell asleep to the tales of Jake the Apache flying over the rainforest of Brazil hunting out baddies and rescuing villagers.
Snow, snow, snow, snow, rock, snow, rock, rock, snow, seriously was there anything else out there?
Major John Sheppard absently checked his instruments, giving a brief smile to the small picture of Lizzie taped to one side of the control panel.
He liked it here, he really did. The openness and the pure monotony of it was refreshing and a welcome relief after Afghanistan.
More importantly, it was safe, or a hell of a lot safer. He wasn't spending all his time thinking about whether or not Lizzie would grow up without a dad as well as a mom.
His little girl meant everything to him, it was one of the reasons he's accepted this assignment even though he knew that the air force had meant it as some sort of punishment.
Ferrying scientists and such across the white vastness of Antarctica, not the most glamorous of jobs but he was enjoying it for the most part. He was flying and that's what really mattered.
He glanced over at his current passenger, Brig. General Jack O'Neill; the man was a ledged in special ops. He felt kind a proud to be flying him across the wastes.
The voice over the headset interrupted his thoughts and he glanced over to see the general nodding towards the picture of Lizzie.
"I tend to think so, sir,"
John said with a grin.
"How old is she?"
"Five going on fifty according to my Gran"
He smiled again.
"Yeah she's a little know it all, she's at advance camp for the summer while I'm taking my turn down here,"
He remember when the letter of acceptance arrived for Lizzie to attend the camp, she had been over the moon. She had always been much smarter then any of the kids her age, she was only a year off finishing high school.
"Sounds like you've got yourself a smart one then."
The general added.
"Yeah, for the last few months all she's been on about it how she wants to be a pilot when she's grown up."
"Following in her old man's footsteps huh?"
"Oh no, she's definitely gonna leave me in the dirt, she loves hearing about anything that fly's."
He smiled again as memories of the many different Jake the Apache stories they had come up with over the years.
"The stuff you've flown?"
"Yeah, Apache, Black Hawk, Cobra, Osprey, she loves them all."
"That's a lot of training for the Antarctic."
"It was the one continent I never set foot on,"
"It's one of my least favourite continents,"
The general added.
"I kind a like it here"
John said a lopsided grin firmly in place when the general looked at him like he had lost his mind.
"You like it here?"
The disbelief was evident and John couldn't help but grin even more.
"Yes, Sir" before adding, "We'll be there in about ten minutes, Sir"
An absent-minded smile on his face at the thought of collecting some of the ice in the small empty water bottle he's brought.
He's promised Lizzie he'd bring her back a souvenir, she'd probably give him the same eye roll she reserved for when she felt he was treating her like a baby.
She was much more adult in mannerisms and conversational skills then other kids her age, he knew she often felt isolated because of her intelligence but he also knew she wasn't willing to put up an act. She was either accepted for who she was or she wasn't, either way she didn't really care.
His thought where suddenly interrupted by the radio bursting to life
"ALL INBOUND CRAFT WE HAVE A ROUGE DRONE THAT CAN SEEK A TARGET ON ITS OWN. LAND IMMEDIATELY AND SHUT DOWN YOUR ENGINES.THIS IS NOT A DRILL…I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A DRILL"
Even as the final part of the warning was repeated, he spotted something heading towards them at high speed
"It's too late, hang on!"
John called out warning the general and she banked to the right sharply, so much for this being a safe assignment was all he could think to himself as he threw all his years of experience as a pilot into avoiding the oncoming missile.
It shot across the nose of the helicopter in a golden blur before it began to circle around to come back at them, even as he pulled sharply to the left the missile shot across the copter's path again.
The general, ordered but he was already committed to going left and so he did so sending them just out of the missiles target range
"I said right,"
The general repeated and he couldn't help his reply.
"I'm getting to that, sir"
before he did manage to turn the copter to the right while at the same time trying to loose some altitude in case they where forced to ditch. They seemed to have lost it for a moment and he tried desperately to pick up the strange glow
"I can't see it,"
He said as John tried desperately to loose more altitude.
"Pull up, pull up!"
The general ordered but just as he did, he noticed the glow streak passed the back of the helicopter and so kept them in a down wards dive until the general asked
"What about now?"
His voice sounded faintly nauseous.
John replied less the fifty feet from the ground as he pulled sharply upwards, the skimmed the surface of the snow with less the twenty feet to spare as he saw the drone, missile thing hit the snow. Taking advantage of that he quickly landed the helicopter and pulled the emergency shut down switch in the middle of the cockpit. After the generals terse
"Shut it down"
As the rotors started to slow, he kept his eyes still fixed on the snow before them
"Sir, what the hell was that?"
John asked his heart still hammering in his chest.
"Wait for it"
The general answered as they both searched the snow in front of them. A hundred feet dead ahead, it punched through the snow and ice before it began to head in their direction
John shouted as he desperately fought to release his crash harness. Having managed to do that he spared only a second to grab Lizzie's photo before he opened the door and dived out into the freezing snow, the general not far behind him on the opposite side of the copter.
John could hear the off whining noise of the drone as it neared them and was surprised to hear it begin to falter before it stopped altogether.
When nothing happened, he climbed to his feet and made his way round to the general's side of the copter to see the odd-looking drone, missile, thing stopped only inches from the general's hand.
After a moment to take everything in, they both got up and climbed back on board the helicopter. After a moment of regaining their breath he finally spoke
"That was different"
Watching as the general settled back into his seat a look of relief clearly on his face as he turned and looked at him
"For me, not so much"
The general replied and John had to shake his head in bemusement that something like that could be such an everyday occurrence.
With everything settled down again he hooked his headset back up and got on the radio to report in their situation and location. Luckily they where only about five minutes out now so he wouldn't have to spend too much time in frozen pants.
When that was sorted and both he and the general where safely strapped in, he started up the helicopter and continued on their way. And he had thought this was going to be an easy assignment, someone up their really must hate him.
Once they had landed at the base, it took a few minutes to shut down the helicopter before they made their way inside the compound, quickly shedding his freezing outer jumpsuit he followed the general towards the elevator shaft that would take them down into the base proper. It took another five minutes to reach the bottom of the shaft and as the doors of the elevator opened, a voice called out in their directed.
A civilian came towards them and the general answered.
"Daniel! Warm welcome"
They where obviously close friends and comfortable teasing each other
"Wasn't me, how'd you manage to err…"
"Keep my ass from getting blown out of the sky? The exceptional flying of Major John Sheppard. He likes it here"
"Exceptional…you like it here?"
John couldn't help but shrug as the question was thrown in his direction before he could be asked anything else the general interrupted
"Let's say we cut to the part where you start talking real fast"
"Yeah Weir's in here"
Together they began to move off when the general turned and threw over his shoulder.
"Hey don't touch anything" before leaving him stood alone.
John still couldn't believe that he had just been given clearance to enter this facility, usually it took months for the application process to be even looked at, and apparently, he really had impressed the general with his flying because he had just cut through the masses of red tape as if it didn't even exist.
John replied taking his gloves off and putting them in his pockets. Looking around he noticed that the majority of the people milling around where scientists of some form or another, he noticed the occasional military officer here and their obviously there for security reasons but otherwise it seemed strangely devoid of military personnel.
John began to wander around, there was no harm in just looking, and the general had said nothing about exploring the outpost a little. He spotted a room up ahead that seemed to be made of a strange metal instead of the ice walls of the main area, and he began to make his way over towards it when he heard someone talking in what sounded like a Scottish accent.
"It something I could just shut my eyes and see, I just felt this power that I'd never had before. I had it dancing all across the sky. It was magical it really was you know. They're lucky I don't know where it came from. I just had to concentrate and the drone shut it's self down"
There was a man and he seemed to be flirting with a female technician as he stood next to and ornate looking chair.
"So you're they one!"
He asked as he stepped into the actual room, the female tech leaving.
The Scottish guy asked looking at him for the first time
"You're the one who fired that thing at me,"
He said moving further into the room and climbing the two steps to the weird looking chairs platform.
"Look, we're doing research. Working with technology that's light years beyond us, and we make mistakes. I'm incredibly, incredibly sorry"
John had been angry when he had come forward but the sincerity in the man's words helping him to rein it in.
"Well next time be a little more careful ok"
"That's what I said"
"What the hell was that thing anyway?"
"You mean the drone?"
The scientist must have noticed the look of bewilderment on John's face because he continued to explain.
"The weapon The Ancient's built to defend this outpost"
Was all John could ask.
"You do have security clearance to be in here?"
"Yeah, yeah, General O'Neill just gave it to me" he replied looking round at the strange room
"Then you don't even know about the Stargate"
The man replied
His bewilderment increasing by the second.
What followed had to be the most mind blowing rundown of information he had received since the day he found out he was going to be a dad.
Becket as he introduced himself began to explain how the ancients built a system of Stargates that connected to each other using wormholes and how they had created this entire outpost millions of years ago.
He was well into his spiel on how he had discovered the specific gene that would activate certain technologies.
"We think the gene was used as a sort of, genetic key if you will. So only their kind could operate certain dangerous and powerful technologies"
As Becket spoke, John was examining the strange chair, pocking at the weird gel that resembled hand plates.
"So some people have the same genes as these Ancients?"
John asked as he began to walk around the chair hand in his pockets to avoid temptation.
"The specific gene is very rare, but on the whole the look very much like we do. In fact they where first. We're the second evolution of this form"
As Becket, explained he finished walking round the chair until he reached the front again, when he got there he just could resist and he moved to take a seat.
"The ancients having explored this galaxy for millions of years before….Major please don't!"
Becket stopped mid ramble as he went to sit down
"Come on what are the odd of me having the same genes as these guys?"
Even as he finished speaking and sitting down the chair lit up and tilted backwards leaving him suspended with his feet in the air.
"Quiet slim actually….Don't move!"
Becket mumbled, his eyes growing wide in fright before he ran off calling for Dr Weir, leaving him stuck in the chair desperately trying not to do anything.
Less then a minute later Becket came running back, along with a woman, the general and the civilian he'd been speaking with…Daniel something… along with another scientist in a red jumper.
"Who is this?"
The woman, whom he assumed was Dr Weir when they all where near enough.
The general came closer and in a slightly amused voice spoke
"I said don't touch anything"
"I… I just sat down"
He spoke keeping his voice quiet. The last thing he wanted to do was set another one of those things off. The slightly nervous looking scientist in red stepped forward next.
"Major, think about where we are in the solar system."
He had barely even finished speaking when an image began to appear above them all.
It felt like he'd been sat their forever when the nervous scientist, McKay finally agreed to let him go.
Thankfully he escaped and made his was to the nearest restroom, he'd been desperate to use the bathroom for well over an hour now.
When he exited, he was confronted by Dr Weir, who seemed to be waiting for him.
"Look Major we could really, use you on this expedition. This is a once in a life time chance to discover something extraordinary-"
She began but he had to cut her off.
"I'm sorry Dr Weir but I can't just make this decision off the top of my head. I have responsibilities. I've got a five-year-old little girl to think about. I can't simply take off for parts unknown without her."
"Is there no one that could take care of her while we're gone?"
"Dr Weir my only living relative is my elderly grandmother. Now she's been helping me out the last few years, but she can't do that forever. She's not got much longer left in her and I'm not leaving Lizzie here alone. She's all I've got; we don't have any other family. Hell for all I know she's got this weird alien gene thing too. I'm sure you're more aware then I am of what someone might decide to do if it's found out to be a possibility. Unless I can sort something out so I know she's safe there is no way I can do this, I'm sorry. I'll think about it I really will, like you said this is an experience of a lifetime but it's about more then me."
"Alright Major, I'll await your decision. There are a few months before we need to make final preparations for leaving. Take the time you need to think this through and let me know."
"Thanks, Dr Weir."
With that, she turned and left him alone to think about it. She really was right, this was something that, if he didn't have Lizzie to worry about he would except in a heartbeat.
However, he did have Lizzie, and there was no way he could just up an leave her. Not with Lizzie already so worried about loosing her Gran.
It was the main reason he had agreed to send her to summer camp this year, instead of just leaving her in his grandmother's care.
He was still thinking about everything as he made his way back up the elevator; he quickly changed into a fresh jumpsuit while he waited for the general to join him.
Once he had, they made their way out to the helicopter and he quickly began the pre-flight warm up.
"This isn't a long trip so I'll be as succinct as possible…"
The general started and then simply stopped he couldn't stop himself from reply with a hint of humour
"Yeah, that's pretty succinct."
General O'Neill was obviously used to using humour the same way John did,
"I told Dr Weir that I'd…think about it."
"And… so … well …what?"
"With all do respect, Sir. We were just attacked by an alien missile. Then I found out I have some mutant gene, and not only that but my kid could have it too. This putting me in a completely new realm of terror. As I'm pretty sure when people find out about that little piece of information she's gonna be in danger. Then on top of that, there's this Stargate thing, and these expeditions to other galaxies. An in all of this all I can think about is, Lizzie need's me, and Lizzie's in danger and, I can't leave Lizzie behind. I'm not saying I don't want to go, because this sounds about as life changing as anything can be, but I have more then me to think about in this, Sir"
The general looked like he was going to object for a second until a strange look crossed his face.
"Damn it your right, the first thing we need to do when we get state side is find out if your kid does have this gene. I'll have Becket at the SGC in three days you think you can get her there to find out?"
"If I can get stateside fast enough then I don't see why not. I'll have to pick her up from camp but that shouldn't be too much of a problem"
"Then we'll take it from there. If she is in danger, I'd be willing to … bend the rules to get her somewhere safe."
Looking at the general's face in that instant, John felt like the man knew exactly what it felt like to be a father, and wanting to protect your child.
"Thank you, Sir. She'll all I've got in the world. If anything happened to her because of me."
They lifted off in silence and stayed that way for the entire trip to McMurdo.
Once they got back to McMurdo and he'd handed over his helicopter to the tech on duty, he quickly made his way into the base. General O'Neill had already left to get the jet prepped for its trip stateside.
"Major, Major Sheppard. You've had a message come through."
Handing him the missive the junior officer left him to read it in private.
All it took was one look and he felt his hand crumpling the paper. His Gran was in hospital; apparently, she'd been in a traffic accident.
Goddamn it how was he meant to explain something like this to Lizzie?
Moving to his quarters his quickly threw everything he had into his duffle bag. His uniforms slid neatly into the dress bag. Pausing to grab the pictures of Lizzie and his Gran from the desk, he was out the door not even twenty minutes later and heading to meet with General O'Neill.
The general asked as John dropped his duffle and dress bag into a nearby chair.
"I received a message while at the outpost; my Gran was in an accident and was taken to hospital. They don't think she's going to make it."
"Damn, I'm sorry Major."
"God, I don't know what I'm going to say to Lizzie. I need to call the summer camp and let them know I'm coming to pick her up."
"Sure thing Major, I had an idea as well. Just in case I'm gonna contact someone at the SGC and have her keep an eye on things for me till we get there."
"Sir is that a good idea? I mean what if someone else finds out what's going on?"
John was worried; he felt deep down that this wasn't going to go as smoothly as he hoped
"The ones we want this kept from are the NID, and yes they do have people inside the SGC. But I'm contacting my SIC, she's completely trustworthy."
"If you say so, Sir. I think I may have to set up a safe word with Lizzie though. I've got a bad feeling"
There was a knock on the door and a junior officer popped his head to inform them their Jet would be ready in thirty minutes.
When they had the room to themselves again the general turned and looked him in the eye
"I think that's a good idea, we should give my SIC the safe word in case she needs to get your little girl out of there."
"Ok, I'll get in contact with them as soon as we're in the air; they know that I might have to call late in emergencies due to the time difference."
The wait was agonising but eventually they boarded the jet and where on the way. Once they where safely able to move about, John made his way to the nearest phone and started dialling the Colorado advanced placement camp.
It was going to be late there possibly after 10pm but right now he didn't care, he needed to speak with his daughter, he needed to know she was safe.
"Hello this is CAPC, Margaret speaking how may I direct your call?"
"I need to speak to the Camp director immediately; this is Major John Sheppard, Lizzie Sheppard father. It's an emergency"
"Of course Major Sheppard if you'll hold for a minute I'll get the Director on the line for you."
John felt like he's been waiting for years when the painfully cherry music finally cut off and the voice of the Director filled his ears.
"Major Sheppard, this is Director Hilling. How may I help you?"
"I need to speak to Lizzie, and I need to inform you that I should be at the camp in two days to collect her."
"I see I'll have someone go and collect Lizzie right away."
"Thank you, I've just been informed that her Grandmother has been taken into hospital, she's in a serious condition and I've been granted leave to come and be with her and Lizzie."
"I'm sorry to hear that Mr Sheppard, if there is anything I can do-"
"Actually there is Mr Hilling, there is a possibility that I may be delayed in that event Lizzie will be picked up by a…" looking over at the general he waited for him to write out the details out on a piece of paper, before continuing. "Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, USAF. She will have identification, but just to make sure she is approximately five foot nine, blonde-haired woman, with blue eyes. Under no circumstances is Lizzie to leave with anyone other that person Mr Hilling, is that clear?"
"Perfectly Major Sheppard, ah Lizzie has arrived. I shall put her on directly" He heard her soft voice in the background and the sound of the phone being passed to someone else.
Lizzie sounded sleepy, and he hated himself even more for having to wake her for this.
"Lizzie sweetie I need you to listen very carefully can you do that baby?"
John asked his voice going softer.
"Of course Daddy, what's the matter?"
"Your Gran is in hospital, Lizzie. She's very sick and I've been given leave to come home and take care of things."
"Ok, what else?"
"How do you know there's something else?"
He couldn't help but tease her.
"Daddy! You wouldn't have called this late for just that, so what is it?"
"Sorry sweetie, I'll be there in two days to pick you up. But just in case I'm delayed I needed to let you know that someone else might need to collect you."
"Oh… safe word?"
"Yes sweetie safe word, you know which one. Now the person that may collect you is Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, she's tall and has blonde hair and blue eyes. Now she should have ID with her so don't forget to ask."
"I won't dad, I know the rules."
"Good girl, if for some reason she need to collect you sooner, I want you to use the other safe word ok. This is really important princess."
"You're not in trouble aren't you? Because I know I'm not, I swear. I didn't hack into anything I shouldn't. I promised I wouldn't, after I did it by accident last time…"
"Sweetie calm down, no ones in trouble. This is just time sensitive is all, now I want you to get all your things together and I should be there soon ok. We'll get all this sorted out as soon as I can alright?"
"Yes daddy, I love you see you in two days."
"Love you too princess, you can put Mr Hilling back on now and head to bed. I don't want you up all night….promise me you'll go to sleep."
"I will Daddy, goodnight."
"Goodnight sweetie, sleep tight don't let the baddie bite."
With that she was gone her faint giggle drifting in his head.
"Thanks again Mr Hilling, I'll hopefully see you in two day. Can you please have someone check to make sure that her nightlight is switched on, I don't want her having nightmares."
"Of course Major Sheppard, again you have my condolences. I'll personally make sure Lizzie is ready to go when you arrive."
"Thanks again, I'll be in touch if there is any change in my plans"
"Very well. Goodbye Major Sheppard"
With that, the line went dead and he hung up the phone and retook his seat opposite the general.
"Don't let the baddies bite? Seriously Sheppard?"
He couldn't help the laugh that escaped him.
"It's from the bed time stories we make up. Jake the Apache, he's a talking helicopter that fights crime. You remember that old TV show airwolf? Well she saw a re-run of it when she about two and wouldn't let it go. So we came up with Jake the Apache."
"Dear god Sheppard, I didn't think you really meant it when you said she wanted to be a pilot. The kids barely old enough to be in kindergarten."
John couldn't help but laugh at the bemused look on the general's face.
"Sir, if you get the chance to meet Lizzie you'll understand. She may be only five but that kid is smart, I'm talking scary smart. She's not far off finishing high school."
"Are you serious Sheppard? How the hell did you manage something like that?"
"That was all her mother; Alexandra was amazing like that too. She was already on her second doctorate when I met her as a lowly Smack in the Zoo."
"She sounds like an amazing woman."
"She was, Sir. She died from complications when Lizzie was born. Thought my world had ended that day, but I got lucky. If I'd lost Lizzie too I'm not sure I would have been able to keep living."
"Yeah I know that feeling well, Sheppard."
The general's voice sounded distant and filled with emotion.
He left the question open ended, not wanting to push or pry.
"I lost my son, not long before the first mission through the Stargate to Abydos. Never expected to make it back from that one. Glad I did though or I would have missed out on all this"
Nodding in understanding, they were silent for a moment before John pulled the pen General O'Neill had used to pass him the information on his SIC and quickly jotted down the two separate Safe words for the general to pass along.
"These need to go to your SIC. The top one is the general safe word, if we can't make it in time. The second is the emergency safe word if you're SIC needs to go and pick her up early. Hopefully, she won't have to use either. I hate having to come up with new word, and Lizzie's are always so long"
"I think I might just have to meet this kid, she sounds like a handful."
"You have no idea, Sir. When I was home on leave least time, she decided that we needed more TV channels. So she disassembled the entire TV and rebuilt it from scratch. We now receive cable, in 42 languages. Thankfully, that not as bad as the time she decided to rewire the lawnmower in an effort to make it fly. Apparently, at the age of three she just recognised that it had a rotor blade and assumed it was meant to take off like a helicopter. It took me months to rebuild the shed after that one."
"Holy crap, I don't think it's such a good idea to introduce her to Carter after all, jeeze if they ever joined forced the world would be doomed."
Laughing at the mental image of his five-year-old ruling the world, John stood and stretched for a moment.
"You should get some sleep Sheppard this is likely to be a long flight."
"Yes, Sir…and Sir thank you."
"You don't even have to mention it, no way in hell I'd let someone like the NID get their hands on anyone, especially a kid."
Lizzie was anxious, her dad wasn't due to pick her up for another six hours and already she had spotted three black vans parked outside the boundary limits of Colorado Advanced Placement Camp.
Thanks to her enhanced sight she could see them even though they where hidden pretty well behind the tree line. She didn't want to go out and make herself an even bigger target but, it was meant to be lunchtime and after that, the kids were meant to go outside and play.
Her bags where packed, everything from her stuffed pig Mr Gordo to the night light that shone the solar system across her ceiling, everything was packed away and waiting.
That's all she could do now. Even though she knew he dad was on his was she really wished he would get here sooner.
From the corner of her eyes, she spotted a flash of gold, and turned to see a woman talking with Mr Hilling.
Whoever it was, they matched the description her dad had given her of who might pick her up if something went wrong.
Went wrong with what, she didn't know, but she determined to find out.
Mr Hilling and the blonde woman began to make there way across to where she was sitting, stopping when they reached her table.
"Lizzie, this is Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, she's here to pick you up for your father."
Lizzie ignored Mr Hilling, and focused on the woman instead. She was pretty, she reminded her of someone but she couldn't quiet remember.
"Can I see some ID?"
The woman simply smiled and fished out a plain wallet, flipping it open before she handed it over to her.
Looking at the ID, it was an official USAF ID with all the proper markings.
She'd spent hours memorising her dad's when he was home, he said it was important and she knew he was right.
Even if she could take care of herself she was still a kid, she could be easily over whelmed in large numbers.
Lizzie said handing the card back to the Lt. Colonel.
"The Lt. Colonel can help me get my stuff from my room, Mr Hilling."
"Of course Lizzie, don't forget to go by the office to sign out."
"Of course not, Mr Hilling."
She replied, as he began to move away.
When he was out of sight she turned back to the woman stood before her and crossed her arms in a defensive stance.
Lizzie asked, keeping her voice low so the other kids nearby couldn't hear her.
"Alright your who you say you are, exactly what had my dad done now that landed him in this much mess."
Standing she began to make her way to her dorm room, the Lt. Colonel following closely behind.
"As far I know nothing. This is all just a precaution"
Lizzie couldn't hold back the snort of disbelief as they entered the dorm wing.
"Sure it is, and the fact that you're picking me up six hours early has nothing whatsoever to do with the three black transits parked at intervals along the boundaries."
The woman sighed, an odd smile on her face before she replied.
"I honestly don't know what's going on, my superior asked me to keep an eye on you and to intervene if I noticed any undue attention being paid in your direction."
They entered her room they collected the suitcase, she slipped the backpack over her shoulders before grabbing her laptop case.
"What do you want me to call you? I mean I could keep up with the whole Lt. Colonel thing but it'll get old pretty quickly."
"You can call me Sam; it looks like we're stuck together for the next six hours or so anyway."
"That's cool, as long as my dad's alright. I haven't been under this much surveillance since the time I hacked something I shouldn't have."
"You hacked? What could you possibly have gotten into that would put you under more of a watch then this"
Lizzie mumbled a reply under her breath, trying to save her self some major embarrassment.
"What was that?"
Ok so Sam wasn't likely to let it go.
"The Pentagon ok, it was a total accident. I still don't get what the big deal was. I was just following around some old code. I didn't mean to do it; I didn't even know I had until there was some guy knocking on our door. Almost gave my Gran an aneurysm, from the fright, barged in all over the place. I mean seriously I'm five, what kind of threat to national security am I?"
There was silence for a moment as the walked towards the office, although Lizzie could have sworn she heard Sam laughing under her breath.
Signing out only took a few minutes and then they where both safely in Sam's car and heading off. She spotted the black van almost immediately as it started tailing them.
"Where are we heading?"
Lizzie asked as they pulled out onto the main street.
"I've been ordered to take you to Cheyenne Mountain, and from there we're to wait for your dad and General O'Neill to show up."
"Awesome, you should probably get there soon though"
Lizzie said her eyes flickering back and forth to the wing and rear view mirror.
Sam asked curiously.
"Well I just missed lunch, so I'm starving, and there are two black vans following us. I'm pretty sure the third is going to try to cut us off at some point. Are you sure my dad didn't do something stupid?"
"You know you're kind of strange for a five year old."
Sam said a hint of a laugh in her voice as the took the turn a little faster the normal.
"What can I say, being smart has its advantages, and its disadvantages"
"Yes I know that one well."
"I'm sure, but I bet you weren't about to finish high school before your sixth birthday."
They came to a stop light and Sam turned to look her in the eye briefly before focusing back on the road.
"No your right I wasn't, but then I didn't start school till I was six"
"I don't go to school, not a normal one anyway, Daddy said that I would never be challenged enough if I did. He says I take after my mom that she was really super smart too, but I wouldn't know I don't remember her."
"My mom died when I was fourteen, so I know how that feels."
"I guess it would be different though, you got to know her and stuff, you knew she loved and everything."
"Yeah I guess"
They fell into silence after that for the next five minutes. Lizzie recognised where they where heading. She's been past the mountain so many times she could probably find it in the dark. That's when she spotted a third and a fourth black van in the surrounding traffic.
"Err… Sam I think our company brought some more friends to play."
"Don't worry Lizzie, we're almost there."
"They are going to try and stop us before we get in sight of the Mountain, it's there only shot because otherwise they will alert others to their presence."
She watched as Sam eyed her for a moment before shaking her head a smile flittering across her face.
"Your right, but not to worry I don't intend to stop for anything."
With that, she put her foot down and sped towards the safety of the mountain.
Their tails tried to keep up, but they where obviously hindered by their larger sizes and the fact that they had more then two people inside.
They made it to the safety of the Mountain and parked the car. Sam pulled out her suitcase so Lizzie slipped on her backpack and grabbed her laptop case again before following behind.
Sam reached to take her hand as they made their way to the main elevator that would take them down the first eleven floors.
Ignoring the questioning glances of the Airmen on duty, Lizzie patiently waited for Sam to sign them both in before moving towards the elevator.
"This is so cool. I always wanted to go to the Mountain. Dad was always too busy and Gran can't get out much anymore. Will you show me around to the none important stuff anyway. I know you can't show me the classified stuff."
"I'd be happy to, we'll get your stuff into a VIP room and then we'll head down to the commissary. That is if you're still hungry."
"I'm starving actually; do you think they'll have jello?"
Sam burst out laughing at that, leaving Lizzie dazed, and wondering exactly was going on.
"What? Sam, it wasn't that funny."
"Sorry Lizzie, it's just that's my favourite thing to get from the mess, they tend to keep some saved just for me when I'm on base."
"So what they should have some?"
"Definitely, but first lets get your stuff dropped off huh?"
Lizzie followed her as the entered another elevator taking them even further down. Lizzie couldn't help bouncing on the balls of her feet a little in excitement. This was so cool.
The commissary hall was quiet, as Lizzie wolfed down her third plate of …whatever-the-hell this was.
She's forgotten to ask, it had looked so good. It tasted even better; this had to be the best lunchroom food she had ever tasted.
"Holy Hannah, where are you even putting all of that?" Sam said a tinge of awe in her voice.
"I don't know and I don't care, this stuff is awesome. I wish my Dad could cook even half as well as this. Do you still think I can get some Jello?"
Lizzie sighed finishing off the last of the food on her plate.
"Sure Kiddo, wait here a sec and I'll go get some." Sam only took a minute to return with two bowls of blue Jello.
"Thanks Sam! Blue's my favourite too."
Lizzie started to spoon the wobbling desert into her mouth as Sam did the same with her own desert.
"So what do you want to do after you've managed to eat the commissary dry?"
Sam asked, she was laughing at her; Lizzie couldn't help but use the patented Sheppard grin as she took another bite.
"It's not my fault! Seriously, I have a very high metabolism."
"Sure Kiddo, if you say so. We've got five hours to kill before your Dad and General O'Neill arrives, so you feel like exploring?"
"Do you think I can use the gym? I should probably burn some of this off."
Lizzie said while gesturing at the empty plates and the almost finished desert.
"That way I can take a nap and by awake when my Dad gets here."
"If you're sure, I thought you wanted to take a look at the base?"
They had both finished eating by now and Sam was busy collecting the plates and bowls together to drop off at the counter.
"I figured, I'm gonna be here for a few days and I'll have time to look around. I don't want to miss seeing my Dad though, and I didn't sleep too good back at Camp after he called."
"Ok then, we'll swing by your room, and you can get changed if you want."
"Cool, sounds like a plan."
A few minutes later after the stop at her room, Lizzie was dressed in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, her sneakers squeaking slightly as they made their way through the halls.
They reached the gym not long afterwards and again Lizzie spotted that it was quiet.
"Where is everyone?" She couldn't help but ask as she made her way over to the mats and began stretching.
"So what are you planning to do, to burn off all that lunch?"
Sam asked while standing back to watch and Lizzie finished stretching.
"Well I was gonna do some gymnastics, I've not had a chance to practice much while at Camp. They don't have open mats like this."
So saying Lizzie started to go through her general routine. Flipping, rolling, and cart wheeling across the map. Giggling as she landed and launched herself off again.
Finally, after what seemed ages, she finished off with a handspring triple back flip. Landing neatly arms spread out in the standard finishing pose.
She wasn't even breathing heavy. Her smile at being able to actually move around for a while was infectious as she watched Sam return it.
"So what do you think?"
Lizzie asked stepping into the centre of the mat stretching again; she lifted one leg up behind her until it began to burn slightly, and then repeated it with the other.
"I'd have to say 10 on that. That was impressive."
"Nah I think it was only a 9.7. I wobbled a little on a few of my landing; I need to practice more for a 10 I think."
With that, Lizzie fell into the first stance of Tai Chi.
"What are you doing now?" Sam asked as she took a seat on the edge of the mat watching her.
"This is the Chen Style of Tai Chi; it's been around since the 1600's. It's not my favourite but I'm not big enough yet to pull off any of the other forms, with any degree of accuracy."
Lizzie began to follow the slow and controlled movements, letting her eyes drift shut as she let her mind drift for the moment to memories of a life that was often out of reach.
She remembered learning this the first time round, it had seemed so much easier then, of course, then she hadn't been limited by her size quite as much.
"Where did you learn that? You're really good considering it should take years to master." Sam asked, she sounded curious and Lizzie couldn't help but smile.
Her eyes still shut as she allowed her body to flow; following instincts so deep, it was instinctive.
"The school I go to tends to cater to the things its pupils want to do, more then normal schools When they found out, I had a gift for martial arts they contacted a local Dojo and had an instructor come in to give me lessons three days a week."
"That's more then a little impressive; do they bring in special teachers for other children at the school?"
"Sometimes, its actually part of the Air Force Academy. So sometimes, I get teachers from the high school or the university to come in and see me. It's why Dad decided to move here when they found out I was as smart as my mom was. The programme here is one of the best in the country, and it helps that he's in the Air Force too."
A while later she had run through the entire Tai Chi movements and stood still in the centre of the mat her eyes closed. Taking a deep breath Lizzie opened her eyes and smiled at Sam. Who had sat through her entire routine, usually by now her dad would be bored out of his mind. He didn't like sitting still much.
Lizzie frowned for a second, then going over the last thought in her head. Trying to understand how she knew that Sam hadn't moved.
"What's the matter Kiddo?" Sam asked concern in her voice as she pulled herself to her feet.
"I know this is gonna sound weird, but do you even get like a tingling feeling in the back of your head?" Lizzie asked as she moved towards where Sam stood waiting, a puzzled look on her face.
"It's just, I thought I was imagining it but when I opened my eyes I knew exactly where you where sitting. You leave a tingling feeling in the back of my head. Like a ghost or something. It's really weird."
Lizzie watched, as Sam's eyes grew wide for a minute before they started to make for the door to the gym.
"Do you ever get that feeling around anyone else?" Sam asked as she held the door open for her.
"My Dad, but its different. More like a gentle tickle then a tingle. I thought it was just because he's my Dad you know?"
Sam nodded as they made their way through the maze of corridors, back to her room.
Lizzie couldn't stop the yawn from escaping as they arrived.
"I'm not sure really Kiddo, why don't you take your nap and I'll wake you before your Dad gets here. If you wake up sooner, you can ask for the guards to contact me in my lab ok?"
"Ok, thanks again Sam. You think I might be aloud to look at your lab before I go. That would be awesome." Not even bothering to change her cloths Lizzie slipped off her sneakers before climbing onto the massive bed. She fished Mr Gordo out of her backpack before climbing underneath the covers.
"Well I'd have to check with General O'Neill, we'll see what he says ok?"
Lizzie felt her eyes already drifting shut as she nodded.
"Can you leave the light on please?" She asked as Sam made to leave.
"No problem Kiddo, get some sleep and remember the guards outside can get a hold of me if you need me alright?"
"M'kay night Sam" Lizzie didn't get much further because her eyes where already shut, really two hours sleep the night before had left her feeling more tired then she'd thought.
She dreamed, the meadow was bright and soft, under her bare feet and she found herself looking around.
"Orlin? Are you here?"
Her voice drifted on the gentle breeze, echoing around the meadow.
"I'm here little one."
His soft voice drifted towards her, followed by the distinct soft glowing tendrils that solidified into his form.
Smiling Lizzie ran over and hugged him around the waist; he brushed her soft black hair away from her eyes and crouched down besides her.
"What are you doing here Orlin? I didn't call; I don't think I did anyway."
"No you didn't Lizzie, but I sensed your distress and came to help."
"Thank you Orlin, I've been worried. I think my Dad has gone and done something stupid, or at least weird. On top of that my Gran is hurt, I have a bad feeling about that."
Nodding he sat down on the soft grass pulling her to sit in his lap, just as her dad would.
"Your father is fine little one, although he has begun a chain of events that were not expected. Your Grandmother however is very sick; I do not believe that she has much time left on your plain."
A wave of sadness seemed to pour out of her and she couldn't help the little hiccupping sob that escaped as she buried her head into the soft fabric of Orlin's tunic.
"Shh little one, do not morn for her, she has lived a long life and it is time for her to find something new. You would not want her confined to your plain unable to experience the joys of life. You would not want her to linger in pain, when she could move forward to a new state of being."
It took her a few moments to calm down enough to manage to nod before she pulled away slightly to look at Orlin's face. He smiled his ever-gentle smile brushing away her tears.
"I know. I wouldn't want her to be stuck here where she can't do anything for her self. She would never want to be one of those people left in an old folk's home. I'll just miss her is all, and with out her it'll just be Daddy and me and he has to go away a lot. I don't want to be left on my own"
"Well that is one of the reason's I came to speak with you."
"This is something to do with what my Dad did isn't it?" She asked looking up to meet his eyes.
"Yes, you know that you're special. That you are different from other people."
"Yes, like how I'm stronger, and faster and smarter."
"All of those things, but also something else. Your very genes are different."
"Does this have something to do with the fact that I had another life before I came here?" Lizzie asked
"Partly, you know we couldn't just create you in this world, you had to be born from something."
"Yes, that's why my mom was sent to my Dad. Because she was like you sort of, but she didn't remember"
"Exactly, your mother was once one of us, but she chose to retake human form. Our rules are very strict if one of us chooses to take human form then all knowledge of whom and what we are is blocked from them."
Nodding in understanding, she waited for him to continue.
"Your mother and father fell in love and married and eventually had you. But what makes you special comes from both your mother and your father."
"You mean that Dad is related to the Ancients as well? How? I didn't think there where any others."
"You know of the Ancients' migration back to Terra after the loss of Atlantis. Many of those who returned fell in love and married the humans living at that time. Your father is a very distant descendent of one of those people"
"As you say, this means however, that he is able to use much of the technology that we left behind. That is why you where placed in danger. I hope that if all works the way it should, both you and your father shall travel to the lost city of Atlantis. It is there that much of your past will come to light, Atlantis is your home, and will welcome you as the last of our kind."
"Am I really the last? I mean won't there ever be any more. I don't want to be by myself." Lizzie asked, shifting to lean against Orlin.
"When I say the last of our kind I mean as we where millennia ago, eventually the evolution of human kind will match what we once where, but for the moment human's are still very young. You will find however that there are some even now who have managed to reach enlightenment."
"Oh yes, in fact you will get to meet one of them very soon I believe."
"That is so cool, though I suppose I can't tell them anything. I probably won't remember much about talking to you either."
Sighing with annoyance Lizzie, fell silent. Letting her eyes wander across the meadow as the invisible wind blew across the long grass.
"I am sorry little one, but that is the way it must be."
Orlin's voice was filled with regret as he gave her a final hug before he made to stand up, puller Lizzie with him.
"It's time for you to wake up now, Samantha is an old friend of mind you know. She helped me earn my chance to rejoin the ascended you know."
"She did? Wow, that's pretty cool. I do like her though, she doesn't treat me like a dumb kid. Plus she asks my opinion on things. Not many people are willing to do that."
"Yes, Samantha is a very special person; in fact it is in part due to her effort that you will have the chance to return home. I must go now little one. Remember to be brave and strong, I will be here if you have need of me."
Orlin brushed his hand over her face lightly and Lizzie felt her eyes close. Then his presence and the meadow were gone, and the knocking on the door jerked her back to the waking world.
"Lizzie? Lizzie, it's time to wake up." She heard Sam's voice from far away and struggled to open her eyes. When she finally did manage to do so, she was greeted to Sam's face, leaning down over her.
"M'kay. I'm up, honest." She half slurred as she fought to sit up. Her fists rubbing at her heavy eyes.
"I thought you'd like to meet your dad when he gets down here. If you get up now you should have enough time to grab a wash and change cloths before he gets here."
"Daddy's here? Alright!" Instantly she was awake, and jumping off the bed. She headed directly to the bathroom ignoring, Sam's half-hearted chuckle at her expense.
She quickly washed her face in the sink, though she had to kneel on the closed toilet seat to reach it. These rooms definitely weren't designed for kids.
When Lizzie made it back into her room, she noticed that Sam already had her suitcase opened on the end of her bed.
"I didn't know what you wanted to wear so I just left it for you to decide."
"Thanks Sam, I'll only be a minute." Grabbing one of the already organised outfits, she headed back into the bathroom. Two minutes later, she came out wearing her blue t-shirt and the Blue shaded Camo dungarees her dad had gotten her before his last tour began.
She was busy pulling on her socks so she didn't notice the smile on Sam's face until she looked up in search of her sneakers.
"What?" Lizzie asked, as she pulled on first one sneaker then the other. Before she began to rummage through her backpack for her hairbrush.
She was back in the bathroom a second later, kneeling on the toilet again to see the mirror better. Sam's voice drifted from the other room.
"You really are a Daddy's girl aren't you?"
"Of course I am. My Dad's the greatest. Most of the time. Expect when he gets on his 'responsible parenting' kicks. Though, those don't happen that often. Usually only when I've done something really stupid."
Lizzie was back in the room not long after her straight hair neatly brushed, luckily she didn't need to tie it back, otherwise they'd be there all day.
"Ok I'm ready, is he here yet?"
"They should be just getting on the surface elevator now, so if we hurry we can meet them when they get off the second elevator."
"I so hope he brought me back something; I mean he was in Antarctic! How cool is that? Though I suppose it would be kinda cool, you know with it being sub-zero temperatures. I wonder how they keep stuff from freezing down there, I bet the base is mostly underground, that would be the only way to be out there for any length of time…"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, how can you go from asleep to hyperactive in under ten minutes?" Sam cut in mid babble.
"Sorry I tend to babble, when I'm excited, or nervous, or upset. It's like a reflex. But seriously is the base underground? That would be so great, I think it would be easier to cut the ice then it would to cut the ground. But I'm sure that temperature would also play a factor…"
"Ok we're here, if you can not babble for the next few minutes while we wait for your Dad I promise to answer all the questions about Antarctic I'm allowed to later, ok?" Lizzie blushed and nodded her head.
"I'm sorry; I just haven't seen my Dad in a while."
"It's ok kiddo, but please remember I'm not used to the babble so it needs to be interpreted ok?"
"Sure Sam, you're pretty great." It was Sam's turn to blush now as she looked at Lizzie and smiled again.
"I think that's one of the first times people here have thought I was great."
"Well the General used to think I was a geek." Lizzie giggled at Sam's mock whisper.
"Why? What do you do here?"
"I'm a scientist in the military... astrophysics, mostly."
"Really? That is so awesome. I like math, I get that from my Dad. So you're a Doctor as well as a Lt. Colonel?" Lizzie asked, but stopped when she heard the faint sounds of the lift coming to life.
"Is that them? Do you think?"
"Yes it probably is, and to answer your question yes I'm also Doctor." Nodding at Sam's answer, Lizzie began shifting from foot to foot.
"I think that's something I'll do when I grow up. I want to be a pilot like my Dad, but I don't want to waste being smart. Dad says I have enough time to do whatever I want to."
"You want to join the air force?" Sam asked her voice sounded a little odd, but Lizzie brushed it off and nodded back.
"I don't think I could ever just sit behind a desk, I'd go nuts. But I'm too smart not to do something that's going to use my brain. If I join the air force I can do both, though I have plenty of time to make up my mind." The smile she gave Sam then was most definitely the patented Sheppard grin. Her eyes twinkling in amusement as Sam returned it with a grin of her own.
At that moment, she felt the gentle tickle of her dad's presence, or she thought she did. Surprisingly enough she felt another equally strong tickle from the other person in the elevator.
She shook it off for now she could find out later, right now the door where about to open and she was too busy bouncing on her feet to pay it more attention.
The second the door opened wide enough for her to squeeze through, she was off like a shot. Diving straight at her dad, squealing in excitement.
"Daddy!" She hit him with an 'oomph' knocking him back slightly before her caught her properly, lifting her up into his arms. She wrapped her legs around his waist as she settled on his hip, and hugged him as tightly as she could.
"Lizzie, need…to…breathe!" He gasped out and she loosened her hold with a quiet,
John was momentarily deafened by the high-pitched squeal, the second the elevator door opened. He would have complained but he was too busy catching the tiny form of his daughter as she launched herself at him.
"Oomph" He managed to get out, before her felt like air was being squeezed out of his lungs.
"Lizzie, need…to…breathe!" Luckily she loosened her grip enough for him to breathe again. He hoisted her up onto his hip, while she wrapped her legs around his waist to maintain her hold.
"So I take it you missed me huh?" He grinned at her, and watched as she rolled her eyes.
"Of course I did Daddy, you let me get away with way more stuff then the teachers at Camp ever do." She answered him, his own grin echoed on her face.
"Do I get an introduction…anyone?"
The man standing next to her dad was tall, but he looked older. Taking a second to notice his uniform she smiled and held out her hand for him to shake.
"Nice to meet you General O'Neill, I'm Lizzie Sheppard. Thanks for bringing my Dad home early." He took her hand carefully, shaking it slightly smiling all the while.
"Sure kid, no problem. We should probably head to the briefing room though, we can talk better there."
Looking around she noticed they where still in the elevator, and ducked her head against her dad's shoulder to hide her embarrassment.
"Sounds good, Sir." Her dad answered before they all began to move forwards.
They reached the briefing room a few minutes later and followed the general inside.
"Alright kiddies, lets get this show on the road." The general spoke clapping his hands together, in an exaggerated way.
They all sat down at the table, Lizzie deciding to stay on her dad's lap rather then take a chair for herself.
Silence seemed to hang in the air for a minute; none of the adult looked ready to start speaking so she decided to go for it herself.
Turning to look her dad square in the eye, she cocked an eyebrow at him. Mimicking the way he often asked her questions she didn't want to answer.
"What did you do?" She kept her voice even, controlled. She was rewarded by the way her dad seemed to squirm in his seat, trying to avoid looking her in the eye.
"What makes you think I did anything? Seriously it could be any number of things."
"No, you did something. Touched something, messed with it … I don't know what but you did. You have the same look I had when I rebuilt the TV. I know that look. It's my look!"
"A little help here?" Lizzie watched as her dad frantically moving his eyes around the room to the general and Sam.
"But it's just getting interesting." The general sat in his seat, a goofy grin wide for all to see. Even Sam seemed to be fighting to keep a smile from her lips.
"Look if you did something to compromise national security I so reserve the right to say I told you so."
"Lizzie this is completely different, I didn't go looking for trouble."
"But trouble always finds you, I know. It's genetic, you're a Sheppard, I'm a Sheppard we can't help it. Are you gonna tell me now?"
Her dad gave a sigh of exasperation, looking pleadingly at the general for some silent permission.
With a nod, the general leaned back to enjoy the show.
Lizzie could almost see the sheer glee he was experiencing from making her dad uncomfortable.
"I may have, accidentally that is. Activated something I shouldn't have alright!" Lizzie could keep the grin from her face at her dad's words.
"So you touched something, you weren't supposed to. Without permission, and you what? Broke it, turned it on? Do I get to call you a hypocrite now, or do you want me to wait till later?"
A choking sound across the room caused her to turn and glare at the general.
"You do realise I now have the right, at an unspecified time in the future to use this against you. At some point I'm gonna mess with something I shouldn't, and you should be warned that this now sets all precedents for that time."
"Lizzie, that's enough." Ok so maybe she had taken it a little far but still, he was constantly telling her not to touch stuff, or mess with things. Only to turn around and do it himself, really it was too good an opportunity to miss.
"So what did you mess with? I'm pretty sure you didn't break it, or we'd be having this conversation with you in handcuffs."
Groaning in exasperation, her dad scuffed her hair. He didn't stop a grin from forming at her teasing.
"I didn't 'mess' with anything. I …I just sat down. It's not my fault it was on an ancient doo-hicky."
"Riiiiight… let me take a wild guess then. You sat on the ancient doo-hicky and it switched on. Now you're here to see if I have whatever it was that turned it on, too. Am I getting warm?"
"Yes smarty pants, we need to know if you have whatever it is too." Lizzie nodded, eyeing the general across the table.
"You really think it's a good idea to know if a five year-old can switch on really old stuff. What if I blow it up or something. I tend to do that you know." General O'Neill gave her an indulgent grin, before he began to speak.
"Well after hearing about the shed incident I can believe that. The thing is if you have, what allowed your dad to use this ancient stuff it might put you in danger."
"So that's why all the cloak and dagger stuff huh? I take it the baddies where the men in black vans." Her dad frowned at that, his hold tightening around her waist slightly.
"Yeah, they aren't really big on the whole ethical treatment of, well anyone." The general sounded grim at that, as though he was speaking from personal experience.
"You did really good spotting then at the Camp though Lizzie." Sam smiled encouragingly at her.
"They weren't hard to spot; they showed up around 0600 the day after dad called. They weren't very stealthy either. I mean come on black vans. That is so cliché."
"Anyway… we need to find out if you have this gene thing. But we also need to see your Grandma." Her dad drawled before falling into a serious tone. Lizzie couldn't stop the slight hitch in her breathing; leaning back, she wrapped her arms around her dad.
"Actually Major, I took the liberty of having her transferred from the Air Force hospital to here. She should be here early tomorrow morning. I thought it would cut down on the risks, if you didn't have to take Lizzie off base till we get everything sorted."
General O'Neill added. Lizzie felt her dad let out a sigh of relief; obviously, he had been worried about something happening. She snuggled closer into his side, his hold on her tightening slightly in response.
"Thank you for that, Sir. It's been on my mind."
"Not a problem Major. Now Dr Becket is due to arrive tomorrow, but I believe that Daniel and Dr Weir decided to hitch a ride back here as well. So hopefully we can get all this sorted and out of the way fairly quickly."
"Sam promised to tell me about the base in Antarctica, if I was good." Lizzie interrupted her puppy eyes firmly in place.
"If we get time tomorrow, but if not we have a few more days for that. If you don't mind waiting." Sam smiled brightly at her and Lizzie beamed back.
"Sure, I can wait I have to get the details from my Dad first, plus you owe me a gift." The last part was directed at her dad who gave her a mocking arched eyebrow in response.
"You do! Do you know what I'm missing at camp, because you couldn't stay off the ancient furniture?"
"Do you?" His verbal response was, tinged with humour as he fought to keep a smile off his face.
"Well…no, but that's not the point, I'm sure I'm missing something really amazing. So I definitely deserve compensation." She huffed slightly at his reply. Instead of answering her straight away, he used his free hand to cuff her head, which she tried to avoid. It ended with him messing her up her hair.
"We'll see. But right now I think we should be getting you to bed." Lizzie groaned at his typical approach.
"But Dad…I just got up from a nap. I'm hungry can't we get some food? Pleasssssse they have jello here!"
"I could go for jello…or maybe cake." The general added as he stood. "You up for jello, Carter?" Sam smiled and nodded climbing to her feet.
"Sure, there's never a bad time for jello." Climbing off her dad's knee as he stood Lizzie followed the general and Sam, her dad following closely behind.
"Do you think they'll have any blue jello left Sam?" She asked as they reached the corridor.
ANThis is the first part of the story i have so far, am alittle stuck over what will take place next have rough outline of what i want but doesn't seem to want to flow right yet so may take some time to work out.
Thanks for reading please review :)...