Title: New Lantean Chronicles – Lost City Found
By Atri/ Chiara Crawford
CATEGORY: Alternate Universe, Romance, Drama
PAIRING: Sparky, S/J
ARCHIVES: , Command Dynamics
SPOILERS: Just the first season of Atlantis. NO Letters from Pegasus and ending of season obviously different.
SUMMARY: After five years of having no contact with Earth, the Earth-born New Lanteans are reunited with the Tau'ri. What will happen, when a hope that had seemed lost turns into reality? Earth is no distant dream anymore. But five years in a different galaxy changes people, sometimes irrevocably.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis.
Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions.
I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
Five Years Later
She breathed deeply, closing her eyes and relaxing in the afternoon sun. It had been a tiring day. AR-5, a mixed team of Athosians, Earthlings and Satedans ran into a Wraith patrol on one of the planets they considered for a Gamma Site. It was only luck that had them escape. Now, there were two members of AR-5 in the infirmary and Carson still didn't know if they would pull through.
A sigh escaped her. This expedition had cost so many lives already. Almost a quarter of her original expedition had perished in the fight against the Wraith and their families would probably never know their fates. But what did it really matter? After five years cut off from Earth they were probably already believed to be dead. All of them. Her mother must have been devastated.
She rubbed her forehead. It was not the time to think about such things. She had resigned herself to never see her mother again many years ago. It wouldn't do to stress over something she couldn't affect.
Suddenly, warm arms wrapped around her and a gentle exhalation of air whispered over her neck. Elizabeth smiled as she leaned back and allowed herself to melt into him. Whatever hardships they had faced in the past few years had been worth it, she mused, if only to feel like this.
"You're concerned again." John murmured. The brash, impulsive Major from five years ago had disappeared and left behind a man, a leader, that his men would die for. He was older now, his face showing the consequences of five years without contact with Earth. A little scar was on his chin, a leftover from meeting two Wraith patrols three years ago. His hair was as unruly as ever and deep brown eyes gazed lovingly down at her. She couldn't imagine life without him anymore. He had been her strength all these past few years, when showing weakness in the face of adversity was impossible.
"It's nothing. You heard about Lieutenant Thomas and his men?"
"Yes. I visited them in the infirmary. Harion and Larek are out of surgery. Carson says that they will pull through." He smiled. "Do not worry so much, Liz'beth."
"I can't help it." She shrugged. He kissed her shoulder softly, hugging her even tighter now. John knew her very well, knew that she worried about every single person on Atlantis. Her caring nature and her inner strength had been two reasons why he had fallen in love with her so fast.
"The Biology Department says that our Hydroponics project is going well. We will be able to harvest almost twice as much as last year. Rodney also mentioned that he and Radek were finally able to improve the energy cells in our assault rifles." It was truly a relief to hear that. After the first year in the Pegasus galaxy their food reserves had been dangerously low. It was only the goodwill of the Athosians that had prevented them from starving to death. The greenhouses on the northern pier had been a godsend. It took a while but Atlantis had been finally able to support itself. Thanks to some samples one Doctor Alan Richter of the Biology Department brought with him, they had also some unique trading goods. Coffee and chocolate had been an instant hit on many worlds they had trade agreements with.
One of her hands trailed gently down his arm and finally fumbled with his blue-white-golden marriage bracelet. His fingers caressed one identical to his.
"It's good to know. I admit I had been concerned for a while, after some of our crops were ill. Five-hundred people aren't a lot but a small harvest would have put us in a precarious position, especially after helping the Irdonians."
"It had been worth it. A standing trade agreement and some of those hover bikes."
She chuckled quietly.
"You and your love for speed! I will never understand what you find so exiting about these death defying stunts you do!"
"Says the woman who is almost as good as Teyla with the banto sticks. And if I remember correctly, you were good on those hover bikes."
She turned around, her eyes dancing and her hair blowing in the wind. Her arms wrapped themselves around his neck, pulling his head closer so that their lips almost touched as she responded.
"And you love me." He grinned arrogantly, though his eyes remained warm.
"And I married you! Sometimes I don't know why I put up with you!"
His grin turned mischievous.
"Because I'm good in bed." His answer was a throaty whisper in her ear.
Her only reply was laughter, as she pulled his head down for a passionate kiss that quickly threatened to escalate into something else. Panting, they broke apart, both grinning madly. They stood there for a while, absorbed in each other's gaze until John finally tugged at her hand, motioning towards the door.
"Come on, Elizabeth. Carson told me that the kitchen's serving Tarmik soup tonight and you promised the children to tell them a story about Earth."
Both turned away from the ocean and walked back inside, smiling at each other. Yes, Elizabeth decided, this had been worth all of it.
Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill stood on the bridge of Earth's new flagship Cerberus, the newest addition to their slowly growing fleet. Now that the Goa'uld were beaten and Earth's enemies almost gone, it was high time to see if there was something left of the Atlantis Expedition. Five years in another galaxy, Jack thought, is a long time.
What had happened to the Expedition? Were they alive or had they fallen prey to the dangers of Pegasus? If it had been his decision, a SAR mission would have been underway years ago but even after the fall of Anubis, other System Lords had filled his place, threatening Earth's and its allies' existence. There had been no time or resources to expend on a mission for people, who were thought lost after the first year of no contact, when they couldn't get a lock on the coordinates of Atlantis through the Stargate. But if there was one thing Jack O'Neill believed wholeheartedly, it was the notion of not leaving people behind and believing in the impossible. If he did not see the corpses of the Atlantis Expedition, he would continue to believe them alive.
Jack's musings were interrupted by the appearance of his Second in Command Colonel Samantha Carter. She didn't say anything as she stared out at the planet below. Earth was as beautiful as ever and now it was even somewhat safe. They stood comfortably in the growing silence, used to each other's presence. He finally glanced at her, taking in her appearance and smiling slightly. She had changed a lot from the young and bold Captain Carter from thirteen years ago. Her blond hair was still short and her blue eyes as clear and entrancing as ever but some fine lines had appeared on her face, showing that age had not completely disregarded her. Not that it really mattered, Jack mused, as she's still as breath catching as ever.
"Do you think that they're still alive?" Her quiet voice broke the silence.
"Weir is tough. The scientists followed her and the soldiers respected her. You remember that she was negotiating with the System Lords, when I was on ice?" She cringed but nodded nonetheless.
"Yes. Daniel told me about it. She bluffed through the whole thing."
"I believe they are still alive. At least until someone can show me that they are not."
She nodded again. SG-1 had been in many impossible, deadly situations over the years and they had always come out of it alive.
"I'm glad that I could get you away from the Gamma Site. It's nice to have SG-1 together again."
"Yes, it is. Major Markham can do without me for a while. Nothing major is happening that would need my involvement and you know how glad I am to get away for some time."
Amusement flashed over Jack's features.
"That would have nothing to do with Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell training his team on Gamma in two days, would it?"
Her voice was annoyed when she answered him.
"I still don't understand how you could promise him anything he wanted after Antarctica. He's been stalking me for four fucking years with his requests that I join SG-1 and get the gang back together. I don't know how Landry can keep him around. You should have seen Daniel last time he crossed paths with Mitchell. It was a miracle that he didn't deck him." She grinned at that, probably imagining their archaeologist doing such a thing.
"Danny Boy?" Jack asked incredulously.
"Apparently even our Daniel has not unending patience. He was ranting in my office, when he came back to Gamma. I've never seen him lose it like that."
"Can you really blame me?" The familiar voice from behind them made them turn around. Doctor Daniel Jackson looked more like a soldier than a scientist but his chagrined expression changed his appearance to that of an embarrassed school kid
"Indeed not, Daniel Jackson. I, too, found Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell to be most forceful in his attempts to reunite SG-1 under his leadership." Teal'c had appeared silently behind Daniel, his eyebrows a little furrowed and his mouth slightly turned downwards. To most this would not have said much but his fellow former SG-1 team members knew him well enough to tell that he was not amused.
"Forget Mitchell. Carter, what do you think is the reason that we couldn't get a lock onto Atlantis?" All three males turned towards Sam, clearly wanting to hear her thoughts on this.
"It could be a number of things. We had some similar situations, when nobody could reach us. Just think of the time loop machine."
Jack grinned even as Sam shot him a glare. She still didn't know what he and Teal'c had been up to in all these loops and after all these years her curiosity didn't abate.
"Or the Stargate is destroyed." Daniel spoke the thought out loud, knowing exactly that it was a possibility that had crossed all of their minds. It was a solemn SG-1 that looked at Earth, each and every one of them having sacrificed something for this planet.
"As am I."
The four of them grinned at each other, remembering a time when all hope had seemed lost, too. They had persevered. They had saved Earth and they would find the Expedition as well. After all, they were SG-1.
The sun set over the towering spirals of Atlantis, its fading light bathing the city in a golden colour. Serenity and calm had settled over New Lantea and Rodney could only smile as he sat at a table with his food, a window nearby.
"Rodney." Ronon seated himself opposite the astrophysicist, then quickly grabbed a spoon and began eating his soup eagerly.
"Ronon." They ate in companionable silence, before McKay spoke again. "How is Keras doing with his new team?"
"Well." Ronon gruffly stated. "Still, it's not the same as with his first. They're coming along nicely but it will be some time before they're completely comfortable with each other. Takes time." He paused. "You teaching today? AR-2 brought back Intel about some Ancient Tech on M3R-429."
"Worth to be checked out? And could you please call our Beta Site by its name?"
Ronon rolled his eyes but nodded.
"Seems to be some kind of underground laboratories in some of the mountains, not far from the Trade City. Kaitin said that you should take a look at it. Perhaps we'll find a power source?"
Rodney snorted and shook his head. A ZPM, yeah right. They had found a ZPM only once since arriving here five years ago and that had been quickly depleted to save their skins from the Wraith. He still didn't quite believe how they had managed that.
"Keep dreaming. But maybe there's something else there that could be useful. I'll talk to Sheppard about going." They ate in silence from then on, only occasionally commenting on one or another aspect of life on New Lantea. It was strange, Rodney thought, that this life in another galaxy now felt normal. He had never been a social creature - he still wasn't, to tell the truth - but here on Atlantis he was content. Rodney McKay had friends now, even family, and discarding the fact that each and every one of them were fighting to keep alive in a hostile galaxy, it wasn't such a bad life.
"Well, I'm off." He waved goodbye to the large Satedan and began walking to his lab.
SG-1 stared at the flashes of hyperspace. In a few minutes they would arrive at the coordinates they had sent the Expedition to five years ago. The whole bridge was tense, anxiously waiting. Many did not believe that there was still someone alive waiting in Atlantis.
"We are entering normal space in three, two, one, now!" The helm officer reported. With gliding smoothness Earth's newest and best ship escaped the confines of hyperspace. A planet laid in front of them, blue and lonely in the vast darkness of space.
"Thor, scan the planet."
The holographic image of the Supreme Commander of the Asgard fleet nodded. Although the Asgard had finally solved their problems of reproduction and were now more human looking, the holographic representations on board of each Earth ship still remained in their previous form.
"As you wish, O'Neill. The planet is twice as large as your Earth. Ninety-five percent of its surface is covered with water. One continent. Pleasant, temperate climate. Oxygen levels high."
"Do you detect life signs on the planet?" It was the most important question of all.
"Negative." Shock and dismay coursed through the people on the bridge. Had they come this far only to find no survivor of the Atlantis Expedition? Surely, this couldn't be how it ended!
"Okay, that does not have to mean anything." Jack swallowed his unease and turned towards Thor. Although he didn't want to feel discouraged, it was hard not to give up hope.
"Scan the planet for Ancient structures, something that looks like it could be Atlantis." He looked down at the planet, taking in the deep blue colour of its oceans and the white clouds drifting lazily in the atmosphere. It looked peaceful. It looked like a world where Atlantis would be.
"I do not detect Ancient structures on this planet or any signs of Naquada. There are no debris indicating the destruction of Atlantis nor a sign that it has ever been here. Are you certain that you have the right coordinates?"
With a quick glance at Carter, O'Neill nodded.
"Yes. We sent the expedition to this planet. Dr. Weir confirmed that they were on Atlantis. There has to be something here!"
"There are signs of habitation on the south coast of the continent and slight energy readings. I cannot discern what they are from here. An investigation on the planet is necessary."
"Then we go down there and see what it is. I'm not prepared to give up on them!" O'Neill nodded, motioning the others of SG-1 to follow him to the ring room.
Sam's glance at the General was one of concern. All of them had hoped to find the expedition alright and well, even after five years. Now, finally arriving at the right coordinates - and she was damn sure that they were at the right place - there was no sign of their people. She knew that Jack had always taken the loss of people under his command or those he was responsible for very personal.
Gearing up and with a P-90 by her side, she felt like travelling back in time. So much had happened since SG-1 had separated.
Daniel had finally decided to settle down at the Beta Site, now leading a huge diplomatic, anthropological and archaeological department that was in charge of keeping good relations with their allies, finding new trade routes and establishing new contacts with different people. After the destruction of the first Beta Site, the new one was built with better defences and for a more permanent basis. If all went well in the next few years, it would be the first Earth colony they had. Daniel was now more laid back and finally somewhat happy, or at least a lot happier than after Sha're's death and the years that followed it.
Teal'c, on the other hand, now sat on the new Jaffa High Council. He visited all of them frequently and was the official ambassador to Earth. It was due to him, in great part, that the relationship between the Tau'ri and the Jaffa had held strong.
She herself led the whole R&D Department at Gamma Site. If Beta Site was their first colony, then Gamma Site was their first research base not on earth. Due to the problems with the now destroyed Trust and other people, almost everything sensitive that had been in Area 51 had now been transferred to Gamma Site. Without the problems of secrecy that were present on Earth, the development of new technologies was going very well indeed. She was happy and that happiness only increased due to the fact that Gamma Site was also the first planet on which Tau'ri shipyards were built. The planet was big and rich in Naquada and Trinium. It was in a peaceful part of the galaxy, deep in Tau'ri space and unknown to the Goa'uld or anyone else that was not Tau'ri. With no fear of exposure the Tau'ri shipyards were producing their warships even faster. For the first time since Earth had been exposed to the galaxy's problems it had a fleet that could stand fast and strong against almost anything that would threaten it. The best part, of course, was that the headquarters of Tau'ri Fleet were also on Gamma, with its CO Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill permanently present.
For the first time in their long careers both of them were at the same place and not hindered by frat regs. It was a liberating feeling. After more than a decade their personal relationship could finally be worked on.
But even though she now enjoyed the position all of them were in, this mission to Pegasus presented them with a great opportunity to once more be the legendary SG-1. Truth be told, she had missed being in the field, surviving against incredible odds and coming out the victor. Nothing would ever feel the same as SG-1 and all of them knew it.
Ringing down to the planet they arrived in the middle of the abandoned village. Simple wooden huts stood between the massive green trees. The air was fresh and a warm wind blew through the surrounding forest. Periodically, sunshine broke through the branches, making the settlement seem inviting and pleasant.
"Daniel?" asked Jack, his questioning tone clearly deferring to the more experienced archaeologist.
"Well, this seems to be a settlement of an agrarian society." He walked to one hut and opened the door. A simple makeshift bed, fine linen and a fireplace for cooking were on the inside. There was nothing luxurious or that hinted at a more advanced civilization. "They do not seem to be technologically advanced."
"Do you think that this was the place where the expedition landed?"
The archaeologist shook his head empathically, still eyeing his surroundings carefully, looking for a clue to the whereabouts of their people.
"No." Suddenly, Daniel strode to a corner of the hut. Between the bed and the wall, almost unseen, was a leather bound book. "But we can be certain that they were here." Daniel said after leafing through it. Their archaeologist had always had the knack of finding the most important things exactly when they were needed. He turned around, showing them exactly what he had found. Among the strange script and symbols that looked like Stargate addresses were several photos. Something that could not exist in a simple agrarian society without outside influence. All of the photos were of some kind of celebration but what really grabbed the attention of SG-1 were the people in it. People that were part of the expedition sent to this galaxy.
The first photo showed two men and a woman, arms wrapped around each other's shoulders, looking tired and weathered but still grinning happily at the camera. The face of Doctor Elizabeth Weir was unmistakable, though she looked thinner and more worn than anyone had ever seen her be. On one side of Weir was Dr. Rodney McKay. He, too, was looking worn and tired but the grin on his face was something nobody ever expected to see. The smile was not that of a narcissist but of someone genuinely happy. The other man, Sam recognized, was the pilot with the Ancient gene. His arm was wrapped tightly around Weir, as if fearing to let go. In the background people were seen dancing around bonfires, the village now abandoned still filled with life and happiness.
The other photos were similar, showing both Expedition personnel and people that must have been indigenous to this planet. On one photo, in the background, was something that looked like a floating city, far outside on the ocean.
"So we know that they have been here and that Atlantis was here, too, if that thing gives any indication. Where did they go?" Jack asked, looking at his teammates for suggestions.
"I gathered the data from the emissions that were discovered by Thor. It seems a bit like a rip in space time. I will have to analyze it further on the ship but we may be onto something here." Sam answered; hope that they would find their missing people clearly filling her voice.
The general nodded, before looking around again and sighing.
"Good. Let's do a sweep of the village and then call it a day. There's probably not much else here to find."
SG-1 nodded and spread out.