Spark-A-Movie: National Treasure
by Miss Mon
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. The people who own the rights to both Stargate Atlantis and the National Treasure franchise own them not me; I'm just having some fun with them.
A/N: this is my contribution for the Spark-A-Movie challenge. Hope you enjoy
It was a stormy night when a young boy in an attic in Washington D.C. in 1974, was sitting and looking through a chest full of old papers, than suddenly a strike of lightening lit up the room and the young boy screamed when he saw the figure standing above him.
"Grandpa!" young John Adams Sheppard yelled as he saw his grandfather standing over him.
"You're not supposed to be up here…looking at that" his grandfather Benjamin Franklin Sheppard told him
"But I just wanted to know" John told him
Ben Sheppard looked at John and sighed "Well, you're old enough I suppose. You should know the story, ok, here we go. It was 1832, on a night much like this. Charles Carroll was last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence as well as a member of a secret society known as the Masons. He knew he was dying, so he woke up his stable boy in the middle of the night and ordered him to take him to the White House to see Andrew Jackson because it was urgent that he speak to the President".
"Did he talk to him?" John asked
"No, he never got the chance" Ben replied "The president wasn't there that night. But Charles Carroll had a secret, so he took into his confidence the one person he could, my grandfather's grandfather, Thomas Sheppard"
"What was his secret?" John asked
"A treasure…" Ben said "a treasure beyond all imagining. A treasure that had been fought over for centuries by tyrants, pharaohs, emperors, warlords. Every time it changed hands it grew larger. And then suddenly it vanished. It didn't reappear for more than a thousand years when knights from the first crusade discovered secret vaults beneath the temple of Solomon. You see the knights who found the vaults believed that the treasure was too great for any one man, not even the king. They brought the treasure back to Europe and took the name the Knights Templar. Over the next century they smuggled it out of Europe and formed a new brotherhood called the Free Masons in honour of the builders of the great temple. War followed. By the time of the American Revolution the treasure had been hidden again. By then, the masons included George Washington, John Franklin, Paul Revere. They knew they had to make sure the treasure never would fall into the hands of the British. So they devised a series of clues and maps to its location. Over time the clues were lost of forgotten until only one remained. That was the secret that Charles Carroll entrusted to young Thomas Sheppard, Charlotte… Charles Carroll said …the secret lies with Charlotte"
"Who is Charlotte?" John asked
"Not even Mr. Carroll knew that" Ben told him "Now look here John. The free masons among our founding fathers left us clues like these. The unfinished pyramid, the all-seeing eye, symbols of the Knights Templar. Guardians of the treasure. They're speaking to us through these…"
"You mean laughing at us" Patrick Sheppard said as he approached them in the attic "and do you know what that dollar represents? The entire Sheppard family fortune. Six generations of fools chasing after fool's gold"
"It's not about the money Patrick" Ben said "It's never been about the money"
"Come on son" Patrick said "time to go. You can say your goodbyes"
"Grandpa, are we knights?" John asked
"You want to be?" Ben asked him
John nods his head.
"Alright, um, kneel" Ben, told him, John kneeled on the floor of the attic "John Adams Sheppard; you take upon yourself the duty of the Templars, free masons, and the family Sheppard. Do you so swear?
"I so swear" John replied
Present Day in the Artic Circle,
"I was thinking about Hanson and Perry, crossing this kind of terrain with nothing more than dog sleds and on foot. Can you imagine?" John Sheppard asked the group in the truck with him
"It's extraordinary" his partner Acastus Kolya replied
"Are we getting closer?" Kolya's associate Powell replied from the front seat
"Assuming John's theory is correct and my tracking model's accurate", Rodney McKay, John's assistant replied "we should be getting very close. But don't go by me, I broke a shoelace this morning. It's…it's a bad omen"
"Should we turn around and go home?" Acastus asked jokingly
"Or we could pull over and just throw him out here" John replied
"Haha…okay, shit stir the scientist" Rodney replied
"Rodney, you aren't missing that windowless cubicle we found you in are you?" John asked
"Oh no", Rodney replied "absolutely not"
His computer beeps and alerts them they have reached their destination. The entire area is covered in snow and there is no sign of any structure. Kolya's associate Shaw wonders where the ship is and before Rodney is able to go into a long winded ramble John's metal detector goes off, indicating something buried in the snow. He starts digging and uncovers what appears to be a bell or the mouth of a cannon with the words Boston and Charlotte on it.
"Hello beautiful……..2 years ago, if you hadn't shown up, hadn't believed the treasure was real, I don't know if I ever would have found Charlotte" John told Kolya
"You would have found it," he replied "I had no doubts. That's why I didn't think this was a crazy investment as everyone says"
"Well I'm just relieved I'm not as crazy as everyone says, or said why each generation of my family was crazy" John commented "Let's go find some treasure"
The group enters the ship's holds and starts to explore when they enter the cargo hold, Rodney screams after seeing a frozen skeleton
"You handled that well" John said
"What do you think is in the barrels?" Rodney asked
"Gunpowder" John said as he walked to the corner of the cargo hold and saw the skeleton holding a gun "Now why would the captain be guarding this barrel? 'John opened the barrel and found something wrapped in a piece of cloth. John proceeds to open the box and reveals an ivory pipe to the group.
"Do you guys know what this is?"
"Is it a billion dollar pipe?" Rodney asked
"It's a Meatian pipe" Acastus replied "Ah, its beautiful"
"Look at the intricacy of the scroll work on the stem" John commented "it's a clue. We are one step closer to the treasure"
"John, I thought you said the treasure would be on the Charlotte"
"No, I said the secret lies with Charlotte, which could be here…" John replied as he grabbed out his Swiss army knife, cuts his hand and spreads the blood over the stem of the pipe before pulling out a sheet of paper and rolling the pipe over the paper, revealing symbols and words and John read it out to the group.
'The legend writ, The stain affected, The key in silence undetected. Fifty five in iron pen, Mr. Mat lack can't offend'
"It's a riddle. I need to think" John says "The legend writ the stain affected. What legend? There is the legend of the Templar treasure, the stain affects the legend. How? The key in silence undetected. Wait! The legend the key. There's something. A map. Maps have legends maps have keys. It's a map, an invisible map. So now…"
"Wait a minute" Acastus said "What do you mean invisible? The map's invisible?"
"The stain affect could refer to a die or reagent used to bring about a certain result, combined with the key in silence undetected. The implication is to make what was undetectable detectable. Unless the key in silence could be…."
"Prison" said Shaw
Rodney looked at him stupidly before saying "Albuquerque, see I can do it too"
"It's where the map is, like you said, 55 in iron pen. Iron Pen is a prison" Shaw concluded
"Or it could be since the primary writing medium of the time was Iron gull ink, the pen is…just a pen, why say iron pen?" John asked.
"Because it's a prison" Shaw commented
"Wait," John said "iron pen. The ink doesn't describe what was in the pen, it describes what was penned. It was iron, firm. It was mineral, no no no no. It was firm, it was adamant. It was resolved, it was resolved. Mr. Matlack can't offend. Timothy Matlack was the official scribe of the continental congress. Calligrapher, not writer, and to make sure he could not offend the map, it was put on the back of a resolution that he transcribed, a resolution that 55 men signed. The declaration of Independence.
"Oh Come on" Rodney said "There is no invisible map on the back of the declaration of
"It's clever really. A document of that importance would ensure the map's survival. And you said several masons signed it yeah?" Kolya asked
"nine for sure" John replied
"We'll have to arrange for a way to examine it" Kolya said
"Acastus, this is one of the most important documents in history, they aren't just going to let us waltz in there and run chemical tests on it"
"We could borrow it" Kolya suggested
"Steal it?" John replied "I don't think so"
"John, I understand your bitterness I really do. You've spent your entire life searching for this treasure only to have the historical community treat your family with mockery and contempt. You should be able to rub this treasure in their arrogant faces, and I want you to have the chance to do that" Acastus told him
"Oh yeah, How?"
"We all have our areas of expertise. You don't think mine is limited to writing Sheakstean. Why, I've arranged a number of operations of questionable legality. Don't worry; I'll make all the arrangements"
"No Acastus, I am not going let you steal the declaration of independence"
"Okay, then I guess from this point on all you're going to be is a hindrance" Acastus replied as Shaw pulled out a gun and pointed it towards John
"What are you going to do?" John asked "You going to shoot me? Well you can't shoot me; there is more to the riddle. Information you don't have, I do. I am the only one who can figure it out and you know that.
"We played poker together Acastus, you know I can't bluff"
"Tell me what I need to know or I'll shoot your friend".
"Hey!" Rodney shouted
"Quiet Dr. McKay, Your job is finished here" Kolya said as he drew his own weapon and pointed it as John when he strikes up a flare before waving it in front of Acastus.
"Look where you're standing. All that gunpowder. You shoot me, I drop this, we all go up"
"What happens when the flare burns down? Tell me what I need to know John"
"You need to know…whether or not you can catch!" John replied as he tossed the flare and Acastus catches it.
"Nice try John" Acastus said before his arm caught on fire. He dropped the flare in the gunpowder and everything started to ignite. Acastus closed and locked the door to the hold, effectively trapping John and Rodney inside. John and Rodney head for the smugglers hold and got in just before the Charlotte exploded. Acastus and his men leave the area as quickly as possible so they are not discovered. After they have left, John and Rodney emerge from the wreckage and start heading towards home.
"what are we going to do about Acastus? He is going to steal the declaration of
"We will stop him" John vows