Rodney looked around. He looked at the ceiling and he looked at the floor. Then he listened. Nothing.
Rodney, John, Weir, Teyla and Ronon had just materialised in the gateroom of Atlantis. From what his four kidnappers – as he liked to think of them – had told him, Rodney had expected a very different Atlantis. But aside from the fact that the city was nearly deserted, everything else seemed fine. The lights were on full strength, everything seemed to be working and there was definitely no music playing: either Celine Dion or otherwise.
Suddenly something flew down the gateroom stairs and grabbed Rodney in a bear-hug. He recognised the being as fellow-Canadian Chuck.
"Doctor McKay, you're back!" the man sobbed. Rodney didn't even want to know.
"Please, get him off!" he gritted through his teeth. It took the combined efforts of Ronon and John to disentangle Chuck. As he was led away, the young Canadian kept repeating: "He's back, he's back!"
It was Doctor Beckett who finally came down the stairs at a sedate pace to greet them.
"Where is everyone?" Elisabeth wanted to know.
"Everybody is on the mainland at the Athosian settlement. After we had to peel Major Lorne from the ceiling, Kate and I decided it would be best if we evacuated to the mainland. Aside from me, there are only three other people here. But they are on a six hour rotation with other volunteers."
"Volunteers?" John asked.
"Yes. Major Lorne volunteered them." Carson looked around. "It was getting lonely up here, you know." Then he greeted Rodney with a swift Scottish hug. "Welcome back, you bloody bugger. Next time at least tell us when you're leaving!"
Rodney grinned. "So, when are the rest of the people returning?"
Carson coughed; embarrassed. "I've already told them they can come back, but they wouldn't believe me!" Then the Doctor looked behind Rodney and grinned. "Great car. But how are you going to get it out of the gateroom?"
Sara sighed. She was very worried: KITT has been moping for weeks now. In lieu of what had happened, Rodney had explained about the spaceship, Atlantis and that they had 'borrowed' Rodney and KITT, and that Rodney had decided to remain with his former employers.
But apparently KITT had found another AI in the Pegasus Galaxy. On their very first day there the car had discovered that the city, Atlantis, was semi-sentient. Just like him. And KITT had fallen in love. It appears it had a thing for older women.
Zoe and Billy had done everything they could think of to try and distract the car, but KITT refused. The worst part was that it now had "My Heart will go on" on continuous repeat on its systems. Nobody wanted to drive KITT anymore.
"Sara!" Zoe called from her computer. "Come and see this!"
Eagerly Sara went over to the young woman. "What is it?"
"I think KITT got a letter from the Pegasus Galaxy," Zoe answered. On her screen was a message alert, encoded with the SGC-emblem. "It's addressed to KITT."
"Well, relay it!" Sara said.
Moments later the music faded. KITT said: "Sara, I am fine now. Would you like to go for a ride?"
Sara frowned. What now?
Then Zoe whispered: "It's a letter from Atlantis. She told him she would never forget him."
Rodney looked around. He was back in his lab, surrounded by his minions. Yet he was sure something was missing. He just couldn't put his finger on what it was...
...In a small room somewhere in the bowels of Atlantis a voice was weakly calling: "Help me!" Bruised and battered fists banged on the locked door. Slowly Peter Kavanagh was going insane. The city had transported him here and locked the door. For months now the city had been keeping him alive while playing "Love Changes Everything" of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Love, love changes everything
Hands and faces, earth and sky
Love, love changes everything
How you live and how you die
Love can make a summer fly
Or a night seem like a lifetime
Yes love, love changes everything
Now I tremble at your name
Nothing in the world will ever be the same.
Kavanagh hated Andrew Lloyd Webber!
Authors' note: We know we've not been very nice about the songs played by Atlantis. We thought it prudent then to just let you know we really like Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Brightman, Simon and Garfunkel, Dido, Mary Hopkin, Queen and Bonny Tyler. We're on the fence about Celine Dion, though. Till next time.
To insanity, and beyond!