Well here it is. Sorry it has taken so long, but I had major writer's block. I wanted to get the story done before posting but I just figured out I think what I want to do big picture but posting will be kind of slow because this is a work in progress and will be writing chapters rather than just cleaning them up. I hope you can forgive me but I just wanted to re-engage the community and hope to get inspiration from you.
All rights belong to the Stargate folks and Star Wars folks and everyone else where I might reference. I make no profit from any of this at all and this is just for fun so please allow me that simple pleasure because I have a family to feed. I do have other stories written for Flashpoint and Emergency! as they kept the writing juices flowing while I sorted out where to take Sheppard and company next so you may see those stories posted, but those are done and the only one I am writing new is this one. Thanks to so many of you who checked in periodically and told me you re-read the others and offered encouragement to continue. That meant a great deal and I hope this story interests you as the others. Thank you all kindly in advance for your feedback, suggestions and questions. I welcome all.
Finally thanks to beta Carol and this story is for M-C, a dear friend currently in the desert who will return soon.
The Wrath of Armentarius
Chapter 1-Queens, Viscounts and Visions
"You asked her to be your queen?" McKay said half choking on his food. "Are you serious?"
Ronon watched the interchange between his two friends. This should be good, he thought.
Sheppard scowled as he looked across the table as an attendant filled his glass. McKay, oblivious to his friend's displeasure, continued.
"Well I guess it is over the top, but kind of corny don't you think? I mean you two haven't even dated or anything. It just seems kind of sudden. Doesn't seem your style to rush into things."
Sheppard kept his eyes on McKay and resisted the urge to make him fall asleep on his plate of food. McKay looked up and realized he had seen that glare before. He shifted uneasily. "Hey don't you dare be thinking of pulling your Darth Vader act on me," he finally said trying to muster up indignant bravado.
Sheppard leaned back and grinned slightly. They could never truly know how he had changed. He had been stupid before and had hidden behind his role as team leader. He wasn't really different; he just knew what he wanted. "Watch it Rodney," he drawled, "I'll put you in the dungeon and I promise the food won't be as good as what you are stuffing your face with right now."
The Satedan burst out laughing. "You are so dumb sometimes, McKay." Ronon said. "They have cared for each other all along; are you that dense? Besides, Teyla deserves to be a queen. I don't think its rushing, I am just glad you finally woke up John."
Sheppard was surprised the Satedan had been more perceptive about his feelings than even he had been. "I have been married before guys. Teyla and I aren't getting married tomorrow. It could take up to a year to plan this thing. Apparently there is some text about how to conduct it. Anyway, I have to go. Have court to hold or something like that." Sheppard stood to leave and Ronon put a hand on his arm. "John, I am really happy for you and Teyla. I mean it."
"Thanks, Ronon." Sheppard said quietly, then left. Ronon took the opportunity to throw a roll at McKay.
"Hey what was that for?"
"Our best friend tells us he is marrying our other best friend and that is the best you can do. Sometimes for a really smart person you are really stupid." Ronon left shaking his head and McKay sulked in his chair.
"I think it's cool too," McKay said to himself. "Just surprised is all."
"Your majesty, here is your robe." Samsus said with a nod toward Sheppard's valet. Sheppard slipped his arms in the sleeves. He said nothing as Samsus continued to read the docket for the day. Usually it was to grant permission for various things, blessings on new children. It was forbidden to take the name of a king, so no children were named Armentarius but the name John had suddenly become popular much to his chagrin. Something caught his attention. "What was that Sam?"
The old man shook his head as he picked up the larger crown from the pillow it sat on. He placed it on Sheppard's head. "Were you not listening to me your majesty?"
Sheppard shrugged and smiled sheepishly. "Of course I was…mostly."
Samsus grinned. "Col. Stephen Caldwell will be formally requesting permission to marry Lady Shimon. Your are the head of the royal families so permission must be sought from you."
"I don't mind, but it would seem that giving permission would fall to Sarik."
Samsus looked over Sheppard from head to toe as he always did and managed to find the smallest piece of lint. "It was cleared through him of course but final disposition must come from you."
"The law, I guess?"
"Yes my lord." Samsus said. Sheppard adjusted the crown. It was the official one so a bit heavier. He could feel the stones in it send their energy to him. Evander had created "smart crowns" so to speak. They weren't just adornments but tools. A way to record information for safe keeping and future reference but also a repository for him to use when he needed information. It was a neat little trick because his own knowledge transfered to them and he always had access to information about his guests, diplomats, etc. He wished he could find a way to adapt it to pilot helmets or helmets for his warriors but only he could access the information this way and only those with the gene would even find it useful. "Any word from Woolsey?"
"He is due to return tomorrow."
"General Simion reports no difficulties. Maj Lorne and he have been collaborating with training and defense exercises. The Wraith seem to present no threat at this moment."
"Teyla. Is she still there?"
"Yes Your Royal Highness. She is preparing her people who wish to move to your worlds here."
"Has there been any resistance to this?"
"No my lord. There is excitement. We have a small populace across our four worlds and they should find our worlds welcoming."
Sheppard sighed. "Okay, well let's get this show on the road."
Samsus laughed softly. Not at what Sheppard had said but rather that he had begun to learn the king's colorful language.
Sheppard led the way toward the throne room. He didn't cringe when others bowed to him on the way or when doors were opened. He managed to not groan when the music announced his presence. This may not have been what he had chosen for himself, but he was a practical man and fighting who he was expended too much effort. He hated to admit it sometimes, but he did feel like this is where he had always belonged. He sighed as he wondered what his own family on Earth would have thought of all of this.
He sat on the throne and waited. He saw General O'Neill off in the wings talking with the Guardians. Sheppard sighed. The worst part of all of this was the formality-certain words had to be used to convey certain things. Some things had to be spoken in Ancient and others in the Modern Armentarian derivative of Ancient; but mostly it was English. He marveled at that as well. These entire worlds had learned English because of him, before he had even come here, because of a vision of one man. He closed his eyes at the memory of his friend but could still feel his presence.
"Your Royal Highness," Samsus announced. "Colonel Stephen Caldwell of Terra and the Lady Shimon of Arcadia."
Caldwell was in traditional Arcadian formal wear...black tunic with the high collar and embroidered with the planet's symbol. The dark pants had a broad light blue stripe. It was mlitary in nature with polished belt around the waste and down from the shoulder. The pilot walked in his usual confident manner and with a slight grin that grew broader as the colonel turned to look at Shimon. They both stood in front of Sheppard and bowed. Caldwell then stepped forward and knelt on his left knee. "Great King Armentarius," the colonel said in near perfect Ancient, "I request the hand of Lady Shimon of Arcadia. We ask your permission and your blessing. We pledge to you and your people our continued devotion and allegiance."
Sheppard stood and in Ancient spoke. "Do you ask of your free will Stephen Caldwell?"
"Yes my lord." Caldwell had grown accustomed to Sheppard's role and now that the king was not officially in the Air Force, there was no awkwardness of rank or role.
Sheppard stepped forward and took Shimon's hand. "And you cousin, do you request this of your free will?"
"Yes my lord," Shimon said with a broad smile toward Caldwell.
Sheppard returned her smile as he continued to hold her hand and walked back toward Caldwell. He placed a hand on Caldwell's shoulder and the colonel rose. Sheppard placed Shimon's hand on Caldwell's.
"Do you understand Stephen, that by marrying Lady Shimon that you will become a citizen of these worlds and must defend them as your own?"
"Yes I do." Caldwell said pointedly. Woolsey had already sent his retirement papers in. If he returned to Earth it would no longer be as an Air Force officer, and frankly he had nothing waiting for him there.
Sheppard grinned mischievously as he turned from them and said in English, "The law dictates that no one of the royal household will marry an off world commoner. It is a very old law, before the time of Evander, but it is clear."
Shimon looked panicked and Caldwell was doing his best not to glare at Sheppard. Surely they had not gone through all that to just be denied. Sheppard turned to an attendant who handed him something small. "So I must remedy that situation. Colonel Stephan Caldwell, your devotion to these worlds has been clearly demonstrated. I hereby proclaim that you shall be granted lands on the planet Aracdia with the title of Viscount of Stiran. Of course, that is, if you accept…"
Caldwell grinned. "I accept with gratitude." Caldwell squeezed Shimon's hand then accepted the small scrolled papers from Sheppard's extended hands.
"Very well," Sheppard said reverting back to Ancient. "There is no law barring you from this union. Permission is granted with our blessing."
Sheppard stepped forward and shook Caldwell's hand. "Congratulations, sir," he said softly.
"Thank you, John," Caldwell whispered. Caldwell and Shimon walked backwards for a while hand in hand until they reached some invisible line, then bowed and walked out the door.
Sheppard grinned as he watched them leave. He never thought that would happen. He caught O'Neill's eye. What about you, General?
O'Neill smirked back and shook his head. Not yet.
Sheppard nodded and sat back down on the throne and welcomed a procession of babies-many with the name John. He was pleased to hear an occasional Ronon and even a Jack amongst the Johns and various traditional names. Finally the docket was empty and Sheppard was glad because his head had started to hurt.
Once back in his chambers with his crown and robe retired, he decided to lie in bed and read for a while. He had a strategy meeting later in the day and he wanted his mind clear. He picked up the mammoth War and Peace. It always worked in getting him drowsy.
He dreamt of Qui-Gon Jinn-or at least someone that looked like him-tall, long dark hair and piercing blue eyes. Even in his dream he knew it was odd. But this person was a leader as others surrounded him, and he was holding up a very familiar looking stone. He woke up briefly. It wasn't a dream. This Qui-Gon was not in Jedi garb but black with hard leather protection. Sheppard stood up quickly and ran to the next room. He looked through various uniforms but particularly the battle ones. Then he saw it. , he thought. There was a black tunic and pants. The tunic wrapped around into a v-neck and was similar to a Japanese robe. He put the tunic aside and looked at the light armor of hard leather chest, shoulder, leg and arm plates. In his dream, the Qui-Gon look alike had shining black embroidery intertwined in the symbol of the four planets. His own was silver. It had not been a dream but a vision. He had men back on Earth and they were calling for him. Samsus! he called out. He looked around for a bag or suitcase as a sense of urgency over took him. Where the heck was a simple bag. Samsus! he called out again. He grabbed the black tunic and armor and lay it on the bed. He had worn it in the ceremony after the defeat of Vanitis and in various other ceremonies, but no one had explained its significance and he had not asked.
Samsus came rushing in. "Yes my lord. What has happened?"
Sheppard looked at the older man as he pointed to the black gear. "Sam, what is the significance of this particular armor? It is different than all the rest. None of the generals have worn it and I thought it only for me."
"It is my lord. Only a member of the Order of the Pegasi may wear it. Each of the Guardians is a member but besides them the order has long been gone…left with Evander. The order was comprised mostly of Ancients or those with Ancient blood. Highly trained to protect the King and fight the Wraith in small groups. They led the most dangerous of missions covertly. Why do you ask me this now?"
Sheppard picked up the black chest plate and ran his hand over the silver embroidery. "Because they are not gone. I have found them, or maybe they have found me."
Samsus looked at Sheppard incredulously. "How? Where?"
Sheppard set the armor down. "Earth."
Samsus thought a moment. Yes it was possible. But it could also be a trap.
"I must go and get them," Sheppard said looking around absently.
Samsus reached out and grabbed his arm. "It could be a trap, Sire."
"What could be a trap?" O'Neill asked walking in. He had his fishing pole. There was just enough time before the meeting later this afternoon to try to catch dinner.
Sheppard ignored O'Neill. "No, Sam. I am sure it's not. I can feel it. They have been waiting. I dreamt of images before but this was stronger…a vision, maybe the same Sophistides had of me. This time I saw a face and the stone. Before I just saw images of battles…just tons of dreams like that so I didn't make anything of it, but this time it was more than that. We need to ready the ship. I don't want to use the Stargate."
"Sire, are you not rushing too quickly? What is the urgency?"
Sheppard looked out toward the open window. "I don't know, Sam, but something is…I just need to get the Pegasi. Something is wrong and I am going to need their help."
"Who the hell are the Pegasi?" O'Neill asked again exasperated and tired of being ignored.
Sheppard looked at O'Neill and smiled at seeing the general in his fishing hat. "Sorry sir, I need to take a raincheck." Sheppard turned to Samsus, "Please Sam, explain it to him," he said as he turned to walk out the door.
"Don't get yourself in trouble or anything Your Majesty!" O'Neill called after him. He drawled the Your Majesty. "I am getting too old to keep saving your butt!" O'Neill sighed. "Sometimes he's like a kid…a teenage kid that doesn't listen to anyone or anything but is stubborn and does what he wants when he thinks it's the right thing." O'Neill noticed Samsus' gaze on him. "What?"
"Are you describing his Majesty or yourself, General?" O'Neill frowned, opened his mouth to say something, then closed it when nothing came to mind. He rolled his neck to get a kink out then headed out the door. "I'll be leading the search for Elizabeth."
Samsus bowed with a grin. "Yes, General."
"Who are the Pegasi?" Lorne asked as he strapped in.
Sheppard sighed. He was getting tired of the questions. He closed his eyes and sent the information to the team, which consisted of Lorne, Lear, and Ronon. He knew he would not need more; his ship could only hold about 20 and he was not sure how many Pegasi would be there to bring back.
Lorne looked at him and smiled. "Cool, like your own knights."
Sheppard rolled his eyes. He had not thought of it that way. Great. That is all he needed from his men, something else for them to tease him about. "No, Major, I had not considered it that way. I just know that they are on our side."
"Yes sir, if you say so." Lorne finished the checks. "All systems are on line. Hyper-drive checks out."
"Good. Chewie? Strap in. Lear, once we clear the system set a course for Earth with the hyper-drive. Lorne, what about the cloaking shield?"
"It works sir. We're good to go."
Sheppard grinned. "Great, then let's go."
Lorne watched Sheppard fluidly and with little thought initiate the systems. There was barely perceptible movement within the cockpit as they exited the atmosphere, and Lorne thought it was almost magical how they communicated mostly telephathically. Things ran a lot quicker when you didn't have to speak. They were soon out of the system and Lear initiated the hyper-drive. It would only take hours-as impossible as that sounded. Evander must have been some tinkerer.
"Tristan, do you think the king will come?"
The tall bearded man smiled. "Yes Titus," Tristan said in an Irish accent, "I know he understood enough to know that we are friends and that we may be able to help him. I think wearing our armor and showing the stone gave him enough information. I believe he will be here soon." Tristan looked out across the green land. "I will miss this world but it will be good to return to ours. We have been here long enough, trained long enough, and eliminated threats to this world so that the prophecy could be fulfilled." He held up the stone. "The second stone of Evander will confirm that he is indeed the king, and finally give him all the knowledge and abilities Evander left for his heir. Then we can go home."
Wanted to give a strong visual for Tristan and Qui-Gon (or Mr. Neeson as Qui Gon) was the exact image I had...accent and all. Wanted to tie in a little of Earth to the Pegasus worlds of Sheppard and take liberty with the Ancients or Evander's very uniuqe Ancients. Started Chapter Two but it will be a little while. Sheppard has one more stone to reach his full potential.