Chapter 4

After leaving the infirmary, John had only one thing on his mind: getting something cold to drink! Usually it would have been a cold shower, but as he didn't know when the tanks would be up and running again, a cold drink would have to be it.

As John walked into the mess, Rodney was just leaving. For a moment the two of them stood staring at one another. Then John pushed past Rodney in an attempt not to hit the man.

"Oh, that's very grown up of you!" the scientist sneered, turning in John's direction. The man took a sip of his coffee as John turned on him. John could feel the sting in his hands as his claws itched to pop out.

"Oh, really," John sneered. "And who made you such an expert at being grown up?" he demanded.

"At least I acknowledge the things my friends do for me!" Rodney sneered.

John sniggered. "You never acknowledge anyone's efforts but your own!"

At about this time Rodney had snapped. It wasn't that the fight was particularly intense, but they had been up for nearly four days, they had been suspended in space and had been angry at one another for a long while now. The pressure that had been building finally exploded.

So Rodney zapped John. Fortunately John still had his claws retracted and the jolt was nothing more than a small irritation. But in return John unsheathed a single blade and punctured the bottom of Rodney's mug; spilling coffee all over the man.

This time Rodney used his magnetic powers and flipped John over. The other man landed with a thud on one of the tables in the mess hall.

"Enough!" a new voice interrupted. The two of them looked over to where an irate Elizabeth stood glaring at them.

"How did you get here so fast?" John asked.

#####

"Doctor Weir, you'd better get out there fast!" a voice said next to her ear while someone shook her. Elizabeth opened her eyes and saw Major Anne Teldy standing next to her bed, already holding her uniform out to her.

"What is it this time?" Elizabeth asked wearily as she quickly got dressed. Today was not the time to berate Anne for walking into her room uninvited.

"It's Colonel Sheppard and Doctor McKay, ma'am," she announced. Seconds later Elizabeth was dressed and Anne took her hand. Elizabeth closed her eyes in anticipation of what was to follow. She really wondered how this power did not freak the young woman out completely.

Seconds later they were in the mess hall. The room was only two rooms removed from her own and therefore it had been Anne that had come to fetch her. Elizabeth was also happy it had been only two rooms and therefore only two walls the young woman had dragged her through. Anne and anything she was holding on to could phase through any solid object except naquadah.

Elizabeth hated seeing the wall pass through her skull, though. She opened her eyes at the sound of something heavy dropping. It was John. The only person on Atlantis capable of doing something like that would be Rodney.

"Enough!" she barked. John got up from the table, wincing once.

"How did you get here so fast?" he asked. She glanced over at Anne. She nodded once and the striking woman dropped through the floor to the level below. Smart lady, Elizabeth thought.

"Will you join me in my office?" Elizabeth asked the two men. As she turned she saw everyone in the mess hall hard at work listening without appearing to do so.

A minute later – taking more conventional means – the three of them were back in her office.

"The two of you should be ashamed of yourselves!" she told them as she sank into her chair. "Between the two of you, you represent the whole of Atlantis! The head of science and the military commander! But instead I get childish bickering and fighting!"

"We didn't really..." John began. She interrupted.

"No! If I can't trust the two of you, who can I trust?" she demanded. "I know you are tired and frustrated, but you know we cannot resort to violence in the city. And you definitely can't stoop to abusing your powers in front of your subordinates. I didn't say anything while you were doing it in private, but this is taking it too far!"

"You don't know anything about it," Rodney sneered. Without another glance he turned and started walking out the door.

"McKay!" she called. The man turned around; furious.

"You sit here in your office all day while we are the ones running around getting shot at!" he yelled at her.

"Don't you take that tone with Doctor Weir!" John growled at Rodney. Oh, great, now he had a sense of honour! Once more Rodney spun around and marched out the door. John followed and she could hear the two of them continuing their fight. Why wouldn't they listen to her?

She dropped her head in her arms. She really ought to go after them and finish this discussion, but she was just so tired!

She must have dozed off for a few seconds, for suddenly she heard the unmistakable sound of thunder shaking the walls of her office. What now?

Within second Elizabeth was outside; standing at the top of the stairs. To her right was John, yelling at Rodney that stood across from him to her left. Chuck was yelling at Rodney because he was flaring his magnetic power enough to shift anything metal across the floor. The force was more like a tide though, and Chuck was caught in the ebb and flow of it. He looked slightly green in the face.

John, on the other hand, was methodically ruining the banister as he swiped in anger at the city itself.

Unfortunately this was not the extent of the scene played out in the gate room. Up above near the ceiling were Teyla and Ronon. Teyla was in full weather-goddess mode and crackled as energy surrounded her. It had probably been she that had caused the lightning that had woken Elizabeth. Teyla and Ronon were yelling at each other about loyalty.

On the floor in front of the gate was a large group of people yelling at one another. Most had probably followed them from the mess hall, but now tempers had flared here. She looked over at where Heightmeyer stood. It was probably Heightmayer, a projecting empathy, that had finally pushed Atlantis over the edge. Elizabeth was sure the woman must have been picking up on the tension for days now and had finally lost control. The rest of Atlantis was probably in as much of a mess as this room.

Next to Heightmeyer stood Kavanagh. He had the most useless power of all: he glowed in the dark when annoyed. And of course the energy of his glowing abilities sent his hair to fend for themselves. As the man was wearing his hair back in a ponytail, this caused him to have a little localised Afro at the back of his head.

Another pair yelling at one another was Jennifer Keller and Carson Beckett. Then there was Caldwell (where did he come from?) who was yelling at no-one in particular. Fortunately he had no powers. Elizabeth could also make out Lorne, Anne Teldy, Radek and Simpson yelling at one another. Probably the marines were on one side, the scientists on the other. Or men against women: it was difficult to tell at this stage. The rest of them seemed to just yell at one another randomly.

Finally Elizabeth allowed herself to be carried along on the waves of emotion coming from Heightmeyer. She has had enough. Her city could not sustain this amount of negative emotions much longer. Her city had to return to its normal state of busy serenity. And instead of being drowned in the waves of emotion, she used them to work for her.

She lowered her head and felt the waves course through her. She slowly lifted off the floor as she felt her own power being unleashed. She always kept it so tightly reined it almost felt at times she was being smothered. But now she set it free – carefully with a relieved sigh.

The shadow of flames started at her feet and hands and slowly ran to her centre like water. By now she was about a foot off the ground and the flames were being focussed around her heart. She felt it spreading behind her and she knew from experience it would form the suggestion of wings behind her in a play between light and shadow.

The wings spread and with one final, powerful thrust she opened them fully as she lifted her head. The same moment she expanded her power outwards along with her hands. "Enough!" she said. She hardly spoke above a whisper, but the sound carried all the way on the fire of her power.

She felt the heartbeat of every person on Atlantis as she held them in the grip of her power. She looked out over the people in the gate room. A few tried to fight her, but she was far more powerful than any one of them.

Elizabeth slowly pulled Heightmeyer in front of her. "Calm down," she told the woman. Already a part of her mind reached out and soothed Kate Heightmeyer's troubled emotions. When that factor was taken care of, she let the woman go. Then she reached out and dropped SGA-1 in front of her on the gate room floor. Slowly she brought all the rest of them – all of them – to the gate room and lined them up in front of her. She could feel the flames of her power surrounding her and bathing her in its glow.

"Now," she calmly said. "All of you stop your nonsense. The next person to do anything I disapprove of will be tossed in the brig!" She smiled slowly. "Or I can always dump you in the ocean to cool off," she added, although she knew she would never stoop so low. She took a deep breath. "I expect all of you to go to bed and get some sleep." She loosened her hold on them slightly. "Do you understand?" she demanded. As one the people in front of her nodded. "Good," she said and let them go.

Unfortunately, as she leashed her power, her strength gave out as well. Like a brick she dropped to the floor. Wearily she staggered and nearly collapsed. But just before her legs gave out SGA-1 was there. She felt arms picking her up as the worried faces of Rodney, Teyla and Ronon moved into her view. As she was lifted she saw it was John holding her.

Without another word the four of them turned around and carried Elizabeth out of the control room. Slowly and silently they proceeded to her room. Rodney opened the door and the team – united again – carried their leader in and placed her on the bed. It was Teyla that removed the uniform she had on over her pajamas as the men waited outside. Then the Athosian woman covered her with the blanket and walked outside to the rest of her team.

And as Elizabeth finally drifted off to sleep she heard Rodney say: "You know, we really have to stop forgetting why she is in charge of this mission."

The end

Author's note: We really did it! And in only four chapters! We know Infinity usually do crack, We have been playing around with a number of ideas for serious stories, but we are not sure how our fans would respond. Would you please let us know? And in particular we have some ideas about this universe and if you like it we will come back to it.

To Insanity and Beyond!

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