Stargate Atlantis -:- Endgame
Sheppard and the team step through the gate…and into the middle of a warzone. As Prisoners of War they find themselves trapped not only by their captors, but by the very planet as it falls apart around them…
Early Season 4 (Carter leader/pre-Teyla pregnancy)/Anything pre-season four is fair game
None, though I might possibly hint some minor Sheyla…
Action/Adventure/Suspense/Disaster/War/Hurt/Comfort – Shep-whump is par for the course – A little bit of everything hopefully/T to be safe
I own nothing. (Short and to the point I think)
Author's Note(s): (There are many…sorry…)
I am still alive, despite my brush with death from my manic, hysterical dancing of complete and utter happiness – thank you so much to everyone who has read/reviewed etc. etc. The Collective – I still can't believe I got into triple figures on the review count! And in response to the demands on the last chapter, yes, I do intend to do a sequel, but I have no plot at this stage so I'll come back to it later!
Now on to this fic: I got the idea for this after watching the Day After Tomorrow and 2012 back-to-back and decided that I just had to write an end of the world fic! I was originally going to end Earth, but it didn't make sense for the team to be there so I've picked a planet from the Pegasus Galaxy, hope you don't mind lol.
And finally, I have not avidly watched SG-1 so I have no idea if the whole 'every planet in two galaxies inexplicably speaks English' thing has been explained – if it has I'm sorry, but I still want to put the joke in :P
We start off from an OC's perspective, but only for the first chapter, so bear with me if you don't like that sort of thing… Anyway, I think I'm done rambling now – Enjoy!
Chapter One -:- Past as Prologue
NORTH SOLARIS: DOMILITIS FRONT LINE
47 Hours 57 Minutes and counting
The oppressive sun beat down on the red sands of the desert planet, the stifling heat breaching the thick ceiling of the underground complex. It was the command nexus for the war being fought on the surface. It was hastily built and yet supposedly structurally sound; constructed with wooden support beams and bricked up with dark red sand blocks. It had recently survived its trial by fire from an enemy bombing raid not two days prior – not that that made Dawn feel any better.
She hurried through the corridors, warily watching the ceiling with every ominous creak. She knew they were not that far underground, the consistent heat was a testament to that, but she didn't fancy being trapped in a cave-in regardless of the relatively short dig to the surface. Usually she avoided the military outposts like the slaves, but she had soon revised her opinion when she had heard the news:
There really was Life out there in the Void.
Aliens. Real live aliens. Her head spun at the possibilities – maybe they were not so completely doomed after all. She tried to banish the ticking clock hovering over her head (or technically, beneath her feet) and focus on the reason she was here. Aliens.
Excitement buzzed through her and she doubled her pace, sending the skirts of her uniform flying behind her. She had read the report several times on the flight up from the main city, almost reluctant to believe what she so hoped was true – four strangers, materializing as if by magic right in front of the newest trench.
They had only recently gained the ground, and had lost many lives in the process. The enemy bombing raid had unearthed a great metal ring etched with strange symbols. It was too far into the no man's land for further study to be made and had been abandoned as they focused on fighting their war. They regretted leaving it now – apparently it was the ring that the aliens had stepped out of. It must be a transporter of some kind – a gateway to other worlds – a salvation for her people.
A loud rumble sounded around her and Dawn froze. The ground beneath her feet moved, tipping her off-balance, so she staggered over to the wall for support. Small debris and sand cascaded from the ceiling, peppering her dark hair. Panic bubbled up inside of her, but she just about managed to keep it at bay. This was not her first tremor; and the complex has survived many as well – it would hold…she hoped.
Finally the shaking abated and she pushed herself tentatively away from the wall. She took a deep breath to slow her frantic heart, regretting it when she choked on the dust in the air. Once the coughing fit subsided she ran a hand through her hair to clear it of debris and moved on again. It will be worth it to meet the aliens.
The complex ran the entire length of the front line, consisting mostly of thin corridors that joined together cube-shaped sections. It was just typical that the brig would be the complete opposite end to the landing pad entrance, keeping her confined to the claustrophobic halls for as long as possible. She passed very few soldiers – they were all in the trenches waiting for the order for the next big Push; only those of the higher ranks would be in the relative safety of the complex.
Eventually, after what seemed like an age in the oven-baked tubes, she made it to the last section. She nodded at a guard who took one look at the insignia on her chest and stood aside, gesturing unnecessarily in the direction of the cell. She brushed past him and headed down the final corridor that brought her to the brig's outer door. She paused to collect herself, double-checking that she was debris-free, and then stepped inside. She just about stifled her wondrous gasp.
The brig was an 8 metre-square room, with a 6 metre-square glass cube in the centre. Floor lamps ran the outer edge of the cell, illuminating it like a display case for the specimens inside. The Aliens.
Nu'hâlla! They were amazing! There were four of them, as promised, three of them wearing the same uniform with the fourth looking like a Domilitis warrior from the Old Days. They all stood warily at her arrival, studying her just as intently as she was studying them. They looked so strange and mismatched with their differing skin and hair pigments, and though none of them had the dark skin of the Solarians, she could see the similarities to her own people. Were they the same species? Was it even possible for life to evolve in the same way on two different planets? Or was the ring somehow involved?
Dawn realised she was staring, her bottom jaw practically touching the floor. Abruptly she closed it, trying to remember that she was a professional – the foremost expert on the Void, actually. She was so out of her depth.
"Sol'a," she said by way of greeting, raising her right hand. The aliens eyed her suspiciously as if she had just uttered a curse. She hesitated, lowering her hand again. "I was told that you are able to understand us?"
The one closest to her, the male with the bizarre black hair and white skin replied. "Yeah, we understand you."
Dawn almost stumbled backwards in surprise, despite the warning in the report. How could these beings possibly know Solarian? She briefly contemplated the possibility that they were imposters from an enemy colony, but she knew of no such people that looked as strangely as they. Was it some form of technology or were they some sort of super-intelligent race? "H-How are you able to speak our language?"
The alien smiled oddly. "You know, I've always wondered that. How come every planet we gate to always seems to inexplicably speak English?" He turned to one of his companions, the other uniformed male. "Any idea, Rodney?"
Dawn struggled to keep up, her thoughts tripping on the phrase 'every planet' – just how many worlds, and alien races, were out there? The one the alien referred to as 'Rodney' shot him an irritated look. "I think the blood loss is addling your brain, Sheppard. You really think it's wise to tell her that?"
She assumed that 'Sheppard' was the dark-haired alien's name. He half-shrugged, his left arm trapped in a sling, the shoulder bandaged. Dark blood was already seeping through. Rodney appeared to be right about the blood loss as Sheppard swayed slightly on his feet. "It's not exactly classified information…is it?"
Dawn looked between the two of them as they continued back and forth like a game of Gra'hulli, the other two aliens seemingly content to let them verbally battle it out. It was odd to listen to them speak such fluent Solarian while still using completely foreign terms that left her flailing in confusion. She struggled to grasp the complexities of the aliens, wanting to understand but fearing she never would – even if she did have the time. After a while her neck grew tired of following the Gra'hulli match. "You are truly strange creatures…"
The bickering pair seemed to suddenly remember that they were in the presence of company and abruptly quieted. It was the female with the golden hair and skin that spoke then. "We are not creatures; we are humans, just like you."
Dawn snorted in disbelief. "That is impossible. I have never seen a human of your pigments…"
"That is because we are from other worlds," the female alien interrupted. Dawn noted the plural. "I am Teyla Emmagan of Athos, this is Ronon Dex of Sateda and this is Dr McKay and Colonel Sheppard of…" she glanced at Sheppard who half-shrugged again. "…of Earth. We are explorers."
Three planets. Three potential places of refuge. "I am Sana Dawn Talyn of the Domilitis Military Science Division." She turned to look at Sheppard, curious of the title. "'Colonel' is a high rank for an 'explorer' – should you not be directing the battles of your home…world?"
Sheppard looked a little surprised by that. Was he not a soldier? Did they not fight wars on his planet? That would be…refreshing. Dawn thought of the war being fought a little over two miles away – one of many on their small planet. He didn't seem to have an answer, so she decided to move on. "How did you arrive on Solaris?"
It was Rodney…or Dr. McKay…who answered this time. "We came through the Stargate – you know, the big metal ring? It's a device built by an advanced race we call the Ancients that creates wormholes that allow instantaneous interplanetary travel by dematerializing matter at one end and then rematerializing it at the other. The Ancients built a whole load of them on a bunch of inhabitable planets where they intended to put humans."
Dawn blinked as she tried to comprehend what the alien was saying. He appeared to be the smart one judging by his vocabulary and she drew the conclusion that his title of 'Doctor' was the equivalent of her 'Sana'. Not that her extensive education and high intelligence was helping her much at the moment.
"You don't have a clue what I'm talking about, do you?" Rodney/Dr. McKay asked scathingly at her blank look. He turned to Sheppard. "You were right; they're oblivious to what even the backwater people of this galaxy know. Could this day get any worse?"
"You could get shot in the shoulder too," Sheppard retorted. He was leaning against the glass wall now, his odd white skin even paler that it had been. He seemed to be losing his patience with the conversation. "What do you want from us?"
Dawn studied the aliens, or the foreign humans as she guessed she should call them. "We need to know what you know, about the…'Stargate', about the other planets, the people and the resources. We need…"
She hesitated, and glanced behind her to check that the outer door was closed. The aliens...the foreign humans…noticed her change in demeanour and shifted slightly. "What I am about to tell you is highly classified, but as you will never get the chance to talk I suppose there is no harm in telling you. Solaris is dying; it has been for a long time now. You have felt the tremors, yes? They are just the prelude to the major tectonic shift occurring beneath our feet and the groundquakes that are coming. Every volcano on the continent, even the ones we long thought dormant, are set to erupt imminently, one already has. The resulting fallout and destruction will cause death on a scale that will drive us to extinction."
The smart one, Rodney or McKay, had grasped the meaning of her words, his eyes widening in horror. The others looked just as shocked, sharing a look between them.
"We have known this was coming for quite a while now," Dawn continued knowing that she was stepping into dangerous territory. "Ten years ago a Sana of the Domilitis University discovered the geological activity and calculated how long we had left. The Master Chief then put into effect the 'Ark Programme'. The most intelligent Sanas were set the task of finding a way for the Domilitis Colony to survive, and for the first time, we looked to the Void. There was nowhere on Solaris that would we could hide – leaving this planet seemed like the only viable option. We have since been developing ships that could launch into the Void, but all our attempts have ended in failure. Time is running out, and all hope seemed lost – but now you have arrived."
She looked pointedly at each of them, and Sheppard shifted uncomfortably. "Not that being shot and locked up isn't a powerful incentive…" he trailed off and shared a look with McKay who shrugged, and then changed his tune. "Tell you what, you let us go and we'll show you how the Stargate works. We'll even find you a nice planet for you and your people to relocate to, help you get sorted and all that – deal?"
Dawn felt a flutter of hope in her chest, but then she quickly crushed it. She knew she would never be able to convince her superiors to trust the foreign humans, especially not the General. She gave them a sad smile. "You would freely offer us aid when we are not only strangers, but aliens to you?"
All four of them nodded. "Then you have never experienced life on a world such as Solaris. We are a people hardened by our strong desire to survive in a barren world. There are too many of us and not enough resources to go around. As such we are a divided planet that hordes whatever scraps we can. We are constantly at war with each other to steal what we can for ourselves. We know nothing but greed and selfishness – an offer of help is an inevitable subterfuge. I will admit that I find myself believing your promise, but I can assure you, no one else will. Not until it is extracted from you under extreme duress at the very least."
The promise of torture did not go down well with the foreign humans. They seemed to do a lot of communication through expressions and gestures rather than words, she noted, as they once again shared a look. Sheppard met her gaze then, and suddenly she understood the power of non-verbal communication. She could read the sincerity in his eyes. "You could let us go right now; guide us to the gate. We'll take you with us."
Dawn shook her head, wishing she could do just that. "I cannot. We would be caught and I would be sent to the camps. It is better that they hear you and arrange an alliance with the Chief Master. It will not be pleasant but…"
Sheppard suddenly slammed his good hand against the glass in frustration, making Dawn jump back. She got the distinct impression that their conversation was over. She took another step away, but paused before she turned. "You should probably be told…we have been able to predict when the end will come with a relative degree of accuracy."
She looked down at her timepiece, and then turned her back to the foreign humans in the display case. "In forty-seven hours and twenty-seven minutes, this world will end."
And with that she left, wishing more than anything that she could have left the doors open behind her.
A lot of talking, I know, but it's all set up for what's coming! We're going to step back in time next chap to explain how the team got into this mess, and how Sheppard got shot :P I've also added a little glossary below of the Solarian terms I've used in case you're interested!
Pretty please let me know what you think!
Helpful Glossary of Solarian Terms:
Sol'a – Hello/Greetings (complete with hand gesture)
Nu'hâlla – Holy crap/Oh my god/other equivalents
Gra'hulli – Domilitis sport – think tennis but more violent with sharp pointy things and no rules
'Like the slaves'/'Sent to the camps' – references to the slave camps where the lowest of the lowest classes are kept as labourers
Sana – title equivalent to 'Doctor' – indicates graduates of the Domilitis University
The Void – Space/Anywhere beyond the heights Solarian craft can currently reach
Oh, and just a little by the way - it's my birthday today! XD