Teyla was perched on top of a small wooden platform. At her request the entire village had been summoned to hear her speak about the Wraith and what they could do to oppose them. Since the Tau'ri left with Atlantis over a year ago, Teyla began finding fewer and fewer things that inspired her people. But her latest guest had given her hope and he was no doubt the key to the future of Pegasus.
"Athosians, listen." Teyla began. All eyes fell on her as the thirty or so gathered looked at her.
"I know this past year has been hard for us. Dispite our best efforts our way of life has been lost to us. Instead of hunting, we are herding. Instead of harvesting, we are climbing trees for fruit. This is not the Athosian way. Before Atlantis, we worried about the Wraith. We were a proud people with good trade, but now we are a broken people. We must change our ways." Teyla said as more gathered from their homes.
"We must follow an example and adapt to once again become strong. I have found that example." Teyla indicated to the hooded man walking up onto the platform. Everyone looked at the man in awe. His long flowing brown robe consealed everything that lay beneath.
"Athosians, I give you, the Ancestors." Teyla said as the man lowered his hood to reveal his face. The robe still managed to conseal everything from the neck down, but the man looked completely ordinary. It was Stevenson.
"You try to decieve us Teyla?" A man shouted from the crowd.
"Who says this?" Teyla asked, her eyes scanning the crowd.
"He is no Ancestor, he is as plain as I." The same man, still undiscovered, shouted.
"You dare..." Teyla began.
"Yes, while we suffered on New Athos and died at the hands of the one you call Micheal, where were you?" The same man screamed for an answer.
"I was searching." Teyla replied.
"Lies! You were stilling with your Earther friends in the City of the Ancestors." The villiager screamed. Without saying a word, Stevenson raised his arm at the crowd and a man began to rise into the air.
"What? What's happening?" The rugged looking man asked, physically stunned.
Everyone just looked in awe as Stevenson lowered his arm and the man who was challenging Teyla, slowly drifted down to the spot he was previously stood in.
Sheppard, Devonshire and a few native hunters were stood guarding the gate. The Lady-Provider had fully embraced her title and this meant her name was no longer needed, so her people had begun calling their homeworld Mara as a homage to their greatest leader.
Sheppard kind of liked the name for a planet. Although Stevenson had begun to argue that a planets name was taken from the gate address, the Pegasus constillation of Mara was infact in the address. So Stevenson was overruled by the Lady-Provider.
"Better than calling the planet Sheppard." John said.
"What sir?" Devonshire asked.
"Nothing." John replied.
The little encampment that had been set up at the gate was nothing special. A few tents made from animal skin, a fire and a few wooden stools were all that was really needed for gate defence. Sheppard had managed to aquire several wooden tables to use as barricades. As someone exited the gate, the first thing they'd see was the tower. Now fully clear of flora, her silver majesty shone in the sunlight like a beacon. Stevenson had swarms of nanites in the lower levels of the city/ship, making repairs and removing soil from collapsed sections. But no proper Replicator walking around yet.
Sheppard would be greatful when Stevenson had the Replicators up and running, He could get rid of the wildlife hunters and use Replicators for guard duty. Even though they were undertrained and inexperianced, the hunters had a good aim and nerves of steel. Their layers of animal skin armour, crossbows and knifes were enough to make anyone think twice.
Sheppard and the Lady-Provider were discussing the possibility of outfitting these men with simple one peice naquadah/trinium chest plate, like Ancient Greek soldiers. It was a project that they would need Stevenson and his nanite mines resources to implement.
Suddenly, the stargate begins to dial. As the third symbol locks in, Sheppard lept into action.
"Everyone in position!" John hunters hide behind nearby trees, two take cover behind one of the table barricades while Sheppard and Devonshire use the other table barricade and ready their P-90s.
When the last symbol locked, the gate activated and the event horizon snapped into place.
"Everyone stand down." Sheppard orders as Stevenson and Teyla walk through the gate.
"Stevenson, Teyla, how'd it go?" John asked, smiling.
"Well." Ryan nodded as the Athosians began following them through.
"The Lady-Provider wants to talk to you. I'll help the Athosians settle in." John informed. After recieving a nod, Stevenson disappeared with his speed leaving nothing but a cloud of mud and leaves shooting up into the air.
Mara, or the Lady-Provider, was sat in her court listening to her ministers bicker and argue. Her Resouce Minister and War Minister were shouting at each other. The newly appointed War Minister was fighting for hunters to be trained for battle by Sheppard, while the Resource Minister was arguing the fact that they needed the hunters and farmers to feed the people.
As Mara rubbed her head in frustration and fatigue, the sound of the large wooden doors opening caught her attention. The two male Ministers stopped shouting and this caused her to raise her head. In the doorway for the hall was Stevenson. His brown robe flowed past his legs as the chilled wind blew from behind him and rushed into the large hall.
"Leave us." The Lady-Provider ordered. The five men and two women Ministers stood up and left the hall. They walked passed Stevenson and bowed before completely leaving the hall. Ryan closed the doors behind him and walked towards Mara.
"My Lady." Stevenson said, approaching the Lady-Provider.
"Ancestor." Mara smiled, bowing.
"What did you want to talk about?" Stevenson asked. When Ryan used the Repository, the language centre of his brain had been reprogrammed to speak the Ancient language, or Lingara. He had been re-learning the English language ever since. A major step in this process was scanning the minds of the Atlantis Expedition that wanted to join him.
"Well, as you know, my people are hunters and farmers. Even though they lack military training, our hunters have pledged themselves to guarding the Stargate. The few soldiers that we did have, retired when my reign began. I would have the guards use their weapons, but they don't have the skills nessacary." Mara informed.
"And you want Sheppard to provide military training?" Ryan asked.
"Yes. I understand the Athosians have now joined us and I know they have training from John. I will not see my people slave away in fields while the Athosians and your people keeping us safe. I would not have another Lord-Protector rule these lands." Mara informed, her temper a little flared.
"Neither would I, my Lady. My hope is that the Athosians and Marans will share the burdens the future. The Athosians are skilled farmers and hunters. They will help greatly." Ryan smiled.
"That is acceptable." Mara nodded.
"Is there anything else?" Ryan asked.
"Yes, John and I came up with a simple armour that would better protect my guards if we were attacked." The Lady-Provider smiled.
"What did you have in mind?" Ryan questioned.
"It is just a simple metal plate that would cover a mans torso." Mara smiled.
"There will be no need for such armour once our mines are providing a stable income." Stevenson nodded.
"Very well. There is one more matter which I would like to discuss." The Lady added.
"What matter, my lady?" Ryan asked.
"The tower, how long until you have finished repairing it?" Mara replied.
"Well, the tower itself is structually repared. But many power conduits and the surrounding catacomes are in the process of being repaired. Once the catacomes are fully repaired, new towers will be built and eventually we will leave Mara." Ryan informed.
"What will happen to Mara?" The Lady-Provider asked.
"Well, the mining outpost we've started building here will continue to gather resources, Mara will be key to our future. Once we leave this world, it'll continue to serve a purpose." Ryan informed.
"That is good to know. Where will the city go once it leaves here?" Mara questioned.
"The city will go to other worlds to set up new mines and outposts." Stevenson smiled.
"Understandable." Mara nodded.
"If you'll excuse me, I have important matters to attend to. My lady." Ryan bowed slightly before disappearing in a gust of wind.
Ryan stood in one of the few rooms in the tower that was off limits to everyone except him, not that anyone else had ventured into the city since Mara became the Lady-Provider. Stevenson was busy with one of his many projects, designing and building new ships. While he did have access to the full technological knowledge of the Alterra, as well as the small gains made by the Lanteans, he wasn't adept at star ship construction, nor naval warfare. This of course made designing new warships from scratch problematic at best.
He studied the designs that hovered before him in the form of golden holographic schematics. Sections of the ships didn't match, others weren't practical for the design and everything showed his annoying lack of progress.
Stevenson rubbed his forehead in frustration as he continued to stare at the holograms. The Alterra never had a great need for warships and instead designed their ships for other purposes, adding on their advanced weaponry almost as an afterthought. In fact, out of the four memebers of the Great Alliance for Four Races the Alterra were considered the scientific race. While the Asgard along with the Furlings were the warriors and very skilled in the arts of combat, the Nox were the medical and diplomatic race.
The Lanteans had even designed warships in a similar manner to the Alterrans, relying on the vessels advanced technology to overcome the enemy, instead of designing a 'real' warship. Stevenson had enough experiance to know that taking that route in designing and building the Alterran fleet wasn't going to cut it down the road, even if it might be enough to defeat the Wraith in the here and now. This meant that he had to design entirely new warships and the learning curve was not treating him well.
Stevenson blew out a defeated breath and used the mental interface to relay commands. The three mismatch star ship schematics floating in the air disappeared over the circular pedestal. As the new 'file' opened, another design that he had recently finished appeared as a hologram over the pedestal and quickly drifted down. As it reached the solid top of the table sized pedestal, the design quickly shifted from hologram into a materialized creation.
It was a block of nanites. Not quite as small as traditional Replicator cells, but nowhere near as large as the old style block Replicators. These were still microscopic, but they were a much larger and hardier version that were made up mostly of Naquadah, Trinium with only a dash of Neutronium. Unlike normal Replicator cells that relied primarily on the stuff.
Normally he wouldn't have used the power hungry material synthesis technology to create nanites, but the limited amount of raw materials that had been gathered were being devoted solely to the repairs on the city.
The Alterra had relied on outside production bases on the green gate network, such as the ZPM factory, to produce most of their technology. Apart from small items like clothing and food that could be synthesized without too much of a drain on their ZPMs, everything was produced off world. Materializing an entire ship would have sucked ten dry instantaneously. Which was why they were going to have to rely on the surviving Alterran infrastructure spread throughout the galaxies that made up the Ancients' former territory.
What few facilities the Lanteans had built had been constructed on the public gate network and therefore easily discovered and destroyed by the Wraith, if not by the Lanteans themselves to keep their technology from possibly falling into enemy hands.
Only two gate networks had ever been built in Pegasus. The public gates and a limited number of super gates for their slower star ships to move through, only two of which still existed.
All of this meant that he was going to be using his intergalactic frequent traveller miles en mass. Stevenson pulled out a data pad and activated the block of nanites. It slithered apart, expanding in volume into its pre-programmed shape of a petite human female dressed in a trim, dark grey uniform. It stepped down off the pedestal and looked questioningly at Stevenson, yet said nothing. It just batted its long eyelashes and smiled naively.
"Come with me." He ordered in Ancient.