Episode Four- Veritas- Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

Evening sets in over Atlantis and the vast planet-covering ocean on which she floats.  The city’s exterior lights begin to snap on all over it the way the overseeing lights of a parking lot do at dusk.  Within a matter of moments the entire city is re-illuminated by the glory of its own power.  Some of its residents are asleep by now, others are just coming on to their shifts, others are just coming off their shifts and seeking the comfort of food in the mess hall, but there are still more others who are not doing any of that.  They have been working all day and now they are finally so close to what they’ve been working for…

 

 

Normally at this time of the evening Teyla would casually be walking back to her quarters with Torren and Kanaan after their evening meal, but this evening Teyla determinedly comes up the hallway through the path of preparing scientists lining both sides of it.  They barely seem to notice her as she passes by, only her wake ruffling them draws quick side glances as their only response to her.  Just as many are on the opposite side of the hallway from the hologram room’s door.  And working just as hard.  Teyla approaches the room and its door quickly swings open at her presence.  She goes inside.

 

 

Everyone’s, the scientists in the hologram room when Radek had his revelation, Radek himself, Jennifer, Ronon, and Woolsey’s, attentions immediately jump over to the just entering Teyla.  She nods at them.

“They are ready in the generator rooms,” she tells their expectant faces.

“Thank you,” Woolsey commends, Radek also nods his thanks and acknowledgement to her as she nods back to them.

Radek goes back to trying to hook up one of the Expedition’s laptops to the pulled open innards of the hologram platform’s control podium.  The room is relatively clear of the superfluous scanning equipment it had had in it from before.  Now there’s only a few monitors and a spare few other pieces of observation and energy influencing equipment to help control the wavelength when needed.  Woolsey looks back down again at Radek working.

“How is it coming, Doctor Zelenka?”

Radek wedges his shoulder against the podium’s interior a bit more and carefully balances himself as he pulls back some of the Ancient technology’s delicate lit tube wiring and delicately angles in the crystal tipped computer jack, “All I have to do is finish connecting my laptop to the podium and then I can begin running the wavelength program.  With the help of the naquadah generators’ energy outputs being redirected to focus specifically on powering the podium and the hologram platform, we should be able to maintain an opening that will be more than enough time to both contact Colonel Sheppard, Major Lorne, Rodney, or Lieutenant Kenmore and bring them all back.”  That is considering that they are all together and have stayed close to wherever it is they have landed…But Radek puts that thinking out of his mind.

Woolsey nods.  “Good to hear.”

The Czech scientist applies ginger pressure to the inserted jack, it’s stable and holding, hopefully that will be good enough, “There.  Everything is set up.”

Zelenka eases back out of the podium and switches his focus to his laptop, “I am running the program.”

On cue the other scientists turn to their own equipment and start their side of the work.  Jennifer, Ronon, Teyla, and Woolsey step away from the hologram platform and Zelenka working at its podium.

Suddenly one of the pieces of scanning equipment starts beeping and its screen starts showing a wavelength like a radio’s going haywire with a transmission.  The technician, Krista McLean, a Scot-born scientist who has been with the Expedition from their first arrival in the city, looks back at Radek.  The backed away group now standing by the door is already looking over at her…

“Doctor Zelenka,” she raises her voice to be heard over her scanning unit, her brogue a beautiful Glaswegian, “I’m registering energy fluctuations coming from the platform.”

Then another piece of equipment starts beeping, it’s scientist, Jonathan MacPherson, Scot-sounding name but not nationality, Canadian like Rodney McKay, announces, “The platform is drawing power from…from I don’t know where.  It’s not anything from Atlantis.  It’s not anything we’re doing.”

Suddenly all of the pieces of equipment start going off.  The scientists are frantic.

“What’s going on,” Woolsey shouts over the raucous.

The McLean’s wavelength is vibrating off its scale, “There’s a power buildup!”

Another technician, “It’s affecting space-time!”

MacPherson, “The anomaly is forming again!”

“Doctor,” Woolsey asks warningly.  Staring at Zelenka.

“I need more time.  Just a little more time,” Radek snaps, “If I can get the program to move faster, I might be able to bypass their anomaly with our own.  It is like dialing an outgoing wormhole before someone else can dial in.”

Chaos still reigns supreme though.  It’s quickly becoming apparent that Radek is nowhere near as fast as the Ascended he’s racing against.  The other scientists announce their panic…and so does Radek.

“I just need more time,” he starts tensely.  Talking very quickly to himself in Czech.  A sign of stress.

Woolsey watches everything going on around him.  The scientists’ fingers scrambling.  Turning knobs.  Pressing dozens of keys.  Every single screen registering things beyond its limits to show.  It’s getting worse.  He makes the split-second command decision.

“Everyone out,” Richard shouts.

They all look at him.  Machines cacophonous.

“I said everyone out!  Go!  Now!  Move!”  He orders.

He starts shooing people towards the door.  Everyone starts doing as ordered as fast as they can.  Only Radek shows a moment of hesitation at his computer before he curses at it in Czech and leaves it behind.  Teyla helps Jennifer speed Ronon along as best they can and Richard brings up the rear, making sure everyone’s out of the room ahead of him.  He feels a chilling wind start to pull at what hair he has left…and it’s picking up speed fast.  Woolsey looks behind himself.  He doesn’t see the room looking any different.  Nothing.  But he can feel it.  He finally exits the room.  The last person.  And the door shuts behind him.

Safely outside the closed door, Radek immediately commandeers another scientist’s computer tablet the same way Rodney always does in one of these situations and begins working on it.  It’s so relatively quiet out here, so…not what they had expected.  They can’t actually hear the anomaly reforming.  All they can hear is the equipment registering that it is.  While Woolsey, Ronon, and Jennifer maintain their focus on the closed doors directly in front of them, Teyla looks over at Radek.

“What is going on, Radek?”

He’s still working, “The anomaly is open, but…but everything is moving too fast.  I, I can’t—”

Suddenly the hologram room door opens.  And standing there are their friends, looking the same way they had just before they were taken early today.  The taken stare back at the people facing them; the returned look fine, calm even.  And those that had never left look shocked.

“Did we miss dinner ‘cause I have a dinner date with my girlfriend,” Rodney asks.

With a relieved smile, Jennifer runs forward, abandoning Ronon’s weight to be managed by himself and Teyla, and into Rodney’s arms.  They smile in their embrace and then the would-be-rescuers feel like they can take a breath of relief too.  Ronon watches from the sidelines.

“Is everything alright, Colonel Sheppard,” Woolsey asks.

“Yes, Sir.  Just had a lovely chat with the hologram teacher wherever she Ascended to—“

Kenmore suddenly shoves past Sheppard and on down the hallway, away from everyone.  Sheppard, Lorne, Woolsey, and Teyla look after her.

Lorne doesn’t look happy.  “Yeah, real lovely,” he comments.

“I expect a debrief by you, Colonel, in two hours,” Woolsey informs Sheppard, “That should give you enough time to get a good meal or two, you have missed that many after all.”

Sheppard nods, “Yes, Sir.”

“Well, good to have you all back.”  Woolsey offers them all a smile to which the Colonel and Major offer nods back then he leaves, taking the same direction of hallway Kenmore took.

After he passes by, Teyla steps towards John and Evan and smiles at them.  They smile back at her.

“It is good to have you back,” she tells them.

“Thanks,” Sheppard says.

“Thank you, Teyla,” Lorne nods.

Behind them, Rodney with Jennifer close beside him makes his way over to Ronon; he extends his hand out to the Satedan.

“Thanks.”

Ronon looks down at the hand apprehensively, “For what?”

“Helping,” McKay says simply.

Ronon looks Rodney in the eyes and takes his hand.  The three smile at each other.  Friends…friends.

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