With great love and honor,
this story is dedicated to my ancestors and my descendants.
Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard and Lieutenant Ursula Kenmore come around a corner in the moderately busy hallway heading towards the main conference/briefing room near the Command Center; although Kenmore was learning quicker and quicker around here that it wasn’t called the Command Center in Atlantis, it’s called Operations. Sheppard is wearing his regular ‘garrison’ uniform of black BDU shirt and pants with a simple black t-shirt underneath while Kenmore is wearing her regular green SGC BDU pants also with a plain black t-shirt. The sounds of their standard issue black combat boots thudding against the rust-colored granite tile floor gets lost in the noise of a fully operating city/outpost as they walk side by side. Dodging people as they go.
“So do you have any idea who our guest is,” Sheppard asks her, hoping she did.
“Nope.” The reply is blunt.
“Great, new surprises.”
Kenmore let’s that one slide, “Yep.”
Doctor Rodney McKay, coming from another adjoining hallway, joins up with them, falling into step on Sheppard’s free side. One of the edges of the theoretical astrophysicist’s lab coat slaps at the back of Sheppard’s knee, the Colonel ignores the annoyance.
MacKay wastes no time and immediately starts complaining, “Does anybody know what Woolsey wants now? I have important things to get back to.”
“It’s a mission briefing, Rodney. We usually get them,” Sheppard tries to placate.
Rodney sighs exasperatedly, “I thought we weren’t supposed to have any missions for at least another week while I figure out a way to stop the Ancients from using the hologram room again.”
Sheppard flits a glance at Kenmore to make sure nothing ruffled her. It’s been a few weeks since Morgan Le Fay sucked them into the Void and told Kenmore things no one wants to know. Kenmore seems fine with McKay’s aggravated flippancy so Sheppard’s eyes go back to facing front again.
“Well apparently things have changed,” he says.
“Yeah and who gets screwed? Me. The problems around here don’t fix themselves. I can only do so much and my time, stretched thin as it is, is this close to breaking.”
John takes Rodney’s bitching in stride. He opens his mouth to say something but Kenmore beats him to the punch…
“Aww, baby get a booboo? Suck it up and deal, dude.”
“Well don’t call me, dude, when the city starts having rolling blackouts because random systems start failing because I haven’t had the time to get around to fixing the crap that’s starting those problems in the first place.”
And here John knows he’s got him…
“That reminds me, Rodney, did you ever get around to the underwater jumper bay? Any of the underwater jumper bay?”
“Well…,” Rodney’s mouth stumbles, “no.”
Sheppard latches onto the exact answer he’d been expecting, “You mean to tell me that over the course of almost three years you still haven’t had the ‘time’ to get around to any of that?”
There’s a pause.
“So any idea who our new guest is? Someone like the Lieutenant perhaps,” Rodney offers.
The trio turns a corner.
“Doubt it,” Kenmore answers.
“If the I.O.A found anyone else like me or my son, we’d know about it.”
“You mean because they’d mostly likely bring them here?” Rodney asks.
“No, I mean that they’d use it as leverage to get every single person they don’t like in the Stargate Program thrown the hell out. Starting with Jack O’Neill.”
“And how could that possibly happen? I know you’re half-Ancient, but do you actually think they’d really expect you to be able to do everything thousands of people can barely manage to do?” Not buying what the Lieutenant’s selling for a second.
Kenmore looks over at him, “Nope, they’d keep forcing me to do exactly what I’m doing now and they’d just hire a whole new set of thousands of people to barely manage to get by.”
She does have a point, “Well that’s disconcerting,” Rodney says. Really, that is incredibly disconcerting to think that if the I.O.A had just one more piece of leverage more, they’d be able to get rid of all these people… to get rid of even him.
“Thank you you two for setting such a happy tone for the rest of the day,” Sheppard comments as they turn another corner and see the conference room doors up ahead of them… and their new guest for the mission briefing: Doctor Daniel Jackson.
Immediately Kenmore starts beaming.
Jackson looks up from the long rolled up piece of paper he’d been holding while he’s been waiting by the doors to the conference room and is absolutely delighted to see Kenmore approaching him. She picks up her pace to reach him a few steps sooner than Sheppard and McKay. Ursula and Daniel embrace warmly like the old friends they are. John can’t remember a hug he’s ever had like that— not true. Elizabeth. Elizabeth Weir had given him a hug that warm and heartfelt when he’d beamed back down to Atlantis after they’d all thought he’d committed suicide in a run against the Wraith during that first year siege they’d went through together.
During their bear hug, Daniel’s eyes open and catch John’s. Jackson’s blue eyes’ expression changes from happiness to caution… and maybe even suspicion. Sheppard’s expression pinches, his brows furrowing at Jackson, what was that for? John’s worked with Daniel before, both on Earth during that whole succubi and incubi thing and twice later when Daniel had come to Atlantis, during SG-1’s Pegasus Project and when the archeologist and Rodney’d discovered bad guy Asgard running around the Pegasus Galaxy. Ursula and Daniel’s tight hug ends, but they stay in each other’s arms. Daniel looks down at Ursula, the two of them happily smiling at each other. So happy to see each other again.
“Are you okay,” Jackson urgently asks her out of the blue, “When we found out, we tried to come get you two, but…”
“We’re fine. We’re both fine. We’re… dealing with it,” she tries to soothe him.
Daniel nods, “Good, that’s good to know. I’ll tell everyone when I get back home.” Then he adds, “And you know that if you ever need us, we’re here. Just call, okay, just call and we’ll come get you two.”
Rodney’s had enough of this, “Oh come on. We haven’t hurt her. Most of the injuries she’s gotten here are her fault for being so gun-ho all the time.”
Daniel and Kenmore break apart to face Sheppard and McKay, Daniel with his professor dealing with an unruly student look on his face aimed squarely at the Canadian theoretical astrophysicist.
“I know Urs, Rodney, I’m not saying any of you have hurt her or Michael. My concern isn’t just because of the type of soldier I know she is, my concern is the—“
“Good morning Doctor Jackson,” Woolsey’s voice suddenly pipes up from behind Daniel. Chipper and pleased to be starting a new day, one perhaps he can maintain some measure of control over. Or that didn’t prove to be too disastrous.
They look over at Woolsey approaching their little group with Teyla and Ronon behind him. The fan doors of the briefing room open at Woolsey’s presence and the administrator, Teyla, and Ronon head in. Sheppard, Rodney, Kenmore, and Daniel watch them go by.
“I.O.A,” Daniel finishes. A tense, sour sentiment on his face when he lowers his head for a moment.
“You know he’s not one of their lackeys anymore,” McKay informs him.
“A man who once thought that we could keep Anubis’ clone as a pet, yes, of course a man like that isn’t a cause for concern at all regardless of who he works for. No, not all.” Daniel says in as snarky a manner as Rodney does, then turns and walks into the briefing room. Kenmore follows him in.
Leaving Sheppard and Rodney outside.
“Oh this is going to be a joy,” Rodney remarks.
“Isn’t it though,” Sheppard adds.
They finally enter too.