By Michael Weyer
Doctor Who owned by the BBC.
Stargate owned by MGM.
I'm aware that very few have been reading my story "Survivor's Hearts" so unsure if I'll do the planned continuation of that. But was struck by this idea and wanted to dash it off fast. Whether this might tie in to "Survivor's" is a bit up in the air, depending on reaction so all comments welcomed.
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Samantha Carter had never truly understood Jack O'Neill until she found herself placed in command of Atlantis.
She was well used to tackling major problems that could affect the survival of the Earth, if not the galaxy. However, handling the logistics of running an entire alien city were more challenging than she had expected. She had to handle various department heads demanding their own interests get priority; the occasional emotional tirade by someone thrown at being on an alien world; making sure supplies were kept up to date (she still winced remembering the toilet paper shortage incident); and dealing with the always annoying Rodney McKay. It made Carter sometimes wish she was back at the SGC simply studying wormhole theories.
At the moment, however, her various issues were pushed aside by the more pressing concern of a full-scale attack upon the city.
"How the hell did they get this close?" she demanded as she burst into the command center of Atlantis. John Sheppard was already there, his face tight as he looked at the screen showing Wraith ships coming toward the city.
"They just popped in," McKay said from his nearby technical console, going over readouts. "They must have upgraded their jump drives."
"Just what we needed," Ronon Dex growled, arms crossed across his broad chest. "A better form of Wraith to fight."
"I thought you'd like that," McKay noted in his smarmy voice. "You're the guy who likes to charge in, guns blazing, even if you get your legs blown off."
"Don't be ridiculous," Ronon snorted. "You can't charge with your legs blown off, it'll cause infection."
Carter didn't bother wondering whether or not the man was serious. "Defensive screens up?"
"And guns armed and ready," Sheppard said. "I guess they think catching us by surprise would be enough."
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than a loud groaning sound went through the room and the lights flashed on and off. "Ooooooh, that's never good," Carter remarked.
"Ma'am!" a technician called out. "We've lost power to guns!"
"Shield power is going down!" Rodney yelled out, frantically pressing on his console. "I can't understand it, it's like our own systems are failing on us!"
"A virus?" Carter asked.
"That's impossible," McKay automatically said. "There's no way anyone could hack my systems!"
"What about someone who got a close look?" Sheppard said, eyes narrowing. "Like maybe a certain Wraith who was working with us?"
"Todd?" McKay asked, his eyes wide.
Sheppard rolled his own eyes. "Great, Rodney, the one time you get an alien to like you…"
"How long until you can get it back up?" Carter demanded.
"Working on it!" McKay yelled as he typed hard on the console.
"Wraith ships closing!" one technician called out. "Four minutes until they're in striking distance!"
Carter bit her lip as she realized once more how leadership was truly a curse.
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Jennifer Keller winced as the alarms blared louder. Her brown hair was in a tight ponytail as she made her way around the medical lab, getting herself ready. She had been in Atlantis long enough to know when it was time to start stocking up for possible injuries. Once again, she wondered why she had to be picked as chief medical officer when Carson Beckett….went away. She was just a country girl, she didn't belong here…
Clear fields, farms, like Montana in the 1800's, what based memories on, found it best…
She blinked and shook her head at the bizarre thought that passed through her brain. She needed to get her head on straight here, especially when things started to get messy.
"Are you all right, Jennifer?" Keller turned to where Teyla lay on the bed. The woman had been coming in for a checkup when the alarms blared and obviously was anxious to go into combat. The fact she was now carrying a child didn't seem to enter her mind.
"I'll be fine," Keller told her. "Right now, you need to lay there."
She shook her head as she tried to rise up. "I cannot simply…" Keller pushed her back down with a strong expression on her face. "You are not risking your health, or your child's, by going into battle. Don't make me have to tie you down."
Teyla grunted but seemed to comply. Keller moved to the nearby shelves to go over supplies as Carter's voice blared over the speakers. "Attention, attention. Inbound Wraith weapons. Brace for impact, all stations prepare for attack."
The words were barely out of her mouth when the entire room was rocked by a strike from above. Keller yelled out as she was thrown off her feet, landing on the ground. "Jennifer!" Teyla called out.
"I'm okay," she gasped as she got to her feet, adjusting her uniform. She winced as another shock rocked through the city, the lights flashing on and off. She looked at the floor to pick up the various supplies she had dropped and her hands fell on something.
Jennifer frowned as she picked it up and examined it. It appeared to be a pocket watch carved with some odd symbols on its metallic face, attached to a chain. Jennifer rose up as she stared at it with a frown.
No, no, you can't see it. You can't, not after all the effort making your past, you can't see it now…
"Doctor?" Teyla asked, sitting up. "Are you all right?"
"Huh? Um, yes. Just…family heirloom." She turned it in her hands.
"Really?" Teyla frowned. "I do not recall seeing you with it before."
"No…neither do I," Jennifer intoned as she held it. It felt strange in her hands. It seemed warm as if something was inside it, something so familiar…
No, not yet, not yet. It's not time yet, he's not here. You need to keep us hidden for a time longer….
Keller blinked in confusion as that odd voice came into her head again. She stroked the surface of the watch, feeling the carvings on it, feeling the strange warmth as if something within was pulsing. She barely noticed the sparks exploding from a wall or Teyla's cries at her, she was transfixed by it. Her fingers moved toward the small clasp as she raked her mind over where she had gotten it.
You can't, you can't, it's not time. We have to stay hidden, we have to, I have to stay hidden until he comes…
Another shock went over the city as Jennifer's fingers undid the clasp and the watch's face popped open.
From her reclining bed, Teyla started as she saw a blinding glow erupt from the watch into Jennifer Keller's face. The woman's eyes widened as she seemed to absorb the light which covered her face, then her body. "Doctor!" Teyla called out, trying to get up.
The light faded and Keller stood there, staring outward for a few moments before finally blinking. "Jennifer?" Teyla pressed. "Are you….all right?"
Jennifer blinked again, then straightened up, her face becoming more resolute. "I'll be right back," she said as she suddenly began to race out of the room. Teyla stared after her in confusion wondering what she'd just witnessed.
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"They're coming in!" Sheppard called out, bracing himself as another barrage of the first Wraith ships struck at the city.
"Rodney!" Carter yelled out.
"Working on it!" The frantic scientist was still pushing buttons on the console to no avail.
Carter turned to Sheppard. "Get the troops ready for possible Wraith strike forces. We may have to go to close-quarters combat."
"Got it," Sheppard said, turning in time to see Jennifer Keller burst into the room. She marched past him and to the console, pushing Rodney out of the way. "Sorry," she said, not looking up as she started to press on the console.
"Jennifer, what are you doing?" Rodney demanded. "You're a medical doctor, you don't…." He stopped as he saw her hands almost literally flying across the console, hitting buttons with speed and skill. "Colonel Carter," she said in a voice that sounded far more confident than usual. "I need you to open a channel to the Wraith ships."
Carter blinked at her. "What? We don't know…"
"Just open communications, I'll take care of the rest." Something in the tone of her voice struck Carter, the same confidence she'd heard in herself when she had a plan she knew would work. Seeing little else to do, Carter nodded at a technician to do it.
Rodney was still staring as Keller's hands moved, the woman turning briefly to another console to tap one some screens. Rodney leaned in to study them and his jaw dropped. "Wait a minute…are you…"
Jennifer pressed a button and static filled the speakers in the control room as she spoke out in a crisp voice. "Attention, Wraith vessels. I am hereby invoking Convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in order to discuss parley."
"The shadow what?" Sheppard asked, as baffled as everyone else. He studied Keller, noting the look in the woman's eyes, how they seemed to much older now and far stronger than the normally shy doctor. He and Dex exchanged a look, the warrior noting the change as well. Sheppard had no idea what was going on but was willing to lean toward the woman who seemed ready to help them out.
There was a pause before the speakers crackled and a raspy voice echoed. "We do not know or recognize any Proclamations. We are not interpreted in your surrender."
"Yeah, kind of doubted you were," Jennifer nonchalantly said. "I never do like you vampire types, always so arrogant in yourselves, not caring about the rest of the universe. Really, I could handle the murdering ways but that attitude is what really annoys me." As she spoke, she began pressing a series of keys calmly.
"We are going to feast upon you, humans."
"Some sweet talkers you are," Jennifer smiled. "Well, I wasn't interested in talking, really. I just wanted you to open your communications up as it gives me a lovely window into your systems." With a flourish, she pressed down on one button of the screen and stepped back with a wide smile on her face.
A technician staring at a radar screen sat up. "Colonel Carter! The Wraith ships are losing speed!"
"Confirm!" Carter barked.
"They are," Sheppard said, studying his own screens. "It's like they all ran out of gas."
The Wraith voice came over the speakers again, this time anger mixed with flustering. "What have you done?"
"Quid pro quo," Jennifer announced. "You gave us a virus, I gave you one. Nasty little thing, it'll start with your engines before working its way to your shields, then weapons, then life support. Your hyper drives will be last but you'll be dead by then so not that big a deal. It's a slow worm so you might have enough time to get yourselves back to your bases before it fully takes hold."
"Impossible!" the Wraith spat. "Our systems are immune to human viruses!"
Jennifer smiled. "Ah…and who said this was a human one?" Her face hardened a bit as she leaned forward. "I've seen one home burned. I won't let it happen again. Be grateful I'm feeling more charitable than I should as before this regeneration, I might not have given you a chance." The smile returned. "So, I'd advise you to take off and keep in mind how there's more than just the humans you have to deal with. Especially now. Because I'm not the only of my kind out there either. And the other one wouldn't be as kind-hearted."
The first technician studied the radar screens and swallowed. "Wraith ships are retreating. Slow but they're going."
Jennifer let out a breath. "Wow, it worked. I have no idea how the man does it all the time." She brushed her hands as she turned to find herself staring down a pair of pistols aimed right at her face. She looked down the guns to see Sheppard and Dex glaring at her and rolled her eyes. "Well, this is familiar."
"Who are you?" Sheppard demanded. "And where's Jennifer Keller?"
Keller gave a sad smile. "She's gone. Technically, she never really existed. I made her up, background and all."
"No, no way," McKay said, shaking his head. "She had a family, a father…"
"Any of you ever meet him?" "Keller" asked with a knowing expression. "Any photos of her in the past? Any real visible trail before she came here?" She shrugged. "It wasn't easy but I've had experience covering tracks well and did my best to create as real a background as I could before I used the Chameleon Arch."
"The what?" Dex asked.
"I just wanted to get away after what happened, felt it was safer to become human," the woman went on as if not hearing him. "Becoming a doctor felt…right." She smiled as if enjoying a private joke. "Of course, I never counted on getting recruited to Atlantis or becoming the CMO. I would have rather stayed as Jennifer Keller for a time longer but things change." She clapped her hands together. "Well, I suppose I should fix that nasty virus you have, shouldn't take more than ten minutes, then I can get some lunch, I am famished. I wonder if I could whip up something, learned wonderful ingredients from Julia Child…"
Carter stepped forward and peered at the woman curiously. "Who are you?"
"Jennifer" smiled broadly and extended a hand. "Romanadvoratrelundar, formerly High President of Gallifrey, now one of only two surviving Time Lords." She shook a startled Carter's hand. "You can simply call me Romana for short." She looked about the room. "Now then, who wants to hear the truth behind this city's creation?"
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All comments welcomed.