Ok, I need to point out something. Harry has been on destiny for over 500 days, and the black sludge on the CO2 scrubbers has been there for significantly longer. Harry has been affected by it, he just doesn't realise it. So, just because he says or thinks something, doesn't mean you have to believe him.
Thank you for your reviews and apologies for this being posted 24 hours later than I had originally planned.
V - Air (part two)
Harry had followed as the mismatched group returned to the ring room, or the gate room as they called it. Everyone was crowded around one around making it hard for Harry to find somewhere to stay out of the way.
"Ok, listen up!" Lt. Scott called. "Everybody who is able, we are going to search this ship, top to bottom, teams of three."
'Will you stop moving?! I'm standing here! Have you no manners? Merlin's beard, fine, I'll move, don't worry about me! Here, no, they have weapons, there, no she looks like she might kill me, erm, psycho, smelly, shifty, annoying voice- hey look, Rush! He has space by him-'
"Excuse me, coming through," Harry muttered as he squeezed between two people, who both moved automatically. They both looked confused and gave little smiles but said nothing.
'Crap! Ok, I'm just gonna hurry to the side, nice and quick- Rush is still alone, good. Dammit, I need to control my mouth better. At least they didn't say anything, but- ok, I'm staying against this wall, so help me if anyone tries to muscle in on my territory I'll … let them, invisible people have no rights, it's not fair.'
"Weapons?" Scott asked of the gun-wielding maniac Sergeant from before in a low voice.
"43, including hand guns," came the hushed reply.
'Oh great more guns, just what this ship needs'
"One per group?"
Scott addressed the group again, "Flashlights, radios, only when necessary, once those batteries are dead," he gestured his hand across his neck in a universal gesture, while Dr. Rush was busy looking through a bag at the side of the control terminal; "they are dead. Regular check-ins with Dr. Rush in the control room, every ten minutes. And keep in mind, as far as we know, this bucket is really freakin' old so there might be areas of damage or where life support is unstable. Look but be smart. Don't touch anything that looks like he might be dangerous."
"How are we supposed to know what's dangerous?" A tall, black man dressed in military fatigues asked. Harry checked the name tag of the fatigues. Becker.
'Well at least it'll be easy to remember the army guys. Now, who are the rest of you and why aren't you walking around with nametags?'
"Becker, right?" Scott asked.
"Yes sir, I work in the mess. I mean I did."
"Don't touch, just look." Scott replied, before moving over to a woman, also dressed in military fatigues. "You're James, right?"
"Yes, lieutenant." She replied as they shared a look.
"You and Riley are with me." Scott ordered.
Harry watched as the lieutenant moved over to an older gentlemen and a young woman.
"If it's ok with you sir," Lt. Scott said to the man, "I think it would be best, considering your obvious skills, if you remain back here. Help keep the rest of these people calm-"
"Don't patronise me, son."
"No sir," Scott replied as he walked off, James and Riley following him.
Harry watched as Rush examined his broken glasses.
'Now, do I be nice and fix his glasses for him, 'cos it's just so annoying when they're broken- but that would mean talking to him- I could fix them like the Tooth Fairy … ok, bad image there, really not what I was going for- but, he can see fine, maybe they're just reading glasses- I think- hey, was that your bag? I haven't seen you with it before now…'
Harry was not the only one to notice Rush taking the bag. He took note of the blonde hair and name tag (Johansen).
'Why didn't you say anything? Now I have to chose between following Rush to find out or following Scott- but seriously what was in the bag? Hey Rush! Wait up!'
Harry ran after Rush, just managing to keep him in his sights. However Rush went into a room that Harry knew was a dead-end and close the door.
'Well, that's not very nice of you! How am I supposed to follow without waving a flag in your face shouting "look at me, look at the invisible me!", I mean you'd notice the door opening and closing on it's own, wouldn't you?
'How long are you going to be in there, anyway? I need more information and you seem to know things … please? … Ok. Fine. I get the point, you don't want me around … maybe the other kid, Eli, can help, he seemed to understand something.'
He tracked Eli to the control room and walked in as Eli said over the radio "Red is usually bad isn't it?" Brody and Park looked up from the other side of the room.
"Maybe it means the door is stuck, just try." Lt. Scott's voice sounded over the radio.
Eli and Brody shared a look, "Ok. You should probably step back." He pressed a few buttons and said, "Whoa, not good, not good," as the screen started showing a lot of different flashing red lights. "More red."
"Close it! Close it NOW!" Scott screeched over the radio.
'I could have told you it was a bad idea,' Harry thought to himself as he looked at the map. 'There's no way anyone could do anything in that room with the giant hole in the side of the wall… I thought you said "look, don't touch"- so why are you opening doors- where's the logic-'
"I'm trying," Eli snapped back as he pressed various different buttons, before the red lights disappeared.
"Yeah, ok, we've established why that hatch was closed."
"Yeah, a lot of others are closed for the same reason. We're only occupying a faction of the ship at the moment. It goes on forever. But if there are damaged areas of the ship that aren't sealed that could be our problem."
'Hey, that's my room! You, don't send anyone there… maybe I need to charm the door not to open- spells to stop intruders, dammit, why didn't Flitwick teach us that? Erm, maybe I could set up some sort of trap- what about just locking the door, Colloportus, yeah, that might work- if the ship lets me… I'll just go now, while they're still busy at the back of the ship-
Rush walked in with the silver case.
'Oooh, shiny, was that in the bag? Can I take a looky look? Please?'
"Oh, right, good timing, we've just found-" Eli said to him before Rush took the radio off of him.
"This is Dr. Rush. Meet me in the gate room immediately. Everyone."
Eli, Park and Brody stared at him as he walked away as quickly as he had come.
'Isn't it share time yet? Hey, you three, stop slacking and hurry up, he might share information if you move it. Yes, that's right, but maybe a little bit faster… but, crap, Scott and the others were over by the- it'll take them longer to get to the ring room, gate room, whatever they want to call it.' Harry slowed his pace down, remembering to flatten himself against the wall to let the other three pass him.
Lt. Scott and his team were the last to gather in the room. He immediately marched over to Rush and asked. "What's going on?"
Rush ignored him and held up the silver case and spoke loudly enough to be heard across the room, "In this case, are five Ancient communication stones. They work over vast distances in real time."
'In English, you mean what now?'
"We can talk to people on Earth?" An older man queried, one Harry vaguely recognised from other trips to the gate room.
"Yes, you physically take control of another person at the other end. I brought these with us in the event we ended up somewhere outside the normal range of communications."
'How is that even possible? Why do you have them? Are they magic?- But they can't be, even those two-way mirrors Sirius gave me worked over a limited distance. Seriously, where did you get theses … stones from? How old do you mean by ancient anyway, maybe someone like Merlin had a hand in creating- but even he wouldn't be able to- you said we were billions of lightyears away! I'm not really sure on how far that is exactly, but it seems a huge amount of distance-'
"So let's use them." The man said to the agreement of the others in the room.
"I already have."
Confused mutterings were heard at Rush's statement.
"Are they sending help?" Brody asked.
"No." More confused murmurings at Rush's statement. "The only way of dialling this gate from our galaxy was destroyed in the attack. We are cut off."
"I want to use one of those stones now," the man replied, heatedly.
"I've spoken with General O'Neill," Rush continued.
'And he is who now?'
"I am a United States Senator," the man stated.
'Really? Wait, you're not like Fudge was, are you? I mean he was the worst politician I have ever meant- you're from America then, like a lot of people by the accents… so what are you doing here? And what's with the Scot over there? I mean I like Rush 'cos he knows things, but you don't seem like you really like him-
'Hey, what's wrong with you, why are you clutching your side?'
The girl next to the senator was crying "Dad, dad."
Lt. Scott called for T.J., a blonde woman Harry recognised, who was making her way to the downed senator.
'Now that's a bruise! Look at it. Huh, so she's the doctor then.'
"Everyone please. There is no need for us to congregate in the one place. Miss Johansen, please find adequate accommodation for the injured. And everyone else-"
"I don't recognise your authority, Dr. Rush," a Chinese woman said angrily.
Rush talked over her, "We have found-"
"-As an IOA representative-"
"-and are much more comfortable-"
"-you need to-"
"-Please go there until you're asked to do something useful."
"Something useful," a blonde scientist, asked incredulously.
"We do not want to settle in," the Chinese woman said heatedly, with the backing of the room. "We want to get back."
"She's right!" a man with his arm in a sling said, "We should be working on getting home."
"Exactly," the Chinese woman said.
"I'm not sure that's even possible," Rush said flatly.
"You haven't even tried."
"Maybe you should actually do something instead of standing around talking about being in charge." One soldier said.
'They think they can get home- don't they realise they're stuck here yet? Can't they just accept it and shut up? My head hurts from all the noise, can't you make them stop?'
"Everyone! Calm Down!" Scott shouted from the other side of the room.
'Ok, Scott, you're my new favourite person. How come they listen to you? … Do you have to point your gun like that?'
"Now, the fact is, Colonel Young put me in charge. And I expect all SG personnel to follow my orders. As for the rest of you, you get out of line and we will lock you down." All the military personnel shifted. Scott moved through the room, towards Rush, his gun aimed at the ceiling. "Now, Dr. Rush is right about a couple of things. First off, we all have to work together. And second of all, we don't all have to stay here. So, let's move out. Go on, move, it's ok."
People started to disperse, so Scott lowered his weapon to his side and said in a low aside to Rush, "I think we need you, so I've got your back for now, but if I were you, I'd find some way to dial that gate back to Earth."
As everyone left, Harry made his way back to his rooms.
'So, they're all happy at the back of the ship … for now, but they will find me eventually. I won't be able to stay hidden forever, crap… but there's enough for them to explore at the back of the ship, maybe they won't come for weeks-'
"I just need some sort of plan, yes, plan is it … the locking spell's a good start, they won't be able to open my door-" Harry stopped suddenly and a small squeak sounded from his mouth.
'Idiot! Oh, yeah, it's a fantastic idea to suddenly start talking to yourself when there are strangers running around the ship … strangers with guns! Merlin's balls, I think I'm losing it-'
"Great, Voldemort manages to capture me and- after everything that snake put me through and I lose it when the American army invade my-"
'Dammit, I'm doing it again. It's a good thing I'm near my rooms, otherwise they might have heard me- imagine if they had?'
"Ok, Harry, just try to concentrate on keeping them out, you'll help won't you ship? And then you can think about the next problem, which could be- no, so the door is closed, and hey, pretty ship, let me lock this door, ok now? Alrighty, then, here goes, Colloportus," he waved his wand at the door. Nothing happened.
'Umm, I am supposed to swish and flick, or is it flick and swish?'
Harry raised his wand again, and practiced swishing and flicking and then flicking and swishing. "Maybe I should try both? Colloportus! … No, ok so I'll try … Colloportus!"
Still nothing happened.
"Oh, come one ship! Please! It's my room, I don't want them in it! It's personal! Colloportus, Colloportus, COLLOPORTUS! Collopo- what in Merlin's name is that?!"
He paused; his wand still raised and stared at the metal ball floating in the air.
'S'ok, it can't see me, I'm invisible- why is my cloak on the floor?'
Harry squeaked as he threw himself to the floor and dived under the invisibility cloak. The floating ball had apparently moved on past him.
'What was that? And where is it going?'
"Hey, come back here!" He chased after it, still wrapped in the cloak, not really noticing that he was heading back towards the back of the ship, back to where all the people were. By the time he realised where he was, Harry had walked into the back of one of army people. They both fell to the floor, the stranger on top of Harry, knocking the breath out of him, and the cloak slipping underneath his body.
The man was muttering under his breath he stood up and dusted himself off, before he looked at Harry properly.
'Stupid cloak, stupid, inability to- crap, why is he looking at me like that?'
"Watch where you're going!" He barked.
'Merlin's beard, why was I chasing the stupid ball when I need to- did he say something? Why are you standing like that?! And why aren't you wearing a nametag?'
Harry stayed as still as he could, hoping the bald-headed man would just go away.
"Why are you still on the floor? Get up." He reached down and made a grab from Harry's arm. Harry saw the hand and snapped into reality and stumbled to his feet, standing on his cloak.
"Why aren't you with the others?" The man demanded.
"Oh, oh yes, well, um, you see, we, er, were separated, I was heading back to the ring room, I mean, the gate room," Harry stammered.
"Yes, yes, well hurry it up," he ordered.
"Yes, sir," Harry mumbled and forced himself to stay still and not give in to his instincts that were screaming at him to run. "I'll just be-" He pointed in the direction he's just come from and started to turn around before his arm was grabbed.
"Wait," the man pulled Harry back as he picked-up what looked like some kind of chocolate bar and slipped it into one of his numerous pockets. "Well, don't stand there all day." And the man stalked off, leaving Harry in the empty corridor.
'Great Gryffindor! Just take a deep breath, nice and easy. Thank Merlin he wasn't paying that much attention to me- he was mean, he had a gun! And- don't just stand there! Put the damn cloak on already before someone else sees you!'
Harry stumbled under the cloak, and cautiously began walking again.
'I need to be way more careful, that could have gone so much worse- what was with the candy bar anyway? Why did he look so, so- that look, like- he was shifty. I wonder what kind of chocolate it was, I'm sick of Honeydukes- dammit, he could still realise that I'm not one of them- I mean, look at me, I hardly fit in. Crap- Scott or Rush, maybe he'd go to them, Rush is in charge, but then Scott's got the command of the army people, but then- just stop it, I'm going to the control room. There's always someone there … and maybe I'll get lucky-'
With a bit of luck, Harry managed to make it to the control room just behind Eli and Scott, and one of those floating balls.
"What's that?" Rush asked, pointing.
"Flying camera ball." Eli said, offhandedly. "I'm calling it a Kino."
'A flying camera ball … Merlin's balls, what if they saw me- I mean, the ball saw, but who's watching the camera? Crap! They're going to march down to my room, all of them, with their guns and I'm going to be riddled with bullets- riddled- riddle- Riddle, this is his payback. From beyond the grave, he's coming back to haunt me, and he's going to laugh as each bullet slices through me, and then he's going to drag me to the fiery pits of Hell, and I'll burn like he did, and- no, I'm not thinking about it!'
"Comes with a remote, I thought we could use it to look around," Eli shrugged.
Scott moved to the other side of the control panel and asked, "What do you have?"
"Ah, well, it's not so good really. Ah, these processing nodes are scrubbers, responsible for cleaning CO2 from the air. Here, here and here. It's indicating malfunction, others are failing."
Scott nodded before walking out of the room, reaching for his radio.
"Greer this is Scott, I'm heading for the gate room, meet me there."
'Ok, Harry, just think, if they'd seen you, wouldn't you have heard it by now. These two wouldn't just be standing here, playing with the terminals if they knew that someone had seen me, so obviously they haven't- so I'm safe- for now- but what happens when they see- I should go, and move my things- but I like my room, it's mine. And I should stay here, if they knew about me, they'd call over the radios, so I'll just stay here- quiet as a mouse- '
Harry was still trying to stay calm and not give away his presence when the blonde doctor, T.J. walked in and said, "Dr. Rush. Colonel Young wants to see you right away,"
He raised his hand up to stop her and said over the radio, "There should be a kind of grate covering the node." There was no answer on the other end so he said, "What do you see?"
Scott's voice came over the radio, "A problem. We see a very big problem"
'Please don't let me be that big problem, but that map; it looks like they're in the gate room, so, maybe not me- hey, wait up!'
Harry followed to the gate room where people where gathering around Brody who was taking some kind of reading of the black sludge that was all over some sort of metal container. He declared it to be alkaline when the senator's daughter walked in.
"Everyone's heart rates elevated, people are reporting headaches- it has to be-" T.J. trailed off.
"What?" Scott barked.
'Like he said, what?'
Brody replied, "The used up residue of whatever magic compound the Ancients used to scrub CO2 from the air."
"So we have two big problems relating to the life support." Scott said. Eli was sitting on the stairs looking down at them.
"Our first priority must be to seal off any of the leaks." Rush said. "If we can manage that then we can maybe buy ourselves a day or so before the build up of CO2 kills us."
'Have you any ideas how many leaks there are?'
"As it stands, how much time do we have?" Scott asked.
Rush didn't says anything.
Brody said, "A couple of hours a most."
Eli gave a short, sharp laugh, before saying "Awesome."
Rush said, "Brody, there was some medical-grade soda-lime on the supply manifest?"
Someone replied, "It never made it."
"Pity," Rush said. He took out his pad and pencil from his inner pocket in his vest and squatted next to the black gunk, poking at it with his pencil, saying, "Well on a ship this old, there's bound to be systems past their designed life."
'Yeah, but it was fine until you all turned up and started messing with it! And that stuff is just gross! It reminds me of Neville's potions-'
"Ok, so what say we find the leaks, can you fix this?" Scott queried.
Rush shook his head, "I doubt this stuff can be cooked off." He paused. "Perhaps, if there were stores of this substance in a clean form, something else capable of sequestration of CO2, calcium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, then yes, if."
"Ok, Well that's not going to matter because you're going to get the gate dialled back to earth before this becomes an issue," Scott said.
Rush stood up to say something, but Scott continued but saying, "Right?"
"That's the sort of thinking that you're taught to say in officer training presumably for the benefit of those who don't know any better." Rush said.
Scott got in Rush's face at that statement and there was a short silent stand-off, before Scott said, "Please?"
"What makes you think I won't try?" Rush asked, before he left.
'Maybe because it's pointless. Sure, you're got the consoles to work, but there's no way to get that gate to move, much less spin in the way it needs to, to be able to get the strange puddle appear again.
'Could this be some kind of potion? 'Cos that black sludge really does kinda remind me of Neville's failed potions… maybe there's something in one of my textbooks- yeah 'cos the answers going to be there in one of the books Snape set as a textbook. Merlin, I don't even really know what I'm looking for, or even what Lithium Carbonate is, or whatever they're looking for-
'Oh, man, up Harry. You stared down Voldemort's wand and dodged the Killing Curse from numerous Death Eaters, you can easily look through a few books to see if there's anything useful. Any that's better than standing around spying-' He set off back to his rooms, walking at first, trying to avoid the others, and then running when he was far enough away.
Once he reached his room, he grabbed several different potion books and flicked through them.
"No, that wouldn't be useful. Definitely don't need to make a sleeping draught, or a Pepper-up. No, no, no, no, hell no, there was a potion for toe-nail growing? What the heck was that supposed to be used for? Erm, nope, no, next, nada, ditto, what the- no, pointless, Dragon's breath-" Harry's breath caught and he dropped the book.
'No, no, NO! Don't think! Focus, air, problems with the CO2-'
"Dammit, Hermione would know. I mean, all I know is that CO2 is good for plants and we need oxygen- this isn't helpful! Why did I even think that this might be useful- they at least have some clue! I'm just useless-
"It's not me! It's them! I've been here for nearly eighteen damn months and nothing goes wrongs, they're here less than twenty-four hours and they've condemned us to death! Not my fault, they brought the chaos, not me.
"They need to fix it! Before I die!"
Harry headed back to the control room, and entered to hear Eli as he spoke into the Kino, "My head is pounding, my heartbeat is accelerating, it's getting harder and harder to breathe as our very lives are being vented out into space," he said dramatically.
"Ok, that's going to get old very, very fast," Scott said.
"This needs to be documented," Eli tried to argue.
"No-one's going to see that."
"How do you know? We made it here, someone else could to. If we die maybe we can help them figure out what happened to us."
'I remember optimism … like thinking I'd get the chance to beat Malfoy to the snitch again and winning the Quidditch cup- '
"Yeah, well, we've not dead yet," Rush said.
Everyone was silent.
Eli turned back to the Kino, whispering, "I'm starting to have slightly blurred vision-"
"Eli!" Scott called sharply
"What?" He yelped back.
"So how are we going to decide who?" Scott asked after a moments pause.
"Well I assume we're not going to get any volunteers," Rush said.
'Volunteers for what?'
"What's another day going to buy us?" the senator's daughter asked, moving closer to Rush.
'No, seriously, volunteers for what? What did I miss?'
"Time," Rush replied, "To find a way to survive." He paused, before reaching out to T.J., "May I see the list?"
She handed it to him saying, "I've marked the names of anyone injured.
"Right, we'll have to find out people's skills, backgrounds, experience-"
Scott interrupted Rush, "It take any special skills to die from asphyxiation."
'Asphyxiation? What in Merlin's name are you all babbling about? Can't somebody give me the cliff notes version? Hey, Eli! Summarise recent events for the Kino, you know, for prosperity or whatever-'
"Look, what I'm saying is, it shouldn't be someone with potentially valuable knowledge, or abilities to help us survive beyond this."
"Wait, are you saying, are you really suggesting-" the senator's daughter started.
'I really want to know what is being suggested, could you let the man finish?'
"You can't ask someone to sacrifice themselves, period!" Chloe stated firmly.
'None of you better even think of looking at me! I've sacrificed enough!' He walked out. 'I still don't know what you're all babbling about but I'm not going to listen. I can't do anymore sacrifice, it's too much. I can't not anymore- It's someone else's turn-'
Harry wandered around the ship, not really going anywhere, but flattening himself against a wall whenever someone passed him. His thoughts were taking him in circles, all on that battle at Hogwarts, all the sacrifices, the deaths, the fire.
"Greer!" Someone called sharply, and Harry watched as the gun-wielding maniac Sergeant stopped in the middle of the corridor. Harry looked behind him to see an older man in the black uniform limping towards him.
'Well at least I have a name for the sergeant and this one is called… Young.'
For no other reason than that he really didn't know where else to go, Harry followed the two who made their way to the cargo hold. The Chinese woman spotted them as soon as they enter.
"Colonel," she called.
"We've lost Senator Armstrong, he's, er, bought us some time." Young said.
"To do what?" she asked.
"We're working on it. First up is trying to dial the gate, back home."
"Should you be even on your feet?" she asked.
"No," Greer replied flatly.
Young interjected, "Well, I am on my feet and right now we're trying to get home. Camille, I need your help. You know these people, you need to spread the word, try to keep things as positive as you can."
"I can do that,"
'So the senator was the sacrifice? Hmm, maybe he was a good politician after all… didn't someone say he was going to die anyway? Guess he wanted his death to actually mean something- at least the major air leak was plugged. So we have more than an hour to live- why did he do it? He didn't have to throw himself in front of me- stupid boy, just 'cos he hand been hit with a slashing curse- Madam Pomfrey's healed worse on me- I've survived the killing curse before, I could have dodged- I wonder what happened to his camera?
'No, I can't- need to focus on something else- something-'
Harry's feet had carried him to the control room, as Eli said, "Found anything?"
"Destiny." Rush said. Park and Brody looked up from huddling over a control port.
"As in ours?" Eli replied almost sarcastically.
"The name of the ship, translated from Ancient. I've also discovered that they were never here."
'Is this someone's idea of a joke? I've already fulfilled my destiny, I destroyed Voldemort, I don't need to have anything more to do with destiny- And again, you seem to be using the word 'ancient' in some other context than old- but it's not like you ever expand- but it sounds like some sort of race?-'
"I thought this was an Ancient ship?" Eli asked, confused.
"It is. But they sent it out unmanned, planning to use the gat to get here when it was far enough out in the universe. But they probably learnt to ascend before that time."
"Learn to what?"
'Yeah, 'cos that explains everything!'
Eli shook his head.
"It's a process whereby consciousness converts to energy and no longer requires physical form."
'My head hurts, I can't even begin to process this- I don't ever recall hearing about any of this before in History classes. Yeah, Binns was kind of obsessed with the goblin wars, but surely if these, er, people, turned into energy then wouldn't magic have been involved somehow? Urgh, this is Hermione's territory, not mine-'
"That wasn't in the video."
'There are videos? Where?'
Rush smiled and half-laughed, "There's more than one video."
"We should get back to work."
After a few minutes of quiet work, an alarm from the console.
"Someone's dialling the gate," Rush said as he ran out the room. Eli grabbed a Kino and chased after him, with Brody and Park right behind him, and Harry behind them, having a sense of déjà vu.
"Colonel Young," Rush said as he entered the gate room.
Harry stood back and observed as Young and Rush argued about dialling the gate.
'When are you going to realise we'll never get home? The ring, gate does not work! Just 'cos you all sound like you know what you're talking about, whatever this point of origin is, doesn't mean, the ring will ever spin- hey! How come it's spinning, and the V's are lighting up again- are we- '
Young and Rush stopped arguing when the ship jolted, and the gate stopped spinning and the lights faded.
"What was that?" Scott asked, as a beeping sound sounded, and funny looking symbols appeared on a display above the door.
"Anyone near the observation deck?" Young asked over the radio.
T.J. responded. "Colonel. It looks as if we've dropped out of FTL."
'FT what now?'
"Because we were draining power?" Riley asked.
"No, no," Rush said quickly, "if I'm right, the gate should begin to dial any moment." And he was correct.
"How did you know that?" Scott asked.
"The ship, detected a stargate, on a planet, within range, that may have what we need."
"What?!" Young demanded. "How the hell are there even stargates out here?"
"The Ancients sent out a number of unmanned ships ahead of this one. They're programmed to gather data, resources, to manufacture stargates and deposit them on habitable worlds. Any relevant information is relayed back here to help plot the course."
"Are you telling me that this ship knows we're in trouble?" Young
"Yes, because I told it, we were." Rush said quickly. "Essentially, we're flying in auto-pilot. This ship may have stopped when it was in range of a stargate, regardless of our need. But I have reason to believe," everyone flinched at the wave of water rushed towards them, before going back to the gate, the puddle formed in the circle.
"So, what we need is on the other side of that wormhole?" Young asked.
"An educated guess?" Rush said. "Yes."
"Only one way to find out." Young said.
Riley interjected, "Sir, you can't do that. We have no way of knowing what's on the other side."
'I'm so not going through that again. No way.'
"We can use the Kino to find out," Eli said quickly.
"I expect that's the purpose of this device." Rush said.
Eli sent the Kino through the gate.
"I'm getting readings over here," Park said.
"What have we got?" Young asked.
"Temperature, gravity, atmosphere composition, barometric pressure," Park said.
Riley continued, "... oxygen, nitrogen, very little CO2, extremely low humidity. Habitable, but just barely."
Brody looked up from the other terminal, "It looks like four other addresses came up here too." Rush frowns and looks over his shoulder, "They could be other planets within range. Maybe we should think about dialling them up and-"
Rush interrupted him, "No, no, no. They're locked out. The ship chose this one, the Stargate is open. All we have to do is step through."
"What we have to do is put a team together," Young stated.
"Doctor Rush." Brody called as he pointed to the illuminated panel above the door.
"Looks like our time might be limited." Rush said.
"What is it?"
"It's a countdown. Just over twelve hours left."
"What happens then?" Young asked.
"I suspect we jump back into FTL," rush replied.
Harry stayed back in the corner of the room, just watching as they argued over who was going and as they packed their supplies up. By the time the group was ready to go, Harry was leaning against the railing on the upper deck of the control room. He tried not to flinch as the gate was activated again.
When they were ready to go Scott said over his shoulder to the colonel, "We'll be back sir."
"Good luck," Young said.
Scott was the first through the gate, followed by Eli, Greer, the scientists Palmer and Franklin, and a soldier called Curtis. Rush was the last through.
'I wonder where they've put those instructional videos that Eli was talking about…'
I know that most of the military on board are the Air Force, but Harry's not to know that, so he's thinking army to himself. And yes, T.J.'s a medic, not a doctor, but once again, Harry doesn't know that.
Air (part three) will be up in the next few days.
Reviews are always appreciated.