SGA Rising

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Adoremus, CH I

The Chevrons of the Stargate lit up in sequence, the bright blue light that signified activation dancing around the large stone ring with comfortable regularity.  

John crossed his arms, waiting a little impatiently as the fifth, then sixth, then seventh Chevron locked into place.  A millisecond later burst of water-like matter exploded from the center of the ring, settling into a shimmering, vertical pool. 

Three figures parted the gateway only moments later, the head a beautiful woman with auburn hair, trailed by two Genii soldiers.  She paused on the Gateroom floor, her eyes dancing around the room until they caught sight of him standing up near the dialing control, her face lighting up with a lovely smile. 

“Commander Serrana and the Genii party have arrived, sir,” said Chuck, over the intercom to Richard Woolsey. 

“Tell him I got this,” John whispered to the tech.  Chuck smiled coyly back at him, but John could care less.  He tripped down the steps, reaching for Mayel’s extended hand as she neared him on the landing. 

“Colonel Sheppard,” she said softly.  “Good morning.” 

“Good morning to you, too,” he replied, squeezing her hand.  The staff were already poring them over with eager and interested eyes, so there was little more he could do in plain sight.  But hopefully what he was saying was enough to indicate his gladness at seeing her.  “Mayel.” 


“We have four planets remaining in this quadrant,” Mayel gestured towards the schematic Rodney had pulled up, “which need to be linked into our system.  We figured that with your technology, you would be able to equip them much more easily than some of our more antiquated systems.” 

Rodney snorted, earning him disdainful looks from all of the Genii, Woolsey, and Colonel Sheppard. 

“What?”  He replied.  “I agree with her.” 

“The first is a planet that has been known to us for some time,” she continued, ignoring Rodney, “agrarian, and they keep to themselves, mostly.” 

“Like the Genii kept to themselves?” Rodney couldn’t help pointing out.  Every time someone brought up an innocuous description of some agricultural race he was reminded of Sora and her stupid peasant dress.  

Teyla’s eyes widened and Sheppard’s narrowed, and Rodney responded by shrugging.  “What?” 

“I may point out that the chances of the Genii failing to discover another race that operates in the same manner as the Genii are rather slim,” Serrana responded, with a quirky smile.  

Rodney could think of nothing to say to that.  Sheppard’s glare had been wiped away, replaced by an admiring grin. 


“If you would begin with them, located here,” she pressed the button on the display, zooming into a small, light blue planet in the star system.   Her ability to master Lantean technology had really improved.  “Then we will precede you with the others and inform them of the plans of the Coalition and why we wish to establish communications with them on a regular basis.” 

“Consider it done,” Sheppard said, earning him a glare from Woolsey and a disparaging look from Teyla. 

“As soon as we’ve scouted and been assured of safe passage,” Woolsey amended.  Sheppard glanced at him, but said nothing more, probably to his benefit.  The Expedition head was not amused by the cooperation with the Coalition suddenly so vehemently supported by Sheppard. 

“Any help you may give will be appreciated, Mr. Woolsey,” said Mayel, with her most brilliant smile.  Woolsey responded with a sort of goofy half-grin.


“Then let’s go survey a planet,” said John, slapping his hand upon the table.  




John blinked twice in the bright light of the afternoon sunshine as the wormhole shut down behind them.  Based on Mayel’s report, the area around the Stargate wasn’t inhabited and shouldn’t pose a problem for them. 

Teyla and Ronon marched up alongside him, their eyes scanning the land around them.  Rodney brought up the rear, tapping on a life signs detector. 

“Village should be a klick and a half that way,” John remarked, pointing towards the north.  The Pegasus natives barely acknowledged him; they stepped forward and started moving in that direction. 

John frowned, waiting as Rodney lagged behind, tapping his toy.  “You notice something different about them?” 

“Huh?”  Rodney stopped his tapping for a moment.  “Who?” 

“Teyla and Ronon.  They been acting weird lately?” 

“Weird?”  McKay thought for a minute.  “Teyla’s been spending a lot more time with Heightmeyer recently.   In a hanging out kind of way, not a ‘I need more attention for my psychological health kinda way’,” he quickly added, at John’s alarmed expression.  “Though considering that whole ‘change your fate’ stuff she just went through, maybe that’s not a bad thing.  As far as Ronon goes, I don’t know.” 

“It’s not like him not to be talkative.” 

Rodney looked at him in disbelief. 

“I mean, you know, not as talkative for Ronon.” 

“Well, maybe if you spent more time with them and less with the Genii liaison,” he said, exaggerating the pronunciation of the last word, “you’d know if something weird was going on.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” 

“I’m just saying,” Rodney said, sounding suddenly and aggravatingly calm and rational, “that if you start hanging out with your girlfriend more than us, you’re gonna miss out on a few things.  That’s all.” 

John stopped the meandering pace, frowning.  “She’s not my girlfriend.  And I’m not not hanging out with you guys.  That much.” 

Rodney shrugged.  “Fine.  Whatever.”  He continued walking and returned to tapping on his machine. 

John remained where he was for a moment, thinking over Rodney’s last remark, then jogged to catch up with him.  “That’s it?  Just ‘fine, whatever’?  Isn’t this the part where you’re supposed to stop and argue with me?” 


Why?  Because…that’s what you…always…” he blinked, looking over Rodney, who was studying him with a weird look on his face.  “You know what, never mind.” 

“Okay, then.”  Rodney pushed past him, his focus on the land ahead. 

For some reason, that was about as dissatisfying a response from McKay as the arguments.  “And I don’t spend that much time with Mayel.” 


“I DON’T.” 


John sighed in frustration.  “Teyla and Ronon as bothered by this as much as you are?” 

“For the last time, I’m NOT bothered by it!  Geez!  And as far as Teyla and Ronon are concerned, I’m not sure, you’ll have to ask THEM.”  He moved on, returning to the life signs detector and moving pretty fast, for McKay at least. 

John watched him go, suddenly feeling much less enthusiastic for team time than he had in a long while. 



By the time Rodney and John reached the village, Teyla and Ronon had already met the tribal leaders and made the necessary introductions. 

The Elder, the leader of the tribe, was a woman in her middle age who greeted them kindly and offered them rest and food.  They were seated in a central meeting hut less than an hour later, along with a sort of tribal council composed of four adults and the Elder herself. 

“We met your friends a few days ago,” the Elder said.  “They spoke of your arrival and the need for our tribe to join them in their fight against the Wraith.  But as we told them, we have no wish to do this.” 

“The Wraith have not bothered us for a very long time,” said one of the councilmen.  “We see no reason to invite them to our doorstep by defying them now.” 

“And you just assume they’re going to leave you alone?” asked Ronon.  The councilman made a face. 

“They have not yet caused us a problem,” the Elder said sweetly.  “We know of the danger.  But they have never been a direct threat to us.” 

“They will be,” Ronon said.  “And sooner than you think.” 

“That is your opinion,” said the Elder, in that same sappy-sweet voice.  “We do not think the same.” 

“The Wraith have become prolific among our stars,” said Teyla, her tone gentle but firm.  “They are a force that can no longer be ignored.  Whether they will find you is no longer a question.  It is simply a matter of when.  What the Coalition of planets seeks to do is prepare you for such an attack with a strategic plan of escape and a method of contacting them should you need assistance.” 

“But we would be subject to their choices as far as these rescue methods and communication methods are concerned, would we not?  They would control our means of survival.”  The Elder shook her head.  “This I cannot allow for my people.  I will not place their safety in the hands of others, especially ones such as the Genii.  We know of their ways, too.” 

“The Genii are not the only ones involved here,” John said.  “The Coalition itself is composed of a number of your fellow…planets…who’ve suffered because of the Wraith.” 

“My people, of Athos, are a part,” said Teyla.  “And many others like us, whose sole desire is to live in peace and find a way to raise our children without fear of culling by the Wraith.  We do not ask you to participate in the decisions of the Coalition, nor do we expect you to follow their methods if you do not wish to.  All we ask is that you help us be aware of the Wraith progress, and in doing so provide your people some protection should they strike.” 

“What would the measures be to affect this?” the woman asked, drawing surprised looks from the rest of her council.  

“One of these,” said John, pulling a small square box out of a knapsack.  “This a communication device.  We’d leave it here, somewhere in your village, and if the Wraith attack,” he flipped it open, revealing a series of crystals connected to a button, “you hit the switch.” 

“There will be a device in orbit that will pick up the signal and beam it out,” McKay continued.  “We’ll have devices in many parts of the galaxy, er, stars, and either they, or the long range sensors on Atlantis, will pick up the alert.” 

“Long range sensors?” asked the woman. 

“Super ears,” John said, with a sort of smile.  Both Teyla and Ronon gave him flat looks. 

“Technology that will allow us to detect your alarm,” said Teyla, returning her gaze to the Elder after a moment.  

“It’ll also transmit through the Stargate—Sacred Ring—should you manage to open it,” Rodney said.  

“It seems to me such a device would be something the Wraith could sense as well,” said another councilwoman.  

“Contrary to popular opinion, the Wraith are not all powerful,” said Rodney.  “We use transmission signals they wouldn’t know to pick up on, and the devices are so small not even their sensors would see them.” 

“You’d be perfectly safe,” said John. 

“But with a system in place that would allow you to seek Coalition assistance, should you need it,” added Teyla. 

“How long would these devices take to put in place?” the Elder asked. 

“We’d have a tech here with a team putting up the communication sensor.  Another team’d be in the air around you planet in a Lantean ship, planting your orbiting… the same time.  No more than a couple of hours,” John replied. 

“And then you would leave us alone—not bother us unless we summoned you?”  said the Elder. 

John raised an eyebrow and glanced at Teyla, who met his gaze with a shrug.  “Sure.  Not until you needed us.” 

“Then I agree to this plan,” said the Elder, who rose quickly.  “And I thank the Coalition for their concern for my people.  When will your people do this work?” 

“Uh, within the next few days?” John replied, pulling to his feet.  The remainder of the council watched them in surprise as she smiled and nodded, encouraging the rest of John’s team to rise and clasping their hands warmly.  Rodney took that as a cue to head towards the door, Ronon following behind, but Teyla lingered long enough to draw closer to John. 

That was a better sign. 

As they exited into the bright sunlight, she rose on tiptoe to whisper to him.  “They accepted these measures quite quickly.” 

“Too quickly,” John replied, sliding on his sunglasses and taking a covert look around.  “Something’s up.” 

Teyla’s eyes darted around the small huts, her gaze passing across the tribal people who watched them curiously but not nervously.  They went about their business, the quiet, ordered nature of the place seeming very peaceful. 

The Elder and her council exited the hut and both Teyla and John straightened.  

“We will expect to see you tomorrow, then?” asked the Elder, as the councilmen nodded and smiled behind her. 

“We’ll be sending a crew over here,” John said.  “Thanks for your cooperation.” 

“It is our pleasure,” said the woman.  “We can show you the way to the ring, or…” 

“We know our way home,” John replied. 

Rodney and Ronon were waiting at the edge of the village.  As they gathered together, John taking the lead, Rodney pocketed his life signs detector. 

“That was easy,” he said cheerfully. 

“Yeah,” John said.  “It was.” 

“You think they’re up to something?”  The smile dropped from McKay’s face.  “Of course you think they’re up to something.” 

“Too quiet,” John repeated, for McKay’s benefit. 

“Quiet?  Normally we have to worry about things exploding in our faces and you’re now concerned because it is too quiet?  Who doesn’t appreciate a little peace and quiet every now and again?” 

“When it’s natural, normal quiet, nobody.  When it’s weird, eerie quiet, everybody.” 

“How is this not natural, normal quiet?”  Rodney glanced back in the direction where the village was located.  “Everything seemed nice and orderly to me.” 

“That’s the problem,” Ronon said, arms crossed.  “Villages aren’t supposed to be orderly.” 

“Well this one was, and I sorta liked it.” 

“I’m not surprised,” Ronon replied.  “It was missing something I couldn’t see you missing.” 

Rodney stopped, wrinkling his face in disdain.  “And what is that, exactly?” 

“Kids,” the Satedan replied, pushing past the scientist, and leaving John and Teyla staring behind him surprise. 


 “There were no children?” asked Richard, staring at them from across the conference room table. 

“Sounds like a very pleasant place to me,” remarked Doctor Zelenka. 

Sheppard acknowledged Zelenka’s statement with a smirk, but shook his head.  “Wasn’t noticeable at first, until Ronon pointed it out.  But it’s true—no kids in the village.” 

“I should have noticed it myself,” said Teyla quietly. 

“You had a lot on your mind,” said Ronon.  Sheppard frowned, looking between them for a moment, and then turned back to Richard. 

“Point is, it warrants further investigation,” the colonel said. 

“And how do we know this isn’t customary for these people?” asked McKay.  “What if all their kids were in school or something?” 

“Infants?” John said.  “Toddlers?” 

“Daycare?” Rodney offered up.  Teyla threw him a disdaining look. 

“The whole thing’s very Temple of Doom-ish,” Sheppard said.  Richard wasn’t quite sure what that referred to, but if he had to harbor a guess it would be a movie. 

“So what are we supposed to do?  Go back there and demand they let us know what happened to their children?”  McKay asked.  “Not exactly the best way to ensure their cooperation.” 

“It isn’t our business anyway,” said Richard.  Both Teyla and Ronon looked at him in surprise, as did Sheppard, but he shrugged.  “We are not the police force of the Pegasus galaxy.  We’ve earned neither the right nor the responsibility to investigate why this tribe is different from traditional tribal cultures if they have not asked for our help.” 

“But if someone is taking these kids and the tribe is too afraid to stop it, don’t we have a moral responsibility to figure out what’s going on?”  Sheppard said. 

Richard shook his head.  “No, Colonel Sheppard.  We don’t.  We start questioning what’s morally acceptable in this galaxy without provocation and we open up a can of worms we don’t need to open.” 

“I think that can of worms was opened a long time ago,” John replied.  “If that little courtroom drama from last year is any indication.  I thought that was the whole point of working with the Coalition in the first place.” 

“There’s a difference between direct or even inadvertent action as a result of measures taken to protect our people—or even people who ask for our protection—and stepping in to investigate a situation that has nothing to do with us.  The simple fact is they have not asked for our help, and they only accepted the communication device measure because it is a proposal of the Coalition’s, not Atlantis.  Now whether they want to do something about this situation—that will have to be a discussion they need to bring to us, and then we can decide how much we want to be involved—once we know how much they’re willing to involve us.” 

Teyla shifted in irritation at this statement, her face showing her displeasure, but there was nothing more Richard could say.  This was the point of Coalition involvement and the sacrifices Atlantis had to make in playing by their rules. 

“What if we send someone in to just check around?” asked Ronon.  “Make ‘em believe we’re just installing the device and have them scout?” 

Richard glanced over at him.  The idea had some merit, but… 

“We’ve already told them we’re sending teams in Jumpers to oversee the communication device installations.  We just throw someone in there who would look completely inconspicuous sniffing around.” 

“Like who?” 

“How about a doctor?” asked Sheppard. 

“Absolutely not,” Rodney nearly yelled.  “Jennifer’s done enough in the last few months without getting in the way of a planetary kidnapping ring!” 

“What happened to the day care theory?” Zelenka asked him, slightly amused. 

“Perhaps Doctor Beckett would consider it?” asked Teyla.  “He is more accustomed to travelling and to dealing with new and difficult cultures.” 

Richard thought for a moment, contemplating.  The rest of the team looked upon him with patient interest. 

“Very well,” he said finally.  “We’ll ask Doctor Beckett if he’ll consider it.  But this isn’t a reconnaissance mission.  He’s just going in there to see if the villagers need any medical assistance, and see if he can pick up on why the village was so quiet.  Hopefully it’ll be nothing more than taking a few additional measures to keep their children safe.” 

“Who’s the tech on the mission gonna be?  He or she should probably know what’s up,” said John, as the group rose from the table. 

Richard flipped through his folder for a moment.  “Amelia Banks.” 

Ronon stopped mid-rise.  “Amelia’s going off-world?” 

“She’s been going off-world for more than a month now, doing the majority of the Coalition installs.  She’s become quite proficient.  I thought you knew about that.” 

The expression on the Satedan’s face told Richard otherwise.  He pulled to his full height and turned to Sheppard.  “You know about this?” 

“Yes,” John returned with a shrug.  “Figured she told you.” 

“She didn’t.” 

“Then that’s something you’re going to have to take up with her, buddy,” said Sheppard.  Rodney, Zelenka and Teyla moved past them, the Athosian casting a timid look at Ronon before leaving the room.  John turned to follow.  “She’s doing her job and it’s not my place to say anything to anyone otherwise.” 

“Of course it’s not,” Ronon returned, his tone sharp.  Richard watched him go, then cast a meaningful look at Sheppard, who shrugged.  

“It’s been sort of a difficult day,” he said. 

“It’s been sort of a difficult year,” Richard retorted. 


Amelia snapped the last clip on her TAC vest, checking the materials pocketed within to make sure she wasn’t missing anything.  Installation of the communication devices typically took only a few minutes, but since this installation was to drag out a little while longer due to Doctor Beckett’s ‘attendance’, she wanted to make sure she had enough to look like she was being convincing. 

Carson came up alongside her with a smile.  “Ready?” 

She smiled back.  “Always.” 

“I’m still not sure exactly what it is I’m supposed to do here.  If they refuse my services, I can’t exactly go snooping about hoping to find a bunch of little ones.” 

“Colonel Sheppard said to just treat it like you’re a ‘surprise’ benefit and tied to us,” said Major Evan Lorne, moving up alongside them.  “If you can’t go anywhere don’t worry about it…leave it up to us.” 

“Besides, I might need a good wingman to help with mounting this thing,” Amelia returned, hefting the small device into her pack.  “Can always use another set of hands.” 

“I’ve seen you work with those things and the last thing you need is help,” Carson replied.  “But if that’s the excuse, I’ve got no problem getting my fingers dirty.” 

“Good to know, Doc,” said Lorne.  “We’re scheduled to depart in five.” 

“Got it,” Amelia said, as he moved past her.  Carson watched her hoist the pack onto her back. 

“Don’t need any help?” 

She eyed the large medical pack on his back.  “I was gonna ask you the same thing.” 

He grinned.  “Touché, I believe is what they say.” 

They turned and marched towards the exit; as they turned the corner they nearly barreled into Ronon, who was leaning up against the outer part of the doorframe.  Carson immediately threw a look to Amelia, who slowed her pace.  

“See you at the gate,” the doctor said.  “Ronon.” 

Amelia returned Carson’s wave as Ronon nodded at him.  When he turned back to her she adjusted her shoulder pack, setting up on her back more securely.  “What’s up?” 

He eyed her for a moment.  “When were you going to tell me you were doing missions now?” 

“I’m not doing missions,” she said.  “I’m going on installation runs.  They take about fifteen minutes and it’s not like we’re going into unscouted territory.” 

“They’re still off-world.” 

“They’re in rural villages.” 

“Where the Wraith could show up.” 

She sighed, and started marching down the hall.  “I can take care of myself, Ronon.” 

“That’s not the point.”  He reached out and grabbed her arm gently.  “Why wouldn’t you want to tell me you were doing this?” 

“Was I supposed to tell you?”  She shook out of his grip. 

His eyes widened in surprise.  “Well, no.  But…” 


“I just thought…” 

“Thought what?  That we were at a point where we’re supposed to be reporting in to each other daily?  Then maybe you ought to return the favor and try it sometime, ” she replied, starting to walk again.  

He remained where he was for a few seconds, then jogged to catch up with her quick strides.  “I don’t not tell you things intentionally.  Sometimes I can’t, sometimes…”

“It’s not the missions, Ronon.  I understand I’m not supposed to know about those.  But you don’t want to talk about anything.  Not what you did today, not what you did yesterday…not even what you were like ten years ago.” 

“Ten years ago?  What does that have to do with anything?” 

“It’s your history.  It’s how you got to be…you.  It’s something that, generally, people share with one another when they’re…” she trailed off, then shook her head.  “Never mind.” 

He sounded puzzled.  “That’s all in the past.  Doesn’t matter anymore.”  

She paused, turning to him.  “Not everything that’s in the past is irrelevant, Ronon.  Your childhood—your family on Sateda?  Whatever life you lived before you were forced to become a runner?” 

Ronon frowned.  “That’s personal.” 

She narrowed her eyes.  “It’s all going to be personal.  Whatever this is,” she gestured between them, “this is personal.  You can’t keep the ‘old’ personal and the ‘new’ personal separate, unless you don’t want ‘this’ to be anything more than what it is.  And what it is right now?  Is not important enough for me to let you in on everything I do, or who I am, or who I was before this.  You get from me exactly what I get from you, which at the moment, is very little.” 

She turned and walked away from him, clenching her fist. 

Not to her surprise, he didn’t follow.

>>> Proceed to Chapter II

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