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28 September 2006 @ 08:36 pm
SGA Fic: Five Ways the World Ends  
loriel_eris was driving me crazy keeping me busy by introducing me to the wonder that is the 'Five Things' meme. That's right, she's been emailing me hundreds of 'Five Things' in an effort to keep herself amused. Thanks, Lori...I now have even more fics I have to finish! *mock glare*

Anyway, I actually managed to finish one and, because I expect her to give me instant gratification on it (it's all her fault, after all!), I'm hoping to get online briefly and email this to her. She's got my LJ password and is going to post this for me and then, as payment for writing it for her, she's going to plug it for me...

*pokes Lori*

Right?



Okay, so I still don't have a name for this. It's one of the few times I've ever played within the universe of Stargate Atlantis and I actually really like it. In fact, I want to play more. I don't think this was what Lori had in mind when she sent me this particular challenge and I know she was expecting five seperate responses, as opposed to five POVs from within the same universe, but she'll just have to cope!



Five Ways the World Ends
If you can think of a nice title for the universe, I'm all ears people!

'Stargate Atlantis' and all related items do not belong to me. Only the Story and its related original ideas and characters are mine. No copyright infringement intended.

There are no specific spoilers in this.

Oh, yeah, and it's complete and utter ANGST.





One: Shouldering the Burden


It didn’t happen suddenly, the end of the world, but in many ways I almost wish it had. They swarmed around us like locusts, drawing life more painfully than the Wraith and playing more cruelly. They toyed with us and tore our lives apart as the unfortunate wished they were next. If they were next they wouldn’t have to watch.

I watched until the very end.

The world in which I lived was never meant to be a home, was never meant to be anything but an adventure, an exploration to the beyond. It always used to amuse me that the high-to-do’s way back on Earth never even considered that it would be so much more that that, but it was. For a long time it was the only place we all felt like we really belonged.

My mother once told me that if I ever wanted to get anywhere I had to be the one to make it happen; I had to reach out and grab it for myself and hold on ‘til I got what I wanted. Personally, I think my dad had a lot of influence on the latter part of that statement. He always said I could do anything I wanted. Never once did I doubt that I could.

Glancing around the darkened hallway, I almost find it hard to remember when this place had once been bright and full of life. It’s almost as if the entire city is dead...no, it’s exactly like that. Atlantis died and I’m not sure if the city went first or the people. I don’t really think it matters, because the truth is that we were all a part of the city and I feel so utterly lost without it; without them.

My hand twitches by my side as I try to decide whether or not my heart could take it if temptation proves fruitless. I want so much to reach out and call inside the city, to have it awaken under my touch and let it sing around me. I just don’t know what would be worse: if Atlantis remained silent, or if she answered, bereft as I feel.

Almost of its own violation, my hand reaches for the door panel and I suddenly wonder when and how I got here. I have one purpose in returning to the remains of my home, but I suddenly wonder if it’s the one I thought I had.

The door hisses open and I can’t help jumping back. The city is still dormant around me, but I can feel the buzz of power where it answered my call. Cautiously, I step inside, almost as if something might suddenly come at me and take me by surprise. It’s happened before and I’ve been alone ever since. The rooms are empty. I didn’t really expect much else, but then I didn’t really think I’d be here, walking like a ghost through the home I’ll never have again.

I can’t face looking at the pictures on the wall and I don’t want to take stock of the red top haphazardly thrown over the back of the chair, or the boots in the corner, or the bear on the couch, or the half cup of what was once coffee that’s still sitting on the desk.

It’s hard to look around when I’m trying not to see the life that was taken from me.

There’s a blank-screened laptop sitting open on the coffee table and a small notebook sitting next to it. I remember the years I spent wishing I could dive into those pages, to finally understand her in a way I never could. Suddenly I want to remember.

The first entries are new to me, a time that means so little, especially now; new surroundings, new faces, a time before the Wraith became but a distant memory. It seems so fresh through her eyes, but she’s not the person I knew in my heart. This is who she was before and, even if I never understood her, I loved her for the person she was.

I skip forward to the last entry, wincing briefly when I see the date marked at the top: 10-05-18AD. The day before my entire world ended. AD used to have a different meaning, but it’s hard for me to imagine when it didn’t signal the point where Atlantis and its people were truly alone, the point after the Deadalus made its final trip. We all carried the blame equally, or it would be a burden left to the people we needed to trust in order to survive. We all shouldered the blame, because to do any less would tarnish the sacrifice of everyone on board.

As if the thought gives me purpose, I quickly walk into the main bedroom, finding it easier not to focus on the ghosts around me. It’s exactly where it was the last time I looked at it. The memory of that night so long ago is not mine, but I alone carry the burden now and it’s my job to bring them all home.

The piece of metal is faded and rough. The edges cut into my hands, but I barely notice as it finally pulls free. I trace the edges of the letters, knowing it’s only a small part of what was salvaged, but it’s the only part I remember and the faded letters ‘Deada-’ are enough.

I pull my pack from my shoulders and place it in the space that previously held a ZPM. It seems almost wrong that it’s larger than the part of Atlantis I’m taking with me, but I know the others would want it that way. Atlantis lives inside me, but the Deadalus is gone.

It’s time to take them both home.

I glance around the room one last time. It’s almost comforting that it’s the sight of ‘War and Peace’ still lying open on the bed that breaks me.


*

I never thought I’d see my home this scarred and broken. The metal should be cold beneath my bare feet, but what’s left of the City is slowly coming to life around me and I can feel nothing but memories. These hallways were once full of people, full of life, and I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

All that’s left are empty, broken corridors and a thousand ghosts.

The room lights up as I enter and I can’t help smiling as the blue lights brighten the stairway. I have so many memories that it’s hard to know that the final time I see my home is like this: battered, broken, and empty.

I walk down the stairs and can’t help glancing up behind me...but there’s no one there to wave me off and I’m not coming home this time. Atlantis is dead under the water once more and my final destination has a certain irony to it. I’m sure the guys on back on Earth will excuse me if I fail to appreciate that.

With the flick of my hand the Stargate lights up and I almost smile in remembrance. The first time I did that I caused mass hysteria. I just thought it was kind of cool.

I glance behind me again, listening as the ‘Gate dials up. If I look hard enough, I can almost see them all waving me off. I can almost hear them wishing me well. They only ever wanted me to stay safe and I’m suddenly ashamed of how hard I tried to join them when they all left me scared and alone. This is what they wanted; it’s what they had been waiting for.

I tried for so long to get to this point, to make this happen for them and, now that it’s here, I feel so lost. I don’t have anything to take back with me but answers they won’t like and I don’t know what to expect when I get there...for all I know there isn’t a there to get to anymore.

I smile at them, the ghosts that are watching me. I can’t say goodbye to them, but I can smile even if my heart is breaking; my father taught me how. One face stands apart from the others, clearer, but further away and it almost kills me to see him amongst them, to know that he too is gone for good. When he calls my name, I can almost believe he’s really here.

I hear the ‘whoosh’ of the wormhole and turn to face it, trying to persuade myself that anything has to be better than the nothing I have left here. I hold up the small device I was shown so long ago and send a code that might end with me walking into a metal wall.

I clutch at the tattered book I retrieved, knowing that one day I’ll finish it for him, when I’m stuck with the realisation that I don’t have anything to say. They don’t know me, don’t even know I exist. All I have are some answers they might have been waiting for for twenty years. I know that I have to try. Because it’s what they would have wanted.

Every single one of them.

Maybe I should just keep it simple. Dad always preferred things that way and, in the long run, I think Mom felt the same. So maybe I’ll just tell them the truth.

My name’s Sarah Sheppard and my world ended when I alone survived.


*


Two: The Greater Good


I’m trying to pretend my hand isn’t shaking, because if I pretend for long enough it might be true. I’m jittery at the best of times, I’m well aware of that, but I think it’s fairly reasonable to understand why this is different.

I’m used to solving problems, well the ones I create myself tend to be harder to fix, but other people’s problems are easy. I’m good with fixing things, it’s my job, it’s one of the few things I have in my life that I’ve yet to screw up. It’d be nice to go out with a clean slate in at least one area, but I can’t solve this, I can’t fix it, and it’s one hell of a black mark against my name.

I’m well aware that it’s not my call, that this decision isn’t mine to make, but I can see them all looking at me. They’re staring at me and willing me to fix this, to save them all. But I can’t. I don’t know how.

Wow, it took a lot for me to admit that. I wonder if this is what hysteria feels like; nerves and fluttering and sneezing and hiccups and shortness of breath. I think it might be.

The hallways are eerily silent, but not empty and I think that might be what makes it so frightening. We’re all trapped in a large tin can floating through space and we can’t get out. Somehow that’s not as frightening as knowing it might all be for nothing.

It doesn’t really matter which way we turn, because either way leads to a fight we can’t win. At least with Atlantis we have a chance of saving them along the way, but if we head for home we could die for nothing. Earth seems so far away, seems like a distant dream, and I can’t think about it, or I’ll realise I’m going to die amongst people I never really let myself know properly. I know it’s my own fault. I have a tendency to build walls around myself and I like it best that way. Or I did until this moment.

A voice echoes around us; the Captain of the ship calling out to his crew one last time; he tells of a heroic deed and a sacrifice that has to be made. The silence and pain around me isn’t because we don’t agree with him, it’s not that we wouldn’t make the same decision in his place...it’s because we would. I would. I would make the same choice, but that doesn’t change the fact that I failed to get us out of this.

That silence is because we’re all wishing for a miracle. The pain is the knowledge that it’ll never happen.

I wish I could stop thinking about how I’m failing them all, but I have to, because if I don’t think about how I’ve failed the people on this ship around me, about how I failed the small grey alien who might just be the only real friend I have on board...if I don’t think about how I failed them, I might just think about the others who mean so much more. The few people I love on Earth and Atlantis are worth it. The survival of the human race is worth it. It’s the people on the ship I’ve failed and at least I know I’ll remember that in my final moments. I don’t have to live with my failure. I get to die because of it. Somehow, I almost feel as if I should have to live with it.

I guess its punishment enough that I get to be the one to hit the button: I can’t save us, but I get to be the one to destroy us.

I know the Colonel would do it if I asked, but I won’t. It’s my penance and that’s all I can think about. Because if I stop, I’ll find myself wondering about the people we’re leaving behind. I’ll find myself wondering about how Barker’s fiancé will feel when he’s not at the church on Saturday. I’ll spend time wondering how O’Reilly’s daughter did in her SAT’s and if her future will be happy without her mother, or how Andrews’ husband will cope with their little girls. I glance around the room and try to smile as I wonder how Dr. Murphy feels about all those ‘Sod’s Law’ jokes now. It’s not funny, really, but I almost wish I could laugh.

The room seems full and I realise that almost everyone’s here. I’m failing us, failing them all, and they’re here...to support me. It’s our final moment and I can hear a faint rustle of breath over the comm. The people on the bridge aren’t with us in person, but they’re all here. We choose to make this decision together and, as much as it must be my penance to take us that final step, I think I’m stronger for having them with me. They’re here for me, for us...for Atlantis. I almost wish I was on the bridge looking down at the city, just a brief reminder of why we’re fighting.

I take my station and try not to react to the relief on Speirs’ face as he’s relieved of his position. The small marks on the screen continue to move closer together and it’s almost hard to believe that the smallest one is us. I sometimes wonder if the human race would choose to stay alone and secluded on Earth if they’d known the price of their exploration. As a scientist I think I’d say we make the right decision every day, because it’s in our nature to be curious, but as a person...I don’t think I’m quite so sure anymore.

I sneeze then hiccup loudly and the nervous laughter in the room and over the comm. is almost enough to sooth some of my nerves. I know them all by name, the whole ship. I could tell you who they are and how they live. I could name their families and their pets. But not one of them could do the same for me. Lyndsay Novak is a stranger to them and, as that final order comes in, as I enter the sequence to end it all...I take a moment to wonder how long it’ll be before someone realises there’s a little boy out there waiting for the mother who’ll never come home.


*

Three: Shades of Bravery


I’m conscious enough to remember that it wasn’t supposed to be like this. The world wasn’t supposed to fade around me in flashes of colour and sound and light. I wasn’t supposed to be hiding in the trees on a planet millions of miles from home.

I wasn’t supposed to die alone.

It should have been my right as much as theirs to ‘go down with the ship’. An archaic practice, but I understand the necessity of it all now: someone has to be there when it goes wrong, someone has to be there to make sure it gets done.

It should have been me.

I have lived my life in the shadow of others, but I place myself there gladly. I’m happy to be the one in the background, because it’s there that you learn, that you observe what everything is really about. I didn’t choose this life to be a hero, it’s not who I am, but just this once I would have liked the opportunity to try. I suppose it’s only right that I was waiting here in the background to take over when the real hero faded.

The sky is darkening around me, I suppose it could be my eyes closing, but either way the darkness brings death. The world around me is full of strange noises, odd clicking sounds almost like the cock of a gun. If I were not truly alone I might think I was being rescued, but we all gave up hope of that a long time ago. There is no one left on Atlantis and Earth seems so long ago it might as well have been a dream.

Turning slowly onto my side I only briefly wonder why I continue to torture myself like this, but I have to see her one last time. I want her to be the last thing I see. I never got to tell her how I felt until the very end and I suppose the fact that she already knew should be comforting, but all I feel is an ache over all the time we wasted. I have no one to live for anymore, but somehow it hurts more that I didn’t live for the one person I loved when I had the chance.

Her face is pale and bruised, but I can see her more clearly in my mind anyway, so it doesn’t really matter how she looks now. She will always be perfect in my mind. I only wish I had had the time to learn her flaws and to love them as just as much as I love her perfections.

I can almost see our lives as they should have been; together, just the two of us until we were older and greyer. It’s right that she’s by my side, but we should have died together and we should have been able to live a full and happy life together. It would have been just the two of us, together until the end. I’ve never wanted to be a father; I spent too long caring for my sister who was so much younger than I. I feel I have raised the only person in the world I would ever want to and my time would have been spent best just loving the one person. I lost my sister a long time ago, but I wonder if she will ever receive my final message to her, I wonder if she will ever think of me and wish we had parted on better terms.

I force my eyes open, barely aware of the tears on my cheek, and pull myself closer to her. The device is still clutched tightly in her fingers and I cannot bear to pry them apart. I wrap my arms around her and curl my fingers across hers.

It shouldn’t be long now. I only have to hold on for a little longer...until they come.

The clicking noises are getting closer, the sounds coming together to create a strange humming that almost shakes the earth beneath us. I won’t look to the skies, I will not search the trees, because I don’t want to see them coming. I want to watch her and I want to wonder if my final words will ever reach Earth. They will mean nothing to the saving of Atlantis nor will they tell of how She fell, but that is how it should be, because I was only there to watch and to help those who are meant to say those words. I have only ever been a hero to the one person my words are meant for and I can only hope they are enough to mend the pedestal I broke.

As the light around me finally fades into total darkness, I gently press a kiss to her cheek and squeeze her clenched hands. I can hear the explosions begin, can feel the ground shaking beneath me. I don’t care that Radek Zalenka will never go down in history, will never be remembered as a hero, because the only thing that matters is that I was here, waiting in the background, to catch her when she fell.



*


Four: When the Bough Breaks


I can hear them screaming. Their voices echo in my head and I can’t decide whether or not it’s worse that I can hear them crying out for me. I want to be with them, I want to hold them and protect them, and tell them that everything is going to be all right. I want them to know that I love them...I want to stop hearing their voices break in agony.

I know that I’m supposed to hear; I know that’s what They want. They want to break me, They want to make me watch, but nothing could get me to open my eyes right now. I don’t think I could if I wanted to, because the only thing I can still distinguish amongst the painful bruising on my cheeks are the tight pains in the corners of my eyes, scrunched so tightly that I can almost pretend I can’t see it anyway.

In my head I can force out the image of their bruised and broken bodies and still remember what they looked like the day I first saw them, all tiny and pink and screaming to test out their perfect little voices. Everything was perfect; ten fingers, ten toes, and the most beautiful little eyes just staring at me as if I was the most important person in the world. Their father, in all his infinite wisdom, telling me that they couldn’t actually focus on anything, let alone me, wasn’t even enough to dispel that feeling. Even he didn’t really believe it. Because they’re our perfect little angels.

We tried long and hard to have children, I’d almost given up. I had given up. I had resigned myself to watching the others around me have the whole package and convinced myself that it was enough to have someone who loved me as much I as I loved him. It wasn’t until I found out they were really coming that I realised how much I’d been fooling myself.

The Atlantis Expedition was never meant to settle down, was never meant to become a family, but that’s exactly who and what we have been for a long time. The fight with the Wraith ended and the only connection we had with Earth was severed in the most horrific, and yet honourable, way and all we had left was each other, but even with the ache in our hearts that was enough. Because it was at that point that we all truly found each other.

I can barely remember the early years, because so much has changed since then. I look at the people we’ve become and it’s almost strange to think there was a time when we didn’t all mean this much to each other...to think of a time when living and dying for each other was a duty and not something we did instinctively, to protect our people, to protect our family.

We would all die for each other in an instant. We would die to protect the people we love. I guess we just never expected that we’d have to watch them die for us.

Another scream tears through the room; both of them at once, both of them screaming my name and I cannot deny them. I can feel a just-healed cut opening again above my eyes as I slowly pry them open. A dry sob catches in my throat at the sight of them. They clutch at each other, a lifeline, a final bond that not even our worst nightmare can break. They have each other. They are a part of each other and a part of me.

Their eyes seek mine and I can barely breathe as I’m once more transported back to that first day I ever looked upon them. Even as they are now they will always be my perfect little angels. They reach out for me and a scream tears through my over-raw throat as they’re struck.

My baby girl’s head snaps back so fast I almost break my bonds to get to her, but it’s futile. She sobs and looks at me, still clinging to her brother. They’re both so strong, so much stronger than they should ever have to be. I want to be strong for them, too.

So I sing.

Softly and brokenly and I don’t even know where the words came from; some lullaby their father sang so often in that lovably strong brogue that was tacked onto a tuneless voice. It never really mattered that he couldn’t sing, because they could hear how much he loved them just with his voice. I know they can hear the same in mine just now, even if I can barely breathe...even if they can no longer hear me. It doesn’t matter.

I’ll keep singing until I join them.

I know the nightmare will wait before turning on me physically. They’ll let me rot with my grief, but They’ll never really know that it doesn’t matter, because I’m already dead.

The sting of Their skin on mine barely registers when They start. I barely even flinch. I won’t give Them the satisfaction. I know They want me to give Them a show, I know because I’ve seen the way They work. I know Their cruelty. I know that, even if I can’t hear the one person I have left in this life, They’re making him watch. Somewhere...somewhere in this city They’re making him watch what They do to me.

But I won’t break anymore. I can’t.

There’s nothing left to break.

I can hear a voice calling out. They’re letting me hear him. They want me to scream and cry and beg...but I won’t do that anymore than he will. Even if it hurts like hell. Because Laura Beckett isn’t here anymore, she died with her children. They can’t hurt her anymore than They already have.

Because somewhere, in the back of my head, in the only part of me that’s really still alive...I can still hear my angels screaming my name.


*


Five: Five Seconds


The final strands of music filter gently through the room. I can almost picture the first time I ever heard this song, standing in the doorway as my parents danced slow circles in the centre of the room. I can’t have been older than three at the time and it’s the first thing I ever remember. I always wondered why they moved slower than the music, always wondered why it was that my mother always blushed and pretended to hate the song when I knew she loved every note.

The room is eerily quiet around me as the music stops and I reach out to turn off the stereo. There can’t be much power left in the battery and I’m suddenly glad that my parents had the sentimentality and the sense to keep a few things like this around. Things that weren’t reliant on Atlantis to function.

It was easier for the others, easier for those who had the gene and those who were old enough to have the gene therapy. My mother always insisted I wait until I was older. I waited too long and now, even if there had been power in these walls, I couldn’t access it.

I had always envied the others so much. I hated asking for help because I couldn’t open doors when they could dial up ‘Gate addresses with barely a flick of their wrist. In the end it was me who had the added edge; I wasn’t reliant on Atlantis to help me survive. I like to think that might have helped. Somehow.

I glance around the empty shell that was once my world and my heart aches; I might not have relied on it to help me, but that didn’t make Atlantis any less my home.

My father’s guitar is still lying on the desk in the corner, his favourite hat hanging on the end. When I first managed to pry the doors to our living quarters open, I almost tapped it, almost stared it rocking the way he used to. The coffee stain in the corner of the couch is still there and I can still remember my mother’s face when she saw it; that quirk of her brow that looked almost painful. That look could echo her exasperation or disappointment more than any words ever could. My father once told me, in front of her, that one look from my mother could stop a hundred marines in their tracks and her brow had quirked again. We had both laughed, but she could still silence us with a glance.

It was three days before I braved the photographs. I don’t look anymore, but I couldn’t bring myself to taint our home any further by hiding them. Even if I don’t look at them, having them around me almost makes living with their ghosts a little easier.

The room is almost untouched since the night we fled. I’ve been here for over two weeks and I still can’t bring myself to move anything, even if it kills me to see our lives lying unfinished around me. If there had been more closure, perhaps I could bring myself to believe that I’m not the only one who survived.

My heart suddenly feels heavy, as if it’s slowly being smothered inside my chest and I have to get out. I almost laugh at the thought. I’m trapped thousands of miles underwater in a broken city that I was barely able to get inside; there is no ‘out’.

The path I follow is set out before me, doors jarred open and a trail of breadcrumbs leading the way. I had the route laid open on the first night, some small, irrational part of me hoping that I might find someone when I got to the end. My parents always said that I was a dreamer, but even I didn’t think that dream would come true.

Even in my dreams I didn’t think she would really be there.

We were alone for a long time, just me and her. We were best friends our whole lives and, to me, it made sense that we would be together at the end. Even right after the evacuation, when we travelled in a group, we were still alone. That was what saved us when the others were found; we weren’t with them. We were alone, together, hiding in the trees...watching. We survived and watching was our punishment.

We spent weeks on that planet, too afraid to move in case They came for us, weeks hiding in the trees and scrounging what little food we could, because we were scared we’d be found. That was when she stopped listening to my dreams...she stopped listening, because she decided to make at least one of them real. That was how we worked; I was the dreamer, she was the doer.

I jump as a shrill sound echoes around me, taking a moment to come back to the present and calm my breathing before setting off again. Atlantis makes sounds now that it never used to, some that are muffled and others that are sharp and terrifying; almost like the clicking that became our worst nightmare. They picked us off one by one and fled when the city made its last stand. Our final stand. They fled because there was no one left to take. But that doesn’t make the nightmares any easier. It doesn’t change the fact that they know some of us got away...it doesn’t change that some of them continue to hunt.

I guess they think we’re pretty good prey.

The gash on my arm begins to throb in memory of my last escape and I try to shake it off as I climb the stairs. I spent so many years here as a child, in this very room, watching people come and go, watching the exploration of thousands of points in space. I sometimes wonder how anyone could ever want anything different in their lives. I sometimes wonder why our parents so often dreamt of leaving. Earth is a story they told us, a way of life we’ll never understand...how ironic that, in the end, it was the only hope we had left. False hope might be a comforting thing to die with, but it’s painful to have to live with it.

That’s why I don’t dream anymore.

I press my hand against the clear wall and slowly slide down onto the floor. The space seems much smaller than it did as a child, even if I’m now the only one inside it, but it’s the black universe of water outside that’s pressing in on me.

If I close my eyes I can almost hear the city coming to life around me, I can almost hear the sounds of laughter and happiness that once surrounded me. If I turn around, I know I could almost see her mischievous eyes meet mine one last time.

But I won’t turn around, because I can’t dream anymore. It hurts too much.

I think that’s the hardest part of all; knowing that I failed her, too. I failed my best friend when she needed me the most. I promised her father I would take care of her. He had smirked at me and I know we were both thinking the same thing; it was her that would do most of the protecting, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that, even when the world was ending, even when there was no one and nothing else left to live for...she gave us a reason to smile.

We’d survived for so long, planning and searching. We knew it was our only option to really be free, to really live. We knew what we had to do and we’d finally done it. We were happy and we were saved...that’s when they took us by surprise.

I told her father I would protect her, I promised I would. I made sure she got away. She had to get away, because, without her, I couldn’t get home. It was my dream, but it did have to be her to make it happen.

I glance around the eerie remnants of the metal world I grew up in and wonder why it had never seemed cold then. It feels cold now. Nothing works here anymore, the controls, the computer interfaces, the doors...nothing. They’re all as dead and broken as the rest of the city. That was our final stand. Atlantis wasn’t ours anymore, we couldn’t save it. Well, we made damn sure that no one else could have it either, no one who couldn’t make the city work for itself. No one without the gene can make Atlantis sing anymore and that’s something I could never do...but she could.

She had to get away.

It didn’t matter, though, that I wasn’t going home, because, really, she was my home. I don’t think she ever really knew that. But I made her run anyway. I made her leave me. I still don’t quite know how I got away, but it didn’t matter at the time, because I knew where she was going.

I knew she’d come home.

A sound jerks me from my thoughts and I frown. I wonder, briefly, if maybe I’m finally going insane, because I can almost hear the Stargate powering up, almost as if it’s promising to return my family to me, almost as if it’s promising to bring everyone home. I can feel it humming around me.

It takes me a moment to collect my thoughts and that’s when it hits me: I’m not imagining anything. I stopped dreaming, I stopped wishing for miracles. Maybe that was all I had to do to make them happen.

I scramble to my feet and run. The closer I get, the brighter the light become until I’m almost drowning in hope...and that’s when I see her, staring at me with almost same look I last saw in her eyes. Only now she seems lost and alone and I don’t think she can really see me.

She’s looking at me as if I’m not really here.

My heart stops as I call to her, but she doesn’t seem to hear me. She smiles sadly and turns away and, even though I know I’ll never make it, I run towards her. I run towards her as she slips away from me and I watch as the light fades to darkness once more. My stride falters and suddenly I’m on my knees before the ‘Gate, looking up at the symbol of so many faiths across the galaxy; a symbol of faith and hope and worship.

Five seconds.

That’s all it would have taken. Five seconds more and I could have held her in my arms. Five seconds and we could have made the trip together, the two of us. I know that the ZPM we found has enough power for another trip, but I could never make it work. I can’t talk to Atlantis like she can.

But it’s okay. It’s got to be okay, because she made it; she took them home, all of them. The messages we recorded in those final days will find the place they belong. I have to believe in that, because it’s all I have left. I’m alone now and I don’t have anything left to hope for, because the only hope I had left just took a wormhole back to Earth.

Maybe it is okay if I start dreaming again, because reality doesn’t have much left for me anymore.

If I listen, I can almost hear them coming to life. The voices of Atlantis finally speaking again. The family I lost, reaching out to me. If I listen closely I can hear the last words I heard them speak. I can hear my father’s voice as he talks to the people he knew he’d never see again. I can hear the message she’ll be taking home...

My name is Michael Lorne and this is a message for my family back home. Mom, Dad, Ashley...I’d like you to meet my son, Jason...I’d like you to meet my whole family...



*


END


...okay...I really want to play some more in this ‘verse!



 
 
 
Loriel Eris: squee // dr wholoriel_eris on September 29th, 2006 08:27 am (UTC)
You evil person you. You made me cry.

And I want you to play more in this verse too!

It makes more sense now. *g*
kyizi: atlantiskyizi on October 24th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC)
Sorry it took so long to reply to this, honey! SO very glad you liked :p

I do intend to write more, promise!
Loriel Erisloriel_eris on October 24th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
I'll hold you to that!
kyizi: heeeekyizi on August 6th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
*poke* not complete, but you might be interested an a few of the snippets here...
Loriel Erisloriel_eris on August 7th, 2007 08:54 am (UTC)
Oh god! How on earth did you find this comment?!

Link - I toatlly missed that! Well I saw the post, but figured that I'd see the completed fic, either that or it would all be WWE/GG anyway. *goes off to read Sarah* ;)

*sporks icon*
kyizi: more than meets the eyekyizi on January 6th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
*pokes* you never did you know...
Loriel Eris: a for atlantis // sgaloriel_eris on January 6th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
You're just taunting me icons, aren't you. *glares* ;p

I must have read it! But I apparently didn't leave a comment...

I like the verse, but I'm not totally sold on the first person. How old is Sarah here? I think I can imagine all this as in character, but I can't quite picture all as what she'd write in her diary. Does that make sense? Horrifyingly enough, I think the first person actually restricts you here. Although, on seconds thoughts, to get this info across as a third person pov, you'd come very close to telling not showing. I'm not sure exactly what I think - mostly that yes, it's in character, and I can see her thinking it, but I can't see her articulating it, and definitely not this well. So it's not so much the first person that's restricting you, as the fact that you're doing it as diary entries, rather than just 1st person pov.
kyizi: flyboyskyizi on January 6th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
Me? Taunting you? Never... ;)


hmmmm...a re-write may be in order... I totally get what you're saying and I think I might actually do it as fic in first person, rather than keep it as an ACTUAL diary...but I think, with it not being an actual diary, that the title The Diary of Sarah Sheppard actually works. Does it? Hmm...will think on it more.
Loriel Eris: christmas - white treeloriel_eris on January 7th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
*glares once more at icon*

I think fic rather than an actual diary may be the way to go. I linked you a fic "But Never The Nights" by Lavvyan (it may have been her personal website which was being glitchy. If you can't get that to work, she's on Wraithbait) which was, I'm almost certain, first person, and was very diary-esque but not an actual diary. And if it wasn't first person, she wrote it in such a way that it evoked that feeling. As well as being awesome fic, it might be worth reading to see how someone else did it.

I think you can totally get away with The Diary of Sarah Sheppard, even if it isn't a diary. The only thing I will say is that 'Diary' may put some people off.
kyizi: more than meets the eyekyizi on January 7th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
*innocent eyes*

Might be an idea.

Yeah, good point.
David: I am a leaf on the winddavidjoates on September 29th, 2006 11:34 am (UTC)
Oh, now that's good - depressing as hell, but very, very good.

Laura is so evil when she recs apocafic - I just have to go read, at which point I get no work done whatsoever and then have to go read something insanely fluffy to make up for all the heartbreak.

David.
kyizi: john/elizabeth (kiss)kyizi on October 24th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC)
Hey! So sorry it took so long to reply to this comment. I'm so glad you liked it and, yes, I was getting depressed just writing some of it! I'm very greatful to Laura for reccing it and more so that you followed the link and replied!

Thanks for the feedback :)
Sarahladyeclectic79 on October 19th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
Geez, that was depressing!!!!

...more, please? ;)

I'm still a little confused as to it all but that just means I've got to read it again (no great issue on my part, believe me). Especially loved the Laura Cadman/Beckett part, geez if I wasn't such a hardhearted bitca I'd be bawling my eyes out. Damn, but that was some fine prose. If you want to continue in this verse I'd very much like to know what all happened. :)
kyizi: sam/jack (killed pete)kyizi on October 24th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC)
Especially loved the Laura Cadman/Beckett part, geez if I wasn't such a hardhearted bitca I'd be bawling my eyes out

I think that was my favourite part as well and I was almost bawling writing it!

I'm so glad you liked the fic and very grateful that you reviewed. I do intend to write more as soon as my muses will allow for it.

Thanks again!
kyizi: dance with mekyizi on August 6th, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
...more, please? ;)


Not sure if you're still interested, and they're not complete, but you might be interested an a few of the snippets here...

:)