The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 13: Space Sagas.
Xander woke with a start from the dream-ripping sound of air raid sirens to the one on Atlantis going off. He grabbed things and hopped up, heading for the control room, putting in his comm piece first. "Are we under attack?" he asked. Lorne gave him an order. "That's John's spot. Oh. Okay." He headed for the chair at a dead run, running into Jon down there. They were both strong ATA carriers. The chair responded better to Xander but if something happened, Jon could do it. He sat down and immediately called up a display.
"Oh, fuck me," he muttered, making Lorne snicker over the link. "I'm seeing three huge ass ships and a few darts?" He nodded, mentally sending drones at them. They were locked so he had to get the city to unlock it. That took a few precious seconds but she realized they were under attack so it was necessary. He sent them up and ordered the shield up. John and Rodney were somewhere else. He muttered something else and started that process going, tapping virtual air keys.
"Major, we are not sinking but we are lowering the most vulnerable piers for landing into the water. I already shut all the windows I think." He did that and agreed it was a good idea. They got settled and he watched the fighters, sending the drones at the darts first. They were more use there. He provided support for the jumpers attacking the bigger ships. One of the jumpers started to show red slowly and he groaned, telling the city to fix it.
The ship and the city interacted, sealing the leak but it kept the jumper out of the fight for a few seconds. Someone would probably hate that. "We need the bigger weapons up there," he complained quietly. One raised and he smirked. "Thank you, Ancients. Charge the weapon." It wouldn't. He ran over the schematics and plugged the sucker back in, this time into the new power source. It balked but after a second it charged and he fired it at the biggest sucker they had out there.
"Yes, please charge it again," he whispered. Jon had settled next to him to take over some of the drones. He checked but he had it. He moved one that wasn't attacking, sending it at a dart that was injured. Just to knock into it. That sent it into a spin that exploded against the main hive ship. Someone fired on that spot, exposing the hull to space. Wraith had to breathe and even hibernation wouldn't stop that death. He got a blinking dot that the weapon was charged and warned the jumpers, who got out of the way, the injured one slower than the others.
He fired and it went 'splody as he muttered to himself. The other one fled. Xander fired on the wormhole as they were leaving. The ship exploded in the wormhole and it was pretty. He sighed, recalling the weapon down and the city to rise fully again. It came back up and he relaxed. Jon recalled all the drones. Xander helped that injured puddle jumper into the city and to land outside. It was safer until the navigation system was working properly again.
The last one flew in and he scanned, seeing a small wormhole opening. He nudged John, letting him watch it. They were both shocked by the wormhole next to the city but the display said the stargate had just activated. They'd let that one unless it was an emergency. That tiny wormhole was bothersome. When John and Rodney ran in they put up the display and Xander pointed. "We have no idea. That's a wormhole terminus point by the display."
"The Daedalus isn't due for a few weeks," John said. "Out, kids." They got out for him and he sat down. "Hey, the cannon works."
"I linked it to the new power source but it should probably be looked over," Xander agreed. He looked at Rodney. "One of the jumpers got exposed to space but I linked in and got it fixed remotely. I landed it outside because the pilot is apparently at least slightly alive, I hope, and it was limping badly. I didn't think it could land in the bay."
"That's fine." He looked at them. "That was very nice work."
"Jon handled most of the drones while I got the other things going on."
"Thank you for not sinking us again as well," Rodney said dryly.
"It makes sense to sink the piers," Xander defended, looking hurt. "That way they couldn't land on them."
"I'm not disagreeing," Rodney promised, making Xander happier. He sent a medical team to the pier to look at the jumper pilot, who hadn't emerged, which Jon realized.
"The seat needs to be wider," Jon complained lightly, punching Xander on the arm. "Good job with that jumper."
"Thanks." He looked at John as he sat up. "That terminus?"
"It's Asgard." They grinned and nodded. "Good work, boys." He smirked. "Now, go calm down."
"I need to check on that pilot," Xander admitted, heading that way.
John brought down the shield and looked at Rodney. "They're damn good together."
"They are," he agreed. "Is everything all right?"
"The cannon reads a bit hot. I disconnected it and it discharged into the air for the last of the charge."
"I'll get on that today," he promised, interfacing with the chair to take readings. "That's very good." They went back to where they were supposed to be.
Xander jogged out to the pier, looking at Doctor Keller. "Did I plug the leak in time?"
"He's alive but weak, Xander. Thank you."
"Not a problem. Need help?"
"No, we have it." They walked the gurney out. The pilot glared at Xander, mumbling something. Xander stared back and mumbled back, getting down next to his ear, getting a nod instead and a happier pilot. "Did he say you were slow?"
"Yeah, I think he did. I wasn't aware I still had control of the jumper after I fixed it. But as long as he's okay that's fine. I'll make sure of the pilot and bring it back if I have to next time." She smiled and nodded, walking after her patient. The other pilots were a bit banged up but nothing serious. Xander stayed out there to unwind and calm down. "I hate the wraith. I need to build something bigger so we can get their planet," he muttered to himself. He walked off thinking about how he could do that. He knew bombs. He had known bombs for a while, but now he knew bigger bombs. Rodney did too. Maybe....
John looked at his pilot, staring at him. "You're telling me the chair fixed your ship and forgot to let you go?" He nodded, swallowing hard. "Okay, I'll work on the kids on that." He patted him on the wrist. "At least you're alive."
"I am. Harris has crap concentration, Colonel. You could tell there were two of them doing it."
"Yeah, Harris has no flight experience beyond what I've been able to give him." The other pilot moaned, shaking his head. He grinned. "Jon O'Neill handled the drones."
"They did good together." He swallowed again. "That was the scariest shit of my life, sir."
"The air leak?"
"That and the later, slower battle reflexes."
"He said next time he'd make sure he had let the jumpers go. I'm just glad he could fix it on you."
"I am too. He needs more experience."
"Landry wasn't going to give him any," he said dryly.
"Please break that order."
"I am." He patted him again. "Get better soon, Sergeant." He left, going to talk to Xander about that. It was the only flaw in the battle that anyone had seen. That they had worked together was wonderful. Jon had admitted he wouldn't have even known how to link the shields in or anything else. Jack had done that after he had been cloned. They both needed serious training time. He found them waiting on him, as requested earlier. "Let's go over a few things. Not criticizing but this is what more experienced people in space battles noticed so we can train you guys in how to do it." They both nodded, relaxing. "Xander, you forgot to release that jumper?"
"I thought I had after that leak but the cannon needed kicked in so I guess I forgot in that. Was he in control?"
"He was but he said everything was sluggish with the chair in charge. So next time, if you have to take one over, which we all love now that we know we can do it, remember to check that." Xander nodded. "Plus you're getting more flight time. They all knew it was you in the chair by the way the drones hesitated and didn't fly like I would. That's an experience thing so you're getting more training in that. Jon, you as well, plus more chair time because you said it was very much outside of your attention range?"
"There were things going on that I had no idea about," he admitted. "But I've never sat in the chair for more than the tutorial McKay gave me."
"Which I fully get, boys. That's why you both have flight time to work on that."
"Really, it should be a two-person job anyway," Xander pointed out. "I kept losing track of the drones when I was calibrating the cannon and things. That's why he wiggled in next to me."
"I can agree with that. I have to let a lot of things go past me when I'm in it too." He smiled. "If I could link up a secondary chair I would have. I would've sat Lorne's ass in it by now."
Xander nodded. "Can we?"
"Figure it out with McKay," John told him, getting a beaming smile. "It was overall a good plan. Even if the partial sinking did freak some people out, especially in Botany."
"I remembered the windows."
"Which they love you for," he promised with a smile. "Otherwise we'd have some really pissed, flooded out Marines."
"I know. I should've warned people."
"It's all right. That's something that's actually good strategy. It's a lot harder for them to get down here if they can't land. You need more strategy lessons in advanced combat. You're hell on field combat from what Jack O'Neill tested you at, but space combat and aerial combat are slightly different and that's not a problem. We have a lot of things we can teach you about that, Xander." Xander smiled and nodded. "Now, you two had a suggestion?"
"Why can't we bio bomb the wraith's planets?" Jon asked.
"Because they'd know if we got close enough. It'd be a suicide mission," John pointed out. "It has little chance of success. They have sensor arrays that would tell them of an incoming ship. It'd get stopped and eaten before it got anywhere near the planet."
"Damn," Xander muttered. "Can we beam one back aboard a ship that conveniently gets away?"
"That plan may work," he said cautiously. "Though I hate to let any of them get away."
"Me too but maybe sending one back with it might help? I know they had that other one." John grimaced but nodded. "So can we send something better? I'll donate blood to see if they can get any of the diseases I've had out of it. Some of them won't work on full humans."
"We'll think about that," John decided. "Though the docs will want to know more specifics about all those first." Xander nodded he understood that. "So you both now have flight sim time this week. Jon, you're taking more chair training from Xander and, Xander, you can learn aerial combat from Jon?" They both smirked at that. "Good. Then teach it to Faith too. Got it?" They nodded. "Good. Dismissed. Go get pudding or something." They went to do that. They deserved it after earlier. John went to check on Rodney and that cannon. "Will it work again?"
"Yes, but the power source needs a buffer between it and the cannon," he complained from under it. "Xander did the right thing in setting it up but didn't realize it needed an intermediary, which is of course broken."
"Can it be fixed? I don't want to have to use it and have it blow up part of the city."
"I can easily fix it if you can run to Ancient Radio Shack," he said dryly.
"What do you want to cannibalize?"
Rodney came out from underneath the cannon. "There's a few blown crystals. We'll need to try to regrow them in the specific shapes and then possibly a few more wires. If we have a month, I might be able to get it fully operational."
"Please do. By the way, the boys said the chair shows the incoming stargate wormhole."
"Really? That's wonderful."
"They both said it's fairly shocking and bright right off to the left of the display."
"Even better. Any other good news?"
"I agree with O'Neill, it should be a two-seater, not a single one for combat."
"I'll see if I can find mentions of it in the database for Xander to translate." He stared at him. "Go see what's wrong with him. He hasn't translated anything in days."
"I can do that." He went to find the boys. Xander was back in his office, alone except for the dragon cuddling him. He tapped then walked in, hiking down to his seat. "We need to put one of those airport people movers in here," he teased.
Xander gave him a weak smile. "Did I do something you didn't want to mention in front of Jon?"
"No. Wondering what's up. Someone told me you haven't been translating at your usual rate recently." He sat down, glancing at the view. "They thought you might be a bit upset or depressed?"
"It's nothing. Just thinking and remembering."
John looked at him. "Remembering what?"
"A few things." He sighed, petting his dragon. "It's nothing, John, really."
"It is if people are noticing that you're unhappy. So tell me. Maybe we can figure something out." Xander shrugged but he stared at him until the boy looked at him. "People getting annoying again?" he asked quietly. "The moping about all your exes being asses? Give me a hint so I can help, Xander."
"It's that and other things. It's nothing, really. I can shake it and get back to work."
"If we didn't like you, we wouldn't have let you heal up here, kid. Really." Xander looked at him. "What's wrong?"
"Partially? I feel so *alone*. Even before I had friends or I had people who wanted me so they paid attention to me."
"I get that. Up here you do have friends."
"Who do a lot more all day so we never get time together to talk and play around."
"Good point." He considered it. "We could all use a day off." Xander nodded. "I know that they do come up to see you."
"Anytime I go to see them people start rumors that I'm sleeping with them."
"I heard those and bluntly told the people that if you were, as long as it was respectful, the rest of us were fine with that. It stopped a lot of that. Those two old ones dragging on you too?"
"One told me that I was fine, for a barbarian, again. That he'd help me translate the database if I slept with him. I pointed out I've done a lot of it and I spoke Ancient too so it was easier than considering him a decent bed partner, plus didn't he need to lose that urge to ascend. He huffed off and the marines who saw it started on the 'he's an ancient being' again."
"In some ways you are, but in too many ways you're twenty-two," John said. He paused. "What did you do for your birthday?"
"I think I translated the latin smut again."
John shook his head. "Beyond that?"
"Not like they have ice cream cakes up here so I can spoil myself. I don't really celebrate it anymore."
"That's sucky, Xander."
"Yeah but the girls weren't interested in celebrating it. My parents weren't either. Hell, half the time they tried to curse me for being born that day." John reached over, giving his upper arm a short rub. "It's cool. The next time I'm downside, I'll get an ice cream cake to spoil myself."
"Sure, I get that." He looked at the plants. "Why do they look tired?"
"It's hibernation season for them. Botany said so. I've got food around them and they eat it but they're probably gearing up to produce spawn."
"If so, they might like it." He smiled at him. "You know, you could come down."
"I don't want to listen to the hissed rumors about me. Having an ex show up as a gou'ald really didn't put me on the right footing with the base."
"No, probably not, but hey it wasn't a recent boyfriend."
"No, not by any means. I don't know. I'll find another one sometime. This celibacy crap is annoying though."
"No one says you have to. There's plenty of people on base who'll play, Xander. Most of them respect you for your mind too. You might hint that you're getting to the point of needing cuddles at night." He gave him a smile. "It's still comforting, even if it's just for a night."
"They'll be the same sort. Then they'll spread it around."
"Not all of them. I know a few of the scientists play."
"They all think I'm overly violent and a version of Conan half the time, then a translating machine the rest."
"We need to have a base-wide fun day. That way they can see everyone else as they really are," John decided.
"That'll be the day something attacks."
"Maybe, but maybe not." He smiled. "C'mon, dinner, kid."
"Yes, John." Armand meeped. "Sure, let's go eat." He stood up and they left together. "I'm going to put a repelling line off the balcony."
John smiled. "That would be fun and a lot faster than a transporter." They went to the caf together and he noticed a few people got quiet and watched them. He seriously needed to have a talk with his marines if O'Neill didn't. The other air force guys were better but not great about hiding it. Lorne smiled and gave Armand a head scratch. Xander smiled back at him. That was a good, healthy relationship.
"Did you get the new video game, Xander?"
"Yup, both of them." He smirked at Lorne. "Think you can do Grand Theft?"
"Maybe. Been a while," he admitted with a smirk of his own. "We'll see later."
"Cool. I'll bring up stuff to nibble on." Lorne nodded that was good and Xander went to get dinner. John smiled at Lorne, who went back to eating. "Major, I think we need to have a base-wide day of relaxation. I've noticed a lot of us are on edge."
"We'll get attacked that day," he complained lightly.
"So we'll kick their asses and then go back to doing more fun stuff. Arrange it and have me approve the games and things."
"I can do that." He stuffed his mouth, thinking about it. Yeah, they could definitely use some time off. He noticed the stares when Xander and John sat together at their usual table outside. Surely they didn't think those two were an item? He'd have to set that one straighter. Radek came in and went to talk to Xander, who babbled back happily at him. That was another good thing to see. The scientists all seemed to worry that Xander was going to get pissed and pull out a sword to chop them up into pieces. Xander's rep seriously needed a make over.
John looked at the duty meeting's roster then smiled at them. "Wednesday, duty assignments are suspended for our first annual day of relaxation. Food will be do-it-yourself sandwich lines. The ones with food allergies can have theirs in a case off to the side so they don't get infected from the eggs in the mayo or the lemon from the iced tea." The cafeteria ladies all smiled at that. "Major Lorne has sign up sheets of various activities. Including movies a certain young woman shipped up to her big brother recently. We're having badminton, soccer on a pier, with Armand for ball retrieval if it goes into the water. A few other things. We'll have some balls and clubs for some golf swinging practice into the water." They all beamed at that. "We deserve it."
"Sir, will Harris be coming out of his aerie for that?" one of the team leaders asked.
"Xander's up there because he can expand it so he has all of his books laid out, not to be anti-social. He doesn't usually mind visitors unless he's frustrated with something he's working on. He even has some free-time reading books for those who don't read other languages."
"So that wasn't him being superior?" another asked.
"No, guys. Xander's twenty-two. He would love it if you guys came up to bum books. Unfortunately he needs his office expanded because we didn't have another library to let him use. He needed access to all his books. On the main base he's on the translators' area like everyone else. He's not stuck up, superior feeling, or anything else. He'd love for you guys to treat him like one of the guys."
"But he's ...got swords and things," the scientist in charge of chemistry said.
"Yeah, he likes swords. He'd also like to go to a Ren Faire thing sometime soon. Since a lot of the cultures they've run into on the main base are about that level of civilization it's been helpful."
"We heard about that battle," one of the team leaders sighed, grimacing.
"Xander's been in a shitload of battles, most of them field battles." They all shuddered. "Yeah, he's got that final step of his temper. That day, he was so worn out that all it took was a graze while he was trying to keep himself from being sick after throwing up that shield for so long. That's also why Xander's not his team's leader." The other team leaders took notice of that. One sat up straighter. "Xander's been in *many* battles."
"About five too many," Jon agreed from his corner seat. "That's why I lead, Tilla is in front of him, and Xander's our geek."
"You don't rely on him for military help?" one of them asked.
"Not unless it's an emergency. Then he's got ideas out the ass. For normal things, he's our geek. The same as Jackson is unless there's a problem."
"All the super geeks are that way," Rodney agreed dryly from his seat. "We all have our geek roles unless it's an emergency. I've pulled weapons to help the team, Harris does the same thing, Jackson as well."
John nodded with a smirk for them. "They're *all* like that. It's one of the definitions of a super geek."
"He growled at me last time I went up there," the chemist complained.
"You interrupted his smut time," John and Jon said in unison.
"Since no one's thought that he might like to have someone up there with him some nights," John added.
"I think the guys who might play that way consider him a bit ...weird," the team leader who that would apply to said.
"He's not weird. He's actually very decent."
"He's pretty cuddly," Jon added. "On camp outs while on missions, he's a cuddle monster if you're in his tent. He's a snore seeking missile." They all laughed at that. "Armand stops him if he's there, he's all warm and cuddly. I make him room with Tilla. She appreciates him snuffling into her back."
"Is he actually straight?" that team leader asked.
"He's very bi, he said he goes on personality and how good they cuddle," Jon told him with a small shrug. "He and Tilla are like siblings. She even gets flu nagging rights."
John smirked. "I heard that she tied him down and made him drink soup."
"Definitely. Nagged him until he gave in."
"I've heard he had alien toys," that team leader said.
"One was," Rodney agreed. "But he was caring, holding, respected Xander for his whole being instead of just an ass. He might've stayed with him if he hadn't been killed in a battle to protect his planet." They all groaned. "He's not expecting anything totally special, but decent and respecting him instead of seeing him as easy and open."
That team leader nodded. "I know a few I might send his way then. He's open to playing?"
Jon nodded. "Yeah. That's part of his problem right now. By the way, I've asked Caldwell to pick up a cake for his birthday, Sheppard." John smiled at that.
"We missed his birthday?" Rodney asked.
"Yeah, it was last week," Jon said dryly.
"Damn it," he muttered. "When will it get here?"
"Data packet went out today, Caldwell gets back in about a week. If he checks his email, which he said he does for last minute requests, he'll have it when he gets in this time." He shifted. "Beyond that, we're having a fun day?"
"We all need it."
"We do," Rodney agreed. "Soccer?"
"We can't get field hockey stuff that fast. I'm thinking, if it's good for the base, and we're all having the relaxation, it's going to happen maybe every six months?" Everyone smiled at that. "Good. Get on that, bring me any problems," he ordered. They all left. He grabbed the one team leader's arm, staring at him. "He's open to it but don't let anyone play with him," he said quietly.
"I can agree with that. I heard about the reason their team switched to us instead. It sucks Landry turned on him that way." He smiled and left, going to talk to his grapevine of open people. Harris might be a good lay, if he was then it might help them all.
Radek watched the flirting airman teasing Xander, making him laugh. Though he was looking at someone else's ass. The boy clearly realized it because he quipped something and the guy blushed but nodded, going to hit on that person instead. Radek sighed, going over there. "He was an ass," he said quietly.
"He wanted a tighter ass than mine, Radek. That's all that was."
"You deserve better."
"Yeah but I doubt I'm going to find a real boyfriend up here," he said dryly.
He patted him on the hand. "I have missed teaching you physics."
"I needed more simulator time. Plus we're rigging a second seat into the control chair."
"I heard and it is a good idea," Radek said with a smile. "Would take some stress off whoever is in it." He patted him again. "I am working on Faith's chemistry tonight. We are doing explosives."
Xander beamed. "I'm there." Radek beamed back and left. Xander finished up and went to take part in the classes. He sat down next to Faith with a grin. "'Splosives."
"Cool. Explosives are wonderful." He grinned at that. Rodney walked in with Radek. "Big problems?"
"No," Rodney said, sitting next to her. "I'm going to go over some things Radek can't." He smirked at them. "Xander, don't you know explosives?"
"Some. I should know more. That way others think I'm even more scary," he quipped.
"I think you're scary enough," Radek told him with a smirk back. "We think you should turn more fluffy sometimes."
"That way you can be all sweet and nice, and then scare the crap out of them by suddenly pulling out the warrior side," Faith quipped.
"He has that down," Rodney assured her. "We'd love to see him quit hiding behind that and just be himself." He patted him on the back. "The Genii we ran into asked about you."
"Bad asked or good?"
"Good. He wanted to know if you were coming to stitch more wounds." Xander beamed at that, wiggling some on his stool.
Radek shook his head. "You spoil them and they'll try to take you to keep you for that reason."
"That's not a bad reason to want me. I miss spoiling someone with attention. Though I'm never going down the path I did with Anya ever again."
"That's a healthy sentiment," Rodney said. "You should never be the only one spoiling in a relationship." Xander looked at him. "I've had a few I thought about it with."
Xander smiled at him. "You'd make someone a hellishly fussy, distracted husband, Rodney. You'd have to check their PhD's."
"I would," he agreed. "I can't abide by stupidity."
"I can agree with that," Radek agreed.
"There goes my chance," Faith quipped.
Rodney pinched her. "You have a good mind, you simply didn't have the chance to train it. The same as he didn't." He smiled at her. "Though I do think you're a bit too wild for me, Faith. I would die keeping up with your affections." She blushed. "Unless you've gotten more calm since then?"
"How...." she asked Xander.
"Memory review," he said dryly. "He even wanted to bleach his brain after seeing us as kids."
"I'm sorry you saw that," she told him. "I was...."
He patted her on the hand. "We've all had post-combat urges, Faith. Even me." She stared at him. He shrugged. "We get attacked a lot in case you hadn't noticed. Some people seem to find natives who fling themselves at them and some of us have had to make due with what's at hand. Do not let them talk you into that unless you want it," he said quietly. She nodded and he smiled. "Because I do feel quite brotherly and I would hate to get scowled at for blowing them away for disrespect."
"You'd do that?" she asked.
He nodded. "I'm probably not the only one." Xander shook his head. Radek too. "See?"
"I'm not usually the one that people protect," she said, looking at them.
Xander shrugged. "You're one of my girls, Faith. Same as Dawn is." He stared her down. "You're like a sister; any jarhead that disrespects you gets me up his nose and out his ass."
"I... This I'm not comfortable with," she decided.
He grinned. "Sure, I'll make sure they're fun but not disrespectful behind your back," he quipped.
"You're serious?" she demanded.
He nodded. "Yup." Rodney and Radek nodded too. "The same as Mean Uncle Rodney there and Big Brother John threatened anyone who I played with."
"They told you?" Rodney asked.
"Yeah. Not that I mind you guys reminding them I'm human." He shrugged. "If they do, it's cool. If they don't, I can blip my ass to a brothel."
Faith gave him a shoulder-to-shoulder nudge. "Was it good?"
"It was decent enough." He shrugged. "It was sex but no cuddling or anything."
"Pity." He nodded. "So, Radek, we get explosives?" He nodded, putting up a formula. She groaned but he went over each part and Xander told her what it was. It went well and when Rodney got to his part it was more lecture but Xander asked a lot of questions to break it up on him. They got down to making some explosives instead and it was a lot more fun. Xander bounced back to his room, finding Lorne up there. "We made plastique," he said with a huge grin, holding up his lump.
"That's very cool, Xander." He let him into the apartment and he watched as Xander stored it in a plastic tub. Then he put in the game and they sat down on the foot of the bed to play. Radek came in after an hour so Xander sat him down and taught him how to play the game. They all relaxed and it was good. Lorne and Radek shared a few looks but Lorne only winked before handing over his game controller and excusing himself because he had an early shift. He smiled as he walked to the transporter.
Xander glanced at Radek, then let him win. Radek groaned. "Do not let me win to be nice, Xander."
"I'm not," he said innocently.
"You are a sweet boy." He gave him a hug. Xander sank into him. "You need more holding," he said quietly. Xander gave him a small shrug but Radek settled them up the bed. He turned off the game and blinked at the dvd that restarted. "That is interesting." Xander groaned, turning it off. "You do what you must when there's no one around to think about." He pulled Xander back up to the pillows and Xander snuggled into him. Radek smiled. This was comfortable.
Faith stopped Radek the next morning, staring at him. "Don't hurt him," she said quietly.
"We are friends. He needed a cuddle." He smiled at her. "Though it is good to be threatened. It means you appreciate and like him." He walked around her and went to the labs.
Faith shrugged, going to eat. Ronon grunted since his mouth was full. "Nothing. Just making sure it was all kosher in some areas." He gave her an odd look, stopping chewing even. She smiled. "It's cool." He nodded, understanding that saying. She got breakfast and sat down again. "I'm so glad they got rid of the liver."
"It's once a month now," he warned. "Tonight."
"Think X has cheetos or something?"
"I have no idea what cheetos are," he admitted. "But one never knows about his treats. I heard he has a very large television to play games on."
One of the other air force guys looked over. "Harris brought up a big tv and a game system with all the books? And we still don't know how he got them all up here."
Faith nodded with a smirk. "Yeah. Plus his dvd player. He bought it after a week at a brothel."
He groaned. "We need that for our fun day."
"He only has a few games," Lorne called from his seat. "Racing, hockey, and Grand Theft auto. A few others."
The major stared at him. "Can you talk him to donate it for the fun day?"
"We'll see." Xander strolled in. "Xander, they wanted to know if you could donate the tv and game system for the fun day."
"If the transporter won't break it," Xander said with a small shrug. "Or else I'd have to pout."
"You can't move the game system that way," Rodney called. "We found that out with the one someone else brought."
"Mean Uncle Rodney said you'd have to carry them by hand," Xander told him with a grin.
He considered it. "We'll see if we can do that." He ate quickly and went to talk to John about that. They had people who needed punishment duty.
John Sheppard walked into the cafeteria, walking over to Xander's seat. "Would you donate it if we can guarantee it won't be damaged?"
"Sure, as long as it's still in very good condition when I get it back."
"Thanks, Xander." He patted him on the head, getting a grin. "No being the only one who wins."
"Of course not. I barely get any practice time in. I usually play with Evan and he's been busy."
"That's fine. We're doing soccer."
"I wasn't any good at sports in school," he said sheepishly.
"Half of the scientists are playing," Rodney called.
"Then I might play. They won't laugh when I trip over my feet."
"Good." John smiled and walked off. He had just the people who could carry that tv down all those stairs. "Perkins, Masters, Tuesday you two are going up to Harris' rooms and getting his tv and game system to bring down to the rec room," he said when he ran into them. "You can't take them through the transporter because it'll screw them up." The groaned. "Get all the games too." He smirked as he walked off.
Perkins went into the cafeteria, finding Xander finishing up. "How big is your tv, Harris? We might need help."
"It's a LG 55 inch LED-LCD HDTV." He grinned. "It's *amazing* for playing games on."
"Damn," Perkins said, looking depressed. "How much does it weigh and what size is it?"
"With the stand or without?"
"With," he said, slumping more.
"It's thirty eight inches high by just over fifty-four wide by almost eighteen inches deep."
"Weight?" he asked, sighing at the end.
"About eighty-six and a half with the stand."
"Could you not find something bigger?' he complained.
"There were two that were more pricy and a few that were supposed to be bigger but this one has wonderful speakers and stuff built in. It was actually the cheaper of the three I looked at. One was about five grand after taxes and it didn't have the same features. This one was only about two and a half plus taxes. Though I did hear rumors of an 82 inch tv, but I don't have that much wall space."
"Are you sure it can't be beamed?"
"If you want to buy him a new one when that one screws up," Rodney said, coming over. "Don't shake it either. The LED styles are prone to quit working if shaken too hard. It's also very energy efficient." Xander nodded. "It's one of the better tv's out there. And no, you can't use the transporter. Asgard beaming maybe but not the transporters. And remember, if you break it, you're buying him a new one." He walked off happier. "Xander, flight physics lessons with Faith this morning instead of simulator practice."
"Yes, Mean Uncle Rodney," he sighed. He finished up and went to the lab.
Perkins went to whine at his friends about having to carry that thing down the stairs.
Radek hooked up the tv and game system then plugged it in. He turned on the tv, staring at the blank picture. He turned on the game system and it worked. The guys cheered. "There, we are set." He smiled. "Tell me when we get to Grand Theft. I am going to play soccer." He left them to their games. Xander was out there warming up with a few of the other guys. Including Jon. He smiled and stole the ball, making Xander laugh and try to get it back. They ended up tangled together but that was fine. The referee called for the teams to be formed and they ended up opposite each other.
He did like Xander. Not in the boyfriend sense but in a casual lover sense. So he could make him impressed today. Armand was sunning himself in his larger form and snagged any balls that went off into the water, tossing them back to the referee. They were having a lot of fun. When Radek's team won and were crowned with paper medals, they went inside to get a snack and check on the video games and movies. Most of them went to the movies but a few ended up in the video games. Lorne was kicking butt.
John looked at the game being played. "All right, my turn to beat my XO," he teased with a smirk at Lorne.
"It's probably been a while since you *drove* something, Colonel," he taunted back.
"Maybe, but it can't be harder than a jet." He took the controller and sat down, letting Lorne show him what each one was for. That worked well and he let Lorne pick the course. It was curvy, F-1 style. He winced when he overshot one corner but at least he didn't crash. The guys behind him were jeering and catcalling but he did better on the next round. Lorne was laughing but he did good. Lorne was still kicking his ass. "Radek, come beat him," he told him.
"That is not one I'm familiar with, Colonel. Xander and I were playing that corrupting game."
"He has what?" one of the lower scientists asked.
"Grand Theft Auto," Lorne said, holding it up. They all hooted. He beat John across the finish line and the guys all cheered at that. John shook his hand. He changed the game and they all snickered as the music stated.
Radek took one controller, playing against Evan. He managed to get one of the special points and Evan groaned. "I do not know any women like that one," he complained.
"We've all seen plenty of them," one of the marines quipped. "They hang around bases, but none of them were that pretty." The other guys laughed and Radek handed over the controllers when he got tired of the music. The other guys hooted and trashed and shot, and had a lot of fun being bad this once.
Jon's comm went off and he hurried to the control room. They had a single guy on gate duty. He was in trouble anyway. "What?"
"General Landry called, Lieutenant Colonel."
"Crap." He hurried up to the main control area, smiling when he made it. "Sir," he greeted.
"Is everyone asleep?"
"We called a relaxation day, General. Everyone was wound a bit tightly."
"Oh, I see. That's not a bad idea. What were you doing?"
"Watching people pretend to be gangsters."
"Video games, sir."
"Oh, never mind. SG-1 has been running into a lot of priors and they wanted Harris warned he's going to be called back soon to deal with Adria."
"That's fine, sir. I'll warn him tonight. How soon do we think?"
"I have no idea yet. How are you handling it up there?"
"We're doing good, sir. It's going very well. Xander's gotten a lot of necessary training for chair duty and they're figuring out how to put a backup chair into the system so you can have a helper firing."
"That's not a bad idea. Let us know how that goes." He cleared his throat. "I heard there was a special request?"
"Xander's birthday was last week."
"Oh, I see."
"I understand, Jon. That's not a problem. Let us know if you need anything else and we'll call if we run into problems only he can handle."
"That's fine, sir. I'll warn him. Thank you." The link got cut and he turned off the gate. Rodney came out looking inquisitive. "SG-1 has been running into signs of Adria."
"He wanted to know how you're doing the co-pilot chair for the command chair."
"That's fine." They walked back together. "You mentioned his birthday?"
"He asked why the cake was being brought up."
"Hmm." He grimaced. "Do we think he'll throw a fit?"
"No. I think he's realizing what he lost when Xander decided up here was more important." They walked back into the video game room then he went to find Xander in the movie viewing area. He leaned down next to his ear. "Mitchell and his team have been running into a lot of Ori," he whispered, getting a look from the boy. "Landry said to be ready in case." Xander nodded at that. "Good." He smiled. "This is goofy, right?"
"Very." He pulled him down, making him watch with him. Jon grinned at the stupidity of the movie. You had to, it was extremely stupid. Xander was leaning against his side and it was comfy. Like frat brothers or back in the academy. They clapped when the movie was done and he helped pick the next one. Yeah, this was a good day.
Xander walked out of the gate, looking at the team in front of him. He stared at them when they stared back. "What?"
"Why did they send you this time?" Mitchell asked.
"Because the math people said there's a high probability of her showing up here." He grinned. "So, it's an expanded team today, guys."
"Sure," Mitchell said, nodding. "We're visiting for the first time."
"Yeah, and the math people said you're going to have Atlantis style luck."
"Okay, we'll be on our guard then," Daniel decided. They walked down the path together. "So, how was your weekend off?"
"We heard you guys got a free day?"
"Yeah, a Wednesday before Caldwell got there." He smiled. "It went pretty good. Even if I did have to swat one of the guys carrying my tv up and down the stairs for bumping it." Daniel snickered. "Rodney said you can't transport those."
"No, you can't." He smiled. "How's it going on Nila?"
"Not bad. I think I've narrowed down the area." He beamed. "Jon and them got me a birthday cake," he said quietly.
Daniel smiled. "I heard. That's a great thing." Xander beamed and nodded.
Mitchell looked back. "When was your birthday? No one told us."
"A few weeks back. Jon asked Caldwell to pick me up an ice cream cake because that's usually what I got myself."
"The girls didn't celebrate?" Cam asked.
"No. Why would they?"
"Friends do that sort of thing." Xander nodded. "Okay, well.... If you're coming back to the base, you're getting cake tonight, Xander." Xander grinned at that. "You're what, barely legal?"
"Like I said, barely legal and able to shave," he teased. They walked on. The flash of light took them all by surprise. It was nice that they got to wake up in a very blue place.
Xander looked at the people who had him. "What are you doing? We came to visit and set up friendly relations."
"We do not allow visitors," the person in front of him said. He was blue, finned a bit around the neck. Had pointy ears and a few scales.
Xander nodded. "Then next time, put up a sign and we wouldn't have. We don't mean to upset anyone."
"Yet you carry weapons?"
"Do you know how many times the vegetation on planets has attacked us?" he countered. He held up his arm, no matter how much they tried to stop him so he could show off a scar. "From a tentacle plant." Morticia had been mad at him that day for feeding her fish.
The being in front of him grimaced. "Those are very high powered projectile weapons."
Xander nodded. "It works against bad trees too. We're here to set up peaceful relations. That's all. If you guys don't want us to, then we'll go. No harm, no foul, no intent of harm meant." He looked at the one on his right. "Can I at least scratch my neck? Whatever you guys tried to give me made an itchy spot." That one sneered. He shrugged. "Fine." He got free and scratched it anyway. "Do you really think they'd send me, a linguist, and Daniel, a linguist, along with a physicist and two guards to do anything but talk peacefully?"
"Yet you shoved him off."
"Yeah, because I didn't want him groping me anymore." He looked at the other one. "Get your tentacle off my ass please," he said firmly. "I'm not your toy." He gasped and moved away. Xander looked at her, he had decided she was female. "We wanted to be peaceful."
"You are not of our type," she said firmly, moving closer.
"No, we're not. Though I do have some fish DNA corruption due to someone doing something wrong when I was younger." She glared at him. He stared back. "If you don't want to set up peaceful relations, that's fine with us. We'll lock your gate from ours." He shrugged. "We've done it with others who didn't want to be peaceful with us."
"The Book says that we should not allow unconverted minds," she sneered.
Xander sighed mentally. The Ori had already been here. "My mind's converted just fine, lady. Really."
"The Orici will want to talk to you."
Xander nodded. "We've talked a few times. Did she tell you I threw her in a river once?" She gasped. He stared at her. "So, no, we'll be going."
"You will not. I say you will not."
Xander sighed and pulled something off his necklace, holding it up. He pushed the button once it was enlarged. "This will destroy your whole base. My people won't be hurt." She gasped, backing away. "If you don't want to be peaceful and won't let us go home, then we'll have to be mean."
"You are not linguist!"
He pulled out his ID, holding it up. "Linguist," he said, pointing at that word. "That doesn't mean I can't protect myself."
"Who are you?" she sneered. "You are not normal."
He considered it then shrugged. "Daniel?" he called since he heard them being brought out.
"Got our packs," Mitchell said.
Xander looked. "Including mine?" Mitchell held it up. "Good." He looked at her. "Do you think she's worthy of the truth?"
"Sure," Cam said. He took the bomb to look at. "Sweet. We missed your artillery, Tias Diamalan."
"Aww, you make me coo," he said with a grin. The people around him gasped and started to wail. "Now, let's get us back to the surface so we can leave." He looked the head person over. "There's no way I want to stay somewhere with minds so closed and weak." He walked off, taking his pack back. "Weapons?"
"Got 'em," Sam promised.
"Good." He looked at the people guarding the tube to the surface. "Let us up."
"I will not!" one shouted.
"I will blow you up," Xander said firmly, pointing at the bomb. "It won't hurt us. We're fully protected." He smirked. "Now, let us up." He whimpered and the people behind them nodded so they let them into the tube's ship so they could hit the surface.
Sam looked around once they got up there. "Xander, why are you carrying that?' she demanded in a hiss.
Xander stared at her. "I always carry that, Sam." She groaned. He shrugged. "I know you're female so you don't understand about weapons but it's good of me to do," he said dryly. He heard the sound of beaming and looked. "Huh. Cam?" Cam handed back the bomb. Xander finished arming it and threw it at the main group of Ori soldiers. They all grimaced at the spray of parts. "I thought that'd be bigger," he complained to Daniel.
"Me too," Daniel admitted. "Huh."
Cam gave them a dirty look. "Guys, plan?"
Xander nodded, pulling off something else. "Sure, here." He smiled. "I'd run for the gate once you have it set." He looked around. "Good morning!" he shouted, making them cringe. "If you want to save your lives, just leave now. Send her if you want, but if you're here, you're bits and pieces like those." They stayed. Adria showed up. He blew a kiss. "Morning to you too. Let them go."
"No. They're wrong. As are you. You can't be him."
Xander stared at her. "You didn't see the painting? Or hear the hymn they were working on as they left?" She glared more. He stared back. "Mitchell has a bomb that will devastate this planet for the next fifty years. I'll stay. You guys can fight me. Let them go."
"They'll be killed too," she pointed out.
Xander touched each one, putting a shield over them. "No they won't." She shrieked in anger. He shrugged. He shot the troops around them. A few more beamed down. He snickered and threw a smaller bomb at them, turning them into goo. He looked at the remaining ones then got them down. "Mitchell, take the bomb to the gate," he said quietly. "I can get home."
"But...." Daniel said. Xander held up his bracelet. "Okay." He took Xander's pack and they headed off. Not many troops were getting in their way this time. He texted Xander's phone but heard it ring in the pack. "Shit."
Cam shook his head. "Dial out, send our IDC. We're here until we get him back or we get orders. And I don't mean to set it off and let him die." Sam dialed out and sent their code through then called over their comms.
"Xander, we're here," Daniel called over it.
"Good. Go home, Danny. I'll be there soon."
"No," Cam told him.
Xander hung up on his comm, staring at her. "Noble beyond belief."
"Of course they are. The same people spread the genes but ours were clearly superior."
"Not really," Xander told her. "Being ascended is boring. Who wants to do that?" She shrieked and tried to attack. He sent it aside. She tried again and he did it again. "Did you learn nothing since the day I threw you in that river, Adria?" he sighed.
She growled. "Of course I did!" She threw something heavier at him. He caught it and looked at it then tossed it back at her. "How dare you!"
"Ori and other ascended ran away from life, Adria. They're failures," he said, moving closer. "They're not worth following, much less worth worshiping. How fucking boring is their life? They've given up on everything that makes life interesting and special." He moved closer. "There is nothing in their existence that matches up with waking up in the morning and smelling the trees or flowers around you. Or a walk outside in the sun on a warm day. Nothing worth making it a *life*. You've built a faith around the dead."
"They are not!" she said firmly, trying to physically hit him this time. He grabbed her wrist. No matter how much she struggled he had her and she could feel her power draining. "What are you doing! Let me go!"
"I'm going to. If you want to ascend, I'd work really hard now," he said quietly, staring at her. "I can save myself. You won't be able to and any soldiers left are going to be killed here too."
"They know it's in the glory of the Ori," she sneered.
"We have our own religions that're just as bad. Most people laugh at them too."
"We have converted many worlds."
"Yeah, you overran worlds of technologically lesser people," he said dryly. "What great bullies you are, Adria. You don't get worlds where they're just as advanced as you are. That makes you pathetic in whole other ways." He let her go. "If you're going to live, I'd go now. This whole area to those mountains won't be around later on."
"You'd kill these people?' she asked. "After what you just said?"
"They're under the water. That'll cushion them. Anyone up here is toast. Beyond that, they're Ori corrupted." He tapped his comm. "Daniel, set it off and run. It has a three minute timer. I'll be back in a few." He hung up. "See you sometime, Adria." He teleported off. He felt Daniel's shield closer than it should be and groaned, going back to grab him and take him to safety. The bomb went off while they were in the mountain area. He felt the rush over him and concentrated.
The blippy took the picture on his mind and took them there instead of back to the base. They landed surrounded by water. Daniel had the shield so he could breathe. Xander concentrated on the thought of 'shields on'. They came up and the water was drained out of the area. He panted, taking the shield off Daniel. He waved a hand. "Nila, do you have an AI?" he called. Three images showed up in the water outside the shield and wavered then failed. Another two showed up and one stayed. "Ah."
"This is Nila?" Daniel asked, looking around. It looked familiar but not exactly like Atlantis. He looked at the AI. "Are you Nila?"
The image nodded, coming into the shield. "I am. One of you is a child of us," she said, staring at Xander.
"I am." She came closer and tested him. "I know we have some extra energy. There was an explosion thanks to the Ori. What the Cerevan became."
"I have records of that war," she admitted.
"In it, I'm listed as Tias Diamalan."
She bowed. "Welcome to the first home, Tias Diamalan."
"Call me Xander and this is Daniel."
"Is he your mate?"
"Coworker. We're tau'ri."
"I understand." She smiled at him. "How did you get here?"
"I got us out of the way of the explosion."
"I see. That is natural."
"Where are we?" Daniel asked. "What planet? Is there a gate address? Xander and I have been looking for you for months. We have found Atlantis and wanted to recover you as well." She rattled off a series of numbers and he wrote them down.
"I thank you," Xander said. "If we come, do you have the power to raise?"
"I do," she admitted.
"To fly to Pegasus to meet with Atlantis?"
Xander beamed. "That's so cool. Thank you, Nila. We will be back soon. Daniel, can I send you off?"
"No. Landry is going to throw a fit if I show up without you."
"I was going to use the stargate so we had a reciprocal address."
"We can do that. I have an IDC."
"What is an IDC?" Nila's AI asked.
"It's a code so our people know it's us coming through instead of someone like a gou'ald. We were at war with them."
"That is reasonable. The gate will not work to gate out. It would take too long and you would drown. For safety reasons I cannot create a bubble shield that close to the gate." They nodded at that.
"Is there somewhere on earth, our planet, that would have more information on what they created for you?" Xander asked. "We know there's more than the Antarctic outpost left on our planet."
"There are many." She let Daniel find his laptop and added files to it. She smiled. "You have come far." She faded out.
Xander let Daniel put things safely back then blipped them back to the conference room. He took a deep breath. "Okay, we're here," he said, making Cam jump up to check on them. Xander flopped down.
"Why are you wet?" Sam demanded.
"The explosion radius was a bit further than I thought. We blipped to Nila." He looked at the general. "There's more outposts on earth."
"Are you sure?" he demanded.
Daniel pulled out his computer, then the paper he had written numbers on. "I don't know the reference point. That's her answer to where they were." He opened his computer to find the new files. "There's sixteen smaller lab sort of places." He let the general look at it. He smiled at Xander. "You found her."
"I did. She's also got a few different AI attempts," he told Sam. "It's not a single one. We saw about three I think."
Daniel nodded. "The last two that manifested did look like the first three." He looked at Sam. "So we have one. It didn't look exactly the same but fairly similar to Atlantis."
"Did Adria survive?" Landry asked.
Xander nodded. "I felt her 'port out but she's real weak. She also lost a shitload of soldiers," he said. "She won't be back for a while and I think.... she got the point that ascended aren't worthy of worship. I made her think." Landry stared at him. He shrugged. "We fought and had a talk at the same time. I pointed out how worthless that life is because you aren't *living*. She looked a bit defeated at that time. The merpeople or whatever are protected by the water they're in." Landry sighed and nodded. "Also, the first place I made it to, before going back for Daniel, was crashed ships."
"Ori?" Sam guessed.
"Gou'ald. Not pyramids but their style of decorating, a lot of glyphs."
"Interesting. Are you sure?"
"No and they were real ancient. Like the one dig with the worms that kept trying to flirt with Daniel."
"So maybe a testing ground of their own," she said. "Do you think they'd let us scan from space?"
"I didn't see any evidence that they had space capabilities so could they stop us?" Xander asked.
"No, probably not. I'll talk with Ellis about that, sir."
"Please," Landry agreed. "Well, for a total fuck up of a mission it ended well," he decided.
Xander looked at him. "They're in this solar system, right?" Cam and Landry both nodded. "They've been converted long enough to not be scared but being proud of being Ori."
"Damn it," Cam muttered. "So they've been converted for years."
"Probably generations. They had lost all fear of priors and Adria. Called her 'her'."
"So probably at least a century, so they've been sneaking," Daniel realized. Xander nodded. "Crap."
"I'm guessing there's a missionary troupe, not a real ship but maybe just a small group with a prior. Probably going gate to gate. Doing it more subtly or we'd have heard and seen mass extinction signs. A few years here and there to convert then move on. The Ori Tent Revival, let us heal what we caused," he finished smartly.
"We can look for that and warn others," Sam said. She made herself a note. "They're on the outer rim of this galaxy."
"So would they work in toward the center directly or around the edges?" Cam asked.
"I'd say the edges. There's a lot of less advanced societies out there," Daniel pointed out. "Plus that would give them a point of support no matter where they came into the galaxy. I'm guessing at least a few out that way." They all nodded. He considered it, looking at Xander. "Have you guys heard anything about the super gate that they're trying to rebuild?"
"Yes. It's up." Landry moaned. "I sent that bit of intel back a few weeks ago."
"I know you did," Landry said. "I'm waiting to see what we can do about it."
"We need a heavier war cruiser sort of ship to take it out," Xander told him. "Something like a super carrier instead of the ones we have."
"We won't have it out of the docks for a year," Sam told him.
Xander sighed and nodded. "I don't know then. You guys have the advanced weapons." They all nodded. "Personally I'm all for seeing if we can put a password so they can't use it from their side," Xander said. "Like our iris."
"That.... You know, I'm not sure which side the processor for the gate dialing is," Sam admitted. She made another note. "I'll get into that, Xander."
Landry nodded. "Let me know first, Carter."
"Of course. He's just an idea generator."
"My project of the moment is the database on Atlantis and then Nila," he said. She handed over that string of numbers. "I'll ask Rodney about that when I get back." He looked at the general. "With permission to go buy a few new video games, check on Dawn, then head home?"
"Go for it," Landry said with a smile. "Thank you, Xander."
"Call me if she shows back up." He blipped off to check on Dawn, landing in Jack's desk chair and putting his feet up. He heard Dawn squeal and come running at him, letting her climb into her lap to hug him. "Hi."
Ianto leaned in. "He'll be mad if you put your feet on his desk and I won't be fond of the mud on the paperwork, Xander." Xander moved his feet, grinning at him. "Thank you." He went to tell Jack that Xander was there. Gwen was wiggling a finger in her ear. "Xander's stealing your chair to catch up with her. He looks a bit damp so she'll probably need a moment to change as well."
"That's fine. Don't get mud on it!" Jack shouted.
Jack smiled. "Maybe he'll take her shopping instead."
"I have gotten a good education in skirts and shoes," Ianto said. "If I ever chose to cross-dress, I'd have it made to sultry and flirty instead of slutty."
Jack smirked. "Some day, I might see if that's fun."
"No you won't," Ianto assured him with a smirk.
Xander landed in the control area of Atlantis, looking at Chuck. "Where's Rodney?"
"Damn it! I kinda need his brain. We found Nila." He went to find Radek, handing Evan the bags he carried. "Save my fries for me. And a burger."
"Sure, Xander." He looked in the bags, grinning at the games. Plus the junk food.
Xander walked into the lab, pulling Radek away from his current project. "We found Nila kinda by accident. Her answer to 'where are you' is a set of numbers." He dug it out and let him have it. "Where is that?"
Radek looked at it, frowning. "That's nothing I understand." He smiled. "Is it pretty?"
"Yeah. She's got multiple AI attempts."
"Wonderful!" He grinned. "Anything else?"
"She's definitely sunk, has no shields because Daniel and I nearly drowned, and has enough power to get here by flying."
"Even better." He settled down to look at the numbers. "It can't be galactic center. They didn't measure that way."
"Is it like GPS?" he asked, sitting down. Evan brought in the bags for him. "Thanks, Evan."
"Welcome and thanks for the new game, Xander." Xander beamed at him. "I took a nutty bar."
"You could've gotten more."
"I'll come poach later," he promised. "When we try out the new game."
"Sure." Evan left them to think together. Xander handed Radek a hershey bar, getting a moan and a hug. He beamed. "You need it because Mean Uncle Rodney is off-world."
"He'll be thrilled too, Xander. Did you check on Dawn?"
"I did and told her that if she was going for flirty, it was two inches lower."
Radek laughed and nibbled his candy bar, glancing in the bag. "New game?" Xander let him see it. "That is very nice."
"And I splurged so they didn't have to steal my tv again," he said dryly. Radek laughed. "That way you guys get downtime fun." They went back over the numbers. He smacked himself on the forehead. "AI?" he called. She appeared. "I found Nila. She's here. Where is that by planet or stargate please?" He let her see the numbers.
She looked at him. "I can tell that you found her. Your hair radiates of the chemicals in her water." Radek snipped some immediately. She looked at the numbers and rattled off another set.
"What's the starting point of that set?" Radek asked.
"Is she in the Milky Way galaxy?" Xander asked.
"I believe she is. You do radiate like her, Xander. You should bathe."
"I will in a minute. Thank you."
"You are welcome." She disappeared.
Radek got what he needed to take samples of his skin and sweat. In case it was necessary. They ran it and compared it against the Milky Way galaxy database. That set of numbers gave them a good start however.
Rodney came back dragging his pack. John was tired. Even Ronon was looking tired and Teyla was all but sleep walking. Radek came walking in. "Xander found Nila."
Rodney dropped his pack. "Where is she?" He followed him back to the lab. That was better than a double espresso.
Xander had left him with the problem since it was nearly the middle of the night. "She's at this address using this city as a starting point. But there's no planets there."
"AI?" Rodney called. She appeared. "What measurement is this address in?"
She looked then smiled. "Local light years," she reported.
He beamed, refiguring it. He pointed at the map Radek had put up. "She's in this solar system?"
"Yes, she is." She faded out.
"Thank you," Rodney called. He put a pin in it. "We have an idea."
Radek smiled, logging into the system to look at the planets. "There's six habitable planets, fifteen total including a large asteroid like planet on the outer edge. A weak, orangish sun. We can't compare the contaminants he came back with because we don't have scans yet." He looked at him. "He found it by accident and nearly drowned. They have multiple AI's there."
"Tester ones and they put the most stable here," Rodney said, considering it. He looked at the report Radek pointed out. Daniel and Xander had both written one. Daniel's was emailed. He hummed. "Too bad Adria survived." They went back over the database entries again.
Xander looked at Caldwell when he reappeared from looking at that galaxy, getting an unhappy look. "Not even an ATA carrier?"
"No, not even with O'Neill."
"She likes me," Xander said. "I should've went."
"Probably," he agreed. "We can swing by there on the way back if you're quiet about it." Xander squealed and hugged him.
"You learned that off Dawn," Jon called as he walked past their position up the hall.
Xander beamed at him. "Are you sure?"
"Yup. Though you're taking some breathing equipment." Xander beamed. "It's fully shielded from an air search."
"That makes sense. They wouldn't want an enemy finding it," he pointed out. He sighed. He looked at his bracelet. "I got forbidden."
John came out to look at them. "Take air gear, take McKay, take Caldwell," he ordered quietly. Xander beamed. "Be back within a week."
Xander jogged off to get Rodney while Caldwell got what he wanted to bring. They came back and Xander put on his scuba pack. Rodney got his on. Caldwell had his but he looked almost resigned. Xander took them, which was his maximum number of people, to Nila's room. The shield came up and he beamed, looking around. "Nila?" The AI's fought again and a new one came up. "Hi, did the other one tell you?"
"What is known to one is known to all, Xander," she replied. "Who are these?"
"These are Doctor McKay. He is the chief scientist on Atlantis. This is Colonel Caldwell, he is an important figure in our space fleet."
She bowed to them. "Nice to meet you both." She looked at him. "It is dangerous to be here. There are bad things in the water." She wavered and another one appeared. "There is radiation in the waters."
"I know, which is why we want to move the ship back to where Atlantis is," Rodney told her. "We're still learning about the city since they all Ascended."
She nodded. "We knew they were going to. It is a shame they did not leave more notes than my construction."
"They did and I've been decoding it," Xander said in ancient. She beamed at him. "Can you put up the shields and pump out the water?" A bigger shield came up and the water slowly fell around them. "Thank you." He looked at Rodney, who grinned and hurried up to look at the controls. "Nila, are we able to raise to the surface of the water?"
"The air is more dangerous."
"The shield should keep it out?" he asked.
"I had not thought of that. It should," she agreed. She raised them up. They all smiled at the strange suns on the horizon. She looked at the fragile humans. "We should not stay in this solar system. It is dangerous."
"We're not going to," Rodney assured her. "We want you back with Atlantis."
"I would like to rejoin my child," she agreed, then wavered. "We should leave soon."
"Are we flight ready?" Caldwell asked, moving to look at things. "Show me the flight schematics please?" She did that and he made a few changes. "We need a shield the whole way." She nodded. "Even if it's just in here."
"I can do so."
"Do we have defensive weapons in case we run into asteroids?" Xander asked.
"Yes," the other two said together.
"Okay, just checking. Can you plot the fastest way to Pegasus galaxy for him?" Xander asked. She did that and Caldwell beamed at her. "Good?"
"Excellent." He input a final destination and she nodded, changing one of the earlier stages so they could make it there easier. "Thank you, Nila. Are there sentient beings on this planet?"
"No, Colonel Caldwell."
"Then let's lift off now."
"I will need the child in the chair."
"Show me where it is," Xander said with a grin. She showed him by lighting up that way and he sank into the chair. Shields came up around him and she lifted off. "Guys, are we good?" he called once they made it into space.
"We're fine, Xander," Rodney called. "Coordinates set?"
"Input and we're going," Caldwell sent back.
"This is *so* cool!" Xander called.
"It's definitely different than being on a fully enclosed ship," Caldwell agreed. "We have an ETA of about six days." He heard Xander giggle and sighed. "What, Harris?"
"The only time I've flown the pilot said that."
"I'm much cooler than any airline pilot," he said dryly.
"Of course you are," Xander agreed. "But you do a good impersonation."
"Thanks, kid. McKay, did you think to bring anything like food?"
"I always have something on me in case my blood sugar drops," he admitted, sounding like he was concentrating. "We'll make do."
"If you're sure."
"I am." He smirked at him. "Because I said so." He got back to work. There was no way he'd starve to death after this big of a find.
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