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Author's Chapter Notes: Atlantis receives word from the IOA that they want te search concluded but someone comes to their aid

Chapter Five
As the search intensified rumblings began to filter back to Atlantis of discontent among the IOA and it was clear intervention from both the IOA and Stargate Command in the not too distant future was inevitable. When it finally came though, it both shocked and angered everyone involved in the search.

John looked at the incoming message with trepidation, it was a request to contact the SGC and, if his suspicions were correct, it was regarding the very thing he’d hoped wouldn’t happen. He turned round as he heard the door to Elizabeth’s office open. He wasn’t surprised to see the rest of his team come sauntering in. It was strange how they all seemed to find comfort from this room. It was as if by being here they were somehow closer to Elizabeth. Today though something must have alerted them to his troubled thoughts as no sooner were they in the room and Teyla was studying him.

“John what is wrong, have you received news.” Teyla looked at John

He noticed the same look of concern mirrored on all their faces. John frowned. Was he really that obvious? “I’ve had word to call the SGC on an urgent matter. I’ve kind of guessed the reason.”

“It may not be what you think John,” replied Teyla.

“It’s probably a request for the reports that you were supposed to have sent them like.... yesterday” said McKay. “Any way can’t you just call them, maybe then we can get some lunch before heading out. I hope the Genii got their details correct this time if we get a repeat of yesterday...”

Ronon glowered at McKay “We all know whose fault that was.”

“McKay spluttered on the power bar he was devouring. “How was I supposed to know she was his wife?”

“The next time McKay, keep your mouth shut and leave the talking to the rest of us with a bit more diplomacy,” advised Sheppard. Anyhow, I can’t stand around debating the pros and cons of M6T378 as I said I’ve got to contact the SGC and before you say any more, I’ve sent the reports through to them so no it’s not about that.”

“Do you want us to wait with you John” asked Teyla softly.

John sighed, “No its okay I’ll go to the mess hall so McKay” he glowered at the Astrophysicist, “can fill his stomach. Though come to think of it McKay how can you need food after that breakfast you demolished this morning.”

“It’s okay for you,” moaned McKay. You don’t have to be careful with your blood sugar.”

With a shake of his head John turned on his heel and left, hurrying to the operations center to contact the SGC and General Landry. Ronon and Teyla followed McKay to the mess hall.

The three team mates sat down at a table in the almost deserted mess hall.
“I only hope Colonel Sheppard does not receive bad news from Earth”, sighed Teyla “I don’t know how much more he can take. Elizabeth’s disappearance has taken a heavy toll on him.”

McKay looked up startled, “You don’t think they’re going to stop the search do you. Not even the IOA would be that unfeeling. They’d be signing Elizabeth’s death sentence.”

Ronon looked hard at McKay before he dropped his chin to his chest. He murmured “We may already be too late.”

“Ronon, don’t let John hear you saying that,” scolded Teyla “he hasn’t given up hope, and neither should we until we have evidence that suggests otherwise.”

“I’m not saying we should give up,” replied Ronon “just stating a fact. Anyhow we’re about to find out, here comes Sheppard now.”

One look at Sheppard’s thunderous expression and his stiff tense posture was enough to tell them, that whatever had been discussed hadn’t gone well.

John was beyond furious as he stormed into the mess hall. He couldn’t believe the audacity of the IOA. He filled his tray, although he’d almost lost his appetite, and sat down at the table ”Well the IOA have exceeded their self this time.” have demanded the search be stopped, not even scaled down which would have been bad enough. No they’ve went one step further, they want it discontinued. And if that isn’t bad enough they’re also going to appoint a new expedition leader, their actions are disgusting.” The muscles in his jaw flexed as he lapsed into silence.

“What! They can’t do that!”Cried McKay “What about Elizabeth?”

“We it seems they can and they’re adamant. General Landry said it is the IOA’s belief that it is too late to save Elizabeth. According to them it would be money wasted.” John slammed his fists down on the table. “God damn it, she deserves better than this.”

“What about the SGC? What’s there take on it?” asked Rodney still displaying signs of shock.

“General Landry didn’t divulge much but I did detect undercurrents of anger and disbelief. He did say O’Neill is going to try and discuss it with the President, and to hang fire until after then. So for the meantime we continue as we have been doing. Sheppard flexed his fingers and when he looked up there was a hint of defiance in his eyes. My mind’s made up though; if the IOA get their way and the search is cancelled they will be receiving my resignation, although I have no intention of returning to earth. I intend to carry on searching with or without their agreement. I’m not giving up on Elizabeth, not until there is undisputable evidence that she has been killed.”

Teyla leaned over the table and placed a hand on Sheppard’s arm, “And you will not be alone John. I, for one, intend to stick by you.”

Ronon smirked “I guess you’d better count me in also, can’t have you getting into tricky situations without me being there to rescue you.”

“I suppose I better come as well,” piped up Rodney, “you’ll be in need of a genius, and there’s no-one better than me.”

Taking a deep breath, Sheppard shook his head “I can’t let you do it guys, it’s neither going to be pleasant nor easy. We’ll be watching our backs all the time, because the IOA will not accept it without a fight.

It was Rodney that spoke first “I think I know Teyla and Ronon well enough to know they want the same thing as I do, to continue the search for Elizabeth. If this is the only way left open to us, then I say we go for it, as you said we owe it to Elizabeth. If the situation was reversed I think she’d make the same choice.

John gave a hint of a smile “Okay if everyone is sure that’s what you want, then all I can say is thanks. For the time being however we wait, see what the outcome of O’Neill’s meeting with the President is before taking any further actions.”

Major General O’Neill leaned forward to grasp the phone from its cradle. He was finally getting to use his position at Home World Command in the Pentagon to his advantage and he’d never felt the need to abuse that power as he did now. Atlantis was in need of a spokesman to lobby their grievances and he guessed he’d just appointed himself as it. He steeled himself in preparation as he heard the voice on the other end.

A short time later he replaced the phone; a smile of satisfaction on his face.

The figure currently staring out the window turned round curious as he heard the receiver being replaced “So did you manage it.”

O’Neill gave a triumphant snort before standing up and joining his friend and Commander of the SGC Hank Landry. “It’s all arranged for this afternoon and I’ve a feeling it won’t be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The President holds a soft spot for our Dr Weir so I can’t see him being entirely happy with everything the IOA has demanded.”

For a brief moment a worried look, crossed the faces of both Generals. Laundry was the one to verbalise what he was thinking. “I think everyone has a great deal of respect for Dr Weir. She deserves every chance of being brought home whilst it remains a possibility.” He paused. “However Atlantis can’t run as it is at present, something needs to be done and fast. It’s not a reflection on Sheppard’s capabilities but he can only do so much, he’s is only human after all.”

O’Neill nodded solemnly “I’d be lying if I denied having similar thoughts, but what we don’t want, is for the IOA to have the final say on who it’s going to be. We need someone with a military background but who is also efficient in other fields as well.”

Landry raised a wry eyebrow, “You have been giving this some thought. And do you have anyone specific in mind.” He tossed Jack a devilish grin. “Someone with all the correct credentials”

“How did you get the ability to read me so well,” groaned O’Neill. Then as he realised Landry was waiting for him to verbalise it, he huffed “Okay as you seemed to have already guessed, its Carter.”

“And how do you plan on getting the IOA to change their mind about something they are totally opposed to.” Landry’s expression showed curiosity

“Well... by suggesting Carter’s positive advantages, she is a scientist as well as military which might soften the blow slightly” Jack grinned deviously “and by getting the President to use his persuasive powers on the IOA.”

“I’ve no doubt Jack, if anyone can pull this off then you can. His expression became more serious. “I only wish it were as simple to retrieve the present leader of Atlantis, what she must be going through if she is still alive doesn’t bear thinking bout.”

Both men lapsed into silence as they contemplated the complexity of the present situation.

Jack arrived for his appointment with the President promptly and was soon shown in to the presidential office.

“The grey haired man, sitting behind a large mahogany desk, looked up and smiled in acknowledgement. “Jack come in and please take a seat. Punctual as always I see. I think I can guess the reason for your sudden urgency to speak with me. You want me to challenge the IOA’s decision, regarding the search for Dr Weir. Am I right?” He met the General’s surprised expression with an interested look.

The general’s eyes twinkled “Well yes, that and some other relatively minor issues.”

The President shook his head in amusement, “Why do I feel this is going to be far more in depth than you hinted. So Jack... cut to the chase, what is it you really want?”

“Well Sir, for starters, you’re correct in your assumption, I am totally against scaling down the search for Dr Weir. There is still no concrete proof that Kolya has carried out his threat or even indeed intends to”. His tone became grave. “To do as the IOA has suggested would be like signing her death warrant.”

Leaning forward in his chair the President sighed. He looked at Jack, his eyes holding just a hint of sadness. “Jack... neither do we have any proof that Dr Weir is still alive. We may, as the IOA states, be throwing away money needlessly.”

Giving the president a sharp look Jack countered him “But what do you feel in your heart is the fairest thing to do.”

Giving an exasperated groan the President replied “Jack I think you already know the answer to that. However it’s not my personal feelings I should be airing. I have to think what’s best for the majority as opposed to the minority.”

Jack frowned “It’s the majority who are going to benefit in the long run if you decide to go by what your heart tells you rather than the alternative. The only ones I can see benefitting from what the IOA wants, are the IOA themselves.”

The President sighed in exasperation, although he knew Jack was being truthful. “Okay here’s what I feel should happen One... the search should continue and in fact, if at all possible, extended. We’ve had rescue missions that have far outlived the present one, that have still been concluded triumphantly. If there’s a chance of finding Dr Weir, even if it is a slim one, we need to take it. We owe her that at least. Secondly... and of utmost importance, Kolya must be found and held accountable for his actions. Thirdly... if we allow the IOA to win on this, we will lose not only Atlantis’ civilian leader but her military one also. Lastly and I’m not sure of feelings on this one. There is on matter I agree with the IOA on, Atlantis needs a new leader at her helm even if only temporarily. Sheppard is too preoccupied to do the best by Atlantis.”

Jack tipped his head but looked towards the President. “Well actual Sir, I’d already come to that decision myself, but I probably wouldn’t agree on the IOA’s choice of candidate. There needs to be more of a military input, someone who can not only stand in for Weir but Sheppard also.”

The President smirked knowingly, “and you would happen to know of someone suitable would you General?”

Coughing nervously Jack was aware of a faint tinge of red creeping up his neck.
“There is one person I thought could possibly fill the bill. She’d be quite capable of handling the potentially explosive atmosphere that heralds Atlantis at this time. But not only that, she also possesses the tact and calming influence needed to guide everyone through this emotional period.”

The President raised an inquisitive eyebrow “And does this truly remarkable vision carry a name by any chance.”
“Well there’s only person I could think of, who would fit the bill,” he glanced at the president from the corner of his eye, “Colonel Carter.”
Jack gave the President a strange look when the man suddenly snorted, but waited patiently for his answer.
The President laughed as he replied, “Relax Jack I only wanted to see you squirm, Carter was already my first choice, if she is willing that is.”
Jack looked indignant as he realized he’d been played and by the President no less. He replied in an injured tone “She’ll be ready as soon as you give the word.”
The President smiled “Okay leave the IOA to me, we’ll soon have Carter enroute to Atlantis. Meanwhile she has permission to drill up new recruits and they can be trained to carry on with the day to day missions necessary for Atlantis’ general wellbeing. This will allow some of the Atlantis teams, who are already familiar with the Pegasus Galaxy, the freedom to plan more detailed and extensive missions in the bid to locate Dr Weir. If she’s not found, it will not be for lack of trying.”
The President pushed his chair back before standing, signifying the end of the meeting and Jack immediately took his leave, anxious to report back on the outcome to Hank and the rest of the SGC.


John lay with his booked poised precariously on the edge of the bed as he thought of the recent changes. He found Carter’s presence comforting and his acceptance of her instigated the same feelings around the rest of Atlantis’. With his reduced responsibilities to Atlantis, John was able to concentrate on coordinating more methodical and larger search Their many allies were also rallying assistance from other planets. They held Dr Weir in high esteem and were determined to assist in whatever manner needed.

His mouth twisted in a frown, aware he was losing the battle with himself. Shutting the book he’d been trying to concentrate on for the past fifteen minutes, John swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up. He knew what was distracting him, but he really didn’t want to make the decision his head was telling him was the correct one.

Lifting up his cup he attempted to swallow the dregs of coffee that remained, but immediately spat it into the sink in disgust, it was stone cold. His thought returned to the previous distraction. He couldn’t justify delaying it any longer, it was long overdue.

Oh he knew the reason for his avoidance, he simply didn’t trust his emotions, not to overrule his commonsense, and the person he was avoiding was still one of the hated Genii, the same race that had taken Elizabeth from him. It didn’t matter how many times he heard they weren’t responsible, that it was a rogue fraction of the Genii that had carried out the terrible deed. John still saw them as one and the same. Radim was of the same race that had dragged his terrified wife from the safety of his arms. The same race, which had laughed ruthlessly, at the look of horror on their victim’s face as they described, in graphic details, what they’d planned for her. How could he therefore be expected to differentiate between the two? But he also knew he’d no choice, somehow he needed to bury these feelings of repulsion, if only to ensure their full co-operation. If anyone could find news of Kolya’s whereabouts or where he’d likely flee, then it was the present Genii leader, Ladon Radim. He alone would know Kolya’s way of thinking, his way of working, and the planets that would provide the rogue Genii with a safe haven where he could simply disappear.

Chapter End Notes: Thnaks for taking the time to read

Please review
Thanks to ny beta Susan

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