Rodney's voice was loud, insistent and cut through Carter's headache like a shard of glass. She winced slightly, closing her eyes briefly before looking to watch him barrel into her office. She had meant to tap Carson for something to kill the pain, but the latest reports were in from teams mapping the unexplored levels and sectors of Atlantis.
Reports she had lost herself in, forgetting the headache until Rodney had come running.
'What is it McKay?' she asked, wishing he didn't insist on calling her Sam, as if she wasn't his commanding officer. Of course, knowing Rodney, he probably didn't see it that way. Sam was his equal. Coming from Rodney McKay, she had to admit, that was actually a compliment.
'I don't know if we can communicate with them, or whether they're still around, I mean, they might not even be able to hear us or receive any kind of signal, assuming they didn't turn their attention away from Atlantis when the Ancients left, but well, I mean, it's worth a shot? Right?'
'You've discovered an alien species in the archive that the Ancients used to be contact with,' Sam replied, Rodney's blank stare all the confirmation she needed.
'Yes. Didn't I say that?'
'No, but nevermind,' she cut him off before he could speak again. 'What about these aliens?'
'I think they were Ascended, or close enough, but like the Ori, they're different, they exist in another, well, place since I'm not sure how the Ascended organise themselves up there. I guess I always pictured it as-'
'Oh yeah right, anyway the Ancients called them The Seers, or at least that's as close as I can translate, it might be Watchers, it basically conveys the ability to see, but beyond the normal human, or Alterian, ability. The Ancients own ancestors believed them to be a form of guardian angel. From what I've been able to dig out of the database, they're kind of like the ancient god Janus, able to see all of time.' 'All of it?'
'Yes, as closely as I can interpret. Anyway, I think we might be able to make contact.'
McKay's enthusiastic flow stopped and he had the grace to look slightly abashed at what he was going to say.
'Well, um, we think at them.'
'What-?' He knew that incredulous look, and aimed to wipe it off Sam's face before she had a chance to veto the project.
'I know, I know! It sounds crazy! But we do it using an Ancient device, it amplifies brainwaves, you have to sort of, tune into their frequency, alert them to your presence. Then they come.' 'Where?' she was instantly cautious, the chances of them knocking at the 'Gate from what Rodney was saying, were minimal.
'They just, um, appear.'
'They just appear?'
'Yeah, is that so strange? The Ascended do it, the Asguard do it,' he answered defensively, 'c'mon Sam, I thought you'd be the one person in the entirety of Atlantis who would be able to see past the linear.'
'I do Rodney,' she replied, raising her eyebrows, 'but I'm also constrained by my responsibilities and by protocol, frankly I'm going to need something a bit more than a two minute tirade before I authorise this experiment. That means a report,' she added pointedly, knowing Rodney avoided unnecessary paperwork whenever he could. Research papers, articles, books, yes, he wrote them all, but experimental and mission reports, laid down in clear terms, he tried to avoid.
The keen look on his face gave way to disappointment. 'Sam...' he began.
'I don't want to hear it Rodney,' came the reply, 'a full report of everything you have so far, on my desk by eighteen hundred hours, I'll read it tonight and I'll come look at what you've got, in the lab, at fourteen hundred tomorrow.'
'Two o'clock! That's most of the day gone!'
'I have a delegation arriving tomorrow morning at o-nine hundred, we're not seeing them off until after lunch.'
'Oh yeah, politics,' he replied disinterestedly.
'Allies Rodney, without whom we might not keep Atlantis and all the technology you're so keen on. You might want to think about that.'
'Yeah, yeah,' and he wandered away, leaving Sam alone in the blessed quiet of her office. She swivelled the chair round, turning her back on the glass walls that looked out into the control room and over the Stargate, and faced the tall panes that shielded her from the weather, but not the magnificent view of the seas outside Atlantis.
New Atlantia, some of the personnel on base had begun to call it, but it wasn't really catching on. With the Athosians gone, there was no trading with the mainland, no alternative to the metropolis of Earth. The venomous creatures on the mainland put paid to any thoughts of colonisation and Sam wondered if those ignoring the new name for this planet were secretly hoping for another, more permanent, relocation.
She swept a blonde lock out of her eyes and sighed, moving Atlantis wasn't her call. She'd already heard the rumours. Woolsey was the next potential for command of Atlantis. Sometimes, Sam wondered if the IOA weren't a little too close to the NID for her liking.
At least Woolsey was a good man at heart, it could have been worse.