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Title: The First Year
By Atri/ Chiara Crawford



CATEGORY: introspection

ARCHIVES: ff.net, Command Dynamics

SPOILERS: Season One: Sanctuary

SUMMARY: Evolutionary changes.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis.
I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).

She is on her way to her office when it happens again. The murmur that has been in her mind for the last few weeks grows stronger and the door in front of her swishes open at just the barest of thoughts. She frowns and changes her direction to the infirmary.

“I’m getting more and more reports of things like this happening,” Carson later tells her, his brow furrowing in dismay, “and I don’t know why. I did as you asked and checked for the ATA gene again. You have it now.”

“I thought the gene therapy didn’t work? Is this just a delayed reaction?”

“No. If the therapy had worked, then it would have done so immediately. There’s no explanation why the gene suddenly appeared.” He shrugs apologetically and promises to investigate further. Elizabeth squeezes his shoulder briefly and then walks out again.

This shouldn’t be happening. Logically, there is no way for her to suddenly develop the gene out of nowhere, but logic, it seems, will not help her here. She doesn’t return to her office, but to her usual balcony and leans against the railing. It is a beautiful day. The sun shines and the fresh salty air smells good. Nevertheless, her thoughts are still on the mystery that now plagues her mind.

When did this begin? She believes she knows. It is no coincidence, surely, that these things started to happen after Chaya visited Atlantis. For a brief moment the hot, boiling feeling of envy flashes through her, but she banishes it into the depths of her being. This is no time for such petty emotions, no matter how justified.

Had the presence of Chaya activated something in Atlantis that now affects them too? It certainly seems possible. She remembers a conversation she had with Daniel back when aliens, higher beings and other worlds were still new to her.

The Ascended don’t care for us. Live or die, they do not interfere. He had snorted in derision, his face a mask of disgust and incomprehension. It’s the reason why they kicked me out – or perhaps why I left? People dying, whole species annihilated, the galaxy burning…they don’t care for any of it. Sometimes I wonder if we aren’t just some kind of twisted entertainment for them. For all intents and purposes, we are their children, but we have been left with a galaxy riddled with their mistakes. The Great Alliance is no more. The Nox are mostly in isolation, the Furlings – who knows? And the Asgard are the only ones that still care, but they are stretched too thin to make a true difference, though they, at least, try. And then there’s us, Tau’ri, cleaning up their messes. It’s not going to change. That’s what you have to realize, Elizabeth. Nobody out there will help us, will save us. We’re alone in this and we have to do everything to come out on top.

Back then, she had not wanted this frightening revelation to be true. Now she knows that Daniel was right. Even if there were some amongst the Ascended that would like to help, they would be punished for it. Pegasus had been left to the wolves when the last Alterans had gone to Earth. Once more, it is in the hands of their children to fight and to win.

Elizabeth doesn’t know how she should feel about this development. Having the ATA gene is a bonus when living on Atlantis, but somehow, somewhat, she is angry. Perhaps it is the remnant of the hope that, finally, they would gain a reliable ally, that those that came before them would rise up and act. The dream of finding a peaceful Atlantis had been shattered almost upon their arrival in Pegasus. It doesn’t make the realization that they are truly alone, that there will never be any kind of intervention from the Ancients any less disappointing.

Elizabeth turns and heads to the balcony door, stopping a few feet before reaching it. Is this an indirect way of helping? Was this truly Chaya’s final defying act? Elizabeth wills the door open and it obediently slides apart.

The murmur in her mind gets stronger, more distinct. She cocks her head to the side and listens. Atlantis, in return, sings to her. The song reminds her of the sea, of ringing bells and laughter and sunshine. Smiling, she pats the grey wall beside her like she would Sedgewick.

You’re ours now, she thinks fiercely, possessively. We will make you great again, fill your hallways with life and the sound of children’s laughter. We will do better than them and our children will not have to pay for our sins.

She nods to herself and walks back to her office and the troubles of being Atlantis’ leader. Somehow, though, she feels the city’s song grow stronger and brighter.

The radiant smile on her face is as brilliant as Lantea’s sun.

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