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Title: The First Year
By Atri/ Chiara Crawford



CATEGORY: Introspective

ARCHIVES: ff.net, Command Dynamics

SPOILERS: Season One: Underground

SUMMARY: The meeting with the Genii has unsettled them all.

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).

He walks into the room and stands at attention, the perfect picture of a soldier. And Seren Benjamin David is a good soldier, a very good soldier. It is the reason he is here.

“Please, sit down.” She motions with her hand to the seat opposite her. He does sit, his dark eyes regarding her and John with curiosity. Obviously, he doesn’t know what he’s here for. She, on the other hand, is perfectly aware that this decision could and will change their future. She lets John proceed with the explanations. He comes straight to the point.

“You are aware of our encounter with the Genii two weeks ago and the information we received from the data core.”

David nods. Of course, he knows. Who on Atlantis doesn’t? The news that the galaxy is practically flooded with Wraith has been known the moment the data had been deciphered. It had caused a slight panic for a while and Elizabeth could understand very well why. Hell, she herself is not immune to the threat hanging over them like a sword of Damocles. It is ever present, in the back of her mind.

“The situation with the Wraith is a problem,” states John and she has to keep from snorting at that understatement. A problem, indeed. “But, at least, we can see them on our sensors now that we know what we are looking for. No, the thing that has me concerned are the Genii. Teyla has told me that they have many friends in Pegasus and unlike with the Wraith, we don’t know whom we can and can’t trust. We are flying blind here and that is unacceptable.”

David nods in agreement and Elizabeth knows that he understands only too well.

“Surrounded by enemies, don’t know who to trust.” The Israeli grins suddenly, making him look like a hungry shark. “Feels just like home.”

And this time Elizabeth can’t help but snort at the comparison. She and John exchange a silent look and she knows that they have made the right decision.

“We want you to head a new branch of the Atlantis military, the Atlantis Intelligence Service. You will report directly to the Major and me. We need to know about the movements of our enemies, about their dealings and their allies.”

“I will need people; a lot of them.”

“You will get them. I have already spoken with Hallong of the Athosians. Some of them are prepared to be taught by you and to work for the AIS.”

David nods and the meeting continues. There are a lot of things, which will have to be decided upon: a new headquarters for the AIS, resources, organization. Still, Elizabeth is confident that they will handle it. How could they not?

Later, when only John and she remain, she finally relaxes, lets him see how tired she truly is, how uncertain in her decisions. She trusts him with that now and it is wonderful to have someone who won’t jump to exploit her weakness.

“How is Teyla dealing with all of this?” Though she is a friend to the Athosian, she knows that some bonds run deeper, especially in a team.

He sighs and leans back, his head falling forward in exhaustion. She is not the only one with a burden on her shoulders, she reminds herself. Nevertheless, she smiles. It happens more often now, but to see his defenses down is still a privilege.

“As good as she can. I doubt she ever thought that the Genii were something other than what they seemed. To see old friends turn out to be like this…It has shaken her. I think she feels guilty for Tyrus’ death.”

Elizabeth nods but keeps silent. There’s nothing to be said about this, no consolation nor reassurances. Mentally, she makes a note to have tea with Teyla soon. Despite all the hardships in the recent months, the relationship between their people strengthens with each day. It is a sign of hope. Allies in the Pegasus galaxy are hard to find and even harder to trust, as the recent example has clearly demonstrated.

“Look after her, John.” It is not necessary to tell him that, but she still does. “We need all the friends we can get.” He nods. He knows it, too. Without the Athosians, they would never have come this far.

They fall silent, business concluded and speech unnecessary. Both are comfortable enough with each other to do so now. As she sips her coffee and stares at the setting sun of Lantea, Elizabeth quietly wonders about the future. Will they ever be able to return to Earth? As more and more days slip past her in this new galaxy, her doubt rises. It is an adventure, this expedition, full of adrenaline, wonderful people and beautiful sights. But it also is horrible, dangerous and often deadly. Is it worth it? She doesn’t know. But it has to be.

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