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23 January 2008 @ 11:04 pm
The Eye  
The Eye. Previous parts are here. Enjoy.






The Eye


“Kolya!!” John yelled again. A shot echoed over the communicator; he flinched, looking at Alice, who shook her head quickly. “Kolya! Don't do this!!”

The communicator was silent for a long time; Alice studied the console intently, finally shaking her head. “McKay may be able to fix it. We can’t.”

“You don’t know how?” John said dully.

“I know the schematics. I’m not built for repairs. And I don’t know the English terms for the...” She gestured vaguely. “Parts. Components.”

“They ok?”

“They’re fine. Scared. That’s all.” She hesitated briefly. “Kolya was going to hurt Weir, I think. McKay talked him down. They’re both fine.”

The communicator crackled back to life. “Major Sheppard…How's this for credibility? Weir is dead.

John took a deep breath before answering. “I. Am. Going. To. Kill. You.”

Maybe,” Kolya agreed, eerily disinterested in the possibility. “Stay out of my way. Or Mckay will join her.

John took another, very deep breath before turning and heading out of the grounding station.


John slowed, staring at his palm scanner. On the level below him, three Genii were inching along. John’s communicator was still picking up their chatter; another Genii, Ladon, was guiding them from the control room.

“Where did he go?” one of the soldiers complained. The words echoed oddly, filtering up through the grate under his feet and coming over the communicator as well.

Shh,” Ladon said irritably, “he can probably hear your stupid questions.

John pulled two smoke grenades from his pocket, pitched them over the edge of the rail and hurried on quickly, setting off more grenades as he went.

20 feet away…” Ladon said patiently. “5 feet...

“There's so much smoke….” the soldier protested. “Which way?”

You're right on top of him!

“Yeah? I think I would see him if I was.”

John glowered down at them from the walkway above.


Alice was waiting when he turned away. “Kolya knows you’re killing his men. He’s called them back to the control room, and he’s sending for reinforcements.”

“Let him,” John said, brushing past her. “How are they?”

“They’re fine. McKay almost has the grounding station fixed. They’re planning how to stall.”

“Good. Good for them. Okay, what would McKay do?” He headed away down the corridor again.


Alice considered McKay’s handwritten sign. “Really Really Dangerous Don't Touch McKay,” she read. “Who would want to touch McKay?”

“Well, if you listen to gossip...” John said absently. “You know why we’re here?”

“You want to blow the reactor, cut Kolya’s power.”

“Yeah.” He studied her. “What about you?”

“My program’s not run from this generator. Go ahead...pull this.”

He gripped the part she pointed out, yanking it from the casing. Alice flickered, so briefly he thought he’d imagined it.

“Control room’s down, most of the secondaries are down,” she reported. “You’re making them very unhappy.”

“Good. Elizabeth and McKay?”

“They’re fine...I’d tell you, you know.”

“You didn’t tell me when he got hurt!”

“We were a little busy at the time, I’d just been invaded!” She glanced away. “One of them’s suggesting guarding the generators. Kolya’s refusing.”

“Good. That makes it easier.”


The next generator cut the power to the grounding station. Alice listened for a moment before reporting that Kolya had capitulated and was sending men to all the generators, to attempt to fix the ones he’d damaged and protect the ones he hadn’t reached yet.

“They’re expecting the reinforcements soon,” she added. “John...”

“What?”

“Jumper Two just docked. Ford, Teyla and Beckett are heading for the armory.”

“Just them?”

“There are three Athosians in the ‘Jumper, but they’ve been told to stay there. Beckett has the detector, they’re watching out for you.”

John reached for his radio and then hesitated. “Are the Genii watching the radios?”

“The monitoring program’s running. They’ll see if you talk to each other.”

“How many in the control room?”

“Two.”

“Good.”


The Stargate was activating as John reached the control room; he registered it from the corner of his eye, intent on taking down the man at the control panel. One punch laid him out and John pulled up the shield, encrypting it quickly.

Three men had made it through, and a blonde he vaguely recognized as Sora appeared from somewhere. John ran, firing blindly behind to discourage pursuit.


He hesitated when the communicator came to life. “Major Sheppard. I have a proposition for you,” Kolya said.

“Ford and Teyla hear you,” Alice murmured. “Teyla doesn’t know Kolya.”

“Kolya, I'm having a hard time keeping up…what's the score again?” John asked lightly.

My men have informed me that not only have you disabled some crucial generators…but you've stolen key components that make it impossible to be restored.

“Yeah, I did that.”

There are two flaws in your plan.

“Always open to constructive criticism.”

One. The assumption that I would believe you would rather destroy the city than let it fall to us…is childish.

“Doesn't sound like me.”

Second. If and when I determine Atlantis unsalvageable, Doctors Weir and McKay become obsolete.

“Weir’s alive?” John said in mock surprise.

Doctor McKay was able to make a strong case for keeping her alive…

“Let me talk to her,” he demanded.

Sheppard!” Elizabeth said a moment later. “We're both here!

“It's good to hear your voice,” John told her.

Yeah it's good to hear,” she agreed.

We have less than one hour until the storm hits full force. If the power is not returned to grounding station three within the next 10 minutes Dr Weir dies.

“Again, you mean?” John snapped.

Her death will buy you another 10 minutes. After which should the power still be out, Dr McKay dies. We will then leave with what we can, and the city will be destroyed.

“Well that's not enough time!”

If you don't mind destroying Atlantis, stay where you are for the next 20 minutes. Starting now.

The communicator flipped off and John looked at Alice. “His own people are afraid of him,” she warned him. “He may do it. He has nothing to lose.”

“Thanks,” he muttered. “What’s happening at the reactor?”

“He pulled the guards away. Your path’s clear, from here.”

“Good. I’ll see you there, then.”


The reactor was almost fixed when Alice hissed, “The guards are coming.”

“Almost there,” John muttered, slotting a crystal back into place.

“John...”

“Stop!” Two guards appeared, weapons aimed at him.

“Look, your boss wanted me to turn this thing back on…so I think we should do what he says.”

“Be quiet.” To his communicator, he added, “Sora? We have him.”

Keep him alive. I'm on my way.

“I don't mean to be a bad prisoner or anything, but Kolya is going to kill one of my people if I don't get this thing back on in time, so—“

“Turn around,” the guard ordered.

John hesitated, grinning suddenly. “You turn around.”

“What?”

“If I have to turn around, you should turn around.”

A Wraith stunner spat and both guards fell, revealing Ford behind them.

“What the hell took you guys so long?” John demanded, turning back to the generator.

“Well, there's a storm…” Ford started.

“Just hold that thought.” He slid the last component into place.

“That did it,” Alice reported. “Power’s back to the grounding station.”

“You ok, sir?” Ford asked.

John nodded to both of them. “I've been better…I've been worse. My shoulder’s a little sore.”

“You want me to take a look at that?” Beckett offered.

“Take a rain check, doc.”

“We should leave this area. More Genii will be on their way.”

“I couldn't agree more,” Beckett said quickly.

“John, one of the Genii is down the corridor,” Alice murmured. “She’s listening to us.”

“Let’s go,” John told the others, sending Ford out first to watch.

“She’s armed, but she’s not holding it,” Alice continued. “And she’s going to keep following, I think.”

“Watch her,” he breathed, gesturing Beckett out after Ford and following, letting Teyla take their six. Louder, for everyone to hear, he continued, “McKay figures if he can harness the storm's lightning he can fire up the shield.”

“This lightning?” Beckett asked in surprise.

“SG teams have done it before to power the Stargate,” Ford reminded him.

“There's a big difference between powering a star---“

“I didn't say you could talk.”

“What kind of plan is that?” Beckett asked John, ignoring Ford.

“A Rodney McKay kind of plan. It's all we got.”

“Which means there's only one place to go…” Ford murmured.

“Where the Genii will also be,” Teyla agreed grimly.

“Anybody left in the hallway…is as good as dead,” John told them.

“John,” Alice murmured. “The Genii behind you has just defied orders to go to Control. She wants Teyla.”

“Will the young hunters in the Jumper be safe?” Teyla asked.

“Jumper bay is part of Stargate operations so they'll be protected,” he said absently.

“So maybe that's where we should be headed,” Ford suggested.

“Once the shield goes up over the city, Weir and McKay are expendable to Kolya. We've got to take the control room first.”

“Would he really kill them because they are of no further use to them?” Teyla asked.

“No, he'd kill them to punish me. Now here's the deal. Ford and I get into position just below the control room stairs. Teyla and Beckett head for the Jumper bay.”

“I intend to fight alongside you,” Teyla protested.

“And I intend you to fight with us. Once you get in position lower the ship into the gateroom, open the weapons pods; that should create a distraction for Ford and me to go in. We take back the control room…get the shield up…city safe…Weir and McKay safe. Take the rest of the day off.”

“And Teyla safe from the Genii. Smart,” Alice muttered.

“Sounds like a plan, sir,” Ford agreed.

“Stay on channel 2. Let’s move out.” To Ford, he added, “You're not gonna need that thing. Shoot to kill.”

Ford left the Stunner behind, following him towards control. Teyla and Beckett headed in the other direction.


John paused at the base of the control room stairs, clicking his radio. “We're in position.”

“This isn't right,” Ford said quietly.

“What?”

“Teyla and Beckett should of easily have made it back to the Jumper bay first. They should have been waiting for us.”

“Teyla, what's your position? Teyla?” He looked around, catching Alice’s eye as she came down from the control room.

“The Genii caught up to her,” she answered his unspoken question. “They’re fighting...she’s winning, I think. Beckett’s unconscious. And the Genii are about to evacuate, they’re taking Elizabeth and McKay with them.”

“Damn,” John breathed as the Genii entered the ‘Gate room. “Change of plan. You get McKay.”

“Seriously, this is a bad idea!” McKay protested as he was forced downstairs. “You saw what happened to my last plan…this is not what yo---“

John fired, killing two soldiers. McKay jumped, dashing for safety; Koyla, out of John’s range, grabbed Elizabeth, holding her tightly.

“You're not going anywhere,” John warned him. “I will shoot you if you don't let her go.”

“And risk hurting Dr. Weir?” Kolya backed towards the ‘Gate, yanking Elizabeth with him.

“I'm not aiming at her.” He shot, hitting Kolya dead on and knocking him into the gate. Elizabeth stumbled away, catching herself. “Find Teyla and Beckett,” John told Ford. “Make sure that's all of them.” He caught Elizabeth’s arm as she rose, steadying her. “Sorry about that, I had to, ermm…you okay?”

“No,” she said dazedly.

“You will be. Come on.” He led her up to the control room where McKay was already working at the console.

“Wait! What are you doing?” Ford asked.

“I thought I'd activate the shield and save the day. You got something else in mind?”

“Teyla and Beckett are still out there,” Ford reminded him.

“Tracking system’s down. There's a tsunami headed towards the city. Two and a half minutes they're dead.” McKay was still typing, determined to get the shield up.

“Then give them two minutes,” John ordered.

“Teyla’s still fighting the Genii girl,” Alice told him. “Still...not losing.”

John clicked his radio on. “Teyla and Beckett, fall back to the control room.”

“There's no more time,” McKay said firmly. “Either we lose them or we lose the city.”

“They’re coming,” Alice said suddenly. “The Genii’s helping them.”

The two women appeared, supporting Beckett, and Elizabeth turned to McKay. “Rodney, go!”

“Going.”

“What's happening?” she demanded, when nothing seemed to happen. John blinked when Alice flickered again, turning away from the group.

“It’s working,” McKay assured them, “it just needs to build up enough power for the shield generator to activate. Wait for it...” For no particular reason, he added, “Carson.”

“Rodney,” Beckett answered dazedly.

“Just in time to see how this ends huh? Now.”

On the display they watched the shield power up just in time, as a wave that would have drowned the city broke over them. “Nice work, Rodney,” Elizabeth said in relief.

“Did you ever doubt me?”

“Yes. Several times.”

Deflated, he muttered, “Oh.”

“I see you've made a new friend, Teyla,” John said brightly. Teyla gave him the ‘you idiot’ look and he glanced away casually.


It took a while to sort out the city, but eventually the displaced personnel began to ‘Gate back. John stood on the balcony with Elizabeth, watching them.

“What do you want to do with her?” he asked, continuing a conversation about Sora.

“Oh, I don't know yet. We'll keep her locked up for the time being. Maybe releasing her to the Genii will help ease tension.” Elizabeth was only half-listening to him, watching her people come home.

“You're extremely optimistic, you know that?”

“You think so?”

Rodney wandered up, one arm wrapped in a bulky bandage. “Everyone getting back ok?”

“It looks like it,” John told him.

“How fares our city?” Elizabeth asked him.

“Well…we've begun pumping out the lower levels of the east peer which was flooded. There is structural damage but nothing to serious. Beckett suffered from a minor concussion…as for me look at this.” He gestured to his arm. “I had to do this myself. Still…on the bright side I've had my first decent meal in 24 hours so…all things considered I'd say we are just fine.”

“You say these things happen every 20 years, right?” John said idly.

“That's what they tell us,” Elizabeth agreed.

“How far in advance can we book days off?”


When the ‘Gate finally shut off Rodney went to oversee the start of the repairs; Zelenka was going to take charge of them, but Rodney wanted to make sure they got started ok. Elizabeth wandered into her office; she wasn’t working when John glanced in, but at least she was off her feet. He made a mental note to check on her later and went to walk the city.

Alice didn’t appear for a long time, not until he’d circled some of the deserted areas and was heading back towards the main area. “The generators are all back online,” she reported. “And Zelenka thinks he’ll be able to fix the control panel for the grounding station.”

“Good,” John agreed. “How about you?”

“Me? What would be wrong with me?”

“I saw you. When the generator went out, and when the lightning hit.”

“Saw me what?” she asked, seeming genuinely curious.

“Flicker. You told me the generator wouldn’t affect you.”

“It didn’t,” she agreed.

“It did,” he contradicted her.

Alice smiled faintly, looking away, and he insisted, “Tell me what happened.”

“Some of the systems run off more than one generator, for backup. Mine is one of those. I run off three of the generators, all the time, and if all three go down I switch automatically to another. The first one you hit was one of mine, the second wasn’t, and when the lightning hit it sent much more power than the city usually uses through all the circuits. That’s all.”

“You told me you weren’t running off that generator.”

She shrugged. “I wasn’t running off only that generator. And it had to be done.” Catching his look, she added, “I’m a servant of my city and of you, John. I do what’s needed. That’s how I was made.”

“Even if what’s needed would destroy you?” John ignored the other part of the sentence, not wanting to deal with it right now.

“If you hadn’t stopped the Genii, the city would have burned or drowned. Running at a little less power than usual wasn’t such a big deal in comparison. You won, John. That makes it all worthwhile.”

“Yeah,” he said slowly. “Thanks for your help.”

“What I’m here for,” she said, turning away and vanishing midstep.

“Yeah,” he breathed, heading for his quarters.