July 15th, 2005
Tricesimo Septimo, Mensis Nonus, Secundo Anno Postquam Resurrexit (Nonus 37th, 2 After Rising)
When the Potentia from the Daedalus was introduced to her power grid, she woke up. Well, she hadn’t ever been precisely asleep, but she had been so lethargic for so long due to the lack of power, that she felt as though she were awakening from a long coma, and she could once again communicate with the residencium within her structure.
It’s not that she hadn’t tried. Although she had been able to gently nudge Artifex RadekZelenka to make the needed repairs, she’d had to electrocute that castellum excors, PeterKavanagh four times, trying to get him to stop corrupting her systems.
Fortunately, a small number of those residencium had sufficient conversatio, either natural or artificially induced, to be considered civium. Unfortunately, only one of those civium had conversatio close enough to the Alterrans that she could make herself heard. Fortunately, that one civis was JohnSheppard. She also recognized, and appreciated, his disinclination to inform the other civium of her sentience, especially after he had made her understand the Terran penchant for disassembling objects they found in order to figure out how they work.
The very idea that the Terrans might want to disassemble her made her want to regurgitate! If she had been more organic and less mechanical in nature, she probably would have. Instead, she began to quietly and methodically teach JohnSheppard all the procedures he would need to know in order to protect both the residencium and herself.
November 20th, 2005 - 1500 Zulu
Standing just beyond the ‘splash-zone, John watched as the Stargate dialed in from Earth for the weekly databurst.
It’s been six weeks since he and Rodney had destroyed most of a solar system at Doranda. He had been pissed at Rodney for all of an hour. How can you stay pissed at the man who’s at your bedside every time you wake up in the infirmary? How can you stay pissed at the man who knows your every mood? How can you stay pissed at the man who sucks your cock like it’s the only sustenance he’ll ever get, and fucks you like you’re the very last person in the universe? How?
It’s been three weeks and two days since Rodney had been recalled to the SGC for the inquest into the ‘Arcturus Incident’, and John hasn’t heard a word from him since. John is extremely pissed now, but it’s directed at the SGC, not Rodney.
'I’m worried about him, Lani. How can I make sure he’s alright and returns to us?'
'Do not worry yourself unduly, JohnSheppard. I am keeping watch over your RodneyMcKay. He is physically well.'
'At this distance, I am unable to ascertain the current state of RodneyMcKay’s psyche. He is currently conscious, there is no elevation of blood pressure or heartrate indicative of fright.'
'What am I going to do if they won’t send him back? I’m scared here, Lani.'
'We have spent the last three weeks refining the rescue plan. You know where the primary, secondary and tertiary control interfaces are. All you have to do is be in contact with one of them and you have complete control of the city ship. If they will not return him freely, you will have to force their compliance.'
Just then, the Stargate connected with its typical ‘Ka-Whoosh’, and settled into the calm pool of an active wormhole. The blue shimmer of the ‘gate shield activating followed immediately after. The large screen video display above the stargate activated, showing a rather rotund Brigadier General, standing in SGC’s control room.
“Atlantis Base, this is Stargate Command, General Landry speaking. Do you copy?”
“Stargate Command, this is Atlantis, Colonel Sheppard speaking. I was expecting General O’Neill?”
“Jack got himself promoted to a job in D.C. I’m his replacement.”
“Congratulations, General Landry. On to business, then. You’ve had my CSO for over three weeks, I think it’s about time you gave him back, don’t you?”
“Your new CSO is on board the Daedalus and is scheduled to arrive in ten days. Now, we have a databurst to send you…”
“What do you mean, ‘new CSO’? Where is the old one? We would like him returned ASAP!”
“Dr. McKay’s employment with the Stargate program and the US Air Force has been terminated for cause. His green card was also revoked and he was deported last week. He will not be returning to Atlantis. Now, if we can continue with today’s business?”
John held out his right hand and a column rose from the floor under it. “I don’t think so. Return Dr. McKay to us immediately, or I will come get him myself!
'Atlantis, initiate Lockdown.'
'Lockdown initiated. All Residencium are confined to quarters. Only JohnSheppard may override. '
“Control yourself, Colonel! Don’t forget who you’re speaking with.”
“Oh, I’m not forgetting anything, Landry. You have one hour to produce Dr. McKay, or I will return to Earth to fetch him myself. Do not force me to make you regret anything.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Sheppard. Even if I was so inclined, I couldn’t produce McKay in an hour. He’s not even in the country. I’m not sure where he is at this point in time.”
“Don’t hand me that bullshit! Even if the Daedalus is on the way here, you have the Apollo in orbit, and McKay has a subcutaneous transmitter. It should take less than five minutes to have him in the ‘Gate Room.”
“It doesn’t matter anyway, since I will not be giving any orders to retrieve McKay, and you will be replaced as soon as the Daedalus arrives. You will then be returned to Earth, where you will be court martialed for insubordination! In the meantime, consider yourself under house arrest. You will stay on Atlantis until retrieved by the Daedalus, you will not be allowed through the Earth ‘gate, and Major Lorne will assume your duties until your replacement is there.”
“Yeah, I sorta figured you’d be a dick about this. It’s your funeral.
“Disable the Terran Astria Porta. Allow no outgoing connections. Allow incoming connections from Atlantis only. Disable their Iris and disable their dialing computer, hell, smoke it, for all I care.”
“By your command.”
“Sheppard!” Landry yelled, as the dialing computer next to him began to emit smoke and flames. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” The iridium iris opened to its widest aperture, and the inner ring of the stargate began to spin, showing no signs of stopping.
“Putting you in your place, asshole. I will contact SGC in… fifty-three minutes. When I do, it would be in your best interest to have either O’Neill or President Hayes standing in your place.
“End connection, Atlantis.”
“By your command.”
“McKay has let you watch entirely too much Battlestar Galactica, hasn’t he?”
“I do find the concept of the Cylons to be most intriguing. If I transported a few dozen into Stargate Command, it would have them, as I believe MajorLorne would say, ‘a shittin’ and a gettin’.”
“I do believe it would, at that. See what you can do. However, we need to get to Earth as fast as possible. How soon could we get the city there?”
“Using the Wormhole Drive DoctorMcKay and RadekZelenka installed, forty-two minutes, thirty-seven seconds.”
“Is that the drive that had you cooing for a solid week?”
“I do not ‘coo’, JohnSheppard. It is the most expedient method of moving the city to Terran space.”
“Won’t it deplete the ZPM? We’ve only got the one, you know.”
“It is of no import, JohnSheppard. I can construct three potentia while we are in transit.”
“You can build ZPM’s?”
“Yes, of course. It is a requirement as they are similar to your ‘dry-cell’ batteries, meant for single use and not rechargeable.
“Unfortunately, I was unable to do so until this latest potentia was installed because, while they do not require a great deal of energy to construct, the process does require more than I had available to me. I will also have to recycle some of the depleted potentia that DrMcKay has stored in his lab for base elements I do not have otherwise available.
“It would be best to begin our journey now if you intend to keep to your time limit.”
“Yes, good idea. Do I need to go to the primary interface? And why hasn’t Rodney found the procedure for building ZPM’s?”
“As long as you are in contact with the secondary control interface, all will be well.
“DrMcKay has not found the technical information he wants because he is not looking in the right place. Instead of having his people search the notitia primas civitas locus, the primary city data core - which no one has actually found yet, he has them searching the Alterran database, which is basically nothing more than a collection of narcissistic diaries, written by people who thought much more of themselves than anyone else did. It is rather like your Terran ‘MySpace’.”
“You know I’m going to have to tell Rodney about the database? Once he’s finished ranting and raving, he’ll find your comparison hilarious.”
“Yes, I believe he will.
“I have completed construction of the first potentia and will start the second momentarily.
“I have also completed the survey you requested. Thirty-five were not amenable to the plan. Thirty-six will be returning to Terra.”
“Thirty-six? What’s up with the extra?”
“I was not amenable to the Castellum Excors’ continued presence.”
“Let me guess, Kavanagh?”
“Affirmative. It is not possible to dispose of him more expeditiously, other than pushing him to the end of Pier 5 and momentarily shrinking the shield.
“There are now thirty-four minutes until we reach Terra. Where would you like to ‘park’?”
“That depends greatly on two variables. First, is it possible to cloak the city before we exit the wormhole?”
“Yes, I engaged the cloak before we started transit.”
“Good. Second, how close to a solid object can the wormhole open?”
“As long as there is a minimum of ten meters between any solid objects and any part of my structure, I can exit the wormhole anywhere.”
“That’s absolutely perfect! Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do…”
November 20th, 2005 - 1552 Zulu
Atlantis ‘Gate Room
John could hear what sounded like an entire brigade marching down the hall. “How much longer, Atlantis? And what’s that noise?”
“We will arrive on station in two minutes, fifteen seconds. The sound you hear is that of our departing ‘guests’, being escorted to the Astria Porta.”
Just then, the doors slid open and the thirty-six departing personnel entered the room. Each one was being escorted by a two-meter tall, chrome-plated, Honest-to-God Cylon Centurion.
Comments could be heard by most of the people being escorted into the room, but the loudest and most strident were coming from the tall scientist with the pony-tail. As soon as he saw John, his demands were sent in that direction.
“What is going on, Sheppard!? I demand my immediate release! Why am I being held captive?”
Before John could answer, the Cylon holding Kavanagh’s arm turned its head toward him, and in a perfect Cylon voice, said. “Your village called, they want their idiot back.”
Snickering, John surveyed the departing personnel.
He was pleased there were only five Marines, all enlisted. They were all recent arrivals to the city and he knew these five all had spouses and children on Earth.
Elizabeth was disappointing, but not unexpected. The rest, but one, were various scientists and support personnel, all off the Daedalus in July. He knew them by name, but that was about it.
The last one, he just looked at with a raised eyebrow.
Dr. Beckett fidgeted for a moment, but spoke with a surprisingly calm voice. “My mother is gravely ill, Colonel, and not expected to last much longer. I’d like to be with her until she passes, but once she’s gone on, I’d be more than happy to return.”
“Of course, Carson. Take all the time you need to care for your mom. I’m sure we’ll all miss your big-assed needles while you’re gone.”
“Oh, I doubt that, John.” Carson said with a grin. “I left them in the care of Dr. Biro!” Then he and the rest of the deportees disappeared.
“I have raised the cloak over them, JohnSheppard. I thought you might wish to keep them incognito while you speak to the SGC.”
“That’s fine. You built me Cylons, ‘Lani?”
“I built me Cylons, JohnSheppard. Everyone needs a hobby.
“We have arrived to your desired location.”
“You have a lock on McKay?”
“Affirmative. I can transport him at any time.”
“Great! It’s showtime!”
November 20th, 2005 - 1605 Zulu
“Well,” Lieutenant General Jack O’Neill said. “It’s been an hour. We ought to hear from Sheppard any time now. Have we had any luck finding McKay?”
“No, sir,” a much subdued General Landry replied. “He has somehow managed to disable his subcutaneous transmitter. We have no idea where he is.”
“Right. Your orders are being printed. McMurdo Station for the next two years, starting tomorrow.”
“But, Jack! …”
“You really screwed the pooch this time, Landry! What the hell were you thinking, going along with the IOA and not letting me or President Hayes know? Your only other option is retirement, because I don’t feel like conducting a Court Martial!”
Just then, Chief Master Sergeant Harriman raced into the control room and straight to General O’Neill. “Sir, you have got to see this!” Physically turning O’Neill toward the large screen monitor mounted over the Stargate, Harriman pointed a remote control and turned on CNN.
Jack would have sworn that what was being shown was archive footage, except for the ‘Live Broadcast’ banner at the bottom of the screen. The night-time view of the White House confused him, since he knew for a fact that it was eleven in the morning in D.C.
“Ladies and gentlemen, your CNN crew were on scene at the White House when this momentous occasion occurred, just a few seconds ago! I’ve just been informed that one of our helicopter crews, covering the construction of the new Oriole’s stadium in Baltimore has a more complete view for us.”
The scene switched to an aerial view, from above Baltimore towards Washington, but Washington couldn’t be seen, as it was completely hidden by the city of Atlantis, hovering serenely, about 500 feet above what was probably the White House. Landry just whimpered.
Turning to Hayes, O’Neill drawled, “Well, Mr. President, I’d say this pretty much blows any discussion about disclosure out of the water.”
“Yep. I’d also say, completely off the record, of course, that this’d be a great time to dump the IOA and all those bastards that are causing us the most trouble.”
“Yeah, I think we’re on the same page, Jack. Who do you want running SGC?”
“Good choice. She’s still a Colonel, right?”
“Yeah, but you’re the President. You can fix that.”
“So I can. As long as we get to keep you as Homeworld Security, you’ve got a deal, Jack. Now, all we have to do is figure out what to do about Atlantis.”
The stargate’s inner ring suddenly stopped spinning and all nine chevrons locked down. The iris swirled closed, then back open, revealing the calm blue event horizon of an active connection.
“Stargate Command, this is Civitas Atlantis, Praetor Sheppard speaking.”
“John, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal. Independence Day, much? Ya’think this might be a bit overkill?”
“Well, Jack, I wanted to make a statement. You know what they say, ‘Go big or go home’.”
“Your daddy tell you that, did he?”
“My daddy hasn’t spoken a word to me since he called me a ‘fucking faggot’ and kicked me out of the house at sixteen because I told him I preferred penes over vaginas.
“As I said, I’m here to pick up my scientist, and to make a statement. Oh, and to drop off a few things, but that’s all.”
“So, no blowing our shit up?”
“Not in my current plans, Jack. I just want my scientist. Do you have him?”
“No, sometime after those asshats in the IOA railroaded him out, without my or the President’s knowledge, mind you, he managed to disable his subcue. I’m afraid I don’t have a clue where he is. Why do you want him so badly, anyway?”
“Why do you keep Daniel Jackson so close, Jack?”
“Yeah, point. But McKay?”
“If you’d ever had his cock up your ass, you wouldn’t have to ask.”
“Yeah, gotcha. You said you were dropping something off?”
“Yeah, here they come. Tell your Marines not to shoot anything.”
Then, they started coming through the stargate in pairs, one former Atlantis expedition member and one Cylon Centurion. The first through was Peter Kavanagh, complaining, as was his default setting.
“O’Neill, you need to arrest Sheppard. He’s gone crazy. While you’re at it, get this walking tin can off me. It called me an idiot!”
“Looks more like a toaster to me, but it seems to have enough intelligence to call it like it sees it. Shut the fuck up, Kavanagh, before I let my marines hunt you for sport.
“Really, John? Cylons? What’s next, R2D2 and C3PO? We clearly sent too much SciFi to Pegasus!”
“Hey! The Cylons aren’t mine, they belong to Atlantis! She just lets me play with them.
“Secure the room, and everyone in it. Don’t kill anyone if you can help it… except Kavanagh. If he gives you any trouble, shoot him in the ass.”
“By your command.”
“Damn, John. I think I’d get down on my knees for a few companies of these.”
“Well, you’d have to talk to Atlantis about that. And let me just say she’s not too happy with Terra right now. She’d just as soon eradicate all life on this planet and start over. Be prepared to bend over, think of England, and take it dry.”
“It would be so worth it.”
“So, I’m gonna go find my scientist, then I’ll get back to you. We need to set up trade negotiations between us.”
“Trade negotiations, John?”
“What part of ‘Independence Day’ didn’t you understand, Jack? Sheppard out.”
“Fuck! ‘Independence Day’! How did I miss that?”
“So, Jack,” President Hayes asked. “Who would you recommend as US Ambassador to the Pegasus Galaxy?”
“Not Weir, that’s for sure. She looks pissed as hell.”
“How about Dr. Jackson?”
“He’d be great at it, but if he goes, I go. I’m not ever letting him off-planet without me again.”
“Right, we can’t afford to let you go too. What about that man that replaced Dr. Jackson on SG1 temporarily, Jonas something?”
“Quinn, Jonas Quinn. He’s actually a pretty persuasive negotiator, and he gets along with most everybody. You do know he’s not from Earth, right?”
“Semantics, we’ll make him the offer.”
“Lani, it’s time to get Rodney back. Bring him home.”
A bright light flashed and Dr. McKay was standing next to John.
“Wha…? John? Thank God! You’ve got to help me, John! I need to get them away from those bastards before…”
“Hold up, Rodney. Calm down and get it together! What’s the problem and who do we have to get.”
“Right. Calm. Okay, this whole farce of an inquest was a set-up by a group called ‘the Trust’. They wanted me to build them a weapon capable of destroying a planet.
“They kidnapped me, my sister, her husband and her daughter. They’re using my family to ensure my compliance until…
“John, they were, they were planning to stick a Goa’uld in my head, so I’d do what I was told. We’ve got to get Jeannie and her family out before they kill them!”
“We’ll get them, Rodney. Lani, can you find them?”
“Searching… I have located a grouping of three people in the same building I transported DrMcKay from. Two of them have genetic markers close enough to DrMcKay’s to be close relatives. The third does not but does share some genetics with one of the other two.”
“That would be Jeannie, her husband and their daughter. Can we get them out of there quickly. If the Trust finds me gone, they’ll kill them.”
“Yeah, let’s do that. Lani, will you transport them to the quarters next to Rodney and me? Then see what you can do about Earth’s ‘Trust’ issues.”
“Don’t trust Landry at the SGC, either. He’s one of them. So’s Caldwell, for that matter.
“And just how did you transport me here? It’s a long way from Earth to the Pegasus Galaxy.”
John chuckled. “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Pegasus anymore, Toto!”
President Hayes, Generals O’Neill and Landry, and thirty-six Cylon Centurions disappeared from the SGC in a flash of light.
The President and O’Neill reappeared standing at a conference table, facing the back of a chrome statue of a woman, about five foot ten and dressed in a knee length tunic. At least they thought it was a statue until she turned to face them. Jack immediately noticed her eyes, which glowed an amber-yellow, and became very uneasy.
“I am Civitas Atlantis. Please be seated, gentlemen. Praetor JohnSheppard and his Consort will be with us shortly to begin our discussion of trade negotiations.”
After a short pause, she continued, “Rest easy, General O’Neill. This body is merely a construct to allow me to communicate with you. I do not house a Goa’uld, my eye color is a by-product of the material I used to make them.”
“So you made yourself a body just so you could talk to us?”
“Affirmative. I find residing in a physical body to be uncomfortable, but I felt this would ease the Praetor’s job, as he won’t have to stop and relay everything I need to tell you. I will send this construct to my reclamation center when we’re finished.”
Turning to the President, she continued, “You Terrans had what JohnSheppard called a ‘Trust’ issue. A subversive group, controlled by the Goa’uld, Baal, and calling itself ‘the Trust’, had infiltrated several of the governments of Terra, especially your United States of America, in an effort to either control the planet or destroy it.
“They had already compromised the NID, and were well on their way to gaining control of the FBI, CIA, and SGC.”
“Baal? Damn! I thought I had killed him. And I can easily believe the NID, Maybourne has been a real son-of-a-bitch, lately!”
“You did destroy a clone of Baal’s symbiote. I found the original in addition to two hundred-eighty-five clones, one of which was inhabiting the body of a very unwilling Harry Maybourne. He is currently in my infirmary, along with the other unwilling hosts I found, recovering from their trauma. Those hosts who were willing, along with the collaborators I found, are currently occupying my Wraith holding cells, awaiting trial in your courts. All evidence of their crimes has been delivered to your Attorney General, or her equivalents in the countries affected. I sent the symbiotes to Mare Imbrium.”
“You sent them to a vacuum? That had to hurt.”
“Considering the atrocities Baal committed, the punishment was no more than it deserved. And as all the clones were mentally linked to the original, Baal got to feel the effects of explosive decompression two hundred-eighty-six times.”
“Wow. You can be a bit of a bitch, can’t you?”
“That would be Queen Bitch, General O’Neill. Do not forget it!”
“General, Atlantis, perhaps we can table the discussion of your mutual bitchiness until our other discussions are completed, or more to the point, until I am out of range of any backlash?”
“Of course, Mr. President.”
“I am amenable to a delay of this discussion, as well. The Praetor has just informed me that he has been unavoidably delayed, and has given me leave to continue our treaty discussion.”
Rodney wheezed out an exhausted breath as his cock slipped out of John’s ass and he rolled to the side. “God, I’ve missed that!”
John just huffed and started a new conversation. “So, Atlantis has started building Cylon Centurions.”
“You’re fucking with me, right?”
“Well, I would be if you hadn’t been so quick off the mark! I love you too much to call you the ‘Original Minute Man’, but damn, McKay! You left me hangin’ here!”
“Poor baby. I could give you a blowjob to get you off?”
“I could handle that.”
“Or, you know, you could just man up and fuck me.”
“Yeah, let’s do that!”
“But first, tell me about these Cylons the city is building for you.”
“Fuck later, talk now.”
“Well, she says she’s building them for her. It’s her new hobby. Anyway, she’s using the specs from the Battlestar Galactica Wiki as a base. They’re about the same size and strength as a Wraith Drone, but not quite as fast. They’re made of an iridium alloy, so they’re nearly indestructible, and the Wraith can’t feed off them.”
“Sounds like the perfect soldier against Wraith.”
“Yeah, except she won’t put brains in them. She says she doesn’t want to take the chance of any of them becoming self-aware, so they have to be controlled from an external source.”
“Well, that sort of limits their usefulness.”
“Yep. To work around that, she’s building body armor for the Marines from the same alloy. The armor will have an implanted AI that allows the wearer to control up to three Centurions.
“We’ll still haves teams of four, but it will be one human and three Centurions and we’re going to kick so much Wraith ass that the Pegasus natives will swear we’re picking on them. Atlantis estimates we’ll be able to eradicate the Wraith within three years.”
“Wow, John, that’s really great!”
“Uh-huh, it really is. Now stop talkin’ ‘cause I’m gonna fuck you!”
Rodney just grinned.
“Thank you, gentlemen. I think this is the start of a mutually beneficial arrangement. When the Daedalus arrives, we will detain Colonel Caldwell and any other Trust agents we find and send them to you through the Astria Porta. We will expect the arrival of Ambassador Quinn and Dr. Jackson within thirty days.”
“You sure Danny has to go to Pegasus?”
“Yes, General. The world on which Moros built his lab is only accessible from the Pegasus Galaxy. The few notes he left in my database about the ‘Sangraal’ he was creating allude to its ability to destroy ascended beings. That’s the only way to win a war against the Ori.”
“Fine. Maybe I’ll come with him for a few weeks and get in some fishing?”
“You will be welcome, General. I have transported the prisoners to their respective countries to await trial, sent the patients to the SGC infirmary, and moved to a geosynchronous orbit above Cheyenne Mountain. We will be leaving Terran space in one week.”
“Not that we’re trying to get rid of you or anything, but why the delay?”
“The majority of the Atlantis personnel have merged their Terran bank accounts into a surprisingly large supply fund for our community. We intend to use it to resupply foodstuffs, materials and equipment on the city that are not easily found in the Pegasus Galaxy. That reminds me, the US is currently not on good terms with Columbia, is this correct?”
“No,” replied President Hayes. “The Cartel is a constant pain in our backsides.”
“Then you should have no problem over the sixty acres of coffee trees I transported from there. Nor should you have a problem with the fast-acting, species-specific herbicides I spread over their poppy fields.”
“Did you at least pay for the trees?”
“I am not a thief, Mr. President. Of course we paid for the coffee trees, as well as the cacao trees, tea plants, vanilla orchids and various fruit trees and plants I transported from various areas around the planet. The former owners were well compensated. It’s not like the fund will run dry or anything. I expect the Terrans will be keeping it quite healthy in return for what Atlantis will be able to offer in trade.”
“And what will Atlantis be offering?”
“Why don’t we reserve that conversation for Ambassador Quinn? Goodbye, gentlemen.”
Two hours later…
“So, let me get this straight…”
“We pretty much don’t do straight, Rodney.”
“Keep your mind out of the gutter, flyboy.”
“Rodney, you’re sitting bare-assed on top of my equally bare cock. It’s a bit difficult to keep my mind anywhere else.”
“Focus, Sheppard, and answer my questions, or there won’t be so much as a hand-job for a month!”
“You’re a mean man, McKay.”
“When have I ever pretended otherwise? Now, Atlantis is alive?”
“I’m not sure how you’d define ‘alive’, but she is a sentient being.”
“And she talks to you in your head?”
“But she won’t talk to me in mine?”
“Not so much won’t as can’t, your ATA gene isn’t pure enough. She hopes to be able to modify Carson’s gene therapy to fix that.”
“Good. You destroyed the dialing computer at SGC? How many teams were off-world at the time?”
“Yes, and two, both long term. We can give them the DHD out of that trashed ‘jumper as compensation.”
“Good, the dialing computer by-passed far too many safety protocols found in the DHD’s for my comfort, anyway, and they automatically compensate for stellar drift.
“You used my wormhole drive to bring the city to Earth?”
“Yep. For the record, it took forty-two minutes, thirty-seven seconds.”
“Then you parked her above the White House and decloaked?”
“Yep. CNN was already on site for something else. It was shown around the world within five minutes.”
“And you declared our independence from Earth?”
“Yes. Thirty-six of our people who declined independence were transferred to the SGC, including Elizabeth and Kavanagh.”
“Carson as well?”
“He had a different reason. His mother is dying and he wants to be with her until she passes on. He said he’d be happy to return once she’s gone.”
“That’s good then. Want to shower, dress and get some dinner?”
John chuckled as he said, “Sure. Sounds good.”
“What’s so funny?”
“C’mon, John, ‘fess up!”
“It’s just that you never asked about any of the important things.”
“Such as the ZPM’s she made while we were on our way here.”
“She built a ZedPM!?”
“No, Rodney, she built three. Seems the depleted ones are non-rechargeable, so she has to be able to build new ones. She did say she was recycling the old ones, though.
“You also didn’t ask about the acres of coffee trees, cacao trees, fruit trees, vanilla orchids and tea plants she stripped from the Earth and planted in her greenhouses.”
“We’ll be able to grow our own coffee?”
“And chocolate, fruits, nuts, and so on. Radek will probably go into raptures over the various fruits he’ll have available to distil into his hooch.”
“Coffee and chocolate. You do know the way to a man’s heart.”
“I sure do. Now c’mon, let’s get that shower. And let’s make it a long one.”
“I’ll bring the waterproof lube.”