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Time's Glory: An Stargate fic (2/2)

Title: Time's Glory
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Characters: SG1, SGA, OCs (The TOC)
Word Count: 7193
Rating: PG-13 ?
Notes: This is the sequel to "Count Time" and "Long Time Coming" in which SG-1 meets up with Col. Alan Kelly, a time traveler from the future, and his team. His stories can be found here: The TOC Files. This takes place during season 2 but there are no specific spoilers except perhaps for "Coup d'Etat". After that it kinda becomes AU as I took awhile to finish it. There is a third with the possibility of a fourth if I get some ideas.




*******************

Ronon growled in frustration and anger. How could they have let themselves be taken so easily? He should have known something was wrong when the townspeople virtually ignored them. He would have expected fear or curiosity. Looking back on it now he realized they must have been told to go about their business.

They had been in the tavern and Sheppard was asking about Ford when they were all shot from behind. He came to in a cell empty save for the rest of the team, each slowly waking up.

"What the hell happened?" demanded McKay.

"We were shot by the people in the tavern," Ronon answered.

"Why just stun us? Why not kill us?"

"I do not know, but we will find out before too long." Teyla walked to the door where she took up position listening for any approach.

"Hey, Kelly's in the jumper. He'll contact Atlantis if he doesn't hear from us and then come looking."

Sheppard was too much of an optimist. "He can't contact Atlantis because he doesn't know the Gate address."

"Ah. OK, he can go when he wants and contact them."

"Would he leave us?" McKay was sounding more paranoid.

"No. He's military. He wouldn't leave unless he saw no other option."

"I'm sure if Dr. Weir does not hear from us she will send another team."

"Doesn't anyone want to make a break for it?"

"And what do you propose?" asked McKay. "In case you hadn't noticed, we're unarmed."

"We overpower the guards next time they come back, take their weapons, then get back to the ship."

"Not bad except we don't know what's on the other side of that door. How many more guards are there? Where in the town are we? I say we wait until we see who has us and get some more information."

Ronon grudgingly recognized the truth in Sheppard's statement. They needed more information before making an escape plan.

"Someone is coming." Teyla moved away from the door.

"Move to the far wall!" ordered the guard from outside.

They moved away, opposite the door. Ronon heard the lock turn and the door opened slowly and another body was dragged inside. He recognized the jacket. It was Kelly. So much for Plan B.

At that moment a man with a scarred and pock-marked face entered the room. Ronon saw the others stiffen. "Maj. Sheppard. Dr. McKay. How kind of you to accept my invitation."

"Kolya. It's Lieutenant Colonel now."

"Congratulations." Kolya looked at Ronon. "This is the lieutenant's replacement?" He then turned away. "I heard of your search for Lt. Ford. Has he deserted his post?"

"You arranged for all this," said McKay. "You knew we would come for Ford."

"Of course. The Genii have spies on many worlds. We knew you were searching for him and arranged this trap. I knew Sheppard would not pass up such a chance to rescue a comrade."

Kelly groaned and slowly turned his head. "Did anyone get the number of the truck that hit me?"

"He's not dressed like you," Kolya said facing Sheppard, "but he came from the same direction as you." He headed for the door. "We will talk more later." The door was securely locked behind him.

Teyla went to help Kelly stand. "I did plan to rescue you," he said. "They just got me from behind."

"Now we can only hope Elizabeth will send another team before too soon."

"I'd say about another ten, fifteen minutes."

"How do you know?"

Kelly looked at him. "I talked to her. Remember that buzzing I heard? Believe it or not, it was the jumper."

"Oh, be serious."

"Rodney, I feel like it's reading my mind all the time." He turned back to Kelly. "But you don't have the gene."

"But I am telepathic. Maybe that's all it needed. Anyway, it dialed Atlantis and I told Elizabeth that if she didn't head from us within an hour to send another team."

"When they arrive, how can we warn them? The Genii have our radios."

"Did I forget to mention that it'll be my friends and SG-1?"

**************************************

Acastus Kolya, former general and hero of the Genii, walked up the stairs to the pitiful room that acted as his headquarters for this mission. Yes, it was still a mission with an objective and plan. His defeat and humiliation by Sheppard and his team-twice-was not something easily overcome. His position, his life, was taken from him and he knew he had to leave his home world before Cowen put an order out to kill him. Now that he had the Atlantis team locked up with no escape, he could take them back to Cowen and regain his position.

He closed the door to the office and sat behind the desk. Once he heard that Lt. Ford had left the city and that there were teams searching for him, it was easy to plant information to bait the trap. He had men positioned throughout the village and surrounding area to wait for the rescue team Weir would definitely send. There was no way they could get to his captives without being seen.

He would let them stew down there for a few hours before telling them his plans. Yes, this was a good day so far.


***************************

Eric followed Dr Weir to the armory where they were all given an automatic pistol and semi-automatic rifle with plenty of extra clips. "Why is it that our little vacation getaways never seem very relaxing?"

"Because we usually go with Alan," commented Shannon.

"You do have a point." Eric adjusted his vest, checking that its many compartments were closed.

"What can you tell us about the planet's culture?" asked Daniel.

"From what Teyla has told me, it's an agrarian society. I would place its technology near medieval level."

"So there shouldn't be too much of a problem getting them out," said Ryan. "If they are locked up, it's probably a very basic cell with a simple lock. As for weapons--unless it's the Genii--we can easily overpower them."

"Before we do anything, we should find out if the locals had any part in the trap," said Sam. "After all, we don't want to give the people the wrong
impression and create enemies."

"Once contact is made with Colonel Kelly, he will inform us of what has transpired."

"Then I think we're ready," Mitchell said.

"I'll take you to the jumper bay where you can meet your pilot."

The group followed Dr Weir to the jumper bay where a young pilot was waiting for them. He grinned when he recognized SG-1. "Sgt. Lewis," he saluted. "I was told I was needed to fly a rescue mission, but I didn't realize it would be you."

Sam and Mitchell returned his salute while Daniel explained. "As we were here, we volunteered."

Mitchell made the introductions. "There may be a few things you'll see and hear during this mission that you will need to immediately forget."

Lewis eyes the members of the TOC somehow knowing the strange happenings would originate with them. "Yes, sir. I'll wipe it from my mind."

"We'll need to fly in stealth mode," Sam instructed. "They may have been taken by hostiles who will be watching for a rescue ship."

The TOC followed SG-1 into the jumper. Eric remembered when he and Alan were fresh out of the Academy flying shuttles they used to pretend they were flying jumpers. Now here he was in the real thing. It just added another level of surrealism to the experience.

He looked over at Ryan and Shannon to see them wincing in pain, fingers massaging their temples. You guys okay?"

"I just have this buzzing in my head," groaned Ryan.

"It's like an incessant droning," put in Shannon.

"Do you want anything? I'm sure there's some aspirin in the first aid kit," said Daniel.

"No, it should be ok. I'll let you know."

Knowing his comrades were all right, Eric made his way past SG-1 where Mitchell was hearing from the other three how they had come across a similar ship on a previous mission. He entered the cockpit and spoke to Lewis. "Mind if I join you?"

"No, take a seat." He rested his hands on the control panel and the ship came to life. He next reached over and punched the keys that would open the Gate. "So, you're friends with Col. Kelly?"

"We're his team." The ship lowered into the Gateroom and Eric looked at the rippling blue in front of him. "This is just so--"

"Cool?" Lewis supplied. "I know. It's still relatively new to me too. I've only been here a few months so I haven't been assigned a regular team yet."

"Part of the pilot pool, eh?"

Lewis chuckled. "I like that. Here we go!"

****************

John finished explaining their history with the Genii. Relating it like that made it sound like some great epic that PBS could air for a couple months.

"Kolya's certainly restraining himself well if that's why he wants revenge," commented Kelly. "He must have something planned for you."

"Sorry you had to get caught up in this."

"So we know the Genii have us but we didn't learn anything else," declared Rodney. "Really doesn't help our situation any."

"We did gain one thing from that visit," said Teyla.

"What?"

"We will now be able to communicate with the rescue team," she smiled with a glance at Kelly.

"For that matter, why can't he just use his little doohickey and get us out of here?"

Kelly pushed up both his sleeves showing his bare arms. "Don't you think I would have?"

"How did they know what it was?" asked Ronon.

"They didn't, that's why they took it. Didn't want to take any chances." John paced the room.

"I might have an idea." Kelly sat cross-legged on the floor against the wall. He closed his eyes and slowed his breathing.

To John it looked like he was going into a trance, but for what purpose? Maybe it helped boost his telepathy or something. It was probably similar to the techniques Teyla used when she attempted to connect with the Wraith. She and Ronon watched patiently waiting to see what would come of his trance. Rodney, however, squatted and stared at his face. John was waiting for him to poke Kelly just to see if he would feel it.

A couple minutes later, Kelly opened his eyes and Rodney fell back with a start. "How long?"

"A little over five minutes," John answered.

"OK. Aside from your friend Kolya, there are at least five others within the building and maybe about a dozen out searching for the ship."

John wondered how Kelly did it but now was not the time to question it. He helped the other man stand. "Any ideas where we are?"

"From what I could tell, the cellar of the local government building."

"It would be the only one to have cells such as this," commented Teyla.

"What of weapons?" asked Ronon. "What are we up against?"

"Wait a minute here! This guy sits on the floor, goes into a 'trance' then tells us about the Genii? You really believe this?"

"Would you have believed sharing your body with another consciousness if it hadn't happened to you?" countered Kelly.

John chuckled. He remembered how they all thought McKay had gone around the bend that time. So now that they had that extra information they wanted, what were they going to do with it?

"So now what? The odds are still against us."

"Not anymore." Kelly smiled. "They're here."

*****************

When they materialized on the other side of the Stargate, Teal'c looked at Ryan Kelly and Shannon Flynn who both seemed in some pain. He hoped that the medication Colonel Carter found for them would relieve the cause. Why were they the only ones affected? It could not be because they were from the future or Eric Rader would have similar complaints. "Could your pain be connected to your abilities?" he inquired.

"I never thought of that," said Ryan Kelly.

"Maybe because we're sensitive to certain wavelengths or whatever," added Shannon Flynn.

"I think I've located Alan if you guys are up to making contact," called Eric Rader from the cockpit.

"OK." The two members of the TOC closed their eyes and contacted their friend.

Such a way of communication would be a boon to the war against the Ori. Even if there were one psychic on each SG team, it would keep tactics and strategy secret. Perhaps if one were powerful enough, a psychic could cause disruption among the Ori, possibly isolate a Prior from his masters.

Shannon Flynn and Ryan Kelly opened their eyes. "They're being held by the Genii in the cellar of the government building--that's what Alan called it anyway." Ryan Kelly stood and walked to the cockpit.

"What of guards?" questioned Colonel Mitchell. "That might help a smidge."

"Aside from Kolya, there are five others in the building and more out searching for the ship." She walked to the cockpit as well.

Teal'c stood and followed her and watched as she and Ryan Kelly placed their hands on the control panel by Sergeant Lewis. A look of intense relief passed over her face and Ryan Kelly smiled.

"What are you two doing?" questioned Eric Rader.

"Alan told us he heard the buzzing in his head too and this is how he got it to stop," answered Shannon Flynn.

"Did it work?"

"Oh, yeah. With an added bonus," Ryan Kelly said.

Teal'c wondered what such a bonus could be.

*****************

Rodney still could not come to grips with Kelly's "abilities". He believed in facts and numbers. Physics was the science. For him, this telepathy and stuff was like something out of Trek. They only had his word about how many Genii they were facing. They hadn't actually seen anything.

"So are we just going to sit here and play 'I Spy' while we wait?" The idea of sitting here helpless was not the impression he wanted to make for his reunion with Samantha Carter.

"Of course not, Rodney. We'll coordinate an attack with SG-1 and Kelly's team." Sheppard said it so matter-of-factly it irked.

"So we get to overpower the guards after all." Ronon was just happy to have the opportunity to hit someone.

"Then we retrieve our weapons from Kolya," put in Teyla.

"I do have another idea," said Kelly. "One of my team can bring us some weapons. It'll give us a better chance."

"Sure. That'll be great," agreed Sheppard.

Now that I have to see.

A few minutes later a man appeared in the center of the room a few steps away from Kelly. He just appeared: no Gate, no beam, and no rings. Just a small device strapped to the wrist. To have such a device could change the course of their battle against the Wraith... His mind went into overdrive contemplating the possibilities.

The newcomer looked about. "You've certainly ventured off the beaten path this vacation." He unslung the pack from his shoulder and opened it to reveal a number of guns, clips, and even a couple zats.

"You should know I don't go to the usual tourist traps."

"Wha-- How did-- That's impossible!"

"Obviously not," said Teyla.

"I'm not one to question the science of how you got here. Lt. Col. John Sheppard." He held out his hand.

"Capt. Ryan Kelly. Yes, we're brothers."

"Twins, actually," said Alan Kelly.

After introductions were made, Ronon got straight to the point. "So what's the plan?"

********************

Daniel smiled as Ryan disappeared with the weapons to help the Atlantis team escaped. In the back of his mind, he could hear Jack saying We gotta get some of those!

"I still can't get used to that," said Mitchell.

"Every once and awhile it hits me what we're doing and I'm amazed," said Eric.

Mitchell looked at Shannon. "You'll let us know the moment you hear from them, right?"

"Of course."

Daniel put that comment down to nerves and waiting and hoped that Mitchell would realize that Shannon wouldn't keep anything from them. Not knowing if Mitchell would say anything, he did. "Not that we think you're holding anything back."

"I'm sorry," Mitchell apologized. "It was a stupid thing to say. I'm just not used to all this," he said motioning to his head.

"Apology accepted."

"What do you think they'll do?" Daniel wanted to know.

"Alan will probably be able to locate the Genii leader and Ryan will move them to where they can retrieve their weapons and Alan's device. That's probably when they'll need us to create a diversion," speculated Sam.

"We just have to hope that Sheppard doesn't want to make it personal," Mitchell said.

"He might if it's Kolya," put in Eric.

"Let's just say it is Kolya," said Daniel. "Would this be something sanctioned by the Genii or is it a personal matter on his part?"

"It is most likely the latter," answered Teal'c. "From what we have learned, the Genii would be content with any of the Atlantis teams. Kolya has arranged this to specifically lure that of Col. Sheppard."

With a look towards the town, Daniel wondered what the showdown between the two men would come to.

****************

Teyla felt better armed and she could tell Col. Sheppard and Ronon felt the same. McKay was given a strange weapon he and the brothers called a zat and he appeared comfortable with it.

"From what I can tell, Kolya is away from the office where he has probably stashed our gear," said Col. Kelly.

"I'll be able to home in on Alan's machine but as we don't know what we're up against, everyone face away from me when we go."

"What are you talking about?" demanded Dr McKay.

"The machine generates a field that will enable us all to travel together. The closer you stand to me, the better."

Teyla watched as Col. Kelly took position beside his brother. She then stood next to him, her back to Capt. Kelly. Col. Sheppard stood nest to her and McKay and Ronon were the last to join the circle.

"Weapons ready," ordered Col. Kelly. "Time to tell the others we're on the move."

After a moment of disorientation, she saw she was in an office of sorts. There was no one inside and Ronon moved to the only doorway to watch for the approach of any Genii. At that same moment, gunfire could be heard coming from below. That must be the diversion.

Col. Sheppard, Dr. McKay, and the Kelly brothers began to search the desk and cabinets. "We'd better hurry in case Kolya realizes it's a diversion," said the colonel.

She walked to the window that overlooked the square. The townspeople had disappeared inside so it was easy to see both sides of the fight. Across the square she could see six figures under cover firing weapons similar to what she carried. They could only be SG-1 and the other members of Col. Kelly's team. She changed her angle to try to see the Genii but it was near impossible.

*********************

"How does it look, Teyla?" John asked.

"SG-1 has taken position on the opposite side of the square and are firing upon the Genii. I cannot see the Genii below us."

"Bingo!" shouted McKay. "False bottom to the chest." He took out the weapons and handed them out.

Kelly held out his hand and McKay reluctantly returned the machine. "You've had enough accomplishments, Rodney. You don't need to steal someone else's thunder."

John turned to Ronon. "We clear?"

"Clear."

"All right." He took the lead and everyone fell in behind him, the brothers in the rear. As they neared the stairs, he heard footsteps rushing up towards him and paused at the corner waiting for whoever it was to get closer.

A man turned the corner and stopped, seeing six weapons pointed at him. His hands moved out from his body. "I underestimated you, Col. Sheppard."

"It's becoming habit with you, Kolya." He nodded for Ronon to disarm him. "I will say you are looking good for a dead man."

"As long as Cowen believes it."

He motioned for Kolya to turn around and walk ahead of them. "It doesn't really matter what Cowen thinks as he's dead."

Kolya stopped. "Why don't I believe you?"

"Why would I lie? I didn't like either of you but at least you were up front about what you wanted."

"There was a coup," put in McKay. "Ladon is the new leader."

"And how do you know all this?"

"Ladon used us to get Cowen and his guard away from your world. Also, as we helped cure his sister, I believe we're on his good side at the moment."

"How wonderful for you."

"If you tell your men to lay down their weapons and end this, we might be able to make a deal."

******************

Sam was surprised when the Genii suddenly stopped fighting. It was highly unlikely that they would just stop so they must have succeeded inside. She slowly stood, hoping the halt of fire wasn't just a ply to draw them out. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the others stand as well.

Mitchell was the first to move towards the building, finger on the trigger just in case. As they fell in behind him, Shannon said, "It's okay. They got Kolya."

Sure enough when they reached the entrance, the Genii soldiers were standing with their hands behind their heads. The doors opened and Sam could see the group approaching. The first through the door had to be Kolya as he was dressed as the other Genii. Behind him were the members of SGA-1 as well as the Kelly brothers.

"I see the plan worked," commented Daniel.

Col. Sheppard saw them waiting and gave them a casual salute. "Thanks for the rescue. When Kelly said you were they team coming after us, I didn't believe it."

"We were in the neighborhood." Mitchell returned the salute.

"We were working on a plan," interjected a familiar voice.

"McKay?" Is he actually holding a zat?

"Col. Carter." He sounded cold and uncaring but his fidgeting told her he was nervous.

"I will contact you in three days' time, Colonel," said Kolya. "We can discuss the rest of the matter then."

"Definitely." Sheppard and his team began to walk away.

With a quick look at her Mitchell started after Sheppard. "You gonna tell me why you made a deal with that guy?"

"I'll fill you in on the way back to the jumper."

"Where are you going?" asked Rodney as he pushed his way forward.

"To the jumper. I kinda wanna get back to Atlantis."

"I thought we could, um..." He glanced over at Alan who was now reunited with his team.

"After being locked up in that cell, I really want a walk in fresh air."

Of course McKay would try to get out of any strenuous activity.

"Me too," said a tall man with a beard and dreadlocks. Must be Ronon Dex.

McKay seemed to be ready with some witty retort but caught her eye and changed his mind. I wonder if he's trying to show me he's changed?

"I'll call Sgt. Lewis and let him know we're on our way back."

"Good idea, Sam. He can send word back to Atlantis," agreed Mitchell.

She spoke into her radio. "Sgt. Lewis, we're on our way back. You can power up the ship and send the news back to Dr. Weir."

"Yes, ma'am. Whoa! How did that happen?"

"How did what happen, sergeant?"

"The jumper just powered up on its own and dialed the Gate."

Sam worried that the Genii had done something after all until she saw the members of the TOC smiling. "I don't think you need to worry. Just pass the word to Atlantis."

"Why did you tell him not to worry?" asked Daniel. "This could be serious."

"Because I think I know who did it." She faced the TOC. "That's how you got the buzzing to stop. It was the ship recognizing your abilities. You bonded with it somehow and you can control it from a distance."

"That is how you were able to contact Atlantis without knowledge of the Gate address," stated Teal'c.

"That's...convenient," said McKay.

"It's goddamn awesome!" declared Mitchell and Sheppard in near unison.

*************

Elizabeth smiled as she thought on the return of her Number One team and their guests and wondered if they were all equally prone to finding themselves in similar situations. SG-1 she knew from experience had such a tendency and mused on whether it was part and parcel of being a flagship team. From what she knew of Col. Kelly and his team, they were the only members of the TOC, which greatly increased the odds.

After Carson had examined everyone and re-bandaged Col. Kelly's wound, they held a quick debriefing where she first learned of John's offer to Kolya. On top of his making the offer without consulting her, John wanted her to call Ladon and make arrangements.

She approached the large glass door at the end of the corridor and, as it opened, she inhaled deeply. There was nothing like the sea air. She followed the sound of conversation and beer bottles and came upon the three teams sitting in what could pass for beach chairs exchanging tales of one-upmanship. "The Dirty Dozen. I had a feeling I'd find you here."

"And how did you know that?" asked Rodney.

"Col. Kelly looked down at the water after his 'nap' and said all he needed was a lounge chair and a pitcher of beer and he'd be happy."

"I'm surprised you remembered," replied Alan.

"I think she stores up information on everyone in case she needs it later," commented John.

"Are you accusing me of blackmail?" she asked, feigning shock.

"No, just advantageous negotiating."

"Elizabeth, sit down and take a load off. I'm sure the city can spare you for awhile." Daniel motioned to an extra chair.

"Please," added Shannon. "Teyla, Sam, and I could use another woman to help the
odds."

Elizabeth sat down and took a beer from Ronon. "I wanted to let you know I contacted Ladon and he's willing to talk with Kolya on a neutral planet of our choosing. I told him that you would get back to him with the details."

"Great. I'll contact Kolya tomorrow." John sounded less than enthusiastic.

Elizabeth took a sip of her beer. "So, are you here solving the problems of the universe?"

"Nothing so grand," responded Teyla. "It is more like children trying to out-do one another."

"Daniel can't use his ascension story," put in Eric. "It has to be something we can at least come close to."

"Who's in the lead?"

"I believe that the colonels are too close to call in this instance," Teal'c informed her.

"But don't you have an edge?" she asked Alan.

"No stories from the past. Same rules as Daniel."

"I think we're in the final round," said Ronon.

"OK. I believe one of my better schemes was when I instigated a war then sold arms to both sides." Ryan took a swig from his bottle.

"Not bad," said Col. Mitchell. "But I think I have you beat. In a cavern under Glastonbury Tor, I pulled the sword from the stone and fought a hologram knight in order to gain access to Merlin's treasure." The look on his face seemed to say 'Top that!'

"Ah, but did you figure out a way to open every Stargate simultaneously then use an Ancient weapon to annihilate the Replicators?"

"Ooh, good one, Sam, but not good enough."

"Oh, come on! That was an amazing story!" declared John. "I just have to hear yours."

Alan looked down at his left hand and wiggled his fingers.

"Oh, yeah, that should do it," commented Eric with a grin.

"I fought a duel with a mercenary and lost my hand."

"You look pretty whole to me," said Col. Mitchell.

"Looks can be deceiving." Alan extended his hand, exposing the wrist, and gently touched the area with the index finger of his right hand and a small panel opened to reveal sophisticated circuitry.

"How very Luke Skywalker of you," said Rodney dryly.

"I think I can come close to or better that," said John. "How about flying a nuclear bomb into a hive ship?"

"The Daedalus beamed you out of that," argued Rodney.

"But I didn't know it was there, did I?"

"I don't think I've ever done anything that crazy," commented Alan.

"What about the time--" started Shannon.

"I don't think we need to go on," Ryan said, stopping her. "This could easily go on well into the night. I don't know about the rest of you, but the beer and sun has made me tired and a little lightheaded."

"I could do with something more substantial than chips and dip myself," agreed Col. Mitchell.

"Well, there's the cafeteria," put in Rodney, "but I don't know if I'd call it substantial."

Elizabeth could easily see that the adrenaline rush had ended and everyone's energy levels were low. By mutual consent they began to pick up after themselves each taking a chair and splitting the empty bottles. Ronon found himself in charge of the cooler. This easy bond between them was wonderful to see and she wondered if it would have happened without the mission.

As they all made their way inside, she reminded her team of their responsibilities. "Rodney, John, remember we have our weekly briefing with the SGC tomorrow." She heard a groan and couldn't tell who it was.

She lingered, looking over the ocean. They were lucky, she knew, that Col. Kelly and his team arrived with SG-1 when they did. She didn't want to think on what could have happened if they hadn't.

"Dr. Weir, is anything the matter?"

"No, Teyla. I was just thinking in what we would have done if SG-1 and the TOC hadn't been here."

"You would have done the same thing. It just would have taken a little longer, that is all. We were already forming a plan. It is no use to wonder on what might have been especially when the resolution was positive in nature."

"Thank you, Teyla. I know I have a tendency to over-think things. We have a saying 'It's no use crying over spilt milk'." She smiled at the other woman's puzzled look. "It doesn't make sense to show regret over things that can't be changed. You just have to carry on. Which I guess I have to do now. I have a few things to finalize for tomorrow as well."

"Good evening, Dr. Weir."

***************

Cam woke up the next morning a little later than usual. He didn't know if he should attribute it to the time lag, the mission, the beer, or the late-night gab session in Jackson's room. And the rooms were just fantastic, like some post-modern art-deco suite. All it needed was the large plasma TV on the wall, the matching sound system, and, of course, the wet bar.

He rolled out of bed and made his way to the bathroom and relieved himself of all his excess liquid libations. He then splashed his face with cold water to help himself fully wake. He then tugged at his shirt in a vain attempt to get rid of the wrinkles.

He sat on the edge of the bed and shoved on his boots. As he was tying up the first one there was a knock on his door. "Come in!"

The door opened he saw Teal'c, Carter, Eric, and Shannon. "It appears we have all overslept."

Cam finished tying his bootlaces. "I'm guessing Jackson is down in the Archives."

"I haven't seen him," said Carter, "but it's a safe bet."

"Where are the brothers?"

"Rodney wanted to run some tests with the jumpers," answered Eric. "Something about the reaction time of a hands-on pilot versus the psychic link. I'm kinda upset they didn't wake me. I would've liked to have seen it."

"That's probably why they didn't," said Shannon as they left his rooms and walked the hall. "You know Alan likes to show off when he has an audience."

"I think that most pilots do," Cam agreed. "You can't really help it."

They made a stop at the mess for coffee and a quick bite before heading to the balcony where McKay was conducting his experiment. Cam was surprised to see the fourth member of his team there with a camcorder in his hand. "Jackson, what're you doing here? I thought you were in the Archives."

"I was," Jackson answered. "I heard McKay and Sheppard talking about this when I was getting coffee and figured Jack would want to see it."

"How many hours do you have?" asked Sam.

"I'm not really sure." He aimed the camera back to the sky. "They're due back in a bit."

"Will you quit your yammering?" demanded McKay. "I'm trying to study these read-outs."

"They're not even here yet," protested Eric.

Sam put up a hand as if to prevent any further argument and sidled up to the physicist. Leaning over his shoulder, she asked, "What are we looking at?"

McKay got flustered and, between stutters, explained that the readings were near identical, Alan having a slightly quicker reaction time since he didn't need to worry about controls. "We have one more move planned. Perhaps you should watch to see if you can tell which is which."

"You're not going to tell us?" asked Shannon.

"Of course not. Where's the fun in that?" He spoke into his communicator. "OK, gentlemen, last one when you're ready."

Sam joined them at the rail. "What was that all about?" Cam asked, hooking his thumb back towards McKay.

"He has a bit of a crush on me," she answered somewhat embarrassed. "I just thought I'd take advantage of it."

Cam grinned. "I just never pictured you as using your feminine wiles like that."

"Well, I know it works on Rodney and puts him off-balance enough that he forgets what he was arguing about."

"They are starting," Teal'c stated indicating the sky in front of them.

Cam didn't know what he was expecting to see; certainly not something that would rival the Blue Angels. It was intricately choreographed and all that was missing was the colorful exhaust. He was having a hard time picking which one was Sheppard and which was Kelly. Just when he was decided, the other jumper would do something to make him question his choice. They finished with a dramatic fly-over.

"Damn! I wouldn't expect that kind of movement by the way they look," he commented.

"Granted they don't look as slick as some, but they can move," McKay said proudly as if he had designed them himself.

"So who was who?" asked Jackson. "I say the one on the right is Alan."

"I guess I can have them show you." McKay spoke to the pilots through his communicator yet again. "Your audience wants to know who's who so do something special."

One of the jumpers built up speed, pulling away from the other. It then went vertical at a 90° angle for a good while before banking left and straightening out. Cam's jaw dropped at the move. "What the hell was that?"

"Ace's High," answered Eric proudly.

"By elimination, the other must be Col. Sheppard," stated Teal'c.

"Looks like he's not even going to try to do anything," Sam observed.

"Not many do," Shannon said with a smile.

"Who can blame them?"

***********************

John was floored by that move. He would have to figure that one out. Aside from its jaw-dropping effect, it would be ideal for evasive purposes as it would be unexpected.

He looked out at the open sky. He so did not want to go back. He hadn't had the chance to just fly. He had missed the exhilaration, the freedom it provided. If it weren't for the weekly briefing he would stay up and try a few more tricks but the last thing he needed was Gen. Landry thinking him irresponsible. He saw Alan was already directing his jumper back to the bay and he reluctantly followed.

That he had to admit was truly amazing. To be able to control and maneuver the ship by thought alone was unbelievable. He knew McKay had mentioned to Kelly about testing range and distance too. That would need to wait until after the briefing.

The brothers were waiting for him in the jumper bay. "That was some move you did at the end. You have to teach me."

"We called it 'Ace's High' at the Academy. Last I checked, only two pilots could do it."

"Who's the other?"

"Eric." He took a deep breath.

"Are you okay?" John asked him.

"Yeah. It just took more our of me than I thought."

"Let's get you off your feet then. Don't need you falling down and re-injuring yourself. That's my job."

"I could do with a coffee and maybe some form of sugar."

They headed down the stairs to the control room, "Do you think it will always take two to work it?"

"I was just there to ground Alan and relay messages from Rodney. I'm sure if we stayed around to get more proficient, there'd be no need," answered Ryan.

"Don't tell that to Rodney or he'll never let you leave."

"They met up with the others outside the briefing room. Elizabeth looked at her watch the moment she saw him. "I am impressed. You made it with minutes to spare."

"Hey, I'm usually on time for these."

"True, but with you flying and Rodney involved in a new project, I didn't expect to see you at all." She looked to Rodney. "How did it go?"

"My preliminary findings show that Col. Kelly's reaction time was about 20% quicker than Col. Sheppard's. What I'd like to try next is increase the distance between the colonel and the jumper to see his range."

"I don't see why we need to do all these tests when no one on Atlantis is telepathic," commented Ronon. "It seems to me that you're doing all this work for nothing."

"It will give us more insight to the Ancients," answered Col. Carter before Rodney could start. "It will let us understand how the technology worked."

"Plus it shows us that they were telepathic," added Daniel.

"And if someone else with these abilities arrives, we'll know what to do," Elizabeth finished.

"So this is worth pursuing?" asked Teyla.

"Definitely," McKay replied. "The more tests we run, the better our chances of mastering this."

"I'm willing to help out," volunteered Mitchell. "I don't have the gene, but I'm sure there's something I can do."

"Ah, not this time 'round," said Alan. "You guys are going through the Gate when they dial the SGC."

***********************

Daniel looked at Alan. Is he always dropping bombs like this? "Why would we do that when you can take us back any time?"

"I like to keep my promises. Besides, Landry could use a laugh. Well, at least a chuckle."

"What are you talking about?" asked Sam.

"You'll know when you get there," he replied with a sly smile.

Daniel knew Alan was being cryptic for the fun of it, not because it was something to do with the timeline so he didn't bother asking any more questions. His teammates must have felt the same because they stayed quiet as well.

"Why do you not question his reasons?" asked Teyla.

"It is because he knows things we do not," responded Teal'c.

"And for your convenience, the porters have brought your bags," said Eric as he and Shannon arrived with everyone's packs.

"You had this thing planned," accused Mitchell.

"Pretty much." Alan shook Mitchell's hand. "You take it easy."

"You're not going back with us?" questioned Sam.

"No, I think we'll hang out for a bit till they get this thing with the Genii sorted."

"You just don't want to face what's waiting for you," teased Daniel.

"There is that."

"It was an honor working with you once again, Col. Kelly," said Teal'c.

"Perhaps when we meet again, it will be under more pleasurable circumstances."

"Same here, Teal'c. A nice little spot away from it all."

"Don't stay a stranger," Daniel said holding out his hand.

"'Course not. I'm sure I can arrange a few more field trips."

"Dial the Gate," Elizabeth ordered. As it was being dialed, she turned to them. "Now that you've seen our accommodations, you'll have to spread the word."

"We'll make it the most sought-after vacation spot in two galaxies. Hell, Jackson can edit his film into a promotional video," joked Mitchell.

The wormhole opened. "Stargate Command, this is Atlantis. Before we begin out briefing, I'm sending something through."

After a slight delay, WO Harriman's voice sounded through the Gateroom. "Very well, Dr. Weir. The iris is open and we are ready to receive your package."

Daniel looked to the upper level where Elizabeth stood and experienced a strange twist on déjà vu. The action and the view were near identical to that before every mission but the location was wrong.

Sheppard gave them a casual salute while McKay looked longingly at Sam, not caring if anyone noticed. Teyla and Ronon just stood still nearby.

"SG-1, you have a go," Elizabeth said with a smile.

Daniel smiled genuinely in response before turning around and walking through the Gate.

**************

Gen. Hank Landry walked into the Gateroom to await the arrival of the package from Atlantis. Odds were it was some sort of Ancient device that wanted Dr. Jackson to look at. Too bad he wasn't here, having just left with the rest of SG-1 on some mission to the future. He chuckled and shook his head. I can't believe I think of that so matter-of-fact.

He stood at the base of the ramp and was surprised to see his flagship team walk through the Gate. "Col Mitchell, how did you end up in Atlantis? You just left--" he looked at his watch "-five minutes ago."

Jackson laughed. "That's why."

"What is amusing, Daniel Jackson?"

" 'I like to keep my promises.'"

Col. Carter realized what he meant. "Alan promised he would have us back five minutes after we left."

"Damn, he is good!" Col. Mitchell exclaimed in appreciation.

"It sounds like we have a long debriefing ahead of us. Despite how...interesting it sounds, we have to wait until after the conference with Atlantis."

"Very good, sir."

With that, Landry walked up to the briefing room, a slight bounce in his step. Leave it to SG-1 to keep things from getting stale. Too bad he had to sit through the drudgery that was the weekly Atlantis briefing before he could hear about the mission. He sat at his chair in the empty briefing room. "Dr. Weir, let's get this started."

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