Part Four-Edenistic Goodbyes
“So this is our magic planet?” Rodney asked looking out the bridge window. He looked back at Daniel and smiled. Daniel was seated in the flight chair while Rodney and Radek were seated at other spots. No one else knew about the Bridge except those three and John. It was safer. It’s not that they didn’t trust the others just that information is better controlled with fewer people knowing about it. Not all the protocols were in place just yet for limiting people to the bridge. The bridge itself could detach and fly on its own away and in a time of crisis, those alive needed to be able to get inside.
“Yep, this is Eden.”
“Eden, really?” Rodney scoffed a little but finally nodded as he looked at it.
“It’s what the crew here would have called it if we all hadn’t come along and hijacked their mission. I think it fits. It really is an Eden. Humanoid kind has not set foot on the planet for many, many, many years. Think of it as a virgin planet. The animals will have no memory of creatures like us and so they won’t fear us. The fruit and vegetation will be eaten by someone other than animals and mammals for the first time.”
“Yes, well there is something to be said about virgin nature. It doesn’t know when to give up.” Rodney looked at the others who retained composure for several seconds before bursting out laughing. “I am going to ignore that. What about the UV on the planet?”
“You’ll be fine. The planet is in the late stages of summer right now. The food will be plentiful and the water will be wonderful. We are going to restock this ship with water once we land and get some food stored up. This time though we won’t be leaving people behind.”
“What?” The others asked as
“There were people that decided to try and stay on the planet to live than live on the ship. They feel the aliens that built an obelisk on the planet were their best chance of getting home. They stayed hoping the aliens would come back. They died.”
“I see. Is this planet really that nice?” Rodney asked looking out the window again. “I mean why would anyone want to live on a planet where one would have to start over again?”
“At least on Atlantis you had other options. Here they had the ship and this was the only planet they had come across that they could make a living on. Some people can’t live in a place like this. You had the ocean and the sky. This is dark and gloomy.”
“I guess that I can understand that. I guess I could never want to live on a planet full of nature with no set structures and no hygiene.”
Radek laughed and turned away from Rodney. Daniel just watched as they approached the planet.
“What are we going to tell everyone now that we are here? There is no countdown clock and no Stargate?” John asked entering the Bridge.
“Since we will be here and then taking the others to the ship, I don’t see why we can’t tell them about the Bridge once we get the security protocols in place.” Daniel stood up to let John sit in his chair while he went to another console. John didn’t move towards the chair. He stayed up on the upper deck of the Bridge. Daniel brought up the console and started looking at it. “I want to stay here and work on some things. You three can handle everything right?”
“Then I want Ronon in here with you at all times.”
“They won’t find me.”
“Jackson, this is going to be non-negotiable. He would kill me if you got hurt and he wasn’t here to protect you. I am not taking any chances. You were correct. Letting you take the lead in all of this made you the bad guy with everyone. They are taking things better from us thinking that you are the bad guy.”
“I told you. Once the others are gone things will get better.”
“Do you know who is staying?”
“There are many. Most of the military is staying and so is Young. It’s Rush I am worried about. I see so much involving him that goes either way.”
“How many do we need to run the ship?” Radek asked as he pulled his eyes away from the computer and looked at the screen above him.
“At most, twenty five. Once we get Cortana, just six.”
“And you don’t know when we are getting her?” Rodney stood up and moved towards the upper deck. Radek stayed in his chair. Rodney gave Radek a pointed look but Radek didn’t move.
“No. I need Radek with me so that we can get the ship in a stable orbit. Once we have achieved a stable one, the away team can go down to set up camp. Once we get the shield better updated, we can repair the other shuttle and use both to transport enough food and supplies.”
“Do we have a way to preserve the food?”
“The kitchen will be one of the first things that Radek will fix once we start replacing the circuits and wires. We can vacuum seal or dry a good bit of the food and freeze all of it. Hydroponics will be able to get plantings to grow our own. I mostly want to send all the food with the others who are going back to Earth.”
“Cause we won’t need it?”
“Not really. Just mainly while we are here fixing the ship. Other than that we need about a months’ worth for all of us that are staying, plus one. Do you really think that I will get attacked?” Daniel turned to look at John while he asked the question.
“I don’t know. I just know what I do know about Ronon. If he cares for you, then he would kill me if you got injured.”
“Fine. Then go get him so he can babysit me. I should have the protocols up and running in about seven hours. The new skin we put up on the ship has made the security protocols active. Make sure the away team stays away from the obelisk on the planet. It is very dangerous and could cause a lot of harm.” Daniel smiled at John who nodded and left the room.
“How?” Rodney asked.
“I don’t know. I just see it blowing up when someone goes inside.”
“Yeah, we’ll make sure they stay the hell away. You know, you’ve yet to explain to me how you are able to do all these updates with no science degree.” Rodney didn’t wait for an answer, just turned and followed John out the room. Radek started to laugh while he started implementing the protocol that Daniel wanted. Daniel was laying down the translation work for the entire database. Rodney wanted to know how Daniel knew all of it but he knew that Daniel wouldn’t tell him until he was ready. Daniel didn’t understand half of what he was doing, he just did what his memories told him to do and he hoped nothing blew up.
“I can access what you are doing and what you are typing makes no sense.” Radek’s voice was full of awe and that was hard to do. His voice was much like Rodney’s and usually full of snark.
“They laid substantial code in the system that I have to decode and then translate into something the computer actually recognizes. It has spent years trying to figure out the language put into its databases. It will take me six hours to decode and translate it all and then after that an hour for the computer to do what the code is telling it to do.”
“This ship is an odd one.” Radek moved his gaze to the window that looked out at the planet.
“I know. The Ancients really did a number on it so that we can use it.”
“What is so special about this ship and what we are going to do?”
“I don’t know. I don’t why we have to do all these changes to the ship. We are just going into the unknown and picking up a man and taking him home for a little while. After that, we are going to Pegasus and taking the fight to the Wraith.”
“So they aren’t telling you everything?”
“No. I see enough to get us from point A to point M but all the steps in between are jumbled. I might see a couple and sometimes they are in order but other times they are not. I have to just wing it from one point to another. I know that sometime after we get the ship fixed the Lucian Alliance is going to attack. I don’t know if delaying the repair of the ship will stopped them from coming for a while or if they will just catch us with our pants down. I know that fixing the ship will bring them but I don’t know how long after.”
“It must suck to be you,” Ronon said. Daniel and Radek both turned and saw Ronon standing there.
“How did you…?” Both asked at the same time. There was no one with him.
“I know exactly where you have been going. I was able to follow your footsteps after you four came in here. I am the only one capable though so don’t worry about your secret.”
“We will both be staying here until the security changes are done. After that I want to limit access to the Bridge to us at all times along with T.J., Jennifer, John, Rodney, Eli, and Young. As for the rest, once we set up schedules for duties, they will only be allowed in when their shift is on. Rush is never to be allowed in unless either Rodney or Radek is with him. I’ve already talked to John about most of this.”
“Sounds like you have it all under control in here. Where can I sit?” Ronon looked at all the machines all around and looked uncomfortable for the first time ever that Daniel could remember.
“The chair there in the middle. I won’t need it for several hours.” Daniel supplied while he stayed looking at his monitor and started typing again.
Ronon sat in the chair and fiddled with a knife of his. After an hour he stood up and moved to look out the window.
“Sheppard is talking the shuttle down to the planet. He took all military personnel not on guard duty down with him. Rush tried to fight him on it. Once they get a perimeter set up, he is going to send Scott back up to get the scientists.”
“Then while the security protocols are set up. It will take five trips to take the rest of the crew down to the planet. That’s when Rodney will join us again from the planet and we will set everything up. They will come back to a changed ship and they won’t like any of us for it.” Daniel kept his voice calm even though he wasn’t. Everything was critical at this point. Any delays could set them back hours if not days.
“You can get on the last console there and bring up music. It’s been uploaded from my computer and hard drives. You can access it from anywhere on the ship. Once security is up and running, then I will set it up so that everyone can access all the music.”
Ronon sat down in the chair and started to fiddle with the console. He smiled when the sounds of some of his favorite music started to play over the speakers in the Bridge.
“What about power?”
“Won’t affect it. Once we finish up the repairs then everything will be fine. Power won’t be as much of an issue.”
“Anything I can do to help?” Ronon asked as he cued us music.
“Just don’t touch anything but the music.”
Ronon gave a dry chuckle and Daniel laughed back.
“For a ship that is as old as Destiny is, she fixed up real nice,” Young stated holding up his cup of juice. His eyes tracked all around the room. People were milling about, looking at the changes that even the Mess Hall got.
“That was all a way to hide her true power. No one would go after a ship looking like she did not for anything but junking. If she had looked as she does now she would have never survived.” Rodney sat down beside Young, clinking their cups together. “Two months of hard work done. She can do anything that she wants.”
“She has surpassed all my hopes for her,” Rush stated from where he was standing at the side of the Mess. All of the Command Staff were meeting to discuss how they were going to decide who was being sent back to Earth. So far, only three had arrived. The rest would arrive as their jobs were finished. There were others that were in the room getting snacks and drinks but Ronon would be chasing them off when everyone else got there.
“So he really jumped through the glass?” Ronon asked as he entered the room with Jennifer in front of him.
“Yes, he did.”
“Why?” Ronon looked perplexed at what Jennifer was talking about.
“To save his friends. He knew that if that blew up the whole area would have been lost. He had to make the choice to die himself or lose everyone he cared about.”
“Where is Daniel?” Rodney asked looking at Ronon, point blank. It was rare that Ronon didn’t know where Daniel was at all points in time.
“With Radek and Sheppard. They are finding Wray and bringing her as well. I am sure that the IOA will want a voice in this. Or at least that is what Daniel thinks.” Young laughed as he talked. Ronon sat down at a table by himself while Jennifer moved to another table by herself. All it took was for Ronon to glare at the personnel milling about and they quickly left the room.
Minutes later, Radek, John, Daniel, and Wray entered the Mess hall. After looking around to make sure they were alone, Daniel shut and locked the door behind him. “I disabled the Kino’s so that Eli can’t try and eavesdrop.”
“Your control of the ship astounds me still, Doctor Jackson,” Rush said, his voice tinged with disbelief and incredulity and quite a bit of anger. Daniel didn’t answer him at all, he barely looked at Rush. Instead he sat down opposite Ronon while Radek sat beside Jennifer and Wray and John joined Young and Rodney. John cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention.
“I want to thank you all for the support and unity you have shown over the past months. We are actually on time and will set out for the Asgard ship tonight. It will take a week in hyperspace to reach the ship with the outer hull replacement pieces. That is also the ship that will send the others home. Once we get the hull replaced then the others will leave.”
“How many do we need to pick to take?” Wray asked.
“Twenty and the President only allowed us to take those who volunteered…”
“There are still a few who I don’t want to go.” Rodney butted in. John glared at him. “What? I want to get my two cents in. I don’t want to be stuck with someone who won’t work the way that I need them to or want them to.”
“I don’t think you need to worry about that, Rodney,” Daniel said, laughing.
“There are only five civilians that I think will do well on the trip that are from the original mission. Rush, Wallace, Brody, Volker, and Boone. Those are the ones that I want.”
“What does that put the Civilian count up to?” John asked.
“Adding in Rodney, Radek, Keller, those five and myself that gives us nine. Adding in Young, John, Ronon, Greer, and Scott, that gives us fourteen.”
“We need six more, then yes?” John looked between Rodney and Daniel.
“Do we really have to bring along Scott and Wallace?” Rush asked.
“I see that you don’t have me going along.” Wray asked standing up and staring at Rodney. John cleared his throat to bring her attention back to him. He was sick of her standing all the time to try and get attention and bring the focus to her. He hated power games like that.
“Yes, both Scott and Wallace have to go. As for you, Wray, we are going to be going into a war zone and you can’t protect yourself. You refuse to take weapons training. The President is demanding that you be brought back to Earth for your own protection.”
“I don’t ask the President those kinds of things.” John cocked his eyebrow asking if she wanted to ask the President and second guess the leader of America.
“Then why am I here?”
“We wanted you to hear it from us.” John stood up to match her and gave her a wicked smile.
“I see. You didn’t want me to blow up and disrupt this wonderful little bubble would you? You don’t want dissent on your mission. You don’t want someone asking the hard questions.” Wray moved closer to John but Ronon standing up at the same time that John moved towards her made her stop in her tracks.
“Yes, but also because we have reviewed what you have tried to do over the past two months. You would have had everyone mutiny and gotten nowhere with it. We are a small group, discord is not good,” Daniel spoke as he stood up and moved over to where Wray was standing.
“You have no right to force any of us to follow Jackson on this harebrained scheme. They will all die and you have no reason to go.” Wray looked at John as she spoke, ignoring Daniel, who just smiled at her. It wasn’t a nice smile. Daniel rarely smiled like that at anyone but System Lords who were about to die. Wray didn’t know that though. Rodney snorted and shook his head. He wanted to see this. He had little fun since arriving on Destiny and this was proving to be the best entertainment of all.
“And this is why you are going home. You are dismissed. Scott is waiting outside to take you back to your room. Your room will be locked from the outside and only a few will be able to access. You will stay there until it is time for you to go home.” John turned towards the door and waited for her to walk to it.
Wray sniffed and tilted her head up. She walked to the door and exited. John and Ronon sat back down.
“She’s going to be trouble when she gets back.”
“She and Carter can form a pity party. I have gone over all the medical reports for the civilians and military personnel. Based on personality and medical, the final six military personnel should be James, Barnes, Lee, Becker, Chu, and Mackie. They are the best to handle the situation. I also agree that we should take no more than twenty. Adding someone new to the group will be hard for those who have been here since the accident that brought them here.” Jennifer handed John a piece of paper for him to look over that went into more detail than what she had just said.
“Thanks, Jennifer. Young, do you still agree with who we are taking?” John asked.
“Yes. I think that they will be the ones to go.”
“If they agree to go.” Ronon sighed as he shifted about in his seat. He hated being at these meetings but he agreed that he should be.
“Don’t worry. I think that I can give them a reason to what to go. Especially the civilians.” Daniel stood up and started to leave the room.
“Wait, Daniel!” Ronon called but Daniel didn’t stop. Ronon ended up having to jog to catch up. “Where are you going?”
“I am going to the Bridge. I want to look some things up.”
Several hours later, everyone on the ship was in the Mess waiting for John and Young to arrive. Finally, they arrived. Rodney and Daniel had already briefed the whole of the room on the mission.
“You want us to volunteer for a suicide mission?” Scott asked as John and Young sat down at the front of the room.
“No. It’s not suicide. We have a mission. The threat of the Wraith is real and looming. We have information that will lead us to a society that can give us weapons to fight with.”
“I thought we were saving a man to help us?” Chloe Armstrong asked.
“Yes, and the society that he lives in will gladly help us. They just ended a great war and are on their way to rebuilding. I have seen that they will gladly help us.
“Yes, an advanced society that has many nice weapons. Including some nice MAC guns. Orbital MAC guns.” Daniel smiled as his comment made many of the hands in the room go up. Radek started to take the names down while he shared a sly smile with Daniel and Rodney.
“When will we know?” Chloe asked as she put her hand down finally.
“One hour. Young, McKay, and I will discuss things and let you all know personally.” John stood up and waved for Young to follow him. They exited the room.
“Are you lying?” Rush asked standing up and looking at Daniel.
“How can we be sure?” Rush asked. Ronon moved closer to Daniel but Greer got to Rush first. He didn’t touch the doctor but merely got between Daniel and Rush. “I have read your entire file, Doctor Jackson. You have gone crazy before and your grandfather was crazy.”
“Actually that was something from a man named Ma’chello and my grandfather did meet aliens. He is actually with them now. My entire team gave testimony to that.”
“Still, why should we believe that we are all going along on some joy ride of yours since your old team doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you anymore.”
“I’d believe that you would do that before I would. You don’t care about anything but your discoveries. The only reason that you are even being considered is because you understand this ship even better than anyone else other than me and you might come in handy.”
“If you think for one second that I will allow you to harm him. You are mistaken.” Ronon practically growled.
“If I wanted to, you wouldn’t be able to stop me, caveman.” Rush turned and walked away from them all. “I will not allow you to hurt this ship in your need to prove that you can work without your former team.”
Daniel sighed and closed his eyes, pulling his glasses off his face and rubbing his nose. The rest of the crew was just standing listening to everything that was going on. Daniel followed him out the door about a minute. Ronon followed on his heels but hung far enough back that Daniel could feel that he was alone.
Daniel went to the observation deck that had been found on the far back left side of the ship. He ignored Ronon’s presence for several minutes before turning to look at him. He looked at Ronon for several minutes before turning back away from him.
“Do you really see this going anywhere?” Daniel’s voice was soft but Ronon heard the words anyway.
“See what going anywhere?”
“Us.” The word was breathy and low.
“Daniel, I won’t know until there is an us.”
“I still can’t.”
Ronon nodded his head, knowing that Daniel couldn’t see him but still he did it. He also stepped back so that he was on the interior of the ship. He was going to give Daniel time to be alone. He could wait.
“Are we on approach?” Daniel asked, entering the Bridge. John was in the main chair while Rodney and Radek were sitting in the other chairs. Rush was standing on the deck area. He’d been allowed in the Bridge for pure science reasons. Just to have another on hand that knew the ship.
“Yes, I am not allowed down there.”
“I see. I think that is because that chair is mine and we don’t want you messing this up.” Daniel walked past Rush and started to take a good look out the window. The ship was large in the window.
“What do you need?” John asked.
“Just the shuttle. It will dock with the Asgard ship and I will input the unlocking protocols. It’s been in a vacuum for a while now. Inputting the wrong code would shut down and space the ship. Someone had to have tried to enter the ship so there will be a body or many bodies in one of the docking spots. I need the docking spot by the Bridge.”
“Okay, Rodney, let’s go where Daniel wants.”
The Bridge was silent as the ship approached and got a short distance from the Asgard ship. While Rodney and Radek scanned the ship, Daniel, Greer, and Ronon made their way to the shuttle docking area of the ship.
“Don’t you need a suit?” Greer asked.
“No. Once I input my code the air will cycle in the ship.”
“You shouldn’t ever take a chance like that.”
Daniel was looking at the doors. They were covered in blood. The blood started to flow down then it started to flow away from areas on the door. Inviha. Letumon fugiris.
“Enter. Death flees. I got the right door.”
Greer looked at Ronon, opening his mouth like he was going to talk, but Ronon shook his head no. Greer shut his mouth.
Daniel opened the door the shuttle and entered, shutting it behind him so that no one could follow. Ronon clicked his ear piece on so that he could hear the chatter of the team monitoring Daniel.
“Can you hear me?” Rodney asked over the radio.
“Yea, I can hear you loud and clear.”
“So how does it look up close?” John asked several minutes later once Daniel was docking with the Asgard ship.
“Perfect condition. This is not the docking spot they used. I am about to input my code.” Silence fell over the radio as they waited to hear whether the code worked. When Daniel didn’t volunteer information, Ronon and Greer looked at each other. “The hatch hasn’t opened. Rodney, check power levels.”
“They are climbing. I can even see lights coming on in some places.” Daniel could hear Rodney typing over the radio. “Yes, I see the ship is at 40% power already. Has your hatch opened yet?“
“No. I would wait a while before sending the other shuttle over.”
“We are awaiting your approval, Jackson,” John said while talking to Rodney in the Bridge.
Daniel could tell that Rodney wanted to come over right now, no matter that the ship was still in a vacuum. Daniel closed his eyes and waited for the hatch to make a sound. It was several minutes before the ship made a sound. Daniel opened his eyes and looked. The hatch was still shut. There was no other sound. Rodney was silent on the other end of the radio. Daniel stared at the hatch for a few seconds and then it caught on fire. Daniel almost jumped up and ran to the fire retardant on the wall before he noticed that it wasn’t burning right. It was another vision. After about a minute the flames died away.
Inundare was burnt into the hatch. Flood again was the most important thing that the Ancients could tell him. There was no way that a flood could happen, even if their water stores were at maximum. It had to mean a flood of another kind but he wasn’t sure what kind. A flood of what?
The hatch made a real noise this time and started to open. The hatch on the Asgard ship was opened as well.
“It’s safe to come over now. I would take Ronon and Greer because otherwise they will do a spacewalk to get over here.”
Daniel entered the Asgard ship and on the walls were two words, repeated so many ways in and in many mediums. Mutario Aegritodu. Daniel stopped and touched his radio. The walls went blank and then more words appeared: Inundare, Mutario Aegritodu, Mox. Flood, Change Sickness, Soon.
“Change Sickness. Changing Sickness. I haven’t seen anything about a Changing Sickness.”
“Changing Sickness? What about a sickness?” Rodney sounded alarmed at the words Daniel was saying.
“It’s what I have been seeing. The Flood. It’s the disease. The one that threatened the Ancients. I don’t know what it is besides that.”
“Could it be the enemy that you have seen?”
“No. I need to think. Why don’t you bring the shuttle over? I’m going to the Bridge to get the ship active all the way and to get it ready for its trip.”
“Sure. See you in a few. Over and out.”
Daniel laughed at Rodney. He exited the hatch area on the ship and started towards the bridge. His mind was full of thoughts and he let his instinct guide him to area he wished. His thoughts full on why they needed a ship like Destiny. It was a long time before the Destiny would be needed to fight. He felt rushed to have her battle ready before they save the Hero. He still wondered how John fit into most of it. John was a wonderful soldier and would help so much in the fight. He just didn’t know why he was so important.
“How long until we can send the others on their way?” Rodney asked, strolling onto the bridge.
“One day. I don’t think that it’s a good thing.”
“How is our outside armor being updated?”
“I don’t know I just know this ship holds the key.”
“Doctor McKay, you have to come see this!” Volker said over the radio. Rodney jerked his head out the door and Daniel followed him. “We are in the forward hold about twenty feet away from where you are.”
The two men entered the hold at the same time that Ronon, Greer, and John did. Sitting here in the middle of the room was a crate with Rodney’s name on it.
“I told you that he had a man crush on you, Rodney.” John laughed from where he was at the side of the room.
“Yes, well, it is getting filed away in a deep dark recess, never to see the light of day. I want to know what is inside.”
“The hull.” Everyone in the room turned to look at Daniel, who looked floored. “It’s the hull. I know more about the hull now. How stupid do they think that we are?”
“Jackson?” John stepped up to him and touched his shoulder.
“They want us to put Nanites on the hull of the ship. Living nanites.”
Rodney looked at Daniel in shock then back at the crate. “Why would they think that we would do that?”
“Because you will do what needs to be done,” a voice said over the intercom in the room. Everyone turned to look to find who was speaking. “I am not there. I am a voice recording. I have been waiting for you all for many years. Those nanites will stay on the hull of your ship until such a time they are needed. They will take the energy and debris from any weapons fire and turn it into what is needed for replacement nanites.”
“Nanites go crazy and kill people.” Rodney yelled at the top of his lungs.
“These are better nanites. Once you find your AI she can control them and you will not have to fear them. Cortana will control them. The nanites can’t form bodies, they are just for hulls.”
“And when will we meet her?” Ronon stepped up behind Daniel in a protective manner.
“When the time is right.”
“So now is the time to make your decisions.” John was standing in the hold of the Asgard ship. “Stay here on this ship and be home in a year or go with us and fight the good fight is what it boils down to.”
People started to move around a majority of them moved to one side of the hold, away from where the shuttles were docked. Greer, Scott, James, Barnes, Lee, Becker, Chu, and Mackie all moved into one of the shuttles where Young and Ronon were waiting for them. The rest of the military all finished moving over to the far side, except for T.J.. Rodney and Daniel were standing by the other shuttles doors, waiting for the civilians to make their decisions. The crowd started to split. Rodney smiled as Keller, Rush, Eli, Brody, Boone, and Volker all entered the shuttle. They could hear Radek talk to them on the inside.
“T.J.?” Daniel asked as he stepped forward to her. She looked at Daniel and then back at the others.
“T.J., what life would your baby have?” Wray asked from where she was standing on the far side.
“A life with her mother and father and safety away from Earth. I choose you, Daniel. You and Young.”
“Join him in the shuttle, then.”
As the shuttles detached from the Asgard ship, Rodney sighed a little.
“What’s the name of the ship?”
“Those on that ship will have it easy. They will get to miss the entire war and all the bad parts. They get to bury their heads in the sand and say that they couldn’t have helped. It’s their escape.”