Title: Fate Is A Fickle Thing
Series Order: 4
Banner Art: None
Word Count: 6,496
Warnings: Planetary Death
Summary: Have you ever felt the rush of something? Something that feels like destiny, fate, karma? When we found out that there was a problem with Icarus, I just knew. If we saw the people who had been on that base again, they wouldn’t be the same.
Have you ever felt the rush of something? Something that feels like destiny, fate, karma? When we found out that there was a problem with Icarus, I just knew. If we saw the people who had been on that base again, they wouldn’t be the same.
We wouldn’t be the same. And whatever it was that drew them along the road that they are on, I wish them the best. Fate, karma, destiny? They are hard things to have to deal with. And harder to live with.
From the private journals of:
Dr. Daniel Jackson
“Colonel! Sensors report that there is a fleet coming exiting of hyperspace outside of the heliopause. Their course will take them here. Quickly.”
Colonel Young looked up from his paperwork in confusion. The Alpha site was a very well hidden base, there should have been no way for anyone know where they were, let alone find them. “Refine the sensors to determine who our possible visitors are, Lt.”
“Already did that, sir.” his 2IC reported. “It’s the Lucian Alliance fleet.”
“Recall all aircraft and have them check our EMCON status on the way in. Make certain that all our high energy programs are shut down. This includes whatever the hell Rush is futzing around with this week. If he tells you ‘No’, get some of his minions to shut him down anyway. We are prepping for evacuation people, so plan accordingly.”
“Yes sir!” Major Wood acknowledged. The noise from the control room rose as each member of his staff started working on their part of the disaster plan. Thirty minutes and they should be ready to ride out whatever was coming.
They would have to be. Earth was no longer an place to retreat to if they had to. There were other worlds in the network but if they left the Alpha Site, it would be very difficult to stay in contact with the remains of the SGC.
Forty minutes after their sensors had reported the invading fleet, all their fighters were in, EMCON was minimal, their major energy sources were muted, and their guests were bunked down in the gate room for a quick getaway. Housekeeping was prepping the disaster packs, medical was doing their bit, and his soldiers were armed to the teeth. His base and the personnel within it were ready to leave if needs be and they wouldn’t be leaving empty handed.
Young really hope that they were not going to have to evacuate. He had over 100 civilians of various health statuses, some of them children, plus green troops and then his garrison of 75 veterans. Roughly 225 people to keep safe, alive and dear God.… How in the hell had Sumner done this voluntarily?
Passive sensors showed the Lucian Alliance fleet coming into the system, making no effort to hide their approach. Young kept one eye on their advance on making sure their emission control procedures were followed to the letter. The self-destruct was armed, the discs to do a database burn were in place, and now they were waiting.
As soon as the enemy fleet entered orbit, they started firing. The only redeeming feature was that they obviously didn’t know where on the planet his base was located. Bomb after bomb, laser shot after shot rain down on the Alpha site and Young was deeply grateful that the only life on the planet was at the small animal level. Nothing sentient. But he had other things to worry about.
“Rush, we are going to need to dial out soon. Can this thing reach Atlantis?” Young asked as he made his way into the gate room. The civilians can’t out around the gate were staring up at the rock and concrete ceiling over their heads, worried looks firmly planted on their faces. He didn’t blame them, but still… “Rush? Can we dial Atlantis?”
Young looked around for the crazy eyed Scotsman and refrained from cursing a blue streak. The scientist was somewhere in this mess and if his luck held true to form, Rush was trying to watch the bombardment from somewhere exposed. When the scientist rolled out from under the DHD, Young revises estimation of the man. He was in black fatigues like all the other SGC personnel and there seemed to be a packed mission backpack leaning against the machine’s housing.
“We can dial Atlantis, Colonel. Doing so though, will take some time. I’d reconfigured the DHD in an attempt to dial a nine digit address and I will need to undo some of my work to get it to take an eight digit one.” The scientist muttered quietly, his eyes were on the Stargate. Both were making certain that the civilians weren’t overhearing their conversation. Mass panic would help no one.
Young nodded in understanding. O’Neill had decided to see what they would get if they dialed the only nine digit address the SGC had found in the over 10 years of exploration they conducted. Even Daniel Jackson hadn’t found hints of another and there was fierce debate as to what the extra data point could mean. After all, seven digits were for addresses strictly inside the Milky Way, eight digits reached the galaxies that were closest to them (Ida and Pegasus), a nine-digit address… Well the bet book at the SGC had some interesting possibilities.
Now wasn’t the time though to find out. Controlling a sigh, Young tried not to sound concerned, “Please work as quickly as you can. We have a lot of people to keep safe. As soon as you can safely dial Atlantis, do so and start getting everyone through. Don’t wait for me to clear it.”
Rush didn’t acknowledge any further as he moved back to the DHD. Young couldn’t find it to be insulting, the man had a lot of work ahead of him. He was going to have to rip out weeks of painstaking work to bring the DHD down to what it had been before he started playing with it. And he only had a few hours to work. Young really hoped his hands were steady.
Twelve hours later and all Young could think about was that he wished he had paid more attention to what the hell Rush had been up to.
For Steve it had been a concept that he had absorbed with the culture of the islands and had lived by for the first 16 years of his life. Something that was understood without too much thought while he lived on Hawaii. When he was sent away, the loss of the friends he had gathered around him was just as wrenching as the loss of his parents or Mary. A big part of the reasoning behind his decision to go into the Navy and then the Teams had been an effort to recapture that feeling of belonging.
It never quite did the trick.
But he kept going, kept hunting down the bad guys and kept ignoring the part of him that looked for an Ohana to form around him. It wasn’t until he lost everything: family, the Navy and the Teams that he found the people who were at the heart of his Ohana. It wasn’t easy. The different personalities of the people he was with made it harder, and he had to push and pull everyone together but they bonded. And for the first time in almost 20 years, he felt… Peace.
Danno would never let him live that statement down if he heard it.
Chin Ho Kelly. Kono Kalakaua. Daniel Williams. Grace Williams. They were small in numbers, but big heart and skills. Trusting them to be at his back had been oddly easy from day one.
Now he was going to be leading them down the rabbit hole and he had the added responsibility of caring for over 20 members of Kono’s family. Most of them children. No matter what Danno, he really had to be insane to do this.
Lt. Commander Steven McGarrett, SEAL, USN and lately Hawaii 5-0 took a deep breath and stepped through the Stargate.
The voice calling his name came across the small radio that he mostly forgotten he was wearing. It was light, subtle and efficient. Much better than a cell phone. It could even get wet without having fits. If it was hard to break both he and McGee would love it.
Tapping the little activation stud behind his ear, Gibbs answered the summons. “Gibbs here. What can I do for you General?”
“From what my people on the ground are telling me, the group of refugees going to the gate are the last batch before your teams and themselves. Well that and one life sign – in what looks to be a closet. Got any idea why there’s one there?”
The smile that crossed Gibbs’s face was savage and unamused. “That would be the would-be rapist that Callen found trying to assault someone.”
There were several beats of silence before O’Neill came back online, his voice viciously pleased, “Well good. Did anyone reviewed the tapes to make 100% certain?”
Excellent. The General wasn’t a vigilante, but he was one that could see justice through. “Checked and double checked, with some questioning by DiNozzo and Caine. The perp admitted what he was planning on doing and that he had committed several rapes previously. So he is gonna stay locked in that closet.”
“Excellent. Anyway, the scanners report that other than the aforementioned people there’s no one left to be sent on to Atlantis. I need to drop a message with you and then send you on your way.” O’Neill was obviously reading down the list, Gibbs didn’t mind. The amount of logistics that had gone into this operation were stunning and slightly insane. Given some of the labels he’d seen on boxes he was certain that there was a plan behind it too. Things had gone too smoothly for this to have been a spur of the moment thing.
“We’ll be waiting for you General. How goes it?” Gibbs asked. He knew it could not be going well since the evacuation hadn’t been halted, it had in fact been pushed to be speedier. There was so much stuff and people and supplies leaving the planet. It was horrifying.
O’Neill drew in a harsh breath and Gibbs knew. He just knew. Thank God his family was with him and through the gate. Jackson who had shown up only few hours after they had, Abby, Tony, Ducky and his mother. All of this family was safe.
“It goes Gibbs. I… We are doing all we can with what we have,” O’Neill fell silent and then cleared his throat. “Who did you send to ride herd on civilians?” He asked.
“DiNozzo. The Hawaii 5-0 crew, the support staff from LA including Hetty, my team from NCIS, and the lab monkeys from the three major labs are there as well. While a good number of those officers are trained policemen, being the last one here? They don’t need to see the end.” Gibbs reported as he started to move to the staging area they had set up.
All their gear had been sent through with DiNozzo and Gibbs was confident his second and Horatio would have started working with the head of security to get everyone someplace to lay their heads. He was also certain that his former senior agent at a list ready with everyone skills. The new Police Department for the Atlantis Expedition/Hail Mary of the human race would be ready for business before everyone woke up.
“Sounds like you have things under control,” O’Neill said. “Once you get to Midway, please make sure that all of the personnel are through and that the self-destruct is set. There is no way we want our new friends to find out about Atlantis.”
Gibbs could hear the weariness and the General’s voice and winced. As hard as the whole event had been on his newly expanded team, the other man had it worse. Too much to do, little time, and he had to have been hearing it from various world leaders. What a cluster fuck. And he was devoutly glad was all above his pay grade. “Consider it done General. God speed.”
“You too. See you on the flipside,” replied O’Neill. Then there was silence.
They had taken off on the course decided by throwing a nerf dart at the glass sky board. Given that there was Dick all in that direction, Jack was cool with it. Taking off that way made it look like they had run away in panic.
And run they had. For four grueling hours while they had shifted stuff out of the ship’s public places, and found rooms for most of their lost sheep. Ellis was looking a bit pinched at the edges over something and Jack promised himself that he would look into it as soon as he had a spare moment. In an effort to muddy their trail even more, Ellis and Jack had decided to duck into a uninhabitable solar system for a few days. The Apollo needed to have some repairs done and they all needed a breather while they got everything situated. Sam was being kept busy checking each and every system on the ship to make sure it would survive the trip out to Atlantis. Jack didn’t want to think about what would happen if the engines failed while they were in the void between galaxies.
Right now he had to figure out what they were going to do with the politicians on Icarus. Maybe move some of them to another planet on the rim and have Ellis play taxi? Nah, too impractical, he thought. The dialing computer from the SGC could dial Atlantis, had they brought it along? If so, he would punt the politicians through that first and then let as many people through as he could. Jack idly thought over the problem as he moved through the crowds at shift turnover on his way to the captains board room. Ellis had been nice enough to share and they have a lot to go over. Daniel and Mitchell’s lists of loot were a frightening 8pt script, single spaced stack of paper almost an inch thick.
McKay, once he had woken up, had drunk a pot of coffee and had gone walk about on the ship. His stated reason as to see the tech he had heard about in action, but Jack wasn’t going to bitch about the see through excuse. Not when the man had managed to help them save so much. For all that he was an asshole, he was good at what he did and he had other things to think about. Like the fact that their storage system as sitting at almost 96% full, per the report from McKay that he had gotten before he had left the mess deck. They had come very close to maxing everything out. Stepping into the room, Jack saw that Daniel had beaten him to the conference room and was topping off his caffeine levels while flipping through his copy of the list.
Dropping into his seat, Jack reached out to snag the carafe and fill his own cup. Breathing deeply of the steam, he took a careful set of something he might not have for much longer.
“Don’t worry too much over the coffee supplies Jack. I raided Kona and Columbia as we worked to fill our lists,” Daniel said as he kept reading down his list.
Jack sighed briefly and looked at his best friend, “You know, I really hate it when you start reading my mind. Please pull that back in.”
Blue eyes looked up at him with a wicked smirk and Jack could hearhim say I will if you will, even as Daniel took a sip of his own coffee. Damn the Ancients and their fucked up genome and damn Thor for not turning the whole mess off, Jack thought viciously.
The knowing smirk in Daniel’s eyes got deeper. Jack sighed in defeat and worked on his shielding. Every ATA carrier, either natural or induced, got lessons in shielding because using the ATA helped unlock all sorts of goodies in one’s head. The stronger the ATA genome, the more skills you got. Jack was looking forward to seeing what Sheppard popped out with since his genome was the stronger.
“Much better.” Daniel said as he finished the last of his coffee. Thanks to being ascended several times Daniel was well aware of all of the “gifts” that came with the Alteran genetic legacy. Jack was just thankful Daniel had been there when his own had developed and he had completely freaked out.
Firmly ignoring the metaphysical, Jack turned his attention to the lists before him. Grabbing a highlighter from the cup before him, he clicked it open and started highlighting everything he had a question about.
Five minutes in, his copy looked like his highlighter had exploded. From carbines and advanced sniper rifles, enough reloading gear to supply the US Marine Corps, to what look like every MRE on the planet… “Danny, why do we have tons of reloading supplies and enough sniper rifles to outfit a medium-sized Marine Corps battalion?”
Daniel gazed at him behind the glasses he kept as a way to throw people off and help him maintain the look of guileless innocence. Jack held his ground even when the eyes behind the glasses got very hard for an instant. He wasn’t going to back down. He knew, better than most, exactly what Daniel was capable of. “Because I’ll be damned if I’m going to be under armed for anything ever again. P-90’s are nice, but you know they are a bit light for regular combat.”
Jack cocked his head to the side as he considered what his friend, and the (nominal) civilian member of his team had said. When the SGC had converted to the P-90, he had also thought they were a bit light for battling the Goa’uld, but they had done the job and it had been easy enough to get sufficient ammunition for it. He could only hope that this was prudence on Daniel’s part, and nothing else. The Atlantis Expedition had reported a number of empty planets, but hadn’t met the hostiles that their allies in Pegasus and the database said were there. Time would tell what would be the best. Shrugging lightly, Jack conceded the point and returned to his lists.
The room was silent for several hours as both men worked through their lists. As soon as Jack finished with the official scavenged supply list, he moved on to the list of people who had been sent on to Atlantis. Thankfully whomever had put the list together had included their occupations and skill sets, further they had organized the list by those skill sets. Unless Elizabeth changed things radically, he was already starting to organize everyone along the lines of an expanded SGC. If nothing else, the discussions on how to make things work would help distract them all from their grief.
It took twelve hours sleep and a very hot shower before he was upright plus a full pot of coffee before he felt like he was human again.
Rodney found that he hadn’t been assigned a berth on the Apollo and he could only hope that there was some place for him to sleep. Otherwise he was going to co-opt a bed in the infirmary and deal with the bitching from the staff. While his hypochondria might like the idea, sleeping in the beds that the SGC furnished their hospitals in would suck. A quick check on the Major who had been operating the chair showed that the other man was basically okay, just deeply tired. He was also showing the standard unsettled brain chemistry and biorhythms that came from using Ancient equipment for long periods of time. From the labels on the bags hanging around the chiapet-like head, the Major was getting everything he needed to recover.
Satisfied with his good deed of the day, Rodney left to do a quick tour of the ‘public’ areas of the ship. The Apollo wasn’t a ship that he had personally been on before, but he had helped design some of her systems and he wanted to see them in use. At least, that is what he told anyone who wondered why he was walking around. All the tour showed him though, was a serious case of overcrowding in the corridors and a quick stop in the mess hall showed that it was just as packed.
One of the many yeoman had let him know where O’Neill and Jackson were hiding and Rodney made a mental note to check in with them after he finished checking the working areas of the Apollo. The same yeoman was good enough to point him towards the main engine room. A quick stop in the science labs got him a clean tablet computer and an update on what and who had been transported up. Since there was nothing there that urgently required his attention, Rodney kept moving towards the engine room.
The tempo in the room was busy, but there wasn’t a frantic edge to it. Rodney poked around, staying out of the way, but managing to update himself on the status of the ship and what she had available to her. Even damaged, she was impressive and he was looking forward to working on her.
The one thing he was actually looking for was tucked into its own little room, safely out of the way. The crystal array that was holding the wealth of Earth wasn’t all that impressive looking by itself, but what it contained? Oh, what it contained was beyond price. Carter had installed the system, so he was confident that that part had been done correctly, but he wanted to make certain that it wasn’t stressed. Rodney carefully tied his new tablet into the main interface with the mass storage system and asked it for an update on available space. The reply of 95.43% was not comforting. “O’Neill, you might want to let Jackson know that he can’t go shopping any more. He managed to fill the array to almost 96% full. McKay out.”
Rodney signed off quickly. He had just gotten into the power consumption files and the whole array was flirting between the yellow of danger and the red of overload in a steady beat.
“Fuck me,” Rodney muttered quietly. He knew, because he had made certain of it, that there were over a dozen extra naquadah generators aboard the Apollo. He needed at least two of them now. All of the people he trusted to help were on Atlantis, so he was going to need the trained monkey’s that Carter had assigned to the ship. and Carter herself. If she was onboard.
A quick call on his earpiece got no response, so he had to try another route. “Where is Colonel Carter?” he called out sharply. While he was waiting on a response, he started checking every connection on the array.
“She’s sleeping. Who the hell are you and why are you touching that?” snapped one of the engineers that he had seen out in the main engine room.
Ignoring the question for a moment, Rodney made certain that his tablet reflected the power consumption program as he traced everything out. “I am the guy who is going to be doing your fucking job. The Asgard materials storage array is having severe power fluxes. What are you doing to fix that?”
“Nothing. Colonel Carter said it would flux, but we were to leave it strictly alone,” said a second engineer.
Closing his eyes slightly in an effort not to curse, Rodney counted Prime numbers until he could talk intelligibly, “I am Dr. M Rodney McKay, CSO for the Atlantis Expedition and I designed this system. There is no way in hell it should be fluxing this badly. So I ask again: Where is Colonel Carter?”
Both men looked at him, faces slowly leeching white realized who he was and what he was seeing. A mission critical system slowly loosing integrity. Mentally dubbing them Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, they both looked at the main control panel and the strobing yellow and red lights on it before looking away. Lucky for them, he had designed in a lot of redundancy, so the lights, while bad, weren’t the end of the world. There was a final beat of silence from them before they moved away. From the sound of the door opening and a voice calling for the good Colonel, Rodney figured that one of them was looking for Carter. The other was, hopefully, heading to the generator storeroom.
Rodney turned his attention back to the storage unit and started tracing lines again. He had to keep reassuring himself that Sam had built the machine, that his design was sound because he knew, just knew that the moronic duo and their addle pated cousins had done something to his machine. There was no reason for the array to be showing problems with the power supply. He had thoroughly tested the whole design out before he had sent it back to the SGC for them to install it. It wasn’t until he got to the power strip that he and Sam had come up with that he found the root of the problem. There were supposed to be an even six compact naquadah generators tied to the system to balance the load, provide redundancy and allow for sudden spikes of use. There were only four generators hooked into the array.
Rodney felt his hands start to shake in reaction. They were so, so close to losing everything. Closing his eyes for a moment, he sucked in a needed breath. Panic was for later, in private. Now, he needed to be brilliant, steady and most of all, calm.
Tweedle Dee came back in the room two extra generators and carefully placed them both by the others. Each generator came with a integral power cord and the engineer pulled it out to connect it to the system. Rodney had his hand clamped around the man’s wrist before he could complete the action. “Listen, you obviously witless excuse of spent sperm, you do not drop an untested power supply into a system flirting with overload. The original design had six generators hooked into it. Where are the other two?”
The engineer (and Rodney was being very generous to call him that) flushed at the insult and dropped the cord before it was damaged. “We needed the generator for something else! Since it kept working, it was fine!”
Rodney dropped the morons wrist and tried not to hit him for being so stupid. Voice quiet and still, McKay asked, “Did you clear the removal with Colonel Carter?”
From the way that his newest target was staring at him, he was cluing into how fucked he was. But apparently he still had a functioning brain cell or two, because he had no problems throwing his supervisor under the bus, “No. We cleared it with Major Anderson first. He said that it would be fine!”
“Major Anderson? Who is he? You know what? Never mind. He is a fucking moron, just like you. Go get the generators that you removed from this and only those generators. Leave the two that you brought in here.” Rodney ordered. When the other man didn’t move, he flapped his hands at him in a shooing motion. “Go on. Get going! Do need to break those orders into smaller words for you to understand?”
“But, but…. I don’t have to take this!” Eyes showing anger, Tweedle See stood up, trying to loom.
Rodney was in his space and in his face before he had taken a step. “Yes, you have to take it. You have to take it because thanks to the actions of you, your moronic coworker and the goat fucker who gave you the okay, you may have endangered everyone on this ship, Atlantis and even the ones on Earth. That array holds almost everything that we managed to save from the invasion of our planet and you three have just put that all in danger because you were too damn lazy to get a different one.”
The sound of clapping drew him back, out of Tweedle Dee’s face to see Carter standing in the door with the moron he had mentally named Tweedle Dumb. “I totally agree, Rodney. How about after we fix this, we let Jack and Daniel have at them.”
Rodney snorted in sour amusement and dropped down to look at the power grid again. “I say that we tell them no matter how this turns out. And make sure that it’s before Jackson has his coffee too.”
“My, they did piss you off. What’s up?” Carter asked as she peered over his shoulder.
Rodney kept his voice soft as he explained what was going on and what he had found out. While he was doing that, the moron patrol was moving in and out of the room, lugging generators. He could tell when Sam got why he was so upset by the stiffening of her posture. When she stood up and walked out, he turned his attention back to the array. As much as he wanted to scream at the Major who would set up this particular farce, he had other things to do.
The two generators that he had marked for the array were set down beside him with one of the many tool chests that littered the engineering labs. The motions of testing for instability in the power flows and the casing were old, well-worn habits that had saved his life often enough that he kept them. Once the generators tested clean, Rodney moved onto the cords and plugs. Thankfully, they checked out as well. Once Carter got back from ripping into the person responsible for this cluster fuck, they would have to reinstall the generators and make very certain that no one else fucked with anything they shouldn’t.
“So, yeah. Handing them to Daniel before he has had any coffee and a chance to talk himself out of being a bastard sounds great.” Carter said as she dropped into the space beside him. “He wasn’t too apologetic to have been found out, and me screaming at him didn’t seem to make much of a dent. I am going enjoy the hell out of watching tomorrow morning.”
Rodney looked at her out of the corner of his eye. The good Colonel was visibly upset. Her eyes were sparkling, her color was high and if he were still lusting after her, this would be when he would normally have said something awkward. Thankfully, living in Pegasus had cured him of the bad habit of blurting out the first lusty comment that crossed his mind. Now he had enough self-control not to be a total ass. It had improved his working relationships with everyone he worked with enough that they were all surprised when he let his temper out to play.
“So let’s ignore the moron patrol for a few minutes. The generators check out as still being within tolerances for the array, they are still showing at full power, and the connectors are good to go. The sooner we get them hooked back in, the better.” Rodney said as he showed her the graphs on the current power consumption curves for the array. The two generators they had taken away had been put in place to smooth out the highs and lows of the machines data cycles. With them missing, the whole thing was swinging from one extreme to another with nothing to cushion the moves. They hadn’t lost any data yet, nor had any been corrupted, but if they did nothing, the stress would cause both.
“Shit. Murphy came to roost on this thing, didn’t he?” Carter muttered as she paged through his notes. “So we have to install the generators on three? As close to synchronized as is possible?”
“As close as we can,” Rodney agreed. He waited while she picked up one of the connectors and nodded. “One…. Two… Three!”
The plugs slipped into their receptors without a hitch and the red and yellow alarms slowly faded out until there was one final yellow alarm lit. Rodney checked the display to find out what the remaining problem was and found that it was the notification that the system was at 95.43%, and did he want the system to flush the memory banks? A quick series of commands from Carter and there was no way for anyone to override the system without destroying it.
“If this was messed with…” Rodney trailed off as he thought of all the systems on the ship that might cause critical problems.
Eyes grim, Sam nodded. “There might be others. I’ll take engineering and you take the cargo holds? I know Ellis wanted to redistribute how they were balanced. We didn’t have time to get everything perfect when we loaded the ship.”
Rodney grabbed his tablet and tied it into the shipboard network. He could pull up the manifests from here and start designing a plan to shift everything around to balance the load. “I can do that easily. Can you pass on the message that I would like someplace other than the infirmary to sleep when I finally crash again?”
“Sure. I can do that. See you in eight hours?” she asked as she walked out into Engineering proper.
Rodney nodded. “See you then.” He said as he started opening the files on the cargo bays. There was a lot to do and only so much time to do it in.
The quiet of the conference room was interrupted when McKay came walking in talking into his radio quickly and impatiently. From what Jack could gather, the shifting and securing of their cargo had corrected the wobble in the shields that had been the deciding factor in laying low for a bit. “McKay, is the change enough to allow us to go back into hyper and get to Icarus and then Atlantis?”
Apparently, this question was just enough to derail the ranting and Jack could tell the other man was giving the question serious consideration. He was silent for several minutes and then, “General, the best way to put this is, consider the Apollo like a ship at sea. We can move cargo around while underway, but there are a number of forces buffeting the ship as we move. Right now, I have everything balanced as well as I can without unloading everything and starting from scratch. Col. Ellis is as thrilled as I am at what we have had to do to make it so we can fly smoothly, but I can’t see any other way to make it work.”
Jack contemplated the new information. While it made sense that the stuff inside the hull could affect how that hull moved through space, he needed further clarification before he weighed in on the subject. “So what happens when we get to Icarus and we take on the 250 people we have stashed there?”
The scientist looked at his tablet in consternation. “More people and their crap? Joy. Basically if we get the weight distribution wrong it can cause ripples across our shield matrix which can contribute to throwing us out of hyper. In addition it can make our travel through hyperspace much rougher and much more energy intensive. This means we might have trouble as we try to get to Atlantis. Also, if we add another 250 people to the life support of this ship, we are going to kill everyone. We are already pushing the limits of the oxygen scrubbers.” McKay said. Apparently he was taking mercy on Jack today and not ranting at him like he was a moron. Small favors.
“Well fuck. So here is to hoping that Rush hasn’t totally fucked up the Stargate on the Alpha site. We are going to need to send some people through there to Atlantis after all.” Jack said glumly.
“Sir, long-range scanners have picked up an anomaly by Icarus Base.” Reported Lieut. Olson from his seat at the Asgard augmented long-range sensors.
Abraham Ellis looked up from his tablet and scan the information tracker running on the bottom of the forward view screen. Yes, there had been huge energy burst from that sector and from the look of it, whatever had caused it was powerful in the extreme. “Can we get a better reading on the cause of that, where it is at, and what the results are?”
“Yes, sir.” Came the swift reply and there were sounds of keys being tapped quickly. Satisfied that the answers he needed would be forthcoming, Ellis settled back to take care of his paperwork.
He’d managed to get lost enough in the paperwork to mildly resented when Olson called out that he had the results of the search, Ellis had to think a bit to remember what he was talking about. When he did, he straightened up, “Lieutenant, what you have for me?”
Olson look weirdly freaked out. And that disturbed Ellis far more than hysterics would have. Prolonged exposure to the SGC had shown him that when things went weird, they were at their most deadly. Weird involving planets politicians and the crackpot scientists at the Alpha Site equaled bad things.
“It is what I don’t have Sir, that is causing problems. I couldn’t find the planet the Alpha site is on. But there is evidence of a massive explosion, the Asgard sensor network in the area reports that the planet was bombarded from space before there was an immense energy surge. My best guess from looking at the energy curve and the residue left is that someone fired up an intergalactic Stargate and pulled the power to do it out of the planet itself. From the scatter pattern of the debris, it looks like the planet was in process of shattering, even as they dialed. Whatever they did, sir, Icarus is gone.” Olson reported calmly. If Ellis hadn’t been watching for it, he went to seeing how much his officer wanted to twitch with horror over the news he just reported.
Hell, he wanted to twitch. Planets disappearing were never a good thing. To have one disappear when there were hostile’s in the area was worse. Adding the people who had been on the Alpha site and while… He was guiltily relieved that his family had gone through to Atlantis, not the Alpha site.
Ellis took a deep breath and tried not to wince. He now had to let the General know. That was not going to go well.