Title: Fight to Win
Fandoms/Genre: SGA/SG1, Covert Affairs and Pacific Rim
Relationships: Evan Lorne/Auggie Anderson (eventually), John Sheppard/Rodney McKay (eventually), maybe some other minor pairings as the story is written
Content Rating for this section: R
Warning for this section: Language, GoldenBoy!Evan, snark, discovering Atlantis/Aztlan, Sentient!Atlantis, angst, friend bonding with Evan and Daniel
Word Count: 4,267 / 14,399
The next day, Colonel Mitchell took one of the secure cell phones and went out into the woods, so he could report to General O’Neill.
After two rings, General O’Neill picked up. “General O’Neill speaking.”
“General O’Neill, it’s Colonel Mitchell reporting in.”
“I hope you have some good news”
“Yes, sir. Major Lorne found an ancient outpost, a bigger one than Antarctica. Dr. Jackson strongly believes that it is Aztlan, or more commonly known as, Atlantis.”
“What about the protector?”
“We are still looking forward it. The interface will only mainly interact with Major Lorne at the moment. He had to coax the interface to allow us into the base.”
“Why am I not surprised? Is he trying to get other people access to the interface?”
“Yes, sir. But I think driving back to Colorado Springs would be faster.”
“Right. Any unforeseen disasters happen?”
“Surprisingly, things have been going smoothly, for the most part. Dr. Sheppard and Dr. McKay have been chomping at the bit to do more interfacing with the AI but Major Lorne won’t allow it. He claims that the AI isn’t comfortable with anyone but him to ask it questions and to gain information from her.”
“I hope Major Lorne is working towards changing the AI’s perspective on this?”
“Yes, but since the AI has been by herself for over a thousand year period, she is a bit set in her ways and is very protective of Major Lorne.”
“Do I want to know?”
“Dr. McKay and Dr. Sheppard were teasing Major Lorne and may have hurt his feelings at one point. The AI might have lightly zapped them in retaliation. Nothing major, just light zapping.”
“I see. I would have thought she might have been lonely with no one to interact with her for so long.”
“Major Lorne claims that someone about 200 years ago tried to access her but when she realized that they were going to cause great harm to her and the surrounding area, she banished them and decided that only those with the ATA gene would be able to have access to her and her systems.”
“Right. I’m not even there and I already feel a headache coming on.”
“You aren’t the only one, General.”
“Keep me updated, daily. If there is any hint of any disasters, you call me immediately.”
“Yes, sir. Understood.”
With a click, Colonel Mitchell knew that General O’Neill had hung up. Colonel Mitchell took a few minutes to collect his thoughts before going back into the cave, to hear the bickering of Dr. Rodney McKay and how unfair it was that Major Lorne had all of the access to Aztlan’s AI while he didn’t have any. It was going to be a long week.
When Auggie heard his office door slide open, he moved his headphones off his ear so he could hear what his guest had to say.
Upon smelling the perfume, he said, “Annie. What can I help with you today?”
“Do you have any friends still in the military?” She asked after she slid the door closed.
“Yes, I do. Why?”
“One of my good friends lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. She mentioned that there seems to be a decent size group of military personnel that have been camping in the mountain range, just outside the city. Apparently, they aren’t wearing their uniforms but they handled themselves like military men.”
“Interesting. I will call my buddies and see if they know anything.”
“Let me know what you find out?”
“Sure. Is there something work related you needed to see me about?”
“Nope. I’ll see you later?”
“Yes. Grab me for lunch.”
A few minutes later Auggie heard the slide of the office door, knowing that Annie has exited his office. He thought about which contacts might have the information that he sought but he knew that he would try calling them later, when he isn’t in the building, especially in his office.
Two weeks later, Major Lorne was able to convince Atlantis AI to open the other floors to them. When he went into the chair the day before, he discovered that the base in the mountain was easily 10 times bigger than it actually was. Dr. McKay and Dr. Sheppard constantly debated whether or not the protector existed and if it did, then where was it held.
With the map displayed on the handheld device, thanks to Dr. McKay, Major Lorne and his team started to search the levels below the main area that they had been residing and investigating for the past 2 weeks.
As they entered a new hallway, they noticed huge sliding doors ahead. Slowly, they approached them with their weapons at the ready with Major Lorne in the lead. When Major Lorne waved his hand over the sensor, the doors slide open and they slowly walked into a room where the lights were slowly being turned on by each level. When the room was completely lit, everyone gasped. They were standing at the head of the protector. When they look down the pit, they could see that the protector was at least 12 stories tall, if not more.
“It does exist. I knew it.” Rodney exclaimed.
“You did not. You were just getting bored of the first level of this base. It does beg the question of just HOW big this base is if it can hold this thing?”
“I would guess that we’ve only been shown like 10% of the base.” Evan guessed.
“Previously, Atlantis has put her trust in someone who she thought she could trust but they tried to use her against other civilizations because they disagreed over a minor detail. She refused to ever be put in that situation again.”
“So she monitored us over the past two weeks to see if what you showed her was true?” John guessed.
“That would be my hypothesis.”
“Do you know if there are any bunk rooms here so we could sleep inside, instead of among the ants and the other wildlife?” Rodney asked.
“I thought at one point I saw an area that seemed like quarters for the staff but it was very brief and a while ago. I will see if she will tell me if there any and where.” Evan commented. While he liked to camp from time to time, his body would appreciate not sleeping on the ground, if it was at all possible.
“I wonder where the control for the protector is. It seems like there are very limited ones on the wall by the door here. I’m guessing they might be by the foot of it?” Rodney questioned.
“That would be my guess too. How do we get down there?”
“Atlantis AI showed me something that looked like an elevator transporter thing. Here, let’s go this way.”
Evan turned around and headed right when he entered the hallway. He came across a smaller looking doorway that had doors that slid open.
“Everyone in. Atlantis briefly showed me how this worked.”
The panel in the back of the elevator lowered and it looked like a possible map of the base. Evan clicked on what looked like to be the base of the pit room, aka where the protector is. The doors slid closed and the elevator moved. When the doors opened again, they were in a new location.
“Wow. I think I’m in love. Can I just spend the next year or so here? Looking in every single place, figuring out what is going on?”
“I thought you would be all over the protector, Rodney.”
“I am. I was including that in my year of investigation. Hell, it’s at the top of the list of things that I really want to get a closer look at.”
“Color me not surprised.”
“Alright, I do believe we need to head this way to get back to the protector.”
Evan exited the transporter and led everyone back to the room. When they walked in, they saw the computers and machines lined up against the wall. In addition, the feet of the robot were in view too and they were huge.
“Do you think it is still operational?” Evan asked.
“Didn’t Atlantis tell you?”
“No, she didn’t because I don’t think she entirely knew.”
“Why not? She’s connected to it, right?”
“She is but she hasn’t been able to communicate with it properly for a while now.”
“Why wouldn’t….Oh shit, fuck. If the Jaegar isn’t properly powered, then it would not be able to communicate with the various systems, including Atlantis. Fuck.”
“Is there anyway to verify this?”
“Hopefully, we will be able to figure out the computer and learn the various ways that the system communicates with the Jaegar, er, Protector.”
“Won’t it have the same issue as Atlantis?”
“Yes, it would but it might be able to tell us how much power it is lacking so we can figure out if it is just one or two ZPMs that we need to look for.”
“Where the hell do we find these ZPMs? It’s not like there is a website like eBay that we can use to go looking for them?”
“That would make our life so much easier but you are correct. Maybe the interface will tell us where they were originally found or maybe there is a list of places that we can visit to see if they still exist in those locations?” John asked cautiously.
“Why don’t Dr. Sheppard and myself stay here and work on the computers and Atlantis’ AI, if she is alright with this?” Rodney asked hopefully.
There was a blink of the lights and then a woman dressed in a flowing white-ish blue robe appeared before them.
“Greetings.” The female-monotone voice said.
“Atlantis?” Evan queried. The voice sounded a lot like the one that he heard often in his head.
“Yes, Major Lorne.” She turns to look at Dr. McKay and say, “You and Dr. Sheppard will be granted complete access to my systems. I will still monitor what you do and if I feel like you are about to do harm to myself or to this base or to another human being, it will be shut down and your accesses will be taken away. Understood?”
“Yes.” Rodney wanted to say so much more to Atlantis but fearful that he might say the wrong thing that would annoy her. He did feel like a kid being given the keys to the candy store.
“Very well.” She closed her eyes and lights on the computers and the stations began to flicker and the screens started to show text.
“Thank you, Atlantis.” Evan and John said at the same time. They knew how well things would progress if they kept the AI happy and on their side.
After a few minutes of watching John and Rodney happily go over the systems and talk excitedly at each other, Evan turned to Atlantis and asked, “Are there rooms for us to sleep in while we are here? A place to cook things too?”
“Yes, Major Lorne. I will show you where you and your friends can rest at night and eat.”
She brings up a 3-D map of the base and shows Evan where the rooms and what looks like a big kitchen are located.
Before she disappears, she tells Evan, “I will let others come here, assuming they are friends of yours. I will not allow any harm to come me or to the Protector.”
“Thank you, Atlantis.”
The image of the woman disappears. Evan turns around and sees that John and Rodney are still excitedly going about the research.
Evan motions to the other military men and says, “I’m going back to the surface to report to Colonel Mitchell and to let him know that we don’t have to be camping anymore. I would like at least 2 of you to stay, to make sure nothing bad happens to Dr. Sheppard or Dr. McKay. Who will volunteer?”
Two hands rose up.
“Very good. The rest of you will come with me. Please try to radio me, if you need help. If it doesn’t work, you know how to get back to the transport?”
At the nods of “yes” from the two men, Evan continued, “Use the transport to get to the first level. We should be there. Alright, the rest of you, let’s head up to Colonel Mitchell.”
Evan turned and headed towards the transport, with the rest of the contingent following behind him. Once they get to the main area on the first level, Colonel Mitchell raises his eyebrow when he noticed that the entire group isn’t present.
“Did you lose some people, Major Lorne?” Colonel Mitchell questioned.
“I know where they are located, sir.”
“That is good. So where are they?”
“We found the Protector and Atlantis AI gave Dr. Sheppard and Dr. McKay full access to her database.”
“So we will see them in 2 years, if we are lucky?”
“It will probably be sooner than that. Apparently, the Protector might not be fully powered, which would mean that we will need to find at most 2 or at least 1 ZPM before the Jaeger is fully powered. Dr. Sheppard and Dr. McKay will not be able to perform all of their various tasks on it until it has 2 fully energized ZPMs.”
“We might need to go on another mission?”
“Maybe. Hopefully, it will be somewhere on this planet. Dr. McKay and Dr. Sheppard are trying to coax a list of locations that ZPMs might be.”
“Lovely. I should report to General O’Neill so he doesn’t get blindsided.”
“You might also want to tell him that Atlantis has granted us access to the living quarters and the kitchen so we can live within the base.”
“How did you accomplish this?”
“She appeared to us and I asked her.”
“Yes, as a 3-D avatar-type of thing. She said she will still keep an eye on us but she has decided that she likes what she’s seen so far.”
“Good to know. I’ll report everything to General O’Neill. Quickly, do you happen to know if she will allow others to join us?”
“She said if they are friends of ours, then she is willing to house them. Otherwise, they won’t be permitted on this base.”
“Understood. Thank you for your help. Once I get back, we’ll move everything inside and figure out the sleeping arrangements.”
“Sounds good, sir.”
Colonel Mitchell went outside to call General O’Neill. He just hoped that the General had some Tylenol nearby because he might need it by the end of the phone call. At least, Colonel Mitchell did have some good news for General O’Neill about the protector. Kind of.
Three days later, everyone was sitting in what they assumed past as a conference room in Atlantis. There was a large white table with chairs that rose from the floor and stopped just shortly before the table with a backseat to them.
“We have gathered here to share information about what we have all discovered while exploring Atlantis and/or the protector. I would also like a report of any supplies that are running low so I can pass them along to General O’Neill so he can hopefully fulfill them. Any questions?”
Upon seeing no one raising their voice or show any questions, Colonel Mitchell continued, “Let’s start with the Protector, especially since that is one of the main reasons why we are here. Dr. Sheppard and Dr. McKay, you have the floor.”
“Atlantis, if you could please show a 3-D model of the Protector?” Dr. Sheppard asked to the room.
A few seconds later, a 3-D line drawing of the protector was shown and it landed on top of the desk. Dr. Sheppard and Dr. McKay took turns explaining the various sections of the Jaegar and what parts did what. When they got to the section about the various weapons and tools that it had, many people were paying close attention, especially since it had more than the typical Jaegars these days. In addition, unlike the today Jaegars, the Protector ran on ZPMs, not analog. Since they’ve been seeing the Kaiju do interesting things like give off energy blasts, having the Protector run on ZPMs could be useful.
“Now, I know you are probably wondering about the ZPM situation.” Dr. McKay stated in a factual manner. “I’m sad to say that it seems to only have 1 functional ZPM at the moment. Thanks to the database and Dr. Jackson, we may know of one location. For this part of the briefing, I will pass it off to Dr. Jackson.”
“One of the locations that the database gave was in El Salvador, which isn’t too surprising since the Nahua people settled in that region. The city that the ZPM is supposed to be located is Santa Ana. We think it might be located near the Santa Ana Volcano, which is near Santa Ana. Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure. The database did give us some references that definitely place it in Santa Ana, most likely at the Santa Ana Volcano or in the nearby mountains.”
“Do you know if the ZPM would be fully charged or is there a way to charge them?”
“The ZPM is most likely dead but the Protector has a way of charging the ZPMs within the suit. We just need a fully functional container for the ZPM.” Dr. Sheppard responded.
“Holy shit. That’s…amazing. Will all three of you need to go on this trip or can just one of you go?” Colonel Mitchell asked, somewhat fearful of the response.
“Dr. Jackson and I should suffice,” Dr. Sheppard responded. He knew that Rodney would want to go on the trip but he would be more useful in Atlantis, further analyzing the data.
“What about Dr. McKay?” Colonel Mitchell asked, not believing his ears.
“We are hoping it will be a fairly short trip. In and out, at most, a week. Dr. McKay would be more useful staying here to analyze the data from the interface so that we can have a better understanding how the Protector works and what type of pilots we would need for it.”
“Sounds plausible. Are you alright with this, Dr. McKay?”
“I would rather go on the trip but someone does need to stay behind to shift through this data. I think it would also be best if Major Lorne stayed behind too, since I’m not sure how Atlantis would respond to people going through her database without the Golden Boy nearby.”
“I agree. I’m sorry to say, Major Lorne, but you will be calling Atlantis your home for the foreseeable future.”
Shortly after they arrived, Major Lorne went into Flagstaff for the day to get supplies. While he was gone, Atlantis took it upon herself to fully antagonize everyone remaining, fearing that Major Lorne wouldn’t be coming back as result of his colleagues. She would cause interfaces to power down or make the walls feel either freezing cold or overheated. If you tried to take a shower that day, then you would only get freezing cold water. It was so bad that Sergeant Markham called Major Lorne on his cell phone and pleaded with him to come back early, fearful of the things that Dr. McKay or Dr. Sheppard might do to Atlantis as retaliation. Since that point, Major Lorne usually kept close to Atlantis and made sure that everyone was behaving. He felt restricted but it was nice to be needed in a way that no one else could fulfill. He knew it was a double-edge sword.
“I’ve gotten used to the fact that I won’t be leaving any time soon. Have we figured out a way to use the cell phones while we are here on base? I would like to call my sister soon so she knows that I’m not dead. Just being held prisoner.” Granted, since Atlantis gave select people access to her interface, she has been better about Major Lorne taking short hikes around the mountain or into town, especially if he tells her he would be back shortly. He is hoping that she will soon stop using him like a safety blanket.
“She might allow it, if you tell her why you need it. It would definitely make our lives easier,” Dr. Sheppard responded.
“I will see what I can do.” Major Lorne responded.
“I would like to state that I think I found the medical bay for Atlantis yesterday. I would greatly appreciate it if Major Lorne could come with me to the place and see what he can switch on. I was able to make a few of the consoles somewhat turn on but I think I would have better results with Major Lorne.”
“Excellent. Once we’ve spent some time there, I’ll have a better understanding on what’s available and how we can use it. Yes, Colonel, I’ll keep track of which items might be useful for us and the SGC and which ones we might want to bypass for now.”
“Good, Doctor Beckett.” Colonel Mitchell responded. “If there is nothing else, then everyone is dismissed.”
Everyone got up from the table and headed to the various sections of Atlantis.
Daniel followed Evan to their bunkroom. Due to the limited space, every room contained at least 2 people in it. Upon entering the room, Daniel closed the door, knowing that their conversation would be private.
“Are you alright, Ev? You seem a bit…down.” Daniel commented as he went to the folding chair in their room.
“I’m…I….I’ve had better days. It was 3 years ago tomorrow that the Kaiju first came to our world, causing mass destruction and death. Including my parents’ death. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them.”
Daniel gets up and hugs Evan. He knows how close Evan was to his parents and how much guilt he had for not being there for them, not that he would have been able to do anything for them. He knows that he wouldn’t have been able to change anything but it’s the principle of the situation. No one said that guilt was logical or sensible.
Evan starts to cry as the hug continues and Daniel just holds him. Daniel knows that the anniversary of Evan’s parents’ death is always rough for Evan.
“I know you miss them. I’m here and so is your sister and her family.”
“I know. I just wish that I could go to San Francisco and walk into my old home, smelling homemade pumpkin spice bread or the crumbly coffee cake. Or be able to bring home my theoretical boyfriend to them and have a family gathering where my sister interrogates him while my mother smothers him with love and food. Not that I have any boyfriend or anything.”
“Knowing Sherri, she will still interrogate any boyfriend that you bring by her place. She considers it to be her older sister duty, after all.”
“I know. Not that any guy would want to date someone who is too dedicated to his job with unknown hours.”
“Who knows? Maybe you’ll find someone who is in the same profession as you and just as dedicated to their job as you are.”
“That would have it’s perks.” Evan said.
“I would be jealous. Hey, do you want to see if we can convince John and Rodney to join us with another SGC-MST3K edition of another bad 80’s sci-fi movie like “Back to the Future”?”
“I wonder if there is a projector that can be connected to a computer in this base. It would be great to watch a movie on the big screen and we could throw popcorn at the parts that annoy us.”
“You could ask her. The worst that she would tell you is no.”
“Give me a sec.”
Evan blanked his mind and then mentally asked Atlantis about the projector. To his surprise, there is one in the conference room. They do not need a computer, just the disc that they could put in the player like device.
“She says that there is one that we can use in the conference room. We don’t even need a computer.”
“Have I told you how jealous I am that you are able to talk to her like you do?”
“It is cool at times but it can be a bit…overwhelming? Annoying?”
“But the chance to actually learn how a powerful, ancient technology thinks and sees things would be amazing. To see what her life has been like and maybe to see if she could tell you more about life back when she was first built.”
“It would be interesting if I was you but I’m not. Let’s go see if we can convince John and Rodney to join us. If not, it can just be the two of us. I think we’ve deserved a break from the work that we’ve been doing.”
“Agreed. Let’s go.”
They leave the room and head towards where the Protector is stored. They know that if they weren’t in meeting or weren’t sleeping that John and Rodney have been spending almost every minute analyzing the data that they can find about the Protector.
When they poked their heads in and see how in depth they were with their research, Evan and Daniel decided to let them be and have their own movie time in the conference room. With that in mind, they headed to the conference room to play their movie.